Monthly Archives: May 2016


Will God accept as worship anything we offer to Him? May I play my instrument, light a candle, hum and meditate, or commune with nature in the woods, and call it worship? Will God accept just anything that I call worship and throw His way?

When Cain and Abel offered their gifts, one was accepted and one was not. Being a “tiller of the ground,” Cain offered unto the Lord “the fruit of the ground” (Gen. 4:3). Abel, being a “keeper of sheep,” brought of the “firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof” unto the Lord. The Lord had respect unto Abel’s offering, but unto Cain’s gift, he had not respect (4:4,5). Why?

Some have postulated that Cain’s error was his bad attitude. Cain’s gift was described as simply “the fruit of the ground” but Abel’s offering was the “firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof,” or the best he had to offer. There probably was an element of a sour attitude on Cain’s part. It certainly showed in his dealings with his brother (Gen. 4:8). But is this the only reason the Lord was dissatisfied with Cain’s offering?

The New Testament tells us that Abel offered his sacrifice by faith. “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain” (Hebrews 11:4). What does that mean? The Bible is clear that biblical faith does not exceed God’s revelation. Paul wrote that faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17; cf. John 20:30,31). If I believe something and act on that belief which is not supported by God’s word, then I believe too much.

If Abel’s offering was by faith, and the Bible says that it was, then Abel offered only that which God had authorized by revelation. We do not have that specific revelation recorded for us in God’s word, but we know that it consisted of just exactly what Abel offered, otherwise it could not be said to have been offered in faith.

John said that Cain’s works were “evil” and Abel’s “righteous” (I John 3:12). The Psalmists describes the righteous as those who walk and meditate upon the law of the Lord, or His word (Psalm 1). It is in His word that righteousness is revealed, particularly, now, in the gospel (Psalm 119:138; Rom. 1:16). To be evil is to act contrary to the will of God. The reason Cain’s offering was evil was because he did not offer what God had commanded him to offer, perhaps even in a way that was not commanded. But in any case he violated God’s commands.

Sin is the violation of God’s commands. John said, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4). No one can come before God and throw something in His face and say in effect, “This is my worship and you must accept it.” On the contrary, God tells us what is acceptable worship and we must offer that and nothing else. All your good intentions will avail nothing if it is not in harmony with God’s expressed will. Otherwise, sin lieth at the door.
Eric L. Padgett

The Bible

The word “Bible” ultimately comes from the Greek word biblia (ßιßλιa), meaning “books.” The word biblia is derived from a form of the name of the ancient Phoenician sea port city, Byblos, which was known for exporting Egyptian papyrus to the Greek world. This papyrus was used for many things, but especially for making a flexible writing material, very much like rough paper. In fact, we actually derive our word “paper” from the word “papyrus.” This writing material was first used in books in the form of a scroll and then, later, in codex form, or books as we know them today.

While the Romans were already using the codex to record secular legal matters, it was Christians who adopted and popularized the use of the codex in spreading the word of God. While scrolls were bulky and cumbersome, the codex was much easier to manage and transport, thus making the fulfillment of the great commission by carrying the gospel to various parts of the world much easier. The expression “the books” or, simply, “The Book,” came to refer to the sacred scriptures. This very expression (“ταις βύβλοις”) is found in the Septuagint version of Daniel 9:2.

Also, Paul requested of Timothy “the books and the parchments” (II Tim. 4:13). What these were no one now knows exactly, but I have suggested that Paul might then have been collecting the various inspired New Testament works into one, complete volume of sacred writings. These sacred writings were also known simply as “the scriptures,” (II Pet. 3:16; John 5:39; Rom. 15:4; etc.).

The Bible–The Book–is thus a remarkable collection of books. These various documents were written and collected over a period of around 1600 years, from c. 1500 B.C. to about 70 A.D., by about 40 different authors from all walks of life. Some of these men were kings, like David and Solomon. Others were priests, like Samuel, and yet others were simple fishermen, like Peter. Some were doctors of medicine, like Luke, and others were doctors of the law, like Saul of Tarsus. They came from sundry places in Egypt, Palestine and Asia minor. They wrote history and poetry and biography and prophecy. Some wrote while they were in prison and captivity. Some wrote to inform, others wrote to condemn, and still others wrote to warn. Sometimes we find previous writings encompassed in another.

But in all this great diversity of authorship and origination, there is an unmistakable and undeniable, divine unity about it. It is composed “with a unity like the connectedness of a dramatic plot” (Van Dyke). While the books of the Bible were written by very different men under extremely different circumstances and at completely different times, their completion was always under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (II Pet. 1:19-21). Thus, they are profitable for doctrine, correction and instruction in righteousness, fully furnishing us for all that we need in life and godliness (II Tim. 3:16,17; II Pet. 1:2).

“No other book ever had such a strange vitality and inspiration as the Bible. It has set new ideas for civilization, new models for character and new conceptions of virtue and deeper hopes for happiness. It is a provoker of literature . . . a book-making Book. No other ever caused so much discussion about itself and its teaching. It has begotten a peculiar beauty in literature and all other arts, due to the new and quickening impulse it has given to the imagination of the whole world . . . What unutterable loss the world would suffer artistically if deprived of the masterpieces inspired by the ideas . . . the emotions . . . the visions of the Bible! In sculpture there is Donatello’s “David” and Michaelangelo’s “Moses;” in painting, Raphael’s “Sistene Madonna” and Murillo’s “Holy Family;” in music, Bach’s “Passion” and Handel’s “Messiah;” in poetry, Dante’s “Divine Comedy” and Milton’s “paradise Lost.”

“. . . The influence of the Bible on literature is literally universal. Although it arose in the East and is clothed in Oriental form and imagery, like the sun it enters all lands and speaks to the heart of the world in hundreds of languages. It has an appeal for kings and peasants; for wise men and children. If it should be destroyed, it could be replaced with the quotations on the shelves of our school libraries. There are many great works written showing to what extent the Book has influenced the great masters of literature.”1

More than six billion copies of the Bible have been published, making the Bible the best selling and most distributed book of all time. It has been translated into 2,454 languages of the world’s estimated 6,500 total languages.2

“That book [King James Bible], sir, is the rock upon which our republic rests.” – Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States

“The King James Version is a Magna Carta for the Poor and Oppressed: the most democratic book in the world.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

“Indeed, it is an incontrovertible fact that all the complex and horrendous questions confronting us at home and worldwide have their answer in that single book [King James Bible].” – Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States

“There is no doubt in my mind that the King James Bible not Shakespeare set this language on its path to become a universal language on a scale unprecedented before or since.” – Melvyn Bragg, British Broadcaster and Author

“The King James Bible is a cornerstone of our culture and our language. Whatever our faith, whatever we believe, we have to recognise that the rhetorical power of this book, and in particular its power to fuse history with poetry, connects at the most fundamental level with our own history and poetry.” – Andrew Motion, British Author and Poet Laureate

Let us go back to this most magnificent volume in the history of mankind, let us go back to the only book which reveals the mind of God, let us go Back To The Bible!
Eric L. Padgett
1. Cled Wallace, The Influence of the Bible on Literature, The One Book, Analyzed and Outlined, 1987: Dehoff Publications, pp. 507,508

Back To The Bible!

The theme of this year’s gospel meeting is “Back To The Bible.” This is an important theme and serious topic. It was the ardent cry of sober men who wanted to throw off the shackles of denominationalism and restore simple, New Testament Christianity. “Let us speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where it is silent,” was the plea of the American Restoration Movement. Calling Bible things by Bible names and doing Bible things in Bible ways was their goal. The cry of “Back to the Bible” is also an imminently scriptural plea. Peter commanded, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (I Pet. 4:11).

This cry is not just a mere slogan, it is something which we must fully embrace yet today. Jude wrote that we must earnestly contend for the Faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). This was necessary because, even in the first century, even with the inspired apostles present, man’s tendency was to apostasy. Paul warned that after his departing there would be those in the church who acted as grievious wolves, not sparing the flock but would speak perverse things, drawing away disciples after themselves (Acts 20:28-30).

While apostasy often takes only a generation (Jud. 2:10), it can also come even sooner. Paul warned the brethren in the churches of Galatia that there were some troubling them and perverting the gospel of Christ even then (Gal. 1:6-8). John warned the brethren in the first century church to try the spirits because there were many false prophets already gone out into the world (I John 4:1). Our Lord condemned those who would teach for doctrines the commandments of men (Matt. 15:9).

What was true then, is true today. The possibility of apostasy was real then, and it is an ever present danger today. Thus, the need for adhering to the Old Jerusalem Gospel. With the number of denominational groups growing yearly, and the number of congregations of the Lord’s church freely drinking from the contaminated fount of human doctrine, we must constantly be on guard against the ever subtle change from truth through compromise. We must guard against being pressured to accept doctrines and practices which the Lord’s faithful never did accept and which the New Testament never did authorize.

With only a little encouragement, Eve was quickly willing to take a bite from the fruit of disobedience (Gen. 3:6). Some today have taken a bite out of this fruit regarding evangelism. Instead of seeking lost souls by preaching the unadulterated gospel (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15,16), they want to lure the uninterested through gimmicks and games. We need to go back to first century evangelism and preach the word in season and out (II Tim. 4:1-8).

Many have turned their backs on biblical authority and have allowed their feelings to be their guide. While in years past many adhered to their denominational creeds, today most so-called religious people have no idea what their denominational creed is. Instead, they have adopted an every man for himself approach to truth. Like Namaan of old they determine what they believe through their own prejudiced feelings (II Kings 5:11). But we must go back to a “Thus saith the Lord” and book, chapter and verse preaching.

High moral precepts and standards, both in and out of the church, are a thing of the past. It seems with every breaking news story there is an unbelievable new low reached in moral depravity. Wickedness and just plain nonsense and stupidity abound. The good is called bad and the bad good. We live in a world turned upside down. Abortion, homosexuality, “transgenderism,” worldliness, immodesty, lying and cheating and so much more are now considered normal actions while Biblical morality is called abnormal. We need to call men to go back to the standard of the Bible for morality and throw off the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21).

We need to go back to the Bible for the pattern of the church and worship. The Bible is clear as to the pattern for the organization of the church and worship (Matt. 16:16-19; Eph. 1:22,23; I Tim. 3:1-8; etc.). Israel of old erred when they sought to be like the nations about them in having a king (I Sam. 8:5,19,20). Today, adopting the innovations to be like the denominations around us will only lead to more apostasy because it is tantamount to rejecting God (I Sam. 8:7).

Brethren, the call to go back to the Bible and the Bible alone is just as serious and sober as it was in the first century and during the Restoration Movement. We must be serious about God’s word and about our eternal destiny for how we approach God’s word will determine our eternal destiny.

Eric L. Padgett

A Godly Mother

There are many mothers mentioned in scriptures, from Eve, the mother of all living to Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots. Many of these were great women and proved to be notable examples of faith and service. Others, however, were quite the opposite. What a wonderful blessing a good mother is to a child, a home and a nation.

A good mother is first of all a good example to her child. Mary, who was chosen to be the vessel by which the saviour was to come into the world, was just such an example. Mary was a virgin, keeping herself pure against the day she would marry (Luke 1:27). She was also described by the angel of the Lord as highly favored and blessed among women (Luke 1:28). If such an example was important in the mother of our Lord, surely it must be to us, as well. The older women are to be in behaviour as becometh holiness that they may have the influence necessary to teach the younger women (Tit. 2:3,4).

A good mother comforts her children. The Bible speaks of the role of the mother as comforter (Is. 66:13). Women are made by God to be gentle, caring and feminine and it is these qualities that give her an ability to comfort a hurting child. In the days of Elisha, when a child fell deathly ill, the charge was to “Carry him to his mother” (II Kings 4:19). Thye knew his mother could comfort him best.

A good mother dedicates her child to the Lord (I Sam. 1:11). Hannah promised the Lord that if He would give her, who had been barren, a child, she would dedicate that child to the Lord. But every mother ought to desire their child be a servant of God. Under the law of Moses, all Levites were to serve the Lord when they reached the age of twenty-five until they were fifty (Num. 8:24,25). But Hannah dedicated her son to the Lord when he was just a few years old for the rest of his life. Think of what a better world this would be if all mothers dedicated their children to the Lord.

In line with the previous point, a good mother instills faith in God in her children. Think of the impact of Lois and Eunice on the world, all because they influenced Timothy (II Tim. 2:15). It is the scriptures that produce faith (Rom. 10:17). One of the things that Eunice must have done is to teach Timothy the scriptures, for Paul said Timothy knew the Holy Scriptures from a child (II Tim. 3:15). One of the songs which Hank Williams, Sr. sang had these beautiful lines: “I’ve just been to heaven with someone so true, I dreamed about mamma last night. She read me the Bible like she used to do, I dreamed about mamma last night.” What inestimable good has been done for the world because some faithful mother sought to guide her child toward faith in Christ.

A good mother also trains up a child in the way he should go (Prov. 22:6). The word train means to “narrow” or “initiate” or “disciple.” Training involves more than just telling someone something. It involves complete dedication to the cause. Moses described the work as beginning first in the parents’ heart. The parent must first be dedicated (Deut. 6:6). After the parent is dedicated, then the training can begin in earnest. That training is to be done at all times and in every place (Deut. 6:7-9). No parent who says one thing and then does another can be the kind of influence on a child they ought to be.

Discipline is another very important element in rearing a child. “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame (Prov. 29:15). Too many in our day seek first to be friends with their children and not their parents and so they never discipline lest the child be upset with them. A mother who loves her children will properly discipline them to give them life (Prov. 22:15).

It is often said that a child does not come with a manual. In many ways that is true because every child is different. However, in general terms God has given us a manual, His word, and if we learn it and study and apply it, then, with prayer and dedication, the future of a child is greatly enhanced, perhaps for eternity.

Eric L. Padgett