Does The Word Of God Contradict Itself?

Satan has sought to undermine the authority of the Word of God since the beginning. He whispered to Eve, “Yea, hath God said,” suggesting God was withholding something from our first parents. But more often than not his attacks are far more subtle. The liberal, for example, would have us believe the Scriptures contradict themselves; therefore they cannot be trusted. This is nothing more than an attempt to cast a shadow of doubt upon the veracity of God’s Word.

Despite the claims of the liberal, God never contradicts Himself. He’s omniscient! He knows the end from the beginning; how could He possibly contradict Himself? When we’re confronted with an alleged contradiction, the problem isn’t with the Word of God; rather, it’s with our understanding of the Scriptures. Most times there is a simple solution to the problem.

The account of Judas’ death is often appealed to as a glaring contradiction:

“And he [Judas] cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself” (Matt. 27:5).

“Now this man [Judas] purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out” (Acts 1:18).

We believe the Acts record is merely an augmentation of Matthew’s account of Judas’ dishonorable end. After Judas hanged himself, either the limb or rope broke, and since the top part of the body is heavier than the lower extremity, he fell headlong to the bottom of the ravine where his body burst open upon striking the jagged rocks.

Another supposed contradiction is found in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians:

“Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand” (I Cor. 10:8).

“And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand” (Num. 25:9).

Once again, Paul’s account of the plague is simply a fuller description of what actually transpired during the wilderness wanderings. The key is found in the apostle’s words, “and fell in one day.” Paul reveals 23,000 died in this judgment on the same day, but according to Numbers, the total number of Israelites that perished, which included the days that followed, was 24,000. The apostle was merely emphasizing the seriousness of committing fornication, by showing how many fell in one day.

While these two purported contradictions are easily resolved, this is not always necessarily the case. In those areas where we are unable to adequately address a discrepancy, we must patiently wait upon the Lord for additional light, which may not be given until eternity.

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

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The Knowledge of His Will

“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Col. 1:9).


Now beloved, we must have this clearly in mind as we study this passage in the first chapter of the Colossian letter. Every true spiritual believer will heartily desire to know, and do, the will of God. It is my earnest prayer that you may indeed “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”

Sad to say, however, the vast majority of believers reading this passage in Colossians One think only in terms of God’s will for their lives in their particular circumstances.

For example, a young Christian asks: “What is God’s will for my life? Should I go into the ministry or become a missionary? And if a missionary, should I go to China, Africa or India? Or would God have me stay in business and help to finance His work?” But while the young man is so concerned about God’s will for the details of his life, he is woefully ignorant of GOD’S WILL, i.e., what it is God wants done. The emphasis is put upon himself, rather than upon God and His great plan for the present dispensation.

So, I beg of you my dear friend, don’t misunderstand this passage, when Paul prays for the Colossians, and he certainly would pray for us, “that [we] might be filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”

Colossians 1:9 does not refer to God’s will then in a given situation, but to His long hidden purpose and program as revealed in the Pauline Epistles. He rightly holds us responsible to learn what this is:

“Having made known unto us THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself” (Eph. 1:9).

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

“Redeeming [buying up] the time, because the days are evil.


Sadly, the majority of God’s people seem to think that His will should accommodate itself to their fluctuating experiences. When they are in the depths of despair and do not know where to turn, they cry to the Lord to show them His will. When on the mountaintop, maybe called upon to choose between two attractive alternatives, they ask the Lord again to show them His will. And if you draw a line to illustrate it, part of it would be way down and then the graph would go way up, of course. But all the while they neglect to inquire about His objective, or to learn how they may fit into His plan and purpose. This purpose is clearly defined for us in the Epistles of Paul. It runs straight as an arrow and we should conform ourselves to it.

Now God is interested—I don’t want you to misunderstand me—He is very interested in whatever concerns us. And He would have us look to Him for guidance in every detail of our lives. But let us put the emphasis where it belongs. If a man is ignorant of the will and purpose of God, what good is it to inquire whether he should enter the ministry or go to Africa or China? He will do as much harm as good wherever he goes. On the other hand, one who does have an intelligent understanding of the will of God and has been gripped by it will have little danger of remaining unused in the Lord’s service.

If we would be in the center of God’s will, then, we must come to a knowledge and an appreciation of the great secret revealed through Paul for us today. This alone can give us a true sense of our place in God’s program, broadening and balancing our spiritual experience.

Let us then labor fervently in prayer, as Epaphras did for the saints at Colosse, that we might “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Col. 4:12).

Now in seeking to determine God’s will in the particular circumstances of life, the truly spiritual believer will take little heed to the very things that others think are so decisive. He will never depend on “getting the mind of God through prayer”; hoping for “inner promptings”—as one writer put it, “Not a voice, but an impression.” Nor will he go to the “promise box” and flip his Bible open at random to learn God’s will. If for no other reason, simply because he limits God to the particular promises in the box.

No, no, such an one will look for guidance in answer to prayer, to be sure, but he’ll do this by prayerfully using his God-given faculties in the light of the written Word, “rightly divided.”

Beloved, God has given us hands to work with, hearts to love with, and minds to think with, and He expects us to use them all to His glory. Hence, in any given situation we should use the common sense that He’s given us in the light of His Word.

Naturally, this affects our wills, too, and our prayer lives, but here again a knowledge of the Mystery broadens us and establishes us, as we lose our wills in His.

We no longer confuse “this present evil age” with the kingdom which our Lord proclaimed and in connection with which He said: “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matt. 21:22). Under the present circumstances it is a good thing that we do not receive “whatsoever” we ask, even in faith, for we read in Romans 8:26 that “we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” The same passage, however, goes on to tell us what we do know:

“And we know that all things work [Lit. “are being worked”] together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

When we exercise the deepest, most implicit faith in God, we will not insist that He grant our desires, but will place ourselves unreservedly in His care and keeping, fully assured that he will work all out for our good. Thus the apostle exhorts us:

“Be careful [anxious] for nothing: but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6).

“And….” And what? “And you will receive what you ask for?” No! Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, whatever the circumstances, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God,

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).

It may be necessary for your own good that He withhold what you have asked for, but sustained by a sense of His love and grace you will not crack or go to pieces, for having talked to Him about it and left it with him, His peace—the peace that passes human understanding—will keep, or garrison, your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

There is something more blessed, then, than merely getting what we ask for in prayer. It is spoken of again by the Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 3:20,21.

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

“Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.”


Now this holds good even with regard to calls to special service for Christ; whether to the pastorate, the mission field, or any other branch of the work. The truly spiritual child of God will not look for, or depend upon, some overwhelming emotional experience as an indication that God has called him to the ministry.

Much less will he expect what so many have called a Macedonian vision, for he will have learned that Paul’s call to Macedonia in Acts 16:9-10 is the last such call recorded in Scripture, and that it belongs with the signs of a past dispensation.

First, all believers are called to make known what Paul calls “the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the Mystery” (Rom. 16:25). The written Word of God, together with the appalling need all about us, constitutes an urgent call to this ministry.

Now, all are not meant to minister in the same capacity. Some may accomplish much more for Christ in business than they could as pastors or missionaries. So here the particular qualifications of the individual and the particular ministry to which he is best suited are involved.

There is no room for superstition in such matters, beloved. These matters are too important. It is rather for each individual to ask God for light from the Word and for wisdom to consider the need, the circumstances, and his own talents objectively, praying for an open door to that field of service where he can accomplish most for his Lord.

The infinite importance of understanding God’s will can be better appreciated if we consider that we are now living in the tense moments between man’s declaration of war on God, and God’s counter-declaration of war on man, so that there is no time to lose in winning men to Christ. True, man made his declaration of war long ago, but still these moments are just added one after another. God has given us no promise that He won’t close the day of grace at any time.

So the apostle “begs” the unsaved “not to receive the grace of God in vain.” He says, “Behold, now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Cor. 6:1,2).

In the light of this, how we should pray for ourselves and for our fellow believers “that [we] may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Col. 4:12).

I hope this has helped you to understand what the apostle means when he says,

“[I] do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Col. 1:9).

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The Teachings of Christ

The most important book in the world is the Bible. The Bible is centered around the most important Person in the world, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is important because He is God manifested in the flesh. Christ came to reveal the purposes of God the Father. These purposes are written down in the Bible, thus revealing the mind of God.

The teachings of Christ are related to three different time periods—past, present, and future. He is God’s spokesman to the human race. We must notice the contents of each in order to understand the Bible.


The Lord Jesus was born under the Law of Moses (Galatians 4:4). When He ministered to Israel, and it was exclusively to them (Matthew 15:24), everything He did and said was according to this Law (Matthew 5:17). The Law of Moses was given to Israel some 1500 years earlier, and it regulated the whole life of the Jew as well as the Nation of Israel.

God’s good news to Israel was called the Gospel of the Kingdom. Various miracles attended its preaching, and remission of sins was by water baptism. The feast days, the various commandments, the many sabbaths were all part of the Jew’s religion which is called Judaism.


The ministry of Christ did not stop with His ascension in the first chapter of the book of Acts. Christians have failed to realize that when Saul is saved in Acts 9, a NEW ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ is begun by God, and this NEW ministry ushers in this present age of grace. Saul’s name is changed to Paul, and he is designated as the Apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11:13). He is given revelations from the risen Christ, and these are the revelations embracing Christianity. Christianity presents:

1. A New Gospel—the Gospel of the grace of God. This gospel is completely separated from water baptism (1 Corinthians 1:17). This gospel presents faith in Christ as the only requirement for salvation (Romans 4:5; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8,9).

2. A New Organism—the Body of Christ, the Church, composed of all believers saved by the grace of God in this present dispensation.

3. A New Body of Divine Truth—known as the Revelation of the Mystery (Romans 16:25). It was kept secret, hid in God until revealed to Paul. This is how Christ is to be presented today.

4. A New Period of Time—the Dispensation of the Grace of God, also known as the Dispensation of the Mystery (Ephesians 3:2,9). This is the Bible name for today’s age.

5. A New Apostle—Paul. He is our Apostle, not Peter nor John or any other. The authority of Christ for this age has been committed to Paul.

6. New Blessings—spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). This is according to the Mystery.

All of this truth came from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Galatians 1:11,12), and Paul was chosen by Him to write down His revelation TO US in his epistles. This body of truth is complete in itself. There are hundreds of commandments contained in Christianity to guide Christians in their lives. And only in Paul’s writings do we find that the entire Law of Moses, the past teaching for Israel, has been ABOLISHED by Christ on the Cross (Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14).


The Book of Revelation, the last book in the Bible, is the teaching of Christ concerning the future of Israel and the world. The events in this book will begin AFTER this present age is brought to a close at the Rapture of the Church, the Body of Christ. The bulk of the book contains the judgments of God upon the human race because of unbelief. All the rebels against God will be purged out beginning with Israel and reaching to all the Gentiles. Christ revealed this to the Apostle John (Revelation 1:1,2). The book closes with the new heavens and new earth of Isaiah 66:22, and prophecy will have been fulfilled.


Much error has been propagated in respect to the teachings of Christ. This has caused a lack of Bible study and has made the visible church a weak witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Some of these errors are:

1. The idea of a Judeo-Christian heritage. Christianity is not an outgrowth of Judaism. Christianity is entirely separate from Judaism.

2. The idea that Christ preached Christianity to Israel. This is utterly false. He preached Judaism to His earthly people.

3. The idea that the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John present Christianity because they deal with the earthly life of Christ.

4. The idea of only one gospel in the Bible. The Bible never states there is only one gospel. The Gospel of the grace of God is far different than the Gospel of the Kingdom. Those that preach the Gospel of the Kingdom are misleading the public, for they are really preaching Judaism rather than Christianity. See Galatians 2:7.

5. The idea of resurrecting the Law of Moses and forcing it on the Gentiles as a way of life.

6. The idea that being Pauline in doctrine and practice is an extreme interpretation. Many times Paul told the early Gentile believers to follow him (1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1; Philippians 3:17). Following Paul is following Christ.

7. The idea that we are to follow Christ in His earthly life. Paul plainly stated that we are not to know Him after the flesh (2 Corinthians 5:16). This would be glorying in the flesh (1 Corinthians 1:29).

8. The idea that Law and Grace can be mixed together and make believers strong in the Lord.

9. The idea that the Bible only presents the eternal, changeless principles of God. Some of God’s principles have changed, and this makes all the difference in the world.

10. The idea that Judaism and Christianity are to be harmonized into one religion.

The only way revival can come is to get back to Pauline truth. This happened in the past, Martin Luther being the prime example as he saw the light on Paul’s presentation of justification by faith alone in Christ.

If your pastor is not preaching the Lord Jesus Christ according to the Revelation of the Mystery, he is not preaching God’s truth for today.

All the world is going to be judged by Paul’s gospel (Romans 2:16), and you better make sure you have been saved by CHRIST ALONE or you will have no hope of spending eternity with Him.

Christian friend, you better believe what God has revealed to the Apostle Paul before you go to be with Him or you will suffer for it at the judgment seat of Christ. If you have to change your mind about some interpretations as being Bible truths, you will profit immensely by it. Don’t let a closed mind and attitude keep you from enjoying the spiritual blessings of Christianity found in Paul’s writings.

Berean Searchlight – April 2002

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