Doubletongued

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

“Likewise must the deacons be… not doubletongued” (1 Timothy 3:8 KJV).

One sinful tongue is bad enough—but having two is even worse!

When today’s Scripture references a “doubletongued” man, we understand that to be figurative instead of literal. The tongue symbolizes our ability to talk. (We are using common sense here, are we not?) To have two tongues is to communicate two different messages, the man using one tongue to speak one idea to one party but utilizing a second tongue to express a second thought to a second group. In fact, the Greek word is “dilogos”—literally, “two words/sayings.” One of the qualifications of the “deacon,” or the bishop’s male helper in the local assembly, is that he be void of duplicity or deceit. He says what he means, and he means what he says. His words are not hypocritical. He does not tell “half-truths” either. Why would someone want to be “doubletongued” anyway?

Firstly, when we remember this is a church setting, the threat is obvious. False teachers seek to infiltrate the assemblies of God’s people. By spreading their misinformation, they further their agenda, theological system, and denomination—but they are so covert they often go undetected! Secondly, the “doubletongued” person may be seeking to be a “menpleaser” (Colossians 3:22). As long as one’s doctrine is general and never settled in specifics, he or she will attract people of all kinds of persuasions (hence, larger crowds, more books $old, et cetera!). You cannot pinpoint exactly what they believe and teach because they deliberately vary their content from setting to setting.

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears” (Acts 20:28-31). Would you want someone like this leading your local assembly? Then, dear friend, your church had better think long and hard before appointing any deacons!

We Are Just Men #5

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

“And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another” (1 Corinthians 4:6 KJV).

If there is one thing that does not belong in the Christian’s life, it is that ugly sin of pride. Egos are at stake—and may we be willing to lose them!

The Lord, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, will judge or evaluate men’s ministries, meaning they themselves are not important or above suspicion (verses 1-5). Speaking on behalf of Apollos, Paul reminded the Corinthians how they (Paul and Apollos) viewed grace ministry. It was not about “I prefer Paul,” it was not about “I like Apollos,” it was not about “I fancy Cephas [Peter],” and it was not about “I choose Jesus’ earthly ministry.” These believers at Corinth were “puffed up for one against another” (today’s Scripture). Instead of following God’s pattern for this the Dispensation of Grace, and doing it humbly (!), they were proudly exalting mere men (Paul, Apollos, Cephas/Peter) and seeing them and their adherents as competitors or enemies.

As opposed to being so shallow-minded and spiritually juvenile, the Corinthians were (and we are!) to meekly adopt this principle: “Wherefore I beseech [beg, ask] you, be ye followers of me [Paul]…. Be ye followers of me [Paul], even as I also am of Christ (1 Corinthians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 11:1). The operative words are “even as I also am of Christ.” It was Jesus Christ preached according to the mystery who ultimately mattered (1 Corinthians 3:10,11; cf. Romans 16:25,26)! God’s spokesman to them was not the Apostle Peter, and not Jesus during His earthly ministry. While Apollos was a ministry coworker of the Apostle Paul, the Lord Jesus Christ had revealed the doctrine first and foremost to and through Paul (Galatians 1:11,12; Ephesians 3:1-3; Colossians 1:23-26). Apollos had learned grace doctrines from Paul’s friends, Aquila and Priscilla, whom Paul himself had first taught (Acts 18:1-3,24-28). We magnify Paul’s “office” or ministry, not Paul the man (Romans 11:13)!

Dear saints, remember: That ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written.”

We Are Just Men #4

Monday, March 21, 2022

“And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another” (1 Corinthians 4:6 KJV).

If there is one thing that does not belong in the Christian’s life, it is that ugly sin of pride. Egos are at stake—and may we be willing to lose them!

The Holy Spirit through Paul corrected the dear saints at Corinth in chapter 3: “[4] For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal [fleshly, worldly]? [5] Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? [6] I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. [7] So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” Who ultimately mattered was not Paul or Apollos (for they were just men); God was most important, for it was His words that Paul and Apollos preached and taught in Corinth.

Now, chapter 4, the context of today’s Scripture: “[1] Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. [2] Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. [3] 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. [4] For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. [5] Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.” Concerning ministry, Paul neither evaluated himself nor depended on other people to properly assess him. He knew the Lord would do this one day—and for all saints (Apollos, the Corinthians, et cetera). Let us not think of men above that which is written….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is the ‘train’ in 1 Kings 10:2?

We Are Just Men #3

Sunday, March 20, 2022

“And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another” (1 Corinthians 4:6 KJV).

If there is one thing that does not belong in the Christian’s life, it is that ugly sin of pride. Egos are at stake—and may we be willing to lose them!

Corinth was just a two-day journey from Athens, the intellectual capital of the then-known world. Therefore, not surprisingly, Greek philosophy had infiltrated Corinth both before and after the Apostle Paul’s arrival. Human viewpoint, man’s wisdom, was a lingering problem that arrested the spiritual development of these Corinthian saints. The Holy Spirit issued frequent warnings about this in the opening three chapters of 1 Corinthians (but note particularly chapter 1, verse 17, all the way to the end of chapter 2). Philosophy—founded on heathen (natural-man, non-Christian) speculations—is definitely not the means whereby we obtain spiritual insight into God’s will and work. At the Judgment Seat of Christ, anything and everything in our soul incompatible with Pauline (sound) Bible doctrine will be considered “wood, hay, stubble” (worthless) and thus will be burned up (see 1 Corinthians 3:10-23)—a loss of Christian reward.

Although the Corinthian believers in Christ had access to the Word of God’s Grace, they were not using the indwelling Holy Spirit to properly interpret that material. God’s wisdom and man’s wisdom are two different languages, hopelessly unharmonious, the spirit of man being wholly incapable of discerning the words of the Spirit of God. “Educated” Apollos himself had to learn this in Acts 18:24-28, after being long-time behind concerning Divine revelation. Once converted to dispensational truth, he eventually became a valuable coworker of Paul in Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:4-6,22; 1 Corinthians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 16:12). Alas, the Corinthians began gravitating toward Apollos the man, Paul the man, Peter (Cephas) the man, and Christ’s earthly ministry (see 1 Corinthians 1:12-16). These denominations sprung up because, as the natural or lost man operates, people were being followed instead of doctrine….

We Are Just Men #2

Saturday, March 19, 2022

“And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another” (1 Corinthians 4:6 KJV).

If there is one thing that does not belong in the Christian’s life, it is that ugly sin of pride. Egos are at stake—and may we be willing to lose them!

Arrogance is a mark of immaturity. We have not yet learned enough, we have not grown up, to know and appreciate the full extent of our weaknesses and limitations. The result is a distorted view of reality. We have an inaccurate opinion of ourselves. Also, we lack a clear picture of those around us, individuals just as human as we are. The Corinthian assembly of saints had sufficient exposure to the truth of God’s Word to form adult spiritual thoughts and make wise spiritual decisions. For at least 18 months, the Apostle Paul himself lived in Corinth, won them to Christ, and taught them sound Bible doctrine (Acts 18:11). Later, Apollos, a convert of Paul’s converts Aquila and Priscilla, taught in Corinth too (Acts 19:1). Alas, Corinth was a center of such pride.

For example, look at these “babes in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) “puffed up” in today’s Scripture. Or, how they were “puffed up,” daring Paul to come back and straighten them out (1 Corinthians 4:18,19)! Furthermore, they were “puffed up” in connection to a fornicating brother they refused to reform (1 Corinthians 5:2). Of course, “Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth” (verse 1 of chapter 8). Finally, there was the admonition in chapter 13, verse 4, of how charity “is not puffed up;” these saints were using their spiritual gifts for the benefit of self, self, self instead of assembly, assembly, assembly. Imagine a set of bellows stirring up a fire, or a pump inflating a tire. They are swollen or bloated—unsightly in the Lord’s eyes! Consequently, the Holy Spirit through Paul intervenes, penning today’s Scripture and its context. These confused saints need godly examples of how to look at people, including genuine Christian leaders….

We Are Just Men #1

Friday, March 18, 2022

“And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another” (1 Corinthians 4:6 KJV).

If there is one thing that does not belong in the Christian’s life, it is that ugly sin of pride. Egos are at stake—and may we be willing to lose them!

Once, I spoke with an immature friend and brother in Christ who followed our ministry. When I related to him a certain problem in my life, he told me he was quite surprised to learn I even had challenges. Imagine! He did not believe I (of all people!) had problems. I quickly reassured him that I did indeed have troubles—and I would have to apply pertinent Bible verses to deal with them.

Never do we want to place anyone—especially religious leaders—“on a pedestal.” They might be knowledgeable in the Scriptures, they may have graduated Bible college or seminary (Bible cemetery!), and they might have even led us to the Lord Jesus Christ, but they are still just people who have the same sin nature we all do. They eat, sleep, and go to the restroom like everyone else! We should not “roll out the red carpet” and fall prostrate on floor when they enter the room. We should not drool with open mouths or stare at them with our eyes as large as saucers. We should not manufacture statues of them to $ell to the gullible “Christian” public. We should not seek their autographs. They are just men!

Personality cults have always been especially injurious throughout church history. Leaders have been portrayed in such a way so their followers believe they are above all suspicion of wrongdoing. Consequently, emotions cloud the issue, and people begin defending erring individuals instead of sound doctrine. For example, when a pastor or teacher is justly denounced for his false teaching or misconduct, his congregants cry out, “How dare you attack him and his ministry!” In their eyes, that man is immune from mistakes. They have not learned the lesson of today’s Scripture….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did God give the stars for nations to worship?

One Having Authority

Sunday, March 13, 2022

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes (Matthew 7:28,29 KJV).

Oh, how He preached with conviction! Oh, how He spoke like He actually believed what He said! Oh, how He imparted wisdom with such skill!

After Christ closed His remarkable Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5–7), the Apostle Matthew commented in today’s Scripture: “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” As their title implies, the “scribes” were Hebrew Bible copyists—and also Bible teachers. They were the leading, literate (able to read and write) class in Israel.

Yet, like so many religious leaders today, the scribes relied heavily—not on the Bible alone but—on what others said about it, quoting particularly the rabbinical interpretations and oral religious traditions attached to Bible verses. Think of such prefaces as, “The church says, Rabbi So-and-So says, the denominational hierarchy says, Doctor So-and-So says,” and the like. Of course, the Lord Jesus was God in human flesh, so He had no need to appeal to fallible men for authority. Any survey of His discourses yields one incontrovertible fact: the Lord was no spiritual wimp, He knew what the pure Hebrew Bible itself taught, and He unapologetically taught it to His Jewish people, that it be restored to its rightful preeminence. Where Jewish traditions had reigned supreme—uncontested for centuries—the Lord through His sermons corrected the countless erroneous beliefs besetting His nation. “This is what your Hebrew Bible really says. Here is what it says in its purity.”

Dear brethren, it is ever so important to realize we are “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). We are the Church the Body of Christ, and, as His Body, we are to be about His work! He has given us His preserved Word, the Holy Bible (King James in English!), He has given us His indwelling Holy Spirit, and He has given us the authority and privilege to teach His pure Word (dispensationally!), that it be rescued from the hands of apostate spiritual leaders, and correctly deposited into the minds and hearts of the commoners.

NOTE: Saints, after some months of delay, I have finally created and updated a “Second Decade” Master List of Devotionals Links page. This set goes back to the beginning of our Second Decade—June 1, 2021and will (Lord willing) span to May 31, 2031. Click the link here. Remember, our First Decade is here.

Redeem the Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

“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 2022!

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?

Confused Counsellors #3

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight (Luke 10:21 KJV).

Yea, the “wise and prudent” still lack insight into the things of Father God—and the “babes” are still able to perceive them.

Unfortunately, if we want advice on how to disbelieve the Bible, we should frequent services in the average “Christian” church building or attend classes at the standard “Christian” college. We can listen to “people who love and believe God’s Word” correct it, scoff at it, and so on. They expose the perversity of their spirit by complaining: “This verse does not mean what it says, that verse was likely not in the original manuscripts, this is a ‘poor translation,” that word is wrong, this term is misleading, that passage is offensive,” and so on. The Lord replies, “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent” (1 Corinthians 1:19). They will not submit to a Book—they change it and make it surrender to them. Hence, the old Book is a closed Book, and its contents sealed!

On the other hand, we can be “babes,” just as those in today’s Scripture. We humble ourselves because we are people of faith. God is right, and all who disagree with Him are wrong. Unlike adults, children are not proud: “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3,4). These humble saints in Israel are in contrast to those proud unbelievers in Israel (cf. today’s Scripture).

In the eyes of “scholarship,” we are but “unlearned and ignorant men” (Acts 4:13)—nobodies. That is okay, for “we [have] been with Jesus,” and He has taught us. Let us rejoice, stating, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth…. Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.”

Confused Counsellors #2

Monday, November 22, 2021

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight (Luke 10:21 KJV).

Yea, the “wise and prudent” still lack insight into the things of Father God—and the “babes” are still able to perceive them.

Matthew 11:25,26 (Luke’s companion passage): “[25] At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. [26] Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Here (see context, verses 12-24), and in today’s Scripture (see context, verses 10-20), Jesus responds to unbelief and opposition to the truth. His three-year-long earthly ministry halfway over, He denounces three particular faithless cities wherein He did most of His mighty works (Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum). They cannot see the truth because they do not want to see it!

Now, Matthew 15:12-14: “[12] Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? [13] But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. [14] Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” These “blind leaders of the blind” are Israel’s tradition-worshipping religious leaders, whose unbelieving “scholarship” has influenced the whole nation to be apostate (fallen from the truth). Such people saw no need for Jesus, for they were “skilled” in all religious matters. How dare He come and teach them what their Hebrew Bible said (what they had been expected to believe but had not)!

The Holy Spirit remarks concerning such souls: “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. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,…” (Romans 1:21,22). Unfortunately, many such “fools” have been leading our churches and seminaries for two millennia, transmitting their natural-man thinking to us as ancient Israel’s leaders did to her….