By Bro Jim Brasseal, Pastor Landmark MBC
Presented at the Rocky Mountain Missionary Baptist Association Meeting hosted by Salt Valley Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, Clearfield, Utah on August 13, 2011.
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15). This verse is a quotation from Isaiah. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isaiah 52:7).
I. Interesting Words in This Verse
The word “preach” first used in Romans 10:15 is from the Greek word “kerusso,” which means “to proclaim as a herald, sent forth on a mission.” The second “preach” and the “good tidings” are from the Greek word, “euaggelizo,” which means “to tell good news.” The word “gospel” is translated from the same word.
Consider the use of the words “walk” (Ephesians 5:2), “steps” (I Peter 2:21), and “path” (Psalm 119:105). Romans 10:15 tells us how beautiful it is to go everywhere with the precious gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). That gospel is “the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). The power of the gospel is seen in the changes that come to lost sinners when they believe the gospel and receive Christ as Savior. Death, condemnation, and separation from God changes to eternal life, justification, and peace with God (John 3:16-18, 5:24, Romans 5:1-5).
II. Jesus, Our Savior, Has Beautiful Feet
By the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary conceived a precious child, the Son of God (Luke 1:35). In an amazing virgin conception and birth, the very nature, personality, and being of the eternal Word (John 1:1, 14), who was with the Father from the beginning, was brought into union with the sinless human nature from Mary. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4:4). “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me” (Hebrews 10:5). Jesus is truly the eternal Son of God and the Son of Man. Because he is the Son of Man, he is qualified to be our Kinsman Redeemer (Leviticus 25:25), our compassionate High Priest (Hebrews 2:17-18), and the Judge of all humanity (John 5:27). He was also a missionary sent forth by the Father (John 5:37). He took upon himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:7-8). As the Servant, he sat weary and thirsty at Jacob’s well. As the Messiah, he offered the sinful woman the everlasting water of life (John 4).
During his earthly ministry, Jesus traveled throughout Judaea, Samaria, and Galilee preaching the gospel of salvation and the gospel of the kingdom. He instructed his disciples and commissioned them so that the gospel message would go out to all people in all nations to the end of the age (Matthew 28:18-20).
Jesus walked in the will of his Father. “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). Christ walked unselfishly. “For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me” (Romans 15:3). Jesus walked in humility (Philippians 2:8).
The beautiful feet of Jesus carried him willingly to his crucifixion on Calvary (John 10:17-18).
Up Calvary’s mountain, one dreadful morn,
Walked Christ my Savior, weary and worn;
Facing for sinners, death on the cross,
That he might save them from endless loss.
Blessed Redeemer! Precious Redeemer!
(“Blessed Redeemer.” In Spirit and In Truth. Hymn 100.)
III. Beautiful Feet Going with God's Message in Bible Times
Isaiah heard God’s call with these words, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8). The message of the suffering Messiah that Isaiah received from the LORD written in Isaiah 53 helps us to understand the substitutionary vicarious death of the Savior. The message of the prophet of God was used to bring the Ethiopian to faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 8:26-40).
Manasseh began to rule as king in Judah when he was twelve years old. It was not required that one be a true believer and servant of the LORD to have a position of power in Judah. Manasseh was one of the most wicked idolatrous kings, causing his subjects to do worse than the heathen (II Chronicles 33:9). The LORD brought affliction into his life and conviction into his heart. In his affliction, he humbled himself and besought the LORD. God did not reject this sinner’s cry, that is, “he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication” (II Chronicles 33:13). Manasseh served the LORD for the rest of his days and was a testimony to God’s saving mercy. His testimony is still being used today to bring sinners to Christ.
The Apostle Peter had failures in his witness, but he did repent and became a useful servant. “And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:61-62). See the fruits of Peter’s witness in the first five chapters of Acts.
Paul shows the burden and compassion of his heart to carry the gospel of Christ in these verses. “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved” (Romans 10:1). “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also” (Romans 1:15). “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Philippians 1:20). One example of God’s blessings on the gospel preaching of Paul is in Corinth when he wrote, “And many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8).
IV. Faithful Churches Continue to Carry the Gospel
By the time the Apostolic age ended and the New Testament scriptures were complete, the good news of Jesus Christ had been preached in all of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea and as far west as Great Britain. Severe persecution against the Baptist churches is noted in this statement by the Catholic Cardinal, Hosious (the Cardinal uses the name “Ana-Baptist,” which means “Rebaptizers.”).
“If the truth of religion were to be judged by the readiness and cheerfulness which a man or any sect shows in suffering, then the opinion and persuasion of no sect can be truer than that of the Ana-Baptists, since there has been none for these twelve hundred years past that have been more generally punished or have more cheerfully and steadfastly undergone and even offered themselves to the most cruel kind of punishment than these people” (quoted in Ben M. Bogard’s The Baptist-Way Book, page 57).
The Cardinal’s statement of the “twelve hundred years past” dates the Ana-Baptists back to the days of Paul.
When we study these historical books: The Trail of Blood by J.M. Carroll, The Concise History of Baptists by C.H. Orchard, The History of the Baptists by John T. Christian, The History of the Evangelical Churches of the Valleys of Piedmont by Samuel Morland, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe, and The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of Defenseless Christians by Thieleman J. van Braght, we learn that faithful disciples of Jesus Christ have taken the glorious gospel of our Lord to all parts of this world through all the years of the church age. In spite of hardships and persecutions, they loved the Lord and his gospel so much that they went forth with beautiful feet.
One example of persecution in Connecticut in Colonial days is described on pages 125-126 in Vol. I of John T. Christian’s A History of the Baptists.
In February of 1744, fourteen persons were arrested in Sayville for holding a Baptist meeting; the charge brought against them was “for holding meeting contrary to law (as passed by the Congregational Church authorities) on God’s holy Sabbath day.” They were arraigned, tried, fined, and driven on foot, through a deep mud, to New London jail, a distance of twenty-five miles, where they were thrust into prison, without food, fire, or beds, and kept in sufferings for several weeks and probably would have perished had not some Baptist brethren residing in New London, Great Neck, carried them provisions. One of those arrested with these Baptist people was an unconverted man, Job Buckley. The prayers and Christian patience with which these Christians bore their sufferings in jail were blessed to his conversion. When they were released, they formed a church in Sayville, and Job Buckley’s name appears first on the list of constituent members.
They were weary and tired from walking twenty-five miles through the cold mud, but their feet were beautiful because they carried the true gospel of the kingdom.
V. Mission Work in Making the Gospel Known
On page 139, C.H. Orchard’s Concise History of Baptists, quoting from the historians Gibbons, Robinson, and Jones, shows how the early Christians “fearlessly penetrated the most barbarous parts of Europe and went single-handed and single-eyed to the conflict with every grade of character. In several instances, they suffered death or martyrdom, not counting their lives dear, so that they could promote the cause of their Redeemer.”
With that blessed history behind them, it is shocking that some Baptists in England began to oppose the sending of missionaries to spread the gospel message. One adverse influence on the Baptists was the strong Calvinistic view among the leaders of the Church of England. Their doctrinal confession was in line with five point Calvinism. The Act of Uniformity was passed by the English government on August 24, 1662. This Act expelled more than two thousand Baptist, Puritan, and other dissenters from their church property because they could not in good conscience subscribe to the articles of the Church of England. Some Baptist Confessions began to be tainted with the false Calvinism of the government church. Their false conclusion on mission work was: Why preach the gospel to the lost heathen if God will save the elect without any means?
Andrew Fuller, an influential Baptist pastor, in an effort to oppose the anti-mission view, wrote a pamphlet titled The Gospel Worthy of all Acceptation. Another Baptist pastor, a close friend of Fuller, William Carey, wrote his “missionary manifesto” titled An Inquiry into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen. Carey presented his views in three sections:
- A theological justification for missionary activity, arguing that the command of Jesus to make disciples of all nations remains as a binding command (Matthew 28:18-20),
- A history of missionary activity from the days of the early church to his present day, and
- His views on the organization of a missionary society to raise the funds necessary for missionary support.
[Note from Pastor Jim Brasseal: I disagree with Carey on his views to organize an extra-church financial based missionary society. The Bible shows us the example of local churches sending out missionaries and support contributed directly from the churches (Acts 13:1-4, II Corinthians 11:8-9, and Philippians 4:10-19). We can appreciate the dedication and influence of Carey and his wife, Dorothy, in taking the gospel to precious souls in darkness.]
In 1793, William and Dorothy Carey with their son Peter (who died very young) went with medical missionary, Dr. John Thomas, to India. For the first six years, Carey worked in an indigo factory to supply his financial needs. Carey worked tirelessly in Serampore, India, learning the language, preaching the gospel, translating the Bible, helping other missionaries, and establishing churches and schools. Dorothy suffered a complete mental breakdown and sometimes had to be locked in her room. She died in 1807, and William Carey died in Serampore on June 9, 1834. They walked with Christ into a strange and perilous land where millions needed the gospel.
One of the blessings that came from the ministry of William Carey was the help that he gave to the Americans, Adoniram Judson and Luther Rice. Judson and Rice were Congregational ministers on their way to India. They, with Judson’s wife, Ann Hasseltine Judson, were being sent by the Congregational Church’s Mission Board. On the voyage, Judson and Rice worked on a translation of the New Testament. In a letter written by his wife, we learn of Judson’s change of mind about his work. He told Ann that his study in the translation work had led him to the conclusion that the Baptists were right on the ordinance of baptism. Ann was emphatic telling him, “If you become a Baptist, I will not!” For weeks, she searched her books by prominent Protestant writers. Both came to the truth, even though they were very concerned about the consequences of becoming Baptists. Ann wrote, “We knew we would be separated from our missionary associates and go alone to some heathen land. We had no friend but each other.”
Judson wrote a letter to Carey and his associates in Serampore. After explaining how he had come to his decision, he ends the letter with these sentences.
“I have not been alone. Mrs. Judson has been engaged in a similar examination and has come to the same conclusion. Feeling, therefore, that we are in an unbaptized state, we wish to profess our faith in Christ by being baptized in obedience to his sacred commands.”
Signed: Adoniram Judson, Jr.
Calcutta, September 1, 1812
They met with the brethren in Serampore and received scriptural baptism. Luther Rice was baptized by the same church just a few weeks later. India was under British control and was at war with America in the War of 1812. Because of this war, Adoniram and Ann left India and went into the destitute area of Burma (now known as Myanmar) where they endured many years of Hindu persecution, his imprisonment, suffering, and disease. Luther Rice was infected with a serious disease of the liver and had to return to America. Rice became a spokesman and promoter for the mission work in India and Burma. Following Christ led them down a path of hardship. Oh! What beautiful feet that walked down that pathway!
VI. Present Day Missionaries with Beautiful Feet
The Lord’s true churches are still making the gospel of Jesus Christ known throughout this world and souls are being saved at home and abroad. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (II Corinthians 4:7).
One example of fruitful mission work is the work of Brother George Cormos sent to Jud Bihor, Romania by Loveland Baptist Church where Brother John Sanders is pastor. That new mission work is fellowshipping and cooperating with the work of Brother Jim Black in Brasov, Romania and Mike Rogers in Hrusova, Moldova. Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Lakewood, Colorado has assisted Brother Black and Brother Rogers since the beginning of their mission work.
The Lord’s work in Mongolia has been a great blessing to Landmark MBC in Lakewood. We were first introduced to this mission work by Bill and Carolyn Cooper in 2006 just before they moved to Mongolia. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Bill Cooper, a teenager at the time, with his father, Floyd, and mother, Flora, were members of Landmark MBC in Lakewood. Brother Isaac Smith was the pastor at that time. Bill is not a pastor, but he and Carolyn did have a burden to go to Mongolia to work with Missionary Dennis Carrell and his wife, Charlotte. Brother Dennis and Sister Charlotte were sent by the Landmark MBC of Martinez, California in 1999. God blessed their work wonderfully. Mongolian people were saved and baptized, and the Rich Heart Baptist Church in Ulaanbaatar was established. Two of their charter members were Sister Nara and Brother Egii (who is now the pastor of the Rich Heart Church).
Brother Carrell began the work in Chore. The pastor now in Chore is Brother Augie, who was won to the Lord through the testimony of Rich Heart and his wife Olzii, who had been saved while Augi was working in Israel. Augie also became a member at Rich Heart, answered God’s call to the pastoral ministry, and was sent to work in Chore by the Rich Heart Church. Note: the Landmark MBC in Delta, Colorado has taken on the major financial support for Brother Augie and the church in Chore.
When Brother Augie began working in Chore, Brother Carrell started the work in Chingeltei, a very poor ger district northwest of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. God has blessed Brother and Sister Carrell’s labor again, and we have a church established with their own two-story building with their own well and indoor plumbing.
Through the influence of Olzii and Augie, Erdenebayer and his wife, Davama, began attending Rich Heart. They were both won to the Lord’s service, and Erdenebayer was sent to work in his hometown of Uginoor in 2009. God has blessed with people in Uginoor being won to salvation and church membership. In the summer of 2011, the church in Uginoor was established, and Erdenebayer was ordained as pastor. On a dirt road through Uginoor with a wooden fence around their property, one Mongolian tent ger is set up for the church services and, right next to it, is another ger for Edernebayer, Davama, and their three sons.
I have experienced wonderful uplifting Christian worship and fellowship in the church services and in the homes when I have been able to go to Uginoor, Chore, Chingeltei, and Ulaanbaatar with the other pastors and the Coopers.
Landmark MBC in Lakewood has taken on the major financial support for Brother Erdenebayer and the church in Uginoor. With the good assistance of our church, I have been able to spend almost one month in Mongolia in each of the past three years.
They do wear some unusual shoes and boots in that country, but, in Mongolia, you will find precious disciples of our Lord who are walking in the footsteps of Jesus, going forth with beautiful feet to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth...