May 29

THE BIBLE (14)

No writing is equal to the Bible! Why is this true? Simply because the Bible is the inspirited word, each word, has been “breathed out” by the Holy Spirit! Peter put it this way: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21).
Let us here notice two words: “moved.” Strong says: “to move by bearing; move or, to be conveyed or borne, with the suggestion of force or speed.” The “suggestion of force or speed” implies urgency.” But also notice that Strong used the word “borne.” This is most interesting! The word “borne:” “which is a “past participle of bear” and when used as an “adjective,” it means: “carried or transported by the thing.” So, what is “the thing” that transported the words of the Bible? It was the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit was not slow in delivering the word of God! Now, let us add a second passage; “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). The word used that needs our attention is the Greek, “theopneustos” and means: “inspired by God.” No, there is no contradiction between what Peter wrote and what Paul wrote. The Holy Spirit was used by Peter and Paul’s use of the word “God,” as the Holy Spirit is God. No, the Holy Spirit is not “God the Father,” nor is he “God the Son.” But he is God the Holy Spirit! It was the third member of the Godhead that delivered the words of the Bible!
With these truths in mind, let us move on with our subject, “The Bible.” It is the purpose of the four gospel accounts, as delivered by the Holy Spirit, to create faith, belief in us, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. Stop right here! The words of Jesus are needed just here. He said: “Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.” Now why are these truths so important? Jesus continued: “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:23-24). It is imperative, soul saving, that we believe that the Son of God was from “above,” and not of this world as you and I are! The “he” of the text is the one promised throughout the Old Testament and the “he” who came to this earth: the Son of God! Here recalling the words of John: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:30 -31). It is very important, in answering why four accounts of the life of Jesus. Matthew wrote to the Jewish reader; Mark wrote to the Roman, while Luke wrote with the Greek in mind; and John wrote with all folks in mind.
With the above firmly in mind, let us return to the fifth book of the New Testament, “Acts of the Apostles.” The book of Acts is the book that answers the most important question that has ever come forth from the mouth of man! The question is: “What must I do in order to be saved?” There are many great things in this world, but not one of them, in and of itself, give mankind the answer to the greatest question: “What must I do in order to be saved?” You may sit on the highest mountain top and view some of the wonders of God in what he created, but you will not get the answer to the greatest question! This is here pointed out, as some report after returning from the mountain top, “I felt so close to God!” No mountain on earth, or elsewhere, as nation is now pointing to the moon and Mars! But, should a human stand on Mars, he will not be any closer to God, than sitting in his recliner! Being “close” to God only comes from being in fellowship with God. Here John: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” Did you get it? “Fellowship” with God and the Son of God, only can be found, realized as truth: “the doctrine of Christ!!”
This is what the Acts of the Apostles reveals! The answer that is received, depends on where a person is, as he moves toward being saved. Let us take the case of those in Samaria: “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them” (Acts 8:5). The gospel of Christ must come first, as it produces faith. But what next? Let Philip continue: “And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did” (verse 6). It was Philip’s purpose that the people of Samaria be saved. What did these folks do? Luke wrote: “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (verse 12). Oh! The people of Samara, upon hearing the gospel did that most hated act! Yes, once they “believed,” they were “baptized unto salvation!”
Nothing had changed from Pentecost, when the people were told: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:28). One more case, even as Saul prayed, he was told to: “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). In this case, Saul was “calling on the name of the Lord” as he was baptized, as his sins were washed away!

–Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible-14/

May 23

THE BIBLE (13)

“Why are there four accounts of the same events?” This is a good question and needs an answer. I will simply let the apostle John answer the question. He wrote “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31-31). What John wrote, while being guided by the Holy Spirit, is also true of all four accounts.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him“ (Hebrews 11:6). Now we have both the reason and the answer for the four accounts of the life, death, burial, resurrection and the ascension of Jesus, the Son of God. Therefore, let us say it this way, the four accounts are to build faith, as it would be totally outside the realm of logic for God to require something, then, fail to give us the means to have it! Thus, God has given us the means to arise from the state of unbelief, and through study of the four gospel accounts, we have faith that Jesus is the Son of God. Upon this, newly build within us, and we obey the gospel. How important is “obeying the gospel? Paul one of the thirteen “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20), wrote: “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thess. 1:8-9). Yet, there are so many who refuse to take heed to Paul’s words. Now, we have looked at the requirement of “faith,” the means of building “faith,” and what is going to happen to all of those who do not “obey the gospel.” Therefore, the four accounts of the one Jesus, who is the Son of God. Therefore, as we look at the first four books on the first shelf, on the New Testament side of our library, we have four books, that are designed by God, to build “faith” the hearts/mind of all humanity! But we must keep in mind, that it is never “faith only,” but “only by faith!” As “faith” is the requirement that opens the door of salvation, but it is never the end but the beginning!
Now, let us move to the second shelf of our library. On it there is but one book! We may search the world over, reading this book and that book, but it is “The Acts of Apostles of Christ,” that reveals the answer to the greatest question upon the lips of man. What is the question? We shall allow the apostle Peter to answer our question. As Luke recorded the events of that great Pentecost day! When some of those standing before the apostles, asked, once “faith” was built within their hearts/minds, the great question: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Have you ever asked this question; if not, why not? Are you still standing, having heard/read the gospel accounts, which the loving God has given us, that we can build the required faith: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb 11:6), the “faith” within our hearts/minds but are you still rejecting the whole subject? Have you for whatever “reason” you have but you still stand having only taken the first step? Oh, ye of “little’ faith!
As we look at the fifth book of the New Testament, we have not yet answered the question of “faith,” that comes from the New Testament: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). These souls now understood that they were lost! They were seeking salvation for their soul/spirit! The apostles of Christ, who were given the greatest charge ever given to any group of men. Jesus said unto them: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:14). Mark recorded their actions in one statement at the end of his book but it would be Luke , who not only wrote the “Gospel according to Luke” but “The Acts of the Apostles, would write the more complete record! When those on the day of Pentecost ask that all important question; “what shall we do,,” the apostles answered in these words: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for (Greek word is “ice” and means: “into, unto, to, towards” – Thayer) the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” Acts 238).
The “world” heeds these words, but on that day Luke wrote this: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). Oh, for men/women with honest hearts today! Do you have such a heart?

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible-13/

May 09

Mother

One of the sweetest words, in any language, is “mother.” Then, how sweet is the word “mommy” when said to the mother for the first time? Have you ever thought about the influence Mary had on Jesus? On-the-other hand, what about the influence Jesus had on Mary. The following number speaks volumes, the number is 141 million, this is how many Mother’s Day cards were sent out last year. As impressive as that number is, this is even more staggering, the number, 82.5 million, and this how many mothers there are in the U.S.A.
Here are a few sayings about mother:
1. “Always my mother; forever my friend.”
2. “Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing.” – Ricki Lake.
3. “A mother’s love endures through all.” – Washington Irving.
4. “If I know what love is, it’s because of you.”
5. “The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness.” – Jessica Lange.

Then, there are these:
1. “A mother is your first friend, your best friend, your forever friend.” – Unknown
2. “Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.” – Dorothy Canfield Fisher
3. “Moms are the people who know us the best and love us the most.” – Unknown
4. “A mother’s love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible” – Marion C. Garretty.
5. “Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.” – Erich Fromm
6. “For a mother is the only person on earth who can divide her love among 10 children and each child still have all her love.” – Unknown
How is that for a start on the subject, “Mother?” I think each one has something to give to the subject; if we will take the time to do so. Once a year this nation honors “mother” but those who love their “mother,” honors her every day! Here are the greatest words ever said about mother: “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women” (Luke 1:28). These are the words of the angel who spoke to Mary. No human being can utter these few words and have them mean what they meant as spoken by the angel. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are the words of the angel to man. Mary would be the mother of Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God. You mothers, just think what you would think if an angel were to say these words to you? No, of course, this is never going to happen today, and I sure do not what to leave any room for err.
Its not the “flowery” words that we may use, to describe “mothers,” that makes the word “mother” great, however. It is the mother who lives up to the “mother” as God would have her, that makes “mother” so great! Let man say and write all they desire about “mother,” but it is not what makes “mother,” so great. No, “mother” as God would have her is the greatest! Here is an interesting thought! If you (mothers) were living back in the time of Mary, could you be the kind of woman that “the angel” could say these words to you: “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women?” I don’t know, is that really fair? Well, if it is not fair, would you please tell me, “Why not?” Mary was no “super” woman! But what a model she must have been to other women of her day. Then, just think for a moment, what a “spot” God put her in, when the angel spoke these words. Here was a young woman with a good reputation, and she turns up to be “with child;” and she must live nine months this way. What did the other women say, if not to her face, then, behind her back!
Mary must be considered a “model” for young and older women! What do you really know about Mary? If you could put all the New Testament says about Mary in paper, how many pages would it take? Maybe less than one of my “major” sermons?

Frank R. Williams

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

May 01

THE BIBLE (12)

Who is Christ? This is a good question to start this twelfth article in this series. But, we have gotten ahead of ourselves! Go back to our library and what do we see? We first see the word “Testament” and under this word we notice two words: 1) Old and 2) New. Having studied the Old Testament, though barely, we have moved on to the New Testament. Here on the right side of our “library,” we see twenty-seven books.
The first four books: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John. These are the four accounts of the one gospel. Within these books we have a division; there is what we call the “synoptic” accounts of the one gospel,” as they cover the same material; while John, takes another course. Just to show one difference, when you have read through John chapter thirteen, where John wrote: “And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him” (John 13:2), while this same event is recorded in Matthew chapter twenty-sixth.. What is the point here? It is that the gospel of John has just reached about halfway through the book, when he had reached the Lord’s Supper.” Therefore, the Gospel account of John, gives greater detail to the life of Jesus after he introduced the “Lords Supper” than did the other three. Therefore, in the first part of the shelves under the word, “New:” we have this division of four books but then, we have moved one of them, John to the right just a little. So on the first shelf, we have four books, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; but “John” is yet separated from the other three but is on the same shelf just to note the difference.
On the second shelf, we have one book, standing “all by itself! This is the history book of the New Testament and is, “The Acts of the Apostles.” First, let us notice that the first chapter of Acts covers the resurrection and the acension of Jesus. Therefore, the ending of Matthew, Mark, and Luke covers the same events in the life of Jesus but John covers starting in chapter twelve, the last three chapters of Matthew. Therefore, “The Acts of the Apostles,” starting with Jesus’ last days on this earth, then, it largely became a story of the apostle Paul from chapter nine unto the end of the book. This book gives us the answer to the most important question that can fall from the tongue of mankind,” What must I do in order to be saved?” It is critical that the reader understand that those who asked this question, or something near it, got different answers because they were standing, “spiritually speaking,” in different places. If a person already “believes. he does not need to be told to “believe the gospel.” As this is what they, the apostles, were told to preach: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). To help our understanding, let us turn to Acts chapter two, and verse thirty-seven: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Were they told to “believe?” The answer is “no!” Why not? Because the text implies that ,they already “believed,” as in past tense! Hear Peter: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:28). So, if we believe, in “faith only salvation,” then, Peter need not utter another word, but he did. He said unto those that “believed,” “Repent, and be baptized!” Because this was their spiritual state, it was one of “belief.” But no salvation; from a state of being lost, but they go from the state of “believing,” to the state of needing to “repent and be baptized,” then salvation! From the second chapter through the end of “Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty-eight, we read of case after case of salvation of those who were “standing” in different “spiritual” states. But, it was always the case: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:43). All the way, to the end of “The Acts of the Apostles,” it is preaching, rejoicing with the saved, eating the common meal: “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,” (Acts. 2:46)
Upon the next shelf, the third one, we find “The Letters to the Churches;” which covers Romans through second Thessalonians. There are nine of these books. On the next shelf, which is the fourth one, here we locate the three letters to preachers. It is, to me a least, hard to understand when looking for the work of a preacher, we never look at the “three letters written to preachers:” 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. Why does it seem so unusual to look at the three books written to preachers, to learn the work of a preacher? On the next shelf, the fifth one, we locate what I call “the general letters;” there are nine such books, that start with Philemon and run through last of these books, Jude. Finally, we have reached the last shelf, with one book upon it, “The Revelation of Christ Jesus”. The Book of Revelation, of course, is generally believed to be the most difficult to understand of all the New Testament books! It is highly figurative, and one must understand the way the Old Testament uses these symbols, before trying to understand this great book! It was written to be understood!
This means under the word “New,” as in “New Testament,” we have five shelves where we have divided the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. Dividing the twenty-seven books in this manner will help in memorizing all twelve-seven books of the New Testament in order. To use a modern term, “What’s in your library?”

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible-12/

Apr 24

THE BIBLE (11)

How many articles could and should be written on the subject under which we write? I suppose, to use the words of John the apostles: “I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written” (John 21:25). When you read the four gospel accounts, what do you see as the subject? There is at least one subject that people miss when reading the four-gospel accounts and it needs attention.
It needs to be noted that there is one gospel; yes, that is right, four accounts of the one gospel. How many times have you heard someone say, “There are “four gospels?” Truth is, there are four accounts of the one gospel. Paul addressed this subject when he wrote: “Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:7). Some had come and taught “another” gospel. Paul used two different Greek words which are translated into our one English word “another.” The two Greek words Paul used, which are both translated into our English word “another” are: 1) “heteros” and 2) “allos.” The Greek word “heteros” means: “one not of the same nature, form, class, kind, different” (Strong). Therefore, Paul is writing to the churches of Galatia, that some had come among them, but they were preaching a “gospel” of a different “nature!” The “nature” which it did not have is the power to save the soul! The second Greek word used by Paul is “allos” (which is used 243 times in the New Testament.) and means: “different.” This word is translated into our English “another man” and “another woman.” We can fully understand that there is but one you. There are many people, who are made up of the same “things” you are made up of but not one of them is you! In other words, there is not another you!” And there is but one gospel; there is not another like it, as it stands alone! This is important to our understanding of what Paul is writing. Recall that this same apostle had written: “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). That “other” gospel which is not “another,” is made up of the same things that the real, the true, “the gospel” is made up of: “words!” Just as all human bodies are made up of the same things; nevertheless, there is but one you! A thousand people may walk by but not one of them is you! Words are used both in the “gospel” that saves and the “gospel” which does not save! Nevertheless, only “words” are used in “the gospel of Christ,” and they are “the gospel” that saves!
Yes, there is “another” gospel, and it is made up of words, even the same words, as that “other” gospel; nevertheless, it is not the one gospel as there is not another group of words that are the real gospel. The Greek word used here is “allos” and means: “different” (Strong) and Vine gives us: “heteros” “expresses a qualitative difference and denotes ‘another of a different sort” and is used 2,087 times. For example, in Luke 23:32, Luke used the Greek word “heteroi” and is used of the two malefactors crucified with Christ. In fact, all three who were crucified are the same, all three being human, all being male. As there is one you, even though all people are made up of the same things but each one is “different” and so it is with these “so-called” gospels. All are made up of words, but one has the right words and in the right order to save!
Therefore, as we open the New Testament we are starting to read “the gospel” and there is no other gospel with the power to save! Yes, there are many “so-called” gospels; but my friend, there is but one gospel that saves the soul/spirit and it is the one that Peter, John, and Paul preached! It stood then, and it stands now, all by itself, as there is but one gospel! So, what is the difference between the two Greeks words: 1) “heteros,” which “expresses a qualitative difference and denotes ‘another of a different sort” and 2) “allos” which expresses another of the same kind. Once more, friends, do not be fooled! There is but one gospel, even though there be many “so-called” gospels that claim to be the same!
According to the will of God, our Father, there is but “one gospel” and it alone saves! Yes, the Holy Spirit had Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, write four accounts of the one gospel. One last thought, don’t think you have read “all” there is in the one gospel, when you have read through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; no, the entire New Testament may be correctly called “the gospel.” The “gospel” is something that can and must be “obeyed.” Read with care Paul’s words: “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thess.1:8-9)

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible-11/

Apr 18

THE BIBLE (10)

Just what do the words, “old” and “new,” mean when used with the word “testament?” On the opening pages of your Bible you will see the words, The Old Testament; then, when you reach the end of the Old Testament, you will notice the words, New Testament. It may appear simple, but we are trying to get at a simple truth! Some people know but have not really thought about it. But, just what do the words, “old” and “new” mean, as we are “rightly dividing” the word of God. Before someone “jumps” on me, the Greek word Paul used here is “orthotomeo,” (2 Tim. 2:5) and one of the meanings is “to make a straight cut (Strong). The first “straight cut” we will make is to “cut” the “Old Testament” from the New Testament.
The wonder of it all, one is “hit in the eye,” when the opening page of the New Testament, as Matthew wrote: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1). A new person but more than a person, has come upon us, “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” (Isa 53:3). How shall we “know” such a man? Better yet, would we have any desire to “know” him? We might well ask: “What shall we do with this man?” He was a man but more than a man! Yet, in his humanity he would come before the people of God, and what would they say? Those who stood before Pilate answered: “Away with him, away with him, crucify him” (John 19:15). Many through the years have figuratively said: “Take him and crucify him!”
But now, we get a head of our study. How would any man, in just his humanity, put the pen on the parchment to write the opening statement of the New Testament? How did Mark open his work? He wrote: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee” (Mark 1:1-2). Mark ties the Old Testament and the New Testament together, as he referred to “the prophets.” Yes, if man has counted correctly, the three-hundred prophecies that pointed to Jesus of Nazareth were then to start in their fulfillment. The Old Testament will forever be interwoven together with the New Testament in such manner, that man can only wonder!
John, the apostle, started his book with these words: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2). Then, he brought “the Word” to earth, where he would dwell for such a short time. Putting verses one and two with verse fourteen, we arrive as John wrote: “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). Heaven had come to earth! His mission is seen in these words: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). The word “declared” is the Greek “exegeomai” and means: “to draw out in narrative, unfold a teaching” (Thayer). Jesus would “unfold” God, his being which “no man hath seen.” At a very different time, when the apostles were “down in the dumps,” Jesus desired to lift their spirits. Right after those beautiful words: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1); Jesus was questioned by Philip who said unto him, “Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” Now get this, Jesus replied: “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (verse 9). Jesus viewed himself as the “walking revelation” of God the Father. If we can so learn the Son, then, we have learned of the Father!
So many of us are “like” Philip. We look right at something but fail to see its qualities and so many today fail to see the qualities of God as they are revealed in the Son! There are four books in the New Testament, the first four, which gives us the inspired view of God as seen in Jesus. With this, the New Testament opens the life of Jesus, revealing and declaring God to us.

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-bible-10/

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/

Older posts «