To the editor

To the editor

To the editor

Dear Ed

Subject: Re: Renewed Testament (January OT)

The King James version from my understanding is a TRANSLATION
and thus can only hope to bring the word of God to those who are not able to
read the original language the Bible was written in. I can not see that it could
possibly 100% convey the original texts and this is backed up by the numerous
resources theologians and Pastors use to supplement the translation. I
understand the valid concerns you write about concerning the altering of God's
word but does God want us to all become Greek and Hebrew Scholars to get the
100% correct word of God? Even then there would be different interpretations
made even by the most educated reader... The King James Bible was a significant
publication that enabled many English speaking people to read the word of God
directly for themselves which is extremely significant. The King James Bible was
written using the English Language of the time. Pull me up here if I am wrong.
My understanding is that it was in the English language of the day. There are
quite a few terms used that are now infrequently used or not at all by the
general public in the 21st century. Now for the verse quoted Revelation 22:19:
"And if many shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God
shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and
from the things which are written in this book." Now that is fair enough but
exactly what is taking away from the words of the book of this prophesy mean?
When I was a teenager and my immediate family were not Christians. I became a
born again Christian when I moved away from home for work. The Church (I
attended) was later revealed to be a cult, using the King James Version of the
Bible. This in itself would not normally be a problem. But this presented me
with a problem. I had a poor grasp of English as it was. I was having the word
of God quoted at me in a version of English that was very foreign to me... the
Pastor and elders were able to quickly bring me up to speed with the language of
the bible and I was soon memorising and quoting fluent KJV. Now here is the
problem....at home with no support I found it difficult to read. A lady at the
bookshop pointed me to the New International Version and I read it for about 15
minutes and found it quite easy reading. I can say with certainty that the
switch was not welcomed at the Church / Cult I attended. I quietly began to
compare what was being preached and what the New International Version said. I
found quite a few variances. I could write a whole book on what happened but
sufficient to say the New International Version of the Bible warts and all was
significantly illuminating to help me on my journey out of the cult and turn me
from worshiping and relying on the Cult leaders to relying on God directly.

In summary if you enjoy and are fully familiar with the
wording in the King James Version of the Bible then great, it has been tested
over time. I have no problem in that. Whatever version of the Bible you use make
sure you are reading it with the holy spirit leading you. I find the quote re/.
ripping out 30 of the smaller books in the total of 66 books in the King James
Bible a bit alarmist. Thanks for your good work Barry and the facility to
comment on your articles. Agent 86

Dear Agent 86

I have addressed some of your queries in the Pendulum article
for this month "Your Version Or Mine". Re/. Revelation 22:19 -– and
manipulating people's lives through tampering with God's Word to proclaim a
personal message... dangerous ground! I think a common mistake leaders make is:
leading people to where they want people to go, as opposed to leading
people to Jesus, and letting Jesus lead from there." It's a risk 'not
controlling people'! If we don't control people they may just do something
we (leaders) did not initiate... and for this reason many leaders cannot
relinquish power over the lives of those entrusted to them. Ironically, because
these types of leaders take themselves so seriously, they will always end up
disappointed with people who appear disloyal, but ultimately are answerable only
to God.

God's Word never returns void -– and always completes the
task it was sent to accomplish, therefore tampering with it is serious business.
Isaiah 55:7-13 is a great passage which talks about the fruit of applying God's
Word (without changing it's meaning). It has been said that each generation
reinterprets the Word of God in the light of current trends and culture -– we
must learn that when trends and culture differ with the Word of God, we have to
stand with the Word of God... not water the Word down to suit. However, not all
trends and culture is evil, and some of our legalist cult friends need to quit
pushing barrows that are too heavy to bear (Matthew 23). Ed


Dear Ed

Re: Strapping award (referring to Feb article ")

I am not a lawyer - yet! For a small slice of the $NZ10m you
are chasing, I could become qualified very quickly. Come to think of it, why not
a class action? I mean, my own rear end is still in tatters after similar
assaults upon it as you described. Brethren of the Bruised Rear End Society
UNITE! Let's clean the blighters out! Err, um, well, don't forget Brother
Smith's need for his building - almost forgot myself for a moment - the thrill
of the hunt and all that... A great paper, and a GREAT sense of humour! It helps
a lot in these strange days. Thanks, Shane P

Dear Shane

You obviously share the same sense of humour as brother Barry...
it is good to laugh

Ed.


Dear Ed

Good to know the statistics about church attendance health
side. People don't go to church because of all the traditions of men that are
being taught, instead of teaching and living the Word of God. I personally would
not invite people to any church. This as you know has a reputation that does not
glorify God in some places. We will see a different move of God that will be,
people coming to Christ and a time when God will divinely gather different
fellowships outside the denomination and these will worship the Father in Spirit
and in truth and any foundation and works of man will be shaken. WATCH

Dear Watch

Judgement does first begin in the house of God... you're
right when you talk about many Churches teaching traditions of men and not God.
There are still pockets of life I'm pleased to report. Watch the temptation to
be cynical (I've done that trip) -– there are still plenty of people who love
and follow Jesus whilst choosing to put up with extraneous church activity.
Blessings Ed.


Dear Ed,

Firstly I'd like to say me and my family do go to church and
always have, but there have been more times than not, that we'd rather not have
gone at all. Over the last 10 years we've seen 3 terrible deaths of churches...
you could say we've spent most of our 23 years as Christians, picking up the
pieces of devastated brothers and sisters, trying to convince them that God's
Bigger than all this church politics and control and manipulation, Bigger than
the pastors who fall immorally and use money wrongly... Thank the Lord Jesus, He
has somehow helped us grow through it all, closer to Him than we've ever been...
Even though that's a good thing, I still wonder if the pain people go through,
inflicted by fellow Christians is worth it. We know there'll never be a perfect
church, but why not?? Why man has to go with his own agendas and programs...Where
did we gone wrong? Sometimes I totally understand why people never want to go to
church again, and we try and keep in touch with them so they don't get lost
forever... When you've seen so many get hurt and abandoned you just end up
wishing that some articles would come out about true servant leadership, and
really loving one another, isn't it all about Knowing Him so we can Make Him
Known? When you don't want to "church hop" yet so many are frustrated
and so hungry for more of God, what is the answer? What can we say and what can
we do for them? We've decided that the only good thing about still going to
church is the people and that it must be character building to put up with the
"good, bad and the ugly"....

I hope you can hear my heart in this, thanks for having a
comment line and thanks so much for all your information on end times events we
love it!! Waterwoman

Dear Waterwoman

I like your name -– and appreciate your situation. Can you
establish a midweek fellowship meeting for any who would like to come along and
share the love of God together? A practical group that discusses issues people
face and different ways of applying God's Word...it's fun, you have a heart
for people. Good to hear from you. Ed.


Dear Ed

If Jesus hadn't told us in Matthew 16:18 that the gates of
Hell would not prevail against the church, I would think it had sunk into
passive oblivion. My husband and I are numbered among the disillusioned, hurt,
church hopping, withdrawers... As I looked around church this morning, I
thought, if I got up and asked each individual what they believed I doubt if
many could put a specific handle on it. I am not against evangelism but we have
been feasting on it for so many years that we are like the Israelites with the
quail, we are ready to puke. Kingdom teaching has taken over the church to the
point where no one is even believing in the coming of the Lord. It is never
spoken of as being imminent and it is very far from the minds of most
Christians. There is focus on revival but not repentance, let's have God on our
terms, the quick and easy way.
Thanking God that Barry is still around to remind us that Jesus is coming soon.
A little louder please Barry! Rosie Mac

Dear Rosie

Your tale has a familiar ring. Praise God for His Word which
sustains us. I attend a great fellowship -– and every now and again someone
will share a great message as well. I do not rely on Church for my spiritual
food... bit sad isn't it. But I do enjoy encouraging people and receiving
their encouragement. Teaching about Jesus return does keep one on the spiritual
toes -– and reminds us that we are here very temporarily (so don't put roots
down too deep). Ed.


Dear Ed

Re/. Two Stages (article in February OT)

Correction Mohammed had sixteen wives one of which was a nine
year old girl. Indian Christian living in Saudi-Arabia

Dear Friend

Mohammed was a busy man wasn't he. Thanks for the
correction


Dear Ed.

I have no idea in what to believe in regards to the end
times/the Bible. My father is a born again Christian who used to take me to a
Pentecostal church when I was younger but I stopped going of my own free will at
about age 16, I'm now 24... some say that all biblical prophecy has been
fulfilled and now we wait for the return of Christ with no 'expected' end times
scenarios. Some say that most writers in the field of prophecy are false
teachers naming various popular figures as deceiving date setters. Some teach
pre-, some teach mid-, some teach post-tribulation raptures, some teach no
rapture at all. Then there is the apostasy and revival issue in the end times
with latter rain, third wave, Pensacola, Toronto, The Alpha course, the WCC,
Billy Graham etc. (who my father took me to see when I was a small child hear in
the UK), prayer of Jabez, the New Age movement, Catholicism. This
apostasy/revival issue is quite disturbing, it seems to be a mud-slinging match
from all corners, everyone is attacking everyone. Should I listen to ANY
preacher on TV or any preacher?... Stewart

Dear Stewart

Post me your mailing address and I'll send you some bits to
read... You're right though -– it gets pretty confusing when there are lots
of opinions and many people apparently speak 'for God'. I'm pretty
sensitive in this regard, I've been through the same confusion, wanting to
know God but avoid the 'extra trappings' so to speak. God is not the author
of confusion -– we often complicate the simple issues. I advise you to face
your questions one at a time in order of vital importance. The answers to some
of your questions will be a decision you have to come to based on the facts you
uncover. I hold onto very few beliefs tightly, being concerned only with the
essentials (do I have peace ruling my heart today; am I looking after those
things entrusted to me; am I affecting people I meet positively). At the end of
the day, a lot of the other stuff is simply not worth worrying about.
Tackle the issues which affect you today! Re/. TV preachers: there are good ones
and not so good ones. These are discernable by the spirit in which they
minister. Some of them project a message of "Look at Jesus" some say "Look
at me". You decide which one you want to look at. Ed.


Dear Ed

...have read somewhere that Maitreya in Hebrew numbers = 666
do you know anything about this? Asked quite a few translators by email but the
reply is always the same "we would rather not comment".

Steve UK

Dear Steve

I was going to tell you "we would rather not comment" but
felt you might resent this. The truth is I do not know! I will open it up to our
readers and invite people who might have knowledge of this to comment. Ed.


Dear Ed

Re/. Celebrating Christmas

...the date of Christmas or the birth of Yeshua is not 25
December... the Romans were not silly...so with the census of people... the
logical days (to take the census) were on the Jewish Feasts... Feast Of
Tabernacles held each year from latter part of September until middle of October...
also in Luke 2:8 we read there about shepherds in the field. In Israel we know
that the animals are not going to their winter quarter until November or there
about. So by all reason, Jesus must have been born on or near the Feast Of
Tabernacles... so the date 25 December is a continuation of the mid winter feast
created by satan... yours sincerely, a 77 year young pensioner Nick Groot

Dear Nick

Thanks for doing your homework! I believe what you are saying
re/. Jesus birth date not being 25th December... and the significance
of the Feast Of Tabernacles in relation to His birth. There are indications in
Messianic prophecies which would seem to verify your thoughts... will need to
follow this up. Ed.