Surely they are not Scripture. Surely they are not in the Holy Bible. Surely, Jim Caniff,

you don’t take them literally. My goodness, read the commentaries. What does Wesley say about them? What do the theologians say about them? What do the Bible schools teach about them? Well I was a Bible major at Asbury College and I don’t recall the issue ever coming up. Neither did it in the course I took for a Local Preacher’s license in the United Methodist Church; or any courses I took from the Nazarenes or the Wesleyans. I have never heard them used as a text or preached from. I guess that means that I should take little notice of them, they probably are not important or don’t mean what they so obviously say. There are more important issues to concern yourself with; or so it goes: “agree to disagree!”

            I have been writing these articles for my web site for the last few years now. I usually notify people by email when I post a new article. Some people don’t do computers and thus they won’t see the articles. One such lady I have sent articles, from time to time, by “snail mail.” I never knew what her reaction to them was for she had never mentioned them. Finally I asked her if she read them. She said she did. What was her reaction? Well, some she agreed with, some she thought were far out, and some were just my opinion. I could have hoped for a better reaction but it was about what I expected.

            The most persecuted people of the last 500 years or so, that I know of, were the 17th century Quakers. They were fined, jailed, beaten, and killed. Why? They dared to speak, “thus saith the Lord;” they didn’t offer opinions. The only thing they knew was what the “Spirit of Truth” showed them. They never told you what they “thought” but when they spoke of spiritual things they believed it was God speaking through them. What was it Jesus said? “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” Matt. 10:20. Also Mark 13:11. Oh my, that makes four Scriptures!

            I find nothing in Scripture, or anywhere else, that indicates that the Scripture writers had any authority or inspiration that is not available to you or me. Indeed the Bible says, “Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things.” 1John: 2:20. The Apostle John goes on to tell us that, “the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you.”1John2:27a. John was writing to the church; the man in the pew, if you will. When my brethren disagree with me on this and tell me that we will have to, “agree to disagree,” I quote them 1Cor. 1: 10: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement.” At this point they change the subject.

            There is one small problem as, in one sense, there is no such thing as “all things” for God’s “understanding is infinite.” In another sense though, if you are Spirit led, anything you need to know will be revealed to you when the situation requires it. Isn’t that what Jesus told His followers. See Matt. 10:20 & Mark 13:11.

            Who is right: the Arminians or the Calvinists? Do we have free will or are we predestined? Both, according to the Scriptures. How can that be? Well the answer to that is lost to us in the infinite understanding of God. As the Apostle Paul told us: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out!” Our finite minds don’t know and never will, but we will know what we need to know if we obey God.

            What is the Gospel then? It is simply this: “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13. According to Jesus His commandments are two; love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself; get saved and then practice the Golden Rule 24/7! According to the Ecclesiastes writer that is the end of the matter. But we just won’t leave it there. What about prophesy?

            Well, once upon a time, things got real bad and God determined to destroy our world. Noah built an ark, got all the animals, his wife and “six spiritual hitchhikers” on it and God flooded the earth. We, more or less, started over. Things are getting real bad again, but God has promised to not flood the world again; Jesus promised He would come back. When? When the world is given over to evil. How far are we from that now? How is it going to happen? He will come “in flaming fire, taking vengeance” on the ungodly. As the Psalmist says: “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him, He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.” Sorry, no rapture! That is a creation of the spineless, those who are expecting an easy way out. It is easy to sell, for you are likely looking for an easy way out also. But as the late Daniel Stafford told me, “I expect we will have to prove our mettle.” What did the hymn writer write? “The way of the cross leads home.” And what is a cross? It is an instrument of suffering, of shame, and of death. Thus, “He that shall endure until the end, the same shall be saved.” Matt. 24:13.

            So then, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Eccles.: 12:13&14. KJV.