The LORD is On My Side #2

Thursday, March 1, 2012

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5,6 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is God’s Word to Israel’s believing remnant, who will suffer the wrath of Satan and the antichrist during the seven-year Tribulation. Despite the dire circumstances around them, God comforts His people Israel by reminding them of His faithfulness, that He will be with them as He was with their ancestors (Deuteronomy 31:6-8; Joshua 1:5; Psalm 118:6). But, Israel’s faithful God also happens to be our faithful God!

The vicissitudes of living in this “present evil world” (Galatians 1:4) can be very depressing. Our Apostle Paul endured depression in the ministry, especially after the pagan riot in Ephesus in Acts 19:22–20:1 (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11). But, Paul wrote, we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9; cf. 2 Corinthians 4:7-11). Beloved, our flesh is too weak to endure, so we must rely on God’s strength if we are to get through this life!

Romans 8:31 asks, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” No matter what we face in this life, we have the victory through Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:57). The “peace of God [will] keep [guard] our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7). Rather than succumb to despair, we rejoice that “our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)! God’s grace is sufficient for us to endure all of life’s troubles (2 Corinthians 12:9,10; Philippians 4:13).

We join believing Israel in declaring, The Lord is on my side! The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me!” Brethren, despite our persecution in this life, Israel’s faithful God is our faithful God and He is on our side too! 🙂

The LORD is On My Side #1

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5,6 KJV).

Although today’s Scripture is God’s Word to the nation Israel, we appreciate this doctrine and take comfort in it as its writer urged Israel to do.

Our human bodies are limited and frail; Satan’s evil world system is mighty. For centuries wicked men have imprisoned and killed Christians! As one would squeeze fruit to produce juice, so the daily struggles of life in this evil world continually batter us Christians, seemingly squeezing us until our strength is diminished and we are vanquished.

While Satan’s evil world system prevails today, it will manifest itself more fully once our Dispensation of Grace closes. It will become increasingly difficult for the nation Israel to exist once we (the Church the Body of Christ) are raptured from this earth. This horrible period following the rapture, the seven-year Tribulation, is the context of today’s Scripture.

Especially during the latter half of the Tribulation, God’s people (Israel’s believing remnant) will endure great oppression. The antichrist will persecute Israel (Matthew 10:16-33; cf. Revelation 13:10-17), even killing the Jews who disobey him by following Jesus Christ (Revelation 6:9-11; Revelation 13:4-15).

In that time, the worst period of human history, God will comfort His people, Israel, using today’s Scripture: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” This is actually quoting Deuteronomy 31:6-8, when Moses encouraged Israel not to fear her enemies as they prepared to enter Canaan under Joshua’s leadership (cf. Joshua 1:5). Psalm 118:6 is also quoted: The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”

Brethren, despite our persecution in this life, Israel’s faithful God is our faithful God and He will never leave us either (Romans 8:31-39)!

Shhhh, Grace Believers!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

“Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: so that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth” (Acts 19:26,27 KJV).

God’s Word has always been unpopular with sinful mankind, but this is especially true of the Gospel of the Grace of God. In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul is preaching the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven, angering the pagan idol makers. “Paul, quiet down, you are a threat to our ‘business’ (religion)!” Not surprisingly, we grace believers are told the same thing!

My local grace church has a television ministry. Once, viewers had great difficulty hearing the program. They would increase the volume of their televisions, but our pastor’s preaching was barely audible. When church members visited the office of the cable television provider which broadcasts the show, they learned that a technician was lowering the master transmit volume when our program would air. (The grace message was too offensive to either his religion or his sinfulness, so he was turning down the volume for all viewers!)

The Bible speaks of people who know the truth of God, but “who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:19,20)—they suppress God’s Word so that Satan’s error can flourish! In today’s Scripture, these pagans wanted to turn the crowds against the Apostle Paul. Paul would not be quiet regarding the message of God’s grace, so they were determined to kill him in a mob (see Acts 19:28–20:1)!

God’s grace, the message of Calvary’s cross, is offensive to people preoccupied with works-religion, for Calvary charges works-religion (man’s performance) as insufficient for heaven (see Galatians 5:11). Let us continue boldly sharing the Gospel of the Grace of God, and the rightly divided King James Bible, especially when they cry, “Shhhh, grace believers!” 🙂

Whom Doth Thou Really Follow? #3

Sunday, January 15, 2012

“Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is” (John 9:28,29 KJV).

In the context of today’s Scripture, Jesus heals a blind man. After he appears before the unbelieving Pharisees, they summon his parents to confirm his former blindness (verses 18-21). His parents fear being cast out of the synagogue, so they avoid admitting Jesus Christ healed him (verses 21-23). Contrariwise, their son boldly holds to God’s truth, refusing Israel’s vain religion. Thus, the Pharisees “reviled [insulted] him” (today’s Scripture). How we Pauline dispensationalists face the same persecution today!

Most Jews—especially Israel’s religious leaders—refused to trust in Jesus as their Messiah. Any Jew who embraced Jesus as Messiah was alienated by his friends and family, for the Jews who followed Jesus Christ went counter to Israel’s apostate religious system. The parents of the man in today’s Scripture feared losing their popularity, so they did not confess Christ. Eventually, the Pharisees cast out the man for following Jesus (verse 34).

Similarly, if you have trusted exclusively in Christ Jesus, and you are not relying on your good works for salvation, you are going contrary to the prevalent works-religion system of our day. The lost world avoids you because you are God’s child. Moreover, if you study and believe the King James Bible “rightly divided,” as 2 Timothy 2:15 teaches, you become even less popular. The denominationalists and religionists do not want you either!

We follow our Apostle Paul as he follows Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Since most of Christendom abhors dispensational Bible study, they keep their distance from us. The denominationalists and religionists treat us the same way the wicked Pharisees treated the Jewish believers—criticize and ostracize! Like the Pharisees, they reject sound Bible doctrine and keep their tradition. Moreover, the non-religious lost world rejects us too, for we trust in Jesus Christ while they trust in their worthless idols.

Let us continue following Paul as he follows Christ, even as they criticize and ostracize! 🙂

A Memory and a Reality

Saturday, December 31, 2011

“But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;” (Philippians 1:12 KJV).

What a prosperous ministry year it has been, beloved! How we thank our heavenly Father for the opportunities we had to teach, verbally and through writing, the precious truths of His Word to family, friends, acquaintances, professors, classmates, and complete strangers. We can only wonder how many souls were edified and saved worldwide.

Interestingly, during the past year, our newspaper ministry, this devotional blog’s “predecessor,” saw its final months. We are grateful to have had opportunity to publish Bible studies in a weekly newspaper column. (A few weeks after that avenue was discontinued in May, this devotional blog was launched. So, had the newspaper column not been cancelled, you would have never even read this blog!)

Despite the great stress, extreme heartache, persecution, and months of severe depression, we rejoice that the Gospel of the Grace of God still went forth for His glory. We agree with our Apostle Paul, who wrote in today’s Scripture that God’s Word will be published, especially during difficult times. In Paul’s case, God allowed Paul to be imprisoned so he could preach the Gospel there (Philippians 1:7,13,14)! Indeed, our suffering was well worth it. 🙂

Saints, how we thank God for “your fellowship in the gospel” (Philippians 1:3-5). We are bound to thank you, whose fervent prayers encouraged us during those painful months. By God’s grace, which has borne us thus far, we will continue to endure and we cannot wait to see what the Lord will do next year! We ask for your continued prayer, for we will face even more satanic opposition in the upcoming year.

As 2011 fades into the recesses of memory, and 2012 becomes a reality, we should keep this sound doctrine in mind: Like the difficulties of this past year, the things which [will happen unto us will fall out] rather unto the furtherance of the gospel!” Lord willing, in 2012, we hope to “continue fighting the good fight of faith…” no matter what else it may cost us (1 Timothy 6:12).

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM arC MINISTRIES!

The Left Boot of Fellowship

Friday, December 9, 2011

“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16 KJV).

We who “rightly divide the word of truth” have quickly learned to deal with being ostracized. When we share the rightly divided Word of God with denominational “Christians,” they hurriedly escort us out the front door (I speak from experience!). They encourage others to burn our “heretical” literature. They want nothing to do with us because we prefer God’s Word instead of their church tradition. Quite frankly, they give us the “left boot of fellowship,” kicking us away from their midst. (Compare this to the “right hand of fellowship” of Galatians 2:9). Beloved, take comfort; we do not belong in those religious systems anyway (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

Just as the Galatians disliked the Apostle Paul for correcting their doctrinal error (see today’s Scripture), so today’s denominationalists and religionists consider us enemies (of their church tradition). Sadly, the doctrinal problems in Galatia still confuse Christendom today… and like the Galatians, denominational church members are angered when we teach them God’s truth!

Denominational Protestant and Roman Catholic churches are alike. Although their sincere members claim the name “Jesus Christ,” they are all guilty of blatantly rejecting the truth of God’s Word that they may keep their tradition. Jesus said it best in Mark 7:9, speaking to Israel’s religious leaders who gave Him the “left boot of fellowship:” “Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.”

Denominationalists hate dispensational Bible study because it exposes their doctrinal error. Instead of believing the Bible dispensationally, they enjoy taking passages that God never gave them (that is, Israel’s doctrine). They give us “Paul-worshippers” the “left boot of fellowship” because they have already given God’s Word to them (Paul’s epistles) the “left boot of fellowship.”

Brethren, be not afraid of the denominationalists. Approach them in love, but do not compromise the rightly divided Bible. If they refuse (and they probably will), find someone who will listen to you.

“The LORD said… for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me…” (1 Samuel 8:7).

No Feel-Good Message

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (John 6:66 KJV).

Our Lord Jesus Christ was loving and kindhearted, the meekest man who ever lived. However, He boldly spoke God’s truth, even if it meant offending most of His audience. If you defend the rightly divided King James Bible, expect some of your audience to be irritated and offended. Do not compromise, for God’s preferences are always unpopular with mankind.

Unfortunately, modern-day Christendom disagrees with the Lord Jesus’ approach. Visit today’s “inspirational” bookshelves. Notice visages and names of “Christian” celebrities, authors of heretical books that teach health and wealth (the multi-volume “Spiritual Larceny Series”).

Today, most people seek a “loving Jesus,” a non-offensive “Sunday school teacher” who offers brief counsel sessions, instant healing and deliverance, and great material riches. They deliberately overlook the true Jesus, the righteous Judge who will not overlook man’s sin. Listen to the garbage on “Christian” television networks, radio stations, and websites. Even those with the most perverted theological persuasions see and hear something they like! This is reminiscent of what the Jews told God’s prophets (Isaiah 30:10): “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth [“feel-good”] things, prophesy deceits [lies!]:”

Man in his natural state hates God; he is God’s enemy. “The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7a). Our Lord Jesus Christ never spoke to entertain His audience. He taught them doctrine that would save their soul! Before it is saved, a soul will become uncomfortable. It realizes that it is headed for hell, in desperate need of salvation—salvation that it cannot provide itself.

Offended individuals in today’s Scripture permanently left Jesus Christ. His righteous statements insulted them. They saw their need for Him, the Bread of Life, and their wicked hearts despised Him.

The Gospel of Grace—Christ dying for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)—is no feel-good message. Christ’s finished work on Calvary is always offensive to religious people (Galatians 5:11): it testifies to their inability to save themselves. We politely, relentlessly, and unapologetically preach this “offensive” message.