TAKING THE WORD OF GOD TO ISLAM #1
With this article, we are beginning a series of lessons that
will aid us in studying with someone who is a Muslim.
UNDERSTANDING THEIR BACKGROUND
A Muslim might approach a study with possible stereotypes of
Christianity. A large part of these stereotypes find their origins
in their association of Christianity with the West and/or
their association of Christianity with Catholicism and/or
Protestant denominationalism. Examples of these stereotypes might
include but are not limited to:
BEGINNING THE STUDY
1) Confusing Christian womens modesty and submission,
with Western womens immodesty and lack of submission.
2) Equating American civil laws prohibiting public prayer,
with Christians being irreligious.
3) Perceiving the Wests high divorce rate as a
reflection upon Christianitys lack of concern for the home.
4) Perceiving the Wests high abortion and euthanasia
rates as a commentary on Christianitys devaluation of human
5) Teaching Catholic physical resistance and war against
Muslims in the Crusades represents the authorized Christian
response to those with whom they disagree religiously.
If any of these stereotypes manifest themselves or surface
during a study, they should immediately be addressed so as not to
allow a false stereotype to prevent reaching them with the Gospel.
Keep them in your prayers before and after a study (1 Thess.
5:17; Matt. 5:44).
In my estimation, there are few verses more effective to
begin a study with a Muslim than this one from the Koran. It can be
a great opening discussion to establish the inspiration of certain
parts of the Bible (in their mind).
3:3 He has revealed to you the
Book (Scripture) with truth, verifying that which is
before it, and He revealed the Tavrat (Torah) and the
Injeel (the Gospel) aforetime, a guidance for the
people, and He sent the Furqan (Psalms).
An immediate follow-up question to reading this verse in the
Koran might be: If the Torah, Gospel, and Psalms are from
Allah, where can these be found today? If they say in the
Bible then by using the Psalms, Old Law, and the Gospel alone,
you can convict someone of the truth regarding Jesus Christ. Using
this fact, you can also move into a comparison of Mohammed
according to the Koran and Hadith, versus Jesus Christ according to
the Psalms and the Gospel. (Lists comparing and contrasting Jesus
and Mohammed according to both books will be made later in this
series of studies).
Another verse to introduce before studying internal
conflicts within the Koran might be Surah 4:82.
4:82 Do they not then
meditate on the Quran? And if it were from
any other than Allah, they would have found
in it many a discrepancy.
Based on this premise, discrepancies within the Quran (Koran)
would be another effective approach to studying with a Muslim. As
is the case with most studies, however, sometimes the best approach
depends on the person with whom the study is being conducted.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ARAB PEOPLES
After Ishmael and Hagar were sent away from Abraham and Sarah,
Scripture records little in the area of Ishmaels descendants.
Since the Messiah was to come through the descendants of Isaac and
Jacob, Scripture really did not need to include this information.
We know they were dessert dwellers (Jer. 3:2; 25:24), and
that the land they inhabited was east of but not including Babylon
(Isa. 13:20). There were Arabs in the government of King Solomon
who brought him gold and silver (2 Chron. 9:14). Ishmaelites were
also mentioned in Judges 8:24, Psalms 83:6, and Nehemiah 6. In
Nehemiah chapter 6, the Arab people first came in conflict with the
Israelites as they tried to rebuild the temple following release
from Babylonian captivity (Neh. 6:2-4). Uninspired history also
records that they fought with the Greeks against the Jews when a
priest named Judas Maccabaeus attempted to regain Jewish
independence from Greek rule.
Following the close of the apostolic age, for a period of
around 500 years, the religion of the Arab peoples was Sabianism,
which is the worship of the sun, moon, and other celestial forms.
Then in AD 570 in the town of Mecca, located in what is now Saudi
Arabia, Mohammed was born. Mohammed himself had very little success
with his religion while he was alive. In fact, toward the end of
his life, he only had accumulated several hundred followers.
There are two main divisions in the Islamic movement: the
Shiites and the Sunnis. The Shiite party
began over political issues, but eventually moved to theological
differences. They believe that Ali, the fourth of the caliphs
(successors after Mohammed), was either divinely appointed or in
fact deity himself. On the other side, the Sunnis claim that only
direct descent, an actual descendant of Mohammed, could take his
position. The Sunnis greatly outnumber the Shiites, but the
Shiites have always been more aggressive and militant (Suddam
Hussein, for example, was a Shiite).
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Table of Contents
SIN CARRIES A PRICE
Garland M. Robinson
People need to know and understand that sin has its
consequences. There is a price that must be paid. The Bible is very
clear, For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God
[is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom.
The willingness for people to buy now and pay
later seems to be a fair and agreeable deal. It appears to
work because we dont have to face the consequences today. We
can enjoy the pleasure of what we want while we put out of our
minds what it costs. But eventually, its price catches up with us.
By then, we are so far in debt we are overwhelmed with it. It
consumes us. Sin is like that. Since we often dont have to pay
for it immediately, it doesnt seem real that we will ever have
to pay for it. But pay for it we will! God is the one holding the
note. He does not forget. He knows every single debt (sin) we have
committed. He will not cancel the debt without payment.
Woe unto the wicked! [it shall be] ill [with him]:
for the reward of his hands shall be given him (Isa.
3:11). The soul that sins shall die (Ezek. 18:20). ...When
lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is
finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:15). The payment
due for our sins is death (Rom. 6:23). This is spiritual death
151eternal separation from God.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the
abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and
idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which
burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death
(Rev. 21:8). Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for
whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that
soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that
soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life
everlasting (Gal. 6:7-8). Know ye not that the
unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived:
neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate,
nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous,
nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the
kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
It is certain that the day will come when ...the
Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In
flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that
obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished
with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and
from the glory of his power (2 Thess. 1:7-9).
What a blessing it is to be a child of God, to be among the
saints, to be the household of God. We serve the righteous and holy
God. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and
knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his
ways past finding out (Rom. 11:33)!
His knowledge is perfect. His justice is fair. He knows and
understands all that exists. Darkness and light are both alike unto
Him (Psa. 139:12). Oh, how thankful we should be that He knows all.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with
every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be]
evil (Eccl. 12:14). Theres coming a day
...when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus
Christ... (Rom. 2:16). The Lord searcheth the reins and
hearts and will give unto every one according to their works (Rev.
2:23). The Lord our God is great in counsel and mighty in work. His
eyes are open ...upon all the ways of the sons of men: to
give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of
his doings (Jer. 32:19).
We wont have to explain ourselves when we stand before
Him in judgment. He already knows it all. We wont need to
point out circumstances and situations we faced; and, because of
such, we acted as we did. He will not have to be reminded of our
friends and our enemies who helped us and/or hindered us along
lifes way. He will not have to be informed of the difficulties
and the obstacles we faced. He already knows. He does not forget.
The things of darkness and the things of light are equally known by
Him. His judgment is truly righteous þ perfect in every way!
The Lord...will bring to light the hidden things of
darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and
then shall every man have praise of God (1 Cor. 4:5).
The Psalmist wrote: I have kept thy precepts and thy
testimonies: for all my ways [are] before thee (119:168).
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of
the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but
shall have the light of life (John 8:12).
Sometimes were distraught because of the twists and
turns of life. Sometimes we dont know where to turn. We
dont know what to do with ourselves. Were greatly
troubled with pressures that fall upon us. Sometimes our heart is
heavy; especially so, when we think of our frailties, our
weaknesses, our infirmities, our shortcomings. First John 3:20
should come to mind when were cast down. For if our
heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all
things. These words are written to assure us of Gods
care. Though we dont have all the answers, we serve the God of
heaven who does. Though we cant see a good ending of the
situation before us, we know that the Lord will bring us through.
He sees, He knows, He cares. His tender mercy is extended to His
saints. Jesus looks upon us with love and compassion. If He loved
the rich young ruler that walked away from Him (cf. Mark 10:21),
you know He loves His own. He will provide. He will prevail.
Are you thankful for Gods knowledge? His justice? His
mercy? His loving kindness? What more could we ask from a loving,
caring, benevolent, all-knowing, all-seeing God? Our privilege is
to obey Him and then live for Him today and every day. Obey the
Gospel if youve not already done so.
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten
Son of God, the Savior of the world (John 3:16; 8:24; Mark 16:16).
Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). All that
we do that is of any benefit and reward of God is done in faith and
by faith. Faith is the great work God has commanded us to do (John
Repent of your sins (Luke 13:3,5; Acts 2:38; 17:30).
Make up your mind to turn away from wickedness. Set your affections
on things above, not on the things of the earth (Col. 3:1-2). Live
your life for the Savior, not yourself.
Confess faith in Jesus the Lord as the Son of God and
Savior of the world (Matt. 10:32-33; Rom. 10:9-10). This is done
not only in order to become a child of God, but every single day of
the rest of our lives as we live according to His precepts and
commandments. It is an ongoing process.
Be Baptized, immersed into water for the forgiveness
of your sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21). There,
you contact the blood of Christ that washes your sins away (Eph.
1:7; Rev. 1:5; Acts 22:16). At baptism you become a new
creature, a different person, in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Water
baptism is the new birth we read about in John 3:3-5.
Being raised from the watery grave of baptism, you begin a new walk
in your new life with Christ (Rom. 6:4-6). Being then made
free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness
Be Faithful unto Christ the rest of your life.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that
your labour is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58).
Living faithful unto death, even in the very face of death, brings
the favor of the Lord (Rev. 2:10) and great reward in the end.
Read, study, work, pray.
The Lord knows our heart. He knows our intent. We cant
fool Him. Why not genuinely obey the Lord today?
Table of Contents
RESPONSIBILITIES TOWARD ELDERS
The New Testament contains several passages setting forth
principles of truth concerning the qualifications and role of
elders. Over the years exegetes have expounded on these truths
hopefully benefiting elders on how to better function as shepherds
over Gods people. I commend these efforts. Hopefully preachers
will continue to proclaim Gods word in this matter for years
to come. This will assist congregations in preparing well-trained
men to execute their work as overseers in the kingdom of God.
In this series of articles, however, I want to evaluate the
other side of the coin by discussing, not what elders can do for
the congregation, but what the congregation can do for elders. One
might initially react with surprise that Gods word addresses
this aspect of the relationship between elders and the flock. But
I assure you that there exists some biblical information which
relates Gods will pertaining to this matter in unmistakably
clear terms. My hope remains high that those who read these
articles will benefit from the study.
The first passage I want to evaluate reads as follows:
But we beseech you, brethren, to know them that labor among
you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem
them exceeding highly in love for their works sake. Be at peace
among yourselves (1 Thess. 5:12-13, ASV).
The attentive reader will notice from the opening statement
the first, second, and third person plural pronouns:
we beseech you, brethren, to know
them.... To whom do these three groups refer? From
contextual considerations the answer seems obvious. The first
person plural we functions as a literary device known as an
editorial we referring to the author, Paul. Or, perhaps
it intends to be inclusive of his associates, Silvanus and Timothy,
mentioned together with the apostle in the opening statement of the
epistle (1:1). The second person plural you references those
persons addressed by the authors comments. These are
immediately identified as the brethren who compose the
congregation at Thessalonica. The third person plural them
refer to those spoken about. These are identified as the ones who
possess the oversight of the local congregation, the elders
that labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and
The term beseech translates a word meaning to
ask or make a request either for soliciting
information or for something to be done (BDAG, 395; Mounce, 42).
Thus, the author couches this divine directive in the form of a
friendly petition by appealing to brethrens sense of duty to
willingly obey that which inspiration directs. What does Paul
entreat these brethren to do? It seems clear what his instructions
entail: we [the inspired author] are requesting that
you [the local church] fulfill a particular
responsibility toward them [the elders]. The author
isolates the general membership of the congregation from the elders
with responsibilities enjoined on the local church toward those
leaders. Brother J. W. McGarveys assessment of this passage
seems right on target, Paul here admonishes the church as to
how it shall treat its elders (McGarvey, 24). The apostle
offers some divine directives to the local church pertaining to
what God expects of them in their association with overseers. If
one desires to know what God expects of Christians in their
relationship to elders, then feel privileged to glean that
information, in part, from this passage.
First, the apostle requests that brethren know their
spiritual leaders: to know them that labor among
you. But this means more than just a nodding or handshake
acquaintance. The term behind this translation has a range of
meanings that can vary depending on different usages. Whereas the
word carries the basic nuance of knowing someone in the sense of
possessing information about them. The meaning becomes more
specified in some contexts. For example, here the author encourages
the congregation to know their overseers in the sense of
recognizing their merit or status based on their function within
the kingdom; to show them respect and honor by
acknowledging their worth (BDAG, 694; Louw/Nida, 735). Another
reputable source suggests that the apostle employs a figure of
speech known as metonymy in which the verb stands for the
thing it intends to suggest, the effect of knowing i.e.,
caring for or manifesting affection toward (Bullinger, 552-554). An
example of this occurs where Paul states, The Lord knows
[i.e., loves and cares for] them that are his (2 Tim. 2:19).
God wants his people to cultivate a genuine regard for elders based
on the function they discharge as spiritual leaders. Acknowledge
their true value to the welfare of the church and respect them for
the leadership role they occupy.
Second, the apostle requests that brethren esteem elders:
and to esteem them exceeding highly. This
term conveys the basic idea of engaging in an intellectual process,
to think, consider, or regard. In this context,
however, there emerges a more nuanced sense, to esteem,
respect (BDAG, 434). The apostle employs a form of the
same term in another place where he encourages mutual admiration
among brethren: but in lowliness of mind let each
esteem others better than himself (NKJV). Not only
are elders to be esteemed, they are to be esteemed exceeding
highly. This phrase translates a single adverb in Greek. It
refers to the extreme degree of which something happens. As
the highest form of comparison imaginable it carries the meaning
quite beyond all measure or to an extraordinary degree,
involving a considerable excess over what [ordinarily] would be
expected (BDAG, 1033; Louw/Nida, 689). Paul pleads for
brethren everywhere to cultivate an immense regard for those elders
who serve as their spiritual shepherds.
Of course, the corollary (consequence) to this must be that
elders conduct themselves in a righteous and godly manner deserving
of that recognition and esteem from their fellow Christians. The
inspired author does not dictate blind allegiance to wayward
leadership. Nor can one find any hint of biblical authority here to
exalt another to a position of super-elder akin to the
ecclesiastical hierarchy of Catholicism. Nothing of the kind was
ever addressed in the passage under consideration. Unless elders
are involved in some sinful breach of behavior, ethical or
doctrinal, then members ought to acquiesce (agree) to their
collective wisdom. As the apostle writes these statements he
assumes, no doubt, that those elders of the church in Thessalonica
remained the virtuous men they were when initially appointed to the
position of oversight. Elders have a continuous responsibility to
conduct themselves as men worthy of the respect and esteem due them
from the membership of the local church. This passage, which
pertains to the local churchs responsibilities toward elders,
must not be understood without this qualifying presumption. Minus
any exceptions, then, members of the church should conscientiously
discharge their God-given responsibilities toward their elders. God
said to do it. And the faithful will be more than happy to act in
compliance with this divine expectation.
Third, the respect and esteem directed toward men who oversee
Gods people must be done in love: and to esteem them
exceeding highly in love. The word love
(agape) relates the idea of warm affection and sincere
interest based on appreciation one has toward another (BDAG, 6;
Louw/Nida, 293). The prepositional phrase in love relates
the concept of sphere. The basic idea centers on that of
place or location within which the verbal action takes place. It
answers the question where? (Wallace, 139, 372). For
example, the apostle employs the same construction elsewhere to
emphasize that everything the Christian does should be done in the
sphere of love: Let all that you do be done in
love (1 Cor. 16:14). Again, and walk in
love, even as Christ also loved you (Eph. 5:2). Every
member of the local congregation must esteem their elders with that
extra ordinary degree of loving affection which Christ exhibited in
his sacrifice for humanity. The fact that elders are to be highly
esteemed in love eliminates any ingratiating flattery
which equals hypocrisy and thus uncharacteristic of Christian
demeanor. Elders are to be esteemed exceeding highly in
love for their works sake. A consideration of
this prepositional phrase pays the interpreter some exegetical
dividends. Here the apostle employs a grammatical construction
which relates a causal sense. It conveys the cause or
reason why something happens or results (BDAG, 225). Elders
are to be lovingly esteemed with the highest possible regard; and,
for what reason? Answer: Not because of any qualities they
may possess due to noble birth or social status. The passage does
not commend personal eminence by way of intellectual abilities,
political accomplishments, or financial success. It matters not how
popular elders are in the community where they live or what
business acumen they possess. Nor does it have anything to do with
their accumulation of earthly possessions or academic attainments.
Worldly achievements are not the basis for the respect and
appreciation deserving of elders. None of these things are the
scriptural criterion for why elders are to be held in high
regard. Rather, the reason elders are to be highly esteemed
flows out of the work they engage in for the Master. Elders
are worthy of being treated with the deference due them on the
basis that they labor and toil within the spiritual domain of
Finally, the apostle employs an imperative form to issue another
directive: Be at peace among yourselves.
The most prominent use of the imperative mood in biblical Greek
expresses a command. All grammarians recognize, however, that this
form also may be used to entreat or encourage someone to do
something. For this reason some grammarians style it the mood of
command or entreaty and recognize the classification called
the imperative of entreaty (Brooks/Winbery, 128;
Dana/Mantey, 174,176). In this usage, the imperative does not
convey the usual force of a command but rather is softened to
communicate urgency and request. Admittedly, there exists some
difficulty in determining when biblical authors employ this usage.
This arises from the fact that one works with a written
language and thus cannot hear the tone of the speaker. Therefore,
contextual considerations must come into play for the interpreter
(Wallace, 487-488). Since Paul beseeches the brethren in
the preceding verse (v.12), and exhorts them in the next
(v.14), he probably uses the imperative here (v.13) to
implore them to be promoters of peace and not hostility. If so,
instead of exercising his apostolic authority to issue a command,
the apostle once again appeals to the brethrens sense of
willingness to do what God expects by offering a strong request to
cultivate peaceful relations with the elders. At least by
considering the passage from the vantage point of the original
language, the interpreter can familiarize himself with the
The reflexive pronoun yourselves conveys a reciprocal
sense. A reflexive pronoun means that the subject and object of a
sentence refer to the same person or thing; the action of the verb
is reflected back to subject (example: you hit
yourselves). But sometimes a New Testament author will use a
reflexive form for an intended reciprocal nuance; which expresses
mutual action, relationship, or interchange between persons (Young,
79). An example of this occurs where Paul instructs, speaking
one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs
(ASV footnote relates a secondary translation: to
yourselves, see also, Col. 3:16; Turner, 43). In the passage
under consideration, Paul appeals to the brethren to cultivate and
preserve peaceful relations with one another; i.e., between members
of the congregation and the elders. (The injunction containing the
plural yourselves probably includes the elders as well as
the members. Thus, two groups, elders and members, have the
mutual responsibility to promote peace; Best, 228). The
interpretive conclusions arrived at by analyzing the grammatical
syntax seems clear: with the present tense imperative of
entreaty directed, in part, to members of the local church,
God implores the brethren to fulfill a specific responsibility
toward their elders: Please keep on cultivating peaceful
relations with one another!
The passage focuses on respectful and peaceful submission to
elders. There remains a much needed emphasis on this principle for
the rank and file church member. One of the primary reasons why
many congregations are rife with dissension, centers on
relationships between members and leaders. For example, problems
often surface when it is incumbent upon elders to admonish members.
Such corrective measures may arouse resentment on the part of those
being chastened resulting in alienation. Discipline is never a
pleasant ordeal. Most often it goes unappreciated by those who need
it the most. The Christian must be careful not to allow any
disciplinary procedure to serve as a basis for negative attitudes
toward elders. Suing elders or moving ones membership to
another congregation in a huff is not a viable option for those
sincerely wanting to please the Master. When godly elders admonish
those members in need of correction, they are merely doing what God
obligates them to do. When done in a manner characteristic of
genuine love and concern for the spiritual welfare of the one
chastised, elders are actually helping the child of God to be
restored to faithfulness (Gal. 6:1). This is by Gods design.
Elders have a commission from God. This is part of their duties as
overseers. Dont despise them for God holds them accountable.
When elders fulfill their responsibilities as shepherds of
Gods people, they ought to be cherished and appreciated with
the highest regard humanly possible.
Not everything which God expects his children to do within the
elder/congregation relationship falls to the elders
responsibility. There are many things for which members of the
church are held liable. The passage just analyzed sets forth some
of these responsibilities regarding proper attitudes and duties
toward those who watch in behalf of our souls. Elders are to be
respected and esteemed. They are to be respected and
esteemed with exceedingly high regard. They are to be
respected and esteemed with exceedingly high regard in love.
They are to be respected and esteemed with exceedingly high regard
in love for their works sake in Gods kingdom.
Their service remains important and indispensable to the welfare of
the Lords spiritual body. Churches of Christ today need to be
on guard against the tendency to undervalue the role and function
of their leaders. Let us appreciate the true worth of elders and
respond with sincere gratitude.
Best, Ernest. 1986. The First and Second Epistles to the
Thessalonians. Blacks New Testament Commentaries.
Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.
Brooks, James A. and Carlton L. Winbery. 1979. Syntax of
New Testament Greek. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
Bullinger, E. W. 1968. Figures of Speech Used in the
Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
Dana, H. E. and Julius R. Mantey. 1955. A Manual Grammar
of the Greek New Testament. New York: MacMillan Publishing.
Danker, F. W., et. al. 2000. A Greek-English Lexicon of
the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature.
Chicago: University of Chicago. (Cited as BDAG).
Louw, Johannes P. and Eugene A. Nida. 1988. Greek-English
Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains. New
York: United Bible Societies.
McGarvey, J. W. and Philip Y. Pendelton. 1916.
Thessalonians, Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans.
Cincinnati: The Standard Publishing Company.
Mounce, William D. 2006. Mounces Complete Expository
Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words. Grand Rapids:
Turner, Nigel. 1963. A Grammar of New Testament Greek:
Syntax. Edinburgh: T & T Clark.
Wallace, Daniel B. 1996. Greek Grammar Beyond the
Basics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Young, Richard A. 1994. Intermediate New Testament Greek:
A Linguistic and Exegetical Approach. Nashville: Broadman &
105 East Planters
San Augustine, TX 75972
Table of Contents
CAN YOU REALLY GET TO HEAVEN
FOLLOWING THE NIV?
James R. Lewis
This question strikes at the very heart of the matter when one
considers using or recommending the New International
Version of the Bible. If it is a faithful translation of the
Scriptures, it will not contain ANY doctrine which would lead a
soul to eternal damnation. If it contains false doctrine, there
could never be any justification for upholding it as a reliable and
faithful translation of the Scriptures.
Following are three passages, each of which teaches a
doctrine which would lead a soul to eternal damnation.
1) The NIV in Psalms 51:5 reads: Surely I have been a
sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived
me. This NIV passage condemns any baby or child to eternal
damnation who dies before he or she reaches the age of
accountability and obeys the gospel.
2) The NIV in Matthew 19:9 reads: I tell you that
anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness,
and marries another woman commits adultery. The term
marital unfaithfulness is not an accurate translation of
the Greek porneia which is commonly translated
fornication. All fornication is marital unfaithfulness,
but all marital unfaithfulness is not fornication. One may be
unfaithful to his or her spouse in many ways and yet not be a
fornicator. The NIV clearly allows divorce and remarriage for
reasons in addition to fornication. This doctrine will lead souls
to eternal damnation!
3) The NIV in Romans 1:16-17 reads: I am not ashamed of
the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of
everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For
in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness
that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written:
The righteous will live by faith. The phrase, a
righteousness that is by faith from first to last teaches
salvation by faith only. Salvation by faith
only is a false doctrine that leads souls to eternal
In addition to these fatal doctrinal errors, many other very
serious errors in the NIV could be discussed. The problem is that
if the above is insufficient to warn one of this dangerous version,
then it is unlikely that ANYTHING could be said to effectively
discourage its use. For those who may be interested in additional
serious problems, the following are a few more that ought to be
1) The church of Christ is labeled a denomination in the
2) Matthew 5:17 denies that Christ came to abolish the law,
in direct contradiction to Ephesians 2:15.
3) Pentecostalism is supported by several passages. First
Corinthians 12:13 has one drinking the Spirit. By changing the word
perfect in 1 Corinthians 13:10 to perfection,
the NIV would have miracles remaining until a state of perfection
arrives. A thing, that which is perfect, has been changed
to a state, when perfection comes (NIV), which also
supports the premillennial kingdom concept.
4) Acts 2:27 has the soul of Jesus in the grave rather than
in hades, the place of the departed spirits.
5) The Calvinistic doctrine of original sin is further
supported by incorrectly translating the word for flesh (Grk.
sarx) by the term sinful nature (e.g., Rom.
8:3,4,8,12,13; Gal. 5:16,19; Col. 2:11,13).
6) Mark 16:9-20 is castigated from the text with a line
inserted between it and the rest of the chapter. Also inserted
below the line is an unfortunate and misleading statement which
reads, The most reliable manuscripts omit Mark 16:9-20.
One is surprised to learn that the most reliable
manuscripts amount to two in number, namely, the
Vaticanus and Sinaiticus of the fourth century, while
almost all the other uncial and literally hundreds of the cursive
manuscripts include Mark 16:9-20. We wonder why nothing is said
about the same reliable manuscripts, namely the
Vaticanus, also omitting all of the book of Revelation and
the book of Hebrews past chapter nine and verse fourteen. One sees
no such lines or remarks in these books!
Back to our question, Can you really go to heaven
following the NIV? Sadly, some of our preachers and professors
have answered in the affirmative. It is carried into the pulpit,
placed in the classroom and pew, and is hailed as a good
translation. Brethren, how can that which is shot through with
error and has perverted Gods truth so much, be endorsed by
anyone interested in leading souls to God through the truth.
Unquestionably, the answer to our question is, NO, YOU
CANNOT GO TO HEAVEN IF YOU FOLLOW THE NIV.
3923 Bennett Rd.
Chattanooga, TN 37412
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AND TURNED NOT ASIDE TO THE
RIGHT HAND OR TO THE LEFT
It is said of Josiah, And he did that which was right
in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his
father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the
left (2 Kings 22:2). Here was a bright star in the dark
night of sin. His father and grandfather had been wicked and Josiah
was only eight years old when he begins to reign. What does it mean
that, he...turned not aside to the right hand or to the
left? Moses, when giving final instruction to the children of
Israel, told the people they would want a king. He describes the
kind of king they should have. He said, That his heart be
not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from
the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that
he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in
the midst of Israel (Deut. 17:20). In Numbers 20 Moses
sent messengers to the King of Edom and ask for permission to go
through their land. He said, we will not turn to the right
hand or to the left (Num. 20:17). The King of Edom refused
their request. We see this phrase again in Proverbs. Solomon is
encouraging the reader to keep his heart with all diligence and he
said, Turn not to the right nor to the left (Prov.
4:23-27). There are lessons we can learn from these statements.
1) Stay Focused. Moses said to the King of Edom, we
just want to go through your land to get to Jordon. We will stay
focused. Well not eat your food or drink your water but if we
do well pay for it. Moses was focused. So many folks start the
journey of the Christian life and after a short time they fall away
(Matt. 13). Why? They dont stay focused. Peter admonishes us
to make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:5-11).
Many brethren start sowing the seed and as soon as someone objects
or begins to criticize and complain, they stop sowing. In Matthew
13 the sower didnt stop sowing to go chase birds. He kept
sowing. There will always be birds to chase.
2) Do Not Be Tossed To And Fro With Every Kind Of
Doctrine. Some turn aside to the right hand or to the left at
every new doctrine that comes along. It is not difficult to
identify those congregations who will accept a new doctrine. Paul
said, That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and
fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight
of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to
deceive (Eph. 4:14). Notice those congregations that start
hand clapping after a baptism. The next thing they will do is to
put microphones in the hands of certain members in the audience
(they say to help their singing). It wont be long until they
have those with the microphones up front leading the singing. If
the denominational world comes up with something different, they
will soon adopt it. They are turned aside to the right hand or to
3) Know Where You Are Going. Moses knew where the
children of Israel were going. They were going to the land of
Canaan. It is easy to be lured aside to the right hand or to the
left when you dont know where youre going.
4135 Coursey Lake Rd.
Douglasville, GA 30135
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Authority is needed in the home, school, sporting events,
government and in religion. The authority or rules that govern each
of these is sometimes challenged by man. Let us now study about
authority in religion.
Our Lord was asked, By what authority doest thou
these things? and who gave thee this authority (Matt.
21:23b)? Jesus points out that authority is either from heaven or
men (Matt. 21:25). Authority is power to require and receive
submission; the right to expect obedience; superiority derived from
a status that carries with it the right to command and give final
decisions. We hear of men appealing to a higher court and
finally to the Supreme Court. But where do we appeal in religion?
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is
given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matt. 28:18). All
things must be approved by him in the church (Col. 1:18; 3:17; Eph.
1:22,23). When we read the Bible, we are reading Gods word and
not that of man (2 Tim. 3:16; Eph. 3;3-5; Gal. 1:11,12; 1 Thess.
2:13; Acts 20:27).
The Bible teaches we are under the Law of Christ and
not the Law of Moses (Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14; Heb. 3:1-7;
8:1-13). But some men say not so. Will we accept men or God? The
Bible teaches a simple plan of salvation. We are commanded to
hear, believe, repent, confess Christ and be baptized
for the remission of sins (Rom. 10:14,17; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38;
Rom. 10:10; Acts 22:16). But man disagrees. One says grace
only, while another says faith only and another
something else. Who shall we believe?
The words of Christ will judge us in the end (John 12:48).
What argument can we give to Christ to justify our following the
doctrine of men (Matt. 7:7-11)? May we have the courage to follow
Jesus (1 Peter 1:21).
Earl B. Claud
106 Bradley Hill Dr.
Dover, TN 37058
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Return to sender. Refused ...Velma Heath, Tyler,
TX. Returned. Please cancel ...Hibernia Weaver,
Springdale, AR. Alice Smith has passed away
...Crossville, TN. A while back I wrote to you that a
friend of mine had given me a copy of Seek The Old Paths and
I really enjoyed it and I requested that you put me on your mailing
list. Ive been getting it now when it is published. I really
like the articles. We need more of these teachings today so I am
enclosing a money order to help on your mailing them out. Keep up
the good work. I am a member of the church of Christ and I do the
Lords work ...Lavada Allen, Bainbridge, GA.
We enjoy and appreciate Seek The Old Paths. We
are currently getting 20 papers. Please change this to 10 as we
want others to receive Gods word. Ten will be enough for our
congregation ...Macedonia Church of Christ, Dresden,
TN. The unknown tongue is any language we do not
understand. The English language can fall into this category when
we use words that not everyone can understand. 1 Corinthians
14:9,19, So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue
words EASY to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken?
for ye shall speak into the air. ... Yet in the church I had rather
speak FIVE WORDS with my understanding, that [by my voice] I might
TEACH OTHERS also, than TEN THOUSAND words in an [unknown]
tongue. ...W. Huff, Seligman, MO. Thank you
for all the articles on the Instrument. They are so needed. I used
to be a member at Richland Hills for many years but I broke with
them in 1990 when they advised my son it was o.k. to marry this
thrice divorced woman and I was told I could not judge. I then
quoted scripture to back up my belief. Yes, we can judge, how else
would we know right from wrong? Anyway, now and for many years I
have gone to another church and Sunday night a young man preached
on the instrument (he did Sun A.M. also but I was not able to go)
and after he preached, a former elder who resigned a few years ago,
got up and for five minutes negated everything the preacher had
said and usurped his authority. I am very disturbed about this
because the church is all important to me. I pray for the churches
of Christ everywhere. Why dont we have sermons like we did in
the 50s and 60s where the preacher preaches on everything
that is wrong. For years they have let this stuff go and even
though I raised my children to be the ideals, they have been the
worst kids I have ever seen. I love them so much but this world has
so corrupted them. Do they honestly not know the true way? I taught
them and I have never done the evil junk that all young people do
today. We desperately need you to write about the instrument but
after that, will you then press on this sex mess? Everyone has to
have sex the minute they see a girl or boy or a man or a woman.
That is a foregone conclusion. None is pure anymore. I am so sad
about it and I honestly dont know what to do or where to
start. PLEASE help me. There are other things too, but right now I
cant think of them. I am 70 years old and in bad health. I
lost my husband in 1994 and now my daughter has cancer and I could
go on and on but you wouldnt want to hear it. We all need you.
Please continue to write these articles. I dont know where on
earth we would be going without them. They are so important. Thank
you so very much, I will always appreciate you ...Ann
Bruce. I would love to see if you could send me at least
25 copies of the issue that bother Lloyd Gale wrote an article on
Dual Citizenship (Feb/2011). The thing that brother Gale
printed in that lesson should shock every elder, preacher and every
Christian. I want to give them to the preacher and elders and other
Christians. I hope you can send them as soon as you can make the
copies. Thank you ...Thelma Clark, Mobile, AL.
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