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Victory Christian Tabernacle Church



The views in Spiritual Growth are solely the views of the authors and are not necessarily the views of Victory Christian Tabernacle. This article is posted for spiritual growth, education and discussion only.


 "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41)      View Older Entries» below for additional articles


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Jesus Did Not Change Saul's Name to Paul

Posted on September 9, 2019 at 5:30 AM


I keep coming across a “sticky” misconception that God (specifically, Jesus) changed the name of an important figure we now typically refer to as “Saint Paul.”

In a recent sermon, I heard: “Just like Saul the persecutor can become Paul the apostle, God is gracious to us.” On an exam, one of my brightest students wrote: “It is Saul, who is re-named as Paul, who is the primary messenger of the gospel.” A church member asked me, “Wait, you mean Jesus didn’t change Saul’s name to Paul on the Damascus Road?”

The problem is that such a view, however common, isn’t accurate. I hate to ruin the fun.

Popular but Unbiblical

I’m unclear on the origins of this idea—though some industrious person has no doubt studied it—but it seems this Saul-renamed-Paul notion is a clever re-reading of an Old Testament storyline onto that of the great apostle.

As is well known, God prominently changed the names of two Old Testament patriarchs: Abram to Abraham (Gen. 17:5) and Jacob to Israel (Gen. 32:28). The idea seems to be that something similar happened to Paul when he encountered Jesus on the Damascus Road (Acts 9).

There is no scriptural evidence, however, to support a name change for Saul/Paul. Here are six lines of biblical evidence that prove the popular notion wrong:

Jesus addresses him as “Saul, Saul” during the Christophany (Acts 9:4).

Nothing in the narrative suggests Jesus subsequently changed Saul’s name. In Galatians 1:15–17, Paul speaks of being set apart before birth to preach to the Gentiles, but there is no mention of any name change.

2. Ananias addresses him as “Saul” after his conversion (Acts 9:17). There is no mention of a name change, and he is still calling him “Saul” after the Christophany.

3. The Holy Spirit calls him “Saul” before his first missionary trip. Acts 13:2 says, “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’” It would be odd for the third person of the Trinity to keep calling this man by his “persecutor” name if the second person of the Trinity had changed it to his “apostle” name four chapters earlier.

4. After the conversion experience, he is called “Saul” 11 more times. Again, this would be odd if Jesus had changed his name to Paul.

5. The decisive shift from “Saul” to “Paul” in Acts happens only once Paul sets off on his missionary journeys away from Jerusalem.


This subtle shift occurs in Acts 13:13: “Now Paul and his companions set sail.” The person who “changes” his name is not Jesus, but Luke.

6. Saul and Paul were two names for the same person all along.

Acts 13:9 is the clincher: “But Saul, who was also called Paul, [was] filled with the Holy Spirit.” Here the converted person is being called both Saul and Paul—not “Saul the tyrant who was renamed Paul the Christian.” Saul and Paul are dual names of one man, both before and after his conversion.

Paul Is Saul

As it turns out, “Saul”—derived from the famous first king of Israel, from the tribe of Benjamin, to which Saul/Paul himself belonged (Phil. 3:5)—is simply the Hebrew name for this person. “Paul”—a normal koine name—is his Greek name, derived from the Latin surname Paulus.

For someone born in Tarsus (Acts 21:39) but educated under Gamaliel in Jerusalem (Acts 22:3) in a strict form of Pharisaism (Gal. 1:14; Phil. 3:5–6), this is not unusual. Much as many immigrants to English-speaking worlds take an Anglicized name on top of their ethnic name, many Greek-speaking Jews in Paul’s day would have a Jewish/Hebrew name and a Hellenistic/Greek name.

Here’s the smoking gun: When Paul recalls his conversion, he specifically notes that Jesus was “saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’” (Acts 26:14). Paul draws attention to how Jesus addressed him in his Hebrew name and makes no mention that it is now abandoned.

When Saul/Paul launches his Gentile-focused ministry among primarily Greek-speakers (beginning with Acts 13:9), it’s natural for Luke, the author of Acts, to begin referring exclusively to him by his Greek name. Nor is it surprising that he’s later referred to as “Paul” in Jerusalem, since there were Greek speakers there too. Indeed, Luke could be making a thematic point by shifting from Saul to Paul around chapter 13, given the broader theme of Acts (e.g., 1:8). After all, the church’s nucleus is shifting from predominantly Jewish-centered Jerusalem to the Greek-centered “ends of the earth,” such as Rome.

The apostle’s two names are not unique. Several other figures in the New Testament have two given names: Joseph, later called Barnabas (Acts 4:36); Simeon, also called Niger (Acts 13:1); and Thomas, also called Didymus (John 21:2); among others.

"Why did God sometimes change a person's name in the Bible?"

When God changed a person’s name and gave him a new name, it was usually to establish a new identity. God changed Abram’s name, meaning "high father," to “Abraham,” meaning "father of a multitude" (Genesis 17:5). At the same time, God changed Abraham's wife's name from “Sarai,” meaning “my princess,” to “Sarah,” meaning “mother of nations” (Genesis 17:15). This name change took place when God gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision.


God changed Jacob’s name, which meant "supplanter," to “Israel,” meaning “having power with God” (Genesis 32:28). This happened after Jacob had taken Esau's birthright (Genesis 25) and stolen Esau's blessing (Genesis 27), fled from his brother to his uncle Laban (Genesis 28), married Leah and Rachel (Genesis 29), fled from Laban (Genesis 31), and then wrestled with God as he prepared to meet Esau.

In the New Testament, Jesus changed Simon’s name, meaning "God has heard," to “Peter,” meaning "rock" when He first called him as a disciple (John 1:42). It was Peter who declared that Jesus was "the Messiah, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). Jesus replied to him as "Simon son of Jonah," saying that he was blessed because God revealed Jesus' identity as Messiah to him. He then referred to him as "Peter" and said that Peter's declaration was the basis, or "rock," on which He would build His church (Matthew 16:17–18).

One rather unique example of the Lord giving a new name to humans was when He commanded the prophet Hosea to marry a known whore as a sign of Israel's sin. "When the Lord first spoke to Israel through Hosea, he said to Hosea, 'Go and get married; your wife will be unfaithful (the KJV has 'a wife of whoredoms' or a wife who is a whore), and your children will be just like her'" (Hosea 1:2)

As children were born to Hosea's "whore wife" the Lord gave each of them a name as a testament against the house of Israel (northern ten tribes). The first child, a boy, was called Jezreel, meaning that He would avenge the blood of Jezreel on the royal house of king Jehu. The second child of the whore, a girl, was called Lo-Ruhamah, because the Lord decided not to be merciful to the house of Israel any longer. The third child, a boy, was given the name Lo-Ammi, which generally means the Eternal no longer considered Israel his people (Hosea 1:3 - 4, 6, 8 - 9, HBFV) [Holy Bible in Its Original Order - A Faithful Version].



Sunday School

Posted on May 6, 2019 at 6:20 AM

Sunday School Summary, April 25, 2021
Lesson Text: Romans 8:18-27
Lesson Title: “Anticipating Redemption”
Time & Place:A.D. 56; Corinth

Dr. James A. May, Senior Pastor, Victory Christian Tabernacle Church



In Romans chapter 8, Paul begins with another simple explanation of the gospel, God's good news about His Son's life on earth as a man and death on earth for our sin. That allowed the law to be fulfilled and justice to be done for human sin. Those who are in Christ have been released from any obligation to the law of Moses. The law promised Paul life if he could keep the commandments, but he discovered he could not do it. In that sense, the law doomed him to death. Still, though, Paul describes the law as holy, righteous, and good (Romans 7:7–12).

Those who come to faith in Christ are so closely associated with His physical death and resurrection that we experience a kind of spiritual death and are resurrected into a new spiritual life. This is how we are freed from our responsibility to the law.

Those who come to faith in Christ are described as living according to God's Holy Spirit. We no longer live according the flesh, as all non-Christians do. Those in the flesh—the world's way of living for self before and above all else—are hostile to God. They can't please Him (Romans 8:1–8). God's Spirit lives in every Christian. Anyone who doesn't have the Spirit, is not a Christian. The Spirit, given to us by God, is the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. He will resurrect us, as well, after these sin- broken down bodies have died (Romans 8:9–11).

This Spirit from God is not a spirit of slavery and bondage. God did not save us simply to compel us to do His bidding. Instead, this Spirit is a spirit of adoption. God makes us His sons and daughters. His Spirit makes us able to cry out to God as a little child cries out to their father. Since we are heirs of God, we will share in all the glories of God's kingdom with Christ forever (Romans 8:12–17). This is where our lesson begins.



Verses 18-21

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Paul was not ignorant or blind to the sufferings of human existence; he experienced more of them than most any of us today (see 2 Corinthians 11:23-30). To Paul the future glory he would experience with the Lord far outweighed any suffering he experienced in this world. Paul understood that the greater the suffering, the greater would be his eternal glory.

Christians see the world as it is; physically decaying and spiritually infected with sin. However, Christians do not need to be pessimistic because they have hope for future glory. They look forward to the new heaven and new earth that God has promised, and they wait for God’s new order that will free the world from sin, sickness, and evil. In the meantime, Christians go with Christ into the world where they heal people’s bodies and souls and fight the evil effects of sin in the world.


“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. When Jesus Christ returns, our earthly bodies will be redeemed, and we will be changed to be like Him (see I John 3:2).


20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope…,” NLT- 20-21 “Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” When man sinned, the entire world was doomed to suffer the consequences of sin along with him. This refers to the inability to achieve a goal or purpose. Because of man’s sin, God cursed the physical universe and now, no part of creation entirely fulfills God’s original purpose.


Note: Isaiah 11:6-9 NLT describes this redemption of creation in that day: “…The wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. 7The cow will graze near the bear. The cub and the calf will lie down together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. 8The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm. 9Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.”




Verses 22-25

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

To this day we know that the whole creation "groans" (cries; squeals; grunts) and "travails" (struggles; toil; labors) in pain together. It’s the picture of a woman giving birth. “Groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” refers to Adam’s Fall, which has caused misery from then until the present. Creation is experiencing birth pains under the struggle to survive.


“23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, …The “whole creation” in verse 22 means the plant and animal kingdoms. “They” refers back to “the whole creation.” “Ourselves” refers to only believers. Now Paul refers to Christians as those who have God's Spirit with us: the "firstfruits of the Spirit" or "the Spirit as a first result of being in Christ" (see James 1:18). Such saved believers also groan inwardly in this waiting. But while the creation is waiting for God's children to be revealed in glory, we are waiting for something more specific. We wait eagerly for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. Although there is a sense in which we are already adopted (Romans 8:15), there is also a sense in which we wait for the consummation of our adoption which will happen at the redemption of our body.


“24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” Paul writes that the hope of resurrection, being with God as His children is the same hope that brought us to faith in Christ in the first place. It's the thing every believer long for, but nobody can reach on our own. Sin keeps us from God's eternal glory (Romans 3:23), but God gives it to us as a gift (Romans 6:23).


“25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it…”

What we can’t see that we “hope” for is the completion of our salvation at our resurrection. Our hope is sure, but by definition it has not arrived yet. But since the believer’s “hope” is assurance of our resurrection, Paul said “then do we with patience wait for it.” Christians wait with patience for a hope we do not see with our eyes. The more we hope, the more we will trust, believe, love, and depend upon God.


Note: Unlike the English word “hope,” the New Testament word contains no uncertainty. It speaks of something that is certain, but not yet realized. The believer’s ultimate destiny is to share in the very glory of God and that hope will be realized because Christ Himself secures it. Without the clear and certain promises of the Word of God, the believer would have no basis for hope.


Note: God does not ignore our physical bodies in His plan of redemption. His plan for these bodies is resurrection, when this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53).




Verses 26-27

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

The Holy Spirit is given to every Christian when he or she comes to faith in Christ. God gives us His own Spirit as a deposit or down payment on that future we are longing for (Ephesians 1:13–14; 2 Corinthians 1:22). When we are weak, and do not know exactly how or what we should pray, God Himself (through the Holy Spirit) helps by making intercession for us. The Holy Spirit steps in and carries those unsaid "groanings," those thoughts and feelings we simply cannot express in human words to God


“27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” God searches all our hearts (see Proverbs 21:2; Acts 15:8). There is no exception. He knows exactly what is within our hearts. “He” is speaking of the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit), praying for the saints. The Spirit of God knows the will of God. He prays for us “according to” God’s will. God knows the desires of our heart, even before we pray. The Spirit forms unspoken groanings toward God into prayers that conform to God's will. This does not mean we don't need to pray to God with words. We still need to make an effort to think about what we will say to God before we say it. Intentional prayerfulness is essential for those who are in Christ. This does mean, however, that we don't need to be overly anxious that we're "praying wrong." Because the Spirit is interceding for us to the Father and within His will, we are free to talk to God as little children talk to their fathers.


Note: Many people misunderstand the term “the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” as to speaking in tongues. There are a number of problems with having this refer to praying in tongues. First, there is the question as to whom is doing the groaning. Is it the person praying or is it the Holy Spirit? Many believe it is not referring to believers but rather to the Holy Spirit. Paul says it is the Holy Spirit who is interceding on behalf of the believer. Consequently, it can be argued that He is the one groaning – not the believer. Paul seems to include all believers in this groaning. This being the case, it cannot refer to speaking in tongues because the Bible says that all believers do not speak in tongues (see 1 Corinthians 12:30). Jesus groaned within his spirit (John 11:33, 38). It is the experiential despair that creates the existential sigh within the soul of the righteous. Within the passage, there are three entities groaning: Creation, the believer and the Spirit. They’re all “groaning” because sin has affected Creation in such a way that pain, evil and disaster have befallen God’s good earth. The groaning of the Spirit no more has to be “tongues” within the passage any more than the Creation’s groaning has to be that specific gift.  Therefore, this passage in Romans which speaks of “inexpressible groans” does not refer to speaking in tongues.


Application of Today’s Word


God cares about the trials, tribulations and the sufferings that we go through. He does not ignore our physical bodies in His plan of redemption. Although sin has affected Creation in such a way that pain, evil and disaster have befallen God’s good earth, we can have hope, a certainty, that the curse of sin, the "groans;" cries; squeals; grunts, struggles; toils; and labors will be reversed, at our resurrection. The Christian’s ultimate destiny is to share in the very glory of God and that hope will be realized because Christ Himself secures it. Until that time comes, we share this hope, our hope, our certainty in what Jesus Christ did on the cross to the world.




This week’s lesson teaches us that although Christians suffer and struggle because of sin, God has a better plan for His people. Our suffering is not permanent, it has a “shelf life” an expiration date. 1 Peter 5:10 CEB says, “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, the one who called you into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will himself restore, empower, strengthen, and establish you.” We can wait with perseverance and in confidence, knowing that our current situation will change not for the better, but for the best! God has made our setback into a setup for a comeback. Amen!


This lesson parallels with the Bible Expositor and Illuminator, Union Gospel Press

Things to Know about Speaking in Tongues

Posted on March 1, 2019 at 5:55 AM

Things to Know about Speaking in Tongues

The spiritual gift of speaking in tongues remains controversial in our day and is a subject deserving of our close attention. This short article is not designed to argue that tongues are still valid but simply attempts to describe the nature and function of tongues speech.

1: The "tongues" spoken on the Day of Pentecost were real human languages.

The variety of nations represented [vv. 8-11] would certainly confirm this. The word “language” [vv. 6, 8] = dialekto = dialect [cf. Acts 1:19; 21:40; 22:2; 26:14]. Can this phenomenon still occur today? Absolutely, yes. But in my opinion, it happens quite rarely.

Some insist that the tongues in Acts 2 were not human languages. Acts 2 describes not the hearing of one’s own language but the hearing in one’s own language. At the same moment that “other tongues” were spoken through the Holy Spirit, they were immediately translated by the same Holy Spirit into the many languages of the multitude [J. Rodman Williams, Renewal Theology, 2:215]. Thus, there is both a miracle of “speech”—other, different, spiritual tongues—and a miracle of “understanding,” each facilitated by the Holy Spirit.

If this view is correct…

a miraculous charisma of the Holy Spirit [namely, the gift of interpretation] was given to every unbeliever present on the day of Pentecost. But it is Luke’s purpose “to associate the descent of the Spirit with the Spirit’s activity among the believers, not to postulate a miracle of the Spirit among those who were still unbelievers” [Carson, Showing the Spirit, 138]. Or, as Max Turner puts it, surely Luke “would not wish to suggest that the apostolic band merely prattled incomprehensibly, while God worked the yet greater miracle of interpretation of tongues in the unbelievers” [The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts, 223].

2: The gift of speaking in tongues can include “heavenly” dialects.

The gift of speaking in tongues that continues throughout church history and is so widespread today is the Spirit-prompted ability to pray and praise God in a heavenly dialect, possibly even an angelic language that is not related to anything spoken on earth such as German or Swahili or Mandarin or English. The Holy Spirit personally crafts or creates a special and unique language that enables a Christian to speak to God in prayer, praise, and thanksgiving. This gift is not a human language that one might encounter in some foreign country, but a Spirit-empowered capacity to speak meaningful words that are only understood by our Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit [unless, of course, God provides the interpretation through the one speaking or through another believer.

3: There is no evidence that tongues-speech in Acts 2 [or elsewhere] served an evangelistic purpose.

The content of tongues-speech was “the mighty deeds of God” [Acts 2:11; 10:46; 19:17]. People don’t hear an evangelistic message but doxology or worship. So, again, how can tongues be evangelistic when the only two occurrences of tongues outside of Acts 2 [Acts 10 and 19] took place when only believers were present? Neither is tongues the invariable sign of Spirit-baptism or Spirit-filling. There are numerous instances in Acts of true conversion and Spirit-baptism where no tongues are mentioned [2:37-42; 8:26-40; 9:1-19; 13:44-52; 16:11-15; 16:25-34; 17:1-10a; 17:10b-15; 17:16-33; 18:1-11; 18:24-28].

4: Speaking in tongues is prayer, praise, and self-edification.

Paul says that the one who speaks in a tongue “speaks not to men but to God” [1 Cor. 14:2]. This means that tongues is a form of prayer. See especially 1 Cor. 14:14. Tongues is also a form of praise [1 Cor. 14:15] and a way in which we give thanks to God [1 Cor. 14:16-17].

Tongues is also a way in which we edify or strengthen ourselves. Paul writes, “The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church” [1 Cor. 14:4]. Self-edification is a good thing, as we are commanded edify ourselves in Jude 20: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God.” Self-edification is only bad if it is done as an end in itself. It is good to take whatever steps you can to edify yourself, to build up and strengthen your soul, so that you might be better able and equipped to build up others [see 1 Cor. 12:7].

5: Interpreted tongues edify others in the same way prophecy does:

“Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up” [1 Cor. 14:5]. Prophecy is to be preferred over uninterpreted tongues in the corporate gathering of the church because it is intelligible and thus can serve better than unintelligible tongues speech to build up, edify, and encourage the people of God. But this obtains only in the absence of an interpretation for tongues. If “someone interprets” [1 Cor. 14:5b], then tongues can also serve to strengthen and instruct God’s people.

6: Tongues are a “sign for unbelievers.”

What does Paul mean in 1 Cor. 14:21-25 that tongues are a “sign for unbelievers?” In 1 Cor. 14:21, Paul quotes Isaiah 28:11, the meaning of which is found in a prior warning of God to Israel in Deuteronomy 28:49. If Israel violates the covenant, God will chastise them by sending a foreign enemy, speaking a foreign tongue. Thus, confusing and confounding speech was a sign of God’s judgment against a rebellious people. This is the judgment that Isaiah says has come upon Israel in the 8th century BC when the Assyrians invaded and conquered the Jews [cf. also what happened in the 6th c. BC, Jer. 5:15].

The principle is this:

When God speaks to people in a language they cannot understand, it is a form of punishment for unbelief. It signifies his anger. Incomprehensible speech will not guide or instruct or lead to faith and repentance, but only confuse and destroy. Thus, if outsiders or unbelievers come in and you speak in a language they cannot understand, you will simply drive them away. You will be giving a “sign” to unbelievers that is entirely wrong, because their hardness of heart has not reached the point where they deserve that severe sign of judgment. So, when you come together [1 Cor. 14:26], if anyone speaks in a tongue, be sure there is an interpretation [v. 27]. Otherwise the tongue-speaker should be quiet in the church [v. 29]. Prophecy, on the other hand, is a sign of God’s presence with believers [v. 22b], and so Paul encourages its use when unbelievers are present in order that they may see this sign and thereby come to Christian faith [vv. 24-25].

Therefore, Paul is not talking about the function of the gift of tongues in general, but only about the negative result of one particular abuse of tongues-speech [namely, its use without interpretation in the public assembly]. So, do not permit uninterpreted tongues-speech in church, for in doing so, you run the risk of communicating a negative sign to people that will only drive them away.

7: There are objections that need to be addressed:

One objection to the gift of tongues…is that nothing is of spiritual value unless it passes through the cerebral cortex of the brain and can be cognitively understood. Any notion that the Holy Spirit might engage with the human spirit directly, by-passing our cognitive thought processes, is anathema to most evangelicals. If it is to be spiritually profitable it must be intelligible.

But there is a vast difference between the necessity of intelligibility for the sake of the entire body of Christ, on the one hand, and whether or not a Christian can be edified and blessed and built up spiritually while speaking in uninterpreted tongues privately, on the other. Tongues in the corporate assembly must be intelligible or interpreted for the sake of others who are listening.

Profound spiritual fruit is possible in the life of the individual believer when he/she prays in tongues privately.

When you pray in tongues in private, you are most certainly praising. The person who speaks in tongues is truly praying to God [14:14], praising or worshiping God [14:15b], and thanking God [14:16], all the while his/her “mind” is “unfruitful” [1 Cor. 14:14]. By “unfruitful” he means either, “I don’t understand what I am saying,” or “other people don’t understand what I’m saying,” or perhaps both. Paul doesn’t understand what he is praying or how he is giving thanks or in what manner he is worshiping. But praying, praising, and giving thanks is most certainly taking place! And all this at the same time he lacks cognitive awareness of what is happening.

Many say: “Paul’s response to his mind being ‘unfruitful’ should be to stop speaking in tongues altogether. Shut it down. Forbid it.” But that isn’t Paul’s conclusion. No sooner does he say that his “mind is unfruitful” than he makes known his determined resolve: “I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also” [1 Cor. 14:15]. We know that Paul is referring to praying and singing in tongues because in the next verse he describes giving thanks with one’s spirit as unintelligible to those who may visit the church meeting.

Paul was not afraid of a trans-rational experience.

If Paul had been fearful of trans-rational experience [which, by the way, is far and away different from being irrational], would not his next step be to repudiate the use of tongues altogether, or at minimum to warn us of its dangers? At the very least we should expect Paul to say something to minimize its importance so as to render it trite, at least in comparison with other gifts. But he does no such thing.

Paul asks the question, in view of what has just been said in v. 14, “What is the outcome then?” [NASB; v. 15a], or “What am I to do?” [ESV]. I know what many of you think he should do: “Put a stop to this ridiculous and useless practice of speaking in tongues. There is only one viable response; only one reasonable conclusion: I’ll never speak in tongues again since my understanding is unfruitful.” But that isn’t what he says. His response is found in v. 15. There we read that he is determined to do both! “I WILL pray with my spirit,” i.e., I will pray in tongues, and “I WILL pray with the mind also,” i.e., I will pray in Greek or the language of the people so that others who speak and understand the language can profit from what I say.” Clearly, Paul believed that a spiritual experience beyond the grasp of his mind, which is what I mean by “trans-rational”, was yet profoundly profitable. He believed that it wasn’t absolutely necessary for an experience to be rationally cognitive for it to be spiritually beneficial and glorifying to God.

8: Paul preferred to exercise the gift of speaking in tongues in private.

If Paul speaks in tongues more frequently and fervently than anyone else, yet in church almost never does [preferring there to speak in a way all can understand], where does he speak in tongues? In what context would the affirmation of v. 18 [“I thank God I speak in tongues more than all of you”] take shape? Clearly, Paul exercised his remarkable gift in private, in the context of his personal, devotional intimacy with God. Again, the only grounds I can see for objecting to this scenario is the reluctance that many cessationists have for spiritual experiences that bypass or transcend the mind.

Logical, reasonable, highly-educated Paul prayed in tongues more than anyone else!

Let’s remember, this is the man who wrote Romans. This is the man whose incomparable mind and power of logical argumentation rendered helpless his theological opponents. This is the man who is known to history as the greatest theologian outside of Jesus himself. This is the man who took on and took out the philosophers in Athens [Acts 17]! Yes, logical, reasonable, highly-educated Paul prayed in tongues more than anyone! Paul not only believed in the spiritual value of praying in private in uninterpreted tongues, he also himself practiced it. In fact, he happily declares that he prays in private in uninterpreted and therefore unintelligible tongues more than all the tongue-happy Corinthians combined!

9: Is it God’s will that every Christian speak in tongues?

Paul writes: “Now I want you all to speak in tongues” [1 Cor. 14:5a].

Those who say “No” appeal to 1 Cor. 7:7 where Paul uses identical language to what is found in 14:5. With regard to his own state of celibacy, Paul writes: “I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.” No one will argue that Paul intends for all Christians to remain single as he is. His “wish”, therefore, should not be taken as the expression of an unqualified and universal desire. Surely, then, we should not expect all to speak in tongues either.

Secondly, according to 1 Cor. 12:7-11, tongues, like the other gifts mentioned, is bestowed to individuals as the Holy Spirit wills. If Paul meant that “all” were to experience this gift, why did he employ the terminology of “to one is given . . . and to another . . . to another,” etc.? In other words, Paul seems to suggest that the Spirit sovereignly differentiates among Christians and distributes one or more gifts to this person and yet another, a different gift to this person and yet another gift to that one, and so on.

Paul implies that not all have the gift but doesn’t imply that all cannot.

Then there is 1 Cor. 12:28-30 where Paul quite explicitly states that “all do not speak with tongues” any more than all are apostles, or all are teachers or all have gifts of healings and so on. In Greek there is a grammatical structure that is designed to elicit a negative response to the question being asked. Paul employs it in 1 Cor. 12:29-30,

“All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?” [NASB]

Paul asks his question in such a way that he wants you to respond by saying, “No, of course not.” But what about other texts where Paul uses the “I want” or “I wish” terminology [1 Cor. 10:1a; 11:3; 12:1]? The same Greek verb is used in these texts that we find in 1 Cor. 14:5 [“I want” or “I wish”], and in all of them what the apostle wants applies equally and universally to every believer. Furthermore, in 1 Cor. 7 Paul tells us explicitly why his “wish” for universal celibacy cannot and should not be fulfilled. It is because “each has his own gift from God” [1 Cor. 7:7b]. But in 1 Cor. 14 no such contextual clues are found that suggest Paul’s “wish” or “desire” for all to speak in tongues cannot be fulfilled.

The potential for every believer to pray in tongues in private devotion exists.

Some [but not I] insist that 1 Cor. 12:7-11 and 12:28-30 refer to the gift of tongues in public ministry, whereas 1 Cor. 14:5 is describing the gift in private devotion. In 12:28 Paul specifically says he is describing what happens “in the church” or “in the assembly” [cf. 11:18; 14:19, 23, 28, 33, 35]. Not everyone is gifted by the Spirit to speak in tongues during the corporate gathering of the church. But the potential does exist for every believer to pray in tongues in private.


Gift of Tongues v. Grace of Tongues

Jack Hayford argues that the gift of tongues is limited in distribution [1 Cor. 12:11,30], and its public exercise is to be closely governed [1 Cor. 14:27-28]; while the grace of tongues is so broadly available that Paul wishes that all enjoyed its blessing [1 Cor. 14:5a], which includes distinctive communication with God [1 Cor. 14:2]; edifying of the believer’s private life [1 Cor. 14:4]; and worship and thanksgiving with beauty and propriety [1 Cor. 14:15-17] [The Beauty of Spiritual Language, 102-06]. The difference between these operations of the Holy Spirit is that not every Christian has reason to expect he or she will necessarily exercise the public gift; while any Christian may expect and welcome the private grace of spiritual language in his or her personal time of prayer fellowship with God [1 Cor. 14:2], praiseful worship before God [1 Cor. 14:15-17], and intercessory prayer to God [Rom. 8:26-27].

Not every believer contributes to the body in the same way.

Thus, according to Hayford, Paul’s point at the end of 1 Corinthians 12 is that not every believer will contribute to the body in precisely the same way. Not everyone will minister a prophetic word, not everyone will teach, and so on. But whether or not everyone might pray privately in tongues is another matter, not in Paul’s purview until chapter 14.

“All are not prophets, are they?” [1 Cor. 12:29]. No. But Paul is quick to say that the potential exists for “all” to prophesy [14:1, 31]. Why could not the same be true for tongues? Couldn’t Paul be saying that whereas all do not speak in tongues as an expression of corporate, public ministry, it is possible that all may speak in tongues as an expression of private praise and prayer? Just as Paul’s rhetorical question in 12:29 is not designed to rule out the possibility that all may utter a prophetic word, so also his rhetorical question in 12:30 is not designed to exclude anyone from exercising tongues in their private devotional experience.

10: Is tongues-speech an ecstatic experience?

The NT never uses this term to describe speaking in tongues. Many define “ecstatic” as a mental or emotional state in which the person is more or less oblivious to the external world. The individual is perceived as losing self-control, perhaps lapsing into a frenzied condition in which self-consciousness and the power for rational thinking are eclipsed.

There is no indication anywhere in the Bible that people who speak in tongues lose self-control or become unaware of their surroundings. Paul insists that the one speaking in tongues can start and stop at will [1 Cor. 14:15-19; 14:27-28; 14:40; cf. 14:32]. There is a vast difference between an experience being “ecstatic” and it being “emotional”. Tongues is often highly emotional and exhilarating, bringing peace, joy, etc., but that does not mean it is “ecstatic”.

Pastor May's Commentary: There are those who rather be right than to know the truth! As stated, according to 1 Cor. 12:7-11, tongues, like the other gifts mentioned, is bestowed to individuals as the Holy Spirit wills. If Paul meant that “all” were to experience this gift, why did he employ the terminology of “to one is given . . . and to another . . . to another,” etc.? In other words, Paul seems to suggest that the Spirit sovereignly differentiates among Christians and distributes one or more gifts to this person and yet another, a different gift to this person and yet another gift to that one, and so on (also see 1 Cor. 12). Tongues is not the invariable sign of Spirit-baptism or Spirit-filling. There are numerous instances in Acts of true conversion and Spirit-baptism where no tongues are mentioned [2:37-42; 8:26-40; 9:1-19; 13:44-52; 16:11-15; 16:25-34; 17:1-10a; 17:10b-15; 17:16-33; 18:1-11; 18:24-28]. Furthermore, I believe based on the scriptures that the greatest spiritual gift is "love," and it is a necessary proof and evidence of salvation (see 1 Corinthians 13:13; 13:2; 13:8; 1 John 4:8; John 15:9-17; John 13:35; Matthew 22:37-40; Galatians 5:22-23). Dr. James A. May is the Senior Pastor of Victory Christian Tabernacle Church, Detroit / Southfield, Michigan.

Article originally published on Used with permission.

Why Christians worship on Sunday instead of the Saturday (the old Sabbath)?

Posted on March 10, 2018 at 7:05 AM

Why Christians worship on Sunday instead of the Saturday (the old Sabbath)?

The Christian community as a whole does not keep the Sabbath because it was a part of the legal requirements of the Law, and according to the New Testament the Christian today is not under such legal requirements like circumcision, and Sabbath keeping, Instead, we are to produce the righteousness of the Law, the character of Christ, through the Spirit (see Rom. 6:14; 7:1-8:13; 2 Cor. 3:4-18; Gal. 3-5).

Of the ten commandments listed in Exodus 20:1-17, only 9 of them were restated in the New Testament. (Six in Matt. 19:18, murder, adultery, stealing, false witness, honor parents, and worshiping God; Rom. 13:9, coveting. Worshiping God properly covers the first three commandments) The one that was not reaffirmed was the one about the Sabbath. Instead, Jesus said that He is the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8, Mark 2:23-28 and Luke 6:1-5).

According to Colossians 2:17, the Sabbath was "a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ." The Sabbath observance was associated with redemption in Deuteronomy 5:15 where Moses stated, "Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day." The Sabbath was a shadow of the redemption that would be provided in Christ. It symbolized the rest from our works and an entrance into the rest of God provided by His finished work.

While Jesus lived on earth, He kept the Law of Moses and taught others to do so. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-19. Please notice that Jesus said nothing would pass from the Law till all things be accomplished.

Jesus fulfilled all that was written in the Old Testament—the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets. And he said unto them, These are my words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me (Luke 24:44).

The purpose of the Law which was given to Israel at Mt. Sinai, the Law of Moses, is clearly seen in the book of Galatians. What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise hath been made; and it was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator (Galatians 3:19). The Law was to be in effect till the Seed should come. The promised Seed was Jesus Christ (Genesis 3:15; 12:1-3; Galatians 3:16).

Please notice again, So that the law is become our tutor to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith is come, we are no longer under a tutor. (Galatians 3:24-25). If we are no longer under the Law of Moses, then obviously the Sabbath law is not binding upon us today.

When did the Law of Moses as a law binding upon God’s people end? The answer is, it ended when Jesus died on the cross thus fulfilling it. Please notice: But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace (Ephesians 2:13-15). Jesus abolished the law of commandments (the Law of Moses which included the command to keep the sabbath, Exodus 20: He abolished it in the flesh; that is by His death on the cross (Colossians 2:14-17).

In creation, God rested on the seventh day. But, since God is all-powerful, He doesn’t get tired. He doesn’t need to take a break and rest. So, why does it say that He rested? The reason is simple: Mark 2:27 says, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." In other words, God established the Sabbath as a rest for His people, not because He needed a break, but because we are mortal and need a time of rest, of focus on God. In this, our spirits and bodies are both renewed.

The OT system of Law required keeping the Sabbath as part of the overall moral, legal, and sacrificial system by which the Jewish people satisfied God’s requirements for behavior, government, and forgiveness of sins. The Sabbath was part of the Law in that sense. In order to "remain" in favor with God, you had to also keep the Sabbath. If it was not kept, then the person was in sin and would often be punished (Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23; Deut. 13:1-9; Num. 35:31; Lev. 20:2, etc.).

God's intent for giving the Sabbath to Israel was not that they would remember creation, but that they would remember their Egyptian slavery and the Lord's deliverance. Note the requirements for Sabbath-keeping: A person placed under that Sabbath law could not leave his home on the Sabbath (Exodus 16:29), he could not build a fire (Exodus 35:3), and he could not cause anyone else to work (Deuteronomy 5:14). A person breaking the Sabbath law was to be put to death (Exodus 31:15; Numbers 15:32–35).

An examination of New Testament passages shows us four important points:

1) Whenever Christ appears in His resurrected form and the day is mentioned, it is always the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1, 9, 10; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1, 13, 15; John 20:19, 26).

2) The only times the Sabbath is mentioned from Acts through Revelation, the occasion is Jewish evangelism, and the setting is usually a synagogue (Acts chapters 13–1). Paul wrote, “To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews” (1 Corinthians 9:20). Paul did not go to the synagogue to fellowship with and edify the saints, but to convict and save the lost.

3) After Paul states, “From now on I will go to the Gentiles” (Acts 18:6), the Sabbath is never again mentioned.

And 4) instead of suggesting adherence to the Sabbath day, the remainder of the New Testament implies the opposite (including the one exception to point 3, above, found in Colossians 2:16).

Looking more closely at point 4 above will reveal that there is no obligation for the New Testament believer to keep the Sabbath, and will also show that the idea of a Sunday “Christian Sabbath” is also unscriptural. As discussed above, there is one time the Sabbath is mentioned after Paul began to focus on the Gentiles, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (Colossians 2:16–17). The Jewish Sabbath was abolished at the cross where Christ “canceled the written code, with its regulations” (Colossians 2:14).

But with Jesus’ atonement, we no longer are required to keep the Law as a means for our justification. The requirements of the Law were fulfilled in Christ. We now have rest from the Law. We now have "Sabbath," continually.

Jesus always compared the Sabbath to ceremonial laws, not to moral laws. When his disciples were picking grain, he used the example of the showbread, and the work of the priests in the temple (Matt. 12:3-6). Those rituals were just as important as the Sabbath. He said that circumcision could be done on the Sabbath (John 7:22), which indicates that circumcision is  more important law than the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a ritual law—it says that behavior that is perfectly good one day, is forbidden on another, simply because the earth has rotated. But true morality does not change from one day of the week to another. When ritual laws became obsolete when Jesus died, it should be no surprise that the ritual of the Sabbath also became obsolete.

Jesus said that daily chores could be done on the Sabbath (Luke 13:15). Even hard labor could be done in an emergency (Luke 14:5). He told a healed man to carry his sleeping mat, even though there was no hurry (John 5:1-14).  He even used the word "work" to describe his activity (v. 17). Many Christians follow this example. They remember that Jesus consistently criticized the Sabbath rules of the Pharisees, and that he treated it as a ritual law.

Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man (Mark 2:27).

Circumcision was made for man, too. All of God’s laws, even the obsolete ones, were made for humans. The Sabbath law was made to benefit humans, to serve them, not become an unpleasant burden. Jesus said this to argue for liberty, not for making requirements. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (Matt.12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5) he has authority over it, and he can set it aside if he wants to.

Further, there are no commandments or exhortations in the New Testament for us to keep the Sabbath. Rather, the early church gathered on the first day of the week in celebration and remembrance of the resurrection. This is evident throughout the book of Acts (also 1 Cor. 16:2 and Acts 20:7). Acts 20:7 is the clearest verse in the New Testament which indicates that Sunday was the normal meeting day of the apostolic church. Paul stayed in Troas for seven days (v. 6) and the church met on the first day of the week.

New Testament believers are not under the Old Testament Law (Rom. 6:14; Gal. 3:2425; 2 Cor. 3:7, 11, 13; Heb. 7:12). By His resurrection on the first day of the week (Matt. 28:1), His continued appearances on succeeding Sundays (John 20:26), and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Sunday (Acts 2:1), the early church was given the pattern of Sunday worship. This they did regularly (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). Sunday worship was further hallowed by our Lord who appeared to John in that last great vision on "the Lord's day" (Rev. 1:10). It is for these reasons that Christians worship on Sunday, rather than on the Jewish Sabbath.

The Sabbath was given to Israel, not the church. The Sabbath is still Saturday, not Sunday, and has never been changed. But the Sabbath is part of the Old Testament Law, and Christians are free from the bondage of the Law (Galatians 4:1-26; Romans 6:14). Sabbath keeping is not required of the Christian—be it Saturday or Sunday. The first day of the week, Sunday, the Lord's Day (Revelation 1:10) celebrates the New Creation, with Christ as our resurrected Head. We are not obligated to follow the Mosaic Sabbath—resting, but are now free to follow the risen Christ—serving. The Apostle Paul said that each individual Christian should decide whether to observe a Sabbath rest, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5). We are to worship God every day, not just on Saturday or Sunday. 

It is true that the verse says God blessed and sanctified the seventh day. But does that prove that He bound the Sabbath on all people for all time? Where does the Bible say that all commands revealed in the book of Genesis are still binding? In fact, there are many commands we know are no longer binding, yet they were first given in Genesis. This includes animal sacrifices (Gen. 4:4; 8:20; etc.), circumcision (Gen. 17:9-14), and unclean animals (Gen. 7:2). We don’t stone adulterers, homosexuals, and rebellious children. Those things applied only to Israel as the theocratic people of God. Further, there is no real proof that God bound the Sabbath on men from creation. There is no passage mentioning Noah, Abraham, Jacob, or any of the patriarchs keeping the Sabbath. Ezek. 20:10-12 says God gave Israel the Sabbath as a sign between Him and them when He led them out of Egypt, and Deut. 5:15 says it was a memorial of that event (compare Neh. 9:13,14; Ex. 31:13-17). God bless!

Evidence that Jesus was crucified on Friday

Posted on March 10, 2018 at 6:35 AM

Some religious sects who worship on Saturday (the old Sabbath) try to claim that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday. This is an attempt to nullify one of the reason that Christians worship on first day of the week [Sunday, “The Lord’s Day”]. One of the reasons we worship on the first day of the week because Jesus was resurrected on the first day (Sunday) of the week/  Furthermore,  after his resurrection, the early church worshipped on the first day of the week. Here is scriptural evidence that Jesus was crucified on Friday.

Luke 23:56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. [seventh day Saturday sabbath]

Luke 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week [Sunday], very early in the mornin.g, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

Mark 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

The women viewed the sepulchre and the body of Jesus on the preparation day (Friday evening before sunset) and then rested according to the 4th Commandment, on the Saturday Sabbath. When the Saturday Sabbath had past, the women returned to the tomb at sunrise, and that day was the first day of the week (Sunday). Clearly then, Jesus was crucified on Friday afternoon, the preparation day for the Saturday Sabbath.

This Friday preparation day (paraskeue:G3904) is mentioned in Mat 27:62, Mk 15:42, Lk 23:54, Jn 19:14, 19:31 and 19:42. It is important to note that in the Bible, only the 6th day of the week is defined as the preparation day (Exo. 16:5), for the 7th day Sabbath, but not the day preceding a yearly festival sabbath. The term always means what we call Friday, in both scriptural and non-scriptural usage:

Now here is the logic some people will give for a Wednesday crucifixion -

One cannot get three days and three nights (Matt 12:40) from "Good Friday" to "Easter Sunday." Friday and Saturday nights are two nights, and Saturday is one day. This is only one day and two nights, what about the other two days and one night? Friday can't possibly be the day Jesus died.

This is the result of trying to use literal western thinking and applying it to the text, implying that there should be a full 72 hours between the crucifixion and the resurrection. But that is not the intent of the passage. For proof lets look at what the Gospels and other books have to say about the matter -

Mat 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again *the third day*.

Mat 17:23 And they shall kill him, and *the third day* he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.

Mat 20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and *the third day* he shall rise again.

Mark 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise *the third* day.

Mark 10:34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and *the third day* he shall rise again.

Luke 9:22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised *the third day*.

Luke 18:33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and *the third day* he shall rise again.

John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in *three days* I will raise it up.

Acts 10:38 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

Acts 10:39 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:

Acts 10:40 Him God raised up *the third day*, and showed him openly;

1 Cor 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

1 Cor 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again *the third day* according to the scriptures:

So now, just WHICH day was the third day? Notice the following verses from the 24th chapter of Luke:

Luke 24:1 Now *upon the first day of the week*, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Luke 24:7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and *the third day* rise again.

Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, *to day is the third day* since these things were done.

Luke 24:46 And (Jesus) said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead *the third day*:

This passage makes plain that on Sunday the *first day of the week* (v. 1), the two angels at the tomb said He would rise *the third day* (v. 7), and on the same day on the road to Emmaus the two disciples stated it was *the third day* (v. 21), and Jesus says he would rise *the third day* (v. 46). So clearly Sunday was the third day the angels and Jesus were speaking of, the day on which Jesus rose from the grave. With that in mind, note this verse:

Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

Those who advocate a Wednesday crucifixion must adhere to a Saturday afternoon resurrection, but the above verses, in conjunction with Mark 16:9, refute that very nicely.

Yet, some will still point to Matthew 28:1 to show that the women first came to the tomb late on the sabbath (Saturday) near sunset:

Mat 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

This point is quickly clarified by looking at Mark's account:

Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

Mark 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

Mark 16:3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

Clearly the women came to the tomb at sunrise, finding the tomb empty. So what about the strange wording of Matthew 28:1? The explanation can be found in the division of the text into verses. The original Greek texts contain no punctuation, or chapter or verse markings. These were later added as a convenience to the reader. By merely reorganizing Matthew 27:66 and 28:1 as follows, the apparent ambiguity completely disappears:

Mat 27:62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

Mat 27:63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

Mat 27:64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

Mat 27:65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

Note that in verse 62, the request for a guard on the tomb was made on a Sabbath (the day after the preparation) and that the request was for a guard until the third day. Now, here is how the following verses should be printed:

Mat 27:66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch in the end of the sabbath.

Mat 28:1 As it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

Note that the wording is not changed, merely the dividing point of the verses is changed by moving the period ending verse sixty-six. It was the watch guarding the tomb that began at the end of the sabbath! This shows that Matthew and Mark agree completely as to when the women came to the tomb: just before the rising of the sun at dawn, the first day of the week, Sunday.

Since Jesus was to rise the third day, the Roman guards were put in place immediately at the end of the Sabbath, because they anticipated the body being stolen by the Jews sometime on Sunday, the third (and next) day. Had they anticipated the theft on Saturday, then the guard would have been in place by Friday evening, (the preparation day).

Sunday, as we have seen, actually began at sunset on Saturday evening, and by Jewish reckoning any part of a day is counted as a day. So working backwards:

Sunday, was the third day, the day of the resurrection.

Saturday (Sabbath) was the second day that Christ rested in the tomb.

Friday (Preparation day) was the first day, the day of the crucifixion.

Note that in Luke 24:18 - 21, the events of the three days begin with the arrest and trial of Jesus, not with His burial!

Jesus was crucified on Friday and died at 3 p.m. He rose from the dead somewhere between Saturday after sunset and sunrise on Sunday morning. There is absolutely no way to push the crucifixion back to Wednesday and fit scripture. A Wednesday crucifixion is clearly impossible.

Those who advocate a Thursday crucifixion propose that there were back-to-back Sabbaths the year of the crucifixion. This is based on an interpretation of the word "Sabbath" in the crucifixion narratives in its plural sense, which it is proposed, indicates that there were two separate and consecutive Sabbath days observed, rather than a single "high" Sabbath day. This proposed chronology has several problems:

Firstfruits does not occur on 16 Nisan.

The day following the crucifixion is not a seventh-day Sabbath. The seventh-day Saturday Sabbath was the day after the crucifixion, and we know this because the women rested that day according to the fourth commandment of God. Therefore, the crucifixion had to have occurred on a Friday.

Scripture makes no direct mention of two consecutive Sabbath days in any of the Gospel narratives.

By Jewish reckoning (any part of a day is counted as a full day), the Thursday crucifixion theory places the resurrection on the fourth day, not on the third day.

The Jewish priesthood would deliberately delay (dehioth) the declaration of the new moon (Kiddush Hachodesh) by one day in order to prevent the inconvenience of back-to-back sabbaths. They still do this to this day.

Proponents of a Wednesday crucifixion are really forced into a Saturday resurrection by their maintaining strict adherence to the the 72 hour - 3 day 3 night scenario. Saturday then, if it is the resurrection day, should also be the day of Firstfruits. But this violates what is set forth in Lev. 23:11 which states that Firstfruits occurs the day after the sabbath, meaning the day after the 15 Nisan sabbath (1st day of Unleavened Bread, v.7). So, Firstfruits could not have been on Saturday, since as indicated in the above chart, it would clearly not be after a sabbath. So Saturday is clearly disqualified from being Firstfruits.

Sunday Firstfruits?

Neither by the Wednesday theory, could Firstfruits occur on Sunday, though that would place it after a sabbath, because that again places the resurrection on Sunday, which extends past the 72 hour rule they wish to adhere so rigorously to (A Sunday resurrection would make it the fourth day after the crucifixion). Proposing a Wednesday crucifixion and Sunday Firstfruits means adding two days to the scenario and again denying that 16 Nisan is the resurrection day and day of Firstfruits, thus breaking the type-antitype pattern. Since Sunday cannot possibly be called "the third day" since Jesus' crucifixion and burial under the Wednesday crucifixion theory, and can't be 16 Nisan either, it must also be disqualified as the day of Firstfruits.

It would seem to be clear that under the Wednesday crucifixion theory, Firstfruits (16 Nisan) can't be fitted in anywhere and remain harmonious with scripture. Therefore, this completely excludes the possibility of a Wednesday crucifixion and 72 hour theory that some would promote. God bless!


Daily Bible Reading from

Posted on May 28, 2012 at 8:30 PM

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Our Daily Bread - Click on Photo

Posted on January 21, 2012 at 5:10 AM


Posted on January 21, 2012 at 2:15 AM


By Rev. / Dr. James A. May


Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:11-12


You can don God’s armor, however, without God’s strategy, you will lose the war.


Who Is Your Enemy?


Ephesians 6 tells you who your real enemy is.


11 …that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.


The 1st strategy God has given you to fight the battle against Satan is:



James 5:16 (KJV)

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Prayer is used to bring us to a closer relationship with God. It teaches us what God wants from us (obedience) and allows God to bless us for complying with His will. Prayer is used for healing, James 5:16 (that ye may be healed), and for getting God involved “fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much).


Philippians 4:6 (NLT) says, “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Prayer takes your carnal concerns and turns them from natural to supernatural. Prayer takes your messed up situation and gives it the power of God.


Use prayer when you are under attack by the World - When you’re under attack, take refuge in the Lord as your righteous defender (Psalm 5:1-7). In the Bible, the word for “world” means “system or order.” The Bible speaks of this system called the world and says that it is evil. (1 John 2:15).


The 2nd strategy God has given you to fight the battle against Satan is:


For Spiritual Strength

While Jesus faced the temptation of Satan, He fasted for 40 days. There is a principle of spiritual strength that is demonstrated in fasting in the life of Christ (Luke 4:1-11).


For breaking through any strongholds and the seemly impossible challenges of life.

There was a boy who was possessed by a demon, an epileptic and suffers terribly, and Jesus disciples could not heal him. After Jesus had healed him, the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn't heal him Jesus responded, “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:21


The entire city of Nineveh, including animals, fasted upon hearing the pronouncement of judgment from the prophet Jonah -- and God spared them (Jonah 3).


Fasting is a biblical way to truly humble yourself in the sight of God (Psalm 35:13; Ezra 8:21). King David said, “I humble myself through fasting.” When we fast, our bodies are being deprived for the purpose of drawing near to God, He has promised in return to draw near to us (James 4:8).  This is a spiritual certainty. The denial of self and the carnal desires allows us to become more sensitive to God. As we decrease, the Spirit increases.


The 3rd strategy God has given you to fight the battle against Satan is:



Faith is the mightiest of all weapons. Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:12, “Fight the good fight of faith.” Ephesians 6:16 says, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” When our spirits are armed with faith, we may go confidently into any battle. We have an expectation of winning. We know before we fight that victory is ours. We can face our adversary with calm confidence and with a consciousness of an indwelling power that is greater than his power. Has not God said, "Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world"? (1 John 4:4) If our faith claims that to be so, then God will make it so to us.


Faith is simply trusting in the reliability of God. Hebrews 11:1 (NLT) says, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”


The more you know of God’s Word (the Bible), the more your faith will increase! Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” How can you have faith if you don't understand God’s Word? Hearing means spiritual hearing, discerning God's voice. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the boldest statements of faith. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”


Faith will snuff out the fiery attacks of Satan. “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:16.


The power and size of your “shield of faith” (Ephesians 6:16) is predicated on how much faith you have.  “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20).


You must have faith to please God! Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” We must have faith in God. Most of us, I think, have confidence in God's ability as a leader, and in his power and wisdom, and believe that he is able to overcome our foes.


It is not his ability that we doubt. The only question that confronts us is, "Will he use that power to conquer our enemies?” We see that he has made many promises. It is easy to believe, in a general way, that they will be fulfilled; but when it comes to making direct applications to the situations that we meet, it is there that faith sometimes fails. Will God fight for us on this special occasion? Will God help us now? Will he really make good his word to us? On the other hand, will he fail us in the critical moment? If God's promises are true, then the ones that relate to our particular needs are true.


We must have faith in ourselves as well as in God. We must have faith in our integrity and loyalty. Are we serious when it comes to faith in God? Have we thrown ourselves unreservedly on the side of God in this battle? Do we intend with all our souls to fight the good fight of faith?


Use Faith overcome the temptation of “The World.” The serpent (the devil) was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” Genesis 3:1(NLT). Satan tempted Eve that by her he might tempt Adam. It is his strategy to send temptations by hands we do not suspect, and by those that have most influence upon us. Satan questioned whether it were a sin or not, to eat of this tree. He did not disclose his design at first, but he put a question, which seemed innocent. Those who would be safe need to be shy of talking with the tempter (taking advice from the unsaved). He quoted God’s command wrong. He spoke in a taunting way. The devil, as he is a liar (John 8:44), so he is a ridiculer from the beginning; and ridiculers are his children. If only Adam and Eve had faith in God.


The 4th strategy God has given you to fight the battle against Satan is:



The feet are used to escape (tactical withdrawal) from sexual sins and temptations.

Psalms 1:11 "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.”

You will be blessed if you just don’t follow wicked advice, you will be blessed if you don’t stand on the road of sinners, you’ll be blessed if you don’t sit with the disrespectful.

To overcome the temptation of “The Flesh” We Need To Use Our Feet. The “flesh” refers to the cravings and desires of sinful man. It describes those sinful things that make us feel good. Matthew 26:41says, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Flee fornication: “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” (1 Cor. 6:18.)

You cannot expose yourself to fleshly temptation and expect to walk away untouched. “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27)

Flee idolatry: (1 Cor. 10:14) - the worshiping of idols. Whatever you do that gives more reverences to God is your idol God (Exodus 20:3-5; Matthew 22:37-40). This includes, watching television, surfing the internet, or anything you love or do more than worshiping God.

Flee youthful lusts: (2 Tim. 2:22). This scripture is important because it tells you what to do while you are fleeing. “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

You are running (tactical withdrawal) from anything that stimulates youthful lusts, but while you are running, you are pursuing, righteousness, faith, love, peace together with those who confess the Lord with a clean heart. Those who confess the Lord with a clean heart are other Christians.

God will show you a way out!

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT) says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

You are not alone. You’re not the first person to go through what you’re experiencing. Whether you’ve lost a loved one, your job, your marriage, or your battle against sin, there are millions of people around the world and throughout history who have experienced essentially the same thing. This should give you an incredible amount of hope.

There is nothing that can happen unless God allows it to happen. However, just because God allows it to happens, doesn’t mean He condones it! He Himself does not tempt human beings (James 1:13).

God’s faithfulness always overcomes sin and persecution. God promised His faithfulness to Israel, even after they’d committed unspeakable acts of idolatry (Ezekiel 16:59-63). God was faithful to David even after he sinned with Bathsheba. God was faithful to Peter even after he denied Jesus three times. God was faithful to Daniel in the lion’s den and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. Sin and impossible circumstances are no match for God’s faithfulness.

He will not let you be tempted beyond what you are able. Whatever you’re facing right now, God’s grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9). It may not feel like it’s possible, but on the basis of God’s character and by His strength you can overcome your situation. He will give you the grace to go through it. Whatever you’re experiencing now, God gives you the grace to endure it.

God has provided, in every situation, a path for you to take. With each temptation, he makes a way to escape from it, because He is faithful. When faced with the temptation to sin, you can choose to succumb or you can choose to resist and flee. Whatever your situation, God’s Word will light the way of escape and show you the path to follow to get you through the situation and out of enemy territory. He takes care that no Fate bars the path of retreat.

These four simple battle strategies will allow you to fight the day-to-day battle. Praying, fasting, having faith, and fleeing (tactical withdrawal). Don’t just run into the battle; use God’s battle strategy to win!


Rev,/ Dr. James A. May is the Pastor of Victory Christian Tabernacle Church, Detroit / Southfield Michigan. This ministry comprises of supporting other Christians by providing worship service preaching, training in evangelism, defending the Christian faith, providing Chaplin services for nursing homes and care centers, assist new churches in kingdom building, and provides other Christian services as needed. http//



The Gift of Forgiveness

Posted on January 21, 2012 at 2:05 AM

The "Benefits" of Un-forgiveness

by Paul Tripp

Why don’t people just forgive? That’s a very good question. If forgiveness is easier and more beneficial, why isn’t it more popular? The sad reality is that there’s short-term, relationally destructive power in refusing to forgive. Holding onto the others wrongs gives us the upper hand in our relationships. We keep a record of wrongs because we’re not motivated by what honors God and is best for others, but by what’s expedient for ourselves. Here are some of the dark “benefits” of unforgiveness.

1) Debt is power. There’s power in having something to hold over another’s head. There’s power in using a person’s weakness and failure against him or her. In moments when we want our own way, we pull out some wrong against us as our relational trump card.

2) Debt is identity. Holding onto another's sin, weakness, and failure makes us feel superior to them. It allows us to believe that we’re more righteous and mature than they are. We fall into the pattern of getting our sense of self, not by the comfort and call of the Gospel, but by comparing ourselves to another. This pattern plays into the self-righteousness that’s the struggle of every sinner.

3) Debt is entitlement. Because of all the other person's wrongs against us, he or she owes us. Carrying these wrongs makes us feel deserving and therefore comfortable with being self-focused and demanding. “After all I’ve had to endure in relationship with you, don’t I
deserve ... ?”

4) Debt is weaponry. The sins and failures that another's done against us, that we still carry around with us, are like a loaded gun; it’s very tempting to pull them out and use them when we’re angry. When someone's hurt us in some way, it’s very tempting to hurt them back by throwing it in their face just how evil and immature they are.

5) Debt puts us in God’s position. It’s the one place that we must never be; but it’s also a position that we’ve all put ourselves in. We’re not the judge of others. We’re not the one who should dispense consequences for others sin. It’s not our job to make sure they feel the appropriate amount of guilt for what they’ve done. But it’s very tempting to ascend to God’s throne and to make ourselves judge.

This is nasty stuff. It’s a relational lifestyle driven by ugly selfishness. It’s motivated by what we want, what we think we need, and by what we feel. It’s nothing to do with a desire to please God with the way we live with one another, and it surely has nothing to do with what it means to love others in the midst of their struggle to live God’s way in this broken world. It’s also is scarily blind. We’re so focused on the failures of others that we’re blind to ourselves. We forget how often we fail, how much sin mars everything we do, and how desperately we need the grace that we’re given daily, but unwilling to offer to others. This way of living turns the people in our lives into our adversaries and turns the locations where we live into a war zone.

Yet we’ve all been seduced by the power of unforgiveness. We’ve all used the sin of another against him or her. We’ve all acted as judges. We’ve all thought we’re more righteous than the people around us. We’ve all used the power of guilt to get what we want when we want it and in so doing have not only done serious damage to the fine china of our relationships, but have demonstrated how much we need forgiveness.

It seems almost too obvious to say, but forgiveness is a much better way. The grace of our salvation is the ultimate argument for this truth. Forgiveness is the only way to live in an intimate, long-term relationship with another sinner. Forgiveness is the only way to negotiate through the weakness and failure that will daily mark your relationships. It’s the only way to deal with hurt and disappointment. Forgiveness is the only way to have hope and confidence restored. It’s the only way to protect your love and reinforce the unity that you've built. Forgiveness is the only way to not be kidnapped by the past. It’s the only way to give your relationships the blessing of fresh starts and new beginnings. Grace, forgiving grace, really is a much, much better way. So isn't it wonderful to know that you’ve not only been called to forgive, but you’ve also been graced with everything you need to answer this call.

Paul Tripp is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries, a nonprofit organization whose mission statement is "Connecting the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life." Tripp is also professor of pastoral life and care at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, Texas, and executive director of the Center for Pastoral Life and Care in Fort Worth, Texas. Tripp has written many books on Christian living that are read and distributed internationally. He has been married for many years to Luella, and they have four grown children. For more information, visit http 

Pastor May’s Commentary

“Forgiveness is the most powerful thing that you can do for your physiology and your spirituality.  Yet, it remains one of the least attractive things to us, largely because our egos rule so unequivocally.  To forgive is somehow associated with saying that it is all right, that we accept the evil deed. But this is not forgiveness. Forgiveness means that you fill yourself with love and you radiate that love outward and refuse to hang onto the venom or hatred that was engendered by the behaviors that caused the wounds.” ~Wayne Dyer

Jesus talks about forgiveness in several biblical scriptures. Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

 Matthew 6:9-15  "This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ' For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Mark 11:25-26 25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

This is a simple concept that God has put in place.  God’s forgiveness is predicated on OUR forgiveness of others!

 Furthermore, if you look at Mark 11:22-25, you will see that un-forgiveness hinders you faith. 

22 Jesus responded to them, “Have faith in God! 23  I assure you that whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea’—and doesn’t waver but believes that what is said will really happen—it will happen. 24  Therefore I say to you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you will receive it, and it will be so for you. 25  And whenever you stand up to pray, if you have something against anyone, forgive so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your wrongdoings.”  (CEB)

Verse 24: Whatever you want, ask for it (pray) and believe, Verse 25 And (also) when you pray, if you have something against someone, forgive, so that God will forgive you. 

Forgiveness cleanses yourself from asking for things while you have in your heart thoughts of ego, revenge, pride, selfishness, envy, strife or jealousness.   These things prevent you from having faith in God.  Faith is trusting in the total reliability of God, regardless of what the situation looks like, what it seems to be, or what it feels like!  It is disregarding the natural and trusting in the supernatural.   

“Without faith, it is impossible to please God.”(Hebrews 11:6)

There isn’t one human being in this world who hasn’t been hurt or injured emotionally by someone they knew and trusted.  It’s not that we can’t forgive, it’s more that we don’t want to.   unforgiveness is a sign of weakness.  Weak people don’t forgive.  It is easier to allow the things that hurt you to fester in your heart and mind.  It gives you a counterfeit feeling of “relief” when you get revenge from those who have harmed you.  However, remember when you seek revenge, you rob God of his justice.  “..for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)  “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”  

Give yourself the gift of Forgiveness! 

Satan will put into your head, “Why should I forgive them for what they did to me? I want them to suffer as much as I did!”  He (Satan) wants you to be disobedient to God.  It’s not that you are doing them a favor by letting go the feelings of resentment; you are being obedient to God’s Word.  And with obedience comes Blessings! 

28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”(Luke 11:2) 

Allow yourself to receive this gift, and even though Satan’s irritating voice inside your head will try to convince you not to do it, listen to the Holy Spirit.

The moment you let-go of any grudges you are holding on to, any resentments, any remorse; then you will find peace of mind.  When you say to yourself, it’s time to forgive! It’s time to forgive all of them and it’s time to forgive myself for not allowing peace to enter into my life earlier.  This will be the moment your whole life will began to change.  God bless!






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"What was the Old Testament way of salvation?"

Posted on January 21, 2012 at 2:05 AM

How people were saved during the time of the Old Testament is a confusing question to some. We know that, in the New Testament era, salvation comes by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8-9). Jesus is the Way(John 14:6). But, before Christ, what was the way?


A common misconception about the Old Testament way of salvation is that Jews were saved by keeping the Law. But we know from Scripture that that is not true. Galatians 3:11 says, “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” Some might want to dismiss this passage as only applying to the New Testament, but Paul is quoting Habakkuk 2:4—salvation by faith, apart from the Law was an Old Testament principle. Paul taught that the purpose of the Law was to serve as a “tutor to bring us to Christ,that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24). Also, in Romans 3:20 Paul makes the point that keeping the Law did not save either Old or New Testament Jews because “no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law.”The Law was never intended to save anyone; the purpose of the Law was to make us “conscious of sin.”


If the Old Testament way of salvation was not keeping the Law, then how were people saved? Fortunately, the answer to that question is easily found in Scripture,so there can be no doubt as to what was the Old Testament way of salvation. In Romans 4 the apostle Paul makes it very clear that the Old Testament way of salvation was the same as the New Testament way, which is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. To prove this, Paul points us to Abraham, who was saved by faith:“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3).  Again, Paul quotes the Old Testament to prove his point—Genesis 15:6, this time.Abraham could not have been saved by keeping the Law, because he lived over 400 years before the Law was given!


Paul then shows that David was also saved by faith (Romans 4:6-8, quoting Psalm 32:1-2). Paul continues to establish that the Old Testament way of salvation was through faith alone. In Romans4:23-24 he writes, “The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” In other words,righteousness is “credited” or given to those who have faith in God—Abraham, David, and we all share the same way of salvation.


Much of Romans and Galatians addresses the fact that there is only one way of salvation and only one gospel message. Throughout history people have tried to pervert the gospel by adding human works to it, requiring certain things to be done to “earn” salvation. But the Bible’s clear message is that the way of salvation has always been through faith. In the Old Testament, it was faith in the promise that God would send a Savior someday. Those who lived in the time of the Old Testament looked forward to the Messiah and believed God’s promise of the coming Servant of the Lord (Isaiah 53). Those who exercised such faith were saved. Today we look back on the life, death and resurrection of the Savior and are saved by faith in Jesus Christ atonement for our sins (Romans 10:9-10).


The gospel is not an exclusively New Testament message. The Old Testament contained it as well: “The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’ So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith” (Galatians 3:8-9, quoting Genesis 12:3).


As early as Genesis 3:15, we see the promise of a coming Savior, and throughout the Old Testament there are hundreds of promises that the Messiah would “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21; cf. Isaiah 53:5-6). Job’s faith was in the fact that he knew that his “Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25). Clearly, Old Testament saints were aware of the promised Redeemer, and they were saved by faith in that Savior, the same way people are saved today. There is no other way. Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved”” (Acts 4:11-12, quoting Psalm 118:22).


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Is it possible that for some to believe in Jesus and still not be saved?

Posted on January 21, 2012 at 2:00 AM

Is it possible that for some to believe in Jesus and still not be saved? 

by Joe McKeever

Reprint from  - Pastor Resources Daily January 27, 2016

23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.


Doesn’t Scripture make belief in Him the essence of salvation? Immediately after our text, we have the Lord’s encounter with Nicodemus with the iconic John 3:16, which states, “Whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Earlier, John 1:12 had said “…to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”


Yet, our text makes it clear that some who “believed” in Jesus were not born again. The reason given is a fascinating one: Jesus did not believe in them.


When have we ever given thought to whether Jesus believes in us? Interestingly, the word for “trust” or “believe” is used twice, once for the people “believing in His name” and also for His not “committing” Himself to them. This leads us to conclude… –The faith of these people was clearly faulty, being based on “signs”, they had seen. We recall the Lord saying in Matthew 16:4 that “a wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign.” In this case, “sign” would mean a miraculous event that would overwhelm them so that no faith was required. (And who wouldn’t like that!) The problem, Jesus said, is twofold: a) a wicked people want it; meaning people with no faith, and b) even when they get it, their loyalty is adulterous, meaning they do not last. If it takes miracles to give you faith, miracles would be required to prop up your faith.


Faith may produce miracles, but miracles do not produce faith. Even if they did, such faith is basically worthless since it requires more and more miracles to keep it working. So, even though they said they believed in Jesus, He knew He didn’t have much.


The faith of these people was faulty for a second reason, perhaps even more important: They knew so little. The Lord’s ministry was still young and they had not “heard Him out.” They were blown away by the miracles, for good reason. No prophet had been on the scene for centuries and miracles were only a rumor. Now, One stood in their midst with Heaven’s authority and God’s power. The people stood in line to sign on to this!


However, they knew so little of what they were doing, so little of Whom they were believing. In time, they would hear that those coming to Jesus must “take up your cross and follow Me,” and “I send you forth like sheep in the midst of wolves.” They would see the Savior hanging on a cross and learn that His followers were hounded, arrested, persecuted, and frequently executed.


The faith of the uninformed is worthless.


So, the Lord Jesus welcomed the crowds and taught the crowds, but He was not swayed by their adulation. He did not believe in them.


Three years later, the Lord would say His executioners “know not what they are doing.” Likewise, on this day His worshipers were ignorant of the meaning of their devotion.


Salvation involves believing in Jesus and Jesus believing in us.


We forget sometimes the two-sidedness of faith in the Lord Jesus. Put another way, in salvation we come to know Jesus, but He also comes to know us. Jesus said that at Judgment He will say to some, “Depart from me; I never knew you.”


In the current religious culture, we hear of people witnessing by asking, “Do you know Jesus?” As though that were the beginning and the end. But we might better ask, “Does Jesus know you?”


Paul said, “The solid foundation of God stands, having this seal, The Lord knows those who are His.” (2 Timothy 2:19).


I believe in Jesus and He believes in me; that is salvation. I know Jesus as mine and He knows me as His; that is salvation.


We note also Scripture says Jesus needed no endorsements for those people.


He needed no testimonials for these who said they believed in Him. He required no co-signors or letters of reference.


He knew what was in man.


Jesus was under no false impressions about humanity, not then and not now.


“He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust” (Psalm 103:14).


He is under no illusion about any of us. He knew He was getting no bargain when He saved us. When we sin, the only one surprised is us.


So, we must always be wary of trying to make Him think we are more than we are. The One who made us knows us intimately.


That’s good. And it’s bad. Terrible, even.


We say to ourselves, “He knows me,” and we shiver from dread.


Then, the reality of this sinks in and we think, “He knows me and still He loves me.” And we wonder how such a thing could be!


Only then do we start believing in Grace.


“Wonderful grace of Jesus. Greater than all my sin. How shall my tongue declare it? Where shall my praise begin?” Oh Lord Jesus, find us faithful. Dwell within us. Accept our faith, pitiful thing that it is, and believe in us, we pray.


“Not by works of righteousness, but by thy grace.”


Publication date: January 27, 2016

Traits of a Godly Wife

Posted on January 21, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Traits of a Godly Wife

Dr. John Barnett

You only get one chance in life to build a wonderful, Biblical marriage. It is worth the wait. Don’t squander one of the greatest areas of life by doing your own thing instead of God’s.

What traits should a woman strive towards to become a godly wife? Here are twelve:

1) A Godly Woman Always Seeks to be Modest in Her Dress. Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. (NIV). (Proverbs 7:10)

By contrast, the ungodly woman's clothing points to herself and her body instead of her Father in Heaven and His holiness. Remember the words of Paul in the New Testament? God emphasizes a beauty of the unseen character. The flesh flaunts the body, God beautifies the spirit. I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes (1 Timothy 2:9, NIV).

2) A Godly Woman Always Seeks to be Holy in Her Conduct. Come, let's drink deep of love till morning; let's enjoy ourselves with love! My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey… (Proverbs 7:18 - 29, NIV)

A godly woman fears the Lord. She seeks God's will over the approval of anyone else on earth. Her fear of God makes her aware of the future consequence of her choices. A godly woman avoids any present situation that would be destructive for her future usefulness to God. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV)

3) A Godly Woman Always Seeks to be Truthful in Speech and Motives. With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, With her flattering lips she seduced him. Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, Till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, He did not know it [would cost] his life. (Proverbs 7:21-23,NKJV)

This deceitful woman is an ugly woman because she is self-driven and wants her way. Her words and actions lead the man on a path to destruction. A beautiful woman wears heavenly beauty as God's Word describes it.

4) A Godly Woman Seeks to be Gentle and Quiet. The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge. (Proverbs 9:13, NIV) She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home (Proverbs 7:11 NIV)

This includes disrespect, hostility, aggressiveness and cunningness. All of these qualities are bad news.

And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. (2 Timothy 2:24, NIV)

Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. (1 Peter 3:4, NIV)

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:1-7)

Moms and dads, what kind of woman are you raising? A wise woman or a foolish one? Does she dress in a way that draws a young man to think about her body and its enticements or her spirit and its beauty? Does she have a holy hatred of sin? Does she use her powers to get her own way? Does she manipulate by tears, looks and whatever it takes to accomplish her ends? Is she argumentative, easily quarreling and fighting with you or her brothers and sisters?

Or is she peaceable, gentle and easily entreated? If negative traits become ingrained in her character, the future could be at stake. One gifted expositor in writing about these verses said, “ ...we may say with a surgeon’s frankness, her home will be like Scarlett’s -- troubled, torn down, and literally Gone with the Wind.”

5) A Godly Woman Seeks to Care for the Home. She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. (Proverbs 31:13, NKJV)

She manages her home well (Titus 2:5.) She loves to tangibly serve others with food and skills. She has a home that is open and hospitable and she is given to ministry to the sick and needy and less fortunate.

6) A Godly Woman Seeks to Serve Others. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants. She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. (Proverbs 31:15, 20, NKJV) She has learned the love of Christ for others.

7) A Godly Woman Strives to be a Person Who Can be Trusted. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life (Proverbs 31:11-16).

8) A Godly Woman Seeks to be Prudent in Financial Matters. She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard. She makes linen garments and sells and supplies sashes for the merchants. (Proverbs 31:16, 24, NKJV) She is a saver not a spender. She can see beyond today alone.

9) A Godly Woman Seeks to be a Hard Worker. She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle. (Proverbs 31:17,19, NKJV) God puts a premium on hard work and so she moves toward it not away. There is no slothfulness, indolence or lack of motivation.

10) A Godly Woman Seeks to Do the Right Thing and Have a Good Reputation. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. (Proverbs 31:23)

Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1 Timothy 3:7)

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her (Proverbs 31:28).

11) A Godly Woman Seeks to Internalize Biblical Wisdom. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue [is] the law of kindness. (Proverbs 31:26, NKJV). The Word is in her heart and life and so it comes out of her mouth. And when it does it is dressed in the clothes of the Spirit, gentle and kind.

12) A Godly Woman Seeks to Live Out the Secrets of Womanhood. Strength and honor [are] her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come (Proverbs 31:25, NKJV). The future smiles at her and her children bless her.

Is there any comparison? This kind of woman and daughter is a blessing to all. A builder of the home, family and community.

Did Jesus have a wife?

Posted on January 20, 2012 at 5:05 AM

The recent discovery and translation of the fourth-century "Jesus 'wife papyrus" has reopened the discussion as to whether Jesus had a wife /was married. The "Jesus' wife papyrus" says, "Jesus said to them,'My wife ...'" This discovery is interesting in that it is the first Gnostic writing to explicitly state that Jesus had a wife. While a couple of the Gnostic gospels mention Jesus having a close relationship with Mary Magdalene, none of them specifically state that Jesus was married to her or to anyone else. Ultimately, it does not matter what the "Jesus' wife papyrus" or Gnostic gospels say. They have no authority. They have all been proven to be forgeries invented to create a Gnostic view of Jesus.

If Jesus had been married, the Bible would have told us so, or there would be some unambiguous statement to that fact. Scripture would not be completely silent on such an important issue. The Bible mentions Jesus’ mother, adoptive father, half-brothers, and half-sisters. Why would it neglect to mention the fact that Jesus had a wife? Those who believe/teach that Jesus was married are doing so in an attempt to “humanize” Him, to make Him more ordinary, more like everyone else. People simply do not want to believe that Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14; 10:30). So, they invent and believe myths about Jesus being married, having children, and being an ordinary human being.


A secondary question would be, “Could Jesus Christ have been married?” There is nothing sinful about being married. There is nothing sinful about having sexual relations in marriage. So, yes, Jesus could have been married and still be the sinless Lamb of God and Savior of the world. At the same time, there is no biblical reason for Jesus to marry. That is not the point in this debate. Those who believe Jesus was married do not believe that He was sinless, or that He was the Messiah. Getting married and having children is not why God sent Jesus.Mark 10:45 tells us why Jesus came, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


 Pastor’s May’s Commentary: 


When we read scripture, context and content is always important.

Allegedly, text on the papyrus fragment, written in the language of early Egyptian Christians, records Jesus referring to a woman, Mary, as 'my wife", and later saying, "She can be my disciple." Here we have a “papyrus fragment” that  says that Jesus said to them “My wife...” Does this mean Jesus was married? When we look at Mark 5:30, when the women with the “blood issue” touch Jesus and he felt the power leave him, what did he say to her? (5:34)  "34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”  What if we only had a papyrus fragment that said "daughter thy faith hath made thee whole." Would we conclude that this was Jesus biological daughter?  I would hope not without further information other than a text fragment.  Because we have the full text, we know that she was a stranger and Jesus used the term "daughter" affectionately because of the great faith she had in Him, not because of her genealogy.    What was the context and content on what was said when he allegedly said "wife" if in fact it was Jesus talking at all?

If his “wife” died before the crucifixion, most likely this would have been mentioned in the Bible.  If she was alive during his crucifixion, she is not mentioned as being at the cross (John 19:25) or claiming his body. Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple and follower of Christ, claimed his body (Matthew 27:57-60).  Nor is she mentioned anywhere else in the Gospel.

Lastly, lots of errors are made in understand the bible because of misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the terminology that was being used during that time period.   An example of this would be; if I told you to "put the items into the trunk," most likely you would believe that when I referred to the "trunk" I meant the trunk of a car.  However, in the 1940's, if I said the same thing, you would have  believed I meant to put the items in what we commonly call today a "travel case," "travel bag" or suitcase.  How about purchasing a "mouse" in the 1960's and purchasing a "mouse" in 2012.  The mouse in the 1960's would most likely be a rodent, and the one purchased in 2012 would most likely be a computer component.  Even when it comes to gender, we cant use the dress wear of today to define a person's gender of the biblical days.  Men wore skirts (1 Sam 24:4, Ruth 3:9; Eze16:8, KJV); girdles and bonnets (Exodus 28:40 – 29: 9; 1Samuel 18:4,KJV) When we look at 1 Samuel 24:3 it reads,  "3 And he came to the sheep cotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave."  What does this scripture mean?  What does “cover his feet” mean to you today?  What did it mean in the biblical days?  YOU WILL BE SURPRISED!

The answer is located at

Content, context and a full understanding of the language used during the time of the writing is always important when interpenetrating the bible. Mostly, we need the endowment of the Holy Spirit to illuminate our understanding of the message so that it resonates in our hearts.  He also can guide our understanding of how each piece fits together, which is tremendously important for grasping the overall message.

When we lack these components, we end up with opinions and conjectures.  Opinions and conjectures are like rectums, everybody has one, and we know what comes out of them…. Waste!   

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)  God Bless!


God's View of a Woman

Posted on January 20, 2012 at 5:05 AM

God’s View of a Woman

FRANK VIOLA  (Excerpts)

Note the following passages:

And THE WOMEN also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the tomb, and how His body was laid. (Luke 23:55)

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with THE WOMEN and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren. (Acts 1:14)

Let’s take a trip back to ancient Israel and look at how women were viewed before Jesus came. The Jews had a very dim view of women. Jewish women were not allowed to receive an education.Hence, they were largely uneducated. Their only training was in how to raise children and keep house.

Women were also largely excludedfrom worshiping God. In Herod’s temple, there was a special court that stood onthe very outside. It was called the court of the Gentiles. The Gentiles couldgo into that court, but they were limited to that area alone.

Five steps above the Gentiles court was the women’s court. The women were limited to that one area. Fifteen steps above that was the Jewish men’s court. Thus men were given far more privileges to worship God than were women.

A woman had no voice in her marriage. Her father decided whom she would marry, when she would marry, and why she would marry. A woman couldn’t divorce her husband under any condition.Only a man could initiate a divorce.

Jewish women were to be seen as little as possible in public. In fact, young men were warned about talking to women in public. So much so that it was a shame in ancient Israel for a man to talk to a woman in public. Consequently, most women stayed out of the streets.

Women were regarded as inferior to men. They were regarded as property just like cattle and slaves. Jewish males prayed a daily prayer of thanksgiving. This prayer shows how poorly the Jews looked upon women. It goes like this:

Praise be to God. He has not created me a Gentile.

Praise be to God. He has not created me a woman.

Praise be to God. He has not created me an ignorant man.

This was man’s view of a woman in first-century Israel. It was not much better in other cultures. In fact, ever since the Fall of humanity, women have been regarded as second-class citizens—inferior to men. But something happened that changed all that.

Jesus came.

In Jesus Christ we find God’s view of a woman. Not man’s view. Not the American view. Not the European view. Not the Asian view. Not the African view. Not the South American view. Not even the Chilean view. But God’s view!

 Jesus Christ is God made flesh. Assuch, He embodies all of God’s opinions. In His earthly life, Jesus was thevisible expression of God Himself. By His actions and His words, we discoverGod’s view of a woman. And that view was utterly contrary to the prevailingview of His day.

Consider this. When God decided to make His entrance upon this planet, He visited a woman. He chose a woman to bring forth the Eternal Son, the Messiah—the Anointed One for whom Israel had waited thousands of years.

The life of God was first placed in the womb of a woman before it got to you and to me. And God was not ashamed.

Sisters in Christ, this is your Lord’s view of a woman. Take your high place.



But that’s not all. As Jesus ministered, He ripped down all social conventions that were pitted against women. On one occasion, He rose to the defense of a woman caught in adultery.He became her attorney and saved her life. And God was not ashamed.

Jesus was noted for palling around with sinners. He supped with prostitutes and tax collectors. We are told in John Chapter 4 that He met a woman, and He did something that shocked the disciples. He talked to her in public. And He was not ashamed.



Not only was she a woman, but she was a divorcée. But not only was she a divorcée, she was actively living in immorality. Yet not only was she a woman, a divorcée, an adulteress living in sin, she was worse than a Gentile. She was a Samaritan—a half-breed. (A Samaritan was a person with whom Jews were never to talk.)



Your Lord talked to this divorced,adulterous, Samaritan woman in public, and He forgave her of her sins. And He was not ashamed.

Sisters, take your high place. This is God’s view of a woman.

But that’s not all. Jesus Christ had a custom of using women in His parables and making them heroes. He talked about the woman who searched and found her lost coin.



He spoke of the woman who was unrelenting in the presence of the unjust judge who honored her for her persistence. He spoke of the widow who dropped all the money she had into the temple treasury and praised her for doing so. And He was not ashamed.  Sisters, take your high place. This is God’s view of a woman.



Once Jesus was dining with a self-righteous Pharisee and in walked a woman. But this was not just any woman.She was a woman of the streets—a prostitute. Upon seeing the Lord, she dropped down to her knees and did something unsettling.

In the presence of Pharisees, this woman unbound her hair and poured costly perfume upon the feet of our Lord.This unclean woman touched Jesus Christ in public. She wept, washed His feet with her tears, and dried them with her hair.

This scandalous and improper act mortified the self-righteous Pharisees. At that moment, these religious leaders lost all respect for Jesus and doubted that He was a true prophet. But your Lord was not ashamed.  Sisters, take your high place. This is God’s view of a woman.



But that’s not all, your Lord allowed an unclean woman to touch the hem of His garment, and He was not ashamed. In fact, He praised her for it. He also gave a Canaanite woman who was viewed as a dog in the eyes of Israel one of the highest compliments He ever gave anyone. He also healed her daughter, and He was not ashamed.



In the Lord’s last hours on this earth, He stayed in a small village called Bethany. It was there that He would spend His last days before He gave His life on Calvary. In Bethany, two women whom Jesus loved had their home: Mary and Martha. They were His friends, and they received Him. And He was not ashamed.  Sisters, take your high place. This is God’s view of a woman.



When Luke writes his Gospel, he refers to the twelve disciples with the shorthand phrase the Twelve. The Twelve lived with the Lord for three-and-a-half years. And they followed Him everywhere.  But Jesus also had a group of female disciples. Luke also used a shorthand phrase to refer to them. He simply called them the Women (Luke 23:55; Acts 1:14). Interestingly, Luke used this phrase the same way that he used the Twelve. 

They were the Lord’s disciples also—the female counterpart to the Twelve. The Women followed the Lord wherever He went, and they tended to His needs. And He was not ashamed.  Sisters, take your high place. This is God’s view of a woman.



But there’s more. The greatest disciples of Jesus Christ were not the Twelve. They were the Women. The reason? Because they were more faithful.

When Jesus Christ was taken to die,the Twelve fled. They checked out. They said, “See ya!” But the Women stayed with Him. They didn’t leave.

They followed Him up to Calvary to do what they had been doing all along—comforting Him, taking care of Him,tending to His needs. And they watched Him undergo a bloody, gory crucifixion that lasted six long hours.  To watch a man die a hideous and horrible death is something that goes against every fiber that lives inside of a woman. Yet they would not leave Him. They stayed the entire time. And He was not ashamed.  Sisters, take your high place. This is God’s view of a woman.



Following His death, it was the Women who first visited His burial. Even after His death, they were still following Him. They were still taking care of Him.  And when He rose again from the dead, the first faces He met—the first eyes that were laid upon Him—were the eyes of women. And it was to them that He gave the privilege of announcing His resurrection, even though their testimony wouldn’t hold up in court. And He was not ashamed.

Sisters, take your high place. This is God’s view of a woman.



On the day of Pentecost, the Women were present in the upper room, waiting for Him to return, along with the Twelve. Unlike His male disciples, the Women never left Him. They followed Him to the end. Their passion for and dedication to Jesus out shined that of the men. And God was not ashamed.



Throughout the Lord’s life, it was the Women who tended to His physical needs. It was the Women who looked after Him. It was the Women who supported Him financially during His earthly ministry (1Soon afterward, Jesus traveled through the cities and villages, preaching and proclaiming the good news of God’s kingdom. The Twelve were with him, 2 along with some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses. Among them were Mary Magdalene (from whom seven demons had been thrown out), 3 Joanna (the wife of Herod’s servant Chuza), Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources. Luke 8:1-3).*(CEB)  It was the Women who cared for Him up until the bitter end as well as the glorious climax. Not the men. The Women were simply indispensable to Him. And He was not ashamed.



But beyond all these wonderful things that the Lord did in showing us how beautiful women are in His eyes, He did something else. He chose you—a woman to depict that which He came to earth to die for—His very Bride. And He is not ashamed.  Sisters, rise to your high place. This is God’s view of a woman.



Brothers, honor your sisters in the Kingdom of God. For God honors them. When our Lord pulled Eve out of Adam, He didn’t take her out of his feet below him. Nor did He take her out from his head above him. He took her out of his side.  Sisters, you are fellow heirs in the Kingdom of God. You are fellow priests in the church of God. You are honored.You are cherished. You are valuable. You are needed.  You are His friends, His followers,His daughters, yea, His own kin.

So sisters, take your high place . . . this is God’s view of you.



*Common English Bible (CEB) inserted by Pastor May and used with permission.




FRANK VIOLA is a popular conference speaker and the best-selling author of numerous books on the deeper Christian life, including"Revise Us Again," "From Eternity to Here," "Epic Jesus," and "Jesus Manifesto" (co-authored with Leonard Sweet).His blog, "Beyond Evangelical," is rated as one of the most popular in Christian circles today:


Pastor May’s Commentary: 

This article blessed my soul and gave me a different perspective about the role of a woman /wife.  This article really enhances Proverbs 18:22  "Whoso  findeth a wife findeth a good thing,and obtaineth  favour of the LORD."  To my wife Adina; thank you for all you do.  I love you and forgive me if I ever shortchanged your worth.   God bless!

"What is sola scriptura?"

Posted on January 20, 2012 at 5:00 AM

"What is sola scriptura?"

Answer: The phrase sola scriptura is from the Latin: sola having the idea of “alone,” “ground,” “base,” and the word scriptura meaning “writings”—referring to the Scriptures. Sola scriptura means that Scripture alone is authoritative for the faith and practice of the Christian. The Bible is complete, authoritative, and true. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Sola scriptura was the rallying cry of the Protestant Reformation. For centuries the Roman Catholic Church had made its traditions superior in authority to the Bible. This resulted in many practices that were in fact contradictory to the Bible. Some examples are prayer to saints and/or Mary, the immaculate conception, [essentially, the Immaculate Conception is the belief that Mary was protected from original sin, that Mary did not have a sin nature, and was, in fact, sinless], transubstantiation, [once an ordained priest blesses the bread of the Lord's Supper, it is transformed into the actual flesh of Christ (though it retains the appearance, odor, and taste of bread); and when he blesses the wine, it is transformed into the actual blood of Christ (though it retains the appearance, odor, and taste of wine], infant baptism, indulgences, [“the remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sin whose guilt has already been forgiven],  and papal authority.

Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church and father of the Protestant Reformation, was publicly rebuking the Catholic Church for its unbiblical teachings. The Catholic Church threatened Martin Luther with excommunication (and death) if he did not recant. Martin Luther's reply was, “Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture, or by the clearest reasoning, unless I am persuaded by means of the passages I have quoted, and unless they thus render my conscience bound by the Word of God, I cannot and will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other; may God help me! Amen!”

The primary Catholic argument against sola scriptura is that the Bible does not explicitly teach sola scriptura. Catholics argue that the Bible nowhere states that it is the only authoritative guide for faith and practice. While this is true, they fail to recognize a crucially important issue. We know that the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible declares itself to be God-breathed, inerrant, and authoritative. We also know that God does not change His mind or contradict Himself. So, while the Bible itself may not explicitly argue for sola scriptura, it most definitely does not allow for traditions that contradict its message. Sola scriptura is not as much of an argument against tradition as it is an argument against unbiblical, extra-biblical and/or anti-biblical doctrines. The only way to know for sure what God expects of us is to stay true to what we know He has revealed—the Bible. We can know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that Scripture is true, authoritative, and reliable. The same cannot be said of tradition.

The Word of God is the only authority for the Christian faith. Traditions are valid only when they are based on Scripture and are in full agreement with Scripture. Traditions that contradict the Bible are not of God and are not a valid aspect of the Christian faith. Sola scriptura is the only way to avoid subjectivity and keep personal opinion from taking priority over the teachings of the Bible. The essence of sola scriptura is basing your spiritual life on the Bible alone and rejecting any tradition or teaching that is not in full agreement with the Bible. Second Timothy 2:15 declares, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Sola scriptura does not nullify the concept of church traditions. Rather, sola scriptura gives us a solid foundation on which to base church traditions. There are many practices, in both Catholic and Protestant churches, that are the result of traditions, not the explicit teaching of Scripture. It is good, and even necessary, for the church to have traditions. Traditions play an important role in clarifying and organizing Christian practice. At the same time, in order for these traditions to be valid, they must not be in disagreement with God’s Word. They must be based on the solid foundation of the teaching of Scripture. The problem with the Roman Catholic Church, and many other churches, is that they base traditions on traditions which are based on traditions which are based on traditions, often with the initial tradition not being in full harmony with the Scriptures. That is why Christians must always go back to sola scriptura, the authoritative Word of God, as the only solid basis for faith and practice.

On a practical matter, a frequent objection to the concept of sola scriptura is the fact that the canon of the Bible was not officially agreed upon for at least 250 years after the church was founded. Further, the Scriptures were not available to the masses for over 1500 years after the church was founded. How, then, were early Christians to use sola scriptura, when they did not even have the full Scriptures? And how were Christians who lived before the invention of the printing press supposed to base their faith and practice on Scripture alone if there was no way for them to have a complete copy of the Scriptures? This issue is further compounded by the very high rates of illiteracy throughout history. How does the concept of sola scriptura handle these issues?

The problem with this argument is that it essentially says that Scripture’s authority is based on its availability. This is not the case. Scripture’s authority is universal; because it is God’s Word, it is His authority. The fact that Scripture was not readily available, or that people could not read it, does not change the fact that Scripture is God’s Word. Further, rather than this being an argument against sola scriptura, it is actually an argument for what the church should have done, instead of what it did. The early church should have made producing copies of the Scriptures a high priority. While it was unrealistic for every Christian to possess a complete copy of the Bible, it was possible that every church could have some, most, or all of the Scriptures available to it. Early church leaders should have made studying the Scriptures their highest priority so they could accurately teach it. Even if the Scriptures could not be made available to the masses, at least church leaders could be well-trained in the Word of God. Instead of building traditions upon traditions and passing them on from generation to generation, the church should have copied the Scriptures and taught the Scriptures (2 Timothy 4:2).

Again, traditions are not the problem. Unbiblical traditions are the problem. The availability of the Scriptures throughout the centuries is not the determining factor. The Scriptures themselves are the determining factor. We now have the Scriptures readily available to us. Through the careful study of God’s Word, it is clear that many church traditions which have developed over the centuries are in fact contradictory to the Word of God. This is where sola scriptura applies. Traditions that are based on, and in agreement with, God’s Word can be maintained. Traditions that are not based on, and/or disagree with, God’s Word must be rejected. Sola scriptura points us back to what God has revealed to us in His Word. Sola scriptura ultimately points us back to the God who always speaks the truth, never contradicts Himself, and always proves Himself to be dependable.


How to Grow Closer to Your Spouse Despite Your Differences

Posted on January 20, 2012 at 5:00 AM

How to Grow Closer to Your Spouse Despite Your Differences

Whitney Hopler

Editor's note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Poppy Smith's new book, Why Can’t He Be More Like Me?: 9 Secrets to Understanding Your Husband (Harvest House, 2012).

God has made you and your spouse two completely different people, and the many differences between you can prove frustrating when you’re struggling to understand each other. But if you accept the differences between you and learn how to work with them effectively, you can build the close marriage God wants you and your spouse to enjoy. Here’s how:

Choose to stay in your marriage. It’s tempting to give up on a difficult marriage, but if you honor your marriage vows you made to God by remaining committed to your spouse, you can count on God to give you the grace and wisdom you need to grow in your marriage. So put a stop to fantasies about leaving your marriage and finding a new spouse who is just like you (no one exists who is just like you, anyway). Instead, decide to invest your time and energy into building a stronger marriage with your current spouse by working through your differences together.

Strengthen yourself spiritually. Prepare for the challenges of making changes to your marriage by strengthening your soul through spiritual disciplines. Saturate your mind with the Bible’s wisdom, pray about your marriage and listen to the Holy Spirit’s response, and meet with a spiritual mentor who will support you on your journey toward a better marriage.

Adjust your attitudes. Make some crucial changes in the way you think about your marriage and the way you’ll choose to relate to your spouse from now on:  Accept that you may never agree on some issues. Be flexible and willing to compromise. Look to God alone to meet your deepest needs, realizing that only God (who is perfect, unlike your human spouse) can truly meet those needs. Invest in healthy friendships with a few same-gender (Christian) people so you release more pressure from your spouse to meet more of your relationship needs than is reasonable. Decide to communicate directly,clearly, and honestly with your spouse about everything, rather than expecting him or her to read your mind. Choose to focus on what’s positive about your spouse rather than on what’s negative about him or her, and speak well of your spouse to others. Reflect on your past conflicts and ask God to show you what He wants you to learn from them so you can work through your disagreements more successfully in the future. Put your hope in God, trusting him to improve your marriage if both you and your spouse are willing to make the effort, and knowing that God will help you grow into a stronger person no matter what your spouse decides or what happens to your marriage.

Accept your spouse. Ask God to help you accept your spouse as He does, respecting the unique way that God has created your spouse and loving your spouse unconditionally. Keep in mind that the differences between you and your spouse don’t mean necessarily mean that you’re right and he or she is wrong – you each just have unique personalities and perspectives. Your differences can complement each other if you work from a foundation of mutual love and respect.

Identify the key changes you hope to see happen your marriage. Think and pray about which differences between you and your spouse cause the most tension in your marriage. Then choose the top three areas and work with your spouse to try to reach compromises in those three areas to make both of you happier in your marriage.

Work well with each other’s family differences. Get to know how your spouse’s family of origin has affected his or her approach to your marriage so you can better understand why he or she acts in certain ways. Rather than setting up household roles the way they were in the homes that you and your spouse grew up in, set them up in whatever ways work best for the two of you in your unique marriage. Pray and get counseling together for healing from past family pain that is negatively affecting your marriage. Work together to take the pressure of unrealistic extended family expectations off of your marriage by setting up boundaries with them to protect your marriage from unnecessary stress.

Understand and appreciate the gender differences between you that God has designed. God has created male and female brains to work differently, and He has also given men and women distinctly different emotional needs. Respect God’s design and learn how to use the gender differences between you and your spouse in the way God intends: to complement each other so that you’re better together than apart.

Discuss your top relationship needs. Work with your spouse to figure out which of these common needs matters most to each of you: affection, sexual intimacy, attention, admiration, companionship,encouragement, respect, honesty and openness, domestic support, and spiritual connection. Then talk about how you all can do a better job of meeting the prioritized needs in your marriage.

Improve the communication between you. Better communication will help you both understand each other better, despite the differences between you. Learn how to listen carefully to each other and take turns sharing thoughts and feelings honestly and clearlywith each other. Avoid negative words and choose positive words whenever possible. Offer each other words of affirmation, appreciation, praise, and encouragement often.

Handle conflict successfully. Conflict is a natural part of every marriage, so expect it rather than getting discouraged about it.Learn how to work through conflict successfully by focusing on solutions to problems rather than winning arguments, using your anger for constructive purposes rather than destructive ones, listening respectfully to each other’s different points of view, avoiding unhealthy behaviors such as blaming and name-calling, and staying focused on what specific problem you and your spouse are trying to solve.

Agree on how to manage your money well. Seek to understand each other’s different perspectives on money. Work together to establish and follow a budget that reflects healthy financial stewardship of the money God has given you both to share.

Pray for help if you’re not on the same page spiritually. If you’re close to Jesus and your spouse isn’t, ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to be the best possible witness to your spouse to inspire him or her to grow spiritually.

Build a healthy sex life together. If you and your spouse have different sexual expectations or different levels of desire, talk together about what would help bring you closer together and work with a marriage counselor if you need more help.

See Pastor May's Commentary below.

Adapted from Why Can’t He Be More Like Me?: 9 Secrets to Understanding Your Husband, copyright 2012 by Poppy Smith. Published byHarvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or.,

Poppy Smith was born in England and grew up there and in Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Kenya. She is the author of three books, including the bestselling I'm Too Young to Be This Old. A teaching leader with Bible Study Fellowship for several years,she now ministers extensively as a retreat and conference speaker both in the United States and around the world. She has a master's degree in spiritual formation and direction from George Fox Seminary. Visit her website at

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a

Publication date: May 22, 2012

* Blue print inserted by Pastor May

Pastor May’s Commentary:

Speaking from experiences and as a lay unprofessional marriage counselor; I can say that communication is one of the most important components to marriage. Being married for 22-years, I have discovered the more I communicate with my wife; the more I learn about her and the more she learns about me. 

Our continual “courtship” of communication have allowed us to fall in love with each other on a regular basis.  Agape love must be expressed in more than just words. Just as the word love is a noun (person, place or thing) and a verb (action word); so should our expression of love be towards our spouse.    

As the author has suggested methods in improving your relationship; I suggest some of the following:

Go on a spiritual couples retreat.  I was surprised on the things I learned about my wife.

Plan two small inexpensive trips together.  Each spouse will take turns as being responsible for the literary of the trip.  This allows you to find out what the other spouse likes, then cater to them.

Flowers, gifts or other “love” trinkets should not be just for birthdays, anniversaries, valentine day, or sweetest day (Michigan holiday).  Surprise him/ her sometimes.  "Just Because" is always in order.

Massage each other’s feet, scratch the scalp with a comb, massage the back and shoulders.  This should be spontaneous.  

Men, treat your wife like a Queen.  Bathe her! When she is coming home from a long day’s work (or being with the children all day), surprise her.  Buy some candles; run her bath water and as soon as she gets in, lead her to the bathroom that is only lit by candle lights. Put her in the bubble bath and bathe her.  Dry her off as she gets out of the tub and rap her in a house coat and kiss your “honey do” list goodbye! (No sex guys unless she initiate it.  It’s about her now not you).

Send him/her emails, leave love notes or leave on his / her computer page; Songs of Solomon.  These are just a few of  many in Solomon.  Use other bible versions to enhance these messages.  I hyper linked the verses to CEB version.


            Song of Solomon 4:5  

            Song of Solomon 2:2

             Song of Solomon 6:7

             Song of Solomon 1:10

             Song of Solomon 2:13

              Song of Solomon 7:8

              Song of Solomon 1:15


                        Song of Solomon 1:13

                        Song of Solomon 2:10

                        Song of Solomon 8:10

                         Song of Solomon 8:6

                          Song of Solomon 6:3

                        Song of Solomon 4:4

                         Song of Solomon 1:2

These are just a few things that may enhance your relationship.  If you are looking for a perfect marriage, you are not going to find it.  Marriages are like roller coasters.  They have ups and downs.  However, just like a roller coaster, you can make the down side just as exciting as the up side.  God bless.



Is It Ok to Ever Tell a Lie?

Posted on January 20, 2012 at 3:15 AM

“Is It Ok to Ever Tell a Lie?”

By Rev. / Dr. James May

Lying is probably one of the most common sins that we commit.  When we research our Bible there is nothing that indicates that lying could be considered the right thing to do.  The Bible prohibits us from “bearing false witnesses against our neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16).  The Bible also list “a lying tongue” and “a false witness who pours out lies” as two of the seven abominations to the Lord.  (Proverbs 6:16-19).  However there are some instances where a lie may be warranted.

Before we talk about instances where lying may be permissible, let’s look at what a lie really is.  Lying is a form of deception, but not all forms of deception are lies.  Lying is giving some information while believing it to be untrue, intending to deceive or mislead by doing so.

A lie basically has three essential features:

  • A lie communicates some form of information or misinformation 
  • The liar intends to deceive or mislead
  • The liar believes (or knows) that what they are 'saying' is not true

A lie does not have to give false information, nor does a lie have to be told with a bad (malicious) intention.  An example of this is if I wanted to eat the last apple in the bunch, and I tell you that a worm is in the apple to mislead or deceive you into not wanting the apple, and I believe this is not true, I have told a lie.  However, I bite into the apple and there is a worm inside it, I told the truth about the worm; however I still lied. 

If I tell my children that “Santa Clause” will bring them coal for being disobedient,my intentions are not bad (no malice) they are to compel obedience.  However, I still told a lie.   

So the question then remains, is there ever a time when lying is the right thing to do?  

There are at least two instances in the Bible where lying produced a favorable result. For example, the lie the Hebrew midwives tell Pharaoh seems to result in the Lord’s blessing on them (Exodus 1:15-21), and it probably saved the lives of many Hebrew babies. Another example is Rahab’s lie to protect the Israelite spies in Joshua 2:1-6. It is important to note, however, that God never condones these lies. Despite the “positive” outcome of these lies, the Bible nowhere praises the lies themselves. *1

Then we look at the dilemma of Cornelia "Corrie" ten Boom.  Ms. Boom was a Dutch Christian,who with her father and other family members helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II,by hiding Jews in her home to protect them from the Nazis.  She repeatedly told Nazi soldiers who came to her home that she did not know where any Jews were hiding.  Her family was eventually arrested due to an informant in 1944.  Should she have told the truth and allowed the Nazis to capture the Jews she was trying to protect? Or, should she had lied and denied that she knew anything about them?  If the Nazi’s had captured the Jews, it would have surly meant death for them. The Bible nowhere states that there are instances where lying is the right thing to do. At the same time, the Bible does not declare that there is no possible instance in which lying is an acceptable option.

In an instance such as these, where lying may be the only possible way to prevent a horrible evil, perhaps lying would be an acceptable thing to do. Such an instance would be somewhat similar to the lies of the Hebrew midwives and Rahab. In an evil world, and in a desperate situation, it may be the right thing to commit a lesser evil, lying, in order to prevent a much greater evil. However, it must be noted that such instances are extremely rare. It is highly likely that the vast majority of people in human history have never faced a situation in which lying was the right thing to do. *1

Many lie on resumes,’ job interviews, income tax returns, insurance claims, and other events that seem to help us attain a “gain” or an “advantage.” These are not exigent circumstances that would prevent loss of life or derail a greater evil.  Other exigent circumstances to lie might be when lies are told to protect innocent persons who would otherwise suffer injustice or to prevent "irreversible harm" from being done.  Prisoners of war who are forced to "lie or die" would seem to fit under the category of exigent circumstances.  

Think of a person who has to kill someone to prevent from being killed.  The killing is wrong, but “justified” because of the situation. 

There are many examples of liars in Scripture.  Jacob and his mother Rebekah lied and got Isaac to give his oldest son Esau’s blessing to Jacob (Genesis 27).  Ananias and Sapphira sold a piece of property, withheld some of the proceeds from the sale, and then lied to the Holy Spirit about it  (Acts 5).  Lying leads to misery, loss, distrust and can influences others to sin.  It can also bring judgment from man and God.   

Telling " half-truths"' are also lies.  In the bible, Joseph's brothers sold him to the Midianites, dipped his coat in blood, brought it to Jacob and said, "We found this coat. Does it look like your son's or not?" This was technically true, but they omitted pertinent facts so they could lead Jacob to believe a wild animal had killed Joseph (Genesis 37:28, 31-33).

One of our worst sin, is that we lie to ourselves.  We deceive ourselves into thinking that we are something that we are not.  We  pretend to the world that we “got it like that!”  We are sick, hurt, in pain, suffering and in need of prayer, yet we are too “holy” (or unholy) to ask for help or prayer.  In church we act as Christians, outside of church we could pass for one of the "devil's disciple."  The bible says “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise” (1 Corinthians 3:18). (also see James 1:22, 26)


The bible says in Zechariah 8:16 that we should speak to every person the truth.  “These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates.” (also see Ephesians 4:25).

Lying is directly related to Satan.  Jesus said regarding Satan: "there is no truth in him." (John 8:44).  The “Fall of Satan” was because Satan lied to himself, believing he could overthrow God and Heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14).  Mankind lost its “Garden of Eden” and suffered punishment because Adam and Eve fell for the lies of the Serpent (Genesis 3:1-24).   Remember the lies and deceit Satan conveyed Jesus while he fasted for forty days and forty nights (Luke 4:1-13).   James 3:9 tells us that blessing and curses should not come out of the same mouth.  In other words, lying one minute then using the same tongue to praises God the next minute shouldn’t be.  There is an old saying among Christians, “tell the truth, shame the devil.”


In conclusion, lying is wrong, it is a sin, (Exodus 20:16) however, it may be justified in certain circumstances (Exodus 1:15-21- Joshua 2:1-6). However, those circumstances are rare and should not be used as a "spring board" to justify lying.  Jesus says, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).  This tells us that falsehood will keep us in bondage.  “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  (John 14:6)  God bless!

*1- excerpts from Got


Rev,/ Dr. James A. May is the Pastor of Victory Christian Tabernacle Church, Detroit / Southfield Michigan. This ministry comprises of supporting other Christian by providing worship service preaching, training in evangelism, defending the Christian faith, providing Chaplin services for nursing homes and care centers, assist new churches in kingdom building, and provides other Christian services as needed. http//



Why Worrying is a Failure to Grasp the Gospel

Posted on January 16, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Why Worrying is a Failure to Grasp the Gospel

Trevin Wax, Author, Pastor

"Don't be a worry wart!" people say… and those of us prone to anxiety promptly begin worrying about worrying too much.

I know the feeling. I worry too. I'm not the "lie awake at night" kind of person. But I notice that when I have a lot on my plate, I give an inordinate amount of attention to little details. Worry consumes me ina variety of ways: I lose patience quickly, I snap at my wife and kids, or I lose my sense of empathy for others. Worry turns my focus to me.

For a while, I thought that worry was caused by my failure to seek first the kingdom. If I would only fix my eyes on Jesus more, then I would stop worrying. If I would only think about the kingdom more, then anxiety wouldn't be an issue.

Certainly, those who are seeking the kingdom above all things are not preoccupied with food and drink and clothing (as Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount). And yes, seeking the kingdom first is a good action plan if we find ourselves worrying.

But seeking first the kingdom comes after we have been sought by the King. The root cause of worry is not misplaced priorities. It's misplaced faith. It's a failure to grasp the gospel of a God worthy of our trust.

So worry shows up whenever my view of God is diminished and my view of myself gets too big. I worry because my vision of God is skewed. I rest when my vision is fixed.

"Look at the birds of the air!" Jesus said. "God gives them food, even if they don't work and earn their way." There's more to this parallel than a mere animal-to-human comparison about how much more God will care for us. There's gospel here. God has given undeserved favor to the birds. He blesses them apart from their merits.

God's grace and mercy is sustaining us too.Everything we have comes from God's hand. Salvation belongs to the Lord. And the powerful God who saved us is the loving Father who sustains us.

When I reflect on the gospel of a priceless Savior giving his all for undeserving sinners like you and me, then I am assured that our value in the eyes of God does not shift with the economic tides. Our worth is not measure din what we do for God, but what God has done for us.

This is God the Father who sent his only Son to the cross that we deserved.

This is God the Son who willingly took on flesh, lived among us, and died in our place.

This is God the Spirit who prompts our hearts and brings us back into unending fellowship with our Maker.

It is the costly actions of God that give us our value.

In these difficult times, we - the people of God's kingdom - need to be reminded of our true citizenship and true identity. The uneasiness of worry surfaces in our hearts when we lose sight of the gospel of God's grace to the undeserving. Failure to grasp the gospel is what causes us to take our eyes off the kingdom and forget who we are in Christ.

United to Christ, we are part of a royal family. Our *[Lord]  is the King of the world.

Pastor May’s Comments:

It is impossible to trust God and worry at the same time. In the six chapter of Matthew (6:25-34), Jesus states three different times, “Do not worry.” Christ understood and conveys to His followers that when we choose to worry we are in saying, “God, we don’t trust You enough to rely on You.” 

27 Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? (Matthew 6:27CEB)

The spiritual definition of worrying is “facing the challenges of everyday life and leaving God out of the equation!” 


The Lord tells us not to be anxious about anything, but rather to turn everything over to Him in prayer. (Philippians 4:6-9)


"Then Jesus said, "Come tome, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light." (NLT)

Finally, I leave you with Proverbs 3:5-6, “5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

If you truly trust in the Lord with everything inside of you and forsake your own understanding, but acknowledge him regardless of what is going on, and he shall direct your path.  Get Ready For Some Course Correction!  God bless!

 *[Lord] inserted by Pastor May



Is the Jehovah's Witness "Bible" and the NIV" Bible" the same??

Posted on January 15, 2012 at 1:50 PM

In  response to my email regarding “Is the Jehovah's Witness "Bible" and the NIV" Bible" the same?” I received the following reply.  I responded to this email.  I am sending my response as a learning tool and for "spiritual growth."  I am asking if anyone does not want to receive email from me, please let me know and I will not send anymore. I have removed the name and age of the person who sent this email to protect their identity.  God bless!


Was the King James Bible the First one written inspired by GOD?  What language was the first bible written in?  Why do ALL religions claim to only be inspired by GOD?  I am a[00] year old [person] born into a Baptist family in Detroit and raise in the church.  I have spent the majority of my life traveling to different countries and parts of this great county.  Every religion I've studied with say the same thing.  "Ours is the truth" Believe in your studies, but I can't believe everyone that don't study the KJV will not be chosen.  Most people think they are going to heaven when it clearly state only 244,000 will assist rule with Jesus in heaven.  On one hand we talk of the goodness of our father.  What father would want or let their children suffer for all eternity.  A merciful, loving, just father would destroy their children before letting them suffer.  I would never fault anyone for practicing their belief in GOD.  Tho shall not kill. Baptist will find a way to justify fighting in wars.  You have a blessed day.

Pastor May’s response:

Dear [Brother/Sister]XXXXXXXX:  It is obvious that you are offended by my email; therefore I will remove you from the list.  However, as a man of God, who does not want to see you perish, I must address some of the clams you made with the truth.  I know the truth sometimes hurt, however I encourage you to look up these facts and if I am wrong by no means correct me with facts.  The belief you described are of the Watch Tower Bible Tract Society (Jehovah's Witnesses).

 I will answer your questions in the order you presented them. 

Q-What language was the first bible written in?            

 A-The first human author to write down the biblical record was Moses.  He wrote it in his native language, Hebrew. Almost all of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew during the thousand years of its composition. But a few chapters in the prophecies of Ezra and Daniel and one verse in Jeremiah were written in a language called Aramaic. This language became very popular in the ancient world and actually displaced many other languages. Aramaic even became the common language spoken in Israel in Jesus' time, and it was likely the language He spoke day by day. Some Aramaic words were even used by the Gospel writers in the New Testament.

The New Testament, however,was written in Greek. This seems strange, since you might think it would be either Hebrew or Aramaic. However, Greek was the language of scholarship during the years of the composition of the New Testament from 50 to 100 AD. The fact is that many Jews could not even read Hebrew anymore, and this disturbed the Jewish leaders a lot! So, around 300 BC a translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek was undertaken, and it was completed around 200 BC.Gradually this Greek translation of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint,was widely accepted and was even used in many synagogues. 

The earliest copies of parts of the Hebrew Old Testament were discovered in 1947. They are part of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls and actually date back to the first century BC. Even though they are at least 900 years older than any parts of the Bible we had before this,they are not the originals. They are copies. The originals have all been lost or destroyed. But we are not at all doubtful that we may not have the original text. Copying by scribes was done with great care in those days and because the text was regarded as sacred, the copyists were extremely painstaking. Today some 5000 hand-copied documents exist of all or part of the Bible, and they agree in 98% of the text! No other ancient writing has this amount of underlying support with such amazing agreement as to the text.

 The Jehovah's Witnesses was begun by Charles Taze Russell in 1872. He was born on February 16, 1852, the son of Joseph L. and Anna Eliza Russell. He had great difficulty in dealing with the doctrine of eternal hell fire and in his studies came to deny not only eternal punishment, but also the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the person hood of the Holy Spirit, Jesus' physical resurrection, and salvation by grace through faith.  When Russell was 18, he organized a Bible class in Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania.  In 1879 he sought to popularize his aberrant ideas on doctrine.  He co-published The Herald of the Morning magazine with its founder, N. H. Barbour and by 1884 Russell controlled the publication and renamed it The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom, and founded Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society (now known as the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society)

Russell claimed that the Bible could be only understood according to his interpretations. A dangerous arrangement since he controlled what was written in the Watchtower magazine.  This kind of assertion is typical among leaders of cult religions.

The Watchtower organization has claimed to be the prophet of God (The Watchtower, April 1, 1972, p. 197) yet it has made numerous false prophecies. The Bible says in Deut. 18:20-22, "‘However,the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die.  And in case you should say in your heart: "How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?"  When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak..."  Just to list a few of them;

1877 'The End Of This World; that is the end of the gospel and the beginning of the millennial age is nearer than most men suppose; indeed we have already entered the transition period, which is to be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation Dan.12:3." (N.H. Barbour and C.T. Russell, Three Worlds, and the Harvest of This World, p. 17).

•             1899 "...the ‘battle of the great day of God Almighty' (Revelation 16:14),which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present ruler ship, is already commenced." (The Time Is at Hand, page 101 - 1908edition).

•             1918 "Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection."(Millions Now Living Will Never Die, page 89.)

•             1922 "The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures than 1914." (The Watchtower 9/1/22, page 262.)

•             1923 "Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures.As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge." (The Watchtower, PAGE 106 4/1/23.)

•             1931 "There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah's faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1917, 1918, and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time...and they also learned to quit fixing dates." (Vindication, page 338.)

•             1941 "Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord's provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon." (The Watchtower, 9/15/41, page 288.)

•             1968 "True, there have been those in times past who predicted an ‘end to the world', even announcing a specific date. Yet nothing happened. The ‘end' did not come. They were guilty October, 1914, and that likewise the overthrow of 'Christendom,' so-called, must be expected to immediately follow."(Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 245)

 After the death of Russell on Oct.31, 1916, a Missouri lawyer named Joseph Franklin Rutherford took over the presidency of the Watch Tower Society which was known then as the Dawn Bible Students Association. In 1931 he changed the name of the organization to"The Jehovah's Witnesses."

Russell taught and wrote that the Great Pyramid of Gaza was designed by Jehovah and was a blueprint to end-times chronology. This teaching was held by the Jehovah Witnesses till November 15th1928 when Judge Rutherford reversed the teaching calling it “Satan’s teaching.”

 Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW’s) are guided by what is printed in the Watchtower.  They cannot interpret the Bible on their own.  “From time to time, there have arisen from among the ranks of Jehovah's people those, who, like the original Satan, have adopted an independent, faultfinding attitude...They say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But,strangely, through such ‘Bible reading,' they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom's clergy were teaching 100years ago..." The Watchtower, August 15, 1981.”     The Watchtower says that the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and the physical resurrection of Christ are all false doctrines.  Yet, the Watchtower says that if you read the Bible by itself you will end up believing these doctrines.  In other words, if you read the Bible by itself, then you will become a Trinitarian, believe that Jesus is God, and believe that Jesus rose from the dead physically.  Why is that?  Could it be because the Bible teaches these things?

In 1950, the Watch Tower Society came out with their own translation of the Bible, the New World Translation.Jehovah’s Witnesses are told that this translation is the most accurate,unbiased translation available. The Society claims that the New World Translation Committee was made up of highly trained Greek scholars who did their best to “transmit his [God’s] thoughts and declarations as accurately as possible.”18. However, when one endeavors to check into the credentials of these translators, one finds that the Society is unwilling to release this information, stating that the Committee desires that all the glory for this translation go to Jehovah God and therefore the translators desire to remain anonymous.

Over the years, further investigation has revealed who the translators of the New World Translation were, and the facts show that they were totally unqualified for the task of translation. Five of the six Watchtower Governing Body members who were on the Translation Committee had no formal training whatsoever in the Biblical languages. The fifth one, Fred Franz, (former Governing Body member and Watchtower president from 1977-1992) claimed to have some education, but in the Douglas Walsh Trial in Scotland, he gave this testimony under oath:

Tuesday,23rd November, 1954:

Frederick William Franz, Examined:

Q.Have you also made yourself familiar with Hebrew?

A. Yes....

Q. So that you have a substantial linguistic apparatus at yourcommand?

A. Yes, for use in my biblical work.

Q. I think you are able to read and follow the Bible in Hebrew, Greek,Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and French?

A. Yes.

Q. It is the case, is it not, that in 1950 there was prepared and issuedwhat is called the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures?

A. Yes....

Q. I think that it was your duty, was it not, before the issue of that NewWorld Translation by your Society to check that translation for accuracy?

A. That is true.

Q. In light of your studies and in light of your knowledge?

A. That is true.

Q. And did you do so?

A. I did so....

Q. And was it your duty on behalf of the Society to check the translation into English from the original Hebrew of that first volume of the Old Testament Scriptures?

A. Yes....

Q. In so far as translation of the Bible itself is undertaken, are you responsible for that?

A. I have been authorised [authorized] to examine a translation and determine its accuracy and recommend its acceptance in the form in which it is submitted.

Q. Are the translators members of the Editorial Committee?

A. That is a question which I, as a member of the Board of Directors, am not authorised [authorized] to disclose....

Q. When did you go to the University?....

Q. Did you graduate?

A. No, I did not....

Q. Had you done any Hebrew in the course of your University work?

A. No, I had not, but in the course of my editorial work, my special research work for the president of the Society, I found it was very necessary to have knowledge of Hebrew, and so I undertook a personal study of that.


Wednesday,24th November, 1954:

Frederick William Franz, Cross Continued:

Q.You, yourself, read and speak Hebrew, do you?

A. I do not speak Hebrew.

Q. You do not?

A. No.

Q. Can you, yourself, translate that into Hebrew?

A. Which?

Q. That fourth verse of the Second Chapter of Genesis? A. You mean here?

Q. Yes?

A. No, I won’t attempt to do that.

— Douglas Walsh Trial, Pursuer’s Proof, 1954, pp. 7-9, 88, 91-92,102-103

This exercise which Franz was unable to do is something which the average first or second year Hebrew student could have accomplished without any difficulty. Is it any wonder the Society refuses to publicly reveal the people who were involved in the translation of their Bible? Would you put your trust in a doctor who refused to give his credentials? Yet, this is what many Jehovah’s Witnesses are doing when it comes to vital Bible truth.

Deuteronomy18:20-22 states:

“But the prophet who shall speak a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak,or which he shall speak in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.And you may say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” 

If the NWT condemns false prophesying and states that it is proof that God is not speaking through that prophet, then doesn’t this prove that the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is not speaking for God?

 Why do All religions claim to only be inspired by GOD? 

Most people do not research the history and the evidence of the “religion” that they join.  For the most part if you are born in a Muslim culture, you will be Muslim.  If you are born in a Jehovah’s Witness family, you will be Jehovah’s Witness, etc. Most African Americans live around African Americans, Caucasians, around Caucasians, Orientals around Orientals. 

Let’s examine the reason Christians“Christianity” believe their bible is the inspired Word of God.  There are many religious books in the world that have many good things to say, but only the Bible has fulfilled prophecies -- with more fulfillments to come.  The Bible has never been wrong in the past, and it won't be wrong in the future. It claims inspiration from God (2 Tim. 3:16). Since God is the creator of all things (Isaiah 44:24), then He is also the creator of time.  It is under His control.  Only God, then, would always be right about what is in the future, our future.

Fulfilled prophecy is strong evidence that God is the author of the Bible, because when you look at the mathematical odds of prophecy being fulfilled, you quickly see a design, a purpose, and a guiding hand behind the Bible.  The chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is1 in 1017."  That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.If just one prophecy failed, then we would know that God is not the true God,because the creator of all things, which includes time, would not be wrong about predicting the future.  Deut. 18:22 .  An example is Psalm 22:12-18.  This is a detailed description of the crucifixion -- 1000 years before Jesus was born.  There are over 1, 000 fulfilled prophecies in the bible, 333 alone about Jesus Christ.  And on top of that, crucifixion hadn't even been invented yet.

Research and find out how many other“religions” have fulfilled prophecies in their manuscripts. There are no fulfilled prophecies in the Qur'an, the Hindu Vedas, the Bhagavad-Gita, the sayings of Buddha and Confucius, or in the Book of Mormon.

Archaeological - There are also hundreds of archaeological findings that support the Christian bible. Archaeological A discoveries verify the historical reliability of the Old and New Testaments.  When compared to other religious books, the Bible is unique in that itis the oldest, as testified by the places, people, titles, and events mentioned in the Bible; and the language and literary formats used to compose the Bible.

Many scholars today question the validity of Biblical accounts, supposedly based on the findings of archeology.When the “discrepancies” are examined in detail, however it is found that the problems lie with the archeology (i.e. misinterpretation of evidence, lack of evidence, or poor scholarship) and not with the Bible.

Non-Christian Writers – There are Non-Christian historians and writers who talked about Jesus Christ.  Josephus (A.D. 37-100), the Jewish historian, would wrote a generation after Jesus Christ, makes several references to people well-known to New Testament readers.  “He wrote explicitly about Jesus:

"At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. . . . Pilate condemned Him to be condemned and to die.And those who had become His disciples did not abandon His discipleship. They reported that He had appeared to them three days after His crucifixion and that He was alive; accordingly, He was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders" (Antiquities, 3, subtopic 3,Arabic text).

"Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works--a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure.He drew ever to him both many of the Jews, and many Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestions of the principal men amongst us,had condemned him to be condemned and to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day,as the divine prophets had foretold these and the ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day" (Antiquities, 3, subtopic 3,Greek text). 

Josephus also wrote about James, the brother of Jesus.

"(Ananus) assembled the sanhedrin of the judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, the so-called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he deliver them to be stoned" (Antiquities XX 9:1).

Pliny the Younger (c. A.D. 112), when writing to the emperor about his achievements as governor of Bithynia, wrote how he had killed multitudes of Christian men, women, and children. He wrote:

"All who denied that they were or had been Christians I consider should be discharged, because they called upon the gods at my dictation and did reverence, with incense and wine, your[the emperor's] image . . . they curse Christ, which a genuine Christian cannot be induced to do" (Epistles, X.96).

He also wrote in the same letter:

"[Christians} were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang inalternate verse of a hymn to Christ as to a god, and bound themselves to a solemn oath, not to do any wicked deeds, and never to deny a truth when they should be called upon to deliver it up."

Thallus (c. A.D. 52) was a Samaritan-born historian. Julius Africanus (c. A.D. 221) wrote:

"Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away this darkness [at the time of the crucifixion] as an eclipse of the sun-unreasonably, as it seems to me."

This was unreasonable, of course,because a solar eclipse could not take place at the time of the full moon, and it was the time of the paschal full moon when Christ died.   There are many more non-Christian writers who wrote about Jesus Christ.

It clearly state only 244,000 will assist rule with Jesus in heaven!

The Watchtower organization states that through good works and sincere effort only 144,000 elite JW’s will go to heaven. The 144,000 are mentioned in two chapters in the Bible: Revelation 7& 14. By looking at the verses it is obvious that the 144,000 are literal Jews of the ancient tribes with no Gentiles among them (7:4-8). They are all males (14:4) and virgins (14:4). If the JW states that the usage of Jewish male virgins is figurative, what gives them the right to state that number of144,000 is literal? { The Christian Bible says, "6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever".Psalm 23:6; - 1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  John 14:1-3

 In regards to salvation for JW’s,according to the Watchtower Organization, Feb. 15, 1983, p. 12, there are four requirements for salvation as taught by the Watchtower magazine, “the second requirement more difficult. It is to obey God’s laws.”  Are you keeping all of God’s laws?  If not, then how can you have salvation?

Christianity teaches that those who believe in Jesus Christ that he took the punishment for our sins.  Because God is just, and must punish sin; Jesus took our punishment for us.  How is this possible?  You stated you traveled around the world.  Let’s say you were in a foreign country with a small child (son/daughter), and he/she picked up a rock and threw it at the prince (king, warlord etc.) and hit him in the forehead.  His guards ran out and grabbed you small child and they demanded he be punished on the spot, with fifty lashes with a cane.  This punishment would kill your child.  Would you not tell the king that you were the father, and would take his punishment to save his life, even offering your life for his?

Someone was stealing food from the Kings pantry.  The King declared that anyone caught stealing food would get 50 lashes with a whip.  The King got word that his guards caught the person stealing.  He demanded that the guards take the offender to the court so that he could make him an example for all.  When they brought out the defendant, the King discovered that it was his mother.  Everyone wanted to see if the King would keep his word.  Was he a just king?   The king walked down where the punishment was to be administered, took off his shirt, and told the guards to administer his mother's punishment to him. {Christianity believes that there is nothing you can do to earn or merit your way into heaven.  It is given by God's grace. "8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  9 Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9.}

On one hand we talk of the goodness of our father.  What father would want or let their children suffer for all eternity?

I encourage you to read the New World Translation Exodus 34:7.  God is merciful, therefore he doesn’t want to punish us, however, he is just therefore he must punish sin.  “Maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation. "Exodus 34:7.NLT

 If someone killed you[r] wife/child,what kind of justice would you want?  Since He does not leave the guilty unpunished; what happens if a person rapes, robs, steals, kills and never get caught hear on earth.  When does he get his punishment?  Since we are talking about “salvation,” if God were not just, when everybody died they would spend eternity with God.  There is a claim that there is no eternal fire,however, how long has the sun been burning?  Scientist claim that it has been burning over 5 billion years. God’s punishment is eternal because He is eternal, just like his grace (salvation) is also eternal.  (For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23). Just one sin is punishable by death.

 Thou shall not kill.  Baptist will find a way to justify fighting in wars. 

If you understand the bible, God did justify certain wars (killings) and his enemies were destroyed.  However, unjustified murder is sin regardless who commits it.  From God’s eyesight,sin is sin, (For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23).  Which is the greater sin, to murder someone or claim that you are a prophecy of God, and mislead people to their death, when in fact they fail the basic test of prophecy, Deuteronomy18:20-22

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way,the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  John14:6.  God bless!



Date: Sunday, February 5, 2012, 8:03 AM

Pastor James A. May:

A member of the National Association of Christian Ministers posed a question about scripture verses in the King James Version (KJV) of the bible that are missing (yes totally missing) from the New International Version (NIV) There are numerous scriptures that have attempted to removed Jesus and deity of God from the NIV bible that should be noted by every Christian.  These scriptures are comparable to the New World Translation (Jehovah's Witnesses"Bible"). An example is one of the scriptures I use when witnessing:

John 6:47 "He that believeth on me (Jesus) hath everlasting life."  The NIV left out the "me"(Jesus)

John6:47 King James Version (KJV) 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you,He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:47 New International Version (NIV)47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. Believes in what? 

It is important that you read the entire article and be guided by the Holy Spirit. Below is the article from  I copied most of it and put it in this email.  God bless!



Several readers have asked me this question so I thought it worthwhile to include my response here. Please note that these are only WHOLE verses that the NIV deletes. This list does not include the many words and phrases that were completely deleted from the NIV--it deletes over 64,000 words including words like mercy seat, Jehovah, and Godhead. It removes meaningful, well-known Bible words like Calvary, Lucifer, new testament, regeneration, etc. Most of the modern Bibles line up very closely with the NIV--and so does the New World Translation--the Bible of the Jehovah's Witnesses which predates the NIV!

When you read below where I say that a verse is COMPLETELY deleted, I mean clean/bald-headed/gone/vanished deleted. For instance, if you search for Acts 8:37 in the NIV you will read,

36 As they traveled along the road,they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?"

38And he ordered the chariot to stop. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.

Verse 37 is CLEAN, BALD-HEADED,GONE, VANISHED, MY FRIENDS (and it is a powerful verse)! Some foolish people have written me saying, "But it says something in the footnotes." I have three responses. (1) When you are reading your Bible do you look at the footnotes after every verse? Do you say "I am reading verse 3 so let me look below and see if something in verse 3 is missing."? Even if you did do that (which you don't) the footnotes say that the "best manuscripts"don't have the verse--will you then agree with them that the verse doesn't belong? If not, then why are you reading an NIV? [Note: Not everyone believes that those "older" manuscripts are authentic.] (2) Not all the word deletions are found in the footnotes of the NIV so don't think for a second that they are letting you know all the changes they made. (3) The next logical step will be for the NIV to omit the footnotes and just reorder everything. In the example above verse 38would become verse 37 so it wouldn't look funny. Look at the J.B. Phillips translation--that heretick didn't number the individual verses so you don't know what you're missing. It's paragraph style. The NIV may go that way too. They are desensitizing you to the changing of the very words of God. In summary, they'll either renumber or go to that paragraph format.

Wait a minute, hold the presses! I got the following from Bill W. one of our dear readers:

"I was in the Christian Book store today. I saw something that shocked me. I look through the Bibles often. I looked at the Children's NIV. I looked up the missing verses and there was something I could not believe. I looked up Matt 17:21 and of course it is missing BUT in this Children's Bible it was typed out like this 20/21 and the 21st verse was still missing. They make you think that you read the 21st verse but it still is just the 20th verse! Can you believe it???!!! If you want to look for yourself find the CHILDREN'S NIV BIBLE, and see for yourself. I did look in the other NIV's to see if they did the same thing. They DID NOT do that, BUT how long before they do?????!"

They are already sneaking the deletions into the children's Bibles! This is the second time that I've heard of those foxes pulling one over on little helpless children. The other thing I've seen them do is re translate the kids' and prisoners' Bibles to make them gender neutral. Of course those foxes didn't market them that way, they just "snuck" in the gender inclusively. See this article for details.

Another update! I just opened the JW "Bible", the New World Translation (1961 ed.), and looked up all the verses that the NIV completely deletes. THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS BIBLE DELETES THE EXACT SAME ONES!!!! I mean ALL of them! The only difference between the NIV and the New World Translation deletions is that the JW Bible does not include any footnotes! Isn't that what I said above, that the NIV would eventually delete the footnotes? To learn more about the Jehovah's Witnesses and their damnable doctrines go to our article on cults.

Our illiterate, lazy culture has spilled over to many professing Christians who have embraced the ways of the sluggard (and their want shall come upon them as an armed man). They are willing to read a Satanic "Bible" version missing what God says so they can be lazy and not do their due diligence. Your modern Bible perversion was written by men using dynamic equivalence. In other words, they are telling you their interpretation and their doctrine--Not what the manuscripts really say. Don't believe me? Look at the article on the NIV using gender inclusive language. Gender inclusively wasn't in the "originals"--it is a modern, feminist concept born of REBELLION.

A number of brothers and sisters,after examining the facts, have said, "I'm getting a King James!"Many have shared what a blessing the King James Bible has been to them and their spiritual life. The King James isn't hard. I've seen one and two year olds quoting it and I am not exaggerating. I've taught it to people who cannot read and to children whose second language is English. I actually find the modern Bibles more difficult to read than the King James.

If you read a modern Bible, don't let your pride get in the way of really looking at this information. Some people get hostile because I'm sharing these facts. Look up the verses and see that what you call the Bible is not the Bible. Get a real Bible. The King James conformable to the edition of 1611--NOT the New King James or the KJ21, etc.they are not King James Bibles.

WHOLE Bible verses deleted in the NIV

The following WHOLE verses have been removed in the NIV--whether in the text or footnotes...over 40 IN ALL!!!

Matthew 12:47 -- removed in the footnotes

Matthew 17:21 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."

Matthew 18:11 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost."

Matthew 21:44 -- removed in the footnotes

Matthew 23:14 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation."

Mark 7:16 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"If any man have ears to hear, let him hear."

Mark 9:44 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."

Mark 9:46 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."

Mark 11:26 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness"Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

Mark 15:28 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors."

Mark 16:9-20 (all 12 verses) -- There is a line separating the last 12 verses of Mark from the main text. Right under the line it says: [The two most reliable early manuscripts do not have Mark 16:9-20] (NIV, 1978 ed.) The Jehovah's Witness"Bible" also places the last 12 verses of Mark as an appendix of sorts.

Luke 17:36 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left."

Luke 22:44 -- removed in the footnotes

Luke 22:43 -- removed in the footnotes

Luke 23:17 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)"

John 5:4 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had."

John 7:53-8:11 -- removed in the footnotes

Acts 8:37 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. It's deletion makes one think that people can be baptized and saved without believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Sounds Catholic.What are you NIV readers missing?

"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."

Acts 15:34 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still."

Acts 24:7 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,"

Acts 28:29 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves."

Romans 16:24 -- COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. What are you NIV readers missing?

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

I John 5:7 -- Vitally important phrase COMPLETELY removed [also deleted from the Jehovah's Witness "Bible"]. In the NIV it says,

"For there are three that testify:"

Compare the NIV reading with the following Jehovah's Witness reading--

"For there are three witness bearers,"

What are you NIV readers missing?What does the real Bible say?

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

This is one of the GREATEST verses testifying of the trinity. That is why the Jehovah's Witnesses leave it out.They do not believe in the trinity and they do not believe that Jesus is God.Why does the NIV leave it out...? Whole books have been written on the manuscript evidence that supports inclusion of this verse in the Bible. Reader,do you believe in the trinity of God? If so, then this deletion should offend you. People are wresting and perverting the scriptures to their own destruction.



How to be a Winning Husband

Posted on January 15, 2012 at 5:55 AM

How to be a Winning Husband

By Whitney Hopler

Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Brian Goins' book, Playing Hurt: A Guy’s Strategy for a Winning Marriage, (Kregel Publications, 2012).

Just like it’s hard for sports players to stay in the game after they’ve gotten hurt, it’s challenging to keep working on your marriage after your wife hurts you. You may feel like giving up hope of a better marriage when your wife injures you. But if you “play hurt”like sports heroes do, you’ll see God reward your faithfulness by bringing winning results out of your pain.

Here’s how you can develop a winning marriage by being a husband who stays in the game with God:

Realize that no wound, no matter how bad, needs to be fatal to your marriage. Your marriage can survive any type of wound your wife may give you (from rejecting your sexual advances in private to making disrespectful comments about you in public) if you trust God to help you persevere and respond faithfully to each challenge.

Pray for the guts to love your wife like Jesus Christ does. Decide to make Jesus your role model for how to love your wife, and make yourself accountable to Jesus for all you do in your role as a husband. Ask God to help you lead in such a way that it will be a joy and not a chore for your wife to submit to how you set the pace in the marriage, to love your wife in such a way that she won’t doubt your devotion to her, and to sacrifice in such a way that your wife sees Jesus in you when you give up selfish desires to pursue her best interests.

Move from a performance-based to faith-based relationship. Stop expecting that your wife must perform better in what she says and does in order for your marriage to get better. God will help you improve your marriage regardless of how your wife performs in her marriage role. When you shift your focus away from your wife’s performance and toward seeking God through your marriage, God will empower you to sustain anything you may go through. Pray for the strength you need to overcome your selfish impulses and love your wife as a man rather than as an immature boy. Recognize that doing so is a noble cause because it will bring God glory when people observe how you follow Him in your marriage. Also, when you put less pressure on your wife to live up to unrealistic expectations (such as by accepting her body’s natural aging process instead of hoping that she’ll always look like she did when you married her), you’ll motivate her to love you more out of gratitude for the love you’re showing her.

Fight your real enemy. Recognize that your wife is not your enemy; she’s on your same team. Your real enemy is Satan.Fight against evil daily by fleeing from the temptations to act selfishly in your marriage and praying for God’s will to be done in your relationship with your wife. Obey God when He calls you to do something that’s hard to do (like forgiving your wife after she’s hurt you), reminding yourself that God will give you the strength to do so if you just choose faithfulness over selfishness.Decide that you want victory in your marriage more than you want vindication for your injuries.

Enlist the help of others who care about you and your marriage. Find some guy friends who you can trust to encourage you, support you, and hold you accountable in your quest to build a winning marriage. Meet with them regularly and talk honestly and openly with them about how you’re doing as a husband. Listen to them when they remind you that marriage isn’t about your personal happiness; it’s about holiness. Follow any wise suggestions they make about how to strengthen your character and your marriage. Ask an older couple whose marriage you admire to tell you how they’ve built a great relationship with each other. Visit a marriage counselor to work through serious issues in your marriage.

Nourish your wife emotionally. Care for your wife’s emotions at least as much as you care for your own. Discover what your wife is passionate about, and support her efforts to pursue her passions. Ask your wife to answer these questions for you: “Do you feel the depth of my love? If not, how can I help you feel it?” and “Do you feel beautiful in my eyes? If not, how can I communicate that better?”.

Learn how to resolve marital conflict wisely. Set ground rules for how to resolve conflicts in your marriage with love and respect. Be willing to discuss difficult issues and work out solutions to challenging problems, no matter what.

Be a spiritual leader. Do all you can to be the spiritual leader that God has called you to be in your marriage, revolving your whole life around your relationship with Jesus and relying on the Holy Spirit working through you to live faithfully. Pray for your wife often, but also be sure to spend time regularly praying with your wife. When you and your wife connect to God together, God will use that time to draw you both closer to Him and each other.

Cherish your relationship with your wife more than your own sexual satisfaction. Focus on honoring your wife and working to pursue sexual intimacy with her rather than responding to disappointing sex life by looking for satisfaction elsewhere. Pray for the help you need to stay away from pornography and set boundaries with other women to help prevent an affair from starting. Invest your energy into improving your sexual relationship with your wife.

Adapted from Playing Hurt:A Guy’s Strategy for a Winning Marriage,copyright 2011 by Brian Goins. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Mich.,         

Brian Goins serves as lead pastor for Renaissance Bible Church and regularly speaks to couples at Family Life’s Weekend to Remember conferences with Jennifer, his bride and the mother of their three children. He’s written numerous study guides, workbooks,and Bible studies that he has developed for Insight for Living and Walk Thru the Bible.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a contributing writer and the editor of’s site on angels and miracles (