September Blog

Welcome…thanks for visiting!

The First Word

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn” (Proverbs 29:2 KJV).

Hurricane Ida: Our prayers and human efforts are offered for our friends, our fellow Christians, and all Americans who were in the path of this deadly and devastating storm.

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Are Apostolic women listening?

Wise words recently came from Candace Owens, a Fox News contributor and a close observer of women in the current culture: “Women: find a good man. Get married. If you are able and willing to, have children and plenty of them. Learn to cook. Be domestic. It is a generational lie that these things enslave you. Far from it, they enrich your existence. Life is about family, not work.”

She was brave enough to offer direction to a generation that has lost its way. It is regretful the words had to come from a non-Apostolic woman.

Now don’t accuse her of being totally opposed to women working outside the home when necessary and appropriate. She’s not, but the multiplying scandals filling the news might be reduced and more families rescued from the divorce courts if American women chose homemaking and childrearing over workplaces crowded with other wives’ husbands.

That idea did not originate during the last decade. Anyone can find it in an old black-backed book called the Bible: “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed…You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them” (Titus 2:3-5).  Leaders and pastors, why not underline that last sentence in your Bible as a reminder: “You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them”? All may not be able to fulfill the entire passage to letter, but the responsibility of leadership is to teach and encourage these things.

Read those verses mentioned, Ephesians 5, and the first three chapters of Genesis and you get a good picture of God’s ideal. Not everyone can or will hang in with that prescription. But remember, the farther one gets from God’s ideal, the more problems they invite to themselves and their families. For proof, just look around.

I don’t think Paul was condemning those women who had to work in ways that were required to put food on the table and clothe the family, but shouldn’t we conscientiously strive to conform to what the Bible teaches in all possible ways?

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Where feminism has brought us

https://www.baptistpress.com/resource-library/news/first-person-mother-god-goes-to-childrens-church/

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“Seed” or “seeds” in Genesis 22:17-18?

Those who tend to vilify all but one translation or version of the Bible often refer to Genesis 22:17 as being mistranslated in some versions, thus changing the thrust of the verse. They turn to Galatians 3:16 as a proof-text. For those who know how to do your own research, check several serious textual commentaries on those verses. You may want to reference the objective treatment of the verses at  https://www.letusreasononline.com/single-post/2019/11/20/seed-or-descendants-gen-2217a

Other interesting and helpful comments are found in Barnes Notes, Ellicott’s Commentary, the Septuagint (often quoted by Jesus and the NT writers), or the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. All these and many others can be easily accessed online.

I do plan to increase biblical studies in future blogs. I invite your expressions of interest regarding particular topics and scriptures.

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Someone submitted the following to me without an author’s name.

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

DONALD TRUMP: I’ve been told by my many sources, good sources—they’re very good sources—that the chicken crossed the road. All the Fake News wants to do is write nasty things about the road, but it’s a really good road. It’s a beautiful road. Everyone knows how beautiful it is.

JOE BIDEN: Why did the chicken do the…thing in the…awww, you know the rest, man.

SARAH PALIN: The chicken crossed the road because, #&*&%$@ it, he’s a maverick!

BARACK OBAMA: Let me be perfectly clear, if the chickens like their eggs they can keep their eggs. No chicken will be required to cross the road to surrender her eggs. Period.

AOC: Chickens should not be forced to lay eggs! This is because of corporate greed! Eggs should be able to lay themselves.

HILLARY CLINTON: What difference at this point does it make why the chicken crossed the road?

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or against us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where’s my gun?

BILL CLINTON: I did not…cross the road with that chicken.

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all of that chicken’s eggs white?

Dr. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he is acting by not taking on his current problems before adding any new problems.

ANDERSON COOPER: We have reason to believe a chicken has crossed, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American, of course.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

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The Ancient Future of Apostolic Pentecostalism

Where is Christianity headed in the West? A smaller percentage of the populace is on church pews in North America than ever before. The numbers are disquieting. The only growing segments of the faith seem to be Pentecostal-oriented or small fringe elements. While our own growth is better than average, our time could come when we are searching for answers for unoccupied seats. Those answers may be different in each segment of the Christian faith.

According to journalist Todd Starnes, “42% of millennials stated they either don’t know, don’t care or don’t believe God exists. And this is a surprise? We turned our churches into glorified nightclubs starring preachers who deliver self-help sermons and worship leaders who want to be the next American idol.”

In reading other authors on this phenomenon, many seem to yearn for a return to the early 1900s. While those are historically prominent years for Evangelical Pentecostals, yet they were fraught with deep emotional divisions and serious theological battles. Others want us to reevaluate the principles of the Reformation—capturing liturgical practices and sacramental ordinances as identifiers of faith. Still others may feel that the departure from forced religious participation of medieval times, when compliance was mandated on pain of ostracism, persecution, or even death, was a wrong step.

One current appeal is for Christians to emulate, at least in spirit, the earlier Desert Fathers and mystics of the first millennial A.D. That was when fringe Christians developed so-called spiritual disciplines—a mystical and contemplative spirituality that focused on spirit guides and visions, and mistakingly disdained fleshly functions as inherently evil and worthy of punishment and a lack of personal care.

To find the true roots of our heritage, we must go back farther than that—back past the first councils marked by their struggles with inroads of Gnosticism and paganism, past the Roman persecution of the second and third centuries. We have to dig deep into the first century to find those elements of the faith that are vital for our future. If we have a future prior to the opening of Heaven’s door, an emphasis on the basics will be the key to our effectiveness and longevity. They are what makes Apostolics apostolic. Our right to that nomenclature lies in our faithfulness to the fundamental doctrines of the faith published by inspiration in our New Testament, written during the first 70 years after Christ.

Other emphases would rob us of the power of fundamental truth, which alone makes men free. Motivating faith in Christ as Savior, confession and forgiveness of sin, followed by water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ and the infilling of the Holy Spirit, plus subsequent separation unto Christ in a holiness lifestyle, are the first principles of the Christian faith. To supplant them by focusing on philosophy, scholasticism, psychology, or mind-bending quasi-religious theories being currently encouraged is to virtually guarantee a circumvention of true growth in the future.

Our future runs through our ancient past. Think about it.

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Thanks, Guv

Let’s see. Wokeness has already replaced history with the BLM curriculum. Now readin’, ’rittin, and ‘rithmatic can be forgotten. Gov. Kate Brown, the bi-sexual Oregon Democrat, signed a bill last month with little fanfare that drops the requirement that high school students prove proficiency in reading, writing or math, before graduation. Hey, who needs all that boring, highfalutin’ stuff, nohow? And in science class our kids can learn how to make safer Molotov cocktails. That would be scientific, right? And geogerfy…all we really need to know about that is how to find China on the map.

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I have heard…

That the government is planning to mandate blindfolds in addition to facemasks so you can’t see what is really going on.

That the people who are set up to dismember babies in the womb are so concerned about our health that they insist that everyone must wear masks.

That current trends were seen long ago by the Egyptians, how that Daddy could someday become a Mummy.

That if the slogan “Rules for thee but not for me” were a person, it would look just like Barack Obama.

That the shopping cart with one loud, gyrating, annoying wheel is called an AOC cart.

That the Congress has rejected the security protocols for their Capitol that are in place at the border. I wonder why?

That circuses are struggling to find new clowns since all the top prospects have decided to go into politics.

That shutting down the nation for two weeks would curb the spread of the virus. Someone suggested that they shut down the government for a couple of weeks to curb the spread of totalitarianism. Hmmmm….

That some when being asked by restaurant managers to show their virus vaccination cards are requesting to see the vaccination proof and test results of the restaurant’s waitstaff regarding AIDS or other contagious diseases.

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Why won’t they take their own medicine?

An info blast that shook things up on social media a few days ago stated that the White House, the CDC, FDA, Pfizer, Moderna, WHO, and Johnson & Johnson did not mandate their employees to be vaccinated as they are for businesses and corporations that do business with the government. They must know something we don’t. I began to research that claim and see if it were true before publishing it. Here’s what I have found so far:

First this: The Red Cross says they need blood donors, but not plasma from those who have been vaccinated. Why? The vaccine destroys the natural antibodies.

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not currently mandate vaccination for employees. They provide mumbo-jumbo about the meaning of “mandatory.” I thought immediately of Bill Clinton trying to excuse his morals by arguing about the definition of “is.”

The White House on July 23 announced it did not mandate vaccinations for their employees. Later, on July 29, they announced they it would now be mandatory for all employees of government agencies, including the White House. It is strange that as soon as the information had gone out that these employers did not mandate vaccinations, the FDA suddenly announced its approval of the Pfizer vaccine. Shine a light and the roaches get moving.

Pfizer confirmed it had a “similar policy” for just its U.S. employees. Outside the U.S. the company is “strongly encouraging all colleagues who are able to do so” to be vaccinated. The people making, selling, and administering the vaccine to others aren’t able to do it to themselves?

Moderna, another major vaccine supplier, announced quickly after the info went viral that they planned to require vaccination for all of its U.S. employees by October 1. Why wait? On the positive side, the company said they would consider requests for medical and religious exemptions on an individual basis.

Johnson and Johnson announced on August 20 that they would begin mandatory vaccinations for its U.S. employees by Oct. 4, about five weeks away from the date of this post. If unvaccinated people are “murderers” as the President has said, why wait? “Individuals who have medical conditions or other reasons not to be vaccinated will be able to seek accommodations,” they said. We’ll see.

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a response that said: “The World Health Organization does not presently support the direction of mandates for COVID-19 vaccination, having argued that it is better to work on information campaigns and making vaccines accessible.”

At least the informative news blast that circulated in late August—and was at least partially accurate—evoked some movement and provided a few answers.

Source: 9News.com 8/25/21

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Book review

Why Men Hate Going to Church

By David Murrow

Thomas Nelson, 2011; 239 pages; 15.99 or less from Amazon

Men are AWOL from many churches, as if there was a restroom sign on the front door saying “Women Only.”

Why?

Not many of us have stopped to ask ourselves that question. Or if it does tiptoe across our mind it is dismissed with a shrug and self-speak like, “Well, that is just the way men are. They are not as receptive to the gospel as women.” Then we dust our hands and forget about it.

But soul winners can’t forget. Pastors who care can’t forget. Leaders called by God can’t forget. Lay persons who love can’t forget.

What is disenfranchising so many men today? Why are they staying home, or choosing to be elsewhere on Sunday? How can we influence more men to serve God? Don’t give this book a second thought unless you are serious about finding some answers.

One of the most effective ways to win men is to first discover why they are not presently being won. Any pastor who considers the research Murrow has put into this book will be motivated to make whatever adjustments are necessary to move toward a greater percentage of men in their congregation. He pulls no punches. He tells it like it is. He is not a soldier in the man-only army. He is balanced, but he knows many of the obstacles turning men away from churches today. I found the book very helpful, as some others have. You may not adopt every idea or concept, but I guarantee some of them will appeal to you.

Chapters fall under the three main sections in the book:

  • Where are the men?
  • Church culture vs. man culture
  • Calling the church back to men

The chapter on contemporary Christian worship, and how it has turned many men off, is worth the price of the book alone. The author is familiar with many denominations—from Catholic to Pentecostal. He lists 12 things men fear about the church, and how the church is driving boys away from the church. He deals frankly with relationships, what attracts men to church, and shows how to engage men.

You will enjoy reading the book while you are getting a wealth of ideas you can put into practice in your local assembly.

Buy this book! You will not regret it. If you do and you honestly find it worthless, send it to me and I will pay you whatever you paid for it. Offer extends through October 31, 2021. –  JRE

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Books

Does God Really Care….?

by J. R. Ensey

Do hair and clothing styles really matter to God? This is actually two booklets in one (flip book), presenting a Christian perspective of I Corinthians 11 and Deuteronomy 22:5. Perhaps no passages of biblical literature have been so attacked by modern change agents as these two. There must be a reason.  Inexpensive enough to give a copy to every family in your congregation.

AM Price $3.95

Faith In The Furnace

by J. R. Ensey

Is it God’s will that all believers be healed each time they become sick? What is the “prayer of faith”? Is there a theology of divine healing? If I have enough faith is God obligated to heal me?

When pain racks the body or death is staring you in the face, you need answers, not just questions. Here are some down-to-earth, no-nonsense responses to those and similar questions when you are in the furnace of affliction. No hype, just biblical truth focusing on divine healing. Easy to read, thousands sold.  AM Price $9.95

To order these and other books, go to advanceministries.org/store or simply call 936-537-0250.

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News by art and photos, and the good news first

Hundreds of thousands crowd the streets in Kiev to celebrate the new law that allows the gospel to be preached in the Ukraine. Let’s rejoice with them!

That last entry is turning my stomach to mush these days. One teacher in California took down the American flag in the classroom. When they kids asked for it, she said it was lost. But there was another large flag posted on the classroom wall—the gay pride flag. She suggested the kids say the pledge of allegiance to it. C’mon, parents! Stand up to the school boards. Don’t let them get away with stealing our kids for anti-biblical causes.

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The Last Word

Some wonder why I give so much space to the condition of our culture and the corruption of the current government. Why not give 100% of the space to Bible studies and the like? That was my primary intention when I began this blog. However, when one’s house is on fire, he doesn’t worry about the how many steaks might be lost in the freezer. There will be neither food nor freezer if he doesn’t get the fire put out. Right now our house is on fire. Our children are asleep in their beds upstairs. Our pets are shut up in the playroom. Our vital papers are in the desk. The car is in the garage and full of flamable gas.

The Ukraine is celebrating their new opportunity to preach the gospel. This is due to their consistent pressure on the politicians and electing leaders with common sense. Sadly, we are quickly losing that same freedom here. Right now it is time for the fire extinguishers and the water hoses. It’s time to serve on school boards and speak to those in power. We must make our voices heard where it counts. We’ll get to Melchizedek and who Gog and Magog might be at some time in the future. Right now let’s help put the fire out and cut our losses.

God bless…and remember to pray for our nation and those in power. Also, please pray for those in positions of authority in our own church movement. They need our prayers for strength to stand in a time when it is not easy to do so.

JRE

Published in: on September 1, 2021 at 1:26 AM  Leave a Comment  

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