A Scriptural Study Newsletter edited by Elder Vernon Johnson

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

 

 

 

The Holiness of God

Among the most widely presented subjects in all the scriptures is the holiness of God. The word holy appears in more than 600 verses of scripture. Twice in the scriptures God is called the thrice holy God:

1. Is. 6:3 "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."
2. Rev. 4:8 "And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him, and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."

The word, holy, literally means to be separate. God is separate from anything that is called God. In addition, his works are separate from any other works. His attributes are separate from the attributes of man.

The 46th chapter of the book of Isaiah shows forth the holiness of God. It begins by describing the false gods and then comparing God to the false gods. The first two verses show how that Bel and Nebo, the false gods, are carried by the beasts and are a burden to the beasts. In contrast, verses three and four show how that God has given birth to his people and has carried them. Next, verses six and seven show how that the false gods are the work of man and have no life. Finally, verses 9 to 11 show how that God is holy: "9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it." Only God can create life. The only God that carries the people and not the people him is the God of the bible. Only God can declare the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done. God does according to his will and not according to man's will. It is God who executes his own counsel or covenant. It is God who brings his covenant to pass.

God is also holy or separate in all of his attributes. God is the creator of all things, as the all-powerful God. He is the only one that is omniscient, knowing all things both past, present, and future. God only is from everlasting to everlasting. God has all wisdom. It is God that is everywhere present and nowhere absent. Even in the things that God cannot do he is separate from all others. Only God cannot lie, deny himself, change, fail, be discouraged, sin, be tempted with evil.

God is said to be the Holy Father. There are multitudes of natural fathers, but only one spiritual Father.

God is said to be the Holy Spirit. There are many spirits in the world, but only one Spirit of God.

Jesus is said to be the Holy child (Acts 4:27-30). As the holy child the Holy Ghost conceived him in the womb of a virgin. He was conceived and born holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. He is also said to be the Holy One of Israel (Ps. 16:10; 89:18; Is. 10:17; 10:20; 17:7; 41:14; 43:3; 43:14; 47:4; 48:17; Mk. 1:24; Acts 3:14,15; 13:35; 1 John 2:20). As the Holy One he is described as the Redeemer and creator of his people. He kept the law to a jot and a tittle, thus fulfilling all things that were written about him. He was the perfect sacrifice to redeem his people from their sins. Thus, he was separate or holy from all other.

Even the very name of God is said to be holy: Ps. 111:9, "He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name." According we read in Acts 4:12, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

The place of God's abode is called the holy place (Ex. 26:33, 34; 1 Kings 8:6-8; Ps. 46:4; Is. 15:15; Heb. 9:12; 2 Chr. 30:27). The holy place in the Old Testament was typical of the Church in the New Testament and the most holy place in the Old Testament was typical of the glory world in the New Testament. The Lord has said, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." What makes it a holy place is the Lord's presence.

Furthermore, God is declared to be clothed with holy garments (Ps. 93:1; 104:1; Dan. 10:5; 19:13). God is clothed with glory, and majesty, and honor, and righteousness. Jesus was also clothed with a vesture dipped in blood thus procuring the salvation and righteousness of his people.

God has made an holy covenant according to Lk. 1:69-74. This holy covenant is set forth for us in Rom. 8:28-30.

Also, God's word is said to be holy in 2 Tim. 3:15, "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

Elder Vernon Johnson


Manifold Wisdom of God

Is. 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." God's wisdom far exceeds the wisdom of men. In the above verse God's ways and thoughts are compared to man's ways and thoughts and God's wisdom exceeds man's wisdom by astronomical proportions.

Eph. 3:8 "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." By the grace of God the gospel is preached and taught to the intent that the church may know the manifold wisdom of God. Manifold means many fold. In other words, there are many aspects to God's wisdom. In this essay I would like to discuss four aspects of the wisdom of God.

First, God manifest his wisdom in creation. When God created the heaven and the earth he manifest such a wisdom that is simply astounding to the finite mind. There are literally multiplied billions of stars all traveling the course that God designed. They travel their courses in perfect harmony with one another. Also, according to the scriptures God upholdeth all things by the word of his power. Man, in contrast, makes a simple engine and it only lasts a few years at best and wears out. God's universe has been going on for 6,000 years without failure. The immensity of the universe astounds the observer. The distance between stars is not imaginable by man's mind. Our solar system is designed in such a way as to support life with very narrow limits. There is a very narrow limit of temperature and a very narrow limit of elements within the proper proportion essential to the support of life. Exceed those limits and all life would cease. Yet for six thousand years and those narrow limits have never been exceeded. This all shows the very wisdom of God in design and creation.

False science says that man has evolved on earth from a single cell. Yet the single cell is literally thousands of times more complex than the fastest, most intricate computer that man has built. It is totally unreasonable to think that something so complex as the simple cell could come about by chance. I have never seen a watch or an automobile throw itself together by chance, yet the cell which is millions of times more complex supposedly came into being by chance. The truth is that God designed and created the cell. Furthermore, God designed and built the human body which has billions of cells. All of these billions of cells make up complex systems interacting with one another in astounding ways. This all declares the glory of God's wisdom in creation.

Second, God manifest his wisdom in his word. There are multiplied correlations in the scriptures between different numbers and different bible subjects. There are also correlations between bible colors and bible subjects. There are correlations between bible metals and bible subjects. The whole book of Revelations is written to us in sign language and God has given the meaning of every sign in his word. The Lord said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." The scriptures are a continual testimony of Jesus Christ. There are no errors in the scriptures. They have been preserved pure by the power of God. What wisdom is revealed unto us both in the design of the scriptures and by what they teach.

Third, God manifest his wisdom in his covenant that he made with himself before the world began. God knew that man would transgress his law and would plunge himself and his posterity under the law of sin and death. Yet God made provision to have a people for himself purged of sin and its consequent effects by this covenant before the world ever was created. Man has been trying to get himself right with God every since Adam fell in the garden of Eden. All of man's efforts have been vain. God chose a people in Christ before the foundation of the world and then predestinated that they would be conformed to the image of Christ. In bringing about their deliverance from sin he calls or quickens them into spiritual life by his holy spirit and thus delivers them from the bondage of sin. Christ came at the appointed time to be a perfect sacrifice in their room and stead to deliver them from the condemnation of sin. When time shall be no more Christ shall come and deliver these people he chose from the corruption of sin in the resurrection.

Fourth, God manifests his wisdom in providing for the timely needs of his people. According to 2 Tim. 3:16 the scriptures are a thorough furnisher unto all good works. Every thing we need to worship him in Spirit in truth is found in the scriptures. Every good work whereby we glorify God is found in the scriptures. Answers to all of our problems and trials and circumstances is found in the scriptures. How we should interact with one another as a family unit is found in the scriptures. How the church is governed is found in the scriptures. The organization of the church is found in the scriptures. How we should use the gifts that God has given us is found in the scriptures. Food to satisfy our spiritual hungering is found in the scriptures. Indeed the scriptures are a thorough furnisher and manifest the wisdom of God.

Elder Vernon Johnson
 

Primitive Baptist