This is David & Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Category: Bible

Song – The Armor of God

After putting together a little song to help remember the names of God, called Jehovah is His Name!, I had wanted to do something with the armor of God, which over the last few years has become more of a focus in Sue and my spiritual walks.

Here is the Scripture text I used:

Ephesians 6:10-18:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

I had a tune I had already written called “I Hate Cockleburs”, in honor of the time spent pulling them out by hand in our 11-acre north field, and since, continuing to sweep that field, clearing them twice yearly before they seed out. The “lyrics” went like this:

I hate cockleburs, yes I do
I hate cockleburs, how ’bout you?
I hate cockleburs, I hate cockleburs,
I hate cockleburs, yes I do!

(On a doctrinal aside, I don’t “hate” them as I hope I hate sin. And actually, I recognize weeds and the like as a reminder of God’s hatred of sin when He cursed the ground [see Gen 3:17-19] and His perfect wisdom and goodness in bringing them forth. And so, I use the word “hate” as something of typical usage, and because it fit with the tune’s meter. πŸ™‚ But, to return…)

The cockleburs were indeed a pain. But, the effort in pulling them paid off, and there are very few now every year. And each time I try to remember to ask God to weed the gardens of our hearts, so there will be good soil, and no thorns or weeds. See Matt 13:1-23

Also, the tune is in a minor key, and I thought that would work well with a song about armor and battles.

And so, over a fairly long period of time, the Lord did grant I finally finish working out the lyrics with the cocklebur melody, and adding the harmony parts. With this one, as with when I did Moses’ Song of the Sea from Exodus 15, I attempted to stay as close to the actual Scripture verses themselves as possible, trying to use only minimal artistic license to make it all work out. πŸ™‚

This is the sheet music:

The Armor of God

And a PDF:
The Armor of God (PDF)

And an instrumental audio version:


The Armor of God – Instrumental (MP3)

Here, Sue and I sing it with the accompaniment:


The Armor of God – Vocal (MP3)

May God grant us His armor daily so we might resist the devil, and his and the world’s distractions and temptations, and we thank the Lord for His armor and His blessed word, the Bible!

— David

Orange Day 2017 – The 12th

As in years past, in honor of our Protestant heritage against the antichrist Roman Catholic Church, last evening we gathered to remember “The 12th,” an Orange Day celebration commemorating William of Orange’s stand against the Roman Catholics on July 12, 1690, where he defeated their forces at the Battle of the Boyne (see the “Antichrist” section on our “Soul Info” page regarding our belief that the Pope and Roman Catholic Church are the Antichrist and religious system of Antichrist).

This year, we did a reading on this, and recorded the video:


We believe the prophecies of Revelation in the Bible have been rolling out over the Church age since Christ left (this is called the Historicist method of eschatology). In the video, Mr. Stonger mentioned Robert Flemming’s short book called “The Rise & Fall of the Papacy”, which takes the reader through that unfolding of Revelation over the centuries. I would highly recommend it, and you can get a copy at Amazon.

As always, we thank the Lord for granting His word to be given in our language, the spread of that word, and all of the means of grace from Reformation and Puritan writers He has granted! May we use them diligently, and we pray He grants us His graces through them!

— David

Moses’ Song of the Sea

Revelation 15:2-4:

2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

Some time ago, our teacher Mr. Bunker mentioned these verses in Revelation 15 that talk about the saints singing the “song of Moses” in heaven, and wondered if someone had already put together words and music for that so that we as a group could begin to sing it now. In looking it up, I discovered a song of Moses sung after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, which is in Exodus 15:1-19; and although there is another “song of Moses” in Deuteronomy 32, Puritan commentators John Gill and Matthew Henry believe the Revelation reference is to the Exodus song. Back then in trying to find a singing version of the song on the Web, we weren’t able to really find anything. Well, I have some musical background, and have attempted in the past to compose lyrical songs; and every once in a while — which has turned out to be about once a decade — I am able to put one together; and so, I thought I would try my hand at this, and see what might come of it.

I started with the words. The first line of the song, which is “I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously” sort of seemed to have natural musical meter — and with a couple of changes fell nicely into what’s called common meter, which has 8 syllables followed by 6 (like “Amazing Grace”) — and that set the lyrical rhythm for the song. With my first go at the words, I didn’t really put them together in proper meter; and so, I went back over them, and was able to finally work them into metrical shape. This was all over several months.

After the lyrics were basically done and Mr. Bunker approved of the “translation” from the actual scriptures to my lyrical version, it was time to see if I could come up with the tune. Over months again, I tried several times, but nothing really came out right, or I lost interest in pursing the version that I had started.

Then one night, after midnight I believe, I was having trouble sleeping, and I starting thinking about the first line of the song, and soon a melody came to me, which worked nicely with the song’s meter, and didn’t sound too badly to me. I continued on through the rest of the first verse, trying to continue with related melody lines (ones that flowed melodically from one phrase to the next). With the length of the song, I was hoping to come up with a “quadruple” common meter version (“Amazing Grace” is single common meter), so the melody wouldn’t be repeated many times trying to get through all of the lyrics. Finally, I was able to work through a quadruple version of the melody, which to me sounded like it might work…I was only hoping I could remember it the next morning! I generally figure though that if it’s a melody worth remembering, it’ll be remembered…

The next morning, I thought about it, but was having trouble remembering how it started. Shortly though, I did remember it, and then figured I’d better write it down. Once on paper, I was very thankful to the Lord for granting the tune, and thankful to now finally have a melody that sounded like it just might work and maybe even sound nicely. At one point, I actually teared up, happy and thankful.

Once the melody was complete, it was just a matter of putting a chord progression to it, and then voicing the parts, since this would be in the form of a typical hymn.

I sat down at the piano, worked out the chord progression and then the voicing; and here is how it came out!

Moses' Song of the Sea

Here is a PDF version:
Moses’ Song of the Sea PDF

And here is an audio piano version of the parts:


Moses’ Song of the Sea MP3 (instrumental)

And a vocal version:


Moses’ Song of the Sea MP3 (vocal)

We’re just starting to learn it here as a group, and so hopefully at some point, I’ll be able to have a recording of us all singing it, in parts, if the Lord wills.

I am thankful to the Lord for granting this, and pray He uses it for His glory and the benefit of His Church.

— David

David’s Digest: The Truth, or Not the Truth: That is the Question

It is of the utmost importance for us as Christians to have the truth as given to us by God’s Word. We can not lay hold of Christ nor worship God properly if we don’t know who we are, who He is, and what He in the personages of the Trinity has done.

If we are to have any hope of having truth, then something in and of itself must declare it, wholly; and if salvation is indeed to be had, and if we are to know how to love and worship God properly, then those must be revealed as well. Thankfully, according to His graces, God has provided us with His truth in His Word, the Bible, which in and of itself contains the whole truth necessary as God would have for us. It then, and it alone, must be our measuring stick, otherwise truth becomes relative, which then cannot be trusted as truth.

By its very nature, truth is absolute: a truth can only be truly one thing at one time. If a thing is entirely the color green, it cannot also be the color blue. There is no such thing as “my truth” or “your truth”; there is only THE truth.

Also by nature, the truth divides, showing what is true and what is not true. Not having the truth is having a lie. Jesus Christ, being the truth Himself (John 14:6), was a divider: Matt 10:34-35 – “Think not that I come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

The Bible says that the Lord Jesus is the Word (John 1:1) and, as noted, the truth. It follows then that, if we do not have the truth as described in the Word of God (ie. we have a lie), then we do not truly have Christ. Therefore, it behooves us to make absolutely sure that we have the truth as it is brought forth in Scripture.

Paul says in 2 Cor 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith…” Being in the faith does not just mean having faith versus not having faith. It also refers to which faith we have: whether our faith is an alive faith versus a dead faith (Jam 2:17,20,26), whether we believe in another Jesus versus the true Jesus Christ (2 Cor 11:4), or whether the Gospel to which we hold is the true Gospel or not (Gal 1:6). And so to discover whether we are in the faith or not, against what can we examine ourselves? It must be against something that shows the truth of our beliefs, so that we can know whether our faith is a true faith, our Jesus is truly Jesus Christ, and our Gospel is the true Gospel. Since God’s Word contains those truths, we must examine ourselves against it.

Is the way to heaven via a false faith, false Jesus or false Gospel (ie. via a lie)? How can it possibly be? And so examining our beliefs is of great importance. We had better have THE truth, or it could be to our eternal detriment.

Further, when we examine ourselves, can we say that we have a love of the truth? The Bible declares a love of the truth is given by God: 2 Thess 2:10 says, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” We therefore need to pray for a love of the truth, for our benefit and because of the warning that follows in 2 Thess 2:11-12: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

May God’s graces and mercies in this regard be with us, may God grant us a love of His Truth and Word, and may He grant us the desire and ability to honestly examine ourselves in the light of His Word.

— David

David’s Digest: Introduction to Type and Antitype (Typology) in the Bible

This is just an introduction to a large topic, but I wanted to take a moment and talk about it briefly in hopes it might benefit someone as it did me when I first learned about it.

There are two elements of the Bible called “type” and “antitype” (together referred to as “typology”). Types, or shadows, are spiritual “pictures” shown in the Bible that represent concepts or persons. The fulfillment of a type is referred to as its “antitype.” Some have been fulfilled, perhaps in multiple ways (or layers) over time, and some have not. Also, a type may not represent an antitype completely, and the picture may only go so far; and there can be multiple types for one antitype.

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines type and antitype as follows:

type:

A sign; a symbol; a figure of something to come; as, Abraham’s sacrifice and the paschal lamb, were types of Christ. To this word is opposed antitype. Christ, in this case, is the antitype.

antitype:

A figure corresponding to another figure; that of which the type is the pattern or representation. Thus the paschal lamb, in scripture, is the type of which Christ is the antitype. An antitype then, is something which is formed according to a model or pattern, and bearing strong features of resemblance to it.

The following are just a very few, brief examples:

Type

Antitype

Egypt

The world, its systems and culture

God bringing the Israelites out of Egypt.

God separating unto Himself a specific people; the people of God leaving the world (including its systems and culture) to worship God; the salvation of God’s chosen from the bondage of sin and the world

Angel of death passing by those households in Egypt with blood on the door posts

Christ’s blood saving His chosen from eternal destruction

Noah saved in the Ark

Salvation in Christ

Ark of the Covenant

Christ, His humanity (ark made of wood) and His deity (gold); as Christ’s blood for propitiation (blood sprinkled on mercy seat for propitiation)

Sun – too bright to behold its glory; brings life; is the light of the world

Christ, the Son – too bright to behold His glory; brings life; is the Light of the world

Israel of the Bible (physical Israel) – God’s chosen people on earth

Spiritual Israel – God’s chosen people who are or will be in heaven

Moses – the deliverer of God’s chosen people (physical Israel)

Christ – the deliverer of God’s chosen people (spiritual Israel)

Joshua – brought God’s chosen people (physical Israel) into the promised land

Christ – brings God’s chosen people (spiritual Israel) into the Promised Land (heaven)

High priest for Israel and all of his duties

Christ in His office as spiritual High Priest of His people

David – King of Israel; savior of His people against their enemies; shepherd; the least of his brothers

Christ – King of spiritual Israel (and over all); Savior of His people against spiritual enemies; Shepherd of His people; clothed in servanthood and humility

Saul – enemy of David

Antichrist – enemy of Christ (who is the antitype of David)

Goliath – enemy of David and God’s people

Antichrist/Satan – enemy of Christ and God’s people

The animals slain, and skins clothing for Adam and Eve after the fall

Christ’s sacrifice with blood, and the clothing of righteousness for His people

The 12 tribes of Israel (12 is the number of completion) – all of God’s chosen people at the time

All of God’s spiritual chosen people (His elect, throughout time)

High priest entering the Holy of Holies with the names of the 12 tribes (God’s chosen people), and only them, written on the stones put on the shoulders of the ephod (Ex 28:11-12) on behalf of those with whose names he enters (and thus on behalf of only them)

Christ entering the Holy Place with the names of His chosen people, and only them, on behalf of those with whose names He enters (and thus on behalf of only them)

The paschal lamb during Passover

Christ as the sacrificial Lamb

Marriage of a man and a woman

The union of Christ and His bride (the Church)

A woman taking a man’s last name upon marriage, forsaking her own name for his. Keeping her name or any part of it is not forsaking herself to her husband completely

A Christian taking the name of Christ, forsaking their own name for His. Their forsaking of themselves must be totally

Jonah – in the belly of the whale for three days and nights (Jonah 1:17); vomited out from the belly of the fish after that (Jonah 2:10)

Christ – in the grave for three days and nights; resurrected out from the grave after that (Matthew 12:40)

Christ raising Lazarus – he was dead, He gives him life, calls him forth, Lazarus is now able (now that he’s alive) to respond and does so

The beginnings of salvation – the person Christ will call is dead in his sins, He gives him spiritual life (regeneration), calls him forth to Himself, and the person is now able (now that he’s alive spiritually) to respond and does so

God’s people, when most were rebellious, although there were a some righteous, like Joshua and Caleb, or the remnant gathered by God (Jer 23:3; Jer 31:7) after His judgment against wicked Israel (Jer 1-23:2), or His true disciples while He was here on earth vs. the religious leaders of the day

Professing Christians, who are mostly rebels (Matt 7:21-23), although there are some righteous (true Christians), who are the remnant/elect of God, the true spiritual seed of Abraham (Rom 9:6-8; Gal 4:22-31)

Sabbath day rest

Resting alone in Christ’s righteousness (working on the Sabbath breaks this β€œantitype,” in essence claiming our works are our righteousness); eternal rest with Christ in heaven

Learning about type and shadow in the Bible really opened it up to me, especially the Old Testament. I believe the Old Testament events truly happened; but I believe just about everything in it also is some sort of type, mostly of Christ as the anittype. Hebrews talks quite a bit about Christ as the fulfillment of many of the Old Testament types. It’s a beautiful work of wisdom by the Holy Spirit that paints such glories and wonderful pictures of our Saviour and His essence, characteristics, offices, etc.

If you have never heard of type and antitype in the Bible, I really hope you will spend some time learning about them. Here are a couple of starting points:

Also, here are a set of sermons from our teacher, so you can get a better idea of typology. The teachings aren’t about type and antitype, but they use them extensively. Plus, the sermons are spiritually edifying: Darkness and Light, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

We are very thankful to the Lord for His gift of His word, preserved in our language through heavy persecutions; and we thank Him for granting us this understanding of type and shadow that He put in there to help us understand Him and His glory better.

— David