Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. I am slowly blogging through Steele's Answers, posting each Q & A in the order in which they appear (whether I personally agree with the answer or not). But, these posts come from several other sources, as well. I often post particularly eloquent passages from Dr. Steele's other writings. Occasionally I post "guest blogs" from other holiness writers.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Beast

QUESTION: Explain Rev. 17:8, "The beast thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition * * * when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is."

ANSWER: The Revision has "and shall come," instead of "and yet is." The beast is supposed to represent the Roman empire, which once was, then it ceased to be, and reappeared coming out of the bottomless pit in the form of that spiritual despotism called the Papacy, to go at last into the like of fire with all like characters.

Steele's Answers pp. 268, 269.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Saying Amen in Church

QUESTION: Is it essential that we say Amen as a sanction to the truth? The church authorities forbid it as disorderly.

ANSWER: This is a matter of taste rather than of religious obligation. It seems desirable that audiences should be responsive to the speaker, but not in a boisterous way by very loud and frequent ejaculations. A quiet amen now and then helps and encourages a speaker, but too many and too often may confuse him.

Steele's Answers p. 268.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

On Keeping the Sabbath

QUESTION: Can an unholy man keep the Sabbath day holy?

ANSWER: He can cease from labor and thus outwardly regard the sanctity of the day, but he is not in a condition to regard it inwardly, "and call the Sabbath a delight, not finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words, but delighting in Jehovah."

Steele's Answers p. 268.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Sin of the World

QUESTION: What is the sin of the world in John 1:29, which the Lamb of God taketh away?

ANSWER: The singular, sin, in contrast with the plural, sins, in I John 3 5, is important. The condemnation of the race for "the sin" of Adam, its federal head, is unconditionally removed, though the hereditary leaning towards sin remains. The expiation of the Lamb conditionally removes "sins" in the plural by forgiveness and sanctification.

Steele's Answers p. 268.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Salvation Conundrums

QUESTION: If God takes away from the dying infant the bent to sinning, why does he not take it away from the babe destined to become adult?

ANSWER: This conundrum resolves itself into another, "Why does not God save irresponsibles and responsibles in the same way, on just the same terms?" A still harder question which this Arminian Question Box cannot answer is this: "Why does an impartial God elect to eternal life unconditionally a part of the human race, by death in infancy, and subject the other part to the hazards of probation in which they are to be saved conditionally?" Why does the Creator send into probation one through the gateway of a heathen birth and another through that of a Christian birth? All these questions I bind up in the bundle of mysteries which a righteous God may explain to me in the ceaseless ages of eternity. He has not revealed anything respecting the future of infants specifically except, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven"; and even this ray of light some would cruelly take away when they say it doesn't mean babes, but adults who have child-like qualities, such as trust, teachableness, and a sense of dependence.

Steele's Answers p. 267.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Salvation and Human Responsibility

QUESTION: Is it true that there is nothing in the hour and article of death to cause God to change the spiritual condition of the soul, either in part or whole?

ANSWER: It is not true of the irresponsible, infants and idiots, whom He saves unconditionally. Rom. 5:18, "By the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." No man will ever be punished for the sin of Adam, which is legally covered  by the expiatory death of the second Adam. All responsible persons must have persevering faith in Christ to avail themselves of the justification of life, eternal life. "If children, then heirs." Adam's sin will keep no man, but himself, out of heaven, who I trust through faith in the promised "seed of the woman" has been saved.

Steele's Answers pp. 266, 267.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

How Did God Speak to Israel?

QUESTION: Did God speak audibly and directly to Israel?

ANSWER: He had various ways of speaking: (1) through words vibrating in the air like the human voice, only much louder (Ex. 20:22; Deut. 4:33; 5:22-27; Neh. 9:13). (2) By the urim and thummin, as in Num. 27:21; I Sam. 28:6. (3) By the Holy Spirit in the heart convicting the sinner (John 16:8-11), and assuring the believer (Gal. 4:6). The prophets got their messages probably in this way. (4) By writing (Ez. 32:16; Dan. 5:5).

Steele's Answers p. 266.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Is Suffering Necessary?

QUESTION: Do not such texts as Luke 24:26, 46; Rom. 8:17; Col. 1:24; II Tim. 2:12; 3:12, and Heb. 12:6 teach that suffering is a necessary part of earthly preparation of Christians to enter into glory? (2) How can this be harmonized with the truth that "God is love"?

ANSWER: The suffering is for Christ's sake, to promote his glory by confessing rather than denying him. The suffering is not inflicted by God, but by his enemies, the persecutors, to whom all believers were exposed in the apostolic age, of which period this is explicitly affirmed. In a less degree suffering from self-denial and sacrifice for the promotion of Christ's kingdom in all the world is a part of the discipline of all Christians. Yet we are not to consider our piety spurious because we are not persecuted. (2) The God of love allows this suffering in order to develop those moral qualities which will insure our eternal felicity. Many men, like Abraham Lincoln, have thanked God for the poverty into which they were born, the struggle against which developed those noble qualities which made them eminently successful. The loving father chastises the disobedient son, and lays heavy burdens on the obedient one to develop his strength. Will the heavenly father do less? See Rev. 3:19.

Steele's Answers pp. 265, 266.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Our Daily Bread

QUESTION: Our pastor says that "daily bread" in the Lord's Prayer means bread for tomorrow. Is this so?

ANSWER: The original word occurs only in this prayer. Hence its meaning is doubtful. Some say "bread of our necessity," others say "for sustenance"; still others say "food for the morrow." Thus Christ does not allow us to go beyond the absolute necessity of the nearest future in our prayers for temporal things. This interpretation harmonizes finely with Matt. 6:34, which forbids anxiety for the morrow after having prayed for its supply. I think your pastor is correct.

Steele's Answers pp. 264, 265.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Atonement in Romans 5:11

QUESTION: What is the meaning of atonement in Rom. 5:11, "We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the atonement"?

ANSWER: This is the only place where atonement is found in the King James version of the N. T. In the Revision it is "reconciliation," so that atonement is not now a N.T. word. Reconciliation signifies the restored favor of God received through penitent faith in the expiatory death of Christ.

Steele's Answers p. 264.