Tag: bible

The Meaning of Christmas

One of the most popular Jewish holidays of our time. You may question the fact that I begin with calling it “Jewish”, but that is WHO and WHY it is still being promoted among those who call themselves ‘christian’. People complain about “putting Christ back in Christmas” when in fact Christ never intended His death to be celebrated, He intended His resurrection to be the theme of Christianity.
The word mass comes from the word missa. In 604 AD Gregory the Great made this apart of the Lord’s Supper. Missa is neither Hebrew nor Greek and is not derived from the Greek word mysis which is the formal command dismissing the Roman Catholic Assembly-hence ite missa est. The Roman Catholic Church intends the mass to be known as the “true and proper sacrifice and will not tolerate the idea that the sacrifice is identical to the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion). The mass is the “true sacrifice of the true Body and Blood” of Christ on an altar.
There are four things required for such a sacrifice to take place. One, the sacrificial gift (Christ)-next, the sacrificial minister (Roman Catholic priest), next the sacrificial action (impaling Christ again on the tree), and finally, the sacrificial end or object (appeasing the wrath of God for recent sins covered). Only a Roman Catholic Priest can offer this sacrifice which takes place when there is a voluntary surrendering of the blood of Christ by another’s hand. In short, THEY TEACH a mass is the re-crucifixion of the Christ by the hand of Roman Catholic Priest– offering, again, the blood of Christ as an appeasement for sin showing honor to God’s supreme dominion and appeasing His wrath. Christ-mass is WHEN this takes place!!
Sounds perverse?? I got this from the scholarship of the Roman Catholic Church—look up “mass” on the internet and you will find much more. What I have had trouble with concerning this mass is one, that it CAN exist; two, I cannot find Gregory mentioned among the apostles anywhere I have looked; three—I cannot find it ever practiced and taught first, in Jerusalem or in the first century; and finally, I should not be too concerned about practicing Christ-mass since I do not know too many “fathers” I would feel safe around by bowing my head!!
What bothers me is the other day I was given a bulletin that ended its article like this: “Although I grew up in churches that avoided all spiritual aspects of Christmas, I came long ago to treasure this beautiful annual remembrance of the Savior’s birth. While the church in which I serve as an elder happily celebrates both Christmas and the season of Advent leading to it, I would never judge other Christians who, trusting in the Savior Jesus alone, choose not to celebrate His birth. But, neither (in all honesty), having experienced the joy of a Christ-centered Christmas, would I ever again want to join a church that lived as though Christmas did not exist.” Under this rapturous discussion the “caroling Friday night the 15th was announced as well as the Teen Christmas cookie delivery to the widows. SOMETHING’S wrong!!
We will discuss the ‘birthday” issue later but what about this MASS business?? It is not only as MASS, it is Christ Mass!! What tender-hearted loving elder with an honest bone in his body ever want to lead his flock into the doctrines of Hell without thinking what he is doing?? Did he “hire” him a Roman Catholic Priest to perform this murder-done in love?? If he didn’t, he could not have a mass, anyway!! Unless he converted!! He argued that we could keep Jesus birth (off the subject, THIS IS A MASS) any other day but December the 25th and be happy so, join in Read 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

Can I Decide? Part 5

With God making it so emphatic that His Word can never be altered, changed, added to, or taken from, can I be smarter than God? Is it not always the most intelligent, most capable, and the person with the most experience that is often sought when questions arise who has the respect of both parties and can bring peace? If we have a physical malady is it not true that we will seek the man who in this field of expertise has the best reputation, the most surgeries, and the fewest losses? If we were to put a person in the most difficult of circumstances, where nobody will win satisfying every ones wishes, and he or she has to decide on what even he may not want but what the Law demands; who would we choose?? Most find themselves with a certain mind-set, comfortable with they who think as they; who could you be certain to judge righteously and come down on the side of truth, what is best for the person, and who would have no agenda marring their judgment? Whether I like what is decided matters not, what matters is who can I without exception TRUST?? The answer is GOD!!
Who is the only Being in the Universe why would sacrifice His only-begotten Son, prophesy of this sacrifice over 2500 years before it was to be, prophesy for the past 1500 years in the Mosaical Government, and then have written a book to show how, in minute detail, all the prophetical announcements were accurately and completely fulfilled?? If it be a matter of languages and translations you question, what IF we could hire the Being who made all languages to do the writing? If it be a matter of time, age, and years on the job; what if we could hire One who is ageless, who can never grow old and who knew ALL those of whom He writes personally from the time they were conceived in the womb of their mothers until the last breath they breathed, who could read their minds, know their innermost thoughts, and never question their intent because He would know everything about them knowing from the ageless past He has never impugned any thoughts, He only records them faithfully?? What if this writer had NEVER been wrong on any subject, NEVER been confused over fact and what He desired, and NEVER be found in anger because His truth and doctrine were questioned? Who could question or impugn the motives of the Almighty? The question then could I decide becomes inane and foolish!!
As with the first article of this series, so with the last; it is not a question of can I decide, the question is who is going to be God! The Almighty has written by inspiration, sustained by Providence, and proclaimed by His Church the wonderful message of salvation. He has raised up men all through the ages to bring back in line His Church when she would go astray. He will continue with Her until His Son turns the Kingdom back to the Father when finality becomes reality. There is nothing left for us to decide on, He has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness”, we will not find ourselves groping through the pages of man-made religion seeking our Master’s message. As is His usual persona, perfection has described another of His creations: “to whom shall we go, for He has the words of eternal life”!! The man or woman seeking another way to eternity and peace with God will now know decisions made concerning our path have before and forever been settled in Heaven. It will not be left to the avarice of man or the silly whims of the recalcitrant servant: God has spoken and the thunderous silence since inspiration declares His omission of NOTHING left undone. Out of all His works the message of the Churches of Christ has forever been fixed and determined, for our trip to His Presence is as fixed as the Stars in the Solar System He has made!!

Can I Decide? Part 4

It is often the way of the denominationalist to cause the person standing for the truth to doubt themselves. If they can get you doubting what you believe by showing you OTHERS would have to be perfect to meet your criteria, you leave the standard set in God’s Word and begin the self-examination every honest person would begin. The “catch 22” is to get you to forget what is right and wrong and begin to think YOU are the only weird person on the planet!! Being too critical, no one can come up to your standard of excellence and so since the problem is YOU, you are the one that is keeping all of God’s children separated in a small bunch!
If it is true that you have made rules and regulations not found in the Word, you have gone too far. IF it is also true that you are doing nothing but standing for the defense of the gospel, since it changes not, you have no place to stand unless you decide to fall into the regions of the damned and no one should be able to convince you otherwise!! This gets very hard especially if you live among the unfaithful!! Those who have determined they will go only SO FAR in obeying the message of salvation (of course they have not been honest and told you this fact) get to a place in their religion and intend to go no further. What you have read and studied is not important, “you are too critical”, “no one can live up to your standards”, “you find fault with every ones religion”, or “every one cannot be that wrong and you that right”!! In the ministry of the Lord the Jews wanted Him to become King, they had even decided to make Him king, even if by force. “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself, alone.” John 6:15 Jesus being a God did as we who are tested and tried the same way; GO BACK TO THE SOURCE OF YOUR STRENGTH and find yourself agreeing with its message.!! Jesus went into a mountain; we need only to retreat within its sacred pages.
Changing the Law of God to satisfy some one else is not ever going to appease those in error. Jesus commanded: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.” Mark 16:16 No denomination or non-denomination believes this. If the Lord would deny this truth and teach people to “pray a little prayer in your heart” just to appease Billy Graham or someone else of their ilk. It would not satisfy the situation, they would have to change something else of His Word!! The fact is, they don’t want peace, and they want to be the doctrinal director!! Th ey intend to have it THEIR WAY, no matter how small a change they have to make, even if it is only changing ONE letter! Peter wrote: “baptism saves us now”, 1 Peter 3:21, Dr. Jerry Farwell teaches: “baptism saves us not”. If God were to (in the interest of getting along) allow them to change His Word in this verse, they would then change baptidzo- baptism to rantidzo- sprinkling!! If you were to object to this false teaching they would cry: “you can’t get along with anyone”, “no one else makes it so distinctly different as you do”, “there is no way anyone can please you”, and “no wonder we are so small in numbers”. If you decided to change would it change anything in God’s Word? “Thy Word, oh Lord, hath forever been settled in Heaven”. The people who want you to deny God will NEVER get to the portals of Glory and if they cannot get there, they can never change His Word!!
“What if some do not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yes, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written,”That Thou might be justified in Thy sayings, and might overcome when Thou art judged.” Romans 3:3-4 Be happy, my friend you have been given the truth and defend it!!

Can I Decide? Part 3

How often have you heard someone express their love for the Lord and in the next breath deny what He had written by His apostles? Seemingly, without notice, they launch into a diatribe of insidious, ridiculous verbiage so foreign to the New Testament or Old, for that matter, that you seem set-back in your attempt to teach them the message of salvation? When they go on like a tape recorder with their memorized rendition of God, you often wonder just where or how they got their ideas? It doesn’t seem to help, much, when you point them toward the Word of God, it will not even slow them down, and you find yourself looking for a way into that marred mess of misunderstanding hoping that you can say something or do something for them before they face that Bible they have refused to read and study, in death!! Why does it seem people will take some pastor’s word for their soul’s salvation and refuse Jesus Christ Word?
When faced with the challenge of defending what you have read in the Bible, when your understanding of His Word has been called in question, which it has when what you read to save men from sin differs so radically from their stories, and you are called upon to question them by re-affirming what you have read and your understanding, and you insult or hurt their feelings because your preparedness overwhelms their “feeling better felt than told”, who do you blame, or are you the person, blamed?? Can you be honest with your fellow man and decide to keep your faith a secret? Whether we realize it or not denominationalism and non-denominationalism is a form of atheism!! Atheist, agnostics, denominationalist, and non-denominationalist are all from the same mind set.
An atheist does not believe there is a God—neither do those who deny the plain verbiage of the Word of God!! Would an atheist believe what Jesus said to His disciples when He was ascending to the Ancient of Days in Mark 16:16: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, he that believes not shall be damned.”? You know the answer—NO, NOT AT ALL!! Neither does a denominationalist and a non-denominational pastor; for that matter, neither does the Pope or any Muslim cleric!! Along with those who profess atheism, then, are they who deny the words of Jesus Christ spoken, written, and proven to be authentic. Can you decide? The Iatolo, the Pope, the pastor of some church that does not wear the name of Christ, and the pastor that has changed the name of his church to disguise its denominationalist affiliation all have one thing in common—-they have decided to deny Christ His right to make the rules and regulations—they are all really atheist! Can you decide to let someone like this lead you and your family to eternity?? Jesus calls these type people, THEIVES!! “The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 You might think this too harsh, I am trying to get you to wake up before it is too late!! “Then came His disciples, and said unto Him, ‘do You know You have offended the Pharisees?” He answered and said, ‘Every plant, which My heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” Matthew 15:13-15 Can you decide or has it already been decided for you??
An agnostic is someone who believes there is a higher power than man, they will even allow you to call that power, God; they just do not believe God has written just ONE Book, the world has but ONE Savior, and that Savior has but ONE church. How can you decide one is to be loved and followed and the other shunned? Is there a difference?

Can I Decide? Part 2

IF I were to walk into the portals of Heaven right now with God the Father sitting of His throne, God the Son on His right hand, and the Holy Spirit before His presence, what would I find?? Would I find Billy Graham with all his teeming millions present and allowed audience in the “room of the Deified” or would I find the apostles and all their faithful adherents from every generation since the Church of Christ began? Would anyone see a Pope from any period of time? Would John Wesley of the Methodist movement grace the presence of “the redeemed”? Would I find some tongue-speaking Pentecostal with all he or she has healed chanting all their religious experiences? You can get the picture can’t you? Where would the Mormon Joseph Smith be sitting, or the founder of the Jehovah’s Witness be? Can I decide who I will see??
Denominational preachers cry long and loud about “walking down the streets of glory” when they have never begun to “walk with the Lord on Earth”. The “streets of glory” they cry about which are mentioned in Revelations the 21st and 22nd chapters are the avenues in the Church of Christ on which they have never set foot!! Dedicated to “feelings as proof of their salvation” or some “religious experience” will not allow them into the regions of the reconciled!! The “feeling” is an emotion based on what I might think or understand. God has not left us in spiritual bondage to our whims or conceits. He has had written, kept His Word pure, and sustained its presence among all men for about 2,000 years. NO ONE can change a word, line, period, or inference without His damning them for their effort: how, then do I think I can decide?
“Whoever changes in the smallest respect the doctrine of Christ has not God. He that remains faithful to the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. If there comes any unto you and brings not this doctrine, invite them not into your assembly, neither add strength to their doctrine by allowing them to preach their damnation in your assembly, for he that bids them comfort and assurance is a partaker of their evil deeds.” II John verses 9-10 Paul writes by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “I am not believing what I have been told by some that are so quickly distancing themselves from the Christ who saved us by preaching another plan of salvation than that He told us to preach. There is NOT another, but some would deceive you and preach another plan: this new gospel makes ineffective the effect the gospel of Christ has on you!! Be warned: even if I preach this gospel, changing what I had at first taught you, or if someone from Jerusalem preaches another gospel (claiming the support of the apostles that reside there) let them or me be accursed! If I have not been plain enough, I will re-state my position as an apostle of Jesus Christ charged with the responsibility of preaching the gospel to the Gentile: If any man preach any other gospel message to you that I have preached, he is cursed and so are you who listen and follow him!!” Galatians 1:6-9 Maybe I cannot understand what I read when I read it, but this seems to me to say: DON’T MESS WITH WHAT I HAVE HAD WRITTEN!! Or to put it another way: you cannot decide!!
What do we do with those who in spite of these warnings intend to have “it their way”? When we visited the portals of glory, who did you think was present with the Godhead? Again, I will ask: when we visited the realm of eternal Hell, who was there? Do you not think Hell will be a very confusing place with all those “want-to-be-Gods” down there trying to convince all their followers that they were not wrong, just wait until they get a hearing with the Almighty!! Hell would sound like a Pentecostal revival meeting!! To this pack of liars add the Muslims!

Can I Decide?

There are some who think God will allow them to worship in a denominational church as long as they are telling those with whom they worship about the Lord. There are others who think they have to worship with a denomination to be loyal to their husband. There are still others who think they can worship in doctrinally weak congregations of the Churches of Christ (when they have a choice not to) so their children can find “friends” and children their own ages. There are still others who consider their decision to be the same as the Lord’s decisions thinking He could not possibly see it another way. And, finally there are others who get quite indignant when you approach them about spiritual questions they should have already made up their minds about thinking only on a physical level. Can I decide?
IF I can decide about matters like the above, why do I need the Lord? Have those who have lived a successful Christian life, before I was born, do as I do? The world has not had the likes of me, before. If I can determine what is right and wrong by what I feel or think, why do I need the written Word of God? I know you argue; “not all see it alike”, and in response I say; “true, but not all see it wrong, either!!” I realize there are some who think they get punished when the “think outside the box” and revel in their freedom to decide on their own, but if they are free to decide why can they not be free to obey?? The truth has no fear of inspection, thinking “outside the box” has to bring us back to the parameters of the box when the study begins, not after years of rebellious service in error. Why do I have to prove again what faithful and dedicated men have proven?
There are some who have a deep-seated animosity for the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit of God. They like Christ, they fear God the Father, and mistrust God the Holy Spirit. You might think that to be a serious charge, and it is, but it is one I am prepared to make in light of what I think I have observed in the lives of some of those who profess to “walk in the light”. They don’t care if you have a “thus saith the Lord”, all they care about is their own thoughts.!! They have been caught on “proving it by the Scriptures” before, you will not get them again by this method. Held against their will for a while having been stunned by proofs from the Bible, they have broken free from this yoke that had becomes too much to bear. Again, they mistrust the Holy Spirit of God and His product, the Holy Divine Scriptures. It cannot be true that God the Father will take a stand against what they feel!! Their “walk with God” was so wonderful before they were bound by this “proof-text” Christianity and NO ONE will ever take that away from them again; it doesn’t matter IF the Bible says it or not, they trust their own feelings, hunches, and spiritual enlightenment!! They never really believed this Holy Spirit proven religion anyway!! How dare anyone assert their salvation BEFORE they met the Church of Christ to be in vain!! God had walked and talked with them years before they found out about that “baptism saves” Christianity which was proved by the testimony of a Holy Spirit inspired penman!! The suppression they felt in their spirit, now finally gone, they can again be alive in their experiences of grace (whatever that is)!!
One might think this too serious a charge, but what else explains a full charge into the depths of Hell? What else explains their worshipping (their definition) God in a denominational setting where they can be a preacher of righteousness. What else allows them to attend with their wife instead of attending where their Lord is, without their wife?? Who else could make Adam eat the forbidden fruit, but themselves??

Choose You This Day Between God and the World

One and But One Part 20

     There are two words in the Greek translated “one,” the words are hen and heis.  Both are significant.  I will use Strong’s numerical numbers for these words to make it clearer for all of us.   Heis (1520) means numerically one while hen (3391) means one in essence.  In John 10:30 Jesus said “I and the Father were one (3391).”  He did not mean they were one individual as some of the denominationalists teach who think there is only one in the Godhead, He meant by the definition of the word, one in essence.  If the wrong word for “one” was used in the translation of the text you could easily see how false doctrine could be taught!!  “There is ONE (1520) body.”  This is a quantitative definition of singularity, it is a clear definition, one is one there cannot be differing doctrines in a faith that is from ONE (3391) GOD!!  Those who try to make it mean all the churches are one in believing that Jesus is the Christ and that therefore qualifies all them as believers—have mishandled the truth.  “Now, are there many members, yet but ONE (1520) body.” 1 Corinthians 12:20   “And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18   In the Mount of Transfiguration when Moses and Elijah appeared to discuss the death of Christ which should occur outside the city of Jerusalem, Peter said “Lord, it is good for us to be here, if Thou wilt, let us build three tabernacles.  One (3391for Thee, One (3391) for Moses, and one (3391) for Elijah.  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” Matthew 17:4-5   It seems to me everyone should understand God, the Father’s position in sharing the essence of authority He was to given His Son!!

     “A man shall leave father and mother his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one (3391) flesh.” Genesis 2:24   To show this same truth is taught in the Old Testament we will look at the word “one” in another tongue.  The word “one” in the Hebrew for unity or sameness of purpose is echad while the word for one numerically is yachid.  When you count in Hebrew you start yachid, deuterous, and so forth; one never starts echad, deuterous!!  Adam and Eve were to be ONE  in essence, unity, purpose, and agreement, not meld back into one being from which they had come.          

Adam’s operation would have been ridiculous, wouldn’t it??  Again, there is ONE (3391) faith. Ephesians 4:4   Not a faith I like, one you like, and one somebody else approves: it is ONE, this “faith” always teaches the same thing!!  Again, there is ONE (1520) baptism.  Baptism is in water, for the remission of sin.  There is no Holy Spirit baptism, water baptism, baptism in fire—pick your choice!!  All the references to baptism are ONE (1520) for the sinner to become a saint.  It is for the same purpose. 

     If we were to put the numbers be each word in Ephesians 4:4 to make it more absolute in your mind, it would look like this: “There is one (1520) body, and one (1520) Spirit, even as you are called in one (3391) hope of your calling: One (1520) Lord, one (3391) faith, and one (1520) baptism, One (1520) God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”       Let us look the same way at 1 Corinthians 12:12-13.  “For as the body is one (1520), and has many members, and all the members of that one (1520) body, being many, are one (1520) body: so also is Christ.  For by one (1520) Spirit are we all baptized into one (1520) body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond of free: and have been all made to drink into one (1520) Spirit.”  How about 1 Corinthians 12:20?  “But now are they many members, yet but one (1520) body.”

One and But One Part 19

Many of our brethren quote Ephesians 4:4-6: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God, and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”  Most often used as a proof text for the truth that there is only One, missing the genius of Paul’s discussion.

The first century’s discussion centered on the two covenants, Mosaical and Christian, and whether the two phased into One by a combination of the two.  The professors of Christianity from Jerusalem that caused all the problems in Galatia (Galatians 1:6-9) were trying to enforce this position on the early Church.  Paul, as the Spirit inspired him to write, is teaching God’s truth on that subject here in Ephesians 4.  Recognizing that the Mosaical Church had existed, which by the way was called the “Law,” it did not mix and mingle with the New Testament Law, which in many contexts is referred to as “Spirit or life.”  The whole argument in this part of the letter to the Ephesians was on unity.  Unity did not just happen; it was a present tense idea and was constantly brought to the forefront.  The perfect example of Unity was God.  If there is anything known about Deity is that is ONE!!  Never is it inferred that each pulled in a different directions.  They never disagree!!  There is one and but one plan, They never overreached each other’s area of the plan!!  God, the Father never tried to do the job of God the Son and God the Son never tried to interfere, second guess, the work of God, the Holy Spirit.

The work of God, the Spirit, was the perfection of the “body.” God the Son purchased it with His blood. God, the Father planned it before time.  When the Spirit speaks of the “body,” He emphatically states—there is ONE!!    This is kind of hard to miss.  There are no two covenants, bodies, churches, groups—Mosaical and Christian—and they do not merge together in plan, worship, or law.  As a result, the declaration from the Holy Spirit is there is One Body!!  It is a “fiat” command, statement, not a suggestion for man to vote on.  Since by the Holy Spirit the message of salvation has come to the ears and hearts of man, it would the ONE the Holy Spirit ONLY who would reveals to man. what makes us Christians and Christians, only then is the message of the Spirit!!

When Paul delivered this edict from the Holy One, there was every cult imaginable in the mystery religions of the day and each had its own god-lord.  Today, it is not “up for debate” among those who believe in God, that THERE IS ONE GOD!!  As emphatic, the apostle states there is ONE LORD.  There is only one member-God who has authority!!  It was given Him by the Father and the Holy Spirit!!  Christ is the only means of access into HIS church.  He, as this means of access is called Savior!  As there is ONE Savior, there is ONE FAITH, body of doctrine that will teach His doctrine, faith, plan, that will put the obedient sinner into His One Body!  It would not be by Moses, a combination of Moses and Christ, a combination of man’s ideas and God’s, nor a combination grandma’s feelings and the Pope’s.  There is only “ONE”!!   The term faith is used several different ways in the Scriptures.  Sometimes faith relates to the subjective placing of confidence in God; sometimes it refers to the body of doctrine that believers accept and continue to obey, and sometimes it refers to the means of access to God, the Father.  Since Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is contrasting the doctrines of the Mosaic Law to the doctrine of the Christian dispensation, it is clearly showing that the Church could not mix and mingle the doctrine of Christ with the doctrines of the Law of Moses.  Again, there is only ONE!!  The doctrines of men do not come from the pages of God’s word; therefore they are not authorized by Him who has all authority!!

One and But One Part 18

If there were more than one body of Christ, what name would she wear? What doctrine would she preach? and what Lord would they honor??  If there were more than one body of Christ what premise would they have for existence?  If there is one and but one body of Christ to whom He is married and over which He reigns supreme in authority, what Old Testament pattern would she fulfill?  If there is more than one body of Christ why would the Holy Spirit, who is known for being exact in every detail, allow such a mistake to slip by Him in His agreement to the other beings called God to “make all things sure”??  What would the purpose in God allowing more than one road to eternity—does competition make things better for His plan?  I just wonder what benefit it would render the Almighty to support confusion—for if there were more than one bride for Christ, one path to eternity, and one church authorized by the entire Deity, would the other(s) by jealousy and competition not destroy the first bride and her children?

     Did it work with Abraham?  When Abram was in his 80’s his wife Sarai decided God was not going to be able to keep His promise that He had given her husband.  She maybe did not blame God; she just reasoned it could not be.  She was getting way up there in age, herself, and they had never between them had a child, they did not even have a daughter!!  Being patience is one thing, but being so old she knew according to the way of life, having a child would be a thing impossible.  Abram never pondered this for he thought all things were possible with God.  Sarai decided to allow Abram to have here slave girl, Hagar, in her place.  To her Abram went in and soon she would be sporting a fine baby body God called Ishmael.  Problem solved, right??!!  Here comes competition!  “When she saw she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.”  The woman who was free had not been blessed and the woman who was a slave, had.  Things quickly became unbearable.  Sarai demanded that Abraham chose between the two.  Abraham refused saying Hagar was her slave girl, not his.  Sarai made things real hard on Hagar (sounds like this multiple marriage thing was really working, doesn’t it??)  Hagar ran away things were so good.  Christ intervened   Now, according to the world’s wisdom there should have been a wonderful atmosphere around Abraham’s tent in those days.  I guess man does not know best!! 

     About 13 years later Christ visited Abraham.  During this visit, Christ told Abraham in about a year he and Sarai would have a son.  Sarai was in her tent eves-dropping on the conversation of God and Abraham instead of minding her own business. When she heard she was to have a boy in about a year, she “laughed.”   A year later she was the mother of a baby boy.  God had kept His word.  For all those who like competition, the older began to mock the younger child at weaning time.  The younger child’s mother heard him mock her son.  She went storming to Abraham and cried out; “cast out the bondwoman and her son.  For the bondwoman and her son shall not heir with the free.”  So much for competition!! 

     Christ has but ONE bride.  She is the Church of Christ.  He has children by her and her alone.  She has competition with NONE other woman.  She is not gravelling for attention.  Her place by His side is sure and settled.  No one wonders if her children are as good as that of a wife who has children by her husband as does she!!  This story can be read in Galatians 4:21-31.  The conclusion of inspiration is this: “So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”  Nobody’s children are as good!!