Now, the part of the chapter I want to focus on is there in Leviticus 10, at the beginning of the chapter, verse 1, where the Bible reads, “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not, and there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, this is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified, and Aaron held his peace.”
Now, just to bring you up to speed in the story here. In Leviticus 1 through 9, God is giving all kinds of instructions on to the children of Israel about all the different burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and things they’re going to perform on to Him. In the last few chapters before chapter 10, He gives very specific detailed instructions about exactly how they’re going to dedicate the Tabernacle, the types if sacrifices that are going to be offered, the order in which things are to take place, and so forth.
Now, Aaron was ordained by God to be the high priest, and he had sons that were going to carry on that ministry after he’s gone, and these sons were also going to help with the ministry of serving the Lord and the tabernacle under the Old Testament or Old Covenant. His sons Eleazar, Ithamar, Nadab, and Abihu. Nadab and Abihu after God has finished giving these specific instructions about what He wanted done, they decided to just do their own thing.
They just decided, “You know what? We’re going to just grab a couple of censer, we’re just excited about what’s going on, and we’re just going to burn some incense unto Lord.” There’s nothing that God had commanded them that He had told them to do. They just took it upon themselves to do this. When they did that, the Bible says, verse 2, “There went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.”
Now, whatever these men had done was a serious offense in God’s eyes because of the fact that they were killed for it. There are a lot of other people in the Bible who did a lot of other things that God did not just sit there, and just killed them right then and there. This is something that made God very angry, it also made Moses very angry that they had just disregarded the instructions about what they were supposed to be doing.
Now, if you stop and look at this passage, you have to ask yourself, what was the sin of these young men? What did they do wrong? Were they offering incense on to a strange God? No. Were they worshipping a god other than the Lord? No, they were not. What was it that made God so upset? When you read Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy which are considered by most people to be the boring Books of the Bible, a little bit heavy reading, not exactly the most exciting part. I heard somebody recently say, “Whoever preaches out of Leviticus anymore?” Bible-believing creatures that may want to preach the whole council of God, preach the whole Word but who preach out Leviticus is considered a boring part.
The reason Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are often considered boring is because they go into such detail, and they just go into just graphic detail about how the Tabernacle is going to be built, how many rings to put on the curtain, what to make the curtains out of, what color they’re going to be, how to make the ark, how to make the tabernacle, how to make all of the different accoutrements that are going to be used to kill the animals, all of these different altars and washings, and all of these different things.
You say, “Why do we need all of this?” but there is something that we can learn from these things. Even though we’re not living under the Old Testament, we can still learn because the Bible says all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine. Even though we don’t go to a physical tent and a tabernacle with curtains, and rings, and all these different things, what we can learn is that when God tells us how to do something, we need to do it the way He told us to do it.
If God goes into all these great detail about how He wants something done, He expects you to do it the way that He said to do it, and not to deviate from that. When they were building the tabernacle, God said to Moses repeatedly, “Be sure that you build all things according to the pattern that was showed to you in the mountain.” “Build this building the way I’m telling you to do build is,” is what He is saying.
Another thing we can learn from this story is that just because someone’s heart is in the right place, just because someone is trying to do something in the name of Jesus or in the of the Lord doesn’t necessarily mean that what they’re doing is right if what they’re doing is contrary to what we find in the Word of God. All the way back to Cain and Abel, we find Cain worshiping the true God, and even giving an offering unto the true God, but his offering was not accepted because God wanted him to bring of the blood, he wanted him to bring of the firstlings of the flock, he wanted him to bring the lamb for a sacrifice. He wanted the lamb to be the offering, and Cain brought fruits and vegetables because he was a tiller of the ground; he was not a shepherd.
He said, “I prefer produce. I like to make things grow. I’m vegan.” I’m just kidding. Anyway, he’s going to bring these fruits and vegetables, and he offers them unto the Lord, and the Lord tells him no. The Bible says God did not have respect unto Cain’s offering because it was not what He told him to offer. This idea that’s just hey, just as long as your heart is in the right place, just as long as you’re doing it in Jesus’ name, anything goes is not a biblical concept.
Now, we can carry that philosophy over into the New Testament, and say, “Okay, we don’t have the tabernacle. We’re not offering animal sacrifices. We’re not bringing in the blood and the fat of lambs,” but we do have instructions given unto us in the New Testament about how we should live our Christian lives, and about how we should worship the Lord, and about how church should be, and we should follow those instructions, and not offer just strange fire unto the Lord. Just ways of worshiping God that are not found in Scripture. Just aspects of our church service and just things that we do, rituals and traditions that we perform that weren’t mandated by God.
We should rather worship God and serve God in the ways that He has prescribed in Scripture, and there’s so many different ways that we can apply this. Let me say this, many things that are done in churches today in the name of Jesus Christ are not scriptural, and they are strange fire unto the Lord. Even if they are meant as a worship to the Lord, even if they are meant to serve the one true God, it doesn’t make them biblical and it does not mean that we should participate in these types of things.
Let me just give you some examples of things that are used. Go to Deuteronomy 4. Let’s just look at some examples of things that we see in churches today or things that can creep into a church service that we don’t want to have in our church because we don’t want to be like Nadab and Abihu, just serving God in ways that He did not ask us to serve Him. Now, if you look at the way that we do our church service at Faithful Word Baptist Church, there is a reason why we do the things that we do.
Now, why do we sing hymns at our church? Because the Bible says in the midst of the congregation, congregation is another word in the Bible for church, He said, in the midst of the congregation, I will sing praise unto Thee. That’s why we all sing praises together. The Bible commands us to teach and admonish one another in songs, and hymns, and spiritual songs. That’s why we all sing to one another. We all sing praises to God in the midst of the congregation.
Why do we have prayer in the church? Because the Bible says, “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up hold hands, without wrath and doubting.” That would be inclusive of the church. Pray everywhere the Bible says. We have examples of the church gathering together and praying as a group. We also have prayer in private that the Bible commands us to do. When we get together and are preaching, that is biblical.
The Bible says, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” That’s what we do every church service. First, we just have reading. We read the whole chapter. We read Leviticus 10. That’s the reading. Then, we have exhortation which is preaching. We have doctrine which is also preaching, teaching of the Word of God. These things all take place in our church services because the Bible has told us to do these things. When we celebrate communion, break bread, that is biblical. That is something that God said, “As often as you do this, do it in remembrance of Me,” and we break bread, and drink of the grape juice. That is all biblical. These things all come from the Bible. They are not strange fire unto the Lord when we serve Him in the local church.
When we go out and knock doors, and preach the Gospel, that’s something that Jesus told us to do. That’s something that we have an example of people in the Book of Acts doing, but some strange fire in today’s churches, number one, first of all is images in the church. When I say images, I am talking about statues of Jesus, pictures of Jesus, statues of Mary, pictures of Mary, pictures of the Apostles, all of these religious images and icons that people have, and supposedly, it’s not unto a false god, it’s unto the true God, but what does Bible say?
Let’s look at Deuteronomy 4:9. It says, “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life, but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons; Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, that they may teach their children, and ye came near, and stood under the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness, and the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire, ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.”
Now, why is that significant? God is saying that when he appeared unto the children of Israel in that burning Mount Horeb, they did not see an image of God. They did not see what the Lord God looked like. All they did was just hear a voice, and that’s why God commands them very clearly a little bit later in this same passage not to make any kind of an image. Go down to verse 16. It says … Go to verse 15 actually. Let’s start in verse 15.
It says, “Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude or image on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire. Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, the likeness of anything that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth.”
Now, a lot of people say the reason God doesn’t want them to make these images is because he didn’t want them worshiping another God but hold on a second, He said, “Wait a minute. Remember when I spoke to you? Did you see an image?” No. Don’t make an image. He is even saying, “Don’t even make an image of me.” Paul reiterates this in the Book of Acts when he says, “We are not to think that the Godhead is liked to an image that we can make out of silver or gold or any such thing.” When you have graven or molten images of Jesus, and God, and the saints, these are things that God said, “Don’t make it of male. Don’t make it of female.”
What is up with them, a statue of Mary? Is that biblical? It’s a female image. What about the statue of Jesus? He said, “Don’t make an image. Don’t make it of Me. Don’t make it of anyone else.” We should not even make a statue of a man. Let’s say Pastor Anderson died, we said, “Let’s honor Pastor Anderson. Let’s make a statue of Pastor Anderson.” That would be idolatry. That would be a graven image. That would be lifting up a man higher than he ought to be lifted because he is a flesh and blood human that needs to return to the dusk, and we don’t need a statue or a molten image of any person but not only that, He said, “Don’t make statues or images of animals.” We don’t want to have a molten or graven statue of an animal.
For example, a lot of people will have a molten fish on their car, and say, “Hey, this represents Christianity.” Wait a minute, did God tell you to make a molten fish? In fact, He specifically said, “Don’t make.” It’s funny because He lists this specifically, verse 18, “The likeness of anything that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters.” He specifically brings up a fish. The two Christian symbols today that are molten that people will put on their car are the fish and the bird. The two specific animals He brings up at the end of verse 17, He says, “Any winged fowl that flieth in the air.” What do they do? A metal dove.
No fish, let’s put a metal fish, and say it represents Jesus. Hold on a second. This is strange fire that you’re offering unto the Lord that the Lord commanded not. God did not command you to put a metal fish, and say, “This is for Jesus.” Put a metal bird and say, “This is for Jesus.” He said it is idolatry, and said, “You’re in the Old Testament.” New Testament says flee idolatry. New Testament says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” Amen. New Testament will teach all these same things in the Book of Acts, through the Epistles, everywhere else.
What else do we have as strange fire today amongst Christians? This is one that I grew up with, and that is the Christian flag. The Christian flag. Now, did God tell us, “Produce a Christian flag?”
Pastor Anderson: He told us all these things. He said, “Go into all the world, and preach the Gospel.” He said sing hymns, He said preach the Word, He said read the Bible, he said go to church, assemble together, congregate, but did He ever say make a Christian flag and pledge allegiance to that Christian flag? Absolutely not. This is strange fire unto the Lord.
Now, if you look at what the Christian flag is, it was designed by a Methodist in 1907. They don’t fly it anymore. Now, they fly the queer flag. I was in West Hollywood earlier this week and there was a United Methodist Church in Hollywood, and it had a rainbow sodomite, gigantic rainbow sodomite flag outside the United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Church in Tempe flies a sodomite flag. Elsewhere in the city, you’ll see it at United Methodist churches, they will fly flags representing men with men and women with women being perverted but they started out flying the Christian flag. They don’t fly that anymore.
Listen to this, “The ecumenical Christian organization, Federal Council of Churches, now succeeded by the National Council of Churches and Christian Churches Together, adopted the flag on 23rd of January 1942.” This thing has its origins in an ecumenical movement of trying to unite all Christianity under one flag. Here is the problem with that. We, as Baptist, do not want to be united under the same flag with the Catholics, with the Methodist, with the Mormon, with the Presbyterian. We’re Baptist.
Why are we Baptist? Because we believe in the Bible, we don’t believe in the Pope. Otherwise, you might have stumbled in the wrong church, the Catholic churches down the street. You got your images, you got the Pope, you got everything you need down there but here, we’re Baptist, we’re Bible-believing Christians. We don’t believe in uniting with all apostate forms of Christianity.
Now, listen to this, you say, “What’s wrong with the pledge to the Christian flag?” I grew up in Christian school pledging every day to the Christian flag. Who grew up pledging this pledge of allegiance to the Christian flag? Several people. I grew up pledging every day but the pledge that we pledge today is not the original pledge. Listen to the original pledge to the Christian flag, “I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands; one brotherhood, uniting all mankind in service and love.” This is not a biblical message because we can’t unite all mankind because the Bible divides those who believe on Christ from those who don’t believe on Christ, the righteous and the wicked.
Today’s pledge of allegiance used in most Baptist churches or Baptist schools says, “I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior for whose Kingdom it stands; one Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty to all who believe.” You say, “What’s wrong with that?” Because it says that you’re pledging allegiance to the Christian flag and to the Savior for whom it stands. We’re not just pledging allegiance to Jesus Christ, we’re also pledging allegiance to that flag.
Why would I have any allegiance to that flag? Do you know what allegiance means? It means, if that flag is going somewhere, I am going with it. I am swearing allegiance to that flag. I am on the side of that, but hold on. What is that? When it’s flying above Catholic churches, when it’s flying at the Vatican, when it’s flying on different place, “I pledge allegiance to that flag.” Is that biblical? Show me in the Bible. It’s strange fire that’s being offered to the Lord. It even takes place. I’ve been in a church service. I’ve been in church services. We’re in the middle of a church service, “Everybody stand up, let’s pledge allegiance to the Christian flag. I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag.” That is so unbiblical. It is so extra-biblical. It is strange fire offered unto the Lord.
You say, “Their heart is in the right place.” Yeah, like Nadab, like Abihu. Stop doing it. We need to stop doing it. We never started doing it but anyway, we don’t have a Christian flag. “I will fly that flag,” is not biblical. It’s not something that God told us to do. It’s flown in a lot of weird place. The Bible says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” He never said, “Hey, unite with everybody. Just unite with everybody who names the name of Christ.” That is not true. The Bible says that even a brother who walks disorderly should be separated from if he’s not following the Scripture.
Not only that, let’s really make this hit home and this might offend some people but the pledge of allegiance to the American flag, and that actually takes place in many churches. They’ll do both. I went to a preaching service here in the Phoenix area less than a couple of years ago, and it was like, “pledge …” I abstained. I was like, “Shot at me, shot at the bendigo.” I am not going to sit there and pledge allegiance to the American flag, and then pledge allegiance to the Christian flag. When did God say, “Don’t forget when you congregate, pledge allegiance to the Roman Empire. Don’t forget to swear filthy to Caesar before every church service”?
You say, “That’s different because Caesar is really bad.” You know what? Caesar Obama is worse than any of those guys. Our president who I believe is a homosexual. First of all, you say, “Why do you say that?” First of all, there’s been all kinds of evidence produced that he is a homosexual. You just don’t hear about it in the mainstream media. Second, look at him. Third, look at what he stands for, what comes out of his mouth when he talks. Every time one of these sports players comes out and says, “I’m a faggot,” he calls them up and congratulates them.
He, by the power invested in him, he literally issued a statement a few days ago that said, “By the power invested in me by the Constitution of the United States, I hereby declare the month of June to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender month in the United States of America.” That would make Nero blush. I don’t know if it would or not by anyway, I am just kidding but what I am saying, those guys were perverted too but what I am saying is that we, today, have a guy in power who is a very wicked person, I believe he is a homosexual, I believe he is a reprobate sodomite. There’s so much mountain of evidence to that fact.
Not only that though but if we’re pledging allegiance to the American flag, what if our country doesn’t stand for what’s right? Are we just going to stay true to it to the bitter end? If you say this kind of stuff, it’s unpopular with people but let’s see what the Scripture says, go to Jeremiah 21. Jeremiah 21. You’re unpatriotic. Show me the word “patriotic” in the Bible. Nadab? Show the American flag, Abihu. Show me swearing allegiance to a nation when the Bible says that our citizenship is in heaven with the Lord. Our citizenship is with the true spiritual nation of Israel. Our capital city is the heavenly Jerusalem that’s going to descend from God out of heaven.
This world is not my home. I am just passing through, and I am not going to sit there and swear allegiance to that flag of the United States of America no matter how perverted our nation becomes, even when our nation just openly says, “June, we’re celebrating sodomy.” In the month of June, we are the nation, through the power of the United States Constitution, are celebrating sodomy for a complete month.” I pledge allegiance to the American flag, to the republic for which it stands. One nation, corrupt, perverted, promoting abortion and homosexuality to all.
I’m not going to do it, my friend. Get mad at me, quit the church, go find some Baptist church that will have both flags that you like, American flag, Christian flag, throw in an image of a long-haired Jesus into the mix while you’re offering strange fire unto the Lord but in this church, we want to be biblical. We want to stay true to scripture. I don’t want anything to do with sodomy. It’s wicked. I don’t want anything to do with abortion. I don’t want anything to do with the things that our country is starting to stand for. I don’t want anything to do with trying to take over and occupy the whole world with military bases. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want any part of that. That’s the new world order. That’s a one world government. It doesn’t stand for anything that I stand for.
Now, look, it’d be one thing if you say, “You know what? In my personal life, that’s how my politics are.” Okay, fine, have your politics but why are you bringing your politics into the House of God, the House of the Lord, and you’re going to put your political banner. Look, there is no God that we bow to except Jesus. There is one king in this building, it’s the Lord Jesus Christ. We don’t acknowledge Obama’s power in here. We don’t acknowledge any earthly leader. We acknowledge Jesus Christ in this building. This is God’s House.
Yeah, we have a human government that rules over aspects of our lives outside of this building but inside of this building, this is God’s House, He rules, we’re going to swear our loyalty to Him and Him alone, and not some earthly government but the problem with making an oath, or a pledge, or affirmation is that you might sit there and pledge allegiance, and then 30 years later, what happens when that country is a totally different place? What happens when that country stands on something totally different? You’ve already pledge allegiance to it. We don’t want to do that. We don’t want to get wrapped up in that.
Now, what if you’re in Germany and you’re pledging allegiance to Germany? Then, all of a sudden, Hitler gets in power. Wait a minute, hey, you pledged allegiance, buddy. Okay, let’s go. Let’s go take over Europe. Let’s go massacre innocent people. Let’s do it. See, we somehow think America is different. That’s just different. That’s different. It’s not really different but if we look in Jeremiah, we can see the nation of Israel.
Now, let me ask you this. Was the nation of Israel ever declared to be a nation that was God’s people? Of course. When the nation of Israel was founded, it was a nation that was founded as, “Hey, this is a nation of holy people, a nation of priest, peculiar people unto the Lord.” Now, was that ever specifically said about the United States? The United States is a holy nation founded by God? No. Was that ever said about Germany? No, it wasn’t, but was it said about ancient Israel in the Old Testament? Yes, it was, but even ancient Israel of whom it was said that they would be God’s peculiar people, look what it says in Jeremiah 21:3.
“Then said Jeremiah unto them, ‘Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah,’” Zedekiah is the king of Judah at that time “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, ‘Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city, and I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.’”
Now, this is God right here telling the children of Israel, “I’m not on your team anymore. I’m not on your side anymore. I’m going to help the king of Babylon defeat you. I am angry.” He said, “I have fury, I have anger, I have wrath toward you.” Do you see how a nation can go from being blessed by God to being cursed by God? Do you see that? Was the nation of Israel under God’s blessing at one time? Yeah, but what about when they served other gods? What about when they turned away from the Lord?
Go to Psalm 106, and we’ll see this more clearly. What about when they began to offer up their children as human sacrifices, as infants? What did God do then? Just keep blessing them? Just keep thinking that it was a great nation? Great protecting them? No. At that point, God turned away from them, and said, “I’m going to fight you now. I am not for you anymore. I can’t bless you anymore because you’ve gone into abominations of wickedness.”
Why do we think that America can just do whatever and just always be under God’s blessing, always be on the winning side, always be unto the Lord. You say, “You just hate America.” I don’t hate America. I love the people of America but I do not love our government. It’s not a government that represents the people. Most people in America don’t worship Satan but the government does worship Satan. Most people in America are not comfortable innocent people, or at least I hope not. The way things are going, I guess they will be soon but I am just saying, it’s not … Look, I don’t love people that are wicked, and reprobate, and murderous, killers of children, and just homos.
Obviously, there has to be a line drawn where we say, “Wait a minute, can God really bless us anymore if this is who we are?” It seems like Baptists today have just failed to draw that line and they’re just going just march to the bitter end. I guess, it’s because they pledged this so many times growing up. They’re just like, “I guess, we could stay with this. Stay with this one. It’s never stopped. We’re still America, the greatest nation ever and godly.” Look, we’re known around the world now for being perverts. It’s what we’re known. Through Hollywood and throughout, that’s what we’re known for with President Pervert leading the way.
Anyway, it says in Psalm 106:34, of the children of Israel it says, “They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them but were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works, and they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people.”
See, God even kindle his wrath toward His own people when they go into this kind of sin of inequity, of shedding innocent blood, of killing the children, and so forth which is that’s what abortion is. It’s killing your child. That’s what the Bible teaches. It says in verse 41, “He gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.”
What I’m trying to show you is we don’t want to sit there and swear allegiance to a Christian flag because that is basically saying that we’re in the same battle, we’re in the same team with everybody who is flying that flag. You say, “They stole that flag from us.” No, we stole that flag from them. It was designed by the Methodist. It was first made popular by the World Council of Churches. It started out as ecumenical thing. That’s always been what that flag is about, why would I pledge my allegiance to that flag and to Jesus? My allegiance is with Jesus, period, no flag.
Then, we’d say, “Pledge allegiance to American flag,” but what does it represent? The republic for which it stands. I’m not into it, not supportive of it, not proud of it, not waving it. Not only that, it says indivisible. It says, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which is stands, one nation under God indivisible.”
Now, what does indivisible means? It means they can never be divided up. We’ve got to stay together, friend, all the way from Maine to California, all the way from Washington to Florida. It is indivisible. That means that no state could ever leave the union. No matter how weird or how perverted one part of that nation gets, we just have to stay connected to it always and forever. Does anybody really believe that?
It cannot be divided. We must be indivisible. It’s government propaganda because obviously after the Civil War, they want to make sure nobody tries to break off of it. It says, “Indivisible.” We have to just drill that into children growing up. It can never be divided. It can never be broken down. Of course because they want to unite it all into a one world government. We can’t be dividing it smaller. We’ve got to be uniting it bigger, North American Union, European Union, stuff like that.
You say, “You’re crazy.” No, you’re crazy if you think that the Lord Jesus Christ wants you bringing these things into a Christian worship service, bringing these strange flags into a Christian worship service, putting your hand on your heart, and doing you pledge onto stuff that he never told you to pledge, Nadab, but look if you would Psalm 33. I want to get into a fourth thing.
We talked about so far, we talked about these images are strange fire onto the Lord. They’re not something that God told us to do. We talked about the fact that the Christian flag, that’s offering strange fire. God never told us to pledge allegiance onto Him. And He especially never told us to pledge allegiance to an ecumenical flag flown by Christians from the Vatican, to United Methodist, to whatever. He definitely didn’t tell us to pledge allegiance to an earthly nation that changes and is not getting better but getting worst. He didn’t tell us to pledge that. That’s strange fire that you’re offering unto the Lord. This is not a part of a Christian worship service according to the Bible.
Not only that; today, in Christian worship services, we have the beating of drums being brought in as a part of worshiping the Lord and serving the Lord. You say “Well Pastor Anderson, why does that matter whether drums are beaten in church and the House of God?” Here’s the interesting thing about that. If you look in the Bible, God talks a lot about musical instruments.
In fact, in the Book of Psalms, He commands us to praise the Lord using musical instruments. Some people will say, “Hey, we just need to sing acapela, no instruments.” That is unscriptural, my friend, because the Bible is very clear over and over again that God wants us to use music instruments to praise His name. He gives all these lists of musical instruments that he wants us to use to praise His name.
In the New Testament, He says, “Speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” He tells us from the New Testament to sing psalms, and the psalms go on and on about musical instruments, using musical instruments. God is pleased with singing and playing musical instruments to praise His name which is why in our church we have musical instruments. We have piano, we have organ, sometimes we have a guitar, sometimes we have a trumpet, it is too loud, we need to get a mute for that thing, but anyway these are biblical things. Let’s look at what the Bible says about those musical instruments.
For example, in Psalm 33:2 it says “Praise the Lord with harp. Sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song, play skillfully with a loud noise.” God is praised and exalted when we sing loud, when we play instruments loud, and we play skillfully. What do you think pleases God more? A piano player who hasn’t practice, he’s messing up, he don’t know what his doing, he’s playing a really rudimentary, just finger plucking one note at a time, his index finger is only playing that piano, or when somebody has put in the hours, and the effort, and time to learn how to play skillfully with a loud noise? God is pleased when we do our best.
The Bible says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” We appreciate Brother Matt. He’s a very good piano player and talent. No, playing piano is 90% hard work, 10% talent. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of practice. He spends many hours practicing. I spend many hours practicing piano, and I can’t even hold the candle to him as far a piano playing, and I spend a long time practicing because it’s very difficult to learn how to play these instruments right here. My son, Solomon, does an awesome job on the organ.
Those are things that take time to work at, and God is pleased. It’s a sweet savor in God’s nostrils just as the offerings of the Old Testament when he hears Gods people praising him. When you’re singing from your seat. By the way, don’t just go through the motions during the singing. Sing out loud. Lift up your voice and praise the Lord. The Bible says, “Lift up your voice. Sing praises to God. Let everything that has breathe praise the Lord.” This is important. This is what God has told us to do, but here’s what essential, He often lists the instruments.
Go to Psalm 150. The last Psalm, Psalm 150. I got to hurry this morning, but I want to get as many of these scripts as I can. I don’t have time to get to all of these scriptures that list the musical instruments. There are just too many. There are scriptures, and scriptures, and scriptures that list the musical instruments. In Psalms, in 1 and 2 Samuel, in 1 and 2 Chronicles, all throughout the Bible, they just list, and list, and list but let’s just look at a few highlight.
Psalm 150 says, “Praise ye the Lord.” It says, “Sing unto Him.” I’m sorry, I am in the wrong place, “Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary.” Now, sanctuary means holy place. Now, we don’t have a tabernacle made with hands. In the New Testament, the House of God is just the assembly, the church, the congregation. Whether we’re in this building or we could literally all get up right now, and go finish the sermon in the parking lot.
You guys want to do that? No, we don’t have to do that but we can literally go on the parking lot, and it would still be a church, still be a holy place, still be an assembly but the Bible says here “Praise the Lord God in His sanctuary. Praise Him in the firmament of His power. Praise Him for His mighty act. Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet.” If we’re to take out a trumpet right now and play along with our praises, a musical accompaniment of trumpet, would that be biblical?
Pastor Anderson: Absolutely. It says, “Praise Him with the trumpet.” It says, “Praise Him with the psaltery and harp.” Those are stringed instruments. It says, “Praise Him with the timbrel and dance. Praise Him with stringed instruments and organs.” Look, somebody told me the organ is a wicked instrument but what does the Bible say? “Praise Him with the organ.” This is a pipe instrument. Of course, this is not a real organ. This is a fake organ because it’s electronic, but it sounds like an organ. Real organs have giant pipes and everything like that but He said, “Praise Him with the organ. Praise Him with stringed instruments,” which by the way, for those of you how don’t know anything about music, this is a stringed instrument. If you open it up it has hundreds of strings, the piano.
He says, “Praise Him with stringed instruments. Praise Him with the organ. Praise Him with the timbrel,” and I’m going to talk about the timbrel in a moment. “Praise Him upon the loudest cymbals. Praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals.” A cymbal is basically those, the metal. That’s a cymbal. I guess, God wants things to speak loud. Trumpet is like the loudest wind instrument, cymbals are the loudest instrument. He says, “Let everything that have breathe praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.”
Not only do we have Psalms giving us all this list of instruments saying praise Him with this, praise Him with that, praise Him with this, praise Him that. Go to 1 Samuel 10, and we could see just some examples. Again, I’m only telling you a few of this. I want to make it very clear, these are not all the scriptures that list musical instruments. There are more in Psalms, there are more in 1 and 2 Samuel, there are more in 1 and 2 Kings, there are more in 1 and 2 Chronicles. This is something that’s listed many times in the Bible. I’m just showing you a few. Do everybody understand that? Just a little sampling.
Look at 1 Samuel 10:5. These his are just a few examples, “After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines, and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp,” and the pipe is an instrument there, not smoke and a pipe. It said, “A pipe, a harp before them; and they shall prophesy, and the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.”
Go to 1 Chronicles 15. Again, just trying to hit a few highlights here. Just showing you different parts of the Bible, different highlights, listing off some musical instruments that God’s people are commanded to use, that God’s people have historically use throughout the Old Testament, throughout these stories that we read. 1 Chronicles 15:16, “And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals.” Are you seeing some of the same instruments being listed? Psalteries, harps, cymbals, by lifting up the voice with joy.
Go to 2 Chronicles 5. 2 Chronicles 5:12. 2 Chronicles 5:12 says “Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren.” By the way, that’s the same Heman who had 14 sons and 3 daughters. It says, “Being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals, and psalteries, and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them 120 priests sounding with trumpets.” That’s a lot of trumpets. “It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one.” Meaning that they were all I symphony together. They were not playing in a cacophonous way where they’re out of timing with each other. They played as one. They all played together.
It says, “To make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets, and cymbals, and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, ‘For he is good; for his mercy endureth forever,’ that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.”
What’s missing? When you read these scriptures, you’ve got wind instruments such us the pipes that are being played. You have brass instruments such as the trumpets that are constantly being played. You have percussive instruments in the tabret and the cymbals. You have stringed instruments. You have organs, but what you never see is the beating of drums, never.
Now, some people will try to say because many people have been asked the question, where are the drums in the Bible? Where are the drums? Why aren’t they playing drums? It’s listing all these instruments, why is not listing drums? Don’t tell me they didn’t have drums back then because anyone will tell you, drums are the oldest instrument. You do it as a toddler. They haven’t thought of drums yet. No, drums are the most basic instruments.
You go to the most primitive tribe where they’re running around half naked, and they’re totally primitive, and what are they going to do? They’re not necessarily sounding like a philharmonic orchestra if you go to these tribes out in the middle of nowhere, the aboriginal tribes, in any part of the world whether it’s the ancient tribes of Africa, of North American, of Australia, of Asia, it’s just a lot of [inaudible 00:43:01]. They’re not sitting there and [inaudible 00:43:06]. They don’t have a symphony orchestra folks because that’s the most basic thing that there is, it’s just pounding on a drum.
Here’s my question, if God wanted us to worship Him by pounding on a drum, why didn’t He list that? When it’s the most basic, oldest, instrument known to men is beating on a drum, why didn’t He bring it up? Over and over again. I told you go home and read all of it. Read all the times the harp, the psaltery, the cymbals, everything else are mentioned, you’re not going to find it. Why do we, in 2014, say “Let’s beat on drums. Let’s beat drums like pagans,” but here’s why, because we’re not getting it from the Bible. We’re getting it from rock and roll.
Basically rock and roll is the popular style of music in America. Because rock and roll is the popular music of America and we want to be popular, we bring rock and roll into the church. It’s not something that’s biblical to beat drums but can you really have rock and roll without beating a drum? Is there a rock band out there that does not beat drums? That’s why you see churches having the drum set up here and beating the drum.
Now, some people when they’re asked, “Hey, show me drums in the Bible. If God just wants us to bang on drums in the House of God, show it to me in the Bible.” Here’s what they’ll often say. They’ll say, “If you go back to the Hebrew and you go …” Here’s the thing, if you go back to the Hebrew and Greek, you can pretty much pick the Bible and say whatever you want because the people you’re talking to don’t speak Greek and Hebrew fluently, so you can just lie.
If you go back to the Greek, homos aren’t really homos. If you go back to the Greek, when it says, “Believe on Christ to be saved,” believe don’t really mean believe. When you go back to the Hebrew, God didn’t really create the earth in six days. They just insert whatever you want. Just go back to the Hebrew, and you just say whatever you want, and nobody can check it out, because if showed you Hebrew right now, you’d look at it, and it will look like just chicken scratch on a PhD, and you wouldn’t know it. Is that writing?
What I’m saying is, it really isn’t there. Now, some people will point to the timbrels and the tabrets in the Bible, and say these are drums. Timbrels and tabrets are drums, but here’s a thing, timbrels and tabrets are not drums because first of all, notice the word “tabret,” what are the last two letters there, that ET? You know what ET means? Small. Think about this. There’s a kitchen and then there’s what?
Pastor Anderson: The kitchenette. The dining room and the dinette set. ET is an ending in the English language about something that is small. A tabret, not only that, but even if you don’t believe me about that, look up every time the Bible mentions timbrels and tabrets, usually it talks about women playing them, and it’s always portable, when you read it. Look up timbrels. It talks about their traveling, and they’re walking down the road playing with pipes, and with trumpets, and they’re playing with tabrets and timbrels. Women are carrying them. Miriam grabs a timbrel. She’s dancing around. She’s not dancing like [inaudible 00:46:14].
First of all, if you just look at the English word “timbrel and tabret,” we know what that is. It’s like a tambourine. It’s what that is. It’s like a little handheld deal that you shake, and tap on like a tambourine, that’s what that would actually be. If you actually look up every scripture that mentions the timbrel and tabret, it makes perfect sense with that definition, but not with the banging on the drum but why do we bang on drums today in most churches? Because of the fact they were patterning ourselves after the world, patterning ourselves after rock and roll music, that’s where that’s coming from, not from scripture.
To me, it’s a pretty compelling argument when God takes the time to specifically list all these instruments and just conspicuously leaves out drums, never tell us to use drums. Wouldn’t that be like a strange fire? Today, let’s bang on drums in the House of God. No, you could make a case. You could make a case that, “Okay, there’s a time and a place for drums like if people are going to warfare and you’re banging out a drum, like a marching, when you’re marching or whatever,” but look, in God’s House, wouldn’t it better to just stick with what God told us to use?
We e can’t do that because then we’re not going to be cool. Then, we’re not going to sound like rock and roll, man. We’re not going to be jiving and jamming up here but the question is, what is our goal? To have music that’s pleasing to God or just to say, let’s just be cool like the world? Now, the other thing that the Bible is clear on is that in church, we need to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, but yet the trend today is not only to bring drum sets into the church to make it sound as much like the world as possible, but also the trend has been to bring in one secular song per Sunday morning.
I’ve talked to people who go to Baptist churches now, even King James Preaching Baptist churches, and what they’ll do, they’ll do the Christian contemporary songs with the beating of the drums, but then they’ll also going to bring in one secular song per service. One secular song per service. What they’ll do is they’ll try to find a worldly song, and these songs have nothing to do with Jesus, nothing to do with the Bible, nothing to do with God’s Word but they’ll try to get a song that sounds like it could. It could talk about Jesus if we want to think of it that way. Some even can just change the lyrics little, and they’ll sing famous worldly songs, and they will just bring them in to church.
For example, Bon Jovi, Living on a Prayer. That song was not about prayer. Bon Jovi wasn't writing a song, “I just really want to write a song that will honor the Lord, and I just really want my fans to realize how important prayer is, and how God wants us to spend time in prayer.” Who thinks that that’s what Bon Jovi was talking about in the song Living on a Prayer? They bring that in, “It’s got prayer in it.” Living on a Prayer, and they’ll bring that in on Sunday mornings and it’s popular. Why? Because people grew up with that song. They think it’s a cool song. They’ll sing it on Sunday morning.
I wish I had more examples. They’re escaping me. I should have written them in my notes because I’ve heard of a ton of examples to this. I know that I was in an independent fundamental Baptist church, and at a wedding they sang the song by … Man, the worldliness is escaping me right now. What was that called? This lady, it’s called From this Moment. Shania Twain. How knows who Shania Twain is? Worldly people. No, I am just kidding. God bless you. I see that hand but anyway, Shania Twain had this song called From this Moment On, and they did this in the House of God.
They sang this song. “You’re the reason I believe in love,” but here is the thing, they are not singing it to Jesus though. It’s a man and a woman having that relationship. “From this moment,” I should have been a worldly singer, I know. “From this moment, I am blessed. I live only for your happiness.” Now, hold on. I love my wife very much. I love my wife more than anyone on this earth but do you think I live only for her happiness? Because if you do, you’re wrong. Because you know who I love more than my wife? Jesus.
Getting in God’s House, you’re in God’s House saying, “I only live for your happiness. You’re the reason I believe in love.” No, this is the reason I believe in love because for God so loved the world, God is love. Everyone that love is born of God and knows God. God is where love come from. God is why I believe in love. I live from this moment on for His happiness, for His glory. I am not going to sit there and sing a song that turns it into just my whole life is about my relationship with my wife. Now, look, that’s a critical relationship in my life but this relationship is more important. This is number one.
That song is blasphemous. When you bring it into God’s House, and you’re singing it about man and woman, and then you’re singing Living on a Prayer. I remember when I was a kid in Sunday school, and I know this is going way back in time, but do you know the song Louie, Louie? It’s from the ’60. They sing it like, “Pharaoh, pharaoh, let my people go.” We’re singing it on Sunday school but look, these are not songs, these are not hymns, these are not spiritual songs. The point of doing that is just popularity, just to be cool, just to be like the world.
I wish I had better examples but I am telling you, I talked to somebody recently who said at the Baptist Church they’re going to, it’s like the clock. Every Sunday morning, there is one secular song and it’s popular songs like songs from 2014, songs from 2013, songs from 2012 that are on the radio that have nothing to do, they’re not even claiming to be a Christian artist, they’re just secular worldly love songs, and they just perform them in church, and it’s done not because God said bring it in.
Look, did anywhere in the Bible did God said, bring in worldly music. Bring in a secular song. Bring in a love song that’s not about Jesus, and sing that in the midst of the congregation? No, in the midst of the congregation, I sing praise unto Thee. Every song that we sing in this House of God should be directed to the Lord. It should be about the Lord or to the Lord. It should all bring glory to Him. If there’s a song that we’re signing and it’s not bringing glory to the Lord, it’s not praising the Lord, it’s just some worldly radio song, and we’re just playing it so that people would come back because they like the live music.
Now, look, I like live music too and I love the piano and organ, I love the singing. It’s a highlight of the service. I love it when you go to a church, and maybe they even have more instruments than this, and they have trumpets. It sounds great. I am all for it. God’s all for it but I am not for bringing in worldly music. I am not for beating on drums. Why don’t we just go with the list that God gave us instead of bringing in something that is just patterned after the world?
I have one last point but I don’t have time to get to it, I am out of time, but let’s just not be guilty of offering strange fire before the Lord. Let’s think about, wait a minute, what does God wants to do in our church services? What kind of images does He want? None. What kind of flags and banners should be swearing allegiance to? None. What kind of music should we have? He told us what kinds of songs, hymns, spiritual songs. Should we play instruments? Sure, string instruments, organs, pipes, symbols.
That’s all fine. A tambourine would be fine but not to sit there and beat on drums just to try to simulate rock and roll so you can perform Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. The hymns in our hymn book are songs that are similar to the Book of Psalms in a sense that they teach a lot of doctrine, and the songs in Psalms teach a lot of doctrine. That’s how our music should be.
Again, we can do a whole sermon about what our music should be as God’s people but I think you get the idea. “Nadab and Abihu,” I am going to read one more time, “the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not, and went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” There is nothing wrong with burning incense. Other parts of the worship of the children of Israel, they were told to burn incense other times. What was the sin? They did it when He commanded them not.
It was a specific order of events, do this, do this, do this, and they were like, “Hey, bro. Let’s just light up some incense, man. Just praise the Lord the way we want to do it. Let’s just light some incense, bro. Free in Christ, man. Just whatever. Just as long as we’re praising God, man, it didn’t even matter.” Bon Jovi can be used to praise God. Let’s just beat on drums and rock for Jesus, man. Let’s jam for Jesus. Then, boom, just fire from the Lord. Hey, everybody, let’s pledge allegiance to the American flag, everybody. All right, everybody, stand up, pledge to the Christian flag. What in the world was that? God just sent fire from the Lord because you’re doing all this weird worship that He didn’t tell you. Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer.
Father, we thank You so much for Your Word, Lord. We thank You for Your grace and Your mercy, Lord. We’re not perfect. Nobody is perfect, Lord. We’re not trying to just criticize or point out everything that anybody does wrong but Lord, we need to know why we don’t do this stuff. Lord, I pray that those who do this stuff would quit doing it. I know that there are people who have statues of Jesus, and their heart’s in the right place, Lord, but just help them to learn the truth and quit doing it.
I know there are good churches that pledge to the American flag and Christian flag. They need to stop doing it. It’s not biblical, Lord. Help them to get right with you and get rid of that garbage. Lord, I know that there are probably a lot of nice Bible-believing Christians that beat on drums in the church and whatever, but Lord, just help us to be biblical in our music. Lord, just please help us not to be offering strange fire before You. Help us to worship You in a way that You like. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.