Old Paths

Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant. Psalm 25:14

Vol. 6, No. 8 Straight and Narrow August 1997


Gospel Order

Many young men have enlisted in the military service thinking to escape from the rules of their father. However, very quickly, they finds out that rules cannot be escaped. Rules, rules, rules, life is full of rules!

Those who have had an opportunity to enter military service know that one thing is learned very quickly: there is a “chain of command” and it is followed with precise detail. The general at the top is head over the major. The major is head over the captain. The captain is head over the sergeant. The sergeant is head over the private, etc.

Every army must have order to be successful. Did you know that God’s army, His church, is to have gospel order? The Apostle Paul clearly defines the basis of gospel order. Writing to the church at Corinth, he states:

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3)

The man is to acknowledge Christ as his Lord and Master; the woman, while recognizing the supremacy of Christ as Lord over all, is required to acknowledge that in domestic life she is placed under the guidance and protection of man. Christ is represented as recognizing God as head. Let us look at this order in more detail.

“The Head of Every Man is Christ”

The Bible clearly explains why man should allow the divine Son of God to be his head. First, the Bible teaches that God created this world, including man, by His Son.

Paul wrote that God, “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” (Hebrews 1:2)

The creature always owes its creator worship and allegiance. So Christ is our head by virtue of His being our Creator.

Second, Jesus is our head because He is our Redeemer! After sin, Satan claimed mankind as his subjects. God would buy back His creation by sending His divine Son to die for man and redeem him from the devil:

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4, 5)

Because of His loving sacrifice for man, God has decreed, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10, 11)

All service and submission in true gospel order is totally voluntary. Christ forces no man to obey Him. He simply says, “Follow me.” Isaiah wrote of Christ: “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11)

“The head of the woman is man”

Before sin perfect love reigned between Adam and Eve. Sin destroyed the perfect order of Eden and confusion dominated. God saw the necessity, for the good of both the man and woman, of having the man lead the woman. God told Eve: “… thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Genesis 3:16) “In the creation God had made her [Eve] the equal of Adam. Had they remained obedient to God — in harmony with His great law of love — they would ever have been in harmony with each other; but sin had brought discord, and now their union could be maintained and harmony preserved only by submission on the part of the one or the other. Eve had been the first in transgression; and she had fallen into temptation by separating from her companion, contrary to the divine direction. It was by her solicitation that Adam sinned, and she was now placed in subjection to her husband.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 58)

Paul wrote: “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man.” (1 Timothy 2:12) “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)

Please note that this dependence does not in any way imply the slightest degree of degradation. Even among equals, there is a head. A committee of people of equal rank still select a chairman. In verse 21 Paul writes: “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” The husband and wife are to work as a team making the decisions of life for the family together. Yet, when they cannot reach an agreement after praying for the wisdom of God, the wife is to submit to the decision of the husband. This she will do willingly if the husband has loved her “as Christ also loved the church.” (verse 25) The wife will find it easy to respect the decisions of her husband when he respects her as his divinely appointed partner and not some doormat to be trampled upon.

God does not tell husbands to order their wives. Instead He commands husbands, “love your wives.” (verse 25) Husbands are “to love their wives as their own bodies.” (verse 28)

The analogy of the church being a bride to Christ is quite important for husbands to understand. Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. Jesus is worthy of the love and devotion of the church. Only as the husband loves his wife as Jesus loves the church and is himself obedient to the gospel can the wife willingly submit to him.

When both the father and mother are in gospel order with each other, and with Christ and God, they will find it much easier to have their children under gospel order because they will not provoke their children to wrath. When the parents find gospel order working in their lives, the children will desire to honor and respect them as the fifth commandment teaches.

“The head of Christ is God”

It may at first seem odd that Paul would write that God is the head of Christ. The most popular conception of the Godhead teaches that there are three eternal, totally equal beings: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This teaching is usually called the Trinity. If the Father and His Son are totally equal, why is Christ said to be subordinate to the Father? Does the Bible really teach one God in three persons, the Trinity?

Let us notice some very clear statements from the Scriptures. “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” (1 Corinthians 8:6) Paul says that there is “one God,” not a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but “the Father.” He says we have “one Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul also declared: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5) Jesus is not said to be the “one God,” but rather to be the “mediator between God and men.”

The confusion is partly due to the unscriptural belief that Jesus only became the Son of God during the incarnation at Bethlehem. This teaching is not to be found anywhere in the Bible. The eighth chapter of Proverbs speaks of Christ under the symbol of wisdom and clearly teaches that in eternity past, God brought forth His divine Son. (See verses 22-30.) Jesus said that “…God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) If the Scriptures declare that God sent His Son into the world, then He had to have a Son to send.

The basis of all earthly sons honoring their fathers is in the gospel order between our heavenly Father and His Son. Jesus acknowledged the Father as His God. “Jesus saith unto her [Mary], Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20:17) “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) Paul called the Father “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3) To show the exalted position of Christ, Paul, writing in Hebrews, quotes Psalm 45:6, 7: “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (Hebrews 1:8, 9) Jesus has “by inheritance obtained” the name “God.” (Hebrews 1:4, 8) However, while the Father is called the God of Jesus Christ, Jesus is never called the God of the Father!

Even though Christ has been elevated to sit equal with the Father on the throne of the universe, there is a willing subjection of the Son to His Father. When the great controversy is over and all sin destroyed, the Son turns everything over to the Father.

“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he [Christ] must reign, till he [the Father] hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he [the Father] hath put all things under his [Christ’s] feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him [the Father] that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28)

Jesus told us the importance of knowing gospel order and the relationship between the Father and Himself when He said: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) It is dangerous to accept a false view of gospel order about the Father and the Son. John wrote: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22)

Brethren, we will all obey rules whether we want to or not. We will either obey God’s rules and be in the order of heaven, or we will obey Satan’s rules and be in the disorder of hell.
Allen Stump

(This study is based on a tract being shared at the Promise Keepers meetings.)

 


Witnessing Report

Several brethren gathered at the Promise Keepers meetings at St. Louis Trans World Dome, July 18 and 19 to “stand in the gap” for the cause of righteousness. The witnessing opportunity was tremendous! Approximately 20,000 tracts were distributed with several good responses reported. One man who received a tract entitled, “The Father’s Position and Responsibility” called the next day wanting more of these tracts to share with his family.

By the time this article goes to press the Pittsburgh meeting will have already occurred. Workers are needed though to help with the meeting at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, August 15 and 16, and the meeting at Shea Stadium, New York, September 19 and 20. These meetings will be followed by the “Stand In The Gap,” 1,000,000 man gathering in Washington D. C., October 4.

The Washington meeting will be an enormous opportunity to witness for the Lord. Now is the time to begin making the sacrifices that will be necessary to help finish the work and fulfill the gospel commission. The ecumenical movement is rapidly progressing and the image to the beast of Revelation 13 is soon to follow.

We are making an urgent appeal for vineyard workers. Help is needed to distribute the thousands of tracts being prepared and to keep in contact with the interests. Let us remember the words of Jesus, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35) Brethren, we are our brother’s keeper and have a personal responsbility to warn him of the coming destruction. “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.” (Ezekiel 33:7)

If you can help with one of the above projects, please contact Brother Doug Goslin by phone at (614) 763-2242, or by e-mail: believe@infinet.com.?

 


Youth’s Corner
Home Duties
By Mrs. Ellen G. White

Dear young friends, Let me point you to the life of Christ, to his compassion, his humility and love, his inexpressible tenderness. You are to copy his example. God has given you life and all the rich blessings that make it enjoyable, and in return he has claims upon you for service, for gratitude, for love, for obedience to his law. These claims are of the first importance, and can not be lightly disregarded; but he requires nothing of you that will not make you happier, even in this life. He requires you to control passion, to restrain selfish thoughts and actions, and to leave fretful words unspoken. Would Jesus require this self-control, if it were not for your real happiness to practice it? No; he wishes you to cultivate such traits of character as will bring peace to your own hearts, and enable you to brighten other hearts and lives with the sunshine of love, joy, and cheerful contentment.

If you are truly converted, if you are children of Jesus, you will honor your parents; you will not only do what they tell you, but will watch for opportunities to help them. In doing this you are working for Jesus. He considers all these care-taking, thoughtful deeds as done to himself. This is the most important kind of missionary work; and those who are faithful in these little every-day duties are gaining a valuable experience. Would it not be well to talk these matters over when you are together, and see what plans you can devise to become home missionaries? By cheerful obedience and manifesting a loving, helpful disposition in the home circle, you lighten the cares and burdens of your parents, and thus show true love for them, while exemplifying the grace of Christ. Take your older friends into your counsel, and see what you can do in this direction.

Many children go about their home duties as though they were disagreeable tasks, and their faces plainly show the disagreeable. They find fault and murmur, and nothing is done willingly. This is not Christ-like; it is the spirit of Satan, and if you cherish it, you will be like him. You will be miserable yourselves, and will make all about you miserable. Do not complain of how much you have to do, and how little time you have for amusement, but be thoughtful and care-taking. By employing your time in some useful work, you will be closing a door against Satan's temptations. Remember that Jesus lived not to please himself, and you must be like him. Make this matter one of religious principle, and ask Jesus to help you. By exercising your mind in this direction, you will be preparing to become burden-bearers in the cause of God, as you have been care-takers in the home circle. You will have a good influence upon others, and may win them to the service of Christ.

Some young persons who have the privilege of attending school, do not improve their advantages. They would like to read and write accurately, but the price of excellence is hard work, and they will not pay it. They remind me of the youth whose father sent him to school, and gave him every advantage for gaining a good education; but he neglected to study, saying that his father was able to give him a liberal education, and he was not going to bother his brains about it. You will all say at once that he would remain ignorant, for there is no royal road to learning. But wishing for a healthy religious experience without making earnest, self-denying effort, will be equally useless. Sighing over your ignorance of divine things will never make you wise unto salvation. There are ten thousand sluggish tears and sighs toward heaven that will never win one smile of approval from Jesus. Do not think that a Christian experience will come to you of itself. When you make up your mind to do something on which your heart is set, you do not give up for difficulties, but try again and again. Put the same energy and determination to succeed into the service of Christ, and you will not fail of a reward.

I point you, dear young friends, to Jesus. I commend you to his grace. He invites your confidence; and if you trust him in the simplicity of faith, he will come into your heart, and take up his abode with you, and will be to you an ever-present help in every time of need. Will you comply with the conditions laid down in his word? Will you come to Jesus? Many of you profess to be his followers; will you not begin now to imitate him in your lives?

(Reprinted from The Youth’s Instructor, January 30, 1884. Ellen G. White lived from 1827 to 1915. Her life and ministry to the Advent Movement is inestimable.)


Christ Our Righteousness

(We wish to encourage all who are young, at least in heart, to study these lessons and fill in the blanks with answers from the Bible.)

The Deity of Jesus Christ

1. How is Jesus described by John? John 1:1, 14


2. What is the testimony of the Father about His Son? Hebrews 1:5-8


3. How has Christ obtained this name? Hebrews 1:3, 4 (See Note 1)


4. Whom did Paul say was made known in the flesh? 1 Timothy 3:16 (See Note 2)


5. What testimony did the prophet Isaiah give concerning Christ? Isaiah 9:6


6. How did the angel of the Lord describe the child to be born? Matthew 1:21-23


7. To whom has all judgment been given? John 5:22, 23


8. Whom did the Psalmist describe as being Judge? Psalm 50:1-6


9. What does the prophet Micah declare concerning the existence of Christ? Micah 5:2


10. By what name did the Lord reveal Himself to Moses at the burning bush? Exodus 3:14


11. What did Jesus tell the Jews about His relationship to the “I AM”? John 8:53-58 (See Note 3)


12. How important is our belief that Jesus is the “I AM”? John 8:24


13. Where do the Scriptures declare Christ to be? Hebrews 10:12


14. How is Jesus described in Revelation 19:16?


Notes:

1. “This name was not given to Christ in consequence of some great achievement, but it is His by right of inheritance. ... A son always rightfully takes the name of the father; and Christ, as the “only begotten Son of God,” has rightfully the same name. ... Christ is the “express image” of the Father’s person.” (Christ Our Righteousness, p. 12)

2. The Greek word for mystery is musthrion - musterion. Musterion, as used in the New Testament, does not carry the concept of incomprehension, but rather, “is a secret which God wills to make known and has charged His apostles to declare to those who have ears to hear it.” (The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament, p. 420) Jesus told the disciples: “Unto you it is given to know the mystery (musterion) of the kingdom of God.” Mark 4:11

3. Verse 59 shows that the Jews understood that Jesus claimed to be the “I AM” because they took up stones to stone Him. See also John 10:30-33.


Pen Pal List

If any of our young readers would like to participate in a Pen Pal’s List, please clearly print and send your name, age, address (postal and/or e-mail), and a list of your hobbies or interests to Old Paths and we will print a list in an up-coming issue.


Morning Manna

A precious brother and sister I know once composed and sang a song entitled, “Early Morning Dew Drops.” This song, sung in a very sweet and cheerful manner, spoke of rising early to read God’s word. It encouraged others to share of the feast of which the singers were no doubt partaking.

When I hear this song, it always reminds me of the story of the children of Israel gathering the manna. God told His people that He would “rain bread from heaven for” them. (Exodus 16:4) The manna was to be found early in the morning. After the sun waxed hot, it melted and was gone. The manna was real, literal, physical food for God’s people. It was also symbolic of spiritual food. Notice what Jesus taught the people:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (John 6:32-35)

The inspired words of Jesus are to be spiritual food to us as the morning manna was physical food for the children of Israel. When was it to be found? Early in the morning! Let’s talk straight for a moment. Too many are missing the blessing of the morning manna because they are burning the midnight oil! When a person stays up late regularly, it will be impossible for that person to arise early when the manna is freshest without sacrificing health. It is very difficult to rise early with a clear mind when we do not retire at a proper time in the evening.

True temperance includes resting at the proper times. While we have no authority to prescribe specific times for everyone rising and retiring, God’s program is an early one.* When God wanted to send messages to Israel, He sent them prophets early in the morning. “And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not. … Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them.” (Jeremiah 7:13, 25)

Jesus is our example in all things. What does the Bible say concerning Him and early rising? “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” (Mark 1:35) Jesus was determined to receive His morning manna from the Father. Do you have the same determination? If it is your purpose to rise early and you have not been able to do so, perhaps it is because you do not retire early enough in the evening. Too often our schedules are like a roller-coaster. This is not the best recipe for success.

Even the world recognizes the principle of early to bed and early to rise. In 1733, Benjamin Franklin began publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack.  In the October 1734 edition he noted: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” One Christian writer has insightfully noted, “Men of business can be truly successful only by having regular hours for rising, for prayer, for meals, and for retirement. If order and regularity are essential in worldly business, how much more so in doing work for God!” (Gospel Workers, 1892 edition, p. 168)

I believe that the great majority of the most precious moments I have had in study and prayer have been during the early morning hours. A physician once told me that the ionization of the air is even best in the morning for our brains to function properly. God’s program just cannot be improved upon! The more morning manna I receive, the more I want! However, I cannot get that morning manna without getting up early and I cannot get up early without going to bed early. I want to encourage you, and ask that you would support me in God’s program of early morning manna. How can we each do that? One way we can encourage each other is by respecting the evening time of one another. I want everyone to know that my phone is available to ring twenty-four hours a day. If anybody has an emergency anytime of the day, feel free to call us if needed. However, for all normal, non emergency calls, I am asking that you keep your calls to us between the hours of 6:00 A. M. and 8:00 P. M EST. This will allow us to have some precious family time together and to be able to retire at a reasonable hour. For my part of the bargain, I will refrain from contacting you late in the evening unless there is an emergency. This is a fair and reasonable agreement, don’t you think so? I am glad you do. May God bless you to get your “early morning dew drops” and eat of the heavenly manna! ?

* We recognize that there are people whose work schedule often carries into the evening or night hours. We recognize that they are free to decide how to arrange their schedule and to decide what constitutes “early” for them.


Web Site Update

We would like to invite Internet users to visit our recently updated web site. Since our last report we have been able to expand the content of the Smyrna web page to include books and studies as well as the most current editions of Old Paths. We recently published the entire book, The Foundation of Our Faith on the Internet in both html and Adobe Acrobat formats. The html format allows readers to be able to read and study through the contents of the book and use the powerful search features of all current browsers. The Acrobat format allows the Internet user to view each page in WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) form. With this format, a reader can download and print an entire, exact copy of the book from anywhere in the world.

We also currently have Steps to Christ by Ellen G. White and Christ Our Righteousness by E. J. Waggoner published in the book section in html format. We are planning on publishing other truth filled books soon. One publication that I am really excited about is entitled, God’s Mystery Finally Understood. This thirty-six page booklet is a real challenge to the reader. As responsible Christians, we need to stop and really reevaluate what we believe concerning God’s word. Author Joe Harricharan, writing in a plain, straight forward manner, explains the Bible plan for how you may be free from the bondage of sin and traditions that keep you in prisons without walls. (This booklet will soon be available in printed form as well.)

We have also added the Bible study series, “Christ Our Righteousness” to the “Studies” link. We are currently working on several other Bible studies which will carry the full Three Angels’ Messages. You may visit the Smyrna web site at http://www.smyrna.org.


Campmeeting Report:

Over 100 people attended at least one of the two weekends of the campmeeting at southern Illinois last month. Although I would be the first to admit that there were growing pains involved with the effort, the blessings that I personally received by far outweighed any inconvenience. People from several different states and even one person from outside of the United States attended.

The fellowship was wonderful. The sermons were given with a clear manifestation of the Spirit of God. The sermons were such a blessing that we recorded many of them on cassettes. They were recorded with the limited equipment that was available. However, the message is what is important. The tapes that are available are as follows:

Topic Speaker
Overcoming Sin Fred Allaback
The Sanctuary Fred Allaback
The Father and His Son Fred Allaback
The State of the Dead Lynnford Beachy
The Nature of Christ Doug Goslin
The 2300 Days Doug Goslin
The Promise Doug Goslin
The Law Jeramy Harricharan
The 144,000 Jeramy Harricharan
The Family (Part 1) Joe Harricharan
The Family (Part 2) Joe Harricharan
Health Joe Harricharan
The Holy Spirit Joe Harricharan
The Kingdom Gary Lewellen
The Mark of the Beast Randall Mercer
The Soon Coming of Jesus Merit Mills
The Death of the Cross Allen Stump
Testimonies All the Brethren

If you would like details on how to obtain your own copy of these cassettes, please contact Crystal Culp at (618) 996-3424 from 9:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M. After 4:30 P.M. please call Randall Mercer at (618) 996-3596. You can also reach us by postal mail at, Randall Mercer, 1210 Birdwell Rd., Creal Springs, Illinois  62922 or by e-mail: mercers@midwest.net.

There is no way to describe how beneficial a campmeeting like the one just held in Southern Illinois can be for all those that can attend. At the end of the campmeeting we had a testimony time that lasted close to five hours with testimonies that brought joy to my heart. It was a real blessing to hear from the people how God is working in their lives and in their part of the country. I saw how the Lord had brought spiritual growth to so many while they were attending campmeeting. I cannot express strongly enough the importance of each one of you attending campmeeting.

Lynnford Beachy

 


Old Paths is published monthly by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC 64 Box 128-B, Welch WV 24801-9606. It is sent free upon request. Phone: (304) 732-8609; Fax: (304) 732-9204; Web site: http://www.smyrna.org.

Editor: Allen Stump - E-mail: editor@smyrna.org.

Associate Editor: Lynnford Beachy - E-mail berean@smyrna.org

Comments or questions: E-Mail us:

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