333’s 700th – Receive Ye the Word of God as Such

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

“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” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV).

Beloved, only by God’s grace, we reach another milestone….

According to today’s Scripture, the Thessalonians received the message of grace they heard from Paul, Silas, and Timothy (1:1) and then they believed it. Notice, they recognized that this message was not of human origin, but the Word of the God of creation. The result? Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10: their changed lifestyles “sounded out [‘echoed’] the word of the Lord” to the whole then-known world!

We do not look at circumstances to see God working: today, He is working “in [our] inner man” (Ephesians 3:16). If we want the God of the Bible to work mightily in our lives, today’s Scripture tells us how He does it in the Dispensation of His Grace. He takes sound Pauline Bible doctrine that we study, receive, and believe, and He uses it to “effectually work in [us].”

Thus, for the last 700 days, we have labored to provide you with as much sound Pauline Bible doctrine that we can possibly cram into these brief studies, to the intent that you will place your faith in that doctrine, enabling God the Holy Spirit to work in and through you.

Daily Bible studies such as these allow God to renew your mind, which He will then use to transform your life for His glory: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1,2). Receive ye the Word of God as such, and with the eyes of faith, see Him work mightily in you!

Beloved, thank you for praying for us in this endeavor “to make all men see;” how we thank God for you and pray for you upon every remembrance. Onward to #800! 🙂

Never Look Back

Monday, April 29, 2013

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” (Philippians 3:7,8 KJV).

I was recently encouraged to hear two dear brothers in Christ discuss their transition from being denominational preachers to grace preachers. The Apostle Paul summarized his in today’s Scripture.

Saul of Tarsus was a religious zealot: he was a religious leader of Israel, a wealthy Pharisee (Jesus had condemned Pharisees as self-righteous and greedy.) Jesus Christ and His Jewish believers were a threat to Saul’s religion; thus, Saul mercilessly hunted down and dragged these Messianic Jews to prison. In Acts chapter 7, through the prophet Stephen, the Holy Spirit pleaded with Israel’s leadership to accept Jesus as their Messiah. Alas, unbelieving Israel stoned Stephen to death—Saul witnessed it with pleasure! (Saul was highly influential in Israel’s fall before God.)

God’s wrath on wicked Saul of Tarsus, the whole world, and especially Israel, was swiftly approaching. Just before that wrath fell, God’s grace and peace interrupted it.

In Acts chapter 9, once Saul thought he had arrested every Jew in Jerusalem who had believed Jesus was Messiah, he headed north to Damascus to arrest Messianic Jews there. Before he reached Damascus, he personally met the risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ and was never the same again! He trusted Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, and he quit his silliness in religion. For the next 35 years, he preached the grace of Jesus Christ, the Person he had so vehemently opposed.

Once he made the transition from the traditions of men to the message of God’s grace to us in Christ, Paul lost his fame and fortune (sounds familiar, huh?). His salary as a denominational leader dwindled, his “friends” scattered, and he was branded a “heretic” (sounds familiar, huh?). So what! In his own words, that was all “but dung” (today’s Scripture)—he “won Christ,” and never looked back… May we follow his ensample. 🙂

Purchase Not the House of Horrors

Sunday, April 28, 2013

“Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house” (Proverbs 17:13 KJV).

Reward evil for good, and evil shall “reward” thee….

One of the most valuable lessons history teaches us is man’s allowing evil to remain unpunished—nay, rewarded as though it were good—only exacerbates his troubles and frustration. Indeed, the whole world, every nation, every local church, and every household should memorize today’s Scripture.

Political and religious corruption is, at its root, the failure to deal with that sinfulness immediately, completely, or at all. If there are no negative consequences when evil is committed—yea, when evildoers are treated as innocent individuals, and rewarded with praise and other benefits—it is no surprise that additional wickedness will result (today’s Scripture).

For instance, when the Church the Body of Christ fails to scripturally and adequately address corruption within its own local churches and regarding its own leaders, then the lost world will use that as ammunition against Jesus Christ. Hence, Paul’s warning, “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear” (1 Timothy 5:19,20). This is meant to safeguard against the local church becoming the “house of horrors” of today’s Scripture.

Another example is the absence of godly parenting. Unless the child is disciplined and receives punishment, he will have no respect for the authority of his parents (let alone for God’s authority): “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). Parents who allow their children to do whatever they want, who do not correct their children when they do wrong, will dwell within the abode of today’s Scripture.

A third example is political corruption: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). If a government is filled with crooks and liars, how can it expect its population not to be the “house of horrors” of today’s Scripture?

Heed today’s Scripture. Punish sin quickly, lest thou purchase the “house of horrors,” the abode that sinful man knoweth all too well.

The End of Job, Israel, and the LORD #4

Saturday, April 27, 2013

“So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses” (Job 42:12 KJV).

During the Tribulation period, the nation Israel will gain valuable insight from today’s Scripture….

When one trusts the Lord Jesus Christ alone as personal Saviour, the Holy Spirit takes this individual and baptizes him or her into the Church the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). He or she is no longer in Adam, but “in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17): this is the new nature, the new identity, the new position the Christian has before God. Lost people even sense a change in the person, and thus, family and “friends” are no longer comfortable around the person. Every Christian has felt that division—(lost) family and “friends” now avoid them.

There is neither fame nor fortune in being a King James Bible-believing Pauline dispensationalist. If one takes a stand for Jesus Christ, and especially for His sound doctrine, family and “friends” will scatter and “depart far hence.” Yes, dear Christian brethren, we have lost the world and its approval, but we have gained much, much more valuable things. We are “known of God” (Galatians 4:9), we are “blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3), and we are “complete in [Christ]” (Colossians 2:10). We have the Lord’s unconditional love, His grace, His forgiveness, His life—possessions that will last forever!

Just as believing Israel will suffer great loss for Jesus Christ’s sake during the Tribulation (as Job did), they will be restored even more in Christ’s earthly kingdom (as Job was; today’s Scripture). Likewise, we members of the Body of Christ, will lose family, “friends,” fame, and fortune for being Christians zealous of sound Bible doctrine, but we too will be rewarded one day—we will inherit the government of the heavenly places (Romans 8:17; Ephesians 2:6,7; 2 Timothy 2:10-12), just as believing Israel will inherit the government of the earth (Matthew 19:27-30; Revelation 3:20,21).

Beloved, like Job, let us patiently wait for “the end of the Lord….”  🙂

The End of Job, Israel, and the LORD #3

Friday, April 26, 2013

“So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses” (Job 42:12 KJV).

During the Tribulation period, the nation Israel will gain valuable insight from today’s Scripture….

Job, a type of believing Israel, suffering intense calamity due to Satan, a type of the Tribulation, and Job’s restoration, a type of Christ’s earthly kingdom, is an historical narrative that will provide great comfort to God’s people who are yet future from our day. Satan targeted Job because he was a man of faith in the God of the Bible (Job 1:1,5,8,20-22; Job 2:3,10). Likewise, Satan will persecute Israel’s believing remnant for Jesus Christ’s sake during the Tribulation (Matthew 10:22; Mark 13:13; 1 Peter 4:12-19; 1 Peter 5:8,9).

As the Apostle James comforts them in James 5:10,11, these believing Jews should be patient: JEHOVAH, albeit seemingly quiet and unresponsive to their situation (as He was with Job), is aware of their sufferings (as He was of Job’s), and He will restore them in manifold ways in due time (as He did with Job; today’s Scripture). They need not grow weary or discouraged, for though they have lost their possessions for being Christians (and some will lose their very lives), when Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming, they will be ushered into that glorious kingdom and receive “an hundredfold what they lost during the Tribulation (Matthew 19:29,30)!

Although these Scriptures are not to or about us (members of the Church the Body of Christ in the Dispensation of Grace), we too suffer for the name of Jesus Christ. Like believing Israel, let us allow the Holy Spirit to teach us to look at the broader picture, the overall view, and not be sidetracked by the current state of affairs. We may lose our material possessions, our family and “friends,” and our lives, but like believing Israel, we have gained things that are of far greater importance and value, possessions that we have right now in Jesus Christ that will never pass away….

A Doxology of Doctrine During Distressing Days #7

Sunday, April 7, 2013

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV).

A brief, light annoyance—an everlasting, much heavier weight of praise and worship….

While difficult circumstances are not enjoyable, they can be learning opportunities. Even the Apostle Paul needed spiritual growth. He finally learned how to change his outlook on suffering: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:11-13).

The “treasure in earthen vessels” of 2 Corinthians 4:7, the “power of Christ” of 2 Corinthians 12:9, and the “inward man being renewed day by day” of 2 Corinthians 4:16, are summarized in Philippians 4:13—“Christ which strengtheneth me.” Hence, Paul wrote, “for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

God’s abundant grace (2 Corinthians 12:9) enabled Paul and Timothy to endure suffering in order to minister to these Corinthian believers: “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:15). God strengthened them, which caused other believers to be thankful to God for giving Paul and Timothy provisions in Christ that got them through their difficult circumstances.

The spiritual fortitude and spiritual growth that resulted in these believers helped them to better understand how to deal with their own troubles, and it stored in their inner man the capacity to eternally function one day in the heavenly places for God’s glory. Therefore, this doxology—this praise to God—is not only here and now, but literally “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (today’s Scripture).

Remember, the issue is not the vessels—our frail, perishing physical bodies—but rather the treasure—the life of Jesus Christ—they contain. A doxology indeed! 🙂

The End of Job, Israel, and the LORD #2

Thursday, April 25, 2013

“So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses” (Job 42:12 KJV).

During the Tribulation period, the nation Israel will gain valuable insight from today’s Scripture….

Before Job lost it all, the Bible says he had, “Seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses” (Job 1:3). Compare this with today’s Scripture. As Job 42:10 says, “And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” In addition, Job’s deceased seven sons and three daughters (1:2) were replaced with seven new sons and three new daughters (42:13).

The Apostle James, writing to believing Jews experiencing the seven-year Tribulation (see James 1:1-12), draws a parallel between them and Job of old. Both are saints of God experiencing satanic affliction, both are under intense persecution, both are weary, and both have lost family, friends, and/or material possessions. Still, James takes them back to the Scriptures that teach Job’s outcome, the LORD’s mercy and pity on him, and the LORD restoring him twofold. James 5:11 says, “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”

Near the midpoint of the Tribulation, Israel’s “little flock” (Luke 12:32), her believing remnant, will flee for their lives and abandon their homes and material possessions in Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15-21; Mark 13:14-20). But, God will take care of them for the remainder of the Tribulation (42 months; Revelation 12:5,6,13-17). Furthermore, at Jesus Christ’s Second Coming (and His subsequent earthly kingdom), He will restore their possessions “an hundredfold(Matthew 19:27-30). They will receive 100 times what they gave up earlier—this is much, much more than Job’s restoration!

Although this is Israel’s doctrine, we can remind ourselves that our losses for Jesus Christ are well worth the losing….