Wednesday, March 28, 2012



Beware of Swearing: Be Sure To Keep Your Word

by Pastor David L. Brown. Ph.D.
First Baptist Church of Oak Creek Wisconsin
Facebook –
James 45.03252012
Text: James 5:12

We continue on with our study of Practical Biblical Principles That Believers Are To Practice In Their Daily Lives. Today’s principle is – Beware of Swearing (taking an oath): Be Sure To Keep Your Word.


One of the key themes of the letter is James’ admonition on the proper use of the tongue.

First, believers are encouraged to listen carefully, think before we speak and not to easily get angry in James 1:19 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”

Second, in that same chapter, we read in verse 26 that the person who claims to be “religious” (pious or godly) and yet does not bridle or control his or her tongue is lying to themselves and not godly at all. Their profession of godliness is vain (empty). Hence, control your tongue.

Third, in James 3:1-12, James explains the power of the tongue. The tongue has the power to direct, the power to destroy and the power to delight. We are to use our tongues to direct in a godly direction and to delight (encourage).

Fourth, in a recent message focusing on James 5:9 we are exhorted not to grumble!

Now we come to today’s admonition relating to the proper use of our tongue.

ü Beware of Swearing (taking an oath): Be Sure To Keep Your Word

James 5:12 “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”

·        What “Swearing” Is NOT In This Passage

In the context of James 5:12, the word swear is not referring to how we commonly use the English word today. When we refer to someone swearing we are talking about using the so-called four-letter words, dirty talk, illicit speech, filthy jokes, talk with double sensual meanings, etc.

This kind of talk IS certainly wrong. Paul exhorted the Ephesians; “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29. The things mentioned above are certainly corrupt communication. Another applicable verse is Ephesians 5:4 “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”

Further, when we talk about swearing, it is understood to mean, “taking the Lord’s name in vain.” The third Commandment says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7  (Deuteronony 5:11; Pslam 139:20).

I want to explain what taking the Lord’s name in vain means. It means to use God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit’s name in an irreverent, flippant, trifling, disrespectful way. It means to make it common, cheap, and insignificant.

When you use the Lord’s name like a throw-away word like the utterance of “God!” or “Jesus!” or “Jesus Christ!” you are taking the Lord’s name in vain! When you damn someone or something in God’s name you are taking the Lord’s name in vain! Further, you are taking the Lord’s name in vain when you say, “O my God!” or OMG! 

In fact we are to revere the name of God! His name is Holy. In fact the Jews never even pronounced the name Jehovah, the Covenant name of God. It was a capital crime to use the name of God irreverently in the Old Testament. Leviticus 24:16 says “And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.”

There is a higher name than Jehovah! Turn to Philippians 2:9-11 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

To use the name of Jesus in a common way is sin of the highest degree! We are to speak of God and Jesus Christ with reverence and respect. We are to delight in His name and honor it.

·        What “Swearing” IS In This Passage

In the context of this passage, “swearing” means making an oath. To “swear” means “to affirm or utter a solemn declaration, with an appeal to God or some other high or holy thing, for the truth of what is affirmed.”

Let me try to explain what is going on here. The Devil is the father of lies according to John 8:44. As one preacher said, “Fallen men are basically inveterate (chronic, confirmed) liars.” In Old Testament times, there were no written contracts, so oaths in the name of God served to attest that what the person said was true. It was to call God to witness to the truth of one’s promise and to invoke His judgment if one defaulted on the promise. It was a very serious matter.

I need to note something here. I like what one commentator said:

“The Bible does not forbid taking oaths, acknowledging that in a world filled with liars there are times when they are necessary. Certainly it is not wrong to take an oath when testifying in court, being ordained, or getting married.”

As I will show in a moment, what I believe James is addressing is the use of ungodly oaths that were designed to deceive.

The Bible gives examples of godly men who took oaths, and in fact, God took an oath (Deuteronomy 29, key verse is 12).

Abraham required his servant to take an oath that he would get Isaac a wife from his relatives and not from the Canaanites (Genesis 24:2-4). The two Israelite spies swore an oath to Rahab (Joshua 2:12-20). David swore an oath to Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:12-17 & 2 Samuel 21:7).

In the New Testament Paul takes an oath before God of his truthfulness (2 Corinthians 1:23 & 11:31). Even an angel swore an oath (Revelation 10:5-6).

God expects a man who vows a vow/oath to keep his word. However, when a girl lived at home and took an oath, her father could nullify it. A wife’s oath/vow could be nullified by her husband (Numbers 30).  

I have said all that to say this: I do not believe that James is laying down a blanket prohibition against all vows/oaths. I believe oaths were and are permitted on serious occasions (like marriage) and only in the name of God. What James is speaking out against is unnecessary and deceitful oaths. The Jews had developed the practice of swearing false, evasive oaths by everything other than the name of Lord. They swore by things other than the Lord for the very purpose of pretending truthfulness while they had no intention of keeping their oath. They knew that an oath in the name of the Lord was the only binding oath. Hence, James says, “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath…” James 5:12a.

I believe he very likely had in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who was addressing the Jewish practice of false oaths and said:

Matthew 23:16-22 “Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. 21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.” (see Matthew 5:33-37, key verse 37).

James makes it clear; people of integrity no not need to swear elaborate oaths in an effort to assure others of their truthfulness. And certainly you would not swear an oath to deceive people! Your YES should mean YES and your NO should mean NO! As the Lord said in Matthew 5:37, “for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”

Be a person of integrity! Keep your word!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Don't Trade In YOur King James Bible!

Don’t Trade In Your King James Bible
by Dr. David L. Brown                
ÓSeptember 2011 by David L. Brown                  Don’t Trade In Your King James Bible-C[1]

Hebrews 11:32-40

For nearly 2000 years, the Bible has remained the most controversial and contested book of all times. The Dragon, that Old Serpent, which is the Devil, or Satan has hated the Words of God since Eden. He has sought to corrupt it, compromise it, water it down, obscure it and destroy it. (Genesis 3:1-7) Satan is still doing that today in the modern Bible versions.

There was a time when men or women who dared to handle it, possess it, or yes, even read this sacred Book and were found out, it would cost them their very life.

Since the completion of the New Testament canon it can be said that the Bible has become the most bloodstained book in all of history.

Men have fought for it and even been burned at the stake for it. Believers have been (and continue to be) imprisoned, beaten, buried alive and killed, just for reading it. One account in Foxes Book of Martyrs tells of a true story of a widow who was brought to trial for teaching her children the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer in English. But no solid evidence was produced, so at first she was released. However, when the sheriff went to help her down from the platform, he felt something in her sleeve. Reaching in, he pulled out a little scroll containing the Lord’s Prayer and Ten Commandments in English. Immediately she was convicted of heresy and shortly thereafter burned at the stake.

Others, like John Wycliffe, who gave us the first English Bible, have had their bones disinterred, and burned to ashes and have been accursed to damnation and eternal fire by the Roman Catholic Church.

Bible believing Christians have suffered all this and more for daring to share the empowered Words of the Holy Scriptures with a lost and dying world. The baton has been passed to us. We must carry the Light of the Gospel to our friends, and neighbors!

God Gave Us His Perfect Word(s)

In 2008 I took a group of people on a trip to see the important biblical places in the Middle East. We arrived at St. Catherine’s Monastery guesthouse in Sinai, Egypt for a late supper. It was already dark. The monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery located at the foot of Mt. Sinai. This is where the corrupt Greek Manuscript, Sinaiticus, also called א – Aleph, was found in a trash can by a flamboyant antiquity’s dealer named Constantin Von Tischendorf. They claim it is the oldest and best manuscript, neither of which claim is true. What is even more interesting is how liberal scholars hide the public claim of Constantine Simon Simonides, a senior textual scholar, that he had written the manuscript himself in 1839 when he was at Panteleimonos monastery at Athos. Either way it is a horribly corrupt manuscript.

Now, St. Catherine’s is said to be the oldest, continuously inhabited Christian Monastery in the world. But it certainly was NOT the monastery that interested me! It was Mt. Sinai! The next morning I stared up at that mountain and tried to picture in my mind what it was like almost 3500 years ago when God met Moses on that mountain top. In about 1280 B.C. the first written communication from God to man came on Mount Sinai, etched in stone tablets by the finger of God. “These sacred words from the Ten Commandments have shaped the world and its ethical system for 3,500 years.” (A Visual History of the English Bible by Donald L. Brake; Baker Books; p. 25).

My heart is grieved as I see our Nation move from the Solid Rock of the Judeo-Christian ethic (Old Testament-New Testament principles) to the shifting sand of the relativistic ethic of Humanism.

Although Moses destroyed the tablets God had written when he saw the idolatry of the people upon descending from the mountain (Exodus 32:19), God instructed Moses to, “Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.” (Exodus 34:1). But, in spite of a bad start, it is on Mount Sinai that God began to communicate with human beings in written form using the language that the people knew. God continued His progressive revelation for the next 1500 years until the canon of Scripture was closed with the book of Revelation.

Let me give you an overview of how God revealed His Word(s) to us. Consider this from William Smith written in the 19th century. – “There are at least 36 different authors, who wrote in three continents [Europe, Asia & Africa], in many countries, in three languages - Hebrew, Aramaic (Genesis 31:47; Jeremiah 10:11; Ezra 4:8-6:18; 7:21-26; Daniel 2:4-7:28) and Greek. The Bible is written from every possible human standpoint. Among the authors were kings, farmers, mechanics, scientific men, lawyers, generals, fishermen, ministers and priests, a tax collector, some poor, some city bred, some country born, thus touching all experiences of men, extending over 1500 years." (Smith's Bible Dictionary; by William Smith; published 1884; p.91)

As I stared up at the 7,498 foot summit of Jabel Musa my mind took me to Exodus 19: 16 ff, which gives the account of Moses being on Mt. Sinai early the morning God visited Moses. There was thunder, lightning, loud trumpets, fire, and smoke. The whole mountain shook. As I looked at Mt. Sinai I thought, this may have been the place where Moses received the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments written by the finger of God three and one half millenniums earlier. It was on Mt. Sinai that Moses received the very first written communication from the Lord God Almighty. It was on Mt. Sinai that the written progressive revelatory journey of God speaking to man began. Praise God For Our King James Bible, God’s Inerrant Words To All Who Speak English.

God Inspired His Word(s)

I believe God inspired His Words! Why because He says so! 2 Timothy 3:16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

In fact, I believe in the Verbal, Plenary Inspiration for the 66 books of the Bible. By verbal inspiration I mean, every word is inspired.

By plenary inspiration I mean every book is fully, equally and entirely inspired – from Genesis to Revelation!

2 Peter 1:21 “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.”

God inspired His Word(s) once when the Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost! What they wrote was NOT their own private or personal ideas. But, inspiration would be of no value to us today if God did NOT preserve His Word(s).

God Preserved His Word(s)

As a friend of mine put it, “God gave us His Words by verbal plenary inspiration. God preserved those Words by Verbal plenary preservation. Almighty God promised and performed both events!” D.A. Waite

God did promise to preserve his Word(s) and I believe He did!

Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

Matthew 5:18  "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

There is a bunch of intellectual bible believers, who ignore what the Bible says and who try to hoodwink, dupe and con Christians by saying God only inspired the thoughts of the Bible, not the words! In fact, virtually all the new versions take that approach in their translations! NO! NO! NO! That is not what Christ said; the FACT IS that not only are the Words inspired, but the letters are inspired. The jots and the tittles are inspired! Romans 3:4 “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”

Shame on them for promoting something that is A LIE! Proverbs 30:5-6 My Bible says – “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

My Bible says in - Deuteronomy 4:1-2 “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. 2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

Don’t ADD and don’t TAKE AWAY!

So Where Are the Words of God TODAY?

God HAS providentially preserved His Word, including the very words of Scripture, in the traditional texts of the Bible. Our King James Bible preserves by accurate translation, the inerrancy of the Greek Received Text and the Hebrew/Aramaic Masoretic text for English speaking people. ENGLISH SPEAKING PEOPLE HAVE THE WORDS OF GOD IN THE KING JAMES BIBLE! They have had it for 400 years!

You do NOT have the pure words of God in the Modern Versions of the English Bible! They are corrupted!!! They may contain the words of God, but they also contain errors! Allow just one illustration -
Our King James Bible, the pure Words of God, says in Mark 1:1-3  "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; 2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. [Malachi 3:1] 3  The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” [Isaiah 40:3]

The new versions say – “It is written in Isaiah the prophet…” and then goes on to quote Malachi and Isaiah!

That is an error my friends!

Let me cite one more. In John 1:18 the King James Bible reads –
“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Here is what the NASB says – “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”

My God was NOT begotten! He has always existed from the beginning! Now, Jesus was begotten (born) of Mary! Though he was the eternal WORD (John 1:1&14) he took on a human body that he might die for our sins!

Don’t use a paraphrase! They really are not Bibles at all. Don’t use the modern versions; they are based on the corrupt texts that we read about in the New Testament.

2 Corinthians 2:17 “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 2:2 “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

Satan’s Design is to Corrupt the Word(s) of God. He tried to do it in the past and he continues to do it today. Our King James Bible is the Word of God for English speaking people today!

Did you know that there are 17 complete verses missing from nearly all the modern versions of the Bible? Here is a list. Check it out for yourself.

Matthew 17:21              Mark 15:28                Acts 24:7        
Matthew 18:11              Luke 17:36                Acts 28:29
Matthew 23:14              Luke 23:17                Romans 16:24
Mark 7:16                     John 5:4                    I John 5:7
Mark 9:44 & 46             Acts 8:37                 
Mark 11:26                   Acts 15:34               

It took 231 years (from Wycliffe to KJB – or 85 years from Tyndale to the KJB) for English speaking people to have the pure word of God. The King James Bible has endured for 400 years! Do not trade in your pure Bible for a corrupt one!