“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36 KJB)
How much simpler can it be? Believe on the Son and you have everlasting life. Two Jehovah Witnesses came to my door one day and said, “We want to share the good news of God’s coming Kingdom.” My reply, “I already have The Lord Jesus Christ, and all of God’s blessings in Him. I don’t need your ‘kingdom.”
Simplicity is the essence of God’s blessings upon man; organized religion is complicated, man’s added twists and wrinkles are created to insert man himself as God’s divine representative.
No matter how sweet, loving, and dedicated they may appear, men who put some effort, ritual or rule between “the Son” and “everlasting life” are nothing more than religious opportunists.
Those who require some religious law obedience to reach God or His blessings, are known as Pharisees. Even a perfect observance of the Law of Moses never gained acceptance with God. A heart that earnestly sought God, without the Law of Moses, was accepted before any person that sought God with sacrifices, rules, and offerings of the Law.
“1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.
2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.” (Matthew 12:1-7 KJB)
The Pharisees in Jesus’ day put rules and regulations before “judgment, mercy, and faith”. Permit me to give other words Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 in an abbreviated form:
“Then spake Jesus… Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat…
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go…
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves…
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith…
Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres,…
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity….
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!…
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”
That is a description of religion without God—access to the blessings of God, blocked by man’s rules. And, it shows us what God thinks about the practice. Read the whole chapter of Matthew 23 and see the full condemnation of the Pharisees.
The Pharisees are among us today. A Pharisee always places some work or deed they have invented before God’s salvation and/or blessings while claiming all is by grace, without works.
Roman Catholicism places the Pope, mass, confessional, baptism, purgatory, and money in the church coffers before God can be reached. While condemning the Roman system, Hyper-Dispensationalism places another form of the Pharisaical system before the sinner.
According to Hyper-Dispensationalism, you may be saved by grace BUT in order to get the best of God’s blessings, you MUST “rightly divide” the Bible as they define right division.
You MUST know the difference between Paul and Peter.
You MUST believe that the real church, the Body of Christ began with the revelation from God to Paul in prison.
The Hyper insists that this Body beginning is the key to all spiritual blessings from God, and that nothing of this Body was anywhere in any form in any inspired scriptures before Paul.
If you baptize–FOR ANY REASON–symbolic, illustrative, or otherwise, it is a sin.
If you call yourself by ANY NAME other than that the Hyper designates, you are following “tradition” and therefore, a sinner.
If you believe the Book of Psalms, the gospel of John, Genesis, etc., have just as much FORCE as Paul’s epistles, you are sinning.
Unless you recognize that EPHESIANS, PHILIPPIANS, AND COLOSSIANS by Paul, are of more FORCE, greater revelation, than even all of the other inspired epistles by Paul, you are ignorant, following traditions of men, and you will miss the “high calling of God” and get the lower rapture of 1 Thessalonians 4, being a lowly member of the Romans12 “body of Christ”, a lower rung of spiritual blessings in Christ.
Hyper-Dispensationalism has hijacked Bible dispensational study and created a Pharisaical monstrosity. Like the Pharisees of Matthew 23, they compass land and sea to find saved men and women in Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and other Protestant churches where saved people may be, in order to gain proselytes. The Hypers do this without a shade of conscience or shame, even while the Books they claim are superior to all others, condemn their misuse of them:
My friend, if you have The Lord Jesus, you have One greater than all religions, the Temple, the cornfield, Catholicism, Campbellite, Charismatic, Berean and Baptist church! If you have accepted Christ, you already have all spiritual blessings in Christ. You are not required to learn at the “deep” theology of anybody, including the Hyper-Dispensationalists:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3 KJB)
As far as the Hyper-Dispensationalists go:
Paul does not exclude his prior epistles and even includes the things the Philippians had “seen” him do (baptism) during the Acts period. (The Philippians were not with him in prison!)
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”(Philippians 4:9 KJB)
A sinner is “complete” in Christ not because he learns the system of the Hyper; the sinner is complete because he is IN CHRIST.
“8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” (Colossians 2:8-10 KJB).
The only wonder more amazing than the Hypers’ brazen manipulation of Scripture to produce such lies and their own devilish “traditions” is the ignorance and superstition of the gullible proselytes to this Pharisaical heresy.
A surgeon weeps in private when he loses a patient-even one that went under the knife without much chance of survival–“Could I have done better? Was it my lack of training, dedication, skill?” An artist looks at a finished work and regrets he did not add a highlight there, or paid more attention to values there. An athlete looks at a replay of a dropped pass and wonders, “Did I do my best?” A divorcee thinks, “Could I have done better?” Fired from the job, an employee asks, “Could I have done better?” Every writer looks at a published work and laments, “I could have done better.” Any preacher who is worth his salt thinks after every sermon, “I could have preached a better sermon.” Every pastor, after years in the pastorate realizes he could have done better as a shepherd of the flock.
To those who say and mean, “Could I have done better?”, the answer is always “Yes, you should have.” It is not in the answer that the truth and benefit lies, but in the heart desire to wonder the answer; it means we are not satisfied with the past or present, but seek a better future result.
Learn from the past and always seek more wisdom and more skill in application of it. That earnest search will help us find the better.
Self-satisfaction, even in the midst of accolades by others, is the death of creative life. Only God can look at what he did and say “It is good” and only One has ever justly said, “It is finished.”
Our work is always imperfect and we must agree with the Apostle Paul,
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14 KJB).
The Bible was translated into English over a period of 500 years, the process began c. 1000 A.D. in part and culminated with the Authorized Version of 1611. Along with Hebrew, English is the only other major language that developed at the same time as its Bible. The difference is that the Hebrew language of Israel had no other written literature prior to the Pentateuch; the early Anglo-Saxon had few sources but with Gutenberg’s moveable type printing (1349A.D.) modern English had many printed sources from Europe.
Although not a major intent by the variety of English translators, many helps to Bible study found their way into the English Bible. In addition, the King James Bible of 1611 contains several critical linguistic helps, otherwise unknown to those without knowledge of Hebrew and Greek. This study covers one of those helps: the number of the second person pronoun.
Why does the King James Bible (KJB) have “thee” “thou” “thy” etc., and also have “you” “your”, etc.,? Primarily, because the 54 translators (1604-1611) were concerned with translating the pure words of God. Misunderstanding of this feature abounds, chiefly because those who study grammar and literature in the secular field, fail to see that the KJB was not written in strict English of the 15th century. The English in the KJB is a form of English not spoken by anyone in any century; it is Biblical English. Read the sermons and other writings by even the KJB translators, and you will find their usage of English is markedly different from their translation of the Hebrew and Greek into English.
“In late Middle English and early Modern English, the singular pronouns thou, thee, and thine (like the French tu forms) served as markers of intimacy and informality. (Thou was the subject form, thee the object form, and thy/thine the possessive.) In contrast, the plural you (like French vous) signified politeness and respect–or downright submissiveness: “Social inferiors used you to their superiors, who reciprocated by using thou” (The Oxford History of English, 2006).
This was true regarding common English usage, but the Bible is not common English. Others have imagined that “Thou” “Thee” “Thy” “Thine” were used only when speaking to Deity. This was misunderstood due to the fact that the “T” pronoun signifies a singular pronoun and rightly used when addressing God, who is one LORD. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
When the KJB reader sees a pronoun beginning with “t”, it is singular; a “y” is plural. Hebrew and Greek have distinct singular and plural identification of the second person pronouns, so does the KJB. Translation of the word of God demands the utmost ability and care to be sure the target language carries the same meaning as the former. This may not seem to be important at first glance, but Bible doctrine hangs on the proper understanding of the difference between whether one person is spoken to or a plural number is addressed.
One example is in Luke 22:31-32:
31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (King James Bible, AV 1611)
(NOTE: Some may object that the KJB also inserted words that were not in the Hebrew or Greek texts. Although not the purpose of our study here, the KJB actually has six reasons for italicized words. All languages have peculiarities that make a word for word translation impossible. These are understood in the base language, but in translation to a target language there must be added words that make the original intent and meaning clear. The KJB put all such words into italics, thereby showing the honesty of the translators to the reader and providing another amazing Bible study principle. Compare Deuteronomy and Matthew: Deuteronomy 8:3 with Matthew 4:4. The Hebrew has no “word” in the language, it is understood by the Hebrew reader. Greek does have “word” and it is essential to the Greek and English. When Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 in Greek, He removed the italics and thereby proved the inspiration and authority of the future KJB OT quote!)
KING JAMES BIBLE: 31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you (PLURAL–all of the apostles), that he may sift you (PLURAL) as wheat:
32 But I have prayed for thee (SINGULAR-Peter), that thy (SINGULAR-Peter) faith fail not: and when thou (SINGULAR-Peter) art converted, strengthen thy(SINGULAR-Peter) brethren. (KJB)
NIV: 31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
NIV ANALYSIS: 31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked (“HAS ASKED” AND “HATH DESIRED” ARE DIFFERENT) to sift (THE FORCE OF “HAVE YOU” REMOVED. SATAN DESIRED THE PERSONS, THE “SIFTING” OCCURS AFTER HE HAS THE PERSONS) all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon,(THE NIV HAD TO INSERT “SIMON” WHICH IS NOT IN ANY GREEK TEXT) that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back (“TURN BACK” IS NOT THE SAME AS “CONVERTED”), strengthen your brothers.”
AMPLIFIED BIBLE: 31 Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan [e]has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain,
32 But I have prayed especially for you [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail; and when you yourself have turned again, strengthen and establish your brethren.
AMPLIFIED BIBLE ANALYSIS: 31 Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! (“LISTEN” IS NOT IN ANY GREEK TEXT) Satan [e]has asked excessively (“EXCESSIVELY” IS ADDED TO GIVE THE SIMPLE “ASKED” INTENSIVE FORCE) that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain, (AMP. BIBLE MISSES THE POINT OF “HAVE YOU” JUST AS THE NIV DOES. THE GENERAL “GRAIN” IS NOT THE SAME AS THE SPECIFIC “WHEAT”. ALSO, THE TERM “WHEAT” IN OTHER PASSAGES IS ESSENTIAL TO PROPER INTERPRETATION.)
32 But I have prayed especially (“ESPECIALLY” IS NOT IN ANY GREEK TEXT) for you [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail; and when you yourself have turned again, (“TURNED AGAIN” IS NOT THE SAME AS “CONVERTED”) strengthen and establish (“ESTABLISH ” ADDED) your brethren.
Other errors and the same in ALL the so-called translations could be mentioned, but the point is made: the modern translations have done nothing but repeated the same sin of Eve in Genesis 3.
“Updated” and “new”, as well as “easy to understand” English translations since the late 1700’s have done nothing but remove the pure words of God from the readers, and substituted careless, confusing and deceptive terms that hide those words, words the Lord Jesus Christ deemed so important, He said:
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
“5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)
“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2)
“And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:19)
Is the KJB hard to understand? Someone said: “What bothers me about the Bible is not what I don’t understand, what bothers me is all that I do understand.” The KJB is rated today at 5th grade reading level–it was 3rd grade thirty years ago. I know two former Bible college students, who in their adult years learned to read by the King James Bible.
1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,
2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:
3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,
5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;
6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.
1. Philemon is the leader. (church meets in his house) “unto Philemon”, but “to Apphia, and Archippus”.
2. The letter is a personal request to Philemon and of special interest to him.
v.6 The best “communication of thy (Philemon’s) faith requires “every good thing which is in you”(all the church. No man should try to be isolated, a secluded worker in Christ Jesus.)
7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother. “Bowels” from “bowl”, the major organs of body protected by the skeletal frame, shoulders, backbone, ribs, pelvis. Emotions and feelings stem from here. (heart rate, stomach unsettled, largest nerve network of body in the digestive system–called the “Second Brain”.)
8 Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,
9 Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
“enjoin” is to command, “beseech” is to make a plea, or request.
10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:
11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:
12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:
13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: 14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.
15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;
16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.
18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;
19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.
20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.
21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.
22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.
23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;
24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
The book is the last of Paul’s epistles and records a living illustration of 2 great doctrines in this age of grace: Imputation and Justification. Romans 5:6-9. Onesimus (name means “profitable”), a servant in Philemon’s house stole something valuable. He ran away and was arrested in Rome. Paul, in prison for preaching the gospel, led Onesimus to the Lord. Paul writes this letter to Philemon and sends it to Philemon by Onesimus. Paul illustrates imputation by taking the cost of replacing the goods upon himself. Philemon is to receive Onesimus with as much love as he would have given to Paul, had Paul been able to come. Philemon is to receive Onesimus now as “above a servant, a brother beloved.” That is Justification. The debt is paid by another (imputation) and the previous offender is accepted, above and beyond what he was before (justification).