JREnsey Blog October 2019

Welcome to the October 2019 blog. Is America doomed? Goodbye, Miami. Read The Word for Today first. This world is not our home!

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The Word for Today

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:1-3 NLT).

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DOOMED!

Here is another “disease” designed in part to enrich the nation’s psychologists: Doomophobia! New psych therapies are being developed to help people cope with the fear of climate change being foisted upon the American public by the media and Al Gore types. Wild-eyed and wide-mouthed politicians are scaring our school kids and even collegians that the planet is doomed unless we adopt measures to shut down our industries and energy sector corporations. One of them screamed recently that Miami will soon be gone—underwater—if we don’t move quickly. Those not old enough to remember that this is the same kind of rhetoric that was dished out in the early 70s. Then they were warning about a new ice age, which soon morphed into global warming. Then overpopulation was going to doom the planet to starvation in ten years unless we did something to curb population growth. All, of course, to scare people into accepting abortion as a means of population control. After abortion was approved, the chatter subsided for decades. Now they are back at it with a vengeance. The world is doomed without the Green New Deal. OAC and Bernie are so 1970s.

Get a grip, folks. We just experienced a gully-washing, house-flooding rain in S.E. Texas after a lengthy dry spell. It happens occasionally. It is called Weather. Storms. Seasons. It has been happening since a guy named Noah experienced it over 4,000 years ago.

Relax. Turn the TV to the wall. Unplug it…or better, just toss it in the dumpster. And don’t call the psychologist.

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Sanders has the answer: population control will save us!

During the presidential candidate’s marathon town hall on climate change recently, an audience member asked Bernie Sanders if he was “courageous enough” to address the issue of curbing global population and if he would make it a “feature” of his plan for addressing the “climate catastrophe.” This question comes straight out of Paul Ehrlich’s book, The Population Bomb, the 1968 junk-science screed that peddled the global overpopulation myth. Yet this debunked ideology still captivates the minds of many ecofascists.

Sanders responded with an answer that would make Planned Parenthood founder and eugenicist Margaret Sanger proud. “The answer is yes,” he stated. “And the answer has everything to do with the fact that women in the United States of America, by the way, have a right to control their own bodies and make reproductive decisions. The Mexico City agreement, which denies American aid to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control, to me is totally absurd. I think especially in poor countries around the world where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies and where they can have the opportunity through birth control to control the number of kids they have, it’s something I very, very strongly support.”

Beyond Sanders affirming the myth of global overpopulation, he plays that old political game of mischaracterization. When Sanders talks of the Mexico City agreement, the 1984 rule that forbids U.S. funding of foreign nongovernmental organizations that “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning,” he expands this ban against abortion to include all forms birth control, something the agreement does not do. Evidently for Sanders, abortion is the only form of birth control worth advocating.

Secondly, Sanders exposed himself as a population-control extremist who is literally calling for the killing of preborn babies, especially in poorer countries, because he thinks this will help the climate. This kind of extremist talk coming from one of the leading presidential candidates should be unnerving to every American.

As The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh notes, “[Sanders] sees a world populated by normal people, on one hand, and surplus people on the other hand. His simple, if genocidal, solution is to throw away the surplus. This raises an obvious question: Why doesn’t Sanders include himself in the surplus? As G.K. Chesterton once observed: ‘The answer to anyone who talks about the surplus population is to ask him whether he is the surplus population, or if he is not, how he knows he is not.'” Walsh also observes, “The funny thing about people who advocate reducing the population to save the planet is that they always want to start by killing babies.” The defenseless make easy targets.- Blaze

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You knew

A coroner dealing with the Dayton, Ohio shooting has now confirmed that the anti-anxiety (benzodiazepine) drug, and Xanax (alprazolam), were in the shooter’s blood stream. Since 2008 at least nine similar acts of  violence were committed by someone taking this same class of drugs (benzodiazepines). Of these, six had taken Xanax, including the Las Vegas shooter. Drugs pull the trigger!

One study shows these types of drugs can cause behavior leading to “serious crimes and sometimes homicides.” Another found they increase the risk of someone committing a homicide by 45%.

When are we going to wise up and admit that it is not guns that are killing Americans, but drugs, alcohol, and tobacco (nearly one-half million per year), plus a severe lack of common sense.

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Tongue of the learned

Some quotes from Carl F. H. Henry’s book Twilight of a Great Civilization

“We sit glued to television sets, unmindful that ancient pagan rulers staged Colosseum circuses to switch the minds of the restless ones from the realities of a spiritually-vagrant empire to the illusion that all is basically well.”

“The late twentieth century is bone-weary of the indefinite and inconclusive and indecisive; what it needs is a sure Word of God.”

“The fountains of the great deep seem to be broken up in our times.  Institutions that have endured for a millennium are awash, and the surly question before us, is whether the whole fabric of civilization can survive the present rate of economic and social alteration.”  Quoting Russell Kirk, p. 16

Then I saw this somewhere:

“Truth is violated by falsehood, but it is outraged by silence.” – Henri-Frederic Amiel

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A salute to our veterans

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Book review

Roads We’ve Traveled

Autobiography of Walter Griffin Morgan

404 pages; 15.00

We have too few biographies of Pentecostals who left a mark on their generation. Here is one with details that will keep your interest. If you like to look deep inside a person’s life and feel like you are a companion on the roads he’s traveled, you will enjoy the story of Brother Walter Morgan.

Born into a struggling Southern family locked in the jaws of the Great Depression, Walter rose above the constraints of poverty and constant family changes that put him on the roads at a young age. Moving from pillar to post as a child wasn’t too unusual for the times, but readers who were never scarred by those rough edges of life will be captivated by his experiences of hitchhiking while just a young boy. You will smile at his teenage crushes as girls were attracted to his good looks and modest, self-effacing personality.

After a tour of duty in the Navy, he returned home to Southwest Louisiana to marry Lou Wilda VanWinkle of DeQuincy. Although he had a Baptist background of sorts, he had fallen in love with a Pentecostal girl whose life and testimony led him to a deep commitment to the Lord and conversion to the Apostolic faith. He was baptized in the name of Jesus and received the Holy Ghost in Singer, LA by pastor H. H. Phillips. When the call came to preach, he was ready. More lean times would follow but Walter and Lou Wilda were overcomers who seemed to win every major battle with life as they moved from one place of ministry to another in Kansas, Washington, and ultimately back to their beloved Louisiana where he assumed a pastorate in Lunita. His association with leaders and pastors whose names most Pentecostal readers will recognize, served to prove his mettle as a man of God.

He and Lou Wilda raised their four children, Trina, Denise, Nathan and Harlan during these ministerial and job stints. It seems they were never far from the highways. As you read, you may find yourself singing “On the road again….” You will laugh with them as they travel through life together, serving God and others and enjoying every minute of it. Funny experiences seem to pop up at every mile marker.

His final years were spent working with his son, Harlan, who pastors a thriving church in Sulphur (Lake Charles), LA. A fulfilled ministry behind him at age 84, he passed this life with a smile on his face, kept there through the years by his love for God and his passion for the roads of life traveled with Lou Wilda.

Read and enjoy the ride with them.

Order via email at oldmorgans@aol.com or by phone: 337-515-3440

The Commission in Matthew 28:19

Last month I mentioned an article titled An Analysis of Matthew 28:19. The many requests for copies made me know that publishing it was the right thing to do. For almost two millennia the verse has befuddled casual Bible readers and theologians alike. As Oneness believers we can handle it with learned explanations. But how many honest-hearted folks have decided against single-name, apostolic baptism because of this verse? The chances are more than good that the trinitarian baptismal formula was not an original part of Matthew’s Gospel. That is not just my opinion but that of many textual scholars who have looked closely at the issue.

Since the show of interest in the article last month, I have expanded it considerably, adding more witnesses who doubt the originality of the triadic formula in Matthew’s Gospel. If you would like a copy of the updated version of An Analysis of Matthew 28:19, here is a link:  Go Here. You can copy and print it. Your critique of the article is invited.

The generally respected conservative scholars at Dallas Theological Seminary, where Dr. Daniel Wallace (mentioned in last month’s blog) holds forth, had a major role in developing the New English Translation (NET). In the Bible’s textual apparatus at Matthew 28:19, they supported the inclusion of the triadic phrase by referencing two dissertations by authors Benjamin J. Hubbard (1974) and Jane Schaberg (1982). However, as it turns out, neither of these authors seem to believe the triune formula came from the mouth of Jesus. Hubbard states in his Matthean Redaction of a Primitive Apostolic Commissioning[1] that he believes the “proto-commission” (original or primitive spoken version) may not have even contained “an express mention of baptism. Thus, this part of the reconstruction reads: ‘preach (the gospel) to all nations, (baptize) in my name for the forgiveness of sins. (And behold,) I will send the Holy Spirit upon you. We then examined the Matthean redaction of the proto-commission and concluded that Matthew did not himself compose the triadic formula but drew it from the usage of his church. The shorter reading (‘make disciples of all nations in my name’) corresponds better in some respects to the proto-commission. One might even argue that it was not Matthew who inserted the triadic baptismal formula but a later scribe.” (pp.165,166) Hubbard generally agreed with Strecker who holds that “the passage is a combination of a pre-Matthean ‘word of revelation’ with a Matthean expansion bringing the passage into harmony with his theological position. …It is not Matthean in language and the redactor would hardly have introduced the practice into his community.”[2] Hubbard says the strength of this position “lies in [Strecker’s] contention that traditional and redactional elements have gone into the makeup of Matthew 28:16-20, and that Matthew himself did not compose the triadic baptismal command.” (p. 6). In other words, he has serious doubts that the formula was in Matthew’s original gospel or that he was the author of it! And the DTS scholars are quoting him as a source for the longer triadic phrase? Incredible. Hubbard even adds that the “all nations” portion of the verse may have originated with information from a “Gentile missionary who had come in contact with the narrative of one of the eleven disciples and added the stress on the Gentile mission.” This might be the source of Daniel Wallace’s suggestion (published in this blog last month) that the triadic formula may have been added to the Gospel as an expansion “by Matthew or a later scribe.”

And what of Schaberg’s book The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?[3] Wading through her theological conjurations about the “mystical regeneration” of baptism, “the distinction of the Son from Spirit as a separate person,” and the counting of biblical triads, particularly in Hebrew apocalyptic literature, defines tedium. She gives a half-hearted nod to the concepts introduced by Hubbard as she adds that for her the idea of the Trinity is “a personal fascination,” although to some scholars it has become “a museum piece with little or no relevance to the crucial problems of contemporary life and thought, an example of the absurd lengths to which theology has been carried.” To other scholars, she claims it is little more than “a bizarre formula of sacred arithmetic…relegated to the realm of inaccessible mystery…of blind and ‘loyal’ faith…the rubbish the churches have added to the NT.” (Preface)

Schaberg refers to Coneybeare’s view that the triadic phrase was a later insertion “has won fairly wide acceptance,” naming a number of other scholars who hold that view. The primary problem, she intimates, is that there is no Matthean manuscript without it. (p. 27) True, but neither is there a Matthean manuscript with the phrase dated before institutional Christianity embraced the doctrine of the Trinity at Nicea and began making copies of the Bible to reflect Nicean theology. Without actually counting, it seems that most of the scholars she references believe the phrase was an interpolation, a later expansion, or an expression of a gradual liturgical development rather than an actual Matthean quote from the mouth of Jesus. Her emphasis in the book, however, was to seek for a parallel of the Matthean pericope in the prophetic visions of Daniel 7. It appears she concludes that “the original apocalyptic theology has been transformed by the Christian historical experience”—whatever that might mean to the casual reader.

She draws the sum line of her research: “[I conclude that] the triadic phrase in Matthew 28:19b, naming the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, is a development of the triad found in Daniel 7: the Ancient of Days, one like a son of man and angels. …I conclude also that behind Matthew 28:16-20 a traditional midrash [Jewish commentary], containing the triadic phrase, can be isolated. This midrash may have functioned as a liturgical tradition associated with the rite of baptism. …I conclude further that there is not sufficient evidence to indicate that the triadic phrase, either at the midrashic or at the Matthean redactional stage, is trinitarian.” (pp. 335-336). It is surprising that her book was recommended as support for the authenticity of the baptism formula in Matthew 28:19.

Hang on to your Bibles, folks. We haven’t heard or read the last of this issue. The final word may be that we will all accept the phrase without question as authentic when pre-Nicene Matthean MSS start showing up. No problem. As stated above, we can handle it just as it is. On the flip side, I think the next few years could be very interesting regarding the doctrine of the Trinity.

[1] Benjamin J. Hubbard, Matthean Redaction of a Primitive Apostolic Commissioning (Missoula, MT: University of Montana, 1974.
[2] Georg Strecker, Der Weg der Gerechtigheit [The Way of Justice] (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1961), p. 210.
[3] Jane Schaberg, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1982). On the last page of her book, she left us with this: “Finally, has this probe of an aspect of the  background of the Trinitarian dogma offered material to support the suggestion of some scholars that rethinking of this dogma is of value today as an alternative to or correction of static concepts of God?”

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Books

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

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 Ethic

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

Review:

“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 , email at raensey@gmail.com or phone 936-537-0250.

IHML

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! Be sure you have plenty on hand.

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

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I couldn’t resist these:

 

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The Last Word

Those who hate are usually the first to accuse others of hate.

JRE

Published in: on October 1, 2019 at 8:44 AM  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you for, again, another good word!

    CO

    cdoliver13@aol.com

    >

  2. When I read your Last Word, it reminded me of another saying I’ve seen: “Truth sounds like hate to those who hate Truth”


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