The LORD is Exalted Far Above All gods #1

Friday, January 6, 2012

“For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods” (Psalm 97:9 KJV).

Saints, we serve the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God of heaven and earth. Today’s Scripture declares the praises of JEHOVAH [“the LORD”], the one true God. The world’s idols—wealth, drugs, sex, statues, paintings, and wafer-gods—do not compare!

During her centuries of Egyptian bondage, Israel was surrounded by the worship of 2,000 pagan gods and goddesses. Consequently, Jews forgot JEHOVAH, the God of their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But, JEHOVAH proved His superiority over those pagan deities by destroying Egypt with plagues of creatures like lice, frogs, and flies—the very things Egyptians worshipped (Exodus chapters 7-11)! Pagan gods Baal (1 Kings 18:21-40) and Dagon (1 Samuel 5:1-9) were no match for JEHOVAH either.

In 1 Corinthians 8:4, the Apostle Paul discussed eating foods offered to idols: “…We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.” Pagan idols are dead and worthless—“nothing.” Thus, they cannot harm Christians or food. Paul told the pagan Ephesians, worshippers of the goddess Diana, “they be no gods, which are made with hands” (Acts 19:26).

Psalm 115:4-8 explains: “Their [the heathens’/Gentiles’] idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: they have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: they have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat” (cf. Deuteronomy 4:28; Psalm 135:15-18; Isaiah 37:19; Isaiah 44:9,10; Jeremiah 10:5). Pagan gods can do nothing for you because they can do nothing at all.

“For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens” (Psalm 96:4,5). Who is the LORD/JEHOVAH, the God exalted far above all gods? “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him [Jesus Christ], and given him a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).

Hast Thou Chosen the Way of Truth? #2

Thursday, January 5, 2012

“I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me” (Psalm 119:30 KJV)

Today’s Scripture reminds me of a conversation I had with Brother “G,” one of my ministry co-laborers. Over 40 years ago, Brother G abandoned paganism and chose to trust in Jesus Christ. A few years ago, I first explained dispensational Bible study to him. Although he initially rejected it, he has since abandoned vain religious tradition and chosen right division. Praise the Lord!

Although Brother G’s soul was saved from hellfire 40 years ago, his soul was just recently saved from false teaching/religious tradition (1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:24-26). Lately, Brother G asked me, “Why do we know the treasures of dispensational Bible study, while the Bible ‘scholars’ do not?” My response was simple, “Because we want to know!”

In today’s Scripture, the psalmist declared, “I have chosen the way of truth.” The psalmist rejected vain religious tradition and philosophy. He wanted truth, not error. He cried to God, Thy judgments have I laid before me!” He preferred God’s “judgments,” God’s conclusions, God’s doctrine, God’s Word (the theme of all 176 verses of Psalm 119).

Lost people today are lost because they choose to remain lost. Christians who embrace religious tradition and reject sound dispensational Bible doctrine choose to remain ignorant. “If any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:38). Some want to know God’s truth, but most are content in religion. God does not send anyone to hell: those who go to hell chose to go there (they willfully rejected the salvation in Christ).

Why are Brother G and I eternally saved from hellfire? We chose to be saved from hellfire by trusting Christ. Why do we know God’s rightly divided Word? We chose to be saved from religious tradition by believing the Bible dispensationally. We exercised free will—God did not force us. We chose “the way of truth”twice!

Hast thou trusted in Jesus Christ as thy personal Saviour? Hast thou studied and believed the rightly divided King James Bible? Hast thou chosen “the way of truth?” I hope thou hast… twice!

Two Trees With Two Different Roots

Friday, December 16, 2011

“For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not” (Jeremiah 10:3,4 KJV).

Currently, Christmas trees decked with “silver and gold” tinsel and ornaments are commonplace. Interestingly, today’s Scripture describes such an object… a Gentile idol.

The prophet Jeremiah declared (circa 600 B.C.): “Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them” (verses 1,2). Jeremiah then proceeds to tell Israel of the heathen’s ways (today’s Scripture). The heathens (Gentiles) chop down trees, set them elsewhere, and fashion idols by decking them with “silver and gold.” (This is why some Christians prefer not to display a Christmas tree in their homes.)

Jeremiah continues (verses 5-7): “They [the pagan idols] are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.”

Pagan Gentiles bowed and prayed to these wooden, worthless, mindless idols which did nothing for them… except distract them from worshipping the only true God. Sadly, Israel was just as guilty of this pagan worship, having “idols under every green tree (Deuteronomy 12:1-4; 1 Kings 14:22,23; 2 Kings 17:7-23; et al.).

Like the pagan idols of old, the Christmas tree keeps people preoccupied with the wrong tree! The Christmas tree decorated with hanging ornaments and tinsel is nothing compared to Calvary’s tree decorated with the hanging body of Jesus Christ. Rather than silver and gold, it was decked with crimson red, the precious blood of God’s Son and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Unlike the Christmas tree, Calvary’s tree has no pagan roots.

Like the Most High

Sunday, November 27, 2011

“…I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14b KJV).

Satan (Lucifer speaking in today’s Scripture) is the arch-nemesis of God. The devil is the master counterfeiter. Notice:

  1. False witnesses (Psalm 27:12; Matthew 26:60,61) cf. the Lord’s witnesses (John 8:14; Acts 5:32).
  2. False visions (Jeremiah 14:14) cf. the Lord’s visions (Ezekiel 1:1).
  3. False dreams (Jeremiah 23:32) cf. the Lord’s dreams (Matthew 2:12,13).
  4. False prophets (Mark 13:22; 1 John 4:1) cf. the Lord’s prophets (Ephesians 3:5).
  5. False Christs (Matthew 24:24) cf. the Lord’s Christ (Psalm 2:2; Luke 2:26).
  6. False apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13) cf. the Lord’s apostles (Luke 11:46).
  7. False brethren (2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4) cf. the Christian brethren (Philippians 1:14).
  8. False ministers (2 Corinthians 11:14,15) cf. the Lord’s minister to us, Paul (Romans 15:16).
  9. False gospels (Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 11:3,4) cf. Paul’s Gospel (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Timothy 2:8).
  10. False doctrines (1 Timothy 4:1) cf. Paul’s doctrines (1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Timothy 2:7).
  11. False wonders, miracles, and signs (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:13,14) cf. the Lord’s wonders, miracles, and signs (Mark 16:17-20; Acts 2:22).
  12. False spirits (1 John 4:1-6) cf. the Holy Spirit/Spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 1:21).
  13. False Bibles (2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:2)—“as from us” indicates a letter appearing to be from the Apostle Paul, but it was actually a forged epistle because it contained false doctrine that troubled the Thessalonians—cf. God’s Bible (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12).

Satan knows that as long as you focus on his counterfeits, you will ignore God’s original. To Satan’s delight, whenever Israel would worship pagan gods, she would ignore the true God. As long as the Church the Body of Christ does not believe nor know of the things that God has specifically for us, then God cannot use us for His glory and purposes. Saints, be discerning, for Satan’s “cunning craftiness” abounds (Ephesians 4:14; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:3,4) and hold fast to the rightly divided King James Bible so you will not be deceived by the counterfeits.

Special Devotion to the Virgin Mary?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

“And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked” (Luke 11:27 KJV).

Religion encourages us to direct “special devotion” to Mary, Jesus’ mother, but slyly reassures us that Marian devotion is not equivalent to worshipping God. Is this true? What does our Lord Jesus Christ think of any Marian devotion?

In the context of today’s Scripture (verses 1-26), Jesus is teaching. One woman is so amazed at the Lord Jesus’ doctrine that she begins to praise Mary, Jesus’ mother, not Jesus! Notice that this lady exalted Mary, giving her the “special devotion” that religion gives Mary today: “blessed is the womb and the breasts of Mary!” Such a statement originates from pagan goddess worship (and accompanying fornication) of ancient Egyptian and Babylonian religions.

Notice how Jesus responds: “But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (verse 28). Recognize that Jesus immediately rebuked her: He corrected her. Our Lord Jesus knew that Mary was being exalted to a goddess’ position, and He clearly refused it with “Yea rather….” In other words, Jesus said, “Rather than singling out Mary for special attention, recognize that all who trust in God are blessed.” Notice Jesus never designated Mary to any special position whatsoever (Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21).

Our dear religious family members and friends need to realize that Mary is no superhuman or goddess. Although God used her body to generate the human body of Jesus Christ, the Bible never presents Mary as an object of worship. No believer in the Bible ever prayed to Mary. According to the Bible, God clearly hates all Marian devotion.

Marian devotion is blasphemous because it robs Jesus Christ of devotion. It was what God did through Mary that matters. Mary did nothing for our salvation. She is not our mediatrix, savior, or mother, so why does she deserve devotion? According to God’s Word, she does not.

The LORD Seeth Us Not?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth” (Ezekiel 8:12 KJV).

Foolish man has deceived himself into believing that he can commit sinful deeds in the dark, and God will never see. The Jews into today’s Scripture (mistakenly) have that mindset.

In the context of today’s Scripture, the prophet and priest Ezekiel, in Babylonian exile, receives visions from God (verses 1-4). According to the succeeding verses, the LORD shows Ezekiel just how wicked his people are: “Go in, [Ezekiel,] and behold the wicked abominations that they do here [in God’s Temple!]” (verse 9).

As Ezekiel goes in, verse 10 says he sees “every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about.” Despite God judging them with the Babylonian invasion, Jews in Jerusalem have drawn idols on the wall surrounding the Temple! Furthermore, seventy elders of Israel are burning incense to these idols. In today’s Scripture, God repeats what these idolaters say, “The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.” (“We are getting away with our pagan worship!”; cf. Ezekiel 9:9)

God proceeds to show Ezekiel “greater abominations [sins].” Jewesses are sitting at the door of the north gate of the Temple, the LORD’s house. Verse 14 says these women are “weeping for Tammuz”a pagan Babylonian god!

Then, Ezekiel saw “greater abominations.” In the inner court of the Temple, between the porch and the altar, 25 men have gathered. With their backs turned to the LORD’s house, they worship the sun (verse 16)! These Jews dare God, provoking Him to anger (verse 17).

Surely, God did see them and their evil deeds (after all, God is showing Ezekiel their deeds). Sinful man thinks he will escape God’s judgment, but he will not. No one has gotten away with anything… the LORD doth see us.

Impressionable Minds and Effectual Doctrine

Monday, October 31, 2011

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (1 Corinthians 10:23 KJV).

Today is Halloween. We mull the idea of sincere children arrayed in costumes going door-to-door and exclaiming, “Trick-or-treat!” They have never been taught that this “innocent looking” holiday is rooted in the spiritually toxic soils of Celtic paganism, devil worship, and superstition.

Considering the “Harry Potter” franchise and Halloween, the gravity of devil worship has been downplayed. Future generations are receiving mixed messages from the Church the Body of Christ. Christians, rather than speaking against these atrocities, have become permissive regarding the activities that God hates. They remain silent, greatly reducing their impact on the world, and allowing the world to impact them! Ephesians 5:14-17 exclaims, “Wake up, O sleeping Christians, Wake up!”

God clearly forbade witchcraft in Israel (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:9-14; Micah 5:12). Witchcraft is sin, according to Galatians 5:20. God wanted Israel, His earthly people, to not participate in Satan’s policy of evil. They were not to mingle with the works of darkness. God wants the same thing for us, the Church the Body of Christ. Note how the Ephesians burned their spell books in Acts 19:19.

There is no law “Thou shalt not celebrate Halloween,” yet notice today’s Scripture. Although they are not explicitly forbidden, some activities harm others and ourselves, and are inconsistent with our identity in Christ Jesus. Thus, we avoid those activities. If an activity does not bring glory, praise, and honor to God Almighty (the Lord Jesus Christ), it is devil worship. Satan wants you to worship something other than the one true God.

We desperately need our young people to realize the weightiness of sound doctrine, especially regarding the occult, witchcraft, et cetera (and its most subtle forms like Halloween and Harry Potter). God Almighty instructs us to educate them with sound Bible teaching. We know that God’s Word will “effectually work also in [them] that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). God’s Word will reach their minds, we just need to plant and water, sowing it into their minds, and let God take care of the rest.

*This is excerpted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or the study video can be viewed here.