Gonna Get Tougher Soon, Folks!

I have this feeling “in my bones” that something BIG” is about to happen in the USA. I mean “humongous”! This country was “hamstringed” by the Obama years and is ripe for a “coup de grace”.

If you think President Trump has any real power to govern, and right the wrongs of the past 4 administrations prior to 2017, then you have more “faith” than this boy. You just might be a “pollyanna”!!! You are way too much into the narrative of the “flesh”. By that I mean, you look to your “3 hours per week of religion” to keep you safe from the”boogeyman”. I truly hope that is all the “info” you will need in these troublesome times ahead. I really mean that!

Let me elaborate a while, please. Mainstream religion has been streamlined, pasteurized. homoginized

make uniform or similar.
synonyms: make uniform, make similar, standardizeuniteintegratefusemergeblendmeldcoalesceamalgamatecombine

, and generally become ineffective at what it was supposed to do, that being “making true and effective disciples”. Homoginization is not the marching orders of the Church. We are not supposed to taste and look like the “world”. I am afraid we have been cattle-herded into submission and irrelevance in the society of the USA. That fact is nobody’s fault but ours. Individually!! I truly believe that God will give you”light” if you seek the light of truth! You are in darkness because that is what you desire. You have not opened the “Word of Truth” and been taught by it. You have “no excuse”, Christian (?)!

Do not get me wrong on the statement I am about to make. Please hear me on this subject! Wobbly kneed “preachers (so called) have so watered down the “gospel of salvation” until it has become ineffective against the disease of pure sin! Obedience to Scripture is convoluted into “legalism” in most churches today; what is good has been deemed evil. This “abuse of grace” antinomianism ( “29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” [Heb 10:29 KJV]) is called apostasy in the Bible, the “falling away” from the faith (also see Hebrews 6:4-6).

This is what the Bible says must happen before the return of Jesus Christ for His faithful bride, the Church. I say the apostasy has occurred (past tense) and the only thing I am looking for, prophetically, is this; the “revealing” of the man of sin. You probably do not understand where I am “coming from” in this paragraph. If not, you should read my archived material on this blog, and then you will SEE how I make my conclusions. But most will not do that! Why? Here is the reason: “2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” [2 Tim 4:2-4 KJV] Those 3 verses are exactly what has happened to the Church (?), in a nutshell as the saying goes!! If you do not know that fact, you have  possibly become apostate yourself, and in danger of inheriting “perdition”. Harsh? I do not think so. I call it “realistic”.

If you have bought into the hype of “revivalism” and such, as purported by false prophets ( the NAR being one), then you may be in for a surprise very soon.

And that brings me back to my “political” subject matter. The title says “going to get tougher soon”. What I am projecting to happen goes something like this. There will be a “crisis” in the Washington, D.C. political apparatus (the Presidency). The current President of the USA, Donald Trump, will be somehow deigned “unfit to rule” and the former political juggernaut (read-Obama and his shadow government) will reascend to political power and prominence. What I believe I am saying is this, A coup (takeover by the military and quasi-military- FEMA) will occur!

So, what should the Church (people) do when that occurs? Do we rise up with arms as some undoubtedly will? Do we go “en masse” to the mall in Washington to protest? Will that do any good? I do not think so. It will just give “them” a “Las Vegas” opportunity IMHO.

I really think it will be time to “hunker down” in true Christianity. To see how the “cards” will play out. Be “provisioned” to stay the course until the Lord returns and rescues us. Are you ready to meet the Lord “in the clouds”? Luke 21 33-36 say the following !! “33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” [Luke 21:33-36 KJV]

Christian, is there oil in your lamp to light the way for your family and others during these wicked last days? Will you be one of the 5 wise virgins who are prepared to meet the Lord, on the Day of Christ? Will you go in to the wedding feast “when the saints go marching in”?

Get your affairs in order with the Lord Jesus today. I beg you. Christian and sinner (lost one) alike? Are you ready to meet the Lord soon?

Maranatha,

Ken

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Gonna Get Tougher Soon, Folks!

True Faith and the Rise of the “Deep State”(Shadow Government) in the United States of America

I am writing this in reaction to an email containing an article that I received from some friends in Michigan. I will start by inserting the commentary by Charles Krauthammer.

An article by Charles Krauthammer:

I do not understand how living in a country with its democracy established over 200 years ago, and now, for the first time in history, suddenly we have one of our former presidents set up a group called “Organizing for Action” (OFA).

OFA is 30,000+ strong and working to disrupt everything that our current president’s administration is trying to do. This organization goes against our Democracy, and it is an operation that will destroy our way of governing. It goes against our Constitution, our laws, and the processes established over 200 years ago. If it is allowed to proceed then we will be living in chaos very much like third world countries are run. What good is it to have an established government if it is not going to be respected and allowed to follow our laws?

If you had an army some 30,000 strong and a court system stacked over the decades with judges who would allow you to break the laws, how much damage could you do to a country? We are about to find out in America!

Our ex-president said he was going to stay involved through community organizing and speak out on the issues and that appears to be one post-administration promise he intends to keep. He has moved many of his administration’s top dogs over to Organizing for Action.

OFA is behind the strategic and tactical implementation of the resistance to the Trump Administration that we are seeing across America, and politically active courts are providing the leverage for this revolution.

OFA is dedicated to organizing communities for “progressive” change. Its issues are gun control, socialist healthcare, abortion, sexual equality, climate change, and of course, immigration reform. 

OFA members were propped up by the ex-president’s message from the shadows: “Organizing is the building block of everything great we have accomplished Organizers around the country are fighting for change in their communities and OFA is one of the groups on the front lines. Commit to this work in 2017 and beyond.”

OFA’s website says it obtained its “digital” assets from the ex-president’s re-election effort and that he inspired the movement. In short, it is the shadow government organization aimed at resisting and tearing down the Constitutional Republic we know as AMERICA.

Paul Sperry, writing for the New York Post, says, “The OFA will fight President Donald Trump at every turn of his presidency and the ex-president will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House.”

Sperry writes that, “The ex-president is setting up a shadow government to sabotage the Trump administration through a network of non-profits led by OFA, which is growing its war chest (more than $40 million) and has some 250 offices nationwide. The OFA IRS filings, according to Sperry, indicate that the OFA has 32,525 (and growing) volunteers nationwide. The ex-president and his wife will oversee the operation from their home/ office in Washington DC.

Think about how this works.. For example: Trump issues an immigration executive order; the OFA signals for protests and statements from pro-immigrant groups; the ACLU lawyers file lawsuits in jurisdictions where activist judges obstruct the laws; volunteers are called to protest at airports and Congressional town hall meetings; the leftist media springs to action in support of these activities; the twitter sphere lights up with social media; and violence follows. All of this happens from the ex-president’s signal that he is heartened by the protests.

If Barack Obama did not do enough to destroy this country in the 8 years he was in office, it appears his future plans are to destroy the foundation on which this country has operated on for the last 241 years.

If this does not scare you, then we are in worse trouble than you know.

So, do your part. You have read it, so at least pass this on so others will know what we are up against. We are losing our country and we are so compliant. We are becoming a “PERFECT TARGET” for our enemy!

Charles Krauthammer  

Christian (?) in Amerika, if that article does not trouble you, then you do not care about the USA (or your family’s future welfare). You could be a lost (I once was found and now am lost !) cause. You have lost your spititual moorings, and are adrift in a foaming sea of personal (and corporate) apostasy. Period……….!!! I know that is harsh sounding, but the time is way past to give everyone a “pass” for moral failure. If you are “lined up” with what is called the “progressive left” then you are in cahoots with the devil himself. No doubt about that! Period….!!! That is called apostasy in the Bible. You have fallen away from the moral absolutes of God Almighty. Again, period…!!

I do not know Charles Krauthammer personally. I do not even watch Fox News. I am not a political “junkie”. I did not go looking for this article; it just landed in my lap by email. So I say that God sent it to me as a reminder that I am a “watchman” for Him on this planet. I am tasked with sounding the warning call when the enemy gets near. And he (Satan’s emissary) is at the gates (less than 2 miles from the White House) of this country.

I am not going to continue this “rant” for long, at all. I have written a lot about apostasy in the church. It is there in my archives of this blog, for the world to read, if they so choose. But I do want to say to all, who have read this far and may not be familiar with my commentaries, that I published a piece titled “Who is the Little Horn of Daniel, chapter 8?” about 2 years ago. It ties in with this scenario that Krauthammer writes about. You need to read it now!

 I know that most people are asleep or sitting by the campfire singing “kumbaya”, but I am going to tell you all one more time again, this. You need to “wake up”!!! 

Listen to this and heed, church!! ““11 And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].” [Rom 13:11-14 KJV]

The choice is yours, my friends. Follow God and stand up for what is right OR fall in with the world system and the “little horn”!!!!!!!!! (We KNOW where that takes us! “11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” [Rev 14:11 KJV])

Ken Hall

 

True Faith and the Rise of the “Deep State”(Shadow Government) in the United States of America

Ephesians, Chapter One Commentary.

I am starting this commentary on September 30, 2017. When I write, I usually have several drafts going at the same time. Breaking apart the Scriptures, and commenting on the applications and true meaning of this epistle is needed for today’s Christian? folk. The only preachers who seem to want to expound on the Bible, verse by verse, are “reformed”. By reformed I mean that they are Calvinistic in belief. They adhere to and believe in the 5 points of Calvinism that are rooted in John Calvin’s “Institutes”. Some may say they are only 4 pointers, or, like most Baptists, 3 pointers. Those who hold to “any” of the 5 points are wrong, in my opinion. Even the 1st point (total depravity) is flawed as taught by Calvinists.

I felt that I must write that initial paragraph because Ephesians chapter one is used as a “proof text” for reformed religion; Calvinism.

“1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:” [Eph 1:1 KJV] In the beginning verse we notice something that must be pointed out and dealt with; that being a “translation” glitch. Let’s look at the BLB’s (Blue Letter Bible) comparison of this verse from varying Bibles.

Translations for Eph 1:1
KJV
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Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

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NKJV
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Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

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This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus,[fn] who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.

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NIV
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Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[fn] the faithful in Christ Jesus:

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Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful[fn] in Christ Jesus:

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Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will:

To the faithful saints in Christ Jesus[fn] at Ephesus.[fn]

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Pablo, apóstol de Jesucristo por la voluntad de Dios, a los santos y fieles en Cristo Jesús que están en Efeso:

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Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus [fn]by the will of God, To the [fn]saints who are [fn]at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:

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From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints [in Ephesus], the faithful in Christ Jesus.

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Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus:

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Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints that are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus:

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Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

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Paul, apostle of Jesus Christ by God’s will, to the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus who are at Ephesus.

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Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

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Sha’ul, an apostle of Messiah Yeshua through the will of God, to the holy ones who are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Messiah Yeshua:

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Paulus apostolus Christi Iesu per voluntatem Dei sanctis omnibus qui sunt Ephesi et fidelibus in Christo Iesu

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Παῦλος ἀπόστολος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ τοῖς ἁγίοις τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν Ἐφέσῳ καὶ πιστοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ

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Παῦλος ἀπόστολος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ τοῖς ἁγίοις τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν Ἐφέσῳ καὶ πιστοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ

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The point I want to make here is this. By looking at the comparison of different Bible translations, I can make this statement. “I believe Paul intended this letter to be a general epistle to the Church universal; Christians everywhere.” As history has revealed, this teaching about who comprises the Church, and “why” it came into existence, is “central” and unequivocally universal in its application to every believer in Jesus Christ.

Therefore, by translating the text, for example, as the NASB does; ” “1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:” [Eph 1:1 NASB], you add meaning by “inserting ” words (who. in  Greek “hos”) that are not in the text. The meaning and intent of Paul’s words becomes “fuzzy”. Faithfulness of believers has been injected into the “equation”! This translating “limits” the potential scope of Paul’s teaching, in theory. Paul is writing to Christians concerning these  “facts” in Ephesians 1; his own “apostleship”,  and his authority, given by Jesus Christ Himself  to Paul, to be the “instituter” and teacher of all things CHURCH related   (“13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:” [Rom 11:13 KJV] The church remains to this day a “mainly” Gentile body. The individual “faithfulness” of believers is not “in play” here. Paul is simply telling us that this epistle is to believers (everywhere, then and now). Period! No conditions attached, I say. I hope you see this fact. Misconceptions are “easy to come by” in Scripture reading. Real easy!

Let us dig deeper. I maintain that to be faithful to the intent of Scripture, we must have an understanding of orthodox Christian doctrines. By making that statement I open myself up to the question of “by whose orthodoxy are we going to judge”. In my opinion, there is only one right answer to ALL things Biblical. ( “20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,” [2 Peter 1:20 NASB] So, it is my job (and yours) to find the right meaning to Scripture. That is the “bottom line”, friends. To say otherwise is to become “relevant” and apply “textual criticism” to what God has said. Scriptural relativism is good way to get “deceived” and thereby follow the “doctrines of men”, possibly to our own Spiritual doom.

So I suppose, now is the time for me to tell you exactly what I believe about the “process” of the salvation of all believers. I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ (God). It is the power of God unto salvation to every (and any) one who will believe that Jesus is God and turn to Him, having been drawn to him by the Spirit. That drawing represents (“32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.” [Jhn 12:32 KJV]) the faith of Jesus to go to the cross on our behalf and take our sin on Himself, rising from the grave to be the firstfruits of the Church, assuring all true Christians this glorious fact: the grave (death) is “swallowed up in victory”. It cannot hold us and this earthly body will be resurrected, and we will “walk” with Jesus in our new and never-aging body. When we physically die or the rapture occurs, those who have remained faithful to the end will receive the salvation that our belief has made a down payment on.

To be truly saved we must hear the gospel and understand it (Spirit-aided, I say, “the drawing”). Then we must by an act of our own will, receive the free gift that Jesus offers everyone. I have heard this all my life “place your faith in Christ and ask Him into your heart”. I am sure that most people who say that are sincerely hoping to see someone saved, but unless the gospel has been thoroughly preached in its simplicity and truth, and a “free from coercion response” solicited, I have issues concerning the viability of the “product” (salvation). The trickery that is used in the big crusades (Billy Graham etc., etc.) is “iniquity” (religious sin). My wife Barb started attending pre-crusade “classes” at a local Baptist church about a month ago (Sept. 2017). This was for the Ft. Wayne, (IN) Will Graham Celebration. This outfit uses a “sales track” approach. What I mean by that is this; everything done is pre-conceived and implemented to achieve the “desired” response!! Many “counselors” are trained to come forward at the beginning of the “invitation”. They are trained to ask the “right” kind of “leading” questions to achieve the “wanted” effect. Personally, I truly believe this kind of theater is at home in a new car dealership!! Iniquity at its lowest!

I do truly believe that God can use “anything” to testify to His majesty and “save” anyone He desires to. That is a fact; God is all powerful and all knowing! So, He can do that, if that was His plan. God uses His Word, and people like you and me, to get the gospel message out to the world (“9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” [Rom 10:9-17 KJV]

The above passage tells us the “method” that God uses to call people to repentance and into the faith; to “belief” in the facts of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God uses us to bring people to Himself. We “all” should be “preachers” of the gospel, and be ready to tell people we meet about the “hope that is within us” That hope is Jesus in a true believer! Consider this verse, “20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” [Eph 3:20 KJV]. This also, “15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” [1Peter 3:15 KJV]

Those verses speak about the “power” within us; the powerful Holy Spirit of God Almighty! So, Christian friend, if you are waiting for your pastor and church staff to do all the work, then you have been taught (and have believed) wrongly. If you do not have a “testimony”, you need to do a “check-up” on your faith. I mean that. You may not have a dynamic remembrance of your “conversion” experience, BUT you should have some “stories” about what God has done in your life since you came to Jesus. These would not be about what “positions” you have held, but about the help you have received from Christ; the deliverance from trials, the healing(s) you have received, the miraculous answers to prayer. These are the benefits of a child of God. If you do not have a “story”, what does that say about you (and God)? Have you heard the axiom, “nothing ventured, nothing gained? That is a Biblical statement, you know!

“14 For [the kingdom of heaven is] as a man travelling into a far country, [who] called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made [them] other five talents. 17 And likewise he that [had received] two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, [there] thou hast [that is] thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, [Thou] wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and [then] at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give [it] unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [Mat 25:14-30 KJV]

Jesus does expect all who are Christians to use their talents to fulfill the “Great Commission”. No one gets a pass. There is not a “get out of hell” free card that allows you to “coast” into presence of Jesus. Our service in “positions’ in the local assembly of a particular church is of use to the body of Christ on earth, but that should not be our “measuring rod” for ourselves in the Spiritual realm. The only true way to examine (measure) ourselves is this: know the precepts of God’s Holy Word and evaluate our lives by what the Bible says about Christ-like behavior and thought patterns. This self-evaluation is necessary for victorious living. Nothing else will do!

Back to Ephesians. At the time of the writing of the book of Ephesians by Paul, this Greek city was second only to Rome in status, in the Roman empire. It was located in what is now Turkey. I say that Paul addressed this teaching about the church to the converts at Ephesus because he knew this would be a very important city in church history (it is the first church of seven mentioned in the Revelation, chapters 2 and 3), and that his words would become “doctrinal” to the church universal. The doctrine of faith (belief) irrespective of “works” is fundamentally central to the evangelical Christian faith. Ephesians 2:8-10 is a definitive answer to the question, “How is the believer saved”. We are saved by the faith of Jesus; His faith to go to that cruel Roman cross, giving Himself as our substitute, our Savior! Much has been said about “our faith”, but it is Jesus’s faith that saves the believer of the Gospel. Period! It is not our faith, it is our “belief” in Jesus that saves us; nothing else I say. Belief in the Gospel, and being willing to turn (in our minds) to Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith, is all that is required of us. Again, period! The confession that is inherent with true belief is nothing more than this; we acknowledge that Jesus is God as Peter did, “16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” [Matt. 16:16 KJV]. No one can say that Jesus is God (Jehovah God) except that person be aided by the spirit of God. This is the drawing power of the Gospel of salvation. I believe that a true conversion experience will result in “testifying” to what has occurred inside that person who has “believed”. But that can take awhile to “put into words”, I believe. Public confession is okay, but is not a “prerequisite” to the “saving equation”. The belief of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and “heart” confession of Him as God is what matters.

Well. I got ahead of myself once again. Such is the lot of a preacher. There is nothing more important than preaching the Gospel, in it’s “simplicity”. To add conditions of fallen men to the salvation process is confusing at least, heretical most likely.

I am going now into a summary about Ephesians chapter 1. I will do this by pointing out the main theme of the entire chapter. The main theme and teaching emphasis in this chapter is this: the Church (all believers) is comprised of Jews and Gentiles. It is a “body” of believers; there is no distinction between Jew and Greek. All who believe the Gospel and are given the Holy Spirit as “earnest” on the future and final ownership of salvation ARE the “body” of the faith that was once delivered unto the saints (saved ones). Paul is teaching this new paradigm to believers everywhere (then and now). His words are as relevant today as when he wrote them. He is teaching about the “mystery”, the Church, which was a new “outworking” of God, that was instituted at the cross when the veil (Jesus Christ’s body) was torn for all who believe. The door was opened into a new and living “testament” of God’s provision and grace, not only to the Jews but to everyone else (Gentiles) also.

Paul establishes his authority to “set up” and teach about the Church in the first 12 verses of Ephesians one. He establishes his apostolic “chosen-ness” . He claims, rightly so, that he is chosen and set apart by God for this task: teaching about the mystery of  true Christianity. He was a Jewish apostle who loved all people, and was charged and instructed by Jesus (Holy Ghost) Himself  to teach this profound mystery. Let us jump ahead to Ephesians chapter 3.

“1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words), 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [places] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:” [Eph. 3:1-11 KJV]

Do you see what Paul is “claiming” in those verses. He is saying this: God gave to him the knowledge and authority to teach the “unsearchable riches” of Christ, the mystery which had been “hidden” in God; the “everlasting covenant” between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This was an agreement and plan of the Trinity from the creation of the world. Listen to these two verses. “20 Now{may} the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.” [Heb 13:20-21 KJV]. The Church was not something God the Trinity arranged “on the fly”! It was “covenanted” in eternity past, but only in the “fullness of time” was revealed unto the holy apostle Paul, to be taught here in the book of Ephesians to all Christians, everywhere.

I want to close this teaching on Ephesians chapter one with a true story about when I was a “new” Christian and God gave me a “supernatural” experience to “cement” my faith in Him. I was saved in July 1992; I was truly a “sponge” for the Word of God and Bible teaching. I read voraciously about Christian ideas and “church stuff”. There was a columnist who wrote a weekly devotional and commentary in the local newspaper, the Dalton (Ga) Citizen. His name was Ron and he pastored a small baptist church in my hometown. I read his columns for awhile and decided to make an appointment to talk to him. I just wanted to “shoot the breeze” about Spiritual things, so I called and got a time to come in and chat. Unbeknownst to me, he was a “reformed” baptist and when we started talking he started telling me about his Calvinistic beliefs. I did not even know what Calvinism was at that time. I took my Bible with me to the conversation. It was a Ryrie Study Bible, the New American Standard version. He showed me Ephesians chapter 1 and was espousing the “reformed” faith. Maybe he was looking for a “new” disciple to his way of thinking. He was pretty forceful about the “sovereignty” of  God in choosing individuals to “salvation”. I listened to what he had to say about Ephesians 1 and we parted company for the day. I made a follow-up appt. for the next week with Ron.

Well, I went home and started studying Ephesians one and guess what happened. I found out, through the Holy Spirit, by just “logically” reading that chapter, that this PHD of religion was wrong in his haughty teaching of the Word. And here is why.

Paul is contrasting his (and all the Jewish apostles) holy calling to preach the Gospel against the responsibility of new converts to hear the Gospel and believe the Gospel. Well, I pointed out this Biblical fact to Dr. Ron and he became flustered almost to the point of speechlessness. He truly did not know what to say next.

That was my ” kick off” experience about the heresy of Calvinism, “reformed religion”. I have been studying the Scriptures for 25 years since that time in 1992 and have not changed my mind even one iota since about Calvinism!

I am not saying that all persons who attend a reformed assembly are lost and on their way to hell. Not at all. God can (and will) save anyone who has truly believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and turned (repented) to Jesus. ANYONE!!

Let me finish this commentary. In summation, I will say this: Paul is setting the parameters for the entire epistle here in chapter one. He establishes the authority of himself and the other Jewish apostles in Ephesians verses 1-12, and then he shows the facts concerning “how” theses Gentile believers became a part of the CHURCH, the body of Christ in the world. Just read verse 13 and following to know and start to understand this “mystery”.  “13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. 15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” [Eph 1:13-23 KJV]

Enough said!!!!

Ken Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ephesians, Chapter One Commentary.

“The Called”

This one needs writing, so I suppose I must answer the “call”. It is a topic of much debate through the centuries. So, being one who is not shy about giving my opinion and discernment on Biblical issues, here comes the “definitive” discourse on “calling”. LOL

I have been in a writing frenzy lately. I do not know why, honestly. No one much is reading what I have to say. We are in “troubled” times, and many are “departing” the faith as I write this column. That is why I write. The only reason. Because Christians are falling away by the droves, these days. That’s my “heart”. Pulling folks out of the fire of false teaching, and the belief thereof. I have posted 7 articles here on Hey Jude 15 in the last 21 days. This is what I do for about 2 hours most every mornings. I read the national news on Townhall.com and Breitbart.com. for around 30 minutes most days. I do that only to see whether there is anything happening that I should know about that will enable me to lead my family through these troubled waters of national infidelity, “political correctness”, and world upheaval. I am not a political hack, but I do have a sense of patriotism running in my veins. So, sometimes my writing is spurred on by something I notice in the news. I “always” try to spin my commentary back to this one overriding concern; how these news events can affect Christians and their (mine) walks with our Lord.

That’s it in a nutshell about how, and why I write this blog. It is my “calling” from the Lord. And, I take this responsibility seriously. Bible commentary and teaching is a honor, and to be gifted to say something on the Lord’s behalf is “heavy” job. “1 My brethren, be not many masters (teachers), knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” [Jas 3:1 KJV] That verse tells me that I will have a more strict judgment than the average Christian. There is great responsibility with the “gift”. The apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, tells us that God (Jesus) gave gifts to men. “7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” [Eph 4:7-13 KJV] I want you to notice a few things about that passage. Look at verse 8 above. It says that Jesus gave “gifts” to men. This means “people” in this context. No gender specified. Jesus gave a Spiritual gift(s) to every Christian! No Christian is left out, period! Skip down to verse 11. This verse says that Jesus gave (calls) “some” to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor/ teachers. Not all. Some! These are what are called the “offices” of the church; the hierarchy of Spiritual leadership that Jesus Himself put in place through the apostle Paul. These offices are God-called and God-equipped to teach and lead the Church of Jesus Christ, universal and particular. The office of apostle stop being called by God after Paul and the original 12 disciples died. Kaput!

I am God-called to be a New Testament prophet. Before you stop reading, and call me “full of myself”, let me explain. In my perception a “prophet”, N.T. variety, is nothing more than a person who is equipped by God to understand Scripture, and boldly proclaim it to the Church. The Church universal in my case. Nothing more, nothing less. So where are you going with this, Ken?

Back now to my topic, “The Called”. The Greek word is kletos, spoken “CLAY-TOE’S. In every use in the Bible, this word implies that those who are “called” are the “chosen” ones. In every case! And before you think I am a “reformed” man, let me explain what it means to be called by God to “whatever”. To be chosen by God means various things to different classes of the “called”. It is just that “plain and simple”, folks. There are no “smoke and mirrors” with God. He “lays it down” in  the Word of Truth, the Bible, and then calls (out) those He has chosen to the various positions. He calls “all” people to repentance through the gospel of Jesus Christ. “32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.” [Jhn 12:32 KJV]. That verse says that the cross of Jesus is the clarion call to “all men” (people). So all are called to become Christians by the gospel, the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Savior,  references, “14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world.” [1John 4:14 KJV] and “10 For to this [end] we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is [the] Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” [1Tim. 4:10 NKJV] Are you beginning to see that “all people” are  “the called” to become believers in Christ!

So, I hope you get it that I am not “reformed”. Calvinism (reformed theology) is un-Biblical and heretical. I am NOT saying that all people who attend reformed congregations are lost. Not at all. Only God knows the hearts and motives of his creation. I am just trying to “rightly divide” the Word of Truth. Showing you what the Bible says about the callings of God and the “chosenness” (is that a word?) of different classes in the Christian hierarchy.

I have talked about the call of “everyone” and the call of Church “officers”, so far. I want to expound a bit about “apostles”.

Today, there are “apostles” everywhere. You may have one living across the street from you! So, what are we to think? “12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” [2Co 11:12-15 NKJV] That was the Apostle Paul’s take on those who would claim ownership of the title of “apostle”. Enough said, I believe! The word apostle is NEVER used in the N.T. as a “generic” term. It is always specific in its meaning of the twelve disciples plus Paul. Paul and the other apostles had help from people such as Timothy and Titus, etc., for sure, but these were  subordinate to the Apostles. None of these were commissioned by the Lord Jesus, personally.  So, when you see the word apostle before someones name you can be sure that they have been taught wrongly, and are full of “themselves”. Listen to Paul on this matter, friends!

All people are called to believe in Jesus Christ by the gospel. The Great Commission is the order to every Christian to make disciples (teach others to believe and obey Christ). In that sense a “disciple” is just one who has believed in Jesus, one who has been “born again” from above and been given the Holy Spirit as a down payment to their future salvation. “13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” [Eph 1:13-14 KJV]

We “become” the “called” of God (Jesus Christ) when we truly repent and believe that Jesus is the ONLY way back to the father! “6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” [Jhn 14:6 KJV]

I hope this has helped you to understand the the various callings of God.

Ken Hall

 

 

“The Called”

Can We Surrender All?

I was in church last Sunday and songs were being sung about “I will do this and I will do that” and something was not “ringing true” about the words that were on the screen for our congregational worship. So, here, I am trying to find out what the Bible says about the ability of a true Christian to “surrender all to the Lord”.  Jesus says in Matthew 5:33-37, “Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil”. I am pretty sure that some Christians and  most churchgoers do not give a second thought to what the words of a song sung could be doing to their relationship with Jesus. Is Jesus’s teaching of  “swearing not” in play with music? I think it is, and here is why I believe it is so.

As anyone who reads this blog should know, I am opposed to the message of a lot of the music genre commonly called CCM- contemporary Christian music. With this article I want to go somewhat more into detail about what comes out of our mouths, not just music but any utterance we make that could be considered an oath. I am going to rile some folks, but I am going to use the hymn “I Surrender All” as a focal point in my argument. James 4:13-17 tells us, “Go to(better said, come now) now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin”. Let me put that last verse in more understandable form; “Therefore, to the person who knows to obey God’s Word and does not obey it, this disobedience is sinful! This is sin of both commission and omission, in my opinion. We are committing sin by the disregarding(omitting,) of what Jesus says. Disobeying the Lord Jesus, plain and simple. John 13:36-38 state, “36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. 37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. 38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.” [Jhn 13:36-38 KJV] Peter, the Lord’s hand-picked disciple. boldly proclaimed that he would lay down his life for Jesus, yet we see how that turned out. I am concerned that our bold oaths and anthems are balm for our egos.

I have never been to an ordination ceremony, but I think what happens is that the minister being ordained is charged by Holy Scripture to Biblically steer the sheep to the “green pastures of the Word of God” because the Bible commands the pastor/teacher to protect and nourish the flock . They are given this responsibility; to be the undershepherds to the Church while it is being built. Pastors, along with evangelists and New Testament prophets are also charged with the Great Commission of building the Church, one soul at a time. Then, they have the great responsibility of discipling those who come to the Lord under their “charged” ministry. These God-called officers of the Churches, universal and particular, oversee those gifted to help them, in theory weeding out pretenders and charlatans who use the Church for the own agenda and selfish pride.

Maybe we should at this point talk about the cost of discipleship, Jesus’s way. Let me show you some Scripture, then I will opine more. In Matthew 19 and 20 we have 2 parables that speak about the cost of real discipleship and the equal payments of working for Him. Here they are.  “16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and [thy] mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. 23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard [it], they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” [Mat 19:16-29 KJV]

“1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man [that is] an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, [that] shall ye receive. 8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them [their] hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9 And when they came that [were hired] about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11 And when they had received [it], they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12 Saying, These last have wrought [but] one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14 Take [that] thine [is], and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” [Mat 20:1-16 KJV]

As you can see Jesus was teaching His disciples about humility; the truth about servanthood. The first will be last, the last will be first. He also taught this lesson when He washed their feet at the Last Supper before he died on the cross. So, if you are expecting acclaim (and Cadillacs) from Jesus in this earthly life, you will be surprised. It is going to cost you a lot to follow Jesus properly.

One more point and I will sum up my thoughts about surrendering all to the Lord. Let me take you to 1 Corinthians chapter 7, and show you what Paul concluded about married folks and serving the Lord and giving Him your all. “24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God. 25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. 26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, [I say], that [it is] good for a man so to be. 27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. 28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. 29 But this I say, brethren, the time [is] short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31 And they that use this world, as not abusing [it]: for the fashion of this world passeth away. 32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please [his] wife. 34 There is difference [also] between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please [her] husband.” [1Cor. 7:24-34 KJV]

Paul was giving his opinion to the unruly and unspiritual body of believers in Corinth. He was giving his Godly insight, as the lead apostle of the mainly Gentile church, concerning marriage. He had orders from the Lord Jesus to build the Church, and to install Godly leaders to oversee it. He, led by Jesus and the Holy Spirit, had authority to set the rules of conduct and enforce discipline in this Greek city church. In chapter 7, he is laying out a framework for Christian marriage. This new church had no idea how to operate in a God-honoring manner. So, Paul needed to be very proactive in his teaching, anticipating potential problems and addressing them with some structural rules. Their pagan (or Jewish) ways had to be superseded by Christian rules. Therefore he wrote the letters of 1 and 2 Corinthians to “straighten them out”. This was Paul’s commission from the Lord.

So, chapter 7 is God’s teaching about marriage to His church. This Scripture is not a suggestion to possibly follow, but it is the definitive statement in the New Testament about marriage and divorce. Also, it tells us of the logicality of the marriage relationship and how married men and women are to be committed to that bond, and are unable to dedicate all to the Lord’s service. Surrendering “all” would mean that you will surrender your family and wife; you would give all your possessions to feed the poor and destitute, and you could then take up your cross and follow Jesus. If that is to be the lot of Protestant Christians, we have missed the mark by a huge measure. Jesus knows His human creation intimately, and I do not think He wants us to abandon our families for His cause; He knows that we are not “built that way”. Asceticism is practiced by Roman Catholic monks. Nuns and priests take the oaths of celibacy. Are you going to change your stripes and become celibate or castrate yourself for the Lord’s work?

One more thought and this rant will be finished. Did you happen to see the movies by the Kendrick brothers from south Georgia a few years back? “Courageous”, “Fireproof”, “War Room”,  come to mind. These were all fundamentally flawed Scripturally, and they were immensely popular. Why are they flawed, you say? Because they all are about making”oaths” and Jesus says not to do such! He knows us much better that we know ourselves, and He knows we are setting ourselves up for failure, when we say dogmatically, “I will do this or that”. NO YOU WILL NOT DO THOSE OATHS, most likely. If you do it will be at the expense of your wife and family. “8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” [1Ti 5:8 KJV]. What about that, Christian friend?

Be encouraged and exhorted (rebuked?), all who read,

Ken Hall

ps   I heard of many couples that starting having marital problems after watching “War Room”. I did not see it personally; I sensed “in my spirit ” (discernment) that the message was wrong. I did see Courageous and it gave me the “condemnation creeps”! “1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” [Rom 8:1 KJV]…..kh

Can We Surrender All?

Football Pootball

How ya liking your football these days, Christian friends? I stopped watching these overpaid cry babes a long, long time ago, for the most part. I lost heart and logged off when the Atlanta Falcons folded against the Dallas Cowboys in 1980. I pulled up my heart stakes and bolted. I wasn’t even a Christian back then. But I am now, and I want to comment about Christians and football. Pat Buchanan says this and it makes sense:

I want to do that by showing you some Scripture in Romans 8, and putting my “spin” on how this applies to football (sports) fans who go to church on Sundays. Football is not mentioned in the Bible, but God allowed you to be born in the USA, friend. It (Amerika) used to be a beacon to the world concerning life, liberty, and happiness (the pursuit thereof). The USA (its Constitution and Bill of Rights) was truly a lighthouse for the world, for the exercise of free speech and personal liberty. And it still is, to some degree. BUT, I am also sure that we have become the “laughingstock” of this same world. Immigrants, illegal or otherwise (DACA?), are still flocking to the good ole USA to benefit from our “progressivism”. They break the laws of our land (by coming in illegally), and then get rewarded by “DACA amnesty” and latch onto the gravy train that “progressive” Amerika” has become. That makes me want to puke, and so do the football (sports, in general now) “heroes” who take a knee or stay in the locker room when this country’s national anthem is played at a football game! “THROW UP”, “PUKE” is what my personal constitution (my patriotism, my ethics) wants to do when I see this behavior from these “ingrates” who kneel. I will go as far as this; Christians who will allow this are compromised, at best, more likely Laodicean apostasized. Football (sports) is worshipped more than Jesus Himself by most Christian men? (also some women) That is not not a guess; it is spiritual reality. They pretend to worship God for an hour or so on Sunday morning, and then go home and turn on their real master, the television (or computer nowadays) and watch and cheer, and later “stream” their obsession, “POOTBALL”. Sorry, I misspelled that. Or did I?

So, I say this and I really, really mean it. Emphatically!! If this is you, reader friend, you should turn off these ungrateful and  spoiled “progressive” CRYBABIES and do something that is useful and productive. Like spending real time with your spouse and family, or reading and studying your dusty Bible. I am not speaking against your freedom to enjoy life as a “liberated” believer in Jesus Christ. Not at all! We should be in the world, but we are not to be “of the world’s” character and substance. We should not ever worship NFL “pootball”. What it has become is unpatriotic and “foul-smelling”. POOTBALL, I say!!!

As I said at the beginning, I will give some Scripture from Romans 8. Here goes; “1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” [Rom 8:1-9 KJV]

Do you you “walk” according to the Spirit (good Christian thoughts and behavior, worshipping Jesus) or do you walk according to the “flesh” (worshipping POOTBAL, and it heroes), those who will sell their souls for their “home team”. Even without this controversy about unpatriotic, very highly paid athletes (by you and me;me through taxes, you all through taxes AND tickets (also cable upgrades), sports paraphenalia, etc.. Pootball obsessionism is idolatry, in fact! Did Solomon, Esau, or Sodom/Gomorrah finish well? Will you, friend?

Ken

ps-I am not a Trump fan, but he is right on this one!!

Football Pootball

A Discussion On Bible Translations: Part One

This is going to be a post about different Bible translations and how they compare, one to another. An abundance of literature exists pitting differently persuaded people versus their opponents; King James only vs. modern translations and vice versa. My objective in this article is not to alienate my readers and be divisive, but to show the facts about how key verses are translated in different Bibles, and let the people decide what version they should use.

I start with an introduction detailing the specifics concerning the origin of different Bibles. I use and recommend the King James version, first published in 1611, and last revised in 1769. This Bible was translated from Greek manuscripts that would later be named the Textus Receptus, also called the received text. This KJ Bible and the Geneva Bible are the only two Bibles in print today that use the Textus Receptus Greek for translating purposes. I do not want to “lose” you this early by belaboring the facts about the importance of which Greek manuscripts are used for translation, BUT these differences must be understood by you to get what is really at stake here. The old saying, “you cannot make chicken salad out of chicken poop” applies in this argument. What “God has said”, the very words of God that every true Christian should order their life to, cannot be understated or downplayed in this matter. The old adage that says “ignorance is bliss” only applies to those Christians who do not try to teach Scripture to others, those who are “babes in Christ”. “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil”. Hebrews 5:12-14. That is an amazing statement of rebuke to the scattered Hebrew Christians of the dispersion and to us. Paul did not “mamby-pamby” his readers with ear-tickling, milky epistles. He challenged, exhorted, and rebuked them because he knew that false teachers would try to undo what he was building, the CHURCH. And the false teachers, false prophets, false evangelists, and false pastors have surely led the sheep to broken cisterns to drink polluted waters of heresy, especially in our current times, where today’s believers get a steady diet of faddish sermons, books, blogs, etc., etc. You get the message!

When people take on the mantle of Bible teacher they automatically incur the responsibility of “rightly dividing the word of God”. It would be disingenuous of me to say that I am NOT trying to influence you. I am convinced of what I say, and am telling you the truth and showing you the evidence to back up my claims. Before I get into the side by side comparisons of key verses in our Bibles I want to relate to you a personal example of myself coming up against a case of “Bible bias”. Barb and I are attending a church in our town that is affiliated with a good size denomination. We are trying to fit in there and find common ground with these people. I know there are some influences from the parent denomination that we disagree with, but I believe Barb and I can focus on a half-full glass of living water versus a half-empty one. At least, we hope so.

So, we are going to a class before church service that I will call Sunday school; Bible study and teaching is the best description of what is occurring during this time. This particular Bible study is well attended and the book they are studying is 2 Peter. The teacher is an assistant pastor at this assembly and he is absolutely “intense” in his approach to teaching Scripture. In class a few weeks ago, he was reading 2 Peter 2:3 from his Bible (NASB) as follows, “Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;” This class had seemed to be of an open, sharing as the Lord leads, type of atmosphere until I mentioned that verse 2 reads “pernicious ways” instead of sensuality in my translation (KJV). Well, the teacher took his shot by telling the class that “THE GREEK” says “sensuality”. Period!  Well, I didn’t say anything but filed this comment away. I came home that day and looked up that verse on the Blue Letter Bible website. Unknown to me, there are 2 differing Greek words used in the Textus Receptus (KJV) and the Morphological Greek New Testament (NASB). These different words are aselgeia (NASB) and apoleia (KJV). I did not know this fact earlier that morning in the Bible class at the church assembly. I was not making a statement about which Greek word was “right” in this case, but only pointing out what the King James said that is quite different, pernicious(evil) ways vs. sensuality. But the teacher knew this verse had differing Greek words, and chose to take a stand that his Bible was right and mine was wrong. Therein lies the rub, folks. We are trying to fit in and “do church” with these people and the prejudice against the King James translation (thereby the TR) is palpable there. (Read to the end of part one to see how this turned out!). I think I have made “progress” in my walk with The Lord in the past few months! Hallejuhah!

So, I write and complain on this blog!! This is a personal experience that I hope my readers can relate to. I write about things I see in the “church world” that I believe are confusing and hurting the “body of Christ” in these last days in which we live. I hope and pray that my insights and experiences will make you take a closer look at what is happening in your spiritual and practical world and to make adjustments, accordingly. That is the only reason that I am compelled to write this blog. People like me are “constrained”(driven) to discern and understand the apostasy that is undermining and destroying the “church”. I use my spiritual gifts to warn, to rebuke, to exhort, to help folks evaluate and flee from what I see as “spiritual ruin”. I know that people, in general, and church people, in particular, want to believe that the age-old idioms like “ignorance is bliss”, “what I don’t know won’t hurt me”, “kumbaya”, and “judge not” are okay with God, but I have sincere reservations about these being good “excuses” at the judgments! I say judgments(plural) because, in my opinion, it still remains in doubt whether anyone of us will finish this race of life as a victor. Maybe not! It not over ’til it’s over, folks!! We must “keep the faith”. Jesus will never leave or forsake us; that is a true fact, BUT we can and do stop believing in Him and His Word when we get rich, lazy, blind, and naked (like Laodicea). Going along to get along is not on my radar screen of prudent behavior for a true Christian. Lukewarm people make Jesus want to vomit. Has anything you ever heard or experienced made you literally “stomach sick”? I really believe that is how our Lord feels about most of our assemblies, today. And, irrespective of what Calvinists and others who believe in the doctrine of “eternal security” think, the Word says “we” must stay obedient and faithful  until the very end. That ‘Holy Grail” (OSAS) leaks like a sieve!!

I guess that last rant was a rabbit trail from the subject of this essay. Sorry! Okay, back to the subject of how different Bibles translate key verses. I am now going to place some verses side by side and let you see the difference. In most of these cases, Bibles other than the King James Bible just leave out key phrases and words, but in some others, the whole meaning of Scripture is changed by the translating process. That process is called textual criticism and, in my opinion, that is what we (us humans) are not ever supposed to attempt. God great asset of unchangeability (being immutable) is in play here, and immeasurably so. You must throw reason  and logic (common sense) out the window, if you say this is not accurate. That is the bottom line of sensibility!

Here is a bible verse that states the obvious, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” 2 Peter 1:20. If Scripture is true and reliable, and I absolutely believe it is, then the following statement is fact, “God said it, that settles it”. Man’s opinion  (textual criticism) is unreliable and wrong-headed, period! That is why the Word says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17. Scripture also tells us, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4:2-4. Friends, I believe we arrived at the point in history that is described in verse 3 starting in 1885 when the English Revised Version of the Bible was printed. From that time on all Bibles that have been “invented” have used the “critical text” for their “textual” bases (starting points).

Let me reword the above verses (2 Tim. 4:2-4) for you. ” Preach the Word: be ready, at all times, to reprove (expose the error, prove again), rebuke (caution and chastise concerning error or false doctrine, literally- to stop behavior by forceful, authoritative speech), exhort (strongly teach the meaning of Scripture) with extreme patience, showing reasonable proof from Scripture (corresponding verses and passages, in context always). For there will come a point in history when the hearers (congregants) will oppose listening to and obeying what Scripture really means, and will seek and find people to teach them who will tell them that it is okay to do as they please, and the people will not tolerate the truth of Scripture and will follow most anything but the truth, “inventions” (made- up stories) of fallen, religious men! That was a mouthful, right?

What I did was just now is called “exposing the Scripture”; unpacking the Word of God so that your human mind can realize the importance and true meaning of God’s Word. The Word is sort of like a suitcase filled with important and quality(priceless) items to be used for your eternal care and benefit. But if they are never taken out and used, they remain non-productive to you. Hence, I unpack the Word for you. In my opinion, expository teaching is the best (right) way to convey what God means in His Word(s). Language, both spoken and written, is a vehicle used to communicate understanding and meaning to our mind (brains). I do not speak any foreign tongues, so, unless God calls me out of the USA, I do not need to learn Spanish, French, etc.. Teaching God’s Word to English-understanding people is one of my spiritual gifts and I believe it is my job to show you the meaning of Scripture. Whether you believe or not is your choice. After I write or speak what God gives me to say to you, my job is finished and I have little control of where it goes and the effect my teaching has. I do not advertise. I do not use social media. I don’t promote my efforts very much. I know this kind of teaching has a limited audience. Still. I am compelled to write, to warn people of impending disaster ahead unless they take responsibility of their spiritual status and future. The apostasy is REAL, my reader friends, and I am charged with the task of telling you the TRUTH.

I am now going to list the text of some Bible verses, first from the King James Bible and following with the same verse from Bibles that use a different starting point, a different set of Greek manuscripts. For the purpose of space and time saving, I am going to use the NASB for comparison to the King James version. The New American Standard Bible was first published in !971. The NAS New Testament came out in !963. This Bible has been in circulation for 56 years, so it is not the  “new kid on the block”, at all. The first verse we will compare is Colossians 1:14 and it reads in the KJB, ” In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. In the NASB and all other Bibles translated from the critical (read, by BIBLE SCHOLARS) text, “through His blood” is omitted. The NASB, ” in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”. Do you understand the importance of this verse to our understanding of the gospel of Christ; to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for all humans on the cross? Jesus’s blood-shedding is central to our salvation, friends! His saviorhood, and the office of His royal priesthood to believers, came into effect at the bloody cross of Calvary. Hebrews 9: 22-28 states, ” And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” That is the passage of verses that tell us, with the utmost clarity in the New Testament, why the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was needed and what our Savior did for us. Without the shedding of Jesus’s blood on that cruel cross there is NO forgiveness (remission) of OUR sin. It was our sin that made the cross of Christ necessary. Period!! Folks, it is still His precious blood that we appropriate every day (hopefully) 1 John 1:9,10 ; to re-wash us from the filth of sin that so EASILY besets us (Hebrews 12:1,2). So, I hope I have cemented in your mind the HUGE importance of the blood of Jesus in your life! Satan and his demons despise and flee from the blood of Christ claimed by an obedient believer in Jesus! And, maybe that is why “through His blood” is left out of these newer translations  taken from the “minority, critical text”. Our enemy, the deceiver of weak, milk-feed Christians, is not slack on his job and is always ready to cast doubt on God’s Word! I remind you that it is logically “impossible” to have the same verse from two different Bibles say opposite things to our minds, and for both to be right. Calvinists and other heresy advocates plead “antinomy” in this case, and in many others where plain common sense should prevail. Antinomy is a construct of humanistic philosophy that has been inserted into Biblical discussions. I have a good Biblical synonym for antinomy. It is HOGWASH (2 Peter 2:22)! Yes, it is true that bad things (sufferings), do happen to obedient Christians. We are not promised a “cushy” life because we choose to believe in and follow Jesus all the days of our lives, but He did leave us an infallible road map for our lives; HIS WORD. If we let that be our guide on earth, we will make it home to heaven one glorious day. “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40.8). Psalms 12:6,7 state, “The words of the Lord are pure words, as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times, (note: 7 is the number of completion) Thou (Jehovah God) shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation, (and) for ever.” (emphasis mine). John 8:31-32 states, ” Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

The next glaring difference that I want to address is the fact that all modern Bibles (starting with the English Revised Version of 1885) footnote or italicize Mark 16:9-20, stating that verses 9 through 20 are not found in the earliest manuscripts. This is because Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus A are the manuscripts used for the translating of the *New Testament in the Original Greek* (Wescott/Hort) . Nearly all Bibles printed since that particular New Testament in the Greek was first published in 1881 use the W/H testament. This is the starting point of textual criticism, so called. You can now jump up and down and yell and scream all you want to, but, at the end of the day, you still have to admit to the historical fact that what I just sad is TRUE. Westcott and Hort used Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus A as their texts. Period. That is a fact. All translations since the ERV (English Revised Version) have used those 4th century uncials (a certain type of Greek writing text used from the 4th to the 8th centuries) for their Greek text. Even the New King James version casts doubt on Mark 16:9-20.  Are these verses Scripture or not? Why is doubt cast on these 11 verses? I can only guess or hypothesize why 4th century scribes would leave out this version of the Great Commission by our Lord, Jesus Christ. One such guess is that this deletion (of the specifics of this version of the Great Commission by Mark) is related to the doctrinal argument of cessation of the sign gifts of the Spirit; whether these particular gifts stopped with the deaths of the original apostles. That argument has been around since the days of the early church, and is still a point of contention in today’s church climate. Another possible reason it is deleted is that those verses did not “line up” with Roman Catholic doctrine of the priesthood and popery that this religion espouses. Obviously, no priests could pick up poisonous snakes or heal the sick by the laying on of hands. Priests were no match for demons either, I believe. So, we introduce a couple of manuscripts that omit verses 9-20 altogether. In my opinion, these prophetic verses were fulfilled and attested to by Luke in the book of Acts. I believe that these sign gifts are still possible today (if truly needed to evangelize in remote areas of the world). There is also no doubt in my mind that these signs are faked and overemphasized by hyper- charismatic charlatans the world over.

I suppose the next verses I should deal with are in Isaiah chapter 14. I want to talk about verse 12 of that chapter and then makes some comments about the entire passage. To say there are some differences of opinion about Isaiah 14 is vast understatement. First of all, why is this chapter important to understanding Scripture? The reason I am commenting on this particular passage is this; I believe the integrity of the Bible is compromised when translators (or any teacher, for the matter) confound the meaning of God’s Word by ascribing confusing messages to our human brains. By this I mean, calling this character (king of Babylon, Satan) the morning (day) star. It is a well-documented fact that only Jesus is the Day Star, the bright and morning star, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Day Star arises in your hearts:( 2 Peter 1:19), I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.(Revelation 22:16),  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he (I) shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star (myself). (Revelation 2:26-28). Do you see where I am going with this line of thought? Is God’s Word meant to be contradictory and unclear? Sarcasm warning!! Maybe we just need a seminarian or theologian to sort it out for us? (Nicolaitanism) In my opinion, this behavior (clergy dominating the laity) is the antithesis of what the Bible teaches about servant leadership and what the apostles meant when they laid out the doctrine of the the “priesthood of the believer”. As I have said publicly many times, I do not believe that God is going to accept the excuse of, ” I just followed the precepts of my denomination”. “My preacher told me “I will be okay” in my laziness and sin”! God says over, and over, and OVER in His Word, BE NOT DECEIVED! I think there are grave consequences to slothfulness, and for NOT studying and obeying the Bible. I do not want to gamble my eternal life on a false teachers “antinomian” heresies! I think it is good and Christian policy to believe these following verses, “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.For every man (person) shall bear his own burden. (Galatians 6:4-5)

Okay, I know that was another little venture “off-topic”, friends. What I have a problem with about Isaiah 14 is this. What happens when a title that Jesus claims for himself  is used to describe Satan, the enemy of Jesus  and the Church? By calling the devil of hell the morning star (the ESV uses Day Star in capital letters) we confound the true glory and brightness of Jesus Christ with the very essence of who Satan is, and why he was cast out of the presence of God. He said, ” I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (verse 14). By calling the devil by the title “morning star, day star” we give credence to Satan’s boast to “be like the Most High”. The Hebrew word used in verse 12 is “heylel” (Strong’s 1966) and this is the only place it s used in the Bible. Heylel is a derived from Strong’s 1984 “halal (helel) which is used in the Bible 165 times and is never translated as anything even remotely close to “morning star, day star”.

Lexicon :: Strong’s H1984 – halal

הָלַל
Transliteration
halal
Pronunciation

hä·lal’ (Key)

Part of Speech
verb
Root Word (Etymology)
A primitive root
Dictionary Aids

TWOT Reference: 499,500

KJV Translation Count — Total: 165x
The KJV translates Strong’s H1984 in the following manner: praise (117x), glory (14x), boast (10x), mad (8x), shine (3x), foolish (3x), fools (2x), commended (2x), rage (2x), celebrate (1x), give (1x), marriage (1x), renowned (1x).
Outline of Biblical Usage [?]
  1. to shine

    1. (Qal) to shine (fig. of God’s favour)
    2. (Hiphil) to flash forth light
  2. to praise, boast, be boastful
    1. (Qal)
      1. to be boastful
      2. boastful ones, boasters (participle)
    2. (Piel)

      1. to praise
      2. to boast, make a boast
    3. (Pual)
      1. to be praised, be made praiseworthy, be commended, be worthy of praise
    4. (Hithpael) to boast, glory, make one’s boast
    5. (Poel) to make a fool of, make into a fool
    6. (Hithpoel) to act madly, act like a madman
Strong’s Definitions [?] (Strong’s Definitions Legend)
הָלַל hâlal, haw-lal’; a primitive root; to be clear (orig. of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence, to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; causatively, to celebrate; also to stultify:—(make) boast (self), celebrate, commend, (deal, make), fool(-ish, -ly), glory, give (light), be (make, feign self) mad (against), give in marriage, (sing, be worthy of) praise, rage, renowned, shine.
Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon [?]

H1984

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Concordance Results Using KJV

Strong’s Number H1984 matches the Hebrew הָלַל (halal),
which occurs 165 times in 140 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the KJV
Page 1 / 3 (Gen 12:15–Psa 69:30)

 

The essence of halal is “praise” which is used many times as referring to “praise and adoration to God”, but halal is also used negatively to mean boastful, (i.e. full of self). Maybe, the translators (using textual criticism) construed this from the use of halal as meaning “shine the light” as it is used in 4 verses, Biblically. Well, folks! Who is shining the light on you, Jesus or Satan? Satan wants you to associate himself with Jesus, the bright and morning star (Day Star). Paul says ” And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Cor. 11:14-15). Satan’s tactic from ages past until the present time is to present himself as God. “I will be like the Most High”. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” I WILL USURP GOD!!

Friends, can you see a pattern of diabolical high jinks materializing? A “smoke and mirrors” agenda from Satan into our minds. The devil is “all about” creating confusion and doubt about what “God has said”. One other thing I want to point out about Isaiah 14:12 is this; the King James version translates the verse as follows, ” How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” I want to emphasize here the disingenuous and hypocritical nature of those who will use Lucifer (as the devil of hell) in their sermons, and then use a Bible that calls him (Satan) the “morning star/ day star”, instead of Lucifer. Do you see the hypocrisy of this behavior?  Let us look to Malachi chapter 4 for elaboration on this matter. “1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do [this], saith the LORD of hosts. 4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, [with] the statutes and judgments. 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” [Mal 4:1-6 KJV] To me those verses are prophetical, they speak of God’s wrath on an evil world. They come at the end of the “great tribulation” and speak to us about what God says the remnant of the Jews will encounter after the “final battle”. Ezekiel chapter 39 gives the details about these people who walk the “valley of death”, and bury the bones of God’s enemies, for seven months running. These bones will be “leftovers” of God’s mighty wrath. Most say this valley of Hamon Gog is southeast of Jerusalem, Israel; it is in what is now called the “Palestinian territory”. God says this will be a vast “burial ground”. Imagine that scenario, replacement theology buffs!

Back to Malachi 4 and the reason that I inserted it in this commentary. That reason is this; because of the “immense” differences in Bible translations. That is the whole intent of this study, although I, admittedly so, take many “rabbit trails” in getting to my destination. As stated above, my belief is that this chapter is “end-times” prophetical. I have inserted the wording of the chapter in the KJV already above, so here is the text of the NIV Bible for you to consider. “1 “Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. 2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. 3 Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty. 4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. 5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”” [Mal 4:1-6 NIV]. Do you notice the difference from the KJV, (also the NKJV and NLT) friends? Look to verse 2 and notice that it says this, “the sun (little s) of righteousness will rise with healing in its (gender-neuter) wings.” All modern translations (from the 1885 mGNT) have this translated with a small (s) sun and “its” instead of capital (S) and “He” in verse 2. “Textual criticism” at its best (?). What do you think, believer friends?

I repeat again, these verse are “last days” prophetical and are referring to Jesus Christ’s re-creation of the earth at the start of the millennium. He “arises” and heals the earth from its “wasted” state, and brings the final “healing” to His chosen people (and human lineage), the Jews. I truly believe that the book of Malachi is the arguably the most misrepresented (falsely taught) book in the Old Testament. And this book (with the error implanted in chapter 4) comes as the last prophetical utterance before the New Testament. I smell a “rotten skunk” in the mGNT versions, my Christian readers!!!

One last point about Malachi chapter 4, and then I will move on to other verses. This chapter is about Jesus Christ and His end time purposes. Commentators have supposed that these verses are about John the Baptist and his ministry. I can see how that can happen, with the neuter translation from the mGNT. If the verses are not talking about the deity of Christ himself, THEN that would be logical exegesis of the text. Others may say that this reference is a “triple” type of the Biblical Elijah ( Elijah of the O.T., John the Baptist, and Jesus), possibly. I am sticking to my belief that these verses are about my Lord, Jesus Christ. Period!! What has transpired concerning Malachi 4 is diabolical, not just heretical!!!

That last statement is made with trepidation, my friends, because people get “invested in” their favorite Bibles, and get offended and defensive when confronted with evidence that harms their egos. I am not “intentionally” trying just to “wet on folks cornflakes”.  I am offended by the Bible publishers and translators who try to undermine and delete the essence of Jesus Christ’s deity in the Scriptures. What am I doing here on this blog, in this long article, at this time? I am am defending the “faith”, and being an “apologist” for the deity of the Lord. Bottom line! When Christ’s majesty and mission are downplayed and put in the “trash bin”, of historical Christianity, I pray that I will always stand up and be counted for His sake!

Let us move on to another verse. I want you to look at and ponder Luke 2:14, as I show you some of the VERY wrong-headed translations of this verse in various Bibles. First, I will show you what the King James Bible says, “”14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” [Luke 2:14 KJV]. Let me amplify this verse, in my own words. ” Unending majesty, praise, and glorious adulation to Jehovah God in Heaven who is without equal and is to be praised above all others, and on planet Earth has offered His creation (anyone) peace through His son Jesus Christ; this is His (good) will toward people.(Ken’s amplified translation)

Let me show you how most modern Bibles translate this wonderful verse that announces  the intent of Jesus the Savior’s birth to these shepherds.

KJV
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Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

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NKJV
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“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[fn]

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NLT
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“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

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NIV
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“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

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ESV
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“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[fn]

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CSB
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Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and peace on earth to people he favors![fn][fn]

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¡Gloria a Dios en las alturas, Y en la tierra paz, buena voluntad para con los hombres!

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“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men [fn]with whom He is pleased.”

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“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”

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“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”

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Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased.

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‘Glory in the highest to God, and upon earth peace, among men — good will.’

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Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good pleasure in men.

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Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.

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“Glory to God in the highest, On eretz shalom, good will toward men.”

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TR
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Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία

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gloria in altissimis Deo et in terra pax in hominibus bonae voluntatis

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δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας

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Drag to re-order Textus Receptus- Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία
As you can easily see from the Blue Letter Bibles’s listing of the texts from various Bibles, there is a great divide concerning the meaning of this verse. How can it be, that there is such a difference? Well, here is why. Can you see above that the Textus Receptus has the Greek word “eudokia” after the word “anthropos”, but the mGNT has eidokias. I will not go into the grammatical differences, but I will show you the person who is most likely responsible for this aberration of God’s Word. It was a “Greek” theologian and ascetic named Origen. Here is Wikipedia info about him.

Origen (/ˈɒrɪən/GreekὨριγένηςŌrigénēs), or Origen Adamantius (Ὠριγένης ἈδαμάντιοςŌrigénēs Adamántios; 184/185 – 253/254),[1] was a Greek scholar, ascetic,[2] and early Christian theologian who was born and spent the first half of his career in Alexandria. He was a prolific writer in multiple branches of theology, including textual criticismbiblical exegesis and hermeneutics, philosophical theologypreaching, and spirituality written in Greek. He was anathematised at the Second Council of Constantinople. He was one of the most influential figures in early Christian asceticism.[2][3]

Unlike many church fathers, he was never canonised as a saint because some groups believed that some of his teachings contradicted those attributed to the apostles, notably the Apostles Paul and John. His teachings on the pre-existence of souls, the final reconciliation of all creatures, including perhaps even the devil (the apokatastasis),[4] and his possible[5][6]belief that God the Son was subordinate to God the Father, were rejected by Christian orthodoxy. (end Wikipedia)

So by that resume, I believe you should be able to surmise why the “s” was added “eudokia” in the text of the mGNT. You can believe what you want, to your own peril, about this verse and many others, but true Scripture DOES NOT bear out that God was announcing a son who would save all men (universalism) or the Calvinist notion that He would just save the men (people) with whom He is well pleased (the elect). Friends, either one of those options is un-Biblical and heretical to the MAX degree. If you want to be a Caspar Milquetoast with Scripture, well go ahead I guess, but that kind of  timidness and unfaithfulness to the truth of the Bible is a recipe for “soul disaster” and apostasy, I say!!

One more thing I want to point out before I move on. That being this Biblical truth; that God is not pleased with “lost” sinners! He understands our frailties as “saved” sinners and forgives us when we ask and repent. But God is not pleased with any man, apart from the intercession of Jesus for the true believer, and people are under the condemnation of judgment unless they come to Christ, believing in Him! Period!! There are no good people. We are all sinners. This verse, as translated in modern Bibles, just shows how far men of depraved minds will go to smokescreen the Truth about Jesus and the gospel of salvation.

“1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? 2 Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? 4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, “THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.” 5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) 6 May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their condemnation is just. 9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10 as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; 12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” 13 “THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,” “THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”; 14 “WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”; 15 “THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, 16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS, 17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.” 18 “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.” 19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. 31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.” [Rom 3:1-31 NASB] What does that chapter do to your universalistic, or possibly Calvinistic, “antinomianism”, you doubters of God’s Holy word! God says none are righteous, NO NOT ONE!

Sorry about that, I guess. You can see that I get somewhat demonstrative about the “right-dividing” of the Word. So be it. I have had “enough of ” mealy-mouthed, judge not” Christians (so called) that undermine and explain away the true meaning of the Bible.

So, on to next verse. I am trying to show you Scriptures that have an effect on the commonly accepted Christian doctrines of the faith, the gospel of God and Jesus Christ. If you do not think doctrinal purity and orthodoxy are important, I believe you would not have read this article, or at the least. you would have “booked” earlier in my teaching.

Next up is Romans 8:1 that says in the King James this, “1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” [Rom 8:1 KJV] All modern Bibles, from the critical text (mGNT), leave out the last half of this verse, saying it is not in “the best manuscripts”. I guess if you think that the “best” manuscripts are a “few” that were found much later than the (much more doctrinally sound) ones used for the Textus Receptus, and were inspired by the teaching and doctrinality of Origen, then you could think you are “right”! To your own self- deception! This verse is a “perfect” example of why Bible verses and passages of Scripture should NEVER be taken out of the context of the meaning of the whole story (interpretation)!!

Let me lay down some background for a sec, please. The Bible was not written in chapters containing verses.

The chapter divisions commonly used today were developed by Stephen Langton, an Archbishop of Canterbury. Langton put the modern chapter divisions into place in around A.D. 1227. The Wycliffe English Bible of 1382 was the first Bible to use this chapter pattern. Since the Wycliffe Bible, nearly all Bible translations have followed Langton’s chapter divisions.

The Hebrew Old Testament was divided into verses by a Jewish rabbi by the name of Nathan in A.D. 1448. Robert Estienne, who was also known as Stephanus, was the first to divide the New Testament into standard numbered verses, in 1555. Stephanus essentially used Nathan’s verse divisions for the Old Testament. Since that time, beginning with the Geneva Bible, the chapter and verse divisions employed by Stephanus have been accepted into nearly all the Bible versions.

The italicized text above is copied from gotquestions.org, a website that answers Bible questions. What I am trying to “get at” here is this little- known fact of Bible study and understanding, and something I have never heard explained from a pulpit; that fact being the following truth. The truth of the teaching of Romans 8 should NEVER be separated from what Paul teaches in chapter 7 (really, the whole book of Romans). To properly understand Romans 8 you need to study the “nature” of sinfulness in Christians, and the struggle that it is to “overcome” our fleshly natures, our  built-in Adam/Eve inherited propensities; to do what is against the law of God, even though our minds know that we should not “obey” these desires. By knowing the truth of chapter 7 -the Law is Spiritual, I am carnal- we can be “on our toes” to the vile nature of our “old man” and be made alive as a new creation in Christ, thereby putting sin on the “back burner, on simmer” and realizing the true freedom of obeying Jesus Christ and His commandments. We absolutely MUST understand ourselves, and “with intent” NEVER let any “grace-abusing (antinomian) preacher or teacher (or worship leader) lead us into a life pattern where we “excuse” our own lustful desires, thereby settling for way less than God intended for His children!

” , those who walk NOT after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The message of chapters 7 and 8 of Romans is about how we defeat the “old nature” and live “victoriously” in Christ. We do this by “walking after the Spirit, not after the flesh”. Our Christian walk is the “bent” of our lifestyle, how we really are “in the world”. We cannot “mock” God and hide our sinfulness from our Creator. He knows us inside and out, and in between, too. He does not let us get away with “iniquity” (religious sin), and then have true victory in our lives. Spiritual freedom comes with a cost, my friends, that being the agony of the cross that Jesus Christ endured for you and me to take away the penalty of unrighteous sin and give us victory in Him, It is not to let us live “gracefully” and deny Him before the “world”. The “world” (and God) are watching, and we as Christians should never let ourselves get lackadaisical about our Christian walk. If we have “no condemnation” no matter what we do, we are not listening to the truth of Scripture. We are feeding our “flesh” and our walk is hypocritical to the “world”, and abhorrent to God. He will spit up religious people who think they “have it made” (Rev. 3)!!

We are still on our journey to eternal life, and we have NOT arrived yet. Only when we physically die, or the rapture occurs, will we be finished with our Christian walk, reader friends. Then comes judgment, It is finished. All will be judged according to what we have said and “done”. No more excusing of self and “fooling OURSELVES”. It will be accounting time to God. All the hypocrisy and veneers of self- righteousness will fall away and the thoughts and intent of our “hearts”(Heb. 4:12,13) will be “laid bare before God at one of the judgments. You will not be allowed to say something like these statements, ” Lord, I followed the teaching of Baptists” or, “I am a Calvinist and I am elect” or, “the Unitarian Universalist speaker told me that everybody will be redeemed at the end”, or some other heretical nonsense. No, you will answer for your own beliefs and behavior. Period!

I have a teacher who I truly respect in Sunday School at the church I attend. He expounds the Word of God with boldness, and is almost fearless in standing up for the Bible and what the Scripture means. I appreciate him , and get a lot out of his teaching, and I am encouraged by his “fire”. I really, really am. Yet, we do not see “eye to eye” on everything, but such is the case with two “humans” who are sincerely trying to rightly divide the Word of Truth. Gary is on “staff” at this church, and he has many more things to think about than I do. I am able to write my opinion on this blog and be “done with it”. I generally do not go hunting debate, controversy, and arguments. I can get defensive when anyone gets dogmatically invested in their “opinion”, and takes out after me personally. That is a human characteristic of mine (most other humans also). This blog is my personal way to serve Jesus and the body of Christ, the Church. It is also a good place for me to “vent” my frustrations about nominal Christianity (?), and try to rebuke slothfulness, and encourage those who are “fighting the good fight and defending the faith that was ONCE delivered to the saints”. Gary, myself and many other fundamental teachers of the Bible are all in this together, I believe.

Back to Romans 8. What has happened, in reality and practice, is this. Church folks have been spoon-fed a diet of heretical teaching concerning the dogma of the “eternal security of the believer” , which is a true doctrine if “rightly” taught and contrasted with the Christian’s responsibility to keep believing in Jesus as the  only WAY, the only TRUTH, the only LIFE back to the father. Jesus does not say that you can DENY HIM and make it to heaven. He says that He will DENY us, if we DENY Him! Has Jesus ever lied or reneged on His Word. I will not bet my life on some ear-ticking heretic’s take on “eternal security”!! The resulting “antinomianism” has been infecting Christendom (professing Christianity) for hundreds of years. That is a fact! If a lie is told long enough and hard enough it will eventually be accepted as fact. In “fact”, it is still a lie! That is the truth, as I see it. I do not want this to become another rant about “easy believism” Laodicean behavior. I have said plenty about that “grace abuse” in other articles and in my audio on youtube.com. titled “What Grace Is and What It Is Not”.

It is easy for me to “go off’ when I try to explain about Romans 8! Sorry again, I guess? Let us talk about antinomianism some more; okay? Maybe not, huh? I will anyhow. I really believe most would say that I am beating a “dead horse”. So be it. Antinomianism is defined as “anti” (against) nomos (the law). Here is the take of Merriam Webster on this term,

Definition of antinomian

1:one who holds that under the gospel dispensation of grace (see 1grace 1a) the moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation
2:one who rejects a socially established morality

antinomian

adjective

antinomianism

play \-mē-ə-ˌni-zəm\ noun

I would add this addendum: one who rejects a Biblically established morality concerning Christian behavior and thought! Grace. free grace, and unending grace is the anthem of most of today’s Church music and most pulpiteering. Not many preach the “whole counsel” of God. these days. Large church buildings, with country club atmospheres, and “gross” salaries are the norm. Folks will leave their country club and join another if their sin and slothfulness are “exposed” by the bold preaching of the Word of God, anointedly, with fiery passion and fearlessness. That ain’t gonna happen much today! So, antinomianism is the “rage”. It is a sad situation, indeed. These “excusers’ of God’s Word will be surprised  when they are told to “depart, I do not know you” by God. (Matt. 7:21). How tragic that will be, when those who thought they “had it made” are faced with this eternal reality. Sad and tragic, indeed. Some Old Testament Scripture is in my mind continually when I exhort and rebuke, time and again, those who would apostasy and make “light” their own sinful disobedience, and teach others to do the same!
Ezekiel 3 comes to mind to me. “17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. 20 Again, When a righteous [man] doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous [man], that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.” [Eze 3:17-21 KJV]
The “lawless” spin these pretenders espouse scares me, and constrains me to write boldly to contradict the “grace abuse” of modern religion.
I am going to wrap up on this concerning Romans 8:1. That being this, succinctly; Romans 8 should not ever be excised of the last half of verse one because of the “grace abuse” that usually follows. That verse and the entire chapter of Romans 8 should be a continuation of what Paul has taught in Romans chapter 7. I truly hope and pray that you understand me on this topic!
I will stop and publish what I have written so far as “part one” of a series of posts about the differences in various Bibles. Thanks for reading this far, friends! Be encouraged and of good cheer, ya’ll!
“20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” [Heb 13:20-21 NASB].
Those two verses gave me the name that I gave my teaching ministry about 5 years ago; Everlasting Covenant Gospel Missions (ECGM). I love the message of those verses!
Blessings to the blessable,
Ken Hall

 

 

A Discussion On Bible Translations: Part One