JREnsey blog June 2022

Welcome! Cool your heels here for a few minutes. Thanks for visiting.

The Word for today

Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent—both are detestable to the LORD” (Proverbs 17:15 NLT).

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Another school massacre…Where was God?

Through a fountain of tears that question surfaced immediately after the Uvalde school shooting, just as it has after every other human-perpetrated catastrophe in the last one hundred years. Why? Where is God when such awful things are transpiring amid His creation?

Doubtless that question was asked when babies and small children died under the hand of Pharaoh (Exodus 1) and when Herod had all babies under two years old slain in the time of Jesus’ birth (Matthew 2). Where was He when the Romans sacked Jerusalem and leveled the Temple? Or when the Christians were being persecuted and slaughtered during the first three centuries of this era?

Where was He when children were being sacrificed on Aztec and Mayan temple altars? Was He on vacation during WWI when 20 million perished in that conflagration? Where was He when six million Jews died horrendous deaths at the hands of the Nazis during WWII? What about Vietnam and 911? Columbine? Sandy Hook? And now Uvalde?

Doesn’t a good, kind and loving God exist to prevent such unconscionable events from occurring?

No.

God is allowing all to see what an unconverted mind/heart* can conceive and do without the benefit of spiritual transformation (Colossians 1:21). The darker the expression of human depravity, the sharper the contrast between the unconverted mind and one transformed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:22-24). God does not exist to merely prevent human tragedy. “God created man upright but he hath sought out many inventions” (Ecclesiastes 7:29). All the responsibility is our own. Man’s mind, through Satan’s influence, has led him astray. God offers us “a new and living way” (Hebrews 10:20), but most ignore the invitation to that path (Matthew 7:13). God will not erase the line between good and evil. We must recognize the evil in ourselves and repent.

Barbarism will increase until Jesus, the Prince of Peace, returns to establish a government devoid of Satan and the iniquity that we see so prevalent in our world today. It will not be run by cognitively deficient men or the politically corrupt. He Himself will rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:21; 12:5; 19:15). Peace will prevail for 1000 years (Revelation 20:2-4), ending with the release of Satan to again tempt and corrupt the minds of men. Mankind will once more challenge God’s authority only to be completely and finally defeated (Revelation 20:7-10).

We can then relax without one worry about war, violence, or school shootings. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).

* The human heart is simply an organ that circulates blood to the rest of the body. It is the mind, seated in the brain, where emotions and desires are formed and expressed, and where decisions are made, and movements are directed. It is the mind that is converted by faith and obedience (Romans 12:2; John 3:5; Acts 2:38).

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Jonathan Edwards’ awakening sermon

The famous sermon by Jonathan Edwards that stoked the fires of America’s First Great Awakening has long been a topic of conversation. He titled it Sinners In the Hands Of An Angry God and preached it in the little square, two-story Second Meeting House in Enfield, CT in 1741. Perhaps many younger men have never read the sermon that helped change the course of Christianity in America and reversed the liberal leanings of the major universities of the time. The church is no longer there, but an engraved stone marks the place where the church once stood.

If you would like to read the complete word-for-word message that Edwards preached that day, you click on this link: https://www.advanceministries.org/articles/articlepages/sinners.htm

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In the shade of the oak of Shechem

This story from the pages of the Bible (Genesis 35:1-5) holds a number of powerful lessons for believers today. The setting is a large household, an extended family that is facing trouble, explained in the previous chapter. It is the family of the last Hebrews patriarch. Jacob and his sons find themselves in a situation that doesn’t look good for their future.

When challenging circumstances come along, what God prescribed for them is still good advice for us today: “Remember Bethel…Go back to the place where your walk with God commenced and what you did there to please God, do it again.”

Bethel was years ago, and lots of water had passed under the bridge, but the freshness that moment—when all was given to God and personal commitment was deepest and most sincere and a life-changing experience occurred—can be revived and recovered. Renewal is never really out of reach.

What happened at Bethel?

The 77-year old Jacob was on a 500-mile journey to find a wife in Mesopotamia. He did not want to marry a Canaanite woman, but one from among his mother’s people. Having nothing with him but his staff*, he came to a place to spend the night, choosing a rock for a pillow.

In the night, he dreamed of a ladder or a stairway that reached up to heaven, on which angels ascended and descended. At the top of it stood the Lord who informed him about his future, and about the land of Israel, and how he would be kept, giving him some astounding promises about his descendants and how they would bless all families of the earth.

When he awoke, he knew he had been visited by God—“Surely God is in this place!” There he made his promises and deep commitments to the Lord.

Back to the present

All of that was years ago now and here he was with his family, his servants, his flocks and all who accompanied him. And he and his household are in trouble with the rulers and people of this area. But there was also trouble among themselves. Since Bethel, heathen practices and the trappings—heathen inspired accoutrements—of the culture around them had attached themselves to Jacob and his family. To be ready to face the pressing problems of the immediate future, he needed to return to his roots, to godliness, to his first love. There must be a reckoning, a confession, and a burial

Genesis 35:1-4 contains the instructions from God to Jacob. Go back at the place where we first came into direct contact. There was a reckoning that was ahead for this crowd, all of Jacob’s family, servants, and hangers-on. They must recognize and confess the failures that invited the present crisis. The heathen practices and influences they had adopted had to be confronted and put away. All of those under the banner of Jacob’s colors had been affected by his lack of spiritual diligence.

Back to Bethel

So before he went back to Bethel, the place of his first love experiences, he needed to recognize his mistakes and compromises. He needed to confess that he had done wrong, that he had not made good on the long term promises he made at that rocky altar called Bethel. A burial of the accoutrements that do not belong to children of God. They must rid themselves of the little gods that could be carried in their hands, worn on their ears, or carried in their pockets.

He called his group together and said, “Get rid of your jewelry, dig out those little images that you have copped from the heathens of the land.” There in the shade of the oak of Shechem, they buried those things that identified them with the people who didn’t know God. Jacob knew he had to face the future with confidence, assurance, and peace of mind. What he did in the shade of that old oak tree made that a possibility.

When trouble troubles us, perhaps a reckoning with some attachments that may have come along since our conversion long ago would be in order. It might be that a confession and a burial of some things in our lives could also produce that same confidence, assurance and peace of mind. Give it a try. Go back to Bethel, to the place where you first found God to be real in your life. Renew your spiritual life.

Go there in your meditation, in your prayer, and in personal commitment. Go with a promise to live a little closer than you have been living.

What about your personal eternity? If Jesus tarries, ahead for each of us is the reality of tough circumstances and, eventually, the end of life. Before that time, let’s make another trip back to Bethel to renew our commitments made in that precious moment when we were first bathed in God’s holy presence.

This call will be neglected by the weak, the unsure will choose an alternative, the fearful will draw back, and the unprepared will simply give up. Don’t let that be you. (Revelation 2:5)

Only the wise will do the right thing. Be among them!

* An interesting sidelight: Most travelers and shepherds had a staff of substantial length. Tradition lists the length of Jacob’s staff at 7 feet long when it was first made. He still had it when he died, speaking his final words while leaning on it (Genesis 49).

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From runways to church aisles

Pastors dislike having to deal with fashion. They would rather just leave it up to fathers to guide the choices of styles displayed by the family. However, not every home has a father, and even if one is there he is often over-bothered by making such judgments. He may be bent toward letting mom decide such matters or is willing to say, “Oh, whatever….” So pastors have to be involved to some extent when styles cross a line. To gently guide parishioners, particularly youth, to the path of modesty is a never-ending struggle. A close reading of the epistle of Paul and Peter reveals that modesty involves more than having everything covered.

Now, with all the gender garbage that is coming down the pike, unisex and gender-neutral styles are the rage. Christian leaders have to stay informed or they will find youth and millennials following Calvin Klein rather than the apostle Paul. Whether we like it or not, we have deal with it. Shepherding is is not always a pristine occupation. Apostolic Christian godliness will never go out of style in God’s household.

Author Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, writing in The Atlantic, notes that gender-neutral clothing is back in style, but the craze in many ways has mirrored broader social changes throughout the 20th century. You can read her informative article (not an endorsement of her position, just passing info) called A Brief History of Unisex Fashion here: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/04/when-unisex-was-the-new-black/390168/

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Strange, indeed

  • Overnight the imbeciles who could not identify a woman without a biology degree became quite knowledgeable about the topic. One leak from the Supreme Court chamber turned the tide. From not knowing how to identify a woman, the leftist women gathered at statehouses across the country to denounce legislators who might remove their “right” to kill the baby in their wombs. Evidently each of them knew they were woman enough to conceive and bear children. One marvels at the ebb and flow of scientific knowledge.
  • Saying that laws against abortion “force women to give birth” is like saying laws against murdering your five-year old force you to be a parent. (A.D. Marr) But, according to current knowledge in DC, on any given day no one there is aware exactly what makes babies. I guess there aren’t many biologists in the Capital. If they would quit doing whatever-it-is that makes babies out of wedlock, they wouldn’t have to worry about so many unwanted pregnancies.
  • Almost as strange as the “what is a woman” puzzle among government hacks is the pressure to spend billions of dollars trying to figure out what these UFOs are. Give my 12-year old great grandson the money and he could probably tell you right away without a drawn out investigation. Choose one: Scam. Distraction. Money hole. Con artist’s dream. Conspiracy theorist’s addiction. Take your pick. Mine is all-of-the-above, particularly distraction. These grainy “photos” they show can probably be reproduced by a boy scout with a Kodak Brownie and a video camera from a Post Toasties box. That may be an overstatement but not much. They must have bought the cameras from a guy on Times Square with several of them in his inside coat pocket. Ridiculous visual “evidence” of this genre would never win a case in court. The one Fox News keeps showing has a background right out of Loony Tunes.  Now they are going to spend $$$$$ to send pixilated drawings of men and women into space to try to attract aliens from other solar systems. Hey, if they are advanced enough to send space ships to earth, fly them in our atmosphere at unbelievable speeds without burning up, and then disappear suddenly, they are way beyond the pixilating stage of technology. They will equate all earthlings with Neanderthals and probably move on to scout for a more advanced civilization in the Orion constellation. In other words, it is a distraction from what is really going on. Watch my hand.
  • However, at this point, if I get abducted by aliens, it’s no longer an abduction; it’s a rescue mission!

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Here comes the monkeypox

This new virus was evidently prepared for when Covid-19 wore itself out. Bill Gates was on it back in 2017. Two vaccines were then made. Wuhan lab made a PCR test that will enable large numbers of false positives to again cause panic and vaccine mandates. Belgium has already ordered a mandatory monkeypox quarantine. You can make up your own mind about what this might mean to American life in general and churches in particular.

Here are four pieces of information you might find helpful.

https://rumble.com/v1643wt–may-25-2022-the-new-world-order-prepares-their-final-attack.html

Shock! Wuhan Lab Experimented on Monkeypox Just Before Outbreak (thenewamerican.com)

Wuhan lab published monkeypox PCR test info, February 2022, on Science Direct with PDF:

Efficient assembly of a large fragment of monkeypox virus genome as a qPCR template using dual-selection based transformation-associated recombination – ScienceDirect

Belgium become firstcountry to introducecompulsory monkeypox quarantine

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WHO wants to control America

There is an egregious attempt to usurp American sovereignty by a crooked globalist entity—the WHO—which is essentially the UN. Biden intends to bind the USA to this unconstitutional agreement. There is a petition against it below for those interested.

The WHO director, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is a globalist and socialist malefactor. We cannot allow this to happen. If Biden unilaterally signs it, let’s pray that Congress will refuse to recognize it.

PETITION: Stop Tedros’ WHO Pandemic Treaty:

https://lifepetitions.com/petition/stop-tedros-who-pandemic-treaty?utm_source=lp_email

194 member states representing 99% of the world’s population are expected to sign pandemic treaties with the WHO that would allow Dr. Tedros, or any future Director General, to dictate exactly how your nation would respond to a new disease outbreak which they consider a pandemic.

This attack on national sovereignty will come as no surprise to those who for years have listened to elites like Klaus Schwab and Bill Gates discussing their vision for the centralization of power into globalist organizations like the World Economic Forum (WEF), the WHO and the rest of the United Nations.

This brand of globalism is merely a forerunner to the one-world system that will be installed by the Antichrist.

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Everyone knew it was a lie

Even the baristas at Starbucks. The guy changing my oil. My barber. Even the woman with a kid on her hip wading the shallows of the Rio Grande. Here’s the story:

Clinton campaign manager drops ‘bombshell’ exposing Clinton and media mob’s years-long Russia hoax (msn.com)

Those who lie must remember that they must tell other false tales to prop up the first one. The string of lies regarding Trump and Russia may have cost Trump the close election in 2020. Now the truth surfaces and the Clintons and their team were the real pushers of the big lie. In a world of propaganda, the truth is always a conspiracy.

When will they finally be able to put Hillary Clinton behind bars? They should pay with jail time and huge fines. Those at the top tiers of power need to pay when they break the law just as those at the lowest level of criminal activity. If they do lock her up, those who turn the key might suffer the same fate as those who tossed the three Hebrew men in the king’s fiery furnace. Her enemies have a way of passing on early.

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Books

Faith In The Furnace (eBook)

by J. R. Ensey
When pain racks the body, or 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

The Best of E. L. Holley (eBook)

Compiled by J. R. Ensey

E. L. Holley was a man of unique abilities. An astute observer of human nature, he could communicate truth in an inimitable style that you could never forget. His ministry touched the lives of thousands of people over the years. Here are dozens of some of the best articles he left with us.

AM Price $9.95

Adorning the Doctrine (Only 21 copies left)

by J. R. Ensey

This book’s four sections deals with doctrine and spirituality, doctrine and the Book of Acts, doctrine and “three mentions,” and curbing the influx of false doctrine. For truth seekers only.

AM Price $4.95

ORDER books at advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250. Click on book title to go directly to that book.

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MEMES say it so well

 

 

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Distilled wisdom

• Sin will take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you wanted to pay.

• As individual fingers can be easily broken, together we make a mighty fist.

• Liberal logic: A single cell organism on Mars would be life, but a human baby in a woman’s body isn’t.

• Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it harder for sober people to own cars.

• Satan is a liar, and it is amazng what some people will listen to and how a situation can get so twisted.

• The difference in liberals and conservatives:  Liberals see everyone equal at the finish line; conservative see everyone equal at the starting line.

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Last Words

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them,” said the late President John F. Kennedy.

The late Ron Oliver commented on Kennedy’s statement: “He had a pretty good ghost writer. Seems to me James said something along the same lines.”

Have a safe and blessed June!

JREnsey

 

Published in: on June 1, 2022 at 12:46 AM  Comments (1)  

JREnsey blog for May 2022

Welcome…to the May 2022 edition of the JREnsey blog. Let’s share a few minutes over matters of common interest.

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The Word for May:

Exodus 14:9,10,13,30: “But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.

10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord….

13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever….

30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.

[At the end of the day, it is better to be numbered with the pursued than among the pursuers.]

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Droplets of truth

“Without Freedom of Thought there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as Public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.” —Benjamin Franklin (1722)

The big difference in Christianity and Islam is that in Islam you die for your God. In Christianity, the main message is: Jesus died for us!

Time always tells the truth.

Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors.

The measure of a man is how he bears up under misfortune. – Plutarch

The giants of the race have been made of concentration, who have struck sledge-hammer blows in one place until they have accomplished their purpose. – Orison Marden

The world is so constructed that if you wish to enjoy its pleasures, you must also endure its pain. Whether you like it or not, you cannot have one without the other. – Brahmananda

Win hearts, and you have hands and purses. – Lord Burleigh

It’s a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much more often succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice and example could never have taught them as well as failure has done. – Samuel Smiles

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. – Chinese proverb

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When uncommon valor was a common virtue

WWII naval hero Admiral Chester Nimitz, commenting on the battle of Iwo Jima, said, “Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue.”

Judging from what I am hearing and witnessing, that could also be said of many young ministers of the 30-50 generation who choosing to take stand for righteousness and truth and against the encroachment of heresy and compromise. I salute them for their courage to oppose both cultural and denominational drift, clearly nailing the besetting trends that are impacting the Christian faith. These men recognize that the spirit of political correctness has invaded every denomination to some extent, but they are not willing to let go of what brought us to where we are! Some are paying a heavy price in terms of fellowship severance and unbridled criticism, willing to be misunderstood and mischaracterized for the sake of truth.

One of the criticisms they often endure is that they are “negative”—and who wants to wear that collar? If one is opposed to anything he is apt to be labeled “negative.” How sophomoric. We should not be so naïve as to think that we would have a well-rounded ministry by stating only what we are for and never mentioning what we oppose. The apostles didn’t trust that theory. One well-known pastor/leader told me once, “I don’t have enough time to preach about all the things I am for, let alone the things I am against!” What a non-brilliant cop-out! As a result of that approach, today that assembly hardly resembles an Apostolic church.

Some people assume the things they silently oppose will “take care of themselves” if they only concentrate on the things they are for. Try tending a garden, raising a child, developing a personal health regimen, running a political campaign—or building an Apostolic church—on that philosophy. It would be like rowing a boat with a single oar and going around in circles. If what is opposed should never be mentioned, someone should have informed Paul, Peter, John, James and Jude. They took up precious Bible space opposing ideas, philosophies and practices that were unorthodox and heretical, and sometimes the men who espoused them.

Thinking people recognize that one-sided presentations are apt to leave listeners confused and without direction, with more questions than answers. But, of course, that is the easy road. Just tell people what they all can agree on and what will make them happy. Help them to justify their carnal indulgences. Glad hand and back slap but never confront. Such philosophy will be the death knell of the Apostolic movement. Genuine revivals have never been birthed in that way.

Of course, there are two sides to the coin. We should not sanction the other extreme that assumes that we have to go through a litany of rules and regulations every time we stand to preach in order to prove our pulpit worthiness and red hot conservatism. All thinking persons know there is a biblical and practical position between the extremes that embraces both truth and reason. The man who rides a hobbyhorse will make both himself and his people sore.

So our hats are off to those brave young pastors who are wise enough to see the negative trends and courageous enough to stand against them. They manifest the virtue of uncommon valor. They will be the salvation of the Apostolic Movement.

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Pick a response

Christians have developed a list of pat answers for any eventuality: “God took him…The Lord must have had a purpose…It was the will of God…The Lord was wanting to teach us something…,” ad infinitum. True, perhaps, in many cases. We are especially prone to such philosophy when major diseases, like cancer, or tragic accidents strike our loved ones. But, noticeably, neither Paul nor the other apostles used God to explain every eventuality or physical problem. Life happens. It happens to sinners, to saints, to good people and bad. It rains on the just and the unjust. If God does not deliver us from pain and problems, His grace is granted to keep us faithful through them. He can even use our faithfulness as a testimony.

It is nice that God does not let—He probably allows more things than He causes—negative things come our way without getting some mileage out of them. Paul explained in Philippians 1:12: “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.” God knows how to turn what seems to be a bad event into a good one if we will stop and give the situation some thought. He does not wish that our misfortunes, as we are apt to call them, cast a bad light on the church. Therefore, He tells us through Paul, “For I know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

So, relax. Life happens. But remember—the ultimate outcome is still in God’s hands.

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A plea from the heart

In 1987, Leon Stewart, then the General Superintendent of the Pentecostal Holiness Church, visited the General Council of the Assemblies of God and was asked to address the conference. After complementing the denomination, which is considered to be the largest and fastest growing Pentecostal-leaning movement in the world today, made a request of them:

“May I plead with you tonight in your 42nd General Council? Would you do something for the rest of us? Primarily would you do it for our Friend and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ?

“Would you lead us out of modern, cheap grace and easy believism? Would you lead us out of material greed and self-gratification? Would you lead us out of pseudo-psychology and exalted sensationalism? Would you lead us back to the voice that stills the voice of secular humanism? Would you lead us back to the touch of the nail printed hands that produce real and genuine miracles? Would you lead us back to Him, our true example, and that holy life-style that leads us upward and ever onward to where the light lingers, even when the sun is set? Would you please lead us back to a genuine appreciation of the Lamb of God, our Lord Jesus Christ? Would you please do that? I plead, do it! God bless you.”

Wow! No wonder the delegates rose to their feet and lifted their hands in contrition and prayer. If someone like him were to make a similar request of the UPCI, I wonder what his words would be.

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Your response:

I asked that question fourteen years ago on this blog. Here were some of your answers:

“I would say: ‘Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, wherein is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein (Jeremiah 6:16).’”

“Remove not the ancient landmarks which thy fathers have set” (Proverbs 22:28).

“Please try to understand that hurting, wounded souls, beaten and abused by the world, desperately seek a refuge. Please don’t take away the only real refuge (the church) by turning it into something that looks just like the world we are trying to escape from.”

“Thanks be to God for every God-anointed preacher and pastor who pays such a terrible price sometimes in order to hold fast to the truth and sound doctrine in this endtime. God bless you all.”

“Put principle above politics, piety above promotion, and spiritual power above position.”

“Don’t strike out at those you think are beneath you; they may actually be above you.”

“Revival movements consistently call their constituents to repentance and deeper commitment. Movements that are in decline only stoke the fires of self-indulgence and compromise. Please lead us into revival and soulwinning. Don’t fear what important persons think; all that is important is what God thinks.”

“Don’t let so-called smart people influence you more than the common person. There are more of us regular folk than there are intellectuals. We want to feel like we count, too.”

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Non-golfers may skip this next entry and move on

Fifteen Laws of Golf

Law 1: No matter how bad your last shot was, the worst is yet to come. This law does not expire on the 18th hole, since it has the supernatural tendency to extend over the course of a tournament, a summer; and, a lifetime.

Law 2: Your best round of golf will be followed almost immediately by your worst round ever. The probability of the latter increases with the number of people you tell about the former.

Law 3: Brand new golf balls are water-magnetic. Though this cannot be proven in the lab, it is a known fact that the more expensive the golf ball, the greater its attraction to water.

Law 4: Golf balls never bounce off of trees back into play. lf one does, the tree is breaking a law of the universe and should be cut down.

Law 5: No matter what causes a golfer to muff a shot, all his playing partners must solemnly chant, “You looked up,” or invoke the wrath of the universe.

Law 6: The higher a golfer’s handicap, the more qualified he deems himself as an instructor.

Law 7: Every par-three hole in the world has a secret desire to humiliate golfers.

Law 8: Palm trees eat golf balls.

Law 9: Sand is alive. Otherwise, how do you explain the way it works against you?

Law 10: Golf carts always run out of juice at the farthest point from the clubhouse.

Law 11: A golfer hitting into your group will always be bigger than anyone in your group. Likewise, a group you accidentally hit into will consist of a football player, a professional wrestler, a convicted murderer, and an IRS agent — or some similar combination.

Law 12: The person you would most hate to lose to will always be the one who beats you.

Law 13: The last three holes of a round will automatically adjust your score to what it really should be.

Law 14: Golf should be given up at least twice per month.

Law 15: All vows taken on a golf course shall be valid only until the sun sets.

[And all who have walked the links may cry “Amen!” Some preachers have been known to pray more fervently on the course than elsewhere. (See pic above.) So a little fresh air and fervent prayer may be just what the doctor ordered.

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The imprecatory Psalms

The violence in Ukraine makes me, like many of us, feel powerless. I watch helplessly as tanks roll into cities, as civilian targets are shelled, as the lives of whole families are viciously snuffed out. What do I do with this anger and heartbreak?

As I discussed recently with David French and Curtis Chang, I find myself turning again and again to the imprecatory psalms. Each morning I’m praying Psalm 7:14–16 with Vladimir Putin in mind: ‘Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends’ (ESV).

An imprecation is a curse. The imprecatory psalms are those that call down destruction, calamity, and God’s judgment on enemies. Honestly, I don’t usually know what to do with them. I pray them simply as a rote practice. But I gravitate toward more even-keeled promises of God’s presence and mercy. I am often uncomfortable with the violence and self-assured righteousness found in these kinds of psalms.

But they were made for moments like these.”

– Observations from Tish Harrison Warren, Christianity Today 3/8/22).

One wonders if the author and other writers on similar topics have read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, or is real history passé everywhere today?

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More gender fluidity

The Marines are always looking for “a few good men.” But what happens when politics overrule military sense? They develop maternity wear for the lady soldiers. Thank you, Uncle Joe. How thoughtful.

This is godless secular humanism, a false equality. Idiocy, in fact. The biblical pattern is for men to do the fighting, if need be, to protect their women, to keep them from harm, not place them in harm’s way. Will there soon be another “Children’s Crusade?” Who knows who this present administration will decide to put on the front lines of the next battle?

Marines alter uniform regulations, including maternity wear, manicure options and hairstyle (msn.com)

Gender Blurring in Pagan Worship | United Church of God (ucg.org)

I believe there are places within the confines of military service for women to serve, but wouldn’t it be best to be guided in those choices by the likes of Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton rather than Joan of Arc and Boudica? Women don’t belong on the battlefield with arms in combat with other armies. But the farther we go with the theory that “there is no difference in men and women” the more we will see the placement of women where God never intended for them to be. The destruction of the family unit is the goal of the BLM and Marxist activists. We must pray and preach against these philosophies. We can also speak to our school boards and principles to let them know our opposition to these theories and policies.

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Books

The Book We Call The Bible  (eBook)

by J. R. Ensey
Pentecostal theologian Talmadge French has said:
“Here we are treated to a probing, yet readable, analysis of things pertaining to the formation and transmission of the biblical text. The implications of these discussions are far-reaching, worthy of our most sincere scrutiny, and of interest and relevance to all who love the Word of God. J. R. Ensey has rendered all of us a great service in addressing, in such a detailed and clear manner, the issues relevant to the matters of biblical authority, the text and translation.” – From The Foreword

The time has come for us to objectively take a closer look at the Book that informs us of the origins of the universe, the history of man, the cause of suffering in the world, and the path to restoration, redemption, and eternal life. No other book contains this authoritative history and information. No other book can justifiably claim divine inspiration and inerrancy. The section on Why You Can Trust the Bible is worth the price of the book.

AM price $12.95

Searching the Scriptures: Merging Trust, Texts, and Translations (eBook)

by J. R. Ensey

A number of years ago, I embarked on a journey to learn more about the actual text of the Bible. I wanted to know how it came to us in the present form. The research took me to libraries (both here and abroad), the Internet, discussions with textual scholars, and the perusal of many books (a weariness of the flesh), and earnest prayer. I wanted to know the truth.

This largely polemic volume takes on the shallow claim of those who insist that only one 400-year old English translation—done with pre-set biased rules, few resources, by men who did not fully understand the New Testament was written in Koine rather than classical Greek—should be viewed as “the only Bible.” Finding truth behind the manuscripts, the texts
and translations is a worthy objective that will build your faith in the Scriptures, not destroy it.

Searching the Scriptures: Merging Truth, Texts and Translations is the result of that effort. It puts the early English Bibles, including the KJV, in perspective where they can be evaluated with contemporary translations by the sciences of papyrology, textual analysis, and linguistics. No doctrines are lost in the process and none are created in Searching the Scriptures.

If you have questions about the ancient manuscripts, the Greek texts, the differences in the Textus Receptus, the Majority Text, the Critical Text, or the translations available today, you will find some help here. What about the words or phrases in some translations that are not there in the medieval versions or vice versa? You will find the answers in this book.

Includes charts, comparisons of popular Bible translations, and other addenda that you will find helpful in the study of the Scriptures.

Apostolics, of all people, have no need to fear truth. To do so casts a shadow of doubt on the Holy Scriptures. The more one learns about the Bible, the more it is respected and trusted.

AM price $14.95

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May 8 is Mother’s Day! Let’s make it special for the first lady of the household!

Serious and funny memes for Mama

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Top 10 predictions regardless of which party is in power after the midterm elections

1. God will still be on the throne.

2. Prayer will still work.

3. The Holy Spirit will still move.

4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.

5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.

6. The Bible will still have all the answers we need.

7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.

8. There will still be room at the Cross.

9. Jesus will still love you.

10. Jesus will still save the lost if they turn to Him.

No crystal ball was needed to make those predictions. ISN’T IT GREAT TO KNOW WHO IS STILL IN ULTIMATE CONTROL?!

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Last Words

The will of God never takes you to where the grace of God will not keep you.

We don’t change the message; the message changes us.

If you still have a problem regarding face masks for restricting Covid-19, you may be interested in this report from Israel: “New study: Face mask usage correlates with higher death rates.” Google Israel National News with that lead and read the article. Informed people are less likely to be misled by political ruses.

Have a great soul winning month in May! And on May 8 speak a kind word to every mother you know, especially your own…and the mother of your children!

JREnsey

Published in: on May 1, 2022 at 9:32 PM  Comments (4)  

JREnsey blog April 2022

Welcome…Thanks for joining this month’s discussion!

The Word du jour

“And this is the basic law of the Temple: absolute holiness! The entire top of the mountain where the Temple is built is holy. Yes, this is the basic law of the Temple” (Ezekiel 43:12 NLT).

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Martin Luther was right on some points

We all know he was right on the fact that salvation could not be earned by doing good works alone, particularly keeping those Jewish laws Paul referenced so often. And, like us, he believed those Catholic indulgences similar to “get out of jail free” cards were outrageous! We also know he, like other reformers of that age, stopped short in his Reformation break with the RCC rather than returning to the bold apostolic faith of the first century Christians. Yet the founder of a denomination that claims millions of adherents still today said some other things worth noting.

On the Scriptures:

“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in the councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted, and my conscience is captive to the Word of God.” (Roland H. Bainton.  Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1978, 182.)

“From the beginning of my Reformation I have asked God to send me neither dreams, nor visions, nor angels, but to give me the right understanding of His Word, the Holy Scriptures; for as long as I have God’s Word, I know that I am walking in His way and that I shall not fall into any error or delusion.” (azquotes.com)

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it.” (Ibid.)

“I am much afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures, and engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which means are not unceasingly occupied with the Word of God must be corrupt.” (Ibid.)

On marriage:

“Marriage is no joke. It must be worked on, and prayed over. …To get a wife is easy enough, but to love her with constancy is difficult, for the mere union of the flesh is not sufficient; there must be a congeniality of tastes and character. And that congeniality does not come overnight.” (Roberts Liardon, God’s Generals: The Roaring Reformers; New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2003), p. 166.)

“Nothing is more sweet than harmony in marriage, and nothing is more distressing than dissension.” (Ibid.)

“There is a lot to get used to in the first year of marriage. One wakes up in the morning and finds a pair of pigtails on on his pillow which were not there before.” (Ibid., 163.)

On the papacy and the Roman Catholic Church:

“If no one ventures to speak of the evils in the church and if everyone is to keep silence, the stones will eventually cry out.” (Ibid., 154.)

“[I am] more pleased over this deed [the burning of the Papal Bull] than any other deed of my life.” (Ibid., 152.) [The Pope was into burning too, but mostly men and their books with them.]

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Five ways to know when REVIVAL has come to your church

  1. When a passion for souls permeates the congregation
  2. When prayer has become a priority
  3. When worship is churchwide and cheerleading is unnecessary
  4. When folks start catching up on their tithes
  5. When no visitor is ignored

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Thoughts make us what we are

The source of Charles Swindoll’s thoughts about Great Britain’s former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, has escaped me. From somewhere in his mountain of written works came his comments on her determination, decisiveness, and discipline that gave her the edge she needed to ultimately become the first woman Prime Minister of Great Britain. One of his favorite Thatcher quote was:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;

watch your words, they become actions;

watch your actions, they become habits;

watch your habits, they become character;

watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Swindoll: “These words are profound. They describe, in detail, our life journey and the significance our thought life has on our future. We must learn to be selective with the thoughts we allow to circulate in our minds. God’s Word instructs us to do this. Every thought has an agenda…to shape our philosophy of life and prompt us to move in some direction. We must filter our thoughts with truth. Otherwise our feelings will control our minds and eventually produce words and actions that take us in a direction we will finally regret. To move in the direction God intended, we must begin by finding out what God thinks. In Isaiah 55:8 God says ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. As you and I think about His thoughts, we will find that His words begin to shape our thoughts and words. Actions will follow. Good habits will form and shape our character and destiny.”

Other Thatcher quotes he favored:

“Right thinking is your best light in this dark universe; it is your best hope in your worst hopelessness!”

“Life is an ocean and every ocean necessitates right thinking and right action, or else sinking becomes the only fate realizable!”

Thanks for sharing those insights, Chuck.

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Well said

“The trouble with so many of us is that we are on the right side of Easter but the wrong side of Pentecost, the right side of pardon but the wrong side of power.”  – Graham Scroggie

“Once government is committed to the principle of silencing 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.” – Harry. S. Truman (1950; Democrat U.S. President)

“The freedom of America is the freedom to live your own life and take your own chances. The American Revolution was more than a rebellion against England. It was rebellion against the whole idea that some special anointed one could tell everybody else what to do. The Constitution of the United States is pervaded with the conviction that no one is to be trusted with too much power.” – Thomas Sowell, July 1, 1986; Compassion versus Guilt, p. 237.

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Have you noticed this?

• Christianity is learned in three ways: 1) studying the Scriptures, 2) observing others who live the biblical principles, and 3) experientially, through fellowship with God . Both 2 and 3 are subject to number 1. A man is not born naturally into the faith, neither can he be educated nor inducted into it. All who are truly born again into the kingdom of God have taken the apostolic path outlined in Acts 2:38.

• When post-Apostolic Christianity began to tolerate and inculcate false doctrines, the miracles and healings dropped off commensurately. The purer our message, the more privileges the church has to enjoy the favor of God. The renewal and recovery of doctrinal imperatives in the last century saw a return of the miraculous ministry of the Holy Spirit.

• The quickest way to be overwhelmed by burnout is to be hypocritical.

• Those whose ministry is built on prophetic teachings alone seem to seldom go back over their predictions to evaluate their accuracy. Why are their headlines usually in the form of a question that is not answered in the text that follows?

• Jesus called John the Baptist the greatest prophet. Why? Perhaps the answer is in John 10:41—he always told the truth. A phone saleslady called one day to try to entice me to buy a retainer from a group of attorneys. In her sales pitch she claimed that the lawyers in this group were “relatively honest.” I asked her to hold the phone while I wrote that line down. John wasn’t “relatively” honest; he always told the truth. What a great attribute.

• If reports were really wrong about the leftist motives of the tech oligarchs and liberal politicians, they wouldn’t have to cancel them.

• Statistics can be disheartening. I recently read that of 15 women who are pregnant today, five will get an abortion. Of the ten left, six will have no husband. Of the four left, two will get a divorce while their kids are still in school. That reveals that our culture is on the a frightfully wrong path.

• Ronald Reagan noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.

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I heard…

…that you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a bowl of gumbo in New Orleans and that is close enough.

…that gas prices were shooting up faster than Biden’s vote count at 2:00 a.m. on election night.

…that praising the government for reopening the country is like thanking your abuser when they stop beating you.

…that our oil comes from Russia, or Iran, or Saudi Arabia or Latin America, but the dipstick is in DC. If fossil fuels cause global climate catastrophe here, won’t it also do it there? Aren’t we on the same globe?

…that America has been poking the Russian bear. We secretly put biological labs funded by the Dept. of Defense in Ukraine, next door to Russia. Should they not be concerned? When the Pentagon and Dept. of Defense denied their existence through the fake media, why shouldn’t Russia be concerned? Would we want such Wuhan-type labs or potential weapons in Cuba or Ontario? (Perhaps they are already there.)

…that any government, be it conservative or libertine-based, that operates from a perspective of consistent lies is headed either for extinction or authoritarian power. In which direction is America headed?

…that the U.S. is currently the perfect example of what can quickly happen to a prosperous business when you hire all the wrong people.

…that Putin still has a Twitter account but Trump doesn’t. Can anyone guess why?

…that Hunter Biden’s religion is called Crystal Methodist. Uh…what could that possibly mean?

…that all the virtue-signaling celebs demanding “Justice for Jussie” got what they wanted. That true?

…that Biden hopes $6 gas will push us into electric vehicles and away from dependence on Russian oil. Does he know that Norilsk Nickel is the world’s largest nickel producer, with vast operations in Siberia?

…that Nancy Pelosi said that “government spending reduces the national debt. It is not inflationary.” Perhaps she using one of those crack pipes Biden is handing out.

…that Kamala said in Poland, “I am here, standing here, on the Northern flank—on the Eastern flank talking about what we have in terms of the Eastern flank and our NATO allies and what is at stake at this very moment.” Got that? Did she really know where she was…at that very moment?

…that on another European stop, the VP spoke about the Internet: “The significance in the passage of time…the significance of the passage of time…So when you think about it, there is great significance in the passage of time in terms of what we need to do…and there is great significance in the passage of time.”

…that shutting down Russia’s oil production will cripple their economy, but shutting down ours is good for our economy. Send that copy to the news media, they are waiting and will gladly disseminate it.

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Wo[man] of the Year

Democrats love it when a man is selected as “Woman of the Year.” USA Today selected Rachel Levine as their Woman of the Year. The Babylon Bee selected her as the “Man of the Year” and got kicked off of Twitter. Canceled. Which is she? Evidently only biologists know, according to Ketanji Jackson, Supreme Court nominee—and they aren’t telling.

“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” —George Orwell, 1984

“Disney, schools, and transgender ideology are all pushing the LGBTQ+ agenda beyond the pale.” Emmy Griffin

The social engineers are no longer hiding their rabid efforts to indoctrinate our children. Somebody please clean up the swamp in DC and take out the trash in our schools.

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What is the definition of “woman”?

When asked if she could tell the questioning Senator what a woman is, Ketanji Jackson, who has been nominated to the Supreme Court, answered, “I cannot define what a woman is…I am not a biologist.” Are we going to put a woman on the Supreme Court who does not even know whether she is a woman or not? If she doesn’t know what she is, how did Biden come to the knowledge that she was “a Black woman” that he had promised to place on the court? Is Biden a biologist? How could she ever decide for women’s rights if she has no knowledge of what makes one a woman? Incredible! One woman, who knew what she personally was, said, “I am not a veterinarian, but I know what a dog is.” And let me add—I am not Eve, but she and I both were/are aware of what makes a man a man (Genesis 4:1).

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Opinion:

WHILE ROME BURNS: Should Apostolic Christians concern themselves about politics and government?

That question has arisen in part due to the fact that we have allowed our national history, among other vital subjects, to be rewritten or removed entirely from school curricula. Americans have seen it slip away while they were on vacation in Cabo, or Cancun, on a world cruise, or basking on the beach. Perhaps they are too busy with the latest man-toys from China, items that will be of little use in the coming society. A few have finally awakened to recognize that academia got “woke” while they were asleep. Other segments of the culture are either getting in line or counting the cost. We find our collective selves staggering around like rum-soaked sailors. “What’s happening?” we innocently ask as socialism steadily saturates our nation.

History is history—passé in the college classrooms. Lies and propaganda now pour forth from the professorial lecterns into the empty heads of students, both home-grown and foreign, who never learned to work, to serve, or grow intellectually in an objective way. To the ruling class, America is just another rung on the ladder to world domination. Parents have long ago left teaching and training up to someone who didn’t birth them. That paves the way for witless folk to get elected to office, fill our school boards, write our laws, destroy our monuments, empty our prisons, and elevate prima donnas to lead our troops and fight our wars.

“What can we do?” you ask. Well, doing what we have largely been doing—nothing—is certainly not working. Some seem fearful of even praying about the situation lest we cross the will of God. God Himself may be orchestrating what we are witnessing, many say. Just because you don’t see God’s hand in action does not mean He is in favor of what is taking place or that we should fall in line with everything the world wants us to do. He put Adam in the Garden to tend and take care of it. He was to be in charge. He dropped the ball. We now live with the judgment for his failure.

Can Christian pacifism be taken too far? Inaction equals surrender. Many believers don’t even know where the polling places are in their county. That attitude led to Nazism in Germany, resulting in millions of Allied casualties in WWII, including six million Jews. An interesting study for pacifists might be to determine what the Roman Catholics were doing as Hitler rose to power. The history is out there. Then take note of what the Protestants were doing as the hob-nail booted Gestapo ravaged their country and the nations around them. They played the quiet game. Just ask Niemöller. The Coptic Church in North African countries haggled over how many fingers are required to make the sign of the cross while Muslims and anti-Christian religious armies took over their nations. Methodists once had serious discussions about what to do with leftover communion crumbs. The day the Communists took over in Russia, the black-robed Russian Orthodox priests were in council trying to decide on the color of threads to be sewn into their priestly robes.

Why are Australian Christians bowing to tyrannical edicts and mandates with muted voices? Have they not read history? A while back it must have seemed wise to present their guns to be destroyed by the authorities in an effort to make it a “safer” country. Do they really feel safer now? Diminished potential defense invites a more haughty offense. Officials will do what they want when there’s nothing that can be done about it. Now those who defy the harsh edicts handed down in the name of “health” are being removed and quarantined in “health camps.” Similar camps were originally called “labor camps” in Eastern Europe but were later known by names like Auschwitz, Birkenau, Dachau and Treblinka. Elective surgeries have been suspended in Australia. In at least one case, parents were denied the ability to identify their dead son’s body. And how’s all that working out for stopping the spread of pandemic viruses? The Reuters’ headline in January said it all: “Australia suffers record Covid cases.”

“We are afraid of losing our tax status if we speak out or express our loyalty to America and our traditional values,” some Christians admit. What about losing our children? Is our money more important than our kids? And how about our personal freedoms? Our inalienable rights? A solid majority of Americans still claim Christianity as their belief, even if many of them are not regular attendees at church. If their voice is stilled, we are doomed to another kind of government. As in some other countries, it may become punishable by imprisonment to teach the Christian faith to one’s own children here in our own nation.

If we just “let this happen,” without doing something to contribute to the preservation of our freedoms, we will have little room to grumble. All of this will be thought of in a different light if one cannot get emergency treatment for his wife or child because he doesn’t have the right skin color, or he is wearing a cap with the wrong words, or he doesn’t have a card expressing political allegiance to the party in power. The time will come when one can’t get a loan to buy a house or car, or even buy the food he needs without proper “papers.” And that could be in place months or years before the Antichrist mandates his personal mark.

Ignorance, apathy and ambivalence of our citizens are what the Communists are counting on. They are trusting that Americans won’t stand up, that we won’t know enough or care enough to do anything about it. Silence gives consent.

Someone was fiddling while Rome burned.

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The Southern Baptist Convention decides to take a stand

They got tired of denominational leadership leaning to liberalism and “wokeness.” The false social gospel had made deep inroads because of their concerns about “the watching world.” Those who are taking a stand are lifting the banner of “God is watching, too!” When we get to the place where we are too plugged into the culture and fearful that some may not like us if we counter the wave of anti-Christian leftist propaganda, we will lose the favor of God. Some might prefer the favor of the world rather than that of God. Such a choice pushes any religious movement toward compromise and heresy.

The Baptists point to faculties in their seminaries where CRT and other liberal philosophies are pushed onto students. The churches, ministers, and laymen alike have a right to know who is teaching future ministers/pastors in organizational colleges and seminaries, what they believe, how they live, and what they are instilling in the students. To blindly support that which is largely secretive, well-covered and virtually hidden is foolish. “When you have done all to stand, stand therefore….” It is time to fight!

Visit this site for more details:  https://patriotpost.us/articles/87144-the-southern-baptist-convention-pushes-back-2022-03-24?mailing_id=6554&utm_medium=email&utm_source=pp.email.6554&utm_campaign=digest&utm_content=body  or just Google “The Southern Baptist Church Pushes Back.”

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Where do you end up on the diversity path?

No one should countenance racial injustice or supremacy of one race over another. Only foolish persons, biblically and constitutionally illiterate souls, would say otherwise. So, to underscore that philosophy, some virtue-signaling groups have climbed aboard the “diversity” bus with the current culture, thinking it is the means to express fairness and racial equality. Suddenly, they are stopping to pick up the crowd at the “inclusion” station, then the “equity” stop for non-ticket holders, followed by the LGBTQ++ crowd who are thumbing a ride, who then insist on stopping to pick up the “woke folk” and the trans advocates who are waiting at the next stop, and then…and then… There is no end to the diversity trip on the crowded bus. There’s always another special interest group waiting to board. We can’t see the end from here. It is virtually unimaginable. Like Lot, who just couldn’t imagine where he might end up if he pitched his tent south toward Sodom. Now, according to the Supreme Court nominee, one must be a biologist to identify a woman or know what one is. Have we arrived at a place where only men are allowed to call themselves women [aka, Lia Thomas]? Just a few years ago, no one thought we could be where we are today. Using the language of the culture is not benefiting the kingdom. Rather, it poses a serious threat.

Somewhere in an old black-backed Book I read: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” Does that still have meaning for true Christians?

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Books

Adorning the Doctrine

by J. R. Ensey

This book deals with the relationships of doctrine and spirituality, doctrine and the Book of Acts, doctrine and “three mentions,” and how to curb the influx of false doctrine. For truth seekers only. Only 21 copies left in paperback. Order today! AM price $4.95

 

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

Go to: advanceministries.org/store to order

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Book Review

God’s Generals: The Roaring Reformers

By Roberts Liardon

Whitaker House Publishers, 2003; hardcover

In last month’s blog, I reviewed a book by the same author with a similar title: God’s Generals: The Healing Evangelists. Book Two of this short series is God’s Generals: The Roaring Reformers. In this volume, the author pens his views as he looks back several centuries to focus on six reformers who shook the Roman Catholic Church to its core. He does so through the lens of his modern day Charismatic background.

Liardon has accomplished the almost impossible task of cramming into a nutshell the larger-than-life minds and ministries of John Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox and George Fox. I virtually guarantee you will find information here you have not known. While many books of historical biography have been written about each of them, the author distills in readable form what is probably most important about their lives and ministries. He gives them kudos as well as a few knocks when necessary to maintain an objective stance. He unoffensively injects bits of his own philosophies along the way for personal spice and application.

I think you might enjoy this read as well as be informed by it. If you like history, you will love this book. It won’t waste your time. It was hard to put down.

Available $18.79 new from Amazon; used for less from other sources

 

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Something to chew on

Only from Scripture can we truly discern right from wrong. In part, the reason is that we mortals judge each other and then form opinions from that judgment, but real convictions are drawn from the Word of God. – Anon.

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Artists see it a different way

The Home Depot a few years ago decided to embrace the LGBTQ++ agenda. But once stepping onto the freeway of sexual social engineering, there is no place to stop. Someone posted their latest publication for employee training (below). You might check out your local hardware and lumber company as you bypass the big box store.

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The Last Word

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). The foundations of this Christian-based nation are rapidly crumbling. One wonders what will appear next on the news. The nation changers have gone around the constitutional roadblocks to remove the freedoms we enjoyed for centuries. “Not our problem,” some say. “God is taking care of everything.” Do you read “mankind has no social responsibilities at all in this life” in the Scriptures? Within mankind is a people who form the kingdom of God. They have been redeemed by the blood of Christ and owe their first allegiance to Him. Beyond that, we are citizens of the greatest democracy the world has known. It has fostered the work of the kingdom of God on the earth, financed global missions, and supported biblical principles that form much of the flesh and bones of government polity. It is worth preserving, regardless of what the BLM activists and Antifa radicals say. We must have a vehicle, a society, a culture through which the faith can be promulgated and passed along to our children.

Let’s pray up, pack up, stand up, speak up, so we save ourselves and others—and be prepared to go up.

Blessings on every reader. Share the blog with others whom you feel would appreciate its content.

JREnsey

PS: As I have said before, this blog and its contents represents no other person or entity but the signatory above.

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

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  

JREnsey blog for February 2022

Welcome…Thanks for taking a few minutes for some biblical analysis and other information.

The Word du jour

“And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a luckie felowe and continued in the huse of his master the Egiptian” (Genesis 39:2; Original Tyndale Pentateuch 1530).

I chose the original Tyndale Pentateuch translation to quote our verse for the day to show that even the great William Tyndale sometimes used dynamic equivalence in rendering words from the original language. Joseph was considered to be a “lucky fellow.” The KJV translators used about 80% of Tyndale’s renderings. Fortunately, they chose other words to translate this particular verse. As you can see, the spelling in the English language had not yet been standardized in 1530, or even by 1611.

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More lettuce for your lessons

“The measure of a man is the way he bears up under misfortune.” – Plutarch

“I find the great thing in this world is, not so much where we stand, but in what direction we are moving.” – Goethe

If you see a drowning man, don’t wait until you have a life-saving certificate before trying to rescue him.

“A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good, just because it is accepted by a majority.” – Booker T. Washington

“You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” – Mary Tyler Moore

“Every mountain means at least two valleys.” – Anonymous

“We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success.” – Smiles

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

“You never achieve real success unless you like what you are doing.” – Dale Carnegie

“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self.” – Aristotle

Idle Christians are the raw material out of which backsliders are made.

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William Tyndale’s letter from Vilvorde prison

First, let me quote 2 Timothy 4:13 from Tyndale’s New Testament, 1534:

“The cloke that I lefte at Troada with Carpus/ when thou commest/ brynge with the/ and the bokes / but specially the partchement.”

William Tyndale was arrested in 1535 and spent nearly 500 days in Vilvorde Prison, near Brussels, Belgium. One letter from him, written in Latin, has survived. The English translation of his letter is below. It reminds one of Paul’s appeal from prison in 2 Timothy 4:13. The letter speaks volumes about the terrible conditions which Tyndale endured. It is a moving letter.

I believe, most excellent Sir, that you are not unacquainted with the decision reached concerning me. On which account, I beseech your lordship, even by the Lord Jesus, that if I am to pass the winter here, to urge upon the lord commissary, if he will deign, to send me from my goods in his keeping a warmer cap, for I suffer greatly from cold in the head, being troubled with a continual catarrh, which is aggravated in this prison vault. A warmer coat also, for that which I have is very thin. Also cloth for repairing my leggings. My overcoat is worn out; the shirts also are worn out. He has a woolen shirt of mine, if he will please send it. I have also with him leggings of heavier cloth for overwear. He likewise has warmer nightcaps: I also ask for leave to use a lamp in the evening, for it is tiresome to sit alone in the dark. But above all, I beg and entreat your clemency earnestly to intercede with the lord commissary, that he would deign to allow me the use of my Hebrew Bible, Hebrew Grammar, and Hebrew Lexicon, and that I might employ my time with that study. Thus likewise may you obtain what you most desire, saving that it further the salvation of your soul. But if, before the end of winter, a different decision be reached concerning me, I shall be patient, and submit to the will of God to the glory of the grace of Jesus Christ my Lord, whose spirit may ever direct your heart. Amen.

W. Tyndale

This translation comes from an 1884 book written by Jacob Isidor Mombert: William Tyndale’s Five Books of Moses Called the Pentateuch: Being a Verbatim Reprint of the Edition of M.CCCCC.XXX. (New York and London, 1884), pp. li-lii. [retrieved: https://firstenglishbible.com/2018/05/13/tyndales-letter-from-prison/%5D

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Read early English, Greek and Spanish Bibles online

Here is a site that you may find interesting and helpful. You can see and read early English Bibles, Erasmus’ second edition 1519 Greek text, and other very old Bibles and books that may assist you in your deeper studies of the Scriptures.

https://bibles-online.net/

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Aquinas on Baptism

Ray Copeland

Thomas Aquinas, someone that many of us are not familiar with, but a titanic figure in the shaping of Western thought and theology, lived from 1225 to 1274. He was declared a Doctor of the Catholic church and is probably best known for his contributions in natural law and metaphysics. Among his works is the massive Summa Theologia, wherein he attempts to summarize all aspects of theology into one, admittedly gigantic, place. In this article, however, we are using him as a window into the 13th century to see what a Doctor of the Church thought about the practice of baptism, and what the Church believed about the form and the ceremony at that time.

The treatise on the sacraments occurs in the third part of the Summa. Baptism is found in questions 66 – 71. We will deal with question 66, mostly, with a particular focus on articles 6 and 7. Reading the Summa is no easy task. The vocabulary and the format are foreign to our ears, especially if we are not familiar with the technical language of Thomas’ particular type of philosophical reasoning.

The Summa is divided into three parts. Each part is divided into questions. Each question is further divided into articles. Each article begins with a series of objections to whatever belief that Thomas holds. These are valuable because, firstly, he is not uncharitable in forming the beliefs of his opponents and, secondly, it gives us an insight into what was being taught at the time of his writing. We understand that Thomas was a devout and completely orthodox Dominican. He taught and wrote what was believed by the Catholic church at that time. However, in his objections, we can get a glimpse into the history of baptism and how that belief tended toward change over time. It has been said that rare exceptions tend to become general rules, over time.

Part 3, question 66, article 6 puts forth three objections to the triune formula of baptism. First, since there is only one Faith and one Baptism there need only be one name conferred. And that Acts 8:12 tells us that they were baptized in the name of Christ. Second, Ambrose said that baptism in the name of Christ alone was acceptable because that name designated the one who anointed, the one who was anointed, and the one by which he was anointed. Third, Pope Nicholas I answered a letter from the Bulgers by saying, “Those who have been baptized in the name of the Trinity, or only in the name of Christ, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles must not be rebaptized (italics mine).”

From these objections it seems clear that, at least until the 13th century, the common doctrine of the Church was that the early church baptized in the name of Jesus alone. There was no trinitarian form of baptism that was used at all. In his replies to these objections he further strengthens this historical view by saying:“It was by a special revelation from Christ that in the primitive Church the apostles baptized in the name of Christ; in order that the name of Christ, which was hateful to Jews and Gentiles, might become an object of veneration, in that the Holy Ghost was given in Baptism at the invocation of that Name.”

It seems that there is no question in the mind of the greatest theologian since Augustine that the early church baptized only in the name of Jesus. He postulates that it was done as a distinctive so that others would venerate that name. He does not seem to indicate at what point that veneration became unnecessary or repetitive. And would there ever be a time that the pendulum would swing the other way and the church would have to go back to baptism in only the name of Jesus because of current culture. It seems incongruous with the nature of the Word of God and the commandments of God that we can change the understanding of the Apostles and their teachings because we do not think them theologically relevant to our current culture.

The second question we will deal with is the view of immersion as necessary for baptism. This is found in article 7 of the same question. Again, he lists three reasons (in opposition to his view, remember) that one should be immersed at baptism. First, he once again references Ephesians 4:5. There is only one baptism. And since “in many parts of the world the ordinary way of baptizing is by immersion,” baptism should be by immersion. Secondly, baptism is a form of burial. Here he quotes Chrysostom: “When we dip our heads under the water as in a kind of tomb, our old man is buried, and being submerged, is hidden below, and thence he rises again renewed.” Therefore immersion is required for baptism. Thirdly, he points out that baptism is a washing, and the whole body is affected by sin. Therefore the whole body should be washed in baptism.

In his answer (e), he points out that washing can be done by pouring but “it is safer to baptize by immersion, because this is the more ordinary fashion.” His defense of sprinkling and pouring is about convenience and urgency. In rare cases it may not be possible for either the one administering the baptism or the one being baptized to physically perform the necessary acts. Therefore, in those cases, a sprinkling or pouring would be acceptable. Here we see that the exceptions for extraordinary circumstances has morphed into the ordinary rule.

In his reply to the second objection he states: “Christ’s burial is more clearly represented by immersion: wherefore this manner of baptizing is more frequently in use and more commendable.” It is better to be baptized by immersion.

Summary

We have seen that, at least in the 13th century, the church taught that the Apostles baptized in the name of Jesus only and by immersion. I would caution, however, against using Aquinas as an example of one who believes our teachings on baptism. He did not. The purpose of this article is to show that He believed that the early church and the Apostles taught the same thing that we teach about baptism. The biblical formula is “in Jesus’ name” and the method is immersion.

– Brother Ray Copeland is Pastor’s Assistant at Caney Creek Apostolic Tabernacle, New Caney, TX

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What did Jesus mean when He said:

Matthew 11:12-13: “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.”

Since neither Jesus nor the apostles elaborated on this observation, I am not sure that I can unequivocally state exactly what He had in mind. However, when I was recently asked about this verse by a minister who was searching for answers, my response was this:

For hundreds of years the Hebrew prophets, particularly the messianic prophet Isaiah, had predicted a coming kingdom led by a conquering Messiah that would displace the present order and establish a new Davidic-like kingdom, glorious in all its pursuits (Isaiah 2:2-4; 9:6,7; 11; 32:2-4; 35; 41:18; 43:19; Micah 5:2; et al). They had felt the heel of one nation’s boot after another for over 700 years. They were at this point under Roman rule through pagan governors and political appointees. They were ready for relief. They wanted their independent nation back.

The prophets had said that day was coming. When Messiah comes, things will change, they were told. Isaiah said, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein” (Isaiah 35:5-8). In other words, things would be different then.

That was their daily hope and the focus of their prayers. That hope was passed down through each family. It was whispered to the babies, repeated to the children, and hammered into the minds of the adults in the synagogues. They didn’t know when, but they knew that it would happen someday.

A few felt it in their spiritual bones that the time had come when Jesus was born. Shepherds heard the first Christmas carols of the angels. Mary and Joseph had been supernaturally communicated with about the coming of a special child: “And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against” (Luke 2:33,34). Anna also knew when she saw Jesus that the time had come: “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:36-38).

Things were mostly quiet for thirty years afterward. One hint that someone special was on the scene was given when Jesus met with the doctors of the law in the Temple at the age of 12. He astounded them with His knowledge and wisdom: “And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers” (Luke 2:46-47). Nothing more is recorded that resulted from that exchange. Joseph and Mary took Him home to Nazareth and there was a quietness in the life of the family for the next 18 years.

When He was 30 years old, the age of priestly service in the Temple, He went to John, His cousin, who had begun preaching that the kingdom of heaven was at hand (Matthew 3:1-3). He found him at the Jordan River baptizing people who promised repentance and the preparation of themselves to receive the Messiah (Matthew 3:13). John was having tremendous results by preaching so forcefully that the kingdom of God was at hand: “Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins” (Matthew 3:5,6). Jesus requested that he baptize Him also. After His baptism, Jesus went into a mountainous area where he fasted for forty days, during which time He withstood several temptations of Satan. After that He returned to Galilee and began to preach.

Because of John’s preparing the people’s hearts before Him, great crowds followed Him, especially after He began to heal the sick and deliver the demon possessed: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan” (Matthew 4:23-25).

With John apparently converting a great portion of Judea to his message of preparedness for Messiah, followed by multitudes falling in with the ministry of Jesus in Galilee, it looked like the entire population was going to embrace Jesus as the Messiah. The kingdom seemed to be taking shape, and by the numbers it looked to some like a revolution was in the making.

Not long after he had baptized Jesus, John was taken and put into prison. He was ultimately beheaded by Herod Antipas in the fortress of Machaerus (Matthew 14:3-12). During what was probably the second year of His ministry, Jesus made a speech about John. It was recorded by Matthew in chapter 11 and included these words: “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” Luke quoted Jesus in this way: “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it” (Luke 16:16).

That seemed to be a reference to the response of their ministry during the last twelve months. It appeared that all of Judea, Galilee, and even parts of what is Syria and Jordan today, were crowding to hear Him. They were most enthusiastic, with people even tearing roofs off of houses to get someone in front of Jesus so He could heal them. Needy people screamed at Him from the roadsides appealing for His help. Nothing like this had ever occurred on Israeli turf. They pressed to hear, to see, to know (Mark 2:4; 3:10; Luke 8:19; 19:3). Hundreds of years appeared to be climaxing in the fulfillment of their hope. People were being baptized that the religious rulers never thought would become religious—the tax collectors, the harlots, the very poor, the nobodies of Israel. The “violent” were now “pressing” to take advantage of the moment, to be a participant in this new kingdom which seemed to be appearing. With such sinners becoming followers of Jesus, the Jewish leaders were concerned that this movement could turn into something they had not anticipated.

In His eulogy of John, Jesus was basically giving him his due: “He was the greatest of all the prophets,” Jesus said. He was the way maker, the door opener, the trail blazer, the light bearer. Since John’s ministry began, Jesus told them, until this day, the kingdom of heaven had been attacked (“suffered violence”), not by destroyers, but by those wanting in, pressing to participate. That was the way Jesus Himself described the movement. Nothing like this had ever happened before in Israel. People with bad reputations, the poor, the weak, the ignored classes were now attaching themselves to this “new thing” (Isaiah 43:19) by the hundreds, even thousands.

The Jewish elitists stood off, confounded and confused, but the common people paid close attention to what was being said and done. They wanted in! It was a violent moment. Jesus could see the problem building in the minds of the leaders. But those willing to align themselves with John and Jesus, to be baptized and confess their sins, were forcing their way in, past the traditional guidelines, and past the scowls of the self-righteous leaders.

The language Jesus used is that which describes the taking of a city by violent force, but the violence does not seem to be directed toward Jesus at this point. John had been arrested to remove him from the activity, but he was not killed for his forerunner’s role. He had crossed swords with Herod about the king’s marital situation. That is what ultimately cost him his head, not necessarily his baptism of Jesus and his growing number of disciples. The drastic shift from the staid formalism of Jewish religious life was indeed similar to an army taking a city by force. The preaching of John had signaled a time to press for change from the old and eagerly embrace the new. The kingdom was suffering violence and the violent were taking it by sheer force, not coming through the normal channels. This seemed to be violating the Temple pattern and even the synagogue/rabbinical order. They weren’t clamoring for technical readings from the Law or repetitious chants on street corners. The desperate multitudes had, of course, a different idea in their minds from what was later revealed as the ultimate plan of God.

Jesus explained further: “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” This was telling them that He was speaking figuratively, and it is doubtless that few, if any, fully understood. They were wild with excitement and intense speculation.

Like that of the prophets, Jesus’ teachings often had two meanings—a “now” and a “then.” It seems likely that this was one of those times. His statement incorporated “from John until now,” a period of about a year more or less. But Jesus could see a future time when people would be that energetic about coming into the church—today’s spiritual kingdom of God. A number of exegetes feel that to be Jesus’ ultimate point. Certainly the kingdom of God is not entered into with apathy or ambivalence. Jerome (fl. c. AD 390) embraced a similar view: “For great indeed is the violence, when we who are born of earth, seek an abode in heaven, and obtain by excellence what we have not by nature.” Did Jesus also have in view the Jewish remnant revival during the Great Tribulation, after which those who accept Christ as Messiah will be ushered into the millennial kingdom at the close of the Tribulation? It was this future kingdom that Isaiah and other prophets saw more clearly in their prophecies (e.g., Isaiah 11).

Aside from the larger prophetic possibilities, repentance is a violent death, as the self-life is challenged, and deep sin is excavated and confessed. Separation from family and other religious traditions can be a violent step. Great determination is demanded in real conversion. There is a pressing, a push of self-denial, a deciding against one’s self that is involved in entering the kingdom. One “dies” in the process. As someone has observed, we often tend to ignore the work of repentance and celebrate its fruits. There is an intense expressiveness in worship and commitment as one “enters the kingdom.” The struggle of Jacob at Peniel (Genesis 32) may have foreshadowed our own struggle to claim the blessings promised in John 7:38,39 and Acts 2:38. Even Aristotle himself acknowledged this truth: “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self.”

For 2,000 years men have been pressing their way into the kingdom. May it continue until the present gives way to the future when “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is finally realized.

[Other views and opinions are welcome. Please share them with us.]

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Observations

  • If you give politicians more power in an emergency, they will create more emergencies to get more power.
  • Someone said another variant has just been identified. Its called “Anothercon.”
  • Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor: “I’m not sure I understand the distinction why the states would have the power [to impose a vax mandate] but the federal government wouldn’t.” There she is, charged with protecting the Constitution and she hasn’t even read it: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
  • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has released hundreds of violent criminals back onto the streets? WHY, why, why do we continue to elect/appoint ……….??? [readers may finish this sentence according to their conscience and convictions.]
  • A professional tennis player has become the first athlete to be banned and deported [from Australia] for not taking drugs—the Covid vaccine.
  • The brilliance of AOC, the darling of the left, was on display when she recently observed: “One senator stopping the Build Back Better Plan is fundamentally undemocratic.” Earth to AOC: “51 Senators voted against that bill, which constitutes a majority.” (Did she fail Special Ed?)
  • Should Apostolics consider adding booster baptisms to be “fully baptized”?
  • “[I]ndustry studies reckon that clothing manufacture and distribution account for between 2% and 8% of global carbon emissions. The fashion industry probably emits more carbon than aviation (3% of emissions) or shipping (2%).” – https://wealthwisefinancial.com/media-events/wealthwise-market-commentary/
  • Nothing says, “Trust the science” like Pfizer asking for the vaccine data to be hidden for seventy-five years. – https://www.euroweeklynews.com/2021/12/09/fda-says-it-needs-75-years-to-release-pfizer-covid-19-vaccine-data-to-the-public/
  • “Testing yourself constantly for disease when you have no symptoms is a form of mental illness.” – Zuby @ZubyMusic
  • “Professional sports are no longer a force for good. They do not unify us. They do not inspire us to seek our better selves. They do not provoke participants to take bold and courageous stances. For the first time in my lifetime, I believe professional sports do more harm to American society than good. This is what ran across my mind yesterday as I watched Tampa Bay wide receiver Antonio Brown strip off his uniform mid-game, toss his equipment to the ground, wave to the crowd, and run off the field.” – Jason Whitlock, Blaze Media

[Well, it took that writer a long time to figure that out. We knew that two or three generations ago and expressed it in our UPCI Manual where it remains today (pages 43, 220). Some pastors and parents decided they knew better and urged or allowed participation in competitive and even professional sports. How many of our young people have we lost through that approach? Being famous or wealthy seems to have replaced being saved in importance.]

  • “In the civil society, the individual is recognized and accepted as more than an abstract statistic or faceless member of some group; rather, he is a unique, spiritual being with a soul and a conscience.” – Mark Levin
  • If you plan to take your kids to the General Conference in Orlando so they can visit Disneyland, they will get a good dose of unisexism, transgenderism, and the full force of LGBTQ propaganda while there. Even Minnie Mouse has traded her dress for a pantsuit. Remember: children notice.
  • Liberal Hollywood actor Sean Penn finally got it right when he recently noted that American men have become “wildly     feminized”—thanks in large part to his own profession! Now you can have an emoji for your phone of a pregnant man. Never saw one myself. Don’t think I ever will. C’mon, folks let’s follow science, not science fiction.
  • A must read: “The Great Reset.” This article appeared in Imprimis, the college publication every Christian leader should put on their priority reading list. Read it here: https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/what-is-the-great-reset/a
  • “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” – Mark Twain
  • “Let me control the textbooks and I will control the state.” – Hitler

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Anyone surprised?

Moderna CEO Says Fourth Covid Vaccine Dose Likely Necessary

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/moderna-ceo-says-fourth-covid-vaccine-dose-may-be-necessary/

Pfizer CEO says fourth Covid vaccine doses may be needed sooner than expected due to omicron

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/08/omicron-pfizer-ceo-says-we-may-need-fourth-covid-vaccine-doses-sooner-than-expected.html

NOTE:  Triple-vaxxed, home-bound liberal, Whoopi Goldberg, gets COVID then tells her co-hosts on The View: “It was a shock,” then claims it is what America will be facing “unless everybody gets vaccinated.” What? Unless we get triple-vaxxed like her when reports are out there that the boosters actually make it easier for folks to test positive for Covid? Why is America still using these people to broadcast such nonsense to the public? If it didn’t work for her and thousands of others, why should it be trusted? [Another reason to unplug the TV and turn it to the wall.] https://www.theblaze.com/furnace/triple-vaxxed-whoopi-goldberg-covid-shock?utm_source=theblaze

Someone said it like this: “I do trust the science, but coercion is not science, withholding data is not science, manipulating data is not science, social conditioning is not science, fear mongering is not science, and censorship is not science!” (Source unknown) Why would anyone accept as “science” that “a man is a woman” or that “babies aren’t alive until they are born.” It’s science “falsely so-called,” Paul said.

Conservative sources in Australia have declared Covid a “pandemic of the vaccinated,” as 99.5% of cases are among the vaccinated. The report said it may be safer to be around someone who is not vaxxed than someone who is.

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Vaccine reactions compared

After this chart was published, Reuters’ fact checkers tried to discount it and explain it away, recognizing its potential harm to the vaccine mandates. They said, “The World Health Organization’s (WHO) VigiAccess database lists adverse reactions (ADRs) reported by people after taking a drug or vaccine. It does not confirm that medicinal products or their active ingredients caused any observed symptoms.” But the WHO chart comparisons are there to speak for themselves. You be the judge. [Note the dates]

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Another reason Apostolics should consider running for local school boards

Imbecilic and insane reports like the one below don’t remain in the domain of adult readers. It is likely this report was recently read or published in some middle school classrooms. Twisted minds are twisting the minds of our children.

Trans man and Satanic minister give birth after one-night stand with fellow gay dating app user, then reports that the experience “felt like one of the most masculine things” he’s ever done. – Blaze Media  https://www.theblaze.com/news/trans-man-gives-birth-after-one-night-stand-with-fellow-gay-dating-app-user?utm_source=theblaze-

He evidently hasn’t done many masculine things. His statement ought to deeply offend every living woman, particularly mothers. This kind of nonsense [like appearances in schools by gay clergyman shown here] is being dumped into many of our nation’s classrooms. Let’s work together to keep real education as the focus in our schools.

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Memes and artists’ opinions I couldn’t pass up

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Last Word

Just so you know…regarding Covid, I tested positive for refusing to live in fear.

Also, some items in this monthly blog I might not publish if my readership was far-flung among laymen. While a number of lay leaders read this blog, almost all of the notifications go to ministers. If you like what you read, please share the blog link with someone you care about.

Thanks for the visit!

JREnsey

Published in: on February 1, 2022 at 1:09 AM  Comments (4)  

JREnsey blog for January, 2022

Welcome…We trust your holiday season was all you could have wished for! Now let’s busy ourselves in the Lord’s work while also helping to keep our nation on track so we can continue to enjoy what little religious freedom we still have.

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The Word du jour

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (II Thessalonians 3:13 KJV).

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First, New Year’s Greetings from POTUS:

“I want to send a direct message to the American people… We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death
for the unvaccinated—for themselves, their families and the hospitals they’ll soon overwhelm.” – Joe Biden

Thanks, Joe. Goodbye, cruel world!

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Been there?

I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone. I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there. I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore. I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm. Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older. One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! But I want to be sure to stay out of Debt. It is a difficult place to escape from.

I may have been in Continent, but I don’t remember what country I was in. It’s an age thing.

If the shoe fits, wear it!

Shared by a friend

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Salt for your sermon

Sign him up!

A horseman once went to Henry Ward Beecher, the famous preacher, and said, “Mr. Beecher, I have a good family horse I want to sell you. He is a good saddle horse, a good buggy horse, and a good carriage horse. He works double with any other horse on either side of the tongue. In short, he is a good, all-around horse and a good team worker.”

Mr. Beecher replied, “My friend, I can’t buy your horse, but I would like to have him as a member of my church.”

What do you have left?

As I was walking along one of the busy streets of my hometown, I heard someone singing above the noise of traffic. It wasn’t loud singing, sort of like someone singing to himself—but I heard it. Then I located the singer. He was pushing himself along through the crowd in a wheelchair by the power of his two arms, the only useful limbs he had left.

As I caught up with him I said, “A man in a wheelchair singing gives everyone who hears him a lift.”

He answered, “When I stopped looking at what I had lost and began looking at what I had left, I could sing again.”  – Guideposts

No truer words:

Count your wide conquests of sea and land,

Heap up the gold and hoard as you may,

All you can hold in your cold, dead hand,

Is what you have given away.

-E. M. Poteat, Jr.

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Observations

• Truth does not mind being questioned. A lie does not like being challenged. – GreenMedInfo.com

• The government forced businesses to close and people lost their jobs and income. Now they want to tax those people creating new jobs.

• Harry Truman once said, “Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician and I’ll show you a crook.”

• The government has raised the goal for new cars to reach 55 mpg by 2026. That is four years from now. [Pictured at left may be one of the high end 55 mpg models planned for 2027.] They must want cars to be priced out of reach of the average American. Why? So more and more people will be forced to walk to work or to markets or ride bikes (below) like third world countries? Public transportation will be the only other option. Only the “ruling class” will have cars and places to park them. Their goals are not hidden from those who are informed. To the “sheep” they say, “Look over here at all the pollution that is killing people and ruining our planet.” Repeat a lie enough times and people will come to believe it.

• Thank God one Dem had the guts to stand up against a bill that would have driven the U.S. over the socialist cliff. See what one person speaking up can do? Make your voice heard. As Christians it is none of our business what government does, you say? It doesn’t matter who we elect to Congress? Your vote doesn’t count? It was only one vote short when Congress voted to make German the official language of the U.S. Only one vote last month kept America from going socialistic. Where is the concern for the future of our children?

• Is anyone shocked? A jury found prominent Harvard chemistry and engineering professor Charles Lieber guilty of lying to federal investigators regarding his reception of Chinese funding for research projects. That’s just one. How many other college profs are on the take from communist nations and causes? One congressman was photographed in bed with a Chinese agent. He is still in Congress and running his mouth daily. Another was caught at a Communist Party function recently, even speaking there, but when exposed he tried to say he didn’t know what the meeting was about and tried to apologize. Which is worse—stupidity or lying? Both are rife in DC!

• POTUS Joe Biden told us we could enjoy the holidays with family, but only if everyone there is vaccinated and boosted twice more. Therefore, we hope you didin’t enjoy any family gatherings if someone not vaxxed was around. So doubtless many were hungry and lonely during the holidays—but also smarter! It is mostly the vaxxed that are getting Covid now. They are more at risk, it seems. (See https://www.theburningplatform.com/2021/10/19/the-unvaccinated-are-looking-smarter-every-week/

• The most disappointed people in the world are those who get what’s coming to them.

• How amazing—the first century Christians seemed to always be in some kind of trouble or difficulty, yet they seemed to always be happy and grateful.

• A fool’s tongue is usually just the right length to cut his own throat. – Anon.

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Who is next?

More than 100 US Marines and 6 Army leaders were relieved of duty for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine:
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/more-than-100-us-marines-and-6-army-leaders-were-relieved-of-duty-for-refusing-the-covid-19-vaccine/ar-AARTYog?ocid=msedgntp

Can’t get much of a job without the vax and can’t be a soldier. Can’t play sports, and can’t travel freely. But isn’t it amazing that major league sports teams are virtually 100% vaxxed, but they are getting Covid at a higher rate now than they were a few months ago unvaxxed. Also, over one hundred soccer players have collapsed and died on the fields in just this past 12 months. Causality is said to be heart attacks following covid vaccination. Go figure. [https://americasfrontlinedoctors.org/2/frontlinenews/500-increase-in-sudden-cardiac-and-unexplained-deaths-among-fifa-athletes-in-2021/]

It is not the unvaccinated that is causing the uptick in claimed Covid cases but the vaccinated. The fear mongers are not looking at the real stats. According to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, no one in the U.S. has died from the Omicron variant and only one worldwide at last count. Omicron does not justify another shutdown and lockout. And the vaccinations are not working, the masks are not working, and social distancing is not working. So please stop the nonsense and power grab and put America back to work and in touch. Communism is not the answer to the world’s problems.

You have to dig for truth. You won’t find it lying around on the shallow jargon of some CNN or MSNBC broadcast. Dig for the facts and figures of those dying as a result of the vaccine. Dig for what is in the 4.9 $$$trillion bill the Dems were trying to pass—they won’t volunteer the information. It would socialize America. That’s why you haven’t seen what all is really in the bill. They lost the vote in December but you can be sure they will try again in a few weeks. Watch for filibuster to be attached in the Senate and the Supreme Court to be packed, but only if all the patriots sit down and shut up.

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What is the Muslim Brotherhood up to?

We are told there are at least 60 Muslim/Jihadist training camps in the U.S. Do you wonder what all that is about? Here is a brief video that will inform Americans about the plans the Muslim Brotherhood has in store for US:

https://americansstandwithisrael.blogspot.com/2012/02/do-you-live-near-terrorism-hot-spot.html

They don’t mind telling us where they stand:

Allah is our Objective,

The Prophet is our Leader,

The Qur’an is our Law,

Jihad is our Way,

Dying in the name of Allah is our highest Hope.

If they are that bold, why should we mind letting the world know where we stand?

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Headlines from the year 2059…prophetically speaking

Ozone created by electric cars now killing thousands in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia, formerly known as California. White minorities still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia’s third language so schools will be required to teach it.

Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops and livestock.  

Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.

Most of Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.

France pleads for global help after being taken over by Jamaica. No other country has come forward to help the beleaguered nation!  

Joe Biden feels revived; plans to run for governor of the state of DC at age 116; has blessing of President Chelsea Clinton and Vice President Shakira Nasrallah.

George Q. Bush says he will run for President in 2060.   

Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.

43-year $75.8 billion study: Diet and exercise are the key to weight management.

Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.

Global cooling blamed for citrus crop failure for third consecutive year in Mexifornia and Floruba. 

Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed they now can photograph Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee with her mouth shut.

Senate still blocking drilling in ANWR even though gas is selling for 4532 Pesos per liter and stations are only open on the second Tuesday of each month.  

478 more deaths in last two weeks from electric shocks at charging stations.

Supreme Court rules imprisoning criminals violates their civil rights. 

Average height of NBA players is now nine feet seven inches with only 13 illegitimate children.

New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2060.

Floruba voters still having trouble with Greentooth cordless voting machines. 

Thumb amputations are up this week; no end in sight to the pandemic of Blue Thumb due to texting.

Source: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hanlons-razor/2011/06/21/ and others.

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Back to the stone age

‘Rithmetic and spelin’ we don’t need to know,

Readin’ and writin’ are the next ones to go.

Everyone and everything is suddenly racist. Even math. Since kids of skin tone other than white are said to presently struggle with it more than others, educators say it must be made more “inclusive.” Who are the real racists here?

Ah, but there’s that word again: inclusive. A few years ago “diversity” was the big new buzzword to which all are were to bow and scrape. Sounded good and reasonable until we saw in its application where it would take us.

Now it’s “inclusive,” a word that few are sure what it might mean in practice but are quickly learning as society incorporates it to fit a cultural narrative. It basically means to dumb down education so those who don’t really want to learn or become useful citizens will be given open positions in government, business and education based strictly on the melanin pigment affecting their skin tone rather than their ability, motivation, or the content of their character. That’s “equity,” in case you hadn’t noticed—the other new watchword growing out of inclusivism, whose definition we are quickly learning from government agencies and the leftist media.

Equity, as being applied, is the Sword of Damocles, hanging precariously by a slender thread above the heart of our nation, capable at any moment of falling. The thread is being slowly severed by those who hate America and its Christian undergirding.

If you know any college students, ask them about their vision for America. Then share yours.

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Does Luke contradict himself in Acts 9:7 and 22:9?

Luke was a serious historian and also a doctor. Such a one would be quite unlikely to contradict himself in such a short span of time. Those who think there is a contradiction have a low view of Scripture. Here are the verses:

KJV: 9:7 – “And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
22:9 – “And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.”

The problem is in the translation, not in Luke’s recording of the incident. Greek grammarians assure us that when a form of the verb “to hear” akouo is followed by the accusative case, it may be rendered “to understand.” When followed by the genitive case, it suggests they did not comprehend (22:9). It’s like we sometimes say to our kids—“Did you hear what I said!?”—meaning, of course, did you “understand” what I said?

A similar situation occurred in John 12:29: “The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.” Hearing and understanding are not always the same.

The KJV indicates they didn’t hear the voice, which leaves questions in the reader’s mind. Thus, the NASB, NLT, and the ESV are correct in their renderings that indicate that the men heard the voice but did not understand or comprehend what was said. Why? Either the men with him were Syrians (since they were going to Damascus), Roman soldiers from elsewhere, or other non-Hebrew-speaking individuals; or, God intentionally scrambled the message in their ears since He was only speaking to Saul.

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Expressions

Since the New Year always features babies in some format, we figured the babies themselves might have something to say about people, places and things as we celebrate the arrival of 2022.

Baby Joe B sez:

 

“All I did was vote NO on his stupid bill. The big baby!”

 

“Nancy will be crying in November when I am returned to the Speaker’s Chair.” – Kevin McCarthy

 

“Mayor, did you really think defunding the police would deter crime?”

 

“A bad day with a bald head is better than a good day with a man bun!”

 

AOC at six months

 

“And they call me Poopy Pants?”

 

“We are on our way to a red wave in November!”

 

“Just wait until I am in the driver’s seat. I’ll show ’em how to run things up here!” KH at 1 year.

 

“I can’t believe Gerber says this banana casserole is even edible!” – Paula Deen at 10 months

 

“Chuck and I are going up there to clean house in November!”

 

“Hurry! Our New Year’s resolutions start in five minutes!”

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Books

The Book We Call The Bible

by J. R. Ensey
Pentecostal theologian Talmadge French has said:
“Here we are treated to a probing, yet readable, analysis of things pertaining to the formation and transmission of the biblical text. The implications of these discussions are far-reaching, worthy of our most sincere scrutiny, and of interest and relevance to all who love the Word of God. J. R. Ensey has rendered all of us a great service in addressing, in such a detailed and clear manner, the issues relevant to the matters of biblical authority, the text and translation.” – From The Foreword

The time has come for us to objectively take a closer look at the Book that informs us of the origins of the universe, the history of man, the cause of suffering in the world, and the path to restoration, redemption, and eternal life. No other book contains this authoritative history and information. No other book can justifiably claim divine inspiration and inerrancy. The chapter on Why You Can Trust the Bible is worth the price of the book.

This book is available in eBook from Advance Ministries $12.95 or Printed form from Amazon, $18.95. (Click on Amazon to order printed book.)

Letters To Pastors and Other Saints

by Peter Connell

“The pastors of seven churches of Asia, assemblies specifically named in the second and third chapters of Revelation, were selected as recipients of these “love letters” from Christ. Only one of them came out virtually unscathed. The others felt the Lord’s hot breath of correction. What did it all mean? How does it all relate to us?
Enter Peter Connell. He took up the challenge to dig into the background of each church and city to give us fresh insight into the relevance of these letters. I discovered information I had never read. Views that enhanced the parameters of their problems and what they were to do overcome them were laid out clearly. Letters to Pastors and Other Saints is an appeal to every leader and layman to live up to our first, high calling.” – J. R. Ensey

“Peter Connell has delivered a succinct, informative and insightful look into the letters to the seven churches of Asia. Ministers and lay members alike will glean much from this stirring and soul searching study.It has obviously been inspired by the Christ of the Candlesticks to help challenge and even awaken the church of today.It is a must read for anyone desiring to understand just how interested the Lord Jesus Christ is in the performance of His church assemblies and their overseers.” – Jonathan Alvear

“This timely book brings clarity and fresh new insights into the letters written to the pastors and saints of the seven churches of Asia. No matter how serious the issues, we can overcome, if we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” – Nathan Dudley

AM Price $14.95  To order click on title of book.

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Last Word

Happy New Year!

As Tiny Tim said so well, “God bless us every one!”

JREnsey

Published in: on January 1, 2022 at 1:09 AM  Leave a Comment