JREnsey blog for December 2021


Welcome…I trust your Thanksgiving was the most enjoyable ever and your coming Christmas season will exceed all your expectations.

The Word du jour

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

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Emmanuel…God With Us!

Emmanuel…what a fascinating word used as another name for our Savior, first mentioned in Isaiah 7:14. What did it signify? Didn’t the angel tell Joseph to name Him Jesus? Why this new name?

God’s name had already been revealed back in Exodus 3, when Moses conversed with Him at the burning bush. God said His name was Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the literal Hebrew (YHWH) meaning being “I Am that I Am” or “What/Who I Am” or “I will be what I will be.” Rendered in English with borrowed vowels as Yahweh, it means “God saves” or “God is the Savior.” Which, by the way, is the meaning of Yeshua, the Hebrew name which is translated as Iesous in the Greek New Testament, and Jesus in our English Bibles. So when we say, “Jesus,” we are actually calling God’s name.

But here is a new name or designation that is attached to the Savior—“Emmanuel.” Joseph was instructed to call the baby born in Bethlehem Jesus, but this was an additional designation, not a new name, but letting all know that One who wore the name Jesus actually was God with us!

We could use this word to confirm the most fundamental doctrine in the Bible: the Oneness of God. Jesus was simply “God with us”—God who came in human form to provide redemption for sinful mankind. Not one person in the Bible, either in the OT or NT, believed that deity consisted of a “family” of divine beings. Not Adam, or Abraham, or Jacob, or David, or Solomon, or Daniel or Peter or Paul believed that mythological nonsense called the Trinity that was developed hundreds of years after Christ.

But that is not the primary point of this brief study. I want to affirm the powerful message of this title in another way. There must have been moments in Mary and Joseph’s experience, when at the foot of the cross they could not see the future clearly through their tears, pain and disappointment. They simply breathed that word— “Emmanuel: He truly was…God with us.” And through it they found new faith and strength.

Paul could say, “He was with him in that prison cell, there when the beatings were taking place, when the blood flowed freely. Yes, He knows about beatings and rejection and physical pain…He knows about temptation. He understands betrayal by friends. He tasted disappointment when others couldn’t resist jealousy or hate or pride. When you are looking at life through pain or tears or an aching heart beating out a rhythm of disappointment, just remember what He wanted to be called: “Emmanuel: God With Us.”

I stood by the bed of a dying friend recently. I knew he was very near the end, but there came a moment, a flash of recognition, when he smiled and even tried to say something funny, which had always been his way. I couldn’t understand all of what he was saying, but in translation it sounded like “Emmanuel…It’s all right, He is with me!” He had been touched by the Comforter, and he encouraged us rather than us encouraging him.

Luke, the physician and historian, tells us the story of Cleopas and his wife or his friend were on their way to Bethany, after the awful circumstance in Jerusalem with death of Jesus by crucifixion. They were likely mumbling to themselves and sometimes to one another as they walked along, trying to sort things out. The light of their life had just been snuffed out. The messianic hope they had carried in their hearts for three years had been dashed…

Perplexed, they wondered what is all this about? Jesus lived among us and taught us, but now…He’s gone! Ah…but a Stranger happened to join them on their journey home. Knowing their frustrations, He began to talk of the Scriptures and what the prophets had said, and how their fulfillment was taking place in Jerusalem. While he talked a strange warmth filled them, an unusual feeling, like a prelude to a revelation.

He even sat down at their table to enjoy a meal with them. And when the bread was broken, suddenly they said, “Wait a minute! We know now who you are!” And poof! He was gone, removed from their sight. But from that moment they realized they had been visited by Emmanuel—God with us! Physically gone for the moment but not before He gave them a prophetic word that let them know it was not all over, that this was just a new beginning of something greater than their Hebrew theocracy.

When you find yourself in such a moment, when the devil is telling you its all over, that you just need to go home and forget it, let Emmanuel guide you to the words in the Word that will turn you around, renew your hope, and lift your eyes.

In times of life’s challenges, in trouble, in misunderstandings, in sickness, pain or loneliness, breathe His name JESUS, our Emmanuel—God with us. What an affirmation, what an expression of profound faith!

Sometimes while on this road of life, thieves of circumstance confront us, beating us and stealing our faith and our hope. They leave us beside the road, broken and wounded. For the moment, we are disillusioned that our fellow man who would do such a thing and leave us to the vultures and wolves.

But wait!…there is Someone else on the road. Suddenly, someone like the Samaritan with two backgrounds, two natures, a blending that represents all men of the human family, a mediator of sorts. He stops and says, “May I give you a little water, and a lift upon my beast of burden, and take you to a place where caring folks can take care of your wounds?”

And when you are in good hands, all you can say is, “Who was that Man?” He was Emmanuel…

Has the Good Samaritan, the One who was both God and man, the One who knows every inch of the heaven of heavens, but also the earthiness of this planet. He is the one who tasted the cup of a similar attack Himself and the betrayal of friends…the One who knows every blow you have taken, every drop of blood you have shed, every disappointment you have known, every mystery surrounding your circumstances.

Emmanuel…He is the One who says, “Come with me to the Inn, to a caretaker, and I will pay all the costs!” You know I am talking about the church of the Living God and the One who is known by the name Emmanuel—God with us!

Someday, we will look back and say, “When our church was going through the Covid shutdown, and the virus crisis, the shutdowns, and then Satan attacked in other ways, with humanity showing its darker side, with rumors and misunderstandings…We will then be able to say, When we whispered His name and called Him Emmanuel, He was there for us.”

He never forsook us, never left us. He was there to bind our wounds and take us to brothers and sisters in Christ who love and pray for us. He himself will be gone for two days (2000 years) but He, Emmanuel, is coming back to take us to be with Him forever.

Breathe His name. When you say Jesus, or just Emmanuel, you acknowledge that He is indeed God With Us.

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Skip the kettle?

As you push your way into Walmart or Target ot some anchor store this holiday season, past the red kettle and the ringing bell, you may want to think twice about what those folks are now pushing. The Salvation Army has joined the woke ranks of those accusing white Americans of racism, even the “unconscious” kind. They are spending their donated dollars to publish a guidebook to tell their staff what racists white people have been. The guide “acknowledges with regret, that Salvationists have sometimes shared in the sins of racism and conformed to economic, organizational and social pressures that perpetuate racism.”

The charity calls on whites to “lament, repent and apologize for biases or racist ideologies held and actions committed.” Going forward, the Salvation Army says it hopes white donors will recognize their own contributions to racism and adopt “a posture of…anti-racism,” an ideological practice made popular by progressive author Ibram X. Kendi.

Bottom line: In the eyes of the Salvation Army, if you are white, you are racist.  – Report source: Blaze; The Gazette

I have personally witnessed a lot of good the SA has done. To read this was a definite disappointment.

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Women in pants is a fairly recent practice

Until as late as the 1990s, some U.S. states and cities, along with some European countries, had laws against women wearing pants. The laws were passed in respect to Christian values that regard pants as specifically men’s apparel and dresses and skirts were women’s apparel. Clothing that expressed a particular gender (either male or female) of the wearer was mandated in Scripture as far back as the time of Moses. God expressed His approval of this prohibition by inspiring Moses and his scribes to include it in the body of Scripture (Deuteronomy 22:5).

It is interesting to note that magazine and Internet pictures of people on city streets during the 1950s and 60s show women still in skirts and dresses almost exclusively. Note the film of the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy. Virtually no women in pants were visible on the streets.

Laws that were instituted in the West during the last two or three centuries have been systematically repealed due to this leftward shift in cultural values. It was illegal for women to wear pants in Tucson, AZ until 2013. Until 2015 it was still illegal for women to wear them in Paris, France. No longer enforced, the laws had been passed to curb trends by some women who favored rebellion against any legislation that upheld biblical values. The entertainment industry has played a major role in these changes.

It is not surprising to learn that many of those who led the army of women to resist these laws and customs were lesbians who contributed greatly to the liberal shift we see in our culture today. Movement of women in general toward more manliness and of men toward femininity have blurred the sexes, leaving many young people wondering which gender they belong to—if any.

Do you think the traditional Christian influence in America and Western Europe delayed the practice of women wearing men’s apparel? With many professing Christian women adopting the practice today, what denomination, organization or movement represents the last bastion of common sense on this toxic issue? Three guesses and the last two don’t count.

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The Wisdom of the KJV Translators

In 1604, most records show that 54 men were appointed by King James to a committee charged with producing a new version of the Holy Bible. Although only 47 or so of that number actually worked on the new version, all were men noted for their scholarship in some area of language or in syntactical or rhetorical expertise. All were ministers affiliated with the Church of England to some degree. A few had leanings to Puritanism, others had a bent toward Calvinism, and most were descendants of old Catholic families.

This varied group of prelates were divided into six companies to work at different locations and on varying parts of Scripture. For about three years they met erratically, and assumedly worked on researching the part of the Bible to which they were assigned. In 1607-08 they got into high gear with more frequent meetings and interaction. By 1611 they had published what would become known as the King James Version of the Bible.

The purpose of this article is to express the wisdom employed by the translators in how they approached and viewed their work. Their thoughts and motivations were revealed in their Preface to the new version. They were well aware of the deep feelings those in England embraced regarding the Bible in their own language. Their countrymen had long been denied God’s Word in their own tongue, being forced to use only the Latin Vulgate version or its English translation by Wycliffe. After Tyndale was burned at the stake for…[click here to continue reading this article….)

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The difference in liberals and conservatives

Which are you? Here is a test:

If a Conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a Liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a Liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how he can better his situation.
A Liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he turns the dial.
Liberals demand that those they don’t like be silenced.

If a Conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
A Liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.                        A Liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a Conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A Liberal will delete it because he’s “offended.”

Source: Anonymous

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The more things change…

  • “Formerly I used to deride secular rulers, because in the distribution of their honors they are not guided by considerations of moral excellence, but of wealth, of seniority, and of human distinction.” – John Chrysostom (c. 347-407)
  • BLM is protesting over three white guys getting shot in Kenosha. Suddenly all lives matter.

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Ever wonder….

…why Joseph and Mary couldn’t stay in the inn? They weren’t vaccinated.

…why Joe Biden wants to fine businesses $14,000 per unvaccinated employee but is willing to give illegal immigrants $450,000 each?

…why we were all raised not to be peer pressured into taking experimental drugs and now we’re all being peer pressured into taking experimental drugs?

…why the phrase “trust the science” now motivates people to do the exact opposite?

…why they insert phrases into vaccine mandates like “you can’t sue us if something goes wrong?”

…why everything is racism and white supremacy all over the news until a white Democrat president calls someone a negro?

…why four big men, one a mental patient just let out of confinement for raping a minor is chasing him, another pointing a loaded gun in his face, while yet another tried to bash his head in with a skateboard, and still another attempted to kick his teeth out while he lay on the ground were not offering sufficient threat for Kyle Rittenhouse to defend himself, but one tiny unarmed woman banging on the glass surrounding a heavy door in the Capitol building was a threat to an armed policeman hovering with other policemen on the other side was considered enough of a threat to shoot and kill her?

…why Luke’s version of the Great Commission is different from Matthew’s?

…why there was more military/police preparation for the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict than for the exit from Afghanistan?

…why if Joe Biden was the answer, how stupid the question must have been?

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Hurry! Time is almost up!

Democrat Matthew Dowd is running for Lt. Governor in Texas. According to Fox News, he predicts 100 million deaths this year from climate change, for which he blames Republicans. He also predicts that we only have 1-2 years left to fight climate change or the world will end.

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Shades of Hitler again

The global elites are testing in Austria, Australia, and other places what they want to see instituted everywhere. Some U.S. politicians want to see it here.

Austria to impose Covid lockdown for the unvaccinated aged 12 and older (msn.com)

Covid pandemic herded the public into accepting gene therapy by injection that 95% would have rejected. Hear it said yourself by Stefan Olerich at the World Health Summit: Gene Therapy Stefan Olerich.mp4

CDC is changing the game again. Herd immunity is too complicated, can’t get there. We have gone from 15 days to Covid (or a variant) forever. Booster shots and shutdowns from now on. They need to hear the 9th Commandment “Thou shalt not lie.” Read the article at the link below. They whine and whimper, moan and fret. For many Americans—This. Thing. Is. Over.

CDC shifts pandemic goals away from reaching herd immunity (msn.com)

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More expendables

There are some items, practices and behaviors the body of Christ can do without. The number of new fads and trends that stealthily creep in among true believers continues to grow exponentially. Here are a few items on a potentially long list:

Low rise jeans on men and boys. Has the fad reached the point where they are required to wear their shirttails out to cover their derrière when they pray at the altar?

Cell phone Bibles in church. It’s OK to have a Bible program on your phone for use during the day, when you are witnessing, or in a place where a printed Bible isn’t practical. But for church…bring your Bible and turn your phone off. That way you won’t be tempted to receive or make calls during the service, respond to emails, etc., figuring that folks will think you are looking at your Bible on your phone screen. And the young people won’t be tempted to keep their Bibles handy in case they hit a dull space in the service and decide to check their Facebook page.

Chewing gum in church. No one would d are be chewing gum when they went in for an audience with the Queen of England, the president of the U.S., or even the pope. So why is it fine to come before the Lord and try to worship and sing and listen to preaching while being distracted by bubble gum? Chewing gum in church says, “Really, I am not too serious about all of this.”

Black fishnet/patterned/textured hose that shout, “Look here.” Do women of God know that for nearly two hundred years cheap streetwalkers have worn fishnet hose because they attract attention to themselves? Even Internet advisers counsel to save them for the strip club or dance floor. They were brought into the popular culture by pin-ups particularly in the WWII era. Patterned hose are merely a variation of that theme. They are called “sexy” by merchants. Doubtless all wearers aren’t “cheap” or immoral, but why give comfort to practitioners in the world’s oldest profession? Or send the wrong message to the young girls in your church? Rather than ask other women what they think about the appropriateness of such attire, ask your Christian husband or your pastor—a man. A couple of sites that might prove interesting: https://www.vintag.es/2019/01/fishnet-stockings.html; https://www.dazzlethemag.com/how-to-wear-fishnet-stockings-at-the-office-and-still-look-professional/

False fingernails/eyelashes Every strip center has at least one sign shouting “Nails.” Hair salons are proliferating to provide the lashes. The long black lashes and stark white nails are readily identifiable as pasted on. Is white a color? Do such nails make those who color their hair more comfortable? Do unchurched folk wonder what else is false about the wearer? Sinful? That may be the wrong question. Is it the direction Apostolic ladies want to go? Is it the example that young girls need to follow? What message is being sent?

Facial hair and hairstyles that copy Hollywood bad boys or filthy rich sports figures. Such persons are making a statement by their hair. Should our men identify with their anti-everything rebellion and worldly ways? What’s wrong with being clean shaven and getting a man’s haircut? Also expendable: the idea that something that was inappropriate a few years ago, but since so many are doing it/wearing it now it doesn’t mean what it once did. Then why do it now?

Crazee spelt names. Parents have the right to name their children whatever they choose. But Caitlina Fuller in an out-of-date issue of the Reader’s Digest joins me in dissing those who insist on giving their children strangely spelled names. Why is “Madysyn” replacing “Madison”? And why spell “Drusilla” as “Drusylla,” or use “Binjamen” for “Benjamin,” dooming the children to a lifetime of respelling their names for people? And what is going to happen to a boy named “Dweezle” or “Jermajesty”? With a name like the author’s, I figured she knew from experience how difficult having an unusually spelled name can be.

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Books make great Christmas gifts!

Faith In The Furnace

by J. R. Ensey
When pain racks the body, and when death is staring you in the face, you need answers, not just questions. Here are some down-to-earth, no-nonsense approaches to life when you are in the furnace of affliction. No hype, just biblical truth focusing on divine healing. Easy to read, thousands sold.

AM Price $6.95 also in eBook form $6.95

Through the Storm God Is Faithful

by Roffie Ensey
When a surgeon says he is going to perform brain surgery to remove a large tumor, then spells out the potential results, what goes through one’s mind? It is easy at a time like this to think that God has forgotten your address. However, when you find yourself in the middle of a storm you can rest assured that He has not forgotten you, nor will he leave you to go through it alone He has promised never to leave us alone and He will remain faithful.
Storms are a fact of life. We all go through them at one time or another, but there is peace in the midst of the storm when Jesus is walking with you. If you or someone you know is going through a storm, this book is designed to strengthen and encourage.
Here is the full story of one who went through such a storm, along with perspectives from her family�even before and after pictures. This story, along with the lessons learned through it, will help you to look back and remember the faithfulness of God in your own life.

AM Price $9.95

Theological Dictionary eBook

by J. R. Ensey
The reference volume based on the biblical, apostolic viewpoint! Compiled and written by J. R. Ensey.
When you want to know the meaning of a theological term, or the description of a religious movement, or the definition of over a thousand words that are found in reference works and the Bible…turn to The New Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary!

Contains:
– Over 1000 entries
– Definitions and descriptions of many Bible words, theological terms, and religious movements
– 486 pages of easy-to-read, easy-to-use information
– The only reference volume of its kind! Written from a conser vative, apostolic viewpoint, this classic work has enhanced the study habits of thousands of ministers and laymen.

“This dictionary is far more than a word study; it is replete with the background and history of many doctrinal positions and teachings. It also serves as a standard for testing the validity of different theories–an invaluable tool!”
-Dr. Marvin Treece

AM Price $12.95

Why…?

by J. R. Ensey
Some younger men have called for reasons that specific holiness standards appear in the UPCI Manual. They were not around when the issues were debated and passed in conferences. It is easier in today’s cultural climate to give up the fight than to take the time to find out why Pentecostals believe what we do. Here are 224 pages of some common sense, Word-based answers for our apostolic positions.
Chapters:

• Why do Apostolics embrace the Bible as the Word of God?
• Why do Apostolics teach monotheism?
• Why do Apostolics receive the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues?
• Why do Apostolics disengage from a worldly lifestyle?
• Why do Apostolics abandon or avoid harmful personal practices?
• Why do Apostolics choose modest apparel and shun ornamental
jewelry?
• Why do Apostolic ladies refrain from cutting their hair and wearing
cosmetics?
• Why do Apostolics live with a blessed hope?

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (I Peter 3:15,16).

AM Price $12.95 also in eBook form $9.95

To order these books, click on the title or call 936-537-0250.

Idea: For eBook gifts, load them onto an inexpensive flash drive.

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Expressions

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Last Word

Warm and fuzzy

Forgive the personal word that follows as I am not one to toot one’s own horn. Our books have reached into some homes and hearts that we could have never reached personally. That is what writing and printing is all about.

Recently a friend passed away who had sent me a report from his ministry in prison chaplaincy. He both took and sent many copies of our materials into prisons for the inmates and reaped encouraging results. The excerpt below is from an inmate’s letter who had received a box of our books from my friend, Brother Dave McLane:

“I want to let you know that I have already passed along a couple of the books you sent me from Brother Ensey. As they have blessed me I know they will also help others to know some of the many matters within God’s Word which establish all truth. …At present I have been in A Hill To Die On. There’s some deep stuff in this book. That may be a crude description, but I hope it puts forth the point. The spiritual truths stand out boldly regarding the doctrine; so boldly, in fact, I can sense his personal concern in them.”

That inmate has been teaching Bible studies to his fellow inmates in the prison.

Everyone has an opportunity to be part of the ministry of winning souls.

As Tiny Tim would say, “God bless us every one!”

JREnsey

PS: Suggestion: Christmas is a time for sharing. If you like our blog, share it. But don’t forget to save your best gift to help plant a church in the North American cities that as yet do not have a UPCI church. You will have that warm and fuzzy feeling when you see what your gift is accomplishing.

Published in: on December 1, 2021 at 2:51 AM  Leave a Comment  

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