Feb 16

AT THE RIGHT HAND (3)

Looking at the one who is at the “right hand of the Majesty on high” we can see one who is “Lord of lords” and “King of kings!” There is much to notice in these few words that the reader may not notice at first. Let us look in the present and see what we can find? Just what is in the words: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psa. 110:1).
First, even in English it should be noted that the word “Lord” is not the same, in that one is in all caps and one is in small letters, as “LORD” and “Lord.” This should draw the attention of the reader to the text and it should produce the question: “Why is it so written?” There is a deeper reason for the all caps in one and small letters in the other. In English we are left to wonder why did the producers of the King James Version do this? Second, if this difference is for a reason and it sure appears so, what is the reason? In English, we are just left to wonder and go on! However, in the Hebrew langue the difference is easy to see; for we have two different words. The first one, the one in all caps is the Hebrew “yeh-ho-vaw’” and means “self Existent or eternal; Jehovah.” Yes, the word is directing our attention to the “self -Existent” one! The second one, the “Lord,” is the Hebrew word “aw-done’” and means: “sovereign, that is, controller” as in “master, owner.”
The above gives us a real problem. The first word, ““yeh-ho-vaw’” is one who is Eternal;” while the second “Lord” identifies one who is both human and “sovereign” (Supreme, Deity) in nature! If there has ever been a difference, and there has been, then, this is the greatest difference there can be; as one is Eternal in nature while the other one is lonely man, who is of few days. What we now have is the “self-Existent” one speaking to the one who is “Sovereign” and human (Supreme, Deity)! It is from heaven to earth, as “the LORD said unto my lord!” Yet, there is authority in both; the one having eternal authority and the other has earthly authority; one having authority within himself, while the other has authority which is given to him.(Matt 28:18) In being David’s Lord, he was a Sovereign Deity; while being David’s “son” he was human in nature! There, we have the “Lord of lords!”
Now turning our attention to what was said: “Sit thou at my right hand.” To “sit at the right hand” of God, the “LORD” of the text, it is required that the “Lord” be changed back from humanity to spiritual; from being in the form of the earthly to heavenly! These words fit but one being! Keep in mind, that God the Father has never been “earthly;” and that God the Holy Spirit has never been “earthly;” but he which was: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2:6-8). Here is the one of whom David wrote! God in human form, who was put to “death” on the cross but of whom it is written: “when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” When the writer said, he “purged our sins,” is equal to being: “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Being put to death upon the cross, is also equal to: “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Pet. 2:22-23). Having done this, he “when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” which is equal to: “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (1 Pet. 2:7-8). Blessed is he of whom it is said: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psa. 110:1).
This brings us to another question: “How long will he sit at the right hand of the Majesty on high?” In the words of David: “until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psa. 110:1). But, just what does the word “enemies” mean? The “I” refers to God the Father, while the “thine” and the “thy” refers to him that is sitting on “the right hand of the Majesty on high;” the “King of kings and Lord of lords!” Notice as you read the words of Paul, wherein he has very the words of David: “For he must reign, (at the right hand of the Majesty on high, frw) till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:5-6). So long as there is “death,” the “King of king and the Lord of lords” is sitting “at the right hand of the Majesty on high!”

Frank R. Williams

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Feb 08

AT THE RIGHT HAND (2)

Just what does it mean to have the “Son of God” “at the right hand of the Majesty on high?” Of course when writing on such a subject, it must be admitted at the start, that no one can cover all there is to write. This subject involves so much, nevertheless, it is here to be addressed in no Divine Order but to call attention to subjects within subjects. We are writing to see a little of a great subject! Therefore, let us address a truly great Bible subject: “At the right hand of God!”
First, it means that we have an “advocate,” as it is written: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” (1 John 2:1). Second, it means that our “great high priest” is our “propitiation,” as it is written: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). Third, it means that our “propitiation,” which is the Greek word “hilasmos” and means: “of appeasing.” But, what does this word mean? A dear friend of mine put it this way: “When you and the wife have had a heated disagreement and you leave the house; but you come back and knock on the door, and in your hand, you hold flowers. All you can get in your hand! You put your hand with the flowers through the door and if your wife takes them, then, you can enter the through the door.” In this case, the flowers serve as the “propitiation!” Yes, it is hard to compare “flowers” with the blood of Jesus, but it gets to the point! If the wife does not take the flowers, the husband cannot enter through the door into the house! He is shut out! Therefore, without the “propitiation” of Jesus’ blood, no one could ever enter the family of God, never enter into heaven; no one could ever receive the spiritual blessings of God! We would all be shut out of heaven forever!
Now, let us look at what it would mean, if the Son of God was not at “the right hand of the Majesty on high.” It would mean that we have no “high priest;” for it is written: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession” (Heb. 4:14). It means that we would have no reason to “hold fast our profession.” Better yet, we would not have a spiritual “profession!” Do you know what the word “profession” means? It is the Greek word “homologia” and means: “1a) subjectively: whom we profess to be ours 1b) objectively: profession [confession], i.e. what one professes [confesses]” (Thayer). The point here is that Jesus serving as our “high priest” conveys the idea that we are to be busy “confessing” Jesus in our manner of life. This is not talking but living! After all, when we were baptized, we made the good confession, that Jesus is our Lord; Jesus is our Ruler, Jesus is our King, and we vowed to submit to his authority! It would mean that we have no “high priest” in the first place, for it is written: “For we have not an high priest, …” (Heb. 4:14). It would mean that we would not have been a “high priest” who would be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; for it is written: “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Heb. 4:14). It would mean that we would not have been tempted in all points as were; for it is written, he “was in all points tempted like as we are” (Heb. 4:14). It would mean that we would not have a “high priest” who was tempted, in all points, as we are, but he was without sin; for it is written: “yet without sin” (Heb. 4:14). Then, we must not forget the point, without our “high priest,” we would not have any reason to “come boldly unto the throne of grace;” for it is written: “Let us therefore come boldly (the Greek, “parrhesia,” which means, among other things, free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance, Thayer) unto the throne of grace” (Heb. 4:15). We get our “boldness” from our high priest because of who he is and what he did. When we come before the “throne” of the Son of God, it is because of who Jesus is, he is our “great high priest,” who has been “tempted in all points like as we are;” therefore, we come to “the throne of grace!” Jesus is not looking to condemn us but to seek our forgiveness! Here let us read the whole verse: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). Question, why do we come before “the throne of grace?” My brethren, it is to “obain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need!”
In conclusion, what would we do without him who is seated “at the right hand of the Majesty on high?” We would stand condemned, without hope, without any idea of forgiveness of our sins; therefore, let us continually give thanks to God, “the Majesty on high,” for his love and to him who is sitting at the right had of him who is the Majesty on high!

Frank R. Williams

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Feb 02

AT THE RIGHT HAND (1)

There is one who has the right to be so honored to sit at the right hand of the Almighty God! He is the one who came from eternity only to return in a different role. He is one of three who are in the Old Testament, who is spoken of in the Hebrew word, “el-o-heem’,” as in Genesis 1:1, which reads: “In the beginning God (“el-o-heem’) created the heaven and the earth.” From eternity he came and to eternity he returned!
It is often said, that his birth was miraculous, but this is not the case. His birth was just like other births! It was the conception that was miraculous and not his birth. Matthew wrote of the conception: “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 1:20). Why people speak about the miraculous birth, I do not know! Is it just a misreading of the text, or is it a deliberate teaching that is false? Of course, it may be that we have heard it so often that it is just taken as truth? Nevertheless, it in an important truth that needs to be understood, as it is speaking “Where the Bible speaks!”
The text which is to serve as the starting place for this article, is: “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). Let’s break the text down into points: 1) “Who being the brightness of his glory,” 2) “the express image of his person,” 3) “upholding all things by the word of his power,” 4) “when he had by himself purged our sins,” and 5) “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” No being, of earth or heaven, had ever been so honored to “sit down on the right hand of the Majesty on high!” Hold onto the last phrase, “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Only after the work had been completed did this “honored One” take his seat “on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Here recall the words of Jesus which go “hand in hand” with the last phrase: “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). As we think on these words, let us ask the question: “Can we do any less?” True, we will not do the works required of us as complete as did Jesus, but it must be our aim!
At “the right hand of the Majesty on high,” reminds us of an Old Testament prophecy: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:13-14). These words are a conclusion, as Jesus had completed his work on earth and he is returning to heaven; let us once more look at the points in the text: 1) “behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven,” 2) “came to the Ancient of days: (This is the honored one returning to heaven), 3) “they brought him near before him” (The “they” of this text would appear to refer to angels, as I know of no other in heaven that the pronoun “they” can refer and the “him” referring to God the Father.) 4) “And there was given him dominion,” 5) “glory;” before continuing, notice a change in the wording, from what Jesus and what he would receive to those who would “serve” him; and now continuing what was given to Jesus: 6) “a kingdom,” 7) “that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him.” Now think on these things, which Jesus would receive and the nature of it: 1) “his dominion is an everlasting dominion,” 2) “which shall not pass away,” and 3) “his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” These are the things that would take place as Jesus “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high!” He had finished his work and he received his reward and was so honored!
Look up and see that one who took his seat at “the right hand of the Majesty on high!” (In faith, of course.) On second thought, go back to the eleven apostles who were allowed to see, in part, what we have studied in the above words: as they heard the words of Jesus: “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). The words of Daniel were being fulfilled before their eyes!
Never was there, nor ever will there be, another one who “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” but that one who came from heaven and who returned to heaven! Therefore, what does it mean to you?

Frank R. Williams

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Jan 26

WHAT IS THE GOSPEL

Just where and what is the gospel of Christ? Have you ever heard such a question? Is it something that floats around in the air? Is it something locked up in box which is hid somewhere? Well, we could go on and on with any number of questions like these but more than likely you have never even asked such a question in the first place. But, it is a question worth asking!
In looking for the gospel and by implication, where is the “gospel of Christ?” We have twenty-seven books in the New Testament, is “the gospel of Christ” in one of these or in all twenty-seven books, or in parts of these books? Some believe that only the first four books of the New Testament are “the gospel of Christ,” but is this true? Others say that the first four books of the New Testament plus the words which are written about Jesus in the other twenty-three books are “the gospel of Christ.” Still others claim that only the words and sentences written about Jesus is “the gospel of Christ.”
One thing we can pin down is that Paul wrote: “… the gospel of Christ: … is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth …” (Rom. 1:16). In our search for just what is “the gospel of Christ,” let us know for sure it is God’s power “unto salvation to every one that believeth.” In other words, which of you, who may not have thought of it, we do not need books or page upon page which are not “the gospel of Christ” and we do not need any of the words of the New Testament that are not “the gospel of Christ.” Why should we spend our time in studying books and page upon page which are written but have nothing to do with “the gospel of Christ” as “the gospel of Christ” is “unto salvation!” While you are thinking on this, a God who does not do unnecessary things, why would he give us books and page upon page, that have nothing to do with “the gospel of Christ?” Then, “the gospel of Christ” being the only thing that we need for our salvation, for it is God’s power unto salvation, why did God give us all the books, and page upon page that are not “the gospel of Christ?” Did God just give us all the books and all the pages that are not “the gospel of Christ” just to make us search through them, that at last we could say, “I have finally found “the gospel of Christ?” We know that God does not work in this way! For as Peter wrote: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). Notice that it is “the Lord” who is “longsuffering to us-ward” not being “willing that any should perish!” On the other hand, if “the gospel of Christ” is hid somewhere within the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, then it is man that must be “longsuffering” until he can finally say, “I have found ‘the gospel of Christ!” Looking at it this way, just how many would die before finding “the gospel of Christ?”
This is not the God revealed to us upon the pages of the New Testament! The God who is not “willing” that anyone should be lost but that all would come to salvation.Hear Paul as he wrote: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). Did you get it? The “grace of God that bringeth salvation” was made known to “all men.” Why was this done? It was done so “the “gospel of Christ,” (Rom. 16), the “grace of God,” (Titus 2:11-12), “the word of the grace” (Acts 20:32) may teach us; in that it teaches all men, to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Why does it teach these things? That we might be saved!
Now, give thought to this; why did God, in his wisdom, give mankind the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? Then, deal with this question: “Why did God give us the last twenty-three books of the New Testament, do they have anything to do with our salvation?” Wait, I thought it was “the gospel of Christ” that was unto salvation! Just what part of the New Testament, that is “the grace of God,” in that it “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” and is this part of “the gospel of Christ” which is “unto salvation?”
In conclusion, may I draw your attention to the fact, that “the gospel of Christ,” (Rom. 1:16) “the grace of God,” (Titus 2:11) “the word of God’s grace” (Acts 20:32 and “the word of the Lord endureth for ever” (1 Pet. 1:25), is “unto salvation!” Let us know this: all those who “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” will be “punished!” (2 Thess. 1:9). When Paul wrote, those who “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” will perish, was he teaching that, people only have to obey a little part of the New Testament? Finally, does “the word of the grace of God,” while “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world,” have anything to do with “the gospel of Christ;” thus, our salvation?

Frank R. Williams

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Jan 17

THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD

The question is where does the gospel of Christ get its power unto salvation! Few there be that have given thought to the subject, however. Just what is it that makes the gospel of Christ, the power unto salvation? Have you ever given any thought to this subject, or have you just accepted it? In this article, we should address this subject!
As it has been pointed out in earlier articles, that the words “the righteousness of God” is not about the fact that God is righteous! First, look at the words, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed” (Rom. 1:17). The words “therein” refer back to the “gospel of Christ” in verse sixteen. The “gospel of Christ” gets its power unto salvation from the fact that it reveals “the righteousness of God!” If “the gospel of Christ” did not “reveal” “the righteousness of God,” it would have no “power unto salvation!”
It was also noted that the words, “the gospel of Christ,” are interchangeable with the words, “the gospel of grace” (see Gal. 1:6-7). But, this is not the only interchangeable phrase! Notice the following: 1) “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). Just what has Paul said to the elders of the church of Ephesus (Acts 20:17)? First, he commends them to God, and second, he commends them to “the word of his (God) grace.” Now, recall the words to the churches of Galatia; where the apostle used as noted above, the words, “the gospel of Christ” and “the grace of Christ” interchangeably. Allow me to remind you that two things that equal the same thing, are equal! If two things are interchangeable, then, the two things are equal to each other! Question: This being true of these two phrases, just what is and where is the “grace of God?” The “grace of God” is “the gospel of grace” which is equal to “the gospel of Christ!”
The above being true, just where do the words, “the word of his (God) grace,” fit in? Remember what Paul said to the elders of church of Ephesus? He wrote: “the word of his grace.” Does this not mean, that “the word of his grace” is also equal to “the gospel of grace” and the “the gospel of Christ?” As the old times preachers like to say, “If not why not?” Remember, two things that are equal to each other are equal to the same thing! Moving one more step, as we read what the apostle wrote to Titus: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (12) Teaching us that, …” (Titus 2:11). Does not the “gospel of Christ” teach us? Does not the “gospel of grace” teach us? Does not “the word of his grace” teach us? One better, Paul told the elders of the church of Ephesus: “the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Question: Just how does “the word of his grace” build us up, if not by teaching? When Paul was telling the brethren in Corinth how to use their spiritual gifts, he wrote: “Let all things be done unto edifying” (1 Cor. 14:26). The Greek word used by Paul, for our English word “edifying” is, “oikodome” and it means: “(the act of) building, building up” (Thayer). So, “the word of his grace” is “able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” and “the grace of God that bringeth salvation …. Teaching us …” Teaching” (learning) builds us up and prepares us unto salvation! You see, the New Testament is not so hard to understand, that is, if we will allow the teaching.
Let us conclude with Paul’s words to Titus: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; (14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14). Are these words a great summation of the subject? Did I hear you ask, “What subject?”
The grace of the New Testament is: 1) “the gospel of Christ,” 2) “the grace of Christ,” 3) “the grace of God,” and 4) “the word of his grace.” The folks who like to try and take “grace” out of “the word of his grace,” are making a fatal mistake! Let me conclude with these words from the pen of the inspired apostle: “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7). Do you recall where we started? It was with these words: “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. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:26-17). “Being justified by his grace” is the same as saying, justified by “the gospel of Christ” which “unto salvation” “wherein (is) revealed the righteousness of God.”

— Frank R. Williams

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Jan 12

THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST

How many times have you heard the words, “the gospel of Christ?” No one’s memory is good enough to recall such a number! More than likely each time you heard it, it was with joy; that is if you paid attention to what was being said. On the other hand, if it was being used while attached to false teaching, it would bring no joy at all. This was the case when Paul wrote to the Galatians: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.” Notice the change of words, as Paul wrote, “the grace of Christ,” but when Paul continued to write: “Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:6-7). Yes, we hear so much today about old-time preachers who did not preach enough about the “grace” of God as they preached too much about “doctrine.” Paul used the words “grace” and “gospel” interchangeable. Now, this is a “big” thing in the minds of a growing number of preachers today. In reality, it is not “new” but it is nothing more than “digging up old bones” from earlier years.
Now, getting back to our subject, “the gospel of Christ (grace)!” Paul in Romans 1:16 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). You have heard and you have come to know that Paul is here declaring that “the gospel of Christ (grace)” is “the power of God unto salvation.” This is yet another point that you have known for many years. But, do you know why “the gospel of Christ (grace)” is the power of God “unto salvation? Well, there is something within “the gospel of Christ (grace)” that is not found anywhere else! That’s right, nowhere else! It is not found in a false “gospel of Christ!” A false gospel of Christ is not another of the same type as “the gospel of Christ!” God’s power to save rests within but one “gospel of Christ,” which is the inspired delivered “gospel.” Here recall Paul’s words to Jude: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Yes, when “the faith” was once “delivered unto the saints,” it was forever, never to be changed by adding to it, or taking from it, or a “pervert” gospel of Christ. But what is within “the gospel of Christ” that makes it God’s power unto salvation??
In order to answer the question, “What is within the gospel of Christ that makes it God’s power unto salvation?” As we go back to Romans and looking with care at the apostle’s words, after he has written: “the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation,” he follows up with these words: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed …” So often these words are just read over, and no attention is given to them, but they are most important to our understanding of the truth! Paul is saying that “within the gospel of Christ (grace)” is the means by which man can be made righteous! Paul is not addressing God’s personal righteousness but the righteousness or the justification of man. Where in all that has been written the world over, is God’s power to make man righteous? It is in “the gospel of Christ (grace)” and my friends, this power is not in anything else that has been written.
The apostle has saved us a lot of work and time, in that he has put his finger on but one writing, it may be identified in various ways, such as “the teaching of Christ” (2 John 9), “the faith” (Jude 3), “the grace of Christ” (Gal. 1:6), “the truth” (John 8:32), or “the gospel of Christ” (Rom. 1:16). Why is this true? It is because that God has not put in any other writing “the righteousness of God,” the power to make man righteous!
Therefore, we ask, when Jesus stood with the eleven, just before he was taken up, he gave their commission, wherein he said: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16-17). This is a system of “faith,” of “he that believeth,” but it does not end with these words, but as Jesus continued, “and is baptized.” If a person is baptized but does not believe “the gospel of Christ” is the writing where God has put “the righteousness of God.”
You see, a person must believe, have faith in, God’s righteousness which he put in “the gospel of Christ (grace)” and it is unto salvation!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-gospel-of-christ/

Jan 04

THE BIBLE

Is there a better subject to start the New Year with, than, the Bible? The Bible introduces us to God, a being without equal! God introduces us to the beginning of man, as God breathed into “the dust of the ground,” and there is the beginning of humanity! God introduces the Devil to us, and as Peter would later write of Satan, he is our “adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). And with sin, came the greatest tragedy of the humanity, spiritual separation from God.
In the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament, humanity was without an answer to sin: “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Heb. 10:5). It would take the twenty-seven books of the New Testament to reveal the only answer for sin, as Peter would write of man’s redemption: “but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:19). In these twenty-seven books, the Holy Spirit would give to humanity God’s saving power, as 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). Why Paul answers: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Rom. 1:17). But, it is up to humanity to understand, what is within “the gospel of Christ.” But from where does the gospel get its“power” to save? When Paul used the Greek word “gar,” from which we get the word “for,” he was telling us a “reason” the “gospel of Christ” is “the power of God unto salvation!” The “gospel of Christ” is the revelation of “the righteousness of God!” Not God’s personal “righteousness,” but the means by which he makes man “righteous,” or justified!
The “gospel of Christ” is the answer, the only answer, for the first sin committed and the last sin committed before Christ returns to judge the world, as Paul wrote: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). If we have not been redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:19); we will pay the price for our own sin: “For the wages of sin is death;…” (Rom. 6:23). But thanks be to God, all those who have been redeemed with “the precious blood of Christ” will enjoy “the gift of God” which “is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom.6:23).
Therefore, I introduce you to one of my favorite verses, it comes from the words of Paul, as he spoke by the Holy Spirit to the elders of the church in Ephesus, as he was prepared to depart from then for the last time: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). In these final words, Paul is placing “alongside” of the elders “God” and “the word of his grace!” Why is this so important? Let Paul answer: first, “which,” that is “the word of God’s grace” “is able to build you up” and second, it is able to “give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified!” Is there anything greater? No! No! Not one thing!
The Old Testament tells us about the first sins committed and the New Testament tells us about the answer to sin; the answer for all sin! This my friends, is the answer to this statement: “There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10-12). There is our state, the state of all humanity! But then God, through the Holy Spirit spoke to all humanity, saying: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). All of God’s plan, from the first sin, until God revealed “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. or therein is the righteousness of God …” (Rom. 1:16-17).
Yes, the Bible, the greatest Book, “the Book,” that stands alone among books!

Frank R. Williams

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

Dec 28

A NEW YEAR IS UPON US

We are facing a “New Year?” But what does this mean to us? Or does it mean nothing to us? If you are alive on January 1, 2019, you have before you a time to serve God through Christ, who is sitting at the right hand of Almighty God.
Let us as this “New Year” begins, simply think about God! There is no greater thought! But, do we really understand just what it means to think about God? When, the word “God” comes before us, do we really get even near the fullness of the thought, “God?” When God was telling Moses that he would bring Israel out of the bondage of the Egyptians, God said: “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them” (Ex. 6:3). With these words God spanned the foundation of Israel in the names of: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then, God introduces himself to Moses, who would introduce God to Israel; thus, Israel would come to know “JEHOVAH!” For the first time God identifies himself in the word, the name: “JEHOVAH.” So, with this new name, new to man, just what is in the name, “Jehovah?” The word means: “self-Existent” (Strong). Never had man heard this name! Through the history of man, covering the time from Adam to Moses, God had been known as “el-o-heem,” the name Moses used in the first chapter, and the first verse, of the Old Testament. It must be understood that, as we read the Old Testament, when the word “God” is used it is the Hebrew word “eloheem” but when we see the word “Lord” in all capital letters (LORD), the Hebrew word is “yeh-ho-vaw” or as it is better known, “Jehovah.” It is this name that God is telling Moses he is to tell Israel that he is and what a change in understanding is called for!
As the “New Year” arrives, I would like for us to think of knowing God, the “self-Existent” one! There is no greater thought that man can have than “JEHOVAH!” Therefore, what is being called for, is that our minds arise to the highest name, the greatest thought, that we human beings can have! When we obeyed the gospel, as we were raised out of the water, in baptism, a child of “JEHOVAH” has been born! As when the baby is taken from the womb of the mother, we are a “new creature,” we are one which has never been before; as Paul wrote: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). These words bring forth the question: “How do we get into Christ? Let Paul answer: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). Did you get it? When we were “baptized into Christ,” we “have put on Christ!” In this we have become a child of “JEHOVAH!” The “self-Existent” one! In this action we did surrender the total of our self to the will of “JEHOVAH,” as Paul wrote: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16). Oh, what a thought, as we review such a time!
Do we see ourselves in such a manner? Here is a good time to recall the words of Jesus as he prayed, just before being crucified on the cross: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt 26:39). Yes, just as Jesus cried out, “nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt,” his words must be our words, not my will, but the will of God, is our life! The “new year” gives us time to think, I am really a child of God! Now, taking our thoughts to one of the most misused verses in the New Testament: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28). The plan God announced following the first sins committed, when God said: “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). Every “little” point in the plan of “JEHOVAH” has “work(ed) together for good to them that love God!” My fellows, “all things” from God’s degree following the sins of Adam and Eve, have worked “together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Please notice the words, “according to his purpose,” it does not read, according to our purpose, but God’s purpose!
As we think, as the “New Year” comes upon us, let the words of Jesus be the heart of our thought: “nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt!” Is there a thought that can be in our hearts, that could be greater, I think not! Yes, we who have “obeyed that form of teaching”, are children of “JEHOVAH!”
The final question: “Will this be our thought?” Will this be your thought?

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/a-new-year-is-upon-us/

Dec 21

I HAVE A PLAN? (3)

In this final article written under the above heading, the first action taken when a person comes to the local church of Christ, and says he has a plan, is to send him packing! God has one plan for the local bodies of the “called out ones,” and it is the only plan the churches of Christ are authorized to use! Though the years, men have come out with any number of plans for the saved in Christ and through these plans they have led some churches of Christ into error!
As pointed out in article number two in this series, right in the state of Oklahoma there is a group of men, posing themselves as “elders,” who have taken several local churches of Christ, unto themselves. A good question that needs an answer is this: “What is their final plan for the churches of Christ?” Here we are asking, not only what they plan for the one congregation which they serve as leaders, but what is their plan for all the churches of Christ in the city wherein they are located? Moreover, what is their plan for all the local churches of Christ in the state of Oklahoma? If their plan is to have one church, as a “home church,” with “satellite” churches in other locations within the city, which they will serve as “elders,” just how far out and how many local churches do they “plan” to bring under their “eldership?”
Their authority, at least the passage they might use, that is if they are concerned about New Testament authority at all, must be Paul’s words to Titus, as Paul wrote: “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee” (Titus 1:5). The use of this verse is not new to these so-called elders, no, this “plan” has been sent forth to the churches of Christ before in a book, wherein the writer espoused this same “plan:” one eldership over all the congregations in any given city! The fact, that no building would be able to hold all the members, of all the local congregations, will necessarily require “satellite” churches! This means that one eldership, naturally the eldership of the largest congregation; the congregation which has her sights set on being the largest congregation in the city; will have all authority over these so-called “satellite” churches! Men will go out from the large church, to implement the desires and the orders of the supreme “eldership!” With this, the local churches of Christ have no autonomy at all.
The central question, how do we harmonize the words of Paul in Titus one, verse five, with the action done under the oversight of the apostleship of the same man, Paul? Here reference is directed to Acts 14:23, “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, …” Did the apostle violate his own instructions to Titus by ordaining elders in every church? You can see Titus’ dilemma 1) is he to “ordain elders in every city,” or 2) is he to do as did the apostle, “ordained them elders in every church?” So, how would Titus or how would you, harmonize these two actions; both done by and directed by the same apostle? One thing to keep in mind, is the fact that Crete was a small island, but it had hundreds cities. This resulting in small towns, cities; thus, more than likely having but one congregation is each city, town! Therefore, Paul’s words to Titus: “ordain elders in every city!” With this, there is no difference between what Paul did and what he told Titus to do! One thing for sure, Paul did not contradict himself! And, let us not forget, the inspired writers of the New Testament never, as the “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20), intended for one eldership to be over another eldership. It being the case that elders were “ordered in every church!”
It has been said of old, “that if it is bigger than the local church, it is too big” and “if it is smaller than the local church, then, it is too small.” There has been a desire on the part of same, throughout the brotherhood, from the time of the churches of Christ in America, to have organizations outside the local churches of Christ! It is as though God had a fault in his plan for the local autonomous churches of Christ! Arrogant men have stepped forward to put in, or among, the churches of Christ, their ideas of “bigness,” they can do what the local churches of Christ cannot do! These organizations, of course, are operated by the authority of men and not God!
It is a case of man versus God! On whose side will you stand? Call to mind the words of the apostles: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29); and make your stand with these words planted deep in your heart!

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/i-have-a-plan-3/

Dec 15

I HAVE A PLAN? (2)

The first article was written with the trust that the readers would know that the title under which the article was written with “tongue in cheek.” To the Bible believing folks there is but one plan and it belongs to God through his “dear Son!” However, nearly from the beginning, when the gospel was first preached, there were some who thought that God’s plan needed just a little help, if it was to work, if it was to do the job God desired! It is the wish and fervent desire of this humble writer that all efforts of humanity would stop and desist at this very moment, to change God’s plan! However, from history it is fully known that this will not happen!
In this second article an effort will be made to look at a “new plan” for the churches of Christ. This article is not written with the belief that it will stop or even slow down what is now taking place; one eldership over more than one congregation. Those who desire and are, at this time, implementing their manmade designed plan for the future of the churches of Christ, have long ago departed from the faith, “once for all time delivered unto the saints,” (Jude 3) and they have no desire to return! This suggests the question, why write at all? It is hoped that honest, faithful, children of God will take heed of what is happening among us, with the desire that they will never weaken, nor give in to such deadly doctrine!
So, just who is it that has introduced this “new” and deadly doctrine? Here, let us recall a little history. In the first century, yes, even in the time the inspired words were being written, such an effort was foretold. It was through the pen of the apostle Paul, who wrote: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thes. 2:3). Please note that Paul’s words are set in his own time, pointing to the time when some within the churches of Christ would depart, or as Paul wrote, “there come a falling away.” Yes, from within the churches of Christ, from God’s redeemed, would this “falling away” take place. Before continuing, it is good that we notice the meaning of the Greek word used here. Our English words “a falling away,” come from the one Greek word, “apostasia,” which means: “defection from truth (properly the state), (apostasy): – falling away, forsake” (Strong). This was started in the days of the apostle himself and it took nearly 500 years before it became a full reality; Boniface III would take the seat of “The Pope” in the year 606 A.D. It is so true, that big things, are started small. In other words, the result may bear little resemblance to its beginning! So, we look at the beginning of such a “falling away,” and express the thought that the present action looks nothing like a “Pope.” To which we say, of course, not!
Now, let us look at what is really happening at the present time. We need not go outside the state of Oklahoma, beyond the second largest city in the state. Here we call your attention to an article in the “Christian Chronicle,” though we will only look in general terms and no quotes will be given. (Due to the fact that the article cannot be found at the time of writing.) The larger congregation is nearing the point of out-growing the building; therefore, a larger one is needed. It just happens about this time that, perhaps the largest denominational church in the state had fallen on bad times and needs to sell their property. Here is the general look at the property. The land is about eighty acres, with a large “family life center” building and a very large building of worship. It will serve the desires of the elders of the overseeing elders and the church. In the process of time, the now very large Church of Christ, does not have room for all the people in the congregations they have now taken over; therefore, the little congregations, which are now under the oversight of the elders of the large Church have to remain in their old buildings and are now identified as “satellite” churches. The number of which are unknown to this writer.
Here it is needful that we view what is taking place. This will be done through questions: 1) Where is the authority of Christ for the elders of one congregation overseeing the affairs of another congregation? 2) Where is the authority of Christ for these “family life centers?” and 3) Where is the authority of Christ for the church to provide “all things” of the family? These three questions are not to be just thrown to the side!
It has amazed me for years that some brethren read the New Testament as though families had no children. In other words, just what did children do who had parents who were “the called out of Christ?” We can read where children are to be obedient to their parents (Eph. 6:1), we can read where children are to “honor their father and mother” (Eph. 6:2), and we can read where fathers are to bring their children up in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). My brethren, please take no part in that which helps destroys the family as designed by God!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/i-have-a-plan-2/

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