arC Ministries Is 15!

Sunday, July 31, 2022

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20 KJV).

To our Lord Jesus Christ’s glory, arC Ministries celebrates its 15th anniversary today!!!

Fifteen years ago, as a 19-year-old college student, I endeavored to use Facebook to create a Bible study group for teens and college students. Thus, “ambassadors for the risen Christ ministries” was born. As I grew more in God’s Word rightly divided, I grew increasingly aware of the need for additional ministry projects. The more I had been learning drove me to share those precious truths with others. That eventually led me to look for supplementary avenues of ministry.

During these past 15 years, God’s grace has enabled us to continue the original group on Facebook. In addition, we have branched out quite a bit in other areas. This devotionals blog has been operating for over 11 years now. For the last 10 years, we have focused on developing and drafting a grace study Bible (now in its eleventh year). Other ministry projects include a 22-week newspaper ministry column (this devotionals blog’s predecessor), a YouTube channel with home Bible study videos, a Twitter feed, a full-length Bible studies blog, a college campus ministry, a nursing-home ministry, and our Bible-question-and-answer blog. Six years ago, we launched our new main ministry website and now have a line of printed Bible study booklets available for sale there. Three years ago, we recorded and distributed our Old Testament Survey video series. Later that year, we launched our New Testament Survey video series (which will last a few years). We hear from people all over the world!

Our name says it all: we serve the risen Lord Jesus Christ, not some “dead Jew” and not ourselves. The original motto of our ministry was, “To equip ambassadors, and to encourage others to become ambassadors.” Our primary goal is to teach Christians, and our secondary goal is to evangelize the lost world. Fifteen years later, we still endeavor to uphold God’s Word (King James Bible) rightly divided, whether it be in edifying the Christian brethren or preaching the clear Gospel of the Grace of God to this lost and dying world. For those of you who have been with us from day 1, thank you for your prayer and encouragement. We pray for you upon every remembrance! There is still plenty more for the Lord Jesus Christ to do in and through us, so let us give Him all the praise and glory as we enter Year 16! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&As: “What does ‘circumspect’ mean?” and “What is a ‘sherd?’

 

He Sees Them!

Saturday, July 30, 2022

“Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:23,24 KJV).

The three rhetorical questions in today’s Scripture are situated in the context of false teachers perverting the Jewish people. As we would, naturally, grow upset when someone tries to harm our loved ones, so JEHOVAH God was incensed or agitated that evil religious leaders were polluting His nation with harmful information. The nation’s spiritual health was under attack—and Satan was using religion as his instrument. Keep reading the LORD’S response!

“[25] I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. [26] How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; [27] Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal [an idol]. [28] The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. [29] Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? [30] Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.”

As God, He is omnipresent (everywhere). Absolutely nothing is hidden from His sight: whether the lowest depths of Hell, the darkest room, or the most deceitful heart, He sees it all for what it really is. Where sin is occurring, His justice will enforce His righteousness. In today’s Scripture, He thunders out, “You false teachers, I see what you have done and are doing to My people in ‘My name!’ I am coming for you!” Therefore, even now, dear readers, we need not worry about injustice and unpunished wrongdoers in this evil world. Almighty God sees and will address it in His own timing.

Get Them to Think!

Friday, July 29, 2022

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11 KJV).

Let us stop and think: may we get them to stop and think!

I just spoke with a Christian brother who came to trust the Gospel of Grace no more than 10 years ago. He explained how he is growing in the Scriptures rightly divided and trying to reach his family members with sound Bible doctrine. Except his wife, his relatives still belong to his former works-religion “Christian” cult. His daughter is particularly opposed to Christianity, and has no interest in the Bible. Nevertheless, he used his renewed mind to better approach her. Recently, he was having difficulty with an electronic machine he had purchased. When he asked her for advice, she directed him to read the instruction manual. He responded, “If you want to know how life works, you need to read the instruction manual—the Holy Bible!” While she is still lost, she certainly stopped and thought of the parallel.

Long ago, when I was just a few years into the ministry and recounting my “adventures” in college and elsewhere, a much older Christian brother (in ministry far longer than I) gave me some counsel I have never forgotten. “Shawn, you do not have to convince them. Just get them thinking about the truth!” Even if it is a single Bible verse, or just a phrase from the Scriptures, if we can see how it applies to the people we reach, then it is our privilege to share it with them. In doing so, they will gain a chance to learn something they have likely never considered before. As long as we are repeating the words of the Holy Spirit as found in the rightly divided Scriptures, He will do the rest. In the words of another Christian brother, “Let the lion out of his cage, and he will take care of himself!” Just remember, dear brethren, if we only give the Holy Bible a chance, it will revolutionize us and those around us throughout the endless ages to come. Try it and see!

Our latest Bible Q&As: “What does ‘cumbered’ mean?” and “Can you explain ‘holden?’

Graduation to Degradation

Thursday, July 28, 2022

“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:19-21 KJV).

Famed Protestant Reformer Martin Luther (1483–1546) said: “I am much afraid that the universities will prove to be the great gates to Hell, unless they diligently labor to explain the Holy Scriptures and to engrave them upon the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution where men are not unceasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt.” Dear friends, that concern 500 years ago is just as real today!

Many of the world’s most celebrated “institutions of higher learning” were originally founded as Bible schools. Of course, their anti-Christian faculty and graduates make them unrecognizable today. What happened? So as to maintain “prestige” before the unsaved public, these universities began to cease occupying themselves with the Word of God. After all, who is willing to spend all that time and money learning “narrowmindedness?” The curriculum had to be broadened—changed to be more accommodating of alternative worldviews—if enrollment, revenue, and secular praise are to be high! As the decades passed, the “scholarly” (human-wisdom-worshipping) crowd assumed leadership positions. Students who graduated became teachers themselves. The Scriptures were no longer reigning paramount or supreme. Other belief systems were presented in the classrooms with equal conviction. Eventually, the Bible became “just another Book” in their eyes.

Our human flesh (sin) always wants to be in the “driver’s seat,” running our lives, churches, schools, and everything else. If we do not have a clear, intelligent understanding of what the Holy Spirit is doing today, we do not have a prayer in the world of ever glorifying the God of creation, the God of the Bible, the God of Christianity. We had better head over to the Lord Jesus Christ’s words through the Apostle Paul, Romans through Philemon!

Division! #3

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

“So there was a division among the people because of him” (John 7:43 KJV).

As it was then, so it is today!

The three occasions of “division” or schism amongst the Jewish people in John’s Gospel Record—today’s Scripture, John 9:16, and John 10:19—accentuated the vast chasm between those who believed their Hebrew Bible and those who did not. If all would have trusted God’s words to them, there would have been no such disagreements. Skipping over to the three “divisions” or schisms in Paul’s epistles, we find a similar pattern of disharmony.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions [schisma] among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). “For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions [schisma] among you; and I partly believe it” (1 Corinthians 11:18). These Corinthian saints were experiencing deep rifts because denominationalism/sectarism, philosophy, and other carnal pleasures had turned them away from the Apostle Paul, the Lord’s spokesman to them (see 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 1 Corinthians 11:17-22; cf. 1 Corinthians 4:15,16; 1 Corinthians 11:1). As our human body is composed of many parts, so the Church the Body of Christ is made of many members who should work together to do the work of God’s ministry: “That there should be no schism [schisma] in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another” (1 Corinthians 12:25).

In this the Dispensation of the Grace of God, brethren, we should unite around the truths of Ephesians 4:3-6: “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Those who disagree with these verses are they who truly divide Christians, and we should avoid these errant souls at all costs (Romans 16:17,18)!

Bible Q&As #974 and #975: “What is a ‘cruse?’” and “What are ‘cracknels?’

Division! #2

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

“So there was a division among the people because of him” (John 7:43 KJV).

As it was then, so it is today!

Reactions to Christ’s earthly ministry were just as varied 2,000 years ago as they are now. “And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people” (John 7:12). “Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him. And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him” (verses 40-44, today’s Scripture in context).

Chapter 9, verse 16, presents that striking contrast too: “Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. Upon hearing His Parable of the Good Shepherd, there is a third schism amongst the Jewish people in the Book of John (verses 19-21 of chapter 10): There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?”

Some viewed the Lord Jesus in a positive light, while others felt just as strongly in their negative appraisal of Him. Why is there such disagreement? The reason for these rifts or splits could not be clearer: doctrine divides. Not everyone is willing to join Almighty God in His purpose and plan for Israel. On one hand, there is faith; on the other, there is unbelief. These are the two general reactions to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Even today, some will esteem the truths of Scripture just as fervently as others will spurn them….

Division! #1

Monday, July 25, 2022

“So there was a division among the people because of him” (John 7:43 KJV).

As it was then, so it is today!

The Greek word rendered “division” in today’s Scripture is “schisma.” As you might have guessed, this is the source of our English term “schism.” In the Greek New Testament, the word appears eight times overall. Twice it is rendered “rent.” “No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent [schisma] is made worse”(Matthew 9:16). “No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent [schisma] is made worse” (Mark 2:21). This is a literal tearing, the garment ripped apart because of the different natures of the types of cloth involved.

It is translated “division” five times. The first is today’s Scripture, John 7:43: “So there was a division [schisma] among the people because of him.” Secondly, John 9:16: “Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division [schisma] among them.” Thirdly, John 10:19: “There was a division [schisma] therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.” Fourthly, 1 Corinthians 1:10: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions [schisma] among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Lastly, 1 Corinthians 11:18: “For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions [schisma] among you; and I partly believe it.”

Finally, the word was transliterated (Greek letters replaced with their English equivalents) in 1 Corinthians 12:25: “That there should be no schism [schisma] in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” Now, we concentrate on these last six occurrences (the three in John, and the three in 1 Corinthians)….

Order My Steps #10

Sunday, July 24, 2022

“Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me” (Psalm 119:133 KJV).

May we share the Psalmist’s wish!

Describing victorious Christian living, Paul taught in Romans 8:5-9: “[5] For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. [6] For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. [7] Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. [8] So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. [9] But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

If we think like lost people, our conduct will resemble that of lost people. Our Christian life will die with “carnal” or fleshy thinking (chapter 7). “Minding” nothing but natural-man thoughts, our lifestyle reflects that faulty reasoning (chapter 7). Fighting against God, we live contrary to whom He made us in Christ. If, however, we are renewed in the spirit of our mind (Romans 12:1,2; Ephesians 4:20-24; Colossians 3:9-16), studying and trusting sound (grace!) Bible doctrine, we will “mind [pay attention to, think about] the things of the Spirit.” This spiritually-minded believer enjoys the life and peace impossible in Romans chapter 7 but achievable in chapter 6.

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,…” (Ephesians 4:17). “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17). “Brethren, be followers together of me [Paul], and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample” (Philippians 3:17). “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;…” (Colossians 1:10). “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:…” (Colossians 2:6).

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is the United States of America in Bible prophecy?

Order My Steps #9

Saturday, July 23, 2022

“Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me” (Psalm 119:133 KJV).

May we share the Psalmist’s wish!

The first five chapters of Romans lay out the doctrine of justification—to wit, how a sinner worthy of God’s righteous wrath in Hell and the Lake of Fire can trust Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for his sins and thereby be declared a Christian or saint (eternally righteous in God’s sight, bound for Heaven).

Chapters 6–8 outline the doctrine of sanctification—namely, how the Christian, in light of his position, is set apart unto God’s purpose and plan on a daily basis in practice. The believer’s walk each and every day will be victorious over sin only if two facts are never forgotten. Firstly, we are under grace not law (Romans chapter 6). Secondly, we are under the Holy Spirit’s authority not the flesh’s power (Romans chapter 8). To ignore (or fail to learn) either of these principles is to suffer that horrendous spiritual shipwreck of chapter 7!

Let us state it another way. When sin masters or controls us, we have not been mindful of Romans chapter 6 (dead to sin, alive unto God). Abandoning chapter 6, we have fallen into the snare of Romans chapter 7 (defeat, misery, hopelessness). To be recovered from the dreadful trap of fleshly living, we learn the lesson Paul himself realized in chapter 8: “[1] There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

There, right there, is the Christian overcoming sin on a daily basis….

Order My Steps #8

Friday, July 22, 2022

“Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me” (Psalm 119:133 KJV).

May we share the Psalmist’s wish!

Brethren, our Heavenly Father has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). “Ye are complete [lacking nothing] in [Christ]” (Colossians 2:10a). All we truly need, we permanently have in the Lord Jesus Christ. Four necessities given us in Christ are defined in 1 Corinthians 1:30,31: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

Firstly, we need spiritual wisdom, the ability to correctly apply spiritual truths to life. Jesus is our spiritual wisdom. Secondly, we need righteousness, a right standing before God. Christ is our righteousness. Thirdly, we need sanctification, separation unto Father God’s will. Jesus is our sanctification. Finally, we need redemption, a buying back from sin’s dominion. Christ is our redemption. God’s instructions to us are simple: Walk according to the people we already are in Christ!

After three chapters presenting our wealth in Christ, the Holy Spirit through Paul opens the final three chapters of Ephesians concerning our walk: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,…” (Ephesians 4:1). “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:…” (Ephesians 5:8). After concentrating on our wealth in Christ for two chapters, the second half of Colossians begins with our walk: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above [in heaven], where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:…” (Colossians 3:10).

Paying attention to the Holy Spirit’s words through Paul, we enjoy victorious Christian living. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh [sin]…. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law…. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16,18,25). Here is Romans chapter 8….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How are the LORD God and His works ‘terrible?’