JREnsey blog for September 2019

Welcome to the September 2019 blog. Don’t miss the statement about Matthew 28:19 made by Dr. Daniel Wallace!

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The Word for Today

“O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength,
silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?” (Psalm 8:1-4 NLT).

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FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT:

A Brief Exposition of Luke 1:15

“For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.”

Thesis:  Some confuse this reference of Holy Spirit filling with that which occurred on Pentecost. However, this verse is not to be compared with those scriptural references to the uniquely Christian experience of the “baptism/infilling of the Holy Spirit”—as mentioned in Acts 1:5;2:4: “John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence…and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost , and began to speak  with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” and Acts 2:38: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

What is the difference in the two “fillings”?

Exposition:  Luke 1:15 is saying that from birth John would be filled with a spiritual stimulus/enduement that would be an antithesis to being drunk with wine. It was an individual and specific anointing and filling (upon and within) for special purposes. It would be manifested even before birth (Luke 1:41), but it would not be…. [To continue reading this article, go HERE…]

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The Pope and Bible Translation

Pope Francis created a small stir recently when he suggested some subtle changes in the way the Lord’s Prayer is expressed in Matthew 6:13 and Luke 11:4.

In response, Dr. Daniel Wallace, Senior Research Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM), has written an excellent article regarding this move and about Bible translation in general. I believe this informative article will benefit our readers immensely. Click on the link below and enjoy a refreshing and enlightening presentation of this vital topic.

https://danielbwallace.com/2017/12/12/pope-francis-the-lords-prayer-and-bible-translation/

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In his heart, he knows the truth about Matthew 28:19

Dr. Daniel Wallace, the same one mentioned in the above article, made a statement that should shake every Trinitarian out there. In a research paper on the Holy Spirit, the professor, whom I highly respect as possibly the foremost biblical Greek manuscript expert on the planet, revealed his take on the long ending of this verse.

Writing on the use of the Trinitarian baptismal formula as given in Matthew 28:19, he said, “Further, when we look at Acts we notice that water baptism is apparently never done in the “name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”;  it is done in Jesus’ name alone (cf. Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16).  What is to account for this?  Either the Trinitarian formula in the Great Commission (Matt 28:19) was a later accretion added either by the evangelist or, possibly, by some ancient scribe; or, more likely, there was a lack of understanding on the part of the apostles when Jesus gave the commission.  That baptism was apparently not done in the Father’s name either suggests that the apostolic band was wholly consumed with Christ or that the Trinitarian formula made little sense to them.  In other words, their initial understanding of the relation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit may well have been rather fuzzy.”

I have spoken personally with Dr. Wallace on several occasions and communicated with him electronically for a number of years, mostly about Bible manuscripts. While I have not spoken with him about this specific verse, I cannot believe he thinks the apostles misunderstood Jesus’ words or that their take on the Godhead was “fuzzy” (Luke 24:45). I imagine he is merely protecting himself with his Trinitarian colleagues and friends. I know that he knows there is no extant Greek manuscript containing Matthew 28:19 dated before the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. All the Matthean MSS dated before Nicea are defective and do not contain that portion of the Gospel at all. I rather expect he believes that the Trinitarian formula was indeed “a later accretion [addition]” to the commission. He knows it is not the common language of the New Testament. Also, Eusebius, the recording secretary at Nicea, habitually quoted Matthew 28:19 as ending with “in my name” until after Nicea. Trinitarian scribes practiced adding doxologies and endings like this to the Scriptures. They added a similar one to the Lord’s Prayer in later Greek Byz manuscripts that all critics recognize and reject as emendations.

The professor knows all that, but he cannot afford to categorically say it. It would bring him great grief from his colleagues. I pray for his courage.

Someday they might dig up a second century manuscript of Matthew with the Trinitarian formula in it. I will be surprised. If so, we will just have to continue jumping through semantical hoops [“name is singular…Father is not a name…etc., etc.] to make Matthew 28:19 say what harmonizes with the remainder of Scripture and the practice of the apostles.

Whatever, the apostles of Christ did not get it wrong, professor! It is the Trinitarians’ concept of the Godhead that is “fuzzy.”

[Dr. Wallace’s research paper was called to my attention by Brother Roger Perkins. The original paper was titled “Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit”; Bulletin for Biblical Research 13.1 (2003) 97-125 [© 2003 Institute for Biblical Research]

For the record, references to the Holy Spirit in the NT are not presenting a third person in a Trinity, but simply expressing God’s Spirit at work in His people and in the world. There is only one Spirit (Ephesians 4:4).

I have prepared an analysis of the long ending of Matthew 28:19, providing the testimony of many scholars and experts, along with the record of ancient writings, that point to the trinitarian-sounding phrase as a later addition. It is free…just email your request to raensey@gmail.com.

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Say it again, say it again, louder, louder!

Legislators and college professors and mayors around the country are passing laws that prevent Christian counselors from attempting to help homosexuals exit that lifestyle. I am sure the same crowd would favor counselors helping Christians to bail out and become atheists.

I found it interesting that recent marches in Washington D.C.  were conducted by ex-gays who wanted to express their freedom from that practice. The liberal media virtually ignored them. Remember: A man with an argument is no match for a man with a testimony.

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WHY?

With most Americans reeling from the recent spate of mass shootings that tragically took so many lives, many diverse “solutions” are being proposed by legislators, media and the mental health industry [psychologists/psychiatrists/big pharma]. Yet virtually none address causality; namely, what could cause an individual to lose all sense of humanity in order to carry out such unimaginable acts.

While it is true that many factors can contribute to mass murder, violent crime and suicide, one well-documented fact is omitted by the press and, of course, the mental health industry “experts.” The latter is demanding millions more dollars to try to “prevent” mass shootings when it is known their psychiatric drugs they push has been a major cause. A percentage of the population taking these drugs become manic, psychotic, violent and homicidal.

With millions of Americans taking these drugs, clearly not everyone will experience violent reactions to that extent. But what drug regulatory agency warnings confirm is that a percentage of the population definitely will. And no one knows who will be next. This is the game of Russian roulette that is part and parcel of the psychiatric drug industry. – Citizens Commission on Human Rights

PS: Please note that Jim Jones killed over 900 men, women and children with Kool-Aid. Should it be withdrawn from grocery shelves? Another “mass killing” during the last month was done with knives. Should all knives be confiscated? Warped minds are to blame! And what is warping minds? Drugs, alcohol, social media input, fake news spewing hate, violent video games, and leftist college professors—to name the probable leaders on the list.

“Gun deaths” are railed against, but it is really the guns that are in view in the leftists’ minds—not deaths. Smoking killed almost a half million last year. If deaths were the concern of the leftists, they would address that problem more forcefully. Alcohol-related deaths dwarfed those killed by guns—about 88,000 every year. Why not ban alcohol? Everyone knows the answer to that question. Sighhh…where is the end of blatant hypocrisy? [JRE]

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The good, the bad, the ugly

• Uncle Joe Biden, on the stump in Iowa, was asked by a woman in the crowd as he was leaving, “How many genders are there?”

“There are at least three,” Biden, 76, can be heard saying. The woman then asks him to name them.

“Don’t play games with me, kid,” he responded, adding that he was the “first one” in the Obama administration to come out in support of marriage equality.

I checked with God about the three genders. “News to Me,” He said.

• Stop thinking that if you have a college degree it makes you smart. Lots of people have a driver’s license who can’t drive. -Anonymous submission

• Don’t complain about children in cages at the border if you won’t complain about children in garbage cans at Planned Parenthood. – Patriot Post

• “The womb of the mother is a holy of holies where God is at work (Psalm 139:13‚18). How tragic that we turn that womb into a tomb, that holy of holies into a holocaust.” – Warren Wiersbe in Be Obedient

• Definition: racist (n.) – Someone who wins an argument against a liberal. – Patriot Post

• When truth ceases to mean everything, it ceases to mean anything. – M. E. Burr

• “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” – Josef Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda

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BOOKS are still the major source of knowledge and learning. God thought so. He wrote the all-time number one bestseller!

Faith In The Furnace

by J. R. Ensey

When pain racks the body, and death is staring you in the face, questions crowd the mind. Will God heal me? How should I express my faith? Here are some down-to-earth, no-nonsense approaches to life when you are in the furnace of affliction. No hype, just biblical truth focusing on divine healing. Easy to read, thousands sold.  AM price $9.95

Why….?

by J. R. Ensey

Some younger men have called for reasons that specific doctrinal and holiness standards appear in the UPCI Manual. They were not around when elders debated the issues and passed the positions in conferences. It is easier in today’s cultural climate to ignore issues than to take the time to find out why Pentecostals still believe the Apostles’ doctrine and a holiness lifestyle. Here are 224 pages of some common sense, Word-based reasons 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?

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” (I Peter 3:15,16 ESV).

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The New Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary [eBook]

Compiled and written by J. R. Ensey

The reference volume 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 a thousand 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, searchable 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.

“This dictionary is far more than a word study; it is replete with the background and history of many doctrinal positions and teachings. It also serves as a standard for testing the validity of different theories—an invaluable tool!” – Dr. Marvin Treece            AM price $12.95

Order above books at advanceministries.org  or call 936-537-0250

FREE book! One copy of the Apostolic Theological Journal included with any order of the above book. Send a note with your order to let us know which journal you prefer.

Go here to choose your book.

Now is a good time to teach a Bible study! We have what you need!

IHML Bible Studies

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Telling it like it is

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The Last Word(s)

Give thanks for the month of September—bearing the hope of cooler weather! Climate change is real. It used to be called seasons.

JRE

Published in: on September 1, 2019 at 3:07 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey blog August 2019

Welcome to our post for August 2019. Cool your heels for 10 minutes and give your soul a break. We appreciate your visit.

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The Word for Today

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4 NLT).

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Can God calculate percentages?

Does God really keep up with how much we give and the amount we should tithe? Is He a nerdy bookkeeper? Such questions seem to be submitted in hopes of a negative answer. Let’s see.

It seems that the Lord is indeed interested in how much of our income we turn back into His work. When He visited the Temple, Mark noted, “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury” (Mark 12:41).

But what about the specific amount, like our tithe of 10%. Does He keep up with actual income percentages? Evidently.

In the story of the ten lepers who were cleansed by Jesus (Luke 17:12-17), one of the ten returned to thank Him for his healing. Jesus pointedly asked, “Were there not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?”

He knew exactly how many had been cleansed and that only a tenth of them showed gratitude.

Peter, by the word of knowledge from God, knew that Ananias and Sapphira were lying about their pledge and their giving. Their judgment was swift and sure. How sad.

The truth is: Jesus knows. One may fool the church, or the pastor, and even the IRS—but no one deceives the Lord.

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Hearsay about growing older

Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved.

When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of Algebra.

You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

You don’t know how you got “over the hill” without getting to the top.

One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it’s such a nice change from being young.

Older folks wait, for good reason, until evening before stating how splendid the day has been.

Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable and relaxed.

If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old.

-Submitted by some old friends who know about such things

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Closer to home

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I found it interesting…

…that Mexico once banned all immigration from the United States.

…that the citizens of Tennessee still had enough guts to pass a law that mandated each school to prominently display the national motto of “In God We Trust.”

…that we made a national hero out of a woman who kicked a ball into a net the size of a two-car garage, while disregarding her anti-American rants and refusal to honor the nation’s Pledge of Allegiance. (See her picture below in the cartoon section.)

…that Aesop, the old fable writer, observed that the smaller the mind the greater the conceit.

…that Rev. Ruth Meyers, a divinity school professor, is pushing for the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer to be revised to reflect the changing world’s position that God has no gender. Why then do some female theologians insist that Bibles refer to God as “She” or “Mother” in places rather than “He” or “Father”?

…that Rev. Robert Jeffress, a prominent Baptist pastor in Dallas and a Trump supporter, said, “I don’t want some meek and mild leader or somebody who’s going to turn the other cheek. I’ve said I want the meanest, toughest SOB I can find to protect this nation.” (Wash your mouth out with soap, pastor…but keep talking.)

…that NY has banned the declawing of cats, ostensibly because of the pain and discomfort to the feline. When will they wake up to the fact that abortion is not only a painful experience for a baby, but ends in death. When cats become more important to New Yorkers than human babies, no wonder they can elect folks like AOC and Chuck Schumer to Congress.

…that discussions are ongoing at Colorado State University on the question of whether the word America is offensive. Perhaps Christians ought to put together a list of words whose meanings are offensive and prepare to enter the discussion.

…that illegals pushing to get into the U.S. hauled down the Stars and Stripes and ran up the Mexican flag at a border ICE detention center on the U.S. side. They also turned another American flag upside down. (No outrage from the news media.) Isn’t that exactly what the left wants to do—turn America upside down? They have a pretty good start. Our only hope is that the 2020 election will turn the House of Representatives upside down.

…that the Mueller investigation found that President Trump did not actually steal horses, but he is guilty of resisting being hung for the crime. – Patriot Post

…that no one seems to be trying to break into Venezuela. Perhaps if we installed their type of government it would solve our border problem.

…that most students on campus who were questioned about comments by the President they felt were considered “racist,” were astounded to learn that they were not said by Trump but Obama. Another sign the media and professors are aligned for the purpose of destroying the Trump presidency and the American way of life. Pray for your children.

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Can you imagine…?

  • Can you imagine a home invader criticizing the homeowner for not having his preferred brand of snacks in the pantry or his correct size of clothing he is stealing from the closet? Is that what is happening on our border?
  • Can you imagine what would happen if an American sneaked into Mexico City illegally and took down their national flag and hauled up the Stars and Stripes? (They took down our flag at the ICE center in El Paso and ran up the Mexican flag.) This proves there is more going on down there than someone trying to get into a country for a better life.
  • Can you imagine AOC being sworn in as president of the U.S.?
  • Can you imagine voting for someone who does not even believe America is worth standing up for?
  • Can you imagine if it becomes a crime in America to be a practicing Christian who believes the Bible and teaches its commandments? Visit China today and see for yourself what it is like.
  • Can you imagine what would happen if millions of Americans abandoned common sense and patriotism? You don’t have to imagine—just read the news!

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Another smart quote from the left

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC): “[The migrants overwhelming the border are] ‘more American than any person who seeks to keep them out ever will be.’” Is she talking about the poor Mexican and Honduran laborers only, or all the terrorists coming over from Africa and the Middle East?

She also said when trying to push the narrative of climate change doom: “[Civilization] only has 12 years left [if we don’t pass my Green Deal legislation].” Eleven and counting. How else would we have known? She may be the primary reason Donald Trump is re-elected.

Does she not know that glaciers in Glacier National Park are actually expanding rather than receding? (http://lysanderspooneruniversity.com/2018/12/glaciers-continue-to-grow-in-glacier-national-park/). Leftists hate reports like this that hurt their anti-American socialist narrative.

Someone smarter than AOC, Winston Churchill, once said, “Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.”

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A Christian Perspective on Secular Psychology

Ken Bow

The contrast between psychology and the Bible is so great that each of us will have to decide which one we will follow. Christianity begins with the assumption that God exists and He is the Creator; psychology, on the secular level, begins with evolutionary theory.

Christianity sees man as a special creation of God; psychology views man as the end result of billions of years of evolution. Christianity believes the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and absolutely true; psychology believes that truth is where you find it and man’s mind is the final judge. Christianity has the leadership of elders and preachers who use the Scriptures; psychology has a priesthood of therapists who quote one another.

Christianity is supported by the tithe and offerings of its disciples; psychology is supported by fee schedules and insurance payments. The Bible claims to have answers for man’s deepest questions—where we came from, why are we here, how can we change, and what is our future; psychology claims to have deeper answers for these questions which can only be revealed by therapists who have had years of formal training. The Bible claims to reveal the motive of the human heart; while psychology claims to know the unconscious drives of the mind. Christianity claims that humans can be transformed by the mysterious, miraculous power of God; psychology claims that it can transform man by helping him to understand, accept, and love himself. The Bible says that man is by nature a sinner, separated from the life of God; psychology says that man is essentially good, and needs to recognize his full potential. The Bible says that without Christ we are hopeless; psychology says that man is limited only by his imagination.

The Bible says that man is lost, and Christ is the only way; psychology says it can help man find his own way. The Bible calls sin by name; psychology says that man suffers from disorders. The Bible says that God’s people must not conform to the world; psychologists say that we must counsel the way the world does. The Bible says that each person is responsible for his choices; psychology says that each person is a victim of their environment. The Bible says that man can be forgiven, cleansed and healed; psychology says that we have to go back to our past, embrace our pain, and explore our inner self. The Bible’s answer for guilt is repentance and forgiveness; psychology’s way is for the conscience to be desensitized. The Bible says we have to crucify ourselves; psychology says that we have to actualize ourselves. The Bible says our battle is spiritual; Freud says the battle is sexual.

Down through the centuries without the aid of psychotherapy or any other kind of technique, Christianity produced millions of permanently transformed lives by the truth found in the Bible. In one century, psychology has captured the minds of millions with a message that has enslaved mankind through vacillating theories that promote sinful behavior. In essence, psychology points man to himself, the Bible points man to God.

Together magazine 8/14

Note: Christian counseling from Scripture is one thing; secular psychology is another. The psycho-babble of our times has by and large proven to be more confusing than helpful to the Bible believing Christian, and in many cases, quite harmful. While all counselors have our understanding of the challenges involved, we encourage a scriptural worldview be utilized when seeking to help those who have been wounded by life in a fallen world.

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BooksBooksBooksBooks

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 walks through the fascinating Book 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 (James, I/II Peter, I/II/III John, and Jude) as he taught them in the classrooms at Texas Bible College.  AM Price $9.95

Letters From A Roman Jail eBook

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! The topical format permits not just word study and exposition, but teaching ideas and application. This is also a good book for new converts who are into the study of the Word.                     AM price $6.95

People in Proverbs

by J. R. Ensey
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

 

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 in use.

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50-99
$1.50 ea
100+
$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 experientially—and explains what their responsibilities are now.

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Price
1-49
$1.75 ea
50-99
$1.50 ea
100+
$1.25 ea

Promotional Tracts 
pamplets
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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Worth a thousand words

Only if their lips are moving…

 

In case you didn’t know…

I guess they finally figured it out…

Some days it pays just to stay in bed…

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A final thought

TV today

Computers and phones have made television virtually obsolete. It has eliminated all the reasons to have one except entertainment, and much of that is of the worthless prurient variety. The news and weather, the main reasons Christians gave for having one 30 years ago, are available instantaneously on every social media device. Yes, putrid stuff can be called up on the Net in places, but you can stay away from it by choice, whereas on the TV even the ever-present ads, which one cannot conveniently avoid, promote every anti-Christian idea possible. And on TV one is limited to what the channels list at a given time. “Aw, let’s just watch Dr. Phil, the psychologist, until the cooking show comes on.” Right.

Comparing TV and the Net as equals is like comparing apples and oranges. There were good reasons our Apostolic brethren took a stand against this medium decades ago, when decency codes were still in place. More good reasons came along later when the codes were dumped. I am not suggesting that God will have two lines in judgment—one for the TV owners and one for the no-TV folks. I am just saying we need to heed the voices of God-fearing pastors who still appeal to us to dispense with Desperate Housewives, the Jerry Springer and Oprah shows, and the disgusting ads that are not just selling soap, but pushing anti-Christian, anti-American propaganda in the process. Even National Geographic and other science programs are laden with anti-biblical evolutionist garbage. Disregarding the admonitions of pastors is probably more spiritually problematic than watching an episode of CSI, whatever that is (Hebrews 13:17).

Think about it.

Have an august August!

JREnsey

Published in: on August 1, 2019 at 6:49 AM  Comments (1)  

JREnsey July mid-month update

Thanks for checking in on our abbreviated mid-month blog update!

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The Word for Today

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (I Timothy 2:1-2 ESV).

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Neglect the news, unless you have a strong stomach

Norm Chomsky once said, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

This philosophy falls in line with Sol Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals, followed closely by the Clintons and Obama, as well as AOC and the other airheads in the House of Representatives today.

The circus act at the border by AOC was nothing more than leftist propaganda. Take a look at her crying act at a fence facing a parking lot (below). You would think she was standing at the fence surrounding the Auschwitz concentration camp. It was a parking lot. According to authorities on site, her lies about women being made to drink from toilets was a complete fabrication. How smart can New Yorkers be who would vote this bartender into the U.S. House of Representatives? If that is the best candidate they have for someone to help run America, than God help lower Manhatten! Perhaps we should sell it back to the Indians for $30 bucks, take the $6 profit and run.

Earth to AOC: It’s not a concentration camp if you can avoid it by walking in the opposite direction!

Enough, already!

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The primary purpose for this mid-month update is to communicate the following information.

A message regarding the KJV vs. modern translations issue

Because I have occasionally put items in my blog concerning the Bible translation controversy, some people have assumed that I am on a crusade to denigrate the King James Version or convert its users to other Bible versions. Not so. I realize some readers may be seeing only one side of the debate; therefore, an explanation is necessary.

While I personally believe there are other versions more accurate and clearer on doctrine and the holiness lifestyle than the KJV, I know that there are many who love the KJV, have memorized its style and cadence, and have no desire to change. I understand that. No suggestions are made to stop using it. My appeal is to those within our constituency who are continuing to spread misinformation about both the KJV and other versions to cease doing so. Since they have refused, I and others have published rebuttals to their false claims. The misrepresentation of the facts on this issue has evoked confusion among both ministers and laymen and is injurious to needed unity.

I recognize there are a few rogue translations in print, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation, for instance, and others that I have written against. However, the major ones in wide usage that are based on the earliest Greek manuscripts are considered to be truer to the original text than the KJV by competent and dedicated conservative scholars. My personal research over the last 30 years agrees with their position. That being said, the renderings in the new versions do not alter any fundamental doctrine set forth in the KJV. They embrace faith, repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a holy lifestyle, the resurrection of Christ, the deity of Jesus, the absolute oneness of God, heaven, hell, and other major doctrines. Their redeeming value is that they generally state those truths in a clearer and more understandable way than the 418-year old KJV. That version is simply the last in a line of English Bible versions from Europe published in the 16th and 17th centuries. Its translators stated clearly in their Preface that they did not consider it to be the ultimate and final word on Bible versions.

While I am not trying to convince people to discontinue using the KJV, a few very vocal extremists are desperately claiming it is the only translation we should use and all others are “fake Bibles,” published merely to deceive people and make money. They continue to make false assertions in articles, tracts and social media that are deceptive and misleading, amounting to little more than fear-mongering. Some of my readers may not be aware of their efforts. That is the reason for my addressing the Bible translation issue—not to get people to switch versions and use another translation. That decision needs to be based on informed factual research, not unsubstantiated claims.

This position is clearly stated in my book Searching the Scriptures:
Merging Truth, Texts and Translations
. In it I provide what is being published about Greek texts, manuscripts and Bible translations by the KJV extremists. The errors of that movement are clearly delineated and rebutted. Those who are interested in the facts about Bible versions will find this book helpful. I believe it will assist in allaying any concerns associated with this issue. I urge all to take time to do their own objective research on this issue.

The nearly 500-page book Searching the Scriptures: Merging Truth,
Texts and Translations
is available as an eBook for $14.95. Search, cut and paste, read on the screen or print it out. It contains information produced by years of dedicated research. Order HERE: www.advanceministries.org/store

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What…?

Democrats spent two years fighting “foreign involvement in our elections” and then voted 228-197 in favor of allowing illegals to vote. They objected to the cost of an Independence Day parade honoring liberty and those who defend it, but want to use your tax dollars to provide free health care, housing, and other “free stuff” to millions of illegal aliens.

Democrats voted to fine American citizens for not having health insurance, and now they want to give health insurance to illegals for free? One presidential candidate wants to completely eliminate private insurance altogether in favor of a single payer (the government) system. Where will all this insanity stop?

More nonsense: An Arizona Starbucks store asked 6 policemen (customers) to either leave or make themselves invisible to a customer who told the barista that he did not feel “safe” with the policemen around. Corporate management offered a half-hearted apology, but in some ways they have proved themselves to be poor supporters of legal authorities. They are some of the prime movers of the agenda of the LGBTQ community. There is a fairly strong movement that is advocating a boycott of Starbuck’s. Frankly, I much prefer the coffee at McCafé. The $5 cuppa you can keep.

Nike removes American flag from shoes

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The Last Word

All patriots should be motivated by the words of John Adams, our second U.S. president: “You will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.”

JREnsey

[Notice: This blog has no connection to any person, organization, corporation, or entity other than the signatory.]

Published in: on July 15, 2019 at 8:52 PM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey blog July 2019

Welcome! Grab a cold glass of iced tea and let’s visit for a few minutes.

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The Word for Today

For those who would tend to excuse themselves for certain sins because of ignorance:

“Don’t excuse yourself by saying, ‘Look, we didn’t know.’ For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve” (Proverbs 24:12 NLT).

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Do you walk into a hospital and assume that everyone there is whole, healthy and well? You don’t? Then why do you walk into a church and expect everyone there to be whole, healthy and well—to be perfect and respond to every situation exactly as they “should?” The church is a hospital. It’s a place of healing. Not a place full of perfect people. Just a place full of people doing their best with His help because they once were lost but for His amazing grace! – Debbie Black

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How God designed His church

“I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18).

Jesus is the Architect and the General Contractor of the church. Are you thankful to be a “workman” (II Timothy 2:15) assisting Him on this tremendous project? We should be humbled by the privilege of serving on His construction crew.

Let’s look at some of the design features of this spiritual enterprise called the church:

It was designed to be permanent. Although it was equipped to operate, as William Booth put it,“within a yard of hell,” Jesus promised, “[T]he gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” He was declaring that the powers of darkness will not overcome it, be strong to its detriment, or hold out against it. It will be victorious. It is indestructible. That is the covenant Jesus made with His church. Are you glad to be in something that will ultimately overcome?

Through two millennia, the church has endured false teachers, governmental and sectarian persecution, and insidious hypocrites. It still stands, with its ensign of truth yet unfurled as a witness to the world. Governments can’t annihilate it, swords can’t behead it, fire can’t burn it, lions can’t eat it, and Congress can’t legislate it out of existence. And since the devil can’t overcome it, let’s just stay put until the Rapture. The church was designed to be active in the earth until then, when it will defy gravity and go “to meet the Lord in the air” (I Thessalonians 4:16,17).

It was designed to be holy. That means that He intended it to be separate—noticeably set apart—from the sinful activities of the unbelieving world. It is continuously sanctified by the Spirit of God as the members walk in the Spirit and do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Ephesians 2:3; II Peter 2:18).

Born of God (I John 5:18; John 3:5), we choose to conduct ourselves and present both our inner and outward lives as “becomes holiness” (Titus 2:3), conducting ourselves according to His Word. That means we refrain from worldly activities that define non-Christians—including but not limited to immodest apparel, the wearing of ornamental jewelry, and discoloring the natural appearance of our bodies. His Holy Spirit within motivates us to not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, hang around with sinners, or mock and scorn those who serve the Lord in righteousness (Psalm 1:1).

Holiness is essential to retaining the operation of God’s power in our midst. Should we forsake our commitment to holiness, the church will lose its influence and power. That is why we choose to “follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

It was designed to be evangelistic. Jesus was an evangelist: “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth” (Mark 1:38). It was to continue the ministry of Christ by the power of the Spirit (Acts 1:1). “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” Jesus said (Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47). They were somewhat slow about getting out of the confines of Judaism and even Jerusalem, but as understanding of the extent of their mission pressed upon them, “they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:20). Their mandate was to begin making converts in Jerusalem, then in Judea, in Samaria, and on to the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).

God gives us unction to motivate our action. He wills for the church to be an active force rather than a passive entity, just sitting around saying, “I’ve got it!” If we have it, take it. Preach it. Make disciples. We really have no prerogative in the matter—we must evangelize or fossilize.

We are commanded to reproduce ourselves. That has been God’s way from the beginning. When He saves us, it is not only us individually He had in mind. The Lord had Apollos in mind when He saved Aquila. When God saved you, He probably had someone else in mind, someone you would be able to win to the Lord. Have you contacted that person yet?

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Teacher suspended for reporting illegals and drugs in her school

A teacher in Texas has been suspended after allegedly sending tweets to President Donald Trump imploring him to do something about an overflow of illegal immigrants at her school, according to Yahoo Lifestyle.

The teacher’s name is Georgia Clark, and she is employed at Carter-Riverside High School in Fort Worth. Using a now-deleted Twitter account, Clark requested assistance from the president to deal with “illegal students” and “drug dealers” that she said were taking over the school.

“Mr. President, Fort Worth Independent School District is loaded with illegal students from Mexico,” Clark allegedly wrote on May 17, tagging Pres. Trump. “Carter-Riverside High School has been taken over by them. Drug dealers are on our campus and nothing was done to them when the drug dogs found the evidence.”

The school district has placed Clark on administrative leave with pay as they investigate the matter.

[Look back a few years and see how far we have drifted from our religious and patriotic moorings. Where will all this nonsense end?]

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Seems like the press keeps attacking the wrong people

According to one source, Planned Parenthood killed 321,259 people in 2017. NRA members: 0

Governments killed over 250 million people last century, but they feel free to lecture us about owning firearms.

I saw a Straight Pride Parade the other day. The line of cars around the Chick-Fil-A restaurant was causing a minor traffic jam. Awesome!

I heard Hillary Clinton said she wanted to see President Trump in prison. I doubt he’ll have time to visit her.

The President was found not guilty of collusion, but they want to prosecute him anyway. Hillary was found guilty of multiple violations of the law as Secretary of State and they refuse to prosecute her. What’s wrong with this picture?

San Francisco is removing a mural of George Washington—literally whitewashing it—from a school that is named for that first president because some think he was racist. Looking around the streets of SF itself, there seems to be many other things that need whitewashing more than a founding father or a national hero. The liberal press loves to publicize such far left stupidity to give ideas to similar nutcases elsewhere.

Let a professed Christian do something wrong and the press is all over them like fleas on a dog. But Muslims, like those in Nigeria, who are on a crusade to wipe out all Christians from Africa’s most populous nation, seem to be given a free pass. The more Americans and Christians they kill, the more the talking heads of the media coddle them and criticize Christians. They like to call the terrorists and murderers “extremists.” Are all Muslims extremists? They all want to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth. They want to gain control of every country where they have a sizeable slice of the population. They want to impose Sharia law everywhere—and God help those who resist.

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Worth repeating

Heaven has a wall and a strict immigration policy, but Hell has open borders.

“Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.” – Dr. Benjamin Rush (1783), one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence

“We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in.”Thomas Paine (1777). That is what makes America different from most other nations.

“This modern sentimentalism, which always attempts to embrace “both/and,” recommends itself to us as the ‘virtue’ of inclusivity. Under the umbrella of this inclusivity, we are told, we must welcome both the birth of children and the abortion of children, both the lifestyles of heterosexuals and homosexuals…both the rightness of natural death and the rightness of euthanasia. lnclusivity as preached today seems to suggest that no ultimate judgments or choices about the nature of reality can or should be made, and therefore we must construct one large umbrella under which all varieties of human experience, belief, and action can be sheltered. Conversely, any umbrella incapable of including all manner of belief and action must be regarded as too narrow, to exclusive, too intolerant to be itself any longer tolerated.”

– Joyce Little, an astute observer of the American socio/religious scene, submitted this studied observation in her book, The Church and the Culture War (Ignatius Press, 1995).

This just in:

Closing the border would cause a serious shortage of meth, heroin, MS-13 gangs, and new voters.

Californians hate drinking straws but encourage the use of taxpayer funded, single-use hypodermic needles for drug addicts.

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IHML makes it easy to win souls

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Lighten up!

Your bad days in Christ are better than your good days before you were serving the Lord! Your day can’t be nearly as bad as the one these guys are having!

Couldn’t pass these up:

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From the punography file:

I saw where the energizer bunny was arrested and charged with battery.

I am reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.

I know a guy who is addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop anytime.

The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

The report said I had Type A blood, but it was a Type-O.

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A comparison test

Check the Bible version that best conveys the absolute deity of Jesus Christ in these sample verses:

Romans 9:5

___ “Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” KJV

___ “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.” NLT

Jude 4

___ “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” KJV

___ “I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” NLT

Jude 5

___ “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” KJV

___ “So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful.” NLT

John 14:14

___ “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” KJV

___ “Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” NLT

I Peter 3:15

___ “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” KJV

___ “Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” NLT

Titus 2:13

___ “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” KJV

___ “While we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.” NLT

II Peter 1:1

___ “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” KJV

___ “This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior.” NLT

II Thessalonians 1:12

___ “That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” KJV

___ “Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.” NLT

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The Last Word(s)

Some time ago I was the guest minister in a church where there was a very perceptive lady who listens carefully to every word a preacher says. A commendable practice. She is a world class Christian and keen of mind. A few weeks later I received from her a list of ten words an expert says are often mispronounced by speakers. She said it might be “something I could use somewhere in my writings.” I appreciated the submission for the blog, but I had to wonder—was it really inspired by my mispronunciation of some word while I was preaching? I daresay we all have stumbled over some words along the way. Here are the ten words on the expert’s list:

  1. Athlete
  • incorrect pronunciation: ath-a-leet
  • correct pronunciation: ath-leet
  1. Nuclear
  • incorrect: nuke-you-ler
  • correct: new-clee-err
  1. Utmost
  • incorrect: up-most
  • correct: utt-most
  1. Candidate
  • incorrect: can-uh-dett
  • correct: can-da-dett
  1. Sherbet
  • incorrect: sherr-bert
  • correct: sherr-bet
  1. Awry
  • incorrect: aww-ree
  • correct: uh-rye
  1. For all intents and purposes
  • incorrect: for all intensive purposes
  • correct: for all intents and purposes
  1. Often
  • incorrect: off-ten
  • correct: off-en
  1. [A two-for-one] prescription/prerogative
  • incorrect: purr-scrip-shun/purr-ogg-uh-tiv
  • correct: pre-scrip-shun/pre-rogg-uh-tiv
  1. [A three-for-one] Escape/espresso/et cetera
  • incorrect: ex-cape/ex-presso/ex-set-err-uh
  • correct: ess-cape/ess-presso/ett-set-err-uh

Have the greatest July (that’s jew-lie) ever!

JREnsey

Published in: on July 1, 2019 at 12:01 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey blog June 2019

Welcome! Read again D. L. Moody’s challenge and Leonard Ravenhill’s insightful observations. Men from the past can shed light on the present!

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The Word for Today

Declare me innocent, O Lord,
    for I have acted with integrity;
    I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me.
    Test my motives and my heart.
For I am always aware of your unfailing love,
    and I have lived according to your truth.
I do not spend time with liars
    or go along with hypocrites.
I hate the gatherings of those who do evil,
    and I refuse to join in with the wicked.
I wash my hands to declare my innocence.
    I come to your altar, O Lord, (Psalm 26:1-6 NLT).

What a testimony from David. May it be your’s today!

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Unread letters

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was alienated from her family because of her marriage to Robert Browning. Her father had forbade any of his 12 children to marry. She ultimately eloped with Robert and moved to Italy. She wrote letters to her family weekly for years in hopes of reconciling. She never received a reply. After many tears, and a year before her father died, she received a package in the mail. They were the letters she had written to him…unopened, her pleas thus rejected. Those letters became literary classics and are considered to be among the most beautiful writings in English literature.

I wonder what the Lord thinks of His efforts toward reconciliation when, after years have passed, His letters of appeal (II Peter 3:9) are yet unopened by so many of His “family.” Many have no idea about what God is saying to them in those epistles.

Have you opened the love letters of your New Testament recently?

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Doubters keep ignoring the facts

In the excavations of the city of David in Jerusalem, they are discovering many items with biblical names on them, some of which had no extra-biblical references. Skeptics take the fact that certain names are mentioned only in the pages of the Bible as their being mythical, made-up identities.

One of the most recent finds included a bulla—a piece of clay stamped with a person’s name—that names Isaiah as the person to whom it belongs. When will the doubters and nay-sayers finally admit that the Bible is a reliable history book?

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Hypocrisy in high places

Democrat mayors and their city councils are now balking at accepting illegal aliens into their “sanctuary cities.” Why, if they are declared to be a sanctuary for illegals? We all know why—it is not about the welfare of immigrants, but all about political power, power to hurt the man who is in the White House in Washington. The interests of immigrants are the least concerns such politicians embrace. They are merely political pawns in the hands of leftist power seekers.

The multi-millionaire Bernie Sanders, presidential wannabe, denigrates the wealthy by saying they are destroying the country. Puullleeezzz. Let me know when you are hired to a good paying job by a poor man.

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Stirring words

“I would rather awake a sleeping church than a sleeping world.” – D. L. Moody.

Leonard Ravenhill added to the Moody statement: “Our indulgences condemn us! We have slept too long, eaten too much, spent more than we have needed to on things that did not matter, at prices we could not afford.”

Ravenhill further observes: “The man who slips $30 a week out of his budget for cigarettes, drinks, and gambling is considered a sport and worldly-wise man. But the brother who in love for his Lord and for lost men tithes the same amount, not only hears whispers that he is being milked by the lazy preachers, but is looked upon as a fool by his workmates. No wonder somebody has written:

I dreamed that somehow I had come

To dwell in Topsy-Turveydom,

Where vice is virtue, virtue vice;

Where nice is nasty, nasty nice;

Where right is wrong, and wrong is right;

Where white is black, and black is white.”

– Sodom Had No Bible

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More wisdom:

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) once said, “The things that will destroy us are:
• Politics without principle
• Pleasure without conscience
• Wealth without work
• Knowledge without character
• Business without morality
• Science without humanity
• Worship without sacrifice

I am not personally a fan of Gandhi, his character, his religion or his morals, but he struck gold there.

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Interesting

  • Alabama has passed a law to discontinue the necessity of a judge’s signature to purchase a marriage license. All one has to do is submit a form to a probate judge saying that the purchasers have met the legal requirements of marriage. The judge signs the paper and records it as an official marriage document. This circumvents the old system that puts a judge in the place of assumed endorsement of same sex marriages. Go Alabama! We like your motto: “Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere”—We Dare Maintain Our Rights!
  • Alabama is already in trouble with Los Angeles County, CA for that state’s abortion policy, which only approves abortion in a life threatening situation. Calling the law “an act of aggression on us all,” a LA County official joined with other on the council to deny any official travel or commercial interaction with the state of Alabama. Aggression? What is being done to the baby?
  • A man in Oregon tore the turban off of a Sikh believer and pulled his beard (his religious symbols) during a disagreement over the sale of cigarettes. The man was convicted of “intimidation and assault,” resulting in it being a labeled a “hate crime.” If every other religion in America is going to law to protect themselves from “hate crimes,” Christians better find some good lawyers because we are becoming the targets today. Aren’t our beliefs and religious positions protected by the constitution as well as theirs?
  • A recent Fox News blast included an article about the irrelevancy of current Christianity. “It must change with the times or die,” the author stated. The thrust of the article was that we must present a Christianity that the current generation can identify with, i.e., believe whatever they prescribe. We are behind the culture. We must “catch up.” Virtually no specific changes in doctrine or praxis were suggested, other than to “set aside that which is obsolete.” It did mention the hypocrisy of leadership and lack of authenticity. Evidently, it was left up to the pastors to figure out the details. No denominations were mentioned. I can see young pastors desperately attempting to hurriedly make changes to add special musical instruments and styles, installing pulsing, multi-colored lights and smoke machines, as if to say, “See, we are cool…like you.” But “cool church” is soon going to be seen for what it really is—an accommodation to carnality. In such an environment, specific sins are not to be mentioned. That makes people uncomfortable and resistant to what they believe to be “judgmentalism.”

Question: In such an environment, who is repenting…and what of?

Apostolics can agree with much of the irrelevant stuff, but I don’t think the article was in reference to us, but primarily to the mainline denominations that are losing members by the millions, mostly by attrition. Hold steady, brethren. We are growing. We are not the problem. Our message is extremely relevant. Our stated positions are Bible-based. Let the others worry over their traditional, post apostolic doctrines and practices. Ours are authentic, time-tested and relevant to every generation from Pentecost until the Rapture. Sin is still why Jesus went to the cross. Renaming transgression to salve its sting on the sinner’s conscience will not erase its effects nor change the eternal destiny it will bring.

Never surrender to the culture. We have no ground to give.

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Pope Francis calls for end of sovereignty and the establishment of global government

The Pope thinks the nation state is outdated. He is for open borders, that is, for the free western Christian nations. He does NOT call for the conversion of Muslims to Christianity, nor for their borders to be dismantled. He calls for “sustainable development,” and worries over “climate change,” more buzz words for total control. Francis said we must stop the things which “hinders the attainment of the sustainable development goals approved unanimously by the United Nations.” This means make the change from nation states to a world-wide totalitarianism.

So, will this one-world government, led by the UN, have a constitution similar to the USA which allows for a people to replace its government if it becomes tyrannical? Will the Anglo-American ideal of freedom be preserved? We know it won’t. The UN is riddled with godless Marxist principles, and we will not be free under a monopolistic world government. The UN has not come close to stopping wars. If anything, such a government the pope envisions will be made up of pagan religions and pantheism.

[Does he also want that global government to acknowledge only one church for all Christians? A world government will likely persecute conservative Christians, who might need the protection of the one big church. Guess which one!]

Read more at https://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/item/32245-pope-francis-calls-for-end-of-sovereignty-and-establishment-of-global-government

Readers, are your eyes wide open?

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The plight of women under Sharia law

In the Muslim faith, a Muslim man can “marry” a child as young as 1 year old, consummating the marriage by 9. It is said that the founder of Islam did that. To prove rape, the rapist must confess, or the woman must have four male witnesses (how unlikely would that be?). No other testimony is permitted. Often after a woman has been raped, she is returned to her family and the family must return the dowry. Then the family has the right to execute her (an honor killing) to restore the honor of the family. Yet without shame, Sharia and Islamic spokesmen say Islam honors women.The husband is permitted to have (4 wives) and a “temporary wife” for an hour at his discretion.

(In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in Canada, Australia, and Britain, and possibly the U.S., to elect the heads of government by themselves!

Rest assured they will do so. Dearborn, MI is a case in point. Britain has several cities now with Sharia Law controlled zones, totally controlled by Muslims. London has a Muslim mayor.

While Canada, Australia, the U.S. and Britain are busy excising Christianity from all public sites and erasing God from the lives of school children, the Muslims are seemingly planning a great jihad on these nations, bloodless or otherwise.

For more information, please read Cruel and Unusual Punishment by Nonie Darwish, a former Muslim woman who is bravely speaking out against this sweeping surge of immigration that favors an Islamic takeover in the future.

My questions: In what nation are the Muslims in the majority and are “peaceful”? Why is it now popular in the West to criticize Christianity but a prosecutable [as per former A/G Loretta Lynch] crime to criticize Islam? And didn’t former president Obama say, “The future does not belong to those who criticize the prophet of Islam”?

Will someone please tell me why so many American leftist women are open to the Muslims. The more of us they kill—in tall buildings like the World Trade Center, and in shopping centers and schools—the more we cave to their demands and wishes, electing more of them to congress. One might notice, strangely, that women in the press, and ostensibly on TV, tend to give them positive press. Wherever America is headed, we are getting there rapidly. Does anyone care? Are we speaking out about the issues that are sweeping across America? Climate change is not our pressing problem—it is cultural change. Weep for your children!

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Summer is home Bible study teaching time!

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

It is time to order your studies before the price increase!

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A lighter fare

Nancy Pelosi on Memorial Day:

Personal:

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The Last Word

Join me in praying for every local assembly to view the first century Antioch church (Acts 11:19-30; 13:1-3) as their pattern. They had…

…fervent laymen

…strength in doctrine

…glorious prayer meetings

…anointed teaching

…the gifts of the Spirit in operation

…a vision for missions and evangelism.

If we strive for that kind of church, where sacrificial service, soulwinning, holiness, and true spirituality are in view, then we will have the favor of Almighty God and perhaps have the results they apparently enjoyed.

JREnsey

Published in: on June 1, 2019 at 2:31 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey blog for May, 2019

Welcome! Don’t miss The Girl In the Skirt, and the review of a new book on the historical aspects of the Pentecostal Movement in the 20th century.

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The Word for Today

“O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
    for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of your wings! (Psalm 61:1-4 NLT).

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The Girl In The Skirt

By Paul Sibley

A father’s perspective (Alafaire Sibley)

Just as I do every week day at 2 pm, today I turn right and join the long line of cars, and trucks, and SUV’s that winds around from the back of Arlington High School out to the street.

In the distance I hear that eagerly awaited sound: the final bell of the day.

In a few seconds the metal doors will overflow with a boisterous human flood of student bodies.

As the line of vehicles starts to inch forward, the mothers and fathers, and nannas and papaws impatiently scan the jostling crowd, anxious to load up Jason or Jenna or Devon or Dharma and then hurry off to whatever is next on the day’s agenda.

But I am different from all of them.

You see, I am here on a special mission: I am here to pick up a Very Important Person.

Yes, that’s right. I am here…to pick up The Girl In The Skirt.

You know the one I’m talking about: she’s the girl who wears a modest skirt to school…

Every. Single. Day. Of. The. Year.

On the hot days at the beginning and end of the school year, she is The Girl In The Skirt.

On the wind-whipped, frostbitten days of winter, she is The Girl In The Skirt.

On the days when the other girls are “dressing out” she is The Girl In The Skirt.

While all of the tacky, tasteless, tawdry Junior Jezebels are gaming the guidelines and disregarding the directives, she remains resolute. Stalwart.

Steadfast.

While the rest are skirting the rules, she is still The Girl In The Skirt.

I just hope she realizes how truly special she is,

How Unique. How Holy. How Becoming. How Beautiful.

And how precious and pleasing she is to her earthly father and to her Heavenly Father.

I hope she knows how much theological truth is wrapped up in wearing that skirt.

That she is holding the line on a fundamental precept that extends hundreds of godly generations into the distant past. That she is a direct descendent of Sarah, of Hannah, of Abigail, and of Esther.

I hope she remembers that she is far from commonplace or cheap.

Rather, that she has divinity in her DNA.

That she has a heavenly heritage and a strong spiritual bloodline.

That she is Regal, Righteous Royalty…

That she is nothing less than a Pentecostal Princess!

Ah, there she comes, weaving her way through the throng of preppies and jocks, of stoners and goths, of cheerleaders and slackers.

I can’t tell from here if she has had a good day or bad day, if it was a day she enjoyed or just one she endured.

Still, she has her head held high, and she walks with an air of poise and dignity and purpose.

Do you see her? It’s really easy to pick her out of the crowd…

She’s The Girl In The Skirt!

[You go, girl! JRE]

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More quotes that pique the mind

“However useful my own capacities might be, it is the use others put them to that gives them value. – Clifford Readout

“A people without a heritage are easily persuaded.” – Karl Marx

“Grace rejected leads to grace withdrawn. Grace may be refused so persistently as to destroy the power of accepting it. ‘I will not’ leads to ‘I cannot.’“ – Alfred Plummer, The Gospel according to St. John

“If a baseball player hits a grand slam, to be fair, two of those runs should be given to the other team.” – An interpretation of Bernie Sanders’ philosophy (TIC – PP)

“Some people who did something.” – Islamist Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN), when referring to the 3,000 deaths on 9/11

“Bring back breadlines. Make America hungry again.” – (PP) What idiots who have no sense of what it takes to run an economy seem to be saying.

“Some people want to be given a passing grade in life without being tested.” – JRE

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United Methodists fracturing over gay practices

All Bible-believing churches are in the path of an avalanche of cultural collapse, disguised as diversity or tolerance, and led by a liberal element fawning over the LGBTQ community. They are not currently pressing for congregational membership and tacit acceptance. That question seems moot in most mainline denominations. They are lobbying for gay weddings and gay clergy. Once a movement begins to weaken on this issue, there is no stopping the pressure that can be brought to bear to make more and more concessions. Only the strong will stand.

For details on this story, please visit https://www.foxnews.com/us/united-methodists-edge-toward-breakup-over-lgbt-policies

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Receptus, Byzantine and Critical Greek Texts:

So What’s the Difference?

By Doug Kutilek

  1. The whole series of more than 40 different printed Greek New Testament editions from Erasmus’ first (1516), to the Elzevirs’ third (1641) are today collectively identified as “the Textus Receptus” or Received Text (the term was first used of this type of printed Greek text in 1633). The close similarity of these editions is due to the fact that they are essentially reprints (with ever so minor variations) of Erasmus’ hastily compiled first edition (which was not the fruit of long and wide and exacting comparison of existing Greek manuscripts).

By the way, the 1881 Scrivener Greek text—reprinted by the Trinitarian Bible Society (but omitting a very important appendix and all the footnotes of the original Cambridge edition), and inappropriately called a “Textus Receptus,” does not conform to any of the printed Greek texts published between 1516 and 1641, but is a manufactured text, by design conforming the Greek to the English KJV, and is historically no older than the Westcott-Hort text, published the same year (1881).

Due to Erasmus’ haste and very limited manuscript resources (two or three Greek manuscripts for most of the NT, and only one for Revelation, plus the Latin Vulgate), the TR often does NOT represent the textual reading of the majority of surviving Greek manuscripts. For example, the 1550 Stephanus TR edition, a “standard” TR edition in the English-speaking world, differs from the Hodges-Farstad’s Majority Text in 1,838 places by actual count, including many of the differences that KJVOnly advocates find most shocking in critical texts—Luke 17:36; Acts 8:37; I John 5:7 (all absent in the majority of manuscripts); this TR edition, and all others, also has some 20 readings found in NO Greek manuscript of any age. As a result, the “Byzantine” or “Majority” text, whether in the very similar editions of Hodges-Farstad or Robinson-Pierpont, is a great improvement over the various Reformation-era printed texts, The H-F/R-P texts are at least based everywhere on the readings of actual manuscripts, rather than Erasmus’ conjectures, or Latin-based alterations.

  1. The so-called “critical texts”—Westcott-Hort, Nestle-Aland, the United Bible Societies’ and similar editions—are the fruit of a very much fuller knowledge of Greek manuscripts, especially those from the earliest Christian centuries, plus other early authorities (ancient translations and quotations in the works of Christian authors). This fuller knowledge has led to the restoration of the apparent original reading of the NT in many places. Consequently, so-called critical texts differ from the TR in something over 5,000 places, but it is notable that in hundreds of places, even perhaps over a thousand (I never made a precise count), the majority text and critical texts agree against the TR. In other words, frequently where the critical texts alter the reading of the TR, they do so with the support of the majority of Greek manuscripts, the “omitted” verses noted in the previous paragraph among them.
  2. While there are numerous differences in detail of the precise wording among these three—TR, Majority/Byzantine and Critical texts—there is not any, NOT ANY, doctrinal variation among them. Though sometimes one or another printed text will lack a proof text or two among dozens for a particular doctrine (e.g., the Deity of Christ, I John 5:7, absent in both Majority and Critical), another will add a proof for the same doctrine (John 1:18, critical text). …Whatever else may be said, the issue does NOT involve the theological teaching of the NT. All published “text-types” are theologically orthodox.

As I See It, v19n4-16

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Book review

From Calvary To Pentecost: A Compelling Case for the New Birth in the Oneness Pentecostal Movement

Anthony M. Peccon

Peccon Publishing, 2019; 363 pages; 8½” X 11″; 24.95 + P/H

As the Pentecostal Movement burst upon the American scene during the first years of the twentieth century, they were given the opportunity to revitalize the doctrines and practices of the apostles as no movement had before them. The slate was virtually clean. They were not branching off of any particular denomination. It was not a renewal within an established church. It was a sovereign move of God.

What belief system would become clearest as the baptism of the Holy Spirit carved out a people from the general population? What doctrines largely kept under cover by the church in power would now be emphasized? Answers were on their way.

Not long after the turn of the century, it became clear that speaking in tongues was obviously the initial evidence of the baptism of the Spirit. As they moved forward with that understanding, the message of Acts 2:38 and water baptism in the name of Jesus became standard practice among a large portion of Spirit-filled believers. The Spirit, coupled with humility, evokes clarity and understanding of the Word. Acts 2:38 began again to be viewed as embracing the fullness of the new birth Jesus spoke of in John 3:5.

The author of this remarkable and well-written book has provided us with a historical account of the men and women in the last century who chose to adopt the apostles’ doctrines in the face of misunderstanding, opposition, and even persecution. The struggles with their own faith and beliefs are also laid bare. As leaders and spokesmen arose among them, they counseled with the Word and with one another to shape the faith of the newly converted. Parham, Seymour, Durham, Bell and Ewart became household names among the believers. Early pioneers of the faith like Howard Goss, G. T. Haywood, Glen Cook, Oliver F. Fauss, and A. D. Urshan are given space and voice for their historical insights and individual slants on just what constitutes the new birth. Their particular emphases are made plain by their personal testimonies and written works.

Peccon’s massive research has uncovered approximately 1,700 quotations and references that combine to let us see into the minds and hearts of the Pentecostal leaders during the early years of the twentieth century. Organizations sprang up around particular beliefs, geographical considerations, and even race played a role in some groups. One would emphasize this particular aspect of the message and another that aspect. The sifting took place mostly during the 1920s and 1930s as a number of alliances were formed and later abandoned. The stronger associations remained, progressed, and some are still active today.

Two of the larger organizations of Oneness Pentecostals, the Pentecostal Church, Inc., and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ merged in 1945 to form the UPCI. The positions held by the principals in those organizations are codified by the author. What percentage of those groups believed that Acts 2:38 constituted the new birth? Some might be surprised to learn those statistics. The book is fully indexed for ease of study.

We are indebted to Apostolic pastor Anthony Peccon for his diligent research and the fair presentation of facts concerning the early history of Pentecostalism in America. Readers will appreciate his objectivity. It will be a positive addition to the libraries of every institution of higher learning, as well as those of individual pastors and preachers. A good investment.

The book can be ordered at www.picconeshops.com/order/book

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Bible studies are still IN

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 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 walks them through their new responsibilities as Apostolic Pentecostals.

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

A New eBook is available:

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 ministerial life. Roffie Ensey has participated in all aspects and facets of ministry discussed in the book—the wife of an evangelist, a church planter, 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 eBook Price $10.95

How Do We know The Bible Is True?

By Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge

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 one 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” (1 Peter 3:15). Retail: 19.99 Only $12.99. We have only one remaining. Call for your copy today! 936-537-0250.

How To Prepare For Hard Times and Persecution

by Maria Kneas

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 8 left.

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

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

See more books at advanceministries.org/store

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Words popping up on my computer

Imagine: A nation that values avocados more than national security. (Note the primal scream that came from liberals when a border closing portended a dip in avocado shipments from Mexico.)

We are a nation of [legal] immigrants.

Remember: There are no rights other than those that you can defend.

And right away the new congress went from freaking out about children being separated from their parents at the border to fearing that the Supreme Court might take away their right to kill babies.

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%.

Hate crime: The heinous act of disagreeing with a liberal.

Trouble on the horizon: An anonymous statement: “I just read a book that says to treat your wife like you did on your first date. So after dinner tonight, I’m dropping her off at her parents’ house.” That is meant to be a humorous attitude and comment—and it would be if it were not the case in many marriages. That is why we need to marry well and right, so the troubles down the road are minimized. To assist our sons and daughters as they prepare to enter married life, make sure they have access to the book, “Before You Say ‘I Do’”! Only 4.95. Order it from advanceministries.org/store today!

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Saying it with art

Jerry and Roffie, April 12, 2020 at 60th wedding anniversary.

 

 

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The Last Word 

Don’t just grind your teeth about the bad news you hear from New York, Washington, or San Francisco. Read the Good News in the final chapters of your Bible, then go out and create some good news on your own. Share your good news experiences with us. We will share them with many others.

JREnsey

Published in: on May 1, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Comments (1)  

JREnsey blog for April 2019

Welcome! Get a cup of coffee and start your day with “Ten things everyone should know about Apostolic Pentecostals.”

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The Word for Today

“But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (II Timothy 3:14-17 NLT).

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More quotes that speak for themselves 

If a nation expects to be ignorant—and free—in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. – Thomas Jefferson

One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory. – Kurt Vonnegut

An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it. – Jeff Mallett

Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out. – James B. Conant

The smaller the mind, the greater the conceit. – Aesop

Success is more permanent when you achieve it without destroying your principles. – Walter Cronkite

The time to stop talking is when the other person nods his head affirmatively. – Henry S. Haskins

“Planned Parenthood puts most of its clinics in black neighborhoods to control the population, and its founder, Margaret Sanger was not particularly enamored with black people.” – Dr. Ben Carson

“I admire Margaret Sanger enormously. Her courage, her tenacity, her vision—I am really in awe of her. And there are a lot of lessons we can learn from her life and the cause she launched and fought for and sacrificed so greatly.” – Hillary Clinton (Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was an anthropologist who embraced eugenics as a way to control certain elements of the population, as per the Nazis and the Jews. She saw it as a way to control the black population.)

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Calvin and Servetus

Last month we reported on our visit to Basel, Switzerland to examine the manuscripts used by Erasmus in compiling a Greek text of the New Testament. If you missed that report, you can access it by going to the March Blog.

While in Switzerland, we also wanted to see Geneva, where Calvin ruled and applied his theology expressed in his primary work of Institutes of the Christian Religion, and where Michael Servetus became a martyr on Oct. 27, 1553 for his opposition to the doctrine of the Trinity. Taking his basic theology and the enforcement of it from Augustine, Calvin forced Geneva’s citizens to conform to his teaching. If they resisted, they were imprisoned, tortured, and many were executed (36 by the count of one French historian and as many as 58 by others).

We visited the cathedral Calvin confiscated from the Roman Catholics to use as his headquarters. It was intriguing to see the church, a staired pulpit, and Calvin’s own personal chair he sat in during services. To see that the same structure and adjacent buildings that were there then are still in use today was amazing. The picture above is what it looks like today, having had a Romanesque facade added to the front in the 1800s. Beneath it is the way the citizens of Geneva would have seen it during Calvin’s time.

Our main interest in Geneva was to find the location where Servetus was burned at the stake, having been tried by Calvin and found guilty of the heresy of denying the Trinity. We knew that a monument had later erected in his memory after it had dawned upon Geneva’s citizens what they had done. To find it took some sleuthing, and a little help from a local, but we were successful. The burn site is being renovated to accommodate a new underground subway station. The monument and statue of Servetus (right) was a couple of long blocks away.

The city was eager to be rid of the negative publicity they have received from their role in the Servetus affair. They erected the monument in 1903 as an “expiatory” effort, as if to say, “Enough already…we’re sorry. Let’s move on!” They acknowledge on the monument that the martyrdom was done in a different time and those responsible for the “error” should have been more considerate of one’s individual conscience. Actual wording on the back of the monument: “Respectful and grateful sons of Calvin, our great reformer, but condemning the error of his century and firmly subscribing to the liberty of conscience according to the authentic principles of the Reformation and the Gospel, have erected this expiatory monument 27 of October, 1903.

A statue cast in bronze (below) was also erected in 1903 to commemorate the 350th anniversary of Servetus’ death sits nearby. It was originally rejected for Geneva by Calvin sympathizers and it was moved to a nearby city. It depicts a disheveled and sad appearing Servetus who had been a prisoner for months in extremely debilitating conditions. His clothing was ragged and he was showing the hunger and privation he had experienced. Those more interested in correcting the error and putting it behind them finally got the statue returned to Geneva.

The statue and monument are located in a nondescript location on the side of a hill directly between two streets that are only about 25 feet apart. Virtually shrouded by brush and tree limbs for much of the year, many locals are totally unfamiliar with its location. But it was of great interest to us because it reminded us that fundamental Bible truths have never been totally lost, just ignored or rejected by the masses. We owe something to Servetus for letting the 16th century world know that the Trinitarians (both Catholics and Protestants) had it wrong from the beginning and only maintained it as a cardinal doctrine by force. We cannot let his memory die.

We must never forget the value those who came before us placed on every parcel of doctrinal truth. How easy it would have been for Servetus to say, “OK, Jesus was the eternal Son of God.” He would have been spared the flames. Do we value our Apostolic message that much?

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Socialism is…

Socialism is like a mouse trap. It works because the mouse doesn’t understand why the cheese is free. – Patriot Post

What is the difference between socialism and democratic socialism? Socialism is when the state takes your money. Democratic socialism is when everyone votes for the state to take your money. – Patriot Post

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. – Winston Churchill

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. – Alexis de Toqueville

C’mon, America…get a grip on reality, not illusion!

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10 things everyone should know about Apostolic Pentecostals (A/Ps) 

  1. A/Ps are people who love people.

We love all people regardless of their race, color, nationality or background. All stand on level ground as a part of the human family. God’s essence is love (I John 4:8), and as a part of His spiritual family, we are obligated to demonstrate that love to the world.

  1. A/Ps believe that the Jewish and Christian Scriptures are accurate, authentic, and authoritative (Deuteronomy 12:28).

We believe the Bible that contains those Scriptures was written by men who were inspired by God (II Timothy 3:16). It is trustworthy in its history, geography, philosophy and prophecy (Psalm 33:4). It contains God’s truth about the creation of all things, about man’s fall and conditional spiritual restoration, and about the future of the universe and the earth, including all people who have ever lived. It is the believer’s authority for doctrine and deportment (Romans 15:4; II Peter 1:19-21).

  1. A/Ps are among those who have looked to God for regeneration and renewal of fellowship with Him (Titus 3:5)—meaning we have placed our obedient faith in His redemptive process, and have repented of our sins of commission and omission.

We have recognized our sinful natures, and acknowledged that our only means of eternal salvation is to put our trust in His redemptive sacrifice on Calvary (Hebrews 9:22; Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38).

  1. A/Ps follow faith and repentance with water baptism in His name, both of which were commanded by Christ and His apostles (Mark 16:16; Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; John 3:5), combining to wash away our sins (Acts 22:16).

We acknowledge that the only way to deal with the sin problem in one’s life is to have them washed away in the process of salvation—in other words, through repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38). Repentance involves confession of sin and one’s death to sin, while baptism represents a burial of the unregenerate man (Romans 6:4).

  1. A/Ps receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, as a vital element of the new birth (John 3:5), which empowers recipients to overcome the sins and temptations of this present world (Acts 1:8), and provides a positive hope that it will one day resurrect our bodies to go to live with the Lord in Heaven.

The infilling of the Spirit (Acts 2:4; Ephesians 5:18) is a resurrection into “the newness of life” (Romans 6:4), and is the “earnest of our eternal inheritance” (Ephesians 1:14), giving us hope for the future bodily resurrection: “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies” (Romans 8:11).

  1. A/Ps subscribe to a lifestyle set forth in the Scriptures, which befits a Christian believer and glorifies Christ (I Peter 1:16).

Christians are called to a life of holiness and separation (I Thessalonians 4:7; II Corinthians 6:17). Such a committed life is not only a better way to live, but is commanded in the Scriptures (Hebrews 12:14; I Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:16-24; Colossians 3:2-6).

  1. A/Ps believe in divine healing, having witnessed many miracles of physical healing. We still anoint with oil and pray for the sick as the Scriptures command (James 5:14,15).

Divine healing has been a part of the Christian experience from the beginning. Christ healed many during His earthly ministry (Matthew 4:24; Mark 3:10). He said future believers would also lay hands on the sick and see them recover (Mark 16:18).

  1. A/Ps possess an abiding hope for future glory with Jesus Christ in Heaven (Romans 8:18; Colossians 1:27; 3:4).

Faithful believers are promised a heavenly home with the Lord (John 14:2,3). He will return to gather His church and take them to spend eternity with Him (I Thessalonians 4:15-17).

  1. A/Ps embrace a monotheistic view of God as one divine Being (Deuteronomy 6:4) rather than a family of Persons in a divided, compartmentalized deity that was inspired by Grecian philosophy and mythology.

The oneness of God is threaded throughout both the old and New Testaments (Mark 12:28,29; I Timothy 2:5; Isaiah 9:6). Jesus is seen as the Son

of the eternal God rather than the eternal Son of God. He was the incarnation of the one God manifesting Himself in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16). Jesus affirmed His oneness with the Father (John 10:30).

  1. A/Ps are commissioned to spread the message of Christ and His offer of salvation into all the world (Luke 24:47), and we find happiness and joy wherever it is received (Acts 8:5-8).

The Great Commission is taken seriously as pertaining to all believers. We are told to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15) “and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

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The way it was in March

          The Eternal Optimist:

“Thanks, Mom, for being a pro-life woman!”

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Thanks for visiting. Coming next month: Review of a just published book on the history of the doctrine of the new birth among Pentecostals in the 20th century.

JREnsey

Published in: on April 1, 2019 at 6:57 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey blog March 2019

Thanks for joining us today for a few moments of contemplation.

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The Word for Today

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (II Peter 1:3,4) NLT).

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The way it is

  • Some give God the credit but fail to give Him the cash.
  • The Rapture: Future separation of church and state.
  • Church sign: “What Is Hell Like? Come hear our pastor.”
  • New NY congresswoman AOC declares victory over the modern day equivalent of slavery: jobs.
  • Does anyone know why AOC has come out against eating steak (read: cows), other than bovine flatulence ruining the environment? Hint: her chief of staff is Saikat Chakrabarti.
  • Remember: The men who wrote the 2nd Amendment hadn’t just finished a hunting trip. They had just liberated a nation.
  • I read somewhere that the Chicago police have replaced sirens on their cars with the national anthem to entice suspects to stop running and take a knee.

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Quotes that speak for themselves

“Feminism makes both men and women unhappy, but it was caused by boys who never matured into men.” – Rabbi Daniel Lapin

“It is easier to see the hand of God after we have passed through a crisis.” – A. T. Robertson

“If the Word does not dwell with power in us, it will not pass with power from us.” – John Owen

“The disciple of Christ today may be described in the words of Farrar , as ‘one who believes His doctrines, rests upon His sacrifice, imbibes His spirit, and imitates His example.’” – G. H. Trevor

A note to those who struggle with obeying Acts 2:38 because of what it might mean regarding their deceased loved ones who had not embraced it: Your obedience and salvation will not “unsave” anyone else. It will not effect their standing with God in the least. Do what you know to do, what you see is right, and let God’s wisdom and righteousness be their judge, not you. – JRE

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What is the connection between marijuana, mental illness and violence?

The following is excerpted from a speech by Alex Berenson, the author of Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence.

Seventy miles northwest of New York City is a hospital that looks like a prison, its drab brick buildings wrapped in layers of fencing and barbed wire. This grim facility is called the Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Institute. It’s one of three places the state of New York sends the criminally mentally ill—defendants judged not guilty by reason of insanity.

Until recently, my wife Jackie­—Dr. Jacqueline Berenson—was a senior psychiatrist there. Many of Mid-Hudson’s 300 patients are killers and arsonists. At least one is a cannibal. Most have been diagnosed with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia that provoked them to violence against family members or strangers.

A couple of years ago, Jackie was telling me about a patient. In passing, she said something like, Of course he’d been smoking pot his whole life.

Of course? I said.

Yes, they all smoke.

So marijuana causes schizophrenia?

I was surprised, to say the least. I tended to be a libertarian on drugs. Years before, I’d covered the pharmaceutical industry for The New York Times. I was aware of the claims about marijuana as medicine, and I’d watched the slow spread of legalized cannabis without much interest.

Jackie would have been within her rights to say, I know what I’m talking about, unlike you. Instead she offered something neutral like, I think that’s what the big studies say. You should read them.

So I did. The big studies, the little ones, and all the rest. I read everything I could find. I talked to every psychiatrist and brain scientist who would talk to me. And I soon realized that in all my years as a journalist I had never seen a story where the gap between insider and outsider knowledge was so great, or the stakes so high.

I began to wonder why—with the stocks of cannabis companies soaring and politicians promoting legalization as a low-risk way to raise tax revenue and reduce crime—I had never heard the truth about marijuana, mental illness, and violence.

[Read the remainder of this astounding speech/article HERE.]

This is a must read for every parent and pastor!

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A Visit With Erasmus In Basel

The first week of December 2018 found me in Basel, Switzerland. No, it wasn’t a ski trip, or even a sightseeing excursion—it was an errand regarding the King’s business. I finally saw an opening to do something I had desired to do for decades—examine specific biblical manuscripts (MSS) collated and used to create the first Greek text of our Bible, which later became, with its sundry corrections, what is known as the Textus Receptus.

I was joined by Pastor Peter Connell of Oakley, CA. His willingness to make the journey with me was a blessing indeed. His eyes and ears joined with mine to get a firmer grip on the history of our English Bibles.

After months of preparation and communication with university authorities in Basel, we arrived there on a Sunday evening and began to prepare ourselves for what the next day would bring. We wanted to be among the first on Monday morning to enter the doors of the library of the University of Basel. Established in 1460, it is the oldest and largest university in Switzerland. The library was of particular interest to us because it held the manuscripts collated by Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) of Rotterdam to create the first Greek text of the New Testament. We were there to touch them, examine them, and be witnesses to some of the most important documents regarding Christianity in the world.

We were guided through several locked doors into a basement examination room. They seated us at a table and brought all of the manuscripts out from a secure location and set them before us. Tears came as they freely allowed us to examine those six precious documents that served as the foundation for the Greek text used to produce some of our English translations of the Bible. It was overwhelming to hold them in our hands.

Erasmus had initially intended to produce an updated and corrected version of the Latin Vulgate, the version forced upon all Bible readers in the West by the Roman Catholic Church for over a thousand years. As the son of a Catholic priest and as a priest himself, he had learned Latin early in life and loved that language. His intense studies of the Latin Vulgate convinced him of its substantial corruption. Along the way, an English priest, John Colet, urged him to learn Greek, which he did. Ultimately, he would use Greek manuscripts to support the changes he would propose in the Latin Vulgate, the revision of which was his primary objective.

Erasmus moved to Basel permanently in 1515 to be near the printer, Johannes Froben, whom he would employ to produce his Latin New Testament and other works. Froben knew that a polyglot Bible with a Greek text had been produced in Spain by Cardinal Ximenes. It would also have the Latin Vulgate, the Greek Septuagint (Old Testament), Hebrew Old Testament, New Testament Greek, and even Aramaic for the Pentateuch—in six volumes. It was already printed but its distribution was delayed by the pope. If he could beat the Cardinal in getting Erasmus’ Latin New Testament to the market, Froben knew it could mean a financial windfall, especially if he could add a Greek text with it.

Erasmus did not come to Basel with Greek manuscripts in hand. He located about six Greek NT MSS in Basel, five from the local Dominican monastery/convent library, and one from the local family of Johann Amerbach. Not one was earlier than the twelfth century. None of them contained the entire New Testament, and all lacked the Book of Revelation. He arranged to borrow a copy of Revelation from John Reuchlin, an acquaintance in Augsburg, Germany, where the manuscript still resides today. We were unable to personally examine that manuscript because of its condition; however, it has been digitized and is available online.

In a matter of a few months, although Erasmus had not finished editing and collating the MSS, they rushed the work to Froben’s press in 1516. Erasmus freely admitted that his book was “precipitated rather than edited,” which triggered a number of mistakes and inaccuracies in the text.

Some of the manuscripts reveal that he had begun to edit them but stopped to hand it to the printer “as is.” This expediency probably paid off financially, but it did little to advance the reputation of Erasmus’ editorial skills in the public market. His later editions indicate that he had learned a valuable lesson from the way the first edition was handled.

All of the manuscripts were handwritten codices—large sheets of parchment folded into quires and bound as a book. Easily visible on the MSS were the editorial marks of Erasmus and the printer’s notations. Erasmus or some previous scribe had underlined Luke 2:33a, one of the variants that would prove to be misused in the future.

There were noticeable lacunae (parts of the manuscripts that were seriously damaged or missing), and one had a page that appeared to have some text removed by cutting. Others holes that had been patched, and correctors’ marks were in evidence. There were marginal notes and other marks common to most manuscripts. Of one manuscript, Erasmus said he “corrected the manuscript here and there and sent it on to the printer.”

Manuscript AN IV-11 (Basel University designation) containing the Gospels lacked a phrase in Luke 6:28 but had been added by a corrector in the lower margin. Erasmus’ corrections can be seen in a color of ink different from that of the original scribe, sometimes inserted between the lines. Stephanus did not consult this particular manuscript, which noted textual critic Bruce Metzger said contained “a lot of errors,” for his 1550 edition of the TR, but since his text was based on Erasmus’ work, its readings became part of the official TR. Those who speak of the Byzantine MSS as though they were pristine and not corrected or defective at any place—unlike the much older Alexandrian MSS—obviously haven’t seen them.

Manuscript AN III-11 containing Paul’s epistles and scribal commentary was interesting. The biblical text was centered on the spine side of the page with commentary surrounding it on three sides. At least three scribes had a hand in producing this 387-page manuscript, which ends with Hebrews 12:18 and does not have the last seven verses of that book.

Fortunately, Erasmus was able to add to his collection of Greek manuscripts over the next twenty years, as he printed four more editions of his text, making approximately 400 changes—including additions and deletions—over those years. Many of the changes were made before the English Bible translations from Greek began to come along in 1526.

We were also able to examine a large volume containing Erasmus’ Annotations, his personal notes made while compiling the text. They explain why he made the critical decisions to render the text as he did. To see his actual handwriting and clear signature seemed to take us back 500 years, making him more of a real person. We sensed that he could step into the room at any moment.

A common question we hear: Could you actually read the manuscripts? Yes and no. Have you ever experienced the difficulty of reading a 500-year old English handwritten document? Handwriting that old in any language is difficult to decipher. Of course, we could identify ordinary Greek letters and plainly written words, but medieval scribes writing in a cursive style were notorious for inserting many ligatures (symbols representing two or more joined letters) and abbreviations to save space on precious parchment. Special study and training are necessary to be able to actually read and accurately transcribe ancient handwritten manuscripts.

To create a complete Greek text of the NT was a momentous achievement. It had never been done. That being said, it left much editorial work undone for later textual critics who have picked up the torch in the last two centuries with much older MSS closer to the autographs.

My hat is off to Desiderius Erasmus. He was committed to preserving the written text of the New Testament, and probably did the best he could possibly do given the limitations he was handed. He deserves our appreciation for the initial effort he made toward the restoration and compiling of the Greek New Testament text. We should all be forever grateful. We are also indebted to the kind folks at the Basel University Library for their congenial hospitality and the freedom they extended to us, including the privilege to take the pictures of the MSS that you see here. Included below are photos of Erasmus’ tomb and  Froben’s press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bible studies are

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Truth in art

Or perhaps at 3:46. It’s called “infanticide.”

Sorry, I just couldn’t pass that last one up!

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The last word:

Pray for America. No country seems to be replacing it as the last bastion of true Christian freedom.

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Thanks for visiting the blog. Feel free to leave your comments. Have a safe and blessed month in March. If it comes in like a lion, perhaps it will go out like a lamb.

JREnsey

Published in: on March 1, 2019 at 3:19 AM  Comments (1)  

JREnsey blog for February, 2019

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for February, 2019.

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The Word for Today

“Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:1-6 NLT).

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Which nature will win the war?

A young lady in our church recently posted some thoughts online that were forwarded to me. They are worth sharing.

“This has been kicking around in my head for a few days, so I’m going to share it just to get it out of my head. LOL.

Every person has a nature that is hostile to God. Scripture refers to it as ‘flesh’ or a ‘carnal mind.’ We commonly hear phrases like ‘die daily’ and ‘crucify the flesh.’ In fact, those phrases have become so common that we no longer seem to recognize the struggle in them. To crucify the flesh daily is a battle! Yes, God’s strength will come in when we are weak, and the Holy Ghost gives power, but we still have a carnal mind that is literally at war with God. War is hard and ugly.

Which is why when people give into sin or walk away from the church, they may feel better for a while. When you wave the white flag and give in, you stop the battle. It isn’t uncommon that people feel ‘right’ or happy when they backslide because they have stopped fighting.

What is sad is that the wage you earn for that decision is death, but since it isn’t paid immediately, it is easy to ignore. God really does want us to live our best lives. What he wants for us is what is best for us, so if you feel yourself starting to slip, it is definitely worth putting on the armor of God and continuing the fight. And, if you have walked away, it’s not too late to come back (Romans 8:7-8).”

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Spiritually unhealed

An unhealed person can find offense in pretty much anything someone does.

A healed person understands that the actions of others have nothing to do with them.

Each day you get to decide which one you will be.

– Unknown

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Is a creed of any value?

Doubtless some would answer in the negative to that question. However, a famous theologian of another era had some interesting comments on the issue:

“A church with a little creed is a church with a little life. The more divine doctrines a church can agree on, the greater its power, and the wider its usefulness. The fewer its articles of faith, the fewer its bonds of union and compactness.

“The modern cry: ‘Less creed and more liberty,’ is a degeneration from the vertebrate to the jellyfish, and means less unity and less morality, and it means more heresy. Definitive truth does not create heresy—it only exposes and corrects. Shut off the creed and the Christian world would fill up with heresy unsuspected and uncorrected, but nonetheless deadly.

“Very solemnly I would warn the reader against any teaching that decries doctrines, or which would reduce the creed of the church into two or three articles. We are entitled to no liberty in these matters. It is a positive and very hurtful sin to magnify liberty at the expense of doctrine. A creed is what we believe. A confession of faith is a declaration of what we believe. The church must both believe and declare. The longest creed of history is more valuable and less hurtful than the shortest.”

– Benaiah Harvey Carroll, An Interpretation of the English Bible: Colossians, Ephesians, Hebrews,

  1. 140, 146-7

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Some relevant questions

Should we impeach the President in the face of these following facts? The December Jobs Report:

  • 312,000 jobs added
  • 3.9% unemployment rate
  • 63.1% labor participation rate
  • 3.2% annual wage growth

Should the President have nixed Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Afghanistan or just the return flight? Was she more concerned about the soldiers there or subverting the State of the Union message here?

Can you believe that after only two years in office, Trump has already solved global warming, now called climate change since the coming of a snowy winter?

Can anyone explain how importing hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from all over the world who will plug into our health care and welfare systems will be good for our economy?

Will Christian believers and ordinary American citizens ever find the courage to stand up against the leftist media and cut their pipelines into their homes?

How can caring Christians stand by while the criminalization of their faith is enacted by state legislators without a response? For a scary press release from a pastor’s council, go to: http://www.uspastorcouncil.org/news-events/current-issues.html/article/2019/01/23/texas-pastors-issue-warning-against-unequal-rights-legislation-by-democrats

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Spurgeon, forever relevant

The farther we get from Spurgeon in years, the more some of his views seem to be catching up with us. Try this on for size:

“It is painful to observe how many embrace anything if it be but earnestly brought before them. They swallow the medicine of every spiritual quack who has enough of brazen assurance to appear to be sincere. Be ye not such children in understanding, but test carefully before you accept. . . . Be sure you have the truth and be sure to hold it. Be ready for fresh truth, if it be the truth, but be very chary how you subscribe to the belief that a better light has been found than that of the sun. . . . Our ‘modern thought’ gentry are doing incalculable mischief to the souls of men, and resemble Nero fiddling upon the top of a tower with Rome burning at his feet. Souls are being damned, and yet these men are spinning theories. Hell gapes wide, and with her open mouth swallows up myriads, and those who should spread the tidings of salvation are ‘pursuing fresh lines of thought.’ Highly cultured soul-murderers will find their boasted ‘culture’ to be no excuse in the day of judgment.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, Series II, pp. 26, 27.

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More evidence of the Bible’s accuracy

As archaeologists continue to dig in the Middle East, they consistently find evidence of biblical characters that history forgot. Some scientists and theologians became convinced that many of the individuals in the Bible were merely contrived to fit a storyline. Not so, says archaeology.

Some time ago the Biblical Archaeological Society published a list of over fifty Old Testament characters that were corroborated by archaeological inscriptions and coins. An example was the seal of King Hezekiah (below, right), which was found near or in the Palace of King David. It reads, “Belonging to Hezekiah, [son of] Ahaz, King of Judah.” Such discoveries brings to life the men and women we read about in the Bible.

Check out this current list of New Testament characters who have turned up in the digs (click on link below). An example is the “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus ossuary box (left). These are just two of a thousand reasons you can trust the Bible.

Agnostics continue to cast doubts on every proof of Bible accuracy, but they only succeed in making fools of themselves. “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/people-in-the-bible/new-testament-political-figures-the-evidence/?mqsc=E4020179&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=BHDDaily%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=ZE9A1IZ42

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Traditional masculinity is “harmful.” Who knew?

Thomas Gallatin

The American Psychological Association recently released its “guidelines” on masculinity and, to put it bluntly, it’s about as insightful as a barrel full of monkeys. Then again, that may be an insult to monkeys, as they instinctively display more intellectual consistency and credibility than does the APA’s condemnation of “traditional masculinity.” At least monkeys don’t dismiss the natural, innate biological differences between the genders as mere “societal constructs.”

In its “first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys,” the APA asserts, “Traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health.” In fact, “traditional masculinity,” which the APA describes as “stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression,” is “on the whole harmful” to men and boys.

Using leftist buzzwords such as “macroaggression, patriarchy, and cisgender”—the latter referring to a person whose sexual “identity” happens to match their biological gender—the APA concludes that “traditional masculinity” is a societal problem. Clearly, the APA is guided by the leftist theory that gender is a nonbinary social construct rather than a binary reality based upon biology. But even at that, one particular gender is just the worst.

For example, the APA alleges, “Although there are differences in masculinity ideologies, there is a particular constellation of standards that have held sway over large segments of the population, including: anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence. These have been collectively referred to as traditional masculinity ideology.”

After some backlash, however, the APA attempted to “clarify” its assertion with the following statement: “When we report that some aspects of ‘traditional masculinity’ are potentially harmful, we are referring to a belief system held by a few that associates masculinity with extreme behaviors that harm self and others. It is the extreme stereotypical behaviors—not simply being male or a ‘traditional male’ —that may result in negative outcomes.” But extremes were not the basis for the original APA argument; stereotypes were. So this clarification is actually obfuscation.

The fact remains that maleness or masculinity as well as femaleness or femininity share common, easily recognizable expressions in all cultures and societies across the world. In fact, one of the first things noted when an individual from one cultural group enters another are the natural binary expressions of gender. It is a universal reality based upon the reality of human biology.

National Review’s David French notes an obvious contradiction in the culture’s current “diversity” paradigm, writing, “It is interesting that in a world that otherwise teaches boys and girls to ‘be yourself,’ that rule often applies to everyone but the ‘traditional’ male who has traditional male impulses and characteristics. Then, they’re a problem. Then, they’re often deemed toxic. Combine this reality with a new economy that doesn’t naturally favor physical strength and physical courage to the same extent, and it’s easy to see how men struggle.”

The fact is that true masculinity is designed to compliment true femininity. The two are not one and the same, despite the gender-fluid argument the APA now espouses. Nor is “traditional masculinity” harmful to boys. Quite the opposite—they need more of it.

[Thanks to all those quacks over at the APA!]

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Some quotes about the negative impact of psychology and psychoactive drugs you may have missed:

“One hundred years from now, people will read current psychiatric textbooks with the same incredulity we have about blood-letting and snake oil.” – Douglas C. Sith, M.D., Juneau, AK

“Physicians need to start using their critical intelligence and wake up to the massive harm being done to our children under the guise of treatment.” – Eileen Walkenstein, M. D., author of Beyond the Couch

“Children don’t need diagnostic labels and medications; they need us! Drugs cannot substitute for good parenting and teaching.” – Fred Bemak, Ed.D., Ohio State Univ.

“Prior to the beginning of psychotherapy, spouses, lovers, children, close friends, parents and colleagues—not therapists—were the most important people in the client’s life….Psychotherapies that place the therapist in the position of the most important other are potentially pernicious, even unethical.” – Robyn Dawes, Ph.D., author House of

Cards: Psychology and Psychotherapy Built on Myth

“What has become big business is in fact fraud. The evidence does not support the claims of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.” – Garth Wood, Ph.D., author The Myth of Neurosis

“I have personally seen therapists convince their clients that all of their problems come from their mothers, the stars, their biochemical make-up, their diet, their lifestyle, and even the ‘karma’ from their past lives.” – Roger Mills, psychologist, author

“It appears that certain of the most influential pioneers in American psychology found in it an ideal vehicle for renouncing their own Christian upbringing in the name of science.” – Mary Stewart van Leeuwen, psychologist and author The Sorcerers Apprentice

“Those whose ancestors took comfort from the words of God and worshiped at the altars of Christ and Yahweh now take solace from and worship at the altars of Freud, Jung, Carl Rogers…and a host of similar authorities.” – Dr. Bernie Zilbergeld, author The Shrinking of America: Mythos of Psychological Change

“The popular image of Freud as an enlightened, emancipated, irreligious person who, with the aid of psychoanalysis, ‘discovered’ that religion is a mental illness is pure fiction….One of Freud’s most powerful motives was the desire to inflict vengeance on Christianity [and perpetrated] the clever and cynical destruction of the spirituality of man, and its replacement by a positivistic ‘science of mind.”’ – Thomas Szasz, M.D., author of The Myth of Psychotherapy

“[The drugs used] to ‘torture’ Russian political dissidents are exactly the same drugs use to ‘treat’ mental patients throughout the Western world….We are appalled to hear that, but we tolerate the same treatment of those of our citizens who have been labeled mentally ill by the psychiatric establishment.” – Peter R. Breggin, M.D., author Talking Back to Prozac

“We are often asked if we are ‘Christian psychologists’ and find it difficult to answer since we don’t know what the question implies. We are Christians who are psychologists but at the present time there is no acceptable Christian psychology that is markedly different from non-Christian psychology. It is difficult to imply that we function in a manner that is fundamentally distinct from our non-Christian colleagues…as yet there is not an acceptable theory, mode of research or treatment methodology that is distinctly Christian.” – Poelstra Sutherland, Aspects of Integration, Christian Ass’n for Psychological Studies paper

“There is not one iota of evidence that addiction is a brain disease.” – Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, New York University

“The way to sell drugs is to sell psychiatric illness.” – Carl Elliot, Bioethicist, U. of Minn.

“ln the place of traditional theologies, a new ‘scientific’ religion [is] offered, mediated by a new class of priests. Human behavior would be explained without resorting to soul, spirit, God, Satan, angels, demons, sin, or guilt. Paradise would be restored by pointing men to their own inherent goodness and infinite inner potential.” – Dave Hunt, author The Seduction of Christianity

“It is time for psychiatrists to return to being physicians—not seers, priests, gurus, or pill pushers, but real physicians.” – Dr. Sidney Walker III, psychiatrist

“Do not, and I scream, do not trust psychologists, psychiatrists and the current drug-pushing culture of modern education.” – Dr. Julian Whitaker, Whitaker Wellness Institute

The humanistic psychology establishment in America is very strong. A few apostolic voices will probably not affect it much. Our concern is primarily for our own ministers and laypeople. We must make our voices heard in order to blunt its invasion into our ranks. Our purpose is not to impugn the motives of every psychotherapist in America. Many are sincere altruists. However, many are discovering too late the spiritual damage that can be done to solid Christian families is often irreparable.

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8). That, dear reader, is wisdom from above!

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Clean your ears out with this:

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed.

If you look within, you’ll be depressed.

But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.

– Corrie Ten Boom

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Churches front and center in the culture war

In Austin, TX churches are fighting against an ordinance that forces them to consider female clergy and LGBTQ persons in hiring decisions. It states that employers cannot refuse to hire people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The city council says this ordinance “reflects our values and culture.” Baloney! It may reflect the council’s values but not the values of most Texans.

Reader alert! Five women now in our state legislature have formed the first LGBTQ Caucus. Can anyone out there see why all this is happening and where it’s going? Ever notice how many photos you see promoting same sex marriage with a woman performing the ceremony? Are our eyes wide open or are they drowsy with apathy?

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Remember the Alamo?

As a Texan, let me remind my friends in other states that 180 of us held off Santa Ana and two thousand soldiers with cannons for 13 days because of a wall!

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A quote from the Catholic Catechism

“The Bible tells us that Christians were baptized into Christ. They belong to Christ. The Acts of the Apostles (2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5) tells us of baptizing ‘in the name (person) of Jesus.’ A better translation would be ‘into the name (person) of Jesus.’ Only in the 4th Century did the formula ‘In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” become customary.’” — (Rev. John C Kersten, S.V.D., Bible Catechism (Catholic Book Publishing Co., N.Y., N.Y., l973), p. 164. (Image of this book and this text are available at http://www.trinitytruth.org/matthew28_19addedtext.html

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Stock up on Bible studies now to make 2019 the greatest soulwinning year in the history of your church.

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 30 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 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.

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

Go to Amazon Direct Publishing to get these books:

Life Is Too Short To Spend With A Kicking Cow

by J. R. Ensey

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?          $12.95

Letters From A Roman Jail

by J. R. Ensey
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.    $12.95

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 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.        $12.95

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I love this picture of a baptism service in the Brazos River near Houston in c. 1905. That looks like a couple of Texas Rangers astride their mounts on the right.

Thanks for visiting the blog. Feel free to leave your comments. Have a safe and blessed month of revival and ingathering.

JREnsey

Published in: on February 1, 2019 at 1:21 AM  Comments (1)  

The JREnsey blog for January 2019

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for January, 2019. Happy new year to all of our readers! The blog contains fewer items this month due to a longer article that was promised last month.

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The Word for Today

“How you hate honest judges!
How you despise people who tell the truth!
11 You trample the poor,
stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent.
Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses,
you will never live in them.
Though you plant lush vineyards,
you will never drink wine from them.
12 For I know the vast number of your sins
and the depth of your rebellions.
You oppress good people by taking bribes
and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.
13 So those who are smart keep their mouths shut,
for it is an evil time” (Amos 5:10-13 NLT).

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I am not ashamed… (Romans 1:16)

…of the Apostolic doctrine

…to be known as a child of God

…of being separate

…of His people

…of the way we worship

…of the manifestations of the Spirit

…that I am not ashamed!

…How about you?

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An Appeal to the Sons of Apostolic Pastors

A powerful word from the Lord was spoken by outgoing General Secretary Jerry Jones at the 2018 General Conference of the UPCI in Louisville, KY. He raised his voice as he passionately admonished those to whom his words may have applied: “You take your daddy’s church, or anyone’s church, and you take that [church] out of the Apostolic truth, you steal that building, and you steal those saints and you turn that into something [else]…that they paid their life’s blood for [that church]…they gave their treasure and their time and their commitment. God have mercy on your soul! You’re not only a backslider, you are a thief. It would be better for you never to have known truth than to have known it and walked away from it.” Thousands stood in agreement and some wept. Strong words, but we have all seen it happen.

In the attempt to interpret and apply what he so eloquently expressed, the following appeal is made to the sons of pastors who may be aspiring to assume their father’s or another elder’s pulpit.

Don’t equate a church with a “family business”

Pastors do not own churches, and they cannot bequeath what they do not own. Nor does one inherit a pastorate as one might inherit his fathers’s auto dealership. There are no succession rights in God’s kingdom. This is not medieval Europe where sons automatically accede to the throne held by their fathers.

Could it ever be right for a son to succeed their father? Absolutely. There have been times when it was obviously the perfect will of God. Certainly some fathers may feel more comfortable about their future and/or their retirement if their son takes over. Conversely, there have also been many situations where great harm was done to the church and the family when a family member was pushed through without a clear expression from God or the church body. Laymen are taught to trust their pastors and often yield to their wishes regarding a successor. Theoretically, a son assuming the pastorate could be the smoothest transition since the church would probably be more acquainted with his style than someone who is not well known by the congregation. By the same token, he may feel that he must put distance between himself and his father to establish his own identity and style, moving the church in a totally different direction.

A few years ago I did an extensive survey of churches going through the process of pastoral transition. It revealed that many pastors find it difficult to turn loose of the reins so that a successor can find the latitude he needs to effectively lead. In other situations, the incoming pastor felt that the elder must be totally set aside or vacate the church in order to make the drastic changes he envisions. Problems associated with pastoral transitions are rarely one-sided.

A common occurrence today is that long-serving pastors are assuming the role of Bishop in semi-retirement and their sons or other relatives are moving up to the position of pastor. In such a scenario, what sometimes happens to make Brother Jones’ comments so relevant and compelling? Too often the younger pastor takes the church in a totally different direction that amounts to serious compromise—even removing the church and himself from long-embraced fellowships. That is what he meant by “stealing a church.”

Allow me to suggest that new and/or young pastors build bridges to connect the generations in the congregation rather than erecting walls that inevitably separate them.

A change bridge

Frequently we are seeing walls go up quickly between the generations. Some younger pastors want to distance themselves from their elders whom they view as “not with it” or “locked in a time warp.” New worship styles, new platform configurations, and new lighting that mimics concert settings used by bands and entertainers are often installed early in the young pastor’s tenure. These quite often will virtually turn off the over 40 portion of the congregation. Walls go up, and rarely do they ever come back down.

It is true that subtle changes are often needed along the way. Change is not inherently ill-advised or wrong. However, drastic or sudden change may send a chill into the congregation and leave them wondering where the church is headed. When crossing a river of change, take time to build a bridge for those coming behind. Don’t leave them to struggle in any way they must in order to get across. Many might be lost in the crossing.

Bring the entire congregation along with you when changes are made in administration policies, or worship patterns, or when major physical appointments are incorporated. Don’t leave the older folks with question in their minds. They’ve been around and have seen some things. For instance, how tithing is apportioned is something in which a church board or at least a special committee should have input. The hiring of office personnel and the renaming of particular segments of church life can sometimes invite consternation. Renaming the platform a “stage” and the players of instruments a “band,” can create images and impressions that are difficult to dismiss. Communicate often with the elders of the church. Let them know the reasons for any substantial changes that may be in the offing. Good communication will almost invariably diminish the chatter and the potential angst.

The point is, don’t leave any portion of the congregation behind. The wisest young pastors are those that recognize the value of communication. Too often elders get the feeling that their voice doesn’t count, and it is whatever the more youthful portion of the assembly wants that really matters. Avoid division. Unify the assembly; don’t divide it.

A music bridge

Music and worship styles constitute a potential area of disagreement and dissension. If they change, it should be very slowly. Traditional music has had a definite role in discipling new converts. It encouraged the veteran saints of God when they were young in the Lord, and now helps maintain a hope for them as they grow older. Paul exhorted the congregations in Colosse and Ephesus to “(L)et the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Colossians 3:19; Ephesians 5:19).

Singing songs in service does more than merely create sound. They provide a platform for worship and training. Notice what Paul says singing does: 1) it helps instill wisdom, 2) it teaches the Word by including scriptural phases and truths, 3) it admonishes believers to turn their attention to the values set forth in the Word, 4) melody is made in the heart of the singers. Many of the worship songs used today are written by those who seem to care little about truth, righteousness, hope, and things to come. They contain a minimum of teaching or admonition, and melody is certainly not their object.

Most Christians over forty cut their teeth on the backs of pews while hearing “It’s All In Him,” or “At Calvary,” or perhaps “How Great Thou Art.” They taught truth and motivated trust. Note the three types of songs mentioned by Paul: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Would to God that songwriters would keep Paul’s words in mind when composing, rather than tagging in with the Hillsong groupies down the street, where only the “praise singers” know the songs. Songwriters and worship leaders should know the difference in a congregational type song and a chorus that might fit better in a setting of consecration and special worship moments.

Composers might remember that someday what they are writing now will be “out of date” and passé. A new genre will likely be developed and they will then feel left out to some degree. All know that few still sing “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” or the soaring “Ava Maria” variety of songs. Times and song types change. That is a fact. Got it. But at the congregational level, wisdom would dictate a slower transition, with the consciousness that the traditional songs had a teaching and admonition factor that is missing in many contemporary worship choruses.

No, most elders do not feel that the congregation must sing “I’ll Fly Away” or “Everybody Will Be Happy Over There” in every service. But to abruptly depart from the old songs that helped to mold faith and trust in God in their youth can be traumatic to the soul. Why leave half the assembly (the half that pays most of the church bills) standing and barely mouthing the words on the wall, not having an idea of where the next note is going or even the meaning of the lyrics. Why not a mix of types and melodies? Make the transition simpler and easier. Build a musical bridge. It pays.

A lifestyle bridge

Somehow, in this era of the Internet and social media, youth find it easy to grasp the idea that “holiness teaching” is also passé and does not have relevance in today’s environment. “We must change our emphasis regarding holiness if we are going to reach our current generation,” the say. What does that mean—that they don’t like the Apostolic lifestyle so we should adopt what they like so they will feel comfortable in our services? Such an attitude flies in the face of a thousand scriptures.

Too often new or young pastors assuming a leadership position seem to feel that they must acquiesce to the contemporary Bohemian* mindset, as one pastor posted on his website. They evidently think numerical growth depends on the compromise of biblical standards of holiness. We are not here to merely build crowds; our purpose is to build churches, populated by God-fearing, Spirit-filled, right-living believers.

True, our ladies don’t still wear dresses that sweep the street as they walk. We get that. But that does not mean that there should not be a line drawn beyond which they should not go. A line creates a margin of spiritual safety for both Apostolic men and women. When a line is not drawn, then there is no line, and everyone does what he or she thinks is appropriate—traditional understanding of biblical holiness and the expressions of the corporate body be hanged. Finding God’s sense of modesty expressed in the Scriptures is not difficult. “Nakedness” in the Bible seems to include the exposure of the thigh, the upper part of the leg. Covering of the upper arm is not a bad idea either. High necklines and longer hemlines have always been sensible guidelines for ladies’ attire. Actually, dedicated Christian men and women intuitively know what is over the line in their apparel. It was disappointing to have the nation’s First Lady, just past, to set a style of sleeveless, low necklines attire for public and media wear. What leaders do will usually be reflected in constituents. Remember the adage, modesty quietens the emotions and evokes respect.

Young pastors, this appeal is to you. Some things will never be appropriate for pulpit wear. Ugly T-shirts hung out over pre-torn jeans and sneakers, for instance, are signboards pointing to the future. They say, “Bohemians, please love me! See, I am like you. I dress like you, and together we reject the old power styles of suit and tie. Come be a part of our liberated church.” Platform styles often betray where you are wanting to go, what you will be teaching, living and believing within the next three to five years. We have seen it over and over.

Ornamental jewelry will never be in proper style in Apostolic churches. Ladies cutting their hair and men wearing long hair will never be accepted as a biblically approved Apostolic practice. At least a modicum of personal decorum has marked the American Christian community since its founding. Sure, drastic changes are taking place in every segment of our society. But what the culture does is their business; what the church does is our business.

Immoral homosexual acts that lead to confusing sexual identities are condemned in the Bible and will never become acceptable to God or true Apostolic Christians. That which God loathes will never suddenly become licit in His sight. Biblical principles are unchanging. Current morals being advocated in America’s institutions of higher learning—and in many denominational churches—are destructive to our society and are invitations for God’s judgment. It is up to the spiritual leaders of our movement, including our young pastors, to set a higher standard that maintains our distance from the world—one that is supported by both Scripture and common sense.

Summary

We love and appreciate pastors’ sons who dedicate themselves to the pastoral ministry. To lead God’s people is a high calling and entails great responsibility. Therefore this appeal urges them to use wisdom in assuming the pastoral role, considering not just one but all segments of the congregation. To remove the church from a theologically conservative position to a more liberal one is not the will of God. Don’t even come close to being a church thief. If you feel that churches should be different from the way their fellowship teaches and what their traditional stand has been, then go start one of your own. Don’t steal one.

Backsliders who want to return to the Lord will seek for a place that that looks and feels like what they left back there earlier in their life. Should they walk into some churches today, they would not recognize it as being the church they walked away from. The energy of our churches should not be spent totally on reaching the current culture, but maintaining what we have. “Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain,” Jesus said to the church at Sardis.

If you are being considered for a leadership role in a church, tell them exactly what you believe and any changes you intend to make. Taking a church under false pretenses amounts to prevarication and deception. Leadership in the kingdom of God is serious business. May we all feel obligated to the Lord Himself who is the “head of the body,” as Paul declares. It is His church and He is the final authority. When Jesus changes the salvation message and rescinds the apostolic holiness declarations in the Bible, then we can change our message and positions. Until then, let us dedicate ourselves to strengthening the things that remain—among them, our Apostolic truth and identity.

 

* A free-spirited, unconventional, open-minded thinker opposing traditional values; usually dedicated to recreating society in their own image. (Not a reference to someone’s nationality.)

If this article is not relevant to your situation right now, but you know someone who might benefit from it, please send them a link to the blog.

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Stock up on Bible studies now to make 2019 the greatest soulwinning year in the history of your church.

Into His Marvelous Light Bible Study

IHMLCoverNo other one-hour 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. 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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Thanks for visiting the blog. Feel free to leave your comments. Have a safe and enjoyable New Year blessed by the greatest ingathering of souls in the history of your church. May the peace of God rule in your heart and home until Jesus comes.

JREnsey

Published in: on January 1, 2019 at 1:07 AM  Comments (7)