Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P454 (7-11-19)
These callers called in to the original People to People radio program Bob George was on for over 30 years. Most of the questions were to get clarification of truth on some commonly misunderstood passages of scripture. Laurie asked, “Where do you place Melchizedek in Hebrews 6:16?” Oftentimes by simply reading the verses before and after a scripture that is unclear to you, you can discern what is important to understand in a passage. We often want to focus on a very narrow point rather than get the spiritual truth that Jesus wants you to know. Bob emphasized that Hebrews is about explaining the superiority of Jesus Christ. To the Jew, there is no one greater than Abraham. Hebrews clears this matter up by explaining that Melchizedek is greater than Abraham and Jesus is greater than everyone.
Edwin asked a very common question, typical of those who are new believers or those improperly instructed from religious teaching. He asked what is the difference between baptism of water and baptism of the Holy Spirit. By studying the scriptures the answer is very clear. John the Baptist even spoke of two baptisms in Luke 3:15-17. The apostle Peter, in 1 Peter 3:21, also explicitly stated that water baptism is a symbol, and can only remove dirt from the body and cannot save. Only faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ is what saves you. Indeed, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is what really saves you. Baptism of the Spirit saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. By believing in Him alone for what his death, burial and resurrection accomplished for you is what saves you (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Another common question asked by many people is about how children are saved. This was the question Mark asked with his young daughter on the phone with him. Bob answered that the scripture does not explicitly state how children are saved. The answer he gives is that we do not have to concern ourselves with that because that is not our decision to make. We simply trust that God will do the right thing, being perfectly loving and just. Even though how children are saved is not specifically mentioned, you take it by faith and put it in the hands of a perfectly loving God who will do the right thing from a heart of love.
Todd had two questions for Bob. Oftentimes when we read or hear scriptures quoted by others, the wording is such that the meaning is unclear and you come to the incorrect interpretation. The key to proper discernment is knowing the word of God. Oftentimes, more clear scriptures provides clarity of meaning to those scriptures that are seemingly unclear. Also read in the context of the situation going on. That can provide insight as to what Jesus is really saying.
Todd’s first question was about what “loosing and binding” means in John 20:23. This passage seems to indicate that someone’s sin are not forgiven if they do not forgive someone else. Others interpret this passage to mean that a priest today has authority to absolve someone of sin. First of all, what do we know already from scripture? We now that the Father sent Jesus into the world to die on a cross to take away the sins of the world. And we know from Hebrews that he died once and for all and will never die again and will remember our sins no more. And where these are forgiven there is no more sacrifice for sin. With this understanding, Bob reads the passages of scripture in its context of Jesus having just risen from the dead and the very first time he has appeared to eleven of the disciples. So what Jesus is really saying to his disciples: “I finished the work my Father sent me to do to take away the sins of the world. Now, I send you also into the world to tell this message of what I have done for you. Wait for me to ascend to my father. After that I will send you the Holy Spirit, who is the power and authority for you to speak in my name. You are my ambassadors along with all those who receive the Holy Spirit of new life in me”
Todd’s second question is about Ananias and Sapphira. Great fear comes upon many people when they hear this story. People are essentially asking, “What if I commit some great sin and God zaps me? I sure do not want to die like those people”. People react in fear because they are not made perfect in love. It is quite possible people do not know the love of God and still perceive him as an angry God. Bob answers by saying scripture does not say God zapped them. Fear came over them because their sin was called out, and out of great distress, as in a heart attack, they dropped dead. Consider also the context of this being the early church and this new message of Christ is not to be played around with.
The last caller Stan was so grateful to Bob for the truth he heard that set him free from depression. The lie that led to his depression had him bound and enslaved to drugs to treat his depression. By simply understanding and believing truth from God’s word, he was able to walk free and called Bob with great gratitude for his teaching of truth. A great resource for those struggling with depression is the book by Bob George titled “Victory over Depression”.
Laurie from British Columbia
In Hebrews, where do you place Melchizedek?
You just put him where he belongs. Hebrews records Melchizedek in relationship to the story of Abraham. The whole book is to show the superiority of Christ over all things Hebrew is where putting Christ over Abraham, Moses, Joshua. The Old Covenant has been replaced by someone greater and that is Christ Jesus. The purpose of the book is to show the superiority of Jesus Christ. To the Jew, there is no one greater than Abraham.
16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
Melchizedek was mentioned to show the Jews that someone is greater than Abraham.
1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! 5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham. 6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. 9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood — and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood — why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:
“You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”[Psalm 110:4]
18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
“The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’”[Psalm 110:4]
22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.
23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely [forever] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
26 Such a high priest truly meets our need — one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
All this was written in Hebrews to show that someone is greater than Abraham. Melchizedek is priest of God most high (Hebrews 7:1), and no one knew anything of his lineage, and his name means king of righteousness and king of peace (Hebrews 7:2). It sets the stage that Christ Jesus is greater than Abraham and greater than Melchizedek. There is none greater than the one announced by God by an oath to put an end to all arguments (Hebrews 6:16). That is what God did by Jesus. He vilified by an oath from God as the reason to show someone greater than Abraham, which is Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1-4). We read further along that the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people (Hebrews 7:1-5).
Who is to collect the tenth from people? The descendants of Levi collect then tenth. The reason we think of Melchizedek is because denominations bring the tithe into today’s church structure, which should never be. Levi and Moses are brothers, fellow Jews, as descendants of Abraham (Hebrews 7:5-9). Levi came from the loins of Abraham (Hebrews 7:10). The only reason to mention Melchizedek, whether in the old or the new, is to indicate the superiority of Christ, that he is greater than Abraham.
11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood — and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood — why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.
Are you still under the Levitical priesthood? No. Are you a descendant of Levi? No. Is Jesus our priest? Yes. If Jesus Christ is your priest then there is a change in the law. Furthermore the regulation was set aside as weak and useless and the law made nothing perfect (Hebrews 7:18-19). Because of Jesus, by an oath from God, we have a guarantee of a better covenant (Hebrews 7:22). The oath would be that Jesus Christ is God and in charge of all things and is the new priest, who lives forever (Hebrews 7:23-26). He does not come from an ancestor. Others became a priest by the bloodlines of the Levites but Jesus did not become a priest on the basis of being a descendant of the Levites. He became a priest by an oath from God and was in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:17) and he descended from Judah (Hebrews 7:14). He was out of sync with what was customary for an ancestry in order to become a priest. To be a priest, you had to be a descendant of Levi. Jesus came from the lineage of Judah and there is nothing in that line where Moses said anything about priests (Hebrews 7:14).
Edwin from Hercules, California
Bob called to get clarification of baptism on the baptism of water and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
There are two baptisms. Which one do you think saves you? There is nothing man does to save you. Baptism of the Spirit that places you in Christ’s body. Only God can do that and that is because it his body, not yours. Those baptized by John with water, that baptism did not save them. Yes, they were sincere, but no one saved until baptized with the Holy Spirit. I think he knew the answer already but wanted Bob to provide more insight. Bob emphasized that water baptism cannot save anyone, it can only make you wet. Churches use water baptism as a means for acceptance into a local organization of its members, but there is really no scriptural basis for it. That is why some churches say that you must be baptized into their waters to be saved. That does not save anyone, but just makes someone wet. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is what really matters for salvation. Salvation is really how someone becomes a member of the body of Christ, where the Holy Spirit takes residence within a person. When someone understands the complete gospel and comes to faith in the resurrection unto eternal life, that is when the Holy Spirit is sealed in him.
1 Peter 3:21
and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
Water baptism is a symbol, and a symbol never saves anybody. A symbol represents something else, or someone, and that someone is Jesus.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Nobody is saved with a partial gospel no more than these Jews who received a partial gospel by being baptized by John the Baptist. They were sincere people but they were not complete yet until they came into the resurrection and were baptized by the Spirit.
Mark from New Orleans, LA
Mark asked a question about how young children and the mentally handicapped people are saved. Bob answered by stating the character of God. Basically, accept by faith that God, being perfectly loving and just, will be the one who will make the right decision in line with who He is. Therefore, one does not need to be worried about such things with those who have not developed the ability to reason. Churches typically have practices of baby dedication and other things, possibly out of unwarranted fear, and there is no support in the bible for such things. Also, if a person has never heard the gospel, if such is possible, then same inference can be applied – trust God to do the right thing because of who He is. Even though how children are saved is not specifically mentioned, you take it by faith and put it in the hands of a perfectly loving God who will do the right thing from a heart of love.
Todd asked Bob to explain this concept of “loosing and binding” he has heard, as read in John 20:23.
Bob read the verses before and after John 20:23 to understand the context.
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Jesus come out of the tomb, loosed and was once bound. Like 1 John 1:9, read further to understand what Jesus is really saying.
Jesus appeared to his disciples behind locked doors. Then he suddenly appears to them and says, “peace be with you”. Now that is rather interesting. Here is a guy who was just dead three days ago and then he appears out of nowhere and says “peace be with you”. Thomas, who was not there, said he would not believe unless he saw the nails in his hands and the scar on his side. Jesus met him where he was at and showed him his hands and his side. Then Thomas believed. Jesus replied, “blessed are those who do not see and yet believe.” Jesus is essentially saying: “God sent me. Now I am sending you.” (John 20:21). Jesus is saying: “Tell the world what I have done for you. I have forgiven you all your sins and in a little while soon you shall receive the Holy Spirit, my very life in you. I give you authority to proclaim the forgiveness of sins because they have already been forgiven. Tell them that.”
What did the Father send Jesus to do? God sent Jesus to take away the sins of the world.
Why is Jesus sending you? Jesus want us to tell people that he took away the sins of the world.
22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
What is meant by “breathe on them”? Breathe on them means he took a deep breath in Greek.
Is he saying they received the Holy Spirit right then and there? No.
Nobody received the Holy Spirit at this point in time because Jesus has not yet been glorified. He has not gone back up in heaven to see His Father. It did not happen that day. It was just an instruction when the Holy Spirit came to receive him. The Holy Spirit would be the initiator of all things that he wants done on this earth.
23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
The reason to forgive sins is because they have already been forgiven. The phrase “bound on earth”, as rendered in some translations, we interpret as “will be” but the correct interpretation is “has been”.
The only unpardonable sin is the rejection of Jesus.
We have authority from God as an ambassador with full authority to tell people your sins are forgiven.
2 Corinthians 5:19-21
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
As a child of God, we have total authority to say that truth to every person because already bound in heaven. We have heavenly truth to tell to people.
The world’s sin is unbelief in me
We have the privilege and authority to tell people these truths. The work of redemption and forgiveness of sin has already been done by Jesus, who is now deified by God, sitting at his right hand in heaven. Jesus shed blood is a propitiation, completely satisfied the wrath of God against all sin for all people and all times. Blood of Jesus is of eternal value, being the shed blood of a perfect and holy person who had no sin of his own. That is why he is risen and offers new life, his very Spirit in him, to all who will believe and receive.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
We incorrectly translate these scripture to mean: “you do this then God will do this”. We are not the initiator of anything to God. We have the responsibility to respond to that forgiveness.
Todd had another question also. He wanted to know about why Ananias in Acts where he and his wife drop dead.
2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
We think of Ananias and Saphira in terms of God zapping him. That is not what scripture says. It says Peter, with the gift of discernment, determined they lied to the Holy Spirit and to God. These people were so distressed that they most likely had a heart attack, for example. There are reasons God used for them to be dropped dead. In the early days it is not a game to be played. Ananias and Saphira had the right to do what they wanted with their money but a sin of lying to say you did something with the money you did not do. When they were exposed to their lies they died.
Stan from Denver, Colorado
Stan called to thank Bob for the materials he had been reading from Bob George that helped him retrain his thinking to overcome depression. Bob mostly listened but did respond with appreciation for his call. He did reiterate with Stan this thought: “Truth sets you free. Error binds you.” as a practical insight from John 8:32.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Stan retold his long battle with depression, where he was on medication for depression that almost put him over the edge. But by applying truth from God’s word, with the aid of insight from Bob’s materials, he was able to retrain his thinking and walk in freedom from dependence on medication. The real battle was in his mind and from what he claims is improper training from his upbringing. He mentioned a history of relatives that also battle depression. Renewing of the mind with truth through Jesus Christ and His word really set him free. As someone is aware of thoughts that are contrary to learned truth, then one can replace such error with truth, if you ever you find yourself with depressing thoughts, which come from the lies of Satan. Also, let Christ live through you. The life of a believer really is a supernatural life, whose motivation and source is from God, not necessarily miraculous, but supernatural!