Date: Tue, 14 Mar 1995 09:52:17 +0100 Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop Subject: The Scriptures opened, 22 Contents ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Weekly reading, Leviticus 6:1-7, Sin and atonement 2. Isaiah 1:16-18 3. 1 Cor.14:1-25, Prophecy is more then unknown tongues (3/3) 4. Books 1. Weekly reading, Leviticus 6:1-7, Sin and atonement ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour; Until now, Moses has dealt with sins, committed by mistake. But here, he begins to speak about more deliberate sins. Also for this kind of sins, there is forgiveness, as we see in the seventh verse. There will be people, when they hear that there is forgiveness for deliberate sins, they will sin more easily. These are the ungodly. They use God's grace to sin more carefree. They abuse God's grace to do evil. They say, let us do evil, that grace will be multiplied, "whose damnation is just." (Rom.3:8) When we see that there is forgiveness, even for the more deliberate sins, we learn that we must not think too harshly about God. He is a merciful God. Our verse speaks about one who deliberately sins, who trespasses against God, who lies unto his neighbour, or who takes something by violence, or has deceived his neighbour. One sins deliberately when he knows that something is forbidden, but nevertheless does it. You know, for example, that it is forbidden to do your work on the Sabbath. But nevertheless, you do some work in your house, that nobody sees it. In your heart, you know that it is forbidden, yet, you do it. This is a deliberate sin against God, and a transgression of His commandment. 3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: The sins in this verse are the following: You have found something on the street, or wherever, and you lie concerning it. When one asks if you have found some money on the street, and you say "no", while it is "yes", you lie concerning it. A deliberate sin. Or when you swear falsely. The false swearer calls upon God's Name, that He is the Witness that he is speaking the truth. When you swear falsely, you call upon God's Name that you speak the truth, while you lie. In doing so, you make God a Liar. For you say that He is a Witness of your lies. Just as if He is a Liar. This is very clear an intentional sin. Yet, as you see in the seventh verse, there is forgiveness. How merciful is our God. But do not abuse His grace, for then will your damnation be just. 4 Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, What you have robbed, or deceitfully gotten something, you must give it back. Do not think that the forgiving is an easy way to become rich. For, when you have stolen, and you ask for forgiving without restoring the stolen things, you would easily become rich in worldly goods. But you would abuse God's grace. Nothing of this all. When there is true repentance, you will, when possible, compensate your sin. When that is done, you will ask for forgiving. 5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering. The sinner shall restore the stolen goods, adding the fifth part more thereto, "in the day of his trespass offering". Of course, it was also allowed to restore the goods in the days before the offering, but surely not after the offering. God did not accept offerings, when the sin was still not made up. For, this would defile the offering, and make it unacceptable before God. It was impossible that one could offer with an upright heart, when he knew that there was something between him and his neighbour. God, who penetrates the heart, would reject it. Let we keep this in mind. 6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: The sinner will bring his offering unto the LORD. Will this offering make atonement? No, the offering in itself will not make forgiving. A dead beast in itself is not enough to pay for your sins. Would God accept the finite dead beast for such great sins as false swearing, robbery, and the like? These sins are committed against God, and are therefore infinite. Some beast cannot pay for infinite sins. In the next verse, you will read how the atonement will be made. 7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein. Not the offering will make an atonement, but the priest will do so. The offering itself was not the price for the forgiving. The atonement is based upon the priesthood. The sinner brought his beast to be offered, but it was not able to pay for his sins. The priest did so; that means, the priest made the atonement before the LORD. And then, it shall be forgiven him for all that he has sinned against the LORD. When we now look around us, we see that the offerings have ceased. The priests have ceased. So, who will make an atonement for us before the LORD? Bringing offerings, whether it be beasts, prayers, or whatever, will not give atonement. A priest is needed. So, while there is no priest, is there also not forgiveness? No, reader, there is still forgiveness. For, there is one Priest, namely a High Priest. Jesus the Messiah is the Priest now. He makes an atonement for all those who believe in Him. The priests of the Old Testament were the pictures of Jesus, the Messiah. They have ceased now, with their temple, in order that Jesus is the only high priest now. Jesus, the present priest differs from those ancient in several respects. One respect is that the ancient priest offered beasts, but that Jesus offered Himself. He himself was the offering. That was the reason why He had to be crucified. Having made the atonement, it is for everybody who believes in Him. However, do not abuse His grace by continuing in sin. The greatest heap of Christians does so. They say: believe in Jesus and you will go to heaven. And no good works are visible in their lives. While they deceive theirselves, reader, take heed. A faith which is not visible in our life, that is, when we not do good works as a result of that faith, is a false faith. A true faith is not fruitless, but brings forth the blessed fruits of repentance, love, good works, godsfear, service of God, humility, prayer, awareness of own sin and worthlessness before God. Such a true believer will be saved through the only High Priest, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha." (1 Cor.16:22) 2. Isaiah 1:16-18 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. In the previous verses, the prophet Isaiah has said that God abhorred the whole external worship of the Israelites, for while doing the rites, they were evil. While coming unto the temple, they committed the greatest sins. He said: "Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting." (Isa.1:13) It was not so that the LORD abhorred the rites in itself, but he abhorred the people who did them. The nation, by committing the greatest sins, made their worship one great hypocrisy, absolutely worthless. The people however, thought that they did a good thing; for the service of God is good, isn't it? They forgot that it was unacceptable when they went to God's house on the Sabbaths, and did evil the rest of the week. They feigned to be good on the Sabbaths, but during the week they showed their true nature by their evil deeds. God, being righteous, could have said: Go away; you are not longer my chosen people. God, being righteous, could have called up the enemies to destroy both the land and the people. God, being righteous, could have sent famine, sword, sickness, death, as their just reward. But, great wonder, though God is righteous, He also is merciful. Before He destroys the people, he sends His prophet Isaiah. This man had to preach to the nation, about their true behaviour, about the necessity of penance, about the coming wrath, and the like. He had to call them up to penance. Let us listen to this holy prophet, send by God. "Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow." The prophet puts the outward repentance in two things: cease to do evil, and learn to do well. When one but ceases to do evil, and not holds out his hand to help the people, he does but the half of it. This is of no use. When you only does not evil, then you are of no use for the other people. It would be the same as if you did not exist, for you do nothing positive. On the other hand, when you do well, but continues to do also evil, also that has not any value. For what you build up with your one hand, you break down with the other. The result is again nothing, and it would be as if you did not exist. "Cease to do evil; learn to do well". Concerning evil, God says: put away the evil of your doings "from before Mine eyes". Let we know therefore, when we put away the evil before the eyes of the people, that this is not enough. God's eyes see also in the darkness, also the hidden things are open before him. Bettering our outward deeds is necessary, though not enough. We must be clean before *God's* eyes. God, the Knower of our heart. Who will be able to cleanse his heart? That heart which is an always flowing fountain of evil? We see in the sentence "from before Mine eyes", that God's power is needed, to wash our hearts from evil. When you, reader, say: Yes, but my heart is not so bad, then I say you, that you are utterly blind. You do not know what is in your heart, for the Bible says that nobody's heart is good. "Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?" (Prov.20:9) Concerning doing good, pay attention on which things the prophet calls good. "Judge the fatherless, plead for the widow." In the world, many will judge the matter of the rich, for then you may have advantage of it. But the fatherless, and the widow, who will help them? They are often poor, so they cannot pay you. In the world, the fatherless and the widows stand at the bottom. They have much need, but few helpers. Therefore, the prophet calls them up to do also these things, which are often forgotten. Do not only well, when you can obtain honour by it, but help also the needy. Yes, help the needy in the first place, and your reward will be given you by God. When that all is done, through the grace of God? What now? Then it is time to come unto God, and ask for pardon for your sins. Listen to the prophet: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." "Come now", after you have done well, and after you have ceased from evil. Come not before you have done so, as you did until now. Until now, you came while your hands were full of blood. Then, I hid Mine eyes from you, and when you made many prayers, I would not hear. So, come now, after you have bettered the outward deeds of your life. "Let us reason together, says the LORD". Let us talk together, and see what was the cause of that I did not hear you. Why had I left you? It was because of yours sins. "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isa.59:2) Come now, and let us reason. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." You might have been such a great sinner, but yet, there is pardon. Your hands might have been full of blood of the innocent, yet, there is pardon. For the greatest sinners, there is pardon. Only, repent, and turn back to God. In this part of Isaiah, we see the same as in our weekly reading. In Leviticus, we saw that there was an atonement for the deliberate sinner. However, only after he had made up his crimes, and after he had restored the stolen goods. In Isaiah, in our part, you see the same. Stop from doing evil, and seek to do well. And then, come unto God. When your sins were very great, yet, there is forgiveness. We see that the restoring of the goods was not the cause of the forgiveness. When you better your life, you still need forgiving. We see this, because after one has done well, he had to go unto God for pardon. When his works were his pardon, he needed not to go unto God for forgiveness. The same we saw in Leviticus. When he had restored the goods, he had still to bring his offering to the priest, and the priest had still to make atonement for him. The atonement, the forgiveness is not based upon our works, but on God's grace only. When one has sinned, and afterwards compensated it, the result is that he has done nothing. He has stolen something, and he has given it back. What good has he done then? Nothing. He has given back the goods, but yet, he has sinned against God and the people. He still needs forgiveness from God. Therefore, God's grace is always needed. Our God is a merciful God. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 3. 1 Cor.14:1-25, Prophecy is more then unknown tongues (3/3) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Short contents The apostle Paul concludes the previous exhortation to love. He continues to learn that the people, who follow after spiritual gifts, must most follow after the gift of prophesy. Nevertheless, the gift of the unknown tongues must not be despised, but used with an explanation of it. He proves this using the parables of a pipe, a harp and a trumpet. He shows that using unknown tongues, without explanation, is contrary to the nature, and that it is nothing else then if one spoke to barbarians. He moreover teaches that men must pray so, that is does not happen with the spirit only, but also with understanding. Otherwise, who not understands that unknown tongue, cannot say "Amen" on that prayer. He confirms his saying with his own example, and exhorts that they do the same. He proves from Scripture that the unknown tongues sometimes are more a punishment than a gift. Further, it would be ridiculous when they all spoke unknown tongues, but edifying when they all prophesied. 21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. The apostle was speaking about the tongues, and that they had no place in the congregation. Now, he quotes the Old Testament to give another reason, why the tongues not must be used. "In the law is written", says he. He quotes from Deuteronomy and Isaiah. Deuteronomy says: "The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;" (Deut.28:49) This is a punishment which will come upon the nation, when they are disobedient. The prophet Isaiah is speaking about the great apostasy of the people. Therefore will the punishment come upon them. "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people." (Isa.28:11) The meaning is: Because the nation did not want to receive God's teachings by His Word, He will teach them by an unknown tongue. This is their punishment. First, they did not want to hear, and now, they will not be able to hear. This is the result of their ingratitude and obstinacy. "Stammering lips" point to unknown tongues, for when one speaks to us in another language, it seems like stammering to us. So, in both places, Deuteronomy and Isaiah, it is about an unknown language to punish their disobedience. 22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. In the previous verse, Paul quotes the Old Testament, and here, he uses it in his reasoning. The strange tongues were a punishment in the Old Testament, so also now. "Wherefore tongues are for a sign to them that believe not". It is a sign to punish the people thereby. Because God uses the unknown tongues as a punishment, they must not be used in the congregation. For that would be a punishment instead of a useful gift. Unknown tongues are a sign of God's anger. The unbelievers, who obstinately reject God's Word, get unknown tongues from God. Did they not hear? Now they shall not be able to hear! Therefore, who gets unknown tongues in his congregation, is obviously disobedient. Otherwise, God had not given them. So, people, does not boast on these tongues, which you see as a gift of the Holy Spirit. For it is a punishment, like the Old Testament says you. When you have a minister, who is difficult to understand, then this is like an unknown tongue. You hear him speaking, but you cannot well understand what he means. God gave you such a minister, namely to punish the congregation for their disobedience. On the other hand, the "prophesying serves for them which believe". God sends a good minister to His believers, His beloved. Therefore, follow after prophecy, and do not use any unknown tongue. 23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? The apostle again uses another argument. When you all speak in tongues, and some outsiders come in, what would they say? They will say that you are mad. Such outsiders come in, and they hear several strange voices. They will think that you are not wise, or that you cannot speak, or that there are stutterers on the pulpit. Such outsiders will consider the Christian religion as a religion of crazy people. They will think that Christianity makes the people frenzied. Therefore, do not longer like the children, who play with unknown tongues, but pursue after prophesying. 24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: You see the difference between when one comes in unto the speakers of unknown tongues, or unto the people who prophesy. Prophecy is the speaking of "edification, and exhortation, and comfort." (1 Cor.14:3) So, when an unlearned comes in, and he will hear the minister speaking edification, exhortation and comfort, "he is convinced of all, he is judged of all". When he hears the people speaking in a clear manner, well understandable, he is convinced that the Christian religion is the truth. He also will be convinced of his sinful nature, namely then the minister speaks about God's Law and when he gives some practical examples of transgressions. The unlearned will say: "I did not know that this and that also is a transgression. What a great sinner am I!" It will happen to him, like is written: "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37) Besides being convinced of all, he also is "judged of all". He will be condemned by all, namely about his previous sins. When he not accepts what the people tell him out God's Word, he will be judged. When he knows the truth, he cannot be ignorant any longer. For now he knows the truth. 25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. "The secrets of his heart are made manifest", namely when he hears the prophecy, that is, the exhortation, and the explanation of God's Word. His sins were secret before. Perhaps, he didn't even know it himself. He compares the heard things with his heart, and discovers how bad it is there. "And so, falling down on his face, he will worship God". He will be convinced of the fact that God is in you. All these things will not happen when the ministers, like children, are speaking and playing with unknown tongues in your midst, but when they prophecy. Paul's conclusion is: do not use unknown tongues, for they have no value. Use prophecy, for this yields blessed fruits of repentance, and the increase of God's people, and thus gives the most honour to God. The present charismatic movements would be considered by Paul as being punished by God. The charismatic people themselves boast on gifts of the Holy Spirit, but let we use our understanding. Let them boast; no, better, warn them that they destroy their congregation by doing so. Let them return to the Scriptures, and practise the explanation, exhortation and comfort. Then the people who come in will be convinced, and falling down on their face, worship God. 4. Books ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Stephen Charnock, The Knowledge of God This one-time assistant to John Owen has tended to be known only through his writing of "The Attributes of God". But no less valuable, and certainly more readable, are Charnock's sermons. Fifteen are here reprinted commencing with "A Discourse on the Knowledge of God". Other major themes which follow include "Unbelief", "The Lord's Supper", "Self- Examination", and "The Death of Christ". ISBN 0 85151 448 0 604 pp. Cloth-bound. Price around $20,00. Ordering: ask your local bookstore or reply this description to firstname.lastname@example.org - Your order will be forwarded to a bookshop. When ordering by reply, include your full name, address, ZIP- code and state and/or country. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament Editor: Teus Benschop - email@example.com No copyrights on this publication Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands End of The Scriptures opened, 22 -------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-022.txt .