Seek The Old Paths

Vol. 32   No. 4                   April,   2021


This Issue...


James Boyd

To deny the virgin birth is to deny the Deity of Christ. To question the virgin birth is to question the Deity of Christ. To remove evidences of the virgin birth (as modern “versions” do) is to remove divine evidences of the Deity of Christ. No true friend of the Lord will be a party to such as that, nor defend it.

        That Jesus was born of a virgin is a basic and fundamental cornerstone of the doctrine of Christ. While Christmas is not his birthday, neither is his birth a false and imaginary tale designed to exalt Jesus as modernists teach. Even though some contend that the birth of Christ does not matter whether Mary was a virgin or not, this is simply untrue. It does matter! To doubt it casts a bad reflection on the integrity of the Bible as well as question one of the God-given evidences of the Deity of Christ.
        The birth of Jesus by a virgin demands the Deity of Jesus in the flesh. His Deity demands his authority. His authority demands man’s obedience. Because men do not want to obey the way of Christ, they somehow must dissolve the evidences of his position of authority, and this demands the removal of evidences of his Deity. To remove such evidence requires them to attack the virgin birth of Jesus.
        But one can no more be a faithful disciple of Christ and believe the Word of God while denying the virgin birth than one could deny the efficacy of his blood, resurrection, ascension, kingship, or any number of other fundamental truths regarding Jesus the Christ. The Scriptures address themselves to the virgin birth as one irrefutable evidence of his Deity and is an inspired presentation of his nature.


        The very first hint from God that he would redeem man contained the suggestion of the virgin birth. When God was speaking to Satan, Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. It shalt bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel.” God spoke of the seed of woman, not the seed of man and woman. She would produce a manchild (“his heel, the ASV uses the pronoun “he” rather than “it”). Satan would inflict a wound against this manchild, but the child would inflict a mortal blow to Satan.
        It was Jesus Christ that was afflicted and did afflict Satan. Science has long proven that it takes the seed of both male and female to produce a child. For a long time it was erroneously thought that the womb of woman only served as an incubator for the seed of man. But now it is known that male sperm and female eggs must fuse in a process called fertilization. It takes both to produce a child. Yet, this passage suggests that the female egg would develop a manchild with no mention of fertilization of the male. The One of whom God spoke was to be the “seed of woman.”


        In God’s own good time Jesus was “born of woman” (Gal. 4:4). The woman that gave birth had not had physical relationships with a man. So we see here, in the very first indication of God’s plan to redeem man, the suggestion that man’s salvation would be accomplished by and through one who would deliver man from Satan and by the One that would come only by the seed of woman. This necessitates a virgin birth.
        In Isaiah 7:14 we have an explicit statement of the Old Testament that prophesied the virgin birth. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Matthew said this prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:22-23). Matthew said this was it, who can deny it?
        The setting of the prophecy was that Syria and Ephraim were threatening Judah and King Ahaz. Isaiah advised Ahaz not to depend on Assyria for help, but to look to the Lord. He said the two nations would be brought down as “two tails of smoking firebrands.” Ahaz was encouraged to ask for a sign of God’s deliverance, but he refused. Then Isaiah said God would give a sign to Judah, all the nation, not just Ahaz. The sign would be that a virgin would bear a son whose name would be Immanuel. A sign was something miraculous. A normal conception and birth is not a miraculous sign. Isaiah was not speaking of a normal birth in his time, but the virgin birth of Jesus.
        Furthermore, Isaiah said in the time it would take for a child to reach maturity, Syria and Ephraim would be without power. This would be a comfort to Ahaz and Judah that Judah would survive and the enemy be destroyed.
        The sign was miraculous. A young marriageable, unmarried and chaste woman would conceive and bear a son. Matthew tells us what fulfilled that prophecy and he was inspired. Why cannot those who say they believe the Bible be content with what the Bible says about it? No other birth could possibly have fulfilled that prophecy because no other son was born of a virgin and named “Immanuel.”
        Some contend for what they call a “dual fulfillment,” which is the contention that someone, somewhere in Isaiah’s day was also meant. But if such a person ever existed we have no location of him or his virgin mother, or one of his name. The dual-fulfillment position is nothing but a foolish attempt to compromise with modernists that deny the prophecy had anything to do with Christ but only somebody in Isaiah’s day. Matthew settles the matter clearly — if you accept Scripture. If you be one who has been trained scholastically in the liberal seminaries and swallowed their lies, you will likely keep looking for some way to harmonize liberalism and the Bible with theories like dual-fulfillment or outright modernism.


        Some modern “versions,” like the Revised Standard Version in particular, have changed the word “virgin” to simply read “young woman,” thus removing the prophecy of the virgin birth. Even some of our ridiculously liberal preachers have tried to defend this modernistic perversion of Scripture. Yes, Mary was a young woman. But calling a woman a young woman does not say of her what calling her a virgin says of her. Isaiah and Matthew said “virgin.” We will have to let the unbelievers, the modern translation perverters and the “scholarly” preachers sink together in their own error. I have no respect for any man who claims to be a Gospel preacher who will take the side of those who deny the virgin birth of Christ and try to defend their revision of God’s evidence of his Deity. Nor do I ever expect to respect them. Why should anybody?
        Again, Isaiah 9:6,7, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”


        The names given to the child to be born indicates Deity as well as humanity. How could any fleshly child be called by names denoting Deity except he be begotten of Deity and born of woman? Only by the virgin birth could this become possible and be reality. By the virgin birth of Jesus by Mary, he was the fleshly descendant of David, being born of woman, but he was conceived in her by Deity, making him the Son of God. The New Testament makes it plain that Isaiah’s prophecy refers to Jesus Christ and no other.
        Jeremiah 31:22 prophesied that “the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth. A woman shall compass a man.” Many attempts have been made to explain this passage without reference to the virgin birth, but none fits the needs of the passage. Some have said it means a woman shall protect a man, but that is nothing new then or now. Others have said it meant a woman would embrace a man. That’s new? Still others said it referred to a woman having a manchild in her arms, or in her womb. That is not new — every manchild has been there. But a woman having a manchild in her womb without the agency of man is certainly a new thing in the earth.
        The context of the chapter shows it has reference to Christ. It speaks of the judgment against Satan and a spiritual restoration which was the mission of Christ. It speaks of the new covenant to come (Jer. 31:31) which the book of Hebrews makes clear is the covenant of Christ (Heb. 8:8). In that context the passage is understood as an anticipation of a new thing, a virgin birth.


        In the New Testament we have several references to his virgin birth. We have already noted Matthew’s inspired interpretation of Isaiah in Matthew 1:22-23. Strange how some today think they have greater insight into the meaning of Isaiah 7:14 than did this inspired apostle and writer.
        Prior to that verse, Matthew 1:18, we are told how Mary was with child “before they came together.” Luke 1:27, Mary is called a virgin when Gabriel announced the coming birth. Luke 1:34 tells how Mary affirms she had not known man. Luke 1:35 tells how she would conceive the child, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
        Not until after the birth of Jesus did Mary and Joseph live together in marriage and the conjugal relationship of husband and wife (Matt. 1:25).
        The modern “versions” have rewritten just about every one of these passages and in so doing have removed, by the new words, the necessity of the virginity of Mary. How and why so-called preachers of the Gospel will recommend, applaud and defend these distortions and these books that take away divinely-given evidences of the virgin birth of Christ and his Deity, I shall never understand nor accept them as being true to truth. They play the role of a double-minded compromiser.
        In Matthew one we read the genealogy of Jesus. In step after step we find the phrase how this one begat the next one. Yet, when we approach the birth of Jesus there is a significant change. “And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ” (Matt. 1:16). The fact is, Joseph did not begat Jesus. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. The term “only begotten” used in John’s writings is the revelation of the incarnation of Deity.


        John 1:1,14 identifies Jesus as the Word and the Word became flesh. How else could the eternal Word become flesh except there be the virgin birth? He was begotten of God and born of woman. The very notations about Christ and the descriptions of him denote the virgin birth.
        Repeatedly, Jesus is called the “only begotten Son of God” (John 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 1 John 4:9). This comes from the word monogenes which cannot be translated correctly as the modern “versions” attempt when they say merely “only” or “one and only,” and now one has it “unique” and has even adopted the word “beloved.” To say Jesus was the only child of God would be a false statement since Adam is called a son of God. The Israelites were the children of God. Even Christians are his sons and daughters. The redundant rendering by the NIV, “one and only,” reflects a determined stance to adopt the new rather than the true. Jesus was certainly unique and beloved. But all men are unique and beloved. That says nothing of Deity as the term “only begotten Son of God” demands. Some contend it has nothing to do with the virgin birth, but they are dead wrong. The very first time the Holy Spirit used the term was by John when depicting the incarnation. How else was that accomplished accept by the virgin birth? There is good reason to hold suspect the scholarship and soundness of anyone who seeks to “ape” the liberals and modernists and who wish to defend perversions that remove evidences of the Deity of Christ.


        Matthew 22:42-46 has David calling Jesus, “Lord,” as he did in Psalm 110:1. Yet, Jesus was also called the son of David. Fathers do not call their sons, “Lord,” meaning Master. How could Jesus be David’s son and still receive the calling, “Lord?” It could only be in the fact that Jesus was a fleshly descendant of David and born of the human virgin, but the Lord of David inasmuch as he was begotten of God and was Deity taking the form of flesh. Though the passage is not explicit in its demands of the virgin birth, it is implicit and cannot be understood without the necessity of the virgin birth.
        In Philippians 2:5-8 we read of how Deity took on the form of man. How else was this done except by Jesus becoming human through being born of the virgin — Mary who conceived him by Deity? That statement in Paul’s epistle looks back to the reality of the virgin birth and Paul acknowledges its historicity. This idea that the apostle never believed that Jesus was born of a virgin is absurd in the light of this passage. Paul accepted the truth revealed in Matthew, Luke and John.
        These are some of the Biblical evidences of the virgin birth of Jesus and his Deity, authority and man’s accountability to Him. To deny the virgin birth is to deny the Deity of Christ. To question the virgin birth is to question the Deity of Christ. To remove evidences of the virgin birth (as modern “versions” do) is to remove divine evidences of the Deity of Christ. No true friend of the Lord will be a party to such as that nor defend it.


        In this lesson we have cited some sixteen specific passages that demand the virgin birth of Jesus Christ either explicitly or implicitly; in anticipation or as historical fact. It is not to be considered a small thing that ten of these sixteen passage have been so changed in one modern “version” or another so that they could not be used as evidence of the virgin birth. That is how serious the modern version question is. But some say it makes no difference regarding fellowship, even if one endorses, promotes and preaches the message of the modern “versions.” How far removed from the truth some have gone!
        But the truth that Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was born of the virgin Mary still stands. We believe it and preach it and urge all brethren to be faithful and true to this truth and the evidences God has given to sustain it.
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This idea that the apostle never believed that Jesus was born of a virgin is absurd. Paul accepted the truth revealed in Matthew, Luke and John.

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Editorial Column

Garland M. Robinson

        How did things in the world get to where they are today with such rampant immorality and wickedness? How did we arrive at the point of loving that which is evil and hating and despising that which is good and right? One word describes it all —SIN, the love of SIN. The source of all sin is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-17). It’s nothing new. It’s always been around. The prophet Isaiah, seven hundred years before Christ, described the same thing in his day.
        Isaiah 5:20-24, “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! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
        The wicked seek to destroy and exterminate the Word of God because it not only exposes them, it condemns them. Ignoring and obliterating the everlasting word of the almighty will not make their evil go away. It adds to their misery of shame and degradation. They are so captivated by their sin that they cannot imagine their profane and corrupt behavior will bring upon them everlasting punishment. They are in denial. It’s a terribly tragic situation.
        Saints of the Lord would love to help such sinners out of the colossal mess they’ve made for themselves but they will have none of it. They are so depraved they actually think the righteous are the problem, not the solution!


        The apostles were supposedly canceled by the chief priests in Jerusalem by putting them into prison (Acts 5:17-18). “But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life (vs.19-20). They would not be silenced and continued to preach and teach as they had been commanded by the Lord. They again were brought before the council and told, “Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us” (Acts 5:28). Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men (v.29). The Lord’s people will never be silenced. The unsearchable riches of Christ will be taught in every place, just as the divine command of God has given us, not only the authority to do so, but the command to do so.
        Another account of many who were seeking to silence voices of truth and soberness is found in Acts chapters 6-8. Stephen was teaching the words of the Lord in faith and power. But those who opposed him “...were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. ... And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law” (Acts 6:10-13). Stephen then rehearsed in their hearing the history of the Israelites, a story they loved to hear. However, as he continued, he pointed out to them that they were “...stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: ... When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. ... Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him” (Acts 7:51-59).
        Stephen’s voice was silenced that hour! But his history is recorded in God’s eternal book, the holy Bible. Thus, his words continue to be spoken!
        A young man named Saul stood by as they stoned Stephen to death. They laid down their clothes at his feet as he was consenting to Stephen’s death (Acts 7:58; 8:1). Saul became a staunch supporter of stamping out (canceling), not only the voice of Christians, but Christians themselves. He was desperately seeking to silence the word of the Lord. “And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. ... As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison” (Acts 8:1,3).
        In Acts 9 we read of Saul “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem” (Acts 9:1-2). What he went there to do did not come to pass. He learned the truth of the Gospel he so violently opposed and was converted to Christ by repenting and being baptized (Acts 16:22). He spent the rest of his life promoting and advancing the cause for which he once zealously persecuted. Years later, while thinking back on his life of persecuting Christians he said, “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth” (Acts 26:9). But, when he learned better, he repented and lived his life faithful to the Lord.
        Paul was persecuted relentlessly by enemies of the Lord’s way (as he once had done). Every place he went he was either stoned and left for dead (Acts 14), beaten and imprisoned (Acts 16), or thrown out of the city (Acts 17). Enemies of the cross of Christ sought to silence him at every turn! He was continually the target of “cancellation.”
        Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 24:19), Son of God (Matt. 14:33), Lord and Savior (2 Peter 1:11), Redeemer (Isa. 44:24), Judge (Rom. 2:16), would not be silenced. While multitudes followed him, the progressives attempted to silence him by destroying him. “But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet” (Matt. 21:46). Like Stephen, they sought false witnesses to testify against him and to put him to death but found none (Mark 14:55). Jesus taught his disciples and “...said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day” (Mark 9:31). He was crucified, but arose from the grave (Rom. 6:9) victorious over death. He was “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4).
        They thought they had disposed of him —silenced him, but that did not work out so well for them. If they had their time to do over, what do you think they would do now?
        Read these words from the creator of the universe. Psalms 50:16-23, “...unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.”
        TRUTH cannot be silenced!

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Elders Column

Ivie Powell

        Concerning Worship, Our Lord said, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (John 4:23). God will not accept vain worship (Matt. 15:8-9), ignorant worship (Acts 17:23), nor will worship (Col. 2:21-23). Burton Coffman in his Commentary on John, p.121 wrote, “A good description of worship is that of Isaiah 6:1-8, an analysis of which shows that worship is: (1) an awareness of the presence of God, (2) a consciousness of sin and unworthiness on the part of the worshipper, (3) a sense of cleansing and forgiveness and (4) a response of the soul with reference to doing God’s will: “Here am I, send me!”
        It is truly humbling to study the attributes of Almighty God some, of which are: (1) God is Omniscient — A Being of infinite knowledge, that is. He knows all things (Rom. 11:33). (2) God is Omnipotent — Unlimited in power or authority (Gen. 1:1-3). (3) God is Omnipresent — Present in all places at the same time (Jer. 23:23-24). (4) God is infinite in Holiness (Isa. 6:3) and (5) God is Eternal (Psa. 90:2). As one reads and meditates upon the marvelous attributes of God, he cannot help being overwhelmed, and like David stand in “Awe of God” (Psa.33:8)!
        Christians gather each Lord’s day to worship God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). In so doing they approach the Almighty with great reverence as instructed by our Lord, “Our Father which art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name” (Matt. 6:9). Our prayers ascend to the throne room of God only through our high priest Jesus Christ (Heb. 4:14-16: 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 John 2:1).
        Acceptable or scriptural worship consists of only five acts or avenues as set forth in God’s word: Teaching (Acts 2:42), Singing (Eph. 5:19), Prayers (Acts 2:42), the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-29) and Giving (1 Cor. 16:1-2). Man does not have the right to “add to” nor “subtract from” God’s plan of worship (Rev. 22:18-19), with instrumental music, waving of hands, drama teams, comedians, shouts of joy, jumping up and down, rhythmic clapping and dancing in the isles. A well known Texas preacher will often pause in his sermon and say, “Let’s give Jesus a big hand” which immediately produces a robust clapping of hands from the audience. The question of biblical authority (Col. 3:17: 1 Peter 4:11) for hand-clapping, instrumental music and other innovations is quickly ignored.
        Friends, no where in the New Testament can one find clapping your hands in worship. Furthermore, no book of church history supports hand clapping in worship. In addition to this, hand clapping in worship is highly offensive, very distracting and cheapens the sacredness of worshiping! “The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habakkuk 2:20).
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John Chowning

Any government official who endorses the practice of child sacrifice (the shedding of innocent blood through abortion and other barbaric practices) does evil in the sight of the Lord.

        According to Romans 13:4, a government official is a minister of God. Though a person may be a member of “the higher powers” (Rom. 13:1), he is neither exempt from the King of kings and Lord of lords’ expectation, nor the exception to God’s righteous judgment concerning his job performance.
        The New Testament clearly teaches that Jehovah’s ministers in civil government have two primary responsibilities: to praise those who do good (Rom. 13:3; 1 Peter 2:14) and to protect the innocent by justly punishing those who do evil (Rom. 13:4; 1 Peter 2:14). Implicit in these expectations are the Biblical truths of a universal code of morality, individual free will, and personal responsibility/accountability for one’s actions.
        Last October a simple side-by-side comparison of the United States’ two major political parties on significant moral issues was printed in Seek the Old Paths — The fact that several brethren lodged complaints about this comparison and its accompanying article illustrates the need for a consideration of the question: How does the righteous God evaluate (judge) government officials?
        A cursory reading of the Old Testament books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles quickly confirms the fact that God does evaluate and righteously judge government officials. For example, as each monarch which ruled the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from King Saul (1 Samuel 10) to King Zedekiah (2 Chronicles 36) crosses the stage of human history, there is a recurring echo of divine judgment. Either the king “did evil in the sight of the Lord”, or he “did right in the sight of the Lord.”
        The former evaluation of righteous condemnation was decreed by the inspired writers on Saul (1 Sam. 15:19), Solomon (1 Kings 11:6), Nadab (1 Kings 15:26), Baasha (1 Kings 15:34), Zimri (1 Kings 16:19), Ahab (1 Kings 16:30), Ahaziah (1 Kings 22:52), Jehoram (2 Kings 3:2), Ahaziah (2 Kings 8:27), Jehoahaz (2 Kings 13:2), Jehoash (2 Kings 13:11), Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:24), Jotham (2 Kings 15:9), Menahem (2 Kings 15:18), Pekahiah (2 Kings 15:24), Pekah (2 Kings 15:28), Hoshea (2 Kings 17:2), Manasseh (2 Kings 21:2), Amon (2 Kings 21:20), Jehoahaz (2 Kings 23:32), Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:37), Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:9), and Zedekiah (2 Kings 24:19).
        The latter evaluation of divine approval was placed upon Jehoash (2 Kings 12:2), Amaziah (2 Kings 14:3), Azariah (2 Kings 15:3), Jotham (2 Kings 15:34), Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:3), Josiah (2 Kings 22:2), Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:32), and Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:4).
        Regardless of how young the king was when his reign began and regardless of how long or short his tenure was, God’s unwavering standard for judging each of the 40+ monarchs found in Holy Writ was whether he did right or evil in His sight. It clearly does matter. Often a monarch’s political, economic, military successes or failures are minimized or even completely ignored by the inspired historian. What mattered was whether the government official praised the good, protected the innocent, and punished evil.
        Though King Jeroboam was moderately successful as the monarch of Israel in worldly matters, his promotion of false gods and unauthorized, idolatrous worship (1 Sam. 12:28-33) made him infamous in Scripture. His moral and spiritual degradation (which is his legacy) set a horrible precedent for later monarchs. Twelve kings of Israel (Nadab, Baasha, Zimri, Jehorah, Jehu, Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam II, Zechariah, Menachem, Pekahiah, and Pekah) are described as those who “departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.” What a horrific spiritual legacy Jeroboam had!
        King Manasseh and his service in Judah’s government was also especially abhorred by Jehovah. This evil monarch promoted idolatry and astrology (2 Kings 21:3), grossly polluted the holy house of the Lord (2 Kings 21:4-5,7), practiced child sacrifices (2 Kings 21:6), championed soothsaying, witchcraft, and the occult (2 Kings 21:6), saturated the nation with systemic evil and moral decay (2 Kings 21:9,15), and engaged in an unprecedented amount of shedding innocent blood (2 Kings 21:16). So grievously unrighteous was this monarch and his influence, the Lord God of Israel said: “Behold I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. ... And I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down. ... Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger... Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 21:12-16)
        To judge with righteous judgment today one must recognize that regardless of party affiliation and regardless of whether his/her work is done locally, statewide, or on a national or international level, any government official who endorses the practice of child sacrifice (the shedding of innocent blood through abortion and other barbaric practices) does evil in the sight of the Lord, just as Manasseh did.
        Any governmental official today who promotes systemic evil and moral decay (sodomy, transgenderism, unisexism, transvestitism, unscriptural divorce, drunkenness, pornography, sexual immorality, profanity, disrespect for divinely ordained authority in the home and society, irreverence for holy things, and such like) does evil in the sight of the Lord, just as Manasseh did.
        Cultivating the ability to judge righteous judgment is an expectation of our Lord (John 7:24). Having the ability to discern between good and evil based upon God’s word is a clear distinction between the spiritually mature and spiritual babes (Hebrews 5:14). To evaluate God’s governmental officials using righteous judgment requires every Christian to stop using inferior standards (like personal preferences, opinion polls, political party affiliations, or superficial appearances) and using the standards of praising the good, protecting the innocent, and punishing evildoers.
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Bill Boyd

        Miracles have ceased. No one living today has seen a real one. However, the miracles we read about in the Bible were real. The magicians, sorcerers, and other professional tricksters knew it (Exodus 8:18-19; Acts 8:18-24; Acts 19:11-20). The unbelievers did not deny it (Matt. 12:24; John 9:24-34; Acts 4:16). These miracles were not subtle. Moses lifted his rod and the sea divided. Elijah called down fire from heaven. Jesus raised the dead. No one does anything like that anymore.
        Miracles ceased because their purpose was accomplished. The revelations of Moses and the prophets, and of Christ and the apostles, were accompanied by confirming miracles (Exodus 4:8; Psalm 78:10-12; Matt. 11:4-5; Heb. 2:3-4). When the revelation was complete, the miracles ceased. No one is doing miracles today because no one is receiving new revelations. If they were, we would need to write down what they were revealing and add it to our Bible, but we are not doing that, because they are not doing that, and there is no need for that.
        Miracles ceased because the Holy Spirit said they would cease. The church at Corinth came behind in no spiritual gift (1 Cor. 1:5-7), but spiritual gifts did not make the Corinthians spiritual; they were still carnal (1 Cor. 3:1). Paul wrote three chapters teaching them how to behave with spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12,13,14). The misbehavior of the carnal Corinthians in the use of their gifts puts Paul’s chapter on love in context (1 Cor. 13). Paul told them their gifts would cease (1 Cor. 13:8-10), and that they needed to grow up and be ready to put away childish things (1 Cor. 13:11).
        Paul wrote in a similar manner to the Ephesians. He told how Christ gave gifts unto men to edify the church as apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers (Eph. 4:7-11). He also told them that these extraordinary gifts would only continue, “till we all come to the unity of the faith...” (Eph. 4:12). That does not mean until they all had one faith. They already had one faith (Eph. 4:5). This is talking about the complete revelation of the faith (the Bible), “...and of the knowledge of the son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:12). Just as he wrote to the church at Corinth, so also he told the saints in Ephesus that they would be “no more children... but speaking the truth in love they would grow up into all things... making increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph. 4:14-16). There again is Paul’s expectation of maturity and his emphasis on love.
        Miracles ceased because the manner in which these gifts were imparted ceased. The power to perform miracles came directly from God until the day of Pentecost, from that time these gifts were imparted through the laying on of the apostle’s hands (Acts 8:14-18; Acts 19:6; Rom. 1:11). Cornelius was an exception, for the Jews were astonished that on the Gentiles was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit as on the apostles at the beginning (Acts 10:44-46; Acts 11:15-17). Paul was another exception (1 Cor. 15:8). The exceptions proved the rule. All others who received miraculous gifts since Pentecost received them through the laying on of the apostle’s hands (Acts 8:17-18). All these have long since tasted death. No man living today can impart these gifts, and no one does real miracles anymore.
        Believing in miracles will not make them happen. Fasting and prayer will not bring them back. It is not a matter of sincerity of belief or of intensity of desire; real miracles do not happen today. Saying that does not “limit God’s power.” God still has the power, and he has power over his power. God’s power is not limited to miracles. He has the power to intervene in ways beyond our understanding. When we sing about how God moves in a mysterious way, and how his unseen hand is in it all, we are singing the truth. “With God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26), with or without miracles.
        Miracles ceased because we do not need them. We need the “word” the miracles confirmed. Some trust in personal experiences, subjective feelings, and imaginary miracles, but “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). The Pharisees saw real miracles, still, they asked Jesus for a sign from heaven. We do not need more miracles or another sign from heaven to “receive with meekness the engrafted word” (James 1:21). The word given by the inspiration of God makes the man of God “perfect, throughly furnished unto every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Hear it again... “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3).
        Miracles have ceased, but “the word of the Lord abideth forever” (1 Peter 1:25).
               647 Finger Bluff Rd.
               Morrison, TN 37357


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        In the next 24 hours (in America alone), 2,400 children will be “hunted down” and mercilessly put to death because of the crazed inhumanity and selfishness of their own mothers. Standing ready and eager to assist them and aid in this slaughter are: doctors, nurses, assistants, clinics, politicians, lawyers, judges, and the list goes on and on. Killing infant children is BIG business and makes tons of money for those involved! From 1973-2020 (47 yrs), it is estimated that more than 62 million, 505 thousand unborn children have been sacrificed at the altar of “unwanted pregnancies” and “financial gain.” What a perversion of righteous behavior! By nature itself, people know it’s not right to take another’s life! God HATES those who shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17). By the time it takes you to read this paragraph, three little children will be brutally tortured to death by being poisoned, burned, ripped to shreds and sucked out in pieces from their mother’s womb —discarded in a trash can as if they were tumors. Does not their blood cry out from the ground? How long can or will such continue? Thomas Jefferson once said, “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” Brethren, work and pray that such slaughter of innocents will not continue!
        Do you lend your voice (vote) and support to those who provide their services to kill multiplied millions of little babies? Do you lend your hand and promotion to politicians who support and defend it be so? Remember, there’s a judgment day coming and you will stand before the judge of all the earth and answer for your deeds. Whatever you say to explain yourself won’t make it right. “Sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34).

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