May 2018

Dear Pastor and Brethren: Visitors in May The first Sunday in May the Lord sent us eight visitors! They were the relatives of Bro. Phillip McGee: his mother and stepfather, his brother Gary and his wife and family. Those relatives are members of two other churches of like precious faith and order, both of which are some 75 miles away from us here in Stillwater. We rejoiced to have them with us and were encouraged to have them visit. Intra–mission Activities Bro. Phillip McGee has taken upon himself the responsibility of making and maintaining a website for the work, and is adding our articles of faith to it as I finish teaching and preaching on them. The website will not be activated until we have more information added to it, but we are excited to see what Bro. Phillip has done already. Bro. Ruben Torres has taken the weekly responsibility upon himself to provide the services with a nice bulletin. He makes them up by pulling stock pictures from the internet, printing them, and then listing our upcoming activities, prayer requests, missionaries, hymns, sermon texts, and other pertinent information therein. They are very nicely done and are a blessing to us all. Lord willing, in September, we are planning to host a Fifth Saturday Fellowship Meeting and will be inviting three pastors from churches here in Oklahoma to preach on one of the articles of the New Hampshire Confession of Faith. This will be a first for us to host such an event, and we are excited about it. We had our first fellowship time at our home on...

July 1

During the mid 18th century the official state church of Norway and Denmark was Lutheran. King Christian VI had been sprinkled as a child and was called to defend Protestantism against the Catholics and others who might proselytize her members. Spiritually, he was unlikely that he was what his name professed. On this day (July 1) in 1742 Soren Bolle openly immersed Johannes Halvorsen, a shoemaker, in the river which flows through Drammen, Norway. Bolle had been preparing for the Lutheran ministry, but came to understand the Biblical ordinance of baptism, declaring himself to be a Baptist. Bolle and Halvorsen were quickly arrested and placed in separate cells in the local jail. Bolle’s home was searched and his writings were confiscated. For ten days the men were separately interrogated by priests. They were then sent to prison in Oslo where they were denied any right to communicate with each other or with anyone else. Back in Drammen, the Christian friends of the men were arrested in an effort to silence their testimony of the Truth. Eventually there were three or four more sent to the Oslo prison, and the home of one of them was sold in order to pay the expenses of their incarcerations. It might be argued that these men were not true Baptists because there was no missionary involved in their work at the time, but they certainly prepared the way for the arrival of the Baptists and the eventual evangelization of...

The Proverbs of Solomon – Proverbs 13:7

  This theme is found all over Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Like many others, it is so common that it is easy to overlook. We need to teach ourselves to slowly and with meditation read the Word of God. The Holy Spirit may point out something new with a blessing hiding in it. I’ll let the Lord determine if this will be a blessing, but I was hit with something new in this verse. As I say, the Bible often speaks of “poor rich men” and “rich poor men.” I could pull examples and scriptures from throughout the Bible, but here are two from Revelation. Chapter 2, verse 9 – “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou are rich)….” Chapter 3, verse 17 – “Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” There are obvious and subtle lessons in scriptures like these. One of which is that “richness” and “poverty” are relative terms. Many people of are wealthy by our standards, think to themselves that they aren’t rich enough. And many people with little of this world’s goods, realize that they could be a lot poorer. And yet, the world looks at both these people and says, “He is poor, and he is rich.” There are many scriptures dealing with the CONDITION of wealth and poverty. But it occurred to me yesterday that Proverbs 13:7 does not speak of the condition of one’s finances. This clearly speaks of the road towards wealth or poverty. “There is...

Why is it Better? – Ecclesiastes 7:2-6

  What is the difference between “fast,” “faster” and “fastest”? Isn’t it obvious? “Fast” means that something goes quickly. “Faster” means that something goes more quickly than the thing which only goes fast. The suffix “er” usually means there is a comparison between two things. One is faster than the other. “Fastest” technically means that of three or more things, this one is the quickest of them all. The suffix “est” speaks of a comparison between at least three things. Similarly, something might be good or beneficial – like an oatmeal cookie. On the other hand, that cookie served with vanilla ice cream is actually better than merely a good cookie. Ah, but a chocolate Blizzard with chunks of fudge is actually better than the other two – it would be best. “Better” is an improvement on “good” or “beneficial,” but “best” is the best of them all. I am not well-taught enough to tell you that the Hebrew bears this same comparison as English. But Solomon often uses the word “better” – but he never employs “best.” Not once does he tell us that anything “is the best” of its class. In verse 2 he says that “it is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting.” If using the comparative suffixes means anything, between the house of mourning and the house of feasting, mourning is the better. He is not comparing three places, or four or five – only two. Between a house where death has visited and a home filled with feasting, the house of mourning is better....

Without the Camp – Hebrews 13:10-14 (Numbers 19:1-10)

  There are very few things which so clearly demonstrate God’s hatred sin as the sacrifice of the Red Heifer. For example, this is a blood sacrifice which was made – not for the wicked – but for professing believers. This came after all the sin offerings, trespass offerings, the Passover and so on. The Lord still hates our sins, even after the atonement. The Red Heifer still bears the general characteristics of all sacrifices. There was the fact that a beautiful animal had to die for the sins of wretched men. Here was an animal which in no way had ever sinned against its Creator, and yet it was killed. Death is a result of sin, but this death had a special relationship to that sin. This was a vicarious death – a substitutionary death made on behalf of the sinner. “Without the shedding of blood there is no redemption” and deliverance from sin. But when God has ordained a substitution, if the criteria is met a switch can be made. This sacrifice was so horrific that it rendered everyone involved unfit further worship. The priest and all his helpers became unclean by offering this sacrifice. It was spiritually radio-active, and these people could not serve the Lord for the rest of the day, even though what they were doing was ordained and commanded by God Himself. God hates our sins. And among other things, all of this was done outside the tabernacle and outside camp. It was so horrendous and disgusting that it couldn’t be performed in the midst of general society. This was no superficial, smile...

June 24

Pastor David Jones served as a Baptist chaplain under General Horatio Gates. There was such a bond between the two men that when, on this day (June 24) 1798, there was a son born to pastor Jones, he named him Horatio Gates Jones. When Horatio was 21, he was born again. Soon the church of which he was a member recognized God’s call upon him man and she licensed him to preach. When he was later ordained, his elderly father counseled him; “My son, in your preaching, don’t put the rack too high. Some ministers put the rack so high that the little lambs, can’t get a bite. Put the rack low, and the old sheep can get the fodder, and the lambs too.” The young man heeded the advice and the Lord blessed. After a ministry in New Jersey, Brother Jones moved his family to a site just north of Philadelphia, and began services in “Thompson’s Meeting-house” – property owned by Charles Thompson, the first secretary of the Continental Congress. Although remaining a Presbyterian, Thompson attended the services, and when the congregation grew large enough, he donated land upon which the Lower Merion (Baptist) Church built a meeting house of their own. Horatio Jones pastored that congregation for 45 years. Jones served the Lord well, and God blessed him with several honors. Early in his ministry, Brown University conferred on him the degree of Master of Arts, and in 1852 the University of Lewisburg made him their first chancellor and bestowed on him their first Doctor of Divinity degree. Horatio Jones passed into the presence of his Saviour...

The Proverbs of Solomon – Proverbs 13:12

  There are many great and provocative statements among these proverbs. We could build a message around so many of them – some being stronger than others. Many are as obvious as the sun in our eyes, or the blast of a blizzard in our face. Yesterday, I jotted town five verses in this chapter which deserve our consideration. But I think I’ll just point to a few of them and move on. Verse 6 – “Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way.” Is “righteousness” in this verse personified – does it speak of the Lord with His arm around us, leading down the right path? Or assuming this person is a Christian, do this talk of Christian character? His heart won’t permit him to walk down the broad road. The “way” is not defined for us, but we have no trouble understanding what the word means. Verse 13 – “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” Isn’t it interesting that Solomon didn’t explain what he meant by “the word”? I think that it is precisely how we use that word when speaking of the Word of God. The man who ignores or despises what God has revealed about Himself and about sin, shall be destroyed – he may or may not die young but eventually he will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Verse 20 is an oft quoted scripture – “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” We could think about the many different ways...

June 17

William Jones was born on this day (June 17) in 1762 in the country of Wales. Under the itinerant ministry of the Scottish Baptist, Archibald McLean, William, who had earlier apparently been born again, came to understand Baptist doctrine and was baptized in the Dee River. When he was in his early 30s, Brother Jones moved to Liverpool where he became a publisher and bookseller. He, along with his friend, D.S. Wylie, began conducting religious services as well – which in time grew into a Baptist chapel. Ten years later he moved to London and became pastor of a Scottish Baptist church of that city, while continuing to write and publish. Among his literary works are “History of the Waldenses and Albigenses” and a few biographies, including one on Rowland Hill, who I assume is the same Rowland Hill who fathered the modern postage stamp. An interesting anecdote about William Jones arose when he was in his 82-year. He came to the attention of Queen Victoria, who invited him to move into a home she sponsored for prominent elderly citizens. There, he would have a comfortable apartment, all his meals and a small stipend for whatever else he needed. There was however one condition – he must join the Church of England, repudiating his convictions as a Baptist. Without hesitation Jones politely declined, stating that he was a Dissenter based upon principles found in the Word of God. He wrote, “Have the kindness to assure Her Majesty that my declining to accept her gracious offer arises from purely conscientious motives, from deference to the authority of our great Master...

A Good Name – Ecclesiastes 7:1

  Solomon has spent six chapters describing life in some of its darkest shades. “There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men.” Actually there are lots of evils under the sun – and hiding from the sun – which the news throws into our faces night after night. But with this chapter Solomon sees just a hint of sun beginning to dawn in eastern sky. There is a slight bit of optimism. He is not out of the woods, and there are still lots of roots and branches trying to trip and knock him down. He is still delirious with the fever of depression. But it is beginning to break under the Great Physician’s marvelous medicines.   One of the good things under the sun is a good name. What’s in a name, or what is it about a good name? Of course this is not whether we go by “Dave” or “David.” It’s not whether “Erik” or “Kraig” are spelled with a “c” or a “k.” It’s not about “Steve” or “Steven” spelled with a “v” or a “ph.” Solomon is talking about a good reputation – something which lays behind the name. It’s not about the name printed on the Driver’s Licence. It is more about what the policeman is going to find when he enters it into his in-car computer. I won’t argue the fact that reputations can be deceiving – they can be connived and contrived. But in this case I am referring to a genuine reputation which has been built upon character. How do you...

The Lordship of our Lord – Romans 10:9-13

  This scripture contains a wonderful promise about one of the most important of all things. It speaks about salvation from sin though the Lord Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, this is a scripture which is also very often abused. It is highly mis-used by ignorant people who claim to be “soul-winners.” Now there is nothing wrong with this scripture, and there is nothing wrong with being a soul-winner. But there is something very wrong with abusing, twisting and wresting scriptures from their context. This scripture is abused when it is taught that prayer or mere confession delivers people from their sins. AND it is abused when the Lordship of Christ is omitted. I would like, once again, to exalt our Saviour among us. Christ said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto myself.” This lifting up, of course, began at the cross. But it continues whenever the saints of God glorify His Name and properly teach His doctrine. I don’t have any illusions of greatly stirring your MINDS this morning, because it’s unlikely that I’ll say anything that moderately educated Christians don’t already know. But I do hope that the Holy Spirit will stir your HEARTS just a little bit. Who is this Lord Jesus Christ? We begin with the fact that He is the Lord of CREATION. Christ Jesus is the Lord of creation by His intrinsic – self-possessed and natural – creative power. “In the beginning was the Word (the Lord Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He same was in the beginning with God. All things were...