A Tattered Book

Thursday, October 18, 2018

“Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end” (Psalm 119:33 KJV).

Today, my primary print Bible turns 15 years old!

I am looking at it now. Its pages are stained with oil from my fingers. The margins have brief notes scribbled on them. Its ragged cover finally fell off recently—but I glued it back together. Highlighter colors decorate its pages. I have memorized its layout, where verses and passages sit on the sheets. Pages have been folded, torn, and wrinkled. Dear brethren, my (and your) spiritual growth came at its expense. It has truly become my “best friend,” having been useful in writing thousands of Bible studies over all these years.

When my parents purchased it for me, this King James Bible meant little to me. I had been saved for about eight years, but I was still extremely denominational in my Christian understanding and practice. For the first few years I owned it, I read a verse or two a night. There was no serious Bible study. How shallow I was—how ignorant I was! When two dear brothers in Christ shared dispensational Bible study with me over 10 years ago, the “Old Book” became a “New Book”… and now it has literally become (physically) an “old” Book! As God’s Word worked in me, I desired to enter the ministry. With all these years passing, the Holy Scriptures have become more and more understandable and enjoyable. Of course, the more reading and studying I have done, the more worn-out the pages have become. However, it may have another 15 years of use left!!

Human nature is independent—especially of God. It is defiant, unwilling to listen to Divine instruction. “I will believe what I want!” “Let me be my own person!” “I will do it my way!” Contrariwise, today’s Scripture is the attitude of the believer in the God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ. A believer submits to God’s authority, words, and direction: “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart” (verse 34). Brethren, let us allow the Holy Spirit to teach us His words, the way of His statutes, that we keep it unto the end, too! 🙂

To Esteem the Greater Words #5

Monday, September 10, 2018

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 KJV).

Friend, do you pay more attention to the words of men than the words of God?

Moved by the Holy Ghost, King David remarked in Psalm 19: “[7] The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. [8] The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. [9] The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. [10] More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”

How many in this materialistic, greedy world can say with David that they desire God’s words more than gold, even much fine gold?! Who claims those Divine words are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb?! How many in our deceived, gluttonous society agree with Job that they esteem God’s inspired words more than their necessary food?!

Such a Man is quoted in Isaiah 50:4,5: “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” Here is the Lord Jesus Christ speaking of God the Father, 700 years before the former’s earthly ministry (check verse 6). Christ treasured every word that His Heavenly Father spoke to Him, so much so that He obeyed it without fail. Satan’s evil world system would not—and did not—distract Him from what information carried eternal value.

Brethren, may we be especially careful to listen to and believe Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, God’s Word to us today. “But [Jesus Christ] answered and said [to Satan], It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Most importantly, may we remember those words! 🙂

To Esteem the Greater Words #4

Sunday, September 9, 2018

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 KJV).

Friend, do you pay more attention to the words of men than the words of God?

While precious few—even Christians—know it, an invisible and spiritual battle is being waged. It involves the souls of all mankind!

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; ) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Satan’s policy of evil prevents man from understanding what God wants him to know. Competing information distracts from the truths of God’s Word rightly divided. If we Christians are not vigilant, Satan will deceive even us. Therefore, we must grow to maturity in sound Bible doctrine! That is our only hope in guarding ourselves.

Ephesians 4:13-16: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

Job, in today’s Scripture, did not have a competed Bible like we do. Yet, what divine revelation he had was highly important to him. In fact, he preferred God’s Word to eating physical food….

To Esteem the Greater Words #3

Saturday, September 8, 2018

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 KJV).

Friend, do you pay more attention to the words of men than the words of God?

Various and sundry ideas circulate around the world. When we remember that Satan is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), it should not shock us that most of those ideas are lies (cf. John 8:44). Our challenge is to use the Holy Bible to guide us as we evaluate and separate fact from fiction. Therefore, it is a most serious matter when people start tampering with the Bible text. The King James Bible is God’s inspired, preserved Word for us English-speaking people. Never forget that!

Consequently, it should concern us when commentators remark, “This King James word is wrong, that verse does not belong, leave out this italicized word….” The authority is taken from the Bible and given to fallible men. Instead of Scripture correcting men, men arrogantly correct Scripture. Satan is relentless in attempting to substitute his words for God’s words. Using a corrupted Bible to gauge truth and error is wholly silly. A defective standard is most useless. If we are not willing to use a measuring stick with missing numbers and/or unequally-spaced lines, why be comfortable using a perverted Bible to judge doctrine? Ludicrous!

God gave us His inspired and preserved words to provide us with “renewed minds.” After supplying 11 chapters of basic Christian (grace) doctrine, the Holy Spirit opens Romans chapter 12: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” When we read the right Bible text (King James Bible in English), and we “study…rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), we will come to recognize the truth. Then, despite all the lies swirling around us, we can esteem the greater words….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Paul circumcise Timothy but not Titus?

To Esteem the Greater Words #2

Friday, September 7, 2018

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 KJV).

Friend, do you pay more attention to the words of men than the words of God?

When the Holy Scriptures speak of “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4), they refer to the system that operates in every sphere of human society. Ephesians 2:2 says: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [Satan operating in the invisible realm], the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:….”

Every aspect of human existence conveys Satan’s lie program—education, religion, economics, mainstream media, politics, and so on. They all express the Adversary’s thoughts and attitudes. No matter how decent the people may be holding the offices, the underlying system remains corrupt. Satan, in the temptations of Christ, boasted that he (not God!) exercised power in and through Earth’s governments. Jesus never denied it, either!

Luke chapter 4: “[5] And the devil, taking him [Jesus] up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. [6] And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. [7] If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. [8] And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

It should therefore not surprise us that human society, whether at its highest echelons or lowest ranks, is perverted. Sadly, so many professing Christians are shocked and hysterical. Sitting for hours upon hours every day before a television screen or computer monitor, soaking up the world’s wisdom, they give very little (if any!) attention to personal Bible study. The media—not the Scripture—tells them what to think. They know more about what lost people say and do than what God says and does. Oh, how they need to esteem the greater words….

Growing in Grace #7

Friday, August 17, 2018

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18 KJV).

What does it mean to “grow in grace?”

“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” Peter thus bids farewell to the Circumcision Saints, supplying them with the information needed to avoid the “error of the wicked.” These various doctrinal and practical sins—false teaching, confusion, doubt, non-dispensational Bible study, and so on—are to be replaced with an updated view of God’s program for man.

Israel’s Little Flock is to grow in the doctrines of grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ as revealed to the Apostle Paul. They must appreciate why their earthly kingdom has been momentarily suspended (but certainly not abolished!!). Despite ignorant mockers’ accusations, God’s promise to send His Son again stands firm. He has not forgotten about Israel; He has merely postponed her program to operate our mystery program. Rather than pouring out wrath, He is offering mercy to the whole world—Jews and Gentiles alike (Romans 11:25-32)!

Dear brethren, if God wanted the Circumcision Saints long ago and yet future to be “established in the present truth” (1:12), how much more does He desire it for us? After all, “the present truth” is that we (the Church the Body of Christ) and the mystery program have currently/presently interrupted and delayed Israel’s prophetic program. We are the reason why the Antichrist has not yet been revealed. The Dispensation of Grace, the Body of Christ, prevents the prophetic program from operating (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1-14).

At the Rapture, our gathering together unto Christ in Heaven, our dispensation will close, causing the prophetic program to recommence. The Antichrist will rise, reign for seven years, and ultimately be destroyed by Jesus Christ at His Second Coming. Here, unbelievers are judged, including the scoffers who assumed that fiery wrath was fiction! Finally, Israel becomes God’s kingdom of priests, redeemed and ready to enter the Millennium. May we “grow in grace” too! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should we call a minister ‘reverend?’

Growing in Grace #6

Thursday, August 16, 2018

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18 KJV).

What does it mean to “grow in grace?”

Today’s Scripture is the very last verse God the Holy Spirit penned through the Apostle Peter. Indeed, it is the conclusion of Peter’s farewell epistle. The Spirit of God moved Israel’s chief Apostle to leave the Circumcision Saints (believing Israel, the Little Flock) with the mind-boggling thought of “grace.” This was not ordinary grace, but rather God’s grace manifested in a very special way. That unique exhibition of grace was committed to “our beloved brother Paul” (verses 15,16). Before passing off the scene and being with his Saviour and Lord, Peter reminds Israel’s believing remnant to remember the drastic dispensational changes that occurred with the Apostle Paul’s salvation and ministry.

As we can see so clearly in Pauline doctrine (namely, Romans chapters 9-11 and 2 Thessalonians chapter 2), prophecy has not (God forbid!!!) been fabricated or canceled but merely delayed. The God of the Bible has temporarily departed from the prophetic timeline, that He may form the Church the Body of Christ of all Jews and Gentiles who will simply come to Him by faith alone in His Son’s finished crosswork alone. God’s earthly kingdom—Christ’s Second Coming in wrath, power, and great glory—is indeed literal and physical, only postponed. As Paul’s own testimony shows, those worthy of God’s judgment can be spared it (1 Timothy 1:15,16)!!!!

When Peter wrote, prophecy had been delayed for approximately 40 years. He had no idea, and neither did Paul, that we would be here 2,000 years later with the Dispensation of Grace still operating and prophecy yet on hold. Friend, do you see why Bible preservation is necessary? Once our dispensation terminates at the Rapture—our gathering together unto Christ—Israel’s prophetic calendar will resume where God paused it. Believing Israel will read today’s Scripture, just as they did when our dispensation first started long ago. They will have an answer to all the scoffers of their own day. We can appreciate God’s wisdom in having Peter write those last verses, his finishing chapter!

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….