Thursday, September 18, 2008


This was originally done around 1966 as a booklet; revised May, 2000. I intended to give these out at the Ohio Valley Lectures held at Zanesville that year. I set the type on a Linotype and ran them off on a handpress.

I had been given a copy of "Alexander Campbell and His New Version" (Bethany history series) by Cecil K Thomas (Author) by my good friend Doward Anguish. wrote: Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) was a leader of the "restoration movement" which gave rise to the Disciples of Christ and the Church of Christ. He produced this version of the New Testament for his early followers, before he had broken with the Baptists. As the title shows, it is not a new version, but a revision of versions of portions of the New Testament previously published by Scottish scholars. The Gospels are from a translation by George Campbell (Edinburgh, 1778), the Epistles from James MacKnight (London, 1795), and the Acts and Revelation from Philip Doddridge's New Testament (London, 1765). In 1818 a London publisher had reprinted these versions together in one volume, and it was this 1818 edition which Campbell slightly revised to produce his own edition in 1826. He is said to have spent less than a year in this work. Campbell himself was not so much a scholar as a controversialist.

Yet in the years before the Civil War this Living Oracles Version had a profound effect on reaching out with the "Search For The Ancient Order" as Campbell called it. Finally opposition from the denominations prompted a return to the KJV.

We should not speak of the "King James Bible," the "American Standard Bible," the"Revised Standard Bible," and so on as though they were each different Bibles! There is only ONE Bible! This one Bible has been put into many languages and dialects, but it is still the same Bible!
We believe the Holy Spirit of God So guided the writers of both the Old and New Testaments that each word they recorded was exactly as God would have it to be. This being true, it must follow that God watches over the Translators to see that the glory of His message is not dimmed. William Luff words it this way:

It is the Spirit's Bible!
Copyright every word!
Only His thoughts are uttered,
Only His voice is heard!

This must be true, since God's word cannot pass away!

When the work was begun on the Canterbury Revision in 1870, sixty-five scholars were selected to do the work. A year later an American committee of thirty four was chosen to cooperate in this project. These scholars made many changes in the interest of clarity (because words had changed their meanings, etc.). But, it is worthwhile to notice that although they had in their hands no less than 2000 manuscripts of the Old Testament and 3000 manuscripts of the New Testament, they did not find changes necessary which would alter a single historical fact or essential doctrine of Christianity! In other words, the Hand of God has been active down through the ages, working through devoted men, to transmit to our age the Word in an unchanged form!

The Bible was given to people, not to scholars! It was not written in Old - fashioned, High - sounding words, nor in cherished theological terms. It was written in the living language of the people, words that a common man could understand. It is for this reason that fresh translations are necessary from time to time - to again put the Bible into the language of the common people! As we shall consider next, this is God's will!

The principle of TRANSLATION is a Scriptural one! The Holy Spirit Himself did this on Pentecost. Through His power the words were translated, and the people asked, "How hear we every man in our own tongue wherein we were born?" (Acts 2:8). Since that day the Bible has been put into many thousands of tongues or languages. Dedicated followers of God have made His voice understandable to the nations of the world by translating it into their languages! God has watched over the translators down through the age, to preserve His message! We cannot believe God Almighty would permit anyone to distort His word. Therefore each standard translation is the word of God!

TERMS Let us define some of the terms which are used in connection with the Bible. It will help us understand questions that arise from time to time.

AUTOGRAPH The original manuscript of the inspired writer. These original writings no longer exist, but are preserved in the many copies which were made from them.

MANUSCRIPT. - This is a copy of the original writings in the original languages. Copies had to be made for each to have access to the Bible. There are many thousands of manuscripts from early centuries still in existence. The last thirty years has seen a great increase in the discovery of manuscripts, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. This increases our knowledge.

VERSION This is another name for a "translation." It is the process of transferring thought from one language to another. Many versions were made in the first century so that each could read in his own language - Latin, Syriac, etc.

TRANSLATION This is another name for "version."

PARAPHRASE This is a "free translation." It seeks to reproduce the meaning of a passage, without necessarily being literal. All translations are, of necessity, paraphrases to some extent, since it is not possible to simply substitute words of one language for another and produce understandable sentences. For example: a computer was programmed to translate English into Russian. When the phrase: "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak," was put into it, it came out: "The liquor is good but the food is lousy.".

Campbell said "The literal translation does not always give the correct meaning, especially with such languages as Hebrew. The Psalmist is quoted in Acts 2:25 as saying: "I foresaw the Lord always before my face." The meaning is, "I fixed my mind upon the Lord." The Sacred Scriptures, 1826 A. Campbell.

REVISION This is not a new translation, but the reworking of an old one. Thus the King James Version was not a new translation, but a revision of the work of Tyndale (1525) by way of the "Bishop's Bible." Further revisions are the "Revised Version" of 1880, the "American Standard Version" of 1901, and more recently the "Revised Standard Version" of 1952. [in 1966]

To "Interpret" is to give the meaning of what someone has said. Paul speaks of "unknown tongues" not being profitable unless intepreted (1 Cor. 14).

To "Interpolate" is to "read into" a passage something which has not been stated: It may or may not be accurate, but, in the field of Bible study, it has no authority. We use the word in a bad sense, but we are doing this ourselves when we speculate on the meaning of certain verse. Technically, every word in the King James Version which appears in italics is an interpolation, since it does not appear in the original language. It has been added by the translators because they felt it necessary to complete the meaning.


"A living language is continually changing. Like the fashions and customs in apparel, words and phrases, at one time current and fashionable, in a century or two, come to have a signification very different from that which was once attached to them: nay, some are known to convey ideas not only different from, but contrary to, their first signification. And were it not for books and parchments, which preserve from one generation to another, the language of the dead; and transmit from father to son the words and sentences of past times; it is not improbable that, in one generation, a living language would undergo as many mutations, and admit of as many innovations as it now does in two or three hundred years."

"We have, in writing, all the Hebrew and Greek that is necessary to perpetuate to the end of time, all the ideas which the Spirit of God has communicated to the world; and these languages, being dead, have long since ceased to change. The meaning of the words used by the sacred penman, is fixed and immutable; which it could not have been, had these languages continued to have been spoken."

"But this constant mutation in a living language will probably render new translations, or corrections of old translations, necessary every two or three hundred years. For although the English tongue may have changed less during the last two hundred years than it ever did in the same lapse of time; yet the changes which have taken place since the reign of James I do now render a new translation necessary. For if the King's translators had given a translation every way faithful and correct, in the language then spoken in Britain, the changes in the English language which have since been introduced, would render that translation in many instances incorrect." The Sacred Writings, 1826, A. Campbell


Because we still use many of the same words, (but with new and very different meanings) it is difficult to realize that as early as 1770, Benjamin Franklin said that people had ceased to read the Bible (the King James Version) because they could not understand it. (The reason being that while the words were the same, the meanings were different.)

J. W. McGarvey made this statement at the "Missouri Christian Lectures" (1883) concerning the (English) "Revised Version" of 1880 [which we have as the American Standard Version] : "The Canterbury Revision of the New Testament should now totally supplant the King James Version, not only because it is a great improvement as a version, but because it is the only representative in English of the corrected Greek text. A man is not safe in venturing upon the exegesis of a single passage by the aid of the old version until he shall have compared it with the new; and rather than be continually making these comparisons, it is better to at once adopt the new into exclusive use."

EXAMPLES -Here is the "Lord's Prayer" (Luke 11:2-4) as it appeared in some different translations. I have preserved the original spelling.

"Fadir, halewid be thi name, Thi kyngdom come to. Give to vs to day oure eche dayes breed. And forgyue to vs oure synnes, as and we forgyuen to ech owynge to vs. And leed not vs in to temptacioun."

"Oure father which arte in heve, halowed be thy name. Lett thy kingdo come. Thy will be fulfillet, even in erth as it is in heven. Oure daily breed geve us this day. And forgeve vs oure synnes: For even we forgeve every man that traspaseth vs; and ledde vs not into temptacio, Butt deliver vs from evyll Amen."

"Father, sanctified be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Our daily bread guie vs this day, and forgiue vs our sinnes, for because our selues also doe forgiue euery one that is in debt to vs. And lead vs not into temptation."

KING JAMES VERSION of 1611 (original spelling)
Our Father which art in heauen, Halowed be thy Name, Thy kingdome come, Thy will be done as in heauen, so in earth. Giue vs day by day our dayly bread. And forgiue vs our sinnes: for we also forgiue euery one that is indebted to vs. And lead vs not into temptation, but deliuer vs from euill."

"Father, May your name be kept holy, May your Kingdom come. Give us day by day the food we need. Forgive us our sins, for we forgive everyone who has done us wrong. And do not bring us to the hard testing."

"Jedus tell um say, 'Wen oona pray, mus say, We Papa een heaben, leh ebrybody hona you nyame cause you da holy. We pray dat soon you gwine rule oba all ob we. Wasoneba ting you da want, leh um be een dis wol, same like e be dey een heaben.'"

This is a real language, spoken by several millions of people in the Islands of the Pacific. It is now called Neo-Melanesian. This shows something of the work of the translators.

"Papa, nem bilong yu em i mas i stap holi, Kingdom bilong yu em i mas i kam. Kaikai bilong mipela inap long de, em yu givim mipela long olgeta de. Lusim sin bilong mipela. Mipela tu i lusim sin bilong olgeta man i ben mekim rong long mipela. Yu no bringim mipela long samting bilong traim mipela.

God is working out His PLAN! He has given us His Word -which is AT ONCE the infallible guide, and yet allows men to either accept or reject its message. It is truly a "two-edged sword," for it CUTS both ways! It is either life eternal or death - depending upon what we do with it. Make sure you DO understand it! Use several translations. Compare carefully. Open your mind. Let God's light shine upon you. Have the spirit of Christ in you!

The Devil attacks God. First he attacks the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:24). Next he attacks Jesus
(1 John 2:22-23). The Devil has always tried to replace God with idols.

Even though "trinity" is not a Bible word, our fathers in the faith strongly believed in God Who Is A Trinity. Campbell could say: "Jehovah the Father, Jehovah the Son, Jehovah the Holy Spirit." This should not be thought of as a conundrum, since each one of us is: body-soul-spirit (1 Thess. 5:23).

Rather than trying to solve the mystery of GOD, we need to refocus. The Triune Living God helps us understand and deal with crucial practical issues facing all who seek to live in The Spirit of Christ in both church and world today. In the encounter with GOD we are invited to share in divine life and grace through Jesus Christ by the power of The Holy Spirit. At the same time we are called to live in a new relationship with one-another, as we are gathered by The Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ (note Eph. 2:19-22).

The doctrine of The Trinity, then, explores the mysteries of love, relationship, person-hood and communion (sharing - note 1 Cor. 10:16-17) within the framework of God’s self-revelation in the person of Christ Jesus and the activity of The Holy Spirit. 2 Cor. 13:13-14

Here is a comparison between the King James Version, Campbell's Version (The Living Oracles), and the New King James Version. It demonstrates the changes words have made, and shows why new translations must be made from time to time. Some recent Bible Bowls have been based on the New King James Version which is much like the Revised Standard Version in word choice and accuracy.

Matt. 1:18 KJV on this wise CAMPBELL thus NKJV was as follows
6:25 KJV take thought CAMPBELL be anxious NKJV do not worry
9:10 KJV sat at meat CAMPBELL being at table NKJV sat at the table
13:20 KJV anon CAMPBELLat first NKJV immediately
13:21 KJV by and by CAMPBELL instantly NKJV Immediately
25:27 KJV exchangers CAMPBELL bankers NKJV bankers
Mark 9:6 KJV wist not CAMPBELL knew not NKJV did not know
Luke 10:41 KJV careful CAMPBELL anxious NKJV worried and troubled
14:10 KJV have worship CAMPBELL do thee honor NKJV will have glory
John 13:26 KJV sop CAMPBELL morsel NKJV piece of bread
Acts 18:7 KJV deputy CAMPBELL proconsul NKJV proconsul
17:23 KJV devotions CAMPBELL objects of worship NKJV objects of your worship
17:30 KJV wink at CAMPBELL overlook NKJV overlooked
26:14 KJV pricks CAMPBELL goads NKJV goads
27:30 KJV under color as CAMPBELL under pretense of NKJV under pretense of
28:13 KJV fetched a compass CAMPBELL coasted round NKJV circled round
Romans 1:13 KJV let hitherto CAMPBELL hindered NKJV was hindered
3:4 KJV God forbid CAMPBELL by no means NKJV certainly not
1 Cor. 13:1 KJV charity CAMPBELL love NKJV love
2 Cor. 8:1 KJV do you to wit CAMPBELL make known to you NKJV make known to you
1 Thess.4:15 KJV prevent CAMPBELL anticipate NKJV precede
5:14 KJV feebleminded CAMPBELL faint-hearted NKJV fainthearted
1 Tim. 4:12 KJV conversation CAMPBELL behavior NKJV conduct

Thursday, September 11, 2008



I have rewritten some things said by A. Campbell on Faith in his writings.

Churches of Christ follow Campbell's "Common Sense" method of understanding the Bible. When we read a newspaper we use the "laws of language" without micro-examining each individual word. Campbell looked for direct commands, approved examples, and necessary inferences. Since the Bible cannot contradict itself, what is said in one place must be understood and qualified by what is said in other places. And all that JESUS said, did, and taught was exactly right.

"Faith, as it is commonly used, means both the act of believing, and also the fact or system believed. The underlying idea is trust and confidence. "Proof" is defined as the evidence that compels acceptance - the mind of a truth or fact. In a court of law, evidence is given by witnesses who may or may not be telling the truth. A pattern of testimony is built up, and judge and jury must decide the probability of truth or falsehood as accurately as they can about the facts of the matter. Faith is quite closely involved. "Proof" is rarely based upon first hand knowledge. Our technical society is made possible by the "faith" which allows us to accumulate empirical knowledge that comes "second hand" to us and to then act upon it with certainty.

Campbell pointed out that the power in faith was the FACT believed rather than the act of believing. He told this story (which I have updated) to illustrate this.

"As we came near to the city we met crowds of people, both men and women, who appeared to be running for their lives! Some had not brought a thing with them; husbands had left wives; parents their children; and children their parents. I asked everyone who would stop and listen, what was happening? Everyone always answered: 'The Enemy have invaded and are near to our city!' 'Have they reached it,' I asked? 'No,' they said. 'Are they in sight,' I asked? Again they said no, 'Why the frantic rush,' I asked? Every line of their face and tone of their voice showed the terror which gripped them, 'Twelve men of undoubted honesty have brought us word that the enemy are just at hand with weapons of destruction and the war is upon us!'

I joined the crowd of fugitives, and as we reached the safety of an underground shelter, I thought: 'What an advantage to mankind to have been given by God the ability to be so certain of things they have not seen, nor experienced, and to be impelled into action because of what they believe to be true, just as though they had already seen it. The people in this shelter have been saved from destruction - saved by faith, It was not their faith, in the abstract, but rather the fact believed that impelled them to take this action. These people were saved by the belief of one fact, and that fact was so important to them that it changed their views and practice"

We draw these conclusions:

1. All men and women act on the basis of what they believe to be true.

2. Faith always proceeds according to the fact believed. Joy and sorrow, love and hate, fear and hope, are the effects of the fact believed, and not the effects of the manner of believing.

3. Evidence alone produces faith - testimony which can be believed is all that is necessary to faith. Romans 10:17.

4. Faith, by itself, abstract, produces nothing, Faith and opinions have nothing to do with each other. It is not a man's believing that saves his soul, but what he does believe to be true. 1 John 5:4-5

5. The great question is: What is fact or truth?

6. No person can help believing when the evidence of truth catches his attention. And without evidence it is as impossible to believe, as to bring something out of nothing.

7. Men may be deceived and may deceive others, therefore we sometimes put little confidence in those things they say, God's testimony is infallible, Compare John 20:24-31; Acts 17:11.

FAITH - Compact Bible Dictionary

"In the OT, the word "faith" is rare, but the concept is conveyed by the use of such verbs as "believe," "trust," and "hope." Abraham exemplifies faith for he believed and obeyed God unreservedly. The basis of the covenant of Sinai from the Israelite side was the accepting and believing God in His self-revelation in the Law and saving acts. The prophets persistently called the people to believe, to trust, and to obey their God."

"In the NT, faith is obviously an important concept and the word is common. Jesus called for faith in God as the Father and in Himself as the Messiah. The apostles called for faith in, and commitment to, Jesus as God’s divinely appointed Messiah and Lord. in particular, Paul emphasized faith centered on Christ and active in love as the primary response of sinners to the gospel of God. James emphasized that merely believing the facts of the gospel was not enough; true faith results in acts of love. True faith is faithful to God for it means both believing or trusting and obeying. Deut. 32:20; Habakkuk 2:4; Genesis 12:1-2; 15:1-6; Romans 4:18-22; Mark 11:22; Matt. 18:6; John 14:1; Luke 11:28; Gal. 5:25; 6:8; James 2:17-26."

Thursday, September 4, 2008


R. D. Ice

My computer has a refresh command which will return to the original (default) setting of a program. I read that there have been some 176 "restoration movements" in our western world alone. Each of these had the goal of trying to reset to the Original Church (as they understood it).

1. We are in the church because we are saved. Acts 2:47 God adds the saved to the church. Therefore it is because we are saved that we are in the church. When I was baptized into Christ, God added me to His church. I am sure He did not add me to the wrong one.

2. We say things about "church" that may be incorrect. Since the church is the kingdom, substitute the word Kingdom for Church and see whether it makes sense. "Denomination" and "Brotherhood" do not apply to Kingdom. (Yes. I know there were Tribes among the Nation of Israel.)

3. The church did not immediately die following her birth. Jesus said His church was indestructible. Campbell did not "reinvent" the church. He spoke of continuing reformation. God has raised up many people over the centuries who have struggled to give form to their faith. We stand on the shoulders of these people - even when we are totally ignorant of their existence. There has been much faith, action, and cross-pollination over the centuries.

4. Restore a vital and dynamic sense of the reality of the Christian Faith. Note how Paul stresses Christ-on-the-cross in 1 Corinthians chapter 1. In chapter 15 Paul shows that the whole Gospel stands or falls on the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is vital to believe that Jesus came in flesh and blood. 2 John 7 And that Jesus the Christ was tempted in every way that we are tempted - on a human level. Hebrews 4:14-16 Yet He did not sin - even though we are sinful. 1 John 1:6-10

5. Restore community of believers as a fellowship. Koinonia is the word which describes this family of the faith. Body life is vital to our faithfulness to Him. In fact our love of God is defined by our love of "brother." 1 John 4:19-21 Note what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:13 to illustrate the fact that we Christians are One Body. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

6. Restore a spiritual UNITY that transcends barriers. We humans tend to choose up sides. We think more in terms of "why God won’t accept you" than in "how can I be right with God." We claim to be undenominational yet it is probably impossible to avoid a "denominational" way of looking at things. Campbell and Stone were consumed with a passion for the glory of the primitive church. As Ed Fudge put it: (Campbell) gazed at a distant past and hoped for an imminent future. His heart almost burst at the glory of the vision; he could scarcely wait to sit in God’s kingdom in peace with all his brothers and sisters, there to raise together the praises and choruses of Zion! For him, restoration was the path to that place."

7. Restore an active and dynamic spirit of MISSION. We cannot be content to just keep house for the Lord. Mark says: "And they went out and preached everywhere..." Paul said he was given the commission: "to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me" (NKJV). Paul was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. Perhaps by being intently focused on "authority" and "rightness" we have neglected our mission to be light to the world.

8. Restore John’s last hour situation. "Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour" (NKJV). Many enemies of Christ (antichrists) are here in our world. Some even in the church, as John warned when he wrote. Hope is the anchor of our soul. We need the sense of otherworldliness which Hope and Faith give us. This world is unfair! But - plug into the fact that Jesus is Coming Again and everything changes! We need to EXPECT Christ to Come!

9. RESTORATION HAS BEEN FULFILLED IN CHRIST JESUS. Note Acts 3:18-26. Jesus did come with the express purpose of being the world’s Savior! John 3:16-17. Jesus is Coming Again! The world must be converted to Christ. Christians must united if the world is to believe. John 17:21. Pray for BOLDNESS! Acts 4:23-33.

"Awesome God! You are Holy and Holy Beings praise You daily! We pray against all the sin and evil in our world. We pray for justice and righteousness. We pray for compassion and mercy. We pray for the peace that passes understanding. We pray for the Holy Spirit to pour into our hearts the kind of love You have for us (Romans 5:1-5). Send us Revival, Renewal, and all the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. We confess our sins to You. Forgive us and cleanse us and save us. In Jesus' Name. Amen."


R. D. Ice

"Then the Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded, and he went out to meet King Asa as he was returning from the battle. 'Listen to me, Asa!' he shouted. 'Listen, all you people of Judah and Benjamin! The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.'" 2 Chronicles 15:1-2 The Book Version

"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it...." Psalm 127:1

Surely the Lord’s church is indestructible. Jesus said the "gates of hell" (powers of death) could not prevail against Her. Compare Revelation 12:10-17. The God of Power whom we worship could raise up Christians from the very stones themselves (compare Matthew 3:8-12).

My computer has a refresh button which resets the original program. God raises up men and women over the centuries who "click the refresh button" to return to the original "program." The "church" then experiences renewal as the Resurrected Christ is confirmed as Lord of our lives.

From time to time the church must ask: "What are we trying to restore? If we click the refresh button, what changes would take place?" We are talking of renewal. We as the church must be renewed again and again to keep our focus on the glory of the Lord and John 3:16-17. Note Jesus came to be the world’s Savior!

When a congregation experiences Renewal, certain things happen. God in effect says: "By your faith, command Me." We are to first ACT and then God will grant us RENEWAL!!!

1. GOD COMES DOWN - in the sense that He gives a deepened awareness of His inescapable Presence as The Holy One, mighty and majestic, dwelling among His people. Renewal experience begins with being forced, like Isaiah in the temple, to realize the intimacy of the supernormal and the closeness of The Living God. Note Isaiah 6:1-7.

2. GOD'S WORD COMES HOME - in the sense that the Bible, its message and its Messiah reestablishes the formative and corrective control over faith and life that is the Christian's by right. In renewal the divine authority of the Bible is realized afresh, and Christians find that this collection of Hebrew and Christian Scriptures is still the means whereby God speaks to us and feeds our souls.

3. GOD'S PURITY COMES THROUGH - as God uses His Word to renew consciences. The perverseness, ugliness and guiltiness of sin are seen and felt with new clarity. The depth of one's own sinfulness becomes obvious as never before. So then forgiveness of sins becomes the most precious truth in God's promise to us! 1 John 1:6-10; 1 Peter 1:15-16. But not only forgiveness; we Christians are being transformed into the image of Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit!
2 Corinthians 3:6-18.

4. GOD'S PEOPLE COME ALIVE - Joyful assurance of salvation, conscious communion with a Living savior. A spirit of prayer and praise. A readiness to share a life in common with other believers. A love that reaches out to all in need. These are characteristic marks of renewed Christians. Old fears and inhibitions dissolve; a new frankness in speech and initiative in action come to take their place. The church at Ephesus (Revelation 2) was commanded to do this. They needed to learn to love Jesus again and to do the first works.

5. OUTSIDERS COME IN - drawn by the moral and spiritual magnetism of what goes on in (among) the church. People are not impressed by a "words only" gospel, but by transformed lives and the living community of Faith. Compare Mark 1:4-5; Romans 14:17.

6. TESTING RENEWAL - We are to test all things. Jesus is Lord; He came in the flesh; He was tempted in every way that we are; He died on the cross; He raised from death to life again! He is coming again in power!

a) Doctrinal Does this renewal produce a spirit that honors and praises the Christ of the Gospel??? Paul stakes the entire Gospel on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. See 1 Corinthians 15:20,54-58.

b) Ethical Does this renewal produce character that is Christ-like??? Because HE is holy, we are to purify ourselves and act ethically toward everyone in the world. Compare Matthew 25:31-46.

c) Holy Joy Does this renewal produce joy unspeakable and full of glory??? We Christians should rejoice with a joy and glory which words cannot express! Compare Acts 2:46-47; 1 Peter 1:8; Nehemiah 8:8-12.



We live in a much different world than Campbell and Stone. Our world is more like the pagan world faced by the early Christians. Sin and evil and unbelief is rampant! But - God is still on His throne. The Gospel is still true.

"The modern pagan is like the pagan Peter & Paul knew centuries ago, and is unlikely to be reached by a words only Gospel. He wants to see signs and evidences of the message we declare. Barry Kissell shows how effective the early Christians were when their witness flowed from a renewed church life and from a truly worshipful congregation." [Renewal #54 Dec. 1974]

"It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught by God. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me." [John 6:45]

"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." [John 12:32]

GENERAL GOALS Luke 24:44-49

1. To be a congregation of people serving Christ and helping others. The church is a community of life which shares this new life with the world.

2. To establish a ministry that will effectively bring people to Christ and convince them to "obey the gospel." Mark 16:15-16,19-20.

3. To provide a worship service based on praise and joy, which will meet the spiritual needs of the worshipers in a way which most pleases God. John 4:21-24; Col. 3:16.

4. To provide a Bible School which meets the needs of those who attend. Teaching each on their level of under- standing. 2 Timothy 2:2.

5. To offer each member an active place of service that will bring them a sense of fulfillment and lead the lost to Christ. Ephesians 4:11-16.

6. To make an organized effort to build the image of the church in the eyes of the community. Some will judge the Gospel by what they see in us.

7. To build a sense of community among the membership and to encourage a vital fellowship with each other and with sister congregations. 1 John 4:20-21.

8. Success is rarely an accident. If we don't expect much to happen - then it probably won't. We ourselves must set the wheels in motion.

9. The times we live in demand a Gospel stripped of cultural coloration and presented in the pure form of the New Testament. Paul would say: I kept my bearings in Christ, but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every kind of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. [1 Cor. 9:19-22]


Effective Prayer R.D.Ice [written 1967]

How much do you believe in the power of prayer??? Is God really to be influenced by words spoken to Him? Is there a right and a wrong way to pray? Let us consider these questions.

These are important matters. God has commanded us to pray to Him, as the Scriptures plainly state. Jesus has promised an answer to prayer in His name. God does hear us. Of this there can be no doubt. He desires us to lean upon Him and use His strength. Accepting His aid and strength will cause us to love Him more and will also make us grow and "mature." (read 1 Cor. ch 13)

Is there a wrong way to pray? Most certainly there is! A prayer without faith is a wrong prayer. It is possible to pray in what we feel to be faith, while at the same time actually denying God's ability to do for us what we ask.

Alfred W. Price, a minister who has devoted much time to helping those with nervous problems says this: "Pray positive prayers. Now you are sick in body, mind or spirit. You have a terrible fear, a feeling of guilt or inadequacy; and so you pray, 'O God, make me well. Heavenly Father, if You don't help me soon, it's going to be too late! O Lord, help me. Give me patience in my affliction.'

That seems right, yet it is actually the worst kind of prayer you can pray. All you are doing is praying to yourself. You are saying to yourself, 'How terribly sick I am, how awful I feel.' It's just turning the whole psychology of prayer inside your own mind and stirring you up and discouraging you. You become so tense and anxious that there is not a crevice in the channel for God's power and wisdom and guidance to come in. Don't ever pray like that!"

The Bible says: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." This is fact! The one who prays negatively, who continually fills his mind with negative thoughts, will only succeed in increasing his misery. Another principle surely taught in the Bible is: "By thy faith command thou Me." Faith is the victory which overcomes the world!

When we act, then God will respond. He waits on us often, and perhaps we do not have because we do not ask, as James says. [And our motives for praying are also important.]

How then should we pray? "Heavenly Father, I thank You that I am better today." This is recognizing that God is at work in our lives today. (If we do not believe that He is helping us, why do we desire the prayers of others when we are sick? Paul requested brethren to pray for him time and again. As God's children, we have many precious promises through Christ.)

Here is a sample prayer. "Gracious Father, I am Your child. My life is not separate from You. You have promised me an abundant life through Christ Jesus. Whatever the day brings, I can count on Your love and goodness and power. I am at peace with myself, and with You. I claim the finished work of Jesus. Therefore I have no reason to be anxious or worried or afraid. I can live this day happily, peacefully, creatively. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I place myself in Your hands. Take me and use me for Your glory always. Let Your wisdom sink deep into my thoughts now. Let Your peace, the peace that passes understanding, fall on me, taking away all uneasiness and disturbance. Let Your forgiveness take out of my heart any hypocrisy or falsehood, make me spiritually honest - give me an understanding heart. All this I ask through Christ my Lord, and I will praise You forever in His name, Amen."

Compare Matt. 6:5-15; Rev. 5:8-10; 8:1-6


A. Campbell
[I have revised the language slightly. RDI]

I. "God made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions." Adam rebelled. The natural man became unnatural. The animal triumphed over the human elements in his nature. Sin was born on the earth. The crown fell from his head. The glory of the Lord departed from him. He felt his guilt and trembled; he saw his nakedness and blushed. The bright light of the Lord became a dimly smoking candle. He was led to judgment. He was tried, condemned to death, stripped of his inheritance; but given a stay of execution. He was permitted to roam abroad at large till the King authorized his seizure and destruction.

2. The stream of humanity, thus contaminated at its source, cannot in this world ever rise of itself to its original purity and excellence. We all inherit a frail constitution physically, intellectually, but especially morally. We have all inherited our father's personality and fate. Adam, we are told, after he fell "begat a son in his own image." That son was just as bad as any other son ever born in the world. He murdered his own dear brother, because he was a better man than himself. Thus "by one man sin entered into the world," and death by that one sin, and so death, the wages of sin has fallen upon all the offspring of' Adam, because in him they have all sinned or been made mortal. As a result, they are born under condemnation to that death which fell upon our first parent.

3. In Adam all have sinned; therefore, "In Adam all die." Your nature, dear reader, not your person, was in Adam when he stretched out his hand to break the law of Jehovah. You did not personally sin in that act; but your nature, then in the person of your father, sinned against the Author of your existence. In the just judgment of your heavenly Father, your nature sinned in Adam, and with Him it is right that all human beings should be born mortal. Therefore death reigns over the whole race even "over them that have not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression," i.e. by violating a "positive law." What God can righteously and justly inflict upon a part of mankind, He may justly and mercifully inflict upon all; new born infant, or aged saint. The apostle expressly says that death, is the "wages of sin." This reward for sin is presently inflicted upon at least one-fourth of the human race who have never violated any law, or sinned personally by any act of their lives. According to the most accurate estimates, between one-third and. one fourth of the children die in infancy (under two years) without the consciousness of good or evil. Innocent as respects actual and personal transgression, He inflicts upon them the peculiar and appropriate wages of sin. .This alarming and most strangely meaningful fact proves that Adam was not only the common father, but the actual representative of all his children!

4. There is a sin of our natures as well as personal transgression. Some mistakenly call the sin of our nature "original sin," as if the sin of Adam was the personal sin of all his children. True, our nature was corrupted by the fall of Adam before it was transmitted to us; and hence that inability to do good, and that idiotic tendency to do evil, which is so clearly seen in the human race. Let no man lift his voice against the transmission of a moral disorder, until he is able to explain the fact that the special characteristic vices of parents appear in their children as much as the color of their skin, their hair, and the shape of their faces. A disease in the moral constitution is as clearly transmissible as any physical taint, if there be any truth in history, biography, or human observation.

5. Still, man is not under an irresistible necessity to sin! Weak, easily seduced, he may or may not yield to passion and seduction. Hence the differences we so often discover in the dirt and filth of man. All inherit a fallen, sinful, nature, though all are not equally sinful. We find the degrees of sinfulness and immorality are very different in different persons. True, without a knowledge of God and His revealed will, without faith, without a mediator - "it is impossible to please God." Still there are those who, lacking this knowledge and belief, are more honorable than others. Luke says: "The Jews in Berea were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed" (Acts 17:11). But until man in his present unnatural state believes the gospel report of his sins, and submits to Jesus Christ as the only Mediator and Saviour of sinners, it is impossible for him to do any thing absolutely pleasing or acceptable to God.

6. Although condemned to natural death, although greatly fallen and depraved, still, because of the second Adam (Christ), only those are punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord who actually and willingly sin against a dispensation of mercy under which they have been placed. This is the "condemnation of the world that light has come into the world, and man choose darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil."
[If, as we believe, all dying before the "age of accountability" are "safe," probably half of the human race are "saved." We wonder about all the "fetuses" aborted? Certainly God has it all under control. RDI]


In 1826 Alexander Campbell began publishing a paper with 32 pages 8½ - 5½. It was published monthly and sold for the equivalent of $36 a year in our money. Campbell mailed it postage due as was the custom then. Campbell's first paper, The Christian Baptist, which later became The Millenial Harbinger was one of the factors of the amazing growth of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement in the 1800s. It was widely read by friend and foe alike. Sometimes congregations were led to join the "Plea for the Ancient Order" as Campbell liked to call it. We reproduce two articles by Campbell with the language revised. by myself.
Churches of Christ follow Campbell's "Common Sense" method of understanding the Bible. We read a newspaper using the "laws of language" without micro-examining each individual word. Campbell looked for direct commands, approved examples, and necessary inferences. Since the Bible cannot contradicts itself, what is said in one place must be understood and qualified by what is said in other places.

[I have revised the language slightly. RDI]

1. The first man was the logical conclusion of creation. In the natural state as he came from the hand of God he was the perfection of all earthly creations and institutions. In the elements of his being he was partly heavenly (godlike) and partly earthly - a body of earthly material, but a spiritual intelligence and a divine life. Designed to know and to enjoy his Creator, and to have communion with all that is divine, spiritual and material in the universe, he was capable of an almost unlimited variety of enjoyments.

2. And God said: "Let us make man in our image after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man a his own image, in his own image created he him; a male and female created he them" (Gen. l:26-27). Man was a companion to his Father and Creator. He had the ability to admire, adore, and enjoy Cod. God created the earth for man. God was fully glorified in His creation of the earth when man was made happy, grateful, and thankful to Himself by it. Man, in his natural state was not merely an animal, but an intellectual, moral, pure and holy being.

3. His position or state in this creation was that of a managing director. The earth is the Lord's; but He gave it to man on a very easy and liberal lease, and so it became his property. He was a free and responsible agent, capable of managing his estate and paying his rent. Consequently, he could choose virtue or vice, happiness or misery. To produce freedom, virtue, and happiness, it was both expedient and necessary to place him under a law; for where there is no law there can be no liberty, virtue or happiness. The law became a test of his character, a guarantee his continued use of the life and property which God had leased to him on the condition of his obedience to that command.

4. That there might be little temptation to disobedience and great motive toward obedience, the command was simple, positive and clear. It could not be a moral precept, because other reasons than simple submission to the will of his Lord and King might have prevented that display of pure loyalty which was to test his character and determine his future. It was therefore a positive law. The demand was so small as to present the least possible restraint upon the liberty of thought and of action. Yet it was the most infallible test of his loyalty. The Adamic Code was therefore designed and adapted to happiness. It placed only one restriction in the way .of universal liberty. That restriction was at such a distance as to make the circle of his unrestrained and free movements within a single step of the last outpost of all intellectual, moral, and tangible enjoyment. The entire earth was his to use, with the exception of one single fruit. Truly God was superlatively good and kind to man. "Thou madest him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou hast put all things under his feet; all sheep and oxen; yea, and the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passes through the paths of the sea. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!" (Psalm 8:5-9).