Volume VII, Number 33
January 25, 2004

Published by

Mt. Baker
church of Christ
Bellingham, WA
(1860 Mt. Baker HWY)
(360) 752-2692

Bible Classes........9:30 AM
Worship..........10:30 & 6:00
Bible Classes........7:00 PM

Web sites:

Editor.............Joe R. Price

"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)

In this issue:

Ignorance or Dishonesty?
Jerry C. Brewer

     When those who claim to be God’s preachers teach things that are contrary to His word, they are either ignorant of His word or dishonest in their teaching. There is no middle ground — no third alternative.

     For instance, when a preacher tells you that, “One church is as good as another,” he is either ignorant of what the Bible teaches about the church, or he is deliberately dishonest in what he says. He is either ignorant of the consequences of his statement or he is deliberately deceiving you. The church of Christ is Christ’s bride (Eph. 5:22-23). To say, “One church is as good as another” is to say “one bride is as good as another” and that makes Christ a spiritual adulterer! He has only one bride or church — not many.

     Your preacher may as well tell you that “One God is as good as another.” The same passage which states that there is only one body, or church, also says there is “One God” (Eph. 4:4-6). The man who teaches that “one church is as good as another” needs to be consistent and teach that “one God is as good as another.” If not, why not?

     It is either ignorance of the Bible or blatant dishonesty that prompts preachers to say, “God accepts all faiths.” The Bible teaches there is only one faith. That is also found in Ephesians 4:4-6. There is no more damnable doctrine taught than the one which says, “It makes no difference what you believe, just so you are honest,” and the man who teaches that is either ignorant of the Bible or is himself dishonest. Can that concept be applied to eating and be safe? Does it make no difference what one eats, “so long as he is honest?” Can one eat rat poison and live, “just so he is honest?” Can one put a loaded gun to his head and pull the trigger without harm, “so long as he is honest” in believing it isn’t loaded? Those who preach that kind of eternally fatal falsehood are Satan’s servants, whether they are ignorant or just plain dishonest — and they are one or the other. It isn’t eating that nourishes. It’s what one eats, and it isn’t believing that makes one right, it’s what one believes.

     It was either ignorance or dishonesty when Max Lucado said, “I want to encourage you to be baptized... But I don’t want you to do any of that so you will be saved. I want you to do all of that because you are saved.” (Radio Sermon, KJAK Radio, Lubbock, Texas, Dec. 1996). Like other denominational preachers, Lucado teaches that baptism is because of salvation, rather than what the Bible teaches — that baptism is for, or “in order to” the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Lucado and others are either ignorant of what the Bible teaches, or they are deliberately dishonest in leading people into damnation. The Bible says, “...baptism doth also now save us...” (1 Pet. 3:21), but Lucado, Billy Graham, and all other false teachers have changed the “now” of that verse to “not.” In so doing, they are either ignorant of Bible teaching or deliberately dishonest. But whether they are ignorant or dishonest, they are absolutely wrong and are leading men to perdition.


If You Suffer for Doing Good
Joe R. Price

Most of us have not experienced the kind of suffering endured by early saints as they lived their faith among faithless men and women.  The apostles of Christ stand as one such example of courageous faith:

“For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men… To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.  And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now” (1 Cor. 4:9, 11-13).

Not many among us have faced such an onslaught from ungodly people. 

That is not to say that Christians to the present hour do not also face challenges to their faith or persecution for righteousness’ sake.  They do.  Perhaps your faith is being put to the test at this moment of your life.  Whether now or later, every Christian can take courage and be strengthened in the sure knowledge that our Lord suffered at the hands of sinners but is now exalted on high (Heb. 12:1-3).  Most of us have “not yet resisted to blood, striving against sin” (Heb. 12:4).  So take heart and be renewed in your faith.  Endure your present trial, being assured of everlasting glory, for Jesus said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven (Matt. 5:11-12).

The apostle Peter wrote, “And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?  But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed.  And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled” (1 Pet. 3:13-14).  When worldly people threaten and harass you because you are living your faith, how do you keep from allowing it to hinder your faithfulness to Christ?  Peter goes on in the verse to tell us how:

1) Sanctify the Lord as God in your heart (1 Pet. 3:15).  That is, firmly set up Christ as Master of your heart and life; fear God rather than men (Matt. 10:28).  People may hurt your flesh and wound your feelings, but they cannot touch your soul!

2) Defend your faith with the faith (1 Pet. 3:15).  The truth of the gospel of Christ is the power and wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:18-25).  Trust the message of God’s word to answer those who question (or renounce) your faith and hope.  And by all means, continue to obey the word of Christ, or the adversary will have gained his objective over you (1 Pet. 5:8).

3) Keep a good heart (1 Pet. 3:15-16).  Do not allow hate to well up within; maintain a meek and God-fearing conscience in the face of defamation and character assassination.

4) Keep doing good things (1 Pet. 3:16-17).  Do not render evil for evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:17, 21).  Your good conduct will shame some for mistreating you.  And if not, you will have kept your integrity and faith in the face of evil, and with that, the Lord is pleased. “For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil (1 Pet. 3:17).


Questions & Answers
Mark Dunagan

Who will be saved?

 “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16).

Shouldn’t we just “preach Jesus”?

 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.  As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look!  Water!  What prevents me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:35-36).

Isn’t it legalistic or pharisaical to teach baptism?

“When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they acknowledged God’s justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John.  But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John” (Luke 7:29-30).  “The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?  And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven’, He will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’” (Matthew 21:25).  Here is it clear that the chief priests and the elders were being very evasive and legalistic in trying to get around answering Jesus’ question about the authority behind God’s baptism.  They knew that if they admitted that this command to be baptized came from heaven, then they were without excuse for not submitting to it.  People who seek to evade the command to be baptized and make arguments why they do not have to be baptized are acting like the enemies of Jesus in the first century.


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

Bible Question Box Jan 2004

Scripture Reading:  Genesis 16:1-6

Why did God allow polygamy among His people in the Old Testament?

1.  Why study what the Bible says about polygamy?
2.  Did God approve of/encourage polygamy in OT?  Was it a part of God’s marriage law? What about today?


  A.  Woman was Created as a Helpmeet for Man – 2:20-22 (Mk. 10:6).
  B.  The One Flesh Reality of Marriage Speaks Against Polygamy – 2:24 (Eph. 5:31); 1 Cor. 6:16-18; Mal. 2:14.
  C.  Joy Attends Monogamy – Prov.5:18; Eccl.9:9"
  D.  In the NT, Marriage is a Figure of Christ’s Relation­ship with His Church – Eph. 5:23, 28-32.


  A.  It Began in Worldliness - Gen. 4:19.
  B.  It is Implied among the Sins of Genesis 6:1-2.
  C.  Polygamy brought Grief & Pain into Home – Gen. 16:1-6; 26:34-35; 29:18, 27-28; 1Kgs.11:1-4.
  D.  The Law of Moses Discouraged & Limited Polygamy – Exo. 21:10-11; Deut. 21:15-16; 17:17.
    -cf. Solomon:  1 Kgs. 11:1-4, 9-11; Neh. 13:26.
  E.  NT Reaffirms Monogamy as God’s Rule From the Beginning – Matt. 19:4-6; 1 Cor. 7:2.


  A. God Permitted Polygamy but Never Gave His Approval – Eccl. 7:29.
  B.  The Forbearance of God – Psa. 78:37-39; cf. Gen. 6:5-8; Acts 17:30; Rom. 3:25-26; Acts 14:16.
    -Today He calls all to repent – Acts 17:31.

IV.  POLYGAMY IS ADULTERY – Rom. 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:2; Acts 26:20 (19:18-19).


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

A Modern-day Daniel?
Joe R. Price

Man Enters Lion's Enclosure, Survives

     Jan. 14, 2004 — A 22-year-old man was recovering in the hospital this week from injuries to his face and arm after he sneaked into a Buenos Aires Zoo enclosure and started play fighting with a fully-grown lion, officials said.

     Hospital officials have examined the man, Lucas Tomas, to see if he was suffering from a mental illness. He reportedly told police that God ordered him to enter the lion's den.

     He suffered minor injuries from the encounter.” (

     Some might say this man was crazy (some evidently thought so!).  Some might say he was courageous (other than himself).  Some might even agree with him that he entered the lion’s den on God’s command.  But rest assured, this man was no modern-day Daniel!

     His entrance into the lion’s den was different.  Daniel didn’t choose to enter the lion’s den, he was forced there by the king’s unalterable decree – a judgment against his prayers to the true God instead of King Darius (Dan. 6:1-9, 15-16).  Daniel would not compromise his faith despite the judgment imposed on him by the schemes of ruthless men.  Lesson:  Don’t go around looking for a lion den to jump into, but if danger comes your way because you faithfully serve God, keep on doing what is right.

     His exit from the lion’s den was different.  Lucas Tomas was rescued from the lion (and evidently, from himself) as quickly as possible.  Daniel was not.  He was sealed in the lion’s den and spent the entire night there with no one trying to rescue him.  But, God kept him safe – not in spite of himself, but because of his faith in God (Dan. 6:17-23).  Lesson:  God will deliver His faithful people from every evil work and preserve them for His heavenly kingdom (2 Tim. 4:17-18).

     The result of being in the lion’s den was different.  Mr. Tomas received face and arm injuries, but thankfully he lived.  Daniel not only lived through the night, but “no injury whatever was found on him” the next morning.  Though the law of men found him guilty and worthy of death, Daniel was innocent before God (Dan. 6:22).  Furthermore, those who conspired against Daniel as well as their families suffered the fate they sought for him.  King Darius decreed honor be given the God of Daniel (Dan. 6:24-27).  And, Daniel continued to be blessed (Dan. 6:28).  Lesson:  God rewards those who faithfully serve Him (2 Tim. 4:6-8).

     Will we be modern-day Daniels who live by faith and trust God to deliver us from evil?  (Matt. 6:13)


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  01/24/2004

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