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THE CHRISTADELPHIAN INSTRUCTOR
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
THE SYSTEM OF TRUTH REVEALED IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
with Proof-texts in full appended to nearly every answer
Also an Appendix containing 100 Questions and Answers suited to the capacity of children under eight
By Robert Roberts of Birmingham
This little catechetical instructor has been desired for years by those who have put away the theologies of the day on coming to an understanding of the Holy Scriptures. They have desired it as a help in the instruction of families and schools, for which ordinary catechisms have become to them worse than useless. It has not been possible to comply with their wishes till now, nor perhaps even now to the full extent. The Instructor supplied may come short of what is wanted, but it is at least a step in the direction of their wishes.
It is an attempt to present a complete outline of the system of truth contained in the Bible, in a form suited to juvenile instruction. This is done on the Bible plan rather than the one usually observed in such publications. The Bible plan is an historic one. Revelation has been a work of history and not of disquisition. While communicating principles, commandments, promises, and prophecies by inspiration, it has done all this in connection with the record of national events; and the promises, purposes, and principles so associated cannot be fully apprehended apart from those national events. The work of revelation is, in brief, the history of the Jewish race from the call of Abraham to the resurrection of Christ in their midst. This history is, therefore, made a prominent feature in the Instructor.
It is considered of great importance now-a-days to drill children thoroughly in the knowledge of modern history—especially the history of the English kings. All historical knowledge is valuable, but none of it can be compared to the knowledge of Bible history, which is the history of God’s purpose with the earth so far as it has been carried out. It is of great importance to everyone to be thoroughly acquainted with the elements of this history.
The Instructor is compiled on the plan of questions and answers. Each answer is followed by “proof,” so that the learner may become acquainted with the grounds upon which the answer is to be accepted as true. The proofs appended to the purely historical answers are mostly confined to references, as they are too extensive for quotation. In all cases where it is important the children should be acquainted with the very words of Scripture—(as justifying disputed or unrecognised truth)—the passages are quoted in full.
The answers are divided into sections, so as somewhat to lighten and simplify the contents as a whole; but the division is not according to any very strict method of classification. The whole of the answers were first written as a natural and progressive unfolding of truth, and the section headings introduced afterwards to take off the heaviness of so much solid matter. It is easier to learn in sections than otherwise. Experience seems to prove that the best way to use such a book, is to get the children to commit the answers to memory—not too many at a time. Three answers per Sunday would make a sufficient lesson, and would take the scholar over the whole of the contents in three years. This applies to the body of the Instructor, and not to the simple questions supplied in the appendix for young children.
It would be a good plan to have the scholars over 8 and under 12 years of age to learn the answers without the proofs, and all over 12 to learn the proofs as well as the answers.
As for those under 8, more simple answers would be needed.
An attempt to provide such, without proofs, will be found at the end (see appendix).
The Instructor would chiefly be serviceable in schools, but it would also be suitable for use in a family where a school was not within reach. It may also be found serviceable for some who are not children. The study of it might be a useful preliminary to that examination which in our age is necessary before the obedience to the truth in baptism. The suggestion may hurt some whose prejudices are not on the side of wisdom. It may have something useful in it for all that.
There is no need to prove the usefulness, the wisdom, and the duty of instructing our children in the ways of God. Even if Paul had not said, “Bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” common sense and benevolence would have dictated such a thing.
The instruction of children is not so easy or so interesting as the instruction of grown persons. On the other hand, it is a work in which those can take part who may not be fitted for adult work. It is pre-eminently a work of patience and faith. Results are not so quickly visible, but they are more certain and lasting if the right plan is adopted. It is a work requiring kindness and disinterested perseverance to a greater degree than any other class of work in the truth.
Wise parents will recognise the obligation of privately doing their utmost to instil the principles of scriptural wisdom into the minds and hearts of their children. At the same time they will not despise the help accorded by a Sunday School, which, while finding a field of useful work in the truth for such as are anxious to do something, and yet might not be able to do anything else effectually is a great aid to the private efforts made by parents.
The children are benefited by coming together. They receive a stimulus wanting in mere home effort; and have their minds enlarged by the more extended aspects in which things appear to them in association than when confined to the family circle.
1. What is the meaning of "Christadelphian"?
ANSWER: It means brother or relative of Christ. It is the name of Christ and the Greek word for brother put into one.
2. Who is a brother or relative of Christ?
ANSWER: He who performs the will of God.
Proof: Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matt. 12:50).
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; (John 15:14-15).
3. What is it the will of God that we should do?
ANSWER: That we believe in His Son Jesus Christ and keep His commandments.
Proof:This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:29).
And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him. (1 John 3:23-24).
4. Who is it that has given the name "Christ's Brethren" to those who do the will of God?
ANSWER: It is Christ himself who has done so.
Proof: He is not ashamed to call them BRETHREN, saying, I will declare Thy name unto my brethren (Heb. 2:11-12).
Go tell my BRETHREN that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. (Matt. 28:10).
Behold my mother and my BRETHREN (Mark 3:34).
...His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many BRETHREN (Rom. 8:29).
5. Why are the brethren of Christ called Christadelphian in our day instead of Christian?
ANSWER: Because multitudes are called Christian who do not believe the truth concerning Christ or obey his commandments. It has become, in fact, the name for a system of fable, and error that has risen up in the world in the place of truth, in fulfillment of the predictions of the apostles. Therefore, to be known as a "Christian" is not to be known as a believer of the truth.
Proof: And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Tim. 4:4).
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (Acts 20:30).
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2 Peter 2:2).
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:2).
And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. (Isaiah 25:7).
With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. (Rev. 17:2).
And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. (Rev. 18:23).
6. Where can we learn the will of God and the truth concerning Christ?
ANSWER: In the Holy Scriptures, which are known in our day as the Bible.
Proof: 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. (2 Tim. 3:15).
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4).
The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (Psa. 119:130).
But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: (Rom. 16:26).
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa. 119:105).
7. What is the Bible?
ANSWER: It is a book written by the power of inspiration working in prophets and apostles who lived in Israel a long time ago. They lived at different times, and each wrote his part independently of the others; but one Spirit moved them all, and enabled them to make known to men the mind of God in history, precept and prophecy, so that the Bible though composed of many books and parts, is the one Word of God.
Proof: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Tim. 3:16).
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (Heb. 1:1).
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Cor. 2:13).
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21).
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17).
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (1 Cor. 14:37).
8. What are the names of the men principally employed by the Spirit of God in the writing of the Bible?
ANSWER: Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habbakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Jude and Peter
9. Into what parts is the Bible divided?
ANSWER: Into two parts; the Old and New Testaments. But in the days of Christ, the Scriptures were known as "Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms." The Old Testament was written by Moses and the Prophets, who came after him. The New Testament was written by the Apostles.
10. Over what period of time does the composition of the Bible extend?
ANSWER: The Old Testament was begun by Moses about 1450 [1,600] years before Christ, and finished by Malachi a little over 1,000  years afterwards. (Before Christ 397.) The New Testament was written during the lifetime of the Apostles, after the resurrection and ascension of Christ, over 1,800  years ago.
11. Of how many books is the Bible composed: and what are their names in order?
ANSWER: The Bible is composed of sixty-six books arranged in the following order of names: OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Michah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zepheniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Phillipians, Collosians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation.
12. What does the Bible, in its several books, reveal to us?
ANSWER: The Bible, given by inspiration of God, reveals to us the Truth concerning God and concerning man.
13. What does the Bible reveal concerning God?
ANSWER: That there is only one God, the father of all, even of our Lord Jesus Christ (and, therefore, the common idea that there are three Gods is un-scriptural).
Proof: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Tim. 2:5).
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: (Deut. 6:4).
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: (Isa. 45:5).
But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (1 Cor. 8:6).
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (2 Cor. 1:3).
14. What does the Bible reveal concerning the character of God?
ANSWER: That He is kind, yet inflexible in the requirements of His law; loving and compassionate, yet terrible as a destroying fire against the rebellious and the guilty; forgiving towards offenses, yet jealous of the dignity, the glory, and supremacy of His Name. He is holy, and cannot look upon sin. He is wise, and cannot tolerate fools. He is true and faithful, and will destroy all that is false and perfidious. He is just and true and perfect -- at once the fountain of love and vengeance; the author of life and death; the source of reviving mercy and consuming fire. He is eternal, unchangeable, unsearchable, infinite, glorious in power and majesty -- the King immortal, the Possessor of heaven and earth, to whom alone is glory due.
Proof: And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Ex. 20:6).
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. (Psa. 103:8-18).
For our God is a consuming fire. (Heb. 12:29).
And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. (Ex. 4:24).
Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? (Hab. 1:13).
The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. (Psa. 5:5-6).
And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. (Rev. 15:3).
But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. (Jer. 10:10-13).
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deut. 32:4).
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:7-8).
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16).
For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Heb. 10:30-31).
See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. (Deut. 32:39).
I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. (Hosea 14:4).
His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. (Hosea 14:6).
They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. (Deut. 32:21).
I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them. (Deut. 32:23).
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Tim. 1:17).
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (Mal. 3:6).
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. (Psa. 145:3). Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite. (Psa. 147:5).
And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: (Gen. 14:19).
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake. (Psa. 115:1).
15. Is God confined to heaven though dwelling there?
ANSWER: No. He is everywhere present and nothing can be hid from His knowledge.
Proof: “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord” (Jer. 23:24). “All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:13). “Lord, thou hast searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising: Thou understandest my thought afar off.… There is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, Thou knowest it altogether” (Psa. 139:1–4).
16. In what way is God everywhere present if He dwell in heaven?
ANSWER: God is everywhere present by His spirit which proceeds from Him, and which fills all space.
Proof: Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. (Psa. 104:30).
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. (Psa. 139:7-8).
17. What is the Spirit of God?
ANSWER: It is His invisible power or energy breathed forth from His presence, and of like nature with His Glorious Person. By this, heaven and earth have been made and are preserved in being from moment to moment. In this we live and move and have our being in Him.
Proof: The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. (Job 33:4).
By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. (Job 26:13).
Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. (Psa. 104:30).
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. (Psa. 33:6).
Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: (Jer. 32:17).
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Gen. 1:2).
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. (Acts 17:28).
If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust. (Job 34:14-15).
18. Is God separate and different from the Spirit of God?
ANSWER: No. God and His Spirit cannot be separated. They are both one. The sun and the light that comes from the sun are both one. So God, and the Spirit that comes from God, are both one. God is the centre and glorious substantial form of the Spirit that fills heaven and earth.
Proof: The passaged quoted in answers 14 to 17, also the following:
Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. (Isa. 48:16).
And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. (Gen. 6:3).
Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. (Jer. 23:24).
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? (Psa. 139:7).
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24).
19. Do these things teach you any lesson concerning your conduct?
ANSWER: Yes. They teach me that I am always in the presence of God though I do not feel it, and that He always sees me (even when it is dark) though I cannot see Him. Nothing can happen without His knowing it. Even my inmost thoughts and intentions He can discern, though I should seek to keep them secret.
Proof: And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? (Gen. 16:13).
Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Heb. 4:13).
Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. (Psa. 139:12).
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb. 4:12).