Paul and Dispensationalism #10

Monday, August 17, 2015

“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).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Just what is the test for true spirituality? How many hymns we sang? How many large tithes we gave? How many “unknown tongues” we uttered? How many long prayers we recited? How many theology books we read? How many miracles we performed? How well we know Hebrew, Greek, and Latin? How many confessions we made? How many times we attended church? How high we jumped and how well we danced during “worship?” While in religion these are seen as “marks” of true Holy-Spirit-led Christian service, the Holy Spirit Himself has quite a different opinion (today’s Scripture).

In Corinth, carnality and Biblical ignorance abounded among Christians. It broke Paul’s heart to see that assembly in spiritual shambles… the very same saints he had taught personally for 18 months (Acts 18:11)! Pagan philosophy had enticed and deceived them, they were suing each other, they behaved as drunken gluttons at the Lord’s Supper, they abused spiritual gifts for personal gratification, et cetera. The Corinthians thought they were so spiritual and so wise, while in reality they were so fleshly and so silly! (Like today’s professing “church!”)

Today’s Scripture declares that a Spirit-led Christian, one speaking on behalf of God, acknowledged Paul’s apostolic authority over us Gentiles. The Corinthians were not spiritual—they rejected Paul’s apostleship in chapters 10 through 13 of 2 Corinthians. Paul knew, however, some Christians would continue deliberately ignoring his apostleship. His advice? Let them stay “ignorant!”

First Corinthians 2:6-8 says God’s “hidden wisdom” is manifested for all to see in the writings of Paul the Apostle, Romans through Philemon. Sadly, like the Corinthians, most true Christians today are too deceived, too weak, and too immature to appreciate “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery.” They cannot handle the deeper things of God. May we be as patient with them as possible, but when they persistently resist God’s truth, do not waste time. Friend, move on to others!

Paul and Dispensationalism #8

Saturday, August 15, 2015

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” (Romans 16:25,26 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Indeed, 95 to 99 percent of professing “Christianity” is doctrinally weak. Most alleged “Christians” and most true Christians have an extremely feeble grasp of Scripture. This ignorance applies not only to church members but also to preachers and priests and theologians… the “blind” leading the “blind” (Matthew 15:14)! How did such a spiritual mess arise? Honestly, the “church” has focused on founding religious organizations and defending denominational tenets. There was no sound and proper Bible study. The Bible was merely scanned and appealing verses were chosen—that weak foundation produced the current frail, teetering structure.

More commentaries (further confusing them) have been read than verses in the Holy Bible! More time has been spent recounting worthless stories, telling jokes, singing and jumping, and re-teaching and re-teaching basic verses, than time spent preaching a clear Gospel message and teaching a profitable Bible lesson! More energy has been spent organizing weddings, baby showers, dances, food and clothing drives, and bingo nights than energy expended in planning Bible conferences and Bible camps! The average church almost entirely neglects the Bible, especially Paul’s epistles. No wonder the average local church is not “dying” but dead!

The professing “church” has utterly failed to grasp today’s Scripture. They usually cannot adequately delineate Paul’s Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4—Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day). They do not understand Paul’s special ministry, “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery.” They do not know how those Pauline books fit with the overall Bible scheme. Basically, they have not been “stablished” (stabilized) and spiritually matured. Therefore, they are “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). Such ignorance is the result of ignoring Pauline dispensationalism!

Praying Like Elijah #11

Saturday, February 28, 2015

“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (James 5:17 KJV).

Why did Elijah pray like this, what was so special about his prayer that God answered it, and how can we have our prayers answered of God?

All too often today prayer is reduced to mere posture and procedure—kneel at the railing, or enter your prayer closet, cross your heart, close your eyes, bow your head, use prayer beads or prayer wheels, and recite what you have read in a prayer book. Dear friends, prayer at its fundamental level is none of those things. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Are you going to stay kneeling literally every moment? Should your eyes be closed every second? Is your head to be bowed 24 hours a day, seven days a week? If prayer is kneeling, closing eyes, and bowing heads, then yes, yes, and yes. The truth is, prayer in the Bible is not some formalistic practice, so no, no, and no!

When barren Hannah prayed to the LORD, she told the priest Eli, “I have poured out my soul before the LORD(1 Samuel 1:15). David wrote to Israel, “Ye people, pour out your heart before him (Psalm 62:8). Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” The “heart,” our soul, our innermost being, is that which we use to believe God’s Word. Prayer is speaking to God what is in our hearts, and if we have studied and believed our Bible, then we will be speaking to God what He told us. Again, this is consistent view of prayer, regardless of dispensation.

Brethren, we are to be constantly reminding ourselves of Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. Meditate on these things” (1 Timothy 4:15). Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7). Day in and day out, we should be thinking about God’s Word to us, reminding ourselves of what He said to us. This is Pauline prayer. This is answered prayer….

Our special edition 125th Bible Q&A: “Should we observe the Lord’s Supper?

Thee and Two Gardens #6

Thursday, January 29, 2015

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8 KJV).

Wilt thou choose to “live” in the Garden of Eden, or in the Garden of Calvary?

Many precious souls constantly think about symbols, tithes and offerings, confessionals, aisles, candles, prayer closets, “scholarship,” altars, programs, holy days, counterfeit Bibles, personalities and celebrities, ecclesiastical laws, baptisteries, pilgrimages, dreams and visions, bread and wine, jewelry, statues, “praise and worship,” charities, vestments, healings, paintings, shrines, gibberish, patristic writings, and other theological speculations and paraphernalia.

As Satan distracted Eve, so she knew not God’s Word to her (the context of today’s Scripture), “Christianity” is similarly confused. Most are so sidetracked that they have no time whatsoever to think about Calvary’s real meaning. They are too busy thinking about what they are doing, so they have no time to think about what God did for them 2,000 years ago.

Friends, apart from faith in Calvary’s finished crosswork, we have no power of God in our lives (1 Corinthians 1:18,23,24). Fulfilling rules and regulations does not change the fact that we are still weak children of Adam, sinners by birth, unable to perform perfectly. Thus, sin-management systems are of no help to us. We need divine intervention to overcome sin.

God’s grand design is that our Christian life begin in a tomb. He alone can crucify us so as to separate us from Adam, to bury us in Christ’s tomb, to raise us again with Christ and give us a new nature in Him. Contrary to human “wisdom,” it is God’s wisdom, thinking on a much higher plane than even what the “best” intellectuals and philosophers could ever imagine. God did not come to correct us, but to crucify us with Christ, and He did not come to reform us but to resurrect us with Christ. It is not outward reformation (religion) but inward regeneration (life in Christ Jesus!).

We conclude this devotionals arc by quoting Romans chapter 6….

Heart Service #15

Saturday, May 10, 2014

“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Romans 6:17 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is the key to being delivered from and guarded against today’s apostate Christendom.

Christendom’s various false –isms—asceticism, ritualism, denominationalism, legalism, formalism, et cetera—are religion’s methods of reforming outward behavior (ceremonies, rites, and rituals are sin-maintenance activities). Yet, there is no change in nature, in the heart (cf. Matthew 23:25-28).

We trusted the Gospel of Grace, “we obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered [us].” Thankfully, in God’s mind, today’s Scripture says we were the servants of sin”—past tense. God gave us a new nature: He took us out of Adam and He placed us into Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Thus, He does not see us in Christ as sinners; God sees us in Christ as saints, set apart unto His purpose and will (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; et al.). Father God does not consider us servants of sin, so does it make sense for us Christians to now serve sin? The answer is unequivocally, “NO!” (The renewed mind of Romans 12:1,2. It is not “reasonable” [logical] to serve sin; it is only “reasonable” to let our identity in Jesus Christ impact our daily living, for He alone deserves praise!)

Literally everything Father God could ever give us—including a new identity/nature—He already gave it all to us, in Jesus Christ! “Ye are complete in him” (Colossians 2:10; cf. Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:3). Dear saint, may you never, ever, EVER let the various –isms in religion deceive you and rob you of your spiritual wealth in Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:4,8,18).

Paul prayed for the Ephesians, “That Christ may dwell in [their] hearts by faith” (Ephesians 3:17). May we read, study, and believe Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, to the end the indwelling Holy Spirit works mightily in the hearts of us who believe those Scriptures, that the very life of Jesus Christ becomes more evident in ours!

So, dear saint, will you “obey from the heart [this] form of doctrine which was delivered you?”

FINIS! 🙂

Eye Service

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

“But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi” (Matthew 23:5-7 KJV).

Jesus Christ rebukes apostate Christendom with these same words even today.

Religion (Christendom) teems with people performing ceremonies, rites, and rituals to gain God’s attention and acceptance. However, Christianity focuses not on what we do for Jesus Christ, but what Jesus Christ did for us at Calvary, and what He will do in and through us if we, by faith, allow Him.

In today’s Scripture, Jesus condemned the religion of His day. Judaism was once the pure religion that JEHOVAH gave to Israel through Moses. In the 1,500 years since Moses, Israel’s religious leaders had polluted that God-given religion. Israel’s clergy were generally divided between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, although the Pharisees dominated (according to verse 2, Jesus is speaking mainly of them in today’s Scripture). Law-keeping was not about honoring JEHOVAH God who gave it, but rather rule-keeping for rules’ sakes. In fact, they added to the 600-plus laws God had given!! They largely preferred man-made rules, “the commandments of men” (Mark 7:1-13; cf. Colossians 2:8). Israel was burdened by and buried in laws (Matthew 23:4; Acts 15:10; cf. Galatians 4:9)!!!

The Apostle Paul admonished Christian servants (employees) not to work with “eyeservice” (Colossians 3:22-25). It was not to be showy, put-on, eye-catching work done diligently just for the sake of praise; it was to be honest, genuine labor from the heart, whether someone was watching or not.

In today’s Scripture, Jesus exposed how the watered-down Jews’ religion” (Galatians 1:14) enabled Israel’s religious leaders to brag about their “broad phylacteries” (large boxes that held many scraps of “paper” with Old Testament verses on them, worn on the forehead or wrist). They loved to wear special clothing (long robes with large fringes; Luke 20:46), to be seen and praised of men because of their long prayer” (Matthew 23:14), to be commended for their “pious” appearance and dedication.

Beloved, avoid those who make such “a fair shew in the flesh” (Galatians 6:12)!

On God

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

“All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (Matthew 11:27 KJV).

If you are seeking God today, you can find Him today!

As our world drifts further and further from our Creator’s original design and purpose, it seems like it becomes more difficult for anyone seeking His truth, to find it. Some seek God in emotional experiences and inner impressions; others church buildings and altars; still others prayers, water ceremonies, “good” works, wine and wafers; and so on. Despite all that searching, very few ever actually find God because of the confusion as to how to find Him and because nearly all of the ways that are presumed to lead to God lead to everyone and everything but Him!

In today’s Scripture, the Lord Jesus Christ provided some valuable insight, but we need to look at in light of previous verses in order to get the full impact: “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (verses 25-27).

God’s Word explains that if we want to know Him, we must come to Jesus Christ. We do not seek guidance to God from those who are controlled by the world’s wisdom, for (as Jesus said) they know not how to reach Him either! God has given to Jesus Christ some information, and Jesus Christ offers this information to mankind, that we may know Him, and in doing so, we may know His Heavenly Father. The Bible is very clear that we find God, not by what we do or do not do, but by Jesus Christ, and what He did for us.