Volume VII, Number 21
In this issue:
We are all familiar with the two types of literature, fiction and non-fiction. Fiction, while its origin may be from real events and people, is a fanciful, fabricated and imaginary tale; it is not true. Non-fiction, on the other hand, is written to inform about factual, true-life events (such as biographies, autobiographies and history).
A task before everyone who wants to “buy the truth and sell it not” is that of separating spiritual fact from fiction (Prov. 23:23; 1 Ths. 5:21-22). There are many false teachers whose teachings offer people “truth” but which are in fact, fictitious and Biblical counterfeits (1 Jno. 4:1; 1 Tim. 6:20-21). The “fables” of men turn souls away from “sound doctrine” and salvation in Christ (2 Tim. 4:3-4; Rom. 1:16). We must be able to tell the difference. We can do so by…
1. Testing the teaching to see if it is even in the Bible. “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). If it is not found in God’s word it must be refused: it is fictitious, a fabrication of the imagination and/or traditions of men (Col. 2:20-23). Some desire “to be teachers of the law” but they do not understand what they are talking about (1 Tim. 1:7). Make sure what someone is teaching you is in the Bible, even when they confidently affirm it is there.
2. Testing the teaching to see if it harmonizes with the rest of the Bible. Truth does not contradict truth (Psa. 119:160). When a teaching disagrees with the Bible it is a fable (invention) of men that turns souls away from the truth (Titus 1:14).
Testing what the teaching produces.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but
inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their
fruits.” (Matt. 7:15-16) We cannot test the teacher’s heart, but
we can test the teacher’s teaching.
When the religious fiction of men is accepted as truth, the soul is lost (Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Jno. 9). Let us separate fact from fiction, and hold fast “the pattern of sound words” (2 Tim. 1:13; 4:2-5).
Evidently that is what some have tried to do. Of course, they have done this to their own fictitious version of the truth, not the true gospel (see article on page one).
In 1971 Max King wrote The Spirit of Prophecy in which he championed a doctrine which came to be known as “A.D. 70”, “Realized Eschatology” and now, “Covenant Eschatology.” (We have reviewed this doctrine in a series of articles on the Bible Answers web site at http://www.bibleanswer.com/ad70_1.htm. The doctrine says the second coming of Christ occurred in A.D. 70, we now live in the “eternal days” and that Jesus will not personally return in the future.) King has founded Presence Ministries International, and his son, Tim, serves as President.
It was recently brought to my attention that King has placed a trademark on his teachings. More specifically, he has registered a trademark for a particular word which is intended to convey the heart of his doctrine; “Transmillennial®.” The trademark is explained on their web site:
“Presence Ministries secured a registered trademark on the term “Transmillennial®,” particularly in reference to its use in conferences and study materials. Our intent is for this worldview to be studied and written about widely, but not to be redefined or misused by sectarian upstarts, seeking to forward their own interests.
“In order to keep Transmillennialism™ a trans-denominational concept, we immediately established a “Council on Transmillennialism™.” This is a group of like-minded leaders and ministries to help steward this sacred trust, thus ensuring that Transmillennialism™ remains open to all faiths and believers.”
For your information, “a trademark is a declaration from a government that a brand name, logo or design is new or distinctive enough to be granted the exclusive ability to market or represent a company and or their goods or services. A trademark restricts others from using a similar mark in the granted territories.” (www.commerce-database.com)
And we are supposed to believe that Transmillennial® doctrine is the truth of God concerning the interpretation and fulfillment of prophecy? Imagine the apostles of Christ petitioning the Roman Empire for exclusive rights to the term “Justification®” so that Judaizers would not corrupt and misuse the term (Gal. 3:11; 5:4)! Or, perhaps we should trademark “Repentance®” so false teachers cannot abuse and misuse the truth (Acts 17:30; 26:20). Absurd! The truth is, King has invented a new doctrine with new words (unknown to God’s word, 1 Pet. 4:11), and has trademarked his product.
The gospel of Christ has already been certified as genuine, but not by the authority of men’s governments: “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:11-12). By means of divine revelation, miraculous confirmation and inspiration, the gospel of Christ was proclaimed to the world (Mk. 16:17-20; Heb. 2:3-4).
As for understanding divine prophecy, we will continue to trust the interpretations given us by the Holy Spirit, not Max and Tim King and their Presence Ministries International: “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:20-21).
God’s word has free course; men’s validations or restrictions notwithstanding (2 Tim. 1:9). We seek the endorsement of God, not man, for what we teach (Gal. 1:10). No trademark required!
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
The Blood of Christ (Part 2)
Scripture Reading: Romans 5:6-11
Part 1 (last week)…
I. BLOOD IN GOD’S PLAN FOR HUMAN REDEMPTION.
A. Blood Represents Life – Gen. 9:4; Deut. 12:23; Lev. 17:10-12.
Part 2 (today)…
II. WHAT CHRIST’S BLOOD ACHIEVES.
A. Dedicated His New Covenant – Matt. 26:28; Heb. 9:15-17 (Acts 2).
III. HOW DO WE OBTAIN THE BLESSINGS OF CHRIST’S BLOOD?
A. Christ’s Blood (His death) Must be Applied to Sins for one to
Receive the Benefit of His Death, Ro. 3:26; 6:3; Acts 22:16
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Journeys of the Apostle Paul - #1
Scripture Reading: Acts 22:1-16
I. SAUL OF TARSUS: HIS CONDUCT IN JUDAISM – Gal. 1:13.
Standing Before Men: Hebrew of the Hebrews – Acts 22:3; 26:4-5;
Gal. 1:13-14; Phil. 3:4-6.
II. HIS JOURNEY TO SALVATION.
Appears to Saul: From Unbelief to Faith – Acts 9:3-6.
III. SAUL’S CONVERSION IS AN ENDURING EXAMPLE – 1 Tim. 1:14-15.
Mercy is Available to All through Faith in Christ – 1 Tim. 1:14-15.
1. Amazing journey
from blasphemer to apologist, from arrogance to self-abasement, from
persecutor to the persecuted, from sinner to saint!
Methodist Minister Faces Church Trial
After more than two years of complaints, investigations and judicial rulings, the United Methodist Judicial Council announced last Monday that a complaint could be pursued against Rev. Karen Dammann of Ellensburg, Washington, for her openly gay lifestyle. The Methodist Book of Discipline bars “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals” from being ordained or serving as pastors. The council ruled it “is an egregious error” not to bring charges when church law is being violated. Dammann serves as pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Ellensburg (“Gay Methodist minister likely to face church trial,” The Bellingham Herald, Oct. 29, 2003).
Where to begin? There are so many things here that deserve a response from God’s word: Denominational churches (addition, Matt. 16:18; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4); Judicial Councils (addition, Acts 14:23; 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2); Book of Discipline (addition, Gal. 1:8-9; 1 Cor. 4:6); Church law (addition, Col. 3:17); women preachers (addition, 1 Tim. 2:11-12); homosexuality (sin, 1 Cor. 6:9-10). Here are some observations concerning homosexuality.
Dammann says she is in a “partnered, covenanted, homosexual relationship” (Ibid.). Are we to believe just because two people agree to live together that God (and men) must approve of their relationship? It is not true of every marriage (Matt. 19:9; Rom. 7:2-3) and it certainly is not true of homosexuality. “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination” (Lev. 18:22; see Rom. 1:24-27). This verse describes homosexuality, and God says it is an “abomination” – regardless of what the United Methodist Church says.
If Dammann and her “partner” repented of their sin could they remain in their “covenanted relationship?” No, for repentance demands the sinner cease his sin (Lk. 3:8; Acts 26:20). Why is it brethren can see this truth concerning repentance when it applies to homosexuals, but refuse to apply it to adulterous remarriages (Matt. 19:9; Rom. 7:2-3)? Adultery is sin, just as homosexuality is sin. While the United Methodist Church goes about judging what “church law” requires, the Bible continues to require repentance of the sin of homosexuality (and adultery) in order to be acceptable to God. And, repentance demands the cessation of one’s sinful conduct (Rom. 6:1-2).
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 11/01/2003
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA