Food for Thought Part I

Recently my wife had a discussion with a relative in which he said he refused to argue about Bible translations. And while I understand that one may not wish to argue you most certainly should consider the evidence. For they do not all ” say the same thing just in a different way” as I was taught as a child. Now he had a unique argument for his position. It was ​that no matter which version he used it would defeat the Devil. Now I have never sat down with the Devil and quoted different versions to him but I would like to venture two thoughts on this.

First if I would use the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God Ephesians 6:17, or Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee,  Psalms 119:11, that word must be there! If I want to stay out of jail I would plead the Fifth but if I want to stay out of Hell I must plead the blood of Jesus Christ. What if the blood is missing from Colossians 1:14 and other places? Or whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved Romans 10:13? What if your version leaves out the word Lord in Luke 23:42 when the repentant thief calls for salvation? What if I want to proclaim the deity of Christ and your version leaves out the word begotten in John 3:16 or completely leaves out I John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. There are many words and even whole verses left out in modern translations​, like the last seven verses of Mark 16. You can not fight with something that is not there. Go to Bible Hub and you can easily check out these differences.

Secondly the Devil also knows the Bible better than you. He quoted Psalms to Jesus, who replied with Deuteronomy. But when he came to Eve he said Yea hath God said. Then proceeded to misquote the Almighty. Eve used his version and left out the word “freely”. Then the Devil told her that God would not be so severe “Ye shall not surely die” then goes on to disparage God’s character. We all know the miserable end to that first attack upon the word of God. This is just food for thought. I will leave some more in the future, God willing. I leave you with Jeremiah 26:2 Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord’s house, ALL the words that I command thee to speak unto them;DIMINISH NOT A WORD: (emphasis mine) I pray that this is a blessing to you

An Empty Tomb and an Empty Church

John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. Verse 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. It is a sad thing to see so many empty churches when we have such wonderful news “He is not here, but is risen.”!. The message is the same, and still proves that Jesus is the way, the only way, it still delivers souls from hell, lives from misery, and mankind from sin. So why are churches declining and empty and shuttered? Why do people stay home for fear of the government in a supposedly free country. Why do brethren condemn the brethren who are brave enough to defy tyranny and obey God? Remember Thomas. He missed the blessing of seeing the risen Christ at the first meeting and would have missed the second time if he was not there. But on that second time he makes the strongest statement on the deity of Christ in the Bible “My Lord and my God.” If you can’t meet in public meet in secret. Do like Paul and invoke your rights as an American citizen. And above all get back to preaching the Bible. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. Where of he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. Amen and Alleluia.

Antisocial Distancing

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more as ye see the day approaching. I am reminded of the great hymn We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing. How about some of our great patriots? We have nothing to fear but fear itself. We must all hang together or we will all surely hang separately. Is life so sweet or peace so dear to be purchased at the cost of chains and bondage? My spiritual ancestors were publicly whipped for preaching on the streets. Sheriffs road horses into the meeting house and shoved a whip down the pastor’s throat while he was praying. Men met secretly in caves and were smoked out and brutally tortured and killed. In our wonderful country whole congregations joined the fight for liberty so that you and I could peacefully assemble and worship God Almighty without government interference. Now if a church has many elderly and infirmed and chooses to suspend meeting for a short period that is between them and God and is no one else’s business. If a church chooses to continue meeting it is also no one else’s business, especially not the government’s! The Communists in China require the churches to be registered and are even telling them to change the Bible. They told the home churches they could meet online (how sweet to have their permission) and then used it and the COVID-19 ruse to round them up. Are we to follow the communist policy on religion? Are we going to register our church and ask the government for permission to meet during a non-event? Control is the issue not safety. And of all times during a disaster the head of state should be asking for a day of prayer. I served in the Navy during the Cold War. I remember reading about a veteran putting up the hammer and sickle when Obama shoved his unaffordable health bill down our throats. I see a full blown socialist running for office and praising Russian and Chinese dictatorships. I do believe that if you love the Bible and love freedom you are, like me often lifting up your eyes to Heaven and praying with John even so come Lord Jesus. Who will be the head of your church, the state or the Lord?

History Repeats Itself

I have seen many changes in my lifetime, this being one of the fastest paced time changes in history. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. I see many things going on that remind me of my youth. Back in the’70s they had an oil and sugar etc shortage, caused mostly by government bungling. Someone made a joke on late night T.V. about the next shortage being a paper shortage and the run for toilet paper was on! I remember the Hong Kong flu scare in the’60s. I remember that humanity was supposed to be wiped out by AIDS. Back then though quarantine was a dirty and hateful word. SARS and Ebola and swine flu were all supposed to wipe us out. Oh and don’t forget global warming. It appears that all these people so concerned about the environment will gladly chop down our forests to have paper in the bathroom! How about the animal rights people? One speculation is that Corona came from bats because they can carry that. Do you people in Austin have a program to protect your bats?

Ok, I have had a little bit of fun. I love to laugh and enjoy life. I hope that I have put a smile on your face. But remember with all these events the government that wants to appear as your hero and defender is steadily eroding our rights and freedoms. The only safe place to put your trust is in Almighty God. The only safe investment is in the Bank of Heaven and the only sure future is in salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

 

 

Worse than the Corona Virus

There is much in the news about the spread of the Corona Virus. Many say it is under reported others will say that it is sensationalized, like many other so called epidemics. Of course one must remember that more Americans died of Spanish flu than battles during World War 1. But there is a plague killing much more than these in our country that is so prevalent in our nation that it is almost completely ignored, or even promoted by local, state and federal government.

Consider this. Approximately 88,000 people die of alcohol related death every year. Between 2006 to 2010 7,756 murders related to alcohol were committed. 48 per cent drink before a murder and 37 per cent are drunk while committing it. It leads to three million violent crimes a year and is the driving force behind much theft and vandalism. The push to make Canyon Texas wet told me they were saving lives by preventing drunk driving. But in the United States DWI fatalities rose from 10,479 in 2016 to 10,874 in 2017. Note that this is actually less than actual because .08 is legally drunk so if a person is at .07 or .06 it is not necessarily classed as drunk driving. Oh, by the way Texas leads the nation in DWI fatalities. In 2017 there were 1468 drunk driving deaths in our state, California coming in second with 1,120. We also had 2,169 serious injuries, 5841 injuries and 5,666 non incapacitating injuries the same year. Wonder why car insurance keeps going up? And​ liver disease is going through the roof, especially among women! Ladies add to that date rape and rape and domestic violence along with DWI increasing among women and you can see why women spearheaded prohibition.

Booze costs our society more than 249 billion dollars last year. And that doesn’t include things like unpaid bills. This is also a low estimate because often than alcohol equation is not factored or not diagnosed. Remember that the boys in blue daily face violent attack from those possessed by this spirit. Emergency crews are kept quite busy tending to these self created problems.

The legal system has gone after tobacco to subsidize the health system because of the effect which it has on sickness. Why does booze get off Scot free? Booze has historically low taxes yet causes so much devastation. The booze industry should pay for every funeral from a DWI. They should shoulder the financial burden of a family that looses it’s breadwinner. Best of all it should be boycotted and run out of our country and replaced with honest business.

Prepare to Meet thy God

II Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

One thing foremost on my mind when I go out to street preach is that we all will give account of ourselves to God. Everyone I see (or don’t see but hears my voice) and meet will be judged by God. Recently I was preaching with my sons on the Square and a young woman came near us very angry. I stopped preaching to speak with her. She asked if we were just preaching against booze. I told her no we were having a church service. She then asked why there. When people ask me why I preach where I preach that is a good indication that I am where God wants me. She felt I was targeting the place where she worked. I asked if she was saved and she said yes and baptised and went to church twice a week. I asked her what she thought of booze. She said she was a bartender. I reminded her that Habakkuk 2:15 says Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink. I warned her she would stand in judgement before God for it. Her answer was that she was so glad that she would answer to God and not to me. I quoted the scripture again and she had seen the verse of Proverbs 20:1 on my son’s sign Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. I have learned by long experience that this kind of anger comes of conviction and not to reply with anger. God’s word will do God’s work and My prayer is that she will repent and depart from this iniquity. So many today believe that as long as they go to church they can live any way they want. They have forgotten Ecclesiastes 11:9 Rejoice O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: BUT know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgement. And I want everyone to have a good judgement.

The Greek is not Enough

John 19:19-20 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross, And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

Many times people do not like what God has said. Many times people want to impress others with their knowledge. Certainly the Devil wishes for us to be confused about God’s will. God’s will is found in God’s word so the attack must be made on the Bible, specifically the King James Bible.

This is most often done by resorting to the Greek. Many think they can take a four year course in Greek and become a Bible translator. Others believe they can take Strong’s lexicon and make their own translation. But it takes more than that.

When the scholars assemled to translate the Authorized Bible all knew both Greek and Latin. Most also knew Hebrew. Some would know Syriac and other Oriental languages​. Some would know German, French, or Italian. They had the various Textus Receptus eclectic texts before them with many translations. They had the famed Irish Latin along with the writings​of the Church Father’s. They were familiar with the other ancient writings​, both pagan and Christian. Why was this necessary? Because the Greek is not as precise a language as the English which the translators wished to bring it into. The Hebrew is even more difficult, and all scholars agree that the Elizabethan English which the King James translators used is one of the best receptor languages​ for it.

So let’s say you see a word. It can have twenty or more meanings or shades of meaning in English. In endeavoring  to find the correct word to use you can go to a Latin, Syriack, Armenian or other translation of that century. You could consult Luther’s Bible or the old Italic. You could check commentary from the first and second century for insight. So it’s not as easy as it seems. It is a monumental task that no modern scholars can equal. In a future blog I will tell you why. But as I was told long ago you can be a Greek scholar or a Bible scholar but you can not be both. In getting bogged down in the Greek and Hebrew you miss the cross references that are so important to Bible understanding. I hope this has been a blessing and a help. Trust God’s word, The King James Bible of 1611, as it sets and just see the fellowship with God you can have!

King James’ Solution for Political Division

We live in a day when people feel they must force their beliefs on other sections of the nation without regard to due process, majority vote, or constitutional freedoms​ of the minority. Instead of the feeling of you win some you lose some, or he is my opponent not my enemy, we have rabid hatred and venom coming, ironically, from the mouths of those making hate crime legislation!

King James the First of England and VI of Scotland had a similar problem with his Scottish nobles. So he had all of them parade through the streets holding the hands of their political enemies. What a sight! Could you imagine the speaker of the house and the president of the Senate holding hands with all Democrats and Republicans​ following marching down Pennsylvania Avenue! You could probably get Super Bowl prices for those tickets and pay off the national debt.

King James had another stroke of genius, or in this case inspiration. The Puritans​ came asking for a new translation of the Bible sighting mistakes in the current one, the Bishop’s Bible. The Episcopal wing quite naturally distrusted them because of some notes in the Geneva Bible. Those of you that try to say that King James forced a new Bible on the British people to replace the Geneva take note that it was the Geneva proponents that asked for the new translation! Read history and quit using lies to sell a book. So King James authorized a new translation in accordance with their request but…… He made both sides work on it together. He set up certain rules and safe guards to insure that no private agenda was introduced and that the translation was true to the original. These magnificent translators and word smiths produced a perfect, beautiful, and majestic translation. None has been before and none will be after. It is so wonderful to know that when you have the King James Bible in your hands you have the perfect word of God and can rest your soul upon it’s truth.

The Importance of the First and Second Amendments​

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.        The second of course is the right to keep and bear arms. Acts 4:18-20 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have heard and seen. I Samuel 13:19 Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears

   In listening to todays politics it is amazing to see how many elected and hopefuls are campaigning on a platform to take away our rights. It started out with the so called hate crimes legislation. All crime is based on hate. For the two great commandments are to love God and love your neighbor. All sin comes of breaking those two, but how can mere man regulate or judge emotions and intentions? When Hitler came to power he had the Reichstag bombed and burned  so he could take away all guns. He then destroyed all news outlets that opposed the Nazi party. When the Germans conquered a country they confiscated all guns and radios. The Imperial Japanese did the same. As all us Cold war veterans ​know the Communists of Russia, China, and their satellite allies did the same. Of course in China one simply has to peruse the headlines to see how their government controls religion,news, the internet, and weapons and assembly. In the Soviet Union the downfall of that despotic government came when members of an unlicensed church linked hands to prevent their meeting house from being bulldozed. China and North Korea are having similar problems as the common man yearns for freedom. Remember you can make a throne of bayonets but it is hard to sit on. Do we really want these restrictions in our country? Didn’t our forefathers DIE for these freedoms? Didn’t American soldiers and sailors die to undo these kind of oppressions in foreign lands. Yet give a promise of free education and health care and a promise that the government will take care of your safety (all of which are financially impossible) and a Charlatan gets elected. Please study history. Please study the Constitution. Please trust God. Please use common sense when offered goodies from politicians. Remember that churches right now, in the United States, are under attack for preaching the truth of scripture. Finally, who will rule your church, God or man? Who will rule your family, Dad or CPS? Who will rule your news, free citizens or lifetime politicians?

The Ambassador’s Hair

I I Samuel 10:4 Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments​in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. In this event King David had sent ambassadors to comfort a king over the death of his father. This king, suspecting them to be spies dished out this disgraceful treatment and started a war. So facial hair is important.

Recently I have read of political tension in Korea. I have been to Korea and Japan and have talked to Japanese and Koreans here in the United States. One peculiarity about Americans is the lack of understanding of other cultures, particularly Asian. I know many who don’t know the difference between a Chinese, Korean,or Japanese. So for some background. The Asian countries for the most part are not as culturally diverse as America. They have more homogeneous society and longer histories and tradition than we do. And they remember history.

Japan and Korea have been doing joint Naval exercises but Japan has been raising the Rising Sun flag on their ships. This concerns the Koreans as they remember World War II. Korea was under Japanese domination as part of their empire for a long time then suffered under the war. They were forced to provide food, lumber, labor, and “comfort girls” for the Japanese military machine. Then after the war the country was split by foreign governments over communist and democratic ideology. While we look on North and South Korea as communist and democratic they look at themselves as Koreans. They have relatives on both sides of the border and wish for peaceful reunification.

So about the facial hair. Our ambassador to Korea is an American of Japanese descent. Of course these fine people are just as much American as any other citizen of our nation. But this ambassador has decided to grow a mustache. If you have looked at pictures of the Japanese rulers of World War II you will notice that many had finely trimmed mustaches. This offends the Koreans. To put this in perspective imagine having an American ambassador of German descent to Israel wearing a Hitler style mustache. While I am sure he means no offense and most Americans would view this as trivial we must understand and respect their feelings and know the history behind the uproar.