The Lord has provided so much richness of guidance and information in the Holy Bible, it is hard to understand why Christians struggle so much in keeping to the path which He has chosen for us to take. But struggle we do! Without a doubt, the period of deception which Jesus warned us about in Matthew 24:11 has arrived and is now in full demonic swing.
Mega-church, Houston’s First Baptist Church recently announced that his congregation will no longer be using the 2011 New International Version (NIV) of the Bible due to “accuracy concerns.” They will now use the Holman Christian Standard Bible (right) instead.
“‘Upon review of the changes made to the NIV, Pastor Gregg believes that it is no longer as accurate in terms of reflecting the meaning of the original biblical texts,’ reads the church’s website.
‘Members and guests are welcome to use any translation of their choice – during the worship services, in Life Bible Studies, or for personal study of God’s Word.’
As the debate over the effectiveness of the translation continues, some Texas pastors have drawn similar conclusions about the latest NIV translation as Matte. Andrew Werley, lead pastor for Jersey Village Baptist Church, also located in Houston, told CP that he has also felt that the NIV 2011 has “drifted.'”
Given that the NIV is the highest selling English version taking 60% of the US market Bible sales, and in the mid 1980’s was the first version to overtake sales of the 400-year-old King James Version, Houston’s First Baptist Church’s announcement should be cause for concern for all Christians.
For some of us this issue as to which Bible to use, or not to use, has been around for many years, in particular the NIV. It grew more acute when it was shown that the ‘largest’ Christian Publisher Zondervan, is a Division of HarperCollins, which also Publishes the Satanic Bible. For further reading on this, please see Truth in Heart. As Truth in Heart ask on their web page:
“What if all Zondervan books had who their owners were, or printed News Corporation on their copyright pages, and the same was printed on the Satanic Bible? It would be the same if Zondervan was on the first floor, and HarperCollins was on the second floor of the company building owned by the same News Corporation. Would there be any difference if the following advertisement was found at the back of an NIV bible that said: “Our companies are also publishing the Satanic Bible.””
Just in case you are interested, we use many Bible versions for reading and research, but the main one is the Modern King James Version (MKJV), augmented by the King James Version (KJV) and the New King James Versions (NKJV). Practically all Bible passage extracts on His Kingdom Prophecy come from the MKJV.
It is good and fitting, therefore, that in this time of deception, when even the most commonly sold version of the Bible is being brought into question, that the Holy Bible can still speak to us and teach us, in spite of the pertaining conditions. Perhaps that is not really surprising as the word was written by God for exactly such a time as this. As Second Timothy 3:16-17 says:
“All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.”
Let us now look at the 18 Safeguards for Christians for today, which can be found in the Bible, in particular, in the book of Hebrews in the New Testament.
|Hearing||v2:1||“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” (MKJV)|
|“So we must be more careful to follow what we were taught. We must be careful so that we will not be pulled away from the true way.” (ERV)|
|Heeding or ‘taking care’||v3:12||“Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” (MKJV)|
|“So, brothers and sisters, be careful that none of you has the evil thoughts that cause so much doubt that you stop following the living God.” (ERV)|
|Exhorting||v3:13||“But exhort one another daily, while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (MKJV)|
|“But encourage each other every day, while you still have something called “today.” Help each other so that none of you will be fooled by sin and become too hard to change.” (ERV)|
|Fearing||v4:1||“Therefore, a promise being left to enter into His rest, let us fear lest any of you should seem to come short of it.” (M KJV)|
|“And we still have the promise that God gave those people. That promise is that we can enter his place of rest. So we should be very careful that none of you fails to get that promise.” (ERV)|
|Labouring||v4:11||“Therefore let us labour to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of unbelief.” (MKJV)|
|“So let us try as hard as we can to enter God’s place of rest. We must try hard so that none of us will be lost by following the example of those who refused to obey God.” (ERV)|
|Coming||v4:16||“Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (MKJV)|
|“With Jesus as our high priest, we can feel free to come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we receive mercy and kindness to help us when we need it.” (ERV)|
|v10:19-20||“Therefore, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He has consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh…” (MKJV)|
|“And so, brothers and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place. We can do this without fear because of the blood sacrifice of Jesus. We enter through a new way that Jesus opened for us. It is a living way that leads through the curtain–Christ’s body.” (ERV)|
|Leaving||v6:1||“Therefore, having left the discourse of the beginning of Christ, let us go on to full growth, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God…” (MKJV)|
|“So we should be finished with the beginning lessons about Christ. We should not have to keep going back to where we started. We began our new life by turning away from the evil we did in the past and by believing in God. That’s when we were taught about baptisms, laying hands on people, the resurrection of those who have died, and the final judgement. Now we need to go forward to more mature teaching.” (ERV)|
|Showing||v6:11-12||“And we desire that each one of you show the same eagerness to the full assurance of hope to the end, that you be not slothful, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (MKJV)|
|“We want each of you to be willing and eager to show your love like that the rest of your life. Then you will be sure to get what you hope for. We don’t want you to be lazy. We want you to be like those who, because of their faith and patience, will get what God has promised.” (ERV)|
|Drawing||v10:22||“… let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies having been washed with pure water.” (MKJV)|
|“Sprinkled with the blood of Christ, our hearts have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. So come near to God with a sincere heart, full of confidence because of our faith in Christ.” (ERV)|
|Holding||v3:6||“But Christ was faithful as a Son over his own house; whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.” (MKJV)|
|“But Christ is faithful in ruling God’s house as the Son. And we are God’s house, if we remain confident of the great hope we are glad to say we have.” (ERV)|
|v10:23||“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for He is faithful who promised)…” (MKJV)|
|“We must hold on to the hope we have, never hesitating to tell people about it. We can trust God to do what he promised.” (ERV)|
|Laying||v12:1||“Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…” (MKJV)|
|“We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall.” (ERV)|
|Looking||V12:2||“looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God.” (MKJV)|
|“We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne.” (ERV)|
|v17||“looking diligently lest any fail of the grace of God, or lest any root of bitterness springing up disturb you, and by it many are defiled…” (MKJV)|
|“Be careful that no one fails to get God’s grace. Be careful that no one loses their faith and becomes like a bitter weed growing among you. Someone like that can ruin your whole group.” (ERV)|
|Considering||v12:3||“For consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest you be weary and faint in your minds.” (MKJV)|
|“Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him . Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying.” (ERV)|
|Lifting||v12:12||“Because of this, straighten up the hands which hang down and the enfeebled knees.” (MKJV)|
|“You have become weak, so make yourselves strong again.” (ERV)|
|Making||v12:13||“And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed.” (MKJV)|
|“Live in the right way so that you will be saved and your weakness will not cause you to be lost.” (ERV)|
|Following||v12:14||“Follow peace with all, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord…” (MKJV)|
|“Try to live in peace with everyone. And try to keep your lives free from sin. Anyone whose life is not holy will never see the Lord.” (ERV)|
|Going||v13:13||“Therefore let us go forth to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” (MKJV)|
|“So we should go to Jesus outside the camp and accept the same shame that he had.” (ERV)|
|Obeying||v13:17||“Yield to those leading you, and be submissive, for they watch for your souls, as those who must give account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you.” (MKJV)|
|“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (ERV)|
We pray that these 18 Safeguards for Christians for today will be a blessing to you in your life and that of your Church congregation and that of your family. As Paul says in his epistle to the Romans, 13:10 “Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Likewise, let us also approach these safeguards in an attitude of love, not just for those we like and who love us, but for all, even those who hate us and work against us.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as we continue through the end times of this age and deception and persecution assail us, be reminded that Jesus suffered first for us, and He loved us first.