Volume 68 Number 6 Lubbock, Texas 79493 Copyright $12.00 Per Year June 2000
Sinners Saved Thoughts of Heaven The Universe Has A Design - Opposing Views and the Future At the corner, in the closet, or on the football field Oldest Church Newspaper Tour Through The Bible The Potter Has The Power History of Sunday Schools Obituaries
By Elder Cleveland Bass
Matt. 1:21, And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins.
1 Tim. 1:15, This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus cane into the world to save sinners.
Jesus came not to save the good, but sinners! Oh, glorious Saviour, who gave his life for sinners! Amazing Grace! how amazing is it? He gave His life to save a wretch like me. Ecc. 7:20, For there is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good and sinneth not.
None good, all deserved to die and spend eternity separated from God. Yet in His pity, love and mercy, He died in our room and stead, that we might live with Him in glory. He paid the debt in full. He suffered eternal separation from God, the Father on the cross. It was in the last three hours that He suffered eternal death for us.
Oh, what love, what mercy that He would leave the portals of glory and descend to this low ground of sin and sorrow to suffer, bleed, and die for His people. You see, the angel said He was save His people; they were His in covenant and became His by purchase when He hung on the cross on Calvary.
Behold, the finished work of Christ! He started and finished the work. He started and finished the work He came to do. He cane to save sinners and He did that. There will be no sinners in heaven, for they will be made holy and just and without sin. We will be made saints all because of His amazing grace!
Can you not sing, "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved, a good old boy like me; no, no, that saved a wretch like me."
No wonder that Isaiah could say in Isa. 40:10, Behold the Lord God shall come with a strong hand. and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him and His work before Him, and Isa. 9:6, For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulders; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Glorious Saviour indeed!
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Voice of the Past...
by Elder Jimmie Bass, Sr. The Banner of Love, April 1973
St. John 4:1, Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God. This statement is of much more comfort, than if James had said, If ye believe in God. Ye believe in God, is to say, you are God's child, St. John 5:1. The believer is born of God. I mean that one that believes with heart. Romans 10:10
Believe also in me. To believe in Jesus, is to believe that, He shall save His people. Those the Father gave Him, or chose in Him before the foundation of the world, from their sins, that is, He shall do the work. He came to save us, because we needed a Saviour. He came to do that for us, that we were not able to do for ourselves, because we had sinned.
It takes a sinless one to save us. We needed one to save us. We needed Him because we had no knowledge of our lost condition. We did not even desire salvation. We felt we were as the Pharisees, who stood and prayed thus within himself. Boasting of the good thing he had done, boasting of how good he was.
Paul said, speaking of us while we were in an unregenerate state, Ye were sometimes darkness. This is the reason we couldn't see the corruption of our own heart. We didn't know we needed salvation. Didn't know we needed heaven.
I know of a few who only desired a heaven, in order to miss hell.
We didn't know we needed a new life, we thought the life we had was good enough. If one ever feels the need of a better or new life it is because God has shone His light in his heart; put His spirit there, and he is a child of God. This is what brought the change. Then it is his duty to obey and serve his God. He is blessed in doing so while he lives in this world of sin and sorrow.
To believe in Jesus is to believe, He cannot fail. His work is perfect, etc. Isa. 42:4, Deut. 32:4, For in my Father's house are many mansions. I'm leaving you but I am leaving you mansions, when you sing the good old songs of Zion. It is a mansion to me when you preach the truth. These truths are mansions to me.
I go to prepare a place for you. Heaven would not be a prepared place for His children if Jesus were not there. The saying, "Where Jesus is will be Heaven for me." Jesus is coming back again. Coming for what? Coming for you, dear child. He is coming for you. He is coming to carry you home.
Oh, what a great and sweet reunion, some where in the future. The grandeur is, all that Jesus died for will be there. No vacancy in heaven. No more sad farewells. No wonder there will be shouting.
In hope, that when I die, I will hear the same, still sweet and welcoming voice saying, Child, God your Father calls, Come Home.
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The Existence of God -Teleological Argument
By Brother Ron Johnson
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:18-20).
God’s eternal power and His sovereignty over all are clear to those who search for the truth. While believers in God’s word find it straightforward to use both reason and faith in understanding God’s design in the universe, there are many who consider any attempt to approach science from a biblical perspective as a threat to “true science”. The National Center for Science Education, for example, has a singular focused purpose. According to its Internet web site, it is “a nationally-recognized clearinghouse for information and advice to keep evolution in the science classroom and ‘scientific creationism’ out.”21 Why do some scientists see such an utter conflict between science and religion? From the September 1999 issue of Scientific American:22
University of Washington sociologist Rodney Stark, an early researcher on the spread of secularization in a religious society points out, “There’s been 200 hundred years of marketing that if you want to be a scientific person you’ve got to keep your mind free of the fetters of religion.” He argues that although demographics make a difference – a professor teaching in South Dakota is likely to be more religious than an academic in Chicago – higher education on the whole winnows out the idea of God or people who hold to it. In research universities, “the religious people keep their mouths shut,” Stark says. “And the irreligious people discriminate. There’s a reward system to being irreligious in the upper echelons.”
Scientific myths can also contribute to the social trend of viewing science as pure and religion as narrow-minded. Theologian Philip Hefner states, “America’s greatest myth about science and religion is a legal melodrama, the 1925 John Scopes ‘monkey trial’. …The myth is that scientists are courageous loners who are willing to die for the truth. Organized religion is ipso facto opposed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of truth. Organized religion is the enemy. When heave comes to shove, organized religion will kill the courageous scientist.”23 History shows that many of the greatest scientists have been intensely religious, and it has not thwarted their scientific endeavors or achievements in the least.
The critical element of scientific study is whether or not it has integrity. Over one hundred years ago Elder Sylvester Hassell said, “True science is always modest.”24 In more recent times Dr. Richard Feynman, renowned physics Nobel laureate, put it this way: “It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty – a kind of leaning over backwards.”25 Since we know “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10), humility in scientific research is not only ethical, it is also biblical.
What we often see today is a marketing of science and so called discoveries that are no more than ideas born of a desire for fame – either the fame of the discoverer or the fame of the reporter. Phillip Johnson, in his article “How to Sink a Battleship”, summarizes our quandary: “Science now teaches us that a purposeless material process of evolution created us; artists, poets, and actors teach us that biblical morality is oppressive and hateful; and the courts teach us that the very notion of God is divisive and so must be kept out of public life.” 26
What does all of this mean to us? Bruce Chapman in his article The Twenty-first Century Has Arrived says, “It can be argued that (atheistic) materialism is a major source of the demoralization of the twentieth century. Materialism’s explicit denial not just of design but also of the possibility of scientific evidence for design has done untold damage to the normative legacy of Judeo-Christian ethics. A world without design is a world without inherent meaning.”27 So, where do we go from here?
First of all, it is important to reiterate that God’s word is our most important source of information. We know that God is in control and has not been silent even though some might think otherwise. In fact, Luke spoke of Christ’s resurrection and said “Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly”, (Acts 10:40). God has not been silent about the resurrection, and He has not been silent about His creation and design of our existence. We have the evidence in His word, and we have the evidence in honest science.
In addition, we must recognize the ebb and flow of ideas through time. In our generation we have seen the collapse of the economic science of Marx. We have seen the collapse of the social science of Freud. Perhaps we are on the threshold of seeing the collapse of the biological science of Darwin. There are many who believe this to be true.
Increasing numbers of scientists are coming to the conclusion that evolution cannot explain origins and that intelligent design is a reasonable scientific explanation for what we see in nature. Bruce Chapman, in his postscript to Mere Creation, points out many modern scientists who are using scientific methods to show the validity of intelligent design and the real weaknesses of evolution.28 He also discusses the many public forums that have begun to report the trend away from Darwinism in terms of strong literary efforts, educational reform, and public debates including such televised programs as the PBS program TechnoPolitics, William F. Buckley’s Firing Line, and CNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.
John Ankerberg and John Weldon include in their appendix to The Creation Hypothesis numerous quotes from scientists who no longer see evolution as valid science.29 Quoting an ancient and a modern:
As Sir Isaac Newton observed, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and domain of an intelligent and powerful Being.”
Robert Jastrow is the founder and director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, an internationally known astronomer and professor at Dartmouth and Columbia universities. His oft-cited statement in God and the Astronomers is still relevant:
A sound explanation may exist for the explosive birth of our Universe: but if it does, science cannot find out what the explanation is.
The scientist’s pursuit of the past ends in the moment of creation.
This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always accepted the word of the Bible: In the Beginning God created heaven and earth…At this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.
Job 26:7-14 gives us a concluding perspective:
He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it. He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end. The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof. He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?
In this small paragraph, God has given us hints of the earth’s axial tilt and magnetic North, the concept of gravity, the formation of clouds and the hydrology cycle, the barrier between the finite and the infinite, the ocean tides, the solar system, His control over the thermonuclear events in galaxies and the earth’s natural phenomenology, and His creation from the most distant star to the lowest creature on the earth.
And then He tells us “these are parts of his ways” and “a little portion” of His power and majesty. Just imagine what we shall behold “when he shall appear”, because that is when “we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.” (1John 3:2).
To God be all the praise!
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By Elder Hulan Bass
Robert Raikes of Gloucester, England, was the founder of Sunday Schools in 1781, by teaching the poorer class of children on Sundays in the "Rudiments of a Common School Education," and not in instructions in the Theology of The Bible. See: Pages 539, 771, 844 in - Hassell's History.
David Benedict [Fifty Years Among the Baptist] in Pawtuckett, Rhode Island, [Life - 1779-1874] did the same thing exactly in the U.S.A, as did Robert Raikes in England. See: Pages, beginning with 751---, in Hassell's History.
3. ANTI-TYPE: Modern Day Theological Sunday Schools are Un-Scriptural.
John Wesley, first in 1784, expressed the hope that Sunday Schools would become: "Nurseries for Christians." [Wesley was the founder of "The Method" - The Methodist.
In McClintock & Strong's Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, Vol. 10, page 21, it states that "within the last 50 years Sunday Schools have come to be regarded as an Essential Branch of Church Action, not merely in England and America, but throughout the Protestant World, whether in home or mission fields"; and this further states "that the problem of the Conversion of the World is in Process of Solution."
If this all be true, thusly it appears that, for nearly 1800 years of the Christian era, the True Church, as set up by Jesus Christ in the Days of John the Baptist and The Apostles, has been Destitute of an "Essential" requisite in it's work, and the problem of the Conversion of the World had not begun to be solved until the 19th Century. Wonder why Jesus did not institute Sunday Schools, if they are so important to, and a function of, and a branch or part of the True N.T. Church?
Also, wonder why Jesus, nor any of His Apostles, nor any of the New Testament Writers did not mention Sunday Schools? Also see Hassell's History, pages: 311, 319, 323, 325, 348, 364-367, 539, 557, 583, 584, 589, 591, 599, 600, 616, 619, 623, 625, 642, 748, 751, 752, 766, 771, 772, 844, 845, 872, 892, 899, 904, 935...
Also notice: It was the so-called modern contemporary New School Missionary Baptists, and others, including the Protestants, that have built this addition onto the Church. These Scriptures forbids such: Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:5; Rev. 22:18-19. From the times of The Children of Israel in the Old Testament God taught the Parents to teach their children The Word of The Law - Deut. 6:1-6; 11:18-21. The benefits of such teaching would be that they would inhabit the land flowing with milk and honey; their days would be multiplied and the days of their children, in the Land which the Lord sware unto their fathers to give them, as the days of Heaven upon the earth.
The Parents were to teach such, speaking of them when they sittest in their house, when walking by the way, when lying down, and risest up. These laws were written upon the door posts of their house and upon the gates. They would possess great and goodly cities, which they built not; houses full of all good things, which they did not have to buy; wells digged, which they diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which they plantedst not. This is the historical picture of the New Testament Church of Timely Gospel benefit.
Solomon wisely wrote in - Prov. 22:6 - "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Again, he taught in - Ecc. 12:1 - "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth..." Jeremiah taught in - Lam. 3:27 - "It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth." This teaching was to come directly from the parents. These prophesies point us directly to the same Principle in the New Testament. The anti-type, the literal substance realized and fulfilled was taught in the New Testament Church Kingdom in - Matt. 19:14 - "But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Also see: Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16.
The Apostle Paul further magnifies this principle in Eph. 6:4 - by telling the fathers [Parents] - "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Paul lays this teaching responsibility at the door of the parents. Further Paul amplifies this principle in 2nd Tim. 1:5 - where he relates that young Timothy was taught at home by his Grand-mother and Mother. 2nd Tim. 3:15 - "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures..."
There is no scripture teaching us to send our children to some other teaching instructor apart from the Parents at Home; a God-called Preacher/Pastor/Teacher in the Assembly at Church . Further, the O.T. procedure for teaching The Law is illustrated in - Deut. 31:12 - Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:" V. 13 -"And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it."
Therefore, it is clear, that the teaching of children about spiritual matters, is not to be "farmed-out" to some other entity [organization], but first by the Parents at Home, then in the Assembly where the men, women and children are gathered together. Separating children and others into various class-rooms by age, sex, marital status, etc., is not scriptural.
We even need to teach these facts to our children also...
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TO FEED HIS LITTLE CHILDREN
I have been receiving the Banner of Love for several years now, and look forward to receiving it so much.
Please renew my subscription for one year and use the remainder as you see fit.
My God continue to bless you and your efforts to feed His little children.
Yours in hope,
Clinton, N. J.
I was thinking back today, my Dad got the Banner soon after it was first published. I can remember getting it as far back as I can remember anything. My Dad was Medlin Miller. My Mom married again after my Dad died. We enjoy the Banner so much.
In Christian love,
Sister Effie Lou Poss
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My name is Lynn [Dale] Miller. I was Elder Dale's daughter. I am going to compile a book about my father's life, in his service to the Lord and his Chiropractic practice. I believe that this book will be a tribute to my father and to the Glory of God. I would like to inform anyone that would like to write a short article about how my father touched their lives; something that they particularly remember about him. It could be a humorous story or anything that the people that knew him would like to have entered into my book. I need to get the word out to as many people as I can so I can start compiling it.
I almost lost my life at the time that Daddy was ill. So, when he passed away I was not in good mental or physical shape. Through the mercy of God and my family's help they got me together in order to attend his beautiful funeral. It was a very difficult time for me. But by the Grace of God, I have survived and have made a miraculous recovery.
There are so many people that loved my father, and I am sure they would like to participate in this endeavor with me.
I am excited about this and I feel that many people will be also. I prefer the item to be typed and only a page or two long. But if any members can't type it will be perfectly all right; or even hand written.
Lynn Miller Millylynn@aol.com
Hebrews 6:13-20 is always encouraging.
So good we always have hope in our Dear Lord Jesus Christ. He will see us through.
May He strengthen you all.
In dear hope,
Sister Loretta Lilly
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Enclosed please find my renewal for another year to the Banner of Love paper.
I continue to enjoy the good articles by the Lord's servants in the Word. May the Lord continue to bless you both now and always, and in the publishing of the paper.
Your Brother in Christ,
Ralph E. Knight
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By Elder Kenneth Clevenger
concluded from April 2000
These vessels of honor are those "as seemed good to the potter to make it, [them]" they are those that were chosen by the Potter [God] in the Eternal Covenant before the foundation of the world. Those chosen vessels that were given to the Son, they are the elect, the adopted and the predestinated; all these were taken from the vessel Adam. Although they would be marred vessels from the family of Adam they would be made again of the same lump of clay another vessel as seemed good to the Potter [God]. A new "creature" a new "creation" by the hand of the Potter. The prophet Isaiah explains it thusly, "O Lord, thou art our Father, we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." [Isaiah 64:8].
"Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel," [Jeremiah 18:5-6. The Lord reasons with Jeremiah, if the clay is in the power of the Potter's hand to make vessels as He chooses, are not nations of people, as Israel or any other nation of people, only as clay in the Potter's hand to build up or tear down?
The word given to Jeremiah by the Lord concerned Israel. Because Israel had long been rebellious toward God and had been as a harlot who lusted after the gods of other nations: who had refused to repent and worship their God that had delivered them from the bondage of Egypt and brought them to the land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey; the land promised to Abraham and his posterity. He would punish them by delivering them to he captives of the Assyrians.
God is a sovereign Being and has a sovereign and uncontrollable power over all creatures. The Lord has an unquestionable power over all men, and a just right to change their state and circumstances as He pleases. Here he tells Jeremiah that He will punish Israel for their rebellion against Him. He would use the Assyrians as a rod of correction on them. He raises up nations for His own use; sometimes for a rod of correction on His people; sometimes a nation flourishes because the Lord's church resides in the land. History records that every nation that has prospered, did so because the Lord's church was in the land; those nations cease to prosper when the Lord's people are no longer in the land. The Potter has the Power! "Woe unto them that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherd of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What maketh thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?" Isaiah 45:9.
The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah saying, "At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them." [Jeremiah 18:7-8]. The Lord assured Jeremiah that there was a way for Israel to escape their sure to come destruction, the way was the way of repentance; the formula had long been in their possession, it had been given to Solomon many years before, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14. Even Assyria [Ninevah] their soon to be captors, repented, when Jonah preached to them, and the Lord spared their land. However, we read in 2 kings 17:23, "Until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day;" and in 2 Kings 25:21, "And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land." How sad, however, we can see the Potter Has the Power! We have spoken only briefly how the Potter has the power over men and nations, the material or natural world of which we have actually said but little. We mentioned how that the Potter put the wheels in motion in creation. The Potter speaks to the earth and it respond to His voice, "At thy rebuke they [rivers and seas] fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. 'Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth. He sendeth the springs unto the valleys, which run among the hills." Psalms 104: 7-10. In the resurrection the Potter will exercise the same omnipotence when He shall call to the dust of the earth saying, "to the north, Give up; and to the south, keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth," Isaiah 43:6. Hear what God said concerning Judah in Isaiah 1:2-3, "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider." The Potter, as Jehovah, made all the god's of the Egyptian's to be a curse to them; at the same time He demonstrated the power of the Potter over all the creatures that He had made, as well as the wind, the light, and the sea. And when He completely removed His presence in the land there was darkness in all the land but "all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings." Even the lowly fly that swarmed the land of Egypt, yet at His command not one of them dared to enter Goshen; The Potter Has the Power. The Potter formed the Old Testament Church , "The Church in the wilderness," a church of outward rituals and blood-letting, a vessel that became marred. The Potter in His vessel [body] came into this world and he established His New Testament Church in the hearts of men and "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." For if that first covenant had been faultless then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord. I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people; And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that He saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. Hebrews 8:7-13"
We read about the Potter opening the fountains of the deep; opening the heavens and causing it to rain from clouds of the skies which had never given forth rain before. He spoke to the waters of the great deluge and they went to their place, wherever that may be. He caused the waters of the Red Sea to divide, "And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea."
He caused the sun to stand still; turned time back. He used hail stones as guided missles killing the enemy and yet not one stone fell upon the Israelites. He spoke to the whale and it vomited up Jonah. He caused a Jackass to speak. He sent manna from heaven; sent rivers of water out of the rock. He walked on the water; He spoke to the angry sea and it became frightfully calm; He fed multitudes with five barley loaves and two small fishes. He can close the minds eye, and He can open the minds eye. He can open the ear and He can close the ear. He can reveal and He can conceal. He can give peace and He can trouble. He died on a cross on Calvary; and after three days and three nights in a borrowed grave He rose from the dead. He then showed Himself alive ten times in forty days, and then He ascended to Heaven. Today the Potter is sitting at the right hand of the Father, still holding all things in His hands. The Potter Has the Power!
The Potter has the power over the immaterial, over the spiritual world, over the angels, and over the thoughts of men. Capable of knowing men's thoughts, even what their thoughts will be before they have them, as seen often when God told Moses what Pharaoh would say hours, even days, before he spoke his thoughts. Jesus revealed the thoughts of the Pharisees although they had not spoken a word. He told His disciples what the man would say to them when they came to his house to prepare for the last Passover. He spoke by His prophets, of things to come hundreds of years before they came to pass; of the events of history and even the exact words that would be spoken.
Much more could be said along this line of thought, however, we will close with these words of the Potter, "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." Isaiah 46:10.
The Potter Has the Power To Do All His Pleasure!
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Dear Kindred in Christ:
We are having good meetings out here of late.
I joined the Church at Hughson Harmony at Little Hope, Madera; seventeen years of age.
Give our love to all back there. Come see us when you can. When you get to be ninety years old, you either forget or don't remember.
Elder D. A. Layne
P.S. Brother Harvey Bass, if you want to use my song, you have my permission.
Enclosed please find a check for one year subscription for your paper. Use the extra where needed.
I enjoy the paper very much, and I always pass it on to my sister and she also enjoys the paper.
God bless you to continue publishing it.
In Christ's Name,
Little Rock, AR.
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In our January 2000 issue of the Banner of Love, we commented that the publication was one of the oldest continuing religious publications on record with the U.S. Post Office. The Banner began in 1932 and has been published continuously since.
It remains one of, if not the, oldest such publications in Texas. We were aware of older publications, especially in the Northeast United States. However, a reader has graciously contacted us (Earl W. Hall of Austin) to inform us, and provide a copy, of apparently to oldest Primitive Baptist publication in the United States.
The "Sign of the times" was established in 1832 and is in its 168th year of publication. Serving Primitive Baptists interests, it is edited by Elder J. R. Williams of Keeling, Virginia and Elder Kenneth R. Key of Greensboro, North Carolina. Subscriptions are $10 per year for the monthly publication. Mailing address is 1012 Bennett circle, Keeling, Virginia 24566, phone is (804) 792-8758.
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I just want to thank you for printing the paper, so we can all keep up with what goes on about all the good meetings.
I can't go anymore, but to read about the meetings makes me feel like I've been there. Keep up the good work.
A Sister in Christ I hope,
Veta M. Casey
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Enclosed is an article for the next issue of The Banner.
Thank you for your diligent work with the paper.
Midwest City, OK
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Please renew our subscription to The Banner of Love for another year. I am enclosing a check and a donation.
Note: We appreciate the extra.
Thank you so much for The Banner of Love. Enclosed is a check and a donation.
Mrs. Raymond King,
Note: We appreciate the donation.
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Sister Opal, thanks for the reminder. We miss seeing you and hope you can visit at Mt. Carmel soon. Please use the remainder of our check for your services.
Brother Roy and Sister Syl Davis
Mt. Carmel Church,
Bel Air, MD
Note: Thank you for the extra. I would love to visit Mt. Carmel Church again. I loved seeing you all when I visited before. Think of you all so often. Opal Richards
It is with thanksgiving we, at Cornish Primitive Baptist Church in Wilson, Oklahoma, look back on our wonderful meeting embracing the fifth Sunday in April. We did not have as many in attendance as usual, however, we felt the Lord's presence, in the prayers, singing, and preaching.
Order of preaching Friday night, Elders Marvin Sims and Bill McCarthy: Saturday morning, Elders Barry Brown and Michael Montgomery: afternoon, Elders Michael Hughes and Monte Montgomery: evening service, Brother Shane Nix, and Elders Dennis Kreie and Marvin Sims: Sunday Morning, Elder Marvin Sims.
We felt unity, love, and harmony in each of our services: What a blessing! First, we thank our Lord, and each one in attendance for prayers and support. Meals were served in the dining room at noon, and evening. Our thanks to those providing this natural blessing.
My special thanks to Elder Dennis Kreie for willingly assisting me, as I was plagued with a bad throat and was hardly able to sing or speak.
We send greetings to our sister churches, and all that in every place call on His Blessed Name!
Elder Hylton Crain
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I am sending a check for my renewal. Please use excess for some one who cannot afford to pay.
Enjoying many spiritual, uplifting meetings here in Colorado. Come visit us.
Elder Clem E. Cook
Los Animas, Colorado Note: We appreciate the extra, Elder Cook and we will use it as you suggested. O. Richards
We have been so blessed to have Brother Roger and Sister Stephanie Gartman as members here at Mt. Zion [Fort Worth, TX]. April was baptized last Sunday, June 4. They are such a sweet little family.
Elder Weldon will always be missed, but we are thankful to the Lord for sending us Elder Barry Brown. We are having such good meetings.
Don, I am so sorry for the trials your family is experiencing. God be with you, help you all to come through this.
In Christian Love,
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Just a note to let you know we are still "though few" and hope to be to the end. The water continues to flow at the Carlsbad, NM Church, as always and the lights burn bright. The new coolers are very nice. thanks to Brother R. C. and other dear ones, and believe me, we need them in this one hundred degree weather of the southwest climate here. We try to get these dear ones to come on second and fourth Sundays, although sometimes it is hard to do as they are all young.
The Lord has never forsaken us with His presence and it seems we always feel His Spirit. I remember one of old, Lord they have all gone and I am left alone. The Lord said, I have reserved seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Ba-al. How well, we all remember when at Carlsbad church with three members, had the NM Association Annual Meeting of August that year. It was a good meeting, too.
So, Lord give us the courage to fight the good fight of faith is our prayers. Please come to see us, the Lord always meets us there. We need your visits. It would encourage us greatly. Most of all, we need your prayers.
I remain, a servant,
Berwyn Hand [Elder], Pastor
Carlsbad, N.M. Church
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by Don R. Richards
It created quite a stir a few days ago when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Texas school cannot conduct a prayer at the start of a football game.
The court’s opinion basically endorsed a similar opinion by the Supreme Court in the early 1960s that held a school cannot officially open the school day with prayer. The 1960 case was pushed by famed atheist Madilyn Murray O’Hair.
The news media has generally assumed that most known Christians are disturbed by the Court’s opinion out of fear that we are removing God’s influence over our school children.
I do not feel quite that disturbed by the ruling. I know I am influenced by the influence my father had on me. And the influence my grandfather had on my father. As many of you know, both my father and grandfather were Primitive Baptist ministers and both established The Banner of Love.
In reading the numerous opinions in the media about the court’s decision, I was reminded of two specific experiences — first was the experience of my father (Elder Afton E. Richards) with his father (Elder Hard G. Richards); and of my personal experiences and discussions with my father.
When the 1960s decision occurred, I was in junior high school and I very vividly remember discussing the issue with my father because the community generally was upset in the same manner as many people today are with this recent court decision. My father then relayed to me a school experience that happened to him involving the concern of his father (my grandfather).
When my father was in school, one of his teachers started requiring a portion of the class day devoted to religious doctrines. Each student was required to discuss religion and be subjected to the teacher’s review and explanation. My grandfather did not care for the practice because he felt the teacher was unconsciously utilizing the opportunity to prostelyze for a particular religion (i.e. the teacher’s religion, even though the teacher’s intent was "good" -- that of saving souls). The teacher dismissed my grandfather’s inquiry and required my father to participate.
My grandfather wrote out a script for my father to read at school the next day. It included a strong dose of the Hardshell Baptist doctrine of the Lord’s unconditional, sovereign grace, supported by very pointed scriptural references. My dad read it at school the next day. The teacher discontinued the practice.
That experience greatly influenced my father’s approach to mixing religion and school activities.
The second experience I recall was between my father and I. During my early adult life I worked with my father in the newspaper business. It greatly influenced not only my strong bias in favor of First Amendment constitutional rights, but also my view of separation of church and state.
In a small Texas community the primary news event is the Friday night high school football game. In reporting these ball games, I joined my father in his practice of walking the sidelines, taking pictures and keeping game statistics. It created wonderful memories for me as "quality time" between a father and son.
As was the case with the recent Supreme Court ruling, each game was started with a public prayer over the public address system.
I developed an ongoing private joke with my father based on the pre-game prayer. It was just a private, personal joke between father and son with little meaning at the time; but it was recalled to the forefront of my mind with the recent court decision. My father had great knowledge of the various basic religious doctrines and was very adept at listening to a person speak (in a religious context) and then identify the person’s religion from the context of their speech. As a young man I thought it was somewhat silly and used to tease him about it.
At the start of a football game, after the pre-game prayer ended, my standard routine was to turn to my dad, prod him and smile, and he would quietly mouth to me "Methodist", or "Catholic", or "Pentecostal". He was not making fun of the person’s religion; but he was demonstrating that a person’s religion is subconsciously included in their religious speech. I particularly remember with great fondness our joint laughter at his comment after one pre-game prayer that the person saying the prayer was a "Baptist" trying to save all the "Church of Christ" members. He "read" that in the prayer by the words and context used in the prayer.
I am greatly influenced by those experiences. I know I could do like my grandfather did, and write a very pointed prayer for my son to say at a school event. I would love more children to be exposed to the wonderful doctrine of sovereign grace. However, I also know others could also do the same to my children. In spite of the "good" intentions of people, each of our individual religious preferences are included in our "attempts" at generic speech. My father proved to me many times how a person’s religious doctrine is revealed, even when we do not realize we are doing it.
So, what do we do now to insure that God’s influence stays in our schools?
Who reading this actually believes God’s influence could possibly be kept out of the school if God decides to get in?
Our answer is simple -- Pray.
Pray for our schools. Pray for our teachers and the school administrators. Especially, pray for the children. If you know of a problem child (or a problem teacher) at your school, pray specifically for that person. There is not a court in the world that can stop God from entering your school in response to your prayer. Read James 5:16.
Another concern is that we see a lot of people complaining about the absence of prayer in school, but yet we do not see them involved with their children in that school. I do not wish to be too general or global with this, but God will look into the heart to determine an individual’s intent. I view with some suspicion the advocacy of some groups who are publicly adamant about "prayer a public events", but privately do not actively become involved with their children.
I am reminded of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount wherein he tells us to avoid the problems of the hypocrites who "love to pray standing ...in the corner of the streets" to be seen of men. Matt. 6:5. Their intent is to look good on surface, but lack of substance. Instead, Jesus tells us to enter our closets and "pray to thy Father which is in secret" so that our prayers are rewarded openly. Matt. 6:6.
It is important for us to keep in mind our basic civil constitutional rights in this country. These rights were not disturbed by the Supreme Court. We individually have the First Amendment right of religious expression. The Supreme Court did not touch that right. We can pray anytime and anywhere we get ready. My child can bow his/her head and pray while sitting at a school desk at the start of school. No one can stop my child from praying over his/her meal at lunchtime; and no one can stop me or my child from praying at the start of an athletic event.
It’s my duty to teach my child to pray, and how to pray. I should not have to rely on the school/government to set that example; and in fact, do not want them setting the example. I’d rather our children "let their light so shine" by being seen individually praying over a lunchroom meal or at the start of an athletic event.
If our children are seen privately praying at their school desks, it sets a far greater example of glorifying God to the other children than any "generic" public prayer can do. If our children are not praying in school, it is our own fault.
Look at Daniel’s example. He had a far greater concern than we do about his prayers. A new law specifically prohibited him from praying to his Lord, either in public or in private. Read Daniel 6:5-8. Yet he "let his light so shine" by continuing his personal prayer to his Lord, not out of any intent to be seen of men, but of his personal intent to glorify God. The Lord protected Daniel from a bad law; the Lord will likewise protect our school children.
Remember to pray for our schools.
Teach our children to pray — at school, at home, and any where and any time they desire.
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