VOL.1 NO.4 ©1992INTERNET EDITION
IN THIS ISSUE:
From The Mailbox
by Roy L. Banes
Idolatry is plainly forbidden in the Scriptures. Most people think that bowing down to pictures, statues or graven images is a form of idolatry. However, that is not the only case. Ask yourself; are you an idolater?
In Eph 5:5, Paul, the apostle says, "For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God." Anytime you replace GOD's word you are an idolater. Anytime you replace GOD's law with your law you are an idolater.
Col 3:5 "Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry."
What is treason? Is it being unfaithful to State or GOD? We usually think of treason in regards to the state. Down through the years the state used treason to destroy the Godly. Remember all the Christians put to death by the Roman Empire? They were not put to death because they were Christians, but because they would not swear allegiance to the state. We know that GOD is true and His word is true. Disobedience to GOD is idolatry, it is treason. The government can be an idol just as much as anything else. Throughout the Bible it was civil government. Why are governments prone to bring idolatry into the lands?
In 2 Kings 21:1 it was Manasseh who did evil in the sight of the Lord. He rebuilt what Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal. It was the king and rulers who led the people into idolatry.
Governments deal with law and law is inherently religious. Governments make up their own law instead of GOD's law. 1 Kings 12:26-33 says in essence that Jeroboam instituted idolatry into the land to perpetuate his own office. He made two golden calves and said it was too far to Jerusalem; so he made up his own religion.
Joh 11:47-48 "Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council and were saying, "What are we doing? For this Man is performing many signs. "If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation." You see they were in power and they wanted to stay in power. They were willing to crucify Christ to keep their power.
King Solomon was a very powerful ruler who had 700 wives and 300 concubines. In his old age he introduced Molak worship into the land. It is the worship of the state and total political jurisdiction over man. Molak religion claims total jurisdiction from the cradle to the grave; welfare, education, worship, family and business, they have total control.
The state is limited by the word of GOD. Read Romans the 13th chapter. State or government is called the minister of GOD. Government is to call out GOD's commands. To ascribe power, authority, reverence, submission or anything else above the word of GOD is idolatry.
2Ki 17:7 "Now this came about, because the sons of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had feared other gods."
Prov 1:7 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." Prov 1:29-30 "Because they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of the LORD, They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof." When you fear GOD, you keep His word and His commandments. When you fear a false god, you keep his law and commandments.
2Ki 17:13-17 "Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah, through all His prophets and every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets." However they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers, and His warnings with which He warned them. And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the LORD had commanded them not to do like them. And they forsook all the commandments of the LORD their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him." God gave two reasons for punishing them. (1) for rejecting GOD's statutes, (2) they walked in the customs of the nations, or idolatrous laws of other nations.
2Ki 17:21 "When He had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat, king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin." Jeroboam led the people astray and the people followed him.
2Ki 21:9 "But they did not listen, and Manasseh seduced them to do evil more than the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the sons of Israel." Manasseh, the highest civil authority seduced them. Idolatry and sin can come under the color of law.
Psa 94:20 "Can a throne of destruction be allied with Thee, one which devises mischief by decree?" Mischief means SIN. The throne of iniquity is that which makes sin legal by passing a law.
Exo 1:16 This is where Pharaoh, the king of Egypt told the Hebrew midwives, "...When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death;... But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live." So GOD was good to the midwives.
Act 5:29 "But Peter and the apostles answered and said, "We must obey GOD rather than man." Idolatry is why Peter said, "We must obey GOD rather than man."
It is IDOLATRY to place any power, any statutes, any other authority above the word of GOD. Read chapter 23 of 2 Kings. Here Josiah, a Godly ruler, starts cleaning house. This is where one civil official stood for GOD. We need to recognize that idolatry can come to us. WE MUST OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MAN.
Job 28:28 "And to man He said, `Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom: And to depart from evil is understanding.'"
(All scripture was quoted from the New American Standard Version). A tape on this subject from a sermon given by Roy Banes is available free. Send us your name and address and we will mail one to you.
by Mark Carr
This year was a big success for the Feast of Tabernacles. The General Assemblies of the local Churches of God met in Fort Walton Beach, Florida from October 13 thru 20. Although several friends were missing, those who were able to attend received a double dose of spiritual blessings.
Old friendships were renewed and new ones were made. There were several spiritual sermons delivered and we all grew closer to God. If you would like tapes of the sermons, send us your name and address and we will send them to you. The speakers were: Thad Miller, Jr., Joe Jones, Herb Solinsky, Neville Gilbert, Charles Kimbrough, Mark Carr, Hagan Hale, Art Humphrey, John Pinkston, Dr. Hunt and Tom Mauk. Clyde Holman gave a Bible Study.
Linda Lewallen and Mary Carr organized childrens classes that were held every day during the main sermon. Their theme was, "The Ten Commandments". By the number of comments from children in the suggestion box requesting longer and more classes, it was very successful and interesting.
Tom Mauk and Thad Miller, Jr. led song services accompanied by Audrey Miller on the piano. There was special music every day by several people, most were assisted by Phil Miller on his guitar.
On Sunday night we had a pot luck that was followed by "fun night". The participation level was very high, about 75%. Space doesn't permit us to include all of the pictures, but some of them are contained in this issue. To the right is the pot luck before "fun night" began.
From left to right: Kindahl + Carly Lewallen, Jeanette, Gina + Taty Manotas, Jennifer Harkey, and Aubrey Rishel singing "Mr. Sunshine".
Dan Wolfe, Bertha Reynolds, Maureen Rishel and Phil Miller singing "Amazing Grace".
Lori Corl, Thad Miller, Jr., Nadine Kimbrough, Ruth Ann Humphrey and Cathy Carr Singing "In The Garden".
Thad Miller, Jr., Aubrey Rishel, Bertha Reynolds, Jennifer Harkey, Cathy Carr and Maureen Rishel singing "How Great Thou Art".
The 1992 children's Sabbath school class.
When the last day came we all felt it was much too soon and said goodbye to our friends until next year. There were a few tears wiped from our eyes and lots of hugs. We can all look forward to the return of Jesus and the setting up of His kingdom.
I told my youngest daughter, who was crying because the time went so fast, that in her lifetime Jesus was coming. I explained the Feast pictures the 1,000 year millennium. It's hard to imagine the things our Creator has in store for us.
by Mark Carr
We all grew up singing it "finders keepers, losers weepers". That is the code of the world. If we lose our watch, wallet or purse we are probably out of luck. If we drop money in a store should the person who finds it report it to the security guard, or should they put it in their pocket assuming no one can identify it?
The way the people of the world treat each other is not the way God intended it to be. That is not the way it will be in the kingdom. If we find someone's property can we play "finders keepers" or should we make every reasonable effort to return it? Deu 22:1 "You shall not see your brother's ox or his sheep going astray, and hide yourself from them; you shall certainly bring them back to your brother. :2 "And if your brother is not near you, or if you do not know him, then you shall bring it to your own house, and it shall remain with you until your brother seeks it; then you shall restore it to him. :3 "You shall do the same with his donkey, and so shall you do with his garment; with any lost thing of your brother's, which he has lost and you have found, you shall do likewise; you must not hide yourself. :4 "You shall not see your brother's donkey or his ox fall down along the road, and hide yourself from them; you shall surely help him lift them up again."
Most people don't have a problem incorporating this in their lives when it is their brother or a friend. But the truth is that it doesn't stop there. This does not only apply to your brother. It is also for your neighbor, a stranger and even your enemy. Can you comprehend what kind of world this would be if everyone obeyed God's laws? It won't be too long before they do. Exo 23:4 "If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. :5 "If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it."
If you have found something and the owner comes to you asking if you have it, "finders keepers, losers weepers" does not apply. If you are untruthful about it you will have to restore the property with a penalty. Lev 6:2 "If a person sins and commits a trespass against the LORD by lying to his neighbor about what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or about a pledge, or about a robbery, or if he has extorted from his neighbor, :3 "or if he has found what was lost and lies concerning it, and swears falsely-- in any one of these things that a man may do in which he sins: :4 "then it shall be, because he has sinned and is guilty, that he shall restore what he has stolen, or the thing which he has extorted, or what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or the lost thing which he found, :5 "or all that about which he has sworn falsely. He shall restore its full value, add one- fifth more to it, and give it to whomever it belongs, on the day of his trespass offering."
How do you know if you have God's holy spirit and are saved? If we are going to enter the kingdom we have to abide by "Christ like" guidelines now. 1Jo 3:14 "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. :15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. :16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. :17 But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? :18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. :19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him."
Jesus tells us how we should treat each other. One of the hardest things to do is be nice to someone who hates you. If we are truly converted this will be one of our goals. If you find a stranger's, or harder yet an enemy's property, you will return it. Mat 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' :44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, :45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. :46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?"
Do you want to live in God's kingdom? If we are going to be there we have to have love and compassion for each other. We have to become the kind of person that Jesus is. We have to love others who are sick and down on their luck. Luk 10:25 "And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" :26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" :27 So he answered and said," `You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and `your neighbor as yourself.'" :28 And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live."
What does this mean and who is it that we have to love? We have to ask ourselves if we are converted as much as this Samaritan. Or if we are like the proud, self-righteous Levite or priest. Luk 10:29 "But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" :30 Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. :31 "Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. :32 "Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. :33 "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. :34 "So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. :35 "On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.' :36 "So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?" :37 And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
When we find our neighbors property we have a responsibility to God to return it. When we deal with others we should treat them like they were Jesus himself standing in front of us. We can't keep things that don't belong to us and we can't deal with others underhandedly. If we do this we are cheating God.
A close friend of mine here in Knoxville who owns his business told me that when a customer walks in his door he tries to treat them like he would treat Jesus.
That is how we should treat each other. I'm sure my friend gets taken advantage of several times a year because of this. Some people probably think he is foolish. I admire him and so does Jesus because: Mat 25:40 "And the King will answer and say to them, `Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
Another friend who owns a business had someone in the church cheat him out of several hundred dollars. Did he sue and seek revenge? No, he forgave him and forgot it. Let me ask you, which of the two men in this example will enter the narrow gate to the kingdom?
The Jewish people have a custom of examining themselves between Trumpets and the day of Atonement. During this ten day period they try to right all wrongs they have committed in the past year. If they have a grievance against anyone they will try and settle it. We should try and follow this example in our lives, but instead of ten days a year, we should do it every day we are alive.
When our Messiah returns and establishes His kingdom the world will have this kind of love and compassion for each other. It will finally be the kind of place God intended.
FROM THE MAILBOX
Words cannot even begin to express to you what a simply marvelous time I had with all of you at the FEAST. There was such a sense of harmony and love that I just didn't want it to end. I believe everyone felt the same. I received such an uplifting both spiritually and physically that I still feel a "HAPPY HIGH".
I don't know what a regular high is because I have never been drunk or on drugs. The only thing I can imagine which shall surpass the experience of the FEAST will have to be when our LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST shall come back to reign as KING OF KINGS!!!
It is horribly busy at work right now with the school homecoming in progress for this weekend but whenever I start to feel snowed under I just open my memory bank and relive those Feast days. It works wonders for lifting the spirit.
I am including a check that you can use toward publication of the Jerusalem Sentinel. How I look forward to receiving and reading it.
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