News Letter June 1 2018

June 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree

In This Edition


* The Judgment Of God

* Leading Transformation

* Seminary @ Expositors.Org

* Pastoral Placement – FIT

* for Ministry Support

* Book Review – ‘Unhitched’? – Nope

* Pod Cast – – Thrive

* This Date in History – Harbor Closed

* BLOG – The Judgment of God




The Judgment of God


The past several weeks (May 1 – May 25) have been an absolute blur of indictments on the Evangelical Church in America and the Southern Baptist Convention specifically. The link following this paragraph is an article addressing this circumstance written by Dr. Al Mohler. The SBC is not alone in the American Church scene to which God’s judgment may be rightly applied. Read Dr. Mohler’s post first.


The three words that describe our conduct considered in this article merit God’s Judgment. There are many more Covenant violations we are guilty of as we express daily the sin nature imputed to us as a result of Adam’s willful disobedience. Pray for Repentance, Reformation and Renewal.


In Isaiah 53 there are numerous words in the English language that express sin; iniquity, transgression, transgressions, etc. These terms in the original Masoretic Text of the OT convey a much more graphic portrayal of our sin. When you read this article and comprehend the messages conveyed by these words, you will readily understand why the church and sinners deserve God’s Judgment!


I included the original language in this article but IContact will not accept them so the best I can do is a transliteration of the words. In most cases I cite lexical sources so the reader may do further research if desired. The sins delineated in this article surely merit God’s judgment.


Word #1 – Isaiah 53:5 (avone) (used 215 times in the OT) But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.


Isaiah 21:3  – (avone), to bend or twist, used 215 times in the OT = crooked perverse behavior. Used as a Portrait of the anguish of a woman in labor.


Isaiah 21:3 Therefore my loins are filled with anguish; pangs have seized me, like the pangs of a woman in labor; I am bowed down so that I cannot hear; I am dismayed so that I cannot see.


Someone distressed, bent double; NKJV – distressed


The parent verb, (avone), means ‘bend, twist’, making the noun mean ‘crooked behavior, perversion.’ In the total vocabulary of sinfulness, it is the “internal” word – strictly, therefore, the warped human nature from which all wrongdoing derives. . . . (J. Alec Motyer, Stricken for The Transgression of My People, Chapter 10, From Heaven He Came And Sought Her, p.257) This word gives clear expression to our twisted conduct and motives, the consequences and resulting guilt of our deeds.


That which is injustice, false and idolatrous – LOGOS7 word studies


The remarkable ambivalence between the meanings “sin as an act” and “penalty” shows that in the thought of the OT sin and its penalty are not radically separate notions as we tend to think of them.  Rather in the OT the action of a man and what happens to him are presupposed to be directly related in one process within the basic divine order (TWOT, Vol.II, p. 651)


…the total man, the whole sum of human life and being, is perverted; that all the faculties of man are more or less twisted out of shape by sin; that each man, from the whole is turned from God rather than toward God; so that the whole nature of man, as it now exists, is warped and twisted by sin. (E.C. Dargan, SBC 1900 ish)


Man is both in mind and heart, in purpose and in deed apart from God, lost and straying. (Dargan as quoted in By His Grace and For His Glory, Nettles, p.210)


?Have you ever confessed your ‘iniquity’ (crookedness) to the LORD and sought His forgiveness for your warped sinful nature?


Word #2 – Isaiah 53:8  (pasha) Used 90 times in the OT The fundamental idea of the root word is a breach of relationships, civil or religious, between two parties. It expresses the ‘casting off’ of allegiance’. The verbal form indicates a casting off of allegiance, a rebellion against rulers (TWOT, Vol. II, p.741) Sin is rebellion against the reign of Jesus Christ in your life.


Israel was accused of rebelling against her divine king and the established Covenant between them.


Isaiah 48:8  You have never heard, you have never known, from of old your ear has not been opened. For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously, and that from before birth you were called a rebel.


Hosea 8:1  Set the trumpet to your lips! One like a vulture is over the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant and rebelled against my law.


Acts of transgression, going beyond the limits of God’s laws, have the impact on inner attitudes which create deceitfulness or a distorted love for this “independence” from God.


Amos 4:4  “Come to Bethel, and transgress (rebel, break away from legitimate authority); to Gilgal, and multiply transgression; bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days.


No matter how much we make an excuse for the fallen nature which prompts actual sin, the fact remains that in cases far too numerous to recall, a choice was presented to us and we chose the path of deliberate, conscious, willful rebellion. We sinned because we wanted to!!!


?Have you ever confessed your ‘rebellion’ to the LORD and sought His forgiveness for your wicked rebel nature?


Word #3 – Isaiah 53:12 – (katah) (used 34 times in the OT) This word focuses on the fact of sin as a short-coming, missing the mark.


In the moral use of this word, ‘sin’ is the specific matter we find that we have to confess – whether thought, word or deed, inward imagination or outward act. We have “missed,” fallen short of the Lord’s command.


Judges 20:16  Among all these were 700 chosen men who were left-handed; every one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.


One of our grandsons took up archery in High School. Each shooter fires 30 arrows at the target from increasing distances resulting in a total possible score of 300. Our grandson scored about 210 in the beginning. He progressed and qualified for the National Championship held in Nashville which we attended. He shot 289. The young man that won that competition shot 299. But – that still misses the mark of 300.


The fall rendered all of us poor marksman. We consistently miss the mark.


?Have you ever confessed your ‘missing the mark’ to the LORD and sought His forgiveness for your failure?


Summary & Application

The Fall rendered us all:

1. (avone) crooked, twisted, idolators

2.  (pasha) rebels, we rebel against the reign of Christ in our lives

3.  (katah) poor marksman, we miss the mark consistently


What is God’s standard?


Matthew 5:48 –You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


?? How can a crooked, rebellious, poor marksman live up to, accomplish this perfection?


Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”


Luke 9:23  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.


Leading Transformation 

The decline of the American Church is an indisputable reality. Many pastors and church leaders are profoundly aware of this decline. The quandary they wrestle with is ‘what must we do to address and correct this persistent reality?’


When you have a cavity, you go to the Dentist. When you have a foot injury, you go to a Podiatric Surgeon. Such actions are reasonable and lead to a favorable resolution to your problem.


The IgniteUS Transformation Process provides abundant resources that bring exegetically supported correction to the existing dysfunctions in ministry. Each church presents distinct challenges. Our Process is tailored to the church you are leading. We have helped many pastors and churches go from decline to robust effectiveness in making disciples. Individual people and the church as a body are transformed. The Process begins with an objective Assessment that enables you to know the true condition of the church you serve. This makes it possible to effectively address the causes of decline.


We will come alongside of any church that has a high view of Christ and a high view of Scripture. There is no long term contract. There is. a very modest monthly fee. .Continuous decline is not the only option. Give me a call to investigate this process for implementation where you serve.. I have an article titled Measuring What Matters Most that will facilitate genuine Transformation that I will send to all who make such a request You will be very glad that you called. (800 472 3764 or


Pastoral Placement 

Leadership is crucial. When a church is seeking a Lead Pastor there are multiple critical areas that must be considered. Tragically the traditional approach to this process has produced brief pastoral tenures (3 1/2 years is the current average) and less than robust effectiveness. A positive trend is to seek the services of a proven Consultant and Process. IgniteUS provides such a service. Our goal is to guide the church to a man that fits the church and the church fits the man. Contact us @ 800 472 3764 or


Ministry Support $$


We are asking you to give – $10 a month. These funds enable us to provide  Scholarships to Pastors & Churches. Christ gets the Glory!  On our Home Page ( click on the banner labeled Online Giving and follow the prompts. THANKS to each one who gives! Appreciated!


Book Review –

Book Review – Motyer, Alec. 6 Ways The Old Testament Speaks Today – An Interactive Guide. Wheaton IL: Crossway, 2018, 240 pp. $19.99 ISBN # – 978-1-4335-5851-1. Available May 31, 2018.

Recently Andy Stanley stated that the church, specifically pastors in their preaching ministry, need to ‘unhitch’ from the Old Testament. This comment unleashed a flurry of criticism. To be fair, this comment was in the third message in a series of three. He insists that if taken in context of the three (3) messages, not to worry.


I’m not so sure. There are no new heresies, just new heretics. Marcion was perhaps the first to promote the bifurcation of the Old Testament from the New. He lived from 85 – 160 AD. He was excommunicated from the church in 144 AD for cause. His specific comment on this issue was:


. . . we need to distinguish between the “stern law-giving Creator God of the Old Testament and the good merciful God of the New Testament.”


I will accept Pastor Stanley’s explanation regarding the context of this comment. Having taken the high ground and being gracious, I will state that such a comment at the very least is profoundly unwise and he should expect the furor that followed. Now we turn to the content of Motyer’s treatment of the Old Testament.


This is the second edition of this title. It was first published in 1994 under the title A Scenic Route through The Old Testament. From the Introduction:


Actually, it is a rather spectacular piece of countryside, full of interest, and wonderfully speaking directly to us, our situations, and our needs. Did you ever notice a striking thing Steven said in his speech in Acts 7:38, that Moses “received the living oracles to give to us” – the vital word of God itself relevant to each successive generation right up to “us”? Paul insisted on the same truth in Romans 15:4: “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction.”


And when we turn to the highest authority of all, the Lord Jesus Christ, what do we find? Well, if we had asked him, “why do you keep quoting the Old Testament? “He would have replied, “the old what?” And when we explained, he would have corrected us: “you mean the word of God (Mark 7:13), the Scriptures, (John 5:39)” –  nothing old about that as far as Jesus was concerned, for it is actually the applicable truth of God by which he was content to plan his life and accept his cross (Matthew 26:53-54). The big word he used was “The Law” (Luke 10:26), a word that actually means “the Teaching”, and “the living directions of a caring parent to a beloved child (“instruction,” Prov. 4:1) in the case of our Lord, his heavenly Father’s voice in his ear. Should we not prize –  and go all out to understand – what was so precious to our Savior?


The author presents the very beneficial text and readings in six headings as follows:

I.               The Voice of History pp. 15-36

II.               The Voice of Religion pp. 37-54

III.              The Voice of Worship pp. 55-76

IV.              The Voice of Prophecy pp. 77-100

V.                The Voice of Wisdom pp. 101-120

VI.               The Voice of God pp. 121-142


There is then an Appendix that supplies ‘daily readings’ in each of these subject areas; pp. 143-208. I suggest that a pastor will be encouraged and equipped in his study of the Old Testament by purchasing and applying this material in his sermon preparation and personal study. This material will be very beneficial in establishing biblical literacy in the lives of the people a pastor serves.


In closing it would be profoundly foolish and heretical to discard the rich history and background of our faith by ignoring the Old Testament. Read it. Study it. Apply the Truths recorded in it to inform, encourage and equip God’s people. This title is a wonderful tool any pastor may use in that glorious task.


A testimonial regarding the value of this title in the life and ministry of a pastor.

I have lost count of the number of times I have read this book. Priceless wisdom and exquisite summaries of Old Testament genres, with the added bonus of Motyer’s wit and wisdom, make this a book a treasure in deed. ”

Derek Thomas – Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church – Columbia, South Carolina

Pastor Tom Fillinger


Expositors Seminary


Expositors Seminary is truly cutting edge in the Theological Training & Equipping of men for ministry. Those that attend and complete the required courses receive a full M.Div. in four (4) years complete with both languages. Students attend Tuesday AM through Wednesday at 2PM. The cost is $200/hour. The men attending are able to continue their current ministry and do not need to relocate their families. They have 9 campuses around the country housed in local churches. They have the most current technology which facilitates the instruction. Dr. George Zemek is the Academic Dean and one of the Professors.


I encourage you to go to their web site and examine what they offer. Their web site is


Pod Cast – THRIVE


The title of the Pod Cast is THRIVE. That is our desire for every pastor and every local church. We want you to thrive in making disciples, and developing leaders, all of which is to Glorify Jesus Christ. There is a banner on our web site – – – – just click on that banner. This Pod Cast has the potential to reach 35,000 listeners. If you listen and find benefit in the content, encourage folks in your sphere of influence to listen as well, then contact us. THANKS. I want to hear from you; or 800 472 3764.







This Date in History

1774 – The British government ordered the Port of Boston closed.

BLOG – The Judgment of God

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