Weirdoes #6

Tuesday, October 29, 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.

First Corinthians chapter 3 admonishes the Corinthians to immediately cease their involvement with pagan philosophy. Like most church members today, they had not been careful in their edification. Bad doctrine—non-Pauline teaching—had severely arrested their spiritual development!

“[10] According to the grace of God which is given unto me [Paul], as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed [beware!!!] how he buildeth thereupon. [11] For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. [12] Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; [13] Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. [14] If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. [15] If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 

“[16] Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? [17] If any man [false teacher!] defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. [18] Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. [19] For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. [20] And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. [21] Therefore let no man glory in men….”

Rather than “glory in men,” praising man’s “wisdom” (philosophy), we listen to God’s wisdom….

But He Has a Doctorate!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:13 KJV).

He may have a doctorate… but does he listen to the Holy Spirit?

Recently, I counseled with a highly confused Christian. Almost 40 years after trusting Christ, she still has not been stabilized in sound Bible doctrine! Her mind was greatly scrambled by various wild ideas. When I asked her to turn to a specific verse and read it, she replied, “Oh, I know that verse,” and then she proceeded to quote another verse! This dear soul is just one of two billion church members so thoroughly deceived in Christendom. They read books about the Bible, but do not read the Bible. If they have read Scripture, it is little snippets here and there—read while wearing denominational eyeglasses. Refusing to let the Holy Spirit teach them, they approach God’s Word with countless assumptions and misconceptions.

I was honest with that poor lady: “Your preacher is not telling you the truth, and you know it. He has hidden truths from you, concepts I just shared with you by having you read Bible verses.” Earlier, she defended her pastor by rebutting, “He has a doctorate! He has been to seminary!” After our discussion, she began to see that “seminary” is often nothing but a Bible cemetery! Here is another common fallacy worth correcting. The first qualification for a preacher is not a seminary diploma—or even a high school diploma for that matter! Any human Bible teacher must first have the real Bible Teacher: the indwelling Holy Spirit is the only ultimate Instructor in the Holy Scripture.

A man led by his flesh, a man not submitting to the Holy Spirit, has no business whatsoever teaching the Bible. It does not matter if he can speak and read Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and Aramaic. It does not matter if he has been a missionary to 80 countries. It does not matter if he has water baptized 50,000 people. It does not matter if 35,000 individuals attend his church services every week. Brethren, we must stop thinking about ministry like lost people. Let us heed the warnings of 1 Corinthians chapter 2—and fast!!

Bible Q&A #660: “Who or what are the 10 ‘toes’ or ‘horns’ or ‘crowns’ associated with the Antichrist?

Pay Attention to Aid Retention

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine (1 Timothy 4:13 KJV).

Friend, have you ever wondered what you would do if someone needed help finding something in the Bible? Were you afraid you would not be able to find the verse you were looking for? Well, unless you suffer from an “aging mind,” this forgetfulness can be mitigated.

The fact is, if you have not spent enough personal (quiet!) time in the Word, then you will be unskillful in the Word. Owning a Bible is one thing, but becoming familiar with and understanding it is a whole different matter. The Holy Spirit will work in us, but only if we first have His Word in us. God does not “magically” place His doctrine in us—whispering in our ear, spontaneously planting thoughts in our mind, causing inner impressions, and so on. Christian knowledge comes only by opening the Bible, reading and comparing verses, and then grasping conclusions that ultimately become an adequate basis for faith.

As we keep reading God’s Word daily, we will become increasingly accustomed to what it says and where it says it. Locating verses with specific words or phrases is actually not that difficult when we have read them enough beforehand. The Holy Spirit takes what we have already read and He brings it to our memory so it fits with specific situations. Of course, if we have never read the Bible for ourselves, or use it sparingly, then there is little to no Scriptural information in us for Him to use. It is not (!) God’s fault!

If all we go to “church” for is to sing, dance, and engage in idle chitchat and hearing of stories, then it will be no surprise when we find ourselves biblically-illiterate at the time we need Divine knowledge the most. Today’s Scripture underscores three components to a God-honoring ministry—(1) reading the Bible, (2) urging or encouraging the saints therein, and (3) communicating Divine information worthy of their trust. Without all three, Christians will simply be spiritually clueless and crippled. If, however, we expose ourselves to God’s Word, if we pay attention to it, then the chances increase that we will recollect more of it! 🙂

The War with Amalek! #11

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim (Exodus 17:8 KJV).

What is this war with Amalek all about? Can we make application?

Dear brethren, having trusted Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we have passed from Adam to Christ, death to life, Hell-bound to Heaven-bound. But, why did God bother to save us? Why not let us go on to our deserved eternal damnation? Ephesians 2:10 explains: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” He desired to do a mighty work. We werewe are—His work. He worked to save us from Hell, to the intent that He would work in and through us to express His life in and through us. It is His words that “effectually work” in us who believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Galatians chapter 5: “[16] This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh…. [24] And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. [25] If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” How do we “walk in the Spirit?” We read and believe Pauline doctrine. The indwelling Holy Spirit will take that doctrine and work in us, and we will thus walk in accordance with it.

The heart of grace living is thus: since we belong to Jesus Christ, our sin nature has been crucified with Him (Romans chapter 6), and now we believe the Holy Spirit’s words about our new identity in order to have victory over daily sins (Romans chapter 8). Sin does not have to dominate us: “For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6:7). We have now been resurrected with Christ “to walk in newness of life” (verse 4). Read Romans chapters 6 through 8: they are the key to successful Christian living. Read chapters 12 through 16: they are specific examples of grace living. Read Ephesians chapter 4, Colossians chapter 3, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and Titus. Here are “the things of the Spirit” that we are to “mind,” the teachings on which we should concentrate. Like Israel, we can win the fight with “Amalek….”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘purloining?’

The War with Amalek! #10

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim (Exodus 17:8 KJV).

What is this war with Amalek all about? Can we make application?

Prayer occurs when we talk (silently or audibly) to Almighty God about our life in light of His Word to us. Knowing where to go in the Bible to learn that information—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—is the first step to productive Christian thought and living. Due to denominational teaching and religious confusion, however, very few believers ever discover how to use the Scriptures “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15). Hence, their thinking and conduct are anything and everything but Christian!

After we do approach the Bible dispensationally, we must believe those verses and apply them to life by faith. First Thessalonians 2:13: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” The challenge after believing the verses is to discern how they relate to our specific situations. Unless we believe what Pauline doctrine says about employment, marriage, parenting, and managing money wisely, God’s words through Paul will not profit us. God’s Word will “effectually work” only in those who believe it!

Romans chapter 8: “[26] Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. [27] And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” One role of the indwelling Holy Spirit is to take His words that we read and believe, and then, as we pray, adjust our thinking so that our words to Father God better align with His words to us. We thus pray according to God’s will (but, unless we believe the verses dispensationally, we will not know how to pray the Pauline way!!).

Therefore, prayer is how we allow the Holy Spirit to reinforce in our minds the Bible concepts He taught us when we read the Scriptures earlier….

Mother: A Virtuous Woman

Sunday, May 12, 2019

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10 KJV).

Today is Mother’s Day, so we dedicate this devotional to godly women (specifically mothers). I especially dedicate this to the virtuous woman who has been in my life for almost 31 years… my mom!

Today’s Scripture is the first verse of the Bible’s “Virtuous Woman” passage (Proverbs 31:10-31). King Solomon explained that the virtuous woman:

  • has a husband who safely trusts in her (verses 11,12).
  • is not lazy, but is strong because she works to feed and clothe her family and herself (verses 13-19,21,22,24,25,27).
  • pities the poor and needy (verse 20).
  • has a husband who is well-known because of her godly lifestyle (verse 23).
  • opens her mouth with wisdom, and speaks kindly and lovingly (verse 26).
  • has children and a husband who praise her (verse 28).
  • excels in what she does (verse 29).
  • has works that praise her (verse 31).

Verse 30 explains the virtuous woman is “a woman that feareth the LORD.”

The Apostle Paul wrote that godly women should: not slander/gossip, not be controlled by alcohol and emotions (sober minded), be teachers of good things, love their husbands and children, be cautious and modest, maintain the home, be “good,” and should obey (respect) their husbands… “that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5). A Christian woman, especially a mother, should be a virtuous woman in beliefs as well as in deed. She needs to set an example for her children (especially her daughters).

A Christian woman and/or Christian mother places her faith in this sound Bible doctrine, the indwelling Holy Spirit will then take that doctrine and transform her for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Her mind will be renewed by sound Bible doctrine, and that will transform her outward activity (Romans 12:1,2).

Are you a Christian woman or Christian mother who desires to be the woman God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest!

 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO OUR READERS WHO ARE MOTHERS!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

The Comforter #5

Friday, March 29, 2019

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever (John 14:16 KJV).

Who is this “Comforter?” What are His roles?

John 14:17 says the Holy Spirit will “dwell with [believing Israel], and shall be in [them].” Contrary to popular belief, the indwelling Spirit is not unique to our Dispensation of Grace. Through the Prophet Ezekiel, the LORD God had promised centuries earlier, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (36:26,27).

Beloved, our flesh is weak. (Right?) Despite our best efforts, we cannot live the Christian life. Only Jesus Christ can live His life—whether in Israel’s prophetic program or our mystery program. As the nation Israel will be the expression of Jesus Christ’s life in the earth in the ages to come, so we the Church the Body of Christ will be the manifestation of His life in the heavenly places. It is not we duplicating His life but rather He Himself living in and through us. There is no imitation; it is the actual life of Christ!

How exactly does Christ live in and through us though? Does He unexpectedly take control of our bodies and manipulate us as puppets? (No!) Is there some mysterious, hair-raising, gentle breeze? (No!) Bolts of lighting striking the back of our neck? (No!) The Holy Spirit wrote the Bible (2 Peter 1:20,21; 2 Timothy 3:16,17). When we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, the Spirit of God indwell and seals us (Ephesians 1:12-14). We become “an holy temple in the Lord, an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:21,22). He strengthens or fortifies us internally as we walk by faith in His Word to us, Romans through Philemon (Ephesians 3:16). Hence, daily Bible study—yea, daily dispensational Bible study—is so critical. Without the Comforter grounding us using God’s Word, neither Israel nor we can be vessels of Christ’s life!

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “What is ‘the mark of the Beast?’” and “Why is ‘666’ the number of the Beast?