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


Volume 14, Number 15

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

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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:

Rupturing the Rapture
Joe R. Price

The end of the world is almost here! HOLY GOD will bring judgment day on MAY 21, 2011.” So says the lead caption of a pamphlet distributed by Family Radio, headed by Harold Camping, Oakland CA. He teaches that the church age ended in 1988 and “the beginning of the great tribulation must have occurred on May 21, 1988” (Harold Camping, We are Almost There!”, p. 48).  Through elaborate convolution and perversion of Biblical passages, Camping has devised a timeline for the end of the world. (He has done so to his own destruction, 2 Pet 3:16-17.) He says the end of the “great tribulation” will be May 21, 2011. Camping summarizes with this declaration: “Thus, we must understand that God is definitely declaring that He expects that all of the elect of God would absolutely know that the year 2011 is to be the end of the world” (Ibid., 58).

Camping and his cohorts believe “the first day of that five-month period (from May 21 to Oct 21, 2011, jrp) all of the true believers are to be caught up (raptured) to be forever with Christ. It is also on that day that the Day of Judgment begins for all of the unsaved.” (Ibid.) Camping emphatically claims that “the Rapture of all the true believers on the first day of the Day of Judgment (May 21, 2011, jrp) will effectively bring about a great condemnation against those left behind” (Ibid.).

We wait with anticipation for May 21 to see whether or not Harold Camping is a true prophet of God:

But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’—when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” (Deut 18:20-22)

If Camping is still on the earth on May 22, he is a false prophet, he has spoken presumptuously and his followers have been deceived.

The doctrine of Rapture says that believers are caught away from the earth while unbelievers remain to face “great condemnation” is false. The following Scriptures rupture the rapture doctrine:

     1. When Jesus returns all in the graves will be opened and one resurrection will occur of all the dead. Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth— those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (Jno 5:28-29). The rapture doctrine says the elect will be caught up from the earth and later there will be resurrections of the just and the unjust. Jesus said “the hour” is coming when “all” will be raised. Paul affirms that “there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15). There is no rapture here or elsewhere; no space of 1,000 years between a first resurrection (of righteous) and a second resurrection (of unrighteous). We have here the same hour, the same resurrection, the same Lord and the same judgment.

     2. The Day of Judgment will occur immediately when Jesus returns. This is implied in the above passage (Jno 5:29), and is explicitly taught in such passages as Matthew 24:45-51 and 25:31-46. Revelation 20:11-15 graphically depicts what John 5:28-29 declares: one general resurrection which gathers all humanity before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10).

     3. When Christ returns and all the dead are raised, the living will instantly be changed to having an immortal, spiritual body (1 Cor 15:23, 44, 51-53). Humans will no longer inhabit the corporeal world (1 Cor 15:50). The rapture doctrine presupposes human beings will return to earth; they will not.

     4. The physical world will be destroyed on judgment day (2 Pet 3:10-12). The rapture doctrine fits into a view that says believers will ultimately return to the earth to reign with Christ for 1,000 years. Wrong again. Christ’s kingdom will be delivered up to God at the resurrection, not delivered down to the earth (1 Cor 15:24).

     5. Events surrounding the righteous when Jesus returns rupture the rapture doctrine. In 1 Ths 4:13-17 we are given a snapshot of what the righteous will experience when Christ returns. The Lord Himself will descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God (sensory evidence of His presence and power). The dead in Christ will be raised and the living saints will be “caught up” with them in the clouds “to meet the Lord in the air” (4:16-17). Significantly, verse 17 concludes by saying, “and thus we shall always be with the Lord”. “Thus” is translated from houtos, “in this manner” (Thayer), “in this way” (Strong). So, in this caught up from the earth and resurrected manner, believers will always remain with the Lord. This is the Christian’s hope and comfort (1 Ths 4:18, 13). The Rapture denies it.

The Rapture doctrine is false. Additionally, the time of Christ’s return is not revealed. So, we must always be watchful and faithful (Matt 24:42-51; 1 Ths 5:1-11). Camping and his cohorts are wrong. When the Lord comes, everyone will be raised, changed and judged. The world will be destroyed. The righteous will live forever with the Lord in the glories of heaven while the unrighteous will forever inhabit the dark, unending agony of hell (Matt 25:46).


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

The Sin of Division

Scripture Reading:  1 Corinthians 1:10-13

1. Division in the Corinthian church. (1 Cor 1-4)
2. Some brethren use this as justification for not addressing and disciplining doctrinal and moral error in congregations today.


  A. The Authority of Christ Demands Unity among Saints, 1 Cor 1:10, 2 (Eph 4:4-6).
  B. The Spiritual Welfare of the Church Necessitates It, 1 Cor 1:11-13; 3:1-4; Gal 5:20.
  C. Christ is not Divided, 1 Cor 1:13; Jno 17:21.


  A. Christ was Crucified for Us, 1 Cor 1:13 (15:3; Rom 5:8; Gal 1:4; 1 Pet 2:24).
  B. We were Baptized into His Name, 1 Cor 1:13 (Matt 28:18-19; Acts 2:38).
  C. Therefore, We must not Divide and Align Ourselves after Men, 1 Cor 3:5-9; 4:6.


  A. Paul’s Personal Relief, 1 Cor 1:14-16.
  B. As an Apostle, his Work was to Preach the Gospel, 1 Cor 1:17-18.
  C. Paul was not Saying Baptism Is Unnecessary, 1 Cor 1:1:17. 


  A. Speak Same Thing: Gospel, 1 Cor 2:1-5.
  B. Have Same Mind: Christ, Phil 2:1-5.
  C. Have Same Judgment, cf. 1 Cor 2:14-16.
  D. “Grow Up” in Christ, 1 Cor 3:1-3.
  E. The Authority of Christ, 1 Cor 1:10; 4:6.


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

Fellowship: When and How?

Scripture Reading:  2 John 6-11

1. Open fellowship is an increasing epidemic among Christians that is undermining the standard of truth and compromising the integrity of the church.
2. A yearning for unity and peace is leading some to give lip service to 2 John 9-11 while refusing and opposing its practical application.


  A. Fellowship with God Depends on Walking in the Light, 1 Jno 1:6-7; Jno 14:23; 1 Jno 2:3-5.
  B. We are Commanded not to have Fellowship with those who are not in fellowship with God, Eph 5:11; 2 Cor 6:14.


  A. Bible Definitions of Fellowship: Partnership, Sharing, Togetherness, Portion, Agreement (approval).
  B. When and How do we have Fellowship with Others?
    1. With the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (1 Jno 1:3; 1 Cor 1:9; 2 Cor 13:14).
    2. Concurrent spiritual work, Gal 2:9.
    3. Benevolent “contribution”, Rom 15:26-27 (2 Cor 8:4); 9:1.
    4. Supporting preacher, Phil 1:5; 4:15; Gal 6:6.
    5. Worship/work of local church, Acts 2:41-42.
    6. Sharing of faith through acts of love toward the saints, Philemon 6.
    7. Fellowship with the apostles, 1 Jno 1:3-4.
    8. If we condone, endorse, approve others in their sin, 1 Tim 5:22; 2 Jno 10-11.

Concl.  God is vigilant about His fellowship – it is not “open” (without boundaries), it is defined by revealed truth (Matt 7:21, 23). So must we.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

"Family Struggle" Rejects the Bible
Joe R. Price

A so-called “Presbyterian family struggle” has led to a majority of presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approving a change in the church’s ordination standard. It is, in fact, a further rejection of God’s word. The change strikes down a requirement that “all ministers, elders, and deacons live in ‘fidelity within the covenant of marriage’ between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness” and approves the following new language: “Standards for ordained service reflect the church’s desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life” (Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approves change in ordination standard, May 10, 2011).

     This change opens the door to the ordination of lesbian, “gay,” bisexual, or transgender clergy in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It casts off any semblance of restraining sexual immorality for subjective definitions of submitting “joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life”.

     It was Jesus who said that marriage is a lifetime joining of one man and one woman (Matt 19:4-6). It was Jesus who said that fornication is sin (Mk 7:21-23; including homosexuality, Jude 7). Furthermore, it was Jesus who said that respecting Him as Lord means doing what He says and not just saying He is Lord, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Lk 6:46)

     This decision in the PCUSA illustrates the result of rejecting the Bible standard of authority. Lip service to the Bible will be given for a time – for the sake of church tradition. But the spirit of the age eventually prevails (2 Tim 4:3-4).

     Even now, winds of change are blowing in churches of Christ. Beware and stand fast! (1 Cor 16:13; Col 3:17)


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  05/20/2011

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