Let me begin this evening by giving you my outline: “Thus saith the Lord” is the Baptist’s Banner. It is the Christian’s Comfort, the Sinner’s Censure, and the Servant’s Summons. “Thus saith the Lord” ends in the Enemy’s Execution, and therefore it must be the Minister’s Message. So there you have it – “Thus saith the Lord.” You have my permission to fall asleep, if you can repeat those five points before you nod off.
But if you want to continue on during a very short message, we have to agree about the subject matter. The world contains a lot of things which are touted to be the Word of God. There are the Koran for the Muslim and the Veda of the Hindus. There are the Writings of Confucius and the Lun Lu. Some claim that “Science and Health,” the “Book of Mormon,” and “Desire of the Ages” are scriptures. But we’re not thinking about what MEN think is the Word of God. We not thinking about the Talmud, the “Traditions of the Learned Elders of Zion,” or papal edicts ex-cathedra. Nor am I thinking about all the modern versions and perversions purporting to be the Holy Bible. All the various scriptures and versions of the Bible give Satan opportunity to continue to ask: “Yea, hath God said?”
What is the Word of God, and thus what is the “Thus saith the Lord?” There is no doubt in my mind that in the English language it is the Authorized King James Bible. Although I own many versions of the Bible, they are used to collect the dust that creeps into my study. I don’t know if they successfully keep my computer clean, but they do gather a few dust bunnies. The fact that the King James Bible was authorized by a non-Christian doesn’t hurt my opinion of Bible. Rather it enhances it. That it is reasonably accurate in its rendition of the Hebrew and Greek is an indication of its divine preservation. That is something which cannot be attributed to the mere the wisdom of men. It is not my intention today to prove that the KJV is the word of God; we have done that not too long ago.
I simply declare unto you This is the Word of God. Every bit of it is the Word of God. It doesn’t contain the Word of God; it is the Word of God. Not just the red letters, but the black letters too. The phrase that I’ve taken for the title of this message adds emphasis to that fact – it summarizes all Bible. The words “thus saith the Lord” are found over four hundred times in the Old Testament alone. All of the Bible is – “thus saith the Lord.”
And it is this “thus saith the Lord” which empowers our outline for the message. You might have forgotten why I pronounce the word “S-A-I-T-H” differently from almost everyone else. While I pastored in Deming, New Mexico, we had an elderly member living in the local nursing home. This lady had been a school teacher in Darby, Montana for many years before she retired. After hearing me preach on the radio for a few weeks, she kindly told me I was mispronouncing the word. She simply told me to look it up, which I have done on several occasions since. “Seth” is always the first and preferred pronunciation. You can use whatever pronunciation you like, but I’m going to listen to Mrs. Lake, my Montana English teacher.
“Thus saith the Lord” is THE BAPTIST’S BANNER.
Nearly every denomination has specific characteristics which set it apart from other denominations. Lutherans have Martin Luther. Anglicans have Henry the VIII and the Nazarenes have next to nothing. Methodists have the Wesley’s and circuit riding preachers; Pentecostals have tongues and healings. Roman Catholics have the pope and the mass. The Adventists have their seventh day and the Jehovah’s Witnesses have Bible-wrestings. But Baptists have the Bible.
The Bible should be our banner, our flag, our symbol. Our symbol isn’t a dove, because Jesus said that He brought a sword with Him. It shouldn’t be a chalice, because we’re not sacramentalists. Our symbol shouldn’t be an altar, because Christ Jesus died once for all eternity. And even though a cross wouldn’t be a bad symbol, it is only a part of our message. Our banner is the Bible, and it should be constantly in the spotlight. I wish that I didn’t have so much to carry to church forcing me to use an attaché case. It would be good to carry our copy of “Thus saith the Lord” so that all the world can see it. And more than that – we need to use it. The Bible is the Baptist banner.
Every country has its flag and in most cases each part of that flag means something. United States is good example: The stars refer to the current number of states. And the stripes refer to the 13 original colonies. Probably the colors mean something too. So it is with our Baptist banner. Genesis, Isaiah and John all have meaning, and they mean something to our lives and faith. And so to do the Bible’s doctrines – from the Second Coming, to the Church, and on to Redemption.
“Thus saith the Lord” is the Baptist’s banner and it’s also the CHRISTIAN’S COMFORT
There are a lot of “Thus saith the Lords” tied to very comfortable thoughts. How many times do we read, “Thus saith the Lord, be not afraid.” We have words of the Father and the words of the Son, like John 14:1-2 – “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” “I am with you,” saith the Lord. “I love my children,” saith the Lord. “I will protect you,” saith the Lord.
A rich art patron wanted a whole room in his vast house to hold pictures depicting the serenity of his soul. So he started buying pictures and other works of art from all over the world. There was a watercolor of a the house in a ranging blizzard with the doors all shut and locked and the windows shuttered, but with a burly cloud of smoke coming out of the chimney. Another depicted that a big, cozy fire with an overstuffed chair, and a lady reading a book. An oil painting depicted a small child tucked into bed with his mother slowly closing door behind her. Another was a picture of the little bird and its nest completely sheltered but surrounded by a huge waterfall. But then in the center of the room was a table and on it rested a huge, ornate Bible.
There are a lot of comforting aspects to “Thus Saith the Lord.” My Lord says that we are safe – so safe that no matter what – we are safe. My Lord, in his Word, has promised peace which the world cannot duplicate or understand. “Thus saith the Lord” promises assurance and confidence. The word “comfort” is a compound – the roots of which mean “strength” and “with.” Christians are comforted by the strength of the eternal God who has promised to remain with us.
However, “Thus saith the Lord” is also the SINNER’S CENSURE.
As you know, parents have a huge job in the raising of their children. Most parents want their kids to be better people than themselves. They perceive defects in themselves and in society, so they try to instill the opposite in their kids. Unfortunately parents are human beings and sometimes don’t see things accurately.
But if we get our precepts out of the Word of God, we can present a perfect ideal before our children. Don’t look to base your faith and doctrine on the comments and commentaries of men. The Bible is not some sinful preacher criticizing from a position of hypocrisy. Churches may have standards and ideals which condemn areas of our lives. And perhaps there is nothing wrong with that in itself. But if that standard doesn’t come from the infallible “Thus saith the Lord” it is dross. When these lips preach about lying almost everyone realizes that they have lied in the past. When I condemn the use of alcohol, I know full well that years ago my tongue tasted that poison. But when the Lord Jesus says, “Go and sin no more,” it is from a different position. He “did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.”
“Thus saith the Lord,” is entirely different from “Thus saith the preacher” or “Thus saith the church.”
“Thus saith the Lord” is the Sinner’s censure and the SERVANT’S SUMMONS.
I have learned over the years it is almost pointless to beg the children of God to serve the Lord. Not only will God not bless heartless service. But those we drag kicking and screamingly into the service of the Lord will ultimately despise both the service and the master. We simply have the Lord’s orders. “Thus saith the Lord, go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” “Thus saith the Lord, pray without ceasing.” “Thus saith the Lord, go and sin no more.” The Bible has given us our marching orders.
When the Bible says “speak” we should ask “which verse?”
“Thus saith the Lord” is the Servant’s Summons and the ENEMY’S EXECUTION.
At the last judgment the books will be opened and the condemned shall see “Thus saith the Lord.” “Thus saith the Lord, there is no peace for the wicked.” “Thus saith the Lord, Remember what Amelek did to Israel.” “Thus saith the Lord, Behold I will bring upon the evildoer, even all the curses that written in this book.”
And in that light, “Thus saith the Lord,” must forever be the MINISTER’S MESSAGE. The preacher of the Word, has no orders of his own, but simply to repeat “Thus saith the Lord.”