Saved or Lost? #15

Thursday, September 15, 2022

“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you” (Galatians 4:19,20 KJV).

Are these people really saved—or really lost?

Life in Christ absolutely cannot function on the basis of ignorance; we would be utter fools to think it can. After all, what is the purpose of the Holy Scriptures? Why did God the Holy Spirit inspire and preserve His Word and words through a multiplicity of reliable copies? Why did He translate those Divine words into our language? It was to impart to us the information He deemed fit: it was not all that we wanted to know (for there would be endless volumes), but all that we needed to know. How does God live? How has He designed our lives to operate? How does sin interfere with the Divine will being brought to pass? How has He made a way for us to overcome sin and be what He originally wanted for mankind and the rest of creation?

When the Holy Spirit moved the Apostle Paul to pen his epistles (formal letters a teacher writes to educate his students), it was to dispel misinformation and remove spiritual illiteracy concerning the Age of Grace. On six occasions, Paul expressed his desire that the people he won to Christ would not (!!!) abide in spiritual darkness concerning major dispensational truths: “I would not have you ignorant, brethren…” (Romans 1:13; Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 10:1; 1 Corinthians 12:1; 2 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:13). Unless the saints pay attention to these inspired, preserved words, they (we) will indeed be “ignorant [uninformed, unlearned, untaught, unaware] brethren!” (As anyone with an eye to see and an ear to hear knows, most professing believers today “have better things to do with their time than” actually read for themselves the Lord’s heavenly ministry through Paul. They prefer church leaders’ commandments, professors’ critical Hebrew and Greek lectures, commentary writers’ speculations, denominations’ handbooks, “Christian bestsellers,” the latest “easy-to-read” translations, “Christian” movies, “Christian” radio programs and podcasts, et cetera).

Yet, even Bible literacy can be invaluable to Satan’s cause in tricking genuine saints….

Liberated to Serve

Monday, July 4, 2022

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13 KJV).

Today, as we in the United States celebrate the 246th anniversary of our nation’s independence, we invite our Christian brethren worldwide to rejoice with us concerning our freedom in Jesus Christ.

When we proclaim Romans 6:14—“Ye are not under the law, but under grace”—people tend to assume “loose living.” Does “grace living” really mean we can now live any way we want? Lest anyone be misled in that regard, God the Holy Spirit moved the Apostle Paul to write in the next verse, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid [May God never let that happen!]” (Romans 6:15). Grace living is not Law-keeping, but it certainly is not Law-breaking either.

God still cares how we live, albeit He is not operating the “weak and beggarly” system of “bondage” (Law) that He once did with Israel (Galatians 4:9). God proved to the entire world that since Israel could not keep His commandments perfectly, no other sons of Adam (the Gentiles) could either: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them [Israel] who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world [Gentiles] may become guilty before God (Romans 3:19).

We sinners cannot keep the Law. However, God in His grace provided us a way to escape that condemnation by sending Jesus Christ to offer Himself on Calvary’s cruel cross to pay for our sins. By simple faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the fully-satisfying payment for our sins, we can now be “made the righteousness of God in [Christ]” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We can be delivered from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire) and the power of sin (flesh-walking).

Why are we Christians free? To selfishly live any way we want? NO! Today’s Scripture says we are liberated to now serve others, especially our Christian brethren, just as Jesus Christ selflessly served His Father and selflessly died on our behalf. That is grace living!!!!

Please see our 2011 Fourth of July Bible study “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land,” which can be watched here or read here.

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.)

The LORD Revealed

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

“And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD” (1 Samuel 3:21 KJV).

How does the LORD reveal Himself?

We are creatures capable of communicating with each other through various means (voice, writing, facial expressions, and so on). If He has endowed us with these abilities, then our Creator has somehow communicated with us, that we may not only have that information but also be able to understand it. By possessing His words, we may then perceive Him. To “reveal” actually means “reverse a veil,” a curtain pulled back so we may see what is behind it. God, being far more superior to us, is hidden from our puny little minds and limited senses; yet, He can overcome that barrier to make known to us what He would, thereby making Himself known.

In Samuel’s time, the nation Israel has three apostate leaders. The Priest Eli and his two priestly sons, Hophni and Phineas, are evil; the younger men are idolaters, Satan worshippers, disregarding the words of the LORD God (see chapter 2, verses 12-36). God will use Samuel, a boy, to accomplish His will in Israel. Read chapter 3, whose last verse is today’s Scripture. The LORD calls out to Samuel in an audible voice. Verse 7 informs us: “Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.” Unlike those aforementioned wicked priests, Samuel wishes to hear God; as the chapter unfolds, the LORD talks to him (verses 11-18).

Today’s Scripture in context: “[19] And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. [20] And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. [21] And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.” Even now, the LORD shows Himself to us through His Word—the completed Holy Bible, preserved for us in English, the King James Bible. May we listen, especially to Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon, and believe in our heart that Divine revelation. “Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth!”

Liberated to Serve

Sunday, July 4, 2021

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13 KJV).

Today, as we in the United States celebrate the 245th anniversary of our nation’s independence, we invite our Christian brethren worldwide to rejoice with us concerning our freedom in Jesus Christ.

When we proclaim Romans 6:14—“Ye are not under the law, but under grace”—people tend to assume “loose living.” Does “grace living” really mean we can now live any way we want? Lest anyone be misled in that regard, God the Holy Spirit moved the Apostle Paul to write in the next verse, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid [May God never let that happen!]” (Romans 6:15). Grace living is not Law-keeping, but it certainly is not Law-breaking either.

God still cares how we live, albeit He is not operating the “weak and beggarly” system of “bondage” (Law) that He once did with Israel (Galatians 4:9). God proved to the entire world that since Israel could not keep His commandments perfectly, no other sons of Adam (the Gentiles) could either: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them [Israel] who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world [Gentiles] may become guilty before God (Romans 3:19).

We sinners cannot keep the Law. However, God in His grace provided us a way to escape that condemnation by sending Jesus Christ to offer Himself on Calvary’s cruel cross to pay for our sins. By simple faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the fully-satisfying payment for our sins, we can now be “made the righteousness of God in [Christ]” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We can be delivered from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire) and the power of sin (flesh-walking).

Why are we Christians free? To selfishly live any way we want? NO! Today’s Scripture says we are liberated to now serve others, especially our Christian brethren, just as Jesus Christ selflessly served His Father and selflessly died on our behalf. That is grace living!!!!

Please see our 2011 Fourth of July Bible study “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land,” which can be watched here or read here.

Fortified!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself (Psalm 119:52 KJV).

How does the Psalmist comfort himself? He remembers God’s words to him!

On four occasions, the Bible refers to the Holy Spirit as the “Comforter” (John 14:16,26; John 15:26; John 16:7). Read verse 26 of John chapter 14: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” The Holy Spirit would give Israel’s Little Flock spiritual understanding, which would eventually give rise to the penning of the New Testament canon beginning in the Acts period.

The English word “comfort” is derived from Latin, and it means “with strength” (as in “fortify” or “fortitude”). We receive spiritual strength by listening to the words of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter (cf. today’s Scripture). Remember, “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). “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20,21).

As we read and believe God’s words rightly divided, paying special attention to Romans through Philemon, the Holy Spirit fortifies us internally: “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;…” (Ephesians 3:16). “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). What is the goal? “In [Jesus Christ] whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit(Ephesians 2:21,22).

Knowledge of God’s Preserved Words

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

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

Friend, would you like to have knowledge of God’s preserved words?

If we examine all evidence with an open mind, we will conclude the Holy Bible is above all other books of the world. No volume has been translated, published, and printed to the degree it has. Thousands upon thousands of ancient documents represent it in some form in a variety of languages. Such extensive documentation cannot be found for Shakespeare, Plato, Socrates, the Qur’an, and so on. The Bible has inspired tens of thousands of songs and millions of books. No other piece of literature has been the focus of such intense discussion, bitter argument, extreme censorship, and blatant corruption. Of all the “holy books,” the Judeo-Christian Scriptures have undoubtedly impacted the human race the most. If the Creator God has written something, this is definitely it!

Alas, “…when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,…” (Romans 1:21,22). Man in his sinfulness does not want revelation from God. “No, I am doing just fine without that ‘old book of myths and superstitions!’” The Creator surely reached out to us, and tried to educate us concerning our sin problem; however, we are not thankful because we are too prideful to admit our faults. All that remains is empty imaginations and foolish hearts—entertaining any and every silly thought that comes to mind. Hands on eyes and fingers in ears, sinful man cries out, “Where is the proof of God’s existence?! I cannot see or hear anything!!”

Millennia ago, God the Holy Spirit used holy men to write His words. He then preserved those inspired words, and He finally translated those words that we might have them today in English. When we take a King James Bible, and read it, God Himself is speaking to us. Again, are we paying attention to those Divine words, or whining in our ignorance? Friend, be quite careful to do the former and not the latter, lest you find yourself in Romans chapter 1 as well!

Not Made Perfect by the Flesh #5

Friday, October 30, 2020

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:1-3 KJV).

Can “the flesh” add anything to the Holy Spirit’s work? Nay, it cannot!

“I will be like the most High,” Lucifer boasted (Isaiah 14:14). As he told Christ, he desires worship: “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me(Matthew 4:9). Employing whatever sneaky means necessary, Satan accomplishes his goal. If he can counterfeit God’s actions, then people will be deceived and credit God. By attributing Satan’s work to God, man unwittingly worships Satan. It is an ingenious strategy, one seldom perceived!

Emotions mislead because the human heart is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). While something may “feel” right, it may not actually be right. Feelings are fickle, changing with our circumstances. Therefore, we cannot use them to gauge truth and error. Adrenaline rushes come and go, so never should we confuse them with the permanent Holy Spirit. If we are externalists or formalists, we run the risk of faking at some point. For instance, if we observe people raising hands or dancing, peer pressure urges us to mimic them. The Holy Spirit is thus quenched and our flesh—namely, the fear of being “left out”—motivates the behavior. Satan smiles. Except for the rare Berean Bible student, no one is able to notice the error.

So-called “Christian revivals” are being held where protests, riots, lootings, and shootings have occurred. It is claimed, “The Devil is active, but God is moving!” Online videos show musicians hosting “Christian rock” concerts. Crowds—mainly young adults—raise their hands, jump, run, sing, sob, and pray. Supposedly, they are “coming to Jesus;” yet, a clear Gospel message is absent. When we compare their activities with the Scriptures, what is allegedly “God’s work” turns out to be a mockery of Jesus Christ. Remember, we are not made perfect by the flesh!

Bible Q&As #779 and #780: “Should Christians observe All Saints’ Day?” and “Should Christians observe All Souls’ Day?

Not Made Perfect by the Flesh #4

Thursday, October 29, 2020

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:1-3 KJV).

Can “the flesh” add anything to the Holy Spirit’s work? Nay, it cannot!

The Galatians were preoccupied with the Law of Moses (cf. Galatians 4:21). Religious rules and regulations captivated them. They were deceived into believing their performance—their “flesh”—could somehow enhance their Christian life (cf. today’s Scripture). Did the Holy Spirit come to indwell these saints because of their religious works? No! Would He need their pious deeds to continue living in and through them? No! Sadly, today’s professing church is equally “foolish.” Nearly 20 centuries later, it still refuses to recognize rites, rituals, and ceremonies are incompatible with God’s grace! Like the Galatians not thinking clearly, we lack even basic spiritual common sense. We too have not let the Message of Grace renew our mind.

Philosophy and other vain speculations of lost (pagan!) people distracted the Corinthian believers. The first three chapters of 1 Corinthians are the Holy Spirit’s instructions to straighten out their confusion. Selfishness abounded in Corinth because spiritual ignorance flourished there. Whereas the Galatians were quite “strict” with their legalism, the Corinthians were quite “loose” with their sensuality. The Corinthians acted like spiritual babies because they also thought like spiritual babies. This too describes today’s professing church. Actually, the conundrums in 1 Corinthians parallel the chaos and confusion of modern “praise and worship.” Recall 1 Corinthians 14:40!

Instead of being thankful for the Message of God’s Grace—what the Holy Spirit has revealed in Pauline doctrine, Romans through Philemon—we unwisely believe we can improve the Christian life. Whether from Galatia or Corinth, we must learn the lesson: neither formalism (strict rules and regulations) nor fanaticism (no rules or regulations whatsoever) will ever replace the Holy Spirit’s work in grace believer’s heart. Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Jesus offer Himself to Israel if He knew they would reject Him?

Not Made Perfect by the Flesh #3

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:1-3 KJV).

Can “the flesh” add anything to the Holy Spirit’s work? Nay, it cannot!

When we hear of people “filled with the Holy Ghost” and “praising Jesus,” we should not automatically assume the Lord Jesus Christ is being honored. Lies are everywhere. We discern truth and error by considering Bible verses—especially Scripture “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15). If anyone claims individuals “going wild” is a sign of praising the Lord, or masses acting ridiculous is evidence of the Holy Spirit being “poured out,” these are simply false claims. The Bible establishes the standard for Christian behavior. Yea, the Pauline Epistles, Romans through Philemon, show us what God the Holy Spirit is doing today.

“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). “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20,21). In the Scriptures, we read of what the Holy Spirit is doing and not doing. He Himself is speaking through the Holy Bible.

If the Holy Spirit is working in a particular area, or He is operating in a specific person, this rule is always true: “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). A lack of modesty and discipline means it is not the Holy Spirit! Again, Galatians chapter 5: “[22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” The Holy Spirit produces “temperance,” self-control. If there is no restraint, it is man’s flesh and not God’s Spirit….