JREnsey blog February 2023


Welcome to the JREnsey blog for February 2023!

 

The Word for today

Neheniah 8:8 – “They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage” (NLT).

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Points to ponder

More potential strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4):

“I would be a better person if….”

“I would tithe if….”

“I would have a great life if…”

“I could be faithful to church if….”

Lesson #1 from Prodigal Son: “No change will take place until we say, “I don’t want it this way any more!”

Call me old fashioned, but I’m glad my mother was a woman.

Since we’re restricting international travel because of a “new variant,” shouldn’t we close the southern border too?

Those folks who want to take your guns are planning to keep theirs.

Unless you’ve just won the Powerball, it’s probably wise to go ahead and cancel the Easter egg hunt.

Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool. – Plato; or George F. Train

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Duly noted:

  • In glory Paul will be applauded by the same people he martyred.
  • How to backslide: Stop praying, stop reading the Word, stop giving. Then start missing church, start criticizing, start finding fault with others in church. Has anyone begun these steps but grace and mercy pulled you back?
  • During a testimony time in church, it seemed that everyone testified how difficult living for God was, what troubles they had, how bad their life was. A lady visiting for the first time became concerned and stood to say, “I’m so sorry to hear these things. If there is anything I can do for any of you, let me know.”
  • The person who takes counsel with his fears will never move forward.
  • Too often our healing theology collides with reality. A veteran who had his legs blown off by a mine, said, “Don’t get into a charismatic church. First, you are a ‘project’ for them, but if you don’t grow legs, they don’t know what to do with you.”
  • Everyone is becoming so sensitive. Soon I won’t be able to make fun of myself without someone being offended. – Julia Wright
  • Those who trust the professors should note that in 1893 professor Orlando Ferguson listed 400 Bible passages that he said proved that the earth was flat.
  • Deception is often more evolutionary than revolutionary.
  • Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, affirmed “the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. …It is the absolute right of the state to supervise the formation of public opinion.” [Goebbels must have survived with other Nazis to ultimately become advisors for the current administration.]
  • You don’t have to preach to backsliders, just love them.
  • When we speak of “protecting our pulpits,” perhaps we should not only think of not allowing false teachers and sensationalists to fill them, but also not allowing ourselves to be silenced by situations existing in our audience. The concept that “I can’t preach that fact/topic/belief anymore because there are folks in the congregation who don’t embrace that belief. They might think I was targeting them.” We can silence our own voice by fear of rejection. When Paul was rehearsing the basics of the Christian life and church leadership principles, “Timothy,” he said, “These things command and teach…and exhort” (I Timothy 4:11; 6:2)
  • “The ruling political party is made up of weak men and unhappy women.” – Tucker Carlson
  • “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” – Rosa Parks
  • “He who has no money is poor; he who has nothing but money is the poorest of all.” – Billy Sunday

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A Constitution for a moral and religious people

One of the foremost constitutional theorists of the founding generation, John Adams, observed, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” He wasn’t the only Founding Father to hold this view. Indeed, James Madison wrote that our Constitution requires “sufficient virtue among men for self-government,” otherwise, “nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.”

Many of our Founders were men of faith or were influenced strongly by the Judeo-Christian tradition. They accepted the premise of mankind’s imperfect nature. They had experienced first-hand the oppressive dictates of Parliament and the Crown that led to the American Revolution. And they were rightly suspicious of the accumulation of governmental power by one person or a small body — “the very definition of tyranny” according to Madison.

Consistent with these experiences and beliefs, the Founders imbued liberty-preserving principles into the very structure of the new government. They divided power between federal and state governments, apportioned federal power among three branches of government, and limited the power of the federal government to certain delegated functions. But the Founders also knew that these devices alone were inadequate to preserve and sustain our new nation.

[Source: Regent University post]

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The impact of anti-Christian, anti-American education

In 1960, 65% of Americans believed the Bible to be the literal Word of God. By 1992 only 32% believed that.

Today 65% believe there are no absolutes. Many churches have become bastions of the world’s way, denying truth, denying the Bible, and they have lost their way. Like ancient Israel who had a Lord, but denied Him, had a law but broke it, and had a land but defiled it. How could they do that, you ask. You are seeing the answer lived out before your eyes. The major denominations have lost their way and merged with the culture. Apostolic Pentecostals have the best chance ever of salvaging what is left of Christianity in America. While others are running away from the Word, we must keep running to it!

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Bible questions

Q: Are we saved by faith (Ephesians 2:8,9) or by hope (Romans 8:24)?

A: By neither, entirely. First, it is unwise to try to pick and choose words from the Epistles to cobble together a plan of how to get into the kingdom of God. Those folks to whom the apostles are writing are already saved from their past sins. Go back to where there are unsaved folks coming to God in the Book of Acts and determine what translated them from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light! Start here: Acts 2:1-4, 37,38; 8:16; 10:45-47; 19:1-6; 22:16). Add John 3:5,36 NLT). Faith in Jesus was the beginning of their Christian experience and it leads one into obedience. The outcome of faith joined with obedience is the hope of life everlasting (John 3:16; 10:10) that keeps us motivated to walk righteously in this present life to inherit eternal life in the future.

Q: Ezekiel 16:49 seems to express the sins of Sodom as selfishness and pride rather than homosexuality. Which is correct?

A: Both are correct. The Sodomites were arrogant and selfish, not wishing to share their material prosperity with the poor and needy among them as the Ezekiel verse clearly states. But it is also true that there was gross sexual perversion prevalent among them (Genesis19:8; Jude 7). A combination of all of these evidently contributed to God’s decision to destroy the city.

Q: Since not all of Joel’s prophecy came to pass on the Day of Pentecost, was Peter mistaken when he quoted Joel in Acts 2:16-21?

A: Peter’s quotation of Joel 2:28-32 on Pentecost was accurate, but only as a partial or initial fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. It seems to indicate that Peter viewed the events of Pentecost as inaugurating the “last days.” The particular signs and wonders mentioned would take place in the future “before the day of the Lord” (v. 20), perhaps just prior to and during the seven years preceding the calm of the millennial age.

Q: Why was Paul forbidden to preach in Asia (Acts 16:6)? How did this fit with Jesus’ Great Commission?

A: The denial for Paul and Timothy to go there was not a permanent command to “stand down.” God had other plans for them at the present time. Later the gospel would be preached in Asia both by Paul (Acts 19:10,22,26; 20:4,16,18; I Corinthians 16:19) and through those Paul had converted and mentored (I Thessalonians 1:6-8).

Q: Peter says believers are sanctified by the Spirit, but Jesus said we are sanctified by the truth. Is this a contradiction?

A: The Bible does not contradict itself when accurately translated and properly interpreted. It does say that we are sanctified by the Spirit of God (I Peter 1:2), but also by “thy truth” (John 17:17). Additionally, we are sanctified “in the name of Jesus” (I Corinthians 6:11). Ephesians 5:26 suggests a sanctification that comes by the “washing of water of the word.” Hebrews 13:12 involves the “blood of Christ” in our sanctification. All of these elements—the Spirit, the truth, His name, the Word, and the blood—play a role in placing us in a righteous position and separated for God’s service and purpose. One verse is not usually comprehensive on any particular doctrine. Every reference does not usually give full details of every story, event, or doctrine. Some verses provide a particular fact and another verse may augment that story or that doctrine with another fact. Examples abound. All are true.

Q: Is there a sin which cannot be forgiven by God?

A: Yes, one at least—the one that remains hidden, unacknowledged and unconfessed.

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OLIGARCHS  who control America’s economy 

Elon Musk – untold billions; Twitter, Space X, Tesla

Jeff Bezos – 185 Billion; Amazon.com

Bernard Arnault – 155 Billion; business empire, 70 brands

Bill Gates – 122 Billion; Microsoft

Mark Zukerberg 100 Billion; Facebook

Zhong Shanshan – 94 Billion; Chinese pharmaceuticals

Larry Ellison – 89 Billion; software

Warren Buffet – 88 Billion; Investments

Larry Page – 77-79 Billion; co-founder of Google

Sergey Brin – 77-79 Billion; co-founder of Google

Steve Ballmer – 73 Billion; Microsoft

(Actual net worths may vary from day to day.)

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More athletes go down after vaccination

Uche Nwaneri, recently retired from the NFL, has passed away. Damar Hamlin, another NFL player, fell during a game this month with cardiac arrest.

How many young athletes and others in good health have to go down before America wakes up? The Covid vaccination mandate has taken many young lives across the world. The press plays down the vaccination angle, but it cannot be denied. And you know, anything they play down should be considered newsworthy, and anything they consider newsworthy should be considered suspect as something to divert our attention from the real stories.

Pregnant mothers are at risk, and children of all ages.

Elon Musk has promised to disclose the files on Dr. Fauci and the Covid scam. I am sure that the mainline press will tag it as “Russian propaganda.”

Here’s a Twitter video someone sent me that shows athletes going down after the clot-shot.

(2) American Cat Mom 🇺🇸 on Twitter: “https://t.co/l59zSa9I67” / Twitter

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Dr. Peter McCullough on the Covid vaccine

Dr. McCullough has been on top of the Covid vaccine issue since the start. His findings:

To break this down: 1,598 athletes suffered cardiac arrest since the vaccine came out. But between the years 1966-2004, a total of 1,101 athletes had cardiac arrest. That’s 1,101 over a 38-year time-span vs nearly 1600 in about two years. That’s a massive increase, and there is NOTHING wrong with wanting this horrific new “phenomenon” investigated.

(2) The Vigilant Fox 🦊 on Twitter: “Dr. McCullough: The C19 Shots Sets Up Heart Inflammation and Adrenaline Triggers Injury and Death “The vaccines set up the heart inflammation … and then it’s the big surge of adrenaline … during a basketball game — during sports, that’s triggering these deaths.” https://t.co/FotBSQyZx9″ / Twitter

(2) Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH™ on Twitter: “This recent paper from Dr. Polykretis and myself gets the sharp rise in athlete deaths into PUBMED. Since vaccination, “1598 athletes suffered cardiac arrest, 1101 of which with deadly outcome. Over a prior 38-years (1966-2004), 1101 athletes < age of 35 died (~29/yr). https://t.co/SCieZTsoNZ” / Twitter

JRE: A perfectly healthy teenage young man, having a distant connection to our church, got vaxxed recently and died within days. Silence about this matter doesn’t seem to be a wise option. There is not enough space here to describe the many cases that are coming to light. Please use wisdom in making important health choices.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and have no personal way of knowing the absolute truth and details of every report that crosses my desk. My advice has been to do one’s own research and make up their own mind about the benefits vs. the risks. This information is shared as a suggested part of that research.

 

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The satirical Babylon Bee stings again

Experts Say They Don’t Know What Thing Is Causing Everyone To Suddenly Collapse, But It’s Definitely Not That One Thing | Babylon Bee

“It’s too early to say what could be causing this, but it’s never too early to say what isn’t causing this,” said local expert, Dr. Scott Rufflinger. “This could be caused by anything. But the one thing we know for certain is that it’s definitely not what we’re all thinking that’s behind this—if you know what I mean. We can go ahead and rule that thing out right now because Science just called us on the phone and told us not to discuss it. We always follow Science.”

According to sources, experts have been working tirelessly around the clock to try and get to the bottom of why so many seemingly perfectly healthy, athletic people are falling over suddenly. “I wish I could point to something in the past year or two that large groups of people were exposed to, or forced into, but nothing comes to mind,” added Dr. Rufflinger. “If only there was one thing all these patients had in common.”

At publishing time, experts said they had narrowed down the list of what most likely was causing these sudden health issues down to: climate change, racism, Christian Nationalism, standing up too quickly, standing up too slowly, and not eating enough bugs.

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There was no gender prejudice expressed by 16th century European prelates. They burned women who would not recant their Protestant convictions as well as men.

Washington is ruled by unhappy women who disdain and hate America!

It was Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s first stop on the moon.

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Last Words

Abortion: A fetus is not a “would-be life,” but a living human baby inside a woman. She is feeding it prior to birth and is naturally programmed to continue the feeding from her body after birth.

Like gun control: Let’s reduce driving by making it harder for safe drivers to own cars.

God bless! Keep the faith!

JREnsey

Published in: on February 1, 2023 at 1:42 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey blog for January 2023

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for January 2023! We welcome the new year; the passing one is easy to wave goodbye to!

The Word for today

“Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me” (Psalm 103:1,2 NLT).

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Enough of Christian doxologies

Doxology – A liturgical formula of praise to God, usually at the end of a reading or at the close of a service.

In teaching recently on the Lord’s Prayer, I could not circumvent pointing out that the doxology at the end of the prayer is almost certainly an emendation, an add-on inserted by some scribe in a dark, candlelit room as he was copying a manuscript. While I don’t always point those out when teaching laity, it is difficult not to on this one. It was likely pulled over from liturgical endings that had been adapted from service settings in the assembly where the scribe was active. Only one Greek manuscript before A.D. 700 has the phrase “for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever. Amen.” It found its way into the stream of late Byzantine manuscripts and from there into the early English Bibles.

Almost assuredly the first copyist who wrote the doxology for Christian usage lifted it from the OT passage in I Chronicles 29:11: “Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.” While it is true and a great line as all agree, it is unlikely to be divinely inspired as part of Matthew’s Gospel. When the English Bibles were being produced in the sixteenth century, Queen Elizabeth I expressed her attachment to those stirring words and wanted them included in any English Bible translation. So the Bishops’ Bible put them in its first edition in 1568. When the KJV translation was being put together by King James’ translators, he ordered them to follow the Bishops’ Bible as much as possible.

When Jerome merged the Old Latin MSS to create the Latin Vulgate (c. A.D. 400) that would become the biblical authority in Roman Catholicism for a thousand years, it was not there. Scribes who were copying the Gospel of Matthew were aware of its apparent primary target audience—the Jews. This fact may have encouraged the inclusion of a common Hebrew doxology. Many scholars and reference works call it “a later addition,” and inform us that the use of the doxology in English dates from at least 1549 with the First Prayer Book of Edward VI, which was influenced by William Tyndale’s New Testament translation in 1526. Later scholarship demonstrated that inclusion of the doxology in New Testament manuscripts was actually a later addition drawn in part from Eastern liturgical tradition. Because a statement is true does not automatically qualify it for inclusion in the inspired Word of God. It should be noted that no usage of the trinitarian formula in water baptism is recorded in the Book of Acts or anywhere else in Scripture or history during the first century. It is not the language of the Apostolic Age.

Matthew’s Gospel, as we read it today in most English Bibles, includes another doxology at the end of the Great Commission of 28:19. Added there was the phrase “of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” After the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325, that language came into popular usage as a “formula” for water baptism. There is no extant Greek MS containing that phrase with a date earlier than Emperor Constantine’s influence on the text at the Council of Nicea. After the Council, he ordered fifty new Bibles to be hand copied and distributed to the major churches in the Empire. Earlier Greek MSS reveal physical damage at Matthew 28, removing v. 19 from all known MSS prior to 325. The new copies would certainly express Constantine’s feelings that the trinitarian doxology fit well at the end of Matthew 28:19 since the Council established a form of binitarianism for sure and made decided moves toward absolute trinitarianism as dogma, which would be solidified at the next two general councils.

A further trinitarian addition to the Lord’s Prayer doxology was attempted again in later manuscript copies of Matthew. Three Greek minuscules dating from the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries add these words: “[the glory]…of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Scholars and early textual critics knew immediately they were emendations and dropped those MSS from further use as exemplars to be copied.

Although I agree with Queen Elizabeth that the words “thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever” are true and fit well with the context, I must say as a truth lover of real NT words of actual Scripture, they should probably be left to liturgical usage and song lyrics.

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Keep in mind…

  • God may wreck your plans when He sees that your plans are going to wreck you.
  • If the authorities are not going to enforce our laws at our borders, we basically have no country. If officials/boards are not going to enforce what is in the Manual regarding doctrine and holiness, we only have a loosely knit club of some kind—come and go, do as you please.
  • Quickly! Use these words before they become totally obsolete or outlawed: man, woman, boy, girl, father, mother, truth, redemption, virtue, individualism, Hell, Heaven, judgment, personal responsibility, integrity.
  • Deuteronomy 22:5 doesn’t say what to wear but what not to wear. In other words, don’t cross over into the customs of the opposite gender.
  • Everyone loves to see a rainbow, but we must remember it takes both rain and sunshine to make one.
  • What you do with the Bible depends on what you do with the first verse of the Bible: “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” If you believe that, you can believe everything else that follows. If you reject that statement, the rest of the Bible becomes suspect. If you can believe God is the creator of all things, you can believe anything else the Bible has to say. “The word of the Lord is right” (Psalm 33:4).

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100 YEARS AGO: Our changing world

What was America like 100 years ago? In 1923 major news events included the opening of King Tuts burial chamber, insulin was introduced for treatment of diabetes, Mount Etna erupted, the first baseball game was played in Yankee Stadium. Other notable events:

  • First issue of Time Magazine
  • Most homes did not have indoor toilet facilities, so chemical toilets were introduced for homes. Price: less than $6.
  • Adolf Hitler leads the Nazi Party in a failed coup attempt in Germany.
  • The Republic of Turkey was established.
  • The Great Kanto earthquake strikes Japan, killing up to 140,000 people.
  • Oklahoma passed legislation outlawing Darwinian evolution in the state’s school textbooks.
  • Walt Disney Company was founded.
  • Large hailstones kill 23 people in Rostov, Soviet Union.

What and who was popular in 1923?

  • Babe Ruth was the most famous person in America.
  • Most popular movie was The Ten Commandments.

In those techy twenties, hearing aids were introduced, the first domestic refrigerators were sold in Sweden, and the first portable radios were produced in the U.S. But the prices of goods and food were quite different from today, and even then they varied in different parts of the country:

Chevy Roadster (below right) – $570

Studebaker Touring car – $995

Neckties  – .75¢

Beef roast – .19¢ lb.

Lettuce – .10¢ head

Bread – .10¢ loaf

Milk – .25¢ gal.

Refrigerator – $49.50

Listerine – .79¢ bottle

Bath soap – $1.39 12 cakes

Washington Hotel – $5 per week

 

YOKOHAMA, Japan after the 1923 Kanto earthquake:

America was still mostly rural in 1923, but cities were growing fast

1923 saw the tomb of King Tut discovered and opened by Howard Carter.

I would not want to go back to the 1920s, but I wish we had brought some things with us from that simpler life.

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Just for writers

It was recently pointed out in a newsy handout how strange our English language is. All writers have to endure its oddities, but I suppose all languages and dialects have certain idiosyncrasies.

In English, there is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburgers; neither apples nor pine in pineapples. English muffins were not invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads which aren’t sweet are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither a pig nor a guinea. If teachers taught, why don’t we say that preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

In what language do people recite at a play, and play at a recital? We ship by truck and send cargo by ship. We have noses that run and feet that smell. We park on driveways and drive on parkways.

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? Your guess is as good as mine. Thankfully, writers reserve judgment of other writers in these times when language is undergoing many not-so-subtle changes. Scores of words that once clearly meant one thing 50 years ago now mean something entirely different. If I had enough hair to pull out, I just might do it.

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Couldn’t pass these up

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Last Words

As we move into a new year, let us renew our commitment to Christ, His Word, and His ways. Otherwise, we will be pulled along in the tidal wave of the world. May spiritual gravity pull us closer to biblical truth rather than the attractions of the present age. God is looking for men—real men—who are fearless, prayerful, humble, weak enough to trust and strong enough to stand. Let’s make 2023 a year of spiritual harvest!

God bless! Happy New Year everybody!

JREnsey

Published in: on January 1, 2023 at 1:03 AM  Leave a Comment