Archive for February 2020

Why Did God Give the Law?

February 27, 2020

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Did you know that God’s law to Israel wasn’t given to make them do the right thing? Rather, under God’s wise hand, the law’s purpose was to:

▪ Give the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20);
▪ Make sin abound (Romans 5:20);
▪ Produce guilt (Romans 3:19);
▪ Curse mankind (Galatians 3:10);
▪ Work wrath (Romans 4:15).

One will notice that all of these revelations concerning the true nature of the Mosaic Law given at Sinai come through the epistles of Paul written some 1500 years later. It is through his letters that we come to see that the law was designed ultimately to bring mankind to Christ.

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [escort, CV] to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster (Galatians 3:24-25).

We also learn from him the glorious truth that Christ, through His work at Calvary, abolished all aspects of the law.

Having abolished in His flesh the enmity [hostility], even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of two one new man, so making peace (Ephesians 2:15).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

No One Has Been Overlooked

February 22, 2020

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The mission of Christ was to destroy the enemy and to set the prisoners free. Now this word “destroy” does not mean to annihilate. In the Greek it means to make of no effect. When Christ took the keys from the prison keeper he, Satan, lost all power and authority. Christ made his office of no effect (Hebrews 2:14-15).

While prophets of doom forecast calamity and destruction, the mind of Christ speaks and lights our world with the vision of universal restoration and reconciliation.

Paul told of a great victory where every knee would bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Paul did not say that only a small number will bow and confess, but he said every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess. And no man can call Jesus Lord but by the Holy Spirit. What a glorious day that will be when every knee shall bow!

We are not an accident! We are not a mistake! No one has been overlooked by the Creator. All of us are His jewels, the apple of His eye, His purpose, reason and will.

When we see God in all things, and realize that all things are in His hands for the eventual good of everyone, then our lives will flow as peacefully as a river.

— Don Bruce
The Feet Ministry
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Must Aion Mean Eternal?

February 18, 2020

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There are many texts in which aion and aionios cannot bear the meaning of “eternity,” and there are no texts in which the meaning of a limited period of time does not make reasonable sense. Our great loss is that, when we ascribe the meaning of eternity to these words, we obliterate from view God’s purpose of the eons. Further, the character of God is slandered, making Him the inflictor of incomprehensible woe.

It does not say that “all in Christ shall be made alive.” It says, “in Christ shall all be made alive” [I Corinthians 15:22]. The word for “made alive” means to be made immortal. … Finally, at the consummation, when death is abolished, all will be made alive in Christ.

God is working all things after the counsel of His will and according to His perfect schedule, but the improper translation of [the Greek word rendered “for ever and ever” instead of] “for the ages of the ages” [i.e., Galatians 1:5; Philippians 4:20; I Timothy 1:17; II Timothy 4:18; etc.] ignores the purpose and climax of history. The holies of the holies were the two inner confines of the tabernacle. They were more holy than the outer court and the camp and all the places outside the camp. In like manner, “the ages of the ages” are the two greatest ages of history because of what will transpire during their time. It does not cast the smallest shadow on the brilliance of God’s glory to say that glory be attributed to Him during the climactic eons when His purpose will be realized by all and His glory seen more clearly than ever before.

Philip Scranton
Must Aion Mean Eternal?
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Judged Reconciled Back to God

February 16, 2020

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I came not to judge the world but to save the world (John 12:47).

When I first began to believe in the reconciliation of the world, I fell on my knees and put my head on the floor and cried tears of joy. The revelation came to me in a flash, like lightning and immediately I received it as truth. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (II Corinthians 5:19).

All will be judged then reconciled back to God so that He will be “All in all.”

Virgene Andrews
Be Ye Reconciled
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Saved?

February 15, 2020

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When I was just a young child I remember being compelled, by the influence of Evangelical teaching, to ask playmates if they had been “saved.” This must have been one of my friend’s first encounter with a would-be “soul winner,” because he responded with great sincerity that he had not, for he was never near drowning, or anything like that.

I had simply asked him if he was “saved.” I had not asked him from “what.” The only context of being saved that he could think of was “drowning,” so he answered, “No.” Herein enters the “problem” with the words “save,” “saved” and “salvation.” All of these words are in need of a context.

There are two dimensions of the concept of something being “saved.” One can be “saved” from something, and/or “saved” for something.

Overall, Christianity has reduced the term “saved” to a general term related to the erroneous idea of deliverance from eternal torment.

When the Scriptures use the word “saved” is it a reference of being “saved” from something (if so, what?), and/or are we being “saved” for something (and if so, what?)? A faithful study of the context of each Scripture usage of the word “saved” will reveal to us the answer we are seeking.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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“Forever” – Too Weak a Foundation

February 14, 2020

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It may be questioned whether we understand the terms “forever,” “forever and ever,” and “everlasting,” aright, for these terms are used in divers places as things that have an end and are understood in a limited and qualified sense. These terms are too weak a foundation to build an assertion of everlasting hell upon, as concludes and shuts up God forever in wrath, never to come forth in the exercise of mercy. Whether or not there is an ending is not revealed by the use of these terms.

Jeremiah White (1629-1707)
The Restoration of All Things
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[White was a 17th-century Nonconformist minister and Puritan  chaplain to Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658). During his years as a student at the University of Cambridge he came to the conviction that Arminianism was false. White defended the doctrines of predestination, election and the final happiness of God’s whole creation.]

Christ is the Savior of the World!

February 12, 2020

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That salvation is of man and his works is shared by many of us who are Christians. We’ve portrayed God as having done all He could do to save mankind more than 2000 years ago. So now, supposedly, it’s up to mankind to perform the remaining essential of exercising the good work of faith, or else suffer everlasting consequences.

We have looked upon salvation as a joint effort between man and God, and as primarily what we do for Him. With this teaching man is exalted, self-righteousness flourishes, and God is stripped of His sovereignty! But our salvation “is not of him that willeth” (any decision we make of ourselves), “nor of him that runneth” (any effort we put forth of ourselves), “but of God Who showeth mercy!” (Romans 9:16).

Christ was prophesied to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29), so how then can a sinless world suffer everlasting punishment?! How absurd! Christ is the Savior of the world (John 4:42; I John 4:14), and He will save it!

— Kenneth Brix
Who Then Can Be Saved?
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Jesus – Savior

February 10, 2020

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For there is one God, and one Mediator of God and mankind, a man, Christ Jesus, Who is giving Himself a correspondent Ransom for all (I Timothy 2:5-6).

This Scripture defines the purpose of God through the name Jesus. Thus God exalts His Son, so at the name of Jesus, the name which means that He is salvation, “every knee shall be bowing and every tongue shall be acclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:9-11).

The name of Jesus must not be held in contempt. It must be exalted. How could those who bow the knee and acknowledge Him as Lord ever thus dishonor the name of Jesus, which they would be doing if they were lost? It was Jesus who died to save them as He gave His life a correspondent ransom for all. God will exalt that precious name as He transports us all “into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 3:13).

Guy Marks
The Great Deliverance
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Creation’s Divine Destiny

February 8, 2020

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The great enmity of mankind is but a background to magnify and display the far greater love of our God. Such love is as measureless as it is timeless; a vast portion being yet unrevealed.

And having made peace through the blood of Christ’s cross, by Him to reconcile all unto Himself, whether those on the Earth or those in the Heavens (Colossians 1:20).

This plan of the ages is our Lord’s ultimate purpose according to the declared will of Almighty God. This is the divine destiny of all in His creation. This is love that never fails.

K. Ross Mckay
The Divine Destiny
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A Motif of Full Restoration

February 6, 2020

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Having seen images from the Hubble Telescope, it leaves me with an overwhelming realization that our creator could never be a failure. The senseless concept of a god who would somehow lose any part of his creation resulting in a place of torment is entirely illogical and absurd.

God’s power and creativity fit a motif of full restoration – the resurrection of all – into an environment of appreciation for His majesty and love. A setting so glorious our imaginations fall short, a physical place finding it’s full appreciation only after experiencing the pain and sadness of this world which we now experience – the contrast of all contrasts.

Mike Owens
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