The Unborn have Spirits and are Alive

By Brandon Staggs

The Bible shows us that unborn children are just as human as the born are.

The Biblical term for pregnancy is “with child,” not “with fetus” or “with something not yet alive.”

Ge 16:11; 19:36; 38:24-25; Ex 21:22; 1Sa 4:19; 2Sa 11:5; 2Ki 8:12; 15:16; Ec 11:5; Jer 31:8; Ho 13:16; Am 1:13; MtMt 1:18,23; 24:19; Mr 13:17; Lu 2:5; 21:23; 1Th 5:3; Re 12:2

“Child” begins at conception:“Child” begins at conception:

2Sa 11:5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.

The Bible refers to born babies and unborn babies with the same term (babe). Also, unborn children exhibit awareness. Compare:

Lu 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Lu 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

The issue of the Spirit

A person must have a spirit to be alive.

Jas 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

It is obvious to any who have been around pregnant women that unborn children are not “undead bodies,” so by this principle alone we know they have their own spirit. Compare this to Lu 1:44 above and the question is settled.

We also have specific and direct statements from Job:

Job 3:11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?

Job 10:18 Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me!

In Job’s grief he did what many of us have done at some time: he “wished he had never been born.” And even in this Job knew that if he had died in his mother’s womb that he would have given up his ghost (spirit). Further, to “die” one must have life first. We also see something similar from Jeremiah:

Jer 20:17-18 Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me. Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?

The issue of the law (an objection answered)

There is only one passage in the Bible that deals with the death of an unborn in the context of law.

Ex 21:22-23 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

A misreading of this passage has caused many to conclude that unborn life is not true life, supposing that “if any mischief follow” must refer only to the mother. However, that is not the correct way to read the text, and is done so only if one has a preconceived position against life of the unborn. When the rest of Scripture is compared and the life of the unborn is understood as being a result of having a spirit (ghost), the magnitude of Ex 21:22-23 is finally seen.

In the passage above, it is a case where men fight, and one causes hurt to a woman with child so that she delivers prematurely (her fruit departs). If either the child or the mother dies, the one who caused the death was to pay with his own life.

The objection to this hinges on what is meant by “her fruit depart from her.” But if the unborn life were not true life, it would make little sense for it to be even mentioned. The punishment for non-lethal harm is described in verses 18-19 and referenced here in verse 22. The death of the miscarried child is certainly “mischief following,” and as we have already seen, the death of an unborn child is “lethal” as it is described elsewhere with words like “die” and “slew” (see above).

Finally, the phrase “fruit of the womb” appears elsewhere in Scripture (such as De 7:13 and Ps 127:3) and means children:

Ps 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

There is no cause to assume that “her fruit depart from her” must mean a miscarriage or stillbirth. It simply means birth (an in this specific case, a premature birth). So a reading of this passage compared with other verses regarding the life of the unborn clearly shows that Mosaic law provided for a death penalty for someone who directly caused the premature birth and resulting death of a child.

(Please note that I am not arguing for any particular law here based on “the Law” from Exodus — my point is to show that the Bible never imples that the life of an unborn child is any less human than the life of a born child.)

Conclusion

There are other points of debate (such as the “breath of life” which is claimed, by some, to be a literal breath of a human rather than a spiritual breath from God) that I have not gone in to.  Maybe I will at a future point.  But this short study should be enough to show the Bible believer that unborn children have spirits are are living human beings. While one may not be able to conceive of a days-old growing unborn baby being alive in the same sense as a days-old growing born baby, it is not for us to demand of God that we be able to comprehend his glorious works! We only need trust the witness of his word. I end with this:

Ec 11:5 As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

 

Standing and State

By Brandon Staggs

The “standing” of a Christian before God:

  • As a SON.
    John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
    1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
  • As HEIRS.
    Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
    1 Peter 1:4-5 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
  • This standing is UNBREAKABLE.
    John 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
    Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

The “state” of a Christian in our mortal bodies:

  • Two natures.
    John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    (When we are born again, we are born of the Spirit.)
    John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
    2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
  • Two natures at war.
    Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
  • We are to walk in the Spirit, not the Flesh:
    Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

When we die, we will have a perfect glorious body and no longer be in a standing of war between two natures:

  • 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
    (Our resurrection will be as Christ’s: a literal body that can not sin and is glorious.)

Missionary Schooling – Christian parents using public schools for all the wrong reasons

By Brandon Staggs

A conversation with a friend regarding the utilization of American government utopist processing plants (public schools) inspired me to write this essay to address the notion of “Missionary Schooling.” The purpose of this essay is to allow me to organize my own thoughts on the topic and delineate some of my reasons for rejecting “Missionary Schooling” arguments. This is not intended as condemnation of anyone’s choices for their children, though this is quite blunt in presenting my view.

Most Christian parents, having realized that public schools are inferior to other alternatives (especially home schooling) on academic grounds, and having finally come to the realization that morals in public schools are about as appealing as public bathrooms, finally resort to concocting or parroting common nonsense which combines the “socialization value” fraud along with some quasi-Biblical doctrine which twists “go ye therefore and teach all nations” into “let the nations teach your kids.”

There are dozens of reasons why American Christians insist on sending their children to government schools. In the end, after academic and moral reasons have been exhausted, eventually one will likely admit that it has to do with not having time or money to do it in another way.

But there is one particularly ridiculous reason why so many Christian parents hang on to the usage of such a debauched and depraved utopian architectural institution: a notion I have dubbed Missionary Schooling.

I came across a paper on the net, which outlines pretty well what this idea entails. In But what if God wants me to send my kids to Public School? by J. Ed Bass, the typical reasoning for missionary schooling combined with the socialization fraud is laid out fairly well. Mr. Bass does as good a job as anyone helping people cozen themselves into continuing to embrace the status quo.

Bass says, “The simplistic argument that all public schools are terrible and wicked does not do justice to the real dynamics of the situation.” While this argument alone may not “do justice” to whatever real dynamics he sees, it cannot be ignored by the Christian that public schools are wicked places. Aside from teaching a kid that two plus two probably equals four, children in public school are taught to view the world through the lens of humanism and to compartmentalize spirituality into something that exists after school hours. They are actively taught a false equality of values, so that any student who accepts such destructive idiotic nonsense cannot responsibly discern between two competing ideas and determine which has real merit and which is the musing of a self-involved ignoramus. California schools recently adopted a downright evil policy of teaching children, from kindergarten up, that homosexual relationships are morally equal to heterosexual relationships. This kind of curriculum is patently unacceptable for a Christian to allow their child to be inculcated with. It shouldn’t be necessary to mention that schools are a swampland of putrid perverted sexual mores, teaching children that human sexual intercourse is nothing more than a biological function. Such ideas may be fine for some people to hold, but no Christian should desire for their child to exposed to such an environment before they are solidly rooted in truth and capable to rejecting those notions on their own. Nobody should kid himself or herself that their child can somehow avoid this nonsense if they just attend enough PTA meetings.

Bass says, “Are we to give up taking God’s message to a lost and dying world? Not hardly. Similarly, we cannot forsake the student population in the public education system just because some administrators and teachers have a different worldview than we do.” And herein lies the crux of the matter.

Bass has here equated public school with a mission field, into which Christian parents should send their children into to avoid “abandoning” the student populations, effectively making their kids evangelists.

The fallacies of this logic are so obvious that it shouldn’t even be necessary to respond to this, but it is such popular rhetoric that one cannot ignore how many people have been deceived into continuing to use government schools on these grounds.

Schools are not mission fields. A school is an institution a student attends to be taught things. There is a fundamental difference between sending a trained missionary into a wasteland to convert the heathen and sending an impressionable, untrained child who may or may not even understand the Gospel into an institution designed from the ground up to train minds to function in a certain way.

Bass puts the proverbial cart before the horse in suggesting that untrained children be used as evangelists in a worldly institution where kids are sent to learn. He ignores the fundamental transfer of authority, a transaction that occurs every morning when the child is dropped off at the school. Children in school are expected to regard their teachers as authoritative figures and learn from them. When those authority figures countermand Biblical precepts 30 hours a week, the child is being sent a mixed message. A Christian father is charged with ensuring that their child is brought up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Transferring their authority over their child to a heathen institution, which knows nothing of God’s precepts, is likely not in keeping with this commandment.

Bass says, “We have often heard what a positive influence our children have had in the classroom. These teachers believe the public schools need more Christian students, not less.” Certainly, we can expect that some extraordinary students who manage to find Biblical footing despite their educations will have some positive impact on those around them. After all, every thing works for good (Ro 8:28). But this is not in and of itself a reason to send children to school. Logically it is just silly: take one or two well-behaved kids and put them in a classroom with 20 undisciplined children and one teacher who doesn’t know what Truth is. Have them discuss worldly issues and ignore God for 30 hours a week. Which way will the influence tend to rub? “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” (1Co 15:33)

Bass says, “The foundation of total isolationism sublimely transmits the message that the sin and sinner are not separable.” Bass can live in whatever world he wants to, but in this one, home schoolers very rarely raise their children in total isolation. This is a straw man argument to the extreme and betrays the enormity of his ignorance about what home schooling is.

Bass tries to give a Biblical example to support his ideas: “Moses was [immersed] in Egypt’s philosophies and religions from childhood. He was surrounded by pagan practices and teachings. But God was preparing him for a ministry he could not even imagine. Amazingly, God could prepare Moses and keep him in spite of Egyptian worldviews.”

This is an unbelievable rationalization. This example would be better applied if we were to ask ourselves why Moses didn’t tell God that he thought the exodus was a bad idea because the Egyptians would lose the positive influence of the Israelites. Case in point: God called his people (including the children!) out of Egypt. As per Ro 8:28, Moses’ life served its purpose and is given to us as an example. Just try to remember that the Israelites are the “salt of the earth,” and God called them away from the Egyptians. Using this as a rationalization for keeping kids in school is just asinine.

Bass says, “we cannot expect to win the battle for the hearts and minds of the young generation if they grow up never personally knowing peers who are born again and living every day for Jesus. We know from experience when young people are reached with the Gospel they respond better than they would as adults. The sooner we reach them, the more likely they are to respond.”

This sounds somewhat reasonable on the surface. Under examination, I find it to be an immoral, unbiblical, unconscionable false doctrine in more ways that I could possibly fit into this essay.

Children belong to their parents. Parents have a right to teach their children values they hold and have a right to direct their moral development. Bass wants to take advantage of the absence of the parents to covertly convert their children. Atheists, Mormons, Jews, Moslems, Taoists, …whatever, do not send their children to school expecting them to be proselytized, and those parents have the right to expect the spiritual development of their child to be under their own control. Christians do not have any right to undermine the upbringing of a child not their own, even with the goal of making them believers of the Gospel. The ends do not justify the means (Ro 3:8). The book of Acts gives us example upon example of houses being converted to Christianity. In not one instance is a child proselytized against the wishes of the parent, and children are never made the focus of a conversion campaign. Seeking to do so is a direct affront to the institution of the family that God designed.

But there is a more chilling aspect to this. Bass articulates the reality that reaching kids with ideas while they are separated from the authority of their parents is a way in which Christians can take advantage of the compulsory education.

What Bass appears to ignore is that this sword cuts both ways. New-age utopians are taking the same advantage of the absence of parents — and getting much better results.

…thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood.
Eze 16:20-22 (KJV)

Inspired Translation of Copies Required for Bible Study

©2011 Brandon Staggs.

Now, what kind of a kook would say something as obviously nutty as the title of this little article? For of a certainty we all know that only the original autographs were inspired. And, obviously, no translation of God’s “original inspiration” could possibly be equal to its source, to say nothing of all those errors introduced in the copies of copies of copies over thousands of years.

That’s the standard, acceptable, and “logical” view, anyway.

The usual, acceptable position on Inspirartion, Preservation, and Translation goes something like this: 1. God inspired his words in the original autographs. 2. Scribes copied these words, inevitably introducing errors. As if it wasn’t bad enough that God’s inspiration evaporated along with the liquid of the ink, 3. Translations of these copies are even less inspired, since whatever inspiration remained almost certainly couldn’t survive the translation process. In the end, we can at best hope for a reasonable approximation of the original message intended by God.  Therefore: true, deep study of the Bible demands eager inquiry of its original languages and constant, diligent searching for yet older and yet better manuscripts. And for the poor slobs too busy earning a living to learn dialects of languages God did not preserve (i.e., nobody speaks anymore), good lexicons and confidence in men learned in such matters (Ps 118:8) are required. (A spare $50 for the latest and greatest Bible version every six months would be helpful, too.)

The Bible, on the other hand, full of amazing blessings and astonishing truths as it is, takes an entirely different “point of view.” (While the Scripture was allowed to speak in Pharaoh’s court [Ro 9:17], modern academia is too afraid of making the Bible into an idol [Ps 119:140] to acknowledge that it personifies itself and it is therefore shut outside the gates.) The acute observer of such things will notice that each basic claim of the modern critic about inspiration, preservation, and translation as outlined above is utterly without Scriptural support, and yet the same critics teaching them demand that Bible Believers offer scriptural evidence of our positions. Job 8:13.

Nevertheless: The Holy Spirit is not quiet on the matter.

Inspiration: of copies; of originals.

What is inspired Scripture? In order to get a biblical answer to this question one must seek out what the Bible says about it. Scripture claims itself to be given by inspiration:

2Ti 3:15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

What the Greek word translated as inspiration “really means” is a discussion irrelevant to application. We’ll return to inspiration as a practical event in a moment, but for now let’s look at the rest. Whatever inspired Scripture is, Timothy had it as a child. Whoa there. Christian scholarship just got off the horse wagon and said goodbye.  Timothy lived roughly 1500 years after Moses, to whom God gave the first five books of the Bible (written on materials incapable of surviving centuries of use). So immediately the Holy Spirit tells us that Timothy’s copies of God’s words were given by inspiration.

But there is more.

Whatever “inspired Scripture” is, what does it do? What is it for? The Holy Spirit tells us that it works in four ways: 1. Doctrine. 2. Reproof. 3. Correction. 4. Instruction. And to what purpose? Perfection of the man of God.

A way to understand this is to read it in reverse. Do you want to undergo perfection and be throughly furnished unto all good works? You need doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. How do you get those four things? Scripture given by inspiration.

Why is this recorded if it has no meaning for us? If the modern “scholarship only” position on inspiration is true, then we have no means of doctrine, reproof, correction, or instruction, and the entire ending of this chapter in 2nd Timothy is little more than cruel mockery. For it is not merely “a bible” that is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness: the Holy Spirit says that these things are the profits of Scripture given by inspiration.

So we see that inspiration is inextricably mingled with Scripture. If it is not given by inspiration, it is not Scripture. And because the Scripture also claims for itself purity (Ps 119:140; Pr 30:5), we know that nothing containing corruption is Holy Scripture. Scripture knows of no such thing as an “uninspired Holy Bible.”

Now what about this given by business? The academic concept of inspiration being at the point of a pen on an autograph is a misnomer. The actual, mechanical process of original Holy Writ doesn’t start with a pen; it starts with movement to speech.

2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

We can also see the process by which “original autographs” came to exist:

Jer 36:4 Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book.

So we have the application of “Ghost to paper” through Baruch. This obviously begs the question: using the academic concept of “inspired originals,” was Scripture given through inspiration via Jeremiah, or via Baruch? (And here the irony of the so-called “double inspiration heresy” is sweet and thick.)

Figure this out:  Before Moses wrote In the beginning or recorded the events of the Exodus, the Scripture claims that Scripture spoke to Pharaoh:

Ro 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

So much for inspiration being linked to “original autographs!” Pharaoh had none.

If you still have any respect for the “orthodox” understanding of inspiration of Scripture left, consider the fact that God had far less interest in the “older and better” manuscripts than Tischendorf, Westcott, and Hort did. When God used his own finger to etch “the originals” into stone, Moses summarily demolished them before anybody else ever had a chance to read them. Ex 32:16,19. God made new copies, presumably inspired a second time in stone, and since “the third time’s a charm” Moses later wrote them in a book. One wonders if the copies of God’s second original of the Ten Commandments that were stored in the Ark of the Covenant (De 31:26) contained scribal errors, since “inspiration” only applies to the original.  Our “traditional” definition of inspiration is becoming strained at best. And let’s not forget about Jeremiah and Baruch mentioned earlier: The “originals” autographed by Baruch (not Jeremiah) were later read by Jehudi aloud (Jer 36:14) (were they still inspired when Jedudi read them?), cut into pieces and burned (Jer 36:22-23), and then God engaged in some advanced revelation and added to the originals (Jer 36:22).

Thousands of church web sites say “we believe the Holy Bible is inspired by God and without error in the original manuscripts.”  So what!  When you ask one of those churches where you can get your doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2Ti 3:16) they tell you in the inspired originals. Good luck finding those.

Inspiration and Translation

Now we come to that point where even the Bible believer might start to split hairs. Not wanting to appear too simpleminded, many earnest believers in the authority and infallibility of their King James Bible nevertheless are afraid to call it an “inspired translation.” The logic is sound enough: It’s a translation, so it is preserved, not “inspired.”

Having been around this block a few times in the last 15 years, my plea is: Get over it.  And trust me: no “scholarship onlyist” is going to think better of a King James Bible believer just because he doesn’t call it an “inspired translation.”
If you need to take a breather, do so, then re-read 2Ti 3:16.

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

If it’s not given by inspiration, it’s not Holy Scripture. Any translation that can be said to result in Holy Scripture is by definition given by inspiration. So let’s dispense with this distinction without a difference!

This is not a new idea; it did not originate with me or any other contemporary author.

In 1956, years before there were any so-called “Ruckmanites,” Dr. Ed Hills argued that the King James Version New Testament is simply another variety of the Textus Receptus from which it was translated. (The King James Version Defended, chapter 8). The KJV is just as much the “inspired word of God” as the sources that form the basis of its translation.

202 years before that, John Wesley observed in his commentary:

“The Spirit of God not only once inspired those who wrote it, but continually inspires, supernaturally assists, those that read it with earnest prayer. Hence it is so profitable for doctrine, for instruction of the ignorant, for the reproof or conviction of them that are in error or sin, for the correction or amendment of whatever is amiss, and for instructing or training up the children of God in all righteousness.”

Look at that. God showed John Wesley something that modern fundamental Baptist theologians still don’t understand. Although Wesley didn’t include any cross-references in his short commentary on 2Ti 3:16, he still understood what Elihu told Job and his three friends:

Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

Wesley had it right, and I’d hardly call him “KJV Only.”

Every time you understand, it is by the inspiration of God that you are given that understanding. It is a continual process. (You Greek and Hebrew guys: I know the connection of inspiration in 2Ti 3:16 with Job 32:8 is worrying you a bit, and you want to look in your lexicons. You’re hoping there is a way out of this now, aren’t you.  It’s okay, I’ll wait.  You go look up neshamah and theopneustos. Then take a deep… breath.)

But back to translation. While the Bible critic is haughtily demanding scriptural proof that the King James Bible is “inspired,” or proclaiming that a translation can’t be as good as the “originals,” the New Testament is replete with inspired translations of Old Testament texts. Remember that interesting verse where the Scripture claims its own personification?

Ro 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

That quote is an inspired translation from the “original Hebrew” of Ex 9:16 (which was itself written long after the words were first said by Moses!) into the “original Greek” of Ro 9:17. And you’re reading it in the English… given by inspiration. (Again: if it’s not inspired, it’s not Scripture.)

You can’t go very far reading about Bible versions from the likes of James White or D. A. Carson without being told that by its very nature, a translation can never equal its source. So what do you do with Ro 9:17?

By the way, the actual word translate happens to exist in the Bible. 2Sa 3:10; Col 1:13; Heb 11:5. I leave it to the Bible believer to study the implication of those.

Translation a Requirement of Bible Study

Now, here is where the rubber meets the road.  After all, none of this matters if it doesn’t mean something practical for us.

If we accept the idea that “given by inspiration” can only apply to the original language in which the words were given, we are consigned to never grow in our understanding of God’s word, no matter how much biblical Hebrew or Greek we learn.

Huh, you say?

1Co 2 is a contrast of human wisdom and the wisdom of God (1Co 2:6-7). Verse 13 shows one of the key methods of studying God’s word:

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

If we want to understand God’s word and grow in it, we must take this precept and apply it to Bible study. Not only are God’s holy words something “which the Holy Ghost teacheth,” Jesus said:

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17). Scripture is spirit. Bible words are spiritual things. Do you want to grow in the word? Then read 1Co 2:13 (and Isa 28:10) and learn to compare spiritual with spiritual. The simple Bible study term for this is cross referencing.

What does this have to do with translation?

The Old Testament originals are mostly in Hebrew. The New Testament originals are mostly in Greek.

How do you compare anything in the New to the Old? Or from the Old to the New? The Bible critics are all left behind at this point because they believe that Scripture is only given by inspiration in their original languages.

You cannot compare spiritual words with spiritual words without having them translated into a common language. You’re either going to have to translate the Hebrew into the un-original Greek to compare them, or you are going to have to translate the Greek into the un-original Hebrew. Do you see it yet? (There is a third option, of course: translate them both into another language.)

You can’t compare a Greek word in the New Testament with a Hebrew word in the Old Testament if you don’t translate one or both.

Inspired Translation a Requirement for Bible study

If God’s inspiration of Scripture does not survive the translation process, you can’t study the Bible in its entirety. Even if you read biblical Hebrew fluently, or biblical Greek, you must still translate anything you read in one language in order to compare it to the other.

And if that translation isn’t Scripture given by inspiration, it is not profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, or for instruction in righteousness.

2Ti 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Admittedly, the claim I am making about this requirement for Bible study is only true if you consider the Bible to be Scripture. If you don’t, and you don’t really care about doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, then I would be at a complete loss to explain why you read all the way to the end of this article.

For the rest of you, dig into your King James Bible and explore its truly inexhaustible riches by comparing scripture with scripture.  Once you believe you are handling and reading the very Scriptures given by inspiration just like the ones Moses gave to the Hebrews and from which Timothy was made “wise unto salvation,” you will fast realize you have a mine of wonders the likes of which you will never see the end.

Ps 119:111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

Disarming the Saints: The Bible as Defective Weaponry

©2008 Brandon Staggs

In Eph 6, the Bible calls itself “the sword of the Spirit.” Believers are told to take “the whole armour of God” so that we “may be able to withstand in the evil day.” Scripture is hereby likened to a weapon, and we are therefore expected to wield it. 2Co 10:4 makes it clear that we as followers of Christ are in a state of warfare. As believers, we are furnished by God with a variety of armaments with which to fight our battles. Since God has given us the ultimate offensive weapon, his word, it is to be used, not ignored or shunned.

Further, it is imperative that the believer trust his weaponry. No soldier wishes to go to battle with defective or unreliable armaments, and in the case of we saints, our God has not demanded of us that we fight battles with tools in a state of disrepair.

Knowing this, Satan has fought his side of the battle in part by attacking God’s word itself, and by convincing believers that they can not, and should not, rely upon it.

The Power of Scripture for the Believer

Jer 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

In 2Co 10:5, we read that we are to actively resist “every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God” and that we are to bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” How are we to do this, though? How do we take our thoughts captive and maintain obedience? The Bible tells us:

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

It is through God’s word that our thoughts are discerened. It is also knowledge of Scripture that prevents error:

Mt 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

Scripture is our source of knowledge of doctrine and righteousness; our means of reproof and correction:

2Ti 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Many Christians believe that they will stay away from error simply through prayer and influence of the Holy Spirit. And yet in denying the power of God’s word, and refusing to rely on it, they reject the very means God has given them to avoid error. Is it any wonder that the Lord said:

Mt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

The Power of Scripture Against Satan

We see the power of Scripture in the temptation of Jesus Christ by Satan:

Mt 4:1-11 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Three times Satan tempted the Lord, and three times the Creator of the universe (Joh 1:3), who had the power to simply strike Satan out of all existence, answered: it is written. Let this sink in. Consider that your God in the flesh, while being tempted by the Devil himself, used the sword of the spirit as his rebuke! If Scripture is the weapon of choice for Christ, how dare anyone who claims to follow Christ assume a greater weapon is at our disposal.

Satan’s Attack on God’s Word: Yea, Hath God Said?

Satan knows the power of God’s word. In the temptation of Christ, we saw Satan twist Scripture to his own ends. Satan’s attack on the words of God is as old as Man:

Ge 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

From the very beginning, Satan has cast doubt on God’s word in man, and then moving from doubt to outright denial:

Ge 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

We see in Eve’s deception that Satan’s attack on God’s word begins with a seed of doubt, and then grows into open denial of God’s promises. Any such form of attack on God’s word, beginning with “Yea, hath God said,” must be instantly and completely rejected.

The Threat from Within: Manufacturing Defective Weaponry

2Co 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Satan’s outward attack on God’s word is not enough for him. His battle against truth continues:

2Ti 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Scoffing Scholars and Dull Swords: a Seed of Unbelief

As we saw in the temptation of Christ, “it is written” is the ultimate rebuke against temptation and error. Remember that the Bible likens Scripture to a sword, which is a weapon used both offensively and defensively. In our protracted spiritual warfare, we must take on the armor God has promised us — we have no right to request otherwise, and will have no excuse if we ignore the Sword at our disposal.

Recall Satan’s method of planting the seed of doubt in Eve: “yea, hath God said?” And now consider how modern scholarship has planted seeds of doubt in believers about the trustworthiness of God’s words, in effect doing Satan’s bidding and asking, “yea, hath God said?”

Example: The deity of Jesus Christ

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Have you ever been asked by someone caught up in a cult about the deity of Christ? Where do you turn to to answer? Can you say “it is written?” The above scripture quotation is taken from the King James Bible and it leaves no doubt whatsoever about the deity of Christ. It is written: God was manifest in the flesh!

But what of the “other swords” Christians may use?

  • And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. (NASB)
  • Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. (NIV)

Much has been written about the reading of this verse, but the point here is that the reading “he who” does not provide for an authoritative “it is written” rebuke. Just “who” is he? The scholars say that you can go to another verse or footnote to deduce who “he” is, and that may well be the case2. But those scholars have given you a dull sword: the one God has given us answers with one swift slash, while the others require thrusts upon thrusts to deliver a similar blow.

Example: The Triune Nature of God

1Jo 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Notice the powerfully decisive text of the King James Bible. In one verse, the very nature of God as a triune being is disclosed clearly. This is the most clear statement of the Trinity in the entire Bible. It is the only verse that mentions all three persons of the Godhead as being one. It should come as no surprise that the true reading of this verse has been viciously and ruthlessly under attack since the book of 1st John was written3. But what of the modern “swords?”

  • And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. (NASB)
  • For there are three that testify: (NIV)

These modern swords, when it comes to the Trinity, are rusty and dull.

Instead of boldly proclaiming “it is written,” mounds of commentators have sheathed their swords with comments like these:

“It would be much easier to prove the doctrine of the Trinity from other texts, than to demonstrate the genuineness of this.” —Albert Barnes

“Though a conscientious believer in the doctrine of the ever blessed, holy, and undivided Trinity, and in the proper and essential Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, which doctrines I have defended by many, and even new, arguments in the course of this work, I cannot help doubting the authenticity of the text in question…” —Adam Clarke

“It is generally agreed that v.7 has no real authority, and has been inserted.” —C. I. Scofield

All three of the above commentators have generally good teachings in their writings, but they have all fallen prey to Satan’s attack on the veracity of Scripture in this instance. Contrast the unbelieving tone of the above statements with these bold writings:

an express testimony of the triune Deity, by whatsoever carelessness or ill design left out of some copies, but sufficiently demonstrated by many most ancient ones” —Matthew Poole

That there are three persons, yet but one God, that do bear witness to the divinity of Christ, and of the plenteous redemption wrought by him” —William Burkitt

“…which is to be understood, not only of their unity and agreement in their testimony, they testifying of the same thing, the sonship of Christ; but of their unity in essence or nature, they being the one God. So that, this passage holds forth and asserts the unity of God, a trinity of persons in the Godhead, the proper deity of each person, and their distinct personality, the unity of essence in that they are one; a trinity of persons in that they are three, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and are neither more nor fewer; the deity of each person, for otherwise their testimony would not be the testimony of God…” —John Gill

Mighty in the Scriptures or Just Disarmed?

Apollos was “mighty in the scriptures.” (Ac 18:24). One can scarcely imagine Apollos afraid to use the sword God gave him because a scholar claimed it wasn’t trustworthy. He “spoke boldly” (verse 18:26), and once he had the way of God expounded to him more perfectly, “he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.” (verse 28)

The critic will argue that there are no doctrines missing from modern versions, and that even when one verse is weaker than in the KJV, the whole of the doctrine can be found elsewhere. But this attitude towards God’s word is not Scriptural. Modern scholarship cannot deny that its teachings are often started with “yea, hath God said?” When their new versions of the Bible contain footnotes telling the reader that the “oldest and best” manuscripts do not contain the last twelve verses of mark, or that 1Jo 5:7 does not belong in the Bible, what is it except a seed of doubt? We have seen that this method of questioning what God said is Satan’s method for growing outright rebellion against God, as in the case of Eve’s deception. It is also clear that Satan wishes Christians to be ineffective warriors, and has been at work deceiving many into accepting defective weaponry. It is Satan’s goal to dull our sword, making us unwilling to trust it and wield it boldly.

Claiming that every doctrine is in there somewhere, each time something is weakened or deleted from the Bible, is not being “mighty in the scriptures.” Instead of clinging to a rusty, dull sword, boldly wield the complete and sharp sword of the Spirit: the King James Bible.

Footnotes:

1 Indeed, James White claims that the weaker reading is unimportant because the NIV and NASB include the stronger reading in the margin. (The King James Only Controversy, James R. White, Bethany House Publishers, 1995, p. 207) The question is why the seed of doubt should be allowed to be planted by contradicting the text in footnotes, and how long it will be before the footnote is removed entirely.

2 See http://av1611.com/kjbp/faq/holland_1jo5_7.html, excerpted from Crowned With Glory, Dr. Thomas Holland, Writers Club Press, 2000, pp. 163-168. See also John Reynolds’ comments on this verse (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Volume 6).

Did Old Testament Saints “Look Forward” to the Cross?

By Brandon Staggs

When describing salvation in the Old Testament, it is common to hear one say:

“Old Testament saints looked forward to the cross, like we look back at the cross.”

While it is a nice, understandable saying, it is simply incorrect.

We need not even go back to the Old Testament to show the error of this teaching. Let’s just look at Peter for a minute.  Peter was an Apostle of Christ living with the Lord during his earthly ministry.  Surely of anyone was looking forward to the cross before Calvary, Peter would have been?

Here is the Lord Jesus Christ putting “the cross” in a nutshell:

Mr 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

What was Peter’s response?

Mr 8:32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

Peter’s response was to rebuke the Lord. Today, when someone rebukes the Gospel, we call that person lost.

Peter certainly wasn’t “looking forward to the cross.” What about looking “back” to the cross?

Lu 24:6-11 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

What do we call someone who “believes not” the resurrection? Lost! If Peter (and the other Apostles) were “looking forward to the cross” they certainly would not have denied the resurrection after it happened.

 

Eph 3 pretty much lays out that the whole plan of Christ’s sacrifice for the world was a “mystery” “hid in God” (Eph 3:9)

Capital Punishment in Scripture

By Brandon Staggs

Quote from Wikipedia:

In 1999, Clayton Lockett kidnapped, beat, and shot nineteen-year-old Stephanie Neiman and ordered an accomplice to bury her while she was still breathing. She died from two wounds from a shotgun fired by Lockett.

At his 1999 murder trial both DNA from the dead victim, fingerprints from the duct tape used to bind the victim, and eye witness testimony led to his murder conviction.

In 2000, he was convicted of murder, rape, forcible sodomy, kidnapping, assault and battery and sentenced to death.

He was executed on April 29. As you probably know, his execution didn’t go smoothly.

One of the drugs used in lethal injections, sodium thiopental, is in short supply. The EU has banned the export of this drug for purposes of lethal injection and the only US company that produced it discontinued doing so in 2011.

Oklahoma tried a different mix of drugs. These drugs had been used successfully by Florida but with different dosages.

Of course, Lockett wasn’t exactly cooperating; he had to be tasered after cutting himself before the execution. He asked for an expensive last meal, and when that was denied, he refused to eat anything at all. According to the currently available information, they had a hard time finding a suitable vein to give him his lethal injection and it’s possible they were not properly administered. This could be due in part to him being dehydrated.

But in the end, Lockett died within an hour of his schedule execution.

Many have used this situation to call for more restrictions on capital punishment. On May 5, President Obama ordered Attorney General Eric Holder to “review the application of the death penalty” in the US. He called what happened in our state “deeply disturbing.” He spoke of racial bias and exculpatory evidence. What’s deeply disturbing is his willingness to use this incident as an opportunity to lash out against capital punishment.

The Lockett conviction had nothing to do with his race and his guilt was clearly determined. Obama is more concerned with his liberal agenda and disseminating propaganda than having justice for Stephanie Neiman served and is shameless in exploiting this incident for his political gain.

We could get into a lengthy discussion about the merits of capital punishment in society. Typically people come down to whether or not the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder or whether or not it is justice served. And those are interesting and valid points.

But,

God’s word is my final authority, so I’d like to talk about the Death Penalty for Murder out of the Bible.

Most people think of the death penalty being the “eye for eye” part of the Bible. In the Law of Moses.

Ex 21:24Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

But actually, the Death Penalty for murder was codified when Noah and his family stepped off the Ark hundreds of years before that.

Ge 9:6Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

This makes the penalty for murder a divine decree.

It also gives the divine reason for this penalty, which transcends any earthly reasoning we could give.

It is because man is made in God’s image.

Ge 1:26“likeness”

Jas 3:9Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

God abhors the unjustified bloodshed of the human race so much that even animals are to be put to death when they kill a man:

Ex 21:28-29If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. 29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.

And even the owner is responsible as a murderer if he was wilfully negligent.

Virtually every civil society in history has had the death penalty, but as our cultures have embraced secularism and atheism en masse, the death penalty has been steadily done away with.

There are about 200 countries in the world. The UN recognizes 195 “independent states.” Of those 195, 100 of them have outright abolished capital punishment, and another 48 of them allow it by law but have not used it for more than 10 years. 7 more countries allow the death penalty only in exceptional circumstances such as certain crimes committed during a time of war. Only 40 of those 195 countries still practice capital punishment. That’s about 20%.

Europe: Only one European country, Belarus, is still using capital punishment. That is one country out of 49.

In 2012 there were less than 3000 [only 2678] legal executions in the world. China accounts for approx. 2000 of those.

These statistics come from articles on Wikipedia.

Even in our country where it is still the law, it is rarely used.

Out of our 50 states the death penalty is illegal in 18 states.

In 2010 there were 3,108 convicted criminals on death row and there were only 39 executions. That’s less than 2%. Compare that with 14,772 murders in the same year.

Ge 9:6Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Evolution has taught us that we are not created in God’s image. If we understand the Scriptural reason for capital punishment we should not be surprised that as cultures abandon even the basic belief in Creation they will turn against this just law and even begin to believe it is immoral to have it.

Isa 5:20Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

It is not good to withhold the justice of capital punishment when God has decreed it to be so. It is actually evil, and modern culture calls this evil good.

If you want to see more of this you can look up the Deaith Penalty Information Center. Their website is devoted to making people think God’s decree about capital punishment is wrong and evil. People need to be careful when they decide to call God’s decrees immoral.

Shouldn’t this have gone out with the law of Moses?

Well it is part of the law of Moses,

The Bible shows a high standard of evidence required for administering the death penalty

De 17:6-7At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. 7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.

I don’t believe we live under the law of Moses, but I do believe we can learn from it. God wants people who serve him to put away evildoers from among them. The death penalty still serves as a means of putting the worst offenders in our society away from us, and you don’t need to be a Christian to benefit from that.

But We’re under grace now, we should forgive, right? No more of this eye for eye stuff?

Note that Ge 9 is hundreds of years before God gave Moses the Law.

And besides that, the stated reason for capital punishment has not changed: we are still a race made in the image of God.

We know what the legal definition of murder is, but: Murder is emulation of Satan

Satan was a murderer from the beginning

Joh 8:44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Shouldn’t Christians seek to abolish the death penalty?

Paul didn’t (cite the situation, Ac 25:11)

He trusted the Roman system of justice to properly adjudicate the matter. Verse 16 shows their standards.

Ac 26:10 – Paul admits some were put to death unjustly, but still never suggests the penalty itself is unjust.

While we are under grace and should not seek an “eye for an eye,” the just administration of capital punishment is still the purview of a civil government. (Ro 13:4)

Optional section

Capital Punishment for Causing Miscarriage

Ex 21:22-25If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Note that:

–         Fruit is a child.
Ps 127:3Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

–         No mischief follow = nobody dies, including the child. Premature birth

–         Mischief follow = either the woman or the child dies. Miscarriage caused by the men striving.

–         (Non-lethal harm is described in verses 18-19 and referenced again here in verse 22)

What wickedness when our culture makes a virtue out of something God hates so much!

Bible Codes: Are Scripture-based word find puzzles real?

By Brandon Staggs

There seems to be no end to the clamoring for “hidden evidence” of the veracity of the Bible. So-called Bible Codes are one manifestation of the human interest in the “hidden” and “secret.” There is an endless supply of modern-day, self-proclaimed prophets who claim to have unlocked secrets in the Bible with the application of mathematical and statistical analysis of Scripture text. All you have to do is buy their books, and suddenly, God’s secrets are yours.

The real question for a Christian believer is whether or not there is any Scriptural support for hidden messages in the Bible that can only be discovered with computers, but I’ll get to that in a moment. First let’s examine what these Bible codes are, how subjective they are, and whether or not they actually produce accurate predictions of future events.

Equidistant Letter Sequence (ELS). This is a fancy term for finding words by picking an arbitrary starting letter, counting ahead by an arbitrary number, and repeating the process until you’ve found some words. All sorts of “hidden messages” can be found with this method, because the person designing the code system is free to align the letters in any manner they wish (why a 20 column grid instead of a 21 column grid?) and skip ahead any count of letters they like (why three and not four letters?). The proofs for the validity of an ELS system can be persuasive if you don’t bear these facts in mind: the system can be continually tweaked until the desired outcome is achieved.

The hidden picture codes. One type of “code system” is the “picture Bible code,” where one is supposed to be able to see prophetic images by “connecting the dots” between Hebrew letters to form pictures. The obvious problem with this system is that it is visually subjective. Our brains are designed to find shapes in what we see. Cloud-watching is all about imagining form where none exists. People claimed to be able to recognize faces in the smoke of the World Trade Center fire and collapse. Mary-worship is replete with people finding forms in tortillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, and dirt. Further, as with ELS, who says how the words are to be organized? Why 10 columns of letters and not 11? And why connect in a circular pattern to form a head instead of a polygonal pattern? Unless, of course, you are just seeking for what you’ve already decided must be there: a head.

Problems with any Bible code system:

Which text? Ah, one of my favorite questions to ask someone who knows “the original language text” of the Bible. Which one? Do you start with the Ben Chayyim Hebrew text or the Ben Asher Hebrew text of the Old Testament? Do you use the King James Version in English, or find some other translation that gets you the results you’re looking for? If you’re working in Greek, which of the many different Greek texts do you use to base your work on? Whichever one you can find a code in, of course!

Subjectivity: As we saw with the picture code method, there is a high level of subjectivity involved in interpreting Bible codes. There is no getting around the fact that “finding” a Bible code message involves completely arbitrary choices.

Prophetic error: Do these Bible codes even yield actionable information? Not really. The “prophesies” found within these Bible codes are either conveniently already fulfilled, or when the “code prophet” actually does go out on a limb and make a prediction of significance, they are found wrong. For example, Tom Mack, a Bible “coder,” predicted that Al Gore would be installed as president of the United States. When that didn’t happen, Mack revised his prophetic algorithm to prove that the Bible actually predicted Bush’s presidency. There are numerous examples of Bible code proponents getting it wrong on prophecy, and I don’t see any need to line them all up now.

By the way, how many incorrect predictions can a prophet make? Biblical answer: none.

De 18:21-22  And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

The Bible has a “one strike and your out” policy for prophets. If this rule is applied to Bible coders, they should all be ignored.

But what about the Scripture itself?

Here we come to the real bottom line for Bible believers. Does Scripture allow for the teaching that there are all sorts of encrypted messages in the Bible that can be revealed to us with computers and mathematical equations?

Hidden sequences are inconsistent with Biblical principles of God’s word.

De 30:11-12  For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?

De 29:29  The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Isa 45:19  I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

God’s word is meant for us to live on. How can we do that if it is only in secret codes that we can obtain the full revelation of God?

Mt 4:4  Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Conclusion

An examination of Scripture itself — not hidden strings of letters derived from it — shows us that there is no need to seek answers with fancy algorithms, picture codes, or ELSes. There are certainly as yet not understood aspects of God’s mind as revealed in the Bible, but understanding of these truths will come from study and enlightenment from the Holy Spirit.

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

1Jo 2:20  But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

I’ve often received requests from users and prospective users of my Bible study software to add “code tools,” but I’ve never been interested in doing so. Finding secret messages should be left to characters like Ralphie Parker with his Secret Decoder Ring in A Christmas Story, or Nicholas Cage with his special Ben Franklin glasses in National Treasure. Students of the Bible must instead focus on studying the actual text of Scripture with the guidance and illumination of the Holy Spirit, instead of using Scripture as a basis for a word find puzzle.

 

Biblical Reasons to Homeschool

Offered here are just a handful of verses from God’s word which apply to raising, training, and educating children. There are hundreds of reasons to reject the usage of the government education system, including social, moral, academic, ethical, political, and “religious” reasons. For a Christian, especially a Christian who values the authority of Scripture, God’s own words on the matter should settle the issue. So here we attempt to explain a conviction we have through the only objective way possible: Holy Scripture.

-Brandon and Rebekah Staggs

Update, Dec 2005: I’m removing the most commentary from this text. Some people have responded to this article by latching on to, and complaining about, phrases I used, rather than paying attention to the precepts I was expounding on. So I think perhaps it is better to simply quote Scripture and let people do as they wish with that information. I’m still leaving in enough commentary so that you can see “where I am going” with the quotes. -Brandon

God gave you children as a steward and gave you the authority over them:

Ps 127:3-5 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Ge 33:5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.

Ge 48:8-9 And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons, and said, Who are these? And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them.

Isa 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

Heb 2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

On rendering to GOD’S what is GOD’S:

Mt 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

(People tend to ignore the latter portion of the verse. Our children are not Caesar’s!) Children belong to God:

Eze 16:20-21 Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?

God’s commandments to us regarding our stewardship of the children He has given us include:

Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.De 6:6-9 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

Pr 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

How someone thinks in their heart is what makes them. How do children learn to think of the world, of God and His creation, in school?

Isa 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

Jer 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

Mt 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Again, a child’s mind is trained in school.

Ro 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Pr 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Does a child receive this kind of training in public school?

Pr 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Does a child “walk with wise men” in public school?

1Co 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

That’s communications as in “community.” Is it a good idea to put children in that situation?

Jas 3:13-18 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Mt 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Ps 119:97-104 MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.