If Thou Be #8

Thursday, June 11, 2015

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Corinthians 11:3,4 KJV).

Can Satan use the Bible to confuse God’s people concerning their identity? Yes, today’s Scripture says he most certainly can (and does)!

If you want to be a Christian, it is commonly said that you need to be water baptized, give tithes, confess your daily sins, pray the “Lord’s Prayer,” observe holy feast days, faithfully attend church and “worship” on the Sabbath, keep the Mosaic Law, follow Christ’s earthly ministry, obey the “Great Commission,” seek the “manifestation of the Spirit” of tongues and miracles, et cetera. Beloved, while these activities are Scriptural, they do not belong in our dispensation. So, they are advantageous to Satan’s policy of evil in confusing us about our identity.

By the way, if you do not do these activities, traditional “Christianity” does not consider you a Christian. In agreeing with the Bible rightly divided, you disagree with traditional Bible thinking. Since religious tradition is the standard rather than the rightly divided Word of God, those who disagree with religion are labeled “non-Christians.” In that warped world, “Christians” follow tradition instead of Scripture! Behold the insanity, irony, and heresy!

Religion demands we give, confess, repent, attend, observe, seek, do, to get from God and keep it. Our one baptism by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ is seen as deficient. The written, completed Bible is seen as wanting. We are urged to pursue experiences and emotions to hear more from God. Our once-for-all forgiveness is seen as flawed. The Adversary causes Christians to revert back to Israel’s system of short sin-accounts (confession). In short, our sufficiency in Christ is seen as insufficient. Talk about identity crisis! What identity theft! Satan stole their identity, and then they stole Israel’s! The Devil’s damnable statement reverberates throughout the ages, right up to our present-day—If thou be the [children] of God….”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How are we ‘able ministers of the new testament?’

Thee and Two Gardens #4

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8 KJV).

Wilt thou choose to “live” in the Garden of Eden, or in the Garden of Calvary?

Once Adam and Eve recognized their sin problem, they “sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (verse 7). Rather than seek God’s help, they attempted to cover up their problem by themselves. This was religion’s first appearance—sinful man trying to bind himself back to the holy God he offended. Their efforts failed, and they thus hid from God (today’s Scripture).

Even today, the average person ignores God’s solution to our sin problem (Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork). He or she tries everything else to deal with their sin—water baptism, prayer, alms, confession, commandment keeping, apathy, denial, et cetera. Religion failed Adam and Eve, and Israel. Dear friends, religion will profit us nothing either. If religion were useful, Jesus Christ would have stayed in heaven! Because Jesus came and died, we know religion is literally fruitless concerning the righteous fruit God demands. Religion brings nothing but irritation and heartache, just as the itchy fig leaves bothered Adam and Eve. Again, even while wearing prickly fig-leaf coverings, they knew they were naked spiritually, and hid amongst the trees as soon as they heard righteous JEHOVAH Elohim coming their way (today’s Scripture)!

To have the righteous works God demands, we must die, which is where Calvary’s cross enters the picture: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). By simple faith in Calvary’s finished crosswork, God kills us. He can do nothing with our flesh, our identity in Adam, so He gives us a new identity in Christ! Oh, what joy, what peace, what liberty, what holiness we now have. Strangely, our life begins in a tomb, the tomb of the Garden of Calvary….

The Serpent’s Subtilty #5

Thursday, September 18, 2014

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV).

The Serpent is “subtil,” so the saint must be sagacious!

Some of Paul’s converts in Corinth, Greece, were questioning his apostleship, doubting that Jesus Christ had really sent him to them. False teachers had caused them to become anti-Paul, and thus, anti-Jesus Christ: they rejected Jesus Christ speaking through the Apostle Paul. That is the context of today’s Scripture. We want to focus on verse 4 now, particularly the phrase, “another gospel:” “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

Paul feared someone would “[accept] another gospel, which ye have not accepted.” What does that mean? Prior to Paul, Jesus and His 12 apostles preached “the Gospel of the Kingdom” (Matthew 9:35; cf. Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 24:14). Acts 20:24 says that Jesus Christ committed “the Gospel of the Grace of God” to Paul’s trust (cf. 1 Timothy 1:11). “Paul’s Gospel” (Romans 2:16) is 1 Corinthians 15:3,4: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day.” Paul preached that Gospel to the Corinthians (verses 1,3)!

Unlike Peter, James, and John (Matthew 10:5-7; Mark 16:15,16; Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19-26; 1 Peter 3:21; 1 John 1:9), Paul never preached Israel’s kingdom, her gospel message to prepare for her “at-hand” (approaching) kingdom. To learn about the gospel that Paul preached, we must read Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon.

We are not saved by repentance, water baptism, confession, et cetera; we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork without our works (Romans 4:1-8). Unfortunately, there is so much emphasis on Israel’s salvation verses in most churches today, that few ever realize that Jesus Christ revealed additional information to Paul years later, special doctrine found nowhere else in Scripture. Like Eve, Satan has deceived them; they are misapplying, misquoting, and watering down Scripture, denying the contexts of Israel’s verses, et cetera. Satan’s relentless attack on God’s Word continues….

He Took My Sins Away #1

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 KJV).

The first verse of Margaret Jenkins Harris’ classic 1903 hymn “He Took My Sins Away” highlights today’s Scripture.

“I came to Jesus, weary, worn, and sad.
He took my sins away, He took my sins away.
And now His love has made my heart so glad,
He took my sins away.”

Many of us came to Jesus Christ after several years lost in religion. One day, it finally sank in that years of laboring to fulfill church demands was a faulty system because we sinners could never perform perfectly. Uttering the same prayers dozens of times daily, “holding out until the end,” weekly partaking of a sacrifice that can never take away sins, avoiding “the world’s sins,” being faithful to a church calendar of “holy days,” weekly confessing personal sins to an equally-sinful man, on and on. We discovered that entrusting our very souls to a fallible institution was eternally dangerous!

Weary, ever so exhausted from all that vain religious performance, we gave up “trying to do the best we could” because we knew our “best” would never be good enough. Like the Jews of today’s Scripture who struggled under a most severe system of Law—not only God’s pure law given first to Moses, but also hundreds of other laws Israel’s religious leaders had compiled—we were drained, disappointed, worn out.

We came to Father God by faith in Jesus Christ alone, for only He could provide us with peace with God (Romans 5:1), justification before God (2 Corinthians 5:21), and forgiveness before God (Ephesians 4:32). What our works could never do in a million years, Jesus Christ did at Calvary in just six hours. He died to “put away [our] sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26). And now, by faith in Him alone, we can enjoy His love, His peace, and His joy. We can rest in Him, we do not have to worry about where we will go when we die, for we are secure in Him (Romans 8:31-39; 2 Timothy 1:12).

Yes, He cancelled our sin debt….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Were Gentiles saved before our Dispensation of Grace?

Heart Service #11

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Romans 6:17 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is the key to being delivered from and guarded against today’s apostate Christendom.

Christendom’s greatest blunder has been to willfully disregard Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, and prefer other Bible books and/or extra-Biblical church tradition. Beloved, once we abandon Paul’s epistles, we have nothing but the Bible’s legalistic (Law-keeping) passages—almsgiving, food restrictions, water baptism, fasting, tithing, prosperity prayer promises, confession of sins, Sabbath-day and feast-day observances, et cetera—the very practices and ceremonies Christendom loves. No wonder Christendom avoids Paul—the doctrine God revealed through him does not profit their denominations (yea, that doctrine would literally bankrupt their systems instead)!

In the books of Romans through Philemon, Paul, “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13), tells us what the risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ has to say to us on this side of Calvary’s cross (not in the Old Testament); in this, the Dispensation of Grace (not the Dispensation of Law); as members of this, the Church the Body of Christ (not the nation Israel); in this, the mystery program (not the prophetic program); and in this, God’s heavenly plan (not His earthly plan). Dispensational Bible study—“rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)—allows us to recognize the passages that describe how the Christian life operates today.

Just as we trusted Paul’s Gospel—Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the fully-satisfying payment for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)—to be saved from everlasting hellfire, so we trust in it to be saved from daily sins. When Jesus Christ resurrected, He was raised to give us new life, eternal life (Romans 6:1-23, the context of today’s Scripture), life “filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11). We are righteous before God in Christ; by Jesus Christ’s resurrection life, God will produce fruit in our lives to reflect that identity. The indwelling Holy Spirit is the Person who (literally!) “brings to life” the life of Jesus Christ in our lives….

Forgiven Now and Forever

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” (Colossians 2:13 KJV).

Religion’s “short account system” of confessing sins is a misunderstanding of 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This verse has nothing to do with us for three reasons.

Primarily, we do not practice 1 John 1:9 because John is Israel’s apostle (Galatians 2:9). Paul is our apostle, not John (Romans 11:13). The doctrine found in 1 John belongs in Israel’s prophetic program, not our mystery program (the Dispensation of Grace). Confession of sins was Israel’s doctrine under the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 16:21; Leviticus 26:40; Numbers 5:6,7; Ezra 10:1; Daniel 9:20; et al.). Furthermore, in Matthew 3:6 and Mark 1:5 John the Baptist water baptized Jews who confessed their sins.

Secondly, 1 John 1:9 is not written to saved people, it is directed to lost Jews. We read in 1 John 2:12, “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.” Apparently, there are two groups of people in 1 John: some saved (forgiven), and some lost (not forgiven). In 1 John 1:9 John urges lost Jews to confess their sins in order to be saved.

Lastly, our salvation and fellowship with God are independent of our performance. We are forgiven, apart from anything we have done. In today’s Scripture, our Apostle Paul tells us that we are “forgiven of all trespasses [in Christ].” Ephesians 4:32 says, “God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” We are forgiven (past tense), not because we confess our sins, but because of Christ’s finished cross work on Calvary. In Christ, we have unbroken fellowship with God forever and ever. How many times can we be forgiven of all unrighteousness?” Only once. In Christ, now and forever, we are forgiven of all sins—past, present, and future!