It is school time again. Some children are feeling excited about school and maybe others are feeling a little sad that summer is over. Children go through a lot of different emotions about school. Some kids feel nervous or a little scared on the first day of school because of all the new things. There are new teachers, new friends and for some there are even new schools. There are supplies that you need and goals to be accomplished if you are to be successful in school. There are thing you can do to have a great school year: (1) Get enough sleep. (2) Try your best. (3) Use good work habits. (4) Take your time with school work, focus and work hard. (5) If you don't understand something, ask the teacher.


          Schools are nothing new. Schools were mentioned in the Old Testament. In 2 Chronicles 34:22 we read, "And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spake to her to that effect." The word college is "school." In the New Testament we read, "But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus." (Acts 19:9) Tyrannus was a schoolmaster in Ephesus. He allowed Paul to use his facility or his school for a period of about two years. This was one of the most productive and powerful times of Paul's ministry. "And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks." (Acts 19:10) It is a different kind of school, but our children are back in school. We are all in a religious school. Jesus is the greatest teacher ever. Sadly, there is an evil substitute teacher who is trying to take the place of Jesus. This evil substitute teacher is none other than Satan himself. Here are some things that Jesus taught and how this evil substitute teacher tries to discredit what Jesus said.


          Jesus taught about the Old and the New covenants. In Matthew 5:17 we read, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." The idea of "fulfil" means, (1) To bring to an end, or (2) The completion of a promise. Jesus Christ is the mediator of a “New” Testament. (Hebrews 8:8-13) The testament or will of our Lord Christ was "New" when compared to the Old Testament Law of Moses. It was new in time as the Law of Moses had been given 1,500 years before the will of Christ came into effect. The will or covenant of Christ was also new in its nature. It was far superior to the Old Covenant. Jeremiah predicted both the ending of the Old Covenant and the beginning of a New Covenant. (Jeremiah 31:31-34) The Hebrew writer said that one part of the mission of Christ was that He might abolish or take away "the first, that he may establish the second." (Hebrews 10:9)


          But then there is an evil substitute teacher who wants to take the place of Jesus. He is the Devil. He wants you to believe Him instead of the Lord. He says Jesus did not intend to abolish the old Jewish religious Laws, such as the Ten Commandments and the various regulations about the Sabbath, or marriage, diet and similar matters. Satan says that those who live under the New Covenant can be saved without baptism because the thief on the cross (who lived under the Old Covenant) was saved without baptism. (Luke 23:43) Religious groups like the Seventh-day Adventists and the Church of God-Seventh Day profess to observe the Sabbath. At the same time they observe the Lord's Supper from time to time. The Sabbath was a part of the Old Covenant. (Exodus 20:8) The Lord's Supper is a New Testament commandment. (Luke 22:19-20) These religious people may be sincere but they do not understand that two testaments cannot be binding at the same time. This same thing is true concerning the instrument music. Religious bodies observe the Lord's Supper (at least on occasion). The Lord's Supper is authorized for New Testament Christians. (Luke 22:30) When these same religious people are questioned about Bible authority for instrumental music in worship they appeal to the Psalms for their support. (Psalm 150) But Psalms is a part of the old law. “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” (John 10:34) These words are a quotation of Psalm 82:6)

          Jesus taught about money and wealth. In Mark 10:25 Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:25) Jesus told the rich, young ruler, "One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions." (Mark 10:17-22) It is the will of God that we make money, but it is also His will that we use what we have to build up His kingdom. In order to go to heaven a selfish rich man must reform his life and willingly give his money to spread the gospel and help the poor. In Matthew 6:24 the great teacher Jesus said, "You cannot serve both God and Money."


          But then there is an evil substitute teacher who wants to take the place of Jesus. He is the Devil. He wants you to believe Him instead of the Lord. He says, "There is nothing wrong with acquiring money and wealth. The Devil reminds us that people who do become wealthy are often admired by others. He says the words of Matthew 6:19-21 are not true. Those verses say, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." The Devil says, (1) Money brings happiness. (2) Money brings security. (3) We deserve everything that we have. The Devil has forgotten the wisdom of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 5:10. "He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity."


          Jesus taught about the value of a soul. Jesus demonstrated the preciousness of every lost soul. In Luke 15 He illustrated the importance of a soul with a lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost boy. Each story reflects God's concern for lost people, the tremendous value He places on every individual, and the great joy He feels "over one sinner who repents." Sin separated man from God. (Isaiah 59:2) God has a plan for man to be reconciled to Him. This plan focuses on His Son Jesus as our Redeemer. (Ephesians 3:11) Mankind without Christ is lost, alienated from the life of God, having no hope, and without god in the world. (Ephesians 2:12) Jesus, the greatest teacher ever, said every soul is precious.


          But then there is an evil substitute teacher who wants to take the place of Jesus. He is the Devil. He wants you to believe Him instead of the Lord. He says, "Souls are (1) Defeated, (2) Defective, (3) Deserted, and (4) Deprived. Satan discourages us. He is constantly suggesting negative thoughts. He is the accuser. "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." (Revelation 12:10) He says, "This will never work, you can't do it, you can't change."


          Jesus taught about personal accountability. Jesus showed that God is not with you when you do not accept personal responsibility. "Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you." (Joshua 7:12) It is your personal responsibility to separate yourselves from sin. Jesus calls us to personal accountability to Him. Does the Bible speak of Christian accountability? The Bible says that God holds us accountable. Romans 14:12 says, "So then each of us shall give account of himself to God." This is personal accountability. Being accountable is what makes actions your own; it is an expression of your personality, and your integrity. The Great Teacher said we are accountable for our life!


          But then there is an evil substitute teacher who wants to take the place of Jesus. He is the Devil. He wants you to believe Him instead of the Lord. He says, "Everything comes from God, therefore evil comes from God. We could not, therefore, be responsible for what we have done or are doing." Satan's lies about our personal responsibility. Satan says that we can blame society, or blame our parents or blame God for our failures and weaknesses. This is a lie. We are responsible. Satan is wrong. I will be judged for my own sins. I am responsible!


          We are blessed to live under the New Covenant of Jesus Christ. To become a New Testament Christian you must hear the word of God (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus as Lord and Christ (John 8:24), repent of all sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized into Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27) Jesus is the Master teacher. Let us hear and obey Him!


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA


Life is like a coin. You can spend it anyway you wish, but you can spend it only once.