Hebrews 40


“That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 6:18–20, KJV)

I’m REALLY trying to finish this up this year!

It pretty much leaves me 24 days or so to finish this, so let’s see if I can finish 7 chapters in 24 days. It’s pushing it! But we’ve already laid a lot of foundation on what Hebrews teaches.

The hope set before us is salvation. If you don’t have that, if all you’ve got is wealth, power, fame, and a future of a fearful judgment and torment… that’s not a hope, that’s a dread.

The hope of salvation is the anchor of the soul. THe word sure here means truth, certain. This is one of those cases where when people tell me (thanks to Riplinger and Ruckman) that I should never look at the Greek text, I would be wrong! I had thought it meant fixed in place. ἀσφαλής, asphalēs Truth, certain, certainty.

Salvation is not a hope as we define it. It is certain. It is definite. It is undoubtable.

Salvation is stedfast. βέβαιος bebaios firm, in force, valid. Those words are powerful. Salvation is certain, without doubt, in force, definite. It happens, without doubt, powerfully able to keep and preserve you.

Melchizedek’s name and hometown suggest that he was the “king of righteousness” and the “king of peace.” The Bible did not record any beginning or ending for his life. His eternal priesthood of righteousness was like that of Christ. Abraham’s action of giving tithes to Melchizedek showed that the priest was a great man.

Because the priesthood of Aaron did not bring people into obedience to God, He changed the priesthood. He installed Christ as the Priest after a new order, that of Melchizedek

Thomas D. Lea, “The General Letters,” in Holman Concise Bible Commentary, ed. David S. Dockery (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 622.

“For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.” (Hebrews 7:1–10, KJV)

Notice that as Hebrews details the sacrifices and offerings, it takes pains to point out they are abolished and done away with.

Hebrews does not do so with the tithe. The tithe pre-exists the law. Jesus Christ took pains to admonish the pharisees that they should have given the tithe, but not neglected mercy.

There is nothing ANYWHERE in the New Testament to suggest the Tithe is done away with. People just fester to tell me that they don’t pay tithe, they don’t agree it’s for today. My standard reply is always, “that is between you and God.” If you’re right, no harm in giving the tithe for the support of God’s work. If you’re wrong…

…you’ve got some explaining to do at the believer’s judgment.

And what if part of the rewards is God giving us the tithe back??? With interest? By withholding it and robbing God, you may well end up impoverished in the Kingdom because you trusted God and the pastors above you with everything except your own god, Money.

you serve one or the other. There’s no surer test of whom you serve than by the giving of your tithe.

Levi paid tithes to Melchezidek by the means of his ancestor Abraham giving them. That’s stretching a point, but the point here is… Levi is considered great, as he was entrusted with the priesthood through Aaron. Abraham was before Levi, and considered greater, as he started the Jewish nation.

Abraham paid tithes to Christ. Since Abraham was greater than Levi, then Christ remains greater than Levi.

Paul here is taking great care to explain in every way that Christ is far greater than Aaron, who is above every human high priest.

Jesus Christ is our sure High Priest, above every man.

King James Only-ism – invented by Seventh Day Adventist?


One of the usual attacks on King James only proponents is that it was invented by a Seventh Day Adventist.

There is an implication in that statement that Seventh Day Adventism is wrong – and yet most modern translation proponents have absolutely no problem calling the SDA Christians, when they should be dismissing them as a cult! To point out all the constant hypocrisy of the modern version proponents would require a full time job!

Yes, Benjamin Wilkerson did write a book advocating the King James Bible in 1930. So, let’s look at a quick timeline of KJV defenders, and see if it was really started by Wilkerson!

1819 John Henry Todd published A Vindication of Our Authorized Translation and Translators of the Bible.

1829 – John Jebb defends the KJV

1843 John Dowling published a defense of the KJV in “The Burning of the Bibles, Defence of the Protestant Version of the Scriptures Against the Attacks of Popish Apologists for the Champlain Bible Burners (Philadelphia: Nathan Moore, 1843)

1850 John Dowling published The Old-Fashioned Bible, or Ten Reasons against the Proposed Baptist Version of the New Testament (New York: Edward H. Fletcher, 1850)

1883 Dean John Burgon publishes The Revision Revised

1904 The Trinitarian Bible Society begins publishing articles protesting the Critical Greek Text of Wescott Hort.

1924-25 William Aberhard publishes The Latest of Modern Movements: Or What about the Revised Version of the Bible

1924 Philip Mauro publishes Which Version? Authorized or Revised?

1930 – Benjamin Wilkerson publishes his book

Hm.

So, apparently Wilkerson was just following in several others’ footsteps!

so much for that slander.

King James – Preserved Word?


I was prowling back on the 22nd, looking to see if there’s any other free Bible software worth looking at, and getting disappointed. I stopped at Costas Sturgios’ website for Theword Bible software, to see if it’s gotten any better. I know some people talk about how they love it – I despise it. When I first started this blog on my old laptop, I was alternating between E-Sword and theword, and kind of leaning toward Theword, but every time I tried to minimize the program, I’d close it, because Costas set the windows up slightly off from where the industry standard are, and the buttons slightly smaller.
It was irritating, but better than the incredible delays from E-Sword. Then someone bought me Bible Explorer, and I stopped using both, and got rid of Theword.
Anyways, while poking around his web site, I did see that there was a new free book offered on the main website, with a title along the lines of “Pure TRanslation?”
Okay, I know where you’re getting at with that. I read the blurb, and knew where the book was going. Apparently the author claims to have been King James Only for “many years”, and “researched the Bible Version issue”, and “discovered the truth behind the false claims”, and a disparaging comment about not being “deceived by cults” any longer.
There’s King James Only, and then there’s KING JAMES ONLY. I don’t know which of them you refer to. Were you part of the Ruckman cult, the Riplinger cult, or were you convinced of the truth of the Textus Receptus and Hebrew Masoretic text?
If you’re part of the first and/or second, then I can’t address that. Yeah, you were in a cult. Seriously. And what you were researching mostly was backlash against that cult.
Here’s the facts, that I’ve never seen disputed. People bring up Ruckman (who has passed away) – but to quote David Cloud, “I believe Peter Ruckman has done more damage to the King James Bible issue than good.” He’s destroyed any credibility we could have had. And Sam Gipp is fond of saying, “Ruckmanite is what they call you when they’re losing the argument.”
Gail Riplinger’s bizarre teachings on the King James are some of the shoddy scholarship you see out of some Christians – you know, the “He was published by Zondervan, and you know who else is published by Zondervan, so there’s a connection, and they’re undoubtedly doing goat slayings together at midnight!”
She is utterly opposed to anyone writing any book, dictionary, encyclopedia, concordance or lexicon on the King James Bible – unless its her. If she does it, it’s okay. Her “research” on the Strong’s Concordance was embarrassing. Again, it’s a black eye for King James believers.

Let me answer someone I respect right now, because he’s got a personality quirk that’s just as bad. D. A. Waite is a stalwart defender of the King James Bible. But if you don’t agree with him, you run the serious risk of having pamphlets printed about you where he lambasts you publicly, frying you mercilessly and almost slanderously. Witness the recent revelations that there were some financial irregularities in the Dean Burgon society, and several long term members resigned over it. Waite promptly attacked them publicly. If you did some things wrong financially through ignorance, then you need to appoint a treasurer and solve the issue in good confidence. If you had a moral failing, then repent of it, hand the money to someone else and get on with the work! But don’t publicly attack those who resigned from the DBS over it! (I have never been a member, but I suppose I should join someday).

Okay, we’ve addressed the cultic claims. Now let’s address the research.
The scholarship has been done many times already. Elzevir, Erasmus, Stephanus… they went through and looked at the Bible manuscripts in Greek, and determined the proper readings out of the manuscripts used.
There’s your research.
When the VAST MAJORITY of the manuscripts belong to the Antioch family of manuscripts, and less than fifty belong to Alexandrian, it’s obvious that those 47 manuscripts are flawed, erroneous, or deliberately corrupted – not the vast majority. I did a series earlier this year on textual criticism, and some of you doubtless were shocked at the deliberate agendas behind the spurious and arbitrary hypotheses behind the textual criticism. I stated the origins, I stated the rules, and I examined those rules in light of accepted Biblical interpretation and logic, and those rules were found to violate accepted Hermeneutics.
By the way, if you’re looking for information for a dissertation or thesis on the Bible Version issue, I’ve got enough on this web site to pretty much write one.
Hmmm….
Anyway, The modern translations are based upon Wescott Hort, and that’s most definitely a red flag. They decided that out of the two manuscripts of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, Vaticanus was the most accurate.
Why?
A feeling. Yup, that’s what they said! A Feeling! Wow… amazing scholarship there! Was this the “scholarship” that the author of that book uncovered that convinced him?
Or was it the Textual criticism rule of “The most clear reading must give way to the most obscure”, which is the direct opposite of the Hermeneutic principle of “We accept the clear readings when they are majority, and interpret the obscure in light of the clear”?
Yessir, I’m convinced too! A “Feeling”! Wow! How come I never saw scholarship like this from Stephanus?
Ready for a truth? And I DARE, double dog dare any textual critic to deny this – but if the Textus Receptus source documents were even one tenth as corrupt and as heavily edited as Vaticanus, they’d be screaming that fact loudly. With many passages edited as many as six times by six different scribes, Vaticanus is as reliable as a witness who keeps changing their story. We acccept manuscripts that are a “true copy”. Heavily edited manuscripts are rejected, which is why Stephanus and the Elzevir brothers never bothered with Vaticanus.
Here’s an assertion, that accords with the Bible, which is inspired and inerrant… If the Alexandrian family of 47 manuscripts were indeed the ones preferred by God, they would have remained in constant use by the churches. The Christians copied their Bibles from other manuscripts – that’s why the Antioch family has so many thousands. I had one well meaning atheist or textual critic, I don’t know which, try to come on here and say authoritatively, “We don’t have 5,400 manuscripts… we have only a few hundred.” That’s incorrect. You have to compile the list of lectionaries, uncials, miniscules, papyri and codexes. If he was talking about just codexes, yes, he was right. If on the other hand he was talking about complete manuscripts in the various forms, then he’s completely wrong.
Since the Alexandrian family has ony 47 copies or so, then the Alexandrian manuscripts WERE NOT THE ONES PRESERVED BY GOD. Indeed, since they deliberately change words and remove entire verses that support the cardinal doctrines of Christianity (deity of Christ, vicarious atonement, the Trinity), the evidence supports the facts that these are heretical manuscripts, written by heretics such as Ebionites, the Arians, and the Gnostics.
So… why are the “scholars” pushing for manuscripts that deny the deity of Christ? That deny the Trinity? Was THIS the research that convinced that author???
Here’s the bottom line. Like me, he’s probably got some software with many, many cool translations. And the pressure to conform, to stop swimming upstream all the time is enormous. He caved. That’s it. He caved in to the pressure, to the temptation.
my seminary strongly advocates makiing sure before you accept the call to the ministry to make SURE your doctrinal stances. Know that you know that you know.
And now it’s out there that he caved. And if he ever repents, and REALLY examines the issues instead of trying to justify his compromising…
He’s going to lose all credibility forever.

Hebrews 39


“For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 6:13–20, KJV)

Ta-da. One week of articles written all in one morning.

These verses seem very understandable, so only a few notes this morning. If I was preaching this series (and someday I will), I could actually fit this into two sermons: The promises of God and the trials of the believer.

But for now, let’s look at this.

God swears by Himself.

Wow.

God cannot lie, and He took an oath by the most sure thing in the universe there is!

Himself.

God foreordained that Jesus Christ, one third of the Trinity, would enter into the holy of holies for us.

And wait there for us.

Which means what?

We’re going in there.

What does that say about you, in God’s eyes?

Someday, we will begin to understand the depth of the love God has for us.

Hebrews 38


I’m writing almost this entire week in one morning.

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:1–12, KJV)

We are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation.

I spoke on this for three days – if you are truly saved, there should be some evidence of it in your life.

Where people get it wrong is they focus on other Christians and despair. “I can’t measure up to what John Smith does”, etc.

Look, it’s like any endeavor. There’s always other people who strive well, and who can accomplish many things. There’s always a top dog, so to speak.

That’s not how you measure it.

Did you worry about God’s approval before you were saved? Did you worry about God’s will for your life? Did you worry about having a proper understanding of the Bible and doctrine?

No!

Are you worried about these things now?

That’s a good sign!

“I was a Christian for years, and I felt an urging finally to repent. Now, I’m wondering if I should get baptized again?” This was an actual question I was asked. At first, my answer was, “No.” Until they said this…

“It seemed like I couldn’t understand the Bible before, but now it’s like I really understand it!”

Change my answer. “Yes. Get baptized. You got wet before, but it wasn’t a baptism.”

Why? The repentance they thought was just a recommittal was not. It was salvation.

You’re still going to struggle with sin. Oh, boy, will you. But that will end when you leave this realm.

Paul, after terrifying his listeners for six chapters, now reassures them he believes they are saved, and will not leave the faith.

We’ve turned a corner in Hebrews. Now, we will go on to completeness, to perfection. Here’s where Hebrews REALLY starts getting good!

Hebrews 37


“For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.” (Hebrews 6:7–8, KJV)

It’s the Bible, not me. Don’t be mad at me for what’s written there. If you’re not bearing fruit as a Christian, then consider that.

Remember the fig tree. The Lord went to it, seeking fruit. When there was none, he cursed it, and it died. Strange? No. He was warning the people he’d chosen that if they did not repent and begin showing fruit, they too would be judged.

Don’t be so smug. The same warning applies to all of us. Are you saved? Your life should show some fruit of it.

None? You may not be saved.

One of the first tests I usually employ (and I catch trouble for it every time!) is the contention that if you’re saved, you should be able to understand the Bible.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14, KJV)

Tune in tomorrow for the good news!

Black Friday Hopes


Having a small amount of money to spend, today Logos is having a huge sale. I’m hoping to really outfit my library. I’m praying to get the upgrade to Logos 7 Starter. I’m going to get the Standard and not the Baptist this time, as I was woefully disappointed in some of the representative Baptist works they chose. Logos tends to be New Calvinists, ranging from theological liberals (the so-called scholars they’ve hired) to theological moderates (the people who choose what is included in the Logos packages).

THe upgrade for me, since I have Logos 6 Baptist Starter, is only 163.99

Sadly, I don’t have that much.

Really, what I need is the Bronze package, but that’s $700, and I don’t have anything close to that. And unless I start working a part time job, I’m not going to afford that ever.

But today, they’re having 64% discounts, so pray for me.

I’m praying for:

  • Logos 7 Starter
  • Bible Knowledge Commentary
  • several modern Bible perversions I need for my blog and seminary work, such as the Compete “Jewish” Bible, The Nearly Inspired Version (NIV), The Reviled Substandard Version (RSV), the New Reprehensible Sorry Version (NRSV).

I seriously doubt that I could afford Bronze. 64% would put that at $448. I think that’s about $56 a month, which isn’t doable either.

So, Lord, please… whaever small mercies and blessings you can bestow on me will be wonderful.