Welcome to the January blog. A new year brings new opportunities and new challenges. Let’s believe that the opportunities outweigh the challenges!
Billy Sunday’s tribute to the Bible
Twenty-nine years ago I entered the wonderful temple of Christianity. I entered at the portico of Genesis, walked down through the Old Testament art galleries, where the pictures of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Daniel are hung on the wall. I passed into the music room of Psalms where the Spirit swept the keyboard of nature until it seemed that every reed and pipe of God’s great organ responded to the tuneful harp of David, the sweet singer of Israel.
I entered the chamber of Ecclesiastes where the voice of the preacher was heard, and into the conservatory of Sharon where the Lily of the Valley’s sweet-scented spices filled and perfumed my life. I entered into the business office of Proverbs, and then into the observatory room of the prophets where I saw telescopes of various sizes pointed to far-off events, but all concentrated upon the Bright and Morning Star which is the King of kings.
I caught a vision of His glory from the standpoint of Matthew, ark, Luke, and John, passed into the Acts of the Apostles where the Holy Spirit was doing His work in the formation of the infant Church. Then into the correspondence room, where sat Paul, Peter, James, and John, penning their epistles.
I stepped into the throne room of Revelation, where towered the glittering peaks, and caught a vision of the King sitting upon the throne in all His glory, and I cried: “All hail the power of Jesus’ name! Let angels prostrate fall! Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all.”
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world if full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
– President Calvin Coolidge
Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Finally Available Online
Recently, the Israel Antiquities Authority, in collaboration with Google, launched The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, a new website that allows visitors to view and search high-resolution images of the complete Dead Sea Scrolls archive online. This is something we have long awaited.
The project uses the most advanced and innovative technologies available to image the entire collection of about 930 manuscripts, comprising thousands of Dead Sea Scrolls fragments, in high resolution and multiple spectra. Through this process, hundreds of images are now accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world over the web, with many thousands more on the way. Several hundred fragments are already viewable, and it is hoped that transcriptions and translations for many scrolls will soon be available as well.
The more you know about the Bible, the more you know you can trust it. Learn all you can about how it was written, how it was preserved and handed down to us, and how its authority still reigns over our lives.
ADDING TO THE SCRIPTURES:
The Story of I John 5:7b,8a
I John 5:7,8- “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” (KJV)
This passage of Scripture, commonly referred to as the Comma Johanneum (hereinafter, the Comma) in critical documents, has created consternation for textual scholars for almost five centuries. The passage was not in Erasmus’ 1516 first Greek edition (shown below) of what would become the Textus Receptus. Its sudden surfacing in a subsequent sixteenth century Greek text that was “probably made to order” may have motivated Erasmus to insert it into his third edition of the Greek text. Reports indicate that he may also have felt pressure from Francisco Ximenes, a Spanish Catholic priest and contemporary publisher of biblical texts and versions that included the Comma, accommodating the credibility of the Latin Vulgate, which had been including it for several centuries without sufficient Greek manuscript evidence. Only a handful of late MSS of various types also included it, if only in the margin, further demonstrating its questionable authenticity. The words in question, shown underlined above, are almost universally acknowledged to be an interpolation, although it still appears in some English Bibles printed today, if not in the text then in a footnote. It is often referred to as one of the two key scriptures supporting the Trinitarian theory of God. [To continue reading the article, click here]
TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU’VE EVER BEEN,
YET THE YOUNGEST YOU’LL EVER BE,
SO ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS.
HAVE SOME ICE CREAM!!!
Someone informed me that in honor of the 44th President of the United States, an ice cream chain of stores has introduced a new flavor: Barocky Road.
Barocky Road is a blend of half vanilla, half chocolate, and surrounded by nuts and flakes. The vanilla portion of the mix is not openly advertised and played down as an ingredient. The nuts and flakes are all plentiful.
The cost is $92.84 per scoop…so out of a hundred dollar bill you are at least promised some CHANGE! Rich folk pay more, of course, so the cost for them is $425 plus tax of 49%.
After you pay, the ice cream is presented to you in a large, beautiful cone, but then the ice cream is taken out of the cone and given to the person in line behind you at no charge.
You are left with an almost empty wallet, staring at an empty cone and wondering what just happened. Then you realize this is what “redistribution of wealth” is all about.
But all will be fine after the government sends you another stimulus check. Right?
Hooray for communism
Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric and the fair-haired Chairperson of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, said on a 12/16/12 CBS Monday morning talk show concerning China’s growth rate:
“Look, I think it’s good for China,” he said. “To a certain extent, Charlie, 11 to 12 percent is unsustainable. You end up getting too much stimulus or a misallocation of resources. They are much better off working on a more consumer-based economy, less dependent on exports, driving technology and innovation harder. Really, the one thing that actually works, state run communism may not be your cup of tea, but their government works.”
Source: The Blaze, 12/14/12
How brazen they have become! Just a few years ago Immelt would have been disgraced as a traitor, perhaps consigned to a class with Jane Fonda. How many American men and women have fought communism on every continent and sacrificed their lives to keep it out of America, and here we are with prominent persons in government and business singing its praises for how well it is working in China. They must know that our leaders want to install it here. I have been to China. Immelt should go and see for himself what China is like for the man on the street. He would never want it if he could see what it has produced in that land of slaves.
How revealing all of this is of where you want to take us, Mr. President—just as your choices for Secretary of State and Defense Secretary are sending a clear message.
What can Apostolics do to make a difference in 2013?
It is time. We can afford to procrastinate no longer. Whatever we can do for the future of the church and the future of our children, we must. I can see no detours in sight for the direction being taken by our government.
How can we make a difference?
First, there is prayer. There is still a listening God who can respond to our pleas. We do not want to pray against His will or plan, but since we are not absolutely sure of the timing of it all, we must pray as though all that we have held dear as a people is slipping away. Our Christian influence in the world through missions and other avenues of influence is quickly eroding. So pray for our government—our President, our Congressional leaders, and all who are in authority. Pray in a biblical style—strong, to the point, specific prayers.
Second, seek to make a difference locally. In prayer this morning, it seemed to surface forcefully that our local school boards would be a positive starting point. Concerned parents ought to submit their names for a position. This is where one can make a definite difference. To own the future for socialism, those in power must control the minds of our children. They are rapidly being brainwashed by liberal anti-American teachers and professors. New regulations are constantly being handed down that promote atheism and evolution, along with amoral guidelines that extinguish all semblance of biblical ethics.
Third, we must not be afraid to espouse and teach in the settings of our churches and Christian schools the absolutes of the biblical faith. I fear we have too long assumed that our kids would automatically believe the Genesis record of creation. Because we adults have heard the biblical principles of holiness for many years, we think they have absorbed them also. We figure that they have grasped the doctrinal tenets of the faith because they have been in Sunday school for a few years. Wrong on all counts. Perhaps a few have, but certainly not all, perhaps not even a majority. We are losing about 75% of our kids to the world when they reach adulthood. We must identify the reasons and address them.
There are other ways too numerous to express on this brief blog, but please consider these that I have suggested. We must make a difference in 2013!
Laugh to keep from crying
Why are we shocked by Aurora and Sandy Hook?
The recent massacre in a movie theater in Aurora, CO was done during a showing of the film Batman: Dark Knight Rises. According to reports, prior to this, in previews of the film, Skyfall, a similar violent movie, one scene has the name Aurora atop a building in bright red letters. Did the killer see this and take his cue from that film?
Some say the Sandy Hook school shooting was also in that Batman movie. On a map in one scene was the name “Sandy Hook” with the words “Strike Zone 1” nearby. A building approximately where S/H school stands was circled. Was this just a coincidence?
The nation is asking itself: How could such a heinous act be committed in America?
Easy. The shattered family of Adam Lanza, the shooter, has been on display for the entire world to see. Separation and divorce of his parents came at a critical time in his life. It is said that Nancy, the mother with whom he lived, was often a patron at a local bar. Adam was left alone in a windowless basement room with his computer and video games. “A child left to himself brings his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15). According to investigators, the boy had or may have had real organic, physical problems, and/or was disoriented by the events in his family life. Because he was different, and was apparently in the way because of those differences, his mother wanted to institutionalize him, which he did not want.
At any rate, he evidently disconnected from reality and fell into the world of violent video games, probably rife with all kinds of subliminal messaging. He spent hours with war games, science fiction, blood and gore that can easily warp one’s concepts of reality. We are not talking about Pac-man or Donkey Kong here.
When all the dust settles, we shall see what was really in his mind and in his physical body. According to WorldNewsDaily, psych medications are linked to 90% of all school shootings. The LA Times reported that Adam was a product of the mental health system and had been taking “medication” since the age of 10 and reportedly seeing a psychiatrist from at least the age of 15. Lanza’s mother reportedly told friends that Adam “was getting worse” and “she was having trouble reaching him.” The questions that need to be answered is when did Adam Lanza first receive mental health treatment, what diagnosis did he receive and what drugs had he been prescribed over his short life.
And now they want to legalize marijuana and other “gateway” drugs so they can become even more available and prolific, further degenerating the minds of our youth to make them more pliable in the hands of future tyrants. While they are busy legalizing marijuana, they are writing legislation to ban certain guns, a step toward banning ALL guns, one kind at a time. That is merely dealing with the symptoms, not the cause. It will fail to achieve its purpose just as Prohibition did in the 1920s.
Now—how do we deal with such a tragedy? From just a common sense approach:
First, we mourn with the families of the innocent victims. They will never enjoy Christmases as much in the future. Their lives are scarred forever. We share their grief.
Second, when all the children and the seven adults, including Adam’s mother (first victim, shot 4 times in the head) have been buried, we must face the task of determining why this happened. And we must not be afraid of pointing the finger of blame where it belongs—it was not guns that killed those precious children, but a warped mind, a weird combination of broken family, sickness, video games, Hollywood, and pharmacology. A corrupted mind motivated the finger that pulled the trigger.
Third, the experts are combing through the family possessions, interviewing friends and neighbors and classmates, and going over all the details to come up with a motive or reason for the tragedy, while the truth is right in the pages of the Bible (Proverbs 29:15; 1:8; 4:1-8; 13:15,18). Our culture has “unhooked” from God and the Bible, bowing to Nietzsche’s “God is Dead” theory. They shield our kids from scriptural truths that contradict what they are teaching in the classrooms.
But notice, the politicians and others seem ready to talk about prayer and love and morals and ethics when such an event takes place. They don’t want God in their everyday lives, but when a tragedy of this magnitude takes place, they are all out there, even the President, quoting the Bible and invoking God in public. What must the kids think about such duplicity and double-mindedness?
On the gun ban
Someone said that opinions are like feet—everyone has them and they all stink. Whatever position is taken or not taken on the banning of guns will cross someone’s logic and ethics. My thoughts:
On the same day of the shooting, a crazed Chinese man broke into a school armed with knives and hacked and stabbed 22 primary school children. Should knives be banned? When alcohol was banned in the 1920s, did it work? Or did it merely spawn a whole black market industry, with Speakeasies and moonshiners multiplying and proliferating everywhere.
I just read a report for last year that less than half of the 13,000 homicides in the U.S. involved guns. Assault and hunting rifles were only involved in 358 of the homicides. Knives and edged weapons accounted for 1,700 deaths, while 1,800 were committed with sticks, bats, pipes, etc.
One of our Apostolic ladies posted this comment: “Before a hand picks up a weapon, the heart/mind picks up evil. Make laws about hands all you want, it’s in the heart where the evil begins. We cannot glorify violence in film, games, TV, and not have it boil over into culture. Clean minds + clean hearts = clean hands.”
Why not ban TVs?
In this same vein—a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows 41 people were killed in 2011 from falling TVs, an increase from 31 in 2010, and 27 in 2009. The data shows that the majority of those killed were under the age of nine. CPSC estimates that more than 43,000 consumers are injured each year in tip-over incidents in the home. More than 25,000 (59 percent) of those injuries are to children under the age of 18. Falling furniture accounts for more than half (52 percent) of the injury reports. Falling televisions have proven to be more deadly, as they are associated with more than half (62%) of reported fatalities. (One more reason not to have TV!) But there are no bills currently before Congress to outlaw them. So children will continue to die from falling TVs at an increasing rate while guns remain the target for congressional legislation. Banning guns will probably work as well as Prohibition did.
Questions I am glad I didn’t ask
2. What Do You Call a Boomerang That Doesn’t Work? A Stick
3. What Do You Call Cheese That Isn’t Yours? Nacho Cheese.
4. What Do You Call Four Bullfighters In Quicksand? Quattro Sinko.
5. What Lies At The Bottom Of The Ocean And Twitches? A Nervous Wreck.
6. Where Do You Find a Dog With No Legs? Right Where You Left Him.
7. What Kind Of Coffee Was Served On The Titanic? Sanka.
8. What Is The Difference Between a Harley And a Hoover? The Location Of The Dirt Bag.
9. How Are a Texas Tornado And a Tennessee Divorce The Same? Somebody’s Gonna Lose A Trailer
– Anonymous (thank God!)
Now, admit it. At least one of these made you smile! And all you Harley riders that dish it out to the rest of us, just take a little back on No. 8. It was just too funny to leave out. Nothing personal, y’understand.
Apostolic Ministerial Studies
Pastors recognize that teaching and training the aspiring ministers in their local church is imperative. Here are the tools to help you do just that. 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 to train the ministers in his local assembly. Outlines for the ministers are also included. Written and compiled by J. R. Ensey, the studies are very practical and easy to teach. Here are the lesson topics:
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
God’s Ministry Gifts
Making Full Proof of Your Ministry
Standards of Christian Conduct
The Ministry and Morality
The Word Handlers II
Shutting the Backdoor of the Church
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
“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, Tulsa, OK
AM price $119.95 for both levels
These studies also can be purchased in PDFs. AM price $89.95
No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms. – Thomas Jefferson
Try God; if you don’t like Him, the devil will take you back.
Isn’t it amazing—we can’t put the Ten Commandments in view in public places, but the duplicitous politicians put their hand on the Bible when sworn into office.
You can teach what you know, but you only reproduce what you are. (Nehemiah 13:24)