Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Salvation for Women

Are Women Saved Through Childbirth?

Q. My question has to do with 1 Timothy 2:8-15 and in particular verse 15. As I was reading this morning, I read my wife this passage and she looked a me in amazement and with a resounding “what do you mean saved through childbearing?”. Now I know we are all saved by first believing in Jesus by grace through faith and nothing else. So does this verse have another meaning to being saved?

Could childbearing give inference to “spiritual children”(plural)? Or does it mean that women from Eve to now will be saved by the “childbearing” of Jesus(singular)? The verse says “she will be saved” and then “if they continue”, which goes from singular to plural. This verse also seems a bit “conditional” in that women must “work” at something in order to be saved. I don’t think that’s what its saying, but it just “looks” that way. And as always, I look forward to your answers!

A. First of all, on its face 1 Tim. 2:15 appears to be a contradiction of everything we know the Bible says about salvation. Therefore, since the Bible can’t contradict itself, our initial understanding has to be incorrect.

It appears the problem was created when English translations began omitting the article “the” before childbearing. Today most English translations don’t have it. But this omission changes the meaning of the passage from “women, like men, will be saved through the birth of the Child if they come to Him in faith,” as I believe Paul originally intended it, to “women will be saved in a different manner than men by having children and behaving correctly”. Such a change puts this one verse in opposition to every other verse in the Bible that deals with salvation, and can not be correct.

I believe Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) has the correct translation of 1 Tim. 2:15.

“and she shall be saved through the child-bearing, if they remain in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety”.

Further more, Paul’s own statement in Gal 3:26-29 indicates that where salvation is concerned there’s no difference between men and women. As for the switch from singular to plural, since Eve was the woman in view in the previous verses, it implies that from the first woman to the last, salvation is by faith in the Child who was born.

Remaining in faith means to rely on their faith alone, with love, sanctification, and sobriety being the proper expressions of gratitude for their salvation, as it is with men.

Names of God

Question: "What are the different names of God and what do they mean?"

Answer: Each of the many names of God describes a different aspect of His many-faceted character. Here are some of the better known names of God in the Bible:

EL, ELOAH: God "mighty, strong, prominent" (Genesis 7:1; Isaiah 9:6) – Etymologically, El appears to mean power, as in “I have the power to harm you” (Genesis 31:29). El is associated with other qualities, such as integrity (Numbers 23:19), jealousy (Deuteronomy 5:9), and compassion (Nehemiah 9:31), but the root idea of might remains.

ELOHIM: God “Creator, Mighty and Strong” (Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 31:33) – The plural form of Eloah, which is accommodating of the doctrine of the Trinity. From the Bible’s first sentence, the superlative nature of God’s power is evident as God (Elohim) speaks the world into existence (Genesis 1:1).

EL SHADDAI: “God Almighty,” “The Mighty One of Jacob” (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 132:2,5) – Speaks to God’s ultimate power over all.

ADONAI: “Lord” (Genesis 15:2; Judges 6:15) – Used in place of YHWH, which was thought by the Jews to be too sacred to be uttered by sinful men. In the Old Testament, YHWH is more often used in God’s dealings with His people, while Adonai is used more when He deals with the Gentiles.

YHWH / YAHWEH / JEHOVAH: “LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4; Daniel 9:14) – Strictly speaking, the only proper name for God. Translated in English Bibles “LORD” (all capitals) to distinguish it from Adonai “Lord.” The revelation of the name is first given to Moses “I Am who I Am” (Exodus 3:14). This name specifies an immediacy, a presence. Yahweh is present, accessible, near to those who call on Him for deliverance (Psalm 107:13), forgiveness (Psalm 25:11) and guidance (Psalm 31:3).

YAHWEH-JIREH: "The Lord will Provide" (Genesis 22:14) – The name memorialized by Abraham when God provided the ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac.

YAHWEH-RAPHA: "The Lord Who Heals" (Exodus 15:26) – “I am Jehovah who heals you” both in body and soul. In body, by preserving from diseases, and by curing them when afflicted with them and in soul, by pardoning their iniquities.

YAHWEH-NISSI: "The Lord Our Banner" (Exodus 17:15), where banner is understood to be a rallying place. This name commemorates the desert victory over the Amalekites in Exodus 17.

YAHWEH-M'KADDESH: "The Lord Who Sanctifies, Makes Holy" (Leviticus 20:8; Ezekiel 37:28) – God makes it clear that He alone, not the law, could cleanse His people and make them holy.

YAHWEH-SHALOM: "The Lord Our Peace" (Judges 6:24) – The name given by Gideon to the altar he built after the Angel of the Lord assured him he would not die as he thought he would after seeing Him.

YAHWEH-ELOHIM: "LORD God" (Genesis 2:4; Psalm 59:5) – Combination of God’s unique name YHWH and the generic “Lord,” signifying that He is the Lord of Lords.

YAHWEH-TSIDKENU: "The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16) – As with YHWH-M’Kaddesh, it is God alone who provides righteousness to man, ultimately in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, who became sin for us “that we might become the Righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

YAHWEH-ROHI: "The Lord Our Shepherd" (Psalm 23:1) – After David pondered his relationship as a shepherd to his sheep, he realized that was exactly the relationship God had with him, and so he declares “Yahweh-Rohi is my Shepherd. I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).

YAHWEH-SHAMMAH: "The Lord is There” (Ezekiel 48:35) – The name ascribed to Jerusalem and the Temple there, indicating that the once departed glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 8—11) had returned (Ezekiel 44:1-4).

YAHWEH-SABAOTH: "The Lord of Hosts" (Isaiah 1:24; Psalm 46:7) – “Hosts” means hordes, both of angels and of men. He is Lord of the host of heaven, and of the inhabitants of the earth, of Jews and Gentiles, of rich and poor, master and slave. The name is expressive of the majesty, power, and authority of God and shows that he is able to accomplish what he determines to do.

EL ELYON: “Most High" (Deuteronomy 26:19) – Derived from the Hebrew root for “go up” or “ascend,” so the implication is of that which is the very highest. El Elyon denotes exaltation and speaks of absolute right to lordship.

EL ROI: "God of Seeing" (Genesis 16:13) – The name ascribed to God by Hagar, alone and desperate in the wilderness after being driven out by Sarah (Genesis 16:1-14), when she met the Angel of the Lord and realized she had seen God Himself in a theophany. She realized that El Roi saw her in her distress and testified that He is a God who lives and sees all.

EL-OLAM: "Everlasting God" (Psalm 90:1-3) – God’s nature is without beginning or end, free from all constraints of time and contains within Himself the very cause of time itself. “From everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”

EL-GIBHOR: “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6) – The name describing the Messiah, Christ Jesus, in this prophetic portion of Isaiah. As a powerful and mighty warrior, the Messiah, the Mighty God, will accomplish the destruction of God’s enemies and rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:15).

Recommended Resource: Knowing God by J.I. Packer.

God's Command to Noah

Was Noah Given Contradictory Instructions?

Q. I was flying back from Chicago a few days ago, and I had the pleasure of sitting next to a geologist/palentologist. I was curious about all the articles he was reading and we got into a very civilized conversation, and I asked some very pointed questions regarding his scientific methods. It turned out that he was very much a worshiper of science and an atheist. I kept the conversation light, curious, and respectful he did the same. Every time I mentioned the Word of God, or what God has done, and will do, he spouted that God contradicts Himself through out a document written by man with no scientific proof.

His one focused contradiction was in Gensis 6:19-21, and 7:2-3. My response to this was that God was giving specific requirements for certain animals clean/unclean. And yet he still says its contradictory.

So my question to you, what is God actually telling Noah to do in regards to the animals to be stored in the Ark?

A. In Genesis 6:19-21 God told Noah that 2 of every kind of animal would come to him to be saved from the coming flood. In Genesis 7:2-3 He further instructed Noah to take 7 of each kind of clean animal as well as 2 of the unclean ones. Your unbelieving friend sees a contradiction because he wants a reason to doubt. You and I see no contradiction because we understand that God was simply clarifying His instructions so that enough sacrificial animals would be included. Therefore it’s not the statements themselves, but our perception of them that’s different.

As is the case with unbelievers, your friend missed the real question that the comparison between the two passages is meant to raise. And that is, how did Noah know the difference between “clean” and “unclean” animals? The Levitical system was still over 1000 years in the future. The answer is that the idea of innocent blood being shed for the remission of sin had to have been introduced immediately after the fall to protect fallen man from dying in his sins. It was only formalized at Mt. Sinai.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Where is 'Rapture' in the Bible?

No Mention Of The Rapture?

Q. I just want to thank you and thank the Lord for blessing you with all the devotion you put into studying and teaching his word.

I have listened to all your messages and read your articles on the rapture. The Holy Spirit has lead you to doing a great job of studying the scriptures and coming up with your reasoning on the rapture coming at pre tribulation. You left no doubt in my mind as to agreeing with you fully, until I was listening to a pastor that was being interviewed about the rapture and his point of view was how he didn’t believe in any rapture of the church, and that even the scriptures don’t come right out and mention the word rapture in them. I even looked up rapture in the bible dictionaries, and the word rapture is not listed.

The pastor being interviewed did not convince me to change my mind, but I was just wondering why God left such a grey area when writing about his church being raptured from ones way to interpret it to another’s?

A. The timing of the Rapture of the Church is part of God’s secret wisdom that has to be kept from His great adversary for strategic reasons, and therefore it has to be kept from us as well. But although it is impossible for any man to know the exact day of its arrival in advance, we have been told clearly of its existence. (1 Cor. 15:51-52, 1 Thes. 1:10, 1 Thes. 4:16, Rev 3:10)

Any one who teaches that the word Rapture doesn’t appear in the Scriptures is counting on our ignorance. He hopes we don’t know that Rapture is a Latin word, whereas the New Testament was written in Greek . The Greek word from which it comes is harpazo, found in 1 Thes. 4:16 where it’s translated “caught up.” The Latin word for caught up is Rapture. You might tell him that Lucifer, another Latin word, doesn’t appear in the original Bible either, but no one would be silly enough to use that as an excuse to deny the devil’s existence.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Beware of False Teachers

Oprah Winfrey: Billionaire Blasphemer

Joseph R. Chambers -

Oprah Winfrey is a blasphemer against the God of Holy Scripture. How does a very intelligent lady come from a deeply Christian home of an apparent Godly grandmother to become a full-blown New Ager? It is reported that she began public speaking by reading or quoting the Bible and sermons to her grandmother’s church family at the age of three. She was actually named after Orpah, the sister of Ruth from the Bible; but the name was misspelled on her birth certificate. Being raped by a family member for years certainly had a chilling effect on her young life.

The sad story is that her incredible mind and personality has been turned into a force for occultic powers. Satan goes about as a roaring lion seeking the best and the smartest lives to use for his kingdom of defiance against the God of the Bible. The New World Order of the Antichrist is exploding and he needs teachers and devotees to spread his high-sounding deception. Oprah Winfrey has become one of his most successful tools to help lead a multitude to hell. The present day acceptance of all religions on an equal level sets the perfect stage. In this atmosphere the villains are saints of God that identify these lies. Hatred for Biblical Christianity has never been so loud.

Oprah has made numerous statements that show her devotion to New Age ideas, but the real proof is in her key radio series for 2008. The entire year has been proclaimed as a study on the book, A Course In Miracles. First, let’s document the source of this study. An atheistic psychologist received this course by demonic revelation in 1965. This same study has been a mainstay with Robert Shuller’s church for years and probably played a large part in the confused mind of Rick Warren. This study came to this psychologist by “mind dictation” and the source identifies himself as Jesus Christ. She recalled, “The voice made no sound, but seemed to be giving me a kind of rapid inner diction, which I took down in a shorthand notebook.”

Another psychologist with whom she is reported to have had a very troubled relationship agreed to participate in these dictations and serve as a kind of secretary and confidant. For several years William Thetford was often with her as she received the volume of materials that constitute this course. He believed she was receiving the original teachings of Jesus Christ to give to the world.

The Oprah Winfrey Enterprise has now become the window to the world for these satanic teachings. It is scary when you consider her entrance into the political campaign of Senator Barack Obama and the impact the media suggests this is having on his candidacy. Satan is determined to put the prettiest face with the least substance in the American White House. With all of our sins and failures, America and Israel are still the two nations hated by the unbelieving world. To think of having a president that believes in the ideas of Oprah Winfrey and A Course in Miracles should drive us to our knees.

Let’s review the heart of this dubious course in miracles. You will find that every idea is totally foreign to the Holy Scripture. It is basically the language of humanism, psychology, and the occult. It has no kin to the Lord Jesus Christ and above all it hates the sacred blood of the cross. If there is one thing Satan and all his ilk love to attack, it is the blood and the very purpose of that blood, which is to cleanse sin.

A Course in Miracles states, “The atonement is the final lesson he (the human family) need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.” (Text, p. 237.) That statement is the unfailing love of the devil. There is no such thing as sin to Lucifer. To admit sin is to admit righteousness and rebellion against righteousness. And that truth demands a Sovereign God that is an eternal being that gave His only Son to redeem man out of sin. The heart of this false system is the denial of the Holy God that rules in His universe.

The false premise of the above statement moves quickly to the next main thrust that is the heart of Pantheism or New Age teaching. Here are the author’s words, “The oneness of the creator is your wholeness, your sanity, and your limitless power.” (Text, p. 125.) This incredible statement is claiming that the universe is God, that every part is part of the whole, and that we fit in the whole as a cog in the wheel. There is no separate individual, either God or ourselves. It is all an illusion, and we move up the ladder of that elusion by our positive mindset. Of course, we move in the reverse when we are negative or harbor negative thoughts of sin, sickness, or failure.

It can only get worse when you start with such rebellion against the Heavenly Father. Here is a list of dark things in this book:

"There is no sin." (Text, p. 9.)
"A slain Christ has no meaning." (Text, p. 10.)
"The journey to the cross should be the last useless journey." (Text, p. 11.)
"The name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol ... it is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray." (Text, p. 13.)

Oprah Winfrey has probably crossed the line in the sand to which there is no return. Believe me, the great Creator and His Eternal Son is beholding it all and the cup of wrath is near the top. The crash of a life like Oprah will leave a heartrending aftershock. We may not hear it here, but the sound will touch eternity.

Tell every soul that you have opportunity to tell that judgment is near at hand. Do not fail to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ as the Redeemer and Saviour of all that call on Him in surrender.

Joseph R. Chambers

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How about living by the law of Moses?

A Torah Observant Christian?

Q. While on Facebook recently, I happened upon a childhood friend who describes herself as a “born again, Spirit filled, Torah observant, believer in Yeshua (Jesus).”

Have you ever heard of this? Doesn’t this seem to disregard the new covenant?

I can’t help be intrigued, because I have such love and admiration for the Jewish people, and would dearly love to be “one of them” myself…. but I don’t know how you can have it both ways. It seems that one observing the Torah couldn’t possibly embrace grace and forgiveness through faith. But clearly my old friend believes in Jesus. I’m so confused… can you please help me unravel this?

A. Being a Torah observant Christian could be something of a contradiction. It all comes down to where your friend believes her salvation comes from. If she believes she’s saved by grace through faith and observes the law solely to express her gratitude that’s one thing. But if she believes her salvation is even partly earned or maintained through her observance of the law then there’s a problem with her theology. After all grace plus work equals work.

Any work we do to supplement what the Lord did for us demonstrates our lack of faith in His work and violates the most basic tenet of Christianity. It’s by grace we are saved through faith. Not by works lest any should boast. (Ephes. 2:8-9)