Volume VI, Number 42
February 23, 2003

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:

"There's Nothing in a Name!"
Joe R. Price

Really?  Tell that to the parents of the Native American named “Winden Skye Everybodytalksabout” (that’s a real name!).  Now, just maybe the parents of “Leif Blow”, “Precious Sure” or “Moon River” were not trying to forecast the weather, recognize their child’s value or recall a famous song, but the fact is these names do convey meanings!  If there is nothing is a name why not name your next born daughter “Jezebel”, or your next son “Judas”?

Some have told us there is nothing in a name, yet the Lord has identified His kingdom with Himself.  Of Zion He said, “The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will name” (Isa. 62:2).  The Lord has designated His church as uniquely His: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven…”  (Heb. 12:22-23).  Why then would men give the church of Christ a name the Lord never designed, declared or designated for it?  Names such as “Catholic Church”, “Protestant Church” or “Mormon Church” are simply not to be found in divine Scripture (1 Pet. 4:11).

When we use “church of Christ” it is as the Scriptures do, to describe the redeemed who, called out of sin by His gospel, belong to Christ (Matt. 16:18; Rom. 16:16; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; 2 Ths. 2:13-14).  Such a “name” is descriptive of ownership and is certainly not a denominational title given by men.

But, some continue to tell us there is nothing in a name.  So, they name themselves “Lutheran”, “Presbyterian”, “Baptist”, “Methodist”, ad infinitum.  But, in the New Testament the disciples of Christ were called “Christians” and were thereby identified as those who were of Christ (the followers of Christ, Acts 11:26).  For believers to name themselves after men is the result of carnality and against the will of the Master (1 Cor. 3:3-4; 1:10-15).  If there is nothing in a name why is it carnal to name ourselves after men and their doctrines?

Oh yes, there is indeed something in a name.  A name may designate the traits of its bearer.  A name may call attention to a relationship or association.  And, while parents use their own judgment when naming their children (whether good or not so good, as witnessed by such names as “Bunker Hill” and “Rainey Munday”), the Lord has used divine and perfect judgment in identifying His people as “Christians” and His kingdom of the church of Christ (Acts 11:26; 1 Pet.4:16; Matt. 16:18; Rom. 16:16; et al.).  Who dares try to improve on His handiwork?


Is Genesis 1 True?
J. S. Smith

In this age of deified, but oddly atheistic science, can the account of creation reported by Moses in Genesis be perceived as accurate?

The scriptural account proclaims without reservation “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.” Over a period of six days, Jehovah is credited with speaking light and life into existence through his own miraculous power. On the sixth day, it is stated that God created both animals and human beings, a grouping which would include our most ancient ancestors and the dinosaurs that once wore the bones that are regularly found in west Texas and on every continent. Yet modern science, which is supposed to be based on observation, hypothesizes forcefully that man and dinosaur never coexisted and that the Earth is billions of years older than it could possibly be through the most liberal computation of Bible dating.

Most religious people in America have bent their understanding of the Bible to obey the edicts of scientists, even though the scientific estimate of the Earth’s age is constantly evolving. The children of Christians are regularly taught that the Earth is billions of years old and that man and dinosaur lived millions of years apart. The creation account of Genesis 1 is considered “flat Earth” dogma in our schools, in spite of the fact that a belief in atheistic evolution requires at least as much “faith” as believing in creation. Faith in man, that is.

If Genesis 1 conflicts with the assumptions of science, which should prevail? Many brethren suggest reinterpreting the scripture so that it bends to scientific estimates. The six day creation week is padded with million year nights or the days themselves are reconstituted as eras. Some cry that such a process commits no foul, but at the very least, it suggests a surrender of Truth to the world.

Miracles themselves are rejected by science and yet one cannot be a Christian without believing in them (1 Cor. 15:12-13, John 20:30-31). If God could create Adam with the appearance of an adult on his birthday, could he not mold the Earth the same way, giving it an appearance of advanced age so that it would function for its inhabitants immediately?

Those of firm faith will never reject the foundation of God’s relationship with mankind just to make nice with the world.

-Woodmont Beacon, Edition 120| 23 FEB 2003


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

Take Heed Lest You Fall

Scripture Reading:  1 Cor. 10:1-13

I.  ISRAEL IS OUR EXAMPLE – 1 Cor. 10:1-10.

  A.  Of Relationship With God – 1 Cor. 10:2; Gal.3:27.
  B.  As God’s Chosen People – Exo. 19:5-6; Psa. 135:4; 1 Pet. 2:9-10.
  C.  Israel’s Unbelief – 1 Cor. 10:6-10; Heb. 3:15-19 (Num. 11:4-6).
  D.  Therefore, Take Heed Lest You Fall! - 10:12; Matt. 3:8-9; Psa. 106:13-15, 19-22, 24-25
    -Israel fell – Psa. 106:26-27; Num. 14:26-35


  A.  Discern the Signs of a Faltering Faith – Heb. 3:12-13; 2 Cor. 13:5; Heb. 4:12-13 (Jas. 1:25); Acts 8:20-24; 26:20.

III. SIGNS OF A FALTERING FAITH WHICH IS READY TO FALL – Gal. 6:3.  We can deceive ourselves that our faith is stronger than it is by…

  A.  Equating Men’s Estimation of our Faithfulness with God’s Approval of Us – Lk. 6:26; Rev. 3:1.
  B.  Minimizing the Corrupting Effect of Evil Companions – 1 Cor. 15:33; Exo. 23:2; Num. 25:1-2 (31:16); 1 Pet. 4:1-2; Jno. 17:15-17.
  C.  Becoming Spiritually Complacent, Neglectful & Apathetic – Rev. 3:17.
  D.  Thinking We Are Above Temptation & Sin – Jas. 1:12-16; 1 Pet. 5:8; Prov. 16:18.
  E.  Relying On Our Past Faithfulness – 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7; Phil. 3:12-14; Gal. 6:10.
  F.  Equating Believing With Obeying – Lk. 6:46; Jas. 2:14-20; Gal. 5:5-6.


1.  Israel’s fall is our warning.
2.  Constantly check your faith in light of divine truth and live by faith to please God – 2 Cor. 5:7-9.


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

Bible Question Box

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 111

1.  We seek the wisdom of God – Job 38:1-4.
2.  We stand in awe of Him – Psa. 111:2-4, 10.

#1:  How does the Bible answer the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”  (Or, vice-versa:  “Why do good things happen to bad people?”)

1.  Vanity & uncertainly of earthly things – Eccl. 8:14.
2.  Time & chance happen to all - Eccl. 9:1-2, 11.
3.  One of the consequences of sin in the world – Gen. 3:14-15, 19; Job 4:7; Lk. 13:1-5; Jno. 9:1-5.
4.  Satan is active in the world – Job 1:7; 1 Pet. 5:8.
5.  Evil people will do harm to the innocent – 2 Tim. 3:12-13; Psa. 51:5; Eccl. 7:29.

-What shall the righteous do?

1.  Enjoy life as gift from God - Eccl. 8:15.
2.  Accept that all questions won’t be answered in this life - Eccl. 9:16-17.
3.  Remember God during trials - Eccl. 12:1, 6-7.
4.  Do not envy the unrighteous - Psa. 73 (37).

#2:  Since God hears the prayers of the righteous, does someone in a denominational or “unsound church” who prays for you do any good?

1.  Wish to judge righteously here (Jno. 7:24).
2.  Power of answered prayer lies in part in who has the privilege of prayer w/ expectation of being heard – Jas. 5:16; Matt. 7:11; Jas. 1:2, 5-6; Heb. 4:14-16.
3.  Denominationalists are lost! – Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Cor. 1:10; Jno. 4:23-24; Eph. 4:4 (Acts 2:41, 47; Rom. 6:3)

#3:  Why and how did the dinosaurs become extinct?  In the Bible it says Noah brought two of all living things into the ark (Gen. 6:19-20; 7:8-9).  Did Noah forget them (they are now extinct)?

1.  No, Noah did not forget them – Gen. 6:22; 7:2-5.
2.  Perhaps they survived for a time after flood, then perished.
3.  When did dinosaurs live? – Gen. 1:20, 24.
4.  Why doesn’t Bible mention dinosaurs?  (cf. Job 40:15-24; 41:1-34)
5.  Could dinosaurs have fit on the ark?  Yes!
God created man & dinosaurs -Gen. 2:19 (Job 40:15); Psa. 33:8-9


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Do Not Judge According to Appearance
Joe R. Price

Things are not always as they appear:

A sign at a business establishment in Philadelphia, PA: 


      This sign was prominently displayed in the window of a business in Philadelphia. You are probably outraged at the thought of such an inflammatory statement. One would think that anti-hate groups from all across the country would be marching on this business... And that the National Guard might have to be called to keep the angry crowds back. But, perhaps in these stressful times one might be tempted to let the proprietors simply make their statement.   We are a society who holds Freedom of Speech as perhaps our greatest liberty. And after all, it is just a sign.  You may ask what kind of business would dare post such a sign?


Answer:  A Funeral Home

A couple of lessons jump out at us:

1.  As noted above, thing are not always as they appear.  Some, when they observed the lifestyle of John the baptist, concluded “he has a demon” (Matt. 11:18).  These also said that Jesus was “a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners” trying to discredit His words and works (Matt. 11:19).  How wise our Lord was to remind us to “not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (Jno. 7:24)!

2.  Don’t jump to conclusions.  We can be far too quick to assume, deduce, suppose and infer about people and situations before we have all the facts before us.  Such is shameful conduct:  “He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him” (Prov. 18:13).


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  02/21/2003

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: