The Thing Which is Good

Monday, September 7, 2020

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28 KJV).

On this Labor Day, we talk about work, “the thing which is good.”

In this day and age of increasing “government assistance,” people are becoming less and less aware of our hard work being the Lord Jesus’ preferred method of the source of our incomes. While the physically and mentally disabled are obvious exceptions, the God of the Bible expects all of us to contribute labor in order to provide for ourselves. For children and young adults, even being a student in school is work enough!

Observe the doctrine being communicated in today’s Scripture. The grace life does not merely teach us to quit doing bad things, but it also instructs us to start doing good things (Titus 2:11,12). Once a thief trusts the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork as sufficient payment for his sins, then God expects that thief to quit stealing and find a job so he can provide for his needs!

The God of creation calls work “the thing which is good” (today’s Scripture). Work is not something to be avoided; it is something to be embraced for the Lord’s glory!

When the Lord Jesus Christ put the first man, Adam, on earth, that man had a divine commission. Adam was not to simply loaf around and do nothing: “And the LORD God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Adam was to protect that garden, to till its ground, to prepare it for Jesus Christ to come down and dwell in with he and Eve (because of sin, that earthly kingdom over which Jesus Christ will rule is still awaiting fulfillment!).

Saints, may we work to provide for our families (1 Timothy 5:8), and may we work to help those who truly are needy (today’s Scripture). In the words of God the Holy Spirit, that is “good!” 🙂

The Holy Land

Thursday, September 3, 2020

“And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again” (Zechariah 2:12 KJV).

A common expression in Christian parlance, what exactly is “the Holy Land” anyway?

The phrase appears just once in the King James Bible. Nevertheless, the idea is not isolated to today’s Scripture. Dating back to ancient times, even pagan idolaters have understood the Middle East as special. Of course, before there was a Bible, early man had verbally passed down from generation to generation the news of the Garden of Eden being in modern Iraq (see Genesis 2:14, the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers).

Isaiah (chapter 40) speaks of the LORD as Creator: “[21] Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? [22] It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:….” God intended the universe to be His house!

Among the hundreds upon hundreds of billions of celestial bodies, God placed “the blue marble” (planet Earth). “For the LORD hath chosen Zion [Jerusalem]; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it” (Psalm 132:13,14). Of course, Adam and Eve sinned and never saw God’s earthly kingdom. Many centuries later, the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt: “Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation” (Exodus 15:13). Verse 17: “Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O LORD, which thy hands have established.” The words “sanctuary” (think “saint!”) and “holy” are synonymous, meaning “set apart for God’s purposes.” Alas, Israel also sinned, also never seeing that kingdom.

Yet, the Prophets foretell: “The LORD is there” (Ezekiel 48:35). Jesus is thus called, “Emmanuel, God with us” (Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14). Today’s Scripture is Israel and her (His) land finally restored at Christ’s Second Coming, His (her) Millennial Kingdom!

For Students This is Safe

Sunday, August 16, 2020

“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:128 KJV).

As a new school year dawns, let us awake unto spiritual truth!

Although the autumnal equinox is still over a month away here in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is finally beginning to wind down for most of us. Students—with long faces and deep sighs—have returned or are beginning to return to school. As students return to the classroom, they need to be particularly mindful of the following.

Firstly, learning in and of itself is not a sin. Moses was “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). Luke was a medical doctor (Colossians 4:14). Daniel and his companions were skilled in science (Daniel 1:4). Adam was the first taxonomist (Genesis 2:19,20). The God of the Bible is never against learning new things—remember, He gave us His Holy Bible so we can have plenty to learn for all of eternity!

Secondly, what the God of the Bible opposes is when we believe/trust ideas that do not seek our best interests, that contradict the way He designed our lives to function. Certainly, we Christians should never go around believing anything and everything heard and seen. Just because the professor, preacher, pope, or president says it is true, that does not make it so. Scientific consensus has been wrong before, religion has been wrong before, politicians have been wrong before. Much of the ideas that permeate our world today are wrong.

Lastly, there are many wonderful, exciting ideas and concepts out there—medical advancements, technological breakthroughs, and so on—but there are equally detrimental ideas that will mess up your life—religious traditions, secular humanism, and other philosophies. Daily intake of the King James Bible rightly divided will cleanse our souls of the filth and foolishness that we hear and see day in and day out in this evil world system. We highly exalt God’s Word, we know it is right “concerning all things,” and we hate and ignore the error.

Have a wonderful school year in our Lord Jesus Christ! 🙂

*P.S.—Yes, the coronavirus pandemic has caused things to be quite different than usual. Some of you will be returning to in-person classrooms; others will be learning from home, via computer or other electronic devices. Please know that I will be in special prayer for you in these unique circumstances. God’s grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)!

Who Will Go? #3

Friday, July 24, 2020

Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8 KJV).

May we agree with the Prophet Isaiah!

Noah’s call to the ministry is Genesis chapter 6: “[13] And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. [14] Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch…. [17] And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

“[18] But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. [19] And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. [20] Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. [21] And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. [22] Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.(For the next 120 years, Noah proceeded to build the Ark and preach; Genesis 6:3 cf. 2 Peter 2:5.)

The Prophet Hosea’s ministry was entirely unique. “The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD. So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son” (Hosea 1:2,3). Hosea’s tragic relationship with his twice-unfaithful wife perfectly pictures Israel and Judah cheating on JEHOVAH God with idols.

Let us likewise obey our call to the ministry….

A Naughty Tongue! #13

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue” (Proverbs 17:4 KJV).

In today’s world of widespread social media, “wicked doer,” “false lips,” “liar,” and “naughty tongue” are all appropriate nouns!

Psalm 63: “[A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.] [1] O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; [2] To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. [3] Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. [4] Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

“[5] My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: [6] When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. [7] Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. [8] My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. [9] But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. [10] They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. [11] But the king [David!] shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.”

Saints, if we have sound Bible doctrine working in us—as King David did 3,000 years ago—then we will burst forth in song and praise to Almighty God. We can use our tongues to utter man’s foolishness, or God’s wisdom: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). Have not have a “naughty tongue!”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘leasing’ in the King James Bible?

A Naughty Tongue! #12

Monday, July 20, 2020

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue” (Proverbs 17:4 KJV).

In today’s world of widespread social media, “wicked doer,” “false lips,” “liar,” and “naughty tongue” are all appropriate nouns!

Considering “false prophets,” 1 John 4:1-5 exhorts, “try [test, evaluate] the spirits whether they are of God.” These “spirits” are voices (cf. “the spirit of his mouth;” 2 Thessalonians 2:8). Man’s sinful tongue zealously spreads evil doctrine—endorsing the false Messiah or Antichrist. As Satan’s world system winds down, the Antichrist and his followers will speak lies against the one true God (Jesus Christ) and His children. “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them” (1 John 4:5).

Proverbs 6:16-19 affirms the LORD hates “a lying tongue” and “a false witness that speaketh lies.” Hence, Jewish saints utter their “imprecatory psalms”—prayerful pleas for Christ to return in righteousness and punish such evildoers. “For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain (Psalm 139:20). “Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing [falsehoods, lies]: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man” (Psalm 5:6). “They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?” (Psalm 12:2-4).

“Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous (Psalm 31:18). Psalm 94:4: “How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?” “Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue (Psalm 120:2). Psalm 140:11: Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.” “Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood:…” (Psalm 144:11). Indeed, The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment (Proverbs 12:19).

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

A Naughty Tongue! #11

Sunday, July 19, 2020

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue” (Proverbs 17:4 KJV).

In today’s world of widespread social media, “wicked doer,” “false lips,” “liar,” and “naughty tongue” are all appropriate nouns!

Continue reading Ephesians’ “speech alway with grace” verses. Chapter 4 concludes: “[29] Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. [30] And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. [31] Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour [screaming, commotions], and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: [32] And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Move to chapter 5: “[1] Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; [2] And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. [3] But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; [4] Neither filthiness [obscenities], nor foolish talking, nor jesting [flippant, ridiculous words], which are not convenient [suitable]: but rather giving of thanks…. [19] Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; [20] Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; [21] Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

The “naughty tongue,” relaying its poppycock, interrupts “grace speech:” “But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers [uttering foolish, silly babblings!] also and busybodies [meddling gossips, blabbermouths!], speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary [unbeliever] to speak reproachfully (1 Timothy 5:11-14).

Let us see how God will deal with sinful man’s naughty tongue….

A Naughty Tongue! #10

Saturday, July 18, 2020

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue” (Proverbs 17:4 KJV).

In today’s world of widespread social media, “wicked doer,” “false lips,” “liar,” and “naughty tongue” are all appropriate nouns!

Unfortunately, the average Christian’s speech cannot be distinguished from the world’s communication… and this goes far beyond “dirty four-letter words.” They are not speaking like members of the Church the Body of Christ. While struggling to describe even the simplest Bible truths, church members effortlessly explain false teaching and other lies. They can tell us why this group is wrong, that sect is heretical, this cult is perverted, and that denomination is evil, but they cannot expound sound Bible doctrine. Furthermore, they sound like members of the nation Israel. They focus on Israel’s legalistic doctrine and ignore God’s grace message through the Apostle Paul.

Ephesians chapter 4: “[15] But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: [16] From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. [17] This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, [18] 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: [19] Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

“[20] But ye have not so learned Christ; [21] If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: [22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; [23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; [24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. [25] Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Again, our words should conform to the Word of God’s Grace….

A Naughty Tongue! #9

Friday, July 17, 2020

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue” (Proverbs 17:4 KJV).

In today’s world of widespread social media, “wicked doer,” “false lips,” “liar,” and “naughty tongue” are all appropriate nouns!

Several key Pauline passages tell us how to use our tongues wisely in this Age of Grace, as members of the Church the Body of Christ. For example, Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6). As opposed to “bland or ordinary dialog,” we should speak words “seasoned with salt”—words that preserve souls not destroy them. What will make our speech pleasant and productive? It is that which is “alway [entirely, completely] with grace.” If it embodies the Message of God’s Grace—communication that conforms to sound (Pauline) doctrine—then it is the appropriate “answer” we should give to inquisitive minds.

Titus chapter 2: “[1] But speak thou the things which become [are suitable for, correspond to, parallel] sound doctrine:…. [7] In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, [8] Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you…. [15] These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” Chapter 3, verses 1 and 2: “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”

Instead of hastily running our mouths and making ourselves look like fools (as we Christians have often done—and continue to do!), we should frame our words based on our careful study and understanding of Romans through Philemon. While the lost world around us will call us unpleasant names, as long as we follow these verses, their accusations will be groundless. Their tongues can echo Satan’s lies, but we take our stand by faith and choose rather to declare God’s truth!

Let us see other Pauline exhortations that speak to the usage of our tongues….

A Naughty Tongue! #8

Thursday, July 16, 2020

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue” (Proverbs 17:4 KJV).

In today’s world of widespread social media, “wicked doer,” “false lips,” “liar,” and “naughty tongue” are all appropriate nouns!

As people who live in this Age of Grace, and members of the Church the Body of Christ, we should exercise great caution as to how we use our tongues. Many are still utilizing their speaking organs to communicate lies of all kinds in all circles, so we should be careful not to fall for this false teaching or repeat it. Otherwise, we will be yet another extension of Satan’s policy of evil—his lie program being perpetuated further!

“Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:30). “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits [enticing voices], and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;…” (1 Timothy 4:1,2). “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair [beautiful, embellished] speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17,18).

The Apostle Paul himself, being led by the Holy Spirit, did not employ man’s wisdom or clever philosophical gimmicks to convert people to Christ. Read 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:….” In chapter 4, verse 19, there were Christians in Corinth using their tongues to express their pride in being “independent believers,” enjoying a life of sin and freedom from all apostolic influence or guidance: “But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.” Our tongues should rather convey God’s grace….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What are ‘the secret chambers’ of Matthew 24:26?