Resolute to Speak in Christ!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:17 KJV).

Despite all the corrupters, we will keep God’s Word pure!

I periodically receive emails from discouraged grace believers, people “beaten up” by denominationalists. Whether in-person or on social media, they have encountered much opposition. (I know!) Individuals constantly attack the King James Bible as “faulty” and “a mere translation.” Jesus Christ’s crosswork means nothing to them because their religious works mean everything to them. There is much anti-grace rhetoric (legalism). Individuals viciously ridicule the Apostle Paul. Dispensational Bible study is questioned and denigrated as “nutty” and “cultic.”

This should neither surprise nor discourage us. Whether today, or throughout Bible history, very few follow Father God. Never forget, my dear brethren, Noah preached for 120 years, and all he converted was seven precious souls (2 Peter 2:5)! Untold millions mocked and refused to hear him, thus perishing in the Great Deluge. Pride kept them from entering that Ark, eternally damning them. Even today, pride keeps billions of lost people from being saved by trusting Christ as personal Saviour (1 Timothy 2:4). Moreover, pride prevents millions of Christians from “coming to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).

Some 2,000 years ago, people were “wresting” (perverting) the Scriptures—especially Paul’s epistles—to their spiritual destruction (2 Peter 3:15,16). When we learn of so many people today vilifying Jesus Christ, the King James Bible, Paul, and dispensational Bible study, we recall today’s Scripture: “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”

A disheartened grace believer recently wrote to me concerning the hostility: “After it’s done beating me up a bit I tend to try to redouble my resolve to know the word of grace.” In other words, the opposition motivates him to endeavor to learn about God’s grace even more! (It took me years to gain that same attitude, but I agree 1000 percent!!) The more they question God’s truth; the more we reinforce it in our minds, over and over and over again. Daily, constantly, eternally! 🙂

Fewer Enemies Than God

Sunday, July 24, 2016

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” (Genesis 6:5-7 KJV).

You may have a lot of enemies, dear Christian friend, but you have a lot less enemies than God does!

Long ago, a much older Christian saw a young pastor who was greatly disheartened. He exhorted that young man by name, “You may have enemies, but not as many as God does!” “Amen,” we say, “Amen!” Just think on today’s Scripture. Many, many centuries ago, the world became so out of control, so rebellious, that God had to finally destroy it in the Great Flood. That wickedness was not confined to the Mesopotamian Valley. It was literally everywhere. God’s enemies had taken over His planet, and now He was going to wipe it clean!

The human population of Earth at the time of the Great Deluge is unknown. Maybe there were several hundred millions. Perhaps even a few billions. Add to that the seven billion people on Earth today. Plus, there may be one or two billion other people between the post-Flood world and modern-day record-keeping. In total, somewhere between 10 and 15 billion people have lived thus far. All of them sinners, God had to deal with every last one of them. How He was so patient! All of them were always doing things to upset Him, to offend Him, to disobey Him. Even today, God has more enemies present on Earth than He has ever had!

Christian friend, no matter how many people are against you, always remember God has more people against Him. If He can handle His enemies, He is also able to handle yours if you let Him! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did God create evil?

Understand and Enjoy the Bible! #9

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction (2 Peter 3:15,16 KJV).

Although there is so much confusion about it, can we really understand and enjoy the Bible?

Let us consider the third point from today’s Scripture: “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood.” I confronted my denominational pastor years ago with dispensational Bible study. Pointing to today’s Scripture, I told him Peter admitted that he found some of Paul’s teachings “hard to understand.” Looking for a quick way out, the man blurted, “Paul’s teachings had not been written down yet!” (How dishonest! Did not Peter refer his audience to Paul’s “writings” and “epistles?!”)

When Peter declared that he did not understand everything Paul wrote, we need not throw up our hands in desperation. We need not throw away our Bibles in frustration. First, we take a deep, deep breath. Then, we recall that Peter had already written that special divine wisdom had been given to Paul. That wisdom had not been committed to Peter’s trust! People have been taught for ever so long in church tradition that Paul’s ministry was an “extension” of what Peter and the 11 apostles of Israel did and taught, but Peter himself argues, “Not so!”

Paul’s ministry was so radically different from Peter’s that Peter admitted in final last epistle that Paul taught some information he did not understand. Jesus Christ Himself taught Peter for three years, and Peter still had difficulty with some spiritual truths? Yes, because not even Jesus had taught during His earthly ministry what He was now teaching through Paul during His heavenly ministry. No wonder people still struggle with Paul today. They need not. With the completed Bible in hand, we can see everything Peter did not. Through Paul’s writings, we have God’s Word to us Gentiles!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does Colossians 1:24 mean?

Understand and Enjoy the Bible! #8

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction (2 Peter 3:15,16 KJV).

Although there is so much confusion about it, can we really understand and enjoy the Bible?

Let us consider the second point from today’s Scripture: “even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things.” Some people in “Christianity” today—even preachers!—absolutely hate the Apostle Paul. I have received emails from “Christian” people disparaging Paul, individuals calling him every nasty name but the “four-letter ones.” (Doubtless their “‘Jesus-loving,’ scholarship-worshipping, ‘spiritual’ leader” taught them these reckless slanders.)

The Holy Spirit, knowing people were criticizing Paul (2,000 years ago), moved the Apostle Peter to pen “our beloved brother Paul.” Paul was not a charlatan or infidel. Peter acknowledged Paul as a brother in Jesus Christ. Moreover, he called Paul “beloved.” Notice the amity and love Peter had toward Paul. After all, they both were saved by the same Jesus Christ and led by the same Holy Spirit.

Yet, Peter acknowledged Paul had “wisdom given unto him.” Interestingly, Peter singled out Paul. Peter never claimed to have been given that wisdom—or John, James, Matthew, Jude, et cetera. In Peter’s mind, no one but Paul had that “wisdom.” Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:2,3: “…the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery….” Paul confirms in Galatians 2:1,2: “Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles….” Paul met with Peter, James, and John, and he shared with them the special Gospel message God had given to him to preach amongst the Gentiles!

Understand and Enjoy the Bible! #7

Monday, January 11, 2016

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction (2 Peter 3:15,16 KJV).

Although there is so much confusion about it, can we really understand and enjoy the Bible?

Let us consider the first point from today’s Scripture: “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.” Remember, the Apostle Peter (1:1) is writing to the nation Israel (Galatians 2:9). The Holy Spirit through Peter wants Israel to “account” something, to “consider” that “the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.” Now, what does this mean? We can answer this by asking, “What are the circumstances that caused Peter to write this?”

Notice the beginning of chapter 3 of 2 Peter: “[3] Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, [4] And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. [5] For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: [6] Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: [7] But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”

In today’s Scripture, Peter provided Israel with an answer to give the scoffers who asked where Jesus Christ’s Second Coming was, His return to consume them in His wrath. He was supposedly coming “quickly,” and yet, at the time of Peter’s writing, Christ had left Earth over 30 years earlier. There had still been no fiery judgment. Why? Was Christ not coming back? Was it all just a farce? In the second point, Peter encouraged his audience to consult Paul’s ministry. We do just that!

Rise Up, LORD! #6

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel (Numbers 10:35,36 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture mean?

In Acts chapter 7, a window into the third heaven was opened, and Stephen, standing on Earth, saw Jesus finally standing at His Father’s right hand. When Stephen told Israel what he saw, they recalled their Old Testament prophecies and were convicted. Remembering the closing warning of Peter’s sermon on Pentecost just a year earlier (Acts 2:33-40), these lost Jews knew God’s judgment against their persistent unbelief was coming.

Today, 2000 years later, strangely, we can declare that wrath never came. Not because God was bluffing, but because He interrupted that prophetic program and introduced our mystery program. God wanted to demonstrate His wisdom. While Israel was uncooperative with Him in reaching the lost and dying Gentiles, He would still reach them without Israel. He would save and use one of Stephen’s murderers, Saul of Tarsus, commissioning him as the Apostle Paul of the Gentiles. Jesus Christ did return, but not in wrath. He returned in grace, mercy, peace, and love to save Paul (1 Timothy 1:13-16). (But, that, friends is another marvelous story we must forgo here!)

Had Israel entered the Promised Land under Moses in faith, Jesus Christ would have come to reign over them (note Exodus 15:17,18). Alas, they did not and He did not. How Israel saw JEHOVAH God cleansing His land of pagans so they (His people) could enter in, they were getting a glimpse of JEHOVAH God coming to finish the job at Christ’s Second Coming. Except, at the Second Coming, not only will that wrath be directed toward lost Gentiles, but also toward lost Israel. Only redeemed Israel—her Little Flock—will go into the land. The descendants of Abraham who reject Jesus Christ, they are His enemies, and have nowhere to go but to God’s punishment against their sin, eternal hellfire.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Cornelius have to hear Peter’s preaching?

Rise Up, LORD! #4

Monday, November 16, 2015

And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel (Numbers 10:35,36 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture mean?

Jude, in his tiny Bible book, described a little-known ministry that occurred 2,000 years before Moses: “[14] And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, [15] To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Over 2,500 years before King David wrote Psalm 68:1 and Psalm 110:1, and 2,000-plus years before Moses spoke today’s Scripture, God’s people already understood Jesus Christ’s Second Coming in wrath. Enoch, who lived merely 500 years after the Creation, and just before the Great Flood, was led by God’s Spirit to speak of a day when the Lord would come with tens of thousands of angelic soldiers. He was coming to judge this world of sinners, this world of people who hated Him and spoke against Him. Obviously, Moses and David received further revelation.

The Spirit of God had also moved David to write in Psalm 2: “[1] Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? [2] The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, [3] Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. [4] He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. [5] Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.”

Psalm 2 set a date for that wrath. It would occur shortly after Calvary (cf. Acts 4:25-28). Hence, Peter preached what he did on Pentecost. Much of Israel ignored the apostles’ preaching, and, in Acts chapter 7, a year after Calvary, Jesus Christ stood up! Israel no doubt knew what was just moments away!