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When "Junk DNA" Isn't Junk: Farewell to a Darwinist Standard
Category: Dr Denis says

Dr's Denis and Marti O'Callaghan

by Dr's Denis and Marti O'Callaghan

 

Gentle readers,
While this may be a wee bit technical, you don't have to understand it totally to copy it and pass it on to your "favorite" Atheist or evolutionist" ( Watch them squirm).


We often hear from Darwinians that the biological world is replete with examples of shoddy engineering, or, as they prefer to put it, bad design. One such case of really poor construction is the inverted retina of the vertebrate eye. As we all know, the retina of our eyes is configured all wrong because the cells that gather photons, the rod photoreceptors, are behind two other tissue layers. Light first strikes the ganglion cells and then passes by or through the bipolar cells before reaching the rod photoreceptors. Surely, a child could have arranged the system better — so they tell us.



The problem with this story of supposed unintelligent design is that it is long on anthropomorphisms and short on evidence. Consider nocturnal mammals. Night vision for, say, a mouse is no small feat. Light intensities during night can be a million times less than those of the day, so the rod cells must be optimized — yes, optimized — to capture even the few stray photons that strike them. Given the backwards organization of the mouse’s retina, how is this scavenging of light accomplished? Part of the solution is that the ganglion and bipolar cell layers are thinner in mammals that are nocturnal. But other optimizations must also occur. Enter the cell nucleus and “junk” DNA.
darwin_jesus

In the Darwinist repertoire, a standard response to evidence of design in the genome is to point to the existence of “junk DNA.” What is it doing there, if purposeful design really is detectable in the history of life’s development? Of course this assumes that the “junk” really is junk. That assumption has been cast increasingly into doubt. New research just out in the journal Nature Genetics finds evidence that genetic elements previously thought of as rubbish are anything but that. The research describes tiny strands of RNA, previously thought to be junk, that now turn out to play a role in gene expression. Another finding by Dr. Geoff Faulkner shows that “retrotransposons,” a further variety of “junk” as the dogma previously taught, play a similar role.

Nearly half of the mammalian genome (less than 45 percent) is comprised of DNA sequences thought for decades to be but evolutionary flotsam and jetsam or junk: retrotransposons. Found along every one of our chromosomes, retrotransposons mobilize within our cells via RNA copies, copies that are then converted into DNA and afterward pasted into different DNA sites. To be sure, the vast majority of these “jumping gene” duplicates, well over a million elements, appear to be little more than pseudogenes, defective images of master templates that merely drift by mutations into a phylogenetic oblivion.

Retrotransposons appear to fit the neo-Darwinian story perfectly. First, the master templates of these elements seem to serve no other purpose than to promote their own replication at the expense of the cell, and so, by the criteria of Richard Dawkins’s 1976 book The Selfish Gene, retrotransposons are selfish genes par excellence. Second, the DNA progeny of such “endogenous viruses” are without a doubt marred in various ways, as just mentioned. Relative to the original, in other words, they are junk. Third, a retrotransposon inserted into a chromosome can disrupt normal gene functions, and mutations due to these sequences have long been detected. Fourth, only a comparative few retrotransposons are conserved across different groups of mammals, with most of the DNA families being restricted to certain families, genera, or even species. Humans and mice as well as mice and rats can readily be separated solely on the basis of their retrotransposon profiles. So the bulk of these sequences do not merit being retained by natural selection.

With such facts at hand, it is no wonder that retrotransposons and other “non-coding” DNAs are part of Exhibit A on the side of the neo-Darwinian prosecution, over and against the intelligent design defense.

But there have always been big holes in this tale of selfish, junk DNA. We have known since the late 1980s that retrotransposons are distributed non-randomly along chromosomes. Even though humans and mice and rats have different families of these sequences — ultimately a reflection, according to neo-Darwinists, of randomness — the linear pattern of placement of the elements is uncannily similar. Likewise, data accumulated throughout the ’80s and ’90s which indicated that normal gene regulation can be controlled by pieces of such mobile DNA. Evidence for other diverse regulatory roles of retrotransposons has also continued to mount till the present.

But it wasn’t until recently that we learned just how extensive is the informational impact of retrotransposons on the mammalian genome. The recent study by Geoffrey Faulkner et al. (2009) is only the latest. Using the RNA expression profiles of the human and mouse genomes as a backdrop, a number of key facts were uncovered. For one thing, tens to hundreds of thousands of transcription start sites — the beginning points of RNA transcripts — occur in retrotransposons. According to the data they gathered, anywhere from 6 to 30 percent of RNAs in the two species arise from repetitive (aka “junk”) DNA. For another, elements that reside in or near protein-coding genes provide alternative regions to initiate transcription, many previously unknown, and they allow for the production of various non-translated RNAs. The “start RNA production” signals conveyed by retrotransposons such as the mouse-specific VL30 retrovirus-like sequences are also markedly tissue-specific. Altogether, the results point to retrotransposons being “intrinsic components of the transcription forest regions of the genome” (Faulkner et al., 2009).

This is all rather awkward for the Darwinian side, obviously. Another standard weapon in their armory is to charge intelligent-design theorists with making a “God of the gaps” argument, where gaps in scientific knowledge are assumed to be evidence of design. The reality is that the case for Darwinian evolution is much more reasonably shown to depend on gaps — in our knowledge of what “junk DNA” does, for one thing. Hence a sobriquet for the view that evolutionists are saddled with defending: “Darwin of the gaps.”
 

An "open letter"
Category: Dr Denis says

Dr's Denis and Marti O'Callaghan

by Dr's Denis and Marti O'Callaghan

 

"And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." Ezekiel 22:30

Gentle Readers & Dear Saints of God,

In 1994 Mark Noll wrote in his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, in which he called Evangelicals to task for neglecting the mind. He began, "The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind."

American evangelicals are not exemplary for their thinking, and they have not been so for several generations . . . evangelicalism has little intellectual muscle."
"By an evangelical 'life of the mind' I mean more the effort to think like a Christian - to think within a specifically Christian framework - across the whole spectrum of modern learning, including economics and political science, literary criticism and imaginative writing, historical inquiry and philosophical studies, linguistics and the history of science, social theory and the arts."

"The greatest danger besetting American Evangelical Christianity is the danger of anti-intellectualism. . . . For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ Himself, as well as for their own sakes, the Evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence."
Noll adds,
"Learning may have a greater tendency to inculcate pride than some other human activities, but only relatively so. Business executives who boast in their firms, parents who boast in their children, gardeners who boast in their tomatoes, patriots who boast in their nation - all are called, with scholars who boast in their books, to subordinate the object of their affections to the absolute glory that belongs to God alone.
". . . the Christian who is committed to the life of the mind will regard the tasks to which other believers are called with the same respect that he or she accords to the intellectual life. Just as, in the apostle's phrase, 'the eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you,"' so the scholar cannot say to the illiterate believers, 'I don't need you.' And vice versa" (emphasis mine).

Personally, I believe the laziest among us are thrilled to find themselves in the midst of an anti-intellectual culture. Why read the wisdom of learned men and women when one can formulate and espouse one's own foolishness instead?
Many Churches are looking for a "certain man of God" to become their next Pastor. I am not interested in just a place to fill an "empty spot" but in fact, a fellowship where learning will take place, lives are changed, People come to Christ, and the fellowship is committed to following Christ.

Many are not convinced that there is such a thing as objective moral truth. They're not convinced that Jesus is the only way. They're not convinced really that other religions aren't also ways to come to God,
I've been consistently struck by the amount of biblical illiteracy among Christians in churches. You can pick just a simple parable, a simple story of Jesus, that you think most Christians would know -- and although they may know about it, they will not really have any idea what it means!

We really, truly need very, very sound biblical teaching by some of the best biblical teachers around. If we could have a really firm grasp on what these biblical principles mean for our world, we can at least know how to live them out. And then we need to learn how to communicate that to the people around us.
I have considered more than 1000 churches who feel an need to call someone who will take them in a "different direction". If not scriptural then any direction is away from the God of the Bible and toward the "world"

There are however a few churches who still want Scripture taught more and being well taught in the Word of God is not a dirty word and while others prefer to go in a "different direction"! My desire is to grow in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus" and reach not only the "Saints" but the lost. Large or small, I do hope your desire an d fellowship is one of these, looking for a dedicated man who is not perfect but willing to strive to be the best one can be with God's help and direction. For we all are just one beggar showing another where to find bread.
Love,
Denis
 

Mother's Translation of the Bible
Category: Dr Denis says

Dr's Denis and Marti O'Callaghan

by Dr's Denis and Marti O'Callaghan

 

The Best Translation
By Gary Amirault

Because I do a lot of writing on the subject of Bible translating and Bible studies, I am often asked which is the best translation. This is my answer.

Mother's Translation of the Bible
(author unknown)

There is a story about four clergymen who were discussing the merits of the various translations of the Bible. One liked the King James Version best because of its beautiful English. Another liked the American Revised Version best because it is more literal and comes nearer to the original Hebrew and Greek. Still another liked Mofatt's translation best because of its up-to-date vocabulary.

The fourth minister was silent. When asked to express his opinion, he replied, "I like my mother's translation best."

The other three expressed surprise. They did not know his mother had translated the Bible.

"Yes, she did," he replied. "She translated it into life, and it was the most convincing translation I ever saw."


From Peterson's "The Message" translation:

"In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation an aroma redolent (diffused) with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.

"This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No but at least we don't take God's Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ's presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.

"Does it sound like we're patting ourselves on the back, insisting on our own credentials, asserting our authority? Well, we're not. Neither do we need letters of endorsement, either to you or from you. You yourselves are all the endorsement we need. Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it not with ink, but with God's living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives and we publish it.

"We couldn't be more sure of ourselves in this that you, written by Christ himself for God, are our letter of recommendation. We wouldn't think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter. His letter authorizes us to help carry out this new plan of action. The plan wasn't written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit. It's written with the Spirit on spirit, his life on our lives!" (2 Cor. 2:14-3:6, Peterson's "The Message" translation)

Now how is YOUR translation coming along? The key to writing a good living translation is paying very close attention to the Holy Spirit. There will be scores of messengers of Satan disguised as men and women of righteousness who will try to make you lettermen or stonemen (women included) anything except filled with the Spirit. Oh, they will try to cram those engraved stones down your throat and make you regurgitate them at command AND use them to kill your friends and enemies alike. They will ask you to support drives to get them engraved in court houses and posted in every classroom in the nation and all it will produce is death and hypocrisy.

From Peterson's "The Message" translation:

"The Government of Death, its constitution chiseled on stone tablets (what was written in stone in the Bible?), had a dazzling inaugural. Moses' face as he delivered the tablets was so bright that day (even though it would fade soon enough) that the people of Israel could no more look right at him than stare into the sun. How much more dazzling, then, the Government of Living Spirit?

"If the Government of Condemnation was impressive, how about the Government of Affirmation? Bright as the old government was, it would look downright dull alongside this new one. If that makeshift arrangement impressed us, how much more this brightly shining government installed for eternity?

"With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back. Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us. He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldn't notice that the glory was fading away and they DIDN'T notice. They didn't notice it then and they don't notice it now (and most Christians still don't notice it) that there's nothing left behind that veil. Even today when the proclamations of that old, bankrupt government are read out, they can't see through it. Only Christ can get rid of the veil so they can see for themselves that there's nothing there.

"Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did. God removes the veil and there they are face to face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him." (2 Cor. 3:7-18, Peterson's The Message Translation)

We see, then saints, that the glory of the Mosaic Law, the glory of the Ten commandments was condemnation. How can there be glory in condemnation you might ask? Because we use the law to elevate ourselves while putting other people down with it. We usually judge others harder than we judge ourselves. We use double standards. We judge unrighteously with it. As we judge and condemn others with it, it automatically elevates ourselves.

Picture a balanced scale. When we judge someone else, put someone else down, we add the weight of the law, the weight of our judgment to their side. What does that automatically do to our side of the scale? It lifts us up, which is another way of saying that it glorifies us at the expense of someone else.

The Old Covenant, which Paul called the "ministry of condemnation" and the "ministry of death" in the King James Version, consists of certain components all of which needed to be in place for that covenant to be in effect. The covenant must have an inaugurator, Moses. It had to be ratified by blood, animal blood. It had to have a priesthood, Levites. There had to be a God-specified location for gathering and offering sacrifices, Jerusalem. It had to have a set of laws, the Torah, the Mosaic Code. If one part of this structure was missing or if one failed to do any part of this covenant, the whole covenant was broken. (James 2:10) For example, if Jerusalem was destroyed, Israel could no longer offer up sacrifices. Therefore, the whole covenant was null and void. And what was the penalty? DEATH! That's why Paul called it the "ministry of death." (James 2:10)

Paul told us over 1900 years ago just before the total destruction Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the only lawful place in which to offer sacrifices, that the glory of the Mosaic Covenant was a fading one that was passing away even as he was writing. The destruction of Jerusalem would signal the absolute end of the Mosaic Covenant. A New Covenant was being ushered in. It had a new inaugurator, Jesus, the Messiah. It was ratified by the blood of the Son of God, Jesus. It had a new priesthood, Melchizedek. It had a new city for sacrifices of praise, New Jerusalem, the mother of us all. It had a new law, "the Law of the Spirit of the Life in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 8:1, 2, KJV) In this law there is NO condemnation. The Mosaic code was FULL of condemnation and death.

We can see clearly from the layout above that each of these covenants were laid out separately and were NOT to be mixed. What almost all of the church has done through Satan's deception is mix the two covenants together in various devious and fatal ways. Under this mixed arrangement, we often find ourselves applying the grace of the New Covenant to ourselves while applying the law part of the Old Covenant against our enemies. We have mixed the blood of bulls and goats with the blood of the Son of God, by taking parts of the Old Covenant and adding them to the New Covenant. The blinding power of mixing these two covenants is absolutely incredible. Many Christians swear they are not mixing the two and when in fact they have. Just see how many Christians, especially ministers and leaders, are zealous for getting the Ten Commandment of Moses written in stone into government buildings and schools. That will give one an indication of how prevalent and blinding this mixture has become. Anyone who comes along and tries to explain this to them or to church leadership is often labeled as one with a "divisive spirit" or a servant of Satan. Things haven't changed that much since Jesus was in the earth, have they?

When we mix the two covenants, it is like using two sets of stone weights to do business. In Biblical days (and even today in many third world countries), a dishonest merchant might use weights that were not accurate giving his customer less than what the stones on the scales revealed. Or he might use one set of stones for buying and a different set of stones for selling making sure the advantage would go to him.

This is what mixing the two covenants has produced in the body of Christ, dishonest merchants, crooked judges, deceitful workers. God has always sought a people who can be trusted with "righteous judgment." This is how the world will learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:9) We MUST get back to judging honestly. We MUST get back to using ONLY the "Law of the Spirit of the Life in Christ Jesus." When was the last time you heard a sermon on this Law of the New Covenant? If you never have, maybe it's time for you to find leadership who has not only heard of it and has taught on it, but actually practices it!

Our heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus, are looking for a people who will judge righteously according to the "Law of the Spirit of the Life in Christ Jesus." How can anyone qualify for this if they don't even know what it is?

Mixing Mosaic Law, even the Ten Commandments written in stone with the New Covenant VOIDS the grace of the New Covenant and brings one back under the curse of the Old Covenant. (Galatians 3:1-11; 5:1-8) This is why there is so little power and holiness in the church; it has fallen from grace and has become so blind by the mixed poison that it doesn't even know it is blind.

It is absolutely impossible to become "The Best Translation," (a life led by the Holy Spirit) while mixing up the two covenants. The best one can become is a very, very good hypocrite a chief Pharisee. And that is what many of the best seats in the modern houses of God are filled with. The reader can be assured they will NOT learn about the "Law of the Spirit of the Life in Christ Jesus" among them. One must go "outside the camp" and partake in the cup of His suffering. If you want to become the best translation you can be, you will have to go through a sifting process, which filters out all the impurities, which were added through the mixing process. There is no other way. There is a baptism of fire, which must be applied to one's life to purge out the leaven of the Old Covenant to make full room for the New Man of the Spirit. Moses is dead. Neither he, nor his covenant can bring one into the land of promise. Moses and his law, ALL of it, including that part written in stone must be set aside and exchanged for the "Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus." That doesn't mean we can't learn spiritual truths from Genesis through Malachi, it means we must read those pages very carefully with the aid of the Holy Spirit so that we "rightly divide the word of truth" and not be mixing up covenants. (2 Ti. 2:15)

This mixing of covenants that set the church on its course into the Dark Ages began in Paul's day and hasn't ceased since. Were Paul alive today, he would say the same thing to modern Christians that he warned his Galatian church about over 1900 years ago. Here would be his words to us paraphrased by Eugene H. Peterson in his "The Message" translation of the Bible:

"Oh crazy Christians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it's obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the Cross was certainly set before you clearly enough.

"Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God's Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren't smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up.

"Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you? Don't these things happen among you just as they happened to Abraham? He believed God, and that act of belief was turned into a life that was right with God.

"Is it not obvious to you that persons who put their trust in Christ (not persons who put their trust in the law!) are like Abraham: children of faith? It was all laid out beforehand in Scripture that God would set things right with non-Jews by faith. Scripture anticipated this in the promise to Abraham: 'All nations will be blessed in you.'

"So those who live by faith are blessed along with Abraham, who lived by faith this is no new doctrine! And that means that anyone who tries by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed by failure. Scripture backs this up: 'Utterly cursed is everyone who fails to carry out every detail written in the Book of the Law.'

"The obvious impossibility of carrying out such a moral program should make it plain that no one can sustain a relationship with God that way. The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you. Habakkuk had it right: 'The person who believes God, is set right by God and that's the real life.' Rule keeping does not naturally evolve into living by faith, but only perpetuates itself in more and more rule keeping, a fact observed in Scripture: 'The one who does these things [rule keeping] continues to live by them.'

"Christ redeemed us from the self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree'? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the Cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse. And now, because of that, the air is cleared and we can see that Abraham's blessing is present and available for non-Jews, too. We are all able to receive God's life, his Spirit, in and with us by believing just the way Abraham received it." (Galatians chapter 3, The Message translation by Peterson, Navpress Publishing Group, http://www.navpress.com )

Dear Christian, return to the Spirit of Truth (John 14:14-18; 16:12-15) and let Him lead you into all truth. He has the power to sort out this poisonous mixture so that you can become the Best Translation which He planned and purposed for your life from before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 2:8-22) And if you have never been introduced to the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would lead us into all Truth, ask Jesus to send Him. If you have grieved or quenched the Spirit (which is easy to do), ask Him for forgiveness. Ask Jesus to renew a right Spirit within you and to give you a genuine hunger for His Truth and Righteousness.
 

The Best Bible Translation
Category: Dr Denis says

Dr's Denis and Marti O'Callaghan

Dr's Denis and Marti O'Callaghan

library of Bible study Books

Gentle readers,

From time to time I said I'd return and share what am I am reading , thinking about. I don't expect you to agree with me or with what I have found but in any case here is something that is worth your time to think about.

Love,

Denis

free coffee

The Best Bible Translation


By Gary Amirault
(Rather lengthy but important article)

Probably more than any other question, I am asked “Which Bible translation is the most accurate or the one closest to the original Hebrew and Greek?” Comparing Bible translations and various Biblical texts is something I spend a great deal of my time on. I have hundreds of Bible translations, Parallel Bibles, Hebrew-Greek-English Interlinears, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Aramaic, Syrian texts and Bible dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, commentaries, etc. My computer is filled with incredible software to aid in determining the wording of the Bible that is most probable of being the original form. These tools are very valuable to me. But even if I had the perfect original, Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek – even if I had a perfect English translation, I believe there is something far more important than either of them. Let me explain:

Many years ago, I was in the middle of a very busy business day, about to enter a printing shop when I saw a street person come to the door of my car. I knew he was going to ask me for money.

Under my breath I said, “Lord, please don’t put him in my life right now. I am too busy.” What a stupid thing to say! Of course the Lord put him in my life.

He was a chronic alcoholic who lived under a bridge and often found himself in trouble. He had no teeth. One of his relatives had them all pulled but never got around to getting him dentures. Although he was in his 50’s, his mental abilities were that of a child.

I ended up spending several weeks trying to get him help with his alcoholic problem and other serious needs. The experience showed me how ineffective our social service programs for alcoholics are. At one point during these few weeks, I took him to a minister in hopes of having him delivered of unclean spirits. We commanded everything under the sun to come out of him, but he just stared at us, annoyed.

We began to quote various Scriptures to him. We hoped “the word of God,” (King James Authorized Version, of course) would set him free. We tried binding and loosing – everything we could think of.

Getting a little irritated with our zealousness, pointing to the Bible in my hand, he said to me, “Did you ever read the @#^*?” As I mentioned already, he had no teeth and I often did not understand what he was saying. I told him I didn’t understand so he repeated himself. I still didn’t understand. He repeated, “Did you ever read the @#^*?!” He was angrily poking the open pages of my Bible with his index finger. Finally, I made out what he was saying. He said, “Did you ever read the white?!” Instantly, those words pierced me with the divine revelation behind his words. Light broke through. Could I read between the lines. The words on pages of a book are black marks on white pages. When we read, we only look at the black ink, but the ink is actually on a white page. Each black letter was surrounded by white. It was the large white page that carried the small black letters. Could I see beyond the black ink -- beyond -- “it is written!?” “THE LETTER KILLS, IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT GIVES LIFE!” (2 Cor. 3:6) Could I read by the Holy Spirit? Could I go beyond the literal word and REALLY get the meaning? That is what this drunk sage was trying to tell me. The words “I love you” for example can have many different meanings depending upon who said that at what time and to whom for what purpose. True meaning goes far beyond the actual spoken or written word. This article is about learning to go beyond the “It is written” Church mentality which has brought legalism, fundamentalism and many other isms which have prevented His people from moving into the Spirit of His Holy Word. There are many forces in this world arrayed against God’s people to prevent them from entering into their inheritance. Bible translating and interpreting has been an area in which the devil has had a field day. In the coming years, this is going to change. Get ready for a mighty outpouring of revelation that will truly set His people free that they may go into the world and into creation itself to set it free from its bondage to corruption.

Reading the White

My drunken friend ended up dying of alcoholism. Before knowing the Lord, I swore I’d never go to a funeral. (Dumb again.) His family asked me to preach his eulogy. Before he died he told me that one time he went to heaven. Somehow, I believe him. After all, where else can one learn to read the white? Have you ever read the white?

Let me give the reader another example of “reading the white” and the profound effects such an experience can have on one’s life and the lives of those around them:

Martin Luther and Righteousness Through Faith

In the early 1500’s a Catholic monk named Martin Luther tried to live a life holy enough to be accepted by God. Unlike most Christians of that time period, he could read the Bible. The Bible was off limits to the common people. Most Christians could not read, but even if they did, the Church forbid them from reading the Bible. Church leaders at that time (like many church leaders today) did not think the average Christian was capable of understanding it – they felt Christians needed priests to explain to them what God demands of them. Actually many Christian do not believe they can really understand the bible on their own. They attend churches who have trained ministers who tell them what the Bible really means. Things haven’t changed as much as we would like to think.

During the time when Christians were not allowed to read the Bible, the Church did not allow it to be translated into common languages such as English, German, Spanish or French. Latin, to the Roman Catholic Church, was the “sacred language.” Therefore, church services were done in Latin. Most people couldn’t understand Latin. In his way, the Church leadership kept laypeople in darkness. Martin Luther, however, was a monk; therefore he had access to the Bible in its Latin form.

He read in Romans 1:17 that “in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed.” He was really struggling with that verse. How desperately he wanted to attain to the “righteousness of God.” He fasted, beat himself, denied himself all sorts of earthly pleasures to gain this “righteousness of God” according to what he thought was the “word of God.” But his conscience was always a witness against him. The more Luther tried to attain the righteousness of God by doing what he thought God’s Law demanded, the further away from God he felt he was. The church of his time was very law-centered. (While most Christians cannot discern it, the modern church is very law-centered too, but in a more disguised form than in Luther’s day. Perhaps the reader can identify with Luther.)

What really troubled Martin Luther about this verse is that it stated that the righteousness of God (which Luther wanted more than life itself), was “revealed” in the “Good News,” that is, the Gospel. But Martin saw no good news in the “Good News.” He saw nothing but condemnation. Luther’s problem is one countless Christians face today as well.

Luther read the words in the Bible through the theological definitions of Dark Age theologians who twisted the meaning of words like grace, sanctification, justification, faith, righteousness, justice, etc. from their true original meaning. This is exactly what the Jewish leadership did with the Scriptures when Jesus came to Israel 2,000 years ago. Jewish Rabbis like Hillel, Shamai, Gamaliel, etc., reinterpreted the meaning of words and concepts in the Bible so that people couldn’t see the truth anymore even when they were reading the Scriptures themselves. Their teachings put scales over people’s eyes preventing them from seeing the truth because the words and concepts were redefine turning the truth into a lie.

Church leaders did the same thing in Luther’s day even as many do today. Even though Luther was sincerely trying to understand God’s will, these traditions and teachings of men prevented him from seeing what was plainly written. (See Matt. 15:6-9)

Every denomination does this. Some key people in the past (usually men) interpret words, phrases, or books of the Bible a certain way, attract disciples which form churches which create institutions to perpetuate that teaching, add more teaching, build centers of education to train men and women to perpetuate this faith, excommunicate those within who deviate from this new system, develop Sunday School curriculum, build publishing houses which publish only books that stays within that system and wholla – a new denomination which locks its members into a mindset invented by some men and/or women long dead.

Luther saw “the righteousness of God” through the lens of the teachings of the “School of Scholastic theologians” of the latter part of the Middle Ages (1100-1500 AD). Scholastics like Duns Scotus, Peter Lombard, and Thomas Aquinas taught that the righteousness of God was God’s means of meting out justice or punishment. To the Scholastics of the Roman Catholic Church, the term “righteousness of God” was simply another word for law – for God’s demands upon man – demands which were really unattainable as Martin Luther or any other sincere person soon found out. Their “righteousness of God” was really the same burden as the pack of rules that the Pharisees, Sadducees, lawyers and scribes put on the backs of the people while unwilling or unable to lift a finger to help them. This hypocritical Pharisaic Spirit has been alive and well in all three of the Western monotheistic religions right up to our own times.

Luther in his writings said that whenever he came across the term “righteousness of God” it “struck my conscience like lightning.” It was “like a thunderbolt in my heart.” His conscience continually told him he was an unrighteous sinner who fell short of what he thought was God’s standard for righteousness. Because of his inability to attain it, his torment and anguish caused Luther to come to the place of utterly hating this righteousness, the God who demanded it and himself. To Luther, God became a fiend who expected from fallen man what he (Martin) was incapable of giving. It nearly drove Luther insane. (Some historians and theologians believe Luther did go insane, at least temporarily.)

After days of meditation in much darkness and great torment of soul, daylight broke through. Luther was given the revelation that true righteousness was actually imparted to us through the faith of Jesus Christ. Righteousness was an imputed gift; it was not something we had to attain through our self-efforts.

After the light broke through, when those very same words “the righteousness of God” were seen through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, Luther said that he “was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.” Luther had entered the “peace that passes understanding” which Jesus promised to give all those who received His faith. This “peace” is a supernatural peace nothing in this world can duplicate. The true understanding of a handful of words in a corrupted Latin text read by the light of the Holy Spirit completely changed Martin Luther’s life. This is REVELATION. This is what “reading the white” is all about.

It greatly grieves me to know that there are millions of Christians, who go to church every Sunday and yet have never EXPERIENCED the “peace that passes understanding,” the “unspeakable joy” which Jesus promised to bring, the forgiveness which the blood/life of Christ brings to the conscience, the unconditional love of God which brings security that nothing in this world can take away, the Living Word etc. I’ve met so many Christians who have been taught that true faith is not a feeling; that one is just supposed to trust that if they believe that Jesus died for their sins that they will go to heaven and that that should be good enough for them. Go to church regularly, listen to the pastor or priest, sing a few songs, pay your tithes, shut up and wait for Jesus’ return and hope you’re right with Him when He comes. That’s church in a nutshell. Maybe if you’re in a Pentecostal or Charismatic church, they’ll let you shout or dance a little too. Poppycock!

“Being in the Spirit,” “being led by the Spirit,” “being “filled with the Spirit,” etc. floods one with the supernatural; and He greatly affects our feelings, both physical and spiritual. The gifts of the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the works of the Holy Spirit should explode from our being and should manifest in great expressions of “feelings!” Revelation, like when the light of God touches down on a portion of Scripture brings a delight that is often indescribable – a delight that most literalists, legalists, traditionalists, fundamentalists have not yet enjoyed. Why? Because they are DEAD! The dead have no feelings.

Literalism and Legalism is Joyless

On the day of Pentecost, when the tongues of fire fell upon the 120 disciples, they were DRIVEN into the streets of Jerusalem declaring “the wonderful works of God” in all the languages of the world. Let me tell you, these men and women were FEELING wonderful! When the Holy Spirit moves through a Christian they KNOW it. True faith is not blind. The faith of Christ in a believer brings them into a relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ that affects every part of the body, soul and spirit including the emotions. Show me a Christian who says he trusts in the Lord but is not emotional about the things of God and I’ll show you a dead Christian who has swallowed the “traditions of men” and not the Living Word of God!

True faith will bring tears of great joy. True faith will bring an exhilaration that makes what the world calls exciting look quite dull. A Spirit-filled Christian life should be exciting, adventurous, holy, full of compassion, full of joy, full of love and great peace. True, we should not “trust” in our feelings. Feelings can be misleading, but when the faith of Christ truly comes into our hearts, there will be indescribable joy which is a feeling. And if these things are not a part of one’s Christianity, they really should seek Christ again in a fresh way and seek out fellowship with other hungry believers who express the Life of Christ. True faith really gives one the ability to lay down their life for the gospel’s sake.

I’m not talking about ritualized hype. Raising hands, jumping up and down, falling over, etc can be just as much a ritual as standing and rising to sing hymns in more traditional churches. However, when the real faith comes and the Holy Spirit stirs within there will be a natural tendency to want to physically express what is going on on the inside. Raising hands, jumping up and down for joy, screaming “Hallejujah” is as natural to one baptized in the Holy Spirit as it is for a baby to smile.

The Pharisaic Spirit (hypocritical), which is produced through legalism, whether in Jews, Christians or Moslems will produce two conditions in a person; it will produce a blinding pride from self-righteousness – and at the same time it will produce a hidden self-loathing because the conscience will convict the soul that it has fallen short of the standard the person has set up for others. “The law (legalism) works wrath.” “Fear has torment.” When we are in this condition we become tormented and in turn torment others. We turn that wrath towards our perceived enemies. However, as we judge, we judge ourselves and will ultimately reap the bitter fruit of our judgments. (Rom. 4:15) “As you sow, so shall you reap.” (Gal. 6:7) “In the same measure you give out, that same measure will be given back.”(Luke 6:3 If we use “the law” to condemn others (as a self-righteous legalist always does), condemnation will come back to that person but through a different form or person. When we become self-righteous, we exalt and glorify ourselves by putting other people down. That’s one of the short-comings of the Law of Moses. The glory of the Mosaic Law is condemnation. Paul even called the Ten Commandments, which was the highest part of Mosaic Covenant, the “ministry of death” and the “ministry of condemnation.” One might ask how condemnation can be considered glorifying. Lifting ourselves above other people by judging them as below ourselves through standards other than God’s own standard lifts us above them in our own eyes. This is how “glory” is used in 2 Corinthians chapter 3. We temporarily feel good about ourselves when we can put other people beneath us through judging them. I am writing about this nasty judgmental spirit as a person who is personally very familiar with how it works because I have been seduced by it on more occasions that I care to admit. It is a spirit that is constantly looking for an opening in one’s heart. Unfortunately, once we’ve been seduced by it, the first effects of it are blindness. We can’t see how self-righteous we have become. We think we are merely being holy when, in fact, we stink of self-righteousness, legalism and hypocrisy.

“The Law” in the Bible usually refers to the books attributed to Moses, especially the part that contains the Mosaic Covenant. Understand, however, we all really do set our own laws. We pick and choose religious laws from various places to fit our own lifestyle. We pick churches that fit our “comfort zone.” We will also twist or tweak laws in systems we join to fit our own standards. The Jewish Pharisees were experts in twisting the Mosaic Laws in their favor and against others, especially against the poor, women, the sick and Gentiles. Jesus rebuked this behavior more than any other. One does not have to be an adherent to the Mosaic Law or portions thereof to play the hypocrite.

The Wrath of God Abides

One may rise to great heights in religion, business and politics by stepping on other people, but there is a spiritual cost. If we become greedy and judgmental, we will not enjoy the love of God, the peace that passes all understanding and the unspeakable joy the Holy Spirit brings to us when we are humble. Yes, we may attain high positions in this world, but we will abuse the power and destroy many people’s lives. We may gain many houses, much money and power and fame, but our inner being will become a living Hell which will spill over into many other people’s lives. We may become presidents, prime ministers, and officials in high places in government, business, and institutions of all kind including educational and religious ones; we may even become dictators ruling almost the entire world. Even though on the outside we may put on the display of absolute confidence, on the inside we will be full of self-loathing. Much of that self-loathing may fester below the conscious level for quite some time – but eventually it will rupture up to the conscience like a boil. Many world leaders go through this experience. They look so confident and righteous in the media, but behind the scenes lurks a self-loathing monster of huge proportions. Romans 1:18 through all of chapter two has something to say about this.

These people are miserable in the inside. “The wrath of God abides on them.” (John 3:36) But his “wrath” is not something God imposes upon them, it comes as a result of not having the love of God in their hearts. To be deprives of the goodness of God is to experience wrath. God is not actively bringing circumstances into these lives to make their life miserable. They bring the misery upon themselves because they are cutting themselves off from opportunities of receiving love and kindness.

Darkness in “Traditional” Christianity

Having been in hundreds of churches in dozens of different denominations, I am convinced that millions of Christians today are in exactly the same condition Luther was in before he got his revelation. Through Sunday School and Bible study material written at denominational headquarters, through training church leaders at seminaries, Bible colleges and text books, every denominational headquarters injects “traditions of men” and “doctrines of demons,” and definitions, creeds, articles of faith, catechisms, etc. which render the word of God of no effect. I have had many scales placed over my eyes through various Christian institutions – but far less than the average Christian who was raised in church because I was an atheist for much of my life. These Christian “traditions of the elders” do the same thing to modern Christians that they did to the Jews 2,000 years ago. The common people couldn’t recognize the Messiah because the leaders taught the Messiah would be a political/military man. When the Messiah showed up, they wanted to kill Him. The “Christ” many Christians have been taught to expect at any moment will be to many modern Christians as different as Jesus was to the image of the Messiah the Jews were expecting.

The very best Bible translation, which may be a perfect transference of the original languages to our own language, may become an instrument of death unless the Holy Spirit opens its truth through the Spirit of Truth which Jesus promised to send to his disciples. Dear friend, please spend some considerable time in prayer and contemplation over what I am stating. It is possible to have an accurate translation of the original and still have a false understanding of the text. Not only is it possible, I submit that this is the norm of the typical Christian in a typical mainline church. The state of Martin Luther’s mind prior to his seeing the light is the state of the average Christian in this part of the twenty-first century. Of course few of us actually believe this because we are quite comfy in our dark little corner. Our pastor is nice, went to Bible college or seminary, the church is well-established in the community – surely we are on safe ground. And as long as we refuse to step outside the boundaries of our church or denomination, we will feel quite secure in our beliefs. In America, there is security in numbers. But remember in the Bible, the “majority” was usually against the Spirit of God.

I have spent a great deal of time in prayer and study learning about the “traditions of men” which have been injected into the minds of the modern Christian which render the “word of God of no effect.” There are countless thousands of them. (The books “Pagan Christianity” by Frank Viola and “The Way Church Ought To Be” by Robert A. Lund are excellent sources for information about how far the church has strayed from the teachings of Christ and His apostles.) I have been forced to step out of my comfy zones many times. While in the short run it has been very discomforting, in the long run having to be forced to compare teachings and traditions among many different denominations has been extremely beneficial to my spiritual growth. I only gave one example in Martin Luther’s life to illustrate the power “traditions of men” have over our minds and hearts. This one revelation on the “righteousness of God” made Martin Luther one of the most influential men on the face of the planet. This single revelation was a major source of light that began to dispel the Dark Ages. A single person being freed from religious darkness can literally revolutionize the world. Who knows, perhaps you are the next one.

The “Dark Light” of Legalism and Traditions of Men

“Law works wrath!” (Rom. 4:15) When I speak of “legalism,” I mean any human tradition, laws, ordinances, rituals, moral codes, etc. created by human institutions which are joined to the “righteousness of God” found in the Bible. Legalism is much more than just using laws in the Bible mercilessly. Legalism encompasses much more than Bible laws whether found in the Old or New Covenants. God’s true righteousness is in the Living Person of Jesus Christ. Even as the understanding of the Scholastics hindered Luther’s ability to see what was plainly written, even so, many borrowed laws and traditions from societies which Christianity conquered have been brought into the church. Mosaic Law, English Common Law, Teutonic customs, Greco-Roman laws and culture – these and many more have been combined with the “righteousness of God” to create a Western Christian moral code much of which has nothing to do with God’s righteousness.

I was shocked when years ago I attended a huge anti-abortion rally in Washington D.C. Constitution avenue was closed off for the marchers. I lived in the Washington D.C. area for a number of years but never really “saw” the buildings. For the first time, saw the buildings as they really were. They were all Greco-Roman architecture. The Roman Pantheon of gods was on one building. Gargoyles guarded our National Archives building. Almost every major government building copied the styles of ancient Rome and Greece. The Washington monument was borrowed from the ancient Egyptians, the needle of Horus, a Phallic symbol. Americans have no idea how much of our society has been borrowed, not from the Bible, but from ancient pagan societies. What was remarkable to me is that I had never seen this connection until that day even though I drove into that area and visited these buildings for business purposes many times before. This was another one of those “Have you ever read the white?” days.

It is easy to add human inventions to God’s righteousness:
“Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” “God helps those who help themselves.” “Women should not be ministers.” “Children should be seen and not heard.” In Germany the slogan “Arbeit machts frei” (work makes free) was a slogan often used in Church thus connecting it to God’s demands upon His people. The “Protestant work ethic” has more to do with Northern European tradition than with Scripture even though the Bible does emphasize honest work. Church buildings should have steeples. On and on it goes – thousands upon thousands of traditions and laws which “make the word of God of no effect.” There are scores of traditions and rituals in every church which are not found on the pages of the Bible but were “Christianized,” that is, borrowed from pagan religions and cultures. These all become blinding agents.

It is the doctrines and traditions of fallen men, especially religious fallen men -- that sends us into outer darkness – into ignorance. However, we must be mindful that it is not doctrine that saves, or enlightens or empowers, even true doctrine -- it is the very Spirit of God Who seeks to move through us and teach us all the mysteries contained in Jesus Christ, the TRUE WORD OF GOD. Please understand that there is essentially nothing wrong with many customs and laws created by various societies around the world. It is when these extra-biblical laws and traditions are subtly or sometimes not so subtly joined with God’s righteousness, Holiness or requirements that causes the problem. Of course, in addition to the teachings of men, our own prejudices, racism, bigotry, biases, resentments, anger, jealousies, etc. can have a profound effect on what we think we see in the Bible as well.

Projectionism

“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.” (Luke 11:34-36)

After over two decades as a Christian, I have found that a person can and will find whatever they want to in the Bible to justify themselves or condemn or judge others. If a person is a racist, he/she can find a verse or two to justify their racism. Ku Klux Klan literature is full of King James Bible quotes. If a person is a sexist, he can find scores of verses to support his bias. If greedy people want to justify selling or buying slaves, they can find support in the Bible. Jews, Christians and Muslims have throughout the last 2,000 years used the Bible to support countless abominations which they have done in the name of the Lord. But those verses were read with “dark light,” not with the light of the Holy Spirit. An evil person will project their own evil upon those they hate. They will also project their hate onto the pages of the Bible. If we are filled with things like nationalism, racism, prejudice, jealousies, greed, unrighteous anger, blame-shifting, self-righteousness, biases, denominationalism, cultural biases, resentment, unforgiveness, etc. -- these things are “dark light” which will cause us to project onto the pages of the Bible and on other people our own darkness of soul. We will end up forming God into our own image through what psychologists call “projection.” We also project our own short-comings onto perceived enemies through this same technique.

For example, some Jews in former times and even in modern times believe the Bible teaches that they are the only true representatives of God, that the rest of mankind are not true Adamites, they are not true human beings. They say that Arabs and those who think like them or support them are Amalakites who Jews are commanded to wipe off the face of the planet. Where did they get such teachings? From the “tradition of the elders” found in the Babylonian Talmud, the foundation of modern Judaism. The Talmud is a collection of commentaries of supposedly the wisest of Jewish Rabbis of ancient times. Modern Judaism is directly descended from the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. The Jewish Talmud is filled with all sorts of racist and elitist material which lends support to the kind of things carnal minds are filled with.

I have also come across Christians who believe that white Christians are the only true representatives of God, that darker skinned human beings are “beasts of the field,” not really human beings. And they use certain verses and certain interpretations of those verses to prove to themselves they are correct. Neither Jews nor Christians who teach these abominations are correct!

The Holy Spirit: A Doctrine or Life

As I have stated, the Bible, regardless of the translation (or even in its original languages) is NOT the true “word of God.” The true Word of God is a Person. His Name is Jesus the Messiah of the whole world. If we truly have Him and give His Holy Spirit pre-eminence in our life, then we have life indeed. But if the traditions of men and the doctrines of demons cloud our conscience or we live in the flesh and allow our base appetites to have their way, then we will reap from our lives and our Bible reading corruption and death. Remember, “the letter kills, it is the Spirit that gives life.” Again, keep in mind, even the Ten Commandments regardless of how well they are translated are a “ministry of condemnation,” a “ministry of death.” (2 Cor. 3: 7-1 I am purposefully repeating myself here because these false doctrines have been so deeply ingrained in us that it requires repetition to break through the thick crust. Sometimes it takes a jackhammer, spiritually speaking, for breakthrough to occur.

The driving force behind a Christian’s life in the Holy Spirit. But even He has become nothing more than a doctrine or creed in many denominations and churches. Even the best doctrines or teachings or creed about the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, are as dead as fallen trees. The Holy Spirit is alive and must be alive IN US if we are going to be effective in the Kingdom of God. He is not a concept – He is not a doctrine or a statement of belief even if the statement is perfectly phrased. The Word must be quickened, made alive by the Living Presence of the Living Word of the Creator. Inspiration, revelation, impartation, intercession, travailing, quickening, prophesying, manifesting, etc.—these are the manifestations of the Spirit of Truth. It is a great travesty that these very things are often utterly rejected by much of the church world -- and we wonder why the church is so spiritually ineffective. The Holy Spirit must pour out of us in great power like rivers of Living Water in a dry parched desert. Nothing less will do.

“For the Spirit of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10) “Do not despise prophesying.” (1 Thess. 5:20) “Oh foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you…This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:1-3)

In short, Paul was saying that any attempt to try to relate to God via our own efforts, our thinking, our concepts, etc. is utterly foolish, useless and actually contrary to God’s way. God’s way is by HIS Spirit. The love, power, the word, the truth, the gifts, the fruit of a life of righteousness all come via His Spirit – they do not come from our intellect, our efforts, our theology, etc.

It seems natural for man to fall back into the old way even when one has received the Holy Spirit. It is not only possible, but quite probable for a Christian to grieve or quench the Holy Spirit and to miss or bury the things He gives us. To grieve or quench the Holy Spirit is as natural as succumbing to the power of gravity. The very forces of this world are arrayed against the power of the Holy Spirit within a person. Satan does not go after Christians who talk a good talk but are useless in the kingdom of God. Those individuals are already under his power. He goes after those who are still full of the power of the Holy Spirit. Satan is not upset there are Christians in the world. Names mean nothing to him. It is the power of the Holy Spirit residing in a Christian who has learned how to maintain a living vibrant relationship with God through Him that is a danger to Satan’s kingdom. The book of Acts is an example of what every church in the world should look like regarding the power of the Holy Spirit and how He can change things through His Body. To the degree our church does not look like the body of Christ in the book of Acts, to that degree it has grieved or quenched the Spirit.

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Eph. 4:30) “Quench not the Spirit.” (1 Thess. 5:19)

Paul, nearing the end of his course must have been deeply grieved as he watched much of his work return to darkness:

“Hold fast the form of sound words, which you have heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto you keep by the Holy Spirit which dwells in us. This you know, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” (2 Tim. 1:13-15)

The “Great Falling Away” Occurred Long Ago

If much of the church was falling away from what Paul termed “my gospel” during his own lifetime, imagine how far the modern church may be from Paul’s teachings which he honestly believed was the only true gospel to be preached. Paul told Timothy to “hold fast the form of sound words” heard from him from which many were turning away. The church plunged into the Dark Ages because it turned from Paul’s gospel. Being led by the Holy Spirit was replaced with thousands of traditions of men and doctrines of demons. Those traditions and teachings have filled the earth. The natural course of human kind seems to gravitate towards religion instead of an intimate relationship with God. It seems the greatest “effort” or “work” on our part once we have received the “faith of Christ” in our bodies is to keep the Spirit of God within us stirred and active. Paul uses the analogy of fire to describe how we can become spiritually ineffective: “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (2 Tim. 1:6, NIV)

Friends, regardless of how studious and faithful we think we have been, we have all drunk from the fount of religion, a fount of deadly poison. And this poison has polluted our minds. Martin Luther is no exception to the Christian life. The traditions he swallowed prevented him from seeing what was plainly there all along. We all have our filters, our religious baggage, our “traditions of men which make the word of God of no effect” that hinder us from receiving a true word of life from our Scripture reading -- all of us, including you and me.

Translating the Scriptures

All I have shared is not to say there is no need for newer and better translations of the Bible, there certainly is. Most of the popular English Bible translations are still riddled today with Dark and Middle Age theology which entered into the Reformation Bibles. These early English translations still have a negative hold on modern day translators who are still translating according to the “tradition of the elders” instead of being inspired by the Holy Spirit and using sound translation techniques. There are key Dark Age doctrines which have crept into the pages of our modern Bibles through translators whose minds are still bound by false teachings about God and His plan for the of salvation of mankind. This article cannot go into all of that. Suffice it to say, while we’ve come a long way from the time the church did not allow lay people to read the Bible – a time in which the only official Bible was the corrupt Latin Vulgate which Jerome translated in the fourth century AD -- we still have a long way to go regarding purer translations of the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek Scriptures into current languages. (The reader is encouraged to subscribe to our “Tentmaker Bible Matters Email List” for helps with Bible translations. Past articles appear at http://www.tentmaker.org/Biblematters/bible-index.htm) Even popular English Bible translations such as the following ones have serious errors in them which greatly misrepresent the God of the Bible and His plan of redemption of mankind: King James Version, New International Version, New Revised Standard Version, New American Standard Version, New English Translation, Complete Jewish Bible, International Standard Version, New Century Version, Good News to Modern Man, Amplified Bible, Living Translation, New Jerusalem Bible, Third Millenium Bible, New King James Bible, Modern King James Bible, Twenty-first Century King James, Scofield Reference Bible, The Message, and many more.

Methods of Bible Translating

I just want to lightly touch upon an important subject regarding Bible translations. There are several different methods for translating the Hebrew and Greek into common modern languages. Various scholars use different terms to describe these methods. I’ll use John A. Kohler III’s terminology:

1. Concordant method - This is the woodenly literal, word-for-word method. It is based upon the idea that each Hebrew or Greek word should be translated into an equivalent English word. It also attempts to follow the grammatical structure of the original language texts. Examples of translations produced by this method are Young’s Literal Version and Rotherham’s Emphasized New Testament.

2. Mildly Concordant Method - This is the literal, word-for-word method. It is not as extreme as the Concordant Method, but it tends toward a choppy style of translation that does not flow smoothly in the English. Also, it translates Hebrew and Greek idioms very accurately, but they do not always make good sense in English. Furthermore, it makes excessive use of conjunctions at the beginning of sentences, which makes for very poor English. Besides these weaknesses, most translations of this kind are based upon inferior Hebrew and Greek texts. Examples of translations produced by this method are the American Standard Version and the New American Standard Version.

3. Static Equivalence Method - This is the word-for-word, idea-for-idea method. It attempts to follow the original Hebrew and Greek text word-for-word as long as this results in good idiomatic English that accurately conveys the intention of the Biblical writer. It does not always attempt to follow the grammatical structure of the original language texts and is concerned about the readability of the English text. Examples of translations produced by this method are the King James Version and, to a lesser degree, the New King James Version and the Revised Standard Version.

4. Dynamic Equivalence Method - This is the idea-for-idea method. It is not concerned with literal, word-for-word translation in most cases and often paraphrases God’s Word. It does not seek to translate the actual words of Scripture as much as it attempts to employ idiomatic equivalence. Examples of translations produced by this method are the New International Version, New English Bible, and Today’s English Version.

5. Free Paraphrase Method - This is the extreme idea-for-idea method. It simply attempts to restate the “gist” of the Biblical text in the translator’s own words. It is not at all concerned about word-for-word translation of the Biblical text, but seeks to express Biblical content in popular, readable, contemporary language. The leading example of a translation produced by this method, though there are many others, is Kenneth Taylor’s The Living Bible. (Peterson’s The Message is another example.) Endquote.

Personally, I do not believe any of these five methods will produce the best Bible translations. But that subject is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say, there are a variety of ways to translate the Bible, each with its own problems and short-comings. Some methods, however, are clearly more likely to reproduce the meaning the original writers had in mind when they wrote.

The early Reformators had very few resources with which to determine the true meaning of the texts before them. The Hebrew and Greek scholarship at that time was greatly lacking in the Church due to the fact that Latin had become the sacred language of the Roman Catholic Church. As a result, there were many words, phrases, concepts, persons, places and things in the original languages with which translators were unfamiliar. However, even Jewish Biblical Hebrew scholars in modern times have difficulty determining the actual meaning of many parts of the Old Testament. The modern Jewish Publication Society’s “Tanakh” (a recent translation of the Old Testament) notes hundreds of words and phrases of which Jewish Hebrew scholars even today do not really know the meaning. This kind of integrity is greatly lacking in the Christian publishing industry.

The “Inerrant Bible” is a myth that still covers the Christian Bible translating community and prevents them from being as honest as they should be with those purchasing their translations. For example the original 1611 King James Bible contained many marginal readings which revealed their lack of understanding of certain words. These marginal readings have since been removed from modern printings of the KJV to bolster belief in the Biblical Inerrancy Doctrine. The “Translators to the Reader” preface found in the original KJV has also been removed. Why? Because their statements clearly contradicted the idea that their translation was original and without error. (See “The English Bible From KJV to NIV” by Jack Lewis, Baker Publications)

Are Bible translations needful and important? Absolutely! I believe Christian Bibles are the most important literature in the world. But NO translation is “The “Word of God,” especially the “Inerrant Word of God” despite thousands of preachers holding up their favorite translation and saying, “Let’s look into the word of God and see what God says about this.” The True Word of God is a Living Word anointed by the Holy Spirit. It is a word from THE WORD, the Son of God and the Son of Man and Anointed with the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

On Hearing Our Heavenly Father

Let me give you another example of how the Anointed Living Word works. Richard Wurmbrandt was an atheist Jew (now deceased.) who was converted to Christ through the love of a German carpenter in Romania. He became a Lutheran pastor.

During the Russian invasion of Romania, Wurmbrandt and his church handed out many Bibles to the Russian soldiers. The demand was so great they ran out of Bibles. So they started tearing apart the Bibles and gave each soldier only one page.

One day Richard considered whether handing out a single page of the Bible in Russian would have any effect on anyone. So he asked a Russian named Ivan whether he gained anything in the reading of his Bible page. Ivan related to Richard that the page he received had the name Jeremiah in the title. He understood practically nothing he read. The page contained information about names and places Ivan knew nothing about. But five words on that page leaped out at Ivan: “And God spoke to Jeremiah.” Ivan thought this to himself as he pondered those words:

“This Jeremiah must not have been a very important man. I’ve never heard of such a man. Stalin, Lenin, these are important men. I’ve heard of them. Now if God would speak to such an unimportant man like Jeremiah, perhaps he might speak to me.”

And from that moment on, he related to Richard Wurmbrandt, he has heard the still small voice of God in his heart which brought him joy unspeakable! This voice within began to teach him the ways of God. When tempted to steal, he would ask the Word within whether it was ok or not and he would hear clearly that it was not ok. He didn’t need to read “Thou shalt not steal” in Exodus. Why? Because the Living Word of Jesus was washing his conscience clean. He was being washed by Living Waters, not dead letters on a page made of a dead tree. He was eating from the Living Tree of Life, Jesus, the Living Word from the Father of all Creation.

Speaking of Washings

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)

As is often the case, stories in the Bible contain much deeper truths than what one finds on the surface. Jesus washing His disciples’ feet holds a special place in many people’s hearts. (John 13:3-17) The surface lesson is that we should humble ourselves, take the lowly position, and care for your brothers and sister in the Lord. But there is something much deeper here. When Peter realized he made a mistake with his comments, he asked Jesus to wash all of him, not just his feet. But Jesus told Peter that only his feet were dirty – they were what needed to be cleaned. Feet speak of walking. This world, spiritually is dirty. Jesus prayed not that His disciples be taken out of this filthy world, but that they be protected from the evil of it. (John 17:14-20)

We are Jesus’ “feet” in the earth. Jesus must clean His Body, which we are, because we live in a dirty world. Jesus told Peter he could have no part IN HIM, unless he allowed Jesus to wash his feet. In essence, Jesus was saying that His feet (his disciples which we are) must be washed clean by the “washing of the word” every day. Sanctification is connected with being washed by His Word. If we are going to represent Him in His holiness, we must allow Jesus to wash us daily. We are bombarded with sinful images and foul words and ideas every place we go. Watch a couple hours of television while allowing the Holy Spirit to show you what He sees. Our walk, His feet must be cleansed daily for our sake as well as Jesus’ sake.

A Word about “The Word of God”

It is important to note that the “Word” of the Bible is far more encompassing than an audio voice through one’s ears or a still small voice in one’s “heart” or conscience. The Bible begins, “In the beginning, God…” The book of John in what is commonly called the “New Testament or Covenant” begins,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:1-4)

Paul, the apostle, adds the following in his letter to the Colossians:

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible, and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the ekklesia, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth, or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” (Col. 1:15-20)

As one can see from the above two verses, it is impossible to get a complete handle around the “word of God.” The universe and every book and human being combined cannot hold “the Word.” We must greatly enlarge our understanding of what the “Word of God” found in the Bible is all about especially when it comes to communicating with this “Word.”

Do not think “the Word” of God is limited to hearing Him audibly through your ears and interpreted by your mind. Occasionally, God speaks to someone like that. Often He speaks to someone in a still small voice which seems to come from the conscience or the heart – some inner place. But He uses many other means to communicate even as we, human beings, use many methods of communicating ideas besides written or spoken words. We must open our minds and hearts to the many different ways “the Word” expresses himself to His disciples. These other means of communication are also part of “the Word.” He may enlighten words on a page of the Bible or another book by His Holy Spirit whereas we may normally be reading through our carnal or natural mind which Paul says is at enmity with God. I am touching upon a very sensitive area here. Paul wrote:

“For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ. Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly-- mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not mere men? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe-- as the Lord has assigned to each his task.” (1 Corinthians 2:11 - 3:5, NIV)

Paul is stating quite plainly that it is quite possible for someone who calls himself a Christian to still be quite carnal – to think with the natural mind instead of the mind of Christ. Denominationalism (I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Luther, I am of Wesley, etc.) is NOT spiritual. Therefore, if a Christian is doing carnal things like dividing the body of Christ into denominations and sects or participating or supporting such behavior can they possibly be using the mind of Christ? What would Paul say if he were alive today about the tens of thousands of different denominations of Christianity in the world today? Can anything “spiritual” come from such carnal divisions? Can such sectarianism handle the “solid food” of which Paul speaks? Judge yourself before He has to make the judgment.

Other Means of Communications

He may use an angel. He may use a jackass if He so desires as in the case of Balaam. God often sends us dreams and visions which require interpretation. The dream or vision may or may not contain words. But even if it contained words, God may use them differently than we normally would.

When Peter in his vision of a blanket full of all sorts of unclean animals heard a voice saying, “Peter, arise, kill and eat,” those words were not really referring to actual animals. (Acts 10:9-36) Neither did He expect Peter to actually kill these animals and eat them. When Peter went to Cornelius’ house, Peter received the true meaning of that vision and the words. Jews considered gentiles unclean animals. They often called them “dogs.” The Holy Spirit was telling Peter that God had cleansed the gentiles – He had broken the wall of partition. It was acceptable not only to eat with them, but to communicate with them, to exchange words, to receive from one another. When we listen to someone else, are we not taking a part of them and adding that to our being? In that sense, are we not “eating” them? We see here that God was not using the words “kill” and “eat” in the natural human sense of those words. Under the Old Covenant sense of warfare, they literally killed their enemies with the sword. They took territory through putting to death the inhabitants. But under the New Covenant, we conquer by laying down our lives and winning our enemies with love. And we do not plunder them -- we win them into the kingdom of God through love and thereby “inheriting” the heathen. Every natural type and shadow of the Old Covenant many of which seem almost barbaric and gross become beautiful realities of God’s love and mercy.

Under the New Covenant, we do battle with spiritual warfare, not with natural weapons. Nor do we physically kill. Jesus “destroyed” the works of the devil through His own death. Through His own death, Jesus killed death.

“Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades (Hell), where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:54-56)

Jesus “killed” so to speak the works of the devil. Jesus “spoiled,” that is, conquered and took possession of Satan’s possessions, and gave them to His body. In that sense, we may now “kill and eat.” (Col 2:10-23) The heathen are our inheritance (Psalm 2:8; 79:2) We are to plunder Satan’s kingdom of souls lost in darkness. However, if we interpret verses like this with the carnal mind, we may think, (as some modern Jews and Christians believe today) that God is saying to kill unbelievers and take their physical possessions. In Israel today, there are many Jewish settlers who feel Biblically justified in killing Palestinians and stealing their land because certain verses of Scripture command them to do so according to their fleshly interpretations. And tens of millions of Christians support these Jews in this endeavor.

The Bible is full of many verses which are often taken literally and turned into total nonsense as a result. This sometimes affects millions of Christians as well as the world we are called to influence. For example, Jesus said,

“Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor. 11:24-25)

In another passage, Jesus says,

“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” (John 6:53)

From a semi-literal interpretation of these verses, some denominations of Christianity teach that when Christians eat the bread and wine/grape juice at the Eucharist or Communion, they are actually eating the very flesh of Jesus Christ and drinking His blood. While most Christians do not carry their literalism to this extreme and do not fall into this gross misinterpretation of the meaning of these verses, there are many other passages of Scripture which ARE taken too literally and not understood by the true Spiritual meaning. Millions of Christians today still don’t understand the import of “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:33)

Much more needs to be said regarding literalizing things, words, visions, etc which really must be seen spiritually. However, that is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say in regards to spiritual eating; crackers and grape juice doesn’t cut it. Neither does a lamb chop, bitter herbs and salt water (modern Jewish Passover ritual). The Father gave Jesus food to eat, “My food is to do the WILL of Him Who sent Me and to finish His work.” (John 4:34) As we can see, the food from heaven is much more substantive, spiritually speaking, than the rituals religionists substitute for it. (for more information on the food from heaven, read our “The Bread of Life” booklet.)

God may speak to us through the gift of speaking in an unknown tongue. There are many different teachings about this gift and I can’t cover them all nor go into what I believe. Suffice it to say, in church this speech must be interpreted.

He may give impressions. He may use one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit or one of the “gifts of men” spoken of in the book of Ephesians. His Presence may rest upon a person in such a way that they actually feel His weight, His glory upon them. He may communicate through unutterable groanings. (Rom. 8:26-27) While we may not understand what He is saying or doing, we know God is active in us as we participate in His intercessions through us. He may use symbolic actions like the man who took Paul’s belt, bound himself with it and prophesied that Paul would be imprisoned if he went to Jerusalem. (Acts 21:11) He may briefly open one’s spiritual eyes and allow one to se

 

 


 

The trouble with Job (study)
Category: Dr Denis says

Dr's Denis and Marti O'Callaghan

Dr's Denis and Marti O'Callaghan

 

feast_table

Hungy?

Gentle reader,

Like most men (even as a little boy) my eyes are always bigger than my stomach! ( All in Unison- "Duh, Denis we already knew that!" ).

Well as per usual I manage to take on more that one ordinary man can handle. This blog is my main squeeze as it were . The web site Http://www.studiesinscripture.bravehost.com takes care of it self as I have many more qualified people who look in from time to time ands add or move around or delete studies. That is "Scripture Institute" where you can get a full course meal for free! On the other side of the world is a mirror site called Heart to Heart http://parsontoperson.blogspot.com just in case you missed something here (but beware Gentle Reader not everything you read here is always there and vice versa) Then I have started a blog on a another site called http://www.mychurch.org where you can study with me in the book of Revelation or the Apocalypse. Which deals with what is called Eschatology or the study of future things sometimes it is considered the "End times studies " or as I like to say "What in the world will happen next" I have also other writings on the "Net" but to be truthful Gentle Reader" not having a church or a place to speak and I have a lot of time to think (that a "dangerous combination") . You’re my favorite place to come where one can let their down and sit back have a cup of coffee , an Irish cream cheese muffin and just talk about whatever comes to mind.

Here today we are trying currently to get a hold of the book of Job the Bibles version of the popular book "Why do bad things happen to good people?" We are now looking at a young man called Elihu (a very smart young man I might add. Elihu accepts Job’s position that any true wisdom comes from man comes by inspiration from God, and he is not convinced that wisdom is not given only to the aged "It is not the great that are wise, Nor the aged that understand justice." (Job 32:9). There is "a spirit in man" capable of receiving inspiration verse 8 " But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty giveth them understanding." and Ehihu believes that he himself is now receiving such inspiration "The Spirit of God hath made me, And the breath of the Almighty giveth me life. (Chapter 33:4) [Also see 36:2-4] "Suffer me a little, and I will show thee; For I have yet somewhat to say on God`s behalf.

I will fetch my knowledge from afar, And will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

For truly my words are not false: One that is perfect in knowledge is with thee." But more than this, Elihu believes that he is so inspired as to fulfil job’s longing for a daysman = umpire, arbiter, or mediator ( a daysman is one who speaks on another’s behalf) between God and himself, to whom he could set out his case. In pathetic desperation job had lamented the lack of such a daysman (Chapter 9:33) and his own inability to gain an interview with God "My words [shall utter] the uprightness of my heart; And that which my lips know they shall speak sincerely.

The Spirit of God hath made me, And the breath of the Almighty giveth me life.

If thou canst, answer thou me; Set [thy words] in order before me, stand forth.

Behold, I am toward God even as thou art: I also am formed out of the clay.

Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, Neither shall my pressure be heavy upon thee. (Chapter 33:3-7) and in fact Job’s last words before Elihu breaks in are (Chapter 31: 35-37) "Oh that I had one to hear me! (Lo, here is my signature, let the Almighty answer me); And [that I had] the indictment which mine adversary hath written!

Surely I would carry it upon my shoulder; I would bind it unto me as a crown:

I would declare unto him the number of my steps; As a prince would I go near unto him."

Gentle reader, I feel we must stop at this point (you have other things to do and besides before we look at Elihu’s remarkable speech I want you to consider this "What if God were to send down someone to explain why things are going so bad for you,? Would you listen to him or her? Or would you believe that they had been sent by God the ELOHIM = Creator of heaven and earth. What would you do? I ask you this because as the old Insurance sales pitch goes "Buy or don’t buy but just listen!"

Till next time

Love,

Denis

 

J.R. O'Callaghan 
 

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