333 Turns 11!

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

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 KJV).

Dear brethren in Christ, these 11 years now—where, oh where, has the time gone?!—we have journeyed quite far by God’s grace. Are we willing to go even further?

We are often accused of being “know-it-alls,” but that is simply a misunderstanding of what Bible believers should be. For example, would you not expect your physician to be skilled in specialized medical training? I hope so—especially if you need surgery! Or, would you be surprised if your attorney was quite knowledgeable of the judicial system? No, in fact, you would panic if some know-nothing represented you in court! Accordingly, Bible-believing Christians should be just as acquainted with the Bible as any professional is with his or her discipline.

No, we are not “know-it-alls,” for if we were, then we would no longer be studying the Bible on a daily basis, now would we? Let us put it like this. We know more about Scripture than we did when we appealed to denominationally-minded leaders for “help.” So as to excuse their willful ignorance, “Christian” (?) people will fault we who are more knowledgeable than they. We politely invite them to stop whining and start growing with us!

Friends, we are preparing for life in the heavenly places by storing up sound Bible doctrine in our inner man right now. Whether we realize it or not, over the course of these last 4,000-plus Bible studies, Christ has been formed in us (Galatians 4:19). It will not be until the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:9-16; 2 Corinthians 5:9,10) when we learn the eternal value and impact of God’s work in and through us here as we keep “studying… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). With each passing day, may we continue renewing our mind (Romans 12:1,2) and maturing (Ephesians 4:12-32), ready to accomplish God’s will in the heavenly places when He comes for us.

Remember, all past 11 years of daily devotionals are archived here.

Special-edition Bible Q&A #960: “Does John 7:53–8:11 belong in the Bible?

333’s 3900th – The Path to Maturation

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

“[God our Saviour] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4 KJV).

Dear saints and readers, only by God’s grace, “333 Words of Grace” celebrates its 3900th devotional today!

What is the Lord doing right now? Exactly what would He have us do at this moment? The average church member would likely give incorrect answers—or no answers at all. In fact, even most genuine Christians would find these questions challenging and intimidating. There are three reasons for Bible illiteracy.

Firstly, they really have no idea what the clear Gospel of Grace even is. “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Instead of this pure, straightforward message, they have heard various pseudo-gospels. “Make Jesus the Lord of your life, repent and turn to God, recite the ‘sinner’s prayer,’ confess your sins.” As long as they have an adulterated Gospel message, there is no adequate basis for faith or trust, so they remain dead in their trespasses and sins. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit, they lack spiritual discernment.

Secondly, they are not using the inspired, preserved words of God. In English, these are the words of the Authorized Version King James Bible. Unfortunately, they have believed the “scholars” and purchased some alleged “easier-to-read” contemporary English version—nothing but a perverted, natural-man, watered-down, ever-changing text that only the spiritually naïve value. The result is weak, confused, immature Bible students, aware of general “Divine thoughts” as opposed to trained in specific Divine words.

Finally, if they do they have the indwelling Holy Spirit, and do use the proper Bible text, they are not “study[ing]… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Since they have failed to recognize the dispensational distinctions God has placed in His Word, they have no clue concerning where they are in His purpose and program. They have not been told—or they refuse to see—the Apostle Paul is God’s spokesman to them (Romans 11:13), Romans through Philemon God’s words to and about them!

Brethren, over the course of these last 3900 days, we have striven here to correct all three deficiencies. Though we have come far, we still have a long way remaining. Onward to devotional #4000! 🙂

A Decision to Embrace Right Division

Sunday, January 23, 2022

“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).

We give a hearty “Amen!” to today’s Scripture….

Having trusted Jesus Christ alone as my personal Saviour just a few weeks shy of age seven, I spent the first 12 years of my Christian life in utter spiritual shallowness, immaturity, and confusion. Denominational systems had been so detrimental to my inner man! One day, the Lord mightily used a dear brother in Christ to introduce my parents and me to dispensational Bible study. Later that year, another Christian brother showed us even more advanced sound Bible doctrine. Recently, we marked 15 years since first coming to understand right division. To say the least, it has been quite the journey this last decade and a half!

What we have discovered through the years of talking with others in ministry is countless souls within churches are “too comfortable” where they are. Religious tradition is most difficult to relinquish—but we left our vain theological systems and they can do just the same if they so choose. However, it is far easier to keep “praise and worship” services, “humbling” ceremonies, mindless church attendance, light or “feel-good” sermons, philosophical counseling sessions, and all the rest that strokes the ego of sinful flesh. To embrace the truth is to lose so many relatives and “friends”—and that intimidation factor keeps many people right where they are in their spiritual life (if they even have one!).

Dear friends, the Bible laid out on a timeline is most helpful, and respecting the dispensational boundaries God the Holy Spirit has placed in His Word is how we understand and enjoy the Scriptures. If nothing else, we know the Apostle Paul is God’s spokesman to us (Romans 11:13), and Romans through Philemon are God’s words to and about us. We study all 66 Bible Books, but we study them rightly divided, and we seek God’s approval instead of man’s approval (today’s Scripture). Indeed, we all have more growing to do with regards to learning God’s plan for the ages, but we are well on our way. Let us remember to continue on this path without turning to the right or the left—at least for another 15 years! 🙂

Redeem the Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 KJV).

What great advice for 2022!

Despite 2,000 years of Bible schools and seminaries, 2,000 years of a completed Bible canon, 2,000 years of Bible reading in churches, several decades of “Christian” television and radio, and just over a decade of widespread use of “Christian” websites, how sad that Bible ignorance is still quite extensive (it is as if God never gave His Word to start with!).

Frankly, the Church the Body of Christ needs to wake up! The verse previous to today’s Scripture says, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (verse 14). Paul, loosely quoting Isaiah 60:1, reminded us that the spiritual ignorance that gripped Israel in Isaiah’s day seized Christians in his day—and it still grips Christians 20 centuries later. Feel-good sermons, enjoyable “worship” services, and rites, rituals, and ceremonies will NOT solve this problem—they exacerbate it!

“[God] will have all men to be saved…” (1 Timothy 2:4a). Do you want this New Year to count for God’s glory? First, you need to get saved from sins and hell! You need to become a Christian by trusting in and relying on Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). That is only part of God’s will for you, for 1 Timothy 2:4b continues, “[God] will have all men… to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Now, God’s will for your Christian life is daily, personal Bible study to renew your mind, so your faith in those verses can cause God to work in your life—it will be His life, thus making you “perfect [spiritually mature], throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

Today’s Scripture urges us to buy back the time Satan has robbed from God (time created for God’s glory). By faith, we need to make that time glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by applying His Word, particularly Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon, to our lives. Have a good year in Christ! 🙂

You can download our free “One-Year Bible Reading Schedule.”

See our archived Bible Q&A: “What Scriptural advice can you give me for the New Year?

‘Twas the Sunday Night Before Christmas

Sunday, December 19, 2021

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15 KJV).

Let us not be so sidetracked by religion and commercialization that we miss the reason for the Christmas Season….

During the Christmas Season, we wonder how many people are visiting church for the second time this year (the other being Easter Sunday). How many will be going to church today—the Sunday before Christmas—just to feel “religious” or “holy?” How many really know Jesus Christ? For many, visiting a church building is just an obligation; they do not have faith in God’s Word and have no interest in God’s Word.

We do not go to church to “feel closer to God,” for if we have trusted in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we cannot be any closer to God than we already are in Christ! “[Before salvation, we were] without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh [close to God] by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12,13).

Furthermore, we do not go to church in order to get God’s blessings, for God has already given us “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). We go to church, not because we are keeping Israel’s Sabbath day, since we are not obligated to observe Israel’s religious days (Colossians 2:16). We go to church to fellowship with like-minded believers and hear sound doctrine… more than twice a year, by the way.

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy that whenever he would assemble with fellow Christians, certain behavior was acceptable and other types of behavior were not (described throughout the epistle of 1 Timothy). Recall that when the Bible refers to “the church,” it refers to the body of believers, not the physical building in which they meet.

As we get opportunities, let us make an effort to reach these dear souls misled by all the vain religious tradition and Christmas commercialization, and may we tell them of the wonderful Christ Jesus whose name is found in Christmas!

*Based on the poem “‘Twas the Sunday Night Before Christmas.”

In Every Thing Give Thanks

Thursday, November 25, 2021

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).

Dear saints, take a moment this Thanksgiving to learn a valuable lesson from the Holy Scriptures!

God wants “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4). To be “saved” here means you have been rescued from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire), and that you have a home in heaven, because you have trusted the death, shed blood, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for your sins. To “come unto the knowledge of the truth” is when a person who has trusted Christ, begins to understand why God saved him or her, and how God will use him or her for His glory. Although soul salvation is instantaneous, spiritual maturity is a life-long process (that is especially true regarding handling difficulties, the grace way!).

It is human nature to avoid difficulties and stress, to flee them, rather than confront them. This self-preservation is advantageous, particularly in “life or death” situations. However, running from troubling circumstances is not the way God has designed our life in Christ to function. Today’s Scripture says, In every thing give thanks,” notFor every thing give thanks.” We do not thank God for our troubles; we thank God while we are enduring those troubles. This is tough, I know, but it takes time for us to learn it. Even the Apostle Paul had to learn this.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Be thankful in every thing. God’s grace is sufficient for you, dear saint, in all of life’s circumstances. When you learn this, you are “[coming] unto the knowledge of the truth.”

*Excerpted from our Thanksgiving 2012 Bible study with the same name. That study can be read here or watched here.

You may also see, “What are our spiritual blessings in Christ?

The Greatest Philanthropist #3

Monday, November 8, 2021

“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,…” (Titus 3:4 KJV).

Today’s Scripture tells us about the Greatest Philanthropist to ever live!

While John 3:16 is often presented as “the Gospel” today, it lacks any reference to Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary. Romans 5:6-8, elaborating on today’s Scripture, more fully illustrates God’s love: “[6] For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. [7] For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. [8] But commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God “commendeth”—entrusts us with, recommends to us as worthy of our acceptance—His love toward us. He offers His love to us, the unselfish mental attitude He has for us. While we as sinful creatures are not praiseworthy, His love toward such wholly undeserving sinful creatures is!

Read today’s Scripture in context: “[4] But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, [5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; [6] Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; [7] That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” God is kind and loving toward us, not because of our religious works but because His very nature is mercy (holding back what we deserve) and grace (giving what we do not deserve). Again, He is the Greatest Philanthropist!

When we ask the questions, “Does God love me? Does He care about me?,” we are not being mindful of what the Holy Bible has said for the last 2,000 years. Through Jesus Christ’s fully-satisfying payment for sin at Calvary, we can be “saved” (spiritually healed, delivered from the effects of sin). Here is the greatest gift Almighty God could ever give us, worth infinitesimally more than all silver, gold, and precious stones: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). May we trust this Gospel message in our heart, and be thankful for His generosity!

The Greatest Philanthropist #2

Sunday, November 7, 2021

“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,…” (Titus 3:4 KJV).

Today’s Scripture tells us about the Greatest Philanthropist to ever live!

When many people think of the God of the Bible, they imagine Him to be nothing more than a strict, bloodthirsty monster who throws tantrums when He does not get His way. This is a crude caricature, a most childish view—but we can expect nothing less from empty religious tradition and those who sat at its feet. On the contrary, friends, it is far better we look at the Scriptures as a whole rather than isolate “pet” passages, considering the entire Bible instead of relying on snippets we heard at our denominational churches and/or catechetical schools.

In today’s Scripture, the God of the Bible possesses the quality of “kindness.” We can compare this verse to Ephesians 2:7: “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” That Greek word, “chrestotes,” was also rendered in our King James Bible in other ways. For example, it is “goodness” in Romans 2:4: “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” The same is true of Romans 11:22: “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.”

As touching victorious Christian living, God’s kindness works in us so that we conduct ourselves with “gentleness” and “kindness.” “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness [chrestotes], goodness, faith,…” (Galatians 5:22). “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness [chrestotes], humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;…” (Colossians 3:12). To be “kind” is to be friendly toward someone, considerate, generous. In archaic English, the word carries the additional idea of loving or affectionate. When and where was God kind toward mankind? When and where was He loving toward mankind? Let us see what the Scriptures say about the appearance of these attributes of God….

Living By the Faith of Others #4

Friday, September 10, 2021

“For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:29 KJV).

Moses is quite spiritually minded. Is Israel?

Brethren, let it be made abundantly clear that having a spiritual mentor is not a sin. Yet, we must always remember our Christian life needs to depend on our own understanding and our own faith in the Scriptures. Walking with someone in sound Bible doctrine is absolutely not to be confused with leaning on them as they walk! If our spirituality hangs on other people, what will happen once they grow apostate (turn from the truth) or grow old and die (leave this life via physical death)?

The way to victorious Christian living is to take our own stand on the principles of God’s grace. We do this by reading God’s inspired and preserved words in English, the Authorized Version King James Bible, and studying them ourselves. It goes beyond letting someone else—parents, grandparents, spouses, preachers, priests, theologians, professors, commentary writers, et cetera—tell us what to believe. We need to do our own investigations and come to our own conclusions. Furthermore, it is our job to pass on to future generations not only what we believe, but why we believe it. Again, we do this by taking God’s inspired and preserved words in English, the Authorized Version King James Bible, and letting younger people follow along reading their personal copy as we read our personal copy.

Again, it is not a sin to have a spiritual mentor. It is not a sin to be a spiritual mentor either. Yet, neither is a substitute for the indwelling Holy Spirit teaching the Christian via personal Bible study. When our mentors are long gone (apostate, dead, et cetera), our Christian lives can go on as normal; when we can no longer mentor to our students (we are apostate, dead, et cetera), their Christian lives can go on as normal. Why? These Christian lives were never actually depending on men anyway!

Living By the Faith of Others #3

Thursday, September 9, 2021

“For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:29 KJV).

Moses is quite spiritually minded. Is Israel?

Read the dreadful account of once-spiritual King Joash/Jehoash. Second Chronicles chapter 24: “[15] But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died. [16] And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house. [17] Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them. [18] And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.

“[19] Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear. [20] And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you. [21] And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at [!] the [!] commandment [!] of [!] the [!] king [!] in the court of the house of the LORD. [22] Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but [!] slew [!] his [!] son [!]. And when he died, he said, The LORD look upon it, and require it.”

Unfortunately, without Priest Jehoiada’s spiritual counsel, and heeding the “advice” of worldly-minded consultants, Joash/Jehoash reinstated the apostasy of his grandmother Queen Athaliah—even encouraging the murder of God’s Prophet Zechariah, Jehoiada’s own son! At age 47, Jehoash/Joash was wounded in battle with the Syrians, and his servants assassinated him (2 Kings 12:19-21; 2 Chronicles 24:23-26). Moses, in today’s Scripture, was correct….