Archive for June, 2022

Though some seem to believe that it should be otherwise, I doubt any two honest, active, thorough, independent students of Scripture have ever seen everything eye-to-eye. It’s important for me that you understand that I am perfectly fine with God positioning us all at different places in our journeys, as well as that I do not see differences as hindrances to fellowship. What we have in Christ is unity – not uniformity. We’re not wall-builders but bridge-builders.

I determined long ago, through the guidance of a dear aged teacher of God’s truths, that if there were going to be walls of separation between me and others, it would be others who would have to build them. There has ever been only one divinely built wall dividing humanity, and God Himself tore it down (Ephesians 2:14). Ours is a ministry of conciliation (II Corinthians 5:18-20). We, like God Himself, are conciliatory to all.

In fact, not only do I not see our doctrinal differences as any hindrance to fellowship, it is quite the opposite: I am thankful to God for them, and I see them as quite a gift, because they provide the greater context of the Spirit’s operation of love and grace.

… We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies (I Corinthians 8:1).

All too often the fruit of God’s Spirit is associated with doctrinal agreement, but even the world – without God’s Spirit – manages to get along with only those with whom they agree most. To be “likeminded” is not to be in doctrinal agreement but rather to have the “same mind,” and that’s the “the mind of Christ.” As Paul says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Then the apostle to the Nations speaks of Christ’s humility. Our likemindedness is the spiritual-mind of Christ’s humility, service and self-sacrifice (Philippians 2:5-8).

Thankfully, we’ve been called to “receive one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God” (Romans 15:7), while at the same time each of us has been granted the freedom to “be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Romans 14:5). Though we may not be able to have a “meeting of the minds,” we can certainly realize that we have been given the “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” for which we have been called to “endeavor to keep” (Ephesians 4:3).


Read Full Post »

In this issue of the Bible Student’s Notebook (#757) we are thankful to announce the publishing of The Eonian Times by Leon Bynoe.

Bynoe was born in St. Michael, Barbados, British West Indies. He later came to New York City and was founder of Bible Truth Church. For decades he conducted an international ministry alongside his beloved co-worker Arthur Benta. Their worldwide ministry was most active in the West Indies, Panama, Nigeria and West Africa.

Both, originally associated with the I.B.S.A. (Inter-national Bible Student’s Association), were intimate associates of A.E. Knoch, E.H. Clayton, William Mealand, John H. Essex, Charles Peart, and J.W. Bailey (of the Concordant Tabernacle, Brooklyn). Capable students and teachers of Scripture, they often conducted and participated in conferences across the US and abroad. For many years they oversaw the Concordant Scripture Students which met weekly in Harlem.

Bynoe’s extensive evangelistic efforts in Jamaica, which began in Jamaica in 1925, resulted in 12 assemblies with about 400 members. He would also go on to become the founder and managing editor of Grace & Truth magazine, as well as director of Bible Truth Press.

With this re-publishing of his work, he, being dead, yet speaks.

Read Full Post »

Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my pathThe entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple (Psalm 119:105, 130).

We must each walk in the understanding that we have. Anything less would be disingenuous. We must be true to the current place of enlightenment which Father has granted to us. We must also graciously allow others this same freedom and liberty before God that we reserve and embrace for ourselves.

All the while we can richly enjoy Christ together, accepting each other as Christ has accepted us, just where we are. We do not have to agree on anything to benefit from the mutual life of God that is mutually resident in us.

Wherefore receive each other, as Christ also received us to the glory of God (Romans 15:7).

Of course, this does not at all mean that, all the while, as divine situations would grant, we can’t seek to share humbly with others the light that we have received – and conversely be open to receive the same possible light from another.

Such was the spirit of Priscilla and Aquila, as recorded in Acts 18. They met Apollos, and though he was fervent in spirit and mighty in the Scriptures, yet he was “versed only in the baptism of John.” So, they took him

to themselves and expounded the way of God to him more accurately (:26).

May God grant us the fullness of His light in our walk together.

Read Full Post »

In the early part of my life I was an “activist,” and the causes that beckoned for my attention were endless. After all, we know from Scripture that humanity is broken and bound in vanity, and there is no area untouched by this condition: socially, nationally, governmentally, politically, financially, economically, commercially, judicially, educationally, scientifically, agriculturally, environmentally, medically, nutritionally, historically, religiously, journalistically, and familial.

This being true, our faith is never to be found in men, or in any of their institutions, systems or expertise.

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men … (I Corinthians 2:5).

In those days I was consumed with the world’s evil, error and conspiracy, and, of course, with my duty to expose it. Make no mistake about it, “consumed” is the right word for the effect that this course had on me. In addition to being involved in third-party political movements, I was also active with such organizations as Liberty Lobby and the John Birch Society. I was distributor for the weekly newspaper The Spotlight and the monthly magazine American Option.

What I would eventually learn is that there is no end to the evil to be uncovered and exposed, and that the small portion of evil that we can perceive – with all of our earnest efforts of investigation – is merely the tip of the iceberg. In every area of human endeavor things are far worse than any of us can possibly even imagine. The road down which I was headed was one of great spiritual distraction, and were it not for the arresting grace of God that saved me from such diversion, only He knows where I would be today.

More than any other, the passage that God used to begin to correct my course and focus was Romans 16:19,

I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil (Romans 16:19, KJV).

In this passage Paul makes two sets of contrasts: good and evil; wise and simple. Paul’s desire was that we be “experts in goodness, but simpletons in evil” (NEB).

The Greek word σοφός (sophos) translated “wise” (KJV) is also translated as “well versed” (TCNT) and “experts” (Moffatt, NEB, Unvarnished). Thus, our area of expertise – in which we are well-versed – is that which is good. That’s where our proficiency is to be.

Standing in stark contrast with “wise” is the word “simple” (KJV). The Greek word ἀκέραιος (akeraios) here is also translated as “simple-minded” (Weymouth, Goodspeed) and “ignorant” (Fenton). Thus, in the area of evil we are to be “simpletons” (NEB).

The Concordant renders the phrase as “artless for evil.” “Artless” is that which lacks knowledge, “naïve” being one of its synonyms. While we are to be “experts” concerning good, we are to be “naïve” concerning evil, or, as the Bible in Basic English translates it, “without knowledge.” Thus, the New English Bible has it,

I should wish you to be experts in goodness, but simpletons in evil.

Paul plainly tells us that we live in “the present evil age” (Galatians 1:4, Young). Got it! – Now, let’s move on from the vain bankruptcy of this age to the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God” (Romans 11:33), to “the exceeding riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7), to the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8), to “the riches of His glory” (Ephesians 3:16), to the “the riches of the glory of this mystery” (Colossians 1:27), “and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3).

For where sin abounded, grace did super-abound (Romans 5:20).

Read Full Post »

… There are contentions among you. … Every one of you says, “I am of Paul”; and “I of Apollos”; and “I of Cephas”; and “I of Christ.” Is Christ divided? … For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, “I am of Paul”; and another, “I am of Apollos”; are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he who plants anything, neither he who waters; but God Who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are laborers together with God … (I Corinthians 1:11-13; 3:3-9).

Religious cliques are built around an attitude of heart that says, “We’ve arrived, we know all the truth, we alone are God’s people, and we alone carry on His work.”

However, God is far bigger than our prideful, narrow creeds, and our meager, limited labors. It’s a cult-like teaching that fancies that only those in “our group” who “believe just like we do” are used by God and saved for the ages. It is an extremely ignorant and grievously arrogant position.

… Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up (I Corinthians 8:1).

One dear brother has written to us about such a sad impact that the religious spirit has had upon his own life.

[After coming] to the knowledge of the truth I went to my then alive 69-year-old brother who was a [self-proclaimed] “born again” believer from the age of 17, and to my “born again” 90-year-old mother and proclaimed that if they didn’t stop believing in [certain errors] they weren’t truly saved.

[They] were believers long before I learned [of the errors of their doctrines]. I hurt them to the core … It created a rift between otherwise very close family members. …

I’m like you, blessed in that I have been given … the love for study. A lot of people have not … and I refuse to believe that only the handful of people like us … are saved.

Well said.

We need not play any role in such party-spirits that endlessly foster division and strife. Like Paul, we can take the high ground and humbly say from the heart that while,

Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: the one preaches Christ of contention, not sincerely … but the other of love … Regardless, in every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice (Philippians 1:15-18).

Read Full Post »

Divine love lived largely is the very foundation of the home. Wives and children are the great treasures of the home. The family is a place where they are to be cherished and protected, and where they are to flourish under the care of patriarchs who selflessly love and give themselves to them. Husbands and fathers have the wonderful privilege and responsibility to be their valiant stewards – channels of our Heavenly Father’s large love to them.

However, what if much of what we know about the family is actually based more on society, culture and tradition rather than the Scriptures?

Most live their lives in bondage to bad doctrine. What if most are living family lives in bondage to bad doctrine as well? In spite of Christendom’s constant crusade for so-called “family values,” the real biblical home is, surprisingly, one of tremendous ignorance and neglect. As a result, the lives of most have been adversely affected. We have been deceived concerning one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind. People have been scarred and damaged. Simply put, the family is in ruins.[1]

One of my greatest passions has been to recover the definition of the family, as well as the definitions and divine intentions of its many parts and functions. That such an undertaking is controversial and runs contrary to culture may indeed be a real understatement.

When we have found society, culture and traditions obstructing the light of Scripture, it has always been our goal to “go against the flow.” We’ve always sought honest, frank discussions about any subject of scriptural truth, and the family is certainly no exception. Scripture does not pull any punches or beat around the bush with any subject it approaches – and of course the subject of the family is no different.

To chronicle for you my own personal efforts toward this goal, I have written the following supporting resources:

In 2013 I also taught an introductory video series, Male and Female – 3 sessions containing nearly 3 hours of detailed lectures.[2]

In this issue of the Bible Student’s Notebook, we will deal with a family truth that many of our readers know that I’ve practiced for over 14 years, and about which I’ve written extensively: the expanded form of biblical marriage known as polygamy, plural marriage, or more accurately, polygyny.[3]

My book Due Benevolence touches upon this vital theme, while The Great Omission is dedicated to it. In 2007 we also established Patriarch Publishing House,[4] with its accompanying periodical, Patriarchs’ Journal.[5] Under its imprint we have published the following additional resources on this important truth, all of which are available on our order form:

For the love of the truth, I remain your servant …

[1]     The Family in Ruins is the title of an upcoming book being written by your editor.
[2]     These may be seen at Study Shelf Videos: Treasure Lake, PA (2013).
[3]     “The practice of having more than one wife at one time.” – The American Heritage Dictionary
[4]     http://www.patriarchpublishinghouse.com/
[5]     http://patriarchsjournal.com/

Read Full Post »

In an effort to continue the diligent labors of Scripture students from the past,[1] for the last few years we have devoted no small space of the Bible Student’s Notebook to uncovering the long-hidden fullness of the Secret Administration.

Through this process, it is not that the truth itself is being developed and expanded, but that the realization of truth is growing – “more and more” (Philippians 1:9, CV) – pushing and widening the limits of theological paradigms to accommodate the broadness of the divine revelation found in Scripture.

This alone is the heart and passion of our labors in the BSN. Ours is not merely a rehashing of the teachings of the past, but a seeking to locate the furthest perimeters of the borders of such past teachings so that we may grow and expand beyond them. Just as the revelation of God’s truth in Scripture is progressive, so also is the illumination and realization of His truth, within the Body of Christ, over the course of time.

Our heartfelt prayer has always been, and remains, that Father may ever keep us dedicated and vigilant to the re-establishment, clarification and advancement of His glorious truth. We appreciate those of our readers who have been ever so patient with us in this trying process. Many, because paradigm shifts have been so taxing on the mind, have simply taken a break from following the progression, or even bid us adieu. We can appreciate their dilemma, for this has by no means been an easy process for us as well.

As a contrasting backdrop – beginning some two volumes ago – gradually, progressively and as clearly as possible we have sought to pave the way for a better understanding of Israel’s unfulfilled prophecy. We will continue to do so until a more plain presentation is brought into focus. We seek to do so, in part, as a means of relieving the saints of the Secret Administration from the undue stress, anxiety and even fear often associated with misapplied “end time” teaching.

A Modern Illustration

A present-day illustration may serve to assist our readers in grasping the layout of unfulfilled Jewish prophecy. We will thus here consider God’s earthly Kingdom through the use of technology-development terms.

The “Alpha-Kingdom” was the laying forth of the foundation of Israel’s Kingdom (seen in Genesis through the Acts-Period);

The “Beta-Kingdom” is the elementary, or preparatory stage of Israel’s future Kingdom as found in Daniel’s 70 Weeks;

The “Kingdom v1” is the Millennium;

The “Kingdom v2” is the New Earth.

While technology uses these kinds of terms to mark iterated stages of improved development and therefore to indicate previous versions’ imperfections (so to speak), God’s development of Israel’s Kingdom has not been a result of His failed attempts to provide a perfect Kingdom but His intent to provide the imperfect backdrop of the effect of sin, so that man would ultimately know and desire God’s total oversight in the totality of their lives.

What is absolutely distinct from this cohesive, progressive theme of Scripture (“The Kingdom of Heaven” on Earth) is the Secret Administration revealed exclusively by Paul in his pinnacle epistles of Ephesians and Colossians. Without this basic understanding of both the prophetic plan of God for the Earth, through the instrumentality of Israel, and the secret plan of God for the Celestials, through the instrumentality of the Ecclesia which is His Body, believers today will ever be prone to be,

tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (Ephesians 4:14, KJV).

surging hither and thither and being carried about by every wind of teaching, by human caprice, by craftiness with a view to the systematizing of the deception (Concordant).

It is my utmost prayer for our readers that God would grant you to know God in His magnificence, as well as the spiritual bearings of who you truly are in relationship to Him and the complete landscape of Scripture. This provides unwavering stability.

[1]     Such men as E.W. Bullinger (1837-1913), J.R. Caldwell (1839-1917), Sir Robert Anderson (1841-1918), H.W. Fry (1848-1939), W.T. Broad (1860-1923), A.E. Knoch (1874-1965), Vladimir Gelesnoff (1877-1921), Charles H. Welch (1880-1967), Alan Burns (1884-1929), F.H. Robison (1885-1932), Oscar Baker (1898-1987), Adlai Loudy (1893-1984), Otis Q. Sellers (1901-1992), William B. Hallman (1903-1973), John H. Kessler (1914-1963), to mention a few.

Read Full Post »

Arriving at the Sacramento CA airport in August 2010 while traveling home from a conference, I found that fog had canceled my connecting flight to San Francisco. The airport rented a taxi for me and two other passengers to travel the two-hour ride to make our connection.

Another gentleman and I sat in the back seat, and I soon learned that he was a retired professor of theology at Brigham Young University. Over the years, I had spoken with many of the young “elders” that had showed up at my door, but this was the first time that I actually had the opportunity to speak to someone from Mormonism that was “in the know.”

My seat mate and I ended up discussing issues related to my curiosity about the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and we meandered into some for which I’d never seemed to have been able to get a straight answer from the young elders.  He was a theology professor, so I asked if he had any understanding of the consummation[1] of all things. I inquired about his view regarding what the bottom line would be for all of God’s creatures – what did his church believe about the final end of all creation?

Now, at this point, I had not even alluded to what I believed Scriptures taught regarding the subject.  The words that came out of his mouth quite amazed me. He told me that the answer to my question was answered by Paul in I Corinthians 15, pointing out that, “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (:22), but that it would be “every man in his own order” (:23).

How had he come to know this? Was this a position held among his peers? Or, was this the result of some personal searching that had uncovered this significant glimpse into the ultimate plan of God?

Regardless, I told him that the truth of the Scripture that he had referenced had been at the very heart of my own study and teaching for many years now. We spoke for the remainder of the car ride regarding these things.

I believe that a vital part of Paul’s divine commission was the completion of the Scriptures, and thus I reject the claim that the Book of Mormon is a part of Scripture. However, I nonetheless found it quite interesting that this professor took me to Paul’s writings to answer my question.

Last year, in the course of managing our used book business, Janet came across a book dealing with the early history of Mormonism. Glancing through the index a reference to “Universalism” was noted. This inspired a closer look to see what might be within its pages.

Interestingly enough, it was chronicled that Joseph Smith’s grandfather, Asael Smith, actually taught and wrote concerning the salvation of all mankind. I will cite a few related lines from the book, including a few quotations from the pen of Asael Smith.

Asael Smith’s teachings to his children show more of the influence of the Universalist John Murray. Murray taught that Christ assumed the sins of all men and redeemed them all by His atonement. They did not merit grace by their good works; Christ’s grace alone redeemed them, but it was powerful enough to redeem everyone without exception. Murray carried the Calvinist idea of irresistible grace to its logical conclusion and included every soul within the circle of divine love.

Asael, like Murray, put his trust in salvation by grace alone. In A Few Words of Advice he tried to bring his children step by step to the same conclusion. Consider, he said, “whether you can by outward forms, rites and ordinances save yourselves, or whether there is a necessity of rites and ordinances to save yourselves?” The question was whether Christ came “to save mankind because they were sinners and could not save themselves or whether He [came] to save mankind because they had repented of their sins, so as to be forgiven on the score of their repentance.” In Asael’s opinion “he came to save sinners merely because they were such,” not because of repentance. Having gone that far, Asael saw no reason why God should favor Vermont Christians over “the worst heathen in the darkest corner of the deserts of Arabia. And if you can believe that Christ [came] to save sinners … sinners must be saved by the righteousness of Christ alone, without mixing any of their own righteousness with His, then you will see that He can as well save all as any.’”[2]

I rejoice to see the testimony of God’s truth acknowledged, even in the most unlikely of places. Even though Paul was referring to the testimony of nature when he stated that God “left not Himself without witness,” nevertheless, it is indeed true that His testimony is manifest in all other areas of life as well.

Thankful to be a part of His ongoing testimony …

[1]     [Editor:] For more information on the consummation, see:

[2]     Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, University of Illinois Press, 1984, pages 27-28.

Read Full Post »

In the next BSN issue (Bible Student’s Notebook #724) we will be running the first installment of a series written by Russ Schaefer on “The Mystery” Ministry of Paul. I was first introduced to him and his writings in the mid-1980s.

Schaefer, born in Oshkosh, WI, April 7, 1919, graduated from Dr. Hooper’s Bible School in Hawaii and would have a wide, life-long ministry in places such as Sioux Falls, SD, and Esparto, Idyllwild (Tahquitz Pines), Santa Ana, Riverside, Redlands and Atascadero, CA.

Schaefer was very gracious and unassuming, yet his writings, though likewise gracious, were assertive in declaring advanced understandings related to the pinnacle of the revelation committed to Paul.

Schaefer embraced the progressive revelation of Paul’s ministry. He saw the rich capstone of this divine revelation being found solely in the epistles of Ephesians and Colossians.[1] With ardent study and enormous dedication he labored to present these glorious celestial truths, showing their marked contrast to Paul’s earlier[2] writings. Such is the nature of the first of his works that we gratefully present it here in the pages of the Bible Student’s Notebook.

Our readers were first introduced briefly to Schaefer in my Editor’s Desk for issue #654, “The True Evangelism of Grace.” In that editorial I shared the moving account of Russell Schaefer and A.J. Roddy. This story was drawn from Roddy’s biographical work, Though I Spoke with Tongues (Experiences in and Exodus from the Charismatic-Tongues Movement). We have since republished this book as a part of our Facsimile Project (see order form, under Biographies).

Russ was editor and publisher of Scripture Research magazine (1963-1991), as well as director of Ewalt Bible School. He was an associate of Ralph Isbell, Howard N. Bunce, Robert A. Hadden, J. Clyde Stillion, Ray I. Psalmonds, William B. Hallman and his close, long-time friend A.J. Roddy. After a life of diligent study and faithful ministry of the Scriptures, Schaefer died on September 26, 1999, at the age of 80.

It is my earnest prayer that our readers will give special attention to this series by Schaefer, and that in so doing you will be granted to have,

The eyes of your heart … enlightened, for you to perceive what is the expectation of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of the enjoyment of His allotment among the saints (Ephesians 1:18).

Yours, in the confident expectation of His Calling

[1]     [Editor:] For a look at Paul’s Perfection Epistles, see:

[2]     [Editor:] For more information on Paul’s early epistles (letters), see:

Read Full Post »

The advancement of truth – both in revelation and realization – comes in installments. Paul wrote early in his ministry,

For out of an installment are we knowing … Now whenever maturity may be coming, that which is out of an installment shall be discarded … For at present we are observing by means of a mirror, in an enigma, yet then, face to face. At present I know out of an installment, yet then I shall recognize according as I am recognized also (I Corinthians 13:9-10, 12, CV).

This principle was true not only of the revelation committed to Paul, but also concerning Israel’s prophetic program, for Isaiah wrote,

For instruction is added to instruction, instruction to instruction, expectation to expectation, expectation to expectation, a bit here, a bit there (Isaiah 28:10, CV).

Donald G. Hayter (1911-1988) wrote in the Unsearchable Riches (Volume 65) regarding this progression,

We must remember that all truth has been revealed in installments and especially that for the present through Paul.[1]

I am thrilled about the materials that we have planned for future issues of the BSN. All that we carry in the BSN are building blocks toward further advancements in the truth. Not that the revelation found in the Scriptures themselves can be “advanced,” for they have already been completed by Paul (Colossians 1:25). Rather, it is our realization of that truth that needs to advance forward: from elementary to perfection, from rudimentary to complete.

Such advancement takes an enormous amount of time. We have a tendency to want all the answers right away. First, we must know that we will never have all the answers. Second, the answers that we do get will come slow and painstakingly. This unhurried and steady progression in study and understanding is important, so that we have the time for properly considering “objections” to any new perspectives. This gives us time to meditate upon them during the normal course of reading and studying. This also gives us the time to unlearn the many things that we think we know that aren’t even in the Scriptures.

Yours for the transcendent riches of His grace …

[1]     Hayter, of England, was an associate of John H. Essex and A.E. Knoch. See his book, Thoughts by the Way at StudyShelf (also see order form under Other Authors).

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: