The Wise Masterbuilder #2

Saturday, January 6, 2018

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10,11 KJV).

Who is the “wise masterbuilder?” In what way is he “wise?” What is he building? Where do we fit in?

Chapter 1 of 1 Corinthians says the Holy Spirit is writing to the saints at Corinth through the Apostle Paul (verse 1). The passage also identifies the primary problem that is plaguing the assembly: “[10] Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. [11] For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. [12] Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. [13] Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”

Verse 10 shows us there are “divisions” (Greek schisma, from which our English word “schism” is derived) among the Corinthians. The Apostle has received news that these Christians have become notorious for their “contentions” (quarrels, debates, heated disagreements). From where did these rifts and conflicts stem? Why, dear friend, just read verse 12 again—“Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.” To wit, one clique here, one sect there, another denomination hither, and still another group yon!

In Corinth, one crowd follows the teachings of Paul, a second group embraces the doctrines of Apollos, a third crowd clings to the teachings of Cephas (Peter; John 1:40-42), and a fourth faction follows the doctrines of Christ’s earthly ministry. All are bickering in their defense of each. Does this not sound like “Christianity” today? Indeed, it does….

The Wise Masterbuilder #1

Friday, January 5, 2018

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10,11 KJV).

Who is the “wise masterbuilder?” In what way is he “wise?” What is he building? Where do we fit in?

My dear friend, have you ever wondered why there are so many denominations claiming to represent Christianity? Why are there so many different churches naming the name of “Jesus Christ?” How can they all use the Bible and yet still manage to embrace vastly dissimilar theological systems?! Notice the succeeding lines, and all will be clear. It would do you well to read them over and over and over again. You should never, ever, EVER (!) forget them. These admonitions will literally save you from a lifetime of confusion, burden, and disappointment. Bearing in mind the following, you will be spared from ever so much surprise and bewilderment.

You can use the Bible to teach anything. How do we know? Why, my dear friend, remember, just look around us. All 38,000-plus “Christian” denominations appeal to and quote Holy Scripture to some extent. Each and every group cannot be right, however, for they all use verses to teach opposing doctrines. How can so much error be?

God values free will. If you do not want His Word to say what it says, if you do not want to believe what it says, God—oh, yes, my dear friend—GOD will give you the liberty to stumble over His Word and break your theological neck! Again, such damage will be inflicted upon your soul, such immense destruction will result, but God will let you go that route if you so choose. You approach Scripture with the attitude of unbelief and scorn—hoping to sustain your system—and God the Holy Spirit will give you over to do just that! You will wind up in eternal hellfire quoting Scripture. Your Christian life, if you have one, will be ruined by you quoting Scripture.

May we not be willfully ignorant. May we be willing to let the Holy Spirit teach us His Word pure and plain….

NOTE: If you want Scriptural advice for 2018, please see our archived Bible study here.

A Book That Will Teach

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

“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” (1 Corinthians 2:13 KJV).

Today’s Scripture tells us who alone we can trust to teach us God’s truth!

Once, I heard a minister give his self-proclaimed “prophetic” message about top headlines that would appear in the coming year. While he reassured his audience that he received this information directly from “the Lord” (?), he gave a disclaimer: “I do not know, but at the end of this year, we will see if what I say came to pass.” Unlike the inner impressions and hunches of this “Christian” preacher, the Holy Bible is infallible, and we can trust its information completely.

Long, long ago, God Almighty wrote a Book, and He preserved it through history through a multiplicity of manuscript copies, so that it could eventually be translated into English, so we could read it even today! (Of course, Satan, the master counterfeiter that he is, most certainly had his own manuscripts—they still circulate today as corrupt Bible translations.) God promised to preserve His words forever (Psalm 12:6,7; Isaiah 30:8; Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:25). Consequently, every person will stand before Him one day to give account as to what he or she did with that Bible. Did we reject it in favor of counterfeits? Did we re-translate it to fit our denominational beliefs? Did we apply it to life by faith? Did we even read it at all?

As English-speaking people, we understand—or, at least, we should understand—that we can trust the 400-year-old King James Bible. Sadly, even in many church circles, we are often cautioned not to trust God’s preserved Word. Unfortunately, footnotes, study notes, and seminarians usually attempt to claim that authority by offering “better” readings or “better” manuscripts. Beloved, we can do without unbelieving textual critics and their “scholarship.” God does not need lost people to explain His Word to His children; He never did and He never will (1 Corinthians 2:14). Never forget that!

The Holy Spirit will teach us the King James Bible if we “read” (Ephesians 3:4), “study” (2 Timothy 2:15), and “consider” it (2 Timothy 2:7)!

The Virgin Conception of Christ

Monday, December 18, 2017

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14 KJV).

While Christendom speaks of the “virgin birth of Christ,” according to today’s Scripture, a more accurate term would be the “virgin conception of Christ.” There was nothing unusual about Christ’s birth; it was His conception that was unique because there was no human father!

Interestingly, today’s Scripture has been the point of controversy for over a century (to Satan’s delight!). Some modern Bibles (RSV, NRSV, et al.) translate the Hebrew word here translated “virgin” as the vague “young woman,” thereby leaving room for the heretical idea that Joseph was Jesus’ biological father (and denying Christ’s deity)! If someone ever tells you almah (the Hebrew word translated “virgin”) can mean “young woman” or “virgin,” they are right, but point out that the key to choosing the right translation is not up to a translator, but rather the Holy Ghost!

The author of Matthew’s Gospel, filled with the Holy Ghost, knew which translation—“young woman” or “virgin”—was what God had intended in Isaiah 7:14. If we want to know what God meant in Isaiah 7:14, why not ask God?

“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Behold a virgin shall be with child…” (Matthew 1:22,23a). The Greek word translated “virgin,” parthenos, can only mean “virgin,” not “young woman.” Isaiah was prophesying a virgin, indicated by the words “firstborn son” (Matthew 1:25; Luke 2:7) and “Joseph knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son” (Matthew 1:25). Isaiah 7:14 meant “virgin,” as indicated by Luke 1:34, for Mary “knew not a man.” Again, the Bible is clear that Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father.

Matthew 1:23 indisputably proves that almah in Isaiah 7:14 did not simply mean a “young woman,” who may or may not be sexually pure, but “a virgin,” a woman who never had any sexual intercourse. The Holy Ghost, not Joseph, was the Father of Jesus’ body (Matthew 1:18-20).

For more information, see our archived Bible Q&A: “What is the real Immaculate Conception?

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks #1

Friday, December 8, 2017

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:8-10 KJV).

The first and second verses of the classic Christmas carol paraphrase today’s Scripture.

“While shepherds watched
Their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around
And glory shone around.
‘Fear not,’ said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled minds;
‘Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind
To you and all mankind.’”

Due to the decree of some pagan Roman emperor, Joseph and pregnant Mary traveled some 70 miles (113 kilometers), from Nazareth to Bethlehem-Judah (Luke 2:1-7)! There, in little Bethlehem—a humble town rather than a magnificent world city—Israel’s King, yea the King of kings and Lord of lords, was born. Micah 5:2, written some 700 years earlier, was perfectly fulfilled: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Note that our King James Bible says Jesus Christ is “from everlasting,” demonstrating His deity. Modern versions water this down, saying “from ancient times/days.” Blasphemy!)

Not far from where Jesus was born and laid in the manger, shepherds were out that night guarding their flocks. (See, contrary to popular belief, Jesus was not born in wintertime. There is additional Scriptural evidence that it was early fall, very late September or very early October.) The angel of the Lord appeared to these shepherds. Angels appearing to Israel was usually some sign of judgment (see 2 Samuel 24:15-17, for example). When the shepherds of today’s Scripture saw the angel of the Lord, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, they were very fearful.

The angel reassured them with such wonderful news!

Neither Misinformed Nor Uninformed

Sunday, November 19, 2017

“Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:104 KJV).

We are neither misinformed nor uninformed—but informed!

Recently, a man wrote about his distrust of American news media. He raised two strong, important points. Firstly, if he did watch or read news, he wondered if it was true or fake news. He feared being misinformed. Secondly, if he did not watch or read news, he would not learn about current events. He also dreaded being uninformed. What a dilemma!

Dear saints, we certainly should not be uninformed. There simply is no place for ignorance in the Christian’s life. We should be aware of what is going on around us. That knowledge helps us better understand people so we can more effectively reach them with the Gospel and sound Bible doctrine. Of course, we must be informed about the Bible before we can share it with others!

Brethren, we surely should not be misinformed either. God has given us His inspired and preserved written Word, the Holy Bible. Therefore, we have a basis for gauging right/truth and wrong/error. Hence, we should be very careful in keeping one Bible version. Dozens upon dozens of various so-called “English Bibles” are being published and purchased today. How dangerous it is to be so unconcerned with a movement advancing “new-and-improved” Bibles in an age when the truth is being ridiculed, watered down, and corrupted into an outright lie!

For over 400 years, the Authorized Version King James Bible has been the standard English Bible. It has been under attack since before it came off the printing press! Satan’s assault on it increased greatly approximately 135 years ago, when English Bible “scholars” replaced it and its underlying manuscripts with ancient documents the Body of Christ had rejected as depraved and heretical for the previous 15 centuries. Beware of the modern English versions!

It is impossible to guarantee the complete veracity of a news item—unless you witnessed the event first-hand. However, we can and should compare news outlets and articles to minimize error. Moreover, the King James Bible rightly divided is our final authority, the ultimate standard whereby we evaluate everything. That is the only sure way to be informed (neither misinformed nor uninformed).

Evil Communications #7

Saturday, November 18, 2017

“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:33,34 KJV).

What are “evil communications?” Are we immune to their effects?

First Corinthians chapter 5 was written to warn those Christians who say they can associate with sinful individuals and not be corrupted. Galatians chapter 5 was written to admonish those Christians who say they can keep attending denominational churches and not be deceived. They are just as human—prone to failure—as the Corinthians and Galatians. If the Corinthians and Ephesians were prone to spiritual slumber as the Adversary worked, we should not be surprised that believers in Christ today exhibit poor to dead Christian living!

Today’s Scripture thunders, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not!” Dear brethren, if we are those with functionally-dead Christian lives, it is not too late for us to reform. We may have reverted to the lifestyle we had before we trusted Christ, but the Holy Scriptures rightly divided can lead us to repentance. That change in mind will then transform our behavior.

Second Timothy chapter 2: “[24] And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, [25] In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; [26] And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” Let us not fall into Satan’s trap!

Whether the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, or reverted Christians today, they should be walking in light of Titus chapter 2: “[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; [13] Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; [14] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20).

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is there time in Heaven?