JREnsey blog for August 2018

Here’s the JREnsey blog for August, 2018. Welcome to all the new readers who have signed up to receive announcements of the postings. Thanks for visiting.

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The Word for Today

John 3:36 (NLT): “And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”

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Quotables

Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thusly handicapped. – Elbert Hubbard

Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. – Laurence J. Peter

I’ll be more enthusiastic about thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it. – Terry Pratchett

I don’t make jokes. I watch the government and report the facts. – Will Rogers

Sometime we look so longingly at the door that just closed that we miss what is behind the door that just opened. – Unknown

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Our weird and wacky world

The manager of the Academy store in Tallahasee, FL was fired because he stopped a thief who had stolen a handgun. Dean Crouch, the store manager, saw the thief running for the door. He tackled him, and with help from another man, held him until police came. The thief was searched and his backpack showed he had a lot of ammunition in it. He had stolen two weapons from a pawn shop earlier in the day and they were in his backpack. Evidently he anticipated a shootout with someone.

Crouch was rewarded for his heroism, right? He might have saved a lot of lives by detaining the thief. So what did Academy do?

They fired him—“for putting his hands on the man.” Let’s see now. Should managers wag their finger at dangerous thieves running through the store and say: “Tsk, tsk. Now, now…one shouldn’t be stealing guns from us”? Should store employees stash nets near the doors so they can toss them over a running thief? That’s safe, huh…and a surefire way of handling armed robbers who might be looking to put a lot of folks away for good.

Could our country get any wackier? Maybe. See the next item.

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Is our country founded by geniuses but run by idiots?

Someone (understandably anonymous) posted the following:

  • If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for entering and remaining in the country illegally you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
  • If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or to take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion—you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
  • If you MUST show your identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy alcohol, or check out a library book, but not to vote for who runs the government—you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
  • If your government wants to prevent stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds, but gives twenty F-16 fighter jets to some crazy new leaders in the Middle East—you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
  • If, in the nation’s largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not one 24-ounce soda, because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat—you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
  • If an 80-year-old woman who is confined to a wheelchair or a three-year-old girl can be strip-searched by the TSA at the airport, but a woman in a burka or a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched—you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
  • If a seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is “cute,” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable—you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
  • If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government regulation and intrusion while not working is rewarded with food stamps, WIC checks, Medicaid benefits, subsidized housing, and free cell phones—you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

More “geniuses” ahead…read on.

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Better pay attention when crossing borders!

(Probably by the same anonymous author of the item above.)

Think before you vote in all upcoming elections. Most of the idiots running this country say one thing and do the opposite knowing that the people who voted them in do not pay attention.

Let’s see if I got this right…

If you cross the North Korean border illegally you get 12 years hard labor.

If you cross the Iranian border illegally you are detained indefinitely.

If you cross the Afghan border illegally, you will likely get shot.

If you cross the Saudi Arabian border illegally you will be jailed.

If you cross the Chinese border illegally you may never be heard from again.

If you cross the Venezuelan border illegally you will be branded a spy and your fate will be sealed.

If you cross the Cuban border illegally you will be thrown into political prison to rot.

If you cross the U.S. border illegally you can get…
…a job, a drivers license, social security card, welfare, food stamps, subsidized rent or a loan to buy a house, free education, free health care, a lobbyist in Washington, billions of dollars worth of public documents printed in your language, the right to carry your country’s flag while you burn the U.S. flag, protest that you don’t get enough respect, and, in some instances, you can vote.

I just wanted to make sure I had a firm grasp on the situation!

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What Is Meant By “Older and More Reliable Manuscripts”?

Quite often we hear statements by biblical scholars and textual analysts that include a reference to “older and more reliable manuscripts.” They are referencing those manuscripts that are dated closer to the autographs—the original apostolic writings—as being more likely to reflect the Scriptures as they were written in the first century.

Sometimes those who insist on a single, early 17th century English version as being the only legitimate Bible, suggest that those who use other versions are using “fake Bibles” that are corrupt and worthless. Many of the accusers are not aware that the version of which they speak was based on a few very late (none earlier than the 12th century), expanded Greek manuscripts (MSS) hurriedly brought together by Desiderius Erasmus in 1516 in Basel, Switzerland to create a new Greek text. Neither Erasmus nor the later translators in 1611 had hands-on access to the “oldest and most reliable manuscripts“ of the New Testament. This fact is verified by the vast majority of conservative textual scholars and paleographers. However, publishers of anti-contemporary translations give the impression that the Erasmus’ manuscripts were “pure” and “perfect,” as though just passed from an apostle’s hand. They insist that earlier manuscripts are corrupt and worthless if they don’t read exactly like Erasmus’ seven at every word. That is patently false.

In our search for the truth, let’s define the terms. What do the terms “older and more reliable” mean when referring to biblical manuscripts? And what does the word “corrupt” mean when applied to manuscripts?

Let’s begin with the last one first—“corruption of manuscripts.” A dictionary supplies the definition of corruption: “the process by which a document or manuscript is altered, changed, or corrected.” Any manuscript that contains variants in word order, corrections, additions or deletions, or any changes that alter the meaning of a term(s), would by that definition be considered corrupt. In other words, all Greek manuscripts before the printing press came along are corrupt since no two hand-copied MSS are exactly alike. That is why textual analysis—critical comparison—is essential.

My readers are given credit for knowing what “older” means—copies dated closer to the autographs (original writings) of the NT. Extremists include “older” in their denunciations of early manuscripts (MSS) because those on which the KJV was based are dated much later—suggesting more generations of copies—than those on which contemporary versions are based. “Older” would potentially mean that fewer generations of copies would have been made from those nearest the originals, therefore having fewer additions and corruptions.1

What is meant when textual analysts refer to “more reliable” manuscripts? Those who study ancient writings and manuscripts recognize that some scribes were more apt to amend the text. Some were very diligent; others were not. Some copied whole sentences after looking at the exemplar once; others would copy only one word or one letter at a time, enhancing accuracy. Some were neat; others not so much. For example, P75 is an early manuscript said to be written by a very careful scribe who preferred accuracy above neatness.

Some worked from a faithful exemplar, one that had fewer obvious errors or glosses;2 others copied an exemplar that had been poorly done with orthographic errors and emendations. For example, Codex Bezae (D, the oldest codex available to the 1611 translators but used very little) had readings from unknown sources that are found nowhere else. To use it to copy from would be inserting grave corruptions. Some scribes worked from one exemplar; others may have had access to two or three copies with different readings at places and therefore had to choose between them. Sometimes they just combined the readings, as in Luke 24:53 where some earlier MSS had “praising God” and others had “blessing God.” A later scribe included both to be sure.

A few scribes were sloppy orthographically, meaning they were not always careful with grammar and spelling. At times those elements play into the meaning of a word or verse. Textual critics and paleographers study the habits of certain scribes. They can usually tell if one person worked on a manuscript or if several hands were involved. The shape of the letters and the word order can often distinguish when another scribe takes over the copying.

Some copyists tended to pull material from the margins of exemplars while others were more skeptical of certain readings that might be sourced from liturgical use. Such additions have caused critics to label a certain manuscript as “unreliable.” That does not necessarily mean that it is totally unreliable in all places, but tends to have glitches here and there or yields to tradition more than faithfully following the exemplar.

For example, the doxology of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 has been a part of the Textus Receptus—Erasmus’ Greek text on which the KJV was based—since Erasmus’ first edition in 1516, although it is considered to be an “expansion” rather than part of the original Scriptures.3 The doxology appears in neither Matthew nor Luke in the earliest Greek manuscripts. Only one Greek manuscript before AD 700 has it—Codex Washingtonianus (dated to c. 350-500). The verse ends “from the evil [one]” in a B D Z 0170 f1 205 547, in Latin translations, and numerous Early Church Fathers.4 The later manuscripts that do contain the Lord’s Prayer doxology offer seven different variations of the prayer, usually a sure sign of a scribal emendation or gloss.5

Tracing an insertion, such as the doxology, through the manuscripts is not difficult for those trained in that work. As textual critic Bruce Metzger explains: “The ascription at the close of the Lord’s prayer occurs in several forms. In K L W D Q P f13 al it is the familiar triple strophic form [whereas others lack one part of it]…the old Latin manuscript k reads simply ‘for thine is the power for ever and ever.’ Some Greek manuscripts expand ‘for ever’ into for ever and ever,’ and most of them add ‘Amen.’ [Three] late minuscules (157 225 418—MSS from 12th to 14th centuries) append it further with a Trinitarian ascription, ‘for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost forever. Amen.’ The same expansion occurs also at the close of the Lord’s prayer in the liturgy that is traditionally ascribed to John Chrysostom (347-407).”6 It seemed right and pious to the scribe who first added the ascription to the doxology for it to end like Matthew 28:19.

Metzger further elucidates: “The absence of any ascription in early and important representatives of the Alexandrian (a B), the Western (D and most of the Old Latin), and the pre-Caesarean (f1) types of text, as well as early patristic commentaries on the Lord’s Prayer ascription, usually in a threefold form, was composed (perhaps on the basis of I Chronicles 29:11-13) in order to adapt the Prayer for liturgical use in the early church.”7 Fortunately, later scribes and textual analysts could see that the Trinitarian tag was a conjectural emendation. They should have also noted that the addition of the entire doxology was a conflation, assimilated likely from early versions. The currently most widespread English-language version of the Lord’s Prayer became popular in the reign of Elizabeth I of England (who fervently embraced it) around AD 1580. Some suggest that she wanted it in the Bible because it would set the Protestant Bibles apart from the Catholic versions, none of which ever included the doxology.8

The slightly different readings in the KJV compared to modern versions arise mostly from additions to the Greek text in the process of copying. The scribes (mostly from the Greek Orthodox branch of Catholicism after AD 850-900) tended to add to the text rather than delete from it. They became accustomed to public readings of Scripture from lectionaries and prayer books, resulting in glosses coming into the text. Learning from earlier manuscripts that some words and even verses have been added to the text, major Bibles usually footnote those places to express the fact that “the earliest and more reliable manuscripts do not have these words.” Those places do not deny or change any apostolic doctrine.9 It is interesting that Erasmus himself referred to one of the MSS he used for his second edition of the TR as “unreliable.”10 Even Jerome (AD 347-420), the creator of the Latin Vulgate, also mentioned that a particular phrase was “not found in the old and reliable manuscripts” he worked with.11 This should remind us that “the older and more reliable manuscripts” is not a cliché that was coined by modern scholars.

We want our Bibles to be as free from conjectural emendations and scribal blunders as possible. As I’ve stated before, if words, phrases or verses were added to the Scriptures, they should be removed so as to maintain the purity of the Word of God. Textual analysis and the “older and more reliable manuscripts” have enabled us to trace much of the text of Scripture back to within 125-325 years from the dates of the autographs. Their work encourages us to have confidence that the Bible we hold in our hands is indeed the Word of God.

Notes:

1 Textual critics acknowledge that older MSS, produced closer to the originals, are usually better and more reliable, although not in every case. Here is the testimony of one of the leading textual critics of the twentieth century:  “It may therefore be stated as a general rule that the earlier a manuscript is, the better is its text likely to be. The rule is only a general one, and is liable to exceptions; for instance, a manuscript written in the year 1200, if copied direct from a manuscript of the year A.D. 350, will probably be more correct than a manuscript written in the year 1000, which was copied from one written in A.D. 850 or 900. Each manuscript must therefore be searched, to see if it shows signs of containing an early form of the test; but the general rule that the earliest manuscripts are the best will still usually hold good.” – Frederic G. Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1903), p. 8.
2 An “exemplar” is a previously written manuscript that is being copied by a scribe. A “gloss” is material pulled into the text usually from the marginal notes/commentary, or from liturgical use that the scribe feels should be a part of the text itself.
3 Erasmus noted in his Annotations in the first edition of the TR that none of the Latin manuscripts had the doxology, adding that they might have initially been inserted into the Greek MSS in accordance with liturgical custom. (Erika Rummel, Erasmus’ Annotations on the New Testament (Toronto: University of Toronto, 1986), p. 135) He included them because he leaned toward placing more authority on the Greek MSS than the Latin. He just did not have a sufficient number of ancient Greek MSS to work from. Generations of traditional use of the doxology, plus kingly/queenly authority added pressure to include it.
4 James White, The King James Only Controversy (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1995), p. 252.
5 For example, the inclination to say, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” follows the KJV, which borrowed the wording from Miles Coverdale’s 1535 translation. But if you instinctively say, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who [or ‘them that’] trespass against us,” you are following William Tyndale’s English translation from the 1520s. When Tyndale’s rendering was modified by Thomas Cranmer for the 1549 Anglican Book of Common Prayer, “trespasses” came into common use as well. We hear both versions recited or sung today.
6 Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary of the Greek New Testament, (London: United Bible Societies, 1971), pp. 16,17. If they were inserting the Trinitarian formula in liturgical readings here in the fourth century, it is not difficult to accept that they could have added the Trinitarian ascription to Matthew 28:19, for which there is no known Greek witness before the fourth century. Many scholars and reference works come down on the side of the three-fold titles of Matthew 28:19 as having been added in the post-Nicene era. I am not saying it is an absolute fact that the long ending of Matthew was not in the earliest MSS of Matthew; we just don’t have a manuscript of Matthew containing that section of his Gospel. Were it now to be removed by contemporary scholars because of its non-existence in the earliest MSS, there would be an outcry: “But we have become accustomed to it. We like it. We are comfortable with it.” It would likely be the same response given to Jerome after he made the Latin Vulgate. Folks were uncomfortable with the changes in wording from the earlier Latin MSS. Truth, not tradition, should establish the parameters of our comfort zone.
7 Ibid., p. 17. It is also interesting to note this in Wikipedia.org/Lord’s Prayer: “In Orthodox Christianity and Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Churches, a similar doxology is sung within the context of the Divine Liturgy. Following the last line of the prayer, the priest sings “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.” It is not difficult to see how liturgical practices could influence textual copyists. The first mention of the “three person” Godhead addition to the Lord’s Prayer doxology was in Manuscript 157 dated to c. 1122.
8 http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/DOXOLOG.HTM, et al.
9 The corrections actually strengthen Apostolic doctrine. (Examples: I John 5:7b,8a, Titus 2:13, II Peter 1:1, et al.). The largest changes involve the Pericope Adulterae (the woman taken in adultery), and the long ending of Mark. These passages usually appear in the text but are footnoted. Beyond that it is mostly words or phrases that are copied from other verses to harmonize the Scriptures. Acts 8:37 is not found in the earliest manuscripts, probably inserted from liturgical usage. Acts 9:5,6 have words no Greek MS has here (evidently copied from Chapters 22 and 26). The issue is not sufficiently serious to demand the kind of dissension that is currently in progress. Again, I have to supply the disclaimer that I am NOT trying to denigrate the KJV or trying to diminish anyone’s confidence in it. I am just trying to provide truth and understanding. If misrepresentation and deception were not utilized by the KJVO movement, and UPCI people were not condemned for using any other version than the KJV, it would not be an issue. All essential doctrines and lifestyle mandates can be harvested from the KJV and from the major translations of today. I urge all those who are interested in the truth about this topic to do their own objective research. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of the Greek manuscripts have been digitized. They can be viewed in that format on the Internet, and in many cases can be viewed in libraries and museums around the world. Take advantage of the opportunity to do so.
10 Erika Rummel, Erasmus’ Annotations on the New Testament (Toronto: University of Toronto, 1986), p. 39.
11 Ibid., p. 120.

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Books and Bible studies

Check out these Apostolic commentaries to assist you in sermon and lesson-building.

Better Than The AngelsBetterThanAngels

by E. L. Holley

Here are the late E. L. Holley’s own teaching notes on the Book of Hebrews. His unique insight will provide a perspective that will shed new light on difficult passages. The material is clear, candid, and convincing. It has been winnowed so that the reader receives only the whole kernel, the heart of the matter and the real meaning that the author wanted to convey. The power of brevity is at work in these lines.
E. L. Holley was respected for his communication skills, his grasp of the Scriptures, and his insight into human nature that few have possessed. You will enjoy sitting at his feet and learning as he opens up the mysteries of Hebrews.  AM price $6.95

Presence-of-His-Glory-copyIn The Presence of His Glorydocument

by E. L. Holley

The inimitable E. L. Holley presents a verse-by-verse commentary on the General Epistles as he taught them in the classrooms at Texas Bible College.  AM Price $9.95

Letters From A Roman Jail

by J. R. EnseyLetters-From-A-Roman-Jail

Some of the most beautiful and truly meaningful words that flowed from the pen of Paul are found in his letters written while incarcerated in Rome. They graphically display the triumph of the pen over the sword. Nero’s sword took Paul’s head, but Paul’s pen took Nero’s empire! Topical format permits not just word study and exposition, but teaching ideas and application. This is a good book for new converts who enjoy studying the Word. Also good for Bible classes in Christian schools. AM price $12.95

Pastoral Epistles

Pastoral-Epistlesby J. R. Ensey

The apostle Paul wrote three letters to two younger ministers whom he affectionately called his “sons.” The epistles became part of the canon of Scripture and have served since then as the best instruction available for those in ministry and church leadership. Doctrine, practical church discipline, lifestyle and much more is all here. The verse-by-verse commentary is accompanied by a complete outline for ease of study and teaching. AM price $13.95

IHML makes it easy to win souls


Into His Marvelous Light
IHMLCoverAvailable in English, Spanish, German & Italian
No other one-hour Bible study has enjoyed the consistent results of IHML over the years. Often copied but never fully duplicated. It is attractive, well written, and doctrinally sound. Those who are seeking for Availabletruth will see that the new birth is absolutely essential and that Acts 2:38 constitutes that experience. Over 2 million copies sold.

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50-99
$1.50 ea
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$1.25 ea

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Guide For Living 
IHML_GFL_RevisedA follow-up Study for the new convert. This little booklet can be given to the new convert to go through alone and then come back to you with any questions they may have. It covers the new birth —what has happened to them and goes through what their responsibilities are now.

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1-49
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Promotional Tracts 
pampletsAvailable in English & Spanish
Hand out these tracts to help you promote the Bible study in your community. Available in English and Spanish. It’s easy to get Bible study opportunities with these tracts.  $9.95 per 100

Order all materials shown above from Advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250.

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Do you want to write a book?

Many do, but it may be wise to think of it as a creative joy, not a money tree. However, it could hit the big time and you could make a few coins. Keep in mind that there are more than twice as many self-published books printed each year than traditionally published books (700,000 to 300,000). The chances of your book being stocked by a bookstore is about 1% (as of 2013). Forget profit; do it for reasons other than money. Do it to get your message out, to inspire other people, to meet a need you see that others may not be meeting.

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O what fun it is to choose a Supreme Court justice

Pray for our President and his nomination for a seat on the Supreme Court. Whether you are for or opposed to either of them, they need the prayers of God’s people that our nation is not further divided by this decision, which will impact America for generations.

 

 

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The Last Word

A wise man never knows all; only fools know everything. – African proverb

Enjoy the remaining dog days of summer!

JREnsey

Published in: on August 1, 2018 at 12:25 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey blog for July 2018

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for July, 2018. Thanks for visiting.

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The Word for Today

Colossians 1:9-11 ESV: And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.”

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How to better understand the Trinity (a little TIC)

I received an email recently from a publishing company hyping an online course called The Triune God. In the blurb, the course objective is describes as helping one “more deeply understand the character and nature of God.”

A nice colorful chart (below) adorned the blurb, ostensibly to show how the course would reveal the Trinity—the true nature of God. The chart is self-explanatory.

Now that you have seen the magnificent and factual chart, you really won’t have to take the long, boring course. You now see how clearly the Trinity is revealed in the Scriptures. Right?

The 11-Point course states in Point 2: “The revelation of the Trinity accompanies salvation.” I guess that means if you didn’t get that revelation, all of you Bible-thumping Apostolics are not saved! The late Billy Graham was definitely lost by that standard. He couldn’t explain the Trinity, saying you just have to “accept it by faith.” Too bad, Billy.

Point 5: “The Revelation of the Trinity came when the Son and the Spirit came in person.” Let’s see now, the first Person sent the second Person and the third Person? And they are co-equal deities? Something’s missing here. Perhaps the next point will explain it.

Point 7: “This revelation of the Trinity happened mainly in history but were (sic; Where is Grammarly when you need it?) accompanied by words that have an inner unity with history.” Got that? If not, point 8 will doubtless make it plain.

Point 8: “The revelation of the Trinity is the extending of a conversation already happening.” Ah, yes, that clears everything up.

Point 10: “The revelation of the Trinity in Scripture is perfect.” Hmmm. With many, perhaps most, Trinitarians claiming that the Trinity is “incomprehensible” by the human mind, where in the Bible is that “perfect revelation” and who had/has it?

I suppose we will have to sign up for the course (only $199) in order to discover the deep mysteries of the Trinity.

You first.

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Want to know more about your Bible?

If you are a student of the Word, you know there are challenges in the English texts of God’s Word. But those challenges do not have to affect your faith in the Bible when you tackle them head on.

Why are there slight differences in wording in various Bibles?

Which Greek text is the closest to the autographs—the original writings?

If all the Greek manuscripts have variants (and they all do), how can we be sure of what the Bible originally said?

Do the variants make a difference in Bible doctrines?

Has there been a conspiracy to “water down” the Bible?

These are legitimate questions every student of God’s Word should ask. Good news: answers are available!

A FREE course on textual analysis is now available from Dallas Theological Seminary, taught by one of the foremost Evangelical Greek scholars and teachers alive today, Dr. Daniel Wallace. He believes in the inerrant and inspired Word of God. He is an engaging teacher you will come to sincerely appreciate. This is a series of video lectures on key elements of the New Testament text. I took it and highly recommend it. Your faith will be rewarded. Every preacher will benefit from Dr. Wallace’s lessons on the biblical text. And you can’t beat FREE. Sign up today!

Go to https://www.biblicaltraining.org/textual-criticism/daniel-wallace

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Oops!

A while back, Saint John’s Abbey and University, Collegeville, MN presented the Library of Congress with a gift of the Apostles Edition of The Saint John’s Bible, a work of art on vellum with more than 1,130 pages in seven volumes, including 160 illuminations that reflect life in the modern era. It measures 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide when open. It is the first handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery since the invention of the printing press, more than 500 years ago. The Bible joined the Library of Congress’ collection of rare spiritual texts.

The gift was made in the presence of Pope Francis, following his address to a joint meeting of Congress, in “acknowledgement of the Pope’s devotion to Scripture; his concern for the poor, sick and marginalized and for the dignity of all people; his care for creation; and his commitment to justice for all.” [No mention was made about young altar boys.]

The Saint John’s Bible is an unprecedented combination of ancient methods and materials, with themes, images and technology of the 21st century. Saint John’s Abbey and University partnered with world-renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson, senior scribe to Her Majesty the Queen’s Crown Office at the House of Lords in London, England, to create this masterpiece. Under the direction of expert calligrapher Jackson, who served as senior scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office at the House of Lords, teams of illuminators created The Saint John’s Bible entirely by hand using quills, illuminating it with precious metals and paints manually ground from precious minerals. Taking fifteen years to produce, the cost was estimated by some to be in the $millions. The text was that of the NRSV.

With all this investment, professionalism, and modern technology, one would expect virtual perfection. But as with all handwritten MSS of the Bible, there was an “oops” moment. When all was done, it was discovered that a verse had inadvertently been left out. According to Dr. Daniel Wallace, it was decided to just add it in the margin. With all the modern lighting and professional skill of the calligrapher, it still was not perfect. Do I hear some giggles coming from medieval monastery graveyards?

Moral: God doesn’t make mistakes; all men do.

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Book Review

IT IS TIME TO DARE

CALVINISM: None Dare Call It Heresy

By Bob Kirkland

Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2018; 123 pages

Turning the spotlight on a major Protestant Reformation doctrine 500 years after its introduction is an admission of too little, too late. That is true, but it was past time that someone had the intestinal fortitude to call Calvinism what it really is—heresy.

Kirkland takes dead aim on one of the biggest names and doctrines in Christian history and hits
the target. Starting with John Calvin himself, we are informed of the source of his theology—Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430). Augustine, the most prolific writer of his time, responded to the fall of Rome with a book—The City of God—destined to help rebuild Rome into a religious system on the ashes of the political empire. Augustine believed that religion should be forced upon the populace and those refusing to conform ought to be punished. This position earned the uber-Catholic the title of Father of the Inquisition.

As Calvin joined Luther, Zwingli and Melanchthon in the Protestant Reformation, he became the power and authority of Geneva, Switzerland. Calvin initially expressed the need to reform the Catholic church’s positions on communion and church government. When he found himself pressed to create a “government,” he adopted the Augustinian/RCC model of forced compliance. Applying the principles he had learned from Augustine, non-conformists were forced into Calvin’s belief system on pain of imprisonment and torture. Those who would not recant faced burning at the stake. In retrospect we can see how small were the steps those reformers made in their retreat from the Roman Catholic Church, which had perfected torture and death as the alternative to submission.

Kirkland briefly chronicles Calvin’s enforcement of his brand of Christianity. He was involved in at least 36 executions (some say the number is as high as 58) of non-conformists. The Catholic inquisition hardly exceeded the fierceness of Calvin’s sentences of torture and death. We are all acutely aware of Calvin’s burning of Michael Servetus because of his denial of the doctrine of the Trinity.

This “Protestant Pope” and Genevese dictator, murderer of heretics, on the rebound developed and published one of the most heretical doctrines in history after leaving Catholicism. Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion was authored only two years after his departure from the RCC. In this multi-volume tome, he outlined his fundamental doctrine of predestination and election. His five-point formulation of the heresy became popularized by the letters T-U-L-I-P, representing:

  • Total depravity – the concept that man is unable to believe and exercise faith until he is “regenerated” unilaterally by God.
  • Unconditional election – God determined from the beginning which individuals He would save and who He would send to Hell.
  • Limited atonement – Christ’s redemptive work at Calvary was not for everyone, but was only for those whom He had foreordained to be part of the “elect.”
  • Irresistible grace – Saving grace is irresistibly bestowed on the elect, who can neither believe without it nor resist its influence and benefits.
  • Preservation of the saints – This gives adherents the assurance of eternal security, but the focus is on the believer’s faithfulness rather than God’s keeping power.

This forms the real core of Reformed Theology (RT), although some will confess that they are “three-pointers” or “four-pointers,” meaning they only embrace some or most of Calvin’s theological formula for salvation. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9). Calvinism holds that spiritually dead people (unbelieving sinners) are incapable of exercising faith that leads to salvation. The author shows that this flies in the face of evangelistic successes of the Apostolic church recorded in the Book of Acts and beyond. God forces no one to believe and obey, but His arms are open to “whosoever will” (Revelation 22:17).

Calvinism reinterprets the creation account in Genesis to fit its errors, and twists Paul’s epistles to find conformity to the reformer’s theories. Foreknowledge is confused with predestination. Primary scriptures are called on to reveal the errors of this doctrine. Kirkland spares no ink in condemning this heresy that has conflicted the minds of many theologians and in turn their listeners and readers. A personal acquaintance of mine collapsed his Apostolic ministry and joined the ranks of those embracing reformed theology, assuming heartless positions that feed confusion and doubt.

The author correctly states, “The only way Calvinists can support their theory from the Bible is to alter the meaning of Bible words or take them out of context. When a Calvinist teaches “whosoever will,” he means whosoever “God wills.” By contrast, Calvinist author A. W. Pink (1886-1952), who sparked a renewed interest in Calvinism, wrote, “The fact is, the love of God is a truth for the saints only… the ‘world,’ in John 3:16, in the final analysis, refers to the world of God’s people.”

Kirkland twists the knife into RT: “According to Calvinism, it might be your mother, your little boy, your daughter, your wife, and all the children in the church nursery whom God will delight in sending to Hell. It might even be you! After all, praying ‘Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner’ is not going to get you to Heaven if God has determined you are going to Hell.” Rather than Calvin’s heresy, I prefer God’s Word: “Then Peter replied, ‘I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right’…This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth…The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ Let anyone who hears this say, ‘Come.’ Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life” (Acts 10:34,35; I Timothy 2:4,5; Revelation 22:17 NLT).

You may have friends or family who have been swept up in the recent revival of interest in Calvinism. Or you may have wondered just what this renaissance reformer believed and taught that formed the doctrinal basis of whole denominations and Christian movements that are still active today. If so, you will find this easy-to-read book very helpful. It is well worth its modest cost.

I liked his closing statement: “To those Calvinist supporters who may be upset concerning any of my statements in this book, you should not be upset, because if Calvinism is right, I was foreordained by God to write it.”

Order from: www.lighthousetrails.com or call 866-876-3910. Price: 11.95

For further study: http://www.buzzardhut.net/ReformedTheology.pdf

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The world according to Maxine

Health issues

The main point of a cruise is to eat until you weigh the same as the boat.

I’d like to work some cardio into my daily routine, but all the eatio and sleepio doesn’t leave much time.

I was planning on going to the gym, but I got a better offer from my fridge.

I get a good workout just carrying grudges.

On aging

At my age, a “balanced lifestyle” means 50% aches and 50% pains.

I still have a biological clock. It’s on display in the Smithsonian.

At my age, half the stuff in my shopping cart has a longer expiration date than I do.

At my age, I’ve learned to look for love in all the right places…the refrigerator, the microwave, the oven…

When I was young, I used to wake up beautiful. Now I just hope I wake up.

I just thought of a good way to spice up my funeral—I’m going to hire a ventriloquist.

On friends

Some friendships are so strong they can last right up until one of you needs help moving.

People who say, “I’m my own worst critic,” don’t have teenagers.

I don’t understand why people pay shrinks. I’ll tell them what’s wrong with them for free.

Money matters

Throwing money at your problems won’t work…unless I’m one of them.

The price of gas is like a pair of cheap underwear. Every time you turn around, it seems to creep up just a little.

Is it just me, or does the ATM giggle a little every time I make a withdrawal?

There’s nothing wrong with my paycheck that a couple more zeros wouldn’t cure.

If I stretched a dollar any farther, Washington would look like he’s had a facelift.

On social media

I’m a social media pioneer. I’ve been unfriending people since back in the ’50s.

We used to have village idiots, but with the Internet, they’ve gone global.

Is there a phone app that stops people from showing you their phone apps?

I fed the pigeons in the park once. Does that count as a ’Twitter feed?

My status update? Is “alive” good enough for ya?

I miss the days when you could slam down your phone without it costing you $300.

On life in general

My doctor asked me if I’ve ever had a stress test. Sure, it’s called LIFE!

My doctor said to eat better. I told him with what he charges, I’m lucky to eat at all.

I had a part-time job as a store greeter, but apparently “You again?” wasn’t the greeting they had in mind.

The day I mowed my first lawn was the day I understood why my mother wanted kids.

As I look at life around me, I can’t help but think the world’s getting crazier than a roomful of uncles.

– Selections from Today’s World According to Maxine

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BooksBooksBooksBooksBooksBooks

Books by Apostolic authors

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Getting Your Voice to Shake

by Kelly Nix, a book on intercultural communication

Have you ever wondered why some people just can’t seem to be on time? Or maybe you’re  the one who is always being teased for being late, and you’ve wondered what is the big deal about time, anyway?

It may not be that your clock is messed up…in fact, there’s a good chance the source of conflict can be traced to culture, not a timepiece. Our culture affects much of who we are, influencing our relationships with other people, our perception of time, and even the way we perceive authority.

If you’ve ever tried to communicate with someone from another culture and have been frustrated by the lack of connection (even if you are both fluent in the same language!), Getting Your Voice to Shake will be an eye-opening resource that will introduce you to ways to bridge – and, more importantly, to understand – the culture gap and become a much more effective communicator for today’s global society.

Here’s what some readers had to say:  “I literally couldn’t put this book down. Dr. Nix’s research, insight, life experience, and upbeat presentation make the book an indispensable read for those of us who work interculturally.” – Shane M.

“I read this in one sitting and was left wanting more. This was an eye-opener for me. I bought several to give to others. Hoping he writes more on this subject!” – Peter Connell

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Your-Voice-Shake-Intercultural/dp/1541002660

On the Sanctity of Human Life

by Peter Connell

Here’s a new book for pastors, Christian healthcare workers, and just about everybodyconnell_front_300dpi else in our churches. On the Sanctity of Human Life is a straightforward book detailing a biblical perspective of the sanctity of human life; but more than that, it delves into how we as Christians need to view life when we are faced with decisions such as having a family, dealing with sickness and death, and maintaining a proper perspective of the uniqueness and value of every human life from the moment of conception. Each of us will face the issues of life and death at some point on our earthly journey.

Pastors should read these pages with interest and use this book as a stepping stone to become vitally informed about the issues that face every family. In doing so, it will better equip them to wisely counsel families and individuals in their congregations—and teach them these principles before their times of need.

Letters To Pastors and Other Saints

Peter Connell

This book by Pastor Connell is a mixture of a detailed commentary on the letters to the seven churches of Asia contained in Revelation, chapters two and three, and a devotional application of those letters to our own lives.

From the Introduction:  “Nowhere in the Scripture do we have a more concise, penetrating look at the aspects of what our Christian character should be as pastors and other saints as in the letters to the angels of the churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Here Jesus Himself penetrates the hearts and motives of those to whom the letters were directed, and examines what He sees with stunning, and sometimes painful clarity.”  “Certainly before Jesus calls us to be pastors, evangelists, teachers or anything else—He calls us to be saints…Letters to Pastors and Other Saints is an appeal to live up to our first calling. It is a high calling!” 

Yirat Shamayim: A Call for a Revival of the Doctrine of the Fear of the LORD

By Peter Connell

Yirat Shamayim is more than a call for a revival of the doctrine of the fear of the LORD; it is also a call for us to re-examine our understanding of what the fear of the LORD is. If you have the general concept that the “fear of the LORD” is merely a reverent respect for God and His Word, that it is simply that in your service to God, or “reverence must find a place” (as one author said), then this book is for you.

Order Brother Connell’s books from:  http://www.cornerstonepentecostal.org/online_store.php?

IHML makes it easy to win souls

Into His Marvelous Light
IHMLCoverAvailable in English, Spanish, German & Italian
No other evangelistic Bible study has enjoyed the consistent results of IHML over the years. Often copied but never fully duplicated. It is attractive, well written, and doctrinally sound. Those who are seeking for Availabletruth will see that the new birth is absolutely essential and that Acts 2:38 constitutes that experience. Over 2 million copies sold.

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Guide For Living 
IHML_GFL_RevisedA follow-up Study for the new convert. This little booklet can be given to the new convert to go through alone and then come back to you with any questions they may have. It covers what has happened to them through the new birth and ably presents what their responsibilities are now as a Christian.

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Promotional Tracts 
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Hand out these tracts to help you promote the Bible study in your community. Available in English and Spanish. It’s easy to get Bible study opportunities with these tracts.  $9.95 per 100

Order Bible studies from advanceministries.org or call 936-537-0250.

See more books at advanceministries.org/store

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Does God create evil?

The Hebrew language is not the simplest of tongues to master. The 1611 KJV’s marginal notes aided comprehension by explaining the translators’ choice of readings or admitting that they had no idea what the Hebrew word meant. It is regrettable that later versions of the KJV have excluded those notes. They could have been used to elucidate Isaiah 45:7 where the Lord is quoted as saying, “I create evil.” Many laymen (and some ministers) struggle to determine just what God was saying in this phrase. “Evil” was probably not the best rendering of the Hebrew term ra’, at least it is doubtful than any translator today would employ that rendering. Judgmental “calamity” or “distress” such as God was contemplating against Babylon by Cyrus might have provided better understanding.

Perhaps another place that closer scrutiny or a better grasp of Hebrew would have served the translators well is in I Samuel 27:10—“Whither have ye made a road today?” This is a verse some use to suggest that missionaries should be willing to build a road to isolated villages to reach them with the gospel. Others use the phrase to suggest that we should hew a spiritual path for those coming behind. Good ideas, but the verse has nothing to do with building a road or exampling a direction for our descendants. Contemporary Bibles make it clear that the question being asked is, “Where have you made a raid today” (italics mine]? The Hebrew Tanakh: “Where did you raid today?” This rendering is also verified by Jay P. Green in his Interlinear Bible, in the Key Word Study Bible, Strong’s 6584, etc. At the time, David was into raiding, not roadbuilding.

I recently heard a KJVO apologist chide the New King James Version for replacing the word “file” in I Samuel 13:21 with “pim”—a less common term in place of a well-known tool. Such a change would not be justified except that pim is an accurate translation of the Hebrew word, but was incorrectly rendered as “file” in the KJV. A pim was the amount of money charged for the sharpening of the Israelites’ tools, not a tool used to do the sharpening. The Tanakh also uses the word “pim,” but footnotes explain that it is “two-thirds of a shekel.” Should those words have been inserted into the NKJV (as did the NIV, NASB, NET, HCSB), and if so, would the average English reader know exactly how much was being charged in today’s money? Probably not. Regardless of the amount a pim represented, it was money and not a tool.

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Laugh a little…

 

…and cry a little.

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The Last Word

Fly your flag on July 4 and let everyone around you know that you love and appreciate America—wanting it to remain a nation of laws and borders, and populated by people who will still give the last full measure of devotion to see it survive the challenges of secularists, elitists, and socialists.

Have a blessed 4th of July holiday and beyond!

JREnsey

Published in: on July 1, 2018 at 1:19 AM  Comments (2)  

June 2018 Blog

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for June, 2018. In this months issue: Another “ban the Bible” move, Easiest Bible version to read, The Luther I never knew.

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The Word for Today

Colossians 3:5-10 (NLT):So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

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The “Human Scouts”?

My son is no longer an alumnus of the “Boy Scouts”—they have disappeared from the American scene. The social engineers have taken the eraser to that name. The idiots at the BS headquarters decided to acquiesce to the handful of effete change agents who are charging across the American scene as though they are saving the world from the scourge of anything traditional. Girls are now allowed to join.

Someone pointed out, however, that the former Boy Scouts of America are still hesitating about offering membership to the other 49,247 genders (more or less) that have been “scientifically” identified. Soon the terms “boy” and “girl” will be dropped from all current usages, perhaps from the English language itself. Hide and watch.

An alternative—don’t hide and watch. Speak to those who will listen to you about this madness that is sweeping our nation. Light up whatever social media you are into with denunciations of such changes and provide a clear voice for common sense—an increasingly uncommon position.

And forget suggesting “Human Scouts.” Such discrimination would surely offend some chimp or orangutan that might want to join.

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Just when you thought stupid had gone as far as it could…

The deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee wore a T-shirt which urged opposition to national borders around the United States, as he walked in a May Day parade in Minneapolis, MN.

“Yo No Creo En Fronteras,” said the shirt worn by Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim who is also the vice-chair of the Democratic Party’s progressive caucus. The slogan means “I Do not Believe in Borders,” and it is being pushed by open-borders groups.

Tell Mexico and Canada: “You first.”

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One of the best common sense articles I have read recently:

https://patriotpost.us/opinion/55891

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Pressure continues for Christians to “evolve”

A California bill aimed at Christians and the Bible, would amend the state Consumer Legal Remedies Act, adding the ability to sue for damages for “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.” Any efforts to change someone’s sexual orientation “in a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer are unlawful.” That’s more than therapy. It’s any kind of an argument.

Conservative and Christian lawyers see this proposal as dangerously broad. In National Review, David French called it a “dramatic infringement on First Amendment rights.” He was alarmed at the language that would define unlawful “sexual orientation change efforts” as including “efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

We know whose expression this bill is designed to curtail. Leftist legislators were not subtle. One assembly member spouted that it is time for legislation to nudge the “faith community” to “evolve with the times.”

As if it is the duty of the church to march in lock-step with the culture.

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What is the easiest Bible version for reading and comprehension?

The hardline advocates of the King James Version of the Bible like Gail Riplinger say it is the easiest of all versions to read and understand. (New Age Bible Versions, p. 195). The “truth is what I say it is” gang strikes again.

The explanation: The KJV has a lot of one- and two-syllable words—1.3 per word on average, and 3.96 letters per word, claims one counter—that make it “extraordinarily easy to read.” Really? And that is what makes the KJV “easiest of all Bibles to understand”?

My great granddaughter, age 2, also uses mostly one syllable words, but it is not always clear what she is trying to communicate. Same with the KJV.

For example, II Corinthians 8:1: “We do you to wit of the grace of God….” Easy words when used alone, but it is the way they are put together and used in a sentence that can be puzzling. Ask any new convert who hasn’t heard 40 years of preaching from the KJV what that verse means.

Jesus spoke of the wars and commotions of the endtime, then said, “but the end is not by and by” (Luke 21:9). Huh? The average reader would easily miss the meaning of those one-syllable words used together in that phrase. And consider Job 36:16: “Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness.” Mostly single syllable words there, but it takes some time to grasp what is being said. Most readers skip over such verses (of which there are many) and move on. Check it out in the NASB, HCSB or NET.

Who in modern times comprehends “wee fet a compass” (1611 KJV; “we fetched” in modern KJVs)? Yes, the definition of the individual words is generally known, but together what do they mean? All the words in Job 13:10 are easily defined separately, but used together they are confusing: “He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons.” Don’t even attempt to make sense of Ezekiel 41:6-7 in the KJV. Simple words but very confusing. Ask a class of teens what Paul meant when the KJV has Him saying, “Yet what I shall choose, I wot not” (Philippians 1:22; all one syllables).

The one-syllable word “rank” in Genesis 41:5 once meant “strong and healthy.” What of blains (Exodus 9:9), felloes (I Kings 7:33), besom (Isaiah 14:23), bruit (Jeremiah 10:22), or sith (Ezekiel 35:36), one- and two-syllable words that are no longer in use? Many words in the KJV are used nowhere today except in that version. The words of S. of S. 5:4 are short and each is understandable alone, but what modern reader readily comprehends “My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him”? Did anyone out there even come close to getting what Paul was saying in Colossians 2:23 or David in Psalm 37:8b the first time they read those verses? Clarity goes out the window when the KJV quotes God as saying, “I create evil” (Isaiah 45:7) instead of “calamity” or “disaster.” Satan is not actually “transformed into” an angel of light as the KJV suggests in II Corinthians 11:14—he merely “disguises” (ESV; metaschematizetai) himself as such in order to deceive.

One can see why comprehension suffers in the KJV. It is not that its words are long and multi-syllabic; it is the archaic way they are used in a sentence, or the fact that they are obsolete, or no longer mean what they did in 1611. That is why reading level tests generally show that that the KJV is the most difficult version to read with comprehension. Why should we maintain any unnecessary hurdle between a reader and the gospel?

KJV extremists, however, like Riplinger are apt to quote the faulty Flesch-Kincade, math-generated, computer-driven model of measuring the readability of documents. The F-K test does not measure word order (syntax), spelling, punctuation, or definitions. All of these contribute greatly to comprehension. Spelling and punctuation were not yet standardized in 1611. The blind F-K technology cannot adequately project these differences. The F-K test suggests that it is easier for modern Americans to read and comprehend the Book of James in the Swedish language Bible than the KJV. Huh?

Let’s be honest about Bible translations. People, not computers, are the best and most reliable measure of Bible readability.

And why must I always add the following or similar disclaimer to almost anything I write about this topic? “I am not writing ‘against the KJV,’ per se. If anyone prefers it, great. They will get no heat from me. But when false information is being disseminated about it, and condemning other versions and those who use them as ‘agents of the enemy,’ it generates confusion among the laity and even some ministers. It calls for a response. As long as misinformation is being spread, we are obligated to rebut the misleading claims.”

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Strange goings on

Strange: Senator McCain is so bitter that he wants Obama to do his funeral eulogy. He asks that Trump stay home.

Stranger: Who is opposing the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? American Jews? Christians? Aborigines in the Outback? Nope. USA Democrats. Virtually to a man in congress. Why? Because Trump was for it. Former Democrat presidents supported the move but never did it. Forked tongues. Now when President Trump advocated it, no Democrat obstructionist would vote for it. Guess what? Trump just did it anyway…because he said he would.

Strangest: A Chilean man abused by Roman Catholic cleric(s) and subsequently announced he was gay, claims Pope Francis purportedly told him “that you are gay does not matter. God made you like that and loves you like this and I don’t care. The Pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.” Even the  Catholic Bibles are very clear in condemnation of homosexual activity.

How deep has the sexual revolution gone? Ask the Boy Scouts alumni. Ask the pre-teen daughters of a Georgia mother who pimped them to men for money. Ask anyone who has seen a movie at a theater lately. Ask virtually any student in public schools and colleges. It is time for the brakes, folks!

The New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat who championed women’s rights, the feminist agenda, and an outspoken figure in the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, has been charged with beating several women during romantic encounters. He has resigned his position.

Quote of the week: “We are all God’s children. There is a spark of divinity among every person on earth, and we all have to recognize that as we respect the dignity and worth of every person.” —Nancy Pelosi, on the spark of divinity, dignity and worth of children in their mother’s womb. No, wait, she was talking about MS-13 gang members… (Step back while I hurl.)

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Book review

The Luther I Never Knew

Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography
Author: Herman Selderhuis
Wheaton, IL: Crossway Publishers, 2017; 347 pages

Since we are yet celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (beginning October 31, 1517), I kicked back with a book about the man who was said to have ignited the flame—Martin Luther.

Over the years I had read snippets of his life and works, and two or three of his books are on my library shelves used as references. What more was needed to be known about the man?

Then recently someone put this biography in my hand as a gift, renewing my interest. It provided many insights into the man who stared down the Roman Catholic Church. If you love honest-to-badness, straightforward, objective biographies, this is one.

Consecrated as a priest in 1507 at age 24, he would become the top student in the monastery at Erfurt, Germany. After a trip to Rome, during which he observed first-hand the evil and corruption that was in the city—and the church—in those days, he returned disillusioned. He knew something was wrong. Assigned to the Wittenberg monastery and the City Church, he was there when Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar and Grand Inquisitor of Poland, came around raising money for Rome’s St. Peter’s Church. He was marketing indulgences, interpreted by some as “get out of jail free” grace cards. Although not totally opposed to indulgences, Luther railed against the greed that motivated them.

He was still trying to plumb the depths of faith and grace vs. works, Luther suggested a debate on the issue, allowing the officer of the church to publish his proposal (the “95 Theses”) on the door of the Wittenberg church. He naïvely thought the pope would come down on his side. That proposal, however, is credited with being the flashpoint of the Protestant Reformation. Luther never intended it as such and was somewhat apologetic at first that he had caused such a ruckus. But there was no turning back. He was swept along in a tsunami of his own making.

Finally called into question at the Diet of Worms, he felt he was finished and would possibly be excommunicated or worse. But politics came into play, and a high official who was protecting Luther was needed by the pope for political reasons. Not wanting to destroy that relationship, the pope did not take immediate action against Luther. The reformer steadily made progress toward changing many of the policies and liturgical procedures of the church. Luther won enough converts to his salvation by faith v. works position until it was not worth it to the pope to take his life. Luther continued to teach at Wittenberg University and preach in the City Church and Castle Church until near the end of his life.

The reformer was not far removed from many of the practices of his former peers, however. He was known to bend the elbow daily and was inebriated often. His wife had to create a brewery in the home to keep up with the demand of the household. He warned his university students not to drink too much; in that, he was a poor example. He called Germany a country plagued “by the devil of boozing.” He also urged “the city officers to charge the [local] prostitutes who had a number of students as customers.” What a way to fund your seminary!

Luther and other reformers nibbled at the edges of truth regarding the source of salvation. Selderhuis attempts to be kind in his depiction of the reformer but he lets us see the soft underbelly of his theology. He waffled on indulgences and the authority of the pope, could not forsake infant baptism, and struggled with the Book of James which he considered “a straw epistle.” He was clearly anti-Semitic, which may have influenced Germany’s actions against Jews three centuries later. He could not abide the “radical reformers,” such as Anabaptists. He wanted to leave the RCC, but he didn’t want to go very far away. He was not beyond the burning of those involved in witchcraft. He wanted a church attached to the state, but could not develop a biblical position that covered all the angles of such an alignment. He even once approved bigamy to “help” a friend (and himself) in a political situation. He split with Calvin and Zwingli over the physical presence of Christ in communion.

Selderhuis takes time to discuss Luther’s health. The list of his ailments was long. From 1518 forward until his death in 1546 he suffered with severe stomach problems. He also had kidney stones, heart problems, rheumatism, deafness (Ménière’s disease), hemorrhoids, headaches, vertigo, insomnia, constant fatigue, bouts with diarrhea, and a constant ringing in his ears. Some of these he attributed to bad water that was replaced with much wine and beer. In the end, his heart just gave up the battle.

To be fair, Luther’s well-known accomplishments in the face of the most powerful force on earth at the time are just as numerous as his illnesses, and were not overlooked by the author. All Christians can take heart that, while Luther did not go far enough in reclaiming many fundamental Bible doctrines, he did loosen the tyrannical grip of Roman Catholicism on millions of Europeans. Even today we remain steeled against the juggernaut of the papacy and are free to proclaim the Apostolic doctrine in most of the countries it once ruled.

At least some credit is due to a man called Luther.

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Another urban legend?

I noted a recent article touting the KJV-Only position on Bible translations. Mostly standard stuff you hear from rigid defenders of the that version, except it quoted a “Dr. Frank Logsdon” who is presented on some sites as a “committee member and co-founder of the New American Standard Version” and having a “major role in its development.” After being influenced by David Otis Fuller’s books in the 1970s and moving to Florida where he became friends with KJV ultra-extremist Peter Ruckman, he chose to renounce the NASB, published by the Lockman Foundation. He claims that he “laid the groundwork…wrote the format…sat with the translators…wrote the Preface (‘those are my words’)” to the NASB. After becoming a KJV-Only, he now says that his involvement was a mistake because the NASB is “wrong” and the “KJV is 100% correct!”
Who is wrong, really?

The Lockman Foundation responded to Logsdon’s claims:
“The Board of Directors of The Lockman Foundation launched the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE translation work in the late 1950’s following the completion of the AMPLIFIED NEW TESTAMENT. Dr. S. Franklin Logsdon was acquainted with Dewey Lockman, president of The Lockman Foundation, prior to Mr. Lockman’s death in 1974. Mr. Logsdon was never a member of the Board of Directors, nor was he an employee of The Lockman Foundation. Mr. Logsdon had no authority to hire employees or translators for the Foundation, to set policy, to vote, to hold office, to incur expenses, etc. He cannot be considered ‘co-founder’ of the NASB, nor part of The Lockman Foundation, nor part of the NASB translation team, nor did he write the Forward of the NASB. According to our records, he was present at board meetings on two occasions—once to hear a travel report; and once to deliver an ‘inspirational thought.’ Mr. Logsdon last wrote to Mr. Lockman in the fall of 1973 that he was moving to Florida. Mr. Lockman replied that he was surprised and saddened by his decision to leave the area. Mr. Lockman passed away in January of 1974, and no further correspondence was exchanged between Frank Logsdon and The Lockman Foundation. He [Logsdon] resided in Florida until his passing some years ago. ‘The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God stands forever’ (Isaiah 40:8 NASB).”

[Signed] The Lockman Foundation

Why dredge up scurrilous material to support a thesis that cannot stand on its own? Isn’t it time to cease copying the propaganda and deceit from the major KJVO players and come to an objective conclusion in this matter of Bible translations? God is not the author of confusion!

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BooksBooksBooksBooksBooks

A New eBook is available.

The Best of E. L. Holley

E. L. Holley was a man of unique abilities. An astute observer of human nature, he could communique truth in an inimitable style that you could never forget. His Apostolic ministry touched the lives of thousands of people over the years. Here, under the categories of Christian living, evangelism and growth, doctrine, holiness, balance, ministry, logic and philosophy, organizational trends, and education, are some of the cream of his writings that flowed from an anointed pen. The Best has scores of articles with material that will inspire you and others as you share it with your members and friends. You will love this book! eBook format only.

AM Price $8.95

How Do We know The Bible Is True?

How Do We Know the Bible Is True? is based on the absolute authority of God’s Word, not man-centered explanations. Clearly presented, it will help bring clarity in a world filled with increasingly vague notions of truth. This concise collection of apologetic truth contains over 20 relevant issues including: Is the Bible inerrant and reliable? Did the resurrection really happen? Are there contradictions in the Bible? What is the purpose and meaning of life? Did miracles really happen? Was Genesis derived from ancient myths? How should we interpret the Bible; should Genesis be literal? Within these pages you will find responses to those honest questions of faith, helping to build a confidence in God’s Word. These powerful biblical insights are soundly presented by more than a dozen respected defenders of the faith, including Ken Ham, John MacArthur, Terry Mortenson, Jason Lisle, Brian Edwards, Tommy Mitchell, Jobe Martin, Georgia Purdom, Bodie Hodge, and Roger Patterson. Only three left at only 6.95 each.

The Unbound Scriptures

Unbound Scripturesby Rick Norris

This book is for serious truth seekers only. Based on years of research and study, the author has provided us with more usable information about the Bible—its history, its manuscripts, and it soundness—than we’ve ever seen between the covers of one book. Crammed into 544 pages is an objective look at issues about the Scriptures facing our churches today. You don’t have to be a Greek scholar to glean personal help and inspiration from this book. You will be equipped to “always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (I Peter 3:15). Retail: 19.99 Only $12.99. We have only two remaining. Call for your copy today! 936-537-0250.

How To Prepare For Hard Times and Persecution

Official government documents say that evangelical Christians are potential terrorists, and some Christian groups are even called hate groups. Christian doctors and nurses are being forced to perform abortions, and a Christian baker has been threatened with prison for not baking a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. Christians in Colorado, New York, and Kentucky are being forced to go through sensitivity training in order to free them from their religious beliefs and resulting moral convictions. When Communists did such things to American soldiers, we called it brainwashing. American Christians are in the early stages of persecution, and it is increasing. Unfortunately, many will be blindsided by it because few pastors and church leaders are warning about it or preparing believers for it. The first part of How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution is based on years of research into current events from a biblical perspective. It discloses what is happening, how we got there, and where we are heading. The second part gives encouragement from Scripture and biblical principles for dealing with the challenges of the perilous times in which we live. As Christians, we cannot afford to compromise our faith. We need to believe and obey the inspired Word of God. We need to be prepared to respond to persecution biblically instead of reacting to it carnally. Only 10 left.

Only 6.95 each. Call for your copy today! 936-537-0250.

Into His Marvelous Light Bible Study

IHMLCoverNo other brief, one session Bible study has enjoyed the consistent soul-winning results of IHML over the years. Often copied but never duplicated. It is attractive, well written, and doctrinally sound. It will convince any open-minded person (and some whose minds are not so open) that the new birth is absolutely essential and that Acts 2:38 constitutes that experience. It’s possible that more souls have been won with this Bible Study than with any other single teaching tool in the past 20 years. Discover how easy it is to share the plan of salvation with others. Available in English, Spanish and Italian. English is available in both KJV and NIV84.

AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each;  50-99 $1.50 each; 100 or more $1.25 each

Guide For LivingIHML_GFL_Revised

A follow-up study for the new believers and a sequel to IHML. This little booklet can be given to the new members to go through alone and then come back to you with any questions they may have. It can also be taught as a text in a class. It covers the new birth—what has happened to them experientially, and goes through what their responsibilities as believers are now.

AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each;  50-99 $1.50 each; 100 or more $1.25 each

Order books and Bible studies from advanceministries.org or call 936-537-0250.

See more books at advanceministries.org/store

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The truth hurts

I don’t know if Facebook has ever made the lame to walk, but beyond all doubt it has enabled to the dumb to speak.

My brain is like an Internet browser—17 tabs are open, 9 of them are not responding, thousands of pop-ups, and where is that annoying music coming from?

I wish offended people would act like fainting goats and quietly tip over.

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Personal: It matters!

As a minister, why do I include political opinion and news in my blog? Simply stated, because it is relevant. What is occurring on the political scene has a direct effect on the church and its mission. It matters that the success of liberals and atheists who want to curtail the work of Christians in this country would have far-reaching results around the world. It matters that our kids are daily subjected to leftist rhetoric and indoctrination in our public schools and colleges. It matters who is sitting in the Oval Office in Washington. It matters that Christian and conservative voices are stifled in the press and liberal anti-Christian voices are given space and time once reserved for objective journalists. It matters when history is revised by professors and the press to favor the agendas of those who wish Christians harm. It matters when religions that oppose the Christian way are given freedoms that are denied to us. It matters whether there are open doors in other countries for Christian missionaries to work.

Perhaps what I have to say doesn’t go very far or very high into the cloisters of political power. But it reached you. So, if you agree that the truth matters, why not let your voice be heard by those whom you know that can make a difference—because YOU matter.

JREnsey

We welcome your comments! Share your thoughts below or write to me directly at jnz@kingwoodcable.net.

Last Word: Make up your mind while you are in your right mind!

Published in: on June 1, 2018 at 8:08 AM  Comments (1)  

JREnsey blog May 2018

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for MAY, 2018. Check out: Comments on Rev. 4 by W. A. Criswell, More diversity coming, The wealthy have hearts, too, and Memory of a lightning conversion.

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The Word for Today

Jeremiah 23:35-39 (KJV): “Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the Lord answered? and, What hath the Lord spoken?

36 And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God.

37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the Lord answered thee? and, What hath the Lord spoken?

38 But since ye say, The burden of the Lord; therefore thus saith the Lord; Because ye say this word, The burden of the Lord, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the Lord;

39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence.”

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Memory of a lightning conversion

The little church by Stink Creek that we were using for services while planting a church in Greensboro, NC in 1961, holds some memorable moments. The lady next door to the church had started attending with her children. Her husband thought he was “too much of a man to go to church”! During one hot and humid Sunday evening, I was in the pulpit just starting the service. A severe thunderstorm was just reaching the area with unusual lightning and thunder. Suddenly we heard boots on the front porch of the church and the door abruptly few open. I looked up to see a man, with bulging eyes and running feet, heading up the aisle straight for me. We recognized it was our next door neighbor. We all knew he opposed his wife coming to our church and was capable of meanness when drinking. Heading straight for me, it seemed to this young pastor that perhaps he was going to take out his frustration on me. I stood my ground, although I was ready to move should it be necessary.

Just before he reached the platform he veered to one of the prayer altars and fell on his knees, sobbing in repentance. His surprised wife got up and came to him, and we all gathered around to pray. He cried out a sinner’s prayer if I ever heard one. He seemed to repent of every wrong thing he had ever done and perhaps some things he had not done. After awhile, he settled down and we let him explain.

“I was back of the church,” he sniffled, “down on Stink Creek leaning against a tree and having a drink of whisky when the storm came up. A bolt of lightning hit the tree, shaking my innerds and I knew I needed to pray!” Close strikes will make the hair on one’s head and arms rise up and wave. We went on with an abbreviated service with everyone patting him on the back and congratulating him. So typically in such situations…he never came back to church. The next morning the sky was blue again and he was OK. Why bother?

Lightning conversions usually occur in a flash and dissipate in a flash. How sad. I was hoping that ten years from then he would still be standing to testify about the bottle, the tree and the voice of God in the lightning.

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Comments on the throne in Revelation 4 by W. A. Criswell

I often wonder at people who think that in heaven they are going to see three Gods. If you ever see three Gods, then what the [Muslim] says about you is true and what the Jewish neighbor says about you is true. You are not a monotheist, you are a polytheist. You believe in a multiplication of Gods, plural. “Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God.” We know God as our Father, we know God as our Savior, and we know God by His Spirit in our hearts. But there are not three Gods. The true Christian is a monotheist. There is one God. “I and my Father are one.” “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” The Lord God is He that speaks. It is He that John saw when he turned around. The only God you will ever see is the Lord God whom John saw in the vision of the lampstands. The only God you will ever feel is the Lord God’s Spirit in your heart. The only God there is, is the great Father of us all. The one Lord God, Christ. In the Old Testament we call Him Jehovah. In the New Testament, the New Covenant, we call Him Jesus. The one great God, standing in authority and in judgment and in judicial dignity among His churches, here today, watching over us.”  – Expository Sermons on Revelation, pp. 238-239.

– W. A. Criswell was the former pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, one of the largest churches in America; he had also been President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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“And so we are!”

Why is this parenthetical phrase in contemporary Bibles at I John 3:1 (ESV, HCSB, AMP, NASB, NIV, NET, NLT, RSV, etc.) but is omitted in the KJV? It is found in older MSS of I John (P74 Aleph A B C 33 81 614 1739 it vg al).

When Charles Spurgeon recognized that this phrase was in the new Greek text but had been omitted in the KJV, he preached a message in 1885 entitled, “A Jewel From the Revised Version—‘And We Are.’”

The simple fact is that the phrase was restored in recent times after it was discovered that the earliest MSS available had it. The KJV was following Erasmus’ 16th century Textus Receptus (TR), which was based on a half-dozen MSS that were no earlier than the eleventh or twelfth century. Those late manuscripts were lacking that phrase, so it got left out of the TR and subsequently the KJV.

The KJV translators also put the entire second half of I John 2:23 in small letters and italics, suggesting to the readers that there was little textual support for its inclusion. Later editions use only italics. That was the 1611 KJV “footnote” way of expressing doubt about the authenticity of a phrase. (They did the same in later editions at John 8:6 with the phrase “as though he heard them not.”) The latter portion of I John 2:23 reads in most Bibles: “Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also” (ESV). By the standards of KJV defenders, that amounts to a KJV “omission.” Bruce Metzger explains: “The words of I John 2:23, ‘He who confesses the Son has the Father also,’ fell out of the later manuscripts (on which the King James version depends) because of the presence of ‘has the father also’ in adjacent clauses.” Being strongly supported by early manuscript evidence, the full verse of I John 2:23 belongs in the Scriptures but KJV readers would not think so because it is in italics.

Daniel Buck adds: “[This practice of using small italicized letters to note doubtful passages] can be seen in comparing I John 5:7-8 in all 80 editions of the English New Testaments printed from 1534 to 1551 and noting that it was the usual practice to include the Johannine Comma in smaller print and enclosed in parentheses. In Jugge’s revised edition of Tyndale in 1552, the verses were printed in normal type, as in Tyndale’s first edition of 1526. This practice was then followed by the editors of the Geneva Bible, the Bishops’ Bible, and the KJV. By the time Bible editors again felt a need to call attention to the lack of textual support for the Comma, the practice of doing so with (round) parentheses, smaller font, or italics had gone out of use.”

Indicating that a phrase or verse is questionable for lack of manuscript evidence gets a contemporary version blacklisted by KJV proponents, but the KJV itself is given a pass. One should read the margin in the 1611 KJV at Luke 17:36.

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You can trust the government…can’t you?

Not one of 44 House Democrats bothered with background checks for members of a close-knit group of Pakistani IT aides who ended up gaining “unauthorized access” to congressional data, a new report from The Daily Caller shows.

House security rules require members to start a background check for employees, but they can also put down that another member has vouched for the person.

The background check was waived for all five IT workers who made headlines last year for what the House inspector general’s report, described as activity with “nefarious purposes.”

Pakistan-born Imran Awan, who served as a tech aide in Congress for 13 years, managed to snag congressional IT jobs with salaries as high as $165,000 for his brothers Abid and Jamal, his wife Hina Alvi, and his friend Rao Abbas, who had just been fired from McDonald’s. Together the group was found logging into accounts of representatives who had not hired them, using representatives’ private usernames, and uploading data off of the House network, according to the inspector general’s report.

Abid was working for Representative Yvette Clarke (D., N.Y.) when $120,000 of computer equipment disappeared. Then-congressman Xavier Becerra, who hired Imran, had his server stolen after the inspector general listed it as evidence in an investigation.

Some of the inspector general’s investigators who reviewed the aides’ network activity mused that they may have been ignoring House security protocol simply to share job duties, but others felt it was something more sinister. (Ahhh…you reckon? -JRE)

– Mairead McArdle, in National Review, April 2, 2018

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More anti-Christian activity coming your way dressed as diversity

By Michael Jones, Auburn University

Just four days after Easter, George Washington University hosted a training session for students and faculty that teaches that Christians—especially white ones—“receive unmerited perks from institutions and systems all across our country.”

The April 5 diversity workshop is titled “Christian Privilege: But Our Founding Fathers Were All Christian, Right?!”

Hosted by the university’s Multicultural Student Services Center, the event will teach that Christians enjoy a privileged, easier life than their non-Christian counterparts, and that Christians possess “built-in advantages” today.

The workshop discussed how Christians receive “unmerited perks from institutions and systems all across our country.”

The “Christian Privilege” workshop is one of 15 “free training opportunities” offered through the center to “equip students and staff with the necessary skills to promote diversity and inclusion in the different environments,” according its website.

Other workshops offered through the center focus on “heterosexual privilege,” “cisgender privilege,” “able-bodied privilege,” “socio-economic privilege,” “unconscious bias,” and more.

The purpose of the event was to make people aware of the privileges that Christians have and “what is meant by privilege overall and white privilege specifically,” the event description stated. [end of report]

Let’s see…I think I missed something along the way. Who is really getting privileges by law in today’s culture?

Note: Most Americans condemn discrimination based on skin color regardless of the skin color of those who practice it. However, the hypocritical biases of the socialists and anti-Christians who are condemning others for virtually any nonsensical reason is wearing thin on most thinking individuals.

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Let me tell you…

Everyone knows that the best advertising is word of mouth. That is the only kind we read of in the Bible. They didn’t have sky-writing, Facebook, or even newspapers. No emails or printed pieces. Yet the early Christians reached their known world with the Gospel.

Years ago a car manufacturer used an advertising line that stressed the importance of word of mouth recommendations. It simply said, “Ask the person who owns one.” No kind of advertising beats a personal testimony from a satisfied customer.

As one poet put it:

When witnessing, and people ask,

“How do you know it’s true?”

Remember that they can’t deny

What Christ has done for you.

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The wealthy have hearts, too!

John D. Rockefeller, Sr., founder of the Standard Oil Company and once the richest man in America, was also a Sunday school teacher and trustee of Erie Street Baptist Mission Church. He studied the Bible daily. He made a lot of money and gave away a lot of money. He said, “Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; ever possession, a duty.”

R. G. LeTourneau revolutionized the earthmoving equipment industry and was widely credited for aiding America’s effort during WWII. He supported numerous Christian causes and served as President of Gideons International. He was also committed to “reverse tithing”—giving 90% to God and keeping 10% to live on! He said, “I shovel money out, and God shovels it back…But God has a bigger shovel!”

Truett Cathy founded Chick-fil-A in 1946 and taught Sunday school at First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, GA for more than 50 years. To this day, his stores are closed on Sundays so all employees have the opportunity to rest and worship. Cathy once said, “If you wish to enrich days, plant flowers; if you wish to enrich years, plant trees; if you wish to enrich eternity, plant ideals in the lives of others.”

David Green, founder of the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts stores, was the driving force behind the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. As an accomplished businessman, he said, “There is a God, and he’s not averse to business. He’s not just a ‘Sunday deity.’ He understands margin and spreadsheets, competition and profits.”

Norm Miller is the chairman of the Dallas-based Interstate Batteries. He gives God credit for dramatically changing his life. In 2008, he launched the I Am Second movement. “As I got more successful in the business and people knew I was a Christian, I started to get more involved in speaking. I decided I would just give my testimony and try to lead people to Christ.”

Acts and Facts, ICR, 5/18

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BooksBooksBooksBooksBooksBooks

The Role of the Shepherdess

You will laugh and cry as you read through these inspirational pages. You’ll experience the highs and lows with the author as she takes you through the valleys and over the mountains of ministerial life. Roffie Ensey has participated in all aspects and facets of ministry discussed in the book—the wife of an evangelist, a home missionary, a missions administrator, a pastor, associate pastor (to their son), and Bible college president. It is written from the perspective of someone who has been there.

AM Price $12.95

Special Sale

We have a Workbook and Answer Key for those who wish to teach from this book. This month’s special is buy one get one free. So buy the Workbook and get the Answer Key free.

AM price $14.99

Order from advanceministries.org/store or phone 936-537-0250.

Apostolic Ministerial Studies

Years in the making, the two levels, Basic and Advanced, are available in two binders. There are twelve lessons in each level prepared for use by a pastor or other leader to train the ministers in the local assembly. Outlines for the students are also included. Written and compiled by J. R. Ensey, the studies are very practical and easy to teach. The lesson topics:

Level I

The Word Handlers I
Conquering the Enemies of the Ministry
From Moses to King James
Managing Ministerial Finances
Taking the Pressure Off Your Marriage
Life in the Fishbowl
Leadership in the Local Church I
Gods Ministry Gifts
Making Full Proof of Your Ministry
Standards of Christian Conduct
The Ministry and Morality
Social Ethics

Level II

The Word Handlers II
Shutting the Backdoor of the Church
Ministerial Ethics
The Christian Counselor
A Page From Paul’s Ministers Manual
Requirements For the Priesthood
Maturing In the Ministry
Feeding the Flock
Leadership in the Local Church II
Pursuing the Will Of God
Shoulders For A Prophet’s Mantle
The Gifts of the Spirit

Review:

“The 21st century Apostolic preacher faces challenges every day that past generations of preachers could have never imagined. We need all the resources and tools possible to equip us for this time. Ever since Brother Ensey told me he was working on a new study course for preachers a few years ago, I have been anxiously waiting to see the finished product. After having a chance to review the course I have not been disappointed. The experience from decades of hands-on ministry and years of training ministers have been distilled into a very user friendly manual. This is a must for every young minister and for ministers that are involved in training others for service. Thank you, Brother Ensey, for another great resource to strengthen the ministry.” – Pastor Gary Howard

In PDF format AM price $89.99

Printed in binders: AM price $119.99

Order from advanceministries.org/store or phone 936-537-0250.

IHML

IHMLCoverInto His Marvelous Light one-hour Bible study

Only $1.75 each up to 49 copies, 1.50 each from 50-99 copies, and only 1.25 for orders IHML_GFL_Revisedof 100 or more. Follow-up study Guide For Living is same price.

Still the best soulwinning tool you can use!

Order online at www.advanceministries.org/ or phone 936-537-0250.

Don’t forget your Bible studies this month!

Order from advanceministries.org/store or phone 936-537-0250.

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Why fewer churches are using bulletins

Appearing in church bulletins:

The Pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the church would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday

The evening massage will be in the 6 PM service.

The Rev. Merriweather spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.

During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when Rev. J. F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit.

On a church bulletin during the minister’s illness: GOD IS GOOD – Dr. Hargreaves is better.

Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to the church secretary.

The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.

Applications are now being accepted for 2-year old nursery workers.

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The quotable Warren Wiersbe makes it plain

“I don’t think the average church member realizes the extent of the theological erosion that’s taken place on the American evangelical scene since World War II, but the changes I’ve witnessed in Christian radio broadcasting and publishing make it very real to me. Radio programs that once majored in practical Bible teaching are now given over to man-centered interviews (‘talk’ radio is a popular thing) and man-centered music that sounds so much like what the world presents, you wonder if your radio is tuned to a Christian station. Some so-called ‘Christian music’ is just plain silly. God’s people are getting their ‘theology’ from popular religious music instead of from the Bible and the hymnal. In so much of today’s ministry, ‘feeling good’ has replaced being good, and ‘happiness’ has replaced holiness.” (Warren Wiersbe, Be Myself, p. 301)

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Grin and bear it

Is that message for us?

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It is interesting that at Psalm 80:4 the text says, “Wilt thou be angry?” But the 1611 KJV in the margin has “Hebr. ‘wilt thou smoke?’” So the KJV translators had to interpret at times as well as translate or simply copy previous versions.

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Enjoy the greatest month of increase in your church’s history!

JREnsey

Published in: on May 1, 2018 at 12:08 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey blog for March 2018

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for March, 2018. Don’t miss Ten things “Yahweh” means, The Bible got history right, A dose of common sense, and the book review.

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The Word for Today

Ephesians 4:11-16 (NLT): “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”

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Insightful words from Ronald Knox

Almost always schism begets schism; once the instinct of discipline is lost, the movement breeds rival prophets and rival coteries, at the peril of its internal unity. Always the first fervor evaporates; prophecy dies out, and the charismatic is merged into the institutional.“The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard”—it is a fugal melody that runs through the centuries.

Liberty will, but for incessant vigilance, degenerate into license.

As we clamor for our liberties, shout our demands for our “rights,” and wave our flags of freedoms, let us never forget the words of Socrates: “The downfall of nations may be laid at the feet of the abuse of their founding principles.”

– Ronald Knox in Enthusiasm

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The Bible got history right

My readers know well my penchant for archaeology. I spent some time on a dig in Israel uncovering the area at Joshua’s altar on Mt. Ebal (Joshua 8:30). It solidified my faith in the truth and accuracy of our Bible. If the Bible says it happened, it happened. Nothing has been uncovered in the Holy Land that nullifies that fact.

I recently read an article published by the Biblical Archaeological Society (BAS), which conveyed:

“Archaeology in the biblical lands has yielded an ever-growing understanding of history. It has also given us startling confirmations of some stories in the Bible. From King Solomon’s fabulous wealth to Assyrian torture practices, tantalizing clues to people, places recorded in Scripture have surfaced over the centuries from discoveries of steles, ostraca, ancient scrolls and the ghosts of long-buried cities.

Take the legendary gold of King Solomon. Some scholars had dismissed the Bible’s accounts of his Golden Temple as sheer fantasy. Yet careful examination of historical evidence shows that such lavish display was a standard practice of the ancient world. What’s more, a huge triumphal relief at an Egyptian temple confirms the Bible’s report of the looting of Jerusalem by Pharaoh Shishak—thus providing a plausible explanation of the fate of that elusive gold treasure.

Biblical scholars and archaeologists are literally digging ever deeper into the actual history within the Bible, uncovering proof of the people and stories that are so familiar to the world. [It is unusual for BAS/BAR to use the words “confirmation” or “proof” in discussing biblical finds that corroborate the scriptural accounts.-JRE]

Consider the story of David and Goliath. Today we have historical evidence that King David existed, and archaeologists even believe they’ve discovered the biblical Goliath’s hometown.

We’ve also learned much over the past 150 years about mankind’s most obsessive activity—war—in ancient times. Battles and victories related in the Bible have been confirmed, historical kings identified despite altered biblical names.

The Bible also records the Assyrians conquest and ancient inscriptions add the gory details. The Assyrians had people impaled on stakes, beheaded, flayed and burned alive. The Bible presents these tales as the history of ancient Israel. And indeed, the archaeological evidence and scholarly expertise in reading and interpreting ancient text is confirming more of the history every day. (End report)

Nothing is more exciting or enjoyable than to research and uncover truths as they are expressed in the Bible.

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10 Things “Yahweh” Means

God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” (Exodus 3:15)

God’s name is almost always translated LORD (all caps) in the [KJV]. But the Hebrew would be pronounced something like “Yahweh,” and is built on the word for “I am.”

So every time we hear the word Yahweh, or every time you see LORD in the English Bible, you should think: this is a proper name (like Peter or John) built out of the word for “I am” and reminding us each time that God absolutely is.

There are at least 10 things the name Yahweh, “I AM,” says about God:

  1. He never had a beginning. Every child asks, “Who made God?” And every wise parent says, “Nobody made God. God simply is. And always was. No beginning.”
  2. God will never end. If he did not come into being he cannot go out of being, because he is being.
  3. God is absolute reality. There is no reality before him. There is no reality outside of him unless he wills it and makes it. He is all that was eternally. No space, no universe, no emptiness. Only God.
  4. God is utterly independent. He depends on nothing to bring him into being or support him or counsel him or make him what he is.
  5. Everything that is not God depends totally on God. The entire universe is utterly secondary. It came into being by God and stays in being moment by moment on God’s decision to keep it in being.
  6. All the universe is by comparison to God as nothing. Contingent, dependent reality is to absolute, independent reality as a shadow to substance. As an echo to a thunderclap. All that we are amazed by in the world and in the galaxies, is, compared to God, as nothing.
  7. God is constant. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He cannot be improved. He is not becoming anything. He is who he is.
  8. God is the absolute standard of truth and goodness and beauty. There is no law-book to which he looks to know what is right. No almanac to establish facts. No guild to determine what is excellent or beautiful. He himself is the standard of what is right, what is true, what is beautiful.
  9. God does whatever he pleases and it is always right and always beautiful and always in accord with truth. All reality that is outside of him he created and designed and governs as the absolute reality. So he is utterly free from any constraints that don’t originate from the counsel of his own will.
  10. God is the most important and most valuable reality and person in the universe. He is more worthy of interest and attention and admiration and enjoyment than all other realities, including the entire universe.

– by John Piper

And no one but Jesus could say, “I came but I was already here!” Or, “I am going away but I will never leave you!” He IS!

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Said or read—word pictures

How to know if there is really a government shutdown: Have they stopped taking money out of your paycheck?

Obama’s legacy of 8 years: Made school lunches inedible, health insurance unaffordable, and police lives unimportant.

The same ones who are upset about deporting children are the same ones who are encouraging aborting babies.

Racist: Anyone who wins an argument against a liberal.

It’s really quite simple: If Americans won’t vote for Democrats, then they will import people who will.

One liberal to another: How do we get workers to believe keeping more of their money is bad?

In 2010, Obamacare was passed without a single Republican vote and hurt America. In 2017, tax reform was passed without a single Democrat vote and helped nearly every American.

Everything you need to know about liberals: They call Americans “deplorables,” and illegals “dreamers.”

Hollywood liberals are still bashing the president. Weren’t they supposed to be in Canada by now?

Liberal logic: North Korea’s missiles can’t hurt us if we declare America a missile-free zone, huh?

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’s be a shortage of sand.” – Milton Friedman

News media: “Tonight we are going to skip news about the tremendous growing economy to bring you an important report on a bad word President Trump allegedly said.”

The immigration situation is like a “dreamer” getting his parents to sneak him into Disneyland and then blaming Disney for kicking him out.

The word “politics” is derived from “poly” meaning “many” and “ticks” meaning blood-sucking parasites.”

If Trump came out in favor of oxygen, liberals would suffocate themselves.

It was hard to believe, but there he was. The Democrats sent a Kennedy out to rail against sexual harassment.

What’s that hat the Dems are wearing—Make America Grumpy Again?!

Source: Patriot Post, et al

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Here’s a dose of common sense

“Okay, I’ll be the bad guy and say what no one else is brave enough to say, but wants to say,” said Kelly Guthrie Raley, who was named Eustis Middle School Teacher of the Year 2017-2018 last month. She was writing in a now-viral Facebook post following the mass shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Raley said she’ll “take all the criticism and attacks” for her opinion because, as a teacher with two decades of experience, she has to worry about an active-shooter situation on a daily basis. The middle school teacher said over her almost two decades as an educator that she’s seen an increase in violence and a lack of compassion among students.

“Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the mental health issues, lack of discipline in the home, horrendous lack of parental support when the schools are trying to control horrible behavior at school (Oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I’ll say it—violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others’ lives—as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each others’ faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school.”

Well said, Kelly, who loves hunting and four-wheeling in her spare time, adding that she grew up with guns in her home.

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The dominoes are falling

Atheists are calling foul after President Trump referenced Christianity, and specifically Jesus Christ, in his remarks last month at the 66th annual National Prayer Breakfast.

With nary a nay, Congress has scrubbed Thomas Jefferson’s name from a park built to celebrate one of his life’s great achievements and the way it changed America. Where will this censuring of history end?

Walgreens has become the latest company to allow people to choose which bathrooms to use without regard for their biological sex.

George Soros funds movements to disrupt communities in the U.S. and it seems the Russians helped him organize the Antifa’s anti-Trump rallies.
How is it that highly organized protests keep popping up across the country? Follow the money.

A high school in Ithaca, New York has pulled its musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame after social justice student activists complained about a leading role being handed to a white student.

U.S. speedskater Shani Davis injected race into the Olympics. Fellow athletes voted 4-4 on who would be the flag bearer for the U.S. teams, with Davis and Erin Hamlin in the tie. When a coin toss decided the winner, Hamlin won. Davis cried racism and that the coin toss was “dishonorable.” He noted that February is Black History Month, thus injecting racism into the choice.

Racism is repugnant. But it should be repugnant to all parties. Equality was MLKs point well made. But is that what is seen in our culture today?

Click, click, click…Can you hear them falling?

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If you read the news…

You might think that the media would give a standing ovation IF:

  • ISIS had defeated U.S. forces and enlarged the land area they controlled in Syria and Iraq.
  • the economy was in the tank.
  • the MS13 boys would have murdered Trump’s family.
  • black unemployment was at 50%.
  • there was a growing line of people at the border buying opioids from smugglers.
  • Nancy Pelosi was elected president.
  • Christianity was outlawed in America and Islam was elevated as the official religion.

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A personal note

Kudos to you, Officer Michael Leonard, who spotted and arrested the Florida school shooter. You made all red-blooded Americans button-popping proud…me especially. The reason? Listening to you speak so well in the interview about your experience with the killer reminded me about your heritage. My mind zipped back to 1961 when I baptized your grandmother, Frances Leonard. She was my first convert to baptize as a pastor. Someone took a picture just before I put her under in the name of Jesus. I pastored your mom and dad—Eddie and Loretta Leonard—for several years before you came along. You have been a joy to them. I am happy your family is still in church and living for God. Please give your mom and dad a big hug for Roffie and me. We love you! Keep up the good work—we depend on men like you to ensure the safety of the rest of us. God bless you!

Flash! This just in—February 27 was named Michael Leonard Appreciation Day in Broward County, Florida! Thanks again, Michael, for your dedicated service.

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More Middle Ages tinkering with the Bible

Why is the story of Saul’s experience on the Damascus Road incomplete in Acts 9 in contemporary versions?

Single version advocates often rail on contemporary Bible translations for “omitting” (a favorite term) or changing certain words or verses that are in the 1611 KJV. One example is Acts 9:5,6 where these words appear in the KJV: “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him….”

Those words are not in Acts 9 in the ESV, NLT, NASB, HCSB, NET and other versions not based entirely on the Textus Receptus. Why? Did the translators of the new versions not like the details of the conversation between Jesus and Saul? Was this a sign of modern scholars deleting portions of the authentic Scriptures?

Of course not. But if someone only read one side of the story, they would be deceived by the wild claims of the extremists. What is the truth?

There is no credible Greek manuscript with those words in Acts 9. They worked their way into the Catholic Latin Vulgate and from there into the English Bibles. The first English New Testament was done by Wycliffe who translated the corrupt Latin Vulgate into English in the 14th century. The later English translators followed his work and added the words to the story in Acts. The words are genuine, but they are taken from Paul’s testimony in Acts 22:10 and 26:14, which appears in virtually all Greek manuscripts. It seemed good to the Catholic copyists to insert them in order to harmonize Acts 9 with Paul’s later testimony. The words are authentic, but not in Acts 9.

The words appear at Acts 9:5 in only one late 14th century minuscule diglot (no. 629), which contained several NT books in Greek, with the Latin Vulgate side by side with the Greek. The Greek text of that copy had been revised to conform to the Latin Vulgate, but it also contained a number of unusual and unique readings found nowhere else. Evidently, pressure was put on Erasmus to include the words in chapter 9 in his 1527 fourth edition of his Textus Receptus, a Greek textual compilation drawn from a handful of late manuscripts and the Latin Vulgate. In that edition, Erasmus varied from his previous editions in over 90 places, including Acts 9:5,6, to conform more closely to Cardinal Ximenes’ Roman Catholic Complutensian Polyglot’s version of the Latin Vulgate, which had been published a few years earlier.

Virtually all textual critics and Bible scholars acknowledge the borrowing from Acts chapters 22 and 26 to “complete” the record of Acts 9. That is why the words do not appear there in contemporary Bibles, and should not be in the KJV. The words were not removed from the Bible—only from a 1611 expanded version where they had been mistakenly inserted by translators more beholden to Catholic documents than to actual Greek manuscripts.

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Book review

100 Tough Questions About God and the Bible

By Stephen M. Miller; Bethany House Pub.; 237 pages; 13.99

The title was intriguing, so I ordered it. I love to see how answers to our toughest questions can be uncovered right in the pages of God’s Word. That was the anticipation I felt when unpacking this book. Perhaps this book would deal wisely with some of the questions readers encounter when doing their daily Bible reading.

However, what I found was a book with 100 questions but few answers, if any. It seems that the author has utilized a common avenue of expressing his doubts—forming tough questions and then concluding that the Bible is quite ill-suited to serve as an answer book. Perhaps it is his news journalism degree from Kent State that prompted him to respond to a question about why God confounded the languages at the Tower of Babel thusly: “It’s not clear what the people did that upset God.” You instinctively know that here is the language of a secular journalist. Reporters are forced to refer to the madman with a smoking AR-15 in his hand, with bodies strewn in a circle around him, as “the alleged gunman.”

His answer to this Babel question is typical of most in the book: “Some folks say they take the Bible story literally, as history.” Oh, I see. Tough questions about the biblical record are resolved by indicating that the stories are nothing more than myths, which thinking persons should not take seriously. Although he claims to be a Nazarene, he writes like a columnist for the Mother Jones magazine. Bible believing scholars say this, “but others say…” is a favorite line. You always get the idea that he believes “the others.”

His answer to the question: “Why did God introduce himself to Moses by speaking from a burning bush, of all things?” is worded so the reader will immediately think: how stupid is God? In his two-page response he quotes the others who say, “The fire may have been no more physical than a vision, a dream, or the celestial form Jesus seemed to take in Matthew 17:2. …God glows. So it seems, if we take literally some Bible descriptions of him. Blah, blah, blah.” He is regurgitating Kent State professorial blather.

The book is a doubter’s primer. Save your money.

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BooksBooksBooksBooksBooksBooks

Evidential Tongues

J. R. Ensey

This book was the outgrowth of a presentation at the 2008 Apostolic Theological Forum. The fact that many in the classical Pentecostal movement have ceased to stress this aspect of the new birth experience has disturbed us. It behooves us to occasionally take a harder look at our fundamental doctrines—not to try to disprove them but to make sure that the girders of truth are still bearing the load of centuries of attacks. To shore up our principle doctrines for each new generation seems to be imperative.

The book walks through the Acts of the Apostles to verify the consistency of the doctrine in the early church. But what happened to it after the first century? Research was done to highlight glossolalia (speaking in tongues) throughout the Dark Ages, into the Reformation period, during the development of various Protestant denominations, and on to Topeka and Azusa St. How it became a tenet of faith in the burgeoning Pentecostal movement is covered. Current views climax the study.

Here’s a historical odyssey that will strengthen your faith. AM Price $7.95

The Couch & The Cross

J. R. Ensey

This book exposes the psychology industry’s inroads into Christianity. It answers many of the questions people have about counseling in general and Christian counseling in particular. The Word and Spirit of God are set forth as sufficient to the true healing of the soul. Drugs and other chemicals may affect physical ailments and change moods artificially, but true deliverance and healing always come through Christ and His Word.

eBook format only.  AM price $9.95

 

The New Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary

Compiled and written by J. R. Ensey

The only reference volume of its kind based on the biblical, Apostolic viewpoint!
When you want to know the meaning of a theological term, or the description of a religious movement, or the definition of over 1,000 words that are found in reference works and the Bible…turn to The New Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary!

Contains:
– Over 1000 entries
– Definitions and descriptions of many Bible words, theological terms, and religious movements
– 486 pages of easy-to-read, easy-to-use information
– The only reference volume of its kind! Written from a conservative, apostolic viewpoint, this classic work has enhanced the study habits of thousands of ministers and laymen.   eBook format only          AM price $12.95

 

Order your Into His Marvelous Light Bible studies from us. Why pay more? Only $1.25 each in quantities of 100 or more; 1.50 for quantities of 50-99; only 1.75 each in quantities less than 50. This is the greatest soul winning tool being used today. Available in English, Spanish, Italian.

The English Version is available in KJV and NIV84.

Order online at advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250.

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Worth a thousand words

But it may not be quite as comfortable as when you were sitting in your La-Z-Boy at home.

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The last word

The real cause of school shootings is kept under wraps because of the billions of dollars flowing from the pharmaceutical industry to the politicians in Washington and the leftist media. Virtually all of the school shooters have been on psych drugs that are handed out wholesale to kids in school and to military personnel, often for no justifiable cause. Americans are consuming over one BILLION psych pills per DAY! The urge to kill people, often including themselves, is one of the stated side effects. Big pharma is spending over $6 billion annually on media ads to push drugs down our throats—literally. President Trump has been a lonely voice to oppose the opioid traffic crossing our southern border. Why? Because he doesn’t need big pharma’s money! Weep for your children!

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Dry your eyes with this: The Apostolic message is reaching farther and going deeper into the world’s population than ever before. Keep pushing, keep giving, keep going, and keep fearlessly sharing the saving gospel of Jesus Christ! Read the back of the Book—we win!

JREnsey

Published in: on March 1, 2018 at 3:22 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey blog for February 2018

Welcome! Grab a cup of hot tea or coffee and let’s visit.

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The Word for Today

Hebrews 13:5-7: “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,

“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

So we can say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”

Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.” (NLT)

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What was he reading?

A Texas Muslim mosque leader has apologized after he was accused of inciting violence in a sermon he gave last month that declared “the Muslims will kill the Jews.”

Raed Saleh Al-Rousan, imam and founder at the Tajweed Institute in Houston, said he respects all human life, including the Jewish people, and is “completely opposed” to anyone who would “commit, call for, or threaten violence against civilians.”

His apology comes nearly a month after he gave an impassioned sermon responding to President Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“Trump was mistaken,” Mr. Al-Rousan said Dec. 8, according to a clip translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

The imam reportedly said: “My brothers, the Prophet Muhammad brought the good tidings, when he said: ‘Judgment day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Muslims will kill the Jews, and the Jews will hide behind the stones and the trees, [which] will say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him … This is the promise of Allah.’”

Was he not quoting from the Quran?

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Integration and assimilation

“The folly of multiculturalism, promoted and encouraged by recent (but, thank God, past) U. S. Government administrations, has wreaked havoc. By refusing to integrate and accept America’s language, culture, and customs, which made America the great nation they envied, and for which they paid a heavy price to get here, some imigres seek to bring America down from its glorious height, to make it like the second and third world countries from which they fled! If you don’t love America, I say, LEAVE AMERICA!

If, in the course of human events, it should become necessary for Pentecostal saints to relocate and choose a new church home, most likely their choice would be based, first, on a church’s stand for the new birth message, then on its stand for the message of separation from the world. For that church to remain the great church with the high qualities that attracted them in the first place, they, too, must become assimilated; they must integrate and adapt to the culture that made it great! Else, the church will inevitably fall prey to a slow-but-sure decline, leading to certain mediocrity—being neither hot nor cold.”

– Don Haymon

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Is the “Me Too” movement going too far?

You may have noted Condoleeza Rice saying that women should not become “snowflakes” and that we should not “infantilize” women, lest it harm them in the workplaces and make it preferable not to hire them. That was said in the context of the plethora of charges of sexual harassment being made against men in the workplace.

Rice makes sense, as she normally does. Few grown women, she said, have totally avoided hearing inappropriate words or suggestive remarks made to them at some point in their lives. Why does this happen?

Well, first, it originates in the way all human beings are wired. Men see, men like, men want. It all started with Adam. It got Cain here, then Abel. Does this natural circuitry justify harassment, touching or making gross remarks that are truly offensive to women? Absolutely not. A sense of dignity, self-discipline, morality, and respect should guide us in all our relationships.

However, in many cases, the wardrobe of the average modern woman of the world says, “Look at me…notice me…like what you see? Want to see more?” Inappropriate dress may draw inappropriate thoughts that can become inappropriate actions or words. It is like a trap is laid for any man who is thrown into a gender mix where women feel they can do whatever they want without consequences. Please do not take that as a broad brush accusation that all of this is the fault of women alone.

However, women are portrayed on television, in movies, and in the social media formats as virtual vamps forever on the make. When women in the workplace, at sports venues, at parties, etc., are attired in seductive fashions as though no thought has been given to modesty, they set themselves up to be spoken to inappropriately, hear suggestive remarks, or even groped (“accidentally”?). Then the guy can suddenly find himself in court, fired from his job, and his name smeared forever. It is almost like she says, “I dare you!” If you take the dare, you better have about $5 million in the bank to cover her lawsuit.

Many are tired of hearing the words “sexual harassment” coming from movie stars and women in media workplaces who brazenly “sell the sizzle, but [reportedly] not the steak.” They wear revealing attire and thrust themselves into situations that are traditionally mostly male. How to avoid this? Wear appropriate modest apparel and carry yourself with dignity, poise and confidence.

If that is not you, then get out. Go home. Raise kids. Upgrade your wardrobe. Love your husband, not your co-worker.

Where did I get such outdated, back-woodsy ideas? Ever read the Bible? “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands” (Titus 2:4-6).

Those are old-fashioned concepts for sure. We get that. But remember the principle: “The farther we get from God’s ideals, revealed in His Word, the more problems we invite to ourselves.”

When will women come to understand that modesty quietens the emotions? Prudence circumvents many unseemly situations: “You simple people, use good judgment. You foolish people, show some understanding (Proverbs 8:5 NLT).

C’mon, Apostolic ladies. Show the way.

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Swarthmore college swallows liberal line

What is Swarthmore college teaching these days?

Besides “Queering the Bible,” there’s already a course called “Queering God: Feminist and Queer Theology,” which asks the question: “The God of the Bible and later Jewish and Christian literature is distinctively masculine, definitely male. Or is He?”

The class also “examines feminist and queer writings about God, explores the tensions between feminist and queer theology, and seeks to stretch the limits of gendering-and-sexing the divine. Key themes include: gender; embodiment; masculinity; liberation; sexuality; feminist and queer theory.”

What else are they teaching? Swarthmore also offered a class in the Spring 2017 semester titled, “Is God a White Supremacist?” Wow…a diploma or degree from that school would be worth a lot, huh? What helpful and wonderful things American youth can learn there.

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“White is bad” becomes diversity mantra

A “Pyramid of White Supremacy” is taught as part of a required course for elementary education majors at Salisbury University in Maryland, a public college funded with your tax dollars.

The white supremacy pyramid—which places “Genocide” (i.e., mass murder) at the top—is part of a course titled, “Diversity and the Self,” according to Campus Reform, which first reported the story.

“In a pyramid, every brick depends upon the one below it for support,” the pyramid’s accompanying caption reads. “If the bricks at the bottom are removed, the whole structure comes tumbling down.”

  • Violence (e.g., unjust police shootings, lynchings, hate crimes, police brutality)
  • Calls for violence (e.g., neo-Nazis, KKK, the N-word)
  • Discrimination (e.g., racial profiling, hiring discrimination, stop and frisk)
  • Veiled racism (e.g., racist jokes, racist mascots, cultural appropriation)
  • Minimization (e.g., “We all belong to the human race,” denial of white privilege, white savior complex)
  • Indifference (e.g., not challenging racist jokes, avoiding confrontation with racist family members)

What did the teacher have to say? The instructor teaching the course didn’t reply to Campus Reform’s request for comment, the outlet reported.

What did the college have to say? Per University academic freedom policies, “faculty are free to disseminate to their students information, even when controversial, so long as it is educationally relevant.”

“This class was extremely difficult to get through if you did not think like a liberal,” one student added to Campus Reform. “Instead of teaching diversity, this class taught us that being white was a bad thing. We were told that we were only privileged because we are white and basically we did not actually work for what we have.”

Teach the teachers and you are teaching future generations of students. If we ignore this rise in college courses that are designed to divide our populace along racial lines, we shall reap a whirlwind of anger and violence. They will keep doing it as long as everyone pays no attention and keeps quiet about it.

Circumvent such nonsense by avoiding sending Apostolic youth to public colleges where such idiocy is promulgated in the classrooms day after day. Choose another educational alternative.

Source: The Blaze

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Necessity of the New Birth

John 3:5-7: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

Romans 8:8-9: “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

Romans 8:14: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

Those passages affirm that the new birth is essential. Without the Spirit of God in our lives, some anonymous writer has said, we are like:

  • A dictionary without words
  • An accountant who cannot count
  • An artist with no imagination
  • An army with no weapons
  • A carpenter with no tools
  • A mechanic with no wrenches
  • A bird without wings…a guitar with no strings
  • A minister with no message
  • A potter without clay
  • A bank with no money…a hive with no honey
  • A Dorito with no crunch…a boxer with no punch
  • A juggler with no coordination
  • A prison with no lock…a boat with no dock…a store with no stock…a shepherd with no flock
  • A book with no words
  • A river with no water
  • A zoo with no animals
  • A dairy with no cows
  • A train with no track…a tackroom with no tack…a flat tire with no jack…
  • A surgeon without a scapel
  • A nation without laws…a rebel without a cause…a document without a clause…a soda with no straws

There is a tremendous void in our lives without the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:15-17: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

You must be born again of water and the Spirit!

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John Calvin is twisting in his grave

Instead of Christianity impacting the culture, or even keeping up with the culture, the Presbyterians seem to want set the liberal trends for the culture.

“Inclusive language” to accommodate same-sex wedding ceremonies will be featured in the Presbyterian Church USA’s 2018 version of the Book of Common Worship, the Christian Post reported. The denomination is led by Co-moderators Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston.

The new language is in response to the denomination amending its definition of marriage to include same-sex marriage, David Gambrell of the PCUSA Presbyterian Mission Agency and co-editor of the new Book of Common Worship told the outlet.

What was the definition of marriage changed to?

  • The majority of the Presbyterian Church USA in 2015 voted in favor of altering the definition of marriage from “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”
  • “A revised marriage service features inclusive language and a flexible format, making the service useful for all sorts of couples and family configurations,” Presbyterians Today reported in regard to the new language in the Book of Common Worship.

In 2011, the PCUSA denomination ordained its first openly gay minister. What else is included in the 2018 Book of Common Worship?

  • Also included in the 2018 version is a brief service of prayer for those who “seek a way to ritually mark the end of a marriage,” Presbyterians Today added.

Gambrell added to the Christian Post that the “Presbyterian Book of Common Worship was first published in 1906. Roughly once a generation, revisions are made to account for changes in the Church and developments in Christian worship.”

Sorry, John, but erroneous fundamental doctrine sets any religious movement up to be disgraced by the culture in which it functions.

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I wonder…

…if before long, just as Disney has Gay Days at its theme parks, churches will have Gay Sundays to celebrate their diversity and affirmation of the LGBTQ community members. Think so?

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Continuing their left turn

The Church of England’s House of Bishops voted Tuesday to block the creation of a new liturgy to celebrate gender transition but urged bishops to use the existing baptism rite as a way to mark the passage.

What led to this decision?

Last July, the General Synod, the Church of England’s governing body, officially passed a motion welcoming and affirming transgender people into the church. Being LGBT was also declared “not a sin” by a top bishop.

“The Church of England welcomes transgender people and wholeheartedly wishes for them to be included in the life of the Church,” James said in the statement.

Inclusivism has become a word to be defined by the religious and scholastic liberals. Jesus said He would make His disciples to be “fishers of men.” Apostolics want everyone to be included in the gospel net, but as the Scriptures require, transformation via the new birth is the way to the kingdom’s live well. Any fisherman who has ever trawled for fish or bait knows that some of the sea creatures/water dwellers in the ball you pull up have to be sorted. Some are kept and others are put back into the water. But liberal leaders feel obligated to put everything in the net into the live well.

Will the PCUSA make other changes that permit marriages of individuals to their pets, or to a tree, or to the moon? There is no stopping place!

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Silly woodpeckers

A woodpecker tapped with his beak against the stem of a tree just as lightning struck the tree and destroyed it. He flew away and said, “I didn’t know there was so much power in my beak!”

When we preach the gospel there is a danger that we will think or say, “I have done a good job.” Don’t be a silly woodpecker. Know where your strength comes from. It is only the Holy Spirit who can make a message good and fruitful. – Corrie Ten Boom, Each New Day

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White House Bible study under attack

Some of the cabinet of President Trump have been attending a Bible study conducted in the White House. Among them are Ben Carson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Agriculture Secretary Sunny Perdue and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Vice President Mike Pence is one of the sponsors.

The atheistic Freedom From Religion Foundation is challenging the study on grounds it is unconstitutionally supported by taxpayers. Ben Carson responded to this challenge in a Facebook post:

“First of all, taxpayer funds are not used to support the ministry, and secondly, no staff are involved in the Bible study. More importantly, I refuse to be intimidated by anti-religious groups into relinquishing my spirituality or religious beliefs. One of the principles of our nation‘s founding is freedom of religion.

“I will not stop being a Christian while in service to this country, in fact, it is my faith that helps me serve the nation even better.

The relentless attacks on the spirituality of our nation must be resisted. We are not like everyone else, which is precisely the reason that we rose so rapidly from obscurity to become the most powerful and free nation in history.”

Carson went on to explain that three foundational American principles are under attack, citing patriotism, morality and spirituality.

“We the people must decide who we are and what we stand for,” Carson said, adding that if America doesn’t, the nation could become unrecognizable.

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BooksBooksBooksBooksBooksBooks

IHML: Win with this

IHMLCoverInto His Marvelous Light one-hour Bible studyIHML_GFL_Revised

Only $1.75 each up to 49 copies, 1.50 each from 50-99 copies, and only 1.25 for orders of 100 or more. Follow-up study Guide For Living is same price.

Still the best soulwinning tool you can use!

 

Order online at www.advanceministries.org/ or phone 936-537-0250.

Don’t forget your Bible studies this month!

Follow To Lead

Jesus’ command to “go make disciples” is the foundational precept of the Great Commission. Pastor Stan Gleason explores the church’s critical mandate to make disciples from biblical, theoretical, and practical viewpoints. An accomplished disciple maker himself, the author encourages every believer to make disciples.

AM Price $13.99

To order call  936-537-0250.

 

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Babies just have a better way of saying it…

 

“You think you’ve got problems?! My evangelist just cancelled and it is Saturday night!”

“I’ve had worse scrapes on my eyeball than that and didn’t even blink!”

“It’s about time they stopped charging a registration fee at General Conference!”

“Hey, there, Emily! In a few years we would make a great evangelistic team!”

“Oh, no! I forgot that term limits are in effect for my office at this conference!”

Worth fighting for

WWII posters like these below appeared regularly when I was a child. They inspired patriotism and love of country.

Whatever happened to patriotism? Has political correctness (“re-education”), a lack of personal responsibility, and the loss of respect and loyalty to our nation caused many Americans to turn their backs on our heritage?

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Are sandwiches and contemporary Bible translations wrecking the world?

According to Newsweek, some researchers in the UK have declared that sandwiches are bad for the environment and cause global warming—as bad as what 8 million cars would do. The worst are egg and bacon or sausage. For shame, McDonald’s! Beware the coming invasion of the Giant Intergalactic Ham and Cheese!

Besides sandwiches, contemporary translations like the ESV, NLT, NASB, NKJV, etc. are contributing to the destruction of the world—at least according to some conspiracy theorists.

Every bad thing that has happened in history since new translations began appearing at the first part of the 20th century is being blamed on them. Good events are the result of the King James Version.

Here is what one KJV advocate recently wrote: “Personally, I will stick with the Bible that gave the world political freedom with the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Many books have been written on the K]V’s influence on these two seminal documents. It’s the Book that gave us science, Western Protestant civilization, its liberties and morally Christian culture. It’s the Bible that freed us from Catholic superstition and false doctrine. It’s the Bible that gave rise to America being a moral lighthouse in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. The King James Bible was the Word of God of the 1st and 2nd Great Awakenings, the Bible of Apostolics that tilled the English—speaking world even before Azusa Street. It’s the Bible of Wesley, Finney, Edwards, Tozer, Moody, and Spurgeon among others. It’s the Bible that freed the slaves. The Bible that gave us Stone’s Folly, Azusa Street and Arroyo Seco. The Bible that Fauss wept and prayed over, when receiving the wonderful ]esus’ Name revelation in the woods of Louisiana. The Bible that Cook and Ewart used to proclaim Jesus all over America and then it went all over the world. The Bible that G.T. Haywood saw the truth in, and left the AOG to follow the Truth of the Word of God. …With a weapon that has lasted the centuries, and still unifies the English language, it is impossible that we will lose this war. It has defeated Satan for centuries, and will continue to do so if used properly. Amen!”

Some King James Version advocates assume all positive historical events during the last 400 years of history are due to that version. This is known as the erroneous “post-hoc fallacy,” the claim that what is first or previous in time is the cause of what follows. Extremists like to suggest that virtually every missionary endeavor, every revival or advancement of Christianity anywhere, every establishment of government that incorporated Judeo/Christian principles since 1611 is proof that the KJV is the only legitimate Bible in the English language. Whatever positive historical events that can be named are used to support the idea that the KJV is the underlying cause.

King James Only extremists like to blame virtually every negative event or cultural outrage in the last century on the ASV, NIV or NASB or some other version. KJV extremist William Grady blames them for the rise of theistic evolution, Oral Roberts, Christian rock bands, Rev. Ike, and even Tammy Bakker’s…. Continue reading this article…

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The last word

Common sense meteorologist Joe Bastardi had a decidedly unscientific term for the effort to link last month’s frigid winter storm to human-caused climate change: “witchcraft.”

Bingo!

JREnsey

Published in: on February 1, 2018 at 1:34 AM  Comments (2)  

JREnsey blog January 2018

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for JANUARY, 2018. This is the tenth year of the publication of this blog. Thanks to those who open it and read it regularly each month, and to those who pass it along to their friends.

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The Word for Today

I John 3:1-3: “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure” (NLT).

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I am the New Year

I am an unspoiled page in your book of time. I am your next chance at the art of living.

I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned during the last twelve months about life.

All that you sought the past year and failed to find is hidden in me; I am waiting for you to search it out again with more determination.

All the good that you tried to do for others and didn’t achieve last year is mine to grant—providing you have fewer selfish and conflicting desires.

In me lies the potential of all that you have dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not perform, all you prayed for but did not yet experience.

These dreams slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of an enduring purpose.

I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Christ who said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5).

I am the New Year.

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One hill, one marine

On Nov. 15, 2003, an 85-year-old retired Marine Corps Colonel died of congestive heart failure at his home in La Quinta, CA, southeast of Palm Springs.

He was a combat veteran of World War II. Reason enough to honor him. But this Marine was a little different. This Marine was Mitchell Paige.

It’s hard today to envision—or, for the dwindling few, to remember—what the world looked like on 26 Oct 1942.

The U.S. Navy was not the most powerful fighting force in the Pacific. Not by a long shot. So the Navy basically dumped a few thousand Marines onto the beach at Guadalcanal.

As Platoon Sgt. Mitchell Paige and his 33 riflemen set about carefully emplacing their four water-cooled .30-caliber Browning machine guns, manning their section of the thin khaki line which was expected to defend Henderson Field against the assault of the night of 25 Oct 1942, it’s unlikely anyone thought they were about to provide the definitive answer to that most desperate of questions: How many able-bodied U.S. Marines does it take to hold a hill against 2,000 desperate and motivated Japanese attackers?

Nor did the commanders of the Japanese Army, who had swept everything before them for decades, expect their advance to be halted on some jungle ridge manned by one thin line of Marines in October of 1942.

But by the time the night was over, The Japanese 29th Infantry Regiment has lost 553 killed or missing and 479 wounded among its 2,554 men, historian David Lippman reports. The Japanese 16th Regiment’s losses are uncounted, but the[US] 164th’s burial parties handled 975 Japanese bodies. … The American estimate of 2,200 Japanese dead is probably too low.

Among the 90 American dead and seriously wounded that night were all the men in Mitchell Paige’s platoon; every one. As the night of endless attacks wore on, Paige moved up and down his line, pulling his dead and wounded comrades back into their foxholes and firing a few bursts from each of the four Brownings in turn, convincing the Japanese forces down the hill that the positions were still manned.

The citation for Paige’s Medal of Honor Citation defines the event: “When the enemy broke through the line directly in front of his position, P/Sgt. Paige, commanding a machinegun section with fearless determination, continued to direct the fire of his gunners until all his men were either killed or wounded. Alone, against the deadly hail of Japanese shells, he fought with his gun and when it was destroyed, took over another, moving from gun to gun, never ceasing his withering fire.”

In the end, Sgt. Paige picked up the last of the 40-pound, belt-fed Brownings  (the same design which John M. Browning fired for a continuous 25 minutes until it ran out of ammunition, glowing cherry red, at its first U.S. Army demonstration) and did something for which the weapon was never designed. Sgt. Paige walked down the hill toward the place where he could hear the last Japanese survivors rallying to move around his flank, the belt-fed gun cradled under his arm, firing as he went.

The weapon did not fail.

At dawn, battalion executive officer Major Odell M. Conoley was first to discover the answer to our question: How many able-bodied Marines does it take to hold a hill against two regiments of motivated, combat-hardened Japanese infantrymen who have never known defeat?

On a hill where the bodies were piled like cordwood, Mitchell Paige alone sat upright behind his 30-caliber Browning, waiting to see what the dawn would bring.

One hill: one Marine.

But “In the early morning light, the enemy could be seen a few yards off, and vapor from the barrels of their machine guns was clearly visible,” reports historian Lippman. “It was decided to try to rush the position.”

For the task, Major Conoley gathered together “three enlisted communication personnel, several riflemen, a few company runners who were at the point, together with a cook and a few messmen who had brought food to the position the evening before.”

Joined by Paige, this ad hoc force of 17 Marines counterattacked at 5:40 a.m., discovering that this extremely short range allowed the optimum use of grenades. They cleared the ridge.

And that’s where the previously unstoppable wave of Japanese conquests finally broke and began to recede. On an unnamed jungle ridge on an insignificant island no one had ever heard of, called Guadalcanal.

But who remembers, today, how close-run a thing it was, the ridge held by a single Marine, in the autumn of 1942?

Some time after, when the Hasbro Toy Co. telephoned asking permission to put the retired Colonel’s face on some kid’s doll, Mitchell Paige thought they must be joking.

But they weren’t. Today, that’s his face on the little Marine they call “G.I. Joe.”

Sorry for the length of this item. The story elicited tears and I just had to share it. As a young boy during WWII, I became addicted to stories of those men who were part of what has been called “the greatest generation.” I salute you, Mitchell Paige, and all of those like you who have made it possible for us to still live in a free America today.

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“Doctor, please surgically remove my leg.”

Parents and pastors, please hear what this pediatrician has to say. Finally, someone is speaking with some common sense.

https://www.facebook.com/TheDailySignalNews/videos/967580886741197/

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Is free college education the wave of the future?

President Obama had begun to push for it. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders then got on board during the last election touting free college tuition so anyone and everyone could attend. What would happen if that were to be put into place?

Apparently they mean that only state colleges and universities would be tuition-free. This would mean that most students would flock to the free universities causing the private institutions to either raise tuition and cut services or lose students to the point of closure.

Those public institutions would be rigorously regulated to ensure that they were spewing the socialist rhetoric and political narrative of those in power.

Conservative voices on campus would be a thing of the past. Applicants may be denied on the basis of political preference. Students will have to toe the politically correct line in order to enroll.

Training would not be education but indoctrination. Passing grades and degrees would be handed out based in large part on conformity to a social regimen.

Campuses would become havens for anti-American, anti-Christian activists, even more so than now.

Academics would suffer to the point of the education becoming virtually valueless. Those who wanted higher standards and courses that were truly educational would have to attend private colleges that would be supported only by individual and corporate gifts and student tuition.

Degrees from institutions other than the public universities and colleges would likely be downgraded.

In other words, this was part of the socialist scheme that was being rapidly unpacked by two of the presidential candidates in the last election. It was made to sound good on the surface to parents and students who are working hard to pay the tuition. But do we really want it even if it is free?

Perhaps “free” is a misleading word that should be removed from the vocabulary of all public documents and institutions. Nothing is free, especially freedom.

Politicians embracing these socialist ideologies should go live for a year in a country where they are practiced.

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Students take over college, demand whites leave

Students at Evergreen State College in Washington insisted that all white persons, including students and professors, leave the campus for a Day of Absence. Students of color virtually took over the college.

If this was done to people of color by whites, the institution would probably be censured, fined, or lose its accreditation…perhaps all three.

One girl posted this in response to the story: “I’m part of the Evergreen District and the English teachers are like this at the high school too. She spent two weeks feeding us her leftist agenda and got mad at the few kids that spoke their different views.”

Pictured at right is Naima Lowe who is reported to be the inspiration for the radical elements in the school.

Why is our government allowing this? Anarchy is rapidly displacing the rule of law. The “silent majority” had better become the vocal majority or this will spread like wildfire. Visit your local school board meetings. Meet and talk with local college officials in your area.

Share your values. Academia certainly is spouting theirs.

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CNN loved it, I suppose

I don’t watch CNN, but I saw on a news website that CNN took several minutes to publicize a new book by a gay author titled Santa’s Husband. You might guess, Santa is black (as “the real Santa” actually is, the author says) and gay. This is the kind of thing CNN and sister networks ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC like to promote—stuff that shocks (they need higher ratings) and pushes an agenda that consumes most of their air time. Doubtless those networks also took time with the stories about Trump’s past dalliances, gun deaths in America, why Christmas is racist, why trees on a golf course in Palm Springs are symbols of bigotry and racism, and how tragic it will be if our taxes are reduced. I guess they don’t have time to express any traditional American values or positive reports about the President or (shivers!!) Christianity.

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Politico reports Obama’s support for Hezbollah

A 12/19/17 report revealed the Obama administration stifled a high-level DEA operation known as “Project Cassandra,” which was established to expose the connection between Latin American drug cartels and Hezbollah.

According to the report, the Obama administration “tamped down” on the DEA’s operation to advance the nuclear deal with Iran. The deal lifted economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic in return for a promise to suspend its nuclear program.

To thwart the DEA’s progress, the administration undermined agents’ attempts to prosecute high-level Hezbollah officials who had been under sealed indictments for years. Those actions allowed the drug running, weapons trafficking and terrorism to continue.

Is anyone surprised? Only time will reveal what really did happen behind the scenes during those long eight years of the last administration.

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Is your road under construction?

Traveling the superhighways of today is so nice—wide expanses of concrete unlike the sandy, gravel roads I knew in my youth. Yet even now we come upon stretches of roadway marked with signage: “Detour! Road Under Construction,” where they are making repairs or improvements to the present surfacing.

For a ways one may travel on rough pavement or an uneven dirt siding. The way may be narrow and dangerous, especially at night. But you move along, wondering how long this roadwork will last. Will the vehicle up ahead fling a rock and break  my windshield? Will my tires survive this rough terrain? What if I hit one of those border barrels?

Soon you are directed back on the main highway. You are relieved. It is smooth traveling again. Quieter. Safer.

Life is like that. We all go through stretches that are narrow and dangerous. Sickness strikes. A job is lost. Misunderstanding arises. The road is rocky and uneven. We wonder, “How long, O Lord, will this treacherous time last? When will health or financial stability or safe relationships return?”

Then we seek counsel from the Word, make some hard choices and spiritual adjustments, and are soon back on a smooth highway again. Relief. Life management through the power of faith is the Christian way. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” Galatians 2:20 ESV).

We should thank God regularly that difficult times don’t last. Smoother paving is usually just ahead. Be patient. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.

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Research at your fingertips

Historical and religious research is more exciting and rewarding than ever with the advent of the Internet. While this medium has its definite drawbacks, one can read and research books he might never have access to without it. Manuscripts of ancient documents, including the oldest biblical texts, can be viewed online. They are mostly free to view and available at the click of a mouse. One can readily ascertain just how the ancients baptized, what many traditions of faith believed in the middle ages, how church councils established doctrines, and how the Apostolic teachings fared through the ages. We would be remiss in our duty not to educate ourselves in historical socio-religious activity over the years while we can. You may be surprised how many continued to believe the apostolic gospel as revealed in Acts. They were often called by other names at various times in history.

The Acts 2:38 message was not lost in the post-Apostolic age, nor at A.D. 325 or 1125 or 1611 or 1881. It was alive and kicking even before Azusa St. and the Arroyo Seco campmeeting. I only wish that some of them in history who paid with their lives to proclaim the Oneness of God, baptism in the name of Jesus, and the new birth could see the endtime revival being experienced today!

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BooksBooksBooksBooksBooksBooks

A New eBook is available.

The Best of E. L. Holley

E. L. Holley was a man of unique abilities. An astute observer of human nature, he could communicate truth in an inimitable style that you could never forget. His ministry touched the lives of thousands of people over the years—as pastor, home missionary, Bible college president, and District Superintendent. Here, under the categories of Christian living, evangelism and growth, doctrine, holiness, balance, ministry, logic and philosophy, organizational trends, and education, are some of the cream of his writings that flowed from an anointed pen. The Best of has scores of articles with material that will inspire you and others as you share it with your members and friends. You will love this book! eBook format only—read, copy and paste.

AM Price only $8.95

The Role of The Shepherdess

By Roffie Ensey

You will laugh and cry as you read through these inspirational pages. You’ll experience the highs and lows with the author as she takes you through the valleys and over the mountains of life in a ministerial family. Roffie Ensey has participated in all aspects and facets of ministry discussed in the book—the wife of an evangelist, home missionary, missions administrator, pastor, associate pastor (to their son), author, and Bible college president. It is written from the perspective of someone who has been there. For both ministry and laity.

AM Price 12.95

Workbook and Answer Key

Companion workbook for The Role Of The Shepherdess. This book is helpful in teaching the young wives in your church who desire to be fulfilled in their God-ordained roles.

Special AM Price 12.95

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IHML Bible Studies

Win them with this…

Into His Marvelous Light Bible Study

IHMLCoverNo other one-hour Bible study has enjoyed the consistent results of IHML over the years. Often copied but never duplicated. It is attractive, well written, and doctrinally sound. It will convince any open-minded person (and some whose minds are not so open) that the new birth is absolutely essential and that Acts 2:38 constitutes that experience. It’s possible that more souls have been won with this Bible Study than with any other single evangelism tool in the past 25 years. Discover how easy it is to share the plan of salvation with others. Available in both English and Spanish. English is available in both KJV and NIV.

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Guide For LivingIHML_GFL_Revised

A follow-up study for the new convert. This little booklet is given to the new convert to go through alone, filling in the blanks, and then bring back to you with any questions they may have. It covers the new birth—what has happened to them experientially—and walks them through what their responsibilities as new believers are now.

AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each;  50-99 $1.50 each; 100 or more $1.25 each.

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Lighter fare with a heavy message

 


No Moore mistletoe

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This says it all

Thank you, Donald Trump, for simplifying the tax code and leaving a few more bucks in our jeans. I trust it has the effect you are predicting.

The following shows the importance of accuracy in your tax return.
We are told the IRS has returned the tax form to a man in New York City implying that he answered one of the questions incorrectly. In response to the question, “Do you have any dependents?” the man had written:
“7.1 million illegal immigrants, 1.1 million crack-heads, 4.4 million unemployable scroungers, 80,000 criminals in over 85 prisons, at least 450 idiots in Congress and a huge group in Washington called bureaucrats.”

The IRS stated that the response he gave was unacceptable.

The man’s reply back to the IRS was: “Who did I leave out?”

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I pray that 2018 will be the greatest year of growth in the history of your church!

JREnsey

Published in: on January 1, 2018 at 1:19 AM  Comments (3)  

JREnsey blog for December 2017

Welcome to the December 2017 JREnsey blog

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The Word for Today

Romans 1:18-23: “But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. 21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.”

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Facebook president admits agenda

Former Facebook President Sean Parker told Axios on Wednesday that he’s become a “conscientious objector” on social media. He said he believes social networking is changing the way we relate to one another and doing damage in its ever-expanding wake.

Axios writer Mike Allen wrote, “Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, gave me a candid insider’s look at how social networks purposely hook and potentially hurt our brains.”

What did Parker say?

Parker, who is now founder and chairman of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, told Allen:

I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying [in promoting social media], because [of] the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and … it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other … It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.

“The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?” he added.

Parker explained, “That means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content. … It’s a social validation feedback loop.”

He added that he, as well as Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, were well aware of the results that would be produced as a result of the constant social validation.

“The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark, it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously,” Parker admitted. “And we did it anyway.”

Source: The Blaze

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How far we have come

NFL football players in Mexico City on Nov. 19 sat for U.S. anthem, stood for Mexico’s anthem. What does that tell you?

Delaware schools are considering a regulation that would allow students to redefine themselves by choosing their own race and gender.

Football star, ________ ________ (not worthy to be named here), wore a Fidel Castor T-shirt, wore socks that depicted policemen as pigs, started the National Anthem protests, was just named “Citizen of the Year” by GQ magazine.

Higher standards are God’s idea. Even in Heaven there is a wall, a gate, and extreme vetting.

Now it looks like anyone who ever winked at a girl or woman a generation or two ago better not run for political office—unless your name is Clinton.

That we have female genital mutilation going on in the Muslim community in America is alarming. And when they are in authority, they will want it to done to your daughters, sisters and whomever. The more we allow Muslims unimpeded entrance into this country, we will see a total reversal of the values that America was built upon. Stand up, speak up, but don’t ever give up!

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A Christmas reminder

Gifts at Christmas are about others, not ourselves. Giving, not getting. So remember this Christmas to give to Christmas for Christ through your church. If there are those reading this who do not have a home church, you may give directly to North American Missions UPCI, 36 Research Park Court, Weldon Springs, MO 63304. If you still have a little something left over, please remember the singles in your church, especially the single parents and their children. You will be glad you did.

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The Islamization of the West

Understanding the mindset of terrorists helps us to know how to pray. Here is some information:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RScj18u_QCM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYCDuBuDlgI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ljqinq4abEA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8sWK2fp3DM

Some say that when one reads about Islam being a peace-loving religion, they might be reading from earlier passages from Islam’s holy book(s). Those passages are superseded by later ones calling for jihad, war and annihilation of infidels (non-Muslims).

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Now you know: How did hair become a thing for women?

By Merrill Fabry Time, June 16, 2016

Though hair fashions may change season to season, the association between women and long hair is an ancient one.

It dates back at least to ancient Greeks and Romans, and according to archaeologist Elizabeth Bartman, even despite the Ancient Greek ideal of a “bearded, long-haired philosopher,” women in that society still had longer hair than men regularly did. Roman women kept their hair long and tended to part it down the center, and a man devoting too much attention to his hair “risked scorn for appearing effeminate.”

The Bible carried on the tradition. Anthony Synnott, a sociologist who has written that hair is a personal symbol with “immense social significance,” found these implications in, for example, St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: “Doth not nature itself teach you that if a man have long hair it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her.”

“[It is] almost universally culturally found that women have longer hair than men,” says Kurt Stenn, author of Hair: a Human History

But the reasons why that tradition started out—and why it has endured—are harder to pin down.

Hair is highly communicative, says Stenn, allowing individuals….” (Click here to continue reading.)

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Guys, keep your hair combed! – Moses

Did you know that the Bible has something to say about that? The lepers of Bible times were to wear torn clothing, their hair was to be left uncombed, and they were to cover their mouths all the way over their upper lip (Leviticus 13:45). These signs marked those having leprosy—generally considered to be a type of sin.

In distinction to the lepers, Jewish men were to comb their hair and not leave it disheveled (some translations). They were not to wear torn clothing. They were told not to cover their upper lip. Their hair was to be polled (cut, trimmed) according to Ezekiel 44:20. In other words, the modern hippie style would have been banned in Israel. And…showing that Jesus would NOT have had long hair as in artists’ depiction.

Personally, I take comfort in Leviticus 13:41.

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Save your money

The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC opened in November. If you had planned a trip to Washington to see it, you may want to plan a horse drawn coach tour around the Reflecting Pool instead.

The museum was largely built with funds from Steve Green, the owner of Hobby Lobby. His original vision was probably a noble one. However, he has evidently been unduly influenced by liberals with more than a touch of political correctness. When one visits the museum, they are likely to come away dealing with the suggestion that there are “many Bibles”—Hebrew, Samaritan, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant; therefore…” well, you get the idea. The concept projected is that they are all so different that none are authoritative. Some display cases contain copies of The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Philip and similar pseudepigraphal texts, leaving the visitor wondering why those texts were not included in the NT. The display of the Dead Sea Scrolls asks, “Are these fragments real? Research continues.” Doubt is the primary thing on display.

The museum suggests that the Bible is full of spin. They note that the reliefs from Assyria give reports of successful raids into Israel, but the Bible gives a slightly different “spin,” emphasizing how God miraculously preserved Jerusalem—as though both could not be accurate. Of course, they would come down on the side of the king’s report. I have seen the reliefs and there is no indication that Sennacherib conquered Jerusalem. After taking Lachish, the king assayed to take Jerusalem also. But after the Lord slew 185,000 of his troops, he broke camp and headed home, leaving Jerusalem intact (II Kings chapters 18,19). So both are accurate. But how many visitors to the museum would know that?

“Each group brought its own version of the Bible” as the Europeans fled to America. Why don’t they explain that the first group, the Pilgrims who came in 1620, brought the Geneva Bible, which they preferred. The next group, the Puritans brought the KJV also. Reading the placard one might think they were two different Bibles altogether. Not so, of course. Slightly different wording here and there but conveying the same gospel and salvation message. They trust the ignorance of the public to keep them in the dark as to what they are doing.

For more on the museum go to:  http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/11/the_messy_scripture_on_display_at_the_museum_of_the_bible.html

Stay home and save your money…or take the coach ride.

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Say what?

Duke University is now offering an annual scholarship to students who receive need-based aid and also identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

The Carolinas LGBT Scholarship Fund will be awarded each year to an LGBT student who resides in North or South Carolina based on financial need and the student’s involvement in the LGBT community, according to the university’s website.

“The Carolinas Gay & Lesbian Scholarship at Duke University was endowed to encourage and reward involvement in the LGBT community,” the scholarship’s FAQ page reads. “The scholarship helps fund the education of a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender undergraduate student from North or South Carolina attending Duke University. It was created to foster a more affirming atmosphere and encourage leadership among, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members of the Duke community.”

It was only a matter of time that colleges and other institutions joined the government in rewarding persons who climb onto the LGBTQ bandwagon.

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Matthew 5:24

“First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:24).

My friend came to say he forgave me. Forgive me for what? I thought. If I’m being forgiven, he must think I need forgiveness. I wanted to say, “Look, if you’ve got issues I don’t know about, why don’t you just work them out yourself?” But my long-time friend deserved better, so I said, “Let’s go talk.”

As we walked, I realized interactions had grown cold between us. Over coffee he told me about what had upset him, and I saw things through his eyes. A flippant remark I had made had wounded him deeply. But time and God’s grace brought healing, and now he was telling me that he had forgiven me and was asking my forgiveness for having secretly hated me.

I realized I’d been wrong and was glad he brought it up, because otherwise I would not have asked for the forgiveness he’d already given. Now I could do my part to restore our friendship.

Forgiveness isn’t just about finding inner peace when God forgives us; it is also about making peace with those we have hurt and with those who have hurt us. Jesus said, “Be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” We are friends again because he had the courage to forgive. And as a result of his actions, I am better friends with God, too.  –  Dean Mailes (URM)

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A gift that keeps on giving

Clothes wear out and go out of style. Toys become lost or broken. But what is gained through a good book is a gift that keeps on giving forever. This Christmas give the gift of inspiration—give a book!

Give a minister friend or a laymember one of these books for Christmas with a note on the flyleaf signed by you and they will bless you for years to come.

Searching the Scriptures

by J. R. Ensey

A number of years ago, I embarked on a journey to learn more about the actual text of the Bible. I wanted to know how it came to us in the present form. The research took me to libraries (both here and abroad), the Internet, discussions with textual scholars, and the reading of many books (a weariness of the flesh), and earnest prayer. I wanted to know the truth.

The shallow claim of those who insist that only one 400-year old English translation—done with pre-set biased rules, few resources, by men who did not know the New Testament was written in Koine rather than classical Greek—should be viewed as “the Bible” demands a response. The attempt to find truth behind the manuscripts, the texts and translations seemed a worthy objective. Searching the Scriptures: Merging Truth, Texts and Translations is the result of that effort. It puts the early English Bibles, including the KJV, in perspective where they can be evaluated with contemporary translations by the sciences of papyrology, textual analysis, and linguistics. No doctrines are lost in the process and none are created in Searching the Scriptures.

If you have questions about the ancient manuscripts, the Greek texts, the differences in the Textus Receptus, the Majority Text, the Critical Text, or in the translations available today, you will probably find some help here. What about the words or phrases in some translations that are not there in the medieval versions or vice versa? You will find some answers in this book.

Includes charts, comparisons of Bible translations, and other addenda that are helpful in the study of the Scriptures.

Apostolics, of all people, have no need to fear truth. To do so casts a shadow of doubt on the Holy Scriptures. The more one learns about the Bible, the more he respects it and trusts it.

AM Price $19.95             To Order click here or call 936-537-0250.

A Hill To Die On

Is truth worth dying for? If so, which truth? Which doctrine? This new book, which will be available this week, suggests that there are some things worth risking our reputations, our resources, and perhaps our lives for. Six months ago we would never have thought we would be where we are today as a nation. The Christian faith is rapidly being dismembered and deconstructed to make way for Islam. The rush of endtime prophecy fulfillment should stiffen the backbone of every Christian and make us realize there will be a price to pay for our faith. The nine chapters of this new book include:

– A Hill To Die On
– Truth in an Age of Deception
– Unity in an Age of Division
– Righteousness in an Age of Hedonism
– The Church in an Age of Spirituality
– Absolutes in an Age of Relativism
– God and Government
– Is American Christianity Returning to the Social Gospel?
– Our Finest Hour

AM Price $12.95     To order click here or call 936-537-0250.

People in Proverbs

Solomon and others share their wisdom about nineteen different people in the Book of Proverbs. From the Man of Understanding to the Stupid Man, from the Busy Woman to the Contentious Woman, from the Generous Man to the Offended Man and thirteen others, we deal with their traits, both good and bad. These lessons serve as sermons, Bible lessons or just personal devotional reading.

AM Price $12.95     To order click here or call 936-537-0250.

Life Is Too Short To Live With  A Kicking Cow

Kicking cows deserve to be taken to the slaughterhouse! Life is too short even when we are not being kicked, but when our time here is harassed by anger, drugs, unwarranted guilt, apathy, doubt, and other hangers-on, we need to get rid of them quickly. Our spiritual life suffers when the sins of the spirit are not dealt with properly. Here are a dozen chapters that deal with some of life’s “kicking cows.” Is there one in your life?

AM price $12.95     To order click here or call 936-537-0250.

Why…?

Some younger men have called for reasons that specific holiness standards appear in the UPCI Manual. They were not around when the issues were debated and passed in conferences. It is easier in today’s cultural climate to give up the fight than to take the time to find out why Pentecostals believe what we do. Here are 224 pages of some common sense, Word-based answers for our apostolic positions.
Chapters:

• Why do Apostolics embrace the Bible as the Word of God?
• Why do Apostolics teach monotheism?
• Why do Apostolics receive the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues?
• Why do Apostolics disengage from a worldly lifestyle?
• Why do Apostolics abandon or avoid harmful personal practices?
• Why do Apostolics choose modest apparel and shun ornamental
jewelry?
• Why do Apostolic ladies refrain from cutting their hair and wearing cosmetics?
• Why do Apostolics live with a blessed hope?

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (I Peter 3:15,16).

AM price $12,95     To order click here or call 936-537-0250.

Don’t forget to order a supply of Into His Marvelous Light Bible studies for the coming evangelism thrust by your church! This is the study that is easy to use, gets right to the point, makes the salvation message clear, and invites an immediate response. It has guided many souls into the kingdom.

To Order click here or call 936-537-0250.

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A lighter fare for my ageless friends:

Those are just too funny!

Truth in small packages:

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A nation of dependents?

This example shows the importance of accuracy in your tax return.
The IRS has returned the Tax Return to a man in New York City implying that he answered one of the questions incorrectly. In response to the question, “Do you have any dependents?” the man wrote: “7.1 million illegal immigrants, 1.1 million crack-heads, 4.4 million unemployable scroungers, 80,000 criminals in over 85 prisons, at least 450 idiots in Congress and a huge group in Washington called bureaucrats.”

The IRS stated that the response he gave was unacceptable.

The man’s response back to the IRS was: “Who did I leave out?”

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Do yourself and your family a favor on December 25—have a Merry Christmas!

JREnsey 

Published in: on December 1, 2017 at 1:02 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey blog November 2017

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for November, 2017.

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The Word for today

I Corinthians 2:4-8 – “And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord.”

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Why you can trust the Bible

The Accuracy and Harmony of the New Testament Manuscripts

Various methods have been used by noted Greek scholars in estimating the percentage of accuracy in over 6,000 Greek NT manuscripts. Textual analysts have estimated that only about one-sixtieth of the known variants rise above “trivialities” and can be called “substantial variations.” That would make the NT 98.33 percent pure of any substantial variation. Ezra Abbott (1819-1884) said about 95 percent of the readings are “various” rather than “rival” readings, and about 95 percent of the rest make no appreciable difference in the sense of the passage. Thus the text would be “99.75 percent pure from rival readings that make a difference in the meaning of the text.”

A. T. Robertson said the real concern is with about a “thousandth part of the entire text.” So, the reconstructed text of the New Testament 99.9 percent free from real concern. Philip Schaff added that of the 150,000 variations known in his day, only 400 affected the sense; and of those only 50 were of real significance; and even the worst manuscript does not pervert or set aside one article of faith or moral precept.” By his estimation, this means that the NT is 100% free from any errors in essential doctrines of the Christian faith.

Abbot added this observation: “No Christian doctrine rests on those portions of the text which are affected by differences in the MSS; still less is anything essential in Christianity touched by the various readings.” In other words, no important truth stands or falls based on a variant. That is a confirmation that God has indeed preserved His Word.

The words of textual critic Sir Frederic Kenyon are still weighty today: “The interval between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.” You can trust the Bible!

– Excerpted from Searching the Scriptures: Merging Truth, Texts and Translations (Available from advanceministries.org)

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The state of education in the U.S.

Angry Parents: Teacher Holds “Gender Reveal” in Kindergarten

Parents of kindergarteners at a California charter school are upset after a teacher held a transgender “gender reveal” without their prior knowledge. TheFederalist.com reports that a teacher at Rocklin Academy read her kindergarten class books about transgenderism before holding the gender reveal event for a biologically male student who wanted to be a girl.

“The kindergartners came home very confused about whether or not you can pick your gender, whether or not they really were a boy or a girl,” said Karen England of the Capitol Resource Institute. Many parents were upset the teacher had held this transgender discussion without their knowledge. One parent even said, “My daughter came home crying and shaking, so afraid she could turn into a boy.”

Many parents took their concerns to a recent school board meeting, arguing that kindergarteners are too young to be involved in a discussion of gender identity. The board told parents that, unlike sex education discussions, teachers are not required to notify them regarding transgender discussions.

Colleges for sale

How do these professorial morons get into the school and college systems? According to Fox News, money from foreign governments is pouring into our colleges from foreign governments (I assume that probably includes communist nations and Middle Eastern countries) to establish professorships and chairs dedicated to leftist, liberal causes. They can’t overcome us militarily but they are in effect buying our educational system so they can poison the minds of our children who will grow up with an anti-Christian, anti-American mindset. The cash-hungry colleges are snapping the money up at the expense of America’s future.

Right on, UofW

In a document called “Commitment to Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression,” the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents passed a policy Friday (see page 4 of this document) aimed at punishing students for disruptive protests at speaking events, which have become more common on campuses over the past year.

Specifically, students at colleges across the nation have protested speakers, usually conservative in viewpoint, by “shouting them down” and making it impossible for attendees to hear what is being said. The policy refers to this as “violent or other disorderly misconduct that materially and substantially disrupts the free expression of others.”

This policy would mean that students could be suspended for their second disruption of free expression, and expelled for their third offense.

This is good news because UW has traditionally been one of the country’s most liberal, left-leaning institutions

This is what you get

At the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library in Long Beach, CA they are celebrating LGBTQ History Month. Who put that on the calendar? Regardless, the kids were treated to a five-horned, demon-like drag queen to read to them about the many positives of that community. That reading shouldn’t have taken long, but I’m sure the drag queen filled the time with plenty of entertainment.

Give them an open door and they will take over the whole building.

When we buy into the politically correct agenda and hire educators and teachers who have been brainwashed in the liberal university classrooms of modern America, this is what you are apt to get. We can expect more of the same in the future.

Watch those pronouns

The California State Senate has passed a bill that would make it a criminal offense to address a transgender person by the wrong pronoun. The bill now goes to the State Assembly. If passed and signed by the governor, the bill could enforce criminal penalties, including jail time.

The bill passed the Senate in a vote of 26-12. According to The Daily Caller, “The law is currently limited in its effects to nursing homes and intermediate-care facilities, but if passed, those who ‘willfully and repeatedly’ refuse ‘to use a transgender resident’s preferred name or pronouns’ could be slapped with a $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison.”

Reason #499 to homeschool your kids

A Georgia mom said her sixth-grade daughter recently came home with a health class assignment asking students to name sexual identity terms—such as gay, lesbian and transgender—based on their definitions. And she’s not happy with Lithonia Middle School.

What were some statements on the ‘Identity Definitions’ assignment?

  • A woman who is attracted to women [answer: lesbian]
  • A man who is attracted to men [answer: gay]
  • A person who is attracted to men and women [answer: bisexual]
  • When the person’s gender identity doesn’t match the sex (male or female) the doctor said they were when they were born [answer: transgender]

This simply gets them accustomed to using these terms and definitions. This mom did the right thing in removing her daughter from this class. Our public schools should be responsive to the parents of the children and not to the media and the bought-and-paid-for-politicians who are sold out to politically correct liberal causes.

The advantages of homeschooling personified

Elijah, pictured here with his parents, was adopted as an infant by Ron and Kristin Whitworth, members of Living Way Church in Conroe, TX. They have nine other adopted children, eight of them still at home. At 15, Elijah had completed his high school work. He took a college entrance exam was graded as college ready. He enrolled at nearby Lone Star College. Since he is too young to drive to college or even be on campus without a guardian, his mother is on campus with him.

Elijah has been a champion Bible quizzer since he was four years old. The Bible quiz program at LWC was basically how he learned to read. He has gone to quiz nationals for all but three years since then. He has trophied at nationals on two levels, and has been runner-up national quizzer of the year twice. He is an outstanding, self-motivated young man both spiritually and academically, a prayer warrior, and a willing worker. The future is bright for young men like Elijah.

He is a product of homeschooling. Are your kids achieving at the level you would desire? Have you considered homeschooling your children?

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Oddities within Christianity

Cain, the first murderer, is hardly an admirable character, yet there was once a group calling itself the Cainites. Active around the year 200, the group said that God was evil, and that rebels against Him (such as Cain) were the real heroes. The group even made a hero of Judas Iscariot and circulated a “Gospel of Judas.”

In the 1800s in England, many noted ministers, along with several members of Parliament, set up the Albury Conferences. Their aim was to examine biblical prophecies to determine when the coming of the Lord might occur. Some of the participants felt that the bloodbath during French Revolution, which began in 1789 and continued for almost a decade, marked the beginning of the “vials of wrath” described in the Book of Revelation. Like all the current professional  prognosticators who reach over into the Book of Revelation past Chapter 4 to pick out events that they think might have happened in the past or are happening now, they were wrong.

John, the first cousin of Jesus, was one of the most unique and colorful Bible characters. He baptized repentant Jews in the Jordan River, and famously baptized Jesus there also. In the 1850s some American Protestant churches felt strongly that the word “baptize” in the Bible should have been translated as “immerse.” Some opted for “washing.” They were right, of course. We are immersed in order to be wholly cleansed, with our sins being washed away. However, they wanted John to be called “John the Immerser” instead of “John the Baptist.” Bibles with that rendering didn’t make the best seller list.

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The Bible on abortion

Some say that the Bible is silent on abortion. Not so. The Bible declares that punishment is due if a pregnant woman is injured when two men fight and the woman miscarries (Exodus 21:22-25).

One stipulation is “life for life.” That tells us that a fetus is considered by God as a “life.” God is serious about sparing the life of a pre-born infant. The Bible also notes that God knows us even before we leave our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5). The Didache, an early Christian work clearly condemns abortion, which was fairly common in the immoral climate of the pagan Roman Empire. The whole world should know that real Christians are pro-life. And you know God is.

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IN THE NEWS

What a crazy, mixed-up world

The Boy Scouts of America organization on Wednesday announced that young girls will be permitted to enter the organization. They added that girls will be able to become Cub Scouts and can earn the rank of Eagle Scout, just the same as young boys. Why was that decision made? Why add to the gender confusion in our culture?

Michael Surbaugh, chief executive of the Boy Scouts, in a statement explained the organization’s decision to allow girls into the male-only scouts. “We believe it is critical to evolve our programs to meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” Surbaugh, said. [How many families are clamoring for this removal of tradition with the Scouts? What needs are pressing that drives this decision?]

The organization’s board of directors voted unanimously to allow girls into the Boy Scouts. Starting in 2018, girls will be allowed to join Cub Scout dens, and it will be up to local chapters to determine what type of den they want. “Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remains an all-boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender—all boys or all girls,” the organization said in a statement. [But watch those pronouns! How long before they allow entrance regardless of gender identity?]

Wait…wouldn’t girls forcing their way into the Boy Scouts and then establishing an all-girls pack be injecting a measure of discrimination? And when are the Girl Scouts going to begin enlisting boys? [Guys, the line forms to the left—way left.]

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Rollback of the birth control mandate

The Trump administration announced in October that it would expand exemptions to an Obamacare mandate requiring employers to cover birth control in their health insurance plans without a co-pay.

The so-called “HHS mandate” had narrow exemptions for churches and houses of worship. The Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns who care for the elderly poor, among other religious organizations, sued the Obama administration seeking an exemption from the mandate. Catholic Church teaching forbids the use of artificial contraception.

According to The Hill, under the new rule, any employer or insurer can be exempt from the mandate on both moral and religious grounds. It takes effect immediately.

What a difference a president makes!

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How much do you know about Islam?

Take the test here:

https://info.thomasnelson.com/muslim/#quiz

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BooksBooksBooksBooksBooksBooks

Books we recommend:

The English Hexapla

Published by Samuel Bagster and Sons, London

My edition of this helpful publication is quite large (8”x11”x3”), containing six translations of the New Testament plus the Greek NT above the six columns of Scripture. Included are the Wycliffe Bible, the Tyndale Bible, the Cranmer Bible, the Geneva Bible, the Douay-Rheims Version, and the King James Version. I have had this book for years and much use has made it old before its time. It has been helpful so many times in so many ways that its value is inestimable, showing where many of the variants in English translations first appeared. Available on Amazon.com.

James I

by Otto Scott; 472 pages; Mason/Charter Publishers, NY, 1976.

This is considered one of the best historical biographies of King James I who was king of England when the KJV was published and when the Pilgrims fled to America. Scott seems to be objective in his presentation of James, careful to be fair yet accurate with the facts whether positive or negative. If you want to know who James really was and how he governed, this is a good place to begin. Available new and used from Amazon.com and other sources.

Searching the Scriptures: Merging Truth, Texts and Translations

by J. R. Ensey

A sequel to The Book We Call the Bible, this book provides a historical background of the Bible and information on textual variants that represents years of research. Why do contemporary Bibles read differently from the earlier English versions, including the KJV? Is there doctrinal compromise in the works? Which is correct? Is the King James perfect without any mistranslations, interpolations, and shortcomings of any kind? Answers questions that you may have asked but couldn’t find much objectivity in your searching. Were the KJV translators inspired? Were Westcott and Hort unbelieving apostates? Which Greek text is most reliable and why? What is textual criticism? Can we still trust the Bible? This book tackles the difficult questions you always wanted answers for. Contains 431 pages with approximately 800 endnote references. Available from advanceministries.org/store or PPH. Only 19.95.

 Order at advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250.

IHML Bible Studies

Win them with this…

Into His Marvelous Light Bible Study

IHMLCoverNo other one-hour Bible study has enjoyed the consistent results of IHML over the years. Often copied but never duplicated. It is attractive, well written, and doctrinally sound. It will convince any open-minded person (and some whose minds are not so open) that the new birth is absolutely essential and that Acts 2:38 constitutes that experience. It’s possible that more souls have been won with this Bible Study than with any other single evangelism tool in the past 25 years. Discover how easy it is to share the plan of salvation with others. Available in both English and Spanish. English is available in both KJV and NIV.

AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each;  50-99 $1.50 each; 100 or more $1.25 each.

Help establish them with this…

Guide For LivingIHML_GFL_Revised

A follow-up study for the new convert. This little booklet may be given to the new convert to go through alone, filling in the blanks, and then bring back to you any questions they may have. It covers the new birth—what has happened to them experientially—and walks them through what their responsibilities as new believers are now.

AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each;  50-99 $1.50 each; 100 or more $1.25 each.

 Order at advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250.

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Think you’re having a bad day?

 

Only in Texas

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Have you noticed…?

Trump hasn’t made the lame to walk, but he sure has made the dumb to talk.

Those who are calling Trump Hitler are wanting all guns to be registered and/confiscated, but they don’t realize that is exactly what Hitler did—under the guise of “public safety,” of course.

The polar ice caps are still with us, Mr. Gore. Also, we notice that you have recently bought a home in California right on the beach. Does that mean you are pulling back your predictions of worldwide coastal flooding due to ice melting in Antarctica? Get a job, Al.

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Even with all the goofy stuff going on today, every one of us has much to be thankful for as we approach the Thanksgiving season. “In all things, give thanks.”

JREnsey

Published in: on November 1, 2017 at 12:00 AM  Comments (2)  

JREnsey Blog October 2017

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for October, 2017.

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The Word for Today

Romans 12:1-2:

“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your  reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].” (AMPC).

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Look who’s praising God 

The streets of Kiev were filled with songs of praise and thanks as 500,000 evangelical Ukrainian Christians gathered to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

“Many traveled from all four provinces there just to be a part of that celebration, to thank God for the freedom to worship, to thank God for the freedom to preach the Gospel in their country, and to celebrate God’s faithfulness,” Sergey Rakhuba with Mission Eurasia told Mission Network News.

The gathering came after Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko signed an order recognizing the anniversary of the Reformation.

Source: Worthy News [ (Read More…) ]

If you are glad to see the Ukrainians rejoicing for their freedom of religion, remember who it was that helped beat the Germans who devastated their country in 1942, and who stood with them against the heavy hand of Russia in the next few decades. Perhaps our football players and entertainers would do well to look at some pre-WWII cultures and compare them to post-war after liberation by the West, particularly America.

How many could America prod into the streets today to celebrate religious liberty in this country?

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Protesting the protesters 

Acknowledgement is given to those who wish to protest some obvious miscarriage of justice or wrongdoing of politicians. But for millionaire football players to express their grievances by ignoring the national anthem in front of their fans is despicable. To besmirch the nation, the hard-won freedoms it provides, and the lifestyle it enables is beyond the pale. My firm belief is that it is more than “police brutality” or some perceived injustice that is behind this action. Listen to the narrative of those who are pushing these protests and you can easily pick up anti-American, pro-socialist, anti-police sentiment. An entire segment of our population is being used by those who wish to dispose of our constitutional form of government.

Suggestion: While virtually all my readers avoid attendance at such sporting events, if there are any who go—stop! Protest the protesters! Why pour money into the pockets of those who want to change America into something that it was never intended to be—something that limits freedom, that depreciates the service of millions of solders who died for our liberty, and diminishes the values that made America the leader of the free nations of the world?!?

Take a knee—in prayer for the future of the USA and for all freedom lovers the world over!

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Simple answers to our difficult problems

On August 9, an unusual op-ed piece in the Philadelphia Enquirer by Amy Wax and Larry Alexander was published. These two law professors—not preachers—were courageous enough to say what needs to be said to our present culture.

The title of their article was “PAYING THE PRICE FOR BREAKDOWN OF THE COUNTRY’S BOURGEOIS CULTURE.”

They pin-pointed some of the major problems plaguing America in the 21st century. Among them:

– Widespread opioid abuse

– Inner-city violence

– Almost half of all children are born out of wedlock

– Education in America ranks below two dozen other countries.

But beyond stating the problems, they provide some solutions:  Get married before you have children, strive to stay married, get educated, work hard, be a patriot, be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable, go the extra mile for your employer, avoid substance abuse and crime. Sounds like something that a pastor might work into his Sunday sermon. Common sense stuff.

After you read the well-written article, you could guess what is happening to them and to anyone who does not roll over and play dead for the fifth column operating within this nation.

Please read the entire article HERE…

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 No “USA”

School district officials at a high school in Folsom, California, have advised students against chanting “USA!” in school and during school-related events.

This is why: District officials said that students’ chants of “USA!” could be construed as “offensive” or “intolerant,” and have requested the students refrain from doing so, warning them that the chant could send an “unintended message.” [Note: “could”]

Children all over America are terrified and tearful about their futures, the National Education Association head declared—and she said the sad situation all points to Republican President Donald Trump.

Why is it that such claptrap is being tolerated in our schools? Teachers’ union leaders like Lily Eskelsen Garcia—president of the largest U.S. labor union—said she knows of teachers [both of them?] who’ve literally had to soothe and comfort crying students  over Trump’s policies as they relate to Muslims, Mexicans and transgenders, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Why is it that tiny minorities are allowed to run this country? Two or three liberal students stating their unhappiness about situations in educational institutions can turn the system on its head. That’s political correctness run amuk.

I have relatives who teach school where this is not the case. It is no indictment of all teachers and schools. Many of them are fed up with what they are told to teach. Support them and their schools wherever they are. Let them know you are behind them. Get elected to local school boards where your voice can count.

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Is traditional Christianity dying in America?

Please skip this segment if you are satisfied with the way Christianity is regressing in our country. How are traditional churches committing suicide? What is the Apostolic alternative?

DEAR CHURCHES: You’re killing yourselves, and this is how

Matt Walsh

A certain sermon I heard a little while ago has stuck with me.

It began with a reference to “Toy Story.” Yes, “Toy Story.” The cartoon with talking toys.

The Pixar film, as the pastor explained, contained many examples of friendship. Friendship is important, you see. It’s good to have friends. In case anyone thought friendship was bad, he was standing up to boldly declare otherwise. Remember that Randy Newman song called “You’ve Gotta Friend In Me” from the movie? He did. He quoted it at length. Then he handed out juice boxes and graham crackers and we had nap time on the alphabet rug.

I have no problem with a sermon that draws on art or literature outside of Scripture to illustrate a theme contained in it. But of all the poems, novels, songs, films, paintings, sculptures that may reveal some divine truth, he went with “Toy Story”? Oh, but “Toy Story” is relatable, you say. Really? Relatable to whom? Kindergartners? Well, are we in a Kindergarten class or a church? It certainly is hard to tell anymore. Just add a few boxes of crayons and a couple of glue sticks and some of these churches would be indistinguishable.

Of course, this dissertation on the theological significance of Buzz Lightyear was pretty standard fare. The message preached from most pulpits in America is just like this: superficial, childish, empty, and seemingly designed to insult the intelligence of anyone who hears it. Christianity is dull and lifeless in this country because that’s what the church and its leaders have done to it. They’ve made it into something so bland, generic and inoffensive that it no longer bears any resemblance to the faith of our Christian ancestors. Even the church buildings themselves reflect this trend. Most of them look like shopping malls or government buildings. Sleek, gray, ugly, secular. But inoffensive. Inoffensive in the same way that the DMV is inoffensive.

Indeed, the primary goal of the modern church is to avoid offense, at whatever cost. And this is precisely why they’re dying. The problem is…..[To continue reading this plain-talk, hard-hitting article, CLICK HERE]

After reading the above referenced article, give some thought to how Apostolic churches, which are not dying, can demonstrate a positive difference—then share your thoughts with us.

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More of Al’s global warming nonsense

A TV host claims climate change (aka “global warming”) is causing hurricanes like Harvey and Irma…until a real scientist and meteorologist sets the record straight. See http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/09/10/bill-nye-blames-powerful-hurricanes-on-climate-change-then-a-real-scientist-shuts-him-down/

But how about this:

The day the ocean disappeared! http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/09/10/video-hurricane-irma-is-so-strong-that-it-literally-made-the-ocean-around-this-island-disappear)/

Then we read in the Bible: “Then at your command, O Lord, at the blast of your breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare (Psalm 18:15).

God hasn’t gone anywhere. He is still in ultimate control of the universe.

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Corrupted manuscripts?

Frequently we hear the claim that certain manuscripts or text-types have been corrupted. Which ones? And what exactly amounts to “corruption.”

In brief, every hand-written manuscript of all text-types has some measure of “corruption”—places where copyists have erred, either intentionally or unintentionally, corrections were made, scribal emendations inserted—but is basically orthodox concerning the doctrines of Christianity. We have far too many manuscript witnesses to allow a few variants to keep us from trusting God’s Word as it appears in the major translations available to us today.

Geisler and Nix agree: “Although not many modern scholars seriously defend the superiority of the received text (Textus Receptus), it should be noted that there is no substantial difference between it and the critical text. What differences there are between these two textual traditions are merely technical rather than doctrinal, for the variants are doctrinally inconsequential.”[1]

The more research that is done in this field of study, the more I am convinced that we have the “sure word of prophecy” (II Peter 1:19) in our hands. Yet, hard-core extremists insist that since there are fewer Greek manuscripts in the Alexandrian family than in the Byzantine family, the former group cannot be trusted. “They don’t match up with each other,” is a common claim, hoping the reader will interpret the statement as suggesting that the Byzantine manuscripts match up word for word. Of course they do not. “The Byzantine manuscripts show amazing agreement” with each other, they often say.[2] How much agreement amounts to “amazing”? Such a statement borders on pure deception. All manuscripts show “amazing agreement,” regardless of their textual family. No two hand-copied Greek manuscripts match perfectly regardless of which family they represent. Most have simple “corrections,” and sometimes a gloss, which KJV defenders like to call “corruptions” in the Alexandrian manuscripts but will ignore them in the Byzantine group.

Some advocates insist on putting all manuscripts in only two families, as though all fall into only two groups—the “pure” ones from the Byzantine Empire (from which the Textus Receptus was put together) and the “corrupt” ones from Alexandria or the West. That position ignores the facts. It is true that there are more Greek manuscripts from the Byzantine region than from the West. The reason is obvious: In the West, Latin was dominant after the fourth century, so they only copied biblical manuscripts in Latin, while in the Byzantine empire they continued to hand copy them in Greek until the fifteenth century.

Lists of Alexandrian text-type manuscripts are available to the researcher as well as the Byzantine.[3] Modern technology has permitted us to see the actual manuscripts on our computer screens. It is astounding that all the manuscripts, Byzantine and Alexandrian, say virtually the same thing. God has indeed preserved His Word. But it should not be made to sound as if the later Byzantine texts/Textus Receptus/KJV represent one Bible and the Alexandrian texts/Critical Text/modern versions represent a totally different Bible. There is one Bible with minor variant readings arising from different manuscripts. The same fundamental truths are in all major Bibles with the source texts reading very close to the same. It is said that no more than 40 lines in the NT are challengeable. The variants are mostly due to word order, spelling, and punctuation/grammar issues.[4]

            Trust His Word!

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 BooksBooksBooksBooksBooks

Before You Say “I Do”Before-You-Say'I-Do'-cover

by JREnsey

No one in your church should get married before asking themselves these twenty-five very important questions. This book has helped countless couples circumvent troublesome areas in their courtship and marriage. A wedding planner and other extras are included in the book. Also available as an eBook.

AM Price $4.95

A Hill To Die On

A-Hill-to-die-on-frontJR Ensey
Is truth worth dying for? We all know the time is coming when we must take a stand. This book suggests that there are some things worth risking our reputations, our resources, and even our lives for. Six months ago we would never have thought we would be where we are today as a nation. The Christian faith is rapidly being dismembered and deconstructed to make way for Islam. The rush of endtime prophecy fulfillment should stiffen the backbone of every Christian and make us realize there will be a price to pay for our faith. The nine chapters of the book include:

– A Hill To Die On
– Truth in an Age of Deception
– Unity in an Age of Division
– Righteousness in an Age of Hedonism
– The Church in an Age of Spirituality
– Absolutes in an Age of Relativism
– God and Government
– Is American Christianity Returning to the Social Gospel?
– Our Finest Hour

Also available as an eBook.

AM Price $12.95

Order from advanceministries.org/store or phone 936-537-0250.

IHMLCoverInto His Marvelous Light one-hour Bible study

Only $1.75 each up to 49 copies, 1.50 each from 50-99 copies, and only 1.25 for orders IHML_GFL_Revisedof 100 or more. Follow-up study Guide For Living is same price.

Still the best soulwinning tool you can use!

Order online at www.advanceministries.org/ or phone 936-537-0250.

Don’t forget your Bible studies this month!

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More reasons women live longer than men

“Those guys must have mushrooms for brains!”

 

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Passing thoughts

I didn’t see the Emmy awards in Hollywood recently, but read and heard about them. Evidently, they were all about anti-America and anti-Trump propaganda. That is reason #962 we don’t patronize the movies or give ear to the actors’/actresses’ ill-informed rants. Or watch them express their stupidity on TV or social media.

 How about Straight Pride marches for a change? Reckon anyone would be interested in that? It’s natural, it’s worked since the beginning of humanity—and you can make babies. Children need to be raised in a two gender (mother and father) environment so they can develop an appreciation of God’s workmanship.

The 2017 General Conference of the UPCI in Kansas City closed Friday night, September 29. Most left with a positive feeling about where we are and where we are headed. We heard a “certain sound” and a clarion call to biblical doctrine and lifestyle standards. The first conference (Acts 15) was about doctrine and lifestyle practices also. We are safe when we clearly reiterate our message for every incoming generation.

Have a great October! See you next month.

JREnsey

Footnotes

1 Norman L. Geisler, William E. Nix, From God To Us: How we got our Bible (Chicago: Moody Press, 1974), p. 162. Paul D. Wegner adds: “Once again it should be noted that all but a small minority of scholars now reject the superiority of the Textus Receptus.” Wegner, The Journey from Texts to Translations (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1999), pp. 153-160.

2 KJV loyalists love to excoriate all modern scholars regardless of how orthodox they might be. The 1611 KJV translators are touted as virtually infallible. Extremists’ “facts” about the KJV are laced with conjecture, misleading statements, hyperbole, and in some cases, outright deception. Two publications serve as cases in point: Gail Riplinger’s New Age Bible Versions and David W. Daniels’ Answers To Your Bible Version Questions, (Ontario, CA: Chick Publications, 2003).

3 See Metzger, The Text of …, pp.247-256; Philip W. Comfort, Early Manuscripts…., pp. 31-73. Check this and similar websites: http://www.bible-researcher.com/isbetext02.html.

4 For more exhaustive information on biblical texts and translations, please see Searching the Scriptures: Merging Truth, Texts and Translations by J. R. Ensey (Willis, TX: Advance Ministries, 2017). Available at advanceministries.org/store or at Pentecostal Publishing House.

Published in: on October 1, 2017 at 2:55 AM  Comments (2)