Arrayed in Hypocrisy

Friday, October 31, 2014

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:27,28 KJV).

“Looks can be deceiving” is not only true during Halloweentime, but confirmed year-round within Christendom.

Today is Halloween, when children dress up and feign themselves to be creatures they are not. Likewise, many church leaders today wear “Christian” garbs, but their ministries do not bring the Lord Jesus Christ glory and honor. They promote their denomination, and seek to perpetuate it, rather than serve and exalt the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. The Bible manifests these who appear to be good, as “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

In today’s Scripture, Jesus Christ exposed Israel’s corrupt religious leaders who misled the nation in His day. In His Parable of the Tares, Matthew 13:24-30,37-43, Christ explained how just as He had sown good seed (wheat, believing Jews) in Israel, Satan had also sown tares/weeds (unbelieving Jews). Tares resemble wheat; unbelieving Jews resemble believing Jews. The unbelieving Pharisees and scribes, for instance, looked like God’s people (believing Israel). Judas Iscariot was another example of Satan’s tares—the apostles never realized who Judas really was until it was too late!

But Satan’s counterfeit believers are not confined to Israel’s program. Today, within local assemblies of the Body of Christ, there are people feigning themselves to be Christians: For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Beloved, beware of the church leaders who are arrayed in hypocrisy, “and avoid them” (Romans 16:17b). If their teaching does not agree with the rightly divided King James Bible, you have no business as a child of God to be listening to them.

*This is excerpted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

What Shall Be on the Morrow?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:13,14 KJV).

Plan in Jesus Christ today, that regardless of what else may happen to you, you will be in Him.

Just yesterday, while walking in a store’s parking lot, I began to smell a fire burning in the distance. Someone pointed in the direction of large black clouds of billowing smoke; someone’s house in a nearby subdivision was ablaze! It was not too long after that that I began to hear sirens of emergency vehicles passing. Later, I learned on the local news what happened. A man had come home and had found his house on fire, with his mother sleeping inside. Fortunately, he was able to save her before she perished!

There are so many news stories like this from around the world. People can come so close to death and have yet another opportunity to be saved from their sins through Jesus Christ. They come ever so close to the flames of hell, right up to death’s doorstep and hell’s threshold, and yet, they survive those dangerous situations. Then again, they may not be so fortunate the next time around. Death may come far too quick for them, and what have they done with Jesus Christ? It is rightly said, “Eternity keeps you where death finds you.”

James, writing today’s Scripture, rebuked the Jews for their careless thoughts and selfish lifestyles. They were not filled with God’s wisdom; they did not realize how brief this earthly life really is. Like a “vapour,” our earthly life will “vanish away.” It is just a “little time,” so may we come by simple faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour now, that if death finds us tomorrow, the Lord Jesus Christ will have found us first! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How does Satan operate today?

Stones Whose Praises Would Rock Creation

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

“And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40 KJV).

Why did our Lord Jesus Christ utter such a strange statement?

It was less than a week before He would die on Calvary’s cross, and He had entered Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt, a perfect fulfillment of a Messianic passage: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” (Zechariah 9:9).

Believers in Jesus, those who recognized Him as the fulfillment of hundreds of specific Old Testament prophecies of Messiah, “began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest” (Luke 19:37,38). The Bible says, “And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples” (verse 39). Today’s Scripture was Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees.

Geologically speaking, rocks are inorganic; they are composed of non-living minerals. Yet, the Creator Himself, Jesus Christ, said that they had the ability to “cry out.” Some may say that the notion of non-living objects “crying out” is preposterous, and the Bible unbeliever is free to feel that way. We may, however, point out that it was outlandish that most Jews—creatures with brains and souls—turned a blind eye to the hundreds of prophecies Jesus fulfilled, specific indications He was their long-promised Messiah, the Son of God.

The Holy Spirit through the Prophet Zechariah urged Israel to rejoice and shout when her Messiah came forth on the donkey, and yet here some Jews discouraged the exhibition of such joy! Had no person praised Jesus on that day of the so-called “Triumphal Entry,” surely other aspects of creation would have honored their Creator. The sounds of their praise would have “rocked creation” indeed! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Could you please clarify Ephesians 2:18-22?

In Him and Not in Hell

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Philippians 3:9 KJV).

Before we can have a right standing before God, we must realize our wrong standing before God.

A dear lady I shared the Gospel with not many weeks ago told me, “I think I will go to heaven. Now if I commit some horrible sin just before I die, then I will go to purgatory.” Like so many, she needed to realize that the ultimate sin is to believe we can live a perfect life to make God so happy with us that He will have no choice but to let us into heaven, that we can supplement and/or substitute Jesus Christ’s life and righteousness with our own, that we call God a liar by saying our sin nature can still offer so much as one work that is pleasing in His sight, that Jesus Christ failed to do what we must do.

When I asked this lady on the basis of what five minutes her life would be totally acceptable to God, what five minutes of her living were 100 percent perfect and made her worthy of heaven, she confessed she had no such five minutes; that is when she realized that that failure is sin, that her lack of assurance was a sign she was headed to anywhere but heaven!

I began to share with her the wonderful news of God’s righteousness in Jesus Christ received by simple faith in Him alone (today’s Scripture). God is offering us a place in heaven as a free gift and we cannot work for a gift (otherwise it becomes a debt). If we so much as believe we can work enough to add to Jesus’s perfect sacrifice, then we are telling God we want to pay for our own sins; the place where God’s wrath against our sin is appeased, is the lake of fire, and it burns forever because God’s wrath against our sin can and will never be appeased apart from Jesus Christ’s suffering at Calvary. Let us be found in Him, and not found in hell!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did God ask where Adam was?

Sinner’s Gospel or Scoffer’s Creed

Monday, October 27, 2014

“For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written” (Romans 2:24 KJV).

Dear saints, let us use today’s Scripture and learn a valuable lesson from Israel’s history, that it not be our history.

Someone once commented, “You are the only Bible this careless world will read. You are the sinner’s gospel, you are the scoffer’s creed.” What exactly does this mean? Quite simply, the world is watching us Christians. The lost people of the world, and even the angels, are watching us (1 Corinthians 4:9; 1 Corinthians 11:10; Ephesians 3:9-11; 1 Timothy 3:15,16). What do they see? Do they witness sound Bible doctrine on display, or do they see loose, sinful living? Dear friends, whatever they see, whether good or bad, they perceive it as “Jesus Christ” and “Christianity.” Either they will grow interested to see what you have, or they will laugh and distance themselves from such a hypocrite.

When JEHOVAH God delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage, He gave them His Covenant of Law to have them display His Word in their lives, for all the Gentile nations to see. He instructed them through Moses: “[6] Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. [7] For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? [8] And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” (Deuteronomy 4:6-8).

Still, King David later departed from God’s laws by committing adultery with Bathsheba, causing God’s enemies to laugh at Him (2 Samuel 12:14). Israel’s behavior made JEHOVAH a laughingstock in Assyria (Isaiah 52:5). Brethren, the choice is ours—act like Israel and act like the world, or let Jesus Christ live His life in and through us.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Does Matthew 19:27-28 prove Judas is in heaven?

A Sign of Dispensational Change

Sunday, October 26, 2014

“For the Jews require a sign…” (1 Corinthians 1:22a KJV).

Our Holy Bible confirms the global health news—yes, God has temporarily suspended Israel’s healing program.

Christendom abounds with “faith healing,” the belief system that contends that God heals physical illness in our Dispensation of Grace—some go so far as to say that He literally raises the dead! They quote James 5:14,15, Mark 16:18, Matthew 10:8, Exodus 15:26, and 1 Peter 2:24. While the Bible confirms God can perform miracles, including physical healing and resurrection, these were for Israel’s benefit (today’s Scripture). The miracles always communicated various doctrines to Israel. Today, we have the completed canon of the Holy Bible; we do not need God to teach us anything apart from His written Word (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

Saints, that God is not physically healing us is evident in global health news. The United States’ never-ending healthcare debate would be nonexistent—there would be no need for healthcare (even for the faith-healers!). Beloved, consider the current Ebola outbreak in Africa. Such cases are now here in the United States. Have we yet to hear of a single faith-healer attempting to “heal” even one person sick and dying of this most serious and painful disease? Now would be the time to manifest “God’s power,” and yet they are “missing-in-action.” They know they could not fake an Ebola healing even if they tried!

Not long ago, a “Christian miracle-worker” addressed the Ebola outbreak on his television program. A proclaimer of “healing miracles,” but still exhibiting the debilitating effects of aging, he cautioned people traveling to Africa to rather be afraid of contracting AIDS, to be wary of disease-carrying mosquitoes, and not to eat certain foods (due to unsanitary handling practices). Later, he and co-hostess discussed how they and their viewers should take precautions with the approaching cold and influenza seasons, that they manage tip-top immune systems. Lastly, his co-hostess complained when he asked her to read a text without her eyeglasses!

Dear friends and precious readers, may we abandon such religious tomfoolery, may we not be deceived by such duplicity, and may we rejoice that God’s Holy Bible is all that we need in terms of divine revelation! 🙂

How to Open God’s Safe

Saturday, October 25, 2014

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

Spread the word that today’s Scripture is the key to unlocking the Word!

Many centuries ago, God used holy men to write His Word in human language, He used holy men to copy it thousands of times over to preserve it for us, and He used holy men to translate it into our language, English. The King James Bible did not “just drop down from heaven in 1611;” it was the result of laborious collation, meticulous comparison, and diligent translation of various ancient Hebrew and Greek Bible manuscripts, and prudent consultation of previous translations (particularly, early English).

Our precious King James Bible is a safe—it contains the wealth of the Lord Jesus Christ’s wisdom. How do we extract the profit contained therein? We could spend the rest of our lives searching for the combination in religious tradition, scientific analyses, prayer closets, introspection of intuition, et cetera, but what a waste of time! While most theologians, ministers, and church members still grope and fumble searching for the obvious (sixth-grade English!), banging in frustration on the door, we rejoice evermore in Christ that we have discovered the Bible’s combination—“2 Timothy 2:15!”

Friend, dispensational Bible study is the key to accessing the priceless spiritual knowledge and wisdom God offers us in His Word. We can use the Bible as a nice decorative item to exhibit on a bookshelf or tote under the arm, but that is not what God intended. Only one verse in all the Bible tells us to study the Bible; that one verse tells us how to study the Bible.

“Rightly dividing the word of truth” liberated me from spiritual confusion and religious tradition. It will do the same for you if you let it. Do not let traditionalists mix God’s Word and mix you up. Flee from those who muddle dispensational boundaries—distinctions God has made in His Word—and who force you to consume such nauseous doctrine. For your own spiritual health’s sake, flee to God’s safe and open it quick! Then, share its combination and contents with others. There is plenty to go around! 🙂

Hophni, Phinehas, and the Millennials

Friday, October 24, 2014

“Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil doings by all this people” (1 Samuel 2:22,23 KJV).

What a striking parallel to our 21st century world!

Born between 1980 and 2000, some 80 million Americans are called the “Millennials” (or “Generation Y”), and most of them are very skeptical of organized religion (as compared to their parents). In layman’s terms, many of them have very little to no time for anything “religious” or “spiritual.” Hence, Bible-believing Christians have raised concern as to the direction of our society once older generations have expired. The next few decades will be interesting indeed, to say the least!

Many grim news stories of which we hear and read involve the Millennials—drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuousness, abortions, gang violence, college riots, murder, warped political insight, et cetera. However, regarding the many who complain about the Millennials’ defiant and outlandish lifestyles, I always wonder how many ever attempted to impact those Millennials with God’s Word. Just think, had more parents spent as little as five minutes (!) with their Millennials over an open Bible, telling them how to be saved from their sins by simple faith in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, there would be fewer Millennials to arrest, imprison, indict, convict, and sentence to death!

Frankly, the priest Eli asked a very foolish question in today’s Scripture. He inquired why his sons, also priests, behaved so wickedly. According to the Scriptures, it was not until they were well into adulthood (actually, roughly the age of the Millennials!) that he—a “very old man!”—reprimanded their habitual, ungodly behavior (1 Samuel 2:22-25; cf. verses 12-17). We need not wonder why Hophni and Phinehas acted like they did!

Dear saints, the Millennials (including me!) need God’s Word more than ever. They are now adults, but God’s Word can penetrate even the most callous heart. May we be there to show them the Holy Bible when they realize they need answers to the mess in which they are! 🙂

That Thus It Must Be

Thursday, October 23, 2014

“But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matthew 26:54 KJV).

To go to Calvary’s tree, to suffer and die for you and me, it had to be, for Christ had to die for you and me!

People die for their religion all the time, but the death of the Lord Jesus Christ was extraordinary. It was determined long, long, long ago, before there ever was a creation. The triune Godhead gathered, unanimously decreeing that God the Son would die for man’s sins. He would do it to the glory of His Father, and the Holy Ghost would see to it that it would be accomplished to the very last jot and tittle. “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23).

As Judas led the crowd of religious leaders, elders, and Roman soldiers to where Jesus and His disciples were, the Lord Jesus Christ grew ever so peaceful. What had begun as a very stressful time of intense prayer, speaking to His Heavenly Father that His will be done, and not His own, was now completed with total faith in His Heavenly Father’s will. Though Peter drew his sword at the advancing crowds, ready to slash anyone who approached Jesus, our Lord did not put up a fight. He went so far as to rebuke Peter, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:52,53).

By faith, having taken His stand on His Father’s words to Him (the hundreds upon hundreds of Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament scrolls), Jesus Christ preferred not to call down tens of thousands of angels for military assistance. He had to fulfill the Scriptures; there was simply no way around it. He knew it had to be, that He would go to Calvary’s tree, to die for you and me!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Where in the Bible did God give Satan domain over the Earth?

Keep Yourselves in the Love of God #7

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21 KJV).

How will today’s Scripture benefit the nation Israel in “the ages to come?”

Writing to the future seven-year Tribulation Jewish saints, the Apostle Peter exhorted: “[6] Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: [7] Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. [8] Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: [9] Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. [10] But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you (1 Peter 5:6-10).

With almost all of mankind united with the Antichrist to “cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance” (Psalm 83:4), Israel’s believing remnant must cast all their worry upon God, for He cares for them. He loves them ever so much, even if no one else does. Jude reminds them that, as long as they keep God’s love for them foremost in their thinking, Satan cannot use their hateful enemies to intimidate them into surrendering. Their faith, their kingdom doctrine (particularly Hebrews through Revelation), will guard them against the deception engulfing the world.

Father God will make these precious Jewish saints “perfect” (spiritually mature). He will “strengthen” Israel’s believing remnant. He will “settle” these Messianic Jews. Jude 20 and 21 are the keys to Israel’s spiritual survival during Daniel’s 70th week: studying the Scriptures applicable to them (especially Hebrews through Revelation), praying according to the Holy Spirit’s revealed Word to them, constantly recalling God’s love for them, and anticipating Christ’s glorious return to usher in their “heaven-on-earth” kingdom. Just as Israel will rely on Him to see them through difficult times, may we study and believe Paul’s epistles, to rely on God in our times of sorrow. 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Does 1 Corinthians 15:11 disprove dispensational Bible study?