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!” 🙂

Solace for Circumspect Students

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word(Psalm 119:9 KJV).

To our readers who are now high school graduates, I send my personal congratulations!

A major chapter in your lives has thus concluded, and another has already begun. You have reached early adulthood; you are in your final seven or eight years of forming the worldview that will govern your belief system and behavior (most probably) for the remainder of your earthly lives (so, make wise decisions now regarding what to believe!).

In the near future, you will probably pursue a higher education of some sort—college, trade school, et cetera. Human “wisdom” (philosophy) so heavily dominates these institutions of “higher learning,” so be sure that you have your King James Bible in hand, in head, and in heart. Amidst all the foolish notions you will hear in your higher-learning experience—I have been hearing them for eight years now myself in my scientific training!—you can guard your mind and heart from the deprecating, blasphemous, deceptive, vile, ridiculous information Satan’s evil world system and its participants parade most shamelessly under the guise of “higher learning.” You can attend the classes while disagreeing with the information discussed.

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Having trusted Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork alone as sufficient payment for your sins, you as a Christian student can utilize your higher-learning experience to your benefit. You can inform yourself about the world’s vanity, thus better understanding where they are coming from, how desperately they need the only true God and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, and His Word, the only true wisdom! You can be God’s vessel, radiating His spiritual light in the midst of ignorance and darkness.

While many will not be open to God’s truth (I speak from experience), rest assured they will respect you for being “different” (I speak from experience). If I can ever be of any assistance to you during your higher-learning experience—answering Bible objections, especially creation/evolution science issues—I am more than eager to help you (my email address is arcministries@gmail.com).

*You can also refer to our studies, “A Higher Education” and “The Spirit-Filled Student.”

333’s 1100th – An Edifice Under Construction

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12 KJV).

Only by Jesus Christ’s grace, we mark another ministry milestone!

Recently, an individual expressed to me her disdain for “religion” in general. Her main objection was that there were many contradictory denominations of “Christianity.” I proceeded to politely explain to her that she, like many, was unaware of the distinction between pure Christianity and vain Christendom. She needed to understand that Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, alone describe Christianity, God’s current directions and program; everything else in the Bible is Israel’s program.

Beloved, when religionists combine the two programs in Scripture—that is, pick and choose doctrines from “prophecy” and “mystery”—they create Christendom, a spiritual monster, a monstrosity of misquoted Scripture, pagan nonsense, and a host of other errors. Christendom is a system that will devour (and has overwhelmed) Christian and non-Christian souls alike. Any appeal to Scripture seems utterly hopeless, for every denomination is quoting a Bible verse to support its system!

During these last 1100 days, we hope to have been a help and an encouragement to you. The Apostle Peter, in his second and final epistle, wrote about “unlearned and unstable” souls “wresting” (twisting, distorting, perverting) the Scriptures—particularly, Paul’s epistles—and “beguiling [tricking, deceiving] unstable souls” (2 Peter 2:14; 2 Peter 3:16). Basically, unstable souls making other people’s souls unsteady also; the result is a group of vacillating individuals, “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight [fraud!] of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14, the context of today’s Scripture).

God wants “perfected” saints (today’s Scripture), saints who are spiritually mature, “throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:17), saints who can do “the work of the ministry,” who can “edify” (build up, mature) the Church the Body of Christ. In doing so, God’s people will be guarded against doctrinal error, Satan’s policy of evil. Thus, by God’s grace, we will continue in our daily Bible studies, that you may save yourself and others from false teaching (1 Timothy 4:16).

Onward we go in God’s grace! 🙂

333 Turns 3!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8 KJV).

To the praise of the glory of the riches of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, “333 Words of Grace” commemorates its third anniversary today!

Dear readers and saints, it has been a delight to be your Bible teacher here these last three years. Indeed, time always “flies” when God’s Word is studied! Our purpose has been to help you understand and enjoy your Bible. We have demonstrated that you do not have to throw away God’s Word simply because people misuse it and abuse it. You can understand the Holy Scriptures without seminary degrees and college diplomas. During these last three years, we have simply taken the King James Bible and let the text speak for itself, comparing Scripture with Scripture, and let God’s Word amplify itself. Our Christian lives have never been the same since!

The Holy Bible is the world’s most valuable Book—and still the bestselling! Countless saints of old shed their blood in service to their Lord Jesus Christ, to furnish the common man with His Book in the English vernacular. Just as they were diligent in translating the Bible for us, may we be just as attentive in acquainting ourselves with it—reading it (1 Timothy 4:13), studying it rightly divided (2 Timothy 2:15), and believing it (1 Thessalonians 2:13). As Jesus Christ Himself said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Once “locked up” in ancient languages, we have the world’s most marvelous Book in our own tongue. God’s Book “for ever settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89), now brought down to puny planet earth, now translated into the languages of the world, and yet, it is all too often unappreciated even in “Christian” circles. We trust that our daily Bible studies have renewed and maintained your interest in this most important Book. Almighty God took great lengths to get it to us, and it is only logical that we treasure it above all else. The Holy Bible will literally last forever (today’s Scripture), so let us enjoy it now… every day!

Saints, thank you for your prayer and encouragement these last three years. By the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, onward we go! 🙂

P.S. All of our devotionals, all the way back to “day 1,” are archived here.

Holding Fast the Faithful Word

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers(Titus 1:9 KJV).

What does “holding fast” mean in the Scriptures?

Let us briefly survey other Bible passages that shed light on the concept:

  • The Lord Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24; cf. Luke 16:13).
  • Paul instructed us to support the weak” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
  • God speaks to Satan of Job’s holding fast his integrity” (Job 2:3), and Job said, “My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go” (Job 27:6a).
  • Before Jerusalem’s destruction, the LORD asked through the Prophet Jeremiah, “Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return” (Jeremiah 8:5).

As we see, God’s definitions for “holding fast” are “refuse to return,” “hold to,” “support,” “not let it go.”

Satan, as his Hebrew name suggests, is “adversary,” and he has an arsenal of weapons he uses against God and His people. God the Holy Ghost wrote the Holy Bible with the intention of educating us at to what He is doing in the heaven and the earth, and what Satan is doing to frustrate His purpose and plans.

Therefore, in today’s Scripture, one of the characteristics of the bishop (frequently called “pastor”) is that he should not relinquish the rightly divided Word of God that he was first taught in his earlier years as a Christian. He should hold firm God’s Word, dispensationally studied, understood, and believed, that he may save others from Satan’s policy of evil and its deception (1 Timothy 4:16). The bishop will face intense opposition and criticism (today’s Scripture), but he must not surrender his rightly-divided Holy King James Bible for “easy-to-read” perversions and denominational systems.

Saints, let us always be mindful of the faithfulness of our King James Bible rightly divided, that it is worthy of our trust. May we “not let it go!” 🙂