Primitive Baptist

A Scriptural Study Newsletter

edited by Elder Vernon Johnson

 

Meekness

Meek does not mean weak. 

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and 1 will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) 

Thus spake Jesus, meek and lowly in heart, who also said unto the eleven disciples, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). Meek and yet all powerful. 

Strong’s definition of meek is humble, lowly, gentle, mild, poor, etc. 

“...the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people” (Exodus 11:3), and “was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds” (Acts 7:22); and yet “was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). Look how Moses, the man chosen of God to boldly go before Pharaoh describes himself to the Lord: “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). “1am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” (Exodus 4:10) 

What and to whom are ministers to preach? “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek;” (Isaiah 61:1) Preach what? Good tidings. To whom? The meek. 

How wonderful it is to feast upon that spiritual food. “The meek shall eat and be satisfied:” (Psalms 22:26). If we truly desire that the Lord guide and teach us, remember, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.” (Psalms 25:9) 

Peace — “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psalms 37:11; Matt 5:5). Come together in meekness — “shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?” (1 Corinthians 4:2 1)  

God’s servants “must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves;” (2 Timothy 2:24-25). It is the meek of the earth which are instructed to seek the Lord and to seek meekness (Zephaniah 2:3). Meekness is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). 

How easy, and wrong, it is for us to look upon one of God’s children when we feel they have erred, and without any regard for Matthew 18:15 begin speaking evil of them to others. Is that the spirit of meekness? Consider the beloved Apostle Paul who was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God, speaking of himself, “who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;” (Ephesians 3:7-8) and praying that “utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:19-20). “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye”(Colossians 3:12-13). “To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men” (Titus 3:2). 

“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13). 

I close this little study with this to consider: How does God view us? Is it the “outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;” Beloved brethren, it is “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (1 Peter 3:3-4) 

Elder Don R. Watson


Reverend

“He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commandcd his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” (Psalms 111:9) 

The term Reverend is biblical, found only once in the entire Bible, applying only to God and carrying the meaning to revere with Godly fear. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:” (Psalms 111:10). The 10 verses of Psalms 111 consists of 22 phrases each beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet (as does 112) and is a psalm in praise to God. A man should never be referred to as Reverend. 

What then should we call our ministers? How does the Bible refer to them? Jesus, speaking to the multitude and to His disciples: 

“But he not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” (Matthew 23: 8-12)

 Rabbi means master (John 1:38).

God’s ministers are ordained elders: “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” (Acts 14:23)

The apostles were elders, but today’s elders are not apostles. The office of apostle, a name given by Jesus (Luke 6:13), was unique to those disciples (learners) whom the Lord gave miraculous abilities, as the meaning of the name implies, “power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease... Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils:” (Matthew 10: 1-8) and who performed “many wonders and signs.” (Acts 2:43)

A letter from the Apostle Peter, an elder: 

“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:1-3)  

The Apostle Paul to Timothy: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” (1 Timothy 5:17)

Paul left Titus in Crete to “ordain elders in every city” setting forth the qualifications for a bishop or elder (Titus 1: 5-10). Originally Bishop (overseer) applied to the principal officer of the local church, the other officer being the deacon. The title Elder, to which God’s servants were ordained, signified the dignity or age of the officer and Bishop to the work of the office (l Timothy 3: 1-7).  Paul called for the elders of the church at Ephesus instructing them to “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20: 17, 28) Feed them what? “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” (Jeremiah 3: 15) 

God’s ministers should be humble servants, never exalted by the terms, Reverend, Rabbi, Father, or Master, which apply only to God. 

Elder Don R. Watson


Why the King James   Part 1 - Inspiration

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Not to obtain sinless perfection, but to be fresh/complete. 

What should we know first? “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20-21). These holy men did not apply their own private interpretation but spoke only the words which the Holy Ghost moved them.

Please not that it is the scripture that is inspired, not the men themselves. Those men have long since departed, but the scriptures, the very words of God, are still with us.

At least 504 times the Old Testament is quoted in the New. Christ Himself said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). What scriptures? These words contained in the Old Testament: “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:46-47)   

Paul, to the church at Rome: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

Christ quoted from the Old Testament when tempted on the devil (Luke 4), His answer “It is written” quoting Deuteronomy 8:13, 10:20, and 6:16. When the Pharisees came unto Him tempting Him, Christ answered, “Have ye not read” (Matthew 19:4), and to the Sadducees, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures” (Matt 22:29). Christ also read from Isaiah 61:1-2 while in the Temple (Luke 4:18). Since “The words of the LORD are pure words” (Psalms 12:6), study why Christ chose the very words He used in the New Testament. 

“For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” (John 12:49-50)

 Christ, speaking to the Father: “For I have given unto them the words which thou gayest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” (John 17:8)

Consider this: Our Bible was written over a 1,600 year period, on 2 continents, in 3 languages, by 40 different men; in tents, cities, deserts, prisons, palaces, etc. by prophets, priests, kings, judges, shepherds, fishermen, a tax collector, a physician, and others — 66 books and yet harmonizing beautifully presenting”. . .one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6) and fulfilling every prophecy (over 80 in the 26th  chapter of Ezekiel alone).

As far as the Apocrypha, dubious writing during the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments, the Greek term means secret, obscure, to hide away or false, and is never quoted in the New Testament. 

Let us present a challenge to those who may not believe every word of our King James’ Bible is inspired: 

“Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.” (Isaiah 41:21-23) 

The word “truth” is found 234 times in the Bible — 117 times in the Old Testament and 117 times in the New Testament. Let us “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

 Elder Don R. Watson


 Why the King James  Part 2 - Preservation

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, 0 LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Psalms 12:6-7). Notice it is the words which are preserved, not the parchment on which the words were written. 

First, let us notice the special care used in preserving the inspired words of the Old Testament. The copiers had to pronounce aloud each word before writing it down. In no case was the word to be written from memory. Every single letter was numbered by them including how many times it occurred. They used a particular ink on a particular parchment—made from the skin of a “clean” animal. The copyist wrote in so many columns, of a particular size, and containing a certain number of lines and words. No letter could be written without looking at the original. When completed, the copy was examined and compared within thirty days; if four errors were found on one parchment, the examination ceased and the entire work was rejected. 

On July 22, 1604, King James of England appointed 54 language scholars to translate the Bible into English. Forty-seven met. These men were organized into six companies, two each at Cambridge, Oxford and Westminster. Each group was designated a portion to translate. When completed each portion was sent to each of the other groups. The entire version was finally studied by a group of six to ensure accuracy. It can be seen by this method that each jot and tittle (Matthew 5:18) was carefully gone over at least 14 times.

A jot (iota) is the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet, and a tittle (yod) the smallest in the Hebrew (Luke 16:17). Remember how adding the letter “s” would change the entire meaning of Galatians 3:16. Any word not found in the manuscripts, placed to make easier reading, was written in italics.

Read the genealogies found in the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles, proper names beginning with Adam preserved for us in the proper sequence with the proper spelling. Perhaps the greatest scholar of his age, the librarian at Alexandria compiled a catalogue in 200 BC of the 38 kings of Egypt. Only four are recognizable. He also compiled a list of the kings of Assyria; only in one case can you tell who is meant and that one is not spelled correctly. One Ptolemy (common name of the 15 Macedonian kings of Egypt, beginning 323 BC) compiled a register of 18 of the kings of Babylon. Not one of them is spelled properly. You could not make them out at all if you did not know from other sources to whom he is referring. There are 29 ancient kings whose names are mentioned not only in the Bible but also on monuments of their own time, some as long as 4,000 years ago. The Bible places these in the correct sequence, in the correct time-frame, in the proper country, and with the proper spelling. What a marvelous book!

According to copyright law, new Bible versions can only be copyrighted as “derivative works.” Words must be changed whether they need to be or not. No author or publisher receives a royalty o the “words” of the King James Bible because God is the author. God’s word is not bound by anything, much less copyright (2 Timothy 2:9). Outdated words? Notice God’s method of dealing with these words. He defines them while still retaining them (1 Samuel 9:9). The pronoun “you” (1611 English) is used 2,000 times in the King James and can be either singular or plural while “ye” (plural) and “thee,” “thou,” and “thy” (singular) are used when clarity is needed (Matthew 16:13.20). These words are special Bible language — easily simplifying the meaning for proper understanding. Understanding comes only from God (1 Corinthians 2:14).

The 1611 translators’ use of formal equivalency (direct translation) and not dynamic equivalence (interpretation, not translation) gave no opportunity for private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20-21).

Simplicity? Ninety-five percent of the words in the King James Bible are one- and two-syllable words. The King James ease of reading is fifth grade level; the New King James and New American Standard are sixth grade level; Good News for Modem Man is seventh grade; and the New International Version is eighth grade level (Fleiss-Kincaid grade level formula).

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech” (2 Corinthians 3:12). 

We are to neither add to nor diminish from His words (Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; Revelation 22:18). “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:5-6).

Elder Don R. Watson

The History of the English Bible

 

 

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