JREnsey blog November 2019

Welcome! Thanks for visiting.

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The Word for Today

“For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults…But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ…Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it” (II Corinthians 12: 20; 11:3; Hebrews 4:1 KJV).

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“Praying always”

Scottish minister Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843) died at age 29 from complications of typhus, a problem most likely aided by sheer exhaustion. His personal disciplines were commendable but they ultimately contributed to the destruction of his health. He is known for his intense prayer life as much as his preaching. He is said to have spent hours a day in personal prayer and study.


McCheyne is often quoted regarding his view of piety: “If you lack holiness, you will never see the Lord. A real desire after complete holiness is the truest mark of being born again. Jesus is a holy Saviour. He first covers the soul with His white raiment, then makes the soul glorious within—restores the lost image of God, and fills the soul with pure, heavenly holiness. Unregenerate men among you cannot bear this.”

On Sundays, he spent six hours in prayer and devotional reading! On Mondays he met the ministers of the presbytery for a 90-minute prayer meeting. One day a month he reserved for a full day of prayer and fasting. McCheyne’s prayer life was, to put it mildly, intense.

McCheyne was incredibly disciplined also in his Bible reading. He was constantly rethinking and sharpening his mind. He rigorously followed a pattern of specific confession of sin, thanksgiving, adoration, and specific intercessory prayer. He prayed daily for missions with a map on his lap. Below is an excerpt from his intercessory prayer diary:

  1. People
  • Relatives
  • Friends
  • Elders
  • Church Members
  • The sick and dying
  • For God to raise up Elders, SS teachers and prayer meeting leaders
  • For the power of the preached Word on the Sabbath
  • For fellow ministers
  • Against Popery
  • The persecuted Church
  1. Subjects
  • For the power of the Holy Spirit
  • For the unity and purity of the Church of Jesus
  • For the Queen and all civil rulers
  • For the Lord to raise up—in great numbers—ministers to serve the church
  • For the Word of God to be more reverenced in our land
  • For the success of missionary efforts in heathen lands
  • For the Jews to come to Christ
  • For a blessing upon the General Assembly

It was McCheyne’s aim to avoid any hurry which prevents “the calm working of the Spirit on the heart. The dew comes down when all nature is at rest—when every leaf is still. A calm hour with God is worth a whole lifetime with man….”

During his last illness he wrote: “To me that grace is not now given to preach to you…still the Lord allows me to give myself unto prayer…my soul does not rest in silence. I am permitted to go in secret to God and I can make mention of you all in my prayers and give thanks for the little flock.”

The cook in the manse said of McCheyne’s prayer life, “Oh, to hear Mr McCheyne at prayers in the morning! It was as if he would never stop, he had so much to ask.”

Even on his deathbed, McCheyne continued to intercede for His people. His last words were spoken while under a raging fever as he lifted his hands and cried out, “Lord, save this church and these people!

McCheyne died at the age of 29 in an epidemic of Typhus, almost certainly complicated by a worn out body and sheer exhaustion. But we are still talking about him 176 years later.  –  Adapted from Wikipedia

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Churches may lose tax exemption

One of the presidential candidates has promised to not only take your guns but your church tax exemption if he is elected—unless you and your church bow before the throne of political correctness and agree to embrace the sinful practices of this present culture (my words—his meaning). He says that people will surely volunteer to follow the law when it is passed. He further stated that it is time for Americans to submit to the laws of the land. It would be nice if he did the same. The law, yea, the Constitution, says we can “keep and bear arms.” It states that the practice of one’s religious faith is not to be “abridged.” Has he read the Constitution? He doesn’t want to abide by present laws he doesn’t like, but wants to change them and force everyone else to abide by laws he plans to pass.

Source: https://www.theblaze.com/news/beto-strikes-at-religion-over-gay-marriage?utm_source=theblaze-dailyAM

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Modern proverbs regarding our tongue

• The teeth may be false but let the words be true.

• When you feel dog-tired at night, it may be because you growled all day.

• Prayer: “Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and nudge me when I’ve said enough.”

Here is how to freshen your breath:

• “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (25:11).

• “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones” (16:24).

• “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life” (15:4).

• “A soft answer turneth away wrath” (15:1).

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Common sense isn’t common any more

“Americans deserve elected officials who focus on key issues to improve the lives of families, strengthen our communities, grow our communities, grow our economy, and keep our country safe.” – Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham

“The whole history of modern times is for human ingenuity, innovation and technological know-how to combat the challenges that mankind confronts. If you think global warming is a challenge, thank God you don’t have to deal with smallpox, typhoid, tuberculosis, polio or the plague. The black death in Europe killed about 1 of every 4 residents [actually, more]. Now, that is an apocalypse. What the young lack today is perspective. AOC thinks she has problems? It wasn’t so long ago that as many as 1 in 10 women died while giving birth. I always marvel that the ‘woe is me’ refrain from the young today is often recited as they tap on their $600 iPhones (charged with the electric power they want to do away with) and they carry around their caramel lattes from Starbucks. I tell my kids that without fossil fuels, they may not have power for their computer games. That gives them pause. …Our responsibility as parents, teachers, clergy and lawmakers is to teach the children how to solve problems effectively, not to preach the end of the world [via climate change].” – Stephen Moore; Patriot Post

“I trust a billionaire who became president more than politicians who become millionaires. After two years of intense investigations, not one of his accusers have committed suicide. We are witnessing a group of people so twisted by hate that they are angry their own president was investigated and found innocent.” Anonymous; Patriot Post

Common sense is like deodorant—those who need it most never use it.

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How weddings differ

In Egypt the women pinch the bride on her wedding day for good luck.

Moroccan women take a milk bath to purify themselves before their wedding ceremony.

Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since.

American brides carry or wear “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” on their wedding day to symbolize continuity with the past and good fortune in the future. The “something blue” in a bridal ensemble is said to symbolize purity, fidelity, and love.

The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers back then broke a loaf of bread over a bride’s head for fertility’s sake. Queen Victoria’s wedding cake weighed 300 pounds.

In many cultures around the world—including Celtic, Hindu and Egyptian weddings—the hands of a bride and groom are literally tied together to demonstrate the couple’s commitment to each other and their new bond as a married couple (giving us the popular phrase “tying the knot”). Hmmm…not a bad thing if it isn’t a “slip knot.”

Don’t forget this: It is said that men who kiss their wives in the morning are said to live five years longer than those who don’t. [Who tested and proved that wonderful theory?]

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Now we know

Abraham Lincoln is best known as the 16th president of the United States. But before that he had a reputation as an accomplished wrestler. There is only one recorded instance of him losing a match in 12 years. In fact, he was honored with an award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1992. He was better at wrestling than running for office—he lost many more elections than he won. But he did win the one that really counted!

The act of crossing the street without first checking for oncoming vehicles, or not crossing at an intersection, is called jaywalking. Not surprisingly, “jay” was once a slang term that meant stupid or simpleton.

We already knew this:

When church attendance is optional, you set up your kids to fail.

• Too many politicians have a glib tongue attached to a shallow mind. (Reckon that ailment could also afflict some preachers?)

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Books

People in Proverbs

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

Life Is Too Short To Spend It With A Kicking Cow (eBook)

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

AM price $9.95     To order click here or call 936-537-0250.

 

WHY…Do Apostolics believe…?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In case you haven’t noticed these

The media finally got it right, sort of:

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The Last Words

Truth sounds like hate to those who hate truth. – Anonymous

Better to get hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie.  – Anonymous

Truth may hurt a little while, but a lie hurts forever. – Anonymous

The more a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. – George Orwell

Recommended reading (worth your time):

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu.//clarence-thomas-lost-constitution

Have a great Thanksgiving!

JREnsey

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

JREnsey Blog October 2019

Welcome to the October 2019 blog. Is America doomed? Goodbye, Miami. Read The Word for Today first. This world is not our home!

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The Word for Today

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:1-3 NLT).

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DOOMED!

Here is another “disease” designed in part to enrich the nation’s psychologists: Doomophobia! New psych therapies are being developed to help people cope with the fear of climate change being foisted upon the American public by the media and Al Gore types. Wild-eyed and wide-mouthed politicians are scaring our school kids and even collegians that the planet is doomed unless we adopt measures to shut down our industries and energy sector corporations. One of them screamed recently that Miami will soon be gone—underwater—if we don’t move quickly. Those not old enough to remember that this is the same kind of rhetoric that was dished out in the early 70s. Then they were warning about a new ice age, which soon morphed into global warming. Then overpopulation was going to doom the planet to starvation in ten years unless we did something to curb population growth. All, of course, to scare people into accepting abortion as a means of population control. After abortion was approved, the chatter subsided for decades. Now they are back at it with a vengeance. The world is doomed without the Green New Deal. OAC and Bernie are so 1970s.

Get a grip, folks. We just experienced a gully-washing, house-flooding rain in S.E. Texas after a lengthy dry spell. It happens occasionally. It is called Weather. Storms. Seasons. It has been happening since a guy named Noah experienced it over 4,000 years ago.

Relax. Turn the TV to the wall. Unplug it…or better, just toss it in the dumpster. And don’t call the psychologist.

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Sanders has the answer: population control will save us!

During the presidential candidate’s marathon town hall on climate change recently, an audience member asked Bernie Sanders if he was “courageous enough” to address the issue of curbing global population and if he would make it a “feature” of his plan for addressing the “climate catastrophe.” This question comes straight out of Paul Ehrlich’s book, The Population Bomb, the 1968 junk-science screed that peddled the global overpopulation myth. Yet this debunked ideology still captivates the minds of many ecofascists.

Sanders responded with an answer that would make Planned Parenthood founder and eugenicist Margaret Sanger proud. “The answer is yes,” he stated. “And the answer has everything to do with the fact that women in the United States of America, by the way, have a right to control their own bodies and make reproductive decisions. The Mexico City agreement, which denies American aid to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control, to me is totally absurd. I think especially in poor countries around the world where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies and where they can have the opportunity through birth control to control the number of kids they have, it’s something I very, very strongly support.”

Beyond Sanders affirming the myth of global overpopulation, he plays that old political game of mischaracterization. When Sanders talks of the Mexico City agreement, the 1984 rule that forbids U.S. funding of foreign nongovernmental organizations that “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning,” he expands this ban against abortion to include all forms birth control, something the agreement does not do. Evidently for Sanders, abortion is the only form of birth control worth advocating.

Secondly, Sanders exposed himself as a population-control extremist who is literally calling for the killing of preborn babies, especially in poorer countries, because he thinks this will help the climate. This kind of extremist talk coming from one of the leading presidential candidates should be unnerving to every American.

As The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh notes, “[Sanders] sees a world populated by normal people, on one hand, and surplus people on the other hand. His simple, if genocidal, solution is to throw away the surplus. This raises an obvious question: Why doesn’t Sanders include himself in the surplus? As G.K. Chesterton once observed: ‘The answer to anyone who talks about the surplus population is to ask him whether he is the surplus population, or if he is not, how he knows he is not.'” Walsh also observes, “The funny thing about people who advocate reducing the population to save the planet is that they always want to start by killing babies.” The defenseless make easy targets.- Blaze

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You knew

A coroner dealing with the Dayton, Ohio shooting has now confirmed that the anti-anxiety (benzodiazepine) drug, and Xanax (alprazolam), were in the shooter’s blood stream. Since 2008 at least nine similar acts of  violence were committed by someone taking this same class of drugs (benzodiazepines). Of these, six had taken Xanax, including the Las Vegas shooter. Drugs pull the trigger!

One study shows these types of drugs can cause behavior leading to “serious crimes and sometimes homicides.” Another found they increase the risk of someone committing a homicide by 45%.

When are we going to wise up and admit that it is not guns that are killing Americans, but drugs, alcohol, and tobacco (nearly one-half million per year), plus a severe lack of common sense.

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Tongue of the learned

Some quotes from Carl F. H. Henry’s book Twilight of a Great Civilization

“We sit glued to television sets, unmindful that ancient pagan rulers staged Colosseum circuses to switch the minds of the restless ones from the realities of a spiritually-vagrant empire to the illusion that all is basically well.”

“The late twentieth century is bone-weary of the indefinite and inconclusive and indecisive; what it needs is a sure Word of God.”

“The fountains of the great deep seem to be broken up in our times.  Institutions that have endured for a millennium are awash, and the surly question before us, is whether the whole fabric of civilization can survive the present rate of economic and social alteration.”  Quoting Russell Kirk, p. 16

Then I saw this somewhere:

“Truth is violated by falsehood, but it is outraged by silence.” – Henri-Frederic Amiel

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A salute to our veterans

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Book review

Roads We’ve Traveled

Autobiography of Walter Griffin Morgan

404 pages; 15.00

We have too few biographies of Pentecostals who left a mark on their generation. Here is one with details that will keep your interest. If you like to look deep inside a person’s life and feel like you are a companion on the roads he’s traveled, you will enjoy the story of Brother Walter Morgan.

Born into a struggling Southern family locked in the jaws of the Great Depression, Walter rose above the constraints of poverty and constant family changes that put him on the roads at a young age. Moving from pillar to post as a child wasn’t too unusual for the times, but readers who were never scarred by those rough edges of life will be captivated by his experiences of hitchhiking while just a young boy. You will smile at his teenage crushes as girls were attracted to his good looks and modest, self-effacing personality.

After a tour of duty in the Navy, he returned home to Southwest Louisiana to marry Lou Wilda VanWinkle of DeQuincy. Although he had a Baptist background of sorts, he had fallen in love with a Pentecostal girl whose life and testimony led him to a deep commitment to the Lord and conversion to the Apostolic faith. He was baptized in the name of Jesus and received the Holy Ghost in Singer, LA by pastor H. H. Phillips. When the call came to preach, he was ready. More lean times would follow but Walter and Lou Wilda were overcomers who seemed to win every major battle with life as they moved from one place of ministry to another in Kansas, Washington, and ultimately back to their beloved Louisiana where he assumed a pastorate in Lunita. His association with leaders and pastors whose names most Pentecostal readers will recognize, served to prove his mettle as a man of God.

He and Lou Wilda raised their four children, Trina, Denise, Nathan and Harlan during these ministerial and job stints. It seems they were never far from the highways. As you read, you may find yourself singing “On the road again….” You will laugh with them as they travel through life together, serving God and others and enjoying every minute of it. Funny experiences seem to pop up at every mile marker.

His final years were spent working with his son, Harlan, who pastors a thriving church in Sulphur (Lake Charles), LA. A fulfilled ministry behind him at age 84, he passed this life with a smile on his face, kept there through the years by his love for God and his passion for the roads of life traveled with Lou Wilda.

Read and enjoy the ride with them.

Order via email at oldmorgans@aol.com or by phone: 337-515-3440

The Commission in Matthew 28:19

Last month I mentioned an article titled An Analysis of Matthew 28:19. The many requests for copies made me know that publishing it was the right thing to do. For almost two millennia the verse has befuddled casual Bible readers and theologians alike. As Oneness believers we can handle it with learned explanations. But how many honest-hearted folks have decided against single-name, apostolic baptism because of this verse? The chances are more than good that the trinitarian baptismal formula was not an original part of Matthew’s Gospel. That is not just my opinion but that of many textual scholars who have looked closely at the issue.

Since the show of interest in the article last month, I have expanded it considerably, adding more witnesses who doubt the originality of the triadic formula in Matthew’s Gospel. If you would like a copy of the updated version of An Analysis of Matthew 28:19, here is a link:  Go Here. You can copy and print it. Your critique of the article is invited.

The generally respected conservative scholars at Dallas Theological Seminary, where Dr. Daniel Wallace (mentioned in last month’s blog) holds forth, had a major role in developing the New English Translation (NET). In the Bible’s textual apparatus at Matthew 28:19, they supported the inclusion of the triadic phrase by referencing two dissertations by authors Benjamin J. Hubbard (1974) and Jane Schaberg (1982). However, as it turns out, neither of these authors seem to believe the triune formula came from the mouth of Jesus. Hubbard states in his Matthean Redaction of a Primitive Apostolic Commissioning[1] that he believes the “proto-commission” (original or primitive spoken version) may not have even contained “an express mention of baptism. Thus, this part of the reconstruction reads: ‘preach (the gospel) to all nations, (baptize) in my name for the forgiveness of sins. (And behold,) I will send the Holy Spirit upon you. We then examined the Matthean redaction of the proto-commission and concluded that Matthew did not himself compose the triadic formula but drew it from the usage of his church. The shorter reading (‘make disciples of all nations in my name’) corresponds better in some respects to the proto-commission. One might even argue that it was not Matthew who inserted the triadic baptismal formula but a later scribe.” (pp.165,166) Hubbard generally agreed with Strecker who holds that “the passage is a combination of a pre-Matthean ‘word of revelation’ with a Matthean expansion bringing the passage into harmony with his theological position. …It is not Matthean in language and the redactor would hardly have introduced the practice into his community.”[2] Hubbard says the strength of this position “lies in [Strecker’s] contention that traditional and redactional elements have gone into the makeup of Matthew 28:16-20, and that Matthew himself did not compose the triadic baptismal command.” (p. 6). In other words, he has serious doubts that the formula was in Matthew’s original gospel or that he was the author of it! And the DTS scholars are quoting him as a source for the longer triadic phrase? Incredible. Hubbard even adds that the “all nations” portion of the verse may have originated with information from a “Gentile missionary who had come in contact with the narrative of one of the eleven disciples and added the stress on the Gentile mission.” This might be the source of Daniel Wallace’s suggestion (published in this blog last month) that the triadic formula may have been added to the Gospel as an expansion “by Matthew or a later scribe.”

And what of Schaberg’s book The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?[3] Wading through her theological conjurations about the “mystical regeneration” of baptism, “the distinction of the Son from Spirit as a separate person,” and the counting of biblical triads, particularly in Hebrew apocalyptic literature, defines tedium. She gives a half-hearted nod to the concepts introduced by Hubbard as she adds that for her the idea of the Trinity is “a personal fascination,” although to some scholars it has become “a museum piece with little or no relevance to the crucial problems of contemporary life and thought, an example of the absurd lengths to which theology has been carried.” To other scholars, she claims it is little more than “a bizarre formula of sacred arithmetic…relegated to the realm of inaccessible mystery…of blind and ‘loyal’ faith…the rubbish the churches have added to the NT.” (Preface)

Schaberg refers to Coneybeare’s view that the triadic phrase was a later insertion “has won fairly wide acceptance,” naming a number of other scholars who hold that view. The primary problem, she intimates, is that there is no Matthean manuscript without it. (p. 27) True, but neither is there a Matthean manuscript with the phrase dated before institutional Christianity embraced the doctrine of the Trinity at Nicea and began making copies of the Bible to reflect Nicean theology. Without actually counting, it seems that most of the scholars she references believe the phrase was an interpolation, a later expansion, or an expression of a gradual liturgical development rather than an actual Matthean quote from the mouth of Jesus. Her emphasis in the book, however, was to seek for a parallel of the Matthean pericope in the prophetic visions of Daniel 7. It appears she concludes that “the original apocalyptic theology has been transformed by the Christian historical experience”—whatever that might mean to the casual reader.

She draws the sum line of her research: “[I conclude that] the triadic phrase in Matthew 28:19b, naming the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, is a development of the triad found in Daniel 7: the Ancient of Days, one like a son of man and angels. …I conclude also that behind Matthew 28:16-20 a traditional midrash [Jewish commentary], containing the triadic phrase, can be isolated. This midrash may have functioned as a liturgical tradition associated with the rite of baptism. …I conclude further that there is not sufficient evidence to indicate that the triadic phrase, either at the midrashic or at the Matthean redactional stage, is trinitarian.” (pp. 335-336). It is surprising that her book was recommended as support for the authenticity of the baptism formula in Matthew 28:19.

Hang on to your Bibles, folks. We haven’t heard or read the last of this issue. The final word may be that we will all accept the phrase without question as authentic when pre-Nicene Matthean MSS start showing up. No problem. As stated above, we can handle it just as it is. On the flip side, I think the next few years could be very interesting regarding the doctrine of the Trinity.

[1] Benjamin J. Hubbard, Matthean Redaction of a Primitive Apostolic Commissioning (Missoula, MT: University of Montana, 1974.
[2] Georg Strecker, Der Weg der Gerechtigheit [The Way of Justice] (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1961), p. 210.
[3] Jane Schaberg, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1982). On the last page of her book, she left us with this: “Finally, has this probe of an aspect of the  background of the Trinitarian dogma offered material to support the suggestion of some scholars that rethinking of this dogma is of value today as an alternative to or correction of static concepts of God?”

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Books

Evidential Tongues

J. R. Ensey

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

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

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

Apostolic Ministerial Studies

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

Level I

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

Level II

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

Review:

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

In PDF format AM price $89.99

Printed in binders: AM price $119.99

Order from advanceministries.org/store , email at raensey@gmail.com or phone 936-537-0250.

IHML

IHMLCoverInto His Marvelous Light one-hour Bible study

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

Still the best soulwinning tool you can use!

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

Don’t forget your Bible studies this month! Be sure you have plenty on hand.

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

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I couldn’t resist these:

 

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The Last Word

Those who hate are usually the first to accuse others of hate.

JRE

Published in: on October 1, 2019 at 8:44 AM  Comments (2)  

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:
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– 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.

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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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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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1-49
$1.75 ea
50-99
$1.50 ea
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Promotional Tracts 
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Hand out these tracts to help you promote the Bible study in your community. Available in English and Spanish. It’s easy to get Bible study opportunities with these tracts.  $9.95 per 100

Order 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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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)