Open Spaces and Empty Thoughts

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

“A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jeremiah 5:30,31 KJV).

What is God’s controversy with ancient Israel?

I once accompanied an older Christian on a shopping trip. As he entered the parking lot, an empty lane near the store caught our attention. He told me, “The Lord knew we were coming,” and proceeded to park his vehicle there. God allegedly had cleared the way for us to get a good parking space so we would not have far to walk!

With all due respect, foolishness needs to be called out as foolishness. God is not in the business today of giving us empty parking spaces close to stores. There is not one Bible verse to support it; it serves no eternal purpose. Yet, this is not an isolated incident. Religious tradition has conditioned us the world over to embrace all sorts of wild ideas—beliefs that have absolutely nothing to do with God’s Word to us. It is vain superstition and utter silliness. We have to think like mature Christians instead of small children. If our Christian life is to function as God intended, we must have a renewed mind (Romans 12:1,2).

In reference to “God knowing we were going to the store,” what should we conclude if there are no vacant parking spaces adjacent to the building? Did He not know we were coming? If He knew, why did He not give us an open spot? I have shopped many times and not found a space next to the store. Does God does not love me? Why does He not want me to have an open lane?

Today’s Scripture is God upset with Israel. They have let religious leaders so thoroughly confuse them. Not only that, they “love” it: they enjoy those religious “highs,” feel-good doctrines, emotional experiences, pathetic superstitions! Meanwhile, it does nothing for them but harm their souls. God is righteously angered that Israel has allowed herself to be contaminated. Dear friends, may we get into the Pauline Books, Romans through Philemon, and fill our heads and hearts with that!

Bible Q&A #490: “Who are the ‘fearful’ in Revelation 21:8?

Setting Dates of Disappointment

Saturday, April 14, 2018

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 KJV).

Did you notice the precise date the Holy Spirit provided here? (Neither did I!)

Bible prophecy, already rather difficult, becomes insufferable if not approached dispensationally. Wherever dispensational Bible study is absent; deception, confusion, and disappointment are present. Failing to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) is a total disregard of how God designed His Word. Expect nothing but trouble!

Concerning Israel’s program, Scripture issues exact numbers of years, months, and/or days when God will act regarding the Jews (for instance, see Genesis 15:13-16; Daniel 9:24-27; Luke 13:7,8; Revelation 11:2,3,11; Revelation 12:6,14; Revelation 13:5; Revelation 20:2-7). However, in our mystery program, God gives no dates whatsoever: the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon, are utterly “calendar-less.” Consequently, we do not know the length of the Dispensation of Grace, when this Age of Grace will close.

Therefore, whenever sensationalist “date-setters” tell us, “The Rapture is coming on—” or “The Second Coming will occur at—;” they want nothing more than attention to sell their book or DVD and start a cult. Regardless of their purpose, Satan’s policy of evil has tricked them. Until our program terminates, whatever prophetic dates Scripture does provide have no meaning. People persistently attempt to limit our dispensation’s duration by using values from Israel’s prophetic calendar. Despite their best efforts, it will never work. Frustration, unbelief, and mockery are certain!

In today’s Scripture, we see the Rapture, our gathering unto Christ to meet Him in the air (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:1). If the date were so important, why did the Holy Spirit never reveal it to Paul in today’s Scripture or anywhere else? Should we thus be setting dates? No! Saints, our Lord Jesus Christ could come at any moment. Let us live like He may come today; let us plan like He is not coming for another 10 years! 🙂

To Know Your Christian Life

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid (Romans 6:14,15 KJV).

Friend, have you ever wondered how to know your Christian life?

Long ago, a ministry coworker trusted Christ. Weeks later, his mentor inquired, “Do you find it hard to live the Christian life?” My friend said yes. The wise man replied, “No, it is impossible.” As my friend grew disheartened, the man clarified, “You cannot live the Christian life. Only Jesus Christ can live His life!

Religionists have taught us to make ourselves holy so God will accept us. Water baptisms, commandments, penance, vows of poverty, prayers, confessions, and tithes are allegedly “stepping stones” to gaining God’s fellowship. “Faith without works is dead,” they always like to remind us (James chapter 2—Israel’s verses!). They erroneously believe that successful Christian living means our works (cf. today’s Scripture). We live in the Dispensation of Grace (Ephesians 3:2); therefore, we are under grace not law! Still, that does not mean that God does not care how we live.

Titus chapter 2: “[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; [13] Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; [14] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Here is grace living. God gave you in Christ forgiveness of all your sins forever. What will you do? Keep asking for daily forgiveness—or just enjoy what He already gave you? He redeemed you; Christ’s blood paid to release you from sin’s slave market. What will you do? Ignore it and keep sinning? It is Christ’s life in and through you, not you living for Him (Philippians 1:21). Most believers have no understanding of grace doctrine; consequently, they are confused, burdened, and frustrated. When you simply rest in God’s provisions in Christ, though, what liberty, understanding, and joy. Christian living depends on God’s works! 🙂

For more information about Christian living, you may see: https://forwhatsaiththescriptures.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/lords-will-for-christians/.

NOTE: Having expanded upon the “Original 7 studies” for the fifth time, our fifth foundation (studies #2501-#2507) is now installed. Onward we press in maturity… and to #3000! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why ‘unclean until the even?’

How to Know Your Apostle Paul

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office” (Romans 11:13 KJV).

Friend, have you ever wondered how to know your Apostle Paul?

Initially boasting, “I do not follow ‘some man,’ I go by what ‘Jesus’ says;” professing Christians subsequently assemble at their denominations where manmade traditions masquerade as pure Bible. There, they have been trained to snatch “charming verses” out of context. Since each Bible dispensation differs, and religionists “pick and choose” verses from multiple dispensations, countless combinations and divergent denominations result. Some follow Moses, but most stress Christ’s earthly ministry and the (transitional) Acts period. Yea, denominations arise when Bible readers fail to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). They do not understand which dispensation applies to them—namely, God’s spokesman to them.

The Book of Acts records God’s dealings with man in “time past” giving way to the “but now” (Ephesians 2:11-13). With Saul of Tarsus’ conversion and commission in Acts chapter 9, God temporarily suspended His dealings with the nation Israel and began forming the Church the Body of Christ with any believers (Jew or Gentile) in Christ’s finished crosswork at Calvary.

Christ Jesus told Saul/Paul (Acts chapter 26): “[16] But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; [17] Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send [apostello—cf. today’s Scripture] thee, [18] To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

Therefore, we read: “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:…” (Ephesians 3:1,2). Since the ascended Lord Jesus Christ sent Paul to us, we find God’s instructions for us today in the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon. Avoid the abounding confusion; take heed to Christ’s heavenly ministry!

For more information about Paul’s apostolic authority, you may see: https://ambassadorsfortherisenchristministries.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/pauls-apostolic-authority-verses/.

How to Know Dispensational Bible Study

Monday, April 9, 2018

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

Friend, have you ever wondered how to know dispensational Bible study?

People often inquire, “Why are there so many churches?” Expectedly, precious few of those tens of thousands of professing “Christian” denominations understand and appreciate the Holy Bible. Unfortunately, they are “lost” in the Scriptures, unable to make any sense out of them. No wonder they are tempted to—or actually do—completely throw out the puzzling and contradictory Bible! Since all groups quote some verses, using the Bible to sort out the confusion appears impossible. Yet, today’s Scripture allows us to not only answer but even avoid those spiritual catastrophes—“study… rightly dividing the word of truth.”

A “dispensation” is simply a particular set of instructions that God gives to man for his faith and obedience during a definite time (see 1 Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 3:2; Colossians 1:25). We must (!!!) recognize and “rightly divide” the various dispensations as God has already done. Verses will become destructive and the Bible loathsome if we ignore dispensational contexts and boundaries (timing). Provided that we want to believe the Word of God, and not promote a denominational agenda, absolutely nothing here is difficult.

Religionists consider “dispensational Bible study” dirty words, curse words, profanity. Their denominational doctrine is threatened, and they know it! If people understand the Bible by themselves, they will no longer depend on the denominational hierarchies for “guidance” (brainwashing)! Dispensational Bible study is simply placing the Scriptures on a timeline. Just as we sort secular history instead of jumbling all the events and peoples together, so we recognize God’s arrangement of the Scriptures to form a wonderful, sequential layout.

Ephesians chapter 2 provides three invaluable timeline markers—“time past” (verses 11,12), “but now” (verse 13), and “the ages to come” (verse 7). Acts 3:21 shares information God has spoken… since the world began.” Romans 16:25-26 mentions knowledge God kept secret since the world began” but has now revealed through the Apostle Paul. Unless we organize Bible verses dispensationally—whether history, present-day, or prophecy, and involving either the nation Israel or us the Church the Body of Christ—we will be hopelessly flummoxed by Scripture!

For more information about dispensational Bible study, you may see: https://333wordsofgrace.wordpress.com/whats-dispensational-bible-study/.

How to Know the Holy Bible

Sunday, April 8, 2018

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16,17 KJV).

Friend, have you ever wondered how to know the Holy Bible?

Years ago, like most, I assumed all Bible versions said basically the same thing; oddly, I was also a King James Bible critic. Then, instead of naïvely repeating hearsay, I began researching. The beautiful leather covers, insightful study notes, contemporary English, extra-wide margins, attractive graphics, “unparalleled scholarship,” and large print aside, something quite sinister underlies the Bible versions issue. God’s chief enemy, Satan, wants to remove the Bible from its place as the final authority. Genesis 3:1-5 captures Satan’s first words spoken in Scripture: if he can question God’s Word, add to it, take from it, water it down, or completely deny it, he has you on his side without you realizing it!

Anglophone (English-speaking) Christians once had one voice because they used one standard set of Bible manuscripts. This ceased approximately 140 years ago with the arrival of contemporary English Bible translations based on completely different manuscripts. Consequently, verses are now removed, words have been inserted, and familiar Christian phrases are watered down. Roughly 200 modern English versions have now been released to the general public. Many Bible translators and publishers—not necessarily Christians but shrewd entrepreneurs—see economic incentives. Moreover, those exalting heretical (counterfeit) Bible manuscripts hide their motives by releasing nocuous yet “easy-to-read” English versions. Sadly, today’s “Bible scholars” are usually not interested in maintaining and defending the integrity of the Holy Bible.

The King James Bible has served the Church the Body of Christ well for over 400 years. A sure foundation in this ever-darkening, ever-depreciating world, it has withstood the test of time. We cannot afford to be waffling between hundreds of English Bibles; alas, to Satan’s delight, much of the professing church is doing just that. Friend, if you are to be “throughly furnished unto all good works” (today’s Scripture), then you must (!) have the inspired, preserved Word of God for English speakers—the King James Bible. Your Christian life depends on having that final authority!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What are the ‘sins that are past’ in Romans 3:25?

Successful!

Friday, March 23, 2018

“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:1-3 KJV).

Without further delay, saints, let us realize how to be successful!

Today’s Scripture is some of the Apostle Paul’s final words to young Timothy. The Roman government is preparing to execute the imprisoned, aged Apostle for preaching an “illegal religion.” After 35 years of glorious grace ministry, Paul is finally going Home—to the third heaven!!!

Notice a portion of the Holy Ghost’s concluding words to us the Church the Body of Christ. In all the “ups and downs” of life and ministry, we are to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Remember, when all else fails you, in the end, God’s grace will remain to sustain you. Paul is moving on to “be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:23). As his mentor passes off the scene, it is vital that Timothy never forgets that grace will abide. No matter how rough it gets down here, because of everything that Father God can do for us through Christ’s finished crosswork, we can endure it. Never should Timothy (or we) overlook that.

Furthermore, Paul instructs Timothy, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” God taught us through Paul so we can teach the same to others. The key word here is same:” we do not change the message, do not compromise the doctrine, and do not water down Pauline truth!! Timothy should never forget this either—especially since mass apostasy (many Christians abandoning truth to embrace error) surrounds him.

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” In light of what was just stated, we are to “endure hardness” (“suffer trouble,” 2 Timothy 2:9; “endure afflictions,” 2 Timothy 4:5). Saints, an intense spiritual battle is being waged. We have a vicious Adversary (Satan) to face. Nevertheless, we are “good soldiers of Jesus Christ.” We will win only because of God’s grace! 🙂