Index by Subject

God’s Pattern for Benevolence

In other articles, we have noted the definition of the word pattern and that God indeed has always had a pattern for what He wants His people to do.  We examined the pattern God has for financial support to those who preach the Gospel. In this one we shall examine the pattern God has established in the area of benevolence, that is the caring for the material needs of men by the church. To begin with, we must recognize that the Lord never intended for the church to care for all of the physical needs of men all over the world. Please take note that I said for the church to take care of the needs of all men. The responsibility of helping all men, as we have opportunity is one of an individual nature. The Bible story of the good Samaritan shows this clearly (Luke 10:30-37). The question we must address here is, "Is the church, out of the Lord’s treasury, to take funds and provide for the physical  needs of those who are not Christians?" We must not allow our emotions to  lead us in answering this question. Certainly, the needs of suffering humanity are to be met and we, as individual Christians are directed to help anyone in need. Again, the story of the Good Samaritan is a good Bible example. That does not answer our question, though, as to whether the church can take from the Lord’s treasury and do this. We must look into the pages of Divine inspiration at the pattern God has established for the church regarding those in physical need. Remember that the pattern is set up by Jehovah God and it matters not whether we may understand why it is so but, instead, do it as God has directed.

Continue reading » God’s Pattern for Benevolence

God’s Pattern for Evangelism

In an earlier article we took note of the fact that God has a pattern for what we are to do. We noted that when His patten is ignored or changed we bring down the wrath of God upon ourselves.

One example of this is found in the Israelites disregard for God’s pattern for transporting the ark of the covenant. God had directed only the house of Kohath was to carry the ark of the covenant, (cf. Numbers 4:15), but no one was to touch it. When the Israelites decided to move it on one occasion and did not follow the pattern God had set up, they were cursed in their efforts.  When Uzza reached out to keep the ark from falling, God struck him dead (1 Chronicles 13:7-10). Later, King David recognized his error (1 Chronicles 15:1-2), and corrected it. David also acknowledged his wrong. "For because you did not do it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order."  So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel.   And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD"  (1 Chronicles 15:13-15).

Continue reading » God’s Pattern for Evangelism

A Pattern

"In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility" (Titus 2:7).

"Who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, ‘See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain’" (Hebrews 8:5).

It is clear from the reading of these verses that God has a pattern He expects to be observed. What does the word pattern mean then? It is defined by Mr. Henry Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, in the following manner. "…an example… the pattern in conformity to which a thing must be made…" (pg. 632).  In our every day language that simply means that God has a way in which He wants things done and demands of us to follow the pattern He has given in His Word. The Lord says to follow the pattern! He has not only given patterns in both Old Testament and New Testament, but has also shown that His wrath comes upon those who do not follow it.  It does not matter whether we may understand why the Lord has instructed something to be done! It is His pattern and without question must be followed or we suffer His wrath upon us. Please note the following regarding the thinking of man and that of God.  "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9).  Let us study.

Continue reading » A Pattern

The Eldership in the Lord’s Church

The subject before us is one that is much disputed by brethren everywhere. Two extremes will be noted in this short article.

  1. Some hold the view that there are none that can meet the qualifications that are laid down by the Holy Spirit since they demand of men what ordinarily cannot be done. It is stated that the ones who did serve as elders in the first century were men who had a "special measure" of the Holy Spirit and were thus able to meet these strict qualifications.

  2. Others believe that a church should appoint "the best men qualified" and give them time to try to meet the qualifications given.

I believe we first of all must realize that it is God that has given instruction on local church government. Of course, a church can exist without elders (Acts 14:23) but we note in that verse that when men became qualified to serve as elders they were appointed to do so. There are four ways a local church can be organized.

Continue reading » The Eldership in the Lord’s Church

Remembering Sister Lela: The Follow-up

Please refer to the first article that I wrote, "Remembering Sister Lela" in the July 2001 issue of Watchman Magazine (click here) to connect the thoughts of this final article regarding the life of this precious saint.  Thank You.

Bobby R. Holmes

Brother and Sister McCarterSince I wrote the first article, "Remembering Sister Lela", many things have happened.  Monies for a memorial stone to honor sister Lela and a fence to be installed around the cemetery plot was slow coming in, but, enough was finally generated by good brothers and sisters in the Lord to have first the memorial stone cut and placed and then the fence installed.  The stone was placed there fall of 2001 while I was in Mississippi for a gospel meeting and I drove up there in June of 2002 to watch and take pictures as the fence was installed with the final work completed.   I have taken pictures of the memorial stone and also have a picture of sister Lela and her husband.

Continue reading » Remembering Sister Lela: The Follow-up

Breaking Neo-Calvinism

Authors:  Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Tips and Tactics

    • 1. Neo-Calvinists are notorious for saying one thing when they mean something else entirely
      2. Make certain that terms such as “law,” “grace,” “imputed righteousness,” are clearly defined and that they stick with the definition
      1. Neo-Calvinists don’t want to admit we must believe to be saved, or that we must accept God’s grace, or that man must do anything to be saved.
      2. Make them say it!
      1. Legalism – “You’re a modern-day Pharisee, legalist, etc.”
      2. Ignorance – “Do you know everything?”
      3. Unrighteousness – “All our works are as filthy rags.”
      1. A great deal of Neo-Calvinism comes from perverting Romans.
      2. You must know what is taught before you can know error when you hear it!
  • A. Define all terms. Watch for “term jumping”B. Make them say “Must.”

    C. Get ready to be charged:

    D. Know the book of Romans

No Law

Authors:  Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Error

    • 1. “We are under grace, not law. We must not depend on what we do, but on God.”
      1. Romans 6:14-15
      2. Galatians 3:11
  • A. Neo-Calvinists say:B. Passages Misused:

Continue reading » No Law

Assurance – Security

Authors: Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Error

    • 1. “Some sins don’t separate us from God. Christ’s blood automatically covers sins of ignorance or inadvertence.
      1. 1 John 1:7-9; 5:16-17
      2. Romans 4:8
      3. 2 Corinthians 5:19
      1. Using a hypothetical situation to make you play God.
      2. “A man is a faithful saint for 50 years, gets splashed by mud on the street one day, curses, and then is hit by a bus. Will he be lost or saved?”
      3. Don’t play God! Clemency is up to the Judge. All we can do is quote the law!
  • A. Neo-Calvinists say:B. Passages Misused:

    C. Favorite Tactic:

Continue reading » Assurance – Security

Doctrine-Gospel Distinction

Authors:  Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Error

    • 1. “Gospel is the good news about Christ, and nothing more. Gospel cannot be preached to saints. None of the epistles are Gospel. We must agree on Gospel, but not on doctrine. Fellowship should be extended to all who accept the Gospel.”
      1. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
  • A. Neo-Calvinists say:B. Passages misused:

Continue reading » Doctrine-Gospel Distinction

Righteousness Imputed

Authors:  Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Error

    • 1. Galatians 2:17
      2. Romans 4:5-10; 5:1
      3. Hebrews 7:22
      4. Isaiah 64:6
  • A. Neo-Calvinists say: “Men are saved by His good works. Jesus is our substitute. We are accounted righteous because Jesus is righteous. The righteousness of Christ clothes the believer with the righteousness the law demands. Man is too corrupt — he can never be righteous on his own.”
    B. Passages misused:

Continue reading » Righteousness Imputed

Only Grace

Authors: Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Error

    • 1. “Salvation is by grace alone”
      1. Romans 4:1-5; 11:6
      1. Watch them say “grace only” whenever you talk about obedience, but then say “one must believe”
      2. Which is it – grace only or grace and faith?
      3. See John 6:29
  • A. Neo-Calvinists B. Passages Misused

    C. Red Flag:

Continue reading » Only Grace

Justification – Sanctification Difference

Authors: Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

I. Error

    • 1. “Justification is done by God, makes one right with Him. Sanctification is an ongoing process wrought by the Spirit.”
      1. Romans 5:1-5, 17; 8:1ff
      2. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
      3. 2 Thessalonians 2:13
  • A. Neo-Calvinists: B. Passages Misused

Continue reading » Justification – Sanctification Difference

Study Charts

Authors:  Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

The Seed of Calvinism

God’s Sovereignty Must Rule and Control Everything!


John Calvin’s Five Tenants

      • Total Depravity
      • Unconditional Election
      • Limited Atonement
      • Irresistable Grace
      • Perseverance of the Saints

Continue reading » Study Charts

Introduction: A Study in Neo-Calvinism

(An Issue That Will Not Die)

Authors: Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts

Naturally, the roots of Neo-Calvinism are found in plain vanilla Calvinism. This booklet attempts to briefly cover that ground before turning its attention to this “offshoot” of John Calvin’s original errors.

John Calvin made one wrong assumption, and it totally corrupted and destroyed everything he ever thought or wrote from then on. His decision that God controlled everything crept into his beliefs about salvation, redemption, etc. Look carefully at the TULIP and you will see his erroneous ideas about sovereignty behind every point.

The Neo-Calvinists among us make some similarly wrong conclusions, and then build a house of theology upon the shifting sands of error. May this booklet help you to destroy this pernicious teaching.

Continue reading » Introduction: A Study in Neo-Calvinism

Preaching in the Pacific Northwest – Report 2 (1998, 1999, 2001)

Editor’s Note: This is the second of two articles recounting brother Holmes’ preaching trips to, primarily, the Pacific Northwest.

1998

Jo Ann and I waited until the first of May in 1998 to leave for the Northwest again. We did this for two reasons. First, to give us time to “get over” the grueling task of the eleven month work in 1997 and second, I needed time to work on some material for the trip.

My first meeting on this trip was in Rock Springs, Wyoming. We had planned on leaving early Monday morning, but Jo Ann became very ill with a virus like condition that caused, among other things, severe vomiting and extreme weakness. I took her to our doctor Monday morning explaining our need to leave as soon as possible and he gave her some strong medication including something to “put her out” to overcome the vomiting. Though she was still not feeling “up to par”, we left on Wednesday and traveled hard as I was to begin the meeting in Rock Springs on Sunday.

Continue reading » Preaching in the Pacific Northwest – Report 2 (1998, 1999, 2001)

Preaching in the Pacific Northwest: Report 1 (1997)

Editor’s Note: This is the first of two articles recounting brother Holmes’ preaching trips to, primarily, the Pacific Northwest.

On January 3rd, 1997, JoAnn (my wife) and I left our home in Duncanville Texas and spent eleven months on an extended preaching trip, at least half of it in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wisconsin and the province of Alberta Canada. The rest of the time was spent in my holding meetings in Ohio, Mississippi, W. Virginia and the south Texas area.

In preparation for the trip I resigned as an evangelist for the Dallas Avenue church in Lancaster Texas December 31, 1996 after fourteen years of the best local work of my almost fifty years of preaching. With the help of a working membership who helped to arrange Bible studies for me, I baptized over 100 souls into Christ during that time.

The eleven month trip in 1997 came about as a result of several years of preaching trips I had taken into Canada. Four days driving up and four days back home put me in contact with several souls who would ask, "Why can’t you come help us?". Most of these brethren had no preacher to work with them and were struggling. A burning desire to help these precious souls began to grow within me until finally I told Jo Ann and the elders at Dallas Avenue that I simply had to go before I grew too old and my health failed me.

Continue reading » Preaching in the Pacific Northwest: Report 1 (1997)

Rebuttal to Jesse Jenkins’ Response

I will address points of brother Jenkins response to my article appearing in Watchman Magazine.

In paragraph one Jesse states I had charged him with believing “…one must have a flawed character like is described in 2 Peter 2:1-3 before he can be labeled as such,” i.e. …, a false teacher.” Jesse says that I know that is not so unless I have a “good forgetter.” It seems that Jesse is forgetting what he himself has stated on the subject. I spent almost three hours discussing this very point with Jesse in December of 1998 and that was his position then.

He refused to accept the definition offered as to the phrase “false teacher” from Liddell and Scott; Oxford. They tell us, “…the verb pseudo can (and does — they quote it from ancient texts)! mean” mistaken in or about a thing,” “mistaken in opinion”,” “deceived in notion or estimation. “An alternate form of the verb was used this way in another text: “..which I do not speak falsely about him.” (Note 1 John 2:21 in connection with this.)

Continue reading » Rebuttal to Jesse Jenkins’ Response

Remembering Sister Lela

(April 3, 1933 – October 1, 1998)

Sister Lela, as everyone called her with affection, was not rich in this world’s goods and modern ways of thinking. She cleaned houses when she could to help pay the bills. Though she was poor by the worlds standards she was wealthy in God’s eyes for she was a faithful child of the King.

I first met sister Lela McCarter in about 1985 when I was invited by brother Mike Hurst to hold a meeting for the small black church of Christ in the rural community of Sturgis Mississippi. Mike was a young white man studying at Mississippi State University in Starkville. He had noticed the meeting place of this group of saints while driving through the country one day and as it looked like people were meeting there he started asking questions and found they indeed met, but had no one to preach for them. He volunteered to do so and they gladly accepted. Mike soon found out through sister Lela that the church there was under the “oversight” (control) of the large white Lee Blvd. Church in Starkville. Continue reading » Remembering Sister Lela

Guarding the Guardian

For many years I have stated that the greatest threat to God’s people was in the realm of fellowship. A few years ago, in the now deceased Christianity Magazine, Ed Harrell launched his plea for “a better understanding” of brethren regarding brother Homer Hailey and advocated a continued fellowship with him, placing such matters in the context of Romans chapter 14. Many brethren felt that the controversy raised over a false interpretation of Romans 14 would be the greatest battle to be fought against Satan and his forces. While the false doctrine that is being advocated by so many on Romans 14 is indeed a very real threat to the people of God, and while it’s ultimate end, if followed, will allow any and all sin into the fellowship of God’s people, I believe the subject of fellowship in general is the very core our problem. If you will think for a moment, it becomes very obvious that God has placed “fellowship” as His guardian for the purity of His people. It was so in the Old Testament when He forbade His people to have any “fellowship” with the people of other nations. It was so when He commanded His people to put away their strange wives (Ezra chapter 10). It is so also in the New Testament.

Fellowship was the “Guardian” for the purity among God’s people in the realm of morality (cf. 1 Corinthians 5). The Corinthians were told to “put away from yourselves that wicked person” ( 1 Corinthians 5:13). The reason is given in verse six. He says that wickedness will corrupt others as well so were told to “purge out the old leaven,” verse seven. In doing so they used God’s “Guardian” for maintaining moral purity among them. Continue reading » Guarding the Guardian

God’s Grace VS Man’s Grace

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The denominational, religious world has long held a doctrinally false view of this most beautiful subject. Now, the same false view is being “peddled” by some who claim to be preachers of the Gospel. In a nutshell, the denominational concept of grace is that of a “blanket” covering of man’s sins, without obedience on his part, due to the perfect righteousness of Christ. A sort of strange “fog like” thing that prevents God from seeing our sins and imperfections. Because of the perfect righteousness of Christ, this “grace” serves as sort of an “umbrella” between God and man so that God only sees our good. This false doctrine has led some to totally reject any kind of works of obedience and a strong movement for “unity” with those who teach and practice false doctrine both in and out of the Lord’s church. One of the most popular writers today, and one who claims to be a Gospel preacher is Max Lucado. While most of those who hold the false position on grace that he holds have not gone as far away from Truth as he has, the seeds are being sown for the same kind of “harvest”. Continue reading » God’s Grace VS Man’s Grace