Tag: psl

One and But One- Part 4

The results of the “insignificant” sin are enormous!!  What man thought irrelevant to his relationship to God proved to be “the stick that broke the camel’s back.”  Knowing right from wrong is not what it is advertised to be.  Satan was not the “father who knew what was best,” but, then again, he never claimed to be the “father” who cared for his offspring, did he?  Unaccountable for the actions he directed, absolutely, NOT!!  Satan might have thought he pulled off the biggest scam in the history of the world, but because of his direction, God “prepared Hell for Satan and his angels,” Satan will one day pay the price all those who follow him will pay.  Some ask the question, “Will he pay, enough?”  Never, my friend, underestimate God!!!  What sin cost man is his/her innocence?  Many do not realize the sheer joy of such a state.  This is the happiest time of man’s existence!! Existence in this state defines Christianity-this is called PEACE.  More can be said on this point, but nothing can restore the loss of innocence but the blood of Christ!!  You and I cannot handle accountability before the righteous and sinless God, the only way we can ever be ready for such a judgment is having the blood of Christ and Christ the older brother and high priest as our advocate and mediator!!

     “It is not within man that walketh to direct his steps.”  We do not know the way home nor do we know how to find that “way”.  This demanded the grace of God.  “I am the way, the truth and the light.  No man cometh to the Father, but by Me;” came from the lips of the only Being to ever walk the shores of life having come from the Father’s presence who returned Home to prepare for us a place!!  Sinless and of the species called God, this Being we know as Jesus Christ.  He will be ‘ABLE’ to present us faultless before the Father. This is pointedly the reason we cannot trust man who has sinned as we have sinned, to lead to the Father!!  There is NO denomination or denominational body of believers who follow implicitly the directions of our Master.  They add to or take from His blood-bought Will or Testament to satisfy themselves, they claim equality with His authority to govern mankind, and those who they find like-minded as themselves, walk confidently, yes, many times boastfully, on their way to eternity.  Like mother Eve, they are satisfied with the religion originated by some man or woman in some other city other than Jerusalem, in some other century than the first century fifty three days after the crucifixion of the Lord of Glory, while the Roman Kings were reigning over the world, assembled in the Temple of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, 33 A.D. following a message that will re-turn that peace of innocence all eternity!!

     If man was to start a church that was to be in competition with our Lord’s Church would it not have been shown in prophecy?  Special men born for special times who did special things for the advancement of God’s plan were prophesied!!  Cyrus was mentioned by name years before he was born, Methuselah was named some 600 years before the definition of his name became a reality, and Jacob was chosen before birth to receive the birthright.  If they had the approval from God to start man-made denominational churches, would they not at least been prophesied before they were born? named so none would miss their special position before the Lord?, or at least shown to be allowed special recognition as did men like John the Baptist??  Their plans of salvation they advance, would they not been shown in prophecy as did that of our Lord?  Do you think it a lucky coincidence that baptism was defined thousands of years before it was commanded by Christ??  Were the flood, the Nile, Naaman the leper, and the building of the Tabernacle and Temple, not all connected- showing “water” saves”??

One and But One- Part 3

???? Many times things happen that seem insignificant, unimportant, and go without being noticed.? Some seem to think these incidences might even go un-noticed when compared to what they think in their lives is important.? Life can be changed by one event, homes can be broken, friendships ended and wrecked over what to the offender would seem irrelevant to really what they think truly is important!!? There is no way to determine the effects, good or bad, of taking the wrong turn, of making the wrong decision on ourselves and more particularly the cost it has on others!! ?Whoever thought the death of an unknown Jew in remote Galilee would affect every human being that had or would ever live??? In the ?important? events, the day the Roman soldiers put Christ on the tree, the events in Rome were FAR MORE noticed, yet no one knows just exactly what happened in Rome that Friday before Passover, but the world knows what happened in Jerusalem!!? One would never have considered that eating of a single piece of fruit would have brought the possibility of spiritual death to all humanity, either, but that day in the Garden of Eden mankind was forever deprived of the innocence that had before described his nature and allowed his unbroken fellowship with his Creator!!

???? Eating the forbidden fruit was no bid deal!? Who would ever get bent out of shape over just one bite (which probably did not taste good, anyway!!)?? Rationally, situation ethics would deny the importance of this the most famous bite in all the history of mankind.? It was, after all, just another fruit of one of many trees.? One tree was just as good as any other tree and to let on like the choice could be right or wrong just because some Being who visited only once a day could make such a demand, seems impossible, doesn?t it??? Do you mean to tell me God could be so demanding so as to choose JUST ONE tree for me not to eat from and after I had decided I liked the one He did not allow He would break fellowship with me?? ??That sounds awful narrow-minded for a God who is supposed to be LOVE!!

???? What would it hurt for Eve to take the fruit God had not allowed her to eat and take a bite? ?God did not say I couldn?t take ONE BITE, He said for me not to eat of this fruit that looks so good to me!!? Sometimes when you change a plan, you ?improve? it, right??? Denominationalism has changed the plan of God by which man is saved from his or her sins improving on what God had commanded and actually ?improved? on God?s idea!!? They think being saved at an altar, or in praying the ?sinner?s prayer? is a much better and easier way for man to be saved?and by the way what is the big deal?getting wet in water is never convenient AND it is just too much trouble??? Who will it hurt if I just change Jesus command in Mark 16:16 a little, God won?t care, He LOVES ME!!? After all, He is not here to stop me and sprinkling water on someone is much nicer and God never said: ?thou shalt not sprinkle water for baptism?!!? You see, we believe sprinkling water or baptizing you after you have been saved is just fine.? Remember, it is just fruit, God knows I love Him, and He?ll get over it!!? I don?t think Jesus will notice, I will sing and testify, put my monies in His work, and ?witness? for Him, everywhere.

???? ?The fruit looks good, it will satisfy Eve!?? Sin compliments our desires, it looks like fun. ?How can it hurt so much, I?ll only do it ONCE!? We have no experience with the results of sin?it might hurt you but it will not hurt me!!? It looks too good to pass up; the end results cannot be all that bad!!? Sin looks like what I REALLY want, how can it be that harmful??? It provokes in me a curiosity I cannot extinguish from my mind, I have to have it!!? I?ll give anything for it!! ?God want care, I will make it up to Him!! ???

One and But One – Part 2

Truth is always acceptable to those who are seekers of it and unacceptable to those who do not!!? What blocks the entrance to truth??? Most times prejudice.? Opinions would rank second, and probably indifference, thirdly.? Whatever the state of mind one finds themselves, truth WILL have its day of recognition. Hebrews 9:27; John 12:48? ?And it was our Lord who stated: ?You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free!!? John 8:12?? What a break!!? God has reached out to man with a plan that will free him!!

???? Truth may not always be appreciated or accepted.? Those whose minds are closed on any subject will find it difficult rejecting what they have always believed (if they have believed anything with their heart) and change their minds when the facts contradict what they have believed.? Age brings with it a hardening effect.? People who have believed something all their lives will not find it comfortable or satisfying to find they have always been incorrect.? Believing something that is wrong, no matter how long it is believed, will not make the wrong, right and will never alter the fact that error is wrong when truth, which exposes that error!!? There was not one man or woman in the New Testament who believed what they were taught by the apostles of Jesus Christ BEFORE they heard their message.? Some rejected what was told them and we often muse over that rejection, but the end of rejection to truth is always the same; they all will be punished.? Unfortunately, so will those they influence.? It is recorded in Holy Writ; ?they that gladly received their word were baptized and the same day there was added unto them about 3,000 souls.? Acts 2:41 ??Some did not. Hebrews 4:1-2?? ?

???? Truth will never be altered by whether or not some dead loved one did not know it nor obeyed it!!? What you and I do with truth will determine our eternal destiny, but what someone who is dead has done about that truth will never alter my being punished or blessed by that truth.? It does not matter how many people disbelieve.? ?What if some do not believe, shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?? God forbid: let God be true and every man a liar.? Romans 3:3-4?? ?And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.? He that says, I know Him, and keeps not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.? ?1 John 2:3-4

???? There are those who claim to be a follower of Christ who has never seriously investigated what Christ demands of them.? They have never read His Testament and are about as much home with the Bible as an aborigine is with a computer.? They are of the opinion that IF they do or do not believe, all will be well with God.? They are of the opinion that it is narrow-minded to demand an allegiance to the inspired Word of God, that all they have to do is mentally accept the fact that there is a God and everything will be just fine-that God just really does not care what they do, if they do anything!!? ?Do they intend to offend God or mock His Son, no, not at all!! ?They want to stay as far away from ?judging? hoping they will not be ?judged?. ?As long as they ?feel? everything is alright between them and God (and nobody awakens them to the reality that it is not), they will go along merrily to eternity never having the thought that God may not be pleased with them, at all!!

???? Burrowing your head in the sand will not make evil go away!!? Running away from the facts stated by Christ and His apostles will not allow you escape.? ?Behold! He cometh,? is a cry they never consider hearing.? Wanting to be just ?left alone,? some are offended when checked by a book, chapter, or verse from God?s Word!? Death is as much a part of life as is breathing air.? Judgment is that which comes with death!! Hebrews 9:27

One and But One

One of the most resented subjects mentioned by a member of the Church of Christ is the topic of these articles. This subject usually brings anger, resentment, and many times the loss of friendships, YET, the member of the body of Christ is bound, constrained because of their love for Christ, to present this to everyone they have enough contact with to study the Scriptures.? People think the member of the Church who tells them there is One Church and but One in the plan of God from eternity is suffering from a big ?ego trip? that someone has sold them and cannot be speaking of the God of Love that they and their loved ones think they know so well!!? To them the most ridiculous thing they can be told is that the Church of Christ is exclusive and there is One and But One!!

What do I mean by being exclusive?? I mean the Church of Christ is in a special realm, the only one of its kind on this planet called Earth.? There is nothing else like her, there is nothing else to which she can be compared, and no other assembly that meets on the various days of their stated worship times meets for the same purpose she meets!!  She, then is truly exclusive.

I know that many who are reading this think I am egotistical or ignorant of God and His love for mankind and that I have as much tact as a barbed-wire fence, but if it turns out to be the truth of God?s Writings called, the New Testament, it is a truth they must face either now or at death. If they wait till death, it then will be too late!!

I have been in many conversations with religious people of differing denominational faiths when this truth is presented and the mockery, sometimes insults, and outright disdain reaches a higher pitch than one might expect.? The first thing most will do is ?close the door of their minds? and stop everything that might be called reason and proof from entering.? They are happy with their religion (or else they are looking for a change) and do not want to be bothered with something they think personal and frankly ?none of your business?!!? They will immediately climb up the ladder of defense and because anger enters into their emotional make-up, they immediately close the door of the mind.

Who are you?? and what makes you right and everybody else wrong, or do you think you are ONLY one who is saved when they know hundreds of good, religious, pious people both alive or dead who were never even heard of the Church of Christ.? Yet, there is one thing they NEVER consider in thinking about the subject-what does God think about this question??? Are you interested in what He has had written??

Religious people never consider God in a discussion like this for they think this comes only from the petty little mind of an egotist.? The one to whom they are misfortunate enough to have run into.? The very idea of ?judging? someone?s relationship with God to most is totally inconsiderate and resented.? People who base their religion on ?experiences? or ?emotion? feel violated when we who are members of the Lord?s Church inquire about their relationship which to them is TOTALLY private!!? Most received their religious convictions from their parent or grandparents, their husband or wife, or a sainted religious pastor or priest they have known and ?you do not have the right to ?judge? them, especially if they were real good to them and are now, dead.?

After they get over the initial shock–anger, mockery, or indifference usually overcomes them.? With these people be patient, it is like telling them the Earth is really flat?or that their mother never did love them!!? You might even find the curious minded who will actually discuss the subject a little, then turn on their used to be friend, for they now feel judged. Very few people are open-minded because they think this private!!

One and But One

One of the most resented subjects mentioned by a member of the Church of Christ is the topic of these articles.? This subject usually brings anger, resentment, and many times the loss of friendships, YET, the member of the body of Christ is bound, constrained because of their love for Christ, to present this to everyone they have enough contact with to study the Scriptures.? People think the member of the Church who tells them there is One Church and but One in the plan of God from eternity is suffering from a big ?ego trip? that someone has sold them and cannot be speaking of the God of Love that they and their loved ones think they know so well!!? To them the most ridiculous thing they can be told is that the Church of Christ is exclusive and there is One and But One!!

???? What do I mean by being exclusive?? I mean the Church of Christ is in a special realm, the only one of its kind on this planet called Earth.? There is nothing else like her, there is nothing else to which she can be compared, and no other assembly that meets on the various days of their stated worship times meets for the same purpose she meets!!? She, then is truly exclusive.?

???? I know that many who are reading this think I am egotistical or ignorant of God and His love for mankind and that I have as much tact as a barbed-wire fence, but if it turns out to be the truth of God?s Writings called, the New Testament, it is a truth they must face either now or at death.? If they wait till death, it then will be too late!!?

???? I have been in many conversations with religious people of differing denominational faiths when this truth is presented and the mockery, sometimes insults, and outright disdain reaches a higher pitch than one might expect.? The first thing most will do is ?close the door of their minds? and stop everything that might be called reason and proof from entering.? They are happy with their religion (or else they are looking for a change) and do not want to be bothered with something they think personal and frankly ?none of your business?!!? They will immediately climb up the ladder of defense and because anger enters into their emotional make-up, they immediately close the door of the mind.

???? ?Who are you?? and ?what makes you right and everybody else wrong,? or ?do you think you are ONLY one who is saved when they know hundreds of good, religious, pious people both alive or dead who were never even heard of the Church of Christ.? Yet, there is one thing they NEVER consider in thinking about the subject-what does God think about this question??? Are you interested in what He has had written??

???? Religious people never consider God in a discussion like this for they think this comes only from the petty little mind of an egotist.? The one to whom they are misfortunate enough to have run into.? The very idea of ?judging? someone?s relationship with God to most is totally inconsiderate and resented.? People who base their religion on ?experiences? or ?emotion? feel violated when we who are members of the Lord?s Church inquire about their relationship which to them is TOTALLY private!!? Most received their religious convictions from their parent or grandparents, their husband or wife, or a sainted religious pastor or priest they have known and ?you do not have the right to ?judge? them, especially if they were real good to them and are now, dead.?

???? After they get over the initial shock–anger, mockery, or indifference usually overcomes them.? With these people be patient, it is like telling them the Earth is really flat?or that their mother never did love them!!? You might even find the curious minded who will actually discuss the subject a little, then turn on their used to be friend, for they now feel ?judged?.? Very few people are ?open-minded? because they think this private!!

The Prophets- Teachers or Preachers? Part 18

???? Philip was later found again in Caesarea, where Luke records that he now was an ?evangelist,? they who originated first in Jerusalem.? Time had passed but time finds Philip faithful to his calling.? Blessed of God, we see Philip had four virgin daughters ?that prophesied.? Acts 20:8-9?? Entering the house of Philip, Paul had his third visit to Caesarea, for now Philip had preached the gospel in Caesarea for almost 20 years.?

???? We find the word ?evangelist? used by Luke in this text.? The word evangelist is a translation of a compound Greek word made up of eu, meaning well or good, and angelos, a messenger.? We need to look real close at this word!!? Perhaps, the title was given to Philip because of the type of missionary work he did, that he was located in a certain area and field of endeavor.? What about the rank of the office of an evangelist?? Immediately the question must be faced whether the listing of offices in Ephesians 4:11 is one of descending authority.? If so, the office of evangelist is next in order to that of apostle and prophet.? This in turn raises the question of the evangelist?s position in relation to that of elder (pasturing teacher).? Even if we insist that Ephesians 4:11 lists the offices in the order of descending authority, we never teach that the office of evangelist gives him absolute authority as some of our brethren have taught of the elder!!? The word seems to imply the evangelist was one who proclaimed by word of mouth the glad tidings, the good news, the Gospel.? The office or function of evangelist is mentioned two other places in the New Testament, Ephesians 4:11 and 2 Timothy 4:5.? From these limited sources, the following implications have been drawn: first, it is not easy in every case to distinguish between the activities of an apostle and an evangelist, but it is easy to distinguish between the evangelist and the eldership.? Evangelist was the name given to the writers of the four Gospels.? Two of those were apostles, too, you might remember.? The distinction between apostle and evangelist then might be given in this little formula: all apostles were evangelists but not all evangelists were apostles!!

???? Apostles and prophets were not limited to one congregation, where elders are.? Prophets and evangelist were commissioned to all churches within in a given area.? This seems to be what distinguished Philip from Peter and Paul.? The listing of this office is then geographical in nature!!? A question then has to be asked.? Is an evangelist or prophet (preacher) under the oversight of elders, or an ?outside advisor to the elders? when he is serving with any given congregation.? How were the evangelist appointed?? Evangelist, from the beginning received their commission from the churches, and not directly from Christ, as did the apostles of Christ-see Acts 16:1-3; 1 Timothy 4:14? This can be shown from the case of Timothy in which the hands of the eldership were laid on him for the purpose of setting him aside for the work on which he was embarking, and by parity of argument from the case of Philip.? Paul laid hands on Timothy evidently to impart to him those spiritual gifts which in that age were necessary in order to enable him to fulfill the commission which he had received from the church through the hands of the elders, 2 Timothy 1:6.? Was the office of evangelist temporary (like the office of apostle), or permanent (like the elder and deacon?? Timothy was told to commit the Gospel to faithful men, who in turn would be able to commit it to others, 2 Timothy 2:2.? This has properly been taken as a prerogative for setting aside evangelists-preachers chosen among the members of the church, by the church, not just the eldership, who showed an intense love for Christ during the mature age of the church, that they might fulfill their lives. ??Preach the Word,? resounds from the halls of eternity for such men!!

The Prophets- Teachers or Preachers? Part 17

Some might object to calling the ?seven? in Jerusalem prophets.? Remembering ?He set some in the church; first apostles, then prophets?Ephesians 4:11, tells us WHEN this was done??when He ascended!!?? When Jesus ?rode on a cloud to the Ancient of Days,? Daniel 7:13-14; Acts 1:11, ?He was brought near before Him.? And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom? as we hear the words of the Ancient of Days; ?Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.? A scepter of righteousness (the standard of acceptance in Thy kingdom is obedience to the commands of Thy covenant) is the scepter of Thy kingdom.? Hebrews 1:8-12? Much to the chagrin of the pre-millennialism, God, the Father calls the Church of Christ, CHRIST?S KINGDOM.? Christ IS NOT COMING BACK to ?set up a kingdom? when returns the second time!!!!?

???? So, in the early church at Jerusalem, we see the apostles delivering the rules and regulations of the new covenant and prophets preaching the message, getting to the hearts of the listeners.? Stephen lost his life and Philip went to Samaria, then to the Eunuch, and finally, Luke records him being in Azotus, then Caesarea. Acts 8:40? ?To some this sounds like a filler that Luke used?read on!! ?Philip was raptured to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Azotus (near the site of ancient Ashdod, about 20 miles from Gaza).? It was about 60 miles from Azotus to Caesarea.? The plains of Philistia and Sharon are included in this area, as are many towns including Lydda and Joppa.? Perhaps, we can trace some of the effects of Philip?s evangelistic work in the appearance later in Acts of flourishing churches in both these towns (see Acts 9:32; 36).? It was a field of evangelism sufficient to occupy many years of Philip?s time.? Evidently, it seems Philip made this his headquarters from this time, on.? It was at Lydda that Peter, by the power of God, the Holy Spirit, healed Aeneas and at Joppa (Japho in Joshua 19:46, famous for its visit by Jonah) that he raised Dorcas from the dead using the same command Jesus used in Mark 5:41.? It was from Simon?s house in Joppa that Cornelius sent for Peter!!? With this kind of notoriety, no wonder Cornelius bowed down to worship Peter!!? By the way, it is recorded that a bishop from Azotus was present at the councils of Nicea (where Constantine (the first Papa of Roman Catholicism) divided the Church of Christ causing the Roman Catholic church to break from our fellowship in 314 AD) and then at another council at Chalcedon at even a later date! ???

???? The next mention of prophets of the New Testament is in Acts 13:1-4.? It might be that three of these brethren are well-known to the church, today, the others are not.? Saul and Barnabas, we know. It is said that Niger, meaning black, was none other than the son of Simon, the Cyrenian who carried Christ?s cross. Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26??? Then, there was brother Lucius; known for being the first member of the body of Christ to bring the gospel to Antioch, Acts 11:20.? Finally, there was Manaen who was brought up with Herod the Tetrarch (Herod Antipas, who killed John the Baptist).? He was said to have literally been a foster brother of Herod who had grown up in the castle with him!!? ?It is said of the effort of these prophets that ?the hand of the Lord? was with them.?? This phrase frequently was used in the Old Testament of the mighty manifestations of the power of God in behalf of His people.? This was the same phrase that was said of Philip in Samaria in Acts 8:5-8 as he ?confirmed the Word?!!? As David was king before he sat on the throne so Saul of Tarsus work was made successful by the providential working of the Almighty which Saul had to wait to do?SO??then departed Barnabas for to seek Saul?!! ?Saul had waited, now was the time.? Some have never learned this lesson!!

The Prophets- Teachers or Preachers? Part 16

When Philip went to Samaria in Acts 8, under what authority did he journey?? He was not an apostle for he had not been with the Lord from the baptism of John (see Acts 1:22)? Some venture among us that Philip had this special gift through the ?laying on of the apostle?s hands,? but did that empower Philip with his message?? Both Philip and Stephen had had this ?laying on of hands? but so did Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas.? Did anyone hear of these other brethren prophesying or working miracles as did Stephen and Philip??? Did the ?laying on of the apostles hands? authorize the prophets message (Acts 6:8 and 8:6) or did the miracles not function as in our preaching, today, when we use a book, chapter, and verse to prove the delivered message??? Is there any record that Philip when at Azotas or as he went through until he came to Caesarea, not work miracles to sustain-prove his message??? I have some of the best in helps on the book of Acts, but none of them prove what I cannot find in the text.? Did these brethren receive this ability to speak from the ?laying of the apostle?s hands??

Is it not interesting that these brethren were already in an established function and were known as ?the seven? as the apostles were known as ?the twelve????? Don?t forget that the seven filled a void in service the apostles could not, should not, and did not attend!!? It is said of Stephen, as well as the other brethren, that they were qualified, already ?full of faith and of the Holy Ghost? BEFORE the apostle?s hands were laid on him, this was a requirement laid down by the apostles!!

I have read many of our brethren who taught these men to be the ?first deacons?!!? This makes no sense, for these men to have been deacons; there first were seven (this always means perfection).? This is not just a coincidence, nor was it luck.? The apostles were delivering the ?word of God? and it has been inferred by some that they were the only ones preaching the gospel at this time?this cannot be sustained, these men were ?full of the Holy Ghost??? If these brethren were the ?first deacons? then all deacons thereafter would have to be full of the Holy Ghost BEFORE THEY WERE APPOINTED IN EVERY CONGREGATION, something that is not even mentioned for the elders!!? They would be better qualified than the eldership under which they were serving.? They would have been set in the church BEFORE any elder would have been, they would have to been married men with children, there would have had to have been elders before them or they could not have been schooled in the art of working with the families of the church (these men were also ?full of wisdom,? again, a qualification that the eldership does not have), and there would have been no greater degree (1 Timothy 3:13) to which these deacons could have attained for they were already BETTER QUALIFIED than any elder they could have served under!!? Finally, there would have been deacons before there were elders?the word ?elders? was the synechtoche (a part standing for the whole) that the Holy Spirit had Paul and Barnabas ordain in every congregation on their second visit to the new congregations of the Lord, Acts 14:23.? So, without too much effort, we are in enough trouble making these men ?deacons?!!? What we are not in trouble with, though, is that these men were qualified, known as qualified, and were classified, were already functioning WHILE, AS, DURING the time the apostles were giving the ?Word of God? to the assembly!!? James did not send someone like Barnabas to check on their message as he did in Acts 11:22-23.? Let me introduce to you the first mentioning of the prophets, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, a like group that was in the church at Antioch in Acts 13:1-3!!? It had to begin first, at Jerusalem, remember?!

The Prophets- Teachers or Preachers? Part 15

We have come to the end of a study which I hope has been interesting and informative to you.? I am sure someone else has done a better job with this in other times in the history of the Church.? Prophets are mentioned in the New Testament with little or no elucidation.? They receive no understanding from the readers of God?s Holy Book.? That they were ?set? in the church as were the apostles, evangelist, pastors, teachers, etc., so there must have been a need they fulfilled.? Like the many other things we use in the New Testament Church (unleavened bread as an example), their background comes from a study of the Old Testament understood by its early readers.? If the ?pattern? shown Moses included this office/work, so must its ?reality!!? ??Not apart of ?that which was perfect,? this position existed in the dispensation that existed immediately ?for our learning.??

???? They were not ?apostle apprentices? and were never ?checked on? by the apostles or the churches from which they were sent as in Acts 11:23, but often functioned simultaneously with the existing church or apostle and did the preaching in that place (as we see the prophetical work in the study of Stephen, in Acts 7.? It was not coincidental that the Jews found Stephen; he was on the debate team that ministered for the church at Jerusalem!! Acts 7:9; 13:1-4; 1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus).? Some Churches of Christ don?t even consider debate; much less have a team training as ?the defenders of the faith.?? They are afraid of hurting feelings and not defending the great God who died for them!!? They don?t study denominationalism and its damnable lies so they can defend the precious, pure ?river of Life.!!? Like the apostle Paul, Stephen was ?set for the defense of the gospel? and it cost him his life, not just his relationship with his denominational mother-in-law!! 1 Peter 3:15; Psalms 139:17-24; Philippians 1:12-19; 3:18-20? ?????????

???? These brethren had a role or function in the church that has been amalgamated by ?love advocates? and the ?feelings-oriented.?? They were in a fight for their lives and the existence of the Church of Christ; they were soldiers, not cowards!!? They had to get the brethren ready for the ?wiles of the devil? for the week to come and were ?charged? (this is the stirring up of the heart commanded of God to the prophets) by the apostles to do so!! 2nd Timothy 4:1-5; Titus 1:5-11 ??The church of the first century and all other centuries have to ?fight, the good fight of faith,? not put the brethren to sleep in the pews, entertain their children with gold fish, or put on a musical!! ???The Holy Spirit called out- named those who had this job to perform, and these prophets did not set down after 15 minutes of preaching or be fired!!? Some even ?continued until midnight!!?? The baton has to be passed on; we do not have to re-light the torch if it has continued to burn bright in the hearts of the preachers/prophets of God!!? God pulled the plug on the church at Laodicea. They were fat and happy on their way to Hell. Jesus said the preacher would not ?earnestly contend and defend the faith once delivered to the saints!!?

???? When Peter ?lifted up his voice? in Acts 2: 14; his message came from a heart that had already been put in prophet gear ??Neither Satan nor all the demons of Hell; not even his wife,? his mother-in-law, or a good paying job) could stop him!!!? He couldn?t stop until they crucified him upside down!! ?There was no aire of a funeral home or a comedy routine; sinners repented and saints held on to their seats fearing the Lord would return and they would fly off to glory before the preacher had finished his message!! Preachers, baptize your message with the fire-power of the Holy Spirit.? If your audience is made up of members of the Church of Christ, it won?t bother them; the Holy Spirit lives in them!!
If not, maybe they will repent and be baptized SO the Holy Spirit will move in!!