Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 9, 1958
NUMBER 35, PAGE 2,3b

Back To The Bible

George W. Tyler, San Diego, California

In view of the things being taught today by voice and pen "Back to the Bible is a very timely topic for the serious and prayerful consideration of all of God's people. Only to the Bible can we go to find the truth in the Christian religion. From the beginning of the Restoration Movement to the present time the slogan "Where the Bible speaks, we speak; where the Bible is silent we are silent" has been quoted thousands of times by our preachers, evangelists and teachers to impress upon the world that we are a truth loving communion.

Just a few weeks before his death my beloved old preceptor, Bro. T. Q. Martin, wrote me as follows: "George, I do not know how the situation may look to you, but to me I fear the church for which Christ died is drifting worldward. God bless you in your labors and help you to "contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints till He shall call you home."

From north, south, east and believe it or not, the west too, come many reports of growing worldliness in the church of our Lord Jesus Christ as well as serious deflections from the New Testament doctrine. Reports of extremely soft preaching reach my ears as well as reports of denominational preachers being asked to lead in prayer at evangelistic meetings and other public services of the churches. Bro. Martin had correctly appraised the situation and because of this I fear he crossed the river of death with a bleeding heart.

Yes, the phrase, "Back to the Bible," indicates there have been serious departures from its teachings. Not all of these departures have been made by the founders of the denominational churches. Even among the churches for which Christ shed His blood departures have been made. Appointment of unqualified men as elders, soft preaching, failure to declare "the whole counsel of God," refusal of many congregations to use the Lord's method of personal evangelism as practiced by the church during the first century, ignorance of the Bible and many other things just as important are involved.

The young preachers will do well to study 1 Kings 13:1-33 giving special attention to verse 26 before deciding to heed the pleadings of older preachers who have espoused false doctrines. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" Gal. 6:7-10 ARV.

History records through the centuries much legislation where God has not spoken and men trying to justify themselves for doing things God has not specifically condemned. Councils, conferences, synods, associations conventions and other like organizations have attempted to legislate where God has not spoken. All of this legislation has been away from the Bible; if one remains with the Bible, added legislation is not needed. "Back to the Bible" means to return to the paths trodden by the apostolic messengers of the first century of the Christian era.

"Back to the Bible" will lead us to the authority God vested in His Son, Christ Jesus, and by Him delegated to His apostles chosen to spread the "good news" and make binding His and their teaching, for they spake as Holy Spirit gave them utterance Acts 2:4. The chief cause of divisions today among the believers in Christ can be traced directly to the question of authority. The present threatening disruption of Christ's church, to my mind, involves the authority of the Word as given by Christ and His inspired apostles. Jesus said, "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth" Matt. 28:18 ARV. Not some authority, not a little authority, but "ALL AUTHORITY." The authority for the Christian and for Christ's church has never been vested in councils, conferences, associations, synods, popes or other groups of like kind. No one has been authorized to add anything to what is written or to make any changes in the Word of God. "I think;" "I believe;" "it is my honest opinion;" "to my mind it appears;" 'and it is my considered judgment' are all out because they are adding to or subtracting from God's word which is condemned in Rev. 22:18-20. These things belong with "the traditions of men" which our Saviour so roundly condemns in Matt. 15:9.

"Back to the Bible" will solve the problems of Christian unity including the present cooperation difficulties. All will agree on the essentials involved in the Christian religion which are so clearly set forth in Holy Writ. Coming together on the essential facts of the New Testament will automatically produce a united church.

"Back to the Bible" will give all professed followers of Christ a common name. No longer will they be satisfied to use the designations Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian or Congregationalist. "Back to the Bible" will eliminate all the creeds of Christendom. "Back to the Bible" will give baptism its rightful place in God's plan for the redemption of man.

"Back to the Bible" will give the Lord's supper its proper place upon the first day of the week. All Christians will then remember this beautiful memorial, kept in commemoration of the death of our Saviour on the Cross.

"Back to the Bible" will give the same answer to all who ask the question, "What must I do to be saved?" The last will and testament of our Lord became effective on Pentecost following Christ's resurrection from the dead. From that day on people are brought into proper relation with Him by obeying the requirements set forth in that will. These are faith in the Lord Jesus as the only begotten Son of God (Jno. 3:16); repentance (Acts 2:38); confession before men (Luke 12:8, confession with the mouth (Rom. 10:9,10) and this does not mean kneeling down by the radio and praying for salvation instead of burial in water to rise and walk a newness of life (Rom. 6:1-8).

Jesus prayed that His disciples might all be one, even as He and the Father are one, that the world might believe that God had sent Him John 17:20-22. Brethren, let us go "Back to the Bible" on everything, quit trying to legislate by argument and logic where God hath not spoken, each trying with all his might to keep Christ's church from coming into disrepute because of lack of unity of purpose upon our part. May our preaching so incorporate the Christ in our program of Christian living and action toward each other that it will reflect more of Christ, the grace of God and less of self is my prayer. Paul says for preachers to be examples, "In all things showing thyself an ensample of good works; in thy doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of us" Titus 2:7,8 ARV.