WHICH BIBLE DO WE USE?
Robert R. Taylor, Jr.
Most of the ones available now are
perversions and not versions at
all! Changes have been done on a
mass scale and it gets worse as
time marches on. Religious error is
not just creeping into modern
versions; it is galloping in with
increased rapidity all the time.
I grew up at a time when churches of Christ, by and large,
did not use modern versions of the Bible as we now have them in
such abundance. At Locust Grove, Bradford, Tennessee, we used the
King James Version (KJV) and the American Standard
Version (ASV) in some of the Bible class material. I can only
recall one teacher using a third translation and this was only
for a very few weeks and then it was back to the other two
versions. Preachers who preached on Sundays and those who held
Gospel meetings preached from the KJV almost exclusively. When
Bible quotations were given, no one had to think or say, I
wonder which Bible or version he is using. We knew! Those
days are gone forever and I say this sadly. Now, we have Bible
translations and versions galore with more added all the time.
Now, we have in class discussions people saying to teachers,
My Bible does not read like yours or My Bible
contradicts what you have just read from yours. And far too
often, that is just the way it is!
About thirty-five years ago, I was called to Atlanta,
Georgia, to lecture about Version dangers. I mentioned this by
saying the new Bibles are creating confusion in Bible Class
settings. Brother L. O. Sanderson was in the audience for that
material on Versions. He came up to me after the lecture and
said, Brother Taylor, we already have in Atlanta churches
what you have just described. It is far worse today than it
was in the early 1970s. It did not used to be that way among us
and would not now if our people had stayed with reliable Bibles
like the King James Version (KJV) and the American
Standard Version (ASV).
The Old Testament was not written in English. Most of it was
written in Hebrew with very small sections written in
Aramaic. The New Testament was not written in English, our
native tongue, but in koine Greek. Obviously, differences
in languages and dialects demanded translations from the
originals into the mother tongues of its readers. This became
necessary even before the New Testament books were written in the
first century. In the third century B.C. it was decided that the
Hebrew Scriptures should be translated into the Greek since Greek
was rapidly becoming the popular and prominent language of the
Grecian/Roman/Hebrew world. Hence, the Septuagint version
became a translational reality for both Greek and Jewish people.
It was the version read by people in the first century.
BIBLES UNWORTHY OF USAGE
Soon after the writing of the twenty-seven books of the
New Testament into Greek, there developed the need to translate
the Scriptures into the Syraic, the Coptic, the
Latin, etc. Other translational efforts followed. Later
centuries would see numerous English translations come into
literary reality during the 1500s and the 1600s. The KJV came out
in the 1600s (the 17th century). Enemies of the KJV have been
known to call it a 16th century product! The 16th century
referred to the 1500s. It is my seasoned conviction that the KJV
will be responsible for populating heaven with more English
speaking people from 1611 to today than all other English
versions combined. The future may change that, but it is now the
case as just stated!
Since we do not speak Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek as our
mother tongue, it is essential we have translations of the
original in our own tongues. Translators are not
interpreters, though often they arrogantly assume this role by
telling us what they think the Biblical penmen meant. Let
them give us what the Biblical penmen said and each one of us can
do his own interpreting.
Relative to the Lords Supper in 1 Corinthians 11,
Paul RECEIVED what he DELIVERED (v.23). Relative to the
resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul DELIVERED what he RECEIVED
(v.3). These should have been accepted and reverential norms for
all translators RECEIVING from the inspired Word what they
DELIVERED and DELIVERING what they RECEIVED from the inspired
record as found in the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek Scriptures. But,
alas, far too few of them have been this fervent and faithful in
what they passed on to us from the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek!
Moses warned Israel about adding to or
subtracting from Gods Word (Deut. 4:2; 12:32).
Proverbs 30:6 sounds a warning against adding to Gods Word.
John warned his peers against adding or subtracting in Revelation
22:18-19. It can be proved with relative ease that modern
versions have added, subtracted, substituted, altered and
modified Gods Word in thousands of places. Most of the ones
available now are perversions and not versions at all! These
changes have been done on a mass scale and it gets worse as time
marches on. Religious error is not just creeping into modern
versions; it is galloping in with increased rapidity all the
time. Sadly, but surely, Bible purchasers buy such, relish such
and swallow such error-filled contents with no appreciable
discernment. Such should not be, but is nevertheless.
There are three imperatives of a reliable Bible. 1)
It should be accurate or reliable. This is not an area
where error should be welcomed. 2) It should be
understandable. The average word in the KJV is composed of
five letters! Little wonder then why the masses have loved and
used it with such desired results for four centuries. 3) It
should be dignified and reverent. We are dealing with the
Word of God, not comic books or fictional matters. Some have been
known even to say, We would love to have a Bible that reads
just like todays newspaper. There is no prudence in
such a reckless pronouncement. Perhaps there is nothing of lesser
value in our home than a day-old newspaper. It is read today and
discarded tomorrow or at next trash pick-up time. The Bible
should be, by far, the most precious, permanent and read Book in
our homes. Too many times it does not enjoy that prestige.
My preferred choice of reliable Bibles for many years
has been the KJV and the ASV in that order.
The Revised Standard Version (RSV) is surely of this
number. It was put out in the 1940s and 1950s by modernistic
translators. Their militant agenda was to advance the infamous
cause of modernism and liberalism. One of its earliest critics
predicted that if it became a successful seller, it would be a
signal victory for modernism. I am told that at one time it
claimed about 25% of Bible sales. Another of its early critics
said that if it became successful in sales, its successors would
get worse and worse. This prediction has come true. The ones that
have come thereafter have gotten worse and worse as my former
teacher at David Lipscomb College (now University), J. Ridley
Stroop predicted so accurately during the 1950s. One of its Old
Testament translators was a man by the name of Harry M. Orlinsky.
Now deceased, he was a Jew and did not believe the New Testament
even belonged in the Bible. He thought the Bible went from
Genesis 1:1 and closed permanently at Malachi 4:6. I heard him
say such on tape. He thought Jesus was born of an immoral woman,
thus slandering Mary and her Son. He rejected the virgin
conception and virgin birth of Jesus. Furthermore, he gave this
assessment of the pernicious product he helped put out, the RSV.
He said, ...the RSV is the Bible of the liberal Protestant
community. He knew his product exceedingly well. He knew it
was liberal and was designed for liberal religionists. For one
time, I agreed with Orlinsky!
The RSV translators changed virgin in Isaiah 7:14 to
young woman and then contradicted their own rendering
when they arrived at Matthew 1:22-23 when they restore Mary to
virginal status. The RSV has Jesus to say in Matthew 5:17 that He
would not abolish Mosaic law and then has Paul affirm that He did
abolish the Mosaic System in Ephesians 2:15. Initially, the RSV
closed Mark 16 with verse 8, not verse 20. It omitted some 160
words in the Greek text according to my personal count. In fact,
the RSV left more out of Mark 16 than it included eight
verses left in and twelve omitted! Later, they restored the
passage which they had treated in such highhanded irreverence.
Initially, they said an elder could not be married more than once
in 1 Timothy 3. This meant if an elder lost by death his first
wife and later married another Christian woman, he would have to
resign the eldership. Later, the RSV went back to the correct
rendering. The RSV should have stayed with the husband of
one wife rendering all along. There was no need for this
unjustified change. But change is the name of the game for modern
versions! The RSV tampered with Psalm 45:6 in robbing the Second
Person of His Deity. These translators left Him with a divine
throne but without His Deity. David and Solomon ruled upon a
divine throne or the throne of the Lord, but they were not Deity.
In the New Testament allusions to Jesus Christ as the only
begotten Son of God, they tampered with the Greek term
monogenes by having Him Gods only Son.
The RSV set the tone and tenor of the multitudes of new
Bibles that came subsequently. I regard the RSV as the father of
modern perversions posing as versions or translations.
J. B. Phillips put out his one-man translation about
fifty years ago. He did not believe the New Testament penmen knew
they were writing Scripture! He did not believe Paul was
interested in being accurate in what he wrote or in maintaining
consistency between earlier writings and later compositions. He
should have done something else other than producing a bad
translation for bad translations do influence people for
The Lockman Foundation in California put out the
Amplified Versions. They added words minus number in the infamous
whole of their perverted products. It is difficult to decipher
between the actual text and words that have been added. Yet Billy
Graham said of The Amplified New Testament that it is
...the best study Testament on the market. It is a
magnificent translation. I use it continually. These words
appear on the front cover of this Lockman product. Truth has
never been safe in the hands of Mr. Graham. His assessment
of this Lockman volume leaves much to be desired it is a
most misinformed one! Yet, this is the very foundation
responsible for the New American Standard Bible. I have
never understood why so many of our brethren have opted for the
NASB over the far more accurate ASV of 1901 and the eminently
trustworthy KJV of 1611.
The New English Bible was put out by C. H. Dodd
and his translational cronies. It is nothing but a literary
crime. It joined the RSV as a very liberal and modernistic Bible.
It tampered with Biblical fundamentals in numerous places. It is
unsafe and very unreliable.
Kenneth Taylor, my but what he has done to the name
Taylor, put out The Living Bible Paraphrased in the 1970s.
Calvinism and premillennialism dot its pages, with profanity also
making an appearance. Yet, and not surprisingly, Billy Graham
bought it by the hundreds of thousands for his crusade work
throughout the world. More than any one other person, he helped
project it into popularity. At least this is my judgment. It is
the misnamed Bible. It does not deserve The in the
title. It is not living; it is not the Bible; it is not even
reliable as a paraphrase. It should never have seen the light of
The New International Version (NIV) made its
literary debut in the 1970s with the New Testament first and then
the Bible. It abets denominationalism in general and Calvinism in
particular. It is shot through with error. This was the very
assessment Guy N. Woods gave in a personal statement to me during
1976. He said he would prefer even the RSV to it and he was
never a supporter of the modernistic RSV (Revised
The late and lamented Foy E. Wallace, Jr., was a fierce
foe of modern versions with their many fatal perversions.
Frequently, he stated that the new Bibles would make a different
people of us. Were he alive today (he died in 1978) he no doubt
would say, They have!
The NIV is by far the most used modern version among
churches of Christ. Today, we have more Calvinism among us than
anytime I can remember in the sixty-six years I have been a
Christian or the sixty-one years I have been preaching. The NIV
teaches Calvinism. Is there a connection? I maintain there is. If
I were a Calvinist, the NIV would be my preferred Bible by all
means. We have people peddling a plan that includes grace
only plus faith only. Never mind that there is a
clear contradiction in such, they peddle it still. The NIV is a
friend to faith only in Romans 1:16-17. Its Calvinistic
renderings are friends to grace only for Calvinism
denies there are conditions of conversion or stipulations of
salvation. Do I have to remind you that the NIV is a lethal
product peddling religious falsehood? The NIV in Ephesians 5:19
has make music and not singing and making melody
in your heart as the reliable KJV does. The term
music is generic and can be made vocally, mechanically
or a combination of both. Were I an advocate of mechanical music
in worship, I would make the NIV rendering of Ephesians 5:19 one
of my major arguments in its favor. If I were a Jehovahs
Witness in a discussion with a NIV advocate of the church, I
would use his NIV rendering in Acts 2:27,31 over what is
contained in the Watchtower translation (New World Translation
of The Holy Scriptures).
The NIV is not a safe and reliable Bible regardless of
how many of our brethren in our congregations and schools have
opted for it. They have just rejected a good one for a bad,
unreliable one. This is serious business for souls are at stake.
The New King James Bible is far better than the
ones under scrutiny in this study but it, in my judgment, is not
in the class of the KJV of 1611 or the ASV of 1901.
The general acceptance of modern perversions has infused the
bloodstream of churches of Christ with many errors of a fatal
Choose this day what you are going to use as a Bible
but choose one that is good, safe and reliable. As for me, I will
be staying with the majestic KJV. In sixty-one years of
preaching, I have not changed Bibles nor changed what is in the
All quotations are from the KJV unless otherwise noted in
refuting modern versions with their perversions.
Part 1 of 2
Garfield Heights Lectureship, 2008
PO Box 464, Ripley, TN 38063
Table of Contents
FROM HEAVEN OR FROM MEN?
Garland M. Robinson
In Matthew 21:23, the chief priests and elders questioned
Jesus as he was teaching, saying, ...by what authority
doest thou these things? and who gave thee this
authority? In turn, Jesus asked them a question,
The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of
men (v.25)? The principle of authority is set forth in
Jesus question. There were only two possible sources of
authority: from heaven (God) or from men (not from God).
LAW OF MOSES
Authority is necessary in all of life and especially
essential in matters of religion. The word authority is defined
as power or right to give commands, enforce obedience, take
action or make final decisions. Authority is demanded in
Colossians 3:17, And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do
all in the name of the Lord Jesus.... In the name
of means by the authority of. We also read in I
Peter 4:11, If any man speak, let him speak as the
oracles of God.... Therefore, regarding every word or
action the question must be asked: Does the Bible authorize
this action or teaching? For example, is there Bible
authority for the celebration of religious holidays? How about
Christmas? (Easter, and any other religious holiday,
can also be included.) Let us examine the Bible in answering this
Special holy days were observed under the law of Moses. It
was their usual practice and custom. There were many occasions
which were not only national holidays but also religious holy
days as well. The Israelites observed the passover, pentecost,
feast of tabernacles, new moon, the sabbath, jubilee, etc. (Lev.
23). The Old Testament provided authority for the observance of
these times and days. Therefore, they were familiar with the
observance of religious holy days. This is a significant point to
be observed; for it is evident that when they became Christians
they ceased all such observances!
LAW OF CHRIST
When Jesus died on the cross, he abolished the
observance of holy days. They are no longer valid. They cannot be
observed today with Gods authority. Notice these passages:
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of
commandments contained in ordinances... (Eph. 2:15).
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was
against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way,
nailing it to his cross (Col. 2:14). In that he
saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which
decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. (Heb.
8:13). But now hath he obtained a more excellent
ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better
covenant, which was established upon better promises
In order for holy days to be observed in the
Christian age, there must be authority from the New Testament.
But, there is no New Testament authority!
The New Testament does not authorize the observance of holy
days. Authority cannot be found either by command, example or
implication. The New Testament is silent regarding any such
observances. Jesus did not teach it, the apostles did not command
it, nor did first century Christians ever practice the observance
of special days.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
There were some among the churches of Galatia that
began to observe special occasions and were condemned for it. In
Galatians 4:9-11 we read, ...how turn ye again to the
weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in
bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am
afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in
vain. They had been redeemed out of such observances!
Now, some were going back to them again. They were condemned in
their observance of such days. This serves as an
example for us today.
Nowhere does the New Testament authorize the
celebration of Christs birthday in any shape, form or
fashion. We are not told on what day he was born, nor even the
month! The Bible does not give instructions to remember his
birthday, period! Men may go all out, by custom and culture, to
remember their own birthdays. But that does not provide authority
for us to remember Christs birthday. God has not left it up
to man to figure out what is pleasing to God. For my
thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,
saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so
are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your
thoughts (Isa. 55:8). Gods way is always the right
way. We act because we are told how to act by God.
There is only one occasion in Christs life we are
told to remember and commemorate, that is his death. God explains
exactly what he wants done. And as they were eating,
Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to
the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took
the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye
all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is
shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I
will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that
day when I drink it new with you in my Fathers
kingdom (Matt. 26:26-29). Why eat the Lords supper?
Why remember the Lords death? Because it is authorized by
the New Testament.
God specifies the day upon which the Lords supper
is to be observed. And upon the first day of the week,
when the disciples came together to break bread... (Acts
20:7). Why not observe it on Friday or Wednesday? Why not observe
it monthly, once or twice a year? The Bible says the first
day of the week! Every week has a first day; therefore, the
Lords supper is observed every first day.
God specifies the elements that are to be used:
unleaven bread and fruit of the vine (Matt.
26:17,26,29). Why not eat bananas or mashed potatoes and drink
apple or orange juice? The reason is because they are not
God specifies the reason the Lords supper is to be
observed. For I have received of the Lord that which also
I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which
he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he
brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken
for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also
he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new
testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in
remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink
this cup, ye do shew the Lords death till he come
(1 Cor 11:23-26). Verse 29 says we eat and drink
...discerning the Lords body.
Someone says, since we are to remember his death,
why not remember his birth? That seems like a good idea to
many. However, it cannot be done by faith because
Romans 14:23 says that ...whatsoever is not of faith is
sin. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by
the word of God (Rom. 10:17). The celebration of
Christs birthday (on any day) cannot be done according to
the Faith the Word of God. It is not authorized by the New
Many place a religious significance to December 25th as
Christs birthday and desire that everyone else do the same.
We often see signs which read: Put Christ back into
Christmas, Keep Christ in Christmas or Jesus
is the Reason for the Season. However, Christ is not now in
Christmas and has never been in Christmas. The celebration of
Christmas with religious significance is of pagan origin. It is a
mixture and corruption of pagan and religious practices. It has
evolved through the centuries into its present form today. It is
therefore from man, not from God.
On the other hand, December 25th is a national secular
holiday in the United States. While we live in this world, we
must not be of the world. We cannot partake of the
worlds evil in any regard. Though much of the world around
us celebrates December 25th as Christs birthday, what should
1. Be careful not to lead people (in any respect) to
believe you observe December 25th religiously.
2. Refrain from using decorations that have a religious
connotation: a nativity scene, star, angel, cross,
three wise men, etc.
3. Refrain from singing Christmas carols
about the birth of Christ.
4. Use greeting cards that depict a seasonal atmosphere
rather than a religious one.
5. Teach your children that December 25th is not the
6. Teach your children that the Bible does not tell us
to celebrate the Lords birthday.
7. Teach your children that Christmas and the
Lords church have nothing in common.
8. Be certain to practice good-will as an attitude of
life all year long, not just at this time of year.
9. We must not teach, either by word or action, what
the Bible does not teach.
Christmas, is it from heaven or from men? It is not
from heaven and therefore stands condemned by heaven. Buy
the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and
understanding (Prov. 23:23).
Table of Contents
WHERE WILL THIS CONGREGATION
BE TEN YEARS FROM NOW?
Roger D. Campbell
When I ask this question, obviously I am not talking about
where the church is going to meet for services. It may or may not
be in the same physical location or building. What we have in
mind in this study is spiritual status. If this world is still
standing, what will a sound, faithful church be like a decade
Every congregation goes through changes. Take a photo
of all the people in attendance at service this coming Sunday and
I can guarantee you that ten years from now when someone pulls
out that old photograph, there will most assuredly be some who
are no longer around, some who are newcomers; and, oh how the
children have grown. We are not suggesting that all changes are
bad, nor are we proposing that every change is a good one. But,
you can mark it down: in any given ten-year period of time, any
local church will go through some noticeable changes. There is no
way to avoid it.
If the church you attend is still around a decade from
now (and we all certainly pray it will be), will it be strong
spiritually, or weak and wavering? Will it be a vibrant, active
group of Christians, or will it be a somber bunch of folks that
mope into services and quietly leave with no spirit and no vigor
to do anything for the Master until the next public service rolls
around? Will the church be growing, or will it be withering on
the vine? None of us is a prophet of God. None has a crystal ball
that can reveal the future to us. However, there are some matters
that will surely play a big part in determining what the local
church of which you are a member will be like ten years down the
road. Let us take a brief look.
Leadership At some point in any worthwhile
discussion of a congregations future, its leadership has to
be addressed. Which direction is the current leadership taking
the local church? What plan does the present leadership have for
developing/preparing leaders for the future? Like money, leaders
do not grow on trees! Who is preparing himself right now to be a
shepherd where youre a member? Will there be any brothers
prepared to step up as deacons between now and then? Or, are they
going to be too busy with other matters? What are our leaders
doing to encourage and train Bible class teachers? Study the Book
of Nehemiah and see how important leadership is among Gods
people. Strong leadership is a must!
Bible Knowledge I do not need to conduct a
survey or get on the internet to learn what most mature members
of the church have already observed. In general, the church is
slipping when it comes to Bible knowledge. In days gone by,
Gods people slipped right into captivity because they did
not know the Book (Hosea 4:6)! The church needs to maintain Bible
classes that are real Bible classes and not a time to share
our personal experiences or play games. Let us rekindle the
fire for growing in the knowledge and grace of the Christ (2
Peter 3:18). Do that, and the future of the church can be great!
Become ignorant of Gods word, though, and stagnation and
spiritual corruption are sure to follow.
Commitment to Sound Doctrine The pastors
must see to it that the flock is fed properly (1 Peter 5:1-3).
The preacher(s) must preach the word of God (2 Tim. 4:2). But,
and this is just as important, the membership must be committed
to sound doctrine too! There can be no compromise of truth in
order to keep folks happy. Truth saves (John 8:32), while false
teaching takes people away from what is right (Titus 1:14). And,
wimpy lessons produce wimpy saints whose wimpy faith cannot deal
with the fiery darts of Satan (Eph. 6:16).
Commitment to Young People Let us be
clear, a young person is of no more value than one who is on
up in years. Youth do not deserve preferential treatment.
That being said, if the church expects those kids that are now
9-19 years of age to still be a big part of the congregation ten
years from now, then we had better be committed to working with
them. Bible class teachers and youth ministers (we call them
parents), we better give our young people our ears, our
hearts, and our love. We must put in the time to do our best to
ground them in the Book. It takes time, yes, lots and lots of
time. If we do not make a special effort with our kids, then you
can write it down: they will not be at church a decade from now.
Evangelistic Zeal Those churches whose
single attempt to teach the Gospel in a years time is to
hang out a sign the week of a Gospel meeting if that is
their only effort to reach out to the lost, those churches will
die guaranteed. The church needs to train seed-sowers (Luke
8:5,11)! We need to prepare our troops to open their mouths to
teach the way of the Lord (Acts 8:35) and to be ready to give an
answer (1 Peter 3:15). Converts come about only when teaching
takes place. Faith comes by what? By hearing (Rom. 10:17). We
must get ready to teach so people can hear!
Where will the church you attend be ten years from now?
Only the Lord knows for sure. The matters we have noted are
big-time factors. Consider them carefully.
120 Will Lewis Dr. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
THE FUTURE OF THE CHURCH
Marvin L. Weir
There are many glorious truths that we can know about the
church of our Lord because divine revelation has revealed them to
us. The church has always been a part of the eternal plan of God.
The apostle Paul records, And to make all men see what is
the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the
world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus
Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers
in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold
wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed
in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access
with confidence by the faith of him (Eph. 3:9-12).
Not only has God always intended that the Lords
church exist, but He knew that it would be the place where
salvation is located. Salvation is IN Christ (2 Tim. 2:10), but
Christ has promised to save only His body, the church (Eph. 5:23;
1:22-23). It is therefore imperative that all men willingly
submit to the gospel for it is the power of God unto
salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also
to the Greek (Rom. 1:16). The Bible plan of salvation is
as follows: all must hear Gods Word (Rom. 10:17), believe
(Mark 16:16), repent (Luke 13:3), confess Christ (Rom. 10:10),
and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
Bible baptism is a burial [not a sprinkling] (Rom. 6:4) and is
the final submissive act that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:27).
One who genuinely obeys the Gospel plan of salvation
becomes a member of the kingdom the church, the body of
Christ (Matt. 16:18-19; Col. 1:18; Acts 2:47). But what is the
future of the Lords church? To a great extent, the future of
the Lords church is up to you and me. It is true that the
church of our Lord will always exist in this world, but its
members will determine just how effective each local body will
be. Jesus commands those who follow Him to be the salt of
the earth and the light of the world (Matt. 5:13-16). To
young Timothy, the apostle Paul said, But if I tarry
long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself
in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the
pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15). Children
of God are to behave differently from the world as they live on
this earth! As a member of the body of Christ, a Christian has
the obligation and responsibility to fulfill the requirements of
membership. In this sense, the future of the church depends
entirely upon the attitudes and actions of its members. We know
well of the willingness of Christ to give and sacrifice so that
we might have eternal life (Rom. 5:8-10). Do members today feel
compelled to give and sacrifice so that the Lords church
might be glorified? Peter reminds the Christians to whom he
wrote, But ye are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should
shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness
into his marvellous light (1 Peter. 2:9). It was also
Peter who admonished, Wherefore laying aside all malice,
and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil
speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:1-2).
The future of the Lords church today is not nearly
as promising as it was in the 1950s. Fifty or sixty years ago
the church was growing, members were convicted and willing to
sacrifice for the cause of Christ, and most congregations
believed the essentiality of 1 Corinthians 1:10 (unity). They
also believed the truth stated in Ephesians 4:4-7. Very few
members of the church of Christ sixty years ago believed
instrumental music to be a matter of preference or that there
were Christians in man-made churches!
What is the future of the church as far as you are
concerned? Can the church depend on you? Will you be an asset or
a liability to the cause of Christ?
Each member of the Lords church needs to ask
himself the following questions:
If everyone attends services as I do, would the doors
of the church building remain open?
If everyones interest were as great as mine, would
there even be a Gospel Meeting?
If everyone prepares and studies as I prepare and
study, would there be any Bible classes taught?
If everyone did as I do during the song service, would
there be a sound heard?
If everyones attitude toward the authority of the
Scriptures were as mine, would the Bible even be consulted or
If everyone stands for truth as I do, would truth ever
If everyone opposes false teaching as I do, will false
teaching ever be confronted or stopped? Brethren, are we
interested in glorifying God or self?
Will we support preachers of truth and mark preachers
of error? The future of the Lords church depends on you!
1272 Bonham St.
Paris, TX 75460
Table of Contents
CAN A CHRISTIAN SUPPORT A
Denomination means division. Jesus prayed for unity.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which
shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one;
as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be
one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent
me (John 17:20-21). Paul declared, Now I beseech
you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all
speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you;
but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in
the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my
brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are
contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you
saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of
Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye
baptized in the name of Paul (1 Cor. 1:10-13). There is
one church (Eph. 4:4). The word body means the church.
The church and body are the same thing (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18).
Denominations are not the church. They are man-made
organizations. They were started by men, not Christ. Christ is
not divided. Christ did not die for division. Christ established
his church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). He is the head of it
(Col. 1:18). Denominations have their own creeds, plans of
salvation and worship not authorized by the New Testament. They
are false teachers. Jesus warned about those who would come in
sheeps clothing (Matt. 7:15). When a religious denomination
says, We like instrumental music and were going to use
it and You do not have to be baptized in order to be
saved or It isnt necessary to partake of the
Lords supper every Sunday, that denomination is not
practicing New Testament Christianity. Instrumental music is not
authorized in scripture (Eph. 5:19). You must be baptized to be
saved (1 Peter 3:21) and a Christian must partake of the
Lords supper every first day of the week (Acts 20:7). Can I
lend my support to a religious group who does these things? Can I
encourage them? Can I give them money? No! Read on...
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine
of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of
Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any
unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your
house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God
speed is partaker of his evil deeds (2 John 9-11). That
seems very clear.
Not everyone who calls themselves the church of Christ
believes that. Recently, a denomination defaulted on $7.5 million
in bonds. So some members of a church of Christ organized a fund
raising effort to help this denominational church pay their debt.
If that isnt a partaker of their evil deeds, what
is? This religious denomination fights against the teaching of
the Bible. They do not practice what the Bible teaches.
Some folks practice religion based on sincerity and
emotion, not truth. We must be sincere folks dedicated to the
Word of God. We must have emotion and be touched by the needs of
others, but can you see Paul organizing a fund raising effort to
assist the synagogue in Corinth? Read Acts 19:8-9. Jesus
didnt take up a collection for the sellers in the Temple. He
greatly disrupted their enterprising (Matt. 21:12). Our
constitution gives men the right to worship and serve God as they
choose, but I do not have to support those who choose the wrong
7223 S Sweetwater Rd.
Lithia Springs, GA 30122
Table of Contents
IS JEREMIAH 10:2-5 SPEAKING OF A
Thus saith Jehovah, Learn not the way of the
nations, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the
nations are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are
vanity; for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the
hands of the workman with the axe. They deck it with silver and
with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it
move not. They are like a palm-tree, of turned work, and speak
not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not
afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to
This passage has nothing whatsoever to do with a
Christmas tree. I have heard of some who go to this passage to
make such an application, but to do so simply shows how men can
wrest (distort) the scriptures unto their own destruction (2
Peter 3:16). The Bible warns of those who are unlearned and
unstable and who go to any length in attempting to prove
what they have already made up their minds to believe. Such an
interpretation of scripture is reckless and foolhardy.
This passage speaks of the evils of idolatry. The utter
foolishness of men who cutteth a tree out of the
forest...deck it with silver and with gold...fasten it with nails
and with hammers (vs.3-4), is beyond the imagination of a
benevolent and righteous God. Even today, people all around the
world bow down before such images and idols to do them service.
God says in verse 5, Be not afraid of them (idols):
for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do
good. They that follow them are altogether
brutish (stupid) and foolish: the stock (idol) is a
doctrine of vanities (10:10). They are vanity,
and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they
shall perish (Jer. 10:15).
Romans 1:18-32 describes the condemnation of God that
comes upon those who change the glory of the
uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and
to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Such people change the truth of God into a lie
and worship and serve the creature more than the creator
(vs.23,25). They which commit such things are worthy of
death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do
them (v.32). God commands all men everywhere to REPENT
of such evil (Acts 17:30).
Acceptable worship is in the right attitude (spirit)
and according to Truth (Gods word, instructions) (John
4:24). Jesus said, it is written, Thou shalt worship the
Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve (Matt.
4:10). In opposition to idols, inspiration says, But the
Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting
king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall
not be able to abide his indignation (Jer. 10:10).
Dear friends, anything you put ahead of God and his
service is idolatry, whether it be: a holiday (Col. 2:16),
possessions (Luke 12:15; Col. 3:5), recreation, even family
(Matt. 6:33). Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from
idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14).
Editor, Garland M. Robinson
Table of Contents
WHAT SHOULD WE DO ON CHRISTMAS DAY?
What we should do on Christmas day is the same thing we
ought to be doing any other day living for God as we OBEY
his commandments! Theres no Biblical authority for December
25th being any greater or of any more importance than any other
day of the year.
Christians hold the Lords Day dear. The
Lords Day is the first day of the week (Sunday). On the
first day of the week, Christians worship God as he has
instructed. In the Lords Day assembly, Christians: Sing
praises with their lips (Eph. 5:19; Heb. 13:15); Pray unto the
Father in heaven in the name of Jesus the Son (Matt. 6:9; Acts
2:42); Preach Gods holy word, for it is the means of our
salvation (2 Tim. 4:2; Rom. 1:16); Eat the Lords Supper for
in it the Lords death is remembered (Acts 20:7); and Give as
they have been prospered that his work may continue (1 Cor.
The observance of Christmas as the celebration of
Christs birthday did not come about from anyone reading and
studying the Bible! The Bible simply states the facts surrounding
Christs birth but says nothing about celebrating it. We
cannot observe it in his name for we have no
commandment to do so. ALL THINGS must be done in his
name by his authority (Col. 3:17). The Bible tells us
to remember his death (1 Cor. 11:23-29). In his death (not his
birth) is where he accomplished salvation for all those who obey
him (Heb. 9:11-17; 5:8-9). His death is commemorated each first
day of the week in the partaking of the Lords supper (Acts
20:7; 1 Cor. 11:26).
The observance of Christmas Day is of pagan origin and
has nothing whatsoever to do with the Bible for there is NO
DIVINE AUTHORITY for its observance. This day has no more special
importance than any other day. Our Lord put no religious
significance upon the celebrating of his birth and when we do so,
we go beyond that which is written and abideth not in the
doctrine of Christ (2 John 9). Our Lord has just as much
to do with the observance of the fourth of July as he does the
twenty-fifth of December!
Am I therefore become your enemy, because I
tell you the truth (Gal. 4:16)? Search the scriptures.
You will not find Book, Chapter and Verse for December 25th being
holy and the day on which to celebrate Christs birth!
Editor, Garland M. Robinson
Table of Contents
Bound Volumes can be ordered from:
Old Paths Publishing
2007 Francis Ferry Rd.
$5 postage paid
Bible Page |
Seek The Old Paths |
East End Church of Christ |