Seek The Old Paths

Vol. 21   No. 4                   April,   2010

This Issue...


        It is with sincere, genuine desire and apology that we wish to correct misinformation that was printed in the March 2010 issue of Seek The Old Paths. On page 29 and 30 of last month’s issue, we ran an article by Lloyd Gale entitled “Old Way Isn’t The Only Way.” It was an examination of an article that appeared in the Tennessean newspaper on January 31, 2010 (Nashville, TN). The Tennessean article quoted Doug Sanders and identified him as the “associate minister at Otter Creek Church in Brentwood.” Brother Gale’s article misidentified Doug Sanders as “the son of the late Joe and Evelyn Sanders. The husband of the late Lady Frank Ezell Sanders.” This was an error. The Doug Sanders (Jr.) quoted in the Tennessean article is the son of the Doug Sanders (Sr.) identified by brother Gale. When I learned of this error; I called brother Sanders (Sr.) and apologized to him on the phone. I now wish to publically and sincerely apologize to him and ask his forgiveness in writing. This issue of STOP is being sent to the same mailing list as the March issue.
        Brother Lloyd Gale has written an explanation and apology in his letter that follows.
                —Editor, Garland M. Robinson

        Dear brethren and readers of Seek The Old Paths.
        I wish to acknowledge that an honest mistake was made in identifying the author of the statements that were published on the front page of the Nashville Tennessean newspaper on January 31, 2010. The Tennessean article identified the source of the statements as being Doug Sanders, the associate minister of the Otter Creek church of Christ.
        I was not certain that it was the same Doug Sanders whose father I knew quite well and knew that he had not taught what the quoted Doug Sanders had claimed he had been taught from a child. In an attempt to verify the identity of the author of the remarks, I telephoned the Otter Creek congregation and asked the secretary if the person whose remarks appeared on the front page of the Tennessean was Doug Sanders, the son of the late Joe Sanders and was told such was the case.
        My purpose in writing the article was to defend the good name of a faithful preacher of the gospel, Joe Sanders, and to expose the false statements that were spread by the Tennessean article. I sent a copy of the article to the Otter Creek congregation marked to the attention of Doug Sanders several weeks before the article I wrote appeared in Seek The Old Paths. I have as of this date (3/22/10) received no response to my letter to Doug Sanders who I now know of as Doug Sanders, Jr.
        When I learned that the author of the statements was in fact Doug Sanders, Jr., I called his father (Doug Sanders, Sr.) and apologized for the mistaken identification. This does not, however, change the truth that my article contains in exposing the false statements made in the Tennessean article by Doug Sanders, Jr. and evidently approved by the Otter Creek congregation. At any rate, I have received no response to my article from them.
               Sincerely, Lloyd Gale
               1186 Martha Leeville Rd.
               Lebanon, TN 37090

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        Do you recall who said those words to the Master? It was one of Jesus’ apostles. Our Lord had just finished His brilliant discourse about the bread of life in a synagogue in Capernaum (John 6:59). The Bible says, “From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:66-68).
        Jesus is the only One through Whom salvation is available (Acts 4:12). God wants all people everywhere to “hear” His beloved Son (Matt. 17:5). The Christ alone has all authority (Matt. 28:18). It is through the Son that the Father calls and instructs us today (Heb. 1:1,2).
        When Simon Peter asked, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”, he was not seeking information or advice. Peter knew that only our Lord has the words that provide eternal life. Thus, Peter’s question was really a declaration of the truth that there is no one else to whom we might turn for spiritual guidance that is helpful and reliable 100% of the time. Despite this plain truth, many today, as in yesteryear, instead of turning to the saving Gospel of the Christ and accepting it as their standard of authority in religion (Rom. 1:16), turn elsewhere.
        Some turn or go to their preacher. Of all people, surely a preacher would know what he is talking about. Surely a preacher would not lead anyone astray. Such thinking is gullible to the nth degree. The New Testament speaks about “false prophets” (Matt. 7:15), “false teachers” (2 Peter 2:1), and “deceivers” (2 John 7). Despite the Bible’s plain warnings, many close their eyes and happily follow anything that preachers propagate. Folks, what preachers say, even well-known, well-liked, well-educated and well-versed- in-the-Scriptures preachers, are not our guide. Jesus alone has all authority■
        Some turn or go to their parents. God tells children to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1,2). It is certainly refreshing to see grown children who still show respect for their father and mother. There is too little of that in our society in modern times. That being said, when it comes to making decisions in the spiritual realm, dad and mom are not the voices of authority■ Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, was her son’s counselor “to do wickedly” (2 Chron. 22:3).
        It is a natural thing for people to wonder what their parents might think about a certain matter, but in the end, Jesus must have the final say. We respect our parents and appreciate any effort they have made which has benefitted us in our spiritual training, but right and wrong is determined by what God’s Son says, not by our flesh and blood. That can be a difficult truth to accept, but accept it we must if we want to please the King of kings.
        Some turn or go to the internet. The internet is a mind-boggling phenomenon. It has incredible potential to bless our lives by the information that is available on it. In the past, we have taken many excellent articles from the internet and printed them for other’s benefit. On the other hand, though, is the reality that the internet also openly makes available immoral and false messages of every sort. It is a disastrous approach for one to assume that anything found on the internet is of spiritual benefit■ Just as one would want to do with written materials, messages on TV or radio or recorded lessons, he must be careful in what he reads and consumes from the internet. All messages and messengers, including those on the internet, must be tried and tested. We must ask, do they harmonize with what God’s Book says (1 John 4:1)?
        Some turn or go to their favorite preaching school or college. The church has been blessed in this generation by the efforts of some preaching schools and some institutions of higher learning that brethren have founded. Sadly, many of them have not stuck with the Bible. Yet, to hear some tell it, when any question arises, you have to line up with and fall in line with what your favorite school says about it. That is garbage■ Our allegiance is to no mere mortal or anything identified as a “school.” Jesus has the words of life, and our greatest concern must be to learn and apply what He says about any topic■
        You and I sincerely appreciate everything that any person has done that has helped us learn and obey God’s truth. Perhaps we have been aided personally by preachers, parents, the internet or schools. Our devotion, however, must not be to humans or human devices, but to the risen Lord.
        “To whom shall we go?” To the Giver of the words of eternal life is the answer. May God help us to engrain such thinking into the hearts of our offspring.
               Roger D. Campbell
               4889 Bates Pike SE
               Cleveland, TN 37323

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Garland M. Robinson

        The dictionary defines the word prom as “a formal ball held for a school class toward the end of the academic year.” A synonym is the word “dance.” Dancing is defined as “to perform a rhythmic and patterned succession of bodily movements usually to music, to move quickly up and down or about.”
        Does the Bible condone or condemn dancing? Is it an activity that is wholesome? Should we recommend it?
        Everything about dancing is against purity and righteousness. It is against God and the strait and narrow way. It is an instigator of all kinds of evil. One survey reported that 70-80% of unwed mothers said their permissiveness started on the dance floor.
        In the temple of pagan gods it was common to see beautiful, seductive women dancing to music that excited lustful desires in those present. One such Biblical example is found in Herod being so pleased by the dancing of Salome that he promised to give her whatever she asked. This foolish oath cost John the Baptist his head (Matt. 14:1-12; Mark 6:21-29).
        Sensual desire and lust is the purpose of dancing. If this is not so, why not have one prom night for the boys and another for the girls. But, on the other hand, the Bible plainly speaks about such perversion as “men with men” and “women with women” and condemns it as sodomy, homosexuality (Rom. 1:25-28). Let me make it plain, this is not preacher talk■ Dancing excites lust and is condemned of God. All who participate in it have sinned, whether saint or sinner. Do not think you can come to offer worship unto God and it be acceptable (John 4:24)■ Your choice is to “repent or perish” (Luke 13:3). Think of the “judgment to come” and how you will stand before God (Acts 24:25).
        The Bible word which describes and condemns dancing as sensual and sinful is lasciviousness. It is defined as unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence, indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females (Thayer, p.79). Dancing certainly involves “indecent bodily movements” and the “unchaste handling of males and females.” That is its design. That is its appeal.
        Dancing involves activities that excite lust, passion and eroticism. Regarding such the Lord said “That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:28). James writes, “Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:14-15).
        Any activity that promotes lustful and/or sensual thoughts and actions is sinful (Matt. 5:28; 2 Peter 2:14; Gal. 5:19-21). Dancing is an activity that promotes lustful and/or sensual thoughts. Therefore, dancing is sinful. John the Baptist was beheaded because of a rash vow made by Herod whose passion was aroused by watching a young maiden dancing (Mark 6:16-29).
        Arthur Murray, a noted dancing teacher of years gone by was once quoted in Readers Digest as saying: “The difference between wrestling and dancing is that, in wrestling, some holds are barred■” A former owner of a large dance hall said, “You can picture the effect on a boy or one of these dances which calls for close abdominal contact and frequently brings the cheeks together and entwines the limbs. There is...but one reason for its popularity. That reason is sex appeal.”
        Lasciviousness and wantonness (which describe dancing) are condemned in the following verses:
        Mark 7:20-22 — “...From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.”
        Romans 13:13-14 — “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].”
        2 Corinthians 12:20-21 — Paul said, “For I fear, lest, when I come,...I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.”
        Galatians 5:19-21 — “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
        Ephesians 4:17-20 — “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ;”
        1 Peter 4:1-5 — “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind:...That he no longer should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of [our] life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries....”
        2 Peter 2:4-8 — “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth [person], a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned [them] with an overthrow, making [them] an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy [lasciviousness] conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed [his] righteous soul from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds.)”
        2 Peter 2:17-19 — “These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.”
        Jude 1:4 — “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
        God’s holy book says, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thess. 5:22). “Flee youthful lusts” (2 Tim. 2:22). Those involving themselves in lasciviousness (dancing) have no hope of heaven unless they repent and stop it. Scripture says, “...that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:21).

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Elders Column

Sidney White
Whatever the work of the church is, that is the work of every member of the church

        The answer to this question should be of utmost importance to each child of God who has the desire to be with God eternally. At the same time, it is unfortunate that many “mature” Christians (those who have been in the church for many years) seemingly have no clue what they are supposed to be doing. I have even heard members of the church speak out against elders who, according to the members, are not challenging them to do anything. My answer is that God has given us more to do than we will ever get done, whether the elders ever challenge us to do anything or not. That does not excuse elders for not doing their work, but neither does it excuse us if we are not doing our work. I am reminded of those to whom the Hebrews writer addressed his message. “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again...” (Heb. 5:12-14).
        To answer the question of this article, we might begin by simply saying that whatever the work of the church is, that is the work of every member of the church. The work of the church is usually divided into three categories: 1) evangelism, 2) edification of the members; and, 3) benevolence.
        The work of church members is evangelism. Far too often, too many members seem to think that the work of evangelism is the work exclusively of preachers, or maybe to some degree, the elders and Bible class teachers as well. The Great Commission was given to the disciples and is recorded in Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47 and John 20:21. At the same time, we have examples of the early Christians, following severe persecution, going everywhere preaching the word (Acts 8:4). As a result of their activity, the number of disciples grew rapidly. Perhaps one of the best passages relative to us is recorded in Paul’s second letter to Timothy. “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2).
        If I consider myself a faithful person, then I will be doing what faithful people do — continuing to teach others the word of God. That is what evangelism is. We have the example of a husband and wife (Priscilla and Aquila) taking Apollos aside and expounding “unto him the way of God more perfectly” (Acts 18:26). Because of the involvement of many members, Paul could say in Colossians 1:23 that “the gospel...was preached to every creature under heaven.”
        There is no way that one could read the will of God and determine that the work of evangelism involves only a select few members of the church. It involves all of us. This very well could be one of those areas that will cause some souls to be disappointed and lost at the judgment. As a member of the church, I ought to ask myself how long has it been since I even tried to teach someone the Gospel of Christ. An honest answer could be very revealing.
        Another area of work for members of the church is that of edification. As members of the Lord’s church, we all struggle from time to time. We get weak, frustrated and discouraged. As a result, we become ineffective for the cause of Christ. Who is going to pick us up? Who is going to get us going again? Those of the world have no interest in this matter. Satan is certainly not going to give any assistance in this area. God has arranged for His children to edify one another. Paul stresses this in First Corinthians 14. He was discussing matters of confusion over the use of spiritual gifts in the church at Corinth. And in that context, he used the word “edify”, or some form of it, seven times. Such repetition would make the idea of edification of extreme importance.
        It is too often the case that many brethren are found gossiping and running each other down rather than doing what we can to build each other up. None of us have even come close to reaching our maximum strength in the Lord. It is an ongoing process. We need continual encouragement, exhortation and strength that can be supplied by fellow Christians. Yes, it is the work of elders to watch after the flock of God, protect the sheep from any form of harm, search for the wandering sheep and to see that all are properly fed. But, have we forgotten the words of the great Apostle Paul when he wrote to the churches of Galatia? “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:1-2).
        If I consider myself “spiritual”, I will be doing the things a spiritual man is supposed to do. If we were to ask the average member of the church, “Are you spiritual?”, we would probably insult most. If we ask the average member how much time they spend trying to restore wayward members, we might get a sharp response. However, these questions, if not properly answered, will cause us to be lost eternally. Why can we not be honest in such matters?
        The matter of benevolence is the third area of work in which every member of the church should be involved. Are we fulfilling our responsibility when “the church” helps some needy person? Are we to get personally involved in this matter? Consider the words of the inspired James. “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit” (James 2:15-16)?
        In our society today there are so many people who are unwilling to work and are content to allow churches to take care of them. Helping people like this is not “doing good.” We must be very careful to not allow these people to keep us from seeking out those who really do need help. Concerning those who will not work, Paul said, “neither should he eat” (2 Thess. 3:10). Therefore, we should not be guilty of feeding those who “should not eat.”
        Those who truly need help will most often not ask for help. We, as members of the church, need to be keenly aware of those around us who may be in need. And, “as we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). In Matthew 25:31ff, Jesus gives a picture of some aspects of the judgment. Those on the right hand were welcomed because they had done good things to those around them. Those on the left were excluded because they had neglected to do good as they had opportunity. So to that extent, judgment will be determined by how benevolent we are to those in need.
        It is my conviction that if we would seek every opportunity to teach those with whom we have contact who are lost, if we would seek every opportunity to edify our brethren who need our encouragement, and if we would seek opportunities to help those in need, we would not have time to bicker, fight and split over trivial matters. That has too often been our history.
        As a member of the Lord’s church, are you willing to work in the kingdom? Won’t you seek to realize opportunities that come your way and to be busy in doing the Lord’s work? Don’t be a “passive” member of the church, but an “active” member, being faithful every single day.
               654 Alabama Ave. S
               Bremen, GA 30110

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Thomas F. Eaves, Sr., deceased

        God’s word was given to man by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16). First Corinthians 2:10-13 tells us how. Paul says that the inspired word furnishes man completely unto every good work (2 Tim. 3:17), while Peter informs us that God’s divine power hath granted unto us all things which pertain unto life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). This inspired word is all powerful (Heb. 4:12) and when obeyed, will save man from his sins (Rom. 1:16; James 1:21; 1 Peter 1:22-23). To obtain salvation, man must be obedient to the word (Heb. 5:8-9). When sinful man rejects the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16), there is nothing else to offer.
        On one occasion a rich (Mark 10:22), young (Matt. 19:20), ruler (Luke 18:18) came to Jesus asking him the greatest question man can ask, “Good teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life” (Mark 10:17)? Because the young man lived under the law of Moses the Master referred him to the teaching of Moses (Mark 10:19). The ruler replied, “Teacher, all these things have I observed from my youth” (Mark 10:20). Jesus did not challenge or deny the statement, but loving him (Mark 10:21) told him, “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). Upon receiving the answer to his question (Mark 10:17) the rich young ruler’s “countenance fell...and he went away sorrowful: for he was one that had great possessions” (Mark 10:22).
        The great lesson from this incident (in the life of our Lord) is that when the question had been asked, the answer given and rejected, Jesus stood and watched the young man walk away lost■ Jesus did not call him back and change his instructions so the terms would be acceptable. After the terms of divine inspiration had been given, the choice was the ruler’s: obey and be saved, reject and be lost.
        The word given by inspiration cannot be changed by man or for man (1 Cor. 4:6; 2 John 9; Rev. 22:18-19). Whether it concerns the way of salvation, discipline, marriage, divorce and remarriage, instrumental music in worship, purity of life, etc. God’s word will be THE standard of judgment (John 12:48-49).
        When men reject the word of God there is nothing else to offer. To change God’s word or make man’s word authority in religion is to lead man into perdition (Jer. 10:23; Prov. 14:12; Matt. 15:7-9).
        It is the word of God only, and only the word of God that can lead man unto salvation.

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Marvin L. Weir

        The way home is still the same as it has always been. The passing of centuries has not changed a single one of man’s spiritual obligations to God. The validity of God’s message has not changed since Paul said, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). The faithful child of God knows that he is a stranger or sojourner in this world. The Bible makes this very clear.
        This earth is not our home■ The writer of Hebrews said, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (11:13). Spiritually speaking, these faithful of old were “strangers and pilgrims” in the same sense as we are. God’s loyal servants will not become attached to the glitter and glamour this world offers to those who will conform to its ways (cf. Rom. 12:2).
        Regarding a Christian not becoming attached to this world, listen to the words of Adam Clarke. “How many use these expressions, professing to be strangers and pilgrims here below, and yet the whole of their conduct, spirit, and attachments, show that they are perfectly at home■ How little consideration and weight are in many of our professions, whether they relate to earth or heaven■”
        One must desire to go to heaven■ Abraham willingly left his family and friends to do God’s bidding (Heb. 10:11). David knew that his dead son could not come back to earth, but that he could one day go to be with his son (2 Sam. 12:23). As Stephen was being stoned to death he knew his soul was about to begin its journey to a far better place of abode (Acts 7:59).
        These Bible characters desired to go to heaven and their lives and actions while on this earth complimented their desire. A godly life is not without a high price tag■ Do you really desire to go to heaven? Are you willing to pay the necessary price?
        One must decide to go to heaven■ Will our place of eternal abode be heaven or hell? We decide NOW what we will receive THEN. A person will not accidentally find himself in heaven in the hereafter. It will require commitment, steadfastness, loyalty and allegiance to Christ and His church. Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). The Master again taught, “If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). To go to Heaven, a Christian must be “stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).
        Many are convinced that if they make no decision, they remain neutral. Jesus shows the error of such thinking by saying, “He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth” (Matt. 12:30).
        There is only one way that leads home to God■ The apostle Paul makes it clear that there is only one church or body (Eph. 4:4). There is only one book (Bible) that is God’s guide and standard of authority (2 Tim. 3:16-17). There is only one Mediator to intercede for and plead man’s case. Paul reminded Timothy, “For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).
        The one way home to Heaven is the narrow way that only a few care to travel (Matt. 7:13-14). It is true that man-made creeds declare that people can please God by attending the “church of their choice,” but the Bible still says Christ will save only His body (Eph. 5:23). And, it is clear that the Lord’s body is His church (Eph. 1:22-23).
        The way home is simple to understand■
        1) Man must be willing to “deny himself” (Matt. 16:24). The majority of people have no desire to pay such a price.
        2) A person must obey the Gospel and put on Christ. This means one must BELIEVE in Jesus (John 8:24), REPENT of sins (Acts 2:38), CONFESS faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10) and be BAPTIZED in water (Acts 22:16). Most believe people can be saved without baptism. But salvation is IN Christ (1 Tim. 2:10), and one only “puts on Christ” (Gal. 3:27) in the act of water baptism (immersion, burial, Rom. 6:4).
        3) One must make the decision to continue to abide in Christ. One desiring to go to heaven will continue to “walk in the light as he is in the light” (1 John 1:7). Some, never having died to the old man and the love of this world, choose to “walk disorderly” (2 Thess. 3:11). Those desiring to go to heaven will walk according to the “rule” [the law of Christ, all of it] (Gal. 6:16).
        Do you know where the road leads that you are traveling? Only the Bible tells us the way home■ Make a decision to travel the way home while there is still time and consult the Bible for correct directions while it is yet today (2 Cor. 6:2)■
               815 42nd St. SW
               Paris, TX 75460

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G. F. Raines

        Concerning the baptism that John administered, Jesus said: “And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him” (Luke 7:29,30).
        E. G. Sewell wrote: “Do you suppose it will be a less matter to reject the baptism commanded by the Savior than that preached by John? If the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God in refusing to be baptized by John, do you not think you would also reject the counsel of God against yourself if you were to reject the baptism commanded by Jesus and practiced by the apostles everywhere they went and preached? And do you think you could have the promise of pardon and at the same time reject the counsel of God against yourself by refusing a positive command of God?”
        When Jesus says, “Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5), who has the right to stand between the Savior and the sinner and say he can? And when the Lord says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16), who has the right to say, “He that believeth and is not baptized shall be saved?”
        Peter says: “...Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).
        Ananias says: “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
        Paul says: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:3,4).
        The word of Christ is the word of God (John 3:34), “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3,4). “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).

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        The Bible contains commandments and warnings against changing its contents from the beginning to the end. Nothing should cause the man of God more serious concern than those who would seek to change the Bible, the word of God; for, God is plain and powerful in His denunciation of such actions.
        “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deut. 4:2). “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it” (Deut. 12:32). “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Prov. 30:6). “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you” (1 Cor. 11:1,2). “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. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-9). “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle” (2 Thess. 2:15). “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:13). “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them” (2 Tim. 3:14). “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). “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18,19).
               Roderick L. Ross
               4345 Lawrence Rd.
               Baltimore, OH 43105

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“I have enjoyed STOP for many years. Thank you. I am now 87 years old and losing my eyesight. I do not drive anymore. I must ask you to take me off your mailing list. I have been a member of our Lord’s church for 64 years” ...Archie Ristine, Ellensburg, WA. “Please put me on your mailing list for STOP” ...Lydia Beach, West Plains, MO. “I have been receiving STOP for about one year and like the good and Bible based lessons all the writers are publishing. I would like to have my fellow brethren and sisters to be sent STOP. Thanks and keep up the good work” ...Bruce Jones, Wilsonville, AL. “Return to sender. Refused” ...Dick Atchley, Lewistown, IL. “Your thoughtfulness is really appreciated, but we would prefer not getting Seek The Old Paths. Thank you and have a good year ahead■” ...Donald & Doris Mackey, Riverview, MI. “I receive your monthly publication STOP. I don’t have words to express what a great means of correspondence this is for Christians. Please keep up the good work■ Please find enclosed a check. I am so ashamed I can’t give more toward your efforts in this Christian literature. Hard economic times have taken their toll on me. If you chose to list my contribution, please do not give my name. If the time comes when this publication is in danger of not being published, please let me know. I will find a way to increase my support! If you chose to use this letter in the MailBag section of this journal, feel free to do so. However, I had rather you not use my name. The article in the January 2010 publication entitled ‘The False Doctrine of Personal Preference’ was most excellent. It could not have been better written! Please keep up your good work” ...Monroe, LA. “I have only recently been receiving your paper and I appreciate it so much. It is so good to know that there are other sound people out there. 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But as long as I’m around, you can count on my enjoying reading STOP. It keeps me on my toes and gives me a lift to read them over at one sitting. I’ll turn 86 pretty soon” ...Addie Bell Long, Harrisburg, AR. “How have you been? Hope you have been well. May I please have these names added to your Seek The Old Paths list? I thank you for this, because I pray that the congregation where I attend will learn more of God’s word and issues that go on around us (in the church), so that we can protect our souls and the souls of those willing to hear truth. Also, can you and the congregation where you attend put me on your prayer list? I just ask for your prayer, that us in the congregation where I attend (Residence Park) will grow spiritually the way that God would have us to. Thank you” ...Anthony Grigsby. “Return to sender. 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Thank you for loving God and His Word” ...Bobbie Wheeler, Baxter, TN. “I really appreciated your recent article on ‘praying to Jesus and the Holy Spirit’ and stressing the fact that we need to pray to the Father (Matt. 6:6,9). I am of the older generation and have noticed in recent years a lot are praying to the Lord instead of the Father. Is this right and proper? I know in the Old Testament the term Lord seemed to refer to the Father God, but when Christ came into the world, Lord seemed to apply to Him. I believe it is still better to pray to the Father as the example in Matthew tells us. Also, many today are ending the prayer by saying, ‘I pray in Jesus name’ instead of ‘this prayer is in Jesus name’ or ‘we pray in Jesus name.’ To me, the prayer is made a personal prayer and not including the rest of the congregation. Am I being too dogmatic?” ...George Teel, Paducah, KY. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. The word ‘Lord’ means ‘supreme in authority, master, controller, ruler.’ It is used in the Bible in reference to God the Father (Gen. 3:14; Luke 10:21), Jesus the Christ (Acts 10:36; Rom. 1:7) and even man (Gen. 32:3-5; Matt. 18:23-27; Gal. 4:1). Today, we commonly think of Jesus as the Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36) and almost exclusively use it in that way. However, God the Father is also called ‘Lord’ throughout the Scriptures. The context must determine which ‘lord’ is intended. Your point is well taken in regards to our prayers. We should be careful to not leave the wrong impression when we use the word Lord. We ought to be clear as to our use of the word. Jesus gave instructions that our prayers be directed to God the Father in the name of Jesus the Son. Also, in public prayers, we should use plural pronouns such as ‘we’ and ‘our’ and refrain from using personal pronouns such as ‘I’ or ‘my’. Those leading public prayer directs the thoughts of all present and therefore it is ‘our’ prayer, not ‘my’ prayer — ‘we’ pray, not ‘I’ pray. Some study, forethought and consideration ought to precede all our prayers. --Editor].

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