Welcome, Again…

I have noticed a significant spike in readers to my blog lately. So, with that, I say welcome. Please feel free to peruse my old posts and conversations over the last two years. You will notice several things:

  1. I have ruffled a few feathers.
  2. I have been set straight a few times.
  3. I am learning.
  4. I will contradict myself from time to time.
  5. I have grown in maturity and grace.
  6. I am still in much need of grace from Father and my friends.

You may also notice that there are some large gaps in my blogging history. I have no real reason for this. I just didn’t have anything to write or share during these times. Sometimes I was trying to wait out nay-sayers.

I do ask my readers and commentors to share a few “rules”:

  1. I don’t debate Bible versions. Ever. (You can add to that: style of clothing and music.)
  2. I don’t want to host arguments. That is what message boards are for.
  3. I want to read conversations that honor and respect one another.
  4. I ask that we try to include “smileys” when using sarcasm and/or tongue-in-cheek comments. It helps difuse hostility. 🙂
  5. I ask that everyone would try to point the rest of us to Jesus. He is the Head, the King, and Savior.

I will unapolegetically say: I left the institutional church for many reasons. It is what Father has for me and my family, and those we do life with today. We express our faith in different ways than what is traditionally understood. I have no use for titles, positions, articles of faith, creeds, traditions, bureaucracy, buildings, liturgies, “church services”, and many other structures within traditional/conventional/institutional churches. I am not saying these things are wrong or unuseful, they are just not for me. I will occasionally challenge some of these things, but I try to be respectful of the many friends and family I have that still serve our Savior in these structures. I also cherish some of the memories I have when I was a part of these systems. After all, it was in a very traditional church that I heard the Gospel and gave my life to Christ. It just happened to be outside of that setting that I finally began to learn how to fully know Him and be His disciple! 🙂

Anyway, I know I don’t have it all “figured” out. I am a learner. I don’t believe “house church” is the only way to “do it”. This life is about following the Way of Jesus. He is the One we are to follow. Jesus made that VERY clear in Scripture. The Holy Spirit is the One who leads ALL followers into the Truth, not people. This happens in real life everyday, not just in a house gathering or a once a week “church service”. The Father went to great lengths to have a personal relationship with His people where no person would have to be the “go-between”. This relationship is 24/7/365, and it happens everywhere we do life. This, my friends, is what I am passionate about; connecting people with Jesus.

Please interact with me on this journey. Be gentle when I say stupid things. Read carefully, though, because Father may use my journey to help encourage yours.

Thanx!

BTW, you can check out my beautiful family at: Rhodes Rules!

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22 Responses

  1. I agree 100% the Holy Spirit leads people into the truth. But the question is how does He do it? If he just mystically or magically grabs on to someone and leads them, surely He goes against man’s will. I believe Ephesians 6:17 clears up how, in that it calls the Spirit’s sword the Word of God. The Holy Spirit convicts using this tool. So, where the Word of God (the message which comes from the Bible) is missing, then so too is the specific conviction. For example, can a lost man who has never heard the gospel be convicted any further than recognizing the general facts of nature that a powerful intelligent God exists? Until he hears Jesus died, can he be led into that truth? Of course not. It is the Word that is living and powerful, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing into men’s thoughts and hearts (Hebrews 4:12).

    The Father used to lead men by speaking to them directly (Adam, Noah, Abram), by angels (Lot), by dreams (Joseph), by pictures (tabernacle and temple), by visions (prophets), by Jesus’s teachings, miracles, parables, example, by apostles, by prophecies and early church miracles, and now there is a complete Word (1 Corinthians 13:8-12 and 2 Peter 1:19). Now, he uses the churches to preach His gospel to lead men (Matthew 28:18-20).

    The Spirit uses his tool, the sword, the Word of God. He does this by empowering the preaching of it. Very few pick up a Bible on their own without someone telling them, and then they get saved. I’ll close with these verses and then I’ll reword them for those who don’t like James VI of Scotland. 🙂

    Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
    15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

    13 explained – whoever calls on Jesus’s name will be saved.
    14 explained – Unless a person believes, he can’t call on Jesus’ name. Unless a person hears the gospel, he can’t believe. Unless a person preaches the gospel, a person can’t hear it.
    15 explained – A person can’t preach unless he is sent out. Those preachers are doing God’s will and beautiful in His sight.

  2. I agree 100%. The GOSPEL must be PREACHED (proclaimed). It is not an option. It is a command.

    I will say again, that I have nothing against King Jimmy. I still use it in study. Actually, I regularly use a KJV Interlinear when looking closer at a text.

    Thought you might like to know that.

    Thanx!

  3. You’re doing better than I am man.

    Reading a KJV for me nowadays is like reading Spanish or some other language 😉

  4. 🙂 Yeah, my point here is, I don’t want to be considered anti-KJV. That’s ridiculous. I am pro many versions. I just frequently use the NLT for quotations and my personal reading.

    Frankly, I think we should all use multiple versions. All versions translate things from a human perspective, and all of them translate certain words and phrases in different ways. For most folks who have never learned about Greek and Hebrew, using several versions can drastically help their understanding of Scripture.

    That’s my point, I guess.

  5. Agree.

    I like the NLT, TNIV, ESV, NASB, NIV, and NKJV.

    I would like to check out The Voice and The Message Remixed.

  6. Are you for any and all versions?

  7. I can’t adequately answer that, because:

    1) I am not that smart.
    2) I haven’t read ALL versions.
    3) Even if I had, I haven’t seen all Greek Texts.
    4) I really don’t think Jesus meant this to be a complicated issue.
    5) This is why I am convince we should just use multiple versions.
    6) Prayer and a close relationship with Jesus should clarify His Word.

    Probably could think of more if it weren’t so late.

    Thanx!

  8. And while I agree anti-KJV is ridiculous, there are many in the ABA who are just that. They trash it up and down using unlearned arguments. For one example, a fellow wrote a newspaper article saying a verse in the KJV portrayed the wrong understanding. I’ll try to describe his argument.

    Colossians 2:12 “Buried with him in baptism…”

    His argument was there is a Definite Article before baptism in the Greek. He’s right. He then said leaving it out in the KJ is wrong. This is ridiculous. No version translates “The Jesus” every time there is a D.A. before His name, as it would give a wooden difficult to speak translation. Even more ridiculous, he then stated that some Greek grammar says “The D.A. can be translated as a personal pronoun.” And so he translated the verse “Buried with him in baptism of him.” or “his baptism”. The grammar does teach the D.A. can be translated as a personal pronoun, but never in the Dative, Locative or Instrumental case, especially with an agreeing noun after it, and even more so when it is preceded by the green “ev” or “in” defining the case function as locative.

    Finally he taught a belief that he got from from retranslating this verse “Buried with him in his baptism” as some specific baptism of his death and therefore saying we are all immersed in God’s wrath with Jesus on the cross. While this teaching itself is uncommon and strangely worded, this isn’t even the issue. He could try to use other scriptures to back up that point, but instead he tried to trash the KJV with EXTREMELY little understanding of the Greek language. What makes me so sick is the paper would appear extremely persuasive to the mind which isn’t familiar with the language.

    Anyway, anyone who debates this subject should, I hope, at least educate themselves well before taking a strong stand. I suppose I feel the same way about all discussions.

  9. I think His Word clarifies the close relationship and prayer with Him, not the other way around. But this isn’t the issue I was trying to bring out. Some versions you may want to look at so you can say you do or don’t agree with all versions would include the “Rick James” version Bible with an extremely vulgar use of the language include curse words in every other verse. The lolcatz Bible which also uses swear words. The magazine type Bibles and comic book Bibles (which I’ve seen used in ABA youth conferences) which are nothing more than a commentary but claim to be God’s Word. I just wanted you to know there are most likely some Bibles you might not appreciate, and therefore when someone asks the question “Can I use any Bible?” Another question they may be attempting to justify is the Catholic Bible with Apocrypha scattered throughout it. Do you agree with the Apocrypha being intermixed in the Bible which includes scriptures teaching in purgatory (prayers for the dead)

  10. This, my friends, is why I DON’T argue about Bible versions. None of us are really smart enough to absolutely KNOW.

    There is less than 1% disagreement among ALL Greek NT texts. All of them. Even the most heavily debated. Consider this. No other historical document known to mankind has this kind of manuscript evidence for it’s accuracy!! Nothing even comes close!

    Yet, the people who argue the most about the different Greek texts are CHRISTIANS!! Usually, Christian “leaders”!!

    What must these arguments sound like to atheists, agnostics, or the indifferent? Well, I can tell you since I have spent a lot of time listening to their point of view. They usually scoff at the Bible. They say Christians can’t even agree on the document, why would we trust it? I actually had a very revealing conversation a couple of years ago with an atheist who was also a linguistic “expert” at the University of Memphis. Needless to say, it was after that conversation, I determined that I would never argue about English versions of the Bible ever again.

    What so many folks really intend for good, actually causes great harm to those who are not on the “inside”. Too many Christians sit around in their little closed Christian “bubble” and argue pointlessly about things that really don’t matter. They think they are accomplishing great things, but are literally very often hindering what God is seeking to do. Honestly, what really matters to God: what version of the Bible someone reads, or that people know HIM, personally, intimately, wholistically?

    If someone has a Bible that includes the Apocrypha, so what? If they are reading a comic book Bible, so what? If they are reading a magazine Bible, so what? If they read a “Rick James” Bible, so what? Can God use His word, no matter the translation? After all, didn’t Jesus, HIMSELF, say that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all Truth? I absolutely believe Jesus!

    I say read the Bible!! Read it!! Read it!! Read it!! I don’t care what version, portion, edition, language, translation, paraphrase, bla, bla, bla, it may be. READ IT!!

    The Holy Spirit will lead into all Truth. He will separate Truth from lies. Why are we so afraid of trusting Jesus? We think we have to invent false dichotomies, schisms, divisions, categories, labels, and barriers in order to “protect” people from error, mistakes, and heresy. While I have no doubt that most folks’ motives are pure, we often hinder people from making the mistakes necessary for real learning to take place.

    That’s my take…

    Now, I said I didn’t want to discuss versions, but I do think this has been an interesting conversation. From my point of view, after working outside of the church walls for quite some time, I think I see clearer than ever how questioning Bible versions, actually detracts from Scripture.

    Thanx for helping once again clarify this issue for me, Snyder!! 🙂

  11. BTW, I think Paul may have taught Timothy something regarding these types of endless discussions:

    “Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them.” (1 Timothy 2:14)

    Rather than sitting around in “holy huddles” arguing over words, Paul encouraged Timothy to:

    “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:15)

    Then, again a stiff warning about foolish discussions:

    “Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads tomore godless behavior. This kind of talk spreads like a cancer…” (1 Timothy 2:16a)

    I have seen these kind of discussions lead to anger, wrath, pride, divisions rather than unity, slander, arguments, and unholy attitudes.

    Paul continues later:

    “Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must ot quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.” (1 Timothy 2:23-26)

    That is why I DON’T debate Bible versions…

  12. This is a controversial statement, and I’ve never seen or heard it before (just thought of it):

    But I believe we are greedy, whiny babies.

    We sit here arguing over which version is correct or not correct, arguing over small differences, becoming drama queens if we don’t get our way. We have 66 books of the Bible! 66!!! And yet most early Christians were lucky to have 1 book of the Bible. 1 BOOK!!! And yet they didn’t complain and they seemed to follow Jesus just fine – better, in fact, than most of us follow Him.

    So all this argument over having “every word” is dripping with selfishness and ignorance. We should be thankful for what we got and for the blessings to be able to create so many translations if we so choose. The early Christians would have killed for what we have: whether its a KJV or an NIV or whatever.

    BTW, My tone is not angry or sarcastic, but prophetic 🙂

  13. My 1 Timothy 2 ends at verse 15, and deals with Adam and Eve. I can’t find your scriptures, as I don’t have an NLT concordance.

    I responded last time in email, but will respond here this time as you directly addressed the issue. The Holy Spirit leads into truth, but how does He do it? The Bible teaches He does it via the Word. If you don’t have a the Word (say you have a Koran), He won’t lead you into the truth.

    I agree with you, when someone reads the Word of God, the Spirit will lead Him into truth. But just like a sermon preached or a small group Bible study, the only way to know if a speaker is true or not is to compare it to the Word, which the Spirit uses as His sword, His tool to convict of truth.

    You said, “Can God use His word, no matter the translation?” You are right, if we have 15 translations that are His Word, He can use them all to convict of the truth. Can he use something that isn’t His Word? Sure. But to build a life upon a books teachings requires one to know who authored the book. If two books (the Bible and Koran) disagree concerning God, which do we choose? If we can just pick up any book and God will convict of truth the Holy Spirit, why not the Koran? Because the Spirit convicts of truth through His Word and teachings from it.

    Therefore, if a false version contradicts God’s Word, the Spirit won’t be able to convict using the lie in the false version.

    I’ve had many discussions with atheists. Some have converted, others have not. The truth is, if we show Jesus through our lives, personally connect with them, and then teach the evidence that proves God, they are more likely to come to know Jesus themselves. I know many atheists who are so confused about the truth (mostly due to watered down religion), they have false concepts of God. This is what keeps the majority of atheists I know away from God.

    They could just as easily say “Christian’s argue about how to be saved, why should I bother?” as they could “Christian’s argue about which Bible, why should I bother?” If we should stop discussing the truth of the Bible versions b/c it distracts atheists, we should stop discussing the truth of salvation by grace through faith for the same reason. It boils down to a matter of what is truth? And is truth worth speaking out for?

    If we are right, and many versions are not God’s Word, then they may be effective if used by a person who knows salvation, but they will lead people into error such as Jesus being only human with two earthly parents, a man who was never worshiped, one who allows baptism before salvation (and possibly towards the ends of salvation), a God who has purgatory for all men who aren’t deemed “saints” or going straight to Hell, a God who is not a trinity at all, and a God who picks and chooses some to go to Hell. If we are right, then only truth must be read for our life choices, and other versions will take away from this.

    If i am wrong, which is very possible as I’ve been wrong many times in life, then you are right. It doesn’t matter. People who study will find this to be true and it won’t matter what I say.

    Again, I state the atheists I knew didn’t understand or see the truth lived, and that’s why they reject. If they could understand we all disagree, but the truth is God loves all, and we love all (even in disagreements – and this will be determined by how we disagree and how we discuss), then they can have a better chance of finding our Lord. I think one day at LMBIS would help all to understand brothers and sisters in Christ can disagree on many things all day long, discuss them, even argue without getting mad or upset, and still be best friends at the end of the day (Much you like you and I can do the same). We seek discuss our disagreements to help eachother find the the truth as we know it. I think our disagreements and friendship shows other readers Christ is stronger than disagreements, Amen?

  14. Oops, it was 2 Timothy, not 1 Timothy. 🙂

  15. Where does the Bible say that the Holy Spirit teaches and leads via the written Word?

    Is Jesus the Word? I don’t mean to discount the written Word here, but maybe we have become people of the book rather than people of the Spirit, when the very book we hold so tightly teaches us not to!!

    What about this:

    “This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” (Hebrews 10:16)

    Also, it seems the Spirit has the capacity to speak to His people:

    “Now the HOLY SPIRIT tells US clearly that…” (1 Timothy 4:1)

    Have we so long trusted the things we can see and touch over the dynamic working of the Holy Spirit. This is a pitty!!

    Also:

    “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. you must TEST them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.” (1 John 4:1)

    Of course John follows this by stating we should use the written Word of God to stand against these false teachers and their teaching…

    NO!! Listen:

    “This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet ackowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God.” (1 John 4:2-3a)

    Also:

    “And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he is us.” (1 John 4:13)

    And:

    “But when you are led by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses…Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of or lives.” (Galatians 5:18, 25)

    Unfortunately, too many folks have disregarded the Spirit of God for the fear of being too…um…CHARISMATIC!! This is to our shame!!

    Our lives are not to be led by the dynamic, living Spirit of God. Yes, I know He uses the written Word. He has done so in my very own life, but NOT to the exclusion of the Spirit of life within.

    Jesus also said that Father could raise stones up to testify of Him, so, no, He doesn’t NEED preachers to preach. He has chosen the foolishness of preaching to confound the wisdom of the wise, but He doesn’t NEED us.

    It is ultimately the Spirit who leads and transforms life.

    I think Turpin made a good point about Christians not always having the whole written Word. There have been beleivers throughout history who didn’t even have whole letters. They may have had a verse, or a page. Often, these would circulate through networks of churchs.

    Finally, for the record, 1 Corinthians 13:10 is NOT a reference to the Bible. It can only be referring to the fullness of the coming Kingdom, because even with the “finished” Bible, we don’t fully understand everything.

    Thanx!

  16. 1. “Where does the Bible say that the Holy Spirit teaches and leads via the written Word?”
    ~ It doesn’t say written word, though it implies it in Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12, along with the Romans 10 about Calling, Believing, Hearing, Preaching (of the word). It is the truth which must be preached and taught to be heard. It is the Word of God that is the Spirit’s tool / sword (Ephesians 6). I encourage you to find one scripture to show me that teaches the Spirit will lead anyone outside of the word or the truth from it.

    2. Is Jesus the Word? I don’t mean to discount the written Word here, but maybe we have become people of the book rather than people of the Spirit, when the very book we hold so tightly teaches us not to!!
    ~ Indeed Jesus is the Word, The one and only Word, the Logos, the Logic, the Ultimate truth. But how do we learn of Him? What he lived is written in the Bible. If it weren’t for the Bible, we’d not know of the life example in Jesus. The teachings in the book change my life. The more I study and learn of who Jesus was and wants me to be, the closer to Him I grow and the more I find my life changing closer to what it should be. I don’t even have to work on a lot of things I do wrong, they just seem to work themselves out as time goes on. For example: I used to look down on those who didn’t attend Sundays, but the more I study and the more I focus on my own sins which the Bible points out to me, the less and less I focused on others lack of attendance. Sure I care for them, and wish they could come, but it doesn’t frustrate me any more at all (and I didn’t even have to work on it. The Word changed me.)

    3. What about this:
    “This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” (Hebrews 10:16)
    ~If you read the rest of this, you find the verses before (13 through 15) and those after about consecration refer to a perfecting going into the future. It appears mighty similar to Hebrews 8:8-11 and the Jeremiah prophecy these quote, which obviously refer to the Millennial Reign.

    4. Also, it seems the Spirit has the capacity to speak to His people:
    “Now the HOLY SPIRIT tells US clearly that…” (1 Timothy 4:1)
    ~The whole “us” is the exact point I’m trying to make. This doctrine may be taught by the version you are there using, but both in the NA 27th text, the WH text, and the TR text, that personal pronoun is lacking. You see, God was not the author of that “us”. I read 1 Timothy 4:1, and see simply that the Spirit was speaking expressly to the writer, Paul. This is the simple understanding, and it is the only proper translation (for the 1st person plural pronoun does not exist in any Greek text.)

    5. Have we so long trusted the things we can see and touch over the dynamic working of the Holy Spirit. This is a pitty!!
    Also:
    “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. you must TEST them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.” (1 John 4:1)
    ~That’s right. The ONLY way to try the spirits are to know the truth of God’s Word. Read the next verse, verse 2. If you just said we must try the spirits, I could try them by any standard. But then John turned around and said you must try them by this scripture (verse 2 and 3). If you eliminate verse 2 and 3 (the written verse 2 and 3 – words of God), you do not have the guideline by which to try the spirits. Besides this, the context is in reference to salvation. If you apply this to all doctrines or understandings of God’s Will, then all who beleive in salvation who teach (yet disagree one with another) are all of God? If this is the case, all who teach salvation properly, but have many other teachings, are all giving forth the spirit of God?

    6. “And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he is us.” (1 John 4:13)
    ~ 1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
    1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
    You see, This verse refers to the Spirit’s empowering us, not just the indwelling. It refers to others seeing God in us, through loving with His love. And how do we know if He is working in us in our showing love to one another? Because His Spirit indwells the saved, and empowers them in their witnessing.

    6. “But when you are led by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses…Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of or lives.” (Galatians 5:18, 25)
    ~Galatians 5:16-18 show us living in the Spirit is by not walking after the flesh. But how do we know the flesh? How do we know what is and isn’t sin? How do you know how to worship, how to live, how to serve, how to love if not for the written word? If the Spirit can just change us, there is NO NEED TO STUDY ever. If the Spirit can change me outside of the truth in God’s Word, why even read the Bible?

    7. Unfortunately, too many folks have disregarded the Spirit of God for the fear of being too…um…CHARISMATIC!! This is to our shame!!
    ~Agreed. We should return to walking hand in hand with Christ, and letting Him work in us and change us as we choose to follow the Word.

    8. “Our lives are not to be led by the dynamic, living Spirit of God. Yes, I know He uses the written Word. He has done so in my very own life, but NOT to the exclusion of the Spirit of life within.”
    “Jesus also said that Father could raise stones up to testify of Him, so, no, He doesn’t NEED preachers to preach. He has chosen the foolishness of preaching to confound the wisdom of the wise, but He doesn’t NEED us.”
    ~Amen, but He won’t go against your will either. With the completed written word, He has no need to open up your head and poor direct knowledge in. He COULD, but if that was His plan, there would be no need for the written word ever. He could just wait for those who accept Him to open themselves up and then He’d pour in the knowledge they need.

    9. It is ultimately the Spirit who leads and transforms life.
    ~I suppose this is where we disagree. I believe the Spirit does this mediately (through the sword Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12) and you believe He does it intermediately. If He just gives leading, then when I pray and pray and open myself to Him to be used, and I draw close to Him, He has failed me for not giving me the same knowledge you have, and actually all of God’s people who don’t have the same knowledge.

    10. I think Turpin made a good point about Christians not always having the whole written Word. There have been beleivers throughout history who didn’t even have whole letters. They may have had a verse, or a page. Often, these would circulate through networks of churchs.
    ~ He made a WONDERFUL point. They would have been more than happy to have what we have and wouldn’t take it for granted like we do at times. They would cherish the completed Word of God.

    11. Finally, for the record, 1 Corinthians 13:10 is NOT a reference to the Bible. It can only be referring to the fullness of the coming Kingdom, because even with the “finished” Bible, we don’t fully understand everything.
    ~I don’t understand then how a whole chapter dedicated to God’s revealing things to men and the three gifts can apply to that. Why did the other gifts “disappear” throughout centuries and resurface in the past couple of hundred years? God did not stop working, He did not forget about His people. If people were still given direct revelations, they could add to the written Word. The entire need for the direct revelation is gone now that the Word is finished. We no longer need God to give us “new” knowledge, for we have it all written down. If we still have that need, God did a poor job in my opinion of even giving a Bible in the first place.

    I’ll conclude with these verses.

    1 Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
    1 Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

    The prophecy (God gives direct knowledge for speaking on His behalf), the tongue (God gives another language for speaking on His behalf), the knowledge (A direct knowledge which is partial and vanishes) were once needed. The early church did not have a complete Word. Whenever a problem arose, they needed that problem addressed. But the Word has given us all we need to know. Every aspect of life is addressed directly or by a principle in the Bible.

    But all of those partial knoweldges would fail, be doen away with, cease. Why? When a complete knowledge had come, a perfect knowledge had come, they would no longer be needed. We DO have a complete knowledge. The Book is the Complete Prophecy, the Complete Knowledge, the Complete Word which can be translated into any Tongue. Imagine a child (the early church in child state) asking Daddy how to build a box. The conversation might go something like this.

    Child: Dad, what’s a box?
    Dad: It’s like a square on all sides.
    Child: How do we make it?
    Dad: First, go get a claw hammer.
    Child: Dad, what’s a claw hammer?
    Dad: It’s a hammer with a little pry bar on the back.
    Child: Okay, I got it, now what?
    Dad: Get the nails.
    Child: What kind of nails?
    Dad: The ones in that bag over there.
    Child: Okay, now what?
    Dad: Just hold the nails on the marks I made, and hit them in with the hammer.

    Now, imagine that child was no longer a child, but grown up, and had an instruction manual. As a child, he needed direct knowledge for every step of the way. Maybe even a translator if he was getting instructions from a Frenchman. But now that he is a man, and has that which is perfect, he puts away the childish things, the asking for specific knowledge every step of the way. Why? He is older (the churches are more mature now) and has that which is complete (the whole detailed instruction manual).

    Thus, the Scriptures.

    “1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
    1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
    1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

    And how does he pass these things on to others? Verse 13.

  17. Wow, James, your illustration to describe your view of 1 Corinthians 13 is quite scary. If you follow that logic out, we can conclude that we indeed don’t need the Spirit. God is silent. Everything we ever need to know from the Father is contained in a Book, and we can just read it and figure all of life out, without any further help.

    I love my earthly dad. We have some good conversations these days. I would be quite upset if he wrote me a letter and said he was never going to speak to me again. Instead, I could just read this letter over and over and find all the insights I will ever need.

    No thanx, my brother!! That is not my Father’s way of being in relationship with us. That would leave His children very wanting and hollow. My what a static existence that would leave us in. How shallow it would be of Father to leave us with a written document not to ever speak His wisdom into our life situations in the moment of battles. Wait right here Satan, while I get my manual out to see what I need to do next!!

    Really!? Is that the way Father wants us to live? I don’t think so. Man I really hope that I can help you understand this. I know what you are saying. I once said the very same things, but I can tell you for a fact, I am not there today, and praise Father for it!

    Man, I really love you. God has broken my heart for you. I will pray for you, my friend.

    Thanx for sharing.

  18. What’s wrong with letting the Sprit lead you? You might read the Bible and get knowledge from it. You might even understand some of it through reason. But neither can you really understand it nor can you really apply it until the Spirit starts working on your heart.

    What I see much more of in the Bible, particularly in the N.T. is a people reliant upon and hungry for the Spirit of God. This hunger was tempered and tested through the written Word. There should not be a dichotomy here. I think both are vitally important (note that I did not say equally important because I’m not sure that is correct because both are different). The more Word you have, so to speak, the more the Spirit has to work with and the more powerfully He can work.

    I think of someone like A.W. Tozer, a godly man indeed. He was a student of the Word to be sure, but being a mystic, he was much more keen to listen for the moving of the Spirit. And that seems to have made a difference: His works are known today… and no one else’s works from that era are. Check out this quote from Him, is the emphasis more on the Word or on the Spirit? “Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne.” The quote describes to me a man hungry for the presence and outworking of God. As a side note, a lot of our Scriptures came from prophets and those exercising the Spirit gift of prophecy.

    I have to disagree that the Spirit cannot lead anyone outside of the Bible. Truth is in other spiritual texts and in nature itself, albeit in an incomplete and sometimes inaccurate form. Natural revelation is a way that I believe many people are saved who have never heard the Gospel. (That’s Molinism, I believe; have yet to Molinism).

    I don’t believe anyone is downgrading the Word or the Spirit to a dangerous degree here. I just think we all trust in one more than the other, which may or not be healthy. The debate, and it’s a good one, is between how much we should rely on the Word and the Spirit. To a large degree, this is a debate about authority.

    Some really believe in solo Scriptura – only Scripture. A closer belief is sola Scriptura – Scripture as primary. This issue, for me, is clear because I know where the actual authority is: it’s in God. “The Authority of Scripture” is shorthand for “God’s Authority Exercised through Scripture.” (The Last Word. N.T. Wright. p.23). In other words, the claim that the Bible has on our lives is only because it is God’s Word, which speaks of God’s rule (i.e. Kingdom) over our lives. Therefore the Bible’s authority is derived or mediated or delegated. That doesn’t make it mean any less to me than it does to you. It just gives proper perspective to me. To take it further, if all authority is with God, then God the Holy Spirit, as the Third Person in the Trinity, has all authority. I say this next sentence in an out-loud sort-of-way, more of a question than statement: Imagine how powerful it is when the Spirit (direct authority) takes control of our lives combined with the reading of the written Word (derived authority).

    Again, I don’t want to start a rabid debate on authority, but for me, that is something I think about when discussing this issue.

  19. This book just came across my Amazon.com recommendations:

    http://www.amazon.com/Life-Spirit-Hendrickson-Christian-Classics/dp/1598563343/ref=pd_ys_ir_all_3

    Life in the Spirit by A.W. Tozer

  20. My brother Jeff, it isn’t that God doesn’t speak. It’s that God speaks through His Word and as we know His Word, uses it in our lives and situations. We judge experiences by the Word, not the Word by experiences. If that is the case, you’d have to try every sin under the sun before you concede the Bible is right, and they are wrong. I am not saying the Spirit doesn’t speak and work in us. He does, in me, personally.

    I just know the Word is the tool by which He does. To use your analogy, if your earthly Dad wrote down EVERYTHING he knows or ever will know, everything He feels and ever will feel toward you in a book. Then when you needed to talk to him, you could open up, and at that moment he shows up at your house and reads the words to you to give them the full force and inflection of exactly what He meant for you to gain from it. That is the personal relationship I’m referring to.

    I’m not saying the Word is the only thing we gain from God, I’m saying that the Spirit works through the Word, and uses the Word, and convicts along side, but never outside of the truths contained in God’s Word. The Spirit does not convict me of truths I have not studied. I’ve never been given direct knowledge concerning right and wrong outside of God’s Word. My conscience is often wrong, but when my conscience is centered in God’s Word, the Spirit speaks.

    My brother Turpin,

    I don’t disregard the Spirit. I am just saying He uses (and only uses) God’s revelation to man to convict. On a general level, via nature, that there is a powerful and intelligent God who wants to know men. But on a specific level, from the Word (written or preached). I don’t believe for one moment the Spirit will convict someone Jesus came and died and rose again, taking their sins to the grave, and offering salvation in the process without them first gaining the knowledge from the Word of God (written or preached). If that is the case, I’d feel there is no need for the Word or study.

  21. This will be my last thought on this post:

    To move back to the original discussion, this all started with the issue of Bible versions, which I clearly said I would not debate, yet have unfortunately done so.

    My point was that Father can use whatever version someone reads. I am not fearful of human interpretation or translation. We can go rounds with EVERY translation about what is translated wrong, or what could be better. They are what they are: translations. As to the Greek texts, there is at most only a 1% range of conflict. MOST, something like 80%, of the conflicts are spelling varients and gramatical issues. So, less that 20% of the 1% pose any significant issues of relevance for us to consider. I SAY WOW!! NO OTHER HISTORICAL DOCUMENT KNOWN TO MANKIND HAS THIS KIND OF TEXTUAL EVIDENCE!! RATHER THAN TRYING TO PROVE OUR OWN SUPERIOR KNOWLEDGE IN THIS AREA, I BELIEVE WE SHOULD PUT ASIDE OUR PET ARGUMENTS WHICH ONLY SERVE TO DIVIDE AND CONQUER, AND CELEBRATE THE FACT THAT WE ARE BLESSED!!

    My point was that the HOLY SPIRIT is ultimately the guide into all Truth, not preachers, teachers, certain Bible versions, commentaries, books, or whatever. The Holy Spirit does speak outside of the written Word, but NEVER in contradiction to the Word. Yes, He uses the written Word. Yes, He uses good commentaries, teachers, and one-another to reveal Himself to us, but the Holy Spirit is NEVER limited to just showing up when we are reading Scripture. The Bible teaches contrary to this idea.

    This, in no way, voids the written Word. In fact, it makes it real, dynamic, living, and effective! I think you are reading what I am NOT saying, rather than actually reading what I AM saying.

    This is why we need to speak personally.

    Thanx!

  22. Just for reference, I didn’t bring up the versions issue in this comment list. I posted what I believe to be the Bible and then gave an explanation for those who may not consider it to be the Bible (since there are those who feel that way – Anti KJ – even if you aren’t one of them.) The whole disagreement we have is whether or not the Spirit guides outside of the Word, and it’s preaching (which can be in reading the Bible, a commentary, or by someone teaching, or preaching, or the Scriptures applied in life or seeing the lack of Scripture application in life’s situations) I agree the father can use a commentary, b/c it comes from His Word. Same with a false translation. The parts that come from His Word which contain truth, He can use. Those parts that are lies, He will not use.

    As to the 1%, I don’t know where you found this. Brooke and Fenton original produced an eclectic text that did not include Genesis 1-10 and the entire book of Revelation. Why? The Codex Vaticanus was missing Genesis 1:1-46:27 (in the Vaticanus’ septuagint), 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon and Revelation. It also omitted the following passages Matthew 16:2b-3, Mark 16:9-20, Luke 22:43-44, John 5:4, John 7:53-8:11 and Romans 16:24 along with several chapters.

    Later on, they added the Genesis 1:1-10 and Revelation when the churches (so called) would not accept their work otherwise. Even with just the verses which were omitted, and additions and changes in spelling which usually affect the translation (b/c it is the endings for case, gender, number, person, voice, mood and tense which are affected, thus changing the word, not just letters), one still finds more than 10% changed. On top of this, this doesn’t include all the additions, just omissions and changes of words.

    These words changed were not mostly spelling errors, they were spelling changes to change the words and meanings. As to most “scholarly” works I’ve read in defense of the other versions and texts, most of them state the New Testament texts have 10% of variation. That’s 1 in ever 10 words on average, or 1 in ever 10 verses.

    But like you said, this wasn’t the issue we were discussing. I think our major disagreement does indeed come to a head in the Spirit’s conviction. I believe it is how He uses the revelation God has already made in today’s time (not previous ages), and you believe it is the Holy Spirit revealing things outside of God’s Word (so long as they aren’t contradictory). This is our point of disagreement, and I indeed look forward to talking to you as well so I can hear more of your side. Perhaps Monday after I finish at LMBIS?

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