Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P504 (01-17-20)
When you are convinced that the bible is God’s word, then that is definitely a good starting point. We know the Old Testament can be trusted because Jesus quoted from it. So we have no problem believing the Old Testament. All of scripture, whether the Old Testament or the New Testament, came about by the Spirit of God revealing truth or speaking truth, through men. The bible came to be written down only through the prophets of God in the Old Testament or the apostles of the New Testament. We have translations today. The Septuagint, the first five books of the Old Testament, is a translation from Hebrew into Greek, and Jesus quoted from that.
Now, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So, it would certainly be important to be convinced and know the bible is the word of God. Now, if you are born again, you would know that. You would also desire to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many times people, particularly if you are a relatively new believer, you do not know where to start. If your friend just got saved yesterday, what would you recommend for them to do? But, even if you are a believer for quite some time, many have never heard a teaching on the New Covenant. Have you even heard a sermon from the book of Hebrews?
To get to know Jesus, on a more personal basis, certainly the gospel of John would be a good place to start. But what is really important is to understand the big picture, to read entire books of the bible over and over again, to get a broad understanding and to know the context. And I cannot emphasize enough, that when you are studying the bible, you are studying, not studying for information, but to get to know the author, who is God. And the only way you can get to know God is by the Spirit, who lives in you. Since He is living in you, who are born again, rely on Him to teach you the meaning of the word of God. So it is always good to start off with a simple prayer, expressing that desire and help, asking him to reveal to you the meaning.
A very common mistake is just to read or memorize a scripture, without having studied or even read it in its entire context. If you do not know its context, you can be misled to think it is talking about you or something you need to do, or to even make up a meaning that is not even close to the meaning that the Spirit would reveal to you.
Many people have tried to start out reading the bible from Genesis to Revelation in order. I would not advise that. If you do not understand the New Covenant you are living under, then you will not understand the Old Covenant, which is in the history of the Jews failures, as described in the Old Testament scriptures. Start out reading Hebrews, paying particular attention to the explanation of the New Covenant you are living under now, a covenant of grace.
You start in the New Testament. You will learn what your inheritance is. I would live in that New Covenant until I learned every ounce of it and it becomes a part of your life. Then when you go back to studying the Old Testament, you will put it back in its proper perspective. This is the history of Israel and its failure, and God, in his providence, goodness and mercy, in the midst of it. But you will not co-mingle the old and the new. You do not live under the old. You live under the new.
I would bury myself in the New for years and years before I try to understand the Old. If you go to the New to prove the Old you have to know what the New says, otherwise you are going to get confused in the Old Covenant. When you read the Old Testament, it is like going back to say, “Well, the prophets testified about what I am now telling you is true.” You do not go to the old to prove the new. You go to the new to prove the old.
The epistles of the apostle Paul, such as the book of Romans, are very good to read over and over again, so you can build a strong foundation in doctrinal truth. You want to read other epistles, such as Galatians, also, to understand clearly the difference between law and grace, and what the apostle Paul is explaining and warning against in regard to going back to being under the law. This is so vitally important to stay under grace, to live under grace, for then you will be able to live in accordance with truth, in abundant freedom, the newness of life, God has called you to be living.
As you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, questions will come up. If you lack wisdom, ask God and He will give you wisdom, without showing partiality. Look into His Word for answers, relying on the Holy Spirit to teach you, and not from denominational persuasion of men. For the Holy Spirit is the one who reveals truth to you. The scriptures instruct us, who are in Christ, to test everything that man says is true or not. You have the mind of Christ so you have the ability to discern truth from error, as our minds are being renewed. The apostle John instructs us to test the spirits to see if they are from God.
So if you are in a church, and someone tells you that you need to worship on Saturday, how would you answer such a question? So, since you have studied Hebrews, and understand that you are under a New Covenant of grace, why should you be bound up again under law? Now, you have also studied Romans, and maybe also Galatians, so what is the law of Moses, such as the fourth commandment, to keep the Sabbath holy, all about? Why do such commandments not apply to me today? Those are the kinds of questions that you will be able to answer. Now, for this specific question, ponder over Colossians 2:16-17, and see if you can answer the question in regards to observing the Sabbath or not, by truth revealed to you by the Spirit of God. What questions might you also want to ask the person who is teaching that people must obey the Sabbath? Would you have reason to be concerned if he is even born again?
Herman from Bakersfield, California
Herman: I have one question. Have you ever read about the gold bible? It is called the Christian bible. I think it came out in 1991. I was living up north at that time. I got a copy of it. It is pretty fascinating to read it. You wonder. I heard you mention something about the bible the other day when you said that not everything is in the copies of the scrolls, or there are different words? I would like to send you one, if you would like to have one?
Bob: Herman, I would be glad to take a look at it if you would like me to. So you can feel free to do that.
2 Peter 1:21
21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Bob: So many times, I think I understand that. I certainly would not know until I came to know the Lord and studied these things. All the bible is, is a compiling of individual books. The bible is individual books that were written in the New Testament. They had to be written in Greek. The writer had to be an apostle or an commiserate of an apostle The Old Testament was already established as canon by the time Jesus came to us. That was already established, and in fact, was already translated into the Septuagint, which was translated from Hebrew into Greek. That was already in existence at the time of Jesus. As I said before, if Jesus is God, and there was any error in the Old Testament, Jesus certainly would have corrected it. He not only did not correct it, he quoted from it. As far as the Old Testament, no problem at all of knowing because of Jesus that that was certainly the word of God, as those books contained in what we call today are Old Testament or canon, and all were in effect at the time of Christ.
Bob: In the New Testament, it had to be written in Greek, and by an apostle or an amanuenses, who is a scribe, who would be writing down what would be dictated to him by an apostle. They are all books of the bible, and yet with all those different number of books in the Old and New, they compile into one story. It is amazing how those books fold together to make one solid story about Christ Jesus.
Herman: It seems like, from the study of mine, that a lot of people are not studying. One guy who goes to church, where wife goes, he will not read anything but the old. There are words in there that are misleading. We got to studying like you did. Those words do not even belong in there. I sure appreciate you folks.
Bob: Thank you, Herman. I appreciate your call, my brother. If you want to send that book to me, I would be glad to peruse it, and tell you what I think of it.
Herman: Thank you, much.
Bob: You are sure welcome. Thank you, Herman. Bye. Bye.
Sharon from Arora, Colorado
Sharon: Hi, Bob. Good to hear you guys. I hear you every day when I come home from work.
Sharon: I am trying to get better at reading and understanding my bible. I do not know where to start. I start in Genesis and read through it. Then I get stuck in the “begot this” and “begot that”. Then I get lost. How do you know what to study? I know how to turn to different things to find out what stuff is bothering me. But I want to be a good bible reader. But I do not know what I need to do to do that.
Bob: First thing you need to understand that today we are living under a new covenant and not an old covenant.
Sharon: Sure. I understand that.
Bob: Covenant is a testament. We are not living under an Old Testament. We are living under a New Covenant. Covenant, testament and will are all inter-changeable words. A will would be the same word. If you have a will, it will not go into effect until the one who made it died. We are told that in Hebrews.
16 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.
Bob: The old will has been cancelled. The new will is the one we live in today. When you have a will, as an example, it will not go into effect until you die. It will also be the last will before you died that is the one that will go into effect. So you are living today under a new covenant, a new testament and a new will.
Bob: So where do you start? You start in the New Testament. You will learn what your inheritance is. I would live in that New Covenant until I learned every ounce of it and it becomes a part of your life. Then when you go back to studying the Old Testament, you will put it back in its proper perspective. This is the history of Israel and its failure, and God, in his providence, goodness and mercy, in the midst of it. But you will not co-mingle the old and the new. You do not live under the old. You live under the new.
Sharon: So when you read in the New Testament, and it refers to a book of the bible in the Old Testament, does that just support the information that is new?
Sharon: Or does it give you some history on information that is new?
Bob: When you are talking about referring back to the Old Testament, it is just substantiating what is being said to you.
Sharon: Oh, okay.
Bob: It is just a way of going back to say, “Well, the prophets testified about what I am now telling you is true.”
Bob: You do not go to the old to prove the new. You go to the new to prove the old.
Sharon: I get so confused. “You need to start here.” So I say, “I will find out myself.”
Bob: I would bury myself in the New for years and years before I try to understand the Old. If you go to the New to prove the Old you have to know what New says, otherwise you are going to get confused in the Old Covenant.
Sharon: That is what has been happening to me. I thank you so much for that clarity because I always thought I should be in the New. I was raised as a baptist so I kind of have those ideas of how I was raised, about how you had to do this and had to do that. I am a Christian. I believe in God and I have always believed in Him. He has showed me things and has helped me in my life. I know Jesus Christ is real. At times, I get that little twinge of guilt, like I am not following in my ancestry or heritage, so to speak, of the baptist religion. You know my relatives say if you are not going to a baptist church, you are not really saved, and this and that. I really appreciate having your program, where I can call in and find out the truth.
Bob: I tell you, if anybody tells you, that if you do not go to a baptist church, you are not saved, then that is not a church you want to be involved in. No baptists are going to be in heaven, or Presbyterians or Methodist or Catholics, but only redeemed people.
Sharon: That is what I thought too.
Bob: God did not come to save denominations. God came to save people.
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Bob: No question that most Baptist churches I have been acquainted with, you will probably get a gospel presentation, and probably get it pretty well taught. Not all of them, because every one is an institution in its own right. Overall, you will get pretty good bible teaching. One of the problems with all denominations, at least that I have found, is that you will never hear a message on the Old and New covenant.
Bob: You will never get a message out of the book of Hebrews. They avoid Hebrews like the plague. Once you understand the difference between the Old and the New, Hebrews becomes one of your favorite books of the bible. But when you do not understand that, it is confusing to you.
Sharon: I want to have joy when I read.
Bob: When you understand the difference between the Old and the New, you will. You die to the Old so you can come alive to the New. Then, Hebrews comes together like a puzzle.
Sharon: I thank you so much, brother.
Bob: Thank you for your call, Sharon.
Sharon: Thank you very much.
Bob: You call any time. Have a blessed day. Bye Bye.
Jeff from Stockton, California
Jeff: I want to call in. I am a new listener. I have been listening to you for a couple of months now. I appreciate your show.
Bob: Thank you, Jeff.
Jeff: I have a question on 1 Corinthians 15:29, as far as baptism.
1 Corinthians 15:29
29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?
Jeff: Can you explain that to me. Are people baptized for people who have already died?
Bob: You had two types of people in Judaism, Jeff. You had the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection and the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. Yet, the Sadducees, even though they did not believe in the resurrection, they baptized people for the dead. Paul is literally saying, “Guys, get on one side or the other. If you do not believe in the resurrection, then why are you baptizing people for the dead?” It is like a sarcastic remark in order to get a point across, that you are talking out of two sides of your mouth at the same time, which you cannot continue to do. It is amazing. That is how the apostle Paul got out of the jam he was in. He got the Pharisees and Sadducees arguing with each other over the resurrection. He got them arguing with one another and he just got out of the room. He was clever in that. It was a huge argument between the Sadducees and the Pharisees.
Jeff: I have one more question if you have time? I have a question on 1 Corinthians 13:1.
1 Corinthians 13:1
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
Jeff: Can you explain that verse to me?
Bob: It is what is called a hyperbole, saying “If I could speak in all of the languages of all of the world and all of heaven.” It is impossible, isn’t it? It is a hyperbole. It is an exaggeration in order to make a point. If I can speak in tongues of men and angels, all languages of the world and so-called heaven, what good would it do if I did not have love? What he was doing was chastising the Corinthians for over-emphasizing and misusing the gift of tongues, which is a gift of languages. That was a gift that was given to the early church for the purpose of verifying going into areas where they did not speak the language of the people, and the people did not speak your language, so you are able to communicate the gospel in a language you had never learned, to people of all the different nations that God sent the apostles into. That is what the gift of tongues was. Tongues means language.
Bob: There is a song that is sung, “Oh for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer’s praise. That is the same as saying, “Oh for a thousand languages”. Tongues is a known language. That is what the gifts of tongues was, a known language, unknown to the speaker, but known to the hearer, for the purpose only of the communication of the gospel.
Jeff: Thank you, Bob. I appreciate that.
Bob: Okay, Jeff.
Jeff: Alright, brother.
Bob: Talk to you later, pal. I appreciate your call. Bye. Bye.
Michael from Marianne, Kansas
Michael: Thank you, Bob. I appreciate you taking my call.
Bob: You are welcome, brother.
Michael: I just became a born again believer. I was Jewish all my life. I am about 55 years old.
Michael: One of the people in my church had said the holy Sabbath should be Saturday instead of Sunday, and so forth. He was questioning the church about calling Sunday the Sabbath. I heard your teaching that that was nailed to a cross, and it is finished, and is really legalism now. He kept saying it was the fourth commandment, so I want to get your talk on that.
Bob: What I would say to a man like that is you are to be pitied of all people. A man who is under the law is under a curse because he cannot obey all of it, and all of it is all that will do. James said, “If you kept the entire law and violated at just one point, you violated all of it”.
10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
Bob: That means in the entire law. So a man under law is under a curse because he is literally grabbing a hold of something by faith, which he knows himself he cannot obey. He is to be pitied above all people. You are not under the law in any shape or form. You are to be led now by the Spirit of God that lives in you.
14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Bob: Michael, I will say this. You were Jewish by natural birth, just as I was a Gentile by natural birth. When you and I came to Christ, I did not lose my Gentile heritage and you did not lose your Jewish heritage. You just became a born again believer, made into one new man called a child of the living God. From God#8217;s standpoint, He only has three categories of people; Jew, Gentile and Ecclesia, or called out ones, which are born again believers made up of both Jewish and Gentile people. So you did not lose your Jewishness at all. Thank God for it. I did not lose my Gentile background. I am not real proud of that one, but I did not lose it. But we both became new creatures in Christ, called children of God, and became one brand new man, which is marvelous.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
Bob: Again, in regard to the Sabbath day, in Colossians, let no man judge you by what you eat or drink. It sounds like your church is not adhering to this, but this guy is, I am not sure?
Michael: He has actually talked to other people.
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Bob: If you are going to deal with just one of these, then a Sabbath day, is a shadow of the things that were to come. Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is no longer a day of the week. A Sabbath is every day of the week. Let us read Hebrews 4:1.
1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God#8217;s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
Bob: Surely, he is not telling us to rest one day of the week, but every day of the week, just as God rested from His work and said #8220;it is finished#8221;. And then he sat down.
12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God
Bob: Why did he sit down? It was a prohibited piece of furniture to be there in the temple because the work was never done. But when this priest finished the work, he sat down at the right hand of God. Why did he sit down? His work is over. Likewise, you sit down. You rest from your work. There is nothing for you to add to what Jesus Christ has done for you. There is nothing you can add or subtract, so you sit down and take a vacation in Jesus and rest.
Bob: So a person who wants to keep the Sabbath day as a day of the week, instead of a continual day of the week, is sad. To think you rest from your work as he did from his is just one day of a week is sad. The condition of entering into that rest has replaced the Sabbath day, which Colossians says was a shadow of the things that were to come. The reality is found in Christ.
Michael: That clarifies it Bob. Now I can talk to him if you do not keep the fourth commandment on the Sabbath. Christ has overcome that.
Bob: Find out which ones he believes in. I said in response to a person who said #8220;I could not think of worshiping God on any other day except Saturday#8221;. I said, #8220;Then you only need a 90% Jesus because you are very holy in keeping that. If you could never steal, then you would only need an 80% Jesus. And if you never commit adultery, then you only need a 70% Jesus. You may just get down to the point where you won#8217;t need Him at all. You would be so holy, you would not need Him at all.#8221;
Bob: The purpose of the law, scripture reveals, is to shut our mouths. This guy needs his mouth shut. That is a crude way of saying it. But, in essence, that is just what truth is. It says the purpose of the law was not given to the righteousness but to the unrighteous.
1 Timothy 1:9
9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers
Bob: You might read Romans 3:19-20 so people do not think I am so crude in listening to Paul.
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law,
Bob: How come?
so that every mouth may be silenced
Bob: In other words, shut your mouth.
and the whole world held accountable to God.
What does the law say? You are accountable to God and the wages of your sin is death (Romans 6:23).
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God#8217;s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Bob: The purpose of the law was to make us conscious of sin so that we would turn to Christ Jesus for our salvation, which is exactly what you did, and exactly what I did, and every born again believer on the face of the earth did, who have been convicted by the law that they cannot live up to the righteous requirements of the law and have given up and said #8220;I can#8217;t#8221; and He said #8220;good, because I did#8221;. So we come to Him by faith and accepted the righteousness that comes from God.
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal.
Bob: You got it. Why not? They pursued it as if it were by works and not by faith. Therefore, they stumbled over the stumbling stone. He needs to get out from under all of the law if he is ever going to walk in freedom.
Michael: Thank you Bob for answering my question.
Bob: Michael, what you are going through, you will see people are going through every day. Wherever Paul went to proclaim good news of the grace of God, the Judaizers went in right behind him in order to tell them they are still under the law. They were saying, #8220;You still need to be circumcised. You still need to keep Jewish commands.#8221; So they buried people back under legalism again. Paul warned about that. Do not ever let anybody put you back under bondage of legalism. This guy you are talking about is under bondage of legalism. He is what is called a person who is, in my opinion, lost. I am just talking about what scripture has to say. Again, maybe it can be interpreted, Michael, differently that this, but I look at Romans 8:14 and Galatians 5:18, I think this is at least what somebody who is under law should at least consider.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
Bob: But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. Now reverse that. If you are under the law, you cannot be led by the Spirit. Those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God. Then those who are not led by the Spirit are not sons of God.
Bob: That is worthy of someone looking at. If you are under the law, you cannot be led by the Spirit, if you are under the law. The ones who are led by the Spirit are sons of God. You reverse that. If you are under the law, you are not led by the Spirit. If you are not led by the Spirit, then you are not a son of God.
Bob: I think it is worthy of people taking a look at that and trying to gauge where you are. Are you saved or lost?
Michael: I agree. I agree. I will try to clarify that with my friend, with the Spirit in me for direction. I appreciate that.
Bob: Okay, my brother. God bless you, Michael.
Michael: God bless you too, Bob.
Bob: I am very grateful for your conversion, my friend.
Michael: Thank you for the ministry.