With the Saints Versus With the Ain’ts

Sunday, July 21, 2013

“And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26 KJV).

Dear Christian, lift up thy chin, for thou shalt see the saints again….

Bible conferences are wonderful occasions for which members of the Church the Body of Christ fellowship with another around God’s Word, the Holy Bible. These extended periods of time are (or should be) marked by edification, encouragement, and enlightenment. Meeting with like-minded Christian brethren is very enjoyable—unity that cannot be find elsewhere.

In today’s Scripture and its context, the Apostle Paul likens Christian believers of this the Dispensation of Grace to one unit, one body. “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (verse 27). Just like our physical body has many “members” (body parts), so the Church the Body of Christ has many individual members (with Jesus Christ as its Head; Colossians 1:18). Consequently, whether in health or sickness, all of the body is affected. One Christian’s time of sadness should be a time of grief for other Christians. When one Christian is filled with joy, every other Christian should rejoice with him or her.

As people who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, we are a family in Christ, united forever. It is only natural to miss Christians who are absent, and it is expected that we feel excitement when we see other Christians. After all, that is what family members do! Again, we cannot have that unity with lost people, for they are not family. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God(Ephesians 2:19). “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus(Galatians 3:26).

While we join all our Christian brethren in lamenting the conclusion of Bible conferences, we also join them in rejoicing in that the day is coming when we shall all assemble at the “grand Bible conference.” And that “family reunion” will never end! 🙂

The End of Job, Israel, and the LORD #4

Saturday, April 27, 2013

“So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses” (Job 42:12 KJV).

During the Tribulation period, the nation Israel will gain valuable insight from today’s Scripture….

When one trusts the Lord Jesus Christ alone as personal Saviour, the Holy Spirit takes this individual and baptizes him or her into the Church the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). He or she is no longer in Adam, but “in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17): this is the new nature, the new identity, the new position the Christian has before God. Lost people even sense a change in the person, and thus, family and “friends” are no longer comfortable around the person. Every Christian has felt that division—(lost) family and “friends” now avoid them.

There is neither fame nor fortune in being a King James Bible-believing Pauline dispensationalist. If one takes a stand for Jesus Christ, and especially for His sound doctrine, family and “friends” will scatter and “depart far hence.” Yes, dear Christian brethren, we have lost the world and its approval, but we have gained much, much more valuable things. We are “known of God” (Galatians 4:9), we are “blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3), and we are “complete in [Christ]” (Colossians 2:10). We have the Lord’s unconditional love, His grace, His forgiveness, His life—possessions that will last forever!

Just as believing Israel will suffer great loss for Jesus Christ’s sake during the Tribulation (as Job did), they will be restored even more in Christ’s earthly kingdom (as Job was; today’s Scripture). Likewise, we members of the Body of Christ, will lose family, “friends,” fame, and fortune for being Christians zealous of sound Bible doctrine, but we too will be rewarded one day—we will inherit the government of the heavenly places (Romans 8:17; Ephesians 2:6,7; 2 Timothy 2:10-12), just as believing Israel will inherit the government of the earth (Matthew 19:27-30; Revelation 3:20,21).

Beloved, like Job, let us patiently wait for “the end of the Lord….”  🙂

An Heretick Reject

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

“But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself” (Titus 3:9-11 KJV).

Beloved, never forgot that the greatest damage ever inflicted upon the Church the Body of Christ is not perpetrated by atheists or Bible skeptics—it is by people who claim to believe the Bible, who claim to follow Jesus Christ!

I read a recent, disturbing column in a national newspaper in which a prominent evangelical leader complained that some of his fellow evangelicals had rebuked him for urging other Protestants to join him in ecumenism (that is, compromising his “Protestant” doctrines in order to be more acceptable to the Roman Catholics, thereby hoping to partner with them regarding the threats of social issues such as homosexuality, Islamism, abortion, and relativism). What is appalling is that this leader called his critics “uncharitable:” pathetically, he considered them “unloving” because they recognized and chided a Bible compromiser when they heard one!

False teaching outside the Body of Christ is bad enough, but Satan furthers his plan the most by using false teaching within local churches (Acts 20:28-31; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 2 Peter 2:1-3). All of the “Christian” “celebrities” leading our churches today are leading more people away from Jesus Christ than the strip clubs, science classrooms, pubs, casinos, and abortion clinics—all put together! “Hollywood-style” “Christianity” is just as damnable as no Bible whatsoever, if not worse because of the hypocrisy and subtlety.

Our Creator God has given every person free will. If one wants to ignore the Holy Scriptures, he or she can. However, as people who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, we should (hopefully…?) want to believe and obey the King James Bible. We cannot and should not fellowship with those who reject the King James Bible; reject Paul’s apostleship; and reject Jesus Christ crucified, buried, and risen again for our justification. On these three points we must agree, or we are just as deceived as the lost people who do not even have God’s Word!

Established Saints #1

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

“For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end that ye may be established; that is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith of you and me” (Romans 1:11,12 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is God’s will for every believer.

The Apostle Paul desired to come to Rome and see these saints many times, but he was “let [hindered] hitherto” (verse 13). He wanted to “impart unto [them] some spiritual gift.” His goal in doing so was to have them “established,” which is defined as “the mutual faith of [the Apostle Paul] and [them].”

The Holy Spirit through Paul is writing that He wants every believer to have a clear, firm understanding of the Pauline grace doctrine (Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon). God wants us to have the same understanding of His Word as the Apostle Paul did: What is God doing today? Forming the Church the Body of Christ. Why is He doing this? To have an agency He can use in the heavenly places in the ages to come, for His glory. How does the Christian life operate? By faith in sound grace Bible doctrine—not the Mosaic Law—which the Holy Ghost will use to transform the minds and lifestyles of believers.

As a dear brother in Christ says, “Your Christian life will not operate on the basis of ignorance!” Oftentimes, believers have such an extremely shallow understanding of Scripture that they are prone to be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine…” (Ephesians 4:14). Sadly, Satan’s religious system sweeps them away into serving a denomination, filling their minds with worthless “commandments and doctrines of men” (Colossians 2:22), and thus making their Christian life a “shipwreck” (1 Timothy 1:19).

Dear saints, God’s fervent desire, Paul’s fervent desire, and our fervent desire for you this year is that you be “established” in sound Pauline Bible doctrine—that you do not simply know about Paul’s ministry, message, and doctrine, but you also understand them and believe them. This will bring stability in your Christian life, and guard you against Satan’s deception in religion and philosophy.

Wilt Thou Serve the Denomination, Or the Lord? #6

Saturday, December 8, 2012

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23,24 KJV).

Beloved, we have a choice—we can serve a theological system (which is worthless), or we can serve the Lord (which is priceless).

We who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, are “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…” (Romans 8:17; cf. today’s Scripture). In eternity, we will inherit what Jesus Christ will! “But unto the Son he [God the Father] saith, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever” (Hebrews 1:8). In the ages to come, Jesus Christ will rule the governments of heaven and of earth (Colossians 1:16-20)—God’s original intention before sin (Ephesians 1:9,10). He will use redeemed Israel to reign for His glory on earth (Exodus 19:5,6; Job 19:25,26), and He will utilize us, the Body of Christ, to rule for His glory in heaven (Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 2:6,7).

Before we can serve in the heavenly places for Christ’s glory, God left us here so we can study and believe the doctrine regarding the program that He is operating today. We go not to the “Old Testament,” Four Gospels, early Acts, or even to Hebrews through Revelation, to find God’s will for us—that is Israel’s program. Our doctrine, duty, walk, and destiny as members of the Body of Christ are found only in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. Applying Israel’s program to our lives, as denominations encourage, profits us nothing, for we are not Israel!

At the Judgment Seat of Christ, when the Lord Jesus evaluates the doctrine we Christians believed, vain religious tradition (denominationalism) and philosophy we have stored in our inner man, will be consumed, while the sound Pauline Bible doctrine will remain (1 Corinthians 3:8-15). Hence, Scripture cautions, take heed how [you] build thereupon” (verse 10). Be careful what doctrine you believe. Remember, Jesus Christ, not a denomination, “loved you and gave Himself for you.” Your loyalty should be to the Lord, not to man (today’s Scripture).

Saved from Religious Tradition!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:16 KJV).

Having returned from a very refreshing Bible study meeting, I shall recount for you some of the highlights.

Although brief, our Bible study meeting was a spiritual “jumpstart!” Firstly, we discussed how, if we neglect to study the Bible “rightly divided,” as 2 Timothy 2:15 clearly declares, we will wind up in confusion, and our Christian lives will be in shambles. Secondly, we learned that the order of the Bible’s books—particularly Paul’s epistles—is no coincidence. It is meant to spiritually grow Christians from “babes in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1) to “full age” (Hebrews 5:14). If we fail to recognize how God has constructed His written Word—how God the Holy Spirit arranged the Bible’s canon (the order of its books)—it will hinder our spiritual maturity.

God purposed the wisdom contained in the Bible to help us know Him and what He is doing. Alas, sin and religious tradition keep us ignorant, shackled, and miserable, which makes Bible study burdensome and impossible. Oh, but what joy to simply study the Holy Scriptures as God designed them to be studied, for they radically transform the way we think! Oh, what a thrill it is to simply believe the Holy Bible, for it certainly revolutionizes our lives!

How refreshing it was to hear a faithful servant in the ministry teach God’s Word dispensationally. It was thrilling to see new Christian faces. How encouraging it was to see curious souls turning the pages of Scripture, and writing notes. Surely, I was “godly edified” (1 Timothy 1:4), and indeed the rest of the class was, too. These dear saints were just as eager to soak up sound Pauline Bible doctrine as I was. We share life in Christ, and it was very enjoyable to fellowship with them, eating and talking with them.

By simple faith in the precious Bible doctrine we learned yesterday, we saved ourselves from religious tradition (see today’s Scripture), and we rejoice in this liberty in Christ (Galatians 5:1)! 🙂

Give Attendance to Bible Study Attendance

Friday, November 23, 2012

“Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13 KJV).

Due to “the fellowship of the mystery” (Ephesians 3:9), we grace Christians should give attendance to fellowshipping with each other.

In a few hours, I will be privileged to assemble with fellow grace believers, individuals who have trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, and who also understand and appreciate the special message and ministry that our ascended and glorified Lord gave to the Apostle Paul. I will be meeting many of these Christians for the very first time. How thrilling!

Literally, had it not been for God’s grace, none of us would be saved, and we would have probably never even met. We Christians are all partakers of the grace life in Christ, and it is around this precious Bible truth that we are united forever. Because of our salvation, all of us members of the Body of Christ are eternally linked to one another. We will be spending a literal eternity with each other, so we might as well get a head start now! 🙂

There will be about four hours of Bible study. During that time, we hope to cover basic grace doctrine, and especially how God the Holy Spirit has arranged the books of the Bible’s canon to accomplish our edification (building up, strengthening). This priceless doctrine that we learn, we can then apply to life by faith, and we can also share it with fellow Christians and the lost world.

When our King James Bible says, “give attendance” in today’s Scripture, it means, “pay attention to.” As the Bible declares here, we should emphasize three elements in the local church: “reading, exhortation, doctrine.” We should not only read the Bible, but study it and consider what we read. We are to pay attention to “exhorting” (urging, encouraging) our Christian brethren to continue in sound Bible teaching and grace living. Lastly, we are to pay attention to doctrine itself, for sound doctrine sets us apart from the cults, sects, denominations, and false religions of the world.

Attending Bible studies is very profitable—both now, and (more importantly) forever….