Turn Not from It! #8

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7 KJV).

Dear readers, let us learn this vital lesson from ancient Israel’s history.

Second Peter chapter 2: “[1] But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. [2] And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. [3] And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” Whether Old Testament Israel, future Israel, or even the present time, Satan’s preachers always labor!

As today’s Scripture indicates, spiritual prosperity is achieved only when we follow the doctrinal path Almighty God has laid out for us. Israel would suffer tremendously if she drifted from the Law of Moses. Once Joshua died, the Jews waxed worse and worse. The Old Testament record abounds with a myriad of resultant tragedies—civil wars, collapse of family, droughts and famines, Gentile oppression, plagues and diseases, poverty, death, and so on. All these unfortunate situations were because Israel failed to maintain sound Bible doctrine.

Romans chapter 16: “[17] Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. [18] 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.” Here is the Holy Spirit’s warning to us the Church the Body of Christ. People will use false doctrine to split local churches and cause saints to stumble. Their main perversion is stressing Law and ignoring Grace (Romans 6:14,15). Mixing God’s Word and will for us, with God’s Word and will for Israel, is sure to bring spiritual ruin. Therefore, follow Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. Turn not from the rightly divided Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)!

Turn Not from It! #4

Friday, July 3, 2020

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7 KJV).

Dear readers, let us learn this vital lesson from ancient Israel’s history.

The LORD through Moses taught Israel in Deuteronomy chapter 17: “[14] When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; [15] Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother…. [18] And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: [19] And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: [20] That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.”

Israel’s kings were to make a copy of God’s Word, and study that copy of the Law of Moses. Doing so would save them and their nation from spiritual destruction. King Josiah of Judah is described in 2 Kings 22:2 thusly: “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.” Unfortunately, this could not be said of all Jewish kings. Like the Body of Christ, they overwhelmingly turned aside to the right and to the left….

NOTE: We interrupt this devotionals arc for one day in order to present a special study.

Turn Not from It! #3

Thursday, July 2, 2020

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7 KJV).

Dear readers, let us learn this vital lesson from ancient Israel’s history.

“All churches believe roughly the same.” “One religion is as good as another.” “Doctrine does not matter.” “It makes no difference what Bible translation we use.” Such pervasive myths they are! When JEHOVAH God commanded Israel to obey His Word, He likened it to them following a path from which they should never deviate. To introduce just one scintilla of false teaching would be to veer off course—to the left hand or right. The Holy Spirit had inspired, had spoken forth, the Mosaic Law. Accordingly, Israel was to not drift from it. Alas, Israel had a lackadaisical attitude—like the Body of Christ today. They were loose in their beliefs… until they were finally free from God’s control entirely!

Titus chapter 1 again: “[10] For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision [Jews]: [11] Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. [12] One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. [13] This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; [14] Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

We, the Body of Christ, were cautioned in Paul’s epistles to carefully adhere to sound doctrine. There are more evil schools of thought in the world than good, more false teaching than truth. Yet, little spiritual discernment is the norm today. For 2,000 years, we have spent most of our time swerving doctrinally—left and right, here a denomination and there a denomination—than we have staying on the course of Pauline teaching. We have allowed lost people, under the guise of “scholarship,” to take leading positions in our Bible colleges and churches. No wonder we see such spiritual confusion and ruin amongst ourselves!

Let us depart neither right nor left….

Turn Not from It! #2

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7 KJV).

Dear readers, let us learn this vital lesson from ancient Israel’s history.

Listen to Moses’ parting counsel to his Jewish nation: “[1] Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. [2] Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you…. [5] Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. [6] Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. [7] For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?” (Deuteronomy chapter 4). This chapter abounds with warnings!

As touching “turn not from it [the Mosaic Law]” (today’s Scripture), read these other cautioning passages directed toward Israel. “Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left(Deuteronomy 5:32). “And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them” (Deuteronomy 28:14). Decades later, Joshua’s parting words to Israel were: “Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;…” (Joshua 23:6). Yet, Israel neglected the counsel….

Bible Q&A #740: “Who was High Priest—Annas or Caiaphas?

Turn Not from It! #1

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7 KJV).

Dear readers, let us learn this vital lesson from ancient Israel’s history.

After listening to “scholars” for almost two millennia, the professing “Church” is greatly disoriented. We have had a completed Bible canon for 20 centuries—all the Word and will of Almighty God revealed—so we would expect to have more spiritual knowledge and unity among alleged “Christians.” Alas, tens of thousands of conflicting denominations all vie for the title of “the Church Jesus founded!”

When we familiarize ourselves with the Scriptures, we see rank ignorance even among God’s own people long ago. For instance, when the Apostle Paul was in his dying moments, he made the pathetic observation of 2 Timothy 1:15: “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” One of the final comments the Holy Spirit made concerning the Church the Body of Christ was that Christians in “Asia” (Asia Minor, present Turkey) had “turned away” from Pauline doctrine!

The Greek word “apostrepho” was rendered “perverteth” in Luke 23:14: “[Pontius Pilate] Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:….” Israel’s religious leaders accused Jesus of deceiving their nation, leading them away from what they claimed was the truth.

Go now to Titus chapter 1: “Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from [apostrepho] the truth.” Finally, chapter 4 of 2 Timothy: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [apostrepho] their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

The professing “Church” began drifting from God’s truth 2,000 years ago… much like the nation Israel failed to heed the admonition in today’s Scripture….

A Lost Generation! #10

Thursday, June 11, 2020

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).

What this “lost” generation needs is to be found!

Although desperately needed, societal reform will not result from mere external changes. Remove all weapons from every hand, and incarcerate all people everywhere, and humanity will still manage to destroy itself. It is a spiritual matter, not simply physical. Man must receive a new nature, a new heart, and that only happens in Christ. Thus, a clear Gospel message must be preached and believed.

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again…. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:14,15,17).

People do not get along with each other because they are naturally sinners (James 4:1), and sinners are naturally selfish (they “live unto themselves”). If, however, they believe the Gospel of the Grace of God, then they are placed “in Christ,” and become a “new creature,” possessing a new identity. They assume Jesus Christ’s identity, thereby able to think and act like Him—selflessly, seeking another’s benefit (Philippians 2:5-8). “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). He died for us, unselfishly! Now, His love for us can work in us, and we thus love and serve others.

Make no mistake, worldwide societal revival will come when Christ returns: “And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations” (Isaiah 25:7). One day, God’s light will illuminate the whole world currently in Satan’s darkness. Until then, brethren, we preach the Gospel of Grace, brightly shining forth to call sinners out of this present evil world!

A Lost Generation! #9

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).

What this “lost” generation needs is to be found!

Concerning the nation Israel after Jesus Christ finished His earthly ministry and His 12 Apostles undertook their ministry under the power of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter chapter 2: “[9] But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; [10] Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” No longer was Israel “lost!”

As touching formerly pagan Gentiles, now members of the Church the Body of Christ, the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians chapter 2: “[1] And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; [2] Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: [3] Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. [4] But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, [5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; ) [6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” No longer were these Gentiles “lost!”

Provided each “lost” generation of every moment in human history believes God’s Word to and about it, it can be a found generation. Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

A Lost Generation! #3

Thursday, June 4, 2020

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).

What this “lost” generation needs is to be found!

Dear friends, it is sad to say it, but the professing Church has utterly and miserably failed in maintaining sound Bible doctrine these last 2,000 years. We simply have to read church history—what went after the Bible but before us—and then look at the spiritual conditions today. Preachers and teachers even now have replaced sound Bible doctrine with “pop psychology.” Instead of teaching about the grace life—how we can have victorious Christian living through faith in Jesus Christ—they have substituted it with feel-good sermons. “Choose your best life now! God wants you to be happy, healthy, and wealthy! You can become a better person if you try! Come have a good time at our church!”

The fact of the matter is that even when we avoid the “inconvenient” topic of sin, it dThe fact of the matter is that even when we avoid the “inconvenient” topic of sin, it does not make it less of a reality. Instead of attempting to appease the world by speaking like it, Christendom should have told the world the truth. We have not been called to compromise, or make lost people feel “at home” when they attend our church services. However, we have overwhelmingly done both for years innumerable. Our church buildings host potluck suppers, concerts, blood drives, golf courses, food drives, and various other philanthropic and social gatherings, but we are neglecting our ultimate purpose. Where is the sound Bible doctrine? The in-depth Bible study? The yearning for spiritual understanding? The hunger for lost souls to come to faith in Christ? Furthermore, so as not to be “controversial” or “offensive,” we will send packages of food and clothes to hungry and destitute people overseas—but we will not bother to include Bibles or Gospel tracts!

Dear friends, it is sad to say it, but the professing Church has played its own integral part in causing this world to be a “lost” generation….

333 Turns 9!

Monday, June 1, 2020

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105 KJV).

Dear saints, “333 Words of Grace” celebrates its 9th birthday today!

While it is quite unfathomable—and I absolutely cannot believe I am about to type this—but we have “met” here daily around the King James Bible rightly divided for the last nine years! What an enjoyable, eye-opening experience it has been for all of us, has it not?!

It seems like yesterday when I wrote those first few Bible studies… having no idea we, by God’s grace, would still be here nearly a decade later. How challenging it was to start, but, honestly, it has become easier as the years have flown by. When we began, we were but novices in the Scriptures dispensationally considered and delivered. Yet, we can say with confidence that we walked in the spiritual light that we had, and Father God in His infinite goodness honored our sincerity. Now, all these years later, we can truthfully say we better understand His purpose and plan for creation—especially our role in it as members of the Church the Body of Christ.

Believe it or not, we still have so much more to learn and so many more Bible topics yet to cover. We are not content in staying where we are in our spiritual understanding, so we will seek a much higher comprehension level. Our Father’s Word not only shines so we see where we stand, it radiates out into the distance to see where we are going (today’s Scripture). We need not wonder in unawareness, wander in senselessness, or grope in darkness.

As Philippians 3:14 says, “[We] press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” We have a lot more spiritual growing to do! How many more years must we continue with these our daily grace-oriented devotionals? Frankly, we will keep going as long as God’s grace enables—exactly what has kept us going all this time now anyway! Thank you for your prayerful support these past nine years, dear brethren, and we look forward to serving you for (maybe) another nine! 🙂

All nine years’ worth of daily devotional studies are linked here: https://333wordsofgrace.org/master-list-of-devotionals-chronological/.

Our latest Bible Q&As: “With God ‘all things’ are possible?” and “Is ‘Ask and ye shall receive’ applicable to us?”

A Cooperation, Not a Competition!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:5-7 KJV).

Remember, ministry is a cooperation not a competition!

What is ministry to us? Is it our excuse to “outdo” others? Look at all the “bestsellers” I have written! Notice how many countries I have visited! See how often I pray and study! Look at how much I give in the collection plate! Notice how I am “more spiritual!” Such is but fleshly idiocy! As the human body is a network of cells all cooperating to cause every limb and organ to function as one unit, so the Holy Spirit works in each and every member of the Church the Body of Christ to accomplish His will. He really does not need us, but He in His grace has invited us to participate in His work. First Corinthians chapter 12: “[11] But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. [12] For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”

Read today’s Scripture in context: “[5] Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? [6] I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. [7] So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. [8] Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. [9] For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. [10] According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.”

Brethren, let us all labor to build sound Bible doctrine in each other, as opposed to rivaling each other! 🙂