Welcome to the JREnsey blog for December, 2016. Grab a cup of hot coffee, tea or chocolate and relax for a few minutes while you read.
The Word for today
Of God David wrote:
“All he does is just and good,
and all his commandments are trustworthy.
8 They are forever true,
to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.
9 He has paid a full ransom for his people.
He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever.
What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!
10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.
All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.
Praise him forever!” (Psalm 111:7-10 NLT).
The safest place
- Do not ride in automobiles: they cause 20% of all fatal accidents.
- Do not stay home: 17% of all accidents occur in the home.
- Do not walk on the streets or sidewalks: 14% of all accidents happen to pedestrians.
- Do not travel by air, rail, or water: 16% of all accidents happen on these.
- Only .001% of all deaths occur in worship services in the church, and these are related to previous physical disorders.
- Therefore, the safest place for you to be at any given time is church. Bible study is safer yet, and the very safest is prayer meeting. Virtually no one dies there.
Stop, Drop, and Roll won’t work in Hell.
God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
If God is your Co-pilot, swap seats!
Give Satan an inch and he will become a ruler.
“Unlike other resources, time cannot be bought or sold, borrowed or stolen, stocked up or saved, manufactured, reproduced, or modified. All we can do is make use of it. And whether we use it or not, it nevertheless slips away.” – Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber.
You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.
It is said that 35% of the Pastoral Epistles is taken up with correcting an errant lifestyle or false doctrine/teachers. But today such writing would be deemed as “negative” by liberals and the PC progressives.
“Beware the atmosphere of the classics. True, we ought to know them, but only as chemists handle poisons—to discover their qualities, not to infect their blood with them.” – Robert Murray M’Cheyne, speaking of secular books to a friend in college
The Jehoash Inscription
An outstanding discovery made by archaeologists was a stone tablet describing in ancient Hebrew script the renovation work done on the first Temple (Solomon’s) by King Jehoash nearly 3000 years ago. William F. Albright has dated his reign to 837–800 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 835–796 BC.
Jehoash, also known as Joash in the KJV was a king of Judah, and the sole surviving son of Ahaziah after the massacre of the royal family ordered by his grandmother, Athaliah. He was also the first Judahite king to be descended from both the House of David and the House of Omri through his paternal grandmother and predecessor, Athaliah. His mother was Zibah of Beersheba. Jehoash was 7 years old when his reign began, and he reigned for 40 years (II Kings 12:1; II Chronicles 24:1). He was succeeded by his son, Amaziah of Judah.
If the Bible says a certain event happened, take it to the bank. Sooner or later, scientific affirmation will likely be discovered. No discovery to date has disproved any portion of Scripture.
Another interesting find was the Stone of Magdala, a stone in which are carvings of items that were once in the Temple at Jerusalem. It has been dated to the first century. The stone was found in the community of Magdala near the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Why would a Jew made such stone carvings if not to remind himself of the glory of the Temple?
After the dispora of AD 70, when Jews were not allowed to return to Jerusalem, they evidently wanted something to daily remind them to pray and worship toward Jerusalem. “Lest we forget” must have been the thought as they carved the symbols into the stone. One of the prominent items is the Menorah, the stand bearing seven lamps that lighted the Holy Place.
Reason #63 to reject Calvinism
Acts 13:48: “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”
In the account of Paul’s preaching and its results at Antioch in Pisidia, it is clear from the context that Luke is not suddenly changing in this verse from a narration of Paul’s activities to a deep theological statement of God’s activity, to wit, a statement of God’s alleged (and irresistible) “calling out the elect.” Rather, Luke is contrasting the Jews’ rejection of the Gospel with the Gentiles’ inclination to accept it.
Henry Alford (1810-1871), in his meritorious The Greek Testament (4 vols.) cogently explains this verse: tetagmenoi [“ordained”]. The meaning of this word must be determined by context. The Jews had judged themselves unworthy of eternal life: the Gentiles, as many as were disposed to eternal life, believed. By whom so disposed, is not here declared; nor need the word be in this place further particularized. We know, that it is GOD who worketh in us the will to believe, and that the preparation of the heart is of Him: but to find in this text pre-ordination to life asserted, is to force both the word and the context to a meaning which they do not contain. The key to the word here is the comparison of reference 1 Cor. 16:15, eis diakonian tois hagios etaxan heautous [for the service of the saints they appointed themselves], with reference Romans 13:1, hai ousai (exousiai) hupo tou theou tetagmenai eisin [‘the existing authorities have been appointed by God’]. In both of which places the agents are expressed, whereas here the word is absolute. See also Acts 20:13.”
The verb in question, tetagmenoi, though commonly identified as a passive participle could just as easily be identified as a “middle voice,” that is, the individuals acting with reference to themselves. I take the passage to mean, “those Greeks who were inclined or disposed to embrace eternal life subsequently (or, therefore) believed.”
Adam Clarke, 18th/19th century Methodist scholar and commentator: “The verb tatto or tasso signifies to place, set, order, appoint, dispose; hence it has been considered here as implying the disposition or readiness of mind of several persons in the congregation, such as the religious proselytes mentioned in ver. 43, who possessed the reverse of the disposition of those Jews who spake against those things, contradictions and blaspheming, ver. 45.” – Doug Kutilek in AISI
Some commentators and textual critics point out that it was a Calvinist, Miles Smith, the final editor of the KJV, who may have insisted on the language of this and other verses, like Hebrews 6:6.
Someone made the following insightful observation:
In promulgating your esoteric cogitation or articulating your superficial sentimentalities and amicable, philosophical or psychological observations, beware of platitudinous ponderosity.
Let your conversational communications possess a compacted conciseness, a clarified comprehensibility, a coalescent cogency, and a concatenated consistency. Let your extemporaneous descanting and unpremeditated expatiation have intelligibility and voracious vivacity without rodomontade or thrasonical bombast.
Sedulously avoid all polysyllabic profundity, pompous prolificacy, and vain, vapid verbosity.
In other words: Be brief and don’t use big words!
Al Qaeda: We will conquer the U.S. through immigration
In an explosive new book, CIA contractor James Mitchell talks of his time as an interrogator of Al Qaeda leaders and alleges that their plan was not to destroy the U.S. militarily but to use lax immigration laws, weak politicians and procreation to take the nation down from the inside.
The Washington Post published excerpts from Mitchell’s “Enhanced Interrogation,” including:
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the major Al Qaeda operative who helped plan the 9/11 attacks in NYC, said the terror attacks were good, but the “practical” way to defeat America was through immigration and by outbreeding non-Muslims. He said jihadi-minded brothers would immigrate into the United States, taking advantage of the welfare system to support themselves while they spread their jihadi message. They will wrap themselves in America’s rights and laws for protection, ratchet up acceptance of Sharia law, and then, only when they were strong enough, rise up and violently impose Sharia from within. He said the brothers would relentlessly continue their attacks and the American people eventually would become so tired, so frightened, and so weary of war that they would just want it to end.
“Eventually,” KSM said, “America will expose her neck to us for slaughter.”
Source: the Blaze
Certainly President Obama has been party to this effort by promoting the immigration of displaced families from the Middle East, and by intentionally ignoring overstayed visas. At this writing, the “immigrants” are pouring across the southern border in advance of Obama’s departure and the inauguration of Donald Trump.
More jewels from great thinkers in the past
Some notable quotes from Ecce Venit—“Behold, He Cometh” by Dr. A. J. Gordon:
“The concession of church historians, led by such masters as Neander and Harnack, is that pre-millennialism was the orthodox and accepted faith of the Church in the primitive and purest ages.” p. vi.
There can be no reasonable doubt that that age in which the Church was most completely separated from the world was the age in which Christianity was most victorious in the world.” pp. 89, 90, 91
“The mystery of godliness [I Tim. 3:16] is God humbling Himself to become man; the mystery of iniquity [2 Thess. 2:7] is man exalting himself to become God.” p. 116
“The seduction of the Church from its primitive simplicity was accomplished mainly by these two influences: pagan philosophy corrupting her doctrine, and pagan ceremonies corrupting her worship.” p. 167
Note: For the non-linguistically inclined, the title “ecce venit” is Latin for “Behold (or, look) he is coming!” taken from the Latin Vulgate version of Revelation 1:7. (Reviewer: Doug Kutilek in AISI)
Are Apostolics more dangerous than Islamic terrorists?
A humanist scholar has declared Christian fundamentalism—a “malignant form of Christianity”—more dangerous than Islamic terrorism, the Chicago Maroon reported.
Catherine M. Wallace, an author and faculty member at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, told an audience last week near the University of Chicago that a Christian fundamentalist “in control of nuclear codes was a much, much greater threat” than Islamic terrorists who “need to put bombs on their own children and send young men in to kill themselves” in order to “blow up a concert,” the paper said.
Wallace — a historian and “Christian humanist,” the Maroon said — noted that Christian fundamentalism has roots in the American South: “The religious right in its most contemporary form has an origin in Southern opposition to desegregation and to the Civil Rights Movement … a transparently racist appeal.”
She added that radicalism comes from a literal interpretation of the Bible. “Nobody in the ancient world would have read the Bible literally,” she said, adding that a literal reading of Scripture is a modern construct.
Christian fundamentalism is a malignant form of Christianity,” Wallace said, according to the paper, noting that such a point of view stirs hatred and conflict with the rest of humanity. [End of report]
The liberal mindset seems unmoved by the facts of history or a realistic vision of the future.
Question: Why is it that women ministers and administrators in denominational churches as a whole tend to be far more liberal than their male counterparts?
Some interesting Anabaptist history
Within the inspirationist wing of the Protestant Reformation, of which Anabaptists were a part, it was not unusual for charismatic manifestations to appear, such as dancing, falling under the power of the Holy Spirit, “prophetic processions” (at Zurich in 1525, at Munster in 1534 and at Amsterdam in 1535), and speaking in tongues. In Germany some Anabaptists, “excited by mass hysteria, experienced healings, glossolalia, contortions and other manifestations of a camp-meeting revival.” The Anabaptist congregations that later developed into the Mennonite and Hutterite churches tended not to promote these manifestations, but did not totally reject the miraculous. Pilgram Marpeck, for example, wrote against the exclusion of miracles: “Nor does Scripture assert this exclusion… God has a free hand even in these last days.” Referring to some who had been raised from the dead, he wrote: “Many of them have remained constant, enduring tortures inflicted by sword, rope, fire and water and suffering terrible, tyrannical, unheard-of deaths and martyrdoms, all of which they could easily have avoided by recantation. Moreover one also marvels when he sees how the faithful God (Who, after all, overflows with goodness) raises from the dead several such brothers and sisters of Christ after they were hanged, drowned, or killed in other ways. Even today, they are found alive and we can hear their own testimony… Cannot everyone who sees, even the blind, say with a good conscience that such things are a powerful, unusual, and miraculous act of God? Those who would deny it must be hardened men.” The Hutterite Chronicle and The Martyrs Mirror record several accounts of miraculous events, such as when a man named Martin prophesied while being led across a bridge to his execution in 1531: “…this once yet the pious are led over this bridge, but no more hereafter.” Just “a short time afterwards such a violent storm and flood came that the bridge was demolished.”
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anabaptists#Charismatic_manifestations. I left links and references in this copy for your convenience if you desired more information.
Isn’t it humorous how some modern writers, in the effort to downplay the significance of experiential Christianity, use phrases like “mass hysteria” to define it?
Someone handed me this story copied from FaceBook:
A prominent Apostolic pastor [I have omitted the well-known name] tells this story. His brother was in church, used in the spiritual gifts, but somehow a spirit of rebellion entered his heart. He didn’t want anyone to tell him what he could or could not wear, where he could or could not go, or whether he could or could not date a certain person.
He started dating a girl that his pastor told him not to date. He started going to skating parties his pastor said not to go to. His new girlfriend introduced him to marijuana and that drug was the beginning of others.
His addiction led him and a friend to rob a store and there he would commit murder and be sentenced to life in prison.
He asked his pastor to tell his story everywhere he goes, to warn young people that it didn’t start with the drugs, but it started with disobedience to his pastor. “No one is going to tell me what I can and cannot do.” It started when his pastor told him not to date out of church.
Now, daily, he is told what to wear, when to go to bed and when to get up. Now he is told where he can and cannot go.
“Obey them which have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls” (Hebrews 13:17).
Near the top of the list for morons of the year
An Illinois man, pretending to have a gun, kidnapped a motorist and forced him to drive to two ATM machines where the kidnapper proceeded to withdraw money from his own bank accounts.
A California man was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon. He used a thumb and forefinger to simulate a gun, but unfortunately, he failed to keep his hand in his pocket. (Helloooo!)
A man walked in to a Kansas Kwik Stop and asked for all the money in the cash drawer. Apparently the take was too small, so he tied up the store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours until police showed up and grabbed him.
Police in Los Angeles had good luck with a robbery suspect who just couldn’t control himself during a lineup. When detectives asked each man in the police lineup to repeat the words, “Give me all your money or I’ll shoot!” the man (who had not yet been identified as the robber) shouted, “That’s not what I said!” Ooops.
A few years ago John Walter was asked to give up his position as President of AT&T for lack of intellectual leadership. He received almost $26 million in a severance pay package. In this case, who was it that lacked intelligence?
What about “Ye…thee…thou…thine, etc” in the KJV?
Those who wish to continue exclusive use of the KJV are free to do so. No problem. Just don’t conjure up erroneous claims about it to cast users who prefer other versions as embracers of “false Bibles.”
Those who are prone to say that the KJV translators must have been linguistic geniuses for incorporating obsolete English terms like “ye…thee…thou…thine, etc.” should take another look at the literature of the times. One claim is that these terms had been discontinued in the 1400s and were not commonly used in England at the time of the KJV translation in 1611 when the translators brought them back into use. That is not true. Extremists claim that the translators reintroduced them for the sake of specificity. Virtually any English major knows that the terms were still in popular use in 1611. It was the common style in the literature of the period. Every English Bible prior to the KJV used these terms, so they were not “resurrected” by the 1611 translators for use in their Bible. Sources confirming this fact are widely available in libraries and on the Internet. They were common terms used in literature and on the street. A decline in the usage of these terms did occur in the seventeenth century, except in very formal settings, with continued declension over the next 200 years, until their usage became extremely rare.
KJV defenders say the use of “ye, thee, thine” instead of “you, your,” allows the reader to know whether a pronoun is singular or plural. For example, ye is said to be plural while you may indicate either singular or plural, depending on the context. If specificity was their goal, the KJV translators were inconsistent when applying this grammar style in their usage of these terms. For example, Genesis 17:11 states, “And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt you and me.” Or John 3:12: “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” Note also Leviticus 27:27. Did the subjects change in those verses? The Greek of Acts 2:38 does not suggest a difference in who the “you” and the “ye” indicate. The same group is addressed using second person plural terms.
Traditionalists evidently fail to notice that the 1611 KJV has “ye” in places where the modern KJVs have “you”—e.g., Numbers 32:24, Deuteronomy 1:40, Joshua 4:5, Isaiah 1:16, Zechariah 6:7; 9:12. Are these mistakes? Is anyone confused by these renderings? F. H. A. Scrivener observed that later KJV editors, especially those of 1762 and 1769, had altered nominative plural “you” into “ye” at 364 places. There were also many differences in plural and singular readings in the 1611 Version and modern ones. This affirms that the translators did not have in mind what the KJV advocates claim. They simply used terms common in their day. Yet some advocates of the KJV who disdain research tend to condemn any translation with even one word different from their preferred version.
Modern readers do not seem to miss the seventeenth century terminology when determining the plurality or singularity of personal pronouns. They are understood by the context. In sixty years of ministry, I have never encountered anyone who was confused by modern pronouns. Archaic terms are not necessarily a positive for modern readers. The claim is made simply because advocates feel pressed to uphold the 1611 translators/translation as “perfect” in every way at every word.
The English language was in a state of flux in the decades between 1575 and 1625, with the “I” or “H” in some cases, soon to become “J.” The KJV still spelled Jerusalem beginning with an “H,” and Joshua, Jesus and Jews began with an “I.” An internal “s” looks like an “f” in my 1607 Geneva Bible. The 1611 KJV spelled Colossians in one place as “Colofsians” and “Coloffians” in another—on the same page! Thessalonians appears as “Theffalonians,” and Isaiah is “Ifaiah.” Some harsher critics considered the KJV English sixty or seventy years out of date when it was published, citing that its English was in a form no one had ever spoken. Hugh Broughton, perhaps England’s leading Hebrew scholar, lambasted the translation for its errors and its slavish following of the old Bishops’ Bible.
Probably the first English translation of the Bible to dispense with “ye, thou, thee, thine, etc.,” was a translation of the Gospels by Andrewes Norton published in 1855. His work was published in two volumes—one containing the four Gospels, the other containing Norton’s notes on how he did the actual work of translation. It took a long time for most English Bible readers to be comfortable with “you” instead of “thou or thee.” These terms remained so long in American Bibles because they gave the text a “foreign” or ancient sound—even a sacred tone. “Bible English” some called it.
The KJV—use it but don’t abuse it by repeating unsubstantiated claims without doing personal research.
[Is the KJV Only movement divisive? See: http://www.angelfire.com/pa2/truthandthings/perspect.kjo.html]
I John 5:7 and the Latin Vulgate
When Jerome was putting the finishing touches on the Roman Catholic Latin Vulgate Bible in c. A.D. 390-400, he did not include I John 5:7b,8a, which appears in the KJV (“in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth:”), knowing it was spurious. However, it began to show up in Latin Bibles around the eighth century. The ensuing centuries uncovered the lack of this Trinitarian emendation in the Greek NT. Catholic prelates convinced Erasmus to include it in his third edition of the Textus Receptus and thus found its way into the KJV. Today the phrase is omitted from the current Latin Vulgate edition (the online version) or marked in color as spurious (http://vulgate.org/nt/epistle/1john_5.htm). If anyone on earth had reason to retain that phrase if it was original, it would be the Roman Catholics.
Even more reasons women live longer than men
Searching the Scriptures: Merging Truth, Texts and Translations
By J. R. Ensey
- How did our Bible come to us?
- What about variants in the manuscripts?
- Is there a “perfect” English Bible?
- Why are there differences in Bible versions?
- Where are the original manuscripts written by the prophets and the apostles?
- Are new versions omitting words or verses from “the Bible”?
- Which is the easiest version to read? The most difficult to understand?
- What is the “Textus Receptus”? The Critical Text? The Majority Text? How do they differ?
- These and many other questions are answered in this volume.
- 435 pages, with, charts, addenda, almost 800 endnotes, and fully indexed.
- Only 19.95 Order at our website: advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250.
Partial review by Peter Connell, Oakley, CA.: “The author has given us a treasure of research and valuable information in this remarkable volume. Any honest student of the Scriptures is interested in truth—and this work paints the clear picture that the Bible we hold in our hands is the veritable Word of God.
“I should warn that this book is not a “casual read!” It will challenge you to think, and to look at the large assemblage of factual evidence presented in its pages. While he deals with what has been a controversial subject within the Apostolic movement—that of the acerbic debate of whether the King James Bible is superior to all modern English translations; or more distinctly put, whether the KJV is the only English Bible that presents God’s Word, and whether all newer translations are rogue Bibles (as some men assert without justification)—he does so with painstaking authoritative support, and with the utmost balance.
“The Apostolic movement owes a debt of gratitude to Jerry Ensey for the several years of hard work that went into this important piece of scholarship. I heartily recommend this book for every minister and serious student of the Bible.”
The New Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary
J. R. Ensey
The ONLY Apostolic theological reference volume available today!
Now updated and available as an eBook: Only 12.95! Put it on your computer or other device today for instant reference!
An unsolicited review:
Thanks for the new updated version of the New Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary. The earlier version that I received has been a great blessing and the newer updated version will be an even greater blessing. It is such a great value to read literature from Oneness authors. We can fully trust their writings to be in truth and in integrity. We certainly need more reference books from Oneness authors to complete our libraries. Thank God for those who have devoted their lives to producing books that are based in truth. May God richly bless you and your family.
Order online at advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250.
A Misplaced Mystery: Understanding the One God
By Landon Davis
This new book is a layman’s guide to understanding the Oneness of God. Brother Davis has captured the essence of this vital doctrine in words that anyone can understand. Our church ordered multiple copies to have on hand as we disciple and train new members. – JRE
Price: Only 9.99 plus shipping. Here is the link to the website where the book can be ordered:
For a free PDF preview of the book, click here: http://mariannaupc.com/biblestudylinks/
“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” – Robert Frost
Whoa! Stop the presses! Newsweek had to recall tens of thousands of copies of their magazine. The editors got a little too anxious, misread the American people, and allowed their objectivity train to derail.
Now we’re back on track!
The Last Shot
One woman was found to be using the following password:
She was asked why such a long password. “Duh! It had to be at least 8 characters and include a capital.” (Guess the color of her hair.)