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« Reply #210 on: April 10, 2008, 11:43:19 PM »

Prophecy - Signs
Gold, Frankincense And Myrrh
by A. Edwin Wilson


GOLD, FRANKINCENSE AND MYRRH

When the wise men from the East found the Child Jesus, they fell down and worshiped Him. Their worship was manifested in the presentation of gifts. These are highly symbolic and provide a fruitful study. There was the gold which symbolized the Godly Sovereignty and Kingship - a confession on the part of the wise men that this was God the King in the flesh. The incense which was offered is described in Revelation as intercessory prayers of the saints in connection with the Lord Jesus Christ. It shows the faith of the wise men in confessing Christ to be their High Priest and Intercessor. The myrrh, always used in connection with the preparation of bodies for burial, bespeaks the faith of the wise men in the sacrificial death of this One for their sins. The three gifts revealed the three offices of our Lord: Myrrh, Prophet; frankincense, Priest; gold, King. This is a truth which many purported religious leaders today have not yet learned in their studies of Christ - that He WAS Prophet, IS NOW Priest, and when He comes again WILL BE King.
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« Reply #211 on: April 11, 2008, 12:02:56 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Signs - Wonders - Miracles
by A. Edwin Wilson


SIGNS - WONDERS - MIRACLES

'THESE SIGNS SHALL FOLLOW' Christians are being upset and disturbed today by so many churches or preachers calling for a return to Pentecostal gifts. The lack of healing as a part of the ministry of the church is attributed to a loss of power through a weakening of faith. On every hand we hear contentions that if the church was right with the Lord the sick would be healed, the dead raised, and all other apostolic miracles restored. One of the passages of Scripture most commonly referred to and cited as authority for healing today is Mark 16:17, 18: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

I must confess that there was a time in my own personal ministry when this particular passage and kindred passages disturbed me greatly. Faith healers used a very subtle insinuation by saying, "If the Lord has any more for me, I want it." It was some time before I appreciated the fact that all the Lord has for us is to be found in His Word, and that ones using such an expression do not know too much of the complete revelation of God as contained in the Bible. They are familiar with a few isolated texts which, when taken from their context and joined with others, might be used to establish a case for healing. I began to study in earnest all the passages of Scripture relative to healing and other apostolic miracles, and I want to give the results of my study of the particular passage in Mark 16:15-20.

As I read and reread this passage and gave time to earnest prayer for the wisdom which cometh from above, I became certain of two facts as set forth in this passage: 1) I was a believer, and 2) none of these signs followed me. One of the great times in my Christian experience was that moment when I passed beyond the realm of doubts, fears and misgivings concerning my own personal salvation. It is one thing to be saved. It is another thing to know you are saved. I reached the point at which I no longer trusted in my experience or in my feelings, but rested securely on the Word of the Lord. The Bible says, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. . ." Again, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9). I knew that I had believed on the Lord; I knew that I had confessed Him with my mouth; I knew I believed God raised Him from the dead; therefore, I knew I was a believer.

But this passage of Scripture says these signs shall follow them that believe. Now mark these truths. It does not say these signs will follow him that believes and is then baptized by the Holy Ghost, or is sanctified, or has received a special blessing. This Scripture simply says these signs shall follow them that believe.

The second great truth which I discovered was that" in addition to my being a believer, THESE SIGNS DID NOT FOLLOW ME. Not only did I not cast out devils, I did not speak with new tongues, I was and still am afraid of serpents, I had no desire to drink deadly poisons, I had no desire to lay hands on the sick in an attempt to heal them. What is the conclusion of this matter? Since these signs do not follow me, does it mean that I am not a believer? Or, since I am a believer, should these signs follow me? This is the conclusion to which the Lord brought me: that these verses of Scripture do not apply to me - that I am a believer and that these signs are not supposed to follow me.
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« Reply #212 on: April 11, 2008, 12:04:33 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Signs - Wonders - Miracles
by A. Edwin Wilson

In this connection, I want to call your attention to Mark 16:20, "And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following." Here we read that all who believed went forth and preached everywhere (see Acts 8:4), the Lord working with them and confirming the Word WITH SIGNS FOLLOWING. Here we have the experience of the Lord working with these early believers and confirming their testimony with signs. Ever since entering the ministry, I have gone here and there as I felt led of the Lord, and ministered the Word in the power of the Spirit, but God has not confirmed with these signs the Word which I have ministered. I have never carried with me serpents, nor vials of deadly poisons, nor a bottle of olive oil. I have been interested in many of these divine healers who are afraid of serpents and are afraid to drink deadly poisons but who still contend they have the power to heal. I am amazed at these so-called healers who do not attempt to raise the dead, as did the apostles and even our Lord Himself.

We have a key to this entire passage of Scripture which speaks of our Lord confirming the Word with signs following. This key is in Hebrews 2:3: "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him." Here we have reference to the message of salvation which was confirmed by the Lord, but the distinguishing truth of this particular verse is that the Word was confirmed (as in Mark 16:20) with signs following. It was confirmed, I say, only unto those who heard Jesus Himself who first spoke the Word. We are told (Hebrews 2:4) that the confirmation was with signs, wonders, divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, dispensed according to His own will. But again, these signs, wonders, and miracles were confirmed only unto those that heard Jesus speak. There is no Scripture which speaks of these signs, wonders, and miracles being used by our Lord to confirm the ministry of the Word by any of His servants other than those servants who heard our Lord preach the Word Himself. If you should be disturbed about the Apostle Paul, just remember that the Lord came and ministered unto him by Word of mouth the gospel which Paul preached, so that Paul also belongs to the number of those who "heard Him."

With the completion of the revelation of God and the closing of the canon of the Scripture, neither I nor any other servant has need of serpents, deadly poisons, olive oil, raising the dead, talking in tongues, or any visible confirmation for the ministry of the Word other than that ministry by the Holy Spirit. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). I go forth with the Word of the Lord, praying that it will be in the power of the Spirit, knowing full well that the Holy Spirit of God will take the Truth and bear it home to the consciences of the hearers.

"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged" (John 16:7-11). Here we have a most blessed truth concerning the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He convicts the individual of his lost condition; He convicts the individual of the righteousness of God in dying for his sins; He convicts the individual of the truth of the Word of God; He gives the individual faith to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. In short and in fact, the Holy Spirit confirms the preached Word today, not with signs following, but with conviction as set forth in the above quoted verses.

Now in conclusion, let me ask you two very solemn and startling questions. First, do you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? Second, do these signs of Mark 16:17, 18 follow you? I think your answer to the latter will be in the negative, for I have never seen an individual yet who claimed that all of these signs followed him. Hence, the article you have just concluded - attempting to show that, whereas this passage of Scripture applied to the apostles and those who heard our Lord, they do not apply to us who learn of Him through the reading of the Word and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #213 on: April 11, 2008, 12:06:00 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Unknown Tongues
by A. Edwin Wilson


UNKNOWN TONGUES

There is a resurgence of attempts to reactivate so-called Pentecostal gifts. Not far from where I am dictating these words are those honest and well-meaning individuals who continually try to handle rattlesnakes and copperhead snakes with immunity as evidence of the strength and depth of their faith, but they fail. There are also in our midst many who are attempting to heal people by the anointing with olive oil and the laying on of hands. Possibly the most popular, widespread attempt to prove the baptism of the Spirit is what is referred to as "speaking in unknown tongues."

I t is extremely interesting to find a doctrine established upon a false premise for which there is no Scriptural foundation at all. I refer to the word unknown. The word unknown in connection with talking in tongues occurs only in I Corinthians 14:2,4, 13, 14, 19 and 27. In each instance you will note that the word UNKNOWN is in italics. In the King James Version the printing of words in italics is a device adopted by the translators to show that the word itself does not appear in the original text but has been supplied by the translators with no authority whatsoever for so doing.

There is no such thing in all the Word of God as an unknown tongue. What is the meaning of tongue or tongues? The first time that word occurs in the New Testament is in Mark 16:17, "They shall speak with new tongues." The next time it occurs is in Acts 2:4. We see the word again in vs. 8. The English equivalent of the Greek word for tongue is glossai, which means language or the sound of words made with the tongue. In Mark 16:17 the Lord had said that "They shall speak with new languages."

In Acts 2:4 when they were filled with the Holy Spirit they began to speak in other languages. In Acts 2:8 and 11 the people were astonished in that they heard the wonderful works of God in their own language. Acts 2:9-11 tells of the different nationalities who heard the gospel spoken in their own tongues or languages. In I Corinthians 13 Paul says, "Though I speak with the languages of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal." This gift of speaking in new languages was the result of being filled with the Spirit of God; and because of Paul's experience - related in II Corinthians 12:1-4, wherein he heard the angels speak in their language - he poses the possibility of his speaking in all of the different languages of the human race and in the languages of the angels.

The word translated tongues throughout the New Testament is the word for language. There is no experience mentioned in the New Testament which has to do with the so-called unknown language, that is, a language that is not known to men or angels in some part of the universe. As the early disciples went forth with the glorious gospel of Christ before the New Testament was written and completed, God gave certain ones the gift of talking in a foreign language without the necessity of having to study and learn that language. In I Corinthians 14:22 we are told that the ability to talk in other languages was for a sign to unbelievers and it is not a sign to Christians.

We read of only three instances in which this gift was poured out upon a waiting people. In Acts, chapter 2, the Jewish apostles were given the gift of talking in foreign languages to all the foreigners who were present to show that they had received the Holy Spirit. In Acts, chapter 10, Cornelius and his household received the gift of talking in foreign languages to show unto the apostles that the Gentiles also had received the Holy Spirit. In Acts, chapter 19, the apostles of John who had been associated with Apollos also received the gift of talking in foreign languages to show that John's disciples had received the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #214 on: April 11, 2008, 12:07:25 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Unknown Tongues
by A. Edwin Wilson

Another interesting thing about the talking in foreign languages is that whereas most of the proponents of this strange doctrine today are women, we do not find a single instance in the New Testament where a woman was given the gift of talking in a foreign language. In fact, in I Corinthians 14:34, women are absolutely prohibited from speaking in foreign languages in churches. (It is in I Timothy 2:11-15, where the woman is prohibited from speaking at all in any public assembly where men are present.) Continuing in I Corinthians 14:37, the Spirit of God says through the Apostle Paul that if anyone imagines himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, then let him acknowledge that the prohibition in vs. 34 is the commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If the ability to talk in foreign languages is not the sign of the filling of the Holy Spirit, then what is? In Galatians 5:22, 23, we have the evidence of the infilling of the Spirit and the outflowing as a result: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

What difference does it make whether or not one seeks Pentecostal gifts? Primarily this: that when one earnestly and honestly seeks a so-called baptism by the Holy Spirit and then cannot talk in foreign languages or heal the sick or raise the dead or drink deadly poisons and play with deadly snakes with immunity, shipwreck is made of his faith. One of the most promising young ministers with whom I have ever been acquainted went astray into seeking the power to talk in foreign languages, heal the sick and raise the dead: and when he failed to do any of the above mentioned, he resigned from his church and ultimately quit the ministry. I have known laymen who sought these gifts, thinking they were for the day in which we now live; and when they failed to receive them, they turned away from the faith once delivered to the saints, disassociated themselves from the church and became most unprofitable servants and witnesses.

I will mention one very poignant verse which should set at ease any open-minded child of God. Study carefully the following verse and all of its implications: Matthew 16:4 "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign."
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« Reply #215 on: April 11, 2008, 12:09:20 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
No Signs, Wonders Or Miracles
by A. Edwin Wilson


NO SIGNS, WONDERS OR MIRACLES

In the light of so many efforts to resuscitate Pentecostal gifts, I think it well for us to consider the dispensational aspects of signs, wonders and miracles. It is a notable fact that during the early ministry of the Apostle Paul, he raised the dead, healed the sick, was immune to poisonous snakes: whereas, in the latter part of his ministry none of these signs, wonders and miracles were evident.

In I Timothy 5:23, he advised Timothy to use a little wine for his stomach disorder, rather than perform an act of healing upon him. In I I Timothy 4:20, we are advised that Paul did not heal Trophimus but left him at Miletum sick. In Philippians 2:25.30, we read of Epaphroditus's sickness nigh unto death and, again, he was not healed by the Apostle Paul.

All three of the above instances occurred in the latter part of Paul's ministry and in particular, after the experience of Acts 28:28, which manifestly is the dispensational boundary of signs, wonders and miracles. Prior to the time of Acts 28:28, all of these signs were in evidence. After that time, they were not in evidence. The significance of that particular time period is that it was at that moment that the Lord set Israel aside and no longer was the kingdom proffered to them on the basis of national repentance, but instead God turned to the Gentiles. (This is on a national basis and not individual; the gospel was still to the individual Jew first, but also to the Greek.) As long as the offer of the kingdom was extended to the whole nation of Israel, the preaching was accompanied by signs, wonders and miracles. But when God turned to the Gentiles, these signs, wonders and miracles were no longer needed. "The Jew seeketh a sign."

Listed below, you will find the books of the New Testament in the order in which they were written relative to Acts 28:28, which event took place somewhere between the beginning of 59 A.D. and the end of 63 A.D.

The four Gospels about. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 A.D.
James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 A.D.
Jude. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 A.D.
I Thessalonians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 A.D.
II Thessalonians . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . .52 A.D.
Hebrews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 A.D.
I, II, III John . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 A.D.
I Corinthians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 A.D.
II Corinthians. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 A.D.
Galatians.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 A.D.
Romans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 A.D.

All of the above were written before the dispensational boundary of Acts 28:28, after which there are NO SIGNS, WONDERS AND MIRACLES.

I and II Peter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 A.D.
Philippians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 A.D.
Philemon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 A.D.
Colossians. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 A.D.
Ephesians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 A.D.
I Timothy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 A.D.
Titus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 A.D.
II Timothy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68 A.D.
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« Reply #216 on: April 11, 2008, 12:10:55 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
No Signs, Wonders Or Miracles
by A. Edwin Wilson

Beginning with the fourth chapter of Revelation we again witness signs, wonders and miracles, for at this time God begins to deal with the Jew once again on a national basis. Rev. 4:1 is chronologically identified with Romans 11:25.

The order of signs, wonders and miracles, as well as spiritual gifts manifested in the lives of Christians, seems to be after this fashion: For a few years those who had the privilege of hearing Christ Himself as He ministered here on the earth in the flesh, had the signs of Mark 16:17-20 following them. Study carefully the word confirming in Mark 16:20, in connection with the same word in Hebrews 2:3, 4.

As the gospel spread and churches began to form, we have then the distribution throughout the church of spiritual ones described in I Corinthians 12. But with the crossing of the dispensational boundary of Acts 28:28, the only gifts given to the church are enumerated in Ephesians 4:11. Those are the only gifts God has placed in the church for the particular days in which we now live.

The handling of the Scripture in the above dissertation is commanded and described by the Holy Spirit of God through the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 2:15. Augustine of Hippo said something to the effect, "Distinguish the dispensations and the Bible is easy to understand."

The primary trouble today with all these signs, wonders and miracles is to be found in the fact that people are trying to have Pentecostal experiences and gifts in a day in which we are to walk by faith and not by sight.
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« Reply #217 on: April 11, 2008, 12:12:37 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Signs, Wonders And Miracles
by A. Edwin Wilson

 
SIGNS, WONDERS AND MIRACLES

One of the strange phenomena of today is the attempt of several evangelical groups to re-inaugurate Pentecostal gifts. There is a demand for ministers of the gospel to give evidence of their calling by use of the credentials of the kingdom. Signs, wonders and miracles, as described in the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, are so far removed from the days in which we now live that it seemed good to write a few words setting forth some Scriptures on these truths.

I call your attention first of all to Hebrews 2:4: "God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will." All through the ages God has confirmed His testimony by means of these supernatural gifts. When God spoke through the prophets there were signs (Isaiah 7:11, 14). When He sent His Son, again the ministry was confirmed by signs (Matthew 11:1-5). After the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and the descent of the Holy Spirit, the message was confirmed by these signs on the part of those WHO HAD HEARD THE LORD IN PERSON. But even those who had heard the Lord did not have their witness confirmed with signs following unto the end of their personal ministries, but only to a certain documented point in history.

Let us consider first of all the meaning and significance of the words signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost.
 
1. SIGN: This manifestation is simply a sign - no more, no less. It is a sign that the witness himself is from God and it has a peculiar relationship to Israel as is revealed in the fact that every time the word miracle is found in the book of John it is the word which means a sign; and all of these signs in John were for the nation of Israel.

2. WONDER: A wonder is so called because of the effect produced on those who witnessed a mighty work. They wondered Who? Why? How? and Whence? this supernatural power.

3. MIRACLE: Rightly translated would be powers. It is used to describe the inherent power by which this mighty work had been done.

4. GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST: This is not the Holy Spirit Himself, but such gifts as He chooses to bestow upon certain individuals.

You will look in vain for these four expressions - signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost - in any of Paul's Epistles written after the time of Acts 28:28, which was approximately 63 A.D. These signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost were given to signify - to witness to Israel - that Jehovah was the God of Israel. Throughout the history of the nation of the children of Israel, Jehovah had manifested His presence and power with His messengers who had been sent in His Name. After the final rejection and the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, after the final rejection of Jehovah's great witness Paul by the chief Jews of the dispersion in Rome,there was no further need of such signs. These signs ended with those to whom they were given (those who had heard Jesus in person).
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« Reply #218 on: April 11, 2008, 12:14:25 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Signs, Wonders And Miracles
by A. Edwin Wilson

When God set Israel aside and turned to the Gentiles (see Acts 15:13-17 and Acts 28:28 ), these signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit were no longer in evidence. Prior to Acts 28:28 the Apostle Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake and not harmed (Acts 28:3-6). During this same period of time Paul worked many miracles (Acts 19:11, 12). Paul also raised Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:9, 10). After Acts 28:28 - after God had set Israel aside - after the withdrawal of the offer of the kingdom to Israel on the basis of national repentance, none of the signs, wonders, miracles and divers gifts of the Holy Ghost were in evidence.

After Acts 28:28 Paul left Trophimus sick at Miletum (II Timothy 4:20). After Acts 28:28 Luke, the physician, stayed with Paul, who suffered greatly from the thorn in the flesh, which seems to have been a severe eye malady (II Timothy 4:11; Colossians 4:14, Galatians 4:13, 14; Galatians 6:11; II Corinthians 12:7). It was after Acts 28:28 that Paul was unable to minister to Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27). It was after Acts 28:28 that Paul, unable to heal Timothy, prescribed wine as a tonic (I Timothy 5:23). Prior to Acts 28:28 Paul and the other disciples had the signs of an apostle (II Corinthians 12:12), but after the time of Acts 28:28, which was approximately 63 A.D., none of these signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost were in evidence.

It was the Jews who demanded a sign and God gave them signs. The Gentiles did not require a sign, did not seek a sign and no signs have been given to them. It is a wicked and adulterous generation that seeketh for signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 16:4). All these signs and promised blessings await Israel's repentance. Signs are a part of the birthright of Israel. Study the signs with which Moses went to Israel. Signs do not belong to the church as such. They are not in evidence in the church after the time of Acts 28:28. If you will study carefully you will see that the Corinthian Epistles were written before Acts 28:28; likewise, the book of James was written before the time of Acts 28:28. When Israel repents of her sin and turns again to the Lord, all of these signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit will be in evidence. See Joel 2:28-31.

"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." - Isaiah 8:20.

TO BE CONTINUED.....
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« Reply #219 on: April 12, 2008, 02:42:56 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
The World And Its God
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE WORLD AND ITS GOD

The world or world system under which we live today, and have since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, is that system in which man seeks primarily the well-being of humanity (himself), This is done by seeking to achieve the best possible results by educational, economic, social and even religious advancement APART FROM GOD. Man is seeking to organize and establish the best world possible and to achieve the best possible living conditions that can be attained without God.

The spiritual leader, organizer and director of this great world system is Satan himself (Luke 4:5, 6). Herein, he declares that the Kingdoms of this world are his and that he can give them to whomsoever he wills. Satan attracted Eve and caused her to embark upon a career for PROGRESS, that is, SELF-IMPROVEMENT THROUGH THE PURSUIT AND ACQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE. The only thing which stood in the way of Adam and Eve's doing the will of Satan was a direct command of God to the contrary. Eve did then what man has done ever since - set himself as judge over God by questioning and then passing judgment upon the expediency of the divine command. Man presumed to criticize the Word of God. Man, by his ignoring God and His Word, has developed a very complete and great system according to his own way of thinking. This world system, with Satan as its founder and ruler, has become the god of this age. This satanic world system, accepted by Adam and Eve and by the majority of people in the world today, has the following characteristics:
 
1. This world system has its own philosophy, which is man's account of the origin, course and end of all that is. However, this philosophy changes from time to time and thereby proves its own falseness. Man does not know, nor can he know apart from God the origin, course and end of the universe or its contents.

2. This world system has developed its own science. The supernatural is eliminated completely and all that exists is rationalized; that is, explained away. Man denies the existence of God; therefore, God could not become man. However, man can become like God; therefore, man is God.

3. This world system has established its own government. Denying the existence and authority of the Lord God Almighty, man exalts himself to be the head and authoritative source of all power. Man elects himself - makes his own laws and attempts to govern self. The lowest form of government conceivable to the mind of man is a democracy wherein man assumes to be his own governor. Man will not, therefore, cannot govern himself.

4. This great world system has provided itself with "amusements." The word "muse" means "to think," and the prefix "a" negates that to which it is affixed. Thus muse (to think) becomes amuse (not to think). The multiplicity of amusements is evidence enough of the fact that man is determined not to think about his origin or goals, about God and his relationship to Him, about eternal hell and his part in that. The tragedy of tragedies is to be found in the fact that the church of the living God, which is God's institution on the earth for teaching eternal verities, has abandoned its God-given task and has gone into the amusement (nonthinking) business. The average church of today will not even permit its minister the privilege of thinking.

5. This great world system has developed and established its own religion. In this religion, the conscience of man is soothed, his fears of judgment are removed and he lives in perfect peace and harmony with the world, the flesh and the devil. In this religion, there is no hell, neither is there any heaven. Hell and heaven are but emotions of the individual and are simply an inner experience. Man has trained and educated his conscience to the point that he no longer experiences a sense of guilt when he acts contrary to the Word of God. This world system seems to have for its goal the eradication of any and every thought of God from the minds of man and the destruction and abolition of the Word of God as the authoritative Word of God.

This world system seeks to free women from the position and relationship to man established by God. This world system seeks to do away with the national and racial differences established by God. This world system seeks to abolish capital punishment which was established by God as the basis of all civil government.

The only antidote for this world system, which is gaining adherents without number, is a return to the Lord God Almighty and His Word, the Holy Bible. Isaiah 45:22: "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." Matthew 4:4: "But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
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« Reply #220 on: April 12, 2008, 02:44:19 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Revelation Ignored
by A. Edwin Wilson


REVELATION IGNORED

The Book of The Revelation belongs to a small but ever increasing number of books of the Bible that are being set aside as unworthy of serious attention on the part of Bible students. Why is this especially true with the Book of Revelation? Why is it so lightly esteemed? Why is it sorely assailed as unintelligible? I think the answer to these questions is to be found in the fact that the teachings of Revelation oppose themselves to human thought.

In the first place, the Book of The Revelation deals with the supernatural - not the supernatural that belongs to the past but the supernatural that belongs to the future; and we might say in the light of the signs of the times, the immediate future. Christianity has degenerated in our country into a code of ethics, with the supernatural practically eliminated. So far as I have been able to ascertain, the majority of Christians today are SADDUCEES; that is, they believe neither in angels nor the resurrection nor the supernatural.

Secondly, the Book of The Revelation describes the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ in a manner that is unbearable to the human mind. It also reveals the nominal church and (;he world as they are before God, with the judgments of God upon them impending. Such truth is always repulsive to man, who imagines himself to be eternal and infallible.

Thirdly, the Book of The Revelation is made up in the main of a description of these horrible judgments upon the nominal church and the world at the appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. These appalling threats of judgment do not commend themselves to man as worthy of any consideration on his part.

Fourthly, the Book of The Revelation contains a description of the heavenly Jerusalem, that mighty metropolis, that center of the new heavens and the new earth, built by God and not by man. Again, we find man totally disinterested on the whole in the handiwork of the Lord God.

In brief, The Revelation is discarded and ignored by the majority of Christians today because it shows up man and reveals God in their true light. Believe the promise of God in Revelation 1:3.
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« Reply #221 on: April 12, 2008, 02:45:51 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Noble Bereans
by A. Edwin Wilson


NOBLE BEREANS

"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:10, 11).

Paul had just left Thessalonica where a church had been established which he called the model church (I Thessalonians 1:7, 8 ). I was a little surprised to read that the Bereans where called more noble than the Thessalonians. A close study of the 11th verse which is quoted above will reveal wherein their nobility was found.

In the first place, they rendered very candid attention to the new truths which Paul was preaching. This is an exercise that befits finite minds. Since there are realms of truth beyond all finite minds, it behooves man to be docile and tractable. Man knows so little - and even that imperfectly - that he does well to give heed when one speaks as from the Lord. These Bereans were open-minded. This is a characteristic very rare among men, for somehow or other man grows up with preconceived ideas and concepts that blind him to all that does not blend with his own ideas. Nothing is more repugnant to him than a teaching pulpit. It is nobility of the highest order to be able to listen honestly to new truths.

In the second place, these Bereans gave a proper examination to the new doctrines enunciated by Paul. They were not as most listeners - passive listeners from whom the truth would flee in a few hours. They set to work to examine the Scriptures. They examined these Scriptures independently. They were not swayed by the authority of others. They took the scrolls in their own hands, unrolled them, read, studied, meditated, sought meaning with a willingness to believe the truth. Perhaps our great failure is not searching the Scriptures for ourselves. They examined the Scriptures perseveringly, they examined the Scriptures daily. Proverbs 2:1-5 tells how one is to search the Scriptures if one is to know the will of the Lord. The Bereans yielded to the new truths. Many believed the things which were taught by the Apostle Paul. Their faith was an intelligent faith. It was the result of investigating the Scriptures. It gave them living conviction.

"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you unto all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come" (John 16:13). Here we read that the Spirit will guide - not drive nor force - but guide into all truth. Three groups of people need a guide - the blind, the weak and strangers.

Those who are spiritually blind need the Spirit of the Lord to guide them into truth. Those who are weak in the faith need the Spirit of the Lord to hold and lead them into the truth. Those who are strangers to the things of God need the Spirit of the Lord to lead them into the paths of learning. Herein I believe you will find some of the things which distinguished the Bereans as being more noble than the Thessalonians.
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« Reply #222 on: April 12, 2008, 02:47:10 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Discernment
by A. Edwin Wilson


DISCERNMENT

Only those who are clean can discern the truth of the Word of the Lord. Cleanness is set forth in the Word of God as correspondence between the hoof and the mouth. Only the animals with cloven hoofs and that chewed the cud were clean. The cloven hoof speaks of the walk. The chewing of the cud speaks of mastication and digestion, which is meditation. Only as a Christian walks in righteousness and meditates upon the Word of God can he discern Its truth.


Prophecy - Signs
Except
by A. Edwin Wilson


EXCEPT

 
Three "Except's" concerning entrance into the Kingdom.

1. "Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. " - John 3:5

2. "Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 18:3

3. "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 5:20
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« Reply #223 on: April 12, 2008, 02:48:26 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Friends Of Mammon
by A. Edwin Wilson


FRIENDS OF MAMMON

In Luke 16:1-13, we have our Lord's parable of the unjust steward. This parable has proved an enigma to many students of the Word because of the King James translation of the 9th verse: "And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations." This is an incorrect translation and obscures the true meaning. The better translation is the following: "And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends BY MEANS OF the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles."

The mammon of unrighteousness is nothing in the world but money. Contrary to many students of the Word, money is not the root of all evil. It is the LOVE of money which is the root of all evil. This unjust steward had squandered and dissipated his master's property for reasons other than his master's benefit. The steward was punished by being removed from office and his task given to another. The steward then began conniving with just debtors of his master by reducing their bills considerably under their true value. In this way, he made friends with many who, when he would be out of work, could take care of him. The lord or master (not Jesus) of the unjust steward commended the evil conduct of the steward in that the steward, seeing his loss of income, began to make provision for the future, though in an illegal way.

In verse 9, Jesus says to His disciples, "Make friends to yourselves by means of the mammon of unrighteousness (money)." The mammon of unrighteousness (money) provides food, clothing, shelter, friends, position and honor while one is here on the earth. Christians who have a heavenly hope will not need food, clothing, shelter, etc., in heaven; so the Lord Jesus Christ urges the Christians to use their money here and now to gain rewards, prestige, positions of honor in the coming kingdom of our Lord. See Matthew 6:19-24 and Galatians 6:6-9.

Let us now consider the Jewish aspect of this parable, which more than likely is the fundamental basis of interpretation. This steward may well be a type of the nation of Israel into whose hands our Lord entrusted His business - the oracles of God, the Messiah and world-wide witness. Israel refused to use the blessings of the Lord for the honor and glory of the Lord, seeking only her own wealth and comfort here on the earth. Because of Israel's disobedience to the Lord, He sets her aside as His steward and delivers the responsibility to the Gentiles. Matthew 21:43: "Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."

Because Israel cannot dig or work in the soil (outside of the Land she is not an agricultural people), neither can Israel beg (because of her pride and neither is it necessary); therefore, the Jews - outside of the land, set aside as God's steward - devote themselves by hook and crook to provide for the necessities and luxuries of life enumerated above, by the use of money.

Since the Lord has entrusted His goods to the Gentiles who will bring forth the fruits thereof, they are exhorted to so handle the Lord's business as to secure rewards and treasures which will benefit them in the life to come. If the Jews are shrewd enough to use the mammon of unrighteousness (money) for their benefit here on the earth, Christians in their own generation should be wise enough to use their mammon of unrighteousness (money) to earn rewards which will be enjoyed during the millennial reign of Christ.

What Jesus said to His disciples was this: Make to yourselves friends by the means of the money God has placed in your trust, so that when our Lord appears you will not be made ashamed from Him.
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« Reply #224 on: April 12, 2008, 02:49:50 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Another Gospel
by A. Edwin Wilson


ANOTHER GOSPEL

In II Corinthians 11:4, Paul calls attention to the fact that the Corinthians had been receiving another gospel concerning another Jesus than that which he had been preaching. In Gal. 1:6-9, Paul admonishes the Galatians not to believe any other gospel than that which he had preached. Because of these and similar statements, many are confused and do not understand various aspects of the gospel described by the following titles: The gospel of the kingdom; the gospel of the grace of God; Paul's gospel; the gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ; and the everlasting gospel.

Some think that these are all different gospels; others think that they all refer to the same thing. The fact of the matter is, there is but one gospel. The word gospel itself means good news. There are different aspects of the gospel; that is, there are different emphases set forth in these descriptive titles mentioned above. We will consider each in the order listed.
 
1. The gospel of the kingdom of the heavens: John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness, saying, "Repent ye, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand." (The word heaven in connection with the kingdom in Matthew is always in the plural.) In Matthew 4:17, we learn that Jesus began to preach the same gospel. In Matthew 9:35, we read the following: "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." In Mark 1:14, 15, we read that Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom of God, announcing that "the kingdom of God is at hand; therefore, repent ye, and believe the gospel." That is, believe the good news; not the good news of salvation by grace, because that had not yet been announced, neither made possible by the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. But, believe the good news of the coming kingdom.

If you will read also in this connection Matthew 10:1-10, you will learn several characteristics of the gospel of the kingdom:

First, it was addressed only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, never to the Gentiles.

Second, it required repentance and public confession on the part of Israel (see Matthew 3:1-12; Acts 2:32-41).

Third, the preachers of the gospel of the kingdom were given credentials by the Lord to establish their authority as heaven-sent ministers. These credentials were signs, wonders and miracles. Included in these were the power to heal, the ability to raise the dead, to speak in foreign languages without previous study or knowledge, to cast out demons, to handle poisonous serpents, to drink deadly poison and to cleanse lepers.

Fourth, the gospel of the kingdom was not to be preached to the Gentiles.

Fifth, this gospel of the kingdom was preached to the children of Israel as long as the kingdom of heaven was offered to the nation of Israel on the basis of national repentance.
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