Welcome to the August 2015 JREnsey blog! Hot enough for you? August is a good month to preach on Hell!
“My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course.
20 Do not carouse with drunkards or feast with gluttons,
21 for they are on their way to poverty, and too much sleep clothes them in rags 22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother when she is old.
23 Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.
24 The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure to have children who are wise.
25 So give your father and mother joy! May she who gave you birth be happy” (Proverbs 23:19-25 NLT).
Diary of an Azusa St. convert
Two years ago I toured the Azusa St. sites in Los Angeles, seeing the Bonnie Brae home where Seymour began the prayer meetings, and where the old Azusa St. meeting house once stood. Contemplating the events standing at Seymour’s grave, and then the Arroyo Seco site of the 1913 campmeeting, I knew I wanted to share these experiences with our church at home in Conroe.
The following Sunday I presented the slides of those sites and photos of the men who were directly involved with the beginning of the outpouring of the Spirit in North America. Afterward, a lady, Debbie Holub, who had only attended our church a couple of times, rushed forward to greet me and say that her great great grandfather, Samuel Webster, knew those men who were mentioned, and that he had actually received the Holy Ghost at Azusa St. She really had my attention then. But when she added, “And we even have his diary concerning his experience there and his ministry afterward,” my eyes must have looked like saucers.
I could hardly contain my excitement when she brought me a transcription of his handwritten diary. He explained how he had been sent by the Baptist denominational missions effort to Los Angeles to plant new churches in that burgeoning city. Soon after arriving in 1906, someone invited him to a revival that was in progress on Azusa St. He decided to attend and on February 6, 1907 he received the Holy Ghost.
The direction of his life was totally changed. He was baptized in Jesus name and began an active ministry that covered hundreds of cities and churches in the western half of the U.S. He was active in organizing the Arroyo Seco campmeeting and other big gatherings on the West Coast.
I knew this document should be in the archives of our church. The descendants of Samuel Webster agreed to have the diary placed in the Center For the Study of Oneness Pentecostalism in St. Louis. The presentation of the diary and other pictures was made recently at the World Evangelism Center on July 15. It will be available for study by those who are doing research on the history of the Pentecostals in America.
Our special thanks goes to Debbie Holub who first approached me about the diary, and who arranged for the Webster family members to come to St. Louis for the presentation of the diary to the UPCI historical archives. You may check with Brother Robin Johnston, the director of the Center, for information on when it will be ready to access.
An unsolicited story came to my computer anonymously. I didn’t take the time to verify it.
The Story Of My Rifle
While I was gone, the mailman delivered my mail, the neighbor boy across the street mowed the yard, a girl walked her dog down the street, and quite a few cars stopped at the stop sign near the front of my house.
After about an hour, I checked on the gun. It was still sitting there, right where I had left it. It hadn’t moved itself outside. It certainly hadn’t killed anyone, even with the numerous opportunities it had to do so.
In fact, it hadn’t even loaded itself. Well you can imagine my surprise, with all the hype by the Left and the Media about how dangerous guns are and how they kill people. Either the media is wrong or I’m in possession of the laziest gun in the world. The United States is 3rd in Murders throughout the World. But if you take out just four cities: Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC and New Orleans, the United States is 4th from the bottom, in the entire world, for murders. These four Cities also have the toughest gun control laws in the U.S. ALL four of these cities are controlled by liberals. It would be absurd to draw any
conclusions from this data—right?
Well, I’m off to check on my spoons. I hear they’re making people fat.
Millions for baby parts
It is unbelievable that we Americans pay huge amounts to agencies like Planned Parenthood. Millions we freely give these people to promote abortions and actually sell the products of abortion—i.e., body parts of babies.
Where do they get the money—about a half billion annually—to fund Planned Parenthood? Perhaps from the Little Sisters of the Poor who minister to elderly women who have no need of contraceptives. Nor do the Little Sisters need that “benefit.” Yet Obamacare insists that they pay for birth control for their workers and caregivers. So via the many taxes that have been woven into Obamacare, they take from the nuns and other Christians and give to those who have helped to kill above 50 million babies since 1972. Shame on America for letting this happen!
More political correctness to harass Christian colleges
As president of Texas Bible College, I resisted efforts for the college to become accredited for a number of reasons. While it is advantageous to be able to transfer credits to other accredited colleges, that aspect was not worth what a college has to surrender in order to be accredited by an agency approved by the Federal government. A college can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in the effort to become accredited so credits can be transferred and students can obtain government-backed student loans to pay for their tuition.
I am holding my breath to see what happens when the authorities find out where our colleges stand on homosexuality and same-sex marriage. A number of Christian colleges have already been challenged to adjust their policies to reflect cultural changes concerning sexuality.
Read how Gordon College has been targeted by the accrediting agency and leftist social engineers: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/397677/persecution-gordon-college-david-french
Gordon College is fighting for its very life to maintain a Christian standard of sexuality and marriage at the college.
Baylor University, a Baptist institution of higher learning since 1845, recently capitulated and removed “homosexual acts” from sexual misconduct policy. The old policy forbidding specific sexual acts read: “Misuses of God’s gift will be understood to include, but not be limited to, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, incest, adultery, fornication and homosexual acts.” The new policy reads: “Baylor will be guided by the biblical understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God and that physical sexual intimacy is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity. Thus, it is expected that Baylor students, faculty and staff will engage in behaviors consistent with this understanding of human sexuality.” Hmmmm….
LeTourneau University’s policy came under fire for banning “same-sex dating behaviors and public advocacy for the position that sex outside of a biblically-defined marriage is morally acceptable.”
Wheaton College has also come under fire for not wanting to follow Obamacare’s guidelines for providing “morally objectionable” contraception products. http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2015/july/wheaton-college-loses-emergency-contraception-appeal-outsou.html?utm_source=ctweekly-
Will Pentecostal colleges be found spending mega-bucks on earning accreditation only to have it annulled by some government agency or liberal judge?
Is there no such thing as a “pervert” today? Under the smile of this administration, a place has been made for every type of activity to be considered morally acceptable—except, of course, the expression of any sense of biblical or traditional human sexuality.
Will America ever recover from the regression from traditional values that made this country what it became?
In ten years or less, will marriage between a man and a woman become the exception, and perhaps even illegal?
Will the new Supreme Court judges that will be appointed by the next president tilt that hallowed bench even further from biblical standards?
Will our collective American conscience in the future force us to elect a Hispanic or black lesbian, who is also a practicing Muslim? How could we not, if one was a candidate?
How long before black pastors are pressured to the point they surrender to the social engineers that are trying to turn them into a hate group that will pronounce all white people to be one big hate group?
How long before we find out what Jade Helm is really all about?
When will we finally cease the public sniping at those who read from contemporary Bible versions and we sit down at a table and see what the real truth about them is?
How many more planets we will visit with robotic vehicles to explore their surfaces looking for signs of life?
Where do desks really come from?
In September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a history teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks in her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.
‘Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?’
She replied, ‘You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.’ They thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s our grades.’ ‘No,’ she said.
‘Maybe it’s our behavior.’ She told them, ‘No, it’s not even your behavior.’
And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom. Kids called their parents to tell them what was happening and by early afternoon television news crews had started gathering at the school to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.
The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the desk-less classroom. Martha Cothren said, ‘Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.’
At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniform, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.
Martha said, ‘You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. They went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have. Now, it’s up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don’t ever forget it.'”
PS: This is a true story. And this teacher was awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year for the State of Arkansas
in 2006. She is the daughter of a WWII POW.
Let us always remember the men and women of our military and the rights they have won for us.
Once it was, “Would Jesus wear a Rolex on his television show?”
Now it is, “Would Jesus perform a gay wedding ceremony?”
Jimmy Carter, former president and longtime Baptist Sunday school teacher, said on July 7 that he believes Jesus would approve of gay marriage, though he said that he doesn’t have “any verse in scripture” to corroborate this notion. [Awww….]
“I believe he would. I believe Jesus would. I don’t have any verse in Scripture…,” Carter responded when asked by HuffPo Live host Mark Lamont Hill whether Christ would embrace same-sex nuptials. “I believe that Jesus would approve of gay marriage, but I’m not—that’s just my own personal belief.”
The one-term Democrat president also said that he believes Jesus “would encourage…any love affair that was honest and sincere.”
And since Carter believes that gay marriage doesn’t “damage anyone else,” he said that he has no qualms about it.
Well, Jimmy, should we be surprised at anything you say?
FACT CHECK: BIBLE TRANSLATIONS
Articles about Bible translations are once again making the rounds in magazines and on social media that are being sent to our laymen. They usually begin by stating: “Here are some facts:….” These “facts” are about the NIV Bible and how corrupt it is. The NIV folks can fork their own broncs. I am not promoting the NIV or any particular version, but for Apostolics to be repeating false and misleading statements is without justification. Since they are attacking the NIV specifically, let’s use it and see if their 18 “facts” are really fiction.
- “In the NT alone, 17 entire verses have been excised.” [In a more recent account it was 45 verses. In yet another, it was 33. Which “fact” is a fact?]
Truth: Excised from what? No verses from the Greek NT have been left out. The Erasmus/Stephanus/Beza Greek texts of the 16th century used by the KJV translators were “expansive” texts, importing words/phrases/verses from the Latin Vulgate and other late manuscripts. Contemporary versions do not lean on an obsolete text based on readings from only seven late manuscripts and the Latin Vulgate.
Obviously they mean “excised” from the KJV, but is the KJV “the” Bible that John and Paul and Peter personally wrote? The English language wasn’t around then. “The” Bible consists of the original Hebrew and Greek autographs. We don’t have those. We only have copies of copies, many of which have variant readings. However, the truth is that significant variants (differences between the Textus Receptus [TR] and more current Greek texts) are relatively few and do not affect any doctrine.
Unexplained statements are left unexplained to create the greatest question in the minds of uninformed readers. Because the copies don’t all agree for one reason or another, the science of textual criticism was developed. That enables scholars like paleontologists, papyriologists, and ancient and contemporary language experts to gather all of the fragments, codices, uncials, minuscules, papyri, lectionaries, etc., and compare them, setting standards for credibility where there are differences in the readings.
Do you wonder why they rarely mention I John 5:7 when speaking of omitting words from the Bible? Or Revelation 16:5? Or Romans 1:4, et al.? Did the KJV include the spurious phrase about the “three heavenly witnesses” to support the …… (To continue reading this article, CLICK HERE)
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Coming to a school near you
Gender diversity taught to kindergarten kids
Pope’s Apology tour?
In June he apologized to Waldensians and Albigensians.
Who is next? I have some personal friends who deserve an apology, but they are not holding their breath.
An encouraging word
Russell Moore writes:
“[T]here is one thing that, tempted as we may be to expect it, will not happen, either in our lifetime or beyond: Marriage will not go away. The gospel-imaging union between a man and a woman as a sacred testimony to Christ’s pursuit of His church will never be scrubbed from our culture, as if it were a coat of paint on our social consciousness. No, marriage is not merely a cultural accessory, it is a cosmic, spiritual, and deeply human reality embedded into the creation itself. No amount of same-sex marriage in the twenty-first century will change this, just as no amount of blue-collar, Bible-belt divorce culture in the late twentieth century changed it then.
“The Sexual Revolution always promises fulfillment but betrays its followers bitterly in the end. Even as we brace for a generation’s worth of confusion and enforced conformity, we must also stand fast in holding out hope to the refugees from the Sexual Revolution who will come to us, being wrecked by the fantasy of autonomy and self-creation. We must keep the light lit to the old paths. We must point out why marriage is rooted not just in nature and tradition but in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:32).
“Marriage is resilient because it is God-created, not another government program. That’s why hand wringing and siege mentality has no place among those who want to champion traditional marriage. Marriage does not exist thanks to humanity, and so it cannot be unmade thanks to it either.”
Thank you, Russell Moore, whoever you are. May it be so.
The Unbound Scriptures
Of all the books out there on the market, this one probably exceeds them all for providing information about the Bible we hold in our hand. I have not seen this much documented material about the Bible anywhere else. Page after page of sound words that lets us know how the Bible came to us and how trustworthy it actually is. The author deals with current issues as well as how the King James Bible fares with others. He handles differences of opinion gracefully where grace is called for and strength where clarity is called for. There are many pages of textual variants and how they have been handled, and the men who have been involved with the issues facing us today. Fifty pages of bibliography! Get this book! We bought a box of them. Get them while they last! AM price only $17.99 Order online or call 936-537-0250.
Gods At War
In Gods at War, Kyle Idleman addresses the issue of idolatry in the lives of believers by asking insightful questions that will help you determine which false gods are striving to sit on the throne of your heart. By sharing true and powerful testimonies of those who have struggled with the idols of money, sex, success, food and romance, Idleman clears away the cultural baggage of the 21st century to expose these gods for what they are—rivals to our unhindered devotion to Christ. Discover the freedom that awaits you when you allow the true God to reside unchallenged in your heart and life. You will do a series on this book…guaranteed! AM price only $13.99 Order online at advanceministries.org or call today! 936-537-0250.
For your funny bone
Our daughter, Debbie, was recently putting her five-year old grandson, Peyton, to bed. As they got down to pray, he grabbed his little prayer book that he goes through each night, praying for each of those whose pictures are in the book. When he came to our photo, he reverently said, “Jesus, You’re going to have to help them because You made them old. I don’t know what else to say!”
I guess we were old when we got here. At least someone is praying for us!
Now get to someplace cool with a tall glass of lemonade. You have earned it.