Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"The terror of the Lord"

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” “Persuade” means “to prevail upon or win over, bringing about a change of mind by the influence of reason or moral considerations.”

The reason these blog articles are published is to persuade people to live righteously so that they can receive eternal life. Titus 2:11-12 says, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Sometimes that means confronting issues that are difficult, but if we will study the word of God and obey it, we will be blessed. James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

For some, the truth is not palatable. In John 6:66, “many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” because they would not believe in His teaching. They could not accept difficult truths. Unfortunately, the same is true of people now. They desperately need the truth, but they will not accept it. Instead, they turn against and despise the ones who try so hard to teach them. We are supposed to “buy the truth, and sell it not” (Proverbs 23:23). So the next time an article “distresses” you, remove prejudice from you mind and openly examine what has been written.

Kyle Campbell

Friday, April 25, 2014

Raising children

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Does the Bible teach that if you bring a child up in “the way he should go” that he will never go wrong or sin?

Children are a blessing from God. Psalm 127:3-5 says, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” It would be wonderful if parents could do everything perfectly and have their children turn out to be faithful Christians.

But it’s not that simple. Everyone has their own ability to choose their path in life. Joshua commanded God’s people “… choose you this day whom ye will serve …” (24:15). Whatever choice we make, one day we will give account for it. Second Corinthians 5:10 says, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

No matter how we were brought up, in the end we have the ability to turn away from our upbringing. Parents will teach their children about God and the gospel; they will live righteously and set good examples; and hopefully children will obey it and become Christians. It would be wonderful if this were a guarantee. I’ve seen some of the finest, most faithful parents raise children who were ungodly and cared nothing for righteousness. In those bewildering moments, parents must feel like God, who cared for His children, but they fell away (Isaiah 1:2).

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


There are three different ways “baptism” is used in the New Testament. Two out of three of these are metaphorical. The first of these is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which took place on the day of Pentecost and again when Cornelius and his household believed (Acts 2:1-4; 10:44-46). The second sense is its use of the destruction which would come to the nation of Israel because of their rejection of Christ (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16).

The primary usage of baptism in the New Testament is in relationship to becoming a Christian. When it is used in this sense, it meant an immersion in water. This is attested by the eunuch’s experience in Acts 8:36-39 and in the figures used in 1 Peter 3:21 and 1 Corinthians 10:2. Paul spoke of being buried in baptism in Romans 6:3-7 and Colossians 2:12. Thus, baptism is an immersion in water as opposed to sprinkling or pouring.

If someone wants to please God, he is commanded to be baptized (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16). Few people in the denominational world would disagree. However, there is great disagreement as to the reason for baptism. Acts 2:38 says it is for the “remission of sins” and Acts 22:16 and 1 Peter 3:21 elaborate on that statement by teaching that baptism saves us. We are saved by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7; Revelation 1:5), and only way to come in contact with that blood is by being baptized. That is why baptism is essential to someone being saved.

Kyle Campbell

Monday, April 14, 2014

Do demons exist today?

There are a number of Old Testament terms for demons or demonic figures. The Hebrew of the Old Testament did not have a single, comprehensive term for demonic figures as did the Greeks. The variety of terms suggests that no consistent demonology can be found in the Old Testament. Although there is no doubt that malevolent supernatural beings existed, religious thought in this area did not develop. Old Testament angelology, in contrast to demonology, is highly developed because the vast majority of angels or spirits served God and did His bidding. Also, while ancient Israelites apparently had no widespread fear of demons and their malevolent influences, many references suggest that demonic figures were worshiped and received sacrifices (Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 106:37; Leviticus 17:7; 2 Chronicles 11:15).

In the New Testament, Jesus and early Christians regarded demons as very real and very powerful adversaries of man. Generally, demons are always regarded as evil spirits. The word “demon” is used 63 times in the New Testament and the combination “evil, unclean or deceitful spirits” is used 32 times. The primary function of demons was the possession and control of human beings upon whom they effected a variety of harmful or hostile influences.

The gospels contain six accounts of Jesus casting out demons from afflicted individuals. Also, the casting out of seven demons from Mary Magdalene is mentioned but never narrated. The gospels and Acts also allude several times to demonic exorcism by Jesus’ disciples.

Based on the New Testament accounts, the symptoms of demonic possession include: (1) insane raving; (2) self-destructive behavior; (3) nudity; (4) seizures; (5) dumbness; (6) deafness; (7) blindness; and, (8) performance as a spirit medium.

Jesus’s work of casting out demons was not an end of itself, nor was it motivated solely by His compassion for the afflicted individuals whom He rescued from demonic possession. He stated in Matthew 12:28 "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” It seems that Jesus regarded His exorcisms as an indication that the kingdom of God was making its entrance into the human realm. When you look at the big picture, the ministry of Jesus was regarded in the New Testament as a conquest of Satan (Luke 10:18; John 12:31).

Satan has now been bound and his one power that is left is deception (Revelation 20:2; 2 Corinthians 11:12-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:9). Furthermore, there is no prescription, formula, or procedure given in the epistles as to how Christians deal with demon possession. This indicates that we do not have demon possession since we are told that God has provided everything necessary to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4). Finally, in the first century, demon possession was miraculous and non-voluntary; today demon possession is non-miraculous and voluntary. That is, some people let the devil live in their lives and they act like it! There is no demon possession today like there was in first century times.

Kyle Campbell

Monday, April 7, 2014

Do you have an "open" Bible?

Do you have a Bible that is open to different interpretations? Do you think that God has ever spoken to anyone with different interpretations in mind? In Nehemiah’s time, Ezra the priest read the law to the people and they were able to commonly understand it. Nehemiah 8:12 says, “And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.” If they could understand the law of God given by Moses, why would the law of God given by Christ be any different?

Are the rules of sports open to different interpretations? Would we “agree to disagree” over what constitutes an “out” in baseball? Is a doctor’s prescription open to different interpretations? If you were prescribed a medication for your infection, would that be open to different interpretations? Why do we insist on different interpretations with the word of God? Paul said, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ … that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).

If the word of God is open to different interpretations, then the Bible is relative and subjective. How could the scriptures be wrested or twisted to destruction if the scriptures are not absolute in their meaning (2 Peter 3:16)? Why have an admonition to rightly divide the word of truth if truth is subjective (2 Timothy 2:15)? Is the Bible open to conflicting, contradicting interpretations? Romans 3:4 sums up the answer well: “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar.”

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


In 1 Timothy 3:11, some translations render the verse “women” and some as “wives.” Which is the correct translation? If this does mean “women,” does this authorize deaconnesses as an office in the church?

The question rests in the use of the word gune and its meaning. The word is used 83 times in the New Testament to mean “wife” but it is used far more times to mean “woman” (121 times). This would seem to argue favorably for deaconnesses, but we need to examine a few more references.

In Acts 6:3, the apostles are appointing deacons over the church. The Greek text indicates that they were “over” or possessed authority in their work. Acts 8:27 uses the same preposition to describe the Ethiopian’s authority over the queen’s treasury. This argues against a woman being a deacon because women cannot hold positions of authority in the church (1 Timothy 2:11-12).

But the key lies in the context of 1 Timothy 3. Context can never be neglected in our interpretation. Paul has already instructed Timothy about the elders and their wives, it only seems fitting that he is talking about the deacon and his wife. It also needs to be pointed out that if Paul is talking about deaconnesses, this is the only verse in the context that discusses them, for in v. 12 he goes back to his discussion of the deacon. It only seems fitting to stay with the context where Paul is discussing the deacon’s wife instead of creating a new position within the Lord’s church.

Furthermore, in Romans 16:1, the word translated “servant” is often translated “deacon,” which leads some to believe that Phoebe was a deaconess. However, the word is more likely used here in an unofficial sense of helper. This is similar to the use of “apostle” to describe Barnabas in Acts 14:14. He was not an apostle in the sense of the others, but this was a unique use of the word.

Kyle Campbell