Definition of False Teacher: One
who presumes to teach in the Name of the Lord when God has not sent
Berit Kjos -
Moralizing Minister of Death
letter kills, but the Spirit makes alive."
Paul wrote to Berit Kjos, proprietor of Kjos Ministries (www.crossroad.to):
The following letter was written in reply to one complaining to
us about our occasional use of The Message in our writings and
letters. The woman complaining sent us a link to your site as support
material for her argument, so I am forwarding our responses as
instructive also for you, as you err in your thinking and anal
retentive analysis that misses the forest for the trees.
To see what was sent, read the first letter from
Debra Lynn and Victor’s and
responses to that letter.
Thank you, Victor. I have been reading some of the reports on
your website trying to understand your views.
By the way, I am not a KJV-only person – and not just because
King James persecuted separatists and puritans and (eventually)
caused the pilgrims to flee to America. I, too, check various
translations – including the “original” Greek.
And I trust that our sovereign God led the translators and continue
to lead those who translate it into far more difficult languages
around the world. But Peterson’s paraphrase is so far from
the original that I cannot see how that can be considered a Bible
version, which is what both he and Nav Press originally called
By His grace alone,
Paul here. I am the one who wrote you the note below. Victor
Hafichuk has written much of what appears on
We are brothers in the Lord. If you have not already, read Paul
I am glad to hear you have taken the initiative to read from our
website, and I hope you will read attentively, as few do, those
things the Lord has given us, particularly those directed towards
you. I see much work and sincerity of intention on your site, but
I also see a burdensome legalism that depends on your intellect
and diligence to be right before God. That is not Christianity,
the true and only kind that worships God in spirit and truth. It
is self-righteous religion, man making God in his or her image.
Your religiosity has led you to “throw the baby out with
the bathwater,” as in this matter with The Message.
It is not that you need to read or use The Message, but that you
must come out of your carnal categorization and control of everything
in your world, feeding it to others as if it were the gospel of
Christ. It is not. I feel sorry for your children. I am not being
facetious or unkind. You are all under a great bondage. Yes, there
is a place for the Law, and we know how to use it lawfully. I am
not talking about lawlessness. You will see this if you read our
site and your eyes are opened to see.
Actually, your control and dictation of what is good and evil
comes by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which
is the true heart of lawlessness. It is not the drunkards and whores
that the Lord addressed as workers of iniquity (lawlessness). It
was the law-keeping Pharisees. But yes, they can be reformed. Look
at Saul of Tarsus. God is greater, as is His grace.
Our site is not like anything you will have red before. That is
because it is Jesus Christ in the flesh, Who has redeemed us from
our sins and sin nature, Who is manifest there, and not the imitation,
man-made works that serve as substitute for His Presence everywhere
else, including your site.
Sincerity is not enough, Berit. Saul too was very sincere. Your
day of turning will also come, and it will be good.
I have copied a portion of your writing about The Message with
some comments to help explain further how to apply what we are
saying. Your writing is in green, and my comments are in red.
Berit: What does Eugene
Peterson himself say? In his introduction to The Message,
he tells us that “This
version of the New Testament in a contemporary idiom keeps the
language of the Message and fresh
and understandable in the same language in which we do our shopping,
talk with our friends, worry about world affairs, and teach our
children their table manners....”
This sounds like a good idea, but what if
essential Biblical concepts are not part of our everyday conversation?
Should we then rewrite
God’s holy Scriptures to fit today’s more shallow and
Paul: Did Jesus speak in
religious language and concepts? How can the unlearned be saved
if it requires “essential Biblical
skills? Is it shallow to not understand such terminology? Is there
anything wrong with the language of the world? Did not God give
us these languages to communicate? Is the world divided into religious
and secular, that we communicate with one language for the mundane
and another for the religious, or is all His? These are some questions
you need ponder.
Berit: Remember, we are
dealing with God’s holy unchangeable
Word - not an ordinary book. God owns His message, we don’t.
Only His own, well-guarded words can be presented as absolute truth.
Yet, readers who trust NavPress and the endorsement of Christian
leaders such Warren Wiersbe and J. I. Packer view this book as
an authentic translation of the Bible rather than as Peterson’s
personal, politically correct interpretation.
Paul: You are assuming
that Peterson was trying to be politically correct, and that
he was not trying his best to honor the intent
inspired words of the writers of Scripture. He does not say that
the book is a translation. You should read the introduction again.
We red it today and were quite thankful to hear many things he
said there. We did not at all see a man set on corrupting others
with a New Age agenda or something to please the politically correct.
Quite the contrary, Peterson was emphasizing that God’s requirements
were far greater and more encompassing than man’s worldly
and religious ways allow for. He said that if anyone were to speak
the Word of God he would not be popular. He is right.
Berit: Throughout both
Old and New Testaments, God forbids us to distort His Word. Additions
and deletions are strictly forbidden in Scriptures
like Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32, Proverbs 30:6, Galatians 1:8-9
and Revelation 22:19. Acts 17:11 exhorts us to learn from the Bereans
who “examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul
said was true.”
Paul: What Peterson did is the same thing as if
I were to take the Scriptures and explain them to someone else
in my own words. Doing that does
not automatically mean I am adding or deleting from them. That
has to do with intent. I do not perceive that you are discerning
this man’s heart, and see no evidence that you are correct
in your opinions.
We often hear people talk about doing as
the Bereans did, thinking themselves to be great searchers of
truth in Scripture, while exhorting
others to do the same. The one crucial detail they miss, as you
do here, is that the Bereans received the gospel from men of God,
whom they believed. They received the Word preached to them “with
all readiness of mind.” They received the testimony of the
Lord (John 13:20). Will you do the same here? If not, then all
your searching is in vain, because you do not receive the Son of
The Bereans searched in faith, to confirm
the Word of God that they heard of those sent of Him. Multitudes
today read the Scriptures,
every person doing what is right in his or her own sight, thinking
they are all “Bereans.”
Berit: Eugene Peterson would probably agree. His own interpretation
of 2 Corinthians 4:2 holds him accountable to this timeless standard:
“We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes.
And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather
we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth
on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves
in the presence of God.”
While the above verse corresponds to the
original Greek, many other passages do just what The Message
promises not to do: they “twist
God’s word to suit” human inclinations. In fact, the
very next sentence (verses 3-4), fails the test. It does not “keep...
the whole truth on display.” Instead, it deletes the original
references both to “those who are perishing” and to
the glory of “Christ, who is the image of God.”
Paul: I quote the appropriate verses from The
“If our Message is obscure to anyone, it’s not because
we’re holding back in any way. No, it’s because these
other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse
to give it serious attention. All they have eyes for is the fashionable
god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and
that they won’t have to bother believing a Truth they can’t
see. They’re stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the
Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture
of God we’ll ever get” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 MSG).
You are splitting hairs here. I have underlined
the portions where Peterson essentially says the things you say
he has left out. Are
not those who are going the wrong way, following the god of darkness,
perishing? Is not Christ the best picture of God we will ever get,
and is that not glorious? Can you not read a bit between the lines?
Again, this is not a translation. We often prefer and use other
Bibles’ renderings of verses, and, in some cases, as we have
stated elsewhere, Peterson is all wet in what he presents. Unless
we have spiritual discernment, we will not know this strictly by
the letter, as you presume to do.
Berit: It doesn’t take a Greek scholar to recognize the
appalling distortions of God’s holy Word. Any Bible student
willing to compare Peterson’s Message with a Greek/English
Interlinear Lexicon and take time to look up key words in a credible
Bible dictionary will discover alarming deletions, distortions
and additions to the original text. If Peterson is right, then
all our other Bibles - the KJV, NASV, NIV, Greek-English interlinear
Bibles - are false.
Paul: Again, you are judging after the appearance. The NIV, which
has some terrific errors born of false doctrinal influence, may
much closer to the original languages than The Message, but it
is much further, in those instances of doctrinal contamination,
from the spiritual intent and meaning of God. You need to receive
the baptism of the Spirit, that you too may learn to discern, along
with learning many other things that you presently do not know
or comply with, which robs you of the things of the Kingdom. It
is not a lack of Bibles that is hurting you.
That is all for now, Berit. We can, Lord willing, say more, if
you so desire it.
Paul and Victor,
Would you please
summarize for me your view of God’s Word?
What is your stand on Biblical inerrancy, neo-orthodoxy, Karl
Barth and the emerging church?
What is your
view of the “authority of the Scriptures”?
Berit, the very simple, yet profound and complete or perfect answer
to your first question, “Would you
please summarize for me your view of God’s Word?” is that Jesus Christ is
Word. That may sound trite or as a copout to you, but with all
my heart and soul, I can joyfully testify to you that no better
answer can possibly be given.
Yes, I believe you are referring to the Bible and various versions.
Our faith is not in any Bible but in the One of Whom the Bible
testifies, in whatever way each translation attempts to represent
the original records of Him as delivered by the Hebrew prophets
and saints. If we know the Word, then we are automatically able
to judge all things because we have the Word within (do
not read the following passages with familiarity and consequent
or presumption, but prayerfully and meditatively):
“He was the true Light; He enlightens every man coming into
the world” (John 1:9 MKJV). Still IS.
“But as it is written, ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear
heard,’ nor has it entered into the heart of man, ‘the
things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But
God has revealed them to us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searches
all things, yea, the deep things of God. For who among men knows
the things of a man except the spirit of man within him? So also
no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. But we
have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from
God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to
us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which
wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual
things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the
things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither
can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he
who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged by
no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct
Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:9-16
Many err concerning the Word, even as did those to whom Jesus
spoke these words:
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think
you have eternal life. And they are the ones witnessing of Me, and
you will not come to Me that you might have life. I do not receive honor
from men. But I know you, that you do not have the love of God
in you. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive
Me. If another shall come in his own name, him you will receive.
How can you believe, you who receive honor from one another and
do not seek the honor that comes from God only?” (John 5:39-44
They had the most original documents of Scripture, Berit. Jesus
quoted from them. Yet those did the wise no good. They were
caught in a trap of their own, the carnal mind, which feeds and
depends on knowledge of good and evil. They
did not know that their way was death, and in that way, they despised
and reviled THE Way, the Truth and the Life. They did not have
or know The Word.
Knowing Him, we can know the Truth anywhere, and the false. Without
Him, we know nothing. The Scriptures declare that He is the light
of men, do they not?”
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John
And: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.
Stubborn fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:7
There can be no fear of God without the Word, Jesus Christ. Before
Moses, before Abraham, Noah, Enoch, or Adam, He, Jesus Christ,
the Word, Was. And they all knew Him, without Paul the apostle,
or Jerome, Douay, King James, Luther, Calvin, or any other man
or translation. They knew not the letter, but the Living
It is no different today, except that God has made more known in
this day, not to the carnal mind, which can know nothing of Him,
but to the spirit of man in Christ.
You ask, “What is your stand on Biblical
inerrancy, neo-orthodoxy, Karl Barth and the emerging church?” Concerning
inerrancy, Paul will send you what we have written, if what I
said does not occur to you by deduction and you infer what we know.
“Neo-orthodoxy”? Who cares? Thousands are the categories
and classifications of man, and none are worthy of our time and
energies as children of God. That goes for “the emerging
church” as well. Having said that, we have fought against
these falsehoods as they have confronted us, not so much on a doctrinal
basis (though that too) as on a personal basis, for the sakes of
Berit, it is not about doctrine but about the heart. One can even
have error and still be accepted by God, until that soul chooses
to cling to error in direct disobedience to God. People can also
have all the right doctrine, yet be in perfect enmity with the
One Whom they presume to worship and to Whom the doctrine pertains.
The Pharisees are a good example of such. They had the “right
translation” and the right doctrines – afterlife, resurrection,
spirits, prayer, fasting, the Law of Moses, almsgiving, tithing,
the Sabbath, knowing the Scriptures (“the Word”) and
more. What good did it do them?
And who cares about Karl Barth? Why would you measure me by him
or ask me to examine him to rate myself by him for you? Read our
site. You need to know that it is not a Christian’s job to
analyze every creature that comes by in the name of theology. Studying
each man’s religion is totally impossible. And who is to
say that Barth’s works are more worthy of consideration than
that of any other, even of a child that believes?
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank You, O Father,
Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things
from the sophisticated and cunning, and revealed them to babes.
Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight” (Matthew
So who then is Barth but a “wise and prudent” (KJV)
one, a man honored among men, no matter how much right doctrine
he had (or did not have)?
“And He said to them, You are those who justify yourselves
before men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly
esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke
Paul will link you to a correspondence we had with a fellow on
the very subject you bring forth in this third question: “What
is your view of the authority of the Scriptures”?”
Berit, I will tell you that the women of “End Time Ministries” (Despatch
magazine) have been nothing short of brute beasts with which to
do battle. Lest you should think it “unChristian” of
us to say so, many are the Biblically recorded instances of holy
men of God doing the very same that I just did…Paul and John
to name two. You can divulge my comments to them if you wish. We
do not speak secretly about these things; neither did the saints
and prophets of old. “Christianity” is not what they
and so many others think it to be. In them, there is no truth,
knowledge or love of God.
Very honored to be granted the grace to represent the most holy
faith of the fathers, though utterly unworthy of such a privilege,
The following writing might be helpful in answer to your questions
here. I say might, not because it is not appropriate or substantive,
but because you are set in such a way that I am not sure you can
hear anything we say. You are trusting in your knowledge rather
than the Lord, which makes you deaf and blind. Nevertheless, we
are here, in the Lord, to turn people to Him, bringing sight to
the blind, hearing to the deaf, and judgment to all by His Word.
Read How We View and Use the Scriptures.
We are not meant to analyze the Scriptures as if dissecting a
cadaver, looking for the secret of life or thinking we can please
God by so doing. None thus far have discovered how to create life
by examining the dead, and neither have any brought the Lord down
from Heaven, or up from the earth, by examining the Scriptures.
The Word of God is living, and He dissects us:
“For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper
than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of
soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner
of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 MKJV).
The author of Hebrews was not testifying of the Bible, which as
paper and ink is not alive, but of the Word of God made flesh,
as he immediately shows in the next verse:
“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in
His sight, but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of Him
with Whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13 MKJV).
So we speak particularly, as do the Scriptures, of the Word of
God made flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Truth testified
of in Scripture:
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have
eternal life. And they are the ones witnessing of Me, and you will
not come to Me that you might have life” (John 5:39-40 MKJV).
A document you could read about how God judges the “emergent” church,
such as was represented by Kyle Lake:
What Happened to Kyle Lake
Here is a document Victor was recommending to you:
Christianity Unmasked (Bible Inerrancy – in a nutshell,
the Author of the Bible is inerrant, but men are errant.)
Here is one I add, because it demonstrates, by the Bible, what
God approves, and what He does not, for those that would follow
Him. I should think this would be very important to you, as it
The True Marks of a Cult
Will you be answering us about what we have written to you and
the others about your analysis and conclusions regarding The
It seems you are playing your cards close to the vest, having much
at stake here. Do not think you can remain neutral. Your decision
in this matter will indicate if you choose to retain your little
empire for a time, or lose it for the Kingdom that will never perish.
Victor and Paul,
I have read
several of your articles, but your writing is very confusing
to me. Yes, I totally agree that
our wonderful Lord is
also the living Word. The Bible makes that perfectly clear. And
we are to come to Him. One of my favorite verses is Gal. 2:20.
In fact when people are struggling with various problems, I usually
suggest that verse as a constant reminder that we indeed have “been
crucified with Christ.” It’s no longer I who live but
He lives in me!!! He and I are one, and He has lifted me up into
the heavenly places. I just delight in that knowledge. My aim is
to walk with Him each moment of the day, doing what His Spirit
prompts me to do – which is often what my flesh would rather
not do at the moment—but oh what joy it is to follow Him.
He makes each little thing a source of joy with Him!
And I love His
Word – the living Word! I memorize it, say
it to myself when I go for my daily mile-long (not very far) walk,
listen to tapes of Scriptures where He daily reminds me of His
ways, and delight in His presence. Were it not for His precious
Word, I wouldn’t know what pleased Him, how to counsel others,
what is truly happening in this world created by our sovereign
I take His Word to heart, His Spirit makes it alive to me. I realize
that the Old Testament Levitical laws were fulfilled in Christ
and are no longer applicable to His people. But they still show
me the deeper significance of what He has accomplished on my behalf.
My confusion then, is that I agree with love for Jesus Christ
our Lord, but I cannot agree with your views of His written Word.
After all, Jesus Himself quoted or referred to Old Testament truth
that He fulfilled in chapter after chapter.
One of the topics
in our Scripture Index section is His Word. Would you please
review that page? Since
I view His Word as being
inerrant, written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit, I cannot
ignore the Scriptures that warn us never to change any part of
His Word. I know we need to translate His Word into the world’s
various languages, but I also believe that He is more than capable
of leading faithful translators in fulfilling that assignment as
best it can be communicated in limited tribal languages. (I know
that’s a challenge and we pray for several missionary friends
involved in such a task)
What we are
not to do is to subjectively change lots of words and titles
in order to intentionally reinterpret
His written word
to fit our culture and please man. Jesus never tried to please
the public. He didn’t hesitate to speak words that offended
His listeners and evoked murderous rage. I know the Bible is misused,
misunderstood, and studied in ways that cause a pretense at faith
without Spirit-given faith. But that’s no reason to change
or adapt or dismiss it. When God uses His Word to draw people to
Himself, He brings about a joyful transformation that the world
can never understand.
Here is the link to our Scripture page: http://www.crossroad.to/HisWord/verses/topics/Word.htm
By His grace alone,
PS: After reading
some of your articles, I did some Internet searching for theologians
who might have
the same views of Scriptures that
you do. I was trying to understand. I didn’t know much about
Barth or neo-orthodoxy, nor am I a student of theology, but his
views seemed similar.
Good day Berit,
I sent my reply to you (below) to Victor for him to have a look
over and he sent it back with this note. I include his note for
your sake, as it has some helpful explanation and direction for
you. My reply follows. Paul
Victor: I see that Berit has yet to read the articles we sent
her. She writes as though she has never even heard of them. She
needs to read them first, preferably many times, instead of asking
us to read anything just because she is trying to understand
us. Her problem is that she is familiar with several “Christian” boxes
out there and wondering which one we fit or which fits us. She
has not encountered reality. Being resurrected, we are free of
ornate coffins and rock-hard tombs.
Secondly, I see a great dependence on externals. It has not been
fulfilled reality to her. No wonder the Hebrews writer says “Let
us fear lest...” Unfinished clay is not acceptable for
any use except perhaps for appearance in limited form. God did
not create us for mere appearances; He created us to be used,
fulfilled in Him.
Do you know why our writing is confusing to you? It is for the
same reason that the Jews found Jesus’ message confusing:
“Why do you not understand what I say? Because you are unable
to hear My Word” (John 8:43 EMTV).
Why can you not hear our Word? We are sent by the Lord to preach
Him, the One you profess to believe in:
“And Jesus said to them again, May peace be with you! As
the Father sent Me, even so I now send you” (John 20:21 BBE).
We say what He gives us to speak, just as He did:
“For I have not spoken of Myself, but the Father who sent
Me gave Me a command, what I should say, and what I should speak” (John
Why do you not hear what we say from Him? Why do you find it confusing?
How is it you think to understand and go by the Holy Scriptures,
but cannot hear the Voice of the One Who authored them and yet
speaks by His servants who embody them? There is an answer. You
are worshiping the god you
imagine from the Scriptures, and not the One Who inspired
them. Your focus is on the letter of the Word, and not the Word
of the letter. You are serving the letter of the Word, not the
Word made flesh, and therefore “...you don’t have the
Father’s message within you, because you don’t believe
in the person He has sent” (John 5:38 GW).
We, in Christ, are the Word made flesh, “the person He has
sent,” but you do not see Him. You listen and judge us by
your understanding of the Scriptures, and not with His understanding
about Whom the Scriptures testify. You need to repent of making
an idol of Scripture, and turn to the living God Whom we preach
I will give you an excellent real-life example of where your idolatry
takes you, wrongly. In this last letter you write:
“One of my favorite verses is Gal.
2:20. In fact when people are struggling with various problems,
I usually suggest that verse
as a constant reminder that we indeed have ‘been crucified
with Christ.’ It’s no longer I who live but He lives
in me!!! He and I are one, and He has lifted me up into the heavenly
places. I just delight in that knowledge.”
You treat the Scripture as though you have everything there simply
by affirming that the words are true. That is not the case. Otherwise,
for example, the writer of Hebrews would not exhort believers to
labor to enter into rest (Heb. 4:11). He would have said, “I
am in rest,” and you would believe you are too, wrongly again.
In your example Paul was, in fact, writing to the Galatians who,
though Spirit-filled believers, had not yet been crucified with
Christ, as he was. He was leading and teaching them so they would
also come to that place. You cannot assume those Scriptures have
been fulfilled in you, and we tell you plainly they have not. That
is not a condemnation, from us or from the Lord. He would not have
us writing you and telling you these things if that were the case.
You are being alerted to your true state, for your good.
If you were to be lifted up into the heavenly places, you would
also hear our words and understand the Scriptures. You cannot give
Galatians 2:20 to others struggling with various problems as a
comfortable reminder when, in fact, their problems are often the
result of a vain profession of Christ and a lack of the application
of the cross in their lives.
Do you believe the pope can take those words to heart, and take
comfort in his problems and challenges that he too is crucified
with Christ? How can that be, when he is the agent of persecution
of true believers? Is Christ divided? We can go down the list of
many that profess to believe Christ and the Scriptures, yet are
found in truth to be antiChrist, usurpers and liars. “Yea,
let God be true but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).
You also write:
“My confusion then, is that I agree
with love for Jesus Christ our Lord, but I cannot agree with
your views of His written
Word. After all, Jesus Himself quoted or referred to Old Testament
truth that He fulfilled in chapter after chapter.”
Are we not also often quoting the Scriptures? Have you red the
writings we have sent you? How are we different than the Lord in
this regard, that is, in confirming what we say by the authority
of the Scriptural Record of God?
Contrary to what you say, God does not draw men to Himself by
the written Word. According to the Scriptures He draws men to the
Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, Who raises them up at the last day
(John 6:44). We are witnesses that these words are true. We affirm
that the Scriptures are true because the Lord has fulfilled them
in us. Again, your position is evidence of your substitution of
the Bible for Jesus Christ, and an illicit worship of the Scriptures.
You say, somewhat self-righteously:
“I cannot ignore the Scriptures that
warn us never to change any part of His Word.”
You do not see that you are changing the meaning of His Word all
the time, by your carnal nature and interpretation of verses such
as those I have already mentioned in this letter and others in
previous letters. Your problem is positional, not intentional.
You need to be born again, baptized in His Spirit, enabled to commune
with His Spirit and receive the things of God.
“What we are not to do is to subjectively
change lots of words and titles in order to intentionally reinterpret
word to fit our culture and please man.”
Neither are you to change the meanings and application of those
words, which is what you are doing, subconscious or not. You have
been denying yourself life and bringing on plagues by how you treat
the Word of God.
As for Peterson, I wrote you previously that we do not see intentional
reinterpretation in his rendering of Scriptures. What we have seen,
and appreciated, where it works, is an immediacy of meaning and
original intent that is quite refreshing and accessible to many
whereas other versions are not quite the same. Are you not in favor
of people being able to hear more clearly what God is saying?
But we use it judiciously, and do not recommend The Message as
the only or first Bible. What is more important than Bibles, though,
is that people have the guidance of God-ordained shepherds. Did
Jesus say, when He saw all the fields ripe for harvest, “Pray
the Lord of harvest that He sends many Bibles into His harvest”?
No, He said to pray for many laborers. The laborers will show themselves
approved, rightly dividing the Word of God. After all, does God
He provides, even as He did for the Ethiopian to whom Philip was
sent. The eunuch received, because he wasn't depending upon his
own understanding, but sought understanding from God, Who provided
to lead him:
“Philip ran over and heard him reading from the book of
the prophet Isaiah. He asked him, ‘Do you understand what
you are reading?’ The official replied, ‘How can I
understand unless someone explains it to me?’ And he invited
Philip to climb up and sit in the carriage with him” (Acts
You asked us about the section “His Word” under your
Topical Index of Scriptures. What I see there is a compilation
of Scriptures, which of course are all true, but assembled in
ways that really say nothing or impart any meaningful guidance.
The pieces are there, but the understanding to arrange them is
Many of the Scriptures you quote are speaking strictly or primarily
of the spoken Word of God as coming from men of God, speaking by
His Spirit, and not simply reciting Scripture. Reciting Scripture
is not preaching the Gospel. Preaching the Gospel is the testimony
of the living Christ. Some examples of your postings confirming
the preaching of the Gospel by men of God sent to speak His living
“Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke,
exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will
come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according
to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap
up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears
away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful
in all things...” 2 Timothy 4:2-5
“...our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also
in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance...” 1
“I now send you, to open their
eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that
they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those
who are sanctified by faith in Me.’“ Acts 26:17-18
“...if anyone preaches any other
gospel to you than what
you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men,
or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men,
I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:9-10
“I have not shunned to declare
to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock,
among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd
the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. “ Acts
“You shall speak My words
to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse...” Ezekiel 2:7
....we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of
sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” 2
“...Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing
of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church,
not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should
be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27
“He opened their understanding,
that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” Luke 24:45
Let her that has ears to hear, hear. Let her that does not, be
judged so that she might some day.
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