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A Critical Review of Illusions of Innocence
Illusions of Innocence is the title of a book written by Richard T. Hughes and C. Leonard Allen. It is subtitled, Protestant Primitivism in America, 1630–1875…
A History of Anti-ism From the 19th Century to the Present
One of the unmistakable lessons of history is the tendency of men to engage in extremes of thought and practice. This fact is no more clearly demonstrated than in the field of religion….
A Response to Fellowship Compromises in the Church of Christ
From time to time there have been those spiritual “fifth columnists,” traitors within the kingdom of Christ, who are guilty of spiritual high treason….They are in places of immense influence as elders, preachers, publishers, editors, authors, and university administrators and professors…..
A Review of Alvin Jennings‘ 3 Rs of Urban Church Growth
In 1981, a brother in Christ, Alvin Jennings, owner of Star Bible Publications, Inc., wrote and published a book titled 3 R’s of Urban Church Growth. This book raised many eyebrows,…
A Review of How Does the Holy Spirit Convict Today?
The doctrine that there must be/is a direct operation of the Holy Spirit upon the sinner in addition to/in conjunction with the Word before he can be convicted of sin and converted to Christ is not a newcomer in the realm of theology….
A Study of Deacons and Deaconesses—1 Timothy 3:8–13
The Greek New Testament employs several words which are translated by the English word, “servant.” There are three major types of servitude that may be distinguished among these terms.
It is ironic that Matthew is one of the most familiar names of all of the personalities of the New Testament, yet there is only a smattering of biographical information about him available to us. The sparsity of material about the life of this well-known apostle illustrates the fact that the Scriptures never seek merely to satisfy human curiosity.…
A Study of the Captivity in the Major Prophets
The captivity of God’s covenant people of the Old Testament is one of the saddest chapters of all history. Never was an obscure race of men so marvelously blessed of God, and never did one squander it all on such an equally grandiose scale….
It is not possible to correctly conceive of man’s relationship to God while ignoring or denying the reality of man’s accountability to God. The fact that the Scriptures exist as the revelation of God’s will for man and that they insist that man must be obedient to the Divine will necessarily implies a time of accounting based upon that Divine will…. the Scriptures are also explicit in their frequent statements concerning the Final Judgment.
A Study of the Necessity of Careful Obedience to the Word of God
From almost the first page of the Bible, and certainly to the last, God’s Word sets before us the necessity of obedience to God. This is so much so that we can say without fear of successful contradiction that the principal unrelenting theme of the Bible from beginning to end is that man must obey God or suffer dire consequences…
A Sudden and Curious Emphasis on Balance
Has anyone else besides me noticed a recent upsurge in the cry for “balance” in preaching and writing? Further, am I the only one who has noticed that this emphasis is not coming from the predictable liberal tongues and pens, but from some brethren who were generally considered sound in the faith?
A Tribute to Jehovah’s Word—Comments on Selected Verses From Each Stanza of Psalms 119
The all-sufficiency of the Word of God for all of man’s spiritual needs could not be more clearly stated or more fully emphasized than it is in this psalm.
Addressing Some Problem Passages in Romans
The letter of Paul to the saints in Rome is generally acknowledged not only to be among the most profound documents in the Bible, but also in all of literature, as well…. Although not written in signs and symbols, … many of its passages have nonetheless taxed the talents of expositors for centuries.…
“All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”—a Hymn Study
The book of Psalms, written mostly by David, was the song book of God’s Old Testament people for a thousand years. However, some five hundred years earlier, Moses led the descendants of Israel in singing the great song of deliverance from their Egyptian slavery,…
Alleged Contradictions and Problems in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy
Atheists, infidels, humanists, and agnostics, as well as skeptical…theologians employ difficult passages and alleged Biblical contradictions as a chief point of attack against God and His Word. It is therefore most appropriate for us to study such passages…that we may answer the blasphemers of God’s Word.…
An Examination of the Current Unity Movement
Those who are familiar with restoration history are aware that we are seeing history repeat itself in the current attempts at unity. As Moses Lard observed the Lord’s people as they began to clamor for more and more innovations and to have less and less respect for the authority of Scripture in 1865,…
Annihilationism is a form of materialism that denies the immortality of the human soul, insisting that human beings are merely mortal, physical, material. This doctrine holds that the wicked will be atomized, snuffed out of existence—annihilated, either before or after the Judgment, rather than being consigned to punishment that never ends in a fiery Hell.…
Annihilationism—a Spiritually Fatal Innovation
Hell has fallen on hard times. The most frequent reference to it nowadays is as a term of cursing, swearing, or intensification of expression. Others use it in a weak attempt at levity: “I want to go to Hell; after all, that’s where all my friends will be”….
How strange it is that those who pride themselves in being most liberal toward and tolerant of every philosophy, lifestyle, and religion can be exceedingly intolerant toward those whom they judge to be intolerant!
Are Alien Sinners Amenable to the Law of Christ?
It is exceedingly strange that anyone claiming to be informed in the Word of God would deny that alien sinners are accountable to the law of Christ. However, there have been in the past and there presently are those who advocate this fatal error.
The question of the title above is actually asking: “Are Bible Examples Binding on Mankind Today?”…
Authority Structures in Local Churches
My two-fold responsibility in the assignment to write this material is to discuss the following: (1) situations in congregations which have no eldership and which must depend upon committees and/or trustees for leadership and (2) a relatively recent phenomenon relating to the selection and appointment of elders, commonly called the “reaffirmation of elders.”…
The worldly, fashion-mad nature of humankind has changed little through the centuries. Luke provides an interesting description of the philosophers whom Paul encountered at Mars Hill in ancient Athens: “Now all the Athenians and the strangers sojourning there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear something new”….
Suppose a rich relative died and granted you $10,000.00 in his will. However, the will stipulated that you must bring a leather briefcase to the courthouse to pick it up and that failure to do so would cause you to forfeit the grant. The award would be no less free because the will stipulated a condition and you complied with it. Nor would complying with the will’s condition in any sense constitute earning the award….
Baptism—What Does the Bible Teach?
In Mark 16:16 Jesus made one of the most explicit statements in the New Testament concerning baptism: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.”1 In spite of the plainness of His statement regarding the purpose of the act and its place in the Divine plan for man’s salvation, men still largely ignore and/or obstinately oppose Jesus’ teaching.…
Billingslyism, A Response—Who Has Fallen from Grace?
In order to please God, the doctrine of Christ must ever control our desires. Conversely, men behave exceedingly dangerously when desire becomes the father of their doctrine. This very phenomenon is apparent in the several attempts that have been made in recent years to escape the restrictive nature of Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:9 relating to marriage, divorce, and remarriage:…
Brief Surveys of Some New Testament Epistles
[These] brief introductions to and surveys of 2 Corinthians through Colossians are part of the book, A Bible Handbook—Authored by Preachers in the Churches of Christ, edited by Jerry Moffitt.… This book is an interesting, practical, informative, and helpful treasury of…material, which both novice and advanced students may read with great profit.…
Building Up the Church Through Singing
Many characteristics distinguish mankind from all the lower forms of animal life. Among the most notable of these peculiarities are the size and capability of the human brain (which makes us superior to all other life forms) and the human voice….
“Calvinism” is not a single doctrine or even a few scattered, unrelated doctrines. It is a system of theology embracing several significant doctrines. These dogmas are all tightly woven together in a logical and interdependent fashion. However, the entire system is fatally flawed….
Calvinism—A Study of Election and Apostasy in Paul’s Writings
There could hardly be more consequential, pivotal doctrines than these two. The elect are God’s “royal priesthood” and “holy nation” …If we miss what the Scriptures teach about election… we will not be among those “elected” and will be lost…..
Christ Ascends and the Apostles Wait—Acts 1:1–26
The first chapter of Acts is characterized by waiting in great anticipation by the apostles on events and experiences soon to come upon them. These events were destined to affect not only them and those in their own time, but also multiplied millions of people down to our time and in whatever time yet remains.…
Christ Confronted Error About Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage
Among the subjects upon which the Lord confronted enemies of the Truth was that of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus issued some basic principles regarding this subject: .…
Commentary on and Review of K.C. Moser’s The Way of Salvation and The Gist of Romans
This chapter reviews two books, rather than one book, both by the late K.C. Moser…The rationale for this dual review is the close relationship of the content of these books to each other, although published a quarter-century apart…
One of the great energizing principles of the religion of Christ has always been that itand it alone is approved of God.…The Gospel is not to be taken to all men merely because it is one good way among other good ways.…
Corrective Church Discipline in the New Testament
The requirement of corrective discipline is present in every area of our lives. If the state does not exercise it, there will be anarchy in the land. If it is not exercised in the school system, the result will be confusion instead of education. If it is not practiced in the home, there will be sore and sad delinquency to follow….
Daniel 2 is the longest chapter in the book. With Isaiah 2, Joel 2, and Acts 2 it is a pivotal Biblical chapter. It is also a key chapter to understanding the book of Daniel itself.
This final chapter of Daniel is by far the shortest of the book with only 13 verses. However, it is an important chapter, if for no other reason, because it is the last—the culminating chapter.
Denominational Attitudes and Tactics Among Brethren
In 1962, most of the erroneous religious principles I addressed in my preaching and writing were apparent in the denominational world. Now, along with many other Gospel preachers, I find myself preaching and teaching these same principles, only with an additional purpose….
Denominationalism—Its Causes, Contradictions, Consequences, and Cures
A denomination is a religious body with extra-Biblical peculiarities distinguishing it from the church revealed in the Bible. It is utterly impossible for any denomination to exist without men believing something, doing something, being something, saying something, or having something that is not in the Word of God. All denominations teach more or less of what is in the Bible. However, the things they teach that are in the Bible do not make them denominations, but the things they teach that are not in the Bible….
Discussion Between Eddie Whitten and Dub McClish on Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
…[T]o say that “God joins a couple in marriage per Matthew 19:6, but only in view of the civil ceremony,” is far too broad a statement. Jesus went all the way back to Adam and Eve to illustrate God’s all-time law on MDR in this very context. According to your sweeping generalization on what constitutes a marriage, God could not have approved their relationship as a marriage, for no “civil authority” then existed to conduct a “civil ceremony.”…
Time relates to each human being in a very personal way because from one’s birth until his death constitutes all of his “time.” … The other facet of time is the long view that embraces the interval from the beginning point of the material creation to the end of it. This is “time in the aggregate,” including all that will eventually take place between those two epochal boundaries. It is not an interruption between two eternities, but simply a “parenthesis” in the one eternity….
Does God Really Answer Prayer?
Do God and Satan share power over the direction and future of our world (Dualism)? Or do we have a living, loving, and all-powerful God who remains vitally interested in us and Who is still active in the affairs of His children and responsive to their pleas?
Does the Bible Teach the Principle of Guilt by Association
Is it valid for voters to question candidates for the office of President of the United States about their close associates? In the 2008 presidential campaign this question came to the fore, especially concerning Barack Obama. His twenty-year membership in the extreme racist and anti-American Jeremiah Wright’s Chicago church….Political conservatives argue that such associations are reliable indicators of one’s convictions and direction….
Elders and Roots of Apostasy—Acts 20:28–30
There is no point of Truth where apostasy can or will be tolerated by true lovers of Christ. However, one of the most crucial, pivotal, and fundamental matters that must be guarded is the Scriptural organization of the church. The effects and implications of changing the very structure of the church’s government are staggering and far-reaching, indeed.…
Emotionalism vs. Proper Emotions
The Bible student immediately recognizes the validity of emotion in Christianity in such terms as joy, sorrow, fear, hate, love, and even anger. These all have their part in the thinking and behavior of Christians. Emotion is also related to such elements as sincerity and enthusiasm. However, another term in the definitions that catches our attention is “feelings.”…
Eternal Life Is in the Son—1 John 5:9–13
What a marvelous God we have who sent His Son into this world for sinful men and gave sufficient testimony to provoke certitude or faith in Him to any honest heart! What a wonderful Savior we have, the One alone in Whom we may have eternal life! What precious certainty of eternal life we have if we faithfully serve Him!…
Excursus on the Power of Darkness in Colossians
As with many Biblical words, darkness is first used literally and then takes on a figurative or symbolic meaning related to and derived from its literal meaning.…
Exposition of Daniel 12 and Realized Eschatology
To mutilate some lines from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 43, “By how many names do we know thee? Let us count the names:” “Kingism,” “AD 70 Theology,” “Realized Eschatology,” “Preterism,” “Covenant Eschatology,” “Transmillennialism”….
God is “pro-life” concerning infants in the womb—and we had better be! Jeremiah’s reticence to respond to God’s commission is an attractive sign of humility. The arrogant seek to push themselves into places of prominence. The humble attempt to do God’s bidding, all the while thinking themselves unworthy.
Ezekiel — Prophet of the Exile
As the tenderhearted Jeremiah wept out his impassioned pleas to the citizens of Jerusalem to “repent or perish” during the last quarter of the seventh century B.C., it seemed that all were saying, “We will not hearken” (Jer. 6:17). However, there was one young man…who must have listened intently to and must have been considerably impressed with the message of the weeping prophet.…
Ezra, A Model for Every Servant of God
Ezra lived during Judah’s period of captivity in Babylon in the fifth century B.C. He led a group of Jews back to Judea from their land of captivity in about 457 B.C. He rose to considerable prominence in a pagan court (Ezra 7:6, 11-28), after the manner of Joseph, Moses, Esther, Nehemiah, and Daniel.…
Faithfulness and the Sermon on the Mount
The need for faithfulness in Christians was never greater than at present. We live in an unbelieving world, drunk on its own supposed cleverness and self-sufficiency. Because of this prevailing world view, ours is an evil, compromising, and hopeless world. Never has the devil had so many false philosophies and erroneous religions as now.…
False Theories Versus the Truth on Inspiration
There is no spiritual or religious authority if the Bible is not God’s inspired Word. Those who would rob men of their faith in the Bible as God’s faithful, infallible, and inerrant Word rob them of everything of essential value!
Fornication and Adultery—Moral Issues We Face
We live in an exceedingly wicked world, saturated with encouragement on every hand to fulfill one’s sexual desires in ways and in settings that a righteous God cannot tolerate indefinitely. The destructive influence these constant stimuli have had and continue to have on young people is a special source of concern to all who value moral purity.
God Hath Spoken the Living Word
From his Roman prison cell, Paul wrote concerning the Gospel, “Wherein I suffer hardship unto bonds, as a malefactor; but the Word of God is not bound” (2 Tim. 2:9). Paul thus recognized the incomparable glory and power of God’s Word. Men may imprison the messenger of God, but they cannot imprison the message.…
God Rewardeth the Fool and the Transgressors—Proverbs 26
In the Proverbs, God, through Solomon, sought to teach men how to avoid evil and to live righteously without having to actually experience the bitter dregs of evil. Of course, some will not listen to reason or revelation and can learn only from the deep misery and guilt produced by the practice of ungodliness.…
God’s Commission to Jeremiah —Jeremiah 1:4–10
Few Old Testament characters equal and none surpass the prophet Jeremiah’s devotion to Jehovah God…. His refusal to compromise the message God commissioned him to preach to Jerusalem’s stiff-necked apostates in the face of brutal and terrifying persecution is worthy of the grandest admiration and emulation.
God’s Faithful are Forgiven and Forgiving
If asked to list ten of the most desirable and admirable human traits, likely even hardened sinners would list a willingness to forgive near the top.… It is one of three triplet traits that are far too seldom seen: giving, thanksgiving, and forgiving.…
God’s Vengeance and Mercy and Israel’s Fervent Prayer for Help
In general, it is accurate to think of the book of Isaiah as dealing with both history and prophecy relative to the nation of Israel, its relationship to Jehovah/God, and the promise of the coming Messiah. In a larger context, however, Isaiah’s writings may be seen as having relevance for God’s people in any time period; emphasizing God’s control over His creation and the ultimate triumph of His will….
Growing a Church—At What Price?
Some brethren will do almost anything to bring numerical and financial growth to a congregation. They will mutilate, innovate, and obfuscate the Gospel in order to have it. “Growth (as they define it)-at-whatever-price” is the demon that drives them….
Hagar—the Bondwoman Who Was Cast Out
God first promised in Genesis 12:1–3 that He would make a great nation of Abram. Abram’s wife Sarai (also his half-sister, 20:12) was a beautiful woman (an attribute that at times brought him worry as well as joy—12:10–20; 20:1–18), but she was barren….
Has the New Testament Church Been Restored
It has become popular among numerous religious elitists to guffaw at the very suggestion that the original church has been restored to its pristine state in modern times.
Higher Christian Education—What Should you Expext your Child to be Taught?
When the Scriptural doctrine of fellowship is surrendered, everything has been surrendered. …“Unless the schools operated by our brethren stay true to the Book there is no reason for their existence”…
Higher Secular Education—What Should You Expect Your Child to be Taught?
The general election of November 2008 was historic: The first black president of the United States was elected. However, his convictions far outweigh his race in making this election historically significant.
How We Got Where We Are—A Half Century of Church History
The Lord’s church today is not the same body it was fifty years ago. My grandfather (an elder for forty years in central Texas) or even my father (whose more than thirty years of preaching ended in 1966) would not believe their eyes and ears were they to be “beamed down” into some present-day assemblies that still masquerade under the designation, Church of Christ….
Instrumental Music—Aid or Addition?
The fuller reading of the title of this manuscript would be, “Is Instrumental Music an Aid or an Addition to the Singing prescribed by the New Testament in Christian Worship?” By this I mean, does it somehow assist the singing itself or the singers in the worshiping of God and His Son?
As this study of Paul’s second epistle to the Corinthian church is introduced, it is highly appropriate to notice several historical, social, and doctrinal factors which had a definite bearing on it.…
Introduction to the Song of Solomon
The Song of Solomon is a book of never-ending curiosity, comment, and controversy…Barnes’ Notes comments: “It may be said to be the enigma of the Old Testament, as the Apocalypse is of the New.”
Is Restoration Desirable or Possible?
Illusions of Innocence is the title of a book written by Richard T. Hughes and C. Leonard Allen, which I critically review in this MS. The book title implies both their thesis and their conclusion: Restoration is a mere illusion, and only the innocent (read ”naïve”) attempt it or believe they can accomplish it…
Is the Doctrine of Premillennialism A Fatal Error?
This is a particularly timely and relevant matter, because the Doctrine has become extremely prevalent throughout the protestant denominational world in recent years. No longer is it confined to what we might call “fringe” holiness groups. Premillennialism can now be found in virtually all “mainline” denominations as well….
Is This What They Mean by Balance?
The Forest Hill congregation (FH) in Memphis, Tennessee, oversees and is the home of Memphis School of Preaching (MSOP), both of which have for years commanded my utmost respect, support, and commendation. Brother Barry Grider is the FH preacher and is also on the faculty of MSOP….On February 10, 2009, brother Grider published an article in The Forest Hill News titled, “I Got Used to It” It is evident from his article that he has “got used to” some things that he at one time had not “got used to” and that he did not learn to “get used to” from either the New Testament or from his instructors at MSOP several years ago….
It is not unreasonable to characterize the book of Isaiah as one of the most significant prophetic works in the Word of God. Its Messianic thrust and its prominence within God’s overall scheme of redemption may be fairly described as unexcelled or even unequalled.
Israel’s Earliest Wilderness Experiences
The faithlessness and fickleness that would characterize the Hebrews through their 40 years of wandering is herein revealed, and that quite early. Indeed, it was because of their early demonstrations of unbelief that God sentenced them to wander and die in the wilderness without gaining the land of promise, except for Joshua and Caleb. Some important lessons await us in this period of Hebrew history….
Jerusalem From Three Perspectives —Isaiah 2, 3, and 4
In Isaiah 1 the prophet unleashed numerous denunciations of God’s people that spanned the reigns of Uzziah through Hezekiah.… In chapters 2–4 Isaiah described Jerusalem from three perspectives. He first presents the perfected Jerusalem in its final, spiritual state (2:1–4), followed by a description of the polluted city he saw all about him as he wrote (2:5–4:1), and finally, he set forth the purified city ….
Jesus Describes the Christian Life
My purpose has been to choose some areas of the Lord’s life and teaching that I believe are representative of His aim and direction for Himself and for His followers. If we follow Him in the service He rendered, the things that He hated, and the concern He had for the lost, we will never be far away from the totality of His example and doctrine.…
There is no more basic place to begin a study of New Testament evangelism and our responsibility toward it than to understand the purpose of Jesus’ first coming. To try to evangelize without this understanding, whatever our success might be, we will fall far short of what it could be if we knew why Jesus really came.
Jesus Teaches in Parables—Matthew 13:1–58
While parabolic teaching certainly did not originate with Christ, it cannot be denied that He elevated this figure of speech to unprecedented heights of beauty and potency.
Joseph’s Brothers—a Brief History
The title of this manuscript implies Joseph’s ascendency, his importance, his place of leadership, and his moral superiority among all of the sons of Jacob. Otherwise, the subject of this study might be “A History of Reuben’s Brothers” or “A History of Dan’s Brothers.” Nevertheless, the brothers of Joseph have their own important niche in the providential plan of God and their history is certainly worthy of our study.…
Joshua—Who Did As the Lord Bade Him
The careful adherence to the Word of God seen in Joshua was both expected and accepted by God. The entire Bible record is one long illustration of the truth that God expects and accepts no more, but no less of all men in every age. This beautiful trait Joshua so fully exemplifies has numerous important implications.
The only reason Joshua was not the greatest man of his time is because he was contemporary with Moses. None would question that he and Moses were the two principal characters of their era. We know little of Joshua’s ancestry…. However, great men and women are not so merely because of their parentage, kindred, or associates or because they are pronounced great. True greatness is earned and its characteristics are definable and recognizable.…
Joshua’s Victories of Faith—Joshua 11-1-23
The first ten chapters of Joshua give the history of Israel’s crossing of the Jordan, their campaigns against the cities of Jericho and Ai, and the conquest of the Southern area of Canaan.… The stage is thus set for the beginning of the mightiest military challenge Israel had thus far faced…
Josiah’s reign is recorded in 2 Kings 22–24 and 2 Chronicles 34–35. He was the sixteenth king of Judah after the division of the united Kingdom of Israel in the tenth century B.C. He is one of the most remarkable kings of Judah from several perspectives….
Lessons From Micaiah, the Unheralded Prophet
The Scriptural record of Micaiah is brief. All that we know about him is found in 1 Kings 22:8–28 and the parallel account (almost a word-for-word repetition) in 2 Chronicles 18:7–27. While we know less about him than about most other prophets, what we know of him is worthy of our careful study and close emulation.…
“Liberalism” and “Anti-ism”—Two Erroneous Extremes
History reveals that men are susceptible to extremes in almost every arena of thought and behavior. This is no more clearly demonstrable than in the field of religion…. The Lord’s church has been plagued by extremes from time to time. Every extreme position from the day of the apostles to the present revolves around the two opposite extremes generally designated “liberalism” and “anti-ism.”…
When compared to the Corinthian epistles or to the respective letters to the Galatians, Timothy, or Titus, the letter to the Philippians is written in mild terms. The reason for this is not hard to discover. There were severe, catastrophic problems threatening the very existence of the churches involved in the aforementioned letters….
Losing All Things to Gain Christ—Philippians 3:1–11
One of the powerful evidences of the inspiration of the words of the Bible is their timelessness—they are ever applicable and never obsolete. We will find this to be the case with the material in this section of the Philippian letter.
A widely advertised book titled, “Lost Books of the Bible,” is on the market. …What shall we say of these claims? …Were these (and other such documents omitted from the New Testament) actually written by such men as Paul, Peter, Nicodemus, Pontius Pilate, and even the Lord Himself? …Why were these books not included in the Bible?…
Undiscerning and unscrupulous men have “wordnapped,” redefined, misused, and abused several rich and beautiful Biblical words. Among them are grace, faith, miracle, elect, and predestined. Love, which Paul names a “fruit of the Spirit,” is another of these words (Gal. 5:22).…
The events described in the beginning of Matthew 15 took place in Galilee, where Jesus was attracting throngs of people by His mighty words and deeds. News of His miracles had spread “from Dan to Beersheba” (and even further), reaching the ears of jealous officials in Jerusalem who sought Him out in order to discredit him before the people, if possible.…
It is no secret to those of us who have lived a few decades that our nation has suffered a catastrophic decline in moral principle and behavior over this span. Those who are 20 or fewer years old are incapable of fully recognizing this decay, because its onslaught was well underway when they discovered America—they have known little different.…
We should not wonder,… that even confirmed ignoramuses in all things Biblical are quite likely to know the name of Moses and perhaps a fact or two about his life. He is just that much of a historical giant, not only in Biblical history, but also in all history.…
There is surely more to being a faithful child of God than regular Bible class and worship attendance, but can one be faithful to God while forsaking these and other such assemblies? Let us ask the pivotal question on this subject: “Is attendance of the church’s assemblies … necessary?”….
One Congregation May Withdraw From Another Congregation
When a church so compromises the truth that it is no longer recognizable as a Church of Christ, how can faithful sister congregations fail to mark it and refuse to withdraw fellowship from it and still be faithful to God?
In the drama of life, temptation is a real and ever-present factor for the Christian. Perhaps even those persons who have no conscience are sometimes tempted, if only to do something honorable and decent occasionally!…
Paul’s Public Rebuke of Cephas—Galatians 2:11-21
In order to bridge the thought gap between the claims of his apostolic authority and the subject of the perverted “gospel” into which they were rapidly moving, Paul next described his confrontation with the apostle Cephas/Peter. This confrontation serves well to show that he was not inferior even to the best-known and perhaps, at the time, most influential apostle.…
Premillennialism and Crossroadsism–A Refutation From Acts 1-11
Our need to study repeatedly this and other doctrinal themes and errors lies in the fact that brethren go through “knowledge cycles.” Faithful brethren may beat down false systems and/or practices for a while, as has done more than once among the Lord’s people. Then someone like Robert Shank will come along and write a book on it and revive it….
Premillennialism and the Second Coming of Christ
The Second Coming of Christ is one of the most persistent themes of the New Testament, with scarcely a book thereof omitting it.… the vast majority of professed believers in God, His Son, and the Bible have been ensnared by wild speculations about the “what,” “when,” “why,” and even the “where” of Christ’s return. These theories are part of the system of theology generally called “Premillennialism.”…
Principles for Making Moral Decisions
When we speak of “morals,” “morality,” “mores,” and that which is “moral,” what do we mean? This family of English words is the transliteration of a Latin term, moralis, meaning “custom.” In modern usage, the adjective, moral(e.g., moral behavior, moral values, moral issues, moral decision-making), refers to right or wrong, good or evil character and behavior….
The first verse of Micah’s book is ripe with several important details. The name Micah means “who is like Jehovah?” and is an abbreviated form of Michaiah, the name of the fearless prophet of Israel, who withstood wicked Ahab and his four hundred hired prophets two centuries earlier (1 Kin. 22:8).
Realized Eschatology and Exposition of Acts 2:29-36
Some may be curious about why an exposition of a portion of the Pentecost sermon belongs to a study, the purpose of which is to refute and expose the theological creed known as “Realized Eschatology.” …
Realized Eschatology and Exposition of Daniel 12
I caution the reader not to consider “Realized Eschatology” as merely a “doctrine.”…It is a system of theology every bit as much as dispensational premillennialism and Calvinism are. Just as the 1,000-year passages in Revelation 20 constitute the “tail” that wags the entire premillennial “dog,” so the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem wags the whole “Kingism” dog…..
Recognizing and Interpreting Synecdoches
We employ this figure in everyday speech without even realizing it. When you are lifting a heavy box and say to someone, “Give me a hand,” you are not asking for applause, a handshake, or for him to cut off his hand and present it to you as a gift. By synecdochism you are asking for the involvement of his entire body in helping you.…
Reevaluation/Reaffirmation of Elders
This writer’s first exposure to the practice of appointing elders by a “reaffirmation” process in a church of Christ was in about 1987 when the Richland Hills Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas, announced in its bulletin that it follows such a process for both its elders and deacons. Due to its history of leadership in all things liberal for many years, this was not at all surprising.…
Reflections on the Restoration Summit
There has been a growing chasm, in our beloved brotherhood over the past 20 years between those who have adopted a pragmatic and non-authoritarian approach to their doctrine and practice and those who are “set for the defense of the gospel” (Phi. 1:16, ASV).
Resist Satan in the Faith—1 Peter 5:5–14
What were they to do concerning their foe? They were to resist his attacks by the only means at their disposal—by being stedfast in the faith. They were not to compromise when they faced fiery trials, even death. Satan could not ultimately devour them by harming or even killing them physically.…
Respecting the Silence of Scripture
A vast portion of what was once the church of our Lord has fallen victim in the past half-century to the spiritual enslavement of liberalism, resulting in countless innovations. We can lay much of the blame for the apostasy at the feet of a two-fold ignorance….
Reviewing the Jehovah’s Witness Cult
It is…amazing that a doctrinal system that is built upon multiplied Scriptural blunders of major proportions—perhaps unsurpassed by any other cult or sect—could attract so many adherents. Such amazing results are attributable to man’s gullibility, to his ignorance of the Bible, and to the appeal to man’s fleshly lusts of certain Jehovah’s Witness doctrines….
Romans 16 is one of the most completely personal sections to come from the pen of Paul or from that of any inspired writer. Of its twenty-seven verses eighteen of them relate to personal commendations…
Scriptural Unity, or Shameful Union
Apostate brethren have definitely undertaken a renewed and intensified “unity” initiative with the Independent Christian Church (ICC). This effort has been growing and gaining momentum in the years immediately leading up to 2006, the centennial year of the separation of the Christian Church from the Lord’s church.
Shall We Participate in “Promise Keepers”?
What shall we say about Promise Keepers? Is this an organization the Lord’s people should participate in and promote or is it another interdenominational ecumenical fad with which we can have no fellowship? In order to answer this question we will briefly study the origin and aim….
Shall We Worship in Truth or by Tradition?
“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23–24).1 These words from our Lord to the woman at Jacob’s well set before us the significance of the entire subject of worship and particularly of the subject of this chapter.
Soldiers of Christ and Their Warfare—Ephesians 6:10–13
Ephesians is one of four letters Paul wrote from Rome in about 62 A.D. while he was appealing his case to Caesar. In describing this period of incarceration, Luke reported that “Paul was suffered to abide by himself with the soldier that guarded him”
Some Commonly Misapplied Scriptures
The goal of honest and earnest Bible students is to ascertain what the Scriptures actually teach. It must always be our desire to make sure that we are not drawn too quickly to what a passage seems to say before we are certain that it does in fact say what it sounds like it says.…
Statement from Brother Dave Miller and My Response
On September 23, 2005, brother Dave Miller issued a statement in response to the accusations of numerous brethren that he has taught and practiced the unauthorized elder reevaluation/reaffirmation procedure and that he has advocated an erroneous position regarding marriage, divorce, and remarriage.…
Surprising Things About the Church of Christ
People who are not familiar with the church of Christ frequently express surprise upon learning of some point of doctrine or some practice that is peculiar to it. When we produce the Scriptural evidence to which a given doctrine or practice conforms and which the Word of God demands, we often hear expressions such as, “I never heard that before,’ or “I didn’t know that was in the Bible.”
Paul wrote the exhortation contained in the title above to Archippus, a member of the Colossian Congregation. Ministry is from a cognate of the Greek word from which translators gave us deacon. It simply means a servant or minister, which term the New Testament never without qualification applies specifically to preachers.
The Bible Is the Inspired Word of God
No subject, however, is more significant and far-reaching than the subject of the inspiration of the Bible. Rejection of the Bible’s inspiration equals rejection of the Bible itself because it claims to be peculiarly and uniquely revealed, inspired, and delivered to men by God. It further follows that rejection of the Bible is tantamount to rejection of God and His Son, even as it is also a rejection of the one true religion….
The Book of Micah—a Brief Commentary
It demonstrates the inspiration of its author by its otherwise totally inexplicable detailed prophecies of…both Israel and Judah…. It is even more remarkable in its detailed prophecies of the establishment of the church and of the birthplace of the Only Begotten Son of God.…
Few English nouns appear with greater frequency in the New Testament than the word disciple (269 times in the ASV).…This term is used frequently … to describe the men and women who,… were attracted to the Lord by His teaching and His miraculous activity.
The Christ Addresses the Seven Churches—Revelation 1:1–20
Perhaps the most important chapter of the Revelation for the reader to understand is the first chapter. It gives us many things that are helpful—and some I deem necessary—to approach the remainder of the book intelligently. It identifies its human author, where he was when he wrote it, and why he was in that location….
The persecution of the righteous began in the shadow of the Garden of Eden as righteous Abel was slain by his jealous brother Cain because Abel’s “works were righteous” …The prophets of God were treated in especially brutal and shameful ways as they fulfilled their God-given tasks. …
The devil has many ways of trying to contaminate, destroy, and corrupt the church of the Lord. He tries to do it through false doctrine, of course. He tries to do it through apathy and indifference. He tries to do it in many ways, but surely, immorality is one of the principal ways.
The establishment of the church in Jerusalem was the culminative step in God’s plan for the redemption of mankind. For this reason Acts 2, because of the events it records, stands out as a pivotal, if not the pivotal chapter of the Bible. It is interesting to note that in a certain sense two churches were established on Pentecost in Jerusalem.…
The Church’s Unity and Undenominational Character
… If the walls of Zion are breached at either of these gates, the cause will be lost utterly, for then the church will no longer have a Scriptural identity. It will simply be absorbed into the kingdom of darkness with all the rest of counterfeit Christendom. God forbid!…
The Destructive Consequences of Pentecostalism
A new surge of belief in modern-day miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit began in the 1960s. It has been labeled “Neo-Pentecostalism.”
The Difference Between the Lord’s Church and the Religions of Men
Depending upon which Internet source one consults, he will find various figures for the number of distinct denominations in existence (e.g., 34,000, 38,000, 40,000)…. We must therefore deal with some broad principles that demonstrate this distinction….
The Divine Nature and Fellowship
The material found in 2 Peter 1:1–11 is significant in helping the Christian understand his relationship both to God and to his fellow man. Verse 4 expresses the consummation of all of God’s efforts for and among men—that men might become partakers of His nature. Here is man at his zenith: not living on the animal level or merely on the civilized human level, but on the Divine level. Such an incomparable consideration is fraught with unparalleled implications….
The Dual Requirements of Faith and Works
These verses on the interrelationship of faith and works at once comprise one of the best-known and most controversial sections of the epistle of James. The very way in which James approached this subject implies that it was also one of considerable controversy in the first century. Protestant denominationalism has largely ignored this section of Scripture because it is one of supreme embarrassment to it….
The modern version of honesty is a pragmatic one: “I’ll use whatever means necessary to make my fortune and serve my own ends…What a sad commentary all of this is on the shattered and crumbling moral fabric of civilized man…
The First Messianic Prophecy—Genesis 3:1–24
No one can successfully deny that all but the briefest beginning of the history of humanity is one long tale of wickedness and woe, suffering and sin. The Bible is a book about sin and a Savior. But exactly when did this miserable condition begin, and how did this sad state of affairs come to be, from which mankind needed salvation?…
The only appropriate attitude with which to approach a study of any facet of the Godhead is unmitigated humility.… The foreknowledge of God is one of those facets of His attributes that has ever intrigued men who recognize their own limited capacities. The Bible undeniably and frequently affirms, argues, and illustrates the fact that God possesses this marvelous trait.…
The Gospel of Christ Is Unchanged and Unchanging
Since liberal brethren continue to cry for change, it is obvious that they are lusting for change in matters that run beyond things that are merely optional. All that is left for the change agents to tamper with is obligatory elements of the Gospel. Surely, none of our brethren would advocate changes in these. Oh, but they would—and they are advocating these very changes! …
The Holy Spirit, Sanctification, and Sinless Perfection
Instantaneous, entire sanctification resulting in sinless perfection, accomplished by Holy Spirit baptism, is based on the doctrine of total hereditary depravity and is therefore itself totally false. It is an “unfruitful work of darkness” with which the Lord’s saints can have no fellowship, but which we must rather reprove and expose
The I Am Claims of Jesus in John’s Gospel Account
The subject of this manuscript involves Jesus’ employment of strong and vivid metaphors. John recorded seven metaphorical statements of the Lord in which He conveyed not only His Deity, but also His all-sufficiency to supply the direst needs of humanity. In each of these He declared, “I am the…” and then named an entity to convey some facet of His nature, function, or ability.…
From the ending of Old Testament history and prophecy to the opening words of Matthew’s Gospel account in the New Testament spans about four centuries. Historians have described…as “the four hundred silent years,” “the period of silence,” “the interval between the Old and New Testaments,” “interbiblical history,” “from Malachi to Christ,” and likely others….
The Life That Frees From Anxiety
Often our lives are like a two-sided coin. The positive side is stamped with emotions like contentment, peace of mind, happiness, and joy. The opposite, negative side contains stress, anxiety, worry, discontent, and incessant restlessness. In the past few decades, the negative, life-sapping leeches have increasingly filled our world and they show no signs of abating.…
“The Man or the Plan” Discussion Revisited
Scriptural accuracy includes “the Man and the plan.” Men who choose one in favor of the other are apostates. Our Lord, by self-imposed limitation, cannot/does not save apart from His plan….
“The Man to Whom the Lord Will Not Reckon Sin”
No more significant subject can be contemplated and researched, because involved in identifying those “to whom the Lord will not reckon sin” and the means by which this is accomplished is the key to both initial and continued forgiveness of the guilt of sin and eventual salvation from its eternal consequences….
The Multiplying Ministries Movement
The seriousness of cultism has long been demonstrated in such groups as Jehovahs Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and Mormons. The most prominent and destructive cult related to the Lord’s church in recent years has been the Crossroads Church cult and its offspring, the Boston Church cult.
The Necessity of Truth in Doctrine
No epistle in the New Testament begins more abruptly than the Galatian letter. No epistle is more frankly and plain-spokenly launched on its major course than the Galatian letter. No brethren in the first century are more directly and boldly reproved and called to account for their apostate direction than those of Galatia through this letter.…
The “New Heavens and a New Earth” of Isaiah 65-17
Jehovah promised through Isaiah, near the close of his great book, the following: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind”
Hermeneutics is a word created from the name of Hermes, a god of Greek mythology, who served as interpreter for the other gods, especially Jupiter. Thus, hermeneutics refers to the science of interpretation. Biblical hermeneutics are of ultimate importance….
The “One Faith” of Ephesians 4:5
If it is correct that this list of seven items is the expression of God’s terms of unity among His people, then it is immediately apparent that each of these terms must be carefully defined. If we do not understand the meaning of God’s conditions upon which unity must be built, we will err in the matter of those with whom we are to be united and to whom we should extend fellowship.…
The Principle of Restoration in the Battle for Truth
Rather than resulting in the restoration of anything spiritual or Scriptural, the attitude of disbelieving and despising the Truth will only restore and/or maintain the doctrines, morals and religions invented by Satan, by which he will damn the souls of men.…
The Providence of God as Seen in the Lives of Elijah and Ahab
Divine Providence refers to the foresight of God by which He determines the needs of men and supplies the same for the accomplishment of His Divine Will. God’s Providence benefits all men generally (Mat. 5:45). However, He exercises a more specific Providence toward His own faithful people (Deu. 4:40; 5:33; Mat. 6:33; 28:20).…
The Qualifications and Roles of Deacons and What About Deaconesses?
Our word deacon is simply a transliteration of the Greek term diakonos, one of several such cases in the English New Testament … Please notice that a deacon is not one who merely serves for the pay…. Nor is he a slave who is working because of compulsion or because he has no choice. A deacon is a willing servant—one who does freely what he is assigned to do….
The Qualifications of Deacons and Behavior in the Church—1 Timothy 3:8–16
… the Scriptural concept of a deacon goes far beyond a mere honorary title. Deacons are servants in the kingdom. Theirs is a place of “honor” only to the degree that they “serve well.” Faithful deacons are men to whom every member of the church owes much….
The Responsibility of Elders and Deacons to Keep the Unity of the Spirit
More than any other group of men, whether considered on a congregational basis or in the church as a whole, elders are in a position to promote and preserve the pure faith and the unity and peace among brethren, both on the local level and throughout the church as a whole.…
The Scope of the Covenants—Is Christ’s New Covenant Only for Christians?
In the early 1950s W. Carl Ketcherside and Leroy Garrett were disturbing churches with their hobby that drew a distinction between gospel and doctrine. They alleged that only the “gospel” of the New Testament as they defined it (i.e., the plan of salvation) applied to alien sinners, and that the “doctrine” of the New Testament as they defined it (i.e., all of the remainder of the New Testament) applied only to Christians….
Life is a testing ground, a time of probation. The tests, trials, and challenges come in many forms and from many sources. Some are easily recognized because they are so painful. Others may be difficult to recognize because they are not only painless, but they offer reward and/or produce pleasure.…
The “Twin” Parables—The Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price
The Dickson New Analytical Bible lists thirty-one parables spoken by our Lord. Since I deny that the account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–31) is a parable, my list contains only thirty. The frequency with which Jesus employed this story-form to teach a wide spectrum of lessons signals to us that this method was one of His favorite vehicles of instruction.…
With good reason Bible scholars classify the books of Job through Song of Solomon as “Wisdom Literature.” This is especially true of the book of Proverbs. The words wise, wisely, and wisdom are concentrated a total of 118 times in the American Standard Version of this not very large book. Wisdom—what it means to be wise and to act wisely—is the pronounced emphasis and theme of Proverbs….
To Remain Faithful to Christ, A Christian Must Keep Informed About Church History, Current Events in the Church Universal and World Events Impacting the Church
One must be either a spiritual babe and/or grossly misguided to believe that knowledge of these areas of information [i.e., church history, current events in the church, and world events impacting the church] is unimportant to one’s faithfulness to the Christ. Undeniably, a major factor in the extensive apostasy the church has suffered over the past six decades has been that so many brethren have failed to inform themselves in one or more of these areas….
Two Classic Arguments for the Existence of God
Without question, empirical evidence is helpful when establishing any thesis or proposition. However, there are other ways of demonstrating proof of a matter. We will examine only two: The cosmological and teleological arguments. Of the several arguments Christians have at their disposal, these are adequate to prove the existence of God to those who will consider them without irrational bias….
As beautiful and desirable as unity is, it is not the “be all and end all” in religion. Jesus did not say, “Ye shall know unity, and unity shall make you free,” but “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Visions of Judgment upon Jerusalem—Ezekiel 8–11
Generally, it can be stated that Ezekiel’s message centered around the fall of Jerusalem. The book of 48 chapters evenly divides itself into prophecies delivered prior to 586 B.C. (1–24) and prophecies delivered subsequent to Jerusalem’s destruction ….There are many things in the book of Ezekiel that expositors have puzzled over through the centuries and will continue to wonder about. At least some of the scenes and descriptions in the visions of chapters 8–11 are no exception….
We Will Promote Regular Bible Class and Worship Attendance
There is surely more to being a faithful child of God than regular Bible class and worship attendance, but can one be faithful to God while forsaking these and other such assemblies? Let us ask the pivotal question on this subject: “Is attendance of the church’s assemblies (including Bible classes, Gospel meetings, and other such assemblies) necessary?”
What Is Appropriate in Preaching
To ask what is appropriate in preaching is to imply that some behaviors and messages are appropriate, while others may be inappropriate. Our task is to discover and emphasize what Gospel preaching involves….
God was willing to send His only Son to earth, to live in poverty, suffer persecution and humiliation, and then bear the sins of all mankind for all time in a horrible death on a Roman cross. Jesus was willing to give up His glory with the Father in Heaven, come to earth to be born as a human being, live a life of poverty and deprivation, suffer persecution, and then endure the shameful treatment He received at the hands of the Romans at the instigation of the Jews….
What Is “the Gift of the Holy Spirit”?
Good, able, scholarly, sincere brethren through the years have held—and many presently hold—that the Holy Spirit “dwells” in the Christian only figuratively; that is, He does not actually and personally dwell in us, but only “representatively.” Most who thus believe hold that He indwells us only through the agency of His Word.
What Is the Restoration Principle, and Is It Scriptural?
Our title is composed of two questions. The first of these seeks definition of the “restoration principle.” Permit me to illustrate this definition by means of an automobile “allegory.” Automobiles have intrigued me since childhood. I learned to drive in a 1938 Ford pickup (it rolled off the assembly line the same year I discovered America).…
What Jesus Said About His Second Coming
The Second Coming of Christ is one of the most regularly appearing themes of the New Testament, beginning with the statements of Jesus Himself. One will do well to remember that the teaching of the inspired writers of the New Testament on this subject (as on all others) is as much the “doctrine of Christ” as is His personal teaching….
What Kind of Assembly?—1 Corinthians 14:26-40
Is it Scriptural for a woman to translate a Gospel message delivered by a man from one language to another for a mixed assembly of men and women? In about 1995, brethren began earnestly discussing this question in lectureships, papers, and debate.
When Does God Grant Forgiveness and Salvation?
…an email exchange resulted from a lengthy message written in the “Guestbook” section of our Website, scripturecache.com. All bracketed comments are my notes, supplied in an effort to clarify Mr. Clark’s wordings and omissions in various places….
“Woe Is Unto Me if I Preach Not the Gospel”
The term woe is found numerous times in both Testaments. It is a favorite expression of the prophets to announce God’s judgment upon nations, cities, or individuals. Our Lord frequently used it in crying out against the sinners and errorists among the Jews. (He used it seven times against the scribes and Pharisees in Mat. 23 alone [KJV].)…
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6 thoughts on “Manuscripts”
During a time In my life when I felt so hopeless, I studied this beautiful sermon, "The Man To Whom God Will Not Reckon Sin". Dub, I have never heard what God did for me explained in this manner. My faith in Him was renewed 20 fold. I almost broke out in tears during the Lord's supper. Just when I thought that I couldn't stand the pain of not being there another minute, I felt like I had hope. If only the whole world could understand what God has done for us and repent and come and seek Him out dilligently to do His will. You are the best brother I've ever had. Thank you for this beautiful sermon.
I’m delighted that you found the MSS you mentioned so helpful and touching. Your kind comments are humbling.
Yours in Christ,
I seldom comment on the internet, but I want to acknowledge how much your web page has helped me over the years. I use your material shamelessly in Bible classes, sermons and for personal study.
Your response reflects the very reason I began and continue to improve and upload new material to TheScripturecache.com. Thank you for your generous comments and for taking time to express them. And please continue “shamelessly” to use this resource in your good efforts to preach and teach God’s Word.
Yours in the Cause,
It was and is a very valuable gift for me, to have him as my teacher because his writings have increased my knowledge and have helped me to teach the holy people of God, because in addition to teaching in the local church I teach him in the churches What I visit Thank you very much for your valuable help.
Fue y es para mí un regalo muy valioso, el tenerle como mi maestro pues sus escritos han aumentado mis conocimientos y me han servido en gran provecho para enseñar al pueblo santo de Dios, pues ademas de enseñar en la iglesia local lo enseño en las iglesias que visito. Muchas gracias por su valiosa ayuda.
Thank you for visiting The Scripture Cache and for your kind comments. It is very gratifying to learn that you have profited from reading the material I have written. I have much more material that has been translated and is ready to be uploaded to our Espanol page, as time permits me to do so. I encourage you to keep on preaching and teaching the Truth.
Yours in the Cause,