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2 Peter 1:12

Dear Readers,

August 2008

“Unto the church of the Thessalonians [or wherever you are] in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace” (1 Thessalonians 1:1). I pray that this finds you doing well. My family and I are about to leave on a trip across the country, visiting churches, and holding meetings. (See page 6 for details.) Please keep us, and all of those we will meet, in your prayers, as we pray for you. 

Camp Meeting Reminder: God’s Word, God’s Way is hosting a camp meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, September 24-28. For directions and details, please contact Cheryl Bonner at 216-225-9400 or Willis Smith at 216-334-4414. Please do all within your power to attend this camp meeting. I hope to see you there. 

In this Issue

The Need for Truth

by Lynnford Beachy

Something for the Young at Heart

Jones on Righteousness (Part 2)

by Alonzo T. Jones

Keeping God's Commandments (Part 3)

by Joseph Lahud

Upcoming Meetings


The Need for Truth 

by Lynnford Beachy 

The wisest man that every lived said, “Buy the truth, and sell it not” (Proverbs 23:23). Soloman was stressing the importance of acquiring the truth. It is so important we should all be willing to give all we have and all we are for it. But what is truth? When Christ was before Pilate, a Roman governor, accused of treason and awaiting the death sentence, Pilate asked Jesus a very important question. “Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?” (John 18:38). Though Pilate did not wait for the answer, each of us must seek for the answer to this vital question, for our salvation is dependent upon our knowledge of, and connection with, the truth. 

Paul wrote that God “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Just as knowing the truth is salvational, not knowing the truth is deadly. Paul wrote that people will perish, “Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-13). 

Not only must we know and believe the truth, but we must have a love for it. Some people get confused by the passage above and think that God purposely tricks people into believing a lie so that they will be lost. But before these wicked people are given over to believe a lie, they have been repeatedly exposed to the truth, but rejected it. God has done, and is doing, everything He can for the salvation of every soul. God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God said, “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die” (Ezekiel 33:11). 

Study the Truth 

If we love the truth, we will want to study it. God says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The truth is not always on the surface, but must be sought for. There is a right way and a wrong way to divide (or dissect—Strong’s Greek Dictionary) the word of truth. Unfortunately, most people who study the Bible think that they have divided the word correctly, yet many are mistaken. One of the primary reasons for this is that they have left out a vital element in their study. Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (John 5:39, 40). 

A person can study the Bible for an entire lifetime and still fail to get the main point, which is finding Christ. The Jewish leaders of Christ’s day were very devout Bible students, yet most failed to come to Christ to find life, instead when they were confronted with the main theme of the Bible, Christ Himself, they rejected Him and nailed Him to the cross. 

Could it be that today we are in danger of doing the same thing-of not recognizing the truth when we are confronted with it? Perhaps we know the Bible very well, and convince others of its truths, but have not yet found the Truth. Paul spoke of those who are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). 

I used to think, when I looked at the multitudes of people attending Sunday churches, “How much better they would be if they only knew what I know (about the Sabbath, the trinity, etc.)” I tended to believe that knowing the truth consisted in knowing correct doctrines, and I had more confidence in knowing truth intellectually than knowing the Truth personally. Knowing the Truth will lead you to knowing true doctrines, but the most important thing is to know the One who is Truth, so that He can lead you into all truth. “The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” (1 John 2:27). 

Freedom in Knowing the Truth 

The knowledge of the truth is more than just having it in our memory. Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Knowing the truth brings freedom. If you do not have freedom, then you do not know the truth, regardless of how thoroughly you assent to true doctrines. So what does the truth make us free from? 

Some of you are physically in a prison or jail, and you may be thinking, “Great, I want to be free. I have been waiting for this. I surely hope knowing the truth will get me out soon.” Yet, the freedom that Jesus was talking about was much more thorough than just being released from a prison cell. Paul was free in prison, Daniel was free in a lion’s den, the three Hebrews were free in a fiery furnace. With the freedom that Christ offers you can be free wherever you are. 

Paul told us what this freedom is really about. He wrote, “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:18). The freedom that Christ said would result from knowing the truth is freedom from sin. If you know the truth you will be free from sin. If you are not free from sin, you do not know the truth. “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4). 

Yet, it is possible to know the mechanics of the truth, to know that certain things are true, but fail to be free from sin. Therefore, knowing the truth must involve something other than just knowing about the truth. 

What is Truth 

David exclaimed, “Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth” (Psalms 119:151). He also said, “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth” (Psalms 119:142). So God’s law and His commandments are truth, and must play some role in making us free. Jesus said to His Father, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). God’s word is truth, and is able to sanctify us, which is to set us free from sin. Paul said that God’s word “effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). There is power in God’s word to transform us. In fact, we are “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23). 

Not only are we born again by God’s word, our entire Christian life is shaped by His word. Peter wrote, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:2-4). Trusting in God’s word to do what that word says is the key to escaping all the corruption that is in the world. The word of God is truth, and can be relied upon. 

Paul wrote something about truth that we must all take to heart. He said, “the truth is in Jesus” (Ephesians 4:21). So if we want to have the truth, we must have Jesus, for that is where the truth is to be found. The truth makes us free, and Paul wrote, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1). Christ is truly the one who makes us free. In fact, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). 

So, rather than asking what is truth, it might be better to ask, “Who is truth?” Jesus is the truth, and He is the only one who can give us life, who can make us free from sin, and sanctify us. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). 

Christ and the Law 

We saw earlier that the Ten Commandment Law is truth. Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matthew 5:17). Jesus came to fulfil God’s holy Law. It was said of Him, “He will magnify the law, and make it honourable” (Isaiah 42:21). Christ lived out God’s Holy Law, demonstrating its high principles in everything He did. The most significant notable characteristic of the law and of Christ’s life is love. Jesus summed up the entire law and the prophets by saying we must love God, and love our fellow man. This, Christ did at every moment. 

Paul wrote, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Romans 10:4). Christ is the end of the law, or the point aimed at by the law. It does not mean that the law has been abolished, as claimed by some who try to find an excuse for not keeping the Sabbath. If you have Christ, you have what the law describes. The law is a description of the character of God, of which Christ is the perfect reflection. This is the new covenant, where God promises to write His law in our hearts. This is accomplished by giving us the Spirit of His Son who loves righteousness and hates iniquity. If you have Christ, you have the law-you have the one who is the fulness of God’s love. “Now the end of the commandment is charity [love] out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:5). The only way we can keep the law, and truly love, is if we have Christ in our hearts. “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5). 

Friends, if you recognize that you have known about the truth, but do not know the Truth, as a personal relationship with Christ that brings freedom from sin, please accept His invitation to come to Him and find rest (Matthew 11:28). Ask Him into your life, and He will come in and fellowship with you (Revelation 3:20), and your life will be changed. Don’t let another day pass before you have the Truth dwelling in you (2 John 1:2). 

Jones on Righteousness (Part 2) 

by Alonzo T. Jones 

The subject is how to obtain that righteousness of which we read yesterday [printed in last month’s issue of Present Truth], the righteousness of God which only will avail. 

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:24). 

Justified means accounted righteous. How? Freely. By what means? Grace. What is grace? Favor. Let us ever believe this text, holding fast to it forever. In regard to grace we read: 

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Romans 11:6). 

This means we are justified freely by his grace without works otherwise it is not grace. Another reference: 

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9). 

“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Ephesians 2:5). 

Now turn to Romans 4:4: 

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt” (Romans 4:4). 

Compare this with: 

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Romans 11:6). 

You see then why if it be our works it is no more of grace. If we have to work to obtain grace, then we bring the Lord in debt to us, and if he does not pay he does us injustice. To pay is not a favor, it is paying a debt. We are accounted righteous freely by his grace and that not of works. I read now: 

“What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God” (Romans 4:1, 2). 

Abraham was the father of all them that believe-the spiritual father. Can we expect to receive more than he did? If he was justified by works, he gloried in himself. Now put Romans 4:2 with 1 Corinthians 1:27-31: 

“For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God” (Romans 4:2). 

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:27-31). 

The Lord has arranged it that all should glorify him and not themselves because to glorify a sinner, a rebel, would not be proper for a government, allowing them to come back in harmony with it glorifying themselves. All the woes in the world came through Satan attempting to glorify himself. He said, “I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14). To allow a sinner then to glorify himself would force pardon being extended to Satan, also. Now, Christ is made unto us righteousness and sanctification, and we glory in Christ and not ourselves. If we believe on him our faith is counted to us for righteousness. But can the Lord justify the ungodly? Yes, Christ came to justify sinners, so read carefully this verse: 

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5). 

The first thing then to learn is that we are ungodly and confess it, and God will count us righteous. The Lord cannot justify and save any who cannot see their true condition. “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10). 

The Saviour said, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:13). Then none but sinners will be saved. Now read: 

“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all” (Romans 4:16). 

“Therefore it is of faith.” Why? That it might be by grace, “to the end that it may be sure.” 

Faith is the easiest and most natural thing in the world. There is nothing wonderful about faith, as some think, and say “I try to believe and if I can’t then how can I.” But we can believe God with the same faculties we believe others. Don’t try to believe-quit it-and believe. We either believe or don’t believe-then why not believe? Believe as a child, don’t reason it out. Faith goes in advance of reason, knowledge and all else. At school the teacher pointed out a letter and told us “That is A,” and that is all the evidence we have of it. We believed it; now let us receive the kingdom of heaven as we did when a child the words of your teacher. If we reason on faith we can never believe, because to reason faith is unreasonable because the effort of reason always produces doubt. It begins and ends with a “how.” Because faith is the simplest and easiest thing for all, God put his salvation in the surest place, that we might have it and know that he has it. Now read: 

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:6-10). 

Christ died for you because you are ungodly, and he died for the ungodly, and you can be counted righteous right now if you will believe it. Christ’s death reconciled the world unto God but it never saved any or ever can. His death met the penalty of the law, but we are saved by Christ’s life. Read: 

“Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25). 

By his death then we have reconciliation, by his life justification, and by the second coming we have salvation-all these being necessary to complete the plan of salvation. The law of God shows a man to be ungodly-and as by the law is the knowledge of sin which is ungodliness (we will call it now sin). So turn to Proverbs 28:13: 

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). 

Mercy is treating one better than he deserves. Remember, believe this fully; our habit has been to confess our sins and then doubt the forgiveness and carry them all away with us, obtaining no peace because we doubted. “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). 

He shows the laws to save us from them, the knowledge of them being a token of his love, that there is Jesus to take them all from us. He calls us to obtain salvation. So do not take the knowledge of your sins as a token of his wrath. Whoever confesses his sins shall be saved. 

“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered” (Romans 4:6-7). 

Now read: 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). 

“All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death” (1 John 5:17). 

“If we confess our sins he will forgive and cleanse us from all our sins.” Believe this fully and go free. How many go to the soul confessing and never believe they are forgiven? To believe part of the word and not all is infidelity. Man shall live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). 

To confess a sin and not believe in its forgiveness is infidelity. Don’t wait for feeling-that has nothing to do with faith. How can anyone know how he ought to feel when sins are forgiven? If you trust to feeling you are like a wave of the sea tossed by the winds to and fro. Often revivalists tell mourners how he felt when he was forgiven, and they try to feel as he did and fail, as no two can ever feel just alike and so no one can tell if converted. Faith does not rest on evidence. If it rests on the reasonableness of a thing, it rests on reason and not faith. If it rests on the confidence we have in the person, and that person contradicts himself, then where is faith? If one says, I will do some great thing, and I believe him; if he comes again and says something that uproots all he previously said, what am I to do? Now let me prove this: Abraham was justified by faith and it was counted to him for righteousness. Read the account of it: 

“And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:5, 6). 

Sometime after that Isaac was born and growing up Abraham was told to offer him up, directly against the promise. Where did his faith come in? By believing the promise independent of appearances. That was faith furnishing its own evidence. Abraham believed it until all came right because God had promised it would. Now turn to Romans 4:16-22: 

“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness” (Romans 4:16-22). 

Abraham, against hope, believed in hope, his faith furnishing the hope, confidence and evidence. Never let our feelings, then, have any control over our faith. Feelings belong to Satan. Relegate them to him. “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). Brethren, let us live that way. When we believe, it puts Christ in place of the sin and when Satan comes to attack us he finds only Christ, and then we have the victory over Satan, not delivering us from temptation, but giving us power to conquer temptation, and gaining the victory so that particular temptation never comes again. We are conquerors there forever. If you want feeling about this, praise the Lord because he ever pardons your sin and because you believe his promise, and there will be feeling enough within you to be satisfactory. Look for God, and he will put a song in your mouth. 

Now, do you believe my opening text, that we are justified freely. Often we sin and feel so ashamed and bad over it we wait a few days to get a little better before we go to the Lord for forgiveness. We try to make ourselves good first. There is a tendency in every soul to this. That is justification by works the same as fasting or punishing oneself first. This is the root of monkery and all the penances in the Catholic church. Then, if we do not want to be papists, let us quit. We have done no better, but the sin has lost the horror before us, and we are better in our own eyes, and then confess only our surface sin, so the Holy Spirit shows us again the sin that was covered up. Now the only way to get rid of it is to confess it at once, because the Lord shows us a sin just as it is, and right then, so that he can forgive it fully and completely. When we try to catch up our sin by doing better, we are putting on more and more of the filthy rags spoken of by Isaiah, which is our own righteousness (Isaiah 64:6). Let us read Revelation 3:11-18: 

“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” (Revelation 3:11-18). 

Let us trust the Lord and believe his promises. 

(This article was taken from a sermon preached by Alonzo T. Jones on May 12, 1889. Some editing was done for this publication.    Editor

Upcoming Meetings in Your Area 

Here is the currently-planned 2008 itinerary for Lynnford Beachy: 

Aug. 1, 2    Red Lodge, Montana, contact George Kerr, 406-446-1414. 

Aug. 16    Bagley, Minnesota, contact Joseph Lahud, 218-945-3733. 

Sep. 6    Chicago, Illinois, contact Ramon Irizarry, 630-759-2373. 

Sep. 13    Newark, Ohio, contact Steve Sutton, 740-763-0155. 

Sep. 20    Welch, West Virginia, contact Allen Stump, 304-732-9204. 

Sep. 24-28    Ohio Camp Meeting, contact Willis Smith, 216-334-4414. 

Oct. 10, 11    Kansas City, Kansas, contact Tim Kritzell, 913-839-1727. 

Between these meetings we will be available to visit people in their homes and to have additional meetings. If you would like to host meetings in your area, please contact Lynnford Beachy at (304) 633-5411. 

Many of these meetings will be broadcast live by telephone conference. Often we will be broadcasting at seven o’clock Friday evening, eleven o’clock Sabbath morning, and Sabbath afternoon and evening at three and seven o’clock. (These are local times for wherever I am scheduled to speak. Some meetings will not be broadcast depending upon unavoidable circumstances.) To listen to these sermons in the US call: 605-475-8590, You will be prompted to dial the room number: 5225823. In Austria call: 0820 4000 1574, Belgium: 070 35 9989, Spain: 0902 886 051, Switzerland: 0848 560 195, Ireland: 0818 270 034, Italy: 0848 390 175, France: 0826 100 277, Germany: 01805 00 7649, Australia: 61 283 078 824, UK: 0870 738 0763, Netherlands: 0870 001 932. These sermons will also be broadcast over the Internet via Skype.com. You can dial directly using Skype at: +990008275225823. (When you use Skype, it is a free call from anywhere in the world.) 

Something for the Young at Heart 

This month we are continuing a series of crossword Bible studies that are based on a Bible Lesson printed by Richard Stratton of Philadelphia Press Ministries, PO Box 218, Florence, Colorado 81226. In order to maintain the flow of the study, this crossword puzzle is not split into Across and Down sections—Across or Down is indicated at the end of each line. 

The Sin of Lying

  • “Thou shalt not bear ____ witness against thy neighbour.” Exodus 20:16—17 Down 
  • Abraham said to his wife, “Say, I pray thee, thou art my ____.” Genesis 12:13—5 Across 

Note:    When Abraham went to Egypt he was afraid that Sarah’s beauty would put his own life in danger, so to protect himself he asked her to tell a lie that was only half true. (Read Genesis 12:11-20.) 

  • Pharoah said to Abraham, “Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy ____?” Genesis 12:18—19 Down 
  • Again, Abraham lied about Sarah and another king ____ Sarah. Genesis 20:2—12 Down 
  • After finding out the truth, the king said to Abraham, “Thou hast done ____ unto me that ought not to be done.” Genesis 20:9—2 Across 
  • Abraham explained, “Indeed she is my sister; she is the ____ of my father...” Genesis 20:12—3 Down 
  • “...but not the daughter of my ____; and she became my wife.” Genesis 20:12—14 Down 

Note:    Abraham’s testimony about his wife was a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts, even though it was half-true. It is evident that all involved knew that what Abraham asked Sarah to do was wrong. This shows that lying was just as much a crime before the Ten Commandments were given on mount Sinai as after. 

  • “Lying lips are ____ to the LORD.” Proverbs 12:22—10 Across 
  • “A false witness shall not be ____.” Proverbs 19:5—21 Across 
  • “A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a ____ for his feet.” Proverbs 29:5—9 Across 

Note:    Flattery is excessive praise, often insincerely, in order to win favor. There is a time for praise, but excessive and insincere praise is a lie. 

  • “He that ____ a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.” Proverbs 28:23—11 Across 
  • “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a ____, is a fool.” Proverbs 10:18—18 Across 
  • “Whoso privily ____ his neighbour, him will I cut off.” Psalm 101:5— 1 Down 

Note:    Slandering is spreading false reports about a person in order to damage their reputation. It is often done by those running for president to defame the characters of their opponents. This is called a “smear campaign” and is one of the primary tactics of Satan to discredit God’s love. It will not be used by those who truly follow God. It has been said that “character is what you are; and reputation, what others think you are.” Therefore false witnessing can only harm one’s reputation. It cannot injure the character. Others may injure the reputation, but the character can be marred only by the person himself. False testimony may injure one’s standing with his neighbors, but it cannot alter his standing with God, who will eventually vindicate the good names of His own. 

  • Jesus said, “Thou shalt not bear false ____.” Matthew 19:18— 20 Across 
  • “Thou shalt not go up and down as a ____ among thy people” Leviticus 19:16—22 Across 

Note:    Those who like to gossip are a terrible curse to neighborhoods and churches. Most of the problems in churches arise from this source. Before repeating a bit of news to another go to the source to find out if it is true. Much of the gossip that is spread is based on a misunderstanding of facts, and to repeat it is telling a lie. I heard a story of a pastor’s maid being sick, so the pastor’s wife put on her apron, and hung out the laundry. During this time the pastor came home and found his wife hanging the laundry and came over to give her a hug and a kiss. The neighbor saw this, and immediately began spreading the rumor that the pastor had been messing around with his maid, causing a huge scandal in the church, all based on a misunderstanding that could have been avoided by going to the source before spreading the false report, just as Jesus directed in Matthew 18. 

  • “The words of a talebearer are as ____.” Proverbs 26:22—8 Down 
  • “He that repeateth a matter ____ very friends.” Proverbs 17:9—4 Down 
  • “Where there is no talebearer, the ____ ceaseth.” Proverbs 26:20— 5 Down 
  • “By thy words thou shalt be ____.” Matthew 12:37—13 Across 
  • “Out of the abundance of the ____ the mouth speaketh.” Matthew 12:34—16 Across 
  • “If any man offend not in word, the same is a ____ man.” James 3:2— 15 Down 
  • “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from ____.” Proverbs 21:23—6 Down 
  • “Love is the fulfilling of the ____.” Romans 13:10—7 Down 

Note:    True love will for our fellow man will eliminate all lying, slander, and talebearing from our lips, as well as anything that would knowingly harm our neighbor. “All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Galatians 5:14). 

Answers to Last Month's Crossword

The Importance of Understanding and Keeping God’s Commandments 

According to the Scriptures (Part 3) 

by Joseph E. Lahud 

Can Man Change God’s Laws? 

The Roman Catholic church has thought to have changed God’s Ten Commandments by removing the words in the fourth Commandment and deleting the instruction regarding the “seventh day” so it only reads “The Sabbath.” This helps them in their attempt to change from God’s true Sabbath day, the seventh day, to Sunday, the first day. Just open any Catholic Bible and read it for yourself. Also, it thought to change the second, which commands, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:4, 5). This is to accommodate the worship of the dead, images; saints, etc. Also, Since they removed the second, they divided the tenth into two, to make up for the one missing. This is paganism in the church today, under the cloak of Christianity. Most people, out of ignorance or spiritual slumber, accept this as Biblical truth. 

Notice how boldly the Catholic Church admits to their attempt to change the day for Sabbath: 

“Question—Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept? 

“Answer—Had she not such power, she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change which there is no Scriptural authority?” (Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism, 3rd ed., p. 174). 

Jesus “came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read” (Luke 4:16). Jesus kept the seventh-day Sabbath. Jesus said, “The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). 

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Can we confess that we worship Him in “truth” while “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”? (Mark 7:7). Sunday is a man made institution, there is no scriptural counsel for its observance. 

Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments… He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:15, 21). Isn’t this enough to drop Sunday and follow Christ? 

Jesus admonished, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10). 

“And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:32). 

“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1 John 3:22). 

Is ‘Grace’ the Ticket to Continue in Sin? 

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). We are not under the ceremonial law, we are now under the blood of Christ. Therefore our sins are forgiven, not by the blood of an animal offering but by the blood of Christ. This is the grace of God, that while we were yet sinners, Christ came to redeem us from our sins. To make atonement. To reconcile us back to God. To give us life eternal. So, now that we are redeemed, does that make us “free” to trespass God’s Commandments? Sound absurd? It is! Think about it. 

The only way a law can have dominion over you is if you break it. lf you obey the speed sign, the lawman can’t give you a ticket for breaking the speed limit. We cannot keep the Law of God on our own. But, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). 

Considering Paul’s Writings 

Paul instructed the Galatians that they should not consider the law in the same way as the Jews had done for years. They were so critical and strict about the Law yet they disregarded the principles the Law was intended to promote. Specifically, circumcision had become all-important, while love for others was neglected. Christ, the Messiah, had come! There had been a change in the ceremonial services, and sacrificial laws. This is what Paul was preaching! 

Paul was a deep thinker. We need to carefully consider his words when we read his writings so that we understand his message, for it can be easily misunderstood. In times past, you did not have to explain which law was meant when referring to the law. It was easy for others to know which law was meant when you spoke. Today we can say; “I bought it online.” We know what this means, but several decades ago this would not make sense, it would be confusing language. 

Peter’s counsel in regards to Paul’s writings is: “in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). 

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet” (Romans 7:7). Notice he is speaking of the Ten Commandments. He continued, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12). 

“Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God” (1 Corinthians 7:19). 

To those who would misuse the book of Galatians to attempt to prove that the Ten Commandments are abolished, this would be a contradictory passage. 

“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:25). 

Please examine Romans 6:23; 7:20-25; and 8:2-4. These are laws that, through Christ, will be fulfilled in us. Yet, some, in blazing ignorance, will declare that the Law is done away with! These individuals should consider their accountability for misleading others to sin against God’s Commandments, specifically, the day which identifies the Creator. 

“For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works… Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts… There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:4, 7, 9-11). 

When God creates something and He declares it “perfect” how can mere man believe he can improve it or alter it? Would this not be rebellious, or disobedient and contrary to God’s design? 

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Psalms 19:7, 8). 

Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the New Covenant 

“To Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven… Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:24, 25, 28). Abraham was called righteous because of faith and obedience. 

The New Covenant Includes God’s Law 

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them” (Hebrews 10:16). 

Notice Paul is quoting Jeremiah 31:33, 34. God is speaking through His prophet a prophecy or promise that He is going to do something. What is it He is going to do? God is referring back to the Moral Law, the guideline by which the universe operates. He says He is going to put those laws (the Ten Commandments) in our hearts and minds, so we shall be a Holy people unto Him. A covenant is an agreement between two or more parties, declaring the obligations which, when met by the parties involved, constitutes the fulfillment of same. 

“That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day” (Deuteronomy 29:13-15). 

Do you desire to be “established” by God? Are you content today in your life—in your walk with God? 

The Ten Commandments existed before being given to the Hebrews on Sinai. To further introduce evidence that supports the fact that the Moral Law existed before given to the Israelites, please examine, for example, the following Scripture: “Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily” (Exodus 16:4, 5). This took place before the Law was given on Sinai. 

Here is evidence that it was already known that the seventh day, as declared in God’s Moral Law, was in effect. God was saying to them, through Moses, that not only was He going to provide manna from heaven, but that on Friday, they were to gather twice as much, in preparation for the next day (the Sabbath). God wanted them to understand clearly that He did not want them out in the fields working on the seventh day, not even gathering food, for this is His day. It was not to be used for regular work. They were not even to go out and gather firewood. God really wanted them to grasp the importance of honoring Him. His day is to be devoted with reverent honor and love to Him. 

Please notice that they were still in the wilderness at this time. It was not until four chapters later, in chapter 20, that they reached Mt. Sinai, where they were given the Ten Commandments, where they formally agreed to enter into a covenant with God. He would be their God, and they would be His people. This only lasted a few days, for shortly thereafter, while waiting for Moses’ return from the top of the mountain, they rebelled, fabricated a golden calf (in the image of one of the sun idols of Egypt) and worshiped it. People do not wish to hear this truth, however, Sunday keeping has its roots, its very foundation, in sun worship. Paganized Christianity! The Sabbath is a test of our loyalty to God. It was Christ who spoke with Moses face to face at mount Sinai. It was Christ, therefore, who gave the Ten Commandments, along side His Father! These are not suggestions, but Commandments. 

The true covenant for mankind was in effect long before any human being ever walked upon the face of this Earth. It had been discussed and agreed to by our heavenly Father and His only-begotten Son, Christ Jesus. “The counsel of peace shall be between them both” (Zechariah 6:13). (This subject is worthy of further study.) God looked into the future of mankind and saw their fall, that they could, of themselves, never keep any covenant on their own; it wasn’t in their nature. God, in His desire for us to be free moral agents, would allow us the free choice to choose Him or not. To accomplish this He did not make us as “robots” to obey Him. This would not then provide a willing choice for man, it would have made us as mere robots, programed to obey. God wanted us to truly desire allegiance to Him. Would you be content if your child “loved” you only because he or she was trained or programed to “say” to you, “I love you”? Would this not be just shallow and superficial? 

The Controversy—Who Will You Worship? 

The Sabbath issue is the center of controversy between those who will follow the Lord and His Commandments and those who will not. This has been waging since the days of Adam. What will our decision be? What will we choose? By refusing to honor the Commandments of God, the very day He has chosen, blessed, and sanctitied for our benefit, and commanded for us to keep, so that those that are called His people will be set apart from this wicked world which wants nothing to do with Him, you honor not the Lord, but another—an impostor of truth. 

Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Notice it does not say, “The Sabbath was made for the Jews.” 

The Law Cannot Save! 

Salvation is only through faith in Christ Jesus. We keep the Commandments of God because we are saved! God measures the heart, He searches the mind. This is why He declares that for us to keep His “new” covenant, He will help us to do it—He will write it upon our hearts and minds through His Holy Spirit. If this world would obey God’s Moral Law there would be only one true religion. We would love God in unity. We would not worship false gods, there would be no murder, no coveting, no theft. We would honor our parents and love each other as ourselves. The earthly governments would uphold peace amongst the Nations. This world would value human life and it’s condition. We would honor God and His creation; including planet Earth. This was God’s plan. Remember that when God creates something it is perfect. Man fell from grace by Satan’s deception—through disobedience. Satan knows, as he did to Eve, that if he can deceive you into disobedience, you will sin! 

Satan hates God ‘s Laws by which he is condemned. He hates God and His government. Satan hates God’s laws. He hates God’s children. He is the accuser of the brethren. He will tempt mankind with sin (lawlessness), and once His victim is under the curse of sin, he Accuses him before God, claiming him as his own. For this reason the only-begotten Son of God came to die to redeem mankind from his sins. 

“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy” (Romans 7:12). The trespass of such a holy law required a special type of sacrifice for atonement. A million oxen could not deliver a sinner from death. 

It is a terrible and ignorant assumption to teach others to believe that the very reason Christ had to give His life to redeem us, the broken Law, can now be disregarded because “we are under grace.” If it didn’t matter, why would our heavenly Father have to witness the suffering, humiliation, and agony of the crucifixion of His only-begotten Son? He paid a terrible and very great price for our lives! Satan’s clever deceit is that you are not required to obey God’s Laws. “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them” (Deuteronomy 11:16). 

As in the Days of Elijah; An Appeal to Christians Today 

Finally, the reader has to make some choices: 

1) You must decide whether or not you truly desire to follow Christ. 

2) Choosing to follow Christ means obedience to God’s Commandments. You may say, “I am a good person, I love the Lord, I go to church, I don’t steal, or kill, or lie, or commit adultery.” Does this mean you are obedient to His precepts, or yours? What about the day He has called His? Are you in covenant with God? what is required for faith perfected? Action! 

“Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law” (James 2:10, 11). 

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). 

Christ instructs us in the communion service as to how we are to celebrate His death and resurrection, this is the cup of the “new” covenant in His blood (Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.) 

This is contrary to the popular, but unscriptural, “reason” to celebrate Sunday observance, because Christ rose from the dead on Sunday, the first day. Sunday worship is clearly not found in the Scriptures. Instead it is a pagan impostor to true worship. 

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). 

“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes” (Luke 12:47). (Uzzah did not prepare himself as God had commanded him.) 

“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” (1 John 5:2, 3). 

“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9). 

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman [church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). 

“These are they which were not defiled with women [false churches]; for they are virgins [pure]. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault [no sin or lawlessness] before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:4, 5). 

“Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:7). These are the same words used by the Apostles when they prayed after being arrested, as described in the book of Acts. They identified, and honored openly the Creator (Acts 4:23, 24). These are also the same words found in the Fourth Commandment, which begins with “Remember the Sabbath day…” (Exodus 20:8-11). 

(This article was taken from a booklet written by Joseph Lahud. For a copy of the complete booklet, you may contact Joseph directly at: 42012 State Hwy. 32 SW, Fertile, MN 56540, or by calling 218-945-3733.    Editor


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