An Apostolic publication promoting balanced conservatism … "the finest of the wheat!"

 

Philippians 3
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ….

1 Corinthians 9
23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake….

In games of strategy, such as chess, there are times when individual pieces must be sacrificed for the sake of strategic advantage. This is also true in life itself, at times.

 

At the moment of “sacrifice” it may be seen as a defeat or a loss in the particular battle being fought. However, it is often the case that such a defeat plays a strategic role in influencing the overall success in the outcome of the campaign of war being waged.

 

We must learn to use “losses” and “defeats” in our daily battles and struggles as ways and means to produce victory in the spiritual war in which we are engaged!

 

Thinking in terms of interpersonal relationships, it is hard for us to concede defeat in a battle of wills, but there are times when it is a sure sign of superior strength — both spiritually and emotionally — to give ground in the short term in order to gain ground strategically in the long term.

 

Here’s a hypothetical example: a coworker may have a way of doing or saying things that are extremely annoying and offensive. It would be perfectly within your rights to say something to them or even file a complaint with HR, but you patiently and graciously endure his or her obnoxious behavior in order to have a chance to witness to them and share with them the gospel.

 

In such a case, it could be said that you lost a battle in order to have a chance at winning the war.

 

This concept speaks to the concessions and compromises we make in areas of our personal rights and freedoms in order to gain a benefit or advantage in a greater context or a broader scope.

 

The expression “choose your battles” arises from this idea: some things just aren’t worth the price you have to pay to get them.

 

You might win an argument but lose a friendship, for example. Then you would have won a battle but lost the war.

 

And that is why we “choose our battles” — some battles are not worth winning.

 

A word to the wise is sufficient….

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier

 

Painting the face and the eyes is an ancient custom that has long since been associated with women of loose or questionable morals. Apparently, it was originally used by ungodly women to enhance their attractiveness and aid in the process of seducing men.

 

Jeremiah 4:30 KJV

And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do?
Though thou clothest thyself with crimson,
though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold,
though thou rentest thy face with painting,
in vain shalt thou make thyself fair;
thy lovers will despise thee,
they will seek thy life.

 

Jeremiah 4:30 Amplified Bible 

And you, O desolate one, what will you do?

Though you clothe yourself in scarlet,

Though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold,

Though you enlarge your eyes with paint,

You make yourself beautiful in vain.

Your lovers (allies) despise you;

They seek your life.

 

Jezebel, a woman whose name is notoriously connected with evil and immorality (see Rev. 2:20-22), attempted to seduce Jehu, the prophet of God, by applying make-up to her face.

 

2 Kings 9:30 KJV

And when Jehu was come to Jezreel,
Jezebel heard of it;
and she painted her face,
and tired her head,
and looked out at a window.

2 Kings 9:30 Amplified Bible

So when Jehu came to Jezreel,
Jezebel heard about it,
and she painted her eyes
and adorned her head
and looked down from the [upper] window.

 

Wearing make-up goes against the Bible teaching to protect the sanctity of the temple of our bodies.

 

1 Corinthians 6:19 KJV

What?
know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,
which ye have of God,
and ye are not your own?

1 Corinthians 3:17 KJV

If any man defile the temple of God,
him shall God destroy;
for the temple of God is holy,
which temple ye are.

 

 

Supplemental reading….

 

At the time of Christ there was a view held among the sects that the use of make-up and jewelry was of demonic origin.

 

The Ethiopic Book of Enoch states:

8:1 And Azazel* taught men to make swords, and daggers, and shields and breastplates.
And he showed them the things after these (2v, a5) and the art of making them:
bracelets, and ornaments,
and the art of making up eyes and of beautifying the eyelids,
and the most precious and choice stones,
and all (kinds of) colored dyes.
And the world was changed.
8.2 And there was great impiety and much fornication,
and they went astray,
and all their ways became corrupt (2v, a10).
8.3 Amezarack taught all those who cast spells and cut roots,
Amaros the release of spells,
and Baraqiel astrologers,
and Kokabel portents,
and Tamiel taught astrology,
and Asradel taught (2v, a15) the path of the moon.
8.4 And at the destruction of men they cried out,
and their voice reached heaven.

 

NOTE: the Book of Enoch is not in the Bible, but it is quoted in the Bible by Jude….

 

Jude 1:14-15 KJV

14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these,
saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

15 To execute judgment upon all,
and to convince all that are ungodly among them
of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed,
and of all their hard speeches
which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

Pastor Tim D. Cormier

 

_____________________________________________

* Who is Azazel?

According to the Book of Enoch (a book of the Apocrypha), Azazel was one of the chief Grigori, a group of fallen angels who married women [see Gen. 6:1-6].

 

 

Paul teaches that Abraham was justified by Faith alone, not by Works.

 

Romans 3

20 Therefore by the deeds [works] of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds [works] of the law.

30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

Romans 4

2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

Romans 5

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Romans 9

30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

Romans 11

5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

 

Galatians 2

16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 3

2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

 

 

 

James teaches that Abraham was not justified by Faith alone, but by Works.

 

James 2

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God [literally, God is ONE]; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

 

 

 

Careful analysis of these teachings shows that Paul is speaking of the WORKS OF THE LAW [TORAH], while James is speaking of the WORKS OF OBEDIENCE TO FAITH.

 

Therefore, it is correct to maintain both positions simultaneously:

  • Paul: by the WORKS OF THE LAW no flesh is justified
  • James: by the WORKS OF OBEDIENCE TO FAITH a man is justified, and not by faith only

 

FAITH always demands OBEDIENCE!

 

Therefore, we understand that FAITH without WORKS OF OBEDIENCE TO FAITH is DEAD!

 

 

Afterthoughts….

 

Both of these concepts may be seen working together in perfect harmony in the Acts 2:38 New Birth experience.

  1. In REPENTANCE, a sinner BELIEVES the Gospel and acknowledges his own sinful nature while seeking God’s forgiveness.

    In response to TRUE REPENTANCE, Jesus FORGIVES the sinner and JUSTIFIES him, imputing RIGHTEOUSNESS to him by removing from him the GUILT of sin.

  2. In WATER BAPTISM, a sinner OBEYS the command of the apostles and follows the example of our Lord Jesus.

    In response to WATER BAPTISM administered in the Name of Jesus Christ, Jesus REMITS the SINS of the sinner and PURIFIES him, thus removing from him the DEFILEMENT of sin.

  3. In RECEIVING the GIFT of the HOLY GHOST, a JUSTIFIED and PURIFIED sinner is initiated into a NEW LIFE of SANCTIFICATION by the HOLY SPIRIT of JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF, empowering him to be VICTORIOUS over the DOMINION of sin!

 

Thus we see that REPENTANCE or BELIEF in Jesus ALONE is not sufficient in and of itself.

 

Mark 16

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
but he that believeth not [i.e., disobeys] shall be damned.

 

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier

 

 

 

 

While this question is not explicitly asked and answered in scripture, there are principles clearly spelled out in the Bible that leave no doubt as to God’s will in this matter.

 

First of all, the Bible teaches that a man should leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife.

 

Genesis 2
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

 

This does not mean that every man who gets married has to move away to another city. Rather, it means that he should leave his parents’ home and build his own home – i.e., buy or rent his own house, pay his own bills, support his wife and any children with which they may be blessed.

 

Next, the Bible teaches that the man is the head of the woman.

 

1 Corinthians 11:3
But I would have you know,
that the head of every man is Christ;
and the head of the woman is the man;
and the head of Christ is God.

The divine order that God has stipulated for every marriage and every home is that the MAN should be the HEAD OF or HAVE AUTHORITY OVER the WOMAN.

Ephesians 5
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

It is clear from these passages that the wife has a biblical mandate to be in subjection to the husband.

When a man and a woman who attend different churches become engaged to be married, the woman must leave her church and home and move to the man’s church to begin a new life together with him in their new home.

 

We see a clear biblical example of this expressed allegorically in the story of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24.

 

Genesis 24
1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
3 And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.
5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?
6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.
7 The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.
8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.
9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.

37 And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:
38 But thou shalt go unto my father’s house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son.
39 And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me.
40 And he said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house:
41 Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath.

51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the Lord hath spoken.

56 And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.
57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth.
58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men.
60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.
61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

 

It is abundantly clear from this beautiful story that Rebekah’s suitability as a wife for Isaac was contingent upon her willingness to leave her home and family and go to live with Isaac.

 

A marriage that begins with the wife leading her husband and dictating where their home will be and what church they will attend is destined for trouble. A home can never be greater than its foundation. If the foundation of the home is out of order then there is little hope that the home will ever fully be in order.

 

A husband who meekly submits to his wife cannot be considered much of a man. This is a perversion of the divine order and as such will surely incur divine wrath and judgment instead of divine favor and blessings.

 

It should be noted that there are occasions where, due to exigent circumstances, exceptions may be made to this rule at the discretion of the pastors of both churches involved.

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier

 

First of all, the author of Hebrews gives special deference to those who actually heard the Lord speak, strongly implying that he himself had never heard the Lord. Rather, the author includes himself among those unto whom the words spoken by the Lord were “confirmed … by them that heard him.”

 

Hebrews 2

1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;

3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

 

By contrast, Paul speaks often of his encounter with the Lord at his conversion, and how he preached by special revelation.

 

1 Corinthians 15

5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Galatians 1

12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2

2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles….

Ephesians 3

3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery….

 

Additionally, Apollos was an Alexandrian Jew, a man who would have been brought up with a background of Hellenistic Judaism. Hellenistic Jews were Greek-speaking Jews. This would have given him a very strong basis for writing a book to the Greek-speaking Hebrews in Greek, and he would also have a profound familiarity with the Septuagint–the Greek language Old Testament which is frequently quoted in the book of Hebrews.

 

And finally, Apollos was qualified to be the author of the book of Hebrews, seeing that he was “an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures” [Acts 18:24].

 

It is highly remarkable to note that, at Corinth, Apollos publicly “mightily convinced the Jews … showing by the scriptures that Jesus was [Messiah]” [Acts 18:28]. It should be noted that these are the same Jews with whom Paul reasoned and to whom he testified in vv.4-5! Yet, Paul’s words were viciously rejected, while the words of Apollos were apparently graciously received!

 

Another very significant point in favor of Apollos being a credible candidate as the author of the book of Hebrews is found in the fact that he is listed in the eminent company of Paul, Peter and Jesus Christ in the first chapter of 1 Corinthians.

 

1 Corinthians 1

12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

 

Apparently, Apollos was held in equal regard with Peter, Paul and Jesus by the Corinthian church. He also was eloquent and mighty in the scriptures. And he was able to convince Jews that Jesus was their Messiah after Paul had tried and failed.

 

 

Paul, it should be noted, was by his own words the “apostle of the Gentiles” [Romans 11:13; Gal. 2:8; 1 Tim. 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11]. On more than one occasion he abruptly stopped ministering to the Jews and turned to the Gentiles.

 

Acts 13

45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

 

Acts 18

5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.

6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.

 

It would make sense that Paul would NOT be chosen by God to author this book to the Hebrews, seeing that he was the Apostle of the Gentiles, and there was another man—Apollos—who was actually more successful at convincing the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier

 

Acts 18:1-3 “After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.”

 

Paul leaves Athens and arrives in Corinth, where he meets Aquila and Priscilla, and lives with them.

 

Acts 18:4-11 “And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.  And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue. And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.”

 

Initially, Paul reaches for the Jews at Corinth, reasoning with them and testifying that Jesus was their Messiah [Christ]. But because he is rejected, he turns to the Gentiles and has great success. The Lord Himself appears to Paul and assures him that many souls will be saved here in this city. Paul remains there at Corinth for a year and a half.

 

Acts 18:19-23 “And he came to Ephesus, and left them there… ”

 

After a year and a half, Paul travels from Corinth to Ephesus with Aquila and Priscilla and leaves the two of them there. He then returns to Caesarea and goes to visit the church at Antioch, ending his 2nd missionary journey.

Paul then embarks on his 3rd missionary journey, returning to the churches in Galatia and Phrygia to strengthen and encourage the disciples.

Meanwhile, Aquila and Priscilla are still at Ephesus….

Acts 18:24 “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.”

 

Apollos comes to Ephesus.

Note: Apollos was an Alexandrian Jew, highly educated and well-spoken. Luke declares that he was “mighty in the scriptures!”

Coming from Alexandria, it is highly likely that he had been a practitioner of Hellenistic Judaism.

“Hellenistic Judaism was a form of Judaism in the ancient world that combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of Greek culture. Until the fall of the Roman Empire and the Muslim conquests of the Eastern Mediterranean, the main centers of Hellenistic Judaism were Alexandria (Egypt) and Antioch (now Southern Turkey), the two main Greek urban settlements of the Middle East and North Africa area, both founded at the end of the 4th century BCE in the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great. Hellenistic Judaism also existed in Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period, where there was conflict between Hellenizers and traditionalists (sometimes called Judaizers).”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellenistic_Judaism

Acts 18:25-26 “This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he 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.”

 

NOTICE: Apollos was–

  • Instructed in the way of the Lord;
  • Fervent in spirit;
  • Diligently preaching and teaching the things of the Lord;
  • Very limited in his knowledge of the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

When Aquila and Priscilla heard him boldly preaching in the synagogue, they privately taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ (“the way of God more perfectly”).

Based upon subsequent testimony of scripture (e.g., v28), we are assured that Apollos believed the gospel of Jesus Christ and was born again of the water and the spirit according to Acts 2:38.

Acts 18:27-28 “And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.”

 

Apollos decides to leave Ephesus and go to Achaia, the region of Corinth.

The Ephesian brethren wrote a letter of recommendation for Apollos to take to the disciples at Corinth (see Acts 19:1).

When Apollos arrives at Corinth, he was a tremendous asset to the church there – “he helped them much which had believed through grace.”

Remarkably, at Corinth Apollos publicly “mightily convinced the Jews … showing by the scriptures that Jesus was [Messiah].”

  • These are the same Jews with whom Paul reasoned and to whom he testified in vv.4-5!
  • Paul’s words were viciously rejected, while the words of Apollos were apparently graciously received!

 

Acts 19:1-3 “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.”

 

While Apollos was at Corinth, convincing the Jews that Jesus was their Messiah, Paul arrives at Ephesus, and encounters a group of twelve disciples (v7) who only knew of John’s baptism.

It is not improbable that these men were converts of Apollos, prior to his earlier encounter at Ephesus with Aquila and Priscilla in Acts 18:26!

 

Acts 19:4-7 “Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.”

 

Paul declares to the twelve disciples at Ephesus the same message that Aquila and Priscilla had presented to Apollos when they heard him boldly preaching in the synagogue at Ephesus.

As a result, they were born again of the water and spirit according to Acts 2:38–i.e., they were baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ and they received the gift of the Holy Ghost in the same manner as others did in Acts 2, Acts 8 and Acts 10!

There can be no doubt that Apollos was mightily used of God after his conversion, and was well-received by the church at Corinth. He is so well thought of that his ministry is listed by the Apostle Paul in the context of the ministries of Peter, Paul and Jesus Christ, Himself!

 

1 Corinthians 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 judgment.

11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

 

How remarkable is this!!

 

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier

Who is Melchizedek?

Who is Melchizedek?

The identity of Melchizedek has been a subject that has mystified scholars for many centuries, and it is still the cause of no small amount of debate and controversy to this day — even among Apostolics.

 

Some believe that he was a THEOPHANY — God in a visible human form interacting with man in the OT. Others believe he was a CHRISTOPHANY – the pre-incarnate Christ in a visible human form interacting with man in the OT. Some believe he was GOD Himself. And some believe he was JESUS Himself!

 

The list goes on and on…. Some believe he was a celestial being, not quite human and not quite angel, created especially by God for this role. Some believe he was a pagan priest-king who had a momentary state of “righteousness”. Some are convinced that he was the Patriarch Shem, the son of the Patriarch Noah.

 

Personally, I believe that he was an otherwise unknown priest-king living in the land of Canaan who had a special relationship with God about which we are only given the tiniest of glimpses in the Word of God.

There are three writers who spoke of Melchizedek in the Bible:

Moses wrote of him in Genesis 14.
David wrote of him in Psalm 110.
– And Paul (presuming he is the author) wrote of him in Hebrews 5, 6 and 7.

God is never lacking in vocabulary, but He sometimes is silent. And at times His choice of words is intended to conceal Truth — Prov. 25:2 — that will only be revealed by our diligent searching it out.

 

There are a few things about Melchizedek that are fairly obvious and are stated unequivocally in scripture.
From Genesis 14 and Hebrews 7:

  1. He was the King of Salem [by interpretation, “King of Peace”]
  2. His name means “King of Righteousness”
  3. He was the priest of the Most High God [ELYON EL]
  4. Upon meeting Abram, he [Melchizedek] did three things:
    1. he gave Abram and his men food and drink
    2. he blessed Abram
    3. he blessed God
  5. After this, Abram gave Melchizedek tithes of all the spoil taken in battle

 

Careful analysis of the scripture shows that this is the first reference in the Bible to a PRIEST [first mention].

 

It is also the first reference in the Bible to ELYONMOST HIGH [first mention].

 

And it furthermore is the first reference in the Bible to TITHES [first mention].

 

Clearly stated in Hebrews 7:4 and 7:7 is the fact that Melchizedek was greater or better than Abram.

4 Now consider how great [this man – Gr. houtos] he was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tithe [tenth] of the spoils.

7 And without all contradiction the less [Abraham] is blessed of the better [Melchizedek].

[Notice that the Greek text in v4 does not actually call Melchizedek a “man”, i.e., a human. See Blue Letter Bible for Heb. 7:4.]

 

There are also a few things about Melchizedek that are fairly obvious but which we only learn by what the scripture DOES NOT state:

  1. His father is not given
  2. His mother is not given
  3. His genealogy is not given

 

Note: these three facts are startling when it is observed that every other great or significant person in the Hebrew Bible is clearly qualified as such by showing their lineage through genealogical records, many times showing both father and mother.

 

The Greek text of Hebrew 7:3 is simply pointing out this fact….

ἀπάτωρ — apator: without father, i.e., there is no record of his father provided

ἀμήτωρ — ametor: without mother, i.e., there is no record of his mother provided

ἀγενεαλόγητος — agenealogetos: without genealogy, i.e., there is no record of his genealogy provided

 

The SILENCE of scripture in this regard must not be overlooked or understated, neither should its significance be underestimated.

 

  1. His birth is not given
  2. His death is not given

 

These facts do not mean that he was not born and that he did not die. They were omitted from scripture to define a higher ORDER of priesthood. When he comes on the scene, he is a priest; when he exits the scene, he is still a priest.

 

It cannot be conclusively argued from this text alone that Melchizedek was not mortal [i.e., not having both a human father and a human mother]. Rather, the wording of this passage is intended to convey the overwhelming shortcomings of Melchizedek with regard to the Aaronic/Levitical requirements for priesthood. He did not meet the requirements to be a priest after the order of Aaron! Therefore, we are pointed to the prophetic utterance of David in Psalm 110:4 speaking of Christ —

“Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”

 

What is important to note is THE ORDER OF THE MELCHIZEDEKIAN PRIESTHOOD.

  1. The MELCHIZEDEKIAN Priesthood does not descend from Levi
  2. The MELCHIZEDEKIAN Priesthood is not TEMPORARY
  3. Rather, the MELCHIZEDEKIAN Priesthood is ETERNAL
  4. The MELCHIZEDEKIAN Priesthood is SUPERIOR in all respects to the Aaronic Priesthood
  5. The MELCHIZEDEKIAN Priesthood demands that the PRIEST also be KING, as opposed to the prohibition against the KING being a PRIEST in the Aaronic Priesthood by virtue of the fact that the KING must come from the tribe of JUDAH instead of LEVI

 

What the interjection of the story of Melchizedek is intended to do is to teach us the DIVINE ORDER OF THE MELCHIZEDEKIAN PRIESTHOOD — by stating some things quite clearly and by obviously leaving some things out of the sacred record.

 

I personally believe that God was dealing with the Amorite Kingdom that was in the land of Canaan at the time of the story we read in Gen. 14.

 

Genesis 15:13-16

13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

 

NOTE: Abram’s descendants were not allowed to come into the possession of the Promised Land for 400 years! During this time, God was OBVIOUSLY dealing with the Amorite inhabitants of the land because they had a KING of RIGHTEOUSNESS who was also the KING of PEACE [Salem is believed by many scholars to be Jerusalem].

 

Notice the language of scripture when drawing a comparison between Israel and the Amorites, the people that were in the land before them….

 

1 Kings 21:26

And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.

2 Kings 21:11

Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols:

Amos 2

9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.
10 Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.

 

 

I believe Melchizedek was a literal, flesh and blood mortal man — very ancient and very venerable. Apparently, he knew and recognized Abram, and Abram knew him and recognized his spiritual superiority! It is clear that the Patriarch Shem was alive at the time of this encounter. I cannot rule out the possibility that Melchizedek was Abram’s great-great-great-…-great-grandfather Shem! But nothing I have found in scripture demands such an identification.

 

I have trouble reconciling the language of scripture used when referencing theophanies with that which is used when referencing Melchizedek.

 

If Melchizedek was the LORD [i.e., a theophany] in Gen. 14, why doesn’t Moses come out and say so explicitly?

 

The LORD appeared to Abra(ha)m in other places (before and after Gen. 14) and the Scripture plainly tells us so!

 

Genesis 12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

Genesis 18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day….

 

In conclusion, I believe the point of Melchizedek is less about HIS IDENTITY and more about HIS ORDER – the ORDER of MELCHIZEDEK. This phrase occurs 7 times in scripture!

What the writer of Hebrews is attempting to show is how Jesus Christ – of the tribe of JUDAH, according to the flesh – is eligible to be our High Priest, even though he is not descended from LEVI. Not only is his priesthood validated but so also is his kingship, seeing he is “a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek!”

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier
Bristol, Tennessee

Tag Cloud