Saturday, December 30, 2017
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Revelation 2:4
I’m disgusted with this new trend in churches where they are scaling back soul winning to once a month! Compare that with our church’s 12 official soul-winning times per week. I’m not taking credit for all of that—there are several different people heading up our various soul-winning times, but the point is that our church does a ton of soul winning.
Lately, whether I am knocking doors in a major city or some isolated small town, I see the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons out in force. You know who I don’t see? I don’t see the lazy Baptists! I talked to an old Indian man on the Apache reservation who said the Baptists used to come years ago, but they’ve stopped coming. There is something wrong with the Baptists in this country when a church 30 miles from an Indian reservation never steps foot there. The Jehovah’s witnesses that were down there said they come twice a week!
The very same church that is failing miserably at reaching people in their area has criticized us for doing the Lord’s Supper a different way than they do. Meanwhile, they’ve done away with weekly soul winning. The world’s going to Hell, yet a lot of Baptist churches only seem to have time to hand out tracts in rich neighborhoods once a month, just so they can get their tithes!
Some churches still knock doors once or twice a week, and that's a great start. Ideally, when a church gets large enough, there should be soul-winning going on every day of the week just like in the book of Acts. When you give people a variety of times to choose from, they are much more likely to average once a week.
Any church that scales back soul winning to once a month is a joke and a social club! Instead of scaling back soul winning, they should be adding more soul-winning times to make it easier for their members to go more often. Meanwhile, our churches and others like us will have to pick up the slack and do more than ever before.
“Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;” Matthew 9:37
Here is a sermon to go with this article.
Friday, December 29, 2017
1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
- 2 Samuel 11:1-4
God has created men with certain drives, motivations, and ambitions. The fact that we are wired to strive, fight, or struggle to do something is why sports are so popular. We all enjoy a good struggle. When David stopped fighting the battles that God wanted him to fight, he started seeking some other conquest, and that conquest was adultery. If you don’t get involved “when kings go forth to battle,” that’s when you’re going to fall into sin.
As men, we are warriors in search of a new conquest. We need to take that thrill-seeking nature and channel that into God’s fight. The guy who is never fighting the Lord’s battle might channel all of his energy into sports or some other hobby and waste too much time accumulating “wood, hay, and stubble.” When those pursuits no longer satisfy, he might end up like David-- seeking thrills with his neighbor’s wife.
People will say that I’m always on a kick, but that’s by design. Whether it’s fighting against a certain false doctrine or going soul winning in some new area, I enjoy taking on new challenges. If I’m going to get excited about a struggle, it’s not going to be over throwing a ball around. It’s going to be between the forces of good and evil.
The Christian life is meant to be so challenging that God compares it to both a sporting event and a physical battle field. Like running a race, contending for the faith can be exciting, but not all of life’s battles are fun. We go through trials and temptations, and we need to understand that those things are in our life for a reason. Pushing through the difficult times is what helps us grow spiritually.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4
We have a tendency to say we are in a battle “right now” as if it were temporary, but in reality, the Christian life is one battle after another. We look forward to the end of each battle, but there’s no discharge from this war. It may seem like it would be nice to retire and rest all the time, but people become bored when life is no longer challenging. We need to stay busy for the Lord because "an idle mind is the Devil’s workshop."
Here is a sermon to go with this article.
Thursday, December 28, 2017
13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
This isn’t one of those stories in the Bible where it just says the thing that someone did displeased the Lord, and we are left to figure out why he didn’t like it. He gave them a clear command here not to make his father’s house a house of merchandise.
Jesus was obviously very angry, but we know that it was a righteous indignation because he is without sin. He didn’t blow his top. He sat outside the temple—possibly for hours-- making a whip, showing that his actions were carefully thought out.
The argument in favor of the church bookstore that I always heard growing up was that we should only sell things that are spiritual. Were they selling spiritual things in verse 16? If you study the Old Testament, people who were traveling to the temple from very far away were told to buy sheep and doves to sacrifice to the Lord. Since God told them to buy these animals in the first place, the only possible explanation for why Jesus was angry was that they were selling them in the wrong place. Notice he didn’t tell them to stop selling the animals; he told them, “Take these things hence.” (hence = from here)
Another argument you might hear is that they weren’t supposed to be making a profit on the animals. That doesn’t make sense either because if you raise livestock for a living, you need to make money just like anyone else. The reason they were making God’s house a “den of thieves” as he says in Matthew 21 is that they were making money unlawfully by selling their merchandise in the wrong place. Jesus didn’t tell them to lower their prices or use the money to send kids to camp. He told them not to do it in God’s house and drove them out with a whip.
This was the angriest you will ever see Jesus during his earthly ministry, and if you study your Bible, you will see that he actually did this on two separate occasions. That’s why our church will never sell you a cup of coffee, a book, or a DVD for any reason. Everything on the shelf is free; we don’t even have a donation box back there. Show up and load up on material, and the only thing I might question you on is, “Do you want paper or plastic?”
Here is a sermon to go with this article.
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
"And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” - Acts 2:46-47
A church should be an institution that’s growing. I’m not saying that the growth is going to be quick, but there should be some growth there. There’s a movement out there that says church is nothing more than just having friends over for a Bible study. If you want to get together with people to talk about the Bible and sing songs, then by all means do so, but that isn’t church. “House churches” aren’t growing, but what is growing is the tendency to forsake church in favor of something else.
The house church movement is unbiblical. Keep in mind, I’m not talking about a church that starts meeting in a house and then eventually outgrows it. I’m talking about the movement that says that if you ever were to outgrow the house, you should split up the “church” so it can stay small. In the book of Acts, they started with 120 people and grew from there. I don’t know about you, but I can’t fit 120 people in my living room.
Not only is it unscriptural to intentionally stay small, but the typical house church lacks leadership. If God intended for the New Testament church to be a free-for-all where everyone has equal authority, why did he give us such strict qualifications for an elder or bishop? The pastor has to be somebody who’s been in church for a while, has the aptitude to teach, etc.
The house church people will say they are all elders, but are they really qualified? At Faithful Word Baptist Church, we don’t have an overabundance of qualified guys. Even in a church of over 300 people, “faithful men” who are actually qualified to pastor a church are hard to come by. These house churches want to have multiple pastors in their living room, and what they have is too many chiefs and not enough Indians.
What it boils down to is pride. House church proponents don’t want to pour water on the hands of Elijah like Elisha did because they think it would be degrading and demeaning. Elijah wasn’t perfect, but he was a man of God. A smart person like Elisha gets behind a qualified man of God and learns from him.
Not only do house churches lack biblical leadership, but they aren’t following the great commission. The reason they stay small enough to remain in someone’s living room is that they aren’t reaching people. They know they need to read the Bible and fellowship with other believers, but they somehow fail to realize that the church is also a tool to get people saved.
FWBC started in a house, but we were reaching people through door-to-door soul winning. Many got saved, some of them came to church, a few got baptized, and a handful stuck around for the teaching. My family benefited from the preaching during that stage, and we made some good friends, but it wasn’t only about us. After a year and a half, we outgrew the house. If a church has no outreach program and is content to perpetually meet in a house, they have forgotten their first love—if they even had it to begin with.
Here is a sermon to go with this article.
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Tony Scheving in Fargo, North Dakota, with Master’s Bible College is a false prophet teaching works salvation. It is disappointing that his advertisements have been featured for years in a well-known independent fundamental Baptist publication called The Sword of the Lord. The college is also endorsed by S.M. Davis and R.B. Ouellette.
I used to wish someone would tell The Sword of the Lord what this guy believes, but apparently, they don’t care because advertisements for Scheving’s college have been featured in their newsletter for years, even though I exposed that heretic back in 2011. Unfortunately, there are several others just like him, but Scheving is especially dangerous because he’s running a heavily-advertised Bible college.
People sometimes ask me why I’m so hung up on this repentance thing. Some pastors don’t think it’s a big deal, but it IS a big deal because it’s sending people to Hell. People are being taught that salvation isn’t free and that they have to turn from their sins and make Jesus the Lord of their life in order to be saved. As a result of this teaching, people are trusting in their own works and remaining unsaved. When this heresy creeps into a church, they often stop doing door-to-door soul winning, and when they do occasionally deal with someone at the altar, they are presenting a false gospel.
Nowhere in the Bible will you find the phrase “repent of your sins.” I’m sick of the wolves in sheep’s clothing in the independent fundamental Baptist movement and the pastors who are afraid to call them out.
In Tony Scheving’s pamphlet, 7 Steps to God, he says this:
“Salvation is simple, but it’s not shallow. It will cost you something to follow Christ. It may be free, but it cost Christ his life. When you really mean business and want to be saved, you are deciding to walk the ‘narrow road.’”
UGH! Isn’t the definition of free that it doesn’t cost anything!? Yes, everything costs something, but Jesus paid the price for our salvation so it could be a free gift for us.
Here are a few more quotes from Tony Scheving:
“Do you mean business with God? While salvation is free, it’s not cheap.”
“Salvation all boils down to being willing to make Christ the Lord of your life. Are you willing to make Jesus Christ the Lord and Master of your life?”
“Getting saved means repenting of sin and making Jesus Christ the Lord of your life!
"If Jesus isn’t Lord of all, He’s not Lord at all!"
If the Lord had full control of your life, you would never sin, and we know that we are all sinners. Tony Scheving contradicts himself by saying that salvation is free, but that it’s going to cost a lot. As you can see, Scheving isn’t just a little mixed up on the definition of repentance. This lying deceiver teaches a full-blown lordship salvation. Listen to the sermon where I describe "Repentance Spectrum Disorder" to familiarize yourself with the different levels of repent-of-your-sins heresy that are out there, but Tony Scheving is as bad as it gets. He’s a false prophet who needs to be marked and avoided.
Here is the video clip where I exposed Scheving back in 2011:
To help spread the true Gospel in Fargo, North Dakota, show up for the upcoming Soul-winning Mega Marathon there on March 31, 2018, which will be headed up by Pastor David Berzins.
Sunday, December 24, 2017
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
Some pre-tribbers will even come at me asking what us “posties” are doing to prepare. They’ll mock us by asking if we are stockpiling food or something. What they apparently don’t understand is that just knowing that the tribulation is coming is beneficial even if you don’t have any food, water, or ammo. Being ready for it mentally is going to be a huge advantage because the Bible talks about people being offended during that time.
If someone were planning to jump me the moment I walked out the door of my house, even if I didn’t have something to use as a weapon, just knowing it was coming would be an advantage. It is always better to be prepared and know what’s coming.
When it comes to the question of doomsday prepping, I’m not really dogmatic about it one way or the other. I don’t think it’s wrong to be ready for hard times with some basic food and supplies, but I think some people can get carried away with it. The Bible makes it clear that we aren’t supposed to fear what people are going to do to us or worry about what we are going to eat in the future, but there are also verses about forseeing the evil and preparing yourself. Maybe you don’t believe in prepping at all, and that’s fine too. There’s a case for both sides, but focusing on whether or not we are physically prepared for the tribulation is missing the point because the important thing is that we are prepared spiritually.
That having been said, wanting people to know the truth is reason enough to preach on the post-trib rapture. God wants us to understand the Book of Revelation, or it wouldn’t be in the Bible, and if you’re a pre-tribber, you don’t understand the Book of Revelation.
In order to properly grasp end-times prophecy, you have to understand that the rapture is not coming before the tribulation, but after. I've talked to a lot of people who have told me that before they realized the rapture was going to be after the tribulation, they didn’t enjoy reading from Revelation. It never made much sense to them because they had been taught the pre-trib position. God wants his children to read and understand his Word, which is why preaching the truth about this subject is vital.
“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Revelation 1:3
Here is a short video on my attitude toward staying for the tribulation
Saturday, December 23, 2017
People often get sucked into cults because false prophets are intentionally deceptive. They don’t want you to notice that their doctrines contradict the Bible, and that many of their practices resemble open Satanism. They know certain things would raise a red flag to outsiders, so they don’t let you in on those details while it is still easy to just walk away.
For example, Mormons believe in multiple gods living on other planets and that Jesus is Satan’s brother. They literally believe that you must know a secret handshake to get into Heaven, but are these the doctrines they discuss with you at the door? No. They gradually try to lure you in with just talking about the teachings of Jesus and getting you involved in the social life.
In fact, some of the strangest doctrines aren’t taught to new members until they get married. This is by design since it helps keep people in the cult. Things start to get weird during the Satanic wedding ceremony in the Mormon temple, but once they get married, they are hooked. You see, the Mormon Church conveniently teaches that if either husband or wife wants to leave Mormonism the other should divorce their spouse. Wives are taught that their eternal destiny is dependent on their marriage to a Mormon. This is why you often hear about couples who made the decision to leave the church together. It is hard for just one of them to leave since they run the risk of losing their spouse.
Another cult that hides its strange teachings and practices is the Jehovah’s Witness Organization. They’ll say they want to study the Bible with you and will claim to be Christians, even though they don’t believe in the deity of Christ. The weirdest doctrines will come out later, and people who have left the JW cult will tell you how controlling the organization becomes.
JW elders have the power to “dis-fellowship” someone for something as minor as smoking a cigarette or going to a casino. Sometimes while someone is being disciplined, they’ll be allowed to attend meetings but people won’t be allowed to talk to them. They’ll have to write a letter to the elders to get back in good standing since the elders won’t be speaking to them either.
If you instead try to distance yourself from the organization, they’ll attempt to track you down to pressure you into meeting with them, just so they can kick you out. Your own family will then be instructed to shun you, but that smiling “witness” that handed you the Watchtower magazine out in front of Walmart never told you that.
It’s not just JWs and Mormons that have dark secrets they don’t reveal to outsiders or newcomers. Other secret societies including the Freemasons and even many college fraternities also teach people to keep quiet about their inner workings.
As Christians, we are nothing like these cults and secret societies because we have nothing to hide. We should never be ashamed of any Bible doctrine. In fact, the Bible teaches that we should always be ready to answer questions about our faith.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” 1 Peter 3:15
Here is a sermon to go with this article.
The repent-of-your-sins to be saved crowd will often lump the rest of us in together and say we do a "1-2-3 repeat-after-me" style of soul winning. They’ll accuse of us of just asking people to repeat a prayer, but that’s a straw man argument because we are doing a lot more than having them pray. Naysayers who teach a thinly-veiled works salvation just want to emphasize the prayer to make it seem like the people we win to the Lord "aren’t really getting saved"
Yes, there are independent Baptists out there who are too quick to lead someone in a prayer, but the soul winning done in our movement involves having a two sided conversation where the person is given a chance to either agree or disagree with each point. The emphasis is on believing, and there are summary questions that we ask at the end to make sure we are on the same page. Some of us have even posted soul winning demonstrations on YouTube, proving that all of the key points are covered in our presentations.
Like most Baptists, I use the "Romans Road" along with several other additional verses, but one of the ways that my presentation differs from the way a lot of IFBs do it, is that I explain eternal security BEFORE the prayer. I realize that some people do get saved after hearing a very bare-bones Gospel presentation that doesn’t specifically address eternal security. Sometimes when people hear the Gospel, they fully grasp the fact that salvation is a free gift, so they don’t assume they can lose it. There are definitely people who get saved that way, but probably many more who do not. Most adults do not automatically believe in eternal security because they already have a preconceived idea that salvation is by works and that they can lose it. Most IFBs do talk about eternal security, but it is often treated as an addendum to be explained after the fact.
Explaining eternal security after the prayer is better than nothing, and hopefully many of the people who hear it that way are still getting saved. That said, logic dictates that they should understand that it is “eternal life” at the time when they are calling upon the Lord. There is also a difference between just telling someone something and actually confirming that they believe it.
Once you realize the fact that people who do not believe in eternal security are not saved, you will see the importance of expounding the doctrine of OSAS (once saved always saved) before the prayer. Not everyone will show up for church and get that doctrine nailed down at a later time, so we need to make sure people know enough to get saved at the door. There are a few key points to cover when presenting the plan of salvation, and the eternal security of the believer is definitely one of them.
Unfortunately, many churches are weak in this area, but you can make a difference in the effectiveness of your church’s soul winning program. When it is your turn to talk, be thorough. Make sure the person understands that you can’t lose your salvation. Then, when you chat with your soul-winning partner between doors, you can tactfully explain why you included certain things in your Gospel presentation. That’s how I learned to be a more effective soul winner, and you too can pass along this important information to others.
Here is a recent sermon on improving your soul-winning
Friday, December 22, 2017
Lately, I have been using the Duolingo Language App for studying the languages Spanish and Greek. It’s an app on your phone or computer for practicing foreign languages when you have a little bit of time to kill. I had initially shied away from doing the Spanish because I already speak a lot of Spanish, but I was happy to find out you can do a placement test that puts you deep into the course. A lot of it was still review for me, but the app goes really advanced on the grammar, and there was a lot of vocabulary I didn’t know. After using Duolingo for just a few weeks, I felt a lot more confident speaking Spanish, so I definitely got something out of the course. I finished the entire course in Spanish, meaning I turned the whole “tree” gold and got the trophy.
Duolingo was beneficial for me as an intermediate Spanish speaker, but it’s also great for absolute beginners. Even if you are advanced, it is worth taking the placement test and just blowing through the course to increase your vocabulary and fill in any gaps in your knowledge.
Most language learning apps cost money once you get past the first few beginner level lessons, but with Duolingo, you get the entire course for free. I use the app an iPhone, but it is available for Android phones as well. There are a couple more fun features on the iPhone versus the Android version, but there’s really not that much difference since the words and grammar you are learning on the language tree are identical in both interfaces.
One of the best things about Duolingo, is that the course is broken down into such small parts. Each lesson takes only about four minutes. If you do it on a computer it goes even faster since you are typing on a regular keyboard. I can finish a lesson on the desktop in about 2 and a half minutes. You can set a daily goal for yourself, and the app will remind you to practice and keep track of how long of a “streak” you are on.
Progress sharing allows you to see how your friends are doing, so the accountability factor helps encourage you to stay with it. The app is updated often, so by the time you finish the course, there could be some new vocabulary or new features to keep things interesting. Over time, your language tree deteriorates if you don’t keep repeating the lessons. This is because Duolingo keeps track of how long it has been since you have gone over certain vocabulary and grammar concepts. Spending a few minutes each day to make sure you keep each skill “golded,” will ensure that you retain your current level of fluency.
Using the Duolingo app feels like you are playing a game since you are earning points called “XP” and working for jewels called “lingots,” which you can spend to get various extras in the course. Other than keeping your tree gold and earning points and jewels, you are also working to reach a higher level and increase your fluency percentage, which are stats displayed on your dashboard. I’m still working on turning the Greek tree all the way gold while doing a little work each day in Spanish to maintain full golding in that language. I give Duolingo an A+ due to its ease of use and the fact that it’s free.
Here's a sermon called "Greek: the Language of the New Testament"
Thursday, December 21, 2017
Recently I decided to get more serious with my long distance running. When you run long distances you don’t want to carry any extra weight, so I decided I needed to drop about 25 lbs. I did the Weight Watchers program for about two months, and in that time, I lost 24 pounds.
With the Weight Watchers plan, not all calories are created equal. It is a points-based system that basically punishes you for unhealthy eating by counting unhealthy foods as more points. If I have a healthy snack that is 300 calories, it uses a lot less points than if I had eaten 300 calories worth of unhealthy food.
There are both daily points and weekly points, which gives you a lot of flexibility. Let’s say you are going out to eat with friends and you don’t want to be really austere in that situation. You can order whatever you want (within reason) and just tap into “weeklies.” You can type the name of the restaurant into the app, and it tells you exactly how many points each menu selection at that restaurant will cost you. You are allowed that special meal, but you’ll be paying for it by not eating as much for the rest of the week.
Another thing I really like about the plan is that all fruit is free, meaning it doesn’t cost you any points. When you run out of points or maybe just have a craving for sweets, you can fill up on fruit. Even bananas are allowed, which might be good news for people who have been on other diets that don’t allow much fruit at all.
Drinks use up a lot of points, so you will quickly get in the habit of drinking water with every meal. Eight ounces of milk is like seven points, so these days, I’m only drinking about one glass of milk a week as a special treat. Avoiding caloric beverages is the key to losing weight. Even if you don't sign up for Weight Watchers, keep in mind that most people will lose just by cutting out sweets and drinking water with every meal.
I enjoy exercising, so when I did the W.W. program, I was exercising about two hours a day. Other people do this program without exercising at all, and the diet works for them as well, but I like that you can buy yourself extra points by doing a lot of exercise.
Even after you’ve achieved your goal weight, you can keep it off without keeping track of points as closely. This is because after a while you get in the habit of eating the same way you did while on the plan. I’m still kind of following the principles I learned while I was on the program, and I’m able to easily maintain my current weight that way.
My wife has the “internet only” account, which includes the mobile app, and I basically piggy-backed off of her account by finding out the points for various items and keeping track of what I ate with a pencil and paper. Also, she is my personal chef, so a lot of times she would just serve me my meal and tell me how many points it was.
I really recommend purchasing the app though since it is much easier to keep track on the go when you are using the actual app. Just pay the $20 a month for the internet only account, which is really all you need. You’re probably going to save that much anyway when you stop buying sodas or whatever.
I hate gimmicks, but this diet is not a gimmick. It’s a balanced diet where nothing is completely off limits, so it makes for a very sustainable lifestyle in the long term. Also, it encourages you to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. I can’t say enough good things about this healthy, user-friendly diet.
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
I recently went through the Rosetta Stone Navajo course, and overall I was pretty happy with it. Keep in mind, the Navajo language software is not available on the main Rosetta Stone Website. You have to go to a special website called Navajo Renaissance to purchase it because is a special edition and part of Rosetta’s “endangered language project.” One of the cool things about Rosetta Navajo is that the course uses custom photographs that were actually taken on the Navajo reservation instead of the same pictures that are used in the other language courses.
It costs 75 dollars for a one year subscription on the website, which is a better option than actually buying the software for over 200 dollars. It’s going to take you a lot less than a year to go through the program anyway. It is easy for me to say that this is the best program for learning Navajo since it is virtually the only one. There are very few apps or even books that teach Navajo, and the ones I’ve seen aren’t very good. Unfortunately, there just aren’t a lot of people interested in learning Navajo.
Even though I enjoy learning foreign languages as a hobby, I stayed away from Navajo at first for a couple of reasons. Number one, it’s a dying language, and number two, I was told it is very hard for a white person to learn without having grown up with it.
The reason I am tackling it now is that our church started the project of making a Navajo hymn CD as a way to reach out to the Navajo people. In the process of recording that CD, I started to pick up what some of the words meant. At first, I was casually studying the language just to make sure I was pronouncing the words correctly when I sang, but after a while, I started to realize that learning to speak Navajo might actually be doable. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a hard language, but it’s not as impossible as some people make it out to be.
One of the reasons I am interested in speaking Navajo is that we have several Navajos in our church, and Lord willing, we will end up with a lot more through our soul-winning efforts on the reservation. When we knock doors on the “rez,” we offer people a free Navajo hymn CD and then present the Gospel. Even when people speak both languages, it is always a great icebreaker when you speak with people in their own native tongue. Not many young people speak the language anymore, but Navajo people my age and above often speak both English and Navajo. I’m in my mid-thirties, and my age seems to be the cut-off. There are even some very elderly people who speak only Navajo, so the language is definitely still relevant.
Going Through the Course
Learning a language through Rosetta Stone isn’t as easy as they advertise, so you do need to put in some hard work. You can’t just go through the program one time. That won’t be enough. Here’s how I went through it:
On the first pass, as long as I was able to get a checkmark instead of a red X, I would continue to move forward in the course rather than getting hung up on trying to get a perfect score. Once I got a few units into it, I went back and did it again, trying to get a better score. I found that I had to go through everything at least three times, having a higher standard for myself each time through. After the third pass through each part of the course, I made flashcards for the really hard stuff that I still wasn’t grasping, so I disagree with Rosetta’s claim that you won’t have to do any rote memorization.
One mistake I was making with the Rosetta interactive software is that when it beeped I would speak immediately. I didn’t realize at first that it was counting my pronunciation as wrong because it was cutting off the first part of what I said. It turns out, you have to wait until the thing turns green instead of talking immediately after the beep. Once I figured that out, the speaking portion of the lessons went a lot better for me.
Overall, the Rosetta Navajo software is great, but one of the downsides is that you are tied down to a computer. Rosetta Stone has a mobile app for other languages, but unfortunately, the Navajo course is not as portable in that way since it is only available on the computer. Another negative is that there are only two levels instead of five like they have for the big languages.
Now that I’ve finished Level 2, I’m not sure what to do next. The course is very effective, but it didn’t teach me everything I need. What I’m doing personally to further my education in the language is continuing to talk to people on the reservation as well as participating in a local Navajo language meetup that I organized myself using meetup.com. I am also watching some videos from a Youtuber called “Daybreak Warrior,” which have proven to be very helpful. Learning Navajo is a worthwhile endeavor if you live in Arizona or parts of New Mexico near the Navajo Nation, and I recommend the Rosetta Stone software as the way to get started.
Here is a sermon on reaching the Navajo Nation.
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Sometimes critics of the King James Bible will bring up the fact that certain names are left out of genealogies, but what we need to remember is that every genealogy is making a point. Skipping certain names in a genealogy does not take away from the truth of that genealogy. Instead of getting tripped up, just ask yourself what’s the purpose of each particular genealogy, and that will help you understand why people have been skipped in certain instances.
The point of the genealogy in Matthew 1 is that Jesus is the King of the Jews. In this genealogy, there are some names that were skipped. The people who were skipped were more obscure men that for whatever reason, God left out. It says there are 14 generations from Abraham to David, 14 from David until the carrying away into Babylon, and 14 from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ. We know that it wasn’t exactly 14, but perhaps a few names of wicked or otherwise insignificant people were left out to make it easier to remember those three “14’s.” This is known as a "mnemonic" (something to help you memorize something). None of that changes the fact the genealogy accomplishes its purpose of proving that Jesus was in line to be king of the Jews.
Begat vs. Son of
In some genealogies, even though one person did not directly beget the next person in line, the word "begat" is still used. To beget means to generate (which is related to the word gene) or to bring into existence. When the Bible skips someone, you can still say that that person was begotten of his grandfather because the grandson is a direct genetic descendant of his grandfather.
Sometimes a genealogy will just say, “was the son of.” You can be a son without being begotten. For example, you could be adopted and be a son. You could even be a son-in-law and be considered a son. There is a difference between being a begotten son and just a son.
You might be wondering how Jesus is begotten since he has always existed. According to Acts 13:33, Jesus was begotten on the day that he was raised from the dead, so when God the Father raised up Jesus from the dead that was a "begetting." Jesus was generated by being brought back to life. When we get saved we are also begotten of God in that way because we are "regenerated" or "begotten again."
Other Skipped Names
When we look at each genealogy of Moses and Aaron, it does not give us a complete genealogy. It will mention only four generations when they were there for around 400 years. Those genealogies were just to tell where certain people came from-- whether they were the sons of Levi, whether they were Kohathites or Merarites, etc. Then, when you go to 1 Chronicles, you’ll find a more complete genealogy.
In Luke 3, it says that Joseph was the son of Heli, who was actually his father-in-law, but we know from the genealogy in Matthew that Joseph was literally begotten by a guy named Jacob. The purpose of the genealogy in Luke 3 is to show a physical genealogy of Jesus all the way back to Adam. Joseph, Mary’s husband, is mentioned instead of Mary because genealogies focus on men’s names, and Heli was actually Mary’s literal father.
The “Extra Name”
This next example is the one people tend to choke on. There’s a name in the genealogy in Luke 3 that is not mentioned in Genesis or 1 Chronicles. The name “Cainan” is only found in Luke 3:36. There is a reason why the Luke 3 genealogy is more inclusive. The purpose of the genealogy back in Genesis 11 was to show where various nations came from, but the purpose of the genealogy in Luke 3 was to emphasize the humanity of Christ by showing an unbroken, physical line. Therefore in Genesis, an insignificant person was skipped, whereas to make the point in Luke 3, it was essential that no one be skipped. This goes back to focusing on the purpose behind each genealogy and understanding the point that is being made in that chapter.
Atheists and Liberals
Atheists will try to use the “extra name” to discredit the Bible, but if Luke was just writing some cunningly devised fable, it would have been easy for him to just copy the Old Testament genealogy. Even most Christians would say that the genealogy in Luke contains an error, and that the Bible is only perfect in the originals. It comes as no surprise that a guy like Ken Ham teaches this since he relies on proving things with scientific evidence rather than walking by faith. Maybe Ham should spend less time looking for fossils and more time studying the Bible. Then maybe he would notice a pattern of names being skipped at times due to their irrelevance.
We no longer have the originals, and God has promised us that he would preserve his word. The KJV is the inerrant Word of God, and maybe God puts little things like that in the Bible, so that we will be required to have a little more faith.
Here is a more detailed sermon on Luke 3 that explains the extra name
Monday, December 18, 2017
I believe that the King James Bible is the Word of God without error. I am often asked about which Bible versions are best in various other languages and where to find them. I study foreign languages as a hobby and have done a lot of research so I have the answer to some of those questions.
When it comes to Spanish, I highly recommend the 2010 Reina Valera Gomez. The 1602 and 1909 Reina Valera are also good translations, but I think the 2010 Reina Valera Gomez is the best one. What you want to stay away from is the 1960 version, which is more on par with corrupted versions such as the New King James and the N.I.V.
Fortunately, the RVG 2010 is easy to find online. Just Google it. Framingtheworld.com now offers a small pocket New Testament that’s a Reina Valera Gomez for the more affordable price of five dollars. FWBC give out thousands of these for free since we just want to get them into people’s hands.
The Trinitarian Bible Society, which is an excellent resource for foreign language Bibles, sells the Almeida Corrigida Fiel version in Portuguese, which is a great translation. They also sell a parallel Bible that includes the English KJV side by side with the Portuguese.
Trinitarian sells the Greek N.T., which is the Textus Receptus. People like Gail Riplinger have wrongly claimed that this book has over 50 discrepancies. I fact checked this myself by looking up every instance mentioned in her book and comparing the Greek New Testament side by side with the KJV. As it turns out there are only two minor typos in the Greek. The first one is that they accidentally left out the word “Amen” at the end of Ephesians. I fixed this by writing the word Amen in myself with a pen. The other error is that in one place in Acts it says "word of the Lord" instead of "word of God," which is obviously not a huge difference. The rest of Riplinger's "discrepancies" were mainly outright lies and fabrications on her part. If you are looking for a Greek N.T. that is accurate, Trinitarian Bible Society has it. They also sell the Hebrew Old Testament.
I highly recommend the "Fidela" Bible, translated by independent fundamental Baptist missionary Brian Nibbe. Before this translation, the choice was between the corrupt Westcott & Hort based Cornilescu Bible and the Romanian Orthodox Bible. I opted for the Orthodox Bible because it was at least translated from the Textus Receptus, but most Baptists used the corrupted Cornilescu Bible. Now that the Fidela Bible is available, it's a no brainer.
Unfortunately, I’ve never really been able to find a great German Bible. Martin Luther’s version is several hundred years old, but he did not believe in a literal translation method. The Martin Luther Bible that the Trinitarian Bible Society puts out is a little better. It was improved in 1998, but it still has a few issues. The 2000 Schlachter Study Bible from Switzerland is probably only a little better than the Martin Luther translation.
There is a French Bible translation done by David Martin in 1744, which is probably the best option in French. I found this Bible recently for sale on Lulu.com. I believe the New Testament sells for about 12 bucks and the full Bible is a little over $30. There’s also another older French version that came out before a lot of the modern changes took place, and that one is called the Ostervald New Testament.
If you go to Trinitarian’s website they sell a lot of great older Bibles that line up with the King James. For example, they have the 1637 Reformation Dutch Bible, the Polish New Testament from the 1600s, and an Arabic New Testament called the Van Dyke. For just one dollar, you can get the Gospel of John in Turkish. Maltese and Armenian New Testaments are just five dollars each. The Gospel of John in Telugu, an Indian language, is just one buck. I even found a Nepali New Testament and a full Bible in a language of Zimbabwe.
Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for every language. For example, in a lot of the Scandinavian languages, the old versions are out of print. There’s a great Norwegian Bible version that’s still out there, but I don’t know where to buy it. It is also hard to find the old Hindi Bible and the older Japanese Bibles anymore. As a general rule, if you go back to at least the 1800’s, people had the right Bible, but the old Bibles are often rare and not available online. In some cases, they are out of print but may still be available in electronic form. I’m not saying the Bibles I mentioned are the only good ones. I’m just giving you the information I have and trying to point you in the right direction on how to find the best translations.
If you know of any other good foreign language Bibles, let me know in the comments.
Here is a link to the sermon "Two Problems with Modern Versions of the Bible"
Monday, December 11, 2017
There has been a lot of buzz on the internet lately claiming that I have preached that people should “kill all gays by Christmas.” Anyone who has listened to any of my preaching would know that this is not true. First of all, I don’t ever use the word “gay,” so that should be the first clue that this quote did not come from me. Second of all, I have consistently preached against violence, vigilantism, or taking the law into one’s own hands. I have never preached that we as Christians citizens should physically harm anyone because the Bible makes it clear that we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but that our battle is a spiritual battle. Third of all, the comments that I actually made (not the twisted version reported on liberal websites) were made over 3 years ago in November of 2014. I still stand by every word I said and would readily preach the same sermon again, but to set the record straight, this is old news.
If anyone wants to hear what I actually preached, they could watch the entire sermon from November 2014 entitled “AIDS: the Judgment of God.” The sermon is available on YouTube and on our church’s website. What I actually taught was that the law of God calls for homosexuals to be executed by a righteous government. This teaching is found in Leviticus 20:13:
“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
This is quite different from me telling people to “kill all gays by Christmas!” It is not our job to carry out this righteous judgment, but it is God’s command for government to enforce laws against homosexuality. This is not a radical belief. It is actually the traditional Christian view. In the early days of our nation at the Massachusetts Bay Colony, homosexuality was punished by death. Homosexuality was illegal in all 50 states until less than 60 years ago. The last laws against homosexuality were repealed in 2003, which is pretty recently.
The teachings of Leviticus 20:13 are reiterated in the New Testament, where Romans 1:32 speaking specifically of homosexuals states:
“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
The New Testament states further in the book of Jude:
“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
I could go on and on, but the point is that our church is simply believing and preaching the teachings of the Bible. Anyone who does not agree is welcome to go to a different church or tune in to a different YouTube channel. We have the freedom to follow our conscience and freely exercise our religion regardless of what is deemed politically correct in 2017.
Here is the link to the sermon "AIDS: the Judgment of God"
Here is the link to a more recent sermon "Without are Dogs"