Seek The Old Paths

Vol. 9  No. 3                                   March  1998

In This Issue...


Danny L. Box

     In Mark 16:15, our Lord instructed his disciples to "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." The first century Christians, in obedience to this command "went everywhere preaching the word" (Acts 8:4), and the results of their labor is recorded in Col. 1:23, "...the hope of the gospel...was preached to every creature which is under heaven."
     Today, even though "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few," there are some men who should quit preaching. Due to their efforts, the church of our Lord is in disarray and getting worse as the days pass. Many congregations have split or are being split, elderships undermined and, members young and old, led off into apostasy because of the havoc wrought by these men. Let's look at some men who should quit preaching.
     The man that will not declare the whole counsel of God should quit preaching. Many preachers of today will proudly stand up and say "I preach the truth!" But brethren and friends, there is a world of difference between preaching the truth, and preaching "the whole counsel of God." A man could preach the truth for years and never preach against anything. He could preach sermon after sermon and never touch on anything that might cause someone to be stirred up. Many might say certain subjects are better left unpreached because it might offend someone, but brethren, those subjects must be preached. If we are ashamed of the gospel, or afraid of the gospel, we should get out of the pulpit as fast as we can, and let men who are not afraid to preach all the Word take our place. What did Paul say in Acts 20:26,27? "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God."
     The man who would pervert the gospel of Christ should quit preaching. Paul wrote to the church at Galatia, "But there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:7-9). Pretty serious entreaty isn't it? Any man that would pervert the Word of God should be "shaking in his boots" because they will get what they justly deserve at judgment. Any congregation of people, or eldership who supports those who would preach a perverted gospel, will also face the consequences at judgment (2 John 9-11). Brethren, if you have perverted the gospel of Christ, please quit preaching, and repent of this grievous sin before it is to late. Paul talks about men who would pervert the truth in Titus 1:11 when he states "Whose mouths must be stopped."
     The man who does not want to work under the oversight of an eldership should quit preaching. In God's order of church affairs, elders have the oversight. It is the elders that are instructed to take heed to the flock, to oversee it and to feed it (Acts 20:28). It is the elders' responsibility and duty to be sure that the church functions according to God's divine pattern. Today though, we see so many preachers leading or encouraging groups of members as they try to undermine the scriptural authority of the elders. In some cases it is so the preacher can have the "preeminence." How sad! What did Paul say to us? "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine" (1 Tim. 5:17). How can any man say the elders have "no authority except what the congregation gives them," after reading this verse and after reading other verses that give the qualifications and describe the office or position of an elder? Preacher friends, if you don't want to work under an eldership, then you need to quit preaching, because elderships are ordained of God.
     The man who does not set a good example should quit preaching. Paul, when he wrote to the young evangelist Timothy said, "But be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation (manner of living), in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Tim. 4:12). Has that entreaty changed for those who preach today? The preacher must be pure in all things -- his life above reproach because people are looking to the preacher and at the preacher for an example. Precious souls have been lost because of the example set by the careless preacher. Even though we also are only human, the world expects more than that from us, and we must strive to be the best we can be. Paul finishes his entreaty to Timothy like this, "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." Brethren, take heed to your example, for the souls of men depend on it, and if you would not set the good example please quit preaching!
     The man who is lazy should quit preaching. A little boy, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, replied that he wanted to be a preacher. When asked why, his reply was that because preachers only had to work one day a week. As humorous as this seems, this is the way that some preachers approach their responsibility. They stand before the congregation Sunday after Sunday. Their sermons lack luster and are not very edifying because they have put little or no study into them. Brethren, preaching the gospel, if done according to the way God wants it, is hard work. Many hours must be spent in prayerful preparation before you stand before the congregation. Each sermon must be prepared with the thought in mind that it might be the only one ever heard by someone in the audience. It should be informative, and instructional, filled with love. To do all of this, it takes effort on the part of the preacher. Years ago in one of my Bible classes, the instructor told us that to have an effective sermon we should spend one hour in preparation for each minute our sermon was in length. This is a good rule of thumb in preparation of a sermon because of the grave responsibility before us in preaching the Gospel. Brethren, if you are lazy and not willing to "labor" in the vineyard, you need to quit preaching.
     The man who is in preaching for money should quit. The Bible teaches "the labourer is worthy of his reward" (1 Tim. 5:18). It, therefore, is certainly not wrong to receive money for preaching as some might advocate. Paul argued the right of those who labor in the Gospel to live of the Gospel in Galatians 6:6 and 1 Corinthians 9:3-14). However, no man is fit to preach who loves the money more than he does the work. As a preacher of the gospel, one is not to "make merchandise" of the preaching of the gospel. I recently heard of a gospel preacher who, while trying out for a job, stated how much he would be willing to take the job for, and then stated that this amount would only be for the pulpit preaching, if they wanted him to visit the hospital, or the delinquent, or anything else, it would cost them more. This is sad, but the saddest part of this whole story is that the elders of this congregation hired him. Preacher friends, if you are "preaching" only for what you can get out of the brethren, please quit before it is to late.
     The preacher who does not love the souls of men should quit preaching. If we love the souls of all men, we will be doing everything we can to preach and teach them the truth so they might be saved. We will also be wearing a path to the doors of the delinquent trying to restore them. We will be inviting our neighbors and friends to the services or trying to set up personal Bible studies with them. Paul was so concerned about the lost that on one occasion he stated that he would be willing to lose his own soul if doing that might save the soul of another. Brethren are we that concerned about the lost? We can look across our neighborhoods, towns, states, countries and world, and truly see "the fields are white unto harvest." Are you willing to go into the "fields" and labor for the Lord? If not, please quit calling yourself a preacher because a preacher is to love the lost enough to try to save them.
     My dear preacher brethren, I would encourage you to "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine." I would also encourage you to "do the work of an evangelist." Brother are you willing to do this? If not, then please quit preaching!
         10985 Country Haven
         Cottondale, AL 35453



Garland M. Robinson

Please explain how a person can know they have eternal life, if, as some Church of Christ ministers assert, that we don't get eternal life until this life is over and we are judged to be faithful.
     This question probably has reference to 1 John 5:13, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." Those who espouse the doctrine of Calvinism assert that since this verse says we "have eternal life," and since "eternal" means "never ending," then those who are saved are not in danger of losing their salvation (cannot possibly be lost), otherwise, eternal would not mean "never ending." From this, assertion is made that we have eternal life "now" and will not be received in the future when this life is over.
     Other passages plainly say that those who have obeyed the gospel (those saved from past sins) have eternal life in prospect, i.e., in expectation, in anticipation, in promise. For example:
     Peter said to Jesus, "...Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life" (Mark 10:28-30). Jesus told his apostles that eternal life would be granted "in the world to come." If we have it now, then it cannot be given to us in the world to come. It will not be realized until this life is over.
     Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, "To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life" (Rom. 2:7). Immortality and eternal life, that for which we seek (seek in order to find, long, hope for, desire), comes only after one has continued patiently in well doing. "For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:11).
     Paul told Timothy, "Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life" (1 Tim. 6:19). If we have eternal life now, how are we going to "lay up in store" for it against "the time to come?" Eternal life is that which we may lay hold on in the future, not now.
     To Titus, Paul wrote, "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Titus 1:2). "That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:7). If we have eternal life now, then how can we hope for it? Eternal life, that for which we hope, is not yet realized or achieved. "...Hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for" (Rom. 8:24)?
     The apostle John wrote, "And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life" (1 John 2:25). Eternal life has been promised to us by God. A promise comes before that which is to be received, not after it. If it is a promise, then it is not possessed now, otherwise, it could not be promised. The promise of eternal life is also based on a certain condition which must be met. Verse 24 says, "Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father." If one does not remain in that which we have heard from the beginning (the gospel), then he will not receive the promise of eternal life.
     The rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22 asked, "...Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" Jesus said, "...if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." The young man said he had kept the commandments and asked if there was anything else he had to do. "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." Jesus said the treasure (eternal life) for which the young man sought is found in heaven. If it's in heaven, it is not possessed now. Eternal life can be and will be ours in heaven if we obey the Lord and live faithful to his commands.
     In this life, there is temptation and sin. We are told not to sin (1 John 2:1). Yet, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). As great as the apostle Paul was, he said, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1 Cor. 9:27). He knew of the struggle of fighting temptation and yielding to sin. As long as we live, we may sin and miss eternal life. But, if we continue faithful, we can say as Paul did, "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (2 Tim. 4:8). If he already had it, he could not say it was laid up for him and would be given him "at that day."
     In the life to come, in eternal life, there is no temptation or sin. "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life" (Rev. 21:27). As long as there is temptation and sin, we do not yet possess eternal life. No one will enjoy the reality of eternal life and the blessings involved in it until he reaches that eternal place called heaven. Eternal life is in the world to come, not this one.
     The above passages are not quoted in an effort to stack scripture against scripture (one passage against another). It is a wrong use of scripture to "count" verses and determine a doctrine based on the number of verses which appear to teach it. For example, I've heard people say, "for every verse you show me on baptism, I'll show you ten on faith." Such thinking is absurd! If the Bible only mentions a thing one time, that is what the Bible teaches on that subject. It makes it no less inspired or important than another subject which may be found in 5, 10 or 100 verses.
     It is obvious that the Bible is in harmony with itself. It does not contradict itself. Whatever one passage says cannot be made to conflict with what another passage says. When we apply a certain teaching to one passage and it plainly contradicts another passage, then we have applied the wrong teaching to that passage. This principle cannot be denied.
     How, then, are we to understand the subject of "eternal life" when there are verses which say we have it now (in possession), while others say we don't have it now, but will have it in the life to come (it is a promise)? The passages do not contradict one another; so, how do they harmonize with one another?
     The assurance of God's promises are based on the fact that God cannot lie. He has promised eternal, never ending life, to those who believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of their sins (Luke 13:3), confess that Jesus is the Christ (Matt. 10:32), are baptized (immersed) in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38) and, continue faithful to the Lord's Will (1 Cor. 15:58; Rom. 11:22; Col. 1:23; 1 John 2:24; Rev. 2:10).
     God's promises are so sure and steadfast that there are many instances where a thing is said to be "possessed" when "literally" it is not possessed -- where something was said to have occurred when it had not yet occurred. It was possessed or had occurred only in prospect, in promise, in hope. The Old Testament is filled with such examples. For instance:
     In Joshua 6:2, the city of Jericho was said to be the possession of the children of Israel when, as yet, it was not. "And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour." Before this became a reality, the Israelites had to meet the conditions God stipulated before they would "literally" possess the city (Josh. 6:3-5). Had they not done as God directed, they would not have possessed the city as promised by God. Yet, God's promise was so sure, their hope so strong, the scripture says God had given them the city when, as yet, they were still camped outside of it.
     Isaiah mentions many "prophetic certainties" where a thing is spoken of first in the "present" or even "past tense" and then later spoken of in the "future tense." God speaks of things as if they had already occurred when, as yet, they had not. The wrath of God toward his enemies is mentioned in Isaiah 34:2. He uses the past tense saying "he hath utterly destroyed them" and in the next verse speaks of their destruction in the future tense, saying, "Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood." In Isaiah 42:1-2 we read a prophecy God makes regarding Jesus saying, "I have put my spirit upon him" (past tense) and in the next phrase says "he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles" (future tense). Isaiah 45:1 speaks of Cyrus, king of Persia, "whose right hand I have holden" (past tense) "to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him..." (future tense). God had strengthened the hand of Cyrus long before he was even born.
     Paul, by inspiration, illustrates this same point in Romans 4:17, "(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were." This quote is from Genesis 17:5 where God said to Abraham, "a father of many nations have I made thee" (past tense). When God said this to Abraham he was not a father of many nations. Isaac, through whom it would be fulfilled, had not yet been born. But, God speaks of it as though it was a reality, as if it had already happened when, as yet, it had not happened.
     The subject at hand could not be any clearer than this. God himself said he sometimes speaks of things that are yet to occur in the future ("those things which be not") as if they had already occurred ("as though they were").
     Similarly, the Bible speaks in some passages as if to say that Christians have eternal life now, when in fact (in reality) it will not be realized or attained until this life is over. The many scriptures quoted above prove this fact. Christians have eternal life only IF they continue to obey the Lord, only IF they continue in faithfulness. Jesus said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 7:21). We will only enter heaven if we do the will of the Father.
     Eternal life is a great and wondrous promise. You need not miss it. It can be yours if you will obey the Lord and be "faithful unto death" (Rev. 2:10).



Tommy J. Hicks

     In a previous article (S.T.O.P. Dec/97), I said, "The first I heard that SSOP 'might' be teaching something it should not on the 'Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage' question was in 1978." I also said that when I went to Sunset to inquire into this matter, brother Cline Paden, then the Director of the Sunset School of Preaching, provided me with a form letter, dated March 6, 1973. Just over Paden's signature, the concluding statement of that letter was -- "Therefore, Sunset School of Preaching does not, and will not teach that the guilty party may remarry." My article indicated that Sunset had not taught error, on "Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage," while I was a student there (1967-69) and that it was my impression from Paden's 1973 letter and my 1978 visit with him in his office that during those years the school was still not teaching error on that issue. I was wrong!
     After my article was published, I began receiving letters and phone calls from other SSOP alumni. They let me know, in no uncertain terms, that Sunset had taught error on "Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage" before I was a student there, while I was a student there, and after I was a student there. One of the first letters I received came from brother Perry O'Dell, a classmate of mine at SSOP from 1967 to 1969. O'Dell succinctly told me -- "You were wrong about the teaching about the 'guilty party.' Richard [Rogers] taught this false doctrine several times in class. He made mention that a person divorced was not married, therefore was free to marry."
     Another SSOP alumnus, Wayland McClellan, who attended from 1969 to 1971, wrote me and said, "In our classes with Richard Rogers, and I am not sure which ones it might have been, he used the illustration of two being handcuffed together. The point, supposedly, was to show that if one was released (that being the party which had the right to divorce) then the other (guilty) party would not be tied to anyone. It sounded 'good' to a young Christian who sat in 'awe' of his teacher, but the truth being that there was no Biblical basis for such a conclusion." Brother McClellan went on to say that, until about a year after his graduation, he held the erroneous view taught to him by Richard Rogers. Fortunately, McClellan came to see that what he had been taught was error and he has renounced it. However, how many "young Christian" preacher students have "sat in "awe'" of their teachers (Abe Lincoln, Richard Rogers, Truman Scott, Ted Stewart...) at Sunset, have believed and accepted the errors they have been taught there and continue to hold those errors to this day? Not only that, how many have been taught error at Sunset and then have gone all over the world teaching that error?
     SSOP alumni from the 1965-67 class, from the 1967-69 class, from the 1969-71 class, and from later classes have come forward to say that Richard Rogers taught, all those years, that the "guilty party" can remarry after a divorce. So, I stand corrected. But, what does all this surfacing information reveal about Paden's 1973 letter?
     An over abundance of evidence (testimony from the students who were there, many of whom no doubt still have their class notes) proves beyond any doubt that, all through the years between 1965 and 1973, Richard Rogers was teaching that the "guilty party" could remarry after a divorce." It is now evident that it was because of this very fact that many brethren were sending inquiries to Paden about what was being taught at SSOP, relative to "Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage." Evidently, so many inquiries were coming in that Paden felt it expedient to produce a form letter to deal with them. It is in that form letter, dated March 6, 1973, that Paden emphatically declared, "Sunset School of Preaching does not, and will not teach that the guilty party may remarry."
     In light of the fact that, in truth, it had been and was being openly taught (at least by Richard Rogers) that the "guilty party may remarry," how could Paden make such a denial? Was he ignorant of what was being taught? Did he not investigate the matter even though it was repeatedly brought to his attention by the numerous inquiries he was receiving? Could it be that he knew what was being taught, but attempted to cover it up so that financial support and students would continue to come Sunset's way? I do not know the answer to these questions, but I do know two things for sure. Paden should have known what was being taught at Sunset. And, what he wrote in his March 6, 1973, letter (whether intentionally or unintentionally) was not the truth.
     Cline Paden's protestations and disinformation to the contrary, notwithstanding, it has been and can be verified and demonstrated that, since the mid 60s to the present, Sunset School of Preaching (now called Sunset International Bible Institute) has taught and continues to teach that the "guilty party" may remarry after a divorce. Richard Rogers, a SSOP faculty member ("on" and "off" -- he is presently "on") since the mid 60s, cannot successfully, correctly, and truthfully deny having taught, at Sunset, all through those years, that the "guilty party" may remarry after a divorce. He is still teaching that same false doctrine, at Sunset.
     Also, teaching (at Sunset) that the "guilty party" may remarry after a divorce are Truman Scott and Ted Stewart, just to mention a couple (Truitt Adair, director of the school, other teachers, and Sunset staffers hold and teach the same view). I specifically named brethren Scott and Stewart for a reason.
     Brother Truman Scott, in addition to being a teacher in the school at Sunset, holds the position of "Dean of International Studies." In my "Open Letter" to Sunset's elders, I wrote: "The debate on Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage that your faculty member, Truman Scott, had with Wayne Jackson is in print. That debate not only revealed what Scott teaches regarding the Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage issue, it shows Scott's lack of intellectual integrity" (PLEASE ASK ME TO PROVE THIS!).XXXX Upon reading this material, brother Stewart phoned me and accused me of having "maligned" his "good brother, Truman Scott." However, he did not show me "how" or "where" I had "maligned" Scott. Since Stewart has accused me of "maligning" Scott, I am compelled to prove what I said about Scott. What I said about Scott is factual, truth, and contains no errors or misrepresentations; therefore, I did not "malign" him.
     On September 25, 1982, the church in Martinez, California, hosted a "study discussion" on the subject of "Divorce and Remarriage" between brethren Wayne Jackson and Truman Scott. That discussion was printed in book form and entitled, Divorce & Remarriage. In this book, it is revealed that Scott teaches that "fornication" and "adultery" are not "sexual intercourse outside of marriage." On page 38, Scott is quoted saying, "The Bible clearly teaches that any kind of sexual intercourse outside of the marriage covenant is sinful and damning for multiple reasons. But that kind of contact is not fornication (emphasis mine, TJH) and that is an extremely important clarification we need to make." Further, on page 48, Scott said, "The basic, original meaning of our key word, adultery, therefore, is not sexual intercourse, but covenant breaking" (emphasis mine, TJH).
     Any serious Bible student knows that Scott's efforts to redefine these terms are not only silly, they are futile. However, it was necessary for Scott to attempt to do so in his vain striving to support his false doctrine. The book under consideration revealed that Scott would tell a man or a woman in their second marriage, after they had divorced their former mates where neither party had committed fornication, to "do everything you can, and exhaust all of your resources to make that marriage work" (page 110). Thus, Scott teaches them to do everything in their power to stay in what Jesus called adultery (Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18).
     What does Scott teach concerning the remarriage of the "guilty party" after he/she has been put away by the "innocent party" for the cause of fornication? Pages 100-105 reveal explicitly and undeniably that Scott teaches the "guilty party" may remarry after a divorce. These things are in the book. Scott said these things.
     As a participant in the discussion, before the book was printed, Scott took advantage of the opportunity to proof-read his presentations to make sure they were correctly set forth (see page 125). So, no, I did not "malign" Scott when I said, "That debate...revealed what brother Scott teaches regarding the Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage issue." It does. If there was any "maligning" here, Scott did it to himself.
     When Stewart accused me of "maligning" Scott, perhaps, he had in mind my statement, "That debate...shows brother Scott's lack of intellectual integrity." If so, a question comes to my mind -- "Has Stewart read the book?" (Does Stewart have the book on hand, available for sale in his bookstore?) If he had read the book, especially pages 122-128, I do not believe Stewart could seriously accuse me of "maligning" Scott relative to Scott's "lack of intellectual integrity." Throughout the discussion, brother Jackson, in a gentlemanly, scholarly, loving, Christian way, completely devastated, annihilated every one of Scott's erroneous arguments. However, none of Jackson's arguments were more powerfully decimating to and exposing of Scott's baseless argument (that adultery is not sexual activity, but rather that it is "covenant breaking") than his argument from John 8. Jackson said, "In John 8, the Bible says that the Jews brought to Christ a woman who had been taken in the very act of adultery." Then, Jackson said to Scott, "My question to you is this: what did they apprehend her doing? Breaking a covenant? Or was she involved in illicit sexual activity" (page 122)? It is here, in response to this argument, that Scott manifested his "lack of intellectual integrity."
     Responding to Jackson, Scott said the phrase "the very act," in John 8:4, is a mistranslation of the Greek word autophonia. Concerning this word, autophonia, Scott declared, "Now that does not translate 'the very act of.' That translates, "by her own mouth she accuses herself'" (pages 124-125). Furthermore, Scott said, "The expression 'caught in the very act' ('the act,' 'the very act,') only occurs this one time in the Greek New Testament. ... It only occurs to my knowledge, one or perhaps two times outside of the New Testament" (page 123). How do these statements manifest that Scott lacks "intellectual integrity?" Jackson laid Scott's lack of "intellectual integrity" bare when he showed, "There is no such word in the Greek New Testament as autophonia" (page 126). Contrary to Scott's bogus definition of a word that does not even exist in the Greek New Testament, Jackson proved, "The word in John 8:4 is from the Greek term autophoros (the word that actually is there, TJH), a word found frequently [not a mere one or two times] in Greek literature, which means 'caught in the act' (cf. the lexicons of: Liddell & Scott, p. 264; Arndt & Gingrich, p. 123; Thayer, p. 87; Abbott-Smith, p. 70; Robinson, p. 110, etc.) I personally found the word used by several Greek classical writers in exactly the same sense as employed by the apostle in John 8:4" (page 127).
     Is one manifesting a "lack of intellectual integrity" when he erroneously claims there is a certain Greek word in John 8:4, but no such word is found anywhere in the entire Greek New Testament? Is one proving he lacks "intellectual integrity" when he claims a definition exists (and gives it) for a word that does not in fact exist (but he claims that it does)? Is one demonstrating a lack of "intellectual integrity" when he presents himself to have so thoroughly studied a particular word that he is so authoritative on that word that he can: 1) Reject established and proven scholarship, 2) Provide a definition for the word without etymological or linguistic evidence, and 3) Claim to know something of how many times the word is used in and out of the Greek New Testament? This should be sufficient to expose Scott's "lack of intellectual integrity," BUT THERE IS MORE!
     Jackson caught Scott "in the very act" of the above mentioned misrepresentations and confronted Scott with his error. Regarding his use of the Greek word autophonia, in a letter to Jackson, dated October 4, 1982, Scott admitted what he called "an obvious error on my part" and even called it an "inexplicable error." More than that Jackson said, "He promised that he would 'go back and discover the origin or cause of the misstatement.' You can imagine my surprise -- and my dismay -- when, after more than seven months [May 13, 1983], I received Truman's revised transcript and the only change was an alteration of autophonia to autophoro. Yet, left uncorrected was the entire false argument that had been erected upon his spurious word, namely, that the term meant "self- accused'" (page 127).
     On October 23, 1982, Darrell Perry (the brother who published the book) wrote to Scott, saying, "In addition, brother Jackson has informed us of your admitted mistake with regard to John 8. If it is your desire to add an appendix to the discussion correcting that error, let us know at your earliest convenience."
     Later, on March 17, 1983, Perry wrote to Scott -- "Concerning your comments on John 8 in the Question and Answer Period: You may wish, after going over that section grammatically and letting it stand as presented, to add a brief paragraph correcting the information you presented on that text. The number of words should hardly exceed the original number you employed." Brethren Jackson and Perry were magnanimous in their dealings with Scott. He made a false argument. He was caught and even admitted his error. He was allowed the time and the opportunity to correct the matter. A man possessing true "intellectual integrity" would have done so. Scott chose not to do so.
     On March 9, 1984, Jackson wrote to Scott -- "I have no way of explaining why you have persistently refused to publicly admit your error in the John 8 argument other than the fact you simply do not wish to do it and I know of no other light to view it save a lack of integrity" (emphasis mine, TJH).
     Almost 14 years have passed since Jackson wrote that letter. Scott still has not corrected his false argument. He still lacks "intellectual integrity." I did not "malign" Scott when I wrote that he lacked "intellectual integrity." He did and he does.
     No one has to accept my word for any of these things. All anyone has to do is read the book, Divorce & Remarriage, A Study Discussion. I encourage everyone to do so and draw their own conclusions about Scott's arguments and his "lack of intellectual integrity." In the November, 1997, issue of Christian Courier, Jackson stated, "Those who are considering a joint-effort with Sunset in various mission projects may well wish to take this matter into consideration. Truman Scott is a leading figure in Sunset's mission efforts." To this I add, if you are considering sending a "preacher student" to Sunset or if you are considering sending financial support to the Sunset preacher training school, consider the false doctrine, doctrinal error that is being taught there -- consider the lack of "intellectual integrity" some of the instructors have -- and then, DO NOT SEND STUDENTS OR SUPPORT TO SUNSET!
         P.O. Box 64430
         Lubbock, TX 79464



Marvin Weir

     In the business world, people want to know about fringe benefits, sick days, vacations, salary, opportunity for promotion, working conditions -- and rightly so. Thus, before committing to work for an organization, inquiring minds ask, "What do you have to offer me?" Can you imagine a business answering by saying, "We are biblically based. We strive to have quality Bible classes and to present thought-provoking sermons that challenge people to reflect on their soul's eternal welfare. We are benevolent minded and desire to help those who have legitimate needs. Our mission is to proclaim the risen Savior to a lost and dying world. We regard the Word of God as being authoritative and precious -- our only worthwhile guide as we journey through this life. We enjoy the fellowship with all fellow members of like precious faith. What we have to offer is worth far more than silver or gold. You will be happy to be associated with us."
     I imagine that most would quickly point out -- and rightly so -- that the above description better describes a church than a business! One might even say, "You cannot expect a business to be a church. People must distinguish between the two institutions, and understand their goals, purposes, and concerns are not the same."
     There is, however, another side to the story. On several occasions in recent years I have had those who profess to be members of the Lord's church to visit the congregation and ask, "What do you have to offer?" Parents want to know what you can offer them, their teenagers, and their toddlers. They would like for me to say, "We offer a most exciting entertainment and recreational package. There are church softball and bowling teams for the adults. We have a professional youth minister who is well paid to see that the youth are always on the go -- ski trips, river floats, and camp-outs. We also have many other forms of entertainment in our state-of-the-art gymnasium -- ah, ugh, I mean our family life center. There is mother's day out three times each week, and our cafeteria provides a meal each Wednesday evening. Our Bible class curriculum is second to none -- we offer classes on how to succeed in business, how to cope with stress, and how to manage one's finances. Our most popular classes are entitled 'Cooking For Christ' and 'Exercising To The Glory Of God.'"
     Why is it folks can so clearly see the fallacy in the above description of the business, but cannot see the fallacy in the above description of the church? Many simply do not want to see! They love the lifestyle they are living, and they cater to having all their "felt needs" met! It is as it was in Isaiah's day when the people said "to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits" (Isa. 30:10). And, of course, the cowardly liberals and spineless hirelings are quick to provide that which will draw a crowd even if they must forego offering that which leads to eternal life.
         5810 Liberty Grove Rd.
         Rowlett, TX 75088


"Go Ye And Learn What That Meaneth"

Wade Lee Webster

     On one occasion our Lord told some Pharisees to go and learn what a statement meant (Matt. 9:13). Although the Pharisees prided themselves in knowing the Scriptures, they often neglected what it taught in order to keep their own traditions. Likewise, today there are many men who pride themselves in knowing the Bible, and yet, they neglect much of what the word of God teaches in order to hold their own doctrines. No doubt, as our Lord listens to many brethren today talk about love, He wishes they would go and "learn what that meaneth...." Many brethren are ignorant of what the Bible teaches about love. They have missed so much of what the Lord wants them to know about it. I want to point out some things I have noticed that many brethren fail to mention as they talk about love.
     Many fail to mention that love involves correction. In the book of Revelation we read, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent" (Rev. 3:19). Jesus was in the process of correcting the church of Laodicea when these words were spoken. Clearly, our Lord connected correction and love. He wanted these brethren to understand that he was correcting them because He loved them. Time after time in the New Testament, we see our Lord correcting men and women out of love (Mark 8:33; 16:14; Luke 9:55; John 2:13-16). He loved men enough to correct them when they were wrong.
     Today, He wants us to follow in His footsteps and love as He loved (1 Peter 2:21; John 15:12). When a brother teaches that which is false, or in some other way departs from the truth, Jesus wants us to love him enough to "shew him the error of his way" and try to turn him back to the truth (James 5:19-20). If an erring brother will not return to the truth, Jesus wants us to withdraw ourselves from him (Titus 3:10-11; Rom. 16:17; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15; 1 Cor. 5:13; 2 Tim. 3:5; Titus 1:11; 2 John 10). Those today who claim that it is unloving to contend for the faith, mark false teachers, and withdraw from those who walk disorderly need to learn the meaning of Biblical love. Through His word, Jesus is saying to them, "Go ye and learn what that meaneth."
     Many fail to mention that love involves keeping God's commandments. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ clearly understood that love involves doing what God has commanded. Three times within the fourteenth chapter of John, He stressed that those who love Him will keep His word (John 14:15, 21, 23). In simple and straightforward language He said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). In like manner, John, the apostle of love, connected love and obedience (1 John 2:5; 3:18; 2 John 1,3; 2 John 6). In the book of First John, he wrote, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:2-3).
     Today, we must understand that love involves keeping God's commandments. We do not really love God unless we are willing to do what He tells us to do. It seems that many within and without the church are trying to separate grace from law, faith from works, and love from obedience. Yet, the Bible clearly connects these things together. Men must learn not to "put asunder" that which God has joined together (Matt. 19:6).
     Many fail to mention that love involves continuation. Our Lord told His disciples to "continue" in His love (John 15:9). The diligent Bible student will remember that He had "somewhat against" the church at Ephesus because they had left their first love (Rev. 2:4). He understood that love involved continuing to do that which is right. Likewise, Jude, the half- brother of our Lord wrote, "Keep yourselves in the love of God. Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life" (Jude 21). Clearly, Jude understood that man must continue in love in order to be saved. In like manner, the apostle John wrote, "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). The suffix "eth" on the end of the word "dwelleth" signifies that man must continue to dwell in the love of God.
     Today, we must understand the importance of continuing in the love of God. We must realize that unless we continue to obey God, we will fall from grace (Gal. 5:4). Sadly, much of the preaching which is being done on love today does not stress the importance of continuing in it.
     When our Lord talked about love, He mentioned correction, obedience and continuation. Surely, He wants us to make the same connections in our teaching and preaching today. No doubt, He wants those who are preaching the "all fluff" and "no substance" doctrine of love today to go and learn what love means. I agree with these brethren that love needs to be preached. Yet, I believe that men need to hear the Lord's teaching on love and not man's watered-down version.
         504 S Main St.
         Piedmont, AL 36272



Roger D. Campbell

     In Matthew 16:18 it is written that Jesus made this promise: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Jesus loved the church (Eph. 5:25) and with His blood He purchased it (Acts 20:28). While people today speak about the church in many different ways, we are interested to know the answer to this question: "In the Bible, how is the church of the living God described?"
     The church is the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Christ. This shows its form of government, that it is a monarchy with the Lord Jesus as its King. Daniel prophesied of the church, saying that it was "a kingdom which shall never be destroyed" (Daniel 2:44). John the Baptizer, Jesus, the twelve apostles, and at least seventy other disciples all preached about the coming of the church, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." We noted above that Jesus promised to build His church (Matt. 16:19). In the next verse Jesus referred to the church as the kingdom, saying, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven..." (16:19). Paul reminded the saints in Colosse that God had translated them into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:13). Into which kingdom did He translate them? Answer, the church.
     In the Bible, the church is called the House of God. This shows that the church is the family of God, for He is the Father of all those (and only those!) who are in the church. Members of His church are His children, and the relationship that they have to one another is that of brothers and sisters (Gal. 3:26; 6:1). Paul directly called the church the house of God: "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). Those who are in Christ are in "the household of God" (Eph. 2:19). Jesus Christ is the "high priest over the house of God" (Heb. 10:21). But Jesus is head of and rules over the church. Thus, Jesus is the high priest over the church, which is God's house or family on earth.
     The Bible also describes the church as the Body of Christ. "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Eph. 1:22,23). Calling the church the body shows the unity of the church, with all members working together for the good of the body (1 Cor. 12:12-27). Because Jesus is the head of the church, then it is to be in subjection to Him in all things (Eph. 5:24). The Bible plainly says, "There is one body" (Eph. 4:4), so since the body is the church, then there is one church that belongs to and was bought by Christ. How many spiritual bodies does Jesus have? Only one. How many churches? The answer is the same!
     In the New Testament we also read of the church as the Temple of God. The apostle Paul said the church "groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord" (Eph. 2:20). While the Holy Spirit said the physical body of Christians is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), in the same epistle, through Paul, He said to all the church at Corinth, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you" (3:16)? He later again wrote to them, "Ye are the temple of the living God" (2 Cor. 6:16). The church is thus God's temple. In the Old Testament, the temple was a place of worship, God's dwelling, and holiness. Today, acceptable worship is given to God only in the church. The church is not a physical building, but the kingdom of priests who offer up spiritual sacrifices to God by Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:5). Today, God dwells in the church (that is, in His children) (2 Cor. 6:16). And, it is in the church that God's people are made holy or sanctified, acting as "obedient children" (1 Peter 1:14).
     In other New Testament passages, the God of heaven describes His church as a vineyard (Matt. 20:1,2), the church of God (1 Cor. 1:2), and the church of Christ (Rom. 16:16). When we speak about the true church of the Lord, let us be certain that we describe it or call it only in the same manner that the Lord Himself does in the Bible.
         P.O. Box 828
         67 Kiev 252067



Paul Wilmoth

     Men desire positive preaching, fair speeches that makes one feel good. Men like to be praised and loved by others. They would rather not offend anyone. They prefer making friends to making enemies. But this is not always possible nor pleasing in the sight of God. The Bible teaches that each of us must be willing to "endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (2 Tim. 2:3). We are also warned, "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (2 Tim. 2:4). When the going gets rough we need to remember to "...endure all things for the elect's sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Tim. 2:10). That suffering for Christ is inevitable is clearly seen. Paul states, "Yea, and ALL that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12). If you are not suffering for Christ, then maybe it is because you are not living a godly life!
     The church is facing a major departure from the truth today. Most of the congregations in the Cookeville, Tennessee, area are either a part of that digression or are fast becoming a part of it. One false teacher after another is now being paraded into Putnam County and into our city. Preachers and elders encourage their members to attend these meetings. In doing so they are bidding them "God speed" and becoming a "partaker in their evil deeds" (2 John 9-11). How does one recognize a false teacher?
     1. One who teaches that one might be saved without doing what God commanded in His word is a false teacher.
     2. When one teaches that God just might not punish anyone eternally in a devil's hell, is a false teacher.
     3. When one teaches that women need to have a different role in the church today, he is a false teacher.
     4. When one teaches that elders have no authority over God's flock, he is a false teacher.
     5. When one teaches that instrumental music in worship will not cause one to be lost, he is a false teacher.
     6. When one applies Matthew 18:15-17 to public proclaimers of error, he is a false teacher.
     7. When one encourages participation and fellowship with denominational bodies, he is a false teacher.
     8. When one teaches there is more than one reason for divorce and remarriage, he is a false teacher.
     9. When a man accuses others of taking his plain statements out of context in order to cover up his false teaching, he is a false teacher.
     10. When a preacher, elder, or editor advertises a gospel meeting of a known heretic, they become partakers of his evil deeds.
     11. When preachers fellowship those who teach and/or promote false teachers, they also become guilty.
     12. And the list can go on and on.
     "Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity" (Psalm 94:16)?
         P.O. Box 5000
         Cookeville, TN 38505

Return to Table of Contents

. MailBag

"Just a note to tell you again how much good your paper is doing. It might be hard to measure but you can be assured that it is doing tremendous good at a time when it is most needed. Your writers along with your own writings are so well worded and easy to read. Just keep on keeping on! Truly the pen is mightier than the sword!" ...Tommy Exum, Nashville, TN. "We would like to be put on your mailing list to receive S.T.O.P. We picked up a copy at Cowan, TN church of Christ while visiting there and were very impressed with your articles of truth. We are enclosing $$$" ...Chattanooga, TN. "It is sad some don't like papers like S.T.O.P. Yet, rejected by some. You can use the check enclosed to help as you see need at East Corinth church of Christ. All that is supportive of the work there will be blessed" ...Harvey Justice, Amory, MS. "Thank you for your sound publication" ...Anonymous, Blue Ridge, GA. "Here's a contribution to continue your excellent bold and truthful publication S.T.O.P." ...Lamar Johnson, Athens, GA. "My brothers, Soldier on!!! We're with you all the way!!!" ...Martin Bedford, Tucson, AZ. "Enclosed is our check for $$. Bless you and keep up the good work in teaching the truth" ...Gary Johns, Algonac, MI. "Bless you in your stand for the truth and exposing error. Enclosed is small contribution" ...Barbara Johnson, Lyons, GA. "I would like to start receiving S.T.O.P. publication. I understand it is an informative publication on what is being taught in the church today" ...Ronda Poe, Flint, MI. "This is to help you on the paper S.T.O.P. Have been meaning to mail it but keep putting it off" ...Tennie Hunter, Gainesboro, TN. "I look forward to receiving every issue and enjoy reading so very much. May God give you strength and health to keep the Gospel flowing for many years to come" ...Addie Long, Harrisburg, AR. "We would like to be added to your mailing list. Hope the enclosed check will help with expenses a little. Keep up the good work. My husband preaches at a small congregation and it's good to know there are still others across the country who still love the truth" ...Jean Ware, Rock Island, TN. "Please find enclosed a check to help on expense and postage. We appreciate receiving S.T.O.P. Please place a friend on the mailing list" ...M/M Buford Blanton, Oakman, AL. "I appreciate you running the articles by Tom Bright on women translators. I wish more publications would discuss the issue instead of sweeping it under the rug. Great webb page that you have" ...Jimmy Pitchford, Hardy, AR. "Thank you and God bless all of you. Well pleased with your efforts" ...James Fisher, Franklin, LA. "I really look forward to Seek The Old Paths each month. God bless you and the elders at East Corinth. I enjoy reading them very much" ...Estelle Chaffin, Cookeville, TN. "I am currently receiving your paper. I am very pleased with the material contained within it. Keep up the good work" ...Christopher Gallagher, Bridgeport, WV. "I've enjoyed the paper and your web page is great. Thanks" ...Larry Murdock, Florence, AL. "Please remove my name from the mailing list. I receive all the publications I can possibly read" ...Bill Autrey, Yorba Linda, CA. "I would like to receive Seek The Old Paths and am sending a small donation to help with the publishing. I will send more as I can afford it. Thank you, and may God richly bless each of you" ...Alene Barnes, Sentinel, OK. "Please add me to your monthly publication of Seek The Old Paths" ...Wiley Gosnell, Lindsay, OK. "We receive Seek The Old Paths and are thankful for publications that stand for the truth" ...Dale Hobbs, Springdale, AR. "Please mail me your free bulletin" ...Robert Greenhill, Sheffield Lake, OH. "Please add me to your mailing list for your publication Seek The Old Paths " ...Jerris Bullard, Gainesville, VA. "I would like to inform you of my choice to no longer receive your publication, S.T.O.P. I wish to cancel and request that you remove my name from your mailing list. Thank you for your time and God bless you" ...Doug McGee, Flint, TX. "Thank you so much for sending one copy of STOP regularly. I enjoy reading it. It helps me in my work for the Lord. For the soundness of your teaching I thank God. I find the materials are refreshing and edifying not only myself but the whole congregations of the church in Imphal. We are looking forward of receiving this sound publication from month to month" ...Ngulkhopao Thomte, Manipur,India. "Please continue to send Seek The Old Paths to my new address. Thank you, keep up the good work and may God continue to bless the Elders" ...James Short, Crossville, TN. "The following have expressed a desire to receive Seek The Old Paths. Would you kindly add them to your mailing list. I enjoy S.T.O.P. very much. Please continue the good work" ...Eli Thornton, Killen. AL. "I really enjoy your paper. Keep up the good work" ...Joyce McCharen, Pontotoc, MS. "We enjoy receiving Seek The Old Paths very much" ...Linda Smith, Crossville, TN. "I received a copy of November 1997 Seek The Old Paths from Villages church of Christ, Mt. Juliet, TN. I greatly enjoyed all of your articles and wish to be placed on your mailing list. Please find enclosed a small amount of help. Thank you again for having the courage to stand up for the truth" ...Chris Moore, Nashville, TN. "Stand fast. We are behind you all the way. Wish we could do more for His cause" ...Martin Bedford, Tucson, AZ. "Thank you for sending Seek The Old Paths" ...Canelle Threlkeld, Union City, TN. "I just recently received the November issue of Seek The Old Paths and found myself unable to put it down once I began reading until I read everything including the mailbag on the back. I thoroughly enjoyed the issue and appreciate the doctrinal soundness trumpeted through the written page. Keep up the good work" ...Michael Farmer, Augusta, GA. "I like the paper and appreciate your stand for the truth. Keep up the good work" ...Thelma Clark, Pascagoula, MS. "We are enclosing $$ to help with the postage and handling. We really enjoy your paper" ...Maxine Nichols, Drumright, OK. "STOP. What makes you think I need you to tell me what's right and/or wrong. I have a mind of my own and can and do read the Bible for myself. I certainly would not listen to someone who is filled with so much hatred and self- righteousness. Remove my name from your mailing list and do not send me anymore literature" ...David Haney, Tyler, TX.

A DEBATE is scheduled between Mark Lindley (Oak Ridge Church of Christ) and Mike Strevel (Ripley Primitive Baptist Church). It will be held March 26-28, 1998 at the Booneville Church of Christ building in Booneville, Miss. Propositions: "The Scriptures teach that eternal salvation is conditional, based upon the sinner's response to the Gospel" (affirmed by Mark Lindley) -- "The Scriptures teach that the alien sinner comes into possession of Spiritual or eternal life without any condition on his, the sinner's part (affirmed by Mike Strevel). Contact Mark Lindley, 452 County Rd. 7461, Baldwyn, MS 38824, ph. (601) 728-7515.

If you would like an index of Seek The Old Paths for 1995-1997, please send us a stamped (55 cents) self-addressed envelope and request it. It is free.


1997 Bound Volume of
Seek The Old Paths
$5 (includes postage)

Make check payable to
Old Paths Publishing
304 Ripley St.
Corinth, MS 38834

Only 200 printed!
The 1996 Volume is still available
The 1995 Volume has been sold out

    1997 -- The Church At Colosse, $5
    1996 -- The Seven Churches of Asia, $5
    1995 -- The Church at Corinth, $4
    1994 -- Immorality, $3.50
    1990 -- New Testament Questions, $3.00
    1989 -- Old Testament Questions, $2.00
    Preparing For The Eldership, $2.00
    The Race That Is Set Before Us, $8.00 -- 1996 Garfield Heights Lectureship Book
     FAITH, $8.00 -- The 1997 Garfield Heights Lectureship Book

Shipping/Handling -- 1 book, $1.50
2-3 books, $2.25
For each additional book, add 50 cents.

All books are sold by Old Paths Publishing, not the church.

Send order to:
Old Paths Publishing
304 Ripley St.
Corinth, MS 38834

Home | Table of Contents | Bible Page
Seek The Old Paths | East End Church of Christ
Lectureship Books

bunches 3/17/98.