How to Know Your Apostle Paul

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office” (Romans 11:13 KJV).

Friend, have you ever wondered how to know your Apostle Paul?

Initially boasting, “I do not follow ‘some man,’ I go by what ‘Jesus’ says;” professing Christians subsequently assemble at their denominations where manmade traditions masquerade as pure Bible. There, they have been trained to snatch “charming verses” out of context. Since each Bible dispensation differs, and religionists “pick and choose” verses from multiple dispensations, countless combinations and divergent denominations result. Some follow Moses, but most stress Christ’s earthly ministry and the (transitional) Acts period. Yea, denominations arise when Bible readers fail to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). They do not understand which dispensation applies to them—namely, God’s spokesman to them.

The Book of Acts records God’s dealings with man in “time past” giving way to the “but now” (Ephesians 2:11-13). With Saul of Tarsus’ conversion and commission in Acts chapter 9, God temporarily suspended His dealings with the nation Israel and began forming the Church the Body of Christ with any believers (Jew or Gentile) in Christ’s finished crosswork at Calvary.

Christ Jesus told Saul/Paul (Acts chapter 26): “[16] But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; [17] Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send [apostello—cf. today’s Scripture] thee, [18] To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

Therefore, we read: “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:…” (Ephesians 3:1,2). Since the ascended Lord Jesus Christ sent Paul to us, we find God’s instructions for us today in the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon. Avoid the abounding confusion; take heed to Christ’s heavenly ministry!

For more information about Paul’s apostolic authority, you may see: https://ambassadorsfortherisenchristministries.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/pauls-apostolic-authority-verses/.

How to Know Dispensational Bible Study

Monday, April 9, 2018

“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).

Friend, have you ever wondered how to know dispensational Bible study?

People often inquire, “Why are there so many churches?” Expectedly, precious few of those tens of thousands of professing “Christian” denominations understand and appreciate the Holy Bible. Unfortunately, they are “lost” in the Scriptures, unable to make any sense out of them. No wonder they are tempted to—or actually do—completely throw out the puzzling and contradictory Bible! Since all groups quote some verses, using the Bible to sort out the confusion appears impossible. Yet, today’s Scripture allows us to not only answer but even avoid those spiritual catastrophes—“study… rightly dividing the word of truth.”

A “dispensation” is simply a particular set of instructions that God gives to man for his faith and obedience during a definite time (see 1 Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 3:2; Colossians 1:25). We must (!!!) recognize and “rightly divide” the various dispensations as God has already done. Verses will become destructive and the Bible loathsome if we ignore dispensational contexts and boundaries (timing). Provided that we want to believe the Word of God, and not promote a denominational agenda, absolutely nothing here is difficult.

Religionists consider “dispensational Bible study” dirty words, curse words, profanity. Their denominational doctrine is threatened, and they know it! If people understand the Bible by themselves, they will no longer depend on the denominational hierarchies for “guidance” (brainwashing)! Dispensational Bible study is simply placing the Scriptures on a timeline. Just as we sort secular history instead of jumbling all the events and peoples together, so we recognize God’s arrangement of the Scriptures to form a wonderful, sequential layout.

Ephesians chapter 2 provides three invaluable timeline markers—“time past” (verses 11,12), “but now” (verse 13), and “the ages to come” (verse 7). Acts 3:21 shares information God has spoken… since the world began.” Romans 16:25-26 mentions knowledge God kept secret since the world began” but has now revealed through the Apostle Paul. Unless we organize Bible verses dispensationally—whether history, present-day, or prophecy, and involving either the nation Israel or us the Church the Body of Christ—we will be hopelessly flummoxed by Scripture!

For more information about dispensational Bible study, you may see: https://333wordsofgrace.wordpress.com/whats-dispensational-bible-study/.

How to Know the Holy Bible

Sunday, April 8, 2018

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, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16,17 KJV).

Friend, have you ever wondered how to know the Holy Bible?

Years ago, like most, I assumed all Bible versions said basically the same thing; oddly, I was also a King James Bible critic. Then, instead of naïvely repeating hearsay, I began researching. The beautiful leather covers, insightful study notes, contemporary English, extra-wide margins, attractive graphics, “unparalleled scholarship,” and large print aside, something quite sinister underlies the Bible versions issue. God’s chief enemy, Satan, wants to remove the Bible from its place as the final authority. Genesis 3:1-5 captures Satan’s first words spoken in Scripture: if he can question God’s Word, add to it, take from it, water it down, or completely deny it, he has you on his side without you realizing it!

Anglophone (English-speaking) Christians once had one voice because they used one standard set of Bible manuscripts. This ceased approximately 140 years ago with the arrival of contemporary English Bible translations based on completely different manuscripts. Consequently, verses are now removed, words have been inserted, and familiar Christian phrases are watered down. Roughly 200 modern English versions have now been released to the general public. Many Bible translators and publishers—not necessarily Christians but shrewd entrepreneurs—see economic incentives. Moreover, those exalting heretical (counterfeit) Bible manuscripts hide their motives by releasing nocuous yet “easy-to-read” English versions. Sadly, today’s “Bible scholars” are usually not interested in maintaining and defending the integrity of the Holy Bible.

The King James Bible has served the Church the Body of Christ well for over 400 years. A sure foundation in this ever-darkening, ever-depreciating world, it has withstood the test of time. We cannot afford to be waffling between hundreds of English Bibles; alas, to Satan’s delight, much of the professing church is doing just that. Friend, if you are to be “throughly furnished unto all good works” (today’s Scripture), then you must (!) have the inspired, preserved Word of God for English speakers—the King James Bible. Your Christian life depends on having that final authority!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What are the ‘sins that are past’ in Romans 3:25?

Without Blemish and Without Spot #3

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

“But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:…” (1 Peter 1:19 KJV).

How was Israel to see Jesus Christ was “without blemish and without spot?”

Passover/Calvary is two days away (Matthew 26:1,2). Israel’s chief priests, scribes, and elders connive to deceitfully arrest and murder Jesus. At Simon the leper’s house in nearby Bethany, Mary pours ointment on Jesus’ head (unknowingly preparing Him for burial). Judas Iscariot schemes with the chief priests to betray Christ for 30 silver pieces (verses 14-16). Jesus eats an early Passover with His 12 Apostles (verses 17ff.). On the Mount of Olives, He prays, before being betrayed and apprehended. His unjust, nighttime trial concludes late the next morning. Sentenced to death (!), He is crucified at 9 A.M.; He lets Himself die by 3 P.M. (Mark 15:25-38).

Israel could have verified Jesus as Messiah-Redeemer during those four days between Palm Sunday and Calvary. Rather than wrongdoing, He cleansed the defiled Temple, demonstrated God’s power, preached the truth, upheld the pure Mosaic Law, defended and expounded the Hebrew Bible, and exposed Israel’s perverted religious leaders. Scripture testifies of Christ Jesus during His last days: “the innocent blood” (Matthew 27:4), “just [righteous]” (Matthew 27:19), “I find no fault in this man” (Luke 23:4), “I… have found no fault in this man… No, nor yet Herod…” (Luke 23:14,15), “I have found no cause of death in him” (Luke 23:22), “this man hath done nothing amiss [no wrong]” (Luke 23:41), “I find in him no fault at all” (John 18:38), “I find no fault in him” (John 19:4). (Cf. Matthew 27:23; Mark 15:14; Luke 23:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22; cf. today’s Scripture)

Matthew 27:24,25: “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the [Jewish] people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.Israel knew Pilate was correct; however, they could not care less that Jesus was innocent. Like all other sinful (deceived) children of Adam, they refused God’s sinless Son as their King: they demanded He be crucified as an imposter (John 19:15)!

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “What is a ‘wen?’” and “What is ‘scurvy?’

The “Triumphal” Entry

Sunday, March 25, 2018

“All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass” (Matthew 21:4,5 KJV).

Do you ever wonder why Jesus Christ rode on a donkey the Sunday before His crucifixion?

In today’s Scripture (cf. Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19), Jesus’s crucifixion on Calvary’s cross is just five days away. Leaving Bethany, He travels to Jerusalem (a mile to the northwest). Israel’s believing remnant in Jerusalem is excited to hear that Messiah is returning to “the city of the great King” (Psalm 48:2; Matthew 5:35); in anticipation, the great multitude throws their garments and palm branches on the ground. As Jesus enters the city, they cry out, “Hosanna [“O save!”]: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 19:38; John 12:13; cf. Psalm 118:26).

While often called the “Triumphal Entry,” there really was no victory being celebrated in today’s Scripture—the victory was to come later! What we need to realize is that Jesus Christ was humble (“meek”) here: as a King riding on a donkey into Israel’s capital city, He demonstrated He desired peace with Israel (a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9). He had not come to destroy her, though He would have been just in doing so; He had come to save her from her sins, her enemies, and her satanic bondage (Matthew 1:21; Mark 2:17; Mark 3:22-30; Luke 1:68-75; Luke 9:55,56; Luke 19:9,10; Acts 3:24-26; et cetera).

Just a few days later, Jesus Christ appeared weak and defeated. He never fought back as the Roman soldiers mercilessly abused Him; He allowed Himself to be crucified on Calvary. It was His meek and lowly coming; now was not the time to pour out His wrath. He resurrected and ascended into heaven as a royal exile. Revelation 19:11 says Jesus Christ will return to Jerusalem on a white horse, a sign of war and wrath (Zechariah 14:1-4)—that will be His true triumphal entry, for He will conquer Satan’s world system forever!

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! 🙂

Sound!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself (1 Timothy 6:3-5 KJV).

Without further delay, we need to be sound in the faith.

The Greek word rendered “wholesome” in today’s Scripture is hygiano (“hygiene”). A father received his prodigal son “safe and sound” (Luke 15:27). Luke 7:10 mentioned Jesus healing the once-sick, now “whole,” servant. Christ Jesus spoke of the sick, not the “whole,” as needing a doctor (Luke 5:31). The lame man, now miraculously healed, enjoys “perfect soundness” (Acts 3:16). These “whole” or “sound” people lack physical illness and injury; they are healthy. Similarly, in Titus 1:13 and Titus 2:2, Christians are to be “sound in the faith.” How do we become spiritually healthy?

Whenever someone downplays doctrine, the equivalent phrase in the physical world is, “Consume all the junk food you want! In the end, it makes no difference what you eat!” (Oh, really?!) Unless quality physical food is consumed, your physical body will become frail, ill, and helpless. Likewise, without valuable spiritual food, your spiritual body will grow weak, sick, and impotent. The Bible rightly divided, sound Bible doctrine, is key. If the doctrine is nourishing, then obviously the spiritual body will be fed and strengthened. Hence, Scripture speaks of sound doctrine” as essential (1 Timothy 1:10; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 4:3; Titus 1:9; Titus 2:1).

“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13). These are “the wholesome words of Jesus Christ” of today’s Scripture: they are the words Jesus Christ spoke through the Apostle Paul. “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me,….My dear friend, if you want to be a strong, spiritually fit Christian, you must read, believe, and heed the Pauline doctrine, Romans through Philemon. Otherwise, spiritual incapacity is your fate!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did Judas Iscariot have to betray Christ?