A Voice in the
"Forever, O Jehovah, Your Word stands firm in the heavens." (Ps119:89)
"For this commandment which I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you to understand, nor is it far off. It is not in the heavens, for you to think: Who shall ascend into the heavens for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? Nor is it beyond the sea, for you to think: Who shall go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? But the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it." (Deut30:11-14)
Did you know that there are those who are saying that God did not meet with Moses and Israel at "Mt. Sinai" at all, but at some other mountain called "Sinai" that is an active volcano. Otherwise, how could one possibly explain the earthquakes, fire and smoke? (Ex19:18)
(Sorta like the arguments about "who wrote Isaiah?" Isaiah didn't write it... somebody 'else' with the name "Isaiah" wrote it. Are you thinking, "Huh??"? Exactly!)
In similar fashion, when Moses saw the burning bush (Ex3:2-3), what he was 'really' seeing was a vent of natural gas that had caught fire. That's why it 'kept' burning, without the bush being burned up, and the fire going out.
The plagues that occured in Egypt were also natural disasters. The water being turned to "blood" was caused by a certain kind of (red) plankton, which in turn caused the fish to die, chasing the frogs out of it, and also spawning all the rest of it...the flies, and other insects.
Some "separatist" group has come out with their own version of the New Testament. They boast that it is a "Jew-less" work. No Jewish hands have touched it. They also sell books that explain how this work is more faithful. Being a racist group, they have adopted the use of the word "mongrel" in their translation, in places where (when I researched them) the words mean nothing of the sort. But they view the Jews as being "mongrelized", so they also prefer a Greek 'translation' of the Hebrew O.T., the Septuagint, because the Jews allegedly "messed up" the 'original' Hebrew. After all, if the Septuagint was good enough for Jesus and the apostles, it is good enough for them. Never mind that Greek was the world language of the day, which is why Jesus would have quoted from it; just like He would quote from English translations today. Sounds about like some members of the KJ-only cult, doesn't it: If the KJV was good enough for Jesus and Paul, it's good enough for me. (Uhhh...exactly 'when' did the KJV come into being?)
When they reject Jews as being supposedly "mongrelized", and as such reject any Scripture that has been touched by Jews, I wonder what they do with Rom3:1-2 which tells us that the Jews were specifically "...entrusted with the Words of God."
Due to their rejection of God's 'Hebrew' O.T. they make some fanciful claims about Noah's flood having been "localized" in the middle-east areas. And that it didn't happen 'when' the Scriptures say it did according to the number of years of the genealogies. How could plain old rain, coming 'straight' down, raise the water levels up high enough to cover mountain peaks like Mt. Everest? While claiming to study these things with "scientific evidence", they ignore clear geological evidence of the Grand Canyon, Columbia flood plain (on the other side of the earth from the Fertile Crescent) that shows the flood to have been global. They reject the Scriptures that show how the flood's dynamics included "tidal" waves as the waters "prevailed with abundant force upon the earth" (Gen7:19) after the "fountains of the great deep" (vs11) were opened up. And as the waters are then subsiding, it says that they "..receded from the earth, GOING OUT AND COMING BACK." (8:3) They also ignore common geological understanding that the tallest mountain peaks as they exist today were caused from continental shift, when tectonic plates moved, came to a stop and the edges became pushed up into what we now see as tall rugged mountains. That, of course, happened 'after' the flood in the days of Peleg. (Gen10:25) Thus, the tidal forces included in the flood did not need to cover peaks as high as what they are now.
But as they proclaim a 'different' -word-, they will also gladly sell you books to "document" it all for you. They will explain how the Jews are "mongrelized". They do not accept what Scripture says, that all mankind came from the three sons of Noah. (Gen10:5,32) That Jews are part of the "one blood" (Ac17:28) which God created as mankind. There are quite a few cults out there that don't believe (Gen7:22) that all breathing creatures of the dry land "died". Thus, they claim there were some races of humans who survived the flood and as such, some of today's races did not come from Noah's three sons, contradicting Gen10:5,32.
Over the past years various nations have been passing what they call "anti-hate" legislation. Some pastors have already been imprisoned for proclaiming sodomy, lesbianism and sex-change/cross-dressing culture as "sin" and an "abomination" to God. (Lev18:22, 20:13, De22:5)
And after years of this, now there is talk from both Europe and Canada, to enact legislation to "outlaw" certain parts of the Bible. I'm sure the US won't be far behind, as there are states, counties and municipalities that are already under the gun in these things.
In the midst of these things coming to my attention, to counter-balance it, there was an e-mail containing a whole assorted list of quotes...
Here's one from Billy Sunday: "The reason you don't like the Bible, you old sinner, is because it knows all about you"
Talk about "hate speech"! I mean... the fella is bad-mouthing, calling people self-debasing names like "sinner", and making "personal attacks".
BUT...Does that not hit the nail sqaure on the proverbial "head"!
They do not want to accept the existence of a 'supernatural' God who, by definition, is a "consuming fire". (Ex24:17, De4:24) So they speak of volcanoes. They do not wish to accept God's -Word-, so they invent burning gas vents, and the Law being a man-made thing; just another set of principles in man's evolutionary development to fit along with Hammurabi's Code, Magna Carta, etc. They do not wish to accept a supernatural deliverance of what they call a 'mongrel' race like Israel, so explain those miracles as having been natural phenomena.
And when so-called "christians" are pretending to have Bible studies, when we see things we don't like, we can explain what the Scripture "means-to-me". When that doesn't work, then multiply the translations and paraphrases that say things "the-way-I-like". That way, we can "feel" like "christians" because we are talking about God and the Bible, without -really- 'being' one, who also "obeys" God's Word. (De30:10, 2Th3:14, 1Pt3:1) We can, instead, be "presumptuous" and -not- "obey". (Neh9:29) because we have -presumed- to 'change' God's Word to match our lusts.
And if the Scriptures begin encroaching upon the conscience of the openly unsaved world, even though they make no claims to being saved or wanting anything to do with the Bible, yet their "conscience" tells them they are sinners. (Rom2:15) And when they cannot stifle God's human messengers to them who proclaim, "Thus says the Lord" and "this is what the Bible says about your sin" ...what you are doing is not a genetic predisposition... it is a personal 'choice' and it is "sin"... then, well... the only solution is to strike out God's Word. Make those 'offensive' parts "illegal".
Some will say, "Oh...but...gays go to church, too. They reach out to God." Well, there was another quote from Billy Sunday: "Going to church doesn't make a man a Christian any more than going to a garage makes him an automobile." Bringing a pig into the house does not transform it into a human. And bringing the unsaved into the Church, something forbidden by God (2Cor6:14, 2Ch23:19, etc), will not save them; but it will certainly corrupt God's children. (Ex23:32-33) ...as recent history has shown...that's where the 'apostasy' came from!
God's Word is quite clear. It is all-inclusive. It tells us our origins, the nature of God, the nature of sin, the provisions for salvation through Jesus Christ, laws and ordinances by which to live. It tells us what happens if we disobey God; and the rewards for obedience. It tells us what to expect after we die; and that some won't ever die. Thus: "all-inclusive" meaning...it "includes"..."all" we need to know to get us successfully from birth-to-death/rapture.
So now...what would happen if that -Word- was altered in any way? It would be like a map publisher deciding to change a thing or two, here and there. Neglect that I-90 cut-off east of Billings, when you wanted to go to the Black Hills for vacation, and you end up in N.Dakota instead...NOT where you wanted to be. It's not all 'that' far off. N.Dakota is only across the border from S.Dakota. No big deal! Right? From Spokane you were still travelling in an "easterly" direction...after all, from Spokane, the Black Hills are "east" of here. That's the 'right' direction! You started out on I-90 and kept going 'straight' down the freeway. But if you go far enough the wrong way, you end up in 'Jamestown', because if you stay on the highway, it mysteriously becomes "I-94", unless you follow the directions to take the cutoff. (And years ago Jamestown was the location of N.Dakota's state "funny-farm"...is it still?)
Same thing happens when people alter God's Word. Where they suppose they are on their way to Heaven, they miss that 'cutoff' at Jesus' cross, from the path to Hell and do not end up in Heaven. They end up with the "many" at destruction. (Mt7:13) And I haven't read anywhere that Hell has 'padded' cells or straight-jackets for when its residents are weeping and gnashing their teeth. (Mt8:12)
Here's another quote, from M.R.Dehaan: "Be on guard against any tampering with the Word, whether disguised as a search for truth, or a scholarly attempt at apparently hidden meanings; and beware of the confusion created by the senseless rash of new versions, translations, editions, and improvements upon the tried and tested Bible of our fathers and grandfathers."
Now...this quote contains both truth and partial error. This "tried and tested Bible of our [ancestors]" sounds a bit like the false arguments we observed in the May commentary about "historic" faith. If the "KJV was good enough for Paul..." Well, the KJV didn't exist in Paul's time. It was produced by those with affinities to Rome. True, it has been the 'best' available to us for many years. Dr.Dehaan was right in the first part of the statement: "be on guard against any TAMPERING with the Word" Trouble is...what our fathers and grandfathers had -was- 'already' tampered with!
With most 'old' translations one misses the "tidal" waves of Noah's flood. KJV does not tell us that the receding waters were "going out and coming back". (Gen8:3) The KJV tells us that God's Holy of Holies was a (pagan) "oracle". (1Ki6:16) It tells us that what Israel was keeper of was a set of (pagan) "oracles" (Rom3:2), not God's Word. That which was accepted as "tried and tested" for 400 years -was- "tampered" with.
Thus... if that which was the accepted 'standard' was compromised in many little ways like these few examples, is it at all surprising that every Tom, Dick and Harry has, since, also been watering down the Word further to mold it to their desires and lusts!
Now...if anybody wishes to condemn me for saying these things, because of the VW-edition...because it is yet 'another' edition...forget about who "PB" may be, or his credentials (or lack of credentials), and check out the 'text' of it, and the Preface. Anybody I know, who I know knows the Lord, who has read from it and bothered to make commentary on it, recognizes that it is God's Word. Not because of "PB", but because the goal has been to make the "crooked straight" wherever errors have been spotted.
When a text says what God's Word says, you don't need an education in astronomy and water currents to understand Noah's flood...the Word says it directly. You don't need special "word-studies" to understand the Holy Spirit's ministry, it is plain in the text. (1Cor12-14)
Remember, Paul exhorted that Scripture is 'all' that is needed to make for a complete man in Christ. (2Tim3:14-17)
It is only when the texts have been compromised that the writings of the "church fathers" are necessary to explain away those errors; and a person needs libraries full of commentaries. When modern cults change God's Word, it is necessary for them to provide "documentation" to explain (away) their theologies.
But Moses was quite clear. God's Word, in its pure simplicity, is 'easy' to understand. One need not search the universe to understand how to be a follower of the Almighty. "But the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it." (Deut30:14)
You see...THAT's the problem today. Man does NOT want God, much less to obey Him. That is why they "strain out gnats" (Mt23:24) and make it so complex. That's why it takes a seminary degree, to 'remember' all those arguments that teach false doctrine...remembering exactly how to "twist" (2Pt3:16) the Scriptures just so, to come up with their doctrine, when it doesn't line up with God's -clear- Word. That's why there are so many "translations" (mutations) today, trying to conform God -to- man's lusts. It is not that they "don't understand" the "tried and true"; it is that, in fact, they -DO- UNDERSTAND it, and have REJECTED it; in actuality having rejected God.
It is often observed that during early human history they didn't have any written Scriptures. Well, God's Law is in the human heart. And when it is written out, it joins that which is already in the heart from the conscience...and there is agreement. This is how a Believer can know if a particular translation is of God or not, by the "witness" of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit wrote it (2Pt1:21); the Holy Spirit resides in the Believer. (Rom8:9) Do you not think the residing Holy Spirit 'remembers' what He wrote originally? Thus, the Believer, reading a translation of the Scriptures can 'know' whether what he is reading is from God or not.
The world rejects God's Word, because they reject God. Thus, they come up with many fanciful arguments for things being 'different' from what Scripture says they are/were.
But for the one who loves the Lord, it is very clear. It all boils down to this...
"Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which has the power to save your souls. But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (Jacob 1:21-22)