A Catholic Fable

A Catholic Fable   Francis

A review by Stuart Brogden

I tried to give this book, My God and My All – The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi, an honest opportunity to impress me. Elizabeth Goudge was a 20th century novelist and it is most appropriate that a fiction author wrote about this topic. The cover art gives us a peak into the perspective the reader will face: it’s a well-known (in Roman Catholic circles) painting of Francis in prayer. His hands are crossed over his chest and there is a nail hole visible in his left hand. Several segments within the Roman Catholic Church believe they are obedient to Scripture when they punish their bodies in imitation of the physical punishment our Lord took upon Himself in obedience to His call as being born under the Law, cursed for the sake of those He was sent to save. This may also be a twisted view of Colossians 1:24. Sam Storms has a very good analysis of this verse (posted here: http://www.samstorms.com/all-articles/post/filling-up-the-afflictions-of-christ–1:24-) that, may it please the Lord, will help some Roman Catholics see the truth of Scripture on this topic.

It is fitting that a novelist wrote this book for two reasons. First, the book is a fictionalized account of Francis’ life. Secondly, it presents a thoroughly Roman Catholic view of Francis’ life, which is as much a work of fiction as is every distinctive of that religion. I’ll focus on this second aspect, as fiction presented as truth is a danger that we cannot blithely ignore. And we see this false religion on pages 1 and 2:

In the case of those whom we call the saints, this power is immeasurable. They are the true makers of men. Other great men may alter the material aspect of life for millions, but the saints make us for eternity. By emptying themselves, by getting rid of self altogether, they become the channels of God’s creative power and by him, through them, we are made. … And so his (Francis’) power lives on and we cannot measure it because it is nowhere near its end.

The Bible calls all of His redeemed people, saints. There is no determination by any man-made religion as to whom is worthy of being identified as such. The one who plants and the one who waters are nothing – the growth comes from God and He, alone, is everything (1 Cor 3:7). The “saints” of Rome do not “make us for eternity,” they were in every bit the same need of God’s grace to be saved as any other men. There are no “great men” in the world or in the body of Christ; all men are weak and sinful and the only good we have claim to is the good He (not any religious pretender) works in and through us.

Another short insight into the dual nature of this being a novel: on page 6 the author shows us her method of weaving this story together, speaking of Francis’ birth:

Tradition says it was long and hard and that as the hours passed and her child was not born she asked to be taken to the stable that adjoined the house, that she might feel a little nearer to Mary, the Mother of God, and that in the stable her child was born. Today the little place is a chapel, the Chapel of the Infant Francis.

Many Roman Catholics deify Mary, who was a sinner used by God, not a sinless woman God was fortunate to have on His team. She was the mother of Jesus, the man, not God. Jesus, being eternally existent as the second member of the Trinity, was not born of a women in the sense that would validate this phrase beloved by Rome – Mary, mother of God. That is a blasphemous statement, but not seen as such by those who worship Mary. We also see here the practice of building a shrine at “sacred places,” as if Jesus did not have the conversation with the Samaritan woman in John 4. Places are not sacred in the Christian world, only in the pagan world. God’s people (individually and corporately) are His temple (1 Cor 3:16; 6:19; Eph 2:17 – 22). He does not require nor even want temples made by human hands (Acts 7:48; 17:24) and when men make ornate buildings as places of worship, the tendency is to take pleasure in the grand architecture and the images normally found therein – forgetting the God Who made all things and is Lord of all things.

Francis was, as many Roman Catholics are, a mystic who imagined he heard direct from God apart from His Word (page 22). In one such moment he dreamed YHWH revealed the perfect bride for him, “Lady Poverty” (page 21). And by so determining he must deny self by becoming temporally poor, “Francis entered upon this battle of winning himself for God.” (page 22) This reveals one danger of the mystical life: a person can be misled by various voices which lead away from God’s Word. This shows up again on page 28 as Francis “heard the Lord speaking with the voice of a friend, and saying, ‘Francis, go and repair my church, which as thou seest is wholly in ruin.” In focusing on the crucifix, Francis “realized that though the sufferings of Christ in his human body were ended yet the At-one-ment was always going on. Christ still reigned from the cross, looking out over the suffering world, drawing all men to himself on his cross that might unite them to God in himself.” When Jesus finished His work of redemption, He sat down at the right hand of God (Heb 1:3). He is not still hanging on the cross!

Francis is recorded in this novel as working on the rebuilding of three buildings, which are called churches. This is a vital error, putting places in the place of the body of Christ, as noted earlier. Of His church, the Lord said He would build her (Matt 16:18), this spiritual building that is the work of God alone. He does not need the help of men, although He does command us to be obedient in proclaiming the gospel to men everywhere and to disciple the saints within the local church.

Chapter 5 carries the book’s title and describes the Roman Catholic mass as the center of worship. “Nothing could be greater than the coming of Christ the King in the sacrament of the altar. Soon the little church would be as holy as the courts of heaven” (page 50). So much of the Roman religion is taken from the Jewish religion without any discernment. The New Covenant church has no altar, and Christ the King is not offered up on any altar! His empty cross serves as a spiritual altar (Heb 13:10). Note how this is explained by the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:

Christianity and Judaism are so totally distinct, that “they who serve the (Jewish) tabernacle,” have no right to eat our spiritual Gospel meat, namely, the Jewish priests, and those who follow their guidance in serving the ceremonial ordinance. He says, “serve the tabernacle,” not “serve in the tabernacle.” Contrast with this servile worship ours.

an altar—the cross of Christ, whereon His body was offered. The Lord’s table represents this altar, the cross; as the bread and wine represent the sacrifice offered on it. Our meat, which we by faith spiritually eat, is the flesh of Christ, in contrast to the typical ceremonial meats. The two cannot be combined (Gal 5:2). That not a literal eating of the sacrifice of Christ is meant in the Lord’s Supper, but a spiritual is meant, appears from comparing Heb 13:9 with Heb 13:10, “with grace, not with meats.”

The last thing I will briefly cover comes from chapter 6 – The Rule. We have a snippet written by Francis wherein he reveals his authority: the pope. “And when the Lord gave me some brothers, no one showed me what I ought to do, but the Most High himself revealed to me that I should according to the form of the holy gospel. And I cause it to be written in a few words and simply, and the pope confirmed it for me.” Also on page 73 the author says “Francis was a devoted and loyal son of the Church.” When Francis and his brothers formed their group, “Francis promised obedience and reverence to both Innocent and his successors after him. All the brothers were to take the three evangelical vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and they were to live without any property whatever” (pages 74 & 75). These “evangelical vows” are not found in Scripture. We find in God’s Word that His children are to be poor in spirit, not proud; sexually pure, in marriage unless gifted with singleness; and obedient to Christ as revealed in Scripture, not to traditions and words of men.

The god of Francis appears, from this book, not to be the God of the Bible. If that god was his all, his end was worse than his beginning. I pray all who claim to be in Christ examine themselves to see if they be in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). The Christian religion is not the product of men. It is the work of God in the people He called to new life in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) from their natural condition of spiritual death (Eph 2:1 – 10). To Him alone be all honor and glory and dominion, and none of that to any man.

What Does 2 Peter 3:9 Teach?

There are many in the Christian community who believe that God wants to save all men, based in part on 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV): The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. It seems clear to many that this verse teaches exactly that – God wants all men to come to faith in Christ Jesus. Since it is just as clear that not all men do come to faith in Christ Jesus, something else is needed. Enter Charles Finney and his “new methods” and other things within our control. Is this what honors our Creator and King?  bibleTeaching

This short article is not a comprehensive examination of any “new methods” nor of the overall nature of the atonement – Is it intended for all men or only for those chosen by God to be saved? I simply want to examine the question, What does 2 Peter 3:9 teach? As with all such questions, we run to the first rule of hermeneutics – context! What does the paragraph teach, what does the chapter and book teach? What does the whole Bible teach about the topic?

The first contextual element gives clear evidence of the intended meaning of verse 9. Let’s read the paragraph in which this verse appears. It is widely agreed that a new paragraph starts with verse 8, although where the paragraph ends appears to be another matter. The ESV is shown below.

2 Peter 3:8 – 10 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Peter opens this paragraph addressing his audience: the beloved, his brothers and sisters in Christ. Whatever comes directly after this is intended for Christians, not for the world. The main idea presented in this paragraph is that our Lord is not tied to calendars and time, that His promise to the elect is a sure thing that will come to pass, culminating in a dramatic event that cannot be missed.

Verse 9 begins with a clear indication of the subject of the Lord’s desire: YHWH is patient toward you (ESV), or longsuffering to us-ward (KJV). God is patient towards the beloved, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. Not wishing that any of what group should perish? If we take verse 9b out of its context, we are free to imagine that Creator God wants to save everybody. As I observed in the opening, that brings in all sorts of questions and has serious consequences on our theology of salvation.  But if we allow the Word of God to guide us, the immediate context tells about whom verse 9 speaks. YHWH is addressing His beloved, and towards them He is patient, not willing that any of His redeemed lose heart but trust Him to bring to completion that which He started, as YHWH Himself builds His temple (1 Cor 3:9 & 16; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16) with the spiritual stones (Eph 2:19 – 22; 1 Peter 2:4 & 5) He has chosen. To claim verse 9 shows that YHWH desires all men to be saved actually works violence on the Scriptures, leading one to conclude the Creator and Sustainer and Judge of all things is unable to bring His desires to pass – contrary to what is declared about Him in Psalms 115:3 and 135:6.

When our interpretation of Scripture puts limits on God (beyond what the Bible describes, in that He cannot lie nor can He stop being YHWH), we know our interpretation is wrong. Every instance I know of wherein men do such a thing has been founded on a view of man that is too high and a view of God that is too low. Rather than attempt to bring God down to our understanding, we should bow before Him as revealed in Scripture and worship Him in humility.

Before we take a look at the greater context within this letter, it will be helpful to review the overall structure of this letter. Chapter 1 has a short greeting with an emphatic description of the believer’s positon and security in Christ Jesus, and an exhortation regarding the truth of the gospel. Chapter 2 is a warning about false teachers, their characteristics and their doom. Chapter 3 turns again to the believers to provide comfort in the promises of God, His power over all creation, and the beautiful culmination of His grand plan of redemption of sinners, with words of instruction to continue to learn about our Lord until He returns.

Now let’s see if there be any reason to overturn the clear meaning of our subject paragraph. Chapter 3 begins in much the same way as verse 8, as Peter addresses the audience of his letter as “beloved”, contrasting these dear brothers and sisters with scoffers and false prophets who question whether Christ will return. And in passage that ends this chapter, and the letter, Creator God addresses His people as “beloved” in verse 14 and 17, connecting them with this characterization with the Apostle Paul in verse 15.

The letter begins with a greeting to the saints, who are the beloved: Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. Every sentence in this chapter is addressed to these saints, and we see the first use of the word “beloved” in verse 17 as it is used to describe God the Father’s view of His Son. There can be no argument that being called “beloved” in this letter is anything less than a glorious reference to our status as children of the most high God.

Since chapter 2 addresses believers indirectly, as Peter describes the enemies of God, we have nothing to add to our review of the topic in this chapter.

2 Peter begins and ends calling Christians “beloved”, as a reflection of our standing in Christ, and in verse 3:9 it is these people about whom Peter says God is patient towards and not willing that any of them would perish. This is not a half-baked promise to lost people that they can ask Jesus into their hearts and be saved. It is a glorious promise to Christians that those chosen before time (Eph 1:4; Rev 13:8) will be raised from spiritual death to new life in Christ Jesus before that terrible day of judgment. When He returns, one time, it will be bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him (Heb 9:28), those who have been called (John 6:36 – 44). Verse 9 is a promise from God that God will keep His promise to save every sinner He chose – none will perish, but all will come to faith and repentance. Let the saints praise His name!

Comparing Adam and Israel

Scripture records Christ as “the last Adam” in 1 Cor 15:45. Were there others who stood in as an “Adam” in the course of redemptive history? I think the Bible shows this to be the case, with Noah, Abraham, David, and the nation of Israel (summed up in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) being the “interim Adams” before the last One appeared.

This chart shows my view on how Israel fulfilled this role.

Comparing Adam and Israel

Formed by God from the dust of the earth.

(Gen 2:7; 1 Cor 15:47)

Formed by God from the dust of the people of the world. (Gen 11:10 – 11:3; Deut 7:7)
Was brought to life by the word and breath of God. (Gen 1:26 & 27; 2:7) Was brought into being by the word of God. (Gen 12:2 & 3; 15:1; Ex 3)
Had close fellowship with God. (Gen 2:15ff; 3:8a) Had close fellowship with God. (Gen 15; Ex 15; 2 Kings 23:1 – 27)
Was given a covenant within which to live and prosper. (Gen 2:16 & 17; Hosea 6:7) Was given a covenant within which to live and prosper. (Gen 17:14; Ex 19:3 – 6; 24:3 – 8; Neh 9 & 10)
Broke the covenant and received the penalty of death, which was carried out in due time. (Gen 3:6 & 7; 22 – 24; 5:5) Broke the covenant and received the penalty of death, which was carried out in the fullness of time. (Deut 31:16 – 18; Judges 2:11 – 15; Jer 11:10 – 13; 1 Kings 11:9 – 11; Ezek 44:1 – 7; Hosea 6:7)
Was cast out of the garden, cursed to walk and work in the world which was wrecked by The Fall. (Gen 3:23 & 24; 3:17 – 19) Was divorced by God, left desolate, cursed to walk and work in darkness until the light of Christ. (Jer 3:6 – 10; Matt 15:12 – 14; 23:37 & 38; 2 Cor 3:12 – 17)
As a type of Christ, Adam points us to the anti-type, Christ Jesus, in whom there is life for Adam’s children who are secure in the Last Adam. (1 Cor 15:45) As an echo of Adam, Israel points us to the anti-type, Christ Jesus, in whom there is life for Abraham’s children of promise. (Gal 4:21 – 31)

My Gay Conundrum

My Gay ConundrumCar

In many ways, I am a curmudgeon, refusing to cooperate with the culture on a host of issues. The push for euphemistic terms in all aspects of society particularly gripes me – from “sanitation engineers” to “gays”; I see no reason to go along with the subtle, evil scheme to redefine the terms that describe life.

Having said that, here’s my “Gay Conundrum”:

In 1999, I bought a used Ford Escort station wagon; it was purple (very much like the one in the picture). While my car was a deep, rich shade of purple – opposed to a light, soft shade – many in my circle of family and friends had fun telling me my car was “gay”. One brother in Christ gleefully called this car (upon which were several bumper stickers witnessing for Jesus) my “LAMBDA-mobile” (look up LAMBDA on the Internet if the significance of this term is lost on you).

In 2000, my employer was laying people off. A VP, with whom I was friends and related to in Christ Jesus, told me how he was pressured to “protect” homosexuals during the layoff as he was to do so with historically protected minorities. He joked that his best protection against being laid-off was to declare himself “gay”. I told him that I embraced the “gay” label – with the explicit acknowledgment that my use of the term hadn’t fallen into the Humpty Dumpty redefinition process. Coupled with my driving a purple car, how could I lose? At any rate, he and I both survived the RIF. I gaily drove on in my purple chariot, not offended by the comments of friends and family who made fun of my car. Dark purple, as any student of ancient history knows, was a sign of royalty and honor. And that little purple Escort wagon was the best car I had owned. And it had a luggage rack on the top!

Until the summer of 2006. A young woman, driving her first car, blissfully ran through a red light and smashed into the driver’s side rear of my beloved car, rendering it “uneconomically repairable” – with increasingly debilitating electrical failures.

As news of this tragedy spread, my dear friend who labeled my car “LAMBDA-mobile” told me I should file a “hate-crime” report with the police and the homosexual activist crowd. Certainly, this blatant attack on the public declaration of my gayness was a hate crime!

Here’s the rub: I do not subscribe to the Orwellian view of “hate crimes”. A.) What are non-hate-crimes to be called? “Love crimes”? B.) Motive should not be a constituent of the crime, but a consideration in the punishment. “Hate crimes” is a PC accommodation of Orwell’s infamous “thought crimes”. (If you have not read George Orwell’s 1984, correct this deficiency at once!)

So here I sit: a gay man whose LAMBDA-mobile was taken away too early. What’s a gay man to do? Sadly, my replacement car is a non-descript but tasteful silver – not “gay” at all. Has my identity been stripped from me? Has the “hate-crime” committed against me taken that away? No – a thousand times no! A man is not defined by his car. He is defined by his motorcycle!

Just kidding about that last part (although my dear wife of more than 30 years would agree that I spend too much time with my motorcycle).

I am struck by the insanity of defining crimes by attempting to see into the perpetrator’s mind and make his mental state a crime unto itself. Does one man’s hate for another make the taking of life or property any worse? In our post-modern culture, where the only truth is that perceived to be truth by hearer, it’s nigh impossible to convince any authority that facts matter more than perceptions. This is the fundamental reason so many churches are awash in false teaching and why education is a train wreck. People have lost the ability to think, the schools have not been teaching children to critically examine anything. This environment cannot help but give birth to “zero tolerance” policies that criminalize boys who “shoot” one another with their fingers or a banana.

Co-opting the word “gay” to mean homosexual is another symptom of this mindset. People taking offense at anything they would rather not hear is another. All these things – hate-crimes, “gay” conversations, zero-tolerance, thin-skinned offended folk – are the outworking of a post-modern mindset where meaning is assigned by the receiver of the information and no moral absolutes exist. This brings me to an interesting quote I saw on the Internet recently – with no idea who said it. But it pulls all this gay conundrum of mine into perspective and brings it full circle.

To be offended by what someone else says is your own choice, as you don’t have to care about what other people think, and nothing has actually happened to you. Information merely passed from their [sic] mind to yours.

In other words, you actually want to stop certain information from being communicated. You must believe that you have some sort of right to dictate not only what people can and can’t communicate, but they can and can’t think.

To be offended is to take the first step in being a totalitarian megalomaniac.

If any of us were honest, we would admit to holding to one or more ideas that fit into that ugly picture painted in the quote above. The recent hub-bub about florists and pizza parlors that refuse to service homosexual weddings shows how many “conservatives” have fallen into this unfortunate world of political correctness. These well-meaning people have drawn their line of support for these businesses based on religious expression and the freedom we have in that arena. They ignore the fundamental rights being trampled on – freedom of association and ownership of private property.

20 or 30 years ago countless businesses had signs displayed notifying patrons of the store owner’s right to refuse service to anyone. The market taught them which policies were beneficial. Now, “conservatives” ignore the Constitutional issues, agreeing that government ought to enforce “anti-discrimination” – meaning businesses cannot refuse service to anyone. The government should not discriminate – they are funded by everyone. Privately owned businesses are free to discriminate (even though we have laws that forbid it); yet the only discrimination allowed in this new version of Wonderland is against those who are accused of having historical advantages – either real or imagined. Facts don’t matter. The inferred or assumed injury is judged by how serious or outrageous it sounds, not by the facts of the matter.

When it’s all said and done, I am not as gay as I was 10 years ago. This world has lost its mind and I’m weary of it. But in the larger scope of eternity, that’s a good thing – for all who are truly in Christ, this world is not our home. The trials and craziness we experience here serve mainly to remind us of the Fall and how serious sin is – that which infects us and that which we do. So the message for my fellow saints is simple – fix your eyes on that which is unseen, remember His words, from John 14:1-3 (ESV) “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” And that’s really good news for all those who are in Christ Jesus.

What Does John 3:16 Teach?

The following is part of the book I am writing, from a section on the gospel which is a necessary element of a biblical church. th

There are truths in God’s Word that rub our flesh the wrong way; predestination is one of them. I refer the reader to Appendix 5 for a biblical defense of this doctrine. We must embrace the truth of Scripture, even if it goes against what we’ve learned from me. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) God’s Word is sharp and, as wielded by the Holy Spirit, cuts like a scalpel, bringing healing to our broken souls. False teaching is seen as less threatening, like a butter knife. And it works the same way – tearing the flesh as it pierces, bringing destruction rather than healing. Good counsel presents the truth of Scripture; this is biblical love – even though our beloved traditions may have to be abandoned.

Many who disbelieve predestination run to John 3:16, as if this verse disproves it. Let us briefly examine this verse to see what its message truly is. Here’s the verse, from the King James: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. That settles it for many, who do not stop to see if the words may have had a different meaning when written 500 years ago than they do today; including Baptist preachers who ought to know better. But contrary to a popular hermeneutic which declares, “when the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense”, the plain sense of Scripture often contradicts the true meaning of Scripture and our common sense often makes no heavenly sense. The genre of the text we are reading will indicate how we are to read it – poetry and apocalyptic books cannot be taken literally, and even historical narratives are full of word pictures that must be interpreted rightly to get God’s view of His Scriptures. The Jews of the first century had common sense and they took certain prophecies in the plain sense. This caused them to look for a king like David – a man of war – and miss the true meaning of their own Scripture.

In regards to John 3:16, let’s examine a couple of key words upon which the meaning of this verse hang. In English, the word “so” can be either an adverb or an adjective. We see it in verse 14: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up (KJV). Here, the word “so” is an adverb, meaning “in like manner” or “in the same way” – describing the nature of something. Many people think the word “so” is an adjective in verse 16 – describing the degree of the thing that follows: God loves the world SO much. The problem with this view is that the Greek word translated as “so” in English (houtos – Strong’s #3779) is rarely used as an adjective. Strong’s Greek and Hebrew dictionary defines it only as an adverb. Houtos shows up more than 200 places in the Greek New Testament. In only four occurrences it is definitely an adjective: Galatians 1:6; 3:3; Hebrews 12:21 (houto); and Revelation 16:18. In more than 97% of the uses the word houtos is an adverb. (http://www.brenthobbs.com/index_files/john_3_16.php accessed 25 May 2015) Now looking back John’s gospel, let’s read a little more for context:

John 3:14-16 (KJV) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Is there a compelling argument that John’s use of houtos changes from the common adverb in verse 14 to the extremely rare adjective in verse16? If its use in verse 16 is as an adjective, the Bible tells us God loved the world to a great degree that He sent Christ to die for the same world He said we are not to love (1 John 2:15). Since Jesus said Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35) we must interpret Scripture with Scripture and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), even if the plain sense makes common sense to us. Our common sense is our understanding, not God’s. I don’t have space here to examine “the world” and how it’s used; but since not everybody at all times in every nation, tribe, and tongue has been forgiven, it’s reasonable and in keeping with Christ’s high priestly prayer in John 17 that Jesus did not come to save the whole world in the comprehensive sense some assert. As noted in Ephesians 5:25, Jesus gave His life for the church, not everybody in the world. And since “the world” often means a region (Luke 2:1; John 12:19), or the system which lies under Satan’s rule (John 15:19; 17:13; 1 Corinthians 2:12), we have no reason to assume this term means everyone everywhere as regards salvation, as the Lamb of God died for the redeemed, not the damned.

The argument is not whether or not the death of Christ is sufficient to save everyone – His death is more than sufficient for the entire human race. The question is, did Christ die for all men – is the atonement universal? One English Bible translates this phrase, “in tasting death He should stand for us all” – those for whom Christ stands are the redeemed. The word, man, is not in the Greek text, meaning the original phrase would be “should taste death for the whole” – the whole body, the church for whom Christ gave Himself (Ephesians 5:25); Jesus died for every son God brings to glory. God the Father chooses only some to be saved – election is not universal. God the Spirit regenerates only some to bring them to new life, He only seals those who are born again – the Spirit’s work in saving and sealing is not universal. For Christ’s death to be universal, it would mean that some of His blood, some of His trials and suffering under the wrath of God the Father, was for those who are spending eternity under God’s wrath. Any blood or work done by Christ on their account would be wasted! And if the death of Christ was universal, it would put Him at odds with the Father and the Spirit, because their work in salvation is particular, not universal.

Let’s read the passage from John 3 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible:

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life. “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

This is more in line with the common use of the Greek and keeps consistency within the passage and with the whole teaching of the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus.

“Not One Iote or One Title…”

“Not One Iote or One Title…”: A Plea for Original Spelling by John Bookman [Pseudo.]

[Attention–this is a SATIRE] KING-JAMES-ONLY-115396838242

by Doug Kutilek


Just days ago, I realized that we have not gone far enough in insisting that the Bible be preserved unchanged “in the form God intended for us to have.” Of course, I speak of the infallible, inerrant, verbally-inspired and unalterably preserved English Bible, the Authorized Version (AV 1611), “the Bible God uses and Satan hates.” Sure, there are lots of zealous defenders who have shielded it from the corruptions of such heinous translations as the NIV, the NASB and that most sinister NKJB, and have kept us from returning to the now-completely-unnecessary Hebrew and Greek. But while they kept their watch on one front, the Enemy has come in unawares by another route and sown seeds of corruption that have, I fear, already yielded a corrupt harvest.

What am I getting at? Simply this: we have insisted on the verbal inspiration of the English, that is, that the very English words were divinely chosen and given to the Learned Men. But simply insisting on the perfection of the English words and preserving the words is not enough. A careful consideration of the true intent and meaning of the words of Matthew 5:18 is necessary: “Till heauen and earth passe, one iote or one title, shall in no wise passe from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (I have made no mistake in my spelling, as I shall shortly explain). Notice how Jesus insisted on the verbal inspiration, not just of the words, but also of the very letters of the words of Scripture. And since this verse is a specific promise of the preservation of Scripture in our infallible English Bible, we must insist on following, not just the original KJV words but also their very spelling. What other meaning can we draw out of the words “one iote or one title”? Every letter–the very spelling–is certainly inspired, and to alter the spelling of a single word, to alter even a single letter in a single word, is to deny and reject the inspiration of the AV 1611. If God had wanted us to spell the words in the AV 1611 different in our Bibles, He would have given them to us in that form originally. Modern spelling is as hideous and hateful a thing as modern translations. Its new age corruption, pure and simple. No one was ever authorized to corrupt, to “modernize” the infallible original spelling. There are eight spelling corruptions in John 3:16 alone!!!

I’m sure some “liberal” soul will say, “What difference does spelling make?” Argue it out with Jesus, brother! Didn’t He say that inspiration of the words included the very spelling, every iote, not just the words? Will you reject the teaching of Matthew 5:18 of letter/spelling inspiration of our preserved AV 1611? To stop at “word inspiration” and not insist on spelling inspiration is to be second cousin to mere “thought inspiration.” It is creeping apostasy, through and through. Next someone will deny the inspiration of the chapter and verse numberings in the AV 1611. Where will it stop?

And I think we must recognize that Jesus’ infallible English word was “title” and not the now-corrupted “tittle.” A tittle is part of the ornamentation of a Hebrew letter (at least that’s what I’ve heard at Fellowship meetings, so I have assurance that it’s right). But a title is something else. I have complete confidence that this promise of Jesus was a specific reference to the preservation of the chapter and page headings, the titles found in the original AV 1611. Sadly, those infallible titles, attached by the Learned Men under divine inspiration at the top of each page and at the beginning of each chapter have been removed from our modern editions. Without them, we cannot claim that we have a perfectly preserved Bible, and by allowing them to be removed, we have called God a liar, and denied that He is able to preserve the inspired English Bible He has given us.

It is no secret that none of the commonly used English Bibles published in our day have the original AV 1611 spelling, or punctuation (that, too, is part of our directly inspired, infallible English Bible) or titles of which Jesus spoke, so in reality, these Bibles, even though they say “King James Version” or “Authorized Version” are really not Bibles at all. Only the Nelson reprint of the original 1611 AV is a real Bible; all the others are sinister corruptions.

And there is growing upon me the deep conviction, as deep as anything I’ve written in this article, that no English-speaking person can be saved if he was not saved by an original, unaltered AV 1611, with original spelling, original punctuation, and original chapter and page titles. This simply means that anyone who thought he was saved by reading a revised “KJV” or by hearing a sermon from such a “Bible” or by reading a Gospel tract that quoted the words in a revised spelling form, even if it was labelled “KJV” is not really saved, has never been saved, and never will be saved until he gets a true, fully-preserved AV 1611. That will mean that virtually all those who thought they were saved–preachers, deacons and all–will have to go back and get truly saved through a real AV 1611, then get rebaptized. Verbal inspiration of the English requires inspiration of the very spelling as well. Anything less is rank modernism.

I will confess to one further worry: original type style. The real AV 1611 was printed in what printers call “black letter,” a very ornate type style much like Gothic script, which is still used many times for the banner at the top of the front page of newspapers. This original type style was replaced with “Roman” type sometime in the 18th century. Note that name: Roman. I fear that once again, the Jesuits have conspired to corrupt the pure word in English. They have taken away the original Gothic (and as everyone knows, the Gothic Bible used the textus receptus for its foundation which proves with certainty that the Gothic was the correct script for a real Bible), and have substituted the corrupt Roman script. In a real sense, even the KJV has become a Roman Bible, since its modern editions use Roman script and not the original black letter. As further proof that Roman type is a corruption, notice that all these apostate Bibles–the ERV, ASV, NASB, NIV, NKJB, and the rest, have always been printed in Roman type. That’s proof enough to me that any Bible in Roman type is no Bible at all, and that only a Bible with the original script, the black letter, given to us in the form we should have it by the Learned Men, is a true Bible. Perhaps even those saved by the true original spelling KJV are not saved at all, and must locate a black letter edition. The Roman script Nelson reprint may not be enough (it’s just like those Bible corrupters at Thomas Nelson to pass off a Roman script KJV as though it were a real Bible!). Fortunately for me, my brother has a facsimile reprint in the original black letter of the AV 1611, and I’m secure since I’ve studied out of it several times.

It is a desperate situation. The shortage of black letter, original spelling AV 1611 Bibles is severe. There is truly a famine of the preserved word of God in the land. And all our efforts at preaching, teaching, Bible study, and soul winning are completely futile until we return to the real, unaltered, perfectly preserved bonafide AV 1611. Perhaps the best thing to do for the present is to send off and buy one of those pages from an original KJV, and if you can get a page that has a salvation verse, or part of the “Romans road,” perhaps there will be enough of the Gospel in the true preserved English to rescue your soul.

[As a service to the reader, so he can be saved through a real AV 1611, I will quote John 3:16; unfortunately, I have no capacity to reproduce the original black letter script, so even believing the unrevised spelling may not be enough, but we can hope for the best:

For God so loued ye world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.

And just today, I came to understand that the only proper format for any Bible is in scroll form (or at least loose-leaf), since the Apostle assures us that “the word of God is not bound.” Therefore any book that is bound, regardless of its printed contents, cannot honestly be said to be the word of God. I’m sure the inspired 1611 translators never intended for their translation to come sown and within leather covers. Such would be a travesty, in light of the Apostle’s clear and plain teaching.

I’ve begun the systematic unstitching of all my sewn Bibles so that they can qualify, according to Paul’s definition, as the word of God. I urge you to do the same.