December 2015 Questions / Answers
The following questions are taken from emails and are printed below exactly as I received them. Names and contact information has been removed. The answers are in note form (sorry for any of my grammar errors) to be studied through. You’ll have to examine each Scripture below to see the points. Please be mindful that there are often circumstances and details to every question that could potentially change the answer. Rightly divide the truth (II Timothy 2:15).
Š The Holy Ghost testified that Paul would be bound and suffer afflictions (Acts 20:20-25).
Š Brethren, in the Spirit, told Paul not to go to Jerusalem (Acts 21:4).
Š The prophet Agabus told Paul he would be bound if he went to Jerusalem (Acts 21:10-14).
o On those accounts, we have to conclude that those brethren spoke to Paul out of concern for Paul, but not with full knowledge of God’s plans for Paul. When God did not want Paul going somewhere, He clearly stated such (Acts 16:6-10).
o God was not concerned with protecting Paul from physical persecution (Acts 9:11-16).
Š Paul going to Jerusalem, getting arrested, and then being sent to Rome was the Lord’s will (Acts 19:21 and Acts 23:11), which happened (Acts 28:16-31).
Š I cannot find how we could state that Paul ignored the Holy Ghost. That would be a serious charge (Acts 7:51). In fact, we have found that he knew what was awaiting him and went anyway for the betterment of the kingdom to fulfill the will of the Lord. This was his mindset towards the work of preaching (I Thessalonians 3:1-4).
2. “I prefer looking for denominational churches that are well branded. I think like if they are well branded and have been around for a while they will be more stable and have better teachers. I am finding that my thinking is not getting me there. What should I look for in finding a good church?”
Š “I prefer” is the wrong approach (Proverbs 3:5-7, Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 14:12, Proverbs 14:16, Proverbs 16:2, Proverbs 16:25, Proverbs 20:24, Proverbs 21:2, Proverbs 28:26, Proverbs 30:12, Isaiah 5:21, Isaiah 55:7-9, Jeremiah 10:23, Jeremiah 17:9, Hosea 13:2, II Corinthians 10:12, II Corinthians 10:18, Galatians 6:3, Ephesians 5:10, Colossians 3:17, and II Timothy 3:15-17).
Š There is only one church, not “well branded”, that is acceptable to the Lord (Matthew 16:13-18, Acts 2:41-47, Romans 16:16, Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 4:4, and Colossians 1:18).
Š Stability and better teachers are confusing statements. Denominational churches are very unstable in that they are of men and their teachers are all false teachers. If you are meaning they perform or speak well, consider: I Corinthians 2:1-5 and Titus 2:1.
Š Don’t look for a “good church”. Look for the Lord’s church. In such a case, you are looking for God’s people, as the church is the people (I Corinthians 12:27). You will therefore have to become a knowledgeable fruit inspector (Matthew 7:15-20).
Š There is much, much more on this. Please consider the following material as a good start and I invite you to study further with me if you so choose: http://www.wordsoftruth.net/wotvol10/wotbulletin09272009.html; http://www.wordsoftruth.net/wotvol10/wotbulletin09192010.html
3. “What should a Christian do when worship services are cancelled due to hazardous weather? I would think that a faithful Christian could make better use of his/her time than just watching TV, sleeping etc. but, I am not sure what the scriptures teach regarding this particular subject. Any light you might shed on this for me would be appreciated.”
Š Where is the authority, from the Lord (Matthew 28:18-20 and Colossians 3:17), for a congregation to cancel the approved example in Acts 20:7 and the commands in Ephesians 4:16, Hebrews 10:23-25, etc.?
Š If people are members of a congregation that cancels worship services I would imagine they are enjoying their “day off” from God. Shameful! I cannot shed light on how a “Christian” would properly act when doing something improper to begin with. There is nothing in the Scriptures concerning this. That says a lot in itself (Proverbs 30:5-6, Galatians 1:8-9, and I Thessalonians 5:21).
Š Even when Christians in the first century were suffering greatly the church did not cancel her work (Acts 8:1-4).
4. “I read your teaching about two assemblies on Sunday. I did not comprehend what you meant. Why are you stating it is wrong to have two assemblies on Sunday?”
Š I have no such teachings. I have never taught that the church was limited to one assembly on any day for any reason. The church can and should assemble as much as possible for several reasons (Acts 2:41-42, I Thessalonians 5:11-14, Hebrews 3:13, etc.).
Š What I have taught, and are on my website on multiple pages, is that there is no authority for a make-up serving [second offering] of the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week. The church is to wait for members to partake (I Corinthians 11:23-33), not make it up for those who missed the first serving. There is as much authority for a make-up serving of the Lord’s Supper on Sunday (at any time) as there is for a Monday Lord’s Supper.
Š We are to partake together (Acts 20:7).
Š As far as meeting times and days for the congregation, there is no opposition from me on as many meeting times or days the congregation can assemble. The church may assemble many times for many reasons.
o Disciplinary action may require an assembly (Matthew 18:15-17).
o Meeting for reports of the Lord’s work is authorized (Acts 14:26-27).
o Bible discussions, writing of letters, etc. are authorized reasons for the church to assemble (Acts 15:1-35).
o The reading of God’s will (Colossians 4:15-16).
5. “Jesus says, But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Does this include the watching of x-rated movies?”
Š First off, my research says you are using the English Standard Version of the Bible. That is the first problem you have. Matthew 5:32 does not teach what the ESV has it teaching. Notice a proper translation (KJV): “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matthew 5:31-32).
o The ESV is a perversion of God’s word. Verses GONE from the ESV include: Matthew 17:21, Matthew 18:11, Mark 9:44; 46, Mark 11:26, Mark 15:28, Luke 17:36, Luke 23:17, John 5:4, Acts 8:37, Acts 24:7, and Romans 16:24.
o Consider what is missing in Colossians 1:14 “through his blood”.
o ESV in Romans 10:10, has one saved at confession. Not true (Acts 8:30-39).
o There are many key things missing from the ESV. For example, when Jesus was “worshipped”, they change that to “knelt before” (i.e. Matthew 9:18).
o Matthew 5:17 and Ephesians 2:15 contradictions in the ESV.
o Preface of the ESV: “Every translation is at many points a trade-off between literal precision and readability, between “formal equivalence” in expression and “functional equivalence” in communication, and the ESV is no exception. Within this framework we have sought to be “as literal as possible” while maintaining clarity of expression and literary excellence. Therefore, to the extent that plain English permits and the meaning in each case allows, we have sought to use the same English word for important recurring words in the original; and, as far as grammar and syntax allow, we have rendered Old Testament passages cited in the New in ways that show their correspondence. Thus in each of these areas, as well as throughout the Bible as a whole, we have sought to capture the echoes and overtones of meaning that are so abundantly present in the original texts. As an essentially literal translation, then, the ESV seeks to carry over every possible nuance of meaning in the original words of Scripture into our own language. As such, it s ideally suited for in-depth study of the Bible. Indeed, with its emphasis on literary excellence, the ESV is equally suited for public reading and preaching, for private reading and reflection, for both academic and devotional study, and for Scripture memorization.”
o That is a short list, but one that tells you this book is all wrong (Revelation 22:18-19).
Š Secondly, the word “fornication; Ļορνεία porneia” means: “illicit [unlawful] sexual intercourse” (Strong’s # 4202).
o To avoid fornication one is to be lawfully married and satisfy his/her lusts in the marriage bed (I Corinthians 6:18-7:5 and Hebrews 13:4).
Š To look upon someone and even lust after that person is NOT the act of fornication. Adultery in one’s heart (Matthew 5:28) is not the equivalent of acting on lust (James 1:13-16). A person may have a problem with looking upon things he or she should not, but that does not equal what Matthew 5:32 teaches.
Š Consider this study for more on the related matters behind this question: http://www.wordsoftruth.net/wotvol15/wotbulletin02012015.html
6. “What information is there in the Bible about Epaphras?”
Š Colossians 1:5-8, Colossians 4:12-13, and Philemon 1:23.
© 2015 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager