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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Genesis 3:16

While travelling recently with brethren, one of them brought up Genesis 3:16 and how it read in various versions and translations. There's quite the difference, however one very obviously fits the context. This is going to be a very scattered post. All scripture was taken from Bible Gateway - an online tool I appreciate for doing comparisons like this.

First, the KJV ... of which I often get frustrated at for writing things in such a way that seems to muddy the waters of an otherwise clear passage. This is probably not KJV fault but maybe just 400+ years of change in our language and understand and use of various words (for instance, not very long ago the word 'gay' meant happy, yet how many youth today know that? It only took a few decades to totally change the meaning of that word). But ... I DO believe KJV translators had some biases. We must be careful. Even still, I appreciate the KJV ... most of the time ...

KJV
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

This is supposed to be a curse. Will anyone argue with me that a man WANTS his wife to desire him? I don't think so! So obviously in the context of the passage this is not what is being said. Some brethren brought up the NLT which reads:


Then he said to the woman,
“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy,
    and in pain you will give birth.
And you will desire to control your husband,
    but he will rule over you
Message (a.k.a. mess)

 He told the Woman:
“I’ll multiply your pains in childbirth;
    you’ll give birth to your babies in pain.
You’ll want to please your husband,
    but he’ll lord it over you.”

Pretty different, huh?

A footnote in the English Standard Version (ESV) and the English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK) said "your desire shall be FOR your husband" could read "your desire shall be AGAINST your husband"
A footnote in the NLT (posted above with 'you will desire to control your husband') says: Or And though you will have desire for your husband, / he will rule over you.

Seriously? Is it really that hard to understand? "It could be "for" ... or it could be "against" ... completely opposite.


The Expanded Bible (EXB) with the verse the referenced says:
Then God said to the woman,
“I will ·cause you to have much trouble [or increase your pain]
    ·when you are pregnant [in childbearing],
and when you give birth to children,
    you will have great pain.
You will greatly desire [C the word implies a desire to control; 4:7] your husband,
    but he will rule over you.”
Genesis 4:7 that it refers to in the text is this:
If you do things ·well [correctly; appropriately], ·I will [L will I not…?] accept you, but if you do not do them ·well [correctly; appropriately], sin is ·ready to attack you [L crouching at the door]. Sin ·wants [desires to control; 3:16] you, but you must rule over it.”

1599 Geneva Bible
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly increase thy sorrows, and thy conceptions. In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thy desire shall be subject to thine husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

and thou shalt be under thy husband's power, and he shall have dominion over thee.

A lot of the translations say "in spite of this" or something similar instead of "YET" ... your desire shall be for your husband; in spite of this he will rule over you (basically). That and "yet" totally change the whole meaning of the verse. Some say 'but". Some say "and"... your desire shall be for your husband but he will rule over you. Your desire shall be for your husband and he will rule over you.

Check out the Living Bible (TLB)
Then God said to the woman, “You shall bear children in intense pain and suffering; yet even so, you shall welcome your husband’s affections, and he shall be your master.”

Hmmmm.....

NET New English Translation
To the woman he said,
“I will greatly increase your labor pains;
with pain you will give birth to children.
You will want to control your husband,
but he will dominate you.”

 
Wycliffe Bible (WYC)
Also God said to the woman, I shall multiply thy wretchednesses and thy conceivings; in sorrow thou shalt bear thy children; and thou shalt be under (the) power of thine husband, and he shall be lord of thee.

The Voice (what?! interesting) (to the woman) As a consequence of your actions,
        I will increase your suffering—the pain of childbirth
    And the sorrow of bringing forth the next generation.
        You will desire your husband; but rather than a companion,
    He will be the dominant partner.
Well, I think you get my point. Why all the differences? These differences can really shake the faith of someone who puts their trust in man instead of God.

Let's just be honest: women really DO desire to rule over their husbands. It takes a woman that is totally committed to God's will to be able to overcome this desire and be in her proper place. The scriptures are so clear: God, Christ, Man, Woman. So many times in the New Testament we are told to submit, obey, be quiet, be meek, chaste, keepers at home, etc. This seems like bondage to the outside looking in (see my last post), however for a woman that really fears and loves God, being in her proper place is the only way she obtains true peace and freedom.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bondage

So often us sisters are accused of being in bondage because we cover our heads and dress modestly. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard the phrase "You're in BONDAGE!" or something similar, I'd have a pretty decent sized pile of cash. In this post I will be taking a closer look at this bondage I am accused of being in ... but I'd like to start with the other side (of which I used to be a part of).

One that conforms to the ways of this world must get up earlier in the morning in order get ready for their day. It would look something like this. Shower (or maybe it's done the night before). Decide which outfit to wear, being sure to have everything coordinating. Sometimes this involves trying more than one outfit on before one is chosen. Sometimes this also involves leaving the closet, drawer and/or room a bit untidy, especially if pressed for time ... only to have to come back at a later time in the day to put things back in order (or just leave a perpetual mess). Who cares about comfort? Looking good is at the top of the list. Tight waist-lines that feel worse and worse as the day goes on, tight pant legs that restrict the normal flow of blood and sometimes cause the legs to ache. No matter as long as we look good. Fix hair (which could involve various gadgets that plug into the wall ... blow dryer, curling iron, straightening iron, etc. and styling products chemicals such as hairspray or gel). Check eyebrows and pluck what does not belong. Put on makeup (foundation, powder, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, blush, lipstick/gloss ... maybe even line the lips and curl the lashes). Top it all off with coordinating jewelry - earrings, necklace, bracelet(s). And let's not forget the shoes. Which ones match today's outfit? And a purse - if the current one looks off we might have to take all the contents out and swap with a purse that better matches the flow of today's outfit.

How much TIME does this all take? An hour? An hour and a half? And what is it all for anyway?

Now even further - all of these things need a place to live. Dressers, drawers, cabinets, hooks, boxes, etc. Space is needed. Of course all of these things cost money; not only the items themselves but the storage containers too. LOTS of money when all is said and done (but it will never be done). A lot of time must be spent shopping for said items. Sometimes it's easier to pay extra money for premier items rather than rummaging around through bargain bins, clearance racks and other such promotions.

Now for my side of it. It takes me less than 5 minutes to get dressed, put my hair back, put on a covering and socks and shoes. My selection is limited (on purpose ... it's so much easier that way) and my colours are few. I do not have to think about what I am going to wear. Yes, it takes a little time to make a jumper or tunic, however once it's done it's done, and they last a long time. A quick run through the thrift shop might reveal something modest enough to wear ... for $1 an item. No chemicals on my face, body or in my hair. I don't need a mirror to put my hair up and go for days on end without even looking in to one. My clothing is comfortable, loose and flowing.

Now I ask, who is in bondage here?

The inspiration for this post came from something that the brothers said the other day. A group of us went to fellowship with another group in Indiana. The brothers went preaching in Cincinnati, OH and the next day were sharing some observations and stories. Bars had special areas outside (in front) to stand in and socialize but you had to go through the bar first to get out to the special fenced area. The fence was not really a fence but a small barrier which was easy to move and easy to step over if one wanted to. These little outdoor areas were crammed with people, elbow to elbow in such a small space. From within that came a voice saying "You guys are in BONDAGE!" talking to the brothers on the sidewalk ... who had plenty of space.

Again, who is in bondage here? I know the answer because I have been on both sides - not in hypocrisy either. (because there are plenty that say "I tried being a christian but ...." that's just hypocrisy)


Thursday, June 26, 2014

"I'm Going To Bed"

I have seen this circulating around the web and must say it is so very shameful and disrespectful. What makes me even more sad about it is that I have seen it being circulated among professing christian women with plenty of 'thumbs up' or other similar affirmatives.


We are to honour our husbands, not tear them down. Whoever agrees with this picture and says they are following Christ needs to seriously examine themselves. Even if you truly believe this is a 100% accurate depiction of your home and marriage life (and even if it IS TRUE) your job is to look in the mirror of God's word and be the most godly woman you know how to be, not criticize your husband ... which is very hypocritical.

Maybe this 'wife' should have skipped her evening devotional reading and just practised living godly instead? Hear Samuel: "Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice..."

On a side note, many of the things listed on the 'wife's' side probably could have been done long before bed and even long before the husband got home. Toys for instance should have been picked up and put away by the children ... if they are old enough to play with them, they are old enough to put them away. If they do not want to put them away then they should not be allowed to have them.

Anyway, I am just really bothered by stuff like this. Please show your love for God by truly loving your husband.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Modesty Tip

When deciding if something is modest be careful not to compare yourself to the world's standard of modesty. Yes, most professing christian women DO dress more modest than a bikini top and short shorts, however that does not mean what they are wearing is modest in the Lord's eyes.

Just a few short years ago and for all of our human history it was considered immodest for a woman to show ANY PART of her legs or anything much past her wrists. For some reason within the last hundred years or so it is now totally acceptable for women [yes, even professing christian women] to show a lot of their legs, all of their arms, their shape/figure, and even some cleavage.

I ask you to please consider the bar by which you measure your self - does it belong to the world or the Lord?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Are you a 'daughter of Sarah'?

I know I've posted about this book before: "Daughters of Sarah" by Genevieve White but I've just finished reading through it again and wanted to share a few more quotes.

"You do not praise God and thank him for what you can get, just as you do not submit to your husband to get him to change. That is manipulation."

"Women are looking to pastors and spiritual leaders for counsel and advice when they should be looking to their husbands. Godly women are standing in prayer lines praying for their husbands who don't want them in church in the first place."

"God will not give a wife direction for the family. He gives it to the husband, the head." Preceding this she tells a few stories of women (including herself) who just KNEW they were hearing from God yet their husbands had heard something different. In her case, she submitted to her husband and several months later she saw the good fruit that came from it and noticed the bad that would have came had she kept pressing her idea, insisting it was what God wanted for their family. Prior to her submission though her husband said to her, "How come when we are both asking God for an answer, He is telling you one thing and me another! This doesn't make sense!" In the other story the woman kept persisting and followed through with what she thought God wanted for their family, totally against her husband's wishes. Her family fell apart and she was left alone.

"Children need to know that God designated fathers as the head of the home. I believe they do know it instinctively. They will respect his position if they see that their mother respects his position. If they see their mother obey their father and submit to him authority, they will be obedient children. If a child sees a constant tug of war over issues in the family and sees Mother winning out, disrespect for Dad's authority will result. If Mother is setting the rules for the family, disrespect between father and child will be created. If Mother allows a child to do things Dad doesn't permit behind his back (such as, watching certain T.V. shows, eating certain kinds of food, going certain places, etc.,) she is contributing to that child's lack of respect for his or her father."

"In submission, if you are obeying your husband, you are obeying the Lord. If children obey their mother, they're obeying the Lord and their father. You can teach them this."

"Don't feel that you have to make up for what your husband fails to do. This is more deception, another trick of the enemy to bring dissension between husband and wife. You are responsible for your role as a wife and mother before God. There is no way you can make up for what you husband neglects to do. If you keep your eyes on  his failures, you will end up criticizing and complaining."

"It's interesting to note that there are no specific instructions given to mothers in the scriptures, but wives are consistently told to adapt and subject themselves."

"This [Titus 2:3-5] is the ministry God has set forth for women. For all women, to one degree or another. Women, generally go to each other to share their difficulties and problems and to get advice. Unfortunately though, a lot of the advice is dangerous. Even though it might be loving and sympathetic, it is still dangerous. The reason it is dangerous is because it is against God’s Word. It appeals to the flesh, and strokes and comforts in the moment, but does not solve the root problem.
We women cannot give out advice that contradicts God’s Word. For example: advising a woman to disobey her husband. I recently had a heartbroken wife referred to me. She had been married 33 years with 5 grown children. Four years ago, her husband moved out West, after she had left him because of a drinking problem. He called her and begged and begged and begged her to join him and resume their life together. He told her if she wouldn’t he would divorce her. She told me she prayed and her "spiritual" friends prayed and they advised her she was better off the way she was. She felt the Lord was also telling her not to go. And so she didn't." (she went on to explain how her husband ended up divorcing her and she began to question the choices she had made, wishing to reconcile. She was devastated and alone.) "Her Christian friends didn't help her. They gave her advice against the word of God."

In one part she talks of how one can have selfish sorrow - which is not true repentance. "Sorrow because of your own personal failure is a destructive morbid force full of condemnation, that can pull you into blackness and despair." "If you are truly sorry that you have offended God in the way you have conducted yourself in your marriage you only need to ask and receive his forgiveness and begin to walk in the knowledge you have."

"Do not draw your own blueprint as to how God should restore. Just let him do it his way. Concentrate on what he tells you to do exclusively." I appreciate this thought a lot! It reminds me of what I've heard several times: Just be. So often us women are tempted to imagine how we want things to be or, as Genevieve said, we draw up a blueprint of how it will all go in our future. This is deception and clearly going against God's will. We are to simply just be right where God has us - be as godly as we know how to be in the situation he puts us in and let him figure out our future. If we try to force it one way or another it will only end up in disaster.

There is a bit of "Q&A" at the end. One question is as follows: "My husband refuses to tithe. What should I do?" Her response: "Nothing." Now I believe it could have just ended right there :) but she did go on to say a few more things, like: "Too many women are giving money to churches, pastors and ministries against the will of their husbands. They somehow think they are fulfilling God’s Word about giving, but in reality they are in disobedience to their husbands and therefore in disobedience to God. "Obedience is better than sacrifice."

Another: "My husband is not saved and wants nothing to do with anything Christian. Do I have to obey him?" Answer: "I've searched for years and never found a verse that even came close to releasing a wife from obedience because her husband rejects Christianity. On the other hand 1 Peter 3:1 mentions submitting to the husband who "does not obey the Word of God."

Another: "What do I do if my husband refuses to assume the leadership role?" Answer: "What can you do? The bible has a very strong message for husbands. It is true that many husbands refuse to take the lead, but that does not require wives to take over that position. Your husband is responsible before God to live out the role God has outlined in his word for him as head of the family. You are not. You will not have to answer for how your husband lived his role. You will have to answer for how you lived yours. If you try to fill in the gap for an irresponsible husband, you are creating a monster that you will have to live with. If he sees you busy doing all the things he's neglected to do, chances are he'll just watch you do it. You are  creating a vicious circle when you step over the line into a position of leadership."

"Are you saying I should never make a suggestion?"
A: "No! Not at all .... The perfect time to make a suggestion is when you're asked."


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Words of Wisdom in Sirach

A few weeks ago the older boys at church had an assignment to share how the youth or younger men should act or behave in the presence of older men. It was a blessing to hear what all they had to say, but one passage stood out to me. It is found in Sirach chapter 32 or 35, depending on which version you use. I will quote two versions here ... I believe this is a great thing to have hanging on your wall :)

If you are young, don't speak unless you have to, but never more than twice, and only if someone speaks to you first. Come to the point and say it all in a few words. Show that you are well-informed, but stay quiet. 9Don't treat important people as if you were their equal and don't make a nuisance of yourself by asking them a lot of questions.

7 Speak, young man, if there be need of thee: and yet scarcely when thou art twice asked. 8 Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in few words; be as one that knoweth and yet holdeth his tongue. 9 If thou be among great men, make not thyself equal with them; and when ancient men are in place, use not many words.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Guilty as Charged

Some parts of Brother Kevn's message a few weeks ago. It reminds me of what I've thought before (and it seems what many of us here have thought before). When I go out with the brothers when they are street preaching, so many professing Christians will get upset at the brothers' signs. I cannot help but wonder WHY? Why would they be upset that we are promoting purity in marriage, loving our enemies, not storing up treasures on this earth, and so on? After all, these are just things Christ taught. Why is it such a crime to believe we must love others and love God?


Acts 26 – Paul has been taken here before King Agrippa. We'll start here in verse one.

Acts 26:1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: 2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: 3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. 4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; 5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, unto our fathers: 7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
Now why was that a crime? Why was that such a criminal offense? And that's what he was saying. “I am standing here being judged for the very hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers.” I've been thinking about that some. Some of the brethren have been informed, somehow either by letter or phone or whatever, from there former church associates that what they have against us is that we emphasize Christ's words even above Paul's. They would say Paul is where we have the teachings and establishment of the church, so our crime in their eyes is that we elevate the words and the teachings of Christ and that we would even think to put the words of Paul as under Christ and not on the same level as his. Well, I appreciate that. I am glad that they are finally accusing us of something we do rather than other things like living 300 miles away form church or something like that and not fellowshipping with each other or some other ridiculous point that is not true. At least now they are getting close to figuring us out I guess, and the thing of it is, I am not at all apologetic for their accusations. As a matter of fact, I embrace it and appreciate it.

We declare plainly that we follow Jesus, and I am not apologizing for that and I'm not even really going to try and explain that. I mean, if Jesus is who he said he was then we are safe following Jesus.

After all, what's so wrong wrong with saying a woman is bound by the law of her husband as long as he lives – establishing the permanence of marriage? Don't the men and women of the world go from one to the other seeking a lasting relationship? We are saying, “Make it last!” We are saying, “It is there, it's permanent!” What's wrong with that?

What's wrong with loving your enemies and feeding them and not returning evil for evil? Defusing anger with good? Well, what kind of world would it be like if everybody was like that? Well, it'd be a pretty nice place to be, wouldn't it? Another “Hello!”. It's ridiculous [why some would be against this]. It would be peace!

What's wrong with not being greedy of gain? Being content and satisfied with food and clothing? And the world strives a lifetime to gain these things; a Christian, at the very onset, sets these things aside and is content with food and raiment, to seek things of value. The world does not have to worry about the Christian getting in his way. They'll let them have it.

Oh, and when I'm talking about “Christian” I'm talking about the real ones, not the ones that (you can probably finish the sentence) that led the Crusades. That's the first thing out of people's mouths, “Well the Christians went on Crusades!!” No they didn't. The Christians didn't do that. The Christians didn't kill or murder people. The Christians didn't go to war. “Well the Christians are the richest people in the communities!” No they are not. Christians are not interested in material wealth.

What's wrong with putting away being angry with your brother? We wouldn't have any lawsuits then, would we? What's wrong with humbling ourselves, letting others win, not making a show of our good deeds, and after we've done all saying, “we are yet unprofitable servants.”? What's wrong with being truthful and not needing to swear because what you say is what you mean and what you say is trustworthy because of the kind of person you are? I mean, if you swear on the bible, on the very thing that tells you not to swear, isn't that an oxymoron, or am I using that word wrong? That's an oxymoron. Are you trustworthy if you swear on the bible that tells you not to swear? You are swearing against your own supposed religion. That doesn't work.

What's wrong with not looking on a woman to lust after her? What's wrong with a woman not wanting to incite lust in a man? Well I guess we wouldn't have too many broken homes if we did that. What's wrong with keeping our hearts pure? What's wrong with taking thankfully from God and not laying up treasures for ourselves against an unknown future but trusting a God that knows the future?

Why are these such criminal things? It's because you have to die to do it and man inherently hates death. I do too, we all do. But you know what? We are all going to do it. Unless Jesus returns, we are all going to do it. And if he returns, it's still going to happen. Some will experience death forever then anyway and others will have already died. So, we are all going to do it. We are all going to give up. We are all going to surrender. We are all going to die. So really the difference is the Christian has decided to do it before hand. A christian has just simply decided to die ahead of time because somehow he got enough knowledge and wisdom to know he's going to have to do it anyway so he might as well do it in God's timing on peaceful terms with God.

Elvis Presley once sang a song in which he said, “And through it all, I did it my way.” Well a few years later his way killed him and your way will kill you and my way will kill me. But Christ's way will give life. Isn't this wonderful how simple it is? It's not that hard. Even for the unrepentant it's not that hard. The hard part of it is doing it and dying. 

If Abraham would be here today would he have fellowship with the Sabbatarians? If Moses were here today, would he have fellowship with the Judaizers of the day? Those who believe that they need to be circumcised and keep the laws that he told the people to keep? Not according to Jesus. He told the Jews, “If you were Abraham's seed you would have rejoiced to see my day. I'm not going to judge you but Moses in whom you trust is going to judge you” and the reason they are going to be judged by Moses is because Moses would be following Christ. That in itself is their judgment. Moses would be hearing Jesus. Christians simply do what Christ said, just like Paul, just like John, just like James did, just like Jude did, and whoever else wrote the New Testament after the gospels.

The irony of it is (and this is probably going to sound a little proud) we obey Paul more than they do! We respect what he told us because he followed Christ and was taught of him. The Christian has entered the kingdom of God already, that's why it says the kingdom of God is now. Now. That's why it says he that believeth on me shall not taste of death - because he gave up his will already. What do you want? A shadow? Or do you want the substance that made the shadow?

There are so many religions on each side of Christ. I appreciate what Brother Walter said the other day – at noon day a man doesn't cast a shadow. If the sun is over him he does not cast a shadow. The Jews were observing shadows and types of Christ and when Christ got here most of them rejected him. Almost all of them did and then some believed later. Since Christ we have 2000 years of shadow on the other side and it seems like everybody takes their place parking in that shadow and enjoying the shade of it instead of getting a hold of what's causing the shadow. Getting a hold of Him! It's not time sensitive. We didn't have to be there to follow him. Thankfully, because of witnesses, and his Spirit, we didn't have to be there to hear him. And because God left in us a conscience, or didn't allow Satan to destroy it completely, we can hear him. We have not followed cunningly devised fables.

You know, we were talking about this last night, among many other things – if this had been a cunningly devised fable, it wouldn't have had so many inconsistencies because religion seems to be so smart anymore that they have to make every thing systematic. There are books written on 'systematic theology' so it bridges all those gaps and fills all those holes it he bible. It makes it all coherent or mesh from one end to the other. It makes it all 'make sense.' Well we don't follow Jesus because he made sense. We follow him because he is the way, the truth and the life. He is the only way and we are convinced, and we know, that he is the son of God. I am encouraged with that thought! It's foolishness to the world. It doesn't make sense to the world and you are not going to convince them by your systematic theology or your debates with a bunch of Calvinists. That's foolish. The truth has nothing to apologize for and he was truth manifested in the flesh. The law came by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. We are either going to believe that or we are not.

Textual critics would throw out the bible, and they have. That's why so many atheists and these little educated guys out of school are throwing out the bible because in one place it says one thing and in another place it says another thing. Missing God's message. He left those things there to see if we'd love him or love a book. He left the brazen serpent on a pole to see if the Israelites would still look to him or look to it. So many copies. We have 2000 years of copy after copy of a copy of a copy. What do you end up with if you copy a piece of paper on a copying machine one time? Pretty nice and clear usually. But if you copy that copy and then that copy and then you do that 100 times, do you think it would be readable? Hardly. That is what a lot of Christianity is today. That's why we teach Jesus. That's why we follow Jesus and we respect and hold to the teachings of Christ and the apostles, but in that order. Just like they taught us to do. Just like he taught us. It's a blessing just to read through Acts and other books and see, “Amen brother! Amen” agree with what they were saying about Jesus. Agree with what they were saying about salvation. And we even get over to Peter and when he said 'some things that Paul said are hard to understand,' we even say, “Amen to that Brother!” But does that throw us away? Does that cast us off? No. That comforts me because I know that Peter had some of the same thoughts I do when I read Paul. Does that make our faith void because we didn't quite get it all understood. No, it doesn't.

We are not going to be given a test on how much we knew and just how much we understood it to mean and how our theology all lined up with what Paul said. The test is right now and how we are following Jesus – the one that Paul preached. The test is right now in how we are following Jesus – the one that Moses talked about. The test is right now in how we are following Jesus – the one that David prophesied. The one that all of the patriarchs talked or prophesied about in one form or another. All the prophets were talking about the things of Christ coming. We are being tested right now.

I think one of the most tormenting thoughts in hell will be the thought of the very things they strove for, or a striving to live for, or are trying to get, they rejected because they rejected the one who gives it. Rejecting it because they wanted it their way.

Acts 2 – this was Peter standing up with the 11, lifting up his voice after the coming of the Holy Spirit and the believers there spoke the wonderful works of God in many other languages, preaching God and Christ to those around them.

Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

I say Amen to that! And I would say that to all the house of Jakob Ammann and all the house of Menno Simons and all the house of Martin Luther and Augustine and many of the others – ALL the others! I don't care who they are! Let them all know that God hath made this same Jesus, whom the Jews ripped his body apart – this same Jesus that you are tearing apart his body, the church - both Lord and Christ. And he will come again. And he is going to judge this world. He is going to judge all this division making and all this nonsense that was supposed to not even happen, because another oxymoron: loving one another, agree with one another and forbearing one another and calling yourselves Christians. I'm not saying all of these men necessarily, whoever they are, were not trying to follow Christ but I'm talking about the houses that name themselves after them in particular and some of the men themselves. Or the schools that name themselves after them that are trying to figure out their doctrines.

I'm determined to follow Jesus, no matter what. And I have to determine that every day. Every day. And you do too.

Do you want to be content with a shadow? Right down there, turn the corner and there's a church on the right. There's a big one down here across the street from the grocery store. They are all over this town and every town. We want to teach the substance here. We want to uphold the substance. We want to believe it and we want to stand for it. And by the grace of God and all the power he can give us, we are going to do just that. We are going to do just that.

I will close with Colossians chapter 2.

2:1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Praise the Lord! In whom are hid ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! Moses wasn't even mentioned! Paul wasn't talking about himself! He was talking about Jesus. God. 

Let's live in the substance. Let's live in Christ. Let's rejoice in that when someone says, “Well, they don't look at the bible as a flat book!” You are right, we don't. We follow Jesus and let all the bible point to him. “Well, they put the words of Christ above the words of Paul!” Yeah, just like Paul did. Amen. Amen. That's a blessing!

So brethren, continue to be guilty in these things, and may the God of peace bless you.

Some comments from the brothers:
Duane – I appreciated the message and wanted to say amen. I had to think of when the dark ages were ending and the reformation started. The people saw the Catholic church and the tradition that had come with it and everything that was added to it and the wanted to reform it so they said, “Sola Scriptura” or “only scripture” but out of that thinking they developed Martin Luthers and John Calvins and Zwinglis and a host of other names. The anabaptists didn't say “sola scriptura” they said “only Christ” and they lived the kingdom.

Kevn – Amen, praise the Lord. That's why we have fellowship with the early anabaptists when we read them.

Norman – I was reminded of what one of the brothers here said one time when we were talking about people who promote flat bibles and how in the transfiguration it seemed like that's what Peter was suggesting. When they saw Moses and Elijah talking with Christ, Peter said, “It's good to be here, let's make three tabernacles, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” the idea that Christ would take his place among Moses and Elijah. But while he was still speaking a bright cloud covered them all and they were very afraid. The next thing they knew Moses and Elijah disappeared and there was no one there but Christ. A voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved son, hear ye him!”

Kevn: Amen. He didn't say “hear them” he said “hear him”. Amen. I appreciate you bringing that out.