JREnsey blog for May, 2019

Welcome! Don’t miss The Girl In the Skirt, and the review of a new book on the historical aspects of the Pentecostal Movement in the 20th century.


The Word for Today

“O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
    for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of your wings! (Psalm 61:1-4 NLT).


The Girl In The Skirt

By Paul Sibley

A father’s perspective (Alafaire Sibley)

Just as I do every week day at 2 pm, today I turn right and join the long line of cars, and trucks, and SUV’s that winds around from the back of Arlington High School out to the street.

In the distance I hear that eagerly awaited sound: the final bell of the day.

In a few seconds the metal doors will overflow with a boisterous human flood of student bodies.

As the line of vehicles starts to inch forward, the mothers and fathers, and nannas and papaws impatiently scan the jostling crowd, anxious to load up Jason or Jenna or Devon or Dharma and then hurry off to whatever is next on the day’s agenda.

But I am different from all of them.

You see, I am here on a special mission: I am here to pick up a Very Important Person.

Yes, that’s right. I am here…to pick up The Girl In The Skirt.

You know the one I’m talking about: she’s the girl who wears a modest skirt to school…

Every. Single. Day. Of. The. Year.

On the hot days at the beginning and end of the school year, she is The Girl In The Skirt.

On the wind-whipped, frostbitten days of winter, she is The Girl In The Skirt.

On the days when the other girls are “dressing out” she is The Girl In The Skirt.

While all of the tacky, tasteless, tawdry Junior Jezebels are gaming the guidelines and disregarding the directives, she remains resolute. Stalwart.


While the rest are skirting the rules, she is still The Girl In The Skirt.

I just hope she realizes how truly special she is,

How Unique. How Holy. How Becoming. How Beautiful.

And how precious and pleasing she is to her earthly father and to her Heavenly Father.

I hope she knows how much theological truth is wrapped up in wearing that skirt.

That she is holding the line on a fundamental precept that extends hundreds of godly generations into the distant past. That she is a direct descendent of Sarah, of Hannah, of Abigail, and of Esther.

I hope she remembers that she is far from commonplace or cheap.

Rather, that she has divinity in her DNA.

That she has a heavenly heritage and a strong spiritual bloodline.

That she is Regal, Righteous Royalty…

That she is nothing less than a Pentecostal Princess!

Ah, there she comes, weaving her way through the throng of preppies and jocks, of stoners and goths, of cheerleaders and slackers.

I can’t tell from here if she has had a good day or bad day, if it was a day she enjoyed or just one she endured.

Still, she has her head held high, and she walks with an air of poise and dignity and purpose.

Do you see her? It’s really easy to pick her out of the crowd…

She’s The Girl In The Skirt!

[You go, girl! JRE]


More quotes that pique the mind

“However useful my own capacities might be, it is the use others put them to that gives them value. – Clifford Readout

“A people without a heritage are easily persuaded.” – Karl Marx

“Grace rejected leads to grace withdrawn. Grace may be refused so persistently as to destroy the power of accepting it. ‘I will not’ leads to ‘I cannot.’“ – Alfred Plummer, The Gospel according to St. John

“If a baseball player hits a grand slam, to be fair, two of those runs should be given to the other team.” – An interpretation of Bernie Sanders’ philosophy (TIC – PP)

“Some people who did something.” – Islamist Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN), when referring to the 3,000 deaths on 9/11

“Bring back breadlines. Make America hungry again.” – (PP) What idiots who have no sense of what it takes to run an economy seem to be saying.

“Some people want to be given a passing grade in life without being tested.” – JRE


United Methodists fracturing over gay practices

All Bible-believing churches are in the path of an avalanche of cultural collapse, disguised as diversity or tolerance, and led by a liberal element fawning over the LGBTQ community. They are not currently pressing for congregational membership and tacit acceptance. That question seems moot in most mainline denominations. They are lobbying for gay weddings and gay clergy. Once a movement begins to weaken on this issue, there is no stopping the pressure that can be brought to bear to make more and more concessions. Only the strong will stand.

For details on this story, please visit https://www.foxnews.com/us/united-methodists-edge-toward-breakup-over-lgbt-policies


Receptus, Byzantine and Critical Greek Texts:

So What’s the Difference?

By Doug Kutilek

  1. The whole series of more than 40 different printed Greek New Testament editions from Erasmus’ first (1516), to the Elzevirs’ third (1641) are today collectively identified as “the Textus Receptus” or Received Text (the term was first used of this type of printed Greek text in 1633). The close similarity of these editions is due to the fact that they are essentially reprints (with ever so minor variations) of Erasmus’ hastily compiled first edition (which was not the fruit of long and wide and exacting comparison of existing Greek manuscripts).

By the way, the 1881 Scrivener Greek text—reprinted by the Trinitarian Bible Society (but omitting a very important appendix and all the footnotes of the original Cambridge edition), and inappropriately called a “Textus Receptus,” does not conform to any of the printed Greek texts published between 1516 and 1641, but is a manufactured text, by design conforming the Greek to the English KJV, and is historically no older than the Westcott-Hort text, published the same year (1881).

Due to Erasmus’ haste and very limited manuscript resources (two or three Greek manuscripts for most of the NT, and only one for Revelation, plus the Latin Vulgate), the TR often does NOT represent the textual reading of the majority of surviving Greek manuscripts. For example, the 1550 Stephanus TR edition, a “standard” TR edition in the English-speaking world, differs from the Hodges-Farstad’s Majority Text in 1,838 places by actual count, including many of the differences that KJVOnly advocates find most shocking in critical texts—Luke 17:36; Acts 8:37; I John 5:7 (all absent in the majority of manuscripts); this TR edition, and all others, also has some 20 readings found in NO Greek manuscript of any age. As a result, the “Byzantine” or “Majority” text, whether in the very similar editions of Hodges-Farstad or Robinson-Pierpont, is a great improvement over the various Reformation-era printed texts, The H-F/R-P texts are at least based everywhere on the readings of actual manuscripts, rather than Erasmus’ conjectures, or Latin-based alterations.

  1. The so-called “critical texts”—Westcott-Hort, Nestle-Aland, the United Bible Societies’ and similar editions—are the fruit of a very much fuller knowledge of Greek manuscripts, especially those from the earliest Christian centuries, plus other early authorities (ancient translations and quotations in the works of Christian authors). This fuller knowledge has led to the restoration of the apparent original reading of the NT in many places. Consequently, so-called critical texts differ from the TR in something over 5,000 places, but it is notable that in hundreds of places, even perhaps over a thousand (I never made a precise count), the majority text and critical texts agree against the TR. In other words, frequently where the critical texts alter the reading of the TR, they do so with the support of the majority of Greek manuscripts, the “omitted” verses noted in the previous paragraph among them.
  2. While there are numerous differences in detail of the precise wording among these three—TR, Majority/Byzantine and Critical texts—there is not any, NOT ANY, doctrinal variation among them. Though sometimes one or another printed text will lack a proof text or two among dozens for a particular doctrine (e.g., the Deity of Christ, I John 5:7, absent in both Majority and Critical), another will add a proof for the same doctrine (John 1:18, critical text). …Whatever else may be said, the issue does NOT involve the theological teaching of the NT. All published “text-types” are theologically orthodox.

As I See It, v19n4-16


Book review

From Calvary To Pentecost: A Compelling Case for the New Birth in the Oneness Pentecostal Movement

Anthony M. Peccon

Peccon Publishing, 2019; 363 pages; 8½” X 11″; 24.95 + P/H

As the Pentecostal Movement burst upon the American scene during the first years of the twentieth century, they were given the opportunity to revitalize the doctrines and practices of the apostles as no movement had before them. The slate was virtually clean. They were not branching off of any particular denomination. It was not a renewal within an established church. It was a sovereign move of God.

What belief system would become clearest as the baptism of the Holy Spirit carved out a people from the general population? What doctrines largely kept under cover by the church in power would now be emphasized? Answers were on their way.

Not long after the turn of the century, it became clear that speaking in tongues was obviously the initial evidence of the baptism of the Spirit. As they moved forward with that understanding, the message of Acts 2:38 and water baptism in the name of Jesus became standard practice among a large portion of Spirit-filled believers. The Spirit, coupled with humility, evokes clarity and understanding of the Word. Acts 2:38 began again to be viewed as embracing the fullness of the new birth Jesus spoke of in John 3:5.

The author of this remarkable and well-written book has provided us with a historical account of the men and women in the last century who chose to adopt the apostles’ doctrines in the face of misunderstanding, opposition, and even persecution. The struggles with their own faith and beliefs are also laid bare. As leaders and spokesmen arose among them, they counseled with the Word and with one another to shape the faith of the newly converted. Parham, Seymour, Durham, Bell and Ewart became household names among the believers. Early pioneers of the faith like Howard Goss, G. T. Haywood, Glen Cook, Oliver F. Fauss, and A. D. Urshan are given space and voice for their historical insights and individual slants on just what constitutes the new birth. Their particular emphases are made plain by their personal testimonies and written works.

Peccon’s massive research has uncovered approximately 1,700 quotations and references that combine to let us see into the minds and hearts of the Pentecostal leaders during the early years of the twentieth century. Organizations sprang up around particular beliefs, geographical considerations, and even race played a role in some groups. One would emphasize this particular aspect of the message and another that aspect. The sifting took place mostly during the 1920s and 1930s as a number of alliances were formed and later abandoned. The stronger associations remained, progressed, and some are still active today.

Two of the larger organizations of Oneness Pentecostals, the Pentecostal Church, Inc., and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ merged in 1945 to form the UPCI. The positions held by the principals in those organizations are codified by the author. What percentage of those groups believed that Acts 2:38 constituted the new birth? Some might be surprised to learn those statistics. The book is fully indexed for ease of study.

We are indebted to Apostolic pastor Anthony Peccon for his diligent research and the fair presentation of facts concerning the early history of Pentecostalism in America. Readers will appreciate his objectivity. It will be a positive addition to the libraries of every institution of higher learning, as well as those of individual pastors and preachers. A good investment.

The book can be ordered at www.picconeshops.com/order/book


Bible studies are still IN

Into His Marvelous Light Bible Study

IHMLCoverNo other brief, one session Bible study has enjoyed the consistent soul-winning results of IHML over the years. Often copied but never duplicated. It is attractive, well written, and doctrinally sound. It will convince any open-minded person (and some whose minds are not so open) that the new birth is absolutely essential and that Acts 2:38 constitutes that experience. It’s possible that more souls have been won with this Bible Study than with any other single teaching tool in the past 20 years. Discover how easy it is to share the plan of salvation with others. Available in English, Spanish and Italian. English is available in both KJV and NIV84.

AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each;  50-99 $1.50 each; 100 or more $1.25 each

Guide For LivingIHML_GFL_Revised

A follow-up study for the new believers and a sequel to IHML. This little booklet can be given to new members to go through alone and then come back to you with any questions they may have. It can also be taught as a text in a class. It covers the new birth, what has happened to them experientially, and walks them through their new responsibilities as Apostolic Pentecostals.

AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each;  50-99 $1.50 each; 100 or more $1.25 each

A New eBook is available:

The Role of the Shepherdess

by Roffie Ensey
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 church planter, 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 eBook Price $10.95

How Do We know The Bible Is True?

By Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge

How Do We Know the Bible Is True? is based on the absolute authority of God’s Word, not man-centered explanations. Clearly presented, it will help bring clarity in a world filled with increasingly vague notions of truth. This concise collection of apologetic truth contains over 20 relevant issues including: Is the Bible inerrant and reliable? Did the resurrection really happen? Are there contradictions in the Bible? What is the purpose and meaning of life? Did miracles really happen? Was Genesis derived from ancient myths? How should we interpret the Bible; should Genesis be literal? Within these pages you will find responses to those honest questions of faith, helping to build a confidence in God’s Word. These powerful biblical insights are soundly presented by more than a dozen respected defenders of the faith, including Ken Ham, John MacArthur, Terry Mortenson, Jason Lisle, Brian Edwards, Tommy Mitchell, Jobe Martin, Georgia Purdom, Bodie Hodge, and Roger Patterson. Only one left at only 6.95 each.

The Unbound Scriptures

Unbound Scripturesby Rick Norris

This book is for serious truth seekers only. Based on years of research and study, the author has provided us with more usable information about the Bible—its history, its manuscripts, and it soundness—than we’ve ever seen between the covers of one book. Crammed into 544 pages is an objective look at issues about the Scriptures facing our churches today. You don’t have to be a Greek scholar to glean personal help and inspiration from this book. You will be equipped to “always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). Retail: 19.99 Only $12.99. We have only one remaining. Call for your copy today! 936-537-0250.

How To Prepare For Hard Times and Persecution

by Maria Kneas

Official government documents say that evangelical Christians are potential terrorists, and some Christian groups are even called hate groups. Christian doctors and nurses are being forced to perform abortions, and a Christian baker has been threatened with prison for not baking a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. Christians in Colorado, New York, and Kentucky are being forced to go through sensitivity training in order to free them from their religious beliefs and resulting moral convictions. When Communists did such things to American soldiers, we called it brainwashing. American Christians are in the early stages of persecution, and it is increasing. Unfortunately, many will be blindsided by it because few pastors and church leaders are warning about it or preparing believers for it. The first part of How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution is based on years of research into current events from a biblical perspective. It discloses what is happening, how we got there, and where we are heading. The second part gives encouragement from Scripture and biblical principles for dealing with the challenges of the perilous times in which we live. As Christians, we cannot afford to compromise our faith. We need to believe and obey the inspired Word of God. We need to be prepared to respond to persecution biblically instead of reacting to it carnally. Only 8 left.

Only 6.95 each. Call for your copy today! 936-537-0250.

Order books and Bible studies from advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250.

See more books at advanceministries.org/store


Words popping up on my computer

Imagine: A nation that values avocados more than national security. (Note the primal scream that came from liberals when a border closing portended a dip in avocado shipments from Mexico.)

We are a nation of [legal] immigrants.

Remember: There are no rights other than those that you can defend.

And right away the new congress went from freaking out about children being separated from their parents at the border to fearing that the Supreme Court might take away their right to kill babies.

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%.

Hate crime: The heinous act of disagreeing with a liberal.

Trouble on the horizon: An anonymous statement: “I just read a book that says to treat your wife like you did on your first date. So after dinner tonight, I’m dropping her off at her parents’ house.” That is meant to be a humorous attitude and comment—and it would be if it were not the case in many marriages. That is why we need to marry well and right, so the troubles down the road are minimized. To assist our sons and daughters as they prepare to enter married life, make sure they have access to the book, “Before You Say ‘I Do’”! Only 4.95. Order it from advanceministries.org/store today!


Saying it with art

Jerry and Roffie, April 12, 2020 at 60th wedding anniversary.




The Last Word 

Don’t just grind your teeth about the bad news you hear from New York, Washington, or San Francisco. Read the Good News in the final chapters of your Bible, then go out and create some good news on your own. Share your good news experiences with us. We will share them with many others.


Published in: on May 1, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Thank you for Bro Sibley’s article, “The Girl in the Skirt.” A tribute all Apostolic girls who are holding high the banner of holiness. Beautiful young ladies. Excellent article. Barbara Westberg

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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