THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY #48



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ July 23rd, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY #48

 lion and lamb

Matthew 21:1-46

 

Some have designated this even as “The Triumphal Entry.” Jesus has been presented to Israel by John the Baptist, the Twelve, The seventy, and by Himself. This was done through preaching, miracles, parables, and fulfilled prophecy. Now, the Lord presents Himself officially as Israel’s King. This he does in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”

No doubt, the Seventy, who went before the Lord, had arranged for the colt to be available. The owner was willing to let Jesus us it. It is noteworthy that the Lord entered in meekness and humility. It was not the day of vengeance yet.

Not only did they spread their clothes on the colt, the multitude spread their garments and palm branches in the way. Some of the multitude went before, and others followed crying “Hosanna to the Son of David…” Vine’s Expository Dictionary says, “in the Hebrew, means “save, we pray.” The word seems to have become an utterance of praise rather than of prayer, though originally, probably, a cry for help. The people’s cry at the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:9, 15; Mark 11:9, 10; John 12:13) was taken from Psa. 118, which was recited at the Feast of Tabernacles in the great Hallel (Psalms 113 to 118) in responses with the priest, accompanied by the waving of palm and willow branches. “The last day of the feast” was called “the great Hosanna;” the boughs also were called “hosannas.”

 When Jesus arrived at the temple in Jerusalem, He entered it and began to drive the money changers and the animals out. John says He made a whip to drive them out. These money changers were wicked and extorted money when changing it to that which was acceptable to be used in the temple. Jesus accuse them of making the temple a “den of thieves.” It was to be a house of prayer. “Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” Isaiah 56:7

When the chief priests and scribes saw the people praising Him, they were displeased. Why? Because they were protecting their position and income. They envied the attention He was receiving from the common people and the children. He said to them, “…have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?”

The fig tree was a type of Israel. They had the self-righteous of leaves, but no fruit of righteousness. The cursing and death of the tree was a picture of Israel’s future judgment. He also gave the Twelve a lesson on prayer.

Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of the priests and the elders, when they ask Him where His authority came from. He responded saying, that if they would answer His question He would answer theirs. “The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?” Their deceit is exposed in their reasoning. “…If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.”

The following parables show their hypocrisy. They professed righteousness, but would not repent of their own sins. The next reveals their wickedness. They killed the prophets sent by God, and they finally killed His Son in order to maintain control of the kingdom and the people.

Jesus ask what the lord of the vineyard would do. “They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.” They had no idea how accurate their answer was. We must not interpret the other husbandmen as a representation of the church in this dispensation. The other husbandmen are those who knew they were sinners, and received Jesus as Israel’s Messiah, and King. This will take place when the Kingdom of Heaven is established on earth. Finally, He exposed their blindness. They were rejecting the Stone that will become the King, who will rule with a rod of iron. (Psa. 2).

Thus, the rulers of Israel have officially, and knowingly, rejected the Son of David, the rightful King of Israel. It only remained for Jesus to instruct His Disciple of future events, prior to his coming, and for the betrayal and crucifixion.  

 

MANY ARE CALLED, BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN #47



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ July 19th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

MANY ARE CALLED, BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN #47

lion and lambMatthew 20:1-34

This parable is about the Kingdom of Heaven, and the application is similar, in some respects, to the previous chapter. Jesus said the fields are ripe for harvest, but the labors are few. Here, we see men standing idle. The lord went out at daybreak and hired them to work in his vineyard. They agreed on the wage which was a penny, about 65¢ per day. The time frame is 6:00 a.m.; 3rd hour, 9:00 a.m.; 6th hour, 12:00 noon; 9th hour, 3:00 p.m.; and 11th hour, 5:00 p.m.

He never set a wage with those who were hired after the first ones. He only promised them that which is right.

At the end of the day, He called all the labors and gave each person the same amount; a day’s wage. However, those hired first, and had labored all day, complained when the other receive the same amount as themselves. Dr. B. R. Lakin said, “No one cares what you have or know, as long as it is not more than they know or have.” Such is human nature.   

Jesus told those who were first, that He did them no wrong. They were receiving as they agreed. The purpose of the parable is to show that those who were the first to labor in the Kingdom of Heaven ministry, will not necessarily receive greater rewards than those who come the last hour. Seniority does not count in God’s service. The only thing that will be acknowledged is faithfulness. Not all who serve the Lord have the same abilities, opportunities, or calling, but all can equally be faithful. Those who seek to be first, will not be chosen to be first. The Lord has a right to reward each man as He will.   
Again, the Lord tell His disciples how He would be treated at Jerusalem. “And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.” Again, we see that they cannot hear what He is telling them. The reason for their deafness was their preconceived belief of what His ministry must be. Like many today, they cannot hear when one attempts to teach them right divisions of Scripture. They are locked into tradition, and a belief that things must be as they have always believed.   

There is nothing like a mother’s love for her children. She was sincere in her worship, and desire for her sons. She knew He was the Messiah, and that He would establish His kingdom in Jerusalem. She wanted her sons to be first, and sit on His right and left hand. Jesus informed her that her that His Father was the one who would make that judgment. Also, it will be given to those who are worthy.

The baptism and the cup speak of our Lord upcoming suffering. “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” Luke 12:50. “He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” Matthew 26:42. Jesus assured them that they too, would suffer for His sake.

This request upset the other disciples, and they let it be known. They were insulted by the mother’s request. No doubt, they put their mother up to it. They were seeking first place in the Kingdom of Heaven, ahead of the other disciples.

Jesus calmed them, and instructed them that none should seek a superior position or authority. This was the behavior of Gentiles. They were called to serve and sacrifice themselves for others. They would then be like the Son of man, who came to minister and give His life a ransom for many.

As they departed Jericho, two blind men began to cry out, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.” They too, acknowledged that He was the Messiah, the King of Israel. Their request was that He restore their sight. Some try to find a contradiction in the accounts of the healings of the blind. Dake’s notes help us understand the contrive apparent conflicts.

  • “Note the different circumstances, the occasions, and other points of difference in three cases of healing the four blind men at Jericho on this visit: 1. “As He was come nigh unto Jericho” (Lk. 18:35-43). 2. “As He went out of Jericho” (Mk. 10:46-52). 3. “As they departed from Jericho” (Mt. 20:29-34). This case had “two blind men” while in the others there was only one. What was said by the men and by Christ in each case is different, as well as the other facts, proving them to be three different cases and not one. Jericho was a city of 100,000 so three cases of blindness and healing is not unreasonable. Blindness and eye diseases are very common in the East today. The percentage is said to be about one in five. When we have variances in gospel accounts it is always wise to consider them as different cases instead of forcing them to be the same and blaming the writers for not being inspired. If the cases are the same and details vary, then let us realize that the writers are giving details which the Holy Spirit wants them to give for a specific purpose, that taken together they make a more complete story and that they supplement each other, not contradict each other. Even then no doubt many details are not given in any one case. All are not necessary (cp. Jn. 21:25). Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.

It is noteworthy, that the blind could see that He was Israel’s King, while the national leaders, who thought they could see, were blind. So it is today. The self-righteous cannot see their need for Him. Those who know they are blind sinners, willingly accept Him.

MATTERS CONCERNING OFFENCES, JUDGMENTS, AND FORGIVENESS #46



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ July 16th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

lion and lambMATTERS CONCERNING OFFENCES, JUDGMENTS, AND FORGIVENESS 

Matthew 18:7-35.

 

This chapter begins with the question by the disciples, who would be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. As we have demonstrated repeatedly, the four Gospels are not about the church of this dispensation, but are about the Kingdom of Heaven Church. This would be clear to all, where it not for centuries of tradition, and the lack of right division of the Scriptures.  

 

The Lord warns all who stand in the way, or become a stumbling block to little children who would enter the Kingdom. If the foot, the hand, or the eye is a means by which a child is hindered from entering the Kingdom, it would be better to remove these, than to have one’s self cast into hell. Since angels are “ministering Spirits” to all would enter the Kingdom of Heaven, (Heb. 1:14) offences will not go unnoticed. These little ones are God’s sheep. His purpose for coming to Israel, was to save them.

 

We have discussed the need to settle disputes before they end up before the judges. Thus, in the Kingdom of Heaven, one should seek personal reconciliation.  If that fails, then the final recourse is to take it before the disciples who will be judges in the Kingdom Church. There is more than one “church” in Scripture. There was a church in the wilderness. That church, though in apostasy, existed in the time of Jesus and the disciples. There is the church today, which was a mystery. There will also be the Tribulation church, which will become the Kingdom of Heaven church.

 

The Twelve will be judges and whatever their request or decision is, will be approved by the Father. Those rejecting the judgment of these Judges, are to be shunned as a Gentile sinner. The “binding” and “loosening” is the decisions made by the Judges. Any two or three of the disciples who agree on a judgment, will be sufficient. If they need added wisdom, the Lord promises to promises to grant whatever they request. They are assured of His answer, and His presence.

 

The binding and loosening is taken as a prayer promise by the charismatics. Thus, you hear such silly commands from them that they are “binding” Satan. Again, this context, and the text has nothing to do with the church today, which was a mystery. The church can’t bind or loosen anything.
Our Lord’s teaching, prompted Peter to ask the following question. “…Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” Although, the Lord said, until seventy times seven, it implies unlimited forgiveness to those who repent and ask for it. Then He used a parable to illustrate the necessity of forgiving others. They were required to forgive in order to be forgiven. The believer in Christ today, ought to forgive because he has been forgiven. One can see that this is a works based salvation to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

We are well aware how strange all this is to most Christians. The fault lies in several false assumptions. The greatest of these is the failure to rightly divide the Word of God. This leads to the belief that Jesus came to establish a Gentile church. Another fault lies in reading the Church epistles, Romans through Philemon, back into the Kingdom of Heaven gospels. Although, there are many applications of Scripture, there is only one correct doctrinal, and dispensational interpretation.  “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15.

 

TWO REQUIREMENTS NECESSARY TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN #45



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ July 11th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

TWO REQUIREMENTS NECESSARY TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN #45

 lion and lamb

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:1-6

 

One must not lose sight of the purpose of Matthew’s gospel. He presents Jesus as the son of Abraham, and the son of David. The Kingdom of Heaven has been offered to Israel by Jesus and His disciples, and it was rejected by the nation. In the last half of Matthew, (The Abraham section) Jesus prepares the disciples for suffering, and His own death. However, they were oblivious to both teachings.  Their concern was who would be the greatest in the Kingdom. The question was not about the local church, or heaven.

In answer to their question, He called a little child unto Him. As an object lesson, the child was used to show a truth and a requirement for all who will be citizens in the Kingdom of Heaven. One must have “childlike faith.” A little child has unwavering faith in what his father or mother tells it. He or she, doesn’t doubt or question what it is told. It does not have a thought about how great it is, or will be. Its humility of faith in the father or mother is evident. This is a requirement for Israel to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We say Israel because there will be those who are invited in, and they had no idea of what they had done to deserve entrance into it. (Matthew 25:31-46).

The second requirement is that of conversion. This is not the same as what we call “born again.” Conversion is a returning to the Lord. The Lord said to Peter, who had been a disciple for, at least, three years, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Luke 22:32. A Christian gets saved once, but he may be converted many times. Peter preaches that if Israel will return to the Lord, or “be converted” that their sins would be blotted out at the return of Christ to establish His Kingdom on earth. (Acts. 3:19).

Thus, instead of answering the Disciples question, Jesus told them the two requirements to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 1. Childlike faith. 2. Conversion.

 

JESUS PAID ALL REQUIRED TAXES #44



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ July 8th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

JESUS PAID ALL REQUIRED TAXES #44

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith untolion and lamb him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.  Matthew 17:24-27.

As we consider the subject of taxes, it is important to understand that two different tax systems are discussed in the gospels. One was a temple tax, the other was a tax to the Roman government.

 

On their way from the Mount of Transfiguration, someone approached Peter and ask if Jesus paid the temple tax. Peter’s response was that He did. A tax was required by Old Testament Law to care for the temple. “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.” Exodus 30:11-16.

When they came to Peter’s house, the lord ask Peter a question before any other subject could come up. The word “prevented,” means that Jesus spoke before Peter could say anything. The question and its solution reveals many wonderful truths. It meant that the Old Testament Law was still very much in force. Jesus would pay the temple tax, not because He had to, but to fulfill all righteousness, and set an example to others. The kings of the earth did not collect taxes from their own children. They collected taxes from their subjects, or strangers. Since God was the Father of Jesus, He was a son, and not required to pay the temple tax. Nevertheless, He paid them.

Because He valued the Law, the temple, and the purpose for which it served, He voluntary paid the tax.  The ministry of the temple required large sums of money. Among many were the expenses for the Priest themselves. It should be noted that, although much of the temple service was corrupt, Jesus still paid His tax.

In the command to catch a fish that would have a coin in its mouth, with which to pay the tax, we see the omniscience of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter would never forget that miracle, and it would strengthen his faith for the turn of events that were soon to happen, that is, the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. Two lessons were learned. One, the importance of setting a good example to others, and that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

 

JESUS CONTINUES TO REVEAL TO HIS DISCIPLES HIS DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION #43



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ July 5th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

JESUS CONTINUES TO REVEAL TO HIS DISCIPLES HIS DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION 

 lion and lamb

“And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:  And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.” Matthew 17:22-23.

 The Kingdom of Heaven had been rejected as offered by John the Baptist, the Twelve, and Jesus. In this second section of Matthew, Jesus begins to prepare His disciples for his personal rejection and crucifixion. This is the second time He mentions it in this new section. The first is in 16:21. “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” Matthew 16:21.

This truth is more significant than most think. In fact, few notice it, and those who do fail to understand the momentous truth because tradition has blinded them to it. First, this means that the gospel that had been preached by John, Jesus, and His disciples could not have been the same gospel we preach today. They had no clue that He was to die, and when He began to make it known, they really did not hear what He was saying. Secondly, John’s baptism had no connection or relationship to His death. His baptism had an interlay different meaning than the baptism of believers today. John’s baptism was the baptism of repentance, and its purpose was to make the Messiah known to Israel.

There was not one word in the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, by anyone, concerning His death, burial, and resurrection. Scripture is abundant on this fact. Luke makes it so clear that a third grader could understand it. Luke 18:31-34.“Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”  Most Christians, and pastors are as blind to this truth, as the Disciples. We will forgo the mountain of evidence on this subject, except for one text by the Apostle John. “For as yet they knew not the scripture that he must rise again from the dead.”  John 20:9.

There is nothing in Matthew’s gospel that remotely suggest a Baptist church, or a Gentile church of any kind. All in the first half is about the King and the Kingdom of Heaven being offered The last half is about the rejection and suffering of the King.  The church, which was a mystery, and unknown until revealed to Paul, finds no place in the Kingdom of Heaven earthly ministry of Christ.

WHY THE WOMEN IN MY CHURCH DON’T WEAR PANTS



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ July 3rd, 2014. Filed under: TOPICAL.

WHY THE WOMEN IN MY CHURCH DON’T WEAR PANTS

 

  1. MOST OF MY PASTOR FRIENDS HAVE THIS STANDARD, AND I DON’T WANT TO LOOSE THEIR FRIENDSHIP.

 

  1. I NEEDED A BIBLE VERSE TO JUSTIFY THIS STANDARD, SO I PULLED ONE OUT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. (“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” Deuteronomy 22:5. We hope no one sees “Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.” Deuteronomy 22:11. We would look like hypocrites, and we could not explain why we don’t obey it.)  

 

  1. THUS, OUR WOMEN WEAR DRESSES, EVEN THOUGH THE CLEAVAGE IS TO THE BELLY BUTTON, THE LENGTH IS UP TO THE THIGH, AND IT IS SO TIGHT THEY HAD TO USE VASELINE TO SLIP ONTO IT. THANK GOD, AT LEAST THEY AREN’T WEARING PANTS!

 

  1. I’VE BEEN TOLD THAT WOMEN WHO WEAR PANTS ARE “HUSSIES, WORLDLY, IMMODEST, AND VIOLATING SCRIPTURE.” WE DON’T WANT ANY OF THOSE WOMEN IN OUR CHURCH. THEY WILL CORRUPT THE GOOD GODLY WOMEN.

 

  1. CHURCHES MUST SET STANDARDS ON HOW PEOPLE DRESS.

THE MAN WHO WAS A LUNATIC #42



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ June 28th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study, Uncategorized.

THE MAN WHO WAS A LUNATIC

 lion and lamb

“And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Mt 15  Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. Mt 16  And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Mt 17  Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. Mt 18  And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Mt 19  Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? Mt 20  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Mt 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”Matthew 17:14-21.

 

We have moved into a new section of Matthew’s gospel. The two outstanding figures in the genealogy of Christ  are Abraham and David. In the first section He is presented as the Son of David, and the Kingdom of Heaven was preached. “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17. In the second section He is presented as the suffering son of Abraham, as seen in Isaac. “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.  Matthew 16:21. He will travel from the mount of transfiguration to Mount Calvary.

Things had not change below the mountain. A young man is designated as a “lunatic.” He would respond as an epileptic. Some believed that the symptoms were greatest when there was a full moon. In reality, a devil took full control of him at those times to make the people believe it was the moon.

Under the Kingdom ministry personal faith will have a like effect on the sick, and the possessed. This was true in the gospels and early acts, and will be so again in the Tribulation and the Kingdom. The unbelief of the nine rendered them helpless in this special case. However, Jesus had told them, after His departing, they would do greater miracles than these.  Nevertheless, verse 20 and many similar passages in the Kingdom gospels speak of spectacular miracles by those with spectacular faith. For example, (Mt. 21:22; Mk. 9:23; 11:22-24; Jn. 14:12-15; 15:7,16; Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8). Nothing like this is promised in the church epistles. Thus, these are Kingdom ministry promises, in some cases are a hyperbole.

ARE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS APPROPRIATE IN CHURCH? #41



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ June 18th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

lion and lambARE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS APPROPRIATE IN CHURCH?

It is obvious when pastors claim their church is biblical and not contemporary they have one thing in mind. They are speaking of musical instruments and any song not in the hymnal. Now, there are many types of music I personally do not like, but that is my preference.  However, for any pastor to condemn another, or suggest that they themselves do things as intended in Scripture, may indicate they know little about church history, and less about Scripture. If we reckon time from the cross, much of what we do is contemporary. My argument is not the rightness or wrongness of instruments or songs recently written. My point is to show that we do not follow the faith of our fathers, whose tombs we whitewash, while condemning others who do not do as we do.

Historical Quotations:

These historical quotations are enlightening about church history – musical instruments in public worship were rejected from the apostolic era to the 19th century. Such references to history do not prove musical instruments wrong in public worship, for only the Bible can do that, but they illustrate that what is now universally assumed and taken for granted was once rejected.

Justin Martyr (139 A.D.), an early church Father

“The use of [instrumental] music was not received in the Christian churches, as it was among the Jews, in their infant state, but only the use of plain song…. Simply singing is not agreeable to children [the aforementioned Jews], but singing with lifeless instruments and with dancing and clapping is. On this account the use of this kind of instruments and of others agreeable to children is removed from the songs of the churches, and there is left remaining simply singing.”

Tertullian (200 A.D.), an early church Father

“Musical concerts with viol and lute belong to Apollo, to the Muses, to Minerva and Mercury who invented them; ye who are Christians, hate and abhor these things whose very authors themselves must be the object of loathing and aversion.”

Eusebius (260-340), an early church Father

“Of old at the time those of the circumcision were worshiping with symbols and types it was not inappropriate to send up hymns to God with the psalterion and kithara…. But we in an inward manner keep the part of the Jew, according to the saying of the apostle…. [Romans 2:28f]. We render our hymns with a living psalterion and a living kithara, with spiritual songs. The unison voices of Christians would be more acceptable to God than any musical instrument.”

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), one of the greatest Catholics

“Our church does not use musical instruments, as harps and psalteries, to praise God withal, that she may not seem to Judaize.”

The Catholic Encyclopedia

“The first Christians were of too spiritual a fibre to substitute lifeless instruments for or use them to accompany the human voice. Clement of Alexandria severely condemns the use of instruments even at Christian banquets … For almost a thousand years, Gregorian chant without any instrumental or harmonic addition, was the only music used in connection with the liturgy.”

The New Catholic Encyclopedia

“The rejection of all musical instruments for Christian worship is consistent among the Fathers [early Christian writers]. They were associated with pagan, orgiastic rites.”

Martin Luther (1483-1546), the father of Lutheranism

“The organ in the worship is the insignia of Baal… The Roman Catholics borrowed it from the Jews.”

John Calvin (1509-1564), a father of Presbyterianism

“Musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting of lamps, and the restoration of the other shadows of the law. The Papists therefore, have foolishly borrowed, this, as well as many other things, from the Jews. Men who are fond of outward pomp may delight in that noise; but the simplicity which God recommends to us by the apostles is far more pleasing to him.”

Theodore Beza (1519-1605), the successor to John Calvin

“If the apostle justly prohibits the use of unknown tongues in the church, much less would he have tolerated these artificial musical performances which are addressed to the ear alone, and seldom strike the understanding even of the performers themselves.”

John Wesley (1703-1791), a father of Methodism

“I have no objection to instruments of music in our worship, provided they are neither seen nor heard.”

Adam Clarke (1760-1832), one of the greatest Methodists

“I am an old man, and I here declare that I never knew them to be productive of any good in the worship of God, and have reason to believe that they are productive of much evil. Music as a science I esteem and admire, but instrumental music in the house of God I abominate and abhor. This is the abuse of music, and I here register my protest against all such corruption of the worship of the author of Christianity. The late and venerable and most eminent divine, the Rev. John Wesley, who was a lover of music, and an elegant poet, when asked his opinion of instruments of music being introduced into the chapels of the Methodists, said in his terse and powerful manner, ‘I have no objections to instruments of music in our chapels, provided they are neither heard nor seen.’ I say the same.”

“But were it even evident, which it is not, either from this or any other place in the sacred writings, that instruments of music were prescribed by divine authority under the law, could this be adduced with any semblance of reason, that they ought to be used in Christian worship? No; the whole spirit, soul, and genius of the Christian religion are against this; and those who know the Church of God best, and what constitutes its genuine spiritual state, know that these things have been introduced as a substitute for the life and power of religion; and that where they prevail most, there is least of the power of Christianity. Away with such portentous baubles from the worship of that infinite Spirit who requires His followers to worship Him in spirit and truth, for to no such worship are these instruments friendly.”

Presbyterian Catechism of 1842

“Question 6. Is there any authority for instrumental music in the worship of God under the present dispensation? Answer. Not the least, only the singing of psalms and hymns and spiritual songs was appointed by the apostles; not a syllable is said in the New Testament in favor of instrumental music nor was it ever introduced into the Church until after the eighth century, after the Catholics had corrupted the simplicity of the gospel by their carnal inventions. It was not allowed in the Synagogues, the parish churches of the Jews, but was confined to the Temple service and was abolished with the rites of that dispensation.”

Philip Schaff (1819-1893), wrote History of the Christian Church

“It is questionable whether, as used in the New Testament, ‘psallo’ means more than to sing…. The absence of instrumental music from the church for some centuries after the apostles and the sentiment regarding it which pervades the writing of the fathers are unaccountable, if in the apostolic church such music was used.”

“The custom of organ accompaniment did not become general among Protestants until the eighteenth century.”

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), one of the greatest Baptists

“Praise the Lord with the harp. Israel was at school, and used childish things to help her to learn; but in these days when Jesus gives us spiritual food, one can make melody without strings and pipes. We do not need them. They would hinder rather than help our praise. Sing unto him. This is the sweetest and best music. No instrument like the human voice…. David appears to have had a peculiarly tender remembrance of the singing of the pilgrims, and assuredly it is the most delightful part of worship and that which comes nearest to the adoration of heaven. What a degradation to supplant the intelligent song of the whole congregation by the theatrical prettiness of a quartet, bellows, and pipes! We might as well pray by machinery as praise by it.”

Spurgeon preached to 6,000 people every Sunday for 20 years in the Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle and never were mechanical instruments of music used in his services. When asked why, he quoted 1st Corinthians 14:15. “I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the understanding also; I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” He then declared: “I would as soon pray to God with machinery as to sing to God with machinery.”

David Benedict (1779-1874), Baptist Historian

“In my earliest intercourse among this people, congregational singing generally prevailed among them…. The Introduction Of The Organ Among The Baptists. This instrument, which from time immemorial has been associated with cathedral pomp and prelatical power, and has always been the peculiar favorite of great national churches, at length found its way into Baptist sanctuaries, and the first one ever employed by the denomination in this country, and probably in any other, might have been standing in the singing gallery of the Old Baptist meeting house in Pawtucket, about forty years ago, where I then officiated as pastor (1840)…. Staunch old Baptists in former times would as soon have tolerated the Pope of Rome in their pulpits as an organ in their galleries, and yet the instrument has gradually found its way among them…. How far this modern organ fever will extend among our people, and whether it will on the whole work a RE-formation or DE-formation in their singing service, time will more fully develop.”

Albert Henry Newman (1852-1933), Baptist Historian

“In 1699 the Baptists received an invitation from Thomas Clayton, rector of Christ Church, to unite with the Church of England. They replied in a dignified manner, declining to do so unless he could prove, ‘that the Church of Christ under the New Testament may consist of … a mixed multitude and their seed, even all the members of a nation … whether they are godly or ungodly,’ that ‘lords, archbishops, etc., … are of divine institution and appointment,’ and that their vestments, liturgical services, use of mechanical instruments, infant baptism, sprinkling, ‘signing with the cross in baptism,’ etc., are warranted by Scripture.”

“It may be interesting to note that this church (First Baptist Church of Newport, organized in 1644) was one of the first to introduce instrumental music. The instrument was a bass viol and caused considerable commotion. This occurred early in the nineteenth century.”

(http://www.letgodbetrue.com/bible/church/musical-instruments-in-the-church.php)

 

https://vimeo.com/98496953    (SERMON)

 

THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST #41



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ June 15th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

lion and lambTHE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST

In the previous chapter, the Lord had assured His Disciples that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church. He also reminded them of the suffering one must endure to enter that Kingdom of Heaven Church. He promised them a preview of the Kingdom, and they would see it in seven days. This would be a source of hope and encouragement to them.

Peter and the eleven were promised final authority as judges in the coming Kingdom, and is noteworthy that Peter is always mentioned first. This does not suggest that he had more authority than the eleven. However, Peter is given a special place of leadership in the early Acts period. God had a distinctive reason for recording the ministry of Peter more than that of others.

Paul identifies Peter as the apostle to the Jews, in contrast to his own ministry to the gentiles. “ But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;” Galatians 2:7. The book of Acts has 28 chapters; however, Peter disappears from the book at chapter 15. He is not mentioned again. There is a great dispensational reason for this, and Luke, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, lays it out in Acts in a way that 99% of Christians never see it.

We are not told which mountain this was. Nevertheless, the experience was not forgotten. Peter, James, and John go with Christ to the mountain. There, they behold a site that overwhelms them. Jesus was transfigured above the brightness of the sun. That was a glimpse of His full splendor and glory. Two Old Testament saints appear with Him. One was Moses, who had died a 1000 years earlier, and the other was Elijah, who never died. These two were with Him on the mountain.

Moses was not in a resurrected body. His spirit was clothed by the Lord. However, Elijah was flesh and bone, and had been preserved in heaven since he was taken up in a chariot of fire! These three talked about the upcoming death of Jesus, and of the Kingdom of Heaven to follow. His suffering must precede His glory.  In addition, Moses represented the saints who will be resurrected at the Second Advent, and Elijah represented those who will be raptured, and will go into the Kingdom without dying. This event has nothing to do with the present Church, which was a mystery.

There can be no doubt that Peter believed this was the beginning of the Kingdom. He is willing to make tabernacles for the three so they could behold the full establishment of the Kingdom. “Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.” Isaiah 33:20.  “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Zechariah 14:16. Peter was overcome with glory and expectation. Luke said Peter did not know what he said. “ And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. Luke 9:33.

The experience was similar to that of Moses on Sinai at the founding of the nation of Israel. The three were sore afraid, and fell on their faces. However, a reassuring voice came from heaven validation all they saw and heard. Jesus charged them tell no one until He was resurrected out from among the dead. They did not have clue as to this saying, as all the gospels demonstrate.

They had just witnessed the coming of Elijah. Now he was gone. This prompted the question, why the scribes said Elijah must come prior to the Kingdom. Jesus assured them that Elijah would certainly come before the Kingdom was established. John the Baptist came as a forerunner, and in the spirit of Elijah, but Israel’s leaders rejected and killed him. This they will also do to Elijah in the Tribulation. “6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. 7  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9  And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11  And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” Revelation 11:6-13.