Reclaiming Christianity II


My cats are really misbehaving right now, and I’ve got a wicked sinus headache, so I hope yesterday’s article made sense.

Do you know what a shell game is? That’s a game that you used to see at carnivals. A man would have three walnut shells, and place a pea under one. He’d slide the shells around and repeat the whole time, “where is the pea? Which one has it?” He’d stop. you’d pick. He’d lift the shell.

No pea. He was lying, because he scooped the pea up in his fingers before he started moving the shells. The dialog he used distracted you.

Here’s a firm statement to grasp onto.

The Greek new testament the churches of Jesus Christ have always used is the Textus Receptus.

The Hebrew text the churches have always used is the Ben Chayyim Masoretic text.

I used to be able to say just, “Masoretic text”, but literally the Theological liberals have taken ANOTHER text, the Ben Asher text (which is not Masoretic) – and have renamed it the Masoretic text.

The churches of Jesus Christ have always used the Hebrew old testament. Blanket statement.

Theological liberals try to play shell games by substituting a different majority text (one of the nicknames of the Textus Receptus) and a different Masoretic text.

That’s called lying. “Is this the car I test drove?” “Uh… SUUUUURRE!” “It looks different… I don’t remember it making that noise…” “No, no, that’s the same one!”

That’s lying. To offer up a false text instead of the text we’re supposed to be using is called lying.

Then here’s the other part of the shell game.

They don’t use either.

They use another text. They prefer the Vulgate Latin for the Old Testament, and the Septuagint (which interestingly enough, may be only a myth – because we know a heretic named Origen wrote his own New Testament text, and bundled it in with his own parallel texts in Greek called the Hexepla, because it has six columns… well, guess how many columns the “Septuagint” has?).

And when they look at the Septuagint and are “unsure” (meaning they don’t like the answer in front of them), they consult the Vulgate, or the Syrian Peshitta (an Aramaic paraphrase of the Bible).

It’s kind of like most of you probably know the story of Codex Sinaiticus, as the story is presented to you. It’s a modern forgery, but they seem to neglect that part.

Then what they never tell you is that the modern Bibles ONLY USE SINAITICUS when Vaticanus is missing that verse, chapter, or book (both codexes are missing words, verses, chapters, and entire books).

so why do they make such a big deal about Sinaiticus? When they almost never use it?

Shell game. They’re lying.

So, here’s how you settle the Bible issue. Your Bible MUST BE TRANSLATED FROM TEXTS THE CHURCHES HAVE ALWAYS USED! The Ben Chayyim Hebrew and the Textus Receptus.

That narrows it to one. The King James.

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Reclaiming Christianity


Most of you don’t know this, but…

I have a bad habit of not letting go of the shift key when I capitalize a word. It usually comes out as WOr, and not Word. Or THe, instead of The.

Be glad I didn’t write down the first verse of the Gospel of John!

The situation we have – as seen today from Fundamentalist eyes – is that Christianity has been overwhelmed by opponents of Christianity.

We’ve been given a viewpoint of something diametrically opposed to Biblical Christianity, and it has been passed off by fallen angels masquerading as ministers of light to us as if it were true Christianity.

How are we saved? I’d say that we’re having a problem even with that concept since I was a boy.

What are we supposed to believe about the Bible? Most believers hold to a defective view of Scripture.

Who is a Christian? We hold to a Biblical definition – but then we welcome under the title of “Christian” people who don’t fit that definition.

I’ve tried to write these articles a dozen times, and never quite knew how to approach this. But here it is. Should be short, perhaps a week of small articles you’ll actually have time to read, for once!

The question I want to ask is, how many of you are asking the same questions? How many of you have come to the same conclusions?

Most of the readers of this blog are here because they hunger and thirst for righteousness. They don’t agree with everything I write (that’s a good thing, BTW – if you agree 100% with any human, you’re in trouble!), but they are of the same mindset – or you wouldn’t be here!

Let’s talk first about the Bible, because if we can’t get that right, we can’t get anything right. What’s your standard? The people who introduced heretical Bibles that deny the deity of Jesus Christ are trying to make sure you don’t have a standard to measure things against.

The Bible has no errors. That should get an amen out of you. I see the attacks on the Bible DAILY by theological liberals every day in my Logos program. Greatest Bible software in the world, but you pay for it by constantly seeing the articles appear linking to video interviews or video blog entries by modernists. “If Archaeology contradicts the Bible, what should we believe?” Is one such headline they blared. Here’s the answer, I’m sure all 300 of you thought of it right away!

We believe the Bible, and doubt Archeology. That’s what we should believe.

THe Bible has no errors, No mistakes. Not one word in the Bible is spurious. Every word there was placed there by the hand of God, put in the mouths and pens of the Biblical writers. The question we should think is not, “what did the author intend by this?” but “What did God intend by this?” If you’re worried about what PAUL teaches, then you’re already day late, dollar short.

Why?

Because if you disagree with something, “Well, that’s just Paul.”

If on the other hand you believe in mechanical inspiration (which I do, and oddly enough everyone who’s been saved a week or so believes automatically), then it’s not Paul who wrote it, it’s God writing through the hand of Paul. God tells me not to have long hair? Yes, Lord. Paul tells me not to have long hair? That’s just Paul, and I’m free to choose. See what I mean?

If you grasp this mindset, the Christian faith gains more power, and holds you secure even in the darkest night.

A Quick Thought for Pastors


There’s a few pastors who have followed my blog. So here’s a thought.

Your sermon must tell, educate and explain more about the passage than the congregation can determine from just READING it.

You had to learn Greek and Hebrew to graduate seminary.

Use it.

Is there a repeated word? Is this word rarely used in the sermon?

The Bible is written in Greek and Hebrew. The congregation doesn’t care that much about Greek tenses – but they’re interested in what words mean.

Dig deeper. Just looking in Holman’s Bible Handbook and writing a sermon in one hour will not feed them.

Cut back on visiting prayer groups. Cut back on all the excess stuff. The Pastor’s primary job is to preach. The job writing the sermon should be Tuesday morning, not Friday or Sunday at 6 AM.

Things you miss reading your Bible too quickly


Reading through Exodus this morning, I ran across a couple of things that I’d never noticed before.

In Exodus 10:3, Moses finally shouts at is step-brother, or at least speaks harshly. It’s been a while building up!

He was deferential to Tutmose at first, and slowly, as Tutmose opposed God, Moses grew more blunt in his approach.

Tutmose might have taken Moses’s intended name – Moses in Hebrew being Moshe, or pronounced Mose by the Egyptians. Hatshepsut, Moses’s adopted mother would have given him the name Tutmose. Quite literally, she had made her decision that this child given to her by the Nile would be Pharaoh. Her nephew would not have shared the same name – it was a declaration of inheritance.

Tutmose’s stubbornness may be born of his sudden conceit, the longed for treasure given into his hands after Moses murdered and then fled. Tutmose would have desired the throne of Egypt, and finally got it, when he’d given up hope. He is a supplanter. And now Moses reappears – not to demand what is his right, but to appear as one of Egypt’s slaves – deferential, eyes down, beseeching. And the humble servant of God.

Now Moses  speaks harshly, if not shouting. Tutmose has ignored every demand of God, given politely at first. then with warnings. Then with the voice of judgment.

You tell me – does this sound like shouting to you?

Exodus 10:3-6 (KJV) And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field: And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers’ fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.

You know, you don’t have to be really smart after seeing Egypt devastated to know that if you don’t do as he asks, things are going to go badly.

If I had been Tutmose, I’d have let them go.

Evernote for Ministry Research


I’m always on the lookout for anything that can assist me in cataloging and storing resources. When I first started this blog, I wanted to give appropriate references. What I needed was a reference manager, and I couldn’t find one. Now I have Zotero, but for a while there, all my research was lost. If that ever happens to you, I wrote an article on how to get it back. It takes like 21 steps.

I also have been looking for a way to save webpages. I’ve done it in Zotero, and I’ve saved to PDF. But often I’m in a hurry, and the endless “save to” “Save as” process of saving a web page to PDF was truly irritating.

And it left you with no real way to catalog what you saved. So to write an article sometimes took hours, if not days. The worst was when I saw an article on an official Seventh Day Adventist website where they credited the man who influenced Charles Taze Russell’s corrupt theology as being “A genuine Seventh Day Adventist.”

It created a hoo-rah of controversy when I published the post, and the SDA website pulled the quote from the article.

Enter Evernote. If I’d had Evernote, I could have saved it as an article, added keywords, and then clipped the address to Zotero. No kidding. Real quick to do.

If you’re involved in Christian ministry, Evernote is a tool you need. I think the best bet is to get the Plus membership, at $32 a year. I’ve gone a year with it at the free level, but some months I’m pretty much stopped cold by the 10th day because I’m almost at my free limit. I’m either going to get the Business level (which is on sale) or the plus level.

Get into the habit of clipping things. Have a default category, then plan out an admin day every month where you go through all your clippings and categorize them into the correct notebooks, and add appropriate tags, like “quote later” “Heretic”, etc.

Helpful idea


It would be great if someone could make a converter that would take all of your library in all the kinds of Bible software – Quickverse, WordSearch, eSword, theWord, Logos, Swordsearcher, Bible Analyzer, etc – and convert them all to the appropriate kind of resource in any one of the Bible programs.

By Monday.

That way in all of my various Bible programs, I would have all of the books available. I have some resources in Quickverse that I don’t have in any other software.

I have resources in Word search I don’t have in Quickverse, Accordance, Logos or Swordsearcher.

And so on. It sometimes means I have to open six different Bible programs to have all my resources available.

Year of Writing Commentary


Just a reminder, that this is year one of writing commentary on things you’re learning in your Bible study. I started Jan. 1 in Romans 1:1.

So, after your Bible study (or during it), take notes in a special note file inside your Bible software.  Please make sure your Bible study session is a minimum of 15 minutes a day! If you are a Pastor or in ministry, double that. As a matter of fact, if you are a Pastor, you need to make sure that you’re studying your Bible at least an hour a day, or your congregation will have your hide. God requires a Pastor to spend time in prayer and studies of the Bible. Everything else is secondary.

E-Sword instructions: If I remember right, E-Sword comes with Study Notes, Topic Notes and Journal Notes already made. This would all go into your study notes. Remember to uncheck the little chain icon before you start writing, and then check it again once you’re done.

Swordsearcher instructions:  Under “User” click “Create new user Commentary”. Now all you have to do to add notes is click the four diamonds, and a window will open up to add your notes.

King James Pure Bible Search: Click CTRL+M or go to Edit>Add/Edit/Delete User Note. The user note editor will pop open. Save the note when done typing.

theWord: File>New User Module>Commentary. Name it, give it initials (Dean Commentary DCT) and save it. Now you can start typing away. Make sure you go slowly when trying to expand theWord to fill the window, or you’ll close it down every time. This was a major reason (besides its untidy, cluttered appearance) I gave up using it back in Seminary.

Logos: Create a manuscript, and NAME it “Dean Commentary”. No kidding (it’s a hidden thing in Logos) it will prioritize it, especially if you add a link on your taskbar to it. The more you add to it, no kidding, the more Logos will begin to refer to it as you write.

Okay, this should get you started on the “How-to”. Now you just need to start!

Go to Romans 1:1. Read all of Romans 1 and start taking notes in your commentary. You’re going to make notes every third verse (1:1, 1:4, 1:7, etc). Why? Because next year is the second year of commentary, and the year after that is the third year. In three years, you will have written study notes (if not commentary) on every verse in the Bible.

Recommended commentaries: The Bible. The Bible is its own best commentary. In this regard, Pure Bible Search gives you an advantage by FORCING you to use ONLY the Bible and ONLY the Webster’s 1828.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary by John Walvoord is the next best. Flawed, highly Evangelical, and based upon the NIV (UGH!), but still the best commentary you can get.

Look things up. Use Bible Analyzer. Is this the first time that word is used in the Bible? Unless it’s Gen. 1:1, make a note of it! Is this a word used 5 times or Less in the Bible? Make a note of that.

Open the TSK. Follow the rabbit, and see where the references take you. Literally, this is how David Cloud learned all the Bible stuff he learned, using a Strong’s, and eventually adding a TSK. His own notes took the form of a Bible Encyclopedia, instead of a commentary. And yes, you can buy a copy of it.

You’ll add a lot to your commentary as you go along, so don’t worry if you only get a few sentences in at first.

Yesterday’s blog article came out of my commentary.