Are You Sure?

Are you sure that the Bible says what you think it says?

Are you sure it means what you think it means?

Are you sure you’re not adding something that’s not actually there?

Are you sure you’re not relying on someone’s interpretation of scripture instead of what scripture actually says?

Are you sure that your beliefs are actually consistent with scripture?

Are you sure your desire for truth is strong enough to make certain that you can answer YES to all of the above?

18 thoughts on “Are You Sure?

  1. I like to think I can answer Yes to all the above… I also try to be a constant ‘Berean’.

    My prayer is that He will continue to guide and counsel me through His indwelling Spirit.

  2. Amen Roger,
    I see the last of those questions is the most important.
    If we genuinely desire the truth, then I believe God will bring to our attention any lack we may have with regard to the other questions.

    I believe that a desire for the truth is at the heart of those cases where Muslims are being led to the gospel through dreams and visions. Anyone who genuinely desires the truth will be given the opportunity to find it, no matter where they are.

  3. A very disturbing article Roger. Disturbing because I’ve seen a lot of people I’ve met on forums falling for the kind of rubbish that the article exposes; rubbish like that promoted in this book:

    Paul McGuire (and Troy Anderson) – Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (to be released in January)

    Trumpocalypse explores the enigmatic prophecies and “biblical codes” involving Trump, and asks whether God raised up President Trump as a fearless leader to guide America and the free world through a series of major crises as the biblical end-time narrative unfolds, as many people with prophetic gifts are predicting, and shows why everyday Americans and evangelicals have rallied around Trump as their last hope of saving America and averting the horrors of the Apocalypse

    Saving America?
    Averting the horrors of the Apocalypse?

    Are they referring to averting the “horrors” that are prophesied in scripture? That Trump has been raised up to stop scripture from being fulfilled?

  4. Do you guys know what is meant by this part?

    [prefaced by [not my question]
    Screenshot of Maginnis book promo on the Jim Bakker Show (Source)

    Ken Johnson – Ancient Apocalypse of Ezra: Called 2 Esdras in the KJV 1611 (released in May)[41]
    The Ezra Apocalypse is the only non-Catholic book included in the KJV 1611 Apocrypha. It contains many prophecies about the end times. Quoted often by the church fathers of the first and second century AD, this apocalypse reveals…

    [I added the boldface.]

    I recently pointed out to someone that I was given a KJV bible in second grade (and was assigned memory verses), but that something from Esdras would not have been a memory verse (ever). When I was eight, I was given a RSV, and that’s what is yet more ingrained.

  5. By the way, a Bakker show…

    How can this be?

    Anyway, I did see some clips from said show (whether the same episode or not, I don’t know) in the last couple weeks or so (whether or not they were taped or aired in the past two weeks or this month, I don’t know). The focus was on Trump being selected by “God.” The supposed basis was that God chooses the leaders. That’s supposedly the thing to understand. Oh, except when it’s not. You know.

  6. By the way, I seem to remember his son continued in Christianity but differently (amazingly surviving the behavior of his parents, especially his dad — who has gone on to pick another woman with whom to pose as a leader). The dad apparently had too much of an ego (and probably too much greed) to let his son have the stage (so to speak). So there he is again. (The son doesn’t come up with a Google search now. But maybe that’s for the best on his part. Maybe he even changed his name.)

  7. I perhaps agree that Trump was “selected by God” – but NOT for the reasons his supporters assume.
    They see him as a saviour, I see him as a judgement: upon the “evangelicals” who willingly spread lies and expressed so much hatred against the former president.
    As Obama’s successor they were given a man who reflects those very traits displayed by those “evangelicals”.

    There is a strong degree of hypocrisy in the way that Trump is considered God’s choice, and yet Obama was despised and has his legitimacy as president continually questioned. (I can’t overlook how racist overtones play a part in that distinction).

  8. The Ezra Apocalypse is the only non-Catholic book included in the KJV 1611 Apocrypha. It contains many prophecies about the end times.

    It seems like they are trying to give some kind of legitimacy to that apocryphal book by pointing out its alleged “non-Catholic” status.

    I assume the book must have content that suits the agenda and claims of the person drawing attention to it – an agenda they can’t support from the non-apocryphal biblical texts.

  9. I haven’t read all the apocryphal books. It doesn’t seem fitting to me that they are called “hidden” if they were printed for many years as part of a bible.

    I would say the Maccabees, 1 and 2, and Judith are “good to read.”
    (But aren’t Bible.)

  10. I read Jim Bakker’s autobiography many years ago and it seemed like he went through a time of real repentance during his time of imprisonment.
    After reading the book I wrote to him and he sent a personal reply.

    Not knowing the full situation, it seems to me that his big mistake after being released was to get back into the TV business. He was divorced by Tammy Bakker either while he was still in prison or not long after his release – because she’d hooked up with another man.
    She later died.

    I haven’t really seen anything substantial of his new TV career, but little things I’ve read haven’t been very encouraging about the direction he’s taken, but sadly taking wrong paths seems to be increasingly common among those who’ve practiced some kind of very public ministry.

    His son was (is) Jay Bakker who took an unorthodox path of heavy tattooing and heavy metal music with the intention of introducing those with similar interests to Christ.

  11. 1st Esdras and 2nd Esdras might be “good to read” too,
    but it does seem like the people on the Bakker
    show are just using it to twist things.

  12. Now, the main thing going on here (besides the greed and the desire to gain attention and power — on the part of these public figures or others behind them) is then capturing of imagination from as many people as possible SO AS TO DISTRACT from observable reality (while the actual perpetrators get away with their connivings — not only in the religious or even morality realms).



    List of Apocrypha

    The Additions to the Book of Esther
    Wisdom of Solomon
    Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Joshua ben Sira Baruch
    The Letter of Jeremiah
    The Additions to the Book of Daniel
    The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Jews
    Bel and the Dragon
    1 Maccabees
    2 Maccabees

    In addition, the following books are in the Greek and Slavonic Bibles but not in the Roman Catholic Canon, though some of them occur in Latin:
    1 Esdras
    2 Esdras
    3 Maccabees
    4 Maccabees
    Prayer of Manasseh
    Psalm 151, following Psalm 150 in the Greek Bible

    Select List of Pseudepigrapha with some Notes

    Apocalypse of Abraham: A Jewish writing presenting a vision seen by Abraham as well as legends about him. Surviving only in Old Church Slavonic, it was probably written in the second century C.E.

    Books of Adam and Eve: A number of closely related versions of a writing dealing with the story of the protoplasts. All of these might derive from a Jewish source document, the language and date of which are unknown.

    Apocalypse of Adam: An apparently Sethian gnostic revelation received by Adam and transmitted to Seth. Perhaps first or second century C.E. in date, it occurs in Nag Hammadi Codex 5. Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch: An apocalypse written in the aftermath of the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, it is closely related to the Fourth Book of Ezra. Its chief subjects are the theological issues raised by the destruction.

    [And many more.]

  14. For comparison, here is a list from the KJV, 1611, link I gave.

    Books of the Apocrypha

    1 Esdras
    2 Esdras
    Additions to Esther
    Wisdom of Solomon
    Letter of Jeremiah
    Prayer of Azariah
    Bel and the Dragon
    Prayer of Manasseh
    1 Maccabees
    2 Maccabees

    And here are a few sites with additional information:

    The use of the singular, “Apocryphon”, is both legitimate and convenient, when referring to a single work. When we would attempt to seize the literary sense attaching to the word, the task is not so easy. It has been employed in various ways by early patristic writers, who have sometimes entirely lost sight of the etymology. Thus it has the connotation “uncanonical” with some of them. St. Jerome evidently applied the term to all quasiscriptural books which in his estimation lay outside the canon of Holy Writ, and the Protestant Reformers, following Jerome’s catalog of Old Testament Scriptures—one which was at once erroneous and singular among the Fathers of the Church—applied the title Apocrypha to the excess of the Catholic canon of the Old Testament over that of the Jews. Naturally, Catholics refuse to admit such a denomination, and we employ “deuterocanonical” to designate this literature….


    The Protestant Old Testament, which contains 39 books, comes from the Palestinian Canon — which (as the name would indicate) is the set of scriptures which originated from Palestine and which were recognized by the Jews. The Catholic Old Testament, however, derives its books from the Alexandrian Canon — the Greek listing of Old Testament books, which was supposedly drawn up in Alexandria, Egypt. Along with the 39 books of the Palestinian Canon, the Alexandrian Canon contains 14 or 15 additional books that are collectively known as the “apocrypha,” which simply means “hidden.”

    THE APOCRYPHA BOOKS- Some Discrepancies

    Of these 14 or 15 books, three are not included in the Catholic Bible. Also, some of these apocryphal books have been made into a single book, such as Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah. Still others were simply tagged onto the books of the Palestinian or Hebrew Canon. For example, the apocryphal book called Bel and the Dragon was made into the fourteenth chapter of the Book of Daniel. This explains why there are only seven additional books listed in the Catholic Old Testament.

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