Index by Subject

White Unto Harvest: Saving Money Until Jesus Comes

(Article written by Bobby L. Graham, Guardian of Truth, May 4, 1989)

About thirty years ago at the Holt-Wallace Debate in Florence, Alabama, brother G.A. Dunn remarked to this writer’s father that most problems that had come about among the Lord’s people related to money.  Whether his judgment was precisely correct or not, experience indicates his remark apropos. The variety of problems involving money in local churches and among different local churches has included disdain for the very idea of a local-church treasury, reluctance to use the money collected, and looseness in the use of church funds.

A Local Church Treasury

The first congregation in Jerusalem had a treasury under the control of the apostles. Acts 4:32-5:10 demonstrates that generous saints funded the physical assistance of their brethren’s daily needs. The funds likely never made it to the bank, but a fund was initiated and maintained for an indefinite period of time for the expeditious meeting of needs.

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Learning How to Discern God’s Will from the Apostles

The will of God is discernible from the Bible, for God has so revealed it in a way understandable to the mind of man (Ephesians 3:1-6; 5:1). To believe otherwise is to classify the Bible as a useless document and impugn the wisdom of God or His love. Did He not care enough to make His will known in an understandable fashion? Did He lack the power to do so?

Not only the content of the will of the Lord can be gained from a study of the Bible, but the very means by which the apostles set forth matters as authoritative, having the force of divine law, can also be learned from a study of their teaching. The apostles were designated by the Lord to be forever the teachers of the world; we must let them teach us how to discern the divine will.

Peter’s Trip To Caesarea

In harmony with His will that Gentiles be included in the kingdom of Christ, the Lord instructed Peter to teach Gentiles, though in an indirect way. Through the miraculous vision and the mandate to eat the various animals, the Lord was leading the apostle to understand the distinction between clean and unclean foods, as well as between Jew and Gentile, had been removed. He also provided the situation to which the lesson would be applied when the messengers from Cornelius arrived and the Spirit directed Peter to accompany them without any doubts or misgivings (Acts 10:20). Upon arrival at Cornelius’ house, Peter then explained the process that had led him to Caesarea, as well as the conclusion he had reached concerning the propriety of teaching the Gentiles.

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The Simple Gospel: The Narrowness of Truth

"And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not" (John 8:45). "Am I therefore your enemy because I tell you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16).

In the first of the quoted passages, Jesus pinpointed the cause for the unbelief of some Jews – unbelief of the truth. These physical descendants of Abraham were the spiritual children of the devil; they believed not Christ because they did not believe the truth which He taught. In the second passage referred to, Paul’s preaching of the truth is suggested as the reason for possible enmity between him and the Galatians.

The Narrowness of Truth

In both of the passages there is evident the underlying quality of truth which often alienates men from men and men from God – its narrowness. The nature of truth is such that all views, ideas, and positions can never be included in it. Truth encompasses only those ideas, principles, views, and positions which are consistent with other parts of it. Truth is very narrow in this respect: it excludes any conflicting point of view or position.

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“Except Ye Repent”

“… but unless you repent you will all like-wise perish.” (Luke 13:3) The same requirement here stated regarding certain ones is elsewhere applied to all people, for “God commands all men everywhere to repent.” (Acts 17:30) Because it requires a change of mind and subsequent life, repentance probably is the most difficult command of the Lord to obey. Involved in such obedience is a change from whatever cherished beliefs, practices, and attitudes conflict with God’s will to a life of service to God. Necessary to this change is one’s admission of his own wrongdoing, as well as the producing of fruit befitting repentance. (Acts 26:20) From such a course there is no recourse for one desirous of pleasing God. The coming judgment is used by the Lord’s apostle in Acts 17:30 to promote repentance.

In this study notice the emphasis placed upon repentance throughout the New Testament. Continue reading » “Except Ye Repent”