Believe What You Use, And Use What You Believe

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, December 1, 2002, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                      Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                      Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

Text: 2 Corinthians 4:2

2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Introduction: In this morning’s message I emphasized the fact that Bible-Believing Fundamentalists RECOGNIZE the Bible.

We KNOW where the word of God is! Nearly all of the churches in our area think they know where the Bible WAS, but almost none of them know where it IS.

Still, I want us to not develop what I call an “Elijah Complex” about this issue. Elijah thought that he was the only real prophet of God left, but God said that He had 7,000 prophets that had not bowed the knee to Baal.

All across this country there are men of God and churches who take the same stand on the King James Bible that we take here. PRAISE GOD for that!

I am troubled, however, because among independent Baptists, especially in there colleges, but also in their churches, there is a lot of DECEPTION going on about the Bible. Too often we assume that every other independent Baptist church and preacher believes like we do on the Blessed Book, but often they do NOT.

Some years ago I sat at a meeting of independent Baptist pastors in our town. It was called to discuss a couple of things: 1. the possibility of starting a Christian school for all the independent Baptist churches in the area (our church has had its own school since our church started in 1986, but its enrollment is limited to those in our church membership); and 2. the possibility of having a city-wide crusade. The hope was that both projects would be supported by the independent Baptist churches of the area. The meeting turned out to be a farce, but it had one good outcome. God used it to help stir me up to preach this message, which I did 15 years ago. I now preach it for the second time here, although I have preached it in other churches. I preached it at a Flaming Torch conference at the Landmark Baptist Church in Haines City, FL, where Mickey Carter is pastor, in 1988.

The title of tonight’s message is BELIEVE WHAT YOU USE, AND USE WHAT YOU BELIEVE. Many independent Baptists are USING the King James Bible, but they really don’t BELIEVE it. That is, they don’t believe that the King James Bible is infallible and inerrant in the same sense that the original manuscripts were infallible and inerrant.

I want you to notice five things from our scripture reading tonight:


2 Corinthians 4:1A Therefore seeing we have this ministry …

Our church motto: Gospel Light Baptist Church Exists Solely to Exalt the Savior as we Evangelize the Sinner and Edify the Saint.

Put another way, our duty is one of

A. Worshipping the Savior

B. Winning souls

C. Warring against Satan

D. Warning the saints


2 Corinthians 4:1b … as we have received mercy, we faint not;

A. We are determined to be identified

  • It was suggested that we do everything we could to keep people from identifying the campaign as a Baptist meeting. Someone suggested that we hold it in the Hasan Temple or the First Assembly of God building.
  • One man suggested that we use a Southern Baptist evangelist and have someone like Lulu from Heehaw or Tom Landry in for a drawing card.
  • We are BAPTISTS!
  • We are NOT taking the name off the church sign!

B. We are determined to be independent

  • I don’t preach for Southern Baptists, and they don’t preach for me!

C. We are determined to be immovable

  • We’re sticking with STANDARDS!


2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

A. Here is the hiding that is being done

  • Some of the preachers at the table thought that Pensacola Christian College BELIEVED the King James Bible, but I knew they did not. I had no proof, though, so I wrote PCC.
  • Bob Taylor, then pastor of the PCC Campus Church, called me, saying that he had been asked to respond to my letter. I had to press him and press him to get him to finally say: “Brother O’Neal, it is IMPOSSIBLE for any English Bible, including the King James Version, to be perfect and inerrant in the same sense that the original manuscripts were perfect and inerrant.
  • I thanked him for confessing his “faith,” for some preachers in our town had the mistaken impression that he believed otherwise. I asked him if he would write what he had just said in a letter, sign it, and send it to me. He declined, saying that it was no longer a PCC policy to state such things in letters, for letters, he said, have a way of finding their way into PRINT.
  • By the way, the motivation is GREED (1 Timothy 6:10), to get more students and more money.

B. Here is the harm that is being done

  • Bible-believing parents are sending their children to Bible-REJECTING, Bible-CORRECTING schools, without KNOWING what they are doing!
  • Kids are coming from Bible-believing churches and homes and going to schools that USE the King James Bible but don’t BELIEVE the King James Bible, and their faith is being DESTROYED.
  • PCC is just one example, although since that event, the administration has tried to identify even more closely with the King James Bible, without ever taking a Bible-BELIEVING position!


2 Corinthians 4:2 … not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully …

A. Here is the pressure

  • When I got into the independent Baptist movement in the early 70s, the main pressure being put on “Bible-REJECTING fundamentalists” (Bob Jones University, John R. Rice, and all who followed and feared him in those days) was PRIMARILY coming from one man: PETER S. RUCKMAN in Pensacola, Florida.
  • If you believed the King James Bible in those days, you were a “Ruckmanite,” even if you never met the man or even if you didn’t LIKE the man.
  • After John R. Rice died, there was a gradual shift toward faith in the inerrancy of the King James Bible, and the pressure to take a right stand on the Book began to be applied by Jack Hyles, Bob Gray, Tom Malone, Wally Beebe, and many others!
  • These men have a lot of influence, and now there is more pressure on schools, evangelists, and “big-names” to take the right position on the King James Bible.

B. Here is the practice

  • In order to have updated statements from these institutions to satisfy my local preacher brethren, I wrote the administration of many of the fundamental schools. Nearly every ONE of them was as uncomfortable about openly confessing their “faith” as was PCC’s Bob Taylor!
  • The practice for these Bible-rejecting fundamentalists is to ALIGN themselves PUBLICLY with the King James Bible, without BELIEVING the King James Bible.
  • Their main motto now is “USING only the King James Bible.”
  • I don’t care what Bible someone USES! I want to know what he BELIEVES!
  • USED two other versions in the pulpit this morning, the NIV (New International Version) of Bible-rejecting fundamentalists and conservatives, and the NWT (New World Translation) of the Jehovah’s Witnesses cult! Of course, I DID end up throwing them across the platform on to the floor in disgust, but I did “USE” them!

C. Here is the problem

  • The problem is, YOU’RE STILL LYING!
  • You’re still DECEIVING PEOPLE!
  • I’m talking to you Bible-rejecting fundamentalists and conservatives who profess to USE the King James Bible, PREFER the King James Bible or HOLD to the King James Bible … without BELIEVING the King James Bible.
  • The DEVIL USES the Bible, but he doesn’t BELIEVE it. Have you ever read Matthew 4?


2 Corinthians 4:2 … but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Let us who BELIEVE the word of God USE what we BELIEVE

A. In strengthening ourselves

  • We use it in the pulpit, EVERY service … Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night!
  • Use it in your own life. Read it daily! Love it! Memorize it! LIVE IT! It will build you up(Acts 20:32) and help you grow (1 Petwe 2:2).

B. In spreading the gospel

  • If we BELIEVE the Bible, let’s get the “seed” out of “the barn”!
  • John R. Rice, who thought the New American Standard Version was more accurate than the KJV, was more OBEDIENT to the King James Bible in the area of soul-winning than are many Bible-believers!

C. In schooling our children

D. In solving problems

E. In stewardship

F. In separation from ungodliness

G. In serving God as a church

H. In standing against sin and Satan

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