JREnsey blog May 2018

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for MAY, 2018. Check out: Comments on Rev. 4 by W. A. Criswell, More diversity coming, The wealthy have hearts, too, and Memory of a lightning conversion.


The Word for Today

Jeremiah 23:35-39 (KJV): “Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the Lord answered? and, What hath the Lord spoken?

36 And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God.

37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the Lord answered thee? and, What hath the Lord spoken?

38 But since ye say, The burden of the Lord; therefore thus saith the Lord; Because ye say this word, The burden of the Lord, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the Lord;

39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence.”


Memory of a lightning conversion

The little church by Stink Creek that we were using for services while planting a church in Greensboro, NC in 1961, holds some memorable moments. The lady next door to the church had started attending with her children. Her husband thought he was “too much of a man to go to church”! During one hot and humid Sunday evening, I was in the pulpit just starting the service. A severe thunderstorm was just reaching the area with unusual lightning and thunder. Suddenly we heard boots on the front porch of the church and the door abruptly few open. I looked up to see a man, with bulging eyes and running feet, heading up the aisle straight for me. We recognized it was our next door neighbor. We all knew he opposed his wife coming to our church and was capable of meanness when drinking. Heading straight for me, it seemed to this young pastor that perhaps he was going to take out his frustration on me. I stood my ground, although I was ready to move should it be necessary.

Just before he reached the platform he veered to one of the prayer altars and fell on his knees, sobbing in repentance. His surprised wife got up and came to him, and we all gathered around to pray. He cried out a sinner’s prayer if I ever heard one. He seemed to repent of every wrong thing he had ever done and perhaps some things he had not done. After awhile, he settled down and we let him explain.

“I was back of the church,” he sniffled, “down on Stink Creek leaning against a tree and having a drink of whisky when the storm came up. A bolt of lightning hit the tree, shaking my innerds and I knew I needed to pray!” Close strikes will make the hair on one’s head and arms rise up and wave. We went on with an abbreviated service with everyone patting him on the back and congratulating him. So typically in such situations…he never came back to church. The next morning the sky was blue again and he was OK. Why bother?

Lightning conversions usually occur in a flash and dissipate in a flash. How sad. I was hoping that ten years from then he would still be standing to testify about the bottle, the tree and the voice of God in the lightning.


Comments on the throne in Revelation 4 by W. A. Criswell

I often wonder at people who think that in heaven they are going to see three Gods. If you ever see three Gods, then what the [Muslim] says about you is true and what the Jewish neighbor says about you is true. You are not a monotheist, you are a polytheist. You believe in a multiplication of Gods, plural. “Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God.” We know God as our Father, we know God as our Savior, and we know God by His Spirit in our hearts. But there are not three Gods. The true Christian is a monotheist. There is one God. “I and my Father are one.” “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” The Lord God is He that speaks. It is He that John saw when he turned around. The only God you will ever see is the Lord God whom John saw in the vision of the lampstands. The only God you will ever feel is the Lord God’s Spirit in your heart. The only God there is, is the great Father of us all. The one Lord God, Christ. In the Old Testament we call Him Jehovah. In the New Testament, the New Covenant, we call Him Jesus. The one great God, standing in authority and in judgment and in judicial dignity among His churches, here today, watching over us.”  – Expository Sermons on Revelation, pp. 238-239.

– W. A. Criswell was the former pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, one of the largest churches in America; he had also been President of the Southern Baptist Convention.


“And so we are!”

Why is this parenthetical phrase in contemporary Bibles at I John 3:1 (ESV, HCSB, AMP, NASB, NIV, NET, NLT, RSV, etc.) but is omitted in the KJV? It is found in older MSS of I John (P74 Aleph A B C 33 81 614 1739 it vg al).

When Charles Spurgeon recognized that this phrase was in the new Greek text but had been omitted in the KJV, he preached a message in 1885 entitled, “A Jewel From the Revised Version—‘And We Are.’”

The simple fact is that the phrase was restored in recent times after it was discovered that the earliest MSS available had it. The KJV was following Erasmus’ 16th century Textus Receptus (TR), which was based on a half-dozen MSS that were no earlier than the eleventh or twelfth century. Those late manuscripts were lacking that phrase, so it got left out of the TR and subsequently the KJV.

The KJV translators also put the entire second half of I John 2:23 in small letters and italics, suggesting to the readers that there was little textual support for its inclusion. Later editions use only italics. That was the 1611 KJV “footnote” way of expressing doubt about the authenticity of a phrase. (They did the same in later editions at John 8:6 with the phrase “as though he heard them not.”) The latter portion of I John 2:23 reads in most Bibles: “Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also” (ESV). By the standards of KJV defenders, that amounts to a KJV “omission.” Bruce Metzger explains: “The words of I John 2:23, ‘He who confesses the Son has the Father also,’ fell out of the later manuscripts (on which the King James version depends) because of the presence of ‘has the father also’ in adjacent clauses.” Being strongly supported by early manuscript evidence, the full verse of I John 2:23 belongs in the Scriptures but KJV readers would not think so because it is in italics.

Daniel Buck adds: “[This practice of using small italicized letters to note doubtful passages] can be seen in comparing I John 5:7-8 in all 80 editions of the English New Testaments printed from 1534 to 1551 and noting that it was the usual practice to include the Johannine Comma in smaller print and enclosed in parentheses. In Jugge’s revised edition of Tyndale in 1552, the verses were printed in normal type, as in Tyndale’s first edition of 1526. This practice was then followed by the editors of the Geneva Bible, the Bishops’ Bible, and the KJV. By the time Bible editors again felt a need to call attention to the lack of textual support for the Comma, the practice of doing so with (round) parentheses, smaller font, or italics had gone out of use.”

Indicating that a phrase or verse is questionable for lack of manuscript evidence gets a contemporary version blacklisted by KJV proponents, but the KJV itself is given a pass. One should read the margin in the 1611 KJV at Luke 17:36.


You can trust the government…can’t you?

Not one of 44 House Democrats bothered with background checks for members of a close-knit group of Pakistani IT aides who ended up gaining “unauthorized access” to congressional data, a new report from The Daily Caller shows.

House security rules require members to start a background check for employees, but they can also put down that another member has vouched for the person.

The background check was waived for all five IT workers who made headlines last year for what the House inspector general’s report, described as activity with “nefarious purposes.”

Pakistan-born Imran Awan, who served as a tech aide in Congress for 13 years, managed to snag congressional IT jobs with salaries as high as $165,000 for his brothers Abid and Jamal, his wife Hina Alvi, and his friend Rao Abbas, who had just been fired from McDonald’s. Together the group was found logging into accounts of representatives who had not hired them, using representatives’ private usernames, and uploading data off of the House network, according to the inspector general’s report.

Abid was working for Representative Yvette Clarke (D., N.Y.) when $120,000 of computer equipment disappeared. Then-congressman Xavier Becerra, who hired Imran, had his server stolen after the inspector general listed it as evidence in an investigation.

Some of the inspector general’s investigators who reviewed the aides’ network activity mused that they may have been ignoring House security protocol simply to share job duties, but others felt it was something more sinister. (Ahhh…you reckon? -JRE)

– Mairead McArdle, in National Review, April 2, 2018


More anti-Christian activity coming your way dressed as diversity

By Michael Jones, Auburn University

Just four days after Easter, George Washington University hosted a training session for students and faculty that teaches that Christians—especially white ones—“receive unmerited perks from institutions and systems all across our country.”

The April 5 diversity workshop is titled “Christian Privilege: But Our Founding Fathers Were All Christian, Right?!”

Hosted by the university’s Multicultural Student Services Center, the event will teach that Christians enjoy a privileged, easier life than their non-Christian counterparts, and that Christians possess “built-in advantages” today.

The workshop discussed how Christians receive “unmerited perks from institutions and systems all across our country.”

The “Christian Privilege” workshop is one of 15 “free training opportunities” offered through the center to “equip students and staff with the necessary skills to promote diversity and inclusion in the different environments,” according its website.

Other workshops offered through the center focus on “heterosexual privilege,” “cisgender privilege,” “able-bodied privilege,” “socio-economic privilege,” “unconscious bias,” and more.

The purpose of the event was to make people aware of the privileges that Christians have and “what is meant by privilege overall and white privilege specifically,” the event description stated. [end of report]

Let’s see…I think I missed something along the way. Who is really getting privileges by law in today’s culture?

Note: Most Americans condemn discrimination based on skin color regardless of the skin color of those who practice it. However, the hypocritical biases of the socialists and anti-Christians who are condemning others for virtually any nonsensical reason is wearing thin on most thinking individuals.


Let me tell you…

Everyone knows that the best advertising is word of mouth. That is the only kind we read of in the Bible. They didn’t have sky-writing, Facebook, or even newspapers. No emails or printed pieces. Yet the early Christians reached their known world with the Gospel.

Years ago a car manufacturer used an advertising line that stressed the importance of word of mouth recommendations. It simply said, “Ask the person who owns one.” No kind of advertising beats a personal testimony from a satisfied customer.

As one poet put it:

When witnessing, and people ask,

“How do you know it’s true?”

Remember that they can’t deny

What Christ has done for you.


The wealthy have hearts, too!

John D. Rockefeller, Sr., founder of the Standard Oil Company and once the richest man in America, was also a Sunday school teacher and trustee of Erie Street Baptist Mission Church. He studied the Bible daily. He made a lot of money and gave away a lot of money. He said, “Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; ever possession, a duty.”

R. G. LeTourneau revolutionized the earthmoving equipment industry and was widely credited for aiding America’s effort during WWII. He supported numerous Christian causes and served as President of Gideons International. He was also committed to “reverse tithing”—giving 90% to God and keeping 10% to live on! He said, “I shovel money out, and God shovels it back…But God has a bigger shovel!”

Truett Cathy founded Chick-fil-A in 1946 and taught Sunday school at First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, GA for more than 50 years. To this day, his stores are closed on Sundays so all employees have the opportunity to rest and worship. Cathy once said, “If you wish to enrich days, plant flowers; if you wish to enrich years, plant trees; if you wish to enrich eternity, plant ideals in the lives of others.”

David Green, founder of the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts stores, was the driving force behind the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. As an accomplished businessman, he said, “There is a God, and he’s not averse to business. He’s not just a ‘Sunday deity.’ He understands margin and spreadsheets, competition and profits.”

Norm Miller is the chairman of the Dallas-based Interstate Batteries. He gives God credit for dramatically changing his life. In 2008, he launched the I Am Second movement. “As I got more successful in the business and people knew I was a Christian, I started to get more involved in speaking. I decided I would just give my testimony and try to lead people to Christ.”

Acts and Facts, ICR, 5/18



The Role of the Shepherdess

You will laugh and cry as you read through these inspirational pages. You’ll experience the highs and lows with the author as she takes you through the valleys and over the mountains of ministerial life. Roffie Ensey has participated in all aspects and facets of ministry discussed in the book—the wife of an evangelist, a home missionary, a missions administrator, a pastor, associate pastor (to their son), and Bible college president. It is written from the perspective of someone who has been there.

AM Price $12.95

Special Sale

We have a Workbook and Answer Key for those who wish to teach from this book. This month’s special is buy one get one free. So buy the Workbook and get the Answer Key free.

AM price $14.99

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

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 Ethics

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


“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 or phone 936-537-0250.


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!

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


Why fewer churches are using bulletins

Appearing in church bulletins:

The Pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the church would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday

The evening massage will be in the 6 PM service.

The Rev. Merriweather spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.

During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when Rev. J. F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit.

On a church bulletin during the minister’s illness: GOD IS GOOD – Dr. Hargreaves is better.

Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to the church secretary.

The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.

Applications are now being accepted for 2-year old nursery workers.


The quotable Warren Wiersbe makes it plain

“I don’t think the average church member realizes the extent of the theological erosion that’s taken place on the American evangelical scene since World War II, but the changes I’ve witnessed in Christian radio broadcasting and publishing make it very real to me. Radio programs that once majored in practical Bible teaching are now given over to man-centered interviews (‘talk’ radio is a popular thing) and man-centered music that sounds so much like what the world presents, you wonder if your radio is tuned to a Christian station. Some so-called ‘Christian music’ is just plain silly. God’s people are getting their ‘theology’ from popular religious music instead of from the Bible and the hymnal. In so much of today’s ministry, ‘feeling good’ has replaced being good, and ‘happiness’ has replaced holiness.” (Warren Wiersbe, Be Myself, p. 301)


Grin and bear it

Is that message for us?


It is interesting that at Psalm 80:4 the text says, “Wilt thou be angry?” But the 1611 KJV in the margin has “Hebr. ‘wilt thou smoke?’” So the KJV translators had to interpret at times as well as translate or simply copy previous versions.


Enjoy the greatest month of increase in your church’s history!


Published in: on May 1, 2018 at 12:08 AM  Leave a Comment  

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