Martin Smith, RIP

I wrote the following post earlier this week (Wednesday, December 4, 2019) on Facebook:

 

I received a call from a nurse at Vibra Hospital in Detroit this morning

just after 9:00 am alerting me that my brother, Martin Smith, passed away at

8:50 am on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. He had been hospitalized since late

August in intensive care at Harper then Vibra Hospital.

I am very grateful to all who have visited Martin (“Mark”) during this time.

I am especially thankful to those who have extended extra care and

assistance to help Mark and me during this time.

I believe Mark suffered from the consequences of his long battle with

prostate cancer. Mark was operated on for a neck tumor in early September.

After the operation, he had no use of his tongue so he could not swallow or

talk.

I know Mark is in a far better place now, for he had a very firm and

knowledgeable faith in the Bible and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I have been absolutely amazed at the number of individuals Mark’s life touched in Southwest Detroit where he lived. I will miss him for a short while, but I am thankful for his witness for Christ.

Shortly after I began teaching in Detroit, I moved to an apartment in Southwest Detroit. It was in walking distance from where I taught at Neinas Junior High School and then Amelia Earhart Middle School. It was not far from where I next taught at Cass Technical High School.

When Mark needed a place to live, I agreed to have him move in with me. By splitting the apartment rent, it made our housing expense very manageable–just $35 a month. That let me increase my book budget. I still have all the good Bible reference books (5000) and literature, history, mathematics, and electronics books (2000) from that time.

When Mark began having difficulties with his administrators (Mark was a teacher too) I wrote many letters in his defense. But eventually Mark had to leave public school teaching and took jobs in the electrical industry. He has had a very hard life, materially speaking. But spiritually speaking, he has always maintained a good witness for Christ. He last worked at the Salvation Army as a GED instructor. Mark was always good at helping students learn mathematics and science. I suspect that this skill was not at all appreciated by his public school administrators. I think the administrators at the Salvation Army very much appreciated what he was able to do for the adult education students he worked with there.

I understand that Mark was involved with helping students in a local home school group learn mathematics and other subjects and was much appreciated by both the students and the parents.

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be an encouragement to my brother Mark in various ways, but most especially, spiritually.

 

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If you are not spiritually hungry, you are spiritually dead!

This is the most important issue you will ever face. If you have no desire to faithfully read your Bible daily, that is a significant indicator that you do not really have the spiritual life in you that true faith in Jesus Christ brings.

Going to church faithfully is no substitute for feeding yourself spiritually through daily Bible reading and study. I am thankful for the many solid Bible-believing Christians I have met over the years in churches I have attended. They have been an encouragement to me in my spiritual life by their good example and instruction.

Nevertheless, the number of genuinely saved, born-again believers in any given church is likely a very small proportion of the whole. Just last week I heard a report that Chuck Misler believed late in his life that 98% of the members of Bible-believing churches are not saved.

Early in my Christian life I was taught that only about 5% of church-going Christians have ever led a person to faith in Christ. How different this is from the pattern we read in the book of Acts in the New Testament.

There are a number of Bible verses that have caught my attention over many years on these subjects:

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

When tempted by Satan, who urged Jesus in his hunger after forty days of fasting to “command these stones be made bread,” Jesus replied to Satan by citing from the Bible as follows:

Deut 8:3  And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

Here is another significant passage related to this theme:

Joshua 1:8  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (KJV)

The Contemporary English Version translates this verse in part so as to read: “Never stop reading The Book of the Law he gave you. Day and night you must think about what it says.”

We now have the complete Bible, and each of us can easily own a personal copy. God in His providence has given us the wonderful privilege of learning from His Book daily for ourselves.

Job confessed:

Job 23:12  Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Notice that Job compared the word of God (which we now have in the Bible) more important than his daily food! The comparison is important. Just as we would suffer greatly if we had no physical food to eat, so we suffer just as greatly if we do not partake of the spiritual food. Failure to eat physical food would result in starvation and physical death. Failure to partake of the spiritual food God has provided in His Word in the Bible results in spiritual death.

David confessed:

Psa 17:4  Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. (KJV)

Psa 17:4 With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent. (ESV)

David tells us in his prayer that God’s Word (“the word of your lips,” which we now have in our Bible) kept him from associating himself with the wrong friends and the wrong activities. We all, and especially young people, need this guidance even today.

Psa 119:11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.  (KJV)

Psa 119:11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (ESV)

David hid God’s Word in his heart in order not to sin against God. That can only be done by reading God’s Word until we know it. It is helpful to actually memorize selected verses from the Bible for this purpose.

Isaiah confessed:

Isa 38:16  O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live. (KJV)

Isa 38:16 O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these is the life of my spirit. Oh restore me to health and make me live! (ESV)

Isa 38:16 Your words and your deeds bring life to everyone, including me. Please make me healthy and strong again. (CEV)

Isaiah recognized that God’s Word brings life to everyone, including himself. Isaiah prayed to God, “Please make me healthy and strong again.” Reading and studying God’s Word in the Bible brings spiritual life and restores us to spiritual health.

Jeremiah confessed:

Jer 15:16  Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.  (KJV)

Jer 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. (ESV)

Jer 15:16 When you spoke to me, I was glad to obey, because I belong to you, the LORD All-Powerful. (CEV)

God’s Word became the source of joy and rejoicing of Jeremiah’s heart or inner being, because Jeremiah knew he belonged to the Lord God of  hosts. As you and I regularly read and study God’s Word in the Bible, we will know for sure that we truly belong to God.

Jesus commanded:

John 5:39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (KJV)

Anyone who will faithfully “search the Scriptures” will come to know our Lord Jesus Christ in a personal way. You can have a personal relationship with Him. You will come to the place in your life where you know that you have eternal life (John 5:24). By personal experience, I can recommend that you first read through the New Testament repeatedly. Also read individual New Testament books repeatedly, especially the Gospel of John and the book of 1 John. The Gospel of John was written on purpose to this end (John 20:31).

Joh 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (ESV)

As you read and study the Bible, especially the New Testament, the Holy Spirit will help you understand more and more of what you read. He will use God’s Word to bring you genuine spiritual life.

The example of the Bereans:

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (KJV)

Act 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (ESV)

Act 17:11 The people in Berea were much nicer than those in Thessalonica, and they gladly accepted the message. Day after day they studied the Scriptures to see if these things were true. (CEV)

The Bereans searched the Scriptures daily. They double-checked the validity of what they were being taught by the Apostle Paul by confirming what Paul taught from the Bible by turning to the Bible to see for themselves. Notice that they carefully studied the Bible daily. Notice that they checked up on the teaching they received by checking it out with the Bible. Acts 17:12 records what happened as a result:  “Therefore many of them believed.”

Paul commanded:

Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (KJV)

Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (KJV)

Eph 6:17  Also take salvation as your helmet and the word of God as the sword that the Spirit supplies. (GW, God’s Word translation)

I accessed nearly all of the above passages by consulting the cross references in the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury as given for the key words “of God” at Matthew 4:4.

Please make the decision today to take time every day to read and study God’s Word, the Bible, for yourself. You will never be sorry for following through faithfully on such an important decision. Make time count for eternity. Read the Bible daily for yourself. You will be glad you did!

 

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Daily Bible Nugget #552, Colossians 3:17

The Nugget:

Col 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (KJV)

Col 3:17 Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to God the Father because of him. (CEV, Contemporary English Version)

My Comment:

We have much to be thankful for. The cross references shared below for Colossians 3:17 taken from the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury will lead to many more places where the Bible teaches us by command or example about thankfulness.

Colossians 3:17

whatsoever ye do. *Col 3:23, *2Ch 31:20; *2Ch 31:21, **Pro 3:6, Joh 2:2; Joh 2:5, *Rom 14:6, 7, 8, **1Co 10:31.

in word. Pro 18:4, Rom 15:18, 2Th 2:17, Jas 2:12, *1Jn 3:18.

or deed. or, in work. Col 2:6, Rom 15:18.

do all. 2Sa 15:15, %Zec 7:6; Zec 14:20, +*Joh 2:5; *Joh 15:14, *1Co 10:31, 2Co 5:15, Jas 1:22, 3Jn 1:5.

in the name. The Name of Jesus is a symbol of His character (WKF, p. 209). =Deut 10:8; =Deut 18:5, 1Ki 18:32, Psa 86:11, *Mic 4:5, Zec 10:12, +*Mat 28:19, Joh 14:13, Act 2:21; Act 3:6; Act 3:16; Act 4:10; Act 4:18; Act 4:29, 30; Act 5:40; Act 9:27; Act 9:29; Act 10:48; Act 16:18; *Act 19:17, Rom 6:11; Rom 16:22, 1Co 5:4; 1Co 6:11, Eph 5:20; Eph 6:5, Php 1:11; Php 2:10; Php 2:29, +*Heb 6:10; Heb 13:21, Jas 5:14.

of the Lord Jesus. +*Act 10:36, *1Th 4:1; *1Th 4:2, 2Th 3:6.

giving thanks. Gr. eucharisteō (S# G2168, 2Co 1:11). Col 3:15, *Col 1:12; +*Col 2:7; *Col 4:2, Psa 34:1; Psa 100:4; Psa 107:1; +Psa 136:1, Eze 45:17, +*Dan 6:10, Mat 14:19; Mat 26:27, Mar 6:41; *Mar 8:6, Act 27:35, Joh 11:41, Rom 1:8; Rom 7:25, 1Co 1:14, 2Co 4:15; 2Co 8:16, *+Eph 5:20, *Php 4:6, +*1Th 5:18, 1Ti 4:3, 4, 5, *Heb 13:15, *1Pe 2:5; *1Pe 2:9; *1Pe 4:11, Rev 7:12.

God. Eph 1:17, Php 2:11, 1Th 1:1, Heb 1:5, *1Jn 2:23.

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Daily Bible Nugget #551, 1 Corinthians 6:11

The Nugget:

1 Corinthians 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (KJV)

1 Corinthians 6:11 And these things some of you used to be! But you washed yourselves, but you were made holy, but you were made righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (LNT, Lavender New Testament)

My Comment:

There is much to be learned by comparing and contrasting the two English translations I have shared above. I have placed the explanatory notes from the Lavender New Testament in the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury notes and cross references for this verse, 1 Corinthians 6:11. Do study these notes and references very carefully. They will help you determine the answer to the important question, “Do I have the real thing?”

From the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury:

1 Corinthians 6:11

such were some of you. or, some of you used to be (LNT). Gr. ēte. Used to be translates the force of the imperfect tense, representing action that went on in past time. Note that some of the Corinthians used to be fornicators, homosexuals, covetous, drunkards, etc. (1Co 6:9, 10, 11), but not any longer!

They had an experience with God in which they were made holy, made righteous.

The Christian life consists in a creative act of God which is transformational, regenerative, resulting in a new creation! (Cf. 2Co 5:17, 18; Gal 6:15 and notes).

And not an as if salvation or imputed righteousness where one is considered to be what one is not, or holiness on the other side of the grave (cf. Joh 17:17 and notes).

The urgency and burden of Paul’s point here is that if one is still what they used to be, they will not inherit the kingdom of God! (1Co 6:9, 10).

If one’s experience does not bring transformation and deliverance from sin, it is false to the Scriptures and not saving (cf. Mat 18:3; Rom 5:1; Rom 6:6, 7; Rom 6:14; Rom 6:22; Eph 4:24; Eph 5:3, 4, 5, 6, 7; Col 3:9, 10; Tit 2:14; Tit 3:5, 6, 7; Jas 1:26; 1Jn 3:7, 8, 9, 10).

Reader, mark it well, there is no salvation apart from transformation!

If you are what you have always been, you are not saved.

So Paul’s used to be statements (1Co 12:2; Rom 6:17; Rom 6:20; Rom 7:5; Eph 2:3; Eph 5:8) mean that the one having entered into the new life in Christ has left the sinful past behind—Done! Finished! Over!

Paul said in 1Co 12:2 : “…you used to be pagans…led to these mute idols…being led astray.” They used to be, but not any longer!

It is not possible to be a pagan and a Christian at the same time. Paul himself was (used to be) “…a blasphemer and persecutor and violent man…” (1Ti 1:13), but it was over when he met Jesus on the Damascus road (cf. 1Ti 1:15 and note).

It may be said of Jesus that He used to be in the tomb, but He is not now! (cf. 1Co 15:17 and note). And so anyone who is a Christian is able to say it used to be with reference to the sinful past.

It is not possible for one to go through the processes of godly sorrow and come out on the other side of repentance unto salvation, and defend the doctrine of sinning religion (2Co 7:10 and notes) [LNT, fn r]. 1Co 5:8; 1Co 12:2, Lev 6:7; =Lev 13:2; =Lev 13:3; Lev 14:3; Lev 14:48, Deut 10:19, Psa 68:13; Psa 68:18, +*Isa 29:24, Zec 3:4, Mat 9:13; Mat 21:29, Joh 5:4; Joh 20:23, Rom 6:17, 18, 19; Rom 11:30, *Eph 2:1, 2, 3; +*Eph 2:11, 12, 13; *Eph 2:19; Eph_4:17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22; Eph 4:28; Eph 5:8, Col 1:13; Col 1:21; *Col 3:5, 6, 7, *Tit 3:3, 4, 5, 6, 1Pe 4:2, 3, *2Pe 1:4.

but ye are washed. Gr. apolouō (S# G628), to wash thoroughly. or, But you washed yourselves (LNT). You washed yourselves, apelousasthe, correctly translates the force of the middle voice. By their own act they turned from sin in synergistic cooperation with God. Thus both God and man have a part in man’s salvation as expressed here by the middle voice, as well as the passive: you were made holy, hēgiasthēte, and you were made righteous, edikaiōthēte, are both aorist passive indicatives. The aorist shows punctiliar action, completed action, and the passive shows the subject as receiving the action, being acted upon by an outside force, i.e., God (LNT, fn s). =Exo 29:4; Exo 30:19, Lev 8:6; Lev 11:40; Lev 15:28; Lev 22:6, *2Ki 5:10, 2Ch 4:6, Psa 51:2; Psa 51:7, Pro 30:12, Isa 1:16, Jer 4:14, Eze 16:9; *Eze 36:25, 26, 27, Dan 12:10, Zec 13:1, Joh 13:5; Joh 13:8; Joh 13:10; Joh 19:34, +*Act 22:16 g. **Eph 5:26, **Tit 3:5, +*Heb 10:22, 1Pe 3:21, 1Jn 1:9, +*Rev 1:5; +*Rev 1:6; *Rev 7:14.

but ye are sanctified. Note: We have here an instance, as Dr. Whitby remarks, of the Figure called Hyperbaton (FS101, Deut 32:42), by which the words are transposed from their plain grammatical order; for we “are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus;” and “sanctified by the Spirit of our God,” as in Phm 1:5. *+1Co 1:2; *+1Co 1:30, Exo 19:10, *Psa 4:3, Zec 14:21, *Joh 17:17, +*Act 20:32; +*Act 26:18, *Rom 6:19; *Rom 6:22; Rom 15:16, 2Co 1:1; *2Co 6:17, *Gal 5:22; *Gal 5:23, *1Th 4:3; *1Th 5:22, 23, 24, *2Th 2:13, *2Ti 2:21; *2Ti 2:22, *Tit 2:12, *Heb 2:11; *Heb 10:9; *Heb 10:10; *Heb 13:12; *Heb 13:13, *1Pe 1:2; *1Pe 1:22, 1Jn 1:7.

but ye are justified. FS18, +Deut 28:4. Deut 27:9, *Job 25:4, Isa 40:2; Isa 45:25; *Isa 53:11, Luk 7:47; *Luk 18:14; Luk 19:9, +*Act 13:39; Act 18:10, *Rom 3:24; *Rom 3:26, 27, 28, 29, 30; Rom 4:5; *Rom 5:1; *Rom 5:9; *Rom 5:16; *Rom 5:20; +*Rom 8:30; +*Rom 8:33; Rom 9:30, *Gal 2:16; Gal 3:8; Gal 3:11; Gal 3:24, *Tit 3:7, Jas 2:21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26.

in the name. **+Joh 20:31, +Act 2:21.

Spirit. Gr. pneuma, +Mat 3:16, Joh 3:5, 1Ti 3:16.

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How to kick a bad habit

The Nugget:

1 Corinthians 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

My Comment:

I heard on the radio this morning a snatch of the news saying something about today being national kick the habit day. I think the reference may have been to kicking the smoking habit.

It is not easy to “kick” a bad habit. But there are ways to succeed in doing so.

One way is by the exercise of sheer will power. You can simply choose to stop in a manner sometimes called “cold turkey.” As a part of successfully doing this you must not make any further provision to practice that habit. If smoking is the habit, don’t buy or accept any tobacco products. You are fooling only yourself if you say you want to kick the habit but keep on buying them! Another part of successfully kicking a bad habit is to not have close relations with others who are enjoying the habit, or at least succumbing to the habit you wish to avoid. Sometimes this way of keeping clear of the bad habit you wish to stop practicing is hard to do. But you can make room in your life for a different or even new set of friends to get closer to, friends who do not participate in practicing the habit you wish to drop.

Another way to successfully drop a bad habit is to experience the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ by reading the New Testament daily for yourself. Read the New Testament until you literally “get converted” to a genuine faith in Jesus Christ. This is not religion. This is not a denomination or church. This is experiencing the power of Jesus Christ in your life as a result of the transformation He will bring to your life as you faithfully and daily carefully read and believe His word in the New Testament.

I know from first-hand experience as a public school teacher at the high school level for many years, nearly four decades, that when I have counseled students who came to me with unbearable problems to seek the one remedy that actually works by reading the New Testament for themselves, that they experienced the transformation in their life that changed everything for the better for them.

I know from first-hand experience as a team member with Teen Challenge many years ago sharing the gospel of Christ along Second Avenue in downtown Detroit that the gospel of Christ radically changes and transforms the lives of those I witnessed to, delivering them from drugs and unwise and unproductive lifestyles.

I know from my direct experience speaking to groups of men at the Detroit City Rescue Mission and the Howard Street Mission that men were delivered from long-term alcoholic addiction and brought to a lasting new life in Christ.

I think I still have in my possession compositions, senior pictures with notes to me on their reverse side, and letters from some of the individuals I have met and shared the message of Christ with who subsequently followed my advice to make a serious daily habit of reading and studying the New Testament who testify to how their lives were transformed as a result.

Reading a bit more of the context of what Paul writes in a modern English translation which brutally spells out the names of the sins Christian converts were delivered from should be highly instructive:

1Co 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals,
1Co 6:10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

There are some modern-day groups among us who are horrified at the thought that someone who was misled into their sinful lifestyle could be delivered from it through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have read that in some places there are laws against attempting to deliver individuals who want to escape such lifestyles. Well, such laws, in my opinion, belong under the category I have tagged here as “Nonsense in the News.” I agree with the Apostle Paul that:

Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Without question, if you avail yourself of the power of God available to you through the gospel of Christ by daily reading and believing the New Testament, you will be supernaturally delivered from the stresses, anxieties, and endless pressures that impact your life. You will receive the strength you need to “kick the habit”!

 

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Daily Bible Nugget #550, Proverbs 19:5

The Nugget:

Pro 19:5  A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape. (KJV)

Pro 19:5 A false witness is not acquitted, Whoso breatheth out lies is not delivered. (Young’s Literal Translation)

Pro 19:5 A false witness shall not be held innocent, and he that uttereth lies shall not escape. (Darby)

Pro 19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape. (ESV)

Pro 19:5 Dishonest witnesses and liars won’t escape punishment. (CEV, Contemporary English Version)

My Comment:

This verse (Proverbs 19:5) was posted on Facebook recently by one of my Facebook friends without comment.

I think this verse deserves comment! What is currently happening on the political scene is certainly a clear example of disobedience to what is taught in the Bible by this verse. No one can get away with dishonest testimony against another innocent person. But this is what is going on just now.

We need to be wise so that we can tell the difference between fact and opinion, between the truth and agenda-driven political propaganda. Once again, you can judge the validity of news reports quite easily. A constant stream of negative reports against a person or a group without sharing the counter-views of the opposing side is clearly “fake news,” not legitimate journalism. It is propaganda. More than that, it is engaging in the publishing of false reports as if those reports represent the truth. Don’t be fooled.

God makes it very plain in His Word, the Bible, that those who use such tactics will be punished in the long run, whether in the “here and now” or in eternity.

When I went to look up cross references for Proverbs 19:5, I discovered that I needed to upgrade the cross references available for this passage. I share my new and expanded cross references for Proverbs 19:5 below.

Proverbs 19:5

  1. A false witness.  ver. *Pr 19:9.  +*Pr 6:19.  *Pr 21:28.  24:28.  *Ex 23:1.  *Dt 19:16-21.  Jg 11:13.  1 S 22:9.  1 K 21:13.  Ps 120:3, 4.  *Da 6:24.  Mt 26:60.  shall not be unpunished.  Heb.  held innocent. or, not be guiltless = shall be guilty (the figure meiosis).  +Pr 16:5 mg.  Dt 5:11.  **Dt 19:19.  1 K 2:9.  speaketh lies.  ver. +*Pr 19:9.  **Pr 12:17.  14:5, 25.  Ge 39:17.  +**Ex 20:16.  +*Dt 5:20.  +*Re 21:8.  shall not escape. By the figure meiosis again, shall be punished (Moses Stuart).  Pr 11:23, 31.  12:31.  13:21.  15:6.  17:13.  **Pr 22:8.  26:27.  *Pr 28:10, 18.  29:6, 23.  +**Nu 32:23.  1 K 2:44.  1 Ch 10:13.  2 Ch 15:2.  25:14, 20.  33:1, 2, 3.  Ps 18:26.  52:5.  59:13, 14.  %Ec 8:14.  Ec 10:12.  Ezk 17:15.  %Da 11:32.  Ho 4:9.  10:12, 13.  12:3, 15.  %Lk 13:2, 3.  %Jn 9:2, 3.
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Daily Bible Nugget #549, 1 Peter 1:23

The Nugget:

1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (KJV)

1Pe 1:23 Because you have had a new birth, not from the seed of man, but from eternal seed, through the word of a living and unchanging God. (BBE, Bible in Basic English)

1Pe 1:23 being regenerated, not by corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the living Word of God, and remaining forever. (LITV, Literal translation of the Holy Bible)

1Pe 1:23 Having been regenerated – Not out of corruptible seed, but incorruptible – through means of the word of a Living and Abiding God; (EB, Emphasized Bible)

My Comment:

It was 66 years ago today, on Saturday, November 7, 1953, that I personally experienced the truth expressed in 1 Peter 1:23. I had been reading the New Testament avidly since the preceding August. I had read the New Testament through two times and was as far as 2 Corinthians on my third reading. On this date in 1953 I received Christ as my personal Savior (John 1:11, 12, 13) by finally understanding and believing what I read in the New Testament. That was the best decision I have made in my whole life.

At the time this happened I was out delivering papers for my Detroit Shopping News paper route, no church in sight. I simply stopped under a small oak tree in the middle of the block on Lumpkin Street and prayed while folding the next paper for delivery.

I know from reading the Bible that, contrary to the official teaching of some churches, it is possible to know in this life that you now have eternal life (John 5:24; 1 John 5:13).

So my message of encouragement to you is, get your own copy of the New Testament, and read it repeatedly as I did, until the Holy Spirit enables you to understand its message of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Then you may have the same assurance of salvation that I have had for 66 years now.

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Bible–true fact or historical fiction?

Is the Bible true fact or historical fiction?

Facebook comment:

“And that why scriptures are the dumbest thing man has ever created.”

My response:

“Perhaps you have not taken the time to get to know the Scriptures by carefully reading and studying them for yourself.”

Commenter:

“trust me yes i have ive read it cover to cover 4 times the subtuigent also torah the dead sea scrolls for 15 yrs the apocrypha and hebrew translations ive did this for my self and took my utmost time in studying it old and new”

My response:

“I’m glad to read that you have spent time reading the Bible. What happened to bring you to your present opinion?”

Commenter:

“comparative study to outside influences, the time period, the geographical loctaions, comparative study of the culture and surronding cultures, and simply physics , and last common sense”

“ i actully was trying to prove the bible right and found the opposite”

My Response:

“That is a good start. I have studied the same and come to the opposite conclusion! I would suggest the possibility that you may not have read one of the classic works written in defense of the Bible and its divine inspiration. I first learned about these when I bought and read Irwin H. Linton’s book, A Lawyer Examines the Bible. I wish this book were still in print.

He suggests such titles as Simon Greenleaf, The Testimony of the Evangelists.

David Nelson, The Cause and Cure of Infidelity.

George Lyttleton, The Conversion of Saint Paul.

Gilbert West, The Resurrection of Christ.

Archibald Alexander, Evidences of the Christian Religion.

Mark Hopkins, Evidences of Christianity.

Arthur T. Pierson, Many Infallible Proofs.

All, or most of the above, are available to download free at Google Books.

Have you read any of these works?

I have found that each of these books most certainly and unanswerably prove the Bible right. I hope you will consider them, as I have.

I have discussed these matters at my little blog at Real Bible Study which I invite you to visit and leave comments or questions for further discussion if you wish.”

Commenter:

“ill take you up on that offer but to contrary thise books sound more of bible aplogist coming from a believers point of view which would skew rational thinking i recommend researching history towards the culture and people that hebrews were around because thise cultures gave way for the bible to exist also compare the content of the bible to eygpt babylonian and sumerian mythos and culture you will find that the bible is compiled of all 3 of these cultures also some peagan rome symbolgy added later i will surly look into those books and your blog”

My response:

“I have read very much on the topic you mention, the cultural background of the Bible and its contemporaneous cultures. I have a huge personal print library of my own here. I have many more books (15,578 I think I now have) in my Logos Bible software library. I was a history and English teacher in Detroit at the high school level for many years, from 1962 until 2001. So I have had a long time interest in these things. I taught at Cass Technical High School where I was asked to sponsor the Comparative Religions Club. I was also asked by the school administration to sponsor the Bible Discussion Club. I also sponsored the Astronomy Club. Now, I still don’t know much about astronomy (but my students sure did!). But I have made a life-long careful study of comparative religions as well as the Bible. But I am still learning, and always look forward to learning something new.

I also taught history at Southeastern High School. It was discovered that because of the way I was teaching my students world and American history, my students greatly improved their reading comprehension. The Principal, Isaac Wordlaw, called me into his office and showed me that Southeastern High School was the most improved in reading comprehension of Detroit’s 22 high schools according to information printed in the then current issue of his “Principal’s Notes.” The improvement was traced to the students in my classes. As a result, I was made a Reading Specialist and served in that capacity for a number of years until I was shot in the head and was off teaching for nearly five years.

I returned to teach at Denby High School where I taught English. I was made a writing specialist, and served with several other teachers across the whole State of Michigan each year to set the writing standards on the MEAP Test.

I have read a number of books by Hendrik Kraemer on comparative religions and cultures:

World Cultures and World Religions

The Christian Message in a Non-Christian World

Why Christianity of All Religions?”

Commenter:

“oh wow i see im dealing with a real scholar so if i may ask what is your opinion on proffessor bart erhmans research , books and papers also have you read any of dr yosef ben yacanaan ‘s work”

My response:

“I am most familiar with Dr. Bart Erhman’s work. I have answered his positions in the past in some of my Internet postings. They may also be preserved on my own website that I mentioned. I have studied the matters pertaining to the authenticity of the text of the New Testament for much longer than he has. I began a scholarly study of this subject in 1954 or 1955 and have a whole walll of works on the ancient texts of the NT, critical texts, and textual criticism here in my library room. I studied with my scholar friend Mr. G. E. Hoyer for over 30 years.

More than that, I have a whole library in my Logos Bible Software, including a work of some 17,000 pages which gives every textual reading from all the major manuscripts in the world pertaining to the New Testament text.

I would kindly say to Professor Bart Ehrleman that he has not done his homework. I have.”

Commenter:

“i must go and check out work but now im at work but i will be checking your work out belive me”

My response:

“Thank you for your kind responses.

You mentioned above,

“ill take you up on that offer but to contrary thise books sound more of bible aplogist coming from a believers point of view which would skew rational thinking”

Two of the authors of classic defenses of the truth of the Bible and Christianity that I included in the list I shared with you above were not Christians. They set out to disprove the Bible and Christianity. As a result of their researches they were solidly converted to belief in Christ and the Bible. The two authors I refer to are Gilbert West and George Lyttleton. Their arguments are unanswerable. I must confess, though, that you have to make a real effort to read these older works. They sometimes write in long sentences and long paragraphs. But I stuck it out and was able to understand them just fine.

I was motivated to begin such studies for myself when I collected a whole shelf full or more of books by atheists. These are long book shelves made of four-foot stair tread lumber. One of the sets I first read was by Robert Ingersoll. I found that a writer named Bishop Watson answered his arguments very convincingly.

Richard Watson, Watson’s Apology for Christianity.

The word “Apology” means to set forth arguments in defense of Christianity by answering arguments against it by presenting evidence for it by using logic, evidence, and reason.”

Commenter:

“ logic evidence and reason are all in my argument as to why the bible is historical fiction and also illogical fallacies i mean evidence as in the racial part of the bible who those people where and what they look like determines alot and where they got those ideas an example of this would be moses and his marriage to an ethiopian woman his growing up eygpt for the most part of his life would bring the question of where moses got his ideas from was he influenced by eygptian thought it would seem so being he was raised in pharohs house like a grandson or son so he would have to know maat and eygptian principals thats just inevitable when one studies the eygptian role in the biblical narrative it couldnt have been a hebrew isrealite nation without egypt so i would conclude that his ten commandments his torah or old testament was influenced by african thought being that eygpt is the daughter of ethiopia sudan and cush just in his exploits alone you can see that his story is borrowed from african folklore and mythos also with the surrounding cities and cultures ie Babylon and sumeria”

“Christianity is simply a belief not historical fact or meant to be taken literal”

My response:

I believe that the Bible account is quite clear that Moses did not get his ideas from the Egyptian culture. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt. God miraculously delivered the Israelites out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses at the appointed and predicted time by the power of God.

An important author, Robert Dick Wilson, wrote on the reliability of the Hebrew Bible. Irwin Linton, author of A Lawyer Examines the Bible, lists them as follows:

Is the Higher Criticism Scholarly?

A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament

Anyone who manages to read, even study, these works by Robert Dick Wilson will come to a profound and fully convinced faith in the accuracy and reliability of the Old Testament.

And as for Christianity simply being a belief not historical fact or meant to be taken literally, I must say that the researches of Sir William Ramsey among many other scholars have totally demolished any such claim.

Commenter:

“did moses not grow up in eygpt in pharohs house for 40 yrs yes or no”

Opening poster commented:

“you going have to fall back from these guys. Nobody REALLY debate with them because their lack of knowledge. They only go by naysayers. You good brother, same your time for someone more challenging”

My response to commenter:

That is the historical record. But don’t miss the further consideration given in the Bible at Hebrews 11:23-29,

Heb 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.
Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
Heb 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Heb 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
Heb 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Heb 11:28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
Heb 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

See also Acts 7:22,

Act_7:22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

Moses clearly retained his Hebraic faith and did not succumb to the pagan influences of Egypt’s culture.

My response to Opening Poster:

I am thankful you are reading with understanding what I have posted here. I hope others will do the same.

God tells us in His Word the Bible that every person is supremely valuable in God’s sight. Just like Jesus said, a person is worth more than the whole world.

Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19:10). If just one person is convinced to believe the Bible and so come to true faith in Christ, that soul that has been saved as a result is worth more than the whole world.

Opening poster responded:

yes brother I understand your point well. Even within Reading and doing my research you are most definitely on point. I myself could have challenge them, but it’s pointless on many levels.

My response to opening poster:

We will find out in eternity how God looks upon those who have been given the chance to learn the truth but have either accepted it to His glory, or rejected it, to their everlasting loss.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Apologetics--Christian, Bible Historicity and Validity | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Interpretation Rule 3 another example

I think I learn more when I encounter a viewpoint I have not heard before. I hope you do too. This post is more controversial, but I think I can marshal enough evidence to both make and prove my point.

Rule 3 of Bible Interpretation has to do with understanding and applying the impact figures of speech have on understanding what the Bible means and emphasizes.

Here is what I consider to be a fascinating application of heeding figures of speech to get the right meaning of what the Bible says:

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

For those who know their Bible well, this statement by our Lord Jesus Christ contradicts what is clearly taught elsewhere in the Bible, unless you understand the figure of speech here. The Bible elsewhere declares that “the earth abideth forever” (Ecclesiastes 1:4).

Now some who are well acquainted with the Bible might object to using a verse from Ecclesiastes to prove a Bible doctrine. In answer to that objection, I would simply state that comparing the cross references given at Ecclesiastes 1:4 will demolish that objection, for the same truth is declared elsewhere in the Bible.

Ecc 1:4  One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

Some cross-references given at Ecclesiastes 1:4,

Psalms 78:69
69  And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.
King James Version

Psalms 104:5
5  Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
King James Version

Psalms 72:5
5  They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
King James Version

Psalms 148:6
6  He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.
King James Version

Isaiah 9:6
6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
King James Version

Isaiah 9:7
7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
King James Version

1 Chronicles 16:30
30  Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
King James Version

These seven passages out of many more I could cite from the cross references given in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury or The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge  or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible should demonstrate that the Bible affirms that the earth shall abide forever.

So much for the current “climate change” hysteria being foisted on school children and the general public that will cause this earth to be uninhabitable within eleven years, which absurd claim I just heard on the radio right before beginning this post today. Climate change is a bogey man to scare school children and uninformed adults who are not well taught in either actual science or the Bible.

Matthew 24:35 employs the figure of speech called Meiosis, also known as Litotes involving a Balanced Sentence where the first statement is contrary to fact or reality, and is used in a contrast to most strongly emphasize what is affirmed in the last statement.

In this form of statement the last statement is frequently introduced by the word but, which helps  to mark this figure (see Isaiah 51:6; Isaiah 54:10; Luke 11:4).

Scholars can wrangle with my assertion all they please (and some time ago I found where they did just that when I did a Google search!). Their contrary opinion only demonstrates they have not studied the Scriptures carefully enough. I have. But they are welcome to come to this site and leave a comment below for further discussion. I am always willing to change my mind if I am presented enough clear evidence that would prove me wrong. Let’s see if they can make that claim.

Jesus does not, and absolutely could not, affirm that heaven and earth will pass away. Surely Jesus knew that He is to reign forever upon this earth on the Throne of David (Luke 1:32, 33). That prophecy alone would require that the earth must “abide forever” in order for the eternal reign of Christ upon this earth to take place (Revelation 11:15).

The expressions used in Matthew 24:35 are frequently reflected elsewhere in Scripture (as seen in the seven Parallel Passages I cited above).

Surely our Lord Jesus Christ and His Jewish hearers, intimately acquainted with the Hebrew Scriptures, were aware of the context, for example, of Psalm 102:26 as seen in Psalm 102:28, something apparently missed by some modern scholars, such as those I saw mentioned on Facebook earlier today who are called “full preterists.” “Full preterists” believe that all the prophecies in the New Testament were fulfilled before or by 70 AD. They do not believe in a literal millennium or thousand year reign of Christ here on this earth. They do not believe that we are to inherit this earth (Matthew 5:5), not the third heaven, for our ultimate eternal abode.

Psa 102:25  Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.

Psalms 102:26
26  They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
King James Version

Psalms 102:28
28  The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.
King James Version

God’s Covenant Promises are absolutely guaranteed as being more sure than the promise that the earth abides forever and shall never perish, so sure are the “sure mercies of David,” mercies above and greater than the heavens (Psalm 108:4).

Psalms 108:4
4  For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.
King James Version

Note carefully in the context of Psalm 102:26 the statement of Psalm 102:28 that the generations “of thy servants shall continue” (see also Psalm 72:5) and be “established before thee”–surely the Bible writers who cite or allude to Psalm 102:26 were most aware of its context and the assurance of Psalm 102:28, so when Jesus states “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away,” His words are the guaranteed words of the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants, which are more sure than the heavens and will certainly come to pass.

God Himself appeals to the promised eternal constancy of the universe (Jeremiah 31:35, 36, 37) to affirm the absolute certainty of the “Sure mercies of David” (Isaiah 55:3).

Isaiah 55:3
3  Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
King James Version

To suggest the heavens or the earth shall literally pass away would violate the provisions of the Abrahamic Covenant (See Genesis 12:2 note in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury) and the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:10 note), which would contradict the very character of God Himself (Malachi 3:6), which is utterly impossible (Genesis 18:25).

If our Lord Jesus Christ is to rule eternally here upon this earth in Jerusalem on the throne of David forever over the whole earth (Isaiah 24:23; Daniel 7:13, 14; Zechariah 14:9; Matthew 5:5;  Luke 1:32, 33;  Revelation 11:15), then the earth as we know it will stand forever (1 Chronicles 16:30; Psalm 148:5, 6).

Posted in Bible Prophecy, Doctrinal Discussions, How to Interpret the Bible Correctly, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Interpretation Rule 3

3. When you come across figurative expressions in the Bible, look for the literal truth they are intended to convey or emphasize. There are many different figures of speech in the Bible. I have indexed nearly 200 different figures of speech found in the Bible in my Bible study reference work, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, and with even more additions and corrections, in my newest Bible study reference work, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury.

The easiest way to identify a figure of speech in the Bible is to make use of the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury or The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge alphabetical index to the figures of speech. When reading anywhere in the Bible, if a figure of speech is present, it is identified in the information given for that verse.

I developed my figure of speech notes for my Bible reference books from information given in E. W. Bullinger’s work, Figures of Speech in the Bible, The Companion Bible margin notes, other writings of E. W. Bullinger, Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible, and other sources.

I believe that the New Treasury and The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury contain the most complete listing of figures of speech in the Bible ever compiled in English. Depending on how you “count” the figures, there are well over 200 different figures of speech identified in these two resources.

Figures of speech are used for emphasis, and are important to accurate understanding and interpretation of the Bible.

(1) There are degrees of emphasis in the figures of speech:

a. Simile; or, Resemblance. FS160A. Psalm 1:3. A declaration that one thing resembles another. “He shall be like a tree.” Psalm 1:4, “The ungodly … are like the chaff.”

b. Metaphor; or, representation. FS119. A declaration that one thing is (or represents) another. Genesis 49:9, “Judah is a lion’s whelp.” Psalm 84:11, “The Lord God is a sun and shield.” Mark 14:22 note, “this is (or represents) my body.” John 10:9, “I am the door.” Allegory is continued or extended metaphor, FS7, Genesis 4:24.

c. Hypocatastasis; or, Implication. FS103. Genesis 3:13. Serpent. John 2:19, Temple. Luke 13:22, “that fox.” Note that this figure as used in John 2:19 is important to the defense of the doctrine of the bodily resurrection of Christ. I am sure that most readers here have never heard of “hypocatastasis” before.

(2) A figure of speech may be a powerful aid to defending a doctrine.

a. Hendiadys; or, Two for One. Two words used, but one thing meant, involving nouns. FS93A. Genesis 1:26. “image and likeness” means “in the likeness of our image.” John 3:5, “born of water and of the spirit.” Meaning: born of water, even the Spirit. May also mean “born of spiritual water,” where spiritual water by the figure Metonymy is put for the Holy Spirit himself (see John 7:38, 39). Titus 2:13 note, “the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” or “our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” The reference is to one person, not two. See also 1 Peter 1:1 for the same construction. “God and our Savior Jesus Christ” or “our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

b. Hendiadys; or, Two for One. FS93B. Involving verbs. Isaiah 66:11, “may suck…and be satisfied” means “suck to satiety.” Matthew 13:23, “heareth…and understandeth” means “hears with understanding.” Two words but one act.

c. Hendiatris; or, Three for One. FS94. Jeremiah 4:2, “The Lord liveth in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness” means “lives truly, justly, and righteously.” Matthew 6:13, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory” means “powerful, glorious, kingdom.” John 14:6, “the way, the truth, and the life” means “the true and living way.”

(3) A figure of speech may be a powerful aid to understanding the meaning of the author correctly.

(a) Litotes, or Meiosis; a belittling. A belittling of one thing to magnify another. FS111, Genesis 18:27. Luke 11:4 note. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Jesus is not affirming that God will lead us into temptation unless we pray to ask him to do otherwise; the emphasis is upon prayer for deliverance from evil, or the evil one. Ephesians 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” Paul is not accusing the Ephesians of having a drinking problem, but emphasizing by contrast, the importance of being filled with the Spirit. Much more could be said to expand these points, but I’ll stop here.

As I typed this up just now, it is Halloween. Halloween really should not be observed by Bible believing Christians. It has been and has come to be even more a high holiday for the occult. The Bible is very clear:

Jeremiah 10:2  Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

Learn more by studying the cross references for the key words “Learn not” given below:

Learn not. *Lev 18:3; *Lev 18:27 <rp. Lev 19:26; *Lev 20:23 <rp. *+*Exo 23:2; *+*Exo 23:13; *+*Exo 23:24, **Deut 12:30; **Deut 12:31; Deut 18:14; +Deut 20:18; Deut 22:5, Jdg 6:10, 1Sa 8:5; 1Sa 8:19, 20, 2Ki 5:18; 2Ki 16:10; *2Ki 17:8; *2Ki 17:15, *Psa 16:4; Psa 106:35, Isa 2:6, Pro 22:25, *Isa 2:6, Eze 11:12; *Eze 20:32, Jon 2:8, Mat 6:7, 8; Mat 23:2, 3, %1Co 11:1, %*Php 4:8.

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