Truth Be Told

Monday, May 18, 2015

“But we have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2 KJV).

If we have not done so already, may we abandon “handling the word of God deceitfully!”

A “faith healer” preacher, after sharing “healing testimonies” and offering to send prayer cloths and anointing oil by mail, read 2 Corinthians 4:16 on television: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” He actually admitted that our physical bodies are aging and decaying. Jokingly, he referenced his balding head and he and his wife’s wrinkling skin! (“Physician, heal thyself with thy ‘miracle-healing tools!’”) No wonder people laugh at us Christians. Just look at the foolishness “Christian” television networks air!

Recently, someone told me she had “paid for some Masses” for a certain deceased loved one to be freed from purgatory’s flames. Those prayers said on her behalf were not cheap, but they were certainly not enough to merit God’s heaven. (If Jesus’ blood did not bring someone to heaven, can silver and gold?)

Dear friends, the above is not Christianity but charlatanry. Remember, if someone is not making sense, ‘someone’ is making money! There are many sincere but vulnerable people, particularly in religion. These precious souls need to learn the difference between Christianity and charlatanry. Just because someone is reading a Bible, talking about “Jesus” and “God,” or claiming to be led by the “Holy Ghost,” that does not automatically make that individual a spokesperson for God (a common myth). Ministers are oftentimes the sneakiest people. Jesus condemned the religious leaders of His day for them draining people of their income and trust. There are billions around the world today equally deceived and abused.

Beloved, let us take our King James Bible, and let us be grounded in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, that we not be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). As we learn to tell the truth, those who want to know it, will learn as well. 🙂

Praying Like Elijah #18

Saturday, March 7, 2015

“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (James 5:17 KJV).

Why did Elijah pray like this, what was so special about his prayer that God answered it, and how can we have our prayers answered of God?

Some have erroneously concluded that unless we use the same words Elijah used, we will not see results from God. The greater fallacy, however, is to mix our Dispensation of Grace with Israel’s Dispensation of Law. While we can pray for God to demonstrate Himself as when He did with Israel (signs, miracles, wonders), God will not do it because He never said it to us. As we saw “long ago,” God hearkened to Elijah because he was quoting Scripture that applied to him. Elijah valued (believed) God’s Word, he wanted God’s will accomplished, and because he prayed for God to do what He had already said He would do, Elijah saw God’s response!

What is God’s will in this the Dispensation of Grace? “[God our Saviour] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Today, God wants lost people to trust Jesus Christ (Paul’s Gospel; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4) to be saved from a devil’s hell, and He wants saved people to trust His Word to them (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon; Romans 11:13) to be saved from a devil’s lifestyle!

Firstly, we should pray for lost people to be saved from their sins by trusting Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as the sufficient payment for their sins. Secondly, we need to pray for fellow Christians to learn how to understand and enjoy the Bible. Thus, we will be motivated to share the Gospel of Grace with lost people, and share dispensational Bible truths with Christians. God wants law-abiding leaders and citizens, godly husbands and fathers, virtuous wives and mothers, obedient children, hardworking employees, benevolent employers, and faithful saints who maintain the local assembly. Beloved, honestly, we Christians need to quit wasting our time praying denominational prayers and we need to start praying for these things!

Just imagine such transformation….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should Christians participate in yoga?

Praying Like Elijah #17

Friday, March 6, 2015

“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (James 5:17 KJV).

Why did Elijah pray like this, what was so special about his prayer that God answered it, and how can we have our prayers answered of God?

Friend, have you ever wondered why, even after people pray for angelic protection (citing Psalm 91:11,12), they are injured or killed in some accident? Or, why the sick die after they are anointed with “holy oil” and prayed over for healing (quoting James 5:13-15)? Or, why people pray for God to send them “miracle checks” in the mail to pay their outrageous bills (citing Deuteronomy 8:18), and they receive no such checks? Why prayers for vehicles, spouses, houses, job promotions, et cetera, usually never come about? (Unfortunately, these precious people lack dispensational Bible study, the key to Bible understanding, and desperately seeking a resolution to the confusion, they fall prey to “ministry” shams and scams.)

Paul’s epistles never mention guardian angels. Angels have no ministry to us: they do not serve us as they did Israel. Paul and his ministry companions suffered a variety of problems. No “guardian angels” rescued Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:22-27 (a passage replete with stonings, beatings, shipwrecks, ambushes, imprisonments, hunger, thirst, weariness, painfulness, poverty, nakedness, and cold)! After experiencing this partial listing of problems, Paul’s life ended… with evil Emperor Nero beheading him!

The Apostle’s extensive abuse and excessive torture endured over his 30 years of travelling, he undoubtedly had health issues (massive scar tissue, maiming, maybe broken bones and/or lameness). Some of his “infirmities” are in 2 Corinthians 12:10 and Galatians 4:13-15. How did Paul ever survive those hardships? How did he not give up? It was God’s grace working in him. He remembered God’s grace was sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). God’s grace was sufficient for ill Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23) and sick Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20), and for the poor Macedonian Christians (2 Corinthians 8:1,2). This grace is sufficient for us too, and we are mindful of it when praying in our circumstances, good and bad….

But It is Scriptural!

Friday, February 6, 2015

“But [we] have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully…” (2 Corinthians 4:2 KJV).

If only more religious leaders would join with Paul in today’s Scripture!

Recently, I watched a “Christian” television program in which the preacher cunningly said, “The Holy Ghost is telling me to instruct you to send us a $10 donation. We will mail you a vial of Israeli holy olive oil. Then, anoint the doorways of your house, your sick loved ones, and your business, and believe and receive God’s healing and wealth.” His wife then cleverly interjected to reassure their wary viewers, “It is Scriptural! James 5:13-15 says believers should call the church elders—that’s us!—and use anointing oil.”

Yes, if you want to be thoroughly confused, just watch TV preachers! This pastor and his wife, promising wealth and physical healing, were not practicing what they were preaching. The man was bald and wearing eyeglasses, and his wife had obviously had extensive cosmetic surgery. They were suffering the effects of old age—the “snake oil” they were peddling was not effective for them. They should use the oil themselves, receive God’s wealth, and then they would not have to beg for and extort donations from their television audience!

Dearly beloved, one of Christendom’s greatest blunders is to assume “Scriptural” equals “God’s will for me.” Suppose a Jew in Moses’ day claimed, “Moses, I hate following these kosher food laws that God had you write in Leviticus chapter 11. You wrote in Genesis 9:1-4 that I can eat anything I can catch. It is Scriptural to eat all animals! I will follow those instructions instead!” This Jew, although “Scriptural,” would be outside of God’s will for him. He would be ignorant of the dispensational change: Genesis chapter 9 was for Noah to follow, not Israel!

Let us not handle God’s Word deceitfully. Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, are God’s Word to us as Gentiles (Romans 11:13): our dispensation, set of divine instructions, is Paul’s epistles (Ephesians 3:2). We must be both Scriptural AND dispensational. Beloved, if you bear those simple verses in mind, you will spare yourself much confusion, extortion, headache, and heartbreak!