XII. Of the Penalty for Sin

I believe that sin, being the result of transgression, which is the result of iniquity, sets the sinner against the very order the LORD God ordained for creation. Sin is destructive to creation and is thus contrary to the Creator and His intended purposes for creation. That man knowingly engages in iniquity, transgression and sin, sets himself willfully against the LORD God, and thus engages in war against the LORD, Who is his Creator. Man, being the creature and wholly dependent upon the LORD God for his very existence, through sin, repudiates and destroys that which does not belong to him, and over which he has no authority. As such, man engages in unlawful conduct, warranting separation from fellowship with the LORD God. Man thus chooses to declare that which is impossible to fulfill – independent self-existence from his Creator. This being impossible to fulfill, man is therefore given to eternal separation from fellowship with the LORD God. Man must therefore, of his own resources, make atonement for his rebellion by abiding in the Lake of Fire forever.


Isaiah 24:4-6; Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:4; James 1:13-15; Psalm 24:1-2; Isaiah 66:1-2; Hebrews 1:1-4; Psalm 104:1-15; Job 38:1-13; Job 34:10-15; Genesis 2:7; Exodus 4:11; Proverbs 24:11-12; Jeremiah 1:4-5; Job 31:14-15; Psalm 127:3; Isaiah 45:9-10; Isaiah 46:1-8; Romans 4:1-5; Ephesians 2:8-9; I Corinthians 1:26-29; Isaiah 44:9-20; Psalms 49:1-20; Romans 2:3-11; Isaiah 65:2-5; Acts 3:12-15; Revelation 16:3-6; Revelation 16:8-11; Matthew 25:41-46; Revelation 20:12-15; Isaiah 66:22-24.


The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. (Isaiah 24:4-6)For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:13-15)

The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. (Psalm 24:1-2)

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (Isaiah 66:1-2)

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:1-4)

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth. He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches. He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart. (Psalm 104:1-15)

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? (Job 38:1-13)

Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity. For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways. Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment. Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world? If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust. (Job 34:10-15)

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? (Exodus 4:11)

If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works? (Proverbs 24:11-12)

Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb? (Job 31:14-15)

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (Psalm 127:3)

Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth? (Isaiah 45:9-10)

Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast. They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity. Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship. They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble. Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. (Isaiah 46:1-8)

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4:1-5)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. (I Corinthians 1:26-29)

They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint. The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house. He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? (Isaiah 44:9-20)

Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: Both low and high, rich and poor, together. My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp. Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about? They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption. For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah. Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah. Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself. He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish. (Psalms 49:1-20)

And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God. (Romans 2:3-11)

I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day. (Isaiah 65:2-5)

And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. (Acts 3:12-15)

And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. (Revelation 16:3-6)

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. (Revelation 16:8-11)

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:41-46)

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:12-15)

For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. (Isaiah 66:22-24)

Verse Comparison – John 1:18

King James Version No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. William Tyndale’s 1534 New Testament (Modern Spelling Edition) No man hath seen God at any time.  The only begotten son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

New American Bible (the Catholic bible) No one has ever seen God.  The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him. Revised Standard Version No one has ever seen God:  the only Son,b who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known. New Revised Standard Version No one has ever seen God.  It is God the only Son,e who is close to the Father’s heart,f who has made him known. New International Version No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only,a,b who is at the Father’s side has made him known The Amplified New Testament No man has ever seen God at any time; the only eunique Son, fthe only-begotten God, Who is in the bosom [that is, in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him—He has revealed Him, brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him, and He has made Him known. [Prov. 8:30.] The Adventures in Odyssey Bible (From the International Children’s Bible, New Century Version Distributed by Focus on the Family) No man has ever seen God.  But God the only Son is very close to the Father.n  And the Son has shown us what God is like.

Margin Notes New American Bible 1, 18: The only Son, God: while the vast majority of later textual witnesses have another reading, “the son, the only one” or “the Only Son,” the translation above follows the best and earliest manuscripts, monogenes theos, but takes the first term to mean not just “Only One” but to include a filial relationship with the Father, as at Lk 9, 38 (“only child”) or Heb 11, 17 (“only son”) and as translated at Jn 1, 14. The Logos is thus “only Son” and God but not Father/God.

Margin Notes Revised Standard Version b Other ancient authorities read God

Margin Notes New Revised Standard Version e Other ancient authorities read It is an only Son, God, or It is the only Son f Greek bosom

Margin Notes New International Version a18 or the Only Begotten b18 some manuscripts but the only (or only begotten) Son

Margin Notes The Amplified New Testament e) Moulton and Milligan’s “Vocabulary of the Greek Testament” f) Supported by “a great mass of ancient evidence” (Vincent)

Margin Notes The Adventures in Odyssey Bible n But. . . Father This could be translated, “But the only God is very close to the Father.”  Also, some Greek copies say, “But the only Son is very close to the Father.

Amplified New Testament Preface Notes BRACKETS [ ]: contain justified clarifying words or comments, whether implied or not, which are not actually expressed in the immediate original text.  However, when the identification of a person or thing represented by a pronoun is certain, the noun may be substituted for the pronoun without brackets. ITALICS:  point out certain familiar passages now recognized as not adequately supported by the original manuscripts, or italics may be substituted for brackets.  Also “and,” “or” and other connectives in italics indicate that the portions so connected are to be found in the same original word or expression.

Commentary It is likely that this verse provides one greatest contrasts in verses between the modern versions and the KJV.  If we were to examine the bibles that existed between the Tyndale’s and the King James 1611 we would find that all, including the Douay-Rheims (the Catholic translated version of 1590 designed to compete with the Received Text bibles) read the same: The Douay-Rheims Bible No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. The reason for this is the fact that the Douay-Rheims, for all its corruption (it is Jerome’s Latin Vulgate), was taken from the same source text as William Tyndale’s New Testament, and the King James Version and not from the corrupted Gnostic texts. Thus, it is very interesting as to where the modern versions get their reading of this verse.  The modern version’s new readings did not appear in English until after the Hort-Wescott Greek New Testament and the subsequent translation which is the Revised Standard Version.  In the Revised Standard version several changes are evident.  They are: “no man” to “no one”, “only begotten Son” to “the only Son”, and “declared him” to “revealed him”.  In the New Revised Standard Version they went one step further and changed the spiritual context of “who is in the bosom of the Father” to the strictly physical context of “who is close to the Father’s heart,”. All these changes are at a minimum, quite dangerous, but more correctly, for the context of the verse, they are blasphemous.  Let us consider: when the term “no man” is used the context it is clearly referring to mankind.  To now change this to make it “no one” means that the verse becomes all-inclusive.  The use of the word “one” means anyone period, not just man, as there are no qualifiers put on the term.  Fully considered, this must necessarily mean everyone, which creates a contradiction.  By saying “no man” this means those that are only of the race of man, are included.  The Lord Jesus Christ is both God and man.  He is both the Son of God, and the Son of man.  Therefore, he is necessarily excluded from this statement.  By stating “no one,” potentially this means that not even the Son has seen God.  This may not be what they meant, but it can easily be construed from what they wrote.  If someone understands that there is a spiritual world, and that beings live in it as well, those beings would necessarily be included in the description of “one” as well. Additionally, it is evident that there is error in the modern versions in the statement “the only Son.” In the proper text this is “the only begotten Son”, which in the underlying Received Text Greek is “monogenes huios”.  In the underlying Hort-Westcott text of the modern versions it is “monogenes theos” which the translation committees render “the only Son”.  If we read the New American Bible (which is also translated from the Hort-Westcott (now Nestle-Aland text)) margin notes above, it is apparent that they mistranslate in an effort to maintain the principles that are plainly stated in the Scripture: God is not begotten.  The Son is begotten, but not God.  God has always existed and will always exist.  This, of course, matches what is written in Hebrews 1:5, 10:5 and in Philippians 2:7-8.  It is clear that some of the new translations do translate this passage exactly as written.  Most notably the Jehovah’s Witness translation, which is the New World Translation.  This corrupted  text and translation (with additions) can also be seen in the Lockman Foundation’s Amplified Bible as quoted above.  It should be quite clear that translating this passage as “the only begotten God” is blatant blasphemy as it states that God did not exist from the beginning.  This would be consistent with the Gnostic understanding of the scriptures.  The Gnostics held (and hold today) the view that the Son of God had to be the firstborn (the first created creature) because there could be no equality in trinity. It was impossible for the Gnostics to understand how it is possible for three distinct persons could be totally and completely equal. Hence, they altered the Greek text to reflect a purely carnal (and blasphemous) point of view. It is unfortunate that Bible Scholars cannot discern a corrupted text and reject it out of hand. Instead, what we see is a wholesale rush to accept the most corrupted of texts, texts which would have been quickly rejected by virtually everyone 400 years ago – even by the Catholics, as their Douay-Rheims Bible demonstrates.

No Book Is Like the Bible

Citation, lyrics and music are copied from The Cyber Hymnal and are public domain. Midi file is generated from Music Publisher 8, edited with Anvil Studio 2012 and is piano only. Lyrics may be modified for doctrinal accuracy. This version is not copyrighted. If you find it a blessing, please feel free to use it. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis

And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. (Isaiah 29:11-12)

Words: Fanny Crosby, in the Gospel Praise Book, by Asa Hull (New York: D. W. Knowles, 1879), number 82.

Music:Schroeder-modified,” Her­mann R. Schroe­der, in Great Hymns of the Church Com­piled by the Late Right Rev­er­end John Free­man Young, ed­it­ed by John H. Hop­kins (New York: James Pott & Com­pa­ny, 1887), num­ber 106. Modified by CMD, 2012 (midi, mp3)
Listen to the hymn melody
No book is like the Bible,
For childhood, youth and age;
Our duty, plain and simple,
We find on every page.
It came by inspiration,
A light to guide our way,
A voice from Him who gave it,
Reproving when we stray.

No book is like the Bible,
The blessèd book we love,
The pilgrim’s chart of glory,
It leads to God above.

It tells of man’s creation,
His sad, primeval fall;
It tells of man’s redemption,
Through Christ, who died for all;
In sacred words of wisdom
It bids us watch and pray,
And early come to Jesus,
The Life, the Truth, the Way.

No book is like the Bible,
The blessèd book we love,
The pilgrim’s chart of glory,
It leads to God above.

O, let us love the Bible,
And praise it more and more;
Our life is like a shadow,
Our days will soon be o’er;
But if we closely follow
The counsel God has giv’n,
We then may hope with angels
To sing His praise in Heav’n.

No book is like the Bible,
The blessèd book we love,
The pilgrim’s chart of glory,
It leads to God above.

Saved and Kept

Citation and lyrics are copied from an old hymnal and are public domain. Midi file was produced by Music Publisher 6, and is piano only. This version is not copyrighted. If you find it a blessing, please feel free to use it. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. (II Timothy 1:12-14)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:3-5)

Words: C.D. Martin.
Music:Saved and Kept – modified“, Charles H. Gabriel. Cynthia M. Droddy, 2012 (midi, mp3)
Listen to the hymn melody
Saved and kept by the power divine,
Saved to the uttermost, Jesus is mine!
He’s redemption and righteousness too,
Trusting in Him all my life is made new.

Saved and kept by His glorious word!
Saved and kept by a wonderful Lord!
He who was dead and is risen again,
Lives and is able to keep and to save.

Saved and kept every step of the way,
Christ is a savior who saves every day!
Saves from bondage of sin and of strife,
Keeps in the sphere of His glorious life!

Saved and kept by His glorious word!
Saved and kept by a wonderful Lord!
He who was dead and is risen again,
Lives and is able to keep and to save.

Saved and kept never doubting His word,
Filled with the peace and the joy of my Lord!
Saved! No angel its meaning can know,
Kept by His grace daily whiter than snow!

Saved and kept by His glorious word!
Saved and kept by a wonderful Lord!
He who was dead and is risen again,
Lives and is able to keep and to save.

Saved and kept till I look on His face,
Kept by Him unto the end of the race!
How my glad heart forever shall sing,
Praises to Jesus my Savior and King!

Saved and kept by His glorious word!
Saved and kept by a wonderful Lord!
He who was dead and is risen again,
Lives and is able to keep and to save.

An Interesting Conclusion

While working on responses to the claims of  the Calvinist/Reformed that the Scripture supports their doctrine that (for unknown reasons) God picked and choose, in eternity past, who would be saved and who would be condemned without regard to any criteria, I happened to again examine the heading to one section of their “evidence” from Scripture and it struck me as to what was wrong with it. Now, it is very plain that the Calvinist/Reformed adherents engage in a lot of presumption and frame statements and challenges in such a way as to lead one to an inevitable conclusion. In short, they bias any answering by the very way the statement or challenge is framed. However, the framing of statements in this way is not without it’s problems, as the following statement demonstrates. Below a brief statement is made that I am certain is meant to say that when “God” determines that someone will believe, they will believe. However, it does not turn out quite that way when seriously examined.

God is sovereign over unbelief. John 12:37-41; 10:26 Romans 9:18-19; 11:7-8, 25, 32 Matthew 13:11-17; 24:22 Mark 4:10-13 1 Peter 2:8 Proverbs 16:4 Jude 4

Before starting to examine the above statement, there are a couple of brief definitions which are required to be understood:

sovereign ((Definition taken from Dictionary.com)) sov·er·eign [sov-rin, sov-er-in, suhv-] –noun 1. a monarch; a king, queen, or other supreme ruler. 2. a person who has sovereign power or authority. 3. a group or body of persons or a state having sovereign authority. –adjective 5. belonging to or characteristic of a sovereign or sovereignty;  royal. 6. having supreme rank, power, or authority. 7. supreme; preeminent; indisputable: a sovereign right. unbelief ((ibid)) un·be·lief [uhn-bi-leef] –noun the state or quality of not believing; incredulity or skepticism, especially in matters of doctrine or religious faith.

Knowing then the above definitions, we should also perceive that by Biblical standards, the definition for “unbelief” falls a bit short in that it does not address the issue of the truth at all as the following verse demonstrates:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

Hence, “unbelief” in the Biblical sense is to not believe the truth, or to believe a lie. After all, if you are not believing the truth, you are believing a lie — there is no middle ground. Thus, in the Calvinist/Reformed view: “God” rules over the non-acceptance of that which is valid and true (the holding to a lie). “God” rules over (is sovereign over) the lie. Since Calvinist/Reformed adherents also believe that “God” is the first cause of everything, it follows that the Calvinist “God” is the first cause of the lie. Hence, the Calvinist/Reformed god is the father of lies. To which the Scripture answers:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)

Which means that the Calvinist/Reformed god could not be the LORD God of the Bible, as the LORD God wants EVERYONE to abide in the truth. But, the Calvinist/Reformed god only wants certain people to abide in the truth, and everyone else he holds in unbelief, not allowing them to come to the truth. I John 8:44 above, the Lord Jesus Christ plainly identifies who that god is: the Devil or Satan – the father of lies. The sad fact is, even the “truth” the Devil wants those individuals to come to, isn’t the truth at all, but a cleverly crafted deceit, designed to keep them from ever coming to the actual truth.

The House of Witness

A study of the Founding and Empowerment of New Testament Church

Copyright 2006 All scripture is Authorized King James Version, 1769 edition. This article may be copied and used without permission of the author, provided it is copied and used in its entirety.

Note: All Scripture references and quotations are King James Version, 1769 edition. Underlining is used for emphasis of certain points in Scripture. This is a study outline to be used for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of the New Testament church. As such, it does not explain everything, but allows one the liberty to teach to a level they are comfortable with.

Introduction When we begin to look at the church in the Scriptures, it is always the case that whoever is doing the looking brings their own bias into the evaluation of the Scriptures and what the Scriptures state about the church. It is hoped that this study will dispel many of the notions about the church that the Lord Jesus Christ founded as a result of His earthly ministry. The different ideas on when the New Testament church was founded are examined. This study also addresses the supplemental questions of the baptism administered by John, Christ’s baptism and why it was necessary, and the purpose of John the Baptist’s ministry. However, before beginning to look at the church, it is essential for us to briefly look at the Lord’s institutions of witness in this world. By beginning here, the purpose, or function of the church, and thus its form and operation will become more clear. The Witness of the Lord from the Fall to the Flood We are not told much concerning the institution of witness the Lord had on this earth from the time of the Fall until the Flood. However, some facts are evident.

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: (Genesis 4:1-4)

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. (Hebrews 11:4)

By the above passage we know that faith was just as operative then as it is now. We also know that the Lord required certain offerings

But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. (Genesis 4:5-7)

The Witness of the Lord from the Flood to Israel We are told more about the institution of witness the Lord had on this earth from the time of the Flood until the institution of Israel as the Lord’s covenanted institution. This is commonly known as the time of the patriarchs.

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. (Genesis 14:18-20)

And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine. Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid. Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake. And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother. And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee. And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved. So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children. For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife. (Genesis 20)

Israel as the House of Witness Great detail is given about Israel and what the requirements were for maintaining the covenant they had with the Lord.

— It is the failure of Israel in the covenant they had with the Lord that ushers in the church as the Lord’s new institution of witness.

The events in the establishment of the Old Covenant with Israel

The revealing of the mind of God in the giving of the conditions of the covenant. Exodus, Chapters 20 through 23

The primary commandment for remaining in covenant with the LORD God

In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. (Exodus 19:1-8)

For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. (Jeremiah 7:22-23)

Israel was the house of witness

And the LORD said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father’s house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood. And thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee: but thou and thy sons with thee shall minister before the tabernacle of witness. (Numbers 18:1-2)

And the king called for Jehoiada the chief, and said unto him, Why hast thou not required of the Levites to bring in out of Judah and out of Jerusalem the collection, according to the commandment of Moses the servant of the LORD, and of the congregation of Israel, for the tabernacle of witness? For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and also all the dedicated things of the house of the LORD did they bestow upon Baalim. (II Chronicles 24:6-7)

The events of Exodus 24 The sprinkling of the blood. verses 3 through 8

And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words. (Exodus 24:3-8)

The ceremonial meal. v. 9-11

Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink. (Exodus 24:9-11)

At this point the covenant between the LORD God and the Children of Israel is sealed as a permanent covenant barring failure of one of the parties to the covenant. Since there is no question concerning the LORD God and His ability to fulfill the covenant, the burden lies upon the children of Israel. Thus, the children of Israel must serve the Lord or consequences will ensue. Ref. Deuteronomy Chapters 5 through 30. It must be noted that this covenant falls within an already existing covenant between the LORD God and Abraham. This covenant is not the same as the Abrahamic covenant, but is an extension of that covenant. The fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant is not yet accomplished, even though the old covenant with the children of Israel has been dissolved. Ref. Genesis 17:1-21, Jeremiah 30:31-37, Hebrews 8:7-13. The Church as the House of Witness The beginning of the church Since nothing in the New Testament is without precedent, and that precedent being displayed in the Old Testament, it is reasonable to see if a pattern exists in the Old Testament for the founding of the church. After all, to some degree Israel and the church as described in the New Testament do perform the same functions. Both were given responsibility as houses of witness. Both were given responsibility for the Scriptures. Both were given certain ordinances that must be performed. Both were given offices that must be fulfilled, with strict requirements for the holders of those offices. And, most important both entered into covenant with the LORD God. However, there are also some differences: All Israelites were automatically involved in the covenant with God by birth — they had no choice in the matter. Members of any particular church are members because they choose to be members — no one can force anyone to be a member of a church. Moreover, one does not automatically become a member of a church just because their parents are members. In Israel one did not have to be saved, or born again to be involved in all the rituals and ordinances that they had to perform. In the church, one cannot even join unless one is born again in Christ. In Israel there were a multitude of ordinances to be kept. In the church there are only two. Israel was given a particular task that the church has never been called upon to do — slay a particular group of enemies of God. In the following two questions, only one of the views of the church is correct scripturally. The Scripture is express about the form and substance of the New Testament church. What is a church?

  • An assembly of religious persons
  • A building used for religious purposes
  • A covenanted assembly of baptized believers in a particular locale

What is the church?

  • The Catholic Church
  • All New Testament believers in every place
  • All New Testament believers that are members of local churches
  • All believers throughout history
  • A covenanted assembly of baptized believers in a particular locale

Acts 20:28: The church is purchased with Christ’s own blood.

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28)

Hebrews 3:1-6: We are Christ’s house.

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Hebrews 3:1-6)

The Pattern of the Old Testament Repeated in the New Testament As there were events that occurred in the establishment of the covenant with Israel, even so there are events in the establishment of the covenant the Lord has with the church. Though the sequence of events may vary somewhat, the type of events does not vary at all. Due to the fact that this new covenant takes the place of an existing covenant, there must be some variance in the sequence of events. Also, it must be remembered that the new covenant is established by the sacrificial Lamb Himself. Thus, one particular event must take place after all others. The revealing of the mind of God In the reading of the Gospels, one should come away with a good understanding of who the Lord God is, and what He is about. In short, we should come to know the mind of God concerning many things. This is essential if one is going to be in covenant (or have one mind with) someone else. This is particularly true when it comes to being in covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ for the spread of the gospel and maintenance of the Scriptures.

And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) 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. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. (Acts 1:13-17)

Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. (Acts 1:21-23)

What the above passage demonstrates is the fact that one was not counted worthy to be considered an apostle unless they had been with the Lord Jesus Christ from the very beginning of His ministry.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. (John 14:1-11)

The reason for the rebuke of Phillip is that he should have known by this time (3 years of daily interaction with the Lord Jesus Christ) who the LORD God is, and what He is all about. Phillip should have known that the Lord Jesus Christ would say or do nothing unless it was expressly given Him by the Father. Thus, to see the character and nature of Lord Jesus Christ was to see the character and nature of Father. The ending of the Old Covenant (Testament) What ultimately ended the covenant with Israel was Israel’s refusal to acknowledge their King with whom they had a covenant. Instead, they made it abundantly clear that they would rather have an ungodly Roman king rule over them. One of the reasons Christ came was to first-hand ascertain the state of the leadership and people with which He had a covenant. This coming to ascertain first-hand is much like what the Lord did when He came to Abraham on the plains of Mamre, just prior to Him calling down destruction upon Sodom and Gomorrah. (Ref. Genesis, ch. 18-19) The leadership of Israel’s refusal to acknowledge and accept their King. Luke 19, Zechariah 9, John 19

And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. (Luke 19:35-40)

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (Zechariah 9:9)

And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. (John 19:12-15)

The warning and rebuke of the leadership of Israel (the husbandmen of the vineyard) Matthew 21:33-45 This is addressed to the leadership of Israel as it was the leadership of Israel that sealed the covenant with the Lord on Mount Horeb (or Sinai) centuries before. However, this parable is not without precedent in that there is a parallel of this passage in Isaiah where Israel was warned about their apostasy and breaking of the covenant.

Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. (Matthew 21:33-45)

Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry. (Isaiah 5:1-7)

The condemnation of the leadership of Israel and prelude to the formal breaking of the covenant. Matthew, Chapter 23:1-33 In this condemnation the Lord Jesus points out how that the leadership had totally perverted the teaching and ordinances given them to hold. They had twisted what they were given into something totally perverse. He condemns them for their total blindness to the truth of the word of God and for being utter hypocrites unable to even begin to come to the truth. In short, they have no love of the truth, and they were only using the word of God and the authority they had in the covenant for their own ends. In all this, it is very apparent that they were totally unusable to the Lord and were, in fact opposing all that He desired to do. The curse for breaking the covenant. v. 34-36

Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. (Matthew 23:34-36)

The dissolving of the covenant to be the house of witness. verses 37-39

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:37-39)

The invitation to the New Covenant (Testament) Matthew, Chapter 26 The ceremonial meal. v. 26-29

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. (Matthew 26:26-29)

The sealing of the covenant Matthew, Chapter 27 The sprinkling of the blood. v. 26-50

Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there; And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. (Matthew 27:26-50)

After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:28-30)

Now, it is verified by the book of Hebrews that the New Testament was not in effect until the death of Christ on the cross. This being the case, since the church is purchased by the blood of Christ, the church also did not exist as a covenanted institution until the death of Christ as well.

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. (Hebrews 9:15-21)

The Commissioning of the Church and call to witness. Matthew, Chapter 28 & Luke, Chapter 24 The apostles given the commission to witness

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 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)

The apostles called to be witnesses

And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24:46-48)

The empowerment of the House of Witness — the local, autonomous, visible, New Testament church Just as it is not sufficient for someone to have a contract with a builder to build a building, without providing them the legal and financial means to carry out such a work; it was not sufficient for the apostles to be commissioned as witnesses and in covenant with the Lord. Before they could carry out such work, particularly since they were called to go into all the world, they had to have the means to do so. They had to be empowered. This was the function of the day of Pentecost. The command to wait for empowerment

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:45-49)

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:6-8)

The day of empowerment

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilæans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judæa, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? (Acts 2:1-12)

The day of Pentecost was a visible and audible sign that the Lord intended his gospel to go throughout the entire world. The day of Pentecost is very much the reverse of the day of the confusion of the languages at Babel. This event of Pentecost also is a fulfilling of the promise of God to preserve His word and have it reproduced in every language. Moreover, since the apostles were the ones manifesting the signs and gifts, this also plainly demonstrates that the carrying out of the commission is to be through the Lord’s ordained and empowered institution — the church. 1. When did the church officially begin?

  • When all things required for covenant were complete.
  • The agreement of the parties to the covenant.
  • Agreement to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • The pattern of Baptism as practice for the New Testament church established
  • The dissolving of the Old Covenant.

The sequence of events leading to the dissolving of the covenant.

  • The entrance into Jerusalem of their King and their refusal to accept Him.
  • The cleansing of the temple.
  • The parable of the vineyard.
  • The rebuke of the elders of Israel.
  • The dissolution of the old covenant.
  • The ceremonial meal.
  • The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper established.
  • The sprinkling of blood.
  • The church is established.
  • The commissioning of the church.
  • The ordinance of Baptism established.
  • The New Testament church empowered.

Problems with the different views A. The church began on the day of Pentecost. — equates empowerment with founding. This makes the Holy Ghost the founder of the church. B. The church began with John the Baptist. — conflict of houses of witness “I will build . . .” is future tense, not present tense thus creates a conflict of grammatical usage. The Lord cannot, and would not say “I will build . . .” if His church is already in existence. This also means that Israel and the New Testament church are entirely different entities in different dispensations of witness.

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar–jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:13-19)

Moreover, the baptism of John is not the baptism of Christ. The apostle Paul demonstrates this very plainly when he came upon some disciples of John in Ephesus. John preached and baptized the baptism of repentance apart from the covenantal aspects of Christ’s baptism. This was evidenced by the fact that the Holy Ghost came upon the disciples of John after they were rebaptized by the apostle Paul into Christ’s baptism.

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. (Acts 19:1-6)

What is the function of the Baptism of John? Just as John the Baptist was ordained to be the herald, or messenger that announced the coming of Israel, the baptism he administered was also legitimate and designed for the same purpose as his ministry — that is, to prepare a people for the institution that would replace Israel as the house of witness. The baptism of John was necessary in that a transitional period is required for the New Testament church to be established. For all things to be done decently and in order, there had to be a people prepared to receive Him who is to come that would establish the new house of witness by His own blood. Now, as has been shown previously, it was essential that those who would be in covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ, know and understand the mind of Christ. To begin to do that, those individuals selected by the Lord would have to have a certain identifiable prerequisite before they could be selected. In looking at the sequence of events, we find that John the Baptist is sent prior to the Lord Jesus Christ beginning His ministry, and John was sent with the specific task of preparing a people to meet the Lord. He accomplishes this task in two ways that are given him from heaven. First, he preaches that all are to repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand and they must repent or be destroyed. Now, there is no reason to assume, or conclude that the message John preaches is any different than the gospel message that has been preached throughout the ages. However, there is one thing added to the message for the people of Israel — that “there is one coming that is greater than I, the latchet of whose shoe I am unworthy to loose.” This message added to the gospel gives warning that there is going to be a change, and that the ministry of John the Baptist is part of that process of change. Second, he baptises everyone who confesses and professes repentance for sin and desire a change in their life. In short, all those who are baptized profess salvation, and a belief in Christ to come. This is the qualification that the Lord Jesus is looking for when He selects the men that will become the first New Testament church. Now, there is no question from the Scripture that the baptism of John for repentance is indeed valid and recognized of God. The questions that remain are centered upon the time frame of the validity of that baptism. No doubt, the baptism of John was valid when he began doing it. And there is no doubt that the baptism of John was valid when the Lord Jesus Christ was accomplishing His earthly ministry. However, without doubt, when the apostle Paul encounters 12 men at Ephesus and they profess the baptism of John, he had a problem with their baptism, and instructs them in the baptism of Christ and they are rebaptized. Now, there are those who will argue that these men were either not baptized, but knew of John’s baptism, or the apostle Paul did not actually baptize them. However, neither case holds up to the plain language of the passage. The passage in question admits no other interpretation than to state plainly that these men were baptized under the authority of John’s baptism, and that the apostle Paul rebaptized them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, which is the baptism of Christ. So then, sometime between John the Baptist’s imprisonment and execution, and the apostle Paul’s encounter with the 12 men at Ephesus, the baptism of John became invalid as an authority under which one could be baptized. Otherwise, we could today still baptize individuals under the authority of John’s baptism and the Lord would accept it as right and proper. Quite obviously fundamental, independent Baptists would howl in protest if that were done. Moreover, it is quite obvious that the baptism of John is not valid and accepted by the Lord any longer. Thus we need to determine the point at which the baptism of John became invalid, and what was done concerning those individuals who were baptized during John’s ministry. To begin, it is easier to determine at what point the baptism of John became invalid as a practice the Lord accepted. Since the New Testament did not actually begin until the point the Lord Jesus died on the cross, it is reasonable, logical and in keeping with the administration of covenants that the baptism of John ceased to be accepted of the Lord when one of two situations occurred. A. When Christ died on the cross. B. When the Lord Jesus Christ gave the commission to the church. In the first case, we can make arguments for this based upon the fact that we are now in the New Testament dispensation of witness. However, an argument can also be made that the church is not commissioned and therefore not fully functioning. Thus, to end the baptism of John at this point would leave a gap of an indeterminate number of days in which no baptism is accepted of the Lord. However, in no case would the number of days be less than 3, or more than 43 as the Lord Jesus Christ would not be able to commission the Church until His resurrection, and He did not commission the church after He ascended. Plainly, this cannot be as one of the ordinances of the New Testament church (and thus the New Testament period) is baptism by immersion, and no one would have authority to perform any baptism for that period of time. This leaves us with one option to look at as viable. In understanding this conclusion that we have arrived at, we must understand that before the commission was given, though the church was in existence, it had as yet no direction. However, that all changed when the Lord Jesus Christ gave the commission to the church. Note that prior to this point there is given no commandment to the church to fulfill concerning their direction, purpose and function. The great commission fulfills all these necessary things.

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 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 28:16-20)

If we notice, there are four elements in the above commandment that are imperative to fulfilling the commission. They are:

  1. Go
  2. Teach
  3. Baptize
  4. Teach

Prior to this, there existed no instruction as to what this new institution of witness was to do. Now, it is express. They are to do all the following: Go into all the world. They are to go into every nation of the world and do the following: A. Teach everyone that will hear. B. Baptize everyone that responds properly in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. C. Teach all those who are baptized to observe, or do all those things that the Lord Jesus Christ commanded the apostle to do. Now, we should also note that in the midst of these commandments, there is the express ordinance to baptize. Plainly, this can only mean that all previous baptisms are swept away, or replaced with this particular baptism. This, of necessity means that there now exists only one authority to baptize. Otherwise, there will be a confusion of whose baptism is proper and of good authority, and whose is not. Since the Scripture plainly tells us that there is only one baptism in the context of the New Testament church, it must only mean that John’s baptism is no longer effectual for witness and testimony. In support of this, the apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus is express:

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (Ephesians 4:1-7)

2. What was the function of John the Baptist? — He was a herald, a messenger of the King to come. The Lord established a pattern in the Old Testament which the world copied in sending forth runners, or messengers (heralds) to prepare for the coming of a king. This was done by the Lord Jesus when He set His face to go to Jerusalem.

And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51-53)

As the following verses show plainly, the leadership of Israel should have known that the Lord was near to come and should have perceived from the working of the Lord Jesus Christ that He was indeed the Christ and that John the Baptist testified of Him. Instead, the leadership of Israel received neither John the Baptist, nor the Lord Jesus Christ.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 40:3-5)

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. (Mark 1:1-4)

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (Malachi 4:5-6)

And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 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. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. (Matthew 17:10-13)

3. Why then did the Lord Jesus Christ need to be baptized? Baptism serves several purposes, and depending upon the dispensation in which it was administered, it has different purposes. Generally, baptism demonstrates (or represents) a change from one state of the heart to another. However, unlike us, the baptism that John administered to Christ had nothing to do with the state of Christ’s heart as He had no sin, either in His flesh or soul that He needed to repent of, or had repented of. Rather, the baptism that John administered to Christ had everything to do with a demarcation (the beginning) of His ministry and with the founding of the New Testament church. It was also a picture of His own death, burial, and resurrection to come.

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:13-17)

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (I Peter 2:21-24)

The baptism of Christ at this point fulfills all righteousness in that it is not proper for the founder, head and one party to the covenant to require those in covenant with Him to subject themselves to an ordinance that He Himself was not subject to. Since baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament church, it stands to reason that Christ Himself was baptized at the beginning of His ministry.

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:14-17)

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. (Luke 4:1-14)

In the above passage from Luke, it is easy to discern that this is the beginning of the Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry. Without being baptized He could not have begun His ministry and would have displeased the Father. Even so, for any child of God to have any right and proper ministry that the Lord approves of, they must be baptized by proper authority in a New Testament church.

— End —

An Answer to the “Free-Thinker’s” Non-tract – Part II

Copyright 2007 All scripture is Authorized King James Version, 1769 edition. This article may be copied and used without permission of the author, provided it is copied and used in its entirety. Underlining is used in Scripture passages for emphasis.

a continuance . . .

Since the greatest part of this entire “non-tract” and its validity rests upon the presumption that there exists no spiritual world, and that the “contradictions” found in the Bible are valid if and only if there is no spiritual world, this portion is devoted to looking at the existence of the spiritual world and the fact that all of the Bible is predicated upon the existence of the spiritual world.

In fact, the Bible declares that the spiritual preexisted and predominates the physical world. The Bible’s proof for this is found in two short succinct verses of Scripture.

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Now, there is far more in the Scripture than this that attests to the fact that the spiritual world pre-existed the physical, and is greater than the physical. However, the above two verses are clear and plain enough to make the point without belaboring it. Thus, for one to say the Scripture has contradictions without studying and attempting to understand the spiritual world, is to judge it without basis. In the previous section it is plainly shown that the atheist cannot authoritatively state that the spiritual world does not exist. To then cast off the Bible and declare it full of contradictions is to prove oneself a very foolish individual.

To this the Scripture speaks plainly, for the Scripture speaks of those individuals who have leaned on their own understanding, and have concluded that they have sufficient knowledge to determine everything about their destiny and all the ramifications and consequences for their thoughts and actions. In fact, not once, but twice this mindset is spoken of. In fact, it is spoken of so close together that we could conclude that this concept is a trap and snare in which man is easily caught.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverb 14:12)

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverb 16:25)

Since none of the atheists can conclusively declare that there exists no spiritual world (and thus no God). It would behoove them to give consideration to texts that speak authoritatively on the spiritual world. ((Not every text that claims to be about the spiritual world is accurate. This is due to the fact that the devil exists and is a real person, though not physical. The power of the Devil is to influence individuals in their mind to put forth information that will mislead and deceive men as to the true nature of the spiritual world. Only the Scripture is protected by the LORD God from this meddling as it is forever settled in heaven. What we have here on earth are copies. Though the Devil and men may alter some of the copies, they cannot alter or destroy all the true copies of the word of God. For the English-speaking people, the Scripture is the King James Version.)) If the atheist does not do this, we must conclude that the atheist is speaking only from the benefit of his or her own experience. In fact, if any of us depend only upon our own perception and experience, we will find ourselves extremely limited in what we can know and perceive. Moreover, to be incorrect about the spiritual world will have disastrous consequences for the individual for all of eternity. To deny that it exists insures that the one will not be prepared for the experience they will surely have when they pass from this world into eternity.

Indeed, it is one thing to be wrong about a question on a math test. After all, there are many questions on the test, and it is only a test. The worst that can happen is that we have to retake the course, or reapply for admission, or something of that sort. It is another thing to be wrong about black ice being on the highway instead of just rainwater. After all, we could die in the accident, or kill someone else. At a minimum, we are going to have a nasty scare. What if we are wrong about a firearm being loaded? The implications and possible consequences are dangerous and horrible to consider, both to us and those around us.

But let us consider the implications and consequences if we are wrong about the spiritual world. Does it matter to us what happens when we die if we do not have a soul at all, or do not have one that does not continue on in eternity? Certainly, it would not matter. The Scripture does show that there are people that believe that way, but that this view is also foolish.

If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. (I Corinthians 15:32)

In the above verse, the apostle Paul is addressing the church at Corinth about the fact that there existed in that church some who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. They believed that once they died, that was all there was to it: no resurrection, no judgment. This was despite the fact that the Old Testament speaks plainly of the resurrection of the dead and subsequent judgment.

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:1-3)

Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. (Job 19:23-27)

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. (Acts 2:22-31)

Thus, the apostle Paul is declaring to them by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that if there is no subsequent resurrection and judgement, but we simply die and are not conscious for the rest of eternity or that we wink out of existence, then what profit was Paul’s perseverance in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. After all, he suffered considerable physical persecution for preaching the gospel. If there is no resurrection, then there is certainly no point in suffering persecution for the cause of Christ.

Moreover, Paul earlier made the point: What is the purpose of having believed the gospel if there is no resurrection? After all, if there is no resurrection, then there is no eternal life and no salvation and they were yet in their sins and condemned.

But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (I Corinthians 15:13-19)

And indeed, I would have to agree, if there is no resurrection, no eternal life, no spiritual world of any sort, then the preaching of, and obedience to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, is pointless and worth nothing more than to make life miserable as there would be no hope, no expectation of things to come. All would be in vain.

However, the apostle Paul declared to the Corinthians at the beginning of the chapter that the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (and thus the resurrection of all) was an established fact. Moreover, that there were a multitude of witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ after His resurrection.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. (I Corinthians 15:3-6)

So it is that the historical evidence of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is and was attested to by those who knew the Lord Jesus was crucified and died on the cross at Golgotha. ((It should be remembered that those who initially saw the Lord Jesus Christ after His resurrection did not believe that it had happened, even though He plainly instructed them that it would occur. They could not believe it as they were also stuck in the physical and not understanding the spiritual at all. (Ref. Luke, chapter 24.)) They saw the Lord Jesus Christ after His resurrection and thus would confirm the validity of what Paul taught. In addition, this confirmation attests to the fact that there is also a spiritual world.

Since the Scriptures are express and consistent about the existence of the spiritual world, and about the resurrection and eternal judgment, it behooves one to pay attention to the admonition the Lord Jesus Christ gave those who followed Him. In the following passage, the Lord Jesus Christ points out the foolishness of not preparing for the day of one’s death. In this parable He tells of the rich man who took no thought of the life to come. This rich man was focused entirely upon life in this world, with no thought of the spiritual world and the consequences of his actions in this life affecting his destiny in eternity. ((At this point I must ask: What is the difference between the rich man of this parable, and the atheist and freethinker of today? Is there really any difference at all?))

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:16-21)

So then, the Scripture points out that a disregard for and unbelief in the spiritual world was not unusual during the time of the Lord Jesus, or of Paul the apostle. At that time there existed a certain sect of the Jews that denied the reality of the spiritual world. Unfortunately, they were one of the predominate sects of the time. When the apostle Paul was arrested at Jerusalem, it was the ruling class of the Jews that wanted Paul dead for the preaching of the gospel. Thus, to fulfill their legality, they attempted to prove Paul guilty under their religious law.

And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God’s high priest?
Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
(Acts 23:1-8)

Therefore, as the last statement shows, a denial of the spiritual world even among the people that had a covenant with God, is nothing new. Now, I know this raises questions as to how this can be. If God dealt directly with the Jews, how could some of them deny what should have been (to them at least) utterly plain; that the spiritual does indeed exist? Moreover, if this is the case, then how can I possibly believe there is a spiritual world, and life after my body ceases to function? Also, if it were true, would not God simply make them believe, if He were dealing with them?

The answer to those questions is this: The choice to believe or disbelieve is an individual choice that the LORD God will not make for you or anyone else. Whether it is the existence of a spiritual world, an acceptance of the fact that there is one God, and a belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, or any of the things in the Scripture; all these things are choices the individual has to make. No one can or will make these choices for you. Moreover, since we are made with the knowledge that there is a God, and there is a right and wrong, it is more an issue of believing what we already know to be true.

Now, we could say that if we already know it in our hearts, then we should automatically believe it. However, this is not so. As a technician, I have seen many people look right at a malfunction in a piece of equipment and flatly deny that there is anything wrong, even though they have been plainly taught that what they are looking at is improper operation of the equipment. Why? Because to acknowledge the malfunction would place a burden on them that they did not want. They would have to fix the problem. How many times have we seen or heard of people denying what was plainly evident to everyone around them? After all, how can someone possibly miss the fact that a train is coming when the whistle sounds, the train is quite large, and very loud? Yet, every year a number of automobiles are struck by trains at railroad crossings. What happened? Did the train pursue them down the road? Or, is it more likely that they did not want to acknowledge what was plainly true — that there is a train coming, and it is far too close to attempt crossing the tracks? (The old ‘I can beat the train syndrome.’)

Even so it was with the Jewish people. Though as a whole they had a covenant with the LORD, it was still the individual Jew’s choice to believe and be obedient. When Israel was brought out of Egypt, the LORD God gave the Jewish nation the choice to enter into the covenant, and told them expressly what would happen if they did not fulfill their end of the agreement. And yet for all that, and the things that the Children of Israel had seen, the book of Judges is very express about what happened when the generation that had seen the miracles God had performed for Israel, passed away.

And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land. And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. (Judges 2:6-12)

Oh, how short are our memories. Every generation thinks that it is the generation, and that they know more than their fathers. Of course, that is true even today. Many people have forgotten the sufferings of the Great Depression, of World War I and World War II. Even Korea and Vietnam fade in the memory. I once saw a survey of High School students that demonstrated that the majority of them could not even recount in what half-century the American Civil War occurred, let alone the details of the conflict.

Now, this being the case, is it such a surprise that people would forget the LORD God and all He has done? That, unless they were slammed in the face with spiritual realities every day, they would get all wrapped up in their lives and forget all about the fact that every one of us will one day die. It certainly did not enter into the mind of the rich man that Jesus spoke of above. Moreover, what about those who do not wish to be accountable to anyone at all? Certainly they will not wish to acknowledge that they are accountable to the LORD God that they cannot see, and they certainly will work to actively deny any judgment to come in which they will have to answer for their choices and behavior.

So it is that we have the choice to pay attention to the reality of the spiritual world, or we can deny it exists — until we die. However, once we die, the Scripture points out that it will be forever too late to change our destiny.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:27-28)

So then, of what profit is it to deny even the possibility of a spiritual world? How does it help one in the slightest to dismiss out of hand the existence of the spiritual world, and thus the existence of God? Now, I know that many, if not most of the atheists and Freethinkers claim that they have tried religion and found it to be wanting. In that regard, I would agree whole-heartedly; religion, either for the sake of religion, or to salve one’s conscience is not in the least worthwhile and will not bring anyone any closer to understanding anything about the LORD God. However, it is also not at all profitable to utterly dismiss the Scripture and say that it is of no value either.

So then, how are we to determine anything about the existence of a realm that cannot be seen, heard, touched, tasted, or smelled? How then can we be certain of something that even the Jews, God’s chosen people, were not entirely certain of, to the point of denying anything spiritual at all? Moreover, even those Jews that believed in the spiritual world (the Pharisees), apparently were dead wrong about what God was requiring of them. After all, the Lord Jesus Christ made both of the following statements concerning the Pharisees:

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.(Matthew 23:25-28)

To be continued . . .

Just How Important is a Single Letter?

There are those who will tell you that the changes in the wording of the Bible text in the new versions does not change the meaning, and that we should not be concerned about how the words are changed.  However, this is to ignore the fact that even if we change a word to a different word that has “the same meaning” it nonetheless changes the contextual relationship of the words in the sentence.  In fact, any deviation at all from the words of the author will, of necessity, change the meaning to some degree.  It is not difficult to see how this would be, given the following example of what was a simple typing error when writing a letter. What happened was that I mistyped the word “not” and ended up typing the word “now” quite by accident. However, there is only one letter difference between the two words, but it changed everything about the sentence:

With this, we determined that it was now feasible to change certain doctrines concerning the church and the Scripture that we had found lacking.

So I just stated we CAN make the change, . . . or did I?

With this, we determined that it was not feasible to change certain doctrines concerning the church and the Scripture that we had found lacking.

No, what I intended to say was that we CANNOT make the changes. By changing only one letter, (the letter “w” to the letter “t”) there is a change in the meaning of the sentence to two diametrically opposing ideas and actions. Next time someone claims that a “few, minor changes” in the words don’t make any real difference in the meaning, don’t believe them . . . THEY’RE LYING!

The Deity of Christ

Testing the Bible Versions

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The Deity of Christ: Testing the Bible Versions by Paul W. Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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I had a gentleman ask me one morning how it was that I knew the King James Version was the word of God, and the New International Version, New American Standard Bible (Version), and other modern English versions were not. I replied that there were tests that could be done using the translation itself, but was not able due to time constraints, to demonstrate my point. The following is a very brief discussion of one of the points presented.

There are only two ‘modern’ versions used in this comparison. Both of these versions are considered to be the most conservative and accurate of the new versions utilizing a specific underlying text and method of translation that have been produced in the last 50 years. The New King James Version which is also considered to be conservative, is not used here as it has a different underlying source text and must be evaluated separately.

Both the New International Version (NIV) and the New American Standard Version (Bible) (NASV(B)) have many adherents among those who claim to be fundamental. Thus, the particular doctrine selected for evaluation purposes should be very familiar and critical to those who state they are fundamental.

NOTE: Differences in the text are emphasized by the use of underlining. Quotes from the different bible versions are a different font from the body text. Additional emphasis utilizes italics when the quote is placed in the body text. Additional comments are placed in footnotes.

Consistency of the Scripture

One of the hallmarks of canon (true scripture) is consistency. Does the text treat the subject under discussion the same as in the rest of scripture? In other words, in a same subject, same context writing, are the subject’s characteristics and attributes consistent with other scripture addressing that same subject? For example: Who is Christ? More specifically: Is the Lord Jesus Christ — God?

There are some tests we can apply that would determine that Jesus Christ is indeed God. First, does he claim to be God? Second, does He have the attributes of God? Specifically, is He infinite in being? Is He from everlasting past? Is He self-existent, or was He created? (God is self-existent, creatures are created) These are just a few of the questions that can be asked in determining whether the Bible one is using speaks of God and Christ correctly.

In this brief discussion and comparison only a couple of the above questions will be asked and answered. This is in light of the consistency of scripture. Which Bible is consistent in how it presents the Lord Jesus Christ and some of the hallmarks of deity?

The Evidence

In Matthew 2:5-6 one of the Old Testament prophets is referenced and quoted concerning the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 2:5-6
King James Version

5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

New International Version
5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “`But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.”

New American Standard Bible
5 They said to him, ” In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:

This is a reference to Micah 5:2 in the Old Testament.

Micah 5:2
King James Version

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

New International Version
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

New American Standard Bible
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”

Please note that there is a distinct difference between “goings forth” and “origins”, and “everlasting” and “ancient times.” One cannot be self-existent and eternally present and have an origin. It is a logical impossibility. However, one can go forth from “of old” and do so from everlasting past. If the Lord Jesus Christ is God, (and thus able to pay for our sins) he would have to be eternally present from everlasting past to everlasting future.

Even though at this point the NASB has not invalidated the eternal existence of the Lord Jesus Christ, it has used the questionable statement “days of eternity,” which, as we will see later, will throw question upon the nature of God and His creation. The NASB will also weaken this statement in Micah 5:2 by not reinforcing it in the more familiar passage of Revelation 1.

To then determine which bible is consistent in its treatment of the deity of Christ we need to find a clear statement in scripture concerning the deity of Christ. In the Gospel of St. John this is done several times, as the focus of John is the deity of Christ.

John 8:58
King James Version

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

New International Version
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born ((There is a distinct difference between “was” and “was born.” The difference is in time. One exists prior to birth. One cannot exist prior to conception (save Christ), but one easily exists several months in the womb. Since the LORD knows everyone and the moment of their existence, the more accurate and precise statement is to say “was” with reference to Abraham’s existence.)) , I am!”

New American Standard Bible
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born ((Ibid)) , I am.”

This is a direct reference to what the LORD God told Moses at the burning bush in Exodus. If one reads the next verse in John 8, one finds that the Jews took up stones to stone Jesus for the blasphemy of making Himself God. The Jews clearly knew the reference Jesus made. So then, let’s look at Exodus.

Exodus 3:14
King James Version

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

New International Version
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.'”

New American Standard Bible
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

So it is plain by both versions that Jesus is God. Except, in the NIV and NASB the first statement of God is very weak. In fact, anyone could make the statement “I AM WHO I AM.” This is entirely true of everyone, including Satan. After all, are you someone else? However, none save God can state “I AM THAT I AM” which speaks of self-existence.

Does another place in the scripture state the eternally present, self-existence of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God? In Revelation, the Lord states clearly this truth. It is interesting how both of the “modern” versions handle the passage stating the infinity of God in contrast to the King James Version.

Revelation 1:8, 10-13
King James Version

8 I am Alpha and Omega, ((Please note the difference here between the ‘modern’ versions and the KJV: In the KJV the statement is “I am Alpha and Omega”, in the ‘modern’ versions the statement reads “I am the Alpha and the Omega”. The difference here is subtle and dangerous as a certain idea is implied by the insertion of the word “the”. One can be Alpha and Omega, which would state that there is only one beginning and only one ending and that person is it. However, if the word “the” is used, then there is an implied beginning of beginnings and an implied ending of endings. In other words, it leaves open the possibility of either precedent creations and antecedent endings, or that there will be subsequent creations and subsequent endings of the type which we experience now. In either case, it lends credence to both the “old earth” creationist, and to the “New Age” adherent in their argument for creation cycles. However, the rest of the true Scripture does not and cannot support this. There will be only one earth like this one, and when it is gone, what will replace it cannot be corrupted at all. (Ref. Isaiah 65:17, II Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1))) the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13 midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

New International Version
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,
11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13 and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.

New American Standard Bible
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,
11 saying,
“Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;
13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.

Something should now be plain. It appears that the NIV and NASB are both very inconsistent in their treatment of the deity of Christ. Did you note what phrases are missing in the NIV and NASB in the Revelation passage? All those things that speak plainly of the self-existent, eternally present, everlasting God that Christ is, are missing. Notice also that the title “the Son of man” is changed to “a son of man”. It almost sounds as if John the Apostle did not know who he was looking at.

There is a final passage to be examined, which ought to be very clear as to who the Lord Jesus Christ is. After all, this passage teaches that believers ought to have a certain mind, and in so doing, plainly instructs that Christ is God.

Philippians 2:5-7
King James Version

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

New International Version
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

New American Standard Bible
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men

Before looking at the obvious difference in how the deity of Christ is treated, it should to be noticed that there are differences between the terms “mind” and “attitude.” Even though some may claim that the two are the same, they are not. Where “attitude” is defined as “a manner of acting, feeling, or thinking that shows one’s disposition, opinion, etc.”, or “the posture or position of a person showing or meant to show a mental state, emotion, or mood.” ((Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary )); a “mind” as it is meant here is defined as “way, state, or direction of thinking and feeling;” which includes the definition “what one intends, wishes, or wills; purpose or desire;”

As can be easily seen in the above definitions, having an “attitude” about something is necessarily less deep than having a “mind” of something. Attitudes can be affected, meaning that they can be a put on, or a facade, so to speak. When one has a certain mind, that is how they think, and subsequently, who they become in their way of thinking.

All that being said, the real issue here is the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and how that is presented in the modern versions. In the above cited passage from Philippians 2, we find in verse 6 in the King James Version the following “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:” which is to state that Christ took nothing away from God by being God. This then teaches the equality of the Trinity where the three persons of the Godhead are one in will, intent and purpose, and that all are omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Thus the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, took nothing away from the Father, or the Holy Ghost by being God.

However, in the NIV and NASB the statements are made “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,” and “who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,”. Whether the term “very nature of God” is used, or “in the form of God”, both deny that Christ is, or was equal to God by stating “did not consider/regard equality with God something/a thing to be grasped,”. In the context used here, the word “grasped” means “attained” or “reached” which is plainly stating that Christ was not, and did not consider himself equal with God. In other words, Christ was not an equal member of the Trinity.

This in itself, is a very serious matter. There are religious systems (such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses) that hold to Christ being “a god” but not equal to God the Father. The following two passages from the Jehovah’s Witness bible, the New World Translation (NWT) demonstrate this:

New World Translation
John 1:1
In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.

Philippians 2:6
who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God.

This now sheds further light on the Micah 5:2 passage in the NASB where it states that Christ went forth “From the days of eternity.” It can be easily understood that “From the days of eternity.” is not equal in time to “from everlasting.” If they had stated simply “from eternity” then there would be no question of equality in time to “from everlasting.” The addition of the words “the days of” seriously weakens the doctrine of Christ being “the beginning.” One can exist from the “days of eternity” yet not be there at the beginning. This indicates a bias towards the Gnostic belief that Christ is a created god.


For Scripture to be believed and taken seriously, it cannot contradict. The true scripture records faithfully the words of the God that authored it. It indeed was God that told Paul to write in his letter to Titus the following: “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2) As He also did in Hebrews wherein it is stated “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie,” (Hebrews 6:18) By this we should be assured that the word of God can be depended upon absolutely and totally; so that we have no question as to Who it is that has made the promise, and His ability to keep that promise. This is how Peter, in his second general epistle could make the following statement:

2 Peter 1:16-21
16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

It can only be a “more sure word” if you have the right Bible.


English Translations of the Bible by Underlying Text Type

Last Updated: 20 April, 2006

Note: There are so many different Bibles out today that it is difficult to list them all. As I obtain more information, I will update the list and categories. Please be patient. If a more extensive list is required immediately, there are other web sites that deal with this issue exclusively.

I would advise anyone to be very careful about using material provided by others. Like everything else out there involving the word of God, people don’t seem to mind lying about it. Somehow they seem to think they will get away with it. The only solution for this is to do your own research and test and try the information. If someone lies about one thing, be assured they will lie about something else. When they lie about the Scripture, avoid them at all costs. Please remember, the Scripture is express: Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (I Thessalonians 5:21)

In Christ,

Paul W. Davis




Masoretic Hebrew Old Testament/Greek Received Text New Testament

This text is the text type of the churches that were never under the Roman Catholic Church. It is notable that the French Olivetian, Luther’s German translation, the Waldensian Bibles, and the old Latin Vulgate (pre-Jerome) were all of this text type.

  • 1526 Tyndale’s New Testament
  • 1535 Coverdale Bible
  • 1537 The Matthew Bible
  • 1539 The Great Bible
  • 1560 Geneva Bible
  • 1568-69 Bishops’ Bible
  • 1611 King James Version
  • 1833 Daniel Webster Bible

Jerome’s Latin Vulgate (Latin Old Testament and New Testament)

This is the text that Jerome developed for the early Catholic Church. This text stands in contrast to the Alexanderian texts which the early Catholic Church rejected. This text, although corrupt, is more accurate than the Alexandrian texts.

  • 1380-84 First Wyclif Bible
  • 1390’s Second Wyclif Bible
  • 1582-1610 Douay-Rheims, or Rheims-Douay Version

Hebrew Old Testament/Greek Alexandrian Text New Testament

This text type began at the Catechical School at Alexandria, Egypt. This school is the school of Philo and Origen that wedded Biblical principles and Platonic philosophy.

  • 1855 English Standard Bible
  • 1901 American Standard Bible
  • 1946(NT) -1953(OT) Revised Standard Bible
  • 1973(NT) -1978(OT) New International Version
  • 1958 New Testament in Modern English (J.B. Phillips)
  • 1967(NT) -1971(OT) The Living Bible
  • 1967(NT) -1971(OT) New American Standard Bible
  • 1976 Good News Bible
  • New American Bible
  • 1966 Today’s English Version (Good News for Modern Man)
  • The Message
  • 1961 New English Version
  • 1990 New Revised Standard Version

Compilation Hebrew Old Testament (Majority Text)/Compilation Greek New Testament (Majority Text)

  • 1979(NT) -1982(OT) New King James Version