Lawful Advice from Asa’s Life #8

Friday, June 9, 2023

“And [King Asa] commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment” (2 Chronicles 14:4 KJV).

What lawful advice can be gleaned from King Asa’s life?

Although Asa and his Jewish people were under the Law of Moses, and we are under the Grace of God, the all-encompassing principle remains the same: if we are truly seeking the LORD God of the Bible, then we will accept, believe, and apply to our lives His Word and words to us. Whether in the centuries before Christ, or right now in our day, far too many people are either deliberately or inadvertently pursuing a life without Divine wisdom. They hope to create an existence that seems suitable or respectable in their own eyes. In the decades before Asa, the Jewish people did just that, following whatever “felt good.” Howbeit, when Asa came to power, he knew his nation was in deep trouble, so he reformed his people and brought them back to JEHOVAH God (if only for a while).

The professing church of this present moment finds itself in a similar mess. Like Judah of old (prior to Asa), it has sought and worshipped other gods. For centuries, it has “preached another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:4). The preaching of Jesus Christ according to prophecy (pre-Paul) and the preaching of Jesus Christ according to mystery (Paul) have been totally confounded or combined, yielding a distorted view of the Scriptures and two billion “Christians” (?) who struggle to grasp or explain even the simplest of Bible concepts. Are we humble enough to confess our failures, and the failures of our church leaders, so we can proceed to solving our problems?

Like today’s Christendom, believers at Corinth had formulated their own “Christianity.” The Holy Spirit’s admonition through Paul was: “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). As Moses was Asa’s way to reform Judah, so Paul is our method to save ourselves from countless years of “doing our own thing.” Let us see how….

Lawful Advice from Asa’s Life #7

Thursday, June 8, 2023

“And [King Asa] commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment” (2 Chronicles 14:4 KJV).

What lawful advice can be gleaned from King Asa’s life?

The Holy Spirit came upon Azariah son of Oded, empowering him as a prophet or spokesman for God. Azariah addresses King Asa in chapter 15, verses 1-7 (which read). Take notice of verse 3: “Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law.” Azariah heartens Asa to take additional steps to reform Judah and Jerusalem, for idolatry has crept back into (or never entirely left) the hearts and minds of the Jewish people. “And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD” (verse 8). Asa’s reforms continue into chapter 16.

Asa was aware of his place on the Bible timeline. He knew Moses, the Law of Moses, was the standard operating system for his people: it was God’s revelation to them. However, toward the end of his reign, Asa began drifting from the LORD. Baasha, King of Israel (Northern Kingdom), came up against Judah (Southern Kingdom)—for some of the northern tribes had moved south to align with Asa (see 2 Chronicles 15:9). Asa sought military help from, and bribed, Benhadad King of Syria (see 2 Chronicles 16:1-6), which displeased the LORD because Asa did not rely on Him for victory (verses 7-10). Furthermore, angry Asa went so far as to imprison the prophet who told them this grim news from the LORD! In his last years, his foot disease plagued him severely, but he requested help from doctors instead of the LORD (verses 11,12) and finally died (verses 13,14).

Provided we know our place in God’s dealings with man, and not be seduced from it, we will learn valuable lessons from Asa….

Lawful Advice from Asa’s Life #6

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

“And [King Asa] commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment” (2 Chronicles 14:4 KJV).

What lawful advice can be gleaned from King Asa’s life?

Asa’s religious improvements (chapters 14–16) in Judah were the first of five reformations documented in the Book of 2 Chronicles. His believing sons King Jehoshaphat (chapters 17–20), King Joash (chapters 23 and 24), King Hezekiah (chapters 29–32), and King Josiah (chapters 34 and 35) oversaw the others.

For the first 10 years under Asa, the land of Judah had peace (2 Chronicles 14:1). However, as any Bible student knows, Asa understood his kingdom (sinners) would eventually relapse into unbelief and idolatry like their ancestors decades prior. Consequently, Asa made preparations for when Judah would sin, incur God’s wrath, and face war with invading Gentiles.

Observe the verses after today’s Scripture: “[6] And he built fenced cities in Judah: for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because the LORD had given him rest. [7] Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the LORD our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered. [8] And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand: all these were mighty men of valour.”

When war finally broke out with one million (!) Ethiopian troops threatening Judah (verse 9), “…Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee. So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled” (verses 11,12). Read the rest of the chapter for details of Judah’s victory.

Now, we see what we can take from this….

Lawful Advice from Asa’s Life #5

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

“And [King Asa] commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment” (2 Chronicles 14:4 KJV).

What lawful advice can be gleaned from King Asa’s life?

The Law of Moses was a complicated set of directives, with Israel’s obedience to God resulting in blessings and sin leading to curses: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God…. But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:…” (Deuteronomy 28:1,2,15).

Of course, the first two of the 600-plus rules of the Law of Moses were as follows: “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:1-6).

By the time Asa got on David’s throne, the Kingdom of Judah (Southern Kingdom) had repeatedly violated these Divine orders for decades and merited curses. Asa’s obedience to the LORD, though, postponed the Divine wrath so Judah could temporarily flourish with blessings….

Lawful Advice from Asa’s Life #4

Monday, June 5, 2023

“And [King Asa] commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment” (2 Chronicles 14:4 KJV).

What lawful advice can be gleaned from King Asa’s life?

Asa assumed David’s throne in Jerusalem after the administrations of his (Asa’s) father Abijah/Abijam, his grandfather Rehoboam, and his great-grandfather Solomon. If you study the Scriptures, you will gather how Kings Solomon, Rehoboam, and Abijah/Abijam had all corrupted the Israelites with pagan idolatry for a combined total of at least 20 or 30 years (see 1 Kings 11:1-10; 1 Kings 14:21-24; 1 Kings 15:1-3).

First Kings chapter 15 (roughly parallel to today’s Scripture): “[9] And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah. [10] And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom. [11] And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. [12] And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. [13] And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron. [14] But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect with the LORD all his days. [15] And he brought in the things which his father had dedicated, and the things which himself had dedicated, into the house of the LORD, silver, and gold, and vessels.”

As monarch, Asa did what he could to purify his people’s land, recalling again the Law of Moses: “Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place” (Deuteronomy 12:2,3). Asa’s reforms in this regard gave the Kingdom of Judah a period of respite from Divine judgment….

Wishful Thinking

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation” (Matthew 23:14 KJV).

Beware, there are scammers everywhere!

Desperate to reduce his monthly electric bill, a friend shared with me his intention of purchasing two devices that would allegedly save him money. Their advertisement had convinced him, but I replied quite bluntly: “That sounds like a clever scam, so do not bother with it.” However, refusing to listen to reason, he continued justifying why he would buy them. Though expensive, one celebrity supposedly endorsed it and the online reviews were positive. He stubbornly told me he wished to give the product a try.

Later, after he bought them, and as he awaited the package by mail, he and I conversed again. I cautioned him, urging him to return the items upon arrival, so he could obtain a refund. Yet, in order to test the devices and see if they actually saved him any money, he would have to wait a month for his next electric bill. Unfortunately, the products had to be returned within 30 days for a refund. To make a long story short, he received the parcel, the devices were junk (surprise!), and he ended up being stuck with his same monthly electric bill plus the unreasonable price of the gadgets. After all that disappointment and permanent loss of money, he told me, “It is a scam!” (Of course!)

There is an old saying: “If it is too good to be true, it probably is.” We would save ourselves a great deal of misfortune, money, and harm if we just used this type of simple common sense. Our sinful, cruel world is filled with frauds and thieves—especially in religion. Wishful thinking and desperate souls go hand in hand. In today’s Scripture, the Lord Jesus pronounced harsh condemnation for spiritual leaders who preyed on and robbed widows. These men charged excessive fees with the promise of arduously praying for dead spouses to escape some nonexistent place (a Jewish purgatory, actually!).

Dear friends, we had better believe our King James Bible rightly divided, or wishful thinking will become our thinking.

The Greatest War Hero

Monday, May 29, 2023

“For God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 KJV).

In the United States, today is Memorial Day, when we remember those who sacrificed their time and lives to provide our physical freedom. Likewise, as Christians, we have spiritual freedom, which was more costly. Someone had to die to give us the eternal life we now enjoy….

Scripture describes a spiritual warfare between good and evil, God’s truth program versus Satan’s lie program: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [schemes] of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11,12; see also verses 13-20).

Satan distracts mankind from God’s pure Word, the Bible, keeping unbelievers lost (dead in their sins), and preventing unbelievers and Christians from knowing God’s will. The devil draws them away (seduces them) from God’s Word by using religious tradition and human “wisdom” (1 Timothy 4:1-3; cf. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Galatians 3:1-3).

God loves us, so at Calvary’s cross, Christ fought for us sinners, died in battle (today’s Scripture), shed His divine sinless blood, and eternally rescued us from Satan and sin: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:14,15).

Hebrews 9:12 says Jesus Christ has “obtained eternal redemption for us.”

If we have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). Now, God can use us for His glory for all eternity.

Beloved, let us rejoice in our victory over sin, death, and hell that Jesus Christ secured for us by going to Calvary’s rugged cross! Jesus Christ is now alive forevermore—He is our Hero, the Greatest Hero!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study “The Greatest Hero,” which can be read here or watched here.

The Case for Right Division #9

Sunday, May 28, 2023

“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 KJV).

Can today’s Scripture deliver someone from absolute stupidity before he or she literally perishes in it? (Yes!)

Ephesians 3:1,2 relays the following: “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:…” The “dispensation” (Greek, “oikonomia,” “house rules”) the Lord has in effect today was given to the Apostle Paul (cf. Colossians 1:25-28). This is the body of truth applicable to us, and it is located in the 13 Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon. Through Paul’s ministry, the mystery program, God is manifesting His grace—His unmerited favor—to mankind in a new way. By faith in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins, we as Gentiles outside of Israel and her prophetic program can be made righteous in God’s sight. God the Holy Spirit is taking us believers in Christ and forming the Church the Body of Christ, separate and distinct from the nation Israel (see Ephesians 2:13–3:12).

Alas, denominationally-minded people are either unintentionally or deliberately blind to dispensational truth. To exclusively follow the Lord’s heavenly ministry through Paul means they must forsake their denominational system (built on Christ’s earthly ministry!). They would have to admit their preacher or teacher lied to them. In fact, those who wish to keep their church traditions have resorted to disparaging dispensational Bible study as a “cult,” “heresy,” and so on. That is their choice. If they are determined to stay in their chaos, we respect their free will and let them remain in that ignorance. They can continue claiming their physical healing, dying because they refuse to visit doctors and receive medication. They can keep their starvation by fasting, holding out and holding on for “answers” from God as to why this or that never came to pass.

Dear friends, in the wake of non-dispensational Bible study, billions are left perplexed, hopeless, and even spiritually, doctrinally, and physically dead. Here is the heavy price that must be paid for failing to apply today’s Scripture. Above all, here is the case for right division!

The Case for Right Division #8

Saturday, May 27, 2023

“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 KJV).

Can today’s Scripture deliver someone from absolute stupidity before he or she literally perishes in it? (Yes!)

When the Apostle Paul addressed his second epistle to young Timothy (from which today’s Scripture was extracted), two particular false teachers had combined the prophetic program with the mystery program. They ultimately implied the Lord Jesus had already come and taken away the Church the Body of Christ to Heaven (an event we commonly call “the Rapture”). Hearing this misinformation, Christians still on Earth erroneously concluded they were not Christians at all, for Christ would have also removed them to Heaven via the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Today’s Scripture in context: “[14] Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. [15] Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [16] But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. [17] And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; [18] Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.”

Such non-dispensational Bible study spreads like a cancer, growing into more and more apostasy (leaving the truth). The “faith” of some is overthrown, overturned, toppled, abolished. We observe this widespread confusion and discouragement in denominational churches—and how disgruntled church members finally turned to atheism, agnosticism, Satanism, or some other “ism.” They always pray for God’s will, but never discover it. Whereas they never cease to quote verses, they have yet to obtain any spiritual stability or lasting peace. All they can do is wallow in utter impotency and crushing dissatisfaction, worried about Bible contradictions and unanswered prayer. No pastor or teacher has anything meaningful to contribute either, for these church leaders are also victims of Satan’s policy of evil. Here is the case for right division, the absolute necessity for it….

The Case for Right Division #7

Friday, May 26, 2023

“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 KJV).

Can today’s Scripture deliver someone from absolute stupidity before he or she literally perishes in it? (Yes!)

Undeniably, the most confused Bible Book is Acts. Though not complicated in and of itself, Acts has been confused courtesy of denominational nonsense. Acts is a transitional Book, God’s dealings with man switching from Peter to Paul, prophecy to mystery, law to grace, Israel to the Body of Christ, and so on. More times than not, however, these differences are smoothed over. Since the cliché “God never changes” has been mindlessly repeated in church circles for so long, no one really thinks there are any distinctions in Scripture at all. What alarming Bible ignorance!

“Whatever God did then, He must surely be doing now.” This is the wrong and ever so costly assumption that has led untold millions upon millions upon millions to a lost eternity in a perpetual Devil’s Hell, quoting verses that have nothing to do with them—though they believed these passages gave them a right standing before God. It is also the incorrect and ever so pricey assumption that has imprisoned countless millions upon millions upon millions of genuine (!) Christians (!) in spiritual kindergarten, their minds and hearts so filled and contaminated with useless, profitless, worthless teaching—and God the Holy Spirit has just as much influence over them as He does people who have no Bible at all.

Since the dispensational boundaries of Scripture are usually not appreciated in the average church or Bible study (it has been this way for almost 20 centuries!), the non-dispensational verses are hopelessly in conflict, so various and sundry clever excuses or gimmicks have been invented to sidestep “inconvenient” verses that cannot be adequately resolved. “This verse was not in the original manuscripts, it is a ‘poor translation,’ this does not mean what it says,” and on and on with the justifications as to why we must make everything in the Bible the same. Our King James Bible verses do not need to be reworded or retranslated—only re-read and re-examined within (!) their (!) dispensational (!) contexts (!)….