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I am going to publish in order the Prayers of a Presbyterian Minister named Peter Marshall. Reverend Peter Marshall was a pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Washington DC from 1937 until his death and also a Senate Chaplin from 1947 until his death in 1949.
To give credit where credit is due the prayers come from a book by Catherine Marshall (his wife) copyright 1949, 1950, 1951, 1954 McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. New York, New York

Reformed readers might find that these prayers may not line up with the reformed theology.
I will attempt to modernize the language

Our Seeking God by Reverend Peter Marshall

“Our Father, sometimes you do seem so far away, as if You are a God in hiding, as if You are determined to elude all who seek You.

Yet we know that You are for more willing to be found that we are to seek.  You have promised “If with all your heart you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me.” And have You not assured us that You are with us always?

Help us now to be as aware of Your nearness as we are of the material things of every day.  Help us to recognize Your voice with as much assurance as we recognize the sounds of the world around us.

We would find You now in the privacy of our hearts, in the quiet of this moment.  We would know, our Father, that You are near us and beside us; that You do love us and are interested in all that we do, are concerned about all our affairs.

May we become aware of Your companionship, of Him who walks beside us.

At times when we feel forsaken, may we know the presence of the Holy Spirit who brings comfort to all human hearts when we are willing to surrender ourselves.

May we be convinced that even before we reach up to You, You are reaching down to us.  These blessings, together with the unexpressed longing in our hearts, we ask in the strong name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.”

The following is the original text.  I replaced the archaic words in the above text.

“Our Father, sometimes Thou dost seem so far away, as if Thou art a God in hiding, as if Thou art determined to elude all who seek Thee.

Yet we know that Thou art far more willing to be found than we are to seek.  Thou hast promised “If with all your heart you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me.” And hast Thou not assured us that Thou art with us always?

Help us now to be as aware of Thy nearness as we are of the material things of every day.  Help us to recognize Thy voice with as much assurance as we recognize the sounds of the world around us.

We would find Thee now in the privacy of our hearts, in the quiet of this moment.  We would know, our Father, that Thou art near us and beside us; that Thou dost love us and are interested in all that we do, are concerned about all our affairs.

May we become aware of Thy companionship, of Him who walks beside us. 

At times when we feel forsaken, may we know the presence of the Holy Spirit who brings comfort to all human hearts when we are willing to surrender ourselves.

May we be convinced that even before we reach up to Thee, Thou art reaching down to us.  These blessings, together with the unexpressed longing in our hearts, we ask in the strong name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.”

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Exodus 20:4-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
This is the Second Commandment in it’s entirety.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism Q & A 49 – 52

Q. 49. Which is the second commandment?
A. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Q. 50. What is required in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment requires the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in his Word.

Q. 51. What is forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment forbids the worshiping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his Word.

Q. 52. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment are, God’s sovereignty over us, his propriety in us, and the zeal he hath to his own worship.

Recently I have been bombarded by “images” of “Jesus” as a little boy, a scholarly man, crucified on the cross, and other such “images” supposedly being that of Jesus, God, and other biblical figures on social media sites that I subscribe to. Not one single one of these “images” are either correct or biblical or inline with the Second commandment (which is stated twice above).

First of all the “images” I have received are of white people. Jesus and all people in the born in the middle east are of an olive or darker complexion.

Second of all the Second Commandment forbids the making or worshiping of any images of things of heaven above or earth below. All worship should be made directly to the God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They should not be directed at pictures or statues or carvings or engravings or cartoons.

Last but not least Sin is Sin no matter how you color it (this is beginning to be my favorite quote) whether it is in disobedience to one of the Ten Commandments or any other instructions given by God in His Holy Word the Holy Bible.

To my friends I forgive you for sinning against me by publishing those images to my social media pages. However you need to ask God and in particular Jesus Christ for their forgiveness and to help you keep from being tempted to publish Idolatrous images of God and Jesus the Christ or the Holy Spirit.

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The Winter Time Birth of Jesus and What I Have Learned About It.

 

Luke 2:7-20

 

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

 

The Birth of Jesus Christ and the shepherds coming to worship him just after his birth is a wonderful and true story.  However there are flaws in the rationale of celebrating the birth of Jesus on December 25th.  Tradition has it that Jesus was born in the winter.  However, all biblical accounts would have made it either, late March or early April, or late August through September.  The shepherds would not take the flocks out to pasture during the rainy season (which usually started in October) or winter.  Winter would be something like our winter in the Southern United States, particularly, southern Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona plus all of Florida.  This causes quite a bit of consternation on the part of most traditionalists, who have always celebrated the Birth of Our Savior on Dec 25th.  It is truly not because of the way things were worded in the Bible but because of misinterpretation and misunderstanding of the region and the region’s customs and the working constraints that the shepherds were under.  In fact one of the most popular songs during the Christmas season is the English carol The First Noel.   The carol is considered to come from the 17th century.   It was edited and lyrics were added by William B. Sandies and Davies Gilbert in 1823. It was arranged in a four part hymn style by English composer John Strainer and published in 1871.  The carol leads the listener to believe ‘it was a cold winter’s night with snow so deep with shepherds in fields where they lay’.  Now if you know anything about snow you will not find it on the ground in the lower elevations of the subtropical regions.  Israel is in one of those regions.  However, it will be cool enough that shepherds would not have their flocks out at night in this type weather.  The sheep would be in a covered sheep hold and in some cases caves where they could guard the entrance from wolves and other intruders.

Unfortunately for the majority of us this causes a problem.  We have always celebrated the Birth of Christ on Dec. 25th.  Even our churches have always done so.  It is tradition to do so.

Whatever you decide to do with this information that I have just presented to you, know one thing… it is not when you celebrate the Birth of Christ but that you honor Our Lord.  And by honoring Him we worship Him.  We have set aside a special day to honor His birth and also a special day to honor His death and resurrection.  It should not discourage us that the actual date of His birth is not given.  We do not have a definitive date of His death and resurrection either; we celebrate it at the same time of the year every year because it was recorded that The Jewish Passover meal was the Last Supper.  We should go forward with our celebration of Christmas with the knowledge that we are honoring and worshiping Him.

However that is not to mean that we should not honor the Lord every day of our lives,  We should remember and honor HIM everyday.  We should all also gather together on the Lord’s Day (the first day of the week [Sunday]) and worship with song, praise, prayer and the preaching of the Holy Scriptures; this is another way to honor HIM.

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Before we get into this blog, if you will, it is probably more of a dissertation than a blog. I want to apologize for being away so long. I have no excuse, but there is a reason; it is called Sin. There is no excuse known to man for sin; however if you will read on you will find a reason that everyone commits sin, yes, even me. I, like the Apostle Paul, consider myself the chiefest of sinners.  The Apostle Paul cannot hold a candle to the depravity that is in me. Enough said let us get on with this blog.

About Original Sin

Genesis 3  1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. 8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle,

And more than every beast of the field;

On your belly you will go,

And dust you will eat

All the days of your life;

15 And I will put enmity

Between you and the woman,

And between your seed and her seed;

He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

16 To the woman He said,

“I will greatly multiply

Your pain in childbirth,

In pain you will bring forth children;

Yet your desire will be for your husband,

And he will rule over you.”

17 Then to Adam He said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying,

‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you;

In toil you will eat of it

All the days of your life.

18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;

And you will eat the plants of the field;

19 By the sweat of your face

You will eat bread,

Till you return to the ground,

Because from it you were taken;

For you are dust,

And to dust you shall return.”

20 Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. 21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.  22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

Romans 1: 18-32

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Romans 7: 14-25

14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

I know that the text is quite lengthy.  However, it explains a lot when you read the scriptures and consider them in connection with each other.

Let us look at it all together.

Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, living there “fat, dumb and happy” (to use a modern colloquialism) and then along came Satan, who is already at war with God, and says “aha, I know how to put a kink in God’s plans.  I’ll tempt Eve into eating from the tree, her and Adam, were forbidden to eat from.  Eve did eat of that fruit and so did Adam.  And as they say “the rest is history.”  Or was it?

Well, we have to go to and amazing scholar for the answer to that question.  Someone whom in his lifetime studied the Scriptures and knew them “backwards and forwards, inside out and upside down.” A human being who studied the Law of Moses under the foremost teacher of his time.  A man who was an Apostle appointed by Jesus Christ himself, after His resurrection.  Yes, I am talking about the Apostle Paul.

The Apostle Paul defined what is called “Original” sin in his letters to the Romans and the Corinthians.  He was straight forward in his approach on this matter.  He put it in words that they could understand. He let them know that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was subject to “Original” sin from the moment they were conceived, without exception!  He then told them of the Grace of God.  He also knew that they would struggle with this concept and the gave them some insight into the Doctrine of Original Sin, by using his own testimony.

We will first look at what is says in Romans 1: 18-32.

The Apostle Paul wrote, that by default, God is evident in them because God made them.  They have no excuse for not acknowledging Him.  For even though they “knew” Him, they did not worship Him, vainly imagining other things, intellectualizing their existence.  For thinking that they were intelligent, they dismissed the Glory of God for the worship of idols; gods in the form of man, birds, four footed animals and crawling creatures.  Simply put they dismissed the truth of God’s nature for these vain imaginations and worshiped and sacrificed to these gods willingly instead of the One True Living God.

Because of this, God gave them over to their own passions and imaginations, committing lustful acts that were and are against nature.  Because they did not think it was right to acknowledge God, He allowed them to have depraved minds, committing every offence and depravity know to man.  This continues even to this day.  Shocking? Not really because it is the truth of what happen when one sinful, powerful being, decided he would mess with the One True Living God and try to mess-up His perfect creation.  God punished Satan for doing this and mankind for being tricked into committing the first (original) sin.

In today’s vernacular, because of that sin we are “hardwired” to be thieves, adulterers, murderers, addicts, whoremonger’s, lesbians, homosexuals and any number of things that are the nature of sinful man and against the nature of God.  We, as human beings have been given over to all of this and much, much more, reveling in the pleasures of the flesh and its depravities also.

However God in his infinite wisdom sent us a Savior that would save us from our lusts and depravities, which essentially saved us from our sins.

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians in the Sixth chapter vv 9-11, wrote to them and also us who would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The list is as follows:

1.  The unrighteous. That means:

a. fornicators

b. idolaters

c. adulterers

d. effeminate

e. homosexuals (and lesbians)

f. thieves

g. covetous

h. drunkards

I. revilers

j swindlers

That is pretty much everybody.  There is a “but God” here though; because Paul goes on to say that by God’s Grace we were washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.  We were sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit.  That does not mean that we are totally free of all the temptations that the old carnal man had before our salvation.  It means that even though, like Paul, we do what we do not want to do sometimes and sin; we do have an advocate, who is loving, caring and forgiving. He covers our sins with His blood. so that we are without blemish or spot.  He takes our punishment for our sins for us.  This does not mean that we keep on committing these sins, but we must learn to subjugate them to God’s law, and will, allowing Jesus Christ and the Holy spirit to guide us into what is right according to God’s Holy Word.

Paul wrote in Romans 8:1-2 1.Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.

It is because of that freedom, we are able to subdue the temptations of the carnal man within us as long as we submit to the Word and Will of God, in daily supplications and confessions our sins to Jesus Christ.  Man is not perfect yet and is not free from sinning daily.  That is why we must daily ask for forgiveness and with all prayer and supplication giving-up and committing our strongholds to Jesus; so that we may claim that Jesus is our fortress and stronghold so that our soul rests in no other.  AMEN and AMEN!

If any of you out there are feeling the need to commit to Jesus your life and receive  forgiveness for your sins; pray for the remission of them right now to Jesus Our LORD.  Just a simple, “I admit that I am a sinner, and I need you to be my savior, Jesus.  Come into my heart.”  And mean it. 

Then seek out a church of your choice preferably, a Reformed theology church. The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, The Presbyterian Church of America, The Dutch Reformed Church of America, The Orthodox Presbyterian Church, The Anglican Church are some of the different denominations you have to choose from; however the list is not all inclusive.  You can goggle Reformed Churches on the internet and find one that is in your area.  Once you have found one, visit the church and talk to the pastor and his staff, telling them that you are a new Christian and you would like to unite with their church and worship there.  They will be able to further instruct on your Christian life and the things you need to do to become a member of their church.

PS.  If you don’t have a Bible or you have trouble understanding the King James Version that you do have, purchase an English Standard Version (ESV) or a New American Standard Bible (NASB).  You can find both in a Book Store or a Christian Book Store.  Or you can purchase one online and have it shipped to your house.  Whichever way you decide on let me warn you that can cost very little or can get quite expensive.  Purchase what you are comfortable with and can afford.

 

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You know being “Being older than Dirt’ isn’t really all that bad when you think of it.
Today I turned 60 years old. However I can actually claim that I am “Thirteen years older than Dirt.” How do you claim that because God is the only one that can claim that He is older than Dirt you say. (Gen.1 and 2) If you are Christian you know that God Created the heavens and the Earth. Well here is how I can claim that I am “Thirteen years older than Dirt.”
I was born on August 9, 1952, and my brother who is younger than me was born on August 8,1965. But you say that makes you thirteen years older than him but where does the “Dirt” come in? Well, when he was learning to talk he called dessert, DIRT, thus his nickname was born. For a long while he was called “Dirt”. Thus I am “Thirteen years older than DIRT.” I hope this has cheered up some of you worrying about your age and can now say that you know of a guy who actually is “older than dirt’ and smile about it!!!

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Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

We do not know the day or time of Jesus first coming.  It is celebrated on one universal day that was set aside by early Roman Catholic Church officials and adopted by the majority of Christianity as December 25th.  Jesus told us in Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”  We assume that he was talking about his return because of the context of the following verses.  However as it stands, without the context of the following sentences, we can make the assumption that he was talking about he first coming also.  We know not the exact day or hour of when Christ was born. (His First physical coming)

However we do know the exact day Jesus was Crucified.  He was Crucified on the day before* Passover.  Passover and Holy week have coincided since the Sunday that Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem riding on the back of a young donkey and people laying branches of palm trees in His path.  That day also marked the beginning of Passover week.  Passover has been celebrated since ancient times when Moses was getting Pharaoh to let Israel leave Egypt.  The reason for Passover is described in Exodus 12:3-49.   Passover has been celebrated since that time on the last day of the week after the first full moon after or on the Vernal (Spring) Equinox**.  The Vernal Equinox usually occurs on March 21.

*The days in those times were considered Evening and Morning as proscribed in Genesis chapter 1.

**According to the Bible, Jesus’ death and resurrection occurred around the time of the Jewish Passover, which was celebrated on the first full moon following the vernal equinox.  This soon led to Christians celebrating Easter on different dates. At the end of the 2nd century, some churches celebrated Easter on the day of the Passover, while others celebrated it on the following Sunday.  In 325CE the Council of Nicaea established that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. From that point forward, the Easter date depended on the ecclesiastical approximation of March 21 for the vernal equinox.  (retrieved from timeanddate.com April 5,2012)

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Context, Context, Context!!!

2 Timothy 2: 14 – 18 KJV

14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

2 Timothy 2: 14-18 ESV

14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,

17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,

18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.

It is interesting that even in the most orthodox of denominations that the preachers and teachers take things out of context to get their point across or to point out their rules for their “religion”.   When a person takes things out of context he is not only doing the person (In this case God) a disservice but also misleading those who are reading what he has written.  It is the same when they are giving a speech or are preaching.  One of the primary rules of the English language is never, never, never ( I cannot repeat never enough) take things out of context.  My dad has often said “You can take a piece of paper and put anything on it but that doesn’t make it true, and just because someone famous said doesn’t mean it is true either.” (Quote by Unknown)

I hear and read over and over where someone has taken something out of context to make a point of doctrine and when I look at the entirety of the scriptures surrounding the singled out scripture I find that 9 times out of 10 the person or persons have not taken the whole paragraph or chapter into account and therefore have taken the bit of scripture out of Context. 

What if I were to tell you on this blog that it says in the Bible “There is no God.” That is a complete sentence grammatically and I would be correct.  I could promote a doctrine on just that statement alone.  In fact some atheist have down through the centuries tried it.  But the real truth about the sentence is that it is not a real sentence, it is a phrase inside of a sentence in Psalms 14 :1, which is part of a greater paragraph inside of a chapter in the book of Psalms, Psalms 14 : 1-7. [see below]

Psalms 14 : 1-7 KJV

1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.

3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.

5 There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.

6 Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.

7 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

You see when it is put into context with its surroundings the complete sentence that could stand alone becomes what it actually is a phrase inside of a sentence, inside of a paragraph, inside of a chapter of a book and it lends it meaning and weight to the complete thought.

People need to be careful what they quote and where they quote it from.  It could lead to confusion and misunderstanding.  However there are those who do not care to apply the correct rules of the language known as English so that they can make up their own doctrines and religions.  I am not singling out any one individual or religious denomination.  However most of the worst offenders come from a group of individuals that have been trained in a college that has no theological accreditation and have not attended a Theological Seminary.  These men and women will even tell you that exegesis and hermeneutics are useless to them because they know how to interpret and apply the Word of God.  They are wrong and most are of the nature that they can be called false prophets and heretics.

Even though I do not have a seminary background, yet I stand on what the Apostle Paul wrote to his beloved Timothy in 2 Timothy 2 : 15. [see below]

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The Apostle Paul was writing from Rome to Timothy who was in Ephesus. Paul was instructing Timothy on how to carry out his duties as head of the church there in Ephesus.  In verse 15 he is telling Timothy to study the Word of God diligently so that when he preached or taught in the church that he would be able to expound on (rightly divide) the Word of Truth (The Scriptures, The Word of God).  This was not only good and wise instructions for Timothy, it is good and wise instructions for all preachers and teacher of the Word of God today and in the future.

Finally and most importantly do read your material before you publish it and above all do your research before you assert that what you are stating true.  Make sure it is backed up by facts or at least backed up by someone more knowledgeable than you.  I even have an editor who reads what I publish before I publish it to insure it is correct in every way possible so that I will not create confusion or misunderstanding.  It was one of my mistakes in life, when I was younger and I have now learned it is not profitable to create confusion and/or misunderstanding, it will come back to haunt you when you are older.  Again never, never, never take anything out of context to prove your point.  It is not necessary if you have studied your material and done your research.  That will be one of your best tools to properly preach or teach The Word of God.

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