Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 26, 1970
NUMBER 46, PAGE 7b-8a

Pertinent Paragraphs

(A Potpourri)

N. W. Allphin

Contributions by this scribe to brotherhood papers, especially in late years, have generally been in the nature of criticism of some of the things said by other writers. This was not merely to be contentious, but because I detected what appeared to me to be a wrong concept of some matter, a faulty argument, or the quoting or citing of scripture texts improperly applied, and which, consequently, did not prove what had been asserted.

In my comments I have tried to point out false conclusions arrived at without right premises, and have sought to present what I believed to be the truth on any of the given situations. Never have I penned a line to impugn any man's motive nor to challenge his sincerity. Neither do I contend that my judgment is perfect, that I am always right. That is not likely. And were I to reach such a height I imagine I'd feel pretty lonely up there — all by myself!

Fortunately, most, if not all, these errors, real or fancied, portend for us no serious consequences. They are not life or death problems. Yet, to be scripturally sound on any subject is, or should be, of deep concern to us in all cases, whether questions of great moment or trivial matters. I shall submit a couple of examples in the following two paragraphs of the sort of errors I am talking about. Please note the false application of scriptures:

In an issue of the Gospel Guardian a few months ago was an article in which the author stated that Jesus said, "The gates of hell should not prevail against his church." There is no such statement anywhere in the New Testament. Our brother's misunderstanding of what Jesus did say and mean poses two ponderous questions: (1) Was the church in Hades and trying to get out? Or (2) was it outside and trying to get in? It has to be one or the other! The "it" in Matthew 16:18 is not a pronoun for the church. It is the object complement of the verb "build." Jesus went into Hades, but the power of Hades could not contain him; he conquered Hades, cast off its power, and came out — to "build" his church (ekklesia). See Acts 2:31.

The other error. Several decades ago an accepted commentator correctly reported Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the great image from head to feet and toes, saying, "Thou art the head of gold," and going on to add, "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom that shall not be destroyed." The commentator did all right with this, but when he came to Daniel's vision (chapter 7) concerning the arising of the "four beasts" he said they were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. That is WRONG! However, since then most commentators and writers, including our own brethren, have swallowed this statement without question. But the vision of Daniel was in the reign of Belshazzar (Babylon's last king); therefore, it is impossible to start with Babylon. For verse 17 says these beasts are four kings that "shall arise" (future tense). So they could not, at that time, begin with Babylon. Besides, when Daniel begins to name them (8:3) the first is the ram with two horns, which everyone should know can be no other than the Medo-Persian empire. The third beast, the leopard with four heads and horns is fully described in verse 6. This is the one that is usually skipped and ignored. The four kingdoms are Medo-Persia, Greece, Alexander's successors, and Rome.

— Tahoka, Texas 79373