And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.   Ephesians 6:17


Volume XII, Number 41 October 18, 2009

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Worship..10:30AM; 6:00PM

Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
All sing last Wednesday

Web sites:
Mt. Baker church
Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt
Joe Price

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
John Hague
Dan Head


In this issue:

God's Permission, Pianos, & PowerPoint
David Halbrook

A staff writer for Christianity Today (a denominational magazine founded by Billy Graham) wrote about his experiences while visiting churches in his area (November, 2008). While visiting a church of Christ, he was confused by their “inconsistency” in refusing to worship with instrumental music while using PowerPoint, since neither one is mentioned in the New Testament.

Is this inconsistent? Why will we use one and not the other? Many people have this question, so let’s consider this alleged “inconsistency.”

The short answer is because the New Testament contains God’s permission to use PowerPoint but lacks permission to worship by playing musical instruments. “How so?” many ask. Consider:

-“Teach the truth” is God’s command (1 Tim. 3:15). The New Testament records both verbal and written teaching. Power Point is simply written teaching, thus we clearly have God’s permission to use it.

-No permission exists in the New Testament to worship God with instruments today. It is not in the worship of the church in the New Testament, despite the Jewish background of many who became Christians in the first century.

-We have God’s permission to worship by singing music (1 Corinthians 14:15). No one today has God’s permission to worship by playing music.

We must limit ourselves to doing the revealed will of the Father in order to avoid lawlessness (Matt. 7:21-23).


The Sin of Gossip
Joe R. Price

The tongue is a powerful thing. It can comfort the grieving with kindness and concern, and it can destroy a person’s credibility and good reputation. It can build up brethren and it can destroy churches. "Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell" (Jas 3:5).

We must learn to restrain our tongue by controlling our heart. Jesus said what comes out of the mouth defiles the man because it comes from the heart (Matt 15:11, 18). One such defilement is gossip. Consider why we must not gossip.

Gossip is a sin. It does not show love for one’s neighbor, nor does it show evidence of tongue-control (1 Cor 13:4-7; Matt 22:39; Jas 3:8).

The person who gossips is a talebearer. "He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends" (Prov 17:9). To the gossip – and the person who listens to it – a morsel of information about somebody else is delightfully feasted upon: "The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body" (Prov 18:8). The person who gossips needs to realize that partaking of gossip poisons his or her soul. For the sake of our souls we must not gossip!

The person who gossips sows strife. "The person who gossips is a slanderer" (Prov 16:28). One who "sows discord among brethren" is an abomination to the Lord (Prov 6:16, 19).

The person who gossips is a slanderer. "Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, Him I will destroy; The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure" (Psa 101:5).

The person who gossips is a busybody. "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters" (1 Pet 4:15; see 2 Ths 3:11). The gossip is a meddler.

Idleness invites gossiping: "And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not" (1 Tim 5:13). If you are tempted to gossip about others it could be you have too much time on your hands. Use your time productively to bear the fruit of righteousness instead of the fruit of destruction.

The tongue requires constant surveillance: "But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." (Jas 3:8) We cannot turn our back on the tongue for a second! Keep constant vigilance over it to use it for a blessing rather than a curse (see Jas 3:9-12). By keeping a pure heart we help prevent gossip (Phil 4:8).

If you have something to say about a person, go to them and say it in love; this will eliminate the sin of gossip and strengthen the bond of brotherhood.

-Revised and Reprinted

The Spirit’s Sword, June 2, 2002


You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS

Do Not Be Unbelieving (Jno 20:24-31)

Scripture Reading:  John 20:24-29

1. Experience, logic and wisdom will never satisfy as legitimate assessment of why we should have faith in God, in Jesus Christ and in the Bible as God’s word. Isa 55:8-9; Rom 1:21-22; 1 Cor 1:21.
2. God and His Christ teach us why we should believe, Jno 7:16-18.
3. Jno 20:24-31: Why you should believe.

I. THE DILEMMA: “I was not there!” Jno 20:24-25

  A. We were not there when Jesus Arose/Appeared, 20:24, 19-20, 8-10; Mk 16:11-13 (cf. Job 38:4; Psa 19:1; Rom 1:20).
  B. Why Should We Believe Eyewitness Testimony? Mk 16:14.
  C. God-Defined Reasons to Believe, Jno 14:7-11; Jno 5:31-47.


  A. Thomas Wanted to Examine the Evidence that Jesus was Alive from the Dead, cf. 20:19-20; Acts 1:22; Mk 16:15-20; 1 Jno 1:1-4; Eph 3:1-5; 1 Cor 2:13; 2 Cor 4:7-15; Luke 1:1-4.


  A. “My Lord and My God!” Acts 8:37


  A. Christ will Bless Faith, Heb 11:6; Acts 17:2-4, 10-12; 1 Pet 1:6-9.
  B. That You May Believe, Jno 20:30-31.


1. There is fullness of joy in faith.  Without faith there only fear and finally, death.
2. Faith rests on solid ground; Jesus was raised, the tomb was empty, the apostles saw Him alive, and His gospel is certified genuine.


You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS

They Recognized Him (Matt 14:34-36)

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 14:34-36

1. The excitement generated by the events of the previous day (Matt 14:1-33) is met with the sober teaching from the Bread of Life, and many turn away from Jesus (Jno 6:22-66).
2. Yet, others recognized Him when they came to the land of Gennesaret, and the people of that region rushed to Him for healing, Matt 14:34-36; Mk 6:53-56.

I. THE PEOPLE RECOGNIZED HIM, Matt 14:35; Mk 6:53.

  A. Do You Recognize Jesus? Jno 14:9
    1. False teachings conceal Jesus.
    2. We must open our eyes and recognize Jesus, Lk 24:31...
  B. Do People Recognize Jesus When They See Us? Lk 6:40; Jno 13:34-35; 1 Jno 3:16-18; Jno 17:20-21; Eph 4:3-6; Col 3:10; Eph 4:20-24 (Matt 18:6-7).

II. THE NEWS OF JESUS SPREAD, Matt 14:35; Mk 6:55.

  A. We Must Spread the News about Jesus, Acts 8:4; Jno 4:27-30, 39-42.
  B. Those who Desired Healing Came to Jesus, Matt 11:28-30 (20-24); Mk 2:1-5.


  A. God’s Hand is not too Short to Save Any Who Come to Him,  Isa 59:1-2; 1 Tim 1:15; Heb 2:17-18; 10:19-22; Acts 13:47-49; 1 Cor 10:13. Ways of escape…
  B. Perfect Healing is from Jesus, Matt 14:36; Jno 11:47; Acts 2:22.
    -No doubt when Jesus saves you! Mk 16:16; Acts 8:37-39


   In Jesus we come to fully know the heavenly Father, Jno 14:7-9.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

In the beginning, God “separated” the heavens and the earth?
Joe R. Price

According to Old Testament scholar and author Professor Ellen van Wolde, the first verse of the Bible has been mistranslated for hundreds of years. Instead of saying, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”, she says Genesis 1:1 ought to read, “In the beginning, God separated the heavens and the earth. (“God is not the Creator, claims academic”, Richard Alleyne, The Telegraph, 08Oct09).

Professor Wolde says the Hebrew word translated “create” (bara) means “spatially separate”, not to create something from nothing. Drawing upon her study of other Mesopotamian creation stories, she has concluded the Bible is the beginning of a narration – not the beginning of time. “It is meant to say that God did create humans and animals, but not the Earth itself”, she said. She believes “the traditional view of God the Creator is untenable now” (Ibid.).

The Bible says the world did not exist prior to God’s creation (bara) it. “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb 11:3).

Bara means to give being or existence to something new. Bara is used in Number 16:30: “But if the Lord creates (bara) a new thing…” New things were indeed created in Genesis 1:1 - “the heavens and the earth” – which had not previously exist (Professor Wolde and Mesopotamian creation stories, notwithstanding).

This Netherlands professor (Radboud University) may think she has made a profound discovery. In fact, she boldly denies the word of God.


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  10/19/2009

The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
Send all questions, comments and subscriptions to the editor at: