Bible Reviews · Bibles · Crossway

Review of the E.S.V. Bible with Creeds and Confessions

Crossway was kind enough to send me a copy of the, “E.S.V. Bible with Creeds and Confessions.” This particular Bible has a burgundy, Trutone cover. It comes in a handsome slipcase. I thought the design of the slipcase cross and surround, were excellent. Many people discard the case their Bible comes in. I would caution you not to. It is a very important piece of protective equipment. It stops shelf wear and works to protect your Bible during travel. Don’t waste money on a fancy, improperly sized Bible cases. They never protect as well as the original case, and they often do damage by allowing your Bible to slop around inside. They also tend to encourage people to put things inside them, with their Bibles.

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The case is not the most interesting thing about this edition. Forgive me for going on a tangent about the case 😊 The feature that makes this Bible special is that it includes most of the historic Christian creeds, and confessions in the back. Here are the included creeds and confessions;

“The Apostles’ Creed (ca. 200–400), the Nicene Creed (325), the Athanasian Creed (381), the Chalcedonian Definition (451), the Augsburg Confession (1530), the Belgic Confession (1561), the Articles of Religion (1563), the Canons of Dort (1618–19), the Westminster Confession (1646), the London Baptist Confession (1689), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), the Westminster Larger Catechism (1647), and the Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647).”

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As you can see, this is a pretty good list for an overview of historic Christian beliefs. If you read all of them, you can see for yourself what doctrines we have always held to be true, and necessary. They can be traced through the history of the Church. We don’t exist separately from our Christian forefathers. If you are interested, and you would like to have all that information at your fingertips in one volume, this is the Bible for you.

You get the excellent English Standard Version. As well as the thirteen creeds and confessions with introductions to them written by Church historian Chad Van Dixhoorn. Also, an easy on the eyes 10.5 point Lexicon typeface font printed on 36 g.s.m. paper. The paper is also coated. This paper has an opacity of 85% Which is quite good for a Bible costing less than fifty dollars. Did I mention that the text is line matched? That means that the lines of text on a page are printed directly behind the lines of text on the other side of the page. This helps the legibility of the text. With a paper that is not completely opaque, you can see the text through the paper. When the printer uses line matching, this mitigates the muddying of the text. This reduces eye strain from reading and makes it more pleasurable.

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This edition has a burgundy colored, Trutone cover. The cover is perimeter stitched to keep it from coming apart. If you are not familiar with Crossway’s Trutone covers, they are a synthetic leather like material. It has been my experience that they are flexible, and durable. They look good for a long time, and do their job protecting the text block. There are five raised decorative spine hubs. “Holy Bible, with Creeds and Confessions, ESV, English Standard Version, and Crossway” is hot stamped in gold colored foil on the spine between the spine hubs. The inner liner is pasted down, brown paper. The inner liner is pasted to the end papers and connects the text block to the cover. The spine is rounded, as well as the corners. There are two burgundy ribbon markers. The page edges are gold gilt. This Bible’s spine is smyth-sewn. For those of you not familiar with what that means, it is when the pages are printed out in stacks, folded over into signatures (think pamphlets) and sewn to binding cord or ribbons in the spine, and also sewn to each other, until a text block is complete. This makes for a durable and flexible text block. This particular edition lays flat right out of the box. No break in time with this one folks!

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There are three end papers in the front. Then there is the presentation page, marriages page, births/adoptions page, and deaths page. These are not for extensive family records but suffice for immediate family.

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Next is the publisher’s page with copyright information. This edition was printed and bound in China. The table of contents is next, along with the preface and explanation of features. At the end we have a weights and measures page, a concordance, the creeds and confessions with an introduction, and eight pages of maps.

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This is a double column, paragraph format, black letter, edition with cross references, and foot notes. I find this volume to be superior in function. The flexibility of the cover, spine, and text block, aid in the holding, and reading of this Bible. The large 10.5 pt. font, the layout, the features, everything about this begs to be used. Considering the finite constraints of Bible design, I’m amazed at how much is packed into this Bible. Even with the large font, and the confessions and creeds this thing still manages to have some cross references, footnotes, a concordance, and maps. This is a great value, and I don’t hesitate to recommend it. You can purchase it directly from Crossway, or you can pick one up from Christianbook.com, Westminster Bookstore, or Amazon. If you’d like to see more pictures go to my Flickr album here.

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Uncategorized

The Origins of Policing in the Untied States of America is not Racist.

NBA LeBron James Is a Coward. : ThyBlackMan.com

Recently, I’ve heard from the woke crowd that policing/law enforcement in America is systemically racist because it originated with slave owner’s needs to recapture escaped black slaves. I’ve also read that it is one of the ways that the rich, white, oppressors oppress the people of color, or poor people. It seems odd to me that they equate being a person of color to necessarily being poor. I remember in history that white immigrants were oppressed. They have completely misdiagnosed the problem, and the root cause, as usual.

There has always been law givers, enforcers, and violators. The first law breakers were Adam and Eve. The only transcendent and just law giver is God Himself. As far as humans are concerned, whoever the strongest thug is makes the law, and his subservient men enforce it. The rest of the people in the area are subjects to it. This does not make it just. Since only God is just, even the most conscientiously written human laws will fall short of God’s laws in terms of justice. Since God is the only omniscient being, He is the only one who can judge justly. Mankind will always only know part of what he can know, and that part will not be known perfectly. His judgments are based on his faulty knowledge, understanding, and communications.

In the earliest times of human history, men have made laws. Monarchs have ruled. Feudal systems reigned. These men were from all tribes and tongues, all colors, and creeds. It is a sad, inane, ignorant, backwards, brainwashed slave, that believes the lies of the woke crowd. Evil, sinners, oppress other evil sinners, at will as long as there is no law written on their hearts to stop them. Only an internal law from God will stop a man from doing evil, and evil continuously. Color does not matter.

When men came here from England, they brought the laws of the English monarchy. The Puritans brought the laws of God. They attempted to govern themselves by employing the scriptures as their authoritative source of law. The Church enforced the laws on the people, but one of the major differences is that they were willing to be governed. The lawless people in America today however don’t want to be governed by what God says is good or evil. They want to make up the laws themselves. They want to subject us to their twisted views of right and wrong. That is where all this woke nonsense is coming from. They don’t care about justice. They only care about themselves. They are selfish children wresting the power away from the adults because they are spoiled brats. When everything is racist, nothing is. They have nothing to complain about so they create problems. They need to look at their own lives first, and get to work there.

Where does justice come from? God. Where does just law come from? God. Where does the notion of law enforcement come from? God. The minister of justice does not bear the sword in vain. The legal system did not start as a racist system to recapture slaves. That is preposterous. Policing did not come from a racist system to recapture slaves. If you want just laws, you must repent of your sins, and trust the true law giver Who is also the only just judge. The laws of our country will only be just when we are a Christian nation. You wanted to depart from your Christian heritage and faith… Look where it has gotten you! Confused, self-loathing, and full of bitterness, and hate.

Uncategorized

Mask Wearing.

HALYARD* Blue Level 2 Procedure Mask with Earloops - Face Masks & N95 Respirators - Facial ...

How often have smart people been wrong lately? Quite often. Why? Because they start with a false presupposition. When a person starts with the belief that God does not exist, then builds their scientific practices on that belief, they end up with wrong assumptions, and conclusions. That is why I don’t agree with them about their conclusions on climate change, evolution, abortion, euthanasia, and mask wearing, or as I like to call them, “Freedom filters.”

There are only a few truly scientific studies out there, but they are wrong to begin with. One of them has a cage of infected mice, opposite a cage of healthy mice, with mask material between the cages, and fans blowing over the infected mice towards the uninfected ones. That is flawed because it is not analogous to human individuals wearing masks and mingling with each other. One of the other studies demonstrates how different freedom filters stop droplets from being transmitted. They only measure droplets, not smaller particles of water vapor. Other studies are even more anecdotal.

Keep in mind, when your freedom filter catches your breath, the droplets, may collect on the surface, but as you breath in and out, evaporative action occurs. You are actually making a finer mist out of your virus laden respirations. You are still vulnerable to pathogens that are very small, like a virus.

I am a man. I am an individual created by God with certain rights and liberties. I have the God given right to self determination. You could call this a religious belief if you want, but it is much more foundational than that. It is the idea that the government cannot tell me how to take care of my health. If I want to drink a pot of coffee, eat ten bacon burgers a day, and lay around, I can do it. I will suffer the consequences as an individual. You don’t have to take care of me out of the public coffer. I have to pay for my medical bills, and suffer the physical consequences. I have the right, as a man, to self determination.

That right is subordinate to God, His will, His law, and His word. My right, is necessary for me to navigate the world that He made. I operate inside of the nature that I am bound to. As a Christian, my new nature allows me to live in the spirit, and die in the flesh. I know that this world is not the be all end all. If wearing a freedom filter gives you the false sense of safety that you desire, go ahead and wear one. I don’t want to wear one because I know the so called science behind their effectiveness is a lie. When I am told to do something that I know is a lie, I get righteously angry. For instance, the world wants me to celebrate gay marriage, divorce, abortion, transgenderism, paganism, perversions of all sorts, and I get angry! With good reason. Because all those things are lies straight from hell.

Don’t expect me to buy what you are selling just because there is some pseudo-science studies, or claims behind it. After all, these are the geniuses who claimed the world would end due to an ice age before I graduated from high school. Then they claimed we’d all be dead due to global warming. Now they call it climate change because they can’t make up their minds. These are the same folks who can’t say definitively what gender a person is, or anything else for that matter. They even believe we evolved from apes, and are getting better, smarter, and longer lived, lol. Good luck with those, “scientific” beliefs fellas. Let me know how that works out for you. Until my end comes, I want to go about without a freedom filter. I am not hurting you by not wearing one. You are a mindless cow following the other cows to the slaughter house. I’ve had the virus and lived through it. If I hadn’t, I’d gone to be with Jesus. Win, win in my book. The only people who fear death, are the ones who don’t know Jesus!

Here is the bad news. We are all sinners, and deserve death and hell. God should kill us right now, and send us there. The good news is that He came to this world, lived a righteous life, laid that life down as a sinless sacrifice, was crucified on a Roman cross. There He took our sin guilt on Himself, and He took the wrath of God, poured out on Him in our place, as our substitute. He paid the penalty that we own in His precious blood. He atoned for us. We are commanded to repent of our sins, and trust the work that Jesus did on the cross so we can be made right with God. Because of what He did, we can be with Him in eternity. Repent, and believe folks. There is no thing on Earth that can stop your death. 100% of us will die.

Bible Reviews · Bibles · Crossway

Review of the Jake Weidmann Artists Series Single Column E.S.V. Journaling Bible from Crossway.

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I hadn’t realized how long I had went in between reviews until recently. I hope to do more reviews, as I will be retiring from my full time job as a Corrections Officer in a few months. Someone I know wanted me to review this Bible, so here’s to you friend. I hope you enjoy the review, and thanks again to Crossway for providing this Bible for the review.

The Artist Series from Crossway highlights the talents of select artists to embellish Bibles. This one has had some line art from Jake Weidmann placed on the outer cover. This is a hardcover Bible. Here is an excerpt from Crossway’s information on the product page about their Artist Series. “The ESV Single Column Journaling Bible, Artist Series is a collection of journaling Bibles meant to celebrate the treasure of God’s Word through the artistic talents of his people. These Bibles feature commissioned cover artwork designed by Christian artists such as Peter Voth, Ruth Chou Simons, and Joshua Noom. Each artist offers a visual entry point focused on a particular biblical theme or passage, setting a tone of reflection as readers engage with the Bible.”

If you are interested in looking at the product page, here is a link. I haven’t written a review on the E.S.V. English Standard Version for a while, so let me reiterate, it is a splendid translation. It is one of my favorite formal equivalence translations. Beside the 1995 NASB, and now the Legacy Standard Bible, it is my next favorite translation. It remains accurate, without watering down the Word, or destroying the majesty of scripture.

This Bible arrived with a slightly dinged corner. I think that is due to the way it was packaged for shipping. It was not in a box with padding, inside another box. It was sent in a sleeve type box. I know this is popular these days, but keep in mind, if your Bible shows up damaged, you can send it back for an exchange. If this happens often enough, the publishers will need to go back to using more expensive packaging. This cost will be passed on to the consumer, but in my opinion, it would be worth it to make sure the customer is happy.

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Instead of having a clam-shell, or two piece box, this Bible is wrapped with a plastic, or cellulose band, that has some information about the Bible’s features, and a bit about the artist Jake Weidmann on it.

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When you open this Bible up, you’ll see a card with a picture of the artist on one side, and an explanation of the cover art on the other. As a fan of the German Bauhaus design philosophy, I was more concerned with the layout, typeface, paper, and other features than the cover art. That being said, the line art on the cover is not gaudy, or in any way excessive, or irreverent. Weidmann’s line art combines nicely with the sparrow. One doesn’t overpower the other.

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I asked a friend who was interested in this Bible due to their knowledge of Weidmann and his work to provide a short note about him. Here is what she had to say,

“Jake Weidmann is a master penman, one of only 14 in the world. He earned his Master Penman in 2011, well before the resurgence in interest in decorative calligraphy and the writing arts. He uses calligraphy in his artwork to “give both the words and the pictures more life and a stronger message”. He was fascinated with art, coloring and drawing by age 3. He was obsessed with making his handwriting beautiful and would take all the time in his classes to practice his handwriting. Even in college he didn’t think he would become an artist; he was getting his degree in psychology and when he applied for an art minor in college, he was told that his work wasn’t right for the department. Before he completed college he received requests for commissions of his work, and has been working as an artist ever since.

He uses single line calligraphy to make graphic images primarily of Christian theological themes, such as hymns, bible verses and portraiture. He notes that his work is a kind of iconography, writing a story in the form of a pictograph. He speaks to the heart of the viewer by layering different images, symbols and texts. They are meant to draw you in, to make you think and consider the image on a deeper level.Several videos have been produced of him creating an image, which can take hundreds of hours to complete. His work can be found on jakeweidmann.com and he has his own YouTube channel.” S. Eddy-Kissell

This particular Bible is a single column, journaling Bible. It is a black letter edition. The spine is sewn. That feature makes for a long-lasting, lay flat, Bible. There is a shiny blue ribbon marker. The ribbon’s blue stands out against the cream colored paper. The paper is a smooth, thin, and cream colored. The smoothness of the paper reminds me of the paper used in premium Bibles, although this one is printed, and bound in China, and sells for a value price. The font is 7.5 pt. lexicon typeface that appears to be line matched. These two features, along with the uniform, and consistent print throughout, make this edition easy on the eyes. If you have older eyes, you might want to think about something in a 10 pt. font, or getting some reading glasses if you want to read anything 8 pt. or under. The corners are square, while the spine looks rounded. There are blue and white decorative head and tail bands. The margins are two inches wide, and ruled. This should be splendid for note taking, or journaling.

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I don’t think the paper is thick enough to write on with a wet fountain pen. Using a fine, or extra fine tip might be alright, but if it is scratchy at all, it might damage the paper. I’d probably stick to pencils, or Pigma Micron pens for note taking, or journaling in this one. Your opinion may be different. If you are looking for a wonderfully laid out, single column, journaling Bible, at a value price, look no further. This Bible would work well in that role.

I have more pictures of this Bible on my Flickr page if you’d like to look at them. Here is the link. Besides being available on the publisher’s site, you can also purchase this Bible from Christianbook.com for a big discount. You can also find it on Amazon.com.

ISBN 978 1 4335 7266 1 list price of $49.99 U.S.

Bible Reviews · Bibles

A Review of the Legacy Standard Bible, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs, in Brown Shamar Goatskin.

Legacy Standard Bible

I preordered this Bible when I found out it was going to be published. Three Sixteen Publishing/Steadfast Bibles sells it on their site. Master’s Seminary in California, connected with John MacArthur, got permission from the Lockman Foundation to tighten up the translation a bit. I think this was an admirable goal, as I believe the 2020 NASB to be heavily influenced by Zondervan. Zondervan is a major licenser of the NASB from Lockman. I think the 2020 is not as good as the 1995. After looking the LSB over, I can say, I still have some questions about certain translation choices. The LSB does use Yah, and Yahweh, in place of the small uppercase LORD that has been adopted as a convention. Of course in the New Testament where kurious was used, it remained Lord, obviously. I’m sure that will make some cult members mad. I’m not a Hebrew Roots guy, nor am I an Assemblies of Yahweh cult member. I do like the more accurate translation. Doulos has been translated as slave, just like they said it was. My problems with certain choices in translation are few, and not very significant. I just find the translation choices in certain parts to be curious. I would have liked to ask why they did certain things. I was wondering why they didn’t translate Christos as anointed. There was also a spot (I can’t remember where it was now) that inserted the word Jesus into the text, even though in Greek, Insous wasn’t there, but to make the sentence make sense, considering English sentence structure, and context, Jesus was added. It was obvious from the information that was there that the verse was something that Jesus was saying. I guess I was hoping for less italicized words, and an even more strict translation. That being said, it is still a very good translation. So far, I would put it up there with the 1977, and 1995 NASB translations.

The Bible I purchased was printed and bound by Jongbloed in the Netherlands. It is every bit as good as a Schuyler, or Crossway premium that Jonglboed produces.

Legacy Standard Bible

It arrived undamaged, and in a shipping box. Inside that box was a 2 piece box that is pretty well constructed. It should keep your Bible safe for many years.

Legacy Standard Bible

As you can see, it was also shrink wrapped in plastic, and double banded with black paper. I unwrapped it before I thought to take pictures. I wasn’t planning on doing a review. Since I was excited to get it, and unwrapped it, I had to kind of put it back in the plastic, and paper bands to take some pictures.

Here are some of the vital statistics from the publisher’s page;

  • Black letter editions only
  • Two-column verse-by-verse format
  • 8.5 pt. font size
  • Line-matched Scripture text
  • French-milled, 32 gsm paper (same as our Preacher’s Bible Handy Size)
  • Sewn binding
  • Gold gilding on page edges
  • Durable foil-stamped cover with perimeter stitching
  • 2 sided satin ribbon marker, matching the exterior binding color
  • 4.5 x 6.2 inches
  • 640 pages

Like I said earlier, if you have had a Schuyler, or a premium Crossway, you can expect the same high quality. The cover is goatskin leather. I chose the deep brown. It is very supple. There isn’t much there as far as texture goes. It is not deeply pebbled. It is pretty smooth, and soft. The edge lined binding makes this Bible a joy to hold in the hand, and yes you can hold this Bible in one hand, and comfortably read it. The line matching, and 8.5pt. font add greatly to this.

The cover is perimeter stitched, and there is a gold perimeter line around the interior cover.

Legacy Standard Bible
Legacy Standard Bible

The spine is hot stamped with, “Legacy Standard Bible New Testament Psalms & Proverbs” It has the logo on the head, and, “Steadfast Bibles” on the tail. The page edges are art gilt. Not simply gilded. The less expensive editions are probably the ones that are simply gilded.

Legacy Standard Bible
Legacy Standard Bible

It is a black letter edition, with a double column layout, in verse format. There are no cross references, footnotes, or any other helps/features in this edition. (No maps or concordance) The idea for a N.T. edition like this is portability, and readability. An elder on the go will be well served by this design.

Legacy Standard Bible

You can check out the rest of my pictures of this edition on my flikr album here.

If you’d like to purchase your own copy, you can do so here, 316 Publishing.

racism · Uncategorized

How am I white? How is he black?

Have you ever had a D.N.A. analysis done? I had one done. I was surprised by the results. I was confident that I knew what ethnic groups I descended from. As it turns out, there was a lot more to it than what I had originally thought. Apparently, I descend from people as far north as Oslo, Norway, and as far south as Nigeria. I recently watched a video on the internet where a lady was anxiously awaiting her D.N.A. results to see what tribe she was from in Africa. She was very excited, but when she read the results, she began to cry as if she had been crushed. You see, she was over 60% European. Now, looking at her, you would think that her ethnic heritage would be mostly from the continent of Africa. Her skin was very dark. Her hair was kinky. Her eyes were dark brown. Her facial characteristics were largely similar to other people with her descendancy, but here’s the rub. Most people who the godless leftists would call, “black” are not what they superficially appear to be on the outside, and most people who they call, “white” are not what they have been labeled either.


This nonsense of Critical Race Theory, and intersectionality, are all the exact types of prejudice we sought to eradicate in this country during the civil rights movement, and we were largely successful. Why on Earth would we want to go back to categorizing, and judging people based on something as superficial, and meaningless, as their skin color? However, this is exactly what the left is insisting we do with the practice of, “anti-racism.” This buzzword, “anti-racism” doesn’t mean that we should simply disapprove of prejudice based on skin color. No, it requires that we actively try to punish, cancel, and brainwash anyone who doesn’t fall in lockstep with the radical leftists. They have created a term, “racism” to be the label they give a person to negate their arguments. This only works because many are afraid of being called a racist. They, “poison the well” by calling you a racist. To quote one of the proponents of this prejudiced ideology, “One is either racist or anti-racist. There is no room for neutrality, and there is no such thing as a “non-racist.” Racism scholar Ibram X. Kendi.


This is a logical fallacy, and people seem to be falling for it. The presupposition this statement is founded on is that you are either or. They present a false dilemma. While making an absolute statement they leave no room for any other option. According to Kendi, you are either a racist, or you are an anti-racist. As noted above, they also utilize the, “poisoning the well” fallacy by claiming that you are a racist. This way, other’s opinions of you, and your argument are affected before your debate even begins. The lost are at a disadvantage because they have been given over to debased minds, perversion, and they believe that they are wise. They also believe that they can hear, see, and know the truth, even though God says in His word that they are deaf, blind, and lost. To them, we are the fools, and the evil doers.


Just like all other sinful lies people have enthusiastically embraced, the notion of, “racism” as portrayed by the godless left leads individuals to believe that they are victims of other people, they see themselves as entitle to being treated a certain way, and it gives them feelings of justifiable anger, and hatred towards other individual humans, based on something as superficial, and meaningless, as the color of their skin. The only solution for hate in the heart, is to receive a new heart, with new affections, and desires. Do you know how to receive that new heart? If you confess your sins to God, and ask Him to forgive you, not based on your own goodness, which you do not have, Jesus said, “None are good, but God.” You must trust in the work that Jesus did on the cross to pay for your sins, and trust Him alone. When you repent of your sins, and trust the Savior, you’ll step from eternal death, and darkness, into eternal light, and life. God will give you a new heart, that desires, and thirsts for righteousness, and loves God’s word. Please, to destroy prejudice based on skin color in your own heart, repent of sin, and trust the Savior. Don’t buy into these worldly ideologies like critical race theory. It is simply the hatred of people with light color skin, based solely on their skin color.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/12/genetic-study-reveals-surprising-ancestry-many-americans

government · Uncategorized

Demoncratic Representative Emanuel Cleaver.

Ask yourself, “Does this man know Christ?” If you answered, “Yes.” You probably don’t either. Yes, God is one, but He is a trinity. No, the one true God is not the same god worshipped by other monotheistic religions. If you believe that, you don’t know Jesus. Amen, is not a gendered term, so offering an alternate in the form of awomen is purely idiotic pandering, and offensive to all Christians. אָמֵן ’âmên; in Hebrew means, verily, truly, amen, so be it, and here is the Greek usage of the Hebrew word, ἀμήν amēn; of Hebrew origin (h543); properly, firm, i.e. (figuratively) trustworthy; adverbially, surely (often as interjection, so be it): — amen, verily. AV (152) – verily 101, amen 51;firm metaph. faithful verily, amen the beginning of a discourse – surely, truly, of a truth at the end – so it is, so be it, may it be fulfilled. It was a custom, which passed over from the synagogues to the Christian assemblies, that when he who had read or discoursed, had offered up solemn prayer to God, the others responded Amen, and thus made the substance of what was uttered their own. – The word “amen” is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best known word in human speech. The word is directly related — in fact, almost identical — to the Hebrew word for “believe” (amam), or faithful. Thus, it came to mean “sure” or “truly”, an expression of absolute trust and confidence. — HMM This is from Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary and Biblestudy app. Do you all see how wrong Demoncratic representative Emanuel Cleaver is?

Uncategorized

What does your fight with sin look like?

Imagine if you will, that you received a letter in the mail. It was from an anonymous sender with no return address. This is what was written in the letter,

“Mr. Carnal Christian, we have your mother, and father. We have agents all over the world, and surveillance running 24/7. The next time you sin by lusting after that co-worker, or by looking at pornography, or by hating the jerk who voted for the other candidate, we are going to beat your mother, and father like dogs. We will stop when they aren’t recognizable as humans.”

Now since you have recently heard from Mom, and Dad, you assume this is some kind of sick joke. The disturbing message bounces around in your head for the next few days. You see Ms. Jezebel at work, and the way she looks, and flirts with you, makes you feel excited, and you know your wife will never find out. It isn’t like you are actually doing anything with her. After all, it is just flirting. You remember the letter for a moment, and say to yourself, “What a sick joke.”

The next day, your wife and kids go to town to shop, while you are like King David, staying home from the battle, ignoring your duties as King. Everyone is gone, but double-u, double-u, double-u, dot, Bathsheba dot, com is waiting for you on her rooftop. No one will know. Your browser has a built in feature to scrub this kind of… indiscretion from it’s history. What about that letter though? What kind of twisted mind comes up with something like that? As you look, you feel the guilt, but the hungry flesh won’t let you go.

“I can’t believe Mr. Pinko would vote for that traitor. Man, it is guys like that who are ruining this country. I hate them all so much! They should all be put in camps, or killed!” Your post on social media gets tons of likes, and you feel like you did something to help from your superior position.

You receive another letter in the mail, much like the first one, it is anonymous with no return address. The missive communicates, “Apparently, you didn’t believe us, but your mother, and father have been beaten like we promised.” This is preposterous! There is no way this is true.

The next scenario is much the same, but instead of a letter, you receive a voice message with the same information. The same things happen, and after you failed to believe the warning, you receive a recording with the sounds of people who are being beaten. It sounds like your parents, but you are incredulous. You won’t believe that someone would do this to your parents because of your… little mistakes.

This following scenario is just like the first two, but instead of being a letter, or a solely an audio recording, it is a video ,and recording. The video is of two people who look exactly like your mom, and dad. In the video they say their names, and beg you not to engage in those wretched sins, but you think to yourself, “This can’t be real. It must be one of those deep fakes. Yes, that must be what it is, and you engage in all of your previous weaknesses, after all, you can’t help yourself. You’re an addict. It is a disease, right?” Afterwards, you are sent the recording of those two people being reduced to bloody pulps, lying on the ground in their own gore, sobbing in misery. “This can’t be real. It is some disgusting trick to get me to act a different way. My parents are fine. I love them so much. I would never put them through this.” Your thoughts are those of disbelief.

In this last scenario, a buxom Ms. Jezebel is in the room with you. She is willing. A smartphone with an internet connection is there too. All you have to do is punch in the address, and you can see, and hear all of the perversion your little heart desires. You can also spew your hate for all people who aren’t like you out into the pseudo-world of social media. This time however is very different. The people who sent you the letters, audio messages, and the videos are there with you. They have your mom, and dad. This is real. You still don’t believe that someone could do this, but it is real. You are talking with your mom, and dad. Their captors are warning you, and watching you. Just for a moment it seems like your captors aren’t paying attention, and Ms. Jezebel is really turning up the heat on you. You start to flirt back, but as soon as you started thinking about it, the captors began scourging your parents. Their screams of pain shook you free from your sinful lusts. You turned just in time to see them being whipped for your sin. Now, since you do love them, you stopped what you were doing, and ran to their captors begging them to have mercy. With that, they stopped, but warned you not to engage in your sins again, or they would suffer.

How real is the suffering of Jesus to you? Is it as real as what is written on paper, but not real enough to fight against your sinful temptations?

Is it as real as a podcast from one of your favorite theologians warning against a luke-warm faith?

Is it as real as an internet video sermon on our love for ourselves, and our loved ones, outshining our love for Christ?

It is one thing to think of Christ suffering in our place, the punishment for our sins. It is another to actually realize it. Is the suffering of Jesus Christ, your beloved Savior real to you? Do the thoughts of His scourging, crucifixion, and having the wrath of God poured out on Him, on the cross cause you to tremble in remorse, and sorrow? It is easy to say we are Christians. I’m as guilty as any of you. Our love for Christ grows distant, and cold. As this happens, the reality of what He did on the cross loses the hard corners of reality that breaks into our slumbering consciences. Our love for our own flesh outweighs our love for Christ. We feed our sins without considering our God who saves. Jesus said in His word, ““If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Does that sound like a faith that has room for your pet sins? Does that sound like a life that can be lived in comfort, with not a single shot fired from your ship against the fleet of the devil? Does that sound like a call to peace with the world’s forces? No! It is a call to arms! It is a battle cry! I’m tired as well brothers, and sisters, but we can’t give up the fight. When you, or I fall to sin, we must immediately, while still on our knees repent! Don’t wait until your guilt is dulled by the passing of time! Don’t wait, hoping God’s memory of the sin will fade! Confess, right there on your knees, in the dirt. Confess to Him what He already knows, and beg His mercy grounded on what He did on the cross. We don’t deserve it, but He offers it. That is what grace is. It is unmerited favor. God will forgive you, if you call on the name of Jesus. His is faithful, and just to do so.

The next time you are fighting sin, think of your beloved Savior, Jesus, next to you, in the room. If you love Him, would you have Him tortured for your carnal indulgence in treason against the King of all? I hope this thought, held high in our minds, will keep us from sin. I hope we can employ this vivid imagery of what is real, and true to stop us before we commit such evil. Lord have mercy on us we ask in the name of Jesus. We confess that we have sinned against you, and justly deserve your wrath, but Christ has stood in our stead. Please sanctify us, and grow us in holiness. Use us for Your glory, amen.

Uncategorized

Christmas from the Bible.

Matthew 1:18-25


18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23“BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” 24And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

Luke1:26-38

the Birth of Jesus Christ Foretold

   26Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 36“And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37“For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Luke 2:1-20 The Birth of Jesus the Christ
Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem

1Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

      8In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12“This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

      14“Glory to God in the highest,
            And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

      15When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
Matthew 2:1-12
1Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” 3When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:

      6‘AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH,
            ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH;
            FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER
            WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.’”

      7Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” 9After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
John 1:1-18  
The Deity of Jesus Christ

 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

The Witness John

      6There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.      9There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

The Word Made Flesh

      14And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

Church · cultural

Bread and Circus! While Our Brothers are Dying for Our Entertainment!

Here is a video challenge for my Christian friends. If you can watch the following video all the way to the end, without skipping parts, you are a glutton for punishment. After you watch it, consider, is this the faith that the reformers fought for? Is this the faith the martyrs were murdered for? Is this the faith the Apostles taught? Is this the faith our Lord suffered and died for? If you are attending a, “Church” like this, and have not learned the Bible, or feel empty inside, or depressed, or ill equipped for a God glorifying life, or you can’t share the gospel because you, yourself don’t know it, consider leaving the church you are in, and finding an actual Church instead of a circus. A good Church preaches God’s word, the Bible, to the people, and teaches them from it about Him. It equips them to defend the faith, and share the gospel. (good news about Jesus) It is reverent, and orderly. It seeks to present every man mature in Christ. Now, the video… I barely made it through to the end.