Know Your Bible

VOL. 12                                                                                                                          June 23, 2013                                                                                                                            NO. 20



Magnets have always fascinated me. As a child, I would try to force two magnets to come together at the same poles, but it never worked. However, when I placed the north pole of one magnet together with the south pole of another magnet, they came together quickly. God's Word is somewhat like two magnets joined at opposite poles. Positive commands are joined with negative commands to produce reconciliation. If one dwells only on the positive, he will not have a "coming together" with God. Likewise, one dwelling only on the negative aspects of God's Word, will never "come together" with God. When Jesus sent the seventy out to preach, He implied both the power of magnetism and polarization of God's Word. "He that hears you hears Me; and he that rejects you rejects Me; and he that rejects Me rejects Him that sent Me" (Lk. 10:16). 

While in the Plains of Moab, Moses commanded the people saying, if your mother, son, daughter, or even wife attempts to draw your heart away from God, do not listen to them. "Neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: but thou shalt surely kill him; thy hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people..." This is a very negative situation. However, the positive side of the equation is that the heart has escaped from being drawn away from God (Deut. 13:6-11). 

Due to the Corinthians not mourning over the fornicator among them the apostle Paul said, "In the name of our Lord Jesus, ye being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, to deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh" (1 Cor. 5:4,5). This is a very negative statement, yet there is a positive that connects the two. The second clause of verse 5 reveals the positive, "That the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Paul told the Roman brethren to "mark them that are causing divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which ye learned: and turn away from them" (Rom. 16:17). Thayer defines the word "mark" as "to fix one's eyes upon, direct one's attention to." To turn away from a brother or sister in Christ is a negative action; however, there is a positive side. "For they that are such serve not our Lord Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and fair speech they beguile the hearts of the innocent" (Rom. 16:18). The positive side to this command is that we keep ourselves from being influenced by such a one. 

To face a brother who is in error is a very negative task (Matt. 18:15-17; Jas. 5:19,20). Yet consider the positive side. Jesus said, "If he hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother" (Matt. 18:15). James said, "He who converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins" (Jas. 5:20). 

The Words of our Lord are never offensive to the ears of His true saints. David said, "How sweet are Thy Words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Thy precepts I get understanding: Therefore I hate every false way. Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psa. 119:103-105). The magnetism of God's Word is truly captivating and irresistible to the eye of the one who lives Him. A mind that takes the negatives with the positives is one that accepts that God has our well being in mind. Let us not be polarized by God's Word but "perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Cor. 1:10). 

---John C. Robertson 

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According to cult expert David Halperin, most cults are groups organized for the purpose of venerating an authoritarian, usually self-proclaimed leader. This leader claims to have a special relationship with God or with some other supernatural force, a relationship that imbues him or her with special powers." [A Parent's Guide To Teens And Cults].

Because some people are unfamiliar with the church of Christ they have wondered if we are a cult.  Here are some reasons why we do not fit the cult description:

·   We do not have a human leader. Christ is the Head of the church (Ephesians 1:22).

·   We do not claim to have special revelation (knowledge) which others do not have -- we believe the Bible is our sole authority (II Timothy 3:16,17).

·   Reason from Scripture is used in teaching, not pressure, manipulation, or control tactics (Isaiah 1:18).

·   Every member is to study and understand God's Word, not following any man or group ideology (I Corinthians 4:6; II Timothy 2:15).

·   We do not isolate ourselves, but are to be in the world while not being of the world (John 17:14,15; Matthew 5:13, 14).

·   We are not closed minded, but are willing to "test all things" (I Thessalonians 5:21).

·   We are not antagonistic, but believe, "if it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men" (Romans 12:18).

·   Zeal is expressed in ways controlled by God in the Scriptures (Romans 10:2).

·   Without exception, we are committed to God's high standard of morality, refusing to compromise anything revealed in the New Testament.

Being a follower of Christ has always been about faith based on personal study and investigation. True faith and its expression may seem strange, even extreme, to those who are unfamiliar with faith as revealed in the New Testament. Different or devoted does not mean cultic.

Our desire to do what is right in the sight of God must drive us to search for and find His true Will as revealed in the Bible. These are the people you will find in God's true church. A cult tries to decide for you -- God's people want you to look to God in His Word to decide for you!

---David Diestelkamp

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Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn.


It is twice as hard to crush a half truth as it is

to crush a whole lie.


Christ is not properly valued unless

He is valued above all.

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Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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