Understanding Your Apostle Paul

Friday, May 20, 2022

“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:” (Romans 11:13 KJV).

Friend, would you like to understand your Apostle Paul?

“Who is your Apostle?” Had the professing church correctly answered that question through these last 2,000 years, Christianity’s testimony would be far more potent because we would actually know God’s will better than the world knows Satan’s policy of evil. Alas, the average church member is totally unable to discern and combat bad doctrine—and it is not God’s fault!

Regarding what the Bible titles “time past,” God was forming the nation Israel, distinguishing the world between “circumcision” (Jew) and “uncircumcision” (non-Jew, Gentile). “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:…” (Ephesians 2:11,12). Yet, in “but now,” God has erected a new arrangement: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (verse 13). Today, there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—all can come to God by faith in Christ’s finished crosswork alone and join the Church the Body of Christ.

In the context of today’s Scripture, we learn: “[11] I say then, Have they [Israel] stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? [13] For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:….” Here is Paul’s ministry, the Lord sending this man to notify us of the dispensational change from “time past” to “but now” (Acts 26:16-18). We therefore see God’s current operations are confined to Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. Appealing to other Scriptures to find God’s will for today is how Christendom has failed miserably in using God’s Word God’s way—and look at the disastrous results!

Understanding Right Division

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

“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 KJV).

Friend, would you like to understand right division?

Observe professing “Christianity.” For decades and centuries, literally tens of thousands of denominations, sects, and cults have tirelessly vied for the title of “the church Jesus founded.” Any appeal to the Holy Bible to settle disputes appears hopeless, for they all cite their “proof-texts” or favorite verses with which they have thoroughly familiarized themselves. Someone of a world religion or no religion is far too disinclined to ever associate with any of these “Christian” institutions. “If this chaos is ‘following Jesus,’ I will gladly die a pagan!”

Heaven, if the name means anything, is totally unlike Earth. Surely, God Himself can and will resolve the religious confusion around us. How will He do it? Why, today’s Scripture is surely the solution. Once we eliminate the “man-pleasing,” we can see what is God-pleasing. The way we have God’s approval is “study… rightly dividing the word of truth.” Compare two simple passages. The Apostle Peter preached in Acts 3:21: “[Jesus Christ] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 16:25,26: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:….”

Scripture is divided into “prophecy” (what God spoke by His prophets since the world began—that which is outside of Paul’s epistles or doctrinal letters, Romans through Philemon) and “mystery” (what God did not speak by His prophets since the world began but has now revealed through Paul’s epistles). “Mystery” truth is what God Himself is doing today in “but now;” if we want to learn God’s will for us, let us hear mystery truth. If we are patterning our lives after something else, including prophetic truth, we are outside of God’s will.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Jesus Christ Himself never water baptize anyone?

Understanding God

Saturday, May 14, 2022

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2 KJV).

Friend, would you like to understand God?

Honestly, we all desire to do what we want to do and believe what we want to believe. For proof, we simply look around at this crazy world in motion. Everyone cries out in unison, “I am my own authority!” While we may not do it audibly, we do it internally and silently. For example, there are over 4,200 religions—an estimated 38,000 denominations in “Christianity” alone. Resolving these theological disputes is hopeless because they all believe they are right. It has been inquired, “Why can’t we all just get along?” There have been more than 1,800 wars in just these last 20 centuries. Someone somewhere has constantly been striving to take over someone else, somewhere else, steal from them what they want, do with or to them what they want. “I want my way and I will do whatever it takes to get it!” Newer generations are even more aggressive in this regard.

Truth be told, none of us are God. Sure, we pretend to be gods, but it is simply a fantasy. We may even imagine “there is no God,” but that is just our attempt to evade responsibility for our actions. However we arrived here, there is something or someone greater than us that brought about our existence. In Psalm 100:3, we read: “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves….” Yet, our sinful nature inside rebels against that truth, as Romans chapter 1 declares: “[21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. [22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,… [25] Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

In contrast to us, mere mortal creatures, whether we like it or not, the Creator God has always existed and will always exist. He is the Final Authority.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘secondary separation?’ Should we Bible believers practice it?

A Saviour Who Will Save

Sunday, January 2, 2022

“…Jesus Christ of Nazareth… Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:10,12 KJV).

Today’s Scripture tells us who alone can save man from the everlasting hellfire he deserves!

A frequent objection made against Christianity is that every religion has “good” members, and to ignore them and limit heaven to a few Christians is unfair. This is a defected notion. How does one arrive at a definite conclusion when there is no one standard to gauge everyone’s “goodness?” They are “good” according to whom, according to what standard? Remember, relative morality actually does not help the sinner—he may be a “better” sinner than another, but he is also a “worse” sinner than yet another, and whether “better” or “worse,” he is still a sinner!

The God of the Bible has a simple method for determining righteousness. Today, He sees two types of people—saints and lost people. While both groups were born in sins (Ephesians 2:1-3), “shapen in iniquity [in the womb]” (Psalm 51:5), and “condemned already” (John 3:18), only the saints have come to realize their lost state. Job asked in Job 9:2, “How should a man be just [righteous, acceptable] with God?” Saints have come to the acknowledgement that they needed God’s righteousness, that they had a massive sin debt that they could never satisfy, that their “righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), that they could never possibly make themselves right before a holy God (He is the standard; Romans 3:23). The lost people, however, do not realize they are lost, for they believe their religious works “score points” with God and make up for their sinful deeds (2 Corinthians 4:3,4). They ignore the finished crosswork of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for their sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).

Saints have come by faith to Jesus Christ, whose name literally means, “Anointed Saviour” (cf. Psalm 2:2; Matthew 1:21). As the writer of the book of Hebrews said, “[Jesus] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (7:25). Literally, no world religion has such a “Saviour” as Jesus Christ!

Purity or Compromise? #2

Saturday, October 16, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

In Genesis 11:1-9, the Gentiles gathered in pagan idol (Devil!) worship at the Tower of Babel, concluding 18 centuries of all nations having equal access to the one true God (unappreciated). With the LORD giving these nations over to the Satan worship they preferred (see Romans 1:17-32), He set apart one man from them and began a new nation (Genesis 12:1-3). This man was Abram—later changed to “Abraham” in chapter 17—and this nation was Israel.

Learn the condition of the Gentiles in this segment of human history (known as “time past” in Ephesians 2:11,12). “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19). God, having introduced the “but now” (Ephesians 2:13), expected these Gentiles who have come to Him through Paul’s Gentile ministry, to not repeat their old ways.

While the nations in “time past” were “suffered [allowed, permitted] to walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:16); conducting themselves among pagan idols in accordance with their darkened souls and dead spirits (Acts 17:24-31; Romans 1:21-26,28); God intended the nation Israel to be an “island of truth” in the midst of a “global sea of error.” The Jews had His wisdom, the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament (Deuteronomy 4:1-10; Psalm 147:18-20; Romans 3:1,2). Unlike the Gentiles or non-Jews living around them, the Israelites, as per today’s Scripture, were not to trust or rely on their sinful hearts for spiritual light, or their sinful understanding for spiritual truth. To do otherwise was “evil,” a compromise that would lead to them being compromised….

The Worship of the Calf #6

Sunday, October 3, 2021

And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt (Exodus 32:4 KJV).

Why is calf-worship so prevalent in Holy Scripture?

As they worshipped diverse gods and goddesses, the ancient Egyptians were simply conducting themselves according to Romans 1:20-23: “[20] For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: [21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. [22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, [23] And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

The above passage depicts the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), the origin of world religions except Judaism. Along with all the other Gentiles or nations, the Egyptians worshipped fellow humans and various animals. Since the people of the world were not appreciative of the one true God, and willfully gathered at Babel to start their own (one-world) religious system, God confounded their languages and scattered them. Whatever evil thoughts they had in unity, these were translated or converted in their minds, thus expanding why world religions (no matter how far removed physically) are quite close doctrinally.

Israel knew the depraved spiritual conditions of the world around her. She was also aware of how the one true God, after letting the nations “walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:15,16; Acts 17:29,30), had set apart her father Abraham from that darkness and confusion (Genesis chapter 12). Her separation from the Gentiles was fortified via the Law of Moses, which had been given to her alone (Deuteronomy 4:1-10; Psalm 147:19,20; Romans 3:1,2). Consequently, Israel’s association with the world’s religions was wholly unacceptable. Whereas the Gentiles were ignorant of their satanic bondage in religion, Israel knew better and still adopted such systems!

Now we address the significance of calf-worship….

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #35

Friday, February 12, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

In the context of intense social difficulties, including religious deception, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul penned in chapter 3 of 2 Timothy: “[14] But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; [15] And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. [16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (Read the whole chapter for the contrast.)

Proceed into chapter 4: “[1] 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; [2] Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. [3] 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; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

Christians should “continue… in the things” they have “learned,” remembering these “things” are Pauline doctrine, the grace principles of Romans through Philemon. The very reason the professing church is in such shambles today is because it refused to heed this advice 2,000 years ago (cf. 2 Timothy 1:15). Believe and preach the Word rightly divided! If we believers in Christ save ourselves from the erroneous teachings of Satan’s evil world system, then we have a pure message to share with lost people, that they might also believe and pass from death to life, that their sin not find them out in eternity and perpetually fracture them in twain.

-FINIS!-

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #34

Thursday, February 11, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

We recall Galatians 6:7, although with the next two verses now: “[7] Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. [8] For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. [9] And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Firstly, we can sow to the flesh, and the flesh will give us a harvest of corruption (losing our battle with sin). Let us not be misled into thinking the flesh (our sin nature from Adam) will result in something other than failure. Or, we can sow to the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will give us a harvest of life everlasting (winning our battle with sin). Let us not be tricked into thinking the Spirit (our new nature from Christ) will result in something other than victory.

We can have either no Christian living or triumphant Christian living. If we are not living with Galatians 6:7-9 in our thoughts, we are walking “in the vanity [emptiness, worthlessness] of [our] mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in [us], because of the blindness of [our] heart” (Ephesians 4:17,18). As the lost world has sown to the flesh—that is, lived in sin—and its sin has found it out and divided it (negative), so we can sow to the Holy Spirit—that is, live in righteousness—and our righteousness will find us out and unite us (positive). Our maintaining grace doctrine as Bible believers will hinder the lie program from advancing faster. Yet, if we continue in our ways of false teaching, the Body of Christ itself will be divided and hasten the furtherance of evil. It is our choice.

Let us (finally!) conclude this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is a ‘propitiation?’

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #33

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

Not only are non-Christians living contrary to God’s will for them, many of us “Christians” are equally disobedient. As they refuse to hear the truth, so we have ignored the rightly divided Scriptures to keep our church traditions. Just as they have their “holy books,” so we have used 100 modern English (different!) Bible translations to confuse and divide us for 120 years. As they bow to their pagan idols, so we have worshipped our “wafer gods,” relics, scholarship, statues, and “experiences.”

The sins of the flesh are easy to spot, but the sins of the spirit are more insidious. Relying on the sins of the spirit to fight the sins of the flesh, have we finally learned we cannot conquer sin with sin? Substitutes tricked us. We were religious, but not Christian: we were “playing” church. If we read the Bible, it was a quick verse here and there, passages our denominations approved. Whatever Bible we read, we really did not believe it. Our “feel-good” inspirational/motivational speeches distracted us from sound Bible doctrine. If this is how we got into this mess, then we do the opposite to escape it.

We must get back to the King James Bible: we need one final authority, not a hundred competing books. Also, we must return to the principles of grace, the Apostle Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—Jesus Christ’s ministry today. Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13), God’s spokesman to us. Supporting lies appears to bring harmony and progress, but there is no true, lasting unity and victory without sound Bible doctrine. The lost world must learn that, but we as believers in Christ must realize it first. We expect lost people to think and act like Christians when we do not think and act like Christians ourselves! Ridiculous! Until we believers are thankful for testimony of the Scriptures—grateful for our Bible heritage (albeit meager)—we have no testimony ourselves.

Let us summarize this devotionals arc….

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #29

Saturday, February 6, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

It is no secret the professing church—even the true church—has lost its way. Many so-called “Christian” ministries and organizations have gained a reputation, but not for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and teaching sound Bible doctrine. Instead of studying God’s words and concentrating on what He is doing, they have focused on what they are doing. They hold blood drives, clothing drives, food drives, and the like. Also, they provide relief and shelter to those who have experienced disasters (storms, earthquakes, floods, droughts, et cetera). Attempting to be philanthropic, and attractive to the world, they have ignored their primary mission!

While there is nothing wrong with charitable endeavors, they are not the main role of the Body of Christ. We are called first and foremost to “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). The ministry of reconciliation and the word of reconciliation have been committed to our trust (2 Corinthians 5:14-21), but denominationalism and religious tradition have diverted our attention. Good works in and of themselves are no substitute for the proclamation of a clear Gospel message. Lost people need more than temporary, physical possessions. They are in dire need of the soul salvation found only in the Gospel of the Grace of God… the very message we have been given to preach!

Alas, the Body of Christ does not have enough spiritual discernment to realize just how far it has drifted from its purpose. We cannot see anything wrong with what we are doing, but we have found fault in what everyone else is doing. Religion screams at the “unchurched,” “Shame on you, sinners, you are all going to Hell!” Christianity is, “Christ died for your sins so you would not have to go to Hell!” Only once we the Body of Christ use sound Bible doctrine to straighten up our thinking and lives, can we then proceed to teach lost people to trust the Bible themselves….