Tag Archives: God’s Word


Author — Jim Harris


I realize that some may be offended by what is in this article. Some may totally disagree with me, considering me (and my article) to be “mossback,” outdated, old fashioned, and more. However, I cannot find anywhere in God’s Word where the Lord instructed His churches to get more like the world in order to attract the world, and borrowing and applying the world’s terms to what we do is a step in that direction.

A lot of things have changed since I started going to church over 60 years ago. While there are a few things that have changed for the better, most of the changes have taken us, I believe, farther away from resembling the kind of church that Jesus started, the kind of church that the Apostle Paul addressed in over half of the New Testament. Some of those negative changes are noted below.

1. The big room where services are usually held on Sunday mornings is no longer a sanctuary. Now, it is an auditorium.

2. The area where the preacher stands is no longer a podium or a “pulpit area.” Today it is a stage where all kinds of performances take place.

3. The people (supposedly) listening to the sermon are no longer called the “congregation.” Instead, today they are the “audience” (which the preacher must entertain and please if he wants them to come back next Sunday).

4. Thus, and sadly, the “sermon” is rarely a message from God’s Word. Today it is likely to be a “pep talk,” the latest pop psychology, or simply a “nice little talk.” In some instances, the sermon may be replaced with a drama, a cantata, or some other less offensive approach to entertaining the “audience.”

5. Preaching is no longer delivering a message from God’s Word. Instead, it has become a performance to be rated by the “audience” (congregation) to help them determine if they want to return and hear more next Sunday.

6. Often, special music is no longer presented to the glory of God but to showcase and promote the ability of the person, group, or choir singing. Consequently, instead of bring glory to God, it is sometimes presented to bring glory to the individual singer(s) or musician.

7. And, the building where the people meet is no longer called the church house. It has become “the church.” And whereas the building can never go into all the world making disciples for Christ or bring glory to God, the people could — if they would.

There are many more things that have changed, and it has not taken them 60 years, only the last few. I wonder, when will the Lord’s churches get back to being what He called them to be and quit taking their cues from the world?

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The Throughly Furnishing Word  


2 Timothy 3:16, 17

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, . . . that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works,” 2 Timothy 3:16,17.


Paul reminded Timothy that his mother and grandmother had taught him the Scriptures, which had made him wise with reference to salvation. Ms. Ella’s Sunday School class consisted of two second graders, Wade and John. She had them memorize Ephesians 6:4 to recite before the church. Wade said, “And you fathers raise your children up in the nutrition and admonition of the Lord.” John then followed, “And you fathers raise up your children in the nurture and ammunition of the Lord.” The congregation smiled. However, the two boys had interpreted the Scriptures correctly. A parent who raises his family in God’s Word feeds them with the bread of life and arms them against the armies of the devil.

The Holy Spirit convicts us that we fall short of God’s glory and that God has provided a way to cover our sins with the sacrifice of His only begotten Son.

Once the Christian possesses the Holy Spirit at salvation, he needs the instructions that the Spirit uses to convict him of the right choices to make in life. Without God’s instructions the Christian does not mature because he does not have the tools necessary to do the good works God has planned for him to do. The Spirit uses God’s Word to instruct us, to scold us and tell us how to correct our misbehavior.




A Christian who does not study God’s Word often becomes the devil’s playhouse.

Robert Brock

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HEBREW – Tremble (1)

In our study of the tabernacle, we referred to Isa_66:1-2 in passing, but there is a truth there that deeply affects this writer and that is well worth our serious consideration in light of our modern day: “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
Does God demand magnificent structures, such as the breathtaking St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, to worship Him? Not according to Isaiah, who in this chapter continues his prophecy concerning the glorious future. He begins, however, by contrasting the attitude of the true and faithful servant of God with the apostate and worldly character of most of the nation. He declares that there are only two places where God dwells: first in heaven and second in the contrite heart of the person who trembles at His Word. God is not looking for a temple made of stone or sacrifices made without thought. He is concerned rather with what is in the heart, specifically, our attitude toward His Word.
Paul declared the same truth: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Php_2:12). To our shame, we see little, if any, fear and trembling in our churches. Oh, we see much excitement, activity, and other user-oriented attitudes, but where is the trembling before God’s Word?
Trembleth is a translation of chārēḏ (H2730), “to shake,” from which are derived the ideas of trembling and fear. God told Gideon, for example, to limit the number of soldiers by observing who was afraid, which sent 22,000 back home (Jdg_7:3). In 1Sa_4:13, Eli sat “by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God,” because the Ark of the Covenant was in danger of being captured by the Philistines.
As we continue these thoughts in coming days, let us each ask ourselves, “Do I tremble before God’s Word? Do I have a deep reverence for God’s revelation and a fear in my heart of disobeying it?”
Scriptures for Study: Read the following verses, noting the emphasis on trembling at God’s Word: Ezr_9:4; Ezr_10:3; Psa_119:120.


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Hebrew – Statute(s)


chōq [and] chāqaq


The fourth synonym we encounter for God’s Word is statute, which is the Hebrew chōq (H2706), a masculine noun derived from a verb (chāqaq, H2710) that means “to cut, scratch, inscribe, or engrave.” Oh, what a word we have here! While it is used for such ideas as cutting a tomb out of rock (Isa_22:16), its most common use is to refer to engraving or writing.


At one time, one of the major attacks on the authenticity of the Bible by its critics was the belief that writing did not exist in Moses’ time, “proving” that Moses couldn’t have written the Pentateuch, rather that it was written four centuries later by four separate authors. This was forever dispelled, however, in 1902 by one of the most important archaeological finds of all time, the Code of Hammurabi, discovered by M. J. de Morgan. Hammurabi was king of Babylon (ca. eighteenth century BC) and was, therefore, a contemporary of Abraham. The code, written on an eight-foot-high, two-foot-wide, and one-and-a-half-foot-thick polished block of black diorite stone, contains laws (some similar to the Mosaic Law) dealing with worship, justice, taxes and other money matters, building, and matters of commerce.


The existence of that code, as well as others of the ancient world—such as the Egyptian Rosetta Stone (ca. 200 BC)—wonderfully illustrate our word for today. It is used, for example, of the statutes God gave to Moses (Exo_15:26; Num_30:16, Mal_4:4). The word lûach (H3871) speaks of a stone slab (Exo_34:1). God inscribed His law on such tablets; they were known as the “tables,” as in the “tables of testimony [February 17], tables of stone, written with the finger of God” (Exo_31:18).


The old expression “set in stone” also illustrates this truth. God’s statutes (or decrees) are engraved in stone, graphically demonstrating their permanence. Turning again to Psalms 119, we find chōq twenty-one times, the first of which is in Psa_119:5 : “O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!” God’s Word is not open for debate, not subject to reinterpretation for the times. God’s Word is set in stone!


Scriptures for Study: Read a few of the occurrences of statutes in Psalms 119, noting what our attitude and response to them should be: Psa_119:8; Psa_119:23; Psa_119:54; Psa_119:71; Psa_119:83; Psa_119:112, and Psa_119:117.




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HEBREW – Precept


piqqûḏ [and] pāqaḏ


The third name for God’s Word is the term precept. The Hebrew here is piqqûḏ (H6490), a masculine noun also meaning “instruction.” It’s a poetic word found only in the Psalms (twenty-four times, all but three in 119), always in the plural, that speaks of injunctions and moral obligations.


Especially noteworthy is the fact that piqqûḏ comes from the root pāqaḏ (H6485), a verb that means “to attend to, visit, search out, scrutinize, or make careful inspection of.” One aspect of this word is the idea of paying attention to something. Joseph, for example was made the “overseer” of Potiphar’s house (Gen_39:1-4), paying attention to and caring for all the affairs of the house.


The word is especially significant when used of God paying attention to something. In a positive way, at his death Joseph told his brothers that God would “visit” them and bring them into the Promised Land (Gen_50:24). Likewise, God was certainly paying attention to the plight of His people in their bondage in Egypt and said to Moses, “I have surely visited [pāqaḏ] you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt” (Exo_3:16). He went on to say He would deliver them. The negative is also true, that God pays attention to those who are doing evil, as when He gave the commandment in the Decalogue not to make any type of image or idol or bow down to any false god, for He is “a jealous God, visiting [pāqaḏ] the iniquity of the fathers upon the children” (Exo_20:5).


One authority, in fact, provides a definition in this vein that should particularly strike us: “[pāqaḏ] expresses the idea that God is paying attention to how He wants things ordered.” It continues to amaze me how church leaders today, as if God isn’t watching, persist in doing things the way theychoose, from creating whatever methods and ministries they deem fit, to running the church as they would a corporation. Instead of opening Scripture to see how God wants things ordered, we do what pleases people. Psa_119:4, for example, declares, “Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently,” underscoring that God wants things done His way. Let us commit ourselves to that principle, for God is paying attention.


Scriptures for Study: Read just a few of the occurrences of precept in Psalms 119, noting what our attitude and response should be: Psa_119:4; Psa_119:15; Psa_119:27; Psa_119:40; Psa_119:45; Psa_119:87, and Psa_119:93.




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Hebrew – Law (2)




While tôrāh (H8451) speaks of God’s Word in general, it is also used to refer specifically to the Law God gave to Israel at Sinai—the Mosaic Law, with all its ceremonies, sacrifices, and ordinances. Through Moses, and in the minutest detail, God gave Israel 613 commands that covered every area of life—moral, civil, and ceremonial.


First, there was the Ten Commandments, the Moral Law, the Decalogue, “ten words” (Exo_20:1-17), followed by the judgments, directing the social and civil life of Israel (Exo_21:1 to Exo_24:11), and concluding with the ordinances (Exo_24:12 to Exo_31:18), dictating the religious life of Israel. What is also significant is that it was necessary that they keep all that Law. To “keep the whole law,” in fact, “and yet offend in one point” meant they were guilty of breaking all 613 laws (Jas_2:10, from Deu_27:26).


We will return to the latter two aspects of the Law tomorrow, but we note today that this Moral Law was written in the hearts of men everywhere (Rom_2:15). This demonstrates that men know in their heart (i.e., by their mind and conscience) not to lie, steal, murder, or violate the other moral commands. Again, such moral law is found in legal codes of nations throughout history.


These moral laws (except for keeping the Sabbath, which was replaced by the Lord’s Day, March 20–21) are also found restated several times in the NT: having no other gods (Exo_20:3; Deu_5:7; Act_5:29); making no idols or images (Exo_20:4-6; Deu_5:8-10; Act_17:29-31; 1Co_8:4-6; 1Co_10:14; Col_3:5; 1Jn_5:21); not profaning God’s name (Exo_20:7; Deu_5:11; Jas_5:12); honoring one’s father and mother (Exo_20:12; Deu_5:16; Eph_6:1-3; Col_3:20); not murdering (Exo_20:13; Deu_5:17; Rom_13:9-10; Jas_2:11); not committing adultery (Exo_20:14; Deu_5:19; Rom_13:9-10; 1Co_6:9; Heb_13:4; Jas_2:11); not stealing (Exo_20:15; Deu_5:19; Rom_13:9-10; Eph_4:28); not lying (Exo_20:16; Deu_5:20; Eph_4:25; Eph_4:31; Col_3:9; Tit_3:2); not coveting (Exo_20:17; Deu_5:21; Rom_7:7; Rom_13:9; Eph_5:3-5; Heb_13:5Jas_4:1-3).


Let us rejoice in and obey God’s Law.


Scriptures for Study: Read the many verses listed in today’s study and apply them to your own living.




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Hebrew – Law (1)




In addition to the fascinating study of God’s many names, which formed the bulk of our readings in the past, there is another OT subject that has many facets, namely God’sWord. There are, in fact, no less than eight different Hebrew words in Psalms 119 alone that describe the many aspects of God’s Word.


The first such word is law, which is the most frequent of all, appearing some 219 times. The Hebrew is tôrāh (H8451), a feminine noun meaning “direction, teaching, and instruction.” Generally speaking, law most often refers to a body of teaching, and that is precisely what allScripture is. While we will examine in subsequent studies the Mosaic Law and its bearing on NT believers, all Scripture provides direction and instruction. While not all Scripture was written to the church (NT believers), all Scripture was written for the church. In other words, all Scripture provides legitimate application for us in this age.


It’s interesting and instructive that the very first occurrence of tôrāh is in Gen_26:5, long before God gave the Mosaic Law: “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” In other words, God has always had laws. This is further evident in the fact that before God gave the Mosaic Law, some of its basic principles already existed among the Babylonians, Hittites, and other civilizations. This clearly demonstrates that at the very least a basic verbal law had been handed down through the years. It eventually was ignored by the majority after Babel, but there were some, such as Abraham, who retained the knowledge of God’s law. We see the same implication in Job (which predates the Mosaic Law): “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job_23:12). Again, long before Moses, there were commandments, that is, law, which while eventually replaced by the Mosaic Law, was nonetheless a code of behavior and a body of teaching by which man was bound. As we will see, this is the law written in man’s hearts (Rom_2:15), a law he cannot escape.


Scriptures for Study: What do Psa_1:1-3; Psa_119:1 promise to those who keep God’s law, that is, the instruction of His Word in general?




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God’s Word Bears Fruit


Ye heard before in the word  of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is  in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you,” Colossians 1:5, 6.


Jesus had just preached the parable of the sower and the four kinds of ears that hear the Word of God. One would assume that the apostles got the message, since Jesus had told them that the truth of the kingdom was for their ears. Then, just a few hours later in a storm, their boat was filled to sinking. They roused Jesus from sleep and accused Him of not caring that they were about to die. His word rebuked the wind, and the sea was immediately calm. The apostles were amazed and revealed their lack of understanding that they were in the boat with the Creator of the universe. Jesus shed light on their fears, “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). Their reply revealed their lack of belief in His Word. “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (verse 41). 


Believing God’s Word matures the Christian to simply take Him at His word.  Jesus said to Satan that, if a person really believes God’s Word, he is actually living life on a higher plain.


So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isa. 55:11, 12). God’s Word can do surgery on the Christian and it can heal. Dive in and let it change your life and take away all your fear.  His Word claims that He has got your back, even in the worst storms of life.



JUST A THOUGHT – Saved people are expected to be fruit bearers.


Robert A. Brock





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128 – May-08 – This Day in Baptist History Past


        Earnest Study of Gods’ Word Will Make You Baptist


King charles the Second was proclaimed King of England on May 8, 1660. He was known as the “Merry Monarch,” and some religious toleration dotted the political horizon during his rule in which several interesting Baptists came to the fore.   Mr. John Gosnold had been a minister of the established church, and during the civil unrest, he made the Scriptures the center of his thinking. Following earnest study he converted to Baptist convictions, and was chosen pastor of a Baptist congregation at the Barbican in London. His preaching was very popular, and he drew vistors from every denomination. His audience was usually composed of three thousand.


Carolus Maria DuVeil, a man who had been born into a Jewish home in Mentz, France. He was educated in Judaism, but as he began comparing the prophetical books of the Old Testament with the New, he was convinced in his heart that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah!  When he embraced Christianity, his father was incensed, and attempted to kill Carolus with a sword.  Carolus became quite well known and the bishop of London sought his friendship which procured the use of the bishop’s library.   There he discovered writings of the english Baptists, and being an honest inquirer, he discovered that the Biblical hermeneutics of the Baptists caused him to realize that they were in agreement with the Word of God.  At that time Carolus sought an interview with reverend Gosnold. In the course of time Carolus was immersed by the Baptist pastor, and became a member of the Baptist church.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History  III (David L. Cummins) p.p.  266   –   268



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State Church or Gods Word
The Anabaptists of Zurich agreed to debate Ulrich Zwingli on the subject of infant baptism in January of 1525, provided that the only authority to which the debaters could appeal was the Bible. Reneging on his promise, Zwingli defeated his Anabaptist opponents by shouting them down.  The Zurich City Council declared him the victor and decreed that the Anabaptists should have all their children baptized within a week or suffer banishment.
The Anabaptists refused to come, so on February 1, 1525, the Council ordered them arrested and that each of their children should be baptized as soon as they were born.  After they were fined 1,000 gulden plus costs, all were released except Felix Mantz and George Blaurock.  In the next few years, the Council imposed confiscation of property, imprisonment, torture, and death upon the Anabaptists of Zurich. The severity of punishments meted out to people who were no threat to public order shows the weakness of the arguments used against them.  The Reformation in Zurich had turned into a Protestant inquisition.
Zwingli chose the authority of the state church rather than the authority of God’s word. Our heritage of freedom does not come to us from the Reformers, but from the Word of God and men of biblical conviction like Mantz and Blaurock, who, at the cost of their lives, was obedient to God rather than man.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins)

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