April 2021 JREnsey Blog

 

Welcome!

The First Words

“I sank beneath the waves,
    and the waters closed over me.
    Seaweed wrapped itself around my head.
I sank down to the very roots of the mountains.
    I was imprisoned in the earth,
    whose gates lock shut forever.
But you, O Lord my God,
    snatched me from the jaws of death!
As my life was slipping away,
    I remembered the Lord.
And my earnest prayer went out to you
    in your holy Temple.
Those who worship false gods
    turn their backs on all God’s mercies.
But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise,
    and I will fulfill all my vows.
    For my salvation comes from the Lord alone” (Jonah 2:5-9 NLT)

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Does God smoke?

The Bible is a serious book inspired by a serious God for serious people. But there are some curious lines in it. Some ways it is translated in places gives encouragement to skeptics, especially if nudged out of context.

  • It is interesting that at Psalm 80:4 the 1611 KJV says, “How long wilt thou be angry?” and the margin has “Hebr. “[How long]wilt thou smoke?”
  • Curses can really get serious. “From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them” (II Kings 2:23,24 NIV). A couple of momma bears fulfilled the curse.
  • The apostle Paul appeared upset when writing to the Galatians about the Judaizers in 5:12: “I wish those agitators would go so far as to castrate themselves!!(NET)
  • Love can cause strange things to happen. “My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him (Song of Solomon 5:4 KJV).
  • Job felt treated rather unfairly by the Lord: “Hast thou not poured me out like milk and curdled me like cheese? (Job 10:10 KJV).

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The age of the earth

Biblical creationists and evolutionists use very different methods when calculating the age of the earth. Does radiometric dating prove that most of the earth’s rock layers and fossils are much older than what Scripture teaches? Are dates obtained by radiometric dating reliable and are they more trustworthy than God’s Word?

Radiometric dating measures the rate of decay that an isotope undergoes over time. That rate is known as the isotope’s half-life, which is the amount of time required for half of the unstable atoms to become stable atoms.

The problem with radiometric dating is that it can prove unreliable, showing very old ages for rocks of known age. For example, rocks formed as a result of the Mt. St. Helens explosion in 1986 incorrectly date as 300,000-400,000 years old.

This is because radiometric dating relies on three assumptions: 1) the daughter atoms all come from parent atoms that were present when the rock formed, 2) the decay rate has always been the same as today’s rate, and 3) the sample has not been contaminated by parent and daughter atoms being added or removed since the rock formed. If any of those assumptions are wrong, then the resulting date is wrong.

The most reliable dating method is that of an eyewitness. The Bible provides God’s eyewitness testimony of how and when He created the earth. God has always existed, knows all things, and cannot lie. Therefore, His written Word is the infallible source of information regarding the age of the earth. – Answers March 2021

I am rather burned out on the evolutionists’ “fake news“ that the earth is over 4 billion years old. That cannot reasonably or sensibly be calculated, but they have to put forth some figure to disclaim the biblical record.

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Some good news…finally!

The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has decided in favor of a professor at Shawnee State University (Meriwether vs Hartop) who refused to call a student by the student’s preferred pronoun. The student had complained and the university had ruled that the professor must comply with the policy of “non discrimination“ of transgenders or suffer the consequences. The professor was accused of creating “a hostile environment“ for the person in question. However, the court ruled that the professor’s right of free speech had been violated, among other findings, and stated that he is not required to affirm ideas and concepts as true that are not true. (Wow!) In documents referring to the student (Doe), the term used by the university was “them self“ instead of “himself.“ That seems to be a corruption of language, science, history, biology and common sense rolled up into two words.

Such is the cultural climate at most universities today. Can anyone understand why we plead for wisdom in the careful selection of educational choices for our children and grandchildren?

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The Anti-Biblical Archaeology Review

From its inception in 1975, I have been a reader/subscriber to the magazine dubbed the Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR). My fascination with archaeology has led me to personal involvement in the work directly through the University of Haifa in Israel. Dr. Adam Zertal was the director of the archaeology department which sponsored a dig focusing on the altar of Joshua on Mt. Ebal (Joshua 8:30).

The BAR was a magazine I looked forward to each month. The founding Jewish editor was Hershel Shanks. Although his Jewish background did not allow him to be overly excited about New Testament finds that strengthened the Greek text and the Christian perspective, he seemed to give due honor to many of their discoveries. Doubtless he knew many, perhaps most, of his readers were Christians. I have to appreciate what we have all benefitted from archaeological reports that were presented in an unbiased way.

Shanks retired about three years ago and put the magazine into the hands of  a new editor. From that time it has seemed to drift steadily leftward, seemingly oriented toward a skeptical culture and anxious to cast doubt on the biblical record. It is obvious that he has little confidence that the Bible is a true record. That is his right, but his conviction bleeds through in virtually every issue of the magazine with Biblical still in its name.

I recently cancelled my subscription, telling the editor exactly why I was doing it. According to the letters to the editor section, others were doing the same thing. He evidently views himself as an iconoclast with a mission to dash every belief, both Jewish and Christian, on the rocks of skepticism.

I was annoyed when the magazine seemed all too happy to publish an article by a free-thinking archaeologist that the altar of Joshua on Mt. Ebal was probably not an altar at all but merely an outpost of some kind. I don’t believe the author had even visited the site. Having participated in the dig personally, helping to uncover artifacts that corroborated the biblical account, I am fully persuaded that it and its location fit the scriptural record exactly. But skeptics disdain validating scriptural truth.

The latest affront to Jewish history is BAR’s promotion of a book by Jodi Magness titled Masada: From Jewish Revolt To Modern Myth. I have been to Masada three times and have viewed the work of Yigael Yadin, the master archaeologist of the site, with great interest. He confirmed the record of Josephus who left a detailed history of Masada and last stand of the Jewish rebels against Rome’s legions. Ms. Magness, following in the steps of Kathleen Kenyon, who changed the narrative of the fall of Jericho by denying John Garstang’s earlier work that documented the biblical account, now thinks Josephus and the historical record of Masada that stood for nearly twenty centuries was mostly mythical. It is as if the BAR has become the CNN of archaeology, featuring alternative narratives for the sake of unbelievers.

Enough already. My letter to the editor earned no response. Cancelling subscriptions may be the only way one’s voice is heard.

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Multiculturalism’s legacy

What makes the United States exceptional is the concept of “E Pluribus Unum,” meaning “out of many, one.” This simply suggests that America was made up of diverse nationalities united behind a common set of values/virtues surrounding self-government.

But now, African-American columnist Star Parker confirms that multiculturalism increasingly tells people they don’t have to share any core American values or assimilate in any way. Multiculturalism, she says, has “morphed now into Marxism where the totalitarian state is replacing religion, our Judeo-Christian heritage where people learn to self-govern.” (Epoch News, 11/27/19)

Multicultural pluralism is not an antidote for either real or perceived racism. It is a prescription for the collapse of the American experiment. The more pluralism is imposed on the culture, the more divided we are, and the closer we are to becoming just another name on a placard at the UN. Although America is not a theocracy, we should never be moved from the certitude that God was somehow involved in the planting of this nation, notwithstanding its shortcomings. It has been the primary benefactor of missionary endeavors around the world fanning the flames of global endtime revival.

Worldwide, it has literally lifted billions of people from the throes of poverty and despair. It has beaten back forces of tyranny from our own shores to those of Tripoli and the beaches of Normandy to the sands of Iraq. And every beaten foe has been given a hand to rebuild and stand proud with new economic life. What other nation does that?

The concept of adding more stand alone cultures rather than assimilating immigrants into the American system may well speed the demise of the nation as we have known it. Diversity in the sense expressed by many college professors and millennials is nothing short of part of the overall plan to collapse the American system. Christian educators make no apology for urging families to think twice before enrolling their students in state-run institutions. Seek out private educational opportunities. And if there are young children in the home, parents are urged to seriously consider homeschooling. Christian-based schools may also be an option. Radicalization of our students in public school, when and if they reopen, is a present reality. Do not be in denial.

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Well said

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain

“If you are waiting for permission from the chief executive to celebrate Independence Day, you clearly don’t grasp the concept of Independence Day.” – Rep. Thomas Massie

“This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition.” – Thomas Jefferson (1785)

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas warned some 70 years ago, “Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”

“The best manner of avenging ourselves is by not resembling him who has injured us.” – Jane Porter (1776-1850)

Treating symptoms of depression with psych drugs is like a person with an itch—he ultimately gets diagnosed with an addiction to scratching and is treated for “scratchitis.” – Anonymous

“The truth is fascism, Nazism, socialism, and communism are all variations on a leftist theme of control and power. Don’t let them tell you that your rejection of that totalitarianism makes you the fascist when reality is quite the opposite.” – Nate Jackson

“There should be no discussion of amnesty while more than 18 million American citizens are jobless.” – Patriot Post

“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.” – Carl Sandberg

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What would you do if…

…you were in D.C. and a space alien landed by you and said, “Take me to your leader”?

…you loved Tater Tots but Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head were no longer male and female?

…you were B. Obama and craved a Coke but had to be less white to buy one?

…the new cultural police visited your church with a warrant claiming that you were disseminating misinformation about the kinds of sinners active in your community?

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Questions about the Bible your friends may have wanted to ask you.

  • What is the difference between Byzantine and Alexandrian text-types?
  • Who were the translators of the KJV?
  • Are modern versions removing words or verses from the Bible?
  • In which Bible version(s) is the deity of Christ clearest?
  • What is the Textus Receptus and how was it compiled?
  • Does I John 5:7b-8a belong in the Bible?
  • How is the Virgin Birth handled in contemporary versions?
  • Were Westcott and Hort spiritual scoundrels who denied the deity of Jesus?
  • Is the celebration of Easter mentioned in the Bible?
  • Is the Bible trustworthy?

These and many more questions are answered in my book Searching the Scriptures: Merging Truth, Texts and Translations. 480 pages with almost 1000 references. Order a printed copy at Amazon.com or get the searchable eBook at advanceministries.org/store  or call 936-537-0250.

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Teaching individual Bible studies may be the single most important thing your congregation can be involved in right now!

Get your IHML Bible Studies from advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250.

Into His Marvelous Light  in English and Spanish is available for:

1-49 $1.75 each

50-99 $1.50 each

100 or more $1.25 each

We also have tracts to advertise the study. 100 for $9.95.

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Artistic truth

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Question:

Can you find some dictum in the Bible opposing scruffy beards, blue jeans with pre-torn holes, and mechanics’ T-shirts adorning pastors in the pulpits of our Apostolic Pentecostal churches?

No, but one might look for it wrapped in common sense, and in the understanding of spiritual leadership operated by sincere humility rather than in accommodation to a fallen culture.

A left turn culturally or doctrinally is usually downhill and easy going. Returning back to the right is uphill and a hard pull. Most don’t have the gut strength to make the climb. So we should all be careful of the direction of our turns.

Thanks for visiting. Have a blessed month!

JREnsey

Published in: on April 1, 2021 at 2:57 AM  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Good stuff!


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