Science Finally Catches Up to the Scripture

In the area of life in the womb…anyway.

And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac: And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. (Genesis 25:19-23)

SIBLING RIVALRY: Video shows twins fighting in the womb




Of course, when the LORD revealed to Moses about Rebekah’s quandary concerning what was happening inside her, everyone would have said it was impossible to know. In fact, until recently everyone would have said it was impossible to know — and Rebekah’s situation took place about 3500 years ago.

It just makes me smile.




Leaving the Amish

If you at all viewed the BBC documentary “Trouble in Amish Paradise” then you know that the “simple, pastoral lifestyle” of the Amish masks an egregious doctrine and the active suppression of the truth of the Scripture to maintain the doctrine the Amish hold. The BBC also produced a follow-up documentary that traces the journey of the families who were cast out of the Amish community and church for daring to read the Bible in English and witness to those around them of the grace that is in Christ.

The follow-up documentary also highlights the dangers of learning that you are involved in a system that teaches and promotes a lie, and upon leaving that system, having no one to actually teach you the whole counsel of God and explain the Scripture to you. It is frequently the case that individuals who leave such systems, end up being snared by other belief systems that are also wrong, just in a different way. Though there is a church in that community which ministers to those leaving the Amish doctrine, it also has errors which lead astray those involved in it.

If the Devil can’t get you one way, he will surely have another way to prevent you from having the truth.


There is something of note here: Believing in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior is not, as the commentator states that born-again Christian’s teach, a way to avoid going to Hell nor should any true child of God teach that. ((It is unfortunate that most all “evangelical” Christians believe and teach this as it is egregious error.)) Rather, if that is the reason why you have believed in Christ for your “salvation,” then I will submit to you that you have believed out of an improper motivation. Salvation IS NOT “fire insurance.” Neither should it be viewed as such.

If you have not come to know the Lord Jesus Christ personally to the point that you have learned of Him enough to TOTALLY trust Him with your life, then you have not reached salvation. Contrary to popular belief, salvation is not “letting Christ into your heart.” Rather, it is placing your life, your destiny into Christ’s hands without reservation. One does not do this out of a base desire to avoid suffering in Hell, but does so because they have come to know the LORD and have found that He is “altogether lovely” as the Scripture states. Hence, belief and trust in Christ for salvation comes from a overwhelming desire to spend the rest of your existence with Him. To reach this point, repentance (and it must be the repentance the LORD God grants) is utterly necessary.


There is simply no way to address every error presented here. However, things like tearing a house down because the Old Testament law states that is what must be done for a “fretting leprosy” indicates a lack of understanding about the reason for the Old Testament law given to ancient Israel. This problem is not limited to Charity Church or any particular denomination, but is found throughout every group that claims to be “Bible-believing.” I have had Independent Baptist brethren try to tell me the Ten Commandments are still in effect as commandments we, as Christians, must abide by today, when the reality is that the Ten Commandments were the covenant the LORD God made with ancient Israel. ((The following are the passages from the Old Testament that state plainly that the Ten Commandments are the Covenant the Lord had with Israel. This does not change the fact that the Ten Commandments are a reflection of the nature and character of God, and thus are always in effect. Nonetheless, they are not part of anyone’s covenant today, but are fully encompassed by the first two commandments of the law.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink
water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. (Exodus 34:27-28)

And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten  commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. (Deuteronomy 4:13)

Also in Horeb ye provoked the LORD to wrath, so that the LORD was angry with you to have destroyed you. When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water: And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant. And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image. Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they. So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands. (Deuteronomy 9:8-15) ))

 




New Wine For New Bottles

This message addresses the differences between Israel and the New Testament Church, and why Israel was not suitable for use as this new and different type of house of witness.

I pray it is profitable for you.




For those who cannot use the embedded player, wish to use a different player, or want to save the file, the following link is provided:

New Wine For New Bottles

In Christ,

Paul W. Davis




Understanding

This lesson is the precursor to the lessons on speaking in tongues. It (hopefully) lays the groundwork for understanding that the practice of speaking in tongues does not, and cannot impart a better understanding of the Person, will and work of the LORD God. Plainly, by the Scripture, the LORD God would much rather have His people to possess knowledge and understanding than silver, gold, or any other physical thing.

I pray it is profitable for you.



For those who cannot use the embedded player, wish to use a different player, or want to save the file, the following link is provided:

Understanding


In Christ,

Paul W. Davis




A Father’s Responsibility

This message addresses the issue of the LORD’S judgment how it is not contradictory for the LORD to demand that we do not put someone to death for the sins of another. Yet, in His judgment He takes entire families, cities and nations. The requirement for us is to understand why.

I pray it is profitable for you.



For those who cannot use the embedded player, wish to use a different player, or want to save the file, the following link is provided:

A Father’s Responsibility


In Christ,

Paul W. Davis




The Nature of Christ in the Believer

The following is the June 21st message from the Morning Service. It addresses the nature of Christ in the believer and how we often ignore what that really means.



 

For those who cannot use the embedded player, want to use a different player, or simply download the file, please use the link below.

The Nature of Christ in the Believer

In Christ,

Paul W. Davis




Keeping the Feasts?

One of the things I learned early on as a technician was the axiom that anyone can mess anything up, and usually in very short order. But it takes a knowledgeable, skilled individual considerable time to make it right again.

It is no different with doctrinal errors. Anyone can come up with a doctrine that is in error. However, explaining why the doctrine they came up with and promote is erroneous, takes time and considerable effort. This is the essence of apologetics, and what makes apologetics such a difficult endeavor. However, there is a wonderful thing about apologetics, in that it provides an excellent springboard for teaching and instructing in the Scripture, particularly concerning the doctrine in question and the why of it.

So it is with yet another error promoted by WorldNetDaily and El Shaddai Ministries. According to Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries, we should observe the feasts that were given to Israel as part of the covenant called the Old Testament:

“The spring and fall feasts, Biltz says, were not intended only for the children of Israel. They are, the Bible says, “the feasts of the Lord” – and they have special meaning with respect to the life, death, resurrection and return of Jesus.

There’s still time to learn these important lessons before the fall feasts are past.” ((Christians: Find out why Yom Kippur is your holiday, too))

The problems with the whole thesis promoted by Mark Biltz are contained in a statement on page two of his notes that go along with the DVD:

The Jews were the first Pentecostals! They had been Pentecost for 1500 years before Pentecost. They called it the feast of Weeks! They still keep it today! ((Feast of Weeks notes))

What the above statement demonstrates is the strong tendency to view Scripture through the lens of Pentecostal doctrine, and make doctrinal determinations accordingly. This is not the correct way to view Scripture — at all. While I am a fundamental Baptist, the doctrine of Baptists do not rule when it comes to determining what Scripture states. In fact, that would be, and is, a sure road to error.

Am I then denying Baptist doctrine? Not at all. What I am doing is proving out what the Scripture states in accordance with Scripture:

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (I Thessalonians 5:21)

The problem that exists, and is part and parcel to this man’s error, is that he accepted Pentecostal doctrine without examining it and testing it by Scripture. To be sure, he is not alone, and has considerable company. However, that does not make it right. Rather, what it does do is make for a whole lot of folks with bad doctrine and a flawed way of looking at Scripture. What I found by proving all things is that Baptist doctrine is correct, and is dead on when it comes to the essential portions pertaining to the LORD God, salvation, the church, and the life to come. Certainly, there are a number of folks who call themselves Baptist, who hold variant doctrines, but each and every one must be properly tried by the Scripture — and proven out.

Certainly, this warrants a much more in-depth discussion, but it would digress from the intention and purpose of this article. Suffice to state that my doctrine is plainly published here for all to examine and test by the Scripture. I am a fundamental, unaffiliated Baptist by conviction, and not any other reason. Doctrine is supposed to submit to Scripture, and not the other way around.

Thus, when Mark Biltz makes the statement:

The Jews were the first Pentecostals! They had been Pentecost for 1500 years before Pentecost.” ((ibid))

This reveals an egregious bias toward Pentecostal doctrine and tradition and indicates plainly that he views Scripture through the template of that Pentecostal experience. There is also further evidence that Mark Biltz viewed the Scripture in the wrong way as he also purports to show:

The video series pinpoints the specific day on the Hebrew calendar for the return of Jesus. The only unknown, according to Biltz, is which year that return will occur – though he makes the case it is very near. ((Christians: Find out why Yom Kippur is your holiday, too))

Now, I have to ask how this can be as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself plainly stated, not once but twice that no one knows the day, the time, the season, or the year, and that He Himself did not know:

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. (Mark 13:28-33)

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. (Acts 1:6-7)

In executing the office of the Son, the Word refuses to know at what time the Father will command His return to take the Kingdom. This directly contradicts the claim of Mark Biltz and the marketeers at WorldNetDaily. This affirms that we ought not pay heed to anything else presented. In fact, the deception of this work is evident on page 9 of the Notes when Acts, chapter 1, verses 3 and 4 are referenced, and in the following paragraph, verses 9 is referenced, but verses 6 and 7 which I quoted above are skipped over and ignored because they specifically contradict the claim that only the year of Christ’s return is not known. The terms “times” and “seasons” mentioned in verse 7 refer to years and months, and do not refer to days and hours. In short, the Lord Jesus Christ is telling us that it is none of our business, and we can’t know it anyway, when He is to return. We are supposed to be busy about the work he has given us to do.

However, since the supposition of Mark Biltz is that Christians of this time ought to partake of the feasts, and many are snared by that idea, it is profitable to examine that issue to the extent of proving or disproving the assertion.

It is undisputed that all the feasts and laws were given to Israel to observe so long as they were in covenant with the LORD. What is disputed is whether those observances apply to any of us today. I noted in the 57 pages of notes provided as a teaser for the DVD, that certain passages of Scripture were never brought up. I do not find this unusual in that most everyone who promotes bad doctrine omits the passages of Scripture that expressly contradict their position (some do try to twist the Scripture to fit their doctrine). There were two specific passages omitted from the 57 pages of notes that expressly and directly apply to the old covenant the LORD had with Israel.

The first passage is from Matthew, chapter 23:

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. 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 23:34-39)

This is a chilling condemnation of Israel by the very one who was in covenant with them. We should note His words:

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.

Plainly, they are declared to be by the mouth of the LORD, enemies of the one with whom they had a covenant. Moreover, that the shed blood of all the prophets would be laid upon them as a people. But it is the ending statement that contain the declaration ending the Old Testament covenant:

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.

Every time before this during the ministry of the Lord Jesus, we find Him referring to the temple as “my house” or “my Father’s house.” Now, immediately after condemning the leadership of Israel, and immediately before the last Passover he was to hold with His chosen disciples, He breaks the covenant by stating:

Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

It is now their house, and they can do with it what they will. This hearkens us back to the prophet Zechariah and the words given him by the Holy Ghost:

And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD. And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD. (Zechariah 11:10-13)

So it is that the Old Testament covenant is ended. But what about the feasts, ceremonies, offerings and such like? What became of them?

In Hebrews we are given to understand much concerning the ‘whys and wherefores’ of salvation and the necessity of it being accomplished in the manner it was. In so doing, the matter of the Old Testament covenant is addressed as well. Beginning in chapter 9, the explanation of the Old Testament rituals and ordinances begins:

Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. (Hebrews 9:1-5)

This sets the context for all that follows, in which we are expressly told that these ordinances were nothing more than figures, shadows of things to come.

Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. (Hebrews 9:6–10)

We are also instructed that these ordinances, sacrifices and rituals did not please the LORD, and that Christ has come and done away with those ordinances, sacrifices and ceremonies and established a different ministry and witness:

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:1-10)

It is very plain at this point that all that was done in the old covenant with Israel was to show a picture of the work of Christ to come. That is was not effectual for salvation, but was only done to maintain a picture and object lesson concerning the Redeemer that would, in the fulness of time, be born of a virgin and fulfill the work set for Him.

Thus, when the Lord Jesus Christ’s work was accomplished, we find a signal event occurs:

Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; . . . (Matthew 27:50-51)

If we then examine this account in light of that which is explained in Hebrews, chapters 9 and 10, we should understand that all of the types, shadows, pictures and illustrations of the Old Testament covenant are taken away and replaced with a new covenant that pictures the finished work of Christ. Where before, the work was not yet accomplished on this earth, it was necessary to explain the work to be done; now that it is accomplished, we must show the end of that work and all it signifies. Hence, we have but two simple ordinances, water baptism by immersion, and the Lord’s Supper. The first signifies the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and can only be done by someone who is born again in Christ. The second commemorates Christ’s death, and can only be partaken of by those who are members of a local, New Testament church. The sweeping away of all other ordinances then pictures the translation that takes place in moving the individual from under the power and sway of the law, to being placed under grace and the believer establishing the law.

So what would it mean if one kept any one of, or all the feasts?

Since it was quite plain that all the ordinances of the Old Testament were to show the Messiah to come, picking them back up again and performing them would illustrate the same. Hence, it would be a not so subtle denial that the Messiah has come in the flesh, and His work is accomplished.

There is a term for this:

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (I John 4:2-3)

It does give rise to question the discernment and understanding of those who claim that we should keep any of the Old Testament ordinances, even just to experience them once.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)





Distorting the Word

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

. . .There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:18)

Of the more common things assumed by people concerning the Scriptures, there are a couple that really don’t sit well with me. It’s not that I get angry or anything, it’s just distressing to consider that people do not understand certain, very important items with regard to Scripture.

First, not all Bibles are the same. For as long as the word of God has been around, men have been perverting it. This is done mainly to justify themselves and their strange, ungodly doctrines and arcane religion. Most folks, even in solid fundamental churches, do not know that the King James Bible comes from the line of Scripture that never saw Roman Catholic influence, and is of the same source text as the Bibles used by the independent, autonomous churches that were persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church, the Muslims, and various other pagan religions ever since the first church at Jerusalem. Fundamentally, the underlying text is different, and in the case of the King James Bible, the method of translation is different as well. These things cannot help but bear strongly on the doctrine contained in the Bible one chooses to read.

Second, that the Scripture belongs to the LORD God and Him alone. It is His word. It is really puzzling to me that people will scream bloody murder over plagiarism and the unauthorized alteration of someone else’s work, but don’t seem to grasp the enormity of altering the word of God, and the condemnation that brings upon them. No, it is as if they believe there is no consequence to their action. It is interesting that the translators of the King James Bible held a very strong belief that they were not free to change anything in the Scripture. Unlike a lot of folks, they believed the Scripture to be sacred and not be touched without consequence. In short, they believed the truth of the following statement:

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: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 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. (II Peter 1:19-21)

It is the understanding that the Holy Ghost caused the men who penned the Scriptures to put the words on parchment, vellum, and whatever else they used as a medium for their writing, that caused the translators to hold the Scriptures as sacred. Moreover, that the words written were not really the words of the prophets who penned them, but are the words of Almighty God, given to the prophets to write. Thus, the words are not to be tampered with, as one king in Judah found out:

And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book. (Jeremiah 36:1-4)

When Jeremiah was done speaking everything the LORD had given him, Baruch took the roll and read it in the temple, in the hearing of all the people. In the events that followed, the roll was taken and read before the king. The king’s response was the same disrespect for the word of God that we see so much of today:

So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe’s chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king. Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him. And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words. (Jeremiah 36:21-24)

Though Jehoiakim, king of Judah thought that burning the roll would be the end of the matter, he found out that the LORD God does not take kindly to someone utterly disregarding, and then destroying His word. Not only would the words be written again, but judgement was pronounced upon Jehoiakim for his insolence.

Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned. And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast? Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. (Jeremiah 36:27-30)

Now, all the above is necessary to understand what a blessing it is that we, as English speakers have in possessing the word of God in the form of the King James Bible. English history is intertwined with the Bible and fundamental Christianity. This desire for the word of God is most visible during the time of Wycliff and Tyndale, but has existed since 63 AD when the gospel reached the British Isles. However, the pinnacle of the desire for the pure word of God culminated with King James the VI & I of Scotland and England, and the translation of the King James version of the Bible.

I call attention to all this because there is a third assumption made by the vast majority of individuals concerning the word of God. It seems that we implicitly assume that every language has a right Bible like we do. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sadly, most of the languages in the world do not have a Bible with the proper underlying Greek and Hebrew text, and are not properly translated either.

The reason for this lies in the way the Scripture has been handled in those languages from the time they first received the word of God. One of those languages is German. There is no right German Bible. Either the underlying text is wrong, or the translation suffers from the doctrinal/cultural bias of the translator. One of the reasons for this is found is a German religious poem tracing back to about 830 AD. The poem is supposed to be about Jesus, the Redeemer. But this Jesus is nowhere near the Lord Jesus Christ of the Scripture:

Der Heliand

Of the other religious poems, Der Heliand (Heiland – the Redeemer) is still mentioned. A showpiece of the Germanic Stave rhyme poetry of about 6000 long lines. The epic poem was written during the Carolingian times (around 830 A.D.) in the language of old Saxony. It is assumed that Kaiser Ludwig the Pious, the son of Karls des Großen, ordered a Saxon poet to poetically germanise the Gospel. The Redeemer is a gospel harmony, or a portrayal of the life of Jesus, which the poet put together from all four of the gospels.

In this epic Christ becomes, fully corresponding to the German feeling, a German king, his disciples, followers. The setting of the plot is not the Jewish Palestine, rather the German Saxony. The German traits of loyalty, honor, courage, masculinity, and heroism are brought forth strongly. Because the Germans were unfamiliar with loving your enemies, self sacrifice, humility, loving your neighbor, and the idea of peace, Christ is portrayed, not as a poor, humble man, but rather as a courageous, powerful king of the people, a man of the sword, who dies in the battle for his people and for God’s Kingdom. The shepherds in the field, don’t tend sheep, rather brave horses, Joseph is a loyal vassal, the holy three kings are noblemen, who come to swear loyalty to their feudal lord, the marriage in Cana is a German celebration, and in the Sermon on the Mount he promulgates his teaching to his followers. A few lines in modern translation should convey to us the spirit of this wonderful cultural document:

“Then was the quick sword-warrior Peter infuriated. His wrath boiled wildly, he could not speak, for it troubled him so deeply, that they wanted to seize the Lord. Wrathfully he stepped forward, the bold warrior, to stand up for his leader. Quickly he pulled the sword from his side and hit the nearest enemy with full force, so that Malchus was reddened with the sword’s cut, on the right side, his ear cut off, his cheek split. Blood shot out, seething from the wound. As the cheek of the nearest enemy was split, the people moved back out of fear of the sword’s bite.“ ((Deutsche Kulturgeschichte, 3rd Edition, 2002, Hans-Wilhelm Kelling, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-287027-3, pp 55-56. (Translated by SuAnne Droddy) ))

Ever wonder why the gospel and fundamental Christianity never seemed to get anywhere in Germany? Perhaps it also has much to do with Luther as well, since Luther often translated the words “reprove,” “rebuke,” and “teach” as “beat and thrash” in the Bible he translated, which is fully consistent the German cultural understanding of Christ expressed in Der Heliand. Now, to be certain, Luther had the correct underlying text for his translation work. But Luther’s doctrine was also skewed, and he yielded far to much to German culture, as it is expressed in the poem above. In Luther’s mind the wonderful passage in Titus, chapter 2 concerning grace, becomes something to be avoided. When we read it in English, we equate teaching with instruction, since the word “teach” does mean exactly that — to instruct.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; . . .(Titus 2:11-12)

But in the Luther Bible it becomes:

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, beating and thrashing us . . .(Titus 2:11-12)

Now, the underlying word in Greek could be translated as “beating and thrashing.” But that would be terribly inconsistent with what “grace” is, and how grace works. No, the problem is that Luther was very much influenced by the culture he lived in, and translated the Scripture accordingly. This is apparent from the fact that the particular meaning Luther chose for “teach” is not the primary meaning of the word. Instead, Luther chose a meaning that was in minority usage, and out of step with how the rest of Scripture portrays the working of grace. Teaching and instruction do not require chastening unless the person being taught won’t learn any other way. Moreover, there is specific underlying Greek word for “chastisement.” The underlying Greek word for “teaching” is given below to demonstrate the error Luther perpetuated in his translation of the Bible. Luther could have used any number of German words that mean specifically “teaching,” such as “lehren” or “unterrichten,” et al. However, Luther chose to use the word “züchtigen” which has the specific meaning “to beat or thrash,” thus not even broaching the idea of teaching, let alone any other method of teaching. Since the rest of Scripture does a very good job of defining the methods the LORD uses for teaching, Luther could have used any German word for teaching, and let the context derive the meaning. In the following definition, please note that the meaning which includes striking someone, is very much the minority usage of the word:

3811 paideuo {pahee-dyoo’-o} from 3816; TDNT – 5:596,753; v
AV – chasten 6, chastise 2, learn 2, teach 2, instruct 1;
13 GK – 4084 { πpαaι?δdεeύ?ω? }
1) to train children
1a) to be instructed or taught or learn
1b) to cause one to learn
2) to chastise
2a) to chastise or castigate with words, to correct
2a1) of those who are moulding the character of others by reproof and admonition
2b) of God
2b1) to chasten by the affliction of evils and calamities
2c) to chastise with blows, to scourge
2c1) of a father punishing his son
2c2) of a judge ordering one to be scourged ((Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.))

What this demonstrates is the error of allowing culture to influence the translation of the Scripture into the vernacular of the people of a particular language. The translation is supposed to be a formal equivalence translation that is independent of the culture of the people. This is necessary as the Scripture is supposed to reform the culture. If the Scripture condemns a particular cultural ideal, then so be it. We all are, meaning everyone in this world, supposed to conform to the word of God, not the other way around. To do what Luther did (and so many others have done), is to pervert and distort the message the LORD God has in his word. To do that is certain to incur the displeasure of the LORD. Moreover, the people who are influenced by such distortion of the Scripture, will never truly understand what the LORD is doing and why He is doing it. Finally, there are some specific thoughts that we ought to keep firmly in mind concerning the situation we see with translations of the Scripture into different languages:

1. Since every word of God is pure, changing the words in the slightest is certain to make them impure, and distort the meaning, thus changing the message.

2. There is a reason the LORD gifts some men to be teachers of His word. Things that are not so clear in Scripture must be taught. Nowhere in the Scripture does it declare the Scripture to be a “do it yourself,” self-teaching book. That is not the method the LORD chose to use. Instead, He expressly chose to use individuals to minister unto other individuals and teach them the things pertaining to the LORD, and what the LORD requires of man. This necessarily includes things that are obscured by the culture the man of God is sent to. Lest we forget, it is a glory to God that an individual voluntarily follows the LORD and willingly teaches His word unto others.

3. Tampering with the word of God does great harm and hinders the acceptance of the Scripture by the people to whom the Scripture is sent. Germany never has had a right Bible, and neither have the Spanish speaking people. The primary reason for this is the hearts of the people. The LORD God responds directly to the hearts of individuals, and when the predominance of individuals in a culture will not receive the things of God, the LORD responds accordingly. For whatever reason, the people of the British Isles have loved the word of God, and the things of God. This love reached its zenith between 1500 and 1700 AD, but has been evident from time to time since 63 AD. Clearly it has much to do with how the Scripture was handled by those entrusted with it. The LORD God responded to this by giving the English speaking people a pure and right Bible. Sadly, we do not see the same desire for the true word of God in history of either the German or Spanish speaking peoples. What is worse is the fact that we do not see that desire in hardly any other culture in this world — much to their detriment.

Last of all, we must remember whose word it is that we have the privilege of looking into. The Scripture belongs to the LORD God, and he will give understanding of it to whosoever He will. Our attitude toward the word of the LORD dictates how much understanding of that word we will receive.

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)





Fighting Crime? – Pt. 2

Yesterday, I discussed the logic behind abortion and how abortion itself reduces our respect for the rights of others, particularly the right to life. I also demonstrated that abortion condemned the innocent and allowed the guilty to go free, and that we, as a nation, had codified it into law. The last statement I made was “I wonder what the LORD has to say about that . . .”

There really is no need to wonder. If we can figure out logically that abortion condemns the innocent, does not respect the right to life, and destroys the most defenseless among us, it is not difficult to know what the LORD thinks about abortion and allowing it to exist under legal protection. Nonetheless, we would do well to look into the word of God so that we can understand why we are being judged as a nation, and what our end will be.

Before beginning, it ought to be understood that the LORD God used Israel as an example for all nations to look to pertaining to what He will tolerate, and what He will not. The LORD made this very plain in both Leviticus 18, verses 24-28, and Deuteronomy 18, verses 9-18, when He plainly told Israel what they could not do as the Canaanites did, as those were the reasons the Canaanites were being driven out of the land. In so doing, the LORD God lets us know that all nations are held to the same standard of conduct, whether they acknowledge the LORD or not. Indeed, we would do well to remember, the LORD God’s existence is not predicated upon whether anyone believes in Him. The LORD God is the I AM and nothing is going to change that.

In beginning, it is essential to understand that the LORD God is a God of judgement, and that plainly means that when someone is guilty, they are held accountable. Moreover, the innocent are never to be made to pay for the crimes of the guilty.

Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. (Exodus 23:7)

Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen. (Deuteronomy 27:25)

Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. (Jeremiah 22:3)

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

The above makes it very plain that the LORD God is not pleased with those who deem it necessary to destroy the innocent for the convenience of the guilty. But that is not all. It becomes even more egregious when it is a child who suffers for the sake of the parents. To the LORD, children hold a special place. In all His creation, a little child is a precious thing to the LORD:

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 18:10)

Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:14)

Now the statements the Lord Jesus Christ made sit in the context of the salvation the LORD offers to all through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. Such a comparison, being drawn by the LORD Himself, shows the gravity of looking down upon children, and the egregiousness of killing a little child for the convenience of the parents. When the LORD compares the despising and destruction of little children and that loss; to the loss of a soul, it is a clear picture of what the LORD thinks of those who despise and kill little children.

The why of this is also plain in the rest of the Scripture.

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5)

This alone is enough to show what is wrong with abortion. After all, a child in the womb is a direct gift from God. It is a blessing he bestows. Yes, it is indeed a consequence of actions taken, but there are few consequences so full of joy and the potential for joy as this one is. Thus, to reject it — is to reject the LORD and is an affront to God. Moreover, as previously shown, it is to deny the responsibility for one’s actions.

However, that is compounded by the fact that children, particularly those in the womb, are the most innocent among us. No child in the womb has done anything to anyone, at any time. They did not ask to be there, and they have no choice in the matter. Hence, to kill them is to commit the most egregious of all crimes. The LORD condemned Israel for this — and they did not touch those in the womb. Instead they took their babies and sacrificed them to the “gods” of the heathen:

They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. (Psalm 106:34-38)

Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon. (II Kings 24:3-4)

What innocent blood did Manasseh shed? It was the sacrificing of little children to the heathen gods so that Manasseh could be absolved of his sin. ‘Ah,’ the advocates of abortion would say, ‘we are not sacrificing little children to gods, therefore we cannot be held to this.’ However, they miss a very important statement made by the Lord Jesus Christ to the scribes and Pharisees when challenged about being the Son of God:

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (John 10:34-36)

Of course, the law He spoke of was Psalm 82:

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. (Psalm 82:6)

Thus, the “gods” the little children in the womb are sacrificed to, are none other than the parent(s) of the unborn child. Like “gods,” the parent(s) take upon themselves that which belongs to God only — the determination of who lives and who dies. Indeed, this is worse than the slave owners of old, who the LORD instructed they were not to take the life of their slave, nor were they to arbitrarily punish those under their power. Here, we have a child that has done nothing at all, and yet the parent(s), decide to usurp a prerogative of God only, and put the child to death. Not to justify Manasseh and the ancient Israelites, but at least they allowed the child to be born. As we can see, the LORD God destroyed them for their wickedness.

No, for this thing there is no excuse. Moreover, in our heart and soul we all, even those who perform the abortions and those who have them done, know that this is egregiously wrong. The LORD God is angry at America for this, if for nothing else. Moreover, like ancient Judah, we will not be pardoned either.