333’s 3000th – We Are People of the Book!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16,17 KJV).

Dear brethren, only by God’s grace, we present to you our 3000th devotional!

Indeed, we have come a long (!) way in our daily studies in the King James Bible rightly divided. Having learned quite a lot about our Father’s Word and will thus far, we still have so very far to progress in it! We can understand and enjoy the Bible—but only if we are interested. When we use God’s Word God’s way, it becomes a blessing rather than a burden. For 3,000 consecutive days now, brethren, we have proved that beyond the shadow of a doubt. We have yet to grasp the Scriptures as we ought, but we are “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, [we are] press[ing] toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14).

We can take the inspired and preserved Word of God, read it, understand it, and believe it. Then, we can teach it to others (2 Timothy 2:2). Provided that we seek instruction, and they want to be trained, it will not be difficult to know and accomplish God’s will (cf. today’s Scripture). People have a hard time believing the Bible because their hearts and minds are so cluttered and laden with presumptions and assumptions. They need to quit presuming and assuming the Bible teaches something, and actually read it to see if it actually teaches it. Beloved, we simply cannot afford to base our eternal souls on opinions, hunches, and traditions of men. That, frankly, is wholly reckless! Hence, we continue in our Bible studies.

Thank you to those who have been with us from the very beginning, and those who have prayed for us and supported us financially. We could not have done it without you. We hope that you have enjoyed these daily grace-oriented studies thus far, and we pray we can continue to serve you in this capacity… perhaps for another 3,000 studies if our Lord Jesus Christ so desires! 🙂

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! 🙂

A Grace Study Bible

Thursday, August 1, 2019

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2 KJV).

Today, we reflect on seven full years of the arC Ministries’ Grace Study Bible Project!

Some 100 years ago, the Scofield Study Bible was published. It was a work that popularized—not invented—dispensational Bible study. For a century, the Church the Body of Christ has used this monumental aid to edify itself. It was (and still is) useful in recovering precious Bible truths that had been lost for centuries, doctrines still pushed aside by denominational hierarchies that prefer to be the “authority” with their “tradition of men.”

Seven years ago today, after much prayer and consideration, I began the formation of a new grace study Bible. Using the King James Bible, my goal in this project is to build on Dr. Scofield’s foundation laid long ago. We are (and will always be) indebted to that brother for his faithful service, his submission to the Holy Spirit to produce a profitable study Bible. (Incidentally, Dr. Scofield led a missionary to Christ, that missionary led a preacher to Christ, that preacher led a woman to Christ, that woman led Mom to Christ, and Mom led me to Christ.) What took Dr. Scofield decades to learn, we can acquire in a fraction of that time. Brother Scofield did not live long enough to progress any further in Bible understanding, but in the century since he has gone to heaven, a faithful remnant within the Body of Christ has expanded upon Dr. Scofield’s insightful notes. We recognize where he was wrong in certain areas, and we can improve those areas in our understanding and study.

In brief, some stats about our grace study Bible. We seem to be roughly 70 percent completed with it. How many more years it will take remains to be seen, but rest assured, what cannot be condensed into marginal notes or footnotes, will be, Lord willing, expanded into a full-Bible commentary book series! Stay tuned in the coming years and thank you for your prayer in this regard! 🙂

* You can read more about our Grace Study Bible Project here.

arC Ministries Is 12!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20 KJV).

To our Lord Jesus Christ’s glory, arC Ministries celebrates its 12th anniversary today!!!

Twelve years ago, as an 18-year-old college student, I endeavored to use Facebook to create a Bible study group for teens and college students. Thus, “ambassadors for the risen Christ ministries” was born. As I grew more in God’s Word rightly divided, I grew increasingly aware of the need for additional ministry projects. The more I had been learning drove me to share those precious truths with others. That eventually led me to look for supplementary avenues of ministry.

During these past 12 years, God’s grace has enabled us to continue the original group on Facebook. In addition, we have branched out quite a bit in other areas. This devotionals blog has been operating for over eight years now. For the last seven years, we have focused on developing and drafting a grace study Bible (now in its eighth year). Other ministry projects include a 22-week newspaper ministry column (this devotionals blog’s predecessor), a YouTube channel with home Bible study videos, a Twitter feed, a full-length Bible studies blog, a college campus ministry, a nursing-home ministry, and our Bible-question-and-answer blog. Three years ago, we launched our new main ministry website and now have a line of printed Bible study booklets available for sale there (new ones are forthcoming this year, hopefully). Earlier this year, we recorded and distributed our Old Testament Survey video series. Soon, we will launch our New Testament Survey video series (which will last a few years). We hear from people all over the world!

Our name says it all: we serve the risen Lord Jesus Christ, not some “dead Jew” and not ourselves. The original motto of our ministry was, “To equip ambassadors, and to encourage others to become ambassadors.” Our primary goal is to teach Christians, and our secondary goal is to evangelize the lost world. Twelve years later, we still endeavor to uphold God’s Word (King James Bible) rightly divided, whether it be in edifying the Christian brethren or preaching the clear Gospel of the Grace of God to this lost and dying world. For those of you who have been with us from day 1, thank you for your prayer and encouragement. We pray for you upon every remembrance! There is still plenty more for the Lord Jesus Christ to do in and through us, so let us give Him all the praise and glory as we enter Year 13! 🙂

Bible Q&A articles #634 and #635: “Why did the Lord Jesus never tell jokes?” and “What exactly is ‘hypocrisy?’

Not Many Likes

Friday, July 26, 2019

“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:5 KJV).

If social media were around in Noah’s time, how many “likes,” “shares,” “views,” and “re-tweets” would he have had?

Brethren, let us never (ever!) forget that we are not (NOT!) in the grace ministry to see how many “likes” we can get on Facebook, “views” on YouTube, “re-tweets” on Twitter, or “shares” and “subscribers” on any other internet platform. We are not (NOT!) in the grace ministry to see how many names and addresses we can add to our mailing list, or how many subscribers to our television shows, radio programs, and podcasts. “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12).

Honestly, if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself had social media accounts, He would have few friends. Actually, He would soon be banned for being “homophobic,” “xenophobic,” “misogynistic,” “Islamophobic,” and so on. When His orating got tough, the offended got going! “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (John 6:66).

Have you realized Bible truth is unpopular? We do not find many who have trusted—let alone, know—the Gospel of the Grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). We find few English-speaking Christians faithfully using the King James Bible. We do not find many Christians who are Pauline dispensationalists. Thus, when we share those doctrines, we should never expect widespread endorsements. So what! We are not in a popularity contest. Remember, our endeavor is to please God rather than men (Galatians 1:10); we seek God’s praise (cf. John 12:43). We are servants of Jesus Christ not mortal man (Romans 6:22).

In today’s Scripture, what ordinal number do we see? “One millionth?” (No!) “Ten-thousandth?” (No!) “One-hundredth?” (No!) “Tenth?” (No!) Noah was “the eighth person!” That meant, after 120 years of preaching, he converted seven people: his wife, their three sons, and their three wives entered the Ark with him (Genesis 6:3,18; Genesis 7:7; Genesis 8:16). The rest of the human souls on Earth—perhaps a few billion—drowned. Wow!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How could God forbid Jeremiah to pray for His people?

The Echo Heard Round the World #5

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

“So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing” (1 Thessalonians 1:7,8 KJV).

Do you see the “echo” in today’s Scripture? (Do you see the “echo” in today’s Scripture?)

Paul and his ministry companions traveled to Thessalonica (a city in Macedonia) and they preached the Gospel of Grace to lead pagan idolaters to faith in Jesus Christ: “[9] For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; [10] And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”

Sadly, some people can hear or read the Gospel dozens of times and do nothing with it. If they do happen to believe it, they seldom have fruitful Christian lives that reflect their conversion. This was certainly not true of the newly-saved Thessalonian saints. They believed and their testimony spread throughout Macedonia (northern Greece) and Achaia (southern Greece). Verse 3 again: “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.” The “work of faith” was they had “turned to God from idols,” the “labour of love” was they went on to “serve the living and true God,” and the “patience of hope” was they were “wait[ing] for his Son from heaven.”

The message of God’s grace went forth from Paul and his ministry companions, and the Thessalonians “echoed” that message through their lifestyle. It was not an imitation of Christ’s life but a resounding of His life. Heathen souls in neighboring regions and elsewhere were hearing that echo, and they too were coming to the one living and true God, also laying aside their worthless idols. This was the occasion of Paul, Silas, and Timothy writing 1 Thessalonians. May our testimony, brethren, “echo” likewise! 🙂

The Echo Heard Round the World #4

Monday, July 15, 2019

“So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing” (1 Thessalonians 1:7,8 KJV).

Unfortunately, dear friends, the Greek Bible (especially the wrong Greek one) has been utilized to “beat up” common church members. The multisyllabic Greek terms and their complicated linguistic rules are rattled off from the pulpit. Most people in the pew struggle to grasp the English Bible, so the dull Greek lessons lead to more discouragement and eventual tossing out of English and Greek Bibles alike! The Greek language is not evil. However, when it falls into the wrong hands (read that “unbelieving hands and hearts!”), it inflicts indescribable damage on God’s precious words and people. Here is how to properly use Greek in Bible study.

Draw your attention to “sounded out” in today’s Scripture. In Greek, it is “execheo.” (Can you spot the “echo” yet? Can you spot the “echo” yet?) The root word, “echeo,” appears in Luke 21:25 as waves “roaring” and 1 Corinthians 13:1 as “sounding” brass (instrument). “Echeo” is derived from “echos,” rendered news “noised” abroad (Luke 4:37), the “sound” of the Holy Spirit’s coming (Acts 2:2), and the “sound” of the trumpet blown at Mount Sinai when Moses received the Law (Hebrews 12:19). (Notice the “echo” yet? Notice the “echo” yet?)

After hearing grace doctrine from Paul, the Thessalonians believed on Christ unto eternal life. Their lives had been changed forever: “[6] And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost. [7] So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. [8] For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.” Literally, God’s Word “echoed” from the Thessalonians….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Jesus curse the ‘poor’ fig tree?