Volume 69 Number 3 Lubbock, Texas 79493 Copyright $12.00 Per Year March 2001
No More Sea What About the Will Ordination of Brother Larry Guffey To The Banner of Love The Iron Did Swim Why the King James Part 2 Large Upper Room Unconditional Election None Parish, None Lost Tour Through the Bible The True meaning of Easter
By Brother Norman Gowens
Rev. 21:1 - And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
What is the meaning of "no more sea"? Respecting one's belief that the new heaven and new earth refers to the change of ministrations from the Old Law Service to the New Testament Law of Faith, why does the verse say,"...and there was no more sea? What sea?
The law service was literal and "natural." Those Jews had to deal with the contents of the sea literally. In the new Jerusalem, there is no more sea to contend with in a natural way because the new heavens and new earth is not natural. It is new and spiritual. There is no sea in the top of the mountains where the Lord's house is.
In OT scripture we find that in addition to the sea referring to the bodies of water, it carries the definition from a root word meaning "to roar". In reference to "water." we find in 1 Chron. 18:8 that Solomon made the "brazen sea" which David had taken as booty and it stood in the inner court of the temple between the altar of burnt offering and the sanctuary. It was intended for the priests to wash their hands and feet in, to cleanse themselves before entering the sanctuary or approaching the altar. [See also Exod. 30:18-21, 2 Chron. 4:6, 1 Kings 7:39.] There is no more "molten sea" required in new Jerusalem. Jesus washed us white as snow on the cross.
In harmony with the root meaning of "to roar", we find that the sea represented violence and a place where evil dwelt. Isa. 27:1 refers to the dragon in the sea. Isa. 57:20 refers to the wicked being like the troubled sea Jer. 49:23 refers to sorrow on the sea. Reg. 13:1 says, "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads he same of blasphemy." The Greek word for "sea" in Rev. 21:1 is "thalassa," which is from the root word for "salt".
The word "sea" in scripture often refers to various and differing seas and according to the context in this particular set of verses shows forth the purity and peace of the new heavens and new earth, by the absence of the sea, and could refer to deliverance from the "salt area." According to Numbers 34:3-12, the southern border of the land of Canaan is the salt area, sometimes called the dead sea. John Gill wrote this about this border sea,"...the same that is sometimes called the Dead sea, the sea of Sodom, or the lake Asphaltites, as Heathen writers generally call it."
For verse 12 He also wrote,"...and the goings out of it shall be at the salt sea; the sea of Sodom; and though all sea water is generally salt, this was remarkably so, through the great quantity of bitumen and nitre in it; hence it was called Asphaltites; this was the description of the borders of the land around the salt sea." Deut. 29:23 says, "And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath.."
The salt sea, or the dead sea, where God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the filth of those cities had no escape route for the water that came into it. It was the lowest place in the land and had no outlet. All the filth that flowed from the lands and the rivers around it stopped right there in that sea. Thus, it became such a filth and polluted sea that nothing could live in it. Everything in it died, thus it was called the dead sea. It was so salty that if anything came into it alive, it immediately died.
That is the case of mankind through Adam's sin. We come into this world at birth "dead" in trespasses and sins, and cannot come out or get out of our condition. We are as inhabitants of the dead or salt sea. The sea is a place of perishing or destruction. In Matt. l8:32, and Mark 5:13, the swine perished in the sea. Read Matt. 18:6, 21:21: Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2,6; James 1:6; Jude 13; Rev. 13:1, 16:3, 18:21 to see either the pollution of sin, or the judgment of God against sin represented by the sea. The sea personifies all the sin, degradation, filth, and confusion of the world, and how it is a severe vexation to men.
In the new heavens and the new earth, there is no more sea!
None can infiltrate the city that comes down out of heaven from God. None can harm any of the inhabitants of the city. [Rev. 21:27] The wise virgins enter into the bridechamber and the foolish virgins, although they are children of God, enter not in. [Mat. ch. 25] In this holy city New Jerusalem, there is no approach in any way, form, or fashion by the kings and merchants of the earth or by any efforts of man apart from the Spirit of God. She is set apart from the "old" cities of the law and also the natural cities of the earth. She is unapproachable to any but those who are carried up to her. [Rev. 21:27]
For those who are blessed to dwell in he holy city, "God himself shall be with them." [Rev. 21:3] All that is there is righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Ghost. [Rom. 14:17] For the inhabitants, there is no more sea, no more sin, filth, condemnation, nor persecution from the inhabitants of the sea. Outside the walls of the city of the new heaven and new earth, there are still dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters, and liars. [Rev. 22:15].
But inside the walls there is "no more sea"! No more roaring! No more curse! No more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. [Rev. 21:4] The new heavens and new earth is in the top of the mountains, exalted above the valleys and hills of this world. [Isa. 2:2] [Gal. 4:26].
In Micah 7:19, Micah finds strength in the God of compassion who would subdue their iniquities and would cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. In Zech. 14:8, Zechariah prophesied that in that day, living waters would go out from Jerusalem, half to the former sea and half to the hinder sea. Who else could this be prophesying of than the Lord Jesus Christ Who is our Living Waters. He is the only One Who is able to still the winds that drive the raging waves of the seas and still the tempest tossed seas. [Matt. 14:25] He is the only One Who is able to walk on the sea and to still the roar of the sea and quieten the evil and violence and wickedness of the beasts in the seas. He is the One who subdued our iniquities and cast our sins into the depths of the sea. He is the One Who is able to say, "Peace be still" and the violence of the sea is calmed and peace reigns within and without. The law service could not do these things, but Jesus could and does to this very day.
In Matt. 27:50-51, when Jesus yielded up the ghost, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;...The entrance into the holy place is made manifest a new and living way which God has consecrated for us through the veil. The entire Jewish system, the relations of man with God under its sway, its priesthood, all fell with the rending of the veil. The old heavens and old earth were fulfilled. The new heavens and new earth were fully revealed in Jesus Christ Saviour of the world.
There was no more need for the blood of bulls and goats for sacrificing sins. There was no more need for the priests to wash their hands and feet in the molten sea before entering into the holiest of holies. There was no more need for the high priests to sacrifice for the sins of God's people once each year. A new ministration was present and Jesus Christ Himself was the Holy One, the High Priest, the Mercy Seat.
All the elect of God were made kings and priests of God and of Christ. Jesus Christ Himself washed the kings and priests of God white as snow with His shed blood on the cross. We, as kings and priests of God and of Christ, are now able to offer up gifts freely without the limits of the law service. This is done ceremoniously in the preaching of the gospel, prayer, and singing the songs of Zion, partaking of the bread and wine and the washing of the saints feet. Christ offered Himself up once for the sacrifice of our sins and declared, "It is finished."
We now enjoy His kingdom freely, offering up praises unto the King of kings and Lord of lords in the new heaven and new earth where there is no roaring of the sea, no violence, no wickedness, no beasts, no molten sea nor troubled waters, no deaths, no sorrows, no crying, no pain: for the former things of the law are passed away. The lack of a "sea" in the new heavens and new earth show forth the peacefulness that Jesus brought with His kingdom. The new heavens and new earth is in the top of the mountains, exalted above the valleys and hills of this world. [Isa. 2:2] [Read the songs of Solomon]. This is the place where we lift up our voices in songs of praise and shout from the top of the mountains. This is where the effects of the preaching of the gospel penetrates the hearts of the saints of God and praises are offered up. [Isa. 42:11]
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By Elder Mark Green
"According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world." [Eph. 1-4]. To what purpose is the definite statement of Paul with respect to the time of election? The time is clear - before the foundation of the world, or in other words, when there was nothing in existence except God. [for that matter, the "time" of election was before there was any time.]
Why would this make any difference? Why is it important that we understand when election happened? The reason we should know when it happened is so that we would see why it happened. Since God is eternal and immutable, time is of no consequence to Him. To say that He is eternal is to say that He is not limited by time, so to say "before the world began" about God, when all things are to Him one eternal "now," is not a remarkable thing.
Relative to us, however, "before the world began" is of tremendous significance. To say He chose us before the world began is to say He chose us before we were. If we were elected before we were, then we were elected before we did what we did. Here again, to say we were chosen "before" we did anything would mean little when we are dealing with a God to whom time and sequence are nothing, unless there was a conclusion that we were to draw from the fact that we were chosen beforehand. Clearly then, when Paul said we were chosen before the foundation of the world [and therefore before we were what we were and did what we did], he is implying that were chosen without regard to what we would do.
What we would do was not the reason we were chosen. That is Paul's plain implication, especially when he continues, "That we should be holy and without blame." "That we should be" indicates that our holiness and guiltlessness before God is a consequence of, and not a cause of, our election. Paul's statement as to when we were elected is as much to establish the logical and consequential order of events as it is to establish the time frame - both are critically important.
In the Roman letter, Paul again relates the time of election to the actions of man.
"For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good nor evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of work, but of him that calleth.' [Rom.9-11].
Here again, the fact that God elected Jacob before he was born is important because it establishes that he was not elected because of anything he did.
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" [2 Tim 1-9]. Paul makes it very clear that to say it was "before the world began" is he same as saying it was "not according to our works." To say that election was "before the foundation of the world" is to say that it was unconditional upon our works.
Mark Green [Elder]
Editors' note: Elder Green is the publisher of "The Christian Pathway."
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By Elder H. G. Richards
Does the New Birth come according to Man's will? Or does it take place according to God's will? There are about four positions to be taken on this question: First, the sinner is born of God, according to God's will independently of the will of man; or, else, he is born according to his own will, independent of God's will; or, again one might say, that both God's and the sinner's will must be met, or satisfied; and last, it might be said that he is born again independently of either God's or the sinner's will.
Now, I wish to examine these positions, and will take the last first.
But, first, let us consider the will as such, then perhaps we can better understand the matter the authorities tell us, that the will contains both the element of desire and that of purpose. In other words, to will a thing is to desire it, wish it, and purpose it. If I were to will my son a thousand dollars, it would be my purpose and design for him to have it; and it certainly would be my desire for him to have it.
Now, is the sinner born again without God desiring him to be? Or is he born without wishing it himself? If he must will to be born again, then he must purpose and desire to be, for the will contains both the two elements. And if he is born again according to the will of God, then God desires the new birth and purposes it. We will now let this position rest and examine another one.
Is the sinner born again as a result of the agreement of his will and the will of God? If the sinner's will must be conformed to the will of God then God's will is never carried out until the sinner's desire and purpose are in agreement with the desire and purpose of God. And, if perchance, the sinner never wills, then God did not will for him to be born again, or else his will is set at naught. But, in either case, man's will would be the deciding factor. And, according to this position, God's purpose and will would not be carried out until the sinner willed for it to be. And so God would be just as dependent upon the sinner as the sinner would be upon God, as far as this question goes.
Is the sinner born again according to his own will independently of God's will? If so, then he would be saved without God either desiring or purposing it This position is very ridiculous, but it is no more so than the one that says that God purposes, desires, and wishes a thing that never occurs.
Now, for position number one: Does God save the sinner according to His own will, and that independently of the will of the sinner? Well, is God's will always carried out in this regard? Yes, "All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and He doeth according to His will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, what doest thou? Well, we have abundant proof in that expression, recorded in Daniel, that every one is born again that God's will should be. Again, Jesus said, "This is the Father's will which has sent me, that of all which He hath given me I should love nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." But, "Yes", says someone, "I know that God's will is carried out, but that does not prove that the sinner's will is not consulted." No, but it proves that God wills that all whom He gave Jesus should be saved; and if there is a single particle of a single one of them lost, then Jesus did not do the Father's will.
We are now going to prove to you that the will of the sinner is no way consulted: "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." --John 1:13.
Then, let us pray as He taught His disciples, "Thy will be done."
H. G. Richards [Elder] From The Banner of Love, January 1933
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by Don R. Richards
Our "memories" of days past, and especially those people in our pasts who were close to us, play an important role in our lives.
Without fail, most of us go through some standard "rituals" when we get together with our families and friends, especially those with whom we have not visited in some time.
We start talking about the important people in our lives past that give us mutual memories. At family reunions we talk about our mothers, fathers, and grand parents and we trace our heritage and genealogy.
When we meet up with old friends, or attend some school "class reunion" one of the standard practices is to start tracing the lives of our joint friends from the past to see if we can "catch up" to the present of those people who played some connection in our past.
And when we lose to death a mother, father, spouse, child, brother, sister or other close family member or friend, a major part of the grieving process is recalling and remembering our past with the person who is now gone from our lives. We talk about them, we watch old "home movies", we go through old photo albums. We go through literally hours of time to remind ourselves of the "lost" loved ones.
We have all been through this process. We have all enjoyed the good memories of the past with our close family and friends. However, invariably we all usually go through a certain unavoidable stage of depression as we start to realize and remind ourselves of the people who are now gone from our lives, never to return. Not only do we talk about an immediate lost one, but we remind ourselves of each beloved friend or family member which has been lost to death over the period of our lives.
Going through this memory process is unavoidable, and in fact can be important to recovery from grief. But it can lead us into depression if we do not realize the process and planning of our Lord.
We need to go read the gospel of John 10:27-29. Jesus tells us that
"My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me:
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
"My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Fatherís hand. I and my Father are one."
There is comfort to knowing that our loved ones "will never perish." Our deceased family and friends are not lost at death. They have not perished. They are in the hand of God and much better off than those of us who are left.
Jesus emphasizes this point again later in John, chapters 17 and 18 as he discusses the job that his Father, God gave him to do on this earth. Jesus says he prays for all people that God "hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them." John 17:9-11.
"Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none." John 18:9, 17:12.
Its our human nature to focus on exactly the opposite of what the Lord has in His plans. We are much better off if we recognize His designs and plans, especially for the role that life on earth has. We are not lost when we leave earth. We do not perish. We are saved by the hand of the Lord "and no man is able to pluck " us out of Godís loving hand.
The Apostle Paul warns us not to be "ignorant" regarding death. 1 Thess. 4:13. He advises us that the Lordís plan with death is one of "hope" and "comfort"; and that the Lordís promise of eternal life is to be used to "comfort one another".
If, in our human and worldly plan, we focus on the pain of loss, or on a victory of death, then we are surely afraid, depressed and insecure. But thatís not what God has in His plan. Godís plan is not one of fear and insecurity; but His plan is "of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:7.
The Lordís plan takes the "sting" out of death, and takes any "victory" away from the grave. 1 Cor. 15:54-57.
As we go through the memories of those who are lost to us, we should be comforted. We need to recognize that we should not focus on the pain of our loss, but on the reality of the glory in the gain of eternal life given in Christ through Godís unconditional and sovereign gift of love. Romans 8:28-39
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PART 2 - PRESERVATION
By Elder Don R. Watson
"The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever" [Psalms 12:6-7]. Notice it is the words which are preserved, not the parchment on which the words were written.
First, let us notice the special care used in preserving the inspired words of the Old Testament. The copiers had to pronounce aloud each word before writing it down. In no case was the word to be written from memory. Every single letter was numbered by them including how many times it occurred.
They used a particular ink on a particular parchment - made from the skin of a "clean" animal. The copyist wrote in so many columns, of a particular size, and containing a certain number of lines and words. No letter could be written without looking at the original. When completed, the copy was examined and compared within thirty days; if four errors were found on one parchment, the examination ceased and the entire work was rejected.
On July 22, 1604, King James of England appointed 54 language scholars to translate the Bible into English. Forty-seven met. These men were organized into six companies, two each at Cambridge, Oxford, and Westminster. Each group was designated a portion to translate. When completed each portion was sent to each of the other groups. The entire version was finally studied by a group of six to ensure accuracy. It can be seen by this method that each jot and tittle [Matthew 5:18] was carefully gone over at least fourteen times. A jot [iota] is the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet, and tittle [yod] the smallest in the Hebrew [Luke 16:17]. Remember how adding the letter "s" would change the entire meaning of Galatians 3:16. Any word not found in he manuscripts, placed to make easier reading, were written in Italics.
Read the genealogies found in the first nine chapters of First Chronicles, proper names beginning with Adam preserved for us in the proper sequence with the proper spelling. Perhaps the greatest scholar of his age, the librarian at Alexandria compiled a catalogue in 200 BC of the 38 kings of Egypt. Only four were recognizable. He also compiled a list of the kings of Assyria; only in one case can you tell who is meant that one is spelled correctly. One Ptolemy [common name of the 15 Macedonian kings of Egypt, beginning 323 BC] compiled a register of 18 of the kings of Babylon.
Not one of them is spelled properly. You could not make them out at all if you did not know from other sources to whom he is referring. There are 29 ancient kings whose names are mentioned not only in the Bible but also on monuments of their own time, some as long as 4,000 years ago. The Bible places these in the correct sequence, in the correct time-frame, in the proper country, and with the proper spelling. What a marvelous book!
According to copyright law, new Bible versions can only be copyrighted as "derivative works." Words must be changed whether they need to be changed or not. No author or publisher receives a royalty on the "words" of the King James Bible because God is the author. God's word is not bound by anything, much less a copyright [2 Timothy 2:9]
Outdated words? Notice God's method of dealing with these words. He defines them while still retaining them [1 Samuel 9:9]. The pronoun "you" [1611 English] is used 2000 times in the King James and can be either singular or plural while "ye" [plural] and "thee," "thou," and "thy" [singular] are used when clarity is needed [Matthew 16:13-20]. These words are special Bible language - easily simplifying the meaning for proper understanding. Understanding comes only from God [1 Corinthians 2:14].
The 1611 translators use of formal equivalency [direct translation] and not dynamic equivalency [interpretation, not translation] gave no opportunity for private interpretation [2 Peter 1:20-21].
Simplicity? Ninety-five percent of the words in the King James Bible are one and two syllable words. The King James ease of reading is fifth grade level; the New King James and New American Standard are sixth grade level; Good News for Modern Man is seventh grade; and the new International Version is eighth grade level [Flesch-Kincaid grade level formula.] "Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech" [2 Cor 3:12.]
We are to neither add to nor diminish from His words [Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; Revelation 22:18]. "Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" [Proverbs 30:5-6].
My thoughts this day, March 14, 2001
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By Elder Bill Walden
2 Kings 1:6: And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us. Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, let us make a place there, where we may dwell. and he answered, Go ye. And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants.
And he answered, I will go. So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood. But as one was felling a beam the axe head fell into the water; and he cried, and said, Alas Master! for it was borrowed. And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither, and the iron did swim.
Many are the miracles of Almighty God, and many of them are recorded in His holy word for us to read. The above account teaches many lessons. One can see the helplessness of man without the intervening power of God; also, in this intervention we see the sovereignty of God. Recorded in Old Testament history the account is drawn around a common event in a common undertaking. The sons of the prophets were enlarging their living quarters under the watchful eye of the old prophet.
What a wonderful example; they did not go off on their own to work but desired the prophet to go with them, and they were engaged in an honorable work. They did not expect others to do their work for them but worked with their hands. Even in honorable endeavors we are not exempt from frustrations and trouble. Even as they gathered around their beloved prophet and attempted to enlarge their living place, they said, "the place is too strait for us," which simply means "overcrowded." They sought relief from their tight and overcrowded conditions.
They went to Jordan and began to fell trees. [We have seen this often, growing up in the mountains, and have heard the pleasant sounds of the axe against the wood and the hammer against the wedge.] In verse 4, when they came to Jordan they cut down wood. Jordan runs through the Old and New Testaments like a familiar acquaintance. It is forever etched in our minds as we have the description of the prophet/preacher, John the Baptist, as he immerses his and our blessed Lord in the river. And, on the banks of old Jordan that morning one of the sons of the prophets experienced something that wasn't all that unusual. In verse 5, the axe fell into the water. We see the seriousness of the event when we read that the young man cried, "Alas, master, for it was borrowed." We find the term "alas" in the Scriptures was not used lightly; it means pain and awe--our equivalent word would be "Oh!" or "Ah!". No doubt this was an unexpected event in his day's activity. Though he was in good company, doing a good work, the lost axehead was serious. Worst of all, it was borrowed.
No doubt, many of us have experienced the pain of losing or breaking something that was borrowed and knew that it would happen to us right after we borrowed it. This axehead was lying on the bottom of muddy Jordan. What could seem more hopeless than trying to retrieve the axe.
In our lives we never know exactly what our day will bring; it could begin with bright sunshine, birds singing, and flowers blooming, and end with dark clouds and loud thunder. A messenger bearing sad news cannot only change our day, but our priorities. Things seen as so important suddenly become less so and other things must be dealt with. "Alas, master, it was borrowed." But in all the pain God intervened, and what seemed hopeless became the occasion for a miracle that to our knowledge has never been repeated. The iron did swim. As the young man could only cry it seems the prophet interrupted his sad word by asking, "where fell it"? in showing the place, the young man acknowledged his loss and the words of the prophet required that he face the problem. He avoided denial and showed him the place.
This now distant scene on the banks of Jordan reminds us of our blessed Lord's words, "casting all your cares upon Him for He careth for you." God's eye was upon this scene. The poor man didn't know it then, but he was about to witness one of the greatest miracles recorded. On instruction from the prophet he cut down a stick, thrust it into the water, and the iron did swim.
The iron did swim up from the muddy depths of Jordan, up against every natural law of gravity. This miracle is so great! We have read of some trying to rationalize this away by saying he thrust the stick into the water and just happened to hit the eye of the axe. It is so much easier and makes a lot more sense just to accept and believe the truth. If we were to even consider such a thing, with all the variables, we would have to ask what kind of a maneuver it would take to exactly hit the eye of the axe. When the axe came up, Elisha said to the young man, "take it up to thee." Consider for a moment the emotions of the young man, one moment crying over a borrowed axe that was lost, and now by a great miracle he holds it in his hand again.
We never know what circumstance we may find ourselves in, but God, who can make iron swim, can deliver us, and whatsoever His soul desireth, that He also doeth, "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth." Ps. 121:1-2.
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By Elder Hulan Bass
This is a detailed recording in Divine inspiration of the First N. T. Church Kingdom Communion Service.
The attendees were invited by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Several factors must be observed in this scene. This was the first setting of the 12 Apostles in a Communion service. The Head of the Church was "Master of Ceremonies." This is recorded in Matt. 26, Mark 14, and Luke 22.
We will start with the account in Mark 14:10-16. "And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him. And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him., Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?
And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water; follow him. And wheresover he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house. The Master sayeth, Where is the guest-chamber, where I shall eat the pass over with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared; there make ready for us. And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover."
There are some statements that Matt. 26 holds, and others that Luke 22 mentions, that are not in the Mark 14 account; however, we will center our thoughts upon the teaching of this wonderful historic account of the first N.T. Communion Service.
First, we know there are seven days of the feast of unleavened Bread, and the first day is the Passover. That will be the very day that this first communion service was assembled. Next, Jesus tells two of the 12 to go into the city-Jerusalem and find a man carrying a pitcher of water. Now, two things of importance come forth here. First, why not hold this service in the Temple in Jerusalem? Well, because it represented the O.T. Law, and that was being fulfilled, and this was the embryonic beginnings of the N.T. Church, an Ordinance within the Church Kingdom. Luke 22:30 says that is where the Table is located, where they may eat and drink. Jesus says, it is "My Table, in My Kingdom.
So, it was imperative that this meeting be held apart from the Temple. Secondly, the women in that day did all the menial chores, such as carrying water. The men, of any distinction at all, sat in the gates of the City. This would be equivalent to the present City Council. But in this rare instance you will find a "Man" carrying a pitcher of water. He will be easy to locate, so follow him. Now, whatever house he enters follow him, and say ye to the goodman of the house [the one occupying it] and state -- "The Master asks- Where is the guest chamber?" The good man of the house will show you a large Upper Room. It will need no decorating, painting, fixing up, etc, as it already is furnished and prepared. It is there that you are to make ready for the assembly of the 12 with Jesus.
Next, we will pause and reflect on the word, Large. Why does this room need to be large?
There are only going to be a total of only 13 people. Yes, but this is just the early "seed" and first officers of the Church Kingdom, and the Head of the Church is meeting with them-bodily, this one time only. Then this seed is going to start growing. Notice the growth, even during Jesus' Personal Ministry-Matt. 14:15-21-- There were only two fishes and five loaves, Jesus caused this small amount to grow in to the number of 5000 men, besides women and children, and 12 baskets of fragments were left over.
Next, Matt. 15:33-38 another setting, Jesus took seven loaves and a few little fishes, and fed 7000 besides the women and children, and seven basketfulls were left. The historical growth in the Church Kingdom on Earth-the militant, organic, organized visible aspect, is found in he book of Acts. So, we notice the grow pattern in Acts 1;15 of only 120; then 3000 more were added on the Day of Pentecost-Acts 2:41; further we learn in Acts 4:4 there were 5000 more; again in
Acts 5:14 there were more added, multitudes both of men and women; and in Acts 6:7-the number of disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; moreover, Acts 9:31 - the multiplication continues; V. 42 - states- "and many believed in the Lord." Acts 12:24 states- "But the word of God grew and multiplied; Again, in Acts 16:5 - "And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily." Finally, Acts 19:20 states- "So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed." Yes, you see why we need a "Large" room?
Next, the word Upper must be addressed. This is very interesting as prophetically-Isaiah 2:2-4- we learn that the Lord's house is established on the top of the mountain, and exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it. It is the highest ecclesiastical authority on earth. V. 4 states that the time will come [our present day] when he Upper assembly will not be at [civil] was, as they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks.
Again, this same lesson taught further downstream from Isaiah in Micah 4:1-3. Lastly this Room is a square room with four sides- Duty, discipline, doctrine and practice. We need to cover the entire four sides. Just as the Gospel Field has their same four sides, and we need to plow up to, but not over or across all four fence-lines. There are many examples of this, but space will not allow.
Luke 22-29-30 Jesus says- "And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That we may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Yes, the invitation has been sent out and published for over 2090 years now. So, come, see and dine. That invitation was sent out by Jesus Christ Himself, and it is still in effect.
There were two areas of consideration that must be noticed in the Luke account. First, Judas Iscariot was one of the 12 at the table. Jesus announced - Luke 22:21-22- that one would betray him and he was at the table. V. 23- The others began inquiring among themselves who it was. V. 24 -covers the other negative area in this scene- "And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest." So, here we have human nature even in this Upper Room, even in the very presence of Jesus.
One was going to be found as the worst, and the other eleven wanted to know which one of them would be the best. The worst and the best. How sad. Yet, Jesus taught them that even though the civil governments of this world had their chain of authority and command, as these Gentile Romans, yet that would not be so with this New Organization I am communing with you in.
Everyone shall be equal and no one will be chief. Let him that be a "servant" just as I am serving you. Can you imagine, these apostles, who were to be exemplified examples of the Church Kingdom were wanting to know which of them should be accounted the greatest, while Jesus was serving them at His table. This is a strong lesson.
Lastly, but most importantly, we notice that the Church Kingdom House of the Lord was His Personally. He was the Head and King of His Own House- Heb. 3:6; 1st Tim. 3:15- and we are the "Invited Guests." Notice Mark 14:14- The Master smith, Where is the guest chamber?"
It is found Upstairs. It is the "Large Upper Room." Yes, we are His invited guests. Who may enter? Any born-again, Regenerated Elect child of God, and they must come through the door of Christ Himself. John 10:9 - and go through the water baptism, which is located at the Door as the first Ordinance, and come on down front where the table is set with the Unleavened Bread and Wine - His Body and Blood. That is all that is, or ever has been been, on the menus.
Written in the Spirit,
Hulan F. Bass
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THANK YOU SO MUCH
Thank you so much. We appreciate your wonderful paper. God bless you and your writers.
TO THE BANNER OF LOVE
In regards to Sister Melba's passing, my deepest sympathy goes to all. Yes, Jesus can and will and does, fill that void. Praise God! We, as Primitive Baptist know this, that she is better off, and will be there to welcome you all one sweet day. She lived, loved and prospered and loved God. So she was rich, and she fulfilled her purpose here and was welcomed to her Heavenly Home.
I also want to say how beautiful and wonderful, The Banner of love is. My grandmother, Stella Robertson from Colorado City, TX read it, my father, James E. Robertson, Sr. a preacher, and my brother, James E. [Archie] Robertson, Jr. read it, still does, and I've read it all my life. Praise God for your continued dedication.
Through The Banner of Love a few years back, I started corresponding with a couple of sisters in Christ. Sister Ava Marie Rotenizer of Hillsville, VA. She read an article I'd written and had heard Elder Archie preach. So, now we correspond. The same with Sister Macie Lankford of Houston, who had read an article I had written and we are all dear friends now.
Thank you so very much. My mother passed away in 1986, so Sister Macie has become my substitute to give me hope, faith, courage and advice. I just want to say, Bless the widows and the older women who lead examples. Sister Ava Marie and Sister Macie have both been ill and I wish your reading audience of the Banner to please remember them and me in your prayers. I've gone to the doctor since last May for a condition called FiBromyalgia. It's tumors all over my body and it leaves me very weak and sick a lot. Yet, there's so much love and our precious Loving Father, God hears our every need.
God bless you all and especially you, who publish, write, organize and keep the Banner going. Please help us as one people [Primitive Baptist] to lift up one another in prayer and just remember, we never know who is watching and needs us to give them just one smile, one touch, one phone call, one letter, one glance to give them hope. Thank you Sister Opal.
I love you all,
Sister Darlene McDonald
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Every time I read the Banner
I THINK OF MY PARENTS
My subscription will be up in May 2001. Enclosed find a check to cover another years subscription to pay to May 2002. Keep the extra as you see fit.
Every time I read the Banner I think of my parents, Joe and Maggie Morgan, who last lived in Oklahoma City, OK., [she passed away 1972 and he in 1976]. When they got the Banner, especially my Mom, would read it from cover to cover. I can just see her sitting there reading it. Their life was their church as it has always been mine, too.
Knowing the old doctrine of the Old Primitive Baptist is my greatest blessing. It is so comforting. It is a puzzle to me why our churches are not filled to capacity. Such joy they are missing.
I spent my teen years in Elder Oba M. Cumming's Church in Oklahoma City. I wish I had some of his writings, but do not think any was published.
I am currently a member of the Burnet Primitive Baptist Church in Burnet, TX. Our pastor is Elder Don Washek. He and his wife, Donna, are loved dearly by all.
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WE NEED YOUR HELP
We, at the Gulf Coast Primitive Baptist Church in Alvin, Texas, greet you with brotherly love and kindness.
We are writing to you at this time because we are in need of your help. Due to the number of members and visitors we now have attending our church, we need a larger building. We have the land but do not have the funds to build such a building.
We do not believe in borrowing funds required to build a larger building, so we are asking for your help. If you feel led to contribute to our building fund please send your donations to:
Brother Doyle Weldon
3912 Spring Forrest Dr.
Pearland, TX 77584
If you do mot feel led to contribute financially we would still ask for you prayers. May the blessing of our righteous Heavenly Father be upon each of you, His precious saints.
Elder Steve Clark, Pastor
Br. Trey Collier, Church Clerk
Gulf Coast Primitive Baptist Church, Alvin, TX 77511
On February 17, 2001, pursuant to the call of the Desert Hope Primitive Baptist
church, the Moderator called the church to conference in reference to the setting aside Brother Larry W. Guffey to the full work of the gospel ministry.
Brother John P. Britton was appointed to act as spokesman for the church. The Moderator asked the spokesman if the church was still of the same mind. Answered, yes.
The Moderator called for all ordained help to form themselves into a presbytery. Those seated were as follows: Elders Cleveland Bass, Jim Jackson, T. Ray Little, Samuel Bryant, Bernard Gowens, and Thomas Hunnicutt.
Deacons: David Hunnicutt, Phil Jackson, James A. Phipps, John P. Britton, and Walder C. Baldock.
The Moderator asked if the church was satisfied with the presbytery as formed; answered yes.
Motion was made and seconded that Brother David Hunnicutt act as clerk with Brother Phil Jackson assisting. Motion carried.
Motion that Elder Cleveland Bass act as Moderator. Carried.
Motion was made to grant Brother Larry's request as to the one to interrogate him, and one to pray the ordination prayer, and one to deliver the charge. These are the ones selected: Elder Bernard Gowens to question Brother Larry, Elder T. Ray Little to pray the ordination prayer, and Elder Jim Jackson to deliver the charge.
Spokesman was asked to deliver the subject to the presbytery. Elder Gowens questioned Brother Larry as to the doctrine and the scripture teaching. Brother Larry answered very ably. The presbytery had no further questions.
The ordination prayer was prayed by Elder Little very ably, followed by the laying on of hands.
Spokesman delivered Brother Larry's wife, Sister Wilma, to be seated by Brother Larry.
Elder Jackson delivered a very able charge to Brother Larry and Sister Wilma, and the church. He spoke from 1st Timothy chapter three.
Spokesman said the church was satisfied with the work of the presbytery. Motion made and carried to deliver Brother Larry back to the Church as a fully ordained gospel minister.
The minutes were read and approved.
The presbytery was dissolved and the right hand of fellowship was extended to Elder and Sister Guffey.
David Hunnicutt, Clerk
Assisted by Brother Phil Jackson
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THE TRUE MEANING OF EASTER
The true meaning of Easter is not:
1. Candy egg hunts for youngsters.
2. Cute and cuddly bunny rabbits to entertain children.
3. Lavish and dazzling parades.
4. The showing-off of newly purchased bonnets and dresses.
5. Egg shells decorated with various colors.
What is the true meaning of Easter?
With no doubt, it is the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In 30 A.D. our Lord experienced a most horrible death on Calvary's Cross and in the process saved all of His elect from their sins. Three days and three nights, after being laid in a sepulchre, Christ arose, victorious over death.
Check out a verse from Matthew that is very significant in what the angel said to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is follows: HE is not here; For HE is risen, as HE said. Come and see the place where Jesus lay. [Matthew 28:6]
What is the very important significance of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ? It means that everyone of God's Elect will come out of their grave and meet the Lord in the air, where we will dwell with Him forever, in a much better place. Check out 12 Thess. 4:17-18 for verification.
The true meaning of Easter should be celebrated every day of our life!
Written with much love,
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