Every Thought into Captivity


“Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:1–5, KJV)

What do we key in here in this passage?

Paul begins this by contrasting his boldness among the Corinthians with the meekness and Gentleness of Jesus Christ. He’s almost apologizing for this.

Why?

The object lesson he’s trying to teach us is that we should be base among the peoples. Base means mean, of lowly stature, of little importance. We should me meek, humble.

That doesn’t translate well in American culture. Meekness in your demeanor is perceived by most people as weakness. But the man who first boldly witnessed to me about Jesus Christ used to growl at people, “Don’t mistake my meekness for weakness.” I’d have to make the same statement!

Let’s key in on the next part, and then we’ll get to the very lesson I want to impart today.

We do not walk according to the flesh. Seriously, this chapter needs to be discussed from every Evangelical pulpit in the US, because I can honestly tell you that the vast majority of false teachers out there are telling Christians they MUST walk according to the flesh, in direct contradiction to the Bible.

For though we walk in the flesh…. Yes, I’m a man living in a fleshly body. And I know that in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Romans 7:18, KJV)

So, obviously, the Bible tells us that walking in the flesh is a BAD thing. Christians can tell when they’re walking in the flesh – things blow up around us. We backslide at an amazing rate. You start thinking of the things of your former life in the flesh. You argue with people. But because you’re a Christian, you’re held to a different standard.

So, how to avoid that?

Do not war after the flesh. Do not walk in the flesh. Walk in the spirit.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7, KJV)

If you sew to the flesh, you shall reap of the flesh. That ALWAYS backfires to Christians.

Sew to the spirit. Spend time listening to sermons. Spend time watching Godly videos, like David Cloud’s video series on Bible study (I link to them on this web site). Listen to Alexander Scourby reading the Bible. Faith comes by hearing the word of God.

Where’s the primary battle fought?

Right in the verse I wanted to teach on today.

Bringing into captivity every thought…

Every thought.

Your battle is fought and won or lost in your thoughts foremost. This is something the Lord taught the Pharisees, and it’s funny that some of the Rabbi’s in the Talmud later on taught this. Gee, wonder where they got it?
When a fleshly thought comes into your mind, immediately recite a Bible verse in your head. The thoughts you’re battling may be your own evil inclination, or they may be from external sources. I’ve heard

Fundamentalist preachers like Danny Castle preach this, so it’s not just a Charismatic teaching. It’s Biblical.

Think a Bible verse. Is this hocus pocus? Nope.

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, That I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11, KJV)

Do this. Get your thoughts right. Yes, it seems like every trap that Satan can raise against you when you decide to do this seems to happen. But be grimly dedicated to this.

Walk after the spirit. Bring into captivity every thought. Sew to your spirit, and your spirit shall get stronger. But sew to your flesh, and you lose the battle, time and again.

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Ecumenism


cumenism is out of control.

ec•u•men•i•cal \ˌe-kyə-ˈme-ni-kəl, -kyü-\ adjective

[Late Latin oecumenicus, from Late Greek oikoumenikos, from Greek oikoumenē the inhabited world, from feminine of oikoumenos, present passive participle of oikein to inhabit, from oikos house—more at VICINITY] circa 1587

1: worldwide or general in extent, influence, or application

2 a: of, relating to, or representing the whole of a body of churches

b: promoting or tending toward worldwide Christian unity or cooperation—ec•u•men•i•cal•ly \-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

ec•u•men•i•cal•ism \-ˈme-ni-kə-ˌli-zəm\ noun

1888: ECUMENISM

Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

Why do I consider this a problem? Aren’t we supposed to be united as Christians, Christian brotherhood, you know, the Church?

Um… believe it or not, this doctrine – as we interpret it today – cannot be found in the Bible.

Before everyone starts opening their slower than molasses in January E-Sword program, let me explain.

There is indeed supposed to be unity within the church.

Define Church, first.

A visible, local assembly of born again believers.

Are the unsaved part of that?

No.

The definition of “Christianity” today is no longer “all the born again believers”, but “Everyone who calls themselves Christians, except for Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

20 years ago, the average Christian knew and understood that Roman Catholicism was a false religion, a cult – but today mention that, and it’s like you declared yourself to be a… wow, I have just run out of things to compare that to! Fifteen years ago, I’d have said “communist” there, but now Americans see nothing wrong with Communism.

Today, Christians link arms with Mormons, who are just GIDDY over the acceptance. They were a cult 15 years ago, they’re a cult today.

People who love God but have never been born again? “Christians.” And today’s Christians are offended at the thought of passing someone a tract who calls themselves Christian and love God, but have never been born again.

“We should major on the majors, and not on the minors!”

Sounds great! What are you talking about? Dcotrines? Sure! Show me in the Bible which doctrines are major, and which are minor. You must consider salvation a minor doctrine we should ignore, because you’re accepting people whose definition of “saved” is sprinkled with water as a baby, or immersed as an adult being REQUIRED for salvation. Church of Christ followers are in a cult, with damnable heresies. Lutherans who are not born again are not entering heaven. Baptists who have not been born again are not going into heaven. Methodists who have not been born again are not going to heaven.

None of these people can be called “Christian.”

“But I go to a Baptist church!” Yes, and ask your pastor! He’ll be the FIRST to tell you that if you are not born again, you are NOT going to heaven.

When I was a teenager, I heard ALL about being Born Again, and I knew what it meant. We have no excuse. And even more frightening, the Bible hints you can share in their punishment for even bidding someone Godspeed that you’re kicking out of your house for being a heretic! How much more will you face the music for embracing the unSaved as Christians?

It’s going to be a very uncomfortable time to say the least for a lot of today’s Christians at the Judgment seat of Christ.

Textual Criticism


“The Bible version issue must be faced BECAUSE IT IS FOUNDATIONAL… The Bible version issue must be faced BECAUSE, GENERALLY SPEAKING, ONLY ONE SIDE OF THIS DEBATE IS GIVEN TODAY.” (David Cloud, Way of Life Encyclopedia, pg. 66)

This article is going to be a little long, but I encourage you to read it, to study this issue, because I will tell you it is the most important doctrinal issue facing Christianity today. Why? If you do not have the right understanding of the Bible, the core element of the Christian life, how will you determine your doctrine? How will you live, not knowing what to believe?

We’ve all seen the standard line in Bible teacher’s statements of faith… “We believe the Bible to be inerrant, and inspired in the original manuscripts.”

The great thing about that statement, is that you can claim Genesis is a myth, that Christ never rose from the dead and was just a good man, and STILL put that in your statement of faith, and be telling the truth.

Why?

Where are the original manuscripts?

Gone. Faded away.

So you can claim they say whatever you like. Who’s going to prove you wrong?

The issue has to do with textual criticism. Textual criticism is a series of statements invented by Wescott and Hort to defend their work against any complaints from Bible Believing Christians.

So, what exactly is Modern Textual Criticism?

“the struggle to REGAIN the original form of the New Testament” (Constantine Tischendorf, quoted in Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, p. 126)

Regain. The implication is that the text was lost.

Let me briefly explain the history of the Greek Text, and someone let me know where it was lost, please?

The original text of the New Testament was written as letters which were circulated to all the churches. It would be copied carefully, and then the original letter sent on. To put it simply and bluntly, THERE WAS NO ORIGINAL TEXT of the Bible, where you opened it up and it was all 29 books of the New Testament.

The VERY FIRST TEXT would have been when the first church finally got Revelation in 95 AD and added its text to their collection. We finally would have had the completed New Testament text. Hold that thought, because every step of the way requires a miracle to think that God would preserve His Bible – which indeed happened.

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5:18 (KJV)

Here’s my first point – If you believe in Modern Textual Criticism, you do not believe the Bible literally, as Jesus Christ states in Matthew 5:18 that the text of the Bible will NEVER pass away while Heaven and Earth exist.

Second point…. If you don’t believe Matthew 5:18, what ELSE do you not believe?

This issue of accepting Modern Textual Criticism is a major issue, as it almost literally can be used as a yardstick to identify who is a false teacher and who is not…

ALL of the original First Century churches would have compiled copies of the New Testament. The Christian churches began facing fierce opposition, before the New Testament was even completed, under Domitian and Nero. It is recorded in the Talmud the fierceness with which Rome dealt with Holy Books not of Roman origin. Rabbi Akiva was tied to a stake, doused in oil, then wrapped in a Torah Scroll – then set afire. Akiva cried out as he burnt alive that he could see the glowing red letters of the word of God floating up to heaven before him. The scene so moved the Centurion who set Akiva afire that the Centurion jumped onto the pile of burning wood and wrapped his arms around Akiva, where the two of them burned to death together. The Centurion also shouted out he could see the letters burning and rising into heaven before them.

The New Testament churches copied all the words of the Bible and circulated them, so that every family could own one. Churches began to scatter as affliction and persecution rose. Romans found Bibles nad burned them. THey found Lectionaries (portions of Scripture copied for responsive readings) and destroyed them.

The state church was instituted by Constantine finally, becoming the roman Catholic church… who added to the persecution, burning all Bibles they found. You have to ask a LOT of questions about why would the Roman Catholic church burn all the bibles they find? Facts are, they did burn them.

Finally, as periods of persecution began to finaly die away, men began to collect all the handwritten Bibles, in many different languages, and compared them.

Despite some minor spelling mistakes, 99.99% of them all agreed word for word, letter for letter.

That’s a MIRACLE. If I assigned 30 students to copy a chapter from a book, there’s going to be massive contradictions, missed words, spelling errors, dropped lines where the eye finds the same word in two separate lines, but misses most of one line and begins copying the next line starting from the repeated word. This actually happened very rarely among all the texts.

There’s a man named Will Kinney who has researched this issue in some detail. He’s not the first person to do it – it was done by Scrivener, by Stephanus, by Beza, and even by Dean John Burgon. Will Kinney can literally tell you in many cases, “you can find that in the Chester Beatty Papyrii, in Manuscript number….” If you’re really interested in this issue, contact Mr. Kinney.

Scrivener, Beza, the Elzivier brothers and Stephanus all did this work, comparing the New Testament manuscripts in many different languages. Stephanus spent so much time studying it, that in his writings he began to decry and object to everything his church taught – because he was a Roman Catholic priest, and he began to realize that there were huge inconsistencies between what the Catholic church taught and what the Bible said.

The work of these men compiled the Stephanus’s 4th Edition Greek Manuscript. Beza and the Elzivier brothers compiled their own. Miraculously, they were all almost the same word for word.

This work has become called the Received Text, or Textus Receptus in Latin. It represents the Bible as miraculously preserved by God through over 1600 years. This family of manuscripts, as well as Bibles by the Waldensians, the Catharists, the Donatists, and other ancient Baptists was used to translated all of the early Bibles into English.

The history of the Bible passing to us is a miracle story. It is beyond belief. It proves the divine hand of God in preserving His word, just as written in the Psalms, just as Jesus Christ promised!

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Revelation 20:11-12 (KJV)

Here’s an important point, point number three…. For there to be a judgment, there must be a preserved, inspired word of God somewhere. Where? In Heaven? There could not be a judgment day, if the word of God cannot be found on Earth. We could protest to God that we had no idea, we had no Pure and Inspired, Preserved word of God on earth by which to judge how to be saved, how to live holy lives, what to believe about whether Christ was God or if the Trinity was Biblical!

6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. Psalm 12:6-7 (KJV)

If you believe in Modern Textual Criticism, you cannot believe that the word of God is Inspired, you cannot believe it is Preserved… and you must forever be a little suspicious about “Should this word be in this verse? Should this verse be in the Bible?” You forever become YOUR OWN AUTHORITY over what you believe the word of God is.

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelation 22:18-19 (KJV)

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 1 Timothy 4:1-2 (KJV)

Last, if you PARTICIPATE in Modern Textual Criticism, you cannot possibly be saved, and the Bible even says that. Your conscience becomes so seared that you will not respond to the Gospel of Christ, and turn to be saved.

Okay, now let’s turn to the “official history” of the Bible as given by Modern Textual critics.

The word of God supposedly was corrupted and edited by Pious Scribes, who added the same words to the same verses all over the world in manuscripts separated on three continents. These Pious Scribes were somehow very busy, as they supposedly did this in the 4th century, and found time to even go back to manuscripts much older than this, and miraculously add words to lectionaries, codexes, miniscules, majescules, papyrii and scrolls. And somehow left no real sign of adding the words.

If this sounds completely stupid, impossible, and illogical, then you’re right. Print this page out, and add several words to 15 sentences randomly. And make sure you can fit the words in in such a way it doesn’t look like you did it. Oh, and your handwriting has to match the print.

Impossible? Well, you just disproved the first and foremost theory of Textual Criticism, that some pious Scribe added words to all the Greek texts. How many texts would he have to add them to?

Only about 5,280 or so, dating back to the first four centuries. I’m not even counting the ones from after AD 500, just those from the time of the mythical “pious Scribe”.

The theory says he added the words to one text, which served as the master text from which the others were copied. But… the texts that are part of this family are actually found on three different continents. And many date from before the time of the “pious scribe”. So, again, to do this he’d have to travel, and add the words to all the manuscripts.

The utter impossibility of this cannot be emphasized.

There HAS to be a willing desire to corrupt God’s word to want to engage in Textual Criticism.

There’s a recording of a man speaking at a church in the 80’s, who’d been a teacher at Tennessee Temple University. He was called on the carpet for being King James Only (and for teaching Peter Ruckman – this part I won’t excuse, as Ruckman is most definitely a heretic). The teacher asked the chairman of Tennessee Temple, “What gives man the right to edit the word of God?”

The answer was, “Scholarship.”

The teacher asked exactly the same question I would have at that point. “So, you’re telling me, if I took every class possible at Tennessee Temple and became a scholar, I, a sinful man, would have the RIGHT to choose what words belong in the Bible, the word of God?”

The chairman answered, “Yes.”

Brothers and sisters, I at this point have to cry foul. I’ve proved the miraculous nature of the preservation of God’s word. I’ve proved the inerrancy of the Bible. Inerrancy demands preservation, as the Bible calls for it. If you believe in an inerrant Bible, you must believe in a preserved Bible.

Here’s the kicker – if you do not believe in preservation, you do not believe in inerrancy. The two go hand in hand. If you do not believe the Bible was preserved, then you do not believe it is inerrant and inspired.

If you do not believe in an inerrant, inspired, preserved word of God, I’m a little worried about your Christian walk.

So, now, let’s analyze the men who engaged in the first textual criticism. Wescott and Hort were men who, judging by their own words, their own writings, did not believe in the inspiration or inerrancy of the Bible. And they were hostile to the received text, the Textus Receptus. Why? It contradicted their favorite teacher, who was a humanist, a modernist. The Textus Receptus advocated that Jesus Christ is God, that there is a Hell for any who reject Christ. It speaks of fasting and prayer. It tells us Jesus Christ was without sin, the perfect sinless lamb of God. That He’s coming again.

This was offensive to Wescott and Hort. It was offensive to Tischendorf, who was given sponsorship to travel the middle east looking for a text, ANY text they could use to replace the Textus Receptus. Why? Because all the modernists were opposed to it.

A week before the sponsorship ran out, Tischendorf found himself at the Monastary of St. Catherine, surrounded by Pious Scribes. he found a manuscript in a trash pile, and dubbed it Codex Sinaiticus. The Manuscript looked unused, and in excellent condition. So good, it looked like it had been written just a few years before.

Tischendorf returned, told his sponsors, who gave him the money to go back and buy it. He bought it and brought it back to Egypt. The Monks had been a little amused he wanted to pay so much money for a useless codex.

Tischendorf announced his “Discovery”, to great publicity and fanfare.

Until a suspected manuscript dealer announced to the press there was a problem. the dealer explained he was a forger, he’d been forging manuscripts for years. And he explained that he’d created Sinaiticus at the beginning of his career, and dismissed it as “Clumsy”.

Tisachendorf waited for the furor to die down… then began touting his discovery again as if nothing ever happened. Nobody ever investigated the claims of Constantinus Simonides, the forger who claimed to have written Sinaiticus.

Sinaiticus was handed over to Wescott and Hort, who busied themselves with trying to translate it. The problem was, it showed many editings, sometimes as many as ten men editing it. And it was incomplete, missing words, verses, chapters, even books of the Bible.

It also was written in the wrong form of Greek, Attic Greek, which dates to the Maccabean period, not to the time of the New Testament, and certainly not afterwards.

Wescott and Hort additionally had an emotional attachment to the copy of Codex Vaticanus they had. Not the original ,but a copy. Both Wescott and Hort wrote that they instinctively felt that Vaticanus was the most accurate manuscript.

Based on a hunch. they decided that if there was a conflict between the two manuscripts, they would side with Vaticanus – a manuscript which also showed many signs of editing! Including a handwritten note saying, “thou fool! Remove not the old reading!”

Now Wescott and Hort had the unenviable task of trying to get readings from the two manuscripts that agreed. Aleph (Sinaiticus) and V (vaticanus, sometimes called B) both disagreed with each other in tens of thousands of spots. Dean John Burgon sarcastically wrote it was easier to find where they disagreed to find where they agreed!

So WEscott and Hort wrote down their new Greek text, mostly relying on Vaitcanus, as Sinaiticus was such a sorry mess. The text was completed in 1886.

Whenever you see a footnote in your modern Bible that says anything about the “oldest and best mss”, they are referring to that manuscript compiled by Wescott and Hort in 1886. This man-made manuscript, based on the guesses of two unsaved modernist men who questioned the Bible, did not believe in the deity of Christ, and scoffed at miracles, is considered to be older than the second century mss. belonging to the Textus Receptus.

It is neither “oldest” or “best” manuscripts – it is a heretical piece of blasphemy, removing any verse that offended Unitarians. No blood, no fasting, no deity of Christ, no sinless nature, no pre-existence, no vicarious atonement except in the most rudimentary form….

…and Christians swallowed it hook, line and sinker. Why, these men are SCHOLARS!

Here’s a list of some (not all) of these “scholars”:

UNITARIANS: ohann Wettstein, Edward Harwood, George Vance Smith, Ezra Abbot, Joseph Thayer, and Caspar Gregory;

RATIONALISTS: Johann Semler, Johann Griesbach, Bernhard Weiss, William Sanday, William Robertson Smith, Samuel Driver, Eberhard Nestle, James Rendel Harris, Hermann von Soden, Frederick Conybeare, Fredric Kenyon, Francis Burkitt, Henry Wheeler Robinson, Kirsopp Lake, Gerhard Kittel, Edgar Goodspeed, James Moffatt, Kenneth Clark, Ernest Colwell, Gunther Zuntz, J.B. Phillips, William Barclay, Theodore Skeat, George Kilpatrick, F.F. Bruce, George Ladd, J.K. Elliott, Eldon Epp, Brevard Childs, Bart Ehrman, C.H. Dodd, Barclay Newman, Arthur Voobus, Eugene Nida, Jan de Waard, Kurt Aland, Barbara Aland, Matthew Black, Allen Wikgren, Bruce Metzger, and Johannes Karavidopoulos;

ROMAN CATHOLICS: Richard Simon, Alexander Geddes, Alberto Ablondi, Johann Hug, and Carlo Martini.

“When the constitution of the British and Foreign Bible Society was first formulated, it was understandably not foreseen that the question of Unitarianism would have much relevance to the society’s work. Before long, however, UNITARIANS GAINED SUBSTANTIAL INFLUENCE UPON THE AFFAIRS OF THE BIBLE SOCIETY, PARTICULARLY IN EUROPE, WHERE SOME AUXILIARY SOCIETIES WERE RUN ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY BY PERSONS OF UNITARIAN BELIEFS” (Brown, The Word of God Among All Nations, p. 12).

The standard line from modernists is that “no doctrine is affected, and the total changes add to less than one page of the Bible.”

the differences affect seven percent of the New Testament. “The fact of the matter is that the Critical Text of Westcott-Hort differs from the TR, mostly by deletions, in 9,970 words out of 140,521, giving a total of 7% difference. In the 480-page edition of the Trinitarian Bible Society Textus Receptus this would amount to almost 34 pages, the equivalent of the final two books of the New Testament, Jude and Revelation” (Thomas Strouse, Review of “From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man,” November 2000).

Why The Bible Should Be Read Literally


Yesterday I was listening to a sermon from SermonAudio defending the king James Bible. It was being preached by a man who was an Independent Baptist.

Something to be aware of, is that Independent Baptist is not a denomination. It’s more like a way of saying, “Unaffiliated Baptist”.

Yes, quite a few Independent Baptist churches are Fundamentalist. Quite a few are “quiver-full” if you know that phrase. As long time readers will note, I consider myself an Independent Baptist even though I am currently at a Southern Baptist church.

Sadly, one characteristic that you also find at some Independent Baptist churches usually is that it means “I never went to seminary.” There are some truly gifted Independent Baptist churches whose pastors were never trained nor ordained. My old church was indeed one, and you’d never know it! The pastor had an amazing grasp of preaching and the Bible.

What was startling about the sermon I listened to, was that the Pastor announced he was going to preach about the King James Bible – then began preaching expositorally from Acts 27. It took a little while (one thing you can count on from an Independent Baptist church that is fundamentalist, is long sermons. They don’t hang a clock on the wall, they hang a calendar). And finally it dawned on me – he’s preaching allegorically.

Allegorical interpretation of the Bible is a strong no-no. While I can honestly say that we had one class in Seminary completely dedicated to allegorical thought, it was touched on many times, and repeatedly. Think of it this way.

Allegorical thought is the complete opposite of literal interpretation.

9 Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, 10 And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. 11 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. Acts 27:9-11 (KJV)

What is this passage referring to? Is it referring to the King James Bible?

Nope. It’s referring to the fact that on Paul’s ship, during the hurricane, Paul told them, “if they leave the ship, they’re going to die.”

I’m all for King James defense. But if you want to write a sermon on defending the King James, hey, great! Let’s use literal interpretation of the Bible.

“well, we were preaching our way through Acts, and…”

well, do a MacArthur, and deviate from your topic for a week. See, that’s what Sunday Nights are for! Or if you feel the need to preach this on a Sunday morning, then by all means, let everyone know “Today, we’re talking about something special…”

I personally have found that a congregation does very well with being told what’s going on. It makes life easier on everyone.

There are a lot of other passages you could have drawn on… Jeremiah reading from the Scroll and the king cutting off leaves and throwing them in the fire… Psalm 12… Psalm 119… the re-discovering of the scrolls of the Bible and King Josiah, hey, lots of passages!

The problem with allegorical interpretation is, that’s a Pandora’s box. If you say, “We accept Genesis 1:1-5 as literal, but we don’t accept verse 6…” it may start that way now… but believe you me, it’s going to be an issue ten years from now. Because it’s going to spread. Once you open that door, and bring in fanciful interpretations, I can spiritualize and allegorize away any verse in the New Testament.

Because if you accept all 52,280 verses as Scriptural except one… then you accept none of them. If you say, “We don’t accept Genesis 1:6 literally” then someone can argue John 3:3 is not to be taken literally. And you can’t argue against it.

Either every word in the Bible is true, or every word is parables, to be interpreted in whatever happy way you like.

How do I know it’s literal?

Because all the prophecies in the Bible were fulfilled literally. If they were fulfilled literally, then they were meant to be read literally.

There are a few parables in the Bible. We know certain hallmarks of what is a parable and what is not. Names are not mentioned in parables. By the way, Luke 16 is not a parable. It’s real. It really happened.

There are visions in the Bible. Literally, seven visions are in Revelation, and each one has meaning. There’s three distinct visions in Daniel. In almost every case, an Angel is standing by to give the explanation of the vision. Or the vision is one of those told to be sealed up until the time of the end.

Why? They help to serve as a barometer of how close we are to the Rapture. If you read the old commentaries, they had literally no understanding of what these passages mean, and offer a combination of allegorical thought and what amounts to a shrug. The earliest Christian communities understood a pre-trib rapture, taught it… but Rome allegorized it along with everything else, and so much of Christianity lost the understanding of the end times. When you read the writings of some Waldensians, Albigenses, the early Mennonites, they all believed in a pre-trib rapture. Why? Because it’s pretty clearly stated in the Bible.

But the vision passages were just completely incomprehensible. Why? they were sealed until the time of the end. As the age of grace began drawing into the Laodecean age, people began to understand, a little at a time, what the vision passages mean. I’ve seen more understanding come around since the 1990’s, literally. We’re now comfortable we understand the open doors in Revelation (two of them – hint – it’s proof of a pre-trib rapture), we understand more about Gog and Magog and its timing, we understand more about Petra…

We even now see how the initial attack against Israel is supposed to be between Arab states and Russian, and very possibly Germany (that one goes back and forth all the time). Three years ago, I had thought it meant we still had 20 years, because Russia would have to be rebuilt. Amazingly, it happened right in front of my eyes. We’re a lot closer than 20 years. The Rapture will probably be in my lifetime. I’m not going to say how close it is (because nobody on this planet has any idea) but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was today. I used to pray that I got a full-time pulpit before the Rapture. I’m starting to believe strongly the answer to that prayer has been “no”.

So, there you go – I dealt with the allegorist’s favorite objections. You have sealed visions that are understood in the end times (hint – Song of Solomon falls partly in that category), you have a very few parable passages (in every case identified as one) and explained (almost all of the parables have their own explanation given).

There’s no scriptural basis for allegorizing. If the Bible says it, it means it.

How to Study The Bible


I know, I write this one all the time. But hey, we could use one more really good article on how to study the Bible!

Till that one comes along, you’ll just have to settle for one I wrote.

Rule 1: Understand it literally

here’s where everyone gets it wrong! if you can’t understand it literally, what advantage does allegorical interpretation give? None! The Bible will TELL you when a passage is to be taken figuratively, and in almost every case, the Bible even tells you what that interpretation is! God takes ALL the guesswork out of it!

Rule 2: read it in context

Here’s the other area that people goof up. If you see a verse and don’t understand what it’s talking about, go back and read the context! That usually explains EVERYTHING!

Rule 3: get an understanding of simple rules of grammar

Know what a noun is, a verb, pronoun, and adjective is. When you see a word function as an adjective, obey the rules of grammar and understand it as an adjective! This is like a minor rule – it won’t ever change your doctrines if you’re doing it right. it just helps make it clearer. LIke cleaning off the lens of a camera before taking a picture, it just makes it clearer.

Rule 4: Get a King James Bible

I’m sure I’ll have to write on that series again this year, it’s been a while! But for now, get a good King James Bible. Yes, I know all about the litmus tests for if its a King James Bible or if its edited, but I’ll just say there’s at least ONCE the Pure Cambridge Edition makes a mistake in its work and does not capitalize the Spirit in Holy Spirit when it should!

I recommend the King James Study Bible, formerly the Liberty University Study Bible. It does have a couple of minor errors in the so-called litmus test, but for the most part, it passes all the other tests. For those unfamiliar with it, these tests ask questions like: Does it say shew or show? Really. That’s a question of spelling. Others do make a difference, such as throughly vs. thoroughly… they’re two different words. In all the litmus tests where its not questions of spelling, this Bible passes.

Next, get a set of Bible marking pens, and a white out pen. You’ll need the white out pen to remove a couple of the footnotes in the study Bible, where they question 1 John 5:7, and a couple of other spots where some heretic managed to get a footnote in questioning the inerrancy of the Bible. Those are easy to spot. Just white them out.

How to mark your Bible

My mother in Law (in the last two years of her life) began to write in pen the date of every time she studied her Bible. You’d look at a passage, and see the date she studied it. That’s a really good habit to get into!

Your aim, the first read through this year, is to make one highlight mark per study session. If you didn’t highlight a verse, then you zoned out and weren’t paying attention.

If you see a passage on the two open pages that connects to a passage elsewhere on those pages, draw a star on one of them, then a line with an arrow pointing to the other passage. Don’t block or obscure any words! You have to make your pen marks in the margins.

Important words in a passage, circle them with a pen.

The Bible highlighter sets have 4 colors. Identify colors in terms of importance, and try to stick to that scheme. It works that way in my Bible except for Psalms, where I’d had no scheme whatsoever, I was just highlighting. By the time I got to the halfway point, I’d chosen my scheme.

You might want to use the margins of your Bible to take notes on. I can walk into a pulpit, open my Bible at random, and find within a few pages some section I’d marked notes on, and can give a sermon based upon those points.

Let the Bible define its own points

6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 2 Thessalonians 3:6 (KJV)

I challenged my congregation to look for the common things in that verse, and gave them two minutes to look at it. Nobody spotted it.

,

see that? what is it? “a comma.”

Yup.

There’s four points right there.

  • 6 Now we command you, brethren,
  • in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  • that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly,
  • and not after the tradition which he received of us. 2 Thessalonians 3:6 (KJV)

That was a throwaway comment in my seminary when the instructor just made a comment about using the commas to define the points in his sermons, and it was revolutionary. Wow! I can instantly take ANY verse and write a sermon out of it!

Care must be taken to read the chapter and make sure that what you’re reading fits with the context. Any text taken out of context is a pretext.

Let the Bible define its own words

Yup! The Bible is its own dictionary. Find the first time the word is used, and see how it is used in context. give it a try. You’ll be… well, not surprised. I have NOTHING new to tell you about the Bible. Anyone who does, fear them. Anyone who tells you things you’ve NEVER heard before, worry!

T words – singular – thee, thine thou

Y words – plural – Ye, You (not the same word) yours

timelines

Start learning when things happened. That sometimes makes for amazing reading! It also helps to avoid some doctrinal issues. How many people would be preterists if they looked in their timeline and saw Revelation written about 95 AD? Answer – none.

Bible Study Tools

Topical Bibles are indispensable – but remember they are written by fallible men. I remember complaining to someone that Orville Nave missed a lot of references in his topical Bible, and he had an ax to grind in that he did not believe in Hell. Unfortunately the man I was complaining to was a United Methodist minister, and it didn’t get a good reception, because apparently Orville Nave was a Methodist. Well, back when that meant something.

Torrey’s Topical is also recommended. Between the two of them, they help where the other misses, or has doctrinal objections. Look, if the Bible teaches there’s only once way to baptize, let’s not start quoting from Leviticus on circumcision!

Because of his Calvinism, I cannot recommend John MacArthur’s Topical Bible.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is also very good. consider it a bridge between a topical and a concordance. It kind of sits in the middle somewhere.

Concordance. Everyone’s got one. James Strong’s famous concordance is good, but WAAAY too many people try looking in the back pages to define the greek and Hebrew, with no knowledge of how to use it. I see the GROSSEST mistakes and errors all the TIME from people with no knowledge or training. Look under my pages on Messianic Judaism for an example. Those people spend more time looking in their Strong’s than in their Bibles!

I used to have a Young’s, and preferred that. Alas, I don’t have it any more. But with today’s Bible software, a Young’s now is only to make a pastor’s bookshelf look full.

Bible dictionary

the King James Bible dictionary is a free download for many Bible programs.

I also recommend Webster’s 1828. I suggested that Wordsearch add that as an add on module, and they added the 1916 dictionary. Duh. They’ve probably sold none of them because they didn’t listen to the reasons.

KJV Only


When I say I am KJV only, what does that mean? I’ve come to discover that other people have incorrect pre-conceived notions about the meaning of what that is. And I’ve discovered that Ruckman-ites and Riplinger-ites have coined a phrase for me and others with my beliefs – “Textus Receptus Only.”

Let me state it a different way. Textus Receptus only means King James Only since the King James version is the only translation that comes solely from the Textus Receptus, the New Testament in Greek.

To believe like Peter Ruckman is to be a Ruckman-ite. To believe in Gail Riplinger is to be a Riplinger-ite. Please don’t hijack the title claimed by Dean Burgon, the Dean Burgon society, and countless thousands of others who by conviction are King James Only, but fail to believe in cultish, bizarre unScriptural notions such as “Second Inspiration” and “King James above the Original Texts”.

Do I believe that you cannot be saved reading an NIV? No. There’s a sufficient amount of the truth and power of God’s word in the NIV to save someone. It greatly weakens the overall message, and can attempt to mislead one from following true biblical doctrine. But yes, I believe someone can be saved reading the NIV. I was reading an NIV at the time I was saved. And I think anyone who hears my testimony of that night will agree I was completely and thoroughly saved. I was still reading the NIV at the time that I became, by conviction, KJV only. I also had an NASB and an RSV.

King James Only means that by conviction, I will use the King James Bible to read from, study from and preach from. It means I am convinced it is the complete Bible, the inspired word of God. It represents the best English translation from true copies of the Bible as it was passed down to us from the Apostles.

It means (to most KJVO Believers) that the Modern Bibles are based upon a fraudulent attempt to reconcile two manuscripts that disagree with one another in over 10,000 places, and which have been edited in every verse by two, three and as many as twenty other hands, verses erased, words changed, notes added in margins… If most Christians ever read the writings of Tischendorf about the Textus Sinaiticus, they would put away their other bibles.

It means that we reject the work of Wescott & Hort because they had an agenda, they were unsaved men, and that they deliberately compiled the verses that best represented their particular doctrinal stands, whenever there was a choice.

It means we reject Nestle-Alland for the same reason, as their manuscripts are almost letter for letter identical to Wescott-Hort.

I think that translations such as the NASB was best described by Kent Hovind with the phrase, “A good translation of the wrong manuscripts“.

Which translation is better, the NASB or the King James? Well, since only one comes from the received text, which came to us from the churches separate from Rome from the times of the Apostles until now… it’s a moot question. Were the NASB to be translated afresh from the Textus Receptus, it would be a different story!

And then… it won’t be as precise as the KJV. Here’s an example:

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:7 KJV)

Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (NASB)

The second “you” in the verse… is that singular, meaning Nicodemus? or is it plural, meaning “everyone?”

In the modern “Precise, accurate” language of the NASB, it is vague. It could be either. In the “antiquated” language of the King James, it is precise…. It means “Everyone”.

“Y” words… plural. You, yours, ye. “T” words… singular. Thee, Thou, Thine. In the KJV, It’s specific… I tell thee (Nicodemus) Ye (everyone) must be born again. It reflects the difference between σοι and υμας in the Greek.

Quick Explanation of The Bible


Sorry, lately my indignation button has been pressed.

The Bible is the word of God.

If I tell you that 140 years ago, men conspired and acted covertly to deliberalty gut the Scriptures of any verse that they didn’t agree with, it should concern you.

If I tell you they deliberatly changed the verses they didn’t remove but still didn’t like – it shoud greatly concern you.

We reject the New World Translation for doing exactly that. But then we smugly open our NIV’s or ESV’s, and start our devotionals, and feel sudden nagging doubts about the deity of Christ. Or we feel no urge to fast, because the Bible doesn’t emphasize it.

Uh, the New World Translation was translated from the same Greek manuscripts that the ESV comes from.

Doesn’t that concern you?

“well, no, the NWT is deliberately mistranslated to support their doctrinal views.”

Sure. And the Wescott-hort, Nestle-Aland, and United Bible Society Greek texts all did the same thing, just in Greek. Doesn’t that concern you?

The Bible is God’s word. Any attempt to change that should arouse our immediate anger. You touch my Bible, them’s fightin’ words.

And I see dozens of videos, articles and books by people who’ve NEVER researched the issue defending their Bibles. That’s great! But investigate this issue FIRST! You may suddenly conclude you’re on the wrong side.

I know, I did! I loved the NIV. I had just got an expensive NASB bible when I became aware of this controversy. I began investigating it, to disprove it – and was convinced in a matter of minutes. The more I look into it, the more convinced I become.

I have a perfect Bible. I have an english version of God’s word. I can hold it in my hand and say, “This is God’s word.”

And then I see links to articles and videos saying, “the myth of the perfect Bible debunked.” And the same arguments, baseless and long since disproved by D. A. Waite, David Cloud, Edward Hills and many others, are repeated.

The reality is, they’re not investigating the issue. And I notice NONE of these New Bible advocates EVER address the issues of WEscott & Hort’s redactionism. So, the bible publishers moved to using a near-duplicate (almost letter for letter identical), the Nestle-aland, whose authors admittedly simply were duplicating Wescott & Hort’s work. With the same motive. They avoided the controversy of W/H, but kept the same result.

None of the New Bible advocates ever address that issue, either. Geisler trys to prove that we can trust translations done from a Greek Text deliberatly done in secret by men who were being paid to translate from the established Greek Texts, but instead covertly and without authorization turned to two other manuscrpts, and attempted first to harmonize their wildly contradictory readings. Why? THey were opposed to the plain sense of the Greek Text of the Bible. They never adress that.

They never address the fact that W&H called the Greek Text of the complete Bible “Villainous.” They never address the fact that Tischendorf, when searcihng for ancient Bible manuscripts, was searching for ANY texts that differed from the Textus Receptus. He was looking for ANY text that was different.

Why? HE WAS OPPOSED TO GOD’S WORD!

It’s almost amazing to watch Ankerberg, a staunch opponent of King James Only’ism, routinely side with anyone who opposes Fundamentalism on his TV show.

STOP. THINK.

Fundamentalism means “I believe the bible literally.”

Why would you oppose that?

If you are saved, the Bible is your rulebook. Your marching orders. There’s no ROOM for you to say, “Well, I don’t like that.” I have to start asking uncomfortable questions about people when they oppose the word of God!

The obvious conclusions is that you’re backslidden, there’s sin issues in your life, or you’re not saved. Which is it? first two are fixed by getting back to God’s word. The last one is fixed by getting saved. Just don’t try to fix #3 with the solutions for 1 or 2.

And that’s what this boils down to. I see opposition of the Bible as being a sin issue. so many pastors have said, “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” So if you’re opposed to the Bible, it means it’s convicting you – and so you try to avoid it.

Most people read the NIV because it’s easy. Sure! And it’s misleading. NASB and ESV as well. It takes a little while to understand the King James Bible. But you CAN understand it. And once you understand WHY its written the way it is, you’ll appreciate it for what it is.

Bottom line – the Bible is your marching orders. God says, you do. “Yes, sir!” Like the army. You got your orders.

Pray? yup.

Fast? from time to time, when you understand WHY. Gotta know what a tool does in order to use it right.

Jesus is God? Yup.

Get back to the Bible. The real one.