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….

333’s 3300th – The Stability of Our Times!

Friday, June 12, 2020

And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure (Isaiah 33:6 KJV).

Dear readers and saints, only by God’s grace, we mark our 3300th daily devotional today!

We live in a crazy world, huh? Since we are “creatures of habit,” its vicissitudes or changes greatly affect us. Our culture is shifting at a phenomenal speed—and for the worse rather than the better! Despite all our technological innovations, we cannot engineer a more ethical, moral, or righteous human. The problems mankind faced centuries and millennia ago still plague us this very moment. A larger population, a more brazen populace, and a greater enticement to do evil are the differences that make our society exceptionally precarious.

For exactly 3,300 consecutive days now, we have had here literally myriads of opportunities to use God’s Word rightly divided to stabilize ourselves spiritually. The cares of this evil world system will tear us down if we are not careful. Hence, it is absolutely critical we continue in sound Bible doctrine, lest we fall prey to the dumbness, deception, and doubt currently besetting people all around the world.

In today’s Scripture, the nation Israel is enjoying her future kingdom on Earth. Jesus Christ has returned at His Second Coming, has delivered her from all her enemies, and now reigns as King. Verse 5 says, “The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.” Today’s Scripture, the next verse, continues, “And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.”

Spiritual wisdom and spiritual knowledge will provide Zion, Jerusalem or the nation Israel’s capital city, with “stability” and “strength of salvation.” Instead of false religion or pagan idolatry debilitating her, Israel will be spiritually equipped to function as God’s nation. Why? His pure Word will be there to support them. Likewise, in these uncertain times, how wonderful it is to have a firm foundation in which we can trust—the King James Bible, taught and believed rightly divided (2 Timothy 2:15). The stability of our times! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Were the King James translators justified in adding ‘women’ to Matthew 24:41?

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?”

Jehoshaphat’s Bible Teachers #6

Thursday, May 28, 2020

And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people (2 Chronicles 17:9 KJV).

Jehoshaphat was King David’s great-great-great grandson, ruling over the Kingdom of Judah more than a century after him. Early in his reign, Jehoshaphat wisely chose to commission Bible teachers to disseminate God’s truth throughout his kingdom.

If we have some good news, it is only natural to want to tell others about it. (Of course, similarly, it is human nature to want to share bad news—gossip—too!) In the form of sound Bible doctrine, the Word of God rightly divided, we have a message worth proclaiming to the world. It is a Gospel that will span the endless eons of eternity future: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). “God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4).

We turn now the Apostle Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 2:2: “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.” As Jehoshaphat’s Bible teachers listened to the LORD through Moses, and then communicated that sound Bible doctrine with others in the Kingdom of Judah, so we hearken to the LORD through Paul, and then spread that message of God’s grace to Jew and Gentile alike.

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 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 their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:1-4).

Being mindful of sound Bible doctrine will prevent us from going the way of ancient Israel, drifting further and further from the one true God and becoming increasingly misled! 🙂

Jehoshaphat’s Bible Teachers #5

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people (2 Chronicles 17:9 KJV).

Jehoshaphat was King David’s great-great-great grandson, ruling over the Kingdom of Judah more than a century after him. Early in his reign, Jehoshaphat wisely chose to commission Bible teachers to disseminate God’s truth throughout his kingdom.

We cannot love the Lord and not value His Word. Anyone who truly loves Jesus Christ will do whatever he or she can to teach that Word to others. The two greatest responses we can have toward the Scriptures is to first believe them and then share them.

Jehoshaphat believed the Holy Bible and then he ordered teachers to educate his people and remind them of their God’s Word to them and His will for them. Decades earlier, before he assumed the throne of his forefather David, Judah had forgotten the LORD and His Word to them. They were too preoccupied with pagan idols to concentrate on the one true God! Consequently, King Solomon’s heathenism engendered God’s wrath and split Israel and Judah, resulting in the divided kingdom now present during Jehoshaphat’s day.

Read of Ezra the Priest-Prophet-Scribe who lived a few centuries after Jehoshaphat. Ezra chapter 7: “[6] This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him…. [10] For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments…. [Artaxerxes King of Persia said] [25] And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.”

Whereas Jehoshaphat lived before, Ezra conducted his ministry in Judah after the Babylonian Captivity. Now, God has already sent Judah out in exile because of idolatrous kings living subsequently to Jehoshaphat. We fight apostasy and heresy with sound Bible teaching….

Jehoshaphat’s Bible Teachers #4

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people (2 Chronicles 17:9 KJV).

Jehoshaphat was King David’s great-great-great grandson, ruling over the Kingdom of Judah more than a century after him. Early in his reign, Jehoshaphat wisely chose to commission Bible teachers to disseminate God’s truth throughout his kingdom.

In the Law of Moses—Deuteronomy chapter 17—we read the following Divine ordinance concerning Israel’s king: “[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.”

The LORD through Moses advised Israel in Deuteronomy chapter 8: “[10] When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. [11] Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: [12] Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;….”

It would be quite easy for the Jews, during the time of their prosperity during Jehoshaphat’s reign, to forget the LORD. Consequently, the King sent out Bible teachers to remind his people in the Kingdom of Judah of their obligation to keep the Mosaic Law, God’s covenant with them. Jehoshaphat knew and loved the LORD and His Word, and wanted his nation to do so as well. He understood the only way to fight Bible ignorance is with Bible teaching….

Jehoshaphat’s Bible Teachers #3

Sunday, May 24, 2020

And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people (2 Chronicles 17:9 KJV).

Jehoshaphat was King David’s great-great-great grandson, ruling over the Kingdom of Judah more than a century after him. Early in his reign, Jehoshaphat wisely chose to commission Bible teachers to disseminate God’s truth throughout his kingdom.

Over 500 years prior to Jehoshaphat, Leviticus chapter 10 reports: “[8] And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, [9] Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: [10] And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; [11] And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.”

Jehoshaphat knew what the LORD God had instructed Aaron and his sons (the Jewish priests) to do. Accordingly, the King behaved as he did in the context of today’s Scripture: “[7] Also in the third year of his reign he sent to his princes, even to Benhail, and to Obadiah, and to Zechariah, and to Nethaneel, and to Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah. [8] And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tobadonijah, Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, priests. [9] And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people. [10] And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.”

They were not merely preaching “oral tradition.” Nay, rather, they had a “book,” “the book of the law of the LORD with them.” They carried a Bible, especially the writings of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy). Jehoshaphat wanted his people to be mindful of God’s covenant with them, and their obligation to observe it….

*In order to provide a special study tomorrow, we temporarily break away from this devotionals arc.

Jehoshaphat’s Bible Teachers #2

Saturday, May 23, 2020

“And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people” (2 Chronicles 17:9 KJV).

Jehoshaphat was King David’s great-great-great grandson, ruling over the Kingdom of Judah more than a century after him. Early in his reign, Jehoshaphat wisely chose to commission Bible teachers to disseminate God’s truth throughout his kingdom.

Read about Jehoshaphat’s father, King Asa, as recorded in chapter 14: “[1] So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years. [2] And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: [3] For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: [4] And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. [5] Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him. [6] And he built fenced cities in Judah: for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because the LORD had given him rest.”

Asa’s father Abijah/Abijam and grandfather Rehoboam were idolatrous kings of Judah (chapters 12–13). They promoted Baal worship, pagan idolatry, amongst the Jews. In total, these two kings reigned for 20 years. When Asa assumed the throne, he ruled for approximately four decades, initiating religious reforms that evidently did not go far enough. By the time his son Jehoshaphat began his administration, there were additional heathen shrines to abolish: “And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah” (17:6).

Three years into his rule, Jehoshaphat directed Bible teachers to go out with the Mosaic Law (today’s Scripture), that the people of Judah familiarize themselves with how JEHOVAH God wanted them to live in His land. In doing so, they would prevent another resurgence of idolatry in their midst….