Tag Archives: manipulations of Satan

What Satan Knows

The Bible describes Satan as a ravenous lion who continually stalks and hunts his prey, an archer who launches fiery darts at his enemies, and a deceiver who lures men and women away from God through lusts and pleasures. In this sermon from evangelist Greg Gay, we are reminded that Satan knows where to strike and he will not yield in his attacks against God’s people.

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What Satan Knows MP3 Link

Abuse of the Name Christian – Part 1

Moses Lard

From the outset of the great work in which we as a people are engaged, purity of speech has been an object never lost sight of. We looked at first and still look upon the mixed and unsanctified dialect current in religious circles, not only as a reflection upon the word of God, but as a fertile source of error and a successful means of propagating it. Long years of observation have only served to confirm these early convictions. All authorized religious notions can find utterance in terms of the Bible, divinely appropriated to that use; and the moment the need is felt for other terms, the fair inference is that views unknown to the Bible are to be expressed. Terms not of the Bible will of necessity impart to the mind ideas not of the Bible; and thus the mind becomes confused in its religious contents. The thoughts of the Spirit inhabiting, as permanent fixtures, the human soul, and expressed, when need requires, in terms of the Spirit, constitute the highest learning and best literature of earth. How long will it be before the world will learn and appreciate this truth? Never, we fear.

But purity of speech has two sides from which to be viewed, and a double demand to be satisfied. It requires, first, that the things of the Spirit shall be expressed only in terms of the Spirit; and, second, that things not of the Spirit shall be expressed in terms not of the Spirit. That is to say, it requires that views and thoughts of the world, and pertaining to the world, shall be expressed in worldly terms, and not in Bible terms. To abuse
Bible term
is an offense
against the Spirit
, falling but little, if any, below the abuse of a Bible idea. There is, of course, this distinction to be observed, that a term may be common to the Bible and to the world; in which case, clearly, it can be deemed no abuse to use the term in speaking even of worldly matters. But in the present connection we are speaking, not so much of this class of words, as of a very different class, namely, such as the names of persons, rites, and other things which have no existence independent of the gospel.

As a partial illustration of what we mean, let us take the word just used, the word gospel. This, if not exclusively a Bible term, is yet a term having its true and proper signification only therein. Now, to apply this term to aught else than what it here denotes, is, it seems to me, correctly called an abuse of it, and is unjustifiable. We often hear such expressions as the following: a gospel preacher, a gospel sermon, a gospel feast, etc. Is this correct? We certainly think not.

The word gospel has no counterpart in a man; hence it can never accurately be applied to one; and so of the other items. A sermon may be an hour long, and yet contain in it only a single element of the gospel; it is not therefore a gospel sermon. Even allowing it to be composed mostly of elements of the gospel; still it contains human elements, and hence is not gospel. If it contain no human elements then is it the gospel, and not merely something partaking of its nature. Hence the term should never be thus used. To all of which it may be replied, that perfection in speech is a thing not attainable in our present state; and that therefore it is useless to complain of the abuses of which we speak. This may be true, and yet we may not be wrong; hence we must insist on what we have said. Not even the semblance of abuse should have our sanction. Indeed no more should we sanction the abuse of a term which is Scriptural than we should the use of one which is not, to express an idea which is.

Purity of speech consists in the strict use of Scriptural terms to express Scriptural things. This excludes the use of terms which are not Scriptural, and ought to imply the non-abuse of those which are. The nearer we approach this standard, the greater and the more certain will be the effect with which we shall proclaim the truth.

As an illustration of a grossly impure speech we will cite a popular definition of baptism. It is thus worded: baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace. If the manipulations of Satan ever approach so near the surface as to be sensibility felt, we should think that even the dullest touch might detect their presence in this. Baptism is a sign. In what book or verse of the Bible is it so said? Or, indeed, is any thing said bearing even the remotest resemblance to it? A more perfect figment never emanated from the human brain.

Baptism is no sign; at least it is no sign of any thing within us. If a sign of any thing, or if intended to represent any thing; if, in other words, it is either monumental or emblematic, then is it so of the literal burial and resurrection of Christ, and of our own future burial and resurrection, but of nothing within us. But not only is baptism a sign; it is an outward sign. Now this word outward was a most necessary epithet in the definition. But for this, some orthodox blockhead might have blundered into the conclusion that when a man is baptized really nothing outward had taken place. True, his eyes might have avouched otherwise, but what of that? When the eyes and conclusions of one of the orthodox are somewhat antithetic, what signifies a thing so mendacious as the eye?

But baptism is more than an outward sign: it is a sign of an ‘inward grace’. Ah! reader, in that phrase ‘inward grace’ you have the body and soul of orthodoxy, the ground and essence of its popular dimensions, and the jingle which has proved the hoodwink and ruin of many a soul of man. Baptism is a sign, a mere sign, nothing more; neither in itself, nor by appointment of the Saviour, has it any value or significance-it is only a sign, a mere shadow indicating the presence of a casting substance. Moreover, this ‘inward grace’ is first in order of time and first in point of importance. This must first be possessed; then on behind it may come that outward sign, of no more importance in procuring acceptance with Christ, or in giving rest to the soul, than is the flowing of the ink in my pen.

But what is that ‘inward grace’? Ask it not, presumptuous reader. It is orthodoxy; and dare you query as to that? Only this remains for you to know: that it is absolutely necessary to generate that ‘inward grace’; and that this adroitly, but very innocently, lays the foundation for all those hidden impulses and miraculous sensations vulgarly styled holy ghost religion.

Again: take the phrase we have last used: ‘holy ghost religion’. Here is an expression unknown in the Bible. What it means can never be determined. Indeed it means any thing and every thing which he who glories in it may see fit to make it mean. If, however, we were called upon to define it, we should not hesitate to say it is a designation for one of the purest forms of superstition. What folly has been committed and gone unrebuked, and what gross error has been and still is propagated under the cover of this expression, no living man can tell. Were a pure speech restored to the religious world, what then would become of this unauthorized expression? It would stand as a monument to their folly who use it, and as a proof of their disrespect for the word of God, because they had something to teach which that word does not sanction. Satan is never surer to eclipse the truth and ensnare the soul than when he can induce us to speak of the things of the Spirit in terms and combinations of terms not Scriptural, or to abuse and pervert those which are.

Revelation consists in two parts: the thought, or matter revealed, which is the revelation proper; and the terms originally selected by the Spirit, in which the thought is expressed. Both these we call divine or sacred; and no more have we the right to abuse or pervert the one than we have the other. In a translation, of course, merely the thought is transferred, and that, too, into terms not of divine but of human selection. In this process perfection is not attainable, though certainly desirable. But when a translation is once made and accepted as correct, then purity of speech consists in expressing the revealed thought or matter in the exact terms of the translation. This with every Christian should become a rule never to be violated. But the point toward which we are mainly looking is this: whenever a term becomes appropriated in the Bible to an expression of a particular thought, it should never be used to express any other; and when so used, it is abused. This brings us to speak more particularly of the name Christian.

(end part one)

– Moses Lard

Moses Lards gravestone in St. Joseph, Missouri
Moses Lard's gravestone in St. Joseph, Missouri ---------- It reads as follows: Moses E. Lard BORN In Bedford Co. Tenn. Oct. 29, 1818 DIED In Lexington, Kentucky June 18, 1880 AGED 61 Yrs. 6 Ms. 20D's