The Apple Of God's Eye

February 3, 2011

Is Belief The Only Requirement For Salvation?

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The word believe implies faith, conviction, trust, certainty. If we believe on or in Jesus Christ — and, more important, if we believe what He says — we come to know Him. Notice what I John 2:4 says about those who claim to know Jesus Christ: “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ ” — that is, he who believes on Christ — “and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Anyone who says he believes but refuses to obey is a liar, according to God. He doesn’t really believe what Jesus Christ said. What did Jesus say? What did He command us to believe? “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15, Authorized Version). The Gospel deals with obedience! Notice:

If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17).

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (I John 2:3). This means belief alone is not enough to know Jesus Christ. We actually have to live by the law of God.

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (I John 5:3). Christians always say they have God’s love, but this scripture tells us that it is impossible to have God’s love without keeping His law.

Acts 5:29 says, “We ought to obey God.” And to whom does God give His Spirit? “To those who obey Him” (verse 32). How can anyone say they are a Christian by ignoring this plain teaching?

Faith [belief] without works is dead” (James 2:26). This is the end result of lawlessness – life outside the boundary of God’s law.

Why is obedience so necessary? Because “the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12). The law of God is good for you. Sin is bad for you. That’s why Jesus Christ commands you to obey God’s law — it’s for your own good!

The word of God is plain! Will you believe it?

 

Source: The Good News, April 1985

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January 11, 2010

Can Christians Be Saved Without Obeying God's Commandments?

The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Many believe this verse says we don’t have to obey God’s commandments, but that we can still be saved just as long as we believe. Is this right? Not if you understand your Bible!

What do you mean by believe? The word believe implies faith, conviction, trust, certainty.

If we believe on or in Jesus Christ — and, more important, if we believe what He says — we come to know Him. Notice what I John 2:4 says about those who claim to know Jesus Christ: “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ ” — that is, he who believes on Christ — “and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

This is about as strong as a verse can get in the Bible. It is also abundantly clear and straightforward. Anyone who says he believes but refuses to obey is a liar, according to God. He doesn’t really believe what Jesus Christ said. What did Jesus say? What did He command us to believe? “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15, Authorized Version). The Gospel deals with obedience! Notice:

  • “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17).
  • “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (I John 2:3).
  • “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (I John 5:3).
  • Acts 5:29 says, “We ought to obey God.” And to whom does God give His Spirit? “To those who obey Him” (verse 32).
  • “Faith [belief] without works is dead” (James 2:26).

Why is obedience so necessary? Because “the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12). The law of God is good for you. Sin is bad for you. That’s why Jesus Christ commands you to obey God’s law — it’s for your own good! Will you believe Him?

July 2, 2009

How Will The Beast & False Prophet Of Rev. 20:10 Die?

There has been some misunderstanding in the past of Revelation 20:10 resulting from a translation error in the King James Version of the Bible. You will notice that the word “are” is in italics. This means that the word was supplied by the translators and is not in the original Greek.

According to the chronology of Revelation itself, both the Beast and the false prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire at the beginning of God’s thousand-year reign on the earth (Rev. 19:20). By merely using God’s explanation of what happens to human bodies when they are cast into fire, we find that they will be burned up (Ps. 37:20). Therefore, the phrase in Revelation 20:10 should be translated “where the beast and the false prophet WERE.”

In Matthew 25:41 Jesus said, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, YE CURSED, INTO
EVERLASTING FIRE, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Jesushere plainly shows that the everlasting fire was prepared for Satan and his angels. Yet He goes on to say that human beings who are ultimately judged unfit for eternal life are also to be cast into this very lake of fire. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment” (verse 46).

When these people are cast into the lake of fire, it is by God’s definition “the second DEATH,” from which there is no

resurrection. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).

May 14, 2009

Do Liars Always Lie?

Epimenidis said, “The Cretians are always liars” (Titus 1:12). But Epimenides was a Cretan! Was he lying or telling the truth about Cretans?

If he were telling the truth, he was a liar. If he were a liar, he was telling the truth. What is the answer?

The resolution of this ancient paradox clarifies several misunderstandings about the Bible. It explains why Satan (and his ministers) quote true scriptures (Matt. 4:1-10; II Cor. 11:13-15), why the false prophet Balaam uttered true prophecies (Num. 22), and why the demon who impersonated Samuel seemed to be so “honest” (I Sam. 28:3, 12-20).

The answer hinges on a principle — someone who is always a liar does not always lie! Once this is understood the paradox vanishes. (Fenton violates this principle in giving a logically absurd translation of Titus 1:12. Also, many of the commentaries seem to be unaware of the paradox connected with this verse.)

If a liar could be “depended upon” to lie consistently, one could always extract the truth from him. Consider the story about a logician who is captured by a tribe of savages (Kemeny, Snell, and Thompson, Introduction to Finite Mathematics, 1957). The tribal chief decides to give the logician a “sporting chance” to escape. He places the logician in a jail having two exits and two guards. One exit leads to freedom, the other to death. One guard is always truthful, the other always lies. He is allowed to ask only one question of only one guard. The logician asks, “If I ask the other guard whether this exit leads to freedom, will he say yes?” No matter which guard he asks, he can determine from the answer which door leads to freedom. So, he escapes!

A little thought will show that if the guard says “yes,” the logician has picked the wrong door; if the guard says “no,” the logician has selected the correct door. In any case, no matter which guard he asks, the truth can be determined and thus he escapes. However, if the lying guard — like Satan — sometimes told the truth, the logician would be hopelessly confused. “Effective” liars do not always lie!

In order to be “effective,” liars often mix truth with error. The statements of Satan in Genesis 3:4-5 are an excellent example. Many people use these verses as an argument that human beings cannot be born into the Family of God. They reason that since Satan is a liar (John 8:44) and since Satan said, “Ye shall be as gods …” (Gen. 3:5), then men shall NOT be as gods. WRONG! Satan told the truth about the ultimate destiny of mankind. Jesus Christ said so! (John 10:34-35.) But Satan lied about HOW to become as God (Gen. 3:4-5).

Keep in mind that a quotation from the Bible may be false, if the one quoted is a liar, but it should not be assumed to be false just because the one quoted is a liar. Just as Epimenides spoke the truth when he said (by implication) that he was a liar, someone quoted in the Bible also spoke the truth when he said, “I will be a lying spirit” (I Kings 22:22).

Source: Tomorrow’s World, October 1971

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