Corrupt, slimy politician offers man freedom, man accepts, and this coronavirus happened…

Meet Gustave Doré, the Man Who Shaped Our Vision of Hell - Bloody ...

Derek, a brother in Christ sent me this:

So the story behind this remarkably divisive coronavirus is Satan (the ultimate politician who will say anything, do anything, promise you everything) deceptively told Eve, “If you eat off that tree you can be like God” and that’s really where it started and it’s been going downhill ever since. See, in Genesis 3:5-6 Satan came to Eve in the garden and said, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” But the truth is, just because something “looks good” and “tastes good” doesn’t mean it is –– it can be more harmful than Ebola, AIDS, and the Bubonic Plague.

Adam and Eve’s decision to ignore God’s warning, (God said, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17) set off a chain of events, which resulted in pain, suffering, sickness, wars, and death to every generation. It used to be that Adam and his wife could go out for a walk without a worry in the world. They had no anxieties. Before their fall, they didn’t have to worry about bills or going to the supermarket. Everything was vegetarian in the garden (Genesis 1:30). All the animals were friendly and their food was growing all around them. There was no bad weather. It was paradise, then along came Satan with his lie (“Ye shall not surely die:” Genesis 3:4) of how much better life would be if Eve would only eat off that tree, and because of man’s decision that day, sin and death entered the world, and it was then passed on to all generations that followed.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12

Therefore, when people blame God for the mess that this world is in –– they’re blaming the wrong person. They need to put the blame where it belongs –– on MAN. It was man that brought cancer, earthquakes, tornadoes, pain, suffering and death into the world. “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1) God made a perfect world and He gave man FREE WILL and man CHOSE to sin, and, in doing so, death entered in. Man’s sin is why we now die.1 Corinthians 15:21 says, “By man came death.” I recommend reading that verse again very slowly and carefully. It says man introduced death. So next time you turn on the news and the first 20 stories are about COVID, let it remind you that God made Heaven on earth in the beginning, and when sin came into the world, death and misery came with it –– so now every devastating disaster and deathly disease will makes sense from this point on.

Folks, we live in a fallen creation. Romans 8:22 says, “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain.” The whole world is suffering and in fear (or at least on alert for danger). Some people now think, “Oh no, coronavirus is gonna get me.” Others fear spiders, and the spider fears the snake. Meanwhile, that snake is on the lookout for the eagle, and the eagle is hoping there isn’t a storm. I could go on, but the point is everything, subconsciously, is in fear ! That’s not the way God made it. God made a beautiful creation. No fears. And I think one lesson we should learn from this stupid lockdown is that we’re all waiting around to die. Our life is like a puff of smoke, a vapour, with no guarantee of tomorrow just as James 4:14 says, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

The truth is very simple. God created you to live forever in paradise with family and friends in a body that never gets sick or dies (1 Corinthians 15:53-54), but everyone born after the fall of Adam and Eve inherited a sinful nature (“For all have sinned…” Romans 3:23). If God allowed us into Heaven as we are in our sinful state we would quickly ruin it. That’s why Jesus died on the cross to cleanse us from all our sin to allow us into Heaven. 1 John 1:7 says, “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Here’s your exit question. Today man’s decision also involves a tree (the cross) on which Jesus died (“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…” 1 Peter 2:24). Will you accept Jesus’ payment (cleansing) from your sins, or will you do it your way like Adam ? Please think about this + check out the video below. Love ya…..thank you for reading ! ~ Derek

VIDEO: Check This Out: Pain & Suffering
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5Q0cx2fNhw

What does the Bible say about physical appearance?

What does the Bible say about physical appearance and serving the Lord?

The best example I could find on this theme concerns Isaiah 53:2, where it is clear that Christ came in the physical form of an ordinary person, he was not obviously divine:

Isaiah 53:2 “2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him,
there is no beauty that we should desire him.”

I believe we should try to emulate Christ as closely as possible, whether we are male or female believers, as per the scriptures below:

1 Corinthians 11:1 “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”

John 13:14-16 “14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.”

Another scripture that pertains to all believers, reminding us not to make physical beauty an idol:

1 Samuel 16:7 “7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

And for women who believe, the following scriptures are helpful:

1 Timothy 2:9-10 “9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”

1 Peter 3:3-4 “3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

Many women today wear makeup, including Christian women. The question that female believers should ask themselves is: what is your motive for doing so?

We must always examine ourselves to prove that what we are doing stems from faith:

2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

If you are wearing makeup to tempt others, then this is a sin. Paul reminds women to be modest. 1 Peter 3:4 (see above) reminds women to have a meek and quiet spirit. Our motives should not be to draw attention to ourselves. We should be very careful not to be motivated by haughtiness. A woman who was, sadly, motivated by haughtiness will be briefly discussed later on in this article.

More scripture passages on women who profess to serve the Lord and physical appearance:

1 Timothy 2:9-10 “9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”

Isaiah 3:16-17 “Moreover the Lord saith,
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty,
and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes,
walking and mincing as they go,
and making a tinkling with their feet:
17 therefore the Lord will smite with a scab
the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion,
and the Lord will discover their secret parts.”

1 Corinthians 6:12 “12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 10:14 “14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.”

Romans 14:21 “21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.”

Jezebel – an example not to follow:
Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, a heathen nation (1 Kings 16:30-32). She was responsible for the deaths of many of the Lord’s prophets (1 Kings 18:14). She also incited and aided her husband Ahab to murder Naboth so Ahab could take possession of the vineyard Naboth inherited as part of the Lord’s promise to Israel (1 Kings 21:1-15). Ruthless and conniving, Jezebel was judged by God in the end and cast into the streets as dung. Dogs ate her body so that only her skull, feet and palms of her hands were left. Jehu called her “cursed” so I believe people would do well to look into her character and manner of life as it is sure to be instructive. She clearly took great pride in her appearance as per the scripture passage below:

2 Kings 9:30 “30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.”

The Lord also makes reference to “Jezebel” in Revelation 2:20, noting that she incites his people to fall into sexual immorality and to worship idols instead of the one true God:

“20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.”

I thought it would be fitting to end this article with the following scripture, as it shows we must follow God and let him shape us into people for whom inner, spiritual beauty is to be cultivated over external beauty:

Ephesians 5:1-7 “5 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”

 

What is biblical evangelism?

Evangelism is the commitment to or act of publicly preaching (ministry) of the Gospel with the intention to share the message and teachings of Jesus Christ (Wikipedia).

Biblical evangelism ensures that attempts to reach the lost for Jesus Christ have the Bible, or the Holy Scriptures, as their foundation (see Matthew 7:24-25, Luke 6:48).

What is the Word of God, how is it important? And should we use it when evangelizing?

Christ’s last commandment in Matthew’s Gospel is the following:

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)

In the above, Christ clearly exhorts us to keep his commandments, as written in the New Testament, and to teach potential and/or fellow Christians to do the same.

Christ also gives a very important parable about how his disciples should evangelize, explaining that the “seed” of faith sown in people’s hearts is the Word of God:

10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:10-15)

With the above passage we should note that there are two types of false converts, people who believe without repenting fully in their hearts regarding breaking the Mosaic Laws (the ten commandments), and people who still cling to worldly interests and possessions rather than forsaking them utterly to serve Christ:

3 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judæa, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (Matthew 3:2)

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: (Matthew 3:8)

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)

But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:13)

Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: (Matthew 11:20)

Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. (Matthew 11:21)
And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; (Luke 3:3)

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. (Luke 3:8)

2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilæans were sinners above all the Galilæans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:33)

Only one type of convert is true, the person who takes an honest look at who they are before a holy God and, as Job did in Job 42:6, “repent in dust and ashes.”

Paul also tells us that there is a direct relationship between someone being brought to have faith in Christ and them hearing the Word of God:

8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:8-17)

Peter also talks about the Word of God (by which the gospel is preached) enduring forever:

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (1 Peter 1:24-25)

Then there is the situation of Mary and Martha, both friends of Jesus during his earthly life. Yet he praises Mary not for rushing around and busying herself with household tasks (as Martha was doing) but for simply sitting at his feet humbly and hearing his word:

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:38-42)

Later on, in the New Testament, a key passage tells us that all of God’s Words, in both the Old and New Testaments, are inspired by God Himself and can be used in all phases of a believer’s life, whether they are a new convert or not:

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16)

Jesus always answered every temptation from the devil with the words “it is written” (referencing the Word of God in the Old Testament Law and Prophets). How much more then should we who are His sons and daughters spiritually do so? The devil himself even quoted the Old Testament (Matthew 4:6, Luke 4:10), showing that he took it seriously too. See below passages (with concordance given between the Old and New Testament passages):

Matthew 4:4 (Jesus references Deuteronomy 8:3)

4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.

Matthew 4:7 (Jesus references Deuteronomy 6:16)

7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

16 Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.

Matthew 4:10 (Jesus references Deuteronomy 6:13, Deuteronomy 10:20, Joshua 24:14, 1 Samuel 7:3)

10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

13 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

20 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.

14 Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

3 And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.

Matthew 21:13 (Jesus references Isaiah 56:7)

13 and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

7 even them will I bring to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer:
their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar;
for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

Matthew 26:24 (Jesus references Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, Daniel 9:26, Mark 9:12, Luke 24:25-26, Luke 46, Acts 17:2-3)

24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

Psalm 22

Isaiah 53

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

12 And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.

25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

46 and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

2 and Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 3 opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

Matthew 26:31 (Jesus references John 16:32, Matthew 11:6, Zechariah 13:7)

31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

Mark 7:6 (Jesus references Isaiah 29:13, Matthew 15:8)

6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth,
and with their lips do honour me,
but have removed their heart far from me,
and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Mark 9:12 (Jesus references Psalm 22:6, Isaiah 53:3, Daniel 9:26, Luke 23:11, Philippians 2:7)
12 And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.

6 But I am a worm, and no man;
a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

3 He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
and we hid as it were our faces from him;
he was despised, and we esteemed him not

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

7 but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

 

Mark 9:13 (Jesus references Malachi 4:5, Matthew 11:14, Matthew 17:12, Luke 1:17)

13 But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Mark 11:17 (Jesus references Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:11)

17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

7 even them will I bring to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer:
their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar;
for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord.

Mark 14:21 (Jesus references Matthew 26:24, Luke 22:22, Acts 1:16-20)

21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

22 And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!

16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. 17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. 18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

Mark 14:27 (Jesus references Matthew 26:31-35, Mark 14:50, John 16:32, Isaiah 53:5, Isaiah 53:10, Zechariah 13:7)

27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.

31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. 32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. 33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. 34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

50 And they all forsook him, and fled.

32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him;
he hath put him to grief:
when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin,
he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days,
and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

Luke 4:4 (Jesus references Deuteronomy 8:3)

4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.

Luke 19:46 (Jesus references Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:11)

46 saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

7 even them will I bring to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer:
their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar;
for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord.

Luke 24:46 (Jesus references Psalm 22, Hosea 6:2, Luke 11:29-30, Acts 17:3)

46 and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

Psalm 22

To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.

1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
why art thou so far from helping me,
and from the words of my roaring?
2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not;
and in the night season, and am not silent.
3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
4 Our fathers trusted in thee:
they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered:
they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
6 But I am a worm, and no man;
a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn:
they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8 He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him:
let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb:
thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.
10 I was cast upon thee from the womb:
thou art my God from my mother’s belly.
11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near;
for there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have compassed me:
strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
13 They gaped upon me with their mouths,
as a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint:
my heart is like wax;
it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd;
and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws;
and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have compassed me:
the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me:
they pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I may tell all my bones:
they look and stare upon me.
18 They part my garments among them,
and cast lots upon my vesture.

19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord:
O my strength, haste thee to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword;
my darling from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth:
for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren:
in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
23 Ye that fear the Lord, praise him;
all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him;
and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
neither hath he hid his face from him;
but when he cried unto him, he heard.
25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation:
I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied:
they shall praise the Lord that seek him:
your heart shall live for ever.
27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord:
and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s:
and he is the governor among the nations.
29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship:
all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him:
and none can keep alive his own soul.
30 A seed shall serve him;
it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness
unto a people that shall be born,
that he hath done this.

2 After two days will he revive us:
in the third day he will raise us up,
and we shall live in his sight.

29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. 30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.

3 opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

True followers of Jesus should be able to perform miracles, as the Lord did during his time on earth:

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:15-18)

Can you evangelize without “Christian jargon” or the Word of God?

I have found at least one online Christian community that seems to have made a deliberate choice not to use the Word of God when evangelizing, Train To Proclaim (see https://www.traintoproclaim.com/).

This group has set up an excellent summary of the gospel but without referencing any scripture passages, presumably because they believe them to be “antiquated” and “religious jargon” (see the first and second bullet points under this page: https://www.traintoproclaim.com/what-is-the-huge-crisis-in-western-church/)

I recently downloaded the group’s application for android phones, the Gospel in 7 App, and paged through it, confirming that no bible passages (or Words of God) were referenced in any part of the application.

I believe this group could strengthen their witness immensely using God’s word when attempting to convert people to Christ.

I wrote to them on 13/05/20 with the following note – have yet to hear back from them:

Hi there Train 2 Proclaim team,

Your Gospel in 7 app is a really great summary of the gospel. I downloaded it and went through it tonight. However, it doesn’t have any scripture references. Why is this when Luke 8:10-15 clearly states that the Word of God needs to be sown in men’s hearts (ideally in “honest” and “good” soil) for people to be saved from the devil.

Other passages illustrate that God’s Holy Spirit works through the Word of God are: Hebrews 4:12, 1 Thess. 2:13, 1 Cor. 2:13, Eph. 1:13.

Thank you for putting together tools for people to share the gospel. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

In Christ,

Naomi

Warnings to be patient and loving when reproving fellow Christians around doctrine – I need to take heed of this, as with me judgement comes much easier than mercy:

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (Matthew 24:12)

Helpful articles on using the Word of God when evangelizing:

  1. desiringgod.org/messages/the-holy-spirit-author-of-scripture (an outline of the importance of the Holy Spirit (God) as Scripture’s author)
  2. https://biblicalevangelism.com/courses/biblical-evangelism/ (online evangelism courses backed up by Scriptures i.e with the Word of God as their foundation, see Matthew 7:24-25, Luke 6:48)
  3. http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0001/0001_01.asp (you can use this URL when evangelizing online)

From the NASB to the KJV

S. Frank Logsdon
Testimony Of A Committee Member For The New American Standard Version

S. Franklin Logsdon (1907-1987) was a respected evangelical pastor and popular Bible conference speaker. He pastored Moody Memorial Church in Chicago (from 1950 to 1952). Prior to that he pastored Central Baptist Church in London, Ontario (from 1942-50). He also pastored churches in Holland, Michigan (Immanuel Baptist from 1952-57), and Eerie, Pennsylvania. He taught at London Bible Institute in Ontario, Canada. He preached at Bible conferences (such as Moody Founder’s Week) with well-known evangelists and pastors such as Billy Graham and Paul Smith of People’s Church in Toronto.

Logsdon authored a number of popular books and commentaries published by Zondervan and other Evangelical Publishing Houses. A notice on the cover of his book Lest Ye Faint states, “One of the most popular and best loved pastors is the author of this book. Mr. Logsdon is an uncompromising defender of the faith once delivered to the saints, and each Sunday in Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, thousands of people gather to have their souls refreshed from the divine springs of Christian truth.”

In the 1950s Logsdon was invited by his businessman friend Franklin Dewey Lockman to prepare a feasibility study which led to the production of the New American Standard Version (NASV). He also helped interview some of the men who served as translators for this version. He wrote the Foreword which appears in the NASV.

As we see in the following testimony, in the later years of his life Logsdon publicly renounced his association with the modern versions and stood unhesitatingly for the King James Bible. In a letter dated June 9, 1977, Logsdon wrote to Cecil Carter of Prince George, British Columbia, “When questions began to reach me [pertaining to the NASV], at first I was quite offended. However, in attempting to answer, I began to sense that something was not right about the NASV. Upon investigation, I wrote my very dear friend, Mr. Lockman, explaining that I was forced to renounce all attachment to the NASV. … I can aver that the project was produced by thoroughly sincere men who had the best of intentions. The product, however, is grievous to my heart and helps to complicate matters in these already troublous times.”

Logsdon moved to Largo, Florida, in his senior years and died there August 13, 1987. His widow, Beatty, subsequently moved to Wheaton, Illinois.

The message contained in the following article is abridged from an audio recording of a question and answer session conducted by Dr. Logsdon. The audio cassette was sent to me in the mid-1980s by Dr. David Otis Fuller, who passed away in 1988. I do not know where or exactly when Logsdon was preaching this message. There is no indication on the tape itself. I transcribed the message from the tape in 1981. — David W. Cloud

This is available on an audio cassette. Order Way of Life tape #WOL346C. Send $5.00 postpaid. The text of this message is also available in a booklet for $2.00 postpaid. Way of Life Literature, 1219 N. Harns Road, Oak Harbor, WA 98277. (206) 675-8311 (voice) 679-7200 (BBS).

Two questions were handed me tonight which if I could answer them would take care of almost all the other questions:

1. “Please tell us why we should use the Authorized Version and why the New American Standard is not a good version, and the background from which it came.”

2. “What is your opinion of the 1881, 1901 and other variations of the Bible in relation to the Authorized Version?”

May I point out to you very specifically, not that you do not know but to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance, we are in the end time. And this end time is characterized by a falling away, and of course that is apostasy. That is the meaning of the word: Falling away from truth. And when there is a falling away from truth, concurrently there is always confusion because they are sort of Siamese twins.

With confusion there is mental and heart disturbance, and people naturally come short of the high standard of the Lord. Everything we have or ever will have will be found here [in the Bible], as we have said so many times.

All that God does for us, in us, with us, through us, to us must come by the way of this Word. It’s the only material the Spirit of God uses to produce life and to promote it. Name it, and it has to be here.

So you can understand why the archenemy of God and man would want to do something to destroy this book. I ought to whisper to you, and this is no compliment to the devil, but he knows it can’t be destroyed. He tried to destroy the Living Word. You don’t see this depicted on Christmas cards, but the night Jesus Christ was born the devil was there in that stable with one third of the fallen angels whom he had dragged down, to devour the manchild as soon as He was born. Rev. 12:5. Now he couldn’t do it. Just think. Satan was there when Jesus was born, with all of those cohorts, those fallen angels, for one purpose: to devour the manchild. He couldn’t do it.

So failing to abort the Saviorhood of Jesus Christ both at the manger and at the cross–when he said come down from the cross, that is, before your work is finished come down–he is going to do what he knows is the next most effective thing, that is try to destroy the Written Word.

You understand, I am sure, there are places in this book where you can’t differentiate between the Living Word and the Written Word. You know that.

John 14:6–“I am the life.” John 6:63–“My words are life.” Different life?

The same life. You can’t differentiate because after all the Written Word is the breath, if you please, of God, and Jesus Christ is God made flesh or the Word that came to earth.

THE DEVIL’S ATTACK ON THE BIBLE

Nevertheless, getting back to this, the devil is too wise to try to destroy the Bible. He knows he can’t. He can’t destroy the Word of God. But he can do a lot of things to try to supplant it, or to corrupt it in the minds and hearts of God’s people.

Now he can only do it in one of two ways: either by adding to the Scriptures or by subtracting from the Scriptures. And you mark it down in your little red book: He’s too wise to add to because those who have been in the Word for a long time would say, “Wait a minute; this is not in the Bible.” So he subtracts from it. The deletions are absolutely frightening.

For instance, there are in the revisions (1881 and 1901), so we are told 5337 deletions, subtractions if you please. And here is the way it is done. It is done so subtly that very few would discover it. For instance, in the New American standard we are told that 16 times the word “Christ” is gone. When you are reading through you perhaps wouldn’t miss many of them. Some you might. And 10 or 12 times the word “Lord” is gone. For instance, if you were in a church when the pastor is speaking on the words of the Lord Jesus in his temptation, “Get thee behind me, Satan,” if you have a New American Standard you wouldn’t even find it. It’s not even in there. And there are so many such deletions.

So this is done in order to get around it and further blind the minds and hearts of people, even though it may be done conscientiously. There isn’t any worse kind of error than to have conscientious error. If you are conscientiously wrong it’s a terrible situation to be in.

Nevertheless, when there is an omission that might be observed, they put in the margin, “Not in the oldest manuscripts.” But they don’t tell you what those oldest manuscripts are. What oldest manuscripts? Or they say, “Not in the best manuscripts.” What are the best manuscripts? They don’t tell you. You see how subtle that is? The average man sees a little note in the margin which says “not in the better manuscripts” and he takes for granted they are scholars and they must know, and then he goes on. That’s how easily one can be deceived.

THE HISTORY OF THE CRITICAL GREEK TEXT

Let’s go back to say 352 A.D., when Constantine, the Old Pagan Wolf, as he was called, was concerned because his kingdom was threatened with a schism. There were those who held to the Babylon doctrine of the mother and child coming up through history, and there were others who held to the Roman doctrine of mother and child. In order to cement his kingdom, he felt he ought to bring about a Bible that would satisfy both sides which were threatening to destroy his kingdom. So he called upon Eusibius. (There were two men of that period called by this name, but I am referring to Eusibius the historian.)

Who was Eusibius? He was a protege of Origin. And who was Origin? Origin was one who believed that Christ was a created being, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, therefore he’s not divine. Now a man who studies under a teacher like that certainly would imbibe some of it. Nevertheless, Eusibius brought into being a Bible that would somehow or other not offend those who had the Babylonian doctrine or those who had the Roman doctrine of the mother and the child.

ROME IS THE CUSTODIAN OF THE CRITICAL TEXT

There are two copies of those Bibles in existence, A and B, the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus. And where are they? They are in the custodial care of Rome. Now almost all of our revisions, of recent years in particular, come through that stream. And that necessitates this comment: There is the false and the true streams of manuscripts. And either our manuscripts come through the false stream, or they come through the approved stream of manuscripts.

When people speak of the oldest manuscripts, they usually mean the A and the B, the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus. But nobody has seen [Vaticanus. It has] been under lock and key in Rome. And the only copies we have are the copies that Rome decided to give to the outside world, and I don’t trust them one inch. Never, never, never! And I’ll tell you why in just a moment.

None of our scholars today have seen Codex B [Vaticanus], unless they’ve seen just a page or two through a glass case. But that’s not enough to get the feel of the whole thing, just to see a page that is open at one place. So here we have the stream of manuscripts and the stream of Greek texts coming down through the “custodial care” of Rome. And if it’s in the custodial care of Rome, I don’t want anything to do with it.

I’ve come to this place now: I can’t stand toe to toe with the scholars, with those who have delved into the manuscripts and textual criticism for years and years. I’ve had too many other things to do. And you haven’t been able to, either. So what do you do? I don’t argue with them anymore. I’m not going to argue with any of them. I’m just going to ask, On what manuscript or manuscripts is this version based? And if it’s based upon a manuscript that came down through this Roman stream, I don’t want anything to do with it.

ERASMUS

You say, How can we know? Well, when God was ready to tell the world through a converted monk that the just shall live by faith, he raised up a man–and I’m sure that God raised him up; couldn’t be otherwise–by the name of Erasmus. Erasmus is said by those who seem to know–scholars, we have to take their word for something–that he was the wisest man this side of Solomon that ever lived. It was said that he could do ten days work in one day. Brilliant. I forgot how many languages he spoke; they say he was at home in eighteen or twenty different languages as easily as we can move around in the English language.

He knew the manuscripts that were available, and he brought about a Greek text. Now he was so brilliant that the pope offered him–that is to keep him, I suppose, from doing this Greek text–offered him the position of a cardinal, which is a high-ranking position for those in the Catholic Church. I know a little bit about it because my father’s people were from Ireland and were Roman Catholic all the way back. I have three cousins in Chicago who are priests. I have a cousin in the Chicago area who is a nun. That was quite an offer to be offered the position of a cardinal, yet he refused it.

The British government, I am told, offered him one of the highest positions possible in the British commonwealth. And at his own price he turned it down. Germany did the same thing, but he turned it down because he felt God had called him to bring about the pure Greek text.

All of this goes off into so many areas. We have a friend in one of our Baptist churches, very delightful chap, very educated, and he speaks against Erasmus because he had some attachment to the Roman church. But how could you speak against a man, claiming that he is Roman, when he turned down the offer of a cardinalship and campaigned against monasticism, against the liturgy of the Catholic church, and was detested by the Catholic people?

And not only that, but listen to this: Do you know one of the reasons the Jesuits came into being under Loyola? Their main project was to supplant the Erasmus text, get it out of the way somehow, just undermine it. And this is their pledge. You can go to the library and get this directly, if you care. They said, `In order to supplant the Erasmus text we’ll send our men to Protestant seminaries, Protestant Bible schools; we’ll get them into teaching positions in seminaries; we’ll get them into pulpits of churches.’ To do what? The whole aim around the world is to destroy the Erasmus text, and the Authorized Version of course came from the Erasmus text.

Getting back to this one matter that really impresses me a great deal. When God was ready to tell the world that the just shall live by faith, he got hold of the heart of Luther and he tacked his thesis to the door–“the just shall live by faith”–and took all the persecution that comes to one who turns against the church of Rome. If the just shall live by faith, where do we get faith? Romans 10:17–“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” If they’re going to have pure faith they had to have the pure Word of God. Doesn’t that make sense? And so God raised up Erasmus to bring about what was called the pure Greek text, and had it completed when Luther came thundering forth “the just shall live by faith.” He had the Greek text of Erasmus to translate. Someone put it this way: Erasmus laid the egg and Luther hatched it. Just at the right time he had the text, and all he had to do was to translate it into German.

I think I mentioned the other night, since there is so much concern about these versions and paraphrases and so on, it is a marvelous opportunity for the devil to get in his strokes, you know. Through computerized procedures they have tried to determine the accuracy right down the line. You have lists of those in various books. The Authorized Version is right at the top. Friends, you can say the Authorized Version is absolutely correct. How correct? 100% correct! Because biblical correctness is predicated upon doctrinal accuracy, and not one enemy of this Book of God has ever proved a wrong doctrine in the Authorized Version. You’ve never heard of anyone’s intellect being thwarted because he believed this Authorized Version, have you? And you never will. You’ve never heard of anyone anytime going astray who embraced the precepts of the Authorized Version, and you never will.

I tell you, I used to laugh with others when a person would try to slander the intelligence, perhaps, of some who say, “Well, if the Authorized Version was good enough for Paul it’s good enough for me.” You get a lot of ha, ha’s. Say, that perhaps is true. If this is the Word of God, and Paul had the Word of God, then things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. We have the Book that Paul had! It’s true there could be, and perhaps should be, some few corrections of words that are archaic. And a few places where it could read just a little more freely.

But after all, as I said to the men this morning in the class, just think of the countless millions of dollars of God’s money spent on all these versions and translations which could have been spent on God’s service. There are 100 of them right now. Think of it.

When I say corrected, I mean just some of the archaic words such as “he who lets will let until he be taken out of the way.” Now we don’t use the word that way, but you can find out what it means by taking just a moment to look it up.

Back in Jeremiah 4:22 we read, “My people are sottish.” There wouldn’t be two people in the congregation that would know what that means. But I like it because when I looked it up, I found that it had more meaning than any other word you could put there. It means thickheaded. God says, “I can’t get through to you because you are thickheaded.” And maybe He wants it to stay there. If a persons looks it up he gets a better understanding of it than if another word were put in there to change it.

There are places where I believe the Spirit of God led the translators of the Authorized Version. You read their biographies. They were mighty men of God; spent as much as five hours daily in prayer; and some of them knew twenty-some languages. And it was before modernism filled the air, and before their attention was diverted by so many other things, television and so on.

Actually, after I’ve listened in so many places to all these arguments and I’ve listened to the scholars and sat with the translators, to be honest with you I haven’t found anything seriously wrong anywhere with the Authorized Version. Really. Really! Just a couple of archaic words that are not in usage today. Well, they could be changed.

I personally don’t think the “thous” and the “thees” should be changed. God’s thoughts are above our thoughts, higher than our thoughts, and these words are expression of His thoughts, and I like to see it a little different here and there from men’s ways and men’s thoughts.

Actually I don’t think there is anything wrong with this [the Authorized Version], and it has been tested for 362 years. Are you ready to throw it overboard because the scholars have come along and said, “Well now, this is better; reads better; you can understand it better”? I mean to tell you, with all their self-justification [of the new, easier to read versions], people know less and less about God’s Word.

THE 1881 ENGLISH REVISED VERSION

To begin with, the revisers for the 1881 weren’t to be revisers; they weren’t to bring out a new Book. They were revisers to bring some of the words up to date because the language had changed. They were to be revisers, but the fact is–and believe me, this can’t be refuted–there wasn’t enough in the Authorized Version to revise to make it worth the while, to cater to the ego of scholars.

So when they saw that there wasn’t much to revise, here they had their committee arranged. One was a Unitarian, a man by the name of Smith. That’s why you find on verses concerning the incarnation there’s something wrong. Such as 1 Timothy 3:16–“By common consent great is the mystery of godliness.” Don’t you believe that the mystery of godliness depends upon what man thinks, or his opinion. The verse continues in the 1881 version–“he who was manifest in the flesh.” You’ve been manifest in the flesh; I’ve been manifest; [that statement alone is meaningless]. It’s God who was manifest in the flesh. Do you see the Unitarian flavor there? He got in some blows somewhere, and that must be one of them.

But nevertheless, they didn’t have enough to revise. So what are they going to do? Well, two brilliant Cambridge scholars by the name of Dr. Hort and Dr. Westcott had been collaborating on a new Greek text built on the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus which they believed were the very best manuscripts, held by Rome. So they said to the committee when they saw there wasn’t enough to revise–I don’t know if they said these exact words, but they said, “We would suggest that we bring about a new version.” And they had those men pledge themselves to secrecy that they wouldn’t tell anybody about the text they were using until after the book was out.

Afraid, I guess, that they would be curbed, that the King of England or somebody would prevent them.

Twice British royalty refused to have anything to do with the 1881 revision. But at any rate it was deception to begin with. Their own text hadn’t even been published yet, hadn’t stood the scrutiny of the public. So the 1881 was built upon that. And the only fundamentalist who stayed on the board was Dr. F.H.A. Scrivener, and before he died he felt he had to break his promise to this group of men, and he let the world know that they took advantage after advantage in the text. That’s where we’ve gotten the number of something like 5,337 deletions. [That was his count.] And he said, “Every time I raised an objection I was voted down, and they took liberties with God’s Word.” He was right there at almost every meeting, and he revealed that to the world before he died.

[Our readers can read Scrivener’s own words about this deception by ordering Scrivener’s The Authorized Edition of the English Bible. A reprint of this is available from Bible for Today, 900 Park Avenue, Collingswood, New Jersey 08108. Order Item # 1757. Which Bible, edited by David Otis Fuller, also contains information about Scrivener and his protests against the ERV. Scrivener is listed 20 times in the index to that volume. Which Bible can also be obtained from Bible for Today.]

Now when the 1881 came out many people liked it because it said Jehovah instead of Lord in many places. Well, that’s minor; you can say that with the Authorized Version. But it was scarcely 10 years before it proved to be a failure. That is, it didn’t get anywhere.

THE 1901 AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION

Within 10 years they started communicating with spiritual leaders on this side of the water to work with them on another printing called the 1901 edition, feeling, I suppose, that if the Americans cooperated that they would have a wider sales range. Well, just think. When the 1901 came out it had gone 10 years when it was practically a failure, because in 1911 in the third centenary of the Authorized Version the publishers had 34 outstanding scholars to go over the Authorized Version and see what legitimate changes could be made here and there. You know, they took the 1901 edition and they could only take two out of every 100 corrections in that. Only two percent. And immediately they discovered that the 1901 was not trustworthy. And it didn’t go very long until it died out. In all of my pastorates I can only remember one person who ever owned one of those 1901 American Standard Version Bibles.

THE NEW AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION

Back in 1956-57 Mr. F. Dewey Lockman of the Lockman Foundation [contacted me. He was] one of the dearest friends we’ve ever had for 25 years, a big man, some 300 pounds, snow white hair, one of the most terrific businessmen I have ever met. I always said he was like Nehemiah; he was building a wall. You couldn’t get in his way when he had his mind on something; he went right to it; he couldn’t be daunted. I never saw anything like it; most unusual man. I spent weeks and weeks and weeks in their home, real close friends of the family.

Well, he discovered that the copyright [on the American Standard Version of 1901] was just as loose as a fumbled ball on a football field. Nobody wanted it. The publishers didn’t want it. It didn’t get anywhere. Mr. Lockman got in touch with me and said, “Would you and Ann come out and spend some weeks with us, and we’ll work on a feasibility report; I can pick up the copyright to the 1901 if it seems advisable.”

Well, up to that time I thought the Westcott and Hort was the text. You were intelligent if you believed the Westcott and Hort. Some of the finest people in the world believe in that Greek text, the finest leaders that we have today. You’d be surprised; if I told you you wouldn’t believe it. They haven’t gone into it just as I hadn’t gone into it; [they’re] just taking it for granted.

At any rate we went out and started on a feasibility report, and I encouraged him to go ahead with it. I’m afraid I’m in trouble with the Lord, because I encouraged him to go ahead with it. We laid the groundwork; I wrote the format; I helped to interview some of the translators; I sat with the translators; I wrote the preface. When you see the preface to the New American Standard, those are my words.

I got one of the fifty deluxe copies which were printed; mine was number seven, with a light blue cover. But it was rather big and I couldn’t carry it with me, and I never really looked at it. I just took for granted that it was done as we started it, you know, until some of my friends across the country began to learn that I had some part in it and they started saying, “What about this; what about that?”

Dr. David Otis Fuller in Grand Rapids [Michigan]. I’ve known him for 35 years, and he would say (he would call me Frank; I’d call him Duke), “Frank, what about this? You had a part in it; what about this; what about that?” And at first I thought, Now, wait a minute; let’s don’t go overboard; let’s don’t be too critical. You know how you justify yourself the last minute.

But I finally got to the place where I said, “Ann, I’m in trouble; I can’t refute these arguments; it’s wrong; it’s terribly wrong; it’s frightfully wrong; and what am I going to do about it?” Well, I went through some real soul searching for about four months, and I sat down and wrote one of the most difficult letters of my life, I think.

I wrote to my friend Dewey, and I said, “Dewey, I don’t want to add to your problems,” (he had lost his wife some three years before; I was there for the funeral; also a doctor had made a mistake in operating on a cataract and he had lost the sight of one eye and had to have an operation on the other one; he had a slight heart attack; had sugar diabetes; a man seventy-four years of age) “but I can no longer ignore these criticisms I am hearing and I can’t refute them. The only thing I can do–and dear Brother, I haven’t a thing against you and I can witness at the judgment of Christ and before men wherever I go that you were 100% sincere,” (he wasn’t schooled in language or anything; he was just a business man; he did it for money; he did it conscientiously; he wanted it absolutely right and he thought it was right; I guess nobody pointed out some of these things to him) “I must under God renounce every attachment to the New American Standard.”

I have a copy of the letter. I have his letter. I’ve shown it to some people. The Roberts saw it; Mike saw it. He stated that he was bowled over; he was shocked beyond words. He said that was putting it mildly, but he said, “I will write you in three weeks, and I still love you. To me you’re going to be Franklin, my friend, throughout the course.” And he said, “I’ll write you in three weeks.”

But he won’t write me now. He was to be married. He sent an invitation to come to the reception. Standing in the courtroom, in the county court by the desk, the clerk said, “What is your full name, Sir?” And he said, “Franklin Dewey…” And that is the last word he spoke on this earth. So he was buried two days before he was supposed to be married, and he’s with the Lord. And he loves the Lord. He knows different now.

I tell you, dear people, somebody is going to have to stand. If you must stand against everyone else, stand. Don’t get obnoxious; don’t argue. There’s no sense in arguing.

But nevertheless, that’s where the New American stands in connection with the Authorized Version.

I just jotted down what these versions, translations, and paraphrases are doing. Consider:

One, they cause widespread confusion, because everywhere we go people say, What do you think of this; what do you think of that? What do young people think when they hear all of that?

Two, they discourage memorization. Who’s going to memorize when each one has a different Bible, a different translation?

Three, they obviate the use of a concordance. Where are you going to find a concordance for the Good News for Modern Man and all these others? You aren’t going to find one. We’re going to have a concordance for every one; you’re going to have to have a lot of concordances.

Four, they provide opportunity for perverting the truth. There are all these translations and versions, each one trying to get a little different slant from the others. They must make it different, because if it isn’t different why have a new version? It makes a marvelous opportunity for the devil to slip in his perverting influence.

Five, these many translations make teaching of the Bible difficult. And I’m finding that more and more as I go around the country. I mentioned this thing the other night. How could a mathematics professor or instructor teach a certain problem in a class if the class had six or eight different textbooks? How about that? How could you do it?

Six, they elicit profitless argumentation. Because everywhere we go they say this one is more accurate. Which one is more accurate? How do they know? And this is not a reflection against those saying this, because I would have done this a few years ago.

Lest I forget, in one of these questions somebody said, “How can we know that we have the whole truth?” Well, just simply by believing God. And what do I mean by that? John 16:13–“When he the Spirit of Truth is come he will guide you into” how much? Tell me. Tell me, now. “All truth.” And if we don’t have all truth, the Holy Spirit isn’t doing His work. We have to have all truth for Him to lead us into all truth. And there are many, many other passages which teach this.

If we could hear His voice we would have no trouble learning His Word from the Authorized Version. Let me tell you this: You might not be able to answer the arguments, and you won’t be [able to]. I can’t answer some of them, either. Some of these university professors come along and say, What about this; what about that? They go into areas that I haven’t even had time to get into.

As I said to you a couple of minutes ago. You don’t need to defend yourself, and you don’t need to defend God’s Word. Don’t defend it; you don’t need to defend it; you don’t need to apologize for it. Just say, “Well, did this version or this translation come down through the Roman stream? If so, count me out. Whatever you say about Erasmus and Tyndale, that’s what I want.”

And besides this, we’ve had the AV for 362 years. It’s been tested as no other piece of literature has ever been tested. Word by word; syllable by syllable. And think even until this moment no one has ever found any wrong doctrine in it, and that’s the main thing. He that wills to do the will of God shall KNOW the doctrine.

Well, time is up. Let’s be people of the Book. It took my mother to heaven; and my dad, my grandfather, my grandmother. It was Moody’s Book; it was Livingstone’s Book. J.C. Studd gave up his fortune to take this Book to Africa. And I don’t feel ashamed to carry it the rest of my journey. It’s God’s Book.

“Our Father, we thank Thee and praise Thee for Thy Word. Help us to love it, and preach it, and teach it, and tell everybody we can the Good News through thy Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

“When the words of inspiration are seriously imperiled, as now they are, it is scarcely possible for one who is determined effectually to preserve the Deposit in its integrity, to hit either too straight or too hard.” –John William Burgon

“Just as revelation without inspiration is only half revelation, so we are persuaded that the inspiration which must and did result in infallible recording is no inspiration unless what was so recorded is also preserved.” –Hywel Jones

“When Jesus Christ said not one jot or title would fail from the law, He was referring to a preserved Bible and not some original manuscript. … Verbal-plenary inspiration is a strawman doctrine of the classroom, unless it is paralleled by an equal doctrine of verbal-plenary preservation.” –Bob Barnett

[Way of Life Literature, 1219 N. Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277 Phone–(360) 675-8311]

What if I don’t feel saved?

Jesus saving Peter from drowning

By S. Michael Houdmann, Supporter of Got Questions Ministries

This is an all-too-common question among Christians. Many people doubt their salvation because of feelings or the lack of them. The Bible has much to say about salvation, but nothing to say about “feeling saved.” Salvation is a process by which the sinner is delivered from “wrath,” that is, from God’s judgment against sin (Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:9). Specifically, it was Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection that achieved our salvation (Romans 5:10; Ephesians 1:7).

Our part in the salvation process is that we are saved by faith. First, we must hear the gospel-the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection (Ephesians 1:13). Then, we must believe-fully trust the Lord Jesus (Romans 1:16) and His sacrifice alone. We have no confidence in works of the flesh to achieve salvation. This faith-which is a gift from God, not something we produce on our own (Ephesians 2:8-9)-involves repentance, a changing of mind about sin and Christ (Acts 3:19), and calling on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:9-10, 13). Salvation results in a changed life as we begin to live as the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

We live in a feeling-oriented society and, sadly, that has spilled over into the church. But feelings are unreliable. Emotions are untrustworthy. They ebb and flow like the tides of the sea that bring in all kinds of seaweed and debris and deposit them on the shore, then go back out, eroding the ground we stand on and washing it out to sea. Such is the state of those whose emotions rule their lives. The simplest circumstances-a headache, a cloudy day, a word thoughtlessly spoken by a friend-can erode our confidence and send us “out to sea” in a fit of despair. Doubt and discouragement, particularly about the Christian life, are the inevitable result of trying to interpret our feelings as though they were truth. They are not.

But the Christian who is forewarned and well armed is a person not governed by feelings but by the truth he knows. He does not rely on his feelings to prove anything to him. Relying on feelings is precisely the error most people make in life. They are so introspective that they become preoccupied with themselves, constantly analyzing their own feelings. They will continually question their relationship with God. “Do I really love God?” “Does He really love me?” “Am I good enough?” What we need to do is stop thinking about ourselves and focusing on our feelings and instead redirect our focus to God and the truth we know about Him from His Word.

When we are controlled by subjective feelings centered on ourselves rather than by objective truth centered on God, we live in a constant state of defeat. Objective truth centers on the great doctrines of the faith and their relevance to life: the sovereignty of God, the high priestly intercession of Christ, the promise of the Holy Spirit, and the hope of eternal glory. Understanding these great truths, centering our thoughts on them, and rehearsing them in our minds will enable us to reason from truth in all of life’s trials, and our faith will be strong and vital. Reasoning from what we feel about ourselves-rather than what we know about God-is the sure path to spiritual defeat. The Christian life is one of death to self and rising to “walk in the newness of life” (Romans 6:4), and that new life is characterized by thoughts about Him who saved us, not thoughts about the feelings of the dead flesh that has been crucified with Christ. When we are continually thinking about ourselves and our feelings, we are essentially obsessing about a corpse, full of rottenness and death.

God promised to save us if we come to Him in faith. He never promised that we would feel saved.

See http://www.gotquestions.org/feel-saved.html

Why did God command Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?

By S Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries.

Abraham had obeyed God many times in his walk with Him, but no test could have been more severe than the one in Genesis 22. God commanded, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:2a).

This was an astounding command because Isaac was the son of promise. God had promised several times that from Abraham’s own body would come a nation as multitudinous as the stars in heaven (Genesis 12:2-3; 15:4-5). Later, Abraham was specifically told that the promise would be through Isaac (Genesis 21:12).

How did Abraham respond to God’s command to sacrifice Isaac? With immediate obedience; early the next morning, Abraham started on his journey with two servants, a donkey and his beloved son Isaac, with firewood for the offering. His unquestioning obedience to God’s confusing command gave God the glory He deserves and is an example to us of how to glorify God. When we obey as Abraham did, trusting that God’s plan is best, we exalt His attributes and praise Him. Abraham’s obedience in the face of this crushing command extolled God’s sovereign love, His trustworthiness, and His goodness, and it provided an example for us to follow. His faith in the God he had come to know and love placed Abraham in the pantheon of faithful heroes in Hebrews 11.

Abraham’s faith was such that, even if he had sacrificed Isaac, he believed the Lord would keep His word and raise Isaac from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19). God uses Abraham’s faith as an example of the type of faith required for salvation. Genesis 15:6 says, “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” This truth is the basis of the Christian faith, as reiterated in Romans 4:3 and James 2:23. The righteousness that was credited to Abraham is the same righteousness credited to us when we receive by faith the sacrifice God provided for our sins-Jesus Christ. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The Old Testament story of Abraham is the basis of the New Testament teaching of the atonement, the sacrificial offering of the Lord Jesus on the cross for the sin of mankind. Jesus said, many centuries later, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). The following are some of the parallels between the two biblical accounts:

  • “Take your son, your only son, Isaac” (v. 2); “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” (John 3:16).
  • “Go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there…” (v. 2); it is believed that this area is where the city of Jerusalem was built many years later, where Jesus was crucified outside its city walls (Hebrews 13:12).
  • “Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering” (v. 2); “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3).
  • “Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac” (v. 6); Jesus, “carrying his own cross. . .” (John 19:17).
  • “But where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” (v. 7); John said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
  • Isaac, the son, acted in obedience to his father in becoming the sacrifice (v. 9); Jesus prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).
  • Resurrection – Isaac (figuratively) and Jesus in reality: “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death” (Hebrews 11:17-19); Jesus “was buried, and . . . was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4).

See http://www.gotquestions.org/Abraham-Isaac.html

Sermon on John 6:32-59, the Bread of Life

This sermon was delivered by Pastor Chris Duke on 16/10/2016. This article is from notes I made so is not completely in keeping with what Pastor Chris said though I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible.

There’s only one thing better than the smell of freshly baked bread and that’s eating fresh bread. There’s a multitude of different breads that one can purchase – over 200 different types on Wikipedia. Bread has been a significant part of our lives for centuries.

In the gospels, Jesus fed the multitudes. He then makes a controversial statement in verses 32, 33 and 48 of John 6:

32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

48 I am that bread of life.

He uses the name of God, Yahweh, in the first of seven “I am’s” where He takes God’s name. In other passages Jesus tells us:

Jesus is saying it is I, and I alone, from who you can receive eternal life.

We shall next look at the divine provision of the bread, following this up with human appropriation of the bread. Concerning divine provision, remember how Jesus responded to Satan’s temptation in the wilderness? He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone” (Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4). In other words, He is saying, I am your soul food.

Jesus affirms again and again the existence of a pre-incarnate person. How did John begin his gospel – the Word was co-existent and self existent with God eternally (see John 1:14 and John 3:13):

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14)

13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
(John 3:13)

According to verse 46 in today’s passage, the only one who has given us a message from heaven is Jesus:

46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
(John 6:46)

John 8:42 cements this fact as Jesus declares that God sent Him:

42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
(john 8:42)

He then existed in the presence of God for all eternity. Jesus isn’t a created being who came into existence like you and I. Verse 32 to 33 of today’s passage make it clear that there was a divine purpose in the bread of life:

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
(John 6:32-33)

Jesus tells us that His Father sends the bread of life. Verse 38 confirms this:

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

There was a divine purpose in the Father sending the Son then. In verses 37 to 40 we start to see God’s plan, of redemption.

37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
(John 6:37-40)

There is a plan to complete the glorification of those the Father draws. We see divine election at work here, Christ keeps them and raises them up at the last day. Christ even quotes Isaiah 54:13 in John 6:45:

45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
(John 6:45)

13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children.
(Isaiah 54:13)

The Father, then, is the true teacher and instructor of the heart and mind of the person being saved.

So why do we want this bread? What does this bread do for us? Verse 33 in today’s passage reads:

33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

In the original Greek, the word “life” that is used means spiritual life. The following passages are instructive, showing that Jesus’ true followers receive the bread of life, for eternal life, and will live forever:

35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
(John 6:35)

40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
(John 6:40)

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
(John 6:51)

So we come to rest in real union with Christ. As it is written in Galatians 2:20, we are one in Christ:

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

This union is not just when you die but you can be united in Christ now. No-one can break this union. Our salvation is dependent on our union in Christ. Being a Christian isn’t just following the teachings of a man, it’s having His life in you.

So what’s our responsibility in this divine transaction? We are commanded to appropriate the bread of life. In verse 34 of today’s passage, the Jews said, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.” They wanted bread that would satisfy their physical hunger, yet in verse 35 Jesus plainly declares that He is their spiritual sustenance.

Our responsibilities are as follows:

  1. Come to Jesus. Verse 37 clarifies this for us.
  2. None of us knows who is chosen so the message of the gospel is to be preached far and wide.
  3. Look at me, gaze at me carefully and thoughtfully and see who I am. Receive His words.
  4. We are held accountable to come, to see, to believe.

Verse 53 of today’s passage reminds us that we have no life unless we appropriate the Word of God for ourselves:

53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
(John 6:53)

The word “blood” is used, reminding us of His death. You can never be saved unless you believe in His sacrificial death. Jesus is the lamb of God, who came as an atoning sacrifice, who satisfied the wrath of God. Eating is a response to hunger from a heart that’s empty (this is the work of the Holy Spirit as He starts to draw us to faith in Christ). If you eat the bread of life you will live forever. What bread are you going to eat from now on? Jesus is the bread of life. Amen.

Sermon on Mark 8:1-13 – Seeing is Believing

This sermon was delivered by Pastor Chris Duke on 02/10/2016. This article is from notes I made so is not completely in keeping with what Pastor Chris said though I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible.

Today’s passage is Mark 8:1-13, which reads as follows:

8 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, 2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: 3 and if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far. 4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? 5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. 8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. 9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

10 And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha. 11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. 13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.

Jesus and His disciples came to Capernaum. As well as being a fishing village, this was an area where the Romans collected taxes from those travelling through that region. And immediately we see the Pharisees come to question Jesus, to test Him.

With the phrase “seeing is believing”, the title of today’s sermon, a high degree of skepticism is implied. Many people who say this and yet see a genuine miracle would still doubt it and find reasons to continue in their unbelief. All the miracles that Jesus had performed, including the feeding of the four thousand that we saw in today’s passage, should have highlighted that Jesus was divine, the Son of God. Yet man’s condition is such that he is often in spiritual blindness, living with no light at all upon the things of God. This is certainly true of all religions apart from Christianity, none can give you spiritual light. Jesus promised in John 8:12:

…I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jesus performed many miracles yet the Pharisees still gave Him a hard time, choosing to walk on in darkness. Matthew 16 parallels today’s scripture reading, stating that the Sadducees were present too, this being the Lord’s final conflict with them. Up until this point, Jesus had always given invitations to both groups to believe in Him. He was to do this no more in the gospels, becoming instead Israel’s rejected leader. In fact we see that the Pharisees were foolish enough to want to kill Him.

What of Jesus’ disciples? Those who were following Him knew that they were making a break with their religion, and with their religious leaders. They were following Jesus because He is the Christ, the Messiah. He had dispelled their darkness and was continuing to do so day by day and even beyond the Cross when He rose again.

Yet now we see Jesus face to face with those who hated Him, those whose major sin was hypocrisy. If you remember Mark 7, Jesus left Galilee and went to Tyre and Sidon, which were Gentile cities. He then went to Decapolis (so named because it consisted of ten cities), which was a Gentile area also. By this Jesus showed His disciples that the gospel was for all mankind, not just the Jewish people.

In Decapolis Jesus fed 4,000 men plus women and children. Then in the tenth verse of today’s passage we see Him enter Jewish territory again. And then in verse 11, the Pharisees were on the attack against Him. They hated the Light, with His message of repentance, faith and grace. What they loved instead was religious ceremony and trying (unsuccessfully) to redeem themselves. In Mark 3:22 they even accused Jesus of being demon possessed:

22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.

They gave no credit at all to Jesus for the miracles they saw Him performing.

Verses 11 to 13 of today’s passage highlight three characteristics of people who are spiritually blind:

  1. They are comfortable with others who are also blind, even if those are enemies to them. They hate the truth, and thereby hate Christianity. All false religions are like this.
  2. They are consigned to deeper blindness.
  3. They are condemned to terminal blindness.

In today’s passage the Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign. It’s important to realise that in doing so they were not asking for a miracle but a sign from heaven that would give Godly authority to His message. They believed demons could perform earthly miracles but only God could do heavenly ones (remember the magicians with Pharaoh in Exodus 7-9?). They wanted Jesus to perform acts such as stopping the sun, eclipsing the moon, or starting and stopping a storm. They did this to tempt Him. And yet we know they had seen enough already to believe in Him, as per Nicodemus’s testimony in John 3:2:

2 the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

These people were no different from Pharaoh back in Exodus. He saw miracles too yet hardened his heart, until eventually the Lord passed judgement and hardened it for him:

But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.
(Exodus 8:15)

And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.
(Exodus 8:32)

And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
(Exodus 9:34)

And the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:
(Exodus 10:1)

And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.
(Exodus 11:10)

The more light was shone on Pharaoh, the deeper his spiritual darkness became. Unbelief always finds a way to reject the truth and in verse 12 of today’s passage we see Jesus recognising this with anguish:

And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

Jesus’ sighing is described as deep and compounded. His heart was breaking over their spiritual blindness. This isn’t the only time we see the Lord grieving. In Luke 19 and John 11 He wept over the fate of Jerusalem, who had rejected Him as Messiah, and over the grave of Lazarus, when He saw the power of sin leading to physical death. He laments those who reject Him due to wilful ignorance, as is highlighted so aptly in Deuteronomy:

And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
(Deuteronomy 32:20)

In today’s passage, Jesus is strongly resolute: no more signs are to be given. He essentially says, “May I die if I do.” His judgement on the Pharisees is pronounced in other passages such as Matthew 15:14 and Matthew 16:4:

Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

So one more sign would be given, the sign of Jonah. We know the story of Jonah. He was three days in the belly of a large fish, a whale, then was released from it.

What happens when Jesus is raised again? Matthew 28:11-15 shows the religious leaders’ reaction:

11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. 12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, 13 saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

So they bribed the soldiers to lie about the resurrection. The Pharisees and Sadducees were at this stage in fixed darkness spiritually, they were still denying the Lord’s rising even after it had happened. Mark 8:13 gives the Lord’s preceding judgement, where He simply left them to their hardheartedness and error:

13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.

The latter part of Romans 1 speaks of God’s wrath in giving people up to sinful desires:

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
(Romans 1:28-32)

This is a warning for us. When the gospel is preached, we should give our full attention to it. We should feel privileged to hear God’s good news and respond to it. There are the blind who never see the truth: our prayer is for our loved ones, neighbours and friends to be lead out of darkness into His glorious light:

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0001/0001_01.asp

God bless you all.

Sermon on Mark 6:30-44

This sermon was delivered by Pastor Chris Duke on 25/09/2016. This article is from notes I made so is not completely in keeping with what Pastor Chris said though I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible.

I’m sure you’ve prepared a large dinner for people. In Jesus’ ministry, people are becoming used to seeing divine power coming from Him. The area we’re dealing with today concerns a miracle Jesus performed near a small village in Galilee. Galilee itself was a very tiny province, covered by water. It had around 200 small villages and towns, being an agricultural area, and was therefore densely populated.

Jesus had earlier multiplied Himself by His disciples in Mark 3:14-15, sending them forth to preach and have power to heal sicknesses and cast out devils. He thus multiplied Himself twelve times. Significantly, eleven of the twelve were from Galilee (Judas Iscariot being the exception to this).

Yet feeding five thousand was way beyond any miracle Jesus did. Matthew says that could have been up to 10,000 people in total, including women and children (see Matthew 14:21). So this was a huge crowd. It was near Passover, in the springtime, as Mark notes the company of people sat down on “green grass” (Mark 6:39). This was Jesus’ final miracle in Galilee. After this, His focus narrowed to smaller crowds as He became concerned with training the twelve more than on public ministry. Jesus is here putting Himself on display in all His glory and magnificence. We are reminded that as you read the Old Testament, it points to Christ. As you read the New Testament, it reveals Christ. And that salvation is being drawn to Christ.

John 6:14-15 describes the aftermath of Jesus’ miracle: people tried to make Him a King. They wanted the ultimate welfare state with free food provided along with demons being cast out, etc. They also wanted freedom of rule from the Roman army. With this miracle we see Jesus as Jehovah-jireh, the Lord who provides, as He did with faithful Abraham:

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
(Genesis 22:13-14)

Jesus is the incarnation of Jehovah-jireh.

In Mark 6:7-11 we see that Jesus sent the disciples out into the countryside. They were told to preach the Kingdom of God and repentance towards God. In verse 31 Jesus’ first task as Jehovah-jireh, the provider, is revealed, as He says effectively, “Get some rest.” This was the first provision that He made for them. Luke 9:10 mentions that He took them to Bethsaida:

10 And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.

This was a fishing village on the sea of Galilee. They went near the village but not into it as the crowd was too heavily populated and wouldn’t have fitted. The village, incidentally, was where Peter and Andrew both grew up:

44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
(John 1:44)

Christ later had something damning to say about this village after the miracle of the fishes and loaves was performed:

Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
(Matthew 11:21)

Sadly, the people of Bethsaida didn’t worship the Lord even after His miracles. We would do well at this stage to remember the old saying, “To whom much is given, much is required”:

48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
(Luke 12:48)

The only rest the disciples got was on the boat with Jesus as the people followed them across the northern part of the lake, on foot. And they arrived earlier than the disciples having completed a walk of approximately ten kilometers. Rest is important but the truth is more important. Why were they following Him? John 6:2 provides the answer: they saw the signs He performed in healing the sick, and they were fascinated by His power:

2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

Yet Jesus wasn’t irritated by the people’s neediness but “moved with compassion toward them.” Luke 9:11 records that He spoke to them of the Kingdom of God and healed them:

11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.

Jesus called them to repent and believe in Him as the Son of God and their Messiah, so that they could receive the Kingdom of God. He recognized that they were sheep and it is a known fact that sheep without a shepherd will die. They cannot get onto their feet again if they fall on their backs, they must be cleaned up, cared for, provided for. Numbers 27:17b simply states that “the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd.” Jesus’ teachings, then, would lead them to eternal safety in the fold. Matthew 14:14 shows Jesus healing the sick, being moved because human suffering made Him suffer too:

14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

Yet the Lord was concerned that they had spiritual rest as well as physical rest and healing. Verses 35-44 of today’s passage show the Lord’s provision of food for the disciples and people. This is an example of God’s common grace, where the goodness of God is given without discrimination. Jesus is good to His enemies, even to people who hate and reject Him:

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
(Luke 6:35)

The following day is reported in John 6. Here, Jesus tells the people that He Himself is the bread of life, that they are to “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed” (John 6:27).

In verse 37 of today’s passage, Christ says effectively, “You give them something to eat.” Jesus had delegated His power to the disciples earlier but they didn’t yet have the faith to perform this miracle. They had forgotten about the widow and her jar of oil in 1 Kings 17:16:

And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.

Another gospel says that a boy had five loaves and two fishes on his person. Why was this the case? It was clearly his lunch, being the Middle Eastern equivalent of five crackers and a little bit of protein.

In verse 39, Jesus orders the crowd. Verse 41 shows Him distributing the food after giving thanks to the Father. The disciples became the waiters and just kept giving out food. This would have been the only uncursed banquet these people had ever gone to, it was like eating in the garden of Eden. You’d have liked these fish too regardless of whether or not you liked fish.

Verse 43 is significant because it shows that Jesus ordered the meal with perfect precision. Twelve baskets of broken pieces of meat and bread were taken up, one for each of the disciples. This was divinely controlled with no waste. Was there a real spiritual awakening after the miraculous feeding of the five thousand? No, not really. The crowds were waiting the next day for food again but Jesus said simply, “No, you need spiritual meat.” John 6:66 then records that at this point even some of His disciples left Him:

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

But the twelve stayed faithful, Peter simply stating, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

Today’s health, wealth and prosperity gospel echoes the attitudes of the faithless disciples and the people of Bethsaida. Sadly, those who have known the way of righteousness yet have turned from it will come under severer judgement:

For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
(2 Peter 2:21)

If you don’t yet know the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour, may I encourage you to read the following article:

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0001/0001_01.asp

May the Lord Jesus bless you always.

What can we learn from the life of Mary of Bethany?

By S. Michael Houdmann, Supporter of Got Questions Ministries

Mary of Bethany is one of the most beautiful characters in all of Scripture, and we can learn valuable lessons from studying her life. Mary was the sister of Martha, and her brother was Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead. We see Mary three different times in the Bible, beginning with the incident in the home of her sister, Martha (Luke 10:38-42), where Jesus, and presumably the disciples who travelled with Him, were being entertained. Martha was so distressed and “distracted with much serving” and frustrated that her sister wasn’t helping that she actually rebuked Jesus, accusing Him of not caring that Mary sat at His feet while she did all the work. Jesus’ response gives us our first insight into Mary of Bethany. Jesus commended her for “choosing the better,” meaning that Mary’s desire to be near her Lord and hang onto His every word was far more beneficial than running herself ragged with preparations for a meal. Jesus further said that choosing the better thing, learning of the Lord, would not be taken away from Mary.

By “choosing the better,” Jesus meant that those whose priority in life is Christ, the knowledge of Him, and nearness to Him have chosen what will last through eternity, such as the “gold, silver and costly stones” referred to in 1 Corinthians 3:11-12. From this incident, we learn that those who are distracted with the mundane and earthly are building upon the foundation which is Christ with “wood, hay and straw,” materials which will not stand the fires that come to us in times of testing, nor will they be remembered in eternity. Martha’s rebuke of Jesus gives us insight into her heart and mind as she tried to make everything perfect and was so distracted that she lost sight of whom she was speaking to. Mary’s silence, which we will see again in another incident, indicates a lack of concern for herself, especially for defending herself. When we focus on Christ, He becomes our greatest passion and our tendency to self-absorption dims and fades.

The second incident in which Mary and Martha appear occurs in John 11 with the raising of their brother, Lazarus, from the dead. When Mary hears that Jesus has come and is calling for her, she immediately leaves the assembly of mourners in her home and rushes to meet Jesus. So great is her love for Him and her desire to please and obey Him that she leaves those who had come to comfort her to place herself in the arms of the greatest Comforter mankind has ever known. Jesus sees her great sorrow and weeps along with her, even though He knows her sadness is going to be short-lived and that her brother will be restored to her momentarily. In the same way, when we sorrow and grieve, our greatest comfort is found in Jesus, whose compassion is boundless. When we place our hand in the nail-scarred hand, we find comfort, peace and security, and we learn the truth of Psalm 30:5b: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

The third and final time we see Mary of Bethany is just days before Christ’s crucifixion (Matthew 26:1-6; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8). A meal had been prepared at the home of Simon the leper, probably a leper who had been healed by Jesus and had become one of His followers. Martha was again serving while the resurrected Lazarus reclined at the table with Jesus and the disciples. At some point, Mary broke open an alabaster jar, poured a pint of very expensive perfume on Jesus’ head and feet, and wiped them with her hair. In spite of criticism from some of the disciples about the waste of the costly substance, Mary said nothing. Just as in the first incident, Mary allowed Jesus to defend her, which He does, saying that she has kept this perfume for His burial and has done a beautiful act of service to Him which would be memorialized down through the ages.

We see two amazing things about Mary here from which we can take our example. First, she seems to know that the time of Jesus’ death on the cross was at hand, a fact that had escaped the disciples in spite of Jesus’ clear declaration of this truth. No doubt Mary contented herself with listening to her Lord and meditating on His words, while the disciples bickered about who would be greatest among them in the kingdom. By doing so, they missed the important truths Jesus was teaching them about His upcoming death and resurrection (Mark 9:30-35). How often do we miss spiritual truths because we are self-focused and overly concerned for our rewards, our status and our reputation among men?

Second, we see in Mary a settled conviction and confidence in her Lord, so much so that she is not compelled to defend herself in the face of criticism. How often do we jump at the chance to justify ourselves in the eyes of others who criticize and mock us, particularly where our faith is concerned? But if we, like Mary, make sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to Him our priority, we will have her depth of understanding, her passion for Christ, and her complete faith in His plan for our lives. We may not have Jesus sitting in our living rooms in person, but we have His Word, the Bible, and from it we have all the knowledge and understanding we need to live a life of secure and confident faith like Mary of Bethany.

See http://www.gotquestions.org/life-Mary-Bethany.html