The Great Eagle #3

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” (Revelation 12:14 KJV).

Who or what is this “great eagle?”

If curious about the meaning of the eagle in today’s Scripture, we simply look up the word “eagle” in a Bible concordance and see related verses. These passages will then shed light on the verse about which we have a question. Remember, the Bible features its own built-in dictionary: we let it interpret itself. Obviously, though, it requires effort to find and read cross-referenced verses. However, the common church member is accustomed to being shallow in the Scriptures; therefore, Bible study is frequently dismissed as “boring,” and is thus rare. Yet, study and subsequent meditation is the only way to grow spiritually. Still, we are usually tempted to let someone else (preacher, priest, teacher, professor, church father, et cetera) study and think for us. Until we break ourselves of that bad habit, false teachers will continue to master us and we will remain in darkness and childishness.

The first “eagle” appears in a King James Bible in Exodus chapter 19, the LORD addressing Moses as touching Israel’s rescue from Pharaoh’s (Satan’s) bondage: “And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself” (verses 3,4). Four decades later, just before he dies physically, Moses reminds Israel of that marvelous escape: “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him [Israel], and there was no strange god with him” (Deuteronomy 32:11,12). Notice the striking parallels to today’s Scripture. Were American troops present to deliver Israel from Egypt? No! That was over 3,000 years before the United States existed!

Let us continue searching the Scriptures and forming our chain of “eagle” Bible cross-references….

The Great Eagle #2

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” (Revelation 12:14 KJV).

Who or what is this “great eagle?”

God the Holy Spirit designed the Scriptures with their own built-in dictionary. When a particular word or phrase appears, the Bible has defined it either in the immediate/situational context (the same passage) or the remote context (a passage elsewhere in the Bible canon). Sound Bible study is exegesis—literally, “to lead out.” When exegetic, we explain the meaning of Scripture by simply letting the Bible speak. This is in contradistinction to eisegesis—that is, “to lead in.” We are eisegetic when we express our own opinions or denominational biases. Exegesis is to let the Bible say what it says and mean what it says, to draw out its meaning; on the other hand, eisegesis is to force into the Bible text a meaning the Holy Spirit never intended. Oftentimes, what is passed off as “Christianity” is merely eisegesis.

Here is an example of exegesis: “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he [Jesus] expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). Christ took the meaning out of the Hebrew Bible; He avoided a distorted view by simply letting the Scriptures speak. Compare this to the eisegesis here: “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:15,16). These Bible corrupters (members of Christendom!) are “wresting” God’s words—twisting them all out of shape, obscuring their pure meaning.

The bald eagle is known for its majesty, strength, and longevity. Consequently, in 1782, it was chosen as the symbol for the United States of America. However, is this the key to unlocking the meaning of today’s Scripture? Let us use the Bible’s built-in dictionary to determine if this is exegesis or eisegesis….

Bible Q&A #860: “What does ‘discomfit’ mean?

Fake!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV).

Recently, while flipping through a book, I noticed such phrases as “God’s grace” and “Holy Spirit.” Surely, this was a Christian writer. However, I saw “Christ Consciousness” on one page. The author turned out to be a “psychic,” polluted with New Age eastern mysticism!

The world is a hazardous place for new and/or shallow Christians—and, most regrettably, that encompasses nearly all professing believers. False teachers come in various forms, but the most dangerous are those who use the Bible and its terminology. It is easy to label someone as evil if he or she discards the Scriptures: “I do not appeal to the Bible” is a dead giveaway that person desires to share worthless information. Yet, the false teacher is often subtle, promising: “I love, follow, and know the Bible.” Remember, Satan appeared to be a Bible believer. Instead of outright ignoring Scripture, the Devil actually quoted Psalm 91 to Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:5,6; Luke 4:9-11)!

In ancient Judah centuries before Christ: “And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear” (Jeremiah 25:4; cf. Jeremiah 26:5; Jeremiah 29:19; Jeremiah 35:14,15). They were ignoring God’s preachers because they were too busy listening to the Devil’s preachers who claimed to be “God’s” servants! “Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart” (Jeremiah 14:14,15; cf. Jeremiah 23:21,22,30-32; Jeremiah 27:15; Jeremiah 29:8,9).

Dear friends, if we are to save ourselves from such rampant deception, we had better heed the Lord’s words through the Apostle Paul, Romans through Philemon! “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” (1 Corinthians 14:37).

Diminish Not a Word! #5

Monday, May 31, 2021

Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: (Jeremiah 26:2 KJV).

No matter how offensive they are, we never water down God’s words for anyone!

Today, the Dispensation of the Grace of God committed to the Apostle Paul’s trust has been delivered to us through the Books of Romans through Philemon (Ephesians 3:1,2). Consequently, Paul counseled young Pastor Timothy in his final epistle to him (and us the Church the Body of Christ).

“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us” (2 Timothy 1:13,14). That is, by the indwelling Holy Spirit, guard the doctrines of grace from all corruption! “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 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 2:1,2). To wit, teach the doctrines of grace without any revision! Why? The doctrines of grace will be shoved aside or perverted so man living in his sins of the flesh (lasciviousness, loose living) and sins of the spirit (asceticism, strict religion) can proceed unopposed.

“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; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 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. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Timothy 4:1-5). Brethren, we do not compromise, back down, or apologize for preaching Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery as found in the King James Bible!

**Saints, we now close 10 full years of
333 Words of Grace!**

Our latest Bible Q&As: “What is a ‘lunatick?’” and “What is the ‘madness’ of Luke 6:11?

Diminish Not a Word! #4

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: (Jeremiah 26:2 KJV).

No matter how offensive they are, we never water down God’s words for anyone!

Jeremiah could have altered God’s Word to make it more palatable. Like the feel-good “Christian” celebrities who mislead multimillions to make multimillions today, he could have preached: “I do not make mention of ‘sin’ in my sermons, for such a word only instills pessimism. We need to think positive thoughts. The LORD is so pleased with Jerusalem and King Jehoiakim. No Divine wrath or Gentile army is coming here to destroy us!” (In fact, false prophets were proclaiming this in Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11, and 23:16-40.)

Had Jeremiah joined the false prophets in their “ear-tickling” messages, he would have surely avoided persecution—particularly his torture and name-calling. Howbeit, him changing the message would ultimately not help his audience. It would only make repentance that much harder. A polluted message would not bring about the change in mind JEHOVAH God wanted, whereas a pure message would cause them to come back to God and avoid the wrath against their idolatry. Whatever Jeremiah said, God would not overlook their sin. Therefore, it was far better for Jeremiah to tell them what they needed to hear rather than what they wanted to hear!

Brethren, when we refuse to speak the words “Hell,” “wrath,” “eternal judgment,” and “sin;” indeed, we have gained the lost world’s friendship. However, we have not changed their impending doom at all! Whether we tell them of their sin problem or not, they still have it, and if they die without Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, they will absolutely not get into Heaven! We may opt out in sharing sound Bible doctrine with fellow Christians, so as to have the praise of these people as well. Yet, we have only played the hypocrite again—and deprived them of what would brought them to spiritual maturity and stability. Again, tell them what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear!

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Diminish Not a Word! #3

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: (Jeremiah 26:2 KJV).

No matter how offensive they are, we never water down God’s words for anyone!

Return to the context of today’s Scripture: “[8] Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die. [9] Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD. [10] When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king’s house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD’S house. [11] Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.

“[12] Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard. [13] Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you. [14] As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you. [15] But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the LORD hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears.”

Read the rest of the chapter. Whereas Judah’s apostate religious leaders despised Jeremiah and God’s undiluted words, the common Jews appreciated them….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How are we God’s ‘workmanship?’

Diminish Not a Word! #2

Friday, May 28, 2021

Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: (Jeremiah 26:2 KJV).

No matter how offensive they are, we never water down God’s words for anyone!

Knowing man’s sinfulness, God advised Jeremiah: “diminish not a word.” Jeremiah was just as human as we are, so he was tempted to make God’s words more attractive to pagan idolaters. When Jeremiah entered his ministry, the LORD had warned him his people would “fight against” him (1:19). Behold the conflict!

Read chapter 20: “[1] Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. [2] Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD. [3] And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The LORD hath not called thy name Pashur [“liberation”], but Magormissabib [“terror on every side”].” Jeremiah delivered God’s words in chapter 19, and subsequently suffered physical abuse. He was beaten and then placed in the “stocks” (hands and feet held between hinged wooden boards, for everyone to see and ridicule).

Verses 7-9: “O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” Discouraged, tired of the ridicule, Jeremiah refused to preach. Yet, God’s words seethed in his inner man and he started talking again!

Now we get to today’s Scripture, where Jeremiah’s people oppose God’s words once more….

Diminish Not a Word! #1

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: (Jeremiah 26:2 KJV).

No matter how offensive they are, we never water down God’s words for anyone!

It is human nature for anyone to “tone down” the Scriptures, to re-translate and/or re-interpret them so they are more pleasing to sinful eyes and ears. We would expect unsaved people to treat God’s Word with such utter disregard and disrespect. However, we Christians can be guilty of this practice too. Bible translators, preachers, and teachers especially need to exercise great caution not to fall into this trap. Fearing negative reactions, we tend to avoid or obscure “inconvenient” Bible truths. In doing so, we appeal to our lost and/or denominational relatives, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances.

Circa 600 B.C., the LORD God commissioned the Prophet Jeremiah to preach chapter 26 during the start of King Jehoiakim’s reign. Jehoiakim, one of Judah’s final monarchs, was a pagan idolater and poor spiritual example for his wicked nation in Jerusalem. God’s intention in giving Jeremiah’s message was, “If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings” (verse 3). This message will be anything but “feel-good!”

“[4] And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, [5] To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened; [6] Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth. [7] So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.”

Jeremiah faithfully preached every word God gave him. Let us see how Jerusalem’s religious leaders respond to his sermon….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain Daniel 7:12?

Neither Prophets Nor Spiritual!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

“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” (1 Corinthians 14:37 KJV).

Recently, I talked with a dear brother in Christ who was sorely disappointed. What happened to him?

He had listened to “Christian” “prophets” and “prophetesses” issue their “predictions” about what would soon happen at specific times. Those days now passed, their projections totally wrong and completely unfulfilled, he and many others are disgusted. Supposedly, “God” was providing them with revelation; alas, Jesus never came back on the day they said He would! This “vision” and that “dream” were nothing but human imagination—and such gullible, deceived Christians number in the multi-millions.

As with Israel several centuries before Christ, so the Church the Body of Christ has been overwhelmed with false teachers. So-called “servants of God” were misleading the Jews back in Jeremiah’s day. Read chapter 23 of Jeremiah, including these highlights God Himself utters: “[21] I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied…. [25] I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. [26] How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; [27] Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.” The LORD accuses them in verse 36, “…for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.”

Just as false prophets were drawing Israel away from God’s words through Moses, so false teachers today are drawing us the Body of Christ away from God’s words through Paul. The test of true spirituality in this the Dispensation of Grace is Pauline doctrine, the Bible Books of Romans through Philemon (today’s Scripture). As I told my disappointed friend, if they do not acknowledge Paul’s Gentile apostleship to us (Romans 11:13), they are neither prophets (speaking for God) nor spiritual (led by the Spirit of God). Leave these presumptuous perverts alone!!!

The Last 12 Verses of Mark

Monday, March 29, 2021

Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils (Mark 16:9 KJV).

What should we conclude regarding Mark 16:9-20?

Dear friend, if you have a study Bible, or a version other than a King James Bible, you have probably encountered a disconcerting annotation at Mark 16:9-20. For 140 years, modern English Bible versions have placed an ominous marginal note or footnote at this Longer Ending. The comment reads something to the effect of, “The two oldest and best manuscripts lack these verses.” Some versions also provide an alternative reading, commonly called the Shorter Ending. Still, others may add between verses 14 and 15 something known as the Intermediate or Expanding Ending (Freer Logion).

Up until the mid-20th century, most “scholars” were open to the possibility John Mark wrote past 16:8. However, additional human wisdom and speculation caused them to change their consensus. Now, nearly all Bible “scholars” believe John Mark stopped writing at verse 8. Consequently, verses 9-20 (Longer Ending) are rejected as “spurious,” “doubtful,” “not genuine.” (They also refuse the “Shorter Conclusion” variant and the “Intermediate/Freer Logion/Expanded Conclusion” variant.) Yes, imagine that! We have Bible unbelievers, Bible doubters, leading Christendom!

Such animosity toward Mark 16:9-20—the King James Bible ending—began way back in the A.D. first century, when John Mark first wrote it. Its dispensational nature ignored, denominationalists and apostates struggling to harmonize it with Pauline doctrine, they finally excised (removed) the troubling passage from some manuscripts. Yet, even today, we find those last 12 verses of Mark supported in the ancient testimonies of dozens of early church fathers, hundreds of Greek manuscripts of Mark chapter 16, thousands of ancient Bibles with Mark chapter 16 in other languages (Syriac, Latin, et cetera), and thousands of ancient Greek lectionaries (not full Bibles, but rather books containing excerpted passages of Scripture). In fact, only two Greek manuscripts omit Mark 16:9-20—Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus (and, when closely examined, are seen to really be neither oldest nor best!).

In summary, 99.9% of the extant Greek witnesses support Mark 16:9-20. We accept these verses as authentic, truly inspired of God, and part of Mark’s original autograph! As always, we are careful to handle them dispensationally.

Special edition Bible Q&A #825: “Does Mark 16:9-20 belong in the Bible?” (120-page PDF)

Concerning our New Testament Survey Project, I recently finished teaching the Book of Mark. That final study was a defense of Mark 16:9-20. This 200-minute video can be watched below.