In This Issue...
THE WINTERFEST CORPORATION
Jim E. Waldron
The Winterfest Group, as they call themselves, has its
headquarters at 14301 Middleberry Rd., Edmond, OK 73013. During
the early winter of the new year they will sponsor two
"Winterfests" -- one at Arlington, TX (January 19-21) and one at
Gatlinburg, TN (February 16-18). Just a few clicks of your mouse
on their website (www.winterfest.org) will enable you to see that
denominational music groups and false teachers from within the
church are being used to desensitize our youth against instruments
of music in Christian worship and other compromises with
One of the groups that is featured in Arlington is called,
The Phalanges. This is a percussion band that uses
"junk" to pour out a religious beat. As one admirer wrote, "Their
instruments and sets may be discarded junk to some but in their
hands these pieces of wood, metal and plastic can sing" (Sarah
Vangier, St. Louis Post Dispatch). Another quote on their internet
site is from one Greg Dolezal: "...it's great to see someone taking
the stage in the name of Jesus." In their "History" they write,
"Our first performances were in our respective churches." Another
quote, "some kids in my youth group...were totally turned on to
Christianity because...they saw you play." Beloved, is this what
you want your son or daughter to learn -- that it is okay to use
denominational "percussion bands" to play religious music to
convert young people? Convert them to what? Some will say, "Oh,
it wasn't a worship service." Then what is the purpose of calling
on God and the name of Jesus in such band productions? Are such
just vain uses of the names of the Father and the Son? Is not such
use in violation of Exodus 20:7?
Jeff Walling of the Providence Road church in
Charlotte, NC is on the program at both locations. This brother
has for years been trying to convince our young people that
instruments in Christian worship are just "a matter of opinion...a
gray area." This he did during a panel discussion at the young
people's meeting at the Andover Road Church of Christ in Andover,
KS in 1981 (See Bulletin Briefs, May 1998, PO Box 123,
Dunlap, TN 37327). He has continued to advocate such through the
years. See Goebel Music's Behold the Pattern, 5114
Montclair, Colleyville, TX. In January, 1999, brother Jon Gary
Williams of LaVergne, TN (near Nashville) documented how Walling
had spoken at the 1998 Jubilee and "belittled the Lord's
church. Often having the audience in laughter." Williams
continued, "He had a woman give a public testimony which turned
into a sermon -- in clear violation of 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1
Timothy 2:12-15. He cleverly promoted the direct operation of the
Holy Spirit" (See Bulletin Briefs, January 1999).
Other speakers on the Winterfest programs include
Jimmy Sites (who preached for the Madison, TN church until
last month), Patrick Mead, Jerome Williams and Greg
Anderson, who preaches for the Western Hills Church near
Nashville and is one of the officers of the Winterfest Corporation.
When I wrote last January that Winterfest was a "money making
operation" one of the officers asked me why I had written that. I
replied, "because you charge for the sideshows" (they call them
concerts). That officer replied, "we charge for everything." And
they do, as I learned from their website. It costs $18 for the
general registration. Thirty-two dollars pays for registration,
the concerts and a T-shirt. So if 1000 attend, the corporation has
$32,000 to provide for itself and costs. The guests provide their
own lodging and food.
The Winterfest Group is not the church or any part of the
church. It is a commercial corporation that is in business to sell
compromise in the form of religion to our young people. Elders who
have youth ministers who want to take their young people to such
should remember that the church's overseers have the obligation to
stop the mouths of those who "subvert whole households
teaching things which they ought not for the sake of dishonest
gain" (Titus 1:11).
P.O. Box 123
Dunlap, TN 37327
Table of Contents
WITHDRAWAL OF FELLOWSHIP
Roger D. Campbell
"Wherefore to him that thinketh he standeth take heed
lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12). This and other similar warnings
in the Bible plainly show it is possible for a child of God to fall
from grace. Just what action should the church take when one of its
members becomes unfaithful? As noted in the December issue: 1) The
church must first be certain that a person is truly living in sin
before taking steps to try to restore him/her. 2) The church must
maintain a proper attitude toward those who have fallen, and
through it all, it must determine to give its greatest efforts to
bring them back to Christ.
The third step is that someone needs to go to this
brother, express concern and love for his soul, and show him from
the Scriptures in what way his life is not in accordance with the
will of the Lord. While showing him his error, it may be necessary
to teach him more perfectly the way of the Lord (Acts 18:26).
Sometimes Christians make mistakes out of ignorance, but if they
have a good and honest heart (Luke 8:15) they will receive the
truth about their sin if we show it to them from the word of God.
If a member of the church who is living in sin does not
seem prepared to receive the truth, then it is appropriate to point
out to them the consequences of continuing to live in sin without
repentance. "For the wages of sin is death..." (Rom.
6:23). Along with this, we should exhort them to repent, as Jesus
did the church in Ephesus: "Remember therefore from whence
thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will
come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his
place, except thou repent" (Rev. 2:5). This verse has a
warning in it. Jesus plainly pointed out what would happen if they
did not repent. Sometimes strong warnings can be very helpful:
"Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly..."
(1 Thess. 5:14).
Depending on the circumstances, if our brother in sin has
still not shown he is ready to repent, we need to rebuke him. Jesus
said, "If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him, and
if he repent, forgive him" (Luke 17:3). We realize Jesus is
talking about a specific case in which there is a personal problem
or conflict between two of His disciples, but the principle would
apply when any brother is living in sin. What did Jesus say?
"Rebuke him." Paul charged Timothy, "Them that sin
rebuke before all, that others also may fear" (1 Tim. 5:20).
Let us add this word of caution. If it is necessary to
rebuke a brother or sister in Christ, we must make sure we do so
with the right motive. We should not rebuke others with the idea
that we are better than they are. The proper motivation for
rebuking those in sin is found in Titus 1:12,13: "...rebuke
them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith" -- that
they might repent and live pleasing to God.
It is sad for a child of God to leave the safety of
Christ's flock. However, it is equally tragic when the other sheep
(Christians) see that one has fallen away, but they do not do
anything to restore him! We thank God there are many Christians who
work diligently in an effort to help restore those who have left
the truth. But even when we do all we can, there are times our
fallen brothers and sisters refuse to repent. If we have visited
such brethren, have expressed our love and concern for them, have
taught them what their mistake is, have exhorted them, warned them,
rebuked them, and plainly shown them the eternal consequences if
they do not repent and return to their first love, then is there
anything else we can or must do?
We would surely want to pray for them, not that God would
forgive them before they truly repent, but that they might have a
change of heart and return to their loving Savior. After warning
and rebuking them, just how long should we wait before taking
further action? The Bible does not give a specific answer, so it is
a matter of wisdom as to what the elders (leaders) of the church
might think best in a specific case. However, from the Lord's
example we see that there should be a period of time in which those
in sin have an opportunity to repent. Speaking of Jezebel, Christ
said, "And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and
she repented not" (Rev. 2:21).
When all of the church's efforts to restore an erring
member have not succeeded in bringing about repentance, then the
church must withdraw its fellowship from him. The Lord commands us
to do this (1 Cor. 5). When Paul wrote about a brother in the
church at Corinth who was a fornicator, he charged the other
members to deliver this brother unto Satan (5:4). He told them to
have no company with this brother (5:9), not to eat with him
(5:11), and to put him away from among them (5:13). This fornicator
was still a member of the church and still a brother in Christ,
however since he had become an unfaithful brother, the church could
not support him in his sin by continuing to fellowship him.
In 2 Thessalonians 3:6 we read, "Now we command you,
brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw
yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not
after the tradition which he received of us." The Lord
commands us to withdraw from those members of the church who walk
disorderly, that is, who do not live according to the teaching of
Jesus Christ. In verses 14-15 it is written: "And if any man
obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no
company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an
enemy, but admonish him as a brother." Some do not agree with
what the Holy Spirit commanded in these verses or think that
withdrawing fellowship is either out-of-date or too drastic.
However, Scripture still says, "withdraw yourselves from every
brother that walketh disorderly." Love demands obedience.
"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments;
and his commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:3).
Brothren, if we love God and the souls of fallen saints, then we
will obey what God commands us to do and withdraw from them if they
refuse to repent. We admit that it is not pleasant to cease having
fellowship with those whom we love with all of our heart, but if
that is what the Lord tells us to do, then we must do it, and we
must do it willingly.
From whom should a congregation withdraw its fellowship?
From all who do not walk in harmony with the teachings of Christ
and refuse to repent (2 Thess. 3:6,14). This includes those who are
lazy and do not work but is not limited to them (3:10-12). The
church is to have no fellowship with its members who are
fornicators, covetous, extortioners, idolaters, railers, or
drunkards (1 Cor. 5:10,11). The church is to have no fellowship
with those brethren who do not abide in the doctrine of Christ.
"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). The church is to have no
fellowship with those who are heretics or who cause division in the
body of Christ (Titus 3:10,11). If a child of God does not obey the
inspired teaching of the New Testament, then the church is
obligated to "note that man and have no company with him"
(2 Thess. 3:14). This is not some man's personal opinion, it
is simply what the Bible commands.
Why should the church withdraw from those members who have
1) To please the Lord. He commanded us to do it
(2 Thess. 3:6,14). So, if we want to please Him, then we must obey
Him in this matter.
2) To try to save their souls. That is our
motivation: "... that the spirit may be saved in the day of
the Lord Jesus" (1 Cor. 5:5). Paul also said we are to
withdraw from erring members so that they may be ashamed (2 Thess.
3:14). Hopefully, their shame will lead them to repentance unto the
salvation of their souls (2 Cor. 7:10).
3) To keep the church pure. When a person has a
terrible disease in his foot which could spread to the rest of the
body and eventually cause death, it is sometimes necessary to
remove the foot with the desire of saving the person's life. So it
is in the church. It is necessary to remove an evil influence that
is dangerous to the spiritual health of the church. In the case of
the brother in Corinth who was a fornicator, Paul wrote, "Know
ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out
therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are
unleavened..." (1 Cor. 5:6,7).
4) To show the world the church will not tolerate sin
in its midst. The church must have and maintain a good moral
reputation in the community. It will lose this if the world sees
that the church allows sin to continue in the lives of its members
without the church taking action to discipline those who are
5) To serve as a warning to other Christians.
Members are warned that unfaithful living is not acceptable! When
the Lord killed Ananias and Sapphira for lieing we read, "And
great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard
these things" (Acts 5:11). Withdrawing from unfaithful saints
causes other Christians to seriously examine themselves (2 Cor.
If the elders (or brothers in the absence of elders) of
the congregation of which I am a member decide the church must
withdraw from certain members who have left the faith, then it is
the responsibility of me and every other brother and sister
to support that decision! We support that
decision by not defending or encouraging them in their sin and by keeping
no company with them that would cause them to think that we in any way
condone their lifestyle (1 Cor. 5:9-11). Those brothers and sisters who
continue to have fellowship with those from whom the church has withdrawn
are themselves sinning and need to repent or otherwise, they are subjects
of withdrawal also.
4865 Bates Pike SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
DENOMINATIONS AND APOSTATE CHURCHES
We have a unique fellowship. Only those who have obeyed
the Gospel plan of salvation (as revealed in the New Testament), who are
worshipping God in "spirit and in truth" who abide in the "Doctrine of
Christ," and who have a "thus saith the Lord" for every practice and
belief, can enjoy this fellowship together.
Christians who strive to walk in the light by obeying God's
will and staying faithful to it are in a class by themselves.
Christian fellowship is limited to those who abide in the doctrine
Hear the apostle John, "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" (2 John 9). The doctrine of Christ is the boundary line,
or circumference, within which our fellowship is with God and
Christ. He who abides within this circle enjoys fellowship. He that
transgresseth and goes beyond the teaching of Christ does not have
that fellowship. Verses 10 and 11 reveal what should happen when
false teachers come along. "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." Truth and false doctrine have no fellowship
with each other.
The doctrine of Christ includes ALL the teaching of Jesus
Christ. The teaching of Christ is the body of truth, the whole New
Testament. The "gospel of Christ" (Rom. 1:16), "the faith once for
all delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3), the word of the cross (1
Cor. 1:18), "the truth" (John 8:32), and "the faithful word" (Titus
1:9) are just a few of the terms that reveal the teaching of
Christ. The doctrine of Christ is the whole Christian system -- all
its facts, warnings, commands, and promises.
The New Testament church is the only body that is truly
IN the doctrine of Christ. The body is unique because it is the
only one that Jesus built (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 4:4). The body of
Christ, church of Christ, can have no fellowship with those who are
in error and promoting false doctrine.
The New Testament Christian can have no fellowship with
the denominations. Paul writes to the churches of Galatia, "I
marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into
the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another, but
there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of
Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other
gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him
be accursed" (Gal. 1:68). The apostle reveals these
Christians were being misled by false teachers who were teaching
they needed to go back to the law of Moses to be justified. Paul
says they perverted the Gospel of Christ. Anyone who "adds to" or
"takes from" the Gospel of Christ is a perverter of the Gospel and
will be damned for doing so.
The denominations preach, teach, and live a perverted
Gospel. They are against the teachings of Jesus Christ and against
the teaching of the apostles given by inspiration of the Holy
Spirit. "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" (1 Cor. 1:10).
Denominationalism is contrary to Christianity. We can have no
fellowship with the denominations because: 1) they exist without
divine authority, 2) we are to have no fellowship with those who
are not in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9-11), 3) they are
against the prayer of Jesus (John 17), all the teaching of God's
Word, and 4) they are corrupt in teaching, including worship, work,
organization, name, plan of salvation, and lifestyle.
We can only have fellowship with those who are in the body
of Christ. The church of Christ was planned by God and established
and paid for by his Son Jesus Christ (Dan. 2:44; Isa. 2:2; Acts 2).
Our fellowship is limited to those in the body of Christ because
they are the only ones who are saved. The Lord adds one to his
church when he obeys the Gospel plan of salvation as taught in the
New Testament (Rom. 10:17; Luke 13:3; Acts 8:37; 2:47; Gal. 3:27).
Men and women attain Christian fellowship with one another when
each one of them attains fellowship with God. "That which we
have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have
fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father,
and with his Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3). What did the
apostles see and hear? The Gospel of Christ! It should be clear
that no child of God can scripturally extend Christian fellowship
to anyone who has not been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for
the remission of sins.
The apostle Paul warned against sects, parties and
divisions which equal denominations. In the midst of the works of
the flesh in Galatians 5, Paul lists "...fornication,
uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife,
jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties,
envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like..."
(5:19-21, ASV). He reveals that those who practice such "shall
not inherit the kingdom of God."
Christians can have no fellowship with the denominations
because the denominations do not abide, nor do they preach the
whole truth of the Gospel of Christ. Brother F. D. Srygley has
written that "no denomination embodies all religious truth, nor is
any denomination without some truth mixed with a considerable
quantity of error" (The New Testament Church, McQuiddy Printing Company, 1910. p.37). The
truth, which is the word of God, has no fellowship or association with
error. Brother Srygley summarizes why the body of Christ has limited
fellowship. "The same process which makes a man a Christian constitutes
him a member of the church. Those who are not members of the church are
out of Christ, for the reason that the church is the body of Christ (Col.
1:18,24; Eph. 1:22-23).
one can be a child of God without belonging to the household or family of
God, which is the church.
...A child does not have to join the family; it is born into the
family. Just so a man does not have to join the church; he is born
into the church. 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God' (John 3:5)" (p.53-54).
We are not to have any association with the denominations
which are man-made and sinful. "...Christ also loved the
church, and gave himself for it...That he might present it to
himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such
thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:25,28).
The Bible declares that children of God, Christians, can have
fellowship with each other. The apostle John revealed, "That
which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may
have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the
Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3). We learn
from this passage that: 1) John and the apostles were declaring
what they received from the Holy Spirit, 2) they were revealing it
to Christians, 3) they had fellowship with people of the "one
faith" and 4) our fellowship is with God the Father and Christ the
We are heirs to eternal salvation together through Jesus
Christ. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit,
that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs
of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with
him, that we may be also glorified together" (Rom. 8:16-17).
We have a unique fellowship. Only those who have obeyed the Gospel
plan of salvation (as revealed in the New Testament), who are
worshiping God in "spirit and in truth," who abide in the "Doctrine
of Christ," and who have a "thus saith the Lord" for every practice
and belief, can enjoy this fellowship together.
These people, known as Christians, saints, members, make
up the church of Christ. Only the saved are part of this body and
only those who are members of this body will be saved. Christians
make up individual congregations who are governed separately. The
Bible provides examples of congregations fellowshipping each other
in various good works (1 Cor. 16:3; 2 Cor. 8; 9; 3 John 5). Since
congregations can fellowship each other in good works, by
implication, a congregation can withdraw fellowship from a
congregation that is out of line with the doctrine of Christ. This
must be accomplished with a loving spirit for the congregation that
is departing. The reason for withdrawal is to warn and admonish the
sister congregation to come back to the doctrine of Christ.
What if a local church of Christ went into apostasy? For
example: a congregation introduces a choir to their worship
assembly or merges with a denomination such as the Christian
Church. Would other churches of Christ have need to publicly
disassociate themselves from such a congregation? Yes! The faithful
churches of Christ should make an effort to help the apostate
congregation back to the path of truth. If this fails, then, the
faithful church should make it known to the community that even
though both congregations have the name "church of Christ" on their
sign, they are not the same!
Does God disfellowship individual churches of Christ? Yes!
Revelation 2 and 3 threaten such action if repentance was not
forthcoming. To the church at Ephesus: "Remember therefore
from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or
else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick
out of his place, except thou repent" (Rev. 2:5). The basic
teaching of the seven letters to the churches was, if repentance
were not forthcoming, their lampstand would be removed. This
represented that God would sever His affiliation with them and they
would no longer be considered a faithful church of Christ. God gave
them a chance to straighten up, we should do likewise and encourage
a church that is on the road to apostasy, to come back to the
Though each congregation is autonomous and independent by
divine design, every Christian and local church is a part of the
universal body of Christ. We have a common bond as brothers and
sisters in Christ. What we do as a local church affects and
reflects upon every other church of Christ. It does make a
difference what our neighbor is teaching and practicing. I have had
elders tell me that it didn't matter that a local church of Christ
had a choir. They revealed to me that we should not worry about
what other congregations are doing. That attitude shows a lack of
concern for the souls of those involved. Choirs, instrumental
music, and everything else that is not authorized by Christ, is
sinful in the worship of God!
Brethren, let us not overlook 2 John 11 concerning
fellowship with apostates. "For he that biddeth him God speed
is partaker of his evil deeds." When a local congregation has
gone off into apostasy, we can have no fellowship with them. Romans
16:17 also gives us authority to mark those who have departed from
the faith. "Now I beseech you brethren, mark them which cause
divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have
learned; and avoid them." One who causes division must be
marked, whoever he is or wherever he is located. "Them" might be
fifty or five hundred persons who may be marked. If not, why not?
Christian fellowship is limited to only those who are in
Christ and walking in the light. Our study has shown us that we
cannot, with God's approval, fellowship the denominations, apostate
congregations, false teachers, or the immoral. The Lord limits
fellowship, should we do any less than our Lord and Savior? Let us
enjoy true Christian fellowship and practice discipline in
separating from those in darkness.
316 4th St.
Paintsville, KY 41240
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TRUTH IS NOT FOR SALE
Marvin L. Weir
The Bible purposely avoids the political correctness
that the majority now craves and endorses, and reveals the absolute truth
that so many spurn and hate. Although truth is not for sale, most folks
will sell truth in a heartbeat when it comes to family, friends or
We live in a society that has a growing disdain for truth.
Those who are graduates of the school of worldly wisdom, pride
themselves in practicing the art of deception. From the president
of the United States to the teenage student, one has come to expect
a dishonest answer.
The Bible, God's word of truth, has been ridiculed and
ignored ever since the Holy Spirit revealed it. For decades modern
man has been an advocate of the theory of evolution. It matters not
that science cannot prove the theory! Neither does it
matter to most that God's word says, "In the beginning God
created the heaven and the earth." In fact, worldly wisdom
will seek to convince folks that neither God nor the Bible is to be
taken too seriously.
Who or what do we take seriously? Should
we accept as absolute truth that which is spoken by a judge or
president that is motivated and driven by the "politically correct"
agenda? Can we rely upon the newspapers and the tabloids to present
absolute truth? The answers to the above questions are more than
obvious to all who are not blinded by their love for the world (cf.
1 John 2:15-17).
The Bible declares that God's word "is truth"
(John 17:17, emph. MLW) and that "the truth of Jehovah
endureth forever" (Psa. 117:2). Surely one who is honest and
noble would never declare that we cannot know the meaning of "is".
Solomon, speaking by inspiration, said, "Buy the truth, and
sell it not; Yea, wisdom, and instruction, and understanding"
The Bible purposely avoids the political correctness that
the majority now craves and endorses, and reveals the absolute
truth that so many spurn and hate. Although truth is not for sale,
most folks will sell truth in a heartbeat when it comes to family,
friends or self. People need to begin doing some serious thinking
and wean themselves from being "spoon fed" by those who covet their
unprovable theories and personal agendas.
The selling of religious truth has been popular in every
dispensation þ Patriarchal, Mosaical, and Christian. God told Adam
and Eve if they ate or touched the fruit of the tree in the midst
of the garden they would die (Gen. 3:3). The couple chose, however,
to sell truth and believe Satan's lie that they would not die from
touching and eating the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:4). Nadab and Abihu
knew the type of fire required by God in making sacrifices, but
chose instead to offer "strange fire before Jehovah" (Lev. 10:1).
They sold truth in offering what was not commanded and it
cost them their lives. Ananias and Sapphira chose to sell truth and
lie to the apostle Peter regarding the amount of the transaction.
A high price was again paid for the selling of truth as it cost
Ananias and Sapphira their lives (Acts 5:1ff).
Today there are many congregations of the Lord's people
who are in the process of selling the truth. As truth is being
sold, multitudes of members sit silently, thereby giving their
consent. But why is truth for sale? It is because the liberal
change-agents know that truth must be sold (discarded) before they
can implement man-made innovations and denominational practices.
You see, even the liberals know that God's truth will expose
their scheme to restructure the church. Thus, truth must be
sold before they can accomplish their devilish goal.
There is an article being circulated among some churches
of Christ in the Dallas-Fort Worth area entitled "Behold the
Pattern" that seeks to compare a man-made dress pattern to God's
pattern for the church. Brethren, design and intent
keep such a comparison from being valid. A dress pattern is
designed to be adapted to satisfy certain needs. God's singular
pattern for His church was not intended to be adapted to
accommodate man's whims and wishes. The article further
suggests that Jesus and not the New Testament church is our
pattern. Is not Christ the head of the church, which is his body
(Eph. 1:22-23)? Are we to understand there is a pattern for the
head but not for the body? Efforts have been made for years to
sever Christ from the church but such cannot be done. The results
of a "patternless" body is a "have it my way" religion. Such is the
goal of those who are anxious to sell the truth. But truth is
not for sale!
5810 Liberty Grove Rd.
Rowlett, TX 75030
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PENTECOSTALISM IN WINESKINS
Victor M. Eskew
How long? Just how long will it be until
brethren wake up to the real meaning of the teachings of the false
brethren who are among us? And, how long will it be until elderships and
preachers make a bold stand against the heresy that is being
The most recent issue of Wineskins (Volume Five,
Number One), edited by Mike Cope and Rubel Shelly,
fully supports the doctrines of Pentecostalism with regard to
Holy Spirit baptism. The evidence is found in an article written by
Edward Fudge entitled, "Immersion in the Holy Spirit."
Mr. Fudge begins the article with this brief paragraph:
"Almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ made atonement for sin and
ascended to heaven to be exalted at God's right hand. Based on
Jesus' accomplishments, God began to pour out the Holy Spirit on
Jesus' followers on earth. This gift, promised by God through the
ancient prophets and again through Jesus, was nothing other than
immersion in the very Presence and power of God and of his exalted
Christ. Careful Bible study reveals the same blessing is available
to every believer in Jesus today who will seek, ask, and knock"
Throughout the article, Mr. Fudge sets forth the same
arguments of the Pentecostals with regard to Holy Spirit baptism.
His effort is to convince his readers that all believers can
experience and have the same powerful, overwhelming,
wonder-producing manifestations of Holy Spirit baptism as those of
the first century. He writes: "Pentecost marked the beginning --
not the end -- of the time when God would pour out his Spirit on
all flesh. No New Testament writer suggests that the immersion of
the Holy Spirit or any of its manifestations were temporary, or
that they were intended to end with some period or event now
ancient to us" (p.14). On page 13, Mr. Fudge reveals to us
just how far he (and Wineskins) is willing to go with
the effects of Holy Spirit baptism. He states: "The Book of Acts
also reports great diversity in the effects of immersion in the
Holy Spirit. Luke mentions at least a dozen different
manifestations of that experience:
- Wind and fire (2:2-3).
- Spiritual praise in language naturally unknown to the
speaker (2:4-8; 10:46; 19:6). Even at Pentecost, those who speak in
other tongues are 'declaring the wonders of God,' not preaching the
gospel as such (2:4,11 NIV). Similarly, the Cornelius household was
'exalting God' (10:46).
- Signs and wonders (2:43; 6:8).
- The house was shaken (4:31).
- A vision of heaven and of the ascended Lord Jesus
- An overwhelming sense of awe (2:43).
- An extraordinary spirit of sharing and generosity
- Gladness and joy (2:46; 13:52).
- A praise-filled life (2:47).
- Bold proclamation about Jesus as Savior and Lord
(2:14ff; 4:8-12; 5:31-32; 6:8-10).
- Wonderful Cleansing of the soul (15:9).
- Prophesying, or supernaturally delivering a
message from God (2:17-18; 19:6).
After listing the various manifestations, the writer makes
the following conclusions: "This scriptural diversity makes two
things clear. First, that when someone is immersed in the Holy
Spirit, we may expect any of these manifestations, or any others
which may please God who is sovereign and who gives the Spirit.
Second, that we must not require any particular manifestation on
any given occasion, or judge the experience to be inauthentic
solely by the absence of any particular biblical effect."
Dear reader, Mr. Fudge's message is clear, plain, and
explicit. He believes that all believers receive the baptism of the
Holy Spirit today. This baptism, he asserts, empowers them for
service. It can involve numerous manifestations of the Spirit. Some
of these could be miraculous, that is, supernatural in nature. One
might even be able to heal the sick and raise the dead just as they
did in the first century.
How long? Just how long will it be until brethren wake up to
the real meaning of the teachings of the false brethren who are
among us? And, how long will it be until elderships and preachers
make a bold stand against the heresy that is being proclaimed? Wake
up brethren! Wineskins, its editors, writers, and supporters are
leading us into the depths of Pentecostalism. Mark, and avoid them
as the inspired Paul demanded (Rom. 16:17-18).
400 Cherry Street
Paragould, AR 72450
Table of Contents
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The date of the next STOP lectureship is July 22-26, 2001 --
Traditions Of Men.