No Light in Them

Friday, May 26, 2017

“And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:19,20 KJV).

Why is there “no light in them?”

Circa 700 B.C., the Holy Spirit through the Prophet Isaiah cautioned Israel in today’s Scripture to be very careful who they let guide them in spiritual matters. After all, just like today, Satan had a counterfeit religious system with preachers and precepts. Israel was admonished to stay close to God’s revealed Word to them, particularly the Mosaic Law (the foundation of their God-given religion). The Law was their standard of truth; conflicting teachings were to be ignored. God told Israel that, if someone disagreed with “the law and the testimony,” that person had “no light in them.” That is, there was spiritual ignorance.

In Romans chapter 1, we see how God gave up the evil Gentile nations back in Genesis chapter 11: “[21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. [22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…” (cf. Ephesians 4:17-19). Sinful man experiences this spiritual darkness when he rejects the revelation from and of God. JEHOVAH God told Israel to avoid such people. Moreover, Jesus said of Israel’s corrupt religious leaders who misled the common Jews: “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14).

Sadly, such “blind leaders of the blind” have infiltrated and subverted most “Christian” schools and churches for the last 2,000 years. Hence, many preachers deliver “Bible lessons” that are nothing but spiritual nonsense—“warmed-over” philosophical speculations of men. Gullible Christians, not grounded in sound Bible doctrine, sit under such “instructors,” ultimately deviating from God’s truth themselves even further. Ignoring the Holy Spirit’s teaching ministry (1 Corinthians 2:1-16), they attempt to make sense of the Scriptures in their own minds, to no avail. “It is because there is no light in them!”

Not a Game

Thursday, April 6, 2017

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able (1 Corinthians 3:1,2 KJV).

Many such “Corinthians” can be found in churches today!

Recently, I watched my young nephew play a mock baseball game with his teammates. They have been practicing for some weeks; their “real” games are coming soon. Some boys threw, caught, and hit very well; most were clumsy. Coaches repeatedly advised them to pay attention. While their teammates batted, instead of watching and learning tips, they played around in the dugout. On the field, they looked up and around when they should have been watching the ball. One little boy, after hitting the ball, just stood there instead of running to first base. Another hit the ball and ran toward the dugout before the coach pointed him to the base. A coach fussed a player for taking off his glove when playing outfield. As I observed them playing, I just could not help but think that Father God is grieved because He sees similar behavior in the professing church!

Friends, inexperience is not sinful; prolonged immaturity is. Even the greatest professional athletes were unlearned at one time. Still, they practiced and matured, perfecting their sport. What would be sad is if they were no better playing today than when they first practiced many years ago! When I see many professing “Christians,” I see the aforementioned baseball game. Very few players pay full attention; they have focused their eyes on everything but what matters. Those “running” (busy) usually have no sense of what they are doing or where they are going! Perhaps they have been saved 40 or 50 years, but are still asking the same basic questions. Instead of listening to the “coaches” (or sound Bible preachers and teachers), they joke around on the sidelines.

They have not followed the Pauline edification process; they have not matured as God intended. Knowing nothing about dispensational Bible study, and ignorant of God’s grace, their flesh runs their life, which explains their confusion and misery. They must realize—Christianity is not a game!

Redeem the Year!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 KJV).

What great advice for 2017!

Despite 2,000 years of Bible schools and seminaries, 2,000 years of a completed Bible canon, 2,000 years of Bible reading in churches, several decades of “Christian” television and radio, and just over a decade of widespread use of “Christian” websites, how sad that Bible ignorance is still quite extensive (it is as if God never gave His Word to start with!).

Frankly, the Church the Body of Christ needs to wake up! The verse previous to today’s Scripture says, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (verse 14). Paul, loosely quoting Isaiah 60:1, reminded us that the spiritual ignorance that gripped Israel in Isaiah’s day seized Christians in his day—and it still grips Christians 20 centuries later. Feel-good sermons, enjoyable “worship” services, and rites, rituals, and ceremonies will NOT solve this problem—they exacerbate it!

“[God] will have all men to be saved…” (1 Timothy 2:4a). Do you want this New Year to count for God’s glory? First, you need to get saved from sins and hell! You need to become a Christian by trusting in and relying on Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). That is only part of God’s will for you, for 1 Timothy 2:4b continues, “[God] will have all men… to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Now, God’s will for your Christian life is daily, personal Bible study to renew your mind, so your faith in those verses can cause God to work in your life—it will be His life, thus making you “perfect [spiritually mature], throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

Today’s Scripture urges us to buy back the time Satan has robbed from God (time created for God’s glory). By faith, we need to make that time glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by applying His Word, particularly Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon, to our lives. Have a good year in Christ! 🙂

You can download our free “One-Year Bible Reading Schedule.”

See our archived Bible Q&A: “What Scriptural advice can you give me for the New Year?

By the way, I recently wrote and released a 45-page special Bible article, “The 2016 United States Presidential Election: A Bible-Believing, Grace Perspective.”

Kindergarten Work!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe (Hebrews 5:12,13 KJV).

Have not spiritual “kindergarten work!”

Years ago, in high school, our art teacher grew very frustrated with lazy students. We were expected to turn in four art projects every six weeks. Many times, he gave the class lectures about “kindergarten work.” That is, teenagers were submitting artwork equivalent to that of four- or five-year-olds! He was not being overly critical. I remember some of the work—mere scribbles on paper!! They did not put their heart into it and their work reflected their poor attitude.

Every Christian is at a different level in his or her Bible understanding. It is certainly not a sin to be unfamiliar with large portions of Scripture. Before we can grow, we must be immature. The problem is when we refuse the edification process found in the Word of God rightly divided. We want to stay with “kindergarten work”—the absolute bare minimum of understanding and behavior.

Unfortunately, some Christians have not grown in the Bible in years. They refuse to open up the Bible and study on their own. Rather, they depend entirely on pastors and Bible teachers. Pastors and Bible teachers are necessary, but to continually use them as “crutches” is very dangerous. If we depend entirely upon them, never studying on our own, we will get no further in the Bible than they are! If they are not matured in Scripture, then we will not be either! If they are confused about the Bible, then we will be too!

Verse 14 says: “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” This is the spiritual maturity we need to reach as Christians. It is not sinlessness, but rather an increasingly awareness of what God is doing and what He wants us to do today (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

By the way, if our studies have helped you mature in the Word of God rightly divided, will you consider donating securely to us at https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux? Thank you!

Bible Q&A #299: “How does one know if he or she is maturing in the Word of God?

Leave Off Contention!

Monday, August 22, 2016

“The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with” (Proverbs 17:14 KJV).

Before contention starts, stop it!

Recently, two Christian sisters expressed heartache and utter disgust about a church split. Their families are broken. These two ladies had diligently labored at that local church, only to have “Christian brethren” stab them in the back. One lady’s children were treated horribly there. Hence, one son still rejects Jesus Christ. Another son, although saved, is angry and bitter. These two ladies are still so deeply hurt; they have repressed the pain for years. Making matters worse, their families mistreat them even todayover 20 years after the church split!

One lady poured out her heart to me, asking how to deal with these people whom she still sees in public today. Should she greet/acknowledge these so-called “Christians?” Or, should she just go on her way without approaching them? Well, it depends on who this person is and what he or she did. Furthermore, we are never to force ourselves on anybody. If they want to run away from us, let them. If they approach us for a hug or handshake, we should oblige. The least we should do is smile. We want to be a light for Jesus Christ’s sake.

However, some people—even professing Christians—have no interest in reconciliation. Pride prevents admission of wrongdoing! So, they will use any and every opportunity to curse, yell, or snub their nose at us. We should not set ourselves up for such silliness. Some people are simply looking for attention and will throw various sorts of tantrums to get it. You know who they are. Friend, you need to stay away from them. They are simply tools of Satan and you should not let Satan get the advantage.

The verse I shared with this inquisitive sister was today’s Scripture. If you know trouble is coming, the best thing to do is not approach the person at all! It has nothing to do with holding grudges. It has everything to do with keeping your testimony. You approach that person, and it just may be an occasion to the flesh—for you and/or the individual. “Leave off contention, before it be meddled with!”

Eyes on Christ, Not on Me(n)!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV).

A lady with whom I recently dealt just learned that one of her former pastors has lately turned himself in to the police. He did some inappropriate things many years ago, and he has finally admitted his guilt. Understandably, she was heartbroken. My words to her were loud and clear, “Keep your eyes on Christ, not on men!”

It is not uncommon for church members to exalt the apostles, or even today’s church leaders, as though they were/are super-humans or even gods. (Friend, I certainly hope that you do not worship me or consider me as anything special! I give all praise and glory to my Lord Jesus Christ! He alone is to be worshipped and considered special!)

Today’s Scripture summarizes the warnings previously listed in verses 1-12. Just as Israel started off well but later abandoned God’s promises to her and ended up deceived, so we can start off well in Christ and end up deceived by that same evil world system. Do not say it will not happen to you; it just may!

Verse 14 follows today’s Scripture: “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” The Corinthians had already fallen into the trap of idolatry (false religion). Paul instructed them to return to the truth. Lest anyone think they cannot repeat Israel’s apostasy and the Corinthians’ apostasy (departure from the truth), verse 12 sternly warns: “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

Brethren, we should certainly not look down upon Christians who have fallen into sin. Pray for them and help them if you can (Galatians 6:1-5). Today’s Scripture says we may fall into those same sins ourselves. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, who will never fail us, who is always, always, always faithful. Let us not focus on men—they have failed us before and will doubtless fail us again and again!

Prayer and the Word

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4 KJV).

Any ministry worth anything must have these two elements—prayer and the ministry of the Word.

When the book of Acts opens, Israel’s Little Flock grows more and more. Please note that while early Acts has absolutely nothing to do with us, the Church the Body of Christ, we can still learn a valuable lesson. As these Jewish kingdom saints are pooling together their wealth (Acts 2:44,45; Acts 4:31-37; cf. Luke 12:31-33), goods are being distributed to needy believers. They are living for one another—a picture of God’s earthly kingdom yet future!

Chapter 6 of Acts, the context of today’s Scripture, says: “[1] And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians [foreign Jews] against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. [2] Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. [3] Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. [4] But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”

The 12 apostles, unlike so many (clueless) church leaders today, actually knew their priorities. It was not to distribute funds to those in need. Rather, they chose seven honest, Spirit-filled, wise men to undertake that task. The 12 apostles were very much aware of the importance of prayer and the ministry of the Word. They were to continue talking to God in light of His Word to them, and they were to continue telling others His Word to them. Every other responsibility could be delegated elsewhere.

Philanthropic issues are all well and good, but when our churches are too busy organizing blood drives, clothing drives, food drives, et cetera, they are ignoring prayer and God’s Word. They need to get their priorities straight, lest their “ministry”—void of God’s words and power—vanishes!