About the Author

Thomas Ray Floyd was born in 1953 in Simpson County, Mississippi, the son of Roy Thomas Floyd and Lina Sue Shows Floyd. Thomas Ray's mother was a member of a Primitive Baptist church, and he cut his teeth on the doctrines of distinguishing grace.

When he was a small boy, his father was converted to Christ and became a member of a Missionary Baptist Church. Thomas Ray joined the church of his father when he was 13 years old, and thought of himself as a Christian. The doctrines of grace that he had heard as a child continued to be precious to him and when he became an adult, he joined a Primitive Baptist Church. When he was 27, Thomas Ray made his first effort to preach the gospel in public and was ordained to the full functions of the ministry in 1985. In 1986 he was convinced under the preaching of Rolfe Barnard (by tapes from Mt. Olive Tape Library), the written sermons of Spurgeon, and the ministry of Elder Zack Guess that he had been a false professor and cried out in agony of soul to the Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy and truly save him. And He did! Floyd then began to preach the gospel as he had been taught of the Lord.

Floyd has pastored churches in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee and until recently was pastor of a church plant known as "Particular Baptist Fellowship." He and his wife Brenda presently attend Zion Baptist Church at Polkville, Mississippi, pastored by Elder Glen Hopkins. The pulpit ministry of Zion Baptist Church can be heard at Sermonaudio.com.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Preservation of Scripture -- Part III

(Article for publication week of 2-3-2010 AD)

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).

Our Lord Jesus Christ assured us that He would preserve His word as long as the world shall stand. We can be confident that we still have the inspired, infallible Word of God in our generation.

The Lord has preserved His word for the English-speaking people in the Authorized Translation (a.k.a. the KJV). Our Authorized translation is based on the underlying Greek Text known as the Received Text. This is the Greek text that was used by the Waldenses during the Dark Ages when Anti-Christ was endeavoring to keep the word of God from the common people. The Received Text is the text that has been used by the True church since the days of the Apostles. There are fragments of it going all the way back to the first century.

The received text was the Greek text that William Tyndale used to translate the Bible into English in the sixteenth century. William Tyndale was a most Godly man and was put to death for his work. He told one of the "priests" of the anti-Christ that one day "the boy who drives the plow will know more scripture than you." The Received Text was also used by Martin Luther in translating the Bible into German. The Received Text was also the Greek text from which the Geneva Bible was translated. Then in 1611, the King of England commissioned fifty-four of the ablest Greek and Hebrew scholars of that day, or any day since to translate the scriptures into English. This is the translation known as the Authorized or King James Version. The translators used the Received Text and copied about eighty per cent of the Geneva Bible. It is also close to Tyndale's translation. The Received Text is the text of the Reformation and the Puritans. The men who used it hazarded their lives to bring us the Word of God in our own language.

Most modern translations of the Bible are derived from a corrupt text compiled by Westcott and Hort in the nineteenth century. The Westcott and Hort text is derived from the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus, not the Received Text. Westcott and Hort were probably not Christians (the Lord knoweth). There are many questionable things concerning their beliefs and lives. The proponents of the Westcott and Hort text claim that it is derived from "older and better manuscripts." What they do not tell you is that the manuscripts are older because they were not in use by the True Church. The oldest copies were worn out from use, and were preserved by reliable copies that we know as the Received Text. God has preserved His word through the usage of His people, not by putting it in a cave or a trash can.

We have many reasons for using the Authorized Translation and the other translations based on the Received Text. We will consider them in next week's article, Lord willing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Preservation of Scripture -- Part II

(Article for publication week of 1-27-2010 AD)

"....His truth endureth to all generations" (Psalm 100:5b).

God has promised to preserve His Word to all generations. As long as the world shall stand, God's Word will be kept pure and be available for those who seek God. There has never been a generation that did not have the word of God somewhere on the earth. This is a truth that has always been under attack. Satan is always whispering, 'hath God said?" (Genesis 3:1).

One of the ways that Satan has questioned the Word of God is by suggesting that since the original manuscripts are not available, we cannot be sure we have the Word of God. This is a lie according to the Bible, for God has promised He will preserve His Word to all generations.

When you have time, turn to the thirty-sixth chapter of Jeremiah and read it in its entirety. Here is an amazing account of God faithfully keeping His Word to all generations. In this chapter we read that the first thirty-five chapters of Jeremiah's prophecy were presented to the king. It made him so mad, he cut the scrolls in pieces with his knife and threw it into the fire. According to the modernists and the "higher critics", this would have been the end of the Book of Jeremiah, because the "original" was destroyed. But as we continue reading through Jeremiah thirty-six, we see that God gave Jeremiah the exact words again and they were written down by his scribe. Although the original was destroyed, God preserved His Word just as He has promised.

It is true that as far as we know, none of the original manuscripts of the scriptures are in existence. However, God has preserved His Word through reliable copies. These copies can be, and have been studied through the centuries so that we know we have the Word of God in its purity.

In His Divine and Sovereign Providence, God has preserved His word through the usage of His people. Under the Old Testament, this was committed primarily to the priests. Under the New Testament, God has committed the preservation of His word to His people who are all "kings and priests (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6). If you ever hear somebody say they found a "better manuscript" in a trash can somewhere, mark it down they are lying, or misinformed. Although the originals were worn out through usage, other pure copies were made and passed down to us in what is known as the "Textus Receptus" (the Greek New Testament).

But someone may ask, "How do we know some copyist or printer did not make mistake?" I will answer this way. I have on my shelf a well-worn Oxford Bible in the Authorized Translation. There is a printer's error in I John 2:1-2. The reason I know it is an error is because I have several other copies and I worship with the Lord's people who also have copies. This same principle applies to all the manuscripts down through the ages. When there was a printing or copyist error, it was corrected by the multitude of other copies available to the Church.

I have no doubt that I have the pure Word of God to read, study, and preach from. God has preserved His Word to our generation. May the Lord bless you all, my dear readers.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Preservation of Scripture

(Article for publication week of 1-13-2010 AD)

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).

My text this week is a precious scripture to me personally. It is one of the first scriptures I memorized at the prompting of one of my faithful pastors when I was a little boy. Our Lord Jesus Christ affirmed in this verse that He would preserve His word for all time.

This truth of the preservation of the scriptures is declared all through the Bible. Another verse we all learned in our childhood was Psalm 100:5 ". . . His truth endureth to all generations." (See also Psalm 119:89, 152, 160; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18 and I Peter 1:25.)

Not only do the scriptures plainly declare the preservation of scripture, but we can also be confident of the preservation of scripture because of the sovereign providence of God. Nothing happens in this world by chance, but everything is according to the predestinating purpose of God. God upholds His word by His sovereign will, and causes all things to work for His eternal glory and the eternal good of His people. (See Romans 8:28.)

We also are confident of the preservation of scripture because of God's promise to preserve His people in the state of grace and work in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure and to sanctify them through His truth (John 10:27-30; Philippians 2:12-13, John 17:17). God sanctifies His people through the means of His word; therefore He will preserve His word for His people's preservation. We are confident that God has preserved His word to our generation.

Now, look back at our text. Jesus said His WORDS will not pass away. The first thing we emphasize is that Jesus said He will preserve His "WORDS", not just His "word". We therefore conclude that every word of the Lord has been preserved for us. Jesus said in Matthew 5:18 not one jot or tittle shall pass away until all is fulfilled. God has preserved not only every word, but also every letter and small marking. As a matter of fact Paul bases a theological argument on one letter in Galatians 3:16 (go read it). We are confident that our Bible has the complete word of God and nothing has been lost.

The next thing we see from Matthew 24:35 is that there are no "lost" books of the Bible. From time to time bogus claims have been made of "lost" books that were left out of the Bible. Our Lord promised His words shall not pass away. All of these so-called "lost" books have been shown to be fraud since they were not received by the Church in the Apostolic times, they are not self-authenticating, they do not consent with the scriptures, and they do not testify of Christ.

Dear people of God, you may be confident that we have every word of God preserved for our generation. Do not believe the "higher " (they should be called "lower") critics when they try to tell you by their "notes" in their "study" translations that certain verses are not in the "original" and other lies they tell to lead the sheep astray. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but God's word shall endure to all generations. Thank God for His inspired and preserved word.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Canon of Scripture Closed

(Article for publication week of 1-6-2010 AD)

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, 'if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:' " (Revelation 22:18).

When the New Testament was completed, the canon of scripture was finished. Christ and His apostles confirmed the canon of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament, and after our Lord's ascension, the Holy Spirit inspired the apostles and their assistants to write the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. The New Testament books were received by the early churches as canonical through the confirmation of the Apostles and by extraordinary signs and wonders.

We have in the sixty-six books of the Bible the complete revelation of God's will. Everything that God wants us to know for now is found in the Bible. We have the clear light of the law and the gospel. The way of salvation is clearly revealed in the Old and New Testaments. As we have shown in previous articles, all things in scripture are not equally clear, but the way of salvation is so clear and simple a little child can understand it, if the Holy Spirit opens the heart. All of the sixty-six books of the Bible are self-authenticating. All of them give consent to one another. And all of them concern our Lord Jesus Christ.

All writings since the completion of the New Testament that claim to be inspired are bogus and are to be rejected as being the word of God. We know the Koran is not an inspired book from God. First of all it does not consent with the scriptures. Secondly, it does not testify of the Lord Jesus Christ. And thirdly, it was written too late. The mad man and pedophile, Mohammed that wrote it is in hell along with every other Christ rejecter. And those who follow him and the Koran will be cast into hell with him. We know the book of Mormon is not an inspired book because it was not written until the nineteenth century, too late to be an inspired writing. Nor does it consent with the scriptures nor testify of the Lord Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith has been in hell over a century now, and all his followers will be there with him.

The scriptures pronounce certain judgment on any who would add to the Holy Scriptures. My dear readers, I cannot warn you too strongly to beware of all writings, which add to the scriptures. If you value your never dying soul, take heed how you hear and whom you hear and what you read. The thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament tell us Who made us, what He expects of us, and how we may be justified before Him. No other writings of men are to be received as authoritative. If anyone tries to tell you they have a book or books that add to the scriptures, know that they are not telling you the truth. The canon of the scripture has been closed.