“ALL IS WELL”

By Bill Boldham

In these perilous times in which we live, there is a story from the Old Testament that is worth considering. It concerns the prophet Elisha and a wealthy woman. Elisha traveled to a town in which this lady of means lived and she invited him to her home for dinner. Whenever Elisha was in town, he went to her house to eat.

          One day she told her husband, “Look, Elisha is a holy man of God who comes through town often. Let’s add a room to our house and furnish it, so that when he’s in town, he can stay with us.” Then next time Elisha came, he stayed in the room they had prepared for him.

          One day, while resting in his room, he said to his servant, “They have gone to a lot of trouble to prepare this for me. Ask the lady if there is a favor I can do for her, maybe speak to the king or the commander of the army on her behalf.” When he asked her, she said she didn’t need anything.

          So Elisha asked his servant if there was anything he could do for her. The servant said, “Well, her husband is an old man and she has no son.” Elisha went to the woman and said, “About this time next year you’re going to be embracing a baby boy.” She frantically replied, “No, my lord, O man of God: please don’t lie to me.” But sure enough, the woman conceived, and about that time, the following spring, she gave birth to a son.

          When the boy had grown, he went out one day to help his father in the field reaping. Suddenly he cried out, “My head, my head!” His dad told a servant to carry the boy to his mother. He brought the boy to his mother, and the boy sat in his mother’s lap until noon, and then he died. She took the boy up to Elisha’s room, laid him on the prophet’s bed, closed the door and left.

          She called to her husband, telling him to get a donkey saddled quickly because she was going to see Elisha. He said, “It’s not a religious day or a Sabbath, why are you going?” She replied, “All is well.” She went to Elisha and told him what had happened. Elisha returned with her to her home and raised the boy back to life. All was well!

          The children of God are living in a world surrounded by perversion, immorality, corruption and violence; and not only that, but surrounded by men who are forging all kinds of weapons against God’s people to kill and destroy them. Can we look at all of that and say with confidence, “All is well!”? 

          Jesus left these words to His church before ascending to the Father: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

          The children of the living God are living in the world under the direct care, protection and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ; He is with us, for us and abides within us. The sons and daughters of God can do one of two things: we can either fix our eyes on the daily goings on of the wicked and become fretful, anxious and alarmed and live in despair or, we can fix our eyes on the man in heaven Who has power over it all; the One Who is coming soon to destroy the kingdoms of this world; the One who will usher in an everlasting kingdom of righteousness, peace, joy, and love, and declare, “All is well!”

Brother Bill is a Bible teacher and can be contacted at bboldham@sbcglobal.net

The Hope of Glory

By Bill Oldham

The Hope Of Glory

“…It is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, Who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6

          In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light. Genesis 1:1-3

          I had a reader of my column object to the Bible being true because of the account of God speaking light into darkness. The reader went on to say that the Bible couldn’t be true because there couldn’t have been light until God made the sun. If God’s power is reduced down to that of a man, that would be true, but thank God it isn’t; God is from everlasting to everlasting; He is the Lord God Almighty, Who has all power, sees all, and knows all before it comes to pass.

          The Lord God Almighty is sovereign over all things in heaven and on earth and does whatever pleases Him. It pleased God to create the heavens and the earth, and everything in them. After God had made all things, God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our Likeness…” Genesis 1:26 The first thing God created was light, which He spoke into existence; the last thing the Lord God made was man.

          The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7 In making man from dust, we understand that was just the beginning of God’s plan for man. When God breathed the breath of life into Adam, He breathed into the man an eternal soul, which would live forever. When Adam sinned, he died spiritually, but still possessed his eternal soul. His body would die but he would live on.

          The full plan and purpose for the man God made remained a mystery for 4000 years, and only came to light when the work of His Son Jesus was finished. After Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, He was seated at the right hand of God as Lord of all. Ten days after Jesus was seated in heaven with all power, He sent His Holy Spirit to His waiting church on earth. There were around 120 disciples and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of the Lord.

          What that meant was that they were all filled with the glory of God; Jesus Christ is the fullness of the glory of God, as John declared: “…The Word [Christ Jesus]  became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

          The apostle Paul makes clear what the mystery of God always was concerning the man He made: “The mystery which has been hidden from ages and generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:26-27

          The hope of glory in the Holy Spirit is this: “…Having believed [in Jesus], you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [believers in Christ], to the praise of His glory.

          Who may receive the Holy Spirit? Peter said: “The promise is to…all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:39 Paul declares that all believers have the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9

          Jesus Christ is the Light of the glory of God and He lives in us!

Brother Bill is a Bible teacher and can be contacted at bboldham@sbcglobal.net

We Shall Be Changed

By Bill Oldham

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

          There’s not a person living who hasn’t and doesn’t experience on a daily basis the weakness of a corruptible body; and not one has escaped the sorrow that the death of these mortal bodies brings. First it’s our loved ones and then our time comes; everybody dies because everybody lives in a mortal body. But housed within that mortal body is your immortal soul which will never die.

          The sacrifice of Christ on the cross took away our sins, our guilt and our condemnation. Jesus stood in our place for the wrath of God against sin. But Christ’s blood was also the price of our redemption. Everything was perfect in the beginning, but when our father Adam sinned, the human race was sold into the slavery of sin and death. And it has been so ever since.

          God’s righteousness demanded payment for sin; God Himself, in the person of His Son, stepped up and paid for the sin of the world with His own body and blood on the cross. The blood of Christ is perfect and powerful: it has the power to cleanse a sinner from all his sins and present him faultless before a holy God. It is also the redemption price for sinners. 

          When Adam sinned, man was separated from fellowship with God, and the human body became mortal and corruptible. The blood of Christ was the price necessary to reconcile man back into fellowship with God; natural man is dead in trespasses and sin. Because He gave Himself to the cross according to the will of the Father, God raised Jesus up as Lord, giving Him all authority over everything in heaven and on earth.

          This was all done so that as many as the Lord God would call, might, by calling on the name of the Lord, be saved. Being saved means that the Spirit of God brings a man dead in trespasses and sin back to life, giving him a new heart and nature; he is born again and becomes a new creature in Christ. The blood of Christ was also the price necessary to redeem man’s body.

          God made man in His own image and likeness. When Adam sinned, the image was marred and man became a broken vessel. But God, in great love and mercy, from the very beginning, purposed in His heart, that one day, man would be the perfect reflection of God’s image. God, in raising His Son from the dead, made Jesus Christ the first-born of a new race of people.

          This new race, of which Christ is the head, are sons and daughters of God, washed from their sins and made holy by the blood of Christ. God works in them according to His good will and purpose for them, which is to form them into the image of Christ, Who is the perfect image of God.

          Presently, the children of God are being transformed inwardly but are still housed in a mortal, corruptible body. One day soon, that will all change. God has a day planned for His Son to return and gather His people to Himself. On that day, the children of God’s transformation will be complete as they meet Christ face to face, clothed them with an immortal, incorruptible body. A trumpet call from heaven will announce the moment. 

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2

Brother Bill is a Bible teacher and can be contacted at bboldham@sbcglobal.net

TILL HE COMES

By Bill Oldham

“…I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper saying, “This is the new covenant in my blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

          The night Jesus announced to His apostles the new covenant, He didn’t ask of them anything in regards to what their part was in it. The reason being, Jesus alone was the New Covenant between God and man. The terms of the New Covenant are unbreakable because they are settled forever in Heaven between the Father and His Son, according to the will of the Father. The New Covenant was established by the sacrifice of Jesus’ body and blood.

          What Jesus did ask of the apostles, and ultimately of His church, was to remember Him. We call it The Lord’s Supper or Communion, but whatever we call it, Jesus asked His church to remember Him by the breaking of bread and the drinking of the wine. And Paul, in reminding the church of this most important element of worship, added that, as often as the church observes the Lord’s Supper, it proclaims the Lord’s death till He comes.

          Jesus wants us to remember that as partakers of the New Covenant, we are eternally bound to Him and to one another: we are all members of one body, with Christ as the Head. This is the true church of Jesus Christ; and we become partakers of the New Covenant by, “Repentance towards God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21 Here is the promise of the New Covenant:

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” John 10:27-30

          Before leaving this world Jesus promised to His church that He was going to prepare a home in His Father’s house for them; and that He would come back one day to take them to their new home, which we know to be New Jerusalem. Jesus’ church is still in a waiting position for the day of His promised return. Make no mistake: Jesus is coming for the love of His life—His church!

          The Lord’s Supper was instituted By Christ for us to remember Him, but is that fully how we are to remember Him till He comes? Before He left He also told us to be watching and to be found working while we wait. I’m saying that there are three things in the life of believers that will visibly proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

          Christians will be found following Christ by obeying His commandments; He said, “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” John 14:21 Christians will take up Jesus’ cross and put to death sin in their lives.

True followers of Christ will love one another with an unfeigned love: it will be genuine, a sacrificial love, willing to serve rather than be served.

          Finally, we must be found holding on to Christ in our heart of hearts as our first love; ever holding to His cross as our glory till He comes. 

Brother Bill is a Bible teacher and can be contacted at bboldham@sbcglobal.net