‘Twas the Sunday Night Before Christmas

Sunday, December 18, 2011

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15 KJV).

During the Christmas Season, we wonder how many people are visiting church for the second time this year (the other being Easter Sunday). Since Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year, how many will be going to church just to feel “religious” or “holy?” How many really know Jesus Christ? For many, visiting a church building is just an obligation; they do not have faith in God’s Word and have no interest in God’s Word.

We do not go to church to “feel closer to God,” for if we have trusted in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we cannot be any closer to God than we already are in Christ! “[Before salvation, we were] without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh [close to God] by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12,13).

Furthermore, we do not go to church in order to get God’s blessings, for God has already given us “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). We go to church, not because we are keeping Israel’s Sabbath day, since we are not obligated to observe Israel’s religious days (Colossians 2:16). We go to church to fellowship with like-minded believers and hear sound doctrine… more than twice a year, by the way.

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy that whenever he would assemble with fellow Christians, certain behavior was acceptable and other types of behavior were not (described throughout the epistle of 1 Timothy). Recall that when the Bible refers to “the church,” it refers to the body of believers, not the physical building in which they meet.

As we get opportunities, let us make an effort to reach these dear souls misled by all the vain religious tradition and Christmas commercialization, and may we tell them about the wonderful Christ Jesus whose name is found in Christmas!

*Based on the poem “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Three Keys to a Solid Local Church

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

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

Look at the Church the Body of Christ. What shame and heartache. The average church member knows as much Bible as someone who has never gone to church! Courtesy of most churches, hundreds of thousands die and go to hell every day, led astray by works-religion. Millions of precious souls are daily denied the truths of God’s Word because church leaders fear losing their “faithful monetary support.”

In today’s Scripture, what did the Apostle Paul urge Timothy to do to combat the false teaching that had engulfed Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3-11)? Develop a new church program? Schedule a revival? Pray? Organize a vigorous x-step process of re-dedication? Do nothing? (These are Christendom’s common “solutions” for carnality and disarray—especially the latter of “do nothing!”)

To correct false teaching, Paul gave Timothy a charge: “Give attendance [pay attention] to…:”

  1. “READING.” What were they to read? Denominational creeds? “Christian” bestsellers about the Bible? Advice columns written by lost people? Obviously, they were to read the Bible like the Bereans who “searched the scriptures daily, to see whether those things [they heard] were so” (Acts 17:10,11). The Colossians were urged to read the epistle Paul wrote to Laodicea, and the Laodiceans were instructed to read the epistle written to Colosse (Colossians 4:16). Ephesians 3:4 and 1 Thessalonians 5:27 also instruct believers to read the Bible. The Bible says to “study” it (2 Timothy 2:15).
  2. “EXHORTATION.” Christians should exhort (encourage) one another to continue in sound dispensational Bible study so the Bible can transform them for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:10-12; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18; 1 Timothy 6:1-21; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Titus 2:1-15).
  3. “DOCTRINE.” Doctrine is important, for it separates us from the world’s religious system. Our doctrine for this dispensation is only found in Paul’s epistles: what God has to say to us today is in Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon (Romans 11:13; 1 Corinthians 14:37).

If Christians gave attendance to these things—especially #3—we would not be in this spiritual mess.

Have Ye Not Read?

Monday, December 12, 2011

“Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:4 KJV).

The Bible records, some 10 times, Jesus asking His audience, “Have ye not read?” (Matthew 12:3-5; Matthew 19:4; Matthew 21:16,42; Matthew 22:31; Mark 2:25; Mark 12:10,26; Luke 6:3). His audience had had the Old Testament Scriptures for some 1,500 years, and yet they could not remember simple phrases. Actually, if you examine the contexts of these verses, it is quite obvious His audience (Israel’s religious leaders) was deliberately ignorant. They refused to remember because that would mean agreeing with Him!

Sadly, denominational churchgoers, like Israel’s leadership of old, turn a blind eye to these simple truths of the Scriptures, lest they are forced to agree with us that God’s Word is right and their religious system is wrong.

  • Have ye not read, “Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God?” (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4).
  • Have ye not read, “Paul is our apostle, the apostle of the Gentiles?” (Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11).
  • Have ye not read, “Ye are not under the law, but under grace?” (Romans 6:14).
  • Have ye not read, “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and that the Word was made flesh?” (John 1:1,14).
  • Have ye not read, “Jesus Christ died for your sins, He was buried, and He was raised again for your justification?” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 4:25).
  • Have ye not read, “For by grace and ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast?” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
  • Have ye not read, “For God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while were yet sinners Christ died for us?” (Romans 5:8).
  • Have ye not read, “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).

Ye have read now!!!!

The Left Boot of Fellowship

Friday, December 9, 2011

“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16 KJV).

We who “rightly divide the word of truth” have quickly learned to deal with being ostracized. When we share the rightly divided Word of God with denominational “Christians,” they hurriedly escort us out the front door (I speak from experience!). They encourage others to burn our “heretical” literature. They want nothing to do with us because we prefer God’s Word instead of their church tradition. Quite frankly, they give us the “left boot of fellowship,” kicking us away from their midst. (Compare this to the “right hand of fellowship” of Galatians 2:9). Beloved, take comfort; we do not belong in those religious systems anyway (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

Just as the Galatians disliked the Apostle Paul for correcting their doctrinal error (see today’s Scripture), so today’s denominationalists and religionists consider us enemies (of their church tradition). Sadly, the doctrinal problems in Galatia still confuse Christendom today… and like the Galatians, denominational church members are angered when we teach them God’s truth!

Denominational Protestant and Roman Catholic churches are alike. Although their sincere members claim the name “Jesus Christ,” they are all guilty of blatantly rejecting the truth of God’s Word that they may keep their tradition. Jesus said it best in Mark 7:9, speaking to Israel’s religious leaders who gave Him the “left boot of fellowship:” “Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.”

Denominationalists hate dispensational Bible study because it exposes their doctrinal error. Instead of believing the Bible dispensationally, they enjoy taking passages that God never gave them (that is, Israel’s doctrine). They give us “Paul-worshippers” the “left boot of fellowship” because they have already given God’s Word to them (Paul’s epistles) the “left boot of fellowship.”

Brethren, be not afraid of the denominationalists. Approach them in love, but do not compromise the rightly divided Bible. If they refuse (and they probably will), find someone who will listen to you.

“The LORD said… for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me…” (1 Samuel 8:7).

Fables and Endless Genealogies

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do” (1 Timothy 1:3,4 KJV).

Ephesus was in trouble. Instead of sound Bible doctrine, certain individuals were teaching “fables and endless genealogies.” Questions were arising in the Christian assemblies. Doubt, confusion, and discouragement proliferated. Incidentally, some years earlier, Paul had warned the Ephesian church leaders that “grievous wolves” of their own selves would infiltrate the flock and mislead the brethren (Acts 20:17,28-31). It happened!

So, in today’s Scripture, Paul informs us that he has left Timothy in Ephesus so Timothy can correct the doctrinal error. A sobering thought is, How could Paul decide where to send Timothy today? Millions of Timothys would be needed because, since then, doctrinal error has spread worldwide and waxed worse and worse (2 Timothy 4:3,4).

God designed His Word to edify (build up/strengthen and enlighten). But Satan and sinful man cooperate to silence its message or greatly dilute it with “fables and endless genealogies.” “Genealogies” refers to pagan and/or Jewish stories passed down through families, information that would profit no one spiritually, and only generate contention (arguing) and doubt (cf. Titus 1:14; Titus 3:9). Their modern-day equivalent is the empty church tradition passed down from “church fathers.”

The Apostle Peter mentioned “cunningly devised fables” (2 Peter 1:16) and the Apostle Paul referred to “refusing profane and old wives’ fables” (1 Timothy 4:7). These exaggerated, fabricated stories (legends) sought to replace sound Bible doctrine, and Timothy was sent to command the Ephesians not to teach such nonsense. “Godly edifying which is in faith: so do is explained in Acts 20:32 (Paul had already told the Ephesians this!): “Brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up….”

As Paul told Timothy and Ephesus, sound Bible teaching (dispensational Bible study) is the key to the confusion and heresy that still plague Christendom today.

Like the Most High

Sunday, November 27, 2011

“…I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14b KJV).

Satan (Lucifer speaking in today’s Scripture) is the arch-nemesis of God. The devil is the master counterfeiter. Notice:

  1. False witnesses (Psalm 27:12; Matthew 26:60,61) cf. the Lord’s witnesses (John 8:14; Acts 5:32).
  2. False visions (Jeremiah 14:14) cf. the Lord’s visions (Ezekiel 1:1).
  3. False dreams (Jeremiah 23:32) cf. the Lord’s dreams (Matthew 2:12,13).
  4. False prophets (Mark 13:22; 1 John 4:1) cf. the Lord’s prophets (Ephesians 3:5).
  5. False Christs (Matthew 24:24) cf. the Lord’s Christ (Psalm 2:2; Luke 2:26).
  6. False apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13) cf. the Lord’s apostles (Luke 11:46).
  7. False brethren (2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4) cf. the Christian brethren (Philippians 1:14).
  8. False ministers (2 Corinthians 11:14,15) cf. the Lord’s minister to us, Paul (Romans 15:16).
  9. False gospels (Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 11:3,4) cf. Paul’s Gospel (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Timothy 2:8).
  10. False doctrines (1 Timothy 4:1) cf. Paul’s doctrines (1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Timothy 2:7).
  11. False wonders, miracles, and signs (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:13,14) cf. the Lord’s wonders, miracles, and signs (Mark 16:17-20; Acts 2:22).
  12. False spirits (1 John 4:1-6) cf. the Holy Spirit/Spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 1:21).
  13. False Bibles (2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:2)—“as from us” indicates a letter appearing to be from the Apostle Paul, but it was actually a forged epistle because it contained false doctrine that troubled the Thessalonians—cf. God’s Bible (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12).

Satan knows that as long as you focus on his counterfeits, you will ignore God’s original. To Satan’s delight, whenever Israel would worship pagan gods, she would ignore the true God. As long as the Church the Body of Christ does not believe nor know of the things that God has specifically for us, then God cannot use us for His glory and purposes. Saints, be discerning, for Satan’s “cunning craftiness” abounds (Ephesians 4:14; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:3,4) and hold fast to the rightly divided King James Bible so you will not be deceived by the counterfeits.

Religion’s Untold Riches Revealed

Sunday, November 20, 2011

“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (2 Peter 2:3 KJV).

Remember when our Lord Jesus Christ drove extortionists from the Temple in Matthew 21:12,13 (cf. Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-47)? Sadly, nothing has changed since then, beloved.

When asked about the wealth of the world’s largest church, one official smugly replied, “Only God knows!” Indeed, God does know and those church leaders will give an account to God for every single cent they extorted from their followers!

Mega-church leaders literally resort to wheelbarrows because their collection plates are too few and too small. Although exposed as false teachers and charlatans, some televangelists continue raking in millions annually. Note also the “unholy hands on God’s Holy Word,” continually revising the Bible and copyrighting it (thereby securing fame and fortune).

If you pay enough, churches will pray enough! Notice Jesus’ rebuke in Matthew 23:14: “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” (cf. Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47). Like religious leaders today, they hypocritically uttered “long prayer” (for money).

Certainly, a man of God should be paid his wages: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward” (1 Timothy 5:17,18).

However, there is abuse: men who are “covetous” and “greedy of filthy lucre [extorted money]” (1 Timothy 3:3,8; Titus 1:7). Observe elaborate multimillion-dollar cathedrals, the “Christian” leader who “loves God” while claiming that she “deserved” her private jet, and the famous preacher who currently gives 90% (“reverse”) tithes. Just imagine being able to live off a mere one-tenth of your annual income! Outrageous.

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Peter mentions false teachers (religious leaders) who covet their audience’s bank accounts. The damnation of these liars who speak “feigned [fake, hypocritical] words” is sure!