Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P420 (3-07-19)
Several callers called Bob George for insight into common questions many of us have asked before or thought about. What is humility? Can I make myself humble? What does it mean that Jesus intercedes for me when all my future sins are forgiven? Is the King James version the only reliable translation today? How did translations come about and how are they different? If Adam never ate of the knowledge of the tree of good and evil, what would have happened? What would you share with some one who says that we are still under law today? In John 15, what does it mean if we fail to remain on the vine? Is it really saying we will be thrown into hell?
Andy called to ask about humility. Humility is not something we strive to become or get. Life circumstances humbles us, as we are weak in our natural selves, and attitudes in our hearts sometimes are not in line with who we are spiritually. When we look down at someone in our heart, the Spirit prompts us about our attitude that needs correction. So we are always under the Lord’s discipline, which is always for our good, and this is how we grow as a child of God. We never stop growing and we are to respond and allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us. Humility is really the same attitude that Christ has as demonstrated when he humbled himself by emptying himself of his divine attributes and became a man obedient to death on a cross. We never had such a pure attitude as Christ, and indeed never had any righteousness of our own. Before we knew Christ, we were in need of Christ to make us into a new creation with His Holy Spirit to be put in us. That is a humbling experience to recognize our great need and come to Christ for life. Our sinful flesh never went away but we received the Holy Spirit that lives in us to overcome the flesh. So then, when we walk by the Spirit we will not carry out the deeds of the flesh.
Bino asked why Jesus Christ intercedes for us when all our future sins are already forgiven. We, as children of God, have Satan as our enemy and scripture records that he accuses us before the throne of God when we sin. It is true all our future sins are forgiven, never to be remembered again in the sight of God. But we do still sin and when we do Jesus is interceding for us about such sins telling Stan that those sins were already dealt with on the cross. God does not deal with us on the basis of sin and death anymore. You cannot separate sin from death for sin is the cause of death. But God took away the cause of death, which is sin, when he died on the cross. So before God, God has chosen not to remember those sins anymore in accordance with the New Covenant he has made (recorded in Hebrews). But when we do sin, we are instructed to confess such sins to one another. Before God we agree with the truth of the word of God in what he has said in regards to our sin and thank him for having already forgiven us and the forgiveness we already have in Him.
David asked about where all the different translations came about and how do you answer someone who claims that the King James version is the only reliable translation today. First of all, how can they say a translation is heretical if they have never read Greek themselves. Furthermore, what about all the German and Italian translations? They certainly are not King James versions. This claim about King James has really led to an unnecessary and harmful division in the body of Christ. Bob went to explain that only the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts are inspired. Even the Septuagint that Jesus quoted from is a translation from the Old Testament scriptures from Hebrew into Greek. The manuscripts were meticulously copied by Jewish scribes throughout the centuries and if one letter was incorrect, they would tear up the entire scroll and start over again. Eventually, those manuscripts were translated into other languages, such as English. Wycliffe, King James, New American Standard are all examples of English translations. All of these have their shortcomings from a translation process. The King James has the difficulty of archaic language usage. The New American Standard is an example of a translation more directly translated from the Greek. Translations came about from scholars who knew both Greek and the language to be translated in. Nevertheless, you will read in some translations that a certain scripture was not in the original manuscripts. At the end of Mark, for example, you will read about picking up snakes and drinking poison and not dying. That would lend caution that there is good reason such scriptures were not in the original manuscripts. But the translators did place a footnote to indicate that such a passage was not in the original manuscripts. Therefore, someone took liberty to add the passage at a later date. Rest assured, God went to great lengths to preserve His word and scholars took great care in translating. Logic would be that those original manuscripts are more reliable, but can you read and understand Greek or Hebrew even if you had an original or early copy. Few would. To really study to ensure there is not something lost in translation that hinders the understanding of God’s intended meaning, it is good to check in a Greek or Hebrew concordance. An example of this would be in properly understanding 1 John 1:9, where the Greek uses an aorist tense, a past tense with a future effect, rendering for the phrase, “if you confess”.
David also asked a hypothetical question about what if Adam never ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Well, we really do not know the answer explicitly. But logic would be that he would not have sinned and therefore would still be spiritually alive and then only Eve would have faced the consequence of death for sin.
Juan was in a discussion with someone who said even though you are under grace you are also under law. Bob answered by saying that anyone who thinks they are still under law is in serious error, and there is no mixing of law and grace. You are either under one and not the other. For someone who says such a thing may not even be born again! For such a person would be sinning against the knowledge of God. He would be saying that God did not complete the work of the cross to take away all our sins from the sight of God, that God did not set aside the law now that sin is taken away. And if you are not trusting in God to take your sin away then how then can you come to Christ for life so that in Him you will have the forgiveness of sin? Bob highly recommended a book titled “A Scriptural Journey to Discover the Grace of God” to study and share, particularly the chapter in that book on law and grace for a more detailed and thorough answer from the scriptures.
Bob answers Omar’s question in regards to John 15 about those who fail to remain on the vine and if they would go to hell. From those who are bothered already about John 15, then the short answer is no. For in the scriptures, Jesus is using an analogy, as he often does, to explain spiritual truth. He used the word, “like” to illustrate a point about a defeated life, and it is like a defeated branch that cannot bear fruit and is essentially worthless, ready for the rubbish pile. Neither can we bear fruit apart from Christ and such fruit of love, joy and peace cannot be produced in the energy of the flesh. Jesus is the vine and He is the source and producer of such fruit. The branch is likened to the flesh. Essentially a person who is not remaining on the vine is not allowing the spirit of God to live in and through him and as such he will lead a defeated Christian life. It would be like a person trying to live in the energy of the flesh, who goes to church with a smile on his face, but inside his heart he is greatly depressed and burned out, and certainly not bearing any joy and peace.
Andy from Vancouver, British Columbia
Andy asked, “Does God humble us or do we humble ourselves?” Bob answered, “You cannot make yourself humble. Life is going to humble you. Your attitude should be like that of Jesus Christ.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!
Humility is nothing you can do to make yourself humble. People take pride in the fact they are so humble. So they are really in pride trying to be humble. True faith in Christ would make you humble. When you understand that there is nothing you can do to make yourself acceptable in the sight of God, you are humbled. The only way acceptable is by someone else to make you acceptable. That should make you humble. Realize there is nothing you can do to earn your salvation or work for it. If you understand the implications of that then that is a humbling experience. It takes all the pride out. That is why attitude should be like that of Christ Jesus. Those attitudes is what produce humility. Underneath, inside you, your inner thoughts testifying, “I knew I needed a change and something more than just sins forgiven. I found out I could not live a life I wanted to live.” That is also what Paul testified concerning himself.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
A scientist knew from science how to get a rocket to the moon but he could not get along with his wife. That is why he came to Christ.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
When we agree with God concerning that truth, He has humbled us to come to Christ.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Humbling myself means this. It means apart from Him, I can do nothing. Humility is not getting on my knees as if I am going to do this but it is in attitude of the heart. Righteousness is from God and God alone. We have no righteousness of our own. The self-righteous boast of their righteousness and that makes God sick to the stomach. Coming in agreement with God about what He says about you and coming in agreement with God to what solution for that was is humility that pleases God.
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
When we have an attitude in our mind that says, “Look at that scrounge over there.” God will always be there when you have an attitude contrary to the will of God. We should always guard our hearts and say, “There for the grace of God there goes I.”
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
When you are sensitive to God, it is not that you live a perfect life, but when you find an attitude that is contrary to that of Christ, then God will point that out to you, and you respond to His correction. And it is humbling when He does and it is good for us. The word of God disciplines our mind. This is a part of God’s love for us in discipline and discipleship. We need it because of the pull of the flesh. We tend to live in the flesh contrary to the Spirit, and we all do from time to time. The word of God disciplines our minds and shows us how to think.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Bino from Detroit, Michigan
Bino asked, “How is Jesus the interceder for me if all my future sins are forgiven?” Satan is constantly going to the presence of God accusing the brothers.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Jesus is interceding for us on our behalf and saying that our sin has already been taken care of on the cross. Satan is saying, “Did you see what Bino did down there?” It is not interceding for us to get our forgiveness because we are already forgiven. Jesus is interceding for us to deal with the accusation of Satan in regards to our sins. Sins are taken away in the sight of God but certainly not taken away. That is why scripture instructs us to confess sins to one another.
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
God is not dealing with us on basis of sin anymore otherwise he would have to deal with on the basis of sin and death. You cannot separate the two. Satan continually tries to accuse believers before the throne of God. So Jesus steps in between you and God to intercede for you. Bino thanked Bob for his teaching and has been reading Classic Christianity and is learning much from such teaching.
David from Scott Springs, Idaho
David has heard from a ministry on radio proclaiming King James is the only trustworthy translation. David he has studied all of them and finds minor glitches in each translation. He asked Bob, “What is your take on translations?”
How can they say a translation is heretical if they have never read Greek themselves? There are thousands of copies in existence today. The majority text, which really means a lot of them, indicating they came last. The earlier manuscripts, a lot of years between them. Logic dictates that the closer to the date of the earlier church the more reliable and trustworthy. We know there are early manuscripts, thousands of them, that are copies, letter by letter, from the original. If you have manuscripts, those closer to the original writings then they would be more accurate. That is why you have statements in today’s bibles that say, “in the earlier and more reliable transcripts this was not here.” If they are there and weren’t earlier, then someone added them later. The last chapter in Mark that references picking up snakes and drinking poison, you can see why it wasn’t there, But at least there is a notation indicating is was not there in the original manuscripts. Then you have translations off of those manuscripts. There are many translations in English; Latin Vulgate 450 A.D., Wycliffe around 1380, the Geneva bible around 1500, the King James around 1600, the New American Standard around 1900. All of these translations were not translated off of each other. There were scholars in Greek and many were translated from the Septuagint which is a translation from Hebrew into Greek. What is a translation today? Someone who knows Greek and English if he is going to translate into Greek. The New American Standard is the most accurate, but is also more difficult to read. Someone who says King James only, what are you going to do with the Italian and the German translations?
Manuscripts were done by scribes who were meticulous, discarding an entire scroll if one letter was incorrect. God supervised the preservation of His Word. Those who insist on King James only translation do more harm than good. King James has the disadvantage of being archaic and so harder to understand. As far as studying scripture, Bob finds other translations more closer to Hebrew. People out there dividing body of Christ over that issue that does not need to be there.
David then asked a hypothetical question. He asked, “After Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and Adam had said ‘no way’, then what would happen?” Well, then if that be the case, Adam would still be spiritually alive and Eve would have been cast out. Eve was deceived into sin and Adam chose to sin willfully. He heard that directly from the voice of God. Eve heard it second hand from Adam and she amplified it. Satan took advantage of her incorrect response about not even touching it, which God did not say. So that is what happens when you twist just a little bit of what God’s word says. The serpent was probably leaning on the tree while she was saying to not even touch that tree. That is how deception starts, by twisting the truth just a little bit.
Juan from New Orleans, LA
He was in discussion with someone who says that under grace you must also be under law. Bob recommended taking him through the book, “A Spiritual Journey to Discover the Grace of God”, leading him through the chapter on law and grace. Anyone who thinks they are still under law is in serious error, and there is no mixing of law and grace. You are either under one and not the other. For someone who says such a thing may not even be born again! For such a person would be sinning against the knowledge of God. He would be saying that God did not complete the work of the cross to take away all our sins from the sight of God, that God did not set aside the law now that sin is taken away. And if you are not trusting in God to take your sin away then how then can you come to Christ for life so that in Him you will have the forgiveness of sin? Bob highly recommended a book titled “A Scriptural Journey to Discover the Grace of God” to study and share, particularly the chapter in that book on law and grace for a more detailed and thorough answer from the scriptures.
Omar from Colorado Springs, CO
Omar essentially asked a question in regards to John 15 about those who fail to remain on the vine. Would they would go to hell?
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
People misinterpret by thinking he will throw people into the fire of hell. That is not what he said. He said “like”. Remember scripture about those who were saved by the skin of their teeth, but they were saved.
1 Corinthians 13:14-15
14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
It is because they never grew. It is not saying going to hell but like a branch not depending on the vine that is worthless and needs to be thrown in the trash can. So God is really saying you will be living a defeated life. People try to live the Christian life in the energy of the flesh. People get burned out and get discouraged. People go to church with a smile on their face yet get back in the car with their guts hanging out. They tried to live life they do not have or have a life they do not live. It is not us living for Christ but Christ living in us and through us. It is the difference between someone who understands the indwelling Christ and someone who is out trying to live for Christ. If you do know Christ, with the Spirit indwelling you, study the scriptures on your own and let Him reveal the fact you can’t but He did.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.