Saving the Gold... a Message from the Messenger
Bible 1611.Com / Sluice Box Adventures.com / Old Paths Baptist Mission © 2014
What is the gold in life?
What really matters?
This message was born over four thousand miles away from Illinois.
The meaning of the Sluice Box is revealed; and from this meaning came what is known as “Sluice Box Adventures.”
• The Sluice Box
• Yea Hath God Said?
• Apparent Contradictions
• God Of The Hills And Of The Plains
• Go For The Gold
• Believe The BOOK
"I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart." [Psalm 9:1a]
In August, as my wife and I were standing before Alaska's famous Gold Dredge No. 8, an illustration of a gold mining operation riveted my attention.
God's Spirit seemed to be saying to me, "Now take a real hard look at that!"
From within the depths of me I said, "What Lord?" "Do you see the words sluice boxes?" "Ah, yes I do, Lord", and the tears came to my eyes when I finally caught the meaning.
For under those words sluice boxes was the declaration, "Gold is caught here."
In the guide's narration that followed it was repeated this way, "The sluice boxes save the gold."
Now what is a sluice box? A sluice box is a long, open-ended trough containing many riffles. It rests on trestles. The trestles provide for a uniform and gradual descent. Material is placed in the head of the sluice box. Water flows continuously through the material, washing it and breaking up any clumps. The lighter material is then carried away, while the gold and the heavier materials are trapped in the pockets formed by the riffles.
In this message, I want for us to see the dredging operation that we must all be performing while we are in this old world. And we must do just as the sluice box does. We must save the gold!
"Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart" [Psalm 119:2]. It is they "that seek him with the whole heart" that will hide the commandments of God in their hearts for a great reason. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" [Psalm 119:11].
The true believer in Jesus Christ will joyously and resoundingly shout out, "Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word" [Psalm 119:12-16].
I will not forget thy word! What is God's word? What did Satan that old master of deceit say almost 6,000 years ago? "Yea, hath God said?" What are the conservative Greek and Hebrew scholars saying today? "Yea, hath God said?" Believing is belief, and unbelieving is unbelief! "Contradiction! No, there is no contradiction. There is an apparent discrepancy...because of the stupidity of the reader,” said the old preacher.
The first thing we must do, as the sluice box does, is to catch (or save) the gold! To be prepared to catch the gold, we must believe The BOOK. This means believing that every word in this BOOK is the very word of God. You will be fooling yourself if you think it is not necessary, or of any consequence if you "waffle" on this. "It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" [Matthew 4:4, also see Deut.8:3]. This "believing the Book" is not to be a reference to any Greek or Hebrew manuscripts or even to the original autographs.
The original autographs are long gone!
All we have are the copies of the copies...of the copies. Which one of the over 5,000 manuscript sources (for the N.T. Greek) is the perfect word of God? The Textus Receptus is representative of The Majority Greek (Traditional) text. Even though The Majority Text representatives agree together in the main (which represent over 90% of the manuscripts), which one is the word of God?
Which Greek manuscript would your Bible college professor choose? Or would he just "wimp" and take the easy way out and say, "I believe the word of God is the sum total of all the manuscripts." My! Which manuscript did he read and memorize today? And there are some who would say: "I believe that the 23rd edition of the Nestle Greek New Testament is God's word." (There are over 20 Greek Texts.)
It is men like this that reject The Textus Receptus that underlies our English AV1611 Bible. That conservative "fundamental bastion of the faith", Bob Jones University, espouses the position that the New American Standard translation of the Bible is the most accurate translation in the English language. (Their Greek scholars at "the world’s most unusual university" tell all the preacher boys that.)
Dr. Stewart Custer, Chairman, Division of Bible, in a letter stated: "There is no perfect English translation", and went on to say that, "The original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts are the inerrant Word of God."
The original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts are gone! So where is The Bible?
Believing is belief, and unbelieving is unbelief!
In 1978, I heard my professor, Dr. McKay, tell us preacher boys in our Greek class (Beka Horton's college in Pensacola) that the King James Bible has errors, and is not the most accurate translation of the Bible. "And he marvelled because of their unbelief." [Mark 6:6a].
When I heard this, I was not fazed! I stood! I had decided to stand on THE BOOK! I was "prepared".
Believing is belief, and unbelieving is unbelief!
Two liberal papist scholars of the eighteenth century (Westcott and Hort) did more damage to "conservative" Christianity than any other in the last 150 years.
The blind are leading the blind over the precipice of unbelief!
"It is almost universally affirmed by modern scholarship that Hort's greatest and enduring achievement was to dethrone or "kill" the Textus Receptus or the "Byzantine" Text." (page 225)
"Drs. Westcott and Hort have, in fact, outstripped their predecessors in this singular race. Their absolute contempt for the Traditional Text, their superstitious veneration of a few ancient documents. (which documents, however, they freely confess are not more ancient than the 'Traditional Text' which they despise) knows no bounds." (page 180)
At the age 23, Hort wrote: "I had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of texts, having read so little Greek Testament, and dragged on with the villainous Textus Receptus....Think of that vile Textus Receptus...." (page 225).
(True Or False, David Otis Fuller, page 180, 225; also, see Problem Texts, Peter S. Ruckman, page 12, 179; also see The Revision Revised, by John William Burgon; and New Age Bible Versions by G.A. Riplinger for the background for all this.)
Since 1881, the Bible translation committees have managed to "revise" the English Bible over 200 times! The King James Bible has 31,101 verses, and they saw fit to revise over 31,000 of them. Let me say it again! This "believing the Book" is not meant to be reference to any Greek or Hebrew manuscripts, or even to the original autographs.
The original autographs are long gone! But it does mean believing that in the English language God has preserved inerrant His word. This word is the Authorized Version of 1611 (or any edition thereof). "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." [II Timothy 3:16-17]
Believing is belief, and unbelieving is unbelief!
Maybe at this point you are tempted to say to me, "Brother St.James, you cannot really believe that. I mean, that is too extreme. A lot of godly Christians have gotten through life not believing the Bible is perfect and without error."
Yes, I admit this to be so, but that does not make it safe for you, or right before The Author of The Book! It will sap you of your strength spiritually and will dishonor the Savior, Jesus Christ. Do not forget, Christians do have two natures. Our present day "Laodicean" conservative Christians reek and smell with the odor of mediocrity, and suffer dullness in the eyes. This results in disbelief, or doubting what God has said. "Yea, hath God said?" seems to be the question that rises up so naturally out of the old heart. "And he marvelled because of their unbelief." [Mark 6:6a].
"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain." [I Corinthians 3:19-20]
In Anchorage, Alaska, with the startling beauty of the nearby Chugach Mountains in the background, the following dialog unfolded while I stood in the parking lot of an independent Baptist church. A rather intelligent man (who is one of the pillars of the church) told me of his Bible studies. Another Christian brother of mine had already earlier told me of this individual's intensive use of the "original" languages, the computer software, and Bible helps.
No doubt the many hours he had spent in the many commentaries had made him very wise and deeply learned.
It went like this. Somehow, in our conversation the word inerrancy, or more exactly my statement that the A.V.1611 Bible is the inerrant word of God seemed to greatly trouble him. He thought it necessary to help me out and show me my error in believing such a thing. He pointed out that the term inerrancy was of recent invention, and was used by Christians only in the last 100 years. Then he began to give me some examples in scripture that proved there were textual errors transmitted to us by scribal error, or by mistakes made by the A.V.1611 translation committee. He pointed out several examples in the Old and New Testaments that were proof that the Bible contained errors and, therefore, was not inerrant.
"For instance," he said, "these two verses contradict!" "And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen." [I Kings 4:26] versus "And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem." [II Chronicles 9:25]
It looked like a contradiction to him, and it might even look a contradiction to you, but it is God's own word to me. Well, I guess I am not too smart, and I am certainly not as smart as that younger man. To me, I am to approach THE BOOK, as like a child, with a trusting heart through faith. I want to line out with that BOOK! I want this said of me, as also was said of the believers at Thessalonica, "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God which effectually worketh also in you that believe." [I Thessalonians 2:13].
What about you? What will you do when another brother or sister comes up to you trying to sow a little seed of doubt about The Bible in your heart by saying, "Yea, hath God said?"
Well then, is there a problem here with THE BOOK? Is it forty thousand or is it four thousand? God seemingly has a problem. Indeed, does God have a perfect book on this earth whereby He has revealed His Son, Jesus Christ and made known His will to men? And, is This Book alive? Make up your mind in advance! "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." [Hebrews 4:12]
The individual that cannot believe that God could not (or did not) preserve inerrant His word for us today in the English language is either calling God a liar or has a god who is only "a god of the hills." "Their gods are gods of the hills;" but He is God of the hills and of the plains. God will have derisive laughter. "Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys..."[I Kings 20:28].
How big is your God, Christian? God wrote a Book, and He has preserved it till this very day. The words of the Lord are pure words! Note that the present tense is used. Do you believe those words? "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" [Psalm 12:7]. He will preserve them from all the scholars and all the translation committees! Amen! Amen! Amen!
Remember, there is in every man that kind of heart that would tend to doubt God's words. "Yea, hath God said?" There lies in certain men's hearts the desire to corrupt the word of God, but we, The BIBLE BELIEVERS with sincerity, speak in Christ. "For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ" [II Corinthians 2:17].
We must be involved in a dredging operation. The Bible believer must do this while we are in this old world. And just as the sluice box does, we must do. We must save the gold! We must catch the gold! The gold (the word of God) must be saved in "the whole heart"...the believing heart...the heart that sees by faith. That will be our part. "I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart." [Psalm 9:1a].
Do not worry about the so-called errors or contradictions in the Bible. God will take care of that. God keeps (or preserves) His word. "Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
He is God of the hills and of the plains.
"Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart" [Psalm 119:2]. They who keep his testimonies have a whole heart. Their heart will approach God and His Book with total joy and expecting to commune with the Holy God who is infinite, for this purpose: "Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word" [Psalm 119:12-16].
There is no room for "the critical heart" studying the Bible for the purpose of data collection and analyzed by finite human reasoning, and thereby, attempting to critique The Book of an infinite God. The BOOK contains no errors. "Contradiction! No, there is no contradiction. There is an apparent discrepancy...because of the stupidity of the reader." said the old preacher.
The believing heart (in opposition to the flesh) will depend on the illumination of the Spirit of God. "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth" [John 16:13a]. The apparent contradiction goes away like this: first verse: "And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots...." and, second verse: "And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots...". Solomon had forty thousand stalls for his horses. Note: in the first verse "stalls of horses for his chariots", he had four thousand stalls for his chariots. Note: in the second verse: "horses and chariots".
There were ten horses for each chariot. Therefore, there was ten times the number of stalls for the horses as there were for the chariots themselves. It is only an apparent contradiction. The "believing" heart, and not the "critical" heart, will be needed to approach God's Book.
Here is something else. Could anyone take the OLD BLACK BOOK to court and prove, beyond a shadow of doubt, that these verses contradict, and thereby prove there is an error in the A.V. 1611 Bible? I think not!
Why cannot one believe instead the explanation that ten horses were designated for each chariot? I mean, think of it! The army of Israel had made provision for ten horses to be lashed up to one chariot or allowed, "spares" (if the number of horses used at any time was less than ten) in case a horse was fatally "shot-out" from under the rider while in the line of fire. It just militarily makes common sense! Here is a rule of thumb!
ALWAYS ASSUME THE KING JAMES TEXT IS CORRECT 100% OF THE TIME, WHENEVER YOU SEE WHAT YOU THINK IS A CONTRADICTION OR AN ERROR.
You heard me! You will eventually find out how to reconcile every "apparent" contradiction through the Spirit of God while you are on this earth, or if not now, HE will "straighten" you out when you get to Heaven. Remember what the old preacher said. "Contradiction! No, there is no contradiction. There is an apparent discrepancy...because of the stupidity of the reader."
An infinite God "penned" This Book! We are finite men! We are many times "blockheads" concerning "understanding" This Book!
Approach God this way concerning His Book, and you will not go wrong: "Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word".
Never question The Book!
Believe The Book!
Now, let us go back to my "dialog" with the intelligent man in front of the Baptist church in Anchorage, Alaska. This Christian defended "using" other translations to enhance, or throw light on, the meaning of Scripture in the Authorized Version of 1611. That is a very big mistake. Would you "imbibe" a little water from a "tainted" fountain just to satisfy your thirst, when the "pure fountain of water" is right next to you?
For example, turn to Acts 8:37 in any New American Standard Translation (or NIV) and read it!
You will find this: "37 (See Marginal note.)", and in the margin, we find this perversion: "37 Late mss. insert verse 37: And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may."
And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." The NIV, ASV, and NASV teach baptismal regeneration here!
Now why would a Christian go to a book that purports being the Bible when it has "mutilated" God's word here (and scores of other places)? Tell me why? This "imbibing" from the tainted waters will sap your strength spiritually, and will dishonor the Savior, Jesus Christ.
These "omissions" and "attacks" on God's Holy Bible are strictly warned against. "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the prophecy, God shall take his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." [Revelation 22:18-19]
Christian, we must do as the sluice box does, catch (or save) the gold!
To be prepared to catch the gold, we must believe The BOOK!
We must all perform a dredging operation while we are in this old world.
And just as the sluice box does, we must do. We must save the gold! We must constantly wash out and break up the clumps of junk and sluice out the worthless lighter material, while we retain (or catch)... the gold!
TO CATCH THE GOLD:
1. You must prepare your heart by meditating on His word. This means believing that every word in this BOOK is the very word of God.
2. You must be involved in believing Bible study without resorting to the NEW AGE TRANSLATIONS, i.e. NIV, NASV, NKV, ASV, RV, RSV.
3. Be prepared for the Devil's big question! "Yea, hath God said....?"
4. Remember what the Old Preacher said, "Believing is belief, and unbelieving is unbelief!"
WHAT IS THE GOLD?
The gold is the word of God!
We must save it in ... the whole heart...the believing heart...the heart that sees by faith.
That is our part.
Do not worry about the so-called errors or contradictions in the Bible.
God will take care of that! God keeps (or preserves) His word, IN SPITE OF MEN!
"Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
... Bible 1611 - King James Bible Study
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