When I Know Your State

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state (Philippians 2:19 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is an example of ancient “distance learning….”

Writing his Epistle to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul is in prison in Rome (cf. Philippians 1:7,13,14,16), over 600 miles (965 kilometers) to the east. There are no cell phones, computers, emails, text messages, social-media platforms, or television sets to instantly convey news among God’s people. Hence, one of Paul’s distresses was how to speedily learn of his converts’ progress—or lack thereof—in sound (grace) Bible doctrine (cf. Philippians 1:25-30).

After enumerating his various ministry difficulties (2 Corinthians 11:23-27), he added: “Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (verse 28). Overseeing the Christian assemblies scattered throughout the Roman Empire was exhausting, particularly since false teachers lurked everywhere and sought to corrupt these new believers in Christ with legalistic doctrines: “Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:… For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter [Satan] have tempted you [with false doctrine and persecution!], and our labour be in vain” (1 Thessalonians 3:1,2,5).

Closing Colossians, chapter 4, Paul wrote: “[7] All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: [8] Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; [9] With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.” Tychicus and Onesimus would be the couriers, bringing this very Epistle to Colosse, informing the Colossians of Paul’s situation in Rome. Similarly, as today’s Scripture indicates (cf. verses 23,24), Paul would send Timothy to Philippi with news, and Timothy would report back to Paul. Paul intended to be released and visit Philippi, but it is unclear if that transpired. Epaphroditus was the courier of Philippians (2:25,28,29).

A Ready Writer

Monday, June 28, 2021

“The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it” (Psalm 68:11 KJV).

Dear brethren, only by God’s grace, I mark 15 years of writing ministry today!

A few weeks before my seventh birthday in the flesh, I trusted Jesus Christ alone as my personal Saviour. My family and I had been in and out of local denominational churches for many years, always fleeing some type of false teaching. That hectic routine went on for the first decade of my Christian life.

Fast-forward to my senior year in high school. With graduation approaching, I wondered what to do in life next. I suddenly began to have a renewed interest in the Bible. Out of church for a few years, my well-meaning mother bought me a “feel-good,” bestselling “Christian” book. (Only later would we learn just how corrupt it really was, and how it deceived us to our spiritual detriment!) I had always liked writing short stories and poems, and this book inspired me to write about spiritual matters. Those early rough-draft, experimental or practice “Bible” studies of mine spanned six months. On June 28, 2006, I began writing formal drafts. Although having a slightly better grasp of Scripture, I was still writing like a good denominationalist! One sincere relative suggested I enter seminary after high school. Looking back, I am ever so grateful to have declined the opportunity to attend Bible cemetery and experience further confusion.

Throughout 2007, the Lord used two faithful brothers in the grace ministry to teach my parents and I; we recovered ourselves out of the snare of the Devil (2 Timothy 2:24-26). By that time, I was several months into college, pursing a degree in Earth science, constantly fending off all the anti-Scriptural humanism bombarding my young, impressionable mind. With my dispensational Bible study underway, I was strengthened in the inner man, finally understanding and enjoying the Scriptures. No amount of intellectual persuasion—even nine years of it (!)—would move me from sound Bible doctrine!

Here we are, dear brethren, now 15 years into the writing ministry. Thousands of daily devotionals, hundreds of Bible question-and-answer articles, and an upcoming grace study Bible have resulted. I still have so much more to learn about Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery, so onward we go to further maturity in grace (Philippians 3:12-15)! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does ‘sottish’ mean?

333’s 10th Anniversary: Our Fellowship in the Gospel!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

“Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:4-6 KJV).

Only by God’s grace, “333 Words of Grace” celebrates its 10th anniversary today!

Dear saints and readers, as you can imagine, it is quite difficult to believe we started this journey exactly one decade ago. When we started back then, we never dreamed we would be where we are now. A lot has changed in our world and ministry since God enabled us to launch this project in 2011. Some of us are still on planet Earth, “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Yet, the rest of us have since gone on to Heaven. We are all awaiting the day when we will be reunited as one family in Christ!

I want to personally thank you all for your prayerful and financial support through these last 10 years, “your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now” (today’s Scripture). It has been a real honor to be your minister or servant here. Our goal when we began was to have “clear and concise daily studies from the King James Bible rightly divided.” We have strictly followed that objective, being mindful to avoid the endless rambling of—and worthless chatter in—so much supposed “Christian” literature. Our aim was to preach Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery (Romans 16:25,26), that saints be thereby edified and strengthened in the inner man. Grace living, Romans through Philemon, is the answer to victorious Christian living! Also, we endeavored to proclaim a clear Gospel of Grace to the lost world, that they may be saved from the penalty of sin (2 Corinthians 4:3,4).

Over all these years, we have been ever so thankful to our Heavenly Father that we have steadily matured in the Word of God rightly divided. Howbeit, we still have much more growing to do, so we have much more studying to do. While we have come far, let us be willing to go further. Now, by God’s grace, to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, we open another 10 years of “333 Words of Grace!” 🙂

P.S.: If perchance you would like to take a look back over the last decade of grace-oriented devotionals, check out the master list by clicking here.

Diminish Not a Word! #5

Monday, May 31, 2021

Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: (Jeremiah 26:2 KJV).

No matter how offensive they are, we never water down God’s words for anyone!

Today, the Dispensation of the Grace of God committed to the Apostle Paul’s trust has been delivered to us through the Books of Romans through Philemon (Ephesians 3:1,2). Consequently, Paul counseled young Pastor Timothy in his final epistle to him (and us the Church the Body of Christ).

“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us” (2 Timothy 1:13,14). That is, by the indwelling Holy Spirit, guard the doctrines of grace from all corruption! “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 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 2:1,2). To wit, teach the doctrines of grace without any revision! Why? The doctrines of grace will be shoved aside or perverted so man living in his sins of the flesh (lasciviousness, loose living) and sins of the spirit (asceticism, strict religion) can proceed unopposed.

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Timothy 4:1-5). Brethren, we do not compromise, back down, or apologize for preaching Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery as found in the King James Bible!

**Saints, we now close 10 full years of
333 Words of Grace!**

Our latest Bible Q&As: “What is a ‘lunatick?’” and “What is the ‘madness’ of Luke 6:11?

Diminish Not a Word! #4

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: (Jeremiah 26:2 KJV).

No matter how offensive they are, we never water down God’s words for anyone!

Jeremiah could have altered God’s Word to make it more palatable. Like the feel-good “Christian” celebrities who mislead multimillions to make multimillions today, he could have preached: “I do not make mention of ‘sin’ in my sermons, for such a word only instills pessimism. We need to think positive thoughts. The LORD is so pleased with Jerusalem and King Jehoiakim. No Divine wrath or Gentile army is coming here to destroy us!” (In fact, false prophets were proclaiming this in Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11, and 23:16-40.)

Had Jeremiah joined the false prophets in their “ear-tickling” messages, he would have surely avoided persecution—particularly his torture and name-calling. Howbeit, him changing the message would ultimately not help his audience. It would only make repentance that much harder. A polluted message would not bring about the change in mind JEHOVAH God wanted, whereas a pure message would cause them to come back to God and avoid the wrath against their idolatry. Whatever Jeremiah said, God would not overlook their sin. Therefore, it was far better for Jeremiah to tell them what they needed to hear rather than what they wanted to hear!

Brethren, when we refuse to speak the words “Hell,” “wrath,” “eternal judgment,” and “sin;” indeed, we have gained the lost world’s friendship. However, we have not changed their impending doom at all! Whether we tell them of their sin problem or not, they still have it, and if they die without Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, they will absolutely not get into Heaven! We may opt out in sharing sound Bible doctrine with fellow Christians, so as to have the praise of these people as well. Yet, we have only played the hypocrite again—and deprived them of what would brought them to spiritual maturity and stability. Again, tell them what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear!

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Diminish Not a Word! #3

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: (Jeremiah 26:2 KJV).

No matter how offensive they are, we never water down God’s words for anyone!

Return to the context of today’s Scripture: “[8] Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die. [9] Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD. [10] When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king’s house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD’S house. [11] Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.

“[12] Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard. [13] Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you. [14] As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you. [15] But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the LORD hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears.”

Read the rest of the chapter. Whereas Judah’s apostate religious leaders despised Jeremiah and God’s undiluted words, the common Jews appreciated them….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How are we God’s ‘workmanship?’

Diminish Not a Word! #2

Friday, May 28, 2021

Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: (Jeremiah 26:2 KJV).

No matter how offensive they are, we never water down God’s words for anyone!

Knowing man’s sinfulness, God advised Jeremiah: “diminish not a word.” Jeremiah was just as human as we are, so he was tempted to make God’s words more attractive to pagan idolaters. When Jeremiah entered his ministry, the LORD had warned him his people would “fight against” him (1:19). Behold the conflict!

Read chapter 20: “[1] Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. [2] Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD. [3] And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The LORD hath not called thy name Pashur [“liberation”], but Magormissabib [“terror on every side”].” Jeremiah delivered God’s words in chapter 19, and subsequently suffered physical abuse. He was beaten and then placed in the “stocks” (hands and feet held between hinged wooden boards, for everyone to see and ridicule).

Verses 7-9: “O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” Discouraged, tired of the ridicule, Jeremiah refused to preach. Yet, God’s words seethed in his inner man and he started talking again!

Now we get to today’s Scripture, where Jeremiah’s people oppose God’s words once more….

Diminish Not a Word! #1

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: (Jeremiah 26:2 KJV).

No matter how offensive they are, we never water down God’s words for anyone!

It is human nature for anyone to “tone down” the Scriptures, to re-translate and/or re-interpret them so they are more pleasing to sinful eyes and ears. We would expect unsaved people to treat God’s Word with such utter disregard and disrespect. However, we Christians can be guilty of this practice too. Bible translators, preachers, and teachers especially need to exercise great caution not to fall into this trap. Fearing negative reactions, we tend to avoid or obscure “inconvenient” Bible truths. In doing so, we appeal to our lost and/or denominational relatives, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances.

Circa 600 B.C., the LORD God commissioned the Prophet Jeremiah to preach chapter 26 during the start of King Jehoiakim’s reign. Jehoiakim, one of Judah’s final monarchs, was a pagan idolater and poor spiritual example for his wicked nation in Jerusalem. God’s intention in giving Jeremiah’s message was, “If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings” (verse 3). This message will be anything but “feel-good!”

“[4] And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, [5] To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened; [6] Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth. [7] So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.”

Jeremiah faithfully preached every word God gave him. Let us see how Jerusalem’s religious leaders respond to his sermon….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain Daniel 7:12?

Not Showboats!

Monday, May 17, 2021

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

Many years ago, a brother who was teaching on today’s Scripture was wise and careful to point out a striking fact. Indeed, we are to study to shew ourselves approved unto God, and not be showboats!

“Showboat” is an informal title for someone who performs outrageously or ostentatiously to draw attention. Such a pretentious person is also called a “show-off.” Brethren, it is completely (!) unacceptable (!) for us to use dispensational Bible study for an occasion to the flesh. Father God never intended us to utilize His Word rightly divided as a way to show others how “smart,” “studious,” or “religious” we are. Denominationalism can be summarized as display—people intentionally behaving a certain way with the sole purpose of impressing onlookers. Are we denominationalists? No! Then why would we want to act like them?!

Dear saints in the grace ministry, why do we study the King James Bible dispensationally? Our attitude, not our activity, matters the most—and God knows what our intention really is! We should ask ourselves questions. Do we rightly divide the Word of Truth to worship the Lord, to learn about what He is doing today, so that we can then, by faith, join Him? Or, do we rightly divide the Word of Truth to be at the center of attention, engender fights, and think ourselves superior to others? Be careful!!! Do not let Satan corrupt the Lord’s ministry!!!

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 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. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 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 (1 Corinthians 4:1-5).

Going to Market #2

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

“But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented” (Matthew 11:16,17 KJV).

Let us look at verses to glimpse into the A.D. first century market!

The ancient town squares in Palestine were particularly unsafe because they were major population centers. Since Israel’s apostate religious leaders craved the praise of men, they strove to spend as much time in these “markets” as possible. The longer they tarried, the more pedestrians and visitors to pay attention to them!

Christ therefore warned: “And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces [agora],…” (Mark 12:38). “And [they love] greetings in the markets [agora], and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi” (Matthew 23:7). “Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets [agora] (Luke 11:43). “Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets [agora], and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;…” (Luke 20:46). By having people focus on them—their religiosity or piety—these Jewish religious leaders encouraged self-righteousness. While they feigned to be God’s servants, they were nothing more than slaves to unbelief. Such hypocrisy was not easily detected, so they “won” many to their hellish vain religious system (Matthew 23:15)!

The Apostle Paul deliberately visited such markets to preach to people and win them to Christ: “Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market [agora] daily with them that met with him” (Acts 17:17). Unfortunately, that was also where Roman public trials were held! “And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace [agora] unto the rulers, And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,…” (Acts 16:19,20). As subsequent verses show, physical perils abounded in the markets too, including unlawful beatings!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is ‘Cainan’ in Luke 3:36 a ‘scribal error?’