The Saints of Caesar’s Household

Saturday, October 29, 2011

“All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household” (Philippians 4:22 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is excerpted from Philippians, one of the half-dozen epistles Paul wrote from his Roman prison. “Caesar” refers to the tyrannical Roman emperor who ruled from A.D. 54 to 68 and greatly persecuted Christians. In fact, prior to committing suicide, he is thought to have executed Apostles Peter and Paul.

When Paul wrote to the Philippian church, he concluded his epistle with today’s Scripture: there are saints within Nero’s household!

About five or six years after the Philippian letter, Paul writes his final epistle, his second letter to Timothy. Notice 2 Timothy 2:8,9: “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.” Paul is still in prison, treated as a criminal. Why? Satan and his evil men hate him because he is God’s apostle of the Gentiles (Acts 9:15,16; Romans 11:13; et al.).

Paul was imprisoned because he was preaching the Gospel of Grace, the same Gospel we preach today. Physically, Paul was shackled to Roman soldiers. Satan had prevented God’s chief apostle in our dispensation from traveling and preaching the wonderful salvation in Christ Jesus. However, God would not be stopped. Paul wrote “but the word of God is not bound.” No matter how hard the devil tried to keep God’s Word from reaching lost souls, God’s Word could not be confined.

In Philippians 1:12,13 Paul wrote from prison: “But I would [wish] ye understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; so that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;”

Paul preached his heart out in that Roman prison. Today’s Scripture confirms that God’s Word worked so mightily that some of Nero’s own household had trusted in Christ! Certainly, Paul was imprisoned, yet the Gospel of Grace was still published and prosperous… in the very prison where Paul was held!

Systems Declare the Glory of the LORD

Monday, October 24, 2011

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1 KJV).

In science, a “system” is any part of the universe that we select for study. Systems can be as large as galaxies, planets, and moons, or as small as cells, mineral grains, and subatomic particles. Analyses of these systems reveal their extremely complex, highly organized nature. Thus, one who knows nothing about God or the Bible still understands an intelligent Creator exists (Romans 1:20). Anyone who refuses to believe in God has not only rejected the Bible’s testimony, but also visible, tangible scientific proof… trillions of systems!

The general consensus among scientists is that there was chaos during the formation of our universe, and that a coincidence process operating billions of years “magically” assembled everything into order. This is as ridiculous as any fairy tale used to lull children to sleep!

Consider the highly complex periodic table of elements. How can the structure of the 92 naturally occurring elements be so systematic that we can arrange them? Before man studied them to organize them into that diagram, Someone first had to predetermine their orderly structure.

Why is the human body symmetrical and equipped with a complex immune system? How can the planets and their 100 moons orbit the sun in such a highly complex array? How can organisms (“extremophiles”) thrive and reproduce in exceptionally arid, frigid, and boiling environments? Why does earth not freeze over completely or bake completely, annihilating the biosphere?

In today’s Scripture, we read of “the heavens declaring the glory of God.” Interestingly, verses 4 and 5 speak of God “setting [in the heavens] a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.” The very path that the sun travels to traverse Earth’s sky, or actually the Earth’s orbit around the sun, is another clear indication of God’s wisdom and another product of God’s imagination.

These are just a few of the many systems that declare the glory of the LORD Jesus Christ!

Adios to Being Atheos

Monday, October 17, 2011

“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” (Ephesians 2:12 KJV).

The Greek word translated “without God” is “atheos,” from which we get “atheism.” God exists, so how can today’s Scripture teach that some individuals (the Gentiles of verse 11) were “without God?”

After the Great Flood of Noah’s day, Noah’s descendants did not scatter as God commanded (Genesis 9:1,7). In fact, they gathered for pagan worship at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-7)! God in righteous judgment scattered them, resulting in the world’s nations and languages (verses 8,9). In Genesis chapter 12, God selected one Syrian, Abram (Abraham), to create the nation Israel. Anyone not a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be a Gentile (non-Jew).

What happened to Gentiles after Genesis chapter 12? “God gave them up” (Romans 1:21-32). “[God] who in time past suffered [allowed] all nations to walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:16). “At the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent;” (Acts 17:30). The Gentiles were “without God” indeed.

God dealt almost exclusively with Israel in the Old Testament (Nineveh, Rahab, and Ruth were some Gentile exceptions). The covenants belonged to Israel’s patriarchs, not the Gentiles. “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” (Romans 15:8). Whenever a Gentile woman approached Jesus in His earthly ministry, He said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24). He also said, “Salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22).

Thankfully, when we come to Paul’s ministry, God ministers to Gentiles apart from Israel. Today, Israel has temporarily lost her privileged position of Romans 9:4,5 (Romans 11:11,12). We Gentiles enjoy God’s salvation through the Gospel of Grace, which can save both Jews and Gentiles (Romans 1:16). God commissioned Paul as “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13), so Ephesians 2:13 says we Gentiles can bid “adios” (farewell) to being “atheos!” 😉

The Ever-Luminous Beacon

Saturday, October 15, 2011

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105 KJV).

Life is sometimes a lonely, dark, confusing maze. During these disappointing and chaotic periods, where should we turn for advice? Today’s Scripture enlightens us. The Bible is a beacon shining brightly in the midst of life’s troubles.

Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” The Bible is “given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16): it came from His mouth (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4). Scripture gives us God’s wisdom regarding marriage, the workplace, parenting, friendships, enduring difficult times, but most importantly, how to be saved from our sins and obtain eternal life through Jesus Christ.

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130). God never intended His Word to answer every possible question. Contrariwise, God gave us His Word to teach us what we need to know—information that is of eternal value. We need sound doctrine that will carry us through this earthly life and right into eternity. The Bible does not give us all the answers, but it does educate us about God’s purpose and plan for the heaven and earth. Furthermore, Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon teach us what God is doing today.

God has “magnified [his] word above all [his] name” (Psalm 138:2). “The word of the Lord endureth for ever” (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25). The Bible is “truth” (John 17:17). God’s Word is unlike any other book. The King James Bible is God’s preserved Word in English, so it should serve as your final authority in life. As we study God’s Word rightly divided as 2 Timothy 2:15 instructs—understanding what Scripture is written to and about us versus what is written to Israel—and place our faith in what we read, God the Holy Spirit will then take His Word and use it to work within us for His glory.

With the King James Bible in hand, we always have the (free!) counsel of God, the ever-luminous beacon, literally at our fingertips….

The Scientifically Accurate Bible

Thursday, September 22, 2011

“And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves” (Revelation 11:9 KJV).

Many wrongly assume the Bible is anti-science. Actually, the Bible and science disagree because sinful mankind has manipulated science to make it anti-Bible. The Bible is not against science; that is, testable, repeatable analyses of creation’s systems. However, the Bible is opposed to speculative arguments (theories) that glorify man’s “wisdom” (1 Corinthians 3:19; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Timothy 6:20,21).

Today’s Scripture, written 2,000 years ago, is one demonstration of the Bible’s scientific accuracy. Verses 10-12 speak of dead bodies lying in Jerusalem’s streets, and ultimately ascending into heaven. The Bible also says that the whole world will witness these events. Undoubtedly, the Bible predicted satellite television and the internet!

  • Nineteenth-century oceanographer Matthew Maury discovered “the paths of the seas” of Psalm 8:8—written 3,000 years ago—was actually a reference to ocean currents!
  • Isaiah 40:22 speaks of “the circle of the earth,” a 2,700-year-old explanation for a round earth! This verse also speaks of an expanding universe, discovered just a century ago!
  • How did King David know that Earth had a North-South axis, with East and West never intersecting (Psalm 103:12)?
  • Genesis 2:7 says God formed Adam’s body from “the dust of the ground.” Medical science confirms that elements found in earth’s crust—magnesium, oxygen, potassium, et cetera—are also present in our bodies!
  • Hebrews 11:3 states that creation is composed of invisible particles—atoms!
  • Leviticus 15:13 commands the sick to wash their flesh in “running water.” (As opposed to bathing in unsanitary stagnant water.)
  • Why did God demand male Jewish babies be circumcised on the eighth day in Leviticus 12:3? Because the baby’s immune system reaches its peak on day eight!
  • Job 28:25, written 3,500 years ago, makes reference to the “weight for the winds.” Air mass!

The Bible is God’s Book, so it teaches science with God’s authority. The Bible is amazing, millennia ahead of modern “science!”