Phonetic hiragana letters are added between the Chinese symbols to create the sounds necessary for Japanese grammar. Japanese literature would obviously be much more accessible to all readers if it was written without any kanji characters, however the practice of publishing books entirely in the phonetic alphabet is apparently reserved only for children’s books.
Words are comprised of sounds, not images. Notice how the world “logo” in the modern sense no longer means word – it means a symbol instead of a word. Companies have logos and through recognition of the symbol and advertising to convey general messages and feelings. The use of symbols instead of words is what the Catholic church did when it put images of Mary and the saints on the walls of the churches and took out the Bibles with words that could be understood. Symbols can be re-explained and re-purposed. Queen of heaven, or Mary, or Diana, or the Whore of Babylon – which is it? Somebody can simply lie about what the symbol means and thereby change its meaning. Honesty is in words – particular sounds that tell of a certain word and not of another.
Scriptures must give a certain sound and they must avoid graven images – therefore a good Japanese Bible must not only be based upon the Authorized Version text – it must also be written entirely in phonetic script.
This allegedly causes problems. For example, the lack of spaces in sentences. Easy solution: add spaces.
Also there are a great number of homophones in Japanese – words that sound the same but have different meanings.
But it is better to eliminate such confusion through word-choice rather than ‘solve’ the problem for readers with disastrous Chinese characters that retain homophones for the listeners. Or another solution: improve the spelling conventions. Spell homophones slightly differently (as we do in English: hair, hare) or add an accent notation where that would differentiate them.
These videos show how even normal Japanese people don’t understand basic kanji:
Here he tries to explain reasons for the Japanese tradition of resisting a change from kanji (although Koreans were successful to change their system):
– There has been a number of attempts to abolish kanji in Japanese history.
– Once, John Pelzel from the Allied occupation of Japan tried to completely romanise Japanese after WWII.
[Here’s a bit of history of people who tried to abolish kanji]
1866 – Hisoka Maejima, a Japanese statesman, was said to send a proposal to the shogun, insisting on abolishing kanji.
1872 – Yukichi Fukuzawa, Japan’s prominent figure featured in the current 10,000 yen bill, wrote about his idea of abolishing kanji.
1881 – A group of people started a movement to promote the use of kana letters in place of kanji.
1946 – Naoya Shiga, a famous Japanese novelist, suggested that Japan should adopt French as the official language.
1946 – The Yomiuri Shimbun, one of the most popular Japanese newspapers, published an editorial arguing that adopting Roman alphabet would be key to democratise the country.
Let’s look what the Bible has to say on this topic.
First, consider just how flexible the Old Testament laws were regarding marriage, contradicting the notion that God is somehow incensed at divorce and remarriage:
|Deuteronomy 24:1-4 “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”||This shows that a civil divorce is perfectly legal and that afterwards both parties are free to marry anyone, except they cannot marry each other. This proves that marriage is actually not a permanent arrangement.
(Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”)
|Deuteronomy 21:10-14 “¶ When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.”||Forcing captured foreign women to become concubines is also an acceptable practice – and you can divorce them if it doesn’t work out.
(Matthew 5:17-18 “¶ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”)
|Deuteronomy 21:15-16 “¶ If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:”||It is legal for men to marry multiple wives at the same time.|
|Exodus 21:7-11 “¶ And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.”||A man can buy a woman and force her to marry him or his son. He can divorce her, but he can’t re-sell her. She remains his property while he is free to marry additional women.|
|Exodus 21:3-6 “If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.”||If a master provides his Israelite bondservant with a foreign concubine, she and the children born remain the property of the master when the bondservant’s 7 year term of service ends.|
|Exodus 22:16-17 “¶ And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”
Leviticus 19:20 “¶ And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.”
Deuteronomy 22:28-29 “¶ If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.”
|Although adultery with a married woman is punished by the death of both parties, mere fornication with an unengaged free woman, or even with an engaged slave girl, was not.|
|Leviticus 21:1~14 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them …They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God…. I am the LORD. And he shall take a wife in her virginity. A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.”||Israel’s priest-class had stricter marriage requirements – they could not marry divorced women.|
|Deuteronomy 22:13-21 “¶ If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.”||Mere fornication was not a capital offence unless the maid was engaged, as presumed here. Yet since it would be relatively easy for her father to present any clean sheet as his daughter’s alleged “token of virginity” it puts a damper on any attempt by a husband to scandalize his wife’s premarital reputation.|
|Deuteronomy 25:5-10 “¶ If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her. And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother. Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house. And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.”||The brother was supposed to marry his brother’s widow even if he was already married. The son born to the woman would inherit his dead brother’s share. A younger son only gets 1/3 of his father’s estate because the elder brother gets 2/3, a double portion. By refusing to marry his elder brother’s widow the younger brother would hope to get 100% of the father’s estate for himself and he avoids paying the woman’s maintenance costs.|
|Jeremiah 3:1 “They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.”
Hosea 1:2 “The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.”
|God’s relationship with Israel compared to a man’s marriage with a whore.|
|Jeremiah 3:8 “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.”
Ezekiel 16:59-60 “For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant. ¶ Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.”
|God divorces Israel, yet re-marries in type under a new covenant.|
|Malachi 2:14-16 “¶ Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.”||God hates putting away often read as if a blanket prohibition against divorce, but it doesn’t say that. It says a man should not to deal “treacherously” against a godly wife, it doesn’t say he is prohibited from divorcing a bad one.|
So we see that even under Moses’ unmerciful and rigorous legalistic system God was very tolerant in recognizing various marriage arrangements that today we would consider highly unusual – such as polygamy, concubines, and slave-wives. All of the combinations are natural ones between a man and a woman, or between a man and several women, in order to be fruitful and produce offspring.
|Matthew 5:31-32 “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”||Jesus is explaining the difference between outward human righteousness under the law, and the perfectly divine righteousness that is unattainable by human effort.
Notice the exception, that legalists always omit, permitting divorce of a fornicating wife (divorce, not death).
Notice also that adultery is forced upon the wife that is put away – she remarries but she thinks about her first husband, and so does her second husband. Their 2nd marriage is not the adultery, the adultery is in their hearts. (She is thinking about sex with her first husband, he is thinking of the jealousy he is causing the first husband).
|Matthew 19:3-12 “¶ The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. ¶ His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”||Jesus is not at all concerned with explaining to the Jews grounds for divorce and remarriage in the technical legal sense – as if he was just a new variety of Pharisee.
Rather, he is concerned with what is going on in the heart during/after divorce that departs from perfect righteousness.
The “adultery” Jesus is talking about here is the same as the “adultery” described here:
Matthew 5:28 “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
|Mark 10:2-12 “¶ And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”||All of Christ’s teachings are aimed at destroying the Jew’s equating of self-righteousness based upon outward keeping the law as if that equated to real righteousness before God who sees our heart and mind. His absolutist teaching on divorce is designed to show supreme perfection, equal with cutting off your arm or gauging out your eyes to avoid sin.|
|Luke 16:15-18 “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.”||Notice the heart is what matters, its not a comment on the actual legality of divorce.
Romans 10:3-4 “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
|Matthew 14:3-4 “¶ For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.”||It is, of course, not lawful for a woman to be simultaneously married to two brothers at the same time. However, it does not say when John the Baptist told Herod that it was unlawful, but he must have said this before his brother had legally divorced her.
|Mark 6:17-19 “For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:”||No divorce from the first brother is mentioned. Herodias is still called Philip’s wife, present tense, even though Herod has now married her. This means the first brother had failed to give a “bill of divorcement” paper required by Deuteronomy 22:13.
Nothing legally prevented her from marrying Herod under Jewish Law except for her first husband’s refusal to cooperate by giving her the proper paperwork (a common situation even today).
|Ephesians 5:28-33 “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”||The joint-flesh picture is only a type representing some spiritual things; but human marriage is not an eternal spiritual bond.
Marriage is only carnal and hence all agree it does not survive the death of ether party.
|1 Timothy 3:2-5 “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)”||The “husband of one wife” phrase can be taken to mean exactly that – one wife. It says nothing about the number of prior wives from prior divorces.
And we don’t know whether St Paul or St Timothy were ever married at all.
(Those who seek to disqualify preachers by adding “no remarriage” to the passage fail to mention that greed, brawling, impatience, lack of hospitality, and unruly children are equally disqualifying.)
|1 Timothy 3:8-12 “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.”||The “deacons” also husbands of one wife (each) – meaning monogamous. No mention is made one way or the other concerning divorces and prior wives.|
|1 Timothy 5:9 “Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,”||Paul’s terminology here shows what he could have put in|
|Titus 1:5-7 “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;”||Elders – the same comment.
If St Paul had wanted to say no prior wives from prior divorces he could have easily done so in any one of these passages – but he didn’t.
|Matthew 19:29 “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”||Jesus doesn’t condemn forsaking a wife for his sake!|
|Luke 14:26-27 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”||Jesus’ disciples told to follow Christ even to the point of hating their own wives.
Those who accuse divorced ministers of being “disqualified” never mention these verses.
|Luke 18:28-30 “Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”||Same comment:
Leave your wife for the kingdom of God’s sake?!
|Matthew 22:28-30 “Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”||Again, marriage is a fleshly activity that involves a carnal union, it is not something eternal and spiritual (except in type).|
|Mark 12:23-25 “In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.”||Same.
The Jews invented a story of a woman who was bedded by 7 brothers in order to ridicule the afterlife, ignorant that marriage is only an earthly institution.
|Luke 20:33-36 “Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife. And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”||Same comment.|
|Matthew 1:18-19 “¶ Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.”||Getting pregnant during betrothal required the death penalty, however Joseph risked his own death too if after complaining the authorities judged him the father.|
So Jesus Christ’s teaching on divorce and re-marriage has been misunderstood as endorsing a new civil code, establishing a new “adultery” that never existed under Moses’ law. In reality Christ was teaching “adultery” of the heart and mind to dispel notions of self-righteousness before God.
Jesus was giving moral teachings, not legislating. He was explaining God’s righteousness who sees our heart and mind, not human righteousness based on outward performance, upon which all human laws are based.
Divorce and remarriage is no more actual “adultery” (Mt 5:32) than looking at a woman with lust is actual “adultery” (Mt 5:28), or unjustified anger is actual “murder” (Matthew 5:21-22), or failing to give our money to everyone that asks is a crime (Mt 5:42), or not helping your enemies is a criminal deed (Mt 5:44), or the failure to be “perfect” should result in life imprisonment (Mt 5:48).
|1 Corinthians 7:1-40 “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.||A verse by verse examination of 1 Corinthians chapter 7.
The Corinthians’ asked, “Is it holier if men remain celibate and don’t touch women?”
Paul, in his style, reframes, agreeing that groping/ fondling is bad – but he disagrees with celibacy per the next verse.
|2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.||Here is hearty approval – and almost a mandate – that all healthy persons get married in order to satisfy their normal human urges in a lawful way.|
|3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.||St Paul does not condone the “celibacy is more holy” idea of the gnostics.|
|4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.||Spouses sin if they deprive their mate of biological affections|
|5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.||Roman Catholics ridiculously claim that Mary and Joseph defrauded each other this way so that their entire marriage was an unconsummated sham.|
|6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.||A comment not to be misunderstood: St Paul’s “permission” is still our holy scripture. But Paul – always aware of the danger of legalism – backs off lest what he wrote above pervert marriage liberty into something mandatory and burdensome.|
|7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.||The rare gift of being without, or mastering, biological urges.|
|8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.||It is good – but only if you have such a gift.|
|9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.||Those that don’t had “better” get married.
(The word “burn” means with lust, but the implied meaning of burning in hell, which could have been avoided, wasn’t, not to damn, necessarily, but to warn.)
|10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:||“… but the Lord” meaning he is citing Christ’s well-known statements to the Jews against divorce – a statement to prove that mere outward legal compliance does not equate with inner perfection and true divine righteousness.|
|11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.||St Paul starts here to expand greatly on what Christ said, because the context and purpose is entirely different:
The true practical application for living in this fallen world is a careful balance reconciling Moses’ “easy divorce” with the “impossible divorce” that Jesus seemed to describe.
|12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.||Again, “…not the Lord” doesn’t detract from the scriptural authority of the passage for us Christians, as Christ indicated:
John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into 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.”
|13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.||Vs 12-13 show that, despite all you’ve heard, marriages to unbelievers are allowed. They are allowed because marriage is primarily a practical function of necessary human biology – like eating or sleeping.
In 2 Corinthians 6:14 Paul writes, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
… but that passage is about socializing with paganism, it’s not about marriage.
No prohibition on marrying unbelievers is found until you get to the re-marriages of widowed Christian women in verse 39.
|14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.||A marriage with an unbeliever is sanctified because of the presence of the saved believer who is engaged in a lawful natural function that God condones for our health and the increase of the races.
A spouses salvation may be helpful in avoiding paganism, but otherwise on a human level it is immaterial.
It is more important to marry somebody of your same race and background than to marry a Christian.
|15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.||Thus divorce is allowed – the call to peace trumps all other concerns.
This verse applies to allow nominally “saved” persons to divorce as well because when a “saved” spouse refuses to hear (obey) the Church (commanding what the Bible says) then that person is thenceforth to be considered equal with an unbeliever per Christ’s teaching:
Matthew 18:17 “And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”
|16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?||Paul tells the saved to stay married to their unbelieving spouses.
The function of marriage isn’t to appear in church together on Sundays – it is to perform basic needs of human biology.
Nevertheless, in the midst of it – like working a secular job or in any other endeavour in this world – it is a venue and opportunity for practising our faith.
|17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.||See how “un-radical” Christianity was to upending existing social structures (contrary to all the social-gospel teachings of liberal churches).|
|18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.||Jews are to remain Jewish, and Gentiles are to remain members of their own nations and cultures. Christianity is about saving souls – it is neither about Judaizing nor Babylonianizing the world.|
|19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.||Every culture and race stay where you are – but get saved and follow holiness and the high moral principles of Christ in the place where you are.|
|20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.||Men remain men. Women remain women. Jew remain Jew. White remain White. Oriental remain Oriental. Black remain Black. Rich remain rich. Poor remain poor.
What is sanctified and changed is the inner-man, not the outer-man.
|21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.||So paranoia over “evils of chattel slavery” is highly over-rated.|
|22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.||No revolt against slavery, focus on spiritual instead:
Romans 6:16 “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
|23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.||Same|
|24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.||Same|
|25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.||Returning to topic of marriage, here it is whether fathers should give their daughters in marriage.
Again, St Paul clarifies that these commands are his, but that doesn’t mean they have any less authority over the Church.
|26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.||“I suppose” means he is gently giving some concession to their letter with excessive worry about the current sate of marriage in Corinth and their misunderstandings from hearing Christ’s limited teachings on divorce and celibacy.|
|27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.||Paul wraps the entire topic up so nicely and concisely here, but its a set-up right before dropping a gigantic bombshell in the very next verse, one that he will then just glide over so quickly that you will probably miss it if you aren’t paying attention . . .|
|28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.||HUH!!? Paul has just said that divorce and remarriage is okay. In case you weren’t paying attention, what he said was if you are “loosed from a wife” – meaning divorced – you can “marry” again and “thou hast NOT sinned” !!!
Notice how quickly Paul changes the subject. He knows what he’s doing. He just shocked the “one marriage one lifetime” fanatics with a jolt way way beyond anything they can handle – and he’s smart enough to know the less said the better, as in 1 Corinthians 14:38, “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.”
But these verses 27-28 demolish forever the “no divorce and remarriage” heresy that has been the hobby horse of religious control freaks for over 20 centuries.
|29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;||Before the shock of his announcement that divorce and remarriage is okay can be realized, Paul moves immediately away from any further practical discussion by shifting all attention toward the spiritual and eternal aspect.|
|30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;||“|
|31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.||“|
|32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:||He’s now on the side of supporting celibacy, quite contrary to everything else he’s written in this chapter to this point, but a tactful shift given the stun his readers may be feeling, and a good follow up to the more impractical yet spiritual view he’s introducing.|
|33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.||This can’t be seen as undermining what he wrote above, but rather as on observation, and for balance in a discussion that has otherwise put most of the emphasis only on getting married and re-married.|
|34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.||Again, statements as observations, but not particularly useful or practical to people in most situations.|
|35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.||“not that I may cast a snare” means this is a minor note to the practical and common sense position that he gave first – but undoubtedly something of a relief for those who are single by gift and able to receive it.|
|36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.||A father is wrong if he fails to give his daughters to marriage in a timely fashion under the foolish notion that marriage is carnal and therefore sinful.|
|37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.||Paul likes to take both sides and chart a reasonable course between them. Here he takes the pressure off, where no necessity (like time or money) exists, so that men won’t give their daughters in marriage unadvisedly, to bad suitors, or too early.|
|38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.||That is, he does better when the situation is such that no necessities exist, he is not wasting his daughter’s time, and the suitors are not appropriate. When the situation changes, then obviously so should his decision.|
|39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.||Notice this applies to women widows only. They must marry in the Lord – to a Christian man. Paul indicates that the civil law limited a woman’s ability to freely divorce her husband without his consent, but not so for a man who had power to make that choice regardless. Therefore the leadership of the man is recognized, and thus a woman getting remarried should only be doing so to a Christian man.|
|40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.”||Paul recognizes that whatever biological need an old widow may have to get remarried is outweighed by her doing so for social factors and other concerns, energies that would be more much profitably directed toward charitable ends and Christian service.|
The historically the fall of the Roman Empire allowed Roman Church authorities to step into the vacuum and assume a dual religious and legislative position, and when they did so they took the marriage laws of pagan Rome – and made them even stricter. This resulted in the unfortunate misapplication of Christ’s “no re-marriage” moral teachings into the legal code with the alleged “indissolubility” of marriage. Unable to get re-married, the population was forced into adultery, fornication, and pathetic attempts at celibacy.
The impossible marriage standard that they introduced came from the seducing allure of achieving self-righteousness by enacting overly strict laws, and thereby the Roman Church, idolizing the “Virgin” ideal, destroyed not only marriage, but its own credibility.
This fulfilled a prophecy by St Paul:
1 Timothy 4:1-3 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”
And by St John:
Revelation 2:20-22 “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.”
Well, well, well. I had hoped the rapture would happen sometime before 2018 – but we only have a couple days left in 2017 and no rapture as of yet. Oh well. Too bad. Disappointing. Of course, I am very happy to start 2018 hoping again that it will be the year of the rapture also. And so on and so forth, year by year until either the Lord returns, or I just die and go to heaven by the regular method.
Seeing that it looks like we are going into 2018, let’s make this a good year. There must be a reason why Jesus has waited this long, there must still be work to do. I say we go a fishing!
“Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.” (John 21:3)
The catch is the Lord’s so he will give success in his own timing. There are still many souls to be won for Jesus. The population of the world is greater now than ever before – and think about how many billions of people there are – especially those under 18 years of age – who haven’t ever heard the gospel yet. All we have to do is drop the net down and pull them in.
“But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.” (John 21:4-6)
Let’s insist upon getting serious this year, busy about our master’s business, and telling others while we still have time.
Nobody knows the day when this all starts, but the events after the first rapture will be timed exactly. However, most people in the world will be fooled into thinking WW3 was the “tribulation” and then that the “world peace” that follows is permanent – but it certainly won’t be.
Toward the very end of the great tribulation, the timing of days won’t change, but the earth’s rotation will speed up dramatically shortening the days from 24 hours to only 16 hours, reducing the scorching sunlight so that all the people don’t get killed by the heat.
Revelation 12:14 says that “the woman” – presumably Israel – flees into the wilderness for 1,260 days. Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24:20 that that flight by the Jews is in response to the abomination of desolation, so their stay in the wilderness is 30 days shorter than the total 1,290 days from the abomination of desolation to the end. The haste indicated by Matthew 24:20 suggest that there is no delay at the beginning, so the 30 days short must be at the very end. In other words, the rapture of elect/wise-virgins/tribultation-saints (Rev 14:14-16) happens (on the 1260th day) 30 days before Christ’s return and the battle of Armageddon (on the 1290th day)(Rev 14:17-20).
Let me add some additional speculation:
So the final 3.5 year great tribulation over all the earth is a subset of a 7 year period for dealing with Israel, and that is a subset of the 10 year tribulation over all the earth starting with World War 3. But those 10 years may be subset of a 14 year period, as there were 14 years prophesied by Joseph concerning Egypt when he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams (Genesis 41). Joseph predicted 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of dearth. The final dearth of 7 years would start with “world peace” because that is when the beast-mark computer financial system is implemented and cash is outlawed – thrusting billions into poverty. The 7 years before that of plenty would include 3 years for World War 3 – when trillions are spent and billions are employed in the War Effort, and also 4 years before that, to total 7 years of plenty.
If that is true, the timing of the first rapture of the church is more uncertain. Would it happen at the start of the time of plenty? Would it happen in the middle? Would it happen before WW3? Or during WW3?
It might be that Trump’s presidency has already started the final 7 years of plenty – perhaps already confirmed by record-breaking stock market levels, low unemployment, and all the greedy enthusiasm in the air. 2016 + 14 years = 2030. It seems right that the Lord Jesus would return 2030 since that would (probably) be exactly 2,000 years after his earthly ministry.
With a period of great material abundance all the world’s sinners will grow that much worse, they will be more jaded and hardened in sin, and even as the the timeline of judgment becomes obvious they will refuse to repent.
In January 2017 Trump’s presidency started, and on December 6, 2017 he announced recognition of Jerusalem and to move the embassy there, putting the USA on a collision course with the United Nations, setting up World War 3 against Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea starting sometime in 2020. Hopefully the rapture, if this example is the scenario, would happen long before 2020, hopefully in 2017!
This part is admitted speculation, it’s an example of giving dates, not to predict those dates, but only to demonstrate how the theoretical end-time timeline could transpire.
I previously gave a very good tactic to use when the Jehovah Witnesses come to your door, but here’s another one to use when you see them sitting out in public pamphleteering:
Bible Believer: **Pointing to signboard** What does the Bible Really Teach?!?
Jehovah Witness: Yes, ‘What does the Bible really teach.’
BB: Do you know what is wrong with that question?
JW: **caught off guard** Ahhh … well … this is a very important question.
BB: I asked, do you know what is wrong with the question. Do you?
JW: **brow begins to furrow in thought** Well, no, it is a good question.
BB: No there is something wrong with the question. Do you know what it is?
— Keep this up for a little bit, not to be obnoxious, but just long enough that they are fored to say “No, I don’t know” or “Please tell me” or otherwise make it clear that they’ve given up trying to solve the riddle.
JW: Okay, what do you think is wrong with the question?
BB: It asks what the Bible “TEACHES” not what the Bible “SAYS”.
JW: That’s the same thing, “What does the Bible really teach?”
BB: No, it’s not the same. Many religions claim to “teach” the Bible, but how do I know which one is right?
JW: Look here at this pamphlet … **taking out a pamphlet from the rack** … it says here, “What does the Bible really teach?” and …
BB: I don’t want to look at that. That’s a pamphlet put out by a New York Corporation called the “Watchower Bible and Tract Society Incorporated” – it’s not a King James Bible.
JW: Well, it has many Bible verses in it.
BB: It’s religious “teachings” about the scriptures but it’s not Bible – the Catholics, the Mormons, the Moslems, the cults – they all have the same sorts of pamphlets:with their “teachings” – all claim to be right.
So what is the important question, **holding out the left hand** … “What does the Bible really teach?” or **holding out the right hand** … “What does the Bible SAY?”
JW: Well, Jesus also taught the people – teaching isn’t bad, this is teaching too.
BB: Jesus commanded, “Search the scriptures” [Jn 5:39] and said, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures” [Mt 22:29], and St Paul asked, “what saith the scripture?” [Rm 4:3] — but as for the religious teachers Jesus said they were “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
JW: Hmm, well, yes he said that.
BB: St Peter said, “shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies” [2 Pt 2:1] and Paul warned that in the last days, “shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears And they shall turn away their ears from the truth” [2 Tim 4:3-4]. So you see, the important thing is not what some religious outfit claims the Bible “teaches“ – but rather, what does the Bible “say” – that’s what’s important.
JW: **awkward silence**
JW #2: **interrupting** Hey then, why don’t you give some example of what you’re talking about?
BB: **getting ready to leave** Okay I will. Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth … But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” [Mt 6:19-20] … but your religion teaches against heaven and wants to spend eternity on planet earth! Something to think about!!
Now leave immediately without saying anything else, or engaging in any useless arguing about their nutty doctrines. You’ve planted a seed – now go with that being the last thing they heard you say.
If they aren’t completely reprobate then the truth of what they heard will keep ringing in their ears under the conviction of the Holy Ghost.
” For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
NO FEAR: ” When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 20:1 ” Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:9 ” And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;” 1 Peter 3:13-14 ” And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” Luke 12:4-5 ” The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25 ” Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32 ” If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.” Luke 12:28-29
POWER: ” For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4 ” I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13 ” Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:10-12 ” And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.” Philippians 1:28
LOVE:” Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:1-2 ” By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35 ” Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:” 1 Peter 1:22 ” But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18 ” Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” Psalms 97:10-11
SOUND MIND: ” Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.” Luke 8:35 ” But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 ” My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly.” Job 33:3 ” Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,” Luke 24:45 ” Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” 2 Peter 2:15-16 ” Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:17
But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
Excellent means of great virtue, of great worth, of great dignity; eminent in any good quality. The way of charity is much better than the seeming importance of possessing spiritual gifts.
1 Corinthians, Chapter 13
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
We should excel in proper attitude, not in fancy talk and spiritual showiness.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
We gauge status on ability to know and do great things, but from the eternal perspective, this is incorrect.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Giving away and martyrdom – by themselves – are acts of self-abasement only. They don’t necessarily entail the right attitude toward others.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
Willing to endure discomfort to treat others with benevolence and care.
Charity is essentially the 2nd great commandment that Jesus spoke of: ” Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
Believing this rule, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” is charity.
I am not more important than others. Others are not less important than me. That others might benefit I can suffer awhile, I can wait my turn.
…charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own,
Unseemly means indecent, unbecoming, obnoxious. I don’t need to penalize others with a scene of unpleasantness to announce my own importance.
… is not easily provoked,
It says “easily” and “long” suffering, which is to say, within reasonable bounds. Charity has done its job if we endure a reasonable amount of time and wait until we are greatly provoked. Since we often make mistakes and then turn and repent when we realize we were wrong, it is reasonable that we extend to others the same patience. But it’s charitable to rebuke and oppose evil rather than let it fester on our neighbour or spread to others. There is a reasonable limit to long-suffering: silent martyrdom isn’t charity.
… thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
The first great commandment can never be compromised in service to the second one. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God” means truth and righteousness is much more important than charity.
True charity never entails evil and never extends beyond the bounds of truth and righteousness.
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
That is, all things that are good, wholesome, right, true, etc.
8 Charity never faileth:
It is an enduring principle that will last forever.
but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
This is not “knowledge” in the sense of knowing God and Bible. It is talking about the gift of having a “word of knowledge” – mentioned in 1 Cor 12:8 – which is supernatural insight into a particular situation. This gift’s importance passes away because once that situation is past, the gift of knowledge about it is no longer relevant. So with the other showy gifts that only had importance in confirming to the Corinthians and other churches the supernatural verity of the apostles and their gospel (i.e., the New Testament).
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Charismatic gifts had their place, but mature faith doesn’t require constant magic tricks. Supernatural proofs have already established that the word of God is true, and now we move forward in faith.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
It is greater since faith and hope will one day see their fulfilment, but charity’s fulfilment goes on forever. But it will go on forever in the secondary place of submission to God’s righteousness.
1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
Charity is our heart’s attitude to love our neighbour as our selves – but doing this isn’t the primary function of the Church in this age. We must preach the word and announce the gospel of salvation by Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 4:2; Mark 16:15).
The saying, “preach Christ, and use words only if necessary” is a diabolical lie. Paul says, “rather that ye may prophesy” because people need to know the exact truth. Jesus Christ is the truth and the word of God, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 (John 1:1, Revelation 19:11). Just being a “nice person” without proclaiming the words of God, and exclusivity of salvation in Jesus Christ alone, is not real Christianity.
Some great evils are promulgated by people who misuse this “Charity” chapter: #1 that the emphasis is put on loving our neighbour while ignoring the greater duty to obey God; #2 that feelings and emotions become our standards, rather than the word of God; #3 pretending that the chapter and its promises apply to non-Christians; #4 that charity is a means of salvation instead of being a manner of Christian living.
How do we have more charity and put this chapter into practice? Is it within ourselves to have this sort of attitude? No one is perfect, but by God’s help, yes, this chapter is about deciding to have the right attitude – and that is something we can always strive to do.
” Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
The Holy Spirit within us reminds our “will” and coaxes us to desire to do the right thing, but we must chose accordingly, adopting this attitude ourselves, and must not resist his draw. And when we decide to make our “will” obey that call, then he also helps us within, and without, to do accordingly. So God is with us to think properly and to do properly, according to his will. We can love others as we love ourselves, while always putting God in first place.
One day far in the future, basking with all the saints in eternal glory, I will not look back on my present lack of grand spiritual gifts with any regret, but of my present lack of charity, perhaps I will. Have charity!