Your “Home” Grace Church

Thursday, July 3, 2014

“These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 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 3:14,15 KJV).

Searching “to no avail” for a local grace church? (Search no more, for you already know its address!)

Replying to yesterday’s devotional, one of our readers emailed me. Like so many we hear from, she voiced her discouragement and asked where she should “go to church” when no pure local church could be found! My family and I were in a similar predicament years ago, until I heard a Christian brother and ministry coworker say, “Walk out your front door, stand in your front yard, turn around, and voila—your local grace church building!” 🙂

Until organized religion began to dominate Christianity during the first few centuries A.D., and construction began on elaborate cathedrals and other monuments to man’s “goodness,” God’s people met in homes. We read about the “church” that met in Rome in Priscilla and Aquila’s house (Romans 16:3-5)—note, not Peter’s house! Scripture also mentions the “church” in Nymphas’ house in Laodicea (Colossians 4:15), and the “church” in Philemon’s house in Colosse (Philemon 2).

In Paul’s ministry, a “church” was not a building, for the God of the Bible lives in Christians instead of manmade structures (Acts 17:24). “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place…” (1 Corinthians 14:23)—the “church” is not the place, but the Christians in the place. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).

As King James Bible-believing, Pauline-dispensational Christians, we are God’s church. Our homes are where the “church” meets! If we have no teacher or pastor, we can locate sound grace Bible study material and utilize it (you are more than welcome to use our studies). We have no desire to attend “worship services” that abound with denominationalism and religious tradition, so we stay at home with our Bibles and invite any like-minded Christians to join us!

Cain Came and Brought Shame #6

Friday, June 27, 2014

“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD” (Genesis 4:1 KJV).

Can you identify the very significant phrase our King James Bible contains in today’s Scripture, and why it was said?

Whilst Eve assumed that Cain would be a man who would serve the God of the Bible, 1 John 3:12 says, “Cain… was of that wicked one.” Cain was not a man of faith; he was eventually manifested to be Satan’s tool, not a believer in God’s Word. Like Satan (Isaiah 14:12-15), Cain wanted to be his own god, his own authority; moreover, like Satan, Cain wanted to get rid of God’s people, those who testified of God’s Word and who hindered the “progress” of Satan’s evil world system (the real reason why Cain killed Abel).

Spiritually, Cain was Satan’s son. Jesus commented to Israel’s lost religious leaders, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning…” (John 8:44). Beloved, the same godless, sinful spirit (attitude) that operated in Satan controlled Cain and Israel’s religious leaders. It operates in today’s religious people (Ephesians 2:1-3), and it will operate in future religious people. They all want to do what they want; they starkly disregard the will and instructions of the God of the Bible. Like Cain, they offer the sacrifice they want, the sacrifice God never instructed them to bring. They refuse to depend upon Jesus Christ’s blood sacrifice for acceptance before God (the ONLY sacrifice He will accept); they prefer to offer their own “good” works, the fruit of their own hands. The Bible is clear that they, like Cain, will be rejected of God.

Satan’s chief way of corrupting the nation Israel was to infiltrate it with pagan religion (spiritual lies had been successful with Adam and Eve in Eden, and with Cain; Satan uses the same old tactics!). Baal worship, pagan idol worship, began in Israel in Judges 2:11-13 and it has yet to lose its grip. Beyond our present day, after our dispensation, Satan will make one final attempt to bring about what Cain started, and many “Abels” will perish….

No Red-Marker Bible for Us!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14 KJV).

Let us reject the red-marker “Bible,” just as its promoters castoff the Bible!

Years ago, a friend expressed his discouragement for receiving a “C” grade on a school paper he had diligently wrote. He said how he had spent so much time on it, and yet it was still not good enough. To cheer him up, I shared with him a brief history of the English Bible, how God spent so much time on faithfully transmitting His pure, preserved Word to us, and educated man gave Him an “F!” (My friend did not feel so bad after that!) 🙂

Through the centuries, textual critics have assaulted Bible manuscripts and other copies of the preserved, inspired Word of God. Like Satan encouraged Eve to do in Genesis 3:1-5, they questioned it, added to it, subtracted from it, watered it down, and finally, denied it. What do we expect? God’s Word is “foolishness” to people who are not God’s children anyway (today’s Scripture).

Textual critics have especially taken their “scholarly scalpels” to the Divine Words since 1881, when the greatest change in Bible “scholarship” ever occurred. In Great Britain, the Protestant Bible text (the King James Bible, its previous English versions, and the Greek Textus Receptus upon which their New Testament rested) was questioned by “educated,” lost men, and replaced with a so-called “older, better” Greek manuscript tradition that the Church the Body of Christ avoided—and had endured the death penalty for rejecting! Even today, the average church member of every denomination has no idea of the switch! Protestants have no idea they carry under their arms Roman Catholic manuscripts in the form of their modern Bible versions—manuscripts their Protestant forefathers died for avoiding!

Dear friends, when anyone encourages you to “red line” words, verses, or even passages from your King James Bible, you would do well to “write them off,” giving them an “A” when it has come to them encouraging your doubt in God’s Word, and an “F” regarding encouraging your faith!

A Prophet in the Wilderness #5

Friday, June 13, 2014

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:1,2 KJV).

Why is John the Baptist “preaching in the wilderness?”

John the Baptist’s message to Israel was simple, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (today’s Scripture). Israel was to “repent”—change her mind about JEHOVAH, to remember God’s covenant with her, to acknowledge her failure to keep that covenant, to quit thinking like the Gentiles and to stop serving Satan and his evil world system. Israel’s confession of sins in the following verses was to acknowledge her breaking the Old Covenant, Law (see Leviticus 26:40-46). John’s water baptism was the means whereby Israel was cleansed of her idolatry, equipping her to become JEHOVAH’S kingdom of priests (Ezekiel 36:25; cf. Exodus 19:5,6).

Israel’s conversion was urgent: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand [near]” (today’s Scripture). In the near future, Jesus Christ would be baptized of John, thus manifesting Himself as Israel’s Messiah-King (John 1:31). Israel’s long-promised kingdom (foretold through the Old Testament prophets) was soon to be established.

Most of Israel’s priests were entangled in spiritual error, so John’s ministry was out in the wilderness, far from the Temple, far-removed from Satan’s religious system. This arrangement ensured John’s converts would be pure, untainted by the evil world system that had deceived Israel previously. God’s people would hear God the Father’s message about His coming Son and Israel’s Messiah, Jesus, from John the Baptist (see John 1:6-34)—it was a message unadulterated by Israel’s satanically-inspired priesthood.

The lesson we can take from this is simple: the same pagan religious system that gripped Israel still pervades Christendom, so we do not appeal to clergymen, denominational teaching-bodies, preachers, catechisms, creeds, seminarians, bulls, et cetera. We should go to the Apostle Paul (Romans through Philemon) to learn what God has to say to us Gentiles, just as the nation Israel was to go to John the Baptist to learn what God had to say to them. Thus, we will be a pure agency for the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 11:1-33).

A Prophet in the Wilderness #2

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:1,2 KJV).

Why is John the Baptist “preaching in the wilderness?”

God only gave one religion in all of human history. Given at Mount Sinai through Moses for him to teach it to Israel, Judaism was a system of 613 laws (listed throughout Exodus through Deuteronomy). The Mosaic Law was a very severe system, and God gave it to thoroughly demonstrate that Israel, in her own strength and through her own efforts, could never become His people. He would have to make them His people.

Alas, Israel never got the message that she was a sinful nation that needed God’s salvation: she still believed she could do everything God commanded. Eventually, her religious leaders added more and more laws, so that when we come to Jesus’s earthly ministry, Judaism was no longer pure. Paul even called it the Jews’ religion” (Galatians 1:14)—it was not God’s religion anymore because sinful Israel had corrupted it.

The Lord Jesus remarked about Israel’s spiritual condition in His day: “Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition (Mark 7:6-9).

Does this sound familiar? Sure it does! “Tradition” is still readily accepted instead of Scripture; patristic (church fathers) writings, denominational creeds, papal encyclicals, church council decrees, and myriads of other volumes mean everything in Christendom, but the Holy Scriptures mean almost nothing (unless a verse can bolster the denomination, and then it is ripped out of context and quoted!).

We begin to see that John the Baptist’s ministry in the “wilderness” (today’s Scripture) was God’s method to ensure doctrinal purity….

The Wafer Versus The Loaf

Sunday, June 8, 2014

“For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul demonstrated that all church leaders should not neglect to tell their congregants all of God’s counsel.

Recently, I listened to a now-saved minister expose the absurdities that he learned in seminary (“Bible cemetery”), while he was in training to become a church leader in a major “Christian” denomination, a cult he served for decades. By God’s grace, the dear man came to realize that his “good” works were nothing in God’s sight: he came to understand and trust the totality of Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice for his sins.

Having left that rank spiritual darkness that he was in for many years, he looks back and sees just how lost he really was back then, how he was on his way to hell, how he was so misled, even though he faithfully read the Holy Scriptures to his congregations for all those years. As per his denomination’s instructions, he meticulously followed their “approved” reading schedule of Scripture. Despite all those many years of (repetitive) sermons, he actually read what amounted to a mere five percent of the entire Bible, to all those precious souls in his church! He sees how he was only allowed to read the verses that agreed with the denominational system; they simply ignored the Bible passages that conflicted with their church!

Dearly beloved, there are hundreds of thousands of “churches” worldwide that are just like this, literally spiritually starving their millions upon millions of members, depriving them of the entire counsel of God, yet giving them just enough morsels in order to fool them into believing they are hearing everything that God has spoken to them.

In light of the spiritual darkness all around us, let us never take for granted our soul salvation from our sins and works-religion, our rightly divided King James Bible, our local grace assemblies, and the faithful saints who serve our Lord Jesus Christ in sharing the message of His grace with all the millions upon millions who desperately need it. May we choose the loaf, and reject the wafer!

A Common Voice

Friday, June 6, 2014

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV).

If we want Christian unity, we had better join unto God’s truth rather than unite unto Satan’s error.

The God of the Bible is the cause of peace, not confusion (today’s Scripture). Where one finds confusion, Satan and sinful man are working diligently nearby! One of the most critical areas of confusion is the Bible versions issue (due to copyright laws, every modern Bible version must read differently from every other!).

Reading an alleged “guide to the Bible” book, I was recently stunned by the following misinformation: “We honor God’s Word the most when we obey it, not when we defend a particular version of it.” (We reply, “And just what are we to “obey” when every version leads us to believe its own unique conclusion?”)

At a recent public event, I heard the crowd uttering the ever-popular, so-called “Lord’s Prayer.” As they were closing, I listened most intently to hear an interesting occurrence (I knew that many would never finish the prayer). Most voices stopped after saying, “But deliver us from evil.” A few, however, concluded, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (The Protestant Bible text, the King James Bible and its underlying manuscripts contain that clause; the Roman Catholic text and its modern English representatives omit it!)

Some time ago, I attended another public event where a verse was displayed on an overhead screen. An individual stood up, and reading from another modern English Bible, recited the same verse. I could not read the text and listen to the voice—they each conveyed different information! You can better appreciate this by having 200 people simultaneously read the same verse each using a different modern English Bible—yes, there are enough for each person to have one!

When every English-speaking Christian uses and reads the King James Bible, there is such unity, such peace, such clarity, such harmony! God’s people united unto God’s truth, a common voice, an authoritative voice—God’s voice… “as in all churches of the saints!” 🙂