What Is The Instrumental Church Of Christ?
Robin W. Haley
Having come out of the so called Instrumental Church
of Christ denomination, I feel I am aware of the multitude of
differences between that denomination and the Lords church,
and thus qualified to write about them. My parents were a part of
that organization and thus, my brothers and sisters and I were
raised in that following. Actually, my people were members in name
only and it was not until I was 17 that I became more involved with
I was elected as a deacon at the age of 18 (not
married; no children contrary to Bible doctrine as found in 1
Timothy 3) and was placed in charge of various fellowship
gatherings between them and the other denominations (contrary to
Bible doctrine as found in Ephesians 5) in town for Easter and
Christmas programs (more contrary doctrines). I did my job well in
that I and my good friend (another 18 year old deacon) were
selected to go to the area Youth Conference held in Cincinnati,
Ohio. So effective were we in our duly appointed roles that even
the Methodist CYF invited me to go as observer to their Annual
Youth Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Then one night while working in
a gas station, a man from a local congregation of the church of
Christ gave me a tract to read. In the wee hours of the morning, I
read that tract...took it home and re-read it with my Bible and
learned much of my error. I began that week to ask many questions
of the trustees and elders of the Instrumental
Church. So varied were the answers (not a one from the Bible)
that I decided to take it to the top! It was in Mr.
Kellys office (who would later come to be called
Pastor"), in answer to one of my questions, he closed my Bible
and said in effect, That does not matter. I knew that I
was not in the church of which I read in the New Testament. It took
some searching, but I found the Lords church and was added
then to their number.
If you have stayed with me thus far, I would like to
make an observation just here: those who use such language as the
title of this article indicates, really ought to study again what
the Lords church is; and, what the difference is between it
and the various Christian Church denominations, which includes the
Instrumental Church of Christ. It is the height of
denominationalism to speak of the Instrumental Church of
Christ. It makes about as much sense, Biblically, to speak of
the Islamic Church of Christ, the Methodist Church of Christ, or
the Atheistic Church of Christ. Where in all of Gods Word do
we find brands", strains", or branches of the
church? There is no such thing! When a group of Christians (thus,
a church) cease to walk within the borders of the new and
living way (Heb. 10:20), they cease to be faithful to the
Lord. Consequently, those who may be added to their number from
that time on ARE NOT being added to the Bride of Christ, but to a
following of men, invented by men, for the pleasure of men. How can
they still be considered as the Lords church? To say that some
(and I do mean only some) of these people have been baptized is of
absolutely no consequence. They have been baptized into
something else. They believe, teach, practice, and hold to a
different doctrine, thus a different and perverted Gospel
(Gal. 1:6,7). They are still lost. Those within the ranks of the
various Christian Church denominations are not Christians at all.
They have failed to be born again (John 3:5), to be washed of water
with the Word (Eph. 5:26) and to be obedient to the faith (Acts
The Lords church does not use
instrumental music in her worship to God. She does not
believe in Methodism. She is not premillennial,
anti-cooperative, etc. and so on ad infinitum. Let us hear an end
of such sectarian talk as the Instrumental Church of
Christ and the Non-instrumental Church of Christ!
Let us cease parroting the misguided and misleading terms as
Restoration Heritage and Our Founding Fathers of the
19th Century! Those who are Christians indeed are no part
of a branch of the church or branch of
some movement of men. Rather, they are members of the
body of Christ, added by the Lord when they obeyed from the heart
that form of doctrine, namely, the death, burial and resurrection
of Christ as depicted in baptism unto the remission of their sins.
What is the Instrumental Church of Christ? Who knows?
It certainly is not found within the Bible. Therefore, it
is not of God and is thus sinful! Let us study together and learn
from the Bible what truly is the Lords church, the church of
Christ. Thanks for reading.
6834 Carrousel Dr. S.
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Table of Contents
In the October 2006 issue of STOP, we printed the name
Instrumental Church of Christ in the front page article.
We did so only in the sense that is a descriptive name or
identifying mark, just like the Methodist Church, the Baptist
Church, the Catholic Church, or even the denomination called the
United Church of Christ (which has absolutely NO
affiliation with the church of Christ whatsoever the only
similarity is the name). We did not intend to give this religious
group any credibility as if they were a branch or segment of the
church of Christ (the Lords church). Please read brother Robin
Haleys article beginning on the front page.
The so-called Instrumental Church of Christ
is a branch of the Christian Church, not the church of Christ of
the New Testament. In different parts of the country, some
Christian Churches wear the name Church of Christ. From their sign
on the building, you would think they are associated with the
Lords church. However, this is a denominational group that
just happens to use the name Church of Christ and is not
to be confused with or associated with the church of Christ of the
New Testament. We included the word instrumental to make
it clear that they are not the church of Christ of the New
Testament. If you were to walk into one of their buildings, the
first thing you would observe would be mechanical instrumental
music. But, the instrument is not the ONLY difference. There are
many others as well. Any one of which brings Gods disapproval.
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Garland M. Robinson
I love Ephesians 2:8-10! It is beautiful. It fits
perfectly with all the other scriptures of the Bible. It tells us
that salvation is offered to man by Gods grace His great
favor. But, even though its been extended to all mankind
(Titus 2:11-12), not all will be saved because they do not DO what
God says is necessary to benefit from it. Man must comply with
Gods commands in order to receive Gods grace. This brings
us to faith AND obedience.
Many claim that man has absolutely nothing to do with
his own salvation. But in spite of their claim, their actions tell
otherwise. For example, does anyone believe that God will save a
sinner who curses His holy name and despises His grace? Of course
not! Does anyone believe that a sinner can ignore God and still be
saved? Not at all! All admit that a sinner must desire to be saved.
But, when a sinner desires to be saved, he is doing something. He
is acting. He is working. So, a sinner IS involved in the process
of his own salvation. If a sinner admits he is a sinner and needs
salvation, he is doing something. He is acting, working,
performing. If a sinner must accept the Lords
sacrifice, he is doing something. He is working. By these obvious
points, all admit that man must DO something in order to receive
Many say salvation is received by faith
alone which does not include obedience. However, Jesus says
faith (John 8:24) AND obedience (Matt. 7:21;
John 12:42-43; Heb. 5:8-9) brings salvation. In the truest sense of
the word, Bible faith is an act of obedience. I say salvation is by
faith", but like Jesus, I will not put the word
alone or only after faith because such is
contrary to Scripture (James 2:24). I agree with Jesus. Faith
only advocates deny what Jesus said about obedience being
necessary for salvation (Mark 16:16). We need to also point out
that faith itself is a work. It is something a person
must do. Jesus made this clear in John 6:29 when He said that to
believe is a work. It is an act of obedience if it is
true Bible faith. However, faith alone will not save anyone!
What does Ephesians 2:8-9 teach about works? It
teaches that salvation is not by works. Salvation does
not come about by mans goodness or performance wherein he
obligates God to save him. Man cannot earn salvation. Man cannot
merit salvation. I do not teach that works of merit bring about
salvation and have never heard that taught by anyone else. Man
cannot boast in any work he performs; if so, he could save himself.
But man cannot save himself.
But, man must obey (work, comply, perform) to receive
Gods grace. This is summed up in the word faith. We
are saved by grace through faith. Faith is a work (John
6:29). It is a work God commands man to do. It is not a work man
dreamed up. It is not something he does of his own goodness. When
men comply with Gods commands through faith", he is
trusting in the saving power of Jesus. All the while, we are still
unprofitable servants, we have only done that which is our duty to
Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches that God extends salvation to
man even though man does not deserve it. God extends to man a great
favor because of His love for man. Man deserves to be punished, but
God says, Im willing to forgive him and save him. However, God
places a condition on man being saved (otherwise, all men would be
saved). Man must respond. Man must act. Man must do something. Not
just anything. Not mans own power. Not mans own goodness.
Not mans own work. Man must have faith (trust in, reliance
upon) in God and all that God commands him to do. Man accepts the
complete will of God by FAITH. But, it is more than just
a mental acceptance of God and Jesus. It is not simply a belief in
the historic record of Jesus sacrifice for mans sins. It
is a faith that moves, acts,
performs, works, obeys. All the
while, man still recognizes these acts of obedience do not mean he
deserves Gods forgiveness or that he has earned salvation.
Mans humble submission to Gods will prompts
him to ask, exactly what does faith mean? What is
involved in faith? What does God mean when he says I can
be saved by grace through faith?
Through a study of Gods Word, one understands
that Romans four tells HOW one is made righteous before God. It is
by faith trust in God. But as he reads the rest of the
New Testament, he learns that James gives more specific details
about salvation by faith than Paul reveals. James tells us WHEN
faith makes one righteous. It is when faith acts or
works. James even uses the same example of Abraham that
Paul does. Salvation by grace through faith is an active, working
Through more reading of the New Testament, we learn
that man must REPENT of his sins BEFORE he can be forgiven of sins
(Acts 2:38). This same verse also tells us that man must be
BAPTIZED for the remission of his sins BEFORE he can be forgiven of
his sins. We also learn from Acts 8:35-39 that CONFESSION of faith
in Jesus comes BEFORE one can be baptized FOR the remission of
sins. These passages make repentance, confession and baptism
ESSENTIAL BEFORE remission of sins is granted. Therefore, salvation
comes AFTER remission of sins, not BEFORE. Repenting, confessing
and being baptized are acts done by faith. Therefore, salvation is
through faith or by faith a working
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Cade K. Somers
The number within the church has never amounted to nearly
the majority of the worlds population. The church has always
been the few in contrast to the many (Matt.
7:13,14). One would suppose, then, that Christians would see the
need to pull together as best as possible and not splinter. Yet,
personalities clash and tempers flare, and people who are otherwise
united stand obstinately opposed to one another. Past divisions in
Christs body have many times hinged less upon doctrinal
disagreements and more upon these forms of arbitrary tumults.
While they were ministering in Capernaum, the apostles
attempted to recruit another to follow them. They had witnessed the
man successfully casting out devils in Christs name; and,
assumed one of like faith and equal miraculous ability
would satisfy them with his company. The man refused. John
recorded, and we forbad him, because he followeth not
us (Mark 9:38). Jesus responded, Forbid him
not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that
can lightly speak evil of me (Mark 9:39). The mans
message and ministry was obviously approved of God; otherwise, he
would not have manifested the supernatural ability of casting out
demons. Still, his brethren shunned him and departed, retaining
their false presumptions.
True unity is centered around the faith
(Eph. 4:3,13; Jude 3). It is lost when one changes the word of God
into a lie (Rom. 1:25). Unity exists between those who uphold
Gods word entirely and in purity. We should rejoice in the
relationship we have with all of like precious faith (2
Peter 1:1), but the joy sometimes fades when ungodly pride or envy
obstructs our spiritual perception. Feuds follow. The apostles had
previously argued who was the greatest among them (Mark 9:33-35).
Still unsettled, their pride showed face with the man who would not
follow them, as they likely thought, He should follow us. He
might learn something.
If the promotion of false doctrine is not the issue,
as it was not in this case, we are better to leave matters alone
and continue with the good work in which we should be involved. We
only ignite problems or throw fuel to a futile fire when we attack
personalities and amoral actions of ministering preachers, elders
and congregations. Where there is no thus saith the Lord
there should be no thus saith me. Jesus said of this
brother, Forbid him not. Why did he choose not to follow
the apostles? Though the reason is not given, we may assert some
1) He may have determined he had a good work and
preferred isolation. While Jesus demonstrated personable
traits, John the baptizer enjoyed his privacy (Matt. 11:18,19).
Some may have viewed John as dissimilar to many in society, wearing
raiment of camels hair, and a leather girdle and
eating locusts and wild honey (Matt. 3:4). He chose to
live humbly and quietly, keeping to self. There was nothing wrong
with Johns manner of living. In fact, through it he drew quite
close to God, but there were still those who mocked his character.
Upon deciding to preach, some very capable men devote
themselves chiefly to the local work. They would rather be
successful converting people to Christ, strengthening the local
church than to be gone four to ten or twenty weeks out of the year
holding meetings, lectureships and seminars. Its a choice each
preacher must make using wisdom and good judgment. It is not in
itself wrong for one to seek more opportunities elsewhere to spread
the Gospel nor is it necessarily appropriate. What is most
important is that Christians are dedicated wherever they are and
that they fulfill commitments with whom they are made.
Personalities differ, but even those who prefer isolation over
inclusion can do much good for the work of the church.
2) He may have suspected personality or social
conflicts and decided hed rather not get involved. In
Acts 15:37, Barnabas told Paul he would like to welcome John Mark
to travel with them for the remainder of the missionary journey.
Paul refused (v.38). His reason was because Mark had been with them
before, on the first journey, and abruptly quit (Acts 13:13). For
what reason, we do not know. Nonetheless, because of Pauls
dissention, Barnabas left Paul and joined Mark, and Paul acquired
Silas for companionship. With what we know from Scripture, no one
could say Paul was wrong for not taking Mark. No one really knows
for what reasons Mark left apostolic company before, but many
suggest immaturity and fickleness. Supposing this to be the case,
Paul possibly foresaw feuding or disagreements between him and
Mark. Maybe his decision was the best.
Sometimes the Christian who is the bigger person must
swallow pride and allow the other to continue a good work while he
does likewise separately. If you know your personality does not
well-accompany anothers, you should do your best to be
temperate. It hurts when churches of our Lord shatter because two
or more people cant control themselves. It may be best to be
the one who goes or concedes, determined not to be involved in
strife over unimportant matters. Once the dust settles, you might
see the real value of the individuals with whom youve
differed. Paul later did. While Barnabas remained unmentioned, Paul
later said of John Mark that he was profitable to [Paul] in
the ministry (2 Tim. 4:11) and that the Colossians should
welcome and employ him (Col. 4:10).
3) He may have been teaching truth but not be
doing so with the right attitude. To understand this better,
consider Philippians 1:12-21. In this passage, Paul wrote of some
preachers who were burdens to him, preaching Christ of
contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my
bonds (v.16). There were also those who preached lovingly,
knowing Pauls steadfast faith (v.17). So Paul commented,
What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or
in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and
will rejoice (v.18). Most commentators misapply this
statement to the supposed unity that can be had regardless of
denominational party lines. Thus, for example, the Presbyterian
preacher can say of the Pentecostal preacher, I rejoice in
your teaching, though it differs with mine. Honest Bible
students will note the interpretational fallacy: the preachers
messages were the same they each preached Christ (vs.16-18; cf.
Acts 8:35; 1 Cor. 2:2). It was the attitudes with which they
preached that were different than Pauls. As brotherhood
politicians, they marked a faithful brother as an enemy and, while
maintaining sound doctrine, they sought to harm his image and
influence. Even today, there are brethren who attempt mercilessly
to disparage another who teaches the same things only because of a
bad attitude toward him.
The disciple who did not follow the apostles may have
had a bad attitude toward them. He may have been jealous of their
position or angry at their approach. Yet, the apostles should have
remained content, for the man obviously was a minister of
Christians should not forbid those who are teaching
truth and striving to live godly. They should not act as if
everybody should follow them or place membership with the
congregation where they are members. If a brother does not follow
me, it doesnt indicate a problem. I can trust he has good
reason. It may be for the best.
PO Box 542
Weaver, AL 36277
Table of Contents
Save Us From Arrogant Preachers!
“One of the greatest proofs of the divine origin of
the church is the preaching it has endured through
I do not know the origin of the above statement, nor can
I endorse it fully. Certainly the Lord intended for evangelists to
have a place in the church (II Tim. 4:5). But even though the
statement is cynical, there is a glimmer of truth hidden in its
In recent conversations with people in the Lords
church, one criticism has been repeatedly leveled against preacher
after preacher He comes across as arrogant.
Granted, it is possible for a truly humble person to
be misunderstood and misjudged as arrogant. Also true is the fact
that preachers are particularly liable to the false accusation of
arrogance. They often have to rebuke others, to point out error in
the doctrines or lives of others, and when they do, they can be
falsely accused of acting out of pride and arrogance. People
dont like being told they are wrong, and they often lash out
at the bearer of the news in an effort to avoid dealing with the
truth (Matt. 7:6).
However, it is also true that many preachers are
simply arrogant. In spite of the fact that we do not elevate
clergy, they see themselves as above others and above certain
things. This attitude is very damaging to the cause of Christ, and
must be shameful to the Lord, who was himself meek and lowly (Matt.
11:29). If the creator of the universe can wash His disciples
feet (John 13:14) and can humble Himself even unto death (Phil.
2:5-8), is it not clearly wrong for us as evangelists to have
Some preachers think they are above. They dont wear
a title elevating them, but they expect others to treat them as if
they exist on a higher plane.
THE SIN OF PRIDE
1) Some preachers are above being questioned or
corrected. As a child I saw a preacher get red in the face
and snap at someone who questioned what he had preached, as if it
were a personal insult to question what the preacher said. We
should pray for and rejoice at the idea that people are not
following us and our authority. We should see it as a noble thing
that some want to check out what we say rather than following
blindly because we are preachers (Acts 17:11).
2) Some preachers are above saying, I
dont know. They wrongly believe that being instant
in season and out of season (II Tim. 4:2) means having an immediate
answer to any question without study and reflection. Preachers like
this see themselves as oracles rather than speaking as the oracles
of God (I Peter 4:11). They do not hesitate to come down on one
side or the other of an issue about which they have incomplete
knowledge. They give advice when it is not sought, and they are
never so flattered as when someone calls them up about some thorny
congregational problem from the next city or from several states
away. They answer from afar, and they often shame themselves by
answering before they hear a matter. He that answereth a
matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him
(Prov. 18:13). Preachers need to be more humble. They need to
stay out of matters of which they have little knowledge. They need
to acknowledge their own limited knowledge and wisdom. And, they
need to see the folly of coming down on a matter when they have
only one side of the issue. Proverbs 18:17 says, He that
is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh
and searcheth him. The one who first presents his case
seems right, but there is usually another side.
3) Some preachers are above visitation.
They are taught in many schools that preachers have no more
obligation than any member of the congregation to visit the sick or
the aged. While this fact is true, it doesnt take the whole
matter into account. Members of the church are to be concerned
about and involved with each other (Rom. 12:15; I Cor. 12:26).
Preachers, as full time workers in the kingdom, have more time to
give to this work, and they have a great opportunity to set an
example to the congregation of the kind of care we should have for
one another. Instead, many arrogant, professional
preachers act as if they are above these common things that all
members should be doing.
We are not supposed to be prideful people. Pride is
always presented in Scripture as a sin. It is never a good thing
for man to be lifted up with pride. A simple study of the book of
Proverbs would be helpful to proud, arrogant preachers (Prov. 8:13;
11:2; 13:10; 16:18; 28:25; 29:23). Especially appropriate for
preachers to take as warning is Proverbs 16:5 Every
one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though
hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
Save us from arrogant preachers! Arrogant preachers set
a bad example. Arrogant preachers encourage false attitudes about
elevating clergy above other members. We have no clergy
in the Lords church, and there is no excuse for acting like an
elevated clergy. Arrogant preachers shame themselves and deny the
power of humility. In fact, arrogant preachers are far from being
disciples (followers) of our meek and lowly Savior.
Preachers, like all other men need to remember these
verses: James 4:6, God resisteth the proud, but giveth
grace unto the humble. James 4:10, Humble
yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
I Peter 5:5-6, Likewise, ye younger, submit
yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to
another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud,
and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under
the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.
1495 E Empire Ave.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
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Does The Bible Teach That God Calls Men?
Roger D. Campbell
While some might want to give an answer that is based on
their own personal feelings, our feelings are not the standard of
authority to which we should appeal when answering questions that
deal with serving the Lord. The Bible says, There is a
way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways
of death (Prov. 16:25). Others may be convinced that God
calls men simply because that is what they have heard someone else
say. The reality is, what people say, even sincere people, can
sometimes be wrong. Again, what other people have to say about a
matter does not determine what the truth is. Gods word, and
Gods word alone, is our truth in the spiritual realm (John
17:17). Thus, in answering this question about Gods calling,
we need to turn to the Book of books for accurate information.
The Fact of Gods Calling:
There are a number of New Testament verses which indicate that the
Lord does, indeed, call men. Here is a brief sample of quotations:
That ye should walk worthy of God, who hath called
you... (I Thess. 2:12). ...That ye should shew
forth the praises of him who hath called you out of
darkness... (I Peter 2:9). ...The power of
God; Who hath saved us, and called us... (II Tim. 1:9).
This list could be expanded, but the point is clear. Yes, God does
call men. While we have already answered the question that serves
as the title of this article, it will be helpful to look further at
what the Bible says about Gods calling.
The Bibles Description of Gods Calling:
Here are some ways the Bible portrays the Lords
calling. It is His calling in that He is the Caller (Eph.
1:18). At the same time, it is (y)our calling because we
(humans) are the ones that are called (Eph. 4:4). The Bible also
calls it a high calling (Phil. 3:13), holy
calling (II Tim. 1:9), and heavenly calling (Heb.
3:1). If the Holy One gives us a high, holy, and heavenly calling,
then surely we need to count this as a serious matter.
Into What Does God Call People?
According to the Bible, God hath not called
us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness (I Thess. 4:7).
In addition, we read that the Lord calls men out of
darkness into his marvelous light (I Peter 2:9). It is
further written that He calls us unto His kingdom and
glory (I Thess. 2:12), unto His eternal
glory (I Peter 5:10), unto the fellowship of
his Son Jesus Christ our Lord (I Cor. 1:9), to
peace (I Cor. 7:15), into the grace of
Christ (Gal. 1:6), and unto liberty
(Gal. 5:13). One that denies the reality and significance of
Gods calling is virtually casting aside multitudes of clear
Bible statements. And, from the verses that we have just noted, one
that disregards the calling of God loses out on the opportunity to
be in His glory, kingdom, light, fellowship, peace, grace, and
liberty! That brings us to another major question.
How Does God Call People?
Many who hear the expression calling of God
automatically think of some miraculous or irresistible calling.
First, let us note that it is true that God did miraculously call
men to serve as prophets and apostles. At other times, as in the
case of Abraham (Heb. 11:8), God called men to carry out certain
tasks, that is, He gave them direct instructions. The days of such
miraculous calling, however, passed away with the completion of
Gods revelation to mankind in the first century (I Cor.
13:8-10). It follows that there is no such thing as God directly
speaking to or directly calling humans today. That goes for all
people, including those who claim that God has secretly
called them to preach. Folks, it just does not happen in
Second, when it comes to God calling people unto His
glory, light, liberty, etc., He has never done this in an
irresistible manner or in a way that sidesteps or overrides
mans freedom of choice. While great masses of religious people
believe in some type of irresistible grace by which the
Holy Spirit miraculously opens a sinners heart and calls
him/her unto salvation, the Gospel of the Christ teaches no such
thing. Do you want to hear Gods truth about this? The truth
is, the Holy Spirit and His calling can be resisted. Stephen (an
inspired preacher) said so, telling the Jews that eventually killed
him, ...ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your
fathers did, so do ye (Acts 7:51). For those that accept
what the Bible teaches, Enough said.
But HOW does the Lord call men unto His grace,
fellowship and kingdom? Hear the Bibles answer: But
we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved
of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to
salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the
truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of
the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Thess. 2:14). How
is it that the Lord called these people unto salvation? By our
gospel. That is, through the Gospel which the apostle Paul
preached, which is the one, true Gospel of Gods Son (Gal.
1:6-10). Jesus also taught that God attracts or draws men unto Him
(Jesus) through the teaching of Gods word. People come to the
Christ only when the Father teaches them through His word (John
6:44,45). Faith is produced by the word of God (Rom. 10:17; John
Thus, God calls men (through His inspired word) out
of sin and into His Son, and He keeps on calling the faithful to
remain faithful in order that they might enter the heavenly kingdom
(II Peter 1:10,11). This may not seem like the most fancy or
effective method to human minds, but it is Gods plan! The
Gospel is, and will always be, His power to save a person for the
first time and to keep him/her saved (Rom. 1:16)!
Does the Bible teach that God calls people? Yes, it
does, and we have noted some of the Bibles descriptions of
that calling, what it is that God calls men into, and the method He
uses to call the lost. Thanks be to God for His grace and love that
have provided us with such a wonderful calling and bountiful
spiritual blessings in His Son (Eph. 1:3).
4865 Bates Pike SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
Lessons Learned From Nehemiah
Marvin L. Weir
Most remember that the children of Israel were carried
into Babylonian captivity because of their lack of faith in the
true and living God. In 605 B.C., Babylon conquered Israel. Among
those deported into captivity were Daniel and his friends (II
Chron. 36:6-7; Dan. 1:1-3). In 598 B.C., Ezekiel and about 10,000
others were carried into captivity. In 586 B.C., the temple of
Jerusalem was destroyed and the city burned, and all except the
very poor were taken to Babylon (II Kings 24:20-25:21; Jer.
39:1-10). When the time came where God saw fit to allow a remnant
to return to Jerusalem, they managed to restore true worship, but
did not rebuild the walls.
In 536 B.C., Zerubbabel led the first return from
Babylonian captivity. In 457 B.C., Ezra leads the next return of
Gods people. In 444 B.C., Nehemiah leads the final return.
While in captivity, Nehemiah learned about the conditions of his
brethren and the temple. He prayed to God that he might be able to
return to Jerusalem. His prayer was answered. Upon Nehemiahs
arrival, he set about the task of repairing the walls and Gods
The Lords church today can learn valuable lessons
from Nehemiahs plan to rebuild the temple walls of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah investigated and saw the great need
to restore the walls of the temple. The work was too important to
ignore. Gods house had been in disarray far too long. Thus,
Nehemiah led the effort to begin the task.
We need brethren today who will take a serious look
at the needs of the Lords church. Some congregations carefully
maintain the physical structure but are in spiritual shambles. More
people are needed who will insist that Gods pattern for
worship and Christian living be followed. We need brethren like
Nehemiah who will take the lead in encouraging others to do
Nehemiah called for volunteers. No one was
coerced to help. No bait was dangled before people to entice them
to help. Nehemiah wanted people to help who truly loved God. He
knew that one who willingly volunteers to do Gods work will be
a happy worker and devoted to the task at hand.
It is no different today in the Lords church.
Gods wants willing laborers in the kingdom who lovingly
respond to His commands. Unless one is willing to deny
himself, and take up his cross daily (Luke 9:23), he is
not likely to volunteer to do much work in the Lords vineyard.
The people were united in their efforts to
repair the temple wall or they would have not been successful. The
brethren worked side by side, cooperating one with the other, and
steadfastly remained dedicated to the task at hand. They refused to
be distracted by worldly people and worldly matters.
Brethren today must understand the necessity of
speaking the same thing and being perfected together in
the same mind and in the same judgment (I Cor. 1:10).
Protection from false teachers is needed just as badly today as was
protection from Nehemiahs enemies, Sanballat, and
Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the
Ashdodites... (Neh. 4:7-8). Nehemiah says of his devoted
workers that they all builded the wall and they that bare
burdens laded themselves; every one with one of his hands wrought
in the work, and with the other held his weapon (Neh.
In doing the Lords work today one must not forget
to have in his hand the the sword of the Spirit
(Eph. 6:17). May we always strive to give diligence
to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace
Nehemiahs volunteers cooperated in
rebuilding the wall. All had a job to do, and each one did his
Each member of the body of Christ today has a job to
do as they contribute to the needs of the kingdom (cf. I Cor.
Nehemiah did not allow his people to become
discouraged. Enemies from within and without did not deter the
workers from their task. The devil never wants Gods work to
succeed. A stumblingblock will always be provided courtesy of
Some today say that the work of the Lords church
cannot be accomplished in the way the Lord intended. Such is false
thinking and far from the truth. Let us never become discouraged in
building upon a solid foundation (cf. Acts 4:12; I Cor. 3:11; Matt.
Nehemiahs volunteers had a mind to work.
They did not show up for only two hours per week. They did not
possess the attitude that someone else could and should do the
task. They prayed to God that they could be used for His service
and glory and God used them!
If we as members of the body of Christ possess the
proper attitude and have a mind to work in His vineyard, the Lord
will also use us to His service and glory. May we all have the
spirit of Nehemiah!
815 42nd St. SW
Paris, TX 75460
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[EDITORS NOTE: the 2006 lectureship book of the
Garfield Heights church of Christ in Indianapolis, Indiana, is now
available. There are 24 chapters (over 300 pages) in this book that
are devoted to a study of COVENANTS. The material is
excellent and will provide the reader with a rewarding study. You
can get a copy of it from Old Paths Publishing, PO Box 97,
Nettleton, MS 38858. The cost is $9.00, postage paid.] I
enjoy the paper and read it from cover to cover ...Dean
Wilson, Fenton, IA. I just got my first STOP sent to me
by my daughter in Knoxville, TN. I enjoy reading your paper so
much. For the Truth, may God bless our efforts to teach
the Truth to inmates ...Forest Toothman, Greenwood, WV.
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address. I would also like to put my son on your mailing list. I am
enclosing a small check to help offset mailing costs. Keep up the
good work ...Dallas Jones, Decatur, AL. Please
add our ministers name to your mailing list. Others have been
sharing the paper and he would like one of his own. Keep up the
good work ...Teddy Medlin, Jonesville, MI. We
received your great publication in bundles at the Meadows Church of
Christ for several years and I have enjoyed every one. It is a
marvelous work you are doing in attempting to defeat error and
false teaching. You and your great work are in my prayers and may
God continue to bless your efforts for many years to come. Our
minister, Scott Williams and his wife, are moving to Georgia and
because we are so few in number, we had no choice but to disband
since we cannot afford another preacher, even part time. I do not
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NV. I really enjoy STOP. A very great paper. Keeps us
strong in the faith. God bless ...Ronald Shandor, Death
Valley, CA. I am requesting Seek The Old Paths.
I understand it is free upon request ...Georgia
Evans, Big Sandy, TN. [You are correct. Seek The Old
Paths is a free publication of the East End church of Christ
in McMinnville, Tennessee. It is supported by the free-will
contributions of our readers. We sincerely appreciate those who
contribute to make this work possible. Editor] I am enjoying
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Paths. We would like to receive this monthly paper. Please
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send it to me. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is
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praise his holy name ...Hazel Goucher, Huntsville, AR.
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a small contribution to help with mailing expense ...Pat
Williams, Cookeville, TN. Please discontinue sending STOP
to Stanley D. Crews. He and his wife are both now deceased. Thank
you and God bless you ...Jan Crews, Wilson, SC.
I really enjoyed your publication that I picked up at the
Hornbeak church in Tennessee when my family and I visited there.
Your publication needs to reach every person in every community.
Hornbeak, Tennessee, is a very small town. The Lords church
there has only 35 brethren. Your publication in the hands of those
people could really benefit the church there in the midst of
denominationalism. Please add my family to your mailing list
...Willard Richardson, Atwood, TN. A friend gave me
some. I really enjoy them. I like what Ive read. Too many are
too liberal now-a-days. We are to go by what God says, no more, no
less. Thank you ...Lillian Harrison, Gallipolis, OH.
I have appreciated the fine articles over the years. Keep up
the good work and may God bless you ...Crossville, TN.
God bless with a great work ...Dan Fredman,
Broken Bow, OK. A friend recently shared with me a copy
of your monthly publication. I am writing to request that you put
my name on your mailing list. Thank you kindly ...Marietta
Hamby, Rockwood, TN. I am writing in response to Douglas
Hoffs article on Zeal & Knowledge in the Oct/06 issue.
Although brief, he really hit the nail on the head. Romans 10:1-4
sums it all up. The Gospel was first preached to the Jews and later
to the Gentiles. Jesus came to fulfill the law. His death would end
the covenant for the Jews only and begin a new covenant for the
world. John 1:11 shows their misguided zeal. The Jews wanted to
cling to a temporary and dead covenant that left no hope for
salvation. They were too proud in the traditions of their
forefathers to obey the Gospel. True, misguided zeal, according to
Romans 9 and 10 will cause one to lose his soul. But, at the same
time, many churches are zealous with their unscriptural teachings,
like the prescribed sinners prayer, confirmation, man made
creeds, celibacy, deifying Mary, praying to saints and voting
converts into the church. Paul wrote in Galatians 5:4 that to
revert to the Law of Moses will cause one to lose his soul. Brother
Hoff ends by stating that zeal of what the Bible really teaches is
good. Our zeal should be to instruct non believers to: hear the
truth, believe the gospel, repent of sins, confess Christ, be
baptized into Christ and live a separated life ...Leslie
Putman, El Dorado, AR. We enjoy your publication so very
much. I would appreciate your sending it to my sisters. I know they
will enjoy them as much as we do. Keep up the good work
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FL. Please delete David Stampfly from your mailing
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it very much ...Shawn Triplett, Mineral Point, MO.
I work with the Oakley Street church of Christ. We are a small
group of Christians struggling to do the Lords work. On a good
Sunday we may have 25 in worship. Please put me on your mailing
list. I find STOP to be very helpful for my own knowledge and to
teach ...Johnie McCallister, Thibodaux, LA. I
look forward for my STOP each month. I wish it came every week.
Thank you ...Barbara Morris, Lampe, MO. I look
forward to STOP. There are so many articles to gain strength from.
Thank you very much. May God bless you in this work ...Ron
Shandor, Death Valley, CA. Thank you ...Bill
Lester, Jonesboro, AR.
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