An Eternal House in the Heavens #4

Thursday, March 23, 2017

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

You may not see it, but God already does!

We look again at 2 Corinthians chapter 4: “[16] For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. [17] For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; [18] While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Notice how, in this the Dispensation of Grace, Scripture emphasizes the “inward man” more than the “outward man.” God is not interested in maintaining these fleshly bodies indefinitely. The Apostle Paul understood this, and we need to as well. What we can see with our physical eyes—including our debilitating physical bodies—is “temporal” (temporary). What we cannot see with our physical eyes—including our “building of God,” resurrected body—is “eternal.” Would you rather focus on the temporal or the eternal, friend?

Paul knew that, while he was enduring those persecutions in the ministry, they were merely a “light affliction.” The word “light” means “easy,” as in “light in weight.” Now, such sufferings were anything but easy to bear because they caused immense grief and pain. Still, compared to spiritual (and more important!) things, they really were “light” (yea, weightless). Those sufferings for Christ’s sake would result in a very heavy reward, one that would be greater than the “light affliction.” It would be “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!”

Friends, we cannot see with our physical eyes the reality of these verses. Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We must adopt Almighty God’s view here, and we can only do this by faith (believing the verses). So, we proceed to read today’s Scripture with its succeeding verses, to see with spiritual eyes what God already sees….

An Eternal House in the Heavens #3

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

You may not see it, but God already does!

Chapter 4 says: “[7] But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. [8] We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; [9] Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; [10] Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. [11] For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. [12] So then death worketh in us, but life in you.”

After delineating his various persecutions and bodily sufferings for the sake of conducting his Gospel ministry, Paul closed the chapter with: “[15] For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. [16] For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. [17] For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; [18] While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Like all of us, Paul was tempted to look at his (outward) circumstances. Trouble followed him wherever he went. Jewish unbelievers and Gentile unbelievers alike wanted him dead! His “outward man” (visible, physical body) endured numerous forms of torture, abuse, and degeneration (see chapter 11, verses 23-28). Eventually, it would “perish” (be destroyed), returning to the ground from whence it came. Still, Paul was more focused on the “inward man,” the invisible man, that which was “renewed day by day….”

An Eternal House in the Heavens #2

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

You may not see it, but God already does!

A dear friend of mine has been entangled in the “Charismatic Movement” for years. She thus boasts of her “gift of healing.” (Her husband and one of her friends both died of cancer years back.) Afflicted by chronic illness herself, she talks about how she has visited her sick and aging friends in nursing homes, praying and “laying hands” on them to restore their health. (She still visits the same people at those same institutions!) While she has a testimony of salvation in Christ, she is a most confused lady concerning the Bible. She always seeks “signs and wonders” to know God is working.

Friends, since it has utterly failed to uphold the Word of God rightly divided, the Church the Body of Christ is largely caught up in thinking and behaving like Bible skeptics. You ask an atheist what it would take before he or she would “believe in God,” and he or she will probably reply, “If only I could see this miracle happen or that miracle occur, I would believe in God.” In other words, “I will not believe unless I see God working.” Friend, do you know anyone like that in Scripture?

Why, chapter John 20 says of “doubting Thomas:” “[25] The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe…. [27] Then saith [Jesus] to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. [28] And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. [29] Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

If only we would “believe without seeing….”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What Gospel message did Lazarus believe to wind up in Abraham’s bosom?

An Eternal House in the Heavens #1

Monday, March 20, 2017

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

You may not see it, but God already does!

Recently, I scanned religious television channels to find a familiar Bible teacher and his wife “teaching the Bible.” In the last century, his preacher father founded a major so-called “healing” ministry and college. The man died of heart problems, and “passed on the torch” to his son and his son’s wife.

Here was another generation of that family, still on television proclaiming “health and healing” and claiming “health and healing” Bible verses. They grabbed verses from Christ’s earthly ministry and the early Acts period, fervently trying to convince their viewers, “The power of God to heal is still here today! It is His will to heal you!” Of course, their bodies showed signs of aging. The man’s hands shook as he held his Bible. He and his wife’s faces, hands, and arms were wrinkled and covered in age spots. One day, they will go the way of his father, also succumbing to bodily illness, physical death, to pass on the “healing” ministry to someone else (who will also grow sick and die).

Verily, verily, friends, the Bible repeatedly demonstrates that Almighty God can heal sick bodies. However, just because we read about it in the Bible does not mean God is still doing that today. The Bible is divided into dispensations, or different instructions given by God for man to believe and obey during different time periods. Just as it is entirely inappropriate to take rules from one person’s household and force them onto another person’s household, so it is utterly wrong to grab one dispensation and try to mesh it with another dispensation. While God Himself never changes (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8), the Bible record is very clear that God’s dealings with man do in fact differ as one moves from Genesis through the Revelation. We would have to be dishonest with ourselves not to see the distinctions God has made throughout His Holy Word.

Friends, we have an eternal body promised us… just not here….

Household Rules #12

Monday, January 16, 2017

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God (Colossians 1:25 KJV).

And, just what is this “dispensation of God which is given to [Paul] for [us]?”

To repeat, some people hate dispensational Bible study. Modern English Bible “scholars” eliminate “dispensation,” therefore hiding the system’s biblical foundation. If they omit the term from Scripture, then they quite easily argue dispensationalism is false. However, while refusing to admit it, even they understand some dispensational boundaries. They know a dispensational boundary exists between an animal-sacrificing Old Testament Jew and us today. They understand animal sacrifices were God’s directions to Israel under the Law, not directions to us under Grace. They know God’s directions to Noah to build an Ark are Scripture, but not to us. Yet, they claim and follow other verses not to or about us. How silly!

Certain “church people” loathe dispensational Bible study—especially Pauline dispensationalism—because it prevents them from ripping out of context verses from Jesus’ earthly ministry and early Acts. They enjoy claiming the gifts of healing and tongues; they like the Beatitudes, Sermon on the Mount, and so-called “Lord’s Prayer;” they harp on Christ’s parables; they revel in water baptism, Sabbath-day keeping, and confession of sins. If they were to recognize dispensationalism as true, and apply it consistently in Scripture, then they would see only Paul’s doctrine as applicable to us (today’s Scripture; cf. Ephesians 3:2).

They dislike Paul since he was not sent to water baptize (1 Corinthians 1:17); did not have the gifts of healing and tongues his entire ministry (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; 1 Timothy 5:23; 2 Timothy 4:20); did not quote the “Lord’s Prayer,” Sermon on the Mount, or Beatitudes; did not emphasize confession of sins; directly opposed forced giving/tithing (2 Corinthians 9:6,7); and outright condemned Sabbath-day keeping (Galatians 4:9-11; Colossians 2:16). Paul emphasized grace rather than works. Thus, some groups have removed Paul’s “nuisance” epistles entirely from their Bible!

Dispensational Bible study—specifically, Pauline dispensationalism—threatens church traditions (works-religion). They must ignore dispensational boundaries in order to keep people working and striving in church programs and denominations. In doing so, they underscore Law, thus refuting the Gospel of Grace and hindering victorious Christian living….

An Inconvenient Truth

Saturday, September 10, 2016

“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 KJV).

Into what depths of madness will we descend if we ignore today’s Scripture?

An elderly lady once expressed to me a most unpleasant dilemma. For years she had known a Roman Catholic priest and his “healing missions trips” to foreign countries. Those poverty-stricken people overseas did not have viable healthcare, so they embraced his “healing campaigns.” She explained he had come to her house many times before to hold “healing”/prayer meetings. She not only let him come but she also participated. In recent years, however, he had not visited her home (perhaps she could no longer afford donations?!). Furthermore, she had had severe health (largely mobility) problems that prevented her from attending his meetings being held elsewhere. Her lack of healing proved today’s Scripture. Despite all the “healing claims,” these temporary bodies are still wearing down and dying!

The above predicament describes the insanity one will experience if he or she rejects the plain and simple truths of the Word of God. When you consider the absolutely absurd beliefs abounding in the world, they generally fall into two categories—science and religion. Both parties have scorned the light and understanding God’s Word would have provided them had they received it (Psalm 119:130). Man refusing to hear the Word of God will wind up in the same spiritual darkness as he would have remained in had God not given us His Word at all.

Religion and science alike are largely based on man’s intuition and opinions, not on the Holy Spirit’s teaching ministry. Thus, they will never be the means whereby God reveals Himself. First Corinthians 2:9-10 says: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” Friends, let us allow the Holy Spirit to teach us His inspired Word, the Holy Bible. If we refuse, pledging blind allegiance to religion and/or science, all boundaries of sanity will indeed be lifted!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Are we humans created in ‘the image of God?’

Perishing Versus Renewing #2

Sunday, April 3, 2016

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16 KJV).

As we physically “perish,” may we spiritually “renew!”

One Christian brother always aptly states, “All ‘healing’ claims aside, the death-rate is still one a piece!” We can claim Israel’s verses all we want—Exodus 15:26, Matthew 10:8, Mark 16:17, James 5:14-15, et cetera—but we will only deceive ourselves by grabbing verses that have absolutely nothing to do with us and absolutely nothing to do with God’s current operations! No matter the modern-day “miraculous healing,” that “healed” person is still going to experience the worst disease—physical death. Beloved, there is something better than temporary physical healing in a body destined to rot anyway. It is a brand-new body in which the “renewed inward man” will reside in eternity!

Romans 8:18-25: “[18] For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. [19] For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. [20] For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, [21] Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. [23] And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. [24] For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? [25] But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

These physical bodies will pass, but a most glorious (resurrected) body will be granted us at the Rapture. Until Christ takes care of the “outward man,” may we take care of the “inward man!” Let us spend more time in God’s Word rightly divided, renewing that which will never perish! 🙂