What Pleases God #4

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (2 Peter 1:17 KJV).

Using the Scriptures, we will define exactly what God thinks well of….

Chapter 1 of Colossians comments on God’s Son, Jesus Christ: “[16] For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: [17] And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. [18] And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. [19] For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; [20] And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

Colossians proves crucial in interpreting the creation of Genesis 1:1. When “God created the heaven and the earth,” that “God” was God the Son—the Lord Jesus Christ. He installed within those two realms a hierarchy of governmental offices (“things”), placing creatures to occupy those administrative positions. It “pleased” God the Father to appoint Jesus Christ as the Head of all those governments: all authority, in heaven and on earth, originates from Him. The nation Israel is the group of creatures whom God created to glorify His Son in the earth; the Church the Body of Christ (us!) is the group of creatures whereby God the Son is praised in the heaven.

The latter part of God’s will—His plan for the heavens—is the heart of the Apostle Paul’s ministry and message. Galatians 1:15,16: “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:….” If we turn to Paul’s message, we see the ultimate expression of God’s pleasure….

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! By the way, ministry emails have really been backed up this year. I am handling them as much as humanly possible. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

The More Powerful Words #8

Saturday, October 12, 2019

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6 KJV).

Sinful man needs to learn the lesson of today’s Scripture!

Like all 150 Psalms, the 33rd Psalm is a song highlighting the LORD God’s goodness. We will read its first 11 verses (today’s Scripture in context), but you are strongly encouraged to finish the chapter in your own personal study.

“[1] Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. [2] Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. [3] Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. [4] For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. [5] He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

“[6] By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. [7] He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. [8] Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. [9] For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. [10] The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. [11] The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.”

“Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.” Indeed, we “stand in awe” of the Lord Jesus Christ! Compared to us, He speaks the more powerful words. His speech can—and does—accomplish infinitesimally more than our utterances. Above all, His “counsel” “standeth for ever:” in the end, unlike our writings, His Word will never pass away. Lastly, He will outsmart all of His enemies, and what He has determined will be realized throughout the endless ages to come. It does not matter how much opposition sinful creatures (Satan and man!) muster, God’s purpose and plan for His creation will come to pass! 🙂

The More Powerful Words #7

Friday, October 11, 2019

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6 KJV).

Sinful man needs to learn the lesson of today’s Scripture!

We give our “enlightened” lectures at scientific conferences. Also, we publish our philosophical articles in prestigious, “scholarly” journals. However, since we have no power in and of ourselves, our words are weak. We cannot use them to create something from nothing. Not even today’s most vocal anti-Bible boasters have enough hot air to generate a new universe!

Friends, considering the above, never should we equate ourselves to our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. Since we know deep down inside that we are created beings, if we rebel against that reality, we live in a fantasyland or world of delusions. We think we are our own god—believing what we want, saying what we want, and doing what we want. Folly!

Romans chapter 1: “[17] For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. [18] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; [19] Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

“[20] For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: [21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. [22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, [23] And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

Verse 25: “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Yes, it is just as true today as it was 20 centuries ago. Actually, we really have not advanced too much. We are still the same old wretched sinners….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Does the New Covenant take away Israel’s free will?

Swaddling Clothes

Friday, October 4, 2019

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7 KJV).

What are “swaddling clothes?”

Today’s Scripture is a memorable passage read and heard every Christmas. We surely know of the “swaddling clothes” with which Mary the virgin wrapped around the body of her Child, the Baby Jesus. The angel of the Lord relays the message to the vigilant shepherds off in a nearby pasture: “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (verse 12). What in the world are “swaddling clothes?”

Our English word “swaddling” is the frequentative (recurring, repeating form) of another English term—“swathe.” The idea here is binding with strips or layers of fabric. In a crude sense, we can picture the ancient Egyptians wrapping a body to make a mummy. When Mary took the little Christ Child and wrapped Him with swaddling clothes, she was following an Oriental or Eastern custom of the day. This procedure provided warmth to His small body. Moreover, parents in this culture wrapped their newborns tightly with cloth to make their bones grow straight. There, in a tight, tiny bundle was the Saviour of all mankind!

Imagine! The Almighty Creator God took upon Himself human flesh, and reduced Himself to such a weak, fragile state. He entered Mary’s womb, taking on fleshly “clothes.” Growing little by little every day, He was finally delivered after nine months. His first cries were heard as air was forced into His lungs. He let Himself be wrapped in strips of cloth. For the next 30 years, He matured into a Man… born just to die for our sins!

Philippians chapter 2: “[5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! By the way, ministry emails have really been backed up this year. I am handling them as much as humanly possible. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

Children of Light #2

Monday, August 26, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

Let us turn to chapter 1, a description of the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, entering the world by becoming a Man: “[4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men. [5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. [6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. [7] The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. [8] He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. [9] That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

Go over to chapter 8, verse 12: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” And, chapter 9, verse 5 (Christ speaking again): “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Lastly, chapter 3: “[18] He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [19] And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. [20] For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. [21] But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (Pardon the pun, but you may want to reread John 12:24-31 “in light” of these passages.)

From the incarnation (becoming flesh) onward through His three-year earthly ministry, God the Son came to enlighten a spiritually-dark world, particularly to make the nation Israel (John 1:11) “children of light….”

Meet the Lord Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1 KJV).

Here is where we meet the Lord Jesus Christ!

Today’s Scripture is the first time the name “Jesus Christ” appears in the Bible record. In Greek, it literally means, “Anointed Saviour.” We saw this Person throughout the Books of Genesis through Malachi, but we did not know Him by this designation until He took upon Himself human flesh. Prior to that, He was solely a Spirit, the second Person of the Godhead, often called “the LORD God.” Once the Creator God assumed a man’s body, He thus became the intermediary between man and the first Member of the Godhead (Father God, who is “the Lord GOD”).

Let us read three key Bible passages in this regard. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12).

The one true God is not some “faraway,” apathetic Deity who cannot identify with our humanity. On the contrary, we read in John chapter 1: “[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. [4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men. [14] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,….” Here is the Lord Jesus Christ. Do we desire to know Him? Are we interested in knowing more about Him?

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How did Satan ‘take’ the Lord Jesus during His temptations?

The Mischievous Minister of Music #7

Friday, February 2, 2018

“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created (Ezekiel 28:13 KJV).

Who is this musician, and how did he destroy his ministry?

According to Ezekiel 1:4-28 (especially verses 5-10), Ezekiel 10:1-22 (particularly verses 9-19), and Revelation 4:1-11 (especially verses 6-9), four cherubim currently surround God’s throne. While often confused with angels, cherubim are technically dissimilar. Cherubim are also spirit creatures, true, but, unlike angels, they have wings and four faces—lion, ox/calf, man, and eagle. (Strange indeed!)

The four cherubim around God’s throne today were initially five. Recall the “anointed cherub that covereth [God’s throne]” (Ezekiel 28:14—the verse immediately after today’s Scripture). The fifth cherub was Lucifer, whom we now know as Satan. It was Lucifer whose outstretched wings formed a canopy above to reflect and refract/bend God’s radiating glory. Lucifer, remember, was a “living music box;” he encouraged singing. This all directed praise and worship to the Lord Jesus Christ (the Creator). Once created, the angelic races sang as they watched the Lord Jesus continue working during the Creation Week. Lucifer led this music and singing too.

Notice Job chapter 38: “[1] Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, [2] Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? [3] Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? [6] Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; [7] When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?(Verse 7, doubtless, is the angelic host.)

Nevertheless, as stated earlier, Lucifer was ungrateful to his Creator. Rather than leading creation in worshipping the Creator in song, Lucifer wanted to lead creation….