FMH Childrenís Club International
P.O. Box 640109
El Paso, TX 79904
The following message was both prepared and preached by "Dad" (Bruce) to the Community Church of Fort Hancock, Texas, on July 24, 1994. This was his second sermon to the folks at the Community Church (see Why Me Lord? for the first), and the fact that so many of them used different versions of the Bible was one very good reason this message (The True Word Of God?) was needed. I mean in Sunday school it was pure chaos just trying to follow what was going on as each individual read from their favorite "new age version" of the Holy Scriptures. But anyway, this preaching stuff was all fairly new to "Dad", seeing how his sermonet writing career had only started a few months earlier (see The First Sermonet from March 6, 1994). You see the Lord had instructed the Hallman family (see Early Beginnings) to pack-it-up and head-on-out from South Carolina to Texas, so thatís what they did on December 27, 1993... well at least him and his son Luis anyway. Because it was his wifeís idea (Annie) that the rest of the family would follow after first selling the South Carolina farm. Now it was after about three months of having been separated from the rest of his children that Dad decided to teach them the Word of God through the mail, that is until the wife and children could make-it-on-down to Texas. Well it was very shortly after Dad preached the two sermons at the Community Church that Annie informed him of the fact that sheíd decided not to make the move. And seeing how the Lord had already instructed the Hallman family to "make the move to Texas and donít turn back", this thing about Dad teaching his children the Bible through the mail kinda like continued on for a few more years than expected. So, with that introduction, hereís the message:
The True Word Of God?
Good Morning once again. Iím honored that you have allowed me to bring another message from the Word of God. Last Sunday I talked about doing Godís will (see Why Me Lord?). Jonah the prophet was one of the examples used concerning our willingness to trust and obey God. I can only imagine, but it seems logical that the prophets in those days had a hard time buying life insurance. They didnít live very long. The people had a tendency of stoning Godís prophets. They didnít like the True Word of God. Quite often, as the prophets were giving Godís message, the people were making nice neat piles of stones. Now this message that I have today, well, some of you might not like it. I just need to know before I start, does anyone have any stones under their pew?
What do the group of words ĎHoly Bibleí mean? A good place to start is with the word definitions in the dictionary. The word Holy means "dedicated or devoted to the service of God." The word Bible means "the collection of sacred writings of the Christian religion, comprising the Old and the New Testament." There is one word in these definitions that Iím not quite sure of, the word sacred. Sacred means "to regard with reverence" and reverence means "the feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe." Letís try to put that together into one thought adding what the dictionary left out. The Holy Bible is the collection of writings by the early Christians compiled in one book. This one book is divided into two parts, the Old and the New Testament. These writings were completed by Christians who had a great love and respect for God the Almighty, our Heavenly Father. These Christians were dedicated and devoted wholly to the service of God. These writings were the Word of God.
Next letís take a look at the writings available to produce this book called the Holy Bible. The following information is taken from G.A. Riplingerís book New age Bible Versions: Evidence for the New Testament is composed of papyrus fragments and manuscripts, unical and miniscule manuscripts (modified capitals and cursives) and lectionaries. There are a total of 5366 manuscripts (books, documents, letters, etc., written by hand) and 2209 lectionaries (books or list of sacred writings for reading in churches) and all of these were written in the Greek language. Would you consider that a lot of paperwork? But thatís not all. In addition thereís numerous other language versions of the Greek text and writings by witnesses of the actual readings of the New Testament. How much of this information is the True Word of God?
Now, how many versions of the Holy Bible are there available today? To name a few, there are the King James, New King James, New American Standard, New International, Todayís English, Good News For Modern Man, New American Bible, Jerusalem Bible, New Revised Standard, and many many more. Are all of these the True Word of God? Did they all come from the same Greek text?
Reading from the book of Acts, we see the story of the Gospelís overwhelming expansion, the spreading of the Word of God. Not only did the early Christians go throughout all the land but they saturated it with the Word of God. It was told over and over and likewise recorded over and over. Going back to the original documents, how do we know which ones were the True Word of God? Wouldnít it be logical to say that since the Word of God was proclaimed by so many, then the documents agreeing most often should be considered as true? Well thatís exactly what was done. The Greek text which was written from the Ďmanuscripts in agreementí was called the ĎTextus Receptusí or the majority text. This majority text represents the majority of Greek manuscripts which agree with each other. These majority text have been accepted by Bible-believing Christians down through the centuries. It was from these manuscripts that the King James Bible was translated in 1611. There have been a total of 809, 000,000 copies in 300 languages printed to date of the King James Bible.
What about the remaining manuscripts? These manuscripts represent the corrupted copies of the Bible, also know as the Alexandrian manuscripts. Letís call these manuscripts the minority text because there are so few. These manuscripts not only disagree with the majority text, but many times do not even agree with each other. The modern versions (New King James, New American Standard, New International, Todayís English, Good News For Modern Man, New American Bible, Jerusalem Bible, New Revised Standard, and many many more) had to use the majority text in their translations. This was the same as the King James version. The problem is when the minority text disagrees with the majority text (when the few disagree with the many). This is when the modern versions prefer these corrupted minority text over the established text. This accounts for the 5% corruption in the modern versions.
We have thus far defined the words ĎHoly Bibleí and detailed the writings that are available to produce this book called the Holy Bible. Letís take a look at what Satan has to say about Godís Word. Reading from Genesis 2:16-17, "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Jumping over to Genesis 3:4-6, "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall surely not die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good from evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat." Once again, what does Satan think about the Word of God? He hates it! He canít stand it! This story of the Garden of Eden was the beginning of Satanís ever continuing efforts to discredit the Word of God. Satan knows that without Godís Word his lies appear to be the truth.
Taking a closer look at the Garden of Eden disaster, we can start to see the methods Satan uses to discredit the Word of God. Satan knows our weak points. He is always waiting for the right opportunity to deceive. Letís retrace the events, step by step. First of all, the Scriptures tell us that "the Lord God commanded the man." It doesnít say He commanded woman. God used a messenger (Adam) to deliver the Word of God to Eve. This meant that Eve had to trust her messenger (Adam) to tell her the truth. She did not hear the Word directly from God, she heard it from Adam. Why didnít she believe the Word of God that Adam gave her? He was her husband, she was bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh. Eve was very much a part of Adam but she didnít believe. She trusted in the serpent. Does this make good sense?
How can we relate this incident to the controversy between King James and the modern versions? As we have already discussed, the logic behind accepting the majority text as the Word of God is convincing. In the early days the Word of God was taken throughout the land by many Christians. The large volumes of manuscripts that agree are the Word of God. The King James is written entirely from the majority text. The modern versions are written from the contaminated minority text. Why canít people see this? Itís the same old story of us pitiful humans falling for Satanís lies.
Secondly, there is some indication in the Bible, that the serpent was the most intelligent of all the animal or reptile kingdom. Is this why Eve believed his lies so readily? And likewise with todayís modern versions, some of the most intelligent people are reading from them. Itís not unusual to hear sermons from well known and admired pastors being preached from one of these new versions. We must warn them of the deceptions written within.
Thirdly, the serpent said, "In the day ye eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Iíve heard it said time and time again, "these modern versions have words that are easy to understand. Their words help me to understand what God was trying to say." These modern versions with their untruths will open our eyes to Godís Words?
Fourthly, the Scriptures say, "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise..." Not everything that appears to be good is good. These modern version Bibles are packaged nicely. They even have the words ĎHoly Bibleí written on them. But, the words contained in them will not make you wise. Satan will continue to lie until heís taken out from this world. If we allow him, he will cause us to doubt what we know to be the absolute truth.
Turning to the Holy Bible (King James version), letís see what the Scriptures say about the Word of God. Reading from Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Those are some mighty powerful words. Reading from Matthew Henryís Commentary, the Word of God "is quick; it is very lively and active, in seizing the conscience of the sinner, in cutting him to the heart, and in comforting him and binding up the wounds of the soul. It is powerful. It convinces powerfully, converts powerfully, and comforts powerfully. It is powerful to batter down Satanís kingdom, and to set up the kingdom of Christ upon the ruins thereof. It is sharper than any two-edged sword. It will enter where no other sword can, and make a more critical dissection: it pierces to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, the soul and itís habitual prevailing temper; it makes a soul that has been a long time of a proud spirit to be humble, of a perverse spirit to be meek and obedient. This sword divides between the joints and the marrow. This sword can make men willing to undergo the sharpest operation for the mortifying of sin. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The word will turn the inside of a sinner out, and let him see all that is in his heart."
What about the modern versions, do they fit the Scriptures description of the Word of God? There are so many examples but weíll only look at a few. Reading from the modern versions, Isaiah 14:12-15, "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ĎI will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.í But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit." Going back to verse 12, the modern version has replaced ĎLuciferí with Ďmorning starí. The name Lucifer is the designation referring to Satan. It is also a symbolic representation of the king of Babylon in his pride, splendor, and fall. It does mean Ďmorning starí but why replace the name with a Hebrew meaning? In Revelations 2:28 and 22:16 a Greek word is used which also means Ďmorning starí but this time it applies to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The question still remains, why replace a name with the meaning of the name? Do you think Satan wants it spread around that he is doomed? Thatís not good for his public relations. His satanic followers wonít be impressed. If you use a tiny bit of imagination, this verse now reads as Satan would like. The Ďmorning starí Jesus Christ not Lucifer.
Now, turning to Luke 11:2-4, we find in the modern version what was the Lordís prayer. It use to be our Lordís prayer, the Almighty Godís prayer. Now it can pretty well fit any god. Reading from the modern version, "He said to them, ĎWhen you pray, say: "Father hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation."í" See what I mean? There is a lot of important information missing. This Scripture talks about father, not Father which art in Heaven. Satan is the father of his children also. This prayer can apply to him now. And why would Satan want to hear about our Heavenly Fatherís will being done on earth as it is in Heaven? Satan shudders at the thought. And last but not least "but deliver us from evil". Satan loves evil. His middle name is evil. Why would he want deliverence from evil?
Another example is found in Mark 10:21. Reading from the modern version, "Jesus looked at him and loved him. ĎOne thing you lack,í he said. ĎGo sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven. Then come, follow me.í" There was one very important fact deleted from this verse. The last line of the same verse in the King James says, "and come, take up your cross, and follow me." You canít be a follower of Jesus Christ unless you are willing to carry a cross. The life of dedication to Jesus is not what most people want. This canít be left out. A Christian has to be willing to take on the sufferings a true Christian must endure, and all for the cause of Christ.
The last example of the corrupted word is very fitting. Reading from Luke 4:4 in the modern version, "Jesus answered, ĎIt is written: "Man does not live by bread alone."í" If man does not live by bread alone then what else does he need? Jesus has just been through forty days of the most brutal temptations ever imagined by Satan. He had eaten nothing for the entire forty days. So what does Satan now tempt Jesus with? Food! And what was Jesusí reply? Reading from the King James, "And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God." How did Jesus survive the forty days of temptation? He survived by knowing and applying the Word of God. Every temptation Satan had to throw at Jesus was rebuked with the Word of God. Of course Satan doesnít like the Word of God. Thatís the very good reason to leave it out of the Scriptures.
Well, are you starting to get the message? We have to be very careful and study the word to make sure itís the Word of God. Satan is very sneaky and we as Christians have to be on constant guard against an attack. But what about all the hard words in the King James translation? Our Heavenly Father has the answer to that. Reading from I Corinthians 2:9-16, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which manís wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
If you really want to read the Word of God get a King James version. If you have a difficult time reading it then do as I Corinthians 2:9-16 tells us, ask the Holy Ghost for divine inspiration. If you pray and study the Word with a true love for our Heavenly Father, you will understand.
In closing, let me give you an example of this divine inspiration. While working with AVX Corporation in Myrtle Beach, S.C., I was fortunate enough to meet one of the janitors. His name is Woodrow Thomas. Woodrow is a short little thing, in fact Iím a giant standing next to him. Woodrowís life has been a hard one. His lack of proper education had dictated his job; that of cleaning bathrooms. He didnít particularly like the work but he trusted in his Heavenly Father to provide. He believed the Almighty would put him where he was needed most, and at the time he was needed cleaning bathrooms. But bathroom cleaning was not all that he did. He witnessed.
Everyone who walked into that bathroom was going to hear what Jesus was doing in Woodrowís life. He would get so excited about the revelation that God had given him through the Word of God. He would have to stop his work and show them to you in the Holy Bible. When it came to reading and understanding the Bible, he was a master. One day I wanted to share with him an article that I had read. It was not the Holy Bible but a magazine publication. The next day he returned it to me and explained that he couldnít understand the words. His lack of schooling prohibited him from reading articles that you and I read and understand with little problem. That was when it hit me square between the eyes. Woodrowís excellent comprehension of the King James Bible was not because of his intellectual capabilities. His understanding came from the Holy Spirit. Woodrow loves the Lord. Woodrow has dedicated his life to following Jesus. Woodrowís reading ability with the Word of God is a gift, a blessing from God.
You donít need a corrupted version of the Holy Bible to help you understand the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is waiting for you to ask. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." If you want to understand God then ask the Spirit of God. Heís the only one who can help. He will open the door to understand the Word of God.
Almighty God, creator of the universe and mankind, we have assembled today to receive your word. We ask Lord that you will take away all distractions that might hinder our receiving your truths. Take away the hardness of our heart Lord so that we might receive without any resistance. We thank you for your patience Lord but our desire is to be more like your perfect Son Jesus. Heavenly Father do whatever is necessary for us to be your obedient children. Take our lives and shape them Lord so that we might be pleasing in you sight. Give us a reason and desire Lord to be better hearers and doers of your Word.
The Ants, The Conies, The Locusts, And The Spider
How many of you have ever seen an ant? How about a coney? You would have to drive a long distance to see a coney. The lotus is kin to the grasshopper and I know youíve seen one of those. Have you ever seen a spider? Well, weíre going to read about these animals in the Bible. When you get home get your parents to show you this Scripture in your Bibles. Itís found in Proverbs 30:24-28: "There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise."
Does anybody know what these four things are? The ant, the coney, the locust, and the spider. The Bible says they are little. They arenít very important to most people. They may not be very important but they are wise. What does wisdom mean? Someone who is wise believes and does what God says. These not-so-very important animals are very important to God because they do what He ask.
Reading verse twenty-five, "The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." The ants are very tiny but they are hard workers. Their refrigerator is never empty because they work hard. God told them to be hard workers.
Now in verse twenty-six we read about the conies: "The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks." Conies are about the size of a rabbit but their feet look like a hippopotamus. They arenít fast like a rabbit but God told them to live in the rocks. These rocks protect them from other animals that might eat them.
Verse twenty-seven is about the locusts: "The locusts have no king, yet go forth all of them by bands." Did you know that all armies have a leader to tell them what to do? Well these big grasshoppers stay together in large groups or armies but none of them is a leader. Do you know who their leader is? God. He made them so they wouldnít need any other leader.
Now itís time to talk about the spider. Reading from verse twenty-eight: "The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings places." In the old days, when the Bible was written, people who werenít Christians were usually very superstitious. If you killed a spider it was believed that you would have bad luck. So those who were superstitious didnít kill spiders. The spiders could go wherever they wanted and live wherever they wanted, even in the palace of the king.
These five verses from Proverbs have a very important message for all of us. The ants were not strong but God told them to be super workers and store food for the winter. As Christians, our refrigerators of knowledge will never be empty of Godís Word if we work hard by studying the Holy Bible. The conies listened to God and their lives were protected by the rocks. Jesus Christ can be our Rock of protection. The locusts had only God to lead them. This should be the same with us. Our orders should come from The Almighty. The spider had power to go where it pleased. The Holy Spirit can give us the power to go places we never dreamed.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank you for your Word. Imprint this message permanently in our memory Lord so that we might always be prepared for Satanís attacks. Help us Lord to clearly see your truths in this message today. Be our constant companion and advisor Lord so that we might not ever be deceived by the evil one. We ask this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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