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Bible Fundamentals 2019

 

Have the Promises to Abraham been fulfilled?

 Anyone who has debated that subject of the Kingdom of God with the Church of Christ has had to refute the false doctrine that teaches that the promises to Abraham were completely fulfilled in Old Testament times. Below are passages they quote in the effort to prove their claim: 

I Kings 8: 56 -  “Blessed be the Lord, who hath given rest to his people, Israel, according to all that he promised; There hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses.”

Joshua 21: 43-45 – “And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he swore to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it and dwelt in it.” … And the Lord gave them rest round about according to all that he swore unto their fathers…. There failed nothing of all the good things which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.”

As Moses was about to die, he spoke the following words to Israel: Joshua 23: 14-15 - “… NOT ONE SINGLE THING HAS FAILED OF ALL THE GOOD THINGS WHICH THE Lord your God spoke concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing has failed thereof.”

 It is vital that we take particular care to notice that every one of the above passages mention things that were said to Moses, and unto Israel; not to Abraham. When the above passages speak of promises to the “fathers,” the “fathers of the tribes” at the time of the Exodus is meant (Joshua 14: 1).  The above passage speaks only of promises God spoke to Moses concerning Israel in the land.  Not one of above passages speaks of things said to Abraham.  

We should take notice of the fact that all of the passages above speak of Israel’s inheritance in Israel “under the law.”  The inspired Apostle Paul makes the strong point in Romans 4: 13 that “the promise that he should be heir of the world was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” 

 If it is true that those promises were fulfilled under the law as Israel possessed the land, then the inspired Apostle Paul was not so inspired after all. However, if we ignore apostate claims and believe the word of God, it is clear that the Apostle Paul was fully inspired. 

 We know that the writer of the Acts of the Apostles, records in Acts 7: 5: “And he gave him no inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on; yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession. and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.” This proves that the eternal promises – those with lasting substance – had not been fulfilled at the time when Luke penned the Acts of the Apostles. 

Again the inspired Apostle Paul wrote in Hebrews 11: 13: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers, and pilgrims in the earth.” 

Therefore, who shall we believe? Shall we believe apostate opponents of the truth; or the inspired word of God?  As for me and my house, we shall believe the pure truth of the word of the God of Israel.

                                                    Wayne R. Tanner

 

                                                                                          

 

 

 Defining the Soul

(What is it?)

The subject of the soul has suffered more violence from the world of religion than most other subjects.   II Timothy 4: 4 foretold that the Ecclesia of Christ would experience a turning away their ears from the truth and turning unto fables.  This prophecy has come to pass as we see in the apostate doctrines of world religions.

Let us peruse the account of the creation of Adam, the first man, and see if the popular idea of a separate and immortal soul is scriptural.  We believe that the idea of such a soul is one of the worst errors to be found in the world of religion.

In Genesis 2: 7 we read:“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (underlining is mine).

There is no way around the truth that what was formed of the dust “became” a living soul.  There is no indication that Adam received a “living soul.”   Adam himself became a “living soul.”

It is vital to know that the term “living soul” is a translation of the Hebrew phrase “chai nephesh.”  Adam was not the first “chai nephesh” that had been created, for, in Genesis 1: 20, we find the phrase “chai nephesh” in the statement “every living creature that moveth.”  Again, in Verse 21 we find “chai nephesh” applied to every animal that moveth; and every fowl that flies. Therefore,  scripture informs us that Adam became exactly what every other living thing had become, “a chai nephesh.”

The belief held by those in the apostate world of religious thinking, that the soul is a separate entity within the body of a man, constitutes “the doctrine of men” (Isaiah 29: 13; Matthew 15: 9), and their description of the soul of man, cannot be found in the truth of God.                                                                                                                                               

The Hebrew term “nephesh” is translated:

Soul- 428 times.

Dead - 8 times.

Mind -15 times.

Heart- 15 times, meaning the mind (Proverbs 23: 7; Exodus 23: 9; Leviticus 26: 16, etc.).

Never does the term “immortal” occur in connection with the word “soul.”

Rather, scripture clearly declares that the soul is capable of death and that the soul, in fact, does die.  Notice:

1.              Souls die:

Ezekiel 18: 4-“The soul that sinneth, it shall die” 

Psalm 78: 50, “He spared not their soul from death’  

Job 7: 15 –Job said, “So my soul chooseth strangling and death rather than life.”

James 5: 20- “… he that converts a sinner has saved a soul from death.”

Joshua 10: 28, 32, 35, 37, 39 – ‘Joshua destroyed all the souls that were therein….”

2.              Souls are born - Exodus 1: 5 - seventy souls out of Jacob’s loins.

3.              Animals have souls - Numbers 31:28 – “souls of men, of persons, of oxen; of asses and of the sheep.

a.    Jesus said in Matthew 26: 38- “My soul is exceedingly

sorrowful, even unto death’. These things happen in the mind, proving that the terms “mind” and “soul” are synonyms.

Never do the scriptures speak of a soul that cannot die.  There is one passage of Scripture, which believers in an immortal soul interpret

to mean a deathless soul, and that is Matthew 10: 28 where Jesus is

thought to have said that no one can kill the soul.

That certainly is not Jesus’ meaning, for in the same verse Jesus told his apostles, “fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body.” 

No being can destroy that which cannot be destroyed. 

The literal meaning of Jesus’ words may be understood by comparing this scripture with Luke 12: 4-5. “…be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do…  Verse 5- “But I forewarn you whom ye shall fear. Fear him who, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell.”

The term “hell” in the above passage is “Gehenna” which speaks of the fiery “Valley of Hinnom” south of Jerusalem in which a continuous fire was kept burning for the destruction of refuse and waste [it perpetually burned because waste and trash were being continuously added as fuel – Ed].  The passage has no reference to the imaginary burning hell of apostate belief.

Now that we have seen the actual meaning of Jesus’ warning, no one has any excuse for believing that Jesus’ reference in Matthew 10: 28 had reference to an indestructible, immortal soul.  The Bible knows nothing of such an imaginary soul.

Therefore, both man and beasts, as well as fowl of the air are “chai nephesh.”  All constitute a soul.  When either beasts or men die,  Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 3: 19 declares, “what befalleth man, befalleth beasts.”   And verse 20 says, all go to one place ... all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” Because of these truths, Psalms 49: 20 states: “Man that is in honor, and understandeth not is like the beasts that perish.”

 We must take note of the fact that believers in the different nature of man and beasts perceive that Ecclesiastes 3: 21 is teaching their beliefs, instead of the truth that the nature of men and beasts are the same.   Notice what Solomon did say:  “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward?”  It is a challenging question only, and not a statement of divine truth.  He had just stated that both go unto one place.  Thus, he is showing the pagan belief to be just that, a false, pagan belief.     Wayne R. Tanner

 

“I Will Be Who I Will Be”      

             Exodus 3: 14, in response to Moses' question as to who was sending him to Egypt to lead Israel to freedom, God, through His angel replied: "Eyeh asher Eyeh" which, when correctly translated says, "I will be who I will be."

It is evident in Exodus 3: 12 that the Hebrew term “Eyeh” means “I will be.”  In that phrase, the one-word “Eyeh” is translated by three English words, “I will be.” 

Neither God nor His representative angel said simply the words “I am” hath sent me.     

In this one chapter we find evidence of God being identified in whomsoever He manifested Himself.

Notice verse 6 where the angel (Exodus 3: 1- 2; Acts 7; 30), said:  I am the Father of Abraham, the God of Isaac, Jacob, and the God of Jacob.”  It is a known fact that the individual who was in the burning bush was an angelic being – not the literal Father of Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob.

            God, who no man has seen (John 1:16), was and is the Father of those three Israeli forefathers.  But Yahveh in heaven was “in” the angel who was speaking to Moses from the fiery bush, and the angel was representing God as he spoke.

Again, in Exodus 14: 19, we are told that God’s angel was in the cloud that went before Israel.  Yet, in verse 24 it says that “God looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar and the cloud.”

 Was this a falsehood, or the truth, since it was the angel of God that was in the cloud? 

The fact is, that God was in the angel that went before Israel (Exodus 23: 20-21). 

Therefore, as the angel looked unto the Egyptians, it was true also that God looked unto the Egyptians, for God was in the angel.  For one to see the angel was to see God also, for they were both present just as in Exodus 24: 10. 

In that passage we are told that seventy Israelite elders and Moses “saw the God (Elohim) of Israel.”  Since God was “in the angel,” the angel and Yahveh himself formed a plural.  Thus they saw a plural, for God was there also, but they literally saw only the angel in whom God was manifested.

Therefore, the truth of the phrase I will be who I will be” was put into reality, for to see the angel, was to see God, for God was doing the works which the angel performed, just as in the case of God's being in Jesus and working in Jesus (John 14: 9,  10).

The same principle is seen in 2 Corinthians 5: 19 where this phrase explains, that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.”  

There is an exact parallel of this concept expressed in Acts 2: 22: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; 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...”  

Since God was working “in Christ” to see Christ perform those miracles, we clearly see God performing those miracles for Jesus, Who confessed that of himself He “could do nothing” (John 5: 30).

         Therefore, Exodus 3: 14 was God’s promise to mankind that He would at various times, appear to the prophets, to kings, to His Son, to his Son’s disciples, and to others. 

Someday in future time He will even appear Himself personally when God will be “all in all” (I CorinthiansHe H 15: 24-28 and Revelation 21: 3-4).          Wayne R. Tanner: Posted May 10, 2019

 

Are God and Jesus Forgeries? 

            The national news recently reported that more than a hundred or more churches are closing each month because church attendance has declined nationwide.  Jesus foretold two thousand years ago (Luke 18: 8), that when he returned he would scarcely find the faith for which he and his apostles were responsible.  Likewise, the apostle Paul in I Timothy 4: 1-3 foretold that in the “latter times, some shall be depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy.”

            Who could have known this and foretold it two thousand years ago, and have it come to pass with unerring accuracy, other than someone who was more than an average person living upon the earth?  Only God through His servants could tell the future in such a manner.

            One other Person in the history of mankind has demonstrated the ability to foretell future events to come upon the earth, and have those forecasts come to pass with such unerring accuracy that they cannot deny.  That one Person is Jesus Christ the Son of the God of Israel in whom God manifested Himself  (II Corinthians 5:19).

            No so long ago, persons driving on I-35 through Milwaukee, Wisconsin, suddenly approached a large sign that read:

                                    “No one died for our sins;

                                        Jesus Christ is a myth.”                 

            If that sign holds forth an ounce of truth, then perhaps those who erected that sign can explain the fact that only God and His Son foretold future events; and not in one instance has one of those forecasts failed to come to pass exactly as was foretold many hundreds of years ago, except a few which clearly still await fulfillment.   

Several Forecasts of God Himself

            It would be very easy to begin in Genesis, examining types and shadows foretelling future conditions, but there are so many that are found in the latter portion of Old Testament times, that we will consider several of those. 

            Around 600 A.D. God delivered the rebellious kingdom of Judah into captivity to Babylon.  While Israel was there in captivity, God gave a dream to king Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, which foretold the course of his and succeeding empires for the next 2600 years.  Daniel, God’s prophet, revealed to Nebuchadnezzar not only exactly the dream’s content but also what his dream had foretold.  How amazing it is that for more than 2500 years, events of the empire have followed the exact pattern laid out in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

First, God showed the king that throughout the many years of future history, exactly four empires would have control over that region.

We ask this question, as we look back over the twenty-five hundred years of that region, how many empires have maintained control over that area? Why exactly four empires have controlled it, just as was foretold in 600 B.C. How amazing is it, that three of those empires, together, (1. Babylon; 2. The Medes and Persians; 3. Greece), ruled it for six hundred years. The fourth one (Rome) was said to control the region longer than the first three empires all put together.  Rome which later developed into Europe still holds the dominion over its people and will continue until a fifth kingdom (the kingdom of God) is set up in its place. 

            Doesn’t anyone wonder why, during those twenty-five hundred years, only those four empires ever gained control?  For twenty-five hundred years, the prophecy has followed the exact pattern that the king Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream that God sent to him.  No other empire ever entered into the picture.  No man could have foretold that and brought it to pass as it actually happened.

            Three thousand years ago, in Psalm 83:1-10; and again 2400 years ago in Ezekiel 28: 25-26 and Zechariah 14: 14, God foretold that the specific, named nations “round about” Israel would band together in an attempt to destroy ”Israel’s” existence. How interesting that now, three thousand years later, in the Middle East only THESE nations are daily threatening to destroy Israel’s very existence. Where are all those nations that threaten to destroy Israel? How amazing that those very nations are all the “nations round about Israel.” 

What man knew all of this three thousand years ago, and was able to bring it to pass three thousand years later?  The answer is obvious, and only the fool says “there is no God” (Psalm 14: 1; Psalm 53: 1).

The Appearance of Israel’s Messiah

            While the two-tribe kingdom of Judah was captive in Babylon, God revealed to the Prophet Daniel how long it would be until Israel’s Messiah (the Anointed One) would appear in their midst. How does He do this?

In Daniel 9:25, God reveals to Daniel a number of weeks. Even apostate Bible students, who often deny that “a day” in Bible prophesy represent a year, agree that in this prophecy a day represent a year, for none of the time periods given saw anything happen within the number of literal days specified that would fulfill the prophecy. Such critics mention three different decrees relative to the rebuilding of Jerusalem while ignoring a fourth date in which such a decree was given. 

Counting from one of the decrees given to rebuild Jerusalem would make Jesus to have been forty-five years old as he was crucified. A second supposed date would have made him a teenager at his crucifixion.  A third one also makes him the wrong age at his crucifixion, which the scriptures reveal as thirty-three and one-half years.

            There is another one which brings us to his crucifixion at the age of thirty-three and one-half years. That one was given by the Persian king in the year 457 B.C. The seven weeks and sixty-two weeks of verse 25 amounts to 69 weeks (483 years); calculation of those years brings one to 27 A.D., the year when Jesus was baptized by John and verbally approved by the Almighty’s thunderous voice from heaven, “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased,” (Matthew 3: 17) making Him “the Anointed One” (Acts 10: 38).

            What man ever lived who could have foretold exactly four hundred eighty-three years in advance the exact time when Jesus would become Israel’s Messiah? But God did! Therefore, we recognize the only Person in the universe who possesses that ability, the God of Israel.

            Finally, though there are many other instances, consider Ezekiel 21: 25-27. God grew very tired of Israel’s rebellious ways and announced to her that he was, for a considerable period, bringing her kingdom to an end.

Through three “overturnings,” God ended her kingdom. 

The first overturning was to break up the twelve kingdoms, forming two separate kingdoms.   

            The second overturning was in sending the Assyrian forces, taking the northern kingdom hostage into Assyria from which they never returned. 

Overturn number three was Babylon coming into the land around 600 B.C., taking Judah captive.  There has been no Israeli kingdom since that time until the modern day. Judah returned to her land but was always ruled by foreign kings until again dispersed.                         

            In Ezekiel 21: 27, God says Israel’s kingdom “shall be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it Him.” That was 2600 years ago, and no king has restored Israel’s throne and kingdom during all that time. 

What man knew that the kingdom would not be rebuilt for over two thousand years?  Only God knew, and he kept it from happening until these end-times, just as he announced over two thousand years ago. 

The Bible knows of literal 24 hour days, of the day-for-a-year principle, and of a thousand-year millennial day (Psalms 90: 4; 2 Peter 3: 8).  In Hosea 6: 1-3 Israel was informed that her smiting would end after two millennial days and that she would be revived in the third day.  We now are well into the third millennia day since Israel’s smiting. Her great spiritual revival is about to happen as God promised it would (Ezekiel 37:11-22; Luke 1: 32-33). 

Was Jesus Sent by the God of Israel?

            Jesus often declared that he was sent by God, his Father (John 4: 24; John 14: 10; 2 Corinthians 5: 19).  Jesus often foretold of events to come, just as his Father did.  Whatever he foretold has either come to pass, or is yet due to be fulfilled, for a few thing he foretold are yet to be fulfilled.  Let us take notice of some things he foretold, that came to pass with unerring accuracy.

            In Matthew 23: 37-39, Jesus told the Jews who rejected him, that their dwelling place was to left desolate “UNTIL” they accepted him.   

            In Luke 21: 24 Jesus declared that the Jews would fall by the edge of the sword, and led away captive into all nations and Jerusalem would be trodden down by non-Jewish people (the Gentiles) “UNTIL” the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 

See Ezekiel 21: 27 for another “UNTIL” which shows that an end to the punishment against Israel was to come to an end.

And these references are perfectly parallel with Micah 5: 1-3!

            Jerusalem was in fact trodden down by Gentiles for close to two thousand years. The Jews that were in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., when Rome surrounded and destroyed the city, were scattered into every nation under the sun. In 1517 A.D., the Ottoman Turks invaded the Middle East as foretold in Daniel 11: 40-45. The Turkish ruling house held Jerusalem until 1917 when the English army drove the Turk out of Jerusalem and out of Palestine in preparation for Israel to establish her rulership over the land once again.

Therefore, we see that the “UNTIL” mentioned by Jesus in Luke 21; 24 and Matthew 23: 39 was by special, meaningful design – and fitted into God’s forecasts quite beautifully.

            Yes, every word of the Bible can be proven not to have been written by anyone except by Him who foretold it all hundreds and thousands of years in advance, and lived much longer than any man has ever lived; and brought every prophecy to pass with unerring accuracy.     

            Soon upon this earth, those who deny the existence of God, and the facts concerning the Son of God will be removed from existence. However, the God of Israel will rule the whole Universe throughout eternity. Contrary to the self-appointed “philosophers” who paid for the false Milwaukee signage, God and his Son Jesus DO exist, and will continue to exist, and will rule the entire earth forever, and forever.            Wayne R. Tanner

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