Willfully Ignorant!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:5,6 KJV).

Ignorance is not a sin; willful ignorance is!

Recently, I attempted to teach a professing Christian lady quite steeped in her religious tradition. After I explained how she had not been taught the truth, I believe (for just a few seconds) she saw in her heart the plain facts of Scripture we discussed. Immediately, however, she shut out that light. She said the Bible was “complicated,” “hard to follow” here. Basically, refusing to forsake her warped theology, she dismissed Scripture as “confusing.” Frankly, I let her have her ignorance. When she stopped the conversation, so did I. She was clearly deceived, but willfully ignorant. Nothing more could be done for her. We changed subjects.

Later, I spoke with two other professing Christian women. One dear soul, certainly unsaved, had no interest whatsoever in hearing how to have her sins forgiven, a right standing before God, and an eternal home in Heaven. She told me not to speak about that to her anymore (and I have not!). The other woman, allegedly a believer in the Gospel of Grace, did not care about sound Bible doctrine. She was “too busy” with other issues—evidently “more important” ones. That evening, I talked with a Christian brother whom I have known for some years. As I offered Biblical insight concerning the anxieties and troubles bothering him, he expressed disagreement with the verses. Decades of religious tradition had gripped him tightly, and he had gripped it tightly too!! (He then hung up the phone!)

Similarly, in today’s Scripture, deniers of God’s wrath deliberately ignored His truth. He had judged the world with the Great Flood that destroyed nearly all Earth’s biosphere. They merely had to read and believe the preserved record of Genesis chapters 6-8, but they refused and claimed obliviousness! Dear friends, may we not follow their example. To be unskilled in the Word of Righteousness is one thing; to be firmly uninformed, fervidly declining to learn the truth, is entirely different!

A Tattered Book

Thursday, October 18, 2018

“Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end” (Psalm 119:33 KJV).

Today, my primary print Bible turns 15 years old!

I am looking at it now. Its pages are stained with oil from my fingers. The margins have brief notes scribbled on them. Its ragged cover finally fell off recently—but I glued it back together. Highlighter colors decorate its pages. I have memorized its layout, where verses and passages sit on the sheets. Pages have been folded, torn, and wrinkled. Dear brethren, my (and your) spiritual growth came at its expense. It has truly become my “best friend,” having been useful in writing thousands of Bible studies over all these years.

When my parents purchased it for me, this King James Bible meant little to me. I had been saved for about eight years, but I was still extremely denominational in my Christian understanding and practice. For the first few years I owned it, I read a verse or two a night. There was no serious Bible study. How shallow I was—how ignorant I was! When two dear brothers in Christ shared dispensational Bible study with me over 10 years ago, the “Old Book” became a “New Book”… and now it has literally become (physically) an “old” Book! As God’s Word worked in me, I desired to enter the ministry. With all these years passing, the Holy Scriptures have become more and more understandable and enjoyable. Of course, the more reading and studying I have done, the more worn-out the pages have become. However, it may have another 15 years of use left!!

Human nature is independent—especially of God. It is defiant, unwilling to listen to Divine instruction. “I will believe what I want!” “Let me be my own person!” “I will do it my way!” Contrariwise, today’s Scripture is the attitude of the believer in the God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ. A believer submits to God’s authority, words, and direction: “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart” (verse 34). Brethren, let us allow the Holy Spirit to teach us His words, the way of His statutes, that we keep it unto the end, too! 🙂

Translated Judgment #7

Saturday, September 22, 2018

In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe (1 Corinthians 14:21,22 KJV).

While it is commonly overlooked, today’s Scripture describes God’s righteous judgment on a certain group of unbelievers. Who are they? What is God’s message to them? Who is delivering that message?

First Corinthians chapter 14 outlines the six rules that regulated the gift of tongues (which gift the Corinthians were abusing). When the Holy Spirit was involved, these six principles were always in place. Any deviation, even slightly, meant that the experience was artificial and satanic. Someone was striving in his or her flesh to mimic or counterfeit God’s work.

Primarily, tongues served as a sign to the nation Israel (today’s Scripture). Secondly, twoor maximum, three—individuals were to speak in tongues during one meeting (verse 27). Thirdly, the speakers had to take turns, and not talk over each other (verse 27). Fourthly, the tongue had to be translated or the speaker was to remain silent (verses 27,28). Fifthly, only men spoke in tongues (verses 34,35). Lastly, there was to be decency, order, self-control (verse 40). These six rules describe the only type of speaking in tongues the Holy Spirit has ever (!) endorsed!

It was particularly important that tongues be translated. This interpretation allowed unsaved Jews to not only hear a foreign language (recognizing God’s judgment on their nation), but also learn God’s Word in their own native tongue (whatever it happened to be). An intelligible message, as opposed to gibberish, afforded them an opportunity to be convicted of their sin and converted to faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Now that that Acts transitional period is over, God dealing with Israel has passed, so the spiritual gifts have ceased (1 Corinthians 8:8-13). We have a completed Bible, total revelation from God, and thus temporary spiritual gifts and fragmentary revelation are unnecessary (2 Timothy 3:16,17; cf. Colossians 1:25-27).

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “Did Saul of Tarsus ever meet Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry?” and Did Paul just hear Jesus’ voice, or did he see Him, too?

Translated Judgment #6

Friday, September 21, 2018

In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe (1 Corinthians 14:21,22 KJV).

While it is commonly overlooked, today’s Scripture describes God’s righteous judgment on a certain group of unbelievers. Who are they? What is God’s message to them? Who is delivering that message?

Here are two simple Bible verses that will revolutionize the way you view God’s Word. “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:22). “Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48). Signs are Israel’s national heritage (see Psalm 74:9). When we come to today’s Scripture, we thus see that one of these “signs” is the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues: “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not….” The unbelievers during the Acts period were the nation Israel (Acts 9:23,24; Acts 13:45-48; Acts 17:5,13; Acts 18:6,12; et cetera).

In Isaiah’s day, Israel hearing foreign languages meant that her LORD God’s judgment had fallen on her for her unbelief and disobedience. Similarly, Israel hearing the gift of tongues working amongst Paul’s Gentile converts signified to Israel that her God was now operating in the world without her. It was a drastic change in program. God had taken the spiritual gifts—what had belonged to Israel—and given them over to the Gentiles. The gift of tongues operated amongst Paul’s Gentile converts so as to provoke to salvation in Christ the unsaved Jews scattered around the world.

The gift of tongues was not meant to be entertainment (as the Corinthians were using it—see 1 Corinthians chapter 14), but rather a clear testimony to Israel. It was important that the Corinthians correct their abuses of this most special spiritual gift. Today’s Body of Christ would do well to take heed to these verses, and address and fix their misunderstandings and misuses of spiritual gifts….

Bible Q&A #535: “Who are the ‘Grecians’ in the Bible?

To Esteem the Greater Words #5

Monday, September 10, 2018

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 KJV).

Friend, do you pay more attention to the words of men than the words of God?

Moved by the Holy Ghost, King David remarked in Psalm 19: “[7] The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. [8] The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. [9] The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. [10] More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”

How many in this materialistic, greedy world can say with David that they desire God’s words more than gold, even much fine gold?! Who claims those Divine words are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb?! How many in our deceived, gluttonous society agree with Job that they esteem God’s inspired words more than their necessary food?!

Such a Man is quoted in Isaiah 50:4,5: “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” Here is the Lord Jesus Christ speaking of God the Father, 700 years before the former’s earthly ministry (check verse 6). Christ treasured every word that His Heavenly Father spoke to Him, so much so that He obeyed it without fail. Satan’s evil world system would not—and did not—distract Him from what information carried eternal value.

Brethren, may we be especially careful to listen to and believe Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, God’s Word to us today. “But [Jesus Christ] answered and said [to Satan], It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Most importantly, may we remember those words! 🙂

To Esteem the Greater Words #4

Sunday, September 9, 2018

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 KJV).

Friend, do you pay more attention to the words of men than the words of God?

While precious few—even Christians—know it, an invisible and spiritual battle is being waged. It involves the souls of all mankind!

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; ) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Satan’s policy of evil prevents man from understanding what God wants him to know. Competing information distracts from the truths of God’s Word rightly divided. If we Christians are not vigilant, Satan will deceive even us. Therefore, we must grow to maturity in sound Bible doctrine! That is our only hope in guarding ourselves.

Ephesians 4:13-16: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

Job, in today’s Scripture, did not have a competed Bible like we do. Yet, what divine revelation he had was highly important to him. In fact, he preferred God’s Word to eating physical food….

To Esteem the Greater Words #3

Saturday, September 8, 2018

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 KJV).

Friend, do you pay more attention to the words of men than the words of God?

Various and sundry ideas circulate around the world. When we remember that Satan is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), it should not shock us that most of those ideas are lies (cf. John 8:44). Our challenge is to use the Holy Bible to guide us as we evaluate and separate fact from fiction. Therefore, it is a most serious matter when people start tampering with the Bible text. The King James Bible is God’s inspired, preserved Word for us English-speaking people. Never forget that!

Consequently, it should concern us when commentators remark, “This King James word is wrong, that verse does not belong, leave out this italicized word….” The authority is taken from the Bible and given to fallible men. Instead of Scripture correcting men, men arrogantly correct Scripture. Satan is relentless in attempting to substitute his words for God’s words. Using a corrupted Bible to gauge truth and error is wholly silly. A defective standard is most useless. If we are not willing to use a measuring stick with missing numbers and/or unequally-spaced lines, why be comfortable using a perverted Bible to judge doctrine? Ludicrous!

God gave us His inspired and preserved words to provide us with “renewed minds.” After supplying 11 chapters of basic Christian (grace) doctrine, the Holy Spirit opens Romans chapter 12: “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.” When we read the right Bible text (King James Bible in English), and we “study…rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), we will come to recognize the truth. Then, despite all the lies swirling around us, we can esteem the greater words….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Paul circumcise Timothy but not Titus?