Seek The Old Paths

Vol. 28   No. 2                   February,   2018

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The Influence Of Christian Colleges
Among Churches Of Christ

Andrew D. Erwin

        That apostasy has occurred in some churches of Christ is apparent. Such trends are not new (cf. Acts 20:28ff), however heartbreaking they may be.
        In recent years we have seen congregations digress into sectarian practices and formulate new traditions. A listing of such digressions is not necessary for this present treatise as the fact is obvious to concerned brethren everywhere.
        As with any error pertaining to things religious, the fault can be attributed personally to the individual and more widely to contributing influences. Many of the colleges which have been founded by brethren over the past two hundred years have served as contributing influences to doctrinal digression and moral impurity. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century we saw colleges like Bethany and the College of the Bible was used to influence digression among God’s people. In the latter half of the twentieth century we have seen other institutions follow suit.
        Thus we suggest to you, on the basis of historical facts relative to our colleges, that the present apostasy which is transpiring in the Lord’s church is a trickle down apostasy. It follows accordingly:

  1. A college seeks regional accreditation;
  2. In order to offer graduate studies and please accrediting associations, a certain number of professors need terminal degrees (Ph.D., Th.D., etc.) from other accredited institutions in their field of study.
  3. But, no brotherhood related school offered an accredited terminal degree in biblical studies until Amridge University began offering one in the first decade of this century.
  4. Thus, in order for a professor to receive an accredited degree he had to attend and graduate from a denominationally affiliated seminary, a secular government operated school, or an institution operated by disbelieving Jews.
  5. Having sat at the feet of denominational, secular, or disbelieving professors for a number of years, the teacher is “qualified” to return to the classroom in a “Christian” college and teach Bible to students desiring a life in the field of ministry.
  6. Some (many) of these teachers inevitably teach denominational, secular, or modernistic precepts to the students, for that is what has influenced them for the past several years.
  7. The “preacher” students in turn (and others as well) take what they have learned with them into the pulpit and classroom of the local church.
  8. The students also make arrangements for their “trained” professors to speak to the congregation and impart their knowledge to the church.
  9. Having continued this trend for half a century or longer, the church has been thoroughly indoctrinated in denominational, secular, and modernistic doctrines.
  10. Moreover, the “trained” professors never quite received any training on how to preach and exhort. Thus, they are unable to train the preacher students on how to preach with passion and pathos (a quality that evokes pity or sadness). The result is weak preaching and watered down doctrine.

        In the 1930s Foy E. Wallace, Jr. warned us that, “Back of much of this doctrinal softness is the influence of some of the colleges among us” [Foy E. Wallace, Jr., “Jehovah-Nissi —The Lord My Banner,” The Bible Banner, (July, 1938), Vol. 1, No. 1, pp.1 ff]. He continued his observations referring to the trend as “college domination” [Ibid]. Wallace prophetically writes: “They have harbored teachers of error; they have promoted a spirit of worldliness; they have manifested an air of superiority; they have conducted campaigns among the churches to affiliate the church and school which will eventually, if continued, result in college domination and control in the church” [Ibid].
        Wallace continued by offering no less than six ways in which college domination has been/will be felt in the church. They are as follows:

  1. By boycotting preachers who do not “cooperate” with said college, criticize, or oppose the linking of the church and college in the church’s budget;
  2. When a president of a college can dictate congregational policy through the “Ex-Student’s Association“
  3. When the young people in the church, preachers or not, are obligated to the institution that graduated them and become a virtual auxiliary of that college in the local congregation;
  4. When it comes to pass that “Our alma mater which art in Abilene” can command the loyalty and devotion from an alumni equal to the homage due “Our Father which art in heaven” —that is college domination plus.
  5. By measuring a man’s loyalty to Christ by his loyalty to a college;
  6. When we feel that we can criticize the church at free will, but say one word against the college and you become anathema!

        At one time it could be said that the colleges helped to bolster the church in the area which it was located. Such is not the case today. Even a casual glance at the churches in “college towns” will bring to our attention the reality of this trickle-down apostasy. Indeed the pursuit of terminal degrees has led to a number of terminal illnesses in the Lord’s church.
        Having stated the obvious case before, let us ask how can these institutions among us be reformed? First, ask yourselves what items are essential to the continuation and facilitation of any school and you will observe the following three essentials: 1) money; 2) teachers; 3) students. Without money, teachers, and students, a school —any school —would be forced to close.
        With that being said, as concerned Christians, how can we impact reform in the schools we have helped to build? In the first place...

  • We must stop sending them our money. In the second place,
  • We must not teach for them until they choose to cease their efforts of digression, or support any of their faculty members which teach error. And lastly,
  • We must determine not to send our children or choose ourselves to be educated at such places.

        Only when these schools feel the pressure of not having money, teachers, or students will they evaluate their decisions and the direction they have chosen. However, money, teachers and students are worldly concerns —which should be of no concern at all. The point ought to be, where is their concern for Truth and Righteousness? Shouldn’t God’s word and faithfulness to him be the most important goal? But sadly, they go where the money is!
        Concerning the church, we must cease allowing these schools to dominate us. An education is all well and good when it is intended to be used for well and good! However, regardless of the education a person may have, if they are not determined to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, they should not be allowed to preach or teach for God’s people. Moreover, churches must determine to have men as their preachers who are willing to do the work of an evangelist, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine, and live a pure and godly life. Only when churches stop allowing the degrees and diplomas to dictate the desired candidates for the job, and place the emphasis back where it belongs and seek to hire faithful men who are willing and able to teach others also, will we see a change for the better. Only when we expect more out of our preachers will we get more out of our preachers. Only then will we be able to thwart the apostasy which has trickled down among us.
                7 Brown Creek Dr.
                Fayetteville, TN 37334

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Editorial Column

Garland M. Robinson

        We all know people who are weak, both physically and spiritually. And, we know there are remedies for those who are weak. There are steps to take and procedures to follow that develops strength and prevents weakness. However, this study is concerning spiritual weakness —how may it be prevented and/or treated.
        The Scriptures clearly show that when one obeys the Gospel he is a “babe in Christ” and, the same verse shows what to do to overcome it. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).
        Sometimes our weakness comes from within us.
        One’s attitude toward spiritual things can cause spiritual weakness. Often those who are weak do not realize it and consequently see no need to do better. If I’m not interested in becoming a strong Christian, then I’m not going to exert any effort in becoming one. The individual himself/herself must take the initiative in growing in the Lord. The penman of Hebrews 5:11-14 makes this point well. “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
        Some among the Hebrew brethren had been Christians long enough to grow far beyond where they had grown. Their number is many also today. Are you stronger in the Lord now than when you first became a Christian? If not, whose fault is it? Regardless of your circumstances, it is your own fault for not growing as you should and becoming spiritually strong.
        God speaks of Israel as a nation being weak when they should have been strong. “How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman” (Ezek. 16:30). God had given them the land of Canaan and provided all they needed to prosper, but they did not appreciate it any more than many today who care little about those things given them by others. Their heart is weak and they do not intend to do any better. Such people need to have the attitude of the Psalmist who said, “O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake” (6:1-4).
        If you are weak, do you intend to repent and become strong? If so, when are you going to work on it? Today is the day!
        Many are weak, do in part, to influences exerted upon them by others. It is hard to rise above those around you. Most never even try. Their attitude is, “why should I do any better if no one else is?”
        There have always been more than enough bad examples through the ages. Israel was warned about the evil influences of Egypt and Canaan. “After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances” (Lev. 18:3). “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them” (Lev. 20:23). “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations” (Deut. 18:9). Israel was to follow God’s commands instead of the nations around them. “Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD” (Lev. 18:4-5).
        In 2 Chronicles 30:7 we read, “And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.” Solomon wrote, “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul” (Prov. 22:24-25).
        To say we simply followed those around us will be of no profit on judgment day. Those who are so inclined will not be excused simply because those around them did not show the proper example and influence. The judgment of God rests upon both those who exerted improper and bad examples and those who followed them. No comfort will be given to either. We must follow righteous examples and influences, not evil ones. “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God” (3 John 1:11).
        The strong ought to be encouraging the weak and showing them what the Lord requires of us all. The righteous can say as Isaiah 35:3-4, “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.”
        There are many excuses of the weak. To sit back and excuse ourselves for never progressing beyond the first principles will not work (cf. Luke 14:15-24). Just because there are always weak members does not mean you have to be among them. None the less, many make excuses for themselves.
        Some excuse themselves because they feel they are already better than some. This sentiment apparently comforts those who feel justified in their weakness. How could it be a comfort to realize you are among those who are closest to the bottom? You are judging yourself according to the lowest standard!
        Some excuse themselves because of hypocrites in the church. There are many hypocrites in the church, but you don’t have to be among them. Other people is not the proper standard, God’s Word is. Challenge yourself according to the Word of God, not others. The Lord will judge hypocrites and he will judge you. As I’ve always heard, I’d rather be under the same roof among a few hypocrites in worship than spend an eternity with them in hell.
        Some excuse themselves by saying they are busy with their family. While we appreciate parents who are concerned for their children, obeying the Lord and growing to strength in his work is the best medicine for the family you could ever give them. Playing sports and being wrapped up in school activities may be a lot of fun, but such will not be sufficient to satisfy God’s judgment. We must be busy in God’s business and devoted to his service.
        Some excuse themselves because they don’t see the need to grow. They think there is nothing wrong with where they are spiritually and therefore don’t intend to do any better. They often become offended when approached about doing better.
        Let’s face it, many are weak because they have never applied themselves to the work of the Lord and don’t intend to. The Lord’s church has always been plagued with weak members and always will. However, that does not excuse our lack of efforts to help them grow. The strong must not be content to leave the weak alone. The work of the strong is to always encourage, exhort, persuade, entice and yes, reprove, rebuke, reprimand and admonish as well. This work will never cease.
                (Part #2 next month)

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Jon Gary Williams

        Over the years atheists have wrestled with the problem of explaining how, apart from a special, creative origin, the universe came into existence. While different theories have been offered, none of them have solved the dilemma. The philosophical fact of eternal existence (that there never could have been a point at which nothing existed) proves to be a barrier for the atheistic mind. Since atheists believe that physical matter is the only thing that exists, they are forced to deal with the idea that physical matter may, of itself, be eternal. Yet, they realize this is an illogical alternative. So, where do they turn?
        For years the so-called “Big Bang” theory was offered as the answer. This is the idea that the universe just suddenly exploded into existence. However, this solves nothing, for it means there had to be a preexisting “something” to “bang.” So, this brings them back to zero. To avoid the problem of the eternal existence of physical matter, more than thirty years ago atheists concluded that at some point the material universe had to have a beginning. But, from what? Well, actually, from nothing! Yes, you read correctly —from nothing.
        In 1984 the famed atheists, Alan H. Guth and Paul J. Steinhardt, proposed what they called, The Inflationary Theory. In the Scientific American they wrote: “From a historical point of view, probably the most revolutionary model is the notion that all the matter and energy in the observable universe may have emerged from almost nothing. The inflationary model of the universe provides a possible mechanism by which the observed universe could have evolved from an infinitesimal region. It is then tempting to go one step further and speculate that the entire universe evolved from literally nothing.” (Scientific American, May, 1984, p.128)
        Notice carefully the “scientific” language of this atheistic explanation for the origin of the universe: “...probably... the notion that... may have emerged... a possible mechanism... could have evolved... tempting to go one step further and speculate....”
        So, presumably, the problem is solved. Merely speculate that at some point when nothing at all existed, the material universe spontaneously self-generated and, “poof,” there it was —just a revision of the “Big Bang” theory —wishful thinking at it’s best.
        It is almost impossible to believe anyone would promote such foolishness and keep a straight face. But, sad to say, this is the nature of atheistic thinking, and, after all, this is the only thing they have to offer, there is nothing left.


        In the February 2017 issue of Scientific American, early promoters of the Inflationary Universe theory now admit their theory is scientifically invalid. In an article titled Cosmic Inflation Theory Faces Challenges, the lead heading reads: “The latest astrophysical measurements, combined with theoretical problems, cast doubt on the long-cherished inflationary theory of the early cosmos and suggest we need new ideas.”
        So, atheists are still found groping about searching for “new ideas” for the materialistic origin of the universe. However, it is a foregone conclusion that whatever “ideas” are concocted will, like the previous ones, fall by the wayside. That there is something eternal, something self-existent in and of itself, never having had a beginning, is so obvious —yet, under no circumstance will dogmatic, atheists open their minds to consider it.
        How true, indeed, the statement twice made by the Psalmist, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1).

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Randy Kea

        The second major point in this study is Biblical inspiration. God has not only revealed His will, but inspired those who spoke it and wrote it. Three primary passages relate directly to the Bible’s claim for inspiration. Perhaps the most familiar is 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
        The phrase “inspiration of God” in this verse combines the Greek word theos (God) and pneo (to breathe), thus declaring that all scripture is “the breath of God.” Therefore, every word in the Bible has been in-breathed by God.
        The second passage to consider here is 2 Peter 1:20-21: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” The context is a reference to the Old Testament canon but would apply to the Bible as a whole (in principle). The same Holy Spirit that inspired the Old Testament inspired the New Testament Gospel (1 Peter 1:12). The word “moved” translates from a Greek word which means “to bear or carry along.” We see in this claim that the Scripture is not the product of the mind of man, but holy men spoke and wrote words as they were guided by the Holy Spirit.
        A third passage (sometimes overlooked in this connection) is 1 Corinthians 2:9-16. Without citing the whole passage, we make these notations. Some ten times in this reference, the word “things” appears in the KJV. The “things of God” are placed in contrast with the “things of man.” The phrase “things of God” refers to the mind of God. In verse 9 we cannot naturally know (eye, ear, heart) the things of God (the mind of God). Verse 10 states God has revealed these things, i.e. His mind. Verse 13 is arguably the clearest claim for verbal (words) inspiration in the entire Bible —“words...which the Holy Ghost teacheth.” In verses 14-16 there is a contrast, not between a lost person and a saved person, but between an inspired man (spiritual) and an uninspired man (natural). A careful analysis here shows: 1) man cannot know the mind of God through natural means; 2) man can only know the mind of God, and therefore the will of God, by divine revelation; 3) God has given this revelation through Paul and the other inspired writers of the Bible; and 4) this revelation is verbal in nature —words which the Spirit teaches.
        When one surveys the Bible, he sees prolific claims for revelation and inspiration throughout:

  • The Old Testament claims for itself to be inspired of God (Exodus 24:4; Jer. 1:9; Neh. 9:20,30; 2 Sam. 23:2),
  • The New Testament claims for itself to be inspired of God (1 Cor. 14:37; Gal. 1:10-12; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Peter 3:15-16),
  • The New Testament claims for Old Testament (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Tim. 3:15-17),
  • The Old Testament pre-authenticated the New Testament (Jer. 31:31-34),
  • Christ’s claims for the Old Testament (John 5:39; Luke 24:44; Matt. 23:35 (note: Jesus viewed the Old Testament as the voice of God —Matt. 19:4-6),
  • Christ pre-authenticated the New Testament (John 14:26; 16:13).

        These points clearly indicate that no matter where you go in the Bible, it is overflowing with claims for its own inspiration.
        To further develop this, it is important that we understand this claim for inspiration extends to the very “words” of the Bible. The Bible does not claim “concept” or “thought” inspiration; it claims verbal inspiration (words). Let me itemize some examples to consider:

  • “And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do” (Exod. 4:15);
  • “I will write upon these tables the words” (Exod. 34:1);
  • “Write thou these words” (Exod. 34:27);
  • “These are the words which the Lord hath commanded” (Exod. 35:1);
  • “Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord” (Num. 11:24);
  • “These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel” (Deut. 1:1);
  • “that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut 29:29);
  • “he read all the words of the law” (Josh 8:34);
  • “Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground” (1 Sam. 3:19);
  • “to perform the words of this covenant” (2 Kings 23:3);
  • “they obeyed the words of the Lord” (2 Chron. 11:4);
  • “he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant” (2 Chron. 34:30);
  • “then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel” (Ezra 9:4);
  • “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12);
  • “the words of the Lord are pure words” (Psalm 12:6);
  • “the entrance of thy words giveth light” (Psalm 119:130);
  • “I have put my words in thy mouth” (Isa. 1:16);
  • “I have put my words in thy mouth” (Jer. 1:9);
  • “Thou shalt speak my words unto them” (Ezek. 2:7);
  • “My words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35);
  • “they remembered his words” (Luke 24:8);
  • “He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God” (John 3:34);
  • “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63);
  • “not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth” (1 Cor. 2:13);
  • “nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:6);
  • “Hold fast the form of sound words” (2 Tim. 1:13);
  • “be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets” (2 Peter 3:2).

        The above citations are nowhere near all that could have been noted. A profitable study by using a concordance would be to note the term “words” and read all of the verses that emphasize verbal inspiration. This point is crucial as we go through this study because the Bible not only claims verbal inspiration, as we will later see, it claims verbal preservation, thus necessitating a verbal and formal translation.
        There are various false theories of inspiration. We will briefly note them here:

  1. Literary Inspiration. This is the notion that the Bible is only inspired in the same sense as Milton, Keats or Shakespeare were inspired. The Bible would be mere human genius and carry no authoritative weight.
  2. Mechanical Dictation. Some have suggested that the Bible writers took dictation. This method does not take into account the individuality of the writers. The words of the Bible are inspired as we have demonstrated above; however, the Holy Spirit guided, carried along, superintended, the writers within the framework of their individual vocabulary and style.
  3. Universal Inspiration. This is the claim that all Christians are inspired by God. This would exclude special chosen agents of revelation such as the apostles and prophets and would effectively remove the necessity of the Bible since every Christian could write his own Bible.
  4. Thought or Concept Inspiration. Some maintain that God merely gave Bible writers an inspired thought and left them to chose words of their own discretion. The preface of the NIV (New International Version) advocates this theory of inspiration in their translation process, thus denying that the NIV is a verbal translation. A word is the sign of a thought or idea. How can we trust that the writers of the Bible selected the correct words without divine guidance?
  5. Partial Inspiration. This idea says that portions of the Bible are from the mind of God but other parts are from man, therefore subject to errors and discrepancies. Again, the Bible claims plenary (full) inspiration which negates this theory.

        None of these five points is the position the Bible takes for itself. The Bible, as we have previously stated, claims to be a verbally (all the words) and plenary (all the parts) written revelation from God.
        Something else to consider on this major point of inspiration is the word “prophet.” In our modern vernacular, the word “prophet” is used to identify one who predicts the future; however, the Bible usage of the term “prophet” is broader in definition. The word “prophet” in the Bible is used to describe an inspired spokesman for God, whether the subject is the past, present, or future. Only a casual reading of the prophets (Isaiah through Malachi) will demonstrate that they constantly addressed contemporary matters, not just future events. If you cross examine Exodus 4:10-17 with Exodus 7:1, the Bible itself defines the word “prophet” as one who speaks the “words” of God, thus God’s mouthpiece. According to this biblical definition, the entire Bible is a verbally inspired utterance from God.
        Note a few more verses on inspiration:

  • “It shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak” (Matt. 10:19);
  • “For it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost” (Mark 13:11);
  • “The Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake” (Acts 1:16);
  • “And began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4);
  • “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue” (2 Sam. 23:2).

        Inspiration is God communicating through men, to men, verbally.
        The Bible not only claims to be inspired repeatedly, it possesses objective qualities and attributes which prove it to be what it claims to be:

  1. predictive prophecies, dealing with Christ, His kingdom, the nation of Israel, and world dominions centuries in advance of their minute fulfillment;
  2. scientific precision in a time that pre-dated the existence of the science under consideration;
  3. supernatural unity which can only be explained if one Mind is guiding all the writers of the Bible.

        These evidences and more demonstrate that the Bible is of divine origin. The Catholic catechism, the Koran, the book of Mormon, etc. possess no such qualities. The Bible is in a category all by itself. It is the only book from heaven above.
        By way of summary, so far we have seen that God has always revealed His will to man and held him accountable to it. This revelation has always been given through inspired words that man can hear, believe, and obey.
        The next consideration in this series of articles will be CONFIRMATION. God not only 1) revealed His Word and 2) inspired it, He miraculously 3) authenticated it (confirmed it).
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        The Christian Sabbath is a nickname men have given to the first day of the week. It is not a Bible expression and it does not express a Bible idea.
        The seventh day sabbath was a sign of the covenant between God and Israel (Exodus 31:13-17). It signified that God had set the nation of Israel apart from all other nations for the purpose of fulfilling his promise to Abraham, that through his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed. The sabbath signified that Israel was “sanctified;” thus it was limited to the children under the covenant. If the sabbath had been for all the world it would have signified nothing for Israel. In Genesis 2:3, Moses tells us that “God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it,” but he does not say in Genesis that he wanted the world to “keep” it. The patriarchs in Genesis did not keep it. They did not even know about it. The sabbath was unknown until God made it known on Sinai (Deut. 5:1-3; Neh. 9:13-14; Ezek. 20:10-12). Its observance came with the giving of the Old Law, and its commanded observance ended with the end of the Old Law. No one living today has ever been commanded to keep the seventh day holy unto the Lord.
        Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week (Mark 16:1-9; Luke 24). Jesus met with his disciples repeatedly on the first day of the week between his resurrection and ascension (John 20:1,19,26). The following Pentecost came on the first day of the week and on that day the apostles were baptized of the Holy Spirit, the Gospel of the resurrection was first preached, the plan of salvation was revealed, three thousand were baptized for the remission of their sins and became the firstfruits of the Gospel, and the church of Christ was established (Acts 2).Under the teaching of the apostles the church assembled for worship on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). Since the observance of the Lord’s Supper was to continue until Christ returns (1 Cor. 11:26), the church continues to assemble on the first day “until he come.” Because the first day of the week is associated with the Lord’s supper (1 Cor. 11:17-34) and the Lord’s table (1 Cor. 10:16-17,21) it is believed that John called the first day of the week “the Lord’s day” (Rev. 1:10).
        “Sabbath” means “rest” and under the Old Law the Jews were commanded to cease from their labors on that day and to put to death those who would not do so (Exodus 31:13-17). Many today “rest” on the first day of the week. They do so out of custom. There is no commandment to do so and there is no death penalty for those who do not. That is why it is not Biblical to call the first day of the week the “Christian Sabbath.” However, there is a Biblical pattern of the church assembling on the first day of the week in Troas (Acts 20:7), in Corinth (1 Cor. 16:2), in Galatia (1 Cor. 16:1) and by implication “in every place in every church” (1 Cor. 4:17).
              Bill Boyd
              647 Finger Bluff Road
              Morrison, TN 37357

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Roger D. Campbell

        Small children are often fascinated with money because it’s shiny and small enough to go in their mouth. As they grow up they reach the point when they understand money has the power to buy things. That’s a new reason for them to like money. Later in their teenage years their thinking can be dominated by a desire to possess money in order to impress others or to buy things that mom and dad won’t buy them. As adults; well, a lot of adults are still fond of money.
        Money, in and of itself, possesses no moral qualities. Money is neither righteous nor unrighteous. Money is an inanimate object, a means or tool to help us obtain something else. It’s one’s attitude toward money/riches that makes the difference.
        In order to help us keep a handle on our attitude, we offer the following six truthful statements about money. May they serve as a reminder and/or warning to all of us.
        1) Money cannot buy love. Way back in the 60s the Beatles were singing, “I don’t care too much for money, ’cause money can’t buy me love.” It was true then, and it is still true now. Money may impress folks and attract them to a money-possessing person, but money cannot buy genuine love. Young people, are you listening?
        2) Money doesn’t grow on trees. How many times did we hear our parents tell us that when we wanted something we couldn’t afford? Because it is true that money does not grow on trees and we can’t have it at the snap of our fingers, we need to be good stewards with the funds God has placed in our hands (1 Cor. 4:2). Our Lord says, “Owe no man anything” (Rom. 13:8). Christians ought not to use credit cards to the extent they get themselves into debt they can’t pay off.
        3) Money is not the root of all evil, but the love of money is (1 Tim. 6:10). The love of money is covetousness, and covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:5). Such a love affair with material riches has ruined friendships, marriages, and even congregations. How sad indeed!
        4) Money never has and never will save a soul. Money can be used to help support the preaching of the Gospel (2 Cor. 11:8,9). It is also an instrument that assists us in edifying the faithful. But still, money cannot save souls.
        5) Money will not accompany us when we leave this world. Regardless of how much money one has, the money stays behind when we die. You can’t take it with you. “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Tim. 6:7).
        6) Money is not success, and success is not possessing money. Oh, if we could only help people, including ourselves, see this point! There will be plenty rich people go to hell. And, there will be plenty poor folks go to heaven. One’s eternal destiny is not determined by his/her financial status. You want success, you say? Then listen carefully to what the Lord once told Joshua: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8). THAT is true success.
        Let each of us resolve to accept the truth about money, and in the process, beware of “the deceitfulness of riches” (Mark 4:19).
                120 Fawn Dr.
                Chattanooga, TN 37412

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