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Sermon #95[i] — Isaiah Series
Title: Vain Worship
Text: Isaiah 29:13-14
Subject: Carnal Worship and Its Consequences
Reading: Psalm 95:1-11
The Son of God tells us that, “God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). But it is ever the nature and tendency of fallen man to pervert the worship of God. We have been blessed with ordinances of divine worship. But rather than using the ordinances to worship God in spirit and in truth, we pervert them into carnal ceremonies, services, and rituals, without regard to God. We content ourselves with the bodily exercise of outward worship and neglect the inward reality of spiritual worship. All men by nature prefer gaudiness to godliness! Paul said, “Bodily exercise” (the mere outward motions of divine worship) “profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).
Our fallen, depraved, self-righteous nature is impressed by, pleased with, and dedicated to outward religion; “but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). And “that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).
Now understand what I am saying. — Outward public worship and the outward service of God must never be neglected. But if outward worship is all we have our religion is useless religion and our worship is vain worship! And that is my subject — Vain Worship. You will find my text in the 29th chapter of the Gospel of Isaiah — (Isaiah 29:13-14).
Proposition: The absence of a true heart, the absence of heart faith in Christ and heart devotion to the glory of God, makes all outward acts of religion vain worship.
(Isaiah 29:13-14) Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: (14) Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
In Matthew 15:1-9 the Lord Jesus applies this text to the Pharisees of his day and to all in our day who pervert the worship of God into nothing but hypocritical, outward religious service.
(Matthew 15:1-9) Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, (2) Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread. (3) But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? (4) For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. (5) But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; (6) And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. (7) Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, (8) This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (9) But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
The Pharisees made the commandment of God of none effect by calling obedience to the traditions of men obedience to the commandment of God. They made the doctrine of God of none effect by teaching for doctrine the commandments of men (Matthew 15:3). And they perverted the commandment of God to suit their own self-serving, self-righteous, hypocritical religion (Matthew 15:5-6; Mark 7:6-13).
(Mark 7:6-13) He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. (7) Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (8) For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. (9) And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (10) For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: (11) But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. (12) And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; (13) Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
The word “Corban” refers to a gift dedicated to God that cannot be used for any other purpose. Yet, they did! They used traditions and their pretentious religious taboos as an excuse for their hardness, but never fulfilled their claims. They would never give “Corban” (their vowed gift) to their needy parents. But they never gave it to God either!
The Lord Jesus declares that all such religion is both vain and hypocritical — an abomination to God! ——— Four Statements
1st — All outward, carnal religion, religion that does not involve heart worship is vain worship. —“This people draw near to me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me.”
Š They prayed and called upon the name of God.
Š They professed to be the people of God.
Š They said they believed the doctrine of God.
Š They practiced the ordinances of God.
Š But their hearts were far removed from God. And God regarded their vain worship as an abomination — a mere form of godliness (Isaiah 1:10-18; 66:1-3).
(Isaiah 1:10-18) Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. (11) To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. (12) When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? (13) Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. (14) Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. (15) And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
After this stern denunciation, the Lord God calls self-righteous, religious rebels to repentance and faith in Christ.
(16) Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; (17) Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. (18) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
God is not telling here that if we would just do better, if we would do good, he will forgive us and save us. He is calling us to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. — I’ll show you that in just a minute.
(Isaiah 66:1-3) Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest? (2) For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (3) He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
What, then, does God require of us? Turn to the 6th chapter of Micah, and you will see (Micah 6:6-8).
(Micah 6:6-8) Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? (7) Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? (8) He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Micah addresses the very same thing here that Isaiah addresses in Isaiah 1 and in Isaiah 29. Sadly, almost every commentator I have read on these three verses of Micah 6, and every sermon I have been able to find on them, interpret the text to mean that God requires men and women, in every department of life, to behave justly, honestly, and uprightly, to be merciful and charitable to others, and to live in humiliation before God. They tell us that this is the sum and substance of real religion and true godliness
“But ye have not so learned Christ” (Ephesians 4:20). — How I thank God that I have not so learned Christ! Notice what the text says. There is not a word in these three verses about how we are to live before men or about what we are to do to and with men. God requires us to “do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” What does this mean?
What is this requirement that we “do justly with God”? This is not talking about treating all men justly, though we certainly should try to do that at all times.
But Micah is talking about doing justly with God! How can I do justly with God?
To “do justly” is to confess that in myself, by reason of sin, I justly deserve God’s wrath and indignation, having broken all his righteous law.
(Psalms 32:5) “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”
(Psalms 51:4-5) “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, [and] be clear when thou judgest. 5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
(1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
To “do justly” is to exercise that repentance toward God that only God himself gives, that only God himself can produce in a man by his grace.
Who does not love mercy? Everyone I know loves mercy, especially when he needs it. But anyone who has not been blinded to the Word of God by his own love of works religion must surely realize that Micah is not here telling us that salvation is to be had by loving mercy in that sense!
If you will turn to Luke 1:72, you will see that the mercy we must love is our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God’s salvation by him. — Here Zacharias is speaking of John the Baptist and his ministry as the forerunner of Christ, our Redeemer.
(Luke 1:67-75) “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68 Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”
Salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ is the performance of God’s mercy. And all who are born of God love that mercy!
(2 Corinthians 5:17-21) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Next, we are told that we must walk humbly with our God. — “He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” — To “walk humbly with thy God” is to walk before God in the conscious awareness of your sin, trusting Christ alone as your Savior, as you are taught by God the Holy Ghost for the everlasting comfort of your soul (John 16:7-11; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:6).
(John 16:7-11) “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. 8 And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”
(1 Corinthians 1:30-31) “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
(Philippians 3:1-3) “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed [is] not grievous, but for you [it is] safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
(Colossians 2:6) “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him.”
Doctrines of Men
2nd — All acts of worship, precepts of righteousness, and doctrines imposed by the traditions and customs of men are vain worship. — “Their fear (worship) toward me is taught by the precept of men!”
Š Infant Baptism!
Š Religious Activities!
Š Religious Ceremonies, Programs, etc.!
Š Sabbath Days, Holy Days, Solemn Seasons!
Two Paths to Hell
There are two paths to hell. More than 200 years ago J. C. Ryle wrote, “There are two ways a man may lose his own soul. (1) He may lose his soul by living and dying without any religion at all. He may live and die like a beast, prayerless, godless, graceless, and faithless. This is a sure way to hell. (2) He may lose his soul by taking up some useless kind of religion. He may live and die contenting himself with a false Christianity, resting on a baseless hope. This is the most common way to hell that there is.”
You may ask, “Pastor, What is useless religion. Surely, any religion is better than no religion.” Not so! — Useless religion is far worse than no religion, because useless religion convinces unregenerate men and women that all is well with their souls when nothing is well. In the practice of useless religion, men, women, and children eat and drink damnation to themselves, not discerning the Lord’s body, not knowing who Christ is, what he came into this world in human flesh to do, what he actually accomplished by his obedience unto death as the sinners’ Substitute (Most people do not know what he did or why he did it.), where he is now, or how he saves sinners by his grace and righteousness, through his blood.
Š All false religion is useless religion.
Š All useless religion is idolatry.
Let me be crystal clear. I want no one to mistake me, misunderstand me, or fail to hear clearly what I have to say.
Š Useless religion is any religion in which the Lord Jesus Christ is not the sole object of faith. — Christless religion is useless religion!
Š Useless religion is any religion that denies the merit and efficacy of Christ’s precious, sin-atoning blood.
Š Useless religion is any religion that teaches sinners to produce righteousness. — The Gospel of Christ proclaims righteousness accomplished. — The Ready to Wear Garment of Salvation is the Righteousness of Christ. — God’s sheep contribute none of their own wool for their garments. They all wear the white linen garments of Christ’s perfect righteousness!
Š Useless religion is any religion that offers salvation by robbing God of his perfect holiness and forgiveness by the compromise of his inflexible justice. — The advocates of useless religion have no clue as to the necessity of the incarnation, obedience, and death of the Lord Jesus Christ. — They have no idea of how God can be just and justify the ungodly. — Their religion is filled with sentimentality and void of truth. — As Paul put it, they eat and drink damnation to themselves, not discerning the Lord’s body, not knowing Christ!
Š Useless religion speaks much of the love of God, but makes the love of God universal and thereby useless and meaningless.
Š Useless religion talks much about the blood of Christ, but makes the blood of Christ a universal sacrifice for all men and thereby useless and meaningless.
Š Useless religion says much about the work of God the Holy Spirit, but makes the work of the Holy Spirit a mere influence upon all men alike that may be resisted and overcome. Thereby the work of God the Spirit is made useless and meaningless.
Š Useless religion makes the Triune God a pathetic failure and thereby no God at all!
Š Useless religion rests on the footing of man’s works, not upon the grace and power of the God.
Š Useless religion is any religion which suggests or implies that the Lord our God is unable to fulfil his will toward men unless they give him permission.
Š Useless religion puts the creature in the place of the Creator, — making the will of the Creator subject to the will of the creature, — making the power of the Almighty subject to the power of man, — making the purpose of God subject to the permission of man!
Š Useless religion is any religion that makes salvation dependent upon man’s will, not God’s will.
Š Useless religion is any religion that makes a sinner feel good about himself, look to himself, or trust in himself.
Š Useless religion is any religion established upon the traditions of men, the creeds of men, and the inventions of men. — God’s Church is built upon the Foundation of Jesus Christ crucified, the Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, — the Word of the living God!
Š Useless religion may look good in the eyes of men, and it may feel good to those who practice it, but religion without Christ will do the deceived one no good in the day of death and judgment.
Š Useless religion will never result in the salvation of the soul.
Š Useless religion can never meet the approval of the thrice holy God who demands “it must be perfect to be accepted.”
Š Any religion without Christ is damning! — Any religion that adds anything to Christ is damning! — Any religion that takes anything away from Christ is damning!
If ever the God of Glory is pleased to reveal his Son in you, if the Lord God is pleased to save you, if he gives you life and faith in Christ, if God the Holy Ghost comes to you in mercy and sprinkles your heart with the blood of Christ, if King Jesus ever comes to take possession of your heart, if ever he casts Satan out and sets up his throne in your heart, your useless religion, your refuge of lies will be destroyed (Isaiah 28:14-20).
(Isaiah 28:14-20) “Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which [is] in Jerusalem. 15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: 16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”
“17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. 18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. 19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only [to] understand the report. 20 For the bed is shorter than that [a man] can stretch himself [on it]: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself [in it].”
Turn to Isaiah 45. Hear the God of Heaven speak. In Isaiah 45 the Lord God is, throughout the chapter, describing himself, distinguishing himself from all the imaginary gods of men, distinguishing himself from all the gods men make. — Read Isaiah 45:20-25.
(Isaiah 45:20-22 ) “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. (21) Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. (22) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”
(Isaiah 45:23-25) “I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (24) Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (25) In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”
3rd — All true worship is a work of the heart (Ezekiel 33:30-32; Matthew 15:8; John 4:23-24; Romans 10:9-10; Philippians 3:3).
(Ezekiel 33:30-32) Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, everyone to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. (31) And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. (32) And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.
They brag on the prophet’s preaching, but despise and ignore his message!
(Matthew 15:8) This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
(John 4:23-24) “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. (24) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
(Romans 10:1-13) “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. (2) For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. (5) For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. (The legalist says, “You’ve got to do something!”) (6) But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) (7) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) (The gospel says, “Everything is done! Christ did it all!”) (8) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; (9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (12) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
(Philippians 3:3) “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
Š Faith is a Heart Work.
Š Repentance is a Heart Work.
Š Singing is a Heart Work.
Š Praying is a Heart Work.
Š Preaching is a Heart Work.
Š Hearing is a Heart Work.
Š Baptism is a Heart Work.
Š Communion — The Lord’s Supper — is a Heart Work.
It is not the bodily exercise of religious service that God requires, but godliness. — God wants our hearts! God demands our hearts. He will not accept anything less! — “My Son, give me thine heart” (Proverbs 23:26). If he has our hearts he will accept our prayers, our services, and our worship for Christ’s sake. But if he does not have our hearts, God will never accept us or anything we might pretend to offer him!
4th— If we attempt to fool God with the hypocrisy of vain worship, God will leave us to the folly of vain religion (v. 14).
(Isaiah 29:14) Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
Š That’s called “reprobation”!
Š The Jews
Š The Religious World (2 Thessalonians 2:11-17)
(2 Thessalonians 2:11-17) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (13) But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (15) Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (16) Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, (17) Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
(John 4:23-24) “The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. (24) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
(Philippians 3:3) “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
To worship God in Spirit and in truth is to trust Christ alone, renouncing everything men add to him and his finished work as dung (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
(1 Corinthians 1:30-31) But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (31) That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
Everything else is vain worship, useless religion that will take you to hell!
(2 Corinthians 4:1-7) “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; (2) But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. (3) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (4) In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
 Noel Smith’s blasphemous declaration: — “What is hell? It is an infinite negation. And it is more than that. I tell you, and I say it with profound reverence, hell is a ghastly monument to the failure of the triune God to save the multitudes who are there. I say it reverently, I say it with every nerve in my body tense; sinners go to hell because God almighty Himself couldn’t save them! He did all he could, he failed!”
[i] Danville — Sunday Morning — July 14, 2019
Rescue Baptist Church, Rescue, CA — (Saturday – 07/06/19)