Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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April 22, 2013
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April 22, 2013
Electronic Bible Or Hard Copy Bible, Definition Of Lexicons, Beware Of Doctrinal Influence, Verify All Doctrines With The Scriptures, Led By Holy Spirit, Divine Inspiration Of God's Word, Predigested And Interpreted Word Of God, KJV Bible Is Also The Interpreted Word Of God, Copies Of Copies Of Copies, William Tyndale And Desiderius Erasmus, Textus Receptus, My Personal Concerns, Roman Catholic Background Of Reformers, King James Bible Is Inspired But Not Perfect And Inerrant, The Political And Religious Manipulation Of The Scriptures, Organized Religion's Deception And Strong Hold On People, A Way To Serve God Outside Of The Established Church System, Ekklesia And The Called Out Ones, Separated From The World, Apostasy Of Ancient Jews And Their Misguided Temple Worship, God Questions David, Rebellious Kings, Solomon's Apostasy, God's Disdain For Physical Structures, Apostles Mesmerized, Conversation With Samaritan Woman At The Well, True Worship In Spirit And In Truth, We Are God's True Spiritual Temple, Jesus Is The Cornerstone And Foundation Stone Of Our Temple
The series you are about to read is an updated and expanded version of a commentary which I originally wrote as a "Note" for my Facebook timeline. It contains a large amount of new information, as well as dozens of Bible verses which were not included in my Facebook Note. While what I state here may be a bit challenging for some of you, it is my hope that it will also be a blessing to you, and a refreshing blast of Biblical truth as well, which will inspire your soul.
As some of my friends and readers will know, I have not used or read a physical, hard copy version of the Bible in many years. Instead, I use a free Macintosh Bible program called "Online Bible" which utilizes add-on modules. For those of you who may not be familiar with them, add-on modules serve to extend the functionality of a computer program by giving it new features. Two of the modules which I use with the Online Bible program are Hebrew and Greek lexicons.
Exactly what are lexicons? As you may possibly know, many study Bibles -- including electronic Bibles such as Online Bible -- include what are called Strong's Numbers. These numbers link each word or phrase in the English text to the original word(s) in the Hebrew or Greek text. Quite often, an entire English phrase may be translated from a single Hebrew or Greek word. The pronunciation, definitions and different usages of these Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic -- or Syrian -- words are found in the Hebrew and Greek lexicons, along with other useful information.
Quite frankly, as I have mentioned before, these Hebrew and Greek lexicons have been a tremendous blessing to me over the years. Not only have they greatly enhanced my personal understanding of God's Word, but they have also enabled me to write much better and more informative articles for my readers. However, as some of you may have also discovered, whether one uses Hebrew and Greek lexicons, or any other extra-biblical resource in his studies and research, there is one drawback which we all need to watch out for. That is the fact that many of these study tools are influenced by the doctrinal positions of their authors and creators.
In other words, while it is good to use tools such as Hebrew and Greek lexicons, at the same time, we need to be careful that we don't allow these authors and creators to interpret God's Word for us. Rather, while we can and should use tools such as lexicons to understand the original Hebrew and Greek words and their meanings which are behind the English text, in the end, we should all rely solely upon God's Spirit to enlighten our understanding regarding exactly what He means in His Word. Furthermore, as I have pointed out many times before, we should verify and confirm all doctrines with the Scriptures, before we accept them as authoritative truth. I am reminded of the following verses:
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15, KJV
"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
Acts 17:10-11, KJV
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
1 John 4:1, KJV
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
John 16:13, KJV
The obvious reason regarding why it is so very important to always test all doctrines against the Scriptures is because they are Divinely Inspired, as we can determine by these two verses:
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
2 Timothy 3:16, KJV
"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
2 Peter 1:21, KJV
Sadly, in our modern times, it is rather difficult to read a version of the Scriptures which is not already predigested, spit back out, and the interpreted Word of God. In fact, this is the tragic state of most modern versions of the Bible. If we are truthful with ourselves, we must be willing to admit that even our beloved KJV Bible has fallen victim to the same process, and is likewise the interpreted Word of God. If you are not yet aware of this important fact, please be advised that similar to all other versions of the Bible, our beloved KJV Bible is not based on the original autographs -- that is the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts -- which were lost to time, decay and willful human destruction many centuries ago.
As I explain in such articles as "History of the Authorized King James Bible" and "In Defense of the KJV Bible", the KJV Bible -- as well as all other modern versions of the Bible -- are derived from copies of copies of copies, which have later been translated into our English language by different authors at different times, each of whom embraced his own doctrinal perspectives, which have leaked into the translation. In the case of the King James Version of the Bible, as I mention in the aforementioned articles, the New Testament is primarily based on the work of a Sixteenth Century reformer by the name of William Tyndale, who was later burned at the stake under the false charge of heresy.
In turn, Tyndale's translation work was based in large part on the earlier efforts of a Dutch scholar and theologian by the name of Desiderius Erasmus, who had compiled his own Greek New Testament from six or seven partial New Testament manuscripts, which were available to him during the early Sixteenth Century. Erasmus' translation of the New Testament has become known as the "Textus Receptus"; that is,"Received Text". Quite frankly, I must confess that it does leave me a little unsettled to realize that the English New Testament which we read today in the King James Version of the Bible, is in large part based upon the work of this one man.
If you don't understand my concern, it is that we are forced to place a lot of faith in the belief that when Desiderius Erasmus compiled his Greek New Testament, he was led by the Lord's Spirit, and that he did not allow his own religious prejudices to seep into his Greek compilation. You see, while Erasmus can be viewed as one of the early Reformers, he was nevertheless also a humanist, as well as a lifelong member of the Roman Catholic Church. Thus, he recognized the authority of the pope. Because of his middle ground approach, he was often criticized by both camps; that is, by the Reformers, as well as by the Roman Catholic Church. Other Reformers -- such as Martin Luther and William Tyndale -- were also from the same Roman Catholic background. There goal was by no means to overthrow the Roman Catholic Church -- as if that would have even been possible -- but merely to reform it.
Because of this historical information -- which anyone can very easily verify -- and to the consternation of some of my KJV extremist critics -- some of whom have already gnashed upon me because of my honest opinions -- it has long been my view that while we may consider the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts to be the inspired, inerrant Word of God, I do not believe that the same can be said for our modern English translations; and this includes our beloved KJV Bible as well. Is the KJV Bible inspired? Yes it is. Is it truly perfect and inerrant in every way as KJV extremists believe? Definitely not, in my view. Let the howls begin.
While I have personally used the King James Bible as my Bible of choice for the past forty-two years -- and I would never consider using any other versions -- because of the things I have learned regarding its history, I am forced to recognize that, similar to more modern translations, this beloved tome was also manipulated by the political and religious forces of the time; that is, by the court of King James I of England and Scotland. According to what I have read, the translators were in fact instructed to translate the KJV Bible in such a way, that it would support the Church of England, which relied upon its church buildings and powerful religious hierarchy.
In other words, through their precisely-worded translation of the Scriptures, people were made to believe that they could not believe in God, or much less worship God properly, outside of the established, organized religion of the day; that being the Church of England. How much this sounds just like our own times where so many people have been craftily manipulated into believing that if a small group of sincere Christians attempts to worship God, serve God and fellowship together outside of an established, recognized church, they must belong to some kind of dangerous cult. While this is true in some cases, it is most certainly not true in every case. Some Christians have simply discovered the truth of the Scriptures, and they want to actually strive to live it.
However, as I point out in other articles, organized religion does not want anyone to know this. They don't want us to know that there is another way -- a better way -- to worship and serve God outside of their plastic, corrupt, materialistic, and increasingly-worldly, religious social clubs where the sickening disease of compromise has made some serious inroads in recent decades. Why? Because once people begin to wake up and realize that they do not need organized religion with its lavish churches and corrupt ecclesiastical power structures, the churches will lose their hold over people's lives, begin to lose their membership, and in the process, lose a lot of money as well.
So as I was saying, it is because of the way in which God's Word was purposely translated into our English language, that to this present day, when most people hear the word "church", they have been conditioned to automatically assume that it is referring to a physical church building with its associated hierarchy of powerful church leaders. Denominational issues aside, they all operate in basically the same manner. However, as I point out in other articles -- which I will list at the end of this series -- in the original Greek manuscripts, the word that is used -- "ekklesia" -- has absolutely nothing to do with a building. It actually means "called out ones", and refers to a congregation of people who are called out and separated -- from the Greek word "aphorizo" -- from this evil world, very much like the Church in the Wilderness of the Old Testament period. If you doubt that this is supposed to be the real status of true Christians, then please consider what the Bible tells us in the following eye-opening verses:
"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
John 15:19, KJV
"I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil."
John 17:14-15, KJV
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"
2 Corinthians 6:17, KJV
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
Colossians 3:1-2, KJV
"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
2 Timothy 2:4, KJV
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
Hebrews 11:13-16, KJV
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
James 4:4, KJV
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:15-16, KJV
That, my friends, is God's clear, straight Word regarding this issue. It is not my words, or my doctrine. Sadly, so many Christians resist the truth of those verses, because they like the world, and the things which it offers them, and they don't really want to be the "called out ones", as God has chosen them to be. They prefer to be spiritual adulterers instead.
Taking a brief look at the Biblical history of the ancient Jews, if there is one thing of which I am rather certain, it is that it is when they abandoned true spiritual worship of God, and became involved in building temples, that they got sidetracked, and fell into a serious state of apostasy. Our Heavenly Father's strong distaste for religious worship that centers around physical structures is made quite apparent in the following verses:
"And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?"
2 Samuel 7:4-7, KJV
"But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?"
1 Kings 8:27, KJV
"Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?"
Acts 7:48-49, KJV
"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;"
Acts 17:24, KJV
"Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?"
Isaiah 66:1, KJV
"Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these."
Jeremiah 7:4, KJV
"For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof."
Hosea 8:14, KJV
You see, in His Divine Wisdom, God questioned King David, and asked him why he was so eager to build a temple for Him, when He had never asked him to do this, or required it of him. God was quite content with letting His presence be known "in a tent and in a tabernacle". He didn't need or require some big fancy temple, which He already knew would not end well anyway. Nevertheless, the Lord told David via the Prophet Nathan that He would allow Solomon -- King David's son -- to build a house in His Name. Building the temple was clearly not God's highest Will. Furthermore, I am convinced that God acquiesced to human desire in order to eventually teach those stubborn Jews a very important lesson regarding true worship in the Spirit.
This was not the first time that God purposely acquiesced to human will in order to teach the Jews an important lesson. As I have mentioned before, something similar occurred when they also demanded that the Lord give them an earthly king so that they could be just like the pagan nations around them. Well, they got their king -- stubborn, rebellious King Saul -- but then they had nothing but problems after that with some good kings and some bad kings. Worse yet, Israel was eventually divided into the northern and the southern kingdoms, and it was one king fighting against the other king. So much for the idea of the Jews having their own earthly king. God knew ahead of time that it was a bad idea, because He wanted to be their only King who ruled from Heaven. Let me also mention that by the end of his life, King Solomon had become a total apostate, as we can easily see by the following verses:
"But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen."
1 Kings 11:1-13, KJV
As you can see, that is why the kingdom of Israel became divided into north and south, with one king fighting against the other. It was a direct result of the grievous sins of King Solomon. He was a wise man by God's Grace, and a very rich man as well; but in the end, his power and wealth led to his own demise, and falling into disfavor with God. Not only that, but the Temple he built eventually became quite an abomination, and was ultimately destroyed according to God's Will. Earthly kings and earthly temples? It should be obvious to you that God just does not care for either one.
Let me mention that while Hosea 8:14 is actually discussing pagan temples, nevertheless, the lesson remains exactly the same. That is that constructing buildings -- such as temples and churches -- eventually leads many people away from God, because they tend to get caught up in the magnificence of the buildings themselves and the materialism. Also, quite often what happens -- and this is certainly true in our modern day -- is that people become involved in a competition to see who can build the more lavish and impressive building. It becomes no longer about God, but rather about pride and social status.
I have mentioned before that in the Gospels we discover that even Jesus' own Apostles seem to have gotten carried away, and were mesmerized by the magnificence and splendor of the great Temple which stood on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. This was actually the second Temple which had been enhanced by King Herod the Great. As I mentioned a moment ago, the first Temple -- which was known as Solomon's Temple -- was actually destroyed by the armies of Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in about the year 586 BC, following years of siege against the city of Jerusalem. At any rate, consider how Jesus responded when His followers began to foolishly worship this creation of man:
"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
Matthew 24:1-2, KJV
It should be evident to you by now that God just doesn't like physical buildings, because they detract from true worship in the Spirit. Furthermore, the modern belief that churches are the house of God, and that His Spirit dwells in them, is absolutely bogus. If you still believe that subtle lie, then you need to read the previous verses again until you really believe them in your heart. As I said, our Heavenly Father is interested in true worship in the Spirit without the need for physical structures and powerful ecclesiastical hierarchies. If you still doubt that this is so, then let me remind you of the very interesting conversation which Jesus had with the Samaritan woman at the well, which we find in the Gospel of John. I am only going to quote the key verses for emphasis:
"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father . . . But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
John 4:21, 23-24, KJV
Please notice that Jesus specifically tells this woman that worship in Jerusalem -- obviously meaning in the Temple -- would cease. Why? Well, for one thing, as we have already seen, the Temple -- and all of Jerusalem itself -- would be destroyed by General Titus and his Roman legions about forty years later in 70 AD. More importantly, however, the primary reason is because God the Father wants us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. He just does not want us getting hung up on church buildings, and everything else that has become associated with them.
To reiterate, it is all about the Spirit. It is not about any kind of man-made physical structure. It is not about churches that are made out of concrete and steel, it is about the true spiritual Temple of God, which consists of you and I. It is about God's Spirit dwelling in we His people, and not in some cold, dead building. If you are a Bible-knowledgeable person, then you should already know that we Believers are the true spiritual Temple of God and the Church of God, and that Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone -- or Foundation Stone -- of our spiritual Temple. A cornerstone forms the base of a corner of a building and joins two walls together. In short, the entire spiritual Temple of God rests upon the Foundation of Jesus Christ.
For many years now, I've been teaching this particular truth, and it is clearly based on God's Word. For example, consider these verses where Jesus and the Apostles both inform us that He is the Cornerstone and Foundation Stone of our spiritual Temple, who was rejected by His own people, the unbelieving Jews:
"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."
Psalms 118:22-23, KJV
"Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?"
Matthew 21:42, KJV
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock [Jesus referring to Himself and NOT to Peter] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Matthew 16:18, KJV
"And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again."
Mark 8:31, KJV
"And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?"
Mark 12:10-11, KJV
"Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day."
Luke 9:22, KJV
"But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation."
Luke 17:25, KJV
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not."
John 1:11, KJV
"This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner."
Acts 4:11, KJV
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:11, KJV
"And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
1 Corinthians 10:4, KJV
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"
Ephesians 2:19-20, KJV
"To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed [that is disapproved, rejected, repudiated] indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed."
1 Peter 2:4-8, KJV
Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .