Keep Your Fork! #7

Monday, August 15, 2022

“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6,7 KJV).

Will Heaven be a boring place? (It is a resounding “NO!”)

Let us take a few moments to address a pervasive misunderstanding. Correctors of the King James Bible frequently refer to “the heavenlies,” and this faulty terminology has crept into the vocabularies of common people who innocently repeat what they have heard from “the blind leaders of the blind.”

Dear friend, if you use a printed King James Bible, you will notice “places” is italicized in today’s Scripture (also, Ephesians 1:3,20; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12). That is, there is no Greek word directly corresponding to the English, but the implication is there: “en [‘in’] tois [‘the;’ plural noun] epouraniois [‘above the sky’ = ‘heavenly;’ plural noun].” Our translators inserted the noun “places” to complete the thought. In Greek, adjectives such as “heavenly” are usually written without the modifying noun (substantive). To avoid an incomplete thought, an English word must be supplied during translation. (Think of the English sentence, “The good die young.” Obviously, “good” suggests “good people/men/folks,” but we do not need a noun there because it is implied to us English speakers. The Greeks used adjectives in a similar manner, which our Greek New Testament reflects. To adequately convey the sense of the Greek adjective, our translators added a substantive or noun: “heavenly places.)

To remove the italicized “places” from “heavenly places” and make it “heavenlies” is to generalize and obscure Bible truth. Firstly, “heavenlies” is actually nonsense to an English speaker. Heavenly what? We are not told! Our King James translators therefore supplied us with the plural noun “places.” Secondly, to take away the italicized “places” from “heavenly places” and have it read “heavenlies” causes us to lose the cross-reference to the word “place” in Revelation 12:8 (read verses 7-9). By correcting the Bible, we have robbed ourselves of the realization that we members of the Body of Christ will take over the seats of government, the dwellingplaces, of Satan and his fallen angels currently occupying the heavenly places….

Superfluous #3

Saturday, June 11, 2022

“For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many” (2 Corinthians 9:1,2 KJV).

What does “superfluous” mean?

To prepare them for the Antichrist’s satanic religious-economic system (Revelation 13:15-18), Christ directed His disciples to relinquish and sell their material goods (Matthew 19:21-30; Mark 10:21-31; Luke 18:22-30). Guarding against Satan’s distractions, they were not to be attached to this world’s riches (Matthew 6:19-34; Luke 12:13-34). In Acts 2:44,45 and Acts 4:32-37, Israel’s believing remnant obeyed Christ: they literally sold their personal possessions and lived off a common fund.

Of course, our dispensation introduced in Acts chapter 9 postponed the prophetic program, so the Antichrist is still future and their common fund went bankrupt. In Acts 11:27-30, a “dearth” or famine struck Judaea (the neighborhood of Jerusalem), further compounding the Little Flock’s dire financial straits: “Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul [another name for the Apostle Paul].” Hence, in some of Paul’s “Acts” epistles, we read such verses as the following.

“But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things” (Romans 15:25-27). “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality [kind donations] unto Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 16:1-3).

Here is “the ministering to the saints” of today’s Scripture….

Superfluous #1

Thursday, June 9, 2022

“For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many” (2 Corinthians 9:1,2 KJV).

What does “superfluous” mean?

One recurrent complaint lodged against the King James Bible is that it is “hard to read.” Such a grievance likely stems from a mindless echoing of a sales pitch heard from a translator or publisher of a modern English version. Instead of seeking a Bible that is “easier to read” (the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages read just as difficult!), we need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour so the indwelling Holy Spirit can then teach us! Though the Scriptures have been habitually reworded via the aid of “textual criticism” (over 100 times!), it has come at the cost of sacrificing God’s spiritually-mature words. An “easy-to-read” version is simply “God’s Word” corrupted by natural-man thinking. Holy Writ should be handled far more reverently.

Let us take, for instance, the King James term “superfluous” in today’s Scripture. What does it mean? Of course, at the very least, we could look for the definition in a dictionary. However, a more profitable approach would be to take a concordance and see if the Bible uses the word in other verses, and if those passages would shed any light on today’s Scripture. Studying and comparing verses is the mature Christian’s method to spiritual enlightenment and growth.

We find “superfluous” also appears in Leviticus 22:23, in the context of animal sacrifices offered according to the Mosaic system: “Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted.” Be careful to recognize how “superfluous” sits in opposition to “lacking in his parts.” Obviously, “lacking” indicates the absence of something that should be present; therefore, “superfluous” is the other extreme, the presence of something that should be absent. Read verses 17-25, how deformities in or injuries to animal bodies render them inadmissible for vow offerings.

Thus, “superfluous” means excessive, unnecessary, extra….

Understanding the Right Bible

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

“Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Mark 13:31 KJV).

Friend, would you like to understand the right Bible?

Ministries and churches have statements of faith invariably declaring they believe “the Bible is God’s inspired, inerrant, authoritative Word.” Yet (contrary to how impressive that sounds), preachers, teachers, and seminary professors usually have another (private!) view. Ask them to show you that “perfect Bible” they claim to “love,” “believe,” and “defend.” Hear their dreadful reply. “No, my perfect Bible disappeared when the original manuscripts disintegrated over 1,500 years ago! All we have now are error-filled copies and flawed translations!” Of course, this is not their public admission. They conceal their real beliefs by carefully wording it as “the inspired, inerrant Word of God in the autographs or original manuscripts.”

Incredibly, they have been taught not to believe the Bible. They have been trained to reduce the Scriptures to just an ordinary Book that had no Holy Spirit watching over it. Consequently, they belittle whomever actually does believe in perfect Bible that we can hold and read today. Scholars will not submit to a perfect Bible in existence now, because then will be rendered pointless their work in retranslating, discussing variant readings, and so on. A settled, final Bible is their enemy! Here is the culmination of the Roman Catholic Church’s 500-year-long, Counter-Reformation efforts to shift Protestants from an authoritative Bible. Rome cleverly “fills the void” with skeptical teachers, weak retranslations, and worthless church traditions.

Knowing God promised to preserve His words (today’s Scripture) through a multiplicity of manuscript copies (Deuteronomy 17:18-20, for example), and understanding He is the Creator of human languages (which do not limit Him at all—Genesis 11:1-9; Acts 2:1-11), He could and did certainly furnish us with a perfect Bible in English. Unashamedly, we believe and use the Authorized Version King James Bible as the correct, infallible translation of the Old Testament Hebrew Masoretic Text and the New Testament Greek Textus Receptus (Received Text). If we are labeled an “old-fashioned, narrow-minded, King James cult,” so be it. At least we actually possess what we claim to believe in—unlike those who hide behind a nonexistent “authority” (missing original Bible manuscripts). We seek God’s approval (2 Timothy 2:15), not man’s (John 12:42,43). (Or, at any rate, that is the way it should be.)

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 Life That Will Please

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 KJV).

Today’s Scripture tells us who alone can live a life pleasing in God’s sight!

Everyone does “good” deeds. Yet, doing “good” is not necessarily good. For instance, people often do “good” just to receive praise/reward, make up for their wrongs, feel good, et cetera. Furthermore, despite our “good” deeds, we have plenty more bad ones! Pride, lying, evil thoughts, being a false witness, and being contentious are some of the things the LORD hates (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Mankind cannot even keep 10 simple rules from God. However, religion continues to urge us to keep seven sacraments, utter various prayers, give assorted offerings and “tithes,” attend numerous feasts and festivals, and perform sundry other tasks to “hopefully” please God and avoid hellfire. Whether we attempt to keep a church’s laws, our laws, or God’s laws, our flesh is far too weak to ever measure up. Just look at what God’s religion did to Israel—how much worse some man-made religion does to us!

As Saul of Tarsus, the Apostle Paul was a Pharisee, a religious leader of Israel. He was a nitpicker concerning Law-keeping, and yet, after his soul salvation, he admitted that all of his religion was “but dung” compared to Jesus Christ’s righteousness (Philippians 3:3-11). Even for the Christian, to live a perfect life is impossible (read of Paul’s miserable existence in Romans chapter 7). Paul had to forsake his vain religion and learn today’s Scripture: the Christian life is NOT the performance of the Christian, but the Lord Jesus Christ living and working in the Christian, as the Christian walks in an intelligent understanding of God’s Word to him or her!

If we trust a Saviour who will save—the Lord Jesus Christ—and trust a Book that will teach—the King James Bible—we can redeem the year for the great God and our Saviour, “who loved [us], and gave himself for [us]!” 🙂

A Book That Will Teach

Monday, January 3, 2022

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:13 KJV).

Today’s Scripture tells us who alone we can trust to teach us God’s truth!

Once, I heard a minister give his self-proclaimed “prophetic” message about top headlines that would appear in the coming year. While he reassured his audience that he received this information directly from “the Lord” (?), he gave a disclaimer: “I do not know, but at the end of this year, we will see if what I say came to pass.” Unlike the inner impressions and hunches of this “Christian” preacher, the Holy Bible is infallible, and we can trust its information completely.

Long, long ago, God Almighty wrote a Book, and He preserved it through history through a multiplicity of manuscript copies, so that it could eventually be translated into English, so we could read it even today! (Of course, Satan, the master counterfeiter that he is, most certainly had his own manuscripts—they still circulate today as corrupt Bible translations.) God promised to preserve His words forever (Psalm 12:6,7; Isaiah 30:8; Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:25). Consequently, every person will stand before Him one day to give account as to what he or she did with that Bible. Did we reject it in favor of counterfeits? Did we re-translate it to fit our denominational beliefs? Did we apply it to life by faith? Did we even read it at all?

As English-speaking people, we understand—or, at least, we should understand—that we can trust the 400-year-old King James Bible. Sadly, even in many church circles, we are often cautioned not to trust God’s preserved Word. Unfortunately, footnotes, study notes, and seminarians usually attempt to claim that authority by offering “better” readings or “better” manuscripts. Beloved, we can do without unbelieving textual critics and their “scholarship.” God does not need lost people to explain His Word to His children; He never did and He never will (1 Corinthians 2:14). Never forget that!

The Holy Spirit will teach us the King James Bible if we “read” (Ephesians 3:4), “study” (2 Timothy 2:15), and “consider” it (2 Timothy 2:7)!

The Virgin Conception of Christ

Saturday, December 18, 2021

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14 KJV).

While Christendom speaks of the “virgin birth of Christ,” according to today’s Scripture, a more accurate term would be the “virgin conception of Christ.” There was nothing unusual about Christ’s birth; it was His conception that was unique because there was no human father!

Interestingly, today’s Scripture has been the point of controversy for over a century (to Satan’s delight!). Some modern Bibles (RSV, NRSV, et al.) translate the Hebrew word here translated “virgin” as the vague “young woman,” thereby leaving room for the heretical idea that Joseph was Jesus’ biological father (and denying Christ’s deity)! If someone ever tells you almah (the Hebrew word translated “virgin”) can mean “young woman” or “virgin,” they are right, but point out that the key to choosing the right translation is not up to a translator, but rather the Holy Ghost!

The author of Matthew’s Gospel, filled with the Holy Ghost, knew which translation—“young woman” or “virgin”—was what God had intended in Isaiah 7:14. If we want to know what God meant in Isaiah 7:14, why not ask God?

“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Behold a virgin shall be with child…” (Matthew 1:22,23a). The Greek word translated “virgin,” parthenos, can only mean “virgin,” not “young woman.” Isaiah was prophesying a virgin, indicated by the words “firstborn son” (Matthew 1:25; Luke 2:7) and “Joseph knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son” (Matthew 1:25). Isaiah 7:14 meant “virgin,” as indicated by Luke 1:34, for Mary “knew not a man.” Again, the Bible is clear that Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father.

Matthew 1:23 indisputably proves that almah in Isaiah 7:14 did not simply mean a “young woman,” who may or may not be sexually pure, but “a virgin,” a woman who never had any sexual intercourse. The Holy Ghost, not Joseph, was the Father of Jesus’ body (Matthew 1:18-20).

For more information, see our archived Bible Q&A: “What is the real Immaculate Conception?

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks #1

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:8-10 KJV).

The first and second verses of the classic Christmas carol paraphrase today’s Scripture.

“While shepherds watched
Their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around
And glory shone around.
‘Fear not,’ said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled minds;
‘Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind
To you and all mankind.’”

Due to the decree of some pagan Roman emperor, Joseph and pregnant Mary traveled some 70 miles (113 kilometers), from Nazareth to Bethlehem-Judah (Luke 2:1-7)! There, in little Bethlehem—a humble town rather than a magnificent world city—Israel’s King, yea the King of kings and Lord of lords, was born. Micah 5:2, written some 700 years earlier, was perfectly fulfilled: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Note that our King James Bible says Jesus Christ is “from everlasting,” demonstrating His deity. Modern versions water this down, saying “from ancient times/days.” Blasphemy!)

Not far from where Jesus was born and laid in the manger, shepherds were out that night guarding their flocks. (See, contrary to popular belief, Jesus was not born in wintertime. There is additional Scriptural evidence that it was early fall, very late September or very early October.) The angel of the Lord appeared to these shepherds. Angels appearing to Israel was usually some sign of judgment (see 2 Samuel 24:15-17, for example). When the shepherds of today’s Scripture saw the angel of the Lord, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, they were very fearful.

The angel reassured them with such wonderful news!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How many Bible teachers should someone have?

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing #3

Sunday, December 5, 2021

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8 KJV).

The third verse of the classic Christmas carol highlights today’s Scripture.

“Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them spiritual birth.
Risen with healing in His wings,
Light and life to all He brings,
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!”

Jesus Christ was literally the perfect example of living in fellowship with Father God. He did not make Himself the issue but rather glorified His Father who had sent Him. Yea, He said to His Father, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). What was Father God’s will? Check Hebrews 10:1-10. It was for Jesus to become a human that that human body die on that awful cross for our sins!

As our King James Bible says, Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Modern versions so butcher this passage, saying Jesus Christ “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing.” Blasphemy!)

The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). That man may die and live through Him, Jesus Christ died. That man may die and live through Him, Jesus Christ resurrected. There is no greater name than the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:10)! Friends, let us join the angels in praising Him!