A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF FIRST CORINTHIANS

(Trumpet Ministries,Inc. / Words of Righteousness)

A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF FIRST CORINTHIANS Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

If salvation were a ticket to Heaven, being saved as by fire would not be so bad after all.

It would mean merely that, while we did not receive the crown of royal authority, we still would go to Paradise.

In actuality, to be saved as by fire is to have most of our personality, as well as our inheritance, burned away so that we enter the Kingdom of God as a naked spirit.

It is an awesome loss, an incredible disaster—perhaps an eternal shame.

If the present doctrine of lawless grace were a true representation of the new covenant there would be no need to deliver an incestuous believer to Satan so his spirit would be saved in the Day of the Lord.

Why be concerned about incest? Doesn’t God see the immoral believer as holy because of his identification with Christ?

As in all his other writings, the Apostle Paul stresses the need for righteous, holy behavior if the believer is to possess the Kingdom of God.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9,0)

Table of Contents

QUESTIONS

Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen Chapter Sixteen

ANSWERS

Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen Chapter Sixteen

A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF FIRST CORINTHIANS

QUESTIONS

Chapter One

1.How does Paul identify himself in this letter?

2.What is the significance of Paul’s mention of Sosthenes?

3.To whom is Paul writing?

4.What can we learn from, "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth"?

5.What is revealed by, "to them that are sanctified in Christ, called to be saints"?

6.What is made plain by the expression, "with all that in every place call on the name of Christ our Lord"?

7.What two blessings does Paul confer on the saints in Corinth?

8.For what does Paul thank God?

9.How is the grace, the Divine Virtue, revealed and expressed in the saints?

10.What was true of the saints in Corinth?

11.In what area was the grace of God not lacking among the saints in Corinth?

12.For what were the saints waiting?

13.What will the Lord Jesus Christ do for the saints in Corinth?

14.Whose faithfulness guarantees we will be preserved blameless to the Day of Christ?

15.Into what has each saint been called?

16.What was Paul’s exhortation to the saints in Corinth?

17.What was Paul’s desire for the saints in Corinth?

18.What were the Corinthian believers doing?

19.What were the Christians saying?

20.What was Paul’s response to what they were saying?

21.What was Paul emphasizing by these questions?

22.Did Paul baptize many converts?

23.What was Christ’s charge to Paul?

24.Why did Paul avoid preaching in clever, artful phrases?

25.How do those who are perishing view the message of the cross?

26.What does the message of the cross become to those who are being saved?

27.Read Isaiah 29:14.

28.What has God done to the wisdom of the world?

29.What does the wisdom of God reveal?

30.Through what means is God pleased to save those who believe?

31.For what do the Jews ask?

32.What do the Greeks seek?

33.What does Paul preach?

34.How do the Jews regard the message of Christ crucified?

35.How do the Gentiles regard the message of Christ crucified?

36.What is the message of Christ crucified to the Jews and the Greeks who are called of God?

37.What is true of the "foolishness" of God?

38.What can we say of the "weakness" of God?

39.What is the case with people who are wise in human wisdom or powerful or highborn?

40.Why does God choose the foolish things of the world?

41.Why does God select the weak things of the world?

42.Why does God turn to the despised and the things of no esteem?

43.What is God’s purpose in bringing down to uselessness what is important in the eyes of the world?

44.In what realm does the saint live?

45.What has Christ been made to us?

46.Read Jeremiah 9:24.

Chapter Two

1.What did Paul avoid, when proclaiming the testimony of God?

2.What was the one fact Paul decided to know while he was bearing witness of God among the saints in Corinth?

3.What was Paul’s condition and attitude while he was among the believers in Corinth?

4.What was absent from Paul’s preaching while he was in Corinth?

5.What accompanied Paul’s preaching and teaching in Corinth?

6.Why was it necessary that Paul’s preaching be free from persuasive words of human wisdom and filled with the Holy Spirit and the power of the Kingdom of God?

7.To whom can God’s wisdom be spoken?

8.What is true of the rulers of the world?

9.What is true of God’s wisdom?

10.Do the rulers of the present age understand the hidden wisdom of God?

11.What would have been true if Pontius Pilate, King Herod, and the priests and scribes of Jesus’ day had understood the hidden, predetermined mystery of God’s wisdom?

12.Read Isaiah 64:4.

13.What is true of the things eye has not seen, ear has not heard, and that have not entered the heart of man—the things God has prepared for those who love Him?

14.What does the Holy Spirit search?

15.What does the spirit of a person know?

16.What does the Spirit of God know?

17.What has the saint received?

18.Why have we received the Holy Spirit?

19.How should the Christian teacher teach?

20.Why will a man who has not been born again not accept the things of the Spirit of God?

21.What is true of a person who is filled with God’s Spirit?

22.What can a human being never do?

23.Read Isaiah 40:13.

24.What does the saint possess?

Chapter Three

1.In what way was Paul required to talk to the believers in Corinth?

2.What kind of` "food" was Paul required to give them as a result?

3.Why was Paul not able to set solid food before the saints in Corinth?

4.How did Paul know the Christians in Corinth were spiritually immature?

5.What is evident when we express a denominational preference or special loyalty to a particular preacher of teacher?

6.What was true concerning Apollos and Paul?

7.Who alone can cause a soul to be saved and a believer to grow in Christ?

8.Can a gifted individual cause the Body to grow?

9.What is true of all Christian gifts and ministries?

10.What will each Christian worker receive?

11.What is each Christian who labors in the Kingdom of God?

12.What are the saints?

13.What was Paul’s task?

14.What does Paul warn each saint?

15.What is the only true foundation on which a human being can build his or her life, the foundation God has laid?

16.What kind of a life can a person build on Christ?

17.What will reveal the quality of the life each person has built on Christ?

18.What will be true if a person’s work survives the test of fire?

19.What will be true if a person’s work is burned or destroyed because it is wood, grass, or straw; that is, his work was performed by his soulish efforts and not in the Spirit of God?

20.What is true of each saint?

21.Who dwells in each saint?

22.What will happen to any individual who destroys one of the rooms of God’s holy Temple?

23.What is true of the heart of each saint, of each room of the eternal Temple of God?

24.What should the believer do if he or she is learned in the philosophy of the world?

25.Read Isaiah 5:21.

26.What does God do to the "wise" of the world?

27.Read Job 5:13.

28.What does God know to be true of worldly wisdom and learning?

29.Read Psalms 94:11.

30.Why should a saint not boast concerning those persons who have ministered to him or her?

31.What is true of Paul, of Apollos, of Cephas?

32.What is true of the present world?

33.What is true of life?

34.What is true of death?

35.What is true of the present things and the things yet to come?

36.To whom do the saints belong?

37.To whom does the Lord Jesus Christ belong?

Chapter Four

1.How did Paul want the apostles to be regarded?

2.What is required of a steward?

3.What did Paul consider to be unimportant?

4.What was Paul’s attitude toward himself?

5.Who is the only Person who has the authority and the ability to judge the worthiness of Paul and the quality of his service?

6.Who is the only Person who has the authority and the ability to judge the worthiness and the quality of the service of any Christian man or woman?

7.What are the saints to refrain from doing?

8.What will the Lord Jesus do when He comes?

9.What will happen at the coming of the Lord?

10.What has Paul been doing in the preceding verses?

11.What did Paul want the believers in Corinth to learn?

12.What questions does Paul ask the Christians?

13.How has God exhibited the Apostles?

14.How were the Apostles regarded, for Christ’s sake?

15.How did the immature Corinthian believers regard themselves?

16.Under what conditions were the Apostles living?

17.Why did Paul say such things to the saints in Corinth?

18.How did Paul differ from their other instructors and leaders?

19.What did Paul urge the Corinthian believers to do?

20.Why did Paul send Timothy to Corinth?

21.How did Paul regard Timothy?

22.What was true of some of the believers in Corinth?

23.What did Paul plan to do, if it was the Lord’s will?

24.Does the kingdom of God consist of words, similar to the Greek philosophies?

25.What does Paul ask them?

Chapter Five

1.What sin was practiced by one of the believers of Corinth?

2.What was the attitude of the saints in Corinth concerning the horrible sin practiced in their mist?

3.What had Paul done already, being present in Corinth in spirit?

4.What was Paul’s decision?

5.What did Paul intend to achieve by such an action?

6.Why was their boasting over this sin not a good thing?

7.What does Paul command the Corinthian saints to do with the old leaven of sin?

8.Who is our Passover Lamb?

9.How must the feast of Passover be celebrated?

10.What is "leaven"?

11.What is "unleavened bread"?

12.With whom is a Christian not to associate?

13.What about the unsaved who are fornicators, covetous, swindlers, and idolaters?

14.What about the professing Christian who is a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or abusive in language, or a drunkard, or a swindler?

15.Whom does Paul not judge?

16.Whom is the church obligated to judge?

17.Who judges people who are not members of a Christian assembly?

18.What does Paul command the church in Corinth to do?

Chapter Six

1.What other problem were the believers in Corinth having?

2.What does Paul remind them?

3.What is Paul’s argument here?

4.What further question does Paul raise?

5.Concerning what practice does Paul reprove them?

6.What does Paul ask the saints?

7.What does Paul inform them?

8.What does Paul suggest they do?

9.What were the disciples doing, on the contrary?

10.What is true of people who are unjust, whether or not they are members of the church?

11.What does the Apostle Paul warn them against?

12.What is true of fornicators, of idolaters, of adulterers, of male prostitutes, of homosexuals, thieves, of the covetous, of drunkards, of those who use abusive language, of swindlers?

13.What had formerly been true of the saints in Corinth?

14.What had happened to the believers in Corinth when they received Jesus and put their trust in Him?

15.What does Paul declare concerning the behavior of the saint in the world?

16.What does Paul remind us concerning our eating habits?

17.What does Paul have to say about our physical body?

18.What did God do with the body of the Lord Jesus?

19.What is God going to do with the body of the saint?

20.What are our bodies?

21.What does Paul warn us never to do?

22.What is true of the saint who joins himself to a prostitute?

23.Read Genesis 2:24.

24.What is true of the person who joins himself or herself to the Lord?

25.What should the Christian do about fornication?

26.How does fornication differ from other sins?

27.What is our body?

28.Does the saint’s own body belong to him?

29.To whom does it belong?

30.What should the saint do in his body and in his spirit also?

Chapter Seven

1.What does Paul state about the relationship between men and women?

2.What direction does Paul give to the saints in Corinth so they may avoid fornication?

3.What does Paul advise concerning those who are married?

4.What is true of the marriage relationship?

5.What does Paul explain in verse six?

6.What was Paul’s desire?

7.What does Paul acknowledge?

8.What does Paul say to the unmarried and the widows?

9.What is the Lord’s charge to the married saints?

10.What is Paul’s counsel to the saint who has an unbelieving wife or an unbelieving husband?

11.What is true in the sight of God?

12.What is true of the children of a home where one parent is a Christian and the other parent is an unbeliever?

13.What if the unbeliever leaves because his or her wife or husband has become a Christian?

14.Of what does the Christian husband or wife have no guarantee?

15.What does Paul state as a general principle?

16.What is true of a circumcised male when he becomes a Christian?

17.What is true of the uncircumcised Gentile male when he becomes a Christian?

18.What does Paul say about the spiritual value of circumcision?

19.What concept does Paul repeat?

20.What about a slave who receives Christ as Savior?

21.What is true of the Christian who is a slave?

22.What is true of the free citizen who becomes a Christian?

23.What does Paul say about slavery?

24.What does Paul state for the third time?

25.What is true of Paul’s comments concerning virginity?

26.Why does Paul say it is good for a man to remain unmarried or married according to the circumstances in which he was converted to Christ?

27.What is true of a man or a virgin woman who marries?

28.What is generally true of people who marry?

29.What does Paul say about the length of time that will transpire before Jesus returns?

30.How should we behave in view of the fact that the world system is passing away and Jesus is coming soon?

31.What is Paul’s desire for us?

32.What is true of the unmarried saint?

33.What is true of the married saint?

34.What is the difference between a wife and a virgin?

35.Why does Paul give such advice?

36.How long is a wife bound to her husband?

37.When her husband dies, whom may she marry?

38.What is Paul’s opinion?

39.What does Paul say of himself?

Chapter Eight

1.What is Paul going to speak of next?

2.What is Paul’s attitude toward the knowledge the Corinthian believers think they have?

3.What about the person who claims to have knowledge?

4.What about the individual who loves God?

5.What do we know about idols?

6.What is the attitude of the nations toward idol-gods?

7.What is the truth?

8.What was true of some of the weaker saints in Corinth?

9.What does Paul say about eating food?

10.Of what should the strong saint be careful?

11.What were some of the bolder saints doing, apparently?

12.What will happen when the new covert sees an established saint eating in an idol temple?

13.What will be the result?

14.What are we doing when we wound the conscience of a weak believer?

15.What should the strong saint do if what he is eating is causing a weak Christian to stumble?

Chapter Nine

1.What does Paul proclaim to the believers in Corinth?

2.What was true of the saints in Corinth?

3.What does Paul ask those who are examining him?

4.Read Deuteronomy 25:4.

5.What is the common hope of the oxen, the plowmen, and the threshers?

6.How does Paul apply this principle to himself and to the saints in Corinth?

7.What does Paul state further?

8.What did Paul and Barnabas do so there would be no hindrance to the Gospel?

9.What is true of priests who offer animal and grain offerings on the altar?

10.What has the Lord ordered those who preach the Gospel to do?

11.What decision did Paul make?

12.Why does Paul have no reason to boast concerning his preaching of the Gospel?

13.What will be true if Paul preaches the Gospel willingly?

14.What is true if Paul is unwilling to preach the Gospel?

15.What does he claim, then, as his reward?

16.What relationship did Paul have with all people?

17.What relationship did Paul choose to have with all people?

18.How did Paul approach the Jews?

19.How did Paul approach those who were under the Law?

20.How did Paul approach people who were not living under the Law of Moses?

21.How did Paul approach all men?

22.Why did Paul do all things for the sake of the Gospel?

23.What is true of a race?

24.What do we learn from this?

25.What is true of each person who competes in the athletic games?

26.Why should Christians keep themselves under an even stricter discipline than is true of athletes?

27.How does Paul run?

28.How does Paul fight?

29.What did Paul do to his own body?

Chapter Ten

1.What does Paul say concerning the children of Israel of Moses’ day?

2.In what two ways were the Israelites baptized into Moses?

3.What spiritual food did each Israelite eat?

4.Of what spiritual drink did each Israelite partake?

5.What was true of the Israelites?

6.Why did these things happen to them?

7.What do these examples teach us?

8.What were some of the Israelites?

9.Read Exodus 32:6.

10.What happened to the reveling Israelites who committed fornication?

11.What did some of the Israelites do and were bitten by snakes as a result?

12.What other sin caused the Israelites to be destroyed?

13.Why did all these things happen to the Israelites and why were they written into a record?

14.What lesson do we learn from the history of the Israelites?

15.What does Paul state concerning the trials and temptations that are testing us?

16.How does God demonstrate His faithfulness toward us?

17.What should the saint do about idolatry?

18.How does Paul entreat the believers in Corinth?

19.What is the Communion cup?

20.What is the Communion bread?

21.Since all believers eat of the one broken loaf of bread, what is true concerning the Christian people?

22.What is true of the physical nation of Israel?

23.Does an idol, or anything sacrificed to it, possess eternal existence or significance?

24.What is true of sacrifices offered to idols?

25.What must the saint refrain from doing?

26.What must we not do?

27.What impression are we giving when we go into the temple of an idol and eat and drink what first had been presented as an offering to an idol-demon?

28.What is the saint’s authority in the material world?

29.What regulates the saint’s use of the material world?

30.Whose profit should each Christian be seeking continually?

31.What can the Christian buy and eat from the public meat market?

32.Read Psalms 24:1.

33.If an unbeliever invites a Christian to eat with him and the saint desires to accept the invitation, what foods can he eat?

34.What if the unbeliever should say, "This is meat that was offered to an idol in the temple"?

35.What limits the saint’s freedom?

36.What can happen if we are not careful?

37.With what attitude of heart and mind should the Christian disciple eat, drink, and do everything else?

38.Whom were the Corinthian believers to be careful of offending?

39.What did Paul strive to do at all times?

Chapter Eleven

1.What did Paul invite the overconfident Corinthian believers to do?

2.For what did Paul praise the believers at Corinth?

3.What line of headship did Paul teach?

4.What should be true of a man while he is praying or prophesying?

5.What should be true of a woman while she is praying or prophesying?

6.What choice does Paul present to the women of the church at Corinth?

7.Why should a man not have his head covered while he is praying or prophesying?

8.Why should a woman have her head covered while she is praying or prophesying?

9.What principle does Paul declare?

10.Why should a woman have her head covered while she is praying or prophesying?

11.How does Paul broaden his teaching on this subject?

12.From what substance was the first woman formed?

13.How has every man, with the exception of Adam and Melchizedek, arrived on the earth?

14.From where does everything come?

15.To what does Paul appeal?

16.What does nature teach us?

17.What is true of a woman who has long hair?

18.With what thought does Paul conclude his discourse on the proper attire of men and women who are praying and prophesying?

19.Is Paul praising the Corinthian believers because of their conduct in the assembly?

20.What was Paul hearing about the saints in Corinth?

21.Why was Paul ready to believe there were divisions among them?

22.What did Paul say about their coming together to eat the Lord’s Supper?

23.What does Paul remind them?

24.What were they doing?

25.Does Paul praise them for this?

26.What had Paul received directly from the Lord Jesus, although he had not been one of the original twelve Apostles?

27.How did the Lord Jesus refer to the loaf of bread as He broke it?

28.With what attitude of mind should we eat the broken body of the Lord?

29.What did the Lord say as He held up the cup after the last supper?

30.In what attitude are we to drink of His blood?

31.What are we proclaiming when we eat the broken body and drink the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ?

32.What, then, is true of those who are turning the Lord’s Table into a banquet in which the rich are drunk and the poor are hungry and ashamed?

33.What should a believer do before he partakes of the Communion ?

34.When should the believer eat of the bread and drink of the cup?

35.What is true of the believer who comes to the assembly of saints and partakes of the Lord’s Table, and yet does not have an attitude of worship and devoutness toward the Communion elements as representing the body and blood of the Lord, or love and concern for the members of the Lord’s Body with whom he is gathering?

36.What was this believer not discerning and understanding?

37.What had happened to many of the Corinthian believers who had held a wrong attitude toward the Lord’s Table?

38.What is true when we examine our own conduct?

39.What does the Lord do when He does judge us?

40.How can we show a proper attitude toward the Lord’s Body—our fellow Christians?

41.What should the believer do when he is hungry?

42.What did Paul promise the saints?

Chapter Twelve

1.What was Paul’s desire for the saints in Corinth?

2.What had the saints in Corinth been before they became followers of Christ?

3.What will the Spirit of God never say?

4.What statement can be made only by the person who is speaking by the Holy Spirit?

5.What is true of spiritual gifts?

6.What is true of ministry [service]?

7.What is true of the ways in which the gifts and ministries are operated?

8.What is true of each member of the Body of Christ?

9.What is the word of wisdom?

10.What is the word of knowledge?

11.What is faith?

12.Who assigns spiritual "talents"?

13.What are gifts of healing?

14.What is the working of miracles?

15.What is prophecy?

16.What is discerning of spirits?

17.What are divers kinds of tongues?

18.What is interpretation of tongues?

19.Who is it that ministers all the revelations of the Glory of God, distributing to each saint of the assembly according to His own sovereign will?

20.What is true of a physical body?

21.What is true of Christ?

22.Into what were all Christians baptized?

23.Of what do all Christians drink?

24.What does Paul teach us in verses fourteen through seventeen?

25.What plan has God followed in putting each member in his place in the Body of Christ?

26.According to verses nineteen through twenty-five, what else can the physical body teach us about the Body of Christ?

27.What happens if one member of the Body of Christ suffers?

28.What happens if one member of the Body of Christ is honored?

29.What are some of the ministries God has set in the Church of Christ?

30.What does Paul mean by the questions he is asking in verses twenty-nine and thirty? What answer does he expect?

31.What does Paul mean when he states that love is a way more excellent than the manifestation of the Holy Spirit?

Chapter Thirteen

1.What is the "love," of which Paul is speaking in this chapter?

2.What is true of the member of the Body of Christ who is mighty in the gifts and ministries of the Spirit, but who does not possess Divine love for those to whom he is ministering?

3.What is true of the member of the Body of Christ who gives away all his worldly goods to feed the poor and then dies at the stake as a martyr, but who does not possess Divine love?

4.What is true of Divine love?

5.Why will prophecies, tongues, and knowledge cease and be done away?

6.What is true of our knowledge and our prophesying?

7.What is "that which is perfect"?

8.Why does Paul refer, in verse eleven, to children and grown men?

9.How do we see the Kingdom of God now?

10.How will we see the Kingdom when we attain maturity?

11.How will our maturity affect our knowledge of the Kingdom?

12.What are the three pillars in the Temple of God?

13.Which of the three is surpassingly greater than the other two?

Chapter Fourteen

1.What should each saint be pursuing?

2.What else should each saint be fervently desiring?

3.When we speak in a tongue, to whom are we speaking?

4.What are we speaking when we speak in a tongue?

5.For what purpose do we prophesy?

6.When we speak in a tongue, whom do we build up?

7.When we prophesy, whom do we build up?

8.What was Paul’s desire for the saints in Corinth?

9.How does the saint who is prophesying compare with the one who is speaking in tongues?

10.What kinds of communication should be ministered to the assembled saints?

11.What is true of music?

12.What must be true of a trumpet call?

13.What is true of the saint who is speaking with tongues in the assembly of saints unless he interprets what was spoken?

14.What is true of the many languages of the world?

15.What are we to one another if we cannot understand what each is proclaiming in the assembly?

16.What should be our guiding motive as we are seeking spiritual gifts?

17.What should the believer do who speaks with a tongue?

18.What is true when we pray with a tongue?

19.What should we do?

20.What problem arises when we praise God in tongues?

21.What is true of giving thanks in tongues?

22.Did Paul speak with tongues?

23.How did Paul speak in the assembly of saints?

24.What should be true of the mind of the saint?

25.Read Isaiah 28:11,12.

26.What, therefore, are tongues?

27.Whom does prophecy serve?

28.If the whole church is speaking in tongues and new converts or the unsaved come in, what impression will they receive?

29.If the whole church is prophesying and new converts or the unsaved come in, what will take place?

30.Does the Bible suggest to us, in any passage of the New Testament, that the saints are to sit in rows while a minister conducts a "service" from a platform or podium?

31.What is the guiding principle for all things that take place during the assembly of the saints?

32.What guidance does Paul offer concerning an individual who speaks with tongues?

33.What about the interpretation of the tongue?

34.What about those who prophesy?

35.What is true if one believer is active in prophesying and a revelation is given to someone else?

36.What is true of all the saints of the assembly?

37.What is true of spirits of prophets?

38.What is true of the workings and dealings of God?

39.What does Paul state concerning women in the assemblies of saints?

40.What is Paul saying to the saints in Corinth, in verses 36-38?

41.What does Paul say about prophesying?

42.What does Paul say about speaking with tongues?

43.What guiding principle does Paul present for the assembly of the saints?

Chapter Fifteen

1.How are we saved?

2.Is it possible to believe "in vain"?

3.What did Paul deliver to us?

4.How did Paul view himself?

5.On what was Paul depending for his salvation?

6.How did Paul respond to the grace of God that was given to him?

7.What were some of the believers in Corinth stating?

8.What is true if there is no resurrection of the dead?

9.What is true if Christ has not been raised?

10.What, then, is true of the Apostles?

11.Under what circumstances would the Apostles have committed perjury?

12.What is true if Christ has not been raised from the dead?

13.What has happened, then, to those who have fallen asleep in Christ?

14.What is true if our hope in Christ is confined to the present life?

15.What actually has happened?

16.How did physical death enter the world?

17.How did the resurrection of the dead enter the world?

18.What is true of every descendant of Adam and Eve?

19.What is true of every person who is abiding in Christ?

20.In what order will the dead be raised?

21.Who was the first of the dead to be made alive?

22.Who are the next to be raised from the dead?

23.What will come after that?

24.What will mark the end?

25.What will be accomplished as Christ governs?

26.What is the last enemy that will be abolished?

27.Read Psalms 8:6; 110:1.

28.Who will put all things in subjection under Christ?

29.Who is not in subjection under Christ?

30.What will be true as soon as all things have been brought under subjection to Christ?

31.What is the meaning of verse twenty-nine?

32.How did Paul’s own life demonstrate his absolute faith in the resurrection of the dead?

33.What will bad associations (those who live for the pleasure of the moment) do to the believer?

34.What does Paul say to the saints in Corinth by way of rebuke?

35.What was the result of their careless, sinful living habits?

36.What questions were these arrogant, educated Corinthian Greeks asking?

37.What is necessary before a seed germinates?

38.What is true of the seed that is sown?

39.What is true of different kinds of seed?

40.What is true of men, beasts, fish, and birds?

41.What can be said of heavenly bodies and earthly bodies?

42.What of the sun, moon, and stars?

43.What is true from star to star?

44.In what condition is the physical body sown?

45.In what condition is the physical body raised?

46.What other changes will be made?

47.What two kinds of bodies are there?

48.What did the first man, Adam, become?

49.What did the last Adam become?

50.What comes first?

51.From what was the first man created?

52.Who is the second man?

53.What is true of persons made from the dust?

54.What will be true of those who are of Christ?

55.What image will the saints bear when they are raised from the dead?

56.Will our flesh-and-blood life inherit the Kingdom of Heaven?

57.What mystery did Paul reveal to us?

58.How long will it take for us to be changed from a natural body to a spiritual body?

59.When will the saints be changed?

60.What will announce the coming of the Lord Jesus and the changing of the bodies of the saints?

61.What will happen instantly at the sound of the last trumpet?

62.What must happen to us if we are to enter the Kingdom of God?

63.What saying will be fulfilled when we put on incorruptibility and immortality?

64.Read Isaiah 25:8; Hosea 13:14.

65.What is the sting of death?

66.What is the power of sin?

67.What has God given us?

68.How should we then live, in view of the hope of our being raised from the dead in such a glorious fashion?

69.Of what can we be certain?

Chapter Sixteen

1.What is Paul’s next topic?

2.On what day of the week were the saints to set aside money for the poor so when Paul came he would not have to take up a collection?

3.What principle guided how much each saint gave?

4.Why did Paul desire that there be no gatherings when he came?

5.Who was responsible for carrying the collection to the poor of Jerusalem?

6.When was Paul to come to Corinth?

7.What was Paul considering doing?

8.What did Paul hope would result from his spending the winter in Corinth?

9.Why did Paul not go to Corinth immediately?

10.How long was Paul to remain at Ephesus?

11.What was true of the conditions in Ephesus at the time?

12.Who was planning to pass through Corinth?

13.How did Paul want the saints in Corinth to treat Timothy?

14.What had Paul exhorted Apollos to do?

15.What was Apollos' decision?

16.What five admonitions did Paul give the saints in Corinth?

17.What did Paul have to say about the Stephanas family?

18.What did this Greek family determine to do?

19.What did Paul ask the believers in Corinth to do?

20.What three men came to Paul and gave him the encouragement and assistance the believers in Corinth could not or would not provide?

21.What had these three men accomplished?

22.What did Paul request, therefore?

23.Who were sending greetings to the church in Corinth?

24.Who else were sending warm greetings to the saints in Corinth?

25.Who else were sending greetings?

26.How did Paul suggest the Corinthian believers greet one another?

27.What did Paul do now?

28.What does Paul say about the person who does not love the Lord Jesus Christ?

29.What does Maranatha mean?

30.What does Paul bestow on the saints in Corinth?

A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF FIRST CORINTHIANS

ANSWERS

Chapter One

1.How does Paul identify himself in this letter?

"An apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God."

Notice the positive manner in which Paul sets forth his position in Christ. This is not a form of pride or self-seeking. Rather, it is the necessary establishing of what he is and what he is doing.

In the days to come, every saint of Christ will need to know what he is and what he is doing. This strong sense of identity will enable him or her to remain separated from the world.

2.What is the significance of Paul’s mention of Sosthenes?

Paul had a strong affection for his fellow Christians and mentions many by name in his Epistles.

3.To whom is Paul writing?

To the church of God at Corinth, to those who have been set apart as holy in Christ, called to be holy ones, just as is true of all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

4.What can we learn from, "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth"?

The Scripture does not recognize the division of the Christian Church into denominations. There were not churches, only the Church, in the large city of Corinth.

5.What is revealed by, "to them that are sanctified in Christ, called to be saints"?

Every Christian is a saint (holy one). Every Christian has been set apart from the world as holy to the Lord. This is the identity of the Christian as a person, and his identity as a holy person of God must be firmly established in the days in which we now are living.

6.What is made plain by the expression, "with all that in every place call on the name of Christ our Lord"?

Every Christian on the earth is called to be holy and is a member of the one church of Christ. Our oneness is founded eternally on the fact that we call Christ Lord.

7.What two blessings does Paul confer on the saints in Corinth?

Grace and peace.

Grace consists of the three elements of the Virtue of God that are freely given to us under the new covenant: the Word of God, the body and blood of Christ, and the resurrection life and power of the Holy Spirit. The term grace is used in a general sense as the blessing of God and is, in its fullest definition, the "Presence of God in Christ."

Peace is the hope-filled, calm assurance that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. Because we are an inseparable part of Christ there is no person or thing in the physical world or in the spiritual world that can harm us in any manner whatever. We are part of the resurrection of Christ. In order to overcome a saint the adversary would have to overcome the resurrection of Christ.

8.For what does Paul thank God?

For the grace of God given to the saints, the grace that is the Divine Virtue in Christ. When we receive Christ we receive the blessing and Virtue of God.

9.How is the grace, the Divine Virtue, revealed and expressed in the saints?

In all speech and all knowledge. The saints are able to know and understand, and to communicate the redemption and inheritance God has given to mankind in His beloved Son, Christ.

10.What was true of the saints in Corinth?

They were beginning to show in themselves that what Paul was preaching and teaching about Christ actually was the truth. The testimony of Christ was confirmed—verified in them.

We shall be discovering later in this letter that the saints in Corinth still had quite a bit of growing up to do. They were spiritually immature and were not skilled in the use of spiritual gifts.

The evidence of the New Testament writings is that the early churches were, in many respects, as immature as we are.

11.In what area was the grace of God not lacking among the saints in Corinth?

In the area of spiritual gifts.

12.For what were the saints waiting?

The revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

13.What will the Lord Jesus Christ do for the saints in Corinth?

He will keep them strong, blameless, without condemnation, without accusation until the Day of Christ.

14.Whose faithfulness guarantees we will be preserved blameless to the Day of Christ?

The faithfulness of God.

15.Into what has each saint been called?

Into fellowship with God’s Son, Christ our Lord.

16.What was Paul’s exhortation to the saints in Corinth?

That they all be in agreement and that there be no divisions among them.

17.What was Paul’s desire for the saints in Corinth?

That they be united in the same mind and in the same judgment.

18.What were the Corinthian believers doing?

Quarreling among themselves.

19.What were the Christians saying?

"I am of Paul and I of Apollos and I of Cephas and I of Christ."

20.What was Paul’s response to what they were saying?

"Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?"

21.What was Paul emphasizing by these questions?

Christ is the one Head of the one Body; only Christ was crucified in order to make an atonement for our sins; each believer is baptized into the one Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore it is incorrect to split up the one Lord Jesus Christ by claiming allegiance to an outstanding preacher or teacher.

22.Did Paul baptize many converts?

No.

23.What was Christ’s charge to Paul?

To preach the Gospel.

24.Why did Paul avoid preaching in clever, artful phrases?

So the listener would not be distracted from the necessity and power of the cross of Christ.

25.How do those who are perishing view the message of the cross?

As foolishness.

26.What does the message of the cross become to those who are being saved?

The power of God.

27.Read Isaiah 29:14.

Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid (Isaiah 29:14).

28.What has God done to the wisdom of the world?

He has made it foolish.

29.What does the wisdom of God reveal?

The world by its own wisdom can never come to know God.

30.Through what means is God pleased to save those who believe?

Through the foolishness of preaching.

31.For what do the Jews ask?

A sign.

32.What do the Greeks seek?

Worldly wisdom and philosophy.

33.What does Paul preach?

The crucified Christ.

34.How do the Jews regard the message of Christ crucified?

As a cause of offense, a scandal, a stumbling block.

35.How do the Greeks regard the message of Christ crucified?

As foolishness.

36.What is the message of Christ crucified to the Jews and the Greeks who are called of God?

Christ—the power of God and the wisdom of God.

37.What is true of the "foolishness" of God?

It is wiser than the wisdom of men.

38.What can we say of the "weakness" of God?

It is stronger than the strength of men.

39.What is the case with people who are wise in human wisdom or powerful or highborn?

Not many of them have been called, chosen of God.

40.Why does God choose the foolish things of the world?

In order to put to shame the wise.

41.Why does God select the weak things of the world?

In order to put to shame the strong.

42.Why does God turn to the despised and the things of no esteem?

So He may bring to nothing, nullify, overthrow the things of the world.

43.What is God’s purpose in bringing down to uselessness what is important in the eyes of the world?

So no flesh will be able to boast in His Presence.

44.In what realm does the saint live?

In Christ.

45.What has Christ been made to us?

The Divine wisdom that results in righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

46.Read Jeremiah 9:24.

But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord (Jeremiah 9:24).

Chapter Two

1.What did Paul avoid when proclaiming the testimony of God?

Excellency of speech or wisdom.

2.What was the one fact Paul decided to know while he was bearing witness of God among the saints in Corinth?

Christ and Him crucified.

3.What was Paul’s condition and attitude while he was among the believers in Corinth?

Weakness, fear, and much trembling.

4.What was absent from Paul’s preaching while he was in Corinth?

Persuasive words of human wisdom.

Paul was warning the Greek believers of the city of Corinth that the Gospel is not to be mixed with the Greek love of oratory, philosophy, or scientific and artistic pursuits. In the history of the world, no other culture has equaled the Greeks in accomplishment in the arts and sciences of civilization.

5.What accompanied Paul’s preaching and teaching in Corinth?

The demonstration of the power of the Spirit of God.

6.Why was it necessary that Paul’s preaching be free from persuasive words of human wisdom and filled with the Holy Spirit and the power of the Kingdom of God?

So the faith of the Corinthian Greek believers would not be founded on the wisdom of men but on the power of God.

7.To whom can God’s wisdom be spoken?

To those who are mature in Christ.

8.What is true of the rulers of the world?

The rulers of the present age are passing away and their wisdom will prove to be useless and empty.

9.What is true of God’s wisdom?

It is a mystery. It is hidden. It was predetermined in past eternity for the glory of God’s elect.

10.Do the rulers of the present age understand the hidden wisdom of God?

No. If they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.

11.What would have been true if Pontius Pilate, King Herod, and the priests and scribes of Jesus’ day had understood the hidden, predetermined mystery of God’s wisdom?

They would have done everything in their power to gain favor with Jesus, the coming King of the world. They would have crawled at his feet. They would not have doomed their own souls to eternal torment in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur.

12.Read Isaiah 64:4.

For since the creation of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him (Isaiah 64:4).

13.What is true of the things eye has not seen, ear has not heard, and have not entered the heart of man—the things God has prepared for those who love Him?

God has revealed them to us through the Spirit.

14.What does the Holy Spirit search?

All things, even the depths of God.

15.What does the spirit of a person know?

The things of that person.

The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inner parts of the belly (Proverbs 20:27).

16.What does the Spirit of God know?

The things of God.

17.What has the saint received?

The Spirit who is from God.

18.Why have we received the Holy Spirit?

That we may know the things that have been given to us freely by God.

19.How should the Christian teacher teach?

Not in words taught of human wisdom but in words taught of the Holy Spirit, communicating spiritual things by spiritual means.

20.Why will a man who has not been born again not accept the things of the Spirit of God?

Because they are foolishness to him. The Divine wisdom and plan can be evaluated and appreciated only by people who possess the Holy Spirit of God.

21.What is true of a person who is filled with God’s Spirit?

He is able to examine and evaluate all things, but he himself cannot be examined and evaluated by someone who does not have the Spirit of God.

22.What can a human being never do?

Understand the mind of the Lord so he can teach the Lord.

23.Read Isaiah 40:13.

Who hath directed the spirit of the Lord, or being his counseller hath taught him? (Isaiah 40:13).

24.What does the saint possess?

The mind of Christ.

Chapter Three

1.In what way was Paul required to talk to the believers in Corinth?

As to people who were living "in the flesh," as to babies in Christ.

2.What kind of "food" was Paul required to give them as a result?

"Milk."

3.Why was Paul not able to set solid food before the saints in Corinth?

They were spiritual babies and were not able to digest solid food.

4.How did Paul know the Christians in Corinth were spiritually immature?

There was jealousy and strife among them. They were expressing loyalty to people rather than to Christ.

5.What is evident when we express a denominational preference or special loyalty to a particular preacher of teacher?

We are spiritually immature.

6.What was true concerning Apollos and Paul?

They were fellow saints whom the Lord Jesus gave as gifts to the Body of Christ so the members would be built up in faith, just as God has given a ministry to every member of the Body so each can make his contribution to the Body.

7.Who alone can cause a soul to be saved and a believer to grow in Christ?

God.

8.Can a gifted individual cause the Body to grow?

No, God alone causes the growth.

9.What is true of all Christian gifts and ministries?

They are one in the Spirit of God.

10.What will each Christian worker receive?

A reward according to his or her own labor.

11.What is each Christian who labors in the Kingdom of God?

God’s fellow worker.

12.What are the saints?

God’s field; God’s building.

13.What was Paul’s task?

To lay the foundation.

To Paul alone, apparently, was given the Divine wisdom and understanding necessary for the explanation of the new covenant and how it differs from the old covenant. Even such a saint as Peter had difficulty with this distinction.

To this day there is confusion in the minds of Christian people concerning whether or not we still are bound by the Ten Commandments, although Paul explained the clear line of distinction between the two covenants (Romans 7:4, for example).

14.What does Paul warn each saint?

"Be careful how you build on the foundation Paul has laid."

Verses 12 through 21 may be directed toward preachers and teachers of the Gospel, advising them to be careful how they build on the foundation Paul has laid. It is true also that the individual saint can apply this exhortation to his own growth in Christ.

Many preachers have applied Paul’s teaching concerning justification by faith in such a way that countless thousands of Christian people are unaware that justification by faith is a narrow, problem-filled path the saint must walk if he is to stand in the Day of the Lord.

The foundation of Christian theology is of God, but the structure that has been erected on it is not of God.

We begin with a profession of faith, and then we have to live by faith. The righteous are to live by faith. If we accept Christ, and then live as any other fleshly person, the Gospel will condemn us rather than save us.

15.What is the only true foundation on which a human being can build his or her life, the foundation God has laid?

Christ.

16.What kind of a life can a person build on Christ?

Gold or silver or precious stones or wood or grass or straw.

17.What will reveal the quality of the life each person has built on Christ?

The day of fire. The fire of Divine judgment will test the quality of each person’s work.

This will be especially true at the coming of the Lord from Heaven. It is true also that when the flood of misfortune beats against our "house," our life, we discover whether we actually have been serving Christ.

18.What will be true if a person’s work survives the test of fire?

He will receive a reward.

There is a reward in Heaven, which the Lord will bring with Him at His return, for any person who lives and teaches righteous, holy, obedient behavior, leading others into righteousness through Christ.

19.What will be true if a person’s work is burned or destroyed because it is wood, grass, or straw; that is, his work was performed by his soulish efforts and not in the Spirit of God?

No reward will be given to that preacher or saint, but he himself will be saved by passing through the flames of Divine judgment.

In His eternal goodness, God often judges us before the Day of the Lord. If our works are consumed by the trouble that comes on us, (our works thus proving to be our own self-centered endeavors and lusts, because the Divine fire cannot harm that which is wrought in Christ), we are left barren. If we repent, our spirit will be saved in the Day of the Lord.

This is the Lord’s goodness to us so we will not be condemned with the world.

Our personality and our inheritance are both at stake. If we live our life in the flesh, yielding to the demands of our body, seeking our own security, pleasure, and accomplishments, we will suffer enormous loss in the Day of Christ.

The common definition of salvation, which is that salvation is a ticket to Heaven when we die, is a major conceptual problem. If such were the case, if salvation were a ticket to Heaven, being saved as by fire would not be so bad after all. It would mean merely that, while we did not receive the crown of royal authority, we still would go to Paradise. And since eternal residence in Paradise or Heaven is the primary goal there has been no great loss. Instead of a five-story mansion we will have a two-story mansion.

This kind of fleshly guesswork underlies the teaching that no matter how a Christian lives he need not worry overmuch because he still will be "saved"—even if it is by fire.

The truth is, salvation is not a ticket to Paradise. The program of salvation moves us from Satan to God, not from earth to Heaven.

To be saved as by fire is to have most of our personality, as well as our inheritance, burned away so we enter the Kingdom of God as a naked spirit. It is an awesome loss, an incredible disaster—perhaps an eternal shame.

The scriptural example is Lot. Lot was saved as by fire. If we compare the destiny of Lot (who brought forth the tribes of Moab and Ammon—an abomination to the Lord) with the inheritance of Abraham, we can glean a very limited understanding of the terrible loss we incur when we are saved by passing through the flames.

Jesus advised us to possess our souls.

In your patience possess ye your souls (Luke 21:19).

When we give way to the fleshly appetites and pleasures of life in the world, we lose control of our souls. Instead of being changed into the image of Christ, that to which we have been predestined, we remain spiritually weak, self-centered, ignorant of the Lord and His ways. We do not learn to lean on the Lord or to be obedient to Him in all matters, thus not mastering the principal lessons life on earth is designed to teach us.

In the Day of Judgment, if the Lord judges us worthy of the Kingdom, the corruption that has been formed in our personality will be removed from us, leaving us a naked spirit. In that Day we will be without our original personality and without inheritance in the Kingdom. This is what it means to be saved by fire.

A wise saint will, from time to time, ask the Lord to reveal to him the true nature of the kind of life he is building and the quality of the work he is performing.

20.What is true of each saint?

He is a room in the eternal Temple of God.

21.Who dwells in each saint?

The Spirit of God.

22.What will happen to any individual who destroys one of the rooms of God’s holy Temple?

God will bring him to ruin.

23.What is true of the heart of each saint, of each room of the eternal Temple of God?

It is a holy of holies in which the Lord Jesus Christ is enthroned.

24.What should the believer do if he or she is learned in the philosophy of the world?

He should regard his secular training as a secondary and unreliable source of wisdom and receive the wisdom of the Scripture, even though the Divine wisdom of the cross is scorned by the "educated" people of the world.

25.Read Isaiah 5:21.

Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:21).

26.What does God do to the "wise" of the world?

He catches them in their own cleverness.

27.Read Job 5:13.

He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward [cunning] is brought to a quick end (Job 5:13).

28.What does God know to be true of worldly wisdom and learning?

It is futile, never able to arrive at eternal truth.

The record of modern history is an illustration of the inability of mankind to attain peace and well-being apart from Christ.

29.Read Psalms 94:11.

The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity (Psalms 94:11).

30.Why should a saint not boast concerning those persons who have ministered to him or her?

Because all things and people belong to the members of the Body of Christ.

31.What is true of Paul, of Apollos, of Cephas?

They belong to the saints.

32.What is true of the present world?

It belongs to the saints.

We are so accustomed to viewing the world in which we live as belonging to Satan and to sinners that it may be difficult for us to accept the fact that the world belongs to the righteous.

The world, the nations, the earth itself belong to Christ. Because all these belong to Christ they belong to us. The Thirty-seventh Psalm proclaims that the earth belongs to the saints, not to the sinners.

The peoples of the earth, and the earth itself, are the inheritance of Christ. They are our land of promise. As of now, the devil and his servants are dwelling in our land. The wicked will be driven out at the return of Christ and then we shall understand fully that the world belongs to the saints.

33.What is true of life?

Life belongs to the saints, for they are the only persons on earth who possess within themselves eternal life—the power that one day will raise them from the dead (Romans 8:11).

34.What is true of death?

Death belongs to the saints because He who is the Head of the Body, of which each member is an integral part, holds the keys of Hell and death. Christ can enter or leave Hell and death at His will. We also shall retain this authority and power when we come to full stature in Christ.

35.What is true of the present things and the things yet to come?

All belong to the saints.

36.To whom do the saints belong?

The Lord Jesus Christ.

37.To whom does the Lord Jesus Christ belong?

God the Father.

Chapter Four

1.How did Paul want the apostles to be regarded?

As attendants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

2.What is required of a steward?

That he be found faithful.

3.What did Paul consider to be unimportant?

That he should be examined by the Corinthian saints or by any human court.

4.What was Paul’s attitude toward himself?

He did not evaluate himself concerning the worth of his ministry or his trustworthiness before Christ.

Verse four informs us that Paul was not aware he had displeased the Lord in any way. Yet he did not consider this to be proof that he was justified in the sight of Christ.

5.Who is the only Person who has the authority and the ability to judge the worthiness of Paul and the quality of his service?

The Lord Jesus Christ.

6.Who is the only Person who has the authority and the ability to judge the worthiness and the quality of the service of any Christian man or woman?

The Lord Jesus Christ.

7.What are the saints to refrain from doing?

From passing judgment before the coming of the Lord.

8.What will the Lord Jesus do when He comes?

He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and He will reveal the motives of men’s hearts.

9.What will happen at the coming of the Lord?

Each person will receive his own praise from God according to his own works.

10.What has Paul been doing in the preceding verses?

He has been using himself and Apollos as an example to the saints in Corinth.

11.What did Paul want the believers in Corinth to learn?

To not go beyond what the Scripture permits and to not become arrogant and boastful concerning their loyalty to a particular preacher or teacher

12.What questions does Paul ask the Christians?

Who made you better than someone else? What do you have that was not given to you? If it was given to you, why are you boasting as though it were not given to you?

In verse eight, Paul speaks to the Corinthian believers as to children. They think they are full. They believe they are rich. In their own opinion they are living as kings. When reading this letter, we notice that Paul did not agree with their opinion of themselves.

Paul says, "I wish you were kings so we could rule with you."

Corinth was a large city, having a population of nearly one-half million residents. It was prosperous and immoral. Being close to Athens there was much emphasis on philosophy and other learning.

It appears that the immature disciples of Corinth were filled with the worldly pride that infects the citizens of the centers of civilization.

Paul proceeds to inform the "rich" Corinthian believers that the Apostles of the Lamb, who had given to them all that these believers possessed of Christ, were not living lives of luxury and ease.

The Gospel of the Kingdom is for the poor in spirit, not for those who are rich in the things and ways of the present world.

13.How has God exhibited the Apostles?

As men condemned to die in the arena; as a performance to be stared at by angels and men.

14.How were the Apostles regarded, for Christ’s sake?

As fools for Christ, as weak, as without honor.

15.How did the immature Corinthian believers regard themselves?

As people of wisdom and discernment in Christ, as being strong and distinguished.

16.Under what conditions were the Apostles living?

They were hungry, thirsty, poorly clothed, beaten, homeless. They worked hard with their own hands. When men abused and cursed them they blessed in return. When they were persecuted they endured it. When they were spoken evil of they attempted to make peace.

The Apostles allowed themselves to be made the garbage of the world—that which is scraped off as worthless and unclean.

17.Why did Paul say such things to the saints in Corinth?

Not to shame them but to admonish them as his beloved children.

18.How did Paul differ from their other instructors and leaders?

All the others were "guardians" but Paul was their father in the Gospel.

19.What did Paul urge the Corinthian believers to do?

To become imitators of himself.

20.Why did Paul send Timothy to Corinth?

To remind the saints there of the manner in which Paul lived in Christ—the Christian discipleship and walk that Paul taught to every assembly of believers.

21.How did Paul regard Timothy?

As his beloved child who was faithful in the Lord.

22.What was true of some of the believers in Corinth?

They were becoming proud and arrogant, acting as though they believed Paul would never come to Corinth and judge and rebuke them.

23.What did Paul plan to do if it was the Lord’s will?

He was going to come to Corinth soon and test, not the words of those who were becoming boastful but their power.

24.Does the kingdom of God consist of words, similar to the Greek philosophies?

No, the Kingdom of God consists of power.

25.What does Paul ask them?

"Do you want me to come with the rod of correction or in love and a spirit of meekness?"

Chapter Five

1.What sin was practiced by one of the believers of Corinth?

Fornication with his father’s wife (perhaps his stepmother).

Evidently Paul considered the believers in Corinth, whether Jewish or Gentile, to be spiritual Israel; because in verse one he refers to the unsaved as "Gentiles."

2.What was the attitude of the saints in Corinth concerning the horrible sin practiced in their mist?

They were proud of it. They prided themselves on their "broad-mindedness" as so many do today. They were not weeping and desiring that such a sinner should be removed from the church.

3.What had Paul done already, being present in Corinth in spirit?

He had judged this man just as though Paul were present.

Paul’s indignation over this incest reveals clearly that current Christian theology is incorrect. If God sees us only in Christ, as is taught currently, there is no basic problem. If redemption is by belief alone, and behavior plays no critical role, then we have here an unfortunate situation but nothing serious.

However, it is not true that God sees us only in Christ. God accepts us in Christ with the provision that we abide in Christ and pursue the Divine program of sanctification. As long as we are abiding in Christ, we are without condemnation.

But the Christian who neglects prayer, Bible reading, assembling with the saints, who is spending his days in the lusts and things of this world, is not without condemnation. He is close to the Divine fire—fire that may result in his destruction.

The current concept that Divine love is unconditional is not scriptural. Unconditional love is a humanistic concept, not a scriptural concept. It proceeds ultimately from Satan, who is desirous of escaping the Lake of Fire.

But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned (Hebrews 6:8).

The ministers of our day who teach that salvation is by faith alone, and godly behavior is desirable but not critically important, are false prophets. They are heading toward the Divine fire and their disciples are following after them. The only reliable proof that a person is walking with God is a godly, pure life.

4.What was Paul’s decision?

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, when the saints were assembled, Paul’s spirit being with them, and the power of the Lord Jesus, to deliver the fornicator to Satan for the destruction of his fleshly nature.

5.What did Paul intend to achieve by such an action?

To save the man’s spirit in the Day of the Lord Jesus.

Notice that Paul was not attempting to insure the man’s admittance to Heaven when he died but to prevent his destruction when the Lord returns. The goal is not to go to Heaven when we die. It is to be permitted by the Lord to enter the new world of righteous behavior.

Looking for and hasting unto [hastening] the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (II Peter 3:12,13).

Perhaps the thought here is that fiery afflictions and other tribulations would fall on the sinner, bringing pain to his body and torment to his mind. Then, if he repented, his spirit would be saved in the Day of the Lord although his life on earth had been destroyed. He would be "saved by fire," as was Lot.

6.Why was their boasting over this sin not a good thing?

Because just as leaven spreads through a whole loaf of bread, so does sin spread through a church if it is tolerated by the elders.

7.What does Paul command the Corinthian saints to do with the old leaven of sin?

To purge it from their midst so they may become "unleavened bread."

8.Who is our Passover Lamb?

Christ.

9.How must the feast of Passover be celebrated?

With unleavened bread.

Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel (Exodus 12:15).

10.What is "leaven"?

Malice and wickedness.

11.What is "unleavened bread"?

Sincerity and truth.

12.With whom is a Christian not to associate?

With a fornicator who professes to be a Christian.

13.What about the unsaved who are fornicators, covetous, swindlers, and idolaters?

We can associate with them because if we did not we would have to leave the world.

14.What about the professing Christian who is a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or abusive in language, or a drunkard, or a swindler?

We are forbidden to sit at the same table with such a person or to have anything to do with him or her.

15.Whom does Paul not judge?

Those who are not members of the church.

16.Whom is the church obligated to judge?

Those who are within the church.

17.Who judges people who are not members of a Christian assembly?

God.

18.What does Paul command the church in Corinth to do?

To remove the wicked person from their midst.

Chapter Six

1.What other problem were the believers in Corinth having?

They were taking one another to law in the courts of Corinth rather than to the judgment of the elders of the church.

2.What does Paul remind them?

The saints will judge the world, according to the Scriptures.

3.What is Paul’s argument here?

If the believers are to judge the world, why are they unable to judge some relatively small matter that has arisen among themselves?

4.What further question does Paul raise?

If we will be judging angels, why are we unable to settle the trivial business of the present life?

5.Concerning what practice does Paul reprove them?

The practice of appointing people who are least esteemed in the assembly to decide the questions that arise concerning our life on earth.

6.What does Paul ask the saints?

"Don’t you have someone of wisdom in your church who can decide issues that arise between the believers?"

7.What does Paul inform them?

By taking your brother to a court ruled by unbelievers you have already lost your case in the sight of God.

8.What does Paul suggest they do?

They should allow themselves to be wronged, to be cheated, to be defrauded.

9.What were the disciples doing, on the contrary?

They were defrauding their brothers in Christ.

10.What is true of people who are unjust, whether or not they are members of the church?

They shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.

11.What does the Apostle Paul warn them against?

Being deceived.

Were some individuals preaching even then, as they are today, that people can inherit the Kingdom of God on the basis of professing belief in Christ apart from godly living?

12.What is true of fornicators, of idolaters, of adulterers, of male prostitutes, of homosexuals, of thieves, of the covetous, of drunkards, of those who use abusive language, of swindlers?

They shall not inherit the Kingdom of God whether or not they profess to be Christians.

13.What had formerly been true of the saints in Corinth?

They had been practicing the wicked deeds of the world.

14.What had happened to the believers in Corinth when they received Jesus and put their trust in Him?

They were washed clean from these filthy behaviors. They were set apart as holy to the Lord. They were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.

15.What does Paul declare concerning the behavior of the saint in the world?

All things are not profitable to us, and we are not to become bound by any behavior. We are to exercise self-control in everything.

16.What does Paul remind us concerning our eating habits?

Both the stomach and the food that goes into it will be done away at the coming of the Lord.

Paul is exhorting us is that we should not make a god of our stomach but should eat temperately as we have need.

17.What does Paul have to say about our physical body?

The physical body was not given us by God so we could practice fornication but for the Lord’s purposes. The Lord has a use for our body and by His universal power will raise our mortal body from the dead and fashion it to His own liking (Philippians 3:21).

18.What did God do with the body of the Lord Jesus?

He raised it from the dead.

19.What is God going to do with the body of the saint?

He will raise it from the dead.

20.What are our bodies?

Members of Christ.

21.What does Paul warn us never to do?

Unite the members of Christ with a prostitute.

22.What is true of the saint who joins himself to a prostitute?

He becomes one body with the prostitute.

23.Read Genesis 2:24.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24).

24.What is true of the person who joins himself or herself to the Lord?

He or she becomes one spirit with the Lord.

25.What should the Christian do about fornication?

He should flee from it.

26.How does fornication differ from other sins?

Fornication is a sin against one’s own body.

27.What is our body?

Our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is dwelling in us, whom we have received from God.

28.Does the saint’s own body belong to him?

No.

29.To whom does it belong?

To the One who paid for it—Christ.

30.What should the saint do in his body and in his spirit also?

Glorify God, because both our body and our spirit belong to Him.

Chapter Seven

1.What does Paul state about the relationship between men and women?

It is good for a man not to marry.

Every moment of Paul’s life was filled with Christ and with the work and things of the Kingdom of God. To the person who chooses to live as did Paul and on whom the call of God is abiding heavily, relationships with the opposite sex are only a distraction.

The celibate life given wholly to Christ is a "good" life, according to the Apostle Paul.

2.What direction does Paul give to the saints in Corinth so they may avoid fornication?

Let the Christians marry.

3.What does Paul advise concerning those who are married?

The husband is to fulfill his marital duty to his wife and the wife is to fulfill her duty to her husband.

The nature and commitment of human marriage is such that the husband has authority over the body of his wife and the wife has authority over the body of her husband.

4.What is true of the marriage relationship?

It is to be observed except for short periods of time when both agree to give themselves to fasting and prayer. Then the partners are to come together again. If they do not, Satan may be able to entice them into fornication because of their lack of self-control.

5.What does Paul explain in verse six?

The statements he has just made are his suggestions as to how the saints may serve Christ effectively in Corinth. They are intended to be helps toward godly living, not commandments or regulations imposed on every believer.

6.What was Paul’s desire?

That all men be like himself—given wholly to the Lord Jesus Christ, having no need of a marriage partner.

7.What does Paul acknowledge?

Every saint has his or her unique calling and gift from God.

8.What does Paul say to the unmarried and the widows?

It would be a good thing for them to remain unmarried.

But if they are having problems of self-control they should marry. It is better to marry than to burn with passion and to be tempted by the fornication practiced in Corinth.

9.What is the Lord’s charge to the married saints?

The wife is not to be separated from her husband.

If she must be separated from him she is to remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.

The husband is not to divorce his wife.

Because of the days in which we are living, it seems wise to add a comment here. We find it is not uncommon for a man to leave his Christian wife and live in adultery with another woman or marry another woman. Likewise, a woman may leave her Christian husband and live in adultery with another man.

The Christian partner, not having sinned or committed any wrong, may remarry. However, if he or she wishes to do so, he or she may pray to God that the sinning partner repent and the marriage be saved.

If reconciliation appears to be undesirable or impossible, or the sinning partner has remarried in the meantime, the Christian should go to the elders of the church and explain the situation. (What we are discussing here applies only to the Lord’s disciples who are innocent of wrongdoing.)

If the elders, having sought the mind of the Lord, judge that the sinning partner indeed has broken the marriage covenant by practicing fornication or adultery, or by physical abuse to the point that the life and safety of the Christian are in danger, or has sexually abused or treated the children in a brutal manner, and the circumstances seem to indicate it, the elders should consider giving their permission for the Christian to remarry—but only to another disciple.

When we use the expression "the circumstances seen to indicate it," we are referring to the economy and culture of many modern nations. If the innocent Christian, whether man or woman, has been left with children to care for, there is a hardship on the children when the sinning partner leaves. The mother is forced by necessity to work and leave the children to other people to raise and train. Sometimes these other people are careless and do not provide a Christian upbringing for the children. Or a father may be forced to leave his children with others while he works.

Under these conditions, both the innocent partner and the children are suffering for the sins of another.

In view of the circumstances in which we are living, and after having counseled Christian people who were suffering because of the circumstances just described, we are of the opinion that the elders of the church should give serious consideration to placing their blessing on a remarriage that would make it possible for the children to be raised and trained according to the Word of God.

The preceding words are not meant to justify the flippant, godless attitude toward divorce and remarriage that exists today. Even so-called Christians have been caught up in the concept that Christ exists for our pleasure and desires that we have "fun," no matter what else takes place. Those who today are teaching and practicing the modern pleasure-loving "gospel" will stand before Christ in the near future and give a strict account for every deed, word, and thought they have practiced while living on the earth.

The saint of today who is wise will turn to the Lord in prayer and repentance; for judgment is falling on the household of God.

In the case of the remarriage of a saint, a period of time should elapse before a decision is reached by the elders of the church. Each individual situation should be held carefully before the Lord in prayer. Sometimes the original marriage can be restored and the sinning partner brought to repentance if enough prayer is offered and enough time is allowed for the Lord to work.

We would suggest six months as a minimum and a year as a maximum. Keeping people waiting longer than a year may prove to be a heartless decision in which the feelings of the people involved are not considered adequately.

It is easy for a pious individual who never has been faced with this situation to give a simplistic edict to someone whose marriage has been destroyed. The advice to go back and try again, or to wait for God to convert the offender, or to forgive the adulterous or abusive partner, may be totally unsuitable.

It is the responsibility of the church elders to refrain from making a decision until they believe they have the mind of the Lord and there is peace. But they should remain aware that the people who are awaiting their decision may be experiencing difficulty and pain. They must not prolong their decision any longer than is necessary. The eternal welfare of a soul is at issue here.

Some ministers have held that a Christian cannot remarry under any circumstances. We believe that such a decree is harsher than God requires. The teaching of the Lord Jesus concerning remarriage was not intended to bring an innocent person into a wretched existence but to prevent promiscuity.

It is the responsibility of the elders to make a godly judgment. They are not expected to blindly follow the letter of the Word independently of the circumstances. Man was not made for the divorce laws, the divorce laws were made for man.

May we add that "incompatibility" is not a scriptural grounds for divorce. More often than not, it appears, people marry who are very different in personality and strong-willed. The marriage may last for several decades and prove to be a severe test of the character of each person. The two may never be compatible, but God will bless them because they fear Him and have been faithful to one another. They are not to separate because they are "unhappy."

10.What is Paul’s counsel to the saint who has an unbelieving wife or an unbelieving husband?

If the unbeliever consents to live together with the Christian, the Christian is not to leave him or her.

11.What is true in the sight of God?

The unbeliever is set apart as holy because of the faith of his or her partner.

12.What is true of the children of a home where one parent is a Christian and the other parent is an unbeliever?

The children are holy in the sight of God.

13.What if the unbeliever leaves because his or her wife or husband has become a Christian?

The Christian is not to leave Christ in order to please the unbeliever. Our calling is to serve Christ in peace and in godly behavior.

There are two traps in such circumstances into which the believer may fall.

One trap is for the believer to nag and strive with the unsaved, throwing religion in his face until he never wants to hear about Christ again. He will leave, not because he hates God but because of the self-centered, immature behavior of his newly saved wife who was a pleasing partner until she became a Christian.

The second trap is for the wife to engage in ungodly behavior with her husband, or not attend the assembly of saints, under the mistaken impression that her "submission" to the unsaved will be pleasing to God and result in salvation for her mate.

This is a mistake. It is not what the Bible teaches concerning submission. As soon as God saves us from Hell we are not to descend into it again in order to please an ungodly person—husband or not.

True submission is for the wife to care for her husband and children as a good wife and mother in the Lord. She must not neglect her own salvation or commit sin in order to do so. The godly conduct of his devoted wife may win her husband to Christ. But if the unsaved is determined to rebel against God he will reap what he sows.

14.Of what does the Christian husband or wife have no guarantee?

He or she will be able to lead his or her partner to salvation in the Lord Jesus.

Sometimes God does give assurance in prayer that He will save the unbeliever. Miracles are performed when a godly individual is persistent in prayer in Jesus’ name!

15.What does Paul state as a general principle?

Each saint is to serve Christ according to the role the Lord has assigned to him and according to the circumstances in which God has called him.

16.What is true of a circumcised male when he becomes a Christian?

He should not attempt to become uncircumcised.

By becoming uncircumcised Paul may be referring to a painful medical operation, or to a Hebrew who is of the opinion he should become a Gentile in order to be a Christian.

It may be Paul merely was speaking in a general, figurative manner. "Remain what you are as a person and seek to know the mind of the Lord in your present circumstances."

17.What is true of the uncircumcised Gentile male when he becomes a Christian?

He should not be circumcised, attempting to become a physical Jew.

There was considerable confusion over circumcision, in the early churches.

18.What does Paul say about the spiritual value of circumcision?

Circumcision and uncircumcision are not important of themselves. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments.

19.What concept does Paul repeat?

Every saint is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in the circumstances in which God has called him.

20.What about a slave who receives Christ as Savior?

He is not to worry about being a slave; but if he has the opportunity to gain his freedom, he should take advantage of it.

21.What is true of the Christian who is a slave?

He is the Lord’s freedman.

22.What is true of the free citizen who becomes a Christian?

He is Christ’s slave.

23.What does Paul say about slavery?

Christ paid for us with His blood, therefore we belong to Him. Because of His ownership of us we should avoid, if possible, becoming the slave of another man.

24.What does Paul state for the third time?

Let each saint dwell with God according to his own calling and situation.

Because the Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom it is not necessary for the saints to conform to a uniform way of life while on the earth. God allows and establishes variety in our earthly practices and ways of life.

However, the works of the flesh, the sins Paul describes in several letters, are uniformly prohibited to saints. The moral law never changes, being the same in the old covenant and the new covenant. It is always wrong and sinful to covet, to steal, to murder, to commit adultery.

25.What is true of Paul’s comments concerning virginity?

They are Paul’s judgment rather than commandments of the Lord Jesus.

26.Why does Paul say it is good for a man to remain unmarried or married according to the circumstances in which he was converted to Christ?

Because of the "present distress."

The expression "the present distress," or "the impending distress," probably is referring to the fact that Paul viewed the present world order as passing away quickly and the Kingdom of God taking its place. It would not make sense, therefore, for the saints to become overly involved in marrying and giving in marriage.

"If we are married we should serve the Lord as a married saint. If we are unmarried we should serve the Lord as an unmarried saint. Because of the soon coming of the Lord Jesus it would not be wise for the Christian to become entangled in the affairs of the world." We believe this was Paul’s judgment concerning marriage.

It appears Paul believed the Kingdom of God would come in his lifetime. Notice the following:

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels (II Thessalonians 1:7).

The above passage gives the impression Paul was expecting relief to soon come to the embattled saints as the Lord Jesus descended from Heaven.

27.What is true of a man or a virgin woman who marries?

No sin has been committed.

28.What is generally true of people who marry?

They experience problems in the present life, and Paul is endeavoring to spare the believers this if possible.

29.What does Paul say about the length of time that will transpire before Jesus returns?

It is short.

30.How should we behave in view of the fact the world system is passing away and Jesus is coming soon?

Those who have wives should live as though they had none. Those who weep or rejoice as though they did not weep or rejoice. Those who buy as though they did not possess what they bought. Those who are using the world as not absorbed in it.

The fashion of the world is passing away.

We are not to become entangled in the world. Though we marry, we are not to devote our days to building and furnishing bigger homes for ourselves and our families. Our prime time and energy are to be occupied in the things of the Kingdom of God.

To violate Paul’s recommendations and to allow one’s self to become entangled in the affairs of the world is to run the risk of suffering serious loss in the Kingdom of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ warned us to remove our heart from the world and to set our affections on our treasures in Heaven—treasures the Lord Jesus will bring with Him at His appearing.

31.What is Paul’s desire for us?

We may be free from the cares and concerns of the world.

32.What is true of the unmarried saint?

He is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how to please the Lord.

33.What is true of the married saint?

He is concerned and troubled about the things of the world, especially how he will please his wife.

34.What is the difference between a wife and a virgin?

The unmarried cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy in body and spirit. The married woman cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

But notice the following:

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully (I Timothy 5:14).

35.Why does Paul give such advice?

Not to put them in bondage but to free the saints so they can serve the Lord without distraction.

The translators are not in agreement on the meaning of the word virgin, in verses thirty-six through thirty-eight. Some interpret the passage to mean the man’s own virginity, which is in keeping with the context of the seventh chapter.

Some interpret the passage to be referring to the woman to whom he is engaged. Some understand the passage to be referring to a man who has a virgin daughter and is undecided about whether he ought to give her in marriage.

Our own opinion is that it is referring to a man, and a woman of whom he has become fond—a fellow Christian with whom he is acquainted in the assembly.

Based on this opinion, our interpretation would be as follows:

Verse 36—If a man thinks he is behaving in an unbecoming manner toward a female friend, she is becoming older, and they both desire to be married, there is no sin in their being married.

Verse 37—If a man has made up his mind to remain unmarried, he has made a wise decision.

Verse 38-The man that marries does well. The man who refrains from getting married has made a better choice.

36.How long is a wife bound to her husband?

As long as he lives. The exception to this has been noted in the first part of the seventh chapter.

37.When her husband dies, whom may she marry?

Someone who belongs to the Lord.

38.What is Paul’s opinion?

The widow will be happier if she remains unmarried.

39.What does Paul say of himself?

He thinks he has the Spirit of God.

Chapter Eight

1.What is Paul going to speak of next?

Food sacrificed to idols.

2.What is Paul’s attitude toward the knowledge the Corinthian believers think they have?

Knowledge puffs us up in conceit but love builds us up in Christ.

3.What about the person who claims to have knowledge?

He knows nothing at all compared with what it is necessary for him to know from the Lord’s point of view.

4.What about the individual who loves God?

God knows that person.

5.What do we know about idols?

They are empty and without power in the world. There is only one God.

6.What is the attitude of the nations toward idol-gods?

They worship many gods and lords both in the heavens and on the earth.

7.What is the truth?

There is but one God the Father, from whom all things have proceeded and for whom we live. There is but one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom God the Father has created all things and through whom the saints live.

8.What was true of some of the weaker saints in Corinth?

They were eating meat that was part of an animal sacrifice that had been offered to an idol before it had been placed on sale in the public market.

Eating such food was a common practice in Corinth. The knowledge that their food had been offered to an idol was troubling their conscience.

9.What does Paul say about eating food?

Our acceptance by God has nothing to do with whether or not we eat a particular type of food.

10.Of what should the strong saint be careful?

That his faith and liberty not become a stumbling block to a fellow Christian who does not have as much understanding and confidence concerning how to please God.

11.What were some of the bolder saints doing, apparently?

They were going inside the idol temples and eating there.

It seems that not only was some of the sacrificial meat sold in the public market but the temples themselves were public restaurants or cafeterias.

12.What will happen when the new covert sees an established saint eating in an idol temple?

The new convert will begin to eat things sacrificed to idols and then be drawn into worshiping the idols of Corinth, believing such worship is accepted by the one true God.

13.What will be the result?

The established saint’s "liberty" will cause the new convert, for whom Christ died, to perish.

14.What are we doing when we wound the conscience of a weak believer?

We are sinning against Christ.

15.What should the strong saint do if what he is eating is causing a weak Christian to stumble?

He should never again eat the food that is wounding the conscience of the weak.

Chapter Nine

1.What does Paul proclaim to the believers in Corinth?

He is free (from the Law of Moses), he is an apostle, he has seen Christ the Lord, the believers in Corinth are the product of his work in the Lord.

2.What was true of the saints in Corinth?

They were the seal of Paul’s apostleship in the Lord and his answer to those who were judging him.

If he was not an apostle to anyone else, at least he was to them. We may conclude from this statement that some of the early Christian assemblies were contesting Paul’s apostleship—perhaps because he was not one of the original twelve.

Or, this may be referring to the "I am of Apollos," "I am of Cephas" quarreling that was going on.

3.What does Paul ask those who are examining him?

"Don’t we have a right to eat and drink? Don’t we have a right to bring along with us a believing wife just as the other apostles do, and the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas?

"Or is it true that Barnabas and I are the only ones who do not have the right to refrain from working for a living?

"Does a soldier have to pay his own expense?

"Doesn’t a person who plants a vineyard eat of the fruit of it?

"Doesn’t the shepherd drink of the milk from the flock?

"Am I giving my own opinion," Paul questions, "or does the Law state the same principle?"

"Does God care only for oxen?"

4.Read Deuteronomy 25:4.

 Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn (Deuteronomy 25:4).

5.What is the common hope of the oxen, the plowmen, and the threshers?

They will share in the crops.

6.How does Paul apply this principle to himself and to the saints in Corinth?

If he sowed spiritual things in the Corinthians he should be allowed to reap their material things.

It is possible the Corinthian believers were lagging behind in their proper support of Paul and Barnabas.

7.What does Paul state further?

He and Barnabas have more right to material and financial support from the Corinthians than do other people whom they are supporting.

8.What did Paul and Barnabas do so there would be no hindrance to the Gospel?

They did not demand they be supported; instead, they accepted whatever inconveniences were necessary.

9.What is true of priests who offer animal and grain offerings on the altar?

They eat of the flesh and grain that is offered.

10.What has the Lord commanded those who preach the Gospel to do?

To live by the preaching of the Gospel.

11.What decision did Paul make?

To not avail himself of his privilege of being supported by those to whom he preached.

Paul felt he would rather die than have someone claim that he insisted he be paid for preaching the Gospel.

12.Why does Paul have no reason to boast concerning his preaching of the Gospel?

Because the Lord gave him no choice. Christ appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus and commanded him to be an apostle.

13.What will be true if Paul preaches the Gospel willingly?

He will receive a reward.

14.What is true if Paul is unwilling to preach the Gospel?

He has been given no choice. If he does not preach it he will suffer the Lord’s disapproval.

15.What does he claim, then, as his reward?

He may preach the Gospel free of charge and thus not take full advantage of his rights in the Gospel.

It appears the Apostle Paul had a strong spirit of independence. The saints in Corinth had gained the idea they knew as much about God as did Paul. Paul was letting them know he was under no obligation to them whatever. Rather, he was Christ’s servant.

Their Greek education had filled them with pride. Corinth was near Athens and was partaking of the intellectual ferment that characterized the Athenians. Secular education is no friend of God or the saint; rather, it fills the student with pride, making him blind to Divine reality.

16.What relationship did Paul have with all people?

He was free from them.

17.What relationship did Paul choose to have with all people?

He became the slave of all so he might win to Christ as many as possible.

18.How did Paul approach the Jews?

As a Jew.

19.How did Paul approach those who were under the Law?

Although Paul himself was free from the Law through Christ, he put himself under the Law so he might win those who were under the Law.

20.How did Paul approach people who were not living under the Law of Moses?

As not under the Law himself. Paul always was under the law of God in Christ, just as we are. He never was without law.

The current Christian teaching of grace, a heresy dating back to the first century, is that Christians are not under any law. The teaching is unscriptural and has created havoc. We Christians are under the law of the Spirit of life—a far, far stricter law than that set forth in the Torah.

The modern definition of grace is liberty and sometimes licentiousness. Its antecedent can be found in antinomian Gnosticism and may be the doctrine of the Nicolaitans mentioned in the second chapter of the Book of Revelation. Grace, as currently defined, is a destroyer of God’s intention concerning the moral re-creation of man.

21.How did Paul approach all men?

As being like them and understandable to them so he could save as many as possible.

This does not mean Paul sinned in order to gain favor with the ungodly. Paul became like other people in terms of their culture and beliefs, as much as was possible to him. But he never lived in the flesh, in sin, in rebellion, so the godless would accept him as a fellow sinner.

22.Why did Paul do all things for the sake of the Gospel?

So he could participate in the blessings of the Gospel.

Perhaps he was remembering that at one time he had persecuted the saints.

23.What is true of a race?

All the runners compete but only one wins the prize.

24.What do we learn from this?

We should run so we can obtain the prize.

25.What is true of each person who competes in the athletic games?

He brings himself under strict self-control.

26.Why should Christians keep themselves under an even stricter discipline than is true of athletes?

Because those champions receive a perishable crown but we who overcome in the Lord receive an imperishable crown.

27.How does Paul run?

As a competitor who will be first at the finish line.

28.How does Paul fight?

As one who will overcome his opponent.

29.What did Paul do to his own body?

He beat it and made it his slave so after he had preached to others he himself would not be disqualified.

Chapter Ten

1.What does Paul say concerning the children of Israel of Moses’ day?

They all followed the cloud of God and all passed through the Red Sea.

Notice the manner in which Paul brings the Greek believers into the family of Israel by saying "our fathers." Paul taught consistently throughout his epistles that when a Gentile receives Christ, he or she becomes part of the family of God, of the Israel of God.

There is no "Jewish" Christian or "Gentile" Christian. Every person upon being born-again becomes a new creation in Christ, a member of the true Israel that will inherit all the Messianic promises.

2.In what two ways were the Israelites baptized into Moses?

In the cloud and in the sea.

The cloud symbolizes baptism with the Holy Spirit and the sea symbolizes baptism in water.

3.What spiritual food did each Israelite eat?

Manna.

4.Of what spiritual drink did each Israelite partake?

Each drank water poured from a physical rock (Exodus 17:6). This took place again at Kadesh (Numbers 20:8).

According to Paul, there was a spiritual rock that followed Israel through the wilderness, and it was Christ. The wilderness was an area of continuing miracles, including the cloud that led them, the fire by night, the daily manna, the Presence of God on the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and the durability of their clothes (Deuteronomy 29:5).

5.What was true of the Israelites?

God was not pleased with the majority of them and their corpses were scattered in the wilderness.

6.Why did these things happen to them?

As examples to us Christians.

7.What do these examples teach us?

We should not desire evil things.

8.What were some of the Israelites?

Idolaters.

9.Read Exodus 32:6.

And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play (Exodus 32:6).

Notice here that revelry, carousing, partying, are associated with idolatry.

10.What happened to the reveling Israelites who committed fornication?

Twenty-three thousand died in one day..

11.What did some of the Israelites do and were bitten by snakes as a result?

They tempted Christ by complaining about their lack of food and water, accusing the Lord of bringing them into the wilderness to die (Numbers 21:6).

Paul’s reference to "Christ," in I Corinthians 10:9, reveals that Christ was the Lord to whom the Old Testament refers. It was Christ who spoke to Moses from the burning bush and who smote Egypt with the plagues. It was Christ who appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai and wrote the Ten Commandments.

12.What other sin caused the Israelites to be destroyed?

Murmuring.

13.Why did all these things happen to the Israelites and why were they written into a record?

For our instruction and warning upon whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.

First Corinthians 10:11 provides us with the key to understanding the Scriptures. Christ and His Body are the focal point of the workings of God. All that took place before Jesus came to earth was preparatory and instructional. The moment Jesus rose from the dead the Kingdom of God began. Since that time the Holy Spirit has been constructing the Kingdom.

This is why Jesus stated that the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist, although John was the equal of any of the prophets. The Kingdom of God began when the Lord Jesus rose from the dead.

Everything in the history of Israel has taken place, and has been recorded, for the instruction of the members of the Body of Christ.

14.What lesson do we learn from the history of the Israelites?

Let the person who thinks he is standing be careful that he not fall.

15.What does Paul state concerning the trials and temptations that are testing us?

They are part of life on the earth.

16.How does God demonstrate His faithfulness toward us?

Along with every temptation God provides assistance so we are able to go through the trial victoriously.

17.What should the saint do about idolatry?

Flee from it!

18.How does Paul entreat the believers in Corinth?

As intelligent people, inviting them to evaluate what he is saying to them.

19.What is the Communion cup?

The sharing of the blood of Christ.

20.What is the Communion bread?

The fellowship, the sharing of the Body of Christ.

21.Since all believers eat of the one broken loaf of bread, what is true concerning the Christian people?

They form one loaf, one Body of Christ.

22.What is true of the physical nation of Israel?

When people eat the flesh of the animal sacrifices they are partaking of and having fellowship with the altar.

23.Does an idol or anything sacrificed to it possess eternal existence or significance?

Absolutely not.

24.What is true of sacrifices offered to idols?

They are offered to demons.

25.What must the saint refrain from doing?

Partaking of and having fellowship with demons.

26.What must we not do?

We must not drink of the Lord’s cup and then drink of the cup of demons. We must not partake of the Lord’s Table and then partake of the table of demons.

27.What impression are we giving when we go into the temple of an idol and eat and drink what first had been presented as an offering to an idol-demon?

We think we are stronger than Christ and desire to provoke Him to jealousy.

28.What is the saint’s authority in the material world?

All things belong to him and are lawful for him to use, which was not true under the Law of Moses.

29.What regulates the saint’s use of the material world?

The fact that everything he thinks, does, and says should be designed to build up and be profitable to the people around him. The liberty the saint has is controlled by the consciences and the needs of the people—particularly the unsaved and the weak believers—who are observing him.

30.Whose profit should each Christian be seeking continually?

The profit of those with whom he comes in contact.

31.What can the Christian buy and eat from the public meat market?

Anything sold there.

32.Read Psalms 24:1.

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein (Psalms 24:1).

33.If an unbeliever invites a Christian to eat with him and the saint desires to accept the invitation, what foods can he eat?

Anything set before him.

34.What if the unbeliever should say, "This is meat that was offered to an idol in the temple"?

Then the saint should not eat it so the unbeliever will understand that the Christian does not worship idols, only the one true God through Christ.

35.What limits the saint’s freedom?

The consciences of those who are observing him, although in actual fact there is no intrinsic harm in eating any food because the earth and all that is in it belong to the Lord.

36.What can happen if we are not careful?

We shall be thanking God for something we are enjoying while people of less spiritual maturity are speaking evil of us and stumbling because of our behavior.

37.With what attitude of heart and mind should the Christian disciple eat, drink, and do everything else?

To the glory of God.

38.Whom were the Corinthian believers to be careful of offending?

The Jews, the Greeks, the church members, and everybody else.

39.What did Paul strive to do at all times?

To behave in such a manner that every person around him would be saved and built up in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Chapter Eleven

1.What did Paul invite the overconfident Corinthian believers to do?

To imitate him and his behavior just as he was imitating the Lord Jesus Christ and His behavior.

2.For what did Paul praise the believers at Corinth?

They remembered him and were holding firmly to the teachings he had delivered to them.

3.What line of headship did Paul teach?

God is the Head of Christ, Christ is the Head of every man, the man is the head of the woman.

4.What should be true of a man while he is praying or prophesying?

His head should be uncovered.

5.What should be true of a woman while she is praying or prophesying?

Her head should be covered.

Paul may be speaking of the veils women of Eastern cultures wear. It was considered immodest for a woman to appear in public with her face unveiled.

6.What choice does Paul present to the women of the church at Corinth?

Keep your veil over your head or shave off your hair.

7.Why should a man not have his head covered while he is praying or prophesying?

Because he is the image and Glory of God.

8.Why should a woman have her head covered while she is praying or prophesying?

Because woman is the glory of man.

9.What principle does Paul declare?

Man did not come from woman but woman came from man; man was not created for woman but woman was created for man.

10.Why should a woman have her head covered while she is praying or prophesying?

To indicate she is under the authority of man so the angels can understand this.

All that is happening to mankind is instructional to all creatures of God, including the angels. Angels know that God is a King and they recognize His supreme authority. They know also that there was a widespread rebellion in Heaven against the authority and rule of God.

It is important that angels understand that the churches of Christ are subject to the order of headship God has established and to Divine law and order.

11.How does Paul broaden his teaching on this subject?

By declaring, as he had done previously while discussing mutual marriage obligations, that woman is not independent of man and man is not independent of woman.

12.From what substance was the first woman formed?

The substance of her husband.

13.How has every man, with the exception of Adam and Melchizedek, arrived on the earth?

Through a woman.

14.From where does everything come?

From God.

15.To what does Paul appeal?

To the Corinthian believer’s own sense of propriety concerning how a woman should appear while she is praying or prophesying.

When one studies First Corinthians the impression is formed that Paul was reacting to immature arrogance on the part of the members of the church at Corinth. Part of this arrogance had to do with what Paul considered to be an undesirable boldness on the part of the women of the assembly.

Perhaps it is true that the overconfidence of the believers arose from the financial and educational status of the city of Corinth.

To Paul, whose upbringing had included a despising of the Gentiles of such Greek cities as Corinth, their pride was most unbecoming. Paul’s background was unusually rich in the matchless heritage and disciplined strength of the conservative Hebrew family. This included an ancient tradition concerning the proper role of women.

The Hebrew women were treated with honor and love but they seldom were allowed to exercise authority over a man (Judges 4:9).

Paul the Apostle, who had been commissioned by the Lord Jesus Himself, was not a person to tolerate proud Greeks.

16.What does nature teach us?

A man ought not to have long hair.

Apparently Paul was speaking of very long hair, coiled on top of the head or reaching to the waist. Our concept of the Lord Jesus includes hair that reaches to His shoulders. Yet we do not feel this portrait of Christ is against nature. Paul must be speaking of hair that uncoiled would reach to the waist or below.

17.What is true of a woman who has long hair?

Her hair is a glory to her. Also it is a covering for her, revealing to us that it is natural for a woman to be covered. The man has shorter hair as an indication he is not to be covered with a veil because Christ is his covering.

This does not mean a woman’s long hair takes the place of her veil, because that would contradict and confuse what Paul had just taught in the fifth and sixth verses of this chapter. It means, rather, that long hair is natural and becoming to a woman and suggests she is under the authority of man.

18.With what thought does Paul conclude his discourse on the proper attire of men and women who are praying and prophesying?

If anyone wishes to be contentious concerning Paul’s admonition about church decorum, let that quarrelsome individual understand he is living in disobedience. He has left the path of the Apostles of the Lamb and the churches of Christ.

19.Is Paul praising the Corinthian believers because of their conduct in the assembly?

No, because their assembling was tearing down rather than building the Body of Christ.

20.What was Paul hearing about the saints in Corinth?

They were divided into competing groups (early signs of denominationalism).

21.Why was Paul ready to believe there were divisions among them?

Because it is though the process of division and refinement that the true Church emerges.

 For there must be also heresies [factions] among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you (I Corinthians 11:19).

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us (I John 2:19).

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 1:4).

The process of separating the wheat from the chaff that takes place in an assembly of saints is a grievous experience. People we have worshiped with for years begin to be seen as to their actual spiritual level. We do not notice these defects at first, but as that which is in them comes to maturity we can recognize that some are wheat and some are tares.

None of us should be confident or arrogant concerning the process of separation. Are we positive we ourselves can stand the testing?

Let us pray that we indeed can stand the testing and be kindly toward those whose immaturity or innate wickedness is coming forth.

When a fellow believer breaks the brotherly covenant we can understand the grief of Jesus, as Judas, his friend, admitted Satan into his personality.

We have a tendency to paint such pictures in black and white, to view people as altogether good or totally depraved. But we see that Judas had started out with good intentions, and after his treachery was filled with repentance. Thoroughly wicked people do not repent!

How was Judas different from any of us?

How was Absalom different from any of us?

How was Korah different from any of us?

No doubt Ananias and Sapphira were decent people, beloved by many in the church. Each believed himself to be a good and righteous person and had friends who trusted him.

Let us, therefore, work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. The Kingdom consists of those whom God truly has elected from the creation of the world. Are you one of these?

Am I?

Let us strive to make our calling and election certain.

We must always keep in mind that whenever we come into the Presence of God, Satan is there to resist us.

 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him (Zechariah 3:1).

Every son of God must learn to serve God while in the midst of his enemies. We must rule while surrounded by enemies, for it is there God sets a table for us. When our obedience has been perfected, God will remove Satan far from us. Even the memory of Satan will be banished forever from the minds of God’s victorious saints. But the lessons of godliness we have learned as we have struggled against Satan are part of our character for eternity.

22.What did Paul say about their coming together to eat the Lord’s Supper?

They were ruining the Communion service by turning it into a banquet in which the rich were surfeited and the poor remained hungry.

23.What does Paul remind them?

They have houses in which to eat and drink when they are hungry.

24.What were they doing?

They were turning the church into a private club, and those who could not afford to eat in such style were ashamed of their poverty.

25.Does Paul praise them for this?

He does not!

26.What had Paul received directly from the Lord Jesus, although he had not been one of the original twelve Apostles?

The Lord Jesus on the night in which he was delivered up took bread. When He had given thanks to God, the Lord Jesus broke the loaf of bread.

27.How did the Lord Jesus refer to the loaf of bread as He broke it?

"This is my body, which is broken for you."

28.With what attitude should we eat the broken body of the Lord?

We should do this in remembrance of Him.

29.What did the Lord say as He held up the cup after the last supper?

"This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me."

30.In what attitude are we to drink of His blood?

To do this, as often as we drink it, in remembrance of Him.

31.What are we proclaiming when we eat the broken body and drink the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ?

The atoning death of the Lord, until He comes.

32.What, then, is true of those who are turning the Lord’s Table into a banquet in which the rich are drunk and the poor are hungry and ashamed?

They have been found guilty of profaning and sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

33.What should a believer do before he partakes of the Communion?

He should examine his own heart, weighing his attitude and the manner of life he is leading.

34.When should the believer eat of the bread and drink of the cup?

After he has forgiven every person against whom he has been holding a grudge.

After he has confessed to God each of his known sins, having renounced them as unworthy of the Kingdom of God and having determined never, by the Lord’s grace, to practice them again.

After he has made restitution, if he has harmed someone, or after he has promised the Lord that with the Lord’s help he will make restitution and ask forgiveness at the earliest possible moment.

35.What is true of the believer who comes to the assembly of saints and partakes of the Lord’s Table, and yet does not have an attitude of worship and devoutness toward the Communion elements as representing the body and blood of the Lord, or love and concern for the members of the Lord’s Body with whom he is gathering?

He is eating and drinking judgment upon himself.

36.What was this believer not discerning and understanding?

The Communion service is a time of remembering the sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God who washed away our sins in His own blood; neither was he holding any regard or affection for his brothers and sisters in the Lord who were his fellow members of Christ’s Body.

37.What had happened to many of the Corinthian believers who had held a wrong attitude toward the Lord’s Table?

Many were weak and sick and some had died.

38.What is true when we examine our own conduct?

The Lord does not have to judge us.

39.What does the Lord do when He does judge us?

He disciplines us so we will not be condemned with the world.

Current Christian theology is based largely upon such passages as the following:

 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life (John 5:24).

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9,10).

Without regard to the context of these verses, the pronouncement is made that if we believe in the Lord Jesus we will never experience Divine judgment.

It appears the preachers and teachers who offer such cheap grace are ignorant of I Corinthians 11:32.

It is true that we must place our faith in the Lord Jesus. But after we confess Jesus as Savior and Lord we must experience Divine judgment, for judgment always begins with the household of God. Those whom the Lord does not chasten are not sons; and all Divine chastening is a judgment on our personality.

The Divine judgment is a blessing to us, when we repent and make our way pure and perfect before the Lord.

 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalms 139:23,24).

But if we do not repent, if we do not confess our sins, if we do not walk in humility and openness before the Lord, if we continue in the flesh and then partake of the Lord’s body and blood, the Lord Jesus judges and chastens us so we will not be condemned with the world.

If we then do not respond to the Lord’s correction we are close to the fire of destruction.

Whoever does not live according to the above rule, or whoever teaches believers they may sin without any need to fear God’s judgment, is leading himself to destruction and also those who place their trust in him.

40.How can we show a proper attitude toward the Lord’s Body—our fellow Christians?

By waiting for one another so all can participate together in the broken body and shed blood of the Lord Jesus, bringing to our minds His death on the cross of Calvary.

41.What should the believer do when he is hungry?

He should eat at home so his desire for food will not cause him to forget the meaning of the Communion service, thus bringing judgment on himself.

42.What did Paul promise the saints?

He would solve other problems when he came to them.

Chapter Twelve

1.What was Paul’s desire for the saints in Corinth?

They would not be ignorant concerning spiritual gifts.

2.What had the saints in Corinth been before they became followers of Christ?

Gentiles who were deceived into worshiping idols.

3.What will the Spirit of God never say?

Jesus is accursed.

4.What statement can be made only by the person who is speaking by the Holy Spirit?

"Jesus is Lord."

Those of us who hear from the Lord in words, through prophecy or some other form of communication, are accustomed to testing the spirits. One method of testing spirits that claim to speak in the name of the Lord is to ask them if Jesus is Lord. Another method is to ask if Christ has come in the flesh (I John 4:2).

These two methods of identifying spirits do not appear to work any longer. The princes of darkness, in order to deceive us, appear to be confessing that Jesus is Lord and that Christ has come in the flesh.

The explanation may be found in the fact that greatly increased authority will be given to Antichrist in the last days.

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months (Revelation 13:5).

Notice in the following passage that Antichrist, or one like him, will be given access to the heavenlies.

And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them (Daniel 8:10).

We see in the above astonishing verse that Antichrist will be able to reach even to the host of the heaven, interfering with the normal conduct of affairs in the spirit realm.

We suspect that the ability of Antichrist to reach to the host of the heaven is the reason why the lords of darkness now are able to give the appearance of stating that Jesus is Lord and that Christ has come in the flesh, thus deceiving those who are accustomed to testing the spirits.

Our opinion is that the Father is ready to transfer the Throne of God from Heaven to the hearts of the victorious saints, in fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles. As the transfer takes place, in preparation for the day when Jerusalem is the throne of the Lord, and men no longer look to Heaven but to Jerusalem for communication with the Lord, the ability of people (who are not part of those who are entering the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles) to pray to God in Heaven will become increasingly weakened.

The prophets of today are speaking clearly that enormous spiritual oppression soon will cover the earth making our environment a chamber of horrors. People no longer will be able to pray and will have to read prayers that have been printed in advance in preparation for the spiritual darkness.

The ability to accept the salvation of Christ will be cut off along with the opportunity to receive the Spirit of God.

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate (Daniel 9:27).

God’s provision for this most horrible of hours is not to remove His Church to the spirit realm but to enter the holy remnant. The remnant then will be the place of God’s feet and will be made glorious. All who come to them, calling on the name of the Lord, will be delivered from Satan.

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee (Isaiah 60:2).

It will be in the hour of greatest spiritual oppression that the Glory of God will arise on the elect.

We may call to mind that in the beginning, Adam and Eve did not pray to God in Heaven. God was on the earth. God withdrew to the spirit realm, becoming invisible to mankind because of sin, not because God desires to remain invisible to His children.

God returned to earth in the Presence of Jesus of Nazareth. God will return to earth again in Christ—Head and Body. This time He will remain forever. God intends to dwell on the earth in the midst of His children. He will do so by dwelling in the Church, the new Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb—in the people whom He has chosen for His eternal dwelling place. This is the Kingdom of God and the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.

God is moving His Presence to the remnant whom God has chosen. Those who wish to find God, to be blessed and delivered by him, will be required to come to the remnant of victorious saints. There will be spiritual safety in the remnant; but access to God in Heaven may no longer be readily and safely available, being hindered by the spiritual darkness that has been permitted to occupy that area.

The transfer has not taken place yet. We are not to pray to Christ in us, or to God in us, but to God in Heaven. This is what Jesus did even though the fullness of God dwelled in Him, and this is what we are to do in the present hour.

In the day when the Father and the Son come to dwell in us in Their fullness we shall then be the living Temple of God. How we will pray then, whether we still will pray to God as we do now, or whether we will have such a complete inner Presence that prayer is more of an inner fellowship and communication than prayer to the invisible Father in Heaven, we cannot say at this time.

And there shall be a tabernacle [the remnant?] for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain (Isaiah 4:6).

And a man [other translations—the King and His princes] shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land (Isaiah 32:2).

At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart (Jeremiah 3:17 ).

And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call (Joel 2:32).

Because of the ascent of the "little horn" to the host of the heaven, the disciple must be exceedingly wary of all voices that speak to him, whether or not they confess that Jesus is Lord. Before listening to any voice in the spirit realm we should pray to God in Jesus’ name that all voices that are not of God be removed from us. Then we should hold in abeyance whatever is said until there is solid confirmation in the material realm.

Even these safeguards are not sufficient. We must remain watching very carefully and observe the fruit, the results of our thoughts, words, and actions.

Notice how Jeremiah waited for confirmation.

So Hanameel mine uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the Lord, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord (Jeremiah 32:8).

"Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord."

When a believer states he always knows the voice of the Lord, that he could never be deceived by a voice that was not the Lord, then be assured that believer is in deception.

The Spirit of God will never become impatient when we take the time to ask God to remove false voices from us. The wisdom that comes from above is always patient and peaceable, not accompanied by fear or strife.

In our day there is far too much reliance on spiritual experiences. We must look constantly to Jesus for there is much deception in the land. We must pray without ceasing and meditate constantly in the Scriptures.

One of the recent erroneous emphases is that we should pray to the Holy Spirit, to talk frequently with the Holy Spirit. Yet there is not one verse, to our knowledge, in the entire Scriptures that provides a basis for praying to the Spirit instead of to the Father or Jesus.

Until the Lord shows us differently, we believe the emphasis on talking to the Holy Spirit is not from the Lord. It is teaching people to be led by voices rather than by presenting their body a living sacrifice and proving God’s will by patient, cross-carrying obedience.

Because people are looking for excitement, because they are looking for an easy path, because they are willing to listen to human reasoning without searching the Scriptures carefully, they are readily led into error. Error in doctrine and practice is springing up all over the world as Christians seek for new experiences rather than being willing to walk in the old paths of humility and patience.

5.What is true of spiritual gifts?

There are varieties of them but all are from the one Holy Spirit.

6.What is true of ministry (service)?

There are various kinds but all are from the one Lord Jesus Christ.

7.What is true of the ways in which the gifts and ministries are operated?

There are varieties of ways but all are of the same God.

8.What is true of each member of the Body of Christ?

He or she has been given a manifestation of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of building the whole Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:16).

9.What is the word of wisdom?

A supernatural ability given to some members of the Body of Christ so they may be able to counsel and assist the members of the Body in solving problems and in knowing what course to take through perplexing circumstances.

I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? (I Corinthians 6:5).

The Book of Proverbs of the Bible is an expression of the wisdom of God. From it we learn how we should conduct ourselves so righteousness, peace, and joy will be our portion.

All of us need wisdom continually, and a brother or sister who is gifted with God’s wisdom, as were Bezaleel and Aholiab for example, can make an important contribution to the Body of Christ (Exodus 36:1).

10.What is the word of knowledge?

A supernatural ability given to some members of the Body of Christ so they may be able to inform us of facts or events past, present, or future.

There are many instances in the Scripture in which the Lord’s people have been given supernaturally derived knowledge (II Kings 2:3; Acts 27:34; etc.). The Body of Christ is not limited to physical methods of communicating knowledge.

11.What is faith?

A supernatural ability given to some members of the Body of Christ so they may be able to believe God for the bringing about of conditions and circumstances that are in accordance with God’s will, the prevailing conditions and circumstances being confusing and destructive because of the work of Satan and sin.

This is not referring to the saving faith given to each individual at the time of receiving Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9); neither is it speaking of the fruit of faith that is the creation within us of rock-like confidence and trust in the Person of God and in His Word; nor is it indicating the faith given each member of the Body to find and exercise his or her place in ministry (Romans 12:12:3-6).

Rather, the gift of faith is an extraordinary impartation of Divine virtue that may come to a Christian when an unusual need arises, and that results in the building of the Body of Christ and the establishing of the Kingdom of God on the earth.

We find that special faith was given to Paul when a storm arose: "Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me" (Acts 27:25). The gift of faith brings "good cheer" and may be based, as in this case, on a revelation of God’s will.

Perhaps the reader may recall an instance in his own life in which God imparted unusual faith in order to help him through some particular difficulty, or to give assurance his prayer had been answered even though he had not as yet seen the answer come to pass.

This brings up a much-discussed point. Are all these gifts given to every saint to be used as the Holy Spirit directs?

Or does one saint have this gift and another saint have that gift?

First, the logic of the chapter suggests that to certain saints are given specific gifts and ministries in the Body of Christ. The result of this distribution of manifestation is that we are dependent on each other for our growth. This is what Paul teaches.

It is obvious that in the twentieth century there have been Christians who have been given extraordinary gifts and ministries, such as Billy Graham with his gift of evangelism; Kathryn Kuhlman with her gifts of healing.

It is also true that all Christians may do the work of an evangelist, but they are not another Dwight L. Moody. All Christians may pray for the sick, but they may not be as gifted as Aimee Semple McPherson. All Christians may prophesy, according to the Apostle Paul, but there are saints who have a ministry of prophecy considerably beyond what most of us experience.

This is true in the natural as well as in the spiritual. Anyone can plant grass and bushes around his house but that does not make him a farmer. Every intelligent person can speculate on the relationship between energy and mass or the nature of light; but Albert Einstein was peculiarly gifted in the ability to analyze physical phenomena.

We may say, then, that the expressions of the Holy Spirit are given to the saints so there may be an interdependence of the members of the Body of Christ. All have something to give so all are needed.

It is also true that the disciple of Jesus can pray for and expect to receive supernatural help when a more gifted believer is not available.

12.Who assigns spiritual "talents"?

The Holy Spirit of God and He assigns them only to members of the Body of Christ.

Sometimes the manifestations of the Holy Spirit are confused with human talents or personality types. They have nothing at all to do with human talents or with personality types. They are manifestations of the Holy Spirit of God, not of the soul or personality of people.

The true gifts of the Spirit are not inherited gifts of the fallen adamic soul as in the case of "second sight." Soulish gifts, such as the ability to read minds, or the ability to tell fortunes or know of future events, or to contact the dead, are of the fallen adamic race and are never to be exercised by the believer. They are to be nailed to the cross along with the remainder of our fallen personality.

Human talents, such as art or music, are given at birth. Often it is obvious they are inherited. These talents belong to us and they are ours throughout our lifetime, whether or not we become a Christian.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit will anoint a work of art or a musical performance. Anointed music and anointed art works are blessed of the Lord. But they are not listed with the gifts of the Spirit.

Anointed expressions of human talent are a blessing in the churches of Christ, and they often are a useful part of the life and worship of Christian people.

But the gifts of the Spirit are supernatural abilities that are added to our spirit, and can be stirred up by us as we follow Christ our Lord.

Just as our redemption is not a blend of our striving to be good added to the Divine nature of Christ, so it is true that the manifestations of the Holy Spirit are not a blend of our natural gifts and personality added to the Divine wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit.

The word of wisdom is not the insight of a wise human aided by the Lord. Rather, it is an impartation of the wisdom of God for the solution of a specific problem. The word of wisdom can come to a wise man or a foolish man. It is independent of both. The righteousness of Christ can come to a righteous man or a wicked man, but it is independent of both.

The wisdom of God is Divine in origin and the wisdom of man is human in origin.

The same is true of the word of knowledge and the manifestation of faith. They have nothing to do with human knowledge and human faith. They are impartations of the knowledge and faith of God Himself.

The several examples of the gifts of healing that have blessed the twentieth century, such as the gifts of William Branham, Aimee Semple McPherson, Kathryn Kuhlman, were not given to medical students.

It can be freeing to understand that God is not limited by our human shortcomings and personality traits. How uplifting and faith-inspiring it is to realize God can take the weakest of men and women—the most unlikely candidates—and use them powerfully in the building of the Kingdom of God!

We can do all things through the wisdom and strength of Christ.

God uses the things of little consequence in order to bring to nothing the things that vaunt themselves.

Let us rejoice in the fact that the manifestations of the Spirit are wonderful, glorious, earth-shaking demonstrations of the all-powerful Spirit of God. We are commanded to covet them.

The reason the gifts of the Spirit are not more in evidence in the Christian churches is that we do not ask for them, not because we do not need them or it is not the will of the Spirit for us to have them.

The Christian churches have substituted music in place of the manifestation of the Spirit of God, not understanding, evidently, that music is of the soul and can be performed by wicked, worldly, rebellious people. Music does not form Christ in us. Only the operations of the Spirit of God form Christ in us. Music entertains and provides a "religious" environment. The Word and Spirit of God create Christ in us—the Life in us that will raise us in the last day.

The natural man has a tendency to categorize people: this man is a born leader; that woman wins friends easily; he is sure to gain many souls for Christ because he is eloquent; she is timid and must never be placed in a position of responsibility.

The Lord can turn a meek Moses into the dauntless leader of several million people. God can take a self-seeking, merciless Saul of Tarsus and give him an unbounded love for people.

Christ does not select fishers of men, He makes them.

The limits on what we become in Christ are not established by our personality traits. They are determined by the amount of faith, obedience, and diligence we are willing to exercise.

In the Kingdom of God the rich are brought low and the poor are exalted. The ambitious learn to be at peace in the place of low esteem, while the shy are enabled to roar as lions.

13.What are gifts of healing?

They are supernatural abilities given to some members of the Body of Christ so they may be able to minister physical healing to those toward whom they are directed by the Lord Jesus.

The healing of the sick was one of the outstanding characteristics of the ministry on earth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even with the increase of medical knowledge there seems to be just as much need for Divine healing today as there was two thousand years ago. Christ still heals today just as He did then.

Cancer, for example, is a major concern today. The surgeries and therapies employed by medical doctors are often effective, but sometimes they are not. The side effects of such treatments can be unpleasant.

When the Lord heals cancer—and there are numerous documented cases of the complete healing of cancer in our own day—there are no side effects. The cancer is passed by the body or disappears.

The most notorious plague of our day is AIDS. AIDS is a horrible disease which often accompanies promiscuity or the injection of drugs. The Lord Jesus is as able to heal AIDS as He is cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes, or any other ailment.

No member of the Body of Christ ever becomes a healer, ever becomes permanently wise—able to provide solutions at will, ever becomes a giant of supernatural knowledge. This is not how the gifts of the Spirit operate.

Rather, the gift is suddenly demonstrated, for the first time, in a person’s life. It may come in connection with a Divine calling or a filling with the Holy Spirit. It may come after prayer and fasting or suddenly appear as an added part of a saint’s ministry.

Other people will testify, and the believer will come to realize, that the Spirit indeed has added to his spirit a supernatural enablement by which he is able to enrich the Body of Christ.

Now he or she is a steward of what has been given. There is a gift present in the personality and it is to be stirred up and utilized in faithfulness and diligence as the Lord directs.

It is not that the believer can use the gift at will like the ability to play the piano. Rather, it a supernatural expression that can be "stirred up" in the Lord. It is a channel through which the Holy Spirit can glorify Christ. It is "subject to the prophet" but it is not part of the personality of the believer so that he himself becomes wise or knowledgeable or a healer. The "prophet" himself always is to be subject to the Lord Jesus.

We have never known of a saint who possessed the gifts of healing to claim to be a "healer" or a "faith healer." Those with genuine gifts, such as Dr. Charles Price, Smith- Wigglesworth, William Branham, Kathryn Kuhlman, never referred to themselves as healers. They specifically and continuously advised their audiences that they possessed no healing powers and could not heal anyone.

Their reason for such repeated denials of healing virtue was twofold: saints of such experience in the Lord know the penalty for taking to themselves the glory that belongs to God alone; also, they were telling the truth. They in fact did not possess any healing virtue. They were helpless channels and depended on the faithfulness of God to demonstrate His power in their ministries.

"Gifts" (plural) of healing are given to "another," that is, to one individual.

Evidently some aspect of the healing ministry is plural in number. Some have said that each healing is a gift. Others have noted that those with healing ministries are stronger in some areas of affliction than in others: one will have notable success with back problems, another with tuberculosis, another with blindness and deafness. This may be why it is "gifts" and not "gift" of healing.

In the ministry of the Lord Jesus there was a fullness of the anointing such that all were healed of every disease. But we Christians "prophesy in part."

The Lord Jesus did not minister by the gifts of the Spirit but by the fullness of God. Some day we too will possess the fullness of God; but in the present hour we operate with fragments of the Spirit. We see through a glass dimly.

14.What is the working of miracles?

Supernatural abilities—operations of works of power—given to some members of the Body of Christ so the Body may not be prevented from performing the will of God by the limitations of the laws of nature.

Again, notice the plural (energies of works of power) applied to an individual believer ("to another").

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament describe the most astonishing miracles one could imagine. When we study the Bible we receive the impression that the Holy Spirit is both willing and able to break through the laws of nature and put things together or take them apart according to the needs of the moment.

Perhaps the most spectacular miracle of the Old Testament was the forming of the heavens and the earth by the Word of God. The stopping of the rotation of the earth (or the moving of the sun) at the word of Joshua also was an operation of stupendous power.

There are so many instances of mastery over nature in the ministry of Jesus that one has only to read the Gospel accounts to realize that miracles were a common occurrence in the daily life of Christ.

In the day we cease from our own works and turn to Christ with a pure heart, in that same day the working of miracles will return to the Church of Christ. There can be no scriptural testimony given by the Church of Christ apart from the working of miracles, for the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power.

Where Christ is there are miracles.

Miracles are the testimony of God that the Gospel of Christ is from Him.

15.What is prophecy?

A supernatural ability given to members of the Body of Christ so they may be able through the Spirit to build up, exhort, and comfort all the members of the Body. We recognize that in the case of prophecy, as is true also of speaking in tongues and the healing of the sick through prayer, all Christians should participate as part of the normal spiritual life of the believer. This is true also, though perhaps to a lesser extent, of the remaining six manifestations of the Holy Spirit listed in the twelfth chapter of First Corinthians.

It happens, as both Scripture and experience teach us, that to some of the saints is given a depth of prophetic utterance, an anointing of prophetic power, that is not true of all Christians.

There was a great amount of prophecy under the old covenant and there is supposed to be a great amount of prophecy under the new covenant. The prophet was one of the ministries of the old covenant, and the prophet is listed along with the apostle as one of the ministries of the new covenant.

Many of the old covenant prophets apparently were attended by scribes who recorded their prophecies. Only the Revelation of the Apostle John is recorded as a prophecy given under the new covenant.

It is the will of the Holy Spirit that all Christians prophesy. "For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted" (I Corinthians 14:31). "For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10).

When we seek the Lord with fervency and diligence, and begin to walk and live in the Spirit, the burden of prophecy is as near as our physical breath. The burden is heightened when we assemble with other believers.

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: 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 (I Corinthians 14:24,25).

The above passage describes the Holy Spirit’s concept of a normal Christian assembly. Such normality is in the process of being restored as we press into the glorious anointing of the harvest-rain revival.

16.What is discerning of spirits?

A supernatural ability given to some members of the Body of Christ so they may be able to recognize, to distinguish, to discriminate among the various spirits present in the assembly of saints or affecting a fellow Christian.

The Christian churches labor in a mixture of holy and deluding spirits. We experience the effects of these spirits as pleasant and helpful or painful and destructive. Yet, we cannot "see" well enough into the spirit realm to cope satisfactorily with the invisible personalities.

An excellent illustration of the need for discerning of spirits is found in the Book of Acts:

And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: the same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation (Acts 16:16,17).

Notice what the slave-girl was proclaiming: "These men are the servants of the most high God, that show to us the way of salvation."

She spoke the truth. Paul, Silas and Timothy indeed were the servants of the most high God. The men were showing the way of salvation. However, Paul commanded the spirit of divination to come out of her.

How many churches of today would be able to discern a spirit as being evil if it were announcing the truth?

The Christian churches, although preaching some of the truth of the Gospel, are filled to overflowing with unclean spirits of every sort imaginable: lust, self-seeking, vaunting, jealousy, hatred, suspicion, criticism, factionalism, backbiting, malice, whispering, sectarianism, profanity, rage, the love of money, of prestige, of status, the seeking of places of importance, lying, stealing, cheating, adultery, fear, unbelief, compromise, the love of entertainment, gluttony, and every other wicked, stubborn, rebellious spirit destined for the Lake of Fire.

The saint who does not know this to be true has had little experience with the Christian churches, and certainly has not been gifted with the ability to discern spirits.

Now is the day in which judgment is being restored to the household of faith. We increasingly are able to identify the spirits that for so long have inhabited the assemblies of the saints and have led the believers into deception of various types.

The Holy Spirit can give us the ability to distinguish between spirits that are from God and spirits that are from Satan and from our fallen adamic nature.

We may think of the discerning of spirits as the "nose" of the Body of Christ.

17.What are divers kinds of tongues?

Supernatural ability given to some members of the Body of Christ so they may be able to communicate the will of God in languages other than their native tongue, and that they have not learned through study.

Again, notice that a plural grace ("kinds of tongues") is given to a single individual ("to another"—literally, to a "different one").

From the frequency of its mention in the Book of Acts we may infer that the Holy Spirit considers speaking in tongues to be an important aspect of the Kingdom of God and of becoming a saint. God, who does not use words carelessly in the Scriptures, would not have associated speaking in tongues with the birth of His Church unless there was an excellent reason.

Paul stated his desire that all the saints speak in tongues, although he preferred they prophesy. We understand, therefore, that it has been granted to every Christian to speak in tongues and to prophesy since these are fundamental expressions of the Holy Spirit. We understand also that to certain members of the Body of Christ a special anointing for speaking in various kinds of languages has been given.

We personally have not witnessed the gift of speaking to other nationalities in their own language, but supernatural occurrences of this type took place in the early years of the twentieth century. It is our belief that the gift of languages will be restored to the Christian churches as a necessary part of the worldwide revival the Scripture foretells for the years just prior to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ from Heaven.

In the Pentecostal movement we have utterances are referred to as "messages in tongues" and "interpretation of tongues." They consist of someone speaking for a few moments in an unknown language, and the same person or another person following with an exhortation in English or in a language usually spoken by the assembled church members.

Of the many instances of this manifestation we have witnessed, there is no doubt in our mind the majority are sponsored by the Holy Spirit. Edification, exhortation, and comfort have resulted from these utterances.

On such occasions, one believer is giving voice to the present burden of the Holy Spirit by praying in the Spirit in a tongue unknown to himself, and then another believer picks up the burden by prophesying in the language native to the assembly. The prophecy is not a literal translation of the utterance in tongues but an independent expression of the current burden of the Holy Spirit.

We do not believe these are what is referred to in First Corinthians, Chapter 12 as "kinds of tongues" and "interpretation of tongues."

No doubt there are occasions when there is a message given to the assembly that is a direct pronouncement in a language, and then someone else in the Spirit translates the pronouncement word for word, neither speaker having command of the language under ordinary circumstances. Such instances of actual translation of an earthly or angelic language appear to be in the minority.

Although we ourselves speak much in tongues in prayer, it is not our point of view that only those Christians who speak in tongues possess the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to be a Christian without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, as the most elementary knowledge of redemptive grace makes clear; although it may be true that some Christians have a greater portion of the Spirit than do others.

The reason there are many born-again Christians today who do not speak in tongues (although they should have this blessing) may be understood from the pattern of the restoration of the Christian Church since the days of the Protestant Reformers.

The born-again experience and the pursuit of a holy life were restored before the speaking in tongues. The program of restoration from the time of the Reformers until the present becomes quite evident to anyone who studies church history.

Speaking in tongues and Divine healing have been restored to the Christian churches, and they are here to stay until Jesus returns. Christian people who resist tongues and healing as being of the devil are resisting the Spirit of God and denying a substantial portion of the Bible, while maintaining that the Bible, a record of tongues-speaking and Divine healing, is the infallible Word of the almighty God.

Every Christian should speak in tongues, according to I Corinthians 14:5. He who is speaking in a tongue is building up himself in the most holy faith. If speaking in tongues is available to all saints, and builds us up in God, then we want it. We want every blessing in Christ we can obtain in order to help us through the days in which we are living.

If the reader is a born-again Christian you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. If you have never spoken in tongues, and you believe from the Book of Acts and from First Corinthians you can and you should, why don’t you go to the Lord Jesus and ask Him to give you this blessing.

If you will covet the speaking in tongues earnestly, and give thanks to God and obey Him, it is likely you will find yourself speaking in tongues before many days have passed.

It certainly is true that the ability to speak in tongues in the Spirit of God is an aid to our daily pilgrimage. It is difficult for those of us who pray in tongues a great deal to imagine how believers can get along without this spiritual ability.

Speaking in tongues enables us to enter the "rest of God." As we speak in tongues we cease from our own works and yield to the burden of God’s Spirit. God has been resting since He created the world, knowing that all He has planned shall come to pass. We are to enter that rest, and speaking in tongues helps us to do so.

For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear (Isaiah 28:12).

One of the miracles in evidence as the Holy Spirit fell for the first time on the waiting disciples (Acts, Chapter Two) was the proclaiming of the wonderful works of God in the different languages of the listeners, by the disciples who knew nothing of these languages.

On the occasion of the building of the Tower of Babel, God slowed down the rapid development of world culture by issuing several different languages, dividing the one human race into competing factions. God was not ready for mankind to destroy itself by developing a way of life apart from Himself.

When the Holy Spirit was sent forth into the earth, God enabled the members of the Body of Christ to overcome the problem of the language barrier. God was revealing that He will have a world culture governed by Christ in the Church. The Body of Christ will speak the languages of all nations and will describe to them the wonderful works of God.

It is the opinion of the writer that during the unprecedented worldwide preaching of the Gospel with signs and wonders to the ends of the earth, that will take place prior to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth, the Christians will not be hindered by the language barrier. They will be enabled, through the Holy Spirit, to move out quickly to every city and village, announcing the good news of the Kingdom of God that is at hand.

Our conclusion is that every Christian may speak in tongues. To some members of the Body of Christ there will be given the ability to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom in the various languages they encounter as they obey the Lord’s personal command to them to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every person.

18.What is interpretation of tongues?

Supernatural ability given to some members of the Body of Christ so they may be able to understand languages that have not been studied by them

The Scripture indicates that "divers kinds of tongues" are Spirit-given abilities to speak from time to time in languages spoken currently or in time past on the earth, or by angels in Heaven; and that "interpretation of tongues" is the Spirit-given ability to understand statements made in a foreign language, whether the speaker is "in the Spirit" or employing his native tongue.

It is possible, too, that these gifts apply to writing as well as to speaking, as in the case of the handwriting on the wall the prophet Daniel interpreted.

If a Christian person were able to understand by hearing or by reading a communication presented in a language he had never learned through study or sufficient exposure—that, to our way of thinking, would be an example of "interpretation of tongues."

The Holy Spirit does not intend for us to regard the list of nine "gifts" of the Spirit as being an inflexible pattern for the manner in which he will enable members of the Body of Christ to communicate the purpose and plan of God.

The emphasis should be placed on diversity. There should be an infinitely varied array and assortment of spiritual talents and abilities, each saint being a unique expression of the ascended Christ.

The apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, and the pastor-teacher are major revelations of Christ. Mixed in with these are innumerable endowments, each designed in terms of the ministry of the individual saint. The result of the multiplicity is the radiating of God’s Word in a splendor of color and beauty.

Here we see the Lampstand of the Tabernacle, the many-dimensional revelation of God in Christ. Christ is the light of the world, and the Body of Christ is part of that light.

Physical light is a composite of several colors that can be seen individually when part of the light is absorbed and part is reflected. So it is with the Holy Spirit. The shining of the Spirit from a saint is not a blinding white light but a beautiful "color" that is seen because part of the light is "absorbed" and part is "reflected."

19.Who is it that ministers all the revelations of the Glory of God, distributing to each saint of the assembly according to His own sovereign will?

The Holy Spirit of God

20.What is true of a physical body?

It is made up of many members, many parts.

21.What is true of Christ?

He is made up of many members, many parts.

The concept of the Body of Christ is truly awesome in its implications. Only the Apostle Paul taught the concept of the Body.

There are two mysteries contained in the Scripture, mysteries so stunning in their implications, so breathtaking in their grandeur, the human mind cannot embrace them without supernatural aid.

The first mystery is that the almighty God became a man.

The second mystery is that God in Christ is in us and we are becoming an eternally inseparable part of Him.

The two mysteries taken together produce the fullness of the incarnation, the revelation of the invisible God in a material form.

The mystery of the Gospel is not only that God has appeared to us as a man, although that fact alone is so colossal as to make every other event of human history shrink into insignificance. Rather, the mystery of the Gospel is that God is dwelling in us and is being formed in us—that we are the fullness of Him, the enlargement of His Being.

To properly evaluate the significance of I Corinthians 12:12, we must understand that the words Christ and Messiah are synonyms. The first is Greek and the second is Hebrew. Christ is Messiah; Messiah is Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord Jesus the Messiah.

Both words, Christ and Messiah, mean the Anointed One—the Person whom God has anointed with His Holy Spirit in order to glorify Israel and bring justice to the Gentiles.

All Christians understand that Christ has come already and has given His life an offering for sin, exactly as Isaiah prophesied (Chapter 53).

But not every Christian understands that Christ is in us and we are part of Him.

Christ not only has come to us, Christ is in us and we are part of Him.

When Christ appears in the clouds of glory the saints will appear as part of Him.

The coming Christ is made up of many parts, many members. As the physical body is made up of many members, so also is Christ—the Anointed Deliverer from God.

It is one matter for a king to come to you. It is quite another matter for a king to come in you and for you to become the body of the king. Don’t you agree?

The second type of coming, the king coming in you, so far exceeds in significance and implications the first type of coming that there is no comparison between the two.

The Christian Church is the Body of Christ. There shall be no more appearances or ministry of Christ apart from His Body.

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all (Ephesians 1:22,23).

The reason Paul speaks of the ninefold manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and then refers immediately to the many members of Christ, is that these two topics are related.

The term Body of Christ means the body of Him who is anointed with the Holy Spirit in order to glorify Israel, and to bring justice to the nations of the earth in fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham.

It is the anointing of the Holy Spirit that is the christing, to coin a term. Messiah (Christ) means "anointed with oil"—the "oil" of the Spirit of God.

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2).

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound (Isaiah 61:1).

When we who believe in Christ are baptized with the Holy Spirit we are baptized into the Body of Christ. The same anointing that abides eternally on Him now abides on us, although not in such fullness.

Now we are the Body of Christ. Now the anointing of the Holy Spirit is upon us so we may preach good tidings to the meek, to the humble and teachable of mankind.

It is impossible to perform the work of the Kingdom of God apart from the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

It is impossible to be a member of the Body of Christ, of the Anointed One, unless we are anointed by the Holy Spirit; for the Body of Christ is the group of people on whom the anointing of the Holy Spirit is abiding.

We receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon us so we may bear an effective witness of the atoning death, glorious resurrection, and coming rulership of our Lord and Savior Christ. Apart from the power of the Spirit of God we cannot bear an effective witness.

Only as the Holy Spirit abides in us and upon us are we the members of the Body of the Anointed Deliverer. It is the anointing of the Spirit that enables us to reveal the Glory of the Lord, and it is the beholding of that Glory that causes the members of the Body of Christ to grow in love into the fullness of the stature of Christ (II Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 4:13).

We are built up together by that which every member is supplying. It is the building up, the edifying, that is the purpose of the ministries and gifts given by the Holy Spirit.

Christ—Head and Body—must know by the Spirit, must speak by the Spirit, must act by the Spirit.

The word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, the interpretation of tongues, and discerning of spirits enable the saints to know and understand by the Spirit.

Prophecy and different kinds of tongues enable the saints to speak by the Spirit.

Faith, the working of miracles, and the gifts of healing enable the saints to act by the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is God’s agency and power of communication. There is no communication in the Kingdom of God apart from the Holy Spirit. He alone bears witness of God.

In the eternal affairs of the Kingdom of God, the Christian Church is utterly powerless to know and understand, to speak, or to act apart from the Holy Spirit of God.

22.Into what were all Christians baptized?

Into the one Body of Christ.

23.Of what do all Christians drink?

Of the one Holy Spirit.

24.What does Paul teach us in verses fourteen through seventeen?

The physical body is made up of many integrated parts. Each of the parts is dependent on and derives its importance from the rest of the body.

The concept of the interdependence of the parts of the physical body teaches us certain facts concerning the Church, the Body of Christ, and of Christ Himself.

One fact concerns sectarian loyalties within the one Christian Church. What a destructive abomination they are when viewed from the concept of the many-membered Christ!

Another fact concerns the relationship of the Church to Christ. It is the relationship of spiritual marriage. A head cannot function without a body. A body is nothing at all without a head.

A third fact concerns the relationship of the saints to each other. If we consider the believers as parts of one body, of which Christ Himself is the Head, we understand that a much closer bond exists among the saints than we may have realized. Before the Holy Spirit is through constructing the Church we shall be one in a very deep sense, just as Jesus prayed in the Seventeenth Chapter of John.

It is obvious the multitude of competing institutions that today term themselves Christian churches are primitive, unformed raw material from which God will create the Body of Christ, the Wife of the Lamb, the new Jerusalem.

The varied manifestations given to the saints are organs and parts of one Body of Christ. Each saint is necessary for the proper health and functioning of the Body, and each saint is dependent on every other member of the Body.

For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith (Romans 12:4-6).

25.What plan has God followed in putting each member in his place in the Body of Christ?

God has followed the counsel of His own desires.

If we would enter the rest of God we must understand that God has a unique place for each of us in His Kingdom. In order to learn of that place and to press into it we have to give all our attention and strength to seeking the Lord, presenting our body a living sacrifice.

It is impossible to enter our place in the Body of Christ and at the same time to hold on to the things of the present world.

26.According to verses nineteen through twenty-five, what else can the physical body teach us about the Body of Christ?

All parts of the body are important, not just the parts that are visible and attractive.

The physical body consists of a multitude of parts, most of which are invisible. Usually, all we notice about a person is the appearance of his or her face and the general shape and height of the body. After we know an individual for awhile we come to appreciate his or her personality.

A person may be known for being handsome or beautiful. Ordinarily, however, we do not exclaim about the strength and formation of his foot. Yet, if the foot is infected the beauty of the individual is set aside until the foot has been cared for. The face is dependent on the foot when it desires to move from one place to another.

The face receives much honor. The foot receives little honor. Each has a part to play in the body.

There are ministries and gifts in the Body of Christ that are both visible and attractive. They receive honor from the saints.

There also are ministries and gifts in the Body of Christ that are not nearly as visible and are relatively unattractive, although beautiful to God. They are no less necessary for the Body of Christ.

Anyone possessing a rudimentary knowledge of biology and physiology knows well that the organs and systems of the smallest living creature are an astounding miracle. To claim such organisms evolved without intelligent planning is to deny what we understand of life, nature, and probability.

That an individual could observe the marvels of nature and claim they just came into being by themselves raises questions concerning the intelligence and integrity of the proponent of such a notion. The best we can say of him is, he is a fool.

But the Body of Christ is an organism so intricate, so utterly beyond comprehension, that the physical body is a simple mechanism by comparison.

Within the organs and systems of the physical body there are finely tuned systems and traces of chemicals unknown to most people. Yet the smallest maladjustment of this maze of electrical and chemical activity can produce disability and incompetence on the part of the whole individual. We are speaking now only of the constituents of the body itself, not of the emotional health that proceeds from the body, is interrelated with the body, and itself is a network of loves and hates that can be understood only by God Himself.

In like manner, every saint is a vitally necessary part of the whole Christ. It is impossible for the Body of Christ to be perfect until every part is perfect, is in its place, is in the image of Christ, is filled with all the fullness of God, and is anointed by the Holy Spirit.

The Church of Christ is the Body of Christ, the Wife of the Lamb, the eternal Temple of God. All the events that occur in the history of the world derive their significance from and have as their final outcome the creation of the Wife of the Lamb. All things are working towards this supreme end.

27.What happens if one member of the Body of Christ suffers?

Every other member suffers with it.

28.What happens if one member of the Body of Christ is honored?

All the other members rejoice with him or her.

29.What are some of the ministries God has set in the Church of Christ?

Apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, gifts of healing, helps, administrations, kinds of tongues.

Notice that Paul does not mention evangelists or pastor-teachers as he does in the fourth chapter of Ephesians. The omission teaches us two facts: (1) the list in Ephesians is not intended to be a definitive listing of the ministries of the Christian Church; and (2) there is not a difference in kind between the ministries and gifts of the Spirit, because they are listed here in one category.

The list in the twelfth chapter of Romans also is different. These differences are the reason we view the ministries and gifts as being as varied as are the saints who receive them. They are the kinds of activities we can expect to be proceeding from those who are filled with the Holy Spirit, not an inflexible listing of ministries and gifts.

Every ministry and gift is being restored to the Body of Christ in our day, and we should lift our hearts in joyful expectation that the Spirit of the Lord will transform God’s people into trees of righteousness and endow each of us with a ministry that will set free the captives of the earth.

30.What does Paul mean by the questions he is asking in verses twenty-nine and thirty? What answer does he expect?

Paul’s point throughout the twelfth chapter is that the Body of Christ is made up of a variety of members and each is vitally necessary for the Body. This is in answer to "I of Paul," "I of Apollos," "and I of Cephas" of an earlier chapter.

If Paul still is thinking in these terms, what he is saying by the questions is as follows: "If you do not believe me, look around and judge for yourselves. Are you all apostles?

"I know you think you are, but it is evident you are not.

"Are you all prophets? Are you all teachers? Are you all workers of miracles?

"It is evident you are not. Therefore you can see that what I am telling you is the truth. God has given variety to the Body of Christ and each part builds up the whole."

Then, in order to soften the harshness of his rebuke and to guard against any feeling of passivity and inevitability they may have received from his telling them that the Holy Spirit assigns gifts according to His own sovereign will, Paul encourages the Corinthian saints to desire earnestly and fervently the greater gifts of the Spirit.

By the expression the "greater gifts" we believe Paul was inviting them to get their minds off themselves and begin to think about ways in which they could build up the one Body of Christ. We notice, in the fourteenth chapter, that Paul prefers prophesying to speaking in tongues because prophesying builds up the believers in Christ.

The "greater gifts," then, would be those that more directly accomplish the purposes of God, such as the forming of Christ in the believers, the creating of strong, wise disciples, the bringing of the Gospel to every person on the earth. This would be in contrast to gifts that accomplish some less worthy purpose.

31.What does Paul mean when he states that love is a way more excellent than the manifestation of the Holy Spirit?

He means that love is perfection, the evidence of maturity in Christ, whereas the gifts and ministries are means to perfection, means to maturity in Christ.

Some have taken Paul’s expression "a more excellent way" to mean the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is one way of serving Christ but love is a better way. This is an incorrect interpretation. Rather it is correct to state that the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit are the means by which Christ is formed in the Body of Christ, and Divine love is the final result.

The Divine love created in us is eternal whereas the gifts are temporary, being means to an end.

Today the Holy Spirit is restoring to the Body of Christ all the ministries and gifts that have been lacking, such as apostles, prophets, discerning of spirits, and so forth. The result will be that we all will grow up in love into the Head, Christ.

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God (Ephesians 3:19).

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ (Ephesians 4:15).

Chapter Thirteen

1.What is the "love," of which Paul is speaking in this chapter?

It is God Himself. God is love. Christ is the expression of God’s love. As Christ is formed in us, Divine love is formed in us.

The person who is preaching a religious message but who is not motivated by Christ’s love is as a clanging cymbal.

The love of God is the supreme power and principle of the Kingdom of God. All the persons, things, and circumstances God has employed in the creation are means toward one glorious end—that God may dwell in Christ who in turn will dwell in every person. The whole universe is destined to become filled to overflowing with God’s love.

Compared with Divine love, all else is scaffolding. Divine love always is in motion and always finds completion and fulfillment in another person.

God finds completion and fulfillment in Christ. Christ finds completion and fulfillment in God and in people. We find completion and fulfillment in God, in Christ, and in other people.

There is no other force or principle in the Kingdom of God that compares in importance with Divine love. He who is filled with Divine love is filled with God and possesses confidence and boldness in the day of judgment.

The person who loves God is known of God. The rulership of the peoples of the ages to come will be assigned only to saints who possess Christ’s love for those peoples. There is no exception to this, for only those who love people with Christ’s love can rule them as God wants them ruled.

2.What is true of the member of the Body of Christ who is mighty in the gifts and ministries of the Spirit, but who does not possess Divine love for those to whom he is ministering?

He is not accomplishing one thing in the Kingdom of God.

3.What is true of the member of the Body of Christ who gives away all his worldly goods to feed the poor and then dies at the stake as a martyr, but who does not possess Divine love?

He has gained nothing in the Kingdom of God.

4.What is true of Divine love?

It is patient. It is kind. It is not envious. It does not brag. It is not arrogant. It does not behave in an unseemly manner.

Divine love always pleases God and does the right thing by instinct.

Divine love does not seek its own gain. It is not quickly provoked to anger. It tends to overlook wrong done to it. Divine love does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.

Divine love covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Divine love will never fail. God’s love is the motive behind all that He works through Christ. God’s love designed and put into action the plan of redemption. God’s love will carry the work of redemption through to perfect, complete fulfillment in Christ. God’s love will never fail to the ages of ages.

5.Why will prophecies, tongues, and knowledge cease and be done away?

Because they are means to an end, and when the goal has been attained they will be needed no longer.

6.What is true of our knowledge and our prophecies?

They are temporary and incomplete expressions of the Holy Spirit and will be done away when that which is perfect has come.

The fiery love of God for us can never be satisfied with bits and pieces of revelation. We are to become one with God through Christ just as Christ and God are One.

7.What is "that which is perfect"?

The fullness of the Father and the fullness of the Son dwelling eternally in the saint through the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)

The Pentecostal gifts of the Spirit are necessary for bringing us to the place where we can receive that which is perfect. However the ministries and gifts of the Spirit are incomplete and temporary. They are, as we have stated, means to an end.

That which is perfect is the full development of the new covenant.

During the present age we cannot see Christ. We have been born again, but all of us are at various levels of the formation of the Divine Life within us. All our gifts and ministries are fragmented glimpses of the Glory of God as we labor in the Master’s vineyard to the best of our ability.

Some of our efforts are mixed with pride and self-seeking. Some of our understanding of God is correct and some is incorrect. We struggle onward through the valley of the shadow of death. No doubt God is more pleased with our progress than we are because He understands the pressures of wickedness and rebellion that attempt to crush every effort we make toward righteousness.

Unbelievably great rewards will be given to the saint who will serve God faithfully with a pure heart in the present hour.

As Christ is formed in us and dwells in us we receive an increasing amount of the Divine love. The light becomes greater, the way a bit clearer. Our understanding of God and His purposes is enlarged. Our instincts are sounder, and guidance comes from within us (although we never are to cease watching carefully in prayer, for Satan strives continuously to deceive us).

Before the way becomes clearer there may be a long period during which it appears almost impossible to find the Lord’s will or to gain understanding of what is happening to us. Years of uncertainty and perplexity may accompany our transition from being a Spirit-filled person (the feast of Pentecost) to being the dwelling place of God and Christ (the feast of Tabernacles) (John 14:23).

When Jesus returns from Heaven, at the time of the first resurrection from the dead, the victorious saints will be raised to meet Him and will receive a transformation of their bodies such that their bodies are like His body.

They will be assigned their posts of service to the nations of the earth. The love of Christ for those nations will be given to them. They will not minister by partial anointings of the Holy Spirit but will be part of the Servant of the Lord on whom the Spirit of God abides without measure.

In that day the saints will see the face of Christ and will know and understand all things just as today they are known and understood by the Lord.

They will see the face of Christ because they will be working with Him in administrating the affairs of the nations of saved peoples of the earth.

They will see the face of Christ because the Father and He will be dwelling in them in the fullness of Divine love. This is the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34). This is "that which is perfect."

The ministries and gifts of the Spirit are as the Lampstand that illuminated the Holy Place of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. "That which is perfect" speaks of the Shechinah, the Glory of God that lighted the Most Holy Place. The Lord Jesus always walks in the fullness of God, not in fragmented ministries and gifts.

At the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age the Church of Christ, the Wife of the Lamb, will descend from the new heaven and be established on the new earth. Every inhabitant of the holy city, which is the Kingdom of God, will know the Lord. They will not each teach his neighbor because from the least to the greatest all will know the Lord.

There will be no temple in the new Jerusalem. The reason is that every member of the Bride of the Lamb will see the Face of God Almighty—a state of glory so exalted we can by no means conceive of it. This is the highest fulfillment of "that which is perfect." This is the fullest expression of the working of the new covenant. This is the fullness of Divine love, the love that will be carried throughout the creation by the members of the Church, the Bride of the Lamb, the Body of Christ.

God’s love shall never fail until the new Jerusalem sheds the light of the Glory of God and of the Lamb throughout every corner of the new earth.

8.Why does Paul refer, in verse eleven, to children and grown men?

Because the ministries and gifts of the hour in which we are living are necessary while we are babies in Christ. When Christ comes to maturity in us we no longer will have need for incomplete enablements of the Holy Spirit.

9.How do we see the Kingdom of God now?

As a dim reflection in a mirror.

10.How will we see the Kingdom when we attain maturity?

We will see Jesus face to face and perhaps, eventually, the Face of the Father.

And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads (Revelation 22:4).

11.How will our maturity affect our knowledge of the Kingdom?

All we have wondered about will be made clear to us.

12.What are the three pillars in the Temple of God?

Divine faith, Divine hope, Divine love.

13.Which of the three is surpassingly greater than the other two?

Divine love.

Chapter Fourteen

1.What should each saint be pursuing?

The growth of Divine love within him.

2.What else should each saint be fervently desiring?

Spiritual gifts, in particular that he or she may prophesy.

3.When we speak in a tongue, to whom are we speaking?

God.

4.What are we speaking when we speak in a tongue?

Mysteries, in the Spirit.

5.For what purpose do we prophesy?

The building up, exhortation, encouragement, and comfort of the members of the Body of Christ.

6.When we speak in a tongue, whom do we build up?

Ourselves.

7.When we prophesy, whom do we build up?

The assembly of believers.

8.What was Paul’s desire for the saints in Corinth?

That each speak in tongues, but especially that he prophesy.

9.How does the saint who is prophesying compare with the one who is speaking in tongues?

He is greater unless the one who is speaking in tongues also gives the interpretation of the tongues for the building up of the believers.

10.What kinds of communication should be ministered to the assembled saints?

Revelation, knowledge, prophecy, teaching.

11.What is true of music?

There is a distinction in the sounds so we can understand what selection is being played.

12.What must be true of a trumpet call?

It must be a clear and precise call to battle.

13.What is true of the saint who is speaking in tongues in the assembly of saints unless he interprets what was spoken?

As far as the other believers are concerned he is speaking into the air.

14.What is true of the many languages of the world?

None of them is without meaning.

15.What are we to one another if we cannot understand what each is proclaiming in the assembly?

Foreigners.

16.What should be our guiding motive as we are seeking spiritual gifts?

To build up the saints of the assembly.

17.What should the believer do who speaks in a tongue?

Pray that he may interpret.

18.What is true when we pray in a tongue?

Our spirit prays but our understanding is unfruitful.

19.What should we then do?

We should pray and sing praises with the Spirit and also with the understanding.

20.What problem arises when we praise God in tongues?

A person who is unlearned in the things of the Spirit cannot say the "Amen" at our giving of thanks because he does not understand what we are saying.

21.What is true of giving thanks in tongues?

It is accepted of God, but our fellow saints are not built up in Christ because they cannot understand what has been stated.

22.Did Paul speak in tongues?

Yes, more than any of the Corinthians.

If speaking in tongues is not for today, as some have proposed, why did Paul speak in tongues? Has our knowledge of God exceeded that of Paul so that he had need of speaking in tongues but we do not?

23.How did Paul speak in the assembly of saints?

In such a manner that all could understand him.

24.What should be true of the mind of the saint?

It should be childlike in malice but adult in the understanding of the things of the Kingdom of God.

25.Read Isaiah 28:11,12.

For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear (Isaiah 28:11,12).

26.What, therefore, are tongues?

A Divinely ordained sign to the unbeliever.

27.Whom does prophecy serve?

The believer.

28.If the whole church is speaking in tongues and unbelievers or new converts come in, what impression will they receive?

The saints have lost their reason.

29.If the whole church is prophesying and a new convert or an unbeliever comes in, what will take place?

The unsaved person will be judged and convicted by those who are prophesying. The secrets of his heart will be announced for all to hear. He will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God indeed is among the saints.

Judging the unsaved visitor in the Spirit by all the assembled saints is the scriptural concept of a new-covenant assembly. This is in contrast to our current concept of rows of disinterested "Christians" sitting in pews while a "minister" teaches or preaches from the Bible.

In our current lukewarm situation an unsaved person can come and go at will with little fear that the saints will arise from their pews and broadcast the secrets of his or her heart.

Much more restoration must take place before the Church will be prepared for Christ to return from Heaven.

30.Does the Bible suggest to us, in any passage of the New Testament, that the saints are to sit in rows while a minister conducts a "service" from a platform or podium?

"Every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation."

31.What is the guiding principle for all things that take place during the assembly of the saints?

All activities must have as their goal the building of the members of the Body of Christ into the Head, Christ, because God has many purposes that He will accomplish through the mature Body as soon as it has been perfected.

32.What guidance does Paul offer concerning speaking in tongues?

Only two or three persons should do so, and not at the same time.

33.What about the interpretation of the tongues?

A believer should interpret. If there is no interpreter, those who are moved to speak with tongues should speak to themselves and to God, that is, silently, while assembled with the saints.

What Paul is stating here is not intended to be the commandment of God that there be no more than three utterances in tongues in one church service, and if there are four, the fourth one is of the flesh or Satan. This is not what is intended.

Paul is teaching concerning two issues: the building of the Body of Christ; and orderly participation on the part of all the believers so there is harmony instead of confusion in the household of God, and all are profited.

The elders of the assembly must determine the appropriateness of all the activities of the assemblies—appropriateness judged by whether the saints are being built up in Christ. In some services it would not be appropriate for there to be even one utterance with a tongue because the Holy Spirit was not directing that way. In another service in which the believers were taught the use of spiritual gifts, it might not be out of order to have fifteen utterances in tongues and twenty-five prophecies.

The governing of the assembly is the responsibility of the elders. Paul has given us the guiding principles—edification and order.

In many assemblies of the saints today the guiding principles are violated. First, the activities of the assembly do not build up the Body of Christ. They occupy the attention and they entertain, but the members are not growing in godly behavior. This means they are not growing in Christ.

Second, the activities of the assembly are limited to a few professional ministers. The widespread participation of which Paul is speaking does not exist in the majority of the assemblies of believers.

There is order, but it is the orderliness of spiritual death.

To insist there be no more than three utterances with tongues, and at the same time to violate the two principles Paul has presented, is to strain out gnats and swallow a camel. This is always the case when we become legalistic with the Old Testament or the New Testament.

34.What about those who prophesy?

Two or three should speak and the others should judge what is stated, weighing the prophecies against the Scriptures and against what is appropriate for the occasion.

Since those who are prophesying are instructing the assembly, it is necessary that godly and experienced elders in an attitude of prayer listen carefully to everything that is said.

It is not unusual for new Christians or those who are learning to prophesy, to be half "in the flesh" and half in the Spirit. What do we do about that?

We encourage them to keep trying so they will learn what is of the Spirit and what is of the flesh.

If the saints of the assembly are praying and living a godly life, the Holy Spirit will be present in strength in the meetings. When the novices prophesy the Holy Spirit will bring their utterances into an increasingly more accurate and complete expression of His mind.

If there is an individual whose heart is not right, who is not abiding in the Lord and who keeps on attempting to control the assembly through his prophesying, he must be taken aside by the elders and admonished. If an assembly is strong enough in the Holy Spirit the offender may leave of his own accord because he feels the rebuke of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will guide the elders in dealing with those who persist "in the flesh."

In the case of the beginner in prophesying who is part "in the flesh" and part in the Spirit, he or she should not be denounced in public. The prevailing fear that someone will be "in the flesh" has caused the administration of the Christian churches to organize the services in such a manner that there is no time or opportunity for the saints to express themselves. Such repression is accomplished in the name of preventing "wildfire" or "losing control of the service."

The time during which there might have been participation by the saints is occupied with musical "specials," which most certainly are "in the flesh" the greater part of the time and have little or no value in building the saints and should be discontinued in the Christian churches. They are worthless. In almost every instance musical "specials" serve only to glorify the performers and entertain the believers.

The godly elders of the assemblies of God’s emerging remnant are responsible to discontinue the babylonish (manmade, man-centered, man-directed) practices that have prevented the formation of the army of God. The coming persecution and spiritual oppression will leave no place for the traditional fleshly religious ceremonies of the churches. The assemblies of the future will be fortresses. People will find refuge in them from the howling, demoniac insanity of the world cultures.

The assemblies of today are occupied largely with what is worthless, and there is little expectation of participation in gifts and ministries by the believers. The revelations, tongues, and prophesying of which Paul speaks are not practiced, in many instances. We have organized the services in such a manner that the congregations "congregate" and sit still during the "service." This is the way we want it!

Since the Body can come to maturity only through the grace each part supplies, the Body remains immature and fragmented.

Teachers and preachers of the Gospel are "in the flesh" much of the time and make many mistakes. Yet we do not put them down publicly. Rather we pray they will grow in power and effectiveness. And they do!

The members of the assemblies should be encouraged to participate. The elders are responsible that every assembly of the saints is sufficiently open to the Holy Spirit that the gifts and ministries can operate. The elders are responsible that the participation is orderly and edifying. There are assemblies in which participation must be limited to "those on the platform," such as during an evangelistic campaign. But such gatherings are not designed for the growth of the members of the Body of Christ.

Evangelistic services, meetings dedicated to the conversion of unsaved people, are in order in the Kingdom of God. Participation by the saints in gifts and ministries may be out of place in such services. But, evangelistic services are not normal assemblies of saints. If a church has only evangelistic services the saints will not grow in the Lord.

The beginner in spiritual gifts will make many mistakes and will act "in the flesh." This is to be expected. The first time a Christian prophesies he no doubt will come short of the standard set by Isaiah and Jeremiah.

If the novice is denounced publicly for immaturity of expression or is criticized by other believers, it is probable that he or she will cease endeavoring to learn to manifest the Spirit and will bow to the pressure to conform to the group. Conforming to the group means sitting silently while the "minister" teaches or preaches from the Bible or from some other source of information.

The elders are to guide participating saints into fruitful expression, but there can be little guidance if the saints sit silently in the assembly. A ship cannot be steered while it is anchored in the harbor.

It is better to have much participation with some "wildfire" mixed in than to have no fire at all.

35.What is true if one believer is active in prophesying and a revelation is given to someone else?

The first should be silent so his brother or sister may have opportunity to manifest the mind of the Holy Spirit of God.

36.What is true of all the saints of the assembly?

All may engage in prophesying, one at a time, so both the prophets and the listeners will be exhorted and encouraged. All may prophesy (the answer to Moses’ prayer—Numbers 11:29).

37.What is true of the spirits of prophets?

They are subject to the prophets.

All the ministries and gifts of the Holy Spirit are subject to the saints to whom they have been given. The saint is never ruled by his gift. He rules the gift. Either he diligently and conscientiously stirs up and utilizes his talents for the good of the Body of Christ or he hides his light under a bushel. There will be a reward for the faithful steward and severe punishment for the less diligent, in the Day of the Lord.

The gift is subject to the believer. The believer is subject to the Lord.

38.What is true of the workings and dealings of God?

God’s workings and dealings are characterized by peace and harmony, not by strife and confusion. Where there is strife and confusion there is sin. God’s way is that of peace and gentleness.

The mature saint learns to use his ministries and gifts to build up the Body of Christ. Such wisdom and self-control require time for their development. The beginner in prophecy does not minister with the power and perfection of the Hebrew Prophets.

39.What does Paul state concerning women in the assemblies of saints?

They are to be silent. They are not allowed to speak. They are to be in subjection. If they wish to learn anything they should ask their husbands at home. It is a shame for women to speak in the assembly of saints.

First Corinthians 14:34,35 has provoked as much discussion and consternation as any passage in the Scripture, it would seem.

Some obey Paul’s words literally to this day, not allowing a woman to teach or speak in the assembly.

Others who also believe the Bible is the Word of God allow women to teach but would be hard pressed to reconcile this apparently clear teaching with their own practice.

Various explanations have been offered, some of which are difficult to accept for the person who prefers to keep the Word of God intact and to believe what is said therein without introducing complexities of interpretation.

What, then, shall we say about I Corinthians 14:34,35?

First, let us state boldly and without equivocation that we hold to the Scriptures as being the Word of God. The written Word still shall be intact when the heavens and the earth pass away. The Scripture is the Word of God Almighty and we shall be judged by it in the Day of the Lord.

We have learned in life that God will keep His Word. If there is any weakening of this premise our faith is seriously undermined. God gave us His Word in writing and we can depend on it.

We are not to be counted among those who attempt to analyze Paul’s character and experience and then make allowances for it by twisting what he wrote until it appears to be understandable and acceptable to the individual who desires to alter the Scriptures.

The Word of God is a joy to the saint and he meditates therein day and night. However, we worship Christ and not the Scriptures. We are not guilty of bibliolatry.

We contend for the perfect accuracy and immutability of the written Word of God. Yet it is evident the Holy Spirit uses women in the work of the Kingdom. Since it cannot be that there is disagreement between the Holy Spirit and the Scripture, we shall attempt an explanation of this problem.

There are at least five aspects of interpretation that can be applied to the New Testament writings in general, and to I Corinthians 14:34,35 in particular:

The guiding principle underlying the specific teaching.

The manner in which the teaching applies to the new covenant.

The record and evidence of what the Spirit of God has done and is doing in the area of practice being considered.

The reasonable probability that the passage has local,

specific application rather than universal application to the Church of God.

The judgment of praying, godly elders at the point of

decision.

If decisions concerning church or individual practice are arrived at with no attention paid to these five considerations, confusion and division will reign in the Body of Christ. The new covenant is not of the letter but of the Holy Spirit.

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life (II Corinthians 3:6).

The scholar or theologian may take comfort in the concept that we are to follow the letter of the New Testament without regard to the above five considerations, leaving him mentally free to pursue his exegeses of the Hebrew and Greek texts. But such a doctrinaire approach to the New Testament will leave human chaos in its wake. Man was not made for the Scriptures; the Scriptures were made for man.

The guiding principle underlying the specific teaching. The concept of the guiding principle can be seen in the behavior and words of Christ, and it applies to both the Old Testament and the New Testament writings.

The Sabbath day is an example. God gave the Sabbath day to man, and the observing of it is one of the "Ten Words," the Ten Commandments. Since God has incorporated the keeping of the Sabbath day into the unchanging moral law we understand that the Lord views this part of the old covenant with utmost seriousness. Why, then, did Jesus, who as Israel’s Lord gave the Law in the first place, behave in such a manner as to offend the Pharisees concerning the observance of the Sabbath day?

The reason is that the Jews missed the guiding principle of the Sabbath day because their hearts were not right with God.

The learned rabbis of Israel had worked out an interpretation and application of the Sabbath day until the tail was the head of the horse. An example of such legalistic details would be the question of whether a woman who threw out dishwater on the Sabbath day was practicing agriculture because of the possibility a seed resting by chance on the ground would germinate from the moistening of the ground. If a believer throws a light switch or chews a breath mint is he violating the Sabbath?

From the standpoint of such a mentality, the Lord’s healing of people on the Sabbath day or the picking of ears of corn by His disciples so they would have something to eat would be placed in the same category as adultery and bearing false witness.

Jesus taught the Pharisees that God created the Sabbath day for man, not man for the observance of the Sabbath day.

Jesus reminded them that David and his men ate the showbread. The Law prohibits all but the priests from eating the showbread. The penalty for such presumption was death by stoning—swift and certain.

The eating of showbread by men other than the descendants of Aaron was a very serious violation of Levitical Law.

God never rebuked David for eating the showbread. Why not?

Because David and his men were doing God’s will and they were hungry. In their hearts there was no violation of the sanctity of the Holy Place of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. They had broken the Levitical statute but they had not violated the guiding principle behind the statute: that is, the maintenance of the sanctity of the Holy Place of the Tabernacle.

Men who have been drafted into military service have been torn in conscience by the injunction, "Thou shalt not kill." The same God who wrote that word on a slab of granite commanded Joshua to slay every living person, young and old, who inhabited Canaan. Was God giving a law with one hand and breaking it with the other?

What does "Thou shalt not kill" mean?

Does it mean, Thou shalt not commit murder because of thine own lusts?

Whether we are considering a directive of the Old Testament or New Testament, we have to determine not only what has been stated but also the guiding principle behind what has been stated.

What is the guiding principle behind the old-covenant Sabbath day?

It is that people set aside the seventh day of the week as holy to the Lord; otherwise, people will devote every waking moment to the earning of a living and to pursuing their own lusts and ambitions. By so doing they destroy their spiritual nature.

This is why the Lord Jesus stated that the Sabbath was made for man. It was necessary for the Jews to cease their labors on a regular basis so they would be reminded that God loved them as His people chosen from among the nations of the earth.

Therefore the healing of the sick and the picking of corn by hungry disciples who were leaving all in order to follow the Lord Jesus in no manner transgressed the guiding principle of the Sabbath day.

The Lord Jesus Himself is the fulfillment of the Sabbath day and of every other commandment of the God of Heaven.

Working seven days a week, leaving no time for joyful reflection on the Lord and His goodness to the children of men, was a transgression of the Sabbath day; and the Israelite who behaved in such a manner destroyed his own spirit and body and was under the condemnation of the Law.

The commandment of the Sabbath day is greatly amplified under the new covenant, as are all the commandments of God. We Christians do not give ourselves to God part of each week. We do not slay our bull of consecration once a year. We offer ourselves and our bodies a living sacrifice to the Lord Jesus every second of every hour of every day of every week. We enter the Sabbath rest of God, that is, we seek His pleasure and do His works, ceasing from our own words and works, every moment of every day for eternity.

If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words (Isaiah 58:13).

The manner in which the teaching applies to the new covenant. To understand this aspect of interpretation we have to understand the difference between the old covenant and the new covenant.

The old covenant consisted of circumcision, the Ten Commandments, the Levitical statutes and regulations, the services of the priesthood, including the sacrificial offerings, and the Tabernacle of the Congregation.

The new covenant is the forming of Christ in us and the dwelling of the Father and the Son in our transformed personality.

One of the major differences between the old covenant and the new covenant is that of the material on which God writes His Law.

Under the old covenant, God wrote His Law on granite slabs and then it was copied on the walls of the houses, on parchment, and on paper.

God will never write the new covenant on granite slabs nor can it be copied on the walls of houses, on parchment, or on paper.

The Old Testament comprises the inspired writings from Genesis through Malachi. Included in the Old Testament are the words of the Mosaic covenant, principally the Ten Commandments.

But The Gospel According to Saint Matthew through The Revelation of Saint John does not include the new covenant. The New Testament consists of the writings of men who themselves were the new covenant, or new testament.

If it is true that the new covenant, or new testament, cannot be written on paper, and the Lord never inscribed it in stone, where then is it written?

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people (Hebrews 8:10).

The new covenant can be written only in the minds and in the hearts of Israel. We Gentiles must be grafted on the olive tree of Israel before we can come under the new covenant.

The new covenant cannot be expressed in the letters of words.

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life (II Corinthians 3:6).

If the new covenant is not the writings of the book we term the New Testament, what, then, is the new testament or new covenant?

The new covenant is described in II Corinthians 3:18:

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the Glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The new covenant is the forming of Christ within us. All else is a means toward that supreme goal.

If this is true, how are we to regard the book we term the New Testament?

The New Testament consists of the Holy Spirit-inspired, Holy Spirit-guided, words and sentences of men who had seen the New Covenant of God—who is Christ Himself. Christ, the New Covenant, was being formed in them. The Holy Spirit inspired and guided them as they described what they had seen and experienced.

If the Holy Spirit inspired and guided the writers of the New Testament writings, we are to regard the writings just as we do the writings of the Old Covenant—as the written Word of God.

The Israelite responded to the Old Testament writings by following them to the best of his ability.

We Christians are to respond to the New Testament writings by following them to the best of our ability, praying to God in Jesus’ name for wisdom and strength to do His will.

We have accepted the sin offering made by the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf. We now are living without condemnation because of the authority of the blood of Christ to keep us guiltless as we follow God’s will for our life, that is, as we "walk in the light."

The Word of God, Christ, has been born in us. Our new Divine Life is being nurtured as the broken body and shed blood of Christ are fed to our inner man in the spirit realm. Christ is being formed in us, not merely Christ-likeness. Christ, the Divine Life of God, the New Covenant, is being formed in us.

The Holy Spirit, the power of resurrection life, is dwelling in us and anointing us for service. The Holy Spirit adds Christ to our inner man until fruit is brought forth—the fruit of the Personality of God growing within us.

We Christians are an integral, eternally indivisible part of the resurrected Christ, and His unlimited Glory is in us. His tremendous angels guard us night and day. We are the expression of Him in the heavens and on the earth.

We see, therefore, there is a difference between the manner in which the Israelite was to respond to the old covenant and the Christian is to respond to the new covenant.

The Old Testament Scripture, particularly the five books of Moses, were the written covenant the Jew was to follow all his days on the earth.

The New Testament Scripture is a scaffolding, a guide to our faith and practice, until the new covenant is created in us. The new covenant does not come to an end when we die as was true of the old covenant. The new covenant will continue working in us after we die and on through the thousand-year Kingdom Age until we stand in the complete image of Christ, in the new Jerusalem, and behold the Face of the Father.

Even then the new covenant will not be finished. We shall continue to grow in the likeness and image of God forever.

All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God. It serves as our infallible guide to faith and practice until Christ is formed in us. This is what Peter means by the following passage:

We have also a more sure word of prophecy [the Scriptures]; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts (II Peter 1:19).

The "more sure word of prophecy" is the Scripture—more sure than the Word from the cloud on the Mount of Transfiguration.

The "dark place" is our own heart and mind.

The dawning of the day is the forming and dwelling of Christ in us.

The "day star" is Christ Himself.

This is the new covenant.

When we come to a specific teaching of the Apostles, such as the number of prophecies in an assembly or the behavior of women in the assemblies of saints, we must assess the teaching as to its relationship to the goal of the new covenant, which is the forming and dwelling of Christ in us.

All the writings of the Bible have as their goal the creation of the Wife of the Lamb, the eternal Temple of God Almighty. If we keep this in mind it helps us avoid being legalistic in our interpretation.

Legalism was a serious problem under the old covenant, leading to the crucifixion of Christ. Legalism under the new covenant leads to sectarianism and a doctrinaire, rancorous, Spirit-rejecting attitude on the part of the believers in Christ.

Hardness of heart, the murder of prophets, and rebellion against the Spirit of God—all take refuge and hide behind the letter of the Scriptures.

The letter kills. The Spirit of God brings life.

The record and evidence of what the Spirit of God has done, and is doing, in the area of practice being considered. If this aspect of interpretation were given serious consideration more often it would avert ridiculous and blind behavior on the part of the members of the Body of Christ.

A case in point is the speaking with tongues of the twentieth century. Many Christians are still maintaining that speaking in tongues is of the devil. Yet they are surrounded by their Pentecostal brothers and sisters.

Pentecostal people are active in every Christ-glorifying activity on the face of the earth. Whether it is in the work of foreign missions, or Christian education, or excavations in the Holy Land, or errands of mercy, or Bible translating, or evangelism, the Pentecostals are there.

Can any Christian with a sane mind keep insisting that speaking in tongues is of the devil?

Is Satan casting out Satan?

Is Satan now preaching the Gospel and dying for the faith?

Is he bringing new life to Bible reading, to witnessing, to prayer meetings, to jail ministry, to holy living?

It is an evil heart of unbelief that hides behind a sectarian interpretation of the Scripture, defies all the evidence around it, and clamors that tongues are of the devil. It is a Christ-rejecting spirit.

Would the Pharisees have accepted Jesus if they had asked themselves if what they were beholding was characteristic of the Holy Spirit?

Equally at fault are the Pentecostals, when they witness the Spirit-directed efforts of the Christian Missionary Alliance, for example, and state that the workers do not have the Holy Spirit because they do not speak with tongues.

Who inspires and guides the missionary activities of the Alliance?

The flesh?

If the Christian Missionary Alliance has accomplished its work through the flesh, then may God grant us to have more of such flesh.

Neglecting the manifest evidence of what the Holy Spirit is doing can lead to absurdities. We have a Christian who beholds someone who is prayed for in the name of Jesus instantly healed of cancer—a scriptural procedure and result. Then the onlooker goes his way and claims "Divine healing is not for today." Is this not sinful?

The Holy Spirit has a way of performing a work and then announcing: "This is what was spoken by the prophet." The Holy Spirit will, on occasion, interpret the Scripture for us if we have eyes to see and ears to hear. If we do not, there is no possible way that the Holy Spirit can add truth to us or bring us to a fuller understanding of an experience in the Kingdom of God.

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover (Mark 16:17,18).

The above passage has caused many to stumble. One common approach is to state "There are three ‘Marks,’" and then dismiss the passage announcing that the signs that follow the believers are one of the spurious sections of the Gospel of Mark.

Brother George Gillies of Palo Alto took a different approach. He asked God to show him if the sixteenth chapter of Mark was inspired.

After his prayer each of the five signs of Mark, Chapter 16 came to pass in his life over a period of time. On one occasion, while in a restaurant, George drank a cup of lye water thinking it was coffee. The lye water had been used to clean the coffee maker.

There were no ill effects. He inadvertently had drunk a "deadly thing" and it did not hurt him. God was teaching him concerning Mark, Chapter 16.

If someone reading these words drinks lye water he probably will die. The signs of Mark, Chapter 16 are not an invitation to presumption.

We are to be alert, cautious, prayerful, observing what the Spirit of God has done and is doing today.

The reasonable probability that the passage has local, specific application rather than universal application to the Church of God. An excellent example of this aspect of interpretation is a passage known to many drunkards:

Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities (I Timothy 5:23).

Some have attempted to apply this admonition universally to the Church. Reason suggests to us that Paul was confining his remarks to Timothy’s unique needs.

Another passage that no doubt is of local, specific application is Titus 1:12,13:

One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith (Titus 1:12,13).

The Scripture states that Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. If we are to apply this universally, every Cretian is a liar. Every Cretian is an evil beast. Every Cretian is a slow belly. This is what the Bible declares to be true.

Reason suggests to us that such is not the case. We have to interpret Paul’s declaration with a certain amount of understanding. Otherwise, we are required to rebuke sharply every Cretian whom we meet because of his degenerate condition.

A man from that area informed us that the Cretians defend their honor by stating that it was their prophet who was the liar. But the Apostle Paul stated, "This witness is true."

In any case, it is well to ask ourselves if reason suggests that a particular passage is suited to specific situations and is not a Divine decree which blindly commands without regard to circumstances.

There are passages that do indeed testify with universal authority. John 3:16 is one such proclamation.

The judgment of praying, godly elders at the point of decision. The apostles and elders of the early church gathered together to discuss the relationship of the Law of Moses to the Christian redemption, particularly the role of circumcision in Christianity.

After various men had spoken, the following decision was sent by letter to Antioch:

For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well (Acts 15:28,29).

God did not write the letter to Antioch. The apostles and elders came to this decision. As far as we know, God honored it for the moment. But since it was not followed up in the Epistles we understand that it was a temporary expedient as was the selection of Matthias as the twelfth apostle. The new covenant certainly does not consist of abstaining from food offered to idols, from blood, from the flesh of animals that have been strangled, and from fornication and it is obvious that Paul is the twelfth apostle.

The decision as to what books should be included in the holy Scriptures was made in just this manner. You may agree that here was a most momentous decision. Yet it had to be made by Christian elders.

In the case of the description given in the Scripture of the design of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, differences of opinion are possible. For example, we cannot be certain of the position of the grating on the sides of the Altar of Burnt Offering; or the placing of the fifth bar on the side of the Tabernacle building.

Devout men have set forth the answers to these question. Other devout men have contradicted them.

But God showed Moses the pattern of the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:9).

So it is true that the description given of the Body of Christ, the tabernacle of the new covenant, is not complete. The Lord must show the elders, in each circumstance, how the Scripture is to be interpreted.

It is impossible to be led by the Scriptures. The sons of God are led by the Spirit. The Scriptures insure that we do not follow the wrong spirit.

Today there are various questions that arise among the believers, particularly concerning family practices and marriage and divorce. It is relatively easy to make a hasty decision based on one’s knowledge of the Bible, taking a conservative and harsh position, or catering to the flesh such that anything is acceptable if one desires it fervently enough.

Neither of these two approaches is satisfactory in the Kingdom of God.

Of course, there is no question when we are speaking of sin. For example, fornication is never of God and no amount of prayer or consideration will ever make fornication acceptable to God.

We are speaking, rather, of the complicated situations that arise in the lives of people when godly, praying men and women cannot be certain from the Scripture exactly what should be done.

The elders of the church should gather together in the name of Christ and seek the mind of the Lord. If consensus is reached, followed by the Lord’s peace, the decision can be announced in confidence; although always observing the consequences of the decision to see if correction should be made.

Today the large denominations, becoming increasingly backslidden, hold large conventions to determine if they should authorize sin, such as homosexuality. They will suffer the Lord’s judgment.

The elders of a local assembly, if they love God and are filled with His Spirit, can come to consensus on issues. If they cannot, it may be true that someone in the group is not seeking the mind of the Holy Spirit and is striving to enforce his will on the other elders.

I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not (III John 1:9).

In summary, the five aspects of interpretation are as follows:

The guiding principle underlying the specific teaching.

The manner in which the teaching applies to the new covenant.

The record and evidence of what the Spirit of God has done and is doing in the area of practice being considered.

The reasonable probability that the passage has local,

specific application rather than universal application to the Church of God.

The judgment of praying, godly elders at the point of

decision.

We have stated that if decisions concerning church or individual practice are arrived at with no attention paid to these five considerations, confusion and division will reign in the Body of Christ.

Let us review what Paul has taught concerning women in the assemblies of the saints:

They are to be silent.

They are not allowed to speak.

They are to be in subjection.

If they wish to learn anything they should ask their husbands at home.

It is a shame for women to speak in the assembly of saints.

The key to this teaching is the word shame. If the Holy Spirit had guided Paul to declare that it is a sin for women to speak in the assembly, no more could be said. Christ has spoken.

There is a difference between shame and sin. Sin is the transgression of God’s justice. Sin is a breaking of the law: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.

All sin is a violation of the eternal moral law of God. All sin is of Satan even when it is expressed through the flesh of humans.

Five of the major sins set forth in Scripture—and they are unchanging from covenant to covenant—are as follows: lust, murder, covetousness, sorcery, and carousing.

It is always a sin to lust, to murder, to covet, to consult demons, or to abandon one’s self to eating, drinking, and entertainment.

It is not a work of Satan, neither is it a violation of justice or of moral law, neither is it necessarily a manifestation of the flesh, for a female to speak or to ask a question in the assembly of saints.

If a woman should speak in the church, it is not a sin that must be pardoned through the blood of the cross of Calvary. There has been no transgression of Divine justice.

The issue is one of shame. The question is one of what is becoming, what is fitting, what is appropriate, what is decent and in Divine order, what is perceived by godly people as being in keeping with the ways of Heaven and the working of the Holy Spirit.

The moral law must be obeyed because to violate it is to worship Satan. But it is not the worship of Satan for a woman to ask a question in the assembly of saints.

Let us judge the power of the prohibition and the issue of shame, in terms of the five aspects of interpretation that we have presented.

The guiding principle underlying the specific teaching. What spiritual concept gives rise to the silencing of women in the churches?

What was Paul actually saying?

Perhaps there are two concepts that form the guiding principle: the Divine establishment of the roles of male and female on the earth; and, especially, the usurpation of authority.

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee (Genesis 3:16).

God did not state that the man was more intelligent, more talented, stronger, more spiritual, or in any other characteristic more able or better than the woman. This is not the point. The point is that God set the man in authority over his wife for the purpose of doing God’s will in the earth.

It is true also that God sets rulers over us who, in many cases, are wicked. Unless they command us to do something contrary to God’s will we are required to obey their regulations. If we do not, we are in rebellion against God as well as against the laws of the land.

The issue is not one of merit but of obeying God.

Paul expands on the roles of male and female on the earth:

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man (I Corinthians 11:7-9).

It is obvious from Genesis, and from the above statements of Paul, that there is an important, Divinely ordained difference in role between the man and the woman.

It is from this difference of authority of role that the concept of usurpation of authority flows. The idea here is that of the woman claiming authority over, dominating, issuing commands to, ruling over the man. This would be a violation of Genesis 3:16.

But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence (I Timothy 2:12).

We cannot violate a Divine decree (Genesis 3:16) without bringing deception, confusion, and every other evil work on our heads.

Therefore the guiding principle underlying the specific teaching is that of the man ruling over the woman.

The issue is not that of asking questions in the assembly. The issue is that of female dominating male. If a woman refrains from speaking in the assembly but is dominating her husband at home, she is behaving shamefully.

May we say that there is no problem with having more than three prophecies in an assembly. The problem arises when there is confusion and a lack of edification.

May we say further that there is no problem with women speaking in the assembly of saints, although the letter of the Epistle would seem to state that there is. Rather, the problem is with women ruling over men. There are women who say nothing in church but who violate this principle continually. There are women who are active in church work who are not in violation of this guiding principle.

Would Paul agree with the above?

Notice Paul’s request of the church in Philippi:

And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life (Philippians 4:3).

"Which laboured with me in the gospel"!

To maintain that the women that labored with Paul in the Gospel never spoke in a gathering of saints with Paul’s blessing probably is a weak position.

Notice also in Acts:

And he [Apollos] began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly (Acts 18:26).

From the above two passages it appears likely that some women actually taught the Gospel. Priscilla, with her husband Aquila, taught Apollos, a Jew who was learned and mighty in the Scripture.

Paul says, "I suffer not a woman to teach."

Priscilla, and the women who labored with Paul, spoke and taught; but they did not attempt to govern men. Therefore they broke the letter of Paul’s directive but not the guiding principle of the commandment, as in the case of David and the showbread.

The Old Testament Law also counted women in subjection to their husbands. Yet both Deborah (Judges, Chapters Four and Five) and (Huldah, II Chronicles 34:22-28) played significant roles in the national life of Israel. The record does not indicate that Divine disapproval rested on them because of their position and activities.

Both Deborah and Huldah were prophetesses and they were married. Paul seems to allow (I Corinthians 11:5) that a woman may pray and prophesy in the assembly of saints. Therefore the issue is not one of silence but of authority.

The guiding principle, then, is that God has given to men to rule the earth, and this role is not to be reversed with women ruling over men, either in the home or in the assembly of saints.

The manner in which the teaching applies to the new covenant. The new covenant is the forming and dwelling of Christ in the believer. An important part of the forming and dwelling of Christ within the believer is the believer’s participation in the assembly of the saints.

If women are behaving in the assembly in such a manner that the forming and dwelling of Christ in the saints is aided, the new covenant is developing according to the Divine purpose. If women are behaving in such a manner that the forming and dwelling of Christ in the saints is hindered, the new covenant is suffering.

The new covenant is neither male nor female. The woman in whom Christ is being formed is not limited in God because she is a woman. Because Christ is in her she will be content to adhere to all earthly requirements, and will be able to do so in a proper manner.

The record and evidence of what the Spirit of God has done and is doing in the area of practice being considered. This may be the most useful aspect of interpretation that can be applied to the conduct of women in the churches.

If we step back, as it were, and examine what has happened and what is happening in the Kingdom of God, does it appear that the Holy Spirit ever gives gifts and ministries to women?

Does the Holy Spirit call women to Gospel work?

If so, does the Spirit ever bless their speaking in the assembly of saints?

If it is clear that He does, it must be true that Paul is not forbidding women to speak and teach. In this case, we need to think about what Paul is declaring. It is not possible that the Holy Spirit would act in opposition to the Apostle of Christ.

If we know anything at all about church history, past and present, we know that the Lord does call women: many times as evangelists, many times as missionaries where they sometimes act as pastors of churches and teachers of the Gospel.

Madame Guyon and Jessie Penn-Lewis were two distinguished teachers of the Gospel. Mrs. Penn-Lewis was an insightful teacher of the victorious Christian life, at the turn of the twentieth century.

Aimee Semple McPherson and Kathryn Kuhlman were outstanding women of the twentieth century, used powerfully in the gifts of healing. Both of them were teachers of the Bible.

After having read the biographies of some of the female saints one can only conclude that they entered the harvest field somewhat against their will, to a certain extent, because of the personal sacrifices involved.

It becomes clear to the reader, if he is an experienced believer, that these women indeed were called by the Lord Jesus Christ. The fruit of their labors testify that they were anointed by the Holy Spirit.

The question, as we have stated, is one of authority. All the writers of the Scripture were men. There is not one exception.

The Apostles of the Lamb, whose names are in the foundation of the wall of the new Jerusalem, were all men.

The fundamental decisions that govern the churches of Christ are to be made by men. The gifted female Bible teachers were Paul’s fellow workers. They recognized the authority of Paul and declared what he and the other Apostles, as well as the Prophets of Israel, had written.

If a woman attempts to make governmental decisions concerning the churches of Christ, or to govern the assembly through prophecy, or to bring "new revelation," she will lead herself and her followers into deception and sin.

Our conclusion, based on what we have seen of the Lord’s workings in the life of women, is that if the Lord calls a woman to work in the Kingdom of God she should do so. She is answerable to her Lord. If she obeys the Lord she will not behave in the assembly of saints in a manner that is obviously unbecoming and results in shame and the quenching of the Holy Spirit.

If people attack her solely on the basis that she is a woman and urge her to be silent, she should look up to the Lord who has called her and leave her justification with Him. If Christ indeed is with her it will become obvious to all sincere saints.

It is understandable, but not edifying from our point of view, for a woman who has been called of the Lord to turn aside from her calling and become a crusader for the "rights of women." She is not required to prove anything to her fellow Christians. She is responsible to the Lord alone. If He truly has called her He will vindicate her.

The reasonable probability that the passage has local, specific application rather than universal application to the Church of God. It appears likely, from Paul’s comments, that there were some women in the church in Corinth who were behaving in an unbecoming manner.

It seems from what Paul says here and in First Timothy that he desires that women be in subjection and learn from the men in all the churches of Christ.

Perhaps we could sum up by saying that the guiding principle applies to all saints as long as we are human beings on the earth. In Christ there is neither male nor female. But in the assembly and at home, the man is the head. This is scriptural.

The judgment of praying, godly elders at the point of decision. It is impossible to conduct the Christian assembly solely on the basis of what is written in the New Testament. Christ gave us the Comforter, as well as the Scriptures, to guide us into all truth.

It is the responsibility of the elders to make certain all that is done in the assemblies is building the Body of Christ. If it is apparent that confusion is reigning, it is the duty of the elders to pray and seek the wisdom of God. They must guide the assembly patiently and prayerfully until there is orderly participation and the work of the Kingdom is moving ahead. This is Paul’s intention.

It is only by the direct intervention of Christ through the Holy Spirit that any assembly of saints can be sure it is in Divine order and is bearing a true witness of Christ.

Christ is alive and interested in His churches. If we will allow Him to do so, He will build His Church, of which our local assembly is one small part.

40.What is Paul saying to the saints in Corinth, in verses 36-38?

He is rebuking them for taking the attitude that the Gospel had originated with them. They were deceived and arrogant concerning their role in the Kingdom of God.

Paul states, "If you think you are prophets or spiritual, prove it by acknowledging that what I am writing to you is the commandment of the Lord. If you wish to remain ignorant, do so."

41.What does Paul say about prophesying?

Be zealous to do that.

42.What does Paul teach about speaking in tongues?

Do not forbid it.

43.What guiding principle does Paul present for the assembly of the saints?

Do everything in a becoming and orderly manner.

Chapter Fifteen

1.How are we saved?

By keeping in mind what was preached to us; by holding fast to it.

2.Is it possible to believe "in vain"?

Yes.

3.What did Paul deliver to us?

That Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures.

That He was buried.

That He was raised the third day, according to the

Scriptures.

That He appeared to Cephas, to the twelve, to more than five hundred brothers at once, to James, then to all the Apostles; last of all to Paul, as to one who was born at the wrong time.

4.How did Paul view himself?

As the least of the Apostles; as a person who was not fit to be called an apostle because he had persecuted the churches of God.

5.On what was Paul depending for his salvation?

On the grace of God.

6.How did Paul respond to the grace of God that was given to him?

The grace of God enabled him to work harder than all the others.

Paul’s statement that the grace of God enabled him to work hard reveals that we must redefine "grace." The term grace is defined today as unmerited favor—the forgiveness of God apart from any righteous behavior on our part. But this definition does not fit Paul’s use of the term in I Corinthians 15:10.

Perhaps grace should be defined as the Presence of God in Christ that transforms us and brings us into union with Himself through Christ.

7.What were some of the believers in Corinth stating?

There will not be a resurrection of the dead.

8.What is true if there is no resurrection of the dead?

Christ has not been raised.

9.What is true if Christ has not been raised?

The proclamation of the Apostles amounts to nothing and the faith of the saints in Corinth amounts to nothing.

10.What, then, is true of the Apostles?

They have borne false witness of Christ.

11.Under what circumstances would the Apostles have committed perjury?

If Christ has not been raised.

12.What is true if Christ has not been raised from the dead?

The faith of the saints in Corinth is to no purpose, they are still in their sins.

13.What has happened, then, to those who have fallen asleep in Christ?

They have perished.

This is a very revealing statement. Our tradition is that the goal of redemption is eternal existence in the spirit realm. If such were the case we would not "perish" when we died physically, even though Christ had not been raised physically from the dead.

If we would understand the Scriptures we must realize that the goal of redemption is the reversal of the fall of man, in particular, the restoration of immortality to the physical body. We for so long have emphasized the spiritual aspects of redemption, and discarded the physical, that we bring a warped perception to the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians.

Also, the pre-tribulation-rapture error has further confounded our interpretation; for in this teaching the resurrection is ignored while the ascension is preached as though it were the goal of redemption. The teaching of the rapture is a grievous departure from the Scriptures. Paul was not speaking of a "rapture"

(as we use the term) in I Thessalonians but of the Church rising to meet the Lord in the air at His return to earth. The "catching up" is not a flight from danger but the ascension of a welcoming party.

God’s people have little or no understanding of the resurrection from the dead, thinking that their present body will return to dust and they will receive another body from the spirit realm.

Precisely how they expect the "rapture" to operate is difficult to say, especially with respect to those already dead. Will their physical bodies come forth, or not?

Remember, the spirits of the dead already are in the spirit realm, and will return with Jesus. What is it that is raised?

The viewpoint of the Scriptures is that a person has not been made alive until his mortal body has been made immortal by the Spirit of God. The resurrection from the dead of the physical body of the saint is seen to be the crowning act of redemption. This is why Paul would say, "If Christ has not been raised physically from the dead, the dead have perished."

Paul would not count the dead in the spirit realm as being "alive." He would not regard them as alive until they appeared once more on earth in their bodies.

That the term made alive refers to physical life is presented clearly in the following passage:

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming (I Corinthians 15:22,23).

Notice carefully that the saints, even though spiritually alive at the moment of receiving Christ, are not considered to have been "made alive" until the coming of the Lord. Can you see that?

"Afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming."

God’s elect will not be fully alive until the coming of the Lord because the Scriptures do not regard us as being alive until we receive back our body from the grave.

The Christians are looking for the resurrection, the coming of the Lord, the so-called "rapture," to bring them to Heaven. It is not the purpose of the resurrection to bring us to Heaven. We go to Heaven when we die, not when we are "made alive."

The purpose of the resurrection is to restore us to life, that is, to physical life on the earth. This is the promised restoration.

Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution [restoration] of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:21).

The student may profit from careful reflection upon the preceding words. They should provide a clearer view of the nature of the Divine redemption in Christ.

14.What is true if our hope in Christ is confined to the present life?

We are more miserable than all other men.

15.What actually has happened?

Christ has been raised from among the dead becoming the firstfruits of the saints who have "fallen asleep."

16.How did physical death enter the world?

Through Adam.

17.How did the resurrection of the dead enter the world?

Through Christ.

18.What is true of every descendant of Adam and Eve?

He or she will die physically.

19.What is true of every person who is abiding in Christ?

He or she will be raised from the dead.

20.In what order will the dead be raised?

Each in his own rank.

21.Who was the first of the dead to be made alive?

Christ.

22.Who are the next to be raised from the dead?

Those who are of Christ, at His appearing.

23.What will come after that?

The end, when Christ gives up the Kingdom to God the Father.

24.What will mark the end?

The abolishing of all rule and all authority and power other than that of Christ.

25.What will be accomplished as Christ governs?

All of His enemies will be put beneath His feet.

26.What is the last enemy that will be abolished?

Physical death.

27.Read Psalms 8:6; 110:1.

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: (Psalms 8:6).

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool (Psalms 110:1).

28.Who will put all things in subjection under Christ?

God the Father.

29.Who is not in subjection under Christ?

God the Father.

30.What will be true as soon as all things have been brought under subjection to Christ?

Christ Himself will be subject to the Father so the Father may be All in all.

31.What is the meaning of verse twenty-nine?

Nowhere in his writings does Paul advocate being baptized on behalf of people who have died; so we cannot agree that living believers should be baptized for dead people. This would not fit the meaning of water baptism, as presented in the sixth chapter of Romans.

We have never found a satisfying explanation of this verse. The Greek text seems to indicate that living people were being baptized on behalf of dead people.

The only explanation that has come to us is that Paul was referring to a custom—possibly Gentile—existing in Corinth at the time. Paul did not object to using pagan practices in order to prove his point.

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring (Acts 17:28).

In proving his point about the folly of idolatry, when addressing the idolatrous Athenians, Paul reminded them of what one of their own poets had said.

Perhaps the Greeks, who were always ready for something new, had started baptizing living people on behalf of loved ones who had died without the opportunity to be baptized. It would have been characteristic of the overconfident Corinthians to produce such an innovation.

If such were the case, Paul was saying to them: "If you do not believe in the resurrection of the dead, why are you baptizing people on behalf of dead people, if the dead are not raised?"

Paul was not approving the practice. He merely was pointing out to them the inconsistency of their belief and practice, just as was true of the Athenian Greeks concerning their worship of many gods.

32.How did Paul’s own life demonstrate his absolute faith in the resurrection of the dead?

He was constantly in danger of losing his life. He was writing from Ephesus where the people acted like beasts (Acts 19:28-41). "If the dead are not raised, why not just eat, drink, and have a good time?"

33.What will bad associations (those who live for the pleasure of the moment) do to the believer?

Ruin his character.

34.What does Paul say to the saints in Corinth by way of rebuke?

"Wake up to righteous living and quit sinning."

35.What was the result of their careless, sinful living habits?

Some people in Corinth who were attending the assemblies were remaining unlearned and unbelieving when they should have been learning about God from the saints. This was a shame to the believers in Corinth.

36.What questions were these arrogant, educated Corinthian Greeks asking?

How are the dead raised? With what body do they come?

37.What is necessary before a seed germinates?

It must die.

38.What is true of the seed that is sown?

It does not resemble what will come from the ground, but is bare grain.

And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain (I Corinthians 15:37).

The above verse can be confusing. It seems to be saying that the body we have now will not be part of the resurrection. But if our present body is not to be raised from the ground, then there is no resurrection from the dead.

If the body we have now is not to be part of the resurrection, then what is it that will come forth from the ground in the Day of the Lord?

The body of Jesus came forth from the dead. The nailprints are in His hands and feet to the present hour, as we understand it. The nailprints are not in His heavenly body but His earthly body.

The Scripture says we have a heavenly body.

For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven (II Corinthians 5:2).

This is true. But the heavenly body will not be raised from the ground because it is from Heaven.

We see, then, that we have an earthly body and a heavenly body. The earthly body will be raised from the ground. The heavenly body will clothe our earthly body. The gold will cover the wood, as was true of the Ark of the Covenant.

And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about (Exodus 25:11).

At what point the house from Heaven will clothe our physical body we are not certain. The house from Heaven is the reward the Lord will bring with Him. It is the treasure we have laid up in Heaven by our conduct.

The proponents of the "rapture" neither understand nor preach the resurrection—only the ascension. They assume that the resurrection will take care of itself on the basis of faith and grace.

This is an error. The first resurrection from the dead, the resurrection of the royal priesthood, must be attained. It is attained as we enter the power of Christ’s resurrection and share His sufferings.

If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection [Greek, out-resurrection] of the dead (Philippians 3:11).

The body from Heaven, that which will clothe our mortal body, is the reaping of what we sow. If we sow to life our heavenly body will be life. If we sow to the desires of our flesh our heavenly body will be corruption. We shall reap corruption whether or not we name the name of Jesus.

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Galatians 6:8).

The saints will be clothed in their own deeds—righteous or wicked.

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness [righteous deeds] of saints (Revelation 19:8).

God cannot be mocked. If we call Jesus, Lord, and then do not do what He says, we will not be clothed in a body like His.

Our hope is to be like Jesus so we can see Him as He is. This hope shall not be realized unless we purify ourselves as He is pure.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we will be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we will be like him; for we will see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure (I John 3:2,3).

Those who are teaching we will be caught up in a "rapture," whether or not we walk in the Spirit, are deceiving themselves and their hearers. They shall reap corruption at His coming even though they are screaming, Lord! Lord!

There will be two resurrections: the first at the return of the Lord from Heaven; the second at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age.

The first resurrection must be attained. It is attained by entering the spiritual resurrection today; by forsaking the present world, taking up our personal cross, and following Jesus; by counting the present world, and all our accomplishments, as trash; by endeavoring every day of our discipleship to enter the rest of God, the place where we are not seeking our own ways or speaking our own words, but entering God’s ways and speaking God’s words.

Christ must be won!

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ (Philippians 3:8).

The first resurrection is for the royal priesthood only. All other people, whether or not they name the name of Jesus, will be raised in the second resurrection. This is our understanding in the present hour.

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years (Revelation 20:5,6).

To announce to every person who attends church that he will be caught away in a "rapture" is a cruel hoax. We are pampering the church-attenders now, but the terrible reality of persecution and tribulation is nearly upon us.

The second resurrection is not the resurrection of the lost, as some maintain, but of everyone who does not attain the first resurrection from the dead.

Every individual will be judged fairly at the second resurrection. Those who are found written in the Book of Life will enter eternal life. Those who are not found written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake that burns with fire and sulfur.

The second resurrection does not need to be attained. Every human being, wicked or righteous, who does not attain the first resurrection will be raised at the second resurrection. Those who have practiced righteousness will live. Those who have practiced wickedness will be judged fairly.

This is true whether or not the individual is a believer in Christ.

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (John 5:28,29).

The question is not whether or not we have received Christ but whether we have practiced good or practiced evil.

When Jesus returns, only the victorious saints will receive a body like His and be with Him forever.

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy (Revelation 3:4).

Among the Christians there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth as they see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Paul, and people they know sit down in the Kingdom of God while they themselves are denied entrance. Numerous Christians will not inherit the Kingdom of God because they have refused to take up their cross and follow the Lord.

And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:11,12).

Who shall be cast into outer darkness?

The children of the Kingdom!

Many have assigned this fate to the Jews. But it is the children of the Kingdom who will be cast into outer darkness. Are the Jews the only children of the Kingdom, or are the Christians also children of the Kingdom of God?

They have indulged their flesh and they shall reap their flesh.

They have loved the world, sin, and their self-will, and the world, sin, and their self-will shall be given to them. They shall reap what they have sown. Those who sow Satan shall reap Satan.

The fortunate among the lukewarm shall lose their inheritance, including most of their personality, and enter the Kingdom of God spiritually naked.

The Lord is much sterner than we have been led to believe.

39.What is true of different kinds of seed?

Each brings forth a different kind of plant.

40.What is true of men, beasts, fish, and birds?

Each has a different kind of flesh.

41.What can be said of heavenly bodies and earthly bodies?

The glory of the heavenly body is different from the glory of the earthly body.

42.What of the sun, moon, and stars?

Each has its own kind of glory.

43.What is true from star to star?

There is a different kind of glory.

44.In what condition is the physical body sown?

In corruption, a perishable body.

45.In what condition is the physical body raised?

In incorruption, an imperishable body.

46.What other changes will be made?

From dishonor to glory; from weakness to power; from a natural body to a spiritual body.

47.What two kinds of bodies are there?

Natural and spiritual.

48.What did the first man, Adam, become?

A living soul.

49.What did the last Adam become?

A life-giving Spirit.

50.What comes first?

The natural; then, the spiritual.

51.From what was the first man created?

The dust of the earth.

52.Who is the second man?

The Lord from Heaven.

53.What is true of persons made from the dust?

All of them are like Adam—the first person made from the dust of the earth.

54.What will be true of those who are of Christ?

All of them will be like Him—the Lord from Heaven.

55.What image will the saints bear when they are raised from the dead?

The image of the Lord from Heaven.

56.Will our flesh-and-blood life inherit the Kingdom of Heaven?

No, because our flesh-and-blood life is corruptible and the Kingdom of God is incorruptible.

57.What mystery did Paul reveal to us?

Not all believers in Christ will die physically but all will be changed.

58.How long will it take for us to be changed from a natural body to a spiritual body?

In an instant; in the twinkling of an eye.

59.When will the saints be changed?

At the last trumpet.

Seven trumpets will sound. The first resurrection, the resurrection of God’s royal priesthood, His witnesses, will take place at the sounding of the seventh trumpet.

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 11:15).

60.What will announce the coming of the Lord Jesus and the changing of the bodies of the saints?

The peal of a trumpet.

61.What will happen instantly at the sound of the last trumpet?

The dead saints will be raised and clothed in incorruptible bodies; also, the living saints will be clothed with incorruptible bodies.

This is true for all the victorious saints of history. The Christians who truly have followed the Lord will be included among God’s heroes of faith. The lukewarm believers in Christ are not eligible to participate in the first resurrection.

It is not possible for a worldly, sinful, self-seeking "believer in Christ" to be clothed with a body like that of the Lord Jesus. This would be to let loose a monster in the creation. New bottles are for new wine. No person is eligible to eat of the tree of life until he or she, through Christ, has overcome the world, sin, and self-seeking.

62.What must happen to us if we are to enter the Kingdom of God?

The part of us that is corruption must put on incorruptibility. The part of us that is mortal must put on immortality.

63.What saying will be fulfilled when we put on incorruptibility and immortality?

"Death has been swallowed up in victory."

64.Read Isaiah 25:8; Hosea 13:14.

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it (Isaiah 25:8).

I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes (Hosea 13:14).

65.What is the sting of death?

Sin.

66.What is the power of sin?

The Law of Moses.

67.What has God given us?

Total victory over the sting of death and the claims of Hell, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

68.How then should we live, in view of the hope of our being raised from the dead in such a glorious fashion?

We should be firm, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

69.Of what can we be certain?

All our labor in the Lord is worthwhile because the dead shall be raised!

We live as disciples of Christ because we are seeking a better resurrection.

Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection (Hebrews 11:35).

Chapter Sixteen

1.What is Paul’s next topic?

The collection for the saints.

Church collections taken today are to a great extent for the support of the ministry, and especially for the construction and operation of the physical plant. However, there were no church buildings in Corinth—the believers met in homes.

The collections that were taken were for the poor Christians of Jerusalem. Jerusalem was having economic problems at the time and the Christians there were affected. As Paul journeyed through Asia Minor and Greece he collected money that he brought to Jerusalem for the poor.

2.On what day of the week were the saints to set aside money for the poor so when Paul came he would not have to take up a collection?

On Sunday, the first day of the week.

The Jewish Sabbath day is Saturday, the seventh day of the week. There is some evidence that the early Christians chose to gather together on Sunday, the first day of the week—the day on which the Lord rose from the dead (Acts 20:7).

Perhaps they met on Sunday in order to avoid conflict with the synagogue worship on Saturday.

3.What principle guided how much each saint gave?

"As God hath prospered him."

4.Why did Paul desire that there be no gatherings when he came?

Probably so he could devote all of his time to correcting the problems that existed in the church of Corinth and so the saints would be prepared to give liberally for the support of the Jerusalem saints without any additional prompting being necessary.

5.Who was responsible for carrying the collection to the poor of Jerusalem?

Whomever the Corinthians decided upon.

Paul was to give them letters of introduction to the elders in Jerusalem. If Paul himself decided to go to Jerusalem, whomever they decided on would accompany Paul to Jerusalem.

6.When was Paul to come to Corinth?

After he passed through Macedonia, that is, northern Greece.

7.What was Paul considering doing?

Spending the winter in Corinth.

8.What did Paul hope would result from his spending the winter in Corinth?

The saints there would help send him forth to his next area of ministry.

9.Why did Paul not go to Corinth immediately?

Because he was hoping to have a more extended visit in the near future, if the Lord permitted that.

10.How long was Paul to remain at Ephesus?

Until the feast of Pentecost—in the month of May.

11.What was true of the conditions in Ephesus at the time?

There was a great opportunity for preaching the Gospel and also much opposition.

12.Who was planning to pass through Corinth?

Timothy.

13.How did Paul want the saints in Corinth to treat Timothy?

To take care of him so he could do the Lord’s work without being afraid.

It appears, from Paul’s concern, that he had a fatherly attitude toward Timothy. Apparently, Timothy was younger than the Apostles, and we know that he often was ill. Paul wanted the believers to treat Timothy with respect as being Christ’s servant, and to protect him as far as possible from danger and rough treatment.

Paul urged them to send Timothy on to him in peace along with the other Christians who were going to make the journey from Corinth to Ephesus.

14.What had Paul exhorted Apollos to do?

To visit the believers in Corinth in the company of the other brothers who were going there.

15.What was Apollos’ decision?

He would not come right away but he would come later as he had opportunity.

16.What five admonitions did Paul give the saints in Corinth?

Always be on guard spiritually.

Stand fast in the faith of Christ.

Behave yourselves like heroes.

Be strong in the Lord.

Let everything you do be filled with Divine love.

17.What did Paul have to say about the Stephanas family?

The members of the Stephanas family were the first people to become Christians in Achaia, that is, in central and southern Greece. Athens and Corinth were in Achaia.

18.What did this Greek family determine to do?

To minister to the saints of the Lord.

19.What did Paul ask the believers in Corinth to do?

To be subject to the Stephanas family and to everyone else who was laboring in the Kingdom of God.

20.What three men came to Paul and gave him the encouragement and assistance that the believers in Corinth could not or would not provide?

Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus.

21.What had these three men accomplished?

They had refreshed Paul’s spirit and in so doing had refreshed the spirit of the saints in Corinth, because "if one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it" (I Corinthians 12:26).

22.What did Paul request, therefore?

That these three men should receive recognition among the saints for their outstanding contribution to the work of Christ.

23.Who were sending greetings to the church in Corinth?

The churches of the Roman province of Asia.

24.Who else were sending warm greetings to the saints in Corinth?

Aquila and Priscilla and the church that met in their house.

It may be remembered that these were the two Christians who had explained the Gospel to Apollos.

25.Who else were sending greetings?

All of the brothers who were with Paul.

26.How did Paul suggest that the Corinthian believers greet one another?

With a holy kiss.

The "holy kiss" is another example of a practice to which the five aspects of interpretation should be applied. Should we all greet one another with a kiss because the Scripture commands us to do this?

Or does reason suggest that such behavior would not be edifying in every circumstance?

No doubt the guiding principle behind this injunction is that we should have fervent love among ourselves as members of the one Body of Christ.

Paul taught us to conduct the assemblies decently and in good order; that women should not take the rule over men; and that we should have fervent love among ourselves as members of the one Body of Christ.

If we should hold to the specifics by (1) demanding that there be two or three utterances in tongues, interpretations, and prophecies in every assembly; (2) enforcing silence on all female believers; and (3) greeting each other with a kiss although this was not a normal part of our culture; it seems that Paul would remind us that the new covenant is a covenant of the Holy Spirit and not of the letter of the Epistles of the Apostles.

The elders of the local assembly of believers must decide how the exhortations of Paul apply.

Jesus gave the Comforter, the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to each believer in order to guide him into all truth. It is the Holy Spirit of Truth who reveals the will of Christ to us. The Holy Spirit enables us to interpret what Paul has written.

No writing of the Scriptures can be interpreted privately, that is, by the mind of a human being. All Scripture must be interpreted by the Author, by the Holy Spirit of Truth.

27.What did Paul do now?

He added a final greeting in his own handwriting.

28.What does Paul say about the person who does not love the Lord Jesus Christ?

Let him be accursed.

29.What does Maranatha mean?

Our Lord will come.

30.What does Paul bestow on the saints in Corinth?

The grace (transforming Presence) of our Lord Jesus Christ, and his own love in Christ.

Amen.