Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 16, 1959
NUMBER 10, PAGE 6-7a

A Speedy Revolution

Lloyd Moyer, El Cerrito, California

Psalms 119:59-60

"I thought on my ways and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments."

One of the beauties of the Bible is its brevity. This is also a sign of inspiration — its ability to say so much in such few words. The more we study a passage the more radiant becomes its truth. Man never masters the depth of God's Word. After studying a passage for years, suddenly truths come forth from it that you had never seen in it before. Many sermons have been preached and volumes have been written on very brief passages of scripture. Let us take a closer look at our text and our lives will be enriched by its great truths.

"I Thought On My Ways"

Notice, the Psalmist said, "I" thought. Too few people do their own thinking. The "few" have always ruled the "many". Why? Because the "few" do the thinking. We see this manifested in the church The masses are blindly following a few preachers. Many brethren never go to the Bible and study for themselves; they find it simpler to take what someone else says about it.

Spiritual nobility is predicated upon our studying and thinking for ourselves. (Acts 17:11.) "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

I attribute much of the current apostasy to a failure of brethren to do their own studying and thinking.

We are told that 80 percent of the people never really think. That 5% really do think, 10% think they think and the other 5% had rather die than think. I don't know if this is true or not. But I am sure too few of us do our own thinking.

David said, "I thought." It is true we must think, but we must be sure that our thinking is in harmony with God's will. Cain thought just anything would be all right in service to God. He pitted his thoughts against God's thoughts. This seems to be a natural proclivity of mankind. We need to learn that God's thoughts differ from ours. (Isa. 55:8-9) "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." To further illustrate this truth let us consider some who thought service to God would be accepted on what they thought rather than what God thought.

Naaman, captain of the host of the King of Syria, is a good example. He was a leper. He was told that a prophet in Israel could heal him. Finally, when the prophet told Naaman to "Go and wash in Jordan seven times" (II Kings 5:10) "Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God." (II Kings 5:11.)

Naaman made a mold for God to fit in, and when God did not do as Naaman thought, he became angry. But Naaman had to change his thoughts to harmonize with God's way.

(Jonah 1) Jonah thought he could run away to hide from God.

(Matt. 17:4) Peter thought it would be fine to build three tabernacles. Paul said "I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth" (Acts 26:9.

(Jer. 10:23) "0 Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."

(Prov. 16:25) "There is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

From these and other passages which might be given it is evident that our thoughts must be guided by other than man's intellect. Paul affirms that God's word will "pull down strongholds, casting down imagination, and every high thing which exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (II Cor. 10:3-5, Eph. 6:17.) Yes, our thoughts must be controlled if we are to be acceptable to God. Paul says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Phil. 4:8.)

We must exercise mental discipline. Turn our thoughts away from the vulgar, vain and evil things, and think on the good, pure, kind, gentle and lovely things.

It seems odd that the mind of man would feed on the rotten rather than the wholesome. This is evidenced in every newspaper in the land. How many articles do you see in the papers of the multiplied thousands of good deeds done by the fine upstanding teen-agers? Not many. But you see every mis-deed and evil thing done by the minority group of teen-agers. That which is evil is news. Not so with the good, pure and wholesome.

Even among members of the Lord's church we see this attitude manifested. How many times some brother or sister has called you to tell, (in confidence, of course) about some sins committed by some other brother or sister. Such things ought not so to be! Notice again our text, "I thought on my ways." We all need to give more thought to our own ways. Sometimes people are so busy thinking about the ways of others that they have no time to think on their own ways. (Mt. 7:3-5) "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

(2 Cor. 15:5) "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; Prove your ownselves."

God help us to do as did David; think on our own ways. But again, "I thought on my ways and turned my feet unto thy testimonies." David "turned." Some are too stubborn to turn. Some refuse to be informed about the matter of salvation; they do not wish to be bothered. We see this in the political world. Many never read and study the political issues involved. They let their emotions and ignorance guide their voting. So it is with many members of the church; the reason they do not turn to the testimony of God's Word is that they refuse to be informed about religious issues before the church, and let their emotions and ignorance lead them on down the road to complete apostasy. If we will think on our ways, we will see wherein we fall short and realize the need of turning.

However, we cannot turn to the ideas, theories and dogmas of men. We have already learned that man cannot direct his own footsteps. Therefore, David said, "And turned my feet unto thy testimonies."

Where do we find the testimony of God ? Jesus answers in (Jno. 5:39) "Search the Scriptures, . . . for they are they which testify of Me." The scriptures reveal the mind of God to man (Rom. 16:25-26.) "Now to Him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets ... ."

To turn to 'thy testimonies" means that we must turn to the "Scriptures." "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path," (Psalms 119:105) and "The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple." (Psa. 119:130.)

As we look at our text again, we hear David say, "I made haste and delayed not to keep Thy commandments."

All need to be impressed with the need to make "haste" and "delay not" to obey God. We need to live every day as though it were our last day on earth, because it might be.

Time waits for no one. May we "redeem the time." Friend, brother, sister, make use of the time you have to obey your Lord. Do not delay, but make "haste." Many times I have had people say, "I intend to obey the Gospel, but I'm not ready yet. When this happens I always think of a father telling a child to do something, and the child replies, "I will obey you when I get good and ready." It is a most foolish and dangerous thing to delay your service to God.

(James 4:13-14) "Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain;" whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

"Now is the acceptable time" to "Keep Thy commandments." However, before one can "keep Thy commandments" he must know what the commands of God are. This demands learning of the Father. (Jno. 6:44,45.)

There are three things necessary to complete obedience, that is, three things which one must know. First, we must know what God commands. Second, we must know why we are to do what is commanded. One might actually do what God commands yet not obey God. An example is taking the Lord's supper. One might actually take the bread and fruit of the vine yet not know why they were taking it and thus nullify the service insofar as their obeying God. The same is true with baptism. If one does not know why he is baptized, he cannot obey God in baptism. Third, we must know "how" to do that which God has commanded, when God has given the "how." Sometimes the "how" of doing a thing is left to the discretion of man; yet when the "how" is revealed we are bound to do it the way God demands. For example, baptism. What is the "how"? Is it sprinkling? pouring? or immersion? (Rom. 6:3-4, Col. 2:12) show that the "how" is burial or immersion. To do it any other way would invalidate the act. Let us always apply these three: the what, the why, and the how to everything we do in service to God. Remember, sometimes God does not reveal the why or the how; but when they are revealed they become as important in obedience as the "what".

Now, in conclusion, I beg of you think on your ways, turn thy feet into the testimony of God. Believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, (Jno. 8:24), repent of your sins (Acts 17:30) and confess Christ (Acts 8:37-38, Rom. 10:10) then be baptized (buried) in water (Acts 10:47) in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost (Mt. 28:19) for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38) and thus put on Christ and be baptized into Him. (Gal. 3:27.) You will then be a "new creature" (2 Cor. 5:17.) This will have completed the "revolution" God help all to make it "a speedy revolution."