Spirituality or Futility? #2

Saturday, November 4, 2017

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant (1 Corinthians 14:37,38 KJV).

Here, we see two alternatives—spirituality and futility. Our choice?

Today’s Scripture issues some extremely useful, corrective information. Had the professing church kept this passage forefront in its thinking 2,000 years ago when it was first penned, the professing church would not be presently disoriented, disabled, and defeated! We would do well to pay attention to it.

Despite the Corinthians’ passion in following “spiritual gifts,” it was nothing but the flesh (sin’s motions). First Corinthians 3:1-3 is such a sad commentary: “[1] And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. [2] I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. [3] For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”

Sure, they “walked” (verse 3). They were laboring instead of sitting around idly. However, we must never let looks deceive us. All that intense activity amounted to zilch, nothing. Why? Their underlying thinking was thoroughly messed up. Instead of walking in the light of grace, they walked in the darkness of the flesh (“carnality”)! It was their own efforts instead of God the Holy Spirit working in and through them. Yet, in the confusion, they were unable to differentiate those two sources.

Who is truly a “prophet,” one who is speaking on behalf of God? Who is actually a “spiritual” person, one who is led by God the Holy Spirit? Today’s Scripture tells us, “…let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” The Holy Spirit through Paul wrote today’s Scripture to provide the Corinthians with a standard to discern between their own efforts and God’s grace working in them. We would do well to follow that standard also, for it is literally the difference between spirituality and futility….

Spirituality or Futility? #1

Friday, November 3, 2017

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant (1 Corinthians 14:37,38 KJV).

Here, we see two alternatives—spirituality and futility. Our choice?

A lady once hired a handyman to install a belt on her lawnmower. He spent four (!) hours with the owner’s manual to no avail; it was late at night so he finally gave up. The next morning, he returned and spent another six (!) hours attempting to fix it. Amazingly, he still was unable to install it. Through careful investigation, it was discovered that the repair shop had given her the wrong belt. That poor handyman wasted 10 hours trying to connect something that did not even belong!

Dear friends, I am afraid the above scenario is where most church members—and even true Christians—find themselves. They are so busy straining and striving with a wide array of ceremonies, prearranged prayers, confessions, sacraments, rules and regulations… but are they really getting anywhere spiritually? Nay, it is a treadmill—and they are running in the same place on the same belt! The flesh has them moving, doing religious works, but they are too deceived to recognize the scenery has never changed!

The Corinthian saints were enthusiastically and actively pursuing spiritual gifts. However, they were using God’s gifts to do Satan’s work. First Corinthians 14:12 says: “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” Being carnal Christians—so dominated by their sin nature instead of the Holy Spirit—they were busy utilizing those gifts to satisfy and glorify themselves. What futility!

Chapter 13—the Bible’s wonderful “charity” passage—is the core of three chapters that gently address the Corinthians for their abuse of spiritual gifts. Such gifts were to profit everyone, not just the select few “exercising” them (chapter 12). The gift of prophesying (preaching) was being ignored and the gift of tongues was being emphasized (chapter 14). These “zealous” Christians boasted in their “spirituality”… when, in fact, it was futility….

For Students This is Safe

Saturday, August 19, 2017

“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:128 KJV).

As a new school year dawns, let us awake unto spiritual truth!

Although the autumnal equinox is still over a month away here in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is finally beginning to wind down for most of us. Students—with long faces and deep sighs—have returned or are beginning to return to school. As students return to the classroom, they need to be particularly mindful of the following.

Firstly, learning in and of itself is not a sin. Moses was “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). Luke was a medical doctor (Colossians 4:14). Daniel and his companions were skilled in science (Daniel 1:4). Adam was the first taxonomist (Genesis 2:19,20). The God of the Bible is never against learning new things—remember, He gave us His Holy Bible so we can have plenty to learn for all of eternity!

Secondly, what the God of the Bible opposes is when we believe/trust ideas that do not seek our best interests, that contradict the way He designed our lives to function. Certainly, we Christians should never go around believing anything and everything heard and seen. Just because the professor, preacher, pope, or president says it is true, that does not make it so. Scientific consensus has been wrong before, religion has been wrong before, politicians have been wrong before. Much of the ideas that permeate our world today are wrong.

Lastly, there are many wonderful, exciting ideas and concepts out there—medical advancements, technological breakthroughs, and so on—but there are equally detrimental ideas that will mess up your life—religious traditions, secular humanism, and other philosophies. Daily intake of the King James Bible rightly divided will cleanse our souls of the filth and foolishness that we hear and see day in and day out in this evil world system. We highly exalt God’s Word, we know it is right “concerning all things,” and we hate and ignore the error.

Have a wonderful school year in our Lord Jesus Christ! 🙂

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!

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?

Be Wise, Not Foolish!

Friday, July 7, 2017

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise (Proverbs 12:15 KJV).

Amen and Amen!

Our world is so busy—there is so much to do and so little time to do it. Our world abounds with instant communication—there is so much to learn about so many things, places, and people. While human society is quite different today than it was when God first placed Adam on the Earth, human nature is still the same as it was in the Garden of Eden. Man still does not want to be bothered with the notion of God; he is “too busy” to hear or read any divine thoughts. He has his modern educational system that supposedly “rescues” him from all the “barbaric,” “primitive,” “simplistic” viewpoints of old. Yet, his nature is still the same—self-centered, self-sufficient, self-willed. Self! Self! Self! Sin! Sin! Sin!

The Bible is God’s “counsel.” It is His advice to us. He took some time to write it so we had better take some time to read it! If we evaluate ourselves using our own standards, we look pretty good. However, when we consider that divine counsel, we realize just how depraved and wayward we actually are. We had better “hearken,” take heed to, that counsel. There is such great disappointment and misery in life for Christians who fail to learn how God the Holy Spirit is working today. There is eternal damnation awaiting those who die apart from the Lord Jesus Christ! Yet, we are all “too busy” being entertained in religion, “too busy” making money to hoard, “too busy” seeking fame, “too busy” learning in educational institutions, “too busy” talking when we should be listening, “too busy” indeed, to worry about anything of spiritual value.

Without delay, friends, let us come by faith in Jesus Christ alone, that “He died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Without delay, brethren, let us walk according to the grace of God, rather than the law of God (Romans 6:14). Let us “hearken” to the “counsel” of God. Let us be “wise!”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did God get angry with Balaam in Numbers 22:22?

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!
🙂