A Naughty Tongue! #2

Friday, July 10, 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!

The Book of James says much about the tongue. For example, chapter 1: “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth [restrains] not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” (verse 26). Did you see how “vain [empty, worthless] religion” appears here? Keep that in mind as we continue surveying the Bible as touching the tongue.

Chapter 3 contains the bulk of the “tongue” statements found in James: “[1] My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. [2] For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. [3] Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. [4] Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

“[5] Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! [6] And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. [7] For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: [8] But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.Wow! What striking language this is! Why is it here?

As always, we “study… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). If we remember where James fits on the Bible timeline, and use it to look back in time at previous Divine revelation, we can grasp the culmination of man’s “naughty tongue….”

A Naughty Tongue! #1

Thursday, July 9, 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!

Many years ago, an elderly and dear sister in Christ (who has since moved on to be with the Lord) signed up for an account on a new social-media website. Within three months, the woman decided it was nothing but a “gossip column” and promptly deleted her account! No longer could she tolerate viewing the filth and reading the talebearing in which people were engaging. We can only wonder what that poor lady would say about social media today… a decade later!

Dear friend, re-read today’s Scripture: “A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.” The parallelism enables us to define the components of the verse. In other words, the “wicked doer” is simply the “liar;” the “false lips” correspond to the “naughty tongue.” God’s Word is clear. The reason someone willingly listens to a lie is because he or she is interested in circulating it as well. It is human nature to be attracted to drivel and defamation. Once we hear or read it, we enthusiastically pass it along to others so they can spread it too! (If we must propagate disparaging remarks, let us be sure to tell everyone Jeremiah 17:9! “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”)

The “naughty [Hebrew, “havvah”] tongue” of today’s Scripture appears in other verses. For example, see Psalm 38:12: “They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things [havvah], and imagine deceits all the day long.” Also, Psalm 52:2: “Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs [havvah]; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.” Man’s tongue—our tongue—is a disobedient or unruly organ. Whether thousands of years ago, right now, or in the future, the Holy Bible articulates uncomplimentary remarks concerning it. Saints, in this age of plenteous useless (!) chatter (!), we would do well to close our mouths and open our ears to the Word of God….

An Eternal House in the Heavens #10

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

God already sees it! By faith, do you?

In the prophetic program (past or future), God forms a bloodline of a literal, physical, visible, earthly people—the nation Israel. Accordingly, He demands they perform literal, physical, visible, earthly works—physical circumcision, water baptism, tithing, Sabbath-Day observance, confession of sins, and so on. Moreover, He promises them literal, physical, visible, earthly demonstrations of His power—healed bodies, bountiful harvests, military victories, et cetera (signs, miracles, and wonders).

However, in the mystery program, our present-day, God is forming a spiritual, invisible, heavenly people—although just as real as Israel. The Bible calls it “the Church the Body of Christ,” people “blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). In our Dispensation of Grace, Father God is not forming a literal, physical, visible group of believers. Therefore, we are not looking for literal, physical, visible, earthly works of God. We are to be looking, with the eyes of faith, at the invisible, spiritual works of God (2 Corinthians 4:18; today’s Scripture). One of these invisible, spiritual blessings is a glorified body, “eternal in the heavens.”

Ironically, “faith healers” are actually emboldening doubt rather than faith. They would have us walk by sight when Scripture instructs us to walk by faith. We do not have to see God visibly working to know He is with us. Rather, we know He is with us because His Word says His Holy Spirit is working in us to produce Christ’s life: “That [Father God] would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith…” (Ephesians 3:16,17).

Saints, divine physical healing for our dispensation will occur at the Rapture. God is not interested in temporarily restoring these aging, weakening bodies. When the Lord Jesus Christ returns in the air to take us away to Heaven, we the Body of Christ will receive glorified bodies like unto Jesus Christ’s resurrected, glorious body (Philippians 3:20,21). Until then, we say “Amen!” 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who are the people in 2 Corinthians 11:22—the 12 Apostles, or others?

An Eternal House in the Heavens #9

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

You may not see it, but God already does!

Christians worldwide live in physical bodies that are falling apart—cataracts, malnutrition/starvation, arthritis, hearing impairments, amputations, brain damage, heart disease, forgetfulness, cancer, thinning bones, high blood pressure, speech difficulties, limited mobility, and so on. While we should take care of our bodies as best as we can by taking advantage of medical science, exercise, and nourishing diets, the fact is that these bodies are not going to last forever anyway. All “healing” claims aside, lost and saved alike are buried in the same crust of Earth! To concentrate so much on maintaining these temporal bodies is a most serious error in the modern world. (People without hope in the next life are definitely trying to make the absolute most of this one!)

Short of the Lord’s coming, Christian brethren, these “outward men” of ours will succumb to the ultimate weakness—mortality—and thus they will “sleep” in the dust of the Earth. Paul, led by the Holy Spirit to write today’s Scripture, knew that as he penned it. As the outward man was growing weaker (and closer to death), the inward man was growing stronger in God’s grace: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). Steady, daily intake of God’s Word rightly divided would continually “renew” that inner man!

Our Apostle was more focused on what would be the condition of our inward men at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:9,10). The physical body would return to the ground, to be resurrected a spiritual body—a literal body just as real, just more advanced (no longer subject to death, and not limited by time or space). What would last forever is: (1) our soul currently living within our physical body, and (2) the resurrected body, “eternal in the heavens,” in which our souls will reside forever. Remain focused on these two eternal things!

Now, we conclude this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How long was Christ’s earthly ministry?

An Eternal House in the Heavens #8

Monday, March 27, 2017

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

You may not see it, but God already does!

While we are here in these physical bodies, we know absolutely that we are not in the Lord’s presence in Heaven: “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord” (verse 6). Once we leave these physical bodies, however, we know with certainty that we will be in the Lord’s presence in Heaven: “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (verse 8). Sandwiched between these two verses is the parenthetical phrase, “(For we walk by faith, not by sight: )” (verse 7). Remember, we, by faith, look at the invisible, eternal things rather than the visible, temporary ones (2 Corinthians 4:18)!

Once we meet the Lord Jesus Christ, and receive our glorified, resurrection bodies at the event we call the “Rapture” (1 Corinthians 15:49-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), then we will go before the Judgment Seat of Christ. Second Corinthians chapter 5 continues: “[9] Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. [10] For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

Not to be confused with the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15, which is for the lost people of the ages, the Judgment Seat of Christ is reserved only for Christians, members of the Body of Christ. Our Christian service will be evaluated: Jesus Christ will determine the spirituality, or maturity, of our inner man. The quality of the sound Bible doctrine—that is, dispensational Bible study—we store in our inner man will result in a reward. Notice, “the things done in his body…” (2 Corinthians 5:10). The reward is the capacity in which we will serve our Lord and Saviour as we function in those new outward bodies….

An Eternal House in the Heavens #7

Sunday, March 26, 2017

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

You may not see it, but God already does!

God still has work to do concerning our outward man, and we still have work to do concerning our inward man. While He has yet to redeem our physical bodies, which are falling apart, we should focus on our inward man, which should be growing. Second Corinthians chapter 4 once again: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” How is the “inward man” “renewed day by day?”

Romans 12:1-2 tells us: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Ephesians 4:20-23 says: “[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.”

The key to Christian living is letting Jesus Christ teach you how He wants to live His life in and through you. It is not something you struggle to do, but something you daily learn from His Word rightly divided. Faith causes the Holy Spirit to take that Word and change your thinking processes, and that will change your conduct to fit God’s grace. Colossians 3:10 adds: “And [ye] have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him….” We are building up the inner man, preparing for the day when God relocates it to the new outward man….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who are the prophets of Romans 16:26?

An Eternal House in the Heavens #6

Saturday, March 25, 2017

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

You may not see it, but God already does!

Today’s Scripture opens with great certainty: “For we know….” Verse 6 says, “Therefore we are always confident….” There was great assurance in Paul’s mind touching the resurrection of us Christians. He knew that his physical body would “perish,” be “dissolved” (disintegrated). Thus, he was not overly concerned about its weaknesses and limitations. He would leave behind that “outward man” of flesh and blood: that “body of sin” would be destroyed (Romans 6:6). Paul concentrated on his soul, or “inward man” (2 Corinthians 4:16). The soul was the “real” him, something he could never leave. He would take that into eternity, and God would implant that soul into the body “eternal in the heavens.”

Father God has prepared or appointed us to the resurrection, as chapter 5 continues: “[5] Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. [6] Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: [7] (For we walk by faith, not by sight: ) [8] We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

Our confidence is found in the indwelling Holy Spirit (verse 5), the “earnest” or “down payment.” As people who have trusted the Gospel of the Grace of God—Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)—we have been “redeemed” soul and spirit (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14). However, our outward bodies are unredeemed. Romans chapter 8 says: “[22] For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. [23] And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

Indeed, we wait for “the adoption,” “the redemption of our body….”

An Eternal House in the Heavens #5

Friday, March 24, 2017

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

You may not see it, but God already does!

Today’s Scripture loops back to the close of chapter 4 (paraphrased): “looking not at the temporal things that are seen, but at the eternal things that are not seen.” Those invisible, eternal things are described in today’s Scripture onward.

Read today’s Scripture with its subsequent context: “[1] For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. [2] For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: [3] If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. [4] For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”

Our physical bodies are called “this tabernacle” (verses 1 and 4)—a hut or temporary shelter. The Apostle Peter used that term to describe his mortal body in 2 Peter 1:13,14. Job 14:22 says of man: “But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.” Scripture provides a very interesting illustration here. The “soul” (“inward man;” 2 Corinthians 4:16)—the “real” person—is clothed by a body of “flesh” (“outward man;” 2 Corinthians 4:16). The flesh is without; the soul is within. Our physical bodies are temporary, to one day be shed, just as we remove our physical clothing. Our eternal souls, “unclothed,” will then be “clothed upon” by eternal bodies.

Second Corinthians chapter 5 switches from “our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved” (physical body, only temporary) to “we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (new glorified body, lasting forever). Earth is not our permanent home—Heaven is! God’s purpose and plan is not to improve these earthly bodies that will die anyway. He has promised us a body fit for the heavenly places….

The Blame Game

Sunday, January 24, 2016

“And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat” (Genesis 3:12 KJV).

Prepare for a psychology lesson from the Word of God!

The Bible is often viewed as an “anti-science” book. Today’s Scripture and its context illustrate this is simply not true. Psychologists and psychiatrists can study the human mind and human behavior in a lab and conclude that Genesis chapter 3 is certainly literal history—not “primitive fables invented and compiled around ancient Jewish campfires.” Whether the first man in the first instances of human history, or the 21st-century human in the most recent instances of human history, blame-shifting is one trait they have in common. There is no fantasy here, friend!

After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, Genesis chapter 3 says: “[9] And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? [10] And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. [11] And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? [12] And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. [13] And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”

God called Adam to accountability—“Where are thou?” Adam, although now discovered, did not confess to any wrongdoing, however. He surreptitiously shifted the blame (God was not fooled). Today’s Scripture says Adam not only blamed Eve, but declared, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” In other words, “God, it is Thy fault, for Thou gavest me Eve!” And, Eve, she replied when God asked her what she had done, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” That is, “The Devil made me do it!” (So, friends, whether in Genesis chapter 3 or modern society, we see human nature at its best—blaming God, blaming Satan, but never self!)

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did Adam die a saved man?

A Mind Worth Guarding

Friday, May 30, 2014

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14 KJV).

Verily, verily, the human mind is “fearfully and wonderfully made!”

A neurosurgeon recently described the miraculous, mindboggling human brain (surely not the result of random, mindless evolutionary processes!). We could learn one new fact every second, and our brain would take three million years before it would overload! Even in its fallen state, our mind can process two million bits of information per second! Our most powerful supercomputers cannot compare to the “computer” the Lord Jesus Christ made inside our craniums.

Every image we have ever seen and every book we have ever read, we do not remember them immediately, but these thoughts are deep inside our minds. In fact, the neurosurgeon said a certain medical procedure could stimulate our brains and cause us to access any and every memory we have acquired throughout our lifetimes. What was most amazing of all, he said that, if stimulated by such a procedure, we could even quote verbatim a book that we read several decades ago!

Due to the curse of sin, we actually use a very small percentage of our brain’s capabilities. We can only imagine the intelligence that Adam and Eve had just prior to their fall into sin. Recall what Adam did when he was just hours old: “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field…” (Genesis 2:19,20).

Saints, our minds are powerful, so we need to be careful what we let into them, for what we let in will literally remain there for the rest of our earthly lives. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8).