IS IT A MATTER OF FAITH OR OPINION?
Vernon Clark Joines (1926-2013)
Those who adopt the practice of using instrumental
music are guided by the wisdom of man and not by the
wisdom of God. They openly violate the plain and
positive requirement of the Lord that His followers
are to walk by faith and not by
As the children of God, the Scriptures teach that we
walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). That means we
live by a thus saith the Lord, not opinion. In order to
settle this matter we can ask and answer two questions, and when
theyre properly answered, they will distinguish between the
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WALK BY FAITH?
In Romans 10:17, Paul declares: So then faith cometh by
hearing, and hearing by the word of God. So, if there is
no message nor word from God, there can be no faith. If the
inspired word of God does not specify a given course, there can be
no faith to follow for faith comes by hearing the word of
God. Therefore, if we pursue any course that is not outlined by
God in the Scripture, we cannot walk with God, nor by faith. But
when God speaks, we MUST do precisely and fully all that He says.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WALK BY OPINION?
The next logical question is: How does one walk by opinion?
Lets use John 3:1-2, even though many other Scriptures could
be used to illustrate the answer. Nicodemus came to Jesus by
night. But, WHY did he come by night? To those of us who
believe the Bible, it is obvious that we are not told WHY he came
by night. Why didnt he come by day? I suppose we could easily
find an answer to this question by asking some of the theologians
who would attempt to follow their own guidance in the matter. Such
human opinion would signify WHAT ONE THINKS, and in religious
matters, it means what men think (opinion) when the Bible does not
answer the question to their satisfaction.
THE LAW OF UNITY
The preceding was written in order to establish a principle
to determine when a thing or practice is scriptural or
unscriptural. A matter can be scriptural, unscriptural or anti-
scriptural. Is instrumental music, when used in the worship service
of the saints, a scriptural worship? In other words, is it
scriptural and correct (authorized) for Christians to use
mechanical instruments of music when they assemble for worship?
This question is very basic, and should be studied by all religious
people everywhere, especially by members of the Lords church.
The following scriptures assuredly authorize singing:
Matthew 26:30, Mark 14:26, Acts 16:25, Romans 15:9, Ephesians 5:19,
1 Corinthians 14:15, Colossians 3:16, Hebrews 2:12 and Hebrews
13:15. From these passages we can be absolutely sure that singing
is right and cannot be wrong. These verses are the extent of the
(1) commandments, (2) inspired examples and (3) necessary
inferences in the New Testament on how to praise God in song. That
is the limit of His instruction; therefore, that becomes the
absolute limit of our obedience as well. We are warned against
adding to the word of God (Prov. 30:6). The absence of any
additional instruction speaks loud and clear, for neither God,
Christ, the Holy Spirit, no apostle nor any inspired writer ever
uttered a single word about using an instrument of music in the
worship of the church. Neither is there a record of a New Testament
church ever using one.
This being true, it would have to be brought into the
worship of the church by the command or tradition (opinion) of men
(Mark 7:7-9). We must hear God and Christ, not man (Matt. 17:5;
Heb. 1:1-2). Cains offering was rejected because there was no
commandment to offer the fruit of the ground (Gen. 4:5). Nadab and
Abihu died because they ignored Gods commandments and offered
strange fire (Lev. 10:1-3) instead of the fire God
authorized to be taken from the altar (cf. Lev. 6:12-13; 6:12; Num.
16:46). They acted in service to God by doing that which God had
not commanded. No worship to God is acceptable unless it is
authorized by God in his inspired word!
The users of instrumental music in the worship assembly of
the saints ignore God and make their worship vain (Matt. 15:7-9).
Since the Bible is the complete and final message authorized by
God, our obedience can only be to him (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter
1:3). Sing and make melody in your heart is a very
specific command for a specific kind of music. This automatically
excludes the use of any other kind.
The law of unity must be discussed to some degree at this time.
The law of unity is expressed in 1 Corinthians 1:10 ...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. This verse is strengthened and
supported by many other passages, such as Romans 15:5, Philippians
1:27, Ephesians 4:4-6, John 17:20, 2 John 9-10 and Romans 16:17.
The scripture says that God hates six things, even seven are an
abomination to him. The last of these is ...he that soweth,
discord among brethren (Prov. 6:16-19).
EXAMPLE OF ITS USE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
In order to avoid division in the body of Christ, all things
done by men must be done by the authority of Christ, that is, in
his name. We can sing in the name of Christ in worship services (1
Cor. 14:15; Col. 3:16-17), but since the Lord has neither command,
precept nor inspired example in his word for the use of instruments
of music, they cannot be practiced without division and sin.
Let us look very briefly at some examples of its use and some
of its consequences when used in the Lords church. The time
was about 1860. The place was at a very small church building in
Midway, Kentucky. The preacher was Dr. L. L. Pinkerton. Some of the
expressions that were used following the introduction of the little
mechanical instrument were: ...almost caused a rift and
a spirited controversy, but it later led to a division
among the members of the church. Today, the little melodeon is
housed in a library room at the Kentucky Female Orphan School. I
visited the town of Midway and the school many years ago while
preaching in a meeting at Frankfort, Kentucky, and viewed the small
instrument. According to reliable information, there were at least
three of these instruments, since some of them did not survive the
fury of some of the faithful members during this time.
I cite one additional example of what took place in Thorp
Spring, Texas where a Bible school was located. When an instrument
was introduced into worship services, a father was set against his
two sons and they against their father. The father stayed with the
truth, and his sons went with error. The father later wrote about
some of the results of the division, ...the affair spread
rapidly to the churches, raising local tensions, crystallizing
personal opinions, and splitting congregations, and it has
been truthfully said, when God finishes what he has to say on
any subject we must accept that and cease action.
We dare not teach nor do more. There is an established
principle of divine worship. We can only do in worship that for
which we have apostolic command. If there is no commandment for it,
it is barred. Everything as an element of divine worship is barred
that is not commanded. We must respect God and his word enough to
speak where the Bible speaks and remain silent where the Bible is
silent. We believe this to be a scriptural plea because 1 Peter
4:11 admonishes us to speak as the oracles of God.
God commands us to SING and make melody in our heart.
This is the act God commands. If you play an instrument, that is
another act separate and apart from singing. God has specified that
we sing and that the melody be made in the heart (Eph. 5:19).
Does instrumental music really aid the singing? Considering
the purpose of singing as expressed in Ephesians 5:19 and
Colossians 3:16, it cannot, for the chief purpose of singing is for
teaching and exhorting one another. Instrumental music cannot aid
the voice in expression of thought, either for good or bad.
Let me make a short statement about the Greek word
psallo. Some have said and continue to say that it
includes an instrument of music. But the Greek authorities are very
clear. (I speak of the great scholars in the Greek language.) They
are very clear that this word had evolved by New Testament times to
refer only to singing. The instrument is the heart (Eph. 5:19).
That understanding is supported by the fact that our standard
English translations of the Bible render the psallo as
singing or making melody in the heart.
I ask all who are using human practices in worship to God to
lay them aside. All need to realize that unscriptural objects used
in worship are just as sinful as teaching false doctrine. Faithful
Christians should in no way be associated with those who use sinful
practices or teach false doctrine. This makes the instrument a test
of fellowship by the individuals who introduce it and use it. The
history of the mechanical instrument has been one of division and
bad feelings of the brethren toward one another. Gods promise
to receive us is based on our decision to separate ourselves from
those who practice sin (2 Cor. 6:14-18; Rom. 16:17; 2 Thess. 3:6).
Finally, one thing is incontrovertibly settled: those who
adopt the practice of using instrumental music are, to that extent,
guided by the wisdom of man and not by the wisdom of God. They
openly violate the plain and positive requirement of the Lord that
His followers shall walk by faith and not by opinion.
NOTE: I was honored with the opportunity of
knowing brother Joines and conducting his
funeral. He was a prince of preachers who knew
the Bible inside and out, through and through. If
you had a Bible question, he had the answer and
would quote it to you. He being dead, yet
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FINDING GRACE TO HELP #3
Garland M. Robinson
Genesis 6 tells us of a time when the world had become so
corrupt that... God saw that the wickedness of man [was]
great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of
his heart [was] only evil continually. And it repented the LORD
that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the
face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and
the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
OUR BLESSED LORD
Notice the statement in verse 8, Noah found grace in
the eyes of the Lord. Among all the people on the face of
the earth, Noah was found to be in Gods favor. He was
certainly in need of it. Every creature on the face of the earth
was going to be destroyed. In the darkest of times, one man stood
out above the rest. His name was Noah. Noah obtained mercy and
found grace to help in time of need. All humanity since that time
exists because of Noah. We all trace our roots back to him.
Jesus the Christ, the divine and holy Son of God, is our great
high priest (Heb. 4:14). He is a merciful and faithful high priest
in order that He might bring about our reconciliation (cf. Heb.
2:17). He overcame death, becoming the firstfruits of them that
slept (1 Cor. 15:20), ascended into heaven and sat down on the
right hand of God (Heb. 1:3). He had tasted of every temptation
(the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life,
1 John 2:16) and was without sin (Heb. 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22). He
passed through every sorrow. He knows. He cares. He has compassion,
sympathy and understanding because he suffered too.
From His throne comes grace, mercy and peace to all who come
to Him in faith and obedience. Being justified by faith, we can
approach God our heavenly Father with full assurance knowing that
if we ask anything according to His will he hears us. And
if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have
the petitions that we desired of him (1 John 5:15). The
Lord said, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye
shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one
that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that
knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if
his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish,
will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to
give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father
which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him
We can approach the throne with confidence because were
privileged as his children. So that we may boldly say, The
Lord [is] my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto
me (Heb. 13:6). We are encouraged in our trials and
afflictions. We can pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17) knowing
that our supplications will be heard. Paul wrote, Be
careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer
and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known
unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus
(Phil. 4:6-7). The fact that we belong to Christ means He will
always be there for us. But those without Christ cannot make that
claim. The Lord stands against those who do evil (Psa. 34:16; 1
We may often have times in our life that are so difficult
that we dont know how to put our feelings into words. We pray
and cry out to God, but were at a loss for words. We groan in
spirit with anguish, misery and grief. Even in these times, God
knows, He cares, He understands, He helps (cf. Rom. 8:26). We are
safe in His keeping. First John 3:20 says, For if our heart
condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all
things. Hebrews 13:5 tells us to live our life
...without covetousness; [and be] content with such things
as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake
Notice these comforting verses from the 107th Psalm.
O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his
mercy [endureth] for ever. ... Then they cried unto the LORD in
their trouble, [and] he delivered them out of their distresses. ...
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul
with goodness. ... Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble,
[and] he saved them out of their distresses. ... He sent his word,
and healed them, and delivered [them] from their destructions. ...
He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are
To the lost and erring, the words of Isaiah 55:6-7 are
appropriate, Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call
ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and
the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD,
and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will
abundantly pardon (Isa. 55:6-7).
Is your heart and life right with God? Do you have the
confidence in knowing your prayers are heard? You can obtain mercy
and find grace to help in time of need if you will obey God.
Through faith (Heb. 11:6; John 8:24), repentance
(Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), confession (Rom. 10:10; Acts 8:37),
and water baptism (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21), you
can be saved from your sins. You can live a new life in Christ
(Rom. 6:4). You can be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb (cf. Rev.
Dont you want the help of God? Dont you need His
grace and mercy? Obey Him today.
FAITH and OBEDIENCE is the key to having your sins washed
away in the blood of Christ (Eph. 1:7; Acts 22:16). Believing alone
wont do it (James 2:17,24,26). Obedience alone wont do
it. It takes both FAITH and OBEDIENCE. The world wont accept
it, but the world has always been wrong. Obey the Gospel before
its too late.
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Postmodern Thought #5
Victor M. Eskew
Secularism rejects all forms of religious
faith and worship.
In our previous articles, we examined three foundational
elements of postmodern thought: Pluralism, Relative truth,
and Tolerance. Understanding these concepts helps to
understand what is transpiring in our society today. We know things
are not like they used to be. We ask ourselves: What has
happened? The answer lies in a system of thought that has
invaded not only the United States and the world; but has made
great strides and inroads into the Lords church.
In this article, we want to look at the fourth platform of
postmodern thought. This element is called Secularism.
Secularism rejects all forms of religious faith and worship. This
element of postmodern thought started to be pushed in the 1960s. It
has gradually grown through the years and has had great influence
on practically every aspect of our society: our government, our
schools, our workplaces, our churches, and our homes.
Secularism biggest cry is: There must be a separation
between church and state. Some individuals would have us to
believe this statement is found in the United States Constitution,
even though it is not. This cry has enabled atheists and other
anti-religious people to remove God, Jesus Christ, and the Word of
God from so many parts of our society.
The list of attacks on religion by secularists is very, very
long. The following is but a partial list of things that have taken
place and are continuing to change this nation.
- Prayer is not allowed in most schools.
- Bible reading is not allowed in most schools.
- The Ten Commandments have been removed from many
- Crosses have been removed from many public
- Christmas programs are not allowed in many
- Manger scenes are not allowed in many public
- Individuals want In God We Trust removed
from our money.
- Individuals want to remove one nation under
God from the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Chaplains in the military have been restricted as to
what they can say (example: prayers in
Jesus name are forbidden).
- In some places, the government has attempted to
monitor the sermons that ministers deliver so no
so-called hate speech will occur.
People try to deny it, but Christianity is under attack because
of postmodern thinking. For the time at least, Christianity is
still allowed in our homes and church buildings. Everywhere else,
postmodern thinkers are seeking to eliminate it. If they ultimately
have their way, they will remove Biblical teaching and morality
from every religious gathering! Thats where its headed.
In this discussion, there needs to be some understanding of
the phrase, separation of church and state. It is not a
phrase that is found in the United States Constitution. It comes
from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Baptists who lived in
Danbury, Connecticut after Mr. Jefferson became the third President
of the United States. In the letter, he declared that there is
a wall of separation between church and state to prevent
government interference with religious activities. Two things are
very important to know about Jeffersons letter. One, his
letter is not the law of the land. Two, he understood the First
Amendment and was assuring those in Danbury that the Amendment
would be followed.
Another aspect of this discussion that needs to be
understood is the First Amendment of the Constitution. It opens
with these words: Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof.... Two things about religion are noted in this
Amendment. First, the government of the U.S. cannot establish a
national religion of any kind. Second, Congress cannot interfere
with the free practice of a religious group. The prohibitions of
the First Amendment are placed squarely upon the government. They
have nothing to do with the government forbidding all aspects of
Christianity from public places and from things that are controlled
by the government.
A final point that needs to be deeply understood, especially
by Christians, is that government is a God-given institution. Paul
wrote: ...the powers that be are ordained of God
(Rom. 13:1). Pilate was reminded by Jesus Himself that thou
couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee
from above... (John 19:11). According to the psalmist, God
is the governor among the nations (Psa. 22:28).
With this understanding, it is foolish to think that God has no
interest in religion. It is a false belief that the church should
keep as far away from government as it possibly can. If the
government is separated from the church, then the government is
separated from the truth because the church is the pillar and
ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15). This is precisely why the United
States finds itself in its present condition. The government has
become secular. It is opposed to religion in general. It stands in
opposition to the truth of Gods Word. The church has retreated
because of the supposed separation of church and state.
Thus, our nation promotes and protects such things as abortion,
adultery, homosexuality, gambling, lying, corruption, poor work
ethics, waste, and those who violate the laws of our land.
The only thing that will bring our nation back to God is an
understanding and practice of Gods holy Word. Under the Old
Covenant, the king was required to have a copy of Gods law and
follow it at all times. And it shall be, when he sitteth
upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of
this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the
Levites: and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all
the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God,
to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do
them (Deut. 17:18-19). If the king was to follow the Old
Law which was inferior to the New Covenant, why shouldnt
rulers be required to adhere to the teachings of a superior
covenant, the New Testament of Jesus Christ?
Get God out! This is the cry of secularism.
Separation of church and state has been the means whereby
secularists have attempted to accomplish this goal. They have been
extremely successful. Sadly, even Christians have accepted this
concept hook, line, and sinker. Our nation has drifted far
from God and His holy Word. It will continue to do so as long as
secularism is accepted by the people.
1025 Snug Harbor Court
Jacksonville, FL 32233
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Christianity and Islam #5:
Islams Paradise is a sensual, hedonistic
realm of carnal pleasures designed for men.
Islam reduces men to beasts and women to
objects to be used for their gratification.
What happens after death according to the Bible and the
Quran? Both religions believe in places of reward and
punishment following a Day of Judgment. However, the descriptions
of these realms differ so significantly that the God of the Bible
and the god of the Quran (Islam) cannot possibly be the
The Islamic place of reward is referred to as
Paradise (the Garden). It is described like an oasis.
Rivers of water flow incorruptible. Believers
will enjoy rivers of milk of which the taste never
changes, rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink,
and rivers of honey, pure and clear (Surah 47:15). Every
kind of fruit and meat will be available in abundance (Surah 2:25;
52:22; 56:20-21). Allah will instruct the righteous: enter ye
the Garden, ye and your wives, in (beauty and) rejoicing
(Surah 43:70). They will be in groves of (cool) shade,
reclining on Thrones that are encrusted (with gold and
precious stones) (Surah 33:56; 56:15). In this eternal
home, the righteous enjoy perpetual shades,
cool and ever deepening (Surah 13:35; 4:57). Shade is provided
by trees so enormous that a rider can travel for a hundred
years without leaving their shelter (Muslim 2826).
Sustenance will be served morning and evening
by male youths of perpetual (freshness) on dishes
and goblets of gold; there will be there all that the souls could
desire, all that their eyes could delight in...an abundance of
fruit (Surah 19:72; 43:70-73). Those in the Garden will
be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green
garments of fine silk and heavy brocade (Surah 18:31; Surah
33:33-35). Muhammad promised you will have in [Paradise]
whatever is desired by your soul and pleasing to your eye. To
illustrate, those who loved horses on the earth will be given
a horse of rubies that will fly them wherever they wish
(Tirmidhi 2543). Believers are promised they will remain young
and never grow old, ... always live in affluent circumstances and
never become destitute (Muslim 2837).
Islams Paradise is a sensual, hedonistic realm of
carnal pleasures designed for men. Every man who enters Paradise
shall have two wives, each wife wearing seventy bracelets
(Tirmidhi 2535). Additionally, Allah will reward the men with at
least seventy beautiful, virginal companions called houris (Surah
37:48-49; 44:51-54; 52:70-77; 56:22-23, 35-38). These specially
created women will be sequestered and restrained in
pavilions, much like harems on earth (Surah 55:72). To house
their dozens of wives, Muhammad promised in Paradise there
would be for a believer a tent of a single hollowed pearl the
breadth of which would be sixty miles (Muslim 2838). Should
the believer desire a child in Paradise, he
[only sons apparently] shall be carried (in pregnancy), born, and
complete his aging in an hour (Tirmidhi 2563). In order to
fully enjoy Allahs blessings, men shall be given in
paradise such and such strength in [physical relations] ...he will
be given the strength of a hundred [men] (Tirmidhi 2536).
Muslim commentators are graphic and obscene in their descriptions
of the activities perpetually taking place in Paradise. Islam
reduces men to beasts and women to objects to be used for their
What must a person do in order to receive Paradise?
Give glad tidings, Surah 2:25 reads, to those who
believe and work righteousness that their portion is Gardens.
Belief and deeds of righteousness is a common expression (Surah
4:57; 22:14, 23; 29:7). Those whose lives the angels take in
a state of purity will be allowed to enter the Garden,
because of (the good) which ye did (in the world) (Surah
16:31-32). Surah 32:19 cites belief, righteous deeds, and good
deeds while Surah 45:15 explains If any one does a righteous
deed, it ensures to the benefit of his own soul; if he does evil,
it works against (his own soul). In the end will ye (all) be
brought back to your Lord (Surah 45:15). A persons good
deeds will be weighted and if the balance is heavy they
will enter the Garden (Surah 23:102-103). Paradise will
be the home of those who pray humbly, avoid vain talk,
are active in deeds of charity, abstain from
[relations] except with those joined to them in the marriage bond,
or (the captives) whom their right hand possess, for (in their
case) they are free from blame, and those who honor their
trusts and their covenants Surah 23:1-11). Men are more likely
to be in Paradise than women. When Muhammad looked into the
(Hell Fire), he found that the majority of its dwellers were
women (Bukhari 6449).
Paradise is only for those who follow Islam. Truly, the
religion with Allah is Islam...if any deny the Signs of Allah [the
Quran], Allah is swift in calling to account
(Surah 3:19). Surah 3:85 promises Whoever seeks a religion
other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the
Hereafter he will be one of the losers (Surah 3:85).
Christians are described as lacking faith in Allah and as
perverted transgressors (Surah 3:110). Whoever among
the community of...Christians hears about me [Muhammad], but
does not affirm his belief in that which I have been sent [the
Quran] and dies in this state (of disbelief), he shall
be but one of the denizens of Hell-Fire (Muslim 153). Surah
48:13 declares If any believe not in Allah and His Messenger
[Muhammad], We have prepared, for those who reject Allah, a Blazing
Fire! Surah 98:6 reinforces this teaching. Those who
disbelieve [Islam, Muhammad], among the People of the Book [Jews
and Christians] and among the Polytheists, will be in
Hell-Fire...they are the worst of creatures. The Hadith state
when it will be the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to
every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: That is your rescue from
Hell-Fire (Muslim 2767). Muslims will enter Paradise while
their surrogate Jew or Christian burns in their stead.
Islam presents Paradise as an eternal college frat party of
the basest kind. Its rewards (water, wine, abundant food, luxury,
wealth, tents, endless shade, beautiful women) appeal to the
circumstances of 7th century A.D. Arabia. Muhammad promised all his
male followers that they would be greater than sheiks in the next
To use the language of James, such teaching about the
afterlife is earthly, sensual, devilish (James 3:15). No
matter the apologists claims, Islam is clear that Christians
will be consigned to Hell for not accepting Allah, Muhammad, and
the Quran (Surah 9:63, 68).
Allah is certainly not the God of the Bible, even though
they claim he is.
152 E Riverside Dr.
Timberville, VA 22853
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THE BIBLE IS NOT OPTIONAL
Marvin L. Weir
There are many great books authored by men. While these books
contribute to mans education, it is not mandatory that a
person read and study all of them. One book, however, is unique
from all others. It is the Holy Bible. It is this book that cannot
be neglected without eternal consequences.
The Bible Must be Read and Studied. One will never
benefit from the Holy Scriptures if he does not read them or have
them read to him. The Lord indicted those of His day for not
knowing or not practicing the demands of the
Scriptures. When the Pharisees made false accusations against His
disciples, Jesus said, Have ye not read what David
did (Matt. 12:3) and Have ye not read in the
law (Matt. 12:5)? When the chief priests and elders
demanded by what authority Jesus did the things He did,
the Lord said, Did ye never read in the scriptures
(Matt. 21:42)? It is easy to discern that Christ intended for
people to read and study the Bible. And, Gods Word can be
understood! The Scriptures admonish, Wherefore be ye not
unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is
(Eph. 5:17). It is true that people will be lost because of
a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).
The Bible Must be Believed! There are many who do not
read the Bible. Something even more tragic, however, is the number
of people who do read the Bible, but do not believe it. The reason
is because of preconceived ideals, bias, prejudice, or simply not
wanting to accept the truth. The Scriptures assert that
faith (belief) cometh by hearing, and hearing by the
word of God (Rom. 10:17). Only through the word of God is
Biblical faith possible, and the Holy Word has been given to us to
produce belief. The apostle John recorded, And many other
signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are
not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might
believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that
believing ye might have life through his name (John 20:30-
31). It is true today even as the writer of Hebrews says,
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them:
but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with
faith in them that heard it (Heb. 4:2).
The Bible Must be Obeyed! All mankind will either be
lost in hell or saved in heaven, and the Bible is the book by which
people will be judged. Christ warns, He that rejecteth me,
and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word
that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last
day (John 12:48).
Simply professing to love the Lord while rejecting the words
of Holy Writ will not save anyone. The Hebrews writer could not
have been more clear when he said, And being made perfect,
he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey
him (Heb. 5:9).
The Bible principle of hearing and doing is
firmly established. James admonished his hearers, But be ye
doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own
selves (James 1:22). The Lord Himself said, He
that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth
me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will
love him, and will manifest myself to him (John 14:21).
Those who know not God and those who obey
not the gospel of our Lord Jesus (2 Thess. 1:8-9) will be
The Bible Must be Lived! Many books written by men
become popular because they give their approval to whatever it is
that people enjoy doing. It matters not to one obsessed with the
best seller list whether or not the advice is moral. The
Bible, however, demands that people renounce sin and live the
Christian life. It is as Titus said, For the grace of God
that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that,
denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,
righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 2:11-
12). Paul clearly defines ones duty in terms the world would
rather not hear: Prove all things; hold fast that which is
good. Abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:21-
The Bible is the Source of Authority! The greatest
need today is for people to learn not to go beyond the
things that are written (1 Cor. 4:6). We now have
all things that pertain to life and godliness (2
Peter 1:3) as the faith...was once for all delivered unto
the saints (Jude 3). As previously stressed, the words
that Christ has spoken will judge all men (John 12:48).
May all of the Lords faithful be set for the
defence of the gospel (Phil. 1:16). It is a matter of life
and death, for error believed and obeyed will damn ones soul
(2 Thess. 2:11-12) while truth believed and obeyed will make one
free from sin (John 8:32).
The Bible is not optional for one who desires to inherit
eternal life. May such a person choose to drink deeply from the
484 CR 44700
Blossom, TX 75416
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WONDERING IN AND OUT OF DENOMINATIONALISM
Be faithful to Christ and his church and quit
wondering in and out of denominationalism.
Denominationalism is either right or wrong! Under the Old and
New Testaments idolatry is wrong/sinful (Exodus 20:1-5; Gal.
5:19-21). Under both Testaments adultery is wrong/sinful
(Exodus 20:14; Mark 10:11-12). When a person becomes a Christian,
he is married to Christ (Eph. 5:25-27; Rev 21:2). Therefore to have
an affair with denominationalism is to be a spiritual adulterer.
Denominationalism is wrong/sinful because it is division (1
Cor. 1:10-13). It teaches false doctrine (Gal. 1:6-10). Therefore,
when Christians wonder in and out of the church and into
denominationalism, they are engaging in spiritual adultery (James
4:4). What is their reasoning?
Oh, I like their music. They are so upbeat. Surely
God will accept that! No! God will not accept that because
he has authorized only congregational, a cappella, singing.
Otherwise, it becomes an entertainment venue. Speaking to
yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and
making melody in your heart to the Lord (Eph. 5:19; cf.
Oh, they are so loving and kind.
Apparently, so were those who Christ condemned in the Sermon on
the Mount. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will
of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day,
Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name
have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from
me, ye that work iniquity (Matt. 7:21-23).
Oh, their preacher is so sincere. Nadab and
Abihu were probably sincere when they offered strange fire
before the Lord (Lev. 10:1). Cain may have been sincere when
he offered the fruit of the ground for a sacrifice, but God
rejected it (Gen. 4:1-5). Weigh truth on truth scales and sincerity
on sincerity scales.
Then there are, what I call Love seat
denominationalists. They sit on their love seat at home
and are spoon fed false doctrine by syrupy televangelists who tells
them God wants you to prosper, God wants you to be happy
while forsaking the assembly of the saints (Heb. 10:25). These
honey running from the mouth preachers never tell you
that you can be lost because of disobedience. Their message is buy
my books, send me money and think positively and you will be saved.
No! God wants you to be righteous.
4135 Coursey Lake Rd.
Douglasville, GA 30135
Table of Contents
Please remove the church here from your mailing list. It is a
wonderful paper. Keep up the good work. God bless
...TN. Please be advised that this address is not for
the church. It was used as a temporary address while the affairs of
the church were being handled. The church no longer meets in this
area. Please remove the address from your mailing list. Thank
you ...Roxie, MS. I would like to be added to your
Seek The Old Paths mailing list. I enjoy reading it
when I can get it from others. When I start receiving the paper, I
would be glad to support your effort in spreading the Truth. God
bless and thank you ...Cledius Collins, Grayson, KY.
Dick Bair has passed away ...Wrightsville, PA.
Donna Metz has passed away. She loved reading your paper
...Wheeling, WV. Please discontinue sending the
publication Seek The Old Paths. Thank you
...Mount Pleasant Church of Christ, Larry Moncrief, Valdosta,
GA. Would like to subscribe to Seek The Old
Paths please. Thank you ...David Coy, Huntingdon,
TN. Thank you ...Gregory Rd. C/C, Columbus,
MS. Thank you for the publication Seek The Old
Paths. It is a blessing to have the Lords Word
presented so accurately. My husband and I have enjoyed STOP for
many years ...Name Withheld by request. Just a
little note to say thank you brother Garland for Seek The Old
Paths paper each month and also thanks to the church of
Christ at Leoni. I bring one of the papers home from church and
give it to my neighbor. He says that he enjoys reading it and that
he has learned a lot. Thanks much ...Marjorie McCoy,
Metropolis, IL. Alta McBride has passed away
...Hillsboro, TN. Mildred Jackson has passed away
...Rayville, LA. Thank you for sending the paper copy
of Seek The Old Paths, as I can share with
others ...Ramona Allums, Carthage, TX. Thank
you ...James W. Berry, Montgomery, AL. We
appreciate what youre doing. May God continue to bless you in
your work ...Don & Barbara Sperow, Precott, MI.
Thank you very much. I trust STOP and enjoy reading every one
that comes in ...Bill Crocker. [EDITORS NOTE: I
appreciate your confidence in this work. Its good to have
brethren in whom we can trust. But ultimately, we all trust the
Lord and his powerful Word, the Holy Scriptures (Rom. 1:16).
Everything we hear and read must be examined and proved according
to the Scriptures. When Paul preached in Berea, he commended the
people there because they received the word with all
readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those
things were so (Acts 17:11). We must do likewise. I know
you understand that but thought it needed to be said for others who
put their trust in men instead of God.]
Is it proper to use thy kingdom come when praying?
Like, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy
kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth, and then
continue on with your prayer? Thank you very much ...TN.
[EDITORS NOTE: The short answer is no. The kingdom, which
is the church, has already come. It was established in 33AD on the
day of Pentecost when the first Gospel sermon was preached. We read
about it in Acts chapter two. When Jesus was teaching the apostles
in Matthew 6:9-10, the kingdom had not yet been established. To
pray for the kingdom to come was valid before the day of Pentecost.
But afterward, it was not valid since the kingdom was present.
Therefore, we cannot pray for it to come. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus
said he would build his church and referred to it as the
kingdom in verse 19. In Mark 9:1, Jesus said that some
who heard him teach would see the kingdom before they
died. Thats exactly what occurred in Acts two (within a year
or two from the time Jesus said it). Colossians 1:13 tells the
saints at Colosse that when they obeyed the Gospel they had been
delivered from the power of darkness, and had been translated into
the kingdom of Gods dear Son. Since the kingdom has
come, there is no way we can pray for it to come. Its already
here. It is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of
the truth. It is the church/kingdom of which our Lord Jesus is the
savior (Eph. 5:23).]
Become a teacher online with International Bible
Teaching Ministries. They have more than 5,000 students
from 148 nations enrolled in their Bible correspondence course
program. Of these, a few are Christians wanting to grow in
knowledge. Others have embraced denominational error and are
offended by truth. But most are simply seekers, looking for the way
to heaven. IBTM also now has more than 100 teachers working in this
study program but we need more. The more teachers we have to
teach, the more students we can reach. Our volunteer teachers grade
lessons, answer questions and encourage their students to keep
studying Gods word, all by email. It is a work that requires
patience, commitment and a love for lost souls. But occasionally it
is also a work that gives our teachers the joy of knowing that
someone they have never met face-to-face has put on
Christ as a result of their efforts. If this sounds like a
work you want to be a part of, please let us know.
www.IBTMinistries.org or info@IBTMinistries.org
...Ronald D. Gilbert, Director, Algood, TN. [NOTE: If you are
willing to help teach others the Gospel, I encourage you to get
involved with this program. Brother Gilbert is a faithful Gospel
preacher. I heartily endorse this work. Garland Robinson]
Table of Contents
Bound Volumes (with a complete index) for the years
1995-2002 can be ordered from:
Old Paths Publishing
2007 Francis Ferry Rd.
McMinnville, TN 37110
$5 postage paid
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