Questions and Answers
Question: Could our Lord Jesus Christ have sinned?
Answer: During the past few months, many different ones have asked concerning the peccability of the Lord Jesus Christ. I was not conscious of the fact that there are eminent teachers of the Word who are teaching that Jesus Christ could have sinned. This teaching is as old as the church of our Lord and has existed continuously since that time, but to encounter evangelical fundamentalists who teach that Jesus could have sinned is astounding.
The teaching follows this line of thought-that the diety and the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ are separate and distinct and that as God, of course He could not sin, but as man, He had to be able to sin or He wouldn’t be man. This error is based upon a misunderstanding of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh. He is the GODMAN, not GOD AND MAN. He did not act as God independently of His humanity, neither could He act as man independently of God. His two natures, diety and humanity, are united in one Person, never to be divided. He is the eternal Word, holy and sinless; His humanity, being united to the eternal Word, likewise is holy and sinless.
The propensity of sin is in itself sin. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:13, 14). Here we learn that evil does not originate with God. Every man is tempted when he is enticed and led away by HIS OWN LUSTS. Evil is forever, as opposed to God, the own possession of the creature. Nothing from without brings sin into anyone’s will. Internal consent with lust is the first essential of sin. For Jesus as man to be able to sin, He would have to have a lustful nature of His own, with lustful desires and appetites to respond to the temptation which is without.
Eve sinned when she desired the fruit, not when she took it. The teaching of our Lord is that murder, adultery, covetousness, being desired within the individual’s heart, are sins though there be no overt act in the desire. The amputation of hands and feet, the putting out of the eyes may prevent an act of sin but cannot eliminate the thoughts and the desires, which in and of themselves are sins.
Had it been possible for Jesus to have sinned, He could not have been our Saviour but would need a Saviour Himself.
HOLY AND REVEREND
I received the following question recently: “Is it Scriptural to give any man the title of Reverend in the light of Psalm 111:9, which in the King James Version is translated ‘holy and reverend is his name’?”
I have many friends who do not allow the word Reverend to be used in connection with them as ordained ministers of the gospel because they say Reverend is one of the names of the Lord and is not to be taken by man. This whole philosophy is built upon a mistranslation of the word translated “reverend.” The literal translation is “terrible” and is not reverend and has nothing to do with reverend. The word Reverend itself is one that has been used especially for ordained ministers of the gospel to characterize or distinguish their professions and has nothing to do with the Lord, other than that it is a title used to characterize those who have been set aside for the service of the Lord by the institution of ordination.
The same fear which causes people to hesitate to use the word Reverend could also apply to the word “Mister,” which is a contraction of Master, of which Jesus said, “Call no man master” or “Mr.”
My own thought is, the use of Reverend in the light of the above is perfectly legitimate to characterize an ordained minister of the gospel. Perhaps this is one of those places where every man should be persuaded in his own mind, but you may rest assured that Reverend is not one of the names of God.
Question: Do not the five foolish virgins of Matt. 25:1-13 represent the unsaved? Answer: No. The word “virgin” or “virgins” is never used to symbolize the lost. It means clean, pure, chaste and unadulterated, and is used only of the saved. (Note Isa. 7:14; II Cor. 11:2.) Eph. 5:27 describes the bride of Christ as having the same characteristics of a virgin. Words used to symbolize or describe the lost are whore, harlot, dogs, sow, goats and tares. The number ten in this parable is significant. “Ten is the number of ordinal completion, showing that all the saved are in view.”
Question: Do not the ten virgins symbolize the Jewish remnant coming out of the Great Tribulation who constitute the wife of God?
Answer: No. God’s wife Israel is never spoken of as a virgin but as an adulterous woman who has forsaken her husband and is consorting with other lovers. Israel has forsaken God and has gone off after other lovers. But the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, and God will cleanse His wife Israel and restore her to her proper place. The Book of Hosea discusses this at great length.
Question: Do not the ten virgins typify Israel during the Tribulation?
Answer: There are many commentators who interpret the virgins as Israel but that cannot be, in the light of Scripture. The word virgin means chaste, pure, undefiled, and is used by the Spirit of God to typify the same. In Isa. 7:14, THE VIRGIN is an unmarried maid who is chaste and undefiled. However, there are those who contend that she was just a young maid and not necessarily a virgin, which I do not believe for one moment. Israel is the wife of God and the whole book of Hosea is written about God’s adulterous wife Israel playing the harlot with many lovers. The use of the word virgin to typify Israel is completely out of line with the whole of the Word of God. In Ep-h. 5:24-32, the Spirit of the Lord speaks of the church as being without spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish; and this great mystery is described as the relationship between Christ and the church. In Rev. 19:7, 8, the bride of the Lamb at the time of the marriage is arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, which symbolizes her purity as a virgin. Over and over in the Old Testament, the Spirit of the Lord speaks of the whoredoms of Israel, and it seems very unlikely that she would be symbolized by a virgin.
In Matthew 25, all the virgins had lamps with oil in each lamp. Oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit of God; and none of the Jews during the Tribulation, except the 144,000, will have the Spirit of God within them, and neither will they have that experience until after Jesus returns and they are saved. The ten virgins all had lamps that were lighted and giving forth light. That cannot be true of the unsaved Jews during the Tribulation, because they will be in total darkness. At the time of our Lord’s return to the earth, apart from the 144,000, all Jews will be lost. When they see the Lord Jesus Christ descending to the earth, they will know that He is their Messiah and a whole nation shall be born from above at once (Zech. 13:6; Isa. 66:8; Rom. 11:26, 27; Rev. 1:7).
Since Saul’s conversion is a type of Israel’s conversion (I Tim. 1:16), Israel will be breathing threatenings and slaughter against the Tribulation saints when the Lord appears unto them personally, as was the experience of Saul of Tarsus when the Lord appeared unto him on the road to Damascus .
Also I want to call to your attention that in the division of Matthew 24 and 25, from Matt. 24:32 to Matt. 25:30, we have that which treats of the church and the rapture; whereas, beginning with Matt. 25:31, which begins with the words BUT WHEN, we have that which treats of our Lord’s return to the earth.
In conclusion, I want to state that the first verse of Matthew 25 reveals that our Lord is speaking of the kingdom of the heavens, which is something in which the Jews do not have a part. The Jews are an earthly people and will possess an earthly kingdom from the Nile River to the Euphrates River; whereas the church shall possess the kingdom of the heavens, which means that they will rule and reign with the Lord from the heavens over the earth. You may rest assured that the ten virgins symbolize all of the Christians who will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and some of them are wise and some of them are stupid; but they are all virgins.
Question: What is the rapture? I have been told that the word rapture does not occur in the Bible. Is that true?
Answer: The word rapture does not occur in the King James translation of the Bible but the Greek word HARP AZO, which means rapture, occurs many times in the Greek text. So for one to say that the word rapture is not in the Bible is simply to misrepresent the truth. The Greek word harpazo means to seize – to carry off by force – to claim for oneself – to snatch out or away – or to catch away. In Acts 8:29, we read of the Spirit of the Lord catching away (rapturing) Philip; that is, he was taken away alive from the road between Jerusalem and Gaza and wasn’t seen again until he appeared in Azotus. Again, in II Cor. 12:2, 4, Paul says he was caught away into paradise; that is, raptured away into the third heaven. In I Thess. 4:17, we are told the dead in Christ having risen shall be caught (raptured) away with the living Christians to meet the Lord in the air.
Now whereas the root meaning of the word harpazo is simply to be caught away, when we read about Christians being caught away to meet the Lord in the air, we find then the meaning of being CAUGHT UP alive to meet the Lord in the air. I am sure everyone appreciates the fact that, as Christians are caught up into the air from where they shall be when the Lord appears, they will all be going out from the earth in all directions, since the Lord will be in one place by virture. of the fact that He will be in His body of flesh and bones. Since the word harpazo means to snatch away, I think it is easy to visualize Christians being snatched away from wherever they may be on the earth into the air and then all of them being drawn to the Lord up in the air, wherever that shall be.
Just think of the triumph that will be when the Lord Jesus Christ and His own shall meet in the air, which is the abode of Satan and his hosts. Then it will not be long until Satan and his forces will be deposed and Christ and His Bride shall rule over the earth.
MISSIONS AND CHRIST’S RETURN
Question: Is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ dependent in any way upon missionary endeavor? At many Bible conferences one hears that Jesus cannot return until the gospel has been preached in all the world.
Answer: I call your attention to two Scriptures: “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Here the command is that the gospel is to be preached to EVERY CREATURE. “If ye ~ontinue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister” (Col. 1:23). This passage of Scripture tells us that when Paul was called to preach and had been made a minister of the gospel that the gospel had already been preached to EVERY CREATURE which is under heaven. Since this preaching of the gospel to every creature took place before Paul’s conversion, it is a settled fact that if the gospel must be preached in all the world before Jesus returns, the possibility of His return has been a reality since the days of the first apostles. Erroneously many people confuse the “gospel of the kingdom” (Matt. 24:14) with the preaching of the”gospel of grace.” In the main, the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom was committed unto the Jewish converts who preached it only to the Jews in the first century. This gospel will also be committed to 144,000 Jews who will preach it only to the Gentiles during the Tribulation.
Question: Did the Apostle Paul expect the Lord Jesus Christ to return during his lifetime? There are those who are teaching today that neither Paul nor any of the apostles expected the Lord to return during their lifetime. What does the Scripture say on this?
Answer: In two passages from the Apostle Paul he stated explicitly that he expected the Lord to return while he was alive. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thess. 4:14-17). “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (I Cor. 15:51). You will notice in these two passages of Scripture that Paul says’ ‘WE” (not “THEY”) which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord. . . Then “WE” (not “THEY”) which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. . . Again notice “WE” (not “THEY”) shall not all sleep (die), but “WE” (not “THEY”) shall all be changed. Not only did the Apostle Paul but all the other apostles and each succeeding generation have expected the Lord to return in their lifetime.