Mark 16:15

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature"

A Heart That Deviseth Wicked Imaginations

 We are continuing in our study of the seven things that are listed by Solomon as “things that are an abomination to God” (Prov. 6:16-19). The word “abomination” means “disgusting.” Thus all of these things we are studying are disgusting to God. Today we are studying number 4: “An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations” (v. 18).

“The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord: but the words of the pure are pleasant words” (Prov. 15:26). We need to ask ourselves, “What do I spend my time thinking about?” Are we guilty of always thinking negative thoughts? Always whining, complaining? Are your thoughts lustful? Are they prideful, or ungrateful? Sometimes, it seems that some folks are always trying to make every thing done by others look bad. One who “speaks evil of his brethren” (James 4:11) or “complains against his brother” (James 5:9) is guilty of this sin listed by Solomon. Some folks cannot see good in anything that others do. They always put the worst interpretation on the deeds of others. Some can tell you every sin ever committed by every member of the congregation, even though they repented and straightened out their sins years ago.  

God hates this type of activity and this type of thinking. He hates it because it goes against every generous, kind, gentle, considerate, loving and merciful thing that He has ever done for us! And we are supposed to “follow in His steps” (I Pet. 2:21).

When we allow our minds to focus on negative, evil, and wicked things, we are going against everything God has done and taught us to do. Because of this foolish type of thinking, we actually are helping the devil cause ourselves and others to suffer needlessly.

Another thing that makes this type of thinking so dangerous and abominable in the sight of God is that if we constantly imagine evil thoughts all the time, then eventually we will say and do those things also. And instead of building faith in the word of God we cause fear and permit the devil to set us up for a fall.

What is the solution?  How can folks prevent having “an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations”? I would suggest that the apostle Paul has the answer. He wrote, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8 ESV). Devising evil imaginations is not true, is never honorable, never just, never pure nor lovely. It is never commendable, never a part of excellence or anything worthy of praise. Read James 3 on the discussion of the tongue. James wrote, “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:14-17). Which wisdom do you choose?  What kind of thoughts do you think? Whether your wisdom “descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish” or it is wisdom from above, will determine whether your heart deviseth evil imaginations or not.

Paul M. Wilmoth

Hands that Shed Innocent Blood

As we continue in our examination of the seven things listed by Solomon that are an abomination to God, we come to #3: “Hands that shed innocent blood” (Prov. 6:16-19).
Paul, in discussing the terrible sins of the Gentile world in Romans 1:18-32 lists among the things they had become guilty of, “without natural affection.” One of the most “natural” things that exists is a mother’s love for her children. Yet Paul says that some were “without natural affection.”
I remember an event that took place in Algood, Tennessee in the 1960s right behind where my Mom and Dad lived. When they returned home from worship on Sunday evening, there were police cars with emergency lights on, and a whole bunch of cars lined up on both sides of the street. It seems that a very young boy (three years old, if I remember correctly) was missing and the entire neighborhood was searching for him. This went on for hours and the boy was not located. A few days later, a man had stopped on the road near Byrdstown, Tennessee. He found the missing lad’s body where he had been thrown by his dad on the rocks below the road. It came out in the trial that the boy had gotten sick during supper and his dad hit him so hard because of it that he died. Both the dad and mom were convicted and sent to the penitentiary. It was a clear case of “hands shedding innocent blood.”
Then the nation was shocked as one event after the other started being reported. A mother drove her kids into the water and drowned them. Kids were beaten so severely that they died on more than one occasion. Kids were drowned in bathtubs, etc. The Old Testament even spoke of folks who, in the name of religion, cast their kids into the fire, etc. —“Hands that shed innocent blood.”
And there is no greater example of this horrendous sin than the abortion of the unborn child. The pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute reports that there have been over 61 million abortions performed since 1973, the year the Supreme Court issued the Roe v. Wade decision ushering in legal abortion nationwide. According to Guttmacher, 35 percent of all U.S. women will have had an abortion by age 45. Guttmacher also reports that 93 percent of all abortions occur for “social reasons” such as a mother’s decision that the child is unwanted or “inconvenient” [The CNS News Team]. Others report that the number is closer to 60 million. If that does not make your blood boil, and bring tears to your eyes, then you must have allowed your conscience to become “seared with a hot iron” (I Tim. 4:2). In the words of James, speaking on a different subject, but very applicable here as well, “Brethren, these things ought not so to be” (James 3:10b). And in the words of a popular song, “When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?”
I can only imagine the vehement disgust as God watches men and women, who have lost their “natural affection,” as they go on daily with “hands shedding innocent blood.” May God help us to come to our senses!

Paul M. Wilmoth

A Lying Tongue

As we continue to look at the seven things that are an abomination in the sight of God (Prov. 6:16-19). The second one listed is “a lying tongue.”
The first sin recorded in the Bible was a lie. When the serpent said to the woman, “Thou shalt not surely die” (Gen. 3:4-5), he was lying; and when Eve believed his lie, she disobeyed God and led Adam to do likewise; as a result, innocency was destroyed and man was driven from the Garden of Eden—all because of “a lying tongue.”
God has always looked upon lying as a detestable thing. “Thou shalt not bare false witness against thy neighbor” was one of the original ten commandments of the Decalogue (Exod. 20:16). Yet many folks believe it is okay to lie. A researcher suggested that a lot of people even lie about being honest. We hear about “white lies” from men, but not from God.
Lying brought about the death of Ananias and Sapphira as recorded in Acts 5. Peter said, “Ananias, why hast thou filled thine ear to lie to the Holy Ghost?” (v. 3). Paul tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Cor. 5:17). In Ephesians 4 Paul explains further that this is because, “you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (vs.22-24). In demonstrating what it means to “put off the old man” and to “put on the new man” the first thing he said was, “Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor” (v. 25).
As we mentioned earlier there is no such thing as degrees of lying. Lying—ALL lying—will cause one to lose his soul if not repented of. Don’t just take my word for it, read what the Holy Spirit said through the pen of John in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
The news media has predicted that over 14 million people will call in sick on the Monday following the Super Bowl. Wow! What does that say about the honesty of the American people?
One more passage for you to consider is Revelation 21:27 where John is writing of things that will not be in Heaven: “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.”
And don’t forget that any time we say something that is opposite of what God teaches in His Book, “let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4). God doesn’t lie (Titus 1:2); neither should we, for God hates “a lying tongue”.

Paul M. Wilmoth

Things That Are an Abomination to God

“These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him” (Prov. 6:16). Solomon in this verse, and the ones following, speaks of seven things that are an abomination unto God. Note: “abomination” means “a thing that causes disgust or hatred” (New Oxford American Dictionary). “This word has several meanings in the Old Testament. It is frequently used to express the idea of something loathed, especially religiously” (Vine’s Exp. Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words). Let’s examine these seven things hated by God.
“A proud look:” This is also translated as “haughty eyes.” Pride thrust Nebuchadnezzar out of man’s society, Saul out of his kingdom, Adam out of Eden’s paradise, Haman out of court, and Judah into Babylonian captivity. Some have suggested that pride is the greatest of all sins because often when man is proud, he exalts himself and displaces God.
Pride is defined as “The quality or state of being proud; such as inordinate self-esteem; conceit; delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship; proud or disdainful behavior or treatment; ostentatious display” (
Miriam Webster Dictionary). The word pride is never used in a good sense in the Scriptures.
Pride is a sin always! Study carefully these statements about pride in the Scriptures: Proverbs 21:4; 16:5; 8:13; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 1:22; II Timothy 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17.
When Paul was listing the attributes of love in I Corinthians 13, among its many good qualities he also listed things that love does not do. Among them is “love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up” (I Cor. 13:4). Pride and arrogance go hand in hand as twin vices.
Pride leads to other sins and may be said to be the “root of all sin” since pride was involved in the first sin in Eden. Pride will prevent conversions (Matt. 18:1-4). We could fill pages about this first thing in Solomon’s list of things that are an abomination to God. Let all of us work on not being guilty of this horrific sin!
(We will continue to look at these seven sins next week.)

Paul M. Wilmoth

LeAnn Denise Morgan Duke (1957-2020)

A little after noon on Monday, January 6, 2020, a five-year battle ended, an earthly life ended, and a dear loved one slipped away quietly from the bonds of earth into the unseen realm of souls departed. LeAnn put up a valiant fight for almost five years with a dreaded rare blood cancer. Treatments exhausted, her body worn and weary, she closed her eyes in death and opened them in that long-awaited home. She refused to go through any more devastating radical treatments saying often that she was ready to go on and be with the Lord. She died at home surrounded by those who knew and loved her most. I believe perhaps she passed as gracefully as one could from this life, granted time to be with loved ones and tell them goodbye.
Born in South Bend, Indiana, LeAnn spent her formative years just across the state line in Niles, Michigan. By the time folks here met her she had been widowed, the result of a tragic traffic accident that took her first husband, Brian Wright’s life.
Brother Malcolm Hill had met her much earlier while he was holding a Gospel meeting at Niles in the late 60s and had given her and her twin Linda an airplane ride.
LeAnn met and married Kerry Duke. For most everyone the common reference was “Kerry and LeAnn.” They were a great team who loved the Lord and each other. Together they took on the task of rearing a family of four (two boys, two girls). Along the way they touched many lives both at home and abroad. LeAnn was an active part of several Russian mission teams to Moscow. She traveled with Kerry to mission points in Asia as well as several mission trips in the U.S. She ran the business office for Tennessee Bible College during the 90s helping to transform the office from old to new technology. LeAnn was a talented writer with several published articles. She contributed two chapters to the book
My Sister’s Keeper and was often called on for ladies’ day programs. LeAnn was a Bible school and ladies’ Bible class teacher for many years at the West End Church of Christ in Livingston.
She was always touched by individuals in need. Those of us who knew her well often saw her stop whatever she was doing for the possibility of helping someone. There could be no clearer example of her giving spirit than her live kidney donation which helped extend the life of our Tammi Hill for ten years. She did it without one word of doubt or remorse. That was LeAnn.
It would be impossible to remember LeAnn without a mention of Kerry. Through her years of suffering, he has been a prince of a man. While he could have grown bitter, complained, or even been a quitter, brother Kerry cared for his dear wife, continued all of his work, and did so masterfully. Many of us, his colleagues, have marveled at all that he has done. Through it all he’s never lost his sense of humor, and he with LeAnn’s blessing has been very benevolent in time and labor to help others. Though heartbroken, Kerry has found relief in her passing—relief in the cessation of her suffering and in the promise of better things to come (Phil. 1:23).
We’ll miss LeAnn but it won’t be very long until we meet on the other side in that beautiful home of the soul that we’ve sung about for years.
In addition to her husband Kerry, LeAnn will be missed by two children, two step-children, and seven grandchildren, three adopted sons in the faith as well as an adopted daughter in the Lord. Pray for those who remain, those who wait here in this low land of sin and sorrow. Do as LeAnn, look forward to a great reunion some day.

David Hill