The Gospel Observer (November 24, 2019)

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
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Contents:

1) When It Was a Crime to Read the Bible (Joe R. Price)
2) Eyewitness Testimony (Frank Himmel)
3) Bible Quiz
4) News & Notes
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William Tyndale 3-in-1c

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When It Was a Crime to Read the Bible
Joe R. Price

By the start of the third decade of the 16th century, William Tyndale had already been on the run for five years. The king of England, Henry VIII, had declared him a felon. Fleeing Roman Catholic authorities in London (never to return to England), he went first to Cologne, France, and then Worms, Germany. What crime had this “evil” man committed? Of what rebellious act of treason was he guilty? He dared to translate and then print the New Testament in the English language!

In England in the 1520’s (indeed, throughout Europe during the Middle Ages), unless you were literate in Hebrew, Greek or Latin, reading the Bible for yourself was impossible. You had to rely upon what the Roman Catholic clergy said the Bible contained. You would not have been able to study the Bible for yourself to discern the truth for yourself – much less be free to practice what you learned therein. Rome ruled with an iron hand.

The Catholic Church did not want nor permit a wide transmission of the Bible and its contents. When Tyndale’s NT was published in Worms, 6,000 copies were shipped back to England. Medieval historian William Manchester reports, “To the bishop of London this was an intolerable, metastasizing heresy. He bought up all that were for sale and publicly burned them at St. Paul’s Cross. But the archbishop of Canterbury was dissatisfied; his spies told him that many remained in private hands. Protestant peers with country houses were loaning them out, like public libraries. Assembling his bishops, the archbishop declared that tracking them down was essential – each was placing souls in jeopardy – and so, on his instructions, dioceses organized posses, searching the homes of known literates, and offered rewards to informers – sending out the alarm to keep Christ’s revealed word from those who worshiped him” (A World Lit Only By Fire, 204-205).

Tyndale was eventually arrested and imprisoned for sixteen months in the castle of Vilvoorde, near Brussels. In 1536, after being tried and convicted for heresy he was publicly executed, being tied to a stake, strangled to death, and then his corpse burned.

As we consider Tyndale’s struggle and sacrifice to provide the common Englishman with readable, discernible scriptures, we are made to thank God for the daily ease and convenience with which we can open the Bible and study it for ourselves. We are made to cherish the privilege that is ours to pour over the divine text, understand it, reflect upon it, think over it so as to bring our hearts and lives into harmony with it, as well as also teach it to others (Eph. 5:17; 2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Pet. 3:18; 2 Tim. 2:2).

If you have been neglecting to read, learn and live God’s word, please remember the good fortune you have: education and access – the abundant opportunity to read and know God’s word. To not drink deeply from its well is to squander a precious blessing (cf. Jas. 4:17).

The next time you pick up your Bible and read it, remember the sacrifices of countless others who have made that simple act possible. But above all, remember the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave His life on the cross and was then resurrected from the dead so that you know the truth, abide in His word and thus be freed from your sin (Jno. 8:31-36; 1:1-3, 14-18).

– Via The Beacon, August 18, 2019
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apostles 2

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Eyewitness Testimony
Frank Himmel

Every fact of history is established in the same way. An event occurs. Those who observe it leave some sort of testimony of the event: a drawing or photograph, a marker, a monument, a written record, etc. People in subsequent generations view that testimony and therefore believe the event occurred.

That is why we believe in Jesus. His life and teachings were documented by witnesses; primarily, the apostles. Jesus told them, “. . . and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

The apostles were witnesses of what they saw: Jesus’ good works and miracles (Acts 10:38-39). They were witnesses of what they heard (Acts 22:15). They were witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 2:32; 3:15; 5:32), the event that He pointed to time and again as the ultimate proof of who He was. (None of the apostles claimed to have seen Jesus actually emerge from the tomb, but they ate and drank with Him after He arose [Acts 10:41].) They were even witnesses of things that Jesus revealed after His ascension back to heaven (Acts 26:16).

There is no reason to question the credibility of the apostles’ testimony. They were in a position to see what they recorded. Their testimony did not bring fame or fortune; to the contrary, they were treated “as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things” (1 Corinthians 4:13).

People today speak of “witnessing” in a loose sense of telling what they believe. When the apostles witnessed, they were telling what they had seen and heard.

Peter wrote, “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased’— and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain” (2 Peter 1:16-18).

John added, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:1-3).

— Via Pathlights, October 13, 2019
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person studying Bible

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Bible Quiz

1. Who was Moses’ servant?

2. Who was Ruth’s sister-in-law?

3. On what day did God create the fish and the birds?

4. What was the bronze serpent called?

5. Who was the first child born?

6. Who is known for his rash vow?

7. What name was assigned to Daniel?

8. To where was the ship heading that Jonah had boarded?

9. Who is spoken of as being “mighty in the Scriptures”?

10. Whom does the Bible speak of as “abounding with deeds of kindness and
charity”?

11. Who was a seller of purple fabrics?

12. In what city did Eutychus fall from a window?

13, Prior to Italy, where had Paul been imprisoned for a little more than 2 years?

14. What was Barnabas’ real name?

Answers: 1) Exodus 24:13  2) Ruth 1:4  3) Genesis 1:20-23  4) 2 Kings 18:4  5) Genesis 4:1-2  6) Judges 11:30-31  7) Daniel 1:7  8) Jonah 1:3  9) Acts 18:24  10) Acts 9:36  11) Acts 16:14  12) Acts 20:6-9  13) Acts 25:4; Acts 24:27  14) Acts 4:36
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News & Notes

Our sympathies go out to the family and friends of Mary Ruth Corley Allen (Tori McCarthy’s grandmother) who passed away Friday evening. She was 88 and survived by many — including 13 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren, and 10 great-great grandchildren.

Myrna Jordan continues to slowly heal from her shingles.

Also for prayer: Shirley Davis, Melotine Davis, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Bud Montero, the Medlocks, Jan Bartlett, Joyce Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Rick Cuthbertson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Brandon Mullis.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (November 17, 2019)

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
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Contents:

1) A Study of Authority in Religion (Bob Myhan)
2) News & Notes
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matt21_25e

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A Study of Authority in Religion
Bob Myhan

It is regrettable that many people do not even think about “authority” in the realm of religion. Perhaps that is why there is so much disagreement among the religious groups. Even some in the Lord’s church do not understand the difference between authority and expediency, for unscriptural practices are defended on the basis of “expediency.” However, a thing must be authorized before the question of its expediency can even be discussed (see 1 Corinthians 6:12). The word “authority” means, “the power of rule or government, the power of one whose will and commands must be obeyed by others” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, p. 91). The word “expedient” means, “to be an advantage, profitable” (Vine’s, p.  402). Nothing can be spiritually profitable, if it is not first authorized.

There are two kinds of authority: general (or generic) and special (or specific). When Jesus told the apostles, “Go ye into all the world” (Mark 16:15), He authorized every mode of travel [walking, sailing, riding in a chariot, riding on a beast, etc.] because He did not stipulate (or specify) as to method. On the other hand, when He told them, “Preach the gospel,” He stipulated what they were to preach; hence they were not free to choose something else to “preach,” although they were free as to method.

There are two possible sources of authority — divine and human [please read Matthew 21:23-27]. The chief priests and elders asked Jesus, “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gavest thee this authority?” (v. 23). Not only did they recognize the need for authority, but they also recognized that authority must come from the proper source. It was not their question, therefore, but their attitude that was wrong.

Jesus asked them if the baptism of John was “from heaven or of men?” (vv. 25, 26). They couldn’t say “from heaven” because they would look inconsistent, not having been baptized by John. But neither could they say, “of men” because they feared the people. Thus, they answered, “we cannot tell.”

Every religious practice is either “from heaven” or “of men.” Either God authorized it or men took it upon themselves to do it. If it is “from heaven” the scriptures will furnish us unto it (2 Peter 1:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:16,17). Anything that is not furnished by the scriptures is “of men” (1 Peter 4:11; 1 Corinthians 4:6).

During the present New Testament age, Jesus has all authority both in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18-20). Thus, He is the only one “whose will and commands must be obeyed by others.” Thus, in writing to the church at Colosse, Paul commanded, “Whatsoever ye do, in word [teaching] or deed [practice], do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). To do something “in the name of Jesus” means to do it “in recognition of His authority.” Hence, we must recognize the authority of the Lord Jesus in everything we teach and practice! Otherwise, He is not really our Lord. This means that authority must come from the New Testament, not from the Old Testament (Hebrews 9:15-17; 10:1-9).

One can ill afford to take it upon himself to do that which the Lord has not authorized. This is well illustrated in the account of seven Jewish men to whom had not been given the miraculous ability to cast out evil spirits (Acts 19:11-16). For this reason, they did not have the authority to demand the demons to leave the one whom they had possessed, but took it upon themselves to do so. The result was disastrous. Jesus, Paul, the other apostles and some upon whom the apostles had laid their hands, however, had such authority and were always successful.

The New Testament authorizes in three ways—direct statement [such as a command], approved example, and implication. Jesus used all three methods to establish authority for His teaching and practice. He taught what His Father commanded Him to teach (John 12:48-50), He did what He saw His Father do (John 5:17-19), and He taught what was implied in God’s word (Matthew 22:23-34). [This writer knows of no fourth method ever used by Jesus to establish authority for either His teaching or His practice, but will accept any method that either is self-evident or can be established by one of the these three.]

By their very nature, commands [and other direct statements] MUST BE authoritative (Matthew 8:5-13)! Since Jesus has all authority (Matthew 28:18), His commands MUST BE authoritative. Since those who receive/reject His apostles receive/reject Him (Matthew 10:40), the apostles’ commands MUST ALSO BE authoritative. Since the New Testament prophets had “the mystery of Christ” revealed unto them (Ephesians 3:1-5), their commands MUST BE authoritative, as well. The commands of Moses and the Old Testament prophets are no longer authoritative (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:1-8; Luke 9:28-36; Hebrews 1:1-3).

We are commanded by the apostles to recognize approved examples as authoritative (1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 4:9). Of course, Jesus is the ultimate example (1 Peter 2:21), and He left us an example of using implication to establish authority (Matthew 22:23-34).

{By way of clarification, a writer or a speaker implies and a listener or reader infers. Hence, implication is sometimes called “necessary inference” (which means “inescapable [logically unavoidable] conclusion”). But a thing cannot be necessarily inferred unless it is implied. For example, we are specifically told that Nicodemus “came to Jesus by night” (John 3:2), but the reason he “came to Jesus by night” is neither directly stated nor implied. Hence, one reason or another might be inferred, but no reason can be “necessarily inferred,” for he may have had any number of reasons for doing so “by night.”]

When questioned by the Sadducees [who believed in neither spirits nor angels—Acts 23:8] about the resurrection, Jesus quoted from the Pentateuch [the only part of the Old Testament they accepted] to defend His teaching. His defense ran thus: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had been dead for hundreds of years, when God first appeared to Moses, but God identified Himself to Moses saying, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” In saying this, God implied [and we can necessarily infer] that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were alive (in some sense) at the time of Moses. To deny this is to implicitly affirm that God is “the God of the dead.” This proved that there is a part of man that survives physical death and can be resurrected. If this is not true, why did Jesus bring it up? This was such a forceful argument, that it “put the Sadducees to silence” (v. 34).

If the example of the Lord Jesus is not enough, the apostles also used implication to establish the fact that Gentiles do not have to submit to physical circumcision to be saved (Acts 15:1-31). Peter necessarily inferred [from his experience with the household of Cornelius, recorded in Acts 10 & 11] that binding circumcision on the Gentiles would be tempting God and putting a yoke on the neck of those disciples (vv. 7-11). Barnabas and Paul necessarily inferred [from their first missionary journey] that Gentile converts do not need physical circumcision. They never demanded it, yet God endorsed their preaching with “miracles and wonders” (v. 12). James stated that Peter’s inference was in agreement with the prophets. He then quoted from Amos 9:11,12, and concluded that to bind circumcision would be to “trouble…them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God” (vv. 13-18). “The apostles and elders, with the whole church” implied in their letter that physical circumcision was not essential to salvation, by stating that those who were binding circumcision were “subverting…souls” in so doing (vv. 22-24). Finally, the disciples at Antioch used necessary inference when they read the letter and “rejoice for the consolation” (vv. 30,31).

We have shown three methods of establishing religious authority. (1) It is self-evident that commands and other direct statements [of one who is in authority] are authoritative, (2) we are commanded to follow the approved examples of the apostles and others and (3) we have approved examples of Jesus and the apostles using implication, or necessary inference. Is there a command, approved example, or necessary inference that shows a fourth method may be used? If so, what is that fourth method? We have also shown that Jesus used these same three methods. Did either He or His apostles use a fourth method? If so, what was it?

— Via articles of the Forest Hills church of Christ, Macon, Georgia
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News & Notes

Shirley Davis is now having three different kinds of in-home therapy treatments every week, as she recovers from her recent stroke.

Myrna Jordan continues to slowly get better from her shingles.  She mentioned yesterday that she had made a “slight improvement” that  week.

Olivia McCarthy had a dental procedure Friday that required being put to sleep for 3 hours.  All went well.

Bud Montero has not yet found out the reason for the dizziness and spinning he has been experiencing from time to time.

Also for prayer: the family and friends of Mary Vandevander, Melotine Davis, A.J. & Pat Joyner, the Medlocks, Jan Bartlett, Joyce Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Rick Cuthbertson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Brandon Mullis.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services:9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (November 10, 2019)

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
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Contents:

1) Christ’s Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem (David Padfield)
2) News & Notes)
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Cheering Crowd

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Christ’s Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem
David Padfield

On the Sunday before His death on the cross, Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem. Great multitudes of people took palm branches and went out to meet Him, while crying out “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The king of Israel!” (John 12:12-13). In order to fully understand this passage, we must realize how excited the crowd was. They had come to Jerusalem for the Passover, and along the way had heard about Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.

National feelings were always high during Jewish feast days. On this occasion the crowds were like dry kindling, ready to blaze up, and Lazarus was a match. The Jewish rulers had already decided to kill Lazarus “because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus” (John 12:11).

“At such a time Jerusalem and the villages round about were crowded. On one occasion a census was taken of the lambs slain at the Passover Feast. The number was given as 256,000. There had to be a minimum of ten people per lamb; and if that estimate is correct it means that there must have been as many as 2,700,000 people at that Passover Feast” (William Barclay, Commentary on John, p. 115).

Try to picture in your mind the Jews streaming into Bethany to gaze at a risen man and the Messiah they had longed for (John 12:9).

As the jubilant crowds welcomed Christ into the city, they waved palm branches—a symbol of victory and rejoicing. The crowds also shouted, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of Jehovah,” a chant taken from Psalm 118:26. In that Psalm the phrase, “he that cometh in the name of Jehovah” meant the worshipper drawing near the temple. The added words, “King of Israel,” diverted the expression to Jesus. “Hosanna” is from a Hebrew word which means “save we pray.”

William Barclay said of this Psalm: “Further, this was characteristically the conqueror’s psalm. To take but one instance, these very verses were sung and shouted by the Jerusalem crowd when they welcomed back Simon Maccabaeus after he had conquered Acra and wrested it from Syrian dominion more than a hundred years before. There is no doubt that when the people sang this psalm they were looking on Jesus as God’s Anointed One, the Messiah, the Deliverer, the One who was to come. And there is no doubt that they were looking on him as the Conqueror. To them it must have been only a matter of time until the trumpets rang out and call to arms sounded and the Jewish nation swept to its long delayed victory over Rome and the world. Jesus approached Jerusalem with the shout of the mob hailing a conqueror in his ears—and it must have hurt him, for they were looking in him for that very thing which he refused to be” (Commentary on John, p. 117).

Earlier in His ministry Jesus had pulled back from the crowds and on one occasion “when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to a mountain by Himself alone” (John 6:15). He had sought every possible way to avoid publicity (John 5:13; Mark 3:1-12; Mark 5:35-43; Mark 9:2-9). Now, Jesus deliberately sets Himself to intensify the excitement of the crowd.

Jesus chose to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, which was a fulfillment of Messianic prophecy. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zech. 9:9).

The scene presents an interesting contrast between Jesus and the Zealots. The Zealots were ready for a hand to hand fight with Rome, while Jesus chose a slow paced donkey to bear Him into the city.

“With us the ass is lowly and despised; but in the East it was a noble animal. Jair, the Judge, had thirty sons who rode on asses’ colts (Judges 10:4). Ahithophel rode upon an ass (2 Samuel 17:23). Mephibosheth, the royal prince, the son of Saul, came to David riding upon an ass (2 Samuel 19:26). The point is that a king came riding upon a horse when he was bent on war; he came riding upon an ass when he was coming in peace. This action of Jesus is a sign that he was not the warrior figure men dreamed of, but the Prince of Peace. No one saw it that way at that time, not even the disciples, who should have known so much better. The minds of all were filled with a kind of mob hysteria. Here was the one who was to come. But they looked for the Messiah of their own dreams and their own wishful thinking; they did not look for the Messiah whom God had sent. Jesus drew a dramatic picture of what he claimed to be, but none understood the claim” (William Barclay, Commentary on John, p. 118).

To help us further appreciate our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, let us notice how a victorious Roman general would receive an official “triumph” parade upon his return to Rome. “Only those were eligible for it who had won a campaign in which 5000 of the enemy had been slain; the unfortunate commander who had won with less slaughter received merely an ovation—for him no ox was sacrificed, but only a sheep (ovis). The procession formed outside the city, at whose borders the general and his troops were required to lay down their arms; thence it entered through a triumphal arch that set a fashion for a thousand monuments. Trumpeters led the march; after them came towers or floats representing the captured cities, and pictures showing the exploits of the victors; then wagons rumbled by, heavy with gold, silver, works of art, and other spoils. Marcellus’ triumph was memorable for the stolen statuary of Syracuse (212); Scipio Africanus in 207 displayed 14,000 and, in 202, 123,000 pounds of silver taken from Spain and Carthage. Seventy white oxen followed, walking philosophically to their death; then the captured chiefs of the enemy; then lictors, harpers, pipers, and incense-bearers; then, in a flamboyant chariot, the general himself, wearing a purple toga and a crown of gold, and bearing an ivory scepter and a laurel branch as emblems of victory and the insignia of Jove. In the chariot with him might be his children; beside it rode his relatives; behind them his secretaries and aides. Last came the soldiers, some carrying the prizes awarded them, every one wearing a crown; some praising their leaders, others deriding them; for it was an inviolable tradition that on these brief occasions the speech of the army should be free and unpunished, to remind the proud victors of their fallible mortality. The general mounted the Capitol to the Temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, laid his loot at the feet of the gods, presented an animal in sacrifice, and usually ordered the captive chieftains to be slain as an additional thank-offering. It was a ceremony well designed to stir military ambition and reward military effort; for man’s vanity yields only to hunger and love” (Will Durant, Caesar And Christ, pp. 82-83).

Brother J. W. McGarvey observed: “It has been the custom of all lands to bestrew in some manner the pathway of those who are thought worthy of the highest honor. When Lafayette visited our fathers after the Revolution the roads over which he approached our cities were strewn with flowers. Thus over flowers Alexander entered Babylon, and Xerxes crossed the bridge of Hellespont over a myrtle-strewn pathway. Monier tells of a Persian ruler who in modern times made his honored progress over a road covered for three miles with roses. But it is more natural to contrast the entry of Jesus with the Roman triumphs so popular in that day. The wealth of conquered kingdoms was expended to insure their magnificence. We find none of that tinsel and specious glitter in the triumph of Christ. No hired multitudes applaud him; no gold-braided banners wave in his honor. There is nothing here but the lusty, honest shout of the common people, and the swaying of the God-made banners of the royal palms. The rich in purse, the learned in schoolcraft and the high in office were, as usual, not there” (The Fourfold Gospel, pp. 576-577).

The entry of Christ into the city of Jerusalem was not only a literal fulfillment of prophecy, but it was a demonstration of the nature of His kingdom (John 18:36). The Prince of Peace entered the city of David while riding upon a donkey, not upon a horse as if ready for war.

A few days after His entry into Jerusalem, the tide of public opinion would turn against Christ. Our Savior knew this would happen, for on the day of His entry into Jerusalem He said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself” (John 12:32). John tells us that Jesus said these words “signifying by what death He would die” (John 12:33).

Some of the same people who had cut down palm branches to welcome the Son of God into their city would soon stand in front of Pilate’s judgment hall and cry out for the death of the Lamb of God.

The apostle John records the scene as Pilate presents the innocent Jesus to a stirred-up Jewish mob. “Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, ‘Behold your King!’ But they cried out, ‘Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar!’ So he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away” (John 19:14-16).

— Via Articles from the church of Christ in Zion, Illinois
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Shirley Davis has been feeling okay from her recent stroke, but tired.  She returned  home Friday from rehab and will be continuing therapy treatments with in-home therapists.

Melotine Davis had her surgery last week, and all went well.  She is now healing from that.

Myrna Jordan has been having a painful time with shingles, but has gradually been getting better.

Bud Montero will be seeing his other doctor this week and, hopefully, find out what has been causing his dizzy spells and spinning.

As mentioned last week, Rick Cuthbertson’s cancer has diminished by 30%, so far, due to the new cancer treatments!

Also for prayer: the family and friends of Mary Vandevander, A.J. & Pat Joyner, the Medlocks, Jan Bartlett, Joyce Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Barbara Thompson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Brandon Mullis.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (November 3, 2019)

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20, NASB).
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Contents:

1) Psalm 119 (Wayne Goff)
2) The Impact of Our Choices (Dennis Stackhouse)
3) Wash Your Face (Leslie Diestelkamp)
4) News & Notes
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psa119_1-2

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Psalm 119
Wayne Goff

This psalm may be largely overlooked because of its 176 verses! It is, in fact, the longest chapter in the Bible. But for those who take the time to read it, there is great value.

Magnifying God’s Word

As most might realize, the overriding theme of the chapter is the beauty, power and magnitude of God’s Word and the great reward that comes from obeying it. “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart” (v. 2). The “blessings” that come from obeying God’s Word include a good way of life (vv. 3, 30, 45, 59-60, 101, 105), an upright heart (v. 6), cleansing (v. 8), Divine direction (vv. 7-11, 24, 133), valuable meditations (vv. 14, 23, 27, 48, 97, 148), wisdom (vv. 18, 46, 98-100), understanding (vv. 27, 66, 73, 169), comfort (vv. 28, 40, 50, 76, 111), great peace (v. 165), faithfulness (vv. 32-35, 44, 112), avoiding vain thoughts and ways (vv. 36, 104), and not the least — salvation (vv. 41, 81, 94, 123, 146, 166, 174). He even goes so far as to magnify his own affliction which was overcome by keeping God’s Word (vv. 67, 71, 75, 107, 153)! The Psalmist is well aware of the frailty and uncertainty of life (vv. 84, 92-93, 141, 143-144).

In contrast, the Psalmist repeatedly points out the condemnation and sad plight of the disobedient (vv. 21, 23, 60, 69, 78, 85-87, 95, 110, 118-119, 122), as well as his total disgust with their unbelief (vv. 51-53, 70, 115, 126, 134, 136, 150, 155, 157-158, 161)!

God’s Word and all its benefits are more valuable than silver and gold (vv. 72, 127, 162) — it alone can lead to eternal life! “Forever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven” (v. 89). God’s faithfulness is obvious in both the natural world and the spiritual world (v. 90-91). “The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever” (v. 160).

Synonyms for God’s Message

Notice the synonyms used for God’s Word in this psalm: law, testimonies, ways, precepts, statutes, commandments, righteous judgments, word, truth, ordinances, and righteous word. The chapter magnifies God’s revelation and enumerates the benefits of obeying it.

Reading it over several times gives one the benefit of focusing on the various aspects or angles of the psalm. It is well worth a little bit of your time, and it gives you something to think about in the quiet moments of life, or in times when sleep evades you.

“Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble” (v. 165).

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (v. 105).

“I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts” (vv. 99–100).

— Via the Roanridge Reader, Volume 34, Issue 43, Page 3
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Choose Life

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The Impact of Our Choices
Dennis Stackhouse

Just prior to his physical death, Joshua tried to encourage the people of Israel with these familiar words: “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). Strong words from one of Israel’s strongest leaders. And in reality, choosing to serve God is the most important choice any human being can ever make because that decision will have an impact not only in this physical life, it will also carry over into eternity. Let’s consider for just a few moments the choice that must be made by all of us.

One point to quickly understand is that our choices are rather limited: God or the devil. In Matthew 12:30 Jesus said this: “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” Many people fail to realize that if they have not made a choice to follow and serve Christ, they are serving the devil. To not make the choice to follow Christ is in reality making the choice to follow the devil. In fact, such people are doing damage to God’s kingdom. Notice our Lord said that the one who does not follow Him “scatters.” From this we must also understand that there is no third choice. There are those who would like to “ride the fence” and walk in some kind of imaginary middle ground. Unfortunately, there is no middle ground; we are following Christ or we are following Satan.

We should also realize that our choice to follow Christ is one that must be actively pursued. Jesus Himself asked a haunting question in Luke 6:46: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” The obvious course of action for someone who has confessed Jesus as their Lord is to obey and follow and serve Him through the remainder of their life. However, if one confesses Christ as his or her Lord and then fails to obey Him, they are simply wasting their breath. This is reinforced in the words of Luke 9:62, where Jesus said: “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” The Christian life is one that requires a constant, unwavering dedication to God and Christ. The apostle Paul put it this way: “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

The impact of his choice to become a Christian caused Paul to press toward the goal of heaven, something that every child of God should be doing. The grand words of I Corinthians 15:58 need to be words the Christian lives out: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” God will not forget the work that is done in His service (Hebrews 6:10). In the same way, we must never forget the impact our choices have on the kind of life we live. As Christians, we must be steadfast.

— Via articles from the La Vista church of Christ
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John3_20

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Wash Your Face
Leslie Diestelkamp

When you see a dirty face in the mirror, you wash your face, not the mirror. Likewise when we see error in our lives, portrayed by truth revealed in the Bible, let us simply clean up our lives and quit criticizing the Bible.

What do you think of a man who breaks a mirror because he doesn’t like what he sees? Then what do you think of one who criticizes the truth that simply reveals the inner man that we can’t see with the physical eye?

— Via The Beacon, October 20, 2019
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Psalm 51:1-2

“Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin”
(NASB).
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News & Notes

As of last night, Myrna Jordan is still having much discomfort from shingles.  But, as she says, she is “Getting better every day, slowly, but surely.”

For the last several weeks, Bud Montero has been experiencing dizziness during parts of each day and sometimes spinning. He will be seeing his doctor tomorrow.

Rick Cuthbertson’s cancer has diminished by 30%, so far, due to the new cancer treatments!

Also for prayer: the family and friends of Mary Vandevander, A.J. & Pat Joyner, the Medlocks, Jan Bartlett, Joyce Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Barbara Thompson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Brandon Mullis.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services:9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)