JREnsey blog November 2022

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for November 2022!


The Word for today (please read)

Recently one morning, disturbed and saddened by the direction our nation is taking, I earnestly prayed for guidance for my thinking and that of all of God’s people. I opened my Bible seeking a timely and relevant passage. My eyes fell upon Psalm 32:6-10 (NLT), a prayer chant of David:

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
    that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place;
    you protect me from trouble.
    You surround me with songs of victory. 

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
    that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

10 Many sorrows come to the wicked,
    but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.”

I read and reread it, distilling its direction and timeless message for a nation potentially “drowning in judgment“—possibly within days or months. We must not confuse “our nation” with a city far away in some eastern enclave. Our nation is US…you and me, our neighbors, our children and grandchildren. The judgment on the wicked who are tearing away the fabric of Christianity in America will not be limited to unbelievers but will touch true Christians, their families, their children. Right where we live. Our street. Our home. While we are currently hassling each other about the color of our socks, our nation is crumbling. Our schools are indoctrinating our children.

November 8 could be the most important date yet in the lives of those around your kitchen table. Some of the most vital issues for us as American Christians will be settled in our local school board elections. Do you know who is running for election to your child’s school board, and what they stand for? Are the Moms in our churches going to Board meetings and making their voices heard? I recently challenged a candidate for our local school board recently by asking if he would support drag queen shows in our schools. I had to know. We cannot continue on the path our woke and sexualizing culture has taken if we hope to save this nation and our children.

ACT. VOTE for your values! Weep for your children.


God disdains legalism

I’m sure we’ve all heard talking heads on newscasts attack Christians who were standing for biblical truths. They love to criticize “legalists” and “legalism” because of its negative connotation. They suggest anyone who might reflect and advocate a lifestyle like that which Paul and Peter urged us to follow fits that category. Jesus never even mentioned homosexuality, they love to say. He already had! And didn’t Jesus tell someone that all he had to do to inherit eternal life was to sell his belonging, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow Jesus—he would then be eternally saved. Any 12-year old raised in an Apostolic church knows that the context wasn’t Jesus explaining what it did or didn’t take for Gentiles to be saved in the coming grace period. He was speaking directly to an individual Jew who had already been keeping the Law of Moses.

Jesus came to His own people—the Jews. Much of what one reads in red letters in the Gospels related specifically to Judaism. The apostles also had to help the new Jewish Christians understand the difference in a holy life in this dispensation and the imperatives of the Law in that period of time. They condemned the “legalists” and Judaizers who insisted that Christians had to also follow the dictates of the Law of Moses. Paul explained that he law to which Christians are bound is the law of Christ (I Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2), not the Law of Moses.

Liberal thinkers like to make folks who preach and teach what Paul, Peter and other NT writers taught look like Pharisees. Following apostolic directives regarding hair in I Corinthians eleven, or other holiness admonitions in the Pastoral Epistles, I & II Peter, etc., do not make one a legalistic Pharisee trying to earn heaven by the works of the Law. The Judaizers who wanted to also keep Moses’ Law were condemned by Paul (Philippians 3:2 NLT; Galatians 2:16; 3:10; Romans 6:17 ESV). Understanding that there are commitments to keep as a Christian does not smack of legalism. It’s called obedience, which is imperative (John 3:36 NLT, et al).

It is neither ethical nor scripturally honest to try to justify compromise on holiness or doctrinal issues by categorizing ministers who hold to NT biblical standards as “legalists.” Renaming compromise as “mercy” or “tolerance” or “love” speaks volumes about one’s commitment to apostolic principles. That cover is quite transparent.

There is wisdom in Paul’s invitation: “Be ye followers of me even as also I am of Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1).


Apostolics often hear the question:

Homosexual acts and idolatry are condemned in Leviticus, but why do Christians disregard the other prohibitions that are mentioned there?

Answer: Christians do not ignore the Levitical prohibitions but recognize that most of them were peculiar to the Hebrews, God’s chosen people. They were to mark the Israelites as a separate and “holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

The eating of certain foods, dwelling designs, specific farming guidelines, and ceremonial practices were for Israel only in consideration of their special relationship to God. Restrictions governing the “clean and unclean” vessels, kosher food types, particular threads for clothing, etc., were not carried over to the Gentile church (Acts 10:9-15).

Moral obligations, however, were universal and had been expected of all people. The abominations of fornication, adultery, bestiality, incest, homosexuality, and attire that expresses those tendencies of the flesh, would never be rescinded. These are “my judgments,” said the Lord (Leviticus 18:4), not merely those of Jewish or Christian leaders. They are repeated specifically and in principle to New Testament Christians. Moral sins are different from ceremonial violations, in part because they affect more than just the person involved—specifically, the institution of the family. Their effects may never be removed (Proverbs 6:33,34).


12 reasons I quit going to sporting events

(A friend’s Facebook page)

1. The coach never came to visit me or even call on the phone.
2. Every time I went, they asked me for money.
3. The people sitting in my row didn’t seem very friendly.
4. The seats were very hard.
5. The referees made a decision I didn’t agree with.
6. I was sitting with hypocrites—they only came to see what others were wearing!
7. Some games went into overtime and I was late getting home.
8. The band played some songs I had never heard before.
9. The games are scheduled on my only day to sleep in and run errands.
10. My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.
11. Since I read a book on sports, I feel that I know more than the coaches, anyway.
12. I don’t want to take my children because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.
Please don’t use these excuses for skipping church.


It’s a fact—women live longer than men. Here’s part of the reason:


Pardon, our humanity is showing!

As an author and publisher for much of my 66-year ministerial stint, I am keenly aware of the need for repeated editing of books and copy for publications and postings. In spite of our best efforts, they are rarely without a flaw. I bludgeon myself severely when I see a typo or other error in something I published and vow to do better next time. Alas, perfection eludes me. Computers are light years ahead of typewriters for correcting mistakes but they also make it easy to overlook small errors when you adjust a paragraph or sentence several times. The computer may even assist in making them. Thanks, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

Errors by others are no justification for our own; however, at times they do offer a measure of comfort to know that we are not alone in our humanity. I was made to smile recently when I noticed a glaring typo (a misspelled word) in a Baker Book House publication. Baker is one of the nation’s largest book publishers employing a host of editors. A couple of years ago I purchased a Bible from Zondervan and forthrightly discovered a typo in the Book of Psalms. An entire verse was missing from the first edition of the Apostolic Study Bible. I am sure that we all have observed typos in Louis L’Amour’s paperback books, possibly because they were published in such swift succession for a time that the editors couldn’t keep up.

Editorial oversights and bloopers do not always mean that someone is asleep at the wheel, but that we are still human. Someone sent me a booklet with some church bulletin bloopers. A sampling:

  • “The congregation is asked to stay seated until the end of the recession.”
  • “The Rev. Merriwether spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.”
  • “Don’t let worry kill you; let the church help.”
  • “Ushers will eat latecomers.”
  • “Potluck supper Thursday night. Prayer and medication to follow.”
  • “Say a nice ‘Hell’ to all of our visitors this morning.”
  • “Applications are now being accepted for 2-year old nursery workers.”
  • “The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Uelzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Uelzer.”

Reading those might evoke a grimace from any editor, but they serve to remind us all that no one is perfect. Writers and editors seldom mike serous misteaks (oops!), but when they do, they often repeat the prayer of Nehemiah: “Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof” (Nehemiah 13:14). In other words, please judge me by my better work and not by  my editorial foibles and oversights.

PS: Someone recently posited that as this texting generation writes its history, it will feature misspelled words and have no punctuation.



Pre-Christmas SALE !

Here are two hard copy books that make great gifts for pastors, Bible college students, young ministers, and inquisitive laymembers.

Why do Apostlics…?

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 Apostolic Pentecostals believe what we do. Here are 224 pages of some common sense, Word-based answers for our Apostolic positions.

• 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

• Why do Apostolic ladies refrain from cutting their hair and wearing

• 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).

Regular price $12.95 Sale price $9.95  While they last!

To Order Click on Title or call 936-537-0250

A Hill To Die On

by J. R. Ensey
Is truth worth dying for? If so, which truth? Which doctrine? This book suggests that there are some things worth risking our reputations, our resources, and perhaps our lives for. Six months ago we would never have thought we would be where we are today as a nation. The Christian faith is rapidly being dismembered and deconstructed to make way for Islam. The rush of endtime prophecy fulfillment should stiffen the backbone of every Christian and make us realize there will be a price to pay for our faith. The nine chapters include:

– A Hill To Die On

– Truth in an Age of Deception

– Unity in an Age of Division

– Righteousness in an Age of Hedonism

– The Church in an Age of Spirituality

– Absolutes in an Age of Relativism

– God and Government

– Is American Christianity Returning to the Social Gospel?

– Our Finest Hour

Regular price $12.95 Sale price $9.95   While they last!

To Order Click on Title or call 936-537-0250


Reminders…lest we forget

“Modesty is not only an ornament, but also a guard to virtue.”  –  Joseph Addison

A poverty of soul invites surrender to the enemies of the cross. – Anonymous

“The language of truth is unadorned and always simple.” – Ammianus Marcellinus

“In skating over thin ice, our safety is our speed.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong” (Titus 1:9 NLT).

“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” – Albert Einstein

“Pain has a way of revealing who you really are and what you really believe. Pain doesn’t destroy your faith; it simply exposes it.” – Lina Abujamra in Fractured Faith

“Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward” (II John 1:8).

“Once a government is committed to the principle of licensing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” – President Harry S. Truman, special message to the Congress, August 8, 1950.


Our first loyalty

When I read of Absalom’s rebellion against David, it makes me shudder. In that case, deserved loyalty was laid aside for self-aggrandizement and power. However, if David had been a tyrant and was attempting to turn Israel from God, then Absalom may have been justified if his efforts were directed toward returning the kingdom to righteousness. A higher loyalty would have been exhibited in such a situation.

All men have to decide where to place their loyalties. Our first and highest loyalty is owed to Jesus Christ, His gospel, and His Word, not to any earthly individual or entity. If someone or something to which we have an attachment, including our local church, our pastor, or ministerial organization, is faithful to those elements and also to their founding principles, then they deserve our genuine loyalty. If such faithfulness is not in evidence, however, a question arises as to the level of loyalty that should be extended. No individual or association is owed loyalty when faithfulness to scriptural truth and basic ethics has been abandoned. When some insist that loyalty must be extended regardless of what the entity or its leaders do, they are misguided. Blind loyalty to a friend or mentor who has departed from the faith is spiritually dangerous.

In a national sense, I believe there may be a sufficient measure of loyalty to America’s constitution and its founding principles left in enough of us to make a difference in the election next month. But only if we speak of our values to others and then get out and VOTE!


And now…a word from the artists:


I believe someone stole my artwork from my first grade home room and built this beauty! I may sue.


 Last Words

“The will of the majority must prevail, but for that will to be right it must be reasoned. …Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.”  – Thomas Jefferson (1781)

Don’t forget to VOTE! We will see what the will of the people turns out to be. May it be well-reasoned and based on common sense.

Thanks for visiting. I trust everyone survived Halloween.

God bless!


Published in: on November 1, 2022 at 12:04 AM  Leave a Comment  

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