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


Volume 15, Number 49

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

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Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

The Kingdom of God

Mark Mayberry

It was God’s plan that Jesus Christ should die (Acts 2:22-23; 3:18). He was delivered up because of our offenses, and raised up for our justification (Romans 4:25). We were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, foreknown before the foundation of the world, who appeared in these last times for our sake (1 Peter 1:18-20). Apart from his death, burial and resurrection we have no hope (1 Corinthians 15: 1-5, 17-22).

The Church Was Not An Afterthought

Premillennialists mistakenly teach that the church is an afterthought. However, the Bible affirms that the church is a manifestation of God’s eternal purpose (Ephesians 3:8-11). It is composed of those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28-30). It is committed to the promotion and support of everlasting truth (1 Timothy 3:14-15).

The “Church” And “Kingdom” Are Equivalent

Premillennialists make a false distinction between the Church and the Kingdom. In fact, they are one and the same. When Simon Peter made the good confession, affirming that Jesus was the Christ, our Lord said, “Upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” The very next verse says, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven...” (Matthew 16:16-19). The church and the kingdom are equivalent, referring to the same entity.

The church/kingdom was established during the First Century. Both John the Baptizer and Jesus Christ said it was nigh (Matthew 3:1-2l 4:17). Jesus affirmed it would come during the lifetime of those who heard him teach (Matthew 16:28; Mark 9:1). This promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost (Luke 24:45-49; Acts 1:6-8; 2:1-4, 41-47).

The church and the kingdom are composed of the same individuals (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:9-10). Both realms are accessed through baptism (John 3:1-5; Acts 2:38-40, 46-47; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27-29).

God’s Kingdom Is Spiritual In Nature

Premillennialists mistakenly teach that Jesus came to establish an earthly kingdom. However, the Bible affirms that His kingdom is spiritual in nature (Luke 17:20-21; John 18:36-37; Romans 14:16-17).

Moreover, the Scriptures reveal that God’s kingdom is currently in existence (Colossians 1:13-18; 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12; Hebrews 12:28-29; Revelation 1:6, 9). Christ now reigns as king over his kingdom (Luke 1:31-33; Hebrews 1:8; 2:9; cf. also Ephesians 2:19-22).

-Excerpt from “Premillennialism: The Kingdom of God”, Watchman Magazine, June 2004,


Reaping the Whirlwind

Joe R. Price

In Hosea 8, God’s prophet Hosea continues his pronouncement of God’s judgment by the hands of the Assyrians against the northern kingdom of Israel. The “days of punishment” had arrived (Hos. 9:7).

In his description of Israel’s sins and God’s judgment, Hosea said, “They sow the wind; and reap the whirlwind” (Hos. 8:7). We cannot see the wind, even though we hear its sound, feel its force and see its effect (Jno. 3:8). Israel had sown to nothingness as she lived in faithless irreverence. Israel had lived without spiritual substance. Now, Israel would reap the whirlwind – the destruction and devastation brought on by her sins. Consider the “wind” to which Israel sowed, and ponder present-day parallels.

Israel despised and rejected the leadership and authority of Almighty God. “They set up kings, but not by Me” (Hos. 8:4). The princes who ruled over the northern tribes did not fear God and did not lead Israel in faithfulness. Not a one of them was said to have been faithful to God. Israel set up unfaithful princes to rule over her and the results were disastrous, as they led Israel into more and more sin (1 Kgs. 14:16; 15:26; 16:30-33).

Any nation ruled by unscrupulous, irreverent princes will eventually reap the whirlwind (2 Kgs. 17). Not only does the outcome of the northern kingdom of Israel teach us this. History is filled with the debris of rulers and nations who defied Almighty God. Their demise displays His sovereignty (Dan. 4:28-37).

While we are commanded to “honor the king”, we are not compelled to put our hope in him:

Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs from the earth, in that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them... (Psa. 146:3-6).

God’s faithful ones put their hope and trust in God to see them through the turmoil and uncertainties that political leaders bring upon them (Heb. 13:5-6).

Israel fell into idolatry and offered false worship to Jehovah God.Your calf is rejected, O Samaria! My anger is aroused against them...For from Israel is even this: A workman made it, and it is not God; But the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces” (Hos. 8:5-6). King Jeroboam enticed Israel to set up golden calves to worship as their gods (1 Kgs. 12:28-33). Their gods were nothing (the wind)!  Although they made many altars at which they worshiped, these were “altars for sin”, completely rejected by the true God (Hos. 8:11). They reaped the whirlwind of destruction; their false gods could not save them.

Modern men and women are not immune to the sin of idolatry. Multitudes around the globe still bow down before the graven images of false gods. People continue to make “many altars for sin” to their false gods of fame, fortune and the flesh (Col. 3:5; 1 Tim. 6:9-10; 1 Jno. 2:15-17).

If we sow sin in our lives we will reap the whirlwind of divine judgment (Rom. 2:1-6).

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life (Gal. 6:7-8).

The history of nations that defied Jehovah God teaches us to fear God and keep His commands (Eccl. 12:13-14). It teaches rulers to honor Him who rules from heaven over the whole world.

God will send the whirlwind against the faithless. But, God will rain showers of blessing on those who seek and follow Him (Ezek. 34:26):

Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you (Hosea 10:12).


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

The Faith of Noah

Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 11:6-7

1. Noah was a man of faith who walked with God, Gen. 6:9.
2. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, in contrast to the wickedness of man, Gen. 6:5, 8, 11-12.
3. Noah was saved (1) By God, Gen. 6:8; (2) By water, 1 Pet. 3:20; and (3) By faith, Heb. 11:7.


  A. The Ark was a Grand Expression of God’s Grace, Gen. 6:7-8, 13-14; 7:7; Titus 2:11-12.
  B. Building the Ark was Noah’s Grand Expression of Faith, Heb. 11:7; Rom. 1:16-17; 5:1-2; Eph. 2:8; 1 Pet. 3:20-21; Titus 3:4-5.


  A. Noah Believed God’s Warning, Gen. 6:13; 1 Tim. 1:13; 2 Pet. 3:10-14.
  B. Noah Preached Righteousness, 2 Pet. 2:5; 2 Tim. 4:2; Matt. 6:33; Gen. 6:9, 22; 7:1; Ezek. 14:14, 20 (Gen. 9:21); 1 Jno. 1:9-10.
  C. Noah Preached of Things Not Yet Seen, Heb. 11:7, 1; Col. 1:5; Acts 24:24-25; 10:35; Rom. 2:7, 10.


  A. Noah Worked While He Waited, Gen. 6:22; 7:5; cf. 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 Cor. 15:58; 1 Ths. 3:12-13.
  B. Noah Looked While He Waited, Gen. 8:6-16; Deut. 1:43; Gal. 1:8-9.


  A. Worship Honors God’s Character, Jno. 4:23-24; Rev. 4:11; 5:12.
  B. Worship Honors God’s Mercy, Psa. 106:1.


Let us follow the example of Noah, Heb. 11:7.


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

The Church: Composed of New People (Ephesians 4:17-32)

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 4:17-24

1. Eph. 4:1: Walking worthy of our calling begins with the conversion of our character (too many Christians are trying to obey God without having changed their hearts).
2. Eph. 4:17-32: The new man: Character (heart, 4:17-24) and conduct (life, 4:25-32).


  A. The New Man: Righteousness and Holiness of Truth, 4:20-24; Col. 3:8-9 (Eph. 2:15); Jno. 3:3, 5; 2 Cor. 5:17.
  B. The New Heart We have in Christ, 4:17-19; Rom. 1:21-22, 24, 26, 28-32.


  A. The Effects of a New Heart: A New Life, 4:22; cf. 4:25, 31; Acts 17:30 (Lk. 3:8, 10-14).
  B. The New Man’s Conduct:
    1. Honesty, 4:25 (Col. 3:9); cf. Zech. 8:16-17.
    2. Self-control, 4:26-27 (Col. 3:8); Psa. 4:4.
    3. Labor, 4:28 (1 Ths. 4:11-12; Acts 20:33-35).
    4. Purity, 4:29 (Col. 3:8); Jas. 3:9-11.
    5. Godly motives, 4:30-31.
    6. Kindness, 4:32 (Titus 3:4; Lk. 6:35); Col. 3:13.


1. Put on the new man, 4:24 (heart and life).
2. Practice changes:
  a. Put away falsehood, wrath, stealing, corrupt speech and ungodly Motives.
  b. Put on honesty, self-control, labor, purity, godly motives and kindness.
3. God created us to be “new creatures” in Christ, 4:24; 2 Cor. 5:17.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

It's Legal...But is it Moral?
Joe R. Price

Men have long rationalized their behavior by proclaiming, “It’s legal”. Yet, the fact that something is legal according to the laws of men does not make that same action or condition moral before God. True, God ordained civil government (Rom. 13:1). But, God did not ordain man’s abuse of that authority, and He calls rulers and nations to account who do so (Jer. 18:7-11; Jonah 3; Isa. 14:4-15).

     For example, marriages are often proclaimed “legal” which are immoral before God (who gave us marriage). All marriages are not moral according to God’s law. For example, Herod married Herodias (after he divorced his wife and Herodias divorced her husband). But, the Messiah’s messenger said “it is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife” (Mk. 6:17-18). Roman law allowed the marriage, but God called it immoral; it was adultery (Exo. 20:14, 17; Lev. 20:10; Rom. 7:2-3). In Matthew 19:9, Jesus said a person can be committing adultery with their marriage partner.

     Same-sex marriage is now legal in the state of Washington, but it is still immoral before God. Marriage was ordained by God to join together a man and a woman, not two people of the same gender (Gen. 2:21-24). What men have said is legal is still an abomination before God (Lev. 18:22; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).

     Men have declared abortion to be legal. However, the Giver of life declares the taking of innocent human life to be murder, including the life of the unborn child (Exo. 20:13; 21:22-23). It’s legal, but it is immoral.

     Human beings have made legal the consumption of mind-altering drugs like alcohol and marijuana. Still, all such things that damage sober-mindedness and self-control continue to be immoral before God (Prov. 20:1; 23:29-35; 1 Pet. 4:3; Gal. 5:21-23).

     Before you decide to engage in a practice or enter a relationship, be sure it has God’s approval. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12). It may be legal, but is it moral? 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  03/05/2013

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