Learn to Read the King James Bible: How & Why

Pastor Bob Hammond

At Long Hill Baptist Church, we use the King James Bible (Authorized Version) for all teaching and preaching.   While some modern versions can be easier to read, we observe that the King James Bible is the only version that provides an accurate translation of all of God's words.  

A variety of excellent tools are available to help believers learn to read and understand our King James Bible.  One such tool is a booklet titled, "Understanding the King James Bible: Why Use the King James Bible and How to Understand it" by Dave Olson. (52 pages, including a 10-page dictionary of unfamiliar words).  

  • Shows why the King James Bible should be used instead of modern versions;
  • Provides some common reasons for not understanding what you read in the Bible;
  • Gives some tips on how to understand the English used in the King James Bible. 

 The cost is $3.00 per copy.   Order from Help4U Publications at:  http://www.help4upublications.com/product/understanding-the-king-james-bible/

Also see these free online articles:

Great Men Don't Promote Sin

Pastor Robert Hammond

Recently, the world was shocked by the suicide of Robin Williams. Many have lauded Williams as a great man.  He was a talented man.  But, he was also a man who devoted much of his time to promoting acceptance of the sin of practising homosexuality.

In 1982, Williams played the title character in the film adaptation of The World According to Garp - which co-starred John Lithgow as transgender former football player Roberta Muldoon.

In 1993, Williams played the lead character in Mrs. Doubtfire, which featured Williams  as a cross-dressing nanny.

In 1996, Williams starred in The Birdcage, a movie in which he played the homosexual owner of a nightclub where the entertainment featured his homosexual partner dressed as a woman.

In 2004, Williams presented a special award to then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in recognition of his decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples;

In 2006, Williams played gay radio show host Gabriel Noone in a drama titled The Night Listener.

In his 2013-2014 television series, The Crazy Ones, Williams played the co-owner of an advertising agency where his business partner is portrayed as a married gay man.

Among Williams’ final movie projects is a 2014 movie titled, Boulevard, in which Williams starred as the lead character Nolan Mack – an older man who is “dealing with his homosexuality later in life.”  

At Long Hill Baptist Church, we do not hate those who choose to practice homosexuality. Neither do we hate those who promote homosexuality.  Yet, we must not ignore that the Bible identifies the practice of homosexuality as a sinful abomination (Lev. 18:22).  

Christ came to die on the cross so that all people would have the opportunity to repent of sin and receive eternal life.   We're thankful that the Bible plainly states that, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).   According to the Bible, anyone may know forgiveness of sin and everlasting life upon exercising "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21).  

No, great men don't promote sin.  Great men promote repentance of sin.  Have you repented of sin and received Christ as your Savior? 

Please read more here: http://www.lhbaptist.com/pastors-blog/2014/3/1/what-does-the-bible-teach-about-homosexuality.html

October 13, 2014 is Youth Fest

On October 13, our teens will attend Youth Fest 2014 at Central Baptist Church in Southington, CT.   Youth Fest is a one-day meeting for teens in grades 7-12.  The day of activities includes great preaching together with paintball, an obstacle course, a dunk tank, foosball, dodge ball, trampoline basketball, radio controlled cars and many other booths, food and prizes.

A Prayer Request for Thailand

Please pray for both the people of Thailand and our missionary friends there, the Williams family.   Today, we received the note below from the Williams family:

What does martial law mean for Thailand?

At present it means military checkpoints and traffic jams at specific intersections in Bangkok. Otherwise, business continues as usual throughout the country. At least for the present.

Many are relieved at this peaceful intrusion of the military, and view it as a step toward ending the political tension and violence that has dragged out for the last six months in the nations capital.

Although the words, "This is not a coup," are voiced by the military chiefs, they will have to walk a very fine line to maintain order among two protest groups that are bent on civil war.

Just to clarify the scope of martial law, I have enclosed an article below from the AFP that helps to explain the situation.

Please continue to pray that the current struggle for peace in Thailand would prepare hearts to learn of Jesus Christ,  the Prince of Peace.

BANGKOK, May 20, 2014 (AFP) - Thailand's powerful military declared martial law Tuesday in a move it said was aimed to "restore peace and order" in the turbulent kingdom.

Invoking the law comes after Thailand's Constitutional Court ousted premier Yingluck Shinawatra in early May following months of protest seeking to oust her government.

But what is the scope of the military's powers? And what are the implications of the move for a nation that has seen 18 actual or attempted coups since 1932? Herewith the main points of the act:

-- The Martial Law Act 1914 gives the army "superior power" over civilian institutions in regard to maintaining public order and security.

-- The army can ban any assembly or meeting and prohibit public movement by land, air or water.

-- Military authorities have the power to censor or shut down newspapers and broadcasters.

-- Soldiers are given full powers to search, requisition, ban, seize, inhabit or destroy "any place". This includes body searches as well as vehicle, home and building inspections and scrutiny of printed material.

-- Army authorities can enlist people to work to help the military and can requisition vehicles, food, tools and weapons from any person or company at any time.

-- The military can impose curfews and prohibit access to certain areas.

-- Authorities can detain anyone it suspects of breaching martial law for up to seven days.

-- Civilian courts remain operational, but a martial court can be given authority to hear criminal trials in cases committed under martial law. It can continue to hear cases even after martial law has been revoked.

Ancient Artifacts Prove Bible Facts

 

Yesterday, we viewed a special exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago that deals with the Greek influence on Egyptian art and religion in the 4th century BC ("When the Greeks Ruled Egypt").  Some of the artifacts deal with Ptolemy, a Greek ruler of Egypt (who was a "prince" of Alexander the Great but "not his posterity.") This was exciting for us because, roughly two centuries earlier, precisely that situation in Egypt was predicted by our Old Testament prophet, Daniel (Dan. 11:3-5).

Of course, the museum exhibit failed to connect their artifacts to the Bible facts.  Nonetheless, Bible-believers may choose to employ God's word to understand the true significance of these artifacts.   And having done that, we may be tremendously encouraged by the prophetic accuracy of God's word!

Daniel 11:3 And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 4 And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.  5.And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion. 

 

What does the Bible teach about homosexuality?

Pastor Bob Hammond

At Long Hill Baptist Church, everyone is welcome to come and hear the word of God preached.  My purpose for sharing this short outline is to communicate what God has said in the Bible concerning the topic of homosexuality.  Importantly, my goal in addressing this topic is not to express hatred toward people who are living a homosexual lifestyle.  Rather, it is to express both Biblical truth and God's love toward those very same people!  We specifically disavow the hatred espoused by some churches.   And yet, we must understand what God has said on this topic.  Below, is a short outline of what the Bible teaches:

1. God has commanded that we abstain from homosexual behavior.

  • Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." 

2. God has great wrath against sin – including the sin of engaging in homosexual behavior.

  • God’s wrath at the sin of homosexuality is seen in the penalty for homosexuality that he prescribed under the Old Testament law:
    • Leviticus 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."
    • NOTE:  Today, we are NOT living under the Old testament law.  As such, we do not advocate a legal death penalty for this sin.   However, God’s hatred of the sin does not change. 

3.  Understand that, according to the Bible, no one is “born a homosexual.”  Rather, homosexual inclinations are the result of rejecting the Lord.

In Romans chapter 1, we may observe a progression from failing to acknowledge our Creator  to (in v 24) to “God also (giving them) “up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves.”  Below, I offer a brief summary of this passage, beginning in verse 20: 

A. That Bible asserts that creation testifies to the existence of a creator:

 (Romans 1:20) "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead"

B. Because of the testimony of creation, man is responsible to acknowledge the creator:


Romans 1:20b… "so that they are without excuse:"

C.  The  failure of an individual to acknowledge the creator breeds a progression of spiritual error (and consequences):

(Romans 1:21-22) " Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,"

  1.  “glorified him not” = failure to worship God;
  2.  “neither were thankful”= Unthankful to God;
  3. “became vain in their imaginations” = Vain thinking; 

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

D.  The Bible specifically states that homosexual inclinations result from this progressive of sin (that begins when a person rejects God):

Romans 1:26-27 "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."

4.   Homosexual behavior isn’t becoming more “right” (less sinful) simply because more people view it as acceptable.

God's word has not changed.  And the Bible specifically says that God does not change.   In James 1:17, the Bible says,  "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

So, why does the world's understanding of right and wrong seem to change over time?  In Proverbs 14:12, the Bible states, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death"  The Bible teaches that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked..."  Our hearts often suggest that something is "good" when, in fact, God has said it is sinful.

So, how may a homosexual person know forgiveness of sin?

A person who has practised homosexuality may know forgiveness of sin the same way that any other person may know forgiveness of sin!  First, understand that, according to the Bible, all people are sinners, i.e. they have disobeyed God.  In Romans 3:23, the Bible says that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."  

God’s perfect holiness and justice requires that a penalty be paid for our sin.  In fact, in Romans 6:23, the Bibles teaches that "the wages of sin is death." The good news is that the son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, paid that penalty for us by shedding His blood and dying upon the cross in our place.

According to the Bible, it is only through repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ that our sins are forgiven (Acts 20:21).  Jesus said, “… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). In Romans 6:23, the Bible says, "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  If you will repent and receive Christ as your savior, the Bible says that you can know for certain that you have eternal life.  1 John 5:13 states,  “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God”  

Of course, many people will continue trusting in their good works to earn forgiveness instead of choosing to trust in Christ alone.   You may be surprised to learn that the Bible clearly states that we cannot earn Heaven through our good works.   In Ephesians chapter 2, the apostle Paul writes, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  Not of works, least any man should boast (Eph. 2:8-9).

How exactly may I know that my sins are forgiven?

1.  Understand that Christ died on the cross and paid for all our sins. Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice that satisfied God’s demand for justice against our sins. Because Jesus did that for us, eternal life is offered to us as a free gift. God paid the price for our sin Himself!

2.  Turn from sin and receive Christ as your savior. The Bible teaches that, in order to receive forgiveness of sins, we must repent and place our faith in Christ.  To repent is simply to make a conscious decision to turn away from sin and to turn toward Christ.   Repentence involves a change of mind that produces a change in action.   Repentence normally involves sorrow over our past sins - especially when we realize that Christ died on the cross in our place.   The Bible say, "...there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."  (Luke 15:10)

The Bible says that "...Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13) "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." (John 3:16). The word believe in John 3:16 means to place your trust in Christ. If you will place your trust in Jesus Christ as the one who paid for your sins on the cross of Calvary, and in nothing else, God promises you both forgiveness of sin and eternal life. 

 

A “BRIEF” HISTORY OF LAW

The following was written by Mr. Allan Seymour, a member of Long Hill Baptist Church.  Brother Allan is a first-year law student.                       

     The Book of Genesis tells us that “[i]n the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” In so doing, He established the physical laws of the universe. Those ancient laws still stand today; the sun “rises” and “sets,” the seasons come and go, the seas do not exceed their boundaries, and apples fall from trees.  The Holy Bible says that “[t]he heavens declare the glory of God,” and if men should fail to proclaim God’s glory, “the stones would immediately cry out.” Nature willingly obeys God.

     Genesis also tells us that, in addition to establishing the physical laws that govern the universe, God established moral laws to govern man. God commanded the first man, Adam, saying; “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Unlike nature, Adam failed to obey God. By the time of Noah, mankind’s moral degeneration had gained complete ascendency and, “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Later still, God’s law was memorialized on Mt. Sinai by Moses via the Ten Commandments. As mankind’s disobedience increased, so did the need for God’s moral laws to be delineated with particularity to constrain men’s actions.  But once again, man refused to obey God’s prescriptions and proscriptions, because, “[t]he heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” Later, in the time of the judges, the scripture says that “every man did that which was right in his own eyes;” the prototypical standard of contemporary society. Thus, the pattern of mankind’s rebellion to God’s authority has continued down through the ages up to our present time.

     Therefore, because of this proclivity of men to lawlessness, God authorized mankind to make laws to constrain the evil. The Holy Bible states that “there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Those power were ordained in order to assure an ordered society. Scripture says that human authority “is the minister of God to thee for good . . . for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

     These same principles were put forth by, amongst others, Jean Jacques Rousseau in the Social Contract. The thesis of that treatise was that, at some unknown point in the primordial past, men contracted together to forego some part of their freedom(detriment) by submitting themselves to human government, in exchange  for their mutual safety and security (benefit). Of course, these agreements were merely tacitly made, being neither oral nor written. Unfortunately, as such, and because as previously stated, the tendency of the human heart is toward lawlessness, the very powers that were authorized to enforce the benefit became the detriment. That is, until modern constitutional contracts were executed. Nevertheless, as we have seen, even in our own country, constitutions can also be disregarded.

     And as has also been seen in recent times, as men have become more lawless, it becomes necessary to promulgate a multiplicity of laws in an attempt to constrain that tendency. And not only that, but Congress has now gotten to the point where it loves making laws. Like the Pharisees of previous times, “they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Legislators love making laws, but they do not love obeying the laws that they make.

     Thus, does this brief history of law draw near to a close. The Holy Bible says that, because of man’s refusal to obey the moral law of God, his eternal destination is hell, as it is written; “the wages of sin is death.” But that is not the end of the story, for if it were, there would be no hope for any, because “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” The Word of God says that, even though mankind is confronted with this untenable dilemma, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” This is the last law left to be told; “the law of faith.” The Holy Bible says that this is the only law that needs to be obeyed in order for men to escape the consequence of their lawlessness. This law is briefly comprehended as follows: “[b]ut now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe[!]”

- Allan Seymour

I Can't Do That!

Pastor Bob Hammond

Long Hill Baptist Church, Trumbull, CT

All too often, that's our excuse for not doing what God has clearly called us to do.   Who hasn't argued with God - claiming  there's just no way for us to obey Him in a certain area. We're especially good at offering up this excuse when it comes to sharing the gospel. 

For the past several weeks, we've been encouraged to see a few church members participate in our weekly Saturday morning gospel outreach.  What a joy to see people obey the Lord's command to "go" to our neighbors who are without Christ (Mat 18:19-20). 

And yet, I remain burdened to see more of our members participate in our door-to-door outreach efforts.  Some may think, "that's just not my thing."  Others may be inclined to say, "I'm not able to speak well." And many may feel, "I don't have the time." Let's be honest:  these are just excuses for disobedience.  Moses tried some of these same excuses - none of which were acceptable to God!  That fact is that we are all called to go.  The Lord asks that we "go into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." (Luke 14:23). 

If God asks us to do something, He will make it possible.  Let's be reminded that Paul told the Phillipian church members,  "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." And that is true for every one of us, too.

This weekend, I'd like to again encourage every able-bodied church member to glorify Christ with your obedience to go. If you're not comfortable enough to speak, go along and pray silently. But do go - choosing to change "can't" to "can" - through Christ and for His glory.

We'll meet at church this Saturday morning at 10:00 AM.

Bill Nye's False Assertion About The Impact of Creationism on Scientific Progress

Pastor Hammond

Bill Nye recently argued that because creationism "offers no ability to predict the outcome of any experiment..." people who hold to creationism "cannot build, invent, and innovate..." The same people, he argues, "would be out-competed by engineers, scientists, and investors in other parts of the world (who hold to evolution)."

Nye's statements are surprisingly illogical. The scientific method works fine for creationists and evolutionists alike! Creationists choose to interpret the appearance of the earth through the lens of Scripture. However, that decision in no way impedes creationists from either conducting basic science or from applying the resulting discoveries to the development of new technologies.

I personally know at least one Biblical creationist who works as a professional scientist. A friend also reminded me that the inventor of MRI technology, Ray Damadian, is a Bible-believing Christian who rejects evolution as unscientific.  And, last but not least, Sir Isaac Newton was a both a creationist and one of the greatest scientists of all time!

A Challenge to Memorize Scripture

Pastor Robert Hammond, Long Hill Baptist Church

I pray that many have taken-up the challenge to begin reading through the entire King James Bible this year.  If you haven't already started, why not begin in Genesis 1:1 today?  Remember, reading just three and one-half chapters each day will allow you to read the entire Bible in one year.   Spouses may find it especially helpful to read the Bible aloud together.  My wife and I have recently started this practice; I find it to be a great help and encouragement. 

Now, permit me to also encourage you to be memorizing scripture this year.    In Psalms 119:11, the psalmist writes, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."  Here, we observe that committing the word of God to memory is a great aide to our growth.  Permit me to encourage you to take up the challenge to memorize at least one verse each week this year. 

There's a number of good approaches to memorizing scripture.  

If you are new to memorizing scripture, it will be extremely helpful to begin memorizing individual verses (and short passages) that deal with a variety of doctrines.  Here's a link to download a list of 53 verses / short passages:  https://db.tt/Sp89EVQj

Tools that can help.  As a tool to help you memorize each verse, consider using index cards to create flash cards (with the reference on one side and the verse on the opposite side).  I've also created "digital flashcards" that may be used online to help memorize the same 53 verses & short passages.  See the online flashcards at http://quizlet.com/_k0zjh

If you have already memorized many verses, consider taking-up the challenge to memorize complete chapters and even entire books of the Bible. In recent memory, a number of our teens memorized the first chapter of James.  While this may seem like a daunting task, we have the Holy Spirit to help us! 

The important thing is to have a plan and to be in the habit of memorizing scripture.  Also, consider asking someone to partner with you to quiz you and to keep you accountable each week.  A final note:  As you pray for the Lord's help to take up this important challenge, also pray that the LORD will protect us from pride that can come with success!

Lord, please grow us in 2014 -- to thy glory!

A Challenge to Read the Bible

Pastor Robert Hammond, Long Hill Baptist Church

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

I'm writing to challenge members and friends of Long Hill Baptist Church to join me in reading through the entire King James Bible this year.  If you start now, you may complete the entire Bible this year by reading just three and one-half chapters daily!  A variety of reading plans are available.  One plan involves reading portions of the Old Testament and New Testament each day (click to see plan).   The simplest plan is to begin at Genesis 1:1 and read straight through to Revelation.  The important thing is to get started to ask the LORD to help you remain faithful.  And, if you miss a day, just get back on track the next day!

The idea of reading through the Old Testament can seem daunting.  Often, that's because we fail to see how the entire Old Testament relates to Christ. Recall that, in Luke 24:44, Jesus taught that the Old Testament was about him.  In Luke
Luke 24:44 Jesus says "... all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me."  This verse provides the lens through which we may understand the entire Old Testament.  In order to apply this "lens," simply keep asking, "How does this passage picture Christ?"  For example, in Genesis, consider how Noah's Ark pictures Christ. In Exodus, consider how the design of the tabernacle and the bloody sacrifices picture Christ. In Leviticus, consider how the various elements of the Levitical law picture Christ.  When you understand that every detail of Leviticus points to Christ, those details become far less tedious!

Also consider some good tools:

1.  I strongly encourage you to get a good reference book that introduces and outlines each book of the Bible.  One such book is Geisler's A Popular Survey of the Old Testament.  This book is easy-to-read and inexpensive.  Importantly, it focuses on how each book relates to Christ.  Order from Amazon.

2.  Get a good Bible dictionary such as the Concise King James Bible Dictionary from Way of Life Literature ($4.95) Order here

3.  Take care to learn some very basic principals for interpreting the Bible.  See an introduction here.

4.  For deeper study, consider purchasing Bible software such as Swordsearcher ($59.95)  Learn more.

5.  One completely free tool is an "accountability partner."  Ask someone to partner with you to keep you accountable to your Bible reading schedule. 

Thankfully, the only tool that's required to begin is a King James Bible!   Again, the important thing is to get started and to ask the LORD to help you remain faithful.

Bill Nye the Science Guy vs. the Bible

Pastor Hammond

I'm a pastor who appreciates science.  I recognize that the scientific method has been instrumental in   solving countless human challenges.  However, for me, the real power of science is it's ability to reveal the mind of our creator.  For example, the discovery of the structure and function of DNA reveals the breathtaking ingenuity of the LORD.   Yet, many in the scientific community have chosen to replace their creator with science.  Rather than using science to increase our understanding of God's creation, they make science and created things their God.  Consequently, the conclusions they draw from their scientific pursuits are necessarily clouded by their Godless assumptions.

Why are those assumptions so imporant?  The pursuit of scientific advancement requires the relentless collection and interpretation of data.  In order to be useful, data must always be interpreted through the lens of underlying assumptions.  Secular scientists interpret data through an evolutionary lens that assumes that the world is billions of years old - and that higher life forms evolved from lower life forms. 

Bill Nye "the science guy" is one such scientist.  Recently, it was announced that Nye will debate creationist Ken Ham in February.   Interestingly, the secular community is already posturing about this debate.  They fear that Nye's lack of experience as a debater gives Ham the advantage. Ham does indeed have an advantage. However, the reason is that he seeks his answers in Genesis, i.e. Ham's interpretive lens is the truth of God's word. 

Consider how secular scientists interpret the world through a false lens.  Because they reject the LORD as our creator, they require a godless explanation of our origin.  The the theory of evolution is their answer. 

In order for evolution to produce higher life forms such as man, evolutionary processes must be permitted millions and billions of years.  This necessarily requires the evolutionist to reject the fact that the Bible doesn't permit the earth to be more than 10,000 years old, i.e. his assumption of a Godless origin necessarily leads him to reject Biblical revelation that is inconsistent with his assumption.

If we begin with the assumption that God has revealed truth in his Word, we may interpret the appearance of the earth through a better lens.  We must acknowledge that the earth appears to be much older than the roughly 10,000 years that Scripture permits, i.e. it appears to evidence the effect of geological processes that would normally be expected to require millions or billions of years to complete. 

What lens the does Bible provide to help answer this observation?  The Bible reveals that the earth suffered a catastropic flood that ravaged the world.   A global flood of this magnitude would be more than capable of producing the geological effects that lead evolutionists to conclude that the world is very old, i.e. the flood has caused the world to appear older than it would otherwise appear. 

In choosing to interpret the appearance of the world through this Biblical lense, we discover not only a license, but a mandate that we reject the notion that the earth is more than 10,000 years old.   Having done that, we both honor scripture and deprive the evolutionist of the time that would be required for his theory of evolution to yield human beings.

Believers who choose to interpret their world through the lense of scripture will be encouraged by the strength of Biblical support for our approach.  Indeed, in Genesis, the Bible clearly reveals that the LORD created all forms of life as distinct, fully-developed life-forms during a literal six-day creation week.

The language of Genesis chapter 1 speaks of six literal days of creation.  Six times, the Bible describes the days of the creation week as being composed of an “evening and morning.”  The LORD used very literal language in order to rule out the possibility that he was referring to longer periods of time (i.e. millions or billions of years).

In Genesis chapter 1, the Bible says that all forms of life were created to reproduce “after his kind.”  Grass produces grass; whales produce whales, beasts of the earth produce beasts of earth.  Multiple times, the Lord repeated that each form of life reproduces “after his kind.”   This phrase refutes the possibility of evolution because it refutes the possibility that one life form evolved into “another kind” of life.  Rather, each form of life reproduces “after his kind.”

In Genesis 1:26-28, the Bible teaches that the LORD created man separately from animals.  We have an origin that is distinct and separate from the origin of plants, sea life and animals.   Man was created at a distinct point in time (v.26-27).  And man was created separately from animals (vs. 24-25) and separately from sea life and birds (fifth day of creation).  And the Bible is clear that only man was created “in the image of God.” (1:26).  

In summary, we must conclude that the language of Genesis chapter one excludes even the possibility that man evolved from other forms of life.   This is the Biblical lense through which we must interpret our world.  Bill Nye may win some debate points with crafty arguments.  But, the lense of scripture will remain true nonetheless.

 

Mind Your T’s & Y’s: Understanding King James Pronouns

Pastor Hammond

Living according to “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4) requires that we make an effort to learn to understand every word of scripture.  Yet, any honest pastor will admit that the Elizabethan-era English of our King James Bible can be challenging. One of the first challenges that we face is the so-called Elizabethan pronouns, i.e. thou, thee, thy, thine, ye, and you.

It is fair to ask if these so-called “old fashioned” pronouns really matter – especially given that most modern Bible versions have replaced them with simpler, more familiar words.  For example, modern translations typically replace “ye” with “you.”  While that change may seem reasonable, readers must understand that dropping the use of the Elizabethan pronouns necessarily obscures the meaning of the Greek and Hebrew words that underly our English translations.  In fact, when translators change “ye” to “you,” they are necessarily changing God’s words!

Let’s take a closer look at the issue.   Recall that the New Testament is translated from Greek.  Biblical Greek differentiates between singular pronouns that refer to one person (thou, thee, thine) and plural pronouns that refer to multiple people (you, ye). Biblical Greek also differentiates between pronouns that serve as subjects and objects in a sentence.  Unfortunately, modern English no longer maintains a system of pronouns that bear the same level of precision.  Fortunately, however, the Elizabethan English of our King James Bible utilizes a system of pronouns that perfectly reflects the precision of the original Greek. 

You may be wondering if this level of grammatical precision is actually important.  Consider the King James translation of John 3:7.  There, Jesus said, "Marvel not that I said unto thee (singular, object form), ye (plural, subject form) must be born again."  The use of these precise pronouns in our  King James translation makes it clear that, while Jesus was speaking to one man (Nicodemus), his message was that all people must be born again.  However, the New International Version (NIV) obscures the fact that all must be born again; It translates  John 3:7 as  “You should not be surprised at my saying, You must be born again.”  Because the NIV says "You must be born again," a modern reader would not likely understand that Jesus was actually telling Nicodemus that all must be born again. 

Similar distinctions are made in the Biblical Hebrew underlying our King James Old Testament. Consider Exodus 4:15:  "And thou (2nd person singular, subject form) shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy (2nd-person singular,  possessive form) mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you (plural, object form) what ye (plural, subject form) shall do" (KJV).

One commentator notes that, in the above verse, we see the pronouns "thou," "thy," "you," and "ye," all fulfilling a specific grammatical function.  Modern translations are more likely to read:  "You shall speak to him ...and I will be with your mouth,... and will teach you what you shall do."  In choosing to simplify the translation, they obscure the precision and clarity of the underlying Hebrew words.  However, our King James Bible makes it clear that the LORD told Moses that he (Moses) was to speak to Aaron, and that He (the LORD) would then teach both of them (not just Moses) what they were to do.

Ok, so how can I remember the meaning of each pronoun?

Here’s a simple rule:  In our King James bible, pronouns that begin with “T” are always singular (i.e. they refer to one person); Pronouns that begin with “Y” are always plural (i.e. they refer to multiple people).   Someone observed that a helpful way to remember this rule is that “t” resembles one "stick" whereas “y” pictures two (or more) sticks stacked together.  

Going a step further:  Biblical Greek also uses different forms of pronouns to identify subjects and objects in a sentence.  Recall that, in a sentence, a subject is the person who is performing an action.  The object is a person or thing that is receiving action.  Consider this sentence:   “Mary is feeding the baby.”   “Mary” is the subject, i.e. the one performing the action.   “Baby” is the object, i.e. the one upon whom the action is being performed.  

Praise God for our Authorized King James Bible – an accurate translation of God’s preserved words.

A Helpful Chart of King James Bible Pronouns: 

  1.  “T” pronouns  are singular (and always 2nd person)
    1. Thou = subject form
    2. Thee = object form
    3.  “Thy” & “Thine” show possession
  2. Y” pronouns are plural (and always 2nd-person)
    1. Ye = Subject form
    2. You = object form
    3. Your(s)” shows possession

Remember:  "T" pronouns are always singular. "Y" pronouns are always plural.

Should Christians Read Bill O'Reilly's book, "Killing Jesus"?

According the Bible, as Jesus hung on the cross, he said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do," (Luke 23:34).

I've read a review which states that, in his book,  Mr. O’Reilly asserts that “It wouldn’t have been physically possible (for Jesus to make that statement from the cross).  O'Reilly states, "You die on a cross from being suffocated...You can hardly breathe. We believe Jesus said that, but we don’t believe he said it on the cross because nobody could have heard it.”

Here, we may observe that Bill O'Reilly does not accept the Bible.  As such, I urge Bible-believers to have nothing to do with this book.

The Bible Says Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven!

Pastor Hammond

One of the clearest teachings of the Bible is the teaching that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation. 

  • In John 14:6, Jesus said he is THE ONLY WAY.  There, we read, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
  • In Acts 4:10-12, The Bible states that salvation is offered through NO OTHER NAME but “by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth…”  Verse 12 states,  “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
  • In 1 Corinthians 3:11, the Bible states that Christ is the ONLY FOUNDATION:  “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
  • In Romans 1:16, the Bible says that the Gospel of Christ is THE POWER unto salvation.  There, we read, “ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” 

Importantly, the Bible also says that we cannot be “the way” for ourselves.  Our good works are not good enough for God. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Bible reads, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

For more information about knowing Jesus Christ as your savior, please see LHBaptist.com/salvation.  You may also contact Pastor Hammond at 203-268-5104.

What about Wicca?

Pastor Hammond

Wicca is a religion that involves a variety of ancient practices.  While there's considerable variation in how wicca is practiced,  we should understand a few common themes:

(1) Wicca teaches the veneration of nature. This is based on a profoundly unbiblical PANTHEISM, i.e. the idea that a (typically feminine) "divine" is present in all things. This is much more than teaching respect for nature; it's teaching that nature is God. This is entirely contrary to the Bible;

(2) Wicca's so-called "Charge of the Goddess" teaches a POLYTHEISTIC worship of various goddesses. Again, this is profoundly contrary to the Bible, e.g. Exodus 20:3 "Thou shalt have no other gods before me);

(3) The so-called Wiccan Rede teaches people to do whatever they like (so long as it hurts no one) - representing a rejection of the full cannon of Scripture - and it's numerous imperatives;

(4) Not uncommonly, Wiccans teach the use of magick -- a practice that is wholly reliant upon a very real demonic realm for it's very real results. I have known people who have been converted to Christianity after having spent considerable time practicing Wicca. They generally conclude that Wicca is ultimately about Satan - even if that is not taught overtly.  Importantly, I have personal experience with people who testify that THE VENERATION OF SATAN IS SOMETIMES TAUGHT OVERTLY (albeit not to new adherents!).

The Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross at calvary for all sinners - including the practicing wiccan.  A person who is caught-up in wicca may repent of their sin just like any other sinner.  

How may a wiccan know that his or her sins are forgiven?

1.  Understand and acknowledge that we are all sinners.  In Romans 3:23, the Bible says that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."  God's perfect holiness and justice requires that a penalty be paid for sin.  In fact, in Romans 6:23, the Bibles teaches that "the wages of sin is death."

2.  Acknowledge that Jesus Christ - the son of God - died on the cross and paid for all our sins.  The good news is that the son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, paid that penalty for us by shedding His blood and dying upon the cross in our place.  Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice that satisfied God’s demand for justice against our sins. Because Jesus did that for us, eternal life is offered to us as a free gift.  God paid the price for our sin Himself! 

3.  Understand that simply choosing to be a better person will not save you.
 The bible states, " For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast," (Ephesians 2:8-9).  No one can be saved through their own good works!

3.  Understand that repentance and faith are required for salvation.  According to the Bible, it is only through repentance and faith in Christ that our sins are forgiven.  Romans 6:23 says, "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  If you will repent and receive Christ as your savior, the Bible says that you can know for certain that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13).

To repent is simply to make a conscious decision to turn away from sin and to turn toward Christ.   Repentence involves a change of mind that produces a change in action.   Repentance normally involves sorrow over our past sins - especially when we realize that Christ died on the cross in our place.   The Bible say, "...there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."  (Luke 15:10)

4. Understand that Bible says that "...Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13) "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." (John 3:16). The word believe in John 3:16 means to place your trust in Christ. If you will place your trust in Jesus Christ as the one who paid for your sins on the cross of Calvary, and in nothing else, God promises you both forgiveness of sin and eternal life. 

In 1 John 1:9, the Bible says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  "All unrighteousness" includes the sin of practicing wicca!

In 1 John 5:13, John writes, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life..."  If you will repent - confessing your sinfulnes - and trust in Christ alone for forgiveness, you can KNOW that you have eternal life!

Learn more.  If you'd like to know about the forgiveness of sin that is possible in Jesus Christ, please contact Pastor Robert Hammond at Long Hill Baptist Church, 100 Middlebrooks Ave., Trumbull, CT (203) 268-5104.

Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy

December 15, 2012


Please join me in much prayer for the families and friends of the many students and adults who lost their lives.

Many will be searching for answers regarding this tragedy.  Let us all be reminded of the truth of Scripture:  "Evil men... shall wax worse and worse..." (2 Timothy 3:13).  
The world is indeed waxing worse and worse.  But, our LORD is still in control.  And His good purposes will be accomplished.  Importantly, I trust that each of us will allow this event to remind us of the critical need to urgently reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In Christ's Love,

Pastor 

(203) 208-3450

Helps for Spiritual Battle

Notes from a September 2012 conference regarding spiritual battle

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Truths About Spiritual Battle – (conference speaker:  Marvin Smith)

  • Understand that Satan has already been defeated; We need not give him any control in our lives!
    • Satan was defeated  in Heaven
    • Satan was defeated by Christ in the wilderness
    • Satan  was defeated by Christ  in hell
  • Understand that one of Satan's goal is to wear us out (Dan 7:25).
    • Satan is not trying to defeat God; he knows his future.  Satan isn't  targeting a lost men – he already has them. Rather, Satan is targeting saved people! (that he might distract us from living for Christ & serving our Savior)
      • Rev 13:7 -- Satan makes war with the saints
      • Rev 12:12- Satan has wrath - knowing that he cannot win 
  • Understand that Satan tells us LIES about God, others, self:
    • Lies Satan tells us about God:  God doesn't really LOVE  you, ACCEPT you or CARE ABOUT you. God isn't fair/ God ripped you off, GOD CANNOT USE ME;  cannot forgive me; God cannot  be trusted;
    • Lies Satan tells us about others: nobody cares; nobody loves me; the preacher is against me; the church does not accept me; no one understands me; everyone is a hypocrite; my parents do/don't love me; my spouse doesn't love me / care about me;
    •  Lies Satan tells me about myself:I'll never amount to anything; I'm stupid; I'm ugly (that's an offense to God!); I can't get victory; I'm worthless (we aren't worthy or worthless); I'm too filthy to be used of God; I am not accepted; I will never be loved; I cannot do anthing for God / my work isn't important.
  • Understand that we should combat Satan's lies with the truth of God’s word! 
    • Some great Biblical truths: 
      • We have been crucified with Christ (gal 2:20);  buried with him (to 6:4-5); raised up with him (Eph 2:6; ro 6:5); I am seated with Christ (Eph 2:6);  
      • The Spirit of God desires to renew us each day!
      • Truths about our Salvation:
        • Past:  We have been justified / positional sanctification
        • Present: We are growing in practical sanctification
        • Future: we will be glorified
      • Great truths about the results of my salvation in Christ: 
        • … I am accepted by the Father (Eph 1:6) 
        • … I am God's child (John 1:12)
        • … I am justified - ro 6:1
        • … I have been adopted as God's child (Eph 1:5)
        • … I have direct access to God
        • … I have been forgiven - Col 1:14
        • … I am complete in Christ
        • ….I have been appointed to bare fruit - John 15:1
        • … I am a personal witness of Christ
        • … I  am a new creation in Christ
        • … I am God's workmanship
        • … I can do all things in Christ
        • … I am more than a conqueror in Christ

James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."