Mark 16:15

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature"

Who May Dwell With the Lord?

This is basically the question the psalmist asks in the 51st Psalm: “Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?” (v. 1). When you read this Psalm, you truly get an inspired description of the character of one who may dwell with the Lord? I believe Albert Barnes stated it right: “This psalm refers to a single subject, but that (is) the most important which can come before the human mind. It is the question. Who is truly religious? who will enter heaven? who will be saved?” (Albert Barnes, Commentary on Psalms). The description is given in both positive and negative qualities. Let’s look briefly at them.
The answer: “He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart” (v. 2). These three things describe one who is morally correct in behavior and thinking; one acting in an upright, moral way; virtuous. An upright one who works righteousness will always speak the truth. In short, the one who will dwell with God is the one who is upright, just, honest, truthful.
The answer from a negative viewpoint: “He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend” (v. 3). David is telling us that the one who may dwell with the Lord is the man who treats his neighbor properly; who does not slander or reproach him; who does not readily listen to gossip reports in regard to him.
“In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the Lord; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change” (v.4). Here David describes the character traits that consider or think of others in a proper fashion; he has no use for the “vile person,” but regards the righteous and the wicked as they should be regarded; who looks with proper disgust on all who are “vile” in their character, and displays true respect on all who fear the Lord. He is also one who is faithful to his promise, though it proves to be against his own interest; a truly righteous man will keep his word, even when it is to his own disadvantage to do so.
Two more negative qualifications: “He who does not put out his money at usury. Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.” The upright will never take advantage of those less fortunate nor those in need. He will not take a bribe against the innocent. This is not true of “those who will be rich” discussed by Paul in I Timothy 6:5f. The “usury” condemned in Scripture was speaking of those who did take advantage of those in need by charging them exorbitant amounts of interest. The one who may dwell with the Lord would never be guilty of that.
Conclusion: “He who does these things shall never be moved” (v. 6). The person who exhibits the desirable qualities outlined in this passage will never be removed from his safe position in the favor of God. How about you? Is your character and conduct like that described in this Psalm?

Paul M. Wilmoth


Paul wrote to the Philippians in Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Paul also wrote, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thess. 5:18).
Alexander Cruden wrote of the word
thanksgiving, “An acknowledging and confessing with gladness the benefits and mercies, which God bestows either upon ourselves or others” (Cruden's Concordance). Throughout the pages of inspiration, we are often exhorted to be thankful. The Psalmist wrote, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name” (Psalm 100:4). And to the church at Colosse Paul urged, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful” (Col. 3:15). In the negative sense in listing the sinful condition of the Gentiles, Paul said: “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were they thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Rom. 1:21).
Paul practiced what he urged upon his fellow Christians to do in giving thanks. “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:57). “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ” (II Cor. 2:14). “But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you” (II Cor. 8:16). “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” (II Cor. 9:15). Perhaps his statement in Ephesians 5:20 sums it up, as far as Paul is concerned: “Giving thanks always, for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now, let's go back to our original passage of Scripture with which we began this article: “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” It appears that Paul viewed prayer as the proper response to every situation that might arise in our lives. There is nothing which has to do with our life that we cannot go and spread it all before the Lord. We are taught that God is pleased when His children approach Him in prayer. He has assured us that He is ever able and ready to listen and bless us, even more so than earthly parents (Eph. 3:20). It is equally clear that thanksgiving should accompany all of our prayers, no matter the circumstance or the situation.
Are you thankful? Does thanksgiving accompany every request you make to God? In the words of the Christian hymn, “Count Your Blessings”, the final verse says, “So, amid the conflict whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.” I can only add, “Amen!”

Paul M. Wilmoth

Kenneth W. Buckner (1932-2019)

On Wednesday, October 23rd our beloved friend and brother in Christ, Ken Buckner, ceased his earthly journey as he “walked through the valley of the shadow of death” spoken of by the psalmist in the 23rd Psalm. And because of the kind of life he lived, we believe that, like the psalmist, Ken “feared no evil, for Thou art with me.”
Ken and Barbara have been members of the Northeast family for many years. Over the years they have endeared themselves by their dedicated life as Christians. There are a number of things that stand out as we remember Ken.
He was a humble man. I never saw anything that resembled pride in this man. He lived quietly the Christian life never seeking the limelight nor praise from men. When he made comments in Bible classes it came from his heart. He always desired things to be done for the betterment of the church and the community.
He was a knowledgeable man in the Scriptures. I appreciated so much all of the encouraging things that he has said in regard to my preaching, and I know that this was true of brother David as well. He encouraged and desired that only God’s truth be presented with no sugar coating. He agreed with Paul that Gospel preaching included “reprove, rebuke and exhort” as Paul told Timothy (II Tim. 2:4).
Ken, along with his good wife, was a very generous man. When announcements were made for help to reach some goal or to be able to do some good work, Ken and Barbara were among the first to respond. He was there contributing to help with Thanksgiving baskets, providing food and water for Truth Bible Camp, as well as supporting Tennessee Bible College through the annual dinner for the College. In the past few years he purchased tickets even when he was not able to attend. You could always count on Ken.
One thing that I observed from the beginning was the prayers he led. They were never copies of what he had heard others say; he prayed from the heart and it was very apparent. You could tell by the way he prayed that he sincerely believed in the power of prayer.
Ken and Barbara seldom missed a service, unless visiting out of town, and they usually made the elders aware of where they would be if planning to be away. All should follow their example.
Ken dealt with numerous health issues during his sojourn here on earth; this was especially true of the last few years. I am sure that he came to worship when many people would not have attempted it. But I am confident that Ken is now in a place where “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain” (Rev. 21:4). We will miss Ken tremendously, but believe that Heaven will be a better place because of Ken Buckner. And we know that the world was made better by his presence.
To Barbara and the family we extend our sympathy, but we “sorrow not as others who have no hope” but look forward to being reunited with him one day when our lives are finished here as well.

Paul M. Wilmoth

The Redeemer

Job said, “For I know that my redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25). David said in the Psalms, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). The earth, our universe, man, and everything visible and invisible had to have a creator or maker. “For every house is builded by some man; but he that made all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4). No house, or any other building, ever came into existence by mere accident or chance. No building was ever constructed by a tornado, a hurricane, or an earthquake. The earth and all the universe of God are a million times more marvelous than any building; therefore, they HAD to have a Maker—and that Maker is God! All one has to do is look around; we can see intelligence and design in all things. Some claim that the earth sprang up out of nothing; these are just wild assertions and speculations in order to deny the existence of God; and they are most foolish indeed! Even science teaches that from nothing, comes nothing. Everything had to have something back of it; and that something goes all the way back to God, the original and eternal ONE who “created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).
Listen to the testimony of the word of God: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard” (Psa. 19:1-3).
For an example, consider the radio. It was first conceived in the mind of the inventor; it shows purpose and design from an intelligent cause. So, also, does the universe that we live in show forth divine intelligence and planning. Some claim that they cannot believe in an eternal God with infinite power and knowledge; they then turn right around and try to prove that all things came from dead and lifeless matter; this they do without any evidence at all. Where did the lifeless matter come from? It is completely unreasonable and illogical to say that nothing came from nothing. How could a nothing, which did not exist and could not be anything or do anything, make itself exist, and do and be something and make itself into a wonderful universe of matter? From nothing comes nothing. If there had ever been a time in the eternal past when there was nothing whatsoever in existence, there could never have been anything in existence. That eternal something, which has always existed, is God! “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen and Amen” (Psa. 41:13). Read also Psalm 106:48; 90:2; 93:2; 103:17; Proverbs 8:23; Isaiah 63:16; Micah 5:2; Habakkuk 1:12.
Also, lifeless matter could never have created the heavens and the earth, or made man, or anything else! “He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?....he that teacheth man knowledge, shall he not know?” (Psa. 94:9-10). Mr. Edwin Conklin, a Princeton biological scientist, argued that
it would be as impossible for life to have just happened upon the earth, as it would be for an unabridged dictionary to come into existence as a result of an explosion in a print shop. So, God created the earth to be inhabited. “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord, and there is none else” (Isa. 45:18). He made it to precision. “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?” (Isa. 40:12).
How is it that the oceans, and rivers do not fill the earth? What causes them to go so far—and no farther? Just chance and happenstance? I think not! Isaiah said that God made the earth and everything in it to precision. How can scientists tell us exactly when the next eclipse will take place and many other events too marvelous to just be by chance. There is an intelligent cause behind all of creation—and that cause is God! God hung our world up into space by gravity—another name for the power of God (Job 26:7). He created the first man and woman in orbit around the sun—and we have been in orbit all of our lives. If the earth had been too large or too heavy, we would have drifted farther away from the sun, and eventually life could not exist; if the earth had been too small, and too light, we would have drifted closer to the sun and would have perished. Not in a trillion chances could any of this have just happened—an earth made to precision, and perfectly adapted to man and his needs. Yes, our God really does exist, and desires to redeem man from sin and eternal ruin. Each of us, with Job, can say, “I know that my redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25).

Paul M. Wilmoth