Many Days

Friday, October 22, 2021

“Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days” (Deuteronomy 2:1 KJV).

Exactly how many days were these “many days?”

Friend, have you noticed how complicated life is? If only things were much simpler and more enjoyable. Unfortunately, there is no perfect school, workplace, marriage, or church. Financial difficulties mount. Poor decisions lead to illness. Arguments and disagreements strain friendships. Disobedient children cause endless fretting about their wellbeing. Problems! Problems! Problems! We can be absolutely certain that wherever people can be found, trouble can be found there too. Wherever we find sin, we find complications. Hardships are part of this fallen creation.

Preparing for his departure via physical death, aged Moses is reciting the nation Israel’s history in today’s Scripture. The Jews had left Egypt and were bound for the Promised Land: “(There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)” (Deuteronomy 1:2). Leaving Horeb/Sinai, and approaching God’s land from the south, they arrived in Kadeshbarnea and wished to send in 12 spies to scout the land for 40 days (verses 19-25). “It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us” (verse 25b). “Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God” (verse 26). Oh, what a terrible sin! “Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God, Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day” (verses 32,33).

We have reached today’s Scripture: “Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days.” Those “many days” were 40 years (Numbers 14:34)!!! In short, because of a failure to believe God’s words, a two-week journey stretched into four decades… and, by that time, the unbelievers had all perished—having never seen the LORD’S land. May we apply sound Bible doctrine by faith to life now, that we not have “many days” of destructive wandering either!

Purity or Compromise? #7

Thursday, October 21, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

If we doubt the Scriptures, taking a negative view of them, we will gradually relinquish more and more of them—leading to increasing uncertainty. To appeal to the world, to gain their “fellowship,” we have compromised. Eventually, we wind up like so many dear souls who have expressed throughout history, “I hate the Bible and have tossed it out altogether!” Here is apostasy, falling away from the truth, the result of failing to maintain doctrinal integrity. If this is the way we want it, then the God of the Scriptures will let us have it. Therefore, we must be extremely careful in this regard.

Believing the Scriptures, taking a positive view of them, we will continue to grow purer in our understanding of spiritual matters—causing greater confidence. To seek God’s approval, to think like He thinks, we have faith in what He has spoken to us. Ultimately, we experience what precious few souls have exclaimed throughout history, “I trust, understand, and enjoy the Bible!” Here is maturity, a greater awareness of the truth, the consequence of upholding doctrinal integrity. If this is the way we want it, then the God of the Scriptures will let us have it. Therefore, we need to be exceedingly careful in this regard too.

Dear brethren, as grace believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we must be particularly vigilant to be people of faith not doubt, to be saints of purity not compromise. Even within the Grace Movement, it is often quite difficult to discern who is a Christian and who is not. This is to be expected of denominationalists who have compromised but not dispensationalists who are allegedly pure! Let us cogitate on these simple truths, and may we adjust our minds and actions accordingly.

Our latest Bible Q&As: “What is a ‘battlement?’” and “Can you explain ‘cogitations?’

Purity or Compromise? #6

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

The Scriptures warn us about philosophy, loving man’s wisdom not God’s wisdom. Paul asserted in 1 Corinthians chapter 2: “[1] And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God…. [4] And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: [5] That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God….

“[13] Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. [14] But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. [15] But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. [16] For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.”

Recall Colossians 2:8: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Finally, 2 Timothy 3:16,17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” In God’s Word rightly divided, we have pure doctrine, that our souls be uncontaminated. However, if we “love the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43), we will compromise with the world, it influencing us to infect our souls. It is our choice!

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Purity or Compromise? #5

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

The last Book of the Bible written, the Holy Spirit’s final instructions to the Church the Body of Christ, is 2 Timothy. Paul’s farewell epistle, chapter 2, educates: “[14] Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. [15] Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [16] But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. [17] And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; [18] Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

“[19] Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. [20] But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. [21] If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” Never, ever, ever, ever, ever are we to use grace as a license to sin! We are to avoid not only false teachers—who cause us to sin doctrinally by not “rightly dividing the word of truth!”—but also anyone else whose behavior is a stumblingblock to our own. They are leaning unto their own understanding, are wise in their own eyes, and have not acknowledged the LORD in their ways. He is not directing their paths; they have not departed from evil. Beloved, may we beware of them….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What are God’s ‘testimonies?’

Purity or Compromise? #4

Monday, October 18, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

“Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb [speechless, mute] idols, even as ye were led” (1 Corinthians 12:2). Before coming to Christ by faith in Paul’s Gospel, the Corinthians had worshipped and served pagan deities. Sadly, even after joining the Church the Body of Christ, they still worshipped and served idols! “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them [ancient Jews under Moses]…. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry…. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (1 Corinthians 10:7,14,21).

In chapter 6 of 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul later writes to Corinth: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial [Satan]? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel [unbeliever]? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (verses 14-18).

The saints at Corinth had not fully abandoned their heathen religion, for they had not completely accepted Paul’s apostleship and doctrines. If they were to be doctrinally and functionally pure, able to be the Lord’s people in belief and practice (as they already were His people positionally), they would have to wholly separate from Satan’s religious system. Likewise, so must we….

Purity or Compromise? #3

Sunday, October 17, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

Like every other sinful nation, ancient Israel was their own authority. Before they entered the Promised Land under Joshua, dying Moses advised: “Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes(Deuteronomy 12:8). Yet, during the Book of Judges (17:6; 21:25), centuries following Joshua, this was twice said of the Jews: “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Roughly five centuries after Joshua, the Holy Spirit wrote today’s Scripture to Israel through King Solomon: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” They were to avoid any and every path that deviated from the course God had already clearly laid out for them in their Hebrew Bible. Proverbs again warns in chapter 12, verse 15: The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” (The Book of Proverbs is God’s wisdom for Israel during the end-times, when the Antichrist will employ Satanic wisdom to deceive them. See Proverbs 1:1-9.)

Hundreds of years following Solomon, the Prophet Isaiah’s message to Israel was thus (5:20,21): “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!It is unmistakable. The Jews had compromised. Having thrown aside the Divine revelation they had, they adopted the darkness of the Gentiles around them. We can learn a lesson here too….

Purity or Compromise? #2

Saturday, October 16, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

In Genesis 11:1-9, the Gentiles gathered in pagan idol (Devil!) worship at the Tower of Babel, concluding 18 centuries of all nations having equal access to the one true God (unappreciated). With the LORD giving these nations over to the Satan worship they preferred (see Romans 1:17-32), He set apart one man from them and began a new nation (Genesis 12:1-3). This man was Abram—later changed to “Abraham” in chapter 17—and this nation was Israel.

Learn the condition of the Gentiles in this segment of human history (known as “time past” in Ephesians 2:11,12). “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19). God, having introduced the “but now” (Ephesians 2:13), expected these Gentiles who have come to Him through Paul’s Gentile ministry, to not repeat their old ways.

While the nations in “time past” were “suffered [allowed, permitted] to walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:16); conducting themselves among pagan idols in accordance with their darkened souls and dead spirits (Acts 17:24-31; Romans 1:21-26,28); God intended the nation Israel to be an “island of truth” in the midst of a “global sea of error.” The Jews had His wisdom, the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament (Deuteronomy 4:1-10; Psalm 147:18-20; Romans 3:1,2). Unlike the Gentiles or non-Jews living around them, the Israelites, as per today’s Scripture, were not to trust or rely on their sinful hearts for spiritual light, or their sinful understanding for spiritual truth. To do otherwise was “evil,” a compromise that would lead to them being compromised….

Purity or Compromise? #1

Friday, October 15, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

No matter the dispensation, regardless of the age, it is ever so vital to a person’s soul to be firmly dependent on a clear understanding of God’s words applicable for that given time. Making decisions based on feelings, hunches, superstitions, opinions, emotions, and speculations is an absolute disaster! Billions of lives testify to that tragic fact—and a good many of them, regrettably, attend “Christian” services too.

It is human nature to be independent, for that is the sinful heart of us all: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). “Desperately wicked” means “extremely evil.” What makes the natural human soul this way? The best definition for “sin” is provided in the following Scripture: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…” (Isaiah 53:6). Our heart is automatically inclined to devise its own course. “I want to do this! Here is where I will go! I will believe whatever I want! No one knows what is best for me except I!” However, as we all realize from personal experience, do we know what we are doing and where we are going most of the time?! It is a resounding NO!

Someone once lamented: “I am getting old. This thing called life is a mindblower. It seems by the time you get it all figured out, it is too late to do anything about it.” We can sense the writer’s dismay, can we not? After “doing our own thing” for decades, living selfishly, we are physically worn out and debilitated with age. Near life’s end, we cry out, “If only I did it all differently! Now, I am just too old to make things right!”

Before it is “too late,” may we set a proper course….

The Lord’s Ministers

Thursday, October 14, 2021

“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:5-9 KJV).

As I write this, I am thinking of two particular brothers in Christ who have helped me to understand and enjoy the King James Bible. I have never met them, but I have read their books with great interest. They have contributed to my spiritual edification, and that of those I teach. Just as Paul and Apollos labored in the grace ministry, so we all work with God in bringing other believers in Christ to a greater awareness of spiritual truth.

Despite their denominationalism, they shared the spiritual light they had—even if it meant offending “scholarship” and being the object of ridicule. One of those saints was a bitter opponent of dispensational Bible study because it contradicted his religious traditions; therefore, his spiritual growth was stunted. The other Christian was quite deceived in seminary, so those shortfalls also prevented him from coming to a fuller understanding of Scripture than he had. Regardless, I can rejoice in the Lord those two brethren are in Heaven, one graduating to there long before I was born and the other moving to the Lord’s presence just a few years ago. However great their confusion was here, their Saviour has straightened them out there. They fight against their Lord no longer! When it comes my time to leave this world and relocate to Heaven, I will surely shake those two brothers by the hand and tell them what the Lord used them to do with me and all those our ministry reaches.

How we are ever thankful of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He not only works through men who believe, but also performs in us to build and expand on their understanding of His precious (and preserved) words.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘the one needful thing’ in Luke 10:42?

Placebo #7

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isaiah 30:9,10 KJV).

What is a “placebo?” Can we find it in the spiritual realm?

Does not Almighty God want us to have positive thoughts? Certainly, but we should function according to His viewpoint—not man’s trite religious clichés that gratify the creature to the point of a temporary emotional high void of any lasting spiritual truth (see today’s Scripture). Human nature never changes. Whether in Israel’s prophetic program thousands of years ago, or our mystery program today, sinful man always seeks to hear a message that will cause him to think higher of himself. Prosperity theology underscores the material world, ignoring spiritual truths and spiritual riches, to the extent of seeking God to remove our physical sicknesses, reverse our financial ruin, et cetera. Instead of resorting to spiritual sugar pills, junk food, and mere crumbs—the superficial, skimpy messages of Christendom that profit us nothing—we can feast on the riches of God’s wisdom as found in this the Dispensation of Grace.

Friends, would you like some uplifting verses, what the Lord spoke to you through your Apostle Paul? Try reading Romans 5:1-11, 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, 1 Corinthians 2:9-16, Titus 2:11-14, Colossians 4:2-6, Ephesians 1:3-23, Galatians 5:16-26, Philemon 6, 2 Timothy 4:8, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Colossians 1:9-14, 2 Timothy 2:1-3, Ephesians 2:1-10, Romans 8:1-39, Romans 6:1-23, Romans 5:12-21, 2 Timothy 1:7-14, 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, 1 Thessalonians 2:10-13, Colossians 2:6-7, Galatians 2:20, 1 Timothy 6:6-12, 2 Corinthians 2:14-16, Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, Ephesians 3:11-21, Romans 3:21-28, 1 Timothy 4:12-13, Philippians 2:12-16, 2 Thessalonians 3:13, Philippians 1:9-11, Romans 4:1-25, 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, Colossians 3:1-17, 1 Thessalonians 5:11-26, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Philippians 3:7-21, Ephesians 6:10-20, Galatians 6:9-10, Ephesians 4:20-32, 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, Titus 3:4-7, 1 Corinthians 15:58, 1 Corinthians 6:9-20, Romans 12:1-21.

Surely, we can find something positive in at least one of these verses, right?! Here are God’s words concerning Christian living today, not idle speculations of men seeking to stroke egos and fill their bank accounts with the money of gullible consumers of Christendom (Christendumb!).