Know Your Bible
January 2000

I Do, But I Don't:

I believe in proper methods, but I don't wear the name "Methodist". I believe in baptism, but I don't wear the name "Baptist". I believe presbyters (or elders) should oversee the local church, but I don't wear the name "Presbyterian". I believe one should be holy, but I am not a "Holiness". I believe Jesus was reared in Nazareth, but I am not a "Nazarene". I believe that these are the "last days" in which we are now living, (Hebrews 1:1) and that we are called to saints, (1 Corinthians 1:2), but I am not a "Latter Day Saint". I believe the church should be catholic (universal), but I don't wear the name "Catholic". I believe in unity, but I donít wear the name "Unitarian".

According to some arguments (?) used to justify the religious wearing of human names, I would REALLY have a name. I would be a Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Holiness, Nazarene, Latter Day Saint Unitarian, Catholic, Christian! WHEW! What a name! However, I don't wear those names which glorify a person, a method, or a doctrine. I wear the name of Him who was crucified for me; and in whose name I was baptized. (1 Corinthians 1:13). Salvation is in no other name, but the name of Christ, (Acts 4:12). That's why I am pleased to wear the name "Christian", (Acts 11:26), the "new name" God gave to His people after the Gentiles had seen His righteousness (Isaiah 62:2), and which glorifies God (1 Peter 4:16).

Yes, I do believe in methods, baptism, presbyters, etc., but I don't wear divisive human names, which may honor the teaching, but not the "Author and Finisher of our faith", even Christ. If you obey the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16), you, too, can be simply a Christian and wear the name of Christ, which is embodied in the very word ďCHRISTian".

---Whit Sasser

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Are We Under The Ten Commandments?

Many people believe that the Ten Commadments compose the law for guidance in religious conduct today. No doubt, you have heard people say; "What we all need to do is return to the Ten Commandments", or "If we keep the Ten Commandments, we are sure to be saved."

These laws were the best code of laws ever given to men, prior to the laws of Christ. They served admirably in the place and time for which they were designed by Jehovah. The law of God was given by Moses, called the law of Moses (including The Ten Commandments), was not God's final will to man. It was perfect for the purpose for which it was given; "as a schoolmaster" to bring the Jews to Christ. (Galatians 3:24). It was temporary in that it was to continue only until Christ made His laws effective. (Galatians 3:16 and 19).

A person today could keep the Ten Commandments to the letter and still not be Christian. One who does not believe in Christ could keep the moral principles of the Ten Commandments, but certainly, one who does not believe in Christ could not be a Christian.

"For the law was given by Moses, but truth and grace came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:17). The law given by Jehovah through Moses, dealt with the act that was wrong. The truth of God given through Christ deals with the wrong thought behind the act that is wrong. The law of Moses pointed sin out but offered no completed forgiveness. The law of Christ points sin out and gives the remedy for absolute remission of sins.

NOTE: The sixth commandment said: "Thou shalt not kill." (Exodus 20:13). Jesus said: "Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer..." (1 John 3:15). The seventh commandment said: "Thou shalt not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14). Jesus said: "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matthew 5:28).

This illustrates the fact that the law of God given by Christ is far above the limitations of the law of God given by Moses. Christ deals with the higher aspect of Godliness in purifying the heart of man.

God has given a better covenant through Christ than He gave through Moses. The law of God given by Moses, including the Ten Commandments, falls far short of the better law revealed through Jesus Christ.

For; the law of God given through Moses, (including the Ten Commandments), says nothing about the following:
(1) Christ as Saviour, (2)The saving blood of Christ shed for remission of sins, (3) The church and its worship, (4) The gospel of Jesus Christ or (5) The cross of Christ.

Christ fulfilled the law of Moses, (Matthew 5:17), and took it out of the way nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:14). He brought in a "better covenant with better promises." (Hebrews 8:6).

The Ten Commandments were done away with. Paul wrote that the "ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away." (2 Cor. 3:7). He further states concerning that which was "glorious," which was written and "engraven in stones," that it has been done away with. "For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious." (2 Cor. 3:11).

But how can we know that the things written and engraven on stones was the Ten Commandments? Let us take notice of Exodus 34:1: "And the Lord said unto Moses, hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou breakest." Then again, in Exodus 34:28; "And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments." So, we must conclude that the Ten Commandments, which were written on tables of stone, were done away.

If the Ten Commandments have been abolished, then we are free to steal, kill, bear false witness, commit adultery, dishonor our parents, bow before other gods, covet or take the name of the Lord in vain? Absolutely not! Why? Because these are forbidden in the New Testament, by which we guided in this dispensation. All these principles set forth in the Ten Commandments are also taught in the New Testament, except one. This one exception is the command to "keep the sabbath." In the New Covenant we are not commanded to keep the Sabbath, (the seventh day of the week), but we are taught to worship God on the Lord's Day (the first day of the week). (Acts 20:7). Sabbath keeping was not included in the New Testament law. When I keep those principles we read about in the nine of the Ten Commandments, I keep them because Christ taught them in His New Covenant, and not because Moses taught them to the Jews in the long ago. "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).

Is the Old Testament of any value? Yes! It proves the New Testament. It shows us how God dealt with man in the past. It helps us to understand the true meaning of faith. Hebrews chapter eleven wouldn't mean as much if we could not turn back to the Old Testament and read about Holy men of old as they demonstrated what it means to be faithful to God. Paul wrote: "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." (Romans 15:4).

---W.R. Jones
in THE WEEKLY REMINDER, 7/29/65

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Can You Find The Verse?

Can you find the verse where the following practices are mentioned?

1. A local church was overseen by a pastor (singular), who was really a preacher?

2. An elder was a young, unmarried man?

3. Any person was ever encouraged to join any church?

4. Mention is made of "the church of your choice"?

5. The confession "I believe that God, for Christ's sake, has pardoned my sins" was ever made or
mentioned?

6. Infants were ever baptized?

7. Sprinkling or pouring was ever used instead of immersion?

8. Such titles as reverend or father were worn by New Testament preachers?

9. Creed books or confessions of faith were ever written, used, or encouraged?

10. Any human name was ever worn in a religious sense with God's approval?

11. Either Christmas or Easter was ever celebrated as a religious day in New Testament worship?

12. Instruments of music were employed in New Testament worship?

13. Pie suppers, bingo, bazaars, or other such methods were used to raise money for the work of
the church?

Only passages of scripture from the New Testament pattern for the church would suffice as authority for these and many other denominational practices. In the absence of scriptural authority, these practices rest on the sand of human opinion. Only those practices that harmonize with the truth of God are built on the rock. (Matt. 7:21-27).

---Bobby L. Graham

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