A Devotion for 14 August 2020 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 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 and evil. Genesis 3:1-5
What has God said to His faithful remnant upon the earth today? Has He somehow changed His manner in dealing with Israel of the Old Testament Church and Israel of the New Testament Church through some imaginative dispensational means? Or has God spoken and it is finished? Has He uttered and it was made certain? Is the Mind of God as uncertain from day to day as that of the feeble mind of man, or are His Words Immutable and unchangeable in reflecting the Mind that is the same yesterday, today, and forever? “8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.” Hebrews 13:8,9 Has a single jot or tittle of the Scriptures been altered from the day of its utterance by God to this very day? No, despite man’s attempt to ‘justify himself’ in altering shades of meanings and even whole verses of God’s Word, that Word is also on record in Heaven where the soiled finger of man cannot reach. No man can finally change a single letter or syllable of that Word.
The fleshly and carnal attractions of the world are constant in their appeal to the eyes and hearts of men and women in the same sense as that experienced by Eve at Eden. The words that God has pronounced (all for our well-being), and those we would prefer to believe, are in constant war in our vessels of clay. The modern church twists the clearly stated Word of God into such twisted meanings that they become the very opposite of that which the Lord has proclaimed.
For example: is it possible to find any scripture passage that condones or advocates homosexual marriage? Yet, a growing number of churches today find that wicked and filthy sin to be wholly compatible with God’s Will. Not many years past, I wrote a ministerial letter strongly condemning homosexual marriage as an afront to that first institution of God (marriage) that was intended to foreshadow His last sanctioned institution of the state of Marriage existing between Our Lord, as Bridegroom, and the Church as Bride. (Shadows of Sodom).
The letter went out on our national media platforms and I received many comments of support; however, I also received some vicious responses as well. Some were fairly confusing. I received a phone call from a rather proud and arrogant homosexual who insisted that I knew nothing of the subject I had addressed. I am proud to say that I do not, however, I told him I would take God’s word for it as being a sin. He claimed to be a Bible-believing Christian who was involved in a same-sex union. He told me that practicing homosexuality was no different than eating shrimp. I must admit, that comment baffled me. I asked for an explanation. He stated that the old food laws on shell-fish, etc., had been done away by the New Testament, and so had God’s ban on homosexuality. “Really?” I asked, “and what of Romans 1, 1 Cor 6:9-11, etc.” He had no answer for that but persisted without qualification in his ‘shrimp theory.’
The Great Deceiver seldom makes a frontal assault on the Word of God. He most often begins with a question of God’s Word: “Hath God said?” Once he has established even a slither of doubt as to whether God has said or not, he progresses to the next stage of outright denial of God’s Word. He is doing so today in the clever manipulation of Bible translations to question the text used by the early fathers as well as that used by the great English and Continental Reformers. They have dug up some manuscripts of the past that the early church rejected and which are full of deletions and disagreements with one another. These they claim to be superior to the stronger wording of the Received Text. (Geneva Bible, KJV, Great Bible, Bishop’s Bible, Coverdale, etc). These ‘new manuscripts’ are sometimes referred to as the Minority Text because these are based on only five primary textual manuscripts – the Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus being their primary evidence. These disagree in many points with each other. Where verses would appear in the Received Text, the Minority Text manuscripts often leave a blank space. Why? There are nearly 5,000 manuscript evidences underlying the Received Text (or Ecclesiastical Text as the late Dr. Theodore Letis liked to call them). These agree in all points with each other. So, I will stand by the Bible (Received Text), for which men were willing to go to the burning stake, over those whose copyright for profit depended upon how many changes the translators could make to obtain official approval.
I once attended a church at which some of the women were dressed in evening gowns. The preacher mounted the pulpit and began to preach about King David. His text was taken from 2 Samuel 6. He read, “20 . . . And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself! 21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD. 22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.” 2 Sam 6:20-22
Following this reading, the organist began playing a waltz-like hymn and the preacher began to dance a waltz with some of the women in evening dresses proclaiming “if David did so, it is acceptable in church as well for the preacher to dance with the young maidens.” He did not say so at the time, but I presume, since David did so, it would be acceptable as well to commit adultery, and to murder the husband of the woman with whom that sin was committed. At least the preacher did not go so far as to remove his outer attire. Naturally, I departed the premises after a talk with that ‘minister.’
The devil has told us that we need to adapt to the times – that societal values have changed and we need to keep abreast of them. He has told us that young people will not brood the quaint and Bible-centered hymns of the ancient church. If we desire to get the youth into churches, we must adopt the kind of sensual music that will appeal to them. We must let our barriers down concerning sex outside of marriage and simply go along with the ‘crowd.’ Do you feel that way, friend? I know where the ‘crowd’ is headed. They are on that broad thoroughfare that leads to destruction. If the youth lack appreciation for reverent music and the Holy Bible, our responsibility is to educate them up to an appreciation thereof – not lower the standards of the church to the street level in language, worship, and music. All of my teens love the KJV and the classical hymns of the Church. Youth are easily convinced if we simply teach them the meaningful difference in hymns and barroom ballads.
Hath God said “Thou shalt not commit adultery?” What does that mean except what it explicitly says? Hath God said, “Thou shalt not lie?” Tell that one to the proliferation of lying politicians among us today.
How is it possible for the churches to redefine the clearly stated words of God to mean precisely the opposite of their clearly defined words? Is there not a cause?
Shall we continue to recognize the Lord Jesus Christ as the “Only Begotten Son of God” (KJV), or simply as a “one and only Son” not unlike the others who are the called, sons and daughters of God (most new versions). (compare John 3:16 – KJV & NIV)
“3 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: 4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? 5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. 6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Psalms 12:3-7
The Lord has not failed in His promise to preserve His Holy Word to all generations. Man may try to amend them, but they are recorded in Heaven beyond his reach to defile.