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The Trail of Blood

THIS LITTLE BOOK is sent forth for the purpose of making known the little-known history of those FAITHFUL WITNESSES of the Lord Jesus, who, as members of the CHURCH JESUS BUILT, “Overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony: and they loved not their lives unto death,” Rev. 12:11.

I’d appreciate hearing from you–and may I ask your help in getting these messages to our young people and others. Tell them about the wonderful facts of history brought out in this book. Urge them to order it. It would be most helpful to study it as classes in the BTU, WMU, and other organizations.

The Book “TRAIL OF BLOOD” Here

Vacation Bible School 2016

Time for some good Summer fun

So come on out to Landis Baptist Church and learn to use the Full Armor of God in five very different Training Camps!
Shoes of the Gospel of Peace
Helmet of Salvation
Breastplate of Righteousness
Belt of Truth
Sword of the Spirit

July 18th thru 22nd 6:15 each evening

GodsAllStarChamps1

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Church Stained Glass

It was requested to bring the flash narrative of the church stained window images over from the old website. Each image’s biblical and spiritual meanings are revealed with zeal and reverence from the author and make this something that everyone should delight in and enjoy viewing. Please note that this is flash and some browsers will not run flash content, mainly Apple products.

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Vacation Bible School 2015

Vacation Bible School is back!

Landis Baptist Church invites all to join us for Camp Courageous where we will focus on Equipping for Life!
So grab your Bible, your gear, lace up your hiking boots and meet us at camp.

July 20th thru 24nd 6:15 to 8:30 each evening

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Updated Website

 

Welcome

There are some things you may need to make your visit more enjoyable.

  1. You will need to have a updated browser. Here are some we recommend. Firefox and Chrome.
  2. For the videos that are own this site you will need Apple's QuickTime Player. Download Here.
 

Is This Your Sign?

According to facebook’s latest statistics, people spend over 700 billion minutes per month o­n facebook.  Fifty percent of their 750 million active users log o­n daily. Even though there are a lot of good uses for facebook sometimes the Lord can use signs like this o­ne to help us get back to His word.  I pray that we as Christians can put more of our time into God’s book and do what it says in 2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  “Amen”. So if this is your sign you could spend o­nly 12.5 minutes a day reading God’s book and you would read it through in a year. Why read the Bible? Well here are some reasons.

1. To learn of Christ

     John 5:39: Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

2. To increase our faith.

    Romans 10:17: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

3. Guidance.

    Psalm 119:105: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

4. Doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness.

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

5. To give us hope and comfort.

    Romans 15:4: For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

6. To help us avoid sin.

    Psalm 119:9: Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

7. To compare what we are hearing with what God has said.

    Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those   things were so.

8. Fruitfulness, stability.

    Psalm 1

    1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

    2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

    3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

    4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

    5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

    6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

9. Quickening.

    Psalm 119:25: My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.

    Psalm 119:50: This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

10. Understanding.

    Psalm 119: 103-104: How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

    Psalm 119:130: The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

11. Our rejoicing.

    Psalm 119:162: I rejoice at thy word, as o­ne that findeth great spoil.

    Jeremiah 15:16: Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

12. Our sanctification.

    John 17:17: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

13. To see Scripture fulfilled.

    Matthew 26:56: But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

 

The 4 Gospels

Church News

   It has been mentioned several times among our local assembly here at Landis Baptist Church that the four gospels present four different pictures representing the Lord Jesus Christ: Matthew represents him as King, Mark as a servant, Luke as the Son of man, and John as God. This is indeed a true statement. To get a complete picture of anything it must be viewed from all sides, (4 total: front, back, left, and right) but where is the evidence supporting this claim? This is to address such support, but is not meant to be exhaustive in nature considering much of the bible shows support of this fact. Below are a few supporting remarks, and we will compare in detail two accounts, which all the gospels share:

1. Jesus rebuked for allegedly breaking the sabbath

2. The feeding of the 5,000 – the o­nly common miracle to all four gospels.

Consider the following:

• The beginning of each gospel

◦ Matthew traces the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ through the royal line to Abraham, therefore establishing his purpose in writing about the King of the Jews.

◦ Mark contains no genealogy, which supports his theme portraying Jesus as a servant because it makes no significant difference where a servant comes from, o­nly that he does his work.

◦ Luke records Jesus’ lineage all the way back to Adam, showing Jesus is man.

◦ John places Jesus there at the beginning of everything as we know it in John 1:1, showing that Jesus is indeed God, and came to dwell among us (v. 14).

• The end of the gospels as concerning Jesus’ ascension

◦ Matthew records no ascension because as King His place is o­n earth.

◦ Mark indicates that o­nce ascended He would continue His work (servant) with His disciples.

◦ Luke tells of His being carried up into heaven, implying His human need for assistance from the Father.

◦ John has no ascension because considering Jesus is o­ne with the Father (John 10:30), the Lord Jesus Christ has been o­n earth and in heaven the whole time (John 3:13).

• Now consider the allegation accounts of Jesus breaking the sabbath: The answers Jesus gives are what prove to be important.

◦ In Matthew 12:1-7, Jesus answers with “Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered…or have ye not read in the law, how that o­n the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is o­ne greater than the temple.” This is an appropriate response for the King of the Jews.

◦ In Mark, there is no mention of “one greater than the temple” because a suggestion of a kingly position is out of place with Mark’s gospel.

◦ In Luke the reference to the priests and the law are left out because as the Son of man, the audience to whom the gospel is addressed is beyond those under the law of Moses.

◦ In John there is a different circumstance addressed where Jesus is confronted for supposedly breaking the Sabbath when He healed a man and stated, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” (John 5:17), again addressing that He is equal with God working o­n the sabbath.

• Lastly, we’ll look at the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. For this, the scriptures are shown below.

Matthew 14: 13-21:

When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him o­n foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down o­n the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

Mark 6: 30-44

And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him. And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? Go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties. And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.

Luke 9: 10-17

And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida . And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God , and healed them that had need of healing. And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country road about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, we have No more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. And they did so, and made them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.

John 6:1-13

After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias . And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did o­n them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every o­ne of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

◦ No mention of desert place in John because to God the whole world was a desert.

◦ No mention of evening being nigh in John because upon the Light of the world night cannot fall and to the Light of the world men are ever in darkness.

◦ No “speaking in privacy” mentioned in John because God is never alone.

◦ All give different details: Mark shows that the sheep need the work of a shepherd to gather them. Matthew tells of the King’s compassion in healing the sickness among his subjects. Luke tells of both the healing and preaching of the perfect man. John says the multitude followed because of miracles.

◦ John shows the deity of Christ by giving his knowledge of what Philip would say.

◦ No upward gaze into heaven by Christ in John because He is in heaven (John 3:13)

◦ Matthew adds details of women and children being among the men because as King, Jesus is responsible for all His subjects.

We hope these details will suffice in showing how the four gospels give four different, yet complementary, views of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

Which Bible???

Which Bible???

Which Bible Are You Using? American Standard Version (ASV), Amplified Bible, Common English Bible, Contemporary English Version, Darby Translation, Easy-To-Read Version, English Standard Version (ESV), Expanded Bible, God’s Word Translation, Good News Translation, Holman Christian Standard Bible, King James Version (KJV), The Message, New American Standard Version (NASV), New Century Version, New English Translation (NET), New International Version (NIV), New King James Version (NKJV), New Living Translation (NLT), New Revised Standard Version, Revised Standard Versiono

Most people pick up a “bible” and read it (at least proclaim to read it) based upon the claim that it’s easier to read COMPARED to other “bibles.” The real truth behind such a statement is simply that it is an excuse. Hardly anybody wants to do exactly what they’ve claimed to have done: COMPARE the bibles! We could spend our entire time comparing o­ne and two syllable words in the King James Version (KJV) with other versions to truly see which is easier to read, but we won’t. We’ll just let the few examples below be sufficient:

  1. Joshua 12:8: “south country” (KJV) – “Negev” (NIV, NASV)
  2. Daniel 5:12: “doubts” (KJV) – “enigmas” (NASV, NKJV)
  3. Colossians 2:23: “satisfying of the flesh” (KJV) – “restraining sensual indulgence” (NIV)
  4. Acts 21:34: “know” (KJV) – “ascertain” (NKJV)
  5. Ezra 6:11: “word” (KJV) – “edict” (NKJV)
  6. Jeremiah 3:22: “go” (KJV) – “gad” (NKJV)
  7. Isaiah 28:4: “fat” (KJV) – “verdant” (NKJV)

Instead, we’re going to actually compare what the bibles say. This is the real root of the problem. Below you will be provided with the KJV text along with o­ne of the modern version’s text. Along with the two cited texts, a list of the other modern versions that agree with the cited modern version will also be provided. Then, after our comparison is complete, hopefully you will see that God’s word does indeed exist, and it exists in the King James Version. Matthew 24:35: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”First, let’s take a look at the cover of many New King James Versions (if the symbol doesn’t appear o­n the cover, it more than likely exists o­n o­ne of the first few pages). Notice the symbol below, and then how the symbol is actually drawn.
This symbol is supposed to be the symbol for the trinity: The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But, as you can see, the symbol is actually made up of three sixes – 666 (the number of the beast in Revelation 13:18). The real issue is that symbols in general are contrary to the word of God. “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device” (Acts 17:29).

OLD TESTAMENT COMPARISONS

Genesis 27:39 – Isaac is blessing his son Esau after Jacob stole the blessing intended for Esau.

  • KJV: And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above
  • NIV: His father Isaac answered him, your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above.

This is an interesting contradiction because Esau indeed has so much substance later in life that he refuses a gift from his brother Jacob upon Jacob’s return from Haran (see Genesis 33:8,9). Every bible mentioned at the beginning states the same as the NIV except the NJKV, ASV, Amplified Bible, and the Darby Translation.

2 Samuel 21:19 – Here’s an example from King David’s life. The story of David and Goliath is so well known that most young converts know some details of this story. All would answer that David killed Goliath, but many modern versions say otherwise.

  • KJV: And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Beth-lehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.
  • NIV: In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod.

Brother is missing in the NIV. Another interesting point is that Goliath was from Gath (1 Samuel 17), therefore not making him a Gittite as the NIV claims. Every bible mentioned at the beginning states the same as the NIV except the Easy-to-Read Version, NET, NKJV, and NLT.

One more example from the Old Testament referenced from the New Testament.

Mark 1:1-3

  • KJV: The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before they face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of o­ne crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
  • NIV: The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way – a voice of o­ne calling in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.

Here, as you can see, two specific things are mentioned in these verses (which have been underlined above). The issue is the KJV mentions it was written by a plurality of prophets whereas the NIV mentions o­nly Isaiah wrote and recorded the information. The NIV is wrong. You can’t find BOTH things mentioned above in Isaiah. You have to see Malachi 3:1 to reference the messenger, and Isaiah 40:3 to see where the voice of o­ne crying in the wilderness is mentioned. Every bible mentioned at the beginning states the same as the NIV except the NKJV.

NEW TESTAMENT COMPARISONS

Matthew 5:22a

  • KJV: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
  • NIV: But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.

As you can see without a cause is left out in the NIV. The issue is o­n a number of levels. First, Jesus is our judge (2 Corinthians 5:10) and He is completely sinless (1 Peter 2:22). If the NIV were correct and someone is angry with someone else, then they will be judged for it. My question is how many times was Jesus angry with his brethren? He was upset with the disciples in Mark 16: 14: “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” He was also upset o­nce in the temple with people misusing that holy place. According to Matthew 21, Mark 11, and John 2 Jesus went into the temple to drive out the individuals that were corrupting the place and He even overthrew tables. I’d say that he was pretty angry. So the NIV claims here that Jesus is in danger of judgment. However, Jesus did have a cause, so like the KJV says, he’s not in danger of the judgment. Of all the bibles mentioned at the beginning, all say the same as the NIV except for the NKJV. The Message is actually saying nothing close to any of the others.

Colossians 1:14

  • KJV: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins
  • NIV: In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

This is a verse about Jesus and through his blood has been omitted, and what I don’t understand is why? That is the very way we have redemption because He shed his blood o­n the cross at Golgotha. He is the lamb of God (John 1: 29), and it has always taken the blood of a lamb for redemption. It was so for Adam and Eve in the garden when God himself provided the coats of skins: the animal had to die. It was so for Abel in Genesis 4 where a lamb had to die, and Cain showed proof there is no other way. It was so for Abraham and Isaac o­n the mountain in Genesis 22: 8. It was so for the Israelites in Egypt when God smote the land, killing all the first born of the Egyptians. It was so day after day and year after year in the wilderness, and in the promised land for Israel. It was prophesized that Jesus would die and not speak a word as a lamb led to the slaughter in Isaiah 53: 7. The very picture of redemption has always been by blood, and specifically the blood of the lamb: the blood of Jesus (John 1:29)! The o­nly bibles from above that come close are the NKJV, the Amplified bible, and NLV.

You’re probably beginning to notice a trend that all the bibles don’t even compare to the KJV’s text except for the NKJV. So far it has proven to be just as accurate. Therefore, this is where we need to focus our attention, but before we do that, I challenge you to find the following New Testament verses in many of the modern versions: Matthew, 17:21, Matthew 18:11, Matthew 23:14, Mark 7:16, Mark 9:44, 46, Mark 11:26, Mark 15:28, Luke 17:36, Luke 23:17, and Acts 8:37. These 11 verses are completely omitted in most of the modern versions. The verse number can be found in the text, but not the words.

KJV AND NKJV COMPARED

A verse to think about when comparing the KJV with the NKJV is Gen. 3:1: Now the serpent was more stubtil…” The differences you’ll notice below are subtil changes, but they prove to be big changes doctrinally. The point is simply that everything God has, Satan has a copy. A copy that seems to be so close to the truth, but is changed just enough to completely change the meaning of what’s being said. See how Satan slightly changes the words of God in Genesis 3 when talking to Eve in the garden, and even how he uses the same approach when tempting Jesus in the wilderness in Matthew 4 (You’ll have to run the references in the bible to see what scripture Satan was changing from the Old Testament).

Matthew 18:26

  • KJV: The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
  • NKJV: The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.

In order to be saved you have to believe o­n the LORD Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9)
Genesis 22:8

  • KJV: And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering…
  • NKJV: And Abraham said, My son, God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering…

God doesn’t need a lamb sacrificed FOR himself. He’s sinless, perfect, and He’s the lamb according to the KJV above and John 1:29.
Hebrews 4:8

  • KJV: For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
  • NKJV: For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.

Acts 7:45 has the same switch among the names.
The following four verses show how the o­nly way you’re saved is by grace through faith (belief) and NOT by works (Eph. 2:8, 9 and Titus 3:5). However, according to these verses the NKJV shows it takes works to be saved.

Romans 11:30

  • KJV: For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief.
  • NKJV: For as you were o­nce disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience. (In other words – you better be “doing right” to obtain mercy)

Revelation 19:8

  • KJV: And to her [the church] was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
  • NKJV: And to her [the church] it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (See how it says you’re part of the church based o­n acts, not faith in Christ)

1 Corinthians 1:18

  • KJV: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
  • NKJV: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (In other words – you need enough works to reach the saved mark)

2 Corinthians 2:15

  • KJV: For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
  • NKJV: For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. (Again, you need to keep working to be saved)

Oh, and by the way, the four verses above in the NKJV match exactly what is written in the Jehovah Witness Version. So, if you’re reading the NKJV you might as well be a Jehovah witness.
Next, I’ll give three more verses that support working for salvation according to the NKJV, but the searches and comparisons will be left up to you. The reason for this personal search is simply because Jesus showed through the account given in John that those who want light will seek for it. Then, Jesus will be there to give it. My o­nly question for you is: “Do you want light, or do you want to reject the evidence that has been provided?” The verses are Matthew 7:14, Galatians 5:22, and 1 John 5:13.

In closing I have to ask a few questions. If all the bibles said the same thing, then why does all the text above prove to be so confusing? The answer as according to 1 Corinthians 14:33 – God is not the author of confusion; therefore, all these bibles are not of God. Also, if all of these bibles were God’s word, then where are the corrupt and perverted versions we are warned about in 2 Corinthians 2:17, and Jeremiah 23:36? Hopefully now we know exactly where these versions are. ALL the modern versions are guilty of adding and subtracting from the word of God (Revelation 22:18, 19). There is o­nly o­ne true, inerrant, and infallible word of God and we have it in the King James Version.

*Special thanks to all those that have previously studied and searched the scriptures when it comes to comparing bible versions. Also, a very special thanks is extended to Freedom Tracts and AV Publications for taking the time and money to expose a lot of this information.

 

 

Acts

Church News

I hesitate to begin o­n a negative note, but past experiences have left such a following comment unavoidable, and in its essence, necessary. It appears to be common practice when reading the book of Acts to insert precepts into the text, which the text itself does not support. Such precepts include the following inaccuracies:

  1. The apostles tried to start the earthly kingdom (kingdom of heaven) until their efforts failed around the time of the stoning of Steven in Acts 7, therefore they moved o­n to the “church thing”
  2. Tongues is a “mysterious” language that o­nly God can understand
  3. To receive the Holy Spirit o­ne of the following will happen
    • A. o­ne with the Holy Spirit must lay their hands o­n o­ne without – Acts 8:17
    • B. Speaking in tongues is evidence that you have indeed received the Holy Spirit – Acts 10:46
  4. You must be baptised to be savedThe above list summarizes our focus of discussion. There are many things in the book of Acts that are an absolute joy and a blessing to discuss, but for necessity, our focus will be narrowed to o­nly four topics. Before we begin however, let me briefly introduce the fifth book of the New Testament.

    Acts, written by Luke, tells of the continued work and teaching of Jesus Christ that had begun in the gospel accounts. Jesus said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from o­n high. Luke 24:46-49 shows the apostles were to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and then preach the gospel to all nations. Acts 1:1 shows even more support, The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach. Even consider how the four gospels end with how Acts begins. Matthew closes with the resurrection account and the missionary call. Mark closes with the ascension and missionary call, and Luke with the promise of the Holy Ghost and missionary call. Acts opens with all of this combined information and proceeds to give the acts of the Holy Ghost through the believers. The account gives an understanding of what God would do in the believers and how He would do it. The accounts given in their entirety are not exhaustive however, because the epistles that follow give further information. Galatians tells of the acts in Arabia, Peter tells of the acts in Egypt and Babylon, Romans tells of the acts in Rome, and 1 Corinthians tells of the ship wrecks of Paul.

    1. Starting the earthly kingdom

    What is true regarding establishment of the earthly kingdom by the Messiah is how every Israelite thought this was supposed to happen when Jesus Christ was o­n this earth. The Pharisees thought so in Luke 17:20-21: And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. The multitudes thought so in Luke 19:11: And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. The two men o­n the road to Emmaus after Jesus’ resurrection thought so in Luke 24:17-18,21: And he [Jesus] said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have o­ne to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the o­ne of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou o­nly a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel. Even the disciples thought it was so after Jesus’ resurrection in Acts 1:6: When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

    Establishing the earthly “kingdom of heaven” at Christ’s first coming was never the case. He came to establish the “kingdom of God,” which are the men and women who have believed the word of God and put their faith and trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This undeniably shows that if the kingdom of God was supposed to be set up by Christ, He had to die o­n the cross. Notice the words He uses with Pilate before His death in John 18:36: Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Jesus himself said that His kingdom is not right now from hence. However, o­ne day the kingdom will be here because He’s coming back in like manner as so many witnessed Him leave into heaven (Acts 1:11) and He’ll rule and reign from a throne at Jerusalem for 1000 glorious years (Revelation 20). Amen and Hallelujah!

    As far as the book of Acts is concerned, Peter and the other eleven apostles started and continued to speak of the wonderful works of God, (Acts 1:11) and how whosoever shall call o­n the name of the Lord shall be saved (Acts 1:21). An earthly kingdom was NEVER preached. In Peter’s first public preaching from Acts 2:22-36 he sums up what the apostolic church believes about Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. for David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is o­n my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy o­ne to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit o­n his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, sit thou o­n my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. That sermon showed how David spoke of Jesus’ coming, death, and resurrection, and putting that with v.41, Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls, and v.21 from above shows how the gospel of salvation was preached in Jesus name, not the establishment of an earthly kingdom. This theme continues throughout the book of Acts.

    2. Tongues

    If you were to conduct a word study o­n the word tongue or tongues throughout the bible, you would realize this word refers to either a language or the physical body part. Each and every time this is true, and Acts 2 proves to be no different. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with o­ne accord in o­ne place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying o­ne to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? (Acts 2:1-8) What we have just witnessed is the reversal of the tower of Babel account from Genesis 11. There God confounded their language where not a single person could understand another. Now everyone, no matter their native tongue, are able to understand these Galileans. The apostles were simply speaking the languages of the other nations.

    3A. Receiving the Holy Ghost by laying o­n of hands

    There are two things that need to be understood about the bible. Every verse has to be read in its context, and considerations might have to be given to biblical facts found elsewhere in the bible that relate to a particular verse of interest. For instance, Acts 1:8 tells us that the apostles were to stay in Jerusalem until after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. By the time you reach Acts 8, the apostles (Philip specifically) have reached Samaria o­n their quests. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them (Acts 8:5).

    Now that we have the context, what are the biblical facts about Samaria? From the gospels we see a few things. First, we know that the “Jews have no dealings with the Sarmaritans.” John 4:7-9,27: There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. o­nce Jesus was finished speaking with this woman, in came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman. Secondly, we can see that the Jew and Samaritans did not get along. For over three years the disciples preached unto the people, and time after time the large numbers would reject their message. o­nly o­ne account testifies of disciples desiring to destroy the o­nes who rejected – Samaritans. And it came to pass, when the time was come that he [Jesus] should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? (Luke 9:51-54) Why such a distasteful attitude toward these people? It’s because hundreds of years prior when the king of Assyria invaded Judah, he carried away people captive into Babylon. However, he left many poor and afflicted people to work the land while also bringing in men from Babylon to possess the land. This was the land of Samaria, and what resulted from these events were intermarrying between the Jews and Babylonians/Assyrians. Therefore, the people born from this “bad blooded race” were naturally disliked by the more “pure blooded” Jews. This information is vital to our understanding of the events in Acts 8.

    Acts 8:8-17 reads And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great o­ne: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, (earthly kingdom not preached) and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they went unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: o­nly they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands o­n them, and they received the Holy Ghost. Here we have o­ne account where individuals received the Holy Ghost by laying o­n of hands. Nothing significant has ever happened from the result of laying o­n of hands, neither before or after this event (search your bible for variations of the phrase “laying o­n of hands.”) Laying o­n of hands throughout the bible was a way of identifying or drawing attention to someone, usually for the purpose of fulfilling some charge committed unto them (see 1 Tim. 1:3,18, 4:14 for an example). So, why such a o­ne time dramatic event by God? 1 Corinthians 1:22 says For the Jews require a sign. What Jew would believe that God has been gracious and merciful enough to provide salvation to a bunch of “half-breeds” making them all o­ne in Christ (Ephesians 4:4-6)?” Probably not a single o­ne considering what we’ve seen from scripture. Therefore, God provided this event where the two apostle leaders, Peter and John, came and by them through the power of God the Jews could physically see first hand that indeed salvation has come to the unliked Samaritans.

    3B. Tongues as evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit

    Here again is another example in Acts so similar to the event just covered involving the Samaritans. The o­nly difference is the apostles through the power of God have now directed their attention to the Gentiles. Two things we have to consider is how the Jews require a sign and that the Gentiles were not a people (1 Peter 2:10) without the touch of God. Acts 10:34-45 reads Then Peter opened his mouth, and said Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him (so God accepts you, you don’t accept God). The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) (so the kingdom is still not being preached). That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged o­n a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. Notice Peter is preaching the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then he says, “whosoever” believeth in him shall receive remission of sins; therefore, no matter who you are or what you have done, if you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ you can and will be saved! While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell o­n all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision (Jews) which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. (v.46)

    The Jews just witnessed with their very own eyes that repentence unto life was granted to the Gentiles. Such a miraculous event had to happen for the Jews to believe the Gentiles could indeed be saved because they require a sign. The evidence of how God was indeed saving Gentiles as well as Jews was signified through the very same events that happened to these Jews in the upper room in Acts 2. They witnessed the Holy Ghost fall o­n these Gentiles just as the Holy Ghost did with them. See Acts 11:15-18: And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell o­n them, as o­n us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed o­n the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they (Jews) heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. With all this evidence, the bible shows that these signs were not meant to be misused as a representation of someone receiving the Holy Ghost, but EVIDENCE TO THE JEWS that salvation has indeed gone out to the entire world! Thanks be to God because that means you and me my friend.

    4. Baptism required for salvation

    With a desire to keep this writing from becoming any more in length than is necessary, we’ll focus our time o­n two sections of scripture from the book of Acts. The reason for o­nly two sections is simple: these are the sections most people go to in order to support their belief that “water baptism is required to be saved.” If that were true, how did the thief o­n the cross make it to paradise? Did God just show respect unto him, and grant him permission because he didn’t have the opportunity to be baptised? Sounds like a good thought, but such an idea goes completely against scripture because God is no respector of persons (Acts 10:34, with 2 Chronicles 19:7, Romans 2:11, Ephesians 6:9, Colossians 3:25, and 1 Peter 1:17). God himself said that salvation is in the name Jesus Christ for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

    First let’s go to Acts 8:35-38. Philip has come upon a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, (v. 27) and Philip was lead by the Spirit to speak to this man who had been reading from the prophet Esaias (Isaiah). Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went o­n their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. What you will notice every time someone is baptized in Acts, repentence/belief in the Lord Jesus Christ always preceeds baptism. That’s why you find countless verses throughout the bible telling you to believe o­n the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. This is the o­nly way to be saved, and baptism is a testimony as to what you believe: the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The reason so many people go to these verses is because if you are not reading the King James Version, then most likely v.37 doesn’t exist in your bible (see the writing titled: Which Bible?). You’ll find the verse number, but the words have been removed. This verse is when Philip stated in order to be baptized, you have to believe with all your heart that Jesus is the Son of God. So, these verses do not support anything other than the fact that there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

    Lastly we’ll turn our attention to Acts 2:36-38. Here Peter has just finished preaching his sermon to the Jews and then says, Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every o­ne of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Many people read this statement and expound upon it by saying “be baptized to have the remission of sins,” substituting the words “to have” in place of “for,” making it far from the truth. Think about this statement and try to apply the same logic: “I got a ticket for speeding.” When you get such a ticket it is not “to have” the permission to speed. Speeding is the reason you got the ticket. The same thing applies to this verse. Being baptised doesn’t give you remission of sins. The remission of sins is the reason you’re being baptised. Baptism is simply a testimony as to what you believe.

    *All bible text comes from the Authorized King James Version and has been placed in this writing in bolded font. Where the text has been underlined, it is strictly for emphasis upon the writer’s discretion and is not intended to represent a change in the bible.*

Simon a Cyrenian

Have you ever wondered about the man who was compelled to carry Jesus’ cross? Why was he chosen for such a task? What happened to him after the event? This is an effort to shed some light o­n these questions, and to take a look at part of the crucifixion story. To do this, we will have to see what all the gospels say. Let’s begin in the gospel of Mark chapter 15, and then proceed to the other gospels. Various pieces of information will be underlined within the text that will be significant to our topic at hand.

Why was Simon chosen

Mark 15:16-22

Pilate has just conformed to the people’s demands to crucify Jesus and set Barabbas free. And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him o­n the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes o­n him, and led him out to crucify him. And they compel o­ne Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. From the information here in Mark you need to understand a few things:

  1. Jesus was in the judgement hall being mocked by the soldiers
  2. Jesus was then led out of the judgement hall where they found Simon to bear his cross
  3. Simon carried the cross unto(this is important) Golgotha

Matthew 27:27-32

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put o­n him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him o­n the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment o­n him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. So Matthew supports exactly what we saw in Mark.

Luke 23:26

And as they led him away, they laid hold upon o­ne Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and o­n him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus. Again, the same information we gathered from Mark and Matthew is stated here in Luke, but with o­ne extra piece of information: Simon followed Jesus while carrying the cross.

John 19:16-18

Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he[Jesus] bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, o­n either side o­ne, and Jesus in the midst. Now, we see yet again some extra information. Here it is reported that Jesus carried the cross into, not unto, like we saw in Mark. This is NOT a bible contradiction. When you put all the gospels together, the events are as followed:

  • Jesus was taken into the judgement hall to be mocked by the soldiers
  • As they came out of the hall, they found Simon to carry Jesus’ cross
  • Simon carries the cross behind Jesus unto Golgotha
  • The soldiers place the cross o­n Jesus at Golgotha, and Jesus carries the cross into Golgotha

Most movies you watch about Jesus and the crucifixion show that Simon was chosen because Jesus was too weak from the beatings to carry his own cross. Yet, no support of that is found in the bible. Jesus never began to carry his cross after they left the judgement hall until they actually reached the place of the crucifixion. They chose Simon to continue to mock Jesus. The robe, crown of thorns, and everything else was mocking the fact that Jesus was said to have been a “king.” Therefore, as they come out of the judgement hall, they get the “king’s subject” to follow behind the king carrying the king’s cross. It was all mockery.

This entire event was pictured in the Old Testament by Abraham and Isaac – Genesis 22:3-8(a). And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Issac his son, and clave the wood for a burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then o­n the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering. The same events about Jesus happened with Isaac and Abraham.

  • The donkey carried the wood unto the place of the sacrifice
  • Isaac then carries the wood into the place of the sacrifice

You also see a very important prophesy regarding the death of Jesus Christ in these verses. Isaac was never sacrificed because God stopped Abraham from doing it. Isaac was a sinner just like you and me, and his blood would never have accomplished anything. But, Jesus was a spotless, undefiled, perfect sacrifice for you and me and He did exactly what Genesis said He would do: GOD WILL PROVIDE HIMSELF A LAMB. Jesus went to that cross o­n purpose to die for you and me, and to accomplish (Luke 9:31), and finish the work (John 4:34, John 19:30) of God the Father. Hallelujah!!

What happened to Simon after the event

If you return to Mark 15, you’ll notice the following words: And they compel o­ne Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. Why was this information included in the bible? I don’t believe God places words into the bible just to take up space. If you try to cross reference the name Alexander, you’ll find four other verses containing this name. I cannot tell for certain if o­ne of them matches the name of Simon’s son in Mark 15; however, o­nly o­ne other verse in the bible includes the name Rufus. Romans 16:13: Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. It appears to be quite possible that Simon returned home to talk with his family about what he had to do for Jesus. As a result, Rufus believes o­n the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and is saved by the grace of God. Again, I cannot be completely certain this is what happened, but with the information we have to go o­n, this seems to be quite possible as to what happened.

*All bible text comes from the Authorized King James Version and has been placed in this writing in bolded font. Where the text has been underlined, it is strictly for emphasis upon the writer’s discretion and is not intended to represent a change in the bible.*

 

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