Questions

By What Authority?

While Jesus was giving the people a public lesson in the temple, the religious leaders of the day came to Him and asked where He got His authority to teach what He taught. He responded by asking, “…I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me: The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?” (Luke 20:3,4).

Even a visitor to Judea would know to whom John gave credit concerning the message he preached and the baptism he administered. Jesus’ interviewers knew the answer too; but because of this group’s stubborn pride and traditions they did not want to answer their own question by answering Jesus’ (just read vs. 5-7).

The baptism that Jesus and the rest of the people had submitted to received its authority from the same place that had given Jesus the authority to teach what He taught the people – Heaven.

There is nothing wrong in asking someone where they have “received their authority” to teach whatever is being taught spiritually. As a matter of fact there is everything right with it (1st John 4:1) as long as the person asking the questions is asking with the right attitude and intention (Luke 20:20).

Some people get offended by being asked that question while others can get offended by the answer they receive; but the possible offence must not take priority over the importance of having the proper authority in religious matters. Christians are exhorted to do what we do with the right authority to do it:

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)

When it comes to salvation, to worship, to church relationships, to morality and to whatever facet of the faith that falls in-between, we should be willing to ask “by what authority” is this being done or taught, while at the same time being willing to accept the answer when the proper authority is given. If our answer is determined by the “authority” of a manmade council, a manmade creed, a manmade tradition, a manmade synod, a manmade catechism or a manmade head of the church, then our authority is coming from the wrong place (1st Peter 4:11). EA

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18)

Bible Questions and Answers – Women Preachers in the Lord’s Church?

“Dear brother Clem: Is it scriptural to have women preachers in the church? Some of them have very good Bible knowledge. – L.H., OH”

The Bible says, very plainly, “Let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law” (1 Corinthians 14:34). Another passage that deals with this is 1 Timothy 2:8, 11-12, “I desire therefore that the men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and disputing … Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness.” In context, these two passages prohibit women from being preachers in the Lord’s church.

In 1 Corinthians 14, God is speaking of the assembly of the church, and says that women are to “keep silence.” In the previous verses, He has given instructions about how men are to speak in the church assembly, but He gives no such teaching about women speaking. He simply says that they are not to speak. In 1 Timothy 2, in a public setting, men pray or teach. But God has placed some restrictions on women in a public setting (vs. 11-12). Theses restrictions are not upon men, but only upon women.

Notice the wording: “I permit not a woman to teach.” The Greek word for “to teach” in this passage is from “didasko,” which means a lecture or a sermon or discourse. It is the word from which we get “didactic” which applies specifically to a sermon – in which the speaker has control of the material in the assembly. Thus, in a public setting, a woman is not allowed to teach, or preach. That many women in the Lord’s church have a great knowledge of the Scriptures is certainly true. But more than that is necessary for a good sermon. A good sermon begins with God’s stamp of approval, and He has not approved women for the pulpit in the Lord’s church.

I know many people will argue this, for the denominational world has seen many women preachers. But if we are to be governed by what God has said, we just cannot do it. It is not a question of a woman’s ability nor her knowledge. The question hinges only on God’s authority. And He does not authorize women preachers. – Clem Thurman

Excerpted from Volume 61, Number 30 of Gospel Minutes. Gospel Minutes is a publication originating from Forth Worth, Texas; Clem Thurman, Editor, David Thurman, Associate Editor.

Why did God Require Animals to be Sacrificed?

There are times in the Bible when a person can miss the blessing of something because they don’t understand the purpose or point of God’s command. This is especially true when it comes to understanding why God had people do certain things in regards to their sin. 

Many Christians today take for granted what God was trying to teach his people under the Old Testament. Some look at the Old Testament as old, and unworthy of study or care; but if a person misses why God had his people do certain things under the Old Covenant, they’ll never come to a fuller appreciation of what God has accomplished for us under the New Covenant of today! And there are very few places where this is more true than when it comes to the animal sacrifices found from Genesis to Malachi and right on into the gospels we read.

Let’s think about why God required what he required under the Old Testament, and how it can better help us understand the sacrifice that Jesus made on behalf of humanity when he established the New Covenant.

So the first question is, “Why did God have animals sacrificed?” If we’re not required to sacrifice them anymore, why were they ever sacrificed to begin with??? If God was going to send Jesus all along, then why didn’t he have people just say they were sorry and then forgive them when Jesus died? Why did God have people do something when it seems like it was useless in dealing with sin? Did God even care whether or not someone sacrificed an animal? If He did, then why did he say he didn’t sometimes? These are some of the issues and questions a person can have when they read about these things in the Old Testament and New Testament.
So did God really ask for, require and even command animal sacrifices? Contrary to what some try to teach, he sure did! When Adam and Eve sinned and they made fig-leaf bikinis, and God said that wouldn’t do, what did He give them? He gave them clothes to wear! Now, you don’t have to be a tanner to know that you can’t get an animal-hide outfit to wear without the animal losing its life. Right from the get go with sin, a sacrifice was made. From the garden, to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses and all throughout the history of the children of Israel you will find God requiring the sacrifice of animals for sin. There’s even a book called Leviticus that deals with the intricacies of how to properly deal with the sacrificing of burnt offerings, peace offerings, guilt offerings and sin offerings that God commanded.

But if God required the sacrifice of animals then why did he at times say he didn’t want them??? I mean there are multiple places in the Old Testament where God plainly says, “NO!!!” Read them for yourselves:

  • To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” Says the Lord. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats.” Isaiah 1:11
  • For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6 (quoted by Jesus in Matthew 9:13, 12:7)
  • For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.” Psalm 51:16

As if that’s not enough, the New Testament says this about sacrificing animals as well:

  • But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.Hebrews 10:3-4

If this is true then what was the whole point of it all? The point has to do with the context that all these verses are given in. There was, and still is, a big lesson about sin and the human heart behind all that sacrificing that God called for! The majority of the time, God’s people in the past, like His people of today, were missing the whole point of worship, sacrifice and sin.

When blood gets spilt – God takes notice! He noticed Abel’s blood (Genesis 4:10). He warns all men to take notice (Genesis 9:6). Judgment was pronounced upon the scribes and Pharisees because of bloodshed (Matthew 23:34-35). Even when an animal dies, God takes notice (Matthew 10:29b). When an animal was killed or sacrificed, God commanded that the utmost respect be shown toward the blood (Leviticus 17).

Why does God take notice of every drop of blood that gets spilt? Because life is in the blood: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul’” (Leviticus 17:11). God called for the blood sacrifice of animals because He was teaching His people about the cost of sin. (more…)

Why?

There is a question for you! How many times have you asked that one? How many times have you been asked that one? How many times has an answer escaped the moment?

For many reasons and in many ways we can ask this simple question that leads to simple or complicated answers. I can scarce imagine a human language that would not include an equivalent word to the English word “why.”

Children are masters at using the word. A close second would probably be Christians. At times we ask with honest hearts of intrigue. At times we ask with hidden motives. At times we ask in rebellion. At times we ask because we do not know the answer; and at times we ask even when we do not want to know the answer! What a conundrum!

When was the last time you asked why? Why did you ask? I often have questions that go around and around in my mind like the earth around the Sun. I often find no answer –which sometimes leads to me ask…why?

I see the faith of some that grows cold and I ask, “Why?” I see the faith of some that grows bold and I ask, “Why?”

There can be a difference in asking why and in having doubt. Sometimes asking why is the fruit of doubt! Sometimes we need to lay the axe to the roots.

When the questions of life leave us with no answer, maybe we are asking the wrong questions. Maybe we are asking the wrong person. Maybe the answer is already staring us in the face but we do not like the answer. So we ask another question until we get an answer we like! Why is that???

Why ask why? Why not? What do you say? Or better yet, why do you ask? EA

And he was very sad in spirit, and said, Why is this generation looking for a sign?…” (Mark 8:12)

Related Articles: