The Misunderstood Messiah #5

Friday, December 30, 2016

“Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God” (John 8:41 KJV).

Did you ever notice the magnitude of the insult put forth toward Jesus Christ in today’s Scripture?

Once Christ replied with sound doctrine (verses 42-47), Israel’s religious leaders simply resorted to name-calling again (verse 48): “Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” A Samaritan was half-Jew/half-Gentile, and “the Jews [had] no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9). Notice Jesus was insulted twice more—they called Him a “Samaritan” and “devil possessed.” Throughout the rest of John chapter 8, Israel’s religious leaders continue arguing with Jesus and nearly stone Him to death (verse 59)!

Why did Jesus not simply “zap” these religionists and instantly throw them into hellfire? They belittled and blasphemed Him several times in this one account, and then attempted to murder Him, but rather than Jesus killing them with His spoken word (which would have been justified), He only conversed with them. Why?

Remember, when the Apostles James and John saw how the Samaritans refused to accommodate Jesus, they asked Him if He wanted them to call down fire from heaven and consume those sinners, He replied, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:55,56). This First Coming of Christ was His “meek and lowly” coming: He did not come to judge man’s sins, but to die for them!

Even today, God is still not pouring out His wrath on wicked mankind (2 Corinthians 5:19), creatures who still snicker at Jesus Christ, deceive others in His name, persecute His saints, ignore His Word, and “rub His nose” in their sins. Lost mankind is wasting God’s grace and mercy that He is offering so freely. When His grace is finally exhausted, the undiluted wrath that has accumulated will finally be poured out (His Second Coming). May we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour now so we have our sins forgiven now, lest we face that angry, righteous God in judgment (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)!

For more information, you may also see our archived Bible Q&A: “Did God ‘rape’ Mary?

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?’

The Misunderstood Messiah #5

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

“Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God” (John 8:41 KJV).

Did you ever notice the magnitude of the insult put forth toward Jesus Christ in today’s Scripture?

Once Christ replied with sound doctrine (verses 42-47), Israel’s religious leaders simply resorted to name-calling again (verse 48): “Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” A Samaritan was half-Jew/half-Gentile, and “the Jews [had] no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9). Notice Jesus was insulted twice more—they called Him a “Samaritan” and “devil possessed.” Throughout the rest of John chapter 8, Israel’s religious leaders continue arguing with Jesus and nearly stone Him to death (verse 59)!

Why did Jesus not simply “zap” these religionists and instantly throw them into hellfire? They belittled and blasphemed Him several times in this one account, and then attempted to murder Him, but rather than Jesus killing them with His spoken word (which would have been justified), He only conversed with them. Why?

Remember, when the Apostles James and John saw how the Samaritans refused to accommodate Jesus, they asked Him if He wanted them to call down fire from heaven and consume those sinners, He replied, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:55,56). This First Coming of Christ was His “meek and lowly” coming: He did not come to judge man’s sins, but to die for them!

Even today, God is still not pouring out His wrath on wicked mankind (2 Corinthians 5:19), creatures who still snicker at Jesus Christ, deceive others in His name, persecute His saints, ignore His Word, and “rub His nose” in their sins. Lost mankind is wasting God’s grace and mercy that He is offering so freely. When His grace is finally exhausted, the undiluted wrath that has accumulated will finally be poured out (His Second Coming). May we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour now so we have our sins forgiven now, lest we face that angry, righteous God in judgment (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)!

For more information, you may also see our archived Bible Q&A: “Did God ‘rape’ Mary?

Not That He Cared for the Poor

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This [Judas] said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein (John 12:5,6 KJV).

We can only wonder just how much do “eleemosynary-oriented” church leaders actually care for the poor they often talk so much about?

Not too long ago, I listened to a world-famous religious leader who always enjoys talking about helping the poor. Today’s Scripture came to mind as I reflected on his words. This religious leader heads the world’s wealthiest political-religious organization—the Roman Catholic Church! Its vaults have billions in rare pieces of art, real estate deeds, and so on. For a denomination that cares “so much for the poor,” its actions speak louder than its words. They have hoarded material riches for nearly 2,000 years, never “spreading the wealth” that they urge others to do. Smugly, a church official declared decades ago, “Only God knows how much wealth we have amassed!”

One of the chief ways the Devil attacks God’s ministry is “the love of money… the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). God’s Word constantly reminds bishops and deacons to be “not greedy of filthy lucre” (1 Timothy 3:3,8) and “not given to filthy lucre” (Titus 1:7). There is always the temptation for the minister of God to “suppose that gain is godliness” (1 Timothy 6:5).

The Bible reveals in today’s Scripture that one Judas’ predilections was to “alleviate” the weight of the apostles’ treasury bag. As the group’s “accountant,” Judas Iscariot was always willing to have people put cash in the apostles’ money-bag so he could swipe it and use it for himself. In today’s Scripture, he claimed that ointment could have been sold, converted to money, and the money could have been given to help the poor. All he really wanted to do was enhance his own bank account!

God is not mocked, beloved. Oh, the extortionists in religion will have to stand before God one day, and “give account” to Him… literally, for every last penny they pilfered. We can take that “to the bank!” 🙂

Give Yourself to the Lord

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God (2 Corinthians 8:4,5 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is the key to giving under grace.

Giving to churches is justifiably a very sensitive matter. Especially when preachers demand $65-million personal jets! There is much abuse when it comes to religion and money. Ironically, when Jesus condemned “thieves,” He did not castigate publicans (tax collectors who amassed exorbitant amounts from the Jews to give the Roman government). Rather, Jesus entered the Temple—Israel’s religious center—and declared thieves had overrun His house. He drove these religious people from God’s house (Matthew 21:12,13; Luke 19:45,46; John 2:13-17). Paul confessed that, before salvation, he, a Pharisee,profited in the Jews’ religion above many [his] equals in [his] own nation” (Galatians 1:14).

We read today’s Scripture in context: “[1] Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; [2] How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. [3] For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; [4] Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. [5] And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.”

When Paul collected from his converts various goods to assist the poor believing Jews in Jerusalem, the Macedonian Christians, though poor, wanted to give more and more (beyond their means). The believers in Macedonia (Thessalonica and Berea) were motivated by God’s grace. We first give ourselves to the Lord. Then, we give to sound grace Bible ministriesNOT out of fear of God’s curse (tithing), but out of thanksgiving for God’s blessings (giving under grace). Let us give “cheerfully” (2 Corinthians 9:6,7)! 🙂

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. 🙂

When the Roll is Called Up Yonder #4

Saturday, April 11, 2015

“To die is gain…. Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better” (Philippians 1:21,23cd KJV).

The chorus of James Milton Black’s classic 1893 hymn “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” highlights today’s Scripture.

“When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.”

Religion’s “sin of presumption” forbids anyone from claiming or believing in assurance of immediately going to heaven upon physical death. Theologians argue, “No sinful person can enter heaven without first being cleansed.” Hence, a purgatorial state is speculated to exist: the “faithful” soul, post-death and pre-heaven, is allegedly tormented to atone for any un-paid sins (sounds like hellfire to me!). Dear friends, purgatory belittles—and ignores—the efficacy of Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. Jesus paid for a Christian’s sins in full (Romans 4:1-8; Colossians 2:13), so why would the Christian have un-paid sins? Friends, religion never makes sense (frankly, purgatory does not make sense because it is a money-making gimmick).

Saint Paul undoubtedly knew where he was going upon death. He was not going to sleep in a grave, not going to “die like a dog and pass into non-existence,” and not going to suffer “purgatorial cleansing.” Paul affirmed, We are confident [fully assured!!!!], I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8; cf. today’s Scripture). He had such confidence because Jesus Christ was reliable, faithful. Had Paul been relying on his works, he could not be confident. Yea, to rely on faulty works is sure to introduce doubt! Beloved, the payment for sin is Jesus Christ’s suffering at Calvary, not our temporary suffering in purgatory!

Brethren, whether the Lord happens to call our name in physical death, or calls our name while we are living at the time of the Rapture, up we will go to Heaven to meet our Saviour and be with Him forever. We will be there in Heaven because, at Calvary, He paid the “airfare!” Let us keep looking up for our flight! 🙂