Thursday, September 30, 2010

What I Believe about the Spanish Bible

“What is truth?” is a famous Bible quotation. The speaker, Pontious Pilate, is probably one of the biggest fools in history: The Truth was standing right in front of his face! Unfortunately, modern-day Laodicean “funnymentalism” asks the same question, when their answer is no further away than Pilateʼs was!

!In an age characterized by spiritual poverty, wretchedness, blindness and nakedness (Rev. 3:17), itʼs no surprise to find books like “The King James Only Controversy” attacking the foundation of our faith: Godʼs written word. To our immense shame, weʼve largely sat back and have allowed this travesty to occur. Since Westcottʼs and Hortʼs blasphemous Greek text was published in 1881, over 300 English versions of the Bible have been foisted on the American people and the rest of the English- speaking world. From a people whose first printed work, a history book, contained phrases like “the gross darknesse of popery” and “popish trash,” weʼve become a “Bible-of-the-Month Club” sheeple who will follow whatever spewage is printed in the “Butter knife of the Lord” (Sword of the Lord), not realizing that these are the very people who “have perverted the words of the living God,” and couldnʼt find Godʼs written words with a 1 million candlepower flashlight and a Tom-Tom GPS!

Moreover, however muddled the issue has become over the English Bible, the waters are even murkier over the Spanish Bible issue, with one main difference: the combatants on all sides of the issue claim to believe the King James Bible!! Now that close to half a dozen Spanish versions are on the table, and the rhetoric and attacks are heating up, it seems too late for a call to reason. While God hath given us the ministry of reconciliation, unless the parties are open to discussion, nothing will be reconciled, John Calvin notwithstanding. So, to save time and negate as much hostility as I can, I am simply going to state, for the record, what God has shown me in regard to His words in Spanish, and leave it at that. Godʼs opinion is the only one in which Iʼm interested, so I donʼt hesitate to “Tell it like it is” If straight talk chaps your hide, then either discontinue reading, or get some vaseline and read on at your own peril.

This age ends, like all others, in apostasy. I think that it is extremely apparent that we are living in the final stage of the last days, and the Bible we all claim to believe clearly defines our era as a “great falling away.” While we all want to cling to cliché phrases like “We can be Philadelphian Christians in Laodicea,” the evidence for that, especially these days, is virtually nonexistent. I personally know that I am worse than useless, and my flesh is a greater adversary than I sometimes seem able to handle, and I know from human nature and the Book that all men are the same way in one form or another, and to expect a Christian who is by default cold, calloused, and carnal to be able to produce a faithful, God-honored Bible stretches the limits of credibility, regardless of the destination language. God has already used men - native, Spanish- speaking men, to translate His word into Spanish. Now, why Gringoes think they can correct those words, I donʼt understand, but I can certainly understand how a Latino would be upset with some Nortemericano telling him that his Bible “would be better translated as such or so-forth.” (Sound familiar, Gringo??) God is fluent in Spanish, just like He is fluent in Chinese, English, German, Tamil, Esperanto and any other language that exists or ever has existed, so to think that God is not capable of putting His words in any language is stupid. Or ignorant, if you prefer Bible words. Now, this is not to say that God HAS put His words into any specific language other than English (donʼt give me that “originals” nonsense!), though I believe that He has: I am simply stating that God can and thereʼs not a cotton-pickinʼ thing that Baptists, scholars, atheists or apostates (or apostate, Baptist scholars) can do about it if He decides to use another language. At the same time, God owes no one anything, least of all the Spanish-speaking world. Spain is responsible for some of the worst torture and genocide of Christians since the Roman Empire (second only to the Roman Catholic Church), so to think that God has to give His word in Spanish is, again, ignorant.

!The Spanish Bible has a very old and rich history. Casiodoro de Reina completed the first Protestant Spanish Bible in 1569. De Reina, like Luther, was a Catholic clergyman who faced physical persecution at the hands of the Catholic church because he insisted on translating the Scriptures into the common or “vulgar” tongue. The Office of the Inquisition in Spain had expressly forbidden, in obedience to the Papal position on the matter, that any Bible be translated into Spanish. De Reina, a Spaniard and a Philadelphian-age European, sacrificed greatly for the cause of providing the Spanish people with the Scriptures. With the completion of his Bible, the Spanish-speaking people now possessed a Bible based on the Received Text (Stephanusʼ 1550 edition).

De Reinaʼs pupil, Cipriano de Valera, another persecuted Catholic, completed his revision of de Reinaʼs Bible in 1602. This revision corrected what Catholic taint had unwittingly seeped into the 1569 Bible, ensuring that the Bible, now dubbed the “Reina Valera” would, for 400 years, be the archenemy of the Catholic church in Spanish. In fact, during de Valeraʼs revision work, he, like Tyndale before him, had to flee his home country and take up residence (ironically) in England.

In the middle 1800s, yet another Spanish, Catholic clergyman, by the name of Ángel de Mora, completed another revision of the Reina Valera 1602 Bible, correcting 99% of the omissions that were a result of incomplete manuscript evidence at the time of the original editions. This edition compared the 1602 edition to the King James and brought it solidly in line with the Received Text and the KJB. This edition came close on the eve of the Philadelphian church age, as Westcottʼs and Hortʼs villainous, perverse text was soon to arise, drowning the world in pro-Vatican, humanistic rationalism and perverted Bibles; the hinges of Godʼs “open door” (Rev. 3:8) were squealing closed.

The next major revision of the Reina Valera Bible came along in 1909. With the RSV and ESV now vying for supremacy against “The monarch of the Books,” Westcottʼs and Hortʼs “scholarly” text was permeating every corner of Bible translation and textual criticism. It should come as no surprise, then, that the 1909 revision of the Reina Valera was “leavened” with sprinkles of Alexandrian scholarship and modernist corruption. Text and Translation: European Languages gives direct proof that the translation committee behind the 1909 revision relied on the Critical Text.

The committee behind the most popular Spanish edition, the RV1960, was presided over by a man named Eugene Nida, known as the “Father of dynamic equivalence.” The truth of Godʼs words was so important to this man, that while translating the Bible into a south seas tongue, whose culture had no knowledge of sheep, decided to call Jesus “the pig of God.” Any Born-again Christian should be

absolutely LIVID about that, but unfortunately, men like Calvin George have accepted this edition, based completely on the Alexandrian, anti-King James Critical Text. The fact of the matter is that the 1960 is inherently a corrupt, Vatican-sympathizing, Ecumenical snow-job that has completely removed the ability to teach doctrine to the Spanish speaking people.

The question faced by Bible Believers, then, is “Which Bible?,” the same question asked and answered (in English) not so long ago. Faced with “antiquated,” “archaic” Bibles in Spanish, or modern, Rome-tainted editions, we now come full-circle to the question presented in the introduction: did God provide His words in Spanish? If one assumes that the answer is no, then more questions ensue. However, I firmly believe that God not only is able to provide a Spanish Bible, but that He already did. I also believe that it is folly for a Laodicean Christian to try to improve upon anything that God has already done, as our church age is commended for absolutely NOTHING. In fact, the standard, run-of-the-mill lethargy and nonchalance seen in Bible Believing churches makes God want to PUKE US OUT!! Yes, YOU, Baptists!! Donʼt be so haughty to think that you or I can do anything lasting or permanent here: weʼre doomed to APOSTATIZE! Take Hyles-Anderson College, for example: after switching to the King James only position in the 1970s, Dr. Hyles was one of the most outspoken defenders of the King James Bible. After his passing, however, his successor, Jack Schapp, has trod underfoot the Book that his daddy-in-law stood for for around 30 years! APOSTASY!! Ghandi said it best: “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” AMEN!! To think that a lost sinner like Ghandi understood a truth that Independent, Fundamental, Hellfire and Damnation preachinʼ Baptists canʼt grasp is almost depressing! Then, those “saved, sanctified, serving” Baptists think that they can somehow produce a faithful Bible, in a language that, in many cases, isnʼt even their native tongue?! The ludicrous nature of such a concept completely boggles the mind!!

To top it all off, what seems to be the main force behind every group that has decided to do their own thing in regard to a Spanish Bible appears to have the same reason among themselves: they donʼt want to accept the available Spanish Bible because they donʼt want to be linked to Ruckman. Why believing God and accepting a BOOK as His WORD would make someone a “Ruckmanite,” I cannot understand, but unfortunately, people have decided that itʼs easier to strike off on their own and make their own Bible instead of BELIEVING the one that God already provided, because of their fear of man.

If you have legitimate reasons to make your own version, then go right ahead: but if your reason is because you think that accepting the Valera 1865 as Godʼs word in Spanish is going to link you to Ruckman, then SHAME ON YOU! First of all, why are you so stinking scared? The fear of man bringeth a snare!! Second of all, the only thing really linking Dr. Ruckman to the Valera 1865 project is that a few PBI graduates have signed onto it. Dr. Ruckman has not endorsed ANY Spanish Bible or Spanish Bible project!! Grow up!!

Suffice it to say that I believe that God put His hand on the Reina-Valera 1865 edition for the Spanish-speaking world, and anything else is but a pale imitation of Godʼs words. While my ministry in Latin America is still before me, I can say that God has shown me, without a shadow of a doubt, that the 1865 is His word in Spanish. In my opinion, anyone that insists on making their own translation simply doesnʼt believe that God would provide His words in Spanish, as a faithful, TR-based Spanish Bible is already available! Either that, or they are flat-out ignorant. When someone states that he knows that the 1865 is perfect, yet turns around and creates his own “Reina Valera” edition, based on his own opinions, that man very obviously is discounting Godʼs power on His book in that language. When FEELINGS overcome FAITH, you have a weak, baseless project that will NEVER have Godʼs blessing.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Basic Introduction to Dispensationalism

My last post was in response to a blog that was against Dispensationalism, but since there are a lot of readers/friends that might not be entirely or accurately familiar with what Moderate Dispensationalism teaches, or at least what I believe, I decided to put together a post to help explain what Dispensationalism.

Explaining Dispensational theology in one post is about as explanatory as describing an internal combustion engine by saying that it burns gas and turns a shaft to run a car. By that, I mean that Dispensationalism is such a vast and complex topic that a cursory explanation does little more than create a thousand questions in the minds of the readers, and in this case, almost every reader is going to have a thousand different questions than any other reader! However, I think it is important to make an attempt, if simply to help provide a well-rounded experience when it comes to Bible doctrine, as well as to open up dialogue with people who have never seen the Bible in this light.

Buckle up: here we go!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Response to Anti-Dispensationalism

I know of few people that describe themselves as "anti-dispensationalists." Many I know would distance themselves from Dispensationalism, calling it "Ruckmanism," of all things, but until recently I had heard of very few people that would actually believe that Dispensational theology is unbiblical. For instance, the church I grew up in did not teach what I call Rightly Dividing, that God dealt with different people differently at different times in history: i.e. Adam was given different commands than Noah who was given different commands than Abraham, etc. Israel was unquestionably required to keep the WORKS of the Law: yes they were a picture of Christ, but they had absolutely no clue about that! Also, Jesus taught meekness and non-violence, but to Jews only, while Paul taught forbearance as much as possible and called people fools, directly contrary to Christ's command in Matthew 5:22.

Then, even more recently, I saw a link to a blog posted by someone: the title of the blog actually stated that they were against Dispensationalism. I eventually came to find that they were post-milleniallists, which started to make sense, and I was asked by a couple of people to respond to the blog post in question. This is that response: I hope you can at least learn something of my stance, even if I'm not able to change your doctrinal stance.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Paradise and Heaven

One of the more obscure topics in the Bible is the actual location of Paradise, and, by extrapolation, Heaven itself. I was recently accosted by a man who insisted that Paradise is and always has been Heaven, based on a few Scripture references. I intend to show the origin of these locales based on what the Bible says.

Again, I make the King James Bible my sole authority: any Scripture used is King James only, and any other references will be ensured to line up with Scripture. No other Book has the power or authority of the Monarch of the Books, the Authorized Version of the Bible.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Again, I don't wish to get into the Gap issue here, but it must be noted that in the original creation, God only created one heaven. The atmosphere, also called the firmament, is also called "heaven" or "the firmament of heaven." So we can safely say that "heaven" doesn't immediately mean God's throne (Matt. 5:34), but has several meanings. Specifically, the Apostle Paul speaks of being caught up to the "third heaven" after being rocked to sleep stoned to death. He also uses the word "paradise" in that context, stating that the place where he went was called "paradise." Since the typical consensus is that paradise is not in the third heaven, allow me to explain what must be, according to the Scriptures.

The first instance of the word "paradise" is found in Luke 23:43.

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Very obviously, Jesus is saying to the thief on the cross that he (the thief) will be with Christ after their deaths, that same day. Therefore, wherever Jesus is to be found immediately after His death, the thief will also be present.

Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Jesus was clearly stating here that He would go to Hell during the time when He was dead.

Ephesians 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Also reference this:

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

Christ's suffering was the means by which He preached to the spirits in prison (2 Pet. 2:4, Jude 6) in the same Hell where the rich man went (Luke 16:19-31) and saw Abraham's Bosom.

These places, Abraham's Bosom, and Hell, were separated by a "great gulf" which was impassable, meaning that while communication was indeed possible as this story proves, they were definitely separate places, one being a place of torment, and the other being described as comfortable. Therefore, since Jesus spent those three days in Hell, and He promised the thief that he would be with Christ in Paradise, the only logical conclusion that "Abraham's Bosom" is also called "paradise," the temporary resting place for righteous Old Testament souls whose sins had not yet been washed away under the Old Covenant of the Law. These people could no more enter heaven proper without proper atonement for their sins than could any lost person today: they had to have their sins forgiven first, which means that Christ had to die and pay their sin-debt! (Eph. 4:8)

So, we can see how that Christ very clearly said that paradise was in the center of the earth along with Hell. However, we also see that Paul stated that paradise was in the third Heaven. The simplest way to reconcile this "contradiction" is to simply accept that when Christ "led captivity captive," the place in Heaven where they went is also called "paradise" in the Bible.

There is much more to this study, including the Deep, the Pit, the Lake of Fire, and the whole origin and purpose of these places. However, I believe I covered the intended topic sufficiently, so we will let it rest until another time.

Comment if you have questions or have Biblical evidence of where I am wrong on this topic: I am always open to the correction of the Book!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Sons/sons of God

Recently, a topic came up that I thoroughly enjoy discussing, but about which there appears to be a lot of misconceptions. (This will in no way be exhaustive; many books have been written on these topics, and I hardly have the space to do a worthy study on them in a blog post!)

We begin our study in the usual place: at the beginning. (Note: all Scripture is from the King James Bible, and no authority other than It shall be appealed to, especially "The Greek" or "The Hebrew.")

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

The key word here is not what one would usually pick up on or make of any importance: the word to note is "image." Obviously, this verse supports the Triune nature of God ("our image"), and dually it speaks of man's triune nature as well: body, soul, and spirit. Adam was made in God's perfect image, a triune being, and certainly in the likeness of His physical appearance also.

As a result of that likeness and image, check out how Adam is referred to later:

Luke 3:38: Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

Do note that in this instance, "son" is lower-case, denoting that Adam was not a deity: he was simply made in the image of God, and therefore was called the "son of God." Thus, the vast importance of the precise wording of John 3:16 is made apparent: Jesus is the only "begotten" son of God, or God the Son (capital "S"), so dropping the "begotten" (meaning God's direct progeny or "genetic" offspring) makes Jesus a liar, as there are many other beings that are called the "sons of God."

Now, we'll sally back to the first place in the Bible where the actual phrase "son(s) of God" is mentioned.

Genesis 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

The typical argument here is that these "sons of God" are simply righteous descendants of Seth, as opposed to the unrighteous descendants of Cain. This is certainly a lousy exegesis, since Seth himself was said to have been born in Adam's image, not God's (Genesis 5:3). The fact is that when Adam sinned, he lost that perfect image of God: his spirit died. From that point on, man was unregenerate, fallen, and existed as a dichotomy: body and soul, with a dead, worthless spirit inside. Man's communion with God had been cut off, and from then on, man was born in the image of Adam (1 Cor. 15:49).

We'll conclude then, based on the evidence given in the book of Genesis, that the phrase "sons of God" cannot refer to human beings, since not only is there a precise distinction between God and mankind in this verse, but that indeed the image of God had been lost (and still is in unregenerate man). Therefore, these "sons of God" are something entirely different, and we'll look and see what the Bible says about them.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

Now, without getting into the Genesis 1:1-2 issue, let us simply state here that since it is the sons of God that are presenting themselves before God, and Satan is among them, that he is indeed numbered among these sons of God, though in an obviously fallen state. Why else would he show up? These are supernatural, angelic beings (Job 38:7) who were present at the creation, though Satan, among them, obviously no longer retains his office as the LORD's light-bearer (Ezekiel 28:14). These sons of God, then, are not based on their standing with God: they are called sons of God based on their creation (Genesis 6 details sons of God that were involved in vile sexual practices!). So far, we have established two things:

1. These sons of God are not human


2. These sons of God are supernatural, angelic beings who were present at the creation.

Now, let us tie together the different uses of "son of God" between the Old and New Testaments.

A serious student of the Bible will recognize that before Christ's death, burial and resurrection, there was no "new birth," no "Body of Christ," and no forgiveness of sins. As Christ was the "last Adam," (1 Cor. 15:45), he redeemed fallen man and restored the perfect Image of God (Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:49; 2 Cor. 3:18, 4:4; Col. 3:10)

With Christ's propitiation for our sins, He conformed us to the image of God through His death. We now have the power to become the sons of God, or regain that fallen image! The reason that a person or being is called a "son of God" is because he is made in the image of God, just as genetic children retain the image or likeness of their parents. In our case, as David said, we have been made a little lower than the angels (Psalms 8:5), but we have been given the unspeakable free gift of Eternal Life, something that the angels obviously don't have (Gen. 6, 2 Pet. 2:4, Jude 6).

Questions? Leave a comment and I'll reply to the best of my ability.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Preaching about Preaching??

In my years in Bible Believing, Baptist churches, I've heard many good sermons. I've tried to make a habit of taking notes, especially with visiting pastors, and I've even "borrowed" some of their material to make my own sermons.

On the other hand, I've heard a lot of bad sermons. And I mean BAD. For instance, a while back I saw a YouTube video of a young whippersnapper preaching an entire sermon against another preacher, a man FOUR TIMES HIS AGE. Not only was this young novice incredibly ignorant about the man (he called Dr. Ruckman a Brider!?!?), but he was railing against an Elder, one against whom he was not to receive an accusation (1 Tim. 5:19), and someone whom he is to entreat as a father (1 Tim. 5:1). For this young kid to behave so reprehensibly in just that one "sermon," so proudly displayed on YouTube, is an absolute disgrace, and proves that he is indeed a novice who is NOT grave, nor sober minded, nor fit for the ministry in the least.

A second message by this loud-mouth was on "watered down preaching," a topic that while I agree with and understand the importance of sound, biblical preaching, I hardly think is a topic that deserves its own sermon!! A cursory look at the common fare of this young person's sermons shows that he is extremely heavy on sin, standards, and separation, and preaching on doctrine, spiritual topics, and FOOD for the SHEEP is severely lacking.

This is the largest problem in "Independent, Fundamental, Skirt-wearin', Hellfire and damnation preachin', oh yeah and King James only Baptist" circles today: too many people are majoring on the minors and minoring on the majors!!! Yes, we need to preach righteousness. Yes, it is important to preach hard and straight. Yes, it is important to draw a line sometimes. BUT IT DOESN'T FEED THE SHEEP! If you have a church full of nothing but hard preaching and standards, you'll have a bunch of shallow people who will be blown away the first time a Jehovah's Witness shows them something that's "wrong" in their Bible or a "truth" that you don't teach or that contradicts what little doctrine your people get. Your people will know that speaking in tongues is wicked, but they won't know WHY. They will know that they are supposed to dress modestly, but they will dress the way YOU WANT THEM TO because THAT'S what you preach instead of what the BIBLE SAYS.

A good, balanced church is comprised of three different types of discourse: Doctrinal teaching, Spiritual preaching, and Practical application to help them in their day-to-day lives. A church with too much of one kind or too little of another will be imbalanced and will lead to dry or shallow Christians who don't have what it takes to be a shining light in our communities.

Pardon the rant, but doctrinally-decrepit loudmouths are getting on my nerves lately, and since this is my blog, I figured I'd take advantage and say something.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Revenge of the Fallen

I love SciFi, and I'm usually hesitant to make a Biblical argument against a work of mainstream fiction ("The Golden Compass" and "Harry Potter" not included!). However, reading through Larkin's "The Spirit World" opened my eyes to something that I think is important for Christians to understand.

In Transformers: The Revenge of the Fallen, Megatron, the leader of the evil Decepticons, is raised from the depths of the ocean (the "Deep," anyone?) to wreak havoc once again on earth. Of course, in the end the good guys win, but the storyline is filled with hidden Masonic references (Vigilant Citizen - Transformers 2) and NWO undertones throughout.