THE DEITY OF JESUS
Perhaps there is no more critical question relative to the
validity of the Christian religion than that of the deity of
Jesus Christ. If Jesus of Nazareth was not divine, the Word
made flesh (John 1:14), then He was an impostor of the
vilest rank who perpetuated the cruelest, most deceitful fraud in
the annals of human antiquity. If Jesus was not the divine Son of
the living God whose goings forth [have been] from of
old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2), then surely it could
not have been He who 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); and, if not so
declared by resurrection, then He is not raised at all.
And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are
yet in your sins (1 Cor. 15:17). Consequently, we are
left with the dreaded conclusion that if in this life
only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most
miserable (1 Cor. 15:19).
Many today, particularly New Testament scholars so-
called, deny the divine nature of Jesus Christ while admitting
His place as an historical figure in Jewish history. Others who
profess to be followers of the religion of Christ, most notably
those styling themselves Jehovahs Witnesses, deny
the deity of Christ on scriptural grounds, believing that the
teaching of the Bible contradicts such a claim. Hence, in view of
the crucial nature of this theme and with an awareness of the
many objectors, we shall proceed to set forth the Bible position
relative to the doctrine of the deity of Jesus.
First we note that, although there were to be no other
gods before Jehovah according to Exodus 20:3 and Deuteronomy
5:6-7, Jesus is said to receive the same glory and honor as God
Himself. We find that the host of heaven worshippeth
thee (Neh. 9:6) in reference to Jehovah and yet we find
in similar fashion that all the angels of God worship
him (Heb. 1:6) with reference to Christ. Further, we
read that God is worthy to receive the glory and the honor and
the power (Rev. 4:11), and yet we likewise read that the
Lamb that hath been slain is worthy to receive
the power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and
honour, and glory, and blessing (Rev. 5:12). Still
further, we find that blessing, and honour, and glory,
and power, [be] unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto
the Lamb for ever and ever (Rev. 5:13). In addition to
these observations, it is interesting to note that Jehovah God
speaks through Isaiah that unto me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear (Isa. 45:23) while the apostle
Paul ascribes to Christ the same honor: that at the name
of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and
[things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every
tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory
of God the Father (Phil. 2:10-11).
Finally, we must note that in two separate instances,
as found in Isaiah 42:8 and 48:11, God explicitly makes known
that my glory will I not give to another and
yet, in addition to the passages just cited, we recall that
Christ our Lord prayed And now, O Father, glorify thou me
with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before
the world was (John 17:5). Most revealing is the
original term translated with, which means, according
to Young, along side of, with, among (Young, p.1061).
Likewise, the followers of Christ are implored to give equal
honor both to the Father and the Son: that all [men]
should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that
honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent
him (John 5:23). A most important fact to note here is
that the word even in this passage is defined as
just as, even as, in proportion as, in the degree that
(Thayer, p.314), therefore instructing that Jesus the Son is to
be honored just as, even as, in proportion as, in the degree
that the Father is to be honored.
Furthermore, consider that under the Old Covenant, the
people of God were commanded: for thou shalt worship no
other god: for the LORD, whose name [is] Jealous, [is] a jealous
God (Exod. 34:14). Additionally, in warding off the
temptations of the Adversary, our Lord quoted from Deuteronomy
6:13: Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou
shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou
serve (Matt. 4:10). However, we find throughout the
earthly ministry of Christ that He permitted and received worship
from a leper (Matt. 8:2), a ruler (Matt. 9:18), the disciples
(Matt. 14:33), a blind man who had been healed (John 9:38), a
Canaanite woman (Matt. 15:25), the mother of the sons of Zebedee
(Matt. 20:20), the women who had discovered the empty tomb (Matt.
28:9), and from the remaining eleven apostles (Matt. 28:17).
Moreover, the Bible plainly sets forth the principle
that regardless of the greatness of man or creature, none but God
is to be worshipped. Peter corrected Cornelius for attempting to
worship him (Acts 10:25-26). Likewise, the angel reprimanded John
when he attempted to offer worship to him (Rev. 22:8-9),
admonishing John to Worship God. However, we see from
the previously submitted texts that Christ did receive worship
and never offered a correcting word. Further, we find the
declaration, and let all the angels of God worship
Him (Heb. 1:6) directed to Christ. Surely, the angels
would not be instructed to worship a perfect man or one
of their peers, as the Jehovahs Witnesses teach.
Although much more could yet be examined, we note
briefly that the same names and designations are used both of
Jehovah and Christ. The most striking and irrefutable of these
examples can be found in Isaiah 9:6, in which we find the Lord
Jesus described in these terms: 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. Here, Jesus is undeniably styled, among other
things, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, very strange
designations indeed if He does not possess the same God-nature as
the Father. Further, we find in Jeremiah 23:5-6 a similar
revelation: Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I
will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign
and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely:
and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR
RIGHTEOUSNESS. This passage undoubtedly refers to the
Messiah and pictures Jehovah giving reference to another as
Jehovah our righteousness.
We note also that the designation the first and
the last is applied to Jehovah (Isa. 44:6; 48:12) and
likewise to Christ (Rev. 1:17; 2:8). They are both Alpha and
Omega with Revelation 21:6 referencing God and Revelation
22:13 referencing Jesus. They are both Lord of Lords
with Deuteronomy 10:17 and Psalms 136:1-3 referencing Jehovah and
Revelation 17:14 and 19:16 referencing Jesus Christ. And perhaps
most telling of all, we find the great I AM statements
spoken both of the Father and the Son: I AM hath sent me
unto you (Exod. 3:14) and Before Abraham was, I
AM (John 8:58).
These observations combine to lead those who are not
already predisposed to an alternate position, to the conclusion
that Jesus was/is divine, and that indeed He was and is
Immanuel, which is, being interpreted, God with
us (Matt. 1:23).
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What Must One Understand In Order
Become A Child Of God? #2
Garland M. Robinson
One must understand he becomes part of a body of people
who are separate and distinct from the world. God has always
demanded his people be separate from the world. To Israel God
said, I am the LORD your God, which have separated you
from other people (Lev. 20:24). In the New Testament, we
read, Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye
separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I
will receive you (2 Cor. 6:17).
Peter, on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of
Jesus (the day the church of Christ began), preached the Gospel
for the first time. Some desired to know what to do to be
forgiven of their sins. The Lords answer was,
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).
And with many other words did he testify and exhort,
saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they
that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day
there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
...And the Lord added to the church daily such as should
be saved (Acts 2:40,41,47).
There is only one body to which the Lord adds the saved
(Eph. 4:4; 2:16; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:13,20). The one body is His
church, not a denomination of men (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18). The
body of the saved is known as the church of Christ (Rom. 16:16).
The Lords church is the called out those who
have been called out of the world to live a separate life unto
God. For the Lord ...hath delivered us from the power of
darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear
Son (Col. 1:13). This passage also reveals that the body
of saved, the church, is also called the kingdom. Jesus
used the words kingdom and church
interchangeably in Matthew 16:18-19.
Jesus is the Savior of his body, the church, the
kingdom. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as
Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the
body (Eph. 5:23). Jesus will only save those in His
body. Are you in His body, the church? One enters the body by
believing (Heb. 11:6; John 8:24), repenting (Luke
13:3; Acts 17:30), confessing Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts
8:37) and being baptized into his body which is an
immersion in water (1 Cor. 12:13; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts
One must understand the Lord, Jesus the Christ, has
one church (body). This is plainly stated in Ephesians 4:4,
There is one body. This does not mean
there are two, three or 300. There is one. The one body is the
church, the one church is the body. The body and the
church are used interchangeably in Ephesians 1:22-23
and Colossians 1:18 and gave him to be the head
over all things to the church, Which is his body....
And he is the head of the body, the
Jesus promised to build his church in Matthew 16:18.
...I will build my church; and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it. He never promised to build
churches (plural). He never promised there would be
many churches so men could pick and choose the one they wanted.
The Lord did not provide people with a smorgasbord religion where
you go through the phone book or drive down the road and choose
what you want.
After the first century A.D., hundreds of religious
groups and denominations have been started and maintained by men.
However, none of them were started by Christ. The Lords
church began on Pentecost when the apostles preached the Gospel
for the first time (Acts 2:1-42). On that first day, about 3,000
people repented of their sins, were immersed in water (baptized)
and then added by the Lord to his church (Acts 2:41). The
Lords church that began that day is the same church that
exists now. It is called the church of Christ (Rom.
16:16) the church of God (1 Cor. 1:2).
Men and women everywhere are either members of the
Lords church or they are not they are either saved or
lost. To be added by the Lord to his church, one must obey the
will of Christ. When those in Acts 2 asked what to do to be
saved, they were told to Repent, and be
baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ
for the remission of sins... (v.38). Verse 41
says about 3,000 did that and were added by the Lord to his
Those in the Lords church will be saved while
those not in the Lords church will be lost. Jesus is the
savior of the body (Eph. 5:23). He will not save those outside
his body. Are you in the church/body of Christ?
One must understand the Lord adds the saved to his
church. This point is made very clear in the Bible. When the
Gospel was preached for the first time on the day of Pentecost in
Acts chapter two, we read: Then they that gladly received
his word were baptized: and the same day there were added
unto them about three thousand souls. Those who repented
and were baptized (v.38) did not join the church, they
were added to the church. And believers were the more
added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and
women (Acts 5:14). Who added them? Acts 2:47 tells us,
...the Lord added to the church daily such as
should be saved.
Among denominational churches we find where people
join a denomination or are voted on in order
to become a member of a denomination. Such a practice is foreign
to the scriptures. There were never any votes taken as to who
could be a member of the church and who could not. That places
the power of salvation in the hands of men instead of the hands
of God. What if you desperately wanted to be saved but men did
not vote you in? I want to be with God, not men. The Bible says
the Lord does the adding, not men.
The body to which the saved are added by the
Lord is his glorious church. The body and the church are one and
the same (Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22-23). It is a spiritual
body/church. Our conversation (citizenship, commonwealth) is in
heaven (Phil. 3:20). Jesus told Pilate His kingdom was not of
this world (John 18:36). The words kingdom, church and body all
describe the same thing. They simply identify different aspects
of the Lords spiritual body the church. It is to this body
that the Lord adds those who are obedient to His Word.
Wont you accept Gods Word and obey it today?
You cannot save yourself following mans ways. You cannot
join a denomination and be saved. Salvation is found
only in the Lords church for he will save it and no other.
...Christ is the head of the church: and he is the
saviour of the body (Eph. 5:23). The Lord will add
you to his saved body if you: believe (John 8:24),
repent (Luke 13:3), confess him (Matt. 10:32) and
are baptized (Mark 16:16). This is the Lords way to
be saved and added to his body!
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IM GOING TO BE SOMEBODY SOMEDAY
Words of this nature often express the desire of someone to
make their mark in life to accomplish something worthwhile.
There is nothing wrong with this thought and intent as long as we
understand the meaning of an accomplishment.
Cain, king Saul and Judas made their mark as well as
many others both past and present have left their mark. But there
was also Abraham, Moses, Joseph, David, Jesus and the apostles
who amounted to something more than noteworthy.
It is a shame to hear today what so many young people
have in mind when they say they want to be somebody. They believe
that being a rock star, a movie star, a center fold in Playboy, a
star athlete and such like would make them somebody.
Let me tell you about some people I know and have known
throughout the years who have truly become somebody.
Somebody was willing to leave home, family,
friends and a comfortable life to go to far away places to carry
the Gospel to those eager to learn about God.
Somebody has lived a life in preparation to
becoming an elder, deacon, teacher, or preacher of the Gospel.
Somebody is concerned about friends, family
and others who are lost and invites and brings someone to church.
Somebody sowed the garments for those who
come to be baptized into Christ and takes the wet garments home
and washes, dries and folds them for the next person to use.
Somebody assists those who are being prepared
to be baptized into Christ.
Somebody prepares the Lords supper each
week and makes sure the supplies are always ready.
Somebody prepares the bulletin each week with
church news and a thoughtful lesson.
Somebody is responsible for providing the
supplies for the care and maintenance of the church.
Somebody keeps the church building clean and
fresh for worship.
Somebody takes care of the property outside
of the church building.
Somebody leads the song service for worship.
Somebody takes care of the contribution,
deposits it in the bank, keeps records and pays the bills.
Somebody serves the Lords supper, takes
up the collection and obtains the names of the visitors.
Somebody writes a letter, makes a phone call
to those who have visited and invites them back.
Somebody prepares lessons for our Bible
Somebody brings flowers each week to brighten
the church building.
Somebody prays for the delinquent, the sick
and the lost each day.
Somebody brings others to church who often
obey the Gospel.
Somebody gives cheerfully and liberally to
support the work of the church.
Somebody prepares tapes and discs of the
sermons as a means of spreading the Gospel to others.
Somebody prepares and delivers the sermons,
teaches classes, preforms the marriages, consults with the
troubled, writes articles for brotherhood publications, appears
on lectureships, holds Gospel meetings and preaches funerals.
So you see, every person has the opportunity to be
somebody if they so desire. When we stand before our
Lord in judgment, may we all do so as somebody who
served the Lord.
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IF A MAN DESIRE THE OFFICE OF A BISHOP
Roger D. Campbell
It is the Lords will that there be brothers in the Lord
that serve as shepherds of a local congregation (Acts 20:28). In
view of this, the Bible records that Paul and Barnabas appointed
elders in every church during the course of their first preaching
journey (Acts 14:23). These men, who collectively compose the
presbytery or eldership (1 Tim. 4:14), are charged
with the task of overseeing the spiritual affairs of a local
flock of Gods people (1 Peter 5:1-3).
In addition to the above-noted passages, there are two
more lengthy sections of Scripture that touch on the role and
qualifications of those who serve as bishops or pastors: Titus
1:5-9 and 1 Timothy 3:1-7. The text of 1 Timothy 3:1,2,7 reads,
This [is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a
bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless.
... Moreover he must have a good report of them which are
It is not our intent in this article to examine this
passage in detail. Instead, we want to point out four significant
matters pertaining to elders that are easily seen in the text of
1 Timothy 3. Should a brother in the Christ be contemplating
serving his Lord and his Lords people as an overseer, then
let him be aware of some things that will be required of him. For
such a brother,
Let him understand what his ROLE would be
the office/position of a bishop (1 Tim. 3:1). Actually,
this English expression comes from only one Greek word
(episkope). Vines Expository Dictionary of Old and
New Testament Words says, In 1 Tim. 3:1, the word
office, in the phrase the office of a bishop,
has nothing to represent it in the original; the R.V. marg. gives
overseer for bishop, and the phrase lit. is
overseership. In a similar fashion, Thayers
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament says the word
episkope refers to overseership, office, charge ...
spec. the office of a bishop (the overseer or presiding officer
of a Christian church) [pp. 242,243; word no. 1984]. The
long and the short of it is this: one that serves as a bishop is
an overseer (one of the overseers) of a local congregation. He,
coupled with his fellow shepherds, is responsible for seeing to
it that the Lords work is carried out, and that it is
carried out properly. This is an awesome duty, one whose
importance far exceeds the significance of the role played by a
chancellor of a university, a chief of police, the President of
the United States, or anything else that any human being might do
in the secular realm. Make no mistake about it, this matter of
overseership is serious business. It is not for little boys, it
is not for non-leaders, it is not for those whose first love is
anything but the Lords Cause, and it certainly is not for
the faint of heart.
Let him have a proper DESIRE If a
man desire the office of a bishop... (1 Tim. 3:1). In
this text, the word desire comes from the Greek word
orego, which means to stretch ones self out in
order to touch or to grasp something, to reach after or desire
something [Thayers, p.452; word no. 3713]. This same
Greek word is used in only two other New Testament verses. In
Hebrews 11:16 we read that the patriarchs desired a better
country, that is, heaven. The other reference is 1 Timothy 6:10,
where mention is made of those that coveted after
money. If we can understand what it means to long for heaven or
to have a craving for money, then we can appreciate what it means
to have a desire to serve as an overseer. Two quick thoughts: 1)
A brother must not be appointed to serve as an elder against his
will, that is, he should serve not by constraint, but
willingly (1 Peter 5:2); 2) A brothers motive for
wanting to serve as a shepherd over Gods flock must be a
proper one. It ought to be out of love for Gods church and
his conviction that he is confident that he could serve his Lord
well in the capacity of a pastor/shepherd. No man is fit to serve
as an elder as long as his motive for doing so is to boss people
around, to receive the praises of men, or simply to carry on a
family tradition (every brother in his family from his
great-grandpa on down has been either an elder or deacon).
Let him be prepared to WORK ...He
desireth a good work (1 Tim. 3:1). Brothers whom a local
church chooses to serve as its elders must have a readiness to
work. Theirs is a demanding task. It requires diligent,
never-ending effort on their part. They are to work as caretakers
of Gods house (1 Tim. 3:5), overseers/superintendents of
every aspect of a congregations work (Acts 20:28), and
shepherds of the flock (1 Peter 5:1-3). Throughout its history,
the Lords church has been blessed with a great number of
outstanding elders and elderships. It is also true that many
churches have suffered because those men whom they have appointed
to serve as pastors have either been unwilling or unable to do
their work properly. Is a brother up to the potential emotional,
physical, and family stress that this work might involve? If not,
then let him wisely pass on serving as an overseer. A
faithful, sound elders work may at times go unappreciated by
those whom he serves.
This is unfortunate, but let him keep working and not
grow weary in well-doing (Gal. 6:9). There is a crown of
glory that fadeth not away awaiting every faithful shepherd
(1 Peter 5:4).
Let him be QUALIFIED A bishop must
then be...Moreover he must have... (1 Tim. 3:2,7). Those
qualifications or character traits that the Holy Spirit sets
forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 are not optional matters. They
are not suggestions, nor are they simply desirable items. They
are absolute essentials in the life of each man that serves as a
churchs overseer and the steward of God (Titus
1:7). The Bible clearly states that a brother must
possess the character traits that are enumerated (1 Tim. 3:1;
Titus 1:7). Just as a person must believe in God in
order to please Him (Heb. 11:6), just as one must be
born again in order to enter the kingdom (John 3:3,5,7), and just
as we must all appear before the judgment seat of the
Christ (2 Cor. 5:10), so an elder must be the type of
person described in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. God has
spoken in this matter. Let us accept His guidelines.
Brother, have you considered the possibility of one day
serving as an elder in Gods church? Are you already serving
in that capacity? Church, are you contemplating the appointment
of overseers? Whatever your particular situation might be,
remember: for each brother that serves as a shepherd over
Gods flock, let him understand his role, let him have
a proper desire, let him be prepared to work, and
let him be qualified. Thank God for those men of God that
faithfully serve as elders.
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Cleveland, TN 37323
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JOSIAHS DISCOVERY OF THE LAW
Marvin L. Weir
The prophet Jeremiah lived during a period of time in which
Gods law had been ignored. A failure to study, teach and
practice the law of Jehovah resulted in the Israelites sinking
into the depths of apostasy. The people did not desire to listen
to law that condemned their sinful lifestyles. Neither did folks
desire to be condemned for rejecting God and worshipping idols.
The kings had no intention of insisting that Gods law be
read or followed. It is said that history repeats itself, and who
can argue that we are not walking in Israels footsteps
today? What lessons are ours to learn?
First, Josiahs parents failed to teach him the
Word of God! The last good king before Josiah was Hezekiah.
Manasseh, Hezekiahs son, introduced idols in the temple,
allowed human sacrifices, encouraged wizards and soothsayers, and
shed innocent blood. Manassehs son, Amon, followed in the
steps of his father and trespassed more and more
until finally killed (2 Chron. 33:23). Josiah was the son of
Amon. This explains Josiahs ignorance of the law; he had not
been taught to respect Gods Word! Moses made clear the
responsibility of parents in teaching their children in saying:
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be
in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy
children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine
house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest
down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a
sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between
thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy
house, and on thy gates (Deut. 6:6-9).
Josiahs parents will give an account to God for
their failure to correctly teach their son, but Josiah shows that
one can overcome a lack of teaching and bad influence if he so
desires. When he was sixteen years old, Josiah makes a choice to
follow the God of David (2 Chron. 34:3). The young boy king was
tempted in every way to follow the path of evil but instead
rejected sins beckoning call. Every person today of the age
of accountability and of sound mind is responsible for his
actions and decisions!
Second, there is always the opportunity to do what
is godly and right. God allows this world to stand and life
to continue. Each day is another opportunity for one to choose to
learn, obey and follow the Creator of all that is good (Gen.
1:31; James 1:17). Josiah could not have been reared in more
unfavorable conditions. He could have used the excuse that he was
a product of his environment and that because of such he was due
understanding, special considerations, and an exemption from
Gods laws. But Josiah did not harden his sense of right and
wrong; instead, he chose to follow the true and living God who
has made Himself known to all (Rom. 1:19-20).
Third, Josiah is proof that one does not inherit the
sins of his parents and can choose to have either a humble or
haughty heart! One could have no more wicked parents and
grandparents than did Josiah! Neither could one live in a more
wicked environment! But Josiah refused to be corrupted by evil
people and worldly things. His ego was not overly inflated, and
neither did he have an arrogant and haughty heart. The Scripture
says, Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast
humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake
against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that
they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy
clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard [thee], saith the
LORD (2 Kings 22:19). A hardened heart opposed to the
will of God will always lead to the loss of the soul. Josiah knew
that two ways stood before him the way of the world
and the way of God! Millions today are faced with the same
choice. Our prayer is for tender hearts that will respond to the
Fourth, the determination of one devoted to doing
Gods will is a powerful force. Josiah knew that all
things pertaining to spiritual matters had to be done with the
proper spirit and in the right way (cf. John 4:24)! He gathered
all the people at Jerusalem, publicly read from the book of the
law, and demanded that all submit to Gods will. The divine
commentary says: Surely there was not holden such a
passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in
all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah;
But in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, [wherein] this
passover was holden to the LORD in Jerusalem. Moreover the
[workers with] familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images,
and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the
land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he
might perform the words of the law which were written in the book
that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD. And like
unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD
with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his
might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose
there [any] like him (2 Kings 23:22-25).
The greatest need today is for one to find and
obey the Word of God and turn to Jehovah with his
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WHY DO WE SIN?
L. O. Sanderson, Deceased
A careful study of the Scriptures relative to sin will
reveal that it is any thought or desire, word or action,
digression or transgression, by commission or omission, that is
contrary to the will of God. We cannot determine the degree of
guilt, nor which sin may be greater, for God does not judge in
harmony with the attitudes and standards of men. We may state
confidently, however, that the little sins, so called, will
undoubtedly be our greater barriers to eternal salvation, since
so many are guilty of them. Still, our problem is not to prove
that all men have sinned, and come short of the glory of
God, nor that the wages of sin is death, for these
are undisputable truths; rather, Why do we sin? If, as in
medical science, we may determine the cause, we may not only
control it, but also remove it far from us.
May we first examine what does not cause sin?
God does not cause us to sin. The very character
of God, his opposition to sin, and his merciful efforts to blot
it from remembrance, make it unreasonable to charge him with
cause. Even in the days of Mosaic principles, when Israel had
committed divers sins, petty and otherwise, God made known
through Jeremiah that they could not even think that Jehovah
delivered them unto such (Jer. 7:9,10). It may be urged that God
tests his children, and that such trials were made of Abraham and
others, but there is a vast difference between trial and
temptation God may try, but he never tempts to sin.
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for
God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man
(James 1:13). In fact, every evil appeal is traceable to the
world itself and not to God. For all that is in the world,
the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of
life, is not of the Father, but of the world (1 John 2:15-
Temptation is not the direct cause of sin. Jesus
Christ demonstrated this fact. He was in all points tempted
like as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). Our temptations
are common, and the extent of their influence is not permitted
beyond our ability to withstand. There hath no temptation
taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who
will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but
will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may
be able to bear it (1 Cor. 10:13). These bounds, of course,
are not the will of the evil one in fact, Satan chaffed
under the restrictions respecting job. God is the creator of the
hedge while he wills that we shall be free moral
agents, serving whom we choose, he leads us beside still waters
and suffers no temptation beyond our powers to bear.
It is Satan who tempts to sin. Satan is
altogether evil, and desires that all shall walk in darkness. To
make men fall from the grace of God is his delight. Why should
not sin be attributed to him? This evil one stood up against
Israel (cf. 1 Chron. 21:1). It was he who desired to
have Peter that he might sift him as wheat (Luke
22:31). He appears as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14),
as a wolf in sheeps clothing (cf. Matt. 7:15), as
a subtle serpent (2 Cor. 11:3), or as a roaring
lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). In every case
he is the promoter of the influence that leads men away from God.
It is he that plans the temptation and directs its effects. He is
the source of evil. He tempts to sin. However,
Satan is not wholly responsible. While Satan
tempts to sin, he cannot force the response. Christ was tempted
in all points even as we, and yet without sin a positive
proof of Satanic bounds. Our temptations are common the
unusual is lacking; an escape is always possible. If we
resist the devil, he will flee from us. If we meet him
with the word of God, as did Christ, ours shall be victory over
him. Satan may hinder, but a crown awaits the faithful.
We are responsible for our sins. We may love
the praise of men more than the praise of God, and we
are chargeable for that false love. We may love darkness because
our deeds are evil, but we are not forced to evil deeds. Every
persuasion is against them. We eat the bread of wickedness,
and drink the wine of violence because we prefer such. God
leads away from sin; Satan can only go so far in temptation; and
the only reason that we sin is that we respond to it while we are
still able to bear! And who is to blame for our response?
Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust
and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth
sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death
Thus the real responsibility is not with the tempter,
it is with us! The cause is not in Satan; it is in us! We are
drawn away and enticed not so much by
the cunning subtlety and skill of the evil one, but because of
our own unregulated, intemperate desire, the ambition of our own
wisdom, the vanity of our own pride, the lusts of our own
ill-controlled hearts, and the blindness of our own souls to the
inevitable results. The power or temptation to promote response
lies more particularly in some weakness on our part of which the
prince of this world takes advantage. It is but the case of
history repeating itself a sensual spark, quickened by some
apparent external advantage or trifling pleasure, is flamed into
a blaze of longing after that which is forbidden, and which,
though forbidden, we stretch forth to acquire. The desire for
power, for position, for gold, for fleshly joys, will, when
encouraged or even permitted, often translate us into
hypocritical politicians, social egotists, selfish ingrates and
Do not be lured as a bird to a trap. Human impulses,
though weak at first, grow stronger even with toleration; and, if
created or courted, will result in acts of ungodliness; and
the wages of sin is death! The very fact that wages are
paid for sin is indicative of personal responsibility. Human laws
reckon man accountable for his transgressions, and mete out
discipline in harmony with estimated guilt. Nature inflicts
suffering on those who violate the laws of health. God holds man
responsible for his sins, else punishment for sin is unjust.
Let us feel keenly the responsibility that we be not
overtaken in a fault, and that we resist the tempter always, for
he cannot tempt us beyond our own power to resist. By this we
shall control the cause of sin, and therefore remove its
bitterness from us. Through the blood of Christ and our own
response, at least all else will be forgiven.
May 12, 1938, p.432
Table of Contents
We worship in our home in the Northwest. Are there others of
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continue to read as long as I can. With pleasure, they are so
true ...Addie Bell Long, Harrisburg, AR. Harold
Richardson has passed away ...Rienzi, MS. Keep
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We are so thankful for a bulletin that speaks the Truth.
Keep the good work up. Hope this contribution helps. Thanks
...Charlie & Shirley Rector, Dayton, TN. Dear brother
in Christ, Thank you ...Marie Carson, Indianapolis,
IN. I have received STOP for a few years. I love and
appreciate all of the lessons. I have moved and would like for
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enjoyed it very much. Would you please send me your monthly
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Been receiving STOP for years and love it. I can now pull it
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work and know you and yours and your work are in our prayers. God
bless ...Lu Fallier & Barbara Farley, Arkansas City,
KS. Please send me the months of STOP that Robert Taylor
wrote on the versions of the Bible (Nov-Dec/10). I have given
ours away. We need more strong preaching. We also need more
strong leadership which is almost of thing of the past. You do a
great job with seeking the old paths. Keep up the good work
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youre doing. I give my copies to my niece. Im sure my
sister and her husband would enjoy reading if you can please send
it to them. Thank you and God bless ...Leona Thomas,
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contacted you, years in fact. I have several of your lectureship
books. There are many in the Davison congregation that read
Seek The Old Paths. We wanted to help with your deficit
and we know postage is high today. So many are wandering from the
old paths. We need a magazine like yours. Keep the good work and
thanks from the Davison congregation ...Ben Porter,
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doing just that. May God bless you and yours in all that you
do ...Alan Conkling, Boley, OK. Richard
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THE TSUNAMI AND THE ANIMALS
Almost everyone in the world today knows of the terrible
disaster that struck the coasts of South East Asia. The North
American news media gave daily body counts, reported human
tragedy and inflicted damage yet, as far as is known, none
mentioned the animals. However, Asian reports from the damaged
areas comment not only on the ability of trees to withstand the
devastating waves but the almost total absence of animal deaths.
It appears that the animals, from flamingoes to elephants, took
off for the hills long before the humans. The Chinese have done
extensive investigations on animals and earthquake detection but
are at a loss to explain it. Chinese scientists simply conclude
that animals have far greater sensitivity than the best of
scientific instruments. Reuters reported from Thailand that the
elephants used in the tourist business at Khao Lak began to
cry at 9 am, about the time of the quake. Some
elephants broke their hefty chains, but they all raced away
toward the jungle-clad hills, taking their surprised tourists and
guides with them. Some people were even picked up by the
elephants using their trunks. They all came to a point on high
ground where the waves stopped just short of where they stood.
Three thousand, eight hundred people died in that area. Notes:
Reuters. Mark Bendeich, Jumbos Save Tourists from
Tsunami. January 03, 2005.
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