Discspeed: failed to confirm price and availability

Today I drove off to buy a printer from DiscSpeed, also known as http://www.inktankprinters.co.za/  I wanted the L655 which was advertised for R6999 on their web site.  The friendly lady on the phone told me that they had stock of the Epson L655, and that the price was in fact R4999, the same as the L565. (The L565 has no duplex function).  She confirmed that with a voice in the background.  I confirmed the price and the fact that it has a sheet feeder.  The friendly lady told me it has duplex.  Excellent.  At last they have what I want, and it’s a great deal too.  Off I went, driving to 19 Geelbos Road, Noordwyk, Midrand, with cash in hand, to spend R4999 on the Epson L655 duplex + sheet feeder.

On arrival, the lady greeted me, and after a brief search through the storage area, told me they don’t have stock.  The same voice in the background said the price is R6999 and they’re getting stock “this afternoon”.  Sorry about that.

I bid them a nice day, and left.

This is exactly what would happen if the company did one of these:

  • Made an innocent mistake and didn’t care to keep their word, but carefully removed the item from stock in the 30 minutes that passed between my call and my arrival.
  • Did not have stock of the item, but tried some bait and switch (e.g. there is some reason that they will not get stock, so they just lied.)

Whatever the cause, Discspeed is now in my personal vendor blacklist.  It’s a pity.  They seem nice.

Should you wish to trade with these people, here are their details:

Discspeed sales@discspeed.co.za
19 Geelhout street
Trading hours:  8.00am to 5.00 pm, Mon to Fri.
Tel: 011-318-2052

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Sinaiticus: a corrupted Bible to corrupt a generation

The British Library has a number of leaves of the famous “Codex Sinaiticus”, reputed to date from the years 300AD or so.  Their forensics experts have examined it.  They have a number of things to say.  Also, they say it is a fraud.  This is how they say it:

Although skin materials are remarkably durable given reasonable conditions of storage, collagen fibres nevertheless degenerate slowly especially when exposed to water vapour, light and heat. Fluctuations in humidity and excessive moisture levels can result in hydrolysis which, in the presence of natural and man-made pollutants such as sulphur dioxide or nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere, can catalyse oxidisation. This process of deterioration leads initially to a reduction in strength of the dermal fibre network causing phenomena such as curling and shrinkage. Over a prolonged period it can lead to a complete breakdown of the fibre structure and more permanent damage such as brittleness, splits and losses….
The conservation team discovered that, despite being over 1600 years old, the pages of Codex Sinaiticus held at the British Library consisted of a supple, high quality parchment in relatively good condition….
Apart from a small percentage of folios with heavy ink corrosion, most of the folios appeared to have survived the rigours of 16 centuries with an unexpected lack of damage, suffering in the main only from small tears and losses along the head, tail, fore-edge and spine folds. Much of this damage is more likely attributable to mechanical damage than physical deterioration….
Much of the visual parchment evidence cannot answer many of the questions asked by those seeking proof about the origins of the Codex and the story of its survival…

Did you hear that?  They looked at it, and they have NOTHING to say that will answer questions of authenticity.  They cannot reconcile the visible evidence with the story spun about it.  It is visibly evident to the document experts that Sinaiticus is a FRAUD.  They don’t want to say so, but they say it anyhow.

Codex Sinaiticus is a fraud, which means that all of these are a fraud too:

  • Codex Vaticanus – it has the same fraudulently truncated ending of the gospel of Mark, and that fraud was done by the same handwriting in Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.
  • The Shepherd of Hermas, 1855, Simonides – this is identical to the copy in Sinaiticus, therefore not ancient, but a medieval work (probably copied by Simonides at Mt. Athos, as he claimed.)
  • The Revised Standard Version – my Dad’s bible
  • The New American Standard Version – we had this in our house because it’s “literal”
  • The Good News Version – the version I grew up with … an awful mess of footnotes and easy English.
  • The New International Version – the version I was educated with
  • The English Standard Version – the version they tried to sell me after they had gone too far with the NIV.
  • Everything based on the “critical text”.
  • Innumerable issue-driven translations that corrupt the word of God for profit – including those pushing one “Yshua” and “Yahweh”, and not a few editions written in punchy modern phrases.

What does this leave us with?  Just one: The King James Version – the Authorised Version.  You don’t like the language of that?  Well, that’s tough: it’s all we’ve got.  Learn to live with it.  Thou shouldest learn therewith to live.

The “New King James Version” deserves a special mention: it’s a deceptive beast.  While it is a somewhat reasonable translation of the uncorrupted Textus Receptus Greek, there are places where the scholars displayed their liberal preference, and for the Old Testament, the text has been deliberately chosen for its corruption.  Basically, you can’t trust them: all that the translators intend with this translation is to draw the few people still reading the King James Version away from the older language to the language of the corrupt versions.  The language is easier, but the message is not completely true.

All of this fuss is about just 6000 changes or so in a very large document, and that would normally be a storm in a teacup – a few changes in spelling and grammar – the odd sentence here and a missing clause there.  For a regular document of no importance, it would matter little, but this is the word of God.

When something corrupt is added to something holy, is the product holy, or is the product defiled?

Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these [holy offerings], shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.
Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.

This is not an isolated teaching in the Bible.  This matter goes all the way to life and death, heaven and hell:

  • Psalm 12:6-7The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.  
    Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
    If we accept Sinaiticus and it’s tale of an ever-changing word of God, then the word has not been preserved, and is not pure.
  • Psalm 119:140Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.  
    If we accept Sinaiticus and its many small flaws, what is left to love?
  • 2 Corinthians 6:7By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
    If we proclaim the gospel by a ever-so-slightly flawed word, then how will we see the power of God?
  • Psalm 119:41-43 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.  
    So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.  
    And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.
    If the word of truth is utterly out of our mouth, and we trust in a sightly corrupt word that is the word of man, and not the word of God, then how will we be saved?
  • Ephesians 1:13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
    If we heard some other word that is not entirely true, then and if we believed that slightly unholy word, then how did we believe in the truth?
  • James 1:17-18 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.      
     Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.  
    If God has shown variableness and turning, changing the most minor aspects of his word, then he has begotten us with unstable double-mindedness, and we cannot reasonably hope to be born again – if that is so, we are yet dead in our sins.

Quo vadis?  (And now?)  Indeed.  Toss it all in the garbage:

  • 170 years of textual criticism – it’s all lies and damned lies.
  • All the new English versions – they’re all deception and lies
  • All the other language versions based on the critical text
  • All those lest-reached people group versions translated from the corrupt text by these same corrupt scholars.  Those folks are going to have to learn a second language, sorry.
  • Everything that says “Nestle”, “Alland”, “UBS” and is littered with footnotes.
  • Dead Sea Scrolls: yes, toss these too, because the same people that believe these sold us Sinaiticus as the holy truth.

Actually, we won’t need to burn the new versions – they are already fading away, as the people that they have corrupted are fading away.

What remains?  Just one:

  • Textus Receptus and Masoretic text
  • King James Version – the Authorised Version 1611
  • A few language translations from the Textus Receptus

Where are we at?

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

We’re almost done with falling away, and the next step is the man of sin.

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What are the IP addresses for NS records of co.za?

In short? 99.8% of the time, they are these:

ns1.coza.net.za.   IN A
ns.coza.net.za.    IN A
ns4.iafrica.com.   IN A
ns0.is.co.za.      IN A
ns0.neotel.co.za.  IN A
coza1.dnsnode.net. IN A

And the remaining 0.2% of the time?  Let’s ask the root servers – what are the NS records for co.za:

# dig @a.root-servers.net ns co.za
 za. 172800 IN NS za1.dnsnode.net.
 za. 172800 IN NS nsza.is.co.za.
 za. 172800 IN NS za-ns.anycast.pch.net.
 za. 172800 IN NS sns-pb.isc.org.
 za. 172800 IN NS disa.tenet.ac.za.
 za1.dnsnode.net. 172800 IN A
 nsza.is.co.za. 172800 IN A
 za-ns.anycast.pch.net. 172800 IN A
 sns-pb.isc.org. 172800 IN A
 disa.tenet.ac.za. 172800 IN A

Okay, that gets us za. Let’s ask one of them:

# dig @ ns co.za
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.is.co.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns1.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns4.iafrica.com.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.neotel.co.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS coza1.dnsnode.net.

Cool – we have names, but we don’t have IP addresses yet.  So let’s go and find out what the IP address of ns.coza.net.za is.  We already know the NS servers for .za but let’s pretend we don’t:

dig @a.root-servers.net ns.coza.net.za a
 za. 172800 IN NS za1.dnsnode.net.
 za. 172800 IN NS disa.tenet.ac.za.
 za. 172800 IN NS nsza.is.co.za.
 za. 172800 IN NS za-ns.anycast.pch.net.
 za. 172800 IN NS sns-pb.isc.org.

 za1.dnsnode.net. 172800 IN A
 disa.tenet.ac.za. 172800 IN A
 nsza.is.co.za. 172800 IN A
 za-ns.anycast.pch.net. 172800 IN A
 sns-pb.isc.org. 172800 IN A

They say to ask the .net.za servers, and provide glue. Cool:

# dig @ a ns.coza.net.za
 net.za. 86400 IN NS disa.tenet.ac.za.
 net.za. 86400 IN NS ns0.is.co.za.
 net.za. 86400 IN NS za-ns.anycast.pch.net.

 ns0.is.co.za. 86400 IN A
 disa.tenet.ac.za. 86400 IN A

Let’s choose one of those that we happen to have glue for (we don’t want to be here all day):

# dig @ ns.coza.net.za
 coza.net.za. 86400 IN NS beth.coza.net.za.
 coza.net.za. 86400 IN NS secdns1.posix.co.za.
 coza.net.za. 86400 IN NS ns1.coza.net.za.

 ns1.coza.net.za. 86400 IN A
 beth.coza.net.za. 86400 IN A
 beth.coza.net.za. 86400 IN AAAA 2001:43f8:30::193

Let’s ask “secdns1.posix.co.za” – oh wait, we don’t have the NS for co.za yet and this is what we are trying to find out, so we’re sunk.  This is a DNS loop.

What is the probability of this error? Well, for a single query, the probability is 0.2 % – 1 in 500 or so. A simple way to understand this is that 500 international users connect to your .co.za web site, then 499 will find it, and 1 will not.

# dnstraverse -t NS co.za
 Using a.root-servers.net ( as initial root
 Running query co.za type NS
 1 a.root-servers.net (
 1.1 za1.dnsnode.net (
 1.2 nsza.is.co.za (
 1.2.1 ns0.is.co.za (
 1.2.2 ns1.coza.net.za -- resolving
 1.2.2 ns1.coza.net.za (,Loop encountered resolving ns.coza.net.za)
 1.2.3 ns4.iafrica.com -- resolving
 1.2.3 ns4.iafrica.com (
 1.2.4 ns0.neotel.co.za (
 1.2.5 coza1.dnsnode.net -- resolving
 1.2.5 coza1.dnsnode.net (
 1.2.6 ns.coza.net.za -- resolving
 1.2.6 ns.coza.net.za (,Loop encountered resolving secdns1.posix.co.za)
 1.3 za-ns.anycast.pch.net (
 1.3.1 ns4.iafrica.com -- resolving
 1.3.1 ns4.iafrica.com ( -- completed earlier (1.2.3)
 1.3.2 ns0.is.co.za ( -- completed earlier (1.2.1)
 1.3.3 ns0.neotel.co.za ( -- completed earlier (1.2.4)
 1.3.4 coza1.dnsnode.net -- resolving
 1.3.4 coza1.dnsnode.net ( -- completed earlier (1.2.5)
 1.3.5 ns1.coza.net.za -- resolving
 1.3.5 ns1.coza.net.za (,Loop encountered resolving ns.coza.net.za) -- completed earlier (1.2.2)
 1.3.6 ns.coza.net.za -- resolving
 1.3.6 ns.coza.net.za (,Loop encountered resolving secdns1.posix.co.za) -- completed earlier (1.2.6)
 1.4 sns-pb.isc.org (
 1.4.1 ns.coza.net.za -- resolving
 1.4.1 ns.coza.net.za (,Loop encountered resolving secdns1.posix.co.za) -- completed earlier (1.2.6)
 1.4.2 ns1.coza.net.za -- resolving
 1.4.2 ns1.coza.net.za (,Loop encountered resolving ns.coza.net.za) -- completed earlier (1.2.2)
 1.4.3 ns0.is.co.za ( -- completed earlier (1.2.1)
 1.4.4 ns4.iafrica.com -- resolving
 1.4.4 ns4.iafrica.com ( -- completed earlier (1.2.3)
 1.4.5 ns0.neotel.co.za ( -- completed earlier (1.2.4)
 1.4.6 coza1.dnsnode.net -- resolving
 1.4.6 coza1.dnsnode.net ( -- completed earlier (1.2.5)
 1.5 disa.tenet.ac.za (

 10.0%: Answer from coza1.dnsnode.net (
 co.za. 3600 IN NS coza1.dnsnode.net.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.neotel.co.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns1.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.is.co.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns4.iafrica.com.

20.0%: Answer from za1.dnsnode.net (
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.is.co.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS coza1.dnsnode.net.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns4.iafrica.com.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns1.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.neotel.co.za.

20.0%: Answer from disa.tenet.ac.za (
 co.za. 86400 IN NS coza1.dnsnode.net.
 co.za. 86400 IN NS ns.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 86400 IN NS ns0.is.co.za.
 co.za. 86400 IN NS ns0.neotel.co.za.
 co.za. 86400 IN NS ns1.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 86400 IN NS ns4.iafrica.com.

10.0%: Answer from ns0.is.co.za (
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns4.iafrica.com.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns1.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS coza1.dnsnode.net.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.is.co.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.neotel.co.za.

10.0%: Answer from ns4.iafrica.com (
 co.za. 3600 IN NS coza1.dnsnode.net.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns1.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.is.co.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns4.iafrica.com.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.neotel.co.za.

9.8%: Answer from ns.coza.net.za (
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.is.co.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns4.iafrica.com.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns1.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS coza1.dnsnode.net.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.neotel.co.za.

10.0%: Answer from ns0.neotel.co.za (
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns1.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.neotel.co.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.is.co.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS coza1.dnsnode.net.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns4.iafrica.com.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns.coza.net.za.

10.0%: Answer from ns1.coza.net.za (
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns1.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS coza1.dnsnode.net.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.neotel.co.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns4.iafrica.com.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.is.co.za.

0.2%: Loop encountered at secdns1.posix.co.za
 While querying ns.coza.net.za/IN/A

0.0%: Loop encountered at ns.coza.net.za
 While querying secdns1.posix.co.za/IN/A

Summary Results:
 99.8% answered with co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.is.co.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS coza1.dnsnode.net.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns4.iafrica.com.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns1.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns.coza.net.za.
 co.za. 3600 IN NS ns0.neotel.co.za.
 0.2% resulted in a loop

This is why your internets come unglued just sometimes.

dnstraverse, by the way is awesome, but there is a kinda fatal bug when it tries to load its documentation under RHEL/CentOS.  To work around this, you can simply comment out the offending line in the code:

# gem install dnstraverse
Fetching: dnsruby-1.60.0.gem (100%)
Installing dnsruby...
  For issues and source code: https://github.com/alexdalitz/dnsruby
  For general discussion (please tell us how you use dnsruby): https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/dnsruby
Successfully installed dnsruby-1.60.0
Fetching: dnstraverse-0.1.14.gem (100%)
Successfully installed dnstraverse-0.1.14
Parsing documentation for dnsruby-1.60.0
Installing ri documentation for dnsruby-1.60.0
Parsing documentation for dnstraverse-0.1.14
# dnstraverse 
/usr/share/rubygems/rubygems/core_ext/kernel_require.rb:55:in `require': cannot load such file -- rdoc/usage (LoadError)
    from /usr/share/rubygems/rubygems/core_ext/kernel_require.rb:55:in `require'
    from /usr/local/share/gems/gems/dnstraverse-0.1.14/bin/dnstraverse:25:in `<top (required)>'
    from /usr/local/bin/dnstraverse:23:in `load'
    from /usr/local/bin/dnstraverse:23:in `<main>'
# sed -i '25 s/^/#/' /usr/local/share/gems/gems/dnstraverse-0.1.14/bin/dnstraverse
# dnstraverse 
parse error: Missing domain name parameter
Usage: dnstraverse [options] DOMAIN
    -v, --[no-]verbose               Run verbosely
    -d, --[no-]debug                 Debug mode.  Use twice to turn on library debug.
    -r, --root-server HOST           Root DNS server (default - ask local resolver)
    -a, --all-root-servers           Find all root servers (default false)
    -t, --type TYPE                  Record type (A, AAAA, SRV, WKS, NS, CNAME, SOA, PTR, HINFO, MINFO, MX, TXT, ANY
        --udp-size SIZE              UDP packet size (default 2048).  Set to 512 to turn off EDNS0.
        --allow-tcp                  Try using tcp if udp truncated (default true)
        --always-tcp                 Always use tcp (default false)
        --max-depth DEPTH            Maximum traversal depth (default 20)
        --retries TIMES              Number of 2s retries before timing out (default 2)
        --[no-]follow-aaaa           Only follow AAAA records for referrals (default false)
        --[no-]root-aaaa             Look for IPv6 addresses for root servers (default false)
        --[no-]show-progress         Display progress information (default true)
        --[no-]show-resolves         Display referral resolutions (default false)
        --[no-]show-servers          Display list of servers seen (default false)
        --[no-]show-versions         Display versions of dns servers (default true)
        --[no-]show-all-stats        Display statistics as we go (default false)
        --[no-]show-results          Display the results (default true)
        --[no-]show-summary-results  Display the summary results (default true)
        --[no-]fast                  Fast mode (default true) turn off to be more accurate
    -h, --help                       Show full help
    -q, --quiet                      Supress supplementary information
    -V, --version                    Show version

This approach doesn’t work:

# gem install rdoc
Fetching: rdoc-5.1.0.gem (100%)
ERROR:  Error installing rdoc:
    rdoc requires RubyGems version >= 2.2. Try 'gem update --system' to update RubyGems itself.
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udevadm trigger is not permitted while udev is unconfigured (workaround)

Today I fixed an unbootable ubuntu installation: it said:

lvmetad is not active yet

It then dumped to an initramfs shell, in which lvm pvs reported nothing but errors.  /proc/partitions showed nothing that looked like the root filesystem. Running udevadm trigger produced the following response:

udevadm trigger is not permitted while udev is unconfigured

However, nothing explained why udev was unconfigured.

The cause of this is that the udev package contains a wrapper script for udevadm which is supposed to exist only during the installation of udev.  This script is not actually capable of doing anything, but stops udevadm messing things up during an upgrade.

When udev remains unconfigured at the time that update-initrd is run, then the generated initrd image contains a copy of a non-working udevadm command.  This command cannot be used to activate user devices, and so things like hard disks, partitions, filesystem and LVM partitions fail to exist.  The boot loader could not find its LVM, because it couldn’t find the device that the LVM is on, because it didn’t load the driver for the controller for that device.

The fix is to help the udevadm upgrade to complete (or at least not be totally broken), and then re-generate the initramfs with working code:

root@urk:/bin# cp udevadm.upgrade udevadm

root@urk:/bin# update-initramfs -k all -c
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-3.13.0-32-generic

root@urk:/bin# apt-get -f install
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 162 not upgraded.
8 not fully installed or removed.
After this operation, 0 B of additional disk space will be used.
Setting up udisks2 (2.1.7-1ubuntu1) ...
// etc

When udev is unconfigured, the udevadm script is just a wrapper that says to refuse to run the actions trigger (look for new devices) and settle (wait for existing devices):


if [ "$1" = "trigger" ]; then
    echo "udevadm trigger is not permitted while udev is unconfigured." 1>&2
    exit 1

if [ "$1" = "settle" ]; then
    echo "udevadm settle is not permitted while udev is unconfigured." 1>&2
    exit 1

exec /bin/bash -c "exec -a \"\$0\" /bin/udevadm.upgrade \"\$@\"" "$0" "$@"

The fact that the script uses both /bin/sh and /bin/bash says that it was done without certain types of required forethought.

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Short KJV language word list


This is a 1-page introduction to the language of the Authorised Version which can serve as a quick introduction for new readers.

Particularly for second language speakers of English, it is helpful to explain the distinction between “Thou” and “You”, and the verb endings.

Click the image on the left to download.  Use as you please, modify, publish for profit, etc – it’s in the public domain.  It is not completely field-tested, so corrections are welcome. Here’s the source file for editing in LibreOffice kjv-language.odt should you need to change layout, content, etc.

Short KJV language word list

The Authorised Version of the Bible was translated into modern English from printed editions of the Hebrew and Greek received text. It was first published in 1611 with the authorisation of King James of England.  The KJV is the only English edition of the Bible authorised by a king, and is the original standard English Bible, undiluted by the world.

Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.(Mark 13:31)

“You” Words

The word “you” is written in two ways in the KJV, either one of you (“thou), or many (“you”):

Thou, thee, thy/thine: (singular – one person)

  • Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. (Acts 11:14 )

Ye, you, your: (plural – all of you)

  • I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)

Word Endings

* Verbs that apply to “Thou” generally end “-est” :

  • Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. (John 16:30)

* Verbs for 2nd person singular (such as “he”, “she”, “the man”) ending in -eth” can be read as ending in “-s”:

  • These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; (Revelation 3:7)

(These things says he that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David, he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens)

Word list

  • abideth: lives, stays
  • abode: lived
  • afflicted: hurt
  • anointing: pouring oil
  • ark: box
  • array: arrange, clothing
  • ashamed: let down
  • asses: donkeys
  • astonied: bewildered
  • astonished: amazed
  • art: are (thou art)
  • Babylon: the city of the Chaldean empire
  • bands: bonds, groups
  • bare: carry
  • beast: animal
  • begat: fathered
  • beheld: saw
  • belly: stomach
  • beseech: beg
  • blemish: flaw
  • bondage: slavery
  • borne: carried
  • bowels: innards, inner man
  • brasen: made of brass
  • brethren: brothers, family
  • broad: wide
  • captain: army officer
  • carcase: carcass
  • carnal: of the body, flesh
  • cast: throw
  • cause: reason
  • cedar: cedar tree
  • chamber: room
  • chambers: rooms
  • charity: love, kindness
  • chief: first
  • circumcision: removal of foreskin
  • coast: region, country
  • cometh: comes
  • confound: confuse, bewilder
  • congregation: assembly
  • conversation: way of life
  • counsel: advice
  • countenance: face
  • court: courtyard
  • cunning: skill
  • damsel: girl, virgin
  • declared: said
  • deliver: free, hand over
  • depart: go away
  • didst: did
  • disciples: followers
  • divers: various
  • dominion: ruling
  • doth: does
  • dwell: live
  • dwelt: lived
  • enquired: asked advice
  • ephah: basket-full
  • even: such, including
  • evil: harm, damage
  • flesh: the body, meat
  • folly: foolishness
  • forasmuch as: since
  • former: things before
  • fornication: sex by unmarried people
  • forsake: abandon
  • fourscore: eighty
  • fowls: birds
  • gate: entry way
  • girdle: belt
  • giveth: gives
  • goeth: goes
  • goodly: fine, good
  • graven: carved stone, cast metal
  • guile: sly deception
  • habitation: home
  • harlot: prostitute
  • hast: has
  • heathen: foreigners
  • heed: attention
  • hence: from here
  • horsemen: riders
  • hosts: armies, soldiers
  • household: family and servants
  • howbeit: however
  • iniquity: being bad
  • isles: islands
  • issue: flowing out
  • Jews: from land of Judah
  • kindle: make fire
  • kindred: family and tribe
  • lay: put, set down
  • lest: in order to avoid
  • loins: private parts
  • lord: a ruler, “sir”
  • maid: girl, virgin
  • maketh: makes
  • meat: food, a meal
  • merry: happy
  • midst: among
  • mine: my
  • mingled: mixed
  • mischief: harm, trouble
  • multitude: crowd
  • notwithstanding: even so
  • oath: promise
  • oblation: offering
  • obtained: got
  • pass: go by
  • perish: be destroyed
  • pestilence: plague
  • princes: officials
  • psalm: song
  • raiment: clothing
  • redeem: buy back
  • regard: show respect
  • render: give, pay
  • rent: tore, tear
  • repent: change mind
  • round about: around
  • saith: says
  • sanctified: made holy
  • savour: taste
  • scribe: writing man
  • seed: offspring, children
  • seeth: he sees
  • sepulchre: grave
  • shall: must, really will
  • shalt: must, really will
  • shed: pour out
  • shekels: money
  • shew: show
  • shewed: showed
  • slain: killed
  • slaughter: killing
  • slew: killed
  • smite: hit
  • smitten: hit
  • smote: hit
  • snare: trap
  • sojourn: live temporarily
  • spake: spoke
  • spoiled: plundered
  • staves: wood beams
  • stayed: stayed, stopped
  • straightway: straight away
  • strait: narrow, confined
  • strife: fighting
  • suffer: allow, tolerate
  • swear: promise
  • tabernacle: tent
  • tarry: delay
  • thence: over there
  • therewith: with that
  • thou: you
  • thus: and so
  • thyself: yourself
  • thy: your
  • transgression: law breaking
  • trodden: trod upon
  • unclean: not clean
  • unleavened: no yeast
  • unto: to
  • upright: good
  • uttermost: furthest
  • vail: veil
  • valiant: brave
  • valour: bravery
  • verily: truly
  • vessels: containers
  • vows: promises, contracts
  • walked: lived
  • want: lack
  • wast: was
  • waxed: became, grew
  • whence: from where
  • whereas: seeing as
  • whereby: by which
  • wherefore: for this reason
  • wherein: in which
  • whereof: of which
  • whereon: on which
  • whereunto: unto which
  • wherewithal: with what
  • whither: where
  • whithersoever: to whereever
  • wholly: completely
  • whoredoms: fornications
  • whore: fornicating woman
  • whoremonger: fornicating man
  • whoso: whoever
  • wilt: will
  • wine: drink
  • wrath: violent anger
  • wroth: violently angry
  • ye: all you
  • yea: yes
  • yoke: animal harness

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

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Calvin and Arminius agree

Calvinism and Arminianism are commonly presented as opposing propositions on the question of what the ultimate cause of salvation by faith is:

From Arminius (and I must confess that these are somewhat mangled, because I’m unsure of which variation I’m describing):

  • Free will
  • Conditional election
  • Unlimited atonement
  • Resistible grace
  • Hold on for dear life, that you do not fall away

Tulips from Calvin:

  • Total depravity (or total inability, or original sin)
  • Unconditional election
  • Limited atonement (or particular atonement)
  • Irresistible grace
  • Perseverance of the saints (once saved always saved)

We are offered these two all-encompassing theories, and told to pick one.  Each one offers unpalatable conclusions – Calvin’s determinism offers man only the appearance of autonomy; Arminius offers a faith that might not actually save, while trying really hard to justify that man’s little work is not what saves him.

You would think there is no agreement between these two, but they do actually agree on some things – wrong things:

“Gotta make faith work”

Arminius (Jacobus Arminius, or Jakob Hermanszoon) published 5 articles of dispute against the Belgic confession (in 1610).  The synod of Dort responded with a set of 5 articles that say “you’re exactly wrong”.  This is what lawyers do: one sets forth is argument, and the other says that each and every point is denied.

Plaintiff’s lawyer: Defendant should pay for the vase that he cracked:

  1. The defendant borrowed the vase
  2. The vase was whole when he received it
  3. The vase was cracked when he returned it

Defendant’s lawyer: not my client’s problem – I deny each point:

  1. The defendant did not borrow the vase
  2. The vase was cracked when he received it
  3. The vase was whole when he returned it

The point of the joke is that simply denying emphatically every statement that is made in a dispute does not resolve the matter.

Arminius and Calvin (or more accurately, their theological descendants, Calvinism and Arminianism) believe they agree on this:

Salvation is by faith alone, not by works

The points of argument between Calvin and Arminius seems to assume this proposition one way or another:

Faith is itself a work – a small work, but yet a work.

Arminius says that faith and the production of faith is the work of unregenerate man.  Calvin says that faith and the production thereof is the work of God.  Arminius says that unregenerate men seek God and have a spark of faith in some undamaged part of their free will, and Calvin says that they do not – that there is no spark and the will is bound in death.  They disagree bitterly and neither accepts the way that their position is characterised by the other.  Each can see the faults of the other clearly, and each produces devastating arguments in support of their disagreement.

Let’s fix this.  How about this proposition:

Faith is not a work

Faith is not a work.  Neither is a man’s faith produced by works, whether works of man or the secret work of God.  Faith is not a choice.  Neither is faith produced by a choice and an act of the will.

Paul writes:

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Faith is itself: faith is faith: it is what you believe, what you hold dear, what you cling to.  How do you come to believe things?  You hear them.  This applies to all manner of things, but in the context of saving faith, you hear the word of God: you hear the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God, descended from David, crucified, dead and buried, and raised from the dead according to the scripture.

The context after the above definition of faith examines the question of why the children of Israel have not believed.  Israel stubbornly would not hear, preferring the sound of their own contradictory voice, but instead those who have not sought God have heard him instead – the gospel has been offered to the gentiles:

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

On account of not wanting to shut up and listen, on account of persisting in empty forms of the law, the children of Israel missed the grace of God in Jesus Christ.  The gospel comes to those who are not seeking God, and by hearing they find him.

More succinctly, Paul asks the Galatians whether they were saved by the law, or by faith, which he says came from hearing:

He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Here is Arminius’s actual third article, which kinda says the opposite of the “free will” position he is said to have held:

That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5, “Without me ye can do nothing.”

Notice that faith is considered to be bound with the will, and Arminius would have the man semi-saved so that he can be saved.  Wikipedia (that unassailable source of truth) says the Arminian position is this:

That God, by an eternal, unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ His Son, before the foundation of the world, hath determined, out of a fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ’s sake, and through Christ, those who, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, shall believe on this his Son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and, on the other hand, to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath, and to condemn them as alienate from Christ, according to the word of the gospel in John 3:36: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,” and according to other passages of Scripture also.

I submit that “perserverance” as used above is in error, and would nullify “believe on”.  By attempting to answer the question of “how shall saving faith endure and save”, Arminius has wandered off into an unprofitable error.  (The quoted verse is also about the perserverance of the wrath of God, come to think of it.)

Additionally, the phrase “through the grace of the Holy Spirit” neglects that the message of the gospel is the instrument by which God has chosen to minister his grace by his Holy Spirit – and that brings another point of agreement:

“It’s between you and God”

The questions under consideration that lead to these two systems of thought are:

  • what was the initial condition of the man before he was saved?
  • what is the final cause of his salvation?
  • how will “salvation” endure?

A second point of agreement in these five points of dispute is that the components in salvation are these:

  • The sinner
  • God
  • The passing of time

This boils down to the following false propositions that both Calvinists and Arminians should immediately reject as soon as they see it in print:

The preacher of the gospel plays no great part in whether a man will be saved.

The gospel itself is of little account in salvation.

Those are so wrong, I hardly need to explain why it’s wrong.  The preacher and the gospel itself are not elements of the dispute between these doctrines – they are merely assumed as static props in a great philosophical discussion.

Leaving the preacher and the actual gospel message out of a discussion of salvation is a critical failure which renders any the conclusion that is drawn incomplete.  It is like a mathematical proof which involves dividing by zero, but that’s considered ok, because there are two zero’s involved.  The subtleties of dividing by zero should produce calculus, and not “all things are equal”.  Removing inconvenient terms from the equation leads to well constructed theories that have only limited bearing on reality.  Perversely, though considering important terms constant in an equation is the only way to understand certain unusual cases, to understand the general case, you need to weigh all the terms properly.

Paul makes much of the gospel being the means of salvation, and the preacher being the means of the gospel.  He mentions this in one form or another in every one of his letters.

For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.”

In Romans:

“For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”

Peter’s letters agree that people are saved by the word preached:

.. being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.  For all flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word by which the gospel is preached unto you.”

The dead church of Sardis is commanded to return to the gospel that they heard:

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.

Mark’s gospel (the “censored” portion) explains how the preaching of the gospel was accompanied with the working of the Holy Spirit:

And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Bad ideas

Let’s just reject these ideas:

  • Faith is a work” – faith is not a work
  • Salvation is just the sinner and God” – don’t forget the preacher and the word of life

In the Bible, there are a few things said about the secret counsel of God (for Calvinists) and there are a few things said about acts of the will (for Arminians), but there is a great deal more said about the word of God, and the power of the gospel when it is preached to transform save those that believe it.

The immediate and visible cause of faith is that someone got off his rear end onto his feet and opened his mouth and set forth Christ from the scripture:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I have preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures


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No, it’s not your land

Mr Julius Malema, lately the leader of the “Economic Freedom Fighters” (EFF) is quoted as speaking as follows on the subject of land.

Occupy it, it belongs to you, it is your land, it is the land of your forefathers… I’m asking politely for the land to be returned, but if they don’t return it, I cannot guarantee what will happen next”.

For those not blessed with the art of subtlety, this is a threat of genocide on account of the ownership of land.  Mr Malema seems to say that the land properly belongs to his people (a somewhat fluid concept), and not to those in whose hands it currently is.

Mr Malema is wrong.  He is completely wrong.

Surely the best claim to be the owner of land is when Almighty God gives you the land.  Who is going to argue with that.  And God Almighty gave the land of Israel to the ancient Israleites, so you would think that they were the undisputed owners.  And you would be wrong, because God said this to them:

The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.

Even in Israel, the land did not belong to the Israelites.  Their land belonged not to themselves, but to Almighty God.  When he says “the land is mine”, then it means that it is his.

As the rightful owner of the land, God insisted for his people that the land return to its distribution by tribe and family every 50 years:

And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.

…In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession.

Consider the history of South Africa: which of the empires and tyrannies ruled for more than 50 years?  Perhaps they would have endured if they had paid attention to the law of God.

You may think this applied in the past to the people of Israel only, and you would be wrong.  The Psalms say this:

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

It’s the whole world.   He owns it all.  He didn’t sell it to you.

It’s not your land.  It’s not the scheming Mr Malema’s land, nor the land of his covetous followers.  It’s not the ANC’s land.  It’s not the majority’s land.  The land did not belong to the Zulus when they fled to it from the terror, nor to the Sothos when they drove them back, nor to the Dutch when they settled the southern tip, nor to the English when they spread out towards East London, nor to the Xhosas when they met them there, neither to the French when they settled a very small number of persecuted Christians far away from the bloodbath they were planning, nor to the Boers when they fought for their republics, neither to the British Empire when they briefly steamrollered over the Boers to get the gold [and diamonds], neither to the Nationalist Party when they proclaimed it a land apart for themselves and others white enough to join in, and neither to the ANC nor their voters when they declared themselves the owners of all, and their government as the benefactors of men with the superior skin tones.  The land belongs to none of these.

Who does the land belong to?

  • To the original inhabitants?
  • To the current inhabitants?
  • To those who take it by war?
  • To those who retake it by treachery?
  • To those who demand it by intimidation?

Not to any of these.  The land belongs to God.  Any arrangement you make that ignores his ownership and ignores his law is doomed to failure.  Even if it does succeed and you gain the land and more than you hope for, you will still fail:

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Meanwhile, the meek obtain what they hope for in Jesus Christ, and those whose hope is in this world will lose everything:

For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

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Invasion of the evil androids

Google says you are too stupid to rule your own life.  They say this by their Android phone operating system, in which they do not give you, the owner and operator of the device, root permissions.  This means:

  • You cannot remove rubbish you don’t want.
  • You cannot install software of your choice
  • You cannot resolve problems that bother you
  • You submit to the decisions of your superiors

However, there is a group of elite people who are not limited in this way:

  • Google
  • The phone vendor
  • The software suppliers to the phone vendor

These people are better and smarter than you.  They know how to run your life.  While you cannot make decisions, they can make decisions.  A few of these decisions are to deliberately open up your phone to their own prying eyes:

  • Xiaomi: .apk can install anything it likes on your phone, and you cannot make it go away.
  • Samsung: modem radio chip backdoor can read and write any of your files for any reason.
  • Every Chinese Android phone ever: Shanghai Adups Technology Co. Ltd over-the-air update manager phones home with all your personal data: your SMS’s, your contact list.  Trust?  What’s that?  You run our software, and we put your contacts and SMS’s in our databases forever.  You don’t like that?  Well, you don’t matter.

So Google said they would be less evil but when they denied root to the little man, and gave it to the vendor instead, they sold out the little man to the vendor.  The vendor or his suppliers is a lying weasel in the pay of the communist party, and he makes money on the side by selling your device and information to the most convenient bidder.  He’s often enough just a branch of the communist party.

So here’s the solution:

Don’t buy Google’s phone until you at least get root with it.  You cannot trust these people.  They are evil.

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Who will rule South Africa at the resurrection?

Jacob Zuma said in 2008 that the ANC will rule until Jesus returns. While things do look a little shaky on the ANC front, it does look as if the ANC might be able to last for a few more years, and based on performance to date, they will have no difficulty in retaining their local rule by bending the knee to the anti-Christ.  So they might make it all the way to the end.

However, after that, there is a question: who will rule?

The millennium (1000 years) is introduced in the following words from the book of Revelation:

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Reign. Who will reign with Christ? Who made excellent use of their faith, and bore fruit of righteousness and justice? While the ANC does sport a number of fine Christians (not one of which immediately comes to mind), it is evident that the pool of the faithful in the current generation is somewhat thin. When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth, or yet in the ANC?

However, there is a glimmer of hope. Maybe by including in the talent pool such ancestors as the ANC looks to that had actual faith in Christ, there will be someone who does qualify to rule.  Paul explains the return of Christ thus:

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This tells us that the resurrection will bring us not just those that were beheaded in the tribulation, but all that sleep in Jesus.  And when they come with Jesus, what will they do? According to John, they will judge, which agrees with Paul:

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

And this agrees with the words of Jesus:

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

The faithful that are alive at the time of Christ’s return will not be alone: they will be joined by the faithful of the generations before, and will be rewarded according to their faith. The apostles will judge the 12 tribes of Israel. The saints will judge the world.

When South Africa is judged, and position is awarded, who will rule? Who will be first, and who will be last? Will Nelson Mandela escape the fires of hell by some hidden mustard seed of saving faith in Christ which remained so well concealed during his life?

Mr Jacob Zuma showed himself ignorant of the gospel of Christ in December 2014, when he said,

“The sins we have today are more than those that Jesus came to salvage. I ask the priests to ask God to send His son to come back again to cleanse our sins,” he said, adding that there were few sins “when Jesus was here, but now there are too many”.
“He [God] must send him [Jesus] again. This time we won’t crucify him,” he said.

The lack of faith in the atonement of Jesus is remarkable:

For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

So when Jesus does appear, whom will he appoint? He will appoint whomever he pleases. He is by no means bound to appoint someone who has lived in this part of the world before. If he does, he is by no means bound to appoint someone who remains alive to the day that he comes, or to the tribulation that precedes it. The current generation will have to compete for reward not only with each other, but with previous generations.

Much as the ANC has struggled to throw off minority rule so that they can rule as black men, Jesus will be under no obligation to give the cities of South Africa to a black man. The colour of your skin is really of no account, since we are all descended from one man, Adam, but if you think it does matter, you may be in for a rude surprise.

Be warned O ANC: you may be ruled by a white man again, unless you produce some better people – humble people who hold fast to faith in Christ that you have consistently counted of little value: people whom you do not consult, whose values you consistently trample.

He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

According to reports, Jan van Riebeeck whom you hate was a godly man. According to reports, so too was Paul Kruger, who threw off your the colonial bonds.  You might even get Pieter Willem Botha.  What are you going to do about it?

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Being distressed at the prospect of singing a Hillsong song, I collected all the lyrics of 100 or so Hillsong songs, and put them through a Markov chain generator, to generate new songs in the style of the originals.  The parameters used are:

  • order: 10 – this is the length of memory
  • prior: 0.0001 – the bias towards using something unknown
  • corpus: the complete lyrics of each song make up the sample data, ie. each song is represented as a single string.  The results then are songs comprised of multiple lines, as a single string.

The results are about as coherent and approximately as Biblically sound as bulk of the songs that Hillsong writes.  Have I mentioned that I find the lyrics repetitive and incoherent?

Here are three selections. Notice the odd spelling mistake – that’s the Markov thing randomly choosing to make an error.  I made up titles for fun:

No end, this was not a new thing

There’s no end to Your embrace
Light of the world
Let the poor say, “I am rich”
Let the poke the Earth, let us sing
God, our hope is Yahweh, Yahweh
Forever You will never fail
Your name shout in all the earth
Will fade away
Still my soul
My heart within the darkness
Glory pierced the night sky
You give me breath and all I found was You
My God, I’ll only ever give You my heart
Distant shores and the end
The promise out
This was not a new thing
Until itSaviour, He can move the mountains with a whisper
And You calm my soul
Oh, now save
Our God is great and mighty
God in three persons, blessed Trinity

In the highest praise at the sound of faith

To the Lamb that was slain
Hosanna, Hosanna
Hosanna in the highest praise
What can separate us
Nothing can separate me now
You taught a way, You made a way
When You call, I won’t hide it, I won’t refuse
Each new day again I’ll choose
There is none like You
There is no one like You, God
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of faith
and the words to express the way of the Lord
Eternity’s King
Is coming again
Though all of the universe is at Your feet
Hide me now in the shadow of Your word, Your name
“I live to know You
I live to know You
Let go and throw my life has changed
When You took a crown of thorns
And Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I have, I give You praise in all of the earth rejoice
Let all the heavens
For You are holy, You are holy, You alone
Awake my soul the reason why I sing
All around the words to express
there’s nothing like
Your love You always

Nothing that’s true

For all Your sons and daughters
Who are walking in the east, beyond the heavens
And Your love transforms my soul, He is the Lord with all my hope is in You
Jesus Christ the Savior is born
He shall become a wonderful counselor, everlasting Lord
Late in time, beholding Your beauty
And in the palm of Your hands I belong, I’m a living stone
In this house I will grow
There is nothing that’s true

The script:

#! /usr/bin/python

from __future__ import division
import random

class Categorical(object):

    def __init__(self, support, prior):
        self.counts = {x: prior for x in support}
        self.total = sum(self.counts.itervalues())

    def observe(self, event, count=1):
        self.counts[event] += count
        self.total += count

    def sample(self, dice=random):
        sample = dice.uniform(0, self.total)
        for event, count in self.counts.iteritems():
            if sample <= count: return event sample -= count def __getitem__(self, event): return self.counts[event] / self.total class MarkovModel(object): def __init__(self, support, order, prior, boundary_symbol=None): self.support = set(support) self.support.add(boundary_symbol) self.order = order self.prior = prior self.boundary = boundary_symbol self.prefix = [self.boundary] * self.order self.postfix = [self.boundary] self.counts = {} def _categorical(self, context): if context not in self.counts: self.counts[context] = Categorical(self.support, self.prior) return self.counts[context] def _backoff(self, context): context = tuple(context) if len(context) > self.order:
            context = context[-self.order:]
        elif len(context) < self.order: context = (self.boundary,) * (self.order - len(context)) + context while context not in self.counts and len(context) > 0:
            context = context[1:]
        return context

    def observe(self, sequence, count=1):
        sequence = self.prefix + list(sequence) + self.postfix
        for i in range(self.order, len(sequence)):
            context = tuple(sequence[i - self.order:i])
            event = sequence[i]
            for j in range(len(context) + 1):
                self._categorical(context[j:]).observe(event, count)

    def sample(self, context):
        context = self._backoff(context)
        return self._categorical(context).sample()

    def generate(self):
        sequence = [self.sample(self.prefix)]
        while sequence[-1] != self.boundary:
        return sequence[:-1]

    def __getitem__(self, condition):
        event = condition.start
        context = self._backoff(condition.stop)
        return self._categorial(context)[event]

class NameGenerator(object):
    def __init__(self, name_file, order=3, prior=.001):
        self.names = set()
        support = set()
        for name in name_file:
            name = name.strip()
            if len(name) > 0:
        self.model = MarkovModel(support, order, prior)
        for name in self.names:

    def generate(self):
        while True:
            word = ''.join(self.model.generate())
            return word

def readsongs(fd):
    for line in fd:
        if line.strip()=='':
            yield ''.join(o)
    if len(o):
        yield ''.join(o)

if __name__=="__main__":
    import os,sys
    ng=NameGenerator(readsongs(fd), order=10,prior=0.0001)
    while True:
        r= ng.generate()
        if len(r)

You give that code a file with all the lyrics of your song (delimited by a blank line) and it will spit out a new Illsong – maybe a better one.  WordPress doesn’t like to publish files (what’s with that) so you’ll have to get your own illsong archive to see the wonderful results.  The code, by the way, is not my own … I can’t figure out where I plagiarised it from.

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