Be Not Pierced By the Sword of the Spirit #3

Monday, August 13, 2012

“And take… the sword of the Spirit, which the word of God:” (Ephesians 6:17 KJV).

Take heed—it does matter what Bible version you read!

The Apostle Paul’s least spiritual Christian assembly was at Corinth. These saints were “carnal,” spiritual “babes,” people who had little understanding of God’s Word (1 Corinthians 3:1-3), whose ungodly lifestyles resembled their heathen (pagan/lost/hell-bound) neighbors! Paul had spent 18 months in Corinth teaching them God’s Word (Acts 18:11), but they had since abandoned the Lord’s grace doctrines, preferring to follow the “wisdom” of the pagan Greek philosophers.

Therefore, Paul warned these Corinthians: “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no may lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:9-11).

In our Dispensation of Grace, God is constructing a house for Himself—we, the saints, are that house (Ephesians 2:21,22)! This house is constructed upon a foundation, “the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25); that is, Jesus Christ according to the special ministry He gave only to the Apostle Paul. Paul warns us to be careful how we “build thereupon;” that is, the doctrine we use/learn/believe must be God’s Word rightly divided (Pauline-dispensationally believed).

He continues in 1 Corinthians 3:12,13: “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” This describes “the Judgment Seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10), when we Christians stand before Jesus Christ, and He will examine the doctrine we learned and believed.

Friend, it matters what Bible version you use, for if it is corrupted by man’s philosophy, the doctrine you believe will be unacceptable to God!

Be Not Pierced By the Sword of the Spirit #2

Sunday, August 12, 2012

“And take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” (Ephesians 6:17 KJV).

Satan not only attacks God’s Word, but he will attack you, the saint, with it!

The prophet Jeremiah preached before and during the three Babylonian invasions of circa 606–587 B.C., the last of which (587) involved the vandalism and burning of the Temple and the complete destruction of Jerusalem. Judah and Benjamin (the southern kingdom) being overrun by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was God’s punishment.

Jeremiah chapter 23 reveals one reason why the LORD is so angry at the southern kingdom of Israel. “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD” (verse 1). “For both prophet and priest are profane: yea, in my house [the Temple] have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD” (verse 11). “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain [worthless]: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD… I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied” (verses 16,21). “…[F]or ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God” (verse 36c).

People who claim to be speaking on behalf of God (prophets and priests) are lying to Israel… in God’s name too! False prophets had so deceived Israel that she had now fallen into pagan idolatry, and God’s wrath was imminent. Satan had used the office of the prophet—God’s Word—to spiritually injure Israel, and sadly, it worked!

Today, Satan still corrupts God’s people in God’s name. Paul talked about philosophers who “defile the temple of God… which temple [we] are” (1 Corinthians 3:16a,17b). Beware, just as the devil deceived Israel with false prophets, so he still misleads God’s people with false “bibles,” which claim to be “God’s Word” but are not (2 Thessalonians 2:2). God’s Word is a sword, so be careful Satan does not use it to harm you!

God Has Already Spoken to Us

Sunday, August 5, 2012

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:19-21 KJV).

Does God communicate with us through hunches, feelings, emotions, visions, dreams, and “soft, still” voices in our heads? These are subjective: they are tentative because they vary amongst individuals. We need an objective standard, something trustworthy and unchanging—God’s written Word, the Holy Bible.

God did communicate with man via theophanies (God appeared in a physical body and spoke to people; Genesis 3:8,9; Genesis 18:1; et al.). Through angels, visions/dreams, supernatural spiritual gifts, and prophets, He relayed His messages to people (Daniel 9:22,23; Matthew 1:20-24; Acts 10:3; 2 Corinthians 12:1; et al.). But, according to 1 Corinthians 13:8-13, these temporary things—partial wisdom and partial knowledge—were done away when complete wisdom and complete knowledge were brought in.

When was complete wisdom and complete knowledge brought in? As soon as God’s written Word was completed (nearly 2000 years ago), God’s will was fully revealed to man. In the King James Bible’s 66 books we know everything that God wants us to know. Visions, apparitions, “prophetic words” from a preacher’s lips, and angelic appearances are not God’s methods of communication with us.

In the context of today’s Scripture (verses 16-18) the Apostle Peter recounts the time on the Mount of Transfiguration when he, James, and John saw Jesus Christ in His glorified form (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36). But Peter says we have “a more sure word of prophecy.” The Bible is more reliable than experiences we can see with our physical eyes.

We have God’s revealed and written Word preserved in English in the King James Bible. The Bible is the Final Authority, not religious tradition or a preacher’s hunches.

The Mind That Ought Not Be Wasted

Monday, July 23, 2012

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16 KJV).

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, especially if it is the mind of the Lord!

Mankind is inherently spiritually dead, unable to communicate with God and completely oblivious to God’s Word. Our world wallows in deep ignorance regarding the things of God, and all too often this (unfortunately) applies even to Christians. What makes this most pitiful? It does not have to be that way!! God has already intervened in human history and He has revealed Himself and His plan for the heaven and earth by means of a Book, His Book, the Holy Bible, a Book that He preserved down through the ages. Today, we can hold in our hands and study for ourselves the preserved Word of God, the Authorized King James Bible.

In the context of today’s Scripture, the poor Corinthian believers had ignored the doctrine God gave them through the Apostle Paul, preferring rather to piddle about in spiritual ignorance with vain human philosophy (as documented in 1 Corinthians chapters 1-3). Oh, what a pity!! What a pity indeed, but again, this happens all too often in Christendom today! Most discard God’s mind—God’s wisdom, the Holy Bible—and substitute it with religious tradition, their own beliefs, and everything else but sound Bible doctrine. They too literally waste the mind of God.

How does God “instruct [us]?” Today’s Scripture declares that if we want to know God’s instructions regarding life and how to handle its issues, we MUST consult God’s Word (especially Paul’s epistles Romans through Philemon, which God wrote specifically to us Gentiles in the Dispensation of Grace). “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).

Beloved, let us not waste the mind of God. Study and believe it rightly divided, and it will work mightily in you for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Is Mary the “Mother of the Church?”

Sunday, July 8, 2012

“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (John 19:26,27 KJV).

Does today’s Scripture teach that Mary, Jesus’ mother, is “the mother of the Church?”

Pagan goddess worship was commonplace in the Roman Empire when Christianity spread during the first centuries A.D. So, “Christian” leaders, hoping to attract heathen followers, slyly adopted pagan practices and teachings. One of these compromises was to give Mary, Jesus’ mother, unscriptural preeminence. Religion took humble Mary (Luke 1:46-55) and exalted her to a godless-like position (today, she is called “the queen of heaven,” the title belonging to a pagan goddess; Jeremiah 44:15-28).

Mary is not the mother of any church in Scripture, and certainly not the Church the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ did not exist until Acts chapter 9 (see 1 Timothy 1:15,16), about a year after today’s Scripture. (The “church” at the time of today’s Scripture was the Messianic Church, those Jews who trusted Jesus as Messiah; Matthew 16:16-19).

In today’s Scripture, notice that Jesus (now crucified) is speaking to one individual, not a group: Mary is not everyone’s “mother,” but a certain disciple’s (allegedly the Apostle John, “the apostle whom Jesus loved”). Notice thy mother” uses the second-person singular pronoun; Jesus did not say “your mother” (the second-person plural “your” would indicate He is speaking to a group). Of course, you lose this in modern “bibles,” which replace “thy” with “your,” concealing God’s truth.

Joseph evidently died some time earlier. Jesus is Mary’s eldest son, but Jesus is dying. Mary needs a man to take care of her (in the ancient world, single women without a male authority would have no income, often being forced to become prostitutes). At this time, none of Jesus’ half-brothers or half-sisters are believers, so Jesus appoints a disciple (John?) to be Mary’s caretaker. How simple!

Friend, God Himself declares Mary is not our mother. That is pagan heresy and superstition, not Bible.

Jesus Christ: A Minister of the Circumcision #3

Sunday, July 1, 2012

“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” (Romans 15:8 KJV).

Why was Christ’s earthly ministry limited to Israel? Today’s Scripture gives us the answer.

In John 4:22, Jesus explained to a (Gentile) Samaritan, “…For salvation is of the Jews.” The Bible says Jesus Christ came to Israel, to save them from their sins (Matthew 20:28; Luke 1:67-75; John 1:11; Acts 3:26). Jesus, in Matthew 15:24, bluntly declared: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

But why? Why only Israel? Was Jesus unconcerned about Gentiles being saved? Why was God so focused on saving Israel during Christ’s earthly ministry? Rather than (blasphemously) accusing Jesus of “bigotry” and “racism”—as some foolishly and recklessly assert—we will approach the Bible from the dispensational standpoint, and what amazing clarity there is regarding this oftentimes-confused topic!

When God called Abram (Abraham) about 2000 B.C., He told him: “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed(Genesis 12:2,3). God will bless the whole world through the nation He will make using Abraham, and this nation is Israel. This is the Abrahamic Covenant, which was in force until the middle part of the book of Acts.

Isaiah 2:1-4, Isaiah 60:1-3,14, Isaiah 61:6, Micah 4:1-3, Zechariah 8:20-23, and others show that God will bless Gentiles through Israel: Israel will one day be a kingdom of priests, and Jews will evangelize the Gentiles (this is where Matthew 28:19,20 and Mark 16:15 belong: contrary to religious tradition, these verses do not belong to us). This was God’s plan in redeeming Israel first: this is why Jesus Christ was sent to Israel only. God would save Israel first, and then He would use redeemed Israel to reach Gentiles with the salvation He had given them first (still future).

Jesus Christ: A Minister of the Circumcision #1

Friday, June 29, 2012

“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” (Romans 15:8 KJV).

Today’s Scripture clearly explains to whom Jesus ministered during His earthly ministry, but most of Christendom absolutely refuses to believe it.

Someone rightly stated that “Christianity” is merely “bastardized Judaism.” Today, what is called “Christianity” is actually Old Testament Judaism with “New Testament” verses tacked on. The root cause of the abounding doctrinal error and chaos in Christendom is a failure to believe today’s Scripture, and to practice dispensational Bible study, “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). All of the Bible is for us, but not all of the Bible is to us or about us.

The doctrine that God gave us through the Apostle Paul for this the Dispensation of Grace is almost totally ignored today. It was to Paul alone that God revealed our mystery program, the Church the Body of Christ and God’s purpose and plan for heaven (Ephesians 3:1-9). What has Christendom done? It has mostly ignored Paul’s epistles, preferring to steal the Bible verses—especially the Four Gospels—that God gave strictly to Israel. Israel’s doctrine does not belong in our dispensation, yet denominations continue to attempt to obey God’s will for Israel.

For the past 2,000 years, religious tradition has instructed us to obey what Jesus taught in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Entire denominations and churches are built and sustained by “naming and claiming” (actually “taking and faking”) the ceremonies, prayers, doctrines, and promises found in the Four Gospels.

In religion, “Follow Jesus” is a phrase mindlessly and faithlessly uttered. Repeating the so-called “Lord’s Prayer” is greatly emphasized, as is “following Jesus in ‘believer’s baptism’” and “claiming the Beatitudes.” No wonder people are so confused about the Bible! They are claiming verses that belong to a program God is not operating today, and when the verses do not work, the Bible is ridiculed.

Jesus Christ, during His earthly ministry, ministered only to Israel (the “circumcision”): He was not speaking to us Gentiles (today’s Scripture)!