Volume 69 Number 7 Lubbock, Texas 79493 Copyright $12.00 Per Year July 2001
Do We Commend Ourselves? A Time to Live History of Little Pigeon Church The Cross of Christ Of Men and Angels Reception For Milan Minister O Foolish Galatians Saints or Sinners Obituaries
VOICE OF THE PAST...
By Elder J. A. Rowell, Jr.
Ecclesiastes 3:1. To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die.
All one has to do is observe and we see the continuing reality of this scripture. In the church we have been blessed with new life among us and the continuing promise of it. We rejoice at the sound of the young and infants among us. As we see and hear them, we continue to be reminded of the words of our Savior regarding the "little ones."
Simultaneously, it seems that many cherished ones are leaving the walks of natural life and are moving on to that eternal status. From time to time it gives one pause to think about things eternal. Also, the thoughts about those of old who have long since passed on. Presently , we know of some who are in the last time of their natural lives. Others who have recently had their spirits wafted home with whom we no longer able to converse and enjoy those precious and pure moments of enriching fellowship.
How our hearts rejoice in the hope of things eternal; to have been blessed to be enjoined with those of kindred spirit as those [Acts 13:48] Gentiles who "were glad and glorified the word of the Lord, and as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed."
To understand that we earn death by the wages of sin and yet realize that eternal life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord is the blessing of blessings to the child of God. At these times does the glorious and sovereign grace of god illuminate Zion, the perfection of beauty, and God shines in all His splendor.
Jesus Christ defines eternal life in John 17:3. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.
What this tells us is that we have eternal life during our natural lives. This is why Solomon tells us [Eccl. 12:7] that while the dust [body] returns to the earth as it was; and the spirit to God who gave it. This is a part of us that does not die thus it is everlasting. Also that spiritual life is given to the child of God by the Lord God Almighty and therefore never perishes.
Now the glorious gospel of Christ does not give eternal life, it delivers the good news of eternal life. It brings life and immortality to light. While there is a salvation in the gospel, it does not save eternally but delivers the wonderful news of eternal salvation to those who believe in as much as they have been ordained to eternal life by the God of all glory.
The vast majority of God's chosen people do not understand this great truth. Only a remnant according to the election of grace have this understanding. Is it because this remnant has greater natural intelligence? No, this knowledge is described by John [1 John 5:20] And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." These are the ones who can hear the gospel and will receive the gospel and can press into the kingdom of God. It is incumbent upon those who are blessed to be a part of the Church of Christ to utilize it to the fullest in their lives. To be there when the sound of gospel and the singing of spiritual songs is heard. Yes, it will help you when you are cast down, laden with grief and despondency; it will provide enduring friends; it will afford the greatest opportunity for fellowship with God among His saints. It will help raise your children; you will feel the warmth of God's love; yes, you will hear the sounds of the new life which God has provided. You will find arms of love when the old and cherished life is gone. You will hear the sounds of eternal life and will get fleeting glimpses of that perfect world awaiting all those to which God has given eternal life through his Son and our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Come, let us join in praise as we worship His glorious name for there is not salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. Elder J. A. Rowell, Jr.
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NEWLY BAPTIZED MEMBERS
I am submitting three names for subscriptions to the Banner of Love. These are newly baptized members of our church at Fredericksburg and would appreciate getting on your mailing list.
We are thankful for these new members. The Lord has greatly blessed us since Elder David Montgomery has been our pastor. We have had 14 new members join our church and we are enjoying sweet peace and fellowship.
Thank you so much for these three gift subscriptions. I know they will enjoy the Banner, as we do.
In Christian Love,
P.S. Thank you Brother Elton, we appreciate you sending these new subscriber names. O. Richards
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GOLDEN WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Robert and Margaret Brunson will be celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary on August 19, 2001. They are members of the Tucson Primitive Baptist Church, in Tucson, AZ.
They are the parents of three children: Karen [Bill] Johnson, Mark [Gerri] Brunson and Gary Brunson. Have been blessed with four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
"Happy Anniversary to you Mom and Dad"
With all our Love and Prayers,
A Milan minister with Carroll County ties was honored on Saturday, May 19 for his 50 years in the ministry with a reception held at the R. D. Bryant Memorial Library at 2072 S. First Street in Milam between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m.
Elder T. L. Webb, Jr. a Primitive Baptist minister, who now serves as the pastor of New Hope Church in Milan, has also pastored a number of churches in this area over the years, including Mud Creek Primitive Baptist church near Huntingdon and Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church near McKenzie.
He married the former Edith Chandler, who is from the Huntingdon area.
Elder Webb is a fifth generation minister. He was baptized at the age of seven, along with his sister, Doris Webb Smith, by his father, Elder T. L. Webb, Sr., at Friendship Primitive Baptist Church in El Dorado, Arkansas.
The family lived in Thornton and El Dorado, Arkansas, and Marshville, North Carolina, prior to moving to Milan when the minister was 14 years old.
Besides his father, other ministers in the family included his grandfather, Elder J. G. Webb; his great-grandfather, Elder S. W. Webb; and great-great-grandfather, Elder Daniel G. Webb.
Elder T. L. Webb, Jr. was ordained on Sunday afternoon, May 2, 1951 at the age of 20. There were seven ministers and 14 deacons who participated in the ordination of which only one is living today.
Elder Webb began serving churches in the area immediately and was called as pastor of New Hope in 1954 where he has continued to serve since that time. Other churches that he has served as pastor other than those already mentioned include Concord, Rutherford, New Antioch, Old Gibson, Hurricane, and Shady Grove. He also had regular appointments at Mt. Tabor and Buffalo. He also held numerous meetings throughout the years, preaching in the following states: Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and California.
During his ministry he has held 780 funerals, performed 102 marriages, baptized 227 persons, and participated in the ordination of 23 ministers. Of the ordinations in which he has participated, he also baptized the following: Loyce Fuller, Edward Harris, Ray Ward, Paul Scott, Robert Tidwell, and the late A. C. Pruett.
One of the earliest baptisms was that of his wife before they were married. The oldest person that he has baptized was a 91 year old lady. The youngest was Allie Glidwell at the age of 3-1/2.
He and his wife have been married for 46 years. They have four children: Mary, Sarah, David and Jonathan. The couple has seven grandchildren: Amy and Melanie Hickerson, Rachel and Rebecca Johnson, and Josh, Ben, and Tiffany Webb.
In addition to his church duties, Elder Webb has been very active in the Milan community. Through the years he has held several public jobs in addition to his pastoral duties.
He has been involved in many civic and community activities, including the Exchange Club where he has served as president, Band parents, NCH Advisory Council, City Library Board, Milan Lions Club, and a charter member of the Milan YMCA Board of Directors.
He served as Milan city recorder at one time and two years on the Milan City Council, one term of which he was vice mayor. He was recognized in 1993 by the Milan High School Alumni Association as Honoree of the Year, and was selected as the 1998 Milan Man of the Year. Elder Webb published a church paper, The Christian Pathway, for several years and currently serves as trustee of the B. D. Bryant Memorial Library.
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by Don R. Richards
Do you believe in angels?
Do you really?
Have you ever seen an angel? Have you ever been "touched" by an angel? Have you ever been an angel; or perhaps do you think you ever will be one? ó or have you ever been used to do the work of an angel?
Angels play an important role in biblical history, as well as our lives today. Thatís evident throughout the Bible. Some of the Bibleís greatest events and miracles have involved Godís use of His angels.
I believe His angels still work in our lives today ó and everyday. We may not always see their work ó or pay attention to it; but angels have their impact on someone nearly every day.
While angels are one of Godís primary tools to serve as messengers and deliverers of the Lordís decrees, their actions may be miracles to us. But they are often disguised and we should be careful not to miss them. Are we ourselves capable of being the tool of angel use?
From the outset we can establish that while angels are Godís messengers, they do not rise about the authority of Jesus. Certain pagan doctrines attach special significance to angels. Some believe that Jesus was an angel by virtue of the miracles he performed. Jesus was and is superior to any angels, by the authority and inheritance of the Lord. In fact, all angels of God are to worship Jesus. Hebrews 1:4-14. Chapters 2 and 3 further establish Jesus' superiority.
The Bible has plenty of references to the Lordís angels. Most often we associate angels with the Bibleís greatest events.
The early references of angels include such events as the "angel of the Lord" which appeared to Hagar ó Abrahamís wifeís (Sarahís) maiden. Gen. 16:7, 21:17; and the angel of the Lord which appeared to Moses in the burning bush Exodus 3:2.
The most-often reference is to the angel which announced the birth of Christ.: "I bring you good tidings of great joy....For unto you is born this day ...a Savior which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-14. But angels also appeared to Joseph regarding his marriage to Mary (Matt. 1:20-24).
Satan tried tempting Jesus, quoting the ability of Jesus to use angels to bear him up. Matt. 4:1-6; Jesus was not tempted, even though he knew he could summon "twelve legions of angels" to save himself from suffering on the cross, but chose not to so that the scripture might be fulfilled and each of us might inherit eternal life. Matt. 26:53.
An angel appeared to Jesus in Gethsemane to strengthen Him before His arrest, trial and crucifixion. Luke 22:43.
We know that an angel rolled back the rock over the tomb of Jesus and sat on the rock to address those witnesses looking for Jesusí grave. Matt. 28:2-7.
Perhaps the greatest acts of angels will come at the end of the world when Jesus will send out his angels to sever the wicked from among the just. Matt. 13:41-43, 49-50. And we know that upon our rise from the dead, we will be "as angels which are in heaven." Mark 12:25.
Angels were active in the days of the apostles. Paul states he was treated as an angel of God. Gal. 4:14. An angel appeared to Phillip Acts 8:26 and Peter talked of the sighting of an angel Acts. 11:13 and an angel directing him. Acts. 12:7-8. The apostle Paul stated he serve the angel of God. Acts. 27:23.
The 34th Psalm tells us that angels are still with us today, camping around those that fear the Lord; and a well-known hymnal prays to "Bear me up Angels".
Have you helped the poor or afflicted, or a stranger in need? Have you given assistance to another, or chosen to serve a neighbor so that the Lord might be glorified. If so, you may have entertained angels and not known it. Hebrews 13:2.
My father shared from the pulpit many times his story of his being stranded on a deserted rural highway one night in a terrible storm when his vehicle failed. A rough-looking individual in worn clothes driving a well-worn pickup stopped and came to his rescue, carrying him into the nearest town and delivering him back to his vehicle. There was no doubt ever in his mind he had met face-to-face with an angel of God.
You can do the work of an angel, or assist angelsí work by serving another in need. The Lord moves mysteriously, and His directions to angels can be disguised as merely "good luck" or coincidence.
You may be the tool the Lord chooses to do the work of a angel. When you seize the opportunity to help another in need, no matter how small or trivial your help may seem, it is the work of an angel to the recipient. Iíve been so fortunate to be on the receiving end of the work of the Lordís angels. They come in the form of pastors and friends past midnight in hospital rooms, and previously-presumed-not friends who lend a simple hand in hard times; and many others whom the receiver may recognize as an angel without the giver realizing the power of the act.
When it comes to Lordís angels at work, sometimes "We may not behold them, Our Vision is Dim". Whether we recognize angels in others ó or in ourselves, we need them to "bear us up."
The Lord may use you to carry out part of the work of his angels. You may not realize your contribution to one in need is angel work. But when your act is delivered with the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord can move mountains in the eyes of the receiver.
We still have angels. We still need them. When you see an angel at work, don not forget to thank the Lord and thank the angel.
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By Elder Hulan Bass
Deut. 33:1 - 3- "and he came with ten thousands of saints."
Psalms 37:28- "For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever."
Psalms 89:5-7 - "And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints."
Definition= Strong's #40=hagios - sacred; pure; blameless; Religious; consecrated; most holy one; holiness.
The Word saint Comes from Hebrew and Greek, and in Bible English translates into the meaning of Holy, Holiness with variations of purity, without flaw. Then we must differentiate and delineate by Rightly Dividing the word of Truth concerning the correct meaning of applications in the Holy Scriptures pertaining to the varied uses of the word Saint.
Holiness, Holy, Saints = There is a vast difference between Holy and Profane. Is fallen Adamic man a saint or a sinner? Well, the born again [regenerated] Elect is both. The outward man remains the sinner and inward man becomes the Saint - Rom. 7:21-22. The holiness of God's character is in the highest sense that of only, inward and outward.
God is-Deut. 32:4; and His Son is= Heb. 7:26. His separateness from the creation and elevation above it is first denoted. It thus sets for the transcendence of God. Yahweh as the Holy one stands in contrast to false gods- Exodus 25:11; and to the whole of creation-Isaiah 40:25. The word also denotes Relationship, and signifies God's immanence in preserving his own position relative to all other beings. It is God's self-affirmation, "the attributes in virtue of which Jehovah makes Himself the absolute Standard of Himself." Not only does it bring out the contrast between the divine and the human- Hosea 11:9 - but it becomes synonymous with supreme deity, and emphasizes, in particular, the awe-inspiring side of His divine character- Psalms 99:3.
Since Holiness embraces every distinctive attribute of the Godhead, it also is defined as the outshining of all that God is. As the sun's rays, combining all the colors of the spectrum, come together in the sun's shining and blend into light, so in His self-manifestation all the attributes of God come together and blend into holiness. There Holiness, for that reason, is called "an attribute of attributes;" that which lends unity to all the attributes of God. In the God of the Bible these perfections live and function in holiness.
Consequently, the Bible teaches us that God's entire Elect family, from the covenant [contract] through the legality of Calvary's Cross, and the Vital application of the Holy Spirit, the voice of the Son of God, in the Regeneration New Birth, extends and applies such Holiness to each of the Elect, first in the Inward Man, then at the 2nd Coming, at the End-Time, also to the body, the outward men. We become an extension of the Godhead in holiness, and thereby known as the Saints of God. He is the Saint, and we are His extensions, as Saints. Since this is so, then we have enhanced understanding of the meaning of the Text, 1 Peter 1:16, "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." Lev. 11:44. So God is the Saint and we are his Saints, and numbers into tens of thousands of saints - Deut. 33:2; Gen. 24:60 refers to "thousands of millions."
First this was literally typed in the O. T. in all 12 tribes of Israel as a people separated from the nations and consecrated to God, and they become an Holy Nation, a Holy People, the Saints of Old. In this sense it was the highest expression of the Covenant relationship. Exodus 19:6; Deut. 26:19; 1st Peter 2:9.
The imparting of God's holiness is within the Divine Call to His born-again elect, and gospelly extends to them to become "partakers of His Holiness"- Heb. 12:10. It is this imparting of the Divine Holiness which takes place in the soul of man in Regeneration and becomes the spring and foundation of Holy Essence, thereby and therein are the Saints, the very extension of God's Own self. Col. 1:27.
Christ in His life and character [essence] is the supreme example of the Divine Holiness. In Him it consisted in more than mere sinlessness; it was His entire consecration to the will and purpose of God, and to this end Jesus sanctified Himself- John 17:19. The Holiness of Christ is both the standard of the Christian character and its guarantee: "Both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one. Heb. 2:11.
In the N. T.. the Apostolic designation for Christians is Saints, and it continues to be used as a general designation of church members, especially those who are at the higher level of Discipleship. After the days of Irenaeus and Tertulian, it degenerated in ecclesiastical usage into more of an honorific title. Though its primary significance was relationship, it was also descriptive of character - essence.
The N. T.. every where emphasizes the ethical nature of Holiness in contrast to all uncleanness, sinfulness, wickedness and ungodliness. It is represented as the supreme vocation of disciples and the goal of their timely living. In the final assessment of human destiny the two categories known in scripture are the righteous and the wicked - Elect and Non-elect. Rom 9:11-13.
Are you a Sinner or a Saint? Well, both, but again, this needs to be rightly divided and explained.
GOSPEL TIMELY SAINTS
The Apostle Paul seems to bear down most heavily on the term Saints when addressing a local church body. However it is necessary to briefly state that such is not the total limit of the term Saints.
Eschatological Significance of Holiness-Saints=
The scriptures emphasizes the permanence of Moral character- Rev. 22:11. It also emphasizes the retributive aspect of the divine Holiness. It involves the world in judgment. From a moral necessity in God-life is so ordered that in Holiness is welfare, in sin is doom. Heaven's glory vs. the Lake of fire. In Fallen Adam is Doom, and in the 2nd Adam is holiness-Saints. Sin is not the end. The Holiness of God ensures that there will be a final restoration. Rom. 5:19-21
Sin reigned unto death, but where sin abounded Grace did much more abound through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. The Sinner became a Saint at several different levels- Covenant, legal, vital, Gospelly, final glorification of the corrupt body.
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[An Introduction to the Epistle to the Galatians]
By Elder Kenneth Clevenger
To better understand the apostle Paul's epistle to the churches of Galatia, it is imperative that we understand the circumstances that moved him to write the epistle, this of course is true concerning all of Paul's epistles to the different churches. We shall endeavor in this article to search out the reasons for his epistle to the Galatians.
The epistle was written in the era of 57-58 A.D. The epistle was not written to any particular church in Galatia, but it was a general epistle to all the churches in the Roman province called Galatia.
Galatia is the same as the Celts [Kelts]. They were a division of the early Indo-European peoples whose subdivisions had a range of distribution from the British Isles and Spain to Asia Minor and were in part absorbed into the Roman Empire as Britons, Gauls and Galatians.
The unrecorded prehistoric language from which the Indo-European languages descended is unknown by historians; because they refuse to accept the scriptures [God's written word] as an accredited historical source of the most ancient and reliable account of human genealogy and the distribution of the tribes.
The sons of Noah; Shem, Ham, and Japheth, are the only fountain source for all of the people that populate the entire earth. The generations of the sons of Noah, who came from the old world to the new, are listed in Genesis chapter ten. This account was written by God Himself, with His own finger and given to Moses in Mt. Sinai, [Exodus 31:18]. Although the scoffers may ridicule the Lord's written word, and try in sundry different ways to discredit the Genesis record, none have been able to find any flaw whatsoever.
The only reliable record of the creation of the world, the human species, and their dispersion to all parts of he earth is found recorded in the Word of God. It was the posterity of Japheth that settled and populated "the Isles of the Gentiles;" the lands in Europe, France, Greece, Asia Minor, islands of the Mediterranean, to India, Persia, to all the countries of the British Empire around the globe including Canada, and the United States of America. It was from these people that the churches of Galatia were made up.
Noah prophesied: "God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." [Genesis 9:27]. The bringing in of the Gentiles into the New Testament churches, as here at Galatia, is an example of the filling of Noah's prophesy; for we see the Jews [Shem] and the Gentiles [Japheth] residing together in the same tents [churches].
The Celts poured into Greece in 280 B.C., some passed into Asia Minor and were involved in a civil war, afterwards settling and giving name to the province of Galatia. The Celts, mainly made up of the British, Irish, Scottish, and Welshmen were joined by some Italians, Greeks, and a great number of Gauls [Frenchmen] in this migration that eventually made up the congregations of the Galatians churches.
Many of these had hired themselves out as mercenary soldiers previous to their spiritual conversion, they were a war-like people. Such was the hodgepodge of people that made up the Galatians. Originally they mainly spoke the Welch dialect, at the time Paul's epistle they mainly spoke Greek.
We can only imagine their character, based on what we know about their descendants [especially in France and Ireland] at the present time; which would make them to be eminently intelligent, fickle, frank, impulsive, fond of show, and perpetually quarreling; which the fruit of excessive vanity. This is in accord as they are described in the epistle. Many of us cannot criticize, without realizing we are criticizing our very own blood-kindred. However, this should serve to make this epistle eminently more interesting to us.
The Galatians, like the inhabitants of the surrounding country, were heathens, and their religion was of a gross and debasing kind. The Gaul's are described by ancient historians as a tall and valiant people. they went nearly naked [not so different than much of their posterity of this present generation].
The Galatians had received Paul at first with all affection, but soon wavered in their allegiance to the gospel, and hearkened as eagerly to Judaizing teachers as they had before to him. Paul refers to this in Galatians 4:14-16. "And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Many of the Galatians, in their heathen lives, were dedicated to the mystic worship of Cybele, as was their neighboring Phrygians, Cybele, like present day Secret Lodges or Orders, was a secret, mystical form of communing with the spirits remote from ordinary human ability [witchcraft]. Only the initiated [those who underwent a rite of special initiation] were allowed to participate or observe. Their services were filled with religious rites and special observances [all works of the flesh, for they certainly could not be of the Spirit]. Cybele, like secret orders in all ages of the world, was a religious practice filled with ceremonial symbolism.
Although they had given this up at their conversion, some were now mixing their old Cybelic life with their new Christian life, a pollution of the truth. Paul's comments on this, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you? However, he didn't need to ask, it was obvious. Again he says, "Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? [Galatians 4:8-9].
The Judaizing teachers came endeavoring to persuade the Gentiles [Galatians], who constituted the majority of the Galatian churches, to undergo circumcision, and they were nearly successful. Paul exposes these 'Accursed Teachers' in Galatians 6:12-13, "As many as desire to make a fair show in flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised, only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh."
Throughout the epistle, Paul instructs the Galatians the futility of circumcision, a work of the flesh." Throughout the epistle, Paul instructs the Galatians the futility of circumcision, a work of the flesh, to add anything to their spiritual lives.
This teaching [circumcision] by these Judaizers is pointed out by the Apostle to 'another gospel.' An accursed gospel, taught by accursed teachers.
Paul in bewilderment says to the Galatians, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel; Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." [Galatians 1: 6-9].
These Judaizing teachers insinuated that Paul himself observed the law among the Jews although he persuaded the Gentiles to renounce it and that he wished to keep his converts in a lower state of privileges, excluded from the high Christian standing enjoyed by the circumcised. They were inferring that Paul was a "hypocrite and a men-pleaser.' That he was a Gentile, when he was with the Gentiles, and a Jew when he was with the Jews, and that they [the Galatians] were only getting a watered down doctrine.
If they were to ever receive a full measure they would have to be circumcised and come under some other points of the law. Much of the epistle speaks against this, for example, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith
which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?"
"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision." [Galatians
They [Jews] said, "that not only was Paul a men-pleaser, but in reality he was an inferior apostle. That he was not, as he represented, an apostle divinely commissioned by Christ like the other apostles, but a mere messenger of the eleven and the Jerusalem church, and that his teaching was not in accord with that of Peter and James, the acknowledged "Pillars" of the church, and ought therefore to be rejected."
In defense of this the apostle Paul writes: "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, nor was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." [Galatians 1: 11-12].---but when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal His Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother." [Galatians 1: 15-19]... "For ye that wrought effectual in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles: And when James, Cephus, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they into the circumcision." [Galatians 2: 8-9].
The Apostle's design in writing was to maintain his apostolic authority; insisting that his apostleship wasn't inferior to any of the other apostles, and that he was not a messenger-boy to the others and the Jerusalem church, but was in fact the Apostle to the Gentiles as Peter was to the Jews. Also that they, the Galatian churches, "come behind in no gift." To counteract the Judaizing teachers and to show that their teaching undermined the Lord's gospel truth by lowering its internal spirituality to external ceremonialism.
I pray that the reader will profit much from the foregoing, and that it will serve to help in your study of Paul's epistle to the Galatians.
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We are so thankful to be able to report that we have a wonderful church home here in Indiana. Donn, Lynette, the four boys [Seth, Owen, Grant and Trevor] and I are all members of the Little Pigeon Primitive Baptist Church.
This little church, sometimes and formerly known as Old Pigeon Baptist Church, is located in the Lincoln State Park south of Lincoln City, IN. It was organized in 1816. Services were held in members' homes until 1819, when a log church was erected. Two buildings have been erected since then, the present one having been built in 1948.
Brother and Sister Thomas Lincoln, parents of President Abraham Lincoln, were charter members of this church. Brother Lincoln helped build the original church house. Puncheon seats and parchment windows were first used in this building. Young Abe Lincoln lived with his parents on a farm, with land almost adjoining the church property, and attended the services. The farm is still here and is kept as a working museum farm in the state park. His sister is buried in the cemetery behind the church house. His mother is buried on the farm property.
Services have been conducted continuously by the Primitive Baptist of the old school persuasion. This little band is small, but God continues to "add to it" spiritual meetings, blessing us with powerful sermons, spirit filled singing, heartfelt prayers and the sweetest of fellowship. We meet on the first Sunday and Saturday night before of each month. We meet at two other neighboring churches on the other Sundays, South Fork Church, Spurgeon, IN and Mt. Gilead Church, Bristow, IN.
Three young brothers of the Hopper family, Timothy, David, and Daniel, and a faithful elder Sister Elsie Gassaway were the active members. They were supported by the members of the other two churches, so that the congregation usually numbered 15-20. The "Hopper Boys" [as we call them] are now licentiates and are exercising in churches all over this part of Indiana. They are truly a blessing to many small churches here. They, along with their family and friends, were blessed in their work to maintain Little Pigeon Church, after their father, Elder Leonard Hopper died, following some years later by their grandfather, Elder Lowell Hopper.
Elder Roy Motsinger, of Commisky, IN, now serves as pastor. He is a most humble and spiritual minister and we are most blessed to have him. He is well grounded in the truth and is a kind and gentle shepherd of this little flock. We thank God that He has blessed us with satisfaction with the old paths and pray that He continues to bless us in this endeavor to praise Him in spirit and truth.
We will host our association this year during the first weekend in September. All are invited to come. If you should need directions, please feel free to call Donn Howard, 812/490-1996, or the Hopper's at 812/937-2645. You are welcome in our homes and we most especially beg an interest in your prayers.
God bless you and Brother Don's work on the Banner. We love to receive it each month. It's like getting a letter from home.
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By Elder T. L. Webb, Jr.
In 2nd Corinthians, chapter 3, the Apostle Paul asked the question, "Do we commend ourselves?" Then in Romans 12:3, we read, "I say to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Then in Proverbs 27:2, we read, "Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth, a stranger and not thine own lips."
Boasting, self-esteem and self praise have no place among those who profess to follow Christ.
In our eternal deliverance and salvation from sin and death, we are taught that we are saved by grace, not by works lest any man should boast. If our salvation was based on our works of righteousness, we might have occasion to boast, but we are saved by what the Lord has done, therefore all glory and praise is given unto the Lamb of God who died for us.
Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches us that our salvation is "not of ourselves, but it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast, for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." Good works follow instead of preceding our creation in Christ.
In Corinthians, after he had asked the question, "Do we commend ourselves?" answered it in verse 5 by saying, "we are not sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God."
In the natural realm of life we are dependent upon God and upon others for our sustenance. One day a man was hiking in the mountains when he came upon the hut of a hermit who had isolated himself from other human beings. The hermit told the visitor that he was completely self-sufficient to meet all his own needs. The man asked the hermit, "how did you cut the trees you used for your cabin?" He replied, "with an axe." The visitor said, "did not someone else make the ax and your other tools." Also, he said, "someone else had to make the clothes you wear." "The truth is," said the visitor, "even if you could sustain yourself completely, you're still forgetting one vital thing and that is your own life." It is an indisputable fact that no man is an island. Romans 14:7 reads, "none of us liveth to himself, and no dieth to himself." How dependent we are on our Creator God! And how much we need the help of others to survive in this world we live in. We need God's directions in our lives each day. Psalm 121 says, "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." We have a rich Almighty Friend in Christ. John Newton wrote, "Poor, weak and worthless tho' I am, I have a rich Almighty Friend; Jesus, the Saviour is His name, He freely loves and without end." I have nothing to boast of but in my Lord who Loved me and gave Himself for me.
Elder T. L. Webb, Jr.
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GREW UP A PRIMITIVE BAPTIST
Please send me the Banner of Love. I grew up a Primitive Baptist, having two uncles on my daddy's side that were Primitive Baptist preachers. V. J. Lowrance, Hot Springs, Arkansas and V. F. Lowrance, Fort Worth, TX. [Virgil and Verniel]. Their death retired them from preaching.
Naoma [Lowrance] McDanel
I am sending a check for a two year subscription to The Banner of Love. We are all doing fine. Our oldest son is home for the summer from college at WTAMU in Canyon. He is going into sports medicine and seems to really like it well.
Our youngest son left to go into the U.S. Army on June 14 after graduating high school in May. We hear from him often and he is liking basic training so far. We are thankful our country is in peace times. We ask that you pray for us and the brave young men who are serving to defend this great nation of ours.
In Christian Love,
Elaine Stevenson and family
I have received and read all of the June Issue of the Banner. It was very good! Thank you all again for the work that you are doing. May the Lord continue to bless you both, with the strength that you need; For I am sure that the Banner is looked forward to each month, by many others besides myself.
In His Love,
Brother Bud Lowrance
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By Elder Lowell Hopper
God saw from the beginning, far more than the fall of Adam and the resultant entail of sin. He saw, yea, He ordained the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross.
Before the heart of man questions: "Why did God make man, knowing as He did before- hand, the havoc of sin?" the heart of man should weigh well the other side of the vision, what God saw, and what He decreed.
God foresaw the sway of sin. He also foresaw salvation through the Saviour. Jesus Christ was delivered to be crucified and slain by the "determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God."
The cross of Calvary brought no surprises to God. Our Lord was a "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," "foreordained before the foundation of the earth," but " revealed in these last times."
The Cross of Calvary does not bring to view a martyr, dying in behalf of a holy cause, or an esthetic, dying to sustain a holy ideal. The Lord did not succumb to certain exigencies of the hour; neither did He die because He was pressed by Satan, nor because he was pursued by man.
The Cross of Calvary was foreordained of God. Every detail of its anguish was recognized, every reach of its passion recorded. The last days of the Son of Man, the gathering of clouds, the defection of His erstwhile followers, the plot of the rulers, the kiss of Judas and the curse of Peter. All was foreseen of God.
From the crown of thorns, to the carried cross and the crucified Son, God saw it all. He saw the sponge dipped in vinegar; heard the mocking crowd, the jesting scribe and the jeering Pharisee; knew the lowering darkness, the despairing cry, and the shout of victory.
God saw the cross of Christ when He saw the sin of man; and Christ saw it too. Christ saw, for Christ was God, CO-existent and CO-equal with the Father. Christ was not born a son of destiny; He was the Son who destined.
When God walked in the garden of Eden then, Christ was there; when God said, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head, and thou shalt bruise his heel," then Christ was there; when from the slain beast, one skin was taken to robe the naked pair, then, Christ was there.
In the Old Testament, the book in which God revealed many of his purposes and eternal decrees, the all-covering crimson of Calvary out reaches the ever widening trail of sin. "Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound."
Had God, in the eternities past, not foreknown and foreordained the cross, then how could God, as time began to pass, display upon the page of Holy Writ, in explicit prophecies, such minute details of the passion of Christ?
Centuries before Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, scores of prophecies were written in the scriptures concerning Jesus Christ, that should astound the skeptical. So many as twenty four of these, relating to Calvary, were fulfilled in one day.
From the wealth of His foreknowledge, God revealed in definite terms such events as the pierced hands and feet, the thorn pressed brow, and the riven side.
From the depth of His eternal vision, God foretold of the stripe beaten back, the wounds and bruises; of the torturing thirst, the sponge and vinegar; of the broken heart, and the blood and water gushing from the sword-pierced side.
From the marvels of His decrees, He foretold how the man-rejected Son should hang mid the thieves, transgressors; how the God-abandoned Son would cry, "My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me!"
What a picture of the beaten and bruised body of our dying lord is this: "His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men!" What a picture did the Spirit write of the attitude of the people towards our dying Lord! "I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men and despised of the people!"
What a vision of mockery is this: "All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him." Even the very words that were to be used by Christ's haters were thus foretold.
What a story of the maddened mob is this: "Many bulls have compassed me; strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round." "For dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me."
Yes, God foretold it all, all the work of that awful day, from the price at which He was valued, and for which He was sold, to the final cry of victory when God heard Him from the "horns of the unicorn."
Jesus Christ began His march towards "The place of skulls," far back in eternity. When the Bible was given to man, the long, slow march was plainly seen. The cross was proclaimed and prophesied through sermon and symbol, by offering and sacrifice, in Tabernacle and Temple, from Adam unto Christ.
By faith, Abel looked forward from his sacrificial altar, through forty centuries, and saw the Cross of Christ; and God saw too, and placed Abel's name among the star cluster of the heroes of the faith.
By faith, Abraham saw the dying lamb, saw, from Mount Moriah, when he heard the voice of God saying, "Abraham stay thy hand," saw, from the goat caught by its horns in the thicket, there in Isaac's stead; saw and exulted; saw and was glad.
By faith, the seers and prophets saw the Cross of Christ, and the glory that should follow; saw as the Spirit upon them testified of he suffering; saw as they searched their sacred writings.
Jesus Christ continued His march toward "The place of skulls" after His incarnation. He marched knowingly, intelligently, on toward Calvary. This is assured in the fact that Christ was "God manifested in the flesh" and that what the triune God had decreed in heaven, the son of God knew on earth.
Christ knew He came to die. He, Himself, constantly set forth that fact. In his baptism, He foreshadowed His death, His burial and His resurrection. In the wilderness, He definitely refused to shun the cross by capitulating to the devil; on the Mount of Transfiguration, He readily discussed His death with Moses and Elijah, the death which He was then about to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Christ knew the coming of His cross. He frequently foretold His passion. He signified the death by which He should die. He said, "Destroy this body and I will build it again in three days." He said, "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Christ knew of His coming decease and told it. He said "The Bridegroom shall be taken away, and then shall the children of the bride chamber fast." He said "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so shall the Son of man be lifted up." He said "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus plainly showed how he "must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and the chief priests and scribes, and be killed and the third day rise again."
To the appeal of the Greeks, who had said, "We would see Jesus," Christ answered: "Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." On the same occasion, He also said: "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: But for this cause came I unto this hour." He also concluded His words by saying: "Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out; and I, if it be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This He said, signifying by what death He should die."
In Bethany, at the home of Martha and Mary, when Judas so cuttingly rebuked for breaking her alabaster box and wasting her ointment, Jesus said: "Against the day of my burying hath she kept this."
Yes, Jesus knew He was to die. He asked the disciples, "Can ye drink of this cup of which I am to drink, and be baptized with the baptism with which I am to be baptized?" He taught the proud Pharisees: "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you."
Yes, Jesus knew he was to die. On the very night of His betrayal, He set forth His death in the Passover, the broken bread, and the poured forth wine. That very night he rebuked impetuous Peter for the use of his sword, saying:; "The cup which my Father hath given me shall I not drink it?"
Surely the Lord was Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. Surely He came into the world for the purpose of dying. Surely He was "delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God." Surely, being so predestinated, He ever set His face knowingly toward the cross and went as "A lamb to the slaughter," and when He reached the goal of suffering, "He stood as a sheep before his shearers dumb."
Thus, when God said: "Let us make man," He knew the whole entail of sin and knew the coming of the cross of Christ.
[This is a copy of a beautiful writing left behind by Elder Lowell Hopper, the late grandfather of the Hopper boys mentioned in the letter]
Every Sunday, after Church, he would come home and write down all the things he had on his mind that day. He left the boys a cabinet, [approximately 6 ft. tall] completely filled with these writings.
Love and Best Wishes,
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