A Voice in the
December 27, 2000
What about the Amplified Bible?
The Amplified that is on my shelf (c)1965 is prefaced by the Lockman Foundation... the same people who a few years later finished the complete NASB.
A good proof-text to consider, to begin with, is Lk2:33. God's Word says, "And Joseph and His mother marveled..." The perverted texts, like NASB & NIV, say, "And His father and mother..." And notice how the amplified says, "And His [legal] father and mother..." It is obvious that the "amplified" comes from the perverted texts...not even mentioning "Joseph".
In the absence of a good amplified, one would be better off sticking with the four English translations that come from the proper texts, NKJV, LITV, MKJV and KJV; and more specifically, NKJV & LITV. Many scholarly types like to delve into all sorts of texts, the perverted along with the good, in order to find God's Truth. But that's like wandering around, eating from the dinner table where the steaming yummy hot meal is waiting, and also rummaging around in the garbage can, in hopes of getting a "balanced" meal! I have no interest in investigating how the heretics were "twisting to their own destruction" (2Pt3:16) the Scriptures, to "shed light" on that which truly -IS- God's Word... if you know what I mean.
Same reason I don't bother reading all the writings of the "great men" of the Dark Ages. Same reason I don't take my doctrine from other authors. And when somebody gives me a URL to some other doctrines, I spend very little time at those websites... just long enough to find out if they are apostate and teaching false doctrine, and I then don't bother going back. Everything presented in VW writings and studies comes from studying God's Word, directly. My only resources are the Scriptures and concordance/lexicon. My shelves are not loaded with umpteen-million volumes of commentaries, and the few books that are on the shelves are collecting dust. If I do investigate some fact or figure, it will more-than-not be from an encyclopedia or some such thing, to discover a scientific or historical fact. God did not send me to proclaim, "Thus said the early church fathers and 'great men' of the Reformation"! No! No! No! He sent me to "a rebellious house" to proclaim "Thus says the Lord God". (Eze3:9,11)
After this was answered, somebody else sent me an "invitation" to check out a certain website. While rummaging around to try to figured out who/what they were, I passed a comment about their views on translations. They were of the view that the NIV is "not bad enough" to be rejected so as to be shunned. And as I thought on that, I realize that another aspect of -this- question needs addressing. The question is asked if the Amplified is "..as bad as the NIV..?"
Let's go back to that garbage can illustration. If something is in the garbage can, it is there for a -reason-. While, yes, there are some who are so poor that they go to McDonalds and such places and rummage in the garbage to find food to eat, and gain nourishment that way, most people do not do so. If it's in the garbage, it's "eeeuoooo!! Yuck!!" But many people treat the matter of Bible translations like the "five-second rule". If that food or piece of candy fell on the ground/floor, if you pick it up within "five seconds", it's still "OK" to put in the mouth and eat. They think it is a matter of "degrees".
God says, "Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help..." (Isa31:1) Now the direct context of that statement is to Israel, regarding how they go about to defend themselves (and they ought to heed that Word today as they presume to negotiate with their enemies!) Where God pronounces judgment on sin, one "spiritual" expression/illustration of sin is "Egypt". (Rev11:8) When Israel was rebelling, they were continually lusting after the delicacies of Egypt. (Ex16:3) And actually, "Egypt" is literally where the perversions come from. It is not a matter of some translations being "better" or "worse" than others; they come from 'different' -sources-. It's like two different games being played in separate stadiums. The referees may use similar words like, "fair, foul, out, penalty, points, etc", but the referee's whistle/call at a hockey match has no bearing on what is going on at the football stadium.
The manuscripts that the perversions come from, called "Critical" or "Wescott & Hort" originated in Alexandria, Egypt, where the Hellenists (Acts9:29) were questioning the Deity of Christ, and a whole assortment of things. When the "disciples were first called Christians in Antioch" (Acts11:26), notice that the Believers came there and "spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus" to them. (vs20) The Hellenists had perverted doctrine, because they did not know the Lord.
So, it is not even a matter of the NASB, NIV, RSV, etc. being "worse than" the NKJV, LITV, KJV. They are from different texts. These two sets of manuscripts are from entirely different "stadiums", with different "referees". The rules are different. The goals are not the same. And the end result is a different destination. It's like soccer, basketball, and volleyball all use round balls; more-or-less of similar size. But they are unique to each event, the rules are different, the method of playing is different, points are scored differently. Which is "better", basketball or soccer (football)? Well...they are "different". There may be variations of ability within each event, but they are different.
Yes, the NASB truly -is- "most accurate"... however, it is most accurate, -of- the perversions, -to- the perverted texts. The Amplified, NASB, NIV, RSV, etc., come from a "different" source than God's Word. That's why they should not even be a part of the Believer's study library, when a person is listening to hear, "Thus says the Lord"
While there is further information on translation issues at the VW website, for more in-depth study of this, if you are not familiar with the historical, archaeological, textual considerations; a visit to a good 'KJV-only' website would be useful. Yes, you read correctly. The "church of Ephesus" (Rev2:1), today typically of the 'KJV-only' persuasion, has a lot of documentation about the origins of the Hebrew and Greek texts, and the history of their copying and preservation; and also of the perversions which entered the picture, and when & by whom. Ephesus is praised for testing "those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars" (vs2)
However, also, be careful. While they have documented the matter of texts rather well, many of them also have "left their first love" (vs4), and as a result are not always honest when it comes to application. [Among other things; many of them proclaim that Repentance is "NOT necessary" for salvation. Jesus said, "unless you repent, you will... perish" -Lk13:3,5] Just like many have equated Israel and the Church, these have made the "KJV" of equal stature to the original "Textus Receptus" collection of texts. They believe that the KJV translators (BTW: of the church of Rome), were even more inspired than the original writers, and thus, the KJV -translation- in many places "corrects" errors in the -original- languages from which the KJV comes. [Editor: even consider the 'logic' of such a statement!!] That, the KJV translators "fixed" what the "holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2Pt1:21) as it was already "once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude3) [Editor: did God not correctly give His Word to those whom His Holy Spirit vehemently propelled (2Pt1:21) as they wrote?!! While many of their Statements of Faith proclaim "inerrancy", by their deeds they show that they don't really believe it!] Thus, you will typically notice all their lists of proof-texts condemning the perVersions being compared -to- the KJV... not the original languages. And so, with this bent, they also include the NKJV in their lists of perVersions. At the VW website, in the discussion of the NKJV I have taken a few of their proof-text references and shown, with the aid of KJV-based study tools, how the NKJV is even more typically correct to the originals than the KJV is. [Link: VW & Translations]
Thus... go to their sites and learn about the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Learn about the early Church's central base of operations at Antioch (Acts11:19-26) which also became the central point of Scriptural manuscript copying and preservation. Learn about the apostates of that time from Alexandria. Learn how God's sovereignty has preserved His Word down through the centuries. Learn the history from them... But beware how they "apply" the knowledge they have so-well presented. Even the translators of the KJV knew it was not perfect.
Yes, in the past we have observed that a person could come to Faith in Christ after reading the NASB or NIV. But, hobos also eke out a living from the garbage cans. The Amplified and NIV are from the same source; one is not better than the other; they are both in the garbage can together. But once a person 'knows better', they would want to dine at God's banquet table. In English, today, that is NKJV, LITV, MKJV & KJV... 'because of' the -manuscripts- from which they are derived.
And... WHO CARES what the unregenerates of protestantism proclaimed and believed!! Just because they have such a huge following in these days, doesn't mean they were correct. Just because they were blind to the so-called "futurist" view, doesn't mean that it isn't Scripture's true outlook. That's one reason I am so glad I never went to seminary to become tainted with the writings of those men. What the Lord leads me to write for VW does not come from -any- other 'men'. It comes from the Scriptures. For many years I was confused about the Rapture, too, because I was hearing 'this' from one source, and 'that' from another. What I now 'know' about it comes from the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart (Jn16:13, 1Jn2:27) from the Scriptures (2Tm3:14-17). So what, the famous men of the Dark-Ages didn't see a pre-trib rapture. It wasn't for their time, anyway. But it is -clearly- in the Scriptures.
--Quote-------- Husseini hints at mosque destruction by earthquake, expects peace deal soon ----------------------- Weekend News Today Lead: Kelly Source: Jerusalem Post ----------------------- "...Husseini said the Palestinians must have complete sovereignty over Judaism's holiest site. He suggested calling the agreement "sovereignty but" - no archeological excavations and no changes. Saying that another earthquake can be expected at the site any year now, Husseini asked, "What would happen if the mosque were destroyed and Israel was still the sovereign power? If Israel agreed to let us rebuild the mosque, there would be a civil war within Israel. If she did not, there would be a religious war between Moslems and Jews." --endQuote-------You see, even the Arabs know that an earthquake could destroy their mosques, and such an event could reverse who 'owns' the Temple Mount. Remember from the recent "Advent -part3" that after the two witnesses are resurrected and called up to Heaven, there is a large earthquake and a "tenth of the city" (Jerusalem) falls. (Rev11:13) Remember that when Christ returns to rule, the Mt. of Olives is going to be split in two, forming a huge valley. (Zech14:4) Rev6:14, 16:20 & Isa40:4 speak of a great 'shaking' where the islands will sink away into the oceans, the mountains be made low, and the valleys raised. You can be sure the earth will "quake" at such an event. And you can also be sure that it is quite possible that God will also level the mosques. He is going to "destroy the idols" (Eze30:13)
Such earthquakes have not yet happened. These Scriptures are not "historic" ...they are "prophetic" for the "future".
Violent Take it by Force? (Mt11:12)
From Matthew 11:10-19 and Luke 7:19-30, what do you think is the explanation of Matthew 11:12?
"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force."
First of all, we must remember that satan has been given the world to rule over. (Lk4:6) He is called the "prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience". (Eph2:2) Our struggle to live before God is not a physical struggle, but "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Eph6:12)
But we also know that he still has access to Heaven. He appears before God on a periodic basis to give account of his comings and goings. (Job1:7) And he also engages the good angels in warfare, as he (and/or his demons) detained the messenger who was sent to Daniel, being called figuratively the "prince of Persia" (Dan10:13)
Now, in the context, Jesus speaks of prophets and those who hear the message of the prophets; no matter in what manner the prophet comes, the hearers not responding. It is a continual warfare for the "minds" and "understanding" of mankind. That's why charismania is such a powerful tool of satan, because it bypasses the mind (1Cor14:14-15), and enters via the emotions, and ultimately possesses the soul/spirit of the individual. And when a person has been recaptured in such a manner, "the last state of that man is worse than the first" (Mt12:45) And this 'capturing' of the souls of mankind is with a militance. Those thus engaged become vehemently angry at anyone who would dare to proclaim and expose their deception. But the people thus-possessed, are no longer in (self)-control (Ac24:25, Gal5:23, 2Pt1:6) of themselves. The "in-filling" spirits take them and "force" (Mt11:12, Lk8:29) them to do/babble various things, and throw them around the room. (Mk9:22)
Another means, which readily comes to mind, where the "kingdom of heaven" is being "taken by force" is with abortion. Jesus likened the Kingdom of Heaven as being "like little children" (Mt18:3, 19:14) If we understand Paul's teaching that children of unsaved parents are "unclean" (1Cor7:14), in other words... "unsaved" or "not of the Kingdom of Heaven", then, what does abortion do? It yanks that little one out of the womb in an "unclean" state, without any opportunity to hear God's "drawing" (Jn6:44) upon the life. They are taken out of the womb, "by force" and are, thus, cast into hell. [Editor: for more on this, please see a past commentary: "Abortion: What's REALLY at Stake?"
This is one passage I cannot claim 'full' understanding of yet, which is likely why I did not address it when we went through this spot during the Matthew series. But these are some concepts which my mind/spirit mulls around when I consider that statement by Jesus.
Now, you reference both Matthew and Luke, speaking of John the Baptist. John was a prophet, 'preparing the way of the Lord'. (Mt3:3) He typically did not have smooth soft words. But rather on the order of "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (Mt3:7) He was 'confrontational'. As we see the "two witnesses" in Rev ch11, we see signs and wonders of the magnitude of Moses and Elijah, causing droughts and bringing fire down to consume their enemies, etc. Satan sending his emissaries to attempt to do the prophet 'in', and the prophet with God's power, being victorious over those whom satan sends. It is spiritual warfare, brought to human terms through the human servants of God and satan. And in the context of Jesus saying this, John was in prison, having been taken "by force" by Herod. And he was ultimately beheaded. (Is that the -specific- meaning of that verse at that time and occasion of Jesus saying it?) The two witnesses in Rev ch11 are ultimately killed by the "beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit" (Rev11:7)
Even today, the prophets (for-TH-tellers/proclaimers) that God sends are attacked. In some quarters... physically. In free societies, it is more verbal abuse. Jesus heaps praise upon "you when they revile and persecute you, and -say- all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.." (Mt5:11)
Any Believer who is more than a mere "pew-warmer" -WILL- receive taunts and attacks. In this world "you -WILL- have tribulation.." (Jn16:33) A person can be a passive Christian, and live a smooth life. But as I experience, and as subscribers write, who take a stand and step out in faithfulness and boldness for the Lord... the opposition -DOES- COME. Yes, indeed!
It is spiritual warfare...for the lives of humanity.
This word "meditate" carries the following definitional aspects...
From Online Bible's lexicon: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1) to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over 2) to reckon inward, count up or weigh the reasons, to deliberate 3) by reckoning up all the reasons, to gather or infer 4) to determine, purpose, decide ++++ This word deals with reality. If I "logizomai" or reckon that my bank book has $25 in it, it has $25 in it. Otherwise I am deceiving myself. This word refers to facts not suppositions. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~KJV uses "think" in that spot. Scriptural meditating has nothing to do with "calming" one's self, or in some fashion "altering" one's mind. It has to do with thinking, understanding, analyzing, and ultimately understanding how to apply God's Word to one's life.
We follow the Lord on three levels. (Ps119:58-59) 1) We look to Him with our HEART, and receive favor through His Word. 2) With that foundation we "THINK" on our "ways" 3) And with such basis, our ACTIONS -- the direction our feet take us -- are according to His "testimonies" Notice the order: heart -> thoughts -> actions spirit -> soul -> bodyMeditation is like number 2
But that state of being awestruck is not "meditation". It is merely the emotional "reaction" to having meditated. Make sense? If you were being "charismatic" your "understanding is unfruitful" (1Cor14:14). Meditating involves the "understanding/mind". (vs15)
Forgiveness for Abortion?
First of all, I cannot presume to pretend to understand what it must be like to have an abortion. Some people, when attempting to be empathetic, will say things like, "I can imagine what you must be going through." Well, sorry. I CANNOT IMAGINE it! First of all, I'm a man. Second of all, I've not been privy to such a situation. It's just like "divorce". A happily-married person may attempt to empathize with someone going through it to counsel them, but unless you've been there, the imagination cannot conceive of what it is like. You that know anything about my life, you know -how- I know this...! And you that have been through it, you know I speak truth.
Along with the gruesome gory details with which I painted the picture of the abortion process, I have also read that there is a very high percentage of women who, after having the abortion, go into terrible fits of depression and guilt, and some even become suicidal. They often need counseling to learn how to deal with what they have done.
I do know what it is to have been married. 'Was just discussing with a Brother in Christ recently, as we were jointly remembering our unequal yokes, how, even though the yoke is unequal, the two have "become one". (1Cor6:16) While there may not be a "witness" of the Holy Spirit (Rom8:16), that oneness allows the two to see into each other's souls and hearts. The unsaved spouse sees "God" within the Believer.
They say that the bond between mother and child is the closest human bond there is. God even uses it as an example of His love, in not forgetting His own; "Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb?" (Is49:15) And this part I can only imagine, since no man can ever fully know this which is totally woman's domain... to have a baby growing inside one's own body. To feel the squirming and kicking. The emotions of the shared bodily hormones as the mother's body provides nourishment for the baby.
And so, as the baby is being viciously ripped apart during the abortion, how can the mother NOT "share" in the horror! As the baby is in that losing battle for its little life, how can that struggle NOT become part of the mother's psyche and emotions! I would have to think it would be multiplied times worse than the ancient mothers who sacrificed their babies on the fiery altars. At least, by then, the baby was outside the womb, and there was no longer that physiological bond. 'Just' emotions.
Dear Lady: (whoever you may be)
[...and co-conspiring husband/boyfriend. Yes, man, if you suggested/coerced it, or condoned it, you are just as guilty. You "..approved of those who practiced.." the deed. -Rom1:31 She might have had the procedure done, and it was her body; but that was -your- child that was killed. Remember that "two become one flesh".]
If you've had an abortion, and you have struggled with emotional turmoil and guilt because of it, those struggles are as it should be. It is part of God's design, to help you realize just what it is that you have done. Psychology may try to convince you that it is now "OK". As they try to help you learn to "forgive yourself". But it is -NOT- "OK", what you did. And you will never be able to adequately forgive yourself.
However, having said that, we now get to the question in question. Can there be forgiveness for such a deed? Emphatically, -YES-!! But it is from a different Source than the world's psychology and counseling.
How much of a heinous sin does it take before God says, "That's it! You sinned too much. You cannot be forgiven!"? David had done something similar. He didn't -commit- abortion, but he did commit adultery, and murdered the husband and married Bathsheba, to cover up the illegitimacy of the pregnancy. In the end, God took the baby's life. The whole situation ended up with the same results.
David comes to God, "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me." (Ps51) [Editor: it is recommended that you find a quiet corner some place and read this entire chapter.]
David recognizes that we are "conceived" in sin. (vs5) Asks for God's discipline. (vs7) Asks for a "clean heart" (vs10) And finally, the "joy" of a restored heart. (vs12) David realizes that there is no sacrifice sufficient to cleanse him. (vs16) He cannot be cleansed by works (Eph2:9) of penance. It is only God's mercy. All he can do is come to God with a repentant "broken and contrite heart" (vs17, Jas4:8-10) Thus, notice: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1Jn1:9)
Yes, I expect that the emotional pain and horror of it all will remain as long as these "former things" (Is65:17, Rev21:4) are in remembrance. Even Paul mentioned his past as he called himself the "chief" of sinners (1Tm1:15) because he had "persecuted the church" (1Cor15:9)
But as far as God's imputation and accounting (Rom4) "apart from works" (vs6) is concerned, "As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Ps103:12) There is "no more condemnation.." (Rom8:1) Due to Christ's accounting us as "justified", even if we have memories... we can have "peace with God". (Rom5:1)
And then, when you are still hurting deeply, wipe away the tears enough to look up Psalm 23, and realize that it is, that "-HE- restores my soul; -HE- leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.." (vs3)
Hopefully, the reader would understand that when Jesus said "neither do I condemn you" He also went on to say, "go and SIN NO MORE" (Jn8:11) God's forgiveness is not 'license' to go do it again! ..or do it in the first place because, well... "God's grace will forgive me"! "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!" (Rom6:1-2) And if you have felt the emotional upheavals and turmoil so you know the trauma involved, well... if you do it again, fear "lest a worse thing come upon you". (Jn5:14)
When the answer spoke of David sinning with Bathsheba, David was a Believer; repented and received forgiveness.
For the person who does not know the Lord, the urgency is not necessarily to repent of all the many sins committed; but rather, the need is to come to the foot of the cross of Christ in repentance and implore, "God be merciful to me, THE SINNER" (Lk18:13) and to be "born from above" (Jn3:3) and receive a New Nature... that of the "spiritual" man (1Cor2, Jn3:5-8), to become "in Christ" where he becomes a "new creation" and everything "becomes new". (2Cor5:17)
Ave Maria song pagan?
Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum: Benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructus ventris tui [Jesus]. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen. Hail Mary, full of grace; The Lord is with thee: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.[Editor: sad isn't it, how the pagans have the beautiful music! Years ago in my ignorance I sang this stuff. One of the most beautiful choral works, by Gustaf Holst, "Hymns from the Rig Veda" was written to the Hindu gods. And, well... that's where the world is uniting towards. Christendom is gravitating back to their "mother" through the Queen of heaven whom they now call "Mary", and the rest are hugging trees and worshiping the environment of Hinduism. I am so thankful for the Lord's mercies regarding my past ignorances!]
Why Christians Don't use the "Ave Maria" - October 17,2002
The following came from a subscriber who participates in some message board. The person is also a church musician (organist), and we communicate frequently. He sent a question from the message board, asking if I wanted to answer it...or should he? I will include to you-all my two-cents-worth:
QUESTION from the BOARD:
Not only is it worshiping the so-called "mother", the pagan Queen of Heaven (Ashtoreth), whom Solomon was condemned for worshiping because he was drawn away by his many pagan wives (1Kg11:4-6), which was called "evil in the sight of Jehovah", and for which reason Israel was dispersed into exile (Jer7:18, 44:17)...
But it ends with false doctrine, which does not belong in any "CHRIST-ian" church service. Yes, it begins loosely paraphrasing from Luke ch1, but then ends with Mary "praying for sinners" and also being there for her followers "at the hour of death". Those are not Scriptural doctrines.
It is false doctrine because...