Author: religiouscommonsense

Is There Power in the Water?

Is There Power in the Water?

The question has been asked many times: If we are not under the Old Testament, why bother with studying the Old Testament?

I believe both covenants were preserved by the providence of God and handed down to all generations for several reasons—for our admonition (1 Corinthians 10:11) also for our learning (Romans 15:4).

It is exciting for me to read the Old testament and learn about God and man from the beginning. We see for ourselves how God dealt with man—especially how God blessed the faithful and how God dealt with those who did not follow His word exactly.

Sometimes in just one short chapter of the Old Testament, we find a number of lessons. If you would like to take advantage of God’s providence, turn to 2 Kings 5. It is a short chapter and takes just a few minutes to read. Keep your Bible open and let’s really analyze it for our admonition and learning.

Verse 1: Naaman was a great man—maybe the king’s favorite. He was brave, honorable, victorious in battle—but he was a leper, evidently early stages, but in time he would lose that battle!

Verse 2: A little maid, a captive, saw the situation and spoke out. Naaman could be cured. Naaman told his king. The king thinking like some men think decided to send Naaman to the top guy in Israel, the king!

Verses 6-7: When the King of Israel got the letter, he was dumbfounded! He knew he didn’t have the power to heal Naaman and tore his clothes. When Elisha, God’s man of the day, heard what his king had done, he sent him word. “Send him to me.” The prophet intended to show that there was a God and that He had a prophet in Israel.

Verse 9: Naaman brings all his expensive gifts and stands at the prophets door. Now, Naaman really gets a surprise! Remember Naaman was a very important man. He is accustomed to receiving the highest honors and special treatment. But Elisha doesn’t even come out to greet him. Instead he sends one of his servants to tell him “go wash in the Jordan River seven times”.

Do you suppose that Naaman thought that was beneath his dignity? Why he just told me to “go jump in the river”—insult!

Verse 11-12: Whatever Naaman’s thoughts, he was leaving in a rage!

I still think it’s a wonderful thing when someone in a crowd can use “common sense”. This time Naaman’s servants were the ones with sound judgment and asked (verse 13) “And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?

Verse 14: After using a little common sense, Naaman changed his mind and dipped 7 times in the Jordan river, and his flesh was like that of a little child. When Naaman came up the 7th time, he knew there was only one God, and Elisha was a true prophet.

There are other lessons in the rest of this chapter, but Naaman’s miracle was all I intended to cover today.

Questions some have asked: Was there any power in the water? Absolutely not! It was simply a matter of humble obedience to God’s word. Had the Prophet said “drink 7 glasses of buttermilk” and Naaman would have obeyed—the results would have been the same. When people obey in faith God’s word, God will always prevail.

Let’s consider the word of Christ recorded in Luke 4:27: “And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.”

Common sense: When word “got out” (and believe me it did) concerning Naaman’s cleansing, every leper jumped in the Jordan River, but none was cleansed except Naaman.

Thanks for reading and God bless!

Thief on the Cross

Thief on the Cross

I have pity and feel really sorry for people who try to teach God’s word without knowing what the scriptures say on a subject.

The “thief on the cross” is a very good example. Because of the thief many people have been deceived and believe they can be saved like the thief. I’ll admit, at first glance, this sounds good and easy to do. But, let’s take an in depth look and understand what really took place.

(Luke 23:39-43) “39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

Was the man “saved”? I believe he was!

I was talking to a small group of men a while back and one man said something that I’ve heard many times, and you probably have too. He said. “You don’t have to be baptized or join any church to be saved, and I can prove it by the Bible.” I asked the man to show me the proof and he referred to the thief on the cross.

Now the facts that prevent us from being saved like that poor man was.

In the first place, the great commission had not yet been given—Matthew 28:19-20. At that time no one knew that Jesus was to be preached “to all nations”. Such a commission was never given to Moses or any of the prophets, not even John the Immerser.

Second, we live after the great commission was given. Therefore that puts us into a different time and category.

In the third place, while Jesus was on the earth, he could forgive sins. (Matthew 9:4-7) “And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house.”

Jesus was still on the earth when he forgave the thief on the cross. We must obey the gospel as it was first preached (Acts Chapter 2). When we obey as they (3000) did at the preaching of Peter, the Lord added them to the church He built—not a denomination. They did not “join” anything—the Lord added them to the church or kingdom.

Now back to the man that started this false doctrine. I have nothing but pity for him! I do pray that he will consider these scriptures and never make such a statement again because it is a serious and dangerous thing to teach something that is not true. (James 3:1) ” My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”

Thanks for reading and God bless!

P.S. I did not give the man’s name or his denomination. I don’t want to embarrass him or anyone.

Where Do False Teachings Come From?

Where Do False Teachings Come From?

Common sense tells us we cannot enter the “strait gate” (Matthew 7:13-14) if we teach or follow false doctrine. (Matthew 15:9) “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

I’ve said and written many times if it were not for false preachers, we could have the unity that Christ prayed for in John 17.

Usually about this time someone will ask. “Where do false teachings come from?” Let’s cut to the chase and go right to the bottom line. They come from the “old devil” himself.

(1 Timothy 4:1-5) “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will renounce the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared with a hot iron. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.”

My common sense friend you cannot help but notice the “forbidding of marriage” and “abstaining from certain foods” came from “deceitful spirits and teachings from demons!” Is that the group you want to follow?

Now the last time I talked to a person from that denomination he said. “But we have a different Bible.” (I’m sure he genuinely believed that.) But the truth is the scripture (1 Timothy 4:1-5) was taken from a brand new Catholic Bible.

Years ago I had an opportunity to chat with a priest about Matthew 23:9—“and call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”

His reply to the scripture was, you wouldn’t call a man a lawyer unless he had finished law school. You wouldn’t call a man doctor unless he had finished medical school and got his degree. And you wouldn’t call a man “father” unless he has finished school and received his degree.

That was over 60 years ago. I could not buy into that then, nor could I buy into it now. What does your common sense tell you?

Thanks for reading and God bless!

Women’s Role in the Church

Women’s Role in the Church

(Matthew 7:15) ” Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Common sense tells us that if we could eliminate “false” teaching, unity would become a reality.

Most people would agree with that, but the rest of this article will “ruffle some feathers”—might even make some people very angry. If you disagree, and some will, I suggest you write to me and give scriptures to support your concern. If you put it in “writing” with scriptures, I will answer you, and we will see how much we can agree.

Women preachers—now I’ve got your attention! On the day of Pentecost when the church was established, you will notice that “men” did the preaching. You can read every word from the first day on through to the end of the book of Revelation, and you will not find women doing the preaching or teaching when the church came together for worship! I know very well that at other times women were supposed to teach.

Aquilla and Priscilla (Acts 18:26) “And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.”

Philip’s daughters (Acts 21:9) “And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.”

Older women (Titus 2:4-5) “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Now let’s notice scriptures dealing with women when the church has assembled. (1 Timothy 2:11-12) “11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Is that plain English?

(1 Corinthians 14:34-35) “34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

Yes, I do know that women are more effective when older women teach younger women to “love” their husbands, and how to keep the home. Everyone will acknowledge women are much more effective teaching little children than men.

People often say some women know more Bible than the men folks—lazy men! Men need to wake up and take the responsibility God gave them.

(2 Timothy 2:2) “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

Years ago a woman on the west coast started a denomination, and in one of her sermons she quoted Paul’s writing to the Corinthian church. She said that when she got to Heaven the first thing she was going to do was ask Paul. “Why did you write such a thing?” Well if she had read on down to 1 Corinthians 14:37 she would have the answer—God’s commandment. “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 14:37).

God gave man the responsibility and honor of preaching the gospel! So men, take this responsibility of teaching! A good scripture to take to heart and memory is 2 Timothy 2:2.

Men do your part, and then women can do their part!

Thanks for reading and God bless!

The Greatest Name

The Greatest Name

In the 17th chapter of John, Jesus prayed for unity. First, he prayed for the apostles (verses 9-10).

Through the guidance of The Holy Spirit, the apostles answered that prayer in a positive way—they taught the same things, and people believed the same things. As a result the converts were added to the kingdom/church that Jesus built. (Matthew 16:18)

But at times people would misunderstand and cause division and needed to be corrected (Galatians 1:6-12). Also see 1 Corinthians 1:10 “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

Let’s go back to the Lord’s prayer in John 17:20-21 “20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”

In these two verses, He prayed for us, that we would have unity—that the world would believe that God had sent His Son into the world.

Wherever I have attempted to teach The Bible I’ve always pleaded for that unity. I’ve approached the subject from several different positions. The following is just one.

Starting with a very defining scripture—(Colossians 1:18-19) “18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;”

It pleased The Father to give Jesus the highest position, the greatest name, greatest power, and preeminence in all things!

I ask what about a name? Let’s just go to the inspired word.

The Temple of God—(1 Corinthians 3:16)

The Bride of Christ—(Ephesians 5:22-32)

The Body of Christ—(Colossians 1:18, 24) (Ephesians 1:22-23)

The Kingdom of God’s Son—(Colossians 1:13)

The House of God—(1 Timothy 3:15)

The Church of God—(1 Corinthians 1:2) (Acts 20:21)

The Church of the Firstborn—(Hebrews 12:23)

The Churches of Christ—(Romans 16:16)

Every name gives Jesus Christ the preeminence. Does yours?

Very seldom does a week go by without someone asking me. “To what church do you belong?” My answer is always the same—The scriptures require a person to believe in Christ (John 3:18). Jesus also required repentance (Luke 13:3), then confession (Matthew 10:32), then baptism (Acts 2:38).

That’s exactly what the people did on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), and the Lord Himself added them (3000) to His church. Since I did everything they did. I believe Jesus added me to His church (Acts 2:41-47). If the Lord didn’t add me to His church, you tell me why He didn’t.

As you can tell from past articles, I have great sympathy and concern for the “average” member. I just want you to know the truth!

Start asking your preacher questions! If he can’t give you scriptural answers, find someone who can!

Thanks for reading and God bless!

P.S. Where is that “sinner’s prayer” in the Bible? Where is the scripture that says it’s okay to start a denomination?

Why Not?

Why Not?

I have stated many times, when God’s people were led astray, it was because the leadership failed to teach the truth—not the fault of the ordinary members.

Let’s start with the ordinary member. We know from reading the scriptures that God, His Son, and The Holy Spirit have perfect unity. You say you want to belong to the church that Jesus built. (Matthew 16:18) That is good since Jesus is the only one God gave authority to establish “a church”.

God, His Son, and The Holy Spirit gave instructions referring to your local church government. (Acts 14:23) “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” Draw a line under “every church“. This includes the church where you worship.

These local “overseers” must meet certain qualifications—1 Timothy 3:1-7 also Titus 1:6-9. Notice Paul’s writing to Titus uses the title bishop and elder. In this scripture the word bishop, elder, and pastor are referring to the same office of “overseer”.

Next let’s notice who selects the men to be appointed or ordained to be overseers.

Choosing an apostle or deacon, the congregation chose the one to take the place of Judas—Acts 1:15—choosing deacons—Acts 6:3-6. Common sense tells us if the congregation chose the apostles and deacons, wouldn’t they also be the ones to choose their local overseers?

The men we choose for elders or bishops (if you prefer the word bishop) have the responsibility of watching in behalf of our souls. (Hebrews 13:17) “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

I think common sense will tell you that you want to a part of the church that Jesus built.

Now—your part—get your scriptures together, go to your preacher, and simply ask why don’t we have the same local church government as they did in the New Testament? If you don’t have the same as the scriptures, just ask. “Why not?” If your local church doesn’t have the same system of oversight, ask! When and where does God authorize the change?

Thanks for reading and God bless!

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A Father/Son Talk

A Father/Son Talk

It was a nice family. Father and mother were fairly well-educated and they worked hard to make sure their children had all the things that they needed.

The children were well adjusted; they loved each other and their parents. They were part of a family that anyone would admire.

Then one day the boy, we’ll call him Joe. Joe was 16 and had a real problem. He had been invited to a party. He knew that most of the other kids would be drinking, and most likely drugs and sex would be involved.

Joe had been taught such things were wrong. Joe thought maybe he shouldn’t go since he didn’t participate in such things, but he did want to go to the party and have some fun with his friends. After all, they weren’t such bad kids.

Joe came up with an idea. He went down the street (quite a ways) and knocked on a door. When the man answered, Joe said. “I’d like to have a what folks call a father and son talk.” The man agreed, and Joe dumped his problem on the man that lived down the street. The man listed patiently and gave his advice.

Joe left happy with the way things turned out. He made up his mind that anytime he had a problem, he would use the same procedure—go down the street and just pick out a house, and have a ‘father and son’ talk.

Joe was so satisfied with the ‘talk’ that he continued them through his teens and into his adulthood. Now, what do you think of that? You probably say that’s ridiculous—such a thing never happened—and you may be right.

In a loving and caring family, the biological father loves his children and devotes his life to their welfare and happiness. But, that’s in a biological family—let’s look at the spiritual family.

When we have a need, we pray. When we pray, to whom do we pray? (Matthew 6:6) “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:9) “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”

Even Jesus prayed to the Heavenly Father. (Matthew 26:39) “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:42) “He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”

When Jesus disciples asked Him. “Lord teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1) The Lord said. “When ye pray, say our Father which art in Heaven.” (Luke 11:2)

The point is: No one is to pray to anyone except God the Father! We are not to go ‘down the street’ and pray to someone else! That honor is reserved for God himself. Not even the great apostles like Peter or Paul are authorized to hear or answer prayers—much less someone else who lived 200 years ago even if some say they are now ‘saints’.

Where does Jesus fit into our prayer life? Jesus is the one who gives us the authority to pray to God calling Him Father.

(John 14:13-14) “13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

Now, let’s go back to our teenager Joe. How would his biological father feel about his child, that he loves so dearly, going to the man down the street with his problems? I think it would break his heart. Some might even say that Joe insulted his loving and caring dad!

What does our loving Heavenly Father and His son Jesus think when we put our hopes and prayers in someone else?

Thanks for reading and God bless!

Do We ‘Cherry Pick’ the Scriptures?

Do We ‘Cherry Pick’ the Scriptures?

The other day I was talking to a young lady who seemed to me one of the “beautiful people”—just starting a family and wanting just the truth for them.

During the conversation she said. “A lot of preachers are ‘cherry pickers’.”—meaning they pick out a scripture, take it out of context, and try to make that one verse mean more than God intended.

We know that is a common practice. Let’s look at a few examples.


  1. By faith—John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Acts 10:43 “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 13:39 “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 16:31 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” But not by faith only: James 2:24 “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” John 12:42 “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:”
  2. By repentance—Luke 13:3 “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 11:18 “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” Acts 17:30 “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” But not by repentance alone!
  3. By confession—Matthew 10:32 “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” Acts 2:21 “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” But not by confession only! Matthew 7:21 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Mark 3:11 “And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.” John 12:42 “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:”
  4. By baptism—Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 22:16 “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” But not by baptism alone! John 8:24 “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” Luke 13:3 “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” 1 John 4:14-15 “14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”

Synecdoche is the word that means using a part of something to explain the whole.

I remember very well the “Great Depression”. I also remember people thinking about their parents being good providers. Many times they would say. “Dad always kept a roof over our heads or mother always put food on the table.” We know that being a good provider involves much more than a “roof” or “food”—using a part to represent the whole.

We know that sometimes the Bible will use one part to refer to the whole—faith, repentance, confession, and baptism. That is why Paul could say in Acts 20:26-27 “26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”

That is the reason for declaring the “whole counsel of God” and exposing any false teaching along the way.

Thanks for reading and God bless!

Should We Ignore Them?

Should We Ignore Them?

I’ve been asked many times. “Why are you so hard on false teachers?” “Why don’t you just ignore them?” “After all, what harm do they do?”

“As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.” (2 Peter 3:16-17)

Let’s not be unlearned or unstable. You have evidently forgotten about Jim Jones. He was a false teacher that deceived many. When things got too ‘hot’ for him in America, he took his deceived followers to another country and set up his little domain. When our government was closing in on him, he talked many of his ‘believers’ into committing suicide. Those who would not kill themselves were murdered by his thugs. Now you tell me—what harm can they do!

Remember the guy in Waco, Texas—same thing—completely deceived people. There was loss of life in both cases mentioned. A lot of drugs and all kinds of sinful sex acts—what harm can they do?

One more—a comet was going to pass close enough to earth so people could see it. Twisting the scriptures, a ‘teacher’ in California persuaded some (I forgot the number) to commit suicide so they could be drawn up into the comet and have everlasting life.

If I were a gambler, I would bet the farm that all those that died following these ‘ravening wolves’ left loved ones behind that would have gladly given the farm if someone would have exposed these false teachers in time to save their loved ones.

That’s just three examples. Let’s notice what the Lord said in the greatest sermon man has ever heard. (Matthew 7:15-23) “15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

I’ve made it easy for you and put the scriptures right in front of you. Now, let’s analyze it:

  1. Christ said they look good just like little lambs. The reality is they are ravening wolves.
  2. The right kind of teaching brings forth good fruit—real Christians.
  3. Many kinds of teachers bring forth bad fruit—ones the Lord will not accept. How will we know the difference without knowing our scriptures?
  4. The bad fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.
  5. Remember these scriptures. (Matthew 7:21-23) Good people, trusting people, and folks that do a lot of good will be lost.

It’s a matter of authority—who do we trust and follow?—God’s word?—or do we let the wolf change a word here and there and teach us wrong?

Read this scripture carefully—James 2:8-12

Now if you really want to get your money’s worth, Read for yourself Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32, Proverbs 30:6, and Revelation 22:18-19.

When you read from your own Bible it will stay with you longer and mean more to you.

Thanks for reading and God bless!

Needle in a Haystack

Needle in a Haystack

My great-grandfather might have said. “Why that’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.” He would have meant—you have given him an impossible task. Two hundred years ago that might have been true, but with today’s technology, radar, and metal detectors we could find that needle.

The same is true about the Bible. Years ago, especially on our western frontier, Greek and Hebrew dictionaries (even English dictionaries) were in very short supply. So people (very good people) relied on their preacher, the “big shot”, their leader to tell them what a word meant. Of course the “big shots” differed in the definitions. The results were different denominations.

Today I’ll deal with just one word—one word that made all the difference in the world! That word is “for” as used in Acts 2:38. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

By the way, I never write one of these post without a Greek copy of the New Testament right in front of me. I also learned over 60 years ago to never ask a man or go to a source that “has a dog in the fight”. You old-timers know what that means—never depend on a man that has a reason to be biased or prejudiced!

I have used this example many times: You want to buy a car, and there are two or three new car dealerships in town. One of the dealers has a brother-in-law working for him. I wouldn’t put much stock in the brother-in-law’s recommendation since he might have a good reason to be biased or prejudiced. I don’t advise you to ask the wife of the car dealer either. Maybe she is looking forward to getting a new mink coat for Christmas! She would certainly have a reason to be prejudiced. Go to someone (if you must) that’s completely unbiased and neutral. That you know will tell you the truth!

The study of the Bible has many of the same problems. You ask a Methodist preacher what a scripture or word means, and he will tell you what the Methodist teachers taught him. Ask the same question of a Baptist preacher, and he will tell you what the Baptist teachers taught him. The same is true of Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Catholic, or most any of the rest.

Look it up for yourself! (2 Timothy 2:15) “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

I said at the beginning I would deal with one word—“for”—as used in Acts 2:38. Now I know this will hit hard, but I am ready for that so bring it on!

The English word “for” is used in several contexts. Example: You pay “for” something in advance; you pay “for” the privilege of seeing a ballgame; you pay “for” a meal that you have already eaten. Both are considered correct—like the English word “light”. We use this word in several contexts—bright light, dim light, red light, and then someone says he has a light touch.

The English word “for” is translated from the Greek word “Eis” which the real Greek scholars define as “with a view to”—you do something expecting something desired to happen. Remember these scholars are the men that do not have “a dog in the fight”. I refer to such men as Joseph Thayer and Robert Young—whose scholarship has never been questioned.

Okay but where does this lead? I have before me a book “The Baptist Faith and Message” written by Herschel H. Hobbs (1907-1995). I am absolutely convinced that Mr. Hobbs was a very good man. We would all like to have such a good man as a neighbor. But he did not check his facts; he too took someone’s word that had a “dog in the fight”.

He taught on page 74 that a person is forgiven when he believes in Christ, and that he is saved without being buried with his Lord in baptism (Romans 6:1-6, Acts 22:16, 1 Peter 3:21). He taught that the Greek word “Eis” in Acts 2:38 means “because of”—in his words, no need to be baptized to be saved and go to Heaven—just believe. But, he was wrong. False teaching! In the entire New Testament, “Eis” is never translated “because of”.

I know I am in the minority here. There are at least a dozen preachers reading this who disagree with me, so I’ll give you a challenge: Just find “one” scripture where “Eis” is translated “because of”. I’m sure there are many readers that would like to see that scripture also!

Thanks for reading and God bless!