Meat and Bones

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21 KJV).

Eat the meat but do not choke on the bones!

A discouraged Christian friend once emailed me to explain his dilemma. He had discovered a source that contained sound Bible doctrine and church tradition. He recognized the doctrinal error, yet he was so disturbed that he was questioning everything in the source (even the sound doctrine). My advice to him was simple, “Eat the meat but do not choke on the bones!” (The same advice conveyed in unique phraseology was also helpful to me when I was in the same predicament years earlier.)

Having visited our local “Christian” bookstore recently, I could not help but chuckle at much of the literature I saw there. There were shelves after shelves after shelves of volumes that had nothing to do with the God of the Holy Bible, nothing to do with the Holy Bible, nothing to do with the Christian life God has given us in Christ. If were were to purge today’s average “Christian” bookstore of everything non-Christian, doubtless the store would soon declare bankruptcy!

Since organized religion has corrupted pure Christianity, Christendom is a spiritual minefield—it is dotted with thousands of gimmicks, heresies, and other traps. If the Christian is to survive Satan’s military tactics and assaults, he or she must be grounded in God’s Word rightly divided. The Christian must always remember that the Holy Bible rightly divided is the “minesweeper,” detecting and destroying the mines that would otherwise destroy the Christian. As today’s Scripture says, we need to sort truth from error. Our standard as English-speaking Christians is the King James Bible rightly divided. That which fails the test is worthless, so we toss it out; that which passes the test is “good,” so we retain it!

Dear saints, we will never find a perfect local church, but that is not our desire anyway. We “make no bones about it”—we seek a pure church, for that is what the Holy Spirit desires us to have (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 2 Corinthians 11:1-20). We seek neither “milk” nor bones, but “meat” (1 Corinthians 3:2)! 🙂

A Common Voice

Friday, June 6, 2014

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV).

If we want Christian unity, we had better join unto God’s truth rather than unite unto Satan’s error.

The God of the Bible is the cause of peace, not confusion (today’s Scripture). Where one finds confusion, Satan and sinful man are working diligently nearby! One of the most critical areas of confusion is the Bible versions issue (due to copyright laws, every modern Bible version must read differently from every other!).

Reading an alleged “guide to the Bible” book, I was recently stunned by the following misinformation: “We honor God’s Word the most when we obey it, not when we defend a particular version of it.” (We reply, “And just what are we to “obey” when every version leads us to believe its own unique conclusion?”)

At a recent public event, I heard the crowd uttering the ever-popular, so-called “Lord’s Prayer.” As they were closing, I listened most intently to hear an interesting occurrence (I knew that many would never finish the prayer). Most voices stopped after saying, “But deliver us from evil.” A few, however, concluded, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (The Protestant Bible text, the King James Bible and its underlying manuscripts contain that clause; the Roman Catholic text and its modern English representatives omit it!)

Some time ago, I attended another public event where a verse was displayed on an overhead screen. An individual stood up, and reading from another modern English Bible, recited the same verse. I could not read the text and listen to the voice—they each conveyed different information! You can better appreciate this by having 200 people simultaneously read the same verse each using a different modern English Bible—yes, there are enough for each person to have one!

When every English-speaking Christian uses and reads the King James Bible, there is such unity, such peace, such clarity, such harmony! God’s people united unto God’s truth, a common voice, an authoritative voice—God’s voice… “as in all churches of the saints!” 🙂

333’s 1100th – An Edifice Under Construction

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12 KJV).

Only by Jesus Christ’s grace, we mark another ministry milestone!

Recently, an individual expressed to me her disdain for “religion” in general. Her main objection was that there were many contradictory denominations of “Christianity.” I proceeded to politely explain to her that she, like many, was unaware of the distinction between pure Christianity and vain Christendom. She needed to understand that Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, alone describe Christianity, God’s current directions and program; everything else in the Bible is Israel’s program.

Beloved, when religionists combine the two programs in Scripture—that is, pick and choose doctrines from “prophecy” and “mystery”—they create Christendom, a spiritual monster, a monstrosity of misquoted Scripture, pagan nonsense, and a host of other errors. Christendom is a system that will devour (and has overwhelmed) Christian and non-Christian souls alike. Any appeal to Scripture seems utterly hopeless, for every denomination is quoting a Bible verse to support its system!

During these last 1100 days, we hope to have been a help and an encouragement to you. The Apostle Peter, in his second and final epistle, wrote about “unlearned and unstable” souls “wresting” (twisting, distorting, perverting) the Scriptures—particularly, Paul’s epistles—and “beguiling [tricking, deceiving] unstable souls” (2 Peter 2:14; 2 Peter 3:16). Basically, unstable souls making other people’s souls unsteady also; the result is a group of vacillating individuals, “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight [fraud!] of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14, the context of today’s Scripture).

God wants “perfected” saints (today’s Scripture), saints who are spiritually mature, “throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:17), saints who can do “the work of the ministry,” who can “edify” (build up, mature) the Church the Body of Christ. In doing so, God’s people will be guarded against doctrinal error, Satan’s policy of evil. Thus, by God’s grace, we will continue in our daily Bible studies, that you may save yourself and others from false teaching (1 Timothy 4:16).

Onward we go in God’s grace! 🙂

God’s Family #1

Saturday, February 1, 2014

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19 KJV).

How enjoyable it is to fellowship with other members of God’s family!

Recently, I met an out-of-state individual who was distributing Gospel tracts on my university’s campus. Although we had never met before, and there was a considerable age difference between us, this Christian brother and I had such wonderful fellowship around the King James Bible rightly divided. It was very edifying for both of us, so I was sorely disappointed that I could not stay longer. Beloved, this is exactly how Christian fellowship should be, since the same Holy Spirit indwells us both.

The Bible says, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). As in any family, we should be especially kind to and caring for fellow saints (our spiritual siblings). Unfortunately, as in any family, there is petty bickering, immaturity, sibling rivalry, and even more serious issues in the Body of Christ, so this fellowship can be greatly hindered or even impossible.

In the context of today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul is reminding us that, when God was dealing with the nation Israel, we Gentiles were “without Christ… without God in the world” (verses 11,12). As lost people headed for eternal hellfire, we were “of [our] father the devil” (John 8:44), we “walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and we were under “the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13).

That all changed when the Dispensation of Grace began and when we realized our lost estate. We decided to trust exclusively in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins. The day we were saved unto eternal life, God became our Father (Galatians 3:26), and other people who had trusted Christ prior, whether living or deceased, became our spiritual brothers and sisters (today’s Scripture; cf. Ephesians 3:15).

Saints, let us remember to get to know each other now, because we, as God’s family, are living together, both now and forever….

Bible Study 101 #14

Saturday, January 18, 2014

“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).

The only verse that tells you to study the Bible also tells you how to study the Bible!

Scripture says little about the Christians who lived in Berea (a town neighboring Thessalonica, in present-day Greece), but its brief description of them is quite noteworthy: “These [in Berea, verse 10] 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 17:11). Jesus Christ told the religious leaders of His day, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). Some of Israel’s religious leaders encouraged Nicodemus to “search” the Old Testament scrolls (John 7:52). The Old Testament prophets “searched [the Scriptures] diligently” (1 Peter 1:10).

Similar concepts to “search” are “examine” (Luke 23:14; Acts 24:8), “discern” (1 Corinthians 2:14), and “judge” (1 Corinthians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 4:3). God “searches” our hearts (Romans 8:27; Revelation 2:23), the Spirit of God “searches” the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:10).

The Bible exhorts us to search it: we should study it in-depth, “consider” what we read in it (2 Timothy 2:7), and “meditate” on it (1 Timothy 4:16), make a mental effort and think about what it says. People—even many Christians—are not thinking clearly when they go to church, and the Bible doctrine they know is so shallow; they are not grounded in the Bible. Thus, they participate in the widespread nonsense (deception) that occurs within the average church building today (Ephesians 4:14). We need to study the Bible, and most importantly, need to study it “rightly divided,” understanding that Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, describe what God is doing today. This is the only way we can walk by faith in God’s Word to us, and work with God (1 Corinthians 3:9) to do what He is doing in this the Dispensation of Grace.

Let us now summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Bible Study 101 #12

Thursday, January 16, 2014

“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).

The only verse that tells you to study the Bible also tells you how to study the Bible!

While we study all of the Bible, Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, have direct application to us as people in the Dispensation of the Grace of God.

Want to know how to be saved from your sins and eternal hellfire? Read Romans chapters 1-5. Want to know how to have victory over daily sins? Read Romans chapters 6-8. Want to know what happened to the nation Israel and what will happen to her in the future? Read Romans chapters 9-11. Want to see the grace life applied in specific situations? Read Romans chapters 12-16.

Wondering what a Christian congregation looks like if it ignores the grace doctrines in Romans and embraces philosophy (humanism)? Read 1 Corinthians. Want to see Paul defend his apostleship? Read 2 Corinthians.

What does a Christian congregation look like if it ignores the grace doctrines in Romans and embraces Mosaic Law-keeping (legalism)? Read Galatians. Curious to know what Jesus Christ will do with us Christians in the ages to come? Read Ephesians. Want to see how Christians should work together for the Gospel’s sake? Read Philippians. What does a Christian congregation look like if it ignores the grace doctrines in Romans and embraces religious “self-denial” (asceticism)? Read Colossians.

Wondering what a Christian congregation looks like if it applies by faith the doctrine of Romans, thereby becoming a model assembly of mature grace living? Read 1 Thessalonians. What is our relationship to Israel’s prophetic program? Read 2 Thessalonians.

Want to address and correct issues involving the local church—its organization and administration and our participation in its ministry? Read 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. Desire to see Christian brotherly love displayed? Read Philemon.

Regarding life issues, these 13 epistles of Paul should be consulted first, and if they are silent about a matter, then seek advice from other Bible books. Dear friends, God’s will for us is not complicated like religion makes it….

Bible Study 101 #11

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

“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).

The only verse that tells you to study the Bible also tells you how to study the Bible!

God desires to “stablish” (stabilize) the Christian’s life and inner man by using a three-fold process. He wants the Christian to understand the life He gives in Christ Jesus, so the Christian can, by faith, work with God in accomplishing His will.

The Bible says in Romans 16:25,26: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”

Notice the three-fold process of Christian edification:

  • my gospel—Paul’s Gospel, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, is the foundation of the Christian life
  • the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery—this is Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon, the sound doctrine (building materials) which we use to build on that foundation
  • the scriptures of the prophets—this is all of the Holy Scriptures, in light of the doctrine revealed to Paul.

This is why studying the Bible rightly divided is so important. We study all of the Bible, Genesis through Revelation, but we follow the design of Christian edification as laid out in Romans 16:25,26. If we refuse to follow the dispensational layout of Scripture, and most people do refuse it, then we will be going against what God is doing today, and our Christian lives will be in shambles (which is why Christendom is in such pitiful shape!).

Dear friend, if you want to be spiritually “edified” (“strengthened”) and spiritually “perfected” (“matured”), you need to study and believe the Pauline epistles of Romans through Philemon (Ephesians 4:12). Again, dispensational Bible study is critical to your spiritual health. Let us further demonstrate this….