The Christadelphian Instructor
1.—What is the meaning of "Christadelphian"?
ANSWER: It means brother or relative of Christ. It is the name of Christ and the Greek word for brother put into one.
2.—Who is a brother or relative of Christ?
ANSWER: He who performs the will of God.
PROOF: "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother" (Matthew 12:50). "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants" (John 15:14,15).
3.—What is it the will of God that we should do?
ANSWER: That we believe in His Son Jesus Christ and keep His commandments.
PROOF: "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent" (John 6:29). "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him" (1 John 3:23,24).
4.—Who is it that has given the name "Christ's brethren" to those who do the will of God?
ANSWER: It is Christ Himself who has done so.
PROOF: "..he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren " (Hebrews 2:11,12). "..go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me" (Matthew 28:10). "Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother" (Mark 3:34)."..to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren" (Romans 8:29).
5.—Why are the brethren of Christ called Christadelphian in our day instead of Christian?
ANSWER: Because multitudes are called Christian who do not believe the truth concerning Christ or obey His commandments. It has become, in fact, the name for a system of fable and error that has risen up in the world in the place of truth, in fulfilment of the predictions of the apostles. Therefore, to be known as a "Christian" is not to be known as a believer of the Truth.
PROOF: "They shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:4). "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things" (Acts 20:30). "And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of" (2 Peter 2:2). "..the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people" (Isaiah 60:2). "..the covering cast over all people..the veil spread over all nations" (Isaiah 25:7). "..inhabitants..drunk (i.e. spiritually)". "..all nations deceived" (Revelation 17:2; 18:23).
CONCERNING THE SCRIPTURES
6.—Where can we learn the will of God and the truth concerning Christ?
ANSWER: In the Holy Scriptures, which are known in our day as the Bible.
PROOF: "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim 3:15). "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through
patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4). "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth under-
standing unto the simple" (Psalm 119:130). ".. by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith" (Romans 16:26). "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105).
7.—What is the Bible?
ANSWER: It is a book written by the power of inspiration working in prophets and apostles who lived in Israel a long time ago. They lived at different times, and each wrote his part independently of the others, but one Spirit moved them all, and enabled them to make known to men the mind of God in history, precept and prophecy, so that the Bible though composed of many books and parts, is the one Word of God.
PROOF: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son" (Hebrews 1:1). "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth" (1 Corinthians 2:13). "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21). "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth" (John 17:17). "thou..testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets" (Nehemiah 9:30). "..the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord" (I Corinthians 14:37).
8.—What are the names of the men principally employed by the Spirit of God in the writing of the Bible?
ANSWER: Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Jude and Peter.
9.—Into what parts is the Bible divided?
ANSWER: Into two parts: the Old and New Testaments. But in the days of Christ, the Scriptures were known as "Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms". The Old Testament was written by Moses and the Prophets, who came after him. The New Testament was written by the Apostles.
10.—Over what period of time does the composition of the Bible extend?
ANSWER: The Old Testament was begun by Moses about 1,600 years before Christ, and finished by Malachi a little over 1,200 years afterwards (before Christ 400). The New Testament was written during the lifetime of the Apostles, after the resurrection and ascension of Christ, over 1900 years ago.
11.—Of how many books is the Bible composed: and what are their names in order?
ANSWER: The Bible is composed of sixty-six books arranged in the following order of names.
OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1st Samuel, 2nd Samuel, 1st Kings, 2nd Kings, 1st Chronicles, 2nd Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1st Corinthians, 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1st Thessalonians, 2nd Thessalonians, 1st Timothy, 2nd Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1st Peter, 2nd Peter, 1st John, 2nd John, 3rd John, Jude, Revelation.
12.—What does the Bible, in its several books, reveal to us?
ANSWER: The Bible, given by inspiration of God, reveals to us the truth concerning God and concerning man.
13.—What does the Bible reveal concerning God?
ANSWER: That there is only one God, the Father of all, even of the Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore the common idea that God is "a trinity" is unscriptural.
PROOF: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5). "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD" (Deuteronomy 6:4). "I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me" (Isaiah 45:5). "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things" (1 Corinthians 8:6). "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:3).
14.—What does the Bible reveal concerning the character of God?
ANSWER: That He is kind, yet inflexible in the requirements of His law; loving and compassionate, yet terrible as a destroying fire against the rebellious and the guilty, forgiving towards offences, yet jealous of the dignity, the glory, and the supremacy of His name. He is holy, and cannot look upon sin. He is wise, and cannot tolerate fools. He is true and faithful, and will destroy all the false and perfidious. He is just and true and perfect — at once the fountain of love and vengeance, the author of life and death, the source of reviving mercy and consuming fire. He is eternal, unchangeable, unsearchable, infinite, glorious in power and majesty — the King immortal, the Possessor of heaven and earth, to whom alone is glory due.
PROOF: Exodus 20:6; Psalm 103:8-18; Hebrews 12:29; Exodus 34:5-7; Habakkuk 1:13; Psalm 5:5,6; Revelation 15:3; Jeremiah 10:10-13; Deuteronomy 32:4; 1 John 4:7,8,16; Hebrews 10:30-31; Deuteronomy 32:39; Hosea 14:4,6; Deuteronomy 32:21,23; 1 Timothy 1:17; Malachi 3:6; Psalm145:3, 147:5; Genesis 14: 19; Psalm 115:1.
15.—Is God confined to heaven though dwelling there?
ANSWER: No. He is everywhere present and nothing can be hid from His knowledge.
PROOF: "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 23:24). "All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13). "O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off...for there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether" (Psalm 139:1,2,4).
CONCERNING THE SPIRIT OF GOD
16.—In what way is God everywhere if He dwells in heaven?
ANSWER: God is everywhere present by His spirit which proceeds from Him, and which fills all space.
PROOF: "Thou sendest forth thy spirit" (Psalm 104:30) "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell (sheol, the grave),behold,thou art there" (Psalm 139:7,8).
17.—What is the Spirit of God?
ANSWER: It is His invisible power or energy breathed forth from His presence, and of like nature with His Glorious Person. By this, heaven and earth have been made and are preserved in being from moment to moment. In this we live and move and have our being in Him.
PROOF: "The Spirit of God hath made me" (Job 33:4). "By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens" (Job 26:13). "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created" (Psalm104:30). "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made" (Psalm33:6). "..thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power" (Jeremiah 32:17). "In the beginning..the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Genesis 1:1,2). "For in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). "..if He gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust" (Job 34:14,15).
18.—Is God separate and different from the Spirit of God?
ANSWER: No. God and His Spirit cannot be separated. They are both one. The sun and the light that comes from the sun are both one So God, and the Spirit that comes from God, are both one. God is the centre and glorious substantial form of the Spirit that fills heaven and earth.
PROOF: The passages quoted in answers 14 to 17, also the following: "The Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me" (Isaiah 48:16). "My spirit shall not always strive with man" (Genesis 6:3). "Do not 1 fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 23:24). "Whither shall I go from thy spirit?" (Psalm 139:7). "God is a Spirit" (John 4:24).
19.—Do these things teach you any lesson concerning your conduct?
ANSWER: Yes. They teach me that I am always in the presence of God though I do not feel it, and that He always sees me (even when it is dark) though I cannot see Him. Nothing can happen without His knowing it. Even my inmost thoughts and intentions He can discern, though I should seek to keep them secret.
PROOF: "Thou God seest me" (Genesis 16:13). "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight" (Hebrews 4:13). "Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee" (Psalm 139:12). "For the word of God..is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
CONCERNING THE SPIRITUAL BODY
20.—What is a Spiritual Body?
ANSWER: It is a body made in the glorious nature of the Spirit of God, and therefore incorruptible in substance and immortal in life.
PROOF: "There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body..Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual" (1 Corinthians 15:44,46). "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). "..he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:11). "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1 Corinthians 15: 49). "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:53). " Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Philippians 3:21).
21.—Is a spiritual body like a mortal body?
ANSWER: It is like it in shape, but not in nature.
PROOF: "..we shall all be changed..this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15: 51,53). "..this same Jesus..shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go" (Acts 1:11). "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself" (Luke 24:39). "..we shall be like him" (1 John 3:2).
22.—What is the difference of nature between a spiritual body and a mortal body?
ANSWER: A mortal body grows old, decays and dies; whereas a spiritual body lasts for ever. A mortal body is weak; a spiritual body is strong. A mortal body is corruptible, lustreless, and dishonorable; whereas a spiritual body is incorruptible, bright, and glorious. Even the clothes worn by a spiritual body can become as white as snow and as shining as the sun.
PROOF: "Neither can they die any more" (Luke 20:36). "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; It is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes" (Revelation 7:16,17). "Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?...I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me" (1 Corinthians 9:1; Acts 26:13). "..and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light" (Matthew 17:2). "His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow" (Matthew 28:3). "..they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31). "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever" (Daniel 12:3).
23.—Shall we ever have our mortal bodies changed into spiritual bodies?
ANSWER: All will experience this glorious change who believe, love, and obey the truth steadfastly to the end. They will rise from the dead at the coming of Christ, and appear before him to be judged, along with all others who are at that time brought to judgment. When he has separated them from the unfaithful, the unfaithful will be dismissed from his presence to shame, corruption, and death, while they, the accepted, will be changed in a moment, all in one company, into the likeness of the body of their glorious judge.
PROOF: "...we (i.e. the accepted) shall all be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:51). "For we (i.e. the responsible) must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10). "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting" (Galatians 6:8). "...he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you...if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together" (Romans 8:11,17). "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:2). "Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?...And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:22,23). "Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
24.—What are angels?
ANSWER: They are glorious beings sent by God on various errands throughout the universe.
PROOF: "Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word" (Psalm 104:20). "Thou madest him (i.e. man) a little lower than the angels" (Hebrews 2:7). "And there came two angels to Sodom at even" (Genesis 19:1). "...the man (i.e. "the angel Gabriel" Luke 1:26,11,19) Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said...At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee" (Daniel 9:21-23). "And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them...And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:9-14). "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him" (Matthew 25:31). "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands" (Revelation 5:11).
25.—What is the nature of the angels?
ANSWER: They are spiritual bodies, and like men in their form and aspect.
PROOF: "Who maketh his angels spirits" (Psalm 104:4). "..some have entertained angels unawares" (Hebrews 13:2)."..the angel of the LORD appeared..Manoah..said..Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am..For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD..the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar..Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD" (Judges 13:3,11,16,20,21). "..for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven..a young man..clothed in a long white garment" (Matthew 28:2; Mark 16:5).
26.—Are the angels, then, of the same nature as we shall become if we are saved at the resurrection?
ANSWER: Yes, exactly the same. The promise to us is that we shall become equal to them, and die no more.
PROOF: "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection" (Luke 20:35,36).
27.—Have angels ever been seen upon earth?
ANSWER: Yes, many a time. Three appeared to Abraham; two visited Sodom; one wrestled with Jacob, to whom also a host appeared; one led the Israelites out of Egypt; one withstood Balaam; one appeared to Gideon; one to Manoah; one to David; one to Daniel; one destroyed Sennacherib's army; one appeared to the father of John the Baptist; one to the mother of Jesus; one to the shepherds; a multitude sang on the plains of Bethlehem. They appeared also at the resurrection of Christ and at various times to the Apostles after Christ's ascension.
PROOF: Genesis 18:1, 19:1, 32:24, 1 (in connection with Hosea 12:4); Exodus 14:19-24; Numbers 22:22; Judges 6:11, 13:3-16; 2 Samuel 24:16; Daniel 9:21, 10:7-12; 2 Kings 19:35; Luke 1:11-26, 2:9; Matthew 28:2; Luke 24:4; Acts 1:10, 5:19, 12:7-11; Revelation 1:1, 22:16.
28.—Have the angels names?
ANSWER: Yes, such as Gabriel; but the name by which they are commonly described in the Bible is simply 'angel'. Sometimes they are spoken of as God.
PROOF: "the angel Gabriel" (Luke 1:26). "Michael the arch-angel" (Jude 9). "And he (i.e. "a man" v24 = "God" v28 = an angel) said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name?" (Genesis 32:29). "..for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Genesis 32:30). "And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying..I am the God of Bethel" (Genesis 31:11,13). "And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him (i.e. Moses,v1,3,4)..Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Abraham" (Exodus 3:2,6; Acts 7:29-33).
29.—Why are the angels spoken of as if they were God?
ANSWER: Because they come on God's business and work by His power and are of His nature. His name is in them.
PROOF: See passages proving answers 24 to 26. And "Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice ("all that I speak" v22), provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him" (Exodus 23:20,21).
30.—What does the Bible reveal concerning man?
ANSWER: The Bible reveals that man is a living soul or creature, originally made of the dust of the ground, in the image of God.
PROOF: "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man (i.e. the combination of body and breath of life) became a living (but not an ever-living) soul" (Genesis 2:7). "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27). "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:19). "For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust" (Psalm 103:19). "And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes" (Genesis 18:27).
31.—Is man an immortal being?
ANSWER: No: he is mortal. He dies and returns to the dust (see above).
PROOF: "But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the spirit, and where is he?..So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep" (Job 14:10,12). "Shall mortal man be more just than God?" (Job 4:17). "For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again" (Ecclesiastes 3:19,20). "What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah (i.e. pause and consider)" (Psalm 89:48).
32.—Has man an immortal part that lives in death, as held by nearly every religious system on earth?
ANSWER: No: that doctrine is one of the many religious lies that have come to be regarded as truth. Man is wholly mortal. God only has immortality. Immortality is something man has to seek for; it is a matter of promise and hope.
PROOF: "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die" (Genesis 3:4). "..the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit" (Genesis 16:19).
"..the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of Lords; Who only has immortality" (1 Timothy 6:15,16). "..the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God" (1 Timothy 1:17). "To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, (God will reward with) eternal life" (Romans 2:7). "But now is made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10). "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Titus 1:2)."And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life" (1 John 2:25).
33.—May not man's life be immortal though his body is mortal?
ANSWER: Man's life is not inherent in himself. He is energized by the spirit (power) of God, which gives him life, and which returns to God when man dies. If God were to gather his spirit and his breath, man would perish from the universe.
PROOF: "For with thee is the fountain of life" (Psalm 36:9). "God..giveth to all life, and breath, and all things" (Acts 17:24,25). "In whose hand is the soul (i.e. life) of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:10). "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it" (Ecclesiastes 12:7). "If he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust" (Job 34:14,15). "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (Isaiah 2:22).
34.—Has man, then, no conscious existence in death?
ANSWER: Man has no existence of any kind in death. He is entirely dead, and knows no more than if he had never been born.
PROOF: "For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything" (Ecclesiastes 9:5). "For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" (Psalm 6:5). "..for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Psalm 146:4). "For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day" (Isaiah 38:18,19). "Oh that I had given up the spirit, and no eye had seen me! I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave" (Job 10: 18,19).
35.—Why is man in his present mortal and evil state?
ANSWER: Man is mortal because of sin. It is God's law that sinners must die. Adam, our first father, sinned, and was sentenced to death before he had any children. Death began with him, and came to us through him. We receive the nature that he had after he was condemned to die. We thus inherit his sentence of death. Besides this, we are all sinners ourselves.
PROOF: "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12). "Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee saying, Thou shalt not eat of it..dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:17,19). "..in Adam all die" (1 Corinthians 15:22). "..by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation" (Romans 5:18). "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "But we had the sentence of death in ourselves" (2 Corinthians 1:9). " For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:53). "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:24). "..our mortal flesh" (2 Corinthians 4:11).
36.—Does God intend that the human race shall always be subject to its present evil state?
ANSWER: No: He purposes to take away sin from the earth altogether, and to cause death to cease.
PROOF: "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will ransom them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction" (Hosea 13:14). "He will swallow up death in victory" Isaiah 25:8. "..and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying" (Revelation 21:4). "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:26). "Jesus Christ..hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10). "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (i.e. the grave) and of death" (Revelation 1:18).
37.—Will God bring about this great change without any reference to whether men please Him or not?
ANSWER: No: the work will be thoroughly done in righteousness. As death came by sin, so life will come by obedience.
PROOF: "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous" (Romans 5:19). "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested..even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe" (Romans 3:21,22). "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" (1 Corinthians 6:9)."And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:18). "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7). "..except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:20).
38.—The Scriptures declare that "there is none righteous, no not one". How then can salvation come, if it is to depend on righteousness?
ANSWER: The state of man, left to himself, is what the Scriptures describe. But God has not left man to himself. He has interposed in his affairs, and opened a way of righteousness in which he invites men to walk. God has brought righteousness near through Jesus Christ, and asks men to lay hold of it by faith in him.
PROOF: "And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him" (Isaiah 59:16). "..even so by the righteousness of one (i.e. Jesus Christ, v17) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life" (Romans 5:18). "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (1 Corinthians 1:30). "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth" (Romans 10:3,4).
39.—How can men who have been sinners lay hold on the righteousness of God in Christ?
ANSWER: Because God calls on them to repent, and offers to forgive their sins if they believe in Jesus and put on his name.
PROOF: "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30). "..through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins" (Acts 13:38). "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:7). "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
40.—Are such saved by faith in Christ alone?
ANSWER: No. Faith justifies from all past sins, and ensures peace with God; but works are requisite to retain His favour and secure acceptance at the last.
PROOF: "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (1 Corinthians 10:12). "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Romans 8:13). "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning" (2 Peter 2:20). "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (James 2:24). "..repent, and do the first works..I will give unto every one of you according to your works" (Revelation 2:5,23).
41.—Who was Jesus Christ?
ANSWER: Jesus Christ was the Son of God.
PROOF: "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). "I am the Son of God" (John 10:36). "Rabbi, thou are the Son of God" (John 1:49). "Truly this man was the Son of God" (Mark 15:39). "And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God" (John 1:34).
42.—Was Jesus Christ a man, as well as the Son of God?
ANSWER: Yes, he was a man also, made in all things like unto ourselves, yet without sin.
PROOF: "Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know" (Acts 2:22). "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5). "..through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins" (Acts 13:38). "Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren" (Hebrews 2:17).
43.—How was Jesus Christ both man and the Son of God?
ANSWER: Because he was begotten of a human virgin-mother by the power of the Spirit of God, and not by a human father. Mary, a damsel descended from David, and betrothed to Joseph, also a descendant of David, was his mother; and God was his Father. So that on his Father's side he was the Son of God, and on his mother's side he was the son of David, and, therefore, a man partaking of David's nature, which was the nature common to all.
PROOF: "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1:20). "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). "Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1). "God sent forth his Son, made of a woman" (Galatians 4:4). "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death" (Philippians 2:8). "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).
44.—Was Jesus both divine and human then?
ANSWER: He was human as to the substance of which he was made; but divine as to the source from which he came, the spirit from which he derived his wisdom, and the pattern of the character which he possessed.
PROOF: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same" (Hebrews 2:14). "I am the living bread which came down from heaven" (John 6:51). "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him" (Luke 2:40). "And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).
45.—Was there a connection between Jesus and the Father that does not exist between God and other men?
ANSWER: Yes. Jesus and the Father were one by the spirit, which, proceeding from the Father, embraced them both. God was thus in Christ, and Christ was thus the manifestation of God: which things cannot be said of any other man.
PROOF: "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). "..he that hath seen me hath seen the Father..the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" (John 14:9,10). "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19). "God was manifest in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16).
46.—Was Jesus God, co-equally and co-eternally with the Father, as "trinitarianism" teaches?
ANSWER: The man Christ Jesus, begotten of the Father and endowed immeasurably with His spirit, was distinct from the Father, though one with him in the sense expressed in the last answer. But as to co-equality and co-eternity, these are ideas that owe their existence to the speculations and disputations of Church theologians in the third and fourth centuries. They do not belong to the New Testament system of doctrine concerning Christ. This system teaches that the God of Christ was the Father, who fills heaven and earth by His spirit. Christ disowned co-equality with the Father; and co-eternity is impossible in a son.
PROOF: The passages quoted under answers 41 to 45, and also the following:
"I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me" (John 8:18). "I am in the Father, and the Father in me..I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I" (John 14:11,28). "My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all: and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand" (John 10:29). "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do..I can of mine own self do nothing..I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (John 5:19,30). "..and the head of Christ is God" (1 Corinthians 11:3). "And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:28).
CONCERNING THE NAME OF JESUS
47.—Why was Jesus Christ called by that name?
ANSWER: To show who he was and what was his mission.
PROOF: "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
48.—In what way does his name show this?
ANSWER: First by Jesus, which is a name of Hebrew origin, signifying God shall save; and then by Christ, which is a Greek word, meaning anointed.
PROOF: See passage proving answer 47. And "..they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matthew 1:23). "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed" (Psalm 2:2). "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together" (Acts 4:27).
49.—What is anointing?
ANSWER: It is the ceremony by which kings and priests were by divine appointment consecrated to their office. It consisted in putting holy oil on their heads.
PROOF: "Then shalt thou (i.e. Moses) take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his (i.e. Aaron's) head, and anoint him..and the priest's office shall be their's for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons" (Exodus 29:7,9). "..and thou (i.e. Samuel)shalt anoint him (i.e. Saul) to be captain over my people Israel..Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head..Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?" (1 Samuel 9:16: 10:1). "And the LORD said unto Samuel, fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons..thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee..Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him (i.e. David) in the midst of his brethren" ((1 Samuel 16:1,3,13).
50.—Was Christ anointed with oil?
ANSWER: No: he was anointed with that of which the oil of ancient custom was but a type. He was anointed with the spirit of God at his baptism in the Jordan.
PROOF: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good..for God was with him" (Acts 10:38). "Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily shape like dove upon him" (Luke 3:21,22).
51.—Then a man bearing the name of Jesus Christ would be pointed out by that name as the man through whom God, by the anointing Spirit, would save men—from what?
ANSWER: From their sins.
PROOF: see passage proving answer 47.
52.—In what way does God save men from their sins by Christ?
ANSWER: He forgives them for Christ's sake, and by the power of his teaching. He turns men away from their sins, and leads them to righteousness.
PROOF: "God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:32). "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:14). "..your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake" (1 John 2:12). "God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities" (Acts 3:26)
53.—Why for Christ's sake, does God forgive?
ANSWER: Because of what has been accomplished in him.
PROOF: "..because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors" (Isaiah 53:12).
54.—What has been accomplished in Christ?
ANSWER: Sin has been condemned in his death on the cross, and the righteousness of God has been declared and exhibited to all the world in the shedding of his blood.
PROOF: "For in that he died, he died unto sin once" (Romans 6:10). "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24). "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin (i.e. by a sacrifice for sin), condemned sin in the flesh" (Romans 8:3). "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (i.e. a mercy-seat) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:25,26).
55.—How could sin be condemned in Christ who was sinless? And how could the righteousness of God be declared in the blood-shedding of a righteous man?
ANSWER: Because being born of Adam's condemned race, and partaking of their condemned nature, Christ was made subject, equally with them, to the consequences of Adam's transgression. Therefore his public execution was a public exhibition of what was due to a man from God. It pleased God to require this, before inviting men to reconciliation through the man in whom this vindication should take place.
PROOF: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (i.e. "sinful flesh")". "God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin (i.e. by a sacrifice for sin), condemned sin in the flesh". (Hebrews 2:14; Romans 8:3). "..he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Hebrews 9:26). "..Jesus Christ our Lord..was made of the seed of David according to the flesh" (Romans 1:3). "..death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once" (Romans 6:9,10).
56.—Where did Jesus differ in this matter from other men?
ANSWER: Where Jesus in this matter differed from other men was, in the spotlessness of his personal character, on account of which the Father was well pleased. Jesus required no forgiveness. It was this that opened the way for his resurrection. For had he been a sinner as other men, death must have held the power over him that it had over them. But God raised him from the dead after sin had been condemned in his crucifixion, and being raised from the dead, "death hath no more dominion over him". "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them". In this way he has become the righteousness of God to us.
PROOF: above quotations Romans 6:9 and Hebrews 7:25. And "For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens" (Hebrews 7:26). "..in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). "Which of you convinceth me of sin?" (John 8:46). "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). "And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin" (1 John 3:5). "..it was not possible that he should be holden of it (i.e. death)..neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption" (Acts 2:24,27).
57.—What are we to understand by the statement of Paul quoted in proof of the answer to Question 55 that Jesus died that through death he might destroy him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil? Who or what is the devil?
ANSWER: The devil is the Bible name for sin in its various forms among men. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he (i.e. Jesus) also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (i.e. "sinful flesh")". "God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin (i.e. by a sacrifice for sin), condemned sin in the flesh". "Christ..put away sin by the sacrifice of himself". Sin is the death-power. There is no such "being" as the personal "immortal devil" of popular belief. The belief in such a "being" is due to the misunderstanding of certain figures and symbols in the Bible and the adoption of pagan beliefs. The Bible devil has many shapes; but all of these have their origin in "sinful flesh", and the consequent insubordination of flesh and blood to Divine law. The devil is revealed in our own feelings, and in the persons of those who would draw us into wrong ways. The devil exists in the present political constitution of things upon the earth.
PROOF: Hebrews 2:9,14; Romans 6:23, 8:3; Hebrews 9:24,26; James 1:14,15, 4:7; Hebrews 12:4; John 13:27, 6:70; Acts 5:3-9; Ephesians 2:2; 1 Timothy 5:14,15, 1:20; Matthew 16:23; Mark 8:33; Luke 4:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:18; Revelation 2:12,13; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 2:10; Romans 16:20; Revelation 12:3,17, 17:9,12, 20:2.
CONCERNING THE WAY OF SALVATION
58.—Is it possible for us to be saved apart from this work of Christ?
ANSWER: No: God has provided no other way of salvation for man than Jesus Christ.
PROOF: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). "..for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you" (John 6:53). "..for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:12,13).
59.—In what way are we brought into connection with the work of salvation accomplished in Christ?
ANSWER: By faith in it. Our faith is counted for righteousness.
PROOF: "Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness..now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead" (Romans 4:3,23,24). "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe" (Romans 3:22).
60.—Is faith by itself enough to secure for us the benefit of the work of Christ?
ANSWER: No: there must be obedience, or "works" also.
PROOF: "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered his son Isaac upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" (James 2:20-22). "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21)."For the Son of man..shall reward every man (i.e. of those responsible) according to his works" (Matthew 16:27). "..and I will give unto every one of you according to your works" (Revelation 2:23).
61.—What "works" are those who believe commanded to do?
ANSWER: There are many things they have been commanded to do. First, they are commanded to be baptized.
PROOF: "And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10:48). "..arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16).
62.—What is baptism?
ANSWER: Burial in water.
PROOF: "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized..?" (Acts 10:47). "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death..we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection" (Romans 6:4,5). "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God" (Colossians 2:12).
63.—What does baptism do for us?
ANSWER: It is the act that God has appointed, by which a believer puts on Christ and receives the remission of his sins.
PROOF: "For as many of you who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27). "..so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ" (Romans 6:3). "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us" (1 Peter 3:21).
CONCERNING THE COMMANDMENTS OF CHRIST
64.—What other commandments has Christ delivered for our observance?
ANSWER: He has commanded us to assemble ourselves together on every first day of the week to break bread and drink wine in remembrance of him.
PROOF: "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me" (1 Corinthians 11:23-25). "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread" (Acts 20:7). "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together" (Hebrews 10:25). "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store" (1 Corinthians 16:2).
65.—Are there other commandments that we must obey?
ANSWER: Yes; many. Some of these commandments tell us what we are to do, and others tell us what we are not to do.
66.—Recite a few of the things we are to do?
ANSWER: (1) We are to love God and Christ (2) to do to men as we would that they should do to us (3) to love one another (4) to sympathize with men in their joys and sorrows (5) to love even our enemies, blessing those who curse us, doing good to those who hate us, and praying for those who badly use us (6) to be ready to every good work, giving to those who ask, relieving the afflicted (7) to be faithful even to bad masters (8) to pray always and in everything give thanks (9) to speak the truth always (10) to be blameless and harmless (11) to be humble, brave, courteous and manly (12) to follow after whatsoever things are true, honest, pure, just, lovely and of good report.
PROOF: (1) Matthew 22:37; Luke 10:27 (2) Matthew 7:12 (3) John 13:34 (4) Romans 12:15 (5) Luke 6:27,28; 1 Peter 3:9; Matthew 5:44 (6) Titus 3:1; Matthew 5:43; Romans 12:13 (7) 1 Timothy 6:1,2 (8) Luke 18:1; Ephesians 5:20 (9) Ephesians 4:25 (10) Philippians 2:15 (11) Luke 14:11-13; Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:8-10 (12) Philippians 4:8.
67.—Can you enumerate some of the things we are not to do?
ANSWER: (1) We are not to be masterful and lordly; (2) we are not to return evil for evil; (3) we are not to avenge ourselves, but rather give place to wrath, and suffer ourselves to be defrauded; (4) we are not to do our alms before men, or let our left hand know what our right hand doeth; (5) we are not to labour to be rich or to love the world; (6) we are not to return cursing for cursing, or railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing; (7) we are not to grudge, judge, complain, or condemn; (8) we are not to give way to anger, wrath, bitterness, or evil speaking; (9) we are not to conform to the world or to be ambitious after higher things; (10) we are not to be slack in paying our debts; (11) we are not to backbite or speak of other men's sins until we have spoken to themselves first; (12) we are not to be guilty of adultery, fornication, uncleanness, drunkenness, covetousness, wrath, strife, sedition, hatred, emulation, boasting, vainglory, envy, jesting or foolish talking.
PROOF: (1) Matthew 23:11; John 13:13-17. (2) Romans 12:17. (3) Romans 12:19,20. (4) Matthew 6:1-4. (5) 1 Timothy 6:8. (6) 1 Peter 3:9. (7) James 4:11; Matthew 7:1; Philippians 2:14. (8) Ephesians 4:31; 1 Peter 2:1. (9) Romans 12:2,16. (10) Romans 13:7,8. (11) Matthew 8:15; James 5:19,20. (12) Ephesians 5:3,4.
68.—Will the gospel save us if we are disobedient to those commandments?
ANSWER: No: our belief of the Gospel and baptism will only be to our condemnation if we live in disobedience to the commandments of Christ. Only those who do his commandments will at last be among the blessed.
PROOF: "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14). "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it" (Matthew 7:26,27). "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them" (2 Peter 2:21).
69.—Is there forgiveness for those who, having submitted to the Gospel, may fail in rendering a perfect obedience to the commandments of Christ?
ANSWER: Yes, if there were not, no flesh could be saved. But forgiveness is conditional on our confessing and forsaking our sins; and also on our being forgiving to others; and forgiveness is only granted at the intercession of Christ. If we are unforgiving, or if he refuses to intercede, there is no hope for us.
PROOF: "If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared" (Psalm 130:3,4). "But if we walk in the light..the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). "And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1). "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins" (1 John 1:9). "..he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). "It is Christ..who also maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8:34). "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (John 6:15).
CONCERNING FAITH AND THE GOSPEL
70.—You have said that our faith is counted to us for righteousness when we obey the truth in baptism. What is faith?
ANSWER: It is the act of mind by which we believe or have confidence in professions or promises that may be made.
PROOF: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). "He (i.e. Abraham) staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God" (Romans 4:20). "Abraham believed God, and..faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness" (Romans 4:3,9).
71.—What is it that we are invited to believe or place confidence in before our baptism?
ANSWER: In the gospel.
PROOF: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:15,16). "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth"
(Romans 1:16). "And they..returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel" (Acts 8:25).
72.—What is the Gospel?
ANSWER: The word "gospel" means good news or glad tidings; and the glad tidings announced by Christ and the Apostles are "the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ".
PROOF: "..he (i.e. Jesus) went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God" (Luke 8:1). "And he (i.e. Jesus) said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent" (Luke 4:43). "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women" (Acts 8:12). "..ye all, among whom I (i.e. Paul) have gone preaching the kingdom of God" (Acts 20: 25). "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him" (Acts 28:30,31).
CONCERNING THE KINGDOM OF GOD
73.—What is the Kingdom of God?
ANSWER: It is a kingdom that God will set up on earth which will overthrow and take possession of all others.
PROOF: "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed..it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" (Daniel 2:44). "And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the kingdoms of the heathen" (Haggai 2:22). "I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man..and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Daniel 7:13,14). "And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one" (Zechariah 14:9). "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 11:15).
74.—Who will be king in the Kingdom of God?
ANSWER: Jesus Christ.
PROOF: "..and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus" (Acts 17:7). "Because he (i.e. God) hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained" (Acts 17:31). "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion..Thou art my Son..I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession" (Psalm 2: 6-8). "And the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever" (Micah 4:7). "..and the Lord God shall give unto him (i.e. Jesus) the throne of his father David..and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:32,33). "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 11:15).
75.—Will Christ reign alone in the Kingdom of God, or will others reign with him?
ANSWER: Others will reign with him.
PROOF: "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him" (2 Timothy 2:12). "Thou..hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:9,10). "And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years..they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4,6). "Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment" (Isaiah 32:1). "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34).
76.—Who are they that will reign with Christ in the Kingdom of God?
ANSWER: The saints.
PROOF: "But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever..and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom" (Daniel 7:18,22). "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" (1 Corinthians 6:2). "To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; this honour have all his saints" (Psalm 149:7-9).
77.—Who are the saints?
ANSWER: Those who believe and obey the gospel.
PROOF: "To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints" (Romans 1:7). "Unto the ecclesia of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints" (1 Corinthians 1:2). "..to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 1:1). " I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:14).
78.—Did God ever have a kingdom on earth before?
ANSWER: Yes. The Kingdom of Israel was the Kingdom of God.
PROOF: "For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations" (Psalm 22:28). "When Israel went out of Egypt..Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion" (Psalm 114:1,2). "And now think ye to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David" (2 Chronicles 13:8). "Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father" (1 Chronicles 29:23).