Saturday, February 16, 2019

What is TULIP in Calvinism? by Matt Slick

Tulip of Calvinism The TULIP of Calvinism is the acronym which represents the five primary points which represent Calvinism: Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints. Hence, they are called the five points of Calvinism. The five points "emerged from the Synod of Dort (1618– 19)."1
"The system of Calvinism adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God’s word. It focuses on God’s sovereignty, stating that God is able and willing by virtue of his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, to do whatever He desires with His creation. It also maintains that within the Bible are the following teachings: That God, by His sovereign grace predestines people into salvation; that Jesus died only for those predestined; that God regenerates the individual where he is then able and wants to choose God; and that it is impossible for those who are redeemed to lose their salvation."2
Following are the five points of Calvinism listed, explained, and supported with scripture.
  1. Total Depravity - Man is completely touched/affected by sin in all that he is (in nature he is completely fallen), but is not as bad as he could be (in action, i.e., not all murder, etc.). Furthermore, this total depravity means that the unregenerate will not, of their own free will, choose to receive Christ.
    1. It is the unbeliever who is deceitful and wicked (Jer. 17:9), full of evil (Mark 7:21-23), loves darkness rather than light and does evil (John 3:19), does not seek for God nor does any good (Rom. 3:10-12), is ungodly (Rom. 5:6), dead in his sins (Eph. 2:1), by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3), cannot accept or understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14), and a slave of sin (Rom. 6:16-20).
  2. Unconditional Election - God elects a person based upon nothing in that person because there is nothing in him that would make him worthy of being chosen; rather, God's election is based on what is in God. God chose us because he decided to bestow his love and grace upon us, not because we are worthy, in and of ourselves, of being saved.
    1. Election is the sovereign act of God where, from before the foundation of the world, he chose those whom he would save (Eph. 1:4). This election to salvation is not conditioned upon any foreseen faith (Rom. 9:16) or good works of any individual (Rom. 9:11; 2 Tim. 1:9). The election is based completely on God's sovereign choice according to the kind intention of his will (Eph. 1:11). God chose the elect because he decided to bestow his love upon them (John 3:16; Eph. 2:4) based solely on his sovereign grace (Gal. 1:15) and for his glory (Isaiah 43:7).
  3. Limited Atonement - Christ bore the sin only of the elect, not everyone who ever lived.
    1. Christ's blood was sufficient for all, but not all sin was imputed to Christ. Christ's blood is sufficient to cover all people. But the sufficiency relates to his divine value which is different than our legal debt. Sin is a debt (Matt. 6:12 with Luke 11:4) since it is breaking the Law of God (1 John 3:4). In limited atonement, Calvinists are saying that there was a limit to whose sins were imputed to Christ in a legal sense. They are not denying the sufficiency of Christ's blood to cover all people. Instead, they look at the legal aspect of the sin debt. Peoples' sin debts were transferred to Jesus (1 Pet. 2:24) and were canceled on the cross, not when we believe (Col. 2:14). Therefore, legally speaking, those canceled sins cannot be held against the sinner because their quality of being a debt has been canceled by being paid on the cross (John 19:30; Col. 2:14). If the debt is canceled, it does not exist and cannot be held against the debtor/sinner. Therefore, Christ only legally bore the sins of the elect even though his blood was sufficient to cover all.  Also, consider 1 Sam. 3:14 which says, "Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever."
  4. Irresistible Grace - The term, unfortunately, suggests a mechanical and coercive force upon an unwilling subject. This is not the case. Instead, it is the act of God making the person willing to receive him. It does not mean that a person cannot resist God's will.  It means that when God moves to the save/regenerate a person, the sinner cannot thwart God's movement and he will be regenerated
    1. God moves the heart of the person where he wishes it to go (Proverbs 21:1). The choice and mercy of God depend on God's desire, not man's ability (Romans 9:18).
  5. Perseverance of the Saints - That we are so secure in Christ, that we cannot fall away.
    1. Jesus will not lose any who had been given to him by the Father (John 6:38-39); he get eternal life to them so they will never perish (John 3:16; 10:27-28), and those who leave the faith whenever believers to begin with (1 John 2:19).

Calvinism Arminianism comparison grid
Calvinism and Arminianism are two main theological perspectives that deal with salvation. In Calvinism, God is the ultimate and deciding factor in the salvation of individuals.
In Arminianism, man's response to God's grace is the deciding factor.

What is predestination and election?
Predestination and election are both biblical teachings. The English "predestination" is translated from the Greek word proorizo which means 1) to predetermine, decide beforehand; 2) in the NT, of God decreeing from eternity; 3) to foreordain, appoint beforehand.1 Predestination, then, is the biblical teaching that God predestines certain events and people to accomplish what He so desires. The word proorizo occurs six times in the New Testament, each time demonstrating that God is the one who is foreordaining and bringing about certain events.

Tulip and the Bible

What Jesus said
John 13:18, "I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ˜He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me."
What Paul said
Eph. 1:4,"He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him."
1 Tim. 5:21, "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality."

Dictionary Calvinism

"The theological system of J. Calvin (found chiefly in his Institutes), esp. as formulated by T. Beza. Accepted with varying degrees of modification by most non-Lutheran Reformed Churches, it holds certain doctrines characteristic of Lutheranism, as well as other elements peculiar to itself. Among the former are the doctrines of Scripture as the only rule of faith, of the bondage of human free will through sin, and justification (q.v.) by grace through faith." (Cross, F. L., and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

I Had Never Heard the True Gospel By Peggy O’Neill

Irish Roman Catholic nun, Peggy O’Neill, served as a sister in a religious order for almost fifty years. During that time, she had never heard the true Gospel. When it comes to the Gospel there can be no compromise, because the Gospel is the power of God for salvation.  

I served as a sister in a religious order for about fifty years and during all that time, I had never heard the true Gospel. Certain things may be let ride, but when it comes to the Gospel there can be no compromise, because the Gospel is the power of God for salvation. A false gospel cannot have that power and any church that preaches a perverted gospel is depriving its members of the foundational and most essential message, the message of salvation.

False Teachers in the Early Church

In the Bible we read of the churches in Galatia where false teachers were leading people into another gospel. They were going back under law, for as well as believing in Jesus Christ, they had to observe certain religious laws making Christianity a set of rules and laws whereby they had to earn heaven. Galatians Chapter Three tells us that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law and that He is the end of the law for righteousness. If we take Jesus plus any religious law as a means of salvation we are fallen from grace. We cannot trust in law and grace at the same time, so trying to combine the two, we put ourselves under law. By adding anything to the finished work of the cross, Christ will profit us nothing. Galatians 3:21 says that if righteousness comes by the law then Christ died in vain. This is the seriousness of being under the law–we have to be our own saviors and the Bible says that no man can be saved by keeping the law. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians used strong words to say that if anyone, even an angel from heaven were to preach another gospel, let him be accursed.

My Attempts to Live by the Law

Like the Galatians, I was trying to save myself by a combination of law and grace. I was putting my faith in Jesus but also in my own actions, trying to earn heaven and the things of God by doing the best I could instead of receiving salvation as a gift. The Gospel was no longer Good News, for the burden of salvation was on my back. In the end, I could only hope to be saved in spite of all my attendance at Mass, the sacraments, prayers, and other good works. By offering my own righteousness as a means of being accepted before God, I was, according to Galatians 5:3, making myself a debtor to the whole law. I was obligated to meet a standard of perfection that equals that of God. I had never understood how to trust Jesus and Him alone as my Savior. I had not known that it was not by my performance, but by just believing and accepting the perfect price Jesus paid when He shed His blood for me on Calvary that I would be saved. When I heard the true message of the Gospel, the truth set me free. I praise God that I am learning to depend more and more on the Lord Jesus for my needs, both in this life and for eternity.

Famine in Ireland

A catechism of the Catholic Church gives this teaching, “The Bishops have the mission of p reaching the Gospel to every creature so that all may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments.” This preaches a gospel of works. B y mixing law and grace, the Catholic Church has fallen into the same error as the Galatians. A church that acknowledges much of the truth of the Word of God, but that misrepresents the Gospel is the kind of church into which I was born in Ireland. I was told it was the one true Church and for over sixty years, I never once doubted or questioned that.
The second of ten children, I had the example of good parents who were faithful members of their Church. Were my family to be judged by the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church, we could all reasonably hope for a place in heaven. But the Bible tells us that we will be judged, not by the teachings of any Church, but by the Word of God. “ The Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). In my young days, there was not a single copy of the Bible in our home. Happily, today things in that regard have changed.
Here in Ireland, we still talk about the Great Famine of the 1840’s when the potato crop failed and a million people died of starvation, while another million emigrated to America never again to return home. Ireland in the 1990’s is a land of abundance, but there is a famine of a different kind, a famine described in the Bible “Behold the days come, saith the Lord God, That I w ill send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the Words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11). Those days of famine have surely come to Ireland, yet it is encouraging to know that more and more people have been meeting together for some years to study the Bible and feast upon the Word of the Lord.

My Mother’s Death in Ireland

In England where I spent most of my religious life, I was an enthusiastic believer in the Charismatic Movement, considered to have been a genuine move of the Holy Spirit. I also attended some Christian meetings with thousands of Christians from many nations. When I got permission from my religious superiors to come home to care for my mother in the last six years of her life, I had the opportunity to listen to Christian radio programs where the Gospel of salvation was regularly preached. When my mother died, aged ninety-five, I did not have an understanding of the Gospel so I was unable to help her have an assurance of her salvation. However, I recall with joy her words to me on the day she died, “I want Jesus to come for me today.” These were precious words. Also during th ose years at home, I had contact with a nephew of mine, Tom Griffin, who had a godly influence on my life. He had joined a Christian church and he introduced me to J.P. Walsh who was the leader of a local group in weekly Bible study. All this eventually led up to my discovering the unconditional love of God and the liberating message of the Gospel.
Christ’s Righteousness Available to Me “ Righteousness” was the key word that opened for me the truth of the Gospel. I found the word in Paul’s description of the Gospel in Romans 1:16. The Gospel “… is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth ; …for in it is the righteousness of God revealed.” The righteousness of God–this is what is required to get to heaven. What God demands is perfection: nothing less than His own righteousness. This was something new to me for all I was ever conscious of was my own righteousness and how I could save my soul. I could have been compared to those Jews in Romans 10:3, “ For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.” I was ignorant of God’s righteousness. What it t akes for salvation is a righteousness that equals that of God and I knew that no one could ever reach that standard. This then is what the Gospel is all about: what God demands, He provides. The Good News is that if we believe in Jesus Christ whose death on the cross, burial and resurrection has paid the price of our sin, we will be saved. The Bible puts it this way, “ Jesus who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). In exchange for my sins, God will give me the righteousness of Jesus, God’s righteousness for my sins! This is the Good News, the Gospel in a nutshell.

Salvation by Grace

God’s Word tells us that salvation is by grace alone. I soon found out why salvation is a gift from God and cannot be by works. Isaiah 64:6 says, “ All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” when compared with the infinite righteousness of God. All my best efforts, my faithfulness, my good works are nothing but filthy rags when it comes to earning heaven. I could never earn heaven, so Jesus did it for me. I just come to God empty handed, not with all my “great” keeping of la ws, my penance and my holiness. My dependence is totally on Jesus and what He has done for me. Paul, once a religious Jew who had strictly adhered to the law, came to the place where he said he wanted to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified. We too must come to that place of dependency, not on ourselves, not on Mary or any Church–all our dependency must be on Christ. We look to Him and Him alone. Even though our good lives will never gain heaven for us, there is a purpose in living an upright life in our day-to-day relationships with our families and others. This, too, is provided for by God’s grace in the direction of His Word and the power of His Spirit given to us the moment we believe. Salvation is on the basis of our faith in Jesus Christ, not on the basis of our conduct. That same faith keeps us trusting in Jesus Christ as we walk daily by His Spirit.
I had never heard the full story of Redemption, how completely Jesus had dealt with sin to save us from hell, “ the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). Jesus did not partially deal with sin. He did such a complete and finished work that all sin was blotted out and washed away by His precious blood. Sin, past, present and future, even those sins not yet committed were forgiven two thousand years ago when Jesus died on that cross on Calvary. God does not keep a record of the believer’s sins. “ I, even I, am he who blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and I will not remember thy sins” (Isaiah 43:25). The debt of sin has been completely paid, yet not everyone will be saved. There is one thing that will send people to hell. Jesus Himself spoke about it in John 16:9, “ they believe not on Me”, a rejection of Jesus and the salvation He gained for us. God does not violate the will of any person, nor is salvation automatic. Man is born condemned, separated from God as a son of Adam, but God’s will is for all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For those who believe in Christ, “There is therefore now no comdemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

God’s Justice Satisfied

“ The jury is still out” is what a priest recently said in this context. According to Romans Chapter Three, the jury has already pronounced the verdict, “Guilty”. “ There is none righteous, no, not one.” The religious and the unreligious are all guilty before God. In His justice, God had to impose a penalty for sin, and since man could never pay that penalty, God in His love found a way to do for us what we ourselves could not do. He gave His Son, Jesus, who took all the blame for us and in our place He was condemned to death. He died on the cross. Jesus was forsaken by His Father. He descended into hell and took from Satan the keys of hell and death. The heavenly courts of eternal justice were satisfied and the believer’s debt was fully paid. On the third day Jesus was raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit, Jesus the first born-from the dead, the first born of many brethren. Man must accept Jesus’ sacrifice to be saved and when he does, God accepts him on the basis of His Son’s righteousness.

Relationship with God Restored in Christ

As time went on, I saw that in the Scriptures our relationship with God is based on both God’s grace and faith. His plan for our salvation is that we should believe in Christ Jesus by grace through faith. “ For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Faith is not a gift we get from our parents or from the church, “ Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17). In God’s plan for salvation, faith itself, by which we trust only on Christ and His completed work, is of itself the work of God. This was the message Jesus gave the people in John 6:28-29 when they asked what they should do that they might work the works of God. Jesus said to them, “ This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom he [God] has sent”. I would have said that I had always believed in Jesus, yet now I realize that I had not known the real Jesus, the Jesus revealed in the Scriptures. I had known nothing of the gift of righteousness He had to offer or of the complete forgiveness of sin brought about by His death and resurrection. Titus 1:16 says, “ They profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him…” I was carrying out religious practices that showed that I did not know Him. I thought it was essential for my salvation to attend Mass because I had not fully accepted His propitiatory sacrifice on the Cross. I sought forgiveness for sin in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, not knowing that Jesus had already reconciled me to God. As well as depending on Jesus, I also depended on Mary , the saints, my penances and good works, my hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, rosaries, scapulars, indulgences, purgatory. Paul uses a word to describe the value of anything we try to do to add to the work of Jesus, it is the word “ dung” (Philippians 3:8). All our good works are displeasing to God if offered as a means of gaining heaven for ourselves or for others, implying that what Jesus did on Calvary was not enough.

Repentance from Dead Works

According to Hebrews 6:1, one of the foundations of the Christian life is repentance or turning away from dead works. By dead works is meant religious practices and good works performed either by oneself or through the ministry of the church so as to obtain salvation. All these works, no matter how righteous, are the filthy rags referred to in Isaiah 64:6. They are what is called religion and religion is man’s counterfeit for Jesus Christ. There is no promise in the Bible that says religious people will go to heaven. On the contrary, Jesus called the most religious people on earth in His time, the Pharisees, to repentance. The Bible tells us that to be declared righteous before God, the first thing we must do is stop working for it. This was very strange to me, who as a Catholic had been led to put so much emphasis on my own performance as well as on the ministry of priests. Once heard, the Word of God must take first place and God’s Word in Romans 4:5 left me in no doubt, “ But to him that worketh not but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
I had never really believed, as I had never accepted salvation as a gift. By God’s mercy, I was convicted of the sin of not totally trusting in Jesus and His finished work. I repented from dead works and from trusting in my own righteousness and I accepted the finished work of Jesus on the cross. I had now really heard the Word of salvation and with the Word came God’s gift of supernatural faith. As in 2 Corinthians 4, I believed therefore I spoke and committed my life to Jesus Christ trusting in Him as my Savior. At that instant, God imparted to me His righteousness. In my new born-again spirit, I was as righteous as God, not because of any goodness of mine but because of Jesus. What had happened to me is described in 2 Corinthians 5:17. I experienced salvation. I was born again in the way that Jesus said to Nicodemus, “ you must be born again”. I was baptized with the only baptism that bring s salvation, identification with Jesus Christ. For the first time I knew that my name was written in the Lamb’s Bo ok of Life.

Baptism into Jesus Christ

What had happened to me is what the Bible calls baptism into Jesus Christ. Romans 6:3 , “ As many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death”. Galatians 3:27 “ for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” There was no external ceremony, no priest, no godparents. It was a matter between God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and me. I had received the one baptism that is necessary for salvation.
A short time afterwards I was baptized by immersion in the Atlantic Ocean at a place called Banna Strand in my native County Kerry. This baptism in water by immersion is an expression of the inner change that had already taken place in my spirit. It was a public confession of my belief in Jesus Christ as Savior and a showing forth of His death, burial and resurrection. Baptism in water does not make a person a Christian, it shows that he already is a Christian. The Catholic Church has lost this truth of the baptism into Jesus Christ, the baptism that translates us from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God. For this reason it can be said that many Catholics are Christian only in name.

Catholic Infant Baptism

Paul in reference to the baptism into Jesus, speaks in Colossians 2:11 of the circumcision of the heart, a circumcision made without hands. I was one day old when I was taken to the local Catholic Church to be baptized. The hands of the priest signed me with the sign of the cross, anointed me with oil and chrism and put salt on my lips. There was a laying on of hands and hands were used to pour water on my head. My baptism, outwardly a beautiful and symbolic ceremony, was in reality nothing but an empty ritual. Baptism in water is a biblical ordinance that Christians obey after believing in Jesus. In the Acts of the Apostles 10:44-47, there is an example of Christian baptism for New Testament believers. In verse 47, baptism in water is given only after Cornelius and his household were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. In Ireland there was an incident recently where a baby died, days before it was to be baptized. That the baby died without baptism added to the parents grief. The Catholic Church in her liturgy could only invite them to trust in the mercy of God and pray for their child’s salvation. However, according to the Word of God, that child went straight to heaven. It is true that everyone is born in original sin (in Adam), but Romans 5:13 tells that “ sin is not imputed where there is no law”. The law does not apply until a child comes to t he use of reason or the age of discernment. Paul wrote, “ For I was alive apart from the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died” (Romans 7:9). The false doctrines relating to baptism are a betrayal of the trust of millions of sincere Catholics who are misled as to their true standing before God in an area where their quality of life here on earth and their eternity is at stake. Until about eight years ago, I would have strongly opposed anything said against the Catholic Church, and even as I set about writing this testimony, my intention was to avoid any adverse criticism. But things have not worked out that way and any criticism of mine is only of the system into which I was born.

Understanding the Bible

Some people say that the Bible is hard to understand and this is true if one fails to grasp certain foundational truths. One of those truths is the concept that man is a spirit being with a soul (mind, will emotions) and he lives in a body. In I Thessalonians 5:23 we see how God divides man, “spirit, soul and body” and Hebrews 4:12 talks about the Word of God “ piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit”. Catholic doctrine attributes to the soul what t he Bible attributes to the spirit making no distinction between the two. Without a knowledge of this distinction, there was much in the Bible that I could not understand. I could not understand Scripture truths like the righteousness of the believer or “as He is, so are we in this world”. To live the Christian life it i s important to know how our spirit, soul and body function and relate to one another so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, the recreated spirit may dominate the body and soul which will not be free from the presence of sin until the believer experiences physical death.
Some time ago, a story was told in our church of a poor man who owned one field. He had barely enough to live on, but had he known, he could have been a wealthy man, for underneath that field was an oil well. This man’s story is that of many of us Christians today. Inside us is a spiritual “oil well”, and we are not aware of the limitless resources of God within us. It is possible that the early Christians knew and lived by the power of the Holy Spirit that was available in their born-again spirits. With the true Gospel message, they turned the then known world upside down in the first twenty to thirty years of Christianity. In our born-again spirits, God has provided everything we need and His life will be manifested through our lives to the degree that we renew our minds with His Word and use the grace He makes available moment by moment. The Bible tells us in I Corinthians 1:30 that Jesus “ …is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” .

My Religious Order

At seventeen, I left home to enter the Order of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary. This is an International Order founded by Fr. Jean Pierre Gailhac at Beziers in the South of France. I spent the first seven years of my religious life in France and then after training as a teacher in England, I devoted thirty-five years to teaching in parish schools governed by the Local Education Authority. Side by side with life as a teacher was my religious life considered by me to be the highest calling. During all my years in the convent, I never had any reason to think otherwise. After the period of six years at home caring for my mother, I would have returned to the convent to work and share with the nuns I respected, loved and knew so well. A younger sister of mine, Carmel, is a member of the order and she is presently teaching African children in Zambia. However, it was not possible for me to return to the convent as I no longer could agree with the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church. Soon, I no longer viewed the religious life as being the highest calling. Richard Bennett, once a Dominican priest writing in an article, “Is the Religious Form of Life Designe d by God?”, says that the Bible has ordained only three different institutions: the family, the church and the state. Religious life could not be reconciled with the Word of God.

Freed from the Law

Having been under law for so much of my life, the Epistle to the Galatians is of particular interest to me. In addition to being subject to the Ten Commandments and other church laws, religious life has its own rules, constitutions and vows. The Bible, however, speaks of only one law for New Testament believers, not the law of works, but the law of Jesus Christ, a law written on our hearts. Jesus Himself is the reality of the Mosaic Law which like everything else in the Old Covenant was only a type and shadow of things to come. “The Commandments of Ordinances were nailed to the Cross”, and the part that remained was the spirit a nd intent of the law – that we love God with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves. This law is the very nature of Jesus Himself living today through an individual in the flesh. He is not looking at our outward observances. He wants to find people who yield themselves to Him so completely that He can live His nature in them from the inside out. We have a description of the nature and character of Jesus in Galatians 5:22-23, “ the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control”. On earth Jesus was a living manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit. This is not a list of pleasant qualities that improve our personalities, but the character of Jesus Christ. In our lives it is manifested when by grace through faith we allow His Spirit rather than our sinful natures to be in control. Romans 8:29 says that God has predestined believers to be conformed to the image of His Son. In our lives there can be joy instead of discouragement, peace rather than confusion and strife, the loving, wholesome word instead of the impatient or unkind word.
Instead of subjecting ourselves to the law of Moses, we let Christ live His life in us through His Spirit who enables us in our weakness. This is the law Jesus referred to in Matthew 5, “ that whoever shall do it and teach by example shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Religious life with its rules and vows is not God’s way as defined in the Scriptures. Religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience are not found in Scripture. Jesus directs us in Matthew 5:34-37, “. .Swear not at all, neither by heaven, for it is God’ s throne, nor by the earth, for it is his footstool…neither shalt thou swear by thy head…but let your communication be ‘Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatever is more than these cometh of evil.” What is spoken of in the New Testament is the priesthood of all believers. Peter writes that every true believer is a member of a “ royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). Jesus is our High Priest and beli evers in Christ are priests with a divine call and purpose to offer up spiritual sacrifices, the sacrifice of a yielded heart, offering praise to God in all things and invited to a ministry of intercession on behalf of others.

One Mediator, Jesus Christ

The Epistle to the Hebrews was written to bring people from the Old Covenant way of serving God into the New Covenant realities that Jesus Christ brought into effect. Sad to say, the transition has not yet been made two thousand years later. The Catholic Church still has the law and the priesthood. In her liturgy there is the sacrifice and the altar, priestly vestments, incense, candles, all of which were essential to Jewish religion and worship. These were Old Testament types and shadows of things to come. The Catholic Church has Christianized Judaism and not come into the New Covenant established by the finished work of Jesus on the Cross. For years, at Mass, I heard the words, “This is the blood of the New and Everlasting Coven ant.” I knew little or nothing about that Covenant. I was operating under an Old Covenant mentality. The Catholic Church ordains priests to perpetrate the Sacrifice of the Cross, claiming that God still needs to be appeased for sin. To quote from a Catholic catechism, “Each sac rifice of the Mass appeases God’s wrath against sin.” Contrary to this, God says in His Word, “ So have I sworn that I would not be wrath with you or rebuke you.” And in Hebrews 8:12, “ I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more”.

A priesthood and sacrifice of atonement to cover for a broken law were imperative under the Mosaic

Law, but in New Testament times, there is no law, no priesthood (apart from the priesthood of believers) and no sacrifice (Jesus Christ paid the sin debt in full). We no longer need priests to stand before God as mediators, nor has any believer more direct access to God than another. We are all invited to come boldly to the throne of grace, to come to our Father, standing in the righteousness of His Son which is imputed to all who believe in Him. We can directly worship, find mercy and help in every need. Like so many men and women in religious orders, priests are men whose desire is to love and serve God, but the Roman Catholic priesthood dishonors Jesus Christ and His once-for-all Sacrifice on Calvary. Their role as mediators usurps the present-day ministry in heaven of Jesus Christ, our only Mediator, Advocate and High Priest.


The same can be said of the place given to Mary, the mother of Jesus. She is given titles that rightly belong to God, even the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. She is called Mother of Mercy , the All Holy, Mother of the Living, Seat of Wisdom, Gate of Heaven, Advocate, Mediatrix, Co-Redeemer, the litany goes on and on. Pope Benedict XIII wrote, “The Blood shed for us an d those members which He offered to the Father, the wounds He received as the price of our liberty are no other than the flesh and blood of Mary. Thus she with Christ redeemed mankind.” Medical science, however , confirms that a child gets its blood from the father.
Therefore, the blood of Jesus was the blood of God (Acts 20:28) the precious blood of the Everlasting Covenant. We were redeemed with “ the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19). Pope Paul VI in “The Credo of the People of God” gave Mary her newest title, Mary, Mother of the Church. In John 19:27, the words of Jesus from the cross, “ Behold thy mother!” , are interpreted as a declaration of Mary to be mother over the whole church. It is significant that in John’s three epistles there is not even a mention of Mary’s name, neither is there a reference to her in any of the other New Testament epistles which were written to the churches for guidance in matters of doctrine, worship, and church discipline. Had John interpreted the words of Jesus from the cross as the Catholic Church has done, he would surely have exhorted people to look upon Mary as their mother to whom they could entrust their cares and petitions.
There is no biblical evidence of anyone praying to Mary or giving her the hyperdulia type of veneration recommended by the Catholic Church. The present Pope, John Paul II, speaking of Mary’s suffering said, “It was on Calvary that Mary’s suff ering beside the suffering of Jesus reached an intensity which can hardly be imagined from a human point of view, but which was mysteriously and supernaturally fruitful for the redemption of the world.” It is not surprising that a church which emphasizes the necessity of good works for salvation would find in Mary a supreme example of human merit. Notwithstanding her exalted position in Catholicism, Mary was a human being and like any believer, she performed works of righteousness during her lifetime. However, the words of Isaiah 64:6 apply to her, the same as to all mankind, “ All our righteous nesses are as filthy rags.” Mary’s suffering therefore could make no contrib ution to the redemption of the world. With no support from God’s Word, the Catholic Church in numerous papal encyclicals has loaded Mary with every honor, unrestrainedly exalting her power and excellency thereby laying the foundation on which has been built the great edifice of Mariolatry–the idolatrous worship of Mary. We thank God for Mary, a wonderful woman of faith and obedience to God. Elizabeth in her greeting said, “Blessed is she that believed”.
For centuries, Satan has been using a counterfeit Mary to deceive millions of devout Catholics. Deception was the device he used in the Garden of Eden when he tempted Eve and it is the device he uses today. The Bible, in 2 Corinthians 11:14, tells us that Satan comes as an angel of light. Examples of this are apparitions at places like Lourdes and Fatima. People are called to pray the rosary, do penance, make reparation to Mary’s “ Immaculate” heart. Only fai th in Jesus Christ can save us, there is nothing we can do apart from Him that has eternal value. These messages are lies of Satan, twisting the truth of the Gospel. The only means of uncovering these deceptions is the Word of God. Jesus Himself dealt with the temptations of Satan in the wilderness by using the words of Scripture (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).

The Good News

At one of the last provincial assemblies of the order which I attended while still a religious, I remember a Scripture that was read: “ See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, and to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). Jeremiah lived to see this prophecy come true. People world-wide as they hear the Gospel and look to the Word of God for truth, are able by the grace of God, to leave behind religious traditions and unbiblical beliefs long held sacred by themselves, their fathers and their forefathers. New wine has to be put into new wineskins. People are leaving denominational churches, each with its own particular religious laws which only serve to divide the Body of Christ, and coming out into fresh ground to live the Christian life as outlined in the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles.
In Romans we read of Gentiles, sinners who were not seeking after God but who were made righteous by faith, while the religious Jews who were very zealous, doing everything they could, were not made righteous before God. The religious Jews were holy and zealous but misdirected as it says in Romans 10.2, “ They have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” Some people find it hard to accept salvation as a gift. “That makes it too easy”, was one comment I hear d. And another, “There must be a catch somewhere.” Obviously for some, the Good News is t oo good to be true. That salvation is unmerited and undeserved is the offence of the Gospel. That is what upset the Jews in Jesus’ day and what upsets religion today. Religious Jews crucified Christ and persecuted the early Church and it is still religious people today who come out against the Gospel. Good people who want to maintain their own goodness are sometimes hard to reach with the true Gospel. For them, the Good News becomes bad news. If God were to ask us what we had done to entitle us to enter heaven, a true Christian would say it was nothing he had done, but that he had put all his trust in Jesus. An axiom to remember is: “Religion is built on what man does for God. Christianity is built on what God has done for man.”

The Great Commission

Before ascending into heaven, Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples, “Go into t he whole world and preach the Gospel.” God has given us a ministry of reconciliation and we need to make sure that we ourselves have the true message described in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. We are not to be engaged in reconciling people to God either by the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) or by any other action of man. Reconciliation is something that happened at the Cross of Calvary. In 2 Corinthians 5:20 we read that we are to be ambassadors for Christ, His personal representatives, pleading with people to be reconciled to God. God is extending the hand of friendship to us. Will you grasp that Hand, will you believe in what God says His Son did for you on Calvary? Will you repent of your dead works and accept God’s gift of Righteousness in order to be saved?
To carry out this ministry, Jesus told His first ambassadors to wait until they would be “endued with power from on high.” Here Jesus was referring to t he baptism in the Holy Spirit, He Himself being the Baptizer. His disciples needed the power of the Holy Spirit that would enable them to preach the Gospel. Like them, we all need the special anointing of the Holy Spirit to help us to carry out our ministry, “ Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6). The Holy Spirit is now here on this earth convicting the world of sin. The sin He is most concerned with is the refusal to believe in Jesus Christ and His work of salvation. Our ministry is to tell the Good News to everyone we can. The price of redemption for all men has been paid. Forgiveness is available to all who will believe. Peace is possible even in this life. It is the responsibility of every believer as an ambassador for Jesus Christ to make known to the world, the Good News of the true Gospel.

The Power of the True Gospel

Ever since I came to know Jesus, my desire has been to share with others about the salvation we have in Jesus. “ There is none good but one, that is God” (Matthew 19:17). Once we understand this truth, we know we cannot depend on ourselves or any person living or dead. We need Jesus and belief in Him is what God asks of us. My favorite salvation Scripture is what Jesus Himself said to Nicodemus, “ Unless a man is born again he cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Being born again and believing in Jesus is ther efore one and the same. I had often heard the story of Nicodemus but it took over sixty years for me to understand the message. I had followed the traditions and doctrines of men never asking myself what Jesus meant by the term ‘born again’. Jesus referred Nicodemus to the brazen serpent that was lifted up by Moses in the desert, symbolic of Himself Who would be lifted up on the Cross. Believe in Jesus and you will be born again, you will be saved.
The first Christians preached with great power as we are told in the Acts of the Apostles and Paul said that his message was not with wise, persuasive words but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power so that people’s faith might not be in men but in the power of God. The Gospel is not only about what Jesus did two thousand years ago but about what He is doing today. It is the power of God to those who believe.

A Message for the Reader

In this testimony, I have taken the opportunity to share some of the truths from God’s Word that were unknown to me for years. I wish to conclude by returning to the wonderful message of the true Gospel. It is a simple message, yet one that is hidden from millions of people today. The Gospel is the story of the power of the precious blood of Jesus, shed for you on the cross at Calvary, “The Story of the Great Exchange ”, God’s righteousness for our sins! For he hath made him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Dear reader, the moment you are convicted of your sin and see that there is no way to save yourself, that salvation is only possible by believing in the finished work of Jesus Christ–His death, burial and resurrection–is the moment of your salvation. You can know for certain that heaven is yours for all eternity. It is the grace of God made available to us as a gift that is received by faith, “ while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God is faithful to all who seek Hi m, “ a broken and a contrite heart, O God thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 51:17). “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

James Crichton V.C.

Cautiously, Private James Bell Crichton commenced
his nerve-shredding task. As he removed explosives
from under the bridge, he was isolated, totally alone
and operating close to the enemy lines. It would take
Crichton several solid hours to complete the mission.

James 'Scotty' Crichton was born into a humble home
on 75 Woodburn Road, Carrickfergus in the province of
Ulster on 15th July 1879. His parents were Scots/Irish,
and later they moved to the little hamlet of Northrigg, near
Blackridge, Lothian, Scotland. His upbringing was tough.
By the time the little fellow was ten he was working as a
miner in the local coalpit. In his environment of danger
and strenuous labour, little James gradually developed
the courage and character for his later exploits.

At the age of sixteen, James Crichton left mining to
enlist in the Royal Black Scots; two years later he
transferred to the Cameron Highlanders, joining at
Edinburgh Castle. His plan was to seek adventure,
for South Africa to fight in the second Boer War.
Between 1899 and 1902, Crichton would receive five
clasps to the South Africa medal for his service.

Always on a quest for excitement, upon returning from
fighting the Boers, James Crichton then emigrated to
New Zealand.  A period of civilian life followed until the
outbreak of the First World War in 1914. James
re-enlisted, this time with the New Zealand
Expeditionary Force in Auckland. He was first posted to
Gallipoli in 1915, then to the Western Front in 1916 with
The 1st Field Bakery NZ Army Service -- a coveted posting
in which most soldiers would have wanted to remain.
But, Crichton was no ordinary soldier; he transferred to
the 3rd Entrenching Battalion -- a back breaking choice.
However not experiencing action, he went a step further.

In seeking to make a meaningful contribution
to the war, he requested to be transferred
to the 2nd Battalion, Auckland Infantry
Regiment.  Crichton was sternly warned by a
Senior officer 'You will lose your present rank
and your chance to become an officer', James
unmoved. He voluntarily took the lowest
rank -- that of private, losing all the privileges
and pay that come with rank. He also lost the
safety of rear echelon service as a warrant
officer second class. He was now heading
head long into the heat if the battle, and that by
his own deliberate choice.

The time of 'Scotty' Crichton's act of heroism was The
Hundred Days Offensive, 1918. The place was near the
village of Crevecoeur by the St Quentin Canal and the
Scheldt River; the date 30th September 1918.

A patrol under Corporal Stewart fell into a prepared
German ambush. After he and his men crossed a
footbridge, they were pinned down under machine
gun fire; it was an obvious chokepoint. They were now
entrapped in a narrow triangle of land, unable to either
advance or retreat  to safety. Scotty volunteered  to brave
the weight of fire and swim the river to advised HQ of
the plight of the lost patrol. He swam furiously, pursued
by a hail of bullets, but emerged on the other bank
and sprinted to HQ. By this stage Scotty had sustained a
painful wound in his foot.

On his return, he re-crossed the river back to
Corporal Stewart, carrying instructions that
explosives must be cleared from the next
objective -- a stone bridge -- by nightfall at
the latest. Upon relaying the others from HQ for the
patrol, Corporal Stewart asked him to check the area
around the footbridge for injured men. There were
none. The place was strewn with the dead.

Scotty Crichton now acted entirely on his own initiative
turning his attention to the stone bridge wired with
explosives. Crawling on his belly, under the cover of a
narrow ditch, he made his approach. anytime He raised
his body, even slightly, a volley of shots would whistle
through the hedge or slam into the ground around him.
Then in an instant, Scotty was on his feet leaping from
cover into the river. A few strokes took him under
the shelter of the arch.

The amount of explosives on the bridge was colossal;
seven separate devices, with double detonators, bound
by wire to wooden planks, were jammed into the arches
of the bridge. As he began the difficult  task of removing
the detonators,  dismantling the explosives and dropping charges
into the deep fast flowing water, there was an
ever-present danger of being ambushed - a German
combat engineer would not take kindly to his plans
being thwarted or to the bridge being overrun by
the Allies. Scotty had only a bayonet with which to
defend himself!

Pte James Crichton then began the perilous journey
back through water and bullet swept ground after
being missing for several hours. He came back, as it
were a man from the  dead. Upon delivering the news
of the path across the bridge having been
cleared, Scotty Crichton was eager to return
to the action. He was  ordered nor to go
because of the severity of the wound to his
foot. To ensure that he went personally to
the first aid post, he was made a stretcher
bearer helping to carry a more seriously
wounded soldier. Finally, after examination by a doctor,
Pte James Crichton then was removed from active
duty and later medically discharged from the army.

We turn in thought from the battlefields in France,
one hundred years ago, to a six hour struggle against
the forces of evil by sacrificial and decisive action of One
Man on Calvary's cross. By contrasting some points of from the
exploits of  James Crichton, we can learn some valuable spiritual
lessons to prepare us for eternity. The Bible reminds us  that
death is our enemy. 'The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death'
(1st Corinthians 15v26). We are also reminded of the
supreme sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ,  'this man...
offered one sacrifice for sins forever (Hebrews 10v12).
Personally, we also can come into the good of Christ's
trtriumph and the eternal benefits of His decisive victory
even today.

Pte James Crichton then loyally brought a message concerning
the plight of the lost patrol. Similarly, we are reminded
that 'this is a faithful saying and worthy of acceptarion,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners'
(1st Timothy 1v15). God's message, coming to us through
the Bible, reminds us of our plight as helpless sinners in
tremendous need of Divine deliverance and in real and
present danger of being forever lost. Have you ever at
any time clearly understood and accepted your position
as a sinner in need of rescue from the consequences of
your sin? ''When we were yet without sure fry in due
time Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5v6).

Crichton's willingness to sacrifice rank, pay and
potentially his full displays the purity of his
motives. This is but a faint illustration of a greater step
taken by the Son of God when He left the glory of Heaven
to save sinners from eternal death. 'We see Jesus who
was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering
of death... that he by the grace  of God should taste death
for every man' (Hebrews 2v9). The Bible tells us that
although He was in 'The form of God... He made Himself
of no reputation... being found in fashion as a man He
became obedient unto death even the death of the
Cross' (Philippians 2v6-8).

Scotty's actions saved the vital bridge and opened the
way for others who could not follow the safely in his footsteps.
This illustrations a basic and essential Bible truth about
the only way to God and eternal safety. 'Jesus said, I am
the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the
Father but by me' (John 14v6). There are not several
ways to Heaven, as many people presume. The Bible
is emphatic: 'Neither is there salvation in any other, for
there is none other name under Heaven, given among
men whereby we must be saved (Acts 4v12).

Some of his comrades never expected to see James
Crichton alive again. However, he returned, wounded
but successful.  In a far deeper sense, the Lord Jesus
actually died and literally rose again; this is the very
bedrock of Gospel truth, I declare unto you the gospel:
how that Christ died for our sins... He was buried... He rose 
again according to the scriptures. And that He was
seen... (1st Corinthians 15v1-5). Without a risen Christ,
following His sin--atoning death on the cross, there could
be no hope for mankind. 'If Christ be not raised, he are
yet in your sins' (1st Corinthians 15v17). We ask the reader,
'Are you still in your sins? Or have you been forgiven on
the basis of personal faith in the sin--atoning, victorious
death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Pte James  Scotty Crichton's chaplain remarked
that most men would have quit after sustaining a
very painful wound -- instead Scotty pressed on to
ultimately win the Victoria Cross.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Chasing the Dragon Jackie Pullinger

Chasing the Dragon: One Woman's Struggle Against the Darkness of Hong Kong's Drug Den   Jackie Pullinger

 Until it was pulled down, the Walled City was Hong Kong's most foreboding territory. It was a lawless place, dominated by the Triads, and which the police hesitated to enter. Strangers were unwelcome. Drug smuggling and heroin addiction flourished, as did prostitution and pornography, extortion and fear.
When Jackie Pullinger set sail from England in 1966 she had no idea that God was calling her to the Walled City. Yet, as she spoke of Jesus Christ, brutal Triad gangsters were converted, prostitutes quit, and Jackie discovered a new treatment for drug addiction: baptism in the Holy Spirit.

 One of the most powerful books I have ever read and I feel that whoever reads this book will not come out the same. The story of Jackie Pullinger's missionary work is humbling, miraculous, and beautiful. She was a lone 20 year old baby-believer without a missionary society behind her, jumping into a mission field of prostitutes, gangs, and drug dealers. Though the 'Walled City' in Hong Kong, a semi-anarchic settlement, presents incredible challenges, she sees Jesus come through time after time in miraculous provision and circumstances, healing miracles, deliverances, and Salvation. That being said, there is quite a pentecostal fervor in this book and most of the testimonies in this book about deliverance from drugs and criminal lifestyles include the use of praying in tongues. If this does not line up with your theology, this book will be challenging. What is undeniable, though, is the love of Christ shown in every page of this book. Like Heidi Baker says, (who I believe was mentored by Pullinger) love looks like something. It looks like sacrifice. It looks like laying yourself down. It looks like giving it all away. Even for just one soul. In Jackie Pullinger's life, this can be seen very clearly.


 Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; Rev. ed. edition (16 Feb. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340908807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340908808

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Where Was the English Bible Before …1611? By Jack McElroy (printed by permission).

Where Was the English Bible Before …1611?

August  12,  2018

The easy answer to the question above is that the Bible in English was a work in 

The final expression of God’s inerrant words in the English language is in the 
Authorized Version 1st published in 1611.

Until that time, this final expression did not exist as a finished product.  Rather, it existed 
in component parts (i.e. words). Many of the words were from the previous English Bibles 
that had been harvested since the year 1525 when William  Tyndale published 
the first printed edition of the New Testament in English.

Lest someone object to this observation, consider the fact that even the Scripture itself 
didn’t come in one delivery. It came over a period of about 1,500 years with somewhere 
in the vicinity of 40 authors.

The  King James translators actually started construction with The Bishops Bible as  a 
base and incorporated other  biblical building material.

Previous  English Bibles Used in Its  Construction

Other English Bibles that were delivered to the job site included Tyndale, Matthews, 
Coverdale, The Great, Geneva, and Bishops.

Author Lawrence Vance says:

“In the ‘Rules to be Observed in the Translation of the  ible.’ These general rules, fifteen in 
number, were advanced for the guidance of the translators.

The first and fourteenth, because they directly relate to the subject at hand, are here given in full:

"1. The ordinary Bible read in  the  Church, commonly called the Bishops Bible, to be followed, 
and as little altered as the Truth of the original will permit.’ 

14. These translations to be used when they agree better with the Text than the Bishops Bible: 
Tindoll's, Matthews, Coverdale's, Whitchurch's, [a.k.a. Great Bible] Geneva.’

These previous English Bibles are part of the form and substance that provided the
English building material (words) for The Authorized Version.

But they didn’t limit themselves to these. They also used Greek and Hebrew editions as 
well as foreign language versions

Many foreign language Bibles and Testaments were examined. They had  a multitude of 
sources from which to draw from:

"Neither did we think much to consult the Translators or Commentators, Chaldee, Hebrew, 
Syrian, Greek, or Latin, no nor the Spanish, French, Italian, or Dutch." The Greek editions of 
Erasmus, Stephanus, and Beza were all accessible, as were the Complutensian and Antwerp 
Polyglots, and the Latin translations of Pagninus, Tremellius, and Beza.”

What this means is that all those previous English Bibles (although good) needed to be 
improved upon. That’s why no one is using them today.

It was a translators intention not only to improve presentation of God’s words in English 
but also to improve the presentation of God’s words that had previously appeared in 
other Reformation era Bibles.

Here’s what they said:

"Yet for all that, as nothing is begun and perfited at the same time, and the later thoughts are 
thought to be the wiser: so, if we building upon their foundation that went before us, and being 
holpen by their labours, doe endevour to make that better which they left so good;  no  man,  we 
are sure, hath cause to mislike  us; they, we persuade our selves, if they were alive, would  thanke 

Truly (good Christian Reader) wee never thought from the beginning, that we should neede to 
make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one, (for then the imputation of 
Sixtus had bene true in some sort, that our people had bene fed with gall of Dragons in stead of 
wine, with whey in stead of milke:) but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, 
one principall good one, not justly to be excepted against; that hath bene our indeavour, that our

. . . we are so far off from condemning any of their labours that travelledbefore us in this kind, 
EITHER IN THIS LAND OR BEYOND THE SEA, either in King Henry's time, or King 
Edward's, (if there were any translation, or correction of a translation, in his time) or Queen 
Elizabeth's of  ever renowned memory, that WE ACKNOWLEDGE THEM TO HAVE BEEN 
they deserve to be had of us and of posterity in everlasting remembrance.

. . . we do not deny, nay, we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in 
English set forth by men of our profession. . . containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of 
God: as the King's speech which he uttered in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, 
Italian, and Latin, is still the King's speech, though it be not interpreted by every translator  with 
the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, every where. . . .

. . . nothing is begun and perfected at the same time. . . so, if WE BUILDING UPON THEIR 
do endeavour to make that better which they left so good; no man, we are sure, hath cause to 
mislike us; they, we persuade ourselves, if they were alive, would thank us. . . .

"we never thought from the beginning that we should need to makea new translation, nor yet to 
make of a bad one a good one; (for then the imputation of Sixtus had been true in some sort, that 
our people had been fed with gall of dragons instead of wine, with whey instead of milk;) but TO 

What About the Printed English Bibles Before 1611?

They don’t all say and mean the same thing although they come from the same basic 
texts.  The King James Bible itself is a revision of the Bishops Bible. Each translator was 
provided with a copy of the 1604 Bishops.

Here’s my view:

The testimony of history shows that the compilation of Scripture in the various
languages of the world is a process and not a one-time event. In other words, the Lord 
didn’t present his final version in any particular language on the first pass.

Using English as an example we see that the first New Testament translated from a 
Greek text was produced in 1525. Coverdale’s complete first edition of the Bible in 
English was published in 1535.

Where would you find “the Scripture” in English 1525?

If you could get a hold of a Tyndale New Testament you would have the New
Testament Scripture as God provided it at that time.

In 1535, you could you would have “the Scripture” as God provided it at that time in the 
form of the Coverdale Bible and Tyndale’s NT.

In 1537 you could add  Matthews Bible to the list. Likewise, the Great Bible in 1539 and 

In 1560, you could get a better presentation of “the Scripture” that God provided in the 
English language from the Geneva Bible.

Some people call this a process of purification and cite Psalm 12:7 and maybe that’s so 
but the fact is that God did not produce a final version or presentation of his word in 
English until 1611.

How do we know?  The witness of  its blessing in history.

It’s like a lot of things concerning the Scriptures. Sometimes you can’t tell what’s going 
on until you look back. And we’re in a position to be able to do so.

My view is that the English Bibles previous to the Authorized Version were a work in
progress and can rightly be referred to as the Scriptures as given by God for that time.

He has moved on and if you’re looking for “the Scripture” now in English it’s found in the 
King James Bible. In effect, the Lord moved the locus of “the Scripture” from 
the previous English Bibles and finally was located on the pages of the King James Bible.

Eventually believers followed suit.

Like the translators said in the preface:

"Truly (good Christian reader) we never thought from the beginning, that we should need to 
make a new translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one,  ... but to 
make a good one better."


 Which Bible did Jesus use can be purchased on Amazon

Saturday, August 11, 2018

A Physician Analyzes the Crucifixion

And it was the third hour, when they crucified him.
And the inscription of the charge against him read,
"The King of the Jews."                                       
                                                   - Mark 15:25-26 
A Physician Analyzes the Crucifixion
A medical explanation of what Jesus endured on the day He died
by Dr. C. Truman Davis
Several years ago I became interested in the physical aspects of the passion, or suffering, of Jesus Christ when I read an account of the crucifixion in Jim Bishop's book, The Day Christ Died.  I suddenly realized that I had taken the crucifixion more or less for granted all these years - that I had grown callous to its horror by a too-easy familiarity with the grim details.  It finally occurred to me that, as a physician, I did not even know the actual immediate cause of Christ's death.  The gospel writers do not help much on this point.  Since crucifixion and scourging were so common during their lifetimes, they undoubtedly considered a detailed description superfluous.  For that reason we have only the concise words of the evangelists: "Pilate, having scourged Jesus, delivered Him to them to be crucified ... and they crucified Him." Despite the gospel accounts' silence on the details of Christ's crucifixion, many have looked into this subject in the past.  In my personal study of the event from a medical viewpoint, I am indebted especially to Dr. Pierre Barbet, a French surgeon who did exhaustive historical and experimental research and wrote extensively on the topic.
An attempt to examine the infinite psychic and spiritual suffering of the Incarnate1 God in atonement 2 for the sins of fallen man is beyond the scope of this article.  However, the physiological and anatomical aspects of our Lord's passion we can examine in some detail.  What did the body of Jesus of Nazareth actually endure during those hours of torture?
The physical passion of Christ began in Gethsemane.  Of the many aspects of His initial suffering, the one which is of particular physiological interest is the bloody sweat.  Interestingly enough, the physician, St. Luke, is the only evangelist to mention this occurrence.  He says, "And being in an agony, he prayed the longer.  And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground" (Luke 22:44 KJV).
Every attempt imaginable has been used by modern scholars to explain away the phenomenon of bloody sweat, apparently under the mistaken impression that it simply does not occur.  A great deal of effort could be saved by consulting the medical literature.  Though very rare, the phenomenon of hematidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented.  Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat.  This process alone could have produced marked weakness and possible shock.
Although Jesus' betrayal and arrest are important portions of the passion story, the next event in the account which is significant from a medical perspective is His trial before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas, the High Priest.  Here the first physical trauma was inflicted.  A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiaphas.  The palace guards then blindfolded Him, mockingly taunted Him to identify them as each passed by, spat on Him, and struck Him in the face.
Before Pilate
In the early morning, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and worn out from a sleepless night, Jesus was taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia, the seat of government of the Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate.  We are familiar with Pilate's action in attempting to shift responsibility to Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Judea.  Jesus apparently suffered no physical mistreatment at the hands of Herod and was returned to Pilate.  It was then, in response to the outcry of the mob, that Pilate ordered Barabbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.
Preparations for Jesus' scourging were carried out at Caesar's orders.  The prisoner was stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head.  The Roman legionnaire stepped forward with the flagrum, or flagellum, in his hand.  This was a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each.  The heavy whip was brought down with full force again and again across Jesus' shoulders, back and legs.  At first the weighted thongs cut through the skin only.  Then, as the blows continued, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles.
The small balls of lead first produced large deep bruises that were broken open by subsequent blows.  Finally, the skin of the back was hanging in long ribbons, and the entire area was an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue.  When it was determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner was near death, the beating was finally stopped.
The half-fainting Jesus was then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with his own blood.  The Roman soldiers saw a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king.  They threw a robe across His shoulders and placed a stick in His hand for a scepter.  They still needed a crown to make their travesty complete.  Small flexible branches covered with long thorns, commonly used for kindling fires in the charcoal braziers in the courtyard, were plaited in the shape of a crude crown.  The crown was pressed into his scalp and again there was copious bleeding as the thorns pierced the very vascular tissue.  After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers took the stick from His hand and struck Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper in His scalp.  Finally, they tired of their sadistic sport and tore the robe from His back.  The robe had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, caused excruciating pain.  The wounds again began to bleed.
In deference to Jewish custom, the Romans apparently returned His garments.  The heavy patibulum3 of the cross was tied across His shoulders.  The procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves, and the execution detail of Roman soldiers headed by a centurion began its slow journey along the route which we know today as the Via Dolorosa.
In spite of Jesus' efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious loss of blood, was too much.  He stumbled and fell.  The rough wood of the beam gouged into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders.  He tried to rise, but human muscles had been pushed beyond their endurance.  The centurion, anxious to proceed with the crucifixion, selected a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross.  Jesus followed, still bleeding and sweating the cold, clammy sweat of shock.  The 650-yard journey from the Fortress Antonia to Golgotha was finally completed.  The prisoner was again stripped of His clothing except for a loin cloth which was allowed the Jews.
The crucifixion began.  Jesus was offered wine mixed with myrrh, a mild analgesic, pain-reliving mixture.  He refused the drink.  Simon was ordered to place the patibulum on the ground, and Jesus was quickly thrown backward, with His shoulders against the wood.  The legionnaire felt for the depression at the front of the wrist.  He drove a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood.  Quickly, he moved to the other side and repeated the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement.  The patibulum was then lifted into place at the top of the stipes4, and the titulus5 reading "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" was nailed into place.
The left foot was pressed backward against the right foot.  With both feet extended, toes down, a nail was driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed.  The victim was now crucified.

On the Cross
As Jesus slowly sagged down with more weight on the nails in the wrist, excruciating, fiery pain shot along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain.  The nails in the wrists were putting pressure on the median nerve, large nerve trunks which traverse the mid-wrist and hand.  As He pushed himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He placed His full weight on the nail through His feet.  Again there was searing agony as the nail tore through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of his feet.
At this point, another phenomenon occurred.  As the arms fatigued, great waves of cramps swept over the muscles, knotting them in deep relentless, throbbing pain.  With these cramps came the inability to push Himself upward.  Hanging by the arm, the pectoral muscles, the large muscles of the chest, were paralyzed and the intercostal muscles, the small muscles between the ribs, were unable to act.  Air could be drawn into the lungs, but could not be exhaled.  Jesus fought to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath.  Finally, the carbon dioxide level increased in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subsided.
The Last Words
Spasmodically, He was able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen.  It was undoubtedly during these periods that He uttered the seven short sentences that are recorded.
The first - looking down at the Roman soldiers throwing dice6 for His seamless garment: "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do."
The second - to the penitent thief7: "Today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise."
The third - looking down at Mary His mother, He said: "Woman, behold your son."  Then turning to the terrified, grief-stricken adolescent John, the beloved apostle, He said: "Behold your mother."8
The fourth cry is from the beginning of Psalm 22: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
He suffered hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, and searing pain as tissue was torn from His lacerated back from His movement up and down against the rough timbers of the cross.  Then another agony began: a deep crushing pain in the chest as the pericardium, the sac surrounding the heart, slowly filled with serum and began to compress the heart.
The prophecy in Psalm 22:14 was being fulfilled:  "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint, my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels."
The end was rapidly approaching.  The loss of tissue fluids had reached a critical level; the compressed heart was struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood to the tissues, and the tortured lungs were making a frantic effort to inhale small gulps of air.  The markedly dehydrated tissues sent their flood of stimuli to the brain.  Jesus gasped His fifth cry: "I thirst."  Again we read in the prophetic psalm: "My strength is dried up like a potsherd; my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou has brought me into the dust of death" (Psalm 22:15 KJV).
A sponge soaked in posca, the cheap, sour wine that was the staple drink of the Roman legionnaires, was lifted to Jesus' lips.  His body was now in extremis, and He could feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues.  This realization brought forth His sixth word, possibly little more than a tortured whisper: "It is finished."  His mission of atonement9 had completed.  Finally, He could allow His body to die.  With one last surge of strength, He once again pressed His torn feet against the nail, straightened His legs, took a deeper breath, and uttered His seventh and last cry: "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit."
The common method of ending a crucifixion was by crurifracture, the breaking of the bones of the leg.  This prevented the victim from pushing himself upward; the tension could not be relieved from the muscles of the chest, and rapid suffocation occurred.  The legs of the two thieves were broken, but when the soldiers approached Jesus, they saw that this was unnecessary.
Apparently, the make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart.  John 19:34 states, "And immediately there came out blood and water."  Thus there was an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart and the blood of the interior of the heart.  This is rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Jesus died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.
In these events, we have seen a glimpse of the epitome of evil that man can exhibit toward is fellowman and toward God.  This is an ugly sight and is likely to leave us despondent and depressed.
But the crucifixion was not the end of the story.  How grateful we can be that we have a sequel: a glimpse of the infinite mercy of God toward man - - the gift of atonement, the miracle of the resurrection, and the expectation of Easter morning.
1  Incarnate.
2  Atonement.
3  Horizontal portion of the cross.
4  Vertical portion of the cross.
5  Small sign stating the victim's crime.
6  Gambling.
7  The one who felt remorse for his sins and asked Jesus to help him.
8  As Jesus was dying, He gave his trusted friend responsibility for the care of His mother.
9  Taking our place by suffering the death penalty for our sin.
Dr. C. Truman Davis is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.  He is a practicing ophthalmologist, a pastor, and author of a book about medicine and the Bible.

From New Wine Magazine, April 1982.  Used with permission.  Originally published in Arizona Medicine, March 1965, Arizona Medical Association. Editors' note: If Jesus had remained dead, Christianity would be nothing but an empty promise.  But three days after His death, He rose again from the dead.  This is the miracle of resurrection, which is what Christians celebrate at Easter.  To learn more about the resurrection, read John chapter 20 and 21.
A Physician Analyzes the Crucifixion by Dr. C. Truman Davis was copied by permission of Mark G. McNutt, from the Calvary Chapel of Santa Maria web site at -
Saint Bernard Abbey Cemetery Crucifix (Cullman, Alabama) photo by © Eric Shindelbower

Mark 15:25-26 - from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version.  Published by ©1962 The World Publishing Company.

Christ Crucified between the Virgin and Nicodemus, study by Michelangelo.  c. 1552-1554.  Black chalk, brown wash and white lead, 43,3 x 29 cm.  Musée du Louvre, Paris.  Courtesy of the Web Gallery of Art.  Used by permission of Emil Kren.
The Web Gallery of Art -