The “Arrival”

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before (Philippians 3:12-13).

Pride works in the believer to make him think that he has somehow “arrived” scripturally and spiritually. It embraces a self-confidence that one’s life and knowledge of the truth has already been perfected; that we have attained some level of personal perfection.

The fact is that none of us presently possess “all truth” infallibly. None of us has a corner on truth.

… We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him (I Corinthians 8:1-3).

Seek the truth. Study the Scriptures. Adjust your understanding.

Keep an open mind, and an open Bible.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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3 Comments on “The “Arrival””

  1. tom ferguson Says:

    When we are engaged in serious Bible study it is helpfull if others who are so engaged can offer edifying suggestions. It is with this in mind that I would submit the following recommendations. For those who have found the Strong’s concordance useful, I highly recommend E.W.Bullinger’s Critical Lexicon of the New Testament. e.g. in reflecting on the verse in Jn. XVIII;32 – “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”. This is a verse that is usually misquoted as – ‘you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free’. The thought occurred to me that there might be a difference between being ‘set’ free and being ‘made’ free. Upon researching further I found that the Strong’s while listing the occurrence of the verse under other words such as truth does not list any occurrence of the word make. It instead refers to the appendix of frequently used words and lists the occurrences. The words contained in this appendix are not assigned a reference number in the Strong’s Greek dictionary and as such can not be defined using the Strong’s. In contrast, Bullinger lists every word. Some listings are phase sensitive. e.g. this particular search will be found under ‘free’ as the Geek word is ‘make-free’, (to free, set at liberty,to save from thraldom). It is a smaller volume than the Strong’s and is much handier in size and weight. It is limited to the New Testement but as such is very complete.

  2. tom ferguson Says:

    The quotation above is given out of context and has nothing to do with the attainment of knowledge. If we are to understand this verse, we must first look at it again in it’s contextual placement which is the letter of St. Paul to the Phillipians. We can pick up the contextual thought beginning with verse 7 in the third chapter of the Phillipian letter. To follow this verse with another out of context verse from the Corinthian letter makes the case that knowledge is wrong. Yet in the Phillipian letter, the very verse that has been used can be found in it’s context refer not to knowledge but to resurrection. And not only does it refer to resurrection but to knowledge. Yes, the knowledge of Christ and the power of His resurrection. With our verse put back into it’s proper context and thereby into it’s proper sense, we might ask then how is it that St Paul had not felt that he had yet attained the resurrection? Are not all believers guaranteed this?

    Perhaps we can find an answer in some other references to the resurrection. There is a very interesting reference to the possibility of there being a resurrection stated in Scripture that Christian “doctrines” make no outstanding statement of. The first is here in the Phillipian letter. This can be reasoned from the fact that St. Paul had obviously been assured of a righteous resurrection, yet the verses in Phillipians seem to indicate that there could be a resurrection for which Christ had apprehended St. Paul and it is this resurrection to which he is referring.

    The proposition becomes even more plausible when we read in verse 16 that we are admonished to walk in that we have attained i.e. a good resurrection. In pursuing this line of thought we may then ask, are there any other references in Scripture which can give us more light on the subject of a possible better resurrection even than the one to which we have attained through faith in Christ? The answer is yes, the Scriptures do speak of a better resurrection and if we follow the idea closely we will see why it would be considered better.

    Our investigation leads us next into the epistle to the Hebrews. Most of us are familiar with the great role call of the heroes of faith that is presented in the 11th chapter of this epistle. In the 35th verse of this chapter we read of the reason that these heroes were so encouraged in their faith “that they may obtain a better resurrection”. Verses 39 and 40 of the epistle to the Hebrews goes on to say that God has provided some better thing for us that they (or to the end that) they ,without us, should not be made perfect (it should be noted here that the word perfect here is used in the sense of complete or finished.)

    One fact should stand out in our list of the heroes of faith and that is the fact that they are all “Old Testament saints” of the tribes of Israel. This is important to remember as we look at our next reference. Our next reference is found in the 14th chapter of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Very little attention has been paid to this account as it does not refer directly to the ‘church’. In this chapter we have a very sudden appearing of our Lord, on Mt. Zion. He has come quickly as He had promised. We also see that He has gathered unto Himself 144,000. Many have conjectured as to the 144,000 and there has even been a cult established upon these conjectures. If however we look at the 4th verse of the 14th chapter we will find that these are “first fruits” unto God and unto The Lamb. We can now identify them quite easily by defining “first fruits”. Though the figure of speech is Old Testament in sense, it is used in the New Testement to refer exclusively to a resurrection. So here we have a resurrection of 144,000 of souls. If we identify this number with the 144,000 sealed of Israel which is most likely as they and these are sealed in their forehead and are identified the same number we can see how St. Paul could hope to be counted among them as he was a Hebrew of the tribe of Benjamin. as to this being a better resurrection. 1. They sing a new song that no man could learn who was not counted among them. 2. They follow the lamb withersoever He goeth.

    Perhaps there would be some that think that the sealed of Isreal are among the living and this would therefore not indicate a resurrection. However nowhere in Scripture does it state that the sealed of Israel are alive on the earth at the time of their being sealed. It makes more sense to me that these “saints”, 12000 from each of Israels tribes would have been recognized as such during a time when Israel was Israel; for today there can be no documentation of anyone knowing to what tribe of Israel he may or may not belong. It could be argued that the All Knowing God knows who they are and, that would be true, but some what begging the question. And certainly the same All Powerful God is very capable of sealing the dead in preparation for this first fruits resurrection.

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