JREnsey blog for April 2019

Welcome! Get a cup of coffee and start your day with “Ten things everyone should know about Apostolic Pentecostals.”


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).


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.)


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?


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!


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!”


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.


Published in: on April 1, 2019 at 6:57 AM  Leave a Comment  

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