JREnsey blog March 2022

Welcome…grab a cup and join us for some scriptural and cultural interaction.

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The Word du jour

So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of

death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News. That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return. Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you” (II Timothy 1:8-13).

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They have been using the wrong words for over 1600 years!

News reports: “Roman Catholic pastors resign over wrong word in baptism.”

It has been almost amusing to read the reports of Catholic priests being forced to resign their posts because they had been using the wrong wording in baptismal ceremonies. Instead of “We baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” some priests had been saying “‘I’ baptize you….” Horrors! What heresy! The RCC says that “invalidates” the baptism entirely.

The real travesty is that they weren’t using a name at all, whoever was doing the baptism. The name they were ordered to use by Jesus (Matthew 28:19; Luke 24:47), and only in which salvation is given, was never mentioned: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 ESV) Those verses and examples of their use in Acts have been in the Scriptures for nearly 2000 years and still they seem to prefer mere titles rather than the actual name of the Lord.

Pope Francis, quit quibbling over the insignificant I or We. What’s missing in your baptismal formula is JESUS—the name that was used in Christian baptism in the Bible and is the only name that should be spoken in the waters of baptism!

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Nothing new under the sun

Slightly over 100 years ago in Toronto, Canada there were mass demonstrations against compulsory vaccinations (photo at right) on November 13, 1919. They were sponsored by The Anti-Vaccination League of Canada. At the time, they were fighting the influenza. People back then would rather take the risk of enduring the flu than be forced to be vaccinated. People don’t like being forced to do anything. There is a natural tendency among Westerners to resist government overreach. When they failed to do so in Germany in 1933, look what happened.

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Of mandates and crocodiles

If the “powers that be” demand that everyone be vaccinated—or lose your livelihood and potentially your life—with unknown substances that apparently are harming many of those who submit, are Christians who refuse to be vaccinated disobeying Romans 13:1-7? Millions of our children are required to wear masks in school and public places. Many doctors warn parents of the consequences to the health and mental well-being of their children. The mandates are continuing in part to conditions kids’ minds to “always obey the powerful, even if they are anti-God tyrants.”

Many Christian believers feel they are being forced to submit to destructive decrees of tyrannical governments based on that passage. Are there not limitations on what actions by godless leaders requires submission? Somewhere there should be a place to honor these words of the apostle Peter: “We must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts 5:29 NLT).

What if they demand that we sacrifice our male babies to the crocodiles of the River Nile? That is what God’s people were commanded to do by the pharaoh of Egypt (Exodus 1:16,22). Those who disobeyed were honored by God for doing so (Exodus 1:19-21). But now God is going to require Christians everywhere to potentially sacrifice the present and future health of their children and themselves to appease the power hunger of godless tyrants? Would God now have us acquiesce to all of the BLM-backed mandates that are based in the effort to destroy the nuclear families of the West? Neither of those propositions seem likely in the fading moments of the age just before the Rapture.

While being vaccinated is everyone’s individual choice, the extent of what is required by Romans 13 is not a settled question. Paul challenges us to honor those leaders who do the right thing in the fear of God, and we should. But is this passage a divine directive to surrender to whatever harmful mandates and handed down, even to what the conscience of many Christians screams to reject? What edict is next to come down the pike?

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Signs of the times

A reader, Pastor Anthony Peccon, submitted the following observation:

“This is the London Police Commissioner (photo at right), a woman placed in a man’s role. Typically they assume a more masculine look. If they accentuated their feminine qualities as they should, it would be a different story. They either sense they must become masculine to be taken seriously or they have become that way through distorting what is natural.

I Corinthians 6:9: ‘Do you not know that sinful men will have no place in the holy nation of God? Do not be fooled. A person who does sex sins, or who worships false gods, or who is not faithful in marriage, or men who act like women, or people who do sex sins with their own sex, will have no place in the holy nation of God’ (NLV: Italics mine)

Other versions name the sin as homosexual acts, etc. The KJV and others refer to men who are “effeminate,” i.e., dress and act like women. So, the reverse must be true—women who act and dress like men also violate God’s laws (Deuteronomy 22:5; I Corinthians 11:1-16).

It’s not a question of rights born of an unbiblical, worldly construct; rather, it’s a question of God’s divine order. Conflating the roles of men and women has necessarily led to, and perhaps even produced the transgender movement.

This blurring of roles in the trans movement and similar groups is called ‘an abomination’ in Scripture, but masked under the guise of ‘rights’ in our culture. The Bible does not emphasize rights; it stresses responsibilities. The more we put women in the traditional roles filled by men, the more our children will come to think that there are no substantive distinctions in the genders, except the natural physical differences. And shame on any nation that sends its women to fight its wars. There must be too many girly men and manly women making decisions in Washington these days.”

Reckon?

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Hermeneutics on the rise

Hermeneutics (n.) – [T]he branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts.

Regarding hermeneutics, committed Apostolics begin with a high view of Scripture—the belief that the biblical autographs are infallible (Psalm 33:4). Period. Although we do not have the autographs, we have trustworthy early copies of them. By all available evidence, even though made by fallible humans, the early copies are considered to be fundamentally the same as the originals and are worthy of our faith. We believe that the NT, including all 27 books, were inspired by God, breathed out from His very essence, which is truth and love (II Timothy 2:15; I John 4:8; John 14:6).

We commonly believe that God’s Word cannot be overturned—made null and void—by culture, by government decree, or by church leaders who may come under pressure from certain elements within the culture or Christianity itself who want it to say something it does not say.

Definitions of major common words that were apparently in force when the epistles were written should still be the criteria for our definitions today. We do not believe that popular interpretation should transcend apostolic revelation or the clear meaning of words expressed in context.

The feminization of the American Evangelical church seems to be outdistancing every other influence inside the Christian faith. One of the ways this has developed so quickly and prominently has been the redefining of biblical words. The upending of traditional hermeneutics—when the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense, lest it become nonsense—is one of the basic means of changing the perception of home and church leadership. Words that were plain to Bible readers for centuries have suddenly taken on new meanings to accommodate the culture.

Beginning with Genesis 2:18, social engineers with Bible in hand are more or less offended by a rendering of ezer as “help/helpmeet/helper” when referring to Eve, as about 85% of all 53 Bible translations in my edition of BibleGateway do. Feminists prefer the renderings of the CEV andEHV (“suitable partner”), the ERV (“companion he needs”), or ISV (“an authority corresponding to him”) in order to remove ultimate authority from Adam and express absolutely “equality” with Eve. Eve was created as a complementary “helper” for Adam, which was clearly Paul’s point in I Corinthians 11:9.

The order of creation and the Garden events should have no bearing on the current concept of equality, they infer, but the apostle Paul made it clear that it does: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (I Timothy 2:12-14 ESV).

Paul’s statement in Galatians 3:28 about the equality of grace, as some call it, did not erase all former relationships between believers. Children were still subject to parents (Ephesians 6:1), slaves were still subject to masters (Ephesians 6:5), and wives are subject to their husbands (Ephesians 5:24), and all are subject to Christ, the head of the body, the church (Colossians 1:18). Although all are positionally equal before God in terms of salvation, worth, and value, but as Paul and other writers indicate, this passage did not erase all functional relationships existing from the beginning.

Another biblical word that expresses male headship is kephale, a Greek term used by the apostle Paul in I Corinthians 11:3, et al: “But I want you to understand that the head (kephale) of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God” (ESV). No one but God Himself is without the mandate of submission to authority. Paul tells us to whom each is to submit. He emphasizes this principle again in Ephesians 5:21-24. There can be no question about what the apostle’s words meant. When feminists want to make kephale mean source, it is obvious that they are imbibing feminist hermeneutics. The context is clearly “who is under the authority of whom?” Dr. Wayne Grudem has published easily accessible works on the Internet demonstrating the folly of this thesis. Yet the “progressives” among Evangelicals with a low view of Scripture keep pressing for some way to negate what they perceive as “biblical hierarchy.” Clear scriptural guidelines and examples strongly confront the current cultural narrative, which insists on an impossible position of absolute equality of authority of husband and wife, and indeed, of all men and women everywhere and in all settings.

This is not an exercise in self-assertion or denigration of others, merely an appeal to let the Word speak and mean what it says. Some evidently read the Word and say, “Oh, it can’t mean that. Look at what the culture is saying and doing. It doesn’t fit with where we are today. The social engineers have finally figured out what’s right after 2000 years.” Textual criticism is a legitimate science, but to twist obvious meanings to lessen the impact of plain truth in the arenas of home and church authority is a step in the wrong direction. Christian men and women are to honor one another in and by the roles for which each was created, and neither Jesus nor Paul negated those roles.

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Speaking of textual criticism…

Did a teenager create the Sinaiticus Codex in 1839?

It is mind-boggling that some single version translation advocates are casting their lot with the absurd proposition that the Sinaiticus Codex, considered by  to be one of the most important Greek manuscripts of the Bible dated to c. AD 350, is a “forgery.” The other preposterous claim is their assertion that a young teenager did it in 1839-41.

The young “forger” said he began to write the manuscript when he was 19 years old, in the latter part of 1839, and finished  before August 1841. There are 3,700,000 letters in Sinaiticus on 1480 pages of parchment (valuable animal skins). If true, he had to write something close to 6,000 letters per day, every day, no missed days, with accurate spacing and alignment. Those who are familiar at all with the MS know that would be physically impossible.

Can a negative voice be raised about the MS? Assuredly. It isn’t perfect. What is? It must not be judged by modern technological standards. We have to remember it was made by using a pen made from reeds or bronze, two centuries before quills came into use. before the invention of modern writing instruments. Probably most potential exemplars had been destroyed by Jewish and Roman persecutors. Certainly, the Latin Vulgate of Jerome would have been one of the exemplars, as it was with the Textus Receptus. That the manuscripts has survived at all is nothing short of miraculous.

Not only do the above facts strongly suggest that Simonides, who was a known forger who reportedly made a dishonest living hawking icons and both religious and secular forged manuscripts, was being deceptive, one would be hard to find a single professional paleographer who has examined the manuscript and agrees with him. The claim is made, of course, to protect a Greek version made about 1200 years later that has a some additional words in places. They seem to be willing to say almost anything to protect the wild claims about their preferred version.

For those interested in pursuing such studies, they may want to start their research at textual analyst James Snapp’s website [https://www.thetextofthegospels.com/search?q=Simonides] and read his “20 reasons (10 plus 10 more) Sinaiticus was not made by Simonides.” There are a number of other objective scholars from whom one can learn how impractical and impossible such a forgery would have been. Most of them just ignore the obvious.

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Well said

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation, must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”  – Cesare Beccaria

“The famed Canadian academic has had enough of cancel culture and ‘diversity.’” said Brian Weber, commenting on Jordan Peterson’s exit from “woke academia that is run by totalitarians…driven by a desire to erase whatever traditional values or beliefs students bring with them.” Peterson, a popular author, speaker and professor at the University of Toronto lamented that his “qualified and supremely trained heterosexual white male graduate students (and I’ve had many others, by the way) face a negligible chance of being offered university research positions, despite stellar scientific dossiers.” “This is primarily because of the “Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity mandates (my preferred acronym: DIE)” that govern school decisions. Unfortunately, those like Peterson who choose to leave are quickly replaced by anyone willing to click their heels and salute to equity, diversity, anti-racism and inclusion,” Weber added.

“I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m a “things aren’t adding up and it’s pretty obvious” theorist. – Anonymous

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” – Thomas Jefferson

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Who is doing “greater works” than Jesus?

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father.”

Only a pride-bound egomaniac, emphasizing the words “he” in that verse, would interpret this passage to mean that he has or could individually out-perform, out-miracle, out-heal, out-anything Jesus Christ, the God of the universe.

We might point out that not only did Jesus heal the sick but He also calmed the winds and waves. Not many are out trying to repeat that miracle. And how about walking on the water? Can anyone top that? If men could heal anyone at will and perform the wonders Jesus did whenever they chose, overnight they would become idols to be worshipped and gods in their own eyes. Such power solely in the hands and wills of men would produce chaos. Real miracles, or divine interruptions of the laws of nature and physics, are still God’s business.

Let’s be realistic. Jesus was God manifest in the flesh—the same God who parted the waters of the Red Sea, sent manna from heaven, provided water from a rock, healed serpent bites, kept the Israelites from the diseases of the Egyptians, and stopped the universe in its tracks for Joshua. If we had to do all the wonderful things He did in order to prove that we are believers, none of us would be able to qualify. We would not have the innate wisdom to handle such awesome power. Thankfully, we are not required to play God! We are to put our trust in Him—not ourselves. That takes a lot of pressure and anxiety off of us.

Most scholars view the fulfillment of this verse in terms of quantity rather than quality of miracles. And perhaps we should not think of “works” solely in terms of miracles and signs. Certainly His disciples have extended the kingdom further, have preached to more people, made more converts, and have seen more miracles (in terms of numbers) than did Jesus Himself during His earthly ministry. There might be some legitimacy to those claims on that basis.

May a spirit of egotistical self-sufficiency never invade our hearts, regardless of the instrumentality one may be in the hands of the Lord. Jesus spoke the truth when He said, “Without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). That is still the truth today.

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Why…?

…stop the pipe that brings oil to the northern U.S., but give away crack pipes that bring mental grief and often death to the youth of America?

…not rename Mexico “Ukraine” so Biden will protect the border?

…isn’t there more outrage over Ghislaine Maxwell’s client list than there is over a podcast comedian?

…not continue drinking cocaine, taking cough syrup with heroin, spraying food plants with DDT, and smoking doctor recommended cigarette brands if we are not supposed to ever question “science”?

…must we struggle for herd immunity, and ignore striving for herd common sense?

…am I not digging up my second grade art drawings and finger paintings when Hunter Biden is making millions with his?

…are Democrats beginning to whistle a new tune about Covid restraints just before midterm elections?

…are we still the conspiracy theorists when Fauci and Co. went from “fifteen days to slow the spread” to “You’re fired if you don’t get the jab” to “Your bank accounts are frozen if you protest against us”?

…not defund the Thought Police?

…insist that more black coaches are needed in the NFL for parity if there isn’t a need for more white, Latino and Native Americans among linemen, linebackers, and kick returners?

[Thanks to several contributors, including PatriotPost, for the inspiration.]

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Books…books…books

The Pastoral Epistles

by J. R. Ensey
The apostle Paul wrote three letters to two younger ministers whom he affectionately called his “sons.” The epistles became part of the canon of Scripture and have served since then as the best instruction available for those in ministry and church leadership. Doctrine, practical church discipline, lifestyle and much more is all here. The verse-by-verse commentary is accompanied by a complete outline for ease of study and teaching.

AM Price $13.95

Does God Really Care about Hair/Clothing Styles?

by J.R. Ensey
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 why! Inexpensive enough to give a copy to every family in your congregation.

AM Price $4.95

Before You Say “I Do”

by J. R. Ensey
No one in your church should get married before asking themselves these twenty-five very important questions. This book has helped countless couples circumvent potential trouble areas in their courtship and marriage. A wedding planner and other extras are included in the book.

AM Price $4.95

To order the above books, go to advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250.

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Book Review

GOD’S GENERALS: Why They Succeeded and Why Some Failed

Whitaker House, 1996; hardcover, 26.99

By Roberts Liardon

This book lay dormant in my library for years as I perused other tomes regarding the histories of early Pentecostal personages and movements. Since it was authored by a classical Pentecostal minister, I assumed it was basically promotional material rather than legitimate history.

Wrong.

Liardon has made a positive contribution to the history of some of the major Pentecostal and Charismatic revivalists of the twentieth century. It is well-written, fair, substantially referenced, and above all, objective. He does not sugarcoat these ministries. His treatment of the individuals goes beyond merely what they did and said, but why they became stars in the Pentecostal skies. He chronicles their rise, their shining, and in most cases, their falls. None of them gets a pass. He praises their positives but does not neglect their negatives. There are some snippets of Charismatic lingo in the book, and even some slights to the Oneness brethren who “divided” the Pentecostal movement, but Liardon does not get overly aggressive on this point.

He provides some of the best insights I have read regarding the Roman candle-like ministries of the healing revivalists of the 1900-1960 era like John Alexander Dowie, John G. Lake, F. F. Bosworth, Smith Wigglesworth, Kathryn Kuhlman, Jack Coe and A. A. Allen. Liardon provides some of the best background material I have seen on William Branham, William J. Seymour, Aimee Semple McPherson, and Charles Parham. He lets their light shine even when it reveals an Achilles heel. That makes for readable and informative biographical history.

This book is worth your time and investment. Available at Amazon and other booksellers.

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More timely memes and artists’ opinions I couldn’t pass up

Current Omicron variant is more like a cold, they say. According to several reports, some vaccines, tend to produce blood clots.

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Last Words

My uncle Edmond and millions of other heroes didn’t fight Nazis so we could show papers to buy food, attend church, or travel to the next town. And just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I have lost my rights as an American citizen to voice my opinion.

A new variant called FREEDOM is spreading fast around the world. I hope you catch it!

Oh, and this just in from the Babylon Bee: Biden Warns Russia That If They Don’t Stop He Will Deploy Deadly Trans Admiral | The Babylon Bee  

Further from the Bee: If that doesn’t cool Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, the President may “unfollow him on Twitter.”

JREnsey

Published in: on March 1, 2022 at 1:28 AM  Leave a Comment  

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