Red-Letter Christians?

By Wendell Tenison

The origin of red letters in the new testament began with a man by the name of Louis Klopsch. In 1899, while working on an editorial and reading Luke 22:20, he thought as the blood of Christ was red, so should the scriptures spoken by Jesus be printed likewise.

Luke 22:20, "Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."

He published his first red-letter new testament in 1899.

Every now and then a new wrinkle will pop up regarding religion, whereby, many people will fall pray to it. These people happen to believe that only the red letters of Christ in the gospels are relevant to the salvation of one's soul. Why? Because, the men who wrote everything past the gospel of St. John did so of their own accord and opinion and is not the word of God. What is puzzling another man not being one of the apostles wrote the book of Luke and he was not an unlearned man being a physician. The books of the new testament began to be written approximately some 20-25 years after the death of Christ. The reader should know the extent of the education of Peter and John of whom the latter wrote the gospel of St. John, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John and the book of Revelation. When the high priest Caiaphas and his friends were questioning these two apostles and said, these are ignorant and unlearned men, Acts 4:13. How then, could the Red-Letter Christians approve of the gospel of John who was ignorant and unlearned, but reject his other four books?

What other explanations are given by the Red-Letter Christians for discounting the new testament beyond the gospel of St. John? To feed and care for the poor and that is a great thing to do. However, our Lord said,

Mark 14:6-7 "And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.....For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always."

They say, that 30,000 children die per day due to poverty and hunger, but our Lord said that the poor would always be with us and we can never solve that problem no matter how hard we try. The Red-Letter Christians also say, our Lord never mentioned homosexuallity and gay marriage, meaning, they are morally and spiritually accepted. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Red letters of Christ are also found in the books of: Acts chapters 1, 9, 11, 18, 20, 22, 26; 1 Cor.11; 2 Cor.12; Revelation chapters 1, 2, 3, 22. Many years ago, a college professor at a major university said, the apostle Paul did not visually see Jesus Christ, but was having an epileptic fit and imagined that he saw him. Paul's account of his being witness to Jesus Christ is found in Acts chapters 9, 22 and 26, being shown in red letters. The writer of Acts just happened to be the same who wrote the book of St. Luke. Was Luke telling the truth in his gospel and a falsehood in Acts regarding the apostle Paul's seeing Jesus face to face? Because of their writing it is said of Luke, Paul, James, Peter and Jude were bad men. Women often say that Paul and Peter were women haters, because they reject what the new testament has to say regarding their relationship to their husbands and their behavior in worship.

Jesus Christ gave all of the red letters pertaining to his new covenant to his apostles to preach to all the world:

John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

The Holy Spirit would be their comforter in place of Christ. Next, he will teach them all things and bring to their remembrance whatsoever he had said unto them.

John 16:13 "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come."

John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and he would guide them into all truth which is the word of God. Not only that, but to show them all things to come.

John 14:16-17 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;.....Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

Our Lord said, the world cannot receive the Comforter, the Holy Spirit of truth.

John 16:7-8 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you......And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"

When the Comforter comes he will reprove the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. How? We will see later.

John 17:6-8 "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word......Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee......For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me."

Notice, these men who had been with Jesus, the apostles, were not bad men, seeing they were given to Jesus out of the world by God himself and they belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. One must be very careful how they speak against the gift of God Almighty to his Son.

Do the Red-Letter Christians keep the commands of the red letters of Christ? Let us see:

Mat 5:23-24 "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;.....Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."

It assumed that these commands of gifts and altars are kept by the Re-Letter advocates.

Mat 8:4 "And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them."

Again, it is asumed that the Red-Letter believers adhere to this command of showing themselves to the priest with gifts according to the law of Moses.

Luke 5:14 "And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them."

What did the Jews offer for cleansing? Usually the blood of an animal. This priest had to be of the tribe of Levi.

Mat 26:18 "And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples."

How many Red-Letter Christians keep the Jewish passover?

The commands of the Lord Jesus Christ to the men whom God gave to him:

Mark 16:15-16 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature......He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

The Lord's command was to go and preach the gospel to every creature. Baptism is a direct command of the Lord no matter how much the religious world hates it. What is the gospel?

Mark 1:1 "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;"

Rom 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

The gospel of Christ is his testament and his only great power unto salvation.

Mat 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

The gospel of Christ is also the gospel of his kingdom to be preached into all the world for witness of himself. This command was fulfilled before A .D. 70.

Col 1:23 "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;"

Now the command has been fulfilled.

Mat 28:19-20 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:.....Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

The command of the Lord was first to go into all the world and teach, (teach what? the gospel) then baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and then continue teaching the gospel.

1 Cor 7:10 -11 "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:.....But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife."

The apostle Paul takes no credit for this command, but says, it comes from the Lord. If we love the Lord Jesus, we will keep his commands, but a great many who say they love the Lord, hates this command. There is no separation in the Lord himself and his commands. If we hate one, we hate the other.

John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

1 Cor 14:34 -37 "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law......And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church......What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?.....If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord"

We either love the Lord or we hate him. Paul states that these things he is writing are the commandments of the Lord. Is anyone greater than the Lord to despise his commandments?

John 12:48 "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

We all will be judged by the Lord, but let us pray that none will be rejected for not receiving his words.

The success of anyone who attempts to pervert the gospel of Christ by starting a religion foreign to the new testament of Christ is soley dependant on the illiteracy of the prospective believers.

Gal 1:8-9 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed......As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

Click to Return to Articles Page

© 2013 by Wendell Tenison