Jun 26

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Through the years, fads come and go, without any real changes being made. In fact, if you live long enough, things just go in circles, as they come again. Take the subject of ties, they get wider, then back to being narrow once again and all in between. Have you looked at the color of skirts, as they get longer only to get shorter again? If you don’t like them today just wait a short time, and they will get back to what they once were. These changes do not mean much as the world goes on. But, there are some who believe that the New Testament changes meaning with every generation! Therefore, what a father may believe and teach as the “teaching of Christ,” it no longer teaches the same thing it did in the father’s generation. So, here is the question: “Does the New Testament mean the same thing today as it did when first preached and written?” This is a most important question.
It is hard to write on this subject without writing, if the New Testament does not mean today what it did in the time it was first delivered by the apostles; then just what does it mean? Then there is another question, “Who is to determine what it now means?” There are a few who might be able to answer this question: 1) The one who can only read with great difficulty but loves the truth; 2) It could be the man who reads very slowly but loves the truth; 3) It could be the man who sits in the pew and never says a word in class but knows the basics of what the New Testament means; 4) It could be the man who has studied the Bible all his life and understands the meaning; 5) It could be the college professor who has taught classes fifty years and loves the truth; and 6) It could be you, the child of God who loves the truth more than life itself?
Hear the words of Peter to the Jewish council and think of what they faced when preaching “the teaching of Christ; they answered: “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). If “the teaching of Christ” was only good for one generation, then it was to change! It might have been good for them anyway! Why did the apostles say anything? The apostles would have answered, “No problem as it is only going to change what it means in a few years anyway! No, this is not what they said, is it? Then, here recall the words of Jude, who wrote: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Do these words sound like there is no urgency in knowing what the teaching is, in that generation and the one to follow? No! A thousand times, no! The apostles where willing to die and they did; for “the teaching of Christ!”
If it, “the teaching of Christ,” was going to change in only a few years, why be concerned? Keep in mind, that one generation overlaps each other! This just may reveal the friction between each generation! Not only this, but keep in mind, not only does two generations overlap one end but it always overlaps the last generation. Seeing things in this light, reveals that we have nothing more than friction, at the beginning of each new generation and at the end of each generation. No peace at all! However, Jesus said: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Which truth is Jesus addressing: the one at the beginning of each generation, or the one at the end of each generation; then, there is the middle generation? Yes, it is true, we always have three generations at the same time and each one is free to determine what truth is for themselves! This brings about “war” at all times, as no one can say what truth is for generation at the being; in the middle, and the one at the end.
James will answer our question, as he wrote: “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” We conclude this article with word of John: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Do these two verses mean the same thing today as when John wrote them by the Holy Spirit? Do we really believe that we now are authorized to “lusteth to envy” and to love this world?

Frank R. Williams

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