Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P428 (4-04-19)
Several callers asked questions that showed their lack of discernment of scriptures. More often than not they are hearing incorrect teaching from the pulpit yet failing to check out what has been clearly revealed through simply reading of the word of God. Other times they are simply growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ but had not quite grasped truth from God’s word. By someone simply pointing out the meaning of God’s word, by asking simple questions from God’s word, the answer is more evident and clear. What also is beneficial is to have a clear understanding of law and grace and that everything written down in the word of God is not written to you. Those things written down by the prophets were often written to those still under an Old Covenant since Jesus had not yet come during their life time to replace the Old Covenant of law with a New Covenant of grace. Yet the prophets, by revelation of the Holy Spirit, also spoke of things to come and to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ. A person must be born again to discern spiritual truth. Let the Holy Spirit teach you, and what He teaches you will be in agreement with His revealed word, for He is the living Word that came down from heaven. The reason to get in His Word is so you may know Him. Then you can walk in the abundant freedom He promised.
Glen had asked a question in regards to widows in 1 Timothy 5:12 that were condemned for failing to keep their first pledge. This turned into a discussion on law and grace as Glen later admitted he was struggling with sin he had committed 17 years ago that bothered him still today. There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Those young widows, who got caught up in gossip and became busy-bodies were facing condemnation from others, which is one reason fro the practical instruction given by Paul to Timothy in regards to the life of this early church. Trevor had a question about the promise or promises made to Abraham, referenced in Genesis 12,15 and in Galatians 3:16. This led to a discussion about how the Old Testament saints were saved as if on a credit card. They were saved by the same faith but the ultimate salvation was not fulfilled in them until Jesus came, who then died, was buried and rose again. The Holy Spirit did not come to indwell men until after Jesus rose from the dead. Bob explains this promise given to Abraham, the promise of the New Covenant explained thoroughly in Hebrews, given to Abraham in advance, and scripture records that his faith was credited to him as righteousness. Rene, the last caller, asked about tithing in Malachi 3:16 for he had been hearing teaching on this from her church. Bob explained the context from simple of reading of the scriptures, the passages before and after. The tithe was for the Levites under an Old Covenant system, to support the sacrificial system of animal sacrifices required of the Jews as a temporary covering for sin until Christ should come. God, speaking through the prophet Malachi, was speaking to the descendants of Jacob. So the real answer is that Malachi has nothing to do with you and me today. The concept of giving under a New Covenant is based on the law of the Spirit of Jesus Christ in you (Romans 7:6, Romans 8:2) and the attitude of giving is summarized by 2 Corinthians 9:7. In summary, the tithe is not for today.
Glen from Colorado Springs, CO
Glen had a question about 1 Timothy 5:11-12 concerning widows.
1 Timothy 5:11-12
11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge.
What is that about breaking their first pledge? When she gets some support from the church and then later goes and gets married, she is setting aside a previous pledge.
Bob first answered by providing background of how the church referred to in 1 Timothy addressed the need for looking after widows in need. I encourage the listener to read the entire chapter and look more closely at the context. In order to assess which widows were truly in need, they provided some guidelines. If family of widow is alive and able, they are first to take care of the widows so as not to burden the church. For whoever does not take care of his own is worse than an unbeliever. Otherwise, the widow, whether by divorce or death of her spouse, was to be over 60 years old and of noble character. The scriptures provides more information as to identify a widow of good character. She had to be known for her good deeds. So in their accounting of widows in need, if they met the guidelines, they were put on a list. Younger widows were not put on the list, for they can still work but also because of sensual desires, and would then want to marry. To younger widows, sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ and want to marry. Thus they do judgment on themselves as they forsake their first pledge. Scripture does not explain what this first pledge is. Maybe the prelude was to remain single. Nevertheless, these younger widows become busy bodies. So the church leadership is to counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. Sadly, some have already turned away to follow Satan. AS far as what that first pledge is, I do not know. Whatever pledge is, it brings condemnation.
Then Glen said, “So if you make a pledge and break a pledge then you condemn yourself.” Bob responded by saying that it would be condemnation from other people. So when a person breaks a pledge then people would condemn you. That is the same way people condemn those who divorce. Some people sit around and do that for life as if it is the unpardonable sin. In context, this condemnation is not from God but other people. The leadership is trying to avoid that from happening by having these guidelines with a list of widows.
Glen says he has some doubts and fears. Seventeen years ago he admitted he had committed fornication with a girl he intended to marry. But for whatever reason that did not work out. Now he is married to his current wife but has not been able to move on with his life do to this preoccupation with this previous sin in his life. He said he has been taking medication to get through the day.
Bob responded first by saying Glen is living in disobedience all these years when not believing what Jesus said when He died to take away yours sins. You are putting more emphasis on your words than His. He took yours sins away 2000 years ago.
1 John 3:5
But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.
For 17 years now, you are beating yourself up. You evidently were planning on marrying but that did not work out. In religion, you say “I sinned and what do I do.” In true Christianity, God says “you sinned and I already did take away that sin.” God already took that sin from the eyes of God. That is what Jesus went to the cross for.
1 John 2:2
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Jesus did not go to the cross for people to play around with what He did. Learn to walk by faith. Instead of turning to Christ you turned to drugs. Instead of renewing your mind, you have altered your mind with drugs.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
If truly born again, Christ living in you will lead you into all truth. The Holy Spirit lives in you to make truths known to you. He is there to show truth and you need to study the word to know the truth.
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
You are showing signs of moving in that direction by the fact you called to ask questions. Knowing the truth from the word of God is like studying real money to know the counterfeit. Look into the scriptures that God has given to get to know the author. Jesus is the light of the world and as you get to know him you will no longer walk in darkness. Realize you are a child of God, not because “I am a good or bad person but because of what Christ Jesus did for me, that Christ Jesus saw me”. In his mercy, Jesus looked down on us on our condition and said, “Father forgive them.”
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
These are the people who beat the daylights out of him. We need to learn to stand in the grace of God with full knowledge that my sins have been taken away from God once and for all and forever. He entered my spiritual death with me so I can enter into his resurrection with him. When I came to him, I came to him for life. The consequences of sin is death, and the solution of death is life. I accepted that life and I am born again, an eternally saved person. Jesus conversation with Nicodemus in John 3 explained to Nicodemus what “born again” means. Stand in that and do not let a voice come in with doubts. The truth will set you free. Counseling is not going to set you free. A counselor, if worth his salt, is just going to lead you to the one who can set you free. Commit to stand in the grace of God. Consider the confidence of the apostle Paul in regards to God’s unconditional love and acceptance you, the grace in which you take your stand.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[Psalm 44:22]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Put all that guilt behind you and start walking in the grace of God. Take the marriage you have today and the two of you live in a happy life together. Do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. You have been freed from the law.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Trevor from Eugene, Oregon
Concerning a bible study on Galatians 3:16 where Paul talks about Abraham, a promise to him made by God, Trevor is trying to sort out these different promises God made to Abraham. He relates Abraham’s faith to a passage in Genesis 12 concerning the promise of a Messiah to come. His offspring, singular, must be referring to Jesus as the Seed. But then context seems to indicate multiple descendants, with such phrases as “as numerous as the stars in the sky so shall your descendants be.” Can you help unravel this?
16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”[Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 24:7] meaning one person, who is Christ.
7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring [or seed] I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
Bob provides a quick overview on law and grace and the Old Covenant in contrast to the New Covenant. It is always good ot rad an entire chapter, the verses before and after, to gain more clarity of meaning.
16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”[a] meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
The context is that no one is saved under the law. Anyone under law is under a curse. Law is not based on faith for anyone under law is under curse. Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the law.
11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”[Habakkuk 2:4] 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”[Leviticus 18:5] 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”[Deuteronomy 21:23] 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. 15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.
The ultimate salvation by faith is Christ. Scripture does not refer to seeds but seed. So the faith talking about is faith in Christ, meaning one person, who is Christ.
17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
The promise given to Abraham, the just shall live by faith, was carried out in the final person, Jesus Christ. Prior to the cross how they were saved was like on a credit card. Until Jesus announced it is finished, those who had faith in the coming Messiah while under the Old Covenant had to wait until Jesus finished the work he came to do. To be permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit was for those after the cross. No one received the indwelling Holy Spirit until Jesus came, died, and then rose from dead.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit
Glen made reference to Genesis 15, where God also made promises to Abraham of numerous descendants and land that God promised to give him.
15 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield,[a] your very great reward.[b]”
2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit[c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring[d] be.”
6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
If you read Genesis 15 carefully, in verse 1, who is Abraham’s great reward? Is that reward not God Himself? What was credited to Abraham as righteousness? Was it Abraham’s obedience in performing laws? No, the law did not come until 430 years later. It was Abraham’s faith that was credited to him as righteousness. Abraham in essence had a credit card, a promise of a coming Messiah, who would usher in a New Covenant, and Abraham believed God’s promise. God gave this promise to Abraham in advance. Romans 4; Galatians 3; James 2 all elaborate more on this faith of Abraham and what it means.
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about — but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[Gen. 15:6,22]
4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
Rene from Lubbock, Texas
Rene called to ask for an explanation on Malachi 3:16, for what she has been hearing from church has been misleading her. What do you understand about Malachi 3:16?
Bob first response was, “why do you want to know? It is not speaking to you anyway.” Again, take the time to read the entire passage of scripture, looking carefully to discern context. What is the setting? Are we in the Old Covenant or the New Covenant? Who is the audience? Who is the writer addressing?
5 “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.
The context is God speaking through a prophet Malachi, addressing those who are doing evil things and who do not fear God. Malachi is a prophet under an Old Covenant. There is no office of prophet today.
Now, let us starting reading at the 6th verse.
6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
Who is God, speaking through Malachi, addressing? He is addressing the descendants of Jacob.
You are not a descendant of Jacob so this is not written to you. The Jews were under an Old Covenant system, where there was a promise of curses and blessings based on their obedience. God is appealing to his people to return to him so he may bless them. God longs to be gracious to us. Return to me and I will return to you.
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Yet people today want to drag things into the New Covenant. They want to drag the tithe over into the New Covenant. What you hear from many church leaders is this dangling of the tithe, to put your ten percent into the offering basket, and if you do not then you are robbing God.
Let us continue reading Malachi 3. Look at Malachi 3:7-12
7b “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
“Shall a man rob God?” Who is under a curse? The whole nation of you. He is talking about the descendants of Jacob. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. A storehouse is for storing food, such as grain. The tithe was not for giving money and a check into an offering plate. It was giving food to the Levites, to support the Levitical priesthood, a temporary system in place for the Jews i order to carry out animal sacrifices as a temporary (atonement) covering for sin. The Levites were prohibited from going out and making a living. So their needs had to be furnished by the food and clothing brought by the other 11 tribes of Israel. What is this about preventing pests from destroying crops? That is not for us today. What about verse 12, “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land.” That is certainly not for us today.
Rene then said the way she heard it explained was about a “scroll of remembrance.”, a scroll of remembrance concerning those who feared the Lord. Bob responded by saying that if there is anything such as a scroll of remembrance then he is not talking to us.
Rene, in this day and age, people are so desperate to say anything to convince people to tithe they will nit pick any scripture to justify tithing. I was even in a church once where the church handed out a free book, “Blessed Life” by Richard Morris, to all members, and even guests, to persuade people of the benefits of tithing. There are all kinds of people who stand up every year when the topic of tithing comes up to convince you how blessed they were when they started tithing and obeying God. So they claim. I even heard a pastor challenge: “if you tithe for 1 month and God fails to return a blessing then we will refund you your money back.” Such is the teaching and persuasion you hear today, but it is not based on truth from the word of God! I even heard a leader visit a single mother who has not tithed in 10 years and was told she must back-tithe!
For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.
So unless a person is still a Levite and not Jesus, then and only then could tithe even be considered for any hope of making sense. Why pick up tithe and yet ignore eating shrimp and pork chops? So then people ignore what they do not want and pull those things over that is for their benefit.
Since we are no longer under law, and us Gentiles never were, but are now under grace, what instruction is there on giving and in what manner or attitude should we give?
First of all we live by a higher law, the law of love, with God Himself living in us and through us. We love because he first loved us.
Romans 12 provides the background for understanding the new way of Christ living in you and through you. Let us look at just one passage in 2 Corinthians that summarizes this new attitude of giving by a child of God.
2 Corinthians 9:7
7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
The attitude of the heart of the giver today is the emphasis under a New Covenant of grace. Tithing has nothing to do with you and me. This is what God said to the descendants of Jacob. That does not have anything to do with me. If there is a scroll of remembrance it would be to those who honored him and feared his name.