The Salvation of the Lord

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32 KJV).

Simeon, a believer dwelling in Jerusalem, had been “waiting for the consolation of Israel” (verse 25). By faith, he anticipated the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of Israel’s coming Messiah-King and kingdom. The Holy Ghost revealed to him that “he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (verse 26). In verse 27, the Holy Ghost compels Simeon to go to the Temple. There he encounters Joseph and Mary presenting 41-day-old baby Jesus to the Lord (verses 21,22).

Simeon picks up baby Jesus and holds Him (verse 28)! Can you imagine holding your Creator as an infant? Wow! Simeon blessed God, and then spoke the words of today’s Scripture. He has seen His Messiah (Christ), “a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of [God’s] people Israel.” Finally having beheld his King Jesus, Simeon is comforted and can now die peacefully.

God’s purpose in forming the nation Israel was to bless the nations (Gentiles) through Israel in her kingdom (Genesis 12:3; Isaiah 61:6). Isaiah 60:1-3 speaks of Israel in her kingdom, with her Messiah ruling: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee… the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

Through Simeon, the Holy Ghost declared that Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled with the birth of Jesus Christ. Now that her Messiah is born, Israel can finally inherit her kingdom and be the channel of God’s blessings to Gentiles. Sadly, Israel rejected and crucified Jesus Christ, and that kingdom has yet to be set up.

At Christ’s Second Coming, Israel’s kingdom will finally be established on earth. Then, all the world will see “the salvation of the Lord!”

333’s 100th: Be Ye Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind

Thursday, September 8, 2011

“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” (Romans 12:1,2 KJV).

The Bible is “the mind of Christ” in printed form (1 Corinthians 2:16). God does not want you as a Christian to be conformed to the world’s profligate example. He wants to take His Word and renew your mind so that you will think like He does, and then your life will reflect the “good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The key to the Christian life is not obeying a list of rules, but rather placing your faith in sound doctrine so that sound doctrine can transform you from the inside out for God’s glory!

Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me….” “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Christ lives His life in and through us: we do not live the Christian life because we cannot live the Christian life.

As we Christians study and believe the Holy Scriptures “rightly divided,” using dispensational Bible study, the indwelling Holy Ghost will utilize that sound doctrine to transform us. The more sound doctrine we store in our inner man, the more material the Holy Ghost will use inside of us to spiritually mature us. “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Spiritual growth requires a daily study of God’s Word rightly divided, and our minds need to be cleansed daily by God’s Word, as taught in Ephesians 5:26, and daily devotionals fulfill both. The Scriptures we discuss daily will make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you if you will study them and, most importantly, if you believe them.

[*Beloved, we rejoice in the Lord that this is our 100th devotional. We trust that these devotionals, despite their brevity, have been a great help and blessing to your inner man, and that they have contributed to your spiritual growth and enlightenment, as they have to ours. It thrills our hearts to prepare these devotionals and hear of the wonderful work that God is accomplishing with them. It is our great hope and prayer to continue this project for many years to come, Lord willing. Thank you for your continued prayer regarding this ministry endeavor.  –in Christ, Shawn Brasseaux]

At a Loss for Words in Prayer

Thursday, August 25, 2011

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26 KJV).

Prayer is simply you speaking to God about your life in light of His Word. The Bible exhorts us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). But, what about when you cannot seem to pray, when you cannot seem to adequately express your concern in words?

There will come times in your life—if you have not experienced them yet—when your troubling circumstances and your emotions will cloud your thinking. As emotions attempt to dominate your life, your troubled mind becomes confused and fearful. It seems like you forget every Bible verse you memorized. Your mind seems overwhelmed with difficult or confusing circumstances. You are at a loss for words and cannot seem to pray. One Christian aptly termed this “the night season.”

Today’s Scripture explains that one of the roles of the Holy Ghost in our lives as believers is that He prays for us and intercedes for us to God our Father. One of our weaknesses (“infirmities”) is that we do not know for what to pray—the Bible says we “ought” to know, but we do not know. When we know not for what to pray, God the Holy Spirit does! We need to take comfort in that if no one else is praying for us, the Holy Spirit cares enough to pray for us.

In such difficult times you need to talk to your heavenly Father in prayer. Tell Him you are confused (Paul used the term “perplexed” in 2 Corinthians 4:8). Tell God your Father that you have no idea what to do in this troubling or complex situation, but that you trust His Word when it says that His Holy Spirit is praying for you and interceding for you. The Holy Ghost knows your concerns, and He will express those concerns to your heavenly Father because He is never at a loss for words in prayer….

10,000 Words of Gibberish

Saturday, July 23, 2011

“I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue” (1 Corinthians 14:18,19 KJV).

Religion tells of being “filled with the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues.” Tongue talking is certainly Biblical, for the Bible says that certain Christians had the spiritual gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10,28,30). But, is speaking in tongues something we Christians should practice today?

Today church members claim to speak in allegedly “angelic language,” some special prayer language that only God understands. Upon listening to these people “pray in the Spirit,” we conclude it is nothing intelligent: “Hastala shandala hobbla gobbla.” Others repeat, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” This behavior is related to the Oriental religions’ “breath prayers” and uttering the Roman Catholic repetitious rosary. Vain worthless religious nonsense!

Corinth was the most spiritually immature Christian assembly Paul knew. These believers loved feel-good worship services, emotional highs, and being the center of attention (1 Corinthians 14:4,5ff.). Sound familiar? That is much of “the Church” today! Corinth abused spiritual gifts, so Paul devoted three chapters (1 Corinthians 12, 13, and 14) to address these problems. Chapter 14 deals entirely with tongue talking.

In today’s Scripture, and verses 2, 4, 13, 14, 19, and 27, Paul mentioned speaking in “unknown tongues.” That word “unknown”—absent from modern Bibles—indicates this was not God’s gift of tongues. This was some ecstatic, nonsensical utterance based on emotions: some believers in Corinth just loved to draw attention to themselves by abusing tongues (speaking in gibberish). God’s gift of tongues was always intelligent human languages, dialects (Acts 2:6-11).

Paul stated: “I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.” Talking 10,000 words in gibberish will profit nothing! Speak with intelligence, not some “angelic tongue.”

By the way, the gift of tongues ceased when God’s Word was completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-13).

The Holy Spirit: Person or Force?

Monday, July 18, 2011

“But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost? … Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:3,4 KJV).

Is the Holy Spirit a Person of the Godhead? According to the cults, the Holy Ghost is simply God’s “active force,” not God. Today’s Scripture says that the Holy Ghost is God. Will you believe God? (Will you believe the Holy Ghost?) Or will you believe the worthless, foolish tradition of men?

Furthermore, according to the Bible, the Holy Spirit exhibits the characteristics of a Person, not an inanimate force:

  • The Holy Ghost speaks, shows, and guides us into all truth (John 16:13).
  • The Holy Ghost can be blasphemed/spoken against (Matthew 12:31,32; Mark 3:29-31; Luke 12:10).
  • The Holy Ghost can be grieved/saddened (Ephesians 4:30).
  • The Holy Ghost teaches with words (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:13).
  • The Holy Ghost speaks (2 Samuel 23:2; 1 Kings 22:24; 2 Chronicles 18:23; Ezekiel 11:5; Matthew 10:20; Mark 13:11; Acts 1:16; Acts 8:29; Acts 10:19; Acts 28:25; Galatians 4:6; 1 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 3:7; Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; Revelation 3:6,13,22; Revelation 14:13; Revelation 22:17).
  • The Holy Ghost reveals (Luke 2:26; Ephesians 3:5).
  • The Holy Ghost lives/dwells (John 14:17; Romans 8:9,11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:14).
  • The Holy Ghost appoints (Acts 20:28).
  • The Holy Ghost invites or requests (Acts 11:12).
  • The Holy Ghost bears witness (John 15:26; Acts 5:32; Acts 20:23; Romans 8:16; Hebrews 10:15; 1 John 5:6-8).
  • The Holy Ghost makes intercession for us (Romans 8:26,27).
  • The Holy Ghost reasons/thinks (Acts 15:28).
  • The Holy Ghost has knowledge (1 Corinthians 2:10,11).
  • The Holy Ghost can be tested (Acts 5:9).
  • The Holy Ghost can be vexed/troubled (Isaiah 63:10).

The above verses are just a few examples of the Holy Ghost exhibiting the attributes of a Person. He is not simply “God’s active force,” as the cults suggest. The Holy Spirit is a living Person, one of the three Persons of the Godhead.