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Pastor's Update

Pastor's Update 

Click for link to "Bondage Breaker" book by Neil T. Anderson
 

The Bondage Breaker (more than 1.2 million copies sold) leads readers away from the shadows and shackles in their lives and toward the freedom that comes when they:

  • realize they have the right to be free
  • confront the power of Satan
  • fight the temptation to do it their way
  • trade deception for grace
  • affirm their identity in Christ

Neil Anderson ultimately helps people break negative thought patterns, control irrational feelings, and break out of the bondage of sinful behavior. Those struggling will discover how to embrace the promise of Jesus to win the spiritual battles that confront them.



 

If you care to know how your Bible was translated to our language today, it would be beneficial to read the following article on "Textual criticism".
 
Simply stated, textual criticism is a method used to determine what the original manuscripts of the Bible said. The original manuscripts of the Bible are either lost, hidden, or no longer in existence. What we do have is tens of thousands of copies of the original manuscripts dating from the 1st to the 15th centuries A.D. (for the New Testament) and dating from the 4th century B.C. to the 15th century A.D. (for the Old Testament). In these manuscripts, there are many minor and a few somewhat major differences. Textual criticism is the study of these manuscripts in an attempt to determine what the original reading actually was. 

There are three primary methods to textual criticism. The first is the Textus Receptus. The Textus Receptus was a manuscript of the Bible that was compiled by a man named Erasmus in the 1500s A.D. He took the limited number of manuscripts he had access to and compiled them into what eventually became known as the Textus Receptus. The Textus Receptus is the textual basis behind the King James Version and New King James Version.
 
A second method is known as the Majority Text. The Majority Text takes all of the manuscripts that are available today, compares the differences, and chooses the most likely correct reading based on which reading occurs the most. For example, if 748 manuscripts read "he said" and 1429 manuscripts read "they said" - the Majority Text will go with "they said" as the  most likely original reading. There are no major Bible translations that are based on the Majority Text.
 
The third method is known as the critical or eclectic method. The eclectic method involves considering external and internal evidences for determining the most likely original text. External evidence makes us ask these questions: in how many manuscripts does the reading occur? what are the dates for these manuscripts? in what region of the world were these manuscripts found? Internal evidence prompts these questions: what could have caused these varying readings? which reading can possibly explain the origin of the other readings? The New  International Version, New American Standard, New Living Translation, and most other Bible translations use the Eclectic Text.
 
Which method is most accurate? That is where the debate begins. When the methods are first described to someone, the person typically picks the Majority Text as the method that should be used. It is essentially the "majority rules" and the "democratic" method. However, there is a regional issue to consider here. In the first few centuries of the church, the vast  majority of Christians spoke and wrote in Greek. Starting in the 4th century A.D., Latin began to become the most common language, especially in the church. Starting with the Latin Vulgate, the New Testament began to be copied in Latin instead of Greek.
 
However, in the eastern Christian world, Greek continued to be the dominant language of the church for over 1000 more years. As a result, the vast majority of Greek manuscripts are from the eastern/Byzantine region. These Byzantine manuscripts are all very similar to each other. They likely all originated in the same few Greek manuscripts. While being very similar to each other, the Byzantine manuscripts have numerous differences with the manuscripts found in the western and central regions of the church. So, it essentially boils down to this: if you  started with three manuscripts, one was copied 100 times, another was copied 200 times, and the third was copied 5000 times, which group is going to have the majority rule? The third group, of course. However, the third group is no more likely to have the original reading than the first or second group. It only has more copies. The critical / eclectic method of textual  criticism gives equal "weight" to the manuscripts from different regions, despite the manuscripts from the East having the overwhelming majority.
 
How does the critical / eclectic method work in practice? If you compare John 5:1-9 in the King James Version (Textus Receptus) and the New International Version (Critical Text), you will notice that verse 4 is missing from the NIV. In the KJV, John 5:4 reads, "For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the  troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had." Why is this verse missing from the NIV (and the other Bible translations which use the Critical Text)? The eclectic method works as follows:

1. The text of John 5:4 does not occur in most of the oldest manuscripts.
2. The text of John 5:4 occurs in all of the Byzantine manuscripts, but not many of the non-eastern manuscripts.
3. It is more likely that a scribe would add an explanation than it is that a scribe would remove an explanation.

John 5:4 makes it more clear why the crippled man wanted to get into the pool. Why would a scribe remove this verse? That does not  make sense. It does make sense for that the tradition of why the crippled man wanted to get into the pool would be added. As a result of these concepts, the Critical/Eclectic Text does not include John 5:4.

No matter what method of textual criticism you believe is correct, this is an issue that should be discussed with grace, respect, and kindness. Christians can and do disagree on this issue. We can debate the methods, but we should not attack the motivations and character of those with whom we disagree on this issue. We all have the same goal—to determine the most  likely original wording of the Bible. Some simply have different methods to achieve that goal.
 
Recommended Resource: A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament by Bruce Metzger
https://www.gotquestions.org/textual-criticism.html

 
 

Image result for read scripture logo
This is an app to make the Bible project reading simple. 
https://appsto.re/us/2DLP_.i

Image result for blue letter bible logo
This is the app for the Blue Letter Bible:
https://appsto.re/us/X_CYv.i

Image result for BIBLE PROJECT READING PLAN
This is the link to the Bible Project Reading Plan PDF. You can print it if you wish.
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/tbp-wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/RS_Reading-Plan_2017.pdf
 


Soul tie
The Bible speaks of what is today known as soul ties. The Bible doesn't use the word soul tie, but it speaks of them when it talks about souls being knit together, becoming one flesh, etc. A soul tie can serve many functions, but in its simplest form, it ties two souls together in the spiritual realm. Soul ties between married couples draw them together like magnets, while soul ties between fornicators can draw a beaten and abused  woman to the man which in the natural realm she would hate and run from, but instead she runs to him even though he doesn't love her, and treats her like dirt. In the demonic world, unholy soul ties can serve as bridges between two people to pass demonic garbage through. Other soul ties can do things such as allow one person to manipulate and control another person, and the other person is unaware to what is going on or knows what is going on, but for no real reason, allows it to continue.

How soul ties are formed? Here are some that I am aware of.
1. Sexual relations: Godly soul ties are formed when a couple is married (Ephesians 5:31, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh."), and the Godly soul tie between a husband and the wife that God intended him to have is unbreakable by man (Mark 10:7-9). However, when a person has ungodly sexual relations with another person, an ungodly soul tie is then formed (1 Corinthians 6:16, "What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh."). This soul tie fragments the soul, and is destructive. People who have many past relationships find it very difficult to 'bond' or be joined to anybody, because their soul is fragmented.

2. Close relationships: King David and Jonathan had a good soul tie as a result of a good friendship (1 Samuel 18:1, "And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul."), but bad soul ties can form from bad relationships as well. Idolizing somebody can cause a bad soul tie. I have heard too that you can create a soul tie with a rock group by becoming obsessed with their music. Which explains the strong pull towards certain music that seems almost irresistible.

3. Vows, commitments and agreements: Vows are known to bind the soul (Numbers 30:2), marriage itself consists of vows and binds the two people together (Ephesians 5:31), therefore don’t overlook the concept of vows or commitments as being a means to create a soul tie.

How to break a soul tie
1. If any sins were committed to cause this soul tie, repent of them! Fornication is perhaps one of the most common ways to create nasty soul ties.
2. If gifts were given to you by the other person in connection with the sin or unholy relationship, such as rings, flowers, cards, bras, etc. get rid of them! Such things symbolize the ungodly relationship, and can hold a soul tie in place. Get rid of anything that symbolizes the ungodly practices in the relationship
3. Any rash vows or commitments made that played a part in forming the soul tie should be renounced and repented of, and broken in Jesus' name. Even things like "I will love you forever", or "I could never love another man!" need to be renounced. They are spoken commitments that need to be undone verbally. As Proverbs 21:23 tells us, "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles." The tongue has the ability to bring the soul great troubles and bondage.
4. Forgive that person if you have anything against them.
5. Renounce the soul tie. Do this verbally, and in Jesus' name. Example, "In Jesus' name, I now renounce any ungodly soul ties formed between myself and ______ as a result of _______________(fornication, etc.)."
6. Break the soul tie in Jesus' name! Do this verbally using your authority in Jesus. Example, "I now break and sever any ungodly soul ties formed between myself and _________ as a result of ______________
(fornication, etc.) in Jesus' name."
by Deliverance Ministries


 



How to identify your spiritual gifts?
1. Ask our Heavenly Father to reveal them to you. He wants you to know your gifts. Always press our Heavenly Father for the answer to your Gift.
 
2. Jump in and get involved. It is common for people to discover their gifts as they begin serving somewhere.

Note: Spiritual gifts are not burdensome, on the contrary they bring us great joy. Sometimes we carry heavy loads of guilt because we are expected to perform tasks for which we are not gifted. The happiest and most effective Christian's are those who are functioning in ministries where they can clearly recognize some sense of calling, some level of enthusiasm, some visible fruit and a sense of competence. 

3. Recognize that all true service/ministry is born out of a relationship with God. Without the Holy Spirit operating in us, spiritual gifts have no power.  Trust that God has given you a spiritual gift because you are a follower of Jesus Christ.
 
4. Your ability to see a need may indicate that you have been given a gift to meet that need.
 
Note: self tests and inventories are interesting to take and may be of help to some but they are the least reliable…

Click on the following links to get more resources on spiritual gifts.
*For a definition and further study on gifts:
http://mintools.com/gifts-list.htm

*For a questionaire that may give you some insight:
https://www.lifeway.com/lwc/files/lwcF_PDF_Discover_Your_Spiritual_Gifts.pdf



Other resources:
Animated Explanation of "The Messiah" (video)

 

Total Member Involvement (TMI): To learn more, I encourage you to watch this short video.