Vol.I No.I Pg.7
January 1964

Queries: Re. Authority, Devils, Etc.

Robert F. Turner

Mr. Turner:

In your sermon Friday night you made such a fuss about authority, yet you were meeting in a building and using song books and many other things without bible authority. Do you think your judgement is authority?

(Received during out-of-state meeting, unsigned. rft)


I was unaware that I "made such a fuss" about anything, and will say now that if I did, it was unwarranted and does not constitute authority for anything. Neither my judgment nor that of the whole brotherhood could "authorize" anything in the church.

Regarding the building and the song books, the Lord authorizes brethren to assemble (Heb. 10:25) and to sing while assembled. (1 Cor. 14:15) Authority to assemble presupposes a place of assembly, and authority to sing warrants the necessary implements of singing. It is true that the specifics (as types of building, etc) are matters of judgment, and thatP ALlikely use very poor judgment sometimes in such matters; but it is not true that such expedients are "without" authority.

Note, however, that nothing can be "expedient" that is not first "authorized". (I.E., no place of assembly could be considered expedient, if we had no authority to assemble.) Also, legitimate expedients must always be within the category of the thing that is authorized. (Ex. "sing" can not authorize instruments for "playing"; and authority to assemble for worship can not justify the building of kitchens and banquet halls. - - - - - - - - - - -

Dear bro. Turner:

What is meant by "prevent" in 1 Thes. 4:15, "we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep."? UI


You quote the King James version, which uses "prevent" in its now archaic sense. The prefix "pre" means "before" and "vent" is from "venire" meaning "to come"; hence, the revised version translates "shall in no wise precede." The meaning is that those "in Christ" -- living at the time of His coming; and/or having been dead, but then resurrected; shall go "together" to meet the Lord in the air. (vs. 17) One group shall not go before the other.

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What were the "devils" that Jesus cast out of people? Mark 1:34-f.


I wish I knew the answer to that. It is clear that whatever these were, they were of Satan, to cast them out demonstrated Jesus' power over Satan, and foretold the overthrow of Satan's kingdom. (Read carefully Mk. 3:22-27)

There are various theories (and just plain 'guesses') in Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopaedia; but use of a concordance, and reading of the text where they are mentioned, will give you as much real information and is a lot safer.