Know Your Bible

VOL. 13                                                                                                                         September 14, 2014                                                                                                                            NO. 28



Several years ago it was reported that the telephone operator in a town in Cape Cod received a call every morning asking for the correct time. Finally, overcome with curiosity, she asked the inquirer, “Would you mind telling me why you call about this time every day and ask for the correct time?" “Sure, I'll tell you,” the man said. “I want to get the exact time because I'm the man who blows the whistle at twelve o’clock." “Well, that's funny, that is,” said the operator, “because every day at the stroke of noon I set our clock by your whistle.”

How often do we set standards for ourselves based on what others are doing without considering what standard they are following? The examples of others are worthy of emulation ONLY IF those setting the examples are following the ONE TRUE standard or rule. This seems to be Paul's point in Philippians 3:16b-17 when he states, “let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.” To follow the example of others without being aware of what standard they themselves are following is the height of folly. The scriptures speak of those who, “measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12).

Setting Your Watch

Every individual has a personal standard which he takes with him everywhere.  He may either choose to follow it or ignore it. This inner standard is his conscience. Like a wrist watch which we may check through the day to keep us “on time,” the conscience can be used to keep us on the right track if it has been correctly set. But the conscience can be set by a false standard. Saul of Tarsus lived “in all good conscience” when he was a blasphemer and persecutor of Christians (Acts 23:1; 1 Timothy 1:13). The individual who sets his watch by asking a stranger on the street for “the correct time” is a lot like a man who sets his moral standards and religious beliefs by others.

This careless conscience setting is seen, for example, in a Christian whose conscience allows him or her to wear immodest attire because “it is not as immodest as what others wear” or “other Christians dress like this.” It is seen in the person who believes that they can be saved by “faith only,” not because they ever read it in the scriptures (see James 2:24), but because that's what their parents or grandparents believed.

Setting the “Church Clock”

Groups of people sometimes also set their collective conscience by an uncertain standard. In the days of the judges, Israel pled for a king; they wanted to be “like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:5). As a group of people, they had set their clock by the surrounding nations. In doing so, they rejected the Lord as their standard of authority (1 Samuel 8:7).

Even so, many churches today set their programs of work according to what surrounding churches (denominations) are doing. Children's church, Easter observances, and “rallies” to entertain the young people are just a few of the practices adopted by some churches of Christ (so-called) which illustrate this point. Each of these things have been done among denominations for decades, and now some churches of Christ are setting their clocks accordingly. Not one of these practices can be found in scripture, either by command, statement, apostolic example or necessary conclusion. These practices are of human origin.

Jesus said, “in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). 

—Steve Klein

Page 1



For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1 Tim. 6:10).

There was a story in the news about a German billionaire who threw himself in front of a train last week. The family confirmed that he took his own life.  They said, "The distress in his firms caused by the financial crisis and the related uncertainties of recent weeks, along with the helplessness of no longer being able to act, broke the passionate family businessman, and he ended his life,"

After reading the article I thought about how sad it is to be in a frame of mind that says, "Because of the loss of riches, and without the ability to change that, the next best solution is to take my own life."

Paul tells us those who seek after riches: "pierced themselves through with many sorrows." This man could not live with the fact that he had lost so much money in the markets, as well as his standing in financial circles. While striving for prosperity and great riches he lost everything. He had pierced himself through with many sorrows.

If only he would have learned the lesson Paul gave in 1 Tim. "Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content." (1 Tim. 6:6-8).  Contentment does not come by having more and more stuff, for surely the loss of it would be great. 

Contentment is a frame of mind. We are commanded in Heb. 13:5 to "be content with such things as you have." Surely if we put money in its proper place, and are content no matter what happens in life, we can keep ourselves from the many sorrows that people of the world find while chasing the "almighty dollar."

One of the tragic things about this story is that he was survived by children and grandchildren. What great lessons he could have taught them about succeeding and rolling with the punches, about getting up when you are down, about learning to be content with whatever you have. Instead the lesson left them was "when all seems lost, it really is."

I am certain this billionaire now knows the tragedy of what he has done. He ended his life because he thought he had lost everything, but by ending his life he truly did loose everything. Certainly we can say that the love of money destroyed this man and destroyed his only chance to learn the contentment in this life and for all eternity.  

——Aaron C. Andrews

The Gospel Power, Vol. 20, No. 1, Jan. 2013

Page 2



 A farmer explained: I study my Bible like I plow my field. Oftentimes when I’m plowing or breaking new ground, my plow will get hung under a root, and if I’m going at a pretty good clip it will really jar me. But I don’t get mad and beat my mule and burn my plow. No, I just back up a little, ease over the root and get on with my plowing. Next time around I’ll probably hit that root again and it still shakes me up, but I don’t quit farming. I just back up, ease over the root and keep on working. Pretty soon I have hit that root so many times that it’s loose and the first thing you know I plow right through it and don’t even notice it. I’ve got it shook loose. That’s the way I study the Bible. When I come upon a hard passage, it might shake me up a little bit, but I don’t throw away my Bible and quit the Lord on that account. I just ease over it and keep on studying. The next time I read that passage I jar it a little bit more. I keep on doing this until finally, because of information that I have gathered from other parts of the Bible I am able to jar the passage loose. I understand it. 


Page 3


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.

--- E.R. Hall, Jr.





Bible Classes ……….....….…............ 10:00 AM

Morning Worship ……..…….….…...... 11:00 AM

Evening Worship …………...……........ 6:00 PM


Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:30 PM



Radio Program

Monday - Friday

WDXC 102.3 FM .....................…........ 10:20 AM



Television Program


Comcast Cable - Heritage TV - Digital Channel 266 ............ 6:00 AM & 2:00 PM


Comcast Cable - Heritage TV - Digital Channel 266 ............ 2:00 PM



World Wide Web:


UNSUBSCRIBE: Reply to and put UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

SUBSCRIBE FRIENDS: Reply to and put SUBSCRIBE in the subject line.