Ye Cannot Serve the LORD…
Better To Not Vow…
One of the least understood aspects of Christianity is church membership. Even among fundamental Baptists there is little more than a cursory understanding which often consists of believing that showing up and warming a pew regularly is fulfilling the covenant. However, the truth is much different. It is not well understood today that the LORD has never changed His view regarding covenants — especially those covenants where individuals vow to serve Him.
Because the modern day Christian lacks understanding of this issue, churches suffer greatly and have little influence in this society. Unfortunately, I do not expect the situation to change anytime soon. The following lesson is to at least take a step in the right direction.
May you find it profitable.
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Paul W. Davis
I first heard about Josef Tson back in the 1990’s. The tape I have from then is a partial recording, but it is very powerful. The video is not quite as powerful, but the message is the same. The message is profitable for all, and fundamental, unaffiliated Baptists would do well to take heed.
There are only three caveats that I make concerning Pastor Tson and the forum in which he presents his messages and testimony:
- His forum is Southern Baptist. It is not the best and he could do better. However, the Southern Baptists are the largest “Baptist” denomination in America, and they took Pastor Tson in immediately. I am not certain Josef Tson understands who and what the Southern Baptists are. But, I am not certain most Southern Baptists understand who and what they are either.
- His understanding of the word “servant” as opposed to “slave” is culturally driven. That is not bad, but it does bear some explanation. In the KJV, the word “slave” is only used twice. The word “servant” is used in 887 verses. In short, the word “servant” encompasses everything from a slave to a taxi driver who is hired for a few moments time.
- I cannot speak as to his Bible, but the wording he uses and the understanding he has of what it teaches is consistent with a Received Text rendering.
With those things in mind, please be blessed.
If you cannot view the video in the post, it can be found here.
Paul W. Davis
Refusing the LORD’s Blessing
Without realizing it, the LORD’s children frequently refuse His blessings. Unfortunately, the complaint of those same children is frequently to the effect the LORD does not bless like they think He ought. This message addresses how it is that we refuse the blessings the LORD does desire to bestow upon His children. May it be profitable for you.
Paul W. Davis
For those who want to download the file or the podcast does not work, the following link to the mp3 file.
A Means or An End
The following message is about our view of the LORD God and whether it is proper or not. It focuses on whether we think the LORD is the end of the matter, or merely a means to obtain another end. I pray it is profitable to you.
You may also download it using the following link:
Paul W. Davis
The Problems of Assuming
The following podcast is a Wednesday night lesson on the dangers of assuming you know the intent of someone else. As the Scripture plainly demonstrates, we cannot know the heart of another — only the LORD God can know the true intent of someone’s heart.
I pray you find the lesson profitable.
Paul W. Davis
Giving Occasion to the Enemies of God – Pt. 6
This is the sixth in a series addressing those who profess Christ and consider themselves Americans first and foremost. The point of this series is to educate everyone (not just born-again believers) on what the Scripture actually states concerning a proper attitude toward authority and toward those around us, both the froward and the good. As always, my prayer is that everyone learn what is the heart and mind of the LORD God. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis
In the last five posts addressing this subject, we have dealt with the heart and mind of the LORD God toward the lost, and how Steven L. Anderson departed from that in his sermon of August 16th, 2009, in which he loudly and strongly proclaimed that he was praying for the LORD to slay Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, and send him to Hell for his advocacy and support of abortion, among other egregious things.
Now, we turn to how Pastor Anderson justifies his heart and attitude from Scripture. The reason we do this is so we also can understand how not to depart from the truth of the word of God. We know from Scripture that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), and that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. Moreover, I (and many others) hold that the King James Version of the Bible is the word of God (the Scripture) for the English-speaking people — worldwide. ((Here we must clarify something for American English-speakers: the King James Bible is written in formal modern British English. This makes it acceptable and accepted worldwide. Were it written in the American dialect of English, it would only be acceptable in America and perhaps Canada. But since England (specifically Britain) is the birthplace of English, and thus the source from which all English dialects come, formal British English is acceptable worldwide.)) This means that we must interpret the texts of the Scripture in such a way that they do not end up conflicting with other passages in Scripture. By that, I do not mean wrestling them until they finally fit the way we want them. Rather, what I mean here is that we allow the construct, the grammar, and the setting (context) be the drivers of our interpretation. This does not mean they are the sole factors in driving our interpretation, but that they have a major influence on how we determine what the passage states. The true driver or influence is what we perceive by and through the operation of faith. The proper operation of faith will insure that we never interpret a passage so that it is in conflict with other passages of Scripture.
That stated, we turn our attention to the passage used by Steven L. Anderson to justify his belief: Psalm 58
Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth. The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.
Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD. Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces. As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun. Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath. The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. (Psalm 58:All)
What are we to make of Psalm 58?
First, it states this psalm is “To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.” Knowing this, let us begin with understanding something more of David in relation to his service to the LORD. In Acts, we are told by the apostle Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that king David was a prophet, and that he particularly prophesied of Christ. As we shall see, this bears heavily upon the interpretation and application of Psalm 58.
Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. (Acts 2:29-31)
The above passage from Acts is a quotation from the 16th Psalm, and is speaking of Christ as the apostle Peter confirms. We can also see in Psalm 22, Psalm 40, Psalm 69, and many others where king David speaks of Christ to come and the work of redemption Christ would accomplish. This should give pause to consider whether Psalm 58 applies to David only, all saints everywhere and at all times, or to the Lord Jesus Christ only. To gain that understanding, it is necessary for us to examine other psalms and see if we can find a consistency of thought with Psalm 58.
And indeed we do find a consistency of thought to two other psalms, both of which are quoted in the New Testament. The first is Psalm 82:
God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations. (Psalm 82:All)
Which is quoted by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself:
The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (John 10:33-36)
To be continued . . .
Giving Occasion to the Enemies of God – Pt. 5
This is the fifth in a series addressing those who profess Christ and consider themselves Americans first and foremost. The point of this series is to educate everyone (not just born-again believers) on what the Scripture actually states concerning a proper attitude toward authority and toward those around us, both the froward and the good. As always, my prayer is that everyone learn what is the heart and mind of the LORD God. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis
It is interesting to note, as pointed out in the last post, that the Lord Jesus Christ did not condemn the scribes and Pharisees to Hell. Instead, He clearly stated they were bound for Hell, and they needed to determine how it is they were going to escape that damnation. This is manifestly not the same as praying for them to die and be sent to Hell to be tormented for all eternity. We should remember at this point that the Lord Jesus Christ does have the power both to kill, and to cast men into Hell. However, during His earthly ministry, He did not do either one. Rather, the LORD’s heart toward men is somewhat different, and is in direct contrast to someone who wishes that another would die and be cast into Hell.
To begin with, we should without question understand the following statement:
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: . . . (Hebrews 9:27)
What the above states is that we all have one period of time to be reconciled to the LORD God — the life we live on this earth — that is all. Once the soul departs the body into eternity and the body ceases to function, bringing physical death, there is no more opportunity to be reconciled to the LORD God. If one has chosen to refuse the gospel and reconciliation with the LORD God through the Lord Jesus Christ, then the opportunity to be reconciled to the LORD God is forever lost, and one will stand in judgement before the LORD depending solely upon their record of life on this earth and their own righteousness as demonstrated by that record. Sadly for them, that record will be weighed against the commandments of the LORD God to show where they have erred and fallen short of the express commandments of the LORD. Hence, it is utter foolishness to ignore or disregard the gospel, resisting it unto death. That will guarantee eternal damnation and torment in Hell and the Lake of Fire.
By the above, the born-again Believer should be able to discern what attitude and heart they are supposed to have toward the lost — no matter how wicked they are. If someone claims to belong to Christ and does not earnestly desire that everyone come to Christ for salvation, then somewhere along the line they have missed understanding the heart of the LORD toward all men, which is expressed in the following passages of Scripture:
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (I Timothy 2:1-6)
Need it be stated that the “due time” is now? Moreover, that it is the duty of the adopted children of the LORD to proclaim the gospel? Where in the above does it say that the Believer is to ask for the death and judgement of someone? Even if that is how we feel (the wanting of judgement to be brought upon someone), where does it fit in the above admonition to “first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men”? It doesn’t, does it? Therefore we, as born-again Believers, are to give place unto the LORD, and be obedient to His commands:
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:19-21)
“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” does not sound like “When I go to bed tonight, Steven L. Anderson is going to pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell.” does it? No, the heart and attitude expressed in the two are poles apart in every respect, aren’t they? Hence, we should now understand the error of Steven L. Anderson (or anyone else) in praying for someone to die and be cast into Hell. It certainly is not the heart of the LORD as expressed in the following passage:
Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:11)
Something is obviously being missed by Mr. Anderson, who claims to be a Believer and a preacher of the gospel — and that something appears to be the heart of the LORD God.
To be continued . . .
Giving Occasion to the Enemies of God – Pt. 4
This is the fourth in a series addressing those who profess Christ and consider themselves Americans first and foremost. The point of this series is to educate everyone (not just born-again believers) on what the Scripture actually states concerning a proper attitude toward authority and toward those around us, both the froward and the good. As always, my prayer is that everyone learn what is the heart and mind of the LORD God. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis
As the preceding passages of Scripture have demonstrated clearly, the following ought to be clear for any born-again Believer:
Being ambassadors of Christ, citizens of the kingdom of God, and of the household of God, though the Believer still lives in the flesh on this earth, it is expected of the Believer that their life is dedicated to service to the LORD God. Moreover, since this is to be the focus of the Believer’s life, it should follow that the thinking of the Believer is to be oriented totally around the reality that they were left here to minister unto others and be ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom. Hence, everything, every situation the born-again Believer encounters, should be evaluated in light of this reality.
The above statement is the expected, reasonable service of a born-again Believer. Dedicating their life to serving the LORD and presenting the gospel in every aspect of their existence ought to be the norm. It should be borne in mind that no Believer is here for the enjoyment of life in America (or any other place) or to satisfy our hopes and aspirations in the flesh. Rather, the Believer is left here after salvation to serve the LORD and present the gospel of the kingdom of God to a nation that sorely needs it. Moreover, the whole pattern of thinking for the Believer should be set around this truth.
That being understood, we should then have a proper basis for examining whether we should pray that anyone die and go the Hell. We should also come to understand the heart and mind of anyone who prays that another person die and be cast into Hell. To this way of thinking, the Lord Jesus Christ speaks:
And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 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. ((It should be understood that the judgement spoken of here is judgement of condemnation to destruction, which is not the same as judging whether someone’s thinking and actions are consistent with Scripture or not.))(John 12:47-48)
And again from Matthew:
And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:10-13)
The above passages of Scripture are records of statements made by the Lord Jesus Christ directly addressing those who are lost, which includes those who are utterly wicked as well. The point the Lord makes in both statements should not be missed by the Believer. It is imperative that the Believer understand his or her relationship with this world, otherwise the above quoted statements (and many others like them) are difficult to understand. There are two immediate things we can and should take from what the Lord Jesus Christ stated:
1. We are not the judges of who goes to Hell and who does not. Rather, it is the Scripture, the Bible, that determines that, based upon that individual’s failure to be obedient to the Scripture. When the Lord Jesus Christ stated “the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” He is very plainly referring to the Scripture, and to the fact that the judgement of each and every individual who rejects the Scripture will occur at the end of this present world. By this, it should be clear that judgement is not given to the Believer, either in this present world, or in the world to come. In fact, judgement is not given to the Believer to judge other men to determine their eternal destiny, at any time, but especially not during this life.
2. When the Lord Jesus stated “for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” and “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” He is very clearly laying out the purpose of His life, and thus the purpose of the life of all who follow Him. Even at His worst denunciation of hypocrisy, as when He spoke to the Pharisees, the Lord Jesus Christ did not condemn them to Hell. Rather, He asked a very stiff question of them:
Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:31-33)
Notice the Lord Jesus Christ does not condemn them to hell for their wickedness. Rather, the question to them to resolve is “how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” It is as much as saying “Ye have done all these things that are evil, what can you expect? Moreover, how will you resolve your guilt before the LORD God?”
This is a far cry from condemning them to Hell. Rather it is allowing the determination of their eternal destiny to rest squarely upon their shoulders.
To be continued . . .