Corrupt Deacons

The Shepherd of Hermas (c. 150 A.D.) wrote concerning corrupt deacons:

“They that have spots are the deacons that exercised their office ill and plundered the livelihood of widows and orphans and made gains for themselves from the ministrations they had received to perform” (Sim., IX, 26).

Did You Know?

Among the Jews, “At the ordination of the president of the synagogue there were always three presbyters present to lay on hands, so the early Church canons required three bishops to be present at the consecration of a bishop” [Jamieson-Fausset-Brown on 1 Timothy 4:14].

Prayer Beads

Prayer beads are used by many religions throughout the world, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, etc. to mark the repetitions of prayers, chants or devotions. The English word “bead” comes from an Old English word “bede” which means prayer. While their origin remains uncertain, prayer beads seemed be used in some fashion by pagan civilizations over 36 centuries ago. Their earliest verified, recorded historical use dates back to Hinduism, hundreds of years before Christ.

Jesus taught His disciples not to pray like the heathen who use vain repetitions. Prayer is an opening of the heart to God, not rote memorization and repetition. The use of prayer beads is not in conformity to the teachings of Christ.

Lifting Holy Hands

Prior to the instruction concerning women’s modesty and behavior in 1 Timothy 2:9 (which many individuals advocating holiness accept), Paul states to the men that: “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”

The Tree of Life

Revelation 22:1-2 illustrates the tree of life growing on both sides of the river of life which proceeds out of the throne of God. Verse three states that “there shall be no more curse.” The child of God has access to the tree of life today where spiritual death is no more. On the other side of the river, in eternity, the tree of life symbolically grows where all the redeemed can partake and have immortality in the presence of the Lamb of God.