The “Old Testament”

Posted November 5, 2020 by SandreS
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The use of the term “Old Testament” as a reference to the books of the Hebrew Scriptures is actually a misnomer. The term “old testament” is a reference to an earlier (Mosaic) covenant that God has made with Israel which was made “old” because it was displaced by a “new covenant” also made with them. “In that He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first old” (Hebrews 8:13).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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The Final Authority

Posted November 3, 2020 by SandreS
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Thankfully, none of us are the final authorities, but we know exactly where absolute authority lies, and thus we trust that we will all continue to search the Scriptures persistently, and consistently adjust our understanding and teaching accordingly, regardless of our current “positions.”

For well over 45 years I have steadily taken what I have found useful from students of the past. In doing so I believe that I have honored and helped to preserve their faithful labors.

It is my simple desire that you do the same thing with our materials. If you find something of value, build upon it in your own personal studies. If you find, on any issue, that we have gone too far – or not far enough – make adjustments accordingly.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Compelled by Truth

Posted August 14, 2020 by SandreS
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The truth … is so important that, if it should compel us to revise our own views in some particulars, or even to re-write certain matters, let us together thank God for the light that reveals further truth, and for the grace which enables us to receive, believe and use it.

EWB2E.W. Bullinger (1837-1913)
The Pauline Epistles (1919)
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Intelligently Adjusted to the Present Will and Purpose of God

Posted April 12, 2020 by SandreS
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It is obvious that, apart from the knowledge of dispensational truth, the believer will not be intelligently adjusted to the present will and purpose of God in the world. Such knowledge alone will save him from assuming the hopeless legality of the dispensation that is past or from undertaking the impossible world-transforming program belonging to the dispensation which is to come.

Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952)
Major Bible Themes, page 97
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With His Word Complete, God Remains Silent

Posted March 12, 2020 by SandreS
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To those who hold dear the verity of the Word of God, the exploration of great Bible themes should be undertaken with a joyous determination to understand what the Bible teaches about the great doctrines. To affirm belief in a certain doctrine without having thoroughly studied that doctrine is folly, not faith, and a bold unbelief is better in such cases. God has been pleased to reveal His will in the Sacred Scriptures; these being complete, He remains silent. …

The Canon of Scripture having been closed there is no need for additional inspired Scriptures with their Apostolic interpreters; and while the possibility of error is proportionate to the seriousness of the theme under consideration, still God has shut us up to His Word alone, despite all claims to the contrary.

Russell H. Schaefer
The Mystery Ministry of Paul
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Saved?

Posted February 15, 2020 by SandreS
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When I was just a young child I remember being compelled, by the influence of Evangelical teaching, to ask playmates if they had been “saved.” This must have been one of my friend’s first encounter with a would-be “soul winner,” because he responded with great sincerity that he had not, for he was never near drowning, or anything like that.

I had simply asked him if he was “saved.” I had not asked him from “what.” The only context of being saved that he could think of was “drowning,” so he answered, “No.” Herein enters the “problem” with the words “save,” “saved” and “salvation.” All of these words are in need of a context.

There are two dimensions of the concept of something being “saved.” One can be “saved” from something, and/or “saved” for something.

Overall, Christianity has reduced the term “saved” to a general term related to the erroneous idea of deliverance from eternal torment.

When the Scriptures use the word “saved” is it a reference of being “saved” from something (if so, what?), and/or are we being “saved” for something (and if so, what?)? A faithful study of the context of each Scripture usage of the word “saved” will reveal to us the answer we are seeking.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Religious Superstition

Posted February 13, 2020 by SandreS
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Religion is steeped in superstition!

Acts17:22 tells is that,

Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ Hill, and said, “You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious” (Acts 17:22).

As superstitious as the Anthenians were, Christendom has mastered pagan mythology and heathen fables. We see the results of this all about us. Christianity wallows in fantasy and superstition. It’s been “turned unto fables.” Believers have lost their scriptural bearings due to a flood of unsound teaching.

There are two thousand years of a thick maze of twisted tales masquerading as the truth, the result being that the overwhelming majority of Christendom is found to be deeply superstitious.

It is not a small task for the student of Scripture to study and sort through “Christian superstition” to actually find the truth; but it is a noble and rewarding journey. It requires a diligent, faithful, lifelong dedication to the actual words of God. It involves never allowing ourselves to be locked into any manmade creed or systematic theology, while cultivating an ever-adjusting heart and mind to what we learn afresh from the Scriptures. It requires an attitude and spirit of adjustableness.

Don’t spend your life following religious superstitions – even supposed “Christian” ones. Join the noble sons of God who are diligently searching the Scriptures to see if those things are so.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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The Sabbath and the Sunday Question

Posted January 28, 2020 by SandreS
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If any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know; but if any man loves God, the same is known of him (I Corinthians 8:2-3).

When we’re young and immature we imagine that we know everything. As we gain a measure of spiritual maturity it begins to dawn on us that we know nothing as we “ought to know.”

Unlike the divinely inspired authors of Scriptures, we students of it, at best, merely offer the results and opinions from our studies. We’re researchers of the treasure house found in God’s Word.

Perhaps, on occasion, we envision that we fully understand some small facet of God’s truth, demanding that others agree with our assessments; but we can’t truly be sure that the next enlightenment granted to us by God will not throw an entirely greater understanding on all that we thought we knew. While we all have our own different perspectives and insights, let’s never be deceived into imagining that we’ve finally arrived at some mystical summit where we are somehow the source of all truth. Honest seekers of God’s truth continually refine and change their understanding over the course of their lives. They submit themselves to the superiority of God’s Word.

Sadly, many attach themselves to teachers and organizations which have their understandings chiseled in stone. These understandings often develop into traditions which are seldom questioned or explained – they “just are.”

The establishment will always resist the “spirit of truth.” The truth of Scripture has been veiled; it requires a divine quickening of the mind to be freed from reading into Scripture our own particular creeds, dogmas and traditions.

We all possess a flawed understanding of Scripture. Grasping truth is a gradually unfolding, lifelong process. As fellow-travelers on this spiritual journey, may we ever seek to help each other through a meek and uncontentious attitude.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Take What You Can Use

Posted January 22, 2020 by SandreS
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I have been on the steady pursuit of Scripture truth for over 45 years now. I started this journey deeply indoctrinated by a narrow strain of Fundamentalist Christianity. So, admittedly, my course began greatly skewed and confined.

As a result, much of my path has been about discarding inaccuracy, and undoubtedly I have accumulated additional error along the way. I am sure that a similar story can be said for many, if not most of our readers. Nonetheless, I am content that our way has been decreed by God.

My writings are a record of my own personal voyage of faith, as well as that of a handful of adventurers who have been in and out of my life along the way. Why do I make mention of this? To stress to you, as I have repeatedly over the years, that my writings have never been intended to be a creed for anyone. I have absolutely no corner on the truth whatsoever. Of course, neither does anyone else, regardless of how confidently and forcefully they may present their findings.

It is my simple desire that my material be merely a source of assistance to you in your own personal studies – nothing more, or nothing less. So, take what you can use; and use what you take profitably in your own journey.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Where Do You Stand?

Posted January 11, 2020 by SandreS
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“Where do you stand?” is a question I often receive related to various scriptural and social subjects. I know that in part it is asked in a quest for understanding on the part of many inquirers.

If asked such a question on any subject at some point in my distant religious past, I would have either offered an answer or at least felt obligated to provide one. This is because I was raised “with all the answers”: the brand of Christendom in which I was brought up assumed to have everything all figured out.

Years ago I set out on a course that would allow my “positions” to fall by the way, with a heart to know what the Scriptures actually taught. Since then, I have been quite satisfied not even to have a “position” on any certain subject until my own studies of Scriptures convinced me of one. I no longer have shame or guilt in not taking a “stand” or having an opinion on every issue that arises. I feel no pressure to pick a “side,” unless I am “fully assured” in my own mind (Romans 14:5). In the meanwhile I continue to plug away in my investigation of the Scriptures.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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