(Preached on Sunday, March 21, 2004 in Locodjro, Abidjan – Ivory Coast)
1 First of all, I want to talk a little about Genesis 4:15-16. Let’s take our Bibles then. [Ed: Brother Philippe reads Genesis 4:9 to 16]. Well, I would like to insist on verses 15 and 16. We see there one of the very first courts of humanity. Cain was tried and condemned to execution but appealed. To the supreme authority, he was condemned to be marked by a spirit. And according to verse 16, he left presence of God. Why? Because it was under the grace. First, it was the law: "Do not do this, do not eat that…" and when Adam and Eve fell and God smote them and drove them out in his Anger, one day God went down to the Garden, and He remembered them and changed that law into grace and went even towards them as He did in Jesus towards us for our sins.
2 A sign or a seal in the Bible means in this sense a spirit. God put an evil spirit upon Cain. From that moment, when Cain was sleeping, he saw in his dreams that he was fighting with, killing and wounding people causing them to bleed. Because the sign that had been put upon him was a spirit of murder and he should look for being delivered from it for him not to go to hell. If he is delivered from that spirit, at the last judgment, that crime will not be imputed to him. But also, if he is not delivered, as soon as God sees him coming, he will see that sign on him and He will know that it’s the assassin of Abel. And until his death, Cain will never stop seeing those things in dream. It’s hell shouting against him.
3 And after that, one day, he masturbated and spilled his seed of copulation upon the ground like Onan in Genesis 38, the ground cried to God for a curse without any cause upon it and God put another sign upon Cain. Then, in some dreams, he would defile himself and sometimes he woke up, defiled in his seed of copulation. Why? God had put upon him a spirit that caused his seed to spill upon himself to defile him. The curse he threw upon the ground fell on himself and on all that belonged to him and on all that he laid his hand on. Each sin put a sign upon Cain. Then, he had had a sexual relation with a woman for whom he had not paid the dowry and now, he had sexual relations with women in dream, he was eating in dream, he was flying away in dream, he was pursued in dream…What is this? Under the law, he deserved death but under the grace, God put signs which are evil spirits upon him and gave him the opportunity to be delivered before his death and have the eternal Life through a prophet messenger that He would send on earth. Yet, the same way God dealt at the beginning, thus will He deal up to us. Amen!
4 Now I would like to tackle the subject which refers to the comparison between Darby, Ostervald, David Martin and Louis Segond bibles. The same way the Church has a history, thus has the Bible had a history too. I have gone through a few books of history. And I have nothing to rectify of all that I have preached to this day. History confirms the true Word of God. I saw like Eusebius, Polycarp, Cyprian, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley and all the others.
5 But I am not saying that it is on the basis of such things or such errors that King James or Louis Segond is of devil but on the basis of the revelation that I have received on April 24, 1993. And holding those bibles, it is to choose to go to hell. According to Matthew 16:18-19, the Lord Jesus Christ promised to build his Church upon the spiritual revelation. That is what is important for us. Burning the Louis Segond bible is nothing as compared to what our ancestors experienced at the advent of Christianity. They had powerful fetishes which gave them children, all kinds of blessings, "benefactors" geniuses… And suddenly, somebody appears and says that all that is bad and they must burn those fetishes. That was hard, harder for people who could not read… but those poor illiterates burnt those fetishes. And at the judgment, I tell you that those souls will come to the judgment and will condemn these Catholics, Protestants, evangelicals and Branhamists today.
6 And today, while you know how to read, you have raised statues of Peter, of Paul, Mary, Jesus in your churches. And you are asked to break them whereas you know how to read. And you say: "No, we cannot do that, they are statues of Peter, of Paul…" But, what are you doing with the bible in your hands now? God will condemn you. Some illiterates will raise at the judgment to condemn you. You sons of the devil Catholics, you sons of the devil Protestants, evangelicals, Branhamists. You sons of the devil, hell is reserved for you. And you say: "No, we cannot break that, they are statues of Peter, the man to whom Jesus gave the keys and those are the statues of Jesus Himself, it was the bishop himself who brought them last year". But, some insignificant men like us were telling your fathers to break those statues because Satan was behind them. Those who are of God obeyed. You see? Satan behind holy things? Behind a statue of Jesus Himself? Behind even a bible? That is what man does not understand…
7 Now, I would like to say things that might scandalize some: Know that if in William Branham’s days somebody comes to baptise by aspersion, that his name is Martin Luther or John Wesley, he is a false prophet! And today while the Church is at midnight, and in accordance with the revelation of the hour, if somebody comes to preach, using two or several versions of the Bible, he is a false prophet, a liar even if his name is Martin Luther, John Wesley or William Branham. You see? He is a liar because where such version proves him wrong, such other version will prove him right. [Ed: The congregation says, "Amen!"].
8 But how was the Bible transmitted up to this day, that’s what I want to talk about now. First, the books of the Old Testament were written in Hebrew but Daniel 2:4 to Daniel 7:28 was written in Aramaic, the official language of the East since the 8th century before Jesus Christ, while the New Testament is in old Greek.
9 Now notice this: after the cover of the Darby version, it is written: "Translated from the original Hebrew and Greektexts" and after the cover of Louis Segond, it is also written: "translated from the original Hebrew and Greek texts", and yet it is not the same original text. The translation of the quasi-totality of the bibles that we see comes from the "textusreceptus" that is to say, received text, a Latin transposition by Erasmus of Rotterdam from the original-master texts with a harmonisation because of public readings. That is to say, he takes Ezekiel 1:1 and translates it word for word in the following manner: "In the middle of - and I - of the month - the fifth - the fourth - year - in the thirtieth - and it occurred - of Elohim - visions -and I saw - the Heavens - were opened - Chebar - the river - on - of the deportation".
10 What leads to confusion is that, this text is also called: "original texts" while it is already translated into Latin, French, English… And it is that text which was used for the translation of several versions, that text was used for the translation of William Tyndale, that text was used for the translation of King James, for the translation of the doctor of theology John Frederick Ostervald, for the translation of the reformer Martin Luther in the 16th century. They are revisions of translation. I have nothing against a faithful translation from one language to another but it is a revision of translation. Amen! I learnt that one of the fifty-four translators of King James was so good at languages that if he was there, at the tower of Babel, at the time when God confounded the languages, he would be an interpreter. You see?
11 But from among those translators, like John Nelson Darby, William Tyndale, this worthy son of God impacted his epoch; he had a nobler mission than that of translating the Bible. Like Darby, he could speak Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English, Italian, Spanish and French, so much that each one of these languages could have been his mother tongue. His misfortune was meeting Erasmus of Rotterdam, the author of the Textus Receptus. William Tyndale said in 1522 at Cambridge, "I challenge the pope and all his laws, and if God grants me to live long, I will make that, in England, the boy that drives the plough know more of the Scriptures than the pope himself." William Tyndale was imprisoned and then burnt alive on October 06, 1536 and when the flames were wrapping him, he raised this prayer: "O Lord, open the eyes of the king of England…" Amen!
12 For public readings, the "Textus Receptus" was carefully harmonized. Thus, there was an addition of a multitude of verses in the Old and New Testament. For example, there was an addition of a 14th verse to Matthew 23 in order to harmonize this text with that of Mark 12:40. Addition of: "it is hard for thee to kick against goads. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him", that was added to Acts 9:5 and 6 with the view to harmonizing the text of Acts 9 with that of Acts 26:14.
13 And therefore all the translators of the bible who were inspired by that famous manuscript recopied most of these additions as they are unaware of it or they find it normal.
14 Thus, from the foundation of the Church, there were no texts gathered in a book as we see it, and that till the third century, the canon Muratori and in 382, preacher Jerome began the translation of the vulgate. He had spent nineteen years at Bethlehem and could perfectly speak Hebrew and Greek. It was not the version inspired by God like Darby but God tolerated that and it was the Bible that was used for the translation of tens of others for more than ten centuries. Lefèvre d'Étaples translated it into French, John Wyclif translated it into English… But Hebrew and Greek words were replaced by their synonyms or their equivalents. Thus, "penitence" was put instead of "repentance". For example, if you steal, you must do penance! You must knee upon some gravel under a blazing sun with a twenty-kilogram brick upon your head and then God will forgive you.
15 Then secondly, in the 16th century, at the request of the Vaudois, preacher Robert Olivetan, cousin of John Calvin, translated from the originals a better version than the vulgate, a version which was published in 1535 and which was used as a support for the bible of Geneva, of Ostervald and for the synodal one… This version remained the most faithful to the original-master texts until that of the lawyer John Nelson Darby in 1859.
16 And the edition of Olivetan was prefaced by John Calvin in these terms and that impressed me a lot …I will read that: "To all the emperors, kings, princes and people of the earth of God… This sacred work does not have a recent origin. It does not also seem to us that does it needs men’s approbation. In the same way, our adversaries will murmur and feel offended. What does it mean, if not that they reproach God for having permitted this good? Oh! If they had lived at the time when Philip had four virgin daughters who prophesied, how they would have found it difficult to bear with them! …
17 But if they come across some of these sides, I invite them not to attack and not to blame a scholar who did deserve some precious studies. As for those whose no consideration can contain the pen or the tongue, I ask them to remember that it is very easy to storm with slanders, and that, in this concern, the gossips of the crossroads themselves will always get the better of the most skilful rhetors… Let them know that they are dealing with a man who can be attacked with impunity, without fearing the reciprocity of a language with no restraint, but let them not expect any great glory from their venomous eloquence.
18 But you, O noble little and despised Church, go and wash your dirty hands for having made the servile work of iniquity! Clean your very sticky eyes of superstition! Receive this Word, promise and Testament… where you will be able to see the will of Christ, the Bridegroom of yours and take leave of your masters and that cruel mother who you called mother for so long. This good is yours! The good habit has it from any seniority to be so and those who give it to you will hold on to get a great gain. However, it remains entirely to Him that gives it to you". This is the preface that John Calvin wrote for the Olivetan bible. Amen!
19 The three versions are traditional translations that is, literal but, almost all the other versions of bible are modern translations said "classic".
20 The traditional versions try to show what the original said and even how it said it while the classic or modern versions try to show what the original meant through theological, linguistic, archaeological and scientific discoveries.
21 That is a pure interpretation, because the care for comprehension belongs to God. Why did not God use a simpler language? Hebrew having no vowel. Should the Bible be lowered to the level of man or man be raised to the level of the Bible? Yet the sacred cannot be adapted knowing that man in his culture, his language… is constantly evolving and pervert himself. You see that we are heading for a translation for the man of the street. I can already hear say that Jesus wore white clothes in Tergal with hidden seam lines. Because it is the equivalent for the coats, tunics, long robes and bubus of the East.
22 It is necessary to say what the original said, with the words and how it was said. I prefer the sacred expression of God that I find it difficult to understand. And those who do not have any notion of the sacred or who were not born and did not grow up beside the sacred must keep quiet…
23 The parchments, scrolls, skins and sheep scapulas can be replaced but the text must be left as such. If the Bible should be understood directly, Philip should advise another version to the Ethiopian eunuch. In the traditional translation, the vocabulary comprises words whose meaning has progressed and a style very distant from that of today. The words were not replaced by their equivalents but the classic translation is an adaptation, an evolution of the sacred. Which is a work of the devil. For example, Ephesians 1:3-14 is a sentence in the Greek original and it should be translated the way it is. If the sacred should progress, one day, it will not be sacred any longer. Developed or obsolete words must be noted at the foot of page.
24 And we see that people approve such version in such language and such other version in such part of the world and yet, these versions contradict one another. For example, the Louis Segond version is used by Protestant and evangelical churches in the French speaking countries. The King James version is used by Protestant and evangelical churches in some English speaking countries. And so on. In some countries it is Ostervald, in others it is David Martin… If God approves that then He must do the same with the churches! You see?...
25 And to end, I would like to say something: since the beginning of this Message, talking about the versions of the Bible, I wanted to say only one thing, a secret for us who believe this Message: for our time the John Nelson Darby Bible is not a version of the Bible but the Bible Itself and that is a secret. But note that you can possess Darby and go to hell because what saves is the Message of the living prophet of your time.
26 [Ed: Brother Philippe prays while the congregation is singing]: Oh! God, always send us some prophets! I am not the first and I will not be the last but when You send a prophet after me, give to our children to recognize him because the greatest blessing on earth is the living prophet… Just as in his time the elect recognized Moses, just as in his time the elect recognized Jeremiah, just as in his time the elect recognized the prophets, just as when you were on the Earth, the elect recognized you, just as today, the elect living in this time have recognized me, make sure that after me, when You send prophets on the earth, our children may recognize them. This is my prayer Lord. Grant us that Lord! Thank you Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!