It is with deepest gratitude in the Lord that Donna and I tell you how much we appreciate your prayers, all the kind comments and support that is very slowly beginning to come in. For you know that this voice in the wilderness can only fully be here through the generosity of the people that the Great Shepherd Christ Jesus is bringing to us. And that’s why I felt led to open this little corner of the Site for the steadily growing AM “congregation” and family. Those who have been following this work in Christ are well aware that I strongly feel it’s so vitally important that we are a ministry of integrity.

My word in the Lord, as I write this I have been swamped with emails from the Netherlands to a pastor in Kenya related to my appearance on Crosstalk, offering words of encouragement, sharing their stories of how this growing apostasy is affecting them, and asking many questions they obviously aren’t getting answered elsewhere. However, the same phenomenon I mentioned in a previous piece “For The Readers” is continuing to happen, though it’s probably because we haven’t really seen many works like this one before and people don’t realize that Apprising Ministries is funded solely through the gifts of God’s people.

Beloved if I have any hope of keeping up with this kind of workload, for those who feel led to this humble work which is now beginning to explode, we need to seriously begin to pray and seek God as to how He wants us to proceed from here. Without question the Bible teaches that anything the Lord begins He is faithful to provide for, but I do believe if you also check the Scriptures you’ll find that God has chosen to work through His people. If you feel led, won’t you please join us in praying that Christ will lead us to those in His Body who have the gift of generosity, that perhaps there is a matching grant somewhere for AM and might you consider a donation to a worthy work such as this. You can do so through Paypal right here on the Site or you may also send a check to Apprising Ministries if you prefer.

In no way is this a typical apologetic counter-cult discernment ministry, but then again this growing apostasy will not be a time for “business as usual” Christianity. There is at present so many “ministers” who have now infested and littered the Church of God with their false self-aggrandizing teachings of rubbish, reflecting so poorly on true works of our Lord in perilous times such as this one. With that in mind I sought the Master as to the best alternative concerning how we should handle letting people know what this ministry may need and to share what AM has been experiencing. The result seems to be this idea of a little unobtrusive section off to the side where someone who is interested can click in here if they wish and then those who would just like to partake of the food that God has provided on this important Site may also do so freely without being bothered.

As I mentioned in “For Our Readers,” the direction we have felt the Lord take His Apprising Ministries has been toward a kind of an online “local” church with an “Internet “ pulpit through which our “congregation” could then be in touch with the remnant that is literally scattered all over the world. No doubt this is an odd idea, but since when has our great God and Savior played by mankind’s “conventional” rules? The times we live in–so many feel it just might be the very End–would call for us to be willing to listen to God the Holy Spirit and then obey Him, no matter how peculiar our Lord’s directive might seem. However, and I wish to be as clear to the reader as I possibly can here, everything must be in accord with what the Bible says–in context and rightly interpreted–or it must be rejected immediately as coming from Satan.

Traditions In These Terrible Times

Let me say again that personally I’m not yet convinced we live at the Age of Grace (though I lean that way) and that Christ is coming in our lifetime. I bring this subject up for two reasons. 1) To make sure that AM can never be referred to as a work using “scare tactics” to gain readership, and 2) to make sure we all understand that there is no doubt in the Spirit that we are living at the end of something. As I said a moment ago, if the Lord continues to tarry this is not a time to continue on with the business of Christianity as it has traditionally been done. Unquestionably there are Evangelical “traditions” that have developed through the years and I can tell you from personal experience that in far too many places within the Church, Christianity in this country is run just the same as any other “business.”

I really don’t want to waste lot of time on that here because I am aware that the few of you who will frequent this section of AM, and are seriously reading this “Apprising You,” which I pray might be a kind of first installment for an e-newsletter (we’ll see), have already heard the Voice within mine and you know full well that what I say is true. You will have already noticed that as I am led of the Lord to say something, it has been my policy to proclaim it–clearly and without compromise–no matter the cost. You also know that I don’t share this to “puff myself up,” but unlike the multitudinous braggarts polluting the Body of Christ, rather I choose to follow the biblical injunction of 1 Corinthians 1:28-31 that I not forget why I even have this forum:

He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”

In the interest of encouraging those of you who have been feeling you were all alone in coming to see what God the Father has been showing you, here are a couple of excerpts from what Donna and I are now receiving on nearly a daily basis, in we will call Letters From The Wilderness:

I heard you on Crosstalk the other evening and obtained your web address. My I have permission to print off articles from your website to read over or put on file for future reference? I am a pastor of a small Assembly of God Church in South Dakota.

An “Internet” church is exactly what I need right now, my life is somewhat in flux at the moment. One thing I’ve learned in the past few months, is that just because someone says they are a Christian, it doesn’t mean they actually are one! There may be a cross on a building, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re worshipping God inside there. So I am somewhat afraid to go off looking for a church to attend, I don’t want to waste my time going here and there trying to find a place that actually believes what the Bible says.

I am a 63-year-old housewife thanking God for this Website!! I am going to a church going Purpose Driven Church now or Emerging Church–or both. You are on the Front Line and you are supported by me in prayer and gift.

Our Extended Family In Christ

As time allows I would hope to fill you in more concerning pertinent background concerning AM and what it is I feel called to do. For those who are new to this Internet part of the congregation and may not know, Apprising Ministries is a non-profit, tax-exempt fully integrated auxiliary of a small church called Connecticut River Baptist Church (CRBC) in Claremont, NH. Currently we average 7 members and meet in the home of one of the members of the congregation. It is with joy that I share with you the names of these noble Soldiers of the Cross who have stood by Donna and myself, for without their behind the scenes support, we wouldn’t be here. Let me introduce you to Ilda Colburn, Judy White, Robin Hughes, Dave Moses, and 17-year-old Ryan Patterson, a young man we had the privilege of leading to Christ a little over a year ago; Ryan graduated high school a year early and is already attending a technical college in town.

Let me tell you that your extended family in Christ here in Claremont is thrilled to hear of how the tiny “little church that just wouldn’t go away” is now being used by the LORD God Almighty to boldly proclaim the true Gospel of Jesus Christ to people all over the world! I feel led to share the above with you as Robin suggested that we compile a list of those in the Internet part of our congregation so that we can be actively in prayer for you. So I have let you know who will be praying for you in hopes that you will also be praying for us. If you would like to be added to such a list for prayer, please free to contact us and to include any specifics that we might be able to follow the pattern of the ancient Church in Acts 2:42 – And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

It is our belief that the closer we stick to what the Bible actually says, the better off we’ll be as this darkness grows over the nation and what is the counterfeit “Christianity” of the man-pleasers attempting to pass itself off as the Church of our Lord. O but we remember that Jesus says – you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me (John 10:26-27). We have an unofficial motto: Pray; read the Bible, and do what it says. At this time CRBC remains an affiliate with the SBC, but as we all are quick to tell people we are Christians who happen to work with them, for now. If you have heard either of the two times I have been graciously asked by Ingrid Schlueter to appear on her Crosstalk program you will know some about the relevant history of CRBC.

But for now though, I just wanted to answer the question which has been asked: What is the immediate future for the website, and just touch on the vision Christ has given me thus far as to its direction. As most of you know there are many, many fine Christian websites on the Internet with so much good teaching available, and as faithful servants of our Lord we do not believe that we should be in “competition” with them. Many times I will refer people off-site to other teachers who have more specific information on a given subject. I’ve stated on many occasions that I would shut CRBC down immediately, and AM as well, if the Lord felt there was no need for these interrelated ministries in Christ.

Remember what Luke tells us about our Lord – Jesus knew their thoughts – and how the Master said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall (Luke 11:17), and being painfully aware that Christ Jesus is currently watching the Truth of His Words in His Own House, I tell you He has raised both of these ventures up for these perilous times and in fact melded them together. Of course an Internet pulpit will draw flak and it is controversial; I welcome you to “my world” as it were, and how my ministry has always been. Our Lord had chosen to have me trained in very unusual ways, sent me on some quite unusual missions, has more than faithfully kept me through the adversity of it all and as such has the total allegiance this particular sheep.

Lessons In Affliction

I shared that to encourage you with this, Dave explained to me something that I hadn’t known about shepherds and I’ll share with you now. If a shepherd happens to have a lamb that is prone to wander and just doesn’t seem to stay with the rest of the flock, he will break one of its legs. This might seem cruel at first but as you consider what happens next you will see that this is actually a great act of kindness. For you see, as this lamb recuperates the shepherd must carry the helpless lamb in his arms as he feeds it and cares for it etc. When the time comes that the leg is healed you can imagine how this lamb, having to be totally dependent on the shepherd, never leaves his side again because it now knows who truly takes care it.

Maybe now this will help you come to see “thorns in the flesh” and “fiery trials” in a whole different light. The next time you read in Psalm 119 – Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word (v.67), and I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me (v.75; see also–Ruth 1:21; Job 30:11), the lesson God the Holy Spirit is trying to teach us here will be clearer. This type of true biblical teaching is nearly nonexistent in the self-centered seeker sensitive purpose driven “instant” Christianity of the Evangelical emerging word faith postchurch in postmodern amorous America today, too heavily influenced as it is with Robert Schuller’s new reformation of man-centered theology. Anyone who can’t see this is simply blind spiritually because the Bible clearly warns us – Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ (Colossians 2:8, KJV).

The NIV reads this way – See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. So you can see that both of these translations agree which I’ll get to below, but in any event, here we see the root of what happened to Evangelicalism. By not taking this warning seriously well meaning men were seduced by leaders they chose to follow, it’s a sad story as old as mankind itself. But O how low we have set the standard for the Christian life today just for the sake of (p)adding numbers to our dead and dying denominational reports through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men and the basic principles of this world, and not after Christ.

Our Closing Question

In “For Our Readers” I shared that for the brief time I was available on a fulltime basis here, having had to return to my secular position, AM was able to function as a kind of email version of “The Bible Answer Man” a popular radio program founded by the late Dr. Walter Martin which itself has deteriorated noticeably. Among the inquiries I have received on more than a few occasions had to do with Bible translations. Here is the substance of the questions, and my response as a little “something to chew on” for the future when next time may allow me to more personally “Apprise You.”

Can you tell me what version of the Bible do you prefer? I started out in the NIV because I was told that it was the most accurate thought-for-thought translation. Our pastor uses the NASB and so we now use it as well because we find the wording to be fuller and richer in its meaning. We have heard that the NASB is the most accurate word-for word of the modern translations, but we also understand the KJV is highly regarded by many other Christians. How does that square with archaeological findings; hasn’t this led to more clarity of the texts since the KJV was originally translated? And then we have seen that the NKJV is being used in many Christian churches and as we’ve read this version it seems to have different meanings from what we see in the NASB.

There is much confusion surrounding this issue of Bible translations, and we know that God is not the Author of confusion. As many of you have come to see I primarily use the NIV. My current preference for it is twofold actually. The day I was so graciously saved by Christ Jesus I was given my first Bible by the assistant pastor of the church and it happened to be an NIV. Since this dear brother who handed it to me with the words, “this is yours,” a Nigerian man named Dr. Chiburu Mbugebu, would immediately take me under his wing to thoroughly disciple me this translation has always had a special place in my heart. And after much personal study for the better part of 18 years on the origin of the Bible itself, textual criticism, and Bible translations, it is my view that the NIV is a version which makes for a nice “smooth” reading in English as it comes over from the original languages.

The Lord has been kind enough to bless our library so far with the original Hebrew and Greek versions of His Word in a variety manuscripts–including both the textus receptus (which underlies the KJV and the NKJV) and the Nestle text (which underlies the NIV and NASB). I also have as many as 27 different translations at my disposal as well for comparison. Since my ministry encompasses counter-cult work I have also had the privilege of investigating the “King James-Only” aberration, and the course of my writing against the apostate Church of Rome has brought me in contact with valued friends like Dr. Bill Jackson and Richard Bennett who are brothers who use only the KJV but are not of the other persuasion.

Obviously when we do serious exposition from God’s infallible, inerrant Word we must only do so with fear and trembling on our knees and from the original languages. Tragically this type of reverent awe for the LORD God Almighty, a Being in whose dreadful presence we would literally disintegrate, is foreign in much of the irreverent pop Church today. This is easy to spot with the proliferation of watered down paraphrase versions in recent years and their use by prominent Evangelical spokesmen like Rick Warren. With my position clearly stated, in my considered opinion I would only recommend (in no particular order) the KJV, the NASB, the NIV and the NJKV. Despite protests from the fringe, there is just not enough of a difference in the textus receptus and the so-called modern text to warrant being dogmatic in saying the KJV is superior to these other three versions I mentioned.

If one prefers the beauty and familiarity of the KJV then by all means they should use it, but the NASB for example, benefits from archaeological finds of manuscripts dating back well before those which were put together to form the textus receptus bringing us much closer to the autographas (originals) themselves. The arguments that the KJV is “preserved” by God and that the 3 other translations I recommend are somehow inferior or theologically biased do not hold up to the actual facts. You have probably noticed that I often quote from each these 4 and if you carefully compare–as I have–you will see that there is really no doctrinal differences, for if there were you can believe me that I will be the very first to tell you.

Soli Deo Gloria !