By Clifford L. Sheffield
David declared in the 23 Psalm, “He leadeth me beside the still waters, He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name’s sake.” David cried in Psalm 61, “Hear my cry, O God, attend unto my prayer, lead me to the rock that is higher then I.” Again, I hear David as I read Psalm 5:8, when he said, “Lead me, O Lord in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.”
I hear John in John 10:1-4, “Verily, verily I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber but he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.,He goeth before them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice.”
Can’t you hear Jesus in Matthew 23, when you read, “But, woe unto you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites: for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men for ye neither go in yourselves neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” Verses 15 says, “For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte and when he is made ye make him twofold more the child of hell then yourselves.”
We love to talk about denominations and we can really ‘beat them over the head and we will turn right around and do a bit worse than they because we claim to know better, but example proves us just as foolish. For instance, a week or so ago I accompanied two of the brethren to a Gospel meeting and heard a marvelous sermon. The preacher really told the Baptist and every one else about part-taking of the Lord’s Supper once -a month,, semi-annually or annually and there was no way anyone could have failed to understand that the Lord’s Supper should be taken upon the first day of the week. He encouraged them to throw away their manuals and creed books and to return to the Bible. Then, he completed his message by saying “Now Friday is payday and I want all of you to bring in your collection before you spend it. We will be taking up a collection Friday night.” Now, the same Bible that told the Baptist to take the Lord’s Supper upon the first day of the week says to lay by in store and give upon the first day of the week, not on Friday night.
My mind was soon turned to Isaiah 3:12: “O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” Jesus said in John 16:10, “If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my father’s commandments and abide in his love.” His love is conditional and based on that “If.”
My question is based on Matthew 15:3, “why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition.” Be aware that verses 8 teaches, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me but in vain they do worship me teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.”
Brethren let us be the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart not with eye service, as men pleasers (Eph. 6:6). The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance (Rom. 2:4).
Truth Magazine, XX:4, p. 2
January 22, 1976