Monthly Archives: September 2012

Gizzard Inspection

R.G. Lee – Pickings

Gizzard Inspection

In a certain district in Columbia, South America, every chicken killed must be presented to government authorities for inspection. This is not a health measure such as governs the sanitary slaughter of food animals in this country but is a requirement to prevent the chicken owner from coming into possession of any stray emeralds that might happen to be found in the chicken’s gizzard. In that section is located the only emerald producing territory in the southern continent, and fowls often pick up the precious stone in preference to ordinary gravel.

I wonder if a gizzard inspection of human beings to see if folks have any “sand in the craw” would not be a good thing. And if no sand were found, would it not be a great achievement to put some “sand” therein? It was Robert Burton who said: “A cur, going through a village, if he clap his tail between his legs and fun away, every cur will insult over him, but if he bristle up himself and stand to it, give but a counter snarl, there’s not a dog dare meddle with him.” Much is in a man’s courage and discreet carriage of himself. There are too many hearts that have never learned “to laugh at the shaking of a spear” – too many hearts that have a courage “faint as a glimmering taper’s wasted light” – too many hearts whose determination is “faint, like distant clarion feebly blown” – too many hearts whose persistence is “fainter than a young lamb’s bleat.” Too many there are whose faces show no more purpose than “a pale moon in vapor, faintly bright.” Too many there are from whose eyes the light of purpose has faded – faded “like an old opera tune played upon a harpsichord, or like the sun-flooded silks of an eighteenth-century boudoir” – faded, as Shelley says, “like a cloud which has out wept its rain.”

Maybe it is entirely appropriate here to record a verse from Holy Writ, lest our eyes, when they should function clearly, become eyes “like a loose button on an ulster”; “And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart” (Deut. 20:8).

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized



A.We have before shown that 97 of the 115 times which “ecclesia” is used in the New Testament refer to the local, visible church.
B.The remaining 18 will be taken up individually in this lesson to show that the same meaning is retained, and to suppose that a new meaning is to be attached to ecclesia is wrong.
C.Overbey says, “Generally all scholars accept these ninety-two uses as meaning assembly. It should be stated here that the word ekklesia refers to a group of people organized to carry out some purpose that assemble from time to time. To be an ekklesia it need not be a continual assembly. Carroll well stated this when he was asked: ‘But if church means assembly does not that require it to be always in session?’ No ecclesia, classic, Jewish, or Christian, known to history, held perpetual session. They all adjourned and came together again according to the requirements of the case. The organization, the institution, was not dissolved by temporary adjournment’” (The Meaning of Ecclesia in the N.T., Overbey, p. 20).
D.Overbey again, “The common meaning of a word must stand in every place it occurs as long as it makes sense. When it fails to make sense then a new meaning or a rare meaning must be found in the context for the word. If a new or rare meaning will make sense in a given context we cannot accept it as long as the common meaning will also make sense” (Ibid, p. 22).
E.Warfield says, “The question is, after all, not what can the word be made to mean, but what does it mean . . . only if the sense thus commended to us were unsuitable to the context would we be justified in seeking further for a new interpretation” (Ibid, p. 23).

A.Three terms:
1.Generic – Relating to or characteristic of a whole group or class; general.
2.Institutional – an organization as differentiated from other kinds of organizations.
3.Abstract – disassociated from any specific instance.
B.These terms illustrated:
1.Overbey says, “A word may be used generically. In such cases the word may be singular and yet not refer to any particular object of the class but to every object of that class. It is as if some object of the class were taken as a representative of each object of the class and whatever is said of this representative would apply generally to each object . . . In such cases the definite article with the word does not mean there is only one particular automobile singled out from the rest or that there is only one automobile in the world, but the article is called the generic article and distinguishes one class from another class rather than one object in a class from another object in the same class. We use words generically all the time and never think of it” (Ibid, pp. 24, 25).
2.He continues, “ ‘The’ with a singular noun sometimes indicates a class or kind of object. The scholar is not necessarily as dry as dust. The elephant is the largest of quadrupeds. The aeroplane is a very recent invention. Resin is obtained from the pine . . . The singular number with the generic ‘the’ is practically equivalent to the plural without an article” (Ibid p. 25).
3.BuellKadzee declares, “In this sense (generic or institutional) the word indicates a type of institution as differentiated from other kinds of institutions. Thus we speak of ‘the church’ as we do ‘the home’ or ‘the school’ . . . a good example of the Biblical use of a word this way is the word ‘man’ in Genesis 1:26. Here God says, ‘Let us make man in our image.’ Although Adam was the first specific example of this being, we understand the term ‘man’ to mean man in general, including all his race, rather than just the one individual man . . . Thus, by the word ekklesia Jesus could have been speaking of the type of institution He would build” (The Church and the Ordinances, Kazee, pp. 1, 2).
4.Roy Mason concurs, “The word (ekklesia) is used fourteen times to denote an institution. When it is used in this way it is, according to Dr. Carroll, used in either an abstract or generic sense. ‘This follows,’ he says, ‘from the laws of language governing the use of words. For example, if an English statesman, referring to the right of each individual citizen to be tried by his peers, should say: ‘On this rock England will build her jury, and all the power of tyranny shall not prevail against her,’ he uses the term jury in an abstract sense, i.e., in the sense of an institution. But when this institution finds concrete expression or becomes operative, it is always a particular jury of twelve men and never an aggregation of all juries into one big jury’ “ (The Church That Jesus Built, Mason, p. 29).
5.A.C. Dayton declares, “Christ did not refer to any particular individual local organization when he said ‘my Church.’ He did not mean the Church at Jerusalem or the Church at Corinth. Much less did her refer to all the churches combined in one great Church. But he simply used the word as the name of his institution.” (Theodosia Earnest, Vol. II, p. 100).
6.He continues, “. . . let me illustrate. You are a lawyer. A client comes to you for legal information. You tell him that the law is thus or so; and so ‘the court’ will instruct ‘the jury.’ What do you mean by the court? And what do you mean by the jury? Not any particular individual judge whom you may have in mind, much less all the judges in the world comprised in one gigantic ‘universal’ judge; but you mean any one of all the judges before whom the suit might be tried; and not any particular set of jurymen, much less all the jurymen in the world united in one vast conglomerate ‘universal’ jury; but simply that jury, whichever or wherever it may be, who may chance to be empaneled on the case. ‘The court’ is the name or title given to a certain official personage when engaged in the performance of certain official duties. ‘The jury’ is the name or title given to a certain official body or assembly, when employed in a certain official capacity. Now, as the courts and juries in the British empire transact business and administer justice by the authority of Queen Victoria, and in her name, they may very properly be called her court, and her jury, meaning thereby simply her institutions, organized by her authority for the transaction of this specific business in her name. The first courts and juries which were organized may have been dissolved; others may have followed, and, like them, have disappeared; but still the institution continues: the jury is still an essential part of the apparatus for the administration of justice . . . . And if I should say that the jury is ‘built’ upon the ‘rock’ of the constitution and that the councils of tyrants can never ‘prevail against’ or overthrow it, I should speak of it just as Christ did about his Church” (Ibid, pp. 100, 101).
7.Dayton further explains, “The principle . . . is the same as that on which the name of an individual is every day applied to the species, genus, or family, to which it belongs. As when we say of the oak that it is the most majestic of forest trees, we do not mean any one oak, nor do we mean all the oaks in the world comprised in one ‘universal’ oak. Each oak is still a separate and individual tree; but we apply the name of the individual to all the species – not considered collectively, as one great oak, but separately, as hundreds and thousands of trees, each having the same name.” (Ibid, p. 105).
C.Simple illustrations:
1.The “horse” is rushed into battle.
2.The “lion” is the king of beasts.
3.The “husband” is the head of the wife.
4.The “home” is the basis of society.
5.The “dog” is the most lovable of all pets.
6.The “oak” is the most majestic of all trees.
7.The “jury” is used in all Western courts of justice.

A.Ecclesia – the Church – B.H. Carroll
B.The Meaning of Ecclesia in the N.T. – Overbey
C.Theodosia Earnest, Vol. II, – Dayton
D.The Church That Jesus Built – Roy Mason
E.The Church and the Ordinances – Buell Kazee
F.Ekklesia – the Church – Bob Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Ecclesiology - Church


Torrey Talking Triumphantly

“I am ready to meet God face to face tonight and look into those eyes of infinite holiness, for all my sins are covered by the atoning blood.”

“There is One who knows, and He sympathizes with you – God.”

“There is more joy in Jesus in twenty four hours than there is nin the world in three hundred and sixty fove days. I have tried them both.”

“I would rather go to heaven alone than go to hell in company.”

“I sit at God’s table – and it is just groaning with good things.”

“God’s Word is pure and sure, in spite of the devil, in spite of your fear, in spite of everything.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


R. G. Lee
Quoting Torrey
Torrey Talking Tremendously

“What we need more than anything else is a baptism with fire on the preachers, a baptism with fire on the deacons, a baptism with fire on the choir, a baptism with fire on the Sunday-school teachers, a baptism with fire upon young men and young women.”

“The doctrine of evolution is absolutely unproved. There is not a single proof of the hypothesis of evolution. Development of varieties there has been, but of evolution of a higher species from a lower not one single case. The hypothesis of the evolution of species, of the highest form of life from the lowest, is a guess pure and simple, without one scientifically observed fact to build upon.”

“If the Bible is not true, we have no proof that God is love.”

“There is an awful risk in delay.”

“Irrational and absurd are all the excuses that men make for not coming to Christ.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Pickings by Robert G. Lee, D.D., LL.D.
Pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, Tenn.

Relating R. A. Torrey
Torrey Talking Torridly
“Any man who denies a fact is a fool. God is the supreme fact of nature, history, personal life. Therefore, he who denies the supreme fact is a supreme fool.”
“The ballroom permits of familiarity which is permitted by decent people nowhere.”
“The boy who would disown his mother is not so infamously ungrateful as you men and women who know that Christ died for you and who are so mean and contemptible and cowardly that you will not confess Him.”
“In regard to Christ’s death for you, there are those who are racially and scoundrelly ingrates.”
“All the hypocrites are going to hell.”
“Oh, how cold we are!”
“The trouble, you are filthy on the inside.”
“You are not idiots, but you act like it, God’s love considered.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


The Elephant in the Front Room
By H. L. Wilkinson

A good brother & preacher, I’m sure, recently hit the nail on the
head when he said NOT using the name “Baptist” to describe our churches
is a “tough, divisive issue that really is an elephant sitting in the room of our
Association.” True, many don’t want to talk about this subject. But we must
if we care to maintain any unity whatsoever in our fellowship. The elephant
has been sitting there awhile & he is not going away on his own, if at all
before more damage is done to our fellowship..

The Name Baptist in Scripture. Baptist is more than a brand name
like Coke or Pepsi. It is a heritage received from God: “There was a man
sent from God, whose name was John” (John 1:6). The Holy Spirit chose to
use “Baptist” at least fourteen times in the New Testament with reference to
John. He was a giant, who is referred to more in the Old Testament than to
any figure who would later appear in the New Dispensation other than to
Christ himself (Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 4:5, 6). Jesus said: “Verily I say unto
you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater
than John the Baptist: notwithstanding He that is LEAST (microteros =
later) in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he,” (Matthew 11:11). Jesus
was born approximately six months after John the Baptist. So, Jesus Christ
was the only man in history, who was greater than the Baptist!

Many have forgotten about John. This Baptist preacher immersed
Jesus in the Jordan River. And he also baptized the first twelve disciples,
because when a successor to Judas Iscariot was chosen, it was required that
he be “from the baptism of John,” (Acts 1:21, 22). So, a preacher called “the
Baptist” baptized not only the Lord, but also he provided the core material
which the Lord Jesus Christ built the FIRST Baptist Church. So, the Holy
Spirit actually “painted” Baptist on its SIGN, which is any “mark or symbol
having a specific meaning.” (Webster’s New World Dictionary)

The Name Baptist in History. Dr. W. A. Criswell, pastor of First
Baptist Church in Dallas, TX, then the largest Baptist church in the world,
wrote me Aug. 23, 1995: “I am persuaded that the church Christ built & said
would endure to the end is the church to which you & I belong & to whom
we minister. There is no possibility that that church of the Baptist faith &
commitment ever died. It was alive yesterday; it is alive today; & it will be
alive to the end of the age.” (See especially Matthew 16:18. I also suggest you
read a scanned copy of this entire letter below. It may surprise you.)

Of course, Dr. Criswell was writing of the Anabaptists, a GENERIC
name, that the Roman Catholic Church applied to a variety of groups
(Paulicians, Waldenses, Albigenses, Donatists, etc) denominated “heretics”
since they refused to recognize Catholic baptisms. Later, these Anabaptists
became known as Baptists. But
we had been called this for many
centuries beforehand. And millions
of our forefathers shed their blood
in Europe, North Africa, Turkey,
Armenia, etc. And later they were
whipped & jailed in colonial America for “the faith once delivered
unto the saints,” (Jude 3).

A strong PARALLEL is
still seen today in the Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. A
man in Murfreesboro once told
me his elderly mother-in-law was
a Holocaust survivor. And she had
the infamous prison identification
numbers tattooed on her shoulder!
How much do you think it would
have taken to have bribed this Jew-
ish lady into having these numbers
Of course, I don’t really
know, but I doubt if all the banks in
Murfreesboro, TN, would have had
enough cash in them to get her to
do this! This was a bloody sign of
her Jewish heritage, identity. And
so is the name “Baptist” we have
inherited from our forefathers!

Our Name in this New
Millennium? It really seems things
started to change in our work &
elsewhere about twelve years ago.
Do you remember the Y2K scare?
All the computers were going to
lock up at midnight, Dec. 31, 1999.
No one was going to be able to get
water, because they used computers
to control the water supply. The
electricity was going to go off &
many bought generators. Then two
jets hit the Twin Towers in New
York, another the Pentagon & a
third crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Alan Jackson wrote, sang:
“Where Were You When the World
Stopped Turning?”

By this time a new breed of
Baptist preacher had arisen who
knew Rick Warren but not J. R.
Graves. Soon Baptist signs started
to come down where they had been
standing proudly for decades in
places like Smyrna, Franklin, TN &
far beyond. And in the American
Baptist Association, the time proven ideas, methods of Ben Bogard, L.
D. Foreman, Paul Goodwin, Albert
Garner, Roy Reed, I. K. Cross, L. L.
Clover & A. J. Kirkland began to
be courteously, quickly “bowed to,“
but considered “old hat.” And, now
some in our fellowship started leaving the name Baptist off their signs
or more & more de-emphasizing it.
And why? To paraphrase one very
good brother: “We have about TEN
SECONDS to get people’s attention on the church sign or web site
before they go elsewhere.” And still
another: “The name ‘Baptist’ really
turns people off!”

However, a similar “argument” was undoubtedly made back
in the 1950’s by some budding TV
evangelists when Zenith Corporation invented the first remote control called “Lazy Bones.” Now, don’t
get me wrong. I’m not a Five Point
Calvinist, but it seems to me that
most of these “prospects” are just
plain lazy if they are willing only to
give God about “ten seconds.” They
surely can’t say: “I THOUGHT ON
MY WAYS & turned my feet unto
Thy testimonies,” (Psalm 119:67).
And especially one must question
if such “10-second seekers”
really have a divine appointment
with God anything like what the
Ethiopian Eunuch had when he was
saved (Acts 8:27-39). Moreover, we
need to ask ourselves: “Is someone
seeking the True Light or just
looking for Christianity-Lite in
a place that will reaffirm their ill
conclusions?” ( John 1:6-9; Luke
13:3, 5)

Conclusion: “There is
no new thing under the sun,”
(Ecclesiastes 1:9.) In every century
the essential issues of life & death
always remain the same. The world
is still turning even as it was when
Paul & Silas came to Athens &
some complained: “These that have
turned the world upside down are
come hither also,” (Acts 17:6).

The Lord’s churches are
already making an impact around
the world. And we can still turn this
world upside down! But the real
key to success in the fields white
unto the harvest is not so much
found in new technology as plain
old hard work, prayer, preaching
& teaching the Word of God. And
especially like Jesus, we must be
kind to all, show God’s love (1 Cor.

just for the record, YES, I do pray
for those with whom I disagree
on this issue. I hope they succeed
in winning many souls to Jesus. I
“forbid [them] not” (Luke 9:49-50)
even as I also pray for my Methodist,
Nazarene, Pentecostal, Presbyterian
& all brethren in Christ to do the

Again, YES the Internet &
other technology have tremendous potential! They should be used
to maximum advantage! But all
that twitters is not gold. And there
is absolutely NO EXCUSE for
throwing The Baptist Flag & much
else we hold dear into the ditch in
an attempt to reach those who have
less attention span than a mosquito.

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary