Weirdoes #4

Sunday, October 27, 2019

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).

Brethren, we may be unfairly judged of other Christians and/or the world, but the final verdict will come of the Lord.

First Corinthians chapter 2 began: “[1] And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. [2] For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. [3] And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. [4] And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: [5] That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

Considering their culture, the Corinthians were accustomed to skilled orators (speakers) entering their city and employing impressive, persuasive, “scholarly” language to gain new disciples. Philosophers debated countless ideas, each promoting their unique system. When Paul showed up, he was different. He did not use man’s intellect to convince the Corinthians of anything. Instead, he was empowered by the Holy Spirit to impart Divine wisdom to these souls. They believed the Gospel of Grace and were saved unto eternal life, but had not fully renounced their past spiritual beliefs. Such heathen philosophy then influenced them to conclude Paul’s message was nothing extraordinary.

Using man’s wisdom as their guide, the Corinthian saints determined Paul was really not speaking for Jesus Christ. How could Paul be a true spiritual leader, a “Christian?” He did not sound like the typical religious leader, he did not look like one, he did not behave like one. Though highly educated, he had not employed polished, complex, theological language to amaze and flatter his audience. Paul did not want the Corinthians to depend on his words anyway. He wanted them to rest in the words of God.

In reality, it was theynot Paul—who had the problem….

Weirdoes #3

Saturday, October 26, 2019

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).

Brethren, we may be unfairly judged of other Christians and/or the world, but the final verdict will come of the Lord.

“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:22). Miraculous demonstrations were the way whereby God dealt with the nation Israel. In contrast, the Greeks (or Gentiles) were interested in wisdom—and the Corinthians were no different. Through the Apostle Paul, the Corinthians heard true wisdom, the wisdom of God. Unfortunately, Paul could not teach them the deeper truths of God’s dealings with man. Consequently, very little dispensational truth is found in 1 Corinthians. The Corinthians could not handle it; all they could grasp was basic doctrine, namely the Gospel (where most professing Christians are even today).

First Corinthians chapter 2: “[6] Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect [spiritually mature]: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: [7] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: [8] Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory…..”

“[12] Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. [13] Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. [14] But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Paul cautioned his brethren in Christ at Corinth. They believed Greek philosophy was how to discover what the God of creation is doing. Beware! Unsaved pagans employing worldly wisdom did not compare with the Apostle Paul communicating Divine wisdom….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can an atheist be moral without any influence from any ‘higher power?’

Weirdoes #2

Friday, October 25, 2019

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).

Brethren, we may be unfairly judged of other Christians and/or the world, but the final verdict will come of the Lord.

We all have a conscience—a library of acquired information that we use to determine which beliefs are right and which beliefs are wrong, and what actions are acceptable and what actions are unacceptable. Howbeit, if we do not have the right information, our conscience will be defiled, and that corrupted standard will throw off everything else. It is like a defective measuring stick that is unable to provide accurate readings.

In Acts chapter 18, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul visited Corinth. This Greek port city was only about 45 miles (72 kilometers) from Athens, the world’s intellectual capital. A key center of international trade and commerce, Corinth was materially wealthy. Many devilish ideas from foreign lands were exchanged here as well. Heathen idolatry led its citizens to be tremendously vulgar. It was to these wretched souls that Paul preached the Lord Jesus Christ. They believed, were saved unto eternal life, and delivered from sin and satanic bondage!

Paul spent at least 18 months teaching the Word of God to the Corinthians (Acts 18:11). Later, he left and penned some epistles to them—the Bible Books of 1 and 2 Corinthians. According to these treatises, the saints at Corinth were guilty of several reprehensible beliefs and deeds. No doubt it grieved the Holy Spirit and it greatly concerned Paul to see such spiritual chaos and confusion among God’s people. They had not fully abandoned their old mentalities and lifestyles. First Corinthians is the most tragic of Paul’s epistles. Erroneous doctrine—especially pagan philosophy—was still perverting the hearts and minds of the Corinthians. This is particularly evident in the first three chapters.

Spiritually disoriented, the saints at Corinth began to viciously attack Paul, the very man whom the one true God had sent to them so they would be rescued from Satan’s evil world system….

Sound Doctrine Versus Fables #6

Monday, April 29, 2019

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:3,4 KJV).

First comes the intolerance toward sound doctrine. Then, and only then, arrives the tolerance toward fables.

Isaiah chapter 30, about Israel: “[8] Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: [9] That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: [10] Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: [11] Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.” (God will thus let them have the Antichrist, of whom Psalm 55:21 says, “the words of his mouth were smoother than butter.”)

If you notice today’s Scripture, it is intentional rebellion against sound Bible doctrine: having ignored it, they frantically pile to themselves teachers who give them what they want to hear and believe. Their ears need to be soothed, and a “feel-good” message will pacify them! Refusing the truth, they are thereby ready to suck up fables like a vacuum cleaner pulls trash. It is a “soul blackout” (see Romans 1:18-32, especially verses 18-23).

The two verses prior to today’s Scripture read thus: “[1] I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; [2] Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” While there are apostates and heretics throughout the professing “church,” let us be faithful to “preach the word,” with special emphases on “all longsuffering and doctrine.” This is how we guard against the fables, the storytelling that often replaces sound Bible teaching. Brethren, may we be tolerant toward the truth, and intolerant toward the fables! 🙂

Sound Doctrine Versus Fables #5

Sunday, April 28, 2019

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:3,4 KJV).

First comes the intolerance toward sound doctrine. Then, and only then, arrives the tolerance toward fables.

Watch the order in 1 Timothy chapter 4: “[1] Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; [2] Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;….” These are not lost or unsaved people. They are Christians (!). Having been in the faith, they have now deserted it! They originally embraced sound Bible doctrine. Since then, they have gradually drifted, having been “seduced” or drawn away with various ideas. Verse 3 says these tenets involve religion’s forced celibacy and dietary restrictions. God’s Word calls them “doctrines of devils.” Such individuals speak lies in hypocrisy—they appear and sound good, but they are as false as false can be.

In his last epistle, the Apostle Paul wrote somber words: “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes” (2 Timothy 1:15). Awaiting execution, at the close of his 35-year ministry, he confessed that the vast majority of Christians in Turkey had abandoned his message. God’s grace had been deliberately tossed aside; Christ’s finished work at Calvary’s cross had been relegated to an inferior status. Man’s efforts—legalism, commandment-keeping—were now at the forefront. Works-religion corrupted the Church the Body of Christ 20 centuries ago. Yes, the professing “church” intentionally (!) apostatized 2,000 years ago!

Even after our dispensation ends, the nation Israel will follow her ancient pattern and the attitude of most today. A radical departure from sound Bible doctrine—a “falling away”—will give rise to the satanic Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3). In this and all cases, it is a willful renouncement of the truth. They knew correct information at first, but having rejected the light and understanding God provided them, they are plunged into spiritual darkness and madness. Friends, may we not be as they….

Sound Doctrine Versus Fables #4

Saturday, April 27, 2019

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:3,4 KJV).

First comes the intolerance toward sound doctrine. Then, and only then, arrives the tolerance toward fables.

Recounting Israel’s centuries of unbelief, Stephen preached in Jerusalem (Acts chapter 7): “[41] And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. [42] Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? [43] Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.”

In Exodus chapter 32, just delivered from Egyptian slavery, the Jews fashioned a golden-calf idol while Moses was up on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments (the first of which forbad idolatry). Since they insisted on false religion, God “turned” (Acts 7:42): He “gave them up to worship the host of heaven.” Here is astrology—worshipping stars, planets, the sun, and the moon (and the evil spirits thereby represented). Amos 5:25-27, which Stephen cited, reveals that the Jewish people were guilty of such devil worship throughout the 40 years of wilderness wanderings. They carried Moses’ Tabernacle (JEHOVAH God’s house) and a counterfeit tent (for their pagan sky/star-gods)! Since they rejected His Law, He gave them over to that silliness.

Friends, we should certainly not look down our nose at ancient Israel. Why? Today’s churches are often repeating such sins. They have compromised with the evil world system to some degree (usually, a very large degree). Having cast aside the truth, they are rife with error. They do not rely on the Bible alone; their “culture,” “traditions of men,” “philosophical speculations,” and such notions push aside God’s Book. Again, the order found in today’s Scripture is quite clear. Truth discarded, fables embraced….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why is the Bible Book of ‘Ecclesiastes’ thus named?

Sound Doctrine Versus Fables #3

Friday, April 26, 2019

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:3,4 KJV).

First comes the intolerance toward sound doctrine. Then, and only then, arrives the tolerance toward fables.

“Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite utterly break down their images. And ye shall serve the LORD your God…” (Exodus 23:24,25a). JEHOVAH God constantly reminded the nation Israel not to engage in idol worship. They have entered into a marriage relationship with Him: He is their Husband, and they are His wife. Under no circumstances whatsoever are they to be unfaithful to Him. They are to hold fast the Law of Moses, and not let it go. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” the First Commandment explicitly stated (Exodus 20:3).

What an awful passage we find in Jeremiah centuries later! Chapter 2: “[26] As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets. [27] Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. [28] But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah. [29] Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD.”

Here is God’s people Israel after they have rejected His words. See how they actually speak to their innumerable wooden and stone idols, as though such inanimate objects can hear. They have been deceived into believing wood and stone gave birth to them!!!! Beloved, it is spiritual lunacy, thorough senselessness. Here are the spiritual depths to which the Jews allowed themselves to plunge. Today, there is still no want of such mindlessness in religion….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does ‘concupiscence’ mean?