“The pen is mightier than the sword.” Words can be more effective than military power or violence. They can be used for good, or bad. But when they are not used accurately and properly, they cause great damage.
The words we speak from morning until night, can make or break us. Words are so powerful that some youth have removed their own lives because of words they’ve read on a computer screen. Words are so powerful that some have stopped themselves from jumping off a building to their death. Words can cause wars. Words can create peace. Words can divide, words can unite. Words have meaning. And if we don’t use words properly and accurately, the amount of damage we can cause is astronomical. If we don’t drive the car properly we’ll have an accident.
James says, “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” - Js. 3:6
My people (culture, Nation) were from France. During the war with European Englishmen our women and children were deported in 1755 to what would later become, New Brunswick Canada. Therein our women were taken in relation with Englishmen, and the children were born speaking a different language. My language. An unclean language. A form of communication which no longer was pure, it was now mixed, dumbed down, and slanged. The French could no longer understand us, and the English could not longer understand us. Our dialect was polluted. It has created delusion. And we learned to embrace this and make it our own, which has done nothing but cause division and hostility towards proper forms of communication. I mean, who wants to be told they are not speaking an educated language, right?
If we do not learn another thing from this session, learn now this day with me. Warmly receive and embrace this lesson, for the future of our Lord’s congregation and the growth therein. The fork in the road is now in our midst. The right, and left path. An important decision. For if we reject the right, mark these words. One day we shall die outside of Christ among 300 idle members on the left, trying to rebuild the tower of Babel (Gen. 11).
Pay attention: “In these last days (the Christian age we currently live in) God the Father has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” - Heb. 1:2
Christ is our sole source of communication. It is how God the Father decided to fulfill His plan to save us. Christ is our communication and source of faith and forgiveness. We are commanded to learn and speak His language if faith is to be part of our lives.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” - Rom. 10:17
Our faith does not come by any other means than by the words of the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Anything else, added or removed, is not from God. What works on your conscience. What guides you into the right direction. What instructs you into obedience. What works on your mind. Is the word of Christ recorded in the Bible. No miraculous voice enters your thoughts. No miraculous “feeling” sways your direction. No “visions” or dreams, or nudge. Only the Word of Christ recorded by His Spirit in the Bible, operates on your thinking heart. Nothing else. And therein lies our responsibility to prioritize the accuracy of the word and how we speak it in public. It must be as the oracles of God (1 Pt. 4:11). We must treat the word of Christ with precision.
And so because of this form of communication delivered to us by God, He chose to use words, phrases, and grammar. And every time in history when God’s people decided to neglect the accuracy of His language and change the meaning of His words, they perished in falsehood and judgment. When they began to change the meaning of words, they deceived themselves into spiritual delusion and destruction.
Reason with me. We must ask ourselves, how on earth did we ever as a “Christian” Nation, come to a time in our history when socialism, communism, and all other categories of “isms” were embraced, promoted, and encouraged? How on earth did we ever get to a time in our history when abortion is legal. Islam is welcomed. Homosexuality is sympathized. Religious error is apathetically protected. The answer? We’ve rejected the language of God and filled the void with the language of Ashdod (Philistines: Heathens).
- Note how the world has made the word “gay” (aka “happy”), now mean homosexuality. How they have turned the word “love,” into lust. How they have changed the narrative, what is good is now evil, and what is evil is now good. And denominations likewise have changed the meaning of grace, baptism, and all other words. The world does not define their terms. They simply change the meaning of words to suit their sins. Are we to be like the world?
Pay close attention to Scriptural evidence. In the days of physical Israel, they too had polluted their language. They were no longer speaking in unity because they had since adopted the dialect of heathens, false prophets and priests, the world. They no longer respected the accuracy of communication God had given them, and so they began to entertain and embrace a “foreign” language.
- Interesting note, when “foreign/ers,” or those “far away, a far off,” is mentioned in the Bible? It is in reference to heathens, pagans, the Gentiles. Those found outside the covenant of God, both in the Old Testament and New Testament.
And so we continue our case this morning and present, exhibit “A.” The account of Zephaniah, who prophesied in an age of linguistic perversion. Speaking of a day in which God would remedy their communication through His Son the Christ.
“For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name (authority) of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.”
“Then” = a specific prophesied time period in our history, which would come through the fulfillment of the Christian age, when those who follow God will have a new form of communication, a united dialect, a linguistic tool which will be able to read, recite, and therefore call upon the authority of Christ according to His will as one people and agreement.
The prophet Nehemiah declares the moment and process in which the people of God polluted the language God had given them.
23 In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: 24 And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.
God’s people had gone against the instructions of His will, and joined themselves to the heathens, pagans, the world. This perverted their language, it dumbed it down, it changed the meaning of words.
3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them (the heathens, pagans, Gentiles); thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4 For they (the unbelievers, the unfaithful) will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods (denominational gods & worldly practices, languages): so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.
Friends, if we lived in a world without denominations, we’d surely have more freedom to use the language of God without concern. But in this “modern” age we are forced to be most accurate with the words we use. They must mean what the Bible says they mean. That is the only way we will have unity here in Spencer.
1 Cor. 1:10
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
If we do not remove the language of Ashdod from our mouths, we will never be able to discern a spiritual threat. And what we allow from the pulpit today, our children will embrace and push further tomorrow. Again, reason with me, why do you suppose that many congregations of our Lord’s body have adapted heresy and false worship? Because they’ve changed the meaning of words. They speak the language of Ashdod. Why do you think most Christians today are not willing, or capable to discern a saved from lost person? A Christian from a non-Christian?
If we eagerly embrace this spiritual lesson, that all of us let go our pride, assumptions, and misguided positions. And we apply this language that God has given us to be used accurately in everything we will be studying and learning (i.e. from MDR to the Holy Spirit and the things He does and does not do, to all things in-between) we will outwardly have the strength of Goliath and inwardly have the wisdom and faith of David. And the Devil will never again be able to cause division among us. Because we will have mastered the language of God, rightly divided in order to have it pierce soul and spirit, joint and marrow.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
If the doctor doesn’t use his scalpel accurately, do you think the operation is going to be positive?
Shame on us if we take the word of Christ so accurate and precise in order to dumb it down to the world’s standards. How dare we mix this language with the unclean language of the world and it’s denominations.
Friends, saints, “we are a royal priesthood.” It is far time we grow into our tasks and office. Men’s classes. Ladies classes. Youth classes. Gospel weeks and weekend workshops. Monthly evangelistic themes. We don’t want to be a “busy” church with preoccupied social calendars. We want to be a spiritually productive church, refining our knowledge and language. Creating growth, not swelling. Through the the Word of Christ.
If I were this day to teach and preach from this pulpit with the language of Ashdod, the elders would be commanded to remove me. They would have to publicly shepherd the congregation with a lesson that would rebuke my error. They would have to pull me aside and demand my repentance. Instruct me into the importance of God’s word, His phrases, His grammar. For the language of Ashdod mixes in truth with error and confuses the congregation. And such discipline will never be done when the congregation and leadership themselves have adapted the language of Ashdod.
If you seek freedom from the language of Ashdod. If you seek to be set apart, called out, sanctified. Forgiven of sins. If you are outside the body of Christ, you need to repent and be immersed in Christ so as to be “born again.” Don’t let the language of Ashdod teach you any other way.
Let us put away our pride. Let us humble ourselves to God. If we respond to His call, He will bless this assembly with all spiritual things.
Stephane H. Maillet