People of The Living God

Matthew 5-7

 

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March 2012



 

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

Harry Miller

        Upon these Ten Commandments rest the tranquility, safety, and eternal hope of God’s people.  This heavenly constitution is as eternal as God is eternal: its precepts were established before the world was created, and they shall continue on, even in “the new heavens and the new earth” (Isa. 66:22).  These are the only laws, or commands, that were ever actually written by “the finger of God.”

        No other inanimate thing of nature could ever be so holy as is this great gift from our heavenly Father.  Surely, every true lover of God must have great reverence for the work of God’s hands.  Therefore, such an individual should certainly experience no difficulty in trying to obey the commands that God has set down for him.

        There is one thing that always makes a definite distinction between the merely professing Christian and the genuine saint.  That thing is made manifest by their reaction to the Law of God.  The hypocrite dodges the Lord’s commands, he circumvents law, he evades precepts, and despises duty.  On the other hand, the saint is always eager to know and loves to obey every command of his Lord.

        “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14), is the actual attitude of the hearts of many who claim to belong to Christ.  But “in vain” do such people “worship” Him, “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9).

        “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:18,19)

        Let every Christian minister take much thought concerning that which he must do and teach, if he desires to establish a worthy record in the books of heaven.  And it is, also, time for them to “give glory to Him,” not only by teaching the people to obey His every command, but by conforming their own lives, as well, in accordance with His law.

 

 

AT IT AGAIN

Randall Walton

        Last year at about this same time, thousands of Christians were trembling in their spiritual boots because a certain Bible prognosticator had predicted that 2011 was the year of the return of the Lord for His people.  The month and the day were also included in the prediction.

        This was to have been the highly popular “rapture” of the church; a supposed pre–tribulation translation of God’s people as an escape from the calamities which are to befall the rest of humanity in the last days of this era.

        In order to have even a small degree of credibility, the rapture theory divides the second coming of Jesus into two phases or stages: 1) Jesus is to come “for” His saints; 2) Jesus is to come “with” His saints.

        Phrase 1 is just prior to the Great Tribulation, and is to be a secret, at–any–moment catching away of only those people who are genuinely born again.  Some denominations teach that eligibility is confined to those who are baptized in the Holy Spirit, while others say you must belong to their organization in order to be counted worthy.  There are a number of groups who claim to be THE Body, THE Church, THE Bride of Christ, and only their group is to be raptured.

        Supposedly, those who are not raptured will remain here on earth and suffer martyrdom or horrible persecution, while those who have been taken to heaven will be guests of honor at the “marriage of the Lamb.”

        Phase 2 is to occur 3½ years after phase 1.  (Therefore, those who do not participate in phase 1 will know exactly when phase 2 will occur!)  Phase 2 is to include the raptured saints returning with Jesus and assisting Him in setting up a materialistic, earthly 1,000 year kingdom.

        Personally, it seems to me that having spent 3½ years in heaven, or any amount of time in heaven, it would be a great let–down to have to return to this poor old planet!  I, for one, would greatly prefer to remain there, not here.

The Greatest Disappointment

        As all of us now know, no one left this globe last fall, and Jesus did not come to get anyone, even though multitudes of people were waiting and looking for Him.

        No one knows for sure how much money people lost last year by selling their homes, giving up their jobs, and watching the skies for the Savior to appear.

        In addition, the Scriptures absolutely refute the idea of Jesus returning to this earth in two phases or stages, one of which is secret and imminent, and the other as described above.

Not Imminent

        The word imminent is defined as “likely to happen without delay; impending; threatening” (Webster).  Those who predict that the coming of Jesus may take place at any time, or even this year, are saying it is imminent.  One well–known evangelist has adopted the slogan “Perhaps Today” as his banner.  He believes the rapture may occur today, tomorrow, or at any time.

        It is appropriate and necessary that we lift our voices in loud protest against this false hope.  Paul wrote plainly about the “Coming of the Lord Jesus” and “our gathering together unto Him” and the “day of Christ.”  He warned us not to be deceived by whatever means people might use to convince us that the coming of Jesus is imminent.  He admonished us not to be upset, shaken or troubled even though a spirit should speak out saying “the day of Christ is at hand.”

        “…that day shall not come, except there come a falling away FIRST, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (II Thess. 2:1–3).  Observe carefully: The coming of Jesus and our gathering together unto Him shall not occur until:

        1.  A falling way has occurred

        2.  The man of sin has been revealed

        There have been many well–intentioned efforts by religious authors to prove that both of these pre–advent events have taken place, but their arguments are not well–grounded nor substantiated by evidence.

        In addition, Jesus placed the time of His return immediately after the great tribulation described in Matthew 24:29–31.  We can, therefore, boldly state that the return of Jesus is NOT imminent.

Complacency Is Unwise

        However, the fact that the return of our Lord is not on the immediate agenda is no reason for God’s people to be complacent and apathetic.  There is much evidence that we are drawing closer to a time of great peril and trouble, a time which will surely try men’s souls and test their faith.

        Corruption and violence fill the earth on an unprecedented scale.  Terrorism stalks the streets of our large cities.  It is unsafe for pedestrians in most metropolitan areas at any time after dark.  Newspapers and news magazines are continually presenting features of policemen, teachers and other influential people who are involved in the sale of hard drugs such as crack, cocaine, and heroin.

        Add to all this the speculative nature of the economic market.  Our nation’s own growing debt, along with the indebtedness of thousands of corporations in this country as well as abroad ,is incurred upon the premises of speculation and risk, the belief that tomorrow’s profits will somehow pay for today’s excesses.  At almost any time, some unexpected occurrence could bring the entire house of finance to its knees, causing a worldwide depression of such proportion that it is nearly impossible to imagine.

        Truly, this is no time to be complacent!

Jesus, The Way

While the outlook for the world is bleak, there is hope and assurance for God’s people, provided they do what is necessary.  Jesus Himself gave the ultimate solution to the problems of mankind which exist in any age or any condition.  The answers are found in His commandments, His words, and His sayings.  He gave the blueprint for men to follow in the building of their lives.  He not only told us how to live, but how to conduct our lives on a day–by–day, person–to–person basis.  Few professing Christians are aware of, or are concerned about, the manner of life which Jesus prescribed for those who would follow Him.

        For one thing, He commands us to have complete, unwavering faith in the Father and the Father’s ability to provide for our needs.  A good time to start practicing this is now (Matt. 6:19–34)!

        If the Father clothes the lilies and the grass of the field, feeds the birds and watches the sparrow, and even numbers the hairs of our heads, how much more is He able to take care of our necessities and provide for us?  He has not promised us luxury nor material fortune and wealth, but to care for us as bountifully as He does His other creatures.  And He has promised us this care if we but seek His kingdom above everything else.

        Friend, waste no time worrying about the predicted rapture of the church; rather, redeem the time by seeking the Lord and His kingdom and adjusting your life to the commands, the words and the sayings of Jesus Christ as found in the Sermon On The Mount and the other portions of the four gospels.

 

 

ABIDING IN CHRIST

Kenneth Fountain

        Abiding in Christ involves much more than the initial experience of being born again.  Abiding has to do with remaining in a specific place, setting up residence, or continuing in a certain thing.  Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines abide as follows: to sojourn, tarry; not to depart, not to leave, to continue to be present; to be held, or kept continually; to last, to endure, to survive, to live; to remain as one is, not to become another or different; to remain faithful to, to obey, to live, to stay.  The apostle John made the following statements about the importance of abiding in Christ:

Jn.  5:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.”

I Jn. 2:6 “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked.”

I Jn. 3:6 “Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not (practices sin): whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.”

II Jn. 9 “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.”

        From the above Scriptures, and the Biblical definition of the word abide, it seems evident that anytime a person sins, he has vacated his abode in Christ.  This seems a logical conclusion because God cannot and will not be found co–habiting with sin.  This is not to say that the Christian who sins is cut off from God, but he does have to confess his sin before God, repent and receive forgiveness anew.  God never overlooks sin, but He is patient and merciful (Psa. 103:8–13).  Abiding in Christ and sinning are opposites: one does not take place in the presence of the other.  The individual must depart (in his heart) from the presence of God to be able to sin.  James explains it this way: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:14,15).  The word abiding has to do with remaining, not vacillating; therefore, when a person is “drawn away,” he leaves his abode in Christ and pursues sin.  A departure from Christ has taken place: he is (even temporarily) NOT ABIDING!  We never find Christ departing from God’s will and call for His life even momentarily, and we see in Him the fulfilling of the truth He presents in Jn. 15:5 in that He brought forth MUCH FRUIT.  If (or when, since it is a possibility) we “walk even as He walked” (I Jn. 2:6) as He has called his disciples to do, the result will be the acquisition of Christ–like character.  The people who do this will also bring forth much fruit – just by abiding!  This is because the very act of abiding is contingent upon the sacrificing of one’s own will, humbling oneself, being obedient to His every command, and remaining in the holy glory of His presence.  There is no uprooting or severing of fellowship with God when one truly and entirely (constantly and consistently) ABIDES in the vine.  There is no disruption of growth and production of fruit – it is ongoing, without any interruption or setback.

Can you imagine a gardener in his greenhouse who attentively provides everything the plants need, when they need it, and in the proper portions, but some plants randomly remove themselves from the greenhouse because they do not want to be pruned today, or receive more water, sunshine, or fertilizer at the present time?  These plants exercising self–will are handicapped in their growth and development.  They have removed themselves from the master’s care at times to pursue their own interests!  If and when they repent of their waywardness, and return from their separation, the master gardener will need to help them recover from the damage done by their absence – progress has been hindered.  The plants may have some shriveled roots or leaves, or even dead or diseased parts that must be removed or healed before any more growth may be attained.

When an activity of any kind is abandoned or simply interrupted for a time, a period of readjustment must take place in order to regain lost ground.  A professional athlete or musician, for example, who is unable to exercise or practice for an entire week, will notice a disparity in his performance ability upon returning to his former routine.  He has lost a measure of keenness due to having not consistently maintaining his schedule.  The same is true with walking with God: any measure of separation hinders the development of spiritual fruit within the life.

There is a saying that, “Seven days without prayer makes one weak.”  Actually, spiritual weakness comes much quicker: Jesus prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11)  We are in a spiritual warfare; consequently, we need strength from God frequently and consistently because we have no strength in ourselves: it comes from Him.  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13).  “Without Me, ye can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5).  We even need God’s help to want do His will (Phil. 2:13)!

After David’s prayer of repentance in Psalms 51, he continued with “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit” (verses 10–12).  Obviously, these blessings had been lost when he sinned, so he asked that God create, renew and restore these to him.

        Repeated sin brings hardness of heart (Heb. 3:13).  The mighty, God–ordained Samson reached a point in his life due to frequent rebellion and stubbornness that we read in Judges 16:20, “he wist not that the Lord was departed from him.”  Ancient Israel reached a point, after years of repeated rebellion, when God said there was no more remedy (II Chron. 36:16; Prov. 29:1)!  Paul warns us in Gal. 5:1 to “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”  He also commands us in Rom. 6:12–18, to not yield to sin, and to not allow sin to dominate our lives.  In II Peter 2, we read how a righteous, just man named Lot vexed (oppressed, distressed, wore down) his soul daily with the moral pollution of his city (verse 7,8).  We also find that those who walk after the flesh are presumptuous and self–willed (10), and are even sporting themselves with their own deceivings (13), and cannot cease from sin (14).  These have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray because they loved the wages of unrighteousness (verse 15).  “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning” (verse 21 and 22).  “But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” These were individuals who had received salvation, but dabbled in sin until their latter end was worse than their beginning (II Pet. 2:20).  The born–again believer has been given everything necessary to overcome sin in his life and to walk in the freedom from that sin of which he had been delivered (Jn. 1:12).  However, to be successful, he must abide in Christ, where he can gather spiritual nourishment and strength through personal prayer, worship, and application of the Word.

The parable of the sower and the four types of ground (Matt. 13:18–23) describes the responses of various individuals to God’s Word in their hearts.  It would be an unjust assumption to think that God assigns these soil types to the individuals.  This is not so!  The person responded according to his power of choice.  The wayside hearer did not even receive the Word (verse 19), the other three did receive the Word, but only one ultimately brought forth fruit.  Why is this?  The “good soil” hearer applied the Word to his heart, adjusted his life to God’s commands, nurtured the seed in his heart, and walked resolutely with God.  The things of this life that would ensnare the heart were replaced with the joy of salvation.

When one is truly satisfied with the one he loves, he shuns anything that would disrupt that satisfaction.  He treasures what he has found in Christ: freedom from the bondages of sin.  This far surpasses anything the world or Satan has to offer, and he gladly rejects everything else to keep the presence and blessings of God (Matt. 13:44–46; Phil. 3:8).  He joyously abides in the vine, reveling in the unsurpassable effervescence of the glorious presence of the love of God.  He thrives.  He grows.  And he matures with greater stability and more fruit.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (I Cor. 2:9).  God has special plans in this life for those who love Him to the degree of total submission.  He will be able to use them as He did those faithful believers in the early church.  There is no limit to the joys and satisfaction available in the relationship with God.  The disciple needs only to sustain his love and appreciation for God by abiding in the vine.

As with any human relationship, respect, appreciation and love must be maintained and nurtured.  Too many allow their love to grow cold and begin to drift with the surging tides of daily life.  When trials come (as they must come to all), he should hang on all the more to the source of his contentment; or he may be drawn away of his own lust and fall into sin – his choice.  The trials will help him grow stronger in his devotion to and appreciation for God, or they will bring forth bitterness and resentment: again by the choice of the individual.  These trials and persecutions are part of the pruning (Jn. 15:2) and the molding into His image (II Cor. 3:18).  We must be overcomers (Rev. 3:21), and shall be IF we abide in the vine.  God takes care of His own!  “For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted” (Heb. 2:18).  He sustains us; He keeps us.  “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps 91:1).

Jesus was in constant communion with the Father.  He (Jesus) stated that the words that He spoke and the works that He did came directly from the throne of God.  Even with this, we find that there were times when He separated Himself from everyone for personal, intimate fellowship with the Father.  If Jesus needed these times of refreshing, how much more must we need this direct, personal contact with God?  Each of us personally needs daily bread, daily fellowship, and daily refreshing.  Our spiritual roots must acquire nourishment from the God of our salvation (Ps. 1:3).

Abiding throughout the duration of one’s life in Christ could be compared to the education process of a child’s developmental years.  God is “bringing many sons to glory” (Heb. 2:10) through a process of spiritual growth and development unto maturity in Him (“the full measure of the stature of Christ,” Eph. 4:13).  He has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5), so we are secured from His side, but the glaring question persists, “Do we never leave or forsake Him?”  We find numerous examples throughout Holy Writ where members of God’s family disobeyed and dishonored God through sin, which separated them from Him.  These persons, at the time of their sin, did not abide in Him!  By acknowledging that God is in control of every challenge that confronts His servants, and that He has promised that He will not put more upon us than we can bear (I Cor. 10:13), we should realize that these individuals failed their respective tests by sinning.  At the very least, progress in their walk with God was hindered.  This is much like a student failing a written test in school: he has damaged his progress, and must learn from his mistakes, apply himself more diligently, and do better next time.  If the student repeatedly fails his tests, he may require special tutoring, or be held back from passing to the next level.  (Remember that, as with academics where every test is designed for the grade level of the student, our tests in life are tailored to our capability in Him.)  God desires to take His people all the way into the promise land, but if they continually resist His guidance, and rebelliously fail His tests designed to promote progress, they will not grow in grace, nor bring forth much fruit.  There are many who began a good schooling, but became wearied with the curriculum and have failed to go on to graduation in Him.

When Jesus was on the cross, and proclaimed, “It is finished!”(Jn. 19:30),He had completed everything necessary for man to successfully walk with God.  Satan had been dealt with, God’s power for the believer had been demonstrated, and the solution for man’s sin had been given.  Also, there is no more faithful, devoted, loving, kind teacher than the Holy Spirit; our textbook (the Holy Bible) explains everything necessary for success, thoroughly and with simplicity; and the entire host of heaven is our cheering section.  The only poor ingredient in this recipe for success is the human will, because God has provided everything else already.  Any who do not progress under these circumstances plainly do not truly want to achieve promotion.  “If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:31, 32)

        “He that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 10:22).  God’s desire is “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 1:7).  We must fight the good fight of faith, and go on unto perfection.  We should allow the trials and temptations of life to strengthen our roots and send them ever deeper into God until we are solidly grounded on The Solid Rock, Christ Jesus.  We will enjoy spiritual blessings beyond measure, our life will become a glorious testimony of the grace of God, He will be glorified and honored, and our eternal reward will be realized.  “He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”(I Jn. 2:17)

 

 

A PLACE FOR GOD IN SCHOOL?

Haven B. Gow

        In his contribution to Creed & Culture (ISI Books), Protestant scholar/clergyman Rev./Dr. Patrick Reardon points out, “Over the past couple of decades many Christians in this country, feeling a great deal of frustration with our public education, have attempted to deal with the problem in various ways…The frustration that Christians feel…is certainly understandable.  Not only does the steady annual decline in SAT scores show that these schools are largely failing in their task of education, but a large body of sociological data indicates that they have become spawning beds of violent and other undesirable behavior.”

        Our philosophy of education must be based on the understanding that each child has been made in the image and likeness of God, and, therefore, possesses intrinsic moral worth and dignity.  Children are composed of souls as well as minds and bodies; accordingly, we must cultivate and nourish the souls of young people by stressing character as well as intellectual development.  Teaching children to be good human beings is just as important as teaching them to be good students.

        Two reports in the local media pointed out school violence and disorder occurring at public high schools in Leland and Greenville, MS.  According to one report, “Greenville–Weston High School went to lockdown and 11 students were arrested following a fight…at the school.”  Ten males and one female student were arrested.  Another report said: “For the second time in less than a week, a Leland High School student has been caught with a gun on campus.  (An official) of the Leland Police Department…said a freshman brought a gun to school…(The police official) said the student was driven to school by a parent.  As he was getting out of the vehicle, in front of the school, the gun, apparently tucked in his waistband, fell out.”  It was later discovered that the gun reportedly had been stolen during a car burglary in Greenville.

        According to Eddie Johnson, former police chief in Leland, “The worst thing the government could do was take God, prayer and the Bible out of this nation’s schools.  Ever since that happened, our schools and country have gone downhill.  Just look at all the social/moral problems this country is facing today: Abortion, illegitimate babies, drugs, crime, juvenile delinquency.  When a nation refuses to honor God, then the country inevitably will have to deal with such problems.”

        In our schools today, crime, violence, drugs and teen pregnancies have replaced God, the Bible, prayer and morality.

        Robert Stuart, past president of the Chicago Crime Commission, maintains that “parents should work much harder to make children be more civil and become better in every way.  And school authorities should do the same.”  James Likoudis, president emeritus, observes that, “Students who defy school policy prohibiting bullying should suffer appropriate discipline, especially from parents, who have the first responsibility for corrective action.  If bullying persists and results in physical harm, schools can contact appropriate legal authorities, who might assign community service in hospitals, etc., to change the behavior of offenders.”

        “It is the duty of the law to promote opportunities for virtue.”  In other words, the law only can do so much; our families, churches, schools, social organizations and business community must fulfill their social and moral obligation to educate people to become virtuous human beings, good citizens and neighbors and productive members of society.

        In this regard, character education in the schools has proven to be enormously successful throughout the United States.  For example, after San Marcos (Calif.) High School implemented a character education program, the frequency of drug incidents on campus declined from 12 per year to one; the drop–out rate decreased from 10 percent to two percent; pregnancies among students dropped from 47 to 19; and the number of straight–A students doubled.

        Clearly, we must teach students to be good human beings, not just good students; children have souls as well as minds and bodies.

 

 

PASSOVER 2012

        The Feast of Passover occurs on Thursday, April 5th, 2012, at sundown this year.  This date is computed from the first new moon after the Spring Equinox, plus 14 days.

        But to be more accurate, we must admit that Jesus did not come forth from the tomb on Sunday morning as is generally supposed.  This tradition has been passed along from generation to generation for so many centuries that it has been accepted as true, in spite of Jesus’ statement that He would be entombed for three days and three nights (Matt. 12:40).

        According to Matthew’s testimony, Jesus arose from the tomb Saturday afternoon, sometime between 3:00 P.M. and sundown!  The American Standard Version, (1881, copyright 1901) presents Matthew 28:1,2 this way: “now late on the Sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, to see the sepulcher.  And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it.”  Then the angel told the women that Jesus had already risen!  And notice the time – late on the Sabbath day!

        Don’t let the word “dawn” confuse you.  It does not mean the break of daylight, but rather the beginning of the next day!  And remember, in those days, the Sabbath ended at sundown, and the first day began at sundown.  This is very plain and easy to understand.  Late on Sabbath (Saturday) most certainly means the sun was not yet set, and Jesus was already gone; the tomb was empty.  It is also very plain that in order for Jesus’ prophecies to be fulfilled, He must have risen “late on the Sabbath day.”  For a complete dissertation of this subject, ask us for our free tract entitled “3 Days and 3 Nights.”

        We are instructed to commemorate His death, which we do by partaking of the Lord’s supper (I Cor. 11:26).  When we celebrate His death, this includes His resurrection as well, for it was through death that His resurrection was made possible (Heb. 2:14).  We, therefore, reject that which God has not ordained nor ordered!

 

 

GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN

Randall Walton

        It all began in the eons of eternity when God determined to create a mortal being in His own image and likeness.  In His infinite wisdom and foresight, He knew that His creation, man, would make a terribly wrong choice, a choice for which he would pay an extremely high price, such choice being made at the suggestion of one of God’s archenemies, satan.

        However, since man’s failure was a bad reflection upon God’s omnipotence and a credit to the depredations of the devil, God proclaimed that His plan would not fail, that mankind would even yet attain unto His own likeness, and image and that satan would be eternally punished through eventual banishment.

        God’s means of circumventing the diabolical scheme of satan was to provide a ransom or a payment which would fully satisfy the demands of divine justice for such a serious crime as was committed by man, that awful deliberate, rebellious act of disobedience which threatened the glorious plan of God and placed in eternal jeopardy every descendant of that first man, Adam.

        God Himself had warned Adam that if he disobeyed His instructions, he would surely die.  To this edict, God had pledged Himself, and for the sake of the veracity of His own word, He was compelled to carry it through, otherwise no being or entity could ever fully depend upon God’s word.

        The salvaging of God’s plan and the defense of His word demanded that the price of death be paid; however, it was possible that if a substitute could be found who would be willing to die, and provided that substitute were as sinless as God is sinless, then the demands of justice would be fully satisfied, and God’s word would be vindicated before every witness, in heaven, on earth, and in hell; thus it would be demonstrated that God meant what He said and He said what He meant, and it would also show God’s hatred of sin and rebellion.

        The Substitute which God chose was Himself!  No, not the Almighty Father, but His perfect Son, the One of whom it is written, “all things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3)

        In order for His Son to fulfill the role of Substitute, it would be necessary for Him to become flesh and blood so He could die in the same manner as all mortals do.  But in order for Him to retain His divine state, He must have a supernatural conception and birth.  He must, therefore, make His entrance upon the world scene just as all of mankind; yet He must have no earthly father.  In reality He would be the “seed of the woman,” a concept that to some would appear to be “half–man, half–God.”  But that is not so.

        To fulfill the demands of divine justice, He must live as all other men live; He must be subjected to the same limitations as all mankind; He must undergo the same temptations as all  others; yet He must remain peerlessly clean, untainted and upright, else He would forfeit His divine mission as The Substitute.  And by so living and dying, He would pay the “fine,” not only for Adam and his wife, Eve, but for all their offspring (the sins of the whole world! I John 2:2).

        Justice also demanded that in order for mankind to appropriate the terms of the provided ransom, there must be a measurable response from the heart of the rebellious.  Nothing the sinful mortal could ever do would be sufficient recompense or “payment” for the benevolence of The Substitute; however, mankind would never be forced nor coerced into accepting pardon and eternal amnesty for his foolish rebellion and disobedience, against his own will.

The Seed of the Woman

        Genesis 3:15 records God’s assessment of the “fall” of Adam and Eve, and the part that satan played in it.  God said to the serpent, “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.”

        The divine Mission of the “seed of the woman” is herein declared.  In the “bruising” of the serpent’s head, there would be the undoing of the influence of the serpent; he would be dealt a crushing blow to his head: his powers of speech and persuasion would no longer carry the potency of his former activity.  Notice he would not be “killed” nor destroyed: not yet.  But he would be rendered powerless or impotent because of his bruised head.  But in the altercation between the serpent and the woman’s seed, the heel of the seed of the woman would be bruised.  Thus His walk would be affected, His sphere of activity would be greatly altered, but only temporarily!

When Jesus came, He was well aware of His divine mission as The Substitute who would spoil the serpent’s desires and design.  He fully understood that He lived only to die an inglorious, inhumane, cruel, torturous death, impaled shamefully upon a rough hewn tree as a spectacle of disgrace, ignominy and humiliation, alone, deserted, forsaken by the very creatures for whose benefit He would be suffering.  Such bounds of love were unknown to man; never in the course of earth’s history had anyone given himself as a substitute for ungodly, depraved and sinful people (Romans 5:7,8).

The Divine Mission

        During His years of ministering to the crowds in healings, resurrections, and other miracles, He never lost sight of His predestined journey and rendezvous with death.  At one tender moment in His humanity He uttered the words, “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say?  Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour” (John 12:27).  “This hour”; That hour was drawing very close; an hour which would shake kingdoms, pull down strongholds, cause reverberations in the sky and the heavens; an hour in which the prince of the power of the air would relinquish his stranglehold upon the throats of mankind.  He, Jesus, would be the principal player in the amazing drama which was about to be displayed through the portals of heaven and hell; but His was not a part to be desired.

        Again and again, He had warned His disciples that He would be seized by ungodly men, would be killed unmercifully, and would also rise again.  Matthew tells us that “From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised again the third day” (Matt. 16:21).  At this announcement, Peter became quite incensed against the Lord and rebuked Him, but Jesus reproved him for his impetuosity.

        He also informed the Pharisees, when they demanded a “sign” from Him, that the only sign they would receive would be the sign of Jonah: “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40)

        Later, as He and His disciples were in Galilee, He cautioned them again of His betrayal, arrest, and death (Matt. 17:22,23).

        Still later, as He and the disciples traveled to Jerusalem, He told them most  plainly that He would be betrayed, taken, tried and condemned to death at Jerusalem (Matt. 20:17–19).

        Possibly because of the euphoria they felt as a result of their witnessing the magnitude of miracles Jesus did, His words never penetrated their consciousness.  They could not accept as fact that Jesus would ever be taken as a captive and be put to death.  Such an idea did not fit their perception of the Messiah.  He had come to reign, not die!

The Final Week

        The generally held view of the work and mission of the Messiah was in direct contradistinction from Jesus’ purpose and plan.  Jewry looked for a political, if not military, hero who would raise a conquering army to defeat the Gentile rulers and free them from the tyranny and embarrassment of serfdom.  The miracles Jesus performed provoked them to jealousy and envy, and they accused Him of transgressing the law because He “worked” cures on the Sabbath day! (as if He were practicing medicine)

        His refusal to confront the political establishment bothered them to no end.  He even forbade His disciples to carry weapons, a sure sign that He did not favor the forcible overthrow of the existing government.  Even though His message had the ring of revolution, it was not the kind of revolt they expected and desired.

        He never retreated from His declaration that the kingdom He represented was a heavenly one: “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: (or ocular view), neither shall they say, Lo, here! or lo, there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20,21).

        Their materialistic view of things spiritual closely paralleled that of modern dispensationalism!  They looked for the restoration of the sinful kingdom which God had abolished from the earth.  Even after His resurrection, His disciples questioned Him about this (Acts 1:6).

        But His was a kingdom of glory, majesty, and love.  The word David means “LOVE,” and the throne of David would be His seat of power.  Luke said of Him that “he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil” (Acts 10:38).  Whatever He did was motivated by love, not a romantic or sentimental attachment, but the love which produces service and causes a person who is so possessed of it to offer himself as a sacrifice or offering.

        That He truly loved the multitudes who gathered to be healed and to hear His words of life is evident by His reaction to their problems.  He saw 5,000 men, besides the women and children, who were hungry and tired.  He could have wished them well and sent them on their way, but in compassion His heart reached out to them, and He fed them all.  He restored the dead to life and gave sight to the blind.  Selflessness was the mark of His ministry.  He Himself stated that, He “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

        This was manifested most clearly in His service to the family of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.  He evidently was a frequent guest at their home, for there is a certain intimacy which is revealed in the writings of John concerning them: “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus” (John 11:5).  This Lazarus was the one who died and was brought back to life by Jesus after having been entombed for four days.  Jesus was also moved to tears as He stood among the mourners before Lazarus was raised.  The shortest verse in the Bible says, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).

        Six days before He was crucified, Jesus again visited the home of these whom He loved.  It was here in Bethany, a small village near Jerusalem, that Mary anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair.  Some foolish men have tried to cast this beautiful act into the realm of sensuality as if Mary and Jesus were “in love” with each other, but He said it was done in honor of His burial which, of course, was but a few days away.  It was an act of love, to be sure, but not as most people count love.

        The following day He mounted a young donkey and rode into the great city among throngs of people who had come to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover.  His heart went out to them because He understood the fierce judgment which would be poured out upon them shortly.  Luke says flatly, “when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it” (Luke 19:41).  This was their time of visitation, He declared, but they did not know it!

        Love also drove Him into the temple once again to chase out the merchants and money changers.  It was love for the Almighty and His standards of righteousness which impelled Him to go.

The End Draws Near

        Each event brought Him nearer to that crucial moment when He would prove His love for the Father.  Love is tested in the difficult times, not when everything is ideal and pleasant.  Love is proven when adversity and disaster strikes.  It is demonstrated in the fires of great affliction, when everything and everyone seems to be in opposition to one.

        He was concerned for His disciples, those men whom He had chosen to accompany Him on His journeys; His foresight showed Him their consternation, their doubts, fears and questions.  With a heart of compassion He warned Peter of his impending denial: “behold satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not” (Luke 22:31–32).

        He also knew that in addition to being betrayed by Judas, all of His disciples would be offended that night because of Him (Matt 26:31); yet, in spite of that knowledge, He loved the disciples to the very end (John 13:1).  Such love is too much for us poor mortals.  We tend to love if and when we are loved; but if the object of our love is unfaithful in any way, our love stops at that point.  Perhaps this spells the difference between divine love and physical attraction.  But He took a moment during the course of the Last Supper to counsel His disciples thus: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34,35).

        Herein, then, is the greatest identifying mark for the true followers of Jesus: to love each other in the same manner and degree that He loved them!  If this tenet is so, it is no wonder that there are few who are really disciples of Christ.  Many profess Him, but few follow.

        A short while later that same evening, He dwelt again on the topic of love for one another, and He capped the subject with this statement: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:13,14).

The Last Night

        The years previous to this night were but preparatory for this final confrontation.  Tonight, He would place His life on the line; He would be center stage in the greatest performance the universe had ever witnessed.  Here began a struggle; a battle which raged deep within His soul: it was a test of the genuineness of His love, love both for His Heavenly Father and for humankind for whom He was about to shed His own blood.  The pressure of this momentous trial was so terrifying and demanding that He “sweat as it were, great drops of blood.”  No mortal has ever tasted the bitterness of that awful “cup” which He willingly drank from.

        Every demon of hell and satan himself must have watched in miserable glee as He cried out, “Father, if it’s possible, let this cup pass from me;” and then they shrank in horror as He continued: “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done”!  To love or not to love became the issue.

        But while His three watchmen slept away, His religious enemies and Judas came to make Him captive.  The commotion of so many captors with their swords and armor awakened Peter, James and John.  In the ensuing ruckus, one of the high priest’s servants lost an ear to Peter’s sword, but Jesus calmly picked the ear up, put it in its proper place, and healed the man – another act of love.  Throughout that night, the grueling questioning, false accusations and physical abuse continued unceasingly.  He had already made the final commitment to His father; now He must fulfill His mission as The Substitute for mankind with “Greater love hath no man than this.”

        Love was the sustaining force that carried Him through that dark night.  He was totally resigned to go through with it, and in His resignation He had peace: He allowed them to beat Him unmercifully; He permitted the cruel crown of thorns to be pushed down on His head; He remained silent as His interrogators mocked and reviled Him; He did not flinch as they “smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him,” (Mark 15:19,20) in mockery.

The Last Day

        No other explanation can be given for His enduring such inhuman humiliation, than love.  Even as He attempted to lug the heavy cross through the cobblestoned streets of Jerusalem, He was thinking of others: those for whom He was being punished, those who had so brutally treated Him, those who would yet undergo terrible affliction just a few years from then.  A group of women stood on the street weeping for Him.  Possibly He had healed them or their children of some dreadful disease.  They may have been among those who ate of the “five loaves and two fishes” after He had multiplied them.  But He beheld them in their sorrow for Himself, and called out, “weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children” (Luke 23:27–31).  What kind of man was He, this Jesus, who thought only of others and not Himself?

        For six unbelievably long hours He hung between the earth and sky stretched from spike to spike as the weight of His body sent excruciating waves of pain and fever throughout His entire system.  Patiently He waited for death to overcome Him; patiently He endured the agonizing torture because love demanded it.  His few words as He faced death were uttered in selfless abandon: the soldiers were gambling over His few clothes, and as He looked upon the scene He beseeched the Father to forgive them!

        A criminal who was also crucified that day and was suffering nearby, recognized Jesus and addressed Him as Lord.  Jesus promised him that “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

        Just before He closed His eyes the last time, He saw His mother, Mary, standing near John.  Once more, compassion overwhelmed Him as He motioned with His head to Mary and John and said: “Woman, behold thy son,” and to John He directed, “Behold thy Mother.”

        In Peter’s first epistle, He said that Jesus’ death was “the just for the unjust” (3:18), a statement which agrees with the testimony of the thief on the cross who answered his companion thus: “we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss” (Lk. 23:41).  The Just for the unjust, the perfect Substitute, the only one worthy to be sacrificed for all of mankind!

        But bearing the sins of the whole world was only a part of the glorious accomplishment which He completed that day.  His blood became the atoning power for the salvation of humanity.  His blood was the proof that the substitutionary sacrifice through death was finished.  It is by His blood that we have been redeemed, our sins forgiven and washed away; it is by His blood that the church has been purchased, bought and paid for in full (Eph. 1:4; Rev. 1:5; Col. 1:14; Acts 20:28).  It is by the blood which gushed from the lacerations of the whip applied to His back that we are healed (Isa. 53:5; I Pet. 2:24).

        And with His death He bruised the serpent’s head (Heb. 2:14,15; John 12:31; John 16:11; I Jno. 3:8).  Satan no longer has access to the throne of grace as he did in the days of the man, Job; but we do!  We are encouraged to “come boldly before the throne of grace that we might receive help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).

        The Scriptures not only say that “God loved,” they also state that “God IS love” (I John 4:8).  He is the very embodiment and personification of love.  Whatever He does or has done has been through the motivation and drive of Love, love for His creation, love for righteousness, truth and purity, love for mankind.  And because Jesus went to the Cross, the entire universe, angels, men, demons and satan himself, knows that He loves, that He is love, and that His love will never fail nor end.

        “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

 

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

The following letter was written on February 9, 2012 and is printed just as it was received.

Dear Friends,

I am puzzled by this statement in the January issue of your publication on page 14:  …Jesus issued over seventy direct commands which He said are to be observed by everyone who would be His follower.  Where are these seventy commands listed in the Holy Bible?  I have been through the Bible many times by reading and by listening to my Bible tapes and have not found any list of Commands of Jesus Christ.

          I have attended churches for over 50 years and went to Bible College for two school years in Canada.  When I was a boy at home we had family devotions in our house seven days a week, 365 days a year, regardless of who was visiting us at the time.

        I know the Ten Commandments and the two commandments about loving God and about loving our neighbor as ourself.  I also know the command to love our enemies and pray for them.  I also know: Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  We never studied such a list in our church, in our family devotions, or in Bible College.  Where in the Holy Bible is that list of The Commandments of Jesus Christ?

        Are you getting this list out of the Book of Mormon?  I tried to read that book but soon got bored and lost interest.  My personal library numbers thousands of books, magazines, tracts, cassette tapes, videos, and other items but I've never come across this list of which you speak.  I've been active in nearly 40 ministries down through the years since I met Jesus Christ in January of 1966 but never encountered that list.  Is there a published book with this list as its subject matter?

                                                Sincerely,

                                                Jerry Myah

P.S. Name changed to protect my privacy.

 

OUR ANSWER

February 14, 2012

Dear Jerry Myah,

        We appreciate all those who receive and read the Testimony of Truth magazine which we send out each month and also welcome every letter and every question in regard to statements made by People of the Living God in the magazine.  We endeavor to declare truth as we understand scripture but certainly do not claim to have all truth.  So the questions asked are always an opportunity to examine more closely those teachings we present.

        In the specific articles, entitled, "The commands of Jesus" in the May and June 1999 issues of "Testimony of Truth", are contained 166 commands which Jesus gave to His disciples.  This compilation of commands given by the Lord to the disciples has been taken from a book entitled "Combined Gospels," which contain all four gospels merged together in one book.  The "Combined Gospels" was a project which People of the Living God undertook several years ago in which all four gospels were combined and every word of each gospel was preserved while repetition was kept to a minimum.  The intent was to combine the gospels to preserve the original content and also to proceed through the gospels presenting a chronology of events as possibly they took place.  That is not to say everything is perfect or that there are not some mistakes, but it gives a chronology that makes the life of Christ more easily understood.  This book has been very popular among many of our readers, and we also use it in the Bible class of our Christian school here in Tennessee.

        The list of commands which Jesus gave were obtained by reading this book through in a Bible class at People of the Living God church.  In that class, several groups were formed, and each group was given specific pages to read each week and to write down the commands they saw in that portion of scripture.  In the class, those commands were considered by the whole class and discussed and determination was made as to whether the specific command was truly a command to be observed by believers today or an order for those at that immediate time (An illustration of a command given that was specifically for the disciples at that time: Matt 21:2– “ Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.  And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.”).  These instructions do not apply to anyone today and yet were an order given by Jesus.  The list of commands was the final results of that class, and the list created contains 166 commands.  However, there are some commands in that list that are repeats but stated in different words so were contained in the list.  Therefore, there would be fewer than 166.

        The teaching of the law, presented in these 166 commands alone, is to fall far short of truth in its purest sense.  For instance: Jesus, while He observed the Sabbath, never specifically stated that the Sabbath was to be observed.  The closest He came to issuing a command regarding the Sabbath is found in Matt 24:20, “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day”: This flight was referring to A.D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed. If the Sabbath was no longer in order, then the instruction given was unnecessary.  But, while the prophesy was given in reference to the Titus' invasion of Jerusalem, it also has an application to the latter days just preceding His second coming showing that the Sabbath is still to be observed by believers.  This is what we call an implied command and not a direct command.  It is inferred by the text.  To be more correct in our understanding of the law or commands of Jesus, we must realize that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to "guide you into all truth" and to "teach you all things."  The Holy Spirit is given to teach us God's ways.  The commands, whether the 10 Commandments given on Mount Sinai or spoken by Jesus while He was here on earth, are just a portion of all of God's law, and, while obviously they are to be observed, they are a sample of the whole.  The totality of the law is written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and to approach the law from the perspective of a list that supposedly contains all law is to be legalistic.  Consider as an example: Jesus commanded that if a man compels you to go with him a mile, you are to go two.  But what do we do if a man asks you to go three miles?  Do you go six?  Or is the command no longer in effect?  Of course the answer is obvious.  Or consider the command: If a man smites you on the one cheek, turn to him the other also.  What if he smites you on the second cheek?  Are you then relieved of the command and can respond as you please?  Of if he smites you in the stomach: having no other stomach, are you no longer under obligation to this command?  It is clearly understood that the command goes far beyond its stated situation and refers to any malicious act of abuse inflicted upon you.  The believer, then, is to respond in love and forgiveness and not in retaliation.  Isaiah prophesied of the time when Jesus would come and magnify the law and make it honorable (Isa. 42:21). The whole purpose of the law is to conform the believer to the likeness of God's Son, Jesus Christ.  To approach the law from any other perspective is to become legalistic.

        The main point in presenting the commands of Jesus as People of the Living God does, is because so many pastors and Bible teachers disregard the necessity of the law of God.  So many "Christians" today are convinced that because they went to an altar and repeated a simple prayer in response to an evangelical message, they are insured a place in heaven while living their lives as they please, never considering that Jesus came to save His people from their sins, not in their sins.  The law is paramount in delivering God's people from their sins, for it is the means by which one finds the "strait and narrow" way that leads to life.  The broad way which leads to destruction is either void of law or at best, not really essential for gaining heaven.  Many are taught that you will lose some of your rewards but you will not lose heaven.  How many will face eternity because they have seen no importance in God's commands?  How many, when they stand before God will say, "We have eaten and drunk in thy presence and thou hast taught in our streets"but will hear Him say, "I tell you, I know you not, depart from me all ye workers of iniquity" (Lk. 13:26–27)?  The word iniquity used here in Luke is lawlessness.  It refers to those who disregard God's law and live without conforming to that Christ–likeness which God desires and requires.  Paul directs us to "put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh” (Rom.  3:14).

In conclusion: Scripture teaches clearly there must be an embracing of both God's law and God's grace.  To cling to one while excluding the other will most certainly lead to error.  Most Christians seem to miss this truth and are dangerously on the broad road which leads to destruction.  May God give us hearts that are tender and willing to submit to both God's law and God's grace.

 

 

EVOLUTION?

Randall Walton

        The state of Kansas recently shocked a host of educators, scientists, and public officials when its state Board of Education declared that evolution was no longer to be taught as fact in its public schools.  Many people thought that evolution as a subject was being banned.  But that was not the case.

        The only ban was on teaching that evolution was a proven fact, which has been the claim in the public school systems for several decades.  Prior to that time, it was always known as “The Theory of Evolution.”

        Of course, a few of us “old fogies” refused to bow to the dictates of the many and have maintained our belief that evolution is not only fictional, it is a teaching which is unproved and unprovable!

        True science is “truth;” and its theories are only declared to be factual, or true, when they have been tested and proved beyond any shadow or question of doubt.  Then, and only then, is it permissible for a mere idea to be termed as a fact.

        Even the greatest scientists are forced to admit that there is no possible way to conduct a controlled experiment in order to “test” this theory.  Most of their claims of authenticity rely upon fossils, or the remains of “prehistoric” animals of which there are numerous specimens.  But the fossils prove nothing insofar as evolution is concerned.  They merely indicate that other species of animals have existed in the past that no longer live, but there is no proof that any of them evolved into some other form of animal after several million or billions of years.

The Missing Link(s)

        Diggers are still diligently excavating vast areas of soil in their attempt to find the link in the chain of evolution from monkey to man.  Any schoolchild could inform them that one link is totally insufficient to connect the lowly ape to a human being.  Yes, we have seen the artist’s conceptions of all of the supposed upward steps from monkey to man, but common sense tells us that if mankind’s ancestors were monkeys who gradually, over millions of years, developed into modern man, then there had to have been billions, if not trillions, of these improved and improving species in existence over those millennia.  If that were the case then the archaeologists should be standing shoulder deep in “missing links.”  WHERE ARE THEY?

        But this is not the case.  After sifting through tons and tons of soil, they have found a tooth, or part of a jawbone, or a piece of unidentified bone, about which they exult and theorize as to its origin, claiming that it is possibly millions of years old.

        It seems to us that all this digging and sifting is being carried out in an effort to prove that the Bible is wrong and that Darwin was right.  But this contest really “proves” nothing, because it takes FAITH to believe that the Bible is correct, but it takes even greater faith to believe that mankind evolved from an amoeba or some form of lower animal, all of which means that evolution is a kind of religious exercise!

        It may come as a surprise to some to read that the Roman Catholic parochial schools teach that evolution was God’s means of “creating mankind.”  The account in Genesis 1–3 is merely legend, they say.  It really didn’t happen that way!

How Old Is The Earth?

        We do not dispute the evolutionists’ claim that the earth may be millions of years old.  Genesis 1:1–2 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”

        It is very possible that a lengthy period of time existed from “the beginning” in verse 1, to verse 3 which states: “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”  It could have lasted a million or more years; no one truly knows.  But these verses do suggest the possibility of a great length of time when the “earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”

        Could that have been the age of the dinosaurs and other forms of life of which fossils have been found?  Who knows?

        But one thing we do know for sure (because of faith in God’s word) is that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27).

Fearfully And Wonderfully Made

        David wrote that, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).  Is it reasonable to believe that any form of animal or plant life could possibly acclimate itself in order to adapt to a particular environment so as to ensure its own longevity and existence?  Consider the complexities of the human body with its several systems of physical being: nervous system, digestive system, reproductive system, muscular system, and skeletal system.

        According to Darwin’s theory our ancestors, a million or so generations ago, decided to quit swinging from tree limbs by their tails, so they just stopped growing tails. (Pretty smart!)  They also decided they didn’t need four thumbs, so away went the lower digits: they became toes instead.  That’s quite an improvement, because it would be tough making a shoe for a foot with a protruding thumb.

        The same kind of stupid reasoning(?) can be carried over to all the other species of life, as well.  The “survival of the fittest” was a vain attempt to explain how only a few of each type of animal needed to survive in order to promote the long, drawn–out exercise of evolutionary existence.  And we are expected to accept this baloney as fact.  Teach it for what it is: fantasy, speculative tomfoolery, idiocy, nonsense!

        We are glad that someone in Kansas had courage enough to speak out against this unscientific theory that has been instrumental in destroying the faith of thousands of young people who have become devotees of this anti–God teaching.  “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4).

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE

        Due to the escalating costs of publishing and mailing the Testimony of Truth, in order to be responsible stewards of the Lord’s funds, we will begin culling names of former subscribers who do not appear to want to continue receiving a printed copy of the magazine.  IF YOU WISH TO REMAIN ON THE MAILING LIST, PLEASE NOTIFY US IN ANY OF THE FOLLOWING THREE WAYS: call us at (931) 692-3236; send us a note at the following address: People of the Living God, 366 Cove Creek Road, McMinnville, TN  37110; or send an e-mail reply to: potlg@blomand.net.  You may also contact us through our web site: www.peopleofthelivinggod.org.  The Testimony of Truth will continue to be published on our web site.

        This deletion process will begin with the July issue.  Until then, the magazine will be sent to all of the current subscribers.  Remember, IF YOU WISH TO REMAIN ON THE MAILING LIST, WE MUST HEAR FROM YOU BEFORE THE JULY MAILING.