Jun 26

OUR NATION (1)

Due to what has been taking place in “Our Nation,” it seemed right to address the subject. Let me say first, the best citizens of our nation should be Christians! The best fathers in this nation should be Christians; the best mothers of this nation should be Christians; and the best children of this nation should be Christians! Let us do a brief study of the “Our Nation!”
Our nation is founded upon the “Constitution of these United States of America” and the “Bill of Rights” These “founders” wrote far beyond their time, as things were not as they wrote! Here let us notice that Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of “The Declaration of Independence” but John Adams and Benjamin Franklin took Jefferson’s draft and edited it and incorporated what became the “The Declaration of Independence.” Their wisdom and knowledge reached for beyond their years!
Who has not thrilled as they read these words:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The words “their Creator” refers to God, the God of the Bible! There are no greater words found in any document written by mankind! The wisdom that is demonstrated in this document shows that those who wrote the document were men of the Bible. No, I am not saying these men lived, or even believed in the Bible, or laid claim of being Christians, but that the Bible was in truth the word of God. What I am saying is that these men used the Bible as their guide in writing “The Declaration of Independence!” They attributed more than their own wisdom, as they wrote about the rights of men, that they came from God and not man! Notice once more their words: “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights;” Looking now at the words “their Creator.” What does the word “unalienable” mean?
Let us call attention to this word, unalienable.” It is not a word that is used every day. It is better understood by the word “inalienable.” First it means “ absolute” and infrangible, inviolable, and not capable of being violated or infringed.” But as we look at the word “inalienable,” maybe this will help our understanding: “Something that is yours forever, that can’t be taken away and given to your little brother instead? That something would be called “inalienable,” as the word refers to a natural right that cannot be revoked by an outside force.” Something that is a “natural right that cannot be revoked by an outside force” can only come from God!
Our nation was founded upon the idea that God was the real source of the power of our “natural right(s)” and not man! From time to time some elected person may give “lip service” to the idea but it is just that “lip service;” but we have those today who have this mind set.
Let us, as Christians, be the best citizens of the United States of America!

— Frank R. Williams

 

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Jun 19

FATHER

If civilization stands or falls based upon the family, and it does, then, the father is the foundation of the family; it is correct to say, that civilization stands or falls based upon fathers! The definition of the word “father” is: “(1) a male parent; (2) a man who has begotten a child” (Merriam-Webster). On the-other-hand, the Greek word translated “father” is “pater” and means: “generator or male ancestor.” (Thayer). Maybe, it is best for us today, to look at a dictionary. A little deeper into the word: “Father” comes from the Proto-Indo-European “pater” and Old English ‘fæder,’ meaning “he who begets a child,” reflecting the baby-talk sound “pa” as well as a phonetic shift from ‘p’ to ‘f’ in Middle English.” Then, “a man who has begotten a child.” But even this does not give us what we need in understanding what a “real” father is! Paul, the apostle of Christ, wrote these most awesome words: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). These words should put “fear” in the heart of every man who is to be a father! Here we have the responsibility of one who is a “father!” However, so many “men” who become a physical “father” has no thought to be a real “father” of the child he “begets!” This maybe said to be the first real problem we have with “fathers” today!
A little information! The word “father” appears 627 times in the Old Testament and 352 times in the New Testament (King James Version). The first time God identifies himself as “father” is in Exodus 4:22-23, where the word “father” does not appear but is implied: 1) Ex. 4:22-23: “And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.” Here God presents himself as “father” to Israel. This happened after God called Moses and commissions him to deliver the Israelite people out of “bondage.” To the best of my abilities, there are only ten verses in all the Old Testament where God refers to himself as “father.”
It is important to note, that “Abba Father,” which you might think appears often, only appears two times in the Old Testament (Deut. 32:6 and Isa. 64:8) and three times in the New Testament (Mark 14:36, by Jesus; Rom. 8:15 and Gal. 4:6, by Paul). The dictionary says: “Abba” is the defining term for father in the Aramaic language” (Dictionary.com). Reading the verses: “And He [Jesus] said, ‘Abba Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.’” (Mark 14:36); “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Rom. 8:15); and “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba Father!’” (Gal. 4:6). Now, with this information, let us continue our study.
More to the present point in time! Not only has the family been under attack but “fathers” perhaps even more so. Being a good “father” is not an easy thing to do! If a man did not have a “good” father, it is hard for him to be a “good,” in that he missed that “good” example. Thus, being a “good” father is something that he must learn. He may pick up “good” qualities from watching those fathers that he believes are “good” examples. This means, a little here and a little there; but much is missed! A “good” father starts first with, loving his wife, who is to be the mother of his child(ren). Many children today, have a “father” who only had sex with his mother; thus, no love for the mother of his child. Every year about one million more children are born into fatherless families. May this number reach into the deepest part of our hearts!
Let me say, the “best” of fathers, miss the mark so often! We do our “best” but our “best” somehow just does not get it done! Much of this is due to the “mind” or the “tone” that each child has, as the child is influenced by so many people other than his/her “father.” This we can safely say: The best father may lose his child(ren) in the end! Just give the child the best example you can give and then realize, the final judgement rests on the child.
Finally, keep the world outside the “door” of your family! Every effort that the world can make is being made to destroy “fatherhood!” As “fatherhood” is the foundation of a civilized nation! Kill the importance of the “father,” and you have weakened the home, and thus, a nation!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/father/

Jun 13

THE BIBLE (16)

Just think of it, “The Bible,” the greatest book, if it may be called a book, as it is in truth, “The Word of God!” Just to say it is a book, may put it in the same class of all the other “books” that have been printed around the globe we live on! It is not! As Peter put it as he addressed that, if we are a child of God, then we have been “born again” and he continued: “not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Pet. 1:2.3). The Greek word translated “not,” is as Strong put it: “the absolutely negative.” There is no other writing like it and there is “absolutely” nothing about it that is “corruptible!” Men may, and have through the years attacked it, they have burnt it, but it still stands! It still does what it did in the first century; it is able to give life; it is able to see us through death and take us to the resurrection at the return of Christ and deliver us into eternal life with God the Father in heaven!
So, take another look at that Bible on the “coffee table” (I put the words “coffee table” in quotes, as I am not sure those words are still used!), but wherever your Bible maybe, pick it up and read it. In your hand is a “book” that is the “word of life!” Not just here and now, but eternal life that awaits those who have been “born (the Greek word “anagennao” “beget) again.” We have all been “begat” by an earthly father but this ends in death, while those who have been “begat” by the “incorruptible word (seed) of God,” have the promise of everlasting life in heaven; if life on this earth is lived in faithfulness to God. One more thought just here, “faithfulness” to the word of God is so often over looked and people think, if they just give “lip” services to whatever they think is “right,” it is the same as being faithful to the living word of God. Friends, it is not! Only the “incorruptible” word gives real life! Soul be careful what you hear and what you read!
Now, let us go back and read the text again: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Pet. 1:23-25). This is what we call “the Bible,” and it is what we have been writing about through sixteen articles! Did you notice these words: “this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you?” So, what is my point? Peter says, by the Holy Spirit, “this is the word,” but what “word?” The “word of the Lord” which “endureth for ever;” and then he wrote: “which by the gospel is preached unto you.” Have you ever heard someone ask: “What is the gospel?” Sure, you have! Well, what did Peter say, he said, when referring back to the words he had just wrote: “the word of the Lord which by the gospel is preached unto you.” Is it possible to preach “the gospel” and not preach “the word of the Lord?” Did you put your “thinking cap” on?
We sometimes say, that is remarkable, this is amazing, but “the word of the Lord” is none of these; it is the inspired living word of God! No! By the use of the word “living,” does not mean what some have used when referring to “The Constitution of these United States!’” These folks mean, that it is every changing and never means the same thing to the next generation; but neither is this true of the “Constitution” nor the “Word of God! It is impossible to say, that the gospel is the “incorruptible word (seed) of God,” then, claim that it is ever changing! When something “changes,” it is no longer what it was before the changes were made!
Before ending this long series of articles, I would like to conclude with the words Paul wrote to Timothy: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Not one word more, not one word less; but “all scripture is given by inspiration of God!” The word “inspiration of God” comes from one compound word, “theopneustos,” which means: “divinely breathed in” (Strong). This is true of no other “book,” of no other words!
Friends, when you hold the Bible in your hand, you are holding the treasure of life! So, what will you do with it?

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/the-bible-16/

Jun 05

THE BIBLE (15)

Put your eyes on the New Testament Library and look at the shelves and the books that are found there. Keeping in mind, that there are twenty-seven books, found on the six shelves (If I have not used this number of shelves, in the other articles in this series, please forgive this humble writer!). Just for a review, the first shelf has the four gospel accounts written by Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John; the second shelf has but one book, “Acts of the Apostles,” which was written by Luke; the third shelf is that which has the letters to the churches and there are nine books located on this shelf; the fourth shelf holds the letters to preachers and there are but three such books: 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. We have now arrived at the books, that I call the “General Letters” and as we count them, we notice that there are nine books located on this shelf. These are the most diverse books; starting with Philemon with the last being Jude; on either end, if you will notice, both of these are one “chapter” letters but Hebrews has thirteen chapters. The final shelf, the sixth shelf, has but one book on it. It is like no other book in the New Testament. It is: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” Now, I would be amiss, if I did not notice these words: “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” (Rev. 1:3). With this review, we now move on.
This article will cover the “Letters to the Churches.” So, what should we notice while doing our little study of these books? The first point that needs our attention are Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37). Many people miss this clear and pointed text! Paul was not just writing things that had no “authority” but what he wrote, things which the Holy Spirit delivered to him, were in fact, “the commandments of the Lord!” He was not writing his “opinions!” He was not writing things that were to be taken as “options!” Once more notice his words: “let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” The word “commandments” is the Greek “entole” and has the following meanings: “1) an order, command, charge, precept, injunction 1a) that which is prescribed to one by reason of his office 2) a commandment 2a) a prescribed rule in accordance with which a thing is done” (Thayer). Strong gives: “injunction, that is, an authoritative prescription: – commandment, precept.” If there was any question as to what Paul meant, Thayer and Strong should have removed any such!
The first thing we learn is in the first chapter of Romans: “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). God has but one “power” unto salvation! In the Second Letter to the Thessalonians, verses four and six, Paul used the Greek word “paraggello,” which is translated “command” but is not the same Greek word used in the Corinthians verse. Here Paul wrote: “… that ye both do and will do the things which we command you” and “Now we command you, …” The Greek word used in these two verses means: “1) to transmit a message along from one to another, to declare, announce 2) to command, order, charge” (Thayer). Once more we must notice, that Paul is not writing his “opinions” but “commands!” The same authority which Paul is using in all of his writings is as one of the “ambassador of Christ (2 Cor 5:30). Now, with this thought in mind, notice what Paul wrote to the church in Colosse: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3: 2). Is this a “suggestion” (a proposal) or a “command?” Is it something that must be done, as in obeyed, if one is to be pleasing to God? Notice, just where we are, if we obey the words in verse two; as Paul wrote that, “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). First, Paul says, “For” the Greek “gar,” “A primary particle; properly assigning a reason”- Strong) ye are (presently) dead (separated).” Separated from what? Friends, separated from the “world,” from “sin!” Now look at Paul’s next words: “and your life is hid.” The word “hid” is the Greek, “krupto” and is “A primary verb; to conceal (properly by covering).” (Strong). Finally, notice this: “with Christ in God.”
Friends, may God never see us outside of Christ! Outside of the blood of Christ! Salvation is in Christ!

Frank R. Williams

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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

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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: https://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: https://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

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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

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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

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