Seek The Old Paths

Vol. 13   No. 5                   April,   2002

This Issue...


Frank Chesser

The brazen, unauthorized liberties of the grace of liberalism include audible prayers of women in the presence of men; the efforts of a choir, soloist, or praise team to draw attention to itself and fostering entertainment; an expensive playground called a "Family Life Center;" and childish activities such as clapping, hand raising, and swaying that intrude upon the solemnity of spirit and truth worship.

          Grace is God’s unmerited favor divinely bestowed upon sinful humanity. Life apart from grace is fantasy, not reality. Grace is not a lifeless attribute of deity. It is active, perpetually manifesting itself to man in countless ways. The wardrobe of grace is variegated and is as vast as eternity. James pointed to God as the source of all good things (James 1:17). A portrait encompassing every good thing on earth is a portrait of grace. Incessantly, God exhibits His grace toward man by giving him “rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17).
        Man owes his very existence to God’s grace. Even in the paradisiacal world of Eden, man was a recipient of the grace of God. Did man deserve to be created? Even in a world of perfection and innocence, can the creation deserve even a solitary gift from the hand of the Creator? Prior to sin, could the first human pair look toward Heaven and stamp even the smallest blessing as merit? God forbid!
        God is not in debt to man. God does not owe man anything. The very nature of grace stamps man as an eternal debtor. If man could live a million years, he could never perform enough good deeds to place God in his debt. In spite of all the notable works that he might accomplish, the term unprofitable is irrevocably attached to every man’s name (Luke 17:10). Whatever God does for man is based on grace, not merit.
        The moment Genesis 3:6 became a reality, grace took on new meaning -- Genesis 3:6 is the introduction to sin. When sin became a reality, the cross became a necessity. At the first appearance of sin, God headed toward Calvary. Sin rendered man spiritually impotent. Severed from the work of Christ on Golgotha’s height, man is as helpless as a straw in the wind. Every step he takes is a backward step. He is lost today, lost tomorrow, and lost forever.
        If man is ever to be saved, it will be by the grace of God. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). It is the “grace of God that bringeth salvation” (Titus 2:11). Salvation by human effort and merit is unthinkable. Apart from grace, the presence of just one sin in a man’s life forever seals his doom. In the salvation process, man must look to God and His grace, not to himself.
        However, man’s reception of God’s gifts is not the work of grace alone. Man must cooperate with God in order to benefit from the rich provisions of grace. This principle embraces both physical and spiritual matters. Physical sustenance is a gift of grace; yet, a tremendous amount of human effort must be exerted by the farmer in order to receive this gift. The consumer must then match the farmer’s effort with sufficient work to accumulate the funds necessary to purchase the food grown and harvested by the farmer.
        Relative to spiritual matters, grace is the basis of man’s acceptability with God. However, grace does not exclude the obedience of faith (Rom. 16:26). God cannot manifest grace by saving those who refuse or neglect to submit to His will. Jesus clearly identified the saved as those who “do the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Jesus is the author of eternal salvation, but only for those that “obey him” (Heb. 5:9). Purification from sin by grace through blood is the result of “obeying the truth” (1 Peter 1:22). Therefore, salvation is “by grace through faith” (Eph. 2:8) and that faith is the “obedience of faith” (Rom. 16:26) that “works by love” (Gal. 5:6).
        The majesty, greatness, and grandeur of God transcends human expression. The very term God punctures the mind with rivets of inexpressible awe. The mind reels and staggers under the load of this single thought. One might as well attempt to squeeze the universe into a thimble as to endeavor to compress God into the mind of man. The vastness and complexity of the universe defies human understanding. If every man were a Solomon and had a trillion lifetimes to devote entirely to research and study, he could not commence to unlock the secrets or solve the mysteries of the universe. However, with a simple “God said,” everything external to Himself came into existence (Gen. 1).
        God is absolute holiness. God is so holy that He “cannot look on iniquity” (Hab. 1:13). Thus, when Israel sinned at the feet of Aaron’s golden calf, Moses had to position the tabernacle “afar off from the camp” (Exodus 33:7). Because of Judah’s grievous sin, God is pictured as vacating the temple, leaving Jerusalem, and ascending to the top of the mountain to oversee the city’s destruction (Ezek. 11:22-23). God’s holiness will not allow Him to dwell where sin dwells.
        What is worship? Worship is an expression of grace. It is grace as it works in man’s behalf. It is grace as it reaches out to man and allows him the unspeakable privilege of coming into the sublime presence of the holy God. Worship is man in mental prostration at the footstool of grace, clothed in reverential awe and wonder, expressing love and gratitude in divinely ordained acts. In view of the vile, odious, grotesque insanity of sin, it is a powerful testimony to the amazing grace of God that His holy name should even be allowed to move across the sinful lips of humanity, much less for permission to be granted for man to come into His august presence for worship and fellowship.
        Grace teaches. Grace instructs man regarding things to do and things not to do (Titus 2:11-12). Grace teaches man to enter God’s presence with biblical instruction, prayers, congregational singing, Sunday contributions, and participation in the Lord’s supper (1 Cor. 11-16). Consequently, grace has provided a pattern whereby man might approach God with authorized acts of devotion. Following the pattern is man’s responding to grace in the obedience of faith. It is man’s walking by faith in appreciation of God’s grace. It is man’s honoring God’s choices of grace. It is man’s expressing love for God by obeying the commands of grace. It is man with a teachable spirit, a willing recipient of the instructions of grace. It is man’s listening and yielding to the marvelous grace of God. Respect for the pattern is respect for the grace that provided the pattern.
        Liberalism preaches a grace that it does not understand and to which it will not listen. Grace furnishes a pattern for entrance into God’s presence, but liberalism denies even the concept of a pattern. Grace teaches, but liberalism will not learn. Grace tugs at man’s heart, imploring him to move in harmony with its melody, but liberalism is too busy marching to the beat of its own drum. If liberalism were teachable it would cease to exist.
        Grace entreats sinful man to wash in the fountain of blood and then come with trembling awe and reverential fear into the majestic presence of the God of all holiness with authorized offerings of spirit-and-truth worship. Reverence for grace, the instruction of grace, the demands of grace is Abel with the authorized sacrifice (Heb. 11:4); Abraham at the altar of faith (Heb. 11:17), David’s finally following the “due order” (1 Chron. 15:13), and the remnant of Israel “trembling” at God’s Word (Isa. 66:2).
        The spirit of liberalism is Cain’s receiving the “grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 6:2) at the altar of self-will (Gen. 4:5), Nadab and Abihu’s nullifying grace with “strange fire” (Lev. 10:1-2), Jereboam’s sinning against grace with a perverted pattern of worship “devised of his own heart” (1 Kings 12:33), and the Pharisees’ spurning grace with humanly contrived “vain worship” (Matt. 15:9).
        The brazen, unauthorized liberties of the grace of liberalism include audible prayers of women in the presence of men; the efforts of a choir, soloist, or praise team to draw attention to itself and fostering entertainment; an expensive playground called a “Family Life Center;” and childish activities such as clapping, hand raising, and swaying that intrude upon the solemnity of spirit and truth worship.
        The grace of liberalism is man’s standing in the august presence of the omnipotent God, pointing to a mechanized piece of strange music and pompously affirming, “It’s no big deal.” The shameless grace of liberalism is man’s promoting what God hates (Mal. 2:16) by attempting to nullify one of His most effective laws of prevention (Matt. 19:9). The arrogant grace of liberalism is man’s holding forth the church for which Jesus died before an assembly of sectarians as an object of ridicule and derision. The end of the grace of liberalism is the destruction of exclusive New Testament Christianity in a given community and full fellowship with the Billy Grahams of the world.
        The grace of liberalism is alien to the grace of the Bible.

Used by permission. Publishing Designs, Inc. P.O. Box 3241, Huntsville, AL 35810. Ph. (256) 533-4301, This article is chapter 5 in the book “The Spirit of Liberalism” by Frank Chesser. You would do well to purchase a copy of this book and devour its contents. We published another of the chapters in December 2001.

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 Guest Editorial...
Bob Spurlin

        This disabled preacher of seven plus years followed thirty years of local work in four different states, while engaged in evangelistic work in eight different states. The following experience has offered great insights in the role that politics plays in far too many congregations. This preacher was once approached by a church member following a distinctive message from the Gospel by stating, “You believe everything is black and white, don’t you, and if you really want to stay here, you better tone it down!” One who preaches the Gospel of Christ has no doubt heard such words of compromise, which underscores the politics that is all too frequent in the local church. The message of the New Testament is clear, unmistakable, and cannot be misinterpreted when taken in its given context.
        More and more in these days of digression we are seeing a very blatant attempt to play the “politics game” as the regular norm, when churches and elders are pressured “to go easy” and “tread lightly” on various points of doctrine. Far too many in the leadership have caved-in to those that have influence instead of standing on the side of God and His Word (Acts 5:29). Courageous leaders will not play the politics game, but like Joshua of old said, “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
        1. Politics may be seen when invitations are extended to speakers for lectureships. It has been my honor to speak on several different lectureship programs, and each occasion was seized as an opportunity to impart the knowledge of God’s Word to a receptive audience. On one occasion, I was invited to speak on the “Great Commission” -- a worthy topic indeed. Yet, it was widely known that error was being taught in this particular church on divorce and remarriage. Following a conversation with the brother extending the invitation my reply was “I shall be delighted to speak on the subject given me, however, I will set forth my position clearly on what I perceive as error being taught, before taking up the subject assigned. The result was a rescinding of the invitation.
        All too often, preachers are oblivious to matters of error and will accept invitations when they know the school/church or other participants on the program have embraced error. Brethren will ignore a speaker’s stance on a given issue because it might lead to financial contributions or will be the politically correct thing to do. Politics among far too many schools is practiced with rapt rapidity, and the Truth of God is laid aside with no thought of the spiritual repercussions that will surely come. I have seen time and again the truth of God’s Word twisted and perverted by those who have spewed their spiritual poison -- poison that corrupts and deceitfully eradicates the Lord’s church (Matt. 16:18). Many of these men have been marked and identified as false teachers by faithful brethren, and for one reason or the other have been invited by one church after the other with no remorse to these wreckers of truth. Fellowship with God is broken when those clear and distinct boundary lines are violated. John writes, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the son” (2 John 9). With clarity, we see God’s line of demarcation is the doctrine of Christ, and to embrace those who reject this teaching by using them in Gospel meetings and lectureships are the equivalent of being as defiant to God’s will as they are. Please explain to me why our Christian colleges and schools of preaching would extend an invitation to a speaker(s) to appear on their lecture program knowing full well they have embraced error or have blatantly taught that which is in violation to God’s Word. Time and again we see such practices, as discussed, and other faithful preachers that appear on the same program say nothing, and continue to allow their name(s) to be used never uttering a disparaging word. This practice is known as the politics game and should cease with all haste.
        2. Politics is practiced when elders refuse to execute their duty per the mandate of holy Scripture. Elders of each respective church are authorized to “watch” (Heb. 13:17), “feed” (I Peter 5:2), “rule over” (Heb. 13:7), withdraw from the “disorderly” (2 Thess. 3:6), and “convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9). These solemn duties are clear, obvious, and undeniable to the causal Bible student. Yet, for some strange reason those in the leadership have difficulty in executing the clarity of these divine sanctions from Holy Writ. Elders, instead of carrying out their duty, play the “politics game” by being derelict and repudiate the very responsibility that has been enjoined upon them. Far too many in the eldership are pragmatic in their obligations to almighty God. Elders must not practice a cafeteria-style religion, picking and choosing what they like and omitting that which is uncomfortable and will bring certain criticism. All one has to do is to examine the “Faith Hall of Fame” (Heb. 11) to see the huge price that was paid by those great heroes to be called faithful. These faithful men and women did not wave their finger in the air to see which way the wind was blowing. They were determined, steadfast, and rock-solid when it came to the compliance of God’s Will.
        Great examples are preserved for us today, especially to those who would lead God’s people in a land that has perpetual joy and happiness. However, time and again those who serve in the leadership of the church are playing politics and seeing which course would be the road of least resistance. An eldership like the shepherds in ancient Palestine are to be constant and vigilant over their flock and have a built-in radar system which will tell them trouble lays ahead. Elders today should learn the lesson of this great metaphor (Luke 15:1-6) and be as concerned about the decisions they make as was the Great Shepherd in seeing that all lost sheep are brought back to the fold. Politics should never be a consideration with those in position of leadership.
        3. Politics is practiced when preachers abandon their duty and take the road of compromise. Far too many Gospel preachers have failed to remember the fundamental charge that has been thrust upon them. Paul charges, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:2). It has been said that life and death lies in the tongue of the preacher, and such being the case, it is little wonder Paul wrote, “woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16). All too often we have seen preachers play the politics game by selling out, and will surrender their convictions to preserve their job and fringe benefits. One preacher said in my presence, “I cannot preach on that subject, half the membership would leave.” Still other preachers will ignore and hide their head in the sand when error and false teaching rears its ugly head. Gospel preachers of today fail to realize the gravity of discharging such a responsibility (Rom. 1:16).
        A wonderful Gospel preacher of a generation ago used to say; “preaching on baptism from Sunday to Sunday could very well cause a preacher to be lost. He will not be lost for preaching on baptism per se; but will be lost because he failed to preach what was needed.” Imagine going to the doctor’s office and getting a prescription that is vague or useless -- that would neither help nor hurt you, how sad! Even worse is preachers failing to “preach the word” and leaving the church anemic, not being fed properly and in time will die of spiritual malnutrition (1 Peter 2:1-2; Acts 20:32). Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, spoke of God’s Word as a “burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was unable to contain it” (Jer. 20:9). The great prophet of old was incapable of holding back the message of God. Oh, how desperately today we need a legion of Jeremiahs that will not hedge, fudge, or hold back that which is needed (Acts 20:20).
        Politics has no place in the pulpit, or anywhere else in the kingdom of God!
                2101 Glenwood Drive
                Hartselle, AL 35640
                E-mail: PrechTeach@Aol.Com

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Marvin L. Weir

          Much is said in our society today about unity. The plea from most denominational churches is for all religious groups to unite. But God’s Holy Word reveals that union is not always according to His will! An unequal yoke with “unbelievers” and fellowship with those involved with “iniquity” and “darkness” does not make for unity that pleases the Lord (2 Cor. 6:14). The warning sounded forth to the Ephesian Christians is as needed today as it was then. Paul said, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). Those who love the Lord and His Word will speak against religious error instead of aligning themselves with it.
        Micaiah was a bold and noble man who was not willing to compromise the Word of God. From this great prophet we learn that unity and peace at any price is never pleasing to Jehovah.
        Micaiah had the reputation of being a spokesman for God. Ahab told Jehoshaphat that “there is yet one man by whom we may inquire of Jehovah, Micaiah the son of Imlah: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil...” (1 Kings 22:8). Ahab was a wicked king who was opposed to the cause of truth. Micaiah was a lover of God’s truth and was not about to allow himself to be united in any way with the wicked Ahab.
        A Christian today who loves God and His truth will not form any union with error. One who loves God will always honor and accept a “thus saith the Lord” while refusing and rejecting a “thus saith some man.”
        Micaiah was tempted to speak pleasing words to the king but would not. The messenger sent to Micaiah said, “Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak thou good” (1 Kings 22:13). Does not this plea sound familiar? Today the cry is, “Everyone else is for it and going along with it; why won’t you?” Just because most everyone else is willing to unite with man-made religious creeds and reject the purity of the Gospel does not make it right!
        The temptation was to please man rather than God. The apostle Paul proclaimed, “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? or am I striving to please men? if I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10). False prophets will always speak smooth things to those do desire to hear smooth things spoken to them, and they will always have a large following. The man who stands with God, however, must be prepared to stand alone.
        Micaiah was faithful to God. When asked to declare good to the wicked king Micaiah said, “As Jehovah liveth, what Jehovah saith unto me, that will I speak” (1 Kings 22:14). A faithful child of God will never fail to declare unto people “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). The apostle Paul “shrank not from declaring unto” the people “anything that was profitable” (Acts 20:20). One who respects and honors God and loves his fellowman will never hold back or compromise God’s glorious truth. To hold back truth for fear of offending someone is never in one’s spiritual best interest! It is always a deceitful handling of God’s Word when the searchlight of truth is turned away from error.
        Micaiah was hated (v.8). The wicked king hated God’s prophet because he would not prophesy good concerning him. If Ahab had been a lover of God and a lover of truth he would not have hated Micaiah. Micaiah refused to unite with Ahab and the king hated him. Christ and His apostles were hated for the same reason. It is as Jesus said, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved” (John 3:20).
        Unity as defined by the Bible is the only unity that matters! The apostle Paul taught that the brethren were to be “giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). The unity of the Spirit is the unity that is to be kept. Does one for a moment believe that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit taught different and opposing doctrines and yet were united in some sort of way? Absolutely not! The Savior’s prayer was that “they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me” (John 17:20-21). The apostle Paul’s plea was “that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10).
        There is only one Gospel (Gal. 1:6-8) and it is that Gospel that is “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16). The person who refuses to know God and obeys “not the gospel of our Lord Jesus” will suffer “eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thess. 1:8-9).
        Will you choose to obey God or man?
                5810 Liberty Grove Rd.
                Rowlett, TX 75030

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In the News...

          The “Alameda Church of Christ” in Norman, Oklahoma needs to take down its sign. Having long ago departed from the old paths, it continues to bring shame upon the Lord’s body. Here’s the latest:
        “NORMAN -- Three area churches are teaming up to bring a night of interactive worship to area children and their parents.
        “The Kids Praise Rally with Charlie B is set for Saturday evening at the First Baptist Church’s Common Ground building, 324 W Main. The event is sponsored by First Baptist, Alameda Church of Christ and Northeast Baptist Church, all of Norman.
        “...The concert will feature interactive sing-alongs of praise and worship songs led by Charlie B, also known as Charlie Bancroft. He and his band will lead the children in songs and teach them hand motions to go along with the music.
        “...John Grant, Alameda Church of Christ discipling minister, said that when First Baptist invited the church to help sponsor the event, church leaders decided it was something they wanted to do.
        “’I’m really excited first that the children of Norman get this opportunity to hear a really neat performance that will be fun and encouraging,’ Grant said. ‘Secondly, I’m really excited because this is the first time we’ve had the opportunity to work together with First Baptist on an event like this.’
        “Grant said that earlier this year, Alameda Church of Christ representatives invited members of First Baptist to attend a recent seminar by Kathryn Henley, a Christian children’s author and songwriter. When the Kids Praise Rally was planned, Grant said First Baptist officials asked Alameda Church of Christ to be involved.
        “Grant said the concert has been announced during church services, and several families are planning to take their children.” (Lisa Wood, staff writer, “Churches Sponsor Kids’ Rally,” The Norman Transcript, Thursday, March 7, 2002, p. 6).
        Apostasy is a way of life at Alameda and has been for many years. Area churches around Norman ought to be standing against this ecumenical garbage that compromises the church for which Jesus died. If they don’t, then they need to join the Baptists like Alameda. After all, they share “Common Ground” with them.
        By the way, this was Bill Banowsky’s “Church” when he was president of the University of Oklahoma.
                Jerry Brewer

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 The elders of the church of Christ in Duluth, Georgia are concerned about what is happening to the church. Under their oversight, material has been prepared to alert our brotherhood to the danger it faces. A twenty-five page booklet, video tape and audio tape are available to answer the question "What is happening to the church?" The material is free. It is the aim of the Duluth elders to provide this to churches and interested Christians everywhere. If you would like a copy of the audio or video tape, or several of the booklets to distribute, please write or call: Duluth Church of Christ 3239 Highway 120 Duluth, GA 30096 Phone: (770) 476-2159


Alan Caudle

          “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:17-19).
        Each of us has a soul or inward man which is to grow and develop into maturity -- into manhood and womanhood. The fact of the reality of the soul is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. In speaking to his disciples, Jesus taught to “fear them not which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28). The Son of God also stressed the value of the soul and compared its worth to the physical things of this world. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul” (Matt. 16:26)? Furthermore, by inspiration the apostle Peter, concerning the importance of man’s soul growing into maturity, exclaimed that we should “as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” and exalted Christians to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18).
        As we consider God’s teaching in regard to the soul, we might find it good to ask ourselves, “What Size is our inward man?” Are we growing spiritually as we ought, or are we still mere babes in Christ (1 Cor. 3:1; 14:20)? It would be well for each of us to consider and discern the progress of our inner growth. It is something that can be measured, not as a box might be measured with a ruler or tape. We cannot see the soul, except in the mirror of God’s word. But we can determine the size of the inner man by the measure of its manifestations.
        The size of the soul may be measured by determining the height of its ambitions. Big souls are always ambitious souls of high ideals and worthy goals. We must never be found guilty of becoming the “one talent man” of Matthew 25. Because he felt he could not do big things in the sight of the Lord, he did nothing. Christians should continually strive onward with their eyes focused upward. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Matt. 28:19,20; Mark 16:15,16). Christ came to do big things and gave us a big program.
        The size of the soul may be measured by the depth of its convictions. Hebrews 11:1 speaks of a “conviction of things not seen” (ASV). This has always been a characteristic of God’s great people, with his honor roll of faithful followers forever recorded for our learning. Daniel was another example of our Father’s expectations, proving himself to be a man of deep convictions and faithful to the will of Jehovah. “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank” (Dan. 1:8). Big souls have convictions concerning right and wrong, truth and error, and matters of duty.
        The soul may be measured by the length of its love. Consider the measurement of God recorded in John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God so loved the world. “So” is an adverb of degree ... it tells us how much God loved the world. He went so far as to give his only begotten Son. And when we read this soul-stirring statement, it should bring to our minds a much-needed question: How does our love measure up in regards to God, the church, and the lost? First John 4:19 should be emblazoned within our hearts and thoughts.
        The size of the soul may also be determined by the weight of its influence. Matthew 5:14-16 relays a command to be carried out by every Christian. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” How much light do we radiate? One of the Lord’s parables brings forth a closely related reminder. “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened” (Matt. 13:33). Are we leavening for others through our actions and our words? What is the weight of our influence for those around us? May we each ask ourselves the soul-searching question: “How big is my inward man?”
                400 Valencia Dr., #1223
                Maumelle, AR 72113

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Kevin Rhodes

          After the problem of rebellion and the complaints of the people against Moses and Aaron, the LORD told Moses to have each tribe provide a rod with the name of the tribe on it (the tribe of Levi was to have Aaron ‘s name on it). The LORD then promised that “it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you” (Num. 17:5). As we well know, it was Aaron’s rod that budded. Moses presented the rods to the people so they could examine them and observe God’s judgment (Num. 17:8-9). Then “the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not” (Num. 17:10).
        There is a simple way to solve problems in the church today -- find out what God wants and abide by it. God did not, however, initiate this particular event in order to stop a rebellion or an occasion of complaining. Korah’s rebellion and the complaining of the people had already been judged. Aaron’s rod served as testimony for the people who remained, and for future generations, not to question God’s will and God’s judgment.
        Today, elders and preachers in many locations face hostility from those who seek the introduction of entertainment-oriented “worship,” women in leadership roles, doctrinal compromise, and denominational practices. When God caused Aaron’s rod to bud, he revealed His will for those people and all who followed afterward under the Old Law. When Jesus came, He revealed God’s will for those people and all of us who have followed (John 12:48). All the people had to do in the years that followed was look to Aaron’s rod to know God’s will in regard to the priesthood. All we must do today is look to God’s Word and we will know God’s will about everything.

Table of Contents

2002 Lectureship Schedule


“Robert and I are members of the church of Christ -- more than 50 years. We are 83-84, seniors living in a Senior Citizen “Christian Village.” We are unable to read as much as we would like to. We have services here in the Village and a church in Delaware city. Bless you in your reach out program” ...Frances Carlton, Delaware, OH. “I was given a copy of Seek the Old Paths and I would like to receive this paper also. Thanks” ...Laverne Todd, Beeville, TX. “I would like to be added to your mailing list” ...Michael Bellah, Choctaw, OK. “Thank you for sending me Seek the Old Paths in the past. I’d like to continue receiving it at my new address. Thank you” ...Kevin Maxey, Rogers, AR. “Thank you very much. We really enjoy receiving your paper. It’s very sound! ...Justin Toye. “I have recently read two issues of Seek The Old Paths. I want to be on your mailing list. I believe this is a paper that is very worth any Christian’s time and support. I worship at Ripley, Tennessee. I appreciate the work that is being done at Corinth. May God bless your work” ...Steve Carmack, Ripley, TN. “Thank you very much!” ...Justin Toye. “Please remove my name from your mailing list. I am no longer interested in receiving your publication. Thank you!” ...Ronda Poe, Flint, MI. “This past Saturday listed in the “Nashville Tennessean” under the listing of Church of Christ directory was an interesting site. It was about the concerned members at the Madison Church of Christ. The web site is: . About 72 pages where the concerned members were questioning the elders about what they think was being practiced there that was unscriptural. Your articles are educational and Biblical. Thanks again, for your effort in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I serve as an elder” ...Nashville, TN. “You are doing a fine work and we are praying for you. Every Blessing” ...Jim Hogan, England. “We picked up a copy of Seek the Old Paths at a church we visited. We enjoyed the articles, and we would like to be on your mailing list for future publications. Keep up the good work, and thank you so much!” ...Gerald Kail, Sublette, KS. “We have recently experienced a split in our church family here in Davis (a small town of about 3,000) and I have been searching for some answers. To be truthful, I had no idea that the trends in our brotherhood toward “embracing denominationalism” were so rampant. I would appreciate reading your publication as it appears to address these issues. Thank you” ...Denise White, Davis, OK. “Please remove me from your S.T.O.P. bulletin mailing list. Thank you” ...Jim Selbe, Henderson, TN. “A friend of mine at church gave me a copy of the January Seek The Old Paths. I would very much like to be added to your mailing list. I am also glad that I found your website . Surely much good has and will be accomplished through your efforts. Thank you” ...Rickey Godwin, Boaz, AL. “I would like to receive STOP. Thank you so much and God bless” ...Todd Ramsey, Searcy, AR. “Please add me to STOP’s mailing list” ...Jamie Vansandt, Henderson, TN. “Thanks for a great site and publication (I got my first issue yesterday)” ...Michael Bellah. “Thank you very much for your dedication and the presentation of sound doctrine during this time when it seems that there is error being proclaimed on every street corner in the name of “progress.” May God bless you richly that your work may continue as you glorify the God and Father of us all” ...Dewie Grimsley, Jackson, GA. “I have read the February 2002 issue of Seek The Old Paths that came to me through a friend and I appreciate it’s contents. Wish there were more brethren who would stand up for the right. The congregation where we formerly worshipped has been turned into a big entertainment circus by the change artists. After losing our fight and being asked to leave...around 100 Christians have left for other places. I would very much like to be placed on your mailing list. Thanks so very much” ...Lamar Roberson, Palestine, TX. “I have heard about Seek the Old Paths and read a few of the internet issues. I would like to be added to STOP’s mailing list” ...Tim Davis, Searcy, AR. “Have just viewed the tapes for the 2001 lectureship, and enjoyed them very much. Is it possible to get the lectureship book for 2001? It is also impossible to remember all the information. Thank you so much” ...Zella Bluthardt, Troy, OH. (Note: the book is &6.50 postage paid). “Please add me to your mailing list. I have read several of your articles and enjoy your website. May God continue to bless you in this good work” ...Brenda Minchew, Macon, GA. “Thank you for the good work that you are doing” ...Janice Horne. “I appreciate your stand for the old paths. Your approach is doctrinal and sound. Thank you” ...David McFerrin, Cookeville, TN. “I would very much appreciate your sending me the monthly publication of Seek the Old Paths. I have just recently found out about it and have enjoyed what I have seen very much” ...Robert Batchelder, Houston, TX. “I have been given a copy of Seek the Old Paths and enjoyed it very much. Please add my name to your mailing list” ...Henry Muirhead, Searcy, AR. “I thoroughly enjoy your publication, brothers, and very much want to continue receiving it. (Why any true Christian wouldn’t, is beyond me.) May God continue to bless you as you strive to do His Mighty work” ...Kenny Young, Jr., Angola, LA. “Please extend my subscription to STOP” ...Corrine Young, Columbia, MO. “Keep up the good work. We appreciate the paper very much” ...Buford & Elizabeth Blanton, Oakman, AL. “I was given a few issues of STOP and read them all. I appreciate your love for truth in these articles. I would like to be on your mailing list. I serve as an elder and am aware of the liberal effort to change and pollute the church. Thanks again for your efforts to maintain purity in the Bride of Christ” ...Howard L. Goodin, Gaylord, MI. “Please add my name to your mailing list. It’s a pleasure to know some people still love the truth and are willing to take a stand for it” ...B. J. Pippin, Augusta, GA. “We appreciate so much the work you all are doing for the cause of Christ. We continue here as steadfast as we know how. Keep up the good work” ...KS. “We really enjoy the good lessons in STOP” ...Darrell Cunningham, Obion, TN. “May you continue printing the good articles for many years” ...MS. “Thank you for sending STOP. We appreciate your love of the truth!” ...Church of Christ, Rockford, IL. “Please remove me from your mailing list. Thank you” ...John J. Miller, Macomb, IL. “Could you please change my address. Don’t want to miss any issues. Thanks!” ...Bryan Pickle, Palestine, TX.

The 2001 Bound Volume can be ordered from:
Old Paths Publishing
304 Ripley St.
Corinth, MS 38834
$5 postage paid

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