Beat Up With Corinthians!

Friday, August 31, 2018

“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 KJV).

A dear Christian brother still struggled with the extensive denominational brainwashing he had endured decades prior. The priest read the Bible at Mass, but it was never edifying. Scripture about sin was recited to “beat up” the congregation. First and Second Corinthians were used to make them feel guilty (“prepared” for their next confession).

He was never told, and neither were the rest of the poor church members, how to have victory over sin. They were simply condemned as wretched sinners, which caused him (and likewise them) to fear the Bible. What a terrible way to use the Holy Scriptures. Just because a minister reads the Bible, that does not mean that he is serving the God of the Bible, using the Bible properly, or speaking on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ. Beware!!

Today’s Scripture, written 20 centuries ago, says there were way back then (!) “false apostles, deceitful workers.” People who claimed to be “ministers of righteousness” and really “ministers of Satan!” This is strong language, friends. The Holy Spirit did not hesitate to say exactly what they were. Our churches are filled with them—self-righteous leaders who have no goal in life other than to support and defend their denominational system. So long as their church tradition is upheld, they do not care how much damage they inflict upon others, or how greatly they distort God’s words.

God did not simply give His Word to point out our sin; He supplied it so we could see how to be delivered from sin! “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).

The Best Sermon Ever Preached

Thursday, August 30, 2018

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-5 KJV).

Can you spot the best sermon ever preached?

It would be an eye-opening moment if the preacher or Bible teacher could see into the hearts of his audience. Of course, only God has such an ability, but it does make us wonder what He sees when He peeks into our hearts. Who is actually paying attention to the message? How many want to be there studying the Bible? Who would rather be dancing and raising hands at some “worship concert?”

Consider today’s Scripture. The content of the message was certainly a lie straight from the pits of Hell, but it was awfully effectual. Satan the preacher accomplished exactly what he wanted, as there was not one single audience member unconvinced. Read the next verse: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

Satan fooled a woman, she persuaded her husband to follow her (though he was not deceived), and they went out and converted the whole world to Satan’s lie program. The order was: 50 percent of the audience persuaded, that half converted the other half, and they became the pattern for 10-15 billion souls!

Dear saints, if only we responded to God’s Word as Adam and Eve reacted to Satan’s word!

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “Can you explain Genesis 6:3?” and “How did the Israeli patriarchs resist the Holy Ghost?

They Took My Religion!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

And they cried unto the children of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou comest with such a company? And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: and what have I more? and what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee? (Judges 18:23,24 KJV).

Why, oh why, is Micah so distraught?!

Judges chapters 17 and 18 show Baal worship, pagan-idol religion, slowly infiltrating Israel. Micah’s mother gives much silver to a founder (metal worker) to make silver idols, which idols Micah takes. “[Micah] had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim [household idols], and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest” (17:5). Eventually, he ordains a young, nomadic, apostate Levite to be his priest.

As chapter 18 opens, the roaming Danites (a tribe of Israel) arrive at Micah’s house. They recognize the Levite, ultimately learning he leads Micah’s vain religious system. These Danites leave but later return, armed with weapons. They take Micah’s “aids to worship” by force! Verses 17,18: “And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were appointed with weapons of war. And these went into Micah’s house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?”

The Danites convince the Levite to come and be their priest. Idolatry, once confined to one man and his mother, is now adopted by a whole tribe of Israel!! Micah and his acquaintances cry out in today’s Scripture. The Danites have robbed them of their religion—now, they have nothing! Such is the case when one’s religion consists of simply material “stuff.” It can be stolen, destroyed, smashed, burned, lost forever. How much better, dear friends, to know that if we have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, no one can ever take Him from us!

Buried Servants, Not Buried Program

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel (Joshua 1:1,2 KJV).

Yea, “God buries His servants, but not His program.”

Moses was certainly dead: his soul has departed his body, and God Himself has buried the corpse (Deuteronomy 34:5,6). Yet, Israel will still enter the Promised Land—except under Joshua’s headship. Had it depended on Moses, it would have never happened. Moses is deceased… but God is living and in control!

While the God of the Bible uses men and women to accomplish mighty things, they are nevertheless bound to frail, temporary “houses of clay” (Job 4:19). He does not shield them from old age and ultimate physical death. Dying King David, another servant of Israel’s God, remarked, “I go the way of all the earth” (1 Kings 2:2).

These men were mighty testimonies of God’s power and grace, so why did He not spare them physical death? People ask today, “Why do the good die young and the evil live to old age?” Why does God let His servants die? He does not want them to be praised and worshipped. He is showing how it is His program, and He really does not need man’s cooperation. With or without man, God will achieve His goals in creation. He does not need us, but He does invite us to join Him! He wants to share His good pleasure with us, that it may become our good pleasure.

If we do join God’s side by faith, working with Him in His program, let us remember that it is still His program. We are not the issue. Hence, we will have a limited time on Earth to participate in His plan. Brethren, once we physically die and relocate to serve Him in the heavenly places, His purpose down here on Earth will continue (without us!!!!). It never depended on us anyway: it was here long before we were born and will remain long after we are gone. 🙂

God Spared Not

Monday, August 27, 2018

He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence (Psalm 78:50 KJV).

On five occasions in the Bible, “God spared not.” What can they tell us about Him?

Today’s Scripture is part of a colossal song that spans Israel’s history from the early patriarchs (especially Moses) up to King David’s reign. The verse sits among those that describe the 10 plagues or judgments God poured out on evil Egypt before the Red Sea experience (see verses 43-51). “They” of today’s Scripture are the heathen Egyptians: Israel’s God was not reluctant to use death to prove to them that He alone, not their lifeless idols, was Almighty God.

“For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee” (Romans 11:21). This chapter closes Romans’ three-chapter dispensational section. As God was not lenient in setting aside unbelieving national Israel for a time, the Gentile nations (unbelieving) had better not boast as if He will not remove them from access to Him and return Israel to her esteemed position.

“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” (2 Peter 2:4). God was not at all shy in punishing the angels that followed Satan in his rebellion against the Creator. The worst of these spiritual beings are imprisoned in Hell awaiting final judgment (1 Peter 3:19,20; Jude 6).

“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:5). God was not averse to cleansing the sinful antediluvian (pre-Flood) world of Genesis chapters 4-6. In four instances, He was harsh in punishing sin; the other case involved Him readily paying for sin!

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Father God could have withheld His Son from being offered on Calvary’s cruel altar (the cross), but He hesitated not. Christ Jesus’ soul would be made an offering for our sin (Isaiah 53:10)—and, praise God, He was “spared not!”

He Worshipped Him

Sunday, August 26, 2018

“And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him” (John 9:38 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us about the Bible versions debate?

Jesus walks by a man blind from birth (verse 1). He spits on the ground to make a clay-spittle mixture, then rubs it on the man’s eyes (verse 6). Jesus instructs him to wash in the pool of Siloam (“Sent”); he obeys and receives his sight (verse 7). Israel’s religious leaders are furious because it is the Sabbath (verses 13-16). The formerly-blind man is ridiculed and expelled, meeting Jesus again later.

The 1901 American Standard Version says in today’s Scripture: “And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.” This is the 1611 King James Bible verbatim. Yet, notice the ASV’s footnote: “The Greek word denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to a creature (as here) or to the Creator (see ch. 4.20).” Did you notice what these 1901 translators claimed?

Reread their footnote: “The Greek word denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to a creature (as here) or to the Creator (see ch. 4.20).” Did you catch it yet? Try once more: “The Greek word denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to a creature (as here) or to the Creator (see ch. 4.20).” Those two little parenthetical words, “as here,” expose the evil, perverted hearts of the ASV translators. Shocking huh?! They, their scholarship, translating philosophy, and textual/manuscript preferences remain with us today with the 100-plus subsequent modern English versions that resulted from this first American modern English Bible.

Acts chapter 10 features the same Greek word for “worship:” “[25] And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. [26] But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.” Revelation chapter 19: “[10] And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” If the ASV translators are correct—Jesus was worshipped as a “creature”—then why did He not forbid it as Peter did with Cornelius (Acts 10:26) and the Angel did with John (Revelation 19:10)? Someone is lying—and it is not God!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did Jesus ever claim to be God?

How to Do Right!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves:…. Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him (2 Chronicles 14:2-3,5 KJV).

King Asa’s noteworthy extensive religious reforms involved demolishing his fathers’ idols and shrines, and teaching good doctrine.

Asa was King David’s great-great-grandson. His father (King Abijah/Abijam) was evil, as was his grandfather King Rehoboam. Asa was Judah’s first good king in 20 years. While appearing briefly in 1 Kings chapter 15, much of what we know about him comes from 2 Chronicles chapters 14-16 (today’s Scripture). He ruled Judah 41 years and was Jehoshaphat’s father.

Verse 4: “And [Asa] commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment.” They were to keep the Mosaic Law: the First Commandment instructed Israel not to have any other gods before JEHOVAH God. Idols had been worshipped long enough; it was time to forsake such folly and live realistically. Exodus 20:3-5: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God….”

Religion demands, “You had better stop sin!” Yet, no religionist knows how to do it! Asa went beyond merely forbidding evil; he told his people how to do right. Since they listened to the LORD God, he blessed them with peace in their land for 10 years. Not only do we stress the negative (sin), we emphasize the positive (eternal life through Jesus Christ). We present the bad news first to heighten the good news—“the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).