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Published On :
July 9, 1998
Last Updated :
January 13, 2022
Definition Of "Pure", Carefully Compare Verse With Verse, Be Led By The Spirit In Your Understanding, Do Not Pervert The Meaning Of The Scriptures, Prophet Zephaniah Explains What A Pure Language Is, God's Words Are Pure Because They Contain No Guile Or Deceit, God The Father And Jesus Are The Spirit Of Truth, God Magnifies His Word, Purged In The Hot Fires Of God's Loving Chastisements, Gain Wisdom And Understanding, Cleansed By God's Word, Speak The Truth Of God's Word Which Brings Life, God Detests Liars And Deceivers, The Wickedness Of The Unregenerate Jewish Heart, Stubborn Jewish Unbelief
Some time ago, a person wrote to me and asked me what is meant in the Bible by the phrase "a pure language". To give me a point of reference, this individual provided me with a group of verses. Among these was the following verse that is found in the Book of the Prophet Zephaniah:
"For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent."
Zephaniah 3:9, KJV
In the previous verse, the word "pure" is derived from the Hebrew word "barar". Pronounced baw-rar', the Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Hebrew Aramaic English Lexicon defines this word as follows:
----- Begin Quote -----
1) to purify, select, polish, choose, purge, cleanse or make
bright, test or prove
1a1) to purge, purge out, purify
1a2) to choose, select
1a3) to cleanse, make shining, polish
1a4) to test, prove
1b) (Niphal) to purify oneself
1c) (Piel) to purify
1d1) to purify
1d2) to polish arrows
1e1) to purify oneself
1e2) to show oneself pure, just, kind
----- End Of Quote -----
As you can see, this word "barar" means to purge, purify, cleanse, make shining, or to polish. By doing this, we make something clean and pure. In the case of polishing metals, we also bring them to their original lustrous state. Another verse which this person shared with me is the following one that is found in King David's twelfth Psalm:
"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."
Psalm 12:6, KJV
In the previous verse, the word "pure" is derived from a different Hebrew word; and that is the word "tahowr"; which is pronounced taw-hore'. Following is the definition that is provided by the same Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Hebrew Aramaic English Lexicon:
----- Begin Quote -----
1) pure, clean
1a) clean (ceremonially - of animals)
1b) pure (physically)
1c) pure, clean (morally, ethically)
----- End Of Quote -----
As you can see, whereas the first Hebrew word "barar" refers to the act of actually making something clean or pure, this second word "tahowr" refers more to the actual state of being clean or pure in some way. With the two previous verses, as well as with the two definitions I have provided for the word "pure", we can now safely determine that "a pure language" must be one which has been cleansed or purged of something in order to make it pure.
So then the question which we need to address is this: Exactly what is it that must be purged in order to make a language pure in the the eyes of the Lord? What must be removed from it in order to return it to its original state as intended by God?
As some of my longtime readers will already be aware, in seeking to understand the Word of God, I have long followed the safe practice of comparing Scripture with Scripture. I am convinced that, as the Apostle Paul wrote, this method of rightly dividing -- or balancing -- the Word of Truth is the best and safest way to arrive at a proper understanding of God's Word. To do otherwise is an abomination to the Lord. Consider the following two verses:
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15, KJV
"A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight."
Proverbs 11:1, KJV
For me personally, the general rule of thumb is to first look in the same chapter for other verses which might further explain and expand upon the idea expressed in the verse we are trying to understand. Normally, these are the verses which come immediately before, and immediately after the verse that is in question. This practice usually puts the verse in its proper context.
However, if no answer is to be found in the surrounding verses, then we should continue reading other chapters in the same book in our quest to gain an understanding of the troublesome verse. If this still fails, then we simply have to ask the Lord to guide us by His Spirit as we search through the rest of the Bible.
Of course, if you have been studying the Word of God for an extended period of time -- that is, for many years -- then as you probably already know, the Lord is also able -- and very faithful -- to bring other related verses to your mind by the Power of His Holy Spirit. I was just reminded of the following two verses that were spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of John:
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
John 16:13, KJV
In addition to the above, in this modern technological age, being computer literate, and possessing a good Bible program that has Hebrew and Greek lexicons, is a tremendous blessing and a great help as one studies the Holy Scriptures.
One thing of which we must all be careful, is that we don't try to figure things out in our own heads using our human reasoning and logic. Instead, as we follow the Scriptural trails through the Bible, we must be diligent to acknowledge the Lord, and be sensitive in the Spirit to whatever it is that He may be trying to show us. Consider the following two verses that are found in the Book of Proverbs:
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV
Of course, if your mind is already made up concerning what you want to believe -- which, sad to say, is the way that a lot of Christians tend to be today -- then you will only see what you want to see. Why is this? It is because you aren't really acknowledging the Lord's Spirit as you perform your study. You are merely looking for verses which will support what you have already chosen to believe. The tragedy here is that certain Christians will take verses out of their proper context in order to try to prove their particular point of view. They will wrest -- or twist and pervert the meaning of the Scriptures -- as in the following two verses:
"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, WHICH THEY THAT ARE UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE WREST, AS THEY DO ALSO THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, unto their own destruction."
2 Peter 3:15-16, KJV
One thing of which we can all be certain -- and which I personally have witnessed many times over the years -- is that God truly does confirm His Word by His Word. In other words, in many cases, the Bible will in essence interpret itself for us. This is definitely the case concerning the phrase "a pure language". Notice how Zephaniah provides us with a more expanded explanation of what he means only four verses later:
"The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid."
Zephaniah 3:13, KJV
In other words, the Prophet is telling us right there that "a pure language" is one in which a person does not speak lies or deceit. He only speaks the truth. This is why the Lord's language is a pure language, and His words are pure words. In other words, they are nothing short of being the absolute Truth. There is simply no guile or deceit in them whatsoever. Why is this? It is because God the Father and Jesus, His Son, are the very Spirit of Truth. Consider the following verses which confirm this point:
"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
John 4:23-24, KJV
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, THE TRUTH, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me . . . And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the SPIRIT OF TRUTH; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."
John 14:6, 16-17, KJV
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:"
John 15:26, KJV
"We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, and the spirit of error."
1 John 4:6, KJV
"This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because THE SPIRIT IS TRUTH."
1 John 5:6, KJV
"For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are DONE IN TRUTH."
Psalm 33:4, KJV
You may recall that the Hebrew word "barar" means to purge, purify, cleanse, make shining, or to polish. Concerning this process, it is interesting to note that the Bible is full of Scriptures which compare God's Word or His Law, His dealings with us, and even the very strengthening of our faith to the refining process which is used to purify gold and silver. As an example, notice in the following verses how both words of wisdom and the words of the Lord are said to be much better than gold and silver. It is because God's words are pure, immutable -- or unchanging -- Truth, that He has magnified His word above His very Name. That is how important the Lord's Words are to Him:
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear."
Proverbs 25:11-12, KJV
"The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver."
Psalm 119:72, KJV
"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
Psalm 138:2, KJV
Just as dross -- that is, impurities such as other cheaper metals and minerals -- must be removed from gold and silver in order to make them pure, all lies, deceit and cover-ups must be purged from our lives as well by way of the Lord's loving chastisements, in order to make our language pure, so that we too will only speak the Truth of His Word, just like our Heavenly Father. As I explain in some of my chastisement and spiritual warfare themed articles, this does not always come easy for us. Nevertheless, it is absolutely necessary in order for us to truly shine forth with the Lord's Light, and speak the pure language of His Truth. The Bible is replete with Scriptures explaining this process. Following are some of the most important ones:
"The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts."
Proverbs 17:3, KJV
"As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise."
Proverbs 27:21, KJV
"And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God."
Zechariah 13:9, KJV
"And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness."
Malachi 3:3, KJV
"Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer."
Proverbs 25:4, KJV
"And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:"
Isaiah 1:25, KJV
"Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you. Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you."
Ezekiel 22:18-22, KJV
"And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed."
Daniel 11:33-35, KJV
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"
1 Peter 1:7, KJV
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."
1 Peter 4:12-13, KJV
"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."
Revelation 3:18, KJV
It is only after we have been chastised by the Lord, and purged of our iniquity -- that is, our impurities -- that we finally become vessels which are more fit for the Master's use. For some of us, it can take a very long time before we are finally willing to accept His words of Truth. But once we do, the Lord begins to fill us with both His Wisdom and Understanding. Notice again the references to the purity of gold and silver in the following group of verses:
"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold."
Proverbs 3:13-14, KJV
"Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? . . . Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge. Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it."
Proverbs 8:1, 6-11, KJV
"How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!"
Proverbs 16:16, KJV
Not only that, but as we continue to accept the Lord's pure language of Truth into our hearts through His Word, we are further cleansed and set free. This becomes evident by the following set of verses:
"BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."
Psalm 119:9, KJV
"Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."
John 15:3, KJV
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 8:31-32, KJV
Once this process has begun in our lives, once we yield ourselves to the Lord, He will give us the Power through the Holy Spirit to both think upon and boldly speak the pure language of Truth, just as the Apostle Paul exhorts us to do in several of his Epistles, as we see by the following set of verses:
"Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity."
1 Timothy 2:7, KJV
"Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another."
Ephesians 4:25, KJV
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Philippians 4:8, KJV
God's Word tells us that if we are each faithful to speak, preach, sing or even write the pure language of Truth to others, it will result in lives changed, as well as in souls won for the Kingdom of Heaven; because as Jesus said, His words of Truth bring life where before there was only death and despair. Consider the following two verses:
"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
John 6:63, KJV
". . . My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer."
Psalm 45:1, KJV
In the Book of Zechariah in the Old Testament, we also find the Lord speaking of a time when the people of Jerusalem and Judah would speak the truth to their neighbors. While some people view this as a prophecy yet to be fulfilled in the future, the fact that Paul exhorted the brethren to do this very thing, even using the very same phrase -- as if he was quoting from the Prophet Zechariah -- may be an indication that this prophecy is referring to the First Century when Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem; and then when His Disciples followed in His footsteps. In the eighth chapter of his Book, the Prophet writes as follows:
"For thus saith the LORD of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the LORD of hosts, and I repented not: So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not. These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD . . . Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you."
Zechariah 8:14-17, 20-23, KJV
Tragically, if one's heart is not filled with the Truth of God's Word, and if one does not even want to hear or know the Truth, then he cannot possibly speak the pure language of Truth. In such a case, as we have already seen, he can only speak lies and deceit, for this is what will be in his heart. The Lord utterly detests those people who speak lies and deceit. The Scriptures are very clear regarding this issue. Consider the following examples found in the Old Testament:
"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."
Proverbs 6:16-19, KJV
"The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."
Proverbs 8:13, KJV
"They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight."
Proverbs 11:20, KJV
"He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief."
Proverbs 17:20, KJV
"Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue."
Psalm 52:2-4, KJV
The wickedness of the heart of the unbelieving Jew is one thing which is thoroughly exposed throughout both the Old and the New Testaments. For example, the Book of Jeremiah contains verses such as the following:
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Jeremiah 17:9, KJV
"But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward."
Jeremiah 7:24, KJV
"Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders. And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity."
Jeremiah 9:4-5, KJV
"And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:"
Jeremiah 16:12, KJV
"And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart."
Jeremiah 18:12, KJV
In the New Testament, Jesus, the Apostle Paul, Stephen and a number of others thoroughly exposed the wicked unbelief of their Jewish brethren to such a degree, that it cost all of them their lives sooner or later. Consider some of their pointed words:
"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things."
Matthew 12:34-35, KJV
"And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
Mark 7:20-23, KJV
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
John 8:44, KJV
"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye."
Acts 7:51, KJV
"For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."
Acts 28:27, KJV
Please go to part two for the conclusion of this article.
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