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


Volume 14, Number 05

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

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

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

Web sites:
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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt
Joe Price

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
John Hague
Dan Head


In this issue:

Of Making Many Books and Much Study
Joe R. Price

Solomon said the words of a wise person are like goads, prodding us to action. Like “well-driven nails”, they stabilize us when fixed in our minds. Such words come from God, the “one Shepherd” to whom even Solomon, in all his wisdom and glory, yielded (Eccl 12:10-11). We do well to heed the “words of truth” – given by “one Shepherd” (Prov 2:6; Jer 23:1-4). Yet, as we are “admonished” by the wise words of the Preacher, he reminds us that “of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh” (Eccl 12:12).

Balance – that is what Solomon observed in life and urged throughout Ecclesiastes (1:1-11; 3:1-8; 7:16-18). As for writing books and studying them – there is no end. The wise counsel that we glean from teachers can indeed prompt us to action and stick with us, guiding our path throughout life. Ironically, increasing one’s knowledge brings an increase of sorrow: “For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow” (Eccl 1:18). Solomon is commenting from a “this life” perspective (“all that is done under the sun”, 1:14). The more we learn about life on earth the more we come face to face with its frailty and futility (“vanity of vanities”); the more we ought to long for heaven (2 Cor 4:16-18).

Solomon is not saying do not study. Nor is he advising men not to write books of instruction and guidance. Indeed, we must study to hear, to know and to obey God’s word (Eph 3:3-4; 5:17; 2 Tim 2:15). Even the Preacher, who set out to teach the people knowledge, wrote many proverbs worthy of our study (Eccl 12:9).

So, what is Solomon teaching us here? For one, that righteous living demands steadiness. Don’t burn yourself out. Do not be distracted by tomorrow: “sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt 6:34). For another, Solomon is concluding with what he has said throughout Ecclesiastes: man cannot know all the whys and wherefores of life under the sun (Eccl 5:18-20; 7:13-14; 8:16-17; 9:11-12). God’s “words of truth” goad us to worthy conduct and secure our lives of faith as we “fear God and keep His commandments. For this is man’s all” (Eccl 12:10-13). So then, let us study God’s word in order to live an obedient life as long as we are “under the sun” (2 Tim 2:15).


Judgment Day: May 21, 2011?
Joe R. Price

A sign on the Guide Meridian north of Bellingham announces the date of the Judgment Day: May 21, 2011. Some of our members have been given a pamphlet explaining these calculations and urging preparation (“May 21, 2011 Judgment Day Tract”,

They also squeeze the “rapture” (another baseless expectation) into their predictions, but, that’s not all. The tract says the “end of the world” will come five months later, October 21, 2011. According to Harold Camping, the 89-year-old retired civil engineer turned Biblical prognosticator, there is no room for skepticism: “Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment," he said (“End of Days in May? Believers enter final stretch”, Tom Breen, Camping’s radio ministry has garnered a cadre of believers who have canvassed this country and the world (via the Internet, tracts, etc.) with their predictions.

This false prophecy reveals many glaring errors in Biblical interpretation, including these:

1) It assumes God has revealed a “calendar” of man’s existence on the earth. He has not (Matt 24:36; 1 Ths 5:1-3). But, that doesn’t stop these devotees. By an elaborate manipulation of the genealogies of Genesis 5-11, dates are assumed and then turned into figurative language to speak, not of the events of the flood and the time before and after it, but of events now taking place! “Since this Bible calendar is given by God in His Word, it can be trusted wholeheartedly. In this brief pamphlet, we will share some of the conclusions derived from the Biblical calendar and from other studies in the Scriptures.  However, the amount of information available is far too abundant and complex to get into much detail in this short pamphlet; but we can and will give precise and compelling dates.  These dates can be trusted entirely because they come right out of the Bible” (Tract). They twist the Scriptures to their own demise (2 Pet 3:16).

2) It assumes Genesis 7 has a two-fold meaning. “The child of God has learned from the Bible that the language of Genesis 7 has a twofold meaning” (Tract). By misapplying 2 Peter 3:8 (“with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”), they tell us the seven days before the flood in Genesis 7:4 are really seven thousand years! They “spiritualize” the literal meaning of the word of God. With that approach to Bible interpretation you can make the Bible say anything you want! Sadly, they have.

The “days” before the flood in Genesis 7:4 means the same as the “days” of creation in Genesis 1 – an “evening and morning” (Gen 1:5). The Hebrew word “yom” in these verses is neither an epoch of time (as the deniers of six, 24 hour days of creation tell us), nor 1,000 year each as these end of the world predictors claim.

Such predictions of the Judgment and the end of the world have come and gone before. The Bible teaches us always to watch and be ready for the judgment: “for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming…for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect” (Matt 24:42, 44). Jesus will return, of that we have no doubt. But not on man’s timetable that distorts His word. His return will be both the end of the world and the Judgment Day (Jno 5:28-29; 2 Pet 3:10-13; 1 Ths 4:13-5:3). Are you ready for that day to come? If not, obey Jesus now! (Rom 2:1-11; Matt 28:19-20)


You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS

Complete in Christ

Scripture Reading:  Colossians 1:24-29

1. Christians are filled up by Christ’s fullness, Jno 1:16 (Eph 1:3), Jno 1:18 (Col 2:3); 14:6, 27 (16:33).
2. You are complete (full) in Him, Col 2:10.


  A. He is the Source (means) of our Fullness, Col 1:19; Heb 2:10; 5:9; Ac 4:12. (Redemption, Rom 3:24; Col 1:14; Peace, Eph 2:14-16)
  B. You must be in Christ to be Saved by Christ, Col 2:11; Acts 2:38; 3:19 (9:11; 22:16); Col 2:12; Rom 6:3; Gal 3:26-27.
  C. Every Spiritual Blessing is in Christ, Eph 1: 3; Col 2:10; 20-23, 3; Matt 16:18; Eph 1:22-23.


  A. Preaching Christ Warns Every Man, 1:28; cf. Acts 24:24-25.
    1. Sin and death, Rom 6:23; Acts 2:40-41; 8:20-24 (1 Pet 5:8).
    2. Counterfeit gospels, Gal 1:8-9.
    3. Falling away, 1 Cor 10:12; Heb 3:12-13.
  B. Preaching Christ Teaches Every Man, 1:28; 2:3; 1:9-11; Jno 8:31-32; Col 2:6-7; 2 Pet 3:18.


  A. Complete in His Church (One Body), Jno 17:23; Eph 4:4; Col 1:18-19 (Eph 1:3).
  B. Perfect Law of Liberty to Guide You, Jas 1:22-25 (Col 1:9-10; 3:16).
  C. Completed by a New Covenant, Heb 7:18-19 (Col 2:17).
  D. Complete Love of God, Eph 3:17-19.
  E. Full of God’s Forgiveness, Heb 10:12-14.

Conclusion Object of being full in Christ is to be presented complete in Him, Col 1:28 (2:10).


You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS

Apostolic Doctrine and Our Customs

Scripture Reading:  2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

1. The apostles’ doctrine is the “tradition” we must ‘hold fast’, Acts 2:42; 2 Ths 2:15; 3:4; 2 Tim 1:13.
2. Ability to distinguish between apostolic teaching and man’s customary practices is crucial.
3. Failing to know how to establish and apply Bible authority we will bind where we should loose and loose where we should bind, Matt 16:19.
4. Inspect our worship assembly and understand the difference between allowable custom and divine truth, Heb 10:25; 1 Cor 14:26.


  A. Worship in Song is Mandated, not Entertainment, Heb 2:12; Eph 5:19.
  B. Congregational Singing is Mandated, not Solos, Quartets, etc., Eph 5:19; Col 3:16.
  C. We Use Aids to help us Obey the Apostolic Tradition of Worshiping in Song (these cannot be mandated). (1 Cor 14:40)


  A. We Eat it as a Memorial of the Death of Jesus, Matt 26:26-30; 1 Cor 11:23-26; 10:16.
  B. We Use Aids to help us Obey the Apostolic Tradition of Eating the Lord’s Supper.


  A. Preaching the Gospel Demands Calling Sinners to Respond to God’s Call to be Saved, Acts 2:21-22, 36-41; 16:30-31; Rom 10:13-14; Acts 2:40 (18:4, 8; 24:24-25; 28:23-24).
  B. While the Gospel Invitation is not Customary (optional), We Do Use Aids to help Call Sinners to Salvation (these cannot be mandated).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Honor Code
Joe R. Price

Star basketball player Brandon Davies was removed from the nationally ranked BYU basketball team this week for violating the school’s honor code against premarital sex. Davies apologized to his team, whose dream of playing for a national championship may have been dashed by this turn of events.

     BYU officials did not make excuses and they did not change the rules to accommodate the player and the team. While I strongly disagree with the doctrines of Mormonism (BYU is operated by the LDS Church), I appreciate their moral clarity in this matter. “BYU’s honor code consists of living a ‘chaste and virtuous life’ and abstaining from premarital sex” (“BYU Dismisses Player From Basketball Team for Having Premarital Sex”, God forbids premarital sex (1 Ths 4:3-8).

     As a counterpoint, witness the announcement last week from the Obama Administration that it will no longer defend DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) in the courts. DOMA is federal law; not a university code. Yet, because the present administration prefers to honor homosexual relations and see same-sex marriage legalized (which DOMA forbids), they have said “we won’t defend the law”. Law ought to be enforced and defended against violators (1 Tim 1:8-11).

     We hope the BYU student repents of his sin and learns from the punishment applied that rules are not changed in order to avoid unwanted consequences. (It is ironic that the LDS Church once “changed the rules” when statehood was desired and polygamy was the sticking point – but I digress.) Let us pray for our leaders and our nation as they ignore the rule of law, accommodate and advance societal immorality, to the harm of souls and our nation (Prov 14:34; 1 Tim 2:1-2).


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  03/07/2011

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