GOD SHALL SEND THEM STRONG DELUSION
Religious people often presuppose an inordinate security
regarding doctrinal matters. A failure in allowing the truth to
guide their thinking has left many with the idea that if a thing is
believed strongly enough it just must be so, God would not
allow it to be otherwise! Paul wrote of this attitude telling
how some would perish: 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...
(II Thess. 2:10-12).
God is not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).
But when people, even very religious people, tamper with Gods
truth and refuse to receive the love of the truth, he gives them
up. Of those who changed the truth of God into a lie,
Paul said, For this cause God gave them up unto vile
affections...God gave them up to uncleanness...God gave them over
to a reprobate mind... (Rom. 1:24-26,28).
Ahab, king of Israel (875-854 B.C.), and Jehoshaphat,
king of Judah (874-850 B.C.), provide an Old Testament illustration
of God sending strong delusion to those who love not the truth.
When Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly, Ahab sought
affinity between Israel and Judah in order that they might go to
war against Syria at Ramoth-gilead. Jehoshaphat requested audience
with a prophet that the Lord might be consulted concerning this
matter. Along with Zedekiah son of Chenaanah who seems to be a
ring-leader, about four hundred prophets prophesy the battling of
Syria at Ramoth-gilead to be just the thing to do. Perhaps
Jehoshaphat is skeptical of Ahabs prophets, so, he asked,
Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might
inquire of him? Ahab replied, There is yet one
man, by whom we may inquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he
never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah
the son of Imla. The messenger that fetched Micaiah gave
him instructions, Behold, the words of the prophets
declare good like one of theirs, and speak thou good.
When Micaiah parroted the messengers canned
prophecy, Ahab retorted, How many times shall I
adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name
of the Lord? Micaiah then told the true prophesy from
God: These have no master; let them return therefore
every man to his house in peace. King Ahab now admits
that his presumptuous tampering with the four hundred prophets has
not been able to shroud the truth: Did I not tell thee
that he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil? At
this point in the narrative, the veil is drawn back and the reader
is allowed to witness what had gone before in the development of
these prophesyings, and it is here that the lesson of
Gods sending them strong delusion finds its greatest
efficacy. Micaiah said,
Therefore hear the word of the Lord; I saw the Lord
sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing
on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, Who
shall entice [persuade] Ahab king of Israel, that he may go
up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one spoke saying after
this manner, and another saying after that manner. Then
there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and
said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him,
Wherewith? And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit
in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou
shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and
do even so. Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying
spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath
spoken evil against thee (I Kings 22:19-23; II Chron.
Ahab listened to the lying prophets, went to Ramoth-gilead,
and was killed by the Syrians, all because he received not the
love of the truth as spoken by Micaiah.
The truth of God is the word of God:
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth
(John 17:17). The Gospel of our salvation is contained in the word
of truth: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard
the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after
that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of
promise (Eph. 1:13). The word of truth is alive and
active: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and
sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing
asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a
discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb.
4:12). The engrafted word is able to save your souls:
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of
naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is
able to save your souls (James 1:21).
The word of God is active in mans redemption and
lives and abides forever: Being born again, not of
corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which
liveth and abideth for ever (I Peter 1:23).
In piercingly plain words, Isaiah rebuked those who
erected false standards. Woe unto them that call evil
good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for
darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto
them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own
sight (Isa. 5:20,21).
When Israel, Gods chosen people, accepted the
false standards that were self-imposed, even they received
condemnation. Again, Isaiah charged, Therefore as fire
devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their
root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as the
dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and
despised the word of the Holy One of Israel (Isa.
Today, there is an urgent need for Gods people
to love the law of the Lord as did David in Psalm 119:97:
O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
Only by reading, studying, and applying Gods word to our
lives can we be assured we are not straying from heavens way.
No longer can we as a people fain ignorance of the departures from
the truth currently underway among us. We cannot hide behind a
shroud of self-righteousness saying we must experience the
departure for ourselves, or we will not consider it valid. Great
courage is required to love the truth enough to defend it
As in Micaiahs day, every member of the church
of Christ has the responsibility to make it his business to know
whether preachers or teachers invited to speak to the congregation
or preachers and teachers to whom the young people are sent out to
hear, are faithful proclaimers of the word of God or not. Like
Ahab, we must cease to favor only those preachers who tell us what
we want to hear.
1804 Skyline Dr.
Chattanooga, TN 37421
Table of Contents
DENOMINATIONS ARE SINFUL #1
Garland M. Robinson
The devil has an unlimited number of tools at his
disposal because he has no limitations. Everything is available to
him. He is not bound by truth, honesty, veracity or fidelity. His
way is the broad way, the wide way (cf. Matt. 7:13-14). He has an
unlimited number of paths he can travel and he desires that all the
men and women throughout history travel them too.
DENOMINATIONALISM MEANS DIVISION
One of his most effective tools in the last 500 years
is the system of denominationalism. He is using it to great
advantage to cause men and women to lose their souls. It does not
matter to him if people are religious as long as they are
religiously wrong. He loves people who are sincere in their belief,
people who are devoted to their cause, because he knows that
sincerity and devotion are not enough to please God. The TRUTH has
to go with it.
Jesus describes the devil as a liar and the father of
lies in John 8:44. When he can get people to believe his lies,
hes satisfied because he knows it hurts God. His whole purpose
and driving force it to hurt God as much as he can. He delights in
causing souls to be eternally doomed because he knows they will
share with him in his eternal home.
One of the most effective lies he has ever told is to
convince the masses that denominationalism is a vibrant and
satisfying way to serve God. But the truth is, denominations are
authorized by men, not God; and therefore cannot be pleasing to
God. God is not served by and through denominational churches. God
is served by and through His church and His church alone. Ephesians
3:21 says, Unto him be glory in the church by
Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
First Peter 2:5 says God is served in his spiritual
house which is the church.
Denominationalism is wrong and sinful because...
The very thought and point of denominationalism is to be
divided. Men glory in division. They relish the idea that people
have a choice in religion. We have seen ads in newspapers and even
on billboards showing how wonderful it is that men can be saved and
then join the church of their choice as if God gives men a
choice, which He does not!
DENOMINATIONALISM CONDEMNS THE
Since the words denomination and
denominationalism are not found in the Bible, they must be
defined from other sources. A denominational body is defined as
a part of a whole or one of a series of units.
Webster defines denominationalism as devotion to
denominational principles or interests. The emphasizing of
denominational differences to the point of being narrowly
exclusive. An act of denominating, a value or size of a
series of values or sizes (as of money), a religious organization
whose congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs
A quarter is a denomination (a part) of a dollar, but
not the whole dollar. Each denominational church claims to be a
part of the whole, but not the whole church. Many sincere and
devoted people are involved in denominationalism. They are trying
to go to Heaven and expect to get there in and
through a denominational church.
A most appropriate question to ask is: are all
denominational churches just different ways of going to Heaven?
No they are not. The Bible teaches that denominationalism is
wrong and sinful. Gods word condemns denominationalism, which
LORDS PRAYER FOR UNITY
Denominationalism contradicts and condemns the
Lords prayer for unity. On the night in which Jesus was
betrayed, He prayed for His apostles, saying... Neither pray
I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me
through their word; That they all may be one; 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 hast sent me. And
the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they
may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me,
that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world
may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast
loved me (John 17:20-23).
you read the box on the back page about the new emphasis in my
work. This is a personal request and I humbly ask for your help and
support to make this possible.]
For even one denominational church to exist, negates
the Lords prayer for unity. It says, Lord, I dont
care what you want or what you prayed for. I love denominations and
Im going to promote them throughout the whole world. Im
glad people have a choice. Your prayer is old fashioned and out of
touch with the hearts and desires of men (political correctness).
You are too narrow-minded and bigoted. Though we cant
imagine someone actually saying these words, they are exactly what
is made clear every time one becomes a member of a denomination or
prays for a denomination.
Proverbs 6:19 says God hates those who sow discord
(dissention, strife, division). But that is exactly what
denominations do. They foster and promote division.
God has set forth a five-fold plan for unity
in First Corinthians 1:10. Denominations dont like it, but
none-the-less, Gods word is true and every man who contradicts
it is a liar. This verse reads, Now I beseech you,
brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak
the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that
ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same
judgment. Therefore, Gods plan is:
1) We all speak the same thing,
2) Have no divisions among us,
3) Be perfectly joined together,
4) Have the same mind,
5) Have the same judgment.
Philippians 3:16 joins in by saying, ...let us walk
by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Whos going to step forward and tell us God
doesnt know what Hes talking about and that it cant
Gods platform for religious unity in Ephesians
4:4-6 will work because its His plan. Its His command!
This text says, There is one body, and
one Spirit, even as ye are called in
one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith,
one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above
all, and through all, and in you all.
The one body shows unity in
organization. The one Spirit shows unity in
guidance. The one hope shows unity of aim
or reward. The one Lord shows unity in
authority. The one faith shows unity in
message. The one baptism shows unity of
practice. The one God shows unity in worship.
Gods plan is UNITY.
Part 1 of 4
Table of Contents
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT ARMAGEDDON?
The religious world has a lot to say about Armageddon and
ardently advocates it too. Because of its sensational nature,
people are often enthralled by the subject. It is a key component
of the false doctrine known as Pre-Millennialism. Many, if not
most, denominational churches subscribe to various aspects of
Pre-Millennialism. Few question it. Pre-Millennialism is wrong
because it takes literally what ought to interpreted
figuratively. Armageddon is no different.
Mention Armageddon and most people think of some
horrific global battle preceding the end of the world. According to
the theological system of Pre-Millennialism, the church is
currently in the end times and various signs throughout
the world indicate the imminent return of Jesus Christ. Supposedly,
the Lord will come again secretly to rapture the
righteous. This means Jesus will take them out of the world for a
period of seven years to be with Him in heaven. This includes the
righteous dead who were raised in the first resurrection.
The seven year period following the rapture will be a time of great
tribulation in which the Anti-Christ will persecute those
left behind on the earth. The Anti-Christ will
play a significant part in political and religious changes which
will lead many astray. Then, with his followers he will instigate
the bloody battle of Armageddon. At this time Christ will return
again with His saints to do battle against the armies of the world.
(Note this will be His third coming about which the Bible is
silent!) This battle will take place in the plain of Megiddo which
is located near Mount Carmel in Israel. Following His victory,
Jesus will establish His kingdom and will reign over the earth for
a thousand years from Jerusalem. At the end of this period, the
wicked dead will be raised along with those who lived during the
millennium and they shall stand before the Lord in the so-called
Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15).
One of the most influential writers of Pre-Millennial
doctrine in recent years is Hal Lindsey. In 1970 he authored the
192 page book The Late Great Planet Earth in which he
set forth his ideas about the return of Jesus Christ in our times.
He interpreted world events as proof that the end is
near. Keep in mind that 39 years have elapsed since the writing of
his book and yet Christ has not returned. Anyone who attempts to
set a date for the second coming of the Lord is doomed to failure
because there are no signs regarding that event (Matt. 24:35-36).
With so much written about Armageddon, a person would
assume the Bible has a lot to say about the topic. However, in this
case, the assumption would be incorrect. The Bible mentions
Armageddon only once in Revelation 16:16. How then could entire
books be written about Armageddon? Much of this doctrine is based
on speculation, taking symbolic passages literally and by
trying to connect other passages to Revelation 16:16 which actually
deal with other events. Granted, some of the passages come from the
book of Revelation, but they are misused and misapplied. Passages
from the Old Testament are also misused to support
Pre-Millennialism. Many of them deal with the captivity of the Jews
and their eventual restoration to the land of Israel. This event
already happened beginning with the decree of Cyrus in 536 B.C.
(Ezra 1:1-4) and later with the return under the leadership of Ezra
in 458 B.C. (Ezra 7:1-7). The book of Daniel addresses the coming
of the Lords kingdom, but again this event has already
transpired with the establishment of the church on the day of
Pentecost (Matt. 16:18-19; Acts 2).
Any complex doctrine which is built upon one verse of
scripture ought to be scrutinized to see if the verse was handled
correctly (II Tim. 2:15). In the case of Armageddon, Revelation
16:16 has been seriously abused!
24735 Huron River Dr.
Rockwood, MI 48173
Table of Contents
TAKE HEED HOW YE BUILD
The Northwest Florida School of Biblical Studies
(NWFSBS), Licensed Contractors
Several years ago, at my father-in-laws behest, we
set out to build a big ole barn behind my house. I guess you
could say we served as both contractor and construction company.
Florida building codes dictated a foundation for that barn that we
both jokingly said could be used as a launchpad for the space
shuttle. It does not pay to argue with city hall. We did the
foundation just as they stipulated. We did not mess with the
There is a building (cf. I Cor. 3:9) far
greater than barns certainly, and any edifice of men for that
matter. It involves codes, contractors, and builders. We, at the
Northwest Florida School of Biblical Studies, are up to
code, up to speed, and up to the job of training and sending out
By the Spirit, Paul said, Other foundation
can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ
(I Cor. 3:11). This classic scripture comes out of the
backdrop of admonitions about inordinate attachment to preachers
(vs.1-8), where Paul in a figure (4:6) used himself and
Apollos as examples. Censuring the carnality of Christians who
would dare say, I am of Paul...I am of Apollos (3:4), the
apostle encourages keeping things in perspective saying that
preachers are Gods fellow-workers: ye are Gods
husbandry, Gods building (v.9). Preachers, like them,
Apollos and Paul, he said, are
(vs.5-9a). Of yet greater significance, is Gods
husbandry, Gods building.
What a grace, an honor, Paul said, was
given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder (v.10). He
laid a foundation; and another buildeth thereon (ibid).
Now comes the basis of our title: But let each man take
heed how he buildeth thereon (ibid). The
another builder to which Paul refers no doubt includes
Apollos, but the application is there for all who would be
preachers take heed how you build.
Far greater than the codes of the state of Florida,
a yet greater dictates that other foundation can no man lay
than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (v.11). Jesus
Christ, everything about Him, this foundation His
incarnation, life, vicarious suffering and death, burial,
resurrection, ascension, reign, authority, word, church, et al
is up to code and must not be messed with. The preachers
job is not to lay a foundation, rather to build...on
the foundation (vs.10,11). The preacher, those who support
preachers, and those who train preachers, must be concerned with
Preachers, Inspiration says, can build on the
foundation gold, silver, costly stones, or, wood,
hay, stubble (v.11). When, however, the fire comes,
as it must fiery darts (Eph. 6:16); fiery
trial (I Peter 4:12); tongue...fire (James 3:6);
faith...proving...fire (I Peter 1:7) it will
prove each mans work of what sort it is (I Cor.
3:13). Oh, the need for good builders!
There are so many ways in which inferior builders,
preachers, can mess up what they presume to build on the
foundation. Preachers who neither know the word, nor how to
handle...aright the word of truth (II Tim. 2:15) are
sadly too many and very destructive. Arrogant and self-aggrandizing
preachers will build, not on the foundation, rather on and around
themselves. Just look at the various pockets, self-defined
residuals, of brethren who arbitrarily cull in and cull out.
Whether one is gold, silver, or a costly stone, or
wood, hay, or stubble is determined by their codes; but,
that just depends on what day of the week it is, and what the
self-determined cause is. Intemperate builders, preachers, will
also cause a building to fail. Because such a builder has no sense
of discipline and drive, he does not know how to possess
himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor (I
Thess. 4:4; cf. II Tim. 2:21). Intemperate preachers inevitably
will out and it will be destructive to the building.
May we repeat? There is a building (cf. I
Cor. 3:9) far greater than barns certainly, and any edifice of men
for that matter. It involves codes, contractors, and builders. We,
at the Northwest Florida School of Biblical Studies, are up to
code, up to speed, and up to the job of training and sending out
builders. In the area of mental training, the school views deep
studies in the Scriptures as primary, and corollary to this supreme
task are studies in geography, languages, history and philosophy.
We, too, realize the need to instill a spirit...of power, and
love, and discipline (II Tim. 1:7). The attrition rate of
otherwise bright and capable young preachers is high. Full of
knowledge, and sadly sometimes full of themselves; lacking
discipline and a good work ethic, they wear out too quickly. We see
this wound and are working hard to stanch it.
NWFSBS realizes that both the training of the mind and
the man are essential to good builders. Moral training flows from
emphasis on Bible teaching, together with experience, wisdom,
openness and consistency in the lives of those who have presumed to
don the mantle of teacher. Though comparatively peripheral matters,
nevertheless to help equip aspiring preachers effectively to do
their work and fulfill their mission, studies in English, public
speaking, writing, logic and debate are a part of the curriculum,
as well as opportunities for practical application of pulpit
preaching and evangelism.
NWFSBS has for more than twenty years been the work
of the Milestone (formerly Ensley) church of Christ. Through the
years, the school has learned, improved, grown and weathered
storms; she is a proven and good place for investing people and
Would you like to know more about us? Would you like
to work with us? Do you know of men who would or could preach? We
can be contacted in a variety of ways: Web ; Email
; postal service 4051 Stefani Road,
Cantonment, FL 32533; or, telephone (850) 474-9257. We can
also arrange for you to receive our quarterly publication,
Labourers Together With God. 1653 Pine Lane Drive,
Cantonment, FL 32533
For more than seventeen years, this great school has been
directed by Kenneth Burleson, a brother known and respected by
Seek The Old Paths and Banner Of Truth readers.
Brother Burleson recently announced,
I have been serving as the preacher for the
congregation, director and instructor for the school. I am also
serving as an elder. The work with the church and the school under
the eldership and with the good people of this congregation has
been an honor for me. I have been surrounded by capable, sincere
and dedicated people with which to work....
To those of you in the brotherhood who have been so
faithful in supporting the school financially and otherwise, thank
you so much. Without your help the work could not have been as
successful as it has been.
My wife and I sat down together several months back
and made the decision that it is time for me to lessen my work
load. I brought this before the eldership and it was acceptable to
them. It was at a later date I announced the decision to the men of
the congregation, it was acceptable to them also....
The school is very dear to my heart and it shall
remain that way.
So, in February 2009 I will turn the directorship of
the school over to brother Alan Adams. Alan has graciously
accepted. He has been working with the school for over six years
and has done a great job as dean of students and as an instructor.
I know he will do a terrific job as director of the school.
My plea to you who support the school, is to continue
your support and encourage others to become supporters....
I will continue my work as the preacher and as an
elder of the church of Christ at Milestone. The church is growing
and involved in many good works.
Labourers together With God, Vol. 16, No.
To which announcement brother Adams wrote,
The aforementioned director change is for
me a confluence of willingness and trepidation. Brother
Burlesons decency toward and encouragement of me, my family
and my work goes back for twenty-five years. Such then is my
respect for this man that I am willing to do just about anything he
In addition to brother Burleson, the Milestone church
and her eldership have also entrusted me as a steward of this work.
This is a lovely and loving congregation of Gods people, and
the thought of not living up to their trust is unbearable. I pray
that my conduct and work be commensurate with that trust.
Then, of course, there are you, all you brothers,
sisters, churches friends of NWFSBS who have
consistently and generously supported this work of preacher
preparation for many years. I covet your prayers and humbly ask for
your continued support. May I as well ask for your patience as I
adapt and learn my way around?
There is no illusion on my part that this change in
role somehow translates into proportional greatness or personal
indispensability....I will work hard to follow the rule that
each man prove his own work, and then shall he have his
glorying in regard of himself alone (Gal. 6:3). This will be
made easier by the fact that I will be privileged to continue to
work together with good and competent people: Tom Snyder, Jared
Knoll, Joel Wheeler; and, brother Burleson himself.
The Northwest Florida School of Biblical Studies was
a good school when I came more than seven years ago; it is a good
school at this time of transition. God being my helper, NWFSBS
shall continue to be what it has been under brother Burlesons
watch, a sound, solid environment for men to prepare themselves to
do the work of an evangelist (2 Tim. 4:5).
Alan Adams, Director
Northwest Florida School of Biblical Studies
4051 Stefani Road, Cantonment, FL 32533
|EDITORíS NOTE: It has been my privilege to know
both brother Burleson and Adams for many years. I am familiar with the
school and give it my sincere endorsement. I have the greatest
confidence in this work. Those who seek the prepare themselves to preach
the Gospel could not find a better place to do so. All would do well to
hold up their hands in this great work.
ó Garland M. Robinson
Table of Contents
WAS JESUS CONCERNED ABOUT BEING POLITICALLY CORRECT?
Roger D. Campbell
By most modern calculations, Jesus was born in B.C. 5 or
4. In terms of eras, He was born B.C., died A.D., and lived His
whole life B.P.C. What is B.P.C., you ask? It could be
Before Personal Computers, but for our purposes we are
employing it to stand for Before Political Correctness.
The political correctness mentality has swept
modern-day America. According to such a mindset, while one may
disagree with others, even strongly disagree, even strongly
disagree because the other is blatantly wrong, the politically
correct thing to do is not to make a big deal out of it and be
careful with the language you employ lest you offend anyone. If one
is in violation of some moral or biblical standard, then the
politically correct thing to do is just let it slide without
labeling it as sin. Because, after all, calling things
evil or sinful is divisive, or so we are told.
Or, if a person of a particular religion or cultural background
violates some code of conduct, then the politically correct thing
to do would be not to identify the specific religion or background
of the violator, because the very mention of such would be proof of
prejudice, hostility, or lack of human decency. So goes the
reasoning (?) of many today.
What about our Lord? When you study the first four
books of the New Testament, do you come to the conclusion that the
Christ was concerned about being politically correct? Surely not.
Before proving the proposition that the Master was not an advocate
of being politically correct, let me hasten to remind you that His
approach was flawless. He never sinned not once (I Peter
2:21-23). He always spoke the truth (John 18:37). In doing so, His
attitude was always right. He loved all people. He showed genuine
kindness and compassion. His speech was pure, and His conduct was
in complete harmony with the will of the Father (John 6:38). I say
all of that in order to emphasize that it is possible not to be
an advocate of political correctness, and at the same time, speak
the truth and be a caring, helpful person.
So, what is there in the Bible record that convinces
us that Jesus was not one that put any stock in being politically
correct? For one thing, He spoke about evil. The Christ
said that evil things come from within, and defile the
man (Mark 7:23).
Coupled with His message about people doing evil, He
also preached about the need for sinners to repent, saying,
Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt.
4:17), and, I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye
shall all likewise perish (Luke 13:5). A message of
repentance does not sit well with the Washington, D.C. crowd or
those that write the scripts for CNN, does it?
Jesus preached about people going to hell (Mark
9:43,45). He labeled it as a place of everlasting
punishment (Matt. 25:46) and said that only few will
avoid going there (Matt. 7:13,14).
Our Lord warned folks about the religious leaders of
His day, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in
Moses seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe,
that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say,
and do not (Matt. 23:2,3). Jesus referred to such
religious hypocrites as hypocrites, if you can imagine!
Jesus went against the accepted teachings of His day.
Many Jews had come to accept the notion that it is okay to hate
your enemies. Jesus said to love enemies, pray for them, and do
good to them (Matt. 5:43,44). Instead of upholding the man-made
doctrines that some were binding about washing hands and utensils
before a meal, Jesus said that teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men makes worship vain (Mark 7:7).
When Jesus spoke about the sensitive topic of marriage
and divorce, He spoke in terms that were clear. What He had to say
was true, and whether others liked or received His message had
nothing to do with it. He taught, What therefore God hath
joined together, let not man put asunder...Whosoever shall put away
his wife, and except it be for fornication, and shall marry
another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put
away doth commit adultery (Matt. 19:6,9).
Jesus taught what people needed to hear. That, of
course, did not make Him the most popular preacher of all time, but
it is obvious that being popular was not one of His goals! God
wants us to have the mind or heart of His Son (Phil. 2:5). He was
humble as He approached lost people, and we must be as well. He was
also courageous, and God has not given us the spirit of fear (II
Brothers and sisters, we must zealously and urgently
proclaim the glad tidings of salvation through the Way, the Truth,
and the Life (John 14:6). The world still needs to hear that there
is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one
baptism, and one God (Eph. 4:4-6). Let us never be ashamed of our
Lord and His Gospel. Yes, as we deal with others, even with the
God-bashers, morally corrupt, and religious crackpots, we must be
courteous (I Peter 3:8). And, yes, we must be tenderhearted as we
live our lives and converse with and about others (Eph. 4:32). But,
we must not allow ourselves to get sucked into the political
correctness mentality. Jesus was not concerned about being
politically correct, and neither should we be.
120 Will Lewis Dr. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
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FAITH, YES! BUT NOT FAITH ONLY
There are those who believe and teach that all that a
person need do in order to be a Christian is to believe; that a
person is saved by faith only. Now, faith is absolutely
essential. Jesus said, Except ye believe that I am he, ye
shall die in your sins (John 8:24). But is faith the
only element that is essential to ones salvation? Let us allow
the Scriptures to answer that question.
The Scriptures teach that repentance is
essential to salvation. I tell you, nay; but except ye repent
ye will all likewise perish (Luke 13:5). In this passage,
Jesus Christ equates a lack of repentance with perishing (i.e.,
suffering eternal punishment). The clear implication then, is that
one must repent of sins in order to be saved. Since faith plus
repentance equals more than faith only, it is obvious that the Lord
did not teach nor believe that one could be saved by faith only.
The Scriptures teach that confession is
necessary for salvation. For with the heart one believes
unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto
salvation (Rom. 10:10). The necessity of confession and
the falsity of the salvation by faith only doctrine is
further demonstrated by John 12:42, where we read,
Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but
because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should
be put out of the synagogue. If salvation is by faith
only, these rulers would have been saved.
According to the word of God, baptism is also
essential to salvation. In baptism, one receives the remission of
sins (Acts 2:38). One is cleansed of sin by being buried with
Christ in baptism (Rom. 6:4; Acts 22:16; I John 1:7). The apostle
Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote that ...baptism
doth also now save us... (I Peter 3:21). Jesus said,
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved...
(Mark 16:16). According to the Lord, baptism is also
essential to ones salvation.
Clearly, the Bible does not teach salvation by
faith only. In fact, the only time the words faith
only appear in the entire Bible is James 2:24, where James
writes, You see then that a man is justified by works,
and not by faith only. In verse 26, James writes that
...faith without works is dead....
A dead faith will cause a person to be lost for all
eternity. An active, living faith will lead a person to submit
completely to the Lords will. God has told us what one must do
to be saved. Anything short of complete obedience is rebellion
Have you obeyed Gods plan of salvation? To become
a child of God, one MUST OBEY the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Hear the Word of God (John 8:45; Rom. 10:17).
Believe in Jesus Christ (John 3:16; 8:24).
Repent of sins (Luke 13:3,5; II Peter 3:9).
Confess Jesus is the Christ (Rom. 10:9,10;
Be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts
Live faithfully everyday (Matt. 10:22).
419 Lynn Dr.,
Nashville, TN 37211
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ENTERING THE MINISTRY
Franklin Camp, deceased
Attending the services is a part of Christian service,
but is far from all that is expected and that God requires of each
Christian. Just sitting on a pew once or even three times a week
when nothing else is done, will never develop a strong spiritual
life. Just as an evangelist grows in knowledge, ability, and
spiritual development, so each Christian will grow as they fulfill
What kind of Christian would an evangelist be that
attended services, but never studied nor preached a sermon? What
kind of a Christian is it that attends services, but never does one
thing as a minister in whatever capacity he may be able to work?
Let us put the word minister back where it belongs and
make ministers out of every Christian. Only in this way will there
be any development in Christian living and growth and the church
fulfill its ministry in a community.
It is certain to take some time for members of the
body of Christ to do this, but this is the only cure for the
spiritual diseases that are killing the church. Unless we apply the
remedy and make ministers out of every Christian according to their
various abilities, the church is going to end up with clergy and
laity ideas. This spells apostasy in big letters.
I am not The Minister of this congregation,
and have no intention of becoming Its Minister. I am a
minister working with other Christians that are also ministers, and
the only difference is one of function. The work of the church
involves the ministry of the work, of teaching, of ruling, of
exhortation, of mercy, etc., and it takes every member as a
minister using his or her ability as they may be able for the
church to fulfill its ministry and for Christians to grow
If we expect to save the church from apostasy and our
own souls from eternal ruin, here is where we need to begin. Every
person enters the ministry of some type when they become a
Christian. [The Noble Searcher]
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A PERSONAL NOTE
FROM THE EDITOR
Garland M. Robinson
February issue, I announced a new emphasis in my work of preaching the
Gospel. I appreciate so much the positive response Iíve received so
far. Thank you very much. With the help of faithful brethren like you,
this new endeavor will become a reality. As announced in February, this
is being done with the full cooperation and endorsement of the elders of
the East End church of Christ. If you have not yet read the February
issue, we encourage you do so. If you need a copy, weíll be glad to
mail you one or you can read it online at seektheoldpaths.com/stop209.htm.
This work involves teaching
and preaching Godís Holy Word by use of the radio, internet and
the printed page through Seek The Old Paths and other
study materials. Godís word will not return unto him void (cf. Isa.
55:11). It is our task to proclaim it from the house tops and in every
corner of the earth (cf. Matt. 28:18-20). This is done through the use
of our mouths and also through the use of our pens. Much
and lasting good can be done in proclaiming Godís Word. His Word will
judge us in the last day (John 12:48).
To do this work, it is
necessary for me to raise my personal financial support. I humbly ask
your assistance to do this most important and needed ďlabor of
love.Ē Any amount will help and will be greatly appreciated. Would
you consider putting me in your budget for monthly financial support? If
you cannot help monthly, one time contributions would also be of great
The financial support for me
is separate from the financial support for Seek The Old Paths publication
itself. Be sure to indicate on your check whether your contribution is
for Garland or STOP (Seek The Old Paths). All
contributions are handled and overseen by the elders at East End.
You may contact me or the
elders at 102 Edison St., McMinnville, TN 37110 or by sending
We would like to start this
new endeavor as soon as possible. Please let us hear from you soon.
Table of Contents
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McMinnville, TN 37110
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