Grace Forsaken!

Monday, June 11, 2018

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1 KJV).

Grace did not leave the brother or sister—the brother or sister left grace!

A man trusted Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. He eventually discovered dispensational Bible study and left his denomination. For many years, this minister and his wife preached a pure grace message. Finally, he died and relocated to Heaven. His wife left the grace message entirely after marrying a man of her former denomination. While she did not lose her salvation, she did lose Bible understanding.

Dear friends, none of us are immune from apostatizing, willfully casting aside the truths of God for the sake of pleasing our fellow men. Galatians 3:1 says: “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” The idea of “bewitched” is someone operating under a spell, like living under hypnosis. False teachers have a powerful way with words, just as a magician would manipulate objects to fool an audience. There is no grace minister on Earth—even me (!)—who can boast exemption from ever becoming such a fraud.

Satan’s evil world system is quite charming—even a saved person’s flesh gravitates toward it. First Timothy chapter 4: “[1] Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; [2] Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;….” These “seducing spirits” are preacher’s voices (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:8—“the spirit of his mouth”). To “seduce” literally means “to lead away.” A “reward” or “delight” motivates someone to abandon his or her position or duty. In order to “depart from the faith” they had to first be in it!!!! Religion feels good, dear friends, for it provides grounds for boasting (see Galatians 6:12-14).

Whether the sins of the flesh (humanism/worldliness) or the sins of the spirit (asceticism/religion), may we do our best to gently recover, if possible, our ensnared brethren (2 Timothy 2:24-26)!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Naaman want some of Israel’s soil?

Hated But Humble

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you (John 15:18,19 KJV).

We are hated but humble!

A new Christian emailed me in exasperation. Tired of how people had treated him, he wanted to go to heaven and leave this planet of such great evils! He explained he did not care how he lived anymore—even if those frivolous actions made other Christians or lost people stumble! Thankfully, the Bible truths I shared with him helped him recover himself out of the snare of the Devil.

That brother needed to be reminded Jesus Christ was treated most horribly. He was hated without a cause(John 15:25). People have various reasons for hating us. Some are justified. Perhaps we lied to or about them, or stole from them, or cursed them out! However, they had no reason to hate Jesus Christ. He did nothing wrong—to them or anyone else. All Christ did was preach God’s truth and love, and they demanded His crucifixion!! Despite how they treated Him, He still lived righteously for the sake of His Heavenly Father whom He represented. Brethren, let us do the same, remembering not to live unto ourselves, but unto the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Philippians chapter 2 exhorts us: “[3] Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. [4] Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. [5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why do we suffer?

Paul and Dispensationalism #11

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:3-5 KJV).

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

The goal of dispensational Bible study, particularly Pauline dispensationalism, is not simply to fill one’s head with Bible knowledge. There is no spirituality in drawing the Bible timeline. No spirituality is in merely talking about God’s grace and Paul’s special ministry. Spirituality is when you know where to go in the Bible to find your information and then using that information to benefit others (“charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned”). Grace doctrine is not meant to be kept secret, spoken only when you want to argue. Grace living is to be… lived!

Our goal in sharing dispensational truths should never be to pick fights, debate, et cetera. Religion has deceived many, many precious people. We should seek their highest good (“charity”). They need to learn God’s truth, and we who know God’s truth should share that truth in love and gentleness. We have the doctrine that can save them from their sins, renew their minds, mature them spiritually, et cetera. How marvelous! How exciting!

Unlike modern-day Ecumenists who minimize doctrine, bulldoze denominational barriers, and simply “fellowship with all ‘Christians’ around the love of ‘Jesus,’” today’s Scripture says Paul approved sound doctrine and exposed false doctrine. Paul commanded young Timothy to rebuke false teachers in Ephesus. They were not to teach any other doctrine than what the Lord Jesus Christ had taught them through the Apostle Paul. Actually, the Bible says their error was legalism (1 Timothy 1:6-11), forcing the Mosaic Law into Christian living. Paul had predicted this apostasy years earlier in Acts 20:28-35. Paul had encouraged them, verse 32, to embrace “the word of [God’s] grace.” This was the Bible rightly divided—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, the grace doctrines!

The Truth Triumphant to Timelessness

Sunday, July 5, 2015

“The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11 KJV).

Thankfully, the truth to truly triumph to timelessness!

Regarding the legalization of homosexual unions, it is said, “Love has triumphed!” Yes, love for self has triumphed, but not love for the Bible of the living God and certainly not love for the living God of the Bible. Yea, rather, hatred for the Bible of the living God and hatred for the living God of the Bible, have triumphed… for now. As today’s Scripture says, in the end, God Almighty, not “love,” will win!

Oh, dear friends, be not angry at the world for acting like the world. That is the only lifestyle they know. Before we came to faith in Jesus Christ, we were and did likewise: For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another” (Titus 3:3). Let us tell the lost world we were once exactly where they were—going our own merry way to hell. Let us tell them that we came, by simple faith, to Jesus Christ and Him alone, that they too may receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven.

What has JEHOVAH determined to do no matter what mankind does (cf. today’s Scripture)? Ephesians 1:8-10 says: “[8] Wherein [the riches of His grace] he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; [9] Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: [10] That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him;”

In the end, God’s government will prevail. Jesus Christ will sit on His rightful throne. He will reign over all the Earth and the Heavens in His own time. Unbelievers will be consigned to an eternal lake of fire. God’s Word will prevail. God’s design in marriage and childbearing will prevail. JEHOVAH God will prevail and the eternal victory will be His. Let us patiently watch Him bring it to pass! 🙂

Filthy Feet with Hideous Hearts

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

“[Jesus] riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” (John 13:4-6 KJV).

How willing are you to grab someone’s stinky feet and wash them?

A pastor friend of mine frequently refers to how Jesus bothered to wash the disciples’ smelly feet (today’s Scripture). Imagine what those feet were like. They had been in sandals for many hours (it was now nighttime), sweating in that hot Middle Eastern sun all day, caked with sand. What gritty, filthy, stinky feet!!

Here we have “the Lord from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47) coming to Earth and wanting to wash the dirty, foul-smelling feet of sinners! But, that is not all. The hearts of sinners are much more putrid-smelling to God’s nostrils. Yet, He still chose to come to Earth and wash those dirty hearts that were connected to those dirty feet.

John concluded the passage: “[12] So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? [13] Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. [14] If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. [15] For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. [16] Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. [17] If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

As the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ could have made sinners wash His feet. Instead, He followed the local custom and humbly chose to wash their feet instead. (Peter was shocked!) What lesson can we learn here? Simple. If the Almighty Creator was meek, we have no reason to be prideful!

When Peace Means Distance

Sunday, February 15, 2015

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18 KJV).

What wonderful advice to save ourselves headache and heartache!

Recently, some Christians who were dealing with an unbearable Christian family member, asked me for advice. Today’s Scripture summarizes what they should do. They are to live “peaceably” with the gossiper and liar—sadly, in their case, peace is only possible long-distance! Beloved, we are not doormats. The Holy Spirit’s guidance in dealing with Christians who are fornicators, covetous, idolaters, railers (uttering constant bitter complaints against people or things), drunkards, and extortioners, is “with such an one no not to eat” (1 Corinthians 5:11). Have no social relations with that Christian until he or she improves. But, what if they never reform? Then never have social relations with them.

Through the years of ministry, I have met some very obnoxious people, lost souls and Christians (!). Even today, honestly, it is best to avoid them as much as possible. They are troublemakers who delight in disgracing and destroying sound Bible ministries. They had no desire to hear what the Bible says, and no desire to uphold what the Bible says. While I love them as the Lord Jesus Christ would, and I forgive them in Christ if they have done me wrong, that does not mean that I have to seek them out and be around them and hear or read their nonsense. If they are hungry, or thirsty, and they come to me for help, that is something else entirely (Romans 12:20), but I have no reason whatsoever to go after them and attempt to reform them. They were already given verses that they rejected, and I will not force myself on anyone.

Beloved, the mature Christian should most definitely attempt to correct or reform a wayward brother or sister in Christ in meekness and love (Galatians 6:1), but eventually we must “reject” the “heretick.” After the first and second admonition (warning), we need to leave the person alone and move on to something more worthwhile (Titus 3:10,11). Sometimes peace means distance—it is a shame but long distance may also be necessary!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who will have children in the Millennium?

His Blood Be Upon Us… Not!

Monday, February 2, 2015

“And when they had brought them [the apostles], they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us (Acts 5:27,28 KJV).

Did not Israel’s religious leadership remember that they condemned themselves long before the Lord’s apostles did?

Several months prior to today’s Scripture, Jesus’ trial occurred: “[24] When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. [25] Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children (Matthew 27:24,25).

Luke 23:20-24 supplements Matthew’s account: “[20] Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. [21] But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. [22] And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. [23] And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. [24] And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.”

At Jesus’ trial, Israel’s religious leaders cried, “His blood be on us, and on our children!” Today’s Scripture says they now, nearly a year later, are recanting their “guilty plea.” Now, they pretend to be innocent! In today’s Scripture, Israel’s high priest admits he greatly objects to the apostles’ preaching that Israel killed Messiah Jesus (cf. Acts 2:22-24,32,36; Acts 3:12-18; Acts 4:10-12). Rather than admitting wrong-doing, they blame-shift and say the apostles’ message is flawed. Peter, in the verses following today’s Scripture, again reaffirmed Israel did indeed kill her Messiah (verses 29-32).

Friends, do not be surprised when lost people—especially religious people—tell you they are “not that bad.” Israel’s religious leaders tried to use the same “escape-hatch” with the apostles. Let us not be discouraged, but preach God’s grace in love, meekness, and boldness! 🙂