Vol. 2 Num. 1, January 1996
Editor Andy Neckar

Inside This Newsletter

1. Before There Was a World.
2. False Doctrine & Matthew 18: Private vs. Public Correction

Before There Was a World. Before there was a sinner, there was a Savior.
By Andy Neckar

1 Pet 1:18 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers”; (KJV) 1 Pet 1:19 “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (KJV) 1 Pet 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you”, (KJV)

1. A Lamb Slain

Rev 13:8 “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”. (KJV)

2. A Lamb Sent

John 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”. (KJV)

3. A Lamb Spoken Of

Gen 3:15 “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel”. (KJV) Who provided this Lamb?

In the Old Testament, the Jews provided a lamb according to God's instruction. This lamb was to serve as a substitute sacrifice for sin. The sacrifice of this lamb, as a shadow of things to come, was not sufficient to settle the score with God for man's sins. This lamb was not sufficient to change man's hearts. This lamb was not sufficient to empower a man to righteousness. But the sacrificial Lamb who died for our sins in the New Testament was provided by God Himself.

What kind of Lamb did God provide?

An all sufficient Lamb. Other words for sufficient are: Enough, Adequate, Plenty, Complete. Now, another word for complete is Perfect, and another word for perfect is Unblemished, or Flawless. God did not have to improve on the Lamb that He sent. God is not like man. Man needs new and improved products. Man can devise things like automobiles. Modern transportation enables man to travel in ways and speeds that were formerly impossible. Yet man sees need for improvement in these things. The auto of 1917 is no longer sufficient for today. Possibly all things man has created, or produced in years past are no longer sufficient for man today. The things of today will soon be outdated to man. Yet man looks upon his inventions as remarkable, fantastic, and futuristic. They give him joy and comfort, but man's inventions are not all sufficient.

But think of how sufficient the Lamb of God is. In 2 Cor 12:9, God told Paul: "My grace is sufficient for thee:" In 2 Cor 3:5, Paul says: "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves..., but our sufficiency is of God;..." Our sufficiency is of God. But God is Jesus, as Jesus is God, and Jesus is the Lamb of God. Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God". Romans 8:32 says that He will "freely give us all things". God (the Lamb) works all things. He furnishes all things, because He is all things. 1 Cor 12:6 "And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all". (KJV) Eph 1:23 "Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth (furnish) all in all". 1 Cor 15:28 "And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all". (KJV) All, in the Greek means; "Thoroughly, everything, the whole thing". Not partially, not some, not a piece, but all. If the Lamb freely gives us all things, and all these things work together for our good, then how much more sufficient can this Savior be? When we receive all things then nothing is lacking. When we receive all things there is nothing left to give. The world has no need of a new & improved model. The Lamb of 2000 years ago is still all sufficient for today. The Lamb has not changed. Man's need has not changed, nor is there need for a change in the method of delivery of Christ's gospel, as some leading evangelists claim and professing Christians naively believe. Jesus is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever (Heb.13:8).

False Doctrine & Matthew 18: Private vs. Public Correction

Matt 18:15 “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother”. (KJV)

Matt 18:16 “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established”. (KJV)

Matt 18:17 “And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican”. (KJV)

Some suggest that on the basis of the above 3 verses that all criticism of a persons teachings should be done on a one to one basis. However Matt. 18 applies to personal offenses and not doctrinal differences. The danger and correction of false doctrine is not the subject of Matt. 18 and therefore does not come under the specific instructions in that passage regarding private confrontation. It is impossible for public erroneous teaching ever to be considered to be a private trespass. The exposure of false doctrine is never a private matter and is always to be dealt with publicly. Much of the New Testament was written to publicly expose false teaching. The people of God are entitled to be warned and protected by those who are in position to do so.

The Apostle John named Diotrephes in 3 John and promised that when he came to that church he would publicly correct the offender in person. Paul withstood Peter to his face publicly for his false interpretation of the law that caused him not to associate with Gentiles believers (Gal 2:11-14). In this day of mass media, particularly when access is denied to those adhering to Biblical teaching by so called "Christian" television and radio, the only method of public correction of false teaching is to write books and newsletters.

The doctrinal purity of the Body must be guarded at all cost. And what has been publicly stated must be discussed publicly. "And let two or three prophets speak and let the others pass judgment" (1 Cor 14:29). It may well be that the prophet spoke truly and the offended listener is wrong. So when he speaks out on what the prophet has said, he himself will be corrected by others. It is this kind of open discussion among believers that the Bible teaches, and that is the only protection against error being introduced and allowed to corrupt the church. Never is it suggested that no one must disagree with what is being taught because to do so would cause "division". In fact, the Bible tells us that it is by division that we are able to judge who has God's approval (1 Cor 11:18-19). On the contrary, we are told that we must correct error in teaching and to do so publicly.

Dave Hunt, in the foreword to Psychoheresy elaborates on this thought: "...many church leaders, though well intentioned, are feeding ...deadly poison to the body of Christ... Christian leaders should be held accountable for what they say in books, magazines and pulpit or on radio and television. Certainly no one can object if what he has stated publicly is quoted or questioned publicly. If any church leader is granted immunity from challenge or correction, then the Reformation was in vain and we are back under the unscriptural authoritarianism of a Protestant popery... If a particular teaching is valid and Biblical, then its proponents have nothing to fear from a factual and Scriptural analysis of it's tenets; and if its precepts are in fact false and dangerous, then lovers of God and the truth will be grateful when error is exposed".

It is a rather weak excuse to say that some writer or leader really didn't mean what he said. He should have said what he meant. Words have meaning, and it is reasonably assumed that the normal meaning applies, and many people take them at face value. If a reader or listener claims that the person in question doesn't believe the things he preaches, then, if a person has truly changed his beliefs, then he ought to publish just as widely in tape and book form a renunciation of any false or misleading teaching he has given in the past.

If members of the Body have erred, then if we love them, we will correct them. If this brings division, then so be it. “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division”: (Luke 12:51)

Christian Coalition courting Catholics.
(Ft. Worth Star Telegram). The Christian Coalition urged Roman Catholics yesterday to unite with evangelical Christians in pushing a conservative political agenda. It's time for the two groups to come together because the "darkness has become so pervasive and the social pathologies have become so cancerous," said Ralph Reed, executive director of the of the Christian Coalition. "We can no longer afford to be divided. It is a luxury that is no longer ours". ( Separation from non-believers is a command from God, not a luxury) "The left wants you and I to be divided. Nothing frightens them more than Christians shattering the barriers of denominations". (So, according to the Christian Coalition, the difference between Christian and non-Christian is now non-factual. Remember though, God's Word teaches it to be a difference of being saved or lost).

The Christian Coalition, founded by Pat Robertson, said the New England meeting, where 400 people gathered was the first in a nationwide series planned to try to draw support for the coalitions new spin-off, the Catholic Alliance. Reed said Catholics and evangelical Christians could find common ground in opposing abortion, opposing pornography, supporting school choice and "believing that the family is the most important unit in society."
Valley shrine's history conjures faith in miracles.
Excerpted from an article by Jim Jones, religion editor for the Ft. Worth Star Telegram 12/24/95. Christmas lights were shining outside the famous San Juan Shrine in the Rio Grande Valley last week. And inside, Jose Ramos, a clean cut 32-year old, walked briskly to the alter to pray for a newborn child. He matter of factly removed a large candle from a brown paper sack, lighted it, and knelt without awkwardness in prayer before Our Lady of San Juan of the Valley, a statue representing the Virgin Mary that is visited by thousands each year. "I'm not very religious," Ramous said later, "I just believe in God". But he has faith in Our Lady of San Juan, a 2 foot-high religious relic that is the center of a Texas shrine that lures crowds much in the same way as shrines to Our Lady of Guadeloupe in Mexico City, Our Lady of Lourdes in France and Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. Many have said they believe that the San Juan figure has miraculous powers. And Ramos believes in miracles.
[Editor’s Note]: The Sunday edition of the 12/24/95 Ft. Worth Star Telegram offered only favorable Roman Catholic articles and commentaries in the religion section.

CN&V Notes
I pray that all of the readers of this newsletter may have a Blessed New Year. I pray that in this coming year the Lord will guard you and guide you, and protect you and keep you in His Holy Word. As we begin 1996 together I ask that you pray for me that I may be strong and bold in defense of God’s Holy Word. Thanks to everyone who wrote to me. The ones whom I have not yet answered I will, as I consider it a blessing to hear encouragement from readers. If you know of anyone who may like to receive this newsletter please send their names and addresses and I will include them on the mailing list. Your comments or questions concerning this newsletter are greatly appreciated.

We Must Earnestly Contend For The Faith.