FELLOWSHIP IS THE ISSUE!
A REVIEW OF THE CONTEMPORARY DISCUSSION
CONDUCTED AT THE 2005 FREED-HARDEMAN UNIVERSITY LECTURES
It was my privilege to attend the FHU lectures Feb.
7-11, 2005. The theme this year centered on the book of Isaiah. The
highlight of the lectures for me was the singing of over a thousand
in Loyd Auditorium. It actually brought tears to my eyes. Two of
the lectures stood out to me. The first was at 12:45 PM on Tuesday
given by David Sain on the topic, Seeing My Sinful
Self, using Isaiah 6:5 as the text. He exalted the Lord
God and declared the greatness of His saving grace for such
unworthy sinners as we. The second was at 7:30 AM on Wednesday
given by V. P. Black on the topic, Heaven At
Evening, using Isaiah 61:3 as the text. Basically he
spoke on why I want to go to heaven. It was most encouraging and
On Friday morning a contemporary discussion was
conducted on the topic, SHOULD THE USE OF INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN
WORSHIP BE A BARRIER TO FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHERS, SUCH AS INDEPENDENT
CHRISTIAN CHURCHES? Those discussing this issue were
Marlin Connelly affirming that we should not, and Phillip
Morrison affirming that we should. I, among many others, was
very disappointed at the outcome of this event. It is the opinion
of this writer that brother Connelly failed to adequately address
the issue and answer the challenges tended him and the truth by
brother Morrison while on the other hand brother Morrison did a
very slick job of purveying falsehood concerning it.
Brother Connelly barely touched top, side or bottom of
the real issue -- FELLOWSHIP! He did not define what it
is, show the criteria, standard or basis for establishing it. Nor
did he answer several of the false concepts brother Morrison set
forth such as: unity in diversity fellowship, the old law was not
completely abolished, instruments are used in heaven so why not in
the church, etc. Brother Connelly also did a poor job in
establishing that the use of instruments in worship is sinful and
in essence lost the debate! Therefore, that is the reason for this
This is not an attempt to attack FHU, brother Connelly
or brother Morrison. It is simply an attempt to address the issue
discussed in order to propagate and defend the truth concerning
FELLOWSHIP and the sin of using mechanical instruments in
worship to God and fellowshipping those who do so.
First, let us consider what fellowship means. According
to The New Century Dictionary, fellowship means
communion, agreement, community of interests or feeling,
friendship or friendliness, companionship, mutual intercourse.
There are five Greek words used in the New Testament translated
fellowship. According to VINE they mean:
1. Koinonia Communion or sharing in
2. Metoche Partnership.
3. Koinonos A partaker or partner
4. Kloinoneo To have fellowship with, to
5. Sunkoinoneo To have fellowship with or
to communicate with.
Summarizing this, fellowship means to be in agreement
with and therefore in league or partnership with and having
communion with in common friendship. It implies working together in
Consider how fellowship is established and maintained
by considering the criteria, standard and/or basis for such. Since
fellowship exists on a basis of agreement, friendship and common
sharing of interest, it demands doctrinal agreement and mutual
involvement in spiritual matters or worship activity! Amos 3:3 asks
the soul-searching question, Can two walk together,
except they be agreed? It is rhetorical, implying they
cannot! If one wants to go north and the other south, they cannot
be in fellowship of mutual action unless one compromises! Though
they may agree on some things, they part company if they cannot
agree on this! So it is that though we may agree with people of
other religions on some things, the cardinal matters we disagree on
hinders and stops our fellowship!
Gods word is the only criteria, standard or basis
for fellowship of man with God and man with man in mutually serving
God. II John 9-10 reads, 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. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine,
receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he
that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
The doctrines of men make our religious activity vain (Matt.
15:8-9). Only divinely inspired Scripture is, Profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly
furnished unto all good works (II Tim. 3:16-17). There
can be no fellowship where there is diversity on cardinal doctrine
(II John 9-11) or on godly living (II Cor. 6:14-18). If such is
attempted, we loose true fellowship with God and those who serve
Let us apply this to fellowshipping those who use
mechanical instruments in worship. When it comes to fellowship, the
use of mechanical instruments is only one element in a much larger
picture. It could just as well be the role of women in the church,
the necessity or mode of baptism, observing the Lords supper
on any day other than Sunday, etc. But, let us address whether or
not it is Scriptural and acceptable with God to use mechanical
instruments in worship. If it is acceptable to God, fellowship can
be established. If it is not acceptable, fellowship cannot be
established! That is the criteria for fellowship in any area of
In EVERY PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE in the New Testament
where reference is made to worshiping God musically in the church,
it is presented as vocal and unaccompanied by mechanical
instruments! The words used to describe it are: sing,
sang, sung, speaking, the fruit
of our lips, etc. (See Matt. 26:30, Mark 14:26, Acts 16:25,
Rom. 15:9, I Cor. 14:15, Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16, Heb. 2:12, Heb.
13:15 and James 5:13). This is to be done as we make melody in our
hearts to the Lord (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). The instrument enjoined
is our heart! The method is sing! Nowhere in the New Testament is
the word play used to imply instrumental use, or to
admonish or command us as Christians and the assembled
body of Christ (church) in its use as we worship God in song! This
places using mechanical instruments in the area of cardinal
doctrine, not opinion or incidental matters such as using a
microphone, having a water fountain, etc.!
There are many excuses men give for using mechanical
instruments in worship to God, but none of them are valid nor do
they alter or rescind Gods expressed will in the matter.
Attempting to justify their use because they were used by those
under the Law of Moses fails because that law is fulfilled (Matt.
5:17; Acts 13:29; Gal. 4:4), taken away (Col. 2:14), abolished
(Eph. 2:15) and nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14). A change has been
made from the old Law to the New (Heb. 7:11; 8:8-9). Attempting to
justify their use on the premise that they are used in heaven is
faulty to say the least! A study of Revelation 5:8 and 14:2-3 will
show the fallacy of such thinking. Study them closely and you will
see John is using symbolic terms to describe what he heard, and
what he heard was SINGING and VOICES, not the
playing of mechanical instruments. He simply tried to describe what
he heard in apocalyptic language and symbolic terms. But even if
one could establish their use in heaven, that does not justify
their use in the Lords church today.
In the science of music, there are only two ways to
make music: orally and mechanically. They are so distinctively
different, that even when blended together you can tell them apart!
Since there are two, and God has specified only one of them (oral),
that excludes and rules out playing. To play, we must go beyond His
expressed will and add to His Word that which is not divinely
authorized, and to do that is sin (See II John 9-10; Rev. 22:18-19)
This being true, we cannot fellowship those who use mechanical
instruments in worship to God lest we lose fellowship with God who
rejects traditions geared to the doctrines of men and which make
our worship vain (Matt. 15:7-9!
No! We cannot extend fellowship to those who digress
in any way from Gods expressed divine will, be it the use of
mechanical instruments, women preachers, sprinkling or pouring for
baptism, denying the necessity of baptism in order to be saved,
etc.! FELLOWSHIP IS THE ISSUE and it is more important to be in
fellowship with God than man! Fellowshipping the error of men will
negate our fellowship with God. Fellowship them in their error here
and we may fellowship them forever in a devils hell (I Cor.
10:16-22). Far better to reprove them and attempt to bring them to
the truth promoting hope for eternal life than join them in error
and the horror of eternal damnation!
95 Gills Rd.
McMinnville, TN 37110
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[NOTE: We want to inform our readers that it was announced
by Earl Edwards in the introduction of the discussion that
FHUs position was that the use of mechanical instruments of
music was a fellowship issue and that its use involved
disrespecting Gods word.]
SHALL YOUR BRETHREN GO TO WAR, AND SHALL YE SIT HERE?
Garland M. Robinson
One of the gravest problems we are now facing in the
Lords church is the fact that so many are standing (or may we
say sitting or even lying down) on the side lines and not joining
in the fight against digression and error! In my judgment, this is
one of the most serious problems in the church today. Will all our
brethren be faithful and join the battle?
While Israel was conquering the land of Canaan, we
read: Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad
had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of
Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place
for cattle; The children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and
spake unto Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and unto the princes
of the congregation, saying, ...if we have found grace in thy
sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession,
and bring us not over Jordan. And Moses said unto the children of
Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to
war, and shall ye sit here? And wherefore discourage ye the
heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which
the LORD hath given them (Num. 32:1-2,5-7).
This text reveals how the tribes of Reuben, Gad and
half of Manasseh were content to settle the land east of Jordan and
let their brethren, the rest of the tribes of Israel, continue on
in their fight for the promised land. The land they desired for
their inheritance was now secure. They were at peace. They were
ready to settle down and take it easy. They thought their fighting
Since the things written aforetime were written for our
learning (Rom. 15:4), there appears a remarkable parallel here for
many in the church today. The vast majority of congregations
(elders, preachers and members) are sitting on the side-lines, not
lifting their voice nor hand to aid the few who are fighting the
onslaught of digression. Where are they? Where is their help? They
are content to just sit and say things like, Oh, we are not
troubled with that here. We are at peace. Everything is going well.
We are not concerned with problems faced by brethren in other
places. We do not believe it is as bad as you say. You are on a
witch-hunt. Im not a watch-dog, etc., etc.
The inaction of brethren who are not assisting in the
current fight against digression is a great discouragement to those
who are fighting the fight. Notice the response Moses gave to the
tribes of Reuben and Gad. And wherefore discourage
ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into
the land which the LORD hath given them? Thus did your fathers,
when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land. For when they
went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they
discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they
should not go into the land which the LORD had given them. And the
LORDS anger was kindled the same time, and he sware, saying,
Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years
old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto
Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed
me: Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua
the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD.
And the LORDS anger was kindled against Israel, and he made
them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the
generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD,
was consumed. And, behold, ye are risen up in your fathers
stead, an increase of sinful men, to augment yet the
fierce anger of the LORD toward Israel. For if ye turn away from
after him, he will yet again leave them in the wilderness; and ye
shall destroy all this people (Num. 32:7-15).
When the Reubenites and Gadites heard these words,
...they came near unto him, and said, We will build sheepfolds
here for our cattle, and cities for our little ones: But we
ourselves will go ready armed before the children of Israel,
until we have brought them unto their place: and our little ones
shall dwell in the fenced cities because of the inhabitants of the
land. We will not return unto our houses, until the children of
Israel have inherited every man his inheritance (Num.
When they learned of their terrible sin of not helping,
they repented and joined in the war. Oh how we pray that brethren
everywhere today will do as they did. Brethren everywhere must have
the attitude toward error and those who promote it that we read
about in II Timothy 3:9, ...they shall proceed no
And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this
thing, if ye will go armed before the LORD to war, And
will go all of you armed over Jordan before the LORD,
until he hath driven out his enemies from before him, And the land
be subdued before the LORD: then afterward ye shall return, and
be guiltless before the LORD, and before Israel; and this land
shall be your possession before the LORD. But if ye will not do
so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your
sin will find you out (Num. 32:20-23). These tribes,
every man, were to go armed and assist their brethren. If
they would do so they would be found guiltless before the Lord. Had
they not done so, they would have been guilty. Verse 23 says
ye have sinned. But thy servants will pass over,
every man armed for war, before the LORD to battle, as my lord
Are you involved in the fight against digression? Will
you sit and rest while your brethren go to war? Join the faithful
in the fight for truth and righteousness! It is the Lords
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OUR PRESENT APOSTASY
Apostasy means, falling away. Apostasy is caused
by those who want to pervert the gospel of Christ (Gal.
1:7). The church in the first century was warned, there
were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be
false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable
heresies (II Peter 2:1). There is an apostasy that is
now occurring in many congregations of the churches of Christ. It
was predicted in I Timothy 4:1-2, Now the Spirit speaketh
expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the
faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a
hot iron. The end result of apostasy is that many will
lose their soul in eternity.
Many departures have occurred during the past 2000
years which have resulted in hundreds of different kinds of
denominational churches. Paul says, For the time will
come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own
lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be
turned unto fables (II Tim. 4:3-4). The apostasy we are
facing is not caused by those outside the church, but from within.
Paul warned the Ephesian elders, Also of your own selves
shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples
after them (Acts 20:30).
Many in the Lords church are wanting to be like
the denominations around them just as the children of Israel wanted
a king so they could be like the nations around them (I Sam. 8:5).
The spirit of denominationalism is steadily invading many
congregations of the churches of Christ. Some now claim there are
faithful Christians among all the denominations, and that water
baptism is not essential for salvation. We read in Galatians 1:6-7,
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called
you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not
another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the
gospel of Christ.
It is being advocated that women should take a leading
role in the worship of the church by leading prayer, waiting on the
table, leading singing, teaching Bible classes with men present,
and even preaching. They refer to themselves as a gender-neutral
church of Christ. Many congregations have worship teams, also
called praise teams, where women with microphones take part in
leading the singing. Basically the praise team becomes a choir and
is there for the entertainment of the audience, thus God is not
being worshipped in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Instrumental music is again being introduced into worship just as
it was more than 100 years ago. To ease it in, some congregations
have both an instrumental and an a cappella service. Some
say that instrumental music is not a doctrinal or salvation issue
and that it doesnt really matter. But Jesus says,
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men (Mark 7:7). And he is
before all things, and by him all things consist (Col.
1:17), which means by His authority. Since instrumental music is by
the authority of man and not of God, the worship of one who sings
with the instrument is vain.
There are those who are dropping the name church
of Christ and changing their name to Community
Church or to other names. They say they are removing Christ
from their name in an effort to remove a barrier, so they
can attract more people. They are ashamed of our Lord and his
church. Jesus says in Mark 8:38, Whosoever therefore
shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and
sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy
angels. Many have also turned to entertainment to
attract more people. In order to keep the people they attract, they
dont want to ever teach or preach anything from the Bible that
might offend anyone.
A number of congregations are having fellowship with
denominations through pulpit exchanges, joint worship services, and
the ministerial alliance. We are warned in II John 10-11,
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. If there come any unto you, and
bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither
bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of
his evil deeds. We must never give a person
encouragement in their false doctrine, if we do, we also become
guilty and will lose our own soul. The apostasy we are now facing
in the Lords church will rival and possibly surpass the
apostasy that ravaged the Lords church in the later part of
the 1800s. When that particular apostasy was complete in about
1906, less than 180,000 members remained faithful, but more than
one million went into the apostate Christian Church. Most of the
problems that are causing the apostasy now, were the same problems
that caused the apostasy then. The same techniques which Satan was
successful with then, he is using again. Satan just will not leave
the Lords church alone.
The reason we are facing this apostasy is the rejection
of Bible authority and our lack of Bible knowledge. God says in
Hosea 4:6, My people are destroyed for lack of
knowledge. Brethren are not studying their Bible the way
we did in the past. In our Bible classes, many are studying other
books and not the Bible. Instead of Bible study, it has become
book study. We are becoming Biblically illiterate.
Because of our lack of Bible knowledge, digression from the truth
is continuing at an alarming rate in which many
...unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other
scriptures, unto their own destruction (II Peter 3:16).
Some of the Bible class material that is being used in some
congregations is denominational material that supposedly has been
edited, but it still contains denominational errors. If
we teach our children denominational material, we will train them
to be a denomination of the future. Since we have failed to learn
a lesson from past history, we are seeing the same problems arise
again today. The attitude today is I want it and I am going to
We read in II Thessalonians 2:10-12,
...because they received not the love of the truth, that they
might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong
delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be
damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in
unrighteousness. It is a shame millions of good people
have chosen to believe the lies of Satan, and because of this, they
will have to spend forever and ever in the burning fires of Hell.
To protect ourselves against Satan we must have a strong faith. How
do we obtain that faith? Romans 10:17 says, So then faith
cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The
more we study the word of God, the stronger our faith will be. We
can protect ourselves from the present apostasy if we will only
study, believe, and obey the truth of Gods word without any
additions or subtractions, and be faithful to it all the days of
our life. We must speak out and warn others of our present apostasy
so less damage will be done and fewer souls will be lost.
133 N Woodland Dr.
Conway, AR 72032
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A NEW HYMNAL
A new song book is in the works and should be ready for
distribution later this year. Brother Garland Elkins made the
following comments regarding it: A new hymnal for use in the
churches of Christ has been needed for several years. There are
some good books already in existence, but most are flawed in that
either a variety of good scriptural songs is lacking, and what is
far worse, there are some books containing unscriptural
phraseology. We understand that songwriters exercise what is known
as poetic license i.e., sometimes figurative language is
used. However, neither that nor anything else, justifies a
songwriter teaching error in song. It is as unscriptural to sing
error, as it is to preach error. Those who pervert the Gospel of
Christ must give an account (Gal. 1:8-9).
W. D. Jeffcoat has, for many years, desired to
edit a hymnal, one that can be used with confidence to the glory of
God and for the benefit of men. Now, the Lord has blessed him with
that great privilege. Brother Jeffcoat is, in my judgment, the best
qualified man to edit a hymnal, and there are many reasons why I
1. His father, brother H. D. Jeffcoat, was a great
Gospel preacher, sound in the faith and respected by brethren
2. W. D. Jeffcoat from a child has known the scriptures
(II Tim. 2:15).
3. He became, and is, a sound Gospel preacher of many
4. W. D. Jeffcoat knows music, and he has taught many
people how to sing.
5. He has known, been closely associated with, and has
studied with many of the most capable teachers of music among our
people, several of whom became legends even while they lived. His
tutors include Austin Taylor, Will W. Slater, Tillit S. Teddlie, L.
O. Sanderson, Wilkin Bacon and Paul Epps.
6. Brother Jeffcoat is a great and prolific songwriter
(almost 500 songs), many of which are outstanding.
7. He is a safe songwriter and editor; his hymnal will
be a classic.
Contact information is as follows:
Jacqi Grubb -- email@example.com
W. D. Jeffcoat -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax (404) 233-1685
Psallo Publications, LLC
3642 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30319
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WHO WAS PHILETUS?
It is amazing, yet true, that if the Holy Spirit had
consulted with some of our brethren today and had followed their
advice and wishes, we would have no idea as to whom Philetus was or
that he ever lived.
Philetus was a member of the Lords church in the
first century who, along with another brother by the name of
Hymenaeus, was propagating the error that the resurrection had
already taken place, and, by this error, was overthrowing the faith
of some (II Tim. 2:17,18). Would you think that subverting or
overturning a brother or sisters faith would constitute a
serious matter? In this same connection, Paul says that the words
of these two men were eating like a canker. One
translation says their word as a gangrene will have
pasture. If that figure does not accurately express the harm
caused and need to expose, what would?
If the Holy Spirit through Paul had used the
dont call names approach that we often hear
suggested, how many other unsuspecting brethren would have had
their faith overthrown and been lost because of this error? What if
the Holy Spirit had said, Theres some false doctrine that
is being taught about the resurrection, and some brethren are
experiencing the overthrow of their faith because of it, but we
will just leave it at that because calling names would be just too
personal and controversial.
Where do those who contend for such get the idea? When
brethren are being influenced by those who are intent on
subtracting from the truth (I John 1:6-10) or in adding to the
truth (Gal. 1:6-9; 5:7), such perverted gospels and the promoters
thereof must be exposed. When error and its proponents are publicly
named, we are simply doing what the Scriptures instruct us to do by
command (Rom. 16:17; Titus 3:9-11) and by example (I Tim. 1:19,20;
II Tim. 2:17,18; III John 9-11). No apology for doing so is needed.
388 Hill Circle
Dunlap, TN 37327
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NONE SO BLIND AS THOSE WHO WILL NOT SEE
Marvin L. Weir
Physical blindness is a handicap that no right thinking
person would wish upon himself. It is indeed a tragedy when a
person cannot see the beauty of Gods creation. An even greater
tragedy, however, is one who can see, but chooses not
The Jews of Jesus day were eagerly awaiting the
coming of the Messiah, but then refused to accept Him when He came.
Such an attitude of the people prompted Jesus to say, And
in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By
hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye
shall see, and shall not perceive: For this peoples heart is
waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes
they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart,
and should be converted, and I should heal them (Matt.
There is no greater tragedy than that of one who
chooses to be willfully ignorant of Gods Word. The Jews of
Christs day saw His miracles and heard His
preaching and concluded that He was no different from any other
man. Likewise, there are many today who hear the Gospel message in
its purity and yet refuse to accept what they have heard.
Many today profess to believe in the Bible as Gods
authoritative Word, but continue to stubbornly uphold to the
doctrines and creeds of men. When such a one is confronted with
verses of Scripture that contradicts his erroneous doctrine, he
closes his eyes to the truth and says, I just do not see it
that way. The truth of the matter is that he is refusing to
see at all -- he is willingly blind to the truth.
It is a challenge to keep oneself from becoming
spiritually blind. Such must be done, however, if heaven is to
become a reality and the soul is to be saved. Let us now note some
areas where many who claim to believe the Bible have become
I just dont believe that baptism is
necessary for one to be saved. The apostle Peter had the
privilege of preaching the Gospel on Pentecost in Jerusalem, 33
A.D., and said to those who inquired what they must do to be saved,
Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the
gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38). Peter also spoke of
the ark, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved by
water (I Peter 3:20), and said the like figure
whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away
of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience
toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (I
Peter 3:21). Jesus said, He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
damned (Mark 16:16). Only the spiritually blind will
reject water baptism as a prerequisite to salvation.
I believe that there is but one Christ, but
I just dont believe that there is only one church.
Only tradition and prejudice can so blind one to the truth. First,
Christ promised to build His church (Matt. 16:18). His
church was purchased with His blood (Acts 20:28). The
apostle Paul affirms that God hath put all things under
his (Christs) 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). Christ has
promised to save only His body (Eph. 5:23), of which there is but
one (Eph. 4:4).
In view of such Scriptures, how can one profess to love
and honor Christ while believing that His church (body) is
unimportant? One cannot have the head without the body, or the body
without the head! Christ and His church cannot be separated because
of mans whims and wishes.
I just believe that it is more meaningful to
partake of the Lords Supper only once a month. How
can one profess to love the Lord and then think that what he
believes is more important than what God says? An approved example,
which is as binding as a command, is found in the book of Acts.
Luke records, And upon the first day of the week, when
the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto
them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until
midnight (Acts 20:7). Ask the same denominational
preachers and leaders if it is also more meaningful to
give only once a month! Most will affirm, and rightly so, that the
first day of the week in 1 Corinthians 16:2
means just that -- the first day of every week. It is indeed
inconsistent, is it not, that many believe the first day
of the week in Acts 20:7 can mean monthly, quarterly, or
I just believe that instrumental music sounds
better. Notice that the Scriptures command us to SING --
NOT PLAY (Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26; Rom. 15:9; 1 Cor. 14:15; Heb.
2:12; Jam. 5:13; Rev. 5:9; 14:3; 15:3). There is Bible authority to
sing, but no Bible authority to make music any way one
It will be sad in the Day of Judgment for those who
have chosen to be spiritually blind to Gods glorious truth!
5810 Liberty Grove Rd.
Rowlett, TX 75089
Table of Contents
THE LORDS SUPPER
John D. Cotham
Besides the fact that we are commanded to partake of this
blessed event, we should have the greatest respect for it because
Christ Himself instituted this very element of worship. While in
the upper room, having His last supper before His death, Jesus took
the time to introduce an event that is perpetuated until His
return, And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and
blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said,
Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks,
and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my
blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the
remission of sins (Matt. 26:26-28).
The Lords supper is often called the Communion
because we are in communion with the suffering and death of
Christ when we partake. Paul tells us, The cup of
blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of
Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the
body of Christ (I Cor. 10:16)? We are also in communion
with Christ Himself because He is partaking with us, But
I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the
vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my
Fathers kingdom (Matt. 26:29).
The Lords supper must draw our memory to His
death, And when he had given thanks, he brake it,
and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this
do in remembrance of me (I Cor. 11:24; cf. Luke 22:19).
Therefore, by Gods design, we are to be
transported in our mind back to the cross on that day. It is as if
we are standing at the base of the cross as personal witnesses of
His death for us. It is to be a constant reminder of the tremendous
price paid for our own personal sins.
The Lords supper must always be observed in
a worthy manner. To do otherwise is to disgrace our Lord and
His death. To do otherwise is to bring guilt upon ourselves. The
Corinthian brethren had made a mockery of the Lords supper by
turning it into a feast. Paul reminded them, Wherefore
whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord,
unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord
(I Cor. 11:27). It is a time to examine whether we are
partaking the supper in the proper manner, But let a man
examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of
that cup (I Cor. 11:28).
The Lords supper has a divinely appointed day.
We find the first century church meeting on a particular day
to break bread of this communion, And upon the
first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break
bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and
continued his speech until midnight (Acts 20:7). This
element of worship began with the Christians at Pentecost,
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles doctrine
and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers
(Acts 2:42). The first century church continued this practice every
first day of the week, as is evidenced from Acts 20:7. We are
warned NOT to miss this assembling together, Not
forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of
some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see
the day approaching (Heb. 10:25).
The Lords supper also serves the purpose of
preaching according to Paul, For as often as ye eat
this bread, and drink this cup, ye proclaim the Lords
death till he come (I Cor. 11:26, ASV). Each first day
of the week as Christians assemble to partake of the Lords
supper, they proclaim the Lords death to the world.
The Lords supper deserves the Christians
greatest respect. It was designed specifically by our Lord. Its
purpose is twofold: to draw our minds back to the cross, and to
proclaim His death to the world on a regular basis.
120 Stegall Rd.
Shady Valley, TN 37688
Table of Contents
Check out the newly designed web site of James W. Boyd.
There are 942 audio Bible lessons available on demand. They are conveniently
arranged by category and topic. Also available are the complete texts of his
books on the HOME and ROMANS.
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LA. Please take me off your mailing list. We do not want
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send the names of family and friends and desire we send STOP to
them. Were happy to comply. Sometimes, however, those who
receive it dont want it and desire to be taken off. We always
take them off the mailing list.] Dear brother, I am always
looking for informative articles to put in our newsletter. May I
have your permission to share these great faith building messages
with the brethren through that medium? Also, can I reproduce them
to handout during my daily door-knocking routine? I appreciate you
and the great magazine STOP. I just wish those with liberal
tendencies would take the time to apply some reasoning and take
note of the Old Paths you proclaim ...From Down
Under, New Zealand. [NOTE: Yes, you have our permission to use
what you can to the glory of God.] I receive STOP by mail and
I enjoy it very much. Continue exposing the error in the church
today ...Florence, AL. I have just gotten my
first STOP. Cant wait to get the next one. I will be sending
a check soon for you to kept up the good work. Is there any way
that I might be able to get any back issues? I was feeding the
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to the house to put the mail up and I couldnt put it down.
Read the whole paper right then and fixing to start over from front
to back again. Please kept up the good work. Thank you
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it if you would add me to your mailing list ...Larry
Watson, Goodspring, TN. I was able to get copies of your
fine publication when I was living in Columbus, OH, and attending
at the Alkire Road congregation but married in 2003 and moved to
Texas. I have missed the wonderful articles and the sound doctrine
you all had in the booklet and hope to receive it again. I have
several friends that I will refer to you, especially if it is
online as I know they will enjoy reading your articles, too. God
bless you. In Him ...Carol Short, Garland, TX. [NOTE:
back issues of the paper can be found online at
www.seektheoldpaths.com. There are also many other Bible study
helps to be found there.] I received your publication when I
was living in West Virginia. Please send it to me at my new
address. I have missed receiving your paper since Ive moved.
I always read it cover to cover. Thank you ...Jennie
Burgess, Loveland, CO. I have always enjoyed reading
Seek The Old Paths, but since I started school at
Freed-Hardeman last fall, I havent been able to read it as
much as Id like to. Could you please begin sending it to me
here at school. I was reading the February 2005 issue (I know it
has already been sent out, but Id like to have a copy of it)
in the library tonight, and I just wish every student on this
campus could have read that article by brother Wayne Coats. It was
fantastic. A lot of the students were expecting Connelly to let
Morrison have it, but of course that didnt happen. It was
simply a sounding board for a false teacher. To me, the real kicker
is that in chapel after the discussion, brother Smith gave a lesson
on why the restoration plea is still valid. Its great that he
says that, but we need to practice it. I appreciate your work
...Donnie Vick, Henderson, TN. Please take me off your
mailing list for STOP ...The Hirsch Family, Covington, IN.
Please take us off your mailing list! To keep repeating
why were right on doctrine and everyone else is wrong
doesnt help much in bringing a lost world to Christ!
...John Morris, Brighton, MI. [EDITORS NOTE: The Truth is
what saves (I Peter 1:22), not false doctrine. Unless one is right,
unless one embraces the Truth, one will not be saved (John 8:32).
How can we deny the Truth, embrace false doctrine, and expect to be
saved? The whole point of the Gospel is to proclaim the Truth
(Gods Word). This, of necessity, exposes, condemns and tears
down error. God told Jeremiah, I have this day set thee
over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and
to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw
down, to build, and to plant
(Jer. 1:10). You cant teach the Truth without exposing error
(Eph. 5:11). If the Truth is the Truth, it naturally refutes that
which is contrary to it. Im sorry, but mere humans did not
write the Bible, God did. Mere humans have no right to sugar
coat the Gospel and make it more appealing than God makes it.
Read and study again these passages: II Tim. 4:2-5, Titus 1:9-13,
Titus 2:1, Eph. 5:11, Jude 3, II Peter 1:12.] Would you please
send me your paper. What a wonderful study! Good sound doctrine is
such a blessing to receive. I received the Sept/04 paper from a
friend. Thank you! ...Roxie Paschal, Osceola, AR.
I look forward to receiving your paper each month. I
appreciate all your endeavors and may your good work continue for
many years. Thanks ...Florice Cardwell, Oxford, MS.
Thank you ...Lafayette, IN. Appreciate your
publication ...Carl Yount, Moberly, MO. I was
given a copy of STOP by a member of the Lords church, having
recently left a congregation whose eldership have adopted a liberal
agenda. It is encouraging to see the work of the East End Church of
Christ. Stand firm. You have my support both monetarily and
morally. Thank you ...Anthony Russo, Saint Clair Shores,
MI. It is an excellent source of sound material and you
are to be commended for that. Thank you very much
...Derrick Coble, Sparta, TN. What a fine article on
women in the church (March 2005). You exposed the blatant hypocrisy
of Mr. Cope. Good for you! In Christ ...Al Sowin,
Clearlake, CA. We dont want to see this paper
dwindle ...Bill & Martha Kimbrough, Corinth, MS.
Thank you so much ...Lola Wheeler, Columbia, TN.
I so enjoy reading Seek The Old Paths, then I pass
it on to others. You do a great job keeping faithful Christians on
their toes. Its a shame that others have left the Lords
church because they cannot think for themselves, but allow the
liberals to think for them and lead them to destruction. Myself, as
well as others, can only pray they will return to Gods word
(the Bible) before it is everlastingly too late. I am enclosing a
contribution for the cause. I which to remain anonymous. Thank
you ...Grand Blanc, MI. Thank you for supplying
us with copies of Seek The Old Paths each month. We have
enclosed a check to help cover cost of printing and mailing. Thank
you and we pray that you will keep up the good work
...Garry Stanton, for the elders, Cadiz church of Christ, Cadiz,
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