Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Race and Racism

Racism is a misnomer. It is a misleading term. There is no such thing as race or racism because there only exists the human race. If such things as The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars or Star Trek were real, then we would have such a thing as racism because there would exist different races with which to be racist against. However, on planet Earth every single person belongs to the same race. Skin colour is not a race. Ethnicity is not a race. The correct terminology to be used is "prejudice." White people who dislike black people or black people who dislike white people are prejudicednot "racist." It is no different than a fat person not liking a skinny person or a skinny person not liking a fat person. To call it racism would entail that they dislike or hate the entire human race, regardless of colour or ethnicity, because that is the only race that exists on this planet and in this universe.

In The Lord of the Rings, it refers to "the race of Men," which differs from the race of Elves and the race of Dwarves. It also differs from the race of Klingons and the race of Vulcans. All men, regardless of colour or ethnicity, belong to a single race—the human race. Dogs are a species. They differ from cats, monkeys, and elephants. All of these are rightly termed "species." However, Poodles are not a species, Chihuahuas are not a species, and Saint Bernards are not a species. They are different "kinds" existing within the single "species" dog. When bred together, the result is a dog. White people and black people are simply different skin colours existing within the single race of men. When bred together, the result is a human being.

Acts 17:26 declares, "He made from one blood, every nation of mankind..." God created Adam and Eve, a single race of humans. The rest of mankind's lineage is as follows: Adam → Seth → Enosh → Kenan → Mahalalel → Jared → Enoch → Methuselah → Lamech → Noah → Shem, Ham, and Japheth. After the flood, you had a single family of mankind to replenish the Earth. The descendants of Shem are what we know to be Asians. The descendants of Ham are what we know to be Africans. The descendants of Japheth are what we know to be Europeans. Despite the differences that appeared within their skin colour, all these people do not belong to different "races." The Bible refers to the different people groups as "nations, tribes, languages, and people." Never as "race," because they all belong to a single race—the human race, mankind.

There is a Chinese proverb that states, "The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names." Will the erroneous terminology of "race" and "racism" die out any time soon? Not likely. It is embedded deeply in most people's minds, having been birthed through evolutionary nonsense, and, because they lack the ability to think for themselves, or to even think logically, they will never come to terms with the fact that there is no difference whatsoever between a white person, a black person, a brown person, a yellow person, or a red person (by the way, I absolutely hate describing people by colours; we are all people) other than skin colour. The difference in skin colour is attributed to the concentration of melanin within our skin; the lower the amount the lighter your skin, the higher the amount the darker your skin (according to the von Luschan scale). We have the exact same genetic makeup and are descended from the exact same ancestors—Adam and Eve and Noah and his family.

In a cover article from Newsweek 1988 entitled “The Search for Adam and Eve,” palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote, “It makes us realize that all human beings, despite differences in external appearances, are really members of a single entity that’s had a very recent origin in one place. There is a kind of biological brotherhood that’s much more profound than we ever realized.” [Emphasis mine.] According to the article, scientists “…trained in molecular biology … looked at an international assortment of genes and picked up a trail of DNA that led them to a single woman from whom we all descended.” [Emphasis mine.] … “There weren’t even telltale distinctions between races.” Duh! That’s because there is only one race. The human race. Then, in 1995, Time Magazine had a brief article saying there was scientific evidence that “…there was an ancestral ‘Adam,’ whose genetic material on the chromosome is common to every man now on earth.” [Emphasis mine.] Again, duh! Geneticists have proven the Bible accurate and reliable once again, proving the fact that there was an Adam and an Eve and that we are all descended from them.

There are some ignorant individuals out there who call themselves "Christians" and try to use the Bible to say that different colours and ethnicities should never intermarry. They will twist passages such as "do not be unequally yoked" (2 Cor. 6:14), and those where God tells Israel not to intermarry with the people in the land of Canaan, entirely out of context just to use them as proof texts. Any good student of the Word of God will notice that the context of these passages deals with idolatry. If someone of a different colour, ethnicity, or culture worships a different god, the Christian is commanded not to marry them because they have nothing in common. However, if someone of a different colour, ethnicity, or culture worships the true God of the Bible, the Christian is free to marry them because they have everything in common. Your new national identity is in Heaven. Your new ethnicity is that of a Saint. Your new culture is that of a holy, righteous, and obedient lifestyle. Your new heritage is inherited from Christ Jesus. You worship one God and Father by one Spirit through one Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus, baptized into one Body, the Universal Church, united by one faith. Wherever Christ Jesus is present, He overrides and overrules every earthly barrier, whether it be ethnicity, culture, language, or colour. Do not let the ignorance of men colour your world. In Christ Jesus, there is no distinction because we are all one.

Some individuals claim that God is against inter-marriage and that He will not bless the children of inter-marriage. These individuals would do well to actually read their Bibles. Moses was married to a Cushite woman, an African woman from the region of modern Ethiopia and Sudan (Num. 12:1). Joseph was married to the daughter of an Egyptian priest, who was also African (Gen. 41:50), from whom Ephraim and Manasseh, two of the largest tribes of Israel, come (Gen. 41:51-52). Jesus’ own genealogy consists of two gentile women: Rahab, who was a Canaanite (Matt. 1:5), and Ruth, who was a Moabite (Ruth 1:4, 22; 2:2, 6, 21; 4:5, 10; Matt. 1:5).

Monday, January 30, 2012

Multiple Genders or Two?

"God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:27).
"But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE" (Mark 10:6; cf Matt. 19:4).

So-called "scientists" are now attempting to teach, contrary to evidential facts, that there are at least five sexes (genders). Worst of all, they are attempting to teach this foolish nonsense to our young children in public school! For those of you who obviously fail to have eyes to see the truth staring you right in your face, there are only two sexes (genders): male and female. A homosexual male is still a male. A homosexual female is still a female. A male who has had a sex change is still a male, regardless of exterior appearance. A woman who has had a sex change is still a female, regardless of exterior appearance. Males who think they are females are not females trapped inside a man's body; they are still males. Females who think they are males are not males trapped inside a woman's body; they are still females. All these individuals are greatly confused in their gender and sexual orientation. Society lying to them about who and what they are does not help the situation, but rather compounds it. These individuals need to be corrected and set straight. The failure to correct such behaviours stems from post-modern stupidity where they refuse to correct a child who is wrong because they think they will be "spanking the inner child." What foolish nonsense!

A "hermaphrodite" would not be a separate sex (gender) on its own, but a combination of the two sexes (genders). A child born possessing both a penis and a vagina is an abnormalitynot a new or separate sex. If an individual was born whose exterior appearance was entirely male but inside they possessed ovaries, or whose exterior appearance was entirely female but inside they possessed testes, it would not change the fact that they were male or female. If 95% of their genetic makeup was masculine with 5% feminine, they are clearly males. If 95% of their genetic makeup was feminine with 5% masculine, they are clearly females. Abnormal oddities such as these are not the norm and do not change the evidential facts that there are only two sexes (genders): male and female. If a male was born with ovaries or a female with testes, it is no different an abnormality than if they were born with one more or one less arm or leg or something else. Regardless of the abnormality, these individuals still belong to either the male or female classification. There are only two sexes (genders)—not multiple.

There is a Chinese proverb that states, "The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names." That is the greatest problem with modern society—not desiring to call things by their proper names, but instead trying to mold them into "opinions" and ask "tolerance" for them. Truth is no longer accepted or desired. Deceit is preferred while good is called bad and bad is called good, just as Scripture testified would come to pass. We wretched individuals live in a desperately wicked world that is getting worse by the day! When the world would rather make excuses and try to make it acceptable, rather than calling it the sin that it is, we are in grave trouble. Come, Lord Jesus; come quickly!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Homosexuality

Homosexuality is a sin. Pure and simple. Our government has been forced to accept and approve of these sinful actions and, in turn, attempts to force it upon the rest of us, feeding us lies and deceptions with regard to homosexuality. Regardless of what the government says or what laws are passed, homosexuality is not a legitimate nor permissible practice. God does not approve of it, nature does not approve of it, and I will not approve of it. Let us examine the truth of it.
  1. There is no such thing as a "homophobe." A phobia is a legitimate fear of something, and nobody on the face of the Earth is afraid of homosexuals. We do not jump up on chairs shrieking, "Eek! A homosexual! A homosexual!" "Homophobia" is an imaginary term concocted by the homosexual community in order to force their perverted agenda upon the general public in an attempt at making the general public feel sorry for them and their abominable acts. It is their way of attempting to silence those who are opposed to their sin by trying to force them to approve of and accept their perversion. Calling someone a "homophobe" is akin to calling someone a "murderophobe" or an "incestophobe." Exposing their sin does not make you phobic by any stretch of the definition.
  2. Homosexuality is a choice! They are not born that way! It is a scientifically proven fact that there is no such thing as a "gay gene." They choose to give in to their sinful thoughts and act them out unashamedly. Every individual who has come out of homosexuality, especially those who have received salvation, testifies to the fact that it is a choice for them to engage in and continue living in that sin.
  3. All of nature knows and proves that homosexuality is wrong. Simple biology proves that it is an abomination.
    First, the penis and the vagina were designed specifically for each other. The penis was designed to enter the vagina, and the vagina was designed to receive the penis. Homosexual relationships testify to the fact that one man and one woman is absolutely necessary for the fulfillment of every relationship. Lesbian relationships and actions prove that they need a man for the proper fulfillment of their relationship. The fact they need to use a dildo and/or a strap-on to mimic a man's role demonstrates powerfully that a man is the only suitable partner for a woman. Likewise, the male relationships and actions prove that they need a woman for the proper fulfillment of their relationship. The fact they engage in the perversion they do demonstrates powerfully that a woman is the only suitable partner for a man.
    Second, homosexuals cannot produce any progeny. Two men together cannot and will not produce a subsequent generation. Two women together cannot and will not produce a subsequent generation. Take all the gay men in the world and place them on a remote island together, then take all the gay women in the world and place them on a remote island together, and watch them all die off from one of two things: (a) contracted diseases, or (b) the inability to produce progeny in order to replace themselves. Lesbians cannot have children together. Artificial insemination proves the fact that a man is required in order to achieve pregnancy. Where do you think sperm comes from? Not women! Whether directly or indirectly involved, you still need a man. There are no ifs ands or buts about it. Homosexuality leads to death—physically first, then spiritually. It is not a "life" style by any stretch of the imagination. Why do you suppose it is that homosexual men live half to one-third as long as men who do not practice that abominable sin? Furthermore, homosexuals should not be allowed to adopt children as those children will be mentally scarred for life, the worst form of child abuse.
    Third, it is argued that you see homosexuality in nature. No you do not! You may see a male dog mount another male dog, but there is no penetration. It is no different than if a male dog mounts your leg. This argument is made in willful and deliberate ignorance. Furthermore, even if you did see homosexuality in nature, it would not change a thing. We do not get our morality from what animals do or do not. How animals act does not dictate how humans ought to act. We are above animals. We are living souls made in the image of God. Animals are not.
  4. Homosexual relationships themselves prove that all relationships were designed to include one male and one female. Even secular psychologists and relationship authors recognize this fact. In every homosexual relationship you have one person acting the role of the man and the other person acting the role of the woman. The very roles they act out is evidence against their perversion, proving to them that a proper relationship requires one male and one female.
  5. Their own consciences bear witness against them, telling them that what they practice is an abominable perversion. Why do you think they fight so hard to silence those opposed to their sin and try to force them to have to accept it? It does not matter how many laws are passed, their consciences will continue to inform them that what they are doing is wrong. Just because a law is passed trying to force the acceptance thereof upon the general public does not make that law right or prove their actions correct. If a law was passed supporting the possession of child porn, it would not change the fact that pedophilia is wrong! No matter how many laws are passed trying to force me to approve of and accept the homosexual's wrong behaviour, I will never do so. Putting me in jail for standing against their perversion will not change my mind. Wrong is still wrong! Sin is still sin!
Anyone who supports homosexuality is mentally unhealthy and in denial of the facts of life. “And although they know the law of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). You might as well support incest, pedophilia, rape, and bestiality as being alternate "life" styles, too. Each is a damnable sexually perverted abomination. Homosexuality should be banned and criminalized for its utter perversion against human nature and sexuality.

Homosexuals could rightly be called "Christophobes" because they are afraid of Jesus Christ and His truth. However, we are not going to make up imaginary terms the way they do. We will simply call them by the correct term—sinners. At every turn they continue to try and silence Jesus, His word, and His people in an attempt to try and silence their guilty, screaming consciences that tell them they are perverts for engaging intimately with the same sex. They are rightfully called Sodomites. As God destroyed Sodom in the past for its sexual abominations, so God will judge the homosexuals in the future and cast them into the lake of fire for all eternity. The men of Sodom did not want to be "friends" with the men who came to see Lot, as the homosexuals deceptively attempt to teach. Their sin has nothing to do with inhospitality. If it was a matter of being friendly and hospitable, God would not have destroyed them. If they were only trying to be friendly, why did Lot tell them, "Do not act wickedly," and they accused him of being their judge? No, the men of Sodom were destroyed because they wanted to sleep with these men and commit abominable acts. You can look to 2 Peter 2:7 and Jude 7 for support of these facts. The King James Bible uses the word "know" in relation to sexual union, just as Adam "knew" his wife and Joseph did not "know" Mary until after Jesus was born. It has nothing to do with hospitality.

"We know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals (αρσενοκοιταις) and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God" (1 Timothy 1:8-11). Homosexuality is a sin. It is a violation of human nature and sexuality. It is a perversion. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (ουτε μαλακοι), nor homosexuals (ουτε αρσενοκοιται), nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Figuratively, μαλακοι means effeminate (having feminine qualities untypical of a man), such as transvestites, men who make themselves out to be women, or a person who allows himself to be sexually abused contrary to nature. Αρσενοκοιται comes from αρσεν (a male) and κοιτε (a bed), and means a man who lies in bed with another male—a homosexual, a Sodomite, one who defiles himself with men.

The old English term found in the 1560 and 1599 Geneva Bibles was "buggerer," derived from the Anglo-Norman "bougre," a term originally used to describe anal intercourse by a man with another man and anal intercourse between a man and a woman. As I have always said, a man who has anal intercourse with a woman is severely messed up in the head and acting out homosexual-like tendencies. Any woman who would let a man degrade her like this and do this to her (and perversely enjoy it) is severely messed up in the head, too. Anal intercourse is a disgusting and degrading abominable practice! Both these terms, μαλακοι and αρσενοκοιται, refer to the active and passive partners in homosexuality. Before you go thinking that women are somehow off the hook: "Their women exchanged the natural function for that which is against nature, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their sin" (Romans 1:26-27). Their due penalty is the contracted diseases they receive from their abominable acts, which cut their lifespan down to half to one-third that of a heterosexual male.

Like every other sin, homosexuality needs to be confessed and repented of. "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3, 5). You cannot call yourself a "Christian" and yet continue living in this perverted practice. "Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness" (2 Timothy 2:19). Individuals like Ray Boltz and Jennifer Knapp are false converts. They are not genuine Christians. The fact that they are living in homosexual sin and think God is okay with it, when His Word clearly states otherwise, is proof positive they do not and have never known God. Those who support homosexuality know for a fact that they are suppressing the truth of its perversion. They know for a fact that it is contrary to nature, as we discussed above. Yet, despite how much they know that it is not a permissible "life" style, they still approve of it, like Romans 1:32 said. Homosexuality needs to go, before it destroys our world as it did the Roman world. The open practice and acceptance of homosexuality was one of the last events that resulted in God's judgment coming upon the Roman Empire. Do we really want to see that happen in our own countries? Romans 1 pretty much tells us that that is the pattern.

Here are two testimonies of men who used to be homosexuals until they were saved from it by Christ Jesus: Freedom from Homosexuality; Jesus Christ Saved Me from 27 Years of Homosexuality (see also Is Someone Born a Homosexual?).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Is Truth? Part 3

Continued from last...

There are many people who are confused over the whole "religion" thing. What most fail to realize is that evolution is nothing more than a religion, a philosophy. It takes more faith to believe in that nonsense than it does to believe in a Creator, God. The argument is often made, "There are so many religions out there. What makes yours the right one?" or "With all the religions out there, how can any of them claim to be the right one?" or "How do you know which one is the right one?" Well, let's examine today's fastest growing religion and see if it stands up to the truth. Let's weigh it against itself and see if it stands.

Muslims like to claim that the Bible was corrupted. If so, when was it corrupted? Was it before or after Muhammad? If before, then Muhammad is in error because the Qu'ran states in surah 21:7 that the messengers of the Bible were indeed inspired. It also states that if you don't know this, you should ask those who possess the message—which would be Christians. Further, in surah 5:66 and 68, it tells the people of the Book—which would be Christians—to stand fast by the Torah (Old Testament) and the Gospel (New Testament) because it is from the Lord. So the Qu'ran upholds the purity of the Old and New Testaments—the entire Bible.

Surah 3:3 tells us that the words of Jesus are true, once again upholding the purity of the Torah (Old Testament) and the Gospel (New Testament). The Qu'ran claims that Muhammad saw God. However, Jesus, Whose words are true, said that "No one can see God and live." Moses never saw God. He saw the back end of God's glory. The Qu'ran also claims that Muhammad is the greatest of prophets. However, Jesus, Whose words are true, said that "Of men born to women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist." Why was John the greatest prophet? Because he was the forerunner who announced the coming of the Messiah—Jesus Christ.

The Qu'ran says in surahs 2:225, 16:106, and 66:2 that lying is acceptable. The Qu'ran also states that Allah is the greatest of deceivers. However, the 9th Commandment says "Thou shall not bear false witness." In other words, Do not lie! Scripture tells us that "God cannot lie" and that "God is not a man that He should lie." God cannot lie because it contradicts and is contrary to His character and being, which is truth, righteousness, and holiness. Lying goes against all three of these. Scripture also tells us that "Lying lips are an abomination to God" and "All liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire." Further, Jesus, Whose words are true, said that Satan is the Father of Lies. So if Allah is the greatest of deceivers, then Allah is clearly Satan.

Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." There is salvation in no other name apart from Jesus Christ. Jesus also said that He was God. "I and the Father are one." Jesus also said to them, "Before Abraham was... I Am." The term "I Am" is the same name with which God made Himself known to Moses. If Jesus never said He was God, then why did the Jews pick up stones to stone Him to death and why did they say that He committed blasphemy by equating Himself with God?

Muslims also like to lie and attempt to tell people that they worship the same God as Christians, but simply call Him a different name. Is this true? My God tells me to "Love your enemies and do good to them." The Muslims' god tells them to murder everybody—Jews, Christians, and pagans: smite the unbeliever (surah 47:4); fight the people of the book—Christians (surah 9:29); fight and slay pagans (surah 9:5); don't be friends with Jews and Christians (surah 5:51); kill any man who leaves Islam (surah 4:89—so much for freedom of religion: "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him!" [surah 3:85]). Those are just a handful of the many verses that command them to do such things—and that's not even looking at the Haddith. The ironic thing is, there are mosques around here that send out "tracts" claiming that Islam is a religion of peace and that they are for freedom of religion. We have just seen from their own book that this is a bold faced lie in light of the truth about their religion.

Want to see what Islam is really like? Watch this video:
Note: An attempt was made to try and contradict the realistic facts revealed in this film by attempting to produce a film like it based on the Bible. However, "After extensive research, linking Bible quotations with real political events and acts of violence...produced an insufficient basis for a thorough journalistic production." (See the article here.) In other words, genuine Christians are not violent, just as the entire New Testament reveals to us.
According to Jesus and His words of truth, Muhammad is a false prophet and Allah is a demon god. The character of Allah is everything that the character of God is not. God is truth. Allah is lies. God is merciful. Allah is murderous. God is loving. Allah is hateful. Further, Muhammad exhibited a character that is contradictory not only to the teachings of Jesus but also to a life transformed by God. Muhammad was a liar, a thief, and a murderer, raiding caravans regularly. He was an adulterer and a pedophile, having married numerous wives and consummating his marriage to his youngest wife when she was 9 years old!

Jesus, Whose words are true, said that He is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" and that "No one comes to the Father" except through Him. There is only one way to salvation, and if Jesus is it, then regardless of how one feels about it or what one believes, all other religions are false and lead straight to hell and eternal damnation. If Jesus is the Truth, then all other religions are false. If Jesus is the Life, then all other religions lead to death. If Jesus is the Way, then all other religions are the wrong way. It does not matter how earnestly you believe in your religion. Truth is truth regardless of what you believe or perceive. All religions except for genuine Christianity are works-based religions—man trying to reach up to God; but genuine Christianity is grace-based—God reaching down to man. There is nothing you can do to merit or earn forgiveness and salvation. It is a free gift offered through Jesus Christ. Reject that gift and you can work until you are blue in the face and you will never earn your place in heaven. You will only increase the wrath stored up for you until the day of judgment. If you do not have Jesus Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, then your religion and what you believe are damning lies. When Jesus returns, He will judge the world in truth and in righteousness and all those who have rejected the truth in favour of the lies will be cast into eternal damnation. Is your eternity worth that risk?

Jesus is the Truth. The Bible is true from cover to cover. Christianity is true through and through and is the only religion that leads to true peace and harmony, and better living for the good of all humanity. Study history some time. Every nation that was predominantly Christian treated people equally as human beings, showing respect one for another. When the nation was predominantly Christian, the nation as a whole fared better. When Christianity is absent, the nations are barbarous and corrupt, everyone doing what they think is right in their own minds, being selfish and self-centered, caring only about themselves and what they can get. Examine England, the USA, and Canada 100 years ago when they were predominantly Christian, and look at them today as the nations suppress Christianity. They went from glorious nations to slums where sin runs rampantly. Bad is called good, and good is called bad. Only the truth can set us free.

"You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free."
"If the Son has set you free, then you are free indeed."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What Is Truth? Part 2

Continued from last...

Here are just a couple of things that science used to teach and believe many, many years ago:
  1. the earth was flat
  2. only 1,100 stars
  3. earth sat on a large animal
  4. nothing—science was ignorant on the subject of invisible elements in creation
  5. all stars were the same
  6. light was fixed in a place
  7. air was weightless
  8. winds blew straight
  9. sick people must be bled (This is how one of the Presidents of the USA died.)
  10. the ocean floor was flat
  11. oceans fed by only by rivers and rain
  12. hands washed in still water
This is what science knows today (and the passage of Scripture that it is found in). Bear in mind that parts of the Bible were written 2,000 to 3,000 years ago.
  1. the earth is a sphere (Isaiah 40:22)
  2. incalculable number of stars (Jeremiah 33:22)
  3. free float of earth in space (Job 26:7)
  4. creation made of invisible elements—atoms (Hebrews 11:3)
  5. each star is different (1 Corinthians 15:41)
  6. light moves (Job 38:19-20)
  7. air has weight (Job 28:25)
  8. winds blow in cyclones (Ecclesiastes 1:6)
  9. blood is the source of life and health (Leviticus 17:11)
  10. ocean floor contains deep valleys and mountains (2 Samuel 22:16; Jonah 2:6)
  11. ocean contains springs (Job 28:6)
  12. when dealing with disease, hands should be washed under running water (Leviticus 15:13)
True science makes hypotheses, runs repeated tests, observes the results, and then makes conclusions. Let us look at three other true scientific facts. First, that our sun burns off tons of gas every day. If you look up the rate at which our sun is burning off gas per day, and you multiply it by not even 1 million years, at one point the sun was so big that it would have touched the Earth. Therefore, the dinosaurs would have fried to death. Second, that our moon is moving away from the Earth. If you take the rate at which our moon is moving away from the Earth, and multiply it by not even 1 million years, at one point the moon was hovering just over the face of the Earth. Therefore, the tall dinosaurs would have got mooned. If you half the distance, you quadruple the effect. If you bring the moon in only half of its current distance, the Earth would have been flooded twice a day because of the moon's effects. Third, our Earth is slowing down. If you take the rate at which our Earth is slowing down, and multiply it by not even 1 million years, at one time the Earth would have been spinning at such a tremendous rate that all the dinosaurs would have been thrown off into space.

Now, I once had some wise-guy attempt to say that gravity would have been increased, therefore nothing would have happened to the dinosaurs. No, gravity would not have been increased. Go study a merry-go-round. The faster that thing is going, you do not get sucked to the center of it. You are thrown off. You can learn some great science from a merry-go-round.

A further example of true science is the fact that the nucleus has the properties of expulsion. It pushes outward. Yet, everything in creation is held together. Why is that? Scientists cannot answer why that is. “In Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).

There are five or six terms for evolution. Only one of those is true. Micro-evolution is the adaptions and changes within a species, while macro-evolution is the addition of new traits or a transition to a new species. Macro-evolution has never been observed. It is a myth. A giraffe has never given birth to a flamingo, nor can you breed a dog and a cat together. Animals reproduce after their own kind. I.E. a Chihuahua, a Doberman and a Poodle are all one kind of animal. They can reproduce together. An animal that is born with an extra limb has not added any new information to their DNA. It is using the information that exists. There can be loss of information, which results in missing limbs, but there can never be added information, especially information that does not exist within that kind of animal. A dog will never grow a beak because that information is not part of its make-up; neither will a bird ever grow paws because that information is not part of its make-up.

You see, when you examine all the evidence, it reveals the agnostic and atheist to be in ownership of the actual scatomas that prevent them from seeing the truth. This comes as no surprise since Scripture tells us that "They suppress the truth in all unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18). They do not want to believe the truth, and so God gives them over to the lies of vain philosophies and false religions. There is not one shred of evidence in favour of evolution, and many of their own people have admitted as much. If evolution were true, we would have billions of intermediary fossils. But we have none! Rather than question their erroneous model and honestly search for the truth, these so-called "scientists" simply change some of what they believe to have happened and continue clinging to their dead horse. So now, instead of evolution occuring slowly in transitions, it now happens rapidly. So one day an alligator lays an egg and a chicken comes out of it. They refuse to give up their belief in their fairy tales because they are so blinded by the scatomas they possess.

To be continued...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What Is Truth? Part 1

"Truth!? What is truth?" Pontius Pilate asked Jesus. Indeed, what is truth? Truth is intrinsic. It is absolute. Modern philosophical nonsense says that truth is relative and that it is based on one's perception at the time. That could not be further from the truth—no pun intended. You see, truth is truth regardless of one's perceptions. Many years ago people used to believe that the Earth was flat. This is what they perceived to be true, but the truth was that the Earth is round.

Depending upon the severity, a colour-blind person may see things in complete black and white. This may be his/her personal reality, but it is not the truth. They perceive everything to be in black and white, but the truth is that the world is full of colours. Truth does not change based on what one perceives. If a child is raised being told that a blue crayon is yellow, it does not matter how earnestly he believes it to be yellow, he is wrong. The truth is that the blue crayon is blue—regardless of what he was told.

Truth is like mathematics. It is constant. It does not change. Two plus two will always equal four. Not four give or take one. In chemistry they might use “give or take one” based on the content of what they are working with, because too much of this or too much of that can alter the results of their chemicals, etc., but the unchanging fact of mathematics is that it is four. Period. If you hold two fingers up and I hold two fingers up, we have four fingers. If we’re driving down the road and you see two cars out your window and I see two cars out my window, we have seen four cars. If there are two apples on the table and I add another two apples, there are four apples. It’s going to be four every time, no matter how you try to argue it.

Every person in the world has been conditioned with scatomas that prevent them from seeing the truth of things. Scatomas are not necessarily bad things, but they are blocks in our mind that prevent us from seeing anything other than what we've been conditioned to see. That child who earnestly believes the blue crayon to be yellow possesses a scatoma that will not allow him to see it as anything else unless that scatoma is first removed. The Dispensationalist is conditioned with many scatomas that colour the way they read Scripture, and while the words of the verse itself and the context surrounding that verse do not allow it to be interpreted in the manner they are doing so, their scatomas prevent them being able to see anything but what they were conditioned to believe that verse says and teaches. Ezekiel 14:4 speaks to this end. If we approach God's Word with idols in our heart, what we want to see in a verse, God will allow us to see even though it is not the truth of that verse.

Now, our agnostic and atheist friends out there are reading this and thinking to themselves, "Exactly! You Christians possess scatomas about the Bible, being raised to believe the Bible and perceive that it is true, but the truth is that we evolved from a rock." Hold on a minute. Our agnostic and atheist friends are jumping to conclusions based on what they've been told is "true". They are also forming a fallacious argument, assuming our beliefs are scatomas rather than their own. In order to prove where a scatoma resides, the evidence must be examined closely.

Every science textbook from kindergarten to university says, "Billions of years ago there was nothing. Nothing means nothing." I hope you caught that. Nothing means nothing! But then they go on to tell us that "all the dust and dirt came together to form a dot smaller than the period on this page." They continue by telling us that it began to spin faster and faster until it exploded, thus giving us everything we see. Hold on. Question one: Where did all the dust and dirt come from? Nothing means nothing, remember? Question two: What made it come together? Who made gravity? Where did it come from? Question three: What made it start spinning? Who created that law and all the others that govern our universe? Where did they come from? Question four: How is it that we have planets spinning backwards and moons spinning and traveling backwards? Anyone who has studied true science knows that from an object in motion, any pieces that fall off that object will continue spinning in the same direction until they encounter resistance. Remember, nothing means nothing. Therefore, they could not bump into each other because the further out the pieces got, the farther apart they would be from each other.

Despite what the classroom textbooks say, in a cover article from Newsweek 1988 entitled “The Search for Adam and Eve,” palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote, “It makes us realize that all human beings, despite differences in external appearances, are really members of a single entity that’s had a very recent origin in one place. There is a kind of biological brotherhood that’s much more profound than we ever realized.” [Emphasis mine.] According to the article, scientists “…trained in molecular biology … looked at an international assortment of genes and picked up a trail of DNA that led them to a single woman from whom we all descended.” [Emphasis mine.] … “There weren’t even telltale distinctions between races.” Duh! That’s because there is only one race. The human race. Then, in 1995, Time Magazine had a brief article saying there was scientific evidence that “…there was an ancestral ‘Adam,’ whose genetic material on the chromosome is common to every man now on earth.” [Emphasis mine.] Again, duh! Geneticists have proven the Bible accurate and reliable once again, proving the fact that there was an Adam and an Eve and that we are all descended from them.

Science, history, and archeology continually prove the authenticity and reliability of the Bible. For years it was believed that the Bible was in error and that there was no such thing as the Hittites. That was until archeology discovered their capital city and found their records. The Bible is the only book that hangs its credibility on its ability to write history in advance—without any error.

To be continued...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Is Rock Music Against God?

First of all, it is impossible for anyone to give an absolute “yes” to this question. To say that all rock music (or hip hop, or pop, or country) is absolutely against God would require that one has scrutinized every song in any of these categories.

Second of all, for a thing to be “against God” means that it is contrary to His will as revealed in Scripture. The Bible is our only source that reveals what is right and what is wrong.
Martin Luther once said, “Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through music.” That this is true is evident from Psalm 119:54: “Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.

Third of all, for anything to be called “Christian,” it must follow these principles as set forth in God’s Word.
  1. Music must bring praise, honour and glory to God’s name (Ps. 9:2; 61:8; Heb. 2:12).
  2. Music must direct the listener toward God (Col. 1:18).
  3. Music must be edifying to the listener and build one up (1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 5:19-20; Col. 3:16).
  4. Music requires understanding (1 Cor. 14:15; Ps. 47:7) and must not be confusion (1 Cor. 14:33).
One is wrong in assuming that the three terms mentioned in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 define the style or mood of Christian music. In truth, they speak of the purpose and content of Christian music. Our songs, no matter what style of music they are put to, should help us focus our thoughts on God and God’s truth (Scripture and scriptural principles). One should ask: What does the song say? Is the message clear? Can I understand it? Can I tell the group is singing about God or God’s truth?
If you take the genre heavy metal and compare it to these three principles, you will find that it falls drastically short of the mark. Sure, they may have beautifully written lyrics, but when the guy “sings,” he screams inaudibly into the microphone and sounds like he is angry. Is this how music that edifies and builds up the believer should sound? No. God is not the author of confusion.

We do know what much of rock and/or hip hop music stands for. Much of it glorifies fornication and adultery, the use of drugs and alcohol, and violence. Some of it encourages Satanism, witchcraft, and dabbling with the occult. Some of it even encourages suicide. Some has as its theme homosexuality and other sexual perversions. It even encourages rebellion against parents and all authority. All these things are against God because they violate passages and principles revealed in His Word. But before you think that this is only true of these two styles, try turning on your radio to your local country station. These same themes crop up in this style of music also. Especially the glorification of fornication and adultery, as well as the use of drugs and alcohol.
But… are the above themes true of Christian music? Not at all! God, Jesus Christ, salvation, the Bible, Christian doctrine, our testimonies, and Christianity in general are the themes of Christian rock and hip hop. They use the Word and put it to music—in whatever style they choose. Can this be said to be against God? No! The mind of the artist is on God; he/she is playing their instrument for God; and the lyrics are about God. Therefore, it is bringing glory and honour to His name.

Last of all, some poor arguments have been raised against Christian music. Let us take a look at some of them.
  1. Secular bands use these instruments, therefore we are not supposed to use them in worship.
    Says who? Not God. Every instrument mentioned in the Bible has been used for secular worship in one way or another over the centuries. Should we abandon these instruments to the world? If the world starts perverting something God meant for good, do we abandon it and never touch it again? Eventually everything would belong to the world, and nothing to the Christian. No, we should fight back and take it back, using these things to glorify God. God gave them to us, not the world. Nowhere in the Bible will you find God against any style of music or any instrument of music—including the drums. People that have made such claims are reading their own musical dislikes into Scripture rather than seeing what God has to say on the subject. They dislike a certain style of music and so try to attach verses to support their dislike. This is misrepresenting the Word of God and is dangerous ground to be standing on.

  2. Isn’t that becoming like the world in order to win the world?
    Not at all. Who created music? God. Why did He create it? To glorify Himself. Did He say “You can only worship me with this style of music and no other”? No, He did not. Music, no matter what style it is in, as long as it brings glory to the name of God, edifies and builds up the believer, and is not confusion, was created by God according to the good pleasure of His will to the praise and glory of His grace. God created music—no matter what style we choose to use—to sing about Him, the Bible, our salvation, doctrine, etc. in order to glorify Him. God has given many gifts to us to use to glorify Him, but we use them to glorify things of the world instead.
    Even the simplest gift we have for music—our voice—can be used to glorify the wrong things. Like ourselves. If one is singing, whether at the front of the church or in the pews, and they are hoping others notice how good they can sing, they are doing it for the wrong reasons. Sing to and for God, not those around you. Christ must be at the center of all our music; leading us to salvation, revealing the Father, teaching us doctrinal truth, and just praising our Wonderful Creator. Music belongs to God and to God only. Not Satan. Satan does not create a thing. He perverts it and corrupts it.
    A knife can be used by a skilled surgeon to save a life, or by an angry person to take a life. A typewriter can be used to write a prayer or devotional, or it can be used to write a violent or pornographic novel. Are either of these instruments evil or “from the devil”? No. That statement is pure absurdity. It is how an instrument is used that determines whether it is being used for good or for evil.

  3. Drums keep a beat and get your heartbeat moving.
    Your hands keep a beat. Cymbals and tambourines keep a beat. Drums are a percussion instrument just as the cymbal and tambourine (mentioned in the Bible) and your hands. A beat should make you feel good. Don’t you feel good clapping your hands for Christ? David sang, danced, and clapped his hands for the Lord. Do you think that his heartbeat wasn’t moving? Think again. All this he did to the praise, honour and glory of his Lord and Saviour—as we should do also. Drums should not drive the music, but they should complement the music.

  4. Drums are used to get people ready for battle.
    The trumpet was used to get people ready for battle. Horns were used to get people ready for battle. These last two arguments are stupid and reveal that absolutely no thought has been placed behind them. People are looking for any reason to back themselves up and so they grab these and run with them…to their own folly. You do not need any instruments to get people ready for battle. All you need is a shout or a war cry, which have both been used over the centuries. Instruments are used because they are loud.
In Amos 5:23 it says “Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.” If we are not right before God, the music we offer up before Him as “praise” is nothing but noise to His ears. As such, if we continue to live in disobedience to Him thinking we are offering praise when we really are not, He will cause it to cease: “And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard” (Is. 26:13).

All throughout Scripture God says “sing to Me a new song” (Ps. 33:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1; Is. 42:10; 2 Chr. 30:21). Why does He say this? Because He hates vain repetition (Matt. 6:7). If all you use is the hymnal and never touch any of the other God-glorifying Christian music that has been written for worship, then you are guilty of vain repetition. There are a lot of contemporary Christian songs that are guilty of vain repetition as well, singing the same thing over and over and over again. I wonder if these people ever learned how to write actual verses. Sing the old, faithful songs, but sing new songs as well. Mix it up.

While you may not like a specific style of music, do not judge others according to their like of it. You may find that that person is far more godly and Christ-like than yourself—and wouldn’t that be embarrassing. In choosing artists to listen to, ask: Do they have a “look at me” or a “look at God” attitude? Do they appear to be seeking fame, money and self-glorification or do they glorify God and His Kingdom? Do they portray pride and arrogance or meekness and humbleness? Do they claim to know God but never sing about Him, His Kingdom and values? Is the artist pointing their life, ministry and performance to Christ? Anyone can say they are a Christian, know God and sing Christian songs, but does their life reflect Christ (1 John 2:6)? Hell will be full of people who honoured God with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him (Matt. 7:15-23; 15:8). Just because a style or a band is labeled “Christian” does not mean that it is.

May God richly bless you as you learn to love the saints as the Ephesians did. Most of the Lord’s people find it easy to love some of the saints, but it is not so easy to love all of the saints. How do we love the saints who disagree with us—saints who hold doctrinal positions radically different from our own? What about the saints whose dispositions and temperaments are the opposite of ours? And how do we love the saints whose culture clashes with ours? Paul loved God’s people, and his love was infectious. The believers at Ephesus had caught it, and so had their converts. We need to learn to love like this. We need to learn to love like Christ. Not to judge and form rash conclusions based upon our own preferences rather than the truths of Scripture. Let us not put words into God’s mouth that He has not uttered.

Friday, January 20, 2012

KJV-Onlyism vs. Its Translators

KJV-Only proponents claim "The original autographs were inspired. The King James Bible is those same autographs preserved up to today." As Phil Johnson correctly notes, "That statement is laughable nonsense, because 'original autographs' are by definition neither copies nor translations, but the original text on its original parchments. No reasonable or sensible person wishing to make an honest argument would claim that the autographs themselves are 'preserved' in the KJV or any other translation." Homer Kent has rightly stated, "All subsequent copies or translations are 'inspired' only to the extent that they accurately represent the autographs."

John Girardeau has said, "Are translations inspired? The position is here taken that so far as a translation faithfully represents the original Scriptures, it is characterized by the same inspiration with them. If it exactly coincides with the original as to matter, it is substantially the same with it. So far as it deviates from the original, it ceases to be inspired... The translation was effected by fallible men, and therefore contains some errors... The translators were uninspired men, and consequently liable to mistakes; the translation is inspired, so far it exactly gives the original—so far, no more."

Speaking of the Septuagint—the Greek translation of the Hebrew manuscripts, the translators of the 1611 Authorized Version said, "The translation of the Seventie dissenteth from the Originall in many places, neither doeth it come neere it, for perspicuity, grauitie, maiestie; yet which of the Apostles did condemne it? Condemne it? Nay, they vsed it, which they would not haue done, nor by their example of vsing it, so grace and commend it to the Church, if it had bene vnworthy the appellation and name of the word of God." Even though the Septuagint was not an entirely accurate translation from the original Hebrew manuscripts, Jesus and the Apostles still used it and called it the Word of God. If you compare the Old Testament quotes in the New Testament, you will find that they more accurately reflect the Septuagint than they do the original Hebrew.

The KJV translators themselves condemn what the KJV-Onlyists stand on and have to say. Consider the following, as stated in "The Translators To the Reader":
  1. They believed the authority was in the originals.
  2. "The originall thereof being from heauen, not from earth; the authour being God, not man; the enditer, the holy spirit, not the wit of the Apostles or Prophets" (p.3).
  3. They believed in making new translations.
  4. "Now to the later we answere; that wee doe not deny, nay wee affirme and auow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set foorth by men of our profession containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God" (p.7).

    "But the diference that appeareth betweene our Translations, and our often correcting of them, is the thing that wee are specially charged with" (p.8).
  5. They believed they were not inspired, but translators.
  6. "Truly (good Christian Reader) wee neuer thought from the beginning, that we should neede to make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one, but to make of a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principall good one" (p.9).
  7. They believed in putting varying readings in the margin.
  8. "It hath pleased God in his diuine prouidence, here and there to scatter wordes and sentences of that difficultie and doubtfulnesse, not in doctrinall points that concerne saluation, (for in such it hath beene vouched that the Scripture are plaine) but in matters of lesse moment" (p.10)

    "That any varietie of readings of their vulgar edition, should be put in the margine … They that are wise, had rather haue their iudgements at libertie in differences of readings, then to be captiuated to one, when it may be another" (p.10).
  9. They said a variety of translations were necessary.
  10. "That varietie of Translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures" (p.10).
  11. They believed Scripture should be in common language.
  12. "But we desire that the Scripture may speake like it selfe, as in the language of Canaan, that it may bee vnderstood euen of the very vulgar" (p11).
Like every other translation, the KJV has its fair share of errors. In the 1611 KJV, in the margin for Luke 17:36, it states, "This 36 verse is wanting in most of the Greek copies." If we examine the 1560 Geneva Bible we can see that this is true. Verse 37 is verse 36. In modern translations, while they tend to include this verse, they make a marginal note that reads similar to that of the 1611 KJV: "Some manuscripts add verse 36." It is rather laughable how KJV-Only advocates will tell you that you should get a KJV Bible without cross-references, marginal notes, etc. They do so because the marginal notes undermine the position they are trying to make you swallow. The 1611 KJV, in the Old Testament alone, has some 6,637 marginal notes, which is more than many modern translations. They imbibe a steady diet of camels while straining out gnats.

KJV-Onlyists tend to erect many straw men and use many fallacious arguments. One such argument that holds absolutely no water is that regarding Isaiah 14:12 where they state that modern translations have replaced Lucifer with Jesus Christ. Grab yourself a Hebrew Lexicon and look up the Hebrew word for "Lucifer." You will notice that the meaning of the word is "day star" or "morning star." So by translating it in this way, they are not perverting anything. As a matter of fact, Jesus is called the "Bright and Morning Star." Further, in Isaiah it is not capitalized where as in Revelation it is. So it is a weak and ill-founded argument.

KJV-Onlylists also declare that we should only use the Textus Receptus. But which one? What they fail to tell you (and most of them fail to realize) is that there are many TRs: Erasmus [a devout Roman Catholic] (1516), Stephanus (1550), Beza (1565), Elzevir (1624), and Scrivener (1881, 1894) are just a few. Each of these men produced several variations of their TRs that differ greatly one from the others. Their TRs also differ greatly from each other's. There is not 100% agreement between any TR.

I met a man once who claimed Scrivener's text was the best. He said that Scrivener sat down with a copy of Stephanus, Beza, and Elzevir, comparing them side-by-side, to write his own, and when he came to a discrepancy between them, he turned to the KJV to decide the case. There's just one problem: this "TR" came about 270 years after the KJV was translated (283 years to the 1894 edition). There is no way the 1611 KJV was based off an 1881 or 1894 TR. So it is unreliable, especially considering it turns to a translation in order to sort out discrepancies in the original Greek. This “TR” is based on the KJV—it is not the underlying text of the KJV. Moreover, Scrivener included words found in the KJV in italics as missing from their primary text. They are in italics because the KJV translators added them to help the text make sense when translated into English. Further, Scrivener's 1881 TR has marginal notations that reflect the Alexandrian text and the markings found in our modern translations.

This man who tried arguing for Scrivener's Textus Receptus agreed that the KJV was not without errors (and anyone who is honest will do likewise). He believed we should use the KJV for the Textus Receptus' sake. So I posed him an illustration. I said, "If a group of people are marooned on a remote desert island, having no faith whatsoever, and a plane flies overhead that accidentally drops a crate filled with ESV Bibles; if the people find those Bibles, read them and get saved, is their salvation false because they weren't reading a KJV Bible? Do they not really have the Word of God?" He responded defiantly, "If there was a glass of pure water and a glass of filthy dirty water, my god would never ask a person to drink the glass of filthy, dirty water!" I replied to him, "Oh? What do you call Na'aman? He was told to bob up and down seven times in the dirtiest river in the area in order to be healed" (see the story in 2 Kings 5).

The KJV is not a perfect translational match to either Stephanus' or Beza's TR, so which TR is the KJV supposedly translated from? When the writers of each TR are not consistent in their writings thereof, how can we say that we should use only the TR? And which TR should we use? While the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are indeed corrupt texts, it does not negate the other thousands of New Testament manuscripts that we have in our possession.

KJV-Onlyists state, "Is there one version extant among the multiplicity of versions which is without error today? If there is not, then we worship a God Who is either careless or impotent to keep His Word pure through the ages." Another classic example of a fallacious argument and the ignorance of the KJV-Only cultists. The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. How many copies of those manuscripts do we have in our possession today?!? Clearly, God has preserved His Word. The English translation, whether of the KJV or the ESV, is not a preservation of the original autographs. It is a translation! This argument by the KJV-Onlyists is ill-founded on nonsense, but then again most their arguments are.

Do not be a spoon-fed Christian and fall for the nonsense of one blind man leading other blind men. Be a Berean Christian and obey the command to "Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." You'll find great freedom from this immature band-wagon-crusade that only serves to take your eyes off of Jesus Christ. If you want a Bible that is as perfect to the original manuscripts as can get, you should get an Interlinear Bible. Here are the Bibles I would recommend (and essentially in what order):
  • Interlinear (such as Jay P. Green's)
  • New American Standard Bible (NASB)This is a strictly literal translation.
  • English Standard Version (ESV)This is a formal or essentially literal translation.
  • "1599" Geneva Bible (Published in 2006)—A modern-day spelling edition of our forefathers' Bible of choice; the Bible of firsts (verses, commentary notes, etc.), and the only English Bible to ever reform nations (England, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Scotland, etc.) and found a nation (United States of America). The 1560 Geneva Bible was a literal translation, yet boldly idiomatic.
  • Authorized Version (AV/KJV)This is a formal or essentially literal translation.
  • New King James Version (NKJV)Providing it does not contain the triquetra occult symbol on it. This symbol has been associated with the occult for centuries and has never represented Christianityever! Start at any point and follow it around until it touches itself and you get "666".
  • Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)In between formal/essentially literal and Dynamic Equivalency.
  • New International Version (NIV)The 1984 text. Reluctantly recommended simply because it is the most conservative of the DE (Dynamic Equivalency or Thought-for-thought) translations.
The following are non-Bibles that should never be quoted from, relied upon, or used as a "study Bible" because they are not the Word of God and I will never recommend them. Most of these are not even worthy to be called paraphrases (essentially just a commentary of sorts), let alone "Bibles," because they deviate from the text so much and do not represent it in the least.
  • Amplified Bible (AMP)Contains unhelpful extra words that confuse the text, which Charismatic Word-Faith preachers utilize in support of their false and heretical teachings.
  • New English Bible (NEB)Dynamic Equivalency, Retains Apocrypha, Gender-inclusive.
  • New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)Contains dangerous heresy, Dynamic Equivalency, Retains Apocrypha, Gender-inclusive.
  • Revised English Bible (REB)Deeper Dynamic Equivalency, Retains Apocrypha, Gender-inclusive.
  • Contemporary English Version (CEV)Loose paraphrase, i.e. really bad commentary.
  • Good News Translation (GNT)Formerly the Good News Bible (GNB) and Today's English Version (TEV); Loose paraphrase, i.e. really bad commentary.
  • God's Word (GW)Loose paraphrase, i.e. really bad commentary.
  • The Living Bible (TLB)Loose paraphrase, i.e. really bad commentary.
  • The Message (TM or MSG)Loose paraphrase, i.e. really, really bad commentary.
  • New Century Version (NCV)Loose paraphrase, i.e. really bad commentary.
  • New International Version (NIV)The 2010 text. Loose paraphrase, i.e. really bad commentary, Gender-inclusive. (This is the TNIV text.)
  • New International readers Version (NIrV)Loose paraphrase, i.e. really bad commentary.
  • New Living Translation (NLT)Loose paraphrase, i.e. really bad commentary.
  • Today's New International Version (TNIV)Loose paraphrase, i.e. really bad commentary, Gender-inclusive.
  • Jerusalem Bible (JB)Roman Catholic.
  • New American Bible (NAB)Roman Catholic.
  • New Jerusalem Bible (NJB)Roman Catholic.
In the case of The Message, what does "use and abuse the Earth and everything in it" have to do with "nor homosexuals" inheriting eternal life and the kingdom (1 Cor. 6:9-10; see also its removal of "homosexuals" in 1 Tim. 1:9-10)? By no stretch of the imagination does that paraphrase the original. A comparison of these verses reveals that they do not even give the same sense as the original! Compare John 13:26 of The Living Bible to any genuine translation. How is Judas being honoured? These are just a couple examples to show how devious these paraphrases truly are.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Striving For the Goal

Jesus demands nothing short of obedience, perfection, and holiness. If you do not believe me, try reading your Bible sometime. That is the Christian's goal. But here is how you and I have been conditioned to think and act: "I'm never going to be perfect anyway, so I'll just do the bare minimum and aim for imperfection." Guess what? When you aim at nothing, when you put the bar low at imperfection, you'll hit it every time.

Here is the sad thing, though. While we think and act this way in regard to God and the Christian life, it is rather ironic that in every other area of life we do the complete opposite. Or would a better word be hypocritical? When we want to do a certain thing or learn a particular skill, or language, etc., all of a sudden we no longer have low bars. We aim high. We try and try and strive until we achieve that goal and come as close to perfection as possible. But when it comes to the things of God and the Christian life, we are lazy. We are not willing to strive for perfection and holiness. We are disbelievers in the promises God has given us. We do not trust God and our actions prove it.

How often does Scripture speak in regard to renewing our minds? When our thinking is right, then our actions will be right. When we believe right, then our behaviour will be right. Were Paul's words in vain? Was he telling us how to live the Christian life just for the sake of spewing forth words? "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12:1); "Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it" (1 Cor. 9:24). The goal is Christ-likeness. Perfection. Holiness. Are you aiming for it?

The more you strive for perfection and holiness, the more you aim high at achieving it, the more you will become like Christ and less like yourself. "He must increase and I must decrease" (John 3:30). You will never attain perfection until Christ glorifies you at His second coming, but that is no excuse for not striving for it now. If you do not put forth the effort, how can you hope to ever achieve it? If the world is going to look at you and see a change, you need to be striving for that change day-in and day-out so that you can be the salt and the light.

"You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matt. 5:48). "Be holy, as I am holy" (Lev. 11:44; 1 Pet 1:16). Those are commandments from Jesus Christ; not suggestions. When you aim high and strive for the goal, you will see progressive changes. When you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time and see no changes. Everything begins with obedience. When the Christian is obedient, out of love for his/her Saviour, striving to become more like Him is no chore. Out of that obedience perfection and holiness will naturally and progressively grow. It is impossible not to when you have the Holy Spirit and are sensitive to His leading. Remember, He is working in our lives to conform us to the image of Christ. God is capable of doing all that He has said He will do. Do you believe Him?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Obedience

"For ALL who are LED by the Spirit of God are sons of God" Romans 8:14. In other words, if you are not led by Him, you can be sure that you are not of Him—that you do not belong to Him.

Jesus asked, "Why call ye me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). In other words, "Why do you call me Lord and not obey me?" Jesus continued by making this statement: "Not everyone that saith unto Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many marvellous works?' And then will I profess unto them, 'I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:21-23). In other words, "you who live as though I never gave you commandments to obey." In Hebrew literature, when a Hebrew wants to emphasize a point, he repeats it. For us, we either capitalize it, bold it, or italicize it. The fact they said "Lord, Lord" reveals that these individuals believed themselves to be saved, yet they were false converts—part of the 75% bad soil from Jesus' parable.

Another parable illustrates this reality even further. "I am the true vine and My Father is the husband-man (vinedresser). Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit" (John 15:1-2). What happens to those branches that are taken away? "If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned" (v.6). Those who say "Lord, Lord" can be said to be "in Christ," even though they are not His and He does not know them. The true Christian will bear fruit and God will purge him so that he bears more fruit (some 30, some 60, some 100 fold). The false convert will bear no fruit and God will cut him off and cast him into the fire to be burned.

Jesus further stated that, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that [doth not obey] the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on Him" (John 3:36). Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John wrote, "Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, 'I know Him,' and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him, ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked" (1 John 2:3-6). He continues, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous (burdonsome)" (1 John 5:2-3).

"Being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him" (Hebrews 5:9). In other words, eternal salvation is granted to those who obey Christ Jesus. In Romans, Paul wrote, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Romans 8:13). In Galatians he wrote, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. ... They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16, 24-25). Peter wrote, "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (lifestyle)" (1 Peter 1:14). Holiness comes from our obedience to Christ and it must encompass our entire life, not just certain areas. Partial obedience is still disobedience.

Paul wrote, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you" (Romans 6:16-17). God has made Christians obedient from the heart. Peter wrote similarly: "...through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience..." (1 Peter 1:2). Our sanctification through the Holy Spirit brings about obedience. Sanctification is being set apart and being made holy. As stated above, holiness comes from our obedience to Christ. If you are claiming to be a Christian and are not obedient to the commands of Christ, then you are none of His. Many who call themselves "Christian" acknowledge Jesus with their lips but deny Him with their lifestyles. James wrote, "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (James 1:22). If Scripture commands something... do it! If you find you have trouble doing what it commands you to do, pray and ask God to help you be obedient to His Word and to do what He requires of you. You can be sure He will do so because He has made the believer obedient from the heart and obedient through sanctification. Holiness comes from obedience and obedience comes from faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please Him."

Go and serve your God, the Lord Jesus Christ, in obedience.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rest

In the Old Testament, the Israelites were instructed to keep the Sabbath holy and to rest on it. The Lord God speaking to Moses, instructing him what to say to the Israelites, said, "Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. ... Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed" (Exodus 31:12-18). There are those who would pervert the Word of God and claim that we are to obey the Sabbath commandment, charging that worship on Sunday is sinful. However, these people have failed to read the Scriptures on this issue and allow themselves to be taught correctly.

First, if they paid attention to that passage from Exodus 31, it states rather clearly that it is a sign between God and the nation of Israel. Furthermore, in the New Testament, Jesus said, "the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day" (Matthew 12:8; cf. Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5) and "the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27). Paul writes saying, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ" (Colossians 2:16-17). The word "judge" in verse 16 is the Greek krino (κρινω), which means "to condemn." It is the same word used in Matthew 7:1—"Condemn not, that ye be not condemned." The sabbath was a shadow of something better to come. In the New Testament, 9 of the 10 commandments are repeated. The one not repeated? Keeping the Sabbath. Why? Because if you are in Christ Jesus, He is our Sabbath. Any day, all day, every day. Every day the Christian is resting in Christ Jesus. In Hebrews 3:1-4:13, it speaks of Christ as our rest, saying, "For we which have believed do enter into rest" and "For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His" (Hebrews 4:3, 10). Christ did the work for us. There is nothing we can do. Ergo, we have rested from our works and rest in His work.

Now that we have an understanding of rest, let's look at some other passages of Scripture that deal with resting. Jesus told us, "Come ye who are heavy laden, and I will give thee rest" (Matthew 11:28). If you are burdened with your sin and don't want to endure it any longer, come to Jesus. Repent of your sins and He will give you the rest you seek, which can only be found in Him. Scripture tells us that "The Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrows" (Isaiah 14:3). You're not capable of carrying the burdens that can come your way. Peter wrote, "casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you" (1 Peter 5:7; cf. Psalm 55:22). There are many things that can cause us sorrows in this life, and especially sin. We need to bring them to the foot of the cross and cast them upon Jesus Who will give us rest. He tells us that "My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:30). The burden of sin is a heavy one and it will weigh us down to our graves.

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7). Here the Psalmist gives us great wisdom. In our hustle and bustle world today, we often want answers now rather than waiting. David instructs us here to rest in the Lord, resting with full trust (v.3) and confidence, waiting patiently for Him. God is seldom early, but He is never late. God is in control of all things and there is nothing that is beyond His control. You either believe that with your head or with your heart. If it is merely head knowledge, you will worry and fret and eventually do things yourself because you think God needs a hand. You don't have faith in Him the way your lips claim. If it is heart knowledge, you will cast your worries upon Him because you know there is nothing you can do about it anyway. You will pray, asking Him to strengthen your patience while you wait for His answer, and you will wait until God has answered, even if that answer is a "No." Matthew 6:25-34 deals with worry and anxiety. You can't change anything by doing so, so exercise control over yourself and leave all else in God's capable hands.

"Return unto thy rest, O my soul" (Psalm 116:7a). When things start to go awry in your life, do you cry this? If you have been enjoying your rest in Christ Jesus and something suddenly comes up that tempts you to worry and fret and be restless in your soul, are you able to speak these words? The Psalmist continues in that verse, "For the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee." God always has your best interest at heart. He will provide the things you need—not the things you want. (see Matthew 6:32b). Your objective is to "seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33). God will look after the rest. You make sure that you are being "holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16). Call your soul back to rest in Jesus and trust Him faithfully.

When we have entered into Christ's rest, we have rested from our works, rested from our sins, rested from worries and anxieties. We rest with perfect peace of mind in His work, in our sanctification, and in confidence that God is in control of all things and that "all things work together for good to them that love God" (Romans 8:28). So "do not be anxious about your life" (Matthew 6:25).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stand

In the Christian's walk with God, quite often he is required to stand. Stand for what? Well, let's start here: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful" (Psalm 1:1). Not only is it important how we walk, but where we stand. These reveal who we truly are, whether children of wrath and children of the devil (as some of us once were and many still are), or children of God. Which do you belong to? Well, compare yourself to what is said in 1 John 3:4-12. For now, let's see what Scripture has to say about "standing."

Stand together for the Gospel: "Only let your conversation (lifestyle) be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ: that ... I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1:27). First, we are told that our lifestyle, if we are true, biblical, born-again Christians, should be worthy of the Gospel. If we believe it and it has changed our lives, our lifestyle should reflect it. Second, we are told to stand firm, united together for the faith of the Gospel. As Jesus said, "If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand" (Mark 3:25). If the church does not stand for the faith of the Gospel, then it is divided. We are told to "contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3). We either stand for the Gospel that was delivered by Christ Jesus or we stand for a false gospel of our own making to suit our own feelings and agendas.

We look around today and we see many fools playing church, making a mockery of it before the world, rather than being the church, and then we wonder why it is the world no longer takes us seriously. We've lost sight of the true Gospel and inserted our own plans, concepts, and feelings into it, distorting it wildly beyond recognition. Look; when you hear someone claim they were saved when they were baptized as a child, you scoff because you know that is not how a person is regenerated, born again, and saved. Yet the majority of North America believes in the same illogical claim put to different words.
"I was saved when I was a child by praying a prayer."
"I was saved when I was a child by signing a card."
"I was saved when I was a child by writing my name in the back of my Bible, which I have never cracked open for the past 15 years."
You scoff at them, trying to strain their gnat, while you believe the same lie, swallowing your own camel. 100 years ago and earlier, they never had altar calls. Do you know how they could tell that someone had been born again? Their lives had radically changed. It is impossible to have an encounter with God and not be permanently changed. Study the life of Zacchaeus sometime and see the radical change that took place in him, to which Christ said, "This day is salvation come to this house" (Luke 19:9).
A couple years ago in the news, a former KKK member went all the way to Washington in order to say "I'm sorry" to the black man he had beaten up 48 years ago, who is now a congressman. He has been going around where he lives apologizing and making amends for the wrongs he committed all those years ago. This is what the grace of God does to you when God takes a hold of you and regenerates your awfully wretched and sinful heart. If you don't look like this man, or like Zacchaeus, or like the thief on the cross, who at first mocked and then repented and believed, then you have not yet been touched by God and do not belong to Him. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked" (Galatians 6:7).

Stand with the truth: "Stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle" (2 Thessalonians 2:15). In all the epistles, we can see the writers contending for the truth against the heresies that had started to creep in during their lifetime. We are told to stand firm in these truths. "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth" (Ephesians 6:14). John tells us, "Try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). If someone claims to have a teaching from God, hear them out but test what they have to say against Scripture. The Bereans were taught directly from the Apostle Paul and yet they "searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11). Peter says, "This voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed" (2 Peter 1:19-20). He is saying, "Look, you can believe me because I was there. But don't believe me just because I have said it; check the Scriptures and see if what I have said lines up with them." If someone claims they have seen Jesus whether in a dream or in person, you, having compared what they have said with Scripture, can conclude that they are in error. They may have indeed experienced something, but their experience does not line up with Scripture, and what they saw was not Jesus Christ. So stand firm on the Word of God because it is sufficient and reliable.

Stand against the devil: "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11). James said, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). Jesus conquered sin, death, and the devil, and gives us the power to do the same through Him. That's why it is important for the Christian to submit himself to God (4:7) and to walk in Christ (Colossians 2:6) and the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25). At no point are we to challenge Satan directly and try to take him on one-on-one, because we will lose. He is much stronger and much smarter than we are. All you have to do is look to the Garden of Eden for that reality. Eve thought she could match wits with him and look what happened. Our example is found in Michael the archangel, who is also stronger and smarter than we are, who said, "The Lord rebuke thee" (Jude 9). We are to "stand against" and "resist." That's it! Jesus will do the rest.

Stand fast (with awareness): "Stand fast in the Lord" (Philippians 4:1). This follows what Paul has just said in 3:12-21. We are to be pressing on toward the goal, keeping our eyes on those faithful few who have gone before us and left us an example, imitating them in the faith and the walk. Steve Green sings a song that perfectly captures this:
"As those who've gone before us, let us leave to those behind us a heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives. Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful. May the fire of our devotion light their way. May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe, and the lives we live inspire them to obey. Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful."
If we are not aware, we can place our eyes on the wrong people and imitate them. Jesus said, "I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16). Let us be wise and keep our eyes on Christ and on those who have followed and imitated Him, and let us follow and imitate them. Paul told the Philippians: "Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do" (Philippians 4:9). Let us imitate those who have left us an example in Christ.

While I did not have time to examine the Old Testament to see what it can teach us about what it means to stand, there is no shortage of lessons we can learn to stand in our walk with God. Christ is the true believer's treasure and he will stand for and by Him no matter the cost. The true believer has counted the cost of what it means to follow Christ and is willing to lay down his life for Christ if that is what it comes down to. Christians will experience trials, tribulations and persecutions in this life. If you are not, then you might want to see whether you belong to Christ or not, because He promised that all who do, will. When was the last time you were mocked or ridiculed for you faith? or do you not share it with others at all? "Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed" (Luke 9:26); "Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: but he that denieth Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God" (Luke 12:8-9).