Without Honour #8

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house (Mark 6:4 KJV).

What valuable lesson can we learn from Nazareth—a moral the Nazarenes deliberately failed to learn?

Romans 1:18-32 explains how the world declined in its morals and ethics to result in the worldwide problems we see today. All people once had opportunity to be the LORD God’s instruments in the Earth, but they willfully refused His revelation. Therefore, human civilization deteriorated in the centuries following Adam’s creation. In Genesis chapters 6–8, God finally sent the Great Deluge of Noah’s day to cleanse the world of evil (violence, murder). During chapters 9–11, the nations gather around the Tower of Babel. Such paganism summarizes man’s attitude during his first 2,000 years. The Creator God gave the nations over to their preferred spiritual darkness!

In chapter 12, the LORD God sets aside one man to begin a new nation—Abraham, the father of Israel. Through Abraham and his descendants, God will reach the entire world. Romans 3:1,2: “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles [Word, revelation] of God.” God gave Israel His Word, so Israel can teach it to the Gentiles. “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 147:19,20).

Moses told Israel in Deuteronomy 4:6-8: “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?”

Israel had that Word of God for 16 centuries, but she did not appreciate it. By the time her Messiah arrived, fulfilling that Word, she dishonoured Him too….

Orange, You Protestant (?)

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:3-5 KJV).

Well, today is Saint Patrick’s Day. People of Irish descent celebrate their culture by hosting parades, parties, dances, and the like (resembling raucous Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday!). Green articles, especially clothing and decorations, are prominent. Should we as Bible-believing Christians wear green on this day, March 17?

While I am partly Irish through my mother (and possibly my father), I am predominantly French by blood. I have never actually celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day as an Irishman though. Many years back, I “wore green” as an ignorant Protestant. Then, I did research!

Who is the “Patrick” of Saint Patrick’s Day? One or two figures in church history are known by this name (one man may have been a fictional character). What we can say is that a Protestant missionary named Patrick conducted a ministry in Ireland back in the A.D. 400s. He converted many Irish people from paganism to Bible-believing Christianity. The Roman Catholic Church, claiming that Patrick was not Protestant, seems to have fabricated a “Patrick” to become one of its many “patron saints.”

Where does green come into the picture? Why is it a popular color today? Ireland’s flag, from left to right, consists of three vertical stripes—green, white, and orange. Very few understand that tripartite arrangement. Green represents Ireland’s Roman Catholic history whereas orange signifies its Protestant history. Situated in the middle is the color white, symbolizing the longing for peace and harmony between these two groups that have warred for centuries there.

What we can say as Bible believers is that we should not be aligning with or supporting Roman Catholicism within Ireland (or anywhere else for that matter). Protestantism is the Bible-believing position to take. Wearing green on Saint Patrick’s Day is to advertise Bible ignorance—you exhibit yourself as a Roman Catholic or an uninformed Protestant. Instead, wear orange, and use that as an opportunity to educate and give inquirers the Gospel of Grace (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).

You may read our archived study: “Should Christians celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day?

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How should we as Bible believers respond to the coronavirus?

333’s 3200th(ish) – Informed, Not Ignorant!

Friday, March 13, 2020

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant (1 Corinthians 14:37,38 KJV).

(Oops!) Saints, it has recently come to my attention that we passed our 3,200-devotionals milestone a week ago—and we failed to commemorate it. Yes, when we are busy teaching and learning the Word of God, time just flies by so fast that we easily lose track of it! Over these last (almost) 9 years (can you believe it!), we have greatly benefited fellowshipping around the King James Bible.

Both the Scriptures of the prophetic program and the Scriptures of the mystery program have we considered to learn the entire mind and plan of Almighty God. We are certainly not infallible (unerring) or omniscience (all-knowing), but we surely know where to go to grasp everything God would have us know so we can do everything He would have us do. We have taken the time to compare Bible verses with Bible verses. It was hard work, it was a lot of thinking, but we have come a long way by God’s grace. Religious tradition was not our authority. Speculations and opinions of men were not our authority either. Rather, we have a firm foundation in “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25).

For those who wanted to be informed, we have here delivered to you the sound Bible teaching needed to result in your spiritual stability. Contrariwise, for those who wanted to remain ignorant, they have been given over to their preference, too. The God of the Bible values free will—and so do we! “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). Now, dear reader, having come to the knowledge of the truth, it is your duty—yea, privilege—to tell this same information to others. Then, they can teach still others. Here is how we combat the spiritual ignorance that so pervades Christendom and the world!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is the Bible wrong to call Nebuchadnezzar the ‘father’ of Belshazzar?

To Pray a Better Way #1

Thursday, February 27, 2020

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26,27 KJV).

How does the Holy Spirit “maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God?”

Prayer is everywhere in Christendom. Regardless of the denomination, people have all been taught to pray. Even people who do not like the Bible pray—especially in times of trouble and tragedy! We would expect non-Christians not to know how to pray “effectually” (producing the results God intended). Yet, unfortunately, even genuine Christians are struggling ever so greatly in this realm. “I do not know what to pray for.” “Praying seems to be a waste of time. I am just not ‘getting through.’ No one answers me!”

We would do well to consider the Apostle Paul’s experience with prayer in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10: “[7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. [8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. [9] And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Is it not strange that even Paul himself had firsthand knowledge in unanswered prayer? Facing major difficulties, bothered by one great affliction in particular, he cried out to the Lord on three occasions, “Please, deliver me!” Notice, it took three times. On that last occasion, Paul finally heard from the Lord. However, it was another unexpected outcome! If he wanted to see results, he needed to pray a better way….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did God ‘forget’ to create Eve?

Something in Which to Glory!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

“As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:12-14 KJV).

In what shall we glory? About what shall we boast? In what shall we find value?

Religion produces people who enjoy bragging all about their “dedication to God.” “Look what I did—the ceremonies in which I have participated, the many prayers I faithfully recited daily, how much I put in the collection plate, see how many pleasures I gave up to please God! Come, see how much I love Him!” Dear friends, the Apostle Paul found great value in something—but that something was not what he did. All that human flesh can accomplish pales in comparison to the work in today’s Scripture.

As Lent begins, the time when religionists temporarily (a mere 40 days) relinquish some pleasant food or activity, let us remember that our performance is often non-performance. Once we place ourselves on that treadmill of “do, do, do,” we are guaranteed to fail at some point. Human flesh is simply too weak to maintain 100 percent—that is sin! Even concerning one rule, we cannot keep it perfectly. We mess up eventually.

If ever we believe that our puny works are worth bragging about, let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul in today’s Scripture. While some boast in their religiosity (in the passage, the Judaizers applauding their rite of physical circumcision), and such denominationalists today urge us to obey their church’s instructions so they too may boast in our ability, let us eschew such foolishness. Being imperfect, all their works do not measure up to Christ’s finished crosswork. At Calvary, we find the only sacrifice that will ever please the God of the Bible. If we must boast, let us brag that He did what we could never, ever do!

See our archived Bible Q&A: “Should Christians observe Lent?

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why is Jesus called ‘the Son of Man?’

God’s Grace on Parade

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

“…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20 KJV).

Today, especially here in southern Louisiana, the Catholic festival of Mardi Gras takes advantage of God’s grace. God’s grace abounds even when drunkenness, lasciviousness, and gluttony are committed overtly on our streets for religion. Because we live in the Dispensation of the Grace of God, they can flaunt their sin without being consumed by fire from heaven!

“Mardi Gras,” French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a day when religious people—professing “Christians”—lose self-control (excess alcohol, food, and partying). The following day, Ash Wednesday, they promise to live “holy” for the next 40 days (Lent). A priest will then place ashes on their foreheads proving that God forgave them for that riotous living. Blasphemy!

Regardless of all its biblical allusions (illusions!), Mardi Gras is still evil and anti-God. It was never Christian, originating from pagan Roman festivals, Saturnalia and Lupercalia (interestingly known for riots, drunkenness, gluttony, and fornication, and subsequent repentance).

The Holy Spirit, speaking through the Apostles Peter and Paul, was clearly against Mardi Gras reveling and drunkenness (Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Peter 4:3). So why do professing Christians engage in the very activities that God the Holy Spirit condemned?! As Christians, we should “deny” the activities of Mardi Gras (Romans 6:11-15; Titus 2:11-15).

If I appear offended, I am. Mardi Gras, despite its godly façade, is offensive to the great God and my Saviour Jesus Christ! God’s grace continues to tolerate such foolishness from mankind. Man parades his sin, and God parades His grace, holding back wrath.

Are you a Mardi Gras reveler? I declare unto you the wonderful Gospel of the Grace of God. God did for you at Calvary what you could never do: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Jesus Christ shed His sinless blood and died to put away all of your sins, Mardi Gras revelry included.

If you rest in Christ Jesus alone as your Saviour, God will save you forever, make a trophy of His grace, and then YOUR life will be God’s grace on parade!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

You may also see our archived Bible study Q&A, “Should Christians celebrate Mardi Gras?

Keep Your Priorities Straight!

Monday, February 24, 2020

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine (1 Timothy 4:13 KJV).

Friend, if you want to keep your thinking straight, you had better keep your priorities straight!

Every time we turn on televisions or computers, every time we pick up newspapers or books, we are really sitting in a classroom. Not only are we being programmed what to think, we are being trained how to think. The world’s philosophy entices us most subtly. Politicians tell us what is “best” for our country. Educators say what is “good” for our children. Counselors tell us what is “good” for our marriage. Indeed, we are seated in a classroom. Unless we have personal, daily Bible study to counter it all; we will surely adopt the world’s view concerning every aspect of life. Hence, much carnal thinking abounds in most professing Christians!

Reading the Bible for ourselves is unfathomably crucial. It is not enough to possess the Bible. It is not enough to listen to a priest or preacher read the Bible. We must open the Bible and “read” it for ourselves. All too often, the only “Bible” people really know is what they have heard others say about it (usually nothing but assumptions and misconceptions). How dangerous! “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)” (Ephesians 3:4). Unless we read the Bible for ourselves, we cannot understand it!

Moreover, it is not enough to read the Bible. We must “study” it too. It is not enough to study the Bible; we must also “rightly divide” it. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Lastly, we should “believe” what we read, study, and rightly divide. “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

As Bible-believing Christians, Pauline dispensationalists, we should “exhort” or urge one another to maintain this manner of life, stressing “doctrine” as opposed to sentiments and ignorance.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is ‘Abiathar’ a mistake in Mark 2:26?