A falling away: Anglican edition

The Anglican churches’ 39 Articles says the received text is the correct text of the Bible, but these churches have abandoned the received text. They have fallen away from the basis of their confession … and they didn’t even notice.

What the 39 Articles is

The 39 Articles is the doctrinal statement behind the Anglican churches. For South Africa, this is the Church of England in South Africa (CESA), lately known as the Reformed Evangelical Church of South Africa (REACH). There is also the Church of the Province of South Africa (CPSA), but they fell away from the historic confession before their founding, and embraced the errors of Rome, so I’ll just ignore them.

The 39 Articles dates back to 1562, just 49 years before the Authorised Version of the Bible was published in 1611.

What the 39 Articles says about the text of the Bible

Article 6 of the 39 articles reads as follows in the original (although I have reduced the lists to just the first and last item of each).  The point I would like to point out is at the end:

VI. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for salvation
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be. believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.

Of the Names and Numbers of the Canonical Books

  • Genesis
  • … (lotsa books)
  • Four Prophets the greater
  • Twelve Prophets the less

And the other Books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine; such are these following:

  • The Third Book of Kings
  • …(lotsa books)
  • The Second Book of Maccabees

All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical.

It says the Bible is sufficient, and it says what the Bible is.  This last statement deserves some emphasis:

All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical.

From this we learn that there was in 1571 no dispute about the contents of the New Testament. The phrase I would like to draw attention to is “as they are commonly received”. We cannot suppose that only the names of the books are received, without attention to the content of those books: the books themselves are received, along with their well known contents.  This is the received text.

From this text comes the Authorised Version 1611 (KJV).

What if the Bible changes?

This statement makes no provision for changes to the received text. The 39 Articles does not admit such variation. However, such variation was introduced to the public in 1844 with Tischendorff’s fraudulent “Codex Sinaiticus”, which joined the “Codex Vaticanus” and “Codex Alexandrinus” as the third false witness against the reliability of the received text, although even then their witness did not agree together.

Following Griesbach’s method of pretending the most unreliable and contorted text must be the original, Westcott and Hort produced a new Greek text for the New Testament, which is actually remarkably similar to the received text – except at a few thousand points. Their new edition lacked two important qualities: accuracy, and authority. From their work, the Nestle Alland and United Bible Society text are derived. And from this most “scholarly” work, helped by the hand of James Strong, who in his concordance insinuated loaded religious meanings into normal Greek words (such as turning workers into slaves), spring the innumerable modern English versions.

From the re-invented Greek text spring all manner of translation, starting with the RV (Rejected Version), which nobody wanted. Some liked the original NASB (Non-authentic Substitute Bible), but the first version which received widespread acceptance was the RSV (Really Successful Version). When the NIV (New Insipid Version) was published in 1984, it was a great success and became the best selling Bible version. The NIV was scuttled in 2011, and this was a boost to the ESV (Extra Sneaky Version) and the NLT (Nauseating Lousy Tergiversation).

These new translations are now commonplace in churches which reject them in their own doctrinal statement.

The 39 Articles said we know what the Bible is.  The churches don’t care.

And so?

Should we care? Should we care that Christians that claim to love the truth also tolerate things that are fundamentally against their statement of doctrine?

It would be one thing if the denomination(s) would repudiate the clause in their doctrinal statement, but they have not done so. They have not even noticed the problem, because the people who should have sounded the alarm are asleep at the wheel, lulled into stupour by the gentle sound of very scholarly people pretending to speak Greek with an English accent.

Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.

Wake up sleepy Anglicans! You don’t know your own doctrine! You are ignorant of the devices of Satan. There are certain men crept in unawares, and they are in control of your institutions. The glory is departing, and will not return.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first …

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On the state of the nation address

Our beloved new state president, the very honourable Mr Кири́лл Ramaphosa, made his state of the nation address.  I wasn’t there to heckle him, and neither would I have if I was there.  It takes a while for the complete stupid of what they are saying to think in.  However, President Ramaphosa should sharply rebuke his speech writer for writing and putting in his hand possibly the most disturbing state of the nation speech ever: it says that they’re going full racist communist crazy on us, and we must smile and expect it to go well.  He should also have sharply rebuked the man who loudly sang his praises – a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

I have some thoughts. The president’s words are in normal text. What he did not say is in bold:


State of the Nation Address by the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, 16 February 2018, Parliament

Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Ms Thandi Modise, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Former President Thabo Mbeki, Former Deputy President FW de Klerk, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and all esteemed members of the judiciary, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Premiers and Speakers of Provincial Legislatures, Chairperson of SALGA and all Executive Mayors present, The Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions, Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Leaders of faith based organisations, Former Speaker Dr Frene Ginwala, Former Speaker Mr Max Sisulu, Invited Guests, Veterans of the struggle for liberation, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Honourable members, Fellow South Africans,

It is a great honour and privilege to deliver this State of the Nation Address. But seeing I am the president, I guess I had better do it.

This Address should have been delivered last week, but was delayed so that we could properly manage issues of political transition.   Had to get rid of JZ first. Sorry about that.

I wish to thank Honourable Members and the people of South Africa for their patience and forbearance.

I also wish to extend a word of gratitude to former President Jacob Zuma for the manner in which he approached this difficult and sensitive process.

I wish to thank him for his service to the nation during his two terms as President of the Republic, during which the country made significant progress in several areas of development.

But keep listening – we’re gonna get him and all his buddies.

Fellow South Africans,

In just over 150 days from now, the peoples of the world will unite in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Please excuse me. I’m busy that day.

It is a day on which we, as South Africans, will remember the life of one of the most remarkable leaders this country and this continent – and indeed, the world – has known.

We will recount Madiba’s long walk to freedom, his wisdom, his unfailing humility, his abiding compassion and his essential integrity.

Particularly his unflinchingly moral standard as applied to his wives.

We have dedicated this year to his memory and we will devote our every action, every effort, every utterance to the realisation of his vision of a democratic, just and equitable society.

Because nobody ever thought of this idea before saint Nelson did.

Guided by his example, we will use this year to reinforce our commitment to ethical behaviour and ethical leadership.

In celebrating the centenary of Nelson Mandela we are not merely honouring the past, we are building the future.

We are continuing the long walk he began, to build a society in which all may be free, in which all may be equal before the law and in which all may share in the wealth of our land and have a better life.

And when I say “Equal before the law” I don’t apply that to affirmative action and broad baste racial economic empowerment.  Our law pretends that people are different based on the colour of their skin and the language they speak.  Apart from that, everyone is equal.  Some are just more equal than others.

We are building a country where a person’s prospects are determined by their own initiative and hard work, and not by the colour of their skin, place of birth, gender, language or income of their parents.  Yes, a utopia where your parents work as hard as they can, and then you are cast on the mercies of the government because you dare not succeed without the support of the government.

This year, we also celebrate the centenary of another giant of our struggle, Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu.

Through her remarkable life and outstanding contribution, she defined what it means to be a freedom fighter, a leader and a diligent and disciplined servant of the people.

Through her leadership, she embodied the fundamental link between national liberation and gender emancipation.

As we mark her centenary, we reaffirm that no liberation can be complete and no nation can be free until its women are free.

And that, little girls, is why we are going to make you all work under the supervision of men, in companies. Forget being a wife and mother: that prospect is gone forever. You’re married to the state now.

We honour this son and this daughter of the African soil in a year of change, in a year of renewal, in a year of hope.

We honour them not only in word, but, more importantly, in direct action towards the achievement of their shared vision of a better society.

We should honour Madiba by putting behind us the era of discord, disunity and disillusionment.

Please don’t do to me what you did to Zuma, because, you know, the ancestors.

We should put behind us the era of diminishing trust in public institutions and weakened confidence in leaders.

We should put all the negativity that has dogged our country behind us because a new dawn is upon us.

It is a new dawn that is inspired by our collective memory of Nelson Mandela and the changes that are unfolding.

As we rid our minds of all negativity, we should reaffirm our belief that South Africa belongs to all who live in it.

Citizenship now means nothing.  All you have to do is live in the country, and you’re a co-owner. But not to worry, we’re abolishing private property protections, so it actually belongs to us, the ANC, only.

For though we are a diverse people, we are one nation.

There are 57 million of us, each with different histories, languages, cultures, experiences, views and interests.

Yet we are bound together by a common destiny.  We’re all going to die.

For this, we owe much to our forebearers – people like Pixley ka Seme, Charlotte Maxeke and Chief Albert Luthuli – who understood the necessity of the unity and harmony of all the people of this great land.  Maybe that’s three bears, but that’s not the point.

I just want to remind you of the great respect and reverence I have for the ancestors you worship, just in case I haven’t said it enough already.

We are a nation at one.  Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

We are one people, committed to work together to find jobs for our youth; to build factories and roads, houses and clinics; to prepare our children for a world of change and progress; to build cities and towns where families may be safe, productive and content.

We’re going to build a new city? Really? Where will this city be? Wait – cities? More than one? This sounds great. Can’t wait to hear the details. As far as I know, the only new town is Orania – but we’re going to build cities and towns.

We are determined to build a society defined by decency and integrity, that does not tolerate the plunder of public resources, nor the theft by corporate criminals of the hard-earned savings of ordinary people.  We just don’t have any idea how to do this.

While there are many issues on which we may differ, on these fundamental matters, we are at one.  We think that goals are fundamental matters.

We know that there is still a lot that divides us.

We remain a highly unequal society, in which poverty and prosperity are still defined by race and gender.  So all you white skinned males, we’re coming for you.

We have been given the responsibility to build a new nation, to confront the injustices of the past and the inequalities of the present.  And just who gave this responsibility? When will these injustices be brought before the court, and the offenders punished?  Not so obvious.

We are called upon to do so under difficult conditions.

You want to do something stupid, so of course it’s difficult. The way of offenders is hard.

The state we are in as a nation is that while poverty declined significantly following the democratic breakthrough of 1994, we have seen reverses in recent years.

Poverty levels rose in 2015, unemployment has gone up and inequality has persisted.  Statistics for the last two years, sadly, are not available.

For several years our economy has not grown at the pace needed to create enough jobs or lift our people out of poverty.  Eish.

Public finances have been constrained, limiting the ability of government to expand its investment in economic and social development.  Eish.

Despite these challenging conditions, we have managed – working together – to achieve progress in improving the lives of our people.  We are that amazing.

Even under conditions of weak growth, our economy has created jobs, but not at the pace required to absorb new entrants into the labour market.

So actually we are failing. We’re not failing as badly as you think, but we really are failing.

This means that as we pursue higher levels of economic growth and investment, we need to take additional measures to reduce poverty and meet the needs of the unemployed.

Yes, by stifling existing businesses in reams of racist and stupid legislation, unequally enforced.

Since the start of the current Parliament, our public employment programmes have created more than 3.2 million work opportunities.

A work opportunity is that you can work for a day? That sounds like 365 people have been employed for 365 days for 24 years. What an amazing achievement.

In the context of widespread unemployment, they continue to provide much needed income, work experience and training.

We have taken measures to reduce the cost of living, especially for the poor.

Government’s free basic services programme currently supports more than 3.5 million indigent households.

More than 17 million social grants are paid each month, benefiting nearly a third of the population.

These people all vote for us. We need them to be happy. We’re stuffing up the system, but don’t let that bother you.

We know, however, that if we are to break the cycle of poverty, we need to educate the children of the poor.

We have insisted that this should start in early childhood.

Yes, and we also insist that every mother should be single, and should work. Marriage is not even a thing. We haven’t considered it at all.

Today we have nearly a million children in early childhood development facilities.  While their mothers are out working some menial job.

We are seeing improvements in the outcomes of our basic education system.  Now that we got rid of outcomes based education.  Progress is when we stop stuff we used to do.

The matric pass rate increased from 60.6 percent in 2009 to 75.1 percent last year.  And the qualification is almost universally considered useless.

There are currently almost a million students enrolled in higher education, up from just over 500,000 in 1994.  Not that we are teaching them anything useful.

As we enter a new era, we are determined to build on these achievements, confront the challenges we face and accelerate progress in building a more prosperous and equitable society.

What’s equity doing in this sentence? We’re still after our enemies: the citizens who are not our favoured people, who do not honour us with their vote. We’re gonna get them.

We have seen a moderate recovery in our economy and a broader, sustained recovery in the global economy.

This is surprising, since we’re coming out of a major drought into a minor drought.

Commodity prices have improved, the stock market has risen, the rand has strengthened and there are early indications that investor confidence is on the rise.

Not to worry, I’m going to sort out that investor confidence thing. Investors hate theft.

We have taken decisive measures to address concerns about political instability and are committed to ensure policy certainty and consistency.

Yes: our new policy is nothing like our old policy, and we’re going to be consistent about that.

There is a greater sense of optimism among our people.  They didn’t see this speech coming.

Our people are hopeful about the future.  Maybe one day they will get a different government.

Business confidence among South African companies has improved and foreign investors are looking anew at opportunities in our country.  They’re taking a second look, because the place is unstable.

Some financial institutions have identified South Africa as one of the hot emerging markets for 2018.  If you have your money in those institutions, maybe you should look at moving it somewhere else.

Our task, as South Africans, is to seize this moment of hope and renewal, and to work together to ensure that it makes a meaningful difference in the lives of our people.  And while we’re seizing stuff, let’s talk about the assets and the means of production.

This year, we will be initiating measures to set the country on a new path of growth, employment and transformation.

We will do this by getting social partners in our country to collaborate in building a social compact on which we will create drivers of economic recovery.

Everything is up for grabs: who will be the social partners, what will be the new social compact … nobody knows.

We have to build further on the collaboration with business and labour to restore confidence and prevent an investment downgrade.

Because business cannot possibly be left to get on with business. They have to spend their time unproductively collaborating with government. Not to forget that government will take the side of labour and ensure that nothing gets done.

Tough decisions have to be made to close our fiscal gap, stabilise our debt and restore our state-owned enterprises to health.

Yeah, we’re going to push up taxes and borrow more money. In a stable way.

At the centre of our national agenda in 2018 is the creation of jobs, especially for the youth.

Yes, these youth that we have trained to be immoral and undisciplined, whom we have told that they are nothing more than evolved apes. We’re going to make them jobs. You’re gonna want to hire one.

We are going to embark on a number of measures to address the unemployment challenge.

One of the initiatives will be to convene a Jobs Summit within the next few months to align the efforts of every sector and every stakeholder behind the imperative of job creation.

We’re going to talk. If we could just agree on what a job is then everything will come right.

The summit will look at what we need to do to ensure our economy grows and becomes more productive, that companies invest on a far greater scale, that workers are better equipped, and that our economic infrastructure is expanded.

We haven’t a clue how this works. That’s why we’re going to sit you all down in a room and tell you how little we know.

We will expect this summit to come up with practical solutions and initiatives that will be implemented immediately.

Our expectations are completely realistic.

We will make a major push this year to encourage significant new investment in our economy.

We’re looking for suckers who love promises and are interested in losing their money.

To this end, we will organise an Investment Conference in the next three months, targeting both domestic and international investors, to market the compelling investment opportunities to be found in our country.

Yeah. We know that conferences are the thing that drive investment.

We are going to address the decline over many years of our manufacturing capacity, which has deeply affected employment and exports.

We’re going to fix it by ramping up our bad behaviour.

We will seek to re-industrialise on a scale and at a pace that draws millions of job seekers into the economy.

Well good luck to you then. Those millions are happy to sit on the sidelines and collect indigent benefits.

We are going to promote greater investment in key manufacturing sectors through the strategic use of incentives and other measures.

Yeah. Incentives: like not being able to make a profit, like being held to ransom by the labour force, like being plundered by criminals, and being able to complete a form and maybe get some gravy from the trough.

To further stimulate manufacturing, we will forge ahead with the localisation programme, through which products like textile, clothing, furniture, rail rolling stock and water meters are designated for local procurement.

And where will the locals get it? From international producers, of course.  But seriously, what could possibly be so hard about knocking together chipboard and calling it furniture?

We have already spent more than R57 billion on locally-produced goods that may have been imported from other countries.  Ah yes, we know.  Cheap at twice the price.

Special economic zones remain important instruments we will use to attract strategic foreign and domestic direct investment and build targeted industrial capabilities and establish new industrial hubs.  There won’t be anything special about these zones, such as exemption from taxation, exemption from labour regulations, exemption from BEE, excemption from import and export restrictions. No, they are just special in that we call them special.

The process of industrialisation must be underpinned by transformation.  And that’s how we’re going to make sure it fails. And who will we blame? Those untransformed racist white males.

Through measures like preferential procurement and the black industrialists programme, we are developing a new generation of black and women producers that are able to build enterprises of significant scale and capability.

We’re developing and developing. One day there will be someone that actually produces.

We will improve our capacity to support black professionals, deal decisively with companies that resist transformation, use competition policy to open markets up to new black entrants, and invest in the development of businesses in townships and rural areas.  We’re racists. We don’t even care that they are from South Africa: just as long as they are black. Oh, but Indians that are black need not apply.

Radical economic transformation requires that we fundamentally improve the position of black women and communities in the economy, ensuring that they are owners, managers, producers and financiers.  Yeah, because we can’t possibly have these women staying at home, guiding the house, and bringing up children. That’s ridiculous.

Our most grave and most pressing challenge is youth unemployment.

Nobody wants the kind of entitled sloth we are churning out of our dysfunctional schools.

It is therefore a matter of great urgency that we draw young people in far greater numbers into productive economic activity.

We’re going to dangle diamond encrusted carrots in front of the eyes of the entitled slothful youth.

Young South Africans will be moved to the centre of our economic agenda.

If we can move them at all, then that’s where they’re going.

They are already forming a greater proportion of the labour force on our infrastructure projects and are the primary beneficiaries of programmes such as the installation of solar water heaters and the war on leaks.

We are training a generation of plumbers. You can’t say we’re doing nothing.

We continue to draw young people in far greater numbers into productive economic activity through programmes such as the Employment Tax Incentive.

Because red tape makes jobs.

Working in partnership with business, organised labour and community representatives, we are creating opportunities for young people to be exposed to the world of work through internships, apprenticeships, mentorship and entrepreneurship.

Because red tape makes jobs.

Next month, we will launch the Youth Employment Service initiative, which will place unemployed youth in paid internships in companies across the economy.

Because red tape makes jobs.

Together with our partners in business, we have agreed to create a million such internships in the next three years.

Because red tape makes jobs.

If we are to respond effectively to the needs of youth, it is essential that young people articulate their views and are able to engage with government at the highest level.

Yeah, we wanna hear from you kids. We’re going to ignore everything you say. Notice how I did not give you my e-mail address or my direct number. Ha ha lol.

I will therefore be establishing a Youth Working Group that is representative of all young South Africans to ensure that our policies and programmes advance their interests.

Is work too hard for you? Well, maybe you want to join the young communist pioneers and rat on your fellow citizens.

Infrastructure investment is key to our efforts to grow the economy, create jobs, empower small businesses and provide services to our people.

We have invested heavily in new roads, power stations, schools and other infrastructure.

As some of our projects are taking time to get off the ground and to enhance our efforts, I will assemble a team to speed up implementation of new projects, particularly water projects, health facilities and road maintenance.

We’ve thrown millions at this already. Can’t figure out what’s wrong. I hope someone will tell me.

We have learnt some valuable lessons from our experience in building all the new infrastructure, which will inform our way ahead.

The people who are failing at this task are leading us a merry dance.

We will focus on improvements in our budget and monitoring systems, improve the integration of projects and build a broad compact on infrastructure with business and organised labour.

We’re going to try stop that thing where people take the money and don’t do the job, and still get paid. Maybe someone else from business or labour or somewhere will do that for us.  Okay, so we’re going to do nothing, but we hope it will stop.

Mining is another area that has massive unrealised potential for growth and job creation is mining.

Yeah. All the mineral resources are now in the hands of government, so we can’t figure out why nobody wants to come and talk to us about it.

We need to see mining as a sunrise industry.

We’re very hopeful. We were facing sunset, but if this is sunrise, then it’s going to be a very dark day.

With the revival in commodity prices, we are determined to work with mining companies, unions and communities to grow the sector, attract new investment, create jobs and set the industry on a new path of transformation and sustainability.

More red tape and interfering government officials.

This year, we will intensify engagements with all stakeholders on the Mining Charter to ensure that it is truly an effective instrument to sustainably transform the face of mining in South Africa.

When I said policy certainty, I was joking. We’re gonna do something wild. You’ll all be very please with the result.

By working together, in a genuine partnership, underscored by trust and a shared vision, I am certain we will be able to resolve the current impasse and agree on a Charter that both accelerates transformation and grows this vital sector of our economy.

They’re going to trust us, and then we’re going to stab them in the back. It will all happen suddenly, and we’re going to rule as kings.

Processing of the MPRDA Amendment Bill through both houses of parliament is at an advanced stage, with an indication by Parliament that the Bill will reasonably be finalised during the first quarter of 2018.

This is a doubly extended three leter acronym ammendment bill. Don’t think about this. Just trust us.

The Bill, once enacted into law, will entrench existing regulatory certainty, provide for security of tenure and advance the socio-economic interests of all South Africans.

You thought this bill was a bad idea? Well, nuts to you. We’re going to do it, and we’re not going to listen to your stupid concerns.  It’s going to be entrenched.  No pun intended.

We are extremely concerned about the rise in mining fatalities last year.

We can’t figure out why this mining thing is so dangerous. Men hacking away at rock, with rock above their heads. Someone should fix this.

We call on mining companies to work together with all stakeholders to ensure that mine accidents are dramatically reduced.

Fire the workers and mechanise.

One mining fatality is one too many.

Also mechanise the maintenance.

Fellow South Africans,

Ultimately, the growth of our economy will be sustained by small businesses, as is the case in many countries.

That’s because we’re going to destroy all the big companies. Watch us.

It is our shared responsibility to grow this vital sector of the economy.

We deny all responsibility for our inevetable failure. We’re going to blame you, for stuffing up your part of the shared responsibility.

We will work with our social partners to build a small business support ecosystem that assists, nourishes and promotes entrepreneurs.

Yes, social partners are special people whom we are delegating our powers to, because they are not elected.

Government will honour its undertaking to set aside at least 30 percent of public procurement to SMMEs, cooperatives and township and rural enterprises.  We’re flusing money down the drain. No idea if this will work. Oh, and if the white people move to the township, they’re excluded.

We will continue to invest in small business incubation.  We’re going to make sure these people fail by showering them with unearned cash.

We encourage business to do the same.  We’re idiots, and so should you be.

The establishment through the CEOs Initiative of a small business fund – which currently stands at R1.5 billion – is an outstanding example of the role that the private sector can play.

Calling all con men: come and tell us about your great business plan and get your share of this free money. Let’s be like Nigeria, and learn how to scam, so we can build our economy by scamming the world.

Government is finalising a small business and innovation fund targeted at start-ups.

We’re not actually sure about that other fund, so we’re making another one.

We will reduce the regulatory barriers for small businesses.

Did I mention that we’re going to destroy big businesses?

We are also working to expand economic opportunities for people with disabilities.

All the important work in this country will be done by the blind, the lame and the deaf. Because that’s how economies grow.

Among other things, the Small Enterprise Finance Agency – SEFA – has launched a scheme to develop and fund entrepreneurs with disabilities called the Amavulandlela Funding Scheme.

More free money. Because disabled means that you are dependant on hand-outs.  You cannot possibly get a work that doesn’t require walking, hearing, seeing, etc.

Agriculture presents one of the greatest opportunities to significantly grow our economy and create jobs.

Agriculture made the largest contribution, by a significant margin, to the improved growth of our economy in the second and third quarters of 2017.

We noticed that when the weather improved, the crops improved. We find this deeply fascinating.

This year, we will take decisive action to realise the enormous economic potential of agriculture.

Yeah, we’re going to build our own weather control system, like HAARP.

We will accelerate our land redistribution programme not only to redress a grave historical injustice, but also to bring more producers into the agricultural sector and to make more land available for cultivation.

Just joking: we’re going to stuff it up. The great low intensity war programme against existing farmers is going to keep rolling on.  Maybe we won’t have to kill them all, and they’ll just go away.

We will pursue a comprehensive approach that makes effective use of all the mechanisms at our disposal.

There’s all these things we could do. We’re going to do stuff. It’s going to work.

Guided by the resolutions of the 54th National Conference of the governing party, this approach will include the expropriation of land without compensation.

Oh yes, we’re stealing everything. Because economic growth and things. But it’s very few people that we’re going to be stealing from.

We are determined that expropriation without compensation should be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensure that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid.

We’re going to do evil, that good may result.

Government will undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the implementation of this resolution.  We actually haven’t got a clue how we’re going to do this, but we’ve figured out that we can use long words to disguise that.

We make a special call to financial institutions to be our partners in mobilising resources to accelerate the land redistribution programme as increased investment will be needed in this sector.  We’re going to blame the banks for not putting their money behind our stupid scheme.

Tourism is another area which provides our country with incredible opportunities to, quite literally, shine.

Tourism currently sustains 700,000 direct jobs and is performing better than most other growth sectors.

There is no reason why it can’t double in size.  But we’re working on destroying this too.

We have the most beautiful country in the world and the most hospitable people.  And a criminal class that we protect, who we don’t catch when they murder tourists.

This year, we will enhance support for destination marketing in key tourism markets and take further measures to reduce regulatory barriers and develop emerging tourism businesses.

More red tape.

We call on all South Africans to open their homes and their hearts to the world.

Those high walls that you put up to keep our murdering friends out of your houses? Please take those down.

Our prosperity as a nation depends on our ability to take full advantage rapid technological change.

This means that we urgently need to develop our capabilities in the areas of science, technology and innovation.

We will soon establish a Digital Industrial Revolution Commission, which will include the private sector and civil society, to ensure that our country is in a position to seize the opportunities and manage the challenges of rapid advances in information and communication technology.

We’re going to have meetings about this, until the people that we invited stop coming because they realise we’re not listening to them. We already had a meeting about this, and we have a cool name “DIRC”. Just hear how cool that sounds! We’re almost already there.

The drive towards the digital industrial revolution will be underpinned by the availability of efficient networks.

Oh yes, we’re also going to break the internet.  And your cell phone.

We will finalise our engagements with the telecommunications industry and other stakeholders to ensure that the allocation of spectrum reduces barriers to entry, promotes competition and reduces the cost to consumers.

You know all that spectrum? Well, we’re changing the rules. Nobody knows what the new rules are going to be. Come to our meetings, or we’ll do whatever we like. Actually, we’ll do whatever we like anyway, but we’ll say you agreed.

South Africa has acceded to the Tripartite Free Trade Area agreement, which brings together SADC, COMESA and the East African Community.

We’ve joined a committee.

The free trade area will combine markets of 26 countries with a population of nearly 625 million.

It’s a big committee.

It will open market access opportunities for South African export products, contribute to job creation and the growth of South Africa’s industrial sector.

It’s going to be amazing.

Negotiations towards the Continental Free Trade Agreement are progressing at a brisk pace, and it is expected that the framework agreement could be concluded soon.

We don’t know what it is, but the empty promises sound amazing.  There are meetings.

South Africa will this year take over the chair of the BRICS group of countries, and will give priority to the promotion of value-added trade and intra-BRICS investment into productive sectors.

Because you can’t export stuff to other countries without lots of red tape.

Fellow South Africans,

On the 1st of May this year, we will introduce the first national minimum wage in South Africa.

That youth unemployment thing? Well, that’s going to be permanent, from the 1st of May. If you haven’t got a job by then, you can forget about getting something basic, because all the basic beginner jobs will become illegal.

This historic achievement – a realisation of one of the demands of the Freedom Charter – is expected to increase the earnings of more than six million working South Africans and improve the living conditions of households across the country.

You remember when you all voted for the freedom charter? You didn’t? Not to worry, I’m a politician, and I can tell you that it’s a very good idea. If we just do what it says everything will be better in the communist hell hole we become.

The introduction of a national minimum wage was made possible by the determination of all social partners to reduce wage inequality while maintaining economic growth and employment creation.

We didn’t listen to anyone except “social partners”. Stuff you, employers. Go mechanise your operations.

It stands as another example of what is possible when South Africans engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve differences and confront challenges.

We talk and talk and talk. And then we talk and talk and talk. And then we tell you how wonderful our plan is. There’s no way it’s stupid.

To ensure greater coherence and consistency in the implementation of economic policy – and to ensure that we are better equipped to respond to changing economic circumstances – I will be appointing a Presidential Economic Advisory Council.

I don’t know how this stuff works, but I’m gonna get me some smart guys. This is not a bad idea.

It will draw on the expertise and capabilities that reside in labour, business, civil society and academia.

I’m going to get me a team of smart guys with weird and contradictory ideas. It’s gonna be cool.

The country remains gripped by one of the most devastating droughts in a century, which has severely impacted our economy, social services and agricultural production.

Has anyone seen Elijah? I’m pretty sure he’s behind this.

The drought situation in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape has been elevated to a national state of disaster.

It’s kinda weird, how it’s not raining like it should. But we’ve done nothing wrong. We’re going to handle it.  We definitely don’t need to rethink our more murderous and bloody policies.

This gives national government the authority to manage and coordinate our response nationally with support from all provinces.

We’ve been doing very little until now, and that’s something of a mistake.

This will ensure that we also heighten integrated measures to support the provinces that are hardest hit.

Because integration is what is going to differentiate us.

We are looking at activating the necessary extraordinary measures permitted under the legislation.

Maybe we’ll actually do something. Probably not. But we are looking at it.

I commend the people of Cape Town and the rest of the Western Cape for diligently observing water saving measures.

We call on everyone in the country to use water sparingly as we are a water-scarce country that relies on this vital resource to realise our development aspirations.

All your water are us.

Honourable Members,

On 16 December last year, former President Jacob Zuma announced that government would be phasing in fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working class South Africans over a five-year period.  What a great guy.

Starting this year, free higher education and training will be available to first year students from households with a gross combined annual income of up to R350,000.

That’s 30k per month. We’ll just assume that you don’t have lots of kids – your expenses are irrelevant, just your income.  Besides, this is just a temporary measure until the price of bread reaches R35000 per loaf, and this doesn’t apply to any household having living people anymore.

The Minister of Higher Education and Training will lead the implementation of this policy, while the Minister of Finance will clarify all aspects of the financing of the scheme during his Budget Speech next week.

I’ve got these guys. They each have their own things. They’re going to do this. Don’t blame me.

In addition to promoting social justice, an investment of this scale in higher education is expected to contribute to greater economic growth, reduce poverty, reduce inequality, enhance earnings and increase the competitiveness of our economy.

We’re going to throw money around, and then amazing things are going to happen – we will be fully buzzword compliant.

Government will continue to invest in expanding access to quality basic education and improving the outcomes of our public schools.

Schools are doing so great, and they’re going to do even better. That youth unemployment thing has nothing to do with the quality of education we’re providing there.

The Funza Lushaka Bursary programme plans to award 39,500 bursaries for Initial Teacher Education over the next three years.

In an historic first, from the beginning of this year, all public schools have begun offering an African language.

And just to be clear, although Afrikaans is an African language, we’re have arbitarily excluded it because it sounds too much like Flemish, and the people speaking it are too white, or too white-ish.

Also significant is the implementation of the first National Senior Certificate examination on South African Sign Language, which will be offered to deaf learners at the end of 2018.

Because our deaf kids need to be able talk to other deaf kids, and will never need to travel abroad.

The Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative programme continues to deliver modern facilities to schools in rural and underprivileged urban areas across the country, with at least 187 schools being complete to date.

We’re finally getting to building those buildings that we burnt down a few years ago.

The programme will complete all outstanding projects by the end of the next financial year.  But at the end of the year, we’re going to stop. We’re not thinking ahead.

Social grants remain a vital lifeline for millions of our people living in poverty.  And since we give them life, they will love us, and vote for us forever.

We will urgently take decisive steps to comply with the all directions of the Constitutional Court.  Bloody court told us not to crook the books.

I want to personally allay fears of any disruption to the efficient delivery of this critical service, and will take action to ensure no person in government is undermining implementation deadlines set by the court.  I want to, but I cannot. I’ll take action, but I’m not sure what will happen. You know the post office that doesn’t deliver your mail when it has valuable stuff in? Well, they’re going to get this done.

We will finalise work on a permanent public sector-led hybrid model, which will allow a set of public and private sector service providers to offer beneficiaries maximum choice, access and convenience.  I’m just reading this sentence. It’s not clear what it means, and that’s the point. What I mean is we’re going to have so many different ways of getting your social grant that it will be your fault if you don’t. There will be no confusion. Like this sentence.

This year, we will take the next critical steps to eliminate HIV from our midst.

We’re thinking of adopting the cyrillic alphabet, which will completely eliminate those 3 pesky latin letters.

By scaling up our testing and treating campaign, we will initiate an additional two million people on antiretroviral treatment by December 2020.

Our plan is to increase the number of carriers of the disease. We’re not going to do anything about fornication, adultery and sodomy, since those are all protected by the laws we made.  Science man.  It’s all science.

We will also need to confront lifestyles diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers and cardiovascular diseases.

Please don’t concentrate on HIV. Look here: we’re going to do stuff about other medical problems.

In the next three months we will launch a huge cancer campaign similar to the HIV counselling and testing campaign.

We’re going to roll those nasty cervical cancer vaccines that kill teenage girls in the rest of the world. Never mind that these things require sexually transmitted diseases to actually be a problem. We’re all about the solution, not solving the problem.

This will also involve the private sector as we need to mobilise all resources to fight this disease.  Actually, we don’t know if this will work. Anyone interested in helping here?

The time has now arrived to finally implement universal health coverage through the National Health Insurance.  Because it’s been such a roaring success in Britain, and in the USA, we should do it too, but ours is going to have an African flavour, in which it never works at all.

The NHI Bill is now ready to be processed through government and will be submitted to Parliament in the next few weeks.  We want you to think of this as insurance, but it’s just a tax. Suckers.

Certain NHI projects targeting the most vulnerable people in society will commence in April this year.  You’re going to die in our uncaring hospitals.

In improving the quality of life of all South Africans, we must intensify our efforts to tackle crime and build safer communities.  We must, but we’re not going to. We’re not going to fix up the legal system to process criminal cases speedily. We’re not going to bring back corporal punishment. We’re not going to bring back the death penalty, except for being a law abiding citizen.

During the course of this year, the Community Policing Strategy will be implemented, with the aim of gaining the trust of the community and to secure their full involvement in the fight against crime.  You know what the problem is with crime? It’s law abiding citizens. They’re not involved enough.

The introduction of a Youth Crime Prevention Strategy will empower and support young people to be self-sufficient and become involved in crime fighting initiatives.  Street committees full of interfering officious empty headed youths.

A key focus this year will be the distribution of resources to police station level.

This will include personnel and other resources, to restore capacity and experience at the level at which crime is most effectively combated.

We’re going to shuffle policemen around until their morale is completely destroyed. And we’re going to take be from those that take care of their stuff, and give it to those that break it.

In recognising the critical role that NGOs and community-based organisation play in tackling poverty, inequality and related social problems, we will convene a Social Sector Summit during the course of this year.  We’re completely spellbound by the fantastical tales told to us by NGOs. We’re going to have a meeting where they are going to spin us other tales and fables. We’re all going to eat and drink together. It will be awesome. Watch the press for details.

Among other things, this Summit should seek to improve the interface between the state and civil society and address the challenges that NGOs and CBOs face.  We’re going to change the rules, and some lucky winner is going to become a state sponsored organisation.

Fellow South Africans,

Growth, development and transformation depend on a strong and capable state.  Without us, you are powerless! Without me, you can do nothing!

It is critical that the structure and size of the state is optimally suited to meet the needs of the people and ensure the most efficient allocation of public resources.  Stability. We’re going to be stable. Once we figure out how we’re doing what we’re doing.

We will therefore initiate a process to review the configuration, number and size of national government departments.  We’ve got all these departments. It seems like a lot, so maybe we’re going to take something away. Or maybe not.

Many of our state owned enterprises are experiencing severe financial, operation and governance challenges, which has impacted on the performance of the economy and placed pressure on the fiscus.

We will intervene decisively to stabilise and revitalise state owned enterprises.

We’re going to throw more money at SAA so the can hand it to the new state capturers and put another marxist in charge of the SABC.

The recent action we have taken at Eskom to strengthen governance, root out corruption and restore its financial position is just the beginning.

Our next strongly worded letter will use really strong words, like “displeased”.

Government will take further measures to ensure that all state owned companies fulfil their economic and developmental mandates.

I found out that these companies are supposed to be doing stuff. Well, if they’re not going to do stuff, then we’re going to have to write them a strongly worded letter.

We will need to confront the reality that the challenges at some of our SOEs are structural – that they do not have a sufficient revenue stream to fund their operational costs.

These people have been spinning us lies, and we’ve believed them completely. The question of reducing the number of caviar dinners and worthless contractors is out of the question.

These SOEs cannot borrow their way out of their financial difficulties, and we will therefore undertake a process of consultation with all stakeholders to review the funding model of SOEs and other measures.

We’re going to have meetings. Meetings are a great substitute for work.

We will change the way that boards are appointed so that only people with expertise, experience and integrity serve in these vital positions.

And who has more integrity than those that have impeccable party credentials and connections?

We will remove board members from any role in procurement and work with the Auditor-General to strengthen external audit processes.

Yeah. The board mustn’t make decisions. They must just act board. We want a non-executive board. Otherwise the auditor general will sort it all out.

As we address challenges in specific companies, work will continue on the broad architecture of the state owned enterprises sector to achieve better coordination, oversight and sustainability.

This whole company thing is a strange and foreign construct that we’re going to look into. After we’ve looked into it, we’re going to know what to do. It’s going to be better. And good too.

This is the year in which we will turn the tide of corruption in our public institutions.

You think you’ve seen the height of corruption? Well, we’re yet to turn the tide. Watch this space.

The criminal justice institutions have been taking initiatives that will enable us to deal effectively with corruption.  I read the report by criminal justice, and I couldn’t make head or tail of it. And that was just the executive summary. We must try to get lawyers that speak English some time.

The commission of inquiry into state capture headed by the Deputy Chief Justice, Judge Raymond Zondo, is expected to commence its work shortly.

We’re going to air only such dirty laundry as will make the incumbents look good.

The Commission is critical to ensuring that the extent and nature of state capture is established, that confidence in public institutions is restored and that those responsible for any wrongdoing are identified.

We seriously haven’t a clue by what means that sneaky genius who previously occupied this honourable seat siphoned money from the state. We didn’t know anything. As his deputy, I really didn’t know anything.  My hands are clean.  I am without sin.

The Commission should not displace the regular work of the country’s law enforcement agencies in investigating and prosecuting any and all acts of corruption.  Are we confused yet?

Amasela aba imali ka Rhilumente mawabanjwe.

The love of money is the root of all evil.

We must fight corruption, fraud and collusion in the private sector with the same purpose and intensity.

Yeah, we’ve really been fighting fraud. Never mind murder, rape and armed robbery.

We must remember that every time someone receives a bribe there is someone who is prepared to pay it.

And there’s a stack of stupid law that is unevenly applied to enable it.

We will make sure that we deal with both in an effective manner.

But let me tell you what we won’t do: we won’t review BEE, which is the power behind this corruption.

We urge professional bodies and regulatory authorities to take action against members who are found to have acted improperly and unethically.

We’re going to point out the bad people, and instead of punishing them with criminal sanctions, we’re going to ask their professional peers to shun them.

This requires that we strengthen law enforcement institutions and that we shield them from external interference or manipulation.  People are messing with the police.

We will urgently attend to the leadership issues at the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure that this critical institution is stabilised and able to perform its mandate unhindered.  People are messing with our prosecutors.

We will also take steps to stabilise and strengthen vital institutions like the South African Revenue Service.  We don’t even know what’s going on with the tax man.

We must understand that tax morality is dependent on an implicit contract between taxpayers and government that state spending provides value for money and is free from corruption.

We’ve been breaking our side of the contract for a long time, and we’re really rather worried that the sheeple might start noticing.

At the request of the Minister of Finance, I will shortly appoint a Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance of SARS, to ensure that we restore the credibility of the Service and strengthen its capacity to meet its revenue targets.

It’s so bad, that we’re going to have meetings.

Our state employs one million public servants.

The majority of them serve our people with diligence and commitment.

We applaud them for the excellent work they do.

However, we know the challenges that our people face when they interact with the state.

All those nice things I said? People are not convinced.

In too many cases, they often get poor service or no service at all.

Our lazy and inefficient staff aren’t doing their job.

We want our public servants to adhere to the principle of Batho Pele, of putting our people first.

Because telling people to do the job that they are employed to do is completely beyond us. We need them to choose to do this out of the goodness of their heart.

We are determined that everyone in public service should undertake their responsibilities with efficiency, diligence and integrity.

Or they will get fired and publicly shamed?

We want to instil a new discipline, to do things correctly, to do them completely and to do them timeously. We call on all public servants to become agents for change.

You bunch of lazy bums: do your jobs.

During the course of the next few months, I will visit every national department to engage with the senior leadership to ensure that the work of government is effectively aligned.

You guys not doing your jobs: relax: you’re safe. I’m just going to talk to your inefficient bosses.

I will also find time to meet with provincial and local government leaders to ensure that the state, in its entirety, responds to the pressing needs of our people.

Anybody need a toilet break?

Fellow South Africans,

Our country has entered a period of change.

That stability we promised? We weren’t serious.

While change can produce uncertainty, even anxiety, it also offers great opportunities for renewal and revitalisation, and for progress.

If you survive the crazy stuff we’re going to do, you might be okay.

Together we are going to make history.

Like the Irish potato famine, like the great leap forward, like the killing fields of Cambodia.

We have done it before and we will do it again – bonded by our common love for our country, resolute in our determination to overcome the challenges that lie ahead and convinced that by working together we will build the fair and just and decent society to which Nelson Mandela dedicated his life.

All this working together: we don’t have time for people that just do their own work. And don’t forget saint Nelson our ancestor.

As I conclude, allow me to recall the words of the late great Bra Hugh Masekela.

In his song, ‘Thuma Mina’, he anticipated a day of renewal, of new beginnings.

He sang:

“I wanna be there when the people start to turn it around
When they triumph over poverty
I wanna be there when the people win the battle against AIDS
I wanna lend a hand
I wanna be there for the alcoholic
I wanna be there for the drug addict
I wanna be there for the victims of violence and abuse
I wanna lend a hand
Send me.”

And I should mention that Hugh’s dead now, so I guess he’s not going to be.

We are at a moment in the history of our nation when the people, through their determination, have started to turn the country around.

There were people still trying to turn it away from the precipice, but now we will rush directly over the edge.

We can envisage the triumph over poverty, we can see the end of the battle against AIDS.

We’re dreamers that have no constructive plan, and yet we hope for no reason that we will succeed.

Now is the time to lend a hand.

Now is the time for each of us to say ‘send me’.

Now is the time for all of us to work together, in honour of Nelson Mandela, to build a new, better South Africa for all.

A bitter laugh for all.

I thank you.


When Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, said to his people, “My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke” the people replied, “What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David.”  I don’t much care about the empty promises President Ramaphosa made to his friends: he says he’s going to chastise his enemies with scorpions.  He should sort his house out, and let us all know how it works out for him.

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Never clientele

I’m a bit angry.  For weeks I have been receiving multiple calls from a robodialler trying to sell me clientele insurance. It starts with a call from +27876546440 playing some recording (but this number changes). I have no idea what that recording says. I press 1 to make it stop. Then later a real person phones me from 0110850720 to speak to me about their products, and acts all surprised that I want them to stop phoning me. They seem to think that because they tricked me with their robot dialing machine that I have an agreement with them. This is completely corrupt – you can’t have a meeting of minds with a robot, because it hasn’t got a mind.

If you repeatedly phone people with a robo dialler, there is only one reason for this: you want money. You care deeply about getting money, and about getting it soon, but you don’t care about the people that are not your clients and do not want to be your clients. You hate them, and you’d rather not deal with them, because they are only worthy of talking to a machine.  It’s fine to waste their time over and over and over, just in case they want to give you the money that you so love.

I will never buy anything from Clientele insurance. A company capable of wasting the time of the entire country with robotic callers can be expected to –

  • sell you worthless products at high prices
  • deny valid claims for bogus reasons
  • debit your account without authority

I don’t know about the last two, but an example that looks to me like a completely worthless product at a high price is their “Hospital* Plan” at R265 per month.  It sounds great, except if you end up in hospital, and then you will discover that the asterisk* says that it covers non-medical expenses (e.g. your car was towed?) provided that you were in hospital for THREE days or more.  No, it doesn’t cover what you might think a hospital plan covers.  Not a single thing.  And if you’ve been in hospital for THREE days, you have bigger financial problems than the taxi fare to get there.  Simply put, they collect a lot of money, and they pay out precious little.

Since they so hate people that are not their clientèle, how are we supposed to believe that they love their clientèle?

These people are no better than the R3/day worthless subscription “services” that are now also using robodiallers to trick people into being “subscribed” and then tricking them into sending premium SMS’s to “unsubscribe”.  And that is also called a “service”.  It’s a scam.

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Hendrickson Bibles “How to Become a Christian” analysis

The Hendrickson Bibles publish the text below on “How to Become a Christian”.  This does not seem to be available on-line, so you don’t know what you’re getting without buying it.  I’ve typed it up (no doubt, with typos), and reproduced it once without comment, and another time with comment.  The crux of this message is that eternal salvation is by your decision and heartfelt commitment.  That’s not exactly right.  It’s exactly wrong.

He that is first in his own cause seemeth just

Here it is, from page 603/604 of the KJV Outreach Bible, 7th printing, January 2016, ISBN 9781598565478.  This printing is very good value for money, especially if you don’t mind newsprint, but only after you remove this page:

How to Become a Christian

The central theme of the Bible is God’s love for you and for all people. This love was revealed when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world as a human being, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. Because Christ died, your sins can be forgiven, and because He conquered death you can have eternal life. You can know for sure what will become of you after you die.

You have probably heard the story of God’s love, referred to as the “Gospel. The word Gospel simply means “Good News.” The Gospel is Good News that, because of what Christ has done, we can be forgiven and can live forever.

But this gift of forgiveness and eternal life cannot be yours unless you willingly accept it. God requires an individual response from you. The following verses show God’s part and yours in this process:

GOD’S LOVE IS REVEALED IN THE BIBLE

“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 (KJV)

God loves you. He wants to bless your life and make it full and complete. And He wants to give you a life which will last forever, even after you experience physical death.

WE ARE SINFUL

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 (KJV)

You may have heard someone say, “I’m only human-nobody’s perfect.” This Bible verse says the same thing: We are all sinners. We all do things that we know are wrong. And that’s why we feel estranged from God – because God is holy and good, and we are not.

SIN HAS A PENALTY

“For the wages of sin is death.” – Romans 6:23 (KJV)
Just as criminals must pay the penalty for their crimes, sinners must pay the penalty for their sins. If you continue to sin, you will pay the penalty of spiritual death: You will not only die physically; you will also be separated from our holy God for all eternity. The Bible teaches that those who choose to remain separated from God will spend eternity in a place called hell.

CHRIST HAS PAID OUR PENALTY!

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinner, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (KJV)
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, has paid the penalty for all your sins. You may think you have to lead a good life and do good deeds before God will love you. But the Bible says that Christ loved you enough to die for you, even when you were rebelling against Him.

SALVATION IS A FREE GIFT

“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 (KJV)

The word grace means “undeserved favor.” It means God is offering you something you could never provide for yourself: forgiveness of sins and eternal life, God’s gift to you is free. You do not have to work for a gift. All you have to do is joyfully receive it. Believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ died for you!

CHRIST IS AT YOUR HEART’S DOOR

“Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” – Revelation 3:20 (KJV)

Jesus Christ wants to have a personal relationship with you. Picture if you will, Jesus Christ standing at the door of your heart (the door of your emotions, intellect and will) Invite Him in; He is waiting for you to receive Him into your heart and life.

YOU MUST RECEIVE HIM

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” – John 1:12 (KJV)

When you received Christ into your heart you become a child of God, and have the privilege of talking to him in prayer at any time about anything. The Christian life is a personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ. And best of all, it is a relationship that will last for all eternity.

Used by permission from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

If you have followed these steps and have received Christ into your life, look for a local church and tell the pastor that you have made this decision. If possible, also tell the person who gave you this Bible. They will be happy to take the next steps in your new life in Christ.

But his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.

Here it is again, with my comment.  This comment is not meant to be nice.  If you like nice, don’t read it:

How to Become a Christian — To bear the label “Christian” does not mean that you are saved. Following the steps in this plan may happen to wind up with you bearing that label, but being saved is not being called “a Christian”, nor even becoming one. Don’t get labelled: get saved!  However, if all you want is a label, go right on – maybe it does what it says on the tin after all.

The central theme of the Bible is God’s love for you and for all people. — The Bible does not attempt to define its own central theme. Why would we?  If the central theme is anything, it is Jesus Christ.  The statement is wrong anyway: God does not love all people: if you are the wicked and him that loves violence whom his soul hates, then he hates you. Nuts to you. This does not mean that he always hated you: the Bible says he loved you. Man, you really stuffed up!

This love was revealed when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world as a human being, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. Because Christ died, your sins can be forgiven, and because He conquered death you can have eternal life. — Each of these statements is arguably true, but something is missing.  Can you spot it?

You can know for sure what will become of you after you die. — Now this makes no sense: something is missing. The reader has just been told that he’s going to heaven, but he’s not. Did he get saved by simply reading these words? Are these the words of faith? Also, you will search in vain in the scripture offered in this “gospel” for the resurrection. Perhaps it doesn’t really fit in the scheme of things that they are presenting.  You will also search in vain for certainty of heaven, because this “gospel” is about works of commitment, which means you are trusting yourself.

You have probably heard the story of God’s love, referred to as the “Gospel”. The word Gospel simply means “Good News.” — Why is this sentence even here? Gospel, good news – stop defining it, tell it. You say it’s the story of God’s love: then prove it from scripture.

The Gospel is Good News that, because of what Christ has done, we can be forgiven and can live forever. — Oh yes it is, but what you will read here is not the gospel.

But this gift of forgiveness and eternal life cannot be yours unless you willingly accept it. — This sentence, which starts with a conjunction “but”, tellingly says “eternal life cannot be yours”. It says you need an act of the will. It says you need an act of acceptance. You must be saved by a work.

God requires an individual response from you.— That’s almost right, but still not quite. When we get to the response proposed, it will be completely wrong.

The following verses show God’s part and yours in this process:  — I believe this dividing between God’s part and man’s part is called “synergism” by people who like to call their story “monergism” – two actors in salvation, instead of one actor. They’re both wrong. God has a part – Jesus died and rose, the evangelist has a part (to tell the gospel), and the new believer has a part: to believe the gospel – and that’s all.  That’s three parts.

GOD’S LOVE IS REVEALED IN THE BIBLE  “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 (KJV)

God loves you. — It doesn’t say that. It says he loved you – past tense. You might be the reject that has refused him too many times – but he did love you.

He wants to bless your life and make it full and complete. — It doesn’t say that. Maybe God’s plan for you is that the remainder of your earthly life should be short and painful, as you breath out your last diseased breath before he receives you into eternal glory.

And He wants to give you a life which will last forever, even after you experience physical death. — Okay, but something was missing here: believe! This verse is about the condition for eternal life, which is faith: whosover believeth. And they just ignore it, because they’re hoping you won’t notice, while they sing you another song.

WE ARE SINFUL  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 (KJV)

You may have heard someone say, “I’m only human-nobody’s perfect.” This Bible verse says the same thing: We are all sinners. We all do things that we know are wrong. — Sin is not just the violation of conscience, but of God’s law. The reader has a copy of God’s law in their hands: why appeal only to their conscience? Still, this point is not too poorly stated.

And that’s why we feel estranged from God – because God is holy and good, and we are not. — Yep. I wonder if the writer includes himself in “we” that feels estranged from God. Maybe he should have sorted that out before putting pen to paper.

SIN HAS A PENALTY “For the wages of sin is death.” – Romans 6:23 (KJV)

Just as criminals must pay the penalty for their crimes, sinners must pay the penalty for their sins. — This verse does not say it is a penalty, but that it is wages. It is not that sinners must pay: sinners will be paid as they have earned.

If you continue to sin, you will pay the penalty of spiritual death: You will not only die physically;  — “Continue to sin?”  Do I spy the false doctrine of sinless perfection?  Sin is breaking God’s law: and this says that if we continue to break God’s law, we will pay.  Clearly, we need to be justified by complete obedience to the law, as far as the writer is concerned.  Or maybe it’s just a willingness to not sin between sins – and what sin that matters is not willful?  Also, the author cannot make up his mind: is this physical death, or spiritual death – no wait, both. Are we confused yet?

you will also be separated from our holy God for all eternity. –Um, no. You will be tormented in his presence. He will be there – Revelation 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

The Bible teaches that those who choose to remain separated from God will spend eternity in a place called hell. — Hell no! We can’t keep you a place in hell. Hell is getting thrown in the lake of fire: Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

CHRIST HAS PAID OUR PENALTY!  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinner, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (KJV) — A penalty is not paid. A penalty is imposed. The word “penalty” is not in the Bible anyhow. It’s the wrong picture.

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, has paid the penalty for all your sins. You may think you have to lead a good life and do good deeds before God will love you. — Actually people don’t think this: they think they are already living the good life, and more or less keeping the commandments. You didn’t convince them in the last point.

But the Bible says that Christ loved you enough to die for you, even when you were rebelling against Him. — This is not a bad explanation, although they are confusing the persons of the Godhead.

SALVATION IS A FREE GIFT  “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 (KJV)

The word grace means “undeserved favor.” It means God is offering you something you could never provide for yourself: forgiveness of sins and eternal life, God’s gift to you is free. You do not have to work for a gift. All you have to do is joyfully receive it.  — It was fine, until they said “joyfully”. What if you receive it with something less than joy? Where do I go to pick this up? Oh wait, they say believe:

Believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ died for you! — Okay, so he died for me. So what? Am I saved now? It’s a good question. Maybe I don’t believe hard enough. Just how hard do I have to believe? This is not actually an incorrect statement – it is offered as the condition of baptism – but it is confusing – Acts 8:37 “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” The Ethiopian believed in the deity of Jesus Christ … so there’s something more here.  How about Romans 10:9 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

CHRIST IS AT YOUR HEART’S DOOR  “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” – Revelation 3:20 (KJV) — Now we get into the serious false doctrine. The context of this verse is the lukewarm church at Laodicea, which is called to repent of being almost completely useless: Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” The trouble with using this verse in the context of salvation is that the people being called to repentance are believers already.

Jesus Christ wants to have a personal relationship with you. — No, Jesus already had a personal relationship with those at Laodicea: that is why he rebuked and chastened them

Picture if you will, Jesus Christ standing at the door of your heart (the door of your emotions, intellect and will) Invite Him in; He is waiting for you to receive Him into your heart and life. — Making a picture is the essence of mysticism. My heart has valves, not a door: this picture is rubbish. The verse doesn’t speak of a heart at all. I’ll tell you what often has a door: a church meeting place. The trouble with this is that opening a door to your emotions, intellect and will is nothing but works: a commitment to being emotionally correct, logically correct, and always choose to do what is right. This is not good news. When I examine my heart, I see that those matters are completely beyond my reach. It is impossible.

YOU MUST RECEIVE HIM  “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” – John 1:12 (KJV)

When you receive Christ into your heart you become a child of God,  — Please pay no attention to the end of the verse that says “to them that believe on his name” because you do all the receiving, and you do it by imagination and commitment, not so much by believing on his name

and have the privilege of talking to him in prayer at any time about anything. — Don’t you dare. God is holy. Besides this, if you’re regarding sin in your heart, he will not hear you.

The Christian life is a personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ.  — You keep using that word, but I don’t think it means what you think it mean.  Why does my Bible not have this word relationship even once, but you want to tell me that it’s the ruling concept of the Christian life? What about atonement for sins by the blood of Christ? What about FAITH?

And best of all, it is a relationship that will last for all eternity. — Sure, but not if it never begins, because you were preached a false gospel of works, and not the pure word of faith.

Used by permission from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association — And here’s the trouble: Billy Graham. Back when he was a living breathing person, the freemasons or the Catholic Church decided to promote him, and so they did that, and all the Christians were so glad to get some good press that nobody stopped to look at his doctrine.  His doctrine is not so hot.  Even his buddy Templeton walked away from it all and wrote a book called “Farewell to God”.  That’s not exactly a glowing testimony of faith.  This is the same Billy Graham that said that he’s a great fan of the pope, and that said the he believes that muslims and jungle tribes that have never heard the sound of the gospel and the name of Christ will yet be saved.

If you have followed these steps and have received Christ into your life, look for a local church and tell the pastor that you have made this decision. — And if that church’s pastor had any sense of the true gospel, he would sit you down and tell you where you went wrong. However, that’s not the guy you’re going to find. Statistically you’re going to end up in a worthless church that will suck out your money and bury your corpse, and deliver you safely to hell, trusting in your works of righteousness, and the depth of your commitment.  Welcome to the broad way.

If possible, also tell the person who gave you this Bible. — We would like you to follow up on this sale.  Tell them they made a great purchase.  We’re publishers.

They will be happy to take the next steps in your new life in Christ. — Sure!  Like getting SAVED!

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

What?  You’re still here?  Okay, great!  How about I tell you the truth, and show how it should be done?  Or even better – get a real Christian to read and explain this to you – it’s the Romans road.  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God:

Consider this: When your life on earth ends, are you 100% sure you will go to heaven?

☐ Yes     ☐ No

What do you believe you must do to enter life?

☐ Works?
☐ Service?
☐ Sacrifice?
 ☐ Sacraments?
☐ Sorrow?
☐ Promises? 
☐ Prayer?
☐ Confession?
☐ Commitment? 
☐ Experience?
☐ Obedience?
☐ Something else

Are you righteous before God?

1. Every one is a sinner

Romans 3:10: As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one
Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
You may be a good person, but there is not a just man upon earth, that does good, and sins not.

Do you deserve to be received by God?

2. Every one deserves to go to hell

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sin brings forth death, yet it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Revelation 20:14-15: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
You should fear him, which after he has killed has power to cast into hell. Fear him.

Does anyone please God?

At Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit descended on him like a dove:
Mark 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

3. Jesus died on the cross for us so we could be saved

Jesus was approved of God by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him. By the plan of God, Jesus was crucified. With him they crucified two thieves, one of which said “we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.”
About 3 o’clock in the afternoon, Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and there came out blood and water. At the command of Pilate he was buried. The third day, he rose again from the dead. When he appeared to his disciples, he said,
Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

What does Jesus’ death and resurrection mean?

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1 Peter 2:24: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

What must you do to be saved?

4. You must believe on Jesus Christ as your only way to heaven

Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
John 3:16 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.

Which good works do these verses require? Which ceremony do these require? What must you do?

5. When you believe on Jesus Christ, God gives you eternal life as a gift

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
When you pay for a “gift”, what is that called? When you work to be worthy of a “gift”, what is that called? When the giver of a “gift” takes it back, what is that called? Is eternal life something you buy, a wage, a loan or a gift?

John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Questions

1. Do you believe that you have sinned?
2. Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and rose again from the dead?
3. If you were to ask Jesus to save you right now would he do it?
4. How long would you be saved for?

Do your answers agree with the Bible?

“Dear Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I know I deserve to go to hell. But I believe that you died on the cross for my sins. Please save me and take me to heaven when I die. I’m trusting only you, Jesus. Amen.”

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Does it matter how you live?

You receive Jesus by faith, and become a son forever:
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

 

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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
Noordwyk
Midrand
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 66.135.62.20
ns.coza.net.za.    IN A 206.223.136.200
ns4.iafrica.com.   IN A 196.7.142.131
ns0.is.co.za.      IN A 196.4.160.17
ns0.neotel.co.za.  IN A 41.160.0.4
coza1.dnsnode.net. IN A 194.146.106.74

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
 ;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
 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.
 ;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
 za1.dnsnode.net. 172800 IN A 194.146.106.78
 nsza.is.co.za. 172800 IN A 196.4.160.27
 za-ns.anycast.pch.net. 172800 IN A 204.61.216.55
 sns-pb.isc.org. 172800 IN A 192.5.4.1
 disa.tenet.ac.za. 172800 IN A 196.21.79.50

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

# dig @194.146.106.78 ns co.za
 ;; ANSWER SECTION:
 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.

;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
 za1.dnsnode.net. 172800 IN A 194.146.106.78
 disa.tenet.ac.za. 172800 IN A 196.21.79.50
 nsza.is.co.za. 172800 IN A 196.4.160.27
 za-ns.anycast.pch.net. 172800 IN A 204.61.216.55
 sns-pb.isc.org. 172800 IN A 192.5.4.1

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

# dig @196.4.160.27 a ns.coza.net.za
 ;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
 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.

;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
 ns0.is.co.za. 86400 IN A 196.4.160.17
 disa.tenet.ac.za. 86400 IN A 196.21.79.50

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

# dig @196.4.160.17 ns.coza.net.za
 ;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
 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.

;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
 ns1.coza.net.za. 86400 IN A 66.135.62.20
 beth.coza.net.za. 86400 IN A 206.223.136.193
 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 (198.41.0.4) as initial root
 Running query co.za type NS
 1 a.root-servers.net (198.41.0.4)
 1.1 za1.dnsnode.net (194.146.106.78)
 1.2 nsza.is.co.za (196.4.160.27)
 1.2.1 ns0.is.co.za (196.4.160.17)
 1.2.2 ns1.coza.net.za -- resolving
 1.2.2 ns1.coza.net.za (66.135.62.20,Loop encountered resolving ns.coza.net.za)
 1.2.3 ns4.iafrica.com -- resolving
 1.2.3 ns4.iafrica.com (196.7.142.131)
 1.2.4 ns0.neotel.co.za (41.160.0.4)
 1.2.5 coza1.dnsnode.net -- resolving
 1.2.5 coza1.dnsnode.net (194.146.106.74)
 1.2.6 ns.coza.net.za -- resolving
 1.2.6 ns.coza.net.za (206.223.136.200,Loop encountered resolving secdns1.posix.co.za)
 1.3 za-ns.anycast.pch.net (204.61.216.55)
 1.3.1 ns4.iafrica.com -- resolving
 1.3.1 ns4.iafrica.com (196.7.142.131) -- completed earlier (1.2.3)
 1.3.2 ns0.is.co.za (196.4.160.17) -- completed earlier (1.2.1)
 1.3.3 ns0.neotel.co.za (41.160.0.4) -- completed earlier (1.2.4)
 1.3.4 coza1.dnsnode.net -- resolving
 1.3.4 coza1.dnsnode.net (194.146.106.74) -- completed earlier (1.2.5)
 1.3.5 ns1.coza.net.za -- resolving
 1.3.5 ns1.coza.net.za (66.135.62.20,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 (206.223.136.200,Loop encountered resolving secdns1.posix.co.za) -- completed earlier (1.2.6)
 1.4 sns-pb.isc.org (192.5.4.1)
 1.4.1 ns.coza.net.za -- resolving
 1.4.1 ns.coza.net.za (206.223.136.200,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 (66.135.62.20,Loop encountered resolving ns.coza.net.za) -- completed earlier (1.2.2)
 1.4.3 ns0.is.co.za (196.4.160.17) -- completed earlier (1.2.1)
 1.4.4 ns4.iafrica.com -- resolving
 1.4.4 ns4.iafrica.com (196.7.142.131) -- completed earlier (1.2.3)
 1.4.5 ns0.neotel.co.za (41.160.0.4) -- completed earlier (1.2.4)
 1.4.6 coza1.dnsnode.net -- resolving
 1.4.6 coza1.dnsnode.net (194.146.106.74) -- completed earlier (1.2.5)
 1.5 disa.tenet.ac.za (196.21.79.50)

Results:
 10.0%: Answer from coza1.dnsnode.net (194.146.106.74)
 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 (194.146.106.78)
 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 (196.21.79.50)
 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 (196.4.160.17)
 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 (196.7.142.131)
 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 (206.223.136.200)
 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 (41.160.0.4)
 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 (66.135.62.20)
 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
Killed
# 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)
        --save-objects
        --[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.
Posted in Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on What are the IP addresses for NS records of co.za?

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):

#!/bin/sh

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

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

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.

Posted in Stuff | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Short KJV language word list

kjv-language.pdf

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.

Posted in Stuff | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Short KJV language word list

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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