The Bible is the Final Authority

Friday, September 30, 2011

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3 KJV).

Most church members view their denomination/pastor/priest as the final authority. Satan uses religion to indoctrinate people with the “tradition of men” (Colossians 2:8). If the church says it is right, then it must be right. Right? WRONG! The written Word of God, not church tradition, is the standard by which we should measure spiritual things because the Bible alone speaks with God Almighty’s authority.All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16).

In Isaiah 8:19 the prophet mentions “them that have familiar spirits” and “wizards that peep and mutter”—evil spirits and false prophets. God urged Israel to distinguish Satan’s false prophets from His holy prophets by comparing their teaching to His written Word: “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (verse 20).

Even in Isaiah’s day (~2,700 years ago), God’s written Word was the standard by which everything was judged. The Bereans were notable for comparing their leaders’ teaching and preaching to the Old Testament (Acts 17:10,11). The Bible alone teaches God’s truth, so any contrary teaching was thereby exposed as satanic deception. According to Acts 17:2 and Acts 18:28, the Apostle Paul always appealed to the Old Testament Scriptures when evangelizing Jews (recall no New Testament had been written yet).

The Lord Jesus quoted the Old Testament: “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). Jesus Himself even read from the Bible in Luke 4:16-21! The New Testament quotes the Old Testament over 200 times (i.e., “as it is written…”).

According to the Bereans, Jesus Christ, the prophet Isaiah, and the Apostle Paul, the Bible is the final authority. God’s authority lies in the Holy Scriptures, not in any church hierarchy. No pastor, priest, or pope shares the Bible’s authority. The King James Bible is always the final authority, not religious tradition (Matthew 15:6; Mark 7:13).

To a Wearied Christian Soldier

Thursday, September 29, 2011

“But ye, brethren, be not weary in well-doing” (2 Thessalonians 3:13 KJV).

Job was in terrible shape—he lost his livestock, his children, and his health. He was so despondent that he wished he were dead (Job 3:3,9-13)! In fact, Job lamented: “My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul” (10:1).

Sometimes, a believer’s can be downright depressing. We are hated and ridiculed for being Christians and labeled “hindrances to progress.” Our lives may be threatened and our family and friends will ostracize us because we serve the Lord Jesus Christ. The whole world is against God’s purpose and plan, thus it opposes us Christians. Oftentimes, it seems like we Christians are fighting a losing battle. Deception, corruption, and injustice are just so widespread. How will we ever reverse the course of this evil world? Rest assured that our Lord Jesus Christ will take of that mess at His Second Coming!

The key is to focus on sound doctrine, not on our circumstances. We focus on the things we cannot see: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17,18).

As members of the Church the Body of Christ, we are heaven bound. This evil world system is not our home—that is why we are not welcome here! The present evil world in which we live is only temporary. Our world will not always be so dire and gloomy. One day, Jesus Christ destroy this heaven and earth, and He will create a new heaven and a new earth. We rejoice in that hope!

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). It is worth the suffering! 😀

Forked Tongues of Venom Versus Vocal Cords of Grace

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” (James 3:5 KJV).

In today’s Scripture James discusses the power of our tongues (our speech). Notice how God uses shocking language to describe our tongues. “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity… it setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell” (verse 6). “The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (verse 8). Also, the Bible explains that we curse our fellow man with the same tongue we use to bless God (verses 9-12)!

Proverbs 18:21 says: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Our tongues (speech) can give life or it can kill. Words can comfort a troubled soul, or drive that soul to suicide. It all depends on the choice of words, and the manner (tone) in which those words are spoken. Words are very powerful, so be careful what you say.

Proverbs 15:1 declares: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Words spoken in harsh, disrespectful, or condescending tones will anger an audience. But, gentle and loving words will deter provocation. Again, it all depends on the choice of words, and the manner (tone) in which those words are spoken.

James also wrote to the Jews: “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” (James 1:26). Be careful what you say, and how you say it, because you can never take back those words you spoke.

“Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6). Use your tongue to “minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29c). Choose your words (and tone) wisely. The lost people are listening… your vocal cords should be echoing the message of God’s grace. Are they?

Just a Few

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13,14 KJV).

One-third of the world’s population professes Christianity. Are there really over two billion Holy Spirit-indwelt believers on earth? Of course not, for today’s Scripture says only “few” will ever trust in God’s Word for salvation. How can so many people be wrong? The Lord has always had a remnant of believers, never large crowds.

Of the millions of people on earth in Noah’s day, only eight (!) individuals believed God and came into the ark of safety (Genesis 7:7; 2 Peter 2:5).

There were not even 10 believers in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:23-33; Genesis 19:24-25)!

When Israel went to possess the Promised Land under Moses’ leadership, twelve spies were sent to search Canaan. Ten spies said that Israel could not defeat the Canaan’s inhabitants, thereby calling God a liar. Only two spies believed God’s promise to fight for Israel and give them the land (Numbers 13:27-33; Numbers 14:6-9).

In Elijah’s day only 7,000 men in the whole nation Israel were not worshipping the pagan god Baal (1 Kings 19:18; Romans 11:4).

After three years of earthly ministry the Lord Jesus Christ had just 120 believers in Jerusalem (Acts 1:15).

The majority was wrong in the above passages; the same is true today. Only a fraction of today’s two billion professing Christians are genuine, Holy Spirit-indwelt individuals. As King James Bible users, we are a sliver of that fraction. We Pauline dispensationalists who study and believe the Bible rightly divided, we are a fraction of that fraction of a fraction.

We are the smallest (Christians)… of the smallest (King James Bible users)… of the smallest (Pauline dispensationalists). But be not discouraged! God’s people have always been outnumbered. Still, in the end, God wins. Despite the fact that we are “just a few,” the victory is still ours in Christ. 🙂

Christ Crucified

Monday, September 26, 2011

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2 KJV).

Christ’s cross is seldom preached in Christendom’s “praise and worship” meetings. We Bereans know Christ crucified, yet religion emphasizes everything but. Most churches stress Jesus’ teachings and miracles, but our salvation is not found in anything that Jesus preached during His earthly ministry. Christ ministered to Jews under the Law (Matthew 15:24; Romans 15:8; Galatians 4:4,5). We are neither Jews nor under the Law (Romans 6:14,15; Romans 11:11; Galatians 2:16,20; Galatians 3:28).

Many claim to “follow Jesus”—but, which Jesus? The Bible speaks of “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:3,4); the “Jesus” of religion (the Four Gospels) is not the Jesus God wants us following today. We follow Jesus Christ as our Apostle Paul followed Him.

Paul did not follow Christ after His earthly ministry: “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more(2 Corinthians 5:16). Today, in the Dispensation of Grace, we follow Christ according to His heavenly ministry as described only in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon.

Recently, a clergyman used his weekly column to voice his concern in my local newspaper. Why was he so distressed? That souls were going to hell? No! His column’s theme was that he feared cigarette butts were greatly polluting our streets! There was not one word about how to be saved by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. Not one word about Calvary’s cross or Christ’s shed blood. Sad.

What did our Apostle Paul preach? “Save the planet?” Christ’s earthly ministry? No, today’s Scripture says he preached, “Christ crucified.” Today, the message of Christ’s cross is the foremost issue, not His earthly ministry. Paul’s Gospel—Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). This message, the Gospel of the Grace of God, is the most important message we proclaim, for it alone is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16b).

Separate Unto Truth, Do Not Unite in Error

Sunday, September 25, 2011

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV).

As the years pass, there is an increasing cry for unity among all (38,000+!!!) “Christian” denominations. The goal of the “ecumenical movement” is to have all “Christians” of every denomination ignore their doctrinal differences, and fellowship! Today’s Scripture screams against such foolishness. (Actually, the ecumenical movement is preparing society for the one-world religion of Revelation chapter 17.)

Opposed to the ecumenical slogan, “Come as ye are, we accommodate all faiths!,” Scripture declares: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (2 Corinthians 6:18).

Now, please understand that the Bible says God loves all people: Jesus Christ shed His sinless blood to pay for the sins of the world (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; Hebrews 2:9; 2 Peter 3:9; et al.). However, most of them are lost, never having trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary. Instead, the world’s religious people make every attempt to please God with their own “good” deeds, thereby ignoring Christ’s finished cross work.

As King James Bible-believing Pauline dispensationalists, we cannot unite with religionists and denominationalists because they deny the clear teachings of the Holy Bible. We refuse to embrace man’s “wisdom” and church tradition. Paul continues in 2 Corinthians 6:15: “What concord [agreement] hath Christ with Belial [Satan]? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel [unbeliever]?”

God does not want us fellowshipping in any religion or any denomination. Religion is satanic and anti-grace. If you compromise God’s truth and unite in error, your Christian life will be polluted and destroyed.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them(Romans 16:17). As grace lifers following the Apostle Paul as he follows Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1), we have unashamedly chosen to separate unto truth, and we unapologetically refuse to unite in error.

Mine Own Familiar Friend

Saturday, September 24, 2011

“Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9 KJV).

For some three years, he was one of Jesus’ closest friends. His name meant “the praised one.” He “had [kept] the bag;” as treasurer of the twelve apostles, he was one of the most trusted apostles (John 13:29). At the Last Supper, he sat behind Jesus, guarding His back. If there was someone to die fighting for the Lord Jesus Christ, he appeared to be that person. Until….

While eating that final meal with His apostles, the Lord Jesus Christ warns them: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one shall betray me” (John 13:21). The apostles look at each other, wondering of whom Christ is speaking. “Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered him. Then Jesus said unto him, That thou doest, do quickly” (verses 26,27).

The apostles, according to verses 28 and 29, misunderstand this to mean that Judas, since he is the treasurer, is being sent to buy for the feast or give to the poor. According to John 13:18, today’s Scripture was fulfilled when Judas Iscariot, who ate the bread that Christ dipped, betrayed Him. Today’s Scripture was written some 1,000 years before it happened!

As God, Jesus Christ foreknew Judas would betray Him (John 6:64,70,71), but imagine how shocked the other eleven apostles were to see Judas—“the praised [and trusted] one!”—guiding those who would arrest Jesus! Ironically, the Bible revealed that Judas was “a thief,” who previously stole from the apostles’ treasury bag (John 12:4-6)!

We have all had “friends” who have stabbed us in the back. Those who gained our trust, only to later greatly harm us. The Lord Jesus Christ’s most trusted apostle and “friendliest” (“familiar”) friend did the same to Him.

Brethren, we Christians rejoice to endure backstabbing for God’s glory as Jesus Christ endured it!