A Filling—Not a Feeling!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (Ephesians 5:18,19 KJV).

Notice, dear friends, this is a filling not a feeling!

A Christian woman approached me recently to ask if I believed in “the filling of the Holy Ghost.” I told her that I most certainly did, as the Bible does tell us to be “filled with the Spirit” (cf. today’s Scripture). However, knowing her background, I quickly added, “But there is no loss of self-control with this filling.” Whether today, or thousands of years ago, Satan’s religious system always has its counterfeits. While “praise dancing” feels good, while “holy laughter” brings some people happiness, feelings and emotions do not have the authority to gauge truth. What does it mean to be “filled with the Spirit?”

If we turn to the companion passage of today’s Scripture, we see the term defined for us. Colossians 3:16 says: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” To be “filled with the Spirit” is to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.” In other words, His thinking controls us because we have studied and memorized His Holy Word. The Bible says that we need to “mind the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5-8). This is how the Spirit of God leads us. By recalling what we read, we walk in line with what His Word says today in the Dispensation of Grace (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon).

How sad it is when people reduce the role of the Holy Spirit to nothing more than some strange feeling that causes one to engage in some pretty wild, disorderly, absurd behaviors. Religious tradition is so intoxicating, so inebriating, it causes people to lose all sense of reason. Nevertheless, when we “let the word of Christ dwell in [us] richly in all wisdom,” it becomes a filling rather than a feeling!

A Grace Study Bible

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

“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 2:2 KJV).

Today, we reflect on five full years of the arC Ministries’ Grace Study Bible Project!

Some 100 years ago, the Scofield Study Bible was published. It was a work that popularized—not invented—dispensational Bible study. For a century, the Church the Body of Christ has used this monumental aid to edify itself. It was (and still is) useful in recovering precious Bible truths that had been lost for centuries, doctrines still pushed aside by denominational hierarchies that prefer to be the “authority” with their “tradition of men.”

Five years ago today, after much prayer and consideration, I began the formation of a new grace study Bible. Using the King James Bible, my goal in this project is to build on Dr. Scofield’s foundation laid long ago. We are (and will always be) indebted to that brother for his faithful service, his submission to the Holy Spirit to produce a profitable study Bible. (Incidentally, Dr. Scofield led a missionary to Christ, that missionary led a preacher to Christ, that preacher led a woman to Christ, that woman led Mom to Christ, and Mom led me to Christ.) What took Dr. Scofield decades to learn, we can acquire in a fraction of that time. Brother Scofield did not live long enough to progress any further in Bible understanding, but in the century since he has gone to heaven, a faithful remnant within the Body of Christ has expanded upon Dr. Scofield’s insightful notes. We recognize where he was wrong in certain areas, and we can improve those areas in our understanding and study.

In brief, some stats about our grace study Bible. We seem to be roughly 50 to 55 percent completed with it. How many more years it will take remains to be seen, but rest assured, what cannot be condensed into marginal notes or footnotes, will be, Lord willing, expanded into a full-Bible commentary book series! Stay tuned in the coming years and thank you for your prayer in this regard! 🙂

* You can read more about our Grace Study Bible Project here.

Bible Q&A #405: “Do the words “to be” belong in Romans 1:7 and 1 Corinthians 1:2?

Not Hearing God’s Words #6

Sunday, July 30, 2017

“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (John 8:47 KJV).

Friend, have you ever talked to a lost person about the Bible? Have you also ever spoken to another Christian about the Bible? If you paid attention to both scenarios, you will recall that they were two drastically different conversations. There was such disconnect when dealing with the lost person whereas there was more receptivity on the part of the Christian (usually). Why? Today’s Scripture highlights the reason.

Considering John chapter 8, the Lord Jesus’ conversation with unsaved and disbelieving religionists, we see typified our interactions with such individuals today. When we present spiritual issues, they can respond only in fleshly or material terms. To them, the Scriptures are nonsense: spiritual insanity afflicts them. Focusing on their works, they do not believe God’s message to them. Lacking spiritual insight, they have no ability to see they are lost, enslaved to sin. They cannot handle the message, so they resort to petty name-calling and other personal attacks directed toward us (the messengers). Convicted, they seek to harm, silence, imprison, and even kill us—using whatever means available to them.

Sadly, some believers behave similarly when we attempt to share the rightly-divided Bible with them. They entertain such shallow, manmade perceptions of Scripture. Did you notice the parenthetical “usually” in the introduction? Most lost people refuse to hear the Gospel. Usually, Christian people will talk about the Bible, albeit loosely. Once you delve into the “meat”—deeper things such as the Dispensation of Grace—they behave as lost people. Thinking and walking in the energy of their flesh, they too love religion, human “goodness.” They rebel against those “grace” verses you cite! Second Timothy 2:26 speaks of they “that oppose themselves… [in] the snare of the devil… taken captive by him at his will.” Such Christians, polluted by religious tradition and non-dispensational Bible understanding, cooperate with the Adversary… to defeat themselves!

Thankfully, there are lost people who want to receive the Gospel by faith. They are still coming to trust in Christ every day. Thankfully, there are some Christians who still want to receive the rightly divided Bible. They too are coming to God’s light… “hearing God’s words” also!

Rejecter Rejected

Monday, July 10, 2017

“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48 KJV).

What will God do with Bible rejecters?

The Holy Bible is God’s gift to man. Like salvation through Jesus Christ His Son, He was under no obligation whatsoever to provide it. He purposed something awesome in creation, and He wanted to inform us. He gave us that Word so that it would point us to that which He delighted in the most—His beloved Son. From cover to cover, in every Book of that Book of Books, we see a thread of red—the shed blood of that obedient Son. From creation to consummation, the exaltation of that Son is of prime importance.

Alas, man always knows better. Despite his fallen nature and darkened heart, he thinks he can improve the Bible. When he comments on the Scriptures, he does so with great difficulty. His thoughts muddled, his words cumbersome and prolix, his “insight” worth less than the materials on which he wrote and the air which he used to breathe out those statements. With his every struggle in interpreting the Bible using the flesh, he further mars the face of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures become repulsive to the hearers and the readers. He has failed to grasp and convey simple Bible truths because the Holy Spirit’s teaching ministry is absent.

Dear friends, we had better thank God every day that we are not the lost people using the Holy Bible to mislead millions upon millions upon millions upon millions of precious souls. Their theological systems will be reduced to nothing one day. Their endless speculations will be silenced. They will no longer be able to deceive God’s people. They had the priceless Word of God but they changed it into the worthless word of men! What an indictment! They will stand before that great God Jesus Christ, to give an account to Him! What will they say to Him? Or, better yet, what will He say to them?

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?… And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:22,23).

Our latest Bible Q&A: Are there modern-day apostles and prophets?

Think Positive! Think Pauline!

Friday, June 9, 2017

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8 KJV).

Think positive! Think Pauline!

Friend, you literally dread the phone calls from some people, do you not? This is especially troubling when those “people” are family members, right? After they have sat for hours and hours fuming about how wrongly somebody treated them, or some other bit of bad news, they call you up in order to spew forth their negativity. They wallow in self-pity and want you to join in with them. Your day was going so well until they called! Thereafter, every time they ring your phone, you cringe. Sometimes, you cannot even bring yourself to answering—you just let the phone ring, ring, ring. You cannot bear to hear one more pessimistic comment!

Beloved, there is so much garbage teaching in the world that people have almost no exposure to Bible truths. Thus, their thoughts are riddled with fallacies, expending all their time and effort on trivial, nonsensical things. They need to get into the Bible, read and believe the Gospel of Grace (Romans chapters 1-5), and get saved into Heaven! If they have already come to Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, they need to study His Word rightly divided. Their minds should be constantly renewed by truth instead of being increasingly polluted by error. Oh, may they be delivered from foolishness!

Notice today’s Scripture: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” These are actually descriptions of the Holy Bible. Read the next verse now: “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me [the Apostle Paul!], do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

Think positive—think Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon!
🙂

Answering a Matter

Saturday, May 27, 2017

“He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him” (Proverbs 18:13 KJV).

Behold, herein is wisdom for every persuasion!

Long ago, a wise and older Christian brother told me, “People cannot take a stand for anything because they do not know anything.” (Those words have never left me. They have become increasingly apparent in the years since I heard them.) The “people” were actually professing Christians. He was lamenting how he, in his 40 years of being a Christian, and nearly two decades of church leadership, had known some really pitifully ignorant church members. Lacking a sound foundation in the Scriptures, they could not distinguish truth from error. They would hear the “matters,” but it was “folly and shame unto [them]” because they would “answer” the matters by siding with the errors! Those outside of Christendom fare no better.

For example, I recently had an online encounter with a Bible scoffer. This individual did not compose one true statement about the Scriptures—it was merely false information. No legitimate arguments were leveled against the Bible. Nothing factual was offered. Rather, the ridiculer, parading as an “authority,” merely employed stereotypes and misconceptions (which, of course, I exposed as fallacious). Sadly, Christians, without any factual data themselves, are often guilty of answering the scoffers. The scoffer further mocks because the Christian knows too little about the skeptic’s position—no marvel because Christians are frequently uninformed concerning their own beliefs!

Friends, whether skeptics or Bible believers, we would do well to listen to others before we evaluate their claims. We Christians know today’s Scripture: “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Though you may dislike the Bible, you skeptics would agree with it here and you would do especially well to heed it on this point. The Bible says that those who rashly comment on something they have never heard or studied appear foolish and disgraceful. This is applicable to both scoffers (unversed in the Scriptures) answering Bible believers, and Bible believers (unskilled in the pertinent skepticism) answering scoffers.

Already Revealed

Friday, May 12, 2017

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself (Ephesians 1:9 KJV).

Have you ever known anyone who constantly begged God to show him or her His will? (“I already have!”) Do you know anyone who prays for God to give him or her wisdom for life? (“I already have!”)

Deuteronomy 29:29 says: “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Some 1500 years later, Paul wrote: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17). The Holy Spirit through Paul also said in Acts 20:27: “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” With all of God’s will now made known to man through the completed Scriptures, God expects us to follow that Word.

Alas, people enter prayer closets, expecting God to strike them on the back of the neck with the lightning of doctrine. They need to exit their closets and go read the Book! They kneel and grovel at a church “altar” (a misnomer anyway), pleading for divine revelation and victory over sin. They need to get off their knees and go read the Book! They watch numerous televangelists. They need to cut off the television and the computer, and go read the Book! They purchase volumes upon volumes of “Christian” material. They need to set aside the “Christian” bestsellers and go read the Book! If they want to know God’s will, they need to get into God’s Word.

They have been taught to rely on their emotions, inner impressions, hunches, and “signposts” (God supposedly manipulating circumstances to guide them in life). Frankly, this is the why the Body of Christ is so deceived, impotent, and irrelevant. Since it has divorced itself from God’s Word, it is also separated itself from the God’s will and God’s power! They need to appreciate what God has already revealed!