Dear Friends Divided!

Monday, May 14, 2018

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17,18 KJV).

Doctrine divides, dear friends—doctrine divides dear friends!

When the ecumenist laments, “Doctrine divides,” he or she (for once) is telling the truth. Dearest of friends, doctrine divides dearest of friends. It is asserted that false teachers “really are not that bad,” that “they can be reformed or salvaged,” that “they are entitled to their opinions as we ours.” We are urged, “Stop causing trouble by emphasizing doctrine and just preach the ‘love of Jesus!’ We can all be united as ‘Christians’ if nothing more.”

These last several months, I have learned firsthand (and most painfully!!) the closest-knit congregation is not immune to being split so mightily because it falls away from sound Bible doctrine. Intimate, long-time friends in the ministry have turned on me in the blink of an eye, becoming my enemies like I have never even dreamed. Once Christians turn away from the truth, Satan wastes no time to penetrate the group with as much as error as he possibly can. When the assembly reaches that point, your numerous warnings have been ignored, it is apparent that you can do nothing but apply today’s Scripture. With a broken heart (!), you have to give those precious brethren over to what they want.

So emotionally driven, these brethren passionately defend the false teacher and make you appear as the evil one. Be not surprised! When they have no sound Bible doctrine on which to stand, they, being deceived, will speak vicious, offensive words about you for calling attention to doctrinal error. You can and should pray for them (1 Corinthians 1:4-10), you can and should forgive them as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32), but things will never be the same between you and them as long Heaven is far away. The ministry is not for wimps, dear friends, the ministry is not for wimps!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What do you mean—‘the prophetic program’ and ‘the mystery program?’

One More Verse!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:10,11 KJV).

“One more verse.” Have you ever heard that before?

Berean Bible preachers have one particular characteristic: they have many verses to share! Rather than studying everything but the Bible to prepare their messages, they have actually opened Scripture and compared verses. They use similar verses to shed light on each other, thus letting God’s Word interpret itself. The Holy Spirit therefore has maximum control over the whole situation. It minimizes the chance of opinions and church tradition slipping in.

You can sit and listen to a man “teach the Bible,” and know good and well whether or not he actually prepared for it. If his comments are disjointed, scattered throughout and lacking a common theme, he just “threw something together” at the “last minute.” His words serve no purpose other than to give him attention and make him appear like he is telling you what God wanted you to hear. When he uses a scant number of (or no) verses in his messages, he may actually have something to hide. Beware!

The preachers I have found to be most enjoyable over the years are not those with one verse to read and a dozen stories and jokes to supplement. You will find the few who say, “One more verse,” and as if they were about to close, they add, “Oh, if we could do ‘just one more’ verse.” Every time they try to conclude their message, a new thought forms, another Scripture comes to mind, and they want to read it. This is okay, within reason. If the message goes on and on (like half the length of what was already spoken), it is time to shut it down. Yet, if an hour message runs five or ten minutes over, (indeed) there is always one other verse to summarize. These preachers have studied well, and should be tolerated. They have a good reason for reading that “one more verse!” 🙂

NOTE: Today is the final day of the “Soldiers Training for Service” Bible conference. Tune in at 9/9:30ish A.M. Central U.S. Standard Time at the following website: http://understandgrace.com/watch-live/.

333’s 2500th – The Same Commit Thou to Faithful Men

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

“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).

To the praise of the glory of Father God’s grace, we have (finally) arrived at our 2500th daily study! 🙂

My dear readers, can you fathom that we began “333 Words of Grace” nearly seven years ago?! Since then, some of you have moved to Heaven; others have left to apostatize. Yet, we are here, still moving right along in the grace edification process. We pray for you upon every remembrance. Thank you for all your prayerful and financial support. We could not have undertaken this without your help!

For the last 2,500 days, we have feasted upon the rightly divided Word of God. While we have yet to cover the whole Bible, we have reviewed large portions and grown thereby. We better understand the Gospel of Grace—how to be saved from sins and Hell unto eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Also, we have a firmer grasp of how the Christian life operates (Colossians 2:6,7). Moreover, we better understand the nation Israel and God’s program for the Earth. We have all gained a much richer understanding and appreciation of the Holy Bible. It has been quite an intense learning experience, yes?

So, what happens now? After 2,500 devotionals, am I set to “retire?” God forbid!! Actually, if our Lord Jesus Christ tarries, we are prepared to go another 2,500 studies. Remember, there are many Bible verses we have not yet discussed. If we are to be experts in Scripture, we must continue studying it every single day. Otherwise, we are vulnerable to Satan’s evil world system.

The Apostle Paul’s intention in training young Timothy was for Timothy to then repeat the process by educating others with the same information (today’s Scripture). From the very beginning, our goal has been to guide you along in the King James Bible and the Grace Message so that you can do with others what we have done with you. Brethren, thank you for the privilege of letting me be your Bible teacher thus far…. Now, onward to #3000! 🙂

All 2,500 studies are archived here: https://333wordsofgrace.org/master-list-of-devotionals-chronological.

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving. You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! 🙂

Successful!

Friday, March 23, 2018

“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. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:1-3 KJV).

Without further delay, saints, let us realize how to be successful!

Today’s Scripture is some of the Apostle Paul’s final words to young Timothy. The Roman government is preparing to execute the imprisoned, aged Apostle for preaching an “illegal religion.” After 35 years of glorious grace ministry, Paul is finally going Home—to the third heaven!!!

Notice a portion of the Holy Ghost’s concluding words to us the Church the Body of Christ. In all the “ups and downs” of life and ministry, we are to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Remember, when all else fails you, in the end, God’s grace will remain to sustain you. Paul is moving on to “be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:23). As his mentor passes off the scene, it is vital that Timothy never forgets that grace will abide. No matter how rough it gets down here, because of everything that Father God can do for us through Christ’s finished crosswork, we can endure it. Never should Timothy (or we) overlook that.

Furthermore, Paul instructs Timothy, “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.” God taught us through Paul so we can teach the same to others. The key word here is same:” we do not change the message, do not compromise the doctrine, and do not water down Pauline truth!! Timothy should never forget this either—especially since mass apostasy (many Christians abandoning truth to embrace error) surrounds him.

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” In light of what was just stated, we are to “endure hardness” (“suffer trouble,” 2 Timothy 2:9; “endure afflictions,” 2 Timothy 4:5). Saints, an intense spiritual battle is being waged. We have a vicious Adversary (Satan) to face. Nevertheless, we are “good soldiers of Jesus Christ.” We will win only because of God’s grace! 🙂

Silenced!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; (2 Timothy 1:7,8 KJV).

Without further delay, we need to preach sound Bible doctrine.

Brethren, Satan has a two-fold strategy for hindering God’s will. In “phase 1,” he attacks the message. Remember, his first words in Scripture are in Genesis 3:1: Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Satan’s chief goal is to question (challenge) God’s Word, thus removing it as the authority. After repeatedly distorting the Bible, he outright denied it in verse 4. Satan effectually enticed Adam and Eve to corrupt, and thereby abandon, sound Bible doctrine.

If the saint maintains and defends sound Bible doctrine, not relinquishing it, then Satan begins “phase 2.” Satan’s objective here is to attack the messenger, to somehow silence him—through intimidation, hardship, embarrassment, discouragement, and so on. This is where we find Timothy in today’s Scripture. In 1 Timothy, he had dealt with false teaching in Ephesus. He has remained faithful to the grace message, having not compromised with the legalists. Satan has failed to get Timothy to pervert grace.

Now, in 2 Timothy (today’s Scripture), Timothy’s face is damp with “tears” (verse 4). He is crying, emotionally exhausted, overwhelmed by opposition and distress in the ministry. As Paul writes, pervasive doctrinal error exists now: “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes” (verse 15). Most Christians have now abandoned Paul’s doctrine, preferring legalism and other heresies. Dejected Timothy has surrendered, having ceased (!) preaching Pauline doctrine (verse 6).

Paul, imprisoned far away in Rome for preaching God’s grace through Christ, is moved by the Holy Spirit to encourage Timothy to not be ashamed (today’s Scripture). “Timothy, remember who you are and where you came from. God’s power will get you through your situations. Share in those afflictions that accompany the Gospel! No matter what happens, boldly preach!” (Brethren, may we do likewise.)

Strengthened!

Monday, February 26, 2018

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; (Ephesians 3:16).

Without further delay, we need to be strengthened by God’s Spirit in the inner man.

The Apostle Paul advised young Pastor Timothy at Ephesus: “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do” (1 Timothy 1:4). Accentuating religious stories and lauding personalities should be discouraged in ministry; they only cause uncertainties. The local church should engage in “godly edifying.” Edification means constructing a building or strengthening someone spiritually.

In Ephesians 4:11-16, God’s goal is to produce mature saints, Christians who have grown up into grace doctrines beyond elementary level. Only perfected saints do the work of the ministry (which leads to everyone’s maturity). By and large, though, the professing “Church” is weak, mixed up, spiritually crippled. Why? There is ungodly entertainment and no godly edification! We read books about Scripture, but we rarely read Scripture. We sing about the Bible, but we seldom read the Bible. We talk about Scripture, but we hardly study Scripture.

God’s power lies in His Word, as 1 Thessalonians 2:13 says: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” Friend, you toss out the Bible, you thereby remove faith (Romans 10:17), and the Holy Spirit has nothing to use to strengthen you internally. Now you know why the alleged “Church” is able only to confuse and amuse you!

Second Timothy 3:16,17: “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 [spiritually mature!], throughly furnished unto all good works.” Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, were the final installment of God’s revelation to man (see Colossians 1:23-28, especially verses 23-26). Since Pauline authority and doctrine are largely ignored today, we need not marvel at or wonder why spiritually impotency is characteristic of most Christians.

Outnumbered?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents:… (Exodus 7:10-12a KJV).

What will happen next?!

Never forget, dear friends, that Satan is the master counterfeiter. Whatever God does, Satan endeavors to copy it as closely as possible. After all, Lucifer’s original goal was to “be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). In Satan’s policy and plan of evil, he has a wide variety of tools—false brethren, false apostles, false bibles, false prophets, false teaching, false churches, and so on. Overall, Satan seeks worship that God alone deserves (cf. Matthew 4:8-10).

In today’s Scripture, Satan empowered Pharaoh’s magicians to mimic God’s miracle. Moses and Aaron had one rod that turned into one snake. According to 2 Timothy 3:8, there were two magicians—their two rods transformed into two snakes. The LORD God’s snake was outnumbered two to one: Pharaoh thought his gods were superior to Israel’s God. Today’s Scripture continues, but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.” Praise God! 🙂

Going back to 2 Timothy chapter 3: “[8] Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. [9] But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.” Paul reaches back into Israel’s history to remind us that false teachers will not continue forever. Today, they still oppose the truth in that they still imitate it, but their foolishness will be exposed one day. Just as Jannes and Jambres were revealed to be no match for the one true God, the false teachers who counterfeit the truth today will be manifested as failures too.

In Christian life and ministry, it seems like we are outnumbered. Less individuals are on our side, but so what! We are on God’s side—with Him, we actually have the majority and (as Moses and Aaron know) we already have the victory!

NOTE: Happy 38th spiritual birthday to my parents, who trusted Jesus Christ alone all those years ago!

Bible Q&A #455: “Was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah inhospitality?