Believing Unbelievers #4

Saturday, March 26, 2022

“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (John 2:23-25 KJV).

Is it possible to be a believing unbeliever? According to today’s Scripture, YES!

Imagine being in today’s Scripture. To watch the Lord heal the sick, cast out devils, and do other mighty miracles would have truly been a sight to behold! It is beyond our comprehension. Yet, He was not seeking to entertain anyone—and He knew who was present just for amusement, to experience a spiritual high or adrenaline rush.

Consider modern Christendom. We notice many people walking aisles, making professions of faith, kneeling and bawling uncontrollably at “altars,” dancing and lifting hands to “praise and worship” music, packing stadium “sanctuaries,” sitting in confessional booths, being water baptized, reciting the “sinner’s prayer,” teaching Sunday School classes, preaching fervent sermons, knocking on doors, passing out tracts and Bibles, joining faculties of prestigious seminaries, sitting on Bible translation committees, talking about “Jesus” and “the Holy Ghost,” writing “Christian” study “aids,” memorizing creeds and confessions, organizing missions trips, travelling and setting up “healing tents,” and a host of other activities. The average person cannot help but remark, “Look at all these ‘Christians!’”

One brother in Christ observed: “God did not give the Scriptures for the purpose of scholarly intellectual exercise.” Yet, as he pointed out, innumerable people have used them—are using them—for just that. Textual critics study Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and Aramaic. They pore over ancient manuscripts, teach theology and church history classes, and debate “Christian” philosophy, but is there any personal heart faith in the Bible itself? How many of them are actually Bible-believing Christians? Who are members of the Church the Body of Christ, and who are simply members of manmade denominations? Do they know what the Gospel of Grace even is? Could they show us verses for victorious Christian living?

Intellectual assent is no substitute for heart faith….

Bible Q&A #935: “What are ‘victuals?’

Something in Which to Glory!

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

“As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:12-14 KJV).

In what shall we glory? About what shall we boast? In what shall we find value?

Religion produces people who enjoy bragging all about their “dedication to God.” “Look what I did—the ceremonies in which I have participated, the many prayers I faithfully recited daily, how much I put in the collection plate, see how many pleasures I gave up to please God! Come, see how much I love Him!” Dear friends, the Apostle Paul found great value in something—but that something was not what he did. All that human flesh can accomplish pales in comparison to the work in today’s Scripture.

As Lent begins, the time when religionists temporarily (a mere 40 days) relinquish some pleasant food or activity, let us remember that our performance is often non-performance. Once we place ourselves on that treadmill of “do, do, do,” we are guaranteed to fail at some point. Human flesh is simply too weak to maintain 100 percent—that is sin! Even concerning one rule, we cannot keep it perfectly. We mess up eventually.

If ever we believe that our puny works are worth bragging about, let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul in today’s Scripture. While some boast in their religiosity (in the passage, the Judaizers applauding their rite of physical circumcision), and such denominationalists today urge us to obey their church’s instructions so they too may boast in our ability, let us eschew such foolishness. Being imperfect, all their works do not measure up to Christ’s finished crosswork. At Calvary, we find the only sacrifice that will ever please the God of the Bible. If we must boast, let us brag that He did what we could never, ever do!

See our archived Bible Q&A: “Should Christians observe Lent?

One More Night with the Frogs! #3

Monday, January 31, 2022

And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God (Exodus 8:10 KJV).

Who has replied with, “To morrow,” and why has he answered thusly?

Before we dismiss today’s Scripture and its context as mere “fairytales told around ancient Jewish campfires,” we would do well to see the modern parallel. Whenever an unsaved person responds to the Gospel of Grace with, “Let me have fun in the world first, and then I will become a Christian,” he or she is following in Pharaoh’s footsteps. “I just want to live in sin one more day, before I submit to my Creator’s will.” Whenever a believer in Christ responds to the Gospel of Grace with, “Let me have fun in the world first, and then I will behave like a Christian,” he or she is also following in Pharaoh’s footsteps.

Overall, Pharaoh was both deceived and deceptive. When he noticed the plague of frogs ending, he saw no reason to keep his word. He still refused to free Israel! “[12] And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. [13] And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. [14] And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank. [15] But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.” After another eight devastating plagues, Pharaoh desperately forced Israel out of his land—only to ultimately fight them with his army and drown with all his troops in the Red Sea!

Friends, may we not be foolish or proud. If we are suffering “frogs” today—the ill effects of our sin—may we not be willing to spend one more night with them. Rather, let us trust Paul’s Gospel: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised again for our justification (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Herein is deliverance from the penalty of sin (Hell and the Lake of Fire) and the power of sin (worldly living).

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “How can there be ‘eleven’ Apostles if both Judas Iscariot and Thomas are absent?” and “Was Apollos at fault in 1 Corinthians 16:12?

Redeem the Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 KJV).

What great advice for 2022!

Despite 2,000 years of Bible schools and seminaries, 2,000 years of a completed Bible canon, 2,000 years of Bible reading in churches, several decades of “Christian” television and radio, and just over a decade of widespread use of “Christian” websites, how sad that Bible ignorance is still quite extensive (it is as if God never gave His Word to start with!).

Frankly, the Church the Body of Christ needs to wake up! The verse previous to today’s Scripture says, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (verse 14). Paul, loosely quoting Isaiah 60:1, reminded us that the spiritual ignorance that gripped Israel in Isaiah’s day seized Christians in his day—and it still grips Christians 20 centuries later. Feel-good sermons, enjoyable “worship” services, and rites, rituals, and ceremonies will NOT solve this problem—they exacerbate it!

“[God] will have all men to be saved…” (1 Timothy 2:4a). Do you want this New Year to count for God’s glory? First, you need to get saved from sins and hell! You need to become a Christian by trusting in and relying on Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). That is only part of God’s will for you, for 1 Timothy 2:4b continues, “[God] will have all men… to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Now, God’s will for your Christian life is daily, personal Bible study to renew your mind, so your faith in those verses can cause God to work in your life—it will be His life, thus making you “perfect [spiritually mature], throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

Today’s Scripture urges us to buy back the time Satan has robbed from God (time created for God’s glory). By faith, we need to make that time glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by applying His Word, particularly Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon, to our lives. Have a good year in Christ! 🙂

You can download our free “One-Year Bible Reading Schedule.”

See our archived Bible Q&A: “What Scriptural advice can you give me for the New Year?

‘Twas the Sunday Night Before Christmas

Sunday, December 19, 2021

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15 KJV).

Let us not be so sidetracked by religion and commercialization that we miss the reason for the Christmas Season….

During the Christmas Season, we wonder how many people are visiting church for the second time this year (the other being Easter Sunday). How many will be going to church today—the Sunday before Christmas—just to feel “religious” or “holy?” How many really know Jesus Christ? For many, visiting a church building is just an obligation; they do not have faith in God’s Word and have no interest in God’s Word.

We do not go to church to “feel closer to God,” for if we have trusted in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we cannot be any closer to God than we already are in Christ! “[Before salvation, we were] without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh [close to God] by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12,13).

Furthermore, we do not go to church in order to get God’s blessings, for God has already given us “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). We go to church, not because we are keeping Israel’s Sabbath day, since we are not obligated to observe Israel’s religious days (Colossians 2:16). We go to church to fellowship with like-minded believers and hear sound doctrine… more than twice a year, by the way.

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy that whenever he would assemble with fellow Christians, certain behavior was acceptable and other types of behavior were not (described throughout the epistle of 1 Timothy). Recall that when the Bible refers to “the church,” it refers to the body of believers, not the physical building in which they meet.

As we get opportunities, let us make an effort to reach these dear souls misled by all the vain religious tradition and Christmas commercialization, and may we tell them of the wonderful Christ Jesus whose name is found in Christmas!

*Based on the poem “‘Twas the Sunday Night Before Christmas.”

Saved Man, Senseless Words #5

Friday, November 5, 2021

“And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all” (Exodus 5:22,23 KJV).

Yes, even a saint can be silly enough to charge the LORD God with evil!

It is ever so critical we listen to what Almighty God actually says in His Word, the Holy Bible, not others’ opinions of what He “says.” Of course, when Moses was sent to Pharaoh the first time and Pharaoh declined to obey the LORD, God was powerful enough to override Pharaoh’s refusal. The Creator is always stronger than the creature. It was not that Moses failed, or God was being mean toward Israel. Rather, the LORD permitted Israel’s deliverance to be delayed as He had a mighty work to perform amongst the Egyptians first.

Chapter 9: “[13] And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. [14] For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. [15] For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. [16] And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. [17] As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?”

After the LORD meted out 10 horrific plagues on Egypt (chapters 7–12), proving Himself superior to Pharaoh and all his pagan idols, the King of Egypt had no choice but ultimately let Israel go. Instead of railing against God, we can adopt a mature outlook: He deliberately postpones one event, that another run its course to achieve one goal, before allowing the first event to resume and reach a second goal!

Saved Man, Senseless Words #4

Thursday, November 4, 2021

“And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all” (Exodus 5:22,23 KJV).

Yes, even a saint can be silly enough to charge the LORD God with evil!

Moses assumed Israel would be immediately liberated from Egypt. Again, this was in contrast to what the LORD Himself had already told him: “I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand” (3:19). “But I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go(4:21). It is not clear from the Bible whether or not Moses informed Israel of this delay—but, as indicated in today’s Scripture, Moses was influenced to forget these LORD’S words to him.

Re-read today’s Scripture in context: “[19] And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task. [20] And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: [21] And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us. [22] And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? [23] For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.”

After hearing human viewpoint in verse 21 (“Moses, you ‘deliverer,’ you did nothing for us!”), Moses whined to God in today’s Scripture. To paraphrase, “Why have You ‘evil entreated’ [injured, harmed] Your people? You have sent me to help them, but this has been unsuccessful—destructive not beneficial.” We can expect nothing less from those who listen to man instead of the LORD….

Saved Man, Senseless Words #3

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

“And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all” (Exodus 5:22,23 KJV).

Yes, even a saint can be silly enough to charge the LORD God with evil!

Today’s Scripture in context: “[19] And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task. [20] And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: [21] And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us. [22] And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? [23] For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.”

Back in chapters 3 and 4, the LORD had told Moses some words that Moses had forgotten by the time of chapter 5. Read them now. “And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go” (3:19,20). “And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go(4:21).

When Moses spoke those reckless words in today’s Scripture, it was because he had been listening to unbelievers. The LORD had already told him Pharaoh would refuse to free Israel….

Saved Man, Senseless Words #2

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

“And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all” (Exodus 5:22,23 KJV).

Yes, even a saint can be silly enough to charge the LORD God with evil!

Let us continue reading the chapter: “[10] And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. [11] Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished. [12] So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. [13] And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw.

“[14] And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore? [15] Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? [16] There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people. [17] But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the LORD. [18] Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks. [19] And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task.”

Once more, we fail not to realize Israel’s mistreatment has been exacerbated with Moses’ arrival. Their “deliverer” has intervened, but has only contributed to sadder and more miserable circumstances. Let us finish the chapter and finally reach today’s Scripture….

NOTE: You can see our archived study, “Should Christians observe All Souls’ Day?

Saved Man, Senseless Words #1

Monday, November 1, 2021

“And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all” (Exodus 5:22,23 KJV).

Yes, even a saint can be silly enough to charge the LORD God with evil!

Let us start at the beginning of the chapter: “[1] And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. [2] And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go. [3] And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.

“[4] And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens. [5] And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens. [6] And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, [7] Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. [8] And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. [9] Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.”

Instead of freeing Israel, Pharaoh afflicts them with a more arduous workload. Moses is surprised. The Jews are in a worse condition now that God has sent him to “deliver” them! Let us keep reading the context of today’s Scripture….

NOTE: You can see our archived study, “Should Christians observe All Saints’ Day?