Unknown by Face (For Now, Anyway)

Monday, March 12, 2012

“Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; and was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: but they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me” (Galatians 1:21-24 KJV).

Today’s Scripture says Jewish believers in Judaea (surrounding Jerusalem) merely heard of Paul’s conversion. They had not seen him in person. Nevertheless, these saints rejoiced because Paul, the very man who once murdered God’s people, was now God’s apostle of the Gentiles! Paul wrote “they glorified God in me.”

The Church the Body of Christ spans some 2,000 years. Its members, scattered worldwide, lived during various centuries, all having never met face-to-face (I have never met most of you in person). Paul never met the Laodiceans and the Colossians (Colossians 2:1)… in this life, anyway. When the Body of Christ is complete, at the rapture, we will see—in person—our brethren, the Christians of the past 20 centuries (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Get excited!!!

Several weeks ago, I received an email from a young grace believer and college student who discovered our devotionals blog (he will be reading this too!). Yesterday, we were finally able to fellowship via telephone… spanning the 1,000-mile distance between us. We know not each other in person—we are both “unknown by face”—but we “glorified God in [each other].” We rejoiced in the Lord, how by His grace, we stood for the grace message (the Gospel of the Grace of God), the King James Bible, young earth creationism, and Pauline dispensationalism. How we were both encouraged by each other’s dedication to sound doctrine, even as our “higher education” systems consider us “outcasts.” Our fervor for upholding God’s Word rightly divided, even in the midst of persecution, encouraged him, and vice versa (1 Thessalonians 3:7,8).

Brethren, when we read or hear about other grace believers proclaiming and defending sound Bible doctrine (Gospel of Grace, King James Bible, Paul’s apostleship, et cetera), let us “glorify God in [them],” even if they are “unknown by face [for now, anyway]!”

When Christ Returns

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things…” (Acts 3:19-21 KJV).

The perfect planet that existed prior to man’s rebellion and fall has been absent for 6,000 years now. According to the Bible, “as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12). It was in Genesis 3:16-19 that the LORD placed a curse on creation, “the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21). Consequently, we have sickness and death, thorns and thistles, and women have birth pangs. That is only until Christ returns….

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Peter tells Israel that Jesus Christ will return one day to earth to set up His earthly kingdom (“the times of refreshing” and “the times of restitution of all things”). He will also restore and forgive Israel. After Christ’s Second Coming, the curse of sin will be lifted from creation and Earth will revert back to the conditions of the Garden of Eden! Isaiah 51:3 says: “For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.”

Ezekiel 36:33-36 also describes Israel’s barren land restored: “This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited” (verse 35). Isaiah 11:1-10 describes Christ’s earthly kingdom. There will be no carnivorous or poisonous animals—children will not be harmed by snakes, wolves will dwell peacefully with lambs, and leopards will coexist calmly with baby goats. Wow!

For now, the human, plant, and animal kingdoms will continue to suffer—sickness, heartache, and ultimately physical death. But, this is not permanent. Creation will be restored to its original glory, and finally delivered from the curse of sin… when Christ returns….

When the Fulness of the Time Was Come – 333’s 200th

Saturday, December 17, 2011

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4,5 KJV).

In the beginning God set the first man, Adam, on earth to “subdue [control] it,” to “have dominion” over it and everything on it (Genesis 1:28). Alas, Adam sided with Satan, joining the rebellion against God. The human race, now marred by sin, was unable to fellowship with its holy Creator God.

Fortunately, God promised mankind’s Redeemer in Genesis 3:15: a Man who would do what Adam failed to do—rule earth for God’s glory. Adam was “the figure [preview/type] of him that was to come” (Romans 5:14c). About 4000 years after Adam, the “him that was to come” finally came—Jesus Christ. How human history was forever impacted when that Redeemer came!

Jesus Christ’s birth was not some haphazard event of nature. God the Father had preplanned the exact moment of the incarnation of His Son, Jesus Christ (today’s Scripture). Recall that, unlike us, before His physical birth, Jesus Christ lived as a Spirit in heaven’s glory with His Father (John 1:1,2; cf. Micah 5:2).

When the appointed time came, at His Father’s behest, Jesus’ Spirit came to earth to indwell the body in the virgin Mary’s womb. For nine months, God Himself actually lived inside Mary’s womb! Being delivered, He lived a sinless life of 33 years, despised by His family (Israel) and the world. As one dear Christian brother explained, “That was the greatest life ever lived in a human body!”

No event in human history compares to the coming of Jesus Christ. As today’s Scripture teaches, the Lord Jesus became a small Baby… to become a grown man… to become Israel’s rejected Messiah… to ultimately die for us, the wretched Gentiles! God became a man, to “give Himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6).

We are ever grateful that “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son….”

Saints, we have reached a milestone – #200. WOW!

Same Old, Same Old (Ignorance and Unbelief)

Friday, September 2, 2011

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 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” (2 Peter 3:3,4 KJV).

Continue reading the context of today’s Scripture (verses 5,6): “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: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:”

Geologist James Hutton proposed the principle of uniformitarianism, the belief that the same natural processes operating on earth today are generally those that sculpted earth in the past. Basically, “the present is the key to the past.”

A college geology textbook reads: “Two fathers of modern geology, James Hutton and Charles Lyell, led us to understand that the planet was not shaped by a series of catastrophic events over a mere few thousand years, as many people had believed. Rather, what we see today is the product of ordinary geologic processes operating over much longer time intervals” (Understanding Earth, Grotzinger et al., 2007, 184).

Notice how this textbook rejects the Great Flood of Noah’s day (“catastrophic events”) by claiming that “ordinary geologic processes” have always operated on earth. In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Peter mentioned Bible scoffers who are willingly ignorant of the Great Flood. This describes Hutton, Lyell, and the other scientists who accept the theory of uniformitarianism and reject the “catastrophic” Great Flood.

  • UNIFORMITARIANISM = slow processes operating during long periods of time, suggesting an old earth (~4.6 billion years old).
  • CATASTROPHISM = accelerated erosion, transportation, and deposition of sediments during the Great Flood, suggesting a young earth (thousands of years old).

Because the extreme conditions and accelerated rates of processes demanded by the global Flood disprove almost uniform, ordinary, and slow rates of geologic change, most scientists reject “catastrophism” (the Bible’s Flood) in favor of “uniformitarianism” (to keep their “old earth view!”).

As the uniformitarianists shout, “Same old, same old!,” we catastrophists exclaim, “Same old, same old ignorance and unbelief!

Something More Evil Than Science

Sunday, August 28, 2011

“And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition” (Mark 7:9 KJV).

Many Christians complain that science accomplishes Satan’s work because it brainwashes kids into believing lies such as an old universe and the ridiculous “molecules-to-man” theory (that all living creatures descended from a common ancestor). Indeed, Satan has used science to mislead the masses, but these fervent church members seldom realize that religion, not science, is Satan’s “favorite hiding place.”

Science is the study of the natural world. The Bible is not anti-science—repeatable, testable, falsifiable science. God’s Word is opposed to “science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20), man’s idle speculations that contradict Scripture. Apart from its numerous silly, unbiblical conjectures, science is not evil. But there is something more evil than science.

Something far more dangerous and misleading than “science falsely so called” is the infamous “Christianity falsely so called.” Religious tradition is more deceptive than false science because the Bible is used to teach some of it (the Bible cannot be used to teach false science). Religion is dangerous because, unlike false science, it has a godly appearance.

In today’s Scripture, Jesus Christ rebuked Israel’s religious leaders (notice He condemned the religious community, not the scientific community): “well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” Church tradition and false science are equally guilty of contradicting the Scriptures.

Scientists without God know they need God, whereas religious people are deceived into thinking they have God (all they really have is empty tradition). Scientists know they are not good enough for heaven, but religious people have been taught they are good enough. It has been appositely stated that, “Religion will send more people to hell than anything else.” Religion will do more harm to your soul than false science ever will because religion encourages you to pit your “righteousness” against God’s.

Many genuine Christians condemn science as “evil,” yet they have no idea that Satan is working just as heavily in their denominational church as he is in the science classrooms. Frightening!

Be not deceived… by false science or religion!

Does the Bible Teach an Old Universe?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;” (Hebrews 1:10,11 KJV).

Many in the scientific community reject the Bible’s testimony… unless of course, if it seems to agree with their teaching. Today’s Scripture is a favorite amongst those who refuse the idea of a young earth and a young universe. Notice the Bible says that the heavens “shall wax old as doth a garment.” Alas, this wresting of the Scriptures is manifested when we understand the definition of “old.”

When the Bible uses the term “old” to describe the heavens, it does not necessarily equate to billions of years old. Do we always use “old” to describe something extremely ancient? Of course not. A centenarian is 100 years old—is this person “old” when compared to, say, a millennium?  Notice how the Bible said the heavens would “wax [grow] old as doth a garment.” Just how “old” can a garment be? Billions of years old? We use the term “old” to refer to items we have had but a few years (like worn-out clothes).

The Bible terms the Mosaic Covenant (Old Testament) “old” in Hebrews 8:13, yet the Mosaic Covenant is just 3,500 years old. Notice the Bible calls the Mosaic Law “old,” yet it is merely thousands of years old. Just as the Mosaic Law needs to pass away for those Jews of the book of Hebrews, so that the New Covenant can be established (Hebrews 8:8-13), this present heaven and earth need to pass away so a new heaven and a new earth can be brought in (Isaiah 66:23; Hebrews 1:12; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1,4).

We should view today’s Scripture in light of this: “old” in both Hebrews 1:11 and Hebrews 8:13 is not “ancient” but rather referring to their functionality or existence. Both need to pass away, just like the garments (clothes) of today’s Scripture are worn-out (“old”).

“Old Granny” Planet Earth?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them” (Genesis 2:1 KJV).

Most scientists tell us the universe is 13.7 billion years old. They insist that our solar system and earth are about 4.55 billion years in age. Throughout my undergraduate years in college geology, those numbers were drilled into my head. However, my mind was well grounded in the Scriptures. Consequently, I was set on a young (6000-year-old) earth.

Note the complex systems: the complicated chemical makeup of rocks, the intricate human genome, and the meticulous movements of the planets and their moons around the sun. These complex systems do not haphazardly appear! There must be a Creator God.

Man has devised a means to “get around” the evidence of the Creator: “Just give it enough time, billions upon billions of years, and it will come to pass!” Geological and biological evolution demand long periods of time—termed “deep time.” Deep time is the linchpin of evolutionary theory. By destroying the concept of deep time, the Bible silences evolutionary theory.

Genesis describes an original, fully functional universe. Everything is “good” (Genesis 1:4,10,12,18,21,25). Chapter 1 concludes: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Upon the completion of the six consecutive days of creation, God sees everything as very good.” Perfect!

God was pleased with the universe’s workings. God resting on the Sabbath was an indication that creation was finished (Genesis 2:1-3). There was no sin, sickness, decay, or death. Nothing needed improvement. The Bible does not demand deep time for systems to increase in functionality and efficiency.

In fact, just a few hours old, Adam was talking and naming the creatures (Genesis 2:19,20,23)! Hours-old trees were already producing fruit (Genesis 2:9,16,17)! The universe’s systems were fully functional from the beginning, throwing a monkey wrench into the concept of deep time.

Time to live in reality. Believe Genesis as is. Earth is no granny—she is but a teen! 🙂