Saturday, August 2, 2014

William Tyndale - Gave His Life For the Word of God

Driving the M4 toward Bristol, you’ll see a tall tower up on a ridge. The tower is called the Tyndale monument. On the monument is the statement that Wm Tyndale first translated the NT into English from the Greek. (insert marker here) (from the Greek-Wycliffe had done it from the Vulgate-not as accurate). He was martyred 10/6/1536.
Born near Bristol around 1494, His family was from the valley of the Tyn. Hence “Tyndale”. He was registered at Oxford at 13, got his bachelors at 17. He went to Cambridge got his Masters at 20 in 1515. Think about this year for a second. It was 2 years before Martin Luther nailed his theses on the church door in Wittenburg, Germany. This is only 23 years after Columbus sailed. It’s the age of Da Vinci and Michelangelo, Its Renaissance and Reformation. It was also the age of the great philosopher and translator, Erasmus. He didn't study under Erasmus but he was the one who compiled the Greek new testament that was later used as the basis for the KJV. Tyndale studied all of Erasmus’ writings but especially the Greek New Testament.
But remember; when it came to religion, there was only one church.
I hear people say, we shouldn't have all these different churches. We Christians are all divided. Well if having one church leads to the corruption and the false doctrine of salvation that the Catholic church was guilty of in the middle ages, then I’m glad there are many different kinds of churches. In fact, I say the more the merrier! BUT, let’s try to love one another, and not tear each other down. I know men who are Bible church pastors, Methodists, and reformed Baptist, and Christian Missionary Alliance, and even Church of Christ folks, that I would stand shoulder to shoulder with, because I know they love the Lord and hold fast to sound doctrine. I also know of folks in all those groups that I would have to graciously decline to work with because there are problems with their doctrines and Bible beliefs. Unfortunately there are some Baptists that fall into that category, too.
But in Tyndale’s day, the RCC (Roman Catholic Church) had a monopoly. And neither they nor the government allowed people to start their own church. Tyndale and his colleagues began to discuss what was going on with Luther in Germany. And the reform work that Erasmus was talking about. They met at the White Horse, a pub in Cambridge, talking about the corruption in the RCC, and some folks didn't like that. In fact, people began to make accusations against them that were unfounded. Tyndale didn't mind being lied about but he didn't want to be classified as a troublemaker; he wanted to make a difference.
So He left school and got a job as a tutor, Sir John Walsh was his employer. Sir John was close to King Henry and took part in the Kings Coronation. (He was the King’s champion, a ceremonial post sort of like an unofficial head of the Secret Service.) Tyndale was treated like a member of the family and met many great guests and got to discuss the issues of the day. Often Tyndale disagreed with the guests but he always humbly pointed them toward the answer found in scripture.
Pretty soon he was invited to preach at churches all over the area. He started preaching out doors for the crowds. But that got him in trouble. A local priest branded him as a heretic, and threatened to expel those that went to hear him from the church. Remember, there’s only one church.
He wrote around that time that while he was sowing in one field, the devil was working in another. He said, “what can I do? I can’t be everywhere at once. Oh if only Christians had the Bible in their own language.”
He was brought up on charges, but nobody stood up to accuse him so he was dismissed. That was good but the priest got angrier. They got a theologian to come and try to fix him. The theologian was very impressed with Tyndale’s knowledge of scripture, but as he realized that the more Tyndale knew of scripture the further he got from the Catholic Church. So he said, it would be better for a person to be without God’s word than be without the pope.
That horrified Tyndale, that this man would put the pope above the Bible. He said a famous statement at that time: “I defy the Pope, and all his laws; and if God spares my life, I will cause the boy that drives the plow in England to know more of the Scriptures than he (the pope) does!” He was determined to get the scriptures into people hands.

       As much as 85% of the KJV was copied straight from Tyndale.

He went to London to visit with Bishop Tunstall who was known a great Greek scholar. He wanted to go to work for him to translate the Bible. But the Bishop was uncomfortable with the Bible in the people’s language. Isn't that odd? A bishop who didn't want people to read the Bible.
He didn't know what to do but realized he couldn't translate the Bible in England. So he traveled to Germany and later France. This is still before Luther began his break from the church.
He hired a printer to begin to print his New Testament version. Matthew and Mark were printed, but one of the workers let it slip that they were printing a Bible in English. The authorities shut it down. But before they did Tyndale and his helper grabbed arm loads of printed sheets and had them sent out and smuggled into England.
He found another printer, and in 1526 the first copies of the NT in English began to show up in England. They smuggled them inside bales of wool and sacks of grain. In London, Bishop Tunstall found out about it, condemned it, had copies publicly burned and warned booksellers not to carry it. 1 shilling and 8 pence would get you a bound copy of the NT. About half a week’s labor for the common man. Many, many copies made it to England. The more the King and the church opposed it, the more people wanted it. It got to the point where a person risked death if they were caught with a Bible.
A new archbishop had a new plan. Buy them all up. They were able to buy a fresh load coming in, but what he didn't know was that the seller was sympathetic to Tyndale and he turned all the money over to Tyndale who then could pay for another large printing of the NT. Tyndale was wanted ‘dead or alive’. He also published a number of other books. He was the most popular writer in England. King Henry got a copy from Anne Boleyn and really liked it at first.
Tyndale then decided he needed to get the OT (Old Testament) into the hands of the plowman, too. Problem: Nobody was teaching Hebrew at this time. There was a lot of anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe at this time and Jewish people who knew Hebrew who would teach it to gentiles were rare as were gentiles willing to work with a Jew.
How did he learn it? Nobody knows. He was proficient in 8 languages so he might have taught himself.
He finished the Pentateuch (First 5 books of the OT) in 1529. But something happened. He was in a shipwreck off the coast of Holland. He lost his manuscripts, his money, and all copies of the Pentateuch. He was discouraged. But he ran into an old college buddy, Miles Coverdale. Coverdale encouraged him. In one year the Pentateuch was redone and published. He did Jonah and other books in 1531. Back in England, Sir Thomas More (an English lawyer, philosopher, author, statesman, churchman, Renaissance humanist and important Councillor to Henry VIII. Also Lord Chancellor from 1529 to 1532) had written against him. Tyndale replied to him in print and that was spread around England. Many friends were harassed and tortured. Merchants were ruined. King Henry petitioned Charles the 5th of Germany to hand over Tyndale. In early 1534 Thomas Poyntz took him in. He was a relative of the lady Tyndale had worked for many years ago, Mrs.Walsh.
While with the Poyntz he completed a revision of the NT in 1534. But in 1535 somebody hired a friend of Tyndale's, a man named Phillips, to kidnap Tyndale. Tyndale was arrested and placed in the castle at Flanders in Belgium. He was there for 500 days, but during that time he wrote a book “Faith alone justifies before God.”
Many people visited him. Many tried to get him to recant his beliefs to get forgiveness from the church. But his work continued even while in prison. There is a letter he wrote to the prison governor. He asked him to get him a warmer cap and coat, a piece of cloth for his legs. These were things that he owned that were taken away when he was imprisoned. He also asked for a candle. Then he said “above all…permit me to have my Hebrew Bible, Hebrew grammar, and Hebrew dictionary.” He was STILL working. His friend Coverdale had completed an OT translated from Latin not Hebrew. Matthew completed one too. Both had Tyndale’s NT, and much of his OT. They dedicated their Bibles to King Henry. By now the old Bishops had died and King Henry’s advisers said that this Bible was very accurate. SO, Henry said, every church in England should have one. This was the answer to Tyndale’s prayer.
Tyndale only finished about half the OT when he died, but the Geneva Bible came along in 1560 relying heavily on Tyndale and somewhat on Coverdale and Matthew. Then in 1611, the KJV, the most published Bible in the world-and 80 to 85% of it was Tyndale’s.
Yet Tyndale died in prison for his faith.

And as those Bibles with Tyndale’s work spread all over England, things began to happen. First there was an English reformation where the church broke off from Rome. But it didn't reform very much so other groups came into being. They wanted to purify the church and make it holy again. They got the nickname puritans.
They were not allowed to worship as they wished so they went to different places. Some came to America.
Many died. But through God’s providence He brought pagan native Americans to help them survive. And yes, many bad things happened to the native Americans and to the settlers over the years. But many of these believers from England reached out to the Indians with the gospel. And many were saved.

Because Faith alone justifies-Faith in Christ and His work frees us from all the penalties of sin before God.

Do you have faith in God? Have you put your faith in Jesus Christ and His death for you on the cross? Have you turned from your sinful ways and knelt at the feet of the risen Christ?

Importance of Word of God in the hands of the people. You need the Bible to know God!

We must preach the Word of God. Proclaiming a It as believers.

We must believe in the sufficiency of the Word of God. It is enough. Traditions aren’t needed. Just preach and read the scriptures.

The Word must be our authority. Acts 5 …you decide, as for us we must obey God rather than man. The Word of God is higher than any earthly authority. We are to try every spirit.

We must embrace the Word of God ourselves. Many have debated scripture without embracing its truth.

Don’t be discouraged when bringing the word of God. Don’t let setbacks stop you.

And remember the greatest lesson of scripture was the title of one of Tyndale’s books: Faith alone justifies before God.

What kind of faith is this that people have spent their lives for? What kind of faith is it that people have died for? It’s the faith revealed to us in this book.
Here it is in a nutshell: God almighty has revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ. And Jesus saves!

For more information:
William Tyndale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Thanks Dad

Today, Jared Moore wrote a tribute to his recently departed dad that was very good! It’s here:
It struck me as I read it how many of these things I could apply to my father and I was chagrined that I had not thought of all these things. So I'm using some of his headings and adding a couple myself, maybe they'll stir your own thoughts.
Now I know none of our dads were perfect. Some of us had less functional dads than others; some have no earthly father that they know. As sad as that is, I'm grateful for a father that taught me a little about my heavenly Father. And for those with horrible fathers, know that God is everything your earthly father wasn't.
If he wasn't faithful, know the Almighty is. If he wasn't generous, God has lavished His grace upon us. If he wasn't there, then remember, God is our very present help.
But dad, if I could talk to you, I would say. . .
Thank you for reading the Bible in front of me when I was a young boy. I don't remember it clearly, it’s a vague image of the family gathered in the living room. But I know it happened. I have your Bible now and know it wasn't unread.
Thank you for dragging me to church. I didn't often truly enjoy it. But I found that I was loved by folks, and looked at with favor because of the kind of people you and mom are. More importantly, I heard the gospel time after time. And God's word is surely a hammer that shatters the rock hard heart.
Thank you for teaching me that you need Jesus. You admitted to me your faults on occasion. I’m glad I don't have perfection to try to live up to! Your hard-working, stoically suffering, high integrity persona is hard enough. But I know, you knew, you needed Jesus.
Thank you for helping others in private. I know you were a faithful giver. I don't know what all you did for others. But I inherited this someplace! I can't help but think that you were free with your money as you were with the time you gave to others.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of honesty and integrity concerning vocation. You were a hard worker. You seemed to enjoy it for crying out loud! You worked at Randolph AFB as I was growing up and then you'd come home and work. I'm glad you liked to sit and watch football and baseball; otherwise I'd feel guilty about sitting around as much as I do! But also, you were an honest guy. Not just because you handled the church's money and their 'books' with integrity, but you always expected me to tell the truth!
Thank you for serving your country. To know that you were part of the military machine that brought an end to the holocaust, set Europe free and ended the scourge of the Nazi's and others, makes me proud of you. And I hope I too would rise to the occasion if it was required of good men to take up arms.
Thank you for demonstrating humility. Both when you apologized to me once when I was a kid - You weren't doing something right by the family but I didn't really know what you were talking about - but I know you felt bad about it and wanted us to know you did. But also when I stood behind you as a boy, when you walked into your boss’s office to ask off time to take me to the doctor, when I was having way too many doctor visits. I'll never forget that image. You were there in suit and tie, standing at attention in front of your boss's desk, telling him you needed to go a little early to accompany mom and me to my specialist. And the way he looked at you. There was interest in your explanation and what now seems to be a bit of deference on his part. I remember thinking at the time that you were older than him, why was he the boss? But you seemed to command respect and a certain gravitas there as well as at home.
And while I’m not going to thank you for your temper, I’m glad to know there were things that were important to you and you backed them up. I know you wouldn’t abide back-talk, and now that I am grown, makes sense! I know you didn’t want us back-talking or disrespecting mom, too. I’m glad you backed her up as well. I remember you giving a certain uncle some significant grief when he lit up a cigarette after you informed him that smoking was no longer tolerated in our house. Dude! I thought you were going to hit him!
And dad, I bet there are an awful lot of life lessons I learned from you that I don’t even know I did. But I will say, I don’t know that my older brothers share all these views. I think you mellowed with age. I think you were probably harder on them, less reasonable at times, and I think I was probably a tad too much afraid of you growing up. So, I didn’t want to my kids to be afraid of me. Maybe I could have used a bit more of that ‘fear’ factor, but so be it. I do know you were a bit ‘easy’ on your only daughter and to a little boy that hardly seemed fair. But now that I am older I know you were a lot easier on me, the baby of the family, than you were on my siblings. And for that, I am glad!

I love ya dad. I wish you could hear this. And say hi to mom and my big brother Paul. But I imagine the heavenly plane is so far beyond my existence it’s a faint memory to you. So suffice it to say. I've said my thanks, expressed my heart, and I’ll see ya someday, and oh what a day that will be.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Death and Life in Christ: On the Loss of My Brother Paul

2Co 1:3  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ.
1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

On Tuesday of this week, when Marney and I were driving home from Houston after enjoying Memorial Day with our kids and grandkids, I received a phone call from my brother John that our older brother Paul had died. He had just turned 72 years old.
It was a bit of a surprise. I knew he’d battled cancer for over a year. But I had just learned on Sunday that He had become very ill in the last few weeks. And within 48 hours of learning that, He passed on.

All of us here have lost loved ones. And I know you didn’t know my brother Paul, but I just want to say a few things about Him and about death and the believer.

We just celebrated Memorial day, and my brother, both actually, were Navy veterans. They served during the Viet Nam conflict. And I’m glad they both came home safely.
My brother was also a master electrician, and late in life an interstate truckdriver.
He was also a graduate of Southwestern Seminary here in Fort Worth. His undergrad was in History from Old Dominion University in Va. And for close to 20 years he served in several churches in south and central Texas; including First Baptist Canyon Lake, Tx. It was his pastor from those days who preached his funeral. And I was glad also that I got to play a role in that.

My brother was a little over 12 years older than me. So I spent all my childhood years looking up to him. I was 7 when I saw him going off to college. I was about 12 when after coming home from the Navy he lived at home for a little while and left early every morning for work.
Then, he went to Seminary a little later in life, and I was going to Bible College in the late 70s while he was in Seminary so we had something in common in those days despite the difference of years

Paul Dunlap left behind a wife of 45 years, Ruth, who was a preacher’s daughter.  Also two sons and a daughter, each of whom have children of their own, all of whom loved their dad and grandfather.

Paul and Me
When I look at his life, it wasn’t one of great material wealth. He never won the Nobel Prize or earned a PhD. He never was famous or rubbed shoulders with the famous. But who wouldn’t call 45 years of a good marriage a great success? Who wouldn’t call three children, who all are born again believers, a great prize? Who wouldn’t call a man with nine grandkids, all of whom love him and look up to him, wealthy with the things that matter?

And yet we are saddened when they get to go on to their reward and hear Jesus say “Well Done, good and faithful servant!”
Why do we cry when the reality of their death strikes home?

His wife Ruth insisted that we have a memorial service that was a celebration of his life! And it was! I never saw her cry, but I’m sure she did. In fact, it may have been after all her family finally left and she was all alone Friday evening that she had a real good cry! I don’t know.
But I know this. Would any of us want or loved ones who have gone on to heaven, to leave the glory of God’s presence and come back?  I don’t think so!
Sure we hope to see them again! And we can!
Sure we would like to hear their voices again. And we can!
Sure we would like to feel their embrace.

But we serve the God of all Comfort!
Marney was sharing with me Friday as we drove home from New Braunfels, the lesson she learned so many years ago, when we were newlyweds and our best friends lost a little baby. We were devastated. We were grieving and hurting. But we saw in this young couple the comforting grace of the Holy Spirit. Yes they were hurting and sad, but they were comforting us and telling us, the Lord had given them His grace and He was comforting them.
Paul with my Grandson Phillip
     Marney knew at that time, that when the time comes for us to grieve the loss of a loved one, that the God of all comfort can even comfort us.

One of the ways He comforts us is to remind us of two things.
1)      For the Believer, death is not forever! 1Ths 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
Death is not nothingness! Death is not being swallowed up like a drop of water in some cosmic ocean of existence. It is real, we will be aware of what is going on, and we will have personal relationships. Not the least of which will be with our Lord and Savior the Man – Jesus Christ!
2)      And secondly God has a plan for the life after we leave this world! He will come get us. He will make a New Heaven and a New Earth. I think we will have work to do. Did you know that Adam and Eve had responsibilities before the Fall? Having a job to do was not part of God’s curse. Having to earn bread by the sweat of the brow, maybe, but not the idea of being engaged in a worthwhile task! That is a good thing?
      I don’t know what the future holds for all of us, but I know who holds the future!
      And here’s the bottom line. You know how we can best honor our loved ones who have gone on to be with Jesus Christ.  I can let others know how my brother came to be with Christ forever.
      Because at some point in his life, when he was just a youth, he realized He needed a Savior. Why? Because he was a sinner and sin separates us from God. Until a person understands that sin has offended a holy God and has brought God’s judgment on them, they will not understand they need a Savior.
But \knowing we are sinners, and who can deny that? We find out we can have peace with God, through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus volunteered to come and take our punishment!
God had people sacrifice bulls and goats in the Old Testament times as a sacrifice for sins. But it really didn’t pay the price. The Blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin!
But in the fullness of time, Jesus came. Jesus said, I will be the perfect Lamb of God. I will fulfill the law and therefor qualify to be the Lamb who CAN take away your sins.
So Jesus gave the first Gospel Invitation. He said: Come unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden, And I will give you rest!
What kind of labor was he talking about? Having a job? Earning a living? No. He was talking about the labor of trying to get into God’s heaven by doing good works!
Jesus just said, “Come to me.”
Have you come to Christ? Do you KNOW that you know that you know that your sins are forgiven? How can you go on another minute without knowing?

Come to Christ Now!