The Lord’s Ministers

Thursday, October 14, 2021

“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. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:5-9 KJV).

As I write this, I am thinking of two particular brothers in Christ who have helped me to understand and enjoy the King James Bible. I have never met them, but I have read their books with great interest. They have contributed to my spiritual edification, and that of those I teach. Just as Paul and Apollos labored in the grace ministry, so we all work with God in bringing other believers in Christ to a greater awareness of spiritual truth.

Despite their denominationalism, they shared the spiritual light they had—even if it meant offending “scholarship” and being the object of ridicule. One of those saints was a bitter opponent of dispensational Bible study because it contradicted his religious traditions; therefore, his spiritual growth was stunted. The other Christian was quite deceived in seminary, so those shortfalls also prevented him from coming to a fuller understanding of Scripture than he had. Regardless, I can rejoice in the Lord those two brethren are in Heaven, one graduating to there long before I was born and the other moving to the Lord’s presence just a few years ago. However great their confusion was here, their Saviour has straightened them out there. They fight against their Lord no longer! When it comes my time to leave this world and relocate to Heaven, I will surely shake those two brothers by the hand and tell them what the Lord used them to do with me and all those our ministry reaches.

How we are ever thankful of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He not only works through men who believe, but also performs in us to build and expand on their understanding of His precious (and preserved) words.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘the one needful thing’ in Luke 10:42?

Co-op

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward (Matthew 10:41 KJV).

A “co-op” is a cooperative society, business, or enterprise: people work together to achieve a desired, common end. The Lord’s ministry functions likewise….

Today’s Scripture in context: “[40] He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. [41] He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. [42] And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”

Chapter 10 of Matthew is the first installment of the so-called “Great Commission.” The Lord Jesus Christ is sending out 12 disciples or students—the 12 “Apostles” (“sent ones;” cf. verses 5,6)—to preach to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As His Father has sent Him to them, so He sends them to the rest of Israel; they are His representatives, like He is His Heavenly Father’s Spokesman. In closing, He reminds them that whoever receives them into their company also accepts Him and His Father.

Draw your attention now to verses 41 and 42. Those converts or believers who receive the Apostles are also partakers of the Apostles’ ministry. Furthermore, as the Apostles will receive a reward from God, so those who bless the Apostles will partake of the Apostles’ reward. Similarly, the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians chapter 4: “[15] Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. [16] For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. [17] Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.As we labor in ministry with other members of the Church the Body of Christ, so we too will share in their eternal reward!

Zealous, But Ignorant #3

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

“Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready? But howsoever, said he, let me run. And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi” (2 Samuel 18:22,23 KJV).

What valuable ministry advice can we derive from here, 30 centuries later?

There are many passionate souls in religion, excited to fulfill the demands of their particular group, sect, cult, or denomination. They are fervent in their belief in “God”… whatever that means. Unbelieving Israel during the Acts period was the same way: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:1-3). Although busy in religion, they had no spiritual light. It was all about their performance (self-righteousness), and they were so distracted they completely missed God’s righteousness. Their activities were the flesh, not the Spirit of God, and thus futile. Let us be careful to avoid this trap!

Furthermore, “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). When appointing people to the ministry, we should be looking for souls able to teach sound Bible doctrinenot simply individuals who have “a burning desire” to do something important. If they do not have information ready, if they have not prepared themselves in the Scriptures via personal dispensational Bible study, their ministries will be as inadequate and embarrassing as that of Ahimaaz. Beloved, may we ourselves carry and deliver messages of spiritual substance, and not simply engage in outward activity!

Zealous, But Ignorant #2

Monday, August 9, 2021

“Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready? But howsoever, said he, let me run. And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi” (2 Samuel 18:22,23 KJV).

What valuable ministry advice can we derive from here, 30 centuries later?

Continue reading the passage: “[28] And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, All is well. And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, Blessed be the LORD thy God, which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king. [29] And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king’s servant, and me thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was. [30] And the king said unto him, Turn aside, and stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still.”

In chapter 15, King David’s son Absalom had usurped his father’s throne. With a great multitude in Israel siding with Absalom, David had fled Jerusalem. By the time of today’s Scripture, there was war between the followers of David and the followers of Absalom. Although David ordered his men to spare Absalom’s life, they assassinated him anyway! Joab, David’s general, sends a messenger to bear the news to the king. Cushi, who has seen the events firsthand, is preparing to leave with the tidings. Alas, Ahimaaz is eager to do the job—although he has witnessed nothing personally. Finally, to pacify insistent Ahimaaz, Joab sends him to David along with Cushi. Yet, when Ahimaaz reaches David, he is unable to answer the king’s question about Absalom’s safety. “I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was” (verse 29). Ahimaaz’s “ministry” was utterly pointless, so he stands beside David—embarrassed—as they wait for news from Cushi! Eventually, Cushi arrives with terrible news, and David is heartbroken to hear of Absalom’s demise (verses 31-33).

Now, let us make application to our own ministries….

Zealous, But Ignorant #1

Sunday, August 8, 2021

“Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready? But howsoever, said he, let me run. And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi” (2 Samuel 18:22,23 KJV).

What valuable ministry advice can we derive from here, 30 centuries later?

Begin reading at verse 19: “[19] Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the LORD hath avenged him of his enemies. [20] And Joab said unto him, Thou shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day: but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king’s son is dead. [21] Then said Joab to Cushi, Go tell the king what thou hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran. [22] Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready? [23] But howsoever, said he, let me run. And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi.

“[24] And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone. [25] And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth. And he came apace, and drew near. [26] And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold another man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings. [27] And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings.”

Let us listen to this “good news” Ahimaaz delivers to King David….

An Ambassador Turns 33!

Saturday, August 7, 2021 🎂

“I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies” (Psalm 119:125 KJV).

Today, a certain ambassador for the risen Christ celebrates his 33rd birthday!

Each and every birthday, as members of the Church the Body of Christ, we are one year closer to keeping our appointment in the heavenly places. We can never be certain as to what might happen to us in the meantime, but our eternal destiny is secure in the Lord Jesus Christ! “And [Father God] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6,7).

Physical age is just a small footnote in the grand scheme of things. These bodies of flesh and blood are limited, as sin ensures they have an expiration date. Still, our tabernacles of dust will be resurrected and transformed into most marvelous glorified bodies. “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:20,21). Of course, we never know if, prior to our physical death, the Lord might come for His entire Body and we would thereby avoid the grave entirely.

Whatever might happen along the way, it is okay, for it does not compare to the glory of the endless ages to come! “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). These mortal bodies are attached to this fallen world—subject to sin, weakness, sickness, and death—but once we leave them and receive our resurrection bodies, the glory of God hidden in our inner man now will ultimately burst forth and shine throughout the universe!

Brethren, as today’s Scripture teaches us, we are the LORD’S servants—and we gain spiritual understanding as we heed sound Bible doctrine. Not only are we experiencing this life, we are also preparing for the next, so let us make wise use of our time here (Ephesians 5:15-21)! 🙂

A Grace Study Bible

Sunday, August 1, 2021

“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 nine 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.”

Nine 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 80 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 14!

Saturday, July 31, 2021

“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 14th anniversary today!!!

Fourteen years ago, as a 19-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 14 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 10 years now. For the last nine years, we have focused on developing and drafting a grace study Bible (now in its tenth 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. Five years ago, we launched our new main ministry website and now have a line of printed Bible study booklets available for sale there. Two years ago, we recorded and distributed our Old Testament Survey video series. Later that year, we launched 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. Thirteen 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 15! 🙂

Bible Q&As #864 and #865: “Should ministers study Scripture to prepare for teaching?” and “Does ‘touch not mine anointed’ forbid us from correcting erring church leaders?

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?