POLITICAL DECISIONS CAN BE SPIRITUAL DECISIONS
Victor M. Eskew
The principles of Christianity found in the Bible are to
permeate every area of our lives. They are to be our guide at home,
in the church, at work, in our recreation, and in our politics. We
are not free to pick-and-choose where we will allow Bible
teaching to be applicable to our lives. The will of God is
pertinent to every realm of the Christians life.
We are fast approaching a national election. Some of the
political decisions we make will also be spiritual decisions.
Lets consider an Old Testament example.
After the death of Solomon, Rehoboam came to the throne. At
his inauguration, Jeroboam and the congregation of Israel gave an
ultimatum to the new king. Their words to the monarch were:
Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou
the grievous service of thy father, and his yoke which he put upon
us, lighter, and we will serve thee (1 Kings 12:4).
Rehoboam refused to make it lighter. In fact, he promised to make
the yoke heavier (1 Kings 12:14). This decision caused the kingdom
of Israel to divide. So when all Israel saw that the king
hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What
portion have we in David? neither [have we] inheritance in the son
of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house,
David. So Israel departed unto their tents. But [as for] the
children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam
reigned over them (1 Kings 12:16-17).
After the division of the kingdom, Jeroboam (king of the
northern ten tribes) was concerned about the nation returning to
the house of David (southern kingdom), especially when it came time
to go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at
Jerusalem (1 Kings 12:27). To keep this from happening,
Jeroboam did three things. First, he set up calves of gold
in Dan and Bethel and proclaimed to Israel: behold thy
gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of
Egypt (1 Kings 12:28-29). Second, he created a new
priesthood, and made priests of the lowest of people,
which were not of the sons of Levi (1 Kings 12:31). Third,
he ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the
fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah,
and he offered upon the altar (1 Kings 12:32).
At this point in the history of Israel, individuals had to
make some important decisions. These decisions were both political
and spiritual in nature. Would those who revolted against the
higher taxation policies of Rehoboam continue to side with Jeroboam
(northern kingdom)? Would they go along with his idolatry and
transgression of the Law of Moses? In 2 Chronicles 11:13-15, we
read of the Levites who returned to Rehoboam (southern kingdom). In
2 Chronicles 11:16, we read of others who returned as well. As you
read this verse, listen to the reason they returned to Jerusalem.
And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set
their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to
sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers. This was a
political decision. They would leave one king and yield allegiance
to another. The Israelites mentioned in this verse made their
decision based on their desire to follow God. Note: Their political
decision was based upon their religious beliefs. Their decision was
both political and spiritual.
The United States is coming up on a presidential election.
We, as Christians, have important decisions that have to be made.
Sometimes our political decisions are also spiritual decisions.
Sadly, some do not see it this way, or, they have formed some type
of reasoning that allows them to compromise Biblical principles and
support ungodly principles.
One of the decisions we must make involves the issue of
ABORTION. Abortion involves the willful killing of a human
life while still in the womb of the mother. It is shedding innocent
blood. According to Proverbs 6:16-19, God hates it. In the last 20
or so years, one of the presidential candidates has opposed
abortion (killing babies) while the other one has supported
abortion (killing babies). My friends, this makes our choice for a
candidate both political and spiritual in nature. Do you support
abortion (killing babies)?
Another decision we must make revolves around
HOMOSEXUALITY, especially as it concerns gay marriage (men
marrying men and women marrying women). Some have made it clear
that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, while others
take the opposite position. One party especially has made it clear
they support gay marriages. Because of this, ones decision as
to party affiliation becomes both a political and spiritual
decision. Why is this the case? Because God has made it clear in
His divine Word that homosexuality is sin. It is a perversion of
the worst kind. In Romans 1:26, He calls homosexuality a
vile affection. In Romans 1:27, homosexuality is referred
to as error. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, homosexuality is
labeled as being unrighteous and these verses proclaim that those
who practice it shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Remember, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of it (Gen.
18:20; 19:4-7,13,27-29; Jude 1:7). That is why homosexuality is
called sodomy. Do you support sodomy/homosexuality?
Lets read 2 Chronicles 11:16 again. And after
them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to
seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto
the Lord God of their fathers. What was the key element of
the decision of the Israelites? It was the set of their
heart. Did they desire the higher taxes of Rehoboam? No. Did
they appreciate his oppressive style? No. But, they set their
hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel. When Jeroboam (northern
kingdom) opposed the law of God, their decision was simple. They
returned to Jerusalem (southern kingdom).
Sadly, the majority of the Israelites did not return to
Israel. They compromised their values (the religion of
Jehovah) and sided with the policies and practices of Jeroboam that
went against the teaching of God. The result of their decision was
total apostasy. Not one righteous king ever ruled in the northern
kingdom. Ultimately, Israel was carried away into Assyrian
captivity in 722 B.C. The promise of God held true for Israel. He
had said through the psalmist: The wicked shall be turned
into hell, and all nations that forget God (Psa. 9:17). Do
you think this promise still holds true today? Please, dear reader,
as you cast your vote in the upcoming elections, remember that
political decisions can be, and often are, spiritual decisions as
God is watching. He will weigh us in the balances of His
divine justice just as He did Israel of old.
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Springville, TN 38256
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Garland M. Robinson
God longs to forgive. ...Though your sins be as scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson,
they shall be as wool (Isa. 1:18). Blessed is he
whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered
(Psalm 32:1). Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7).
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for
mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins (Isa.
43:25). I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy
transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I
have redeemed thee (Isa. 44:22). Again, when the
wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed,
and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul
alive (Ezek. 18:27).
Notice these words from Psalm 103: 2Bless the LORD,
O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3Who forgiveth all
thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4Who redeemeth thy
life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and
tender mercies; 5Who satisfieth thy mouth with good [things; so
that] thy youth is renewed like the eagles. 6The LORD
executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
... 8The LORD [is] merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and
plenteous in mercy. ... 10He hath not dealt with us after our sins;
nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11For as the heaven is
high above the earth, [so] great is his mercy toward them that fear
him. 12As far as the east is from the west, [so] far hath he removed
our transgressions from us. 13Like as a father pitieth [his]
children, [so] the LORD pitieth them that fear him. ... 17But the
mercy of the LORD [is] from everlasting to everlasting upon them
that fear him, and his righteousness unto childrens children;
18To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his
commandments to do them.
Christians are those people on earth who have been forgiven.
I write unto you, little children, because your sins are
forgiven you for his names sake (1 John 2:12).
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of
your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven
you all trespasses (Col. 2:13).
When God forgives, our sins are removed far from us.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed
our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).
There are many occasions where people have said, I have
done so much; I have lived so wickedly; I have been so vile a
sinner, God cannot possibly forgive me. When they hear the
Gospel and are moved by it, their past sins torture them so much
they feel there is no way God would ever forgive them. Many times
in such situations they cannot forgive themselves. God wants us to
know that we must forgive ourselves by relying on Gods mercy
and forgiveness. The Bible repeatedly says God is willing and ready
to forgive (Jer. 31:34; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 2:38; Please read again
the Nov/15 editorial from last month). Jesus went to the cross to
make it possible that everyone could be forgiven regardless of what
they have done (Heb. 2:9). We must repent of all our sins (in
complete obedience), put the past behind us and live unto the Lord
the rest of our lives.
The apostle Paul lived all his life with the memory of the
wicked deeds he had done in persecuting the church. Before his
obedience to the Gospel, he was in total agreement with the
murderers who stoned Stephen to death as they laid down their coats
at his feet (Acts 8:1; 7:58; 22:20). Acts 8:3 says, As for
Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and
haling (dragging) men and women committed them to
prison. He continued to lead severe persecution against
the church until his conversion to Christ at Damascus. The account
of his conversion is recorded in Acts 9:1-31, Acts 22:1-21, and
Paul had to live with the memory of his despicable and vile
deeds the rest of his life. He would write to a young Gospel
preacher years later saying, And I thank Christ Jesus our
Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting
me into the ministry; 13Who was before a blasphemer, and a
persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy,
because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14And the grace of our Lord
was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ
Jesus. 15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom
I am chief (1 Tim. 1:12-15). He wrote to the church at
Corinth concerning the memory of his past. For I am the
least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the church of God (1 Cor.
15:9). To the churches of Galatia he said, For ye have
heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews religion,
how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and
wasted it (Gal. 1:13). Galatians 1:22-23, Ephesians
3:8 and Philippians 3:6 also reference the tragic memory of
Pauls persecution against the church.
The Lord forgives and we must forgive even ourselves as
well as our enemies. Could any of us today do more against the
cause of Christ and hurt the church more than Paul did? Yet he
says, I obtained mercy...grace...love (1 Tim.
1:13-14). Many on Pentecost were among those who, just a few weeks
before, had cried out against Jesus saying, crucify him,
crucify him (Mark 15:12-14; Luke 23:21; John 19:6,15). Can
there be a more grievous sin than demanding the death of the Lord?
Yet, about 3,000 people of that group obeyed the Gospel by
repenting and being baptized for the forgiveness of their sins
Jesus came to save, not condemn (our sins condemn us, John
3:17-21). No matter what sins youve committed in the past,
Jesus blood extends forgiveness to you if you trust Him,
repent of your sins and obey Him by being immersed in water so the
blood of Christ can wash away your sins (Heb. 5:8-9; Matt. 7:21-23;
Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16).
Repent of your sins, obey God in every detail he has
commanded, enjoy the forgiveness in Christ Jesus, but please,
forgive yourself. Go on with your life and be faithful to the Lord
as Paul was and multitudes of saints have done through the ages.
After becoming a Christian, prayer is an essential part of
forgiveness. We must ask God to forgive us. We must ask our
brethren to forgive us when we have sinned against them. We must
also extend forgiveness to those who ask us to forgive them. We
must forgive ourselves.
Are you forgiven? Have you forgiven others?
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THE EYES OF THE LORD
Second Chronicles may be one of the most neglected of the
inspired books by otherwise good Bible students. I must admit that
my yearly trek through the genealogies in 1 and 2 Chronicles takes
some patience. Much of what we read in the Chronicles is a repeat
of the material in 1 and 2 Kings with but little difference. It is
interesting, therefore, that on my journey through 2 Chronicles
some years ago my eyes happened to light upon a little phrase that
I had read a number of times, though only in passing. But first,
some background information.
It was the 36th year of the reign of Asa, king of the
Southern Kingdom of Judah. Asa was instrumental in maintaining pure
worship before God. He removed his own mother from being queen
because she had made an idol unto false gods (2 Chron. 15:16). In
addition, he brought into the house of God the things that his
father Abijah had restored to the temple. When the 16th chapter of
2 Chronicles opens we learn that Baasha, king of the Northern
Kingdom, rose up against Judah. Rather than depend upon God for
protection, Asa turned to Benhadad, the king of Syria, and sought
an alliance with that idolatrous nation. The union was successful
and Benhadad retreated from his aggression. Asa may have won the
battle, but he lost what might have otherwise been a blessing from
God in the final overthrow and defeat of Syria itself. Hanani the
prophet was sent to Asa: Because thou hast relied on the
king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the
host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand (2
Chron. 16:7). Hanani then makes this interesting statement:
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the
whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose
heart [is] perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly:
therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars (2 Chron.
16:9). Please note these lessons from this record.
First, God has searching eyes. Here it is said that
He is looking for those whose heart is perfect toward
him (16:9). During the last days of the southern kingdom,
Jeremiah was once instructed to run ye to and fro through
the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the
broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be [any] that
executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon
it (Jer. 5:1). Those must have been trying times in the
nation of Israel, when a righteous man was hard to find. The
northern kingdom had already been destroyed because of the absence
of the righteous few that might have preserved that
nation. Jeremiah was instructed to take an inventory and see if
a man could be found in the streets of Jerusalem.
Wickedness was rampant. For the most part Israel had become
corrupt. But God would give them another opportunity.
Jeremiah, see if you can find a man! To be sure, God
already knew the answer! The question was for Jeremiahs
benefit, not Gods. The hammer of judgment was about to be
lowered on the city and the nation, and God wanted Jeremiah to know
that the divine judgment was justified. Oh, the searching eyes of
Jehovah God. Like the prodigal son whose father must have never
ceased to look, our Father in heaven keeps searching for one more
soul that is perfect toward him.
Second, God has far reaching eyes. His eyes are said
to run to and fro throughout the whole earth (2
Chron. 16:9). There is no hamlet, no small village, no isolated
corner of this globe that can escape the penetrating look of the
eyes of God. Surely the New Testament equivalent of this Old
Testament passage is expressed in the words of the Hebrews writer:
Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his
sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him
with whom we have to do (Heb. 4:13). One wonders by the
timing of Hananis statement from God whether or not Asa may
have attempted to make this league with Benhadad in
secret. Men may perpetrate and perform their crimes in the dark of
night where they THINK they can escape detection. Law makers and
politicians may receive a bribe under the table in an
effort to conceal their wicked deeds. The abortion industry may
succeed in hiding the horrible nature of their crimes, and the
thief who breaks through and steals in the dead of night might be
successful in hiding their misdeeds from men. But our God sees all,
and all will answer to the Almighty for their ungodly deeds.
Third, God has urgent eyes. It is said that His eyes
run (2 Chron. 16:9). When it comes to judgment and
salvation, time is of the essence. The Kings business
requires haste (1 Sam. 21:8). We must preach the word,
be instant (urgent) in season, out of
season (2 Tim. 4:2). But what is it that makes the search
so urgent? It is the limited time constraint that faces each one of
us. Life is but a vapor (James 4:14). There is no certainty of
tomorrow. God knows this; and so His eyes are said to
run. If Gods eyes are urgently seeking those who are
lost, should we not have urgent eyes as well? A world lost in sin,
standing on the very brink of eternal ruin, calls for the eyes of
every servant of our Lord Jesus Christ to be urgently seeking the
Fourth, God has revealing eyes. God is said to
shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is
perfect (2 Chron. 16:9). I, for one, am glad that God is
a revealing God and that He WANTS to make Himself known. How
grateful we should be that not only has He made one of
every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth,
but that He desires that all men should seek God, if haply
they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from
each one of us (Acts 17:26-27). Some years ago it was
declared that God is dead. No, God is not dead. He is
alive, and He has made Himself known. For those who fail to find
Him, the fault is solely theirs, for God is looking for them, and
He is ready and willing to show Himself to those who earnestly seek
after Him (Heb. 11:6).
Finally, God has demanding eyes. While His love is
unconditional, His blessings are for a limited few. He is strong in
behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
The context of those words helps me understand what God means by a
heart that is perfect toward him. Asa failed to trust
God. He doubted the power of God to fulfill the promises given.
While Asa may have proven himself noteworthy by seeking to
eradicate idolatry and return to true worship of Jehovah, he failed
in this one area. He failed to seek Gods advice and then to
follow it when it came to him. God demands that we bow in
submission in every single aspect and area of our life. Failure to
do so will be catastrophic.
May we never forget that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro
throughout the earth, and may we live soberly in view of that
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Marvin L. Weir
The very moment one decides to be guided by church creeds is the
moment he imbibes (takes in) false doctrine. What is referred to as
Calvinism has led and continues to lead many people far away
from what the Holy Scriptures teach.
Total Hereditary Depravity is the foundation upon
which John Calvins other errors are stacked. Calvins
false teaching is often identified, for memorys sake, as the
T-U-L-I-P. Most denominations that exist today have accepted at
least parts of this damnable doctrine, if not all of it. This
acronym stands for Total hereditary depravity,
Unconditional election, Limited
atonement, Irresistible grace, and
Perseverance of the saints. It has often been said
that when one kills the head of the snake, the rest of it will die
as well. The T is the head of this snake!
Babies do not inherit the sins of their parents (or anyone
else) and therefore are not born as sinners. The Word of God
teaches: The soul that sinneth, it shall die:
the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall
the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the
righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall
be upon him (Ezek. 18:20). Sin is described by Holy Writ
as transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). Who will
contend that infants are aware of or knowledgeable of Gods
One will note that it is the soul that sins (transgresses
Gods law) that dies. Children do not bear or inherit the sins
of their parents and neither do parents bear or inherit the sins of
their children. One who is righteous will be counted as righteous,
and one who is wicked will be counted as wicked. Sin, therefore, is
either transgression or omission of the law!
There is another most important matter. Just as ones
sin is not imputed to another, neither is ones righteousness
imputed to another. Songs or creeds that declare one inherits or is
dressed in Christs righteousness are false. One does not
inherit the sin of Judas Iscariot and neither does one inherit the
righteousness of Christ. The Lord will count (reckon) one to be
righteous who is being obedient to His will (Rom. 4:22).
One who swallows one error will likely fall prey to another.
If one believes that infants are lost and depraved, then he will
most likely believe in infant baptism. John Wesley, founder
of the Methodist church, is quoted as follows:
But the grand question is, Who are the proper
subjects of baptism grown persons only, or infants
also? In order to answer this fully, I shall, first, lay
down the grounds of infant baptism, taken from
scripture, reason, and primitive universal practice;
and, secondly, answer the objections against it.
As to the grounds of it: If infants are guilty of
original sin, then they are proper subjects of baptism;
seeing, in the ordinary way, they cannot be saved,
unless this be washed away by baptism. It has been
already proved, that this original stain cleaves to
every child of man; and that thereby they are children
of wrath, and liable to eternal damnation. ... Infants
need to be washed from original sin; therefore they are
proper subjects of baptism. (Wesleys Works,
Miscellaneous, Vol. 2, p.16)
The truth of the matter is that infants are not guilty
of original or inherited sin and do not need to be baptized.
Belief is a prerequisite for baptism, and infants cannot
believe. Without faith or belief it is impossible to please God
(Heb. 11:6). The Gospel account of Mark also clearly states,
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he
that believeth not shall be damned (16:16).
The false doctrine of total hereditary depravity
influences millions who are content to follow man-made creeds. The
Baptist church manual is more precious to many than the Holy
Scriptures. The Baptist manual states:
We believe that man was created in holiness, under
the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression
fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of
which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but
choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness
required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil;
and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin
without defence or excuse. (Church Manual
Designed For The Use of Baptist Churches, by J. M.
As we contemplate this vicious and false doctrine, let us ask
several questions. First, is man or is man not created in Gods
image? The Bible says, And God said, Let us make man in our
image, after our likeness...And God created man in his own image,
in the image of God created he him; male and female created he
them (Gen. 1:26-27). Therefore, is Gods image
corrupt? Who will so charge?
Second, Jesus taught, Verily I say unto you, Except
ye converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter
into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 18:3). Who will charge
that Jesus was teaching that one must become sinful and totally
depraved in order to enter the kingdom of heaven?
Third, does Psalm 51:5 prove the doctrine of hereditary
total depravity? Absolutely not! The verse reads in reputable
translations, Behold, I was shapen (brought forth)
in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. To
give support to false teaching, the dynamic equivalent or
thought translation of the NIV (New International
Version) states, Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from
the time my mother conceived me (Psa. 51:5). The mother
sinned, not the baby. This is one of many examples why the NIV is
no friend of truth.
Total hereditary depravity or inherited sin is a
damnable and false doctrine!
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THE MOST IMPORTANT RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Roger D. Campbell
What if someone were to ask you to name all of the religious
feasts/holidays that the Christ instructs His disciples to keep?
Which ones could you name? Jesus Himself lived under the law of
Moses, meaning that during His earthly life, He kept the
instructions of that law. That included keeping its religious
feasts; and, there were several of them.
In the message of the Old Law, God gave Israel instructions
about specific feasts, and He gave them specific names. You
and I can read about them in the Bible in Exodus 23, Leviticus 23,
and Deuteronomy 16. The message of Leviticus 23 is prefaced with
this statement from Jehovah: The feasts of the LORD, which
ye shall proclaim [to be] holy convocations, [even] these [are] my
feasts (Lev. 23:2). What special religious occasions were
listed in that context? The Sabbath (23:3), Passover (23:5),
Unleavened Bread (23:6-8), Feast of Weeks/Pentecost (23:9-22),
Trumpets (23:24-25), Day of Atonement (23:26-32), and Feast of
Tabernacles (23:33-43). So, for the feasts that God wanted Israel
to observe, He gave those feasts specific designations. He called
them holy occasions and said they are My feasts
(23:2). There is no mistaking the origin of those old covenant
religious celebrations. They came from the Lord God Himself.
What else? For those Old Covenant religious feasts, the Lord
also specified the time when they were to be observed. For
instance, the Sabbath was a weekly observance on the seventh day of
the week (Lev. 23:3). The Passover was on the fourteenth day of the
first month (Lev. 23:5). The Feast of Tabernacles began on month
seven, day fifteen (Lev. 23:34). Again, who was it that established
those times? God did.
For the feasts observed by the Israelites, God also
instructed them to take specific actions in connection with
them. For the Passover, a specific type of lamb was to be selected
on the tenth day, then killed and eaten four days later (Exodus
12:3,5,6). On the Day of Atonement, only the high priest was
allowed to enter the most holy place of the tabernacle or temple
Furthermore, in the case of some of those feasts, God gave
Israel a message about the specific purpose of the feast.
The Passover was more than a time for family members to come
together and share a meal. It was supposed to be a memorial of
Gods sparing Israels firstborn in Egypt (Exodus 12:14,
25-27). The Tabernacles Feast was kept as a memorial of the
Israelites living in tents during their time in the wilderness
(Lev. 23:34, 41-43).
In summary, for the religious feasts that God made a part of
the Old Covenant, there were specific names, specific
times, specific actions, and specific
purposes. Why did the Jews observe such religious occasions?
Because God instructed them to do so. Those feasts came from
Gods mind, not mans.
Now, back to our inquiry about special religious
feasts/days/holidays under the New Covenant. Other than the
observance of the communion on the first day of the week (1 Cor.
11:23-26; Acts 20:7), in the Scriptures there is no other
special religious day designated for Christians. Maybe
you disagree with that conclusion. If so, why not do what we did
(earlier in this article) with the Old Covenant feasts observed by
Israel? Name those religious days/feasts that God tells Christians
to observe. Point out the New Testament verses which set forth such
occasions specific names, their specific times
of observance, the specific actions to be carried out, and
their specific purpose.
Friend, you will not find them in the Bible. In the Bible,
there is no mention of a late December or March-April religious
holiday(s) for Christians to keep. I know that many religious
people participate in such celebrations enthusiastically. The
bottom line, though, is that we are obligated to be guided by the
Lords commands (Matt. 28:18-20), not the traditions of men. We
want to follow and do that which comes from heaven, not from men,
right? (Matt. 21:25). Why would we be devoted to or support
something that is not even in the Bible?
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THERE IS NO DARKNESS IN GOD
The book of 1 John has none of the normal characteristics of a
letter. It does not contain the name of the author, an introduction
or closing remarks, like you would normally see in a letter. We do
not know to whom this letter was originally sent. We do, however,
know that God wants us to be certain about our relationship with
Him. John wrote, And we know that the Son of God is come,
and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is
true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus
Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life (1 John
5:20). John reminded us of what he had heard, seen and touched
concerning the Word of life. John and the other apostles
knew that Jesus was real because they had heard Him with their ears
and seen Him with their eyes (1 John 1:1-4). Our fellowship with
God is based upon the teachings and writings of these men. Those
who have strong fellowship with God must walk in the light.
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in
darkness, we lie, and do not the truth (1 John 1:6).
Johns desire was that we know God, love Him completely and be
fortified against every false teaching.
Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. John said,
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that
confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of
God (1 John 4:2). The apostles knew that Jesus came in the
flesh because of what they had seen, heard, observed and touched.
They knew and confessed that Jesus was the Word of Life. John does
not hesitate to exalt Jesus as Divine. He wrote, That which
was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen
with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have
handled, of the Word of life (1 John 1:1). He wrote of the
eternal existence of Jesus. He spoke of, That which was from
the beginning. Jesus, the Word of Life, is that one who was in
the beginning with God. In the beginning was the Word, and
the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).
This Word became flesh and dwelt among men. And the Word
became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory
as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and
truth (John 1:14). The apostles saw and heard Jesus. They
reported to us that He is indeed real. Our hope is not futile or in
vain. Jesus, the Son of God, has truly come in the flesh!
Jesus Christ produces fellowship with men and God. Many
false messages are filling our world. These messages produce
division and turmoil. The message of Jesus Christ produces
fellowship among men and fellowship with God. That which we
have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have
fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father,
and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3). Those who
become Christians have a bond and a fellowship with each other.
They also have a wonderful relationship with God. The closer anyone
walks with God, the easier it is to relate to fellow man. Out of
the closeness of our fellowship with God and with others, comes
true joy. And these things write we unto you, that your joy
may be full (1 John 1:4). John pictured the life-giving
power of our Lord. The ultimate result of being a faithful
Christian is that we have fellowship with God and we have fullness
of joy. Jesus came in the flesh and our joy can be full if we are
God is light and there is definitely no darkness in Him. God
is light and He is the creator of light. And God said, Let
there be light: and there was light (Gen. 1:3). How feeble
man appears when he considers the power of God and the vastness of
His nature. This then is the message which we have heard of
him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no
darkness at all (1 John 1:5). God is light from the
standpoint of the guidance that He gives to man (Psalm 119:105).
God is light from the standpoint of His holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16).
God is light from the standpoint of His glory (Psalm 108:5). We can
never know what our life is capable of being until we see it in the
revealing light of Gods love. Jesus Christ not only has light,
but He has absolutely nothing else. There is no darkness at all in
Him! The reason there is no darkness in Jesus is because He refused
all the evil things connected to darkness such as immorality,
ignorance, hatred, drunkenness and chaos.
God revealed Himself as light and we must come into
fellowship with Him. There is no evil or darkness with God and
there can be none with the children of God. If we say that
we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do
not the truth (1 John 1:6). Gods truth is not just to
be known mentally; it is to be committed to our heart and to our
daily living. Truth must bring about a transformation of life. Sin
is evil; it produces guilt and we cannot allow ourselves to walk in
it. Our fellowship with God comes from knowing His will and walking
daily in it. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the
light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus
Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7). Our
motivating principle must be the light of New Testament teaching.
Walking in the light keeps us in the constant stream of the
cleansing blood of Jesus. Sin causes us to recognize the need for
the blood of Jesus. John wrote, If we say that we have no
sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1
John 1:8). John pictured a person saying I have no sin that
needs forgiveness; therefore I do not need the blood of Jesus.
Sin has a drastic effect in our life. We must confess our sins and
be strong to resist them. If we confess our sins, he is
faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from
all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). God is faithful and
just. He will keep His promises to forgive the penitent. God had
said in His word that all men are sinners. For there is not
a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not
(Eccl. 7:20). In 1 John 1:10, John spoke of those who said they had
not sinned. He said, If we say that we have not
sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. If
we say we have not sinned and we do not need Jesus, then Gods
word is not in us and we have called Him a liar. Sin is a serious
matter and can only be dealt with by the precious blood of our Lord
Jesus Christ. We cannot allow ourselves to live in sin, because
such would be a disappointment to our Creator. God deserves better
than a claim of righteousness. He deserves our righteous life.
Jesus has come in the flesh. Get to know Him. Obey Him, love
Him and honor Him by walking in the light. To become a Christian
you must hear the gospel (Rom. 10:17), believe in
Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30),
confess Christ as Lord (Acts 8:37), and be baptized to be
saved (1 Peter 3:21).
When we think of our salvation, let us thank God for the
opportunity of knowing Him!
PO Box 551
Greenville, AL 36037
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We here at the church that meets in Allenhurst, Georgia, are
in need of a sound minister to preach Gods Word. We are a
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Infantry Division). Any correspondence should be sent to: Perry C.
Frink, P.O. Box 401, Allenhurst, GA 31301 (ph. 912-368-0628). Thank
you in advance for your kind assistance ...Allenhurst
Church of Christ, Allenhurst, GA. Thank you for sending
STOP to the Moodys church of Christ ...Elouise Ogle,
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The truth and only the truth will save souls. May God bless
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Planned Parenthood and Extending the Gospel
Invitation articles (Oct/15) present one with some sobering
thoughts. Sadly, I can relate first hand to your article. Just
recently I attended a meeting where some one came forth asking for
prayers only to have the preacher leave it to the one doing the
closing prayer to say something in the persons behalf. Your
reference to higher ed schools is something I have taken notice of
as well. I write regularly for some publications and I have
addressed like issues. I recently published a book, Denvers
Musings, available on Amazon.com. I invite you to read the book
should you have time. It is refreshing to know that at least one
group (Seek The Old Paths) is still holding out for
the truth. What I see and hear gives me great concern for the
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Vilonia, AR. There is a generation that are pure in their
own eyes and yet is not washed from their filthiness, Prov.
30:12 ...Adam Braseel, Nashville, TN. Thanks
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sending me your publication, one of the best ...Carl Brown,
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of the Lords church all the days of her life. She never
stepped to the left! Not to the Right. Straight and narrow
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Thanks for everyone that works to get this out ...Beth
Foster, Paragould, AR. The first comment in Novembers
mailbag about preachers trying out with churches looking
for a preacher is right on the money (pun intended). During
interview trips Ive made, Ive had several churches give
me crumbs from their feast table. One had agreed to cover travel
expenses but gave me only enough to barely cover gas,
with nothing left over for teaching and preaching. Ive lost
money on most of the interview trips Ive made. But, Ill
press on doing the greatest work on earth. Preaching the Gospel is
such an honor and privilege. Faithful preachers do not preach for
the money, they preach because its a passion, much like
Jeremiah who once said, For since I spake, I cried out, I
cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a
reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. Then I said, I will not
make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word
was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was
weary with forbearing, and I could not stay (Jer. 20:8-9).
Pray for all faithful preachers and their families. Pray for
faithful elders and their families. Pray for faithful brethren
everywhere. Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word
of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is
with you (2 Thess. 3:1) ...A fellow Gospel
preacher who has been there and done that.
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