Mar 27

THE BIBLE (9)

We have now written eight articles under the above heading. With this article, I hope to complete the series as it relates to the Old Testament. We have made this series on the Old Testament short, in fact, we are about “30,000” articles short on the Old Testament. But, we must move on with this concluding article. As the old saying goes, “we have not yet reached the hem of the garment.”
Let us start with verse four of chapter four which reads: “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgment.” This is often overlooked but it needs our attention. It is one last reminder to the children of physical Israel: “Remember ye the law of Moses!” Many years, in fact, about 2,500 years, are covered from Mount Sinai to Malachi and finally to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. So, what does this mean? It means the “law of Moses,” of which Malachi addresses: “Remember ye the law of Moses,” was in force as the Old Testament closes. This is an important point to remember! It might be said, “The law of Moses” ran right on through the end of recorded inspiration, as the Old Testament ends.
Next, the prophecy of Malachi reads: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Mal. 4:5-6). This is a great mystery! That which started in Genesis three, fifteen, has not yet been fulfilled! The Old Testament ends in hope and in promise; “Malachi the prophet” wrote of two things: 1) “I will send you Elijah the prophet;” and 2) “the coming of the great dreadful day of the LORD.” Was Malachi writing about a resurrected Elijah” or did he have another in mind? Then, what was this “dreadful day of the LORD,” of which Malachi wrote? Whatever he was addressing, the Old Testament books end with these two questions that must be answered!
Can a “day” be both “dreadful” and “notable?” If we can answer this, “yes,” then we will be heading in the right direction. Once more, the inspired writers will help us just here. Let us back up and read what Joel wrote about a coming event. He wrote: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come” (Joel 2:28-31). Did you see the words? They are: “the terrible day!” So, what do we have to this point? We have: 1) a “dreadful day of the LORD;” 2) “the terrible day;” and 3) “the notable day.” Are they pointing to the same “time period,” or three different days? Peter did make it clear, that Joel’s prophecy started to be fulfilled on that great Pentecost day recorded in Acts two! We do know, that Joel’s “terrible day” is Peter’s “notable day.” The right conclusion is that all three words refer to the same events! This “day,” a period of time, which covers “The Acts of the Apostles,” the four gospel accounts, and the other books of the New Testament. Without going into “great detail,” there is a seventy-year period, from just before the birth of John, the one who baptized, and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. It has always been interesting to me, that not one word in the New Testament addresses the destruction of Jerusalem, as an already happened event! But, this event would mark the end of Jewish state, as they were thrown to “the four winds!”
This period, wherein the “terrible,” the “dreadful,” and the “notable,” events would take place but God never left Israel without “hope;” as Malachi wrote: “I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.” Who is this “Elijah?” We will let Jesus answer our question. You do remember that great “transfiguration?” It is recorded in Matthew seventeen when “Moses and Elias talking with him” (Jesus, frw). Was this Elias the one that Malachi prophesied of? Hear the words of Jesus: “But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them” (Matt. 17:12). Clearly Jesus was speaking of John, who baptized!
What did Malachi write, as the inspired writings of the Old Testament conclude? If I may, allow me to write, part of this played out as recorded in the four gospel accounts, then, from Acts through Revelation! The Bible records the prophecy and history records the destruction of Jerusalem, and truly it was a “terrible,” dreadful,” and the “notable” DAY!

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible-9/

Mar 22

THE BIBLE (8)

In article number two, of this series, I wrote these words: “The greatest book ever written!” Of course, the word “book” referred to the Bible. To go along with this, let me also say, “Over 100 million Bibles are sold or given away for free every year in the world, according to “The Economist,” the Bible is the most widely distributed and best-selling book in the world.” (Reference-Google). Not only this, but how about this: “The Bible has been translated into 349 languages, and a survey conducted by the Bible Society concluded that between 1815 and 1975, …” these translations were done. (Reference). One more little “tid-bit” is now put before you: “between 1815 and 1975, around 2.5 billion copies (of the Bible, frw) were printed.” (Reference). As your mind ponders these “facts” about the Bible, here is one more little “tid-bit” to “roll around in your mind: “Is the Bible the most read book in all the world?”
One thing we can all agree upon, if the Bible is not the most read book, this is not because there is a shortage of Bibles on hand! Two more little facts about the Gutenberg Bible. Are you ready for this one? The Gutenberg Bible weighed in it an average of fourteen lbs. How many copies of the Bible do you ladies have in your purse? Second, the cost of the Gutenberg Bible. For one copy the cost was about equal to a clerk’s wages of three years. Would you have purchased the Bible at that price?
Here is another point to have within your mind. The invention of this printing technique, like most other things, can either be used for “good” or for “evil.” But, not only did the Gutenberg printing finally allow men to read the Bible, the inspired word of God for themselves; but this printing technique also opened the flow of ideas; with the invention of this printing technique, how shall we say it? With this “good,” also came “evil,” sparked movements, as the same press could send forth and spread ideas of a “new” movement! The world had seen a flow of ideas, that led to “a revolution of thought” like this one. The printing press sparked a revolution in the distribution of printed information. One writer compared the invention of the printing press to that of the invention of the internet, which ushered in the “digital age;” as it has revolutionized how we access and share information with our hands upon the keyboard. Just as I am now doing, right now! (Erika Harlitz-Kern July 13, 2016, ABOUT THE GUTENBERG BIBLE).
The Bible, the inspired, inerrant, and infallible word of God; is the most printed book year after year! But maybe the Bible is not the most read book! It is also safe to say, it is not the most studied book in all the land! That is studied in the manner as put forth by Paul: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Recall the Greek word is “orthotomeo” and it means: 1) to cut straight, to cut straight ways.” But one must not stop here; as Thayer goes on: “1a) to proceed on straight paths, hold a straight course, equiv. to doing right; 2) to make straight and smooth, to handle aright, to teach the truth directly and correctly.” The New Testament is in perfect harmony with the Old Testament and so the New Testament is in perfect harmony with the Old Testament. Think of it this way. One may not see this “harmony” at first, but if studied, the harmony will be found to flow in perfection, both ways! Have you ever thought, that as you are studying, as you put this verse with that verse, and each one is smoothed together? No, not with a sledge hammer some folks like to do! But such is not the intend and proposed of God, as his words all fit smoothly together that is if one has studied, “rightly dividing” the text!
Paul also wrote how the Old Testament is spiritual food for our souls; he wrote:
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom 15:4). This brings forth a problem that a person might have! It must be kept in mind, that God dealt with people and nations directly, person to person! God did speak to Moses personally, we might say, “face to face,” but even this might be misleading! God just does not deal with us today in this manner! When God spoke to Abraham, telling him to offer his son up as an offering, it was to be a physically offering, just as all the other offerings were physical. God will never deal with us in this manner!
The Old Testament was a physical time, doing physical things, and for physical reasons, while the New Testament is spiritual in its required offerings! Certain things, as in worship, had to be done in the Temple, or in the Temple yards. Have you worshipped in the Jewish Temple lately? Of course not, but do you really know why? Peter put it this way: “…, unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into” (2 Pet. 1:12). Not even the Old Testament prophets were able to enjoy the things that we do, and neither were they able to worship God as we do! It is the Old Testament, the physical one was fulfilled, while the New Testament is the spiritual one and the one we are under today!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible-8/

Mar 12

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ISLAM?

More than likely you, those over 60, know the name “Allah” from movies. The earliest movie I could find was the 1947, “Sinbad The Sailor,” starting Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. You may have been in my “number,” those who did not think of “Allah;” as really being the “god” of Islam! In fact, in those days, we knew little to nothing about Islam. Here is one thing we have learned, for the most part, through the evening news reports! Even the depiction of the “prophet Muhammad” in film is very controversial, this is true both within and without Islam. It is said, that the Quran, which I will call the “Islam’” bible. It is said that the “Quran” does not explicitly forbid images of Muhammad; however, Islam has what is called “hadith” (supplemental teachings) which have “explicitly” forbidden images of Muhammad! This is one of the teachings that have divided Muslim into two major “denominations:” 1) the Sunni and 2) the Shia.
In Islam, “Allah” is “the absolute one!” It is also said, that “Allah” is “the all-powerful,” the “all-knowing” ruler of the universe, and the creator of everything in existence.” A point not to be left out of this, is that Islam’s “God is strictly singular (tawhid); “unique (wahid), inherently One (ahad); and he is “all-merciful” and omnipotent. On the other hand, the depiction of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in film (as with other visual depictions) is a controversial topic both within and outside of Islam. The Quran does not explicitly forbid images of Muhammad, but there are a few hadith (supplemental teachings) which have explicitly prohibited Muslims from creating visual depictions of figures. There is a split on this issue between the two major denominations of Islam, Sunni and Shia Islam. Here is one point that you may not have read or heard about, “according to Islam, God is neither a material nor a spiritual being.” According to Islamic teachings, beyond the Throne and according to the Quran, “No vision can grasp him, but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things.” (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Here are the Islam’s Six Articles of Faith: 1) Belief in the existence and oneness of God (Allah); 2) Belief in the existence of angels; 3) Belief in the existence of the books of which God is the author: the Quran (revealed to Muhammad), 4) the Gospel (revealed to Jesus); 5th Torah (revealed to Moses); and 5) Psalms (revealed to David). Most historians believe that Islam originated in Mecca and Medina near the start of the 7th century, 600 A.D. This is nearly 600 years after the apostles of Christ preached the gospel of Christ on that “great” Pentecost morning in Jerusalem. It has always been of interest to me, that the Roman Catholic Church named its first “Pope” in the year 606 A. D. which is very near the starting date of Islam. Also a little more information, that Muhammad would have grown up during the years of a world which had produced, “false Christianity; is second behind “Christianity,” which is said to have 2.4 billion members and Islam has 1.9 members, the largest two religions of the world. One more point of interest just here, is that both, Christianity and Islam, at their start, founding, in the “Middle East.”
What do those who are followers of “Allah,” view as the “most heinous” sin? The most “heinous” sins of Islam are known as: Al-Kabirah (Persian), which translates to the great or major one. Some authors use the term enormity and not “greatest.” Still, it should be understood that in Islam, every sin is seen as an offense to Allah. The Quran is only in Arabic. When studying Islam and the Quran, it is said, “The best translation is not the Quran!” Here is what one follower said: “Once you lose something in its original wording and rely only on translation, the original is truly lost.” So, if you are reading a translation of the Quran, you must understand, that you will never understand the Quran, because you only have a “translation” of the Quran and not the Quran itself. Therefore, it is somewhat useless to quote from a copy of the Quran to a believer of Islam; simply because you have only read and studied a “translation” of the Quran and not the Quran itself!
The largest Muslim population in a country is in Indonesia, a nation home to 12.7% of the world’s Muslims, followed by Pakistan (11.0%), and India (10.9%). About 20% of Muslims live in Arab countries. Finally, the religious forecast, looking at 2050, is that the global Muslim population is expected to grow at a faster rate than Christianity, this is due primarily to the young age and high fertility-rate of Muslims.
Christians have their work “cut-out” for them! It is to preach the gospel of Christ, it, and only it, is the one plan for the lost authorized by God! Paul wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). The pronoun “it,” refers back to the words “the gospel of Christ.”

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/what-do-you-know-about-islam/

Mar 06

THE 31ST ANNUAL OKLAHOMA CITY LECTURES

On Friday the 13th, the lectures will start. The theme is “Replies to one Moslem’s Attacks on the Bible.” Please notice the word “one” in the theme, as all the lectures will address only this one Moslem’s attack on the Bible as opposed to all Moslems. All Moslems may agree with this “one Moslem’s” but this is not the purpose of this series of lectures. It is our hope that many people will hear, as being part of those present for all the lectures, but even more by way of the recording that will be made of each lesson.
Islam has its beginning with Muhammad, who as he reached his 40th year, was a merchant, but it is here that he begins to have his so-called “revelations from Allah,” which became the basis for the Koran. May I kindly point out that “Allah” is not the God of the inspired word of God, the Bible. In fact, there is little to no respect for the Bible at all among those who embrace Islam. Thus, the lectures which will take place, starting March 13th and end on Sunday the 15th.
Muhammad was born near the year 570 A.D in Mecca, which is now part of Saudi Arabia. Muhammad’s father died before he was born; therefore, as it came to be, that he was raised at first by his grandfather but then not long after his uncle would raise him.
At this time, many tribes living in the Arabian Peninsula were nomadic, as went “to and fro” across the desert. Most of these tribes were polytheistic, and they worshiped their own “set of gods.” As Muhammad was in his 20’s, he started working for a wealthy merchant woman, Khadihah, who was 15 years older. Interesting, she soon became attached to him and she proposed marriage and he accepted. Muhammad, it is said, was a very religious man and on occasion, he would take journeys of “devotion to sacred sites near Mecca.” It was on one of these journeys, in 610 A.D., that as he was “meditating” in the cave on Mount Jabal al-Nour, that he claimed the “Angel Gabriel” appeared and delivered the so-called “word of God.” The first words he received were: ““Recite in the name of your Lord who creates, creates man from a clot! Recite for your lord is most generous….” Not surprisingly, these words became the opening verses of “surah” chapter 96 of the Qur’an. However, he did not reveal these “so-called” revelations publicly for several years. Compare this with God’s revelation to the apostles of Christ who on the day of Pentecost: “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words” (Acts 2:14). The true word of salvation was not to be hid, no not for a day let alone for several years but delivered the day it was received! Islamic tradition holds that the first persons to believe were his wife, Khadija and his close friend Abu Bakr (regarded as the successor to Muhammad by Sunni Muslims). Not surprisingly, most people living in Mecca either ignored him or mocked him as just another “prophet.” Near this time, when his “message” condemned idol worship and polytheism, the tribal leaders began to see Muhamad and his words as a threat!
Some may say, “Well, this all seems to be like the apostles of Christ and what they preached.” Here is one major difference, the apostles, on that great day of Pentecost: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). Muhammad had no miracle to confirm his words! Then, the apostles directed those who heard them to the word of God in the Old Testament; when Peter said: “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; …” (Acts 2:16). Now get this, the inspired apostle referred to the inspired word of God, as the word of God always goes “hand in hand” with itself!
As this article concludes, notice this great difference between Christianity and Islam. Between years 624 and 628, the Muslims were involved in a series of battles for their survival. In the final major confrontation, In the Battle of the Trench and Siege of Medina, Muhammad and his followers prevailed, and a treaty was signed. Never did true Christianity reach for a physical sword, never did Christianity engage in physical warfare but spiritual with the word of God! Never did an apostle of Christ engage in the making of a “treaty” with the enemies of Christ! Hear Peter: “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). May the words of Peter and the other apostles be our words!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-31st-annual-oklahoma-city-lectures/

Feb 28

THE BIBLE (7)

Did you know that the Old Testament prophesied of the New Testament? If this is true, and it is, then the Old Testament prophesied of it’s own end! Let us go back before the Law of Moses and see what God said to Moses: “And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant” (Ex. 6:5). There is more than one point made in this verse: 1) the “children of Israel” were “in bondage;” 2) God “heard the groaning of the children of Israel;” and 3) God “remembered” his “covenant,” that he had made. Therefore, the first question is, what “covenant” was God remembering?
It was the “covenant” that God had made with “Abram,” better known as “Abraham” (Gen.17:5), he said: “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2). The “great nation” that God would make of Abraham was Israel, but Abraham would never see this “great nation.” Please notice this significant point; God also made a “covenant” with Sarah, Abraham’s wife, when he said: “she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her” (Gen. 17:16). Why is this so significant? Simply because Abraham had a child with Hagar (Gen. 16:14), Ishmael (Gen. 16:11) but the “covenant” was not through Ishmael but Isaac, who was so named before he was born: “But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.” (Gen. 17:21). Here we see the wonders of God’s plan! As Moses wrote: “And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him” (Gen. 21:5) and God would make the same covenant with Isaac: “And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake” (Gen. 26:23); but this is not all, God also made the same “covenant” with Isaac’s son when God said to Jacob: “And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 28:14). God was looking into the future of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that nation would be Israel!
Now, let us go back to mount Sinai, as Moses wrote: “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Ex. 20:1-2). So, what is the point? The point is that God made this “covenant” with those he brought out of Egypt and out of “bondage;” this “covenant” was not made with all peoples of the earth. It is here that the nation that God had made and it took the law of Moses to make these people, that God “brought” “out of the land of Egypt;” and not with any other peoples! Just how long was this “covenant” to last? What so many people today fail to understand, that within this “covenant” God, himself, revealed that a new covenant would be made and when this came to pass, the “covenant,” or law of Moses, would end. That’s right, it would end! Let us notice when God revealed the new “covenant;” it would be through the prophet Jeremiah: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah” (Jer. 31:31). This must be understood, that in the Old Testament, the Law of Moses, was to end and a New Testament would be given! If we are to learn the truth, the truth about the end of the “covenant” God made through Moses with Israel was to come to an end! Notice in the verse just quoted, that God said, “that I will make a new covenant,” then, Jeremiah wrote: “Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD” (verse 32). This “new covenant” would not be like “the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.” The old law, “covenant,” was a very physical one, it required a physical land, physical sacrifices, a physical temple, all made with hands; but notice how God describes the “new covenant” as Jeremiah wrote: “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (verse 33). It astonishes many people to learn that this passage is quoted two times in the letter to the Hebrew Christians; first in Hebrews eight verses seven through twelve and second in Hebrews ten verses sixteen through seventeen. Now get this: “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away” (Heb. 8:13). Did you get it? The writer said: “In that he (God, frw) saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first (covenant, the law given by Moses, frw) old.” So, what does this mean to you? It means that no one living today is under the law given by Moses! At the time the letter to the Hebrew Christian was written, the old covenant was “ready to vanish away!” And it did “vanish away!”
Therefore, once more I write: no one living today is under, subject to, the law given by Moses! Please do not allow any one to lead you to believe that you are!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible-7/

Feb 21

THE BIBLE (6)

Do you worship on the Sabbath? Do you think that Sunday is the Sabbath? What did, what we call “the Ten Commandments,” say about the Sabbath? Here is what Moses wrote: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8). Do you obey this commandment; and if not, why not? However, this is not all that Moses wrote on this subject, as he followed it with these words: “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates” (verse 9-10). Do you obey these words and if not, why not? Or do you believe that you must obey verse eight but not verses nine and ten? If you obey verse eight, but not verses nine and ten, by what authority do you do so? By what authority do you determine that you must obey verse eight but not verses nine and ten?
Well, what a paragraph to start an article with! First, let us handle the teaching that says the Sabbath has been changed from Saturday to Sunday. Let me start with the following words, which I found in doing research: “The word Sunday is not found in the Bible.” (St. Helena Seventh-day Adventist Church) To this I will say, neither does the word “Saturday” appear in the Bible, the New Testament to be more exact. The point that needs to be noted just here, is that the Sabbath is an Old Testament law, it is in the Law of Moses, and not a New Testament commandment, a Law of Christ commandment. Saturday is not Sunday and Sunday is not Saturday!
Second, we can go a little deeper than this, however. There is the teaching among some churches, generally identified with some form of “Seventh-day,” that teach that we are still under the Law of Moses; therefore, we are obligated to worship on the “seventh day.” It is a general teaching among such, that we are under the Law of Moses! May I point out, the Law of Moses is a very large group of individual laws, which in the whole make up the Law of Moses. I read in one place that there are 613 Mosaic Laws. Here is an important question: “How many of these 613 laws do you even know about?” How many of the 613 laws do you keep? Do you worship according the laws in this large body of laws, that relate to worship? Do you go to the Jewish Temple once a year? I can safely say, no you don’t, as there is no Jewish Temple that has been built according the law given by God as to how it was to be built, standing today! Now, get this point, the Law of Moses required animal sacrifices, have you offered you animal sacrifices lately? Of course, you have not!
It might surprise you to know, that a high priest is required to offer some of the animal sacrifices! In Hebrews it reads: “Then verily the first (Covenant, the old Testament to us.) had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly” (Heb. 9:1-5). This temple does not exist today; therefore, no one, no not even the Jews of today, are able to worship according to these words! And yet we have some who teach that we have to keep the old law!
Continuing to read from Hebrews: “Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God” (verse 6). Did you know that the Jews of today, have no “high priest, nor do they have priests as ordained by the Law of Moses!
Here is something that I found in my search on the subject: “No, there is no Jewish priesthood today. According to the Old Testament, the only place from which it was appropriate to offer animal sacrifices to God was the Temple in Jerusalem. In A.D. 70 the Temple was destroyed, meaning Jewish priests no longer had a place to sacrifice. Since the Temple is still in ruins today, there is currently no place for sacrifice. Therefore, there is no active priesthood in Judaism.” (Does the Jewish religion still have a priesthood today.)
Do you know what is standing were the Jewish temple once stood? Here is a quote that might help your understanding and with it we close this article. “The Dome of the Rock is a Muslim shrine that was built on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in AD 691. The Dome of the Rock is part of a larger Muslim holy area that takes up a significant portion of what is also known as Mount Moriah in the heart of Jerusalem.”

–Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible-6/

Feb 14

THE BIBLE (5)

The number of articles which will be written under the above heading is unknown as I undertake to write article number five. The reason for such is there is so much that needs our attention as we write about the Old Testament. There are both small and great points to be made as we just “run” through the Old Testament.
For instance, do you know why the word “Lord” appears in all capital letter one time but at other times it is not? Or, have you even noticed this? Let us here look at one passage: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies such thy footstool” (Psa. 110:1). Of course, I am using the old King James Version of 1611. Notice that the first time the word Lord appears it is in all capital letters – “LORD”! The second time it appears it has the first letter capitalized but the other letters are in the lower case. Why so? The word “LORD” is the Hebrew “yeh-ho-vaw” and is a reference to what we call to the Godhead, or “God the Father” in this verse. Keep in mind as we read this verse, that David is writing! While the second word “Lord” is the Hebrew “ādōn” and means: “sovereign, that is, controller (human or divine).” Here it is divine and points to the coming Christ! The scene is God the Father speaking to his Son and he is inviting him (the Son) to take his set at his (God the Father) right hand. Read the words of Hebrews: “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). After the death, burial, and the resurrection, the Son was to take his rightful place at the “right hand of the Majesty on high” and this is just what took place! Jesus put the mouths of the Pharisees to silence by quoting this verse, then he asked them: “Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.” Let us stop just here to make the point, that Jesus was the son of David in the flesh but the Son of God in the Spirit! Before continuing, this verse needs our attention: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). This is what Psalms means! Continuing with the words of Jesus to the Pharisees: “He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions” (Matt. 22:42-46). As we might say, “End of subject!”
This is just one lesson the Old Testament has for us but notice the words of the Prophet: “And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name” (Isa. 62:2). There has been great debate through the years about the name Christian! However, if we believe Isaiah, there is no debate but certainty! The “mouth of the LORD” (Notice the all caps, frw.) shall name!” So, what was/is that “new name?” The only “new name” in the New Testament is Christian! Here is how it came about. Luke wrote: “And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). Search the New Testament all you would like but “Christian” is the only “new name” that is to be found! And, let us not forget that it was the “LORD” who gave it and not man! The word “Christian” only appears three times in the Bible, the passage we just noticed and in Acts 26:28, and I Peter 4:16. The fact that it appears but three times does not take away from the importance of the name “CHRISTian!” It has “Christ’ in it! Let men debate the subject, let men give all kinds of thought to the name “Christian” but Isaiah said, “which the mouth of the LORD shall name” and that settles it!
The Old Testament is so rich it is hard to bring this part of our article to a conclusion! However, we will continue to address other subjects in the next article! Keeping in mind, “That the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” This means in part, that God foretold so many things in the Old Testament that he would reveal in the New Testament, but we cannot cover but so few!
Friends, let no one tell you that the Old Testament is unimportant! It holds God’s great “mystery” as Paul wrote: “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him” (Eph. 3:9-12). How does man find a stopping place when writing about the “eternal purpose” of God?

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible-5/

Feb 07

THE BIBLE (4)

One of the things a person needs to know when looking at the Old Testament books, after getting them in an order as laid out in article number three, as we were able to see the books divided on a shelf; noting the five books of law, the twelve history books, the four books of poetry, and finally the books of the prophets; both the five major ones and the twelve books of minor prophets. However, we would be in a total “miss” if we failed to note that there is a “golden” line that runs through every Old Testament book and it is that of the coming savior! Space will not allow us to point out how the coming Christ is in every Old Testament book, but it would be a greater “miss” if we did not notice a few such! Therefore, let us do just that, as it is a fascinating study.
We have already pointed to the first pronouncement of the coming savior in Genesis three, verse fifteen; so, let us look at a few other prophecies. Just a word about the “prophecies” first. It, the Old Testament “prophecies,” are not anything like the mere “fortune tellers” who have come and gone through the years, or the present ones! No, not at all! These might be called “fortune” tellers who have appeared through the years but just what is a “fortune teller?” Here is one quote that will do as an answer to our question: “Since time immemorial humans have longed to learn that which the future holds for them. Thus, in ancient civilization, and even today with fortune telling as a true profession, humankind continues to be curious about its future, both out of sheer curiosity as well as out of desire to better prepare for it.” (Isaacs, Ronald H. Divination, Magic, and Healing the Book of Jewish Folklore. Northvale N. J., Jason Aronson, 1999, pg 55). The Old Testament books are nothing like this! One of the strongest reasons in proving that the Old Testament is divinely inspired is the “prophecies” within it! Most anyone can be “right” in “fortune telling” what will take place in a day or two; in other words, a person might be right occasionally!! But the Old Testament prophecies are always right, down to the smallest point and may reach into the future a thousand years! The beautiful 53rd chapter of Isaiah will bring this truth to us. Looking at verse three: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” This is Jesus! “He” was truly: 1) “despised and rejected of men;” 2) he was “a man of sorrows;” 3) he was a man “acquainted with grief;” 4) men “hid as it were our faces from him;” and 5) “we esteemed him not!” If you have read any one of the gospel accounts, you know these points to be true of Jesus! One might write one, or even two of these about any man but not about one man; and to do so hundreds of years before his birth! Look at these words: “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth” (verse 9). Who crucified him but the “wicked;” and in whose grave was he buried, it was in the sepulcher of a rich man: “When the evening was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, …” (Matt. 27:57). Get this now, a sinless man, put to death by the “wicked,” but he made no protest: “And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly” (Matt. 27:14). We could go on and on, but this will do! No mere human can fullfill all of this!
Yet, men will put their faith in pseudo “fortune tellers,” before they put their faith in the word of God! Have you heard about those who tell us what is called “the end time,” the “future tellers;” but the word of God tells us this: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; …” (2 Pet. 3:10). Do you know when a “thief” is going to come to your house? Of course, you do not! So is the coming “day of the Lord!” What is the manner of that “coming day?” The Holy Spirit had Peter write about the “end times:” “… in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10).
No, there is no book like the “Book of God,” the Bible! Knowing the above is true, what should we be doing? Once more let God speak: “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (2 Pet. 3:11). God always gets to the point and it is always the right point!
Well, we have looked at one Old Testament prophecy and have gone into the New Testament just a little, to show real “future telling!” There is no person, nor is there any book, that is even near the Bible!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible-4/

Jan 30

THE BIBLE (3)

In the last article, “Bible (2),” we were looking at the Bible as a library, which has two major divisions: 1) the Old Testament and 2) the New Testament. As we face the shelves upon which all the Old Testament books are placed, it is needful that we see more divisions. Let us look at these divisions of the Old Testament books as we see them upon the shelves.
First, we see on the first shelf the five books of law; they are: 1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy. We shall call this the first section of the Old Testament. On the second shelf, we see the “History books,” and there are twelve such books. They are: 1) Joshua, 2) Judges, 3) Ruth, 4) First Samuel, 5) Second Samuel, 6) First Kings, 7) Second Kings, 8) First Chronicles, 9) Second Chronicles, 10) Ezra, 11) Nehemiah, and 12) Esther. On the third shelf, we find the four books of Poetry and they are: 1) Job, 2) Psalms, 3) Proverbs, and 4) Ecclesiastes. On the fourth and final shelf, we see another division! It is necessary to understand that on the fourth shelf there is another major division; and we see the words, “The Prophets,” but we see that “The Prophets” are divided into two divisions, which are: 1) The Major Prophets and 2) The Minor Prophets. Under the words “Major Prophets” we see five books and they are: 1) Isaiah, 2) Jeremiah, 3) Lamentations, 4) Ezekiel and 5) Daniel. The second group of Prophets are called “The Minor Prophets and they are: 1) Hosea, 2) Joel, 3) Amos, 4) Obadiah, 5) Jonah, 6) Micah, 7) Nahum, 8) Habakkuk, 9) Zephaniah, 10) Haggai, 11) Zechariah, and 12) Malachi. With this, the Old Testament side of the shelf is complete. Seeing the Old Testament in this manner is a great help in our efforts to know the Old Testament better and the books are easier to memorize.
A few words are needed about the “The Prophets,” as many people have the idea that because the first group of the five “The Prophets” are called “The Major Prophets,” and the second group of twelve are called “The Minor Prophets,” means that “The Major Prophets” are more important than “The Minor Prophets” but this is not the case at all! The reason for the words “Major” and “Minor” has to do with the length of the books. The “major” three thoughts of the Old Testament books are these: 1) the first sin, 2) the great flood, 3) Israel’s desire for an earthly king! In the case of the first sin, which resulted in Adam and Eve being expelled from the perfect “garden,” nevertheless, God made the first announcement of the coming savisor, here God is speaking to the Devil: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). This is called “the protoevangelium, which is a compound word of two Greek words, protos meaning “first” and “evangelion” meaning “good news” or “gospel.” The world of that time would; and, the world of Moses’ time would also wait, for the coming savior!
Throughout the Old Testament, the world waited for he who would save them. The inspired writers of the Old Testament would continue to give hope to these people by the prophets. Here I give just one such, as Isaiah wrote: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14). We know that these words refer to the coming savior, as Matthew quotes them and applies it to the birth of Jesus; as he wrote: “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt. 1:22-23). Then, as the Old Testament comes to its conclusion, God was still giving Israel hope of the coming savior, as Malachi wrote: “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD” (Mal. 4:4-5). The “Elijah” of this passage refers to John the one who baptized! We know this because of Jesus’ words as He, John and Peter were in the mount called “the mount of transfiguration;” when Jesus said unto them: “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist” (Matt. 17:11-13).
With this we bring an end of this third article in this series on the Bible. We have traveled from Genesis through Malachi, the Old Testament!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible-3/

Jan 25

THE BIBLE (2)

The greatest book ever written! This can honestly be said about one book and one book only and it is the Bible! If we think of the Bible as a complete library, when the books are rightly divided, and placed on the shelves it becomes easier to understand. It may be rightly said that most people, even readers of the Bible, never “rightly divide” the Bible in this manner. This results in much confusion!
As you look at the shelves upon which the books of the Bible may rightly be placed, more light is put upon it. That which has been in “darkness,” quietly comes to light and gives understanding. How should the Bible be “rightly” divided? Before answering this question, let us recall the words of the apostle Paul to Timothy: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Let us here look at some of the words in this text. The first word is “study,” which is the Greek “spoudazo” and has this as one meaning: “to make effort.” In other words, the Bible does not “just jump into” our minds. Luke wrote of those in Berea “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). Much could be written about this verse, but here we will allow it to speak for itself! In the “spirit of effort,” Luke put those of Berea in the spiritual class of “nobleman!” It behooves all mankind to be as they were! Being a good student of the Bible requires that it be “rightly divided;” as Paul wrote to Timothy, “rightly dividing,” which is the Greek “orthotomeo” and means “to make a straight cut,” and “to dissect” “the word of truth” and when this is done, it makes for greater understanding.
With the above in mind, let us look upon the shelves upon which the books of the Bible are placed. First, we see that the Bible is divided into two major parts: 1) The Old Testament and 2) the New Testament. If this first division is not made, there is no way that a person will ever gain the truths which the Bible holds for the reader, more correctly, the studier of the Bible. A few words here are in order about the word “testament.” The Greek word translated “testament” or “covenant” means “the last disposition which one makes of his earthly possessions after his death, a testament or will.” We all know about a “will,” which a person prepares to be read and put into force after death! So, to the Hebrews Christians it was written that God said: “… Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah” (Heb. 8:8). Therefore, the writer wrote these words: “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away” (Heb. 8:13, Jer. 31: 31-34). A “new” will was written, which is known as “the New Testament,” and was to replace the “Old Testament.” We sometimes say: “The last will and testament,” knowing that it is the “Last Will” that is now in force, which has the power of God upon all people! But who died? But who’s last “will” and “testament” is read to all people? Therefore, as we look at the Bible, we first see two shelves; upon the first is placed all the books of the Old Testament and upon the second one is placed the books of the New Testament! Therefore, in Hebrews it reads: “For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth” (Heb. 9:17). Only after the death of Jesus did his “last will and testament” came into force!
On the left side, as one stands facing the shelves, on the left side all the Old Testament books are seen. This means that thirty-nine books are found there, all the books starting with Genesis through Malachi. It is these books that are the Old Testament, the books that have been closed and are of no force, as a New Testament, the last will and testament of Christ, is now in force. Here we find how a person is to live, what a person must do to be saved, what it means to be faithful to Christ, and what will be used in the final judgment for all who have lived and died on this side of the first Pentecost after the death of Jesus!
With this in mind, read with me the words of Paul: “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now (From Pentecost until the coming of Jesus. frw) commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17::30-31). How will you answer the Lord on Judgment Day?

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible-2/

Older posts «