By C.D. Plum
What is an antecedent? An antecedent is a word (noun or pronoun) for which another pronoun stands.
(1) James 1:26-27: “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” The pronoun “himself” in verse 27 has as it antecedent the noun “man” in verse 26. Our liberal brethren pervert this truth, and these Scriptures, by telling us these Scriptures refer to the church, and denote church action, instead of man action (individual action). “Himself” is a masculine pronoun. The church is the “wife” of Christ (2 Cor. 11:2; Rom. 7:4). Would Christ use a man’s pronoun to represent his wife? No, of course not! So, our liberal brethren (in this perversion) are wrong both “gospel wise” and “grammar-wise.” I am aware some versions say “oneself ‘ ” but this is still an individual pronoun and denotes individual action, not church action.
Those that “pervert” the gospel are the ones that are causing the trouble in the church. Read it and repent (Gal. 1:69).
(2) Galatians 6:1-10: I quote verse 10. “As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. ” Galatians 6:1-10 is written “to” brethren “about” a man (generic), about an individual’s activity and responsibility. Church activity and responsibility are not under consideration at all, though our liberal brethren err by saying it is. But notice the following:
(a) Individually we restore the erring man (Gal. 6:1).
(b) Individually we bear another’s burden, also our own (Gal. 6:2,5).
(c) Individually we humbly serve, and not deceive ourselves (Gal. 6:3).
(d) Individually man proves his own work, and rejoices therein (Gal. 6:4).
(e) Individually we communicate to teachers (Gal. 6:6).
(f) Individually we sow and reap (Gal. 6:7-9).
(g) Individually we do good unto all men, and especially unto them who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:10). It is not only good to do good unto “sinners” and “saints,” but the individual is commanded to do so. (There is no teaching, and no example, in the word of God where church contributions are used to feed or clothe or house sinners.)
Our liberal brethren pervert 2 Corinthians 9:12-14, trying to find sinners therein that were helped by the church. But this perversion is easily seen. Why every one helped here were “glorifying” God and “praying” for their helpers. Glorifying God and praying are not things done by sinners (especially alien sinners) but by Christians (saints) (Eph. 3:21; Heb. 4:16). Yes, members of the church.
But another truth is appropriate here. The church is not even obligated to help “poor saints” where there are relatives who are able to take care of them. Please read and study 1 Timothy 5:9-16. Note under what conditions the apostle Paul said these words: “Let not the church be charged. ” Note, too, the words: “widows indeed.” Not all widows are widows indeed. Not all poor saints are the charges of the church. Many of the ones the church helps are the charges of relatives. The Holy Spirit said so (Truth Magazine, 2 Sept. 1971, p. 658).
Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 13, p. 399
July 5, 1990