Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Codex Sinaiticus

Recently I have been studying the missing verses in the ESV such as Acts 8:37. Also why the ESV does have Mark 16:9-20 in brackets and listed as not in some of the earlier manuscripts. I'm going to look at the Mark 16 reference at this time.

The Codex Sinaiticus is dated between c.330-360AD and is called a "complete" new testament, the oldest ever found. As I started trying to look into this matter of whether these verses should be considered part of the New Testament or discard them I came across a reference of Irenaeus in one of his apologist books (Against Heresies Book 3 ch. 10.5) quoting Mark 16:19. The troublesome part of this is the fact that Irenaeus died in 202AD. If the codex mentioned above were the oldest and best manuscript how is it Irenaeus is able to quote this scripture if it was added after 330-360AD by some good meaning but uninspired author? I understand that Irenaeus isn't an inspired author either, but he did quote one.

I am still of the opinion that the Textus Receptus is the better manuscript and older as shown in this case isn't particularly better. That being said I am not willing to throw away my ESV yet. I enjoy the language I'm just going to have to include Acts 8:37 and Mark 16:9-20 and some other things also that aren't found in the "complete" Codex Sinaiticus. I think we should probably stop using that word complete.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What's most prevalent in this world?

All around us there is an anti-God system and it's being carried out by people that have been deceived. Work within this system to bring about change to God. Do not be isolated, but be insulated from this world.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Who sent you?

Dusty idea is have we forgotten who sent us?

Jesus therefore answered them and said, My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me.  (John 7:16)

Jesus is explaining to the Jews in the temple that the things he was saying and teaching were what his  Father had sent him to teach and say. Jesus had a purpose and you could recognize who sent him, if not before the cruxifiction and resurrection, certainly during and after those events. This is an example for us today. If you find yourself supporting a doctrine or teaching not taught by Christ, who sent you? When we teach do we have the same attitude that Jesus had? Can we say, "my teaching is not mine but his that sent me?" 

If we're going to be Christ-like we need to adopt his attitude found in John 7:16. If you decide to carry out the great commission as it is called, will you do what Christ commissioned you to do?.

"The Gospel" is an over used term that has lost its original meaning through misuse. It's misuse includes things that Jesus never taught. Perverting the gospel isn't a new thing though...

I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; which is not another gospel only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 
(Gal 1:6-7)

Paul explains again the good news or gospel to the Christians at Corinth.
Now I make known unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures; 
(1Cor. 15:1-4)

Back to the point of this blog, what instructions did Christ leave us? If we are to follow his example of John 7:16 then we need to find out what he said to do. We need to have the doctrine of him that sent us, not our own. Not what we think it ought to be. Not what makes sense to human beings.

What greater sway can we have than Jesus' own words, and what words could we hear that would be powerful enough to preempt His will?

And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. 
(Matt 28:18-20)

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. 
(Mar 16:15-16)

and he said unto them, Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 
(Luke 24:46-47)

The first Gospel sermon was preached by Peter in Jerusalem. Here is the record of what the hearers of that sermon asked and what Peter's answer was.
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself." And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation." So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. 
(Acts 2:37-41)

Looks like Peter taught what he was sent to teach. We can see who sent him, can other people tell who sent you, when what you teach is placed along side what Christ told us to teach? 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Open letter to the congregation

I didn't write this and I don't know the source for it. But it conveys very well the dusty idea that what God wants may not be what man likes best, especially during worship. Progressiveness isn't necessarily moving forward. Story of Nadab and Abihu is located in Leviticus 10:1-6. Read that first to get the full meaning.

An open letter to the congregation of Israel from your humble servant/priests, Nadab and Abihu.

Brethren, It is with the utmost humility that we inform you of a change of worship practices in your normal sacrificing. Be assured that we are bringing about this change only after much prayer and study.

We have recently concluded an in-depth study of the Law as delivered by our brother Moses that covered 400 days. (We might note that is ten times the length of time it took the Lord to impart this Law.)

We have decided to bring about a change in the type of fire used in worship. We are aware that there is a standing tradition of using only one source of fire, but we, as holy priests, do not feel obligated to blindly follow tradition. Numerous polls of our worshipping clientele indicate the overwhelming opinion that they do not care where we get the fire used for their sacrifices just as long as the service is conducted in a respectful and meaningful way.

We were in agreement with this growing majority, as we cannot see how a change in fire will affect anything in the least about our sacrifices. The animal is still properly cooked, the incense burned. We are of the mind that were we to secretly substitute a different fire it would be impossible for any of the worshippers to know a change had taken place.

Besides all this, we became aware of the fact that nowhere in the Law does the Lord forbid the use of what some of our detractors have referred to as “strange fire.” We feel that the lack of such a restriction was meant to give us freedom. For those who disagree, we would ask you to show us any place in the Law that tells us we cannot do something the Lord has not seen fit to condemn.

We also wish to point out that the congregation of Israel is the only religious group in the known world that willingly limits itself to only one kind of fire. We have become the laughingstock of the land of Canaan and have been ridiculed openly by many groups. This “only one fire” self-righteous policy has alienated us from everyone else. We believe this change will open up many fellowship opportunities.

Now, to set the minds of some of you at ease, we will continue to offer a traditional service using the old-fashioned fire as well as this progressive service with the new fire. As a matter of fact, we may occasionally use the old fire in our progressive service for special feast days. In this way we hope that our older citizens are still comfortable even though they dogmatically insist on a worship style which is declining and we believe to be stunting our growth.

Consider the freedom this new practice affords us! We will no longer have the expense of maintaining a constant fire in one location. This will also make it possible to appeal to a younger audience as we discover more entertaining ways to “light the fire” of our assemblies. (We hope you caught the little play on words there!)

For those who still oppose the use of new fire, we ask you not to be judgmental of new ideas. We also hope you will not use this change as a excuse to divide our people or stir up trouble within the congregation. We remind you that this has been well thought out and the majority of elders have signed on with us. It is true we have not included our father Aaron in this deliberation; but we were well aware of his tradition-bound views and still plan to leave him in charge of doing the traditional service anyway. We also have not consulted Moses, but his humility is well known and we are confident he will want to uphold the majority decision in this effort to improve our worship.

We are very much looking forward to our first new fire service. We hope you will make a special effort to be present to witness a new age of enlightenment in the church of Israel. We know God will be watching and we anticipate that his joy over seeing his people take a great step toward throwing off the burden of binding tradition will be an electrifying experience.

See you there. Bring some extra barbecue sauce, for we think this new practice is going to spread like wildfire!

For freedom’s sake!
Nadab & Abihu, DDLP (Doctors of Divine Law and Progress)

P.S. After the successful changeover in this part of our worship, future plans include the ordination of women priests, inter-idol fellowship activities with the various pagan groups nearby, and a special service called, “It doesn’t have to be Passover to celebrate Passover anymore.”

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Accuser's Role

The dusty idea we want to examine on this post is the role Satan plays in the scheme of things.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been approved, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempteth no man: but each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is fullgrown, bringeth forth death. 
(Jas 1:12-15)

Temptation is a subject that has been sometimes misunderstood.

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.  (Gen 22:1 KJV)

Do these two readings from James and Genesis contradict each other? 

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  (1Co 10:13 KJV)

Isn't it great that God knows how much you can take when it comes to temptation. He knows us better than we know ourselves, or are willing to admit to. I know I feel that way 99% of the time, give or take 1%. He knows how much we can carry around, or lift. He knows our capacity. Went to my doctors office this week and they've built a brand new building. I noticed they had an elevator there with a sign on it, "Capacity 1500 lbs." How did the manufacturer know that elevator could only safely lift 1500 lbs. At some point the elevator had to be tested. At some time during the proving of this elevator someone had to put 1500 lbs on it to see if it would handle it when it received that much weight. You don't really know how much temptation you can handle for sure until you are tested or proved by God. Some of us probably can't take very much, way below our capacity. God expects you to at least carry your own capacity. Using this illustration of the elevator, would you expect the elevator to perform 100% of the time when it is within it's capacity of 1500 lbs.? Of course you would and God expects us to be able to carry our capacity of temptation. God may allow 1500 lbs of temptation to get on you and stay on you, but you see that's within your limit. According to 1 Cor. 10:13 he will make a way for us to bear the temptations if we look for the way out. You see even in the most righteous people we may know of, or heard of, an internal civil war is going on. We don't need to get temptation confused. There are two kinds of temptations, the tempting like Abraham endured at God's hands and the tempting that Satan, our accuser uses on us.

When God tests us, He's trying to see if we will let the good things he has put in us come out. He never tempts us with evil. When Satan tempts us he's not trying to get us to do evil for evil's sake, he's trying to prove you have evil in you and you're willing to let it out. Satan is the accuser of mankind. His name in Hebrew "ha-satan" literally means the opposer or the accuser.  He likes nothing better than pointing to us and accusing us of the sin that does so easily beset us. Jesus is our advocate on one side and the accuser points to us from the other side.

So we see the readings at the first of this post from James and Genesis do not contradict each other. The crown of life we are seen receiving in James 1:12 is exemplified in Genesis 22 when Abraham is tested of God. So we see what the accuser's role is, just as men and women, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit all have their roles.

How does Satan play out his role?

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  (2Co 11:3 KJV)

Two words we need to focus on in this verse. Those words are "any means". What are the "any means"? Well the any means for you and I and everyone else is probably different. Whatever your desires are, that's Satan's means to tempt the evil out of you.

For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.  (1Th 3:5 KJV)

Almost identical two words here in this passage. Paul writes that the tempter uses "some means" to tempt us.  Using our greatest desires as bait to entrap us.

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  (Jas 1:14 KJV)

We're going to take this from a fisherman's point of view. Does it make any difference what kind of fish you want to catch as to what kind of bait you want to use? Of course it can make a difference. Satan has a hook with your name on it and he knows what kind of bait it takes to entice you. The worm that is on the hook may not be bait all the time. In fact the worm off of the hook and out there for the fish to eat is a blessing from God. For an example, last December 25th was a Sunday and we saw groups of people proclaiming Christianity cancel services because of Christmas. People wanted to open presents, travel, be with families and just generally enjoy the day without having to go to church. Were these things inherently wrong in themselves? No, it's not wrong to open presents, travel and be with families, but when Satan puts that worm on his hook and dangles it in front of you, it entices you and brings about sin. We need to know the difference between blessings from God and bait on a hook.

Desire is amoral, it comes with this body. The desire itself is neither right or wrong. You see if you are led by desire you become a creature of instinct. A dog for instance, if it has a notion to do something people would consider private, a dog doesn't care who's watching no matter what he's doing. The dog is acting on instinct. If you get to acting on instinct alone (If it feels good do it) you will have no discretion at that point. Have you ever seen and heard people get loud and curse and make movements with their bodies as if no one was around, (watched any TV lately) or at least they didn't care who was around. These people have started acting on instinct alone, as brute beasts (Jude 1:10).

 The acting upon a desire is where Satan dangles his bait and hooks you and sin results and if left unchecked spiritual death results.

Satan is patient, he doesn't care so much if he gets your fast, as long as he gets you good. If you break the line or break a hook, Satan has plenty more.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

II Timothy 2:15

Dusty idea is that we have to study to gain knowledge of God's Word.

In my lifetime I've noticed a trend. It's possible that it's been there longer than that but I wouldn't know. I hear people saying that they feel like the scriptures in the Bible mean this or that. Like the Holy Spirit is moving through them in some physical way to help them understand or even give new meaning to the Word of God. It's like these people are saying the Word of God is too hard to understand. I need divine help in reading and understanding the Bible.

There is a chain of authority in life. We understand it in our earthly lives. In a business setting there are several types of positions. First there are the owners. The owners wouldn't be characterized as laborers, they own the business and if you want to receive the pay or rewards you have to follow the rules and work hard. The owners are in a class all by themselves by shear virtue of being the owners, creators of the business the workers are engaged in. Then next in the chain of authority are the workers. This includes everybody else from managers to laborers. Then the unemployed. The unemployed aren't working for the company, so there is no reward or payment coming to them.

We should also understand in our spiritual lives there is a chain of authority found in the Old and New Testament. Genesis 1:1, in the beginning God created... There you have the owner, all authority naturally goes to the owner of anything. We're the managers (Christians, Overseers, Elders), and laborers (Christians). People that aren't working for God are unemployed, no reward.

In finding our spiritual authorities we find God giving his Son Jesus all authority in heaven and earth Matthew 28:18, Phil 2:9-11, 1 Peter 3:22. So the authority was passed over to Christ. Christ gave authority to the apostles John 17: 6, 18, Matthew 28:18-20. They were inspired through the Holy Spirit. What they wrote was authorized by God. No authority has ever been given to anyone else as a chain of authority, Matthew 19:28, 1 Corinthians 4:9.

So the gold standard remains the Bible. Written by the apostles and inspired men. No matter what vision or revelation someone is claiming to have. No matter if you have a pastor that tells you God was speaking to him or the Holy Spirit is speaking to him in a certain way, outside the Bible. The Bible is the final authority. The apostles aren't here anymore. That's why the apostle Paul wrote in  2 Timothy 2:15 to STUDY to show thyself approve a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. If the Holy Spirit is going to come and give you what the Bible says miraculously why did all the authors of the Bible waste their time? There is no miraculous revealing to people of what the scriptures say. We have to study to gain that knowledge. We can pray for wisdom, but if we never crack open a Bible we'll never have the knowledge.

1. Know who wrote the Epistle/Book/Letter.
2. Know who it was written to.
3. Know why it was written to them.
4. Put scriptures and doctrine in its proper context.
5. Read all scripture in the proper context of all these things. This point CANNOT be over stressed.

Someone might say, "Do you really mean that God would allow me to be taught by a false teacher?" Yes, God will allow you to be taught by a false teacher. Cherry picking verses from the Bible to prove a point is a major flaw in Bible interpretation.  An open mind and a closed Bible at the same time can be a dangerous thing. Revelation 2:2, Jesus was writing through John to the church at Ephesus. They had tried teachers in their midst and found him to be a liars. Did God allow the church at Ephesus to have false teachers come and teach a false doctrine? Yes, He did and expected them to check what these teachers said with what had been taught by the apostles, the golden standard.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

THE Mistake

There's a big event coming up.

What did you think of when you read that?

Well, if you're a big sports fan you might have thought of any number of things that might be coming up. The Super-Bowl, World Series, World Cup Soccer, maybe a big concert event like Bonnaroo. Maybe you're getting married soon, or have a child on the way.

The big event that no one will miss is the Judgment Day.

Dusty idea is that the judgement day is the greatest event of your existence and what takes place there is everlasting. (2 Peter 3:7-12) (Matt. 25:31-46)(I Thessalonians 4:13-18)

If you ask people what event they are looking forward to within the next year you'll get a lot of answers. If you think for one minute we're not an event driven society, look around you. We also strive for what we term Higher Education so we can attend an event called graduation. Do we have the wrong focus on what event is the most important? How would you decide what the most important focus should be on?

Something that is going to last forever should probably take center stage over something that isn't.

While I understand we need some focus on education, I would still maintain that it shouldn't be our main focus. If education gets in the way of serving God or doing his will, the education focus just needs to suffer.

Sports is something of a temporary nature even for the avid watcher. You name the sport it doesn't matter. When you leave this life or the end comes, sports is over. Music is the same way, no matter how much music you listen to or concerts you attend when time ends, its over.

Marriage is temporary and is only for this world Luke 20:35 says that the people that obtain heaven "neither marry, nor are given in marriage." Marriage ends at the end of this world or at death. There are a lot of things we could talk about being temporary and are just here while the earth stands. I don't have the time or the space to list them all. I list these so you can get the tone of what I'm trying to say.

Not having the end of time as the main event you are preparing for is THE eternal mistake. If you've ever wondered what the mistake is you just can't afford to make, this is it.

Colossians 3:2, "Set your minds on things that are above, and not on things that are on earth." (ESV)