THE TWIG AND THE TREE
Some sage observed that the way the twig is bent, so
will the tree grow. It is easily observable, that the direction
in which the David Lipscomb University Bible department
has been bent, in recent years, spiritually speaking, is anyway
but straight. Sound and faithful brethren have sounded forth
warnings of the departure of many of Lipscomb's professors and
board members. These warnings which have been accompanied with
incontrovertible evidence have fallen on deaf ears.
Further evidence of their apostasy came in a post
card invitation from Atlanta, Georgia, dated February 28, 2007.
It was sent by the Evangelistic Society.
The invitation reads: The European
Evangelistic Society is pleased to invite you and a guest to the
2007 Annual Meeting and Regional dinner. The meeting will be
Sunday, 15 April at the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ at 6:00
P.M. Our program will include:
* Dr. Garry Holloway of Lipscomb University
* Video presentation about EES
* Brief business meeting.
The European Evangelistic Society focuses on unity
among Stone-Campbell Christians and academic research and
teaching at the University of Tubingen through our institute for
the study of Christian Origins. We are partnering with
Globalscope for campus ministry at the university and are
actively seeking team members for a church plant in the Tubingen
area. For more information please visit www.eesatlanta.org.
This event is free of charge but we ask that you
kindly reply by 30 March to EES at email@example.com or 404,
Woodmont Hills is located at 3710 Franklin Road,
For those who do not know Woodmont Hills;
they have for some time preferred to disassociate themselves from
the churches of Christ and to be identified instead as The
Family of God. I found it interesting, that for this
subversive purpose, they would revert to Church of
Christ. This is the congregation where Rubel Shelly
preached for a number of years and led them in their departure
from the once delivered faith (Jude 3).
I followed their advice contained in this
invitation and visited www.eesatlanta.org where I discovered a
hodgepodge of humanely originated religious organizations. The
list is dominated by the Christian Church and the Disciples of
Christ denominations. It includes the European Evangelistic
Society, The United Christian Missionary Society and the Gay,
Lesbian and Affirming Disciples Alliance, Inc. See also
The Gay, Lesbian and Affirming Disciples
Alliance, Inc. is a presence working for the full
dignity and integrity of gay, lesbian, bisexual,
transgendered and affirming people within the
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). GLAD
Alliance welcomes all who make common cause with
us and conducts its activities through the
congregations, regions and general church and
other manifestations of the Disciples of Christ.
This unholy alliance says its vision is:
Called by God, GLAD Alliance is a sacred community. Led by the
Spirit, we are a prophetic voice and a living resource, present
with our gifts to the world.
GLAD ALLIANCE MISSION
The mission of Glad Alliance is to be a
safe and faithful place for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
Transgendered and Affirming community.
Relying on the Holy Spirit, we speak truth to
power, advocating for inclusivity, diversity, and
justice in all manifestations of the Christian church
(Disciples of Christ).
Committed to transformation, we offer
ourselves through education, witness and strategic
action as a visible presence in solidarity with those
marginalized within the church.
We stand boldly within the Church to proclaim
and embody the gracious call to ministry for the whole
people of God.
Brethren, it is far later than any of us realize.
There is no calling these people back to repentance, they have
reached the point of no return. When they claim to be guided
by the Holy Spirit in opposition to the truth that has been
revealed by the Holy Spirit, by what means can they be reached?
It is obvious that this entire association of apostates has
little regard for God's word. They are indeed the blind leaders
of the blind. Jesus said, Let them alone; they be blind
leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall
fall into the ditch (Matt. 15:14).
The unforgivable sin is the rejection of the
revelation of the Holy Spirit. Wherefore I say unto you, All
manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the
blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto
men (Matt. 12:31). The Gospel is the power of God unto
salvation but when that power is rejected, there remains no other
power to save (Rom. 1:16).
Many congregations today are the frog in the water
and the temperature is gradually rising and they are almost
cooked. If this doesn't open their eyes to the hot water they are
in, nothing will. What concerned parent would pay to have their
child to sit at the feet of such men? Those who play with
fire are sure to get burned!
1186 Powell Grove Rd
Lebanon, TN 37090
Table of Contents
I WANT TO BE MORE LIKE JESUS IN PREACHING AND TEACHING #1
Thomas F. Eaves, Sr., Deceased
The Gospel preacher of today is to
preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ
with power even as the preachers of
the first century. We are heralds,
we have a message from
One of the most noble goals in life was expressed by
certain Greeks when they approached Philip of Bethsaida and
requested of him, Sir we would see Jesus
JESUS LIVED HIS TEACHING
As we look at the Biblical Jesus we learn that He
was a teacher (Matt. 21:23; Mark 14:49; Luke 21:37)
and a preacher (Matt. 4:23; Mark 1:14; Luke 4:43). As
a teacher and preacher Jesus our Savior confirmed the Old
Testament Scriptures. He established the authority of the Old
Testament (John 5:39; Luke 24:44), verified the creation of male
and female (Matt. 19:4), substantiated that Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob, (Matt. 22:32), Solomon (Matt. 6:29), Elijah (Matt. 11:14),
and Isaiah (Luke 4:17) were historical persons. He also
authenticated the Bible account of Jonah and the whale (Matt.
12:39-41), Noah and the flood (Matt. 24:37-39), and the
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matt. 10:15). Our Lord used
every opportunity to tell of the kingdom of God, the living water
and the bread of life. He taught one on one (John 4) as well as
multitudes (Matt. 5:1). He taught and preached in such a way that
even His enemies stated of Him never man so spake (John
There is no greater example for teachers and/or
preachers than the great master teacher himself, Jesus Christ the
only begotten Son of God.
Luke the beloved physician wrote concerning the Lord,
The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that
Jesus began both to do and teach (Acts 1:1). Notice that
Jesus was a doer as well as a teacher.
JESUS WAS UNCOMPROMISING
Jesus taught his disciples to pray by
giving them an example -- After this manner therefore pray
ye (Matt. 6:9-13). Examining the life of Jesus, it becomes
evident that Jesus had a very active prayer life. Jesus prayed
before the day dawned (Mark 1:35), at times he would separate
himself from others and pray (Luke 5:16), and he prayed before
being delivered into the hands of his enemies (Matt. 26:39; Luke
The Master teaches his disciples to love
-- A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one
another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By
this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love
one to another (John 13:34-35). After commanding his
disciples to love each other, He became the greatest example of
love in the history of the world -- he died for sinful man (Eph.
5:2; Rom. 5:8; John 15:13).
The Son of God taught forgiveness --
Then came Peter, and said to him, Lord how oft shall my
brother sin against me, and I forgive him: until seven times?
Jesus said unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times; but
until seventy times seven (Matt. 18:21-22). He also taught,
and if he sin against thee seven times in a day, and seven
times turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive
him (Luke 17:4). As a teacher of forgiveness (Matt. 6:14-
15), Jesus practiced forgiveness when He looked with love upon
those who nailed Him to the cross, and said, Father, forgive
them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). In these
examples it is quiet evident that Jesus lived the type of life he
In His personal ministry, our Lord stressed the
necessity of being doers of his word -- Therefore
whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will
liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And
the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and
beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a
rock (Matt. 7:24-25). The apostle Paul addressed this
problem in the lives of the Jews in Romans 2:17-23 and then drew
his conclusions in Romans 2:24, For the name of God is
blasphemed among the Gentiles, because of you, even as it is
written. Paul's condemnation came because they taught one
standard while living another. James admonishes, but be ye
doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own
selves (James 1:22). One thing which hinders the
evangelistic thrust and growth of the church today is the
credibility gap between what is taught and what is practiced by
members of the body of Christ.
In the church today there are those who are
militant against instrumental music in worship and will quickly
relate to you the Biblical teaching concerning music in Christian
worship. Their teaching, however, is ineffective because they sit
in the pew, with sealed lips, during the song service.
In many congregations parents and elders are
concerned about the tragic drug problem of our nation, and use
every possible means to educate their young people about drugs.
Their instruction, encouragement, and anti-drug problems are
futile because many in the congregation are addicted to and use
tobacco products which kill more Americans than alcohol, illegal
drugs, accidents, homicides and suicides combined. Statistics
claim that 480,000 Americans will die this year from tobacco
Parents, elders, deacons, Bible school teachers,
and other interested Christians teach and admonish young people
to avoid sexual sins, but their admonition accomplishes nothing
because immodesty, dancing, mixed swimming and other forms of
recreation which appeal to the lust of the flesh are allowed and
sometimes even encouraged by those who profess to be
Even our Lord recognized the truth that you cannot
be an effective teacher while teaching one thing and doing
something else. In Matthew 23:3 he stated, all therefore
whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not
ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
If we are going to be like Jesus in teaching and
preaching, we must live what we teach from God's Word. This
course of action will allow our light to shine for the glory of
our Heavenly Father (Matt. 5:16).
When Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philipi he
asked his disciples a very important question, Who do men
say that the son of man is (Matt. 16:13)? Their answers were
very revealing: John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the
prophets. One thing that all of these great men of God had in
common was their dedication to Jehovah, his word, and way of
life. They faithfully, fearfully, lived, taught, and defended
God's word. Some were murdered (Matt. 14:9-10), imprisoned (Jer.
32:2; I Kings 22:27), threatened (I Kings 19:2,3), and abused
(Heb. 11:32-40). These suffered not because of any wrong doing on
their part, but because of their valiant stand for truth. They
would turn neither to the right hand nor to the left (II Chron.
34:2); they were uncompromising.
JESUS TAUGHT WITH AUTHORITY
An example of Jesus' uncompromising attitude
toward truth is seen in Mark 10. Once there was a rich (Mark
10:22), young (Matt. 19:20), ruler (Luke 18:18) who came to Jesus
and asked him the most important question man can ask, What
shall I do that I may inherit eternal life (Mark 10:17)?
Since the law of Moses was the authority of Jesus' day (Gal.
4:4), our Lord directed him to the ten commandments (Mark 10:19).
The young man responded to Jesus, Teacher all these things
have I observed from my youth (Mark 10:20). Jesus looking on
him, loved him and then told him what he must do. One thing
thou lackest: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the
poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow
me (Mark 10:21). The young man had asked, and Jesus answered
him. What was the young man's reaction? But his countenance
fell at the saying, and he went away sorrowful: for he was one
that had great possessions (Mark 10:22). The young man had a
problem; he trusted in riches (Mark 10:23,24). What was Jesus
reaction? Jesus watched the young man walk away lost. Our Lord
did not try to work out a compromise, one third, one fourth, one
half, of his goods instead of all of them. Jesus knew that the
young man MUST trust in God instead of his material goods to be
saved -- he did not compromise to please the ruler, his parents,
his friends or the religious leaders of his day.
If we are going to be like Jesus in teaching and
preaching we must stand for the truth and never compromise. Jesus
stated, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned (Mark 16:16).
This truth will stand till judgment and can in no wise be
compromised. However, other passages are of equal importance.
Paul stated, Now we command you brethren, in the name of the
Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother
that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which they
received of us (II Thess. 3:6). This truth will stand till
judgment and can in no wise be compromised, nor should one
passage be taught and obeyed and the other ignored.
Our Savior declared, All authority hath been given
unto me in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). Jesus viewed
his teaching as authoritative. He declared that his words were
from God (John 12:49,50; 17:8) which harmonizes with Hebrews 1:2,
Hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his son,
whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made
the worlds. It was the Heavenly Father that said of Jesus,
...This is my Son, my chosen: hear ye him (Luke 9:35).
In many passages Jesus indicated that obedience to his words
would bring eternal life (Matt. 7:24-27; John 5:24), but to be
ashamed of his words or reject them would result in rejection by
the Son (Mark 8:38; John 12:48). Of his teachings Jesus offered
no apology, he boldly and simply proclaimed his will to man. His
authority was evident in his teaching when those taught remarked,
for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their
scribes (Matt. 7:29; Mark 1:22). The scribes appealed to the
authority (interpretations) of the rabbis, but Jesus boldly
declared, I say unto you (Matt. 5:22,26,28,31,34,44).
On one occasion the Pharisees came to Jesus trying
him and asked, is it lawful for a man to put his wife away
for every cause (Matt. 19:9)? Jesus answered their question
in Matthew 19:5 and 6. His answer was, NO! Later he gives the
grounds for putting away a mate (Matt. 19:9). Jesus did not teach
in such a way that his hearers had to guess at what he said.
Many sermons in today's society are not
distinctive, i.e. easily recognizable as being based on God's
Word. These sermons remind me of a bulletin article I read some
years back about a timid minister. This timid minister was told
by one part of the congregation to preach the old fashioned
Gospel, and was told by the other section to be broadminded. He
preached, Unless you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of
God, to a certain extent, and repent, in a measure and are saved,
so to speak, you are, I am sorry to say, in danger of hell-fire
and damnation, more or less.
The Gospel preacher of today is to preach the
Gospel of Jesus Christ with power even as the preachers of the
first century. We are heralds, we have a message from God. We
know that there are some things that a Christian cannot do
because God's word declares it (Gal. 5:19-21; I Cor. 6:9-11), and
we know from the same authority that there are some things a
Christian must do to be saved (Col. 3:1-10; II Peter 1:5-9).
If preachers today are to be like Jesus, they must
lovingly preach the will of God plainly, powerfully, without
compromise while faithfully abiding by His teaching.
Table of Contents
A FEW SENTENCES ABOUT THE SECTS
That the New Testament church of Christ exists in many
parts of the world, a body of modernists, liberals and infidels
would deny. No effort is made by such negative persons to base
their objections on any kind of rational proof. The same kind of
characters who would sneer, snarl and belittle the church, will
very often vent their spleen against the Bible.
We know Jesus promised to build the church (Matt.
16:18). He spoke of the church and the kingdom in an
interchangeable manner. The kingdom or church is to stand
forever. The kingdom is indestructible.
There have always been those who opposed the
church of our Lord. Every Christian and every religious paper
should aspire to make a clear and just defense of the Word of
Christ and the church of Christ as taught in God's Holy Word. We
desperately need to join hearts and minds as we labor for the
restoration of the church in every community on earth.
It is an admitted fact that far too few of our
brethren are cultivating and training themselves as effective
writers. Good brethren study and train to speak effectively.
Heaven help us when men presume to speak without having something
of value to say. Just as we need far more brethren who need to
become powerful preachers, we need an army of men who will
dedicate themselves to write sound, scriptural, articles and
obviously we need a brotherhood who will be willing to read.
It is disgusting to learn that some of our
brethren are now asserting that the church of Christ, as it
exists today, had its beginning back in the 1800s with the
efforts of Thomas and Alexander Campbell. Such cunningly devised
fables are a figment of the imagination of false teachers.
When the Campbells came to America from Scotland,
the Calvinistic system was running rampant. The population was
creed-bound and the Campbells began a steady opposition to the
creeds of men. They made a plea to, Speak where the
Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.
This was a strange message in the ears of the multitudes. This
call of the Restoration Movement needs to be sounded forth today.
It is Biblical.
It is foolish to assert that the Campbells started
the church of Christ. Those men and others tried to get people to
go to the Bible and obey it. As a young boy back in the rural
hills of northeast Mississippi, I heard men preach the Word of
God. I had never heard of Alexander Campbell when I obeyed the
Gospel. The preachers who came to conduct Gospel meetings brought
tattered and worn Bibles with them. They told us what was in the
Bible. Not one preacher related a word of authority which
Alexander Campbell had said or written. Our faith rested in the
Word of God. Those faithful preachers quoted Bible verses and
showed us the plan of salvation. Was that wrong? Can such be done
today? Should we do as much when we preach? Does the Bible teach
alien sinners to hear, believe, repent, and be
baptized in order to be saved? Did such teaching originate
with the Campbells?
Do we rely upon men to tell us when, how, and who
we worship? Which acts of worship do we subscribe to which
originated with the Campbells?
As I read the materials presented by Alexander
Campbell, I find some things with which I cannot agree. Any
honest person should admit that instead of endeavoring to effect
a new sect, far more truthfully could it be said that the leading
purpose of the Restoration Movement, then and now, is the
complete extinction of all sects. Is this wrong? Instead of
attempting to impose a new sect on the people, this monstrous
evil needs to be eradicated from the earth.
The battles between Calvinism and Arminianism were
fiercely fought, and growing out of those battles, sects and
parties arose. Each reared high its standard in support of its
claims. There was always a lo here and a lo
there with each new sect resolving themselves into little
groups with little light, little life, and none of that state of
things for which Christ prayed when he requested his followers to
be one (John 17:20,21).
It is sad when people are encouraged to depend
upon the clergy for information as they leave the Bible closed.
It is alright to depend upon the physician when troubled with
gout, but we cannot afford to trust the clergy with our soul.
The aim and purpose of the Restoration Movement is
worthy of the support of every person who desires to go to
heaven. We should all work, hope and pray for a complete return
to primitive Christianity in doctrine, in
practice, and in spirit. Who would object to
believing precisely what the Scriptures teach, to practice only
what they enjoin, and to reject every thing else?
We could wish that each of our brothers would be
concerned with keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
peace (Eph. 4:3). Our liberal brethren must desire to be
remembered for their great charity and love for the sects. They
love everybody but their sound brethren, and have an intense
affinity for sects, but none for the church of Christ.
There are some who seem to delight in referring to
the church of Christ as just another sect. There isn't anything
as cheap as baseless babble.
When we think of the word sect, we
think of the Latin word seco, which denotes the idea
of to cut. The idea suggests separating a thing into
parts by cutting it. The sect is a part which results from the
cutting. A sect may be a cutting of a sect or a cutting of a
cutting. We think of a sect therefore as a part of that which has
been separated by cutting.
In the New Testament, we read of scism
(heresy and division) which is condemned. The idea which inheres
in the word scism is to split, rend, or
tear apart. The concept of division means a standing
apart or separation, a faction. Heresy denotes, to take with the
mind, it is an act of choosing one thing in preference to
When the preceding terms are applied to religious
bodies, we get a picture of diverse and competing viewpoints.
Where there is scism, there is a rend or split in the
body. Where there is division, there are the factions.
Where there is heresy, there will be the diverse
parties. A person may foster a distinct viewpoint and push it to
the formation of a particular party. The party thus formed
becomes a heresy. The heresy becomes a new sect. The scism,
heresy, and sect is a pulling away from the original complete
body or a moving away from a previous sect.
Someone has written: There are sects and more
sects to fight em. And sects and more sects, ad
The religious world is reeking with a multiplicity
of sects. Sectarianism is a curse to the cause of Jesus Christ.
We may ask, What is that out of which the
sects and factions are formed? Of course, that which is cut,
rent, and divided! To explain how this is accomplished, we refer
the reader to Paul's letter to the church in Corinth. The apostle
wrote, 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. The apostle is saying,
There should be no schisms among you. The rents, seams,
and splits were wrong. Such evil had to be caused by some of the
party members. Divisions, schisms, and factions, were the results
of the devil.
The small groups resulted from thinking of men
above that which is written (I Cor. 4:6). Paul used himself and
Apollos as examples and declared that the brethren should not
think too much of men (I Cor. 4:6).
A faction is a departure from the truth. A sect
implies a corruption of the truth and a departure therefrom.
Factions embrace those little cliques or groups which develop in
congregations as the result of ignorance, prejudice, passions,
and such like.
A sect will form when some doctrine is brought
into the church which is untaught in the Bible. The maker of a
sect is a bonafide heretic who pushes a certain tenet and gathers
a group about him. In the community where I live, a great number
of sects have been springing up with every conceivable title
which Satan can concoct. Jesus did not die for entertainment.
In the New Testament, foreign doctrines or
commandments of men are considered to be a heresy. The apostle
Peter wrote, There shall be false teachers among you who
privily shall bring in damnable heresies even denying the Lord
that bought them (II Peter 2:1). These heresies would be
brought into the church where they would be supported. False
teachers would be among you, i.e., in the church where
their dirty work would develop. Denying the Lord was a damnable
heresy and would be punished.
Let us never feel smug and think that false
teachers work only outside of the church. Some brethren seem to
think and act as if damnable heresies can never stop until he
corrupts the doctrine of Christ and destroys the unity of God's
people. When men corrupt the teaching of the Word of God, they
need to be opposed and exposed as false teachers. When a party
forms about a false system, such is a sect in the truest sense of
the word. The sect is condemned because it supports damnable
It is not necessary for a party or sect to be
wholly corrupt in its teaching. The heretical group in Corinth
was not 100% wrong. A single false doctrine can be the
foundation, the standard by which a party exists. A sect does not
usually become corrupt in a moment, or altogether at once, if
they ever do. The fewer the false heresies, the better for the
devil. The false teacher will congratulate himself on holding to
ten Bible truths rather than ten false doctrines. The fatal error
of sectarianism is that it can hold to a few cardinal doctrines.
The gullible patrons will rest in the true doctrine and overlook
the many false doctrines. How much error will God tolerate? I
learn that God hates every false way (Psalm 119:104).
Very early, a number of sects arose which caused
trouble in the church. One of the most notable was the Gnostic
heresy which would corrupt the pure Word of God. Also, a number
of Jewish sects arose.
One of the Bible doctrines center around immersion
for the remission of sins. Someone will object to the doctrine
and a modern heresy emerges. A system of relating experiences and
getting religion at a mourner's bench or elsewhere becomes the
norm. A sect is born and flourishes.
Consider another doctrine which has to do with the
unity of the church. Regarding this matter, the scriptures are
said to mean something altogether different from what they simply
state. When this happens, we have a doctrine which condones
division, religious parties, sects, denominations, and a
plurality of man-made churches.
The word sect does not occur in the Old
Testament nor in the first four books of the New Testament. The
word occurs in the book of Acts six times. In four cases, the
word refers to the parties or sections in the Jewish family. The
lawyer Tertullus, who prosecuted Paul before Felix, was somewhat
familiar with the sect of the Nazarenes (Acts 24:5). In his own
defense, Paul refers to the sect of the Pharisees (Acts 26:5).
In his letter to the Corinthians Paul wrote,
For there must be also heresies (sects) among you that they
who are approved may be manifest. These sects would appear,
among you. You, the faithful, would not be the sect,
but rather the sect would be among the faithful. The heresies
were condemned as a work of the flesh (Gal. 5:20). Sects are
listed along with strifes, seditions, and heresies.
It is interesting that the heretic or maker of the
sect is to receive admonition and if he rejects it, he is to be
rejected (Titus 3:10). This sect-maker is in the church where he
A mite of sober thinking should help us to realize
that, they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom
of God (Gal. 5:20,21). The making of sects is wrong. If the
making of a sect is wrong and the maker is to be rejected, so is
the sect to be rejected. Every time some heretic creates a sect,
there will be any number of people who will jump on the false
Often times a small sect will remove itself from
the main body of church members or it may be forced out or
withdrawn from. It would be possible for a small number to be
faithful and remove itself from the corrupt larger group. When a
congregation apostatizes from the truth, faithful Christians are
to, Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the
Lord (II Cor. 6:17).
It is true of the sects, every enemy is to be
feared, who, while pretending to be a dear friend, thrusts a
dagger into your heart. Such persons by their actions declare:
1) That the Bible is an insufficient rule of
government for the church. When the Bible is
considered sufficient, the sect-makers cannot
2) The Bible is an unsafe guardian of the truth.
3) The doctrine and commandments of men are more
valuable than the Bible.
4) Human wisdom is better than divine.
We continue to hear the plea that, We cannot
all see the Bible alike. This amounts to the fact that
sectarianism is unavoidable. There is a world of difference in
CAN NOT and WILL NOT. I agree that the sectarians will not
see the Bible for what it teaches and they will not
see the Bible alike.
The Holy Spirit would never have demanded that the
brethren be, perfectly joined together in the same mind and
in the same judgment, if it is impossible for Christians to
see the Bible alike. The Bible would not teach the Children of
God to speak the same thing. Seeing the Bible alike is
the basis of speaking alike. Jesus would not have wasted his time
praying for all his disciples to be one, as He and the Father are
one, if the disciples cannot see the Bible alike.
Have you considered what is essential in order for
men to see alike? If we would see alike:
1) We must see the same thing. This cannot
happen when one man sees the stars and
another sees a stump. We must want to see
2) We must see through the same amount of light.
What one sees in daylight is different from
what one sees in the dark. Two prisoners
looked out from behind prison bars, one saw
the mud, the other saw the stars.
3) We must look from the same standpoint.
What men will not do, of course, will never be
There are those who delight in referring to the
church of Christ as just another religious sect. Did
our brethren of the early Restoration Movement intend to set up
and function as a sect? They most assuredly did not. The ignorant
and unlearned may feel good to babble that which they do not
know. There is no book, tract, pamphlet, periodical written or
unwritten, speech ever made by the Campbells, Stone, or Scott
where they were attempting to develop a sect. From the first, the
pioneers set their faces against the formation of sectarianism.
Any honest student of Restoration History knows this to be true.
Why were the Restoration leaders opposed so vehemently?
The plea was and is, Back to the Bible.
The efforts of those brethren was never to reform the existing
sects, but to restore the ancient order of things. They read the
New Testament in an effort to learn what were matters of faith
and duty. Having learned as much, they were determined to
subscribe only to that which the Lord taught.
For long years our opponents, which have been
many, have not been able to show that we have subscribed to one
iota of error as pertaining to sectdom. I'm sure the imps of
Satan would rejoice if they could successfully prove that the
church of Christ is a sect like all the sects. We accept as a
matter of our faith, only what the Bible teaches. This course
makes us a peculiar people, which, that alone can be pleasing to
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WE ARE LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS
Mention the last days or the end
time and some people get very excited. Fear fills the hearts
of some while a sense of expectation comes to others.
Misunderstanding about this important Bible topic causes these
different reactions. To some, the the last days
suggests the imminent return of Jesus Christ and judgment upon
Those who believe and obey God's word have nothing
to fear about these events. On the contrary, the Bible calls the
glorious appearing of Jesus the Christian's blessed
hope (Titus 2:13). Indeed, it is something to be desired. It
will be the time when God's servants shall receive their eternal
reward. Some, however, dread the appearing of Jesus Christ since
they know they are unprepared for the judgment day. These people
probably have heard tales of the great tribulation and the battle
of Armageddon. Not knowing exactly what to expect they fear such
What does the Bible mean by the last
days? What will occur during the last time and
what should it mean to the child of God? The best way to answer
these questions is to let the Bible speak for itself.
The book of Hebrews begins by telling us God,
who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto
the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto
us by his Son... (Heb. 1:1,2). When did God speak to
us by Jesus? According to the writer of Hebrews it was
in these last days. Jesus taught the Father's will during his
earthly ministry (John 7:16,17). Yet, the writer of Hebrews
informs his readers that God communicated His will to mankind
during these last days. All scripture was given by inspiration of
God (II Tim. 3:16). The writer of Hebrews was an inspired penmen
giving us divine revelation. From his perspective, God was still
speaking through his Son in those last days (cf. John 14:26;
16:12-15). This is a reference to the time Hebrews was being
written. The book of Hebrews was written years after the death,
burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus back to heaven. The
inescapable conclusion is that the last days began in
the first century!
The second chapter of the book of Acts provides
another proof of this fact. On the day of Pentecost after Jesus
ascended, Peter and the other apostles were baptized with the
Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4). Peter began explaining to the people
what was happening. He told them that their speaking in tongues
was a fulfillment of Joel's prophecy. Peter said, But this
is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come
to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit
upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall
dream dreams (Acts 2:16,17). Peter said the events of that
day were in the last days. This explanation needs to be
accepted for the simple truth it presents. Not only did the
writer of Hebrews live in the last days but so did Peter. On that
important day, nearly two thousand years ago, the church came
into existence (Acts 2:47). From that time forward Christians
have been living in the last days.
The apostle John gave his readers an interesting
warning in his first letter. He told them, Little children,
it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall
come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that
it is the last time (I John 2:18). John wanted Christians to
be on guard against the errors of false teachers who taught
things contrary to the doctrine of Christ. He said that some were
even denying Jesus came in the flesh. Such teachers were set
against the will of Christ. This is why these people were called
antichrists. John said their existence proved it was the last
John was in total harmony with the statement of
Paul found in II Timothy 3:1-5. Paul wrote, This know also,
that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be
lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without
natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent,
fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady,
highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a
form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn
away. Both John and Paul were talking about conditions that
existed in their day. Saying these warnings only apply to the
time shortly before the world ends is a gross perversion of God's
word. To be fair though, the last time does include the time when
Jesus comes again. Peter said the Christian's eternal inheritance
(i.e., salvation) will be revealed in the last time (I Peter
Jude acknowledged that mockers would be plentiful
in the last time. He wrote, But, beloved, remember ye the
words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus
Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the
last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts
(Jude 17,18). One apostle in particular who spoke about such
mockers was Peter. He said, Knowing this first, that there
shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own
lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming (II
Peter 3:3,4a)? Peter wrote those words urging his readers to be
on guard and to remember the warnings previously uttered by the
apostles and prophets.
Many people have been deceived into thinking that
the Bible's last days or last time is a
special period of abounding wickedness and great tribulation
immediately preceding the return of Jesus Christ. Paul did say
that perilous times shall come but he was referring to the church
age just as all the New Testament writers did.
The last days began almost 2,000 years ago and
will last until the end of time. They are called the last days
for a good reason. God hath appointed a day, in the which he
will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath
ordained... (Acts 17:31). That means time is running out for
this world. When Jesus comes back, this sin-filled world and
every sinner will be destroyed with fire. Each day that goes by
takes us one day closer to the end of this age.
The only time man can be saved is NOW (II Cor.
6:2). There will be no chance for salvation after death or the
Lord's return (Luke 16:19-31). The Bible tells us, it is
appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment
(Heb. 9:27). Do you need to obey the Gospel? If so, do it now
while you still have the opportunity (II Thess. 1:7-9).
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Seek The Old Paths is wonderful and every article
teaches the truth. What God has not commanded, we do not do. We
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member of the Richland Hills church when it was a good
congregation. I sent them a letter in 1990 telling them to take
my name off their rolls. The church is letting people down, to
say the least, when they don't preach like they did in the 50s
and early 60s. I don't blame the church necessarily for my three
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these articles on the instrument. Please keep on hammering it.
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The Old Paths. I enjoy reading it very much. Thank you
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Sandefur, Tupelo, MS. I sure do appreciate your paper.
So many helpful articles. The one by Chris Dawson on Rochester
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Alan Highers article will change some hopefully or they will just
say, preacher, you're right but we're gonna fiddle
anyway. Keep up the good work ...Mary Burleson,
Dearborn, MI. Thank you ...Margaret Oswalt,
Mantee, MS. Today, I visited the church of Christ
congregation affiliated with Rochester College here in Michigan.
I visited because I was curious about how they worshiped. This is
the same college that had a woman leader's seminar recently. I
was a student there from 1982-84 back when it was called Michigan
Christian College. They dropped the Christian' from their
name because they felt it scared off students. When I arrived, I
was handed a worship bulletin by a woman. We sang acappella with
a praise team' (male and female) on the stage leading us
(four part harmony). I heard clapping during the faster songs and
saw hands raised during the slower ones. Communion and the
offering were served by the men. I was glad of that. The sermon
by Patrick Mead was good. But there were no scriptures on the
overhead projections. He never asked us to open our bible like
I'm used to. When we were leaving, I thought I heard instrumental
music on the loudspeakers (background music) or it may have been
excellent percussion voice work. I couldn't tell if the guitar
sounds were real or made by mouth. What most disturbed me was
they are adding a monthly praise and worship service,
instrumental, on Saturday nights in the youth room in the
basement. They have many women leaders listed in their newsletter
with no one specifically named as elders. I wonder who their
elders are? We list our elders in our bulletin weekly. They are
planning to multi-site' their church into my county, Macomb.
I hope no one leaves our congregation to join it. The church is
under constant threat today. We must stand firm. The Richland
Hills instrumental virus is spreading all over our
brotherhood ...Doreen Mueller, Clinton Township, MI.
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Christian staff ...Lillian Harrison, Gallipolis. OH.
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you ...Jimmy L. Clark, Grand Prairie, TX. Keep
up the good work with Seek The Old Paths. We need this
publication that continually defends God's precious word
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everybody in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Messiah and
Savior. God bless you all for the efforts you all have given to
spread the Gospel of God through Seek The Old Paths.
Continue the good work. May the grace of God be with us always.
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broadcast here in Grand Prairie, Texas with Live365 and Winamp. I
am a member of the church of Christ and enjoy sound Gospel
preaching and the Gospel songs. I listen quite often. I
especially enjoy the singing ...James Flud. [NOTE: you
can hear our (East End Church of Christ, McMinnville, TN) radio
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again ...Gary Price, Murray, KY. I saw a copy
of your Response to Arguments in Defense Of Instrumental
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this subject. Please send your publication ...Teddy
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to Seek The Old Paths. I was attending a church that
received them but I moved to Georgia and the church I attend does
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that you could subscribe to it. If you would please send it to me
that would be great ...John and Alaina Bennett,
Savannah, GA. I am a current subscriber of your excellent
publication STOP and enjoy it immensely. I have talked to several
of my brothers and sisters about your publication and some have
requested that I submit their names for future issues. Again
thank you for your sound work for the Lord ...Art
Ostrander. Thank you for my subscription
...Scott & Charlotte Childs, Highland, MI.
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