The Proclamation of Truth

The Proclamation of Truth

The Proclamation of Truth

Mark 16:15 

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

Truth, gospel truth, an absolute that is true for all people for all time. The war against the truth has been raging since the beginning of mankind, and that war has the Word of God in the cross hairs of its sight.

I have long desired to write a book about the war against the word of God. 

  • The first-word war was Satan in the garden creating the doubt that led to the fall of mankind. 
  • The second-word war was that of the Holy Roman Empire against the proclamation of the word during the dark ages, 
  • and the third-word war is the world’s setting its course to self-destruction. 

Word War 3 will include the elements of both the first and second-word war, but will add to it the insanity that results from the effect of the reprobate mind, and we already see it making itself evident today. Deception rules the airwaves, and violence is called for against those who would contradict the narrative or the madness unable to distinguish between reality and make-believe.

But Christ’s command to proclaim the truth still stands, and regardless of the obstacles of history, his disciples risked all to save a single soul, to sound an alarm to awaken the sleeper.

Mark 16:15 

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

The Proclamation of Truth.  

GO

Mark 16:15 

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

“GO”!

It is probably the simplest of words, the simplest of commands and the clearest of all the instructions given us in the Bible, “GO”! This is the most fundamental understanding for the proclamation of truth.

The most basic expectation for the Proclamation of the truth is simply that it is to be “Proclaimed”, to be preached, to be audibly heard by them to whom we are sent. And how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things! (Rom 10:15)

Jesus gave this instruction to the eleven as they sat and dined together. This instruction is the last word on the matter by Christ, after he had risen from the dead and before he ascended to glory. Other than the eleven who dined, there would be another he would so instruct, he was one like we are, born out of due time.

Paul (as Saul) travelled to receive letters to persecute those who would proclaim the truth of the gospel, but instead, he had seen a bright light and a voice calling out “Saul, Saul…”.

Perhaps you and I have not had the same ‘Damascus Road” experience as the apostle Paul did, nevertheless, Jesus had called us all to the same purpose, a purpose that has come down to us known as “The Great Commission”.

Does anyone know what the great commission is?

To preach the Gospel, and to make disciples of men.

This commission is a compound of two passages in the Bible. One is the text before us in Mark 16, the other in Matt 28:19-20

Matthew 28:19–20 

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 

Both are representative of the last words Jesus spoke and equally reflected in Acts 1:8-9 before he was taken up;

Acts 1:8–9 

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 

There are two parts to this commission, one is Preaching, the other is Teaching. Each and every church in the world has this very same charge that is given to them. Each assembly of Christians have this as their distinct and peculiar purpose and each are to continue to do so UNTIL…he comes again. The first-century Church knew this. They had done exactly as the Lord had commanded and many believed.

THE DAY OF PENTECOST

On the day of Pentecost, a day celebrated by the Jews as “Shavuot” or “The Feast of Weeks”, occurring 50 days, or seven weeks, after the Passover, the disciples of the Lord were all gathered together in Acts chapter 2.

That was the day the Holy Ghost descended upon those gathered, that was the day Peter preached to the assembly and spoke of the fulfilment of prophecy and convicted the hearts of three thousand souls who were then added to the church. And from that time forward “…the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47).

This was the proclamation of Truth, this was that Gospel that has been handed down through the years, and this was that truth that convicted the hearts of man. This is that gospel which we are commanded to “Go” and proclaim.

What is stopping you from going?

What is it that stops you from growing? Each of you are here for the same purpose, the highest calling in the world, the proclamation of the truth, what is it that you are allowing in your life to hinder that work? What is it that makes the love of the gospel wax cold in your hearts?

From the first century till now the kingdom of God had suffered violence, at first it was physical, today is it cerebral. The first century battled the body to stop the mouths of man, this last century battles the mind to distract the hearts of man.

Is it games? Are you the child that has never grown up and still likes to play make believe? You have time for games but not for glory?

Is it media? You have all the time in the world to be entertained to death, but no time to proclaim life to the dying?

How would Jesus look upon this world and compare the Christians of this last century who live unmolested, to those who lived in the first century? 

Beloved, be not deceived, Satan is just as pleased with you distracted as he is with you dead.

Each of you have a calling upon your life to “GO”, to proclaim the truth or to assist others in that proclamation that you may save some. 

  • Truly, I hope every time you pick up a joystick God pricks your heart.
  • Every time you click a box, you see Jesus on a cross.

The world needs you beloved, you may have life but what does it say of your love for others when you are so unwilling to give up the vice that prevents you sharing his love for them?

GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD

Mark 16:15 

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

It did not take long but the Gospel would not remain in Jerusalem. Jesus had commanded that it be preached to all the world, to every nation and tongue the gospel of his salvation, and this would occur through means that are not always pleasant, though they are with purpose.

It did not take long before the Jews took hold of the main men and threatened them not to preach Jesus. But such threatening’s and beatings did not discourage, but rather encouraged them. All the more they fervently preached the word as they departed the council in Acts 5:41-42, the scripture tells us they left the council…

…rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

But the rage against the gospel increased the more it was preached in that city and buy chapter 6 we begin to hear of the account of the one that would become the first martyr written of in the New Testament for the sake of the Gospel.

The witness was of Stephen, his testimony and death are recorded in Acts chapter 7, and the revelation of the one consenting to his death is seen in the first verse of chapter 8, one “Saul of Tarsus”. It would be him that would drive fear into the hearts of many, and scatter the disciples of Jesus to the far ends of the known world at that time. These would be those dispersed among the nations, and the gospel preached to all the lands. 

This persecution was led by the very man who would later fall on his face on that road for which he desired to obtain the very formal permission to destroy “this way”, the Damascus Road of Acts 9. The Bible indicates clearly that it was he who was the cause of all their trouble. After Saul became Paul, the Bible tells us that the church had peace in the same chapter, 

Acts 9:31 

31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. 

The purpose of the Lord had been accomplished, but why do I tell you of these things? My desire here is to glean a basic fundamental truth and that is that from the beginning of the Gospel there had been efforts to countervail the propagation of the proclamation! The early days of the proclamation efforts were made to destroy by dominion, today it is by diversion. Interestingly, the response to the early violence was vigilance; Christianity flourished. But today’s effect of diversion is indifference; the love of many is waxing cold.

Nevertheless, the efforts to stop the truth of the Gospel being preached was that mouths are silenced, and if the mouths of those who proclaim the truth are silenced, so too will the alarm of the gospel go silent. This is Satan’s hope and God’s sorrow, for he is not willing that any would perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Pet 3:9)

In our passage in Acts, and in the first few centuries of the Church age, we find that it is through violence that the devil does his work. He tries to silence the voice of the Gospel by force. All twelve of the apostles (including Paul) were persecuted by the world for the sake of Christ, eleven of them died a martyr’s death for the sake of the Gospel. Of the first three centuries of the Church, John Foxe records no less than ten primitive persecutions before there was a time of short rest, the last of these early trials was under Emperor Diocletian in 303 AD.

Nine prior persecutions to that of Diocletian where not enough to extinguish the flame of the Gospel. Although the church suffered nine deadly periods in near three hundred years, there was still enough vitality in the gospel to have come to make itself known to the highest office in the world’s empire.

Diocletian setting himself to extinguish the proclamation of the gospel for one last time.

 John Foxe records;

The fatal day fixed upon to commence the bloody work, was the

twenty-third of February, AD 303, that being the day in which the

Terminalia were celebrated, and on which, as the cruel pagans boasted,

they hoped to put a termination to Christianity. On the appointed day,

the persecution began in Nicomedia, on the morning of which the prefect

of that city repaired, with a great number of officers and assistants, to the

church of the Christians, where, having forced open the doors, they seized

upon all the sacred books, and committed them to the flames. (source)

The first effort was to destroy the Bible from before him. For he understood after three hundred years that it was the Book of books that encouraged greatly the word of God throughout the empire. Then it was the adopted son of the emperor, Galerius who charged himself with the effort and followed in the steps of Nero to blame Christians for the fire of the imperial palace to which he gave order to set aflame. 

John Foxe goes on to relate;

Many houses were set on fire, and whole Christian families perished in the

flames; and others had stones fastened about their necks, and being tied

together were driven into the sea. The persecution became general in all the Roman provinces, but more particularly in the east; and as it lasted ten

years, it is impossible to ascertain the numbers martyred, or to enumerate

the various modes of martyrdom.

Racks, scourges, swords, daggers, crosses, poison, and famine, were made

use of in various parts to dispatch the Christians; and invention was

exhausted to devise tortures against such as had no crime, but thinking

differently from the votaries of superstition.

A city of Phrygia, consisting entirely of Christians, was burnt, and all the

inhabitants perished in the flames.

The Gospel clearly went into all the world by this fourth century, despite the persecutions. This final one claiming to have rid the world of the sect of Christians, had seen no end but even further propagation of the proclamation of truth. Thus, after the tenth ancient persecution of the Church, the famed saying that “the blood of the martyrs became the seed of the Church”.

And the Church again had rest.

Go ye into all the world, and preach

Mark 16:15 

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

No doubt that by this stage in the sermon this morning you are wondering what all this has to do with the King James Bible.

My desire is to demonstrate to you that throughout the history if the Biblical Church, no blessing has EVER come about without an active effort to SILENCE the alarm of the Gospel.  An alarm cannot be an “alarm” if it is muzzled. We are charged to preach the gospel of Christ, we are NOT charged to change the heart, this is God’s work alone. 

Joseph Alleine was one of the early protestants whose sermon titled “An Alarm to Unconverted Sinners” rivals that of Richard Baxter’s “A Call To The Unconverted To Turn And Live”….or even Jonathan Edwards “Sinners In the Hands Of An Angry God”. Yet Alleine’s Alarm testifies that the work is of God, he writes;

“But, O  Lord, Thou canst pierce the heart of the sinner. I can only draw the bow at a venture, but do Thou direct the arrow between the joints of the harness. Slay the sin, and save the soul of the sinner that casts his eyes on these pages.’”[1]

We are to make the most of all the Lord has given us, and leave the results to him. God worked evidently in history to pave the way for the Proclamation of Truth

PAX ROMANA

Prior to the coming of Christ and the rise of the Roman empire, a young man claimed the world for himself in eleven short years. Alexander The Great changed the language of trade and administration, he simplified the common tongue to what became the language of the New Testament, Koine Greek. In this the known world was united, and in this language God had purposed his word would have the most immediate effect for the proclamation of Truth.

The speed with which the truth would TRAVEL to the known world was given even greater impetus in the first century due to two things;

  1. the The Pax Romana (The Roman Peace),
  2.  and the establishment of what we Italians were best known for…no, not Pizza, no, not Spaghetti…ROADS!

Beginning with Augustus, the first emperor of Rome, and lasting for some 200 years, law and order and safety from bands of robbers and thieves was made for all who travelled on those roads, all of which led to ROME. The Gospel therefore had its free course, and the proclamation of Truth had both its commendation and its contempt.

Paul writes to Timothy to 

2 Timothy 4:2 

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Christians trusted doing so from that time on.

Following the “Edict of Toleration” by Galerius in 311 AD ‘tolerating Christianity’, was Constantine’s “Edict of Milan” two years later, to treat Christians well and even elevated Christian Bishops to share the royal benefits of the Emperor. But it was not until 380 AD, under the “Edict of Thessalonica” by Emperor Theodosius that Roman Catholicism became the State Church of the Roman Empire, setting the scene for the Papal reign of the world to this day, and began a new way to silence the proclamation of Truth. Satan evidently seeing that violence in the name of pagan gods did not silence the Gospel, perhaps murder in the name of the all mighty would. In speaking to his disciples, Jesus foretold this very thing saying;

John 16:2 

… yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

Thus we enter into a period of history known today as “The Dark Ages”.

John Foxe again gives a record to the time;

We come now to a period when persecution, under

the guise of Christianity, committed more enormities than ever

disgraced the annals of paganism. Disregarding the maxims and the spirit of the Gospel, the papal Church, arming herself with the power of the sword, vexed the Church of God and wasted it for several centuries, a period most appropriately termed in history the “dark ages.” 

The kings of the earth, gave their power to the “Beast,” and submitted to be trodden on by the miserable vermin that often filled the papal chair

During this time of history there was very little outside of the dominion of the Papal Church. So tightly did the Roman Catholic Church hold on to its tradition, that any questioning of it would lead to the execution of those doubting. 

David Teems in his biography of William Tyndale notes;

The Catholic Church “governed birth, marriage, death, sex, and eating, made the rules for law and medicine, gave philosophy and scholarship their subject matter.” It taught the faithful how to spend their money, how to sweat their tithe, what to believe, what to think. Culture grew within and around the Church. She was the watchful parent. And membership was not optional,[2]

Barbara Truchman, in her book “A Distant Mirror”, spoke of this same ‘membership’ in Papal powers saying, ““it was not a matter of choice; it was compulsory and without alternative, which gave it a hold not easy to dislodge.[3]

The Roman Catholic system could rule without question ONLY through the persistent ignorance of the Scriptures. The Dark Ages were dark because the word of God in much of the world was hidden in a forgotten language.

By the 16th century, not even the priests of the Papal Church knew the Bible. A gentleman by the name of John Hooper, who was a fellow student of William Tyndale (through whom we thank for the Bible in our laps today), conducted a survey of 311 members of the clergy, the results found;

“Nine priests did not know there were Ten Commandments; thirty-three had no clue where they were in the Bible (most of them suggested the New Testament); ten could not recite the Lord’s Prayer; and thirty did not know Jesus had said it in the first place.”[4]

Tragically, John Hooper burned at the stake during the reign of Mary Tudor (AKA Bloody Mary), the Roman Catholic queen of England. 

During the time of the Popes, the Bible was not permitted to be translated into the vulgar tongue of the people, but remained locked away in the ancient Latin. The belief of the Roman Catholic Church was that Latin was the chosen language of God, and any attempt at a translation into the language of the common people, was an affront to God himself.

It is interesting to note that during the life of the evil Lord Chancellor of England, Thomas More, the language of philosophy was Latin, but when one chose to use profanities, they did that in English. You can understand then that Thomas More was happy to commit people to the flames for the offence of only quoting the scriptures in English.

The Gospel however was to go into ALL THE WORLD and God would do his work. John Wycliffe made the first genuine attempt to translate the Bible into English. His objection to Catholic doctrines infuriated the Roman Catholic church, and had he not died of a stroke two years later, he too would have been burned at the stake.

In fact, so angry was the Papal church that 40 years after his death Wycliffe was eventually still burned at the stake;

In the most bizarre little ceremony in 1428, his body (or what was left of his body) was exhumed and marched around the town of Lutterworth; he was defrocked, then turned over to the secular authorities for “execution.”

His ashes were then cast into the river Swift in Lutterworth near his old Church, and a saying went forth stating;

as the Swift bear them into the Severn, and the Severn into the narrow seas, and they again into the ocean, thus the ashes of Wycliffe is an emblem of his doctrine, which is now dispersed all over the world.”

Soon enough, the word of God in the language of the people of the world would become a reality. Indeed, the Gospel will go into all the world!

PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE

Mark 16:15 

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

It was William Tyndale that would have the greatest single impact on the Bible, and time does not permit me to go into detail this morning, suffice to say that 90% of your New Testament are unchanged from his words.

It was Tyndale who coined many of the phrases, Tyndale who gave us the poetry and rhythm of our Bible. Many words were first coined in the English language by William Tyndale;

Words such as;

  • Passover
  • Scapegoat
  • Taskmaster
  • Two-Edged
  • Viper
  • Whoremonger
  • Writing Table
  • Yokefellow
  • Impure
  • Incarnate
  • Infatuate
  • Stiff necked
  • Tribute money
  • Uproar
  • Brotherly
  • Busybody
  • Castaway
  • Network
  • Complainer
  • Swaddling clothes
  • Handbreadth
  • Birthright

More than 700 words listed in the OED are attributed to William Tyndale as the first mention of them.

His desire was for the perfect word in both meaning, sense and music. The King James Bible is indeed a book of music. We will talk more to this in the final sermon “The Permanence OF Truth”

There are two ways that the modern versions take away the gospel, two ways they remove the good news and silence the alarm.  One way is to delete complete verses, the other way is to render them to a footnote. Both ways they create doubt in the gospel and silence the proclamation.

Beloved, I want you to think of what damage is worse. Of all the persecutions we can testify to against those who believe the Gospel, is it worse for those who man destroys who’s true end is eternal joy, or the silencing of the alarm fails to awaken the sinner to his sin?

Satan knows that the Gospel is the only true hope for mankind, his aim is to silence it. Though he has employed physical violence against the proclamation in the past, his greatest and most enduring violence has been to quieten the desire to proclaim the truth. Satan is almost as happy with ineffective Christians as he is with dead ones. The only risk with those still alive is that they may yet repent and do as Jesus commanded them.

Turn to

Matthew 18:11 

11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. 

This is the purpose statement of Christ. It is deleted in the NIV, the NASB, the ESV, the GNB, the RSV, NRSV, et al, and deleted in the footnotes of the New King James version.

Mark 10:24 

24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 

For them that trust in riches” is deleted in the NIV, the NASB, the ESV, the GNB, the RSV, NRSV, et al, and deleted in the footnotes of the New King James version.

They therefore read, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!” (Exclamation mark included in the NIV, NASB, NLT, GNB, ESV).

Is it difficult to be saved, or is it hard for them that trust in riches?

Turn to 

Zechariah 13:6

And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

Long held as a reference to Christ, the true husbandman come to claim his harvest. The wounds that inflicted by the house of Israel, whom he came to save. But you would never even think of that if you read it in;

The NIV:  “If someone asks, ‘What are these wounds on your body?”[5]

The NASB: “What are these wounds between your arms?”[6]

The NLT: “what about those wounds on your chest?[7]

The ESV: “What are these wounds on your back?[8]

The Message: “‘And so where did you get that black eye?[9] to which the response in The Message “bible” is, “‘I ran into a door at a friend’s house.’[10]

You would not have a hope of ever relating it to Christ, who himself claimed of the prophets, John 5:3939 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me

Now, whether you believe that passage in Zechariah speaks of Christ or not, the vacuous claim that there is no real difference is foolish. How is it possible that the same translated “Hands” in the King James Bible, is so obscure that it can also be translated as “body”, “arms”, “chest”, “back” or even as a “black eye” in Eugene Petersons perverse paraphrase The Message?

There truly is so much more to go into, but I spare you for this day.

What if I had a child for whom my dying instruction would keep her from danger and lead her to a blessed life, and I should desire that such instruction be passed on to her directly after my passing to one in whom I trusted? However, what if the dilution of the proclamation I had trusted to others has left her in the greatest of danger? Beloved, the distraction of those who are charged to proclaim this truth gives me little hope the Gospel would ever reach her. 

Jesus said, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Mt 24:12), Christians and even most pastors today, no longer care about the gospel, all they care about is protecting what they have.

They have lost their first love. Why? Because they no longer believe they have a perfect, preserved proclamation of the truth.

But YOU DO!

WILL YOU THEREFORE “GO”?

Will you add to the silence beloved, or will you make a decision today to set aside your distractions and sound the alarm?

 Mark 16:15 

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

.


[1] Alleine, Joseph. An Alarm to the Unconverted (p. 1). Kindle Edition.

[2] Teems, David. Tyndale (p. x). Thomas Nelson. 

[3] Barbara Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, p32.

[4] Glenn S. Sunshine, Reformation for Armchair Theologians, 2.

[5] The New International Version (2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, p. Zec 13:6.

[6] New American Standard Bible: 1995 update (1995). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, p. Zec 13:6.

[7] Tyndale House Publishers (2015) Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, p. Zec 13:6.

[8] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, p. Zec 13:6.

[9] Peterson, E.H. (2005) The Message: the Bible in contemporary language. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, p. Zec 13:6.

[10] Peterson, E.H. (2005) The Message: the Bible in contemporary language. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, p. Zec 13:6.

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