LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

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Location: Phila Metro, Pennsylvania, United States

Tentmaking Evangelist (Architect). An Evangelist with the Anchor Bay Evangelistic Association (non-denominational). Co-Founder of Kingdom Gospel Ministries, a ministry now in its 31st year with a mission to reconcile people of different racial, ethnic, and economic situations, and the producer of two weekly radio programs - a Sunday morning verse-by-verse Bible Study on Radio Delaware Valley and a weekly radio drama on the Wilkins Radio network. He also has archived many, many programs on the Internet. John is also a PA/NJ Architect with his own practice in its 38th year working on a wide variety of projects. Acutely interested in politics since a teenager with many articles published over the last 50 years and served as a guest on a Talk Radio show discussing race relations and on It's Your Call TV show with Lynn Doyle dealing with the subject of interethnic marriage.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

THE GOOD OLD OR BAD OLD NIV

I teach from both the NIV and the NKJV. I believe the NKJV is the more accurate of the two, though none are perfect. I thought this article from La Vista Church of Christ was pretty good, so here it is unedited. I started using the NIV many moons ago, and it is important to note the footnotes of some key aspects of what is different. We use the NKGV in our live Bible studies but still continue the tradition of using the NIV on the radio Bible Studies - however, I try to be careful to call attention to any passage better translated otherwise.
Here we go.

One of the easiest reading Bibles being published today is the New International Version. It’s clarity comes not only from its use of modern English, but also from the willingness of the translators to translate idiomatic phrases of the Bible times into similar phrases of today. This could be dangerous to any translation, for a true translation must keep the original meaning intended by the original author. An idiom in one language does not always match an idiom’s meaning in another language. I’m not an expert in this field, but I think the translators of the New International Version struck a good balance in this area most of the time.
However, as with most human works, the NIV is not without its problems. The translation was done at a period of time when the best available Greek text for the New Testament, as determined by Biblical scholars turned out to be severely flawed[1, 2]. One of the false teachings that was wide spread during the early days of the church was a belief that Jesus was not really God in the flesh. Anything earthly was considered sinful and corrupt, “So how could the pure God take on the nature of corruption,” these false teachers argued? Followers of this system of belief, now known as Gnosticism, used Bibles edited to support their beliefs[3].
True Christians refused to use these altered Bibles, but they were loath to destroy the copies since they still contained much of God’s Word. Instead they retired the books to sealed crypts. Recently, modern archeologists found these crypts. Finding copies of God’s word that was older than most of the material we possessed at that time, they gave higher weight to this older material, reasoning that older was better.
Scholars have eventually pieced together the puzzle, but not before a few new translations were made using the flawed text, including the NIV[4].
Gary Colley has published a list of problems with the NIV that all Bible students should be aware of. Some of these problems arise from the flawed Greek text that the NIV was based on, but other problems arise from the religious bias of the translators. The wording of the passages were subtly altered in a number of places to make it more acceptable to popular religious beliefs instead of attempting to accurately match the original meaning.
I would like to give you an expanded version of brother Colley’s list, showing the alteration by comparing it with other translations.
Total Depravity
“It mistranslated Psalms 51:5 to each the false theory of Total Depravity.”
KJV: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
NAS: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
NKJ: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
NIV: Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
It doesn’t take a biblical scholar to tell that there is a major difference in meaning between the NIV and the other cited passages. Why did the translators of the NIV change the meaning so much? I believe they were trying to justify their strongly held belief that people are born guilty of the sin of Adam. They attempted to provide proof where none existed.
Original Sin
 “It changes ‘flesh’ in Romans 8 to sinful nature’ teaching the false theory of original sin.”
The word being debated is the Greek word sarx which means “flesh (as stripped of the skin), i.e. (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul [or spirit], or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred), or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties [physical or mortal] and passions), or (specifically) a human being.” The English word “flesh” carries a similar meaning as it too can refer to the edible parts of an animal or to the physical being of a man. However, “nature” means the inherent character or basic constitution of a person or thing. By changing the wording from “flesh” to “nature” the translators shifted the meaning from an emphasis on the physical make up of man to the character or spiritual make up of man.
In addition, the word “sinful” is adjoined to “nature” even when the original Greek does not mention sinfulness.
The Deity of Christ
 “It denies the deity of Christ by removing ‘begotten’ from every text referring to Jesus Christ (cf., John 3:16)”
The NIV refuses to reflect the Greek New Testament statements that Jesus was born of God. Instead they use phrases such as “the One and Only” or “I have made you my son.” Consider the difference in translation shown in John 1:14.
ASV: And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.
NKJ: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth
 NIV: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The Greek word being translated is monogenes. It is a compound word meaning “the only one of a race” or “the only born.” In literature it is used to refer an only child and it can be seen translated as such in Luke 7:12; 8:42; 9:38; and Hebrews 11:17. In the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament it is used in describing Isaac (Genesis 22:2, 12, 16) and Jephthah’s daughter (Judges 11:34). Isaac was technically not an only child, but he was the unique child of promise to Abraham. Just as an only child is treasured by his parents, the Greek word monogenes also carries the connotation of someone beloved.
The NIV emphasizes the uniqueness of Christ while de-emphasizing the kinship of Christ to God the Father.
A more clear altering is seen in Psalms 2:7, Acts 13:33, and Hebrews 1:5. Consider the following:
NKJ: God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.'
NAS:: that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, 'You are My son; today I have begotten You.'
NIV: he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: "'You are my Son; today I have become your Father. '
The Greek word gennao and the Hebrew word yalad refers to conceiving and giving birth to a child. The argument for de-emphasizing the birth is that some have argued that these verses mean Jesus had a beginning. The NIV’s wording avoids that conclusion, but at the expense of changing what the text actually says. While there are plenty of verses which demonstrate that Jesus is eternal, these verses carry the idea that Jesus is of the lineage of God – in other words, his deity, which is the point of Hebrews 1:5. That point is softened by the NIV’s translation which leaves the impression that anyone could have become God’s Son, God just happened to select Jesus. The literal reading fits well with the virgin birth of Jesus and that God was literally his father.
The Eunuch’s Baptism
“It deletes both the statement of Philip on the condition of baptism and the eunuch’s answer (cf. Acts 8:37).”
This is due to the manipulated Greek text that the translation was based upon. If it is any consolation, most copies of the NIV do include verse 37 in the footnotes.
 Salvation -at the Point of Hearing
“It falsely teaches that sinners are ‘included in Christ’ at the point of hearing (Ephesians 1:13).”
NKJ: In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit =of promise,
ASV: in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation,-- in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
NIV: And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

Nothing in the Greek indicates the idea of being included in Christ, especially at the point of hearing the Gospel.
Salvation - at the Point of Faith
“It tampers with the plan of salvation in Romans 10:10, teaching that justification is reached at the point
of faith. The same verse teaches that salvation is reached at the point of confession (Romans 10:10).”
NKJ: For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
ASV: for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
NIV: For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
            The Greek behind the phrase “unto righteousness” indicates a leading up to the point of the justification of character or leading up to the point of righteousness. However, the NIV leads the reader to believe the justification has already taken place, which contradicts other verses that teach that salvation is based on more than just belief. See Acts 11:18 and Mark 16:16.
A similar alteration is made in John 3:16.
NKJ: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
ASV: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.
NIV: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
            Notice the subtle change from the idea that a believer should not perish to the idea that a believer shall not perish. “Should” indicates that the believer has no excuse in perishing. “Shall” indicates that a believer cannot perish.
Testimony
            “It changes I Corinthians 1:6 from ‘the testimony of Christ’ (the gospel) to ‘our testimony of Christ’ (testimonialist).”
            The Greek word marturion is a neuter word meaning something evidential, in other words in the general sense, evidence given or in the specific sense something like the Decalogue (in the sacred Tabernacle). Changing the “the” or “our” removes the neuter sense of the testimony, making it something that was personally done. While the Apostles did testify of Christ, Paul is not speaking of just his personal testimony in this verse, but of all the evidence that God has delivered concerning Christ.
Salvation - Before Baptism
            “It makes Peter teach that baptism is ‘the pledge of a good conscience toward God’ advancing the false theory of faith alone (I Peter 3:21).”
The Greek word eperotema, means “an inquiry.” However, the word “pledge” used in the NIV means a promise made to God and not a response to God’s request.
As you can see, the New International Version is not the best version to use if you are interested in accuracy of translation. I still like it for easy reading, but for serious study I prefer to use more precise translations, such as the New King James Version, the American Standard Version, or the New American Standard Version.
Footnotes
F.H.A. Scrivener, Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, Vol. I, p. 120. "... while we accord to Cod. B at least as much weight as to any single document in existence, we ought never to forget that it is but one out of many, several of them being nearly (and not quite as old, and in other respects not less worthy of confindence than itself. One marked feature, characteristic of this copy is the great number of its omissions, which has induced Dr. Dobbins to speak ofit as presenting 'an abbreviated text of the New Testament:' and certainly the facts he states on this point are startling enough. He calculates that Codex B leaves out words or whole clauses no less than 330 times in Matthew, 365 in Mark, 439 in Luke, 357 in John, 384 in Acts, 681 in the surviving Epistles; or 2,556 times in all. That no small proportion of these are mere oversights of the scribe seems evident from the circumstance that this same scribe has repeatedly written words and clauses twice over, a class of mistakes which Mai and the collators have seldom thought fit to notice, inasmuch as the false addition has not been retraced by the second hand, but which by no means enhances our estimate of the care employed in copying this venerable record of primitive Christianty."
Wilbur N. Pickering, ThM PhD, "AN EVALUATION OF THE W-H THEORY," The Identity of the New Testament Text II, p. 54. "I have quoted men like Zuntz, Clark and Colwell on the "Byzantine" text to show that modern scholars are prepared to reject the notion of a "Byzantine" recension, but the main lesson to be drawn from the variation among "Byzantine" MSS is the one noted by Lake and Burgon—they are orphans, independent witnesses; at least in their generation. The variation between two "Byzantine" MSS will be found to differ both in number and severity from that between two "Western" MSS or two "Alexandrian" MSS—the number and nature of the disagreements between two "Byzantine" MSS throughout the Gospels will seem trivial compared to the number (over 3,000) and nature (many serious) of the disagreements between Aleph and B, the chief "Alexandrian" MSS, in the same space."
Brian K. McPherson and Scott McPherson, "A Brief Examination of Manuscript Variation Issues". "More specifically, we can learn from the early church where the heretics who were altering the text were based geographically and the language they used to spread their false doctrine. When we study early church history we find that although Gnostic heretics did spread to other parts of the Roman (or Byzantine Roman) world, their origination and epicenter was Alexandria, Egypt Ð the very source location of the Alexandrian text type and of the most prominent Alexandrian texts. Early prominent Gnostic heretical leaders like Valentinus and Basilides were first active in Alexandria during the middle of the second century A.D.
In the twenty seventh chapter of his work Against Heresies, Book I, Irenaeus, a second century apologist, recorded the beliefs of the Gnostic heretic Marcion. In the fifth chapter of his third book, Tertullian, a Christian apologist who lived and wrote between approximately 160-230 A.D., records that Marcion tampered with the Biblical texts. As such Tertullian's testimony that Marcion deliberately altered the scriptural texts in a theologically consequential manner is informative of this practice among heretical leaders. Notice from the quote below that Marcion is not an isolated incident, but his followers are said to be "daily retouching" the New Testament texts.
"For if the (Gospels) of the apostles have come down to us in their integrity, whilst Luke's, which is received amongst us, so far accords with their rule as to be on a par with them in permanency of reception in the churches, it clearly follows that Luke's Gospel also has come down to us in like integrity until the sacrilegious treatment of Marcion. In short, when Marcion laid hands on it, it then became diverse and hostile to the Gospels of the apostles. I will therefore advise his followers, that they either change these Gospels, however late to do so, into a conformity with their own, whereby they may seem to be in agreement with the apostolic writings (for they are daily retouching their work, as daily they are convicted by us); or else that they blush for their master, who stands self-condemned either way - when once he hands on the truth of the gospel conscience smitten, or again subverts it by shameless tampering." - Tertullian, Book III Ch. V
(NOTE: The above passage from Tertullian is quoted from Tim Warner's article "Demise of the Westcott-Hort Theory.")
Similar accounts are provided by two the fourth century writers, Eusebius and Theodoret, concering the heretic Tatian. In the twenty eighth chapter of his work Against Heresies, Book I, Irenaeus, relates followed after the Gnostic beliefs of men like Marcion. And like his predecessor Marcion, Eusebius and Theodoret record that Tatian also altered the Biblical texts. Again, this information = demonstrates clearly the practice of early heretics to deliberately alter the scriptural texts in a doctrinally significant fashion.
"But their chief and founder, Tatianus, having formed a certain body and collection of Gospels, I know not how, has given this the title Diatessaron, that is the gospel by the four, or the gospel formed of the four; which is in the possession of some even now. It is also said that he dared to alter certain expressions of the Apostles, in order to correct the composition of thephrase." - Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History. pg. 166
"Tatian the Syrian...also composed the gospel which is called 'Diatessaron,' cutting out the geneologies and whatever other passages show that the Lord was born of the seed of David according to the flesh." - Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrrhus, Ante Nicene Fathers, Vol. IX, p. 37, 38
(NOTE: The above passages from Eusebius and Theodoret are quoted from Tim Warner's article "Demise of the Westcott-Hort Theory.")
In the quote below, Eusebius records that doctrinally significant text tampering was common practice of the Gnostic heretics. One of the men, Theodotus, was a disciple of the prominent second century Gnostic heretic Valentinus who founded the Gnostic school at Alexandria. Notice again from the quote below that Theodotus is not an isolated incident, but his followers are said to be "daily retouching" the New Testament texts.
"...Theodotus, the leader and father of this God-denying apostasy, as the first one that asserted that Christ was a mere man...The sacred Scriptures...have been boldly perverted by them; the rule of the ancient faith they have set aside, Christ they have renounced, not inquiring what the Holy Scriptures declared, but zealously laboring what form of reasoning may be devised to establish their impiety...But as to these men who abuse the acts of the unbelievers, to their own heretical views, and who adulterate the simplicity of that faith contained in the Holy Scriptures,...For this purpose they fearlessly lay their hands on the Holy Scriptures , saying that they have corrected them. And that I do not say this against them without foundation, whoever wishes may learn; for should any one collect and compare their copies one with another, he would find them greatly at variance among themselves. For the copies of Asclepiodotus will be found to differ from those of Theodotus. Copies of many you may find in abundance, altered, by the eagerness of their disciples to insert each one his own corrections, as they call them, i.e. their corruptions. Again the copies of Hermophilus do not agree with these, for those of Appollonius are not consistent with themselves. For one may compare those which were preparedbefore by them, with those which they afterwards perverted for their own objects, and you will find them widely differing....For either they do not believe that the Holy Scriptures were uttered by the Holy Spirit, and they are thus infidels, or they deem themselves wiser than the Holy Spirit, and what alternative is there but to pronounce them daemoniacs? For neither can they deny that they have been guilty of the daring act, when the copies were written with their own hand, nor did they receive such Scriptures from those by whom they were instructed in the elements of the faith; nor can they show copies from which they were transcribed." - Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Reprinted 1991. pp. 214-216
(NOTE: The above passage from Eusebius is quoted from Tim Warner's article "Demise of the
Westcott-Hort Theory.")
From the available historical records we have of the early church period we can see clearly that it was the common practice of the Alexandrian Gnostic heretics to alter the scriptural texts. We must also note from the quote from Eusebius that having no two copies alike is a hallmark of the Gnostic tampering. The fact that this inconsistency is also a hallmark of the Alexandrian text tradition is yet another indication that the variation present in the Alexandrian texts may be the result of Gnostic tampering."

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A CHRISTMAS TREAT

For an amazing version of O Holy Night by a 14-year old Korean singer, check out this You-Tube.Almost 8 and a half million people have already.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q749xF4K8NQ

Thursday, November 10, 2016

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS

Prayer really does change things. It changes the course of human events. It changes the condition of people - whether they are sick, depressed jobless, in jail, addicted, or suffering grief or perhaps a combination of those.  Understand that prayer is communication with God.  Is is supposed to be TWO-WAY communication - we offer thanksgiving, praise, petitions, and questions we need answered to the Lord while he returns encouragement, correction, direction, and answers to our questions.  Do not go half-way with the Lord!  If you do all the talking, start shutting up more and LISTENING!  God has an INFINITE number of things to share with you.  Why not get started today in getting at least a few of those in your spirit?  God bless you!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

THE BENEFITS OF MEMORIZING THE BIBLE

THIS WAS IN RESPONSE TO A COMMENT I MADE ABOUT THIS FACEBOOK POST.

JESUS DOESN"T CARE HOW MANY BIBLE VERSES YOU HAVE MEMORIZED. HE CARES ABOUT HOW YOU TREAT PEOPLE.

Me:   Actually we learn from Psalm 119 "Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might sin against thee." We are supposed to devour the word of God. Jesus did. He memorized lots and so did Stephen. Our entire family belonged to the Bible Memory Association. I treasure that involvement and many Christians today do not know what is expected of them because they do not know the Word. Sorry Johnny West, but Mormons and Witnesses treat people very well and they are going to hell. It is not either/or but both/and.

Responder: It's important to understand that knowing the Word and memorizing it are two different things. We must know it to know how he wants us to treat others; however we don't have to recite them verbatim to follow the instruction.. 

Me: Obviously we have to know it but in the process of memorizing you go over it again and again. The Lord has used the Word I have memorized to avoid sins of commission and sins of omission and to keep me from accepting something preached that disagrees with the Bible. Many people do not have a scripture filter in their head and I am stunned with what I hear people believe because someone preached it. The scripture still says to hide it In Your heart and that means memorizing it. It also helps when no Bible is around or if you have to respond on your feet or if you are in a country where Bibles are banned. Try memorizing seven verses a week for a month and then tell me if you still disagree. If nothing else, those verses will be welded to your soul.

Responder: It's important to understand that knowing the Word and memorizing it are two different things. We must know it to know how he wants us to treat others; however we don't have to recite them verbatim to follow the instruction..   you are correct that many do not know what they speak of because they only know what someone told them and not what they knew for themselves. We just disagree that to study the Word and hide it in your heart means to memorize. I've memorized many verses, but it doesn't mean I can't recall those that I have not memorized. Even in your example, once you have left the place where Bibles are banned, those people must trust the Holy Spirit to reveal more to them after you're gone. We have to be careful not to alienate those who don't believe they have the gift of memorization so that they can become open to what they can do with the Christ that lives in them. If they believe they can't get to Him without memorization that would be a soul we have lost.

My response - too long for Facebook:

I did not say that people cannot get to God unless they memorize, but I did say that memorization is very valuable and there are countless examples in the scriptures.  Why didn't Daniel defile himself with the king's meat?  He knew the scripture.  How was Jesus able to overcome the temptations of Satan?  He knew the scripture and quoted it accurately to Satan.  The Sanhedrin did not offer Stephen a Bible scroll - he recited God's dealing with the Jews accurately if not word for word.  

Look, my memory is not "gifted".   My sister had a far better memory than I and memorized two entire books of the Bible during one Vacation Bible School to win that.  However, our entire family committed to doing so and we could sit in the living room and spend over an hour reciting the Bible encouraging one another.  Some can do more, others less, but the church is in such a weak state with FEW Christians knowing the Bible well at all and fewer able to drawn its truths in moments of crisis when no Bible is in sight.

When I was in 8th grade EVERYONE had to memorize Polonius farewell address to Laertes.  The teacher did not ask if you could or not do it. You did or you flunked.  I still remember parts of it over 55 years later.  The same with German dialogues.  It is was easier for some than for others, but EVERYONE did it.  I have owned a business for over 37 years - I have several computers and hundred of books - yet I am expected to have in my Human RAM an incredible number of facts - I am not considered learned without them.  I cannot just say, "Wait until I Google that." I frankly cannot understand why ANYONE would minimize the merits of having the Word of God dwell in them richly and to be able to repeat the heart  of God to another person they meet.  Witnessing Christians talk a lot, but the power of Scripture is stronger than our own words.  If you talk to a baseball fan(atic), they have memorized players, stats, everything.  The average sinner can name dozens of actors and actresses and every movie they appeared in. A rap or Spoken Word artist can go for twenty minutes with intricate rhyming material.  If you are a fan(atic) of Jesus. you should know as much as possible about hum by heart and be able to prove it by his word that is written on your heart.

I found this blogger's (Catherine Robson) opinion prescient as well.

"Rote memory of anything is unpopular these days. Why memorize anything when it can be at the fingertips of your smartphone in seconds? There was a time, into the early decades of the 20th century, when the memorization of poetry in school was mandatory. Educators knew that this not only helped children develop language skills and strengthen their brains, but even helped them internalize the themes of poetry. Teachers understood that when we learn something by heart, it becomes a part of who we are. “If we do not learn by heart, the heart does not feel the rhythms of poetry as echoes or variations of its own insistent beat.

The same can be said of the Bible. When we memorize Scripture, it becomes a part of who we are. From the pithy sayings of the Proverbs to the poetic rhythm of the Psalms, from the powerful speeches of the prophets to the theological expositions of the epistles, the Bible can be woven into the fabric of our personality. Its truths can be on the tips of our tongues for all seasons of life."


Look, I was on the phone for an hour and a half last week with a woman whom we met at a Christian retreat - a place incidentally where to my chagrin some totally unscriptural things took place. She did not even notice.  But we did get into the topic of stewardship because of teaching she had received from her pastor.  She asked good questions. She was in a tithing bondage with her home crumbling around her and did not know some basic scriptures such as "giving must not be under compulsion. Each man should give as he has determined in his own heart".  She was ignorant of differences between the Old Covenant and the New One and that you cannot cherry-pick portions of the law.  In fact what she was being taught did not even conform to the Old Covenant Law, and I have heard a seemingly countless number of pastors butcher the subject - why?  Because of simply copying what there have said without investigating it and knowing the scriptures and how they are intertwined with the very character of Christ, the Living Word.  She was ill-equipped to understand what the Bible said because while she read it probably more than most, it was not PART of her.  It was not welded to her soul. She was confused about much but when done still seemed to put the words of man above the words of God.

The church has tried your way and it is on life-support. All the relevant or purpose-driven stuff has weakened not strengthened the church. 80% of the young people leave the church during college.  In my high school Sunday School (Class of 1966), the majority of the class is in Christian service today. unless they retired recently.  The level of discernment in the church is minimal. People talk about "heir truth" vs. "my truth."  There is only ONE set of truth.   Pastors (and I had a full-time pastor confide in me he had a hard time devoting time every day to God) who used to be sound have gone off the rails. The man I referred to in parentheses lost his church and it disbanded.  People have worldviews and support politicians with demonic characteristics which they appear helpless to recognize.  (You should check out my previous post on knowing your Shepherd.)

Why not return to a time when the Bible is embedded into our souls - memorize, meditate, and apply the word?  I bet you if you tried it you would understand me. Do not say you cannot.  EVERYBODY CAN.  Experts say youth can learn 12 verses a week, adults 7.  I have seen it work.  It is not a magic bill, but as a minister of Jesus Christ who has been continuously in Christ for over 60 years, I must tell you it is EXTREMELY valuable.  One scripture kept my wife from a disastrous decision as a child.

 Here are ten reasons given by someone else.

1. Memorizing the Bible produces spiritual growth
2. Memorizing the Bible keeps us from sin
3. Memorizing the Bible stores up truth for later
4. Memorizing the Bible uses time wisely
5. Memorizing the Bible guards our thinking from error
6. Memorizing the Bible equips us for witnessing
7. Memorizing the Bible provides tools to comfort others
8. Memorizing the Bible sharpens our spiritual battle skills
9. Memorizing the Bible opens up heart fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ
10. Memorizing the Bible establishes gospel priorities

And from "GotQuestions.ORG

Question: "Why is Bible memorization important?"


Answer: Bible memorization is of utmost importance in the Christian life. In fact, memorizing Scripture is perhaps the single most crucial element to spiritual growth and victory over sin. The Word of God is powerful because it is literally “God-breathed” from the mind of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and when we fill our minds with His words by memorizing Scripture, we avail ourselves of the most powerful spiritual tool there is.

When we memorize the Word of God, several things happen. Psalm 119:11 tells us the psalmist hid God’s Word in his heart so that he would not sin against Him. Not only did he hear and read the Word, but he internalized it and laid it up in his mind and memory for future use. The Word of God is the believer’s only truly potent weapon against sin, and when placed in the mind through Bible memorization, it is a strong influence for godliness and righteous living. Hebrews 4:12 tells us the Word of God is “living and active,” meaning that it has supernatural power to mold us into Christ-likeness when we meditate upon it, and there is no better way to meditate on the Word than to have it in our minds and memories. 

Ephesians 6:13-17 describes the believer’s armor in the battle for our souls and spiritual survival. All of the elements of the armor are defensive except one. The only offensive weapon is the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (v. 17). Just as Jesus used God’s Word to fend off attacks of Satan (Matthew 4:1-11), so must we be able to use the same weapon. But rarely does Satan give us time to “look up” the correct passages when we are confronted with his lies and deception. Bible memorization ensures that we will have the appropriate truths and principles in mind and be able to recall them instantly to effectively respond to the evil one who seeks to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8). Romans 12:1-2 exhorts us to “renew” our minds so that we are no longer influenced by the thinking that conforms us to this world. The only way to renew the mind is to fill it with Scripture.

Memorizing Scripture is the privilege and responsibility of every Christian. There are several excellent Scripture memory systems available, including the Navigators Topical Memory System. Even without a specific published method, anyone can start with the key verses of the Christian faith—such as John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9—and continue to build verse upon verse. The key is to continually review the ones already memorized before adding any new ones. Whatever method is chosen, the benefits of Bible memorization are victory over sin, strengthened faith, and joy in the Christian life.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

MY SHEPHERD

Sheep need shepherds.
Sheep go astray.
They have a will that is independent of the shepherd.
They see something and it grabs their attention.
They are not looking for wolves.
They get hurt or destroyed by the wolves.

There are Wolfpacks in my church – and they are not all from North Carolina State.
These men and women support each other, guest on each other’s shows, and tell you how spiritual one another is.
The wolves care not for the sheep.
They see them more as cows – cash-cows.

True Shepherds care so much for the sheep they will DIE for their sheep.
If you are listening to some of the media pastors,
Ask yourself –  Would this man die to save my life?
Or would he simply take for granted my life is worth nothing compared to his?
Read my word – I describe how these men really care NOTHING for the sheep.

My Shepherd had the best life of anyone in the entire world throughout all of History. 
A spectacular life.
Yet he deemed my life – little old me – worth DYING for!
Thank you Jesus for dying for me.
I will serve you forever.

Praise be the name of the Lord!