If you look at Later Day Saints (Mormon) websites and publications, they clearly state that they are Christians and that they believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. However, they have many non-Christian doctrines, and even some that refute their own claims of being a Christian religion. Below are some that I found in some quick searched of their material. Some of these below may seem ridiculous or minuet, however, there is a clear progression that shows the rejection of many Christian doctrines. It can be easily said that the Mormons might know the name Jesus, but that they fall short on knowing Jesus, and much more so in trusting him for salvation. On the one hand they say that Jesus is their salvation, but on the other they say that there is no salvation outside of Joseph Smith. Just that alone would label them a cult, not Christians.
It is a sin to drink caffeine. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as it is formally known, determined that a reference to “hot drinks” in religious texts only applied to tea and coffee, not all caffeine products.” (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41351251)
Baptizing for the dead, you can be baptized for someone who had died and remove their sin
Mormons used to believe that people of color could not be saved because they fell from heaven with Lucifer, changed in 1978.
Believe that they are the real Christians. The time between Jesus and Joseph Smith was the age of apostacy and so the only true church is the one who follows Joseph Smith’s teachings. (Some believe that Joseph Smith will be a part of the Holy Trinity.
The Garden of Eden is in Missouri.
Jesus has a goddess as his wife.
Jesus had children with the goddess mother.
Jesus and Satan are brothers.
There is not just one God but many “And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light: and there was light,” (Book of Abraham 4:3)
salvation is attained through obedience to the law and doing good works (Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W Kimball, page 206)
There is no salvation without Joseph Smith as a prophet of God (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, page 188)
God used to be a man on another planet, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321; Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 613-614; Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 345; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 333).
God resides near a star called Kolob, (Pearl of Great Price, p. 34-35; Mormon Doctrine, p. 428)
“The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s…” (Doctrines and Covenants 130:22).
God is in the form of a man, (Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 3).
“God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!!! . . . We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see,” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345).
After you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345-347, 354).
There is a mother goddess, (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443).
God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 516).
The Trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. “That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35).
“As these sins are the result of individual acts it is just that forgiveness for them should be conditioned on individual compliance with prescribed requirements -‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel,’” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 79).
“One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation,” (Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W. Kimball, p. 206).
Good works are necessary for salvation (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 92).
“We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do,” (2 Nephi 25:23).
Must be certified as qualified to enter the Mormon Temple. “Every individual who qualifies for a temple recommend is also qualified as a faithful Latter-day Saint. He or she will be a full-tithe payer, will observe the Word of Wisdom, will have good family relationships, and will be a better citizen of the community” (“Opening Remarks,” Ensign (Conference Edition, November 2005, p4)
Joseph Smith received ancient scriptures – previously unknow – from an angel
A short list of scriptures from the King James version on what the scriptures say concerning some of these claims by the Latter-Day Saints.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 – Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Ephesians 4:4-7 – There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
1 Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
Isaiah 43:10-11 – Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
Galatians 1:8-9 – But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
There are many more scriptures that we could bring to bear upon the false doctrines of the Mormon Church, but these are clear enough to point out that their doctrines are different than the doctrines taught in the Holy Bible. This is because their cannon of scripture is different then all other “Christian” religions. The Mormons has redefined what it means to have a cannon. Their cannon it 2 fold, it is expanded (in comparison to other Christian religions) and it is “open”. “The first is that compared to the rest of the Christian world, ours is an expanded canon. In addition to the Bible, we accept as canonical three other books of holy scripture—the Book of Mormon (531 pages), the Doctrine and Covenants (294 pages), and the Pearl of Great Price (61 pages).” (https://rsc.byu.edu/historicity-latter-day-saint-scriptures/latter-day-saint-concept-canon). An open cannon means that is it open to new revelation, interpretations, and additions, as is needed.
This information will undoubtedly make its way into a class on cults that I will develop, but lately I see a bunch of people trying to unify Christianity with Mormonism. I believe that you should search the scriptures yourself and do your own investigation into what the scriptures say, what the Mormon doctrines say, and see if they line up. What I have provided in this short and insufficient paper is a starting point for your own prayerful investigation. I repeat the words of the Apostle Paul, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1
This is a simple statement. Yet this statement is all inclusive and it assumes one key element. It is all inclusive in that it includes Space, Matter, Time, and Scientific Laws. The phrase, “in the beginning” implies that there is the start of a time frame. Time has a starting point in the initial creation of the heaven and the earth. Note also that heaven, at this point, is singular. This would also mean that these, the heaven and the earth are somehow contained in something.
When I teach a class on Genesis 1:1 I often draw a cube on the whiteboard and explain that this is very similar to the aquarium that someone would put into their home. In order to set up an environment to keep fish in, one must first have the space to put everything into. In this manner is how we can see that a container is necessary for God to put the heaven and the earth into. We also know that the universe runs in set patterns and dependencies. Everything has its place and function. There are scientific principles and laws of nature that govern how things interact within the universe. By way of example, we have the Law of Gravity, the Laws of Physics, and such things as these. We also have quantitative Scientific laws like mathematics, chemistry, and engineering. All of these things existed from “in the beginning”.
To have intelligent conversations on any subject, certain things must be agreed upon as a starting point. This first verse of Genesis is assumptive that we can agree that God exists. Therefore, it does not explain the existence of God, or where he came from. It does not do so, because the purpose of the story being relayed is not to explain the existence of God. It is given us the explanation of our existence. So, it only tells us that God it is who created. God created everything. Knowledge of God is assumed, even if we do not know who he is. God himself is taken as a literal, legitimate individual. What we learn is that it is God who had the ability to create things. Scripture says that a fool says that there is no God (Psalm 14:1).
The assumption is that any intelligent person in their right mind should know that there must be a God. The understanding that the universe could not have come into existence by itself is something that anyone who has intellect, should know. Therefore, the notion that the universe suddenly created itself, or that it somehow was always in existence is for the weak minded and unlearned. All that one has to do is to look and see how everything in this universe breaks down, wears out, and degrades over time, if it does not have something else to maintain it, or to act upon it for its restoration or betterment. Nothing in nature ever evolves into a higher lifeform. The necessity of God for creation and maintenance is plain to see throughout the universe. It is a universal law.
The Jewish and Christian beliefs of God creating everything from nothing is not shared with any other belief system in the world. This is referred to in the Latin, “creatio ex nihilo” (creation from nothing) and has been a long-held belief in Christianity dating back the beginnings of the Church. The idea that God is so absolute in his power that he can cause something to be in existence from nothing is what makes the Judeo-Christian God unique from all other God’s and belief systems in history. This ability makes him the only creator in existence.
Some other Creation Stories:
Greek Mythology – In the beginning was chaos. This is not a creation from nothing.
Norse Mythology- In the beginning was a chasm. This is not a creation from nothing.
Rig Veda (an ancient Sanskrit writing) – There was the “first fashioner” he created Earth and Sky, but before him there were cosmic waters. This is not a creation from nothing.
Chinese Mythology- Heaven and earth were in a state of chaos or cosmic egg for 18,000 years and it broke apart and formed the heaven and the earth. This is not a creation from nothing.
Mesopotamian Mythology- the Earth was made from the killing and dividing of another god.
Egyptian Mythology has three different creation myths. The predominant one has two gander producing eggs that are the sun and the earth. This is not a creation from nothing.
Zoroastrian Mythology- creation was made after a cosmic war between “lies” and “truth”. Truth won and created the earth, then tried to destroy it, but cosmic man thwarted the plan by returning to earth as a plant stalk and repopulating the earth with vegetation. From the stalks we then see the produce of the first man and woman. This is not a creation of everything from nothing.
Hindu and Buddhist see the universe as eternal with no beginning or end, it has always existed
Scientology from what I can see of it seeks to claim that it is the oldest of creation beliefs and that the cosmic lifeforce may have initiated a spark on non-active substances and then created all things. This still is not a creation from nothing.
Now I know that these are extremely abridged versions of these beliefs. But I only have them here to show you that Judaism and Christianity are not the only cultures who believe in a creation event that is not some string of cosmic accidents that somehow led to men being formed. Instead, in these we see that generally all cultures in history have believed that there was an actual creation event in antiquity, and that one or two gods or entities are responsible for this spectacular one-time experience in cosmic history. The purpose of Genesis 1:1 is to introduce God (the I AM) as the ONE who is the actual creator. This is where Judaism and Christianity differ from all other people, religions, philosophies, and theories that have ever populated the earth. We believe, according to scripture, that God is the one who created all things from nothing. That means that there was absolutely nothing when God created everything. God is the point of origin for all things we know. This means that everything we have ever seen, touched, smelled, and felt comes from God who created all things:
Psalm 90:2 – Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Colossians 1:16-17 – For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
John 1:1-4 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Revelations 4:11 – Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Therefore, having read these verses, we can see, with just a quick glance, that God existed before the creation. There is only one God and he created everything. All powers and authorities within this creation are subject to his creation authority. We can also see that everything was created for his own pleasure, not ours.
Yet there is another theology out there that rejects this whole premise of a God, or even an unnamed divine essence that created everything. They reject all matters of faith in the claims of science. This theology is known as Atheistic Humanism. They are armed with what they call scientific evidence that destroy the faith-based creation of Christianity. They attempt to remove God from the creation event. In doing so they are attempting to remove his authority over them. The approach is simple, their claim is that someone who could believe in an invisible God to create everything and to just take it on faith is unhealthy thinking and ludicrous. However, when you get to investigating what Atheists accept (believe) as truth, you will find that it also takes a great amount of faith. Lee Strobel who has become famous for switching his stance from atheism to Christianity tweeted, “To continue in atheism, I would need to believe that nothing produces everything, non-life produces life, randomness produces fine-tuning, chaos produces information, unconsciousness produces consciousness, and non-reason produces reason. I simply didn’t have that much faith.”
I like you have known quite a few individuals, some friends, some family, who have looked down their nose at me for believing in Jesus Christ, and for taking the Word of God at face value. Yet this statement made by Mr. Strobel is one that I have heard from many people who used to be atheist. At some point their mind realizes that everything they believe to be true is just that… it is a belief and when confronted with the lack of real evidence to support their rational mind, they concede that this belief takes just as much faith as believing in Jesus and the Word of God. Then they begin to ask questions. They begin to want real answers. In finding no answers anywhere else then turn back to that ignorant Christian, and to what God says. They begin to examine the Word of God and for the first time they begin to see what God has been telling all of us.
Isaiah 45:11 – Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.
The Lord is not hiding in the darkness and hoping to not be seen. Instead, he is putting out an invitation to all men. To seek him out. He says to ask about the work of his hands. The entirety of creation speaks to his glorious work. (Psalm 19:1-7; Romans 1:20) God wants us to know that he is the creator. That is why Genesis 1:1 starts with “In the beginning God Created the heaven and the earth.”. Later the gospel of John tells us that in the beginning was the word and that all things were made by him. (John 1:1-3) The very word of God is tied to his being the creator. “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” (Psalm 33:6) God’s revelation of himself in the first verse of Genesis, and the steps that he took to create everything, is his guarantee of his word. It is given to us so that we can have confidence in everything else that is revealed in the scriptures. The first sentence in Genesis is the foundation of all Jewish and Christian faith. God exists. God created everything. God is all powerful. God has all authority. The word of God is trustworthy. Psalm 148:8 says, “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” What a strong foundation for faith and hope. If he created all things, then he can make you a new creation in Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
God tells us that we can ask him about his works. He tells us that the heavens declare his majesty. Everyday we can look up to the skies and see proof of the work of his hands. The creation shows knowledge. No matter what language you speak or education level you reach, God’s creation is speaking to you about the God who created all things, including you.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:1-7)
It is amazing to me that this verse speaks of the cycles of nature and the manner in which the sun circles the earth. This reveals from the very beginning that people of faith have always know the earth was circular, well if they read anyways. Approximately 150 B.C. the ancient Greeks made a globe to represent the earth. It is believed that Moses wrote the Pentateuch (1st five books of the Old Testament) around 1445 B.C. I make this point to show you that men and women of faith do not need to fear what science says. Instead, we should run to science and get involved and ensure that the science being performed is in fact science. Just because someone claims a theory, that does not make the theory true. The book. “On the Origin of Species” published in 1859 which is used to promote the theory of Evolution has yet to be proven with the principles of the scientific method. Yet it is taught as an indisputable fact. Now this undisputable fact is not just one set of facts or a unified theory either. Darwin had four principles to his theory. Enst Mayr writes saying that Darwin had five theories of evolution.  Within each of these theories there are many more theories that have changed over time. Other theories on the origins of like include:
The Big Bang
The Electric Spark
Extra-terrestrial Origen (Panspermia)
These are just a few of the many that Humanistic Theology seeks to use in their running away from the truth. When you look at these theories (fancy ford for “belief”) you will see some very big leaps taken on speculation. Talk about “faith”. It is a tragic comedy that those who believe in a constantly changing and scientifically unsupported theory are calling those who believe in an unchanging biblical view of creation to be fools. We see the proper demonstration of the pot calling the kettle black.
Christians have been told that they are stupid and ignorant to believe in the Bible when science so clearly disproves it. I would say yes, Christians have been stupid and ignorant, but not because of science disproving the Bible. Because science has not disproved the Bible, instead the deeper the science and the more serious the scholar and the archeologist looks, they find that the Bible is validated by the scientific studies performed.
Therefore, we have been stupid for trusting the wrong source for our information. Trusting in the religion of humanism and being willfully ignorant to the fact that lies are we listening to are well within the scope of words among prideful, self-seeking men. Especially those who hate and reject God and are willing to go to any length to discredit his word. We are ignorant of what science truly says concerning creation, the flood, and the events we now see unfolding as we come to the end of the age. Just as the Word of God revealed the beginning it revealed the end also. God is the one constant from the beginning to the end. It is his design, his plan, and it is for his purposes.
No, the Christian does not need to fear science. The Christian should seek out honest science and seek out the truth of God revealed in the Holy Bible. God has never said that we should bury our heads in the sand. Instead, he says to think, gain wisdom, seek knowledge, get understanding. “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7) God does not want us to be ignorant of his creation. Creation teaches us about God. Good science that follows the principles of science and discovery teaches us about this creation that God has made. In this proper study we can find out so much about God and his handywork. We can see how much love he has poured into the universe, the earth, and into men and women like you and me.
There is an importance in what we discover in scripture and in science. We find that we can trust the scriptures as passed given and preserved by God as they have been passed down from one Godly man to the next generation. There are clear points in scripture where the author has put their own pen to the page and those are noted in the passages. But the events that happen in the first chapters of Genesis, especially “in the beginning”, could have only been know by God. It is God himself who passed these events to Adam. We must therefore take what we have been given by God as the very Word of God and accept the truth of what it says. We must take the text of the Creation as literal events and not try to bend them or twist them in order to make them fit into the theories of men. I repeat the warning of Paul the Apostle, “Let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightiest be justified in thy sayings, and mightiest overcome when thou art judged.” (Romans 3:4). If we cannot believe that God performed creation that way that scripture tell us that he did, then we cannot believe anything else that the scripture states about God, Sin, or Salvation in Jesus Christ.
Therefore, humanistic theology tries so hard to discredit the first 11 Chapters of Genesis, especially the creation. If it did not happen the way it is recorded, then everything else is subject to ridicule and reinterpretation. This is the same approach that the serpent took with Eve in the Garden of Eden when he asked, “Yeah, hath God said…?” (Genesis 3:1). I encourage you to put away the fables of men, and to study the scriptures and the science for yourself. There are plenty of resources available today for you to look at the science that disproves the theories of men. You will find that the only reason you are having problems is because of your own ignorance and unfounded fear of the evidence concerning creation. Evidence that supports a short earth. Evidence that supports a catastrophic flood. Evidence that proves that man was a purposeful and fully functional creation, unique from anything else on the earth. Man was not the biproduct of an accident that took billions of years to form, instead he was a thought out, purposefully engineered creation by a God who loves and cares for him, and for you as a unique and designated offspring of that life. Adam was designed for a purpose, and so are you.
Strobel, L. (2017, Dec 12). @LeeStrobel Tweet.
 (Strobel, 2017) Tweet from Lee Strobel Dec 24,2017@11:22AM
I heard this on the radio this morning. The host said, “What if I told you a story about someone who could heal all your hurts.” Then they went on to say, “well it is not a story”. It is the greatest story ever told. They went on to explain that Jesus came to heal all of their hurts. Then they just said that we should have joy over that. It was not a bad thing to say at the first hearing. I assumed that their reference was to the movie, “The Greatest Story Ever Told” that was released in 1965 by directory George Stevens. This is a movie adaptation of the biblical telling of Jesus of Nazareth, from his birth to his ascension, after his resurrection from the crucifixion. Or maybe it was referring to the Gather song, “It’s Still the Greatest Story Ever Told” which sings of the coming of the messiah as the baby Jesus, and how God became his own flesh and blood creation out of love for mankind. Now, this is the greatest story ever told. It also happens to be true. God became man. The Creator became his own creation to reveal his love of his to his creation. But to say that Jesus came to heal your hurts is the greatest story is a sweet little lie, or at the minimum a very incorrect statement, and no where near the truth.
You see, since the ancient of times, we have had great men of renown (Genesis 6:4). We have had wise men, like Solomon to give us sage advice and provide a model of sound judgement. Men like his father King David to show us how to protect the weak and provide for one another have been around since the beginning. We have even had men who have walked and talked to God, men like Enoch, Job, Noah, Moses and Abraham. We even have references to peoples hurts and sicknesses being healed in the Old and the New Testament, without it being a miracle. The author of the Gospel of Luke and Acts was a physician himself. God, from his throne was already reaching out to his people and healing their lands, their health, and giving them protection from their enemies. Jesus did not need to come here for any of that kind of stuff. Jesus did not come here for that kind of stuff. Did Jesus heal? Yes, he did. Did he come here to heal, yes, but not superficially. Does he care for you and your problems? Yes, he does. But that is not the reason why him coming is, “The Greatest Story Ever Told”. You see we can already do all of these things for one another, if we so chose to do.
We can provide emotional support and care. We can provide medical treatment, and life saving measures. We can prolong life beyond what would have been. We can deter the effects of many diseases and even put many in remission. We can provide food and clothing to the orphans and widows. We can encourage one another when going through rough patches. But what we cannot do, is restore our relationship to God. We cannot raise ourselves from spiritual death, and make ourselves holy before God. This is what makes “The Greatest Story Ever Told”. God sent his only Son to restore our relationship to himself. Only God can give life. Only God can sustain life. Therefore, only God and bring us back to life.
In the beginning God created man with his own hands, and gave him life. Genesis 1:26-27 – And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Here we see the special relationship that God and man had from the very beginning. God created man with a special vision and purpose in mind. He created man as a model after himself and man was to be the caretaker of creation. He was God’s representative on earth. God planned him out, formed him with his own hands from the earth. This shows man’s relationship to God and to his creation. The God breathed life into man. God gave man life in an intimate and direct manner. Then man became a living soul. Man from the very beginning was flesh, spirit, and soul. Man was alive and if you were to continue reading in Genesis you would see that he was in fellowship with God. He walked and talked to God with no mediator in between, no fear.
Then a horrible event took place. Man was deceived by an enemy of God, who was once one of God’s chief angels. This fallen angel wanted to God. So he used cunning words to deceive the woman and the man that God was unfair and unjust. This deceptive picture of God caused man to question God’s word and authority. This led to the first sin of disobedience against God. Because man’s image of God had been distorted by what they were told about God, they believed incorrectly, and sinned. This is the same reason that I am writing this today. This false image of who Jesus is and why he came is a deception that must be confronted, lest anyone come to Jesus for the wrong reasons, and miss out on the real reason he came. Did Jesus heal people of their hurts, diseases, and deliver them from devils? Yes, he did. However, those were just signs to prove his authority for why he really came. The reason he came is so much more important than just physical healing or food for your stomach. He came to give you life, life that you have never had before. He came to deliver you out of the hands of death.
You see sin, brought death. Not just spiritually, but physical death also. Diseases, famine, pestilence, injustice, mental illness, and far more are all brought about by sin. These are not brought about by God, but by our fallen condition, caused by sin. We have never known a day without sin, since the fall of mankind in the beginning. This is part of the reason we cannot redeem ourselves. We do not even have an idea of what true justice, or righteousness looks like. But God does. He above all knows the cost that sin has had upon us, his special creation. Therefore, Jesus came to make us his righteousness. He was sent by the Father because someone had to die for the sin that we were trapped in. It had to be someone who had never sinned, nor was a receiver of the curse of sin through the bloodline of Adam.
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. This is the statement made by God through the apostle Paul. The only payment for sin is death. That is the only reward that sin ever brings – eternal death. But God gives eternal life through Jesus Christ. The apostle John recorded the words of Jesus as this, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) So, let us take a moment to reflect on these two statements made by God. Sin, of which we are all guilty of by inheritance, action, or omission is punishable by death. There is no alternative to this debt. Unless the debt is paid for us.
Now, here comes the Creator. He loves us so much, that he created us with a special purpose and in an intimate manner and remembers the intimacy we once had. He desires to have this intimacy once again with his creation (you and me) so much that he decides to pay the death penalty for us. He does this though sacrificing his own son, Jesus Christ. Since Jesus died in our place, anyone who believes and accepts this payment of our death debt through the death of Jesus can be saved based on that belief. Now we who believe are brought from death to life. We are not just spared death and given a life, but we are given eternal life.
So what is eternal life? Jesus put it like this, And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3) Eternal life is the restoration of the creation to the Creator. We once again are able to walk in fellowship with God. Remember, he is the source of life. Life emanates from him. Without him there is no life. We are tied into the source of life for eternity because he is eternal. He does not change, nor die, and neither do we. We have eternal life through Jesus Christ unto God the Father, sealed by the Holy Spirit.
What is the difference in what you believe? He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36) You see we must have a clear understanding of who Jesus is and why he came. He came to do far more that just heal our hurts. He came to restore our relationship to God himself. He came to deliver us from death and from the wrath of God. Those who reject him, or who do not believe on him, are already under the wrath of God. Deliverance from the wrath of God comes in this way…
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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)
Believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Believe that he was sent by God the Father to redeem you. Believe that Jesus did everything necessary to redeem you though his death, burial, and resurrection. Believe from the heart is not a feeling, but a choice to fully believe this as the truth. Belief on Jesus is what makes you righteous before God, and confession of this faith in Jesus Christ is what ties this belief to your acceptance of salvation. This is because it is prof of your belief. Not for God, but for yourself and for those who need to hear the truth. God Saves… this is “The Greatest Story Ever Told”. It is the story of how God loved you so much that he sent his son Jesus Christ to die for you, so that you could live with him. God has done for you what you could not do. He saved you from wrath, and death. He gave you eternal life.
There is something that puzzles me greatly in the American churches. Lifeway Research and Ligonier Ministries partnered together to conduct a survey that they refer to as the State of Theology. Now this survey was conducted which included the results of 3000 Americans. This survey asked questions like:
• True or False: God is a perfect being and cannot make a mistake • True or False: There is one true God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit • True or False: God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam • True or False: Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God • True or False: Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God • True or False: The Holy Spirit is a force but is not a personal being • True or False: Even the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation
Now these are just a sampling of the questions that were asked in this survey. These questions can tell where an individual stands on these issues; and they are issues. These are the issues of life and death. What you believe on these affects your eternal fate.
We should expect that those who do not call themselves Christian should not believe in certain things that are in the bible. However, we should expect that “evangelicals” should believe what the bible says, and that the bible has authority over every other ancient and modern writings, philosophies, cultures, religions, or political and economic influences. While there is a wide difference in what people say that an evangelical is, the National Association of Evangelicals makes these distinctions to identify its members to the world.
• The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe. • It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior. • Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin. • Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.
An evangelical should not be defined on political, social, or cultural trends that are made up in American or world societies. They should be distinct and adhere to these basic beliefs at a minimum.
Historically evangelicals have shared a strong conviction that (1) it is their duty to convert others to be “born-again”, (2) it is their duty to actively express and demonstrate the gospel through missionary work and social reform programs, (3) they have typically taken the defense that the Bible is the ultimate authority on spiritual matters and obedience is a necessity, and (4) the historical crucifixion of Jesus Christ is what makes it possible for redemption of humanity.
It would seem then, that an evangelical is someone who confesses to believe in Jesus Christ for their savior and Lord. This survey shows that many evangelicals to not believe in basic biblical truths. Many evangelicals do not believe: • Jesus is God, Creator, and has always existed • The bible and the information within it are accurate and true • Even the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation • Belief in Jesus is a requirement by God to receive eternal life • The Holy Spirit is an equal part of the Trinity of God • Hell is a real place where the unbelieving will be punished forever • Jesus will return to judge all the people who have ever lived on earth • Sex outside of marriage is a sin • Abortion is a sin • The Bible condemns homosexuality and all sexual immorality along with other sins
I cannot understand how those who say that they believe in the authority of scriptures can be so mislead that the very foundation of their belief is Jesus is in error. Paul the Apostle would have said, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; bur there be some that trouble you , and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7) How is it that you who call yourselves followers of Jesus Christ, who have professed to believe the gospel are so far removed from the very truths you profess to believe. If you do not believe the gospel that was first delivered to you, and have taken on a new gospel, then you do not believe in the gospel of grace that was revealed to you.
This means that their faith would be in vain. John wrote, “but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31) Again he wrote, “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.” (1 John 3:23) The question is, do you believe what was written for your benefit? We are given the scriptures so that we can know what it is that we should know about God and to know that what we believe is correct. If we are told in just these two samples of scripture that Jesus is the Son of God and, we are commanded to believe that he is the Son of God; then failure to believe means that we are lacking something very important in our faith. The truth that Jesus is God, and that he is the Son of God is a requirement of belief in Jesus that cannot be ignored. If we then do not believe in this, we are not believers in Jesus, and we are not saved. We have simply… NOT believed on the name of Jesus.
Scripture also tells us, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) It is just as simple and clear as that. You see God does have all authority. He has chosen that men can be saved in only one way, believe that Jesus is God and that he became flesh and died for men, that their sins may be forgiven. This is the only way, belief in Jesus. This is what believing in Jesus means, if you don’t believe everything the scriptures say concerning him, then you don’t believe in him, or in the authority of his name as the living Son of God.
The problem is that we have progressively listened to the serpent in the garden. When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, he made her to question the authority of the Word of God that she had received. Once this doubt was in her head, she was vulnerable to the rest of his attack. Here is the account of the temptation of Eve in the garden.
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 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. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Genesis 3:1-6)
In here we see somethings that we should take note of, as those who believe. The first is that the form that Satan had taken. He was in the form of a serpent. The serpent in creation was subject to Adam and should have been confronted and put in his place with the authority God had given to Adam. Instead of putting the serpent to silence Eve listened to him. Second, the serpent is described as more subtle. This means that he was very intelligent and quite crafty. Notice that his approach is to say “Yeah, hath God said”. Did God really say this? Surely God didn’t mean you could not eat of that tree… Right there he usurps the very words of God and pulls the authority associated with it into question. If what she thinks that God said is not what God actually said, then it may not be wrong to eat of every tree in the garden after all. Thus, it is with society. The serpent had slowly taken away the belief that what God has given us in scripture is accurate. This has been done through philosophies, pseudo sciences, textual criticisms, false teachers, errant preachers, and teachers who do not teach the whole counsel of God, and cults. Worst of all is that there is a new English version of the Bible out every day it seems. With so many versions in just English alone then how can you know which is the word of God? These have eroded trust in the bible and those who wield it.
If the Bible is not accurate, it cannot be trusted. If it cannot be trusted, then it may that Jesus is not the only way to salvation. It could be that we could save ourselves. It could be that God cannot tell us what is right and wrong. It could be that there really is no heaven nor a real hell. It could be that we do not even need to be saved at all. Do you see the progression?
Still there is this verse that calls to us. “But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” What things have been written that we may believe? Well that is the entirety of the Holy Bible. We are taught in the scriptures who God is. God is the creator, and as such he has supreme authority. In fact, his authority is beyond question. So, if God says something, it is fact and is trustworthy. If God caused 40 different authors located in three different continents over a span of almost 2000 years to reveal himself to us and to tell us something so urgent that we need to know, then shouldn’t we listen to it and take it for truth also?
These things are written so that you may believe… that seems like such an important statement. What then can we believe if we take the Bible as the authoritative Word of God. To start with we can believe that Jesus is God, and Creator. (John 1:1-3) Here the Apostle John tells us that Jesus is the living breathing Word of God. He says that Jesus was always with God from before the beginning because he is 100% God. John tells us that God did not make anything without Jesus, because Jesus is the one who created everything. So, in Genesis when it say, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”, that was Jesus who did the creating. In the first few verses of Genesis we see all three parts of the Trinity of God at work. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all in existence, and in union together. (James 2:19; Deuteronomy 4:35; Deuteronomy 6:4) Here we see that there is only one God in existence. This sole God created everything we have ever known in our lives and in the history of mankind. The theory of evolution is just that a theory. In fact, there are three different theories of evolution in existence today and they have all changed over time, as new science if brought out. This new science is more and more proving the Genesis narrative of creation.
Jesus as God has always existed. Since he has always existed, he was not created. Instead, he was the one who created everything. This gives him full authority over all of creation. This means that everything else written in the Bible is true also. So later when John also writes to us, “and the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14), that this same Jesus, who is the Word, who is God, became a man and then walked among us. You see, Jesus was not a man who became God. There is no place in the bible where a man has ever become God. Neither is there anything written in the bible that says any other spirit, angel, or creature became God. There is only one God. No other God has ever existed. Anyone who tells you that you can become a god, or that Jesus is one of many Gods is telling a lie, from Satan. By the way, Satan is not a God either.
This Jesus, who is God in the flesh, walked among us and did teach many things about God, and how we should live, and what heaven is all about. He also taught us what hell is like. He affirmed the scriptures that tell us that God is a God of justice and he pours out his wrath on the unrighteous (sinful and rebellious). But Jesus also let us know of the great love and mercy that God has. Jesus was not just a great teacher of spiritual truths, he was the embodiment of the truth of God. This same creator who originally breathed life in to the first and every man since creation, also came to ensure that we can have eternal life in the presence of God. He was perfect and did not sin. Then Peter tells us this Jesus “who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) Why did he do this? Love. God loves you.
We cannot earn our way into heaven. We cannot buy our way into heaven. We cannot be a good person at heart and gain our way into heaven. Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” So here we are. We have all sinned in some way. Even if we had not the original sin of rebellion that was passed down from Adam, we have all still sinned. That is evident in our life. If does not matter how insignificant we may think our sin is, or even if we do not think it as a sin. If we have murdered, or if we have just told a little white lie or taken a pen from the office stationery at work, it is still a sin. The cost for that sin is death. Death is the result of failing to meet the standard of God. Because God is so holy, things that are not holy cannot enter his presence. Jesus made the way for man to enter the presence of God. He took that price of sin, the debt you owe, and paid it. Jesus died in your place. Jesus died, no one else. There was no angel, no ancestor or yours, no saint, and certainly no devil that stepped in and took the shame of your sin and bore it on their shoulders and died because of. That is why Jesus is the only way to heaven.
Then something happened to attest to us that Jesus is indeed God. He overcame death. Only God can defeat death because only God has the power and authority to. You see, death did not come into existence until after the fall of man. The fall of man did not happen until after the creation. God was before the creation. Jesus is the creator. God is the only one who can bring man back to God. Since there is only one God, he sent a piece of himself, as Jesus, for the specific purpose of redeeming us and all of creation back to himself. Jesus came, died, was buried, and rose from the dead, then he ascended to heaven where he resides waiting to return to take possession of the earth. But, to take possession, he will have to judge all of creation. Love is what keeps him on his throne in heaven. It is the will of God that no one should perish in hell. He desires that all should be saved. So, he is giving you every opportunity to live. You see in we are deceived by the devil so easily because we like to sin. Let us go back and visit John again. John 3:16 is one that everyone loves to quote, the believer and the unbeliever also. But we never seem to get past to the other verses that accompany it. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:16-21) God does love. God did sacrifice his only Son for this love. God does require that you believe on this sacrifice and honor the name of his son, Jesus. Salvation is a free gift given to those who believe. But, did you catch the latter verse? “…but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” The ones who do not believe are already condemned; not chosen to be condemned. No, these are already condemned because of their own lack of belief. They have chosen to “not“ believe and chosen to reject Jesus, because they love their sin to death. That is why we are so easily deceived. We love the darkness. Only those who love the light, receive the truth. What should we do then? “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19) Well, we should repent. Repentance must come before salvation. Repenting is a confessing to God that His ways are perfect and that you are not. You agree with his authority to say what is acceptable and what is not. Then confessing those things to him that you agree are not acceptable, those things we call sin. Confessing to lay those down and to never return to them again. Luke 13:3 tells us that except we repent… we will die. Repentance is first. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Confession is a part of repentance. We do not need to confess to a man, in fact in some cases it may be better not to. Confession is made to God, it is him of whom you are believing in, not a man. So, then repentance and confession are made to Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9 tells us, “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.” The key here is to believe. Believing on Jesus is a choice. It is a choice and not a feeling. You are choosing to believe what the scriptures have said about God, and Jesus as the Son of God, and the sacrifice he made for you. This is what we call faith. We believe, not because we have seen, but because the trust that what God has said in the Bible is accurate and trust worthy. Without this giving of our trust in the truth of God and Jesus, then it is impossible to receive salvation. “But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) It does not matter if you call yourself a Christian already, what matter is does Jesus know who you are?
Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23) Paul, one of Jesus’ apostles, tell us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. We need to make sure of what we believe and why we believe it.
If you are not yet ready to believe, keep seeking him through his scripture, the Holy Bible. The Bible is what God has chosen to reveal himself to us by. Do not be a fool. There is no need to look anywhere else to seek God. Find a church, get into Sunday School, and attend a Pastor’s class or two and study earnestly in your bible. When your ready, ask God, and he will reveal himself to you.
Brief Look at KJV, NIV, NASB, and New World Bible: Sampling of Scriptures
OK, I had some great comments from the last time I showed you some bible verse comparisons between the KJV and others. I have one or two more here that compare the KJV to NIV, NASB, and the New World Bible. Now I will tell you ahead of time that there has been a constant effort in those who wish to establish a one world religion to remove strong language in the Bible, change our vocabulary, and alter our doctrines in order to make it easier for professing Christians to be more tolerant of other pagan beliefs and other religious practices. The effort is to join east to west and lay the foundation of this New World Order that we know will be eventually ruled by the Antichrist.
“Certain words have gathered theological significance through the years and to change them might be to change doctrine… Do the changes in meanings come from new evidence or simply NEW THEOLOGY.” (Foster)
If subtle changes were then made to the meaning of a word, we could change the word without offending anyone, or we could also choose to use the word and correct the previous meaning. If we say used the word “Christ” then the Christian would assume that we are speaking of Jesus Christ. Then we could use the term Christ as we saw fit. So Christ could actually mean “the One”. At the surface this does not seem like a bad thing, and we could reach a commonality in the term Christ and, the One. On the surface this seems totally acceptable. If anyone argued, we could accuse them of being a hater or an extremist and ostracize them from the norm of society.
On a deeper look we can see in new versions of the bible that where the KJV refers to He (God the Father), or the Holy One the newer versions simply say “The One”. This is the same term used by Universalist and Luciferians to refer to the unknown power that binds the universe, and is seen as a part of the universe. In the New World religion, you will become “one” with the power of the universe when you leave this earth, you trade your mortality for immortality, no sin to worry about. No punishment from God, because we are all a part of “The One” energy of the universe. Thus God cannot judge anyone. He accepts us all, no repentance is needed. This is a lie from Satan, and it is leading billions to damnation and the lake of fire.
In the meantime, the One Word Religion has separated the name of Jesus from the identity of the Christ or Messiah. One step removed. Then someone can easily say that they believe in Jesus. But this does not mean that one believes in Jesus as the Son of God, or the Messiah who was prophesied to come. Instead, Jesus becomes a good man, or a great teacher, maybe even a prophet of great importance. His message becomes a philosophy of love and universal acceptance from god. Since he is no longer the Son of God, then he does not necessarily represent the God of Moses, who calls himself the “I AM”. Instead God becomes a universal principle and not a true persona. If God then is not God, then Jesus Christ is not the only way to him, or to eternal life. In fact, God has nothing to do with real eternal life, if Jesus is not the Son of God. What a complex lie has been weaved to entrap the world.
Once this is done then we need only refer to Jesus in impersonal pronouns instead of his name Jesus of Nazareth, or his title Jesus Christ. We have effectively removed all deity, identity, and relevance to the name of Jesus. Yet for those who still need his acknowledgement we can say that we believe in him, we of course mean that we believe in his ideas. This is the way of the New World, One World Religion (Luciferians). We have not even discussed how to change the meaning of the word “Christ”, but you can see the potentially dangerous slope that we venture on. While Christians argue about which Bible version is the true word of God and confusing the masses, we expose the flock of Jesus Christ to these evil minded antichrists. I want to call your attention back up to the quote from Mr. Foster, notice that they are not talking about just taking the “oldest and best” manuscripts and making sure that they are given a word for word translation. Now I know some of you are saying, you can never have a word for word translation from one language to the next. This is a truth I will not argue, however; you can have an honest Spirit led, God fearing, best effort in translating an accurate reading of the text. What this guy is talking about in this Luciferian scandal is to ignore the text, and change the meaning to fit what they want it to say. This is a transliteration, not a translation.
When a preacher opens up the King James Bible on Sunday morning and begins to read and to preach, he is taking a trusted translation of the Bible and sharing in confidence that this Word has been tested with over 400 years of blood, sweat, and tears. This version of the Bible had been a grand influence in bringing hundreds of thousands to believe on Jesus Christ as the Son of God. This version is what most people heard around the English speaking world who have led people under the direction of the Holy Spirit into a personal, loving relationship with the God the Father. This version is what tells us that those who are saved are done so by the grace of God alone, and that we are adopted children of the God of all Creation. God is not a part of creation, or a universal principle. God the Creator, exists, and for over 400 years, this has been the Bible that has told us the truth.
Now suddenly we are told all of the translators were untrustworthy, uneducated, and charlatans. We are told how the King of England forced them to change the meanings of the text to suit his needs. We are told that it is too difficult for the average believer to read and understand. I think we have listened to too much Catholic influence. The text on most new bibles comes from the very source text that the Catholic church uses for it’s Bible, which is not the one used by the King James Version. These lies and hiding of the text, twisting the word, and only letting the “ordained” read the text and give interpretation are all hallmarks of a cult mentality.
This preacher we mentioned earlier who opens the Authorized Version (AV) and reads and expands upon the scriptures. This God fearing man who brings a message after careful study, heavy prayer and who is relying on the indwelling Holy Spirit to teach him, is now given the weighty task of teaching others. But he is reading the translation to them, then, and only then does he attempt his explanation. He does not just tell them, this is what the Lord says. No, he reads to them what the Lord has said, then he explains to them what the Lord has given him concerning the text. The individual believer is then responsible to search the scriptures themselves to determine in the Holy Spirit whether what the preacher has said is true. This is not the case with a bible that has been transliterated instead of translated. A transliterated Bible is one that the interpreter has stepped out of interpretation and started deciding what the text is meaning, instead of what it says. Often this is done to support the agenda of a particular cult. Jehovah Witness have admittedly done this with the New World Bible Translation.
The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures does not follow this common practice. It uses the name Jehovah a total of 237 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. In deciding to do this, the translators took into consideration two important factors: (1) The Greek manuscripts we possess today are not the originals. Of the thousands of copies in existence today, most were made at least two centuries after the originals were composed. (2) By that time, those copying the manuscripts either replaced the Tetragrammaton with Kyʹri·os, the Greek word for “Lord,” or they copied from manuscripts where this had already been done. (Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania)
You need to get busy in your own research, stop being bullied into submission. I think that it is funny that we hear preachers say that you cannot understand the King James, or the 1911 bible. I also want to make note that this is the same excuse the Roman Catholic Church used to gain control of the entire Roman world. They told everyone that they could not properly understand they text of the Bible, (which by the way is the same one your using in a new version), and that it needed to be explained to you by those who were closest to God. I think that preposterous.
The Authorized, 1911, KJVs are still written in what is considered modern English, and were written at what we consider a 6-8 grade reading level, depending upon the study. I want to also remind you that it was written so that the common people could read the text themselves. These common people did not go to school. So what you are saying, is that, even though you went to 12 years of school under the modern “enlightenment” we live in, you cannot read a bible that the common people with no formal education could read. I don’t think that the problem is with the reading level of the version, it is somewhere else. A little bit more, most new versions of the Bible start at an 8th grade reading level.
Now we see the confusion of the text, and the confusion of the words in the text, and then we have the influx of the New World terminology. Remember the difference that the purposely separating the name of Jesus from his title Christ did in changing doctrine. This is what Mr. Foster was speaking of in the above quote. As a part of this changing of meanings of words and making them irrelevant we can then just drop some of them. Words proper references like Lucifer, the Dragon, Diana, devils, and Satan can then be omitted or changed to more generic terms that still allow the Luciferian to tell the Christian that “we all believe in the same God”. Even though, when you look at the meaning of their terminology, it is painfully clear that we do not! Now that we are all questioning the authority of the “original” texts, the literacy of the language, and the meaning of the words use, we can edit, or delete portions of the scriptures that are no longer valid, or could be misleading to our cause. No one would be any smarter, and no one would even care. If anyone did raise a fuss, we can just tell them that they are ignorant, and do not know as much as we do. We can even train their pastors and teachers coming out of seminary, confusing them right out of the gate. Progressive liberalism, comes from the changing of the text.
Finally, here are some examples for you to consider.
AUTHORISED VERSION (KJV)
NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
NEW AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION (NASV)
NEW WORLD TRANSALTION (NTW)
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
Subjective foot note
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.
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He said to him: “Why do you ask me about what is good?One there is who is good. If, though, you want to enter into life, observe the commandments continually.”
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only. Omitted Satan
Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’” Omitted Satan
In reply Jesus said to him: “It is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’ Omitted Satan
And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Subjective foot note
Subjective foot note
These are only a small sampling of hundreds of scriptures. I might add also that different versions of the NIV, NASB, and NWT treat the verses differently. Some versions will include omitted verses or phrases, some do not. This should also be a testimony of the lack of reliability of the text in those versions. The acceptance of these translations in the church has weekend the church and kept believers in a shroud of darkness and insecurity. The bold passion that believers in Jesus Christ had is non-existent in the church today. Church pews sit empty while supposed believers are out exploring New Age religions and philosophies. Pagan religions are practiced in many “Christian” homes. Christians seek out their fortune with palm readers and astrological charts in the newspapers or online fortune tellers. This is the very sin that God allow Saul to be killed over.
Instead of reading their Bibles to get wisdom from God and his word, they seek out philosophies, and eastern mysticisms to guide their way. Instead of seeking to live sanctified lives and becoming more like Jesus Christ and God their Father, they are trying to become one with the FORCE. Shame is brought upon the church. They wonder why they cannot win someone to Christ. I will tell you why, a lot of people who “profess to believe” actually do not. They themselves are still searching for God. This is in large part because they are not being taught the whole counsel of God. This discussion we are having here is a major reason. The enemy has done what he always does. He perverts the truth. Mixes lies with truth and causes doubt.
This is what Satan, that old serpent, did to Eve in the Garden of Eden at the very beginning. That devil caused Eve to doubt what God had said, and why he said it. He gave her his transliteration of the word of God. The devil has always caused us to question – what God said, and so do his children. Peter warns us that these days would come. “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (2 Peter 2:1-2) Wow! Peter says that even then there were false teachers among them. While the Apostles were still alive, false teachers were already twisting their words, and changing doctrines. We must take this seriously.
The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and told him that he should refrain from being in the presence of false teachers. (1 Timothy 6:3-5) We should not fellowship with those who spread these false doctrines. They cannot be referred to as Christian if they deny the deity of Jesus Christ. I will leave you this last scripture to meditate on.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)
Foster, Lewis. Selecting a Translation of the Bible. Cincinnati: Standard Publishing Co., 1983.
Paul tells the Christians in Thessalonica, “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” We can learn something from this simple advice given by the Apostle to the Gentiles. The wherefore concerns what he has just spoke about. What has he just spoke about?
Well in the previous chapters he talked about how we should be living out our daily lives as believers in Christ Jesus. In chapter one he commended the faithful witness of the Christians in Thessalonica. He called them examples of righteousness to Macedonia and Achaia. He praised them for their fervent spreading of the gospel throughout the region. He recognized the changes in their lives, turning from idols to believing on the Lord’s deliverance of them from the wrath to come. In the second chapter; Paul reinforces the witness that thy have learned by example from him and his party and how they love the hearts of the Thessalonians and desire to be with them again. Paul expresses his love for them and their love of him and Christ in him. He encourages them and say that they share the same hope, “For what is out hope, our joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” (v.19)
In the fourth chapter Paul tells them as you have learned from us how to walk in faith, continue in this so that you will increase the pleasure you give to God in your love and obedience. He reminds them that walking in the spirit is walking in sanctification. Those who are called of God are not called to uncleanness, but to holiness. We who love God cannot continue in the sins that we used to walk in. We should have a different attitude. We should actually despise our old lifestyle, wanting nothing to do with it. Instead we should seek to become more knowledgeable about the Lord, his Kingdom, and his will. Then he answers some questions about the rapture and the resurrection. This is important to the advice his gives us in 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
We do not have to fear the times that we live in. All of these things are given to us as a sign. A sign that the Lord’s return is imminent. Just as persecutions were on the rise in ancient Rome against followers of the Way so are the prevalent today. Today we have another 100 year event. It seems the past few years we have had a 100 year event, of some sort, every year. This 100 year event for 2020 is the pandemic; COVID-19. This event has attacked every part of society in every part of the globe and will undoubtedly change the way many things are done in the future. The way we interact with one another will be different. The way that foreign government interact and support one another. Even the sovereignty of nations will be changed. Individual freedoms will be forever effected. Powers of local, state, and federal governments will be increased. Universality of mankind will grow in acceptance, doing away with many boundaries we previously had.
This virus is already affecting all of those things and more. We are losing family members. Some are questioning God. Some are flat out angry with God, and have chosen to reject him. Others have renewed their faith. Some who have stopped praying and seeking God decades ago are now seeking him out. This same dynamic plays out in the family circle. Many families are being drawn together. Forgiving one another for offences long forgotten. Parent spending time with their children. Children once starved for attention from their parents are now being filled up with love. However; with these things we see unfolding. The changes in the governments, religious acceptance, the move toward universal-ism and far more set the stage for the events which must unfold. With these things, and the very upfront reality of death. Paul tells the Thessalonians, and us to comfort ourselves and one another.
We know the times and the seasons in which we live. This have been told to us before. Jesus himself told us of the signs that would show as his return grew closer. He told us those things so that we could take comfort in them. When we see these things happen, we know that he already told us and that it is part of his plan. These things have to take place in order to save as many as possible and to spare them from the wrath to come.
For us, the follower of the Way, we have supreme knowledge and comfort. We know, that everyone has an appointment with death. As far as death is concerned, we know that we are just passing through this world. We are not to cling to things of this world. We know that the things of this world are temporal. That means that everything of this physical world fades away, it is temporary. Things rust, mold, decay, turn to dust, and even dust disappears eventually. Scripture says that the life of a man is like a vapor. It is here one moment and then gone. For us who believe in Christ, we have a more complete knowledge in knowing these things. We know that there is life after death.
We know that we do not fade away or become a part of the cosmos and loose who we were. Instead, we have a new life. We know or true life is spiritual, not the flesh. We know that God has made a way in Jesus Christ for us to live this eternal life in his presence without fear, without death. We know that our sorrow will be taken away, and that God himself will wipe away our tears. We can believe this because Jesus Christ not only died for our sins, but he conquered death and arose from the dead. He is alive, and because he is alive, we who believe have been grafted into his life eternal.
This guidance, given by the Spirit through, Paul says that we should take comfort in what he has just said, and as we take comfort, we are to encourage one another. What he just said is that Christ is eternal. Christ is returning. We know this because of the signs all around us. We then walk in the light of Christ. So we can take comfort in these things that are unfolding around us. This comforting is a two-fold process.
We take comfort in the Lord and then this gives us the ability to comfort others. What is our comfort? We know that we dwell in him. We are his children. 1 John 4 says that we who know God know that God loves us; for God is love. He manifested this love in Jesus Christ; that we might live through him. We are able to love one another because the love of God is in us. We also know that his Spirit is in us because without the Spirit, no man can confess Christ. With this comfort in our hearts we know that God loves us and that he is faithful. We can then encourage one another in these odd days of fear, sickness, and death.
We can comfort one another by doing what we are called to do. Remember Paul complemented the Thessalonians in walking upright before man and the Lord. This example of godliness they lived encouraging him and the whole region about Thessaloniki. People were being saved and believers were being encouraged by the life that they lived. Lives of holiness and dedication to Jesus Christ.
We see that walking in the Spirit through living a sanctified life encourages others around us. We can give hope to others in the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can teach one another of the faithfulness of God in his Word and in the testimony of our own lives in him. We can also pray for one another. Pray without whole hearts. Pray aloud. Pray boldly. Pray in faith and in hope. The Lord says that the prayer of a righteous man availeth much (it means a whole lot- have great influence). Guess what, you who have believe on the name of Jesus, you have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus.
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
After these things is referring to the previous chapter where a great war had happened between many powerful kings. In the process Abram’s cousin Lot was taken captive. This spurred Abram to get involved. He rallied an army and went an defeated the evil king and set the captives free. When the King of Sodom and the other kings came to pay tribute to Abram, Abram gave glory to God, and took no rewards from the kings for himself, because it was God who delivered the enemy to Abram.
God now reaffirms Abram. I know, why should Abram have to worry after such a great victory and the adulation of the surrounding kingdoms? Well this undoubtedly would make the surrounding kings a bit cautious of Abram and to possibility that if Abram so decided he might take their kingdoms. After all by this time God promised to Abram, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3) I don’t know about you, but if God told me those things, I would probably tell others about it. That is some pretty exciting news.
No matter is the other kings knew why Abram had journeyed so far away from home, it was easy to see that he was a great leader of men and soldiers. He had a clear head for tactics, he was unafraid, and people from all over the region would now look to him for safety. You can see how a king would want him for an ally or would see him as a possible enemy to their own heads.
So God reassures Abram. “I am thy shield”. God lets Abram know that he is his protector. It is more than just that. The shield for a warrior is the brunt of the battle. It is close at hand. The shield absorbs impact, protects from missiles and other unforeseen dangers. Often a shield was worn on the back and allowed for protection from an attack from the rear, and allowed the warrior to concentrate on what was in front of him.
I think this is very important. God is not telling Abram that there will not be trials, or unforeseen dangers ahead. God is not telling Abram that he is going to do for Abram what Abram is called to do. Instead God is telling him to “Fear not”, because he is there with him in the battle, and he will protect him in his fight. Abram is expected to stand, fight, and have faith in the LORD.
God further encourages Abram when he says that he (the LORD) is Abram’s “exceeding great reward”. Abram can have faith in God to fulfill his promise. Abram can have confidence in God to stand by him, and see him through all of his afflictions. Even more important is the expectation of God towards Abram. Abram is encouraged that he will see the faithfulness of God in his life, and will be greatly rewarded for walking in faith. Walking in faith is something that Abram had done from the first time the LORD called him. If we take a study of Abram’s life, we will see that every success Abram had in his life is when he walked in faith. God was true to this promise to Abram. It is funny, because when most of us study the life of Abram, and the Promises of Abraham, this promise is often overlooked. This one little promise is the picture of faith in action and the expectant results.
Fear not, is what God told Abram. Fear not, I am your protector when harm is upon you. I am your protector when you see the danger, and when you do not see the danger. I am a rewarded of those who love me. Great is that reward for those who have faith in me to keep the promises I have made. I tell you of one thing. If you look at the New Testament and study the history of the saints, that some took ill. Paul had to be nursed back to health, after getting so ill he almost perished. Other saints in the New Testament and in missionary positions throughout history have fallen ill, and some have died after being exposed to diseases as they ministered for Christ.
It distresses my heart to hear those who say, “I thought you had faith…”, as if faith is what is used to keep you well. The faith we have is not to keep ourselves well. If is not even to heal others. Miracles and healing was not why Jesus came here and died, and rose again. It is not the reason we are left here after we have believed on Christ. Jesus came to save that which was lost and to disciple others to know God, and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is why we are here. You want to be like Christ? Then live for Christ, as Christ lived for his Father in Heaven. Seek those who are lost, share the Gospel of Christ, and disciple others to do the same. Fear not, the LORD is with you. The LORD is your shield. The LORD is your exceeding and great reward. We are not immune to the tragedies of this world, but we are harbingers of the hope in the next. Walk in the faith that the LORD has risen, and HE said that HE will raise us up! We do not fear death, because our lives here are already forfeit for the Kingdom of Heaven.
In the 33rd chapter of Jeremiah the Lord gives reassurance to the prophet and reaffirms the Davidic covenant. In this he says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (v.3) and later the Lord states, “Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.” (v.6). This is such an awesome chapter of hope and reconciliation, and of the healing of the land and the people. We can see the care that God has for his people. He loves and cares, he is a shield and protector to his people. He loves so much that he not only delivers, but he reals and restores.
This is the hope that we have. That Jesus Christ came and died for us to pay the debt of death that we owe. He was buried and took the keys to hell and death. He then rose from the dead, and ascended to the Father. Now he makes intercession for us as our advocate. We who believe in him are no longer tied to this earth, or this body. We have a great hope inside that gives us joy. This hope is in the resurrection of life. Even as Jesus was raised from the dead and received a glorified by, so shall we.
We are no longer trapped here in this existence. We, followers of Christ Jesus, have been given a new life. This new life is one of the spirit. We have been set free from the bonds of the flesh. We know that the few things we posses here in this world are worthless and will eventually rot, and decay. The things we look forward to are everlasting. We now are pilgrims on our way to the promises of God, to be reconciled with him in Jesus Christ. We will soon be glorified, although we do not yet fully understand what that entails, we will understand when we finally see him face to face. This is the gift of God. We have received unmerited favor from God as demonstrated in the grace he bestowed upon us in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Death has no hold on us, no bind is there to keep us in the grave.
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Romans 5:6-11)
Look to Jesus, as the Lord says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee”. Hope is right here waiting for you to call out! Life is right here waiting for you to seek Him! Love is right here waiting for you to open your heart! Peace is right here waiting for you to rest within. There is no fear in Love. You do not need to fear the Lord. He has demonstrated his love towards us.
I read a telling tale of a young girl who grew up in a Christian home, went to a Christian school, and attended church on a regular basis and yet when she had to face the most fearful time in her life, everyone failed her. Yes she made a huge mistake, at the age of 16 she was pregnant, and then again at 17. However; that would not be the worst of what she would have to deal with. She was in great fear. We really cannot blame her. Grown adults, even those who have good finances, and secure lifestyles who have planned for a pregnancy get fearful. Question swell up inside. What will my friends think? How will the father react? How will I care for the child? At her young age these questions are magnified by the prospect of addressing her parents, and friends. What will happen with her schooling, college, and church life? What about all of the stares, and whispers? How could she ever care for a baby? So many unknowns. Advice is far from accessible because of the fear of shame and rejection.
With all of the Christian influences and church people around her she felt that they failed her. “At the time, my church, my pastor, my school, and community never told me there were resources out there to help me—with adoption, abstinence, finances, or help caring for a child.” (Anonimous) The only ones who would be available to give her advice was Planned Parenthood. What was the advice she received? You can probably guess it. She was advised that she did not have to keep the “embryo”. No one asked if she wanted to talk about alternatives to abortion. No other focus was given except to proceed with the abortion.
She paid $300.00 for the abortion. She described the event as horrible, and painful. She and other ladies that were awaiting the procedure shared how sad they were at the need for the procedure and regretted their decisions. She learned quick to harden her heart and to lie to herself and her family and everyone else she knew. She became depressed and withdrawn, driven by more guilt and shame. She abuse alcohol and herself. Eventually the Lord led her to a group called Embrace. Embrace helps people with abortion and abortion alternatives. She became active in their prayer groups and ministry. Eventually she began sharing her story. Telling the truth is the only way to rid the shame. Her message? “Abortion is NOT freedom! Abortion is making “peace” with death and that is an absolute lie and brings so much destruction to a person’s live that goes beyond the mother.”
Her Christian community around her had failed her. They failed her in educating her on the importance of abstinence and the holiness of the temple of God, her body. The environment that she grew up in was more concerned with condemning her sin then helping her to recover from her sin. In fact they did not help her to recover at all. So how can we change that so that others do not have to go through this shameful behavior from the church? We are to educate, listen, remind, and assist; oh then repeat seven times seven.
It starts from the top down. Pastors, Deacons, Teachers, and other elders of the church need to educate at all levels on the sanctity of marriage, abstinence, and how important each life is to God. (Psalm 139:1-24; Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 127:3; Galatians 1:15; Psalm 22:9-10; Isaiah 48:1) However; we cannot stop there, we need a culture of love and truth in the church. Peter tells us, “And above all things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) To many times when a brother or sister falls into sin, we are quick to condemn and not forgive. We should condemn the sin, however; we do not need to continue with the same failed anti-abortion rantings that drive the repentant away. We are commanded to forgive one another. Specifically, we are called to confess, repent, and forgive; in that order. (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13) So then this is the first part in combating fear and shame and allows the truth to be shared. Confidence given to the brother or sister who sins, that if they confess, they will be forgiven and will receive love and acceptance.
We must also educate our staff and members on a routine basis on alternatives to abortion, should the pregnancy be unavoidable. Having a list of alternative pregnancy and women’s health clinics that support the woman’s choice to both live and the child to live. Planned Parenthood spent allot of money making themselves the only voice on women’s health available. This is not the truth, there are plenty of other alternatives to Planned Parenthood. There are plenty of alternatives to abortion. They may include adoption, guardianship of another family member, and single mother housing assistance or missions. The church can use volunteers that can serve as a daycare for needy mothers so that the mother can continue in school, collage, and work. Volunteers from the church can be incorporated into a babysitter program. The church can even host an abortion survivors group. Time, equipment, furniture, clothes, food, can all be donated by members of the church. Professional skills can be donated that may include carpentry, mechanical, legal, financial, and even medical can be donated to the church for use in these programs. Heck someone can even help clean the home, do laundry, mentor child raising, and cut the grass.
If your church does not have this kind of thing going on, then start it. The Lord can use you to start this group. In the church I attend a young lady felt a burden for the community after a school shooting, and started a community wide service that the members of the community , churches, and civil authorities could meet under to build up the community and get people in contact with the resources they need. All it took one person saying, “here I am” to the Lord.
Get informed of local ministries that assist in pro-life assistance to expecting mothers and fathers. We must always, as much as possible include the other silent victims, the fathers. There are a many number of men who have these same feelings of guilt and shame, feelings of failure and inadequacy because of abortion. Sadly, many men who would have rather taken the child into their own homes are not consulted by the mother prior to the abortion. The biggest thing we can do that is included in all of these suggestions is to talk about it. We need to bring the truth to the front. People sin, if we didn’t we wouldn’t have needed a savior.
Now that we do have a savior, Jesus Christ, who has already paid the price for our sin, and has forgiven us, we should forgive one another of sin. We need to bring the truth the front. Abortion is murder of an innocent life. Murder is a sin, and a violation of the law of the land. There should be no reason to accept the selfish taking of another life. Murder of an innocent can never be justified by man. There are alternatives to abortion, even if the mother does not want the child. The people affected by the sins of sexual immorality and abortion are people that we love. We need to unashamedly reach out to and assist these victims (mother, father, and child) to find alternatives that will not destroy their lives and will encourage them to return to the Lord Jesus Christ who loves them and desires their love. We cannot abandon our loved ones, nor allow them to abandon their loved ones out of fear and mis-education.
In Pasadena Texas there used to be a huge Baptist Church on Vista Blvd. This is the church that I made my public confession of faith in. The attendance there was probably close to 200 on a Sunday morning, and at least half of that on Sunday evening and Wednesday evening services. Later I moved to the state of Washington and attended a Baptist church in Roy. This little country church was packed every service, and even had a radio tower that they used to broadcast their services our over the radio station. A few year later I moved back to Texas and wound up briefly attending several churches that also had high attendance and great outreaches and ties into the surrounding communities. In between these churches, I attended several other churches, as I tended to move quite a bit. I have also had the opportunity to preach at several different churches of various sizes. In looking back over these churches I could see something that seems insignificant to most, but stands out to me. There was a difference in the churches that were growing and involved in the community and those who were dying, or at least in peaceful slumber. The churches that had a fervent men’s ministry were the ones that were growing.
When we look at what makes a church not only survive, but to thrive in an area, we can look at a lot of different factors. Many studies go into looking at the local demographics of the area. What is the income level? What is the major ethnic population? What is the major health or poverty driven issue? What is the current and projected economic climate? Are jobs on the increase or the decrease? How many children per home? How many single mother homes are in the populace? All of these are good questions, and can help to develop outreach opportunities and meet the needs of the people surrounding the church. However; this information does little to spur the motivation of the church to do anything. We often look at aging churches and try to find ways to get youth programs off the ground. The idea is that without youth in the church, the church will silently die of old age. This is true in more than one way. But what I am speaking of is something more fundamental. We need men in the church to have a heart for, and to be, active in sharing the Gospel of Christ.
I heard a story one time concerning Charles Spurgeon and his boiler room. The story goes that some college students came to see Charles Spurgeon preach. They had arrived early and as they waited, a man from the church offered to give them a tour. The guide took them into one room, referred to as the “heating plant”. In this room were an estimated 700 saints praying. The guide, who turned out to be Charles Spurgeon himself, explained that the secret to his success is not him at all. Mr. Spurgeon explained that the power of the Holy Spirit was at work in answering the prayers of these saints that desire another soul would be saved. The secret to these successful churches was the presence of an active, praying Men’s Ministry.
I want to make something clear. Men’s Ministry is not an event driven service. It is great to have the Men’s Ministry around to do all of the heavy lifting at an events like VBS or at a Kid’s Festival or a Fall Festival, however; that is not the only way the men should be of value in the church ministry. They should be intimately involved in every aspect of the ministry of the local church and their families.
Each of these churches I attended that were growing had an active men’s ministry that prayed before, during, and after every service. They arrived hours ahead of time, and remained as long as needed. They painted, moved furniture, worked the plumbing, cut the grass and did many other things. In fact, in the church in Roy, Washington we all met one Saturday morning and worked all day spreading truckloads of rocks around to make a new parking lot and did other landscaping items. We were there from before the sun came up, until the sun went down. The ladies brought us food and water as we worked. In all of these churched, men were subject to the Spirit of God and had a desire to see one more soul saved. Men are the leaders in the church. When I was in the Army, I learned that Leaders lead by example, and from the front, not the rear. A leader does not sit in an office and dictate to others what needs to be done. A leader teaches, demonstrates, and then supervises what needs to be accomplished. A leader takes personal responsibility in the accomplishment of the mission. This is what an effective Men’s Ministry does.
These men, of the Men’s Ministry, lead by active service. John 13:12-15 says, “So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for [so] I am. If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” This shows us how important this principle of leadership in the church is to Christ. He himself made a point to ensure the disciples understood that in order to be a leader in the kingdom they must lead in service of the kingdom. We forget that Jesus actively disciple all of these men. I know what you’re saying, “Of course he did, that’s why we call them ’the disciples’”. However, when we get a young man in the church we do not grow them into elders. Instead we just hope that they will eventually figure it out, stay long enough, or the Lord will instruct them himself. We forget that we, as men have been given a ministry towards other men. Men need to be disciple in the church. Men need to be held to a standard and accountability. These effective Men’s Ministries that I witness did not wait for some young or new male church member to approach them. These men actively recruited all men in attendance at the church. To be honest, most did not even care if you were a member of the church, they just wanted to get you active in spiritual growth.
I showed up at one of these churches early one morning. While waiting for the rest of my family to arrive, an elder from the church came up and asked me my name. I told him, and he smiled and said, “Well, Mr. Harvey, you’re just in time for the prayer meeting.” Then he conducted me to an upstairs room where 12 other men were already praying. The Pastor ducked his head in right before the door closed and told them some names to add to the list and disappeared. Just like that I was in the Men’s Ministry. I joined the church that service. That was all it took.
Men’s ministry assists the church, as the men in the church are disciple to mature faith and understanding of the scriptures, their roles in the family, local church, the Kingdom of God, and community. The Men’s Ministry is the place where this close discipleship can occur through fellowship, study, accountability, counsel. Most of all the Men’s Ministry servers through men fervently praying for their families, the church, community, and one another in the unity of group prayer meetings. There is nothing the devil can defeat a church with that has a group of righteous men praying in earnest for the spreading of the gospel.
Men, the apostle James tell us in his epistle that we should confess our sins to one another. We should also pray for one another. Then James tell us that the powerful passionate prayer of a righteous man is very advantageous to the plea being made. (James 5:16) Wow! Now imagine how powerful a whole group of such men praying together in agreement before the Almighty God would be, especially with the Spirit of God praying right along beside them, in perfect communion with the God, the Creator of the universe. Prayer then is the foundation of the men’s ministry. However, it also includes mentorship in Christ. Group study of the Word, and proper fellowship.
Fellowship in scripture is not just having coffee before services, or having a lunch after Sunday morning services. I includes, but is not limited to Men’s Breakfasts, prayer groups, and bible studies. The word for fellowship in the Greek has a deeper meaning. It means to share on one’s self. This means that we should be living in fellowship. We should be involved in one another’s lives. We should be giving towards one another. We should be living with one another on a daily basis. Giving time, money, food, encouragement, advice, and emotional and spiritual support to one another. This is what happened in the early church, they gave sacrificially to one another, even to other churches. Another thing to consider is spiritual leadership.
The man is to be a spiritual leader in the church and in the home. 1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong”. This means that we should be like men of wisdom who have understanding. We should act like mature men, not like children. We should be strong in doctrine, not carried away by every spirit. We should search the scriptures to test what we have been told and what we interpret concerning scripture. We should be proficient and able to identify truth from error. We, men, should be able to instruct others on the meaning of the scriptures. We should have the backbone to stand up for what is good and right before God. In this age of effeminized men we need men who can show themselves as men. Men who set the example of righteousness, no matter what the cost. Men who lead. If a woman goes to church, she will undoubtable drag her children with her. The husband may not go. She has no authority to make him. The children, especially the boys will have a divided desire.
The boys will develop a resentment with one parent or the other, and the church. This is because, boys want to be like their fathers. The hidden message in their heart will be on of, “If dad doesn’t have to go, why should I?” In all honesty, that is a very good question. If the father does not put any emphasis on church attendance then their children will fail to realize the importance of the church, Sunday school, or even Christ himself. However; if the father goes to church then everyone goes to church. He has that authority. The wife who wishes to please her husband will go. The children who see that both parents are in attendance will desire to go, because the importance of the church is recognized by both parents. More so if the father is actively involved in the church. Then the children see that a relationship with Christ is of most importance. The child who understands the importance of a relationship with Christ will tell their friends, and invite them to church to meet Christ. A family who worships Christ together, grows in love towards one another, the church, and in Christ Jesus.
The Church does not need to change its culture to make themselves more attractive to society. To much of that nonsense has already happened. We don’t need men that are effeminate, unsure of scripture, afraid to confront evil, or not daring enough to step on a few toes for Christ. What the church needs is a culture where men are righteous, caring, and active in their families, the church and community. Men that are bold in their profession of faith. Men that stand up for what is right. Men who confront evil no matter what the personal cost. Men who would rather step on a toe or two in love, rather than see someone waist their life and die and go to hell.
When God made mankind, he first made a male and put him to have dominion over all of his creation. When Jesus selected his apostles, out of thousands of men, women, and children; he chose men. When the disciples gathered together to replace Judas Iscariot, out of over a hundred men and women gathered together, the Holy Spirit chose a man. When the first deacons for the church were chosen, the Holy Spirit of God chose men. The first recorded martyr was also a man. The Holy Spirit moves through righteous men. I am not saying that the Holy Spirit does not use women also, however; there seems to be no shortage of active women in the church today. That being said, this is why scripture encourages men saying, “if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” (1 Timothy 3:1) You see the Lord wants men to desire to be of service. He says that it is a good thing to have a desire to be of service; teaching, preaching, caring for the flock. Then he gives some criteria.
I know what you are most likely thinking. This is the criteria that he gives for pastors and deacons, however; shouldn’t all Christian men strive for these? He says that a man of God should be blameless. There should be no cause for accusation in his life. He should have a clean witness both in and out of the church. He should be the husband of one wife. This man should have no eyes for any other woman than his wife. He should have no mistresses, or practice polygamy. He should be vigilant. This means he should be aware of his surroundings. Attentive to the needs of others. Aware of the dangers of the enemy about him. He should be sober. He should be of a good nature and not into mischief. He is temperate, not into brawling, or striking others. He does not boast or throw his weight around trying to impress himself. The list goes on, and then includes some very specific things for the bishop. (1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Titus 1:5-9)
These are the things that we should be shepherding and disciplining young men in the way. This is the culture that we should seek to have in the men of our churches. Real men who stand up for God and that do not let anything stop them from seeking the will of the Lord. Men like this who pray together have a great effect on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in a church. In Ezekiel 34 we can read that there are dire consequences for Israel because the shepherds of Israel failed their duties. Israel became scattered having no leadership. The people became the victims of wolves and beasts of prey. They were weak and sickly. This sounds like some churches you may know, does it not?
Something else to be aware of in Ezekiel 34:1-10, the Lord says, “I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock”. Now let us move to Revelation chapter 3. “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” (Revelation 3:15-17) Remember the Lord is talking to the members of the church. He says that they have become self-sufficient and think that they have everything and that they have lost their zeal. They are not doing the things of the Lord. Because of this they are worthless to him, and he will spew them out. Ever wonder if a church closed because God wished them to close? They had become slipshod and non-responsive to the Spirit and the Lord simply pulled their charter.
Men of God you must understand that you are important to the ministry of your local Church. In fact, you are an invaluable asset to your church. Your skills and craftsmanship are a great asset to the church, but your leadership and compassion for others has a far more reaching effect. You have knowledge and understanding that some young man needs to tap into to see the working of Christ in his life. We need men of God engaged in the fight for what is good, and right, and virtuous. (Philippians 4:8) These are the things that we should be doing. We should learn to do well, seek judgement, relieve the oppressed, and protect the orphans and widows. (Isaiah 1:17) This is the work that God has for men.