Falsely Claiming Precious Promises

How many times have you seen or heard a promise from God spoken or inserted into a meme all by itself, without the surrounding context? I know I’m guilty. In this post I want to ask a question.

Why is it that we love to claim promises God made the people of Israel, as our own, without the Biblical context? I’ll let the reader consider it and perhaps offer an answer.

Perhaps two of the most cited examples are Jeremiah 29:11 and 2 Chronicles 7:14. We’ll put each one back into its Biblical context.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Here’s the context – Jeremiah 29:4 – 11:

4“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. 8For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, 9for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the LORD. 10“For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.11For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (emphasis mine)

In the above passages, we have God speaking to the exiles in Babylon. Through the true prophet Jeremiah, God is telling them how they should live while in captivity (vv.5 – 7), to stop listening to false prophets (vv. 8 – 11), and then promises to bring them out of captivity.

2 Chronicles 7:14

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Here’s the context – 2 Chronicles 7:11 – 14:

11Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king’s house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the LORD and in his own house he successfully accomplished. 12Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (emphasis mine)

In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God spoke directly to Solomon after the completion of the building of the house of the LORD, telling the King that WHEN He, (God himself) stopped the rain, sent plagues of locusts, and pestilence (destructive plague) among his people, IF they would humble themselves and pray, He would bring healing.

Although there certainly are great lessons to be drawn from both of our oft-quoted (out of context) passages, God spoke to His covenant at particular moments in history.

I’m not debating whether or not today’s Christians are God’s covenant people (a frequently used explanation for claiming them for us in our time), or if the United States is God’s favored nation. That argument has been had throughout the centuries, and is still very much alive today. I’m just asking a question.

Why do we take verses out of their Biblical contexts and make them personally ours, without considering their Biblical contexts? With the above passages specifically, we have precious promises connected to some pretty ‘dire’ circumstances and warnings!

Please consider it, offer an answer, and above all “Be blessed!”.

The Word-less “Church”

from W. Robert Godfrey

 

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Many American churches are in a mess. Theologically they are indifferent, confused, or dangerously wrong. Liturgically they are the captives of superficial fads. Morally they live lives indistinguishable from the world. They often have a lot of people, money, and activities. But are they really churches, or have they degenerated into peculiar clubs?

What has gone wrong? At the heart of the mess is a simple phenomenon: the churches seem to have lost a love for and confidence in the Word of God. They still carry Bibles and declare the authority of the Scriptures. They still have sermons based on Bible verses and still have Bible study classes. But not much of the Bible is actually read in their services. Their sermons and studies usually do not examine the Bible to see what it thinks is important for the people of God. Increasingly they treat the Bible as tidbits of poetic inspiration, of pop psychology, and of self-help advice. Congregations where the Bible is ignored or abused are in the gravest peril. Churches that depart from the Word will soon find that God has departed from them.

What solution does the Bible teach for this sad situation? The short but profound answer is given by Paul in Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” We need the Word to dwell in us richly so that we will know the truths that God thinks are most important and so that we will know His purposes and priorities. We need to be concerned less about “felt-needs” and more about the real needs of lost sinners as taught in the Bible.

Paul not only calls us here to have the Word dwell in us richly, but shows us what that rich experience of the Word looks like. He shows us that in three points. (Paul was a preacher, after all.)

First, he calls us to be educated by the Word, which will lead us on to ever-richer wisdom by “teaching and admonishing one another.” Paul is reminding us that the Word must be taught and applied to us as a part of it dwelling richly in us. The church must encourage and facilitate such teaching whether in preaching, Bible studies, reading, or conversations. We must be growing in the Word.

It is not just information, however, that we are to be gathering from the Word. We must be growing in a knowledge of the will of God for us: “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9). Knowing the will of God will make us wise and in that wisdom we will be renewed in the image of our Creator, an image so damaged by sin: “Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (3:10).

This wisdom will also reorder our priorities and purposes, from that which is worldly to that which is heavenly: “The hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of truth, the gospel” (1:5). When that Word dwells in us richly we can be confident that we know the full will of God: “I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known” (1:25). From the Bible we know all that we need for salvation and godliness.

Second, Paul calls us to expressing the Word from ever-renewed hearts in our “singing.” Interestingly, Paul connects the Word dwelling in us richly with singing. He reminds us that singing is an invaluable means of placing the truth of God deep in our minds and hearts. I have known of elderly Christians far gone with Alzheimer’s disease who can still sing songs of praise to God. Singing also helps connect truth to our emotions. It helps us experience the encouragement and assurance of our faith: “That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (2:2–3).

The importance of singing, of course, makes the content of our songs vital. If we sing shallow, repetitive songs, we will not be hiding much of the Word in our hearts. But if we sing the Word itself in its fullness and richness, we will be making ourselves rich indeed. We need to remember that God has given us a book of songs, the Psalter, to help us in our singing.

Third, Paul calls us to remember the effect of the Word to make us a people with ever-ready “thanksgiving.” Three times in Colossians 3:15–17 Paul calls us to thankfulness. When the “word of Christ” dwells in us richly, we will be led on to lives of gratitude. As we learn and contemplate all that God has done for us in creation, providence, and redemption, we will be filled with thanksgiving. As we recall His promises of forgiveness, renewal, preservation, and glory, we will live as a truly thankful people.

We need the word of Christ to dwell in us richly today more than ever. Then churches may escape being a mess and become the radiant body of Christ as God intended.

This post was originally published in Tabletalk magazine.

from W. Robert Godfrey

How Do I Meditate on The Word Of God?

by Jack Wellman

How do we meditate on the Word of God?  The Bible instructs Christians to meditate on the Word but how are we supposed to meditate on the Word of God and what does it mean to meditate?

A Secular Definition of Meditation

When you look in the dictionary and see what the word meditate means, you can get dozens of differing definitions. I will try to give a general definition based upon what most people think meditation is and then what God means by His command to have us meditate on the Word of God.  Most dictionaries define meditation as:  Intentional contemplation on the author’s work with the express purpose of  reflecting upon it, contemplative thinking, the revolving of a subject in the mind or a self-directed practice of calming the mind and body.

Other definitions are a clearing of the mind, an emptying of thoughts, having a mind that is open.  The thing that I don’t like about this kind of meditation is that a clear, open mind is one that is subject to spiritual attack or evil influence from demons or wicked spirits.  The problem with an open mind is that it often needs to be closed down for repairs!   What is called Transcendental Meditation for example is a technique that is derived from Hindu traditions that promote deep relaxation through the use of a mantra. However a mantra’s different for differing belief systems like Buddhism, Hinduism, and New Age ideas and so its definition depends upon the group’s beliefs and is dependent upon the context of it.   Some of this is practiced even in the work place, at Yoga classes, and in many Eastern religions.  This is not what the Bible means by meditating on the Word of God.

Meditating on the Word

Our church elder said that meditating on the Word of God is a lost art in the church today. He is absolutely right.  We lose out on so much when we simply read over the Word and don’t meditate on it. Part of what the Psalmist says where we are to “hide your Word” in our heart is simply meditating on it.  Yes, memorizing Scripture may be part of this hiding the Word, but there is so much power even in one verse…in one word…that we don’t tap that power when we read right past it.  The Scriptures often tell us to do this both day and night and so you can never meditate on it if you are not reading it…both day and night.

Benefits of Meditating on the Word

Here are a few verses that tell us that we should meditate on the Word of God, why we should meditate on it and what the benefits are:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8

If we meditate on God’s Law, and I don’t mean the Mosaic Law, then we will “be careful to do all that is written in it.” You can’t obey what you do not know.  And God promises to “make your way prosperous” and you’ll have “good success” if you meditate on it.  Meditating and memorizing Scripture is like “hiding His Word” in your heart.  When you are tempted, you can more easily resist sinning because you already know the precepts, statues, and Laws of God.

Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97

We will love the law of God only if we meditate on its meaning.  It is not so much “don’t do this” but “do this and suffer” and “don’t do this and prosper.” God doesn’t want us to hurt ourselves or others and that is why we must love His law and meditate on it.   God loves His own law so much that the biggest chapter in the Bible is dedicated to the law in Psalm 119; it must be of high importance to God.  If it is that important to God (and it is) then it must be for us as well.

May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.” Psalm 104:34

God is well pleased when we meditate on His divine Word.  The Psalmist wrote that rejoicing in the Lord is tied to meditating on His Word.  Imagine you get a letter from your loved one.  You have been separated from him or her for a long time.  You love re-reading it…reflecting on the words, and so you will rejoice in this letter and your loved one and you will meditate on certain lines, would you not?  The same applies to God’s Word.  It is the greatest love letter ever written!

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” Psalm 119:15

I love this verse.  Here the writer is fixing his eyes on God’s ways.  He is meditating on the precepts of God for they are always true, faithful, and good.  To “fix” your eyes is to meditate on specific things and these things (like precepts) are in the written Word of God.  Try fixing your eyes on one verse today.  You’ll be amazed at how the Holy Spirit will enlighten your mind to it.

My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.Psalm 49:3

Here is a cause and effect verse.  Our mouth can speak wisdom only because the meditation of our hearts on His Word gives us understanding.  This is not a subjective, human wisdom but the wisdom of God Himself because when our hearts mediate on His truth (which is objective), what we say will be wise because it is the wisdom of God.  By the way, the seat of the intellect in the Jewish idiom is the “heart” and so when you read the word heart, you can understand that it is talking about the mind.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

Although Paul didn’t use the word “meditate”, the intent is the same thing when he said to “think about these things.”  When we think on “these things” we are pondering them, we are reflecting on them, and we are contemplating (meditating) on them.

My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.” Psalm 119:148

Many of the strongest Christians have the most worn out Bibles and you have probably heard that a Christian whose Bible is coming apart has it most together.  This verse speaks of meditating on the Word before “the watches of the night” or late at night, perhaps before bedtime.  They are meditating on God’s promises and that helps to keep a believer’s hope strong.  His promises are all revealed in Scripture and what better thing to meditate on than those promises which are sure, true, and can not be broken.

Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.” Psalm 119:24

clip_image002The writer here ties together our ability to not be discouraged or fearful even while our enemies are plotting against us.  How many times have we laid awake at night, unable to sleep or “turn it off“, worrying about our problems (even if they are people)?  We can sleep in peace by meditating on the Word before we go to bed.  I have known fewer solutions to my sleeplessness than to open the Bible and read His Word for I realize that even that bad things will work out for my best (Romans 8:28).  That is another of God’s promises.

Conclusion

We have read from Scripture that there is so much good that can come from meditating on the Word of God.  The shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).  I tried to meditate on this shortest of verses and found it to be one of the most powerful verses in the entire Bible.  I thought of why Jesus wept, what He was weeping for, who He was weeping over, and how He showed such depth of emotion in His love.  By asking who, what, why, where, when, and how over a single verse, the Holy Spirit can speak to us through the written Word because the Holy Spirit is the Author of the Word (2 Peter 1:21).  I thought of His humanity, the suffering that He saw, the lost sheep of Israel who would have nothing to do with Him, the depravity of mankind, the compassion that He had.  What must Jesus have been thinking (meditating) on when He wept?

It must grieve the heart of God to know that many will be called but few will be chosen.  Many have heard of Jesus but few will trust in Him.  The path to destruction is broad but the way of life is narrow and winding and few are they that find it.  That makes me want to weep too.  For all those who refuse to believe, those who will not come to saving faith, I meditate on their eternal, future fate.  That makes me want to share the gospel all the more.  I want to be about my Father’s business in rescuing the perishing.  The Bible is full of God’s desire that no one will perish (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:4, Ezekiel 18:23).  Meditate on what breaks God’s heart and your heart will be broken too.  Meditate on the Word of God and you will hide it in your heart (memorize it).  Then you will have the Word in you to be able to resist when temptation comes.  You can meditate on God’s desire to save those who are headed for the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 21).

This week, choose one verse to meditate on.  I choose John 11:35 (“Jesus wept“).  I wanted to align my heart with Jesus’ heart.  Take one line from the Word of God and memorize it, think about it, ponder it, reflect upon it, and then God “will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8).  That is a promise from God.  There is nothing more certain in all the universe than a promise of God.  Just meditate on that for a while.

The ‘Inspire’ Bible

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Is the new Inspire Bible the latest innovation for ‘experience’ and ‘feelings’ based Christianity?

Without getting into the whole ‘adults and coloring books’ debate in this post (I do have my own opinion), I have to admit to feeling compelled to visit the Inspire Web site to find out their ‘sales pitch’. All new editions of Bibles have sales pitches. Here is what I found:

Inspire is called The Bible for Coloring and Creative Journaling’ at the top of the homepage. There is also a description of the ‘coloring and creative journaling’ features available to the reader.

The pitch that I found most interesting was this:

Inspire offers a new way to engage with, meditate on, and respond to Scripture—leading beginning colorers and experienced illustrators to the Prince of Peace.”

First of all it offers something ‘new’. We always like ‘new’. I’m just glad it didn’t also say ‘improved’. That would have been trying to say that Inspire was somehow ‘better’ that the other thousand or so niche Bibles that are already on the market.

Then we are told that it’s a ‘new way to engage with, meditate on, and respond to Scripture’. What does that mean? What’s different about this particular Bible? I suppose that’s the ‘coloring and creative journaling’ opportunities it affords, as opposed to ordinary coloring books and ‘uncreative’ journaling. That’s just a guess. Whatever it means, it’s significant to note that ‘beginning colorers and experienced illustrators’ can benefit from this new Bible.

And what is the ‘benefit’ you ask? Well, that’s also provided by the Web site. Inspire is a new way to “engage with, meditate on, and respond to Scripture” and in doing find the Prince of Peace.”

Here’s where this old guy is really confused, and here’s my twisted logic.

1. The ‘new’ manner to “engage with, meditate on, and respond to Scripture” is by coloring in the Inspire Bible.

2. The act of coloring, especially intricate drawings, requires careful attention and focus. There’s color selection, type of ‘strokes’ with the coloring implement(s), shading, staying between the lines, evaluating one’s work as it proceeds, etc., etc., etc..

3. The activities described in 2 above tend to redirect one’s attention and focus from the text of scripture itself to the ‘coloring’ activity, and even more so when one is evaluating one’s ‘creativity level’ while so engaged.

4. Therefore the ‘engaging with, meditating on, and responding to’ scripture means something other than merely studying the text of scripture itself; examining the several levels of inherent Biblical context, comparing translations, consulting dictionaries, concordances, commentaries, and the like, while allowing the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us along. You can’t do all of the above and color at the same time.

5. If the ‘engagement while coloring’ reduces engagement with scripture itself, exactly what ‘spiritual’ engagement is taking place? If it’s not IN scripture it must be OUTSIDE of scripture.

6. If it’s spiritual engagement outside of scripture, what/who are we talking about? We’re talking about quieting yourself down in order to ‘hear’ the voice of Jesus/God speak in your mind and write down what you envision in your mind or hear. In other words, ‘feeling’ and ‘experiencing’ God.

Original question answered. I’m sure “beginning colorers and experienced illustrators” will be led to a ‘Prince’, but which one, the Prince of Peace and Light, or the Prince of Darkness wearing a clever disguise?

“The Bible is NOT the WORD OF GOD: A Polemic Against Christendom”

That’s the title of a blog post, in two parts, that was published in the ‘Emergent Village’ subsection of the Progressive Christianity section at Patheos.com. You can read it here.

If you are unfamiliar with what is called emergent/progressive Christianity it’s basically a movement dedicated to destroying orthodox Christianity. The above title, ‘A Polemic Against Christendom’ should be a clue. Here are two small portions of the original article:

Is the bible the Word of God?

What are we saying when we make this statement (the Bible is the Word of God)? Two things really: first, God’s word is limited to the text itself and nothing else. . . Second, it places the writer’s intentions secondary to “God’s intentions” (I have also heard it said “God’s intentions trumps the authors intentions”) – though it’s not entirely clear how one has the ability to know “God’s intentions”.

As to the first contention, that in saying that the Bible is the Word of God we are limiting God’s word to words on a page is patently absurd. I know of no Christian, past or present that would make that claim. As to the second contention, I really have not figured out what he is trying to say, other than we cannot know God’s intentions. While we cannot know everything God has planned, we can know quite a bit of it. It’s in the Bible, the written word of God.

A major objective of the Emergent cause is to destroy the credibility of the Bible, much like the Serpent in the Garden. The author of the article says:

“The bible is not the WORD OF GOD. The WORD OF GOD is Jesus Christ.”

He also says:

The WORD OF GOD is a moment that a human being encounters. It is Jesus Christ in his full glory and revelation. The WORD OF GOD occurs through a compilation of acts that bring forth the WORD OF GOD within the individual– prayer, reading and meditating on sacred scripture, fellowship, and worship.

If Jesus is the Word of God (and he is) how is it that the Word of God is also a ‘moment’? Is Jesus a ‘moment’ or is he the Son of God? Is he both? If the author’s Jesus a ‘moment’ is his Jesus the Jesus of the Bible?

There is nothing I could find in the article that recognized Jesus Christ as the substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. Jesus is reduced to a ‘moment that ‘occurs’ when we ‘do’ certain things. Of course no self-respecting Emergent would say Christ died for our sins. God sending his son to die was cosmic child abuse, according to some of the major players in the movement. That, my friends is not the gospel message of the Bible and not true Christianity. But then again, the Bible is not the word of God and Paul was just a man who wrote a good book, so Paul’s definition if the gospel could be flawed, so maintains the author.

That’s all I have time for at the moment. I mentioned the referenced article to a friend of our and she asked me to post it. Rather than posting the entire article and cause your brains to explode, I just posted a small portion and the link to the original, here.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/emergentvillage/2013/04/the-bible-is-not-the-word-of-god-a-polemic-against-christendom/

Lies and Pretty Horses

It’s been said that a lie will ride in on the horseback of truth. It won’t charge in, all sweaty and frothing, but it will ride in gently, maybe even prancing a little for you, like in a circus ring, decorated with plumes and feathers; dressed up with a fine saddle and glittering bridle.

1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 1 Peter 2:1-3

In the above passage, the Apostle Peter tells us that just like false prophets arose from among the children of Israel, false teachers would arise from within the church, secretly bringing in destructive heresies. In order to bring in their heresies, they have to look like us, talk like us, and for all appearances, they are one of us. They’ll use scriptural language and quote the Bible. They’ll smile and nod approvingly at agreed upon truth. Then they’ll slip in the lie. Consider the following example, an actual comment on a blog post:

“I totally agree with you on the point that the Bible has been miraculously preserved!! It is also authoritative to instruct and to convict. But it is not the Word of God. You don’t need to believe it’s the Word of God to hold it as sacred, as I do.”

“This is important for us to understand and accept because it is partly for the infallible claim we have attached to the Bible that makes those who know even a little about its origin disregard everything it says! The Bible doesn’t need us to defend it. God defends it. It is God who has preserved it. But by saying it is the Word of God, when Jesus is the Word of God, we make an idol out of what is sacred.

There are kind words of agreement concerning God’s hand in preserving the Bible through the ages. The Bible is acknowledged to be authoritative and useful for teaching us; and excellent guide for growing as believers.

Then comes the lie. “But it is not the Word of God.” But by saying it is the Word of God, when Jesus is the Word of God, we make an idol out of what is sacred.” The Bible is not the Word of God and if we call the Bible the Word of God we are guilty of idolatry.

Jesus is the Word of God but not the Bible, we are told, and somewhat ‘authoritatively’ at that. It’s not offered as an opinion or theological viewpoint. It’s presented as fact. The Bible is not the Word of God. Period. The Word of God cannot be both Jesus and the Bible. The reasoning is somewhat interesting, I must say, and unique among the large amount of material available attacking the inerrancy of scripture.

Well, in my opinion this particular false teacher could use a bit of mentoring in the art of ‘secretly’ bringing in a destructive heresy. Kind of like an ‘Uncle Screwtape’, if you’re a C.S. Lewis fan. The clever heretics don’t just barge in the front door and announce that the Bible isn’t the Word of God. They use the back door or a side door and cast a smidgen of doubt, they attack it little by little. They’ll suggest something to cause just a tiny bit of doubt and then water the poisonous seed, not from a bucket but a teaspoon. Kind of like the serpent in the Garden who asked the question “Did God really say…..?”

Enough has already been posted here concerning the Bible, its inerrancy, its infallibility, and the importance of holding such beliefs. There’s not much I could to what’s been said.

I just want us to be aware of a universal tactic of false teachers and their lies. The most dangerous ones, in my opinion, rise up from ‘among us’. And they ride ‘pretty horses’.

May God bless all who read this and take it to heart!

God Speaks to Me, but Not Like He Speaks to Priscilla Shirer

God speaks to me through the written Word. He speaks through the words on the pages and the illumination by the Holy Spirit of that same written word.

God speaks directly to Priscilla Shirer, with personal messages and revelations; not just via ‘someone else’s hand-me-downs’ (her words about the written word).

Apparently I’m just not tuned in to God’s ‘personal’ frequency. It’s not that God doesn’t want me to have this personal communication; I’m just not tuned in. Ms. Shirer (and others I have heard about, listened to and read) has evidently reached a higher level of spiritually than this old guy.

I have come to a decision point. I need to either take steps to reach the higher level of spirituality so I too can experience the ‘relational’ presence of God (I heard a Chaplain use that term recently), or remain at my current level of spiritual growth.

In support of pursuing a higher level of spiritually, I guess I’m fortunate. I’ve recently listened to several messages on Sunday mornings in which the speaker has taught us that if we begin each day sitting quietly with pen and journal, listening for God’s voice, we can eventually get the hang of it. At first we are to just write down what the ‘voices’ we hear say to us and eventually we will be able to isolate God’s voice and only need to write down what He says. Since our teacher used the same ‘frequency’ terminology as Ms. Shirer, it must be true! Doesn’t it say somewhere in the Bible that whenever two or more believers agree on a thing, it’s true?

On the other hand, I can maintain my current habit of beginning the day prayerfully reading God’s Word and know that I am hearing God speak to me as I read. I can also continue spending time in inductive Bible study, on merely a personal level and in preparation for Sunday School at the Chapel I attend.

But, according to Ms. Shirer (and others) I could be having an even deeper and more meaningful ‘relational’ experience with God if I can tune into God’s special frequency for ‘direct’ communication!

What to do………what to do?

“The King James Bible is the Truth!”

So states the title of a blog I stumbled upon as result of clicking the name of a commenter on a blog I occasionally visit.

The KJV Only author, in addition to inviting anyone who subscribed to any of the devil’s ‘PERversions’ to immediately leave his blog and never return, offered the following as the basis for his KJV position:

1. Only the King James Bible is the truth without error.

2. Only the King James Bible has been providentially preserved for hundreds of years.

3. Only the King James Bible has the power to convict souls and persuade people to be saved according to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (His death, burial and resurrection, 1Corinthians 15:3, 4 KJB).

4. All other versions are MAN-MADE, adding and/or subtracting from the KJB, which God strictly PROHIBITS in Revelation 22:18 and 19.

5. All other versions are COPYRIGHTED, meaning that they are printed to make money and no one else can use that copyright. Only the KJB has no copyright because GOD is the Author, and He wants us to share it freely with all men.

6. The Devil is the author of all these foul versions.

Noticeable in the above is a total lack of substantiation for any of the claims made concerning the KJV, a possible indicator that the blog author might be one of the rare possessors of a ‘mind like a steel trap’ (rusted shut).

There is nothing new in the above ‘KJV only’ assertions. Scholarly books and articles have been written soundly refuting them, most notable among them written by Dr. James White and Dan Wallace. I draw your attention to only two of them here.

Reason #4, that “All other versions are MAN-MADE. . .” claims ‘divine’ inspiration / authorship of the KJV, as divine as the original manuscripts penned by the authors of the Bible themselves. All KJVonly-ists do not subscribe to that notion. That the KJV was as ‘breathed out by God’ as the original manuscripts should seem to be a rather silly notion to any thinking adult, not to mention a lot of literate teenagers.

Reason #3 was new to me, although I am certain not one newly invented by a ‘steel trap mind” (Mr. STM) parroting what others have already postulated. Not only was it new to me, I find it more grievous than the rest.

Here’s the claim again:

“Only the King James Bible has the power to convict souls and persuade people to be saved according to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (His death, burial and resurrection, 1Corinthians 15:3, 4 KJB)”

To be fair, the definition of the gospel is correctly cited from 1 Corinthians 3-4:

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. (KJV)

A quick search of those verses will show that just about every other translation defines the gospel exactly the same way! Think for a moment what that means Mr. STM is telling us. Assuming that STM agrees that the original manuscripts (which we do not have) were ‘breathed out by God’ (the KJV says so), STM would have us believe that a lost sinner could only be saved by reading, or having read to him the definition of the gospel from a 1611 KJV Bible! That, my friends, is beyond stupid!

The Apostle Paul provided the above definition of the gospel to Christians at Corinth. He also addressed the following to believers in Rome:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16 (KJV) (emphasis mine – I hope I don’t go to Hell for that)

This is where STM gets a little silly. Paul said he was not ashamed of the “gospel”, defined it as the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and said that the “gospel” is the power of God (to convict of sin and persuade people) unto salvation. In other words, the “power” is in the message, NOT in a particular English translation of the Bible. And again, we have numerous other English translations that define the gospel message exactly as does the KJV!

So according to STM, we can have the same message (the power for salvation), in the very same words, in multiple English translations, but nobody’s getting saved except when it’s read in/from the KJV!!!!!!!????????

Is that the absolute epitome of ignorance, audacity and arrogance? Don’t answer. I would have really liked to ask a few questions at STM’s blog post but comments were closed and he attitude toward anyone who would question his KJV idolatry wasn’t very kind. Yes, I said IDOLATRY.

"Not One Iote or One Title…":A Plea for Original Spelling by John Bookman

Just days ago, I realized that we have not gone far enough in insisting that the Bible be preserved unchanged “in the form God intended for us to have.” Of course, I speak of the infallible, inerrant, verbally-inspired and unalterably preserved English Bible, the Authorized Version (AV 1611), “the Bible God uses and Satan hates.” Sure, there are lots of zealous defenders who have shielded it from the corruptions of such heinous translations as the NIV, the NASB and that most sinister NKJB, and have kept us from returning to the now-completely-unnecessary Hebrew and Greek. But while they kept their watch on one front, the Enemy has come in unawares by another route and sown seeds of corruption that have, I fear, already yielded a corrupt harvest.

What am I getting at? Simply this: we have insisted on the verbal inspiration of the English, that is, that the very English words were divinely chosen and given to the Learned Men. But simply insisting on the perfection of the English words and preserving the words is not enough. A careful consideration of the true intent and meaning of the words of Matthew 5:18 is necessary: “Till heauen and earth passe, one iote or one title, shall in no wise passe from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (I have made no mistake in my spelling, as I shall shortly explain). Notice how Jesus insisted on the verbal inspiration, not just of the words, but also of the very letters of the words of Scripture. And since this verse is a specific promise of the preservation of Scripture in our infallible English Bible, we must insist on following, not just the original KJV words but also their very spelling. What other meaning can we draw out of the words “one iote or one title”? Every letter–the very spelling–is certainly inspired, and to alter the spelling of a single word, to alter even a single letter in a single word, is to deny and reject the inspiration of the AV 1611. If God had wanted us to spell the words in the AV 1611 different in our Bibles, He would have given them to us in that form originally. Modern spelling is as hideous and hateful a thing as modern translations. Its new age corruption, pure and simple. No one was ever authorized to corrupt, to “modernize” the infallible original spelling. There are eight spelling corruptions in John 3:16 alone!!!

I’m sure some “liberal” soul will say, “What difference does spelling make?” Argue it out with Jesus, brother! Didn’t He say that inspiration of the words included the very spelling, every iote, not just the words? Will you reject the teaching of Matthew 5:18 of letter/spelling inspiration of our preserved AV 1611? To stop at “word inspiration” and not insist on spelling inspiration is to be second cousin to mere “thought inspiration.” It is creeping apostasy, through and through. Next someone will deny the inspiration of the chapter and verse numberings in the AV 1611. Where will it stop?

And I think we must recognize that Jesus’ infallible English word was “title” and not the now-corrupted “tittle.” A tittle is part of the ornamentation of a Hebrew letter (at least that’s what I’ve heard at Fellowship meetings, so I have assurance that it’s right). But a title is something else. I have complete confidence that this promise of Jesus was a specific reference to the preservation of the chapter and page headings, the titles found in the original AV 1611. Sadly, those infallible titles, attached by the Learned Men under divine inspiration at the top of each page and at the beginning of each chapter have been removed from our modern editions. Without them, we cannot claim that we have a perfectly preserved Bible, and by allowing them to be removed, we have called God a liar, and denied that He is able to preserve the inspired English Bible He has given us.

It is no secret that none of the commonly used English Bibles published in our day have the original AV 1611 spelling, or punctuation (that, too, is part of our directly inspired, infallible English Bible) or titles of which Jesus spoke, so in reality, these Bibles, even though they say “King James Version” or “Authorized Version” are really not Bibles at all. Only the Nelson reprint of the original 1611 AV is a real Bible; all the others are sinister corruptions.

And there is growing upon me the deep conviction, as deep as anything I’ve written in this article, that no English-speaking person can be saved if he was not saved by an original, unaltered AV 1611, with original spelling, original punctuation, and original chapter and page titles. This simply means that anyone who thought he was saved by reading a revised “KJV” or by hearing a sermon from such a “Bible” or by reading a Gospel tract that quoted the words in a revised spelling form, even if it was labelled “KJV” is not really saved, has never been saved, and never will be saved until he gets a true, fully-preserved AV 1611. That will mean that virtually all those who thought they were saved–preachers, deacons and all–will have to go back and get truly saved through a real AV 1611, then get rebaptized. Verbal inspiration of the English requires inspiration of the very spelling as well. Anything less is rank modernism.

I will confess to one further worry: original type style. The real AV 1611 was printed in what printers call “black letter,” a very ornate type style much like Gothic script, which is still used many times for the banner at the top of the front page of newspapers. This original type style was replaced with “Roman” type sometime in the 18th century. Note that name: Roman. I fear that once again, the Jesuits have conspired to corrupt the pure word in English. They have taken away the original Gothic (and as everyone knows, the Gothic Bible used the textus receptus for its foundation which proves with certainty that the Gothic was the correct script for a real Bible), and have substituted the corrupt Roman script. In a real sense, even the KJV has become a Roman Bible, since its modern editions use Roman script and not the original black letter. As further proof that Roman type is a corruption, notice that all these apostate Bibles–the ERV, ASV, NASB, NIV, NKJB, and the rest, have always been printed in Roman type. That’s proof enough to me that any Bible in Roman type is no Bible at all, and that only a Bible with the original script, the black letter, given to us in the form we should have it by the Learned Men, is a true Bible. Perhaps even those saved by the true original spelling KJV are not saved at all, and must locate a black letter edition. The Roman script Nelson reprint may not be enough (it’s just like those Bible corrupters at Thomas Nelson to pass off a Roman script KJV as though it were a real Bible!). Fortunately for me, my brother has a facsimile reprint in the original black letter of the AV 1611, and I’m secure since I’ve studied out of it several times.

It is a desperate situation. The shortage of black letter, original spelling AV 1611 Bibles is severe. There is truly a famine of the preserved word of God in the land. And all our efforts at preaching, teaching, Bible study, and soul winning are completely futile until we return to the real, unaltered, perfectly preserved bonafide AV 1611. Perhaps the best thing to do for the present is to send off and buy one of those pages from an original KJV, and if you can get a page that has a salvation verse, or part of the “Romans road,” perhaps there will be enough of the Gospel in the true preserved English to rescue your soul.

[As a service to the reader, so he can be saved through a real AV 1611, I will quote John 3:16; unfortunately, I have no capacity to reproduce the original black letter script, so even believing the unrevised spelling may not be enough, but we can hope for the best:

For God so loued ye world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.

And just today, I came to understand that the only proper format for any Bible is in scroll form (or at least loose-leaf), since the Apostle assures us that “the word of God is not bound.” Therefore any book that is bound, regardless of its printed contents, cannot honestly be said to be the word of God. I’m sure the inspired 1611 translators never intended for their translation to come sown and within leather covers. Such would be a travesty, in light of the Apostle’s clear and plain teaching.

I’ve begun the systematic unstitching of all my sewn Bibles so that they can qualify, according to Paul’s definition, as the word of God. I urge you to do the same.


If you haven’t already figured it out, the above piece is satire. It was written by Doug Kutilek. I found it at an excellent site devoted to the KJV only controversy.

A.D. The Degradation Continues – Episode 12

And Season 1 Concludes…….

Where to begin? Apparently, from a Hollywood perspective, the concluding episode for Season 1 was successful because Season 2 is in the works. You can actually get an alert when the release date is announced. I think I will pass on that one.

As TV series’ often do in a season’s final episode, A.D. brought together several story lines. We see that Cornelius, who appeared at the Cross at the beginning of the series, is the Cornelius who becomes a believer in the final episode. Some of us probably saw that coming. We did see the angel’s appearance to Cornelius and Peter’s vision recorded in Acts, chapter 10. We see Peter at the home of Cornelius and a Pentecost type of appearance of the Holy Spirit, complete with some wind, tongues of fire and speaking in tongues. Cornelius is baptized after he confesses some of his sins. In the series he had killed Joanna and whipped Tabitha. In Acts, Chapter 10 however we are told that Cornelius worshipped God and was highly thought of by ‘all the Jewish people’. The series was disconnected from Biblical reality.

The other major plot in the TV episode concerns the statue of Caligula entering Jerusalem to be placed in the temple, opposition from the disciples, the Jewish priests, and zealots waiting on the parapets to ambush the Roman soldiers accompanying the statue. Cornelius, now a believer, is in charge of the Roman soldiers and confronts Peter in front of the temple. The disciples kneel before the roman contingent, the Priests, including Caiaphas kneel and offer their necks to the Romans. The Disciples and Cornelius recite the Lord’s Prayer and at the same time the priests recite a Jewish prayer from Psalm 57.

Everything surrounding the statue of Caligula is 99.999% pure fiction. Yes, Caligula did command that his statues be scattered throughout the Roman controlled world. Historians tell us that Jerusalem might be the only place Caligula’s statue did NOT appear.

A statue was built and dispatched to Jerusalem, but it never arrived. A newly elected leader of Syria, one Petronius, was charged with the delivery, NOT Cornelius. The statue made it as far as Ptolemais, a cosmopolitan port city in Galilee (70+ miles NW of Jerusalem). The Jewish outcry was tremendous, Jewish peasants revolted, and necks were offered to the Roman soldiers (the .001% accuracy?). The peasants also threatened to stop planting crops, which would have hurt the Roman economy. A letter was sent back to Rome to reconsider sending a statue to Jerusalem, and Caligula answered in another letter that Petronius would be executed if he didn’t deliver the statue. That letter never made it to Ptolemais due to really bad weather. Caligula was assassinated, the news of the assassination did reach Petronius (better weather), and the statue never made it to Jerusalem.

There is also a lot of dialogue amongst the disciples concerning being in the end times and the statue of Caligula being the ‘abomination of desolation’ spoken of in Matthew 24, and fear that the end of time and Christ’s return was imminent. In the episode, James the Just asked the big ‘what if it’s not’ question. None of that dialogue is actually recorded in the book of Acts, but I guess it made for good drama.

At the very end, Cornelius nearly flees Jerusalem with Pilate’s wife, who earlier had an ‘almost’ knock down drag out with her husband. The setup for the beginning of next season is a Roman soldier drawing a sword against Peter, leaving us in suspense.

The Issues, Etc. review, found here, is interesting and informative. Lutheran Pastor Ted Giese is asked to rate the series from a secular perspective and from a Pastor’s theological perspective. I liked his answers but will leave you in suspense, with a desire to listen to the interview.

Having said all that, I am not sure if I will watch and comment on the next season. I watched this season mostly in order to be able to engage in discussion(s) about it with both believers and nonbelievers. I never did overhear a discussion about any of the series that I could join. When I asked other believers if they were watching, most were not. They had no interest in what they knew was mostly conjecture and fiction. I did benefit personally by rereading certain portions of Acts, just to make sure I wasn’t being too critical. Digging into historical sources was also beneficial.

My main beef with the producers is having called it ‘The Bible Continues’. All Scripture is inspired (breathed out) by God…. (2 Timothy 3:16), not Hollywood. They could have just called it ‘Left Behind – The Book of Acts’.