Limited (for a Limited Time!)

Friday, November 1, 2019

“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 KJV).

What we see now is not what we will see forever!

Enduring bodily illness is certainly no fun (I currently speak from firsthand experience!). Alive in a fallen world, cursed by sin and death, pain and suffering are inescapable. Indeed, “We humans are creatures of habit.” We do not like change and grudgingly accept it (if ever). However, sin’s curse on creation is limited, and we Christians thus welcome our substantial transformation coming one day!

It is impossible to imagine functioning in anything other than these bodies of flesh and blood. We cannot fathom living in a world without sickness and death. These debilitating, dying bodies are all we know. Yes, all the “healing” claims aside, the death rate is still one apiece! We are all growing older, we will grow sicker, and, short of the Lord’s coming, we will all die. Here is the blunt reality of the curse of sin—something from which none are exempt. It has absolutely nothing to do with God being “unfair” or “uncaring.” Actually, He does care, and it is not yet His time to introduce a new and better order.

Life in this world is not easy; the Bible never told us it would be. Regardless, life in another world—that world free of sin, pain, suffering, and death—is one day closer. We need not be discouraged, brethren. What we see with our physical eyes will not last. It is passing, an experience wholly incomparable to the endless ages to come. Our glorified or resurrection bodies can be seen through the eyes of faith in sound Bible doctrine (see 2 Corinthians 5:1-8). One day, we will take up residence in those perfect and eternal bodies, and permanently abandon these deteriorating, restricted ones. We are limited… but only for a limited time! 🙂

Weirdoes #1

Thursday, October 24, 2019

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).

Brethren, we may be unfairly judged of other Christians and/or the world, but the final verdict will come of the Lord.

Dear friend, we Pauline dispensationalists seem to be the least Christian people on Earth. After all, our beliefs largely differ from—an understatement if there ever were one!!—what is commonly passed off as “Christian.”

We do not water baptize, we do not tithe, we do not confess sins, we do not observe the Sabbath day, we are not legalistic, we do not call religious leaders “reverend” and “father,” we do not look for “signs,” we do not seek healing miracles, we do not strive to see visions and dreams from God, we do not look for angels, we do not have “altars” in our church buildings, we do not assemble at “God’s house” but we ourselves are God’s house, we refuse to be called “religious,” we do not claim to exercise spiritual gifts, we avoid excessive “praise and worship” (running, jumping, dancing), we do not engage in rituals and ceremonies, we do not follow church tradition, we do not believe we are Israel, we believe in a literal and physical return of Christ to take His people to Heaven, we believe He will establish Israel’s literal and physical Davidic kingdom one day on Earth, and so on.

Considering the above doctrinal statement, just what sort of Christian group are we? Christendom dismisses us as cultic, heretical, “church splitters.” We are often “quarantined,” treated like lepers with a contagious ailment. It is no secret that we get “weird” looks from church members when we explain the Bible rightly divided. “I have never heard of that before!” “If this is true, why do so few people believe it?” “Why do you study the Bible so much?” “You worship Paul!” “There are so few in your church or Bible study!” “What is wrong with you?” “You are a Bible fanatic!” “You have a problem with every church!” “You disagree with all denominations!”

Today’s Scripture says such persecution should not bother us….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “The ‘judgment seat’ or the ‘bema seat?’

Paul and Dispensationalism #18

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Christendom abounds with deceived, confused, heartbroken, and bitter people. Why? Drawn away from God’s grace, they live in a fantasyland. Why? Claiming Israel’s verses as their own just failed them miserably, but they are in denial.

Touting their “gifts” of “healing,” imitating “Jesus’ miracles,” they lay hands on the sick… only to have those ill further deteriorate health-wise and then (?) “die in peace.” Delusion! Parading their “healing” powers, they themselves purchase health insurance, use prescription medications, and visit emergency rooms when “the Lord does not come through.” Delusion! They handle venomous snakes “as Jesus commanded” and pay the ultimate price—physical death (maybe spiritual death, too!). Delusion!

They hear prosperity preachers claim Israel’s “wealth” verses, and delightful “testimonies” of those who received “enormous sums of money from God.” Then, they spend their savings purchasing candles, prayer cloths, books, good-luck charms, saintly medallions… such arrangement ensures only the prosperity preachers prosper! Delusion!

Paul teaches us that God’s grace is sufficient in all circumstances (today’s Scripture; cf. Philippians 4:11-13)—daily hassles, sickness, suffering, poverty, et cetera. When someone offers you a “miracle healing,” a “material blessing from God,” a “divine transfer of money,” they are drawing you away from God’s grace, which grace God the Holy Spirit says is enough! Dear brother or sister, He gave it all to you already in Christ (Romans 8:32; Ephesians 1:3; Philippians 4:19; Colossians 2:10)! You have all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). God has nothing left to give! 🙂

Paul and Dispensationalism #12

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

“Brethren, be ye followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample” (Philippians 3:17 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Many earnest Christians say, “I do not follow man. I go by what Jesus said.” Bless their dear hearts—they follow the traditions of men by following Jesus’ words to Jews. Jesus Himself said He was not God’s spokesman to us Gentiles: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Are you a lost sheep of the house of Israel? Then, Jesus’ earthly ministry does not apply to you (2 Corinthians 5:16)!

Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13) whereas Jesus Christ is Israel’s Apostle (Hebrews 3:1). It thoroughly astonishes Bible readers to learn that the Apostle Paul is the person we should follow, not Jesus in His earthly ministry. Jesus never said we Gentiles need to follow Him. However, we do find Jesus Christ speaking through Paul and instructing us to follow Paul as he follows Jesus Christ. “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:9).

Friend, if you do not know where to go in the Bible to retrieve God’s Word to and about you, you have no hope in ever understanding the Bible. You will not know the baptism valid for you; you will not know how to handle sickness; you will not have a clear Gospel message to believe; you will not know how to pray; you will not know how God’s Spirit works in you today as a believer; you will not know how to function as a spouse, child, student, parent, boss, employee, pastor, teacher, neighbor, citizen; and so on.

You cannot find victorious Christian living in the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, the early part of Acts, or Hebrews through Revelation. If you want victorious Christian living, you must go to the Holy Spirit’s instructions found in Paul’s 13 epistles, Romans through Philemon. This is the key to Christianity’s doctrinal dilemma!

When Reality Catches Up

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:22,23 KJV).

Paul reaffirms that the Christian is not promised good health in this the Dispensation of Grace!

Scanning a newspaper sometime ago, I read the “obituaries” page and noticed a rather peculiar item—the death notice of the wife of a local “faith healing” pastor! (Her cause of death unknown.) Or, consider the well-known “faith healer” who was recently suffering cardiopulmonary issues and had to be hospitalized. More lately, a “faith healer” preaching on the internet recounted the time when he experienced influenza (and there was no instant healing for him!). All the “healing” claims aside, even the “faith healers” purchase medical insurance, grow sick, seek medical help, and, yes, they eventually die, too.

Dearly beloved, we can deceive ourselves into believing “healing” testimonies and attending “healing” crusades, or we can just believe today’s Scripture. As long as our Dispensation of Grace is operating, there can be no divine intervention regarding physical healing: “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Someone may object and say that this verse does not apply to us Christians. The next verse of today’s Scripture answers them: “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

Our physical bodies have not yet been redeemed. They are still subject to sin, sickness, and death (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Thankfully, by God’s grace, we have immune systems, medical professionals, and prescription drugs. Even when these are not enough, and we must succumb to physical death, in Christ, we could not be headed to a better place! Above all, no matter what type of sickness or trouble, God’s grace is truly sufficient, surely enough, for us to bear it, that it not destroy us spiritually (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Spiritual fortitude—may we have it when we have bodily illness, that misery not have us (Romans 5:1-5)! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Was Saul a pastor, a prophet, or an evangelist?

Praying Like Elijah #13

Monday, March 2, 2015

“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (James 5:17 KJV).

Why did Elijah pray like this, what was so special about his prayer that God answered it, and how can we have our prayers answered of God?

The ascended, risen, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ revealed the mystery to the Apostle Paul over the course of nearly 35 years. This information was completely different from what God had revealed to the Old Testament prophets, the writings Paul had studied intensely when he was lost (see Romans 16:25,26, Ephesians 3:1-12, and Colossians 1:23-27). Now that God had ushered in a new dispensation, Paul had to think differently about God. He had to quit praying according to the old divine revelation, and pray according to the new divine revelation.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 12, after talking about the various visions and revelations of Jesus Christ he had, Paul discusses how he was humbled: “[7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. [8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.”

“We know not what we should pray for as we ought” (Romans 8:26b). Since there was more revelation from God coming, Paul was, in 2 Corinthians 12:8, not praying according to the new program. He was still thinking of God’s promise to deliver Israel from problems. Verse 9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” There, in that awful, vexing circumstance, Paul learned one thing—God had given the grace, the capacity, to endure it. Rather than deliverance, Jesus Christ promised inner strength, inner fortification, inner power, to bear the trouble.

Paul had to readjust his view of problems and prayer, and we will let him tell us how we should go about doing it….

Praying Like Elijah #12

Sunday, March 1, 2015

“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (James 5:17 KJV).

Why did Elijah pray like this, what was so special about his prayer that God answered it, and how can we have our prayers answered of God?

“Rabbi Shaul” was one of the most educated Mosaic scholars of his day. From a very early age, he had studied the Mosaic Law. Learning those Old Testament scrolls, he came to understand that whenever his people Israel suffered any sickness/plague, war, calamity, et cetera, it was divine punishment. He noted how Israel’s conversion and prayer resulted in God removing the problem.

Once “Rabbi Shaul” became “Apostle Paul,” he was intensely persecuted. To Gentiles and Jews alike, he was a renegade Jew, a peculiar fellow. Formerly a religious leader who could not stand to even hear the name “Jesus of Nazareth,” now a “religious leader” who could not stand to be silent about the name of Jesus Christ! Now that he was not preaching Judaism, Israel was after him! Now that he was preaching an illegal religion, Rome was after him! Now that he was not preaching blasphemy, Satan was after him!

We read in 2 Corinthians chapter 12: “[6] For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. [7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. [8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.”

Satan afflicted Paul with something that constantly irritated him (there is Scriptural evidence that it was likely ophthalmic in nature). Three times Paul prayed to the Lord for deliverance, and Paul was shocked to learn the Lord’s answer….