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THE BIBLE

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Recently, the History Channel televised a special 10-hour mini-series on The Bible.  From the reports and reviews given, it has been very popular and viewed by a large audience.  I did not watch it, because I tend to be mindful of the many errors and inaccuracies in such a feature.  I did, however, take a few moments occasionally to view parts of it to get an idea of what was being shown.  For instance, they had three wise men coming to the stable where Jesus was born.  But, when we actually go to the Bible, it doesn’t tell us how many wise men came—they brought three gifts— “gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11).  They did not come to the stable, as did the shepherds (Lk. 2:8-16). Mary and the young Child were in a “house” when the wise men arrived (Matt. 2:3).  While the movie did have John the Baptist immersing Jesus when He was baptized (which is the scriptural meaning of baptism—from the Gk. baptizo—to dip or plunge under; to immerse), yet when Ananias came to Saul of Tarsus (later the Apostle Paul), the movie had him pouring water over his head instead of immersing or baptizing him.  (See Acts 9:17; 22:16).

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“My Deep Concern For All The Churches”

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by R.J. Evans

The Apostle Paul warned the Ephesian elders that “from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:30).  Paul spoke of men such as Hymenaeus and Alexander who caused other’s faith to “have suffered shipwreck” (1 Tim. 1:19),  He also told Timothy of Hymenaeus and Philetus whose message “spread like cancer...saying the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some” (2 Tim. 2:17-18).  The Apostle John stated: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 Jn. 4:1).

Just as there were false teachers and false doctrine that threatened the people of God in the first century, the same danger exists today in the 21st century.  To illustrate this, I would like to cite a few examples that I, personally, have been made aware of over the past year or so.

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Nativity Scenes do not tell the truth

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The truth is Jesus was not born in the cold winter months.  Shepherds were in the fields with their sheep on the night Jesus was born. (Luke 2:7-11)  There is agreement among scholars that December 25 is not the birthday, not even the month that Jesus was born.  The wise men did not visit the manger.  Matthew 2:11 tells us plainly “And when they were come into the house, they say the young child…” We don’t know exactly how old Jesus was when the wise men saw him but we do know that it was not in the manger on the night of his birth.  Remember that Luke tells us of the trip to the temple for the presentation of the child after Mary’s days of purification were complete (Luke 2:21-27).  According to Leviticus 12, this would be 40 days after the birth of Jesus.  Factoring in the travel time for these wise men, their conversation with Herod, not to mention the fact that we are not told how many wise men, and it becomes clear that the pictures and stories that are presented in the world today do not match the truth the Bible tells us about the birth of Jesus.

 

 

"Brethren...In Malice Be Babes"

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“Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature” (1 Cor. 14:20).

In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul gave the brethren at Corinth proper instruction concerning the exercising of spiritual gifts.  The main problem was how the Corinthians had been conducting themselves with regard to the gift of tongues.  The Corinthians were being childish in that they delighted in the gift of tongues to the extent that proper judgment was not being used concerning the effect tongue speaking was having on others.  Like children, they failed to see all that was involved in the inconsiderate use and display which they had been making of this gift.  Hence, Paul wrote the above quote.  To be like children in understanding is to act as though the mind is still in the undeveloped stage of childhood.  So, instead of acting childish, they were told to be mature. This suggests the idea of “having reached the goal.”  It involves being fully able to use one’s powers of thought and good judgment.  The Corinthians had not been doing this with regard to spiritual gifts.

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Strengthen Your Marriage

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STRENGTHEN YOUR MARRIAGE

by R.J. Evans

 

On Wednesday evenings in our adult Bible class we have been studying the various stages of life.  At this writing, we are giving attention to the very important subject of Marriage. In our class, we have been discussing some challenges of marriage.  One main lesson gained from these challenges emphasizes the importance of getting to know each other as much as possible before entering into this lifetime commitment.  We are also taking note of what the Bible teaches as a guide for our marriages.  We are discussing five major points:  (1) Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies — Eph. 5:28-29; (2)  Wives are to submit to their own husbands as to the Lord — Eph. 5:22-24; (3)  Husbands and wives are not to deprive one another of their due affection — 1 Cor. 7:3-5; (4)  Wives are to respect their husbands; husbands are to honor their wives — 1 Pet. 3:7; Eph. 5:33;  (5)  Marriage is for life — “as long as he lives” — Rom. 7:2.

If you’re married,

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