"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.X No.IX Pg.12,15c
September 1948

Refused Publication

R. L. Whiteside

Last Fall I wrote a short article to show that a charge Brother Hardeman made against Brother Foy Wallace, even had it been true, was a serious reflection on Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, John Smith, Benjamin Franklin, and most of the other pioneer preachers. I sent the article to the Firm Foundation and the Gospel Advocate. Brother Showalter published the article; Brother Goodpasture returned it without any comment. About the middle of March, I wrote an article to correct a mistake Brother DeHoff made in the Gospel Advocate concerning priests; and also to counteract a notion advanced by sprinklers ever since I began to pay any attention to religious matters, namely, that Christ was baptized at the age of thirty, the age they said priests were consecrated to the office of priests, and that sprinkling was a part of the rite of consecration. They were wrong on both points; for it is nowhere said that priests began to function at the age of thirty, or that mere water was sprinkled on Aaron and his sons. (See Lev., chapters 8 and 9). That ceremony was the consecration of a family to the priesthood rather than the consecration of Aaron and sons as priests. There is no evidence that such a ceremony was required or performed any more. I mailed the short article to the Apostolic Times. When some months passed and Brother Allen had not published it, I sent him a self-addressed stamped envelope and asked him to return my article; but he did not, nor did he write me a word. Some time ago Brother C. R. Nichol wrote an article in which he made some comments on some fake debates that had been held east of the Mississippi River, and sent it to the Gospel Advocate. It was returned without comment. Is there a conspiracy in Nashville not to publish any sort of criticism of what any preacher east of the Mississippi says or does, no matter how just or courteous the criticism may be. Here is my article on

The Priests

Concerning a priest under the law, Brother DeHoff says, "He became a priest at thirty and retired at fifty." Gospel Advocate, January 1, 1948. How wide spread that notion is I do not know. I heard it when I was a young man, but it has no scriptural support it is, in fact, as contrary to Bible statements as any notion can be. But let us get a few facts before us concerning the priests and the Levites.

Levi, son of Jacob, was the father of three sons, Gershen, Kohath, and Merari. Amram was the son of Kohath, and the father of Aaron and Moses: (Ex. 6:16-20). Aaron and his sons were set apart as priests at Sinai. (Ex. 28:1; Lev. 8).

About forty years later, on Mount Hor; at the command of Jehovah, Moses "stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazer his son, and Aaron died there on the top of the mount." (Num. 20:122-26), "And Aaron was a hundred and twenty three years old when he died in Mount Hor." (Num. 33:38, 39). Aaron was therefore about eighty-three years old when he was made priest, and continued to be priest till he died at the age of one hundred and twenty three. Eleazer must have been several years above fifty when he took the place of his father as high priest, for he was made priest forty years earlier; and if he began to be priest at thirty, then he was seventy when he took his father's place.

By consulting Numbers 35:25, 28, 32; Joshua 20:6, you will see that the priest the high priest continued to be priest till death. And in speaking of the priests under the law, the writer of Hebrews says, "And they indeed have been made priests many in number, because that by death they are hindered from continuing." (Heb. 7:23). And Zacharias, though not a high priest, still executed the priest's office before God when he was old well stricken in years. (Luke 1:1-9).

The 30-50 idea about priests grew out of unwarrantable conclusions from what is said in Numbers 4. The age limit there had nothing to do with priests, and only with a portion of the Levites who were assigned special duties in moving the tabernacle from one camp to another. It is an instructive chapter, unless a person sees nothing in it except the 30 to 50 age limit. In preparing to move the tabernacle, Aaron, then eighty-three years old, went with his sons into the tabernacle wrapped up some of the things and covered others, according to specific directions so that no Levite would see any of the contents of the tabernacle. The Kohathites, Gershenites, and Merarites, each group, had special tasks, directed by Eleazer and Ithmar, sons of Aaron. Moving that tabernacle was not a work, for boys and old men, hence the age limits.

It seems that different age limits on the part of the Levites applied to different kinds of service. Notice Numbers 8:23-26. "'And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, This is that which belongeth unto the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they shall go in to wait upon the service in the work of the tent of meeting: and from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting upon the work, and shall serve no more, but shall minister with their brethren in the tent of meeting, to keep the charge, and shall do no service." Here it is plain that Levites did not entirely retire at the age of fifty. By reason of age and experience Levites above fifty years old would be very helpful in teaching those just entering the service, and in overseeing all the services. For certain services David appointed Levites "from thirty years old and upward." (1 Chron. 28:3-5). No age of retirement is here mentioned. Others are mentioned in verse 24, "who did the work for the service of the house of Jehovah, from twenty years old and upward." The rest of chapter 23 gives additional light on the age limit and the work of Levites.