The Bible: Read it. Know it. Share it.

There’s a scene in the movie, “The Sons of Katie Elder,” starring John Wayne and Dean Martin, in which four brothers are going through their recently departed mother’s belongings. Her rocking chair, gently swaying as if she was still there, is placed conspicuously in the room. The mourning brothers, as they sift through memories, discover mom’s Bible.

John Wayne, playing the eldest son John Elder, opens the Bible to the first page, and then reverential music sJohn Wayne The Bookubtly plays as Duke slowly reads the inscription to his brothers. The brothers halt operations and sit silent in quiet contemplation. Tom Elder, played by Dean Martin, breaking the silence, suggests they raffle off the Bible. John Wayne shoots back with disgust at the suggestion,

“We keep The Book!”

The Book! I love that designation. THE Book! Even those who don’t read it recognize there’s something special about it. Bible means “book.” We call it “THE” Book because of its preeminence. It’s not just any book; it’s The Book. It sheds light on all the other books.

My Bible says “Holy Bible” on the cover. That’s because holy men wrote it. The word “holy” means “consecrated or set apart for sacred use.” These men, with different backgrounds and from different times, were set apart to contribute portions to one large Book. The finished work is perfect in its parts and consistent as a whole, a book set apart from all other books. These “holy men” were normal men; shepherds, kings, fruit gatherers, businessmen, fathers, husbands, boyfriends, fishermen, tentmakers, and priests. They weren’t supermen, they were people like us, and their product, The Book, isn’t other-worldly, it’s for this world. The Bible is a Book for ordinary people living everyday lives, and it’s written in human language, not mystical language.

Within the covers of “The Book” are the Old and New Testaments. These two portions combined teach us about God and humanity. They are distinguished by the Adjectives “Old” and “New” to describe their relationship to each other. The Old and New Testaments are equally true, holy, just, and good. The “New” Testament builds on the “Old” Testament and brings it to fulfillment and perfection. The “Old” promised a Savior, the “New” reveals Him. The Old Testament historically documents how sin and death entered the world, while the New Testament reveals their ultimate abolishment. The Old and New Testaments can be summarized this way: “In the beginning God.. then cometh the end that God may be all in all.” Genesis 1:1, 1 Corinthians 15:20-28. The Bible has a wonderful introduction, and it has a happy ending for everyone! There are bumps along the way, but the Bible more than provides for that journey.

Let’s thank God for The Book. It’s God’s revelation of Himself. Let’s pray: “Lord, open our eyes that we may behold wondrous things out of Thy law and Thy gospel.”

—It Is Written And Still Is!

“…As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The Apostle Paul.

The Word of God is the foundation of our faith. Faith isn’t “positive thinking;” faith is accepting God’s testimony. When we have faith, we are giving God credit for telling us the truth. The belief in the Salvation of All Mankind stands on the rock-solid authority of Holy Scripture. If the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures are a “myth,” or an “allegory,” or anything short of what the Lord Jesus Christ says they are – historical truth – then what Paul wrote in the above passage is meaningless. As a result, both Paul and our Lord Jesus are false witnesses!

If the Old Testament is a myth, then so is Adam, and if the New Testament is a myth, then so is Jesus Christ and everything He accomplished. The Christian, as a result, has no message to proclaim, for if the Scriptures are false, then nobody ever died in Adam, and, as a gloomy consequence, nobody will ever be made alive in Jesus Christ – there’s no sin, no death, no Savior, and no resurrection.

So indulge me for a few moments as I glory in the living words of the living God for a few moments.

—The Hebrew Scriptures

God has preserved His Word. The Hebrews copied their Scriptures with careful hands and have passed them down from generation to generation. The Lord Jesus put His stamp of approval on those Scriptures when He said,

“These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures…” Luke 24:44-45

In that statement, the Lord mentions the three primary divisions of the Old Testament – the law, the prophets, and the psalms, and these are what make up the Old Testament in our standard Bibles. .

—The Greek

As for the Greek Scriptures, the Divine Author has gone to great lengths to preserve His Word and maintain its integrity. He has done this in three ways:

1. Copies (Including, “Lectionaries”)
2. Versions
3. Quotations from the Fathers

“By causing that a vast multiplication of COPIES should be required down the ages, – beginning at the earliest period, and continuing in an ever-increasing ratio until the actual invention of Printing,–He provided the most effectual security imaginable against fraud… NEXT VERSIONS. The necessity of translating the Scriptures into divers languages for the use of different branches of the early Church, procured that many an authentic record has been preserved of the New Testament as it existed in the first few centuries of the Christian era… Lastly, the requirements of assailants and apologists alike, the business of Commentators, the needs of controversialists and teachers in every age, have resulted in a vast accumulation of additional evidence, of which it is scarcely possible to over-estimate the importance. For in this way it has come to pass that every famous Doctor of the Church in turn has quoted more or less largely from the sacred writings, and thus has borne testimony to the contents of the codices with which he was individually familiar. PATRISTIC CITATIONS accordingly are a third mighty safeguard of the integrity of the deposit.” Dean Burgon, The Revision Revised.

The evidence of the copies is overwhelming. Most of the ones we have today are from the tenth through the twelfth centuries, yet without question, they are copies of older manuscripts which faithfully represent what the Apostles wrote. The works of Herodotus, Thucydides, and Sophocles have the support of very few witnesses which are over 500 years removed from the originals, but the New Testament has thousands of witnesses.

—Open The Book!

Open your Bibles and drink from the pure fountain of truth!

Bible“A glory gilds the Sacred page
Majestic like the Sun,
It sheds its light on every age
It gives, but borrows none.”

We can say with confidence that “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

—What Presidents And Judges Have Said About The Book

“I have examined all as well as my narrow sphere, my straightened means, and my busy life will allow me, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world. It contains more of my little philosophy than all the libraries I have seen and such parts of it I cannot reconcile to my little philosophy I postpone for future investigation.” John Adams

“I speak as a man of the world to men of the world…search the Scriptures. The Bible is the book above all others to be read at all ages and in all conditions of human life; not to be read once or twice through and then laid aside, but to be read in small portions every day.” John Quincy Adams

“I have always said, and always will say, that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make better citizens, better husbands, and better fathers.” Thomas Jefferson

America’s first Chief Justice, John Jay, addressing the American Bible Society, said,

“The Bible will…inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer, in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; that this Redeemer has made atonement ‘for the sins of the whole world,’ and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift and grace of God, not of our deserving, nor in our power to deserve.”

On May 28, 1802, John Jay wrote to his children after his wife’s death,

“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?…Behold I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed….Death is swallowed up in victory (I Corinthians 15).”

On May 17, 1829, John Jay, near death, responded thus when asked if he had any words for his children,

“They have the Book.”

—The Bible: Read it. Know it. Share it.

Let us not neglect this most precious treasure. Be a Bible reader, not just a reader of your favorite parts, but all of it. That’s what we need more than anything – Bible readers. You can begin right now. You can read the Bible through every year. Add up the number of pages in your Bible, divide that by 365, and that’s how many pages you have to read per day to reach your yearly goal – easy peasy! It only requires commitment. Set aside a certain amount of time every day and you can do it. Remember, the first thing you have to do is make Bible reading a habit, and then the habit will eventually make you. The Bible: Read it. Know it. Share it.

I supposed I knew my Bible
Reading piecemeal, hit and miss,
Now a bit of John or Matthew,
Now a snatch of Genesis,
Certain chapters of Isaiah
Certain Psalms (the twenty-third!);
Twelfth of Romans, First of Proverbs—
Yes, I thought I knew the Word!
But I found that thorough reading
Was a different thing to do,
And the way was unfamiliar
When I read the Bible through.

You who like to play at Bible,
Dip and dabble, here and there,
Just before you kneel, aweary,
And yawn thro’ a hurried prayer;
You who treat the Crown of Writings
As you treat no other book—
Just a paragraph disjointed,
Just a crude, impatient look—
Try a worthier procedure,
Try a broad and steady view;
You will kneel in very rapture
When you read the Bible through!

We Love The Book!

I supposed I knew my Bible
Reading piecemeal, hit and miss,
Now a bit of John or Matthew,
Now a snatch of Genesis,
Certain chapters of Isaiah
Certain Psalms (the twenty-third!);
Twelfth of Romans, First of Proverbs—
Yes, I thought I knew the Word!
But I found that thorough reading
Was a different thing to do,
And the way was unfamiliar
When I read the Bible through.

You who like to play at Bible,
Dip and dabble, here and there,
Just before you kneel, aweary,
And yawn thro’ a hurried prayer;
You who treat the Crown of Writings
As you treat no other book—
Just a paragraph disjointed,
Just a crude, impatient look—
Try a worthier procedure,
Try a broad and steady view;
You will kneel in very rapture
When you read the Bible through!

Morse Code: What Hath God Wrought!

Samuel Morse was Universalist of the Biblical kind. He wrote, “The nearer I approach to the end of my pilgrimage, the clearer is the evidence of the divine origin of the Bible, the grandeur and sublimity of God’s remedy for fallen man are more appreciated, and the future is illumined with hope and joy.”

Universalism touches every area of life leading us to work and play for the betterment of the human race. Learn how one technology, developed by a Universalist, changed the world for the better.

Morse Code: What Hath God Wrought! – By Daniel Sheridan

#OTD, May 24, 1844, the most significant discovery in the methods of communication, an invention born out of personal tragedy, was successfully put to the test, thus launching the worldwide communications revolution and marking a turning point in the advancement of human civilization.

Professor Samuel Morse was born in Massachusetts in 1791, graduated from Yale, and became a notable portrait painter; he was commissioned to paint Revolutionary heroes like John Adams and James Monroe. One day in 1825, while in D.C. working on a painting of our French ally and friend during the Revolution, Lafayette, Morse received a letter from his father informing him that his wife was deathly ill. By the time Morse returned home, however, the love of his life was already dead and buried. She was only 25.

Morse was devastated. It haunted him that the snail’s pace in which news traveled in those days prevented him from being able to respond soon enough to be with his wife in her final hours. Thinking thereon, Morse turned his attention to the study of electricity, hoping to come up with a way to speed up communications, and by 1835 he had invented the electric telegraph.

On this day, May 24, 1844, he put his new technology to the test. Morse set up his telegraphic sounder at the Federal Supreme Court, and witnesses watched with anticipation while marveling at this strange machine with copper wires attached. The moment of truth came when the inventor sat before the contraption and ticked off the Biblical words:

“What hath God wrought.”

The message was received seconds later by Morse’s assistant in Baltimore who promptly responded to the astonishment of all present.

Professor Morse thought that was only the beginning, and he prophesied that his wires would one day encircle the earth carrying messages not only across America but under the ocean to Europe.

The road to success, however, wasn’t smooth. Morse received his patent in 1838, six years before his test, and spent every dime he had on the invention. Morse was broke. Congress, thankfully, stepped in to help, and then his project was a success.

In 1844, Morse’s invention carried the news of the election of James K Polk from Baltimore to Washington D.C., a forerunner to our election night coverage with its instant results. Telegraph lines started spreading rapidly throughout the country. In 1851, the first electric fire-alarm telegraph was set-up.

Morse lived to see his invention change the world, and he eventually retired from public life satisfied with his life’s work. In 1871, the elder Morse published his final words through his invention when he dictated to the operator these words:

“Greeting and thanks to the Telegraph fraternity throughout the world. Glory to God in the Highest, on Earth Peace, Goodwill to men.”

Morse then sat down and personally typed his name at the end. He died ten months later at the age of 80.

On this day, May 24, 1844, the first Morse code message is sent; a day that should be recognized as a turning point in the advancement of human civilization.

Everyone Will Be Subject To Christ, And They Will Love It!

Everyone Will Be Subject To Christ, And They Will Love It!

When people tell you that Universalism is a recent “invention,” read them this from Origen’s work, Of Principles, written around 230.

The end of the world, then, and the final consummation, will take place when every one shall be subjected to punishment for his sins; a time which God alone knows, when He will bestow on each one what he deserves. We think, indeed, that the goodness of God, through His Christ, may recall all His creatures to one end, even His enemies being conquered and subdued. For thus says holy Scripture, “The Lord said to My Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” And if the meaning of the prophet’s language here be less clear, we may ascertain it from the Apostle Paul, who speaks more openly, thus: “For Christ must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet.” But if even that unreserved declaration of the apostle do not sufficiently inform us what is meant by “enemies being placed under His feet,” listen to what he says in the following words, “For all things must be put under Him.” What, then, is this “putting under” by which all things must be made subject to Christ? I am of opinion that it is this very subjection by which we also wish to be subject to Him, by which the apostles also were subject, and all the saints who have been followers of Christ. For the name “subjection,” by which we are subject to Christ, indicates that the salvation which proceeds from Him belongs to His subjects, agreeably to the declaration of David, “Shall not my soul be subject unto God? From Him cometh my salvation.”

#OTD, May 4th, 553, Universalists are Officially Condemned For Believing…

#OTD, May 4th, 553, Universalists are Officially Condemned For Believing that Jesus Christ is Successful and All Inclusive.
 
The teaching of the final salvation of all mankind was taught in Scripture and proclaimed by many believers in the earliest centuries after the Apostles fell asleep. God was believed to be both just and benevolent, and that all mankind, including angelic beings, would be restored to happiness and holiness.
 
It wasn’t until the Fifth General Council, which convened in Constantinople on this day, May 4th, 553, that this teaching was given a formal anathema.
 
“Whosoever says or thinks,” arrogantly declares the presuming body which believes it can govern human thought, “that the torments of demons and of impious men are temporal, so that they will, at length, come to an end, or whoever holds a restoration of either of the demons, or the impious, let him be anathema.”
 
Universalism wasn’t put down by reason, argument, or appeals to Scripture, but by brute force. Brute force executed Christ, persecuted the early Church, and attempted to forever silence the good news of Christ’s saving work. Biblical Universalism is never promoted by force. It comes gently, but irresistibly, satisfying both the heart and the mind, and it pours peace, joy, and love, both for self and humanity, into every heart it touches. Where the doctrine of eternal torment has reigned, however, there has been violence, plunder, slavery, misogyny, political intrigue, envy, greed, division, anathemas, shameful behavior, and hatred.
 
You can learn more about this wonderful message in the following link.

Are We Better Than Our Fathers?

Are We Better Than Our Fathers? – By Daniel Sheridan

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, so wherever Christianity goes, these blessings go with it. Many, confusing the history of human institutions with the history of Christianity, say that Christianity is a curse. Seeing the intrigues, the wars, and the persecutions done in the name of Christ, they attribute these evils to Christianity, make general and sweeping judgments of the whole and either abandon the faith or separate themselves claiming a pure faith.

Christianity is from God and therefore pure. But when it descends from God to man it from time to time suffers corruption, not in the source, but the recipient. Christianity in man, even the best of them, is not Christianity in God, in Jesus Christ. So let us never make the mistake of imputing to God that of which man alone is guilty.

The water of life is pure in its source. Yet how often do those drinking at this perfect fount allow its refreshing waters to penetrate their entire being? So often Christians drive certain Christian truths from their heart, but unwilling to cast off Christianity completely, they design a new form of it and wear it as a cloak to cover their sins. And then these dignify, in the name of Christianity, all that this outer garment displays to gazing eyes. History, however, will rend this hypocritical mantle and expose the hidden passions which the Christian hid underneath his stylish garb. That goes for you and me, too.

Evil acts done in the name of Christ do not come from Christ or the Bible but from the harmful sources which Christ came to destroy and contrary to which the Bible commands the believer to live. There has never been a time since the days of our Lord where truth has not gone forth liberating all it reaches.

Get out a map. Where in the world is there light? Where is there darkness? Where is liberty? Where is slavery? Wherever Christianity goes throughout the world, even if its message is somewhat dimmed by Christians, freedom, love, and learning follow.

Look at your own life. Have you ever acted contrary to Christ? If so, why do you condemn others for doing the same? Have you ever lacked light and understanding? Why do you condemn others for lacking the same? Maybe a look at our own life will soften our stance regarding our brethren. What would you have been like in Medieval France? How about in second century North Africa? Colonial Plymouth Rock?

Let us look at the past with a Christian heart and with Christian tolerance. “The present,” after all, ” is the fruit of the past, and the germ of the future. No work can stand unless it grows out of the real wants of the age and strikes firm root in the soil of history. No one who tramples on the rights of a past generation can claim regard of its posterity.”

Men may fail, but God never fails. The Bible, which is the source of truth, has “called forth so much reverence and gratitude, inspired so many noble thoughts and deeds, administered so much comfort and peace from the cradle to the grave to all classes and conditions of men. It is more than a book; it is an institution, an all-pervading omnipresent force, a converting, sanctifying, transforming agency; it rules from the pulpit and the chair; it presides at the family altar; it is the sacred ark of every household, the written conscience of every Christian man, the pillar of cloud by day, the pillar of light by night in the pilgrimage of life. Mankind is bad enough, and human life dark enough with it; but how much worse and how much darker would they be without it? There it shines on the horizon, the king of day, obscured at times by clouds great or small, but breaking through again and again, and shedding light and life from east to west, until the darkest corners of the globe shall be illuminated. The past is secure; God will take care of the future.”

Magna est veritas et praevalebit.

Universal Unity

Universal Unity – By Daniel Sheridan
 
“In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed” was the great promise God gave to Abraham, and unto Shiloh (place of peace) “shall the gathering of the people be.” The New Testament documents, with the gospel going forth to all peoples, the process leading to the ultimate fulfillment of that promise.
 
Blessing and peace had illuded mankind. “The religions of antiquity,” wrote D’Aubigne, “rendered impossible this vast assembly of nations. Like the languages of Babel, they were so many walls, which separated nations from one another. The tribes of the earth only worshipped national gods – those gods only suited the nations who made them. They had no points of contact, no sympathy with any people. Falsehood has a thousand strange faces, not resembling each other. Truth only is one, and this only can unite all the races of men. The idea of a universal kingdom of truth and holiness was a stranger to the ancient world. Christ came and accomplished what the religions and sages of the world had not been able to foresee. He is the founder of a kingdom to which all nations are called. He overturns, according to the energetic language of His apostle, the fences, the middle wall of partition which divided all nations, ‘and hath made both one for to make in himself of the two into one new man, thus making peace.'”
 
Christianity is a message from heaven crossing every border, speaking in all languages, and adapting to any culture. It bestows on human nature a divine life which is the center of unity. With the appearance of Christianity commenced in the universe the only real cosmopolitanism. Citizens of Judea, of Pontus, of Greece, of Egypt, or Rome, till then mutual enemies, embrace like brothers. “Christianity is that tree, of which the Scriptures speak, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. It acts at the same time on the most opposite states of society. It regenerates and vivifies the world, corrupted by the Caesars; and soon after softens and civilizes the barbarous hordes of the North.” And, at this very moment, it produces similar effects on people all over the world. Christ has touched kings of empires and hut-dwelling peasants living in the remotest parts of the earth. The gospel net is cast over the who earth, and the day will come “when a heavenly hand shall hold captive in it all the races of men.”
 
You hear many today call for unity, and they try to bring it about through elections, laws, and political parties. A new political hierarchy, however, can’t produce a bond of unity, for it carries tempests and discord in its bosom. Christ alone is the ensign the prophets spoke of, and around Him shall the gathering of the peoples be.

Early Christian Evangelism

Early Christian Evangelism: Not The Efforts Of Pesky Professional Preachers, But Of Normal People With Sincere Love Flowing Out Of Their Full Hearts In The Natural Course Of Human Events Even While Suffering Oppression – By Daniel W. Sheridan

The early Christians were not pesky “professional evangelists” who made well-funded efforts to shove their message down the throats of unwilling listeners. The Apostles, to be sure, were commissioned by God and given special powers to fulfill their missions, but those powers and commissions were not transferable. Once the Apostles finished their work, once the Word of God completed, the gospel was from that point on spread by ordinary people living everyday lives through the process of daily living. In other words, their message flowed naturally and conversationally.

“The chief agents in the expansion of Christianity, says Latourette, “appear not to have been those who made it a profession or a major part of their occupation, but men and women who earned their livelihood in some purely secular manner and spoke of their faith to those whom they met in this natural fashion. Thus when Celsus denounces a religion which spreads through workers in wool and leather and fullers and uneducated persons who get hold of children privately and of ignorant women and teach them, Origen does not deny that this occurs. In the commerce and the travel which were so marked a feature of the Roman Empire, the faith must have made many new contacts through Christian merchants and tradesmen. It is significant that Christianity appeared very early in Puteoli, on the Bay of Naples, on the route to Rome, and that while we do not know of the beginnings of the Church in Gaul, when we first meet it there, it is in a section which had commercial connexions with the Hellenistic East.”

These early Christians, regardless of their lot in life, made the most of their circumstances using them to show the light and love of Christ. Their circumstances, though many of them bad – slaves, poor, abused women, persecuted refugees, etc. – were the pulpits from whence they proclaimed, through their godly character under such circumstances, the glory, the grace, and the love of the true and living God. They weren’t angry revolutionaries calling for violent efforts to win their rights; they were children of God seeking to bring a message which transcended the oppression and violence of the human race. Like their Savior, they walked humbly, loved humanity deeply, not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that there were called to this. They loved life and sought good days, so they refrained their tongues from evil (name-calling, wishing harm on their opponents), and they did their best to keep their mouths from guile. They sought peace and pursued it.

“Involuntary travelers,” adds Latourette, “such as slaves and Christians deported for their faith were also agents. Martyrs by their example impressed many. It would probably be a misconception to think of every Christian of the first three hundred years after Christ as aggressively seeking converts. Such pictures as we have of these early communities in the New Testament and in the voluminous writings of these centuries warrant no such conclusion. In none of them does any hint occur that the rank and file of Christians regarded it as even a minor part of their duty to communicate their faith to others. It seems probable, however, that many must incidentally have talked of their religion to those whom they met in the round of their daily occupations.”

Love never has to be forced. Those who have comprehended the Scriptures, and have let the Scriptures govern their hearts and lives, tell the wondrous story of the God of all grace naturally because it comes from the deepest recesses of a full heart. A believer doesn’t have “prepare sermons” to reach people; his or her whole life is a sermon and talking about God comes as naturally as talking about beloved family members.

The Wonderful Hope Of Resurrection

In the churchyard at Williamsburg is a tombstone to the memory of Ann Burges, wife of Rev. Henry John Burges, of Isle of Wight, who died Dec. 25, 1771, in giving birth to an infant daughter. The inscription reads:

“Here sleeps in Jesus united to Him by faith and the Grace of a Christian life, all that was mortal of Mrs. Ann Burges, once the tender and affectionate wife of the Rev. Henry John Burges, of the Isle of Wight: She died 25 December 1771 in giving birth to an infant daughter who rests in her arms. She here waits the transporting moment when the trump of God shall call her forth to glory, honor, and immortality. Oh death where is thy sting? Oh grave where is thy victory?”

This family understood the hope of resurrection as did reformers William Tyndale and his good friend John Frith. These men suffered for their Biblical faith and were both burned at the stake for teaching the true gospel. But their answers to their opponents defending the true nature of death and the hope of resurrection remain unanswerable by those who believe death is really life in another place. Death is not being “with Jesus,” or being “present with the Lord,” or being “promoted to glory,” as if heaven is currently being defiled (Numbers 19) by contact with dead people. Death always has been and always will be an enemy. Death isn’t life in any way, shape, or form. This is why our gospel is about resurrection. Many are asking the wrong question, “Where will you go when you die?” The right question is, as Job asked it, “If a man die, shall he live again?” Ask the right question and you are on your way to truth which sets us free.

“The true faith putteth the resurrection, which we be warned to look for every hour. The heathen philosophers, denying that, did put that the souls did ever live. And the pope joineth the spiritual doctrine of Christ and the fleshly doctrine of philosophers together; things so contrary that they cannot agree, no more than the Spirit and the flesh do in a Christian man. And because the fleshly-minded pope consenteth unto heathen doctrine, therefore he corrupteth the Scripture to stablish it.” William Tyndale

“And when he (i.e. Thomas More) proveth that the saints be in heaven in glory with Christ already, saying, ‘If God be their God, they be in heaven, for he is not the God of the dead;’ there he stealeth away Christ’s argument, wherewith he proveth the resurrection: that Abraham and all saints should rise again, and not that their souls were in heaven; which doctrine was not yet in the world. And with that doctrine he taketh away the resurrection quite, and maketh Christ’s argument of none effect.” William Tyndale

“Nay, Paul, thou art unlearned; go to Master More, and learn a new way. We be not most miserable, though we rise not again; for our souls go to heaven as soon as we be dead, and are there in as great joy as Christ that is risen again.” And I marvel that Paul had not comforted the Thessalonians with that doctrine, if he had wist it, that the souls of their dead had been in joy; as he did with the resurrection, that their dead should rise again. If the souls be in heaven, in as great glory as the angels, after your doctrine, shew me what cause should be of the resurrection.” William Tyndale

“Notwithstanding, let me grant it him that some are already in hell and some in heaven, which thing he shall never be able to prove by the Scriptures, yea, and which plainly destroy the resurrection, and taketh away the arguments wherewith Christ and Paul do prove that we shall rise;… and as touching this point where they rest, I dare be bold to say that they are in the hand of God.” John Frith

Those are great words from these faithful reformers. Resurrection is assured to everyone, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Notice Paul does not say people are “kept alive,” they are made alive because the dead aren’t alive. The Bible does not talk about the resurrection of the body, as the Platonic infected orthodoxy does, but it does talk about the resurrection of the dead.

The greatest problem humanity faces is death. Our gospel provides the solution – life! Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

Cling to this most precious and happy truth.

Our Marvelously Preserved Scriptures…

Our Marvelously Preserved Scriptures…

I came to understand the true nature of both God and man through the study of the Scriptures. I can truly sing these words with great joy:

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

God has preserved His Word through three conduits.

“The provision,” writes John Burgon, “which the Divine Author of Scripture is found to have made for the preservation in its integrity of His written Word, is of a peculiarly varied and highly complex description.”

“First,—By causing that a vast multiplication of COPIES should be required all down the ages,—beginning at the earliest period, and continuing in an ever-increasing ratio until the actual invention of Printing,—He provided the most effectual security imaginable against fraud.”

“Next, VERSIONS. The necessity of translating the Scriptures into divers languages for the use of different branches of the early Church, procured that many an authentic record has been preserved of the New Testament as it existed in the first few centuries of the Christian era.”

“Lastly…every famous Doctor of the Church in turn has quoted more or less largely from the sacred writings, and thus has borne testimony to the contents of the codices with which he was individually familiar. PATRISTIC CITATIONS accordingly are a third mighty safeguard of the integrity of the deposit.”

“And, first of all, the reader has need to be apprised (with reference to the first-named class of evidence) that most of our extant copies of the N. T. Scriptures are comparatively of recent date, ranging from the 10th to the 12th century of our era. That these are in every instance copies of yet older manuscripts, is self-evident; and that in the main they represent faithfully the sacred autographs themselves, no reasonable person doubts. Still, it is undeniable that they are thus separated by about a thousand years from their inspired archetypes. Readers are reminded, in passing, that the little handful of copies on which we rely for the texts of Herodotus and Thucydides, of Æschylus and Sophocles, are removed from their originals by full 500 years more: and that, instead of a thousand, or half a thousand copies, we are dependent for the text of certain of these authors on as many copies as may be counted on the fingers of one hand. In truth, the security which the Text of the New Testament enjoys is altogether unique and extraordinary.”

“To specify one single consideration, which has never yet attracted nearly the amount of attention it deserves,—“Lectionaries” abound, which establish the Text which has been publicly read in the churches of the East, from at least a.d. 400 until the time of the invention of printing.”

Having read about these wonderful provisions our God has made let us sing together:

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?