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The Gospel Observer

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

1) The Branch and Root of Jesse (Wayne Goff)
2) Face to Face (R.J. Evans)
3) News & Notes
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The Branch and Root of Jesse

Wayne Goff

In the world of the Old Testament, “tree” was often a symbol for royalty. See Ezekiel 17:1ff, especially verses 22-24; Isaiah 2:13; 10:18-19; Jeremiah 22:7, 23 for examples. The kingly lineage of David was interrupted by the Babylonian captivity, and after the return of the Jewish remnant beginning in 536 B.C., there was never a man on the throne of David in Jerusalem again. However, God had promised David that One would come from the fruit of his loins to sit on His throne to rule in righteousness. These prophecies refer, naturally, to Jesus Christ. Notice some of the prophecies.

Nebuchadnezzar

When God interrupted Nebuchadnezzar’s reign to humble him with the mind and heart of an animal for a period of time, God promised that He would restore Nebuchadnezzar to his throne. “And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules” (Daniel 4:26). So the symbolism of a stump and roots being left indicating that his kingdom would be restored to him is the same we see in the lineage of David and the kings of Judah.

Jesus Christ  

“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots” (Isaiah 11:1).

“In that day the Branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious; and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped” (Isaiah 4:2).

“‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth’” (Jeremiah 23:5; see Jer. 33:15).

“Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, you and your companions who sit before you, for they are a wondrous sign; for behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH(Zechariah 3:8).

“Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: “Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the temple of the LORD” (Zechariah 6:12).

All of these prophecies indicate that Jesus Christ would be raised up to sit on the throne of His father, David, even after a lapse of over 400 years! Certainly the Jews thought that this “Branch” would be an earthly king, and our religious friends who believe in a future thousand year reign of Christ on the earth believe the same. But the true fulfillment of these prophecies came when Jesus Christ was raised up from the dead, ascended to heaven, and sat down on the throne of God in heaven! We are not left to wonder about this interpretation. The apostles on the day of Pentecost confirmed that Jesus was “the Christ” Who would sit on David’s throne (Acts 2:30). In order to do this, Jesus would have to be resurrected from the dead — something David had also prophesied by inspiration (Acts 2:31). Jesus was raised up from the dead, and the apostles were all witnesses of the event (Acts 2:32). Upon His resurrection, Jesus was “exalted to the right hand of God” (Acts 2:33). “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Jesus is Lord with all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). Jesus is the Christ (anointed One) inasmuch as He is Prophet (Lk. 24:19), Priest (Heb. 3:1; 4:14), and King (1 Tim. 6:14-16). His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36), but is a rule in the hearts of people until the end of time (Lk. 17:21).

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 35, Issue 19, Page 3,  May 10, 2020

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“FACE TO FACE”

by R.J. Evans

We long for the time when we can “come together in one place” to worship (1 Cor. 11:20; 14:23).  Let us all be praying, that if it is God’s will, it will be sooner rather than later.

It has been documented that physical contact or touch improves our immune system and also helps reduce diseases associated with the heart and blood.  There are many incredible benefits — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, that come from a touch.  A loving touch is a means of communication, bonding, and good health.  That is why we have a natural inclination to shake one another’s hand, pat another on the back, or give one another a big hug.  Thus, it is understandable why New Testament Christians gave each other a “holy kiss” (Rom. 16:16; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thes. 5:26; 1 Pet. 5:14).  After the Apostle Paul had met with the elders of the Ephesian church and was ready to depart, we are told “they fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him” (Acts 20:37).

As a result of COVID-19, this terrible pandemic, I have come to a greater appreciation of what the Apostle John said to “the elect lady and her children” and to his “beloved Gaius.”  Please observe: “Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full” (2 Jn. 12).  “I had many things to write to you with pen and ink; but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face” (3 Jn. 13-14).

Phone calls, text messages, emails, Facebook, Zoom, etc., are all great means of communication, but they will never take the place, or be the same as “FACE TO FACE” or person to person contact.  I close with the words of Paul to the Thessalonians— “But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire”  (1 Thes. 2:17).

— from the bulletin of the Southside church of Christ, Gonzales, Louisiana, April 19, 2020
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

…the family and friends of Andy Berendt who recently passed away.

Elaine Abbott as she is now back home, following her hospital stay for diverticulitis, and will resume her chemo and hemodialysis treatments this week.

Joyce Rittenhouse who is in the hospital. She started feeling ill Friday and was running 103° fever last night. After lunch on Saturday, she was taken to the ER by ambulance and remained there until about 11 p.m. when they put her into room 216. She has a kidney stone that is now in her bladder and had become not only infected, but also septic. They have run many tests on her and now have her hooked up to a heart monitor, oxygen, and 2 IVs for fluid. She is feeling somewhat better today than yesterday, but will probably remain hospitalized for the next 3 or 4 days.

Joyce’s brother who was not able to have his heart surgery in Savannah last week because the surgeon there has not yet received the pictures from the CT scan.

Doyle Rittenhouse who has not had that epidural yet and has been in pain constantly. He will be seeing his doctor June 5.

Michael Rittenhouse who will be seeing his doctor June 9 to find out more about his present health.

Bud Montero who will be having a follow-up on June 11 for the procedure he had a couple weeks ago.

Emily Abbott Cox who is now in about her 37th week of pregnancy, with a due date of June 22, but thinking little Sadie Taylor’s arrival might be in the next two weeks.

Let us also continue to remember the following in prayer: Ray Daugherty, Rick Cuthbertson, James Medlock, Rex & Frankie Hadley, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Shirley Davis, John Bladen, the Medlock family, and Kerry Williams.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation. 

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress (The new Gospel Observer website)

http://thomastedwards.com/go (older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)

http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/

http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer

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

1) The Ascension of Jesus and Its Prophecy (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
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The Ascension of Jesus and Its Prophecy

Tom Edwards

The Ascension

God used Luke the beloved physician (and sometimes traveling companion of the apostle Paul) to write two books of the Bible.  He begins his second by saying, “The first account I composed Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.  To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:1-3). 

On one occasion, during that 40-day period, the Lord had also “appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time” (1 Cor. 15:6).  And some of those were still living when Luke wrote the book of Acts about 27 to 28 years after the Lord’s resurrection.

Luke then goes on to write, “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven'” (Acts 1:9-11).  What an awesome and marvelous sight that must have been to behold!

The Prophecy of the Lord’s Ascension

The ascension of Jesus that we just read about was actually foretold by the prophet Daniel several centuries prior.  He declares:

“I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).

God the Father, of course, is the “Ancient of Days” whom Jesus “came up to” (v. 13).

And notice what the Lord received at that time: “dominion, Glory, and a kingdom” (v. 14).     

We also see a purpose for the giving of that: It was so “all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him” (v. 14).

Unlike the Law of Moses, which was only for the Jewish people (though some Gentiles became proselytes to it), the New Covenant of the Gospel Age is for all people — and all are to be taught it and live by it (cf. Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16).

So if God’s kingdom has not yet come, as some would say and are still awaiting it, then how could any of us serve Him acceptably? Can we have His approval of serving Him without being a part of His kingdom?

Many folks today make a distinction between the kingdom and the church, and say that the church is a “substitute” for the kingdom.  That, to them, though God had initially planned to set up His kingdom, He was not able to follow through with His intent because of the Jews’ rejection of His Son Jesus.  So He set up the church as a “substitute,” or that which was an “afterthought” in the mind of God.

But how can anyone believe that?  God knew what they were going to do to His Son — even before He sent Him.  So the Father was not only aware in advance of their rejection, but also of the torment they would bring upon Jesus. God’s omniscience concerning this is also seen in the Messianic passages in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 that foretell of Christ’s suffering at Calvary, centuries before the actual event.  Yes, God very well knew what man would do.

The church is the kingdom. Though Thayer shows “kingdom” to primarily mean “1) royal power, kingship, dominion, rule 1a) not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom 1b) of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah,” he also shows the secondary meaning to be “2) a kingdom, the territory subject to the rule of a king.”  What kind of king would not have a kingdom to rule over?  That sounds rather sad.  Is Jesus a king without a kingdom? All those who submit to God’s kingdom (His rule) become a part of His kingdom (the church that He rules over).

Also, the church was not “an afterthought” in the mind of God.  Rather, it was part of His eternal plan.  For, as Paul speaks of that mystery that was now being revealed, it was the Lord’s design that “the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him” (Eph. 3:10-12).

So God’s kingdom has come.  And hear what Paul says of those who have submitted to God’s plan of salvation: “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).  The apostle John, when exiled to the island of Patmos, acknowledged that he was a “fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus” (Rev. 1:9).  To be in Jesus, therefore, is to be in the kingdom (the church).  So it is essential to be in Jesus to serve God acceptably.  For Jesus says, when showing the need to abide in Him (as the vine of which Christians are the branches), “…he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:6).

While on earth, Jesus, as well as John the Baptist, preached the need for repentance and gave the reason: “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17; cf. Matt. 3:2).  Its coming was so near that Jesus was able to say, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power” (Mark 9:1).

These passages clearly show that God’s kingdom has come, and the Christian is already in it. 

Furthermore, when Jesus comes again, though He won’t be setting foot on earth, He will then be delivering the kingdom up to His Father in heaven on that day that the saved of all time will be meeting Him in the air (1 Cor. 15:22-28; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).

Right now Jesus is the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16).  He has been exalted to God’s right hand “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:20-23). 

In Old Testament times, God promised to send the Savior, the Messiah — and God kept His word.  He sent Jesus “when the fullness of the time came” (Gal. 4:4), which means “the proper or destined time” (Random House Webster’s College Dictionary).  And just as God kept His word in sending Jesus the first time, He will also keep His word in sending Him again in that great final day when “the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we [Christians] who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16-17).  And that day, which is referred to as the “last day,” will also be the time of the universal resurrection for all people of all time.  For it will include not only the saved, but also all the lost souls. For “an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment” (Jn. 5:28-29, cf. Acts 24:15). 

As we have seen in this lesson, Jesus not only ascended to the right hand of God in heaven, but also fulfilled prophecy in doing so. Because of all that the Lord accomplished while on earth, and now reigning in glory, we who are Christians will also ascend one of these days, when we will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air! Let us each strive to be ready for that great day! And if you happen to be a non-Christian, read below to see how you can become one and make yourself ready, too!

— All Scripture from the New American Standard Bible
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

We extend our condolences to all the loved ones of Andy Berendt who passed away peacefully Friday evening while surrounded by his wife Kathy, his son Adam, his daughter Heather, and his grandchild Noelani.  Andy had served the Lord for many years as a gospel preacher; and when a Christian passes away, though there is sorrow in that loss, yet, as the apostle Paul shows, we do not have to “grieve as do the rest who have no hope”; and can, therefore, “comfort one another with these words” that “the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:13-18). Let us be keeping all of his family and friends in prayer.

Elaine Abbott, who has been undergoing chemo treatments once a week and hemodialysis three times a week, is now in the hospital for diverticulitis. She should be home in a couple days.

Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother will be having heart surgery this Tuesday.  His blood pressure has been very low.

Joyce has been having a few kidney stones over the last several months at different times.  Her latest one was eliminated the Sunday before last.

Jim Lively had a bad fall recently that put a small tear through the top of his ear, cutting completely through.  It was the first he had fallen in a few months, so he has improved on that.

Doyle Rittenhouse will be having a procedure this Wednesday to remove more tissue from an area where he had an irregular mole removed. It was not melanoma, but precancerous.  This week or the week after, he will also have an epidural for the back pain that he has continually been having for a while.  Eventually, “spacers” will be put into his spine to solve the problem.

Michael Rittenhouse’s CT scan showed no cancer, no pneumonia, and no nodules. Though he is not 100% improved, yet he is breathing better now. However, he still has some kind of health issue that he will find out about June 9 when his doctor will discuss that with him.

James Medlock is doing somewhat better.

Emily Abbott Cox is now in about her 36th week of pregnancy.

Bud Montero will be having a follow-up on June 11 for the procedure he had a couple weeks ago.

Let us also continue to remember the following in prayer: Ray Daugherty, Rick Cuthbertson, Ann Vandevander, Rex & Frankie Hadley, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Shirley Davis, John Bladen, the Medlock family, and Kerry Williams.

No additional illnesses or physical problems have been reported among us, but let us still continue to keep each other in prayer.

On May 24, 2020, we resumed having our worship service in the building.  It had been 70 days since we had last done so. It was so good to be able to worship God together again!  Though many were not able to be with us, the 23 who were practiced social distancing, which was easy to do in an auditorium that would probably accommodate more than 200 people (when social distancing would not be required).  For a while, we will just be having the Sunday 10 a.m. worship service for our only service in the building for the week.  We do not yet know when we will also begin our Bible classes for Sunday and Wednesday, but it will be posted when we do.  
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday Worship Service: 10 a.m. (This will temporarily be our only service for the week, due to the coronavirus caution.)

evangelist/editor:
 Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
http://thomastedwards.com/go (older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html
(audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer

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

1) Titles of Jesus (Irvin Himmel)
2) News & Notes
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Titles of Jesus

Irvin Himmel

Jesus Christ is the central figure of the Bible. He is God’s gift to man and Man’s only hope. The Old Testament pointed to His coming. Virtually every line of the New Testament helps to portray Him. There is little danger of our over magnifying Him. To know God we must know Jesus (Matt. 11:27). To receive God we must receive Jesus (Matt. 10:40). To love God we must love Jesus (John 8:42; 16:27). To come to God we must come to Jesus (Matt. 11:28; John 14:6). To obey God we must obey Jesus (Matt. 7:21,24; Heb. 5:9). To honor God we must honor Jesus (John 5:23).

Names and titles are meaningful in the Scriptures. The personal name given to the Son of God is significant. Many titles are applied to Him in the Sacred Writings, and we need to know their meaning that we might honor Him more fully. A “name” is a word or phrase that distinguishes and identifies; it is that by which something is marked and known. Adam gave names to the cattle, fowl of the air, and beasts of the field in Gen. 2:19,20. There are common and class names. For example, “apple” is the name of a certain class of fruit. There are proper and personal names. “Golden Delicious” is the name of a particular variety of apple. “Man” is the name of a class of creatures. “Sam Smith” is a proper name used by a man for personal identity.

A “title” is an appellation of rank, office, dignity, or honor. “Gerald Ford”‘ is the personal name of the man who currently occupies the White House in Washington, D.C. He wears numerous titles, such as “President of the United States,” “Chief Executive,” and “Commander-in-Chief.” We have no problem in understanding the difference between this man’s name and the titles that reflect his office, rank, and position.

The Name Jesus

The personal name worn by our Lord was chosen and announced prior to His birth. When the angel Gabriel was sent to Mary, a virgin, to announce that she would bear a child, the heavenly messenger spoke these words: “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus” (Lk. 1:31). Later, when Joseph realized that his espoused wife was pregnant, supposing that she had played the harlot, he was thinking of putting her away privately. But the angel of the Lord informed him that she was with child of the Holy Spirit, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

This divinely-chosen name is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name “Joshua.” It signifies that “salvation is of Jehovah.” Like many other personal names in the Bible, it has doctrinal meaning. Consider, for example, the name “Joel” which means “Jehovah is God,” or the name “Malachi” which means “my messenger.” The personal name chosen for our Lord is appropriate. Since the name “Jesus” is not altogether uncommon, it is sometimes given clarification by the addition “Jesus of Nazareth” (John 18:5; Acts 2:22) or “Jesus of Galilee” (Matt. 26:29).

Master

The title “Master” often was applied to Jesus during His earthly ministry. Six Greek words translated “Master” can be used as titles for Jesus. Two of these mean “Lord” and that title will be considered later, so I now mention the other four.

(1) Didaskalos is used in such passages as Matt. 19:16; Mk. 4:38; and Lk. 12:13. It is rendered “teacher” in John 3:2. Thayer says it means “. . . One who teaches concerning the things of God, and the duties of man.” It sometimes refers to the teachers of the Jews’ religion and is translated “doctors” in Lk. 2:46 in the King James Version. It is applied to John the Baptist in Lk. 3:12. It describes Christians as instructors in Heb. 5:12. Because He was recognized as a teacher, Jesus was addressed by this title on numerous occasions.

(2) Rabbi is sometimes translated “Master” (John 9:2; Matt. 26:49), but in some cases it is not translated (John 6:25). Thayer says it means “. . . My great one, my honorable sir … a title with which the Jews were wont to address their teachers (and also to honor them when not addressing them . . . ).” It is interpreted as didaskalos in John 1:38. Like didaskalos, we find it applied to John the Baptist (John 3:26). Both didaskalos and rabbi were used by the Jews in reference to their teachers.

(3) Epistates is the word for “Master” in Lk. 5:5 and 17:13. Vine defines it as “a chief, a commander, overseer.” According to Thayer, it means “Any sort of superintendent or overseer,” and it was used by the disciples when addressing Jesus, not because He was a teacher, but because He had authority. Interestingly, this Greek word for “Master” is used only six times and is limited to the book of Luke. The Pulpit Commentary suggests that it may have been used in Luke’s writing because it would have been better understood by the Gentile reader than didaskalos or rabbi. It is interesting to compare Mk. 4:38 which uses didaskalos and Lk. 8:24 which uses epistates. Perhaps the disciples used both words when addressing Jesus, or Luke may have used the latter as a kind of synonym for the former to portray to Greek readers (Theophilus and others) the authority of Jesus as a teacher.

(4) Kathegetes is used exclusively in Matt. 23:8,10 and translated “Master.” It means a leader or guide. Albert Barnes says, “It refers to those who go before others; who claim, therefore the right to direct and control others. This was also a title conferred on Jewish teachers.”

Jesus was “Master” in the sense of Teacher, Rabbi, Overseer, and Guide during His ministry. It appears that these titles were regarded as inadequate following the ascension, so titles expressing Deity are more common after His exaltation. Vine remarks, “The primitive community never ventured to call Jesus `Our Teacher’ after He had been exalted to the Throne of God. The title rabbi, expressing the relation of the disciple to the teacher, vanished from use . . .”

Lord

Kurios is the commonly-used word for “Lord” and appears in every book of the New Testament except Titus and the epistles of John. It has several general and customary usages, four of which I now mention.

(1) It often means the possessor or owner of a thing. The householder who hired laborers to work in his vineyard is called “lord of the vineyard” (Matt. 20:8). He was what we think of today as a landlord. In Gal. 4:1, Paul reasoned that the heir, as long as he is a minor, is no different from a servant, though he be (potentially) “lord of all.” Ownership is the idea.

(2) It sometimes means a master in the sense of one to whom some kind of service is due. At Philippi, Paul and Silas found a damsel who “brought her masters much gain by soothsaying” (Acts 16:16). Jesus pointed out that no man can serve “two masters” (Matt. 6:24). The two masters or lords to which he was referring are God and riches.

(3) In some cases it means a ruler. When Paul appealed to Caesar, Festus was troubled that he had no certain thing to write to his “lord” (Acts 25:26). The “lord” to which he made reference was the Emperor. Jesus is called “Lord of lords, and King of kings” (Rev. 17:14). This means that He rules over all earthly rulers.

(4) It can be used as a title of respect and courtesy. In this sense Sarah called Abraham “lord” (1 Pet. 3:6). It is translated “Sir” in several passages. For example, the jailor at Philippi addressed Paul and Silas as “Sirs” (Acts 16:30). It was in this sense that Saul of Tarsus called Jesus “lord” before knowing His identity. “Who art thou, Lord?” (Acts 9:5).

Kurios was used by the Jews in a special sense to honor Jehovah. This title is applied frequently to Jesus in the New Testament. Although Jesus could be called “Lord” because He is our Owner, having purchased our redemption, or as Master deserving our service, or as Ruler over us, as His Deity was revealed the title took on deeper meaning. Vine suggests that the title “Lord” in its full significance “rests upon the resurrection.” There is certainly more to it than a mere expression of courtesy. When Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28), he was acknowledging Lordship in the highest sense.

Messiah and Christ

Messias is the Hebrew word for “anointed” spelled as if a Greek word; anglicized, it is “Messiah.” It is used in the New Testament only in John 1:41 and 4:25. Translated into Greek it is Christos; into English, “Christ.” “Messiah” and “Christ” are identical in meaning.

In Old Testament days the priests were anointed with a special anointing oil (Ex. 30:22-30; Lev. 4:3). Kings were anointed, also. Saul was anointed by the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 10:1). David, though threatened by Saul, always respected Saul as “the Lord’s anointed” (2 Sam. 1:14-16). David was anointed on three separate occasions (1 Sam. 17:13; 2 Sam. 2:4; 5:3). Since it was foretold that Israel’s Savior would be both King and Priest (2 Sam. 7:11; Zech. 6:13), the Jews came to think of Him as “the Anointed One” to come. This is the background for the well-known title “Messiah.”

Jesus is called “Christ” in such familiar passages as Matt. 16:16; 22:42; 26:63; John 1:19,20; and many others. Sometimes the title appears immediately after the personal name, hence “Jesus Christ” (Matt. 1:18; Acts 8:12; Eph. 2:20). Sometimes the title appears just before the personal name, therefore “Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1; 1 Cor. 4:15; Eph. 2:13). Sometimes the title “Lord” appears before the personal name and the title “Christ” immediately after, so we find “Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1; 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Tim. 4:2). Jesus is truly the Christ, the Anointed One of God.

Savior

The title “Savior” means deliverer or preserver. It is sometimes applied to God (Lk. 1:47; Tit. 3:4), but it is fitting for Jesus as the author of our salvation. Many Samaritans acknowledged Jesus to be “the Christ, the Savior of the world” (John 4:42). It is not uncommon to find several titles grouped together, such as “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18).

Lamb Of God

This is one of a number of metaphorical titles for Jesus. A metaphor is a term denoting one kind to suggest a comparison with another. Lambs were used for sacrifice under the law of Moses. Jesus is the “Lamb of God” because He is the sacrifice that God provided for us. John the Baptist honored Jesus with this meaningful title (John 1:29,36). Furthermore, it was prophesied that the Messiah would be led as a sheep to the slaughter (Isa. 53:7; Acts 8:32). Like the literal lamb that was suited for sacrifice, Jesus stood without blemish and without spot (1 Pet. 1:19). In the book of Revelation, Jesus is symbolized as the “Lamb” about thirty times. Note especially Rev. 5 and 13:8.

These are but a few of the many titles applied to Jesus in the Bible. These and other titles clearly reveal the concept that first-century disciples had of Him. Many of these disciples knew Him personally; some saw Him following the resurrection; they had firsthand information. Our efforts to honor Jesus should be greatly enhanced by studying these appellations of office, rank, and dignity. “To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”

— Via Truth Magazine, XX:22, pp. 7-8, May 27, 1976
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

James Medlock has been transferred from our local hospital to the Harbor View Nursing home in Waycross.  He will be there about 20 to 21 days.  His blood pressure is now in a good range and also his oxygen level (due to being on oxygen).  He is also now more alert and responsive.

We extend our condolences to all the family and friends of Edwin Medlock (Bennie’s cousin) of Albany (GA) who recently passed away.

Elaine Abbott (Jonathan’s mother) continues chemotherapy once a week and hemodialysis 3 times a week.

It was also a couple weeks ago when Ray Daugherty (Jim Lively’s brother-in-law) had a stroke, but is gradually healing.

Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother developed a pain in his chest recently that turned out to be a tear in the bottom part of his aortic valve.  He will be having surgery any day now.

Emily Abbott Cox is now in almost her 35th week of pregnancy.

Doyle and Michael Rittenhouse both had CT scans on the 14th.  We should be hearing soon on the results.

Let us continue to also remember the following in prayer: Rick Cuthbertson, Ann Vandevander, Andy Berendt, Jim Lively, Rex & Frankie Hadley, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Shirley Davis, John Bladen, the Medlock family, and Kerry Williams.

No additional sicknesses have been reported among us, but let us continue to keep each other in prayer. 

The men of the congregation will be meeting this Wednesday (the 20th) at 7 p.m. to determine if we will go ahead with our tentative plan to resume meeting in the building next Sunday (the 24th).  When we do start back, it will be for only our 10 a.m. worship service.  We will not be having our Sunday and Wednesday Bible classes for a while.  
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

The following services are cancelled until further notice:

Sunday
services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 
7 p.m. (Bible class)

evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
http://thomastedwards.com/go
(older version of the Gospel Observer website without pictures, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html
(audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer

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

1) Jesus: Our Perfect Example (Earl Kimbrough)
2) News & Notes
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Jesus: Our Perfect Example

Earl Kimbrough

“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should walk in his steps: Who committed no sin, Nor was guile found in His mouth” (1 Pet. 2:21,22).

The word here used for “example” comes from Greek elementary education. It describes the way Greek boys learned to write. The exercise tablet was usually a shallow box filled with soft wax. A student wrote with a sharp stylus that was flat on the opposite end for erasing so the wax could be repeatedly used. The writing master prepared the student’s tablet by writing a line at the top to be reproduced by the student and by drawing parallel lines to keep the student’s work straight. The master’s line at the top was the “pattern” the boy must copy in his own hand in learning to write. Mature skill in handwriting required practice. Peter’s words show that Jesus’ suffering is not only redemptive. It is also an example that even slaves could imitate in suffering unjust treatment. Jesus as our example suggests four simple facts.

1. Jesus left us the perfect example. He is the perfect “writing copy” we must strive to reproduce in our own life. His sinless perfection is apparent from the couplet quoted from Isaiah 53:9 – “Who committed no sin, Nor was guile found in his mouth.”While Peter refers especially to Jesus’ perfect example of patience in suffering, Isaiah spoke prophetically of the Lord’s absolute freedom from sin, as other writers and the history of Jesus’ life show. No other human ever lived without sin. Even the most righteous men are examples to others only as they follow Jesus(1 Cor. 11:1). Jesus lived above sin because he had perfect self-control and because he had a perfect consciousness of God, being fully committed to him in all things.

The figure changes in the second clause (“that you should follow his steps”) to that of a guide. Jesus leads by his footprints. He is the perfect example in all that he did and for all we must do in the service of God. He is perfect because “in him there is no sin” (1 Jn. 3:5)and he is our example because he commands us to follow him (Matt. 16:24).

2. Jesus is our example of right conduct. Walking in his steps does not mean that we do so perfectly. We achieve perfection only by the grace and mercy of God through submission to his will(Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 3:21-26). Nor does it mean that we imitate Jesus in the things he did by virtue of his divine nature, as in receiving the homage of men. Moreover, following him does not require us to do all he did in the service of God. He lived as a Jew under the law of Moses, but we are free from the law(Rom. 7:4).Therefore, we cannot follow him in observing the precepts of Moses. “Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing . . . [and] you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:1-4). How, then, do we follow the example of Jesus?

(a) We imitate his manner of life. This is seen in the specific example Peter gives. We do not suffer on the cross and we cannot die for the sins of others. But following his manner of suffering unjustly for doing right, we catch his spirit and return love for hate. In his relation to God, Jesus put him first and served him faithfully. In his relation to men, he fulfilled every moral precept of the law perfectly. He was loving, compassionate, and merciful. He was gentle, patient, and kind. He was humble, forgiving, and submissive to his Father’s will. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Jesus Christ” (Phil. 2:5). “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:29).

(b) We follow Jesus in living by his word. Peter connects the example of Jesus to his role as “the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Pet. 2:25).The figurative use of “Shepherd” includes the idea of a teacher. “He will feed his flock like a shepherd” (Isa. 40:11). Jesus is not only our perfect example, he is also our perfect instructor. His teaching can no more be separated from his life than his example. We follow him in both. The latter refers to the teaching he left us in the New Testament (Matt. 19:28; Heb. 2:1-4).

3. Jesus intended for us to walk by his example. “For to this were you called . . . that you should walk in his steps.” Christians are called to God’s service through the gospel for the purpose of imitating Jesus in their lives. Those who think Christianity consists of anything less than imitating his teaching and example have missed the point. Sinners must understand this when they become Christians. “Therefore we were buried with him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). And Christians must never forget this commitment: “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).

4. Jesus’ example is more than a perfect pattern. Following him brings the blessings that make us perfect in him. It is in following him that we receive the benefits of his death. “… who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness by whose stripes we were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24). We are saved from the power and punishment of sin when we obey the gospel (Mk. 16:15,16). Our sins are washed away by the blood of Christ when we are baptized into spiritual union with him (Acts 22:16; Rom. 5:9; 6:3,4). It is at this point that we are freed from the dominion of sin. And the hope of being free from the eternal punishment that awaits the unrighteous is a great motivation for us to live “soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world” (Tit. 3:11,14). Jesus not only died to free us from the dominion of sin, but that we might “live for righteousness.”

There is another blessing provided by the perfect example of Christ. “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Pet. 2:25). The title “Shepherd” seems to identify Jesus with Ezekiel’s prophecy: “I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them – my servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd” (Ezek. 34:23). Jesus remains the perfect teacher and example for his people, providing them all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 2:1-4). “Overseer” is apparently used here in reference to Jesus’ protective oversight of those who walk in his steps. Following the perfect example of Jesus gives us assurance of eternal life.

“Footprints of Jesus,
That make the pathway glow;
We will follow the steps of Jesus,
Where’er they go.”

Via the Guardian of Truth XXXVIII, No. 22, p. 1, December 1, 1994
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News & Notes

The above picture is of Joshua Richardson (left) and his friend Logan Burnette who both work for CSX and were doing so in Waycross last week. We rejoice that Joshua was baptized into Christ on May 4, 2020 to be forgiven of all the sins he has ever committed throughout his entire life! And, thus, gladly became a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. What a great decision and choice Joshua has made! None could be greater nor more important! Let us pray for our new brother in the Lord and thank God for His goodness, His grace, and His mercy in sending His son Jesus Christ to this world to make salvation possible, by His death on the cross, for every sinner who will submit to God’s plan for redemption. How truly wonderful our God is! And how great His love is for each of us!

Here is a short video of Joshua’s baptism: https://thomastedwards.com/baptism_of_Josh_Richardson_050420.mp4

*****

May 3 update on Andy Berendt by his daughter Heather:

“Heather here…my mother wanted me to post to ask for some prayers again.

“My father is getting good care at the hospital and we are thankful that he is there and that they are doing a wonderful job for him. They are trying to get him well enough to get out of the hospital and back onto his treatments for the cancer.

“He is not going to be released until his infection is gone (or at least stable). So please pray that they will be able to get his infection under control and get his white blood cell count numbers down. Maybe other things are looking good for him but that is the most pressing prayer need we have now. Thank you!”

*****

Other folks to also be praying for:

Elaine Abbott (Jonathan’s mother) continues chemotherapy once a week and hemodialysis 3 times a week.

Bud Montero completed his 5 days of treatment Friday.  He is feeling well and thankful to all for their prayers. 

As mentioned last week, James Medlock’s condition of Alzheimer has become worse.  He had fallen 3 times in about 3 weeks and now cannot walk.  Sundown syndrome had also been hindering him from sleeping.  

It was also a couple weeks ago when Ray Daugherty (Jim Lively’s brother-in-law) had a stroke, but is gradually healing. 

Emily Abbott Cox is now in almost her 34th week of pregnancy.

It was reported last Monday that Michael Rittenhouse has a growth in his lung that about 3 weeks ago had doubled in size in just a few days.  We have not yet heard the results from the recent testing, but are praying that all will go well. 

Let us continue to also remember the following in prayer: Rick Cuthbertson, Ann Vandevander, Jim Lively, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Kelly Stoneheart, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Doyle & Joyce Rittenhouse, Shirley Davis, John Bladen, the Medlock family, and Kerry Williams.

No new sicknesses have been reported among us.  We have tentatively planned to have just one service a week for a while — our worship service at 10 a.m. — and begin that on May 24.  But the men will have a business meeting on the 20th to see if we are still going to go ahead with that.   
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

The following services are all cancelled until further notice:

Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) “The Kingdom Is Like…”  — Figures Describing God’s People (Robert F. Turner)
2) News & Notes
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“The Kingdom Is Like…” — Figures Describing God’s People

Robert F. Turner

Is the church (God’s people) the body of Christ (Eph. 1:23); or is it LIKE (in some respects) a body; and since He is head over these people, therefore, LIKE the body of Christ? Are we literally His hands, feet, etc. or are we figuratively His body?? To ask such questions is to answer them in any sane mind. Yet, many seem reluctant to apply common sense reasoning to Bible figurative language.

The most common and effective way to teach an unknown is to compare it to something known. The common simile says this is like that. His remark was like a knife — it cut, figuratively; or, it had a point; or, it was mounted on a handle. The exact use is left to the user, and is usually indicated in the context. When the comparison is made to an event or happening this is called a parable, or a fable (depending on the type of story told as illustration). In some figures of speech the like is omitted (“tell that fox” Lu. 13:32) or is a deliberate exaggeration (“running like lightening”); but all convey a message limited by context and intent. Metaphorical language is so common it is practically inseparable from communication. We use it all the time, and I just finished using it. (“All” the time? or just much of the time?)

One need not know the names or the technical descriptions of figures in order to properly use and interpret them. It doesn’t take a genius to know we do not drink a container; or that Jesus, holding bread in his hand as he spoke, did not mean “this is (literally) my body” (1 Cor. 11:23-f). Bread and fruit of the vine symbolize or represent the body and blood of Christ. But symbolism, a form of figurative language, is also subject to the limitations placed upon it by the author. We have no right to alter the elements of symbolism established by the Lord and the Holy Spirit, or to place significance upon circumstances or details which were given no significance by divine authority.

Some figures seem to invite unauthorized extension more than others. The kingdom figure is much abused by repetition of the Jewish materialistic concept. Some expect Christ to sit on the literal chair of David, ruling over a this world realm. His teaching concerning the nature of His kingdom (Mk. 12:34; Lu. 17:20-21; Jn. 18:36-37) and the many references to its present existence (Acts 2:30-33; Col. 1:13) seem to make no impression. And the “child of God” figure is extended to teach a right of fellowship for the “unborn child,” or that once one is a “child” he forever remains in God’s family. Because a literal child so remains, or a literal king has a gold throne, many do not hesitate to assert these things of the figures. Did King Herod have a bushy tail?

The same illustrative material may be used in more than one figure and with different meanings. We become a child of God by birth (or adoption) but the child figure may also be used to emphasize the necessity for displaying characteristics of our heavenly Father (Jn. 8:38-47; Matt. 5:43-45). In every case, the author determines the use of his figures, and we must be content to make only the application authorized by context.

The people of God are those who hear, believe, and obey the call of the gospel of Christ (2 Thes. 2:14, Acts 2:37-41). Generally speaking, we are either in darkness (in sin, unacceptable unto God), or we are in the light (in truth, acceptable). Those who are acceptable unto God are described or designated by a multitude of figures, each emphasizing some particular characteristic of the saints. God’s people are LIKE workers in His vineyard, LIKE soldiers in His army, LIKE sheep in His flock. These are not different relationships — they are applied to the same people. When one becomes a branch upon Christ, the vine, he also becomes a lively stone, built upon Christ, the foundation. He enters one acceptable relationship, variously described by these figures.

Each figure has its own language or terminology. One is built upon the foundation, when God’s people are LIKENED unto a building; but he is born, when God’s people are LIKENED unto a family. It would be a mixing of figures to say one was born into a vine, or enlisted in a flock, or built into a family. If born of God is a mystical, better-felt-than-told process, then so is that of becoming a worker in the Lord’s vineyard, or a runner in the Christian race.

In each of these figures Christ is put in the prominent position. He is King in the kingdom, Shepherd of the flock, elder brother in the family, and head of the body. His position is not simply an honorary one, but its importance is established by its function. As head of the body, He directs its activities; as King, He rules all who will be subject to Him, who therefore make up His kingdom. He is the vine that gives life to each branch, and without whom there can be no fruit. He protects the sheep, and directs and pays the laborers. Christ is the foundation upon which each building block depends.

It is also important to note that in every figure the unit is an individual. If a man abide not, he is cast forth as a branch. Members of the body are saints, not congregations. The family of God is a brotherhood not a churchhood. His kingdom is made up of citizens, not of communities (as Campbell thought). This is a vital point. It establishes the direct relationship of saints to Christ. Our primary obligation is to be faithful to Christ, not to the church. The true church is not the object of our faith, but the result of faithfulness to Christ. It is the duty of each saint to maintain that faithfulness, and a faithful church will be the result of such fidelity.

Most figures have a central theme, and are given to teach a single point. When God’s people are likened unto a kingdom, RULE is the theme — God rules, through Christ, in the hearts of His people. But we may be told, “The kingdom is like” — a treasure — in value; or leaven — the way it is spread; or mustard seed — which from a small start produces big things. We should never make more of the figure than is obvious in its context.

Finally, no figure teaches a permanent relation. Our position in each is subject to our remaining faithful.

— Via Plain Talk, vol. 13, no. 10, pp. 4-5, December, 1976
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Update (May 1) on Andy Berendt
by his daughter Heather:

“We got a call at 1:40 requesting a zoom meeting between us, his doctors and my father.

“During the meeting, dad looked good and was happy to see us. He had just agreed to the blood transfusion and was concerned that he hadn’t made a good decision to do that but we assured him it was the right choice.

“The doctors said that he is not showing signs of an internal bleed and the surgeons found no area of concern with his intestines. He is no longer in sepsis shock and they were surprised how quickly he cleared that up. He is not on any blood pressure medications and his bp is back up to normal. He is on no pain medication and hasn’t been the entire time he was in the hospital.

“The doctors said that he is doing really well and they are thinking he will get out of icu tonight and as long as things progress in the right direction and nothing else changes, he should be able to come home in a few days and restart his cancer treatments.

“Thank you all for your prayers. We really appreciate them. Dad was very encouraged hearing that so many were praying for him.”
——————–

Bud Montero
begins his 5 days of non-invasive procedures for prostate cancer tomorrow.  They will run through Friday and require about 30 minutes each.  We are glad that Bud has been given a very good prognosis for this.    

James Medlock
has not been able to walk for the last couple days.  He has fallen 3 times in the last two or three weeks, and his Alzheimer has worsen.  He also has developed sundown syndrome that had him up 4 nights and days without sleep.  Three times his medication has been increased to improve this. 

Jonathan Abbot’s
mother continues with hemodialysis 3 days a week and chemotherapy once a week. 

Ray Dau
gherty
(Jim Lively’s brother-in-law) had a stroke last week, which had affected his memory and speech somewhat and slightly impaired his left side; but he is improving. He is now back home. 

Rick Cuthbertson
is still receiving chemo treatments every week except one out of each month.   He has been alternating between a double dose one week, and a single the next and is tolerating it better than before. The kidney and colon cancer has been eliminated, and the spots on his lungs have continued to shrink.  

Ann Vandevander
continues to receive physical therapy 3 times a week in her home.

Emily Abbott Cox
is now in almost her 33rd week of pregnancy.

Let us continue to remember Jim Lively, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Kelly Stoneheart, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Doyle & Joyce Rittenhouse, Shirley Davis, John Bladen, the Medlock family, and Kerry Williams in our prayers.

No additional sickness has been reported among us.  But let us continue to keep each other in prayer during this time of social distancing — and especially those who have had infirmities and have been shut-ins even prior to our current situation.
——————– 

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

The following services are all cancelled until further notice:

Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thomastedwards.wordpress (The new Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Some Bible Thoughts on Snow (Bill Crews)
2) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Some Bible Thoughts On Snow

Bill Crews

When moisture in the earth’s atmosphere freezes, it can fall to the earth in the form of sleet, or hail, or snow — all of which stand among the myriad phenomena of nature that testify to the wisdom and power of God. What a devastating, frightening, and awesome thing a snowstorm can be. What a beautiful, fascinating, and awe-inspiring thing falling snow can be. Not only do the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament His handiwork (Psalm 19:1). So does the earth and every phenomenon thereon, even the snow (Psalm 148:8). 

The word “snow” appears twenty-two times in the Old Testament (from the Hebrew words SHELEG, SHALAG, and TELAG) and three times in the New Testament (from the Greek word CHION). Let us look at some of those occurrences.

1. Leprous skin is described as being “white as snow” (Moses, Exodus 4:6; Miriam, Numbers 12:10; Gehazi, 2 Kings 5:27; all brought on by God).

2. White clothing is another matter altogether, and it was hard to come by in the days when the books of the Bible were written. White garments are often used as a figure of righteousness and purity. Sometimes they are suggestive of majesty and glory. The “Ancient of Days” (God Himself) is seen by Daniel with “raiment white as snow” (Daniel 7:9). So also Jesus at the time of His transfiguration (Mark 9:3, KJV). So also an angel of the Lord at the tomb of the risen Christ (Matthew 28:3).

3. The mountains of Palestine were not very lofty (the highest being a little over 3,000 feet in elevation), and were not often covered in snow, but to the north could be seen the mountains of Lebanon (a word meaning “white”) whose loftiest peaks rose to over 10,000 feet and were perpetually covered with snow (Jeremiah 18:14).

4. The worthy, wise, and industrious woman (wife and mother) of Proverbs 31 was “not afraid of the snow for her household” because she had seen to it that each member was clothed in warm, winter (double-woven) clothing which she provided for them (v 21).

5. Don’t expect to see it snowing in the summertime (unless a large volcanic eruption at that season darkened the atmosphere around the earth with its cloud of ash — a very rare occurrence). Just as out-of-place and unexpected would be honor conferred upon a fool (Proverb 26:1). Only those who act wisely deserve to have honors conferred upon them.

6. Jehovah asked Job such questions as these: “Hast thou entered into the treasuries of the snow, or hast thou seen the treasuries of the hail?” (Job 38:22). As destructive as a hailstorm can be (if a crop is in the field), it also has a beneficial effect. It provides needed moisture and nourishment to the soil. Beautiful beyond words is a snowflake seen through a microscope, each symmetrical, each different. And a good snowfall on a farmer’s land is worth much more than the price of a generous application of chemical nutrients.

7. From our human standpoint the most beautiful use of the word “snow” in the Scriptures is in such passages as these: 

“Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7). Sound like one of our hymns?

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). What a beautiful promise, and it still stands, for what was true for Israel, is true for us. Don’t carry the stains of sin upon your soul when you don’t  have to. Compare Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 1:5). 

1. And if anyone thinks that God’s word is not powerful and will not accomplish everything that He has promised that it will, let him hear this: “For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, and giveth seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11). 

I promise you that this article on “snow” will be of more benefit to you than any article that you can read in any encyclopedia on the subject. These are some thoughts from the only book that came from God.

Via the Roanridge Reader, Volume 35, Issue 16, Page 4, April 19, 2020

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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Deborah Medlock writes that James’ condition of dementia and Alzheimer is worsening, and “he needs a lot more help watching after and his every day tasks.”  She also requests prayer for Nina Staten (the cousin of one of Deborah’s friends) who now has COVID-19.

Cheryl Corbitt requests prayer that the virus will be kept out of the nursing home.  Much precaution is carried out there.  Cheryl mentioned that she and the other workers are all screened before entering the facility. A resident who returns from the hospital is put into quarantine for two weeks on a special hall before returning to her room. And residents with a fever are put into isolation for a week, depending on other symptoms.

Let us keep Jonathan Abbott in our prayers, too, who works in our local hospital.

As mentioned last week, Jonathan’s mother is having hemodialysis 3 days a week and chemotherapy once a week  — and doing well with both.

Bud Montero’s 5 days of treatments for prostate cancer in its early stage will be May 4-8, and of which he has been given a very good prognosis.  Each non-invasive treatment will be about 30 minutes. 

Ginger Ann Montero is getting much better from her recent illness.

Ann Vandevander is now back home, where she receives physical therapy 3 times a week by 3 different physical therapists.

Emily Abbott Cox is now in about her 32nd week of pregnancy.  Anita writes that Emily is doing “OK,” though her blood pressure is “a little elevated.”  So she has the doctor’s order to rest this weekend and check her blood pressure three times daily. Emily mentions that  “Easton can hardly wait for baby sister to arrive.”

Let us continue to keep each other in prayer.

——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

The following services are all cancelled until further notice:

Sunday
services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 
7 p.m. (Bible class)

evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but going back to March 4, 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Sanhedrin (Heath Rogers)
2) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Sanhedrin

Heath Rogers

The Sanhedrin was the highest Jewish court or ruling body during New Testament times. Jesus and His apostles both received opposition from the Sanhedrin. This council of the Jews condemned Jesus to death, delivered Him to Pilate, and demanded His execution. Later, this same ruling body had the apostles beaten and commanded them to no longer preach in the name of Jesus. What was the Sanhedrin, where did it come from, and what authority did it possess?

Our knowledge of the Sanhedrin comes from three sources – the New Testament, the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, and the rabbinic traditions that were written in the third century A.D.

There is a lack of positive historical information regarding the origin of the Sanhedrin. Rabbinic tradition traces the Sanhedrin back to God’s command for Moses to gather seventy elders of Israel to help him as he led the nation (Num. 11:16). Tradition also claims this council was reorganized by Ezra upon the return from Babylonian captivity. However, the Sanhedrin as we see it in the New Testament did not appear until the Intertestamental Period (the four hundred years between the Old and New Testaments).

The Greeks conceded a great amount of internal freedom to subject peoples. Palestine was then governed by an aristocratic council of elders, headed by the high priest. It is believed that this council developed into the Sanhedrin. According to Josephus, the Sanhedrin existing during the time of Greek occupation was concerned with judicial matters and was considered the governing body for all of Palestine. The jurisdiction of the Sanhedrin fluctuated when the Romans took control of Palestine. Eventually it was recognized as the ruling body of Israel even by the Jews that were dispersed throughout the world.

As the New Testament begins, Herod the Great is the king of the Jews. He had a tumultuous relationship with this council. Historically, the Sanhedrin had consisted of the chief priests and the Sadducees. This “priestly aristocracy” opposed Herod, so he admitted Pharisees into the council to cripple their power. This crippling effect can be seen in the way Paul later caused the Sadducees and Pharisees to oppose one another during his trial before the Sanhedrin (Acts 23:1-10).

The Sanhedrin consisted of seventy-one members, which included the high priest serving as the leader or president of the council. The New Testament identifies the council members as chief priests, elders, and scribes. The chief priests were members of the most prominent priestly families. The elders were tribal and family heads of the people, and like the priests, were likely Sadducees. The scribes were scholars and experts in the Law of Moses. These men were Pharisees. Although they were a minority in the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees held great popularity with the Jews and nothing could be accomplished by the council without their support.

How one became a member of the Sanhedrin is unknown. Some believe the council elected its own members. The criteria for being a council member is also unknown, but two qualifications are believed to have been wealth and adherence to rabbinic doctrine.

The Sanhedrin exercised complete control over the religious affairs of Israel. Their decisions regarding the interpretation of the Law of Moses were considered final. The Romans also allowed them to handle civil affairs and to try certain criminal cases. Roman authorities allowed subject nations to govern themselves, provided they kept the peace and did not stimulate or tolerate rebellion against the empire. The Sanhedrin had its own police force (the temple police) and could have people arrested and brought before them for trial.

One limitation placed upon the Sanhedrin by Rome was that they could not exercise capital punishment. This is why the council brought Jesus to Pilate after finding Him guilty and deserving of death (John 18:31). The one exception to this law was that the Sanhedrin, on its own authority, could put a Gentile to death (even a Roman citizen) if he passed into the inner court of the temple in Jerusalem.

The Sanhedrin is seen in a bad light in the New Testament because of its opposition to Jesus and His apostles. We know their trial of Jesus was not an unbiased examination of the facts in His case, but a means of carrying out their predetermined plan to put Him to death (John 11:53). This trial broke several rules. It was held at night, before a feast day, the death sentence was passed on the same day of the trial, and it involved obvious false witnesses. Stephen was tried before the Sanhedrin (Acts 6:12-7:60). It is not clear whether Stephen was officially condemned and executed by the authority of the Sanhedrin or if his stoning was the result of a riotous act.

Despite these facts, the New Testament indicates there were good men on the Sanhedrin. Gamaliel, a respected teacher of the law and a Pharisee, was able to talk the council out of condemning the apostles to death (Acts 5:33-40). Joseph of Arimathea, the man who buried Jesus, is described as “a council member, a good and just man” who had not consented to the council’s decision to condemn Jesus (Luke 23:50-51). Nicodemus helped Joseph bury Jesus. He was also a council member and spoke in defense of Jesus (John 3:1; 7:50-51; 19:39-42). It is not known whether these men were present at the Lord’s trial.

The Sanhedrin was abolished after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Although a court consisting of scribes was regarded by some as the continuation of the Sanhedrin, it was of an essentially different character and did not possess any authority.

Sources:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Nelson’s Bible Dictionary
The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible

— Via the Knollwood church of Christ, February 2020
——————–

-2-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

It has now been 35 days since we were last able to assemble.  There has been no reports as to any additional illnesses by any of the members, but we still want to keep each other in prayer. 

I saw this morning that Ware County now has 81 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 5 deaths linked to it, while there are also 17,841 confirmed cases and 677 deaths statewide.  Other statistics showed 742,067 confirmed cases and 39,295 deaths throughout our nation, and 2,349,720 confirmed cases and 39,015 deaths worldwide because of covid-19.  So there are many sick and grieving people today who can use our prayers. 

We are glad to hear that Jonathan Abbott was able to return to work last week. 

Jonathan’s mother is now having hemodialysis 3 days a week and chemotherapy once a week.  She is doing well with both.

Bud Montero’s second prep work was moved up to the 21st of this month.  He had an annual checkup last week and also saw another doctor and found out that his HDL is a little low and his VLDL is on the high side.  So he will be making some adjustments to improve that.

Ashley Law reported Friday evening that her mother (Kim Rowell) has improved and is being transferred back to Waycross for therapy. Ashley thanks everyone for their calls and prayers and asks that we continue to pray for her mother to improve even more.

Let us also remember the following in prayer: Andy Berendt, Ann Vandevander, Rick Cuthbertson, Jim Lively, Rex &  Frankie Hadley, Kelly Stoneheart, A.J. & Pat Joyner, John Bladen, the Downs, Joyce Rittenhouse, Shirley Davis, the Medlock family, Sandra Goodrich, and Kerry Williams.

And, of course, let us also pray for everyone everywhere, as the Bible exhorts us to do in 1 Timothy 2:1.

Last week, I began putting together a new website through a different Internet server for the WordPress version of our weekly bulletin (which includes pictures) in order to eliminate all the ads that were being included through the other web host.  This new one is at https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress . Using this link will always take you to the latest bulletin in the post.  Previous bulletin articles can be searched through the Table of Contents.  And the Archive has even more — going all the way back to March 4, 1990 when this bulletin began.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

The following services are all cancelled until further notice:

Sunday
services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 
7 p.m. (Bible class)

evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Meditation (Mark Roberts)
2) Add to Your Faith (Gene Taylor)
3) Psalm 19:7-11 (NASB)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Meditation

Mark Roberts

Do you meditate? Many Christians may instinctively answer “no” since meditation has become associated with the Eastern religions or the New Age movement. Yet the Bible recommends a kind of meditation that is far removed from such practices. David said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11). Hiding the word in our hearts, the essence of meditation, is an essential discipline in the life of the serious Christian.

What does it mean to meditate? The Bible uses the term to mean an intense consideration of spiritual matters. When we meditate, we reflect carefully and deeply upon God, His Word, our conduct and our relationship with the Lord. Paul urges us to think about things “noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report” (Phil. 4:8). David says, “I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search” (Ps. 77:6). The word David uses for “meditate” means to rehearse, to go over in one’s mind. The Scriptures admonish us to deliberately turn our minds toward spiritual things, and to introspectively look at our lives from the spiritual dimension. This is meditation.

The Bible extols the benefits of time spent meditating. Joshua was told success depended upon it (Josh. 1:8), and David defines it as the mark of a godly man (Ps. 1:2). Meditation will humble us as we look into the mirror of God’s word and see needed improvements (Jas. 1:22-25; Ps. 119:59). Solomon tells us that meditation results in better decision-making and gives us direction in life, for commandments “bound to our hearts” guide and watch over us (Prov. 6:20-23). Further, meditation will comfort us in times of distress and trouble (Ps. 119:23). Most importantly, meditation will draw us closer to the Lord because we are thinking His thoughts, not our own.

Please realize the distinction between meditation and Bible study. Studying the Bible gives us a basis for meditation, because it involves the acquiring of knowledge and facts. Meditation is the process by which we examine those facts and see how they affect our lives, and how they fit into the big picture of knowing God better. A failure to meditate can result in our becoming Bible encyclopedias – “know-it-alls” – who have no real relationship with the Lord. God did not give His word that we might become experts in Bible trivia but that it might change us to the core. We activate that change process in meditation.

How do we meditate? Meditation is a simple process, and it is best kept that way. Encumbering it with gimmicks and props only robs it of its power. Meditation only requires a willing mind and a quiet place. Remember how often Jesus sought solitude to pray and be alone with God? We must do the same. Then, select a verse of Scripture. David advises us to meditate on the law of God (Ps. 119:97). Turn the passage over in your mind, repeating it internally again and again. Think of each word and what it means. Then begin to think on how this verse applies to you. What is God saying here? How can you do what this verse instructs? Why did God command this? How does this verse show God’s love for you? What other Bible passages show this verse’s truths in action? Where can you put this verse “in play” in your life? Answering these kinds of questions takes time and energy. The payoff? As we ruminate upon the Word, we are building and strengthening our spiritual character.

As you gain more discipline to control your mind from wandering, and as your will wants to spend more time meditating, broaden your meditations beyond just Scripture. David meditated upon the accomplishments of God: “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works” (Ps. 145:5). Malachi records people meditating upon God’s name, meaning they reflected upon every facet of God’s character (Mal. 3:16). Here is meditation’s highest goal: thinking more on God.

We ought to realize the value of meditation. Make time to meditate on the Lord and His word. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Ps. 19:14).

— Via Knollwood church of Christ, January 2020
——————–

-2-

Add To Your Faith

Gene Taylor

When one becomes a child of God, he is born again spiritually (John 3:1-5) becoming a spiritual babe who is to grow (1 Pet. 2:1-2; 2 Pet. 3:18). One grows spiritually by feeding upon the word of God (Acts 20:32), developing a spiritual appetite in order to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt. 5:6).

2 Peter 1:5-11 tells of the necessity and nature of such growth. “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

“Virtue” is the determination to do right. “Knowledge” is knowledge of God’s word because it is the only source which tells what is right. “Self control” is the application of that knowledge in your life using it to govern your thoughts and actions. “Perseverance” is remaining steadfast to the Lord and His cause. “Godliness” is being like God, as He would have you to be. “Brotherly kindness” is tender affection toward brethren in Christ. “Love” is devotion to God, Christ, and your fellowman which is expressed in obedience to God and service to man.

If you are to be fruitful in your service to Christ, these things must abound in your life. If you lack them, you are blind as to what your life in Christ should be.

– Via The Beacon, March 29, 2020
——————–

-3-

Psalm 19:7-11

“The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward” (NASB).
——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Today [April 12] is now the 28th day since we have last been able to meet as a church. I am really missing that, as I imagine you are, too.  It helps us realize how much we really do need each other for that encouragement we receive in worshiping God together and building one another up in the most holy faith.  Let us continue to keep each other in prayer.  There have been no reports on any additional sicknesses among us.  And we are glad that Jonathan is now doing much better. His fever has been gone for a couple weeks; and several days ago, he began getting his strength back and has greatly improved in that area as well.

Last Wednesday, Kim Rowell was transferred to CCU.  She began have respiratory issues, which they have put her on a vent for.  They also ran tests for internal bleeding.  On last report, she had been re-admitted because of mediastinitis, which is a type of infection.

Let us also continue to remember Jonathan’s mother in prayer as she undergoes chemo treatments, due to Amyloidosis.

With the “markers” having already been implanted, Bud will be prepped again April 21 for his upcoming procedure.

Sandra Goodrich
will be having her cast on her foot and leg removed this Tuesday and replaced with a splint. 

Let us also remember the following in prayer: Andy Berendt, Ann Vandevander, Rick Cuthbertson, Jim, Rex &  Frankie Hadley, Kelly Stoneheart, A.J. & Pat, John Bladen, the Downs, Joyce, Shirley, the Medlock family, and Kerry Williams.

And, of course, let us also pray for everyone everywhere, as the Bible exhorts us to do in 1 Timothy 2:1.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

The following services are all cancelled until further notice:

Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)

evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) “For Such A Time As This” (Tommy G. McClure)
2) Humble Enough to Worship (Gary Henry)
3) News & Notes
——————–

2tim4_7-8

-1-

“For Such A Time As This”
by Tommy G. McClure

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14)?

All who are familiar with the book of Esther are familiar with this statement uttered by Mordecai when he urged Queen Esther to go and appeal to the King Ahasuerus to save the Jews in Persia who were about to be destroyed by the evil plans of Haman who had risen to power and had respect of the King for a while. This story of Esther is a beautiful example of God’s providence unfolding during a circumstance that seemed to be hopeless for the Jews of that time. As we wrestle with the present distress brought on by the coronavirus COVID-19 global crisis, you may wonder what will come to pass and what can we do “for such a time as this”?

Let me offer some things to consider:

Don’t fear! Remember that this crisis will end, but we do not know when. John encouraged those being persecuted to remain faithful to the Lord, come what may. Said he, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10; cf. Matt. 24:13). John’s statement – “ye shall have tribulation ten days” indicates that the suffering was temporary. So it is with the COVID-19 crisis. It will end!

Don’t give up! Christians must be those willing to endure any trial that comes our way. Consider the example of Jesus when He was tried in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11). Don’t be like the 3 unprofitable soils (hearts) in the parable of the sower (Lk. 8:5-15). Don’t give up on your desire for the milk of the word (1 Pet. 2:2). Don’t give up on reading and studying God’s word daily (Acts 17:11).

Don’t give in! There are many new scams that have risen as a result of the crisis. Evil people are creating schemes to steal your information and thereby profit off naive people during this crisis. Warnings have been issued by Medicare, the IRS and health care organizations concerning scams that are popping up. Be aware of people who are posing as though they are in need when they are probably not in need. As Jesus told His disciples, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16). Use sound judgment and due diligence and don’t let “wolves” pull the wool over your eyes!

Don’t give over! There are a number of errors and false ideas in the religious world. This COVID-19 crisis is unusual and all calamities are not the same. Don’t give heed to false teaching and unscriptural material that is on the internet. A number of sound churches of Christ are offering online studies during this time when we are ordered by civil leaders to “stay at home” which is a good and needed effort. But, don’t get the idea that when the “stay at home” order is lifted, you can “stay at home” when the saints assemble. Remember, the “stay at home” order is a temporary order that was issued to help stop or slow the spread of this highly contagious virus. Christians are commanded to NOT forsake “the assembling” (Heb. 10:25).

Give your time and thanks to God. Use the time you have to “stay at home” to catch up on your Bible study, Bible reading and praying to God. Pray for our leaders as they make decisions they had no idea they would have to make when elected to office. Pray for the leaders of the church as they make difficult decisions. Pray and give thanks that you are safe and have a safe place of shelter during “such a time as this.” Give thanks that our government is making provisions to help those who have been severely negatively affected by this crisis. Give thanks for the blessings of technology that can be used to study God’s word and glorify God. How many online sermons have you listened to during this “stay at home” order?

Finally, when the “stay at home” order is lifted, will you be as thirsty, studious and prayerful for spiritual things as you have been during “such a time as this” every day afterward and in the future when things are back to as normal as they can be? “…think on these things” (Phil. 4:8).

– Via Think on These Things, March 29, 2020

——————–

Rom12_3

-2-

Humble Enough to Worship
Gary Henry

“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess’” (Luke 18:11,12).

JUST AS AGITATION GETS IN THE WAY OF CAREFULNESS, PRIDE GETS IN THE WAY OF WORSHIP. Nothing in the spiritual life is more important than awe and utter respect before God, and so if pride hinders us from being reverent, it’s a deadly danger to our souls.

What is pride, really? It can be thought of in two directions: toward God and toward other people. Toward God, pride is a sense of independence; and toward other people, it’s a sense of superiority. In both cases, pride is a sinful sense of self-satisfaction. Pride sees itself as doing a pretty good job of standing on its own two feet before God; it believes it has the inside track as far as God is concerned, so that God will make special allowance for any mistakes that might be made. And in regard to other people, pride pats itself on the back (secretly, of course, and always with admirable “humility”) that it sees things from a more mature vantage point than some others, especially its rivals and its enemies.

If this is what pride is, then, it should be obvious that it’s a great hindrance to worship. Indeed, one way of looking at pride is to see it as the opposite of worship. The spirit of worship is the spirit of selfless wonder at the majesty of God — the smallness of self in God’s presence. And for sinful beings like us, it’s also the spirit of brokenness and repentance. Our hearts may be proud or they may be worshipful, but they can’t be both. And if they’re not worshipful, we’re lost. It doesn’t matter how many hardships we think we’ve overcome. Without real reverence, we’re lost.

There is no living person who does not need to be constantly vigilant concerning pride. It’s the source of all other sin, and it can creep into our hearts in so many disguises that, too often, it gets in the door and seizes the throne room of our hearts before we know what’s happened. More often than not, it gets past our defenses wearing a cloak of humility. “And the devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge).

“Beware of a proud and haughty spirit. This sin puts a great barrier between an individual and God. You will have a hard time being aware of God as long as you are filled with pride. If it gets angels cast out of heaven, it will certainly keep your heart out of heaven” (Richard Baxter).

– Via WordPoints, April 4, 2020
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

As we continue to feel the loss in not being able to assemble and worship as we had been, let us continue to remember each other in prayer, during this time of separation.

Let us also continue to remember Jonathan Abbott’s mother in prayer as she undergoes chemo treatments, due to Amyloidosis.

Others to also be praying for:

Kim Rowell is back in the hospital; and this time because of mediastinitis, which is a type of infection.

The “markers” have now been implanted to prepare Bud Montero for his upcoming procedure. It went well. He will also be prepped again April 17.

Many of our church family have acknowledged they are doing well, which we are glad and thankful for.

Sandra Goodrich will have to wear a cast on her foot and leg until April 14, when she will then be able to walk again.  In the meanwhile, she is thankful for the use of  a wheelchair.

Let us also remember the following in prayer: Andy Berendt, Ann Vandevander, Rick Cuthbertson, Jim Lively, Rex &  Frankie Hadley, Kelly Stoneheart, A.J. & Pat, John Bladen, the Downs, Joyce, Shirley, the Medlock family, and Kerry Williams.

——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Services Temporary Cancelled Until Further Notice (out of a concern for others and the need to help stop the spread of the coronavirus as our government has urged)

Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) When We Don’t Know Why (Doy Moyer)
2) Respect for the Name of God (Gary Henry)
3) News & Notes
——————–

jer17_7-8b

-1-

When We Don’t Know Why

Doy Moyer

We have so much difficulty grasping why bad things happen in this world. How can God be in control when we see so much heartache, sickness, and evil? This has long been a point of doubt for many. Books like Job, Ecclesiastes, Habakkuk, and many Psalms grapple with this problem.

The reality of evil and heartache in this world need not sink our faith. The fact that Scripture devotes so much space to the problem of evil, and indeed is a major theme of Scripture, is evidence that its existence in no way impugns the integrity and purposes of God. Scripture is a testimony of God’s response to the problem that includes Jesus dying for our sins so that we can be reconciled to Him.

Times like these require that we make a decision about whom we will trust. Trust will be tested the most when we are required to give up the most. Think about Abraham sacrificing Isaac and trusting that God knew what He was doing, even to the point of believing that God would raise Isaac from the dead (Gen 22:1-14; Heb 11:17). When Abraham was asked to give up the most, he trusted God all the more.

When we don’t know why, we must trust that we know the One who does know why and that He always has good reason to act, to allow, and to arbitrate between the various events and issues that we face in this world. Since we are to walk by faith not by sight (2 Cor 5:7), and since faith undergirds our hope (Heb 11:1), then we ought to remember that faith is the demonstration of our trust in the reality of what we cannot see. We don’t see what is going on “behind the scenes,” but we know the One who owns and manages the stage.

God is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-wise, all-understanding, and all-loving. None of that changes when we do not understand something. Our lack of knowledge about greater matters of reality should never be a reason to turn from God; rather this is all the more reason to turn to and trust God.

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Psalm 56:3).

Trusting God in a world that is full of “bad things” requires that we be prepared both spiritually and physically. Spiritually, we prepare our minds for action and seek to obey His will and to be holy as He is holy (1 Pet 1:13-16). Without spiritual preparation, we will be open to the schemes of the evil one (Eph 6:10-18). Physically, we prepare because “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God” … and “you are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor 6:19-20).

Spiritual interests are always more important than what may happen to our physical bodies (not that our bodies are unimportant). Recall that when Jesus had healed the man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years, He later found him in the temple and told him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you” (John 5:14).  Sin will be more destructive to us, body and soul, than any particular physical illness. One can be physically ill yet spiritually robust, and one can be physically in good shape yet spiritually anemic. The former condition would be far better than the latter. After all, if we are reconciled with God, we trust that the resurrection is coming.

On the other side of the spectrum is the problem of panic. This is generally some kind of sudden or overwhelming fear and can lead to irrational behaviors. Sometimes panic results in an outbreak with larger groups of people acting irrationally at the same time. This type of fear can be very destructive, and not only with physical properties. Our peace of mind is ruined. There is no joy in a mind full of fear. Think about the difference of panic and preparation:

Panic is irrational.
Preparation is rational.
Panic is based on fear.
Preparation is based on trust.
Panic loses sight of the needs of others.
Preparation cares for the needs of others.
Panic forgets God is in control.
Preparation submits to God’s control.

The child of God is called upon to trust God. God has given us tools by which we may overcome our anxieties and fears. Paul put it this way:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:5-7).

As we think on things that are excellent (v. 8), determine to practice what is right (v. 9), show our  care for others (v. 10), and learn to be content in our circumstances (vv. 11-12), we know that Christ will strengthen us (v. 13).

When we don’t know why, trust the only One who does know.

— via the Vestavia church of Christ, March 22, 2020
——————–

Exodus20_7b

-2-

Respect for the Name of God

Gary Henry

“And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:12).

ONE EVIDENCE OF HOW LITTLE REGARD WE HAVE FOR GOD IS THE FLIPPANT WAY IN WHICH WE SOMETIMES USE HIS NAME. It is possible, no doubt, to be scrupulous in the use of God’s name and still not have any reverence for Him in our hearts. But in today’s meditation, we want to focus on the inside-out problem: the problem of the person who has no inward respect for God and that lack of respect shows up in the person’s outward speech. There are basically three ways we may disrespect God and His name.

Swearing. To swear is to invoke God as the guarantee that we’re going to do as we say. For instance, the person who says, “This is what I’m going to do, by God” is swearing. But Jesus taught that our statements ought not to require any oath to back them up. “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).

Profanity. Profane speech is that which makes common or crude use of words that should be held as sacred and used only with great reverence. It’s not uncommon anymore to hear the words God and Jesus Christ thrown around so casually one wonders if the speakers even realize whose names they are using.

Cursing. When a person curses, he calls down God’s wrath upon someone, verbally wishing them harm. “Damn you” is shorthand for “I hope God will damn your soul to hell.” Even thinking this about someone is serious, but speaking it out loud — using God’s name to vent our anger on others — is a monstrous evil. It is no light matter to wish the loss of someone’s soul.

Why are these things so serious? Might we not consider them harmless foibles, less dangerous than sins that actually hurt other people? Well, the problem has to do with the heart. Crude words, and certainly irreverent ones, are almost always symptomatic of a heart that is turned away from God. So Jesus said, “By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37). So the next time you feel like “cussing,” check your heart. Where is your spiritual father, above or below? Does your speech show that you’re a humble worshiper of God?

“To curse is to pray to the devil” (German Proverb).

— Via WordPoints, March 29

——————–

-3-

News & Notes

As we continue with the need for social distancing to help stem the tide of the coronavirus, let us be keeping each other in prayer and also pray that all will soon be back to normal

Also, Jonathan Abbott’s mother will have a port installed at the Memorial Satilla tomorrow and then begin chemo on Tuesday in Jesup.  She is having this to treat her Amyloidosis.

Rex Hadley returned home last Tuesday, after his recent hospital stay.  For a few days, he had been weak, but is doing better as of yesterday. It turned out that he did have pneumonia — but just in the one lung. On the day he left, they did an echocardiogram, but cancelled his stress test.  He has not yet heard the results.  They have given him some new medication, and he will soon be having a follow-up with his cardiologist.

Ginger Ann Montero is healing from her respiratory illness.

Bud Montero has not yet been told when his treatments will begin.
Ann Vandevander is still about the same with her condition.

Rick Cuthbertson has been having difficulty with his cancer treatments.

John Bladen is still not able to walk without support, and his left arm is paralyzed with some feeling at only the tip of his fingers.  He had been in rehab for a month, but now continues therapy on his own.

A.J. & Pat Joyner both have health issues.

Joyce Rittenhouse is on medication for a kidney stone.

Shirley Davis still has some trouble with her right leg and back, and has had a kidney infection for about a month.  It still hurts when she uses her right shoulder and arm.  She would like our prayers because she loves us all.  For the last two years, she and her sister Vivian talk on the phone about 2 hours every night, and some of each call is in reading the Bible to each other. Vivian was doing that for Shirley when Shirley was not able to see well enough to read; but now her eyes have improved. So they both read to each other.

Let us also remember the following in prayer: Andy Berendt, Jim Lively, Bud Montero, Frankie Hadley, John and Myrna Jordan, Kelly Stoneheart, the Medlock family, Kim Rowell, Sandra Goodrich, and Kerry Williams.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

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

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