It is the Lord’s House!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:22,23 KJV).

It isHisBody indeed!

Church leaders should be concerned about the countless heresies that threaten to undermine and dissolve their assemblies. Doubtless, they must vigorously guard their pulpits, careful not to let false teachers slip in and do the Devil’s “dirty work” among God’s people! Yet, some well-meaning Christians have overwhelmed themselves in this regard. They spend most or all of their time and energy seeking and refuting error—leaving little to no time and energy to study the truth they already have in the Holy Bible rightly divided!

Moderation in the ministry is key, for even good things can be taken too far. It is easy to get caught up in addressing this error, that heresy, this splinter doctrine, that new “fad” belief. The Christian must always keep things balanced. Focusing on one issue and ignoring the rest is unwise. Yet, focusing on everything to the point where you cannot firmly grasp any one Bible doctrine is also imprudent. Eventually, the Christian will adopt the self-view of “saviour”—“I must save the Body of Christ from this, from that….” That believer will then worry about “correcting” everyone, hunting people down and making sure they have the right doctrine. Many sleepless nights will result—“Without me, all Christians will be deceived. I must warn every last person about every single doctrinal inaccuracy.”

Dear brethren, relax! There is no need for exhaustion. Our English word “church” is ultimately derived from the Greek kurios, meaning “lord.” To wit, “church” means “the Lord’s:” it is an entity that belongs to Him. The Church the Body of Christ is just that—it is His Body. He can and will take care of it. He nurtured it before we were born and He will take care of it after we die (if He tarries and we die). Rather than worrying about all congregations, we need to be focused on our individual group (assembly, family, et cetera). We maintain the testimony of sound Bible doctrine there, and let other leaders do the same with their group! 🙂

A Grace Study Bible

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

“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 five 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.”

Five 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 50 to 55 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.

Bible Q&A #405: “Do the words “to be” belong in Romans 1:7 and 1 Corinthians 1:2?

arC Ministries Is 10!

Monday, July 31, 2017

“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 10th anniversary today!!!

Ten 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 10 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 six years now. For the last five years, we have focused on developing and drafting a grace study Bible (now in its sixth 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. Last year, we launched our new main ministry website and now have a line of printed Bible study booklets available for sale there (40 new ones are forthcoming this year, hopefully). 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. Ten 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 11! 🙂

Please note that you can support our ministry financially by securely giving here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux. Thanks!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What are ‘lewd fellows of the baser sort?’

The Lord Jesus Christ is Everything!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:5-7 KJV).

We are not important; the Person we preach is!

Many months ago, I gave a Gospel tract to an employee at a local store. A coworker in the ministry recently informed me he had had a Bible conversation with a worker at that store. It was the same man I had dealt with! When I later spoke with a local sister in Christ, I discovered she had talked with that man about the Bible many years earlier. As it turned out, she planted the seed, and then the brother and I watered. Perhaps she actually watered too—maybe some other Christian reached him before she.

The conversion of a human soul is a slow process. It can take many years or several decades. Some people never do trust Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. They do wind up going to Hell. Still, others do get saved—but we may not live to see it. It does not really matter what we witness but rather that we witness. There is a responsibility on our part to “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). Regardless of what we see, what people do with that Word is up to them. Never do we “twist arms” or force people onto their knees. All we do is offer, extend, hold out, the plan of salvation. We cannot believe for them, but we can give them a message worthy of their belief.

Furthermore, “God… giveth the increase.” He alone can cause that word of life to impart life to the lost and dying sinner. While we want to force or rush things, we dare not. We cannot give the increase because we are powerless; we can only plant and water (along with other Christians). This is the work of the ministry, laboring with other believers, putting self aside, and endeavoring to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Saviour! He is everything!

Instructing Those That Oppose Themselves

Friday, June 30, 2017

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will (2 Timothy 2:24-26 KJV).

How do we combat Bible ignorance? We “in meekness instruct those that oppose themselves!”

We all begin life as physical babies but we do not remain in that state. Eventually, we grow up and become adults. Rather than depending on others all our life, we increasingly do for ourselves. Just as we move on in our experience in life, so we become better aware of what is going on and what is expected of us. It is abnormal for us not to make such progress. We all grow at different rates, but we still grow. For an adult to think and behave like a small child is most tragic, and sadly, most churches today are nothing but spiritual nurseries. Spiritual immaturity is not a sin. Prolonged spiritual immaturity is!

Colossians 2:7 says of the Christian life: “Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” The Lord Jesus Christ is the source of the Christian life. We are edified in Him. We should be “stablished [stabilized] in the faith:” that is, we are spiritually steadied, not “children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness…” (Ephesians 4:14). The key is to be “taught” sound Bible doctrine—and there is rarely any teaching going on in Christian assemblies today. Most of the focus is on music, dancing, singing, liturgy, ceremonies, and prayers!

Friends, so many Christians are living contrary to who God has made them in His Son, Jesus Christ. In humility, gentleness, we must use the Word of God rightly divided to warn them, to teach them, to tell them how to come to the knowledge of the truth and escape the snare of the Devil! We must “instruct those that oppose themselves!”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should I preach the same Bible messages I have preached before?

333’s 2200th – God’s Word Spoken Faithfully

Thursday, June 8, 2017

“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:28,29 KJV).

Here it is, beloved, devotional #2200!

Outside of churches, you will find myriads of Bible doubters. If you have not learned it yet, friend, you will make a shocking discovery. There are scores of Bible doubters in many such churches! Nay, we take it a step further—those doubters were trained by thousands of doubters who graduated from “Bible colleges” and seminaries!

“Scholarly” people often disagree with our studies. They so fervently cling to theology and denominations. One of their chief complaints is that we have a final authority—the King James Bible. Another grumble is that we share Bible verses that expose the traditions of men. “Christian” religion has deceived so many billions of precious souls. We are honored to do our little part in exalting the truths of God’s Word rightly divided. Although we are a small ministry, we are growing daily. I enjoy hearing from people who are so thankful for our studies and eagerly share them with others. Obscure passages have been made plain. Christians are understanding and enjoying their Bible—some for the first time ever! Lost people are coming to Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour!

Friends, we have God’s Word, and we have “spoken [it] faithfully” for 2200 days now. I often tell our ministry audience, “We never know who we will meet in Heaven!” It would do us well to remember that especially today. For just over six years, a written dispensational Bible study has been posted here. It is impossible to know just how far those studies traveled and to what homes reaching what families. We have prayed for our audience from Day 1; we do it even now. This has not been done in vain, and it is still bearing much fruit throughout various countries. Heaven will be a wonderful time to meet, but, for now, we go onward in Jesus Christ… to #2300! 🙂

The Books and the Parchments

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

“The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13 KJV).

Winter is approaching (verse 21). The Apostle Paul is in Rome, in prison and cold, asking Timothy to bring him a coat he left far away in Turkey. Moreover, he tells Timothy to also bring him two classes of items—“the books” and “the parchments.” Precisely what are they?

Firstly, we can think of the “books” as “scrolls, writings”—the biblia. They may have very well been previously written Holy Scripture. Paul wanted to do some studying. “Parchments” corresponds to the Greek word membranas—“membranes” (sheets of animal tissue, as in a sheepskin—their “paper,” for lack of a better word). Evidently, Paul wanted to do some writing as well.

Secondly, we can think of the “books” as non-Scriptural works. That is, they may have been secular sources. Remember, Paul demonstrated himself to be familiar with and knowledgeable even in heathen/non-Christian literature (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12). Notice how the Apostle was careful to say, especially the parchments.” There is more emphasis on these parchments than on the books. The parchments, though obscure, are special. Could they have been the Holy Scriptures, thus taking precedence over the secular works? Perhaps.

Paul had written just moments earlier in the chapter: “[6] For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. [7] I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: [8] Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Whatever those “last-minute” items were, dear friends, our Apostle chose them of all things to occupy his time remaining on Earth. He wanted to keep his mental and spiritual faculties active right up to the very end. Even though his earthly sojourn was rapidly drawing to a close, he desired to continue learning. How much more should we today, who expect to live for many more years or decades?!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did Goliath suffer from a brain tumor?