JREnsey blog for March 2018

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for March, 2018. Don’t miss Ten things “Yahweh” means, The Bible got history right, A dose of common sense, and the book review.

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The Word for Today

Ephesians 4:11-16 (NLT): “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”

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Insightful words from Ronald Knox

Almost always schism begets schism; once the instinct of discipline is lost, the movement breeds rival prophets and rival coteries, at the peril of its internal unity. Always the first fervor evaporates; prophecy dies out, and the charismatic is merged into the institutional.“The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard”—it is a fugal melody that runs through the centuries.

Liberty will, but for incessant vigilance, degenerate into license.

As we clamor for our liberties, shout our demands for our “rights,” and wave our flags of freedoms, let us never forget the words of Socrates: “The downfall of nations may be laid at the feet of the abuse of their founding principles.”

– Ronald Knox in Enthusiasm

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The Bible got history right

My readers know well my penchant for archaeology. I spent some time on a dig in Israel uncovering the area at Joshua’s altar on Mt. Ebal (Joshua 8:30). It solidified my faith in the truth and accuracy of our Bible. If the Bible says it happened, it happened. Nothing has been uncovered in the Holy Land that nullifies that fact.

I recently read an article published by the Biblical Archaeological Society (BAS), which conveyed:

“Archaeology in the biblical lands has yielded an ever-growing understanding of history. It has also given us startling confirmations of some stories in the Bible. From King Solomon’s fabulous wealth to Assyrian torture practices, tantalizing clues to people, places recorded in Scripture have surfaced over the centuries from discoveries of steles, ostraca, ancient scrolls and the ghosts of long-buried cities.

Take the legendary gold of King Solomon. Some scholars had dismissed the Bible’s accounts of his Golden Temple as sheer fantasy. Yet careful examination of historical evidence shows that such lavish display was a standard practice of the ancient world. What’s more, a huge triumphal relief at an Egyptian temple confirms the Bible’s report of the looting of Jerusalem by Pharaoh Shishak—thus providing a plausible explanation of the fate of that elusive gold treasure.

Biblical scholars and archaeologists are literally digging ever deeper into the actual history within the Bible, uncovering proof of the people and stories that are so familiar to the world. [It is unusual for BAS/BAR to use the words “confirmation” or “proof” in discussing biblical finds that corroborate the scriptural accounts.-JRE]

Consider the story of David and Goliath. Today we have historical evidence that King David existed, and archaeologists even believe they’ve discovered the biblical Goliath’s hometown.

We’ve also learned much over the past 150 years about mankind’s most obsessive activity—war—in ancient times. Battles and victories related in the Bible have been confirmed, historical kings identified despite altered biblical names.

The Bible also records the Assyrians conquest and ancient inscriptions add the gory details. The Assyrians had people impaled on stakes, beheaded, flayed and burned alive. The Bible presents these tales as the history of ancient Israel. And indeed, the archaeological evidence and scholarly expertise in reading and interpreting ancient text is confirming more of the history every day. (End report)

Nothing is more exciting or enjoyable than to research and uncover truths as they are expressed in the Bible.

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10 Things “Yahweh” Means

God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” (Exodus 3:15)

God’s name is almost always translated LORD (all caps) in the [KJV]. But the Hebrew would be pronounced something like “Yahweh,” and is built on the word for “I am.”

So every time we hear the word Yahweh, or every time you see LORD in the English Bible, you should think: this is a proper name (like Peter or John) built out of the word for “I am” and reminding us each time that God absolutely is.

There are at least 10 things the name Yahweh, “I AM,” says about God:

  1. He never had a beginning. Every child asks, “Who made God?” And every wise parent says, “Nobody made God. God simply is. And always was. No beginning.”
  2. God will never end. If he did not come into being he cannot go out of being, because he is being.
  3. God is absolute reality. There is no reality before him. There is no reality outside of him unless he wills it and makes it. He is all that was eternally. No space, no universe, no emptiness. Only God.
  4. God is utterly independent. He depends on nothing to bring him into being or support him or counsel him or make him what he is.
  5. Everything that is not God depends totally on God. The entire universe is utterly secondary. It came into being by God and stays in being moment by moment on God’s decision to keep it in being.
  6. All the universe is by comparison to God as nothing. Contingent, dependent reality is to absolute, independent reality as a shadow to substance. As an echo to a thunderclap. All that we are amazed by in the world and in the galaxies, is, compared to God, as nothing.
  7. God is constant. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He cannot be improved. He is not becoming anything. He is who he is.
  8. God is the absolute standard of truth and goodness and beauty. There is no law-book to which he looks to know what is right. No almanac to establish facts. No guild to determine what is excellent or beautiful. He himself is the standard of what is right, what is true, what is beautiful.
  9. God does whatever he pleases and it is always right and always beautiful and always in accord with truth. All reality that is outside of him he created and designed and governs as the absolute reality. So he is utterly free from any constraints that don’t originate from the counsel of his own will.
  10. God is the most important and most valuable reality and person in the universe. He is more worthy of interest and attention and admiration and enjoyment than all other realities, including the entire universe.

– by John Piper

And no one but Jesus could say, “I came but I was already here!” Or, “I am going away but I will never leave you!” He IS!

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Said or read—word pictures

How to know if there is really a government shutdown: Have they stopped taking money out of your paycheck?

Obama’s legacy of 8 years: Made school lunches inedible, health insurance unaffordable, and police lives unimportant.

The same ones who are upset about deporting children are the same ones who are encouraging aborting babies.

Racist: Anyone who wins an argument against a liberal.

It’s really quite simple: If Americans won’t vote for Democrats, then they will import people who will.

One liberal to another: How do we get workers to believe keeping more of their money is bad?

In 2010, Obamacare was passed without a single Republican vote and hurt America. In 2017, tax reform was passed without a single Democrat vote and helped nearly every American.

Everything you need to know about liberals: They call Americans “deplorables,” and illegals “dreamers.”

Hollywood liberals are still bashing the president. Weren’t they supposed to be in Canada by now?

Liberal logic: North Korea’s missiles can’t hurt us if we declare America a missile-free zone, huh?

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’s be a shortage of sand.” – Milton Friedman

News media: “Tonight we are going to skip news about the tremendous growing economy to bring you an important report on a bad word President Trump allegedly said.”

The immigration situation is like a “dreamer” getting his parents to sneak him into Disneyland and then blaming Disney for kicking him out.

The word “politics” is derived from “poly” meaning “many” and “ticks” meaning blood-sucking parasites.”

If Trump came out in favor of oxygen, liberals would suffocate themselves.

It was hard to believe, but there he was. The Democrats sent a Kennedy out to rail against sexual harassment.

What’s that hat the Dems are wearing—Make America Grumpy Again?!

Source: Patriot Post, et al

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Here’s a dose of common sense

“Okay, I’ll be the bad guy and say what no one else is brave enough to say, but wants to say,” said Kelly Guthrie Raley, who was named Eustis Middle School Teacher of the Year 2017-2018 last month. She was writing in a now-viral Facebook post following the mass shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Raley said she’ll “take all the criticism and attacks” for her opinion because, as a teacher with two decades of experience, she has to worry about an active-shooter situation on a daily basis. The middle school teacher said over her almost two decades as an educator that she’s seen an increase in violence and a lack of compassion among students.

“Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the mental health issues, lack of discipline in the home, horrendous lack of parental support when the schools are trying to control horrible behavior at school (Oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I’ll say it—violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others’ lives—as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each others’ faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school.”

Well said, Kelly, who loves hunting and four-wheeling in her spare time, adding that she grew up with guns in her home.

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The dominoes are falling

Atheists are calling foul after President Trump referenced Christianity, and specifically Jesus Christ, in his remarks last month at the 66th annual National Prayer Breakfast.

With nary a nay, Congress has scrubbed Thomas Jefferson’s name from a park built to celebrate one of his life’s great achievements and the way it changed America. Where will this censuring of history end?

Walgreens has become the latest company to allow people to choose which bathrooms to use without regard for their biological sex.

George Soros funds movements to disrupt communities in the U.S. and it seems the Russians helped him organize the Antifa’s anti-Trump rallies.
How is it that highly organized protests keep popping up across the country? Follow the money.

A high school in Ithaca, New York has pulled its musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame after social justice student activists complained about a leading role being handed to a white student.

U.S. speedskater Shani Davis injected race into the Olympics. Fellow athletes voted 4-4 on who would be the flag bearer for the U.S. teams, with Davis and Erin Hamlin in the tie. When a coin toss decided the winner, Hamlin won. Davis cried racism and that the coin toss was “dishonorable.” He noted that February is Black History Month, thus injecting racism into the choice.

Racism is repugnant. But it should be repugnant to all parties. Equality was MLKs point well made. But is that what is seen in our culture today?

Click, click, click…Can you hear them falling?

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If you read the news…

You might think that the media would give a standing ovation IF:

  • ISIS had defeated U.S. forces and enlarged the land area they controlled in Syria and Iraq.
  • the economy was in the tank.
  • the MS13 boys would have murdered Trump’s family.
  • black unemployment was at 50%.
  • there was a growing line of people at the border buying opioids from smugglers.
  • Nancy Pelosi was elected president.
  • Christianity was outlawed in America and Islam was elevated as the official religion.

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A personal note

Kudos to you, Officer Michael Leonard, who spotted and arrested the Florida school shooter. You made all red-blooded Americans button-popping proud…me especially. The reason? Listening to you speak so well in the interview about your experience with the killer reminded me about your heritage. My mind zipped back to 1961 when I baptized your grandmother, Frances Leonard. She was my first convert to baptize as a pastor. Someone took a picture just before I put her under in the name of Jesus. I pastored your mom and dad—Eddie and Loretta Leonard—for several years before you came along. You have been a joy to them. I am happy your family is still in church and living for God. Please give your mom and dad a big hug for Roffie and me. We love you! Keep up the good work—we depend on men like you to ensure the safety of the rest of us. God bless you!

Flash! This just in—February 27 was named Michael Leonard Appreciation Day in Broward County, Florida! Thanks again, Michael, for your dedicated service.

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More Middle Ages tinkering with the Bible

Why is the story of Saul’s experience on the Damascus Road incomplete in Acts 9 in contemporary versions?

Single version advocates often rail on contemporary Bible translations for “omitting” (a favorite term) or changing certain words or verses that are in the 1611 KJV. One example is Acts 9:5,6 where these words appear in the KJV: “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him….”

Those words are not in Acts 9 in the ESV, NLT, NASB, HCSB, NET and other versions not based entirely on the Textus Receptus. Why? Did the translators of the new versions not like the details of the conversation between Jesus and Saul? Was this a sign of modern scholars deleting portions of the authentic Scriptures?

Of course not. But if someone only read one side of the story, they would be deceived by the wild claims of the extremists. What is the truth?

There is no credible Greek manuscript with those words in Acts 9. They worked their way into the Catholic Latin Vulgate and from there into the English Bibles. The first English New Testament was done by Wycliffe who translated the corrupt Latin Vulgate into English in the 14th century. The later English translators followed his work and added the words to the story in Acts. The words are genuine, but they are taken from Paul’s testimony in Acts 22:10 and 26:14, which appears in virtually all Greek manuscripts. It seemed good to the Catholic copyists to insert them in order to harmonize Acts 9 with Paul’s later testimony. The words are authentic, but not in Acts 9.

The words appear at Acts 9:5 in only one late 14th century minuscule diglot (no. 629), which contained several NT books in Greek, with the Latin Vulgate side by side with the Greek. The Greek text of that copy had been revised to conform to the Latin Vulgate, but it also contained a number of unusual and unique readings found nowhere else. Evidently, pressure was put on Erasmus to include the words in chapter 9 in his 1527 fourth edition of his Textus Receptus, a Greek textual compilation drawn from a handful of late manuscripts and the Latin Vulgate. In that edition, Erasmus varied from his previous editions in over 90 places, including Acts 9:5,6, to conform more closely to Cardinal Ximenes’ Roman Catholic Complutensian Polyglot’s version of the Latin Vulgate, which had been published a few years earlier.

Virtually all textual critics and Bible scholars acknowledge the borrowing from Acts chapters 22 and 26 to “complete” the record of Acts 9. That is why the words do not appear there in contemporary Bibles, and should not be in the KJV. The words were not removed from the Bible—only from a 1611 expanded version where they had been mistakenly inserted by translators more beholden to Catholic documents than to actual Greek manuscripts.

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Book review

100 Tough Questions About God and the Bible

By Stephen M. Miller; Bethany House Pub.; 237 pages; 13.99

The title was intriguing, so I ordered it. I love to see how answers to our toughest questions can be uncovered right in the pages of God’s Word. That was the anticipation I felt when unpacking this book. Perhaps this book would deal wisely with some of the questions readers encounter when doing their daily Bible reading.

However, what I found was a book with 100 questions but few answers, if any. It seems that the author has utilized a common avenue of expressing his doubts—forming tough questions and then concluding that the Bible is quite ill-suited to serve as an answer book. Perhaps it is his news journalism degree from Kent State that prompted him to respond to a question about why God confounded the languages at the Tower of Babel thusly: “It’s not clear what the people did that upset God.” You instinctively know that here is the language of a secular journalist. Reporters are forced to refer to the madman with a smoking AR-15 in his hand, with bodies strewn in a circle around him, as “the alleged gunman.”

His answer to this Babel question is typical of most in the book: “Some folks say they take the Bible story literally, as history.” Oh, I see. Tough questions about the biblical record are resolved by indicating that the stories are nothing more than myths, which thinking persons should not take seriously. Although he claims to be a Nazarene, he writes like a columnist for the Mother Jones magazine. Bible believing scholars say this, “but others say…” is a favorite line. You always get the idea that he believes “the others.”

His answer to the question: “Why did God introduce himself to Moses by speaking from a burning bush, of all things?” is worded so the reader will immediately think: how stupid is God? In his two-page response he quotes the others who say, “The fire may have been no more physical than a vision, a dream, or the celestial form Jesus seemed to take in Matthew 17:2. …God glows. So it seems, if we take literally some Bible descriptions of him. Blah, blah, blah.” He is regurgitating Kent State professorial blather.

The book is a doubter’s primer. Save your money.

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BooksBooksBooksBooksBooksBooks

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

The Couch & The Cross

J. R. Ensey

This book exposes the psychology industry’s inroads into Christianity. It answers many of the questions people have about counseling in general and Christian counseling in particular. The Word and Spirit of God are set forth as sufficient to the true healing of the soul. Drugs and other chemicals may affect physical ailments and change moods artificially, but true deliverance and healing always come through Christ and His Word.

eBook format only.  AM price $9.95

 

The New Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary

Compiled and written by J. R. Ensey

The only reference volume of its kind 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 1,000 words that are found in reference works and the Bible…turn to The New Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary!

Contains:
– Over 1000 entries
– Definitions and descriptions of many Bible words, theological terms, and religious movements
– 486 pages of easy-to-read, easy-to-use 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.   eBook format only          AM price $12.95

 

Order your Into His Marvelous Light Bible studies from us. Why pay more? Only $1.25 each in quantities of 100 or more; 1.50 for quantities of 50-99; only 1.75 each in quantities less than 50. This is the greatest soul winning tool being used today. Available in English, Spanish, Italian.

The English Version is available in KJV and NIV84.

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

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Worth a thousand words

But it may not be quite as comfortable as when you were sitting in your La-Z-Boy at home.

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The last word

The real cause of school shootings is kept under wraps because of the billions of dollars flowing from the pharmaceutical industry to the politicians in Washington and the leftist media. Virtually all of the school shooters have been on psych drugs that are handed out wholesale to kids in school and to military personnel, often for no justifiable cause. Americans are consuming over one BILLION psych pills per DAY! The urge to kill people, often including themselves, is one of the stated side effects. Big pharma is spending over $6 billion annually on media ads to push drugs down our throats—literally. President Trump has been a lonely voice to oppose the opioid traffic crossing our southern border. Why? Because he doesn’t need big pharma’s money! Weep for your children!

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Dry your eyes with this: The Apostolic message is reaching farther and going deeper into the world’s population than ever before. Keep pushing, keep giving, keep going, and keep fearlessly sharing the saving gospel of Jesus Christ! Read the back of the Book—we win!

JREnsey

Published in: on March 1, 2018 at 3:22 AM  Leave a Comment  

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