Brethren, Press Toward the Mark!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14 KJV).

Soul salvation is instantaneous. The Christian life, however, is a process. We have to die daily to the old thinking patterns and the former lifestyle (Ephesians 4:20-24). Our minds have to be continually renewed and transformed by the washing of God’s Word (Romans 12:1,2; Ephesians 5:26).

Positionally, in Christ, we Christians are “sanctified” (set apart) (Acts 26:18). God wants to transform our conduct so that it reflects our sanctified position in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:1-7). This is spiritual maturity (“perfection”): “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12).

In today’s Scripture, Paul explains that he is “pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” We Christians have a goal! Our goal is to know Christ and the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:8-10). Furthermore, our goal is to understand why God saved us and get a firm grasp of what He will do with us in the ages to come in the heavenly places.

We all need spiritual growth, some more than others. Every Christian grows at a different rate. We all, however, should be focused on the same goal that Paul had: spiritual maturity. Our desire should be to have a greater understanding of who Jesus Christ is, what He did for us, and our role in God’s purpose and plan for the ages. “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” (Ephesians 1:18).

Study God’s Word rightly divided, believe it, and you will be pressing toward the mark!

Never Settle for Eve’s Bible

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

“And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die” (Genesis 3:2,3 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, Eve is speaking to Satan, who previously asked her what God’s instructions were (verse 1). Although her statements appear to be true, they are not. Poor Eve is using the wrong Bible version!

Genesis 2:16,17 relay God’s original instructions: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Compare today’s Scripture with the above paragraph. Eve omitted “freely,” denying she and Adam had free will. Interestingly, Eve added, “neither shall ye touch it,” an erroneous statement that God never spoke. Lastly, Eve watered down God’s Word, changing “thou shalt surely die” to “lest ye die” (“surely” was more affirmative).

It is rather fascinating to learn that modern Bibles utilize these same techniques to attack God’s Word! For example, NIV has 64,000 words less than KJV. Modern Bibles water down offensive terms (“sodomite” to “male shrine prostitute,” for instance).

With little to no manuscript authority, some modern Bible editors add words to or subtract words from Bible text, sometimes altering the whole meaning of the verse. Many modern Bibles are translated using “dynamic equivalence,” meaning editors are given permission to add or remove words from the Bible, as long as they convey the original thought of the passage.

Satan, just as he attacked God’s Word in Genesis 3, continues his quest to diminish or destroy the power of God’s Word. Alas, “the word of the Lord endureth forever” (1 Peter 1:25). The Bible will surely outlast its greatest critic.

In the Authorized Version King James Bible, we have the privilege of reading God’s Word (and His words) in our language. Never settle for Eve’s Bible!

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

Sunday, June 26, 2011

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul exhorts Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith.” We, as members of the Church the Body of Christ, are soldiers. In Philippians 2:25, Paul calls Epaphroditus his “fellowsoldier.” Paul also mentions Archippus, he and Timothy’s “fellow-soldier” (Philemon 1:2). The Apostle encouraged Timothy, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3,4).

Ephesians 6:10-18 describes the battle between God’s purpose and program and Satan’s purpose and program. The Bible says we must put on “the whole armour of God” if we are to endure that spiritual war. Verse 12 reads, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

How does Satan triumph over the Christian? It starts within the mind! We read in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

We must renew our minds by studying the King James Bible “rightly divided” on a daily basis (Romans 12:1,2; Ephesians 4:22-24; Ephesians 5:26). The Word of God is “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17). Let God’s Word that you have believed defend you as Satan attacks your mind.

Some of the Apostle Paul’s final words read (2 Timothy 4:6,7): “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”

Let us too keep the faith! Let us too fight the good fight of faith!

One (God)Man Fulfilled What?!?!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is the first reference to the coming of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Here, Scripture says He will be a man, a descendant of Adam and Eve. The Old Testament goes on to make hundreds of prophecies regarding Israel’s Messiah. In fact, Jesus Christ fulfilled 332 of those prophecies during His First Advent.

Here are some rather incredible prophecies fulfilled in Christ’s life (notice how specific they are):

  • Son of Abraham (Genesis 12:3 cf. Matthew 1:1).
  • Son of Isaac (Genesis 17:19 cf. Luke 3:34).
  • Son of Jacob (Numbers 24:17 cf. Matthew 1:2).
  • Son of Judah (Genesis 49:10 cf. Luke 3:33).
  • Son of King David (2 Samuel 7:12-16 cf. Luke 1:32).
  • Born in Bethlehem-Judaea (there were two Bethlehem’s) (Micah 5:2 cf. Matthew 2:1).
  • Mother was a virgin (Isaiah 7:14 cf. Luke 1:26-35).
  • Betrayed by a friend who ate bread with Him (Psalm 41:9 cf. John 13:18-27).
  • Rejected by His own people (Psalm 118:22 cf. Acts 4:10,11)
  • Sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12 cf. Matthew 26:15).
  • Smote on the head/face with a reed (Micah 5:1 cf. Matthew 27:30).
  • Given vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21 cf. Mark 15:36).
  • None of His bones were broken (Exodus 12:46 and Numbers 9:12 cf. John 19:36).
  • He would die by crucifixion, predicted centuries before crucifixion was invented! (Psalm 22:16,17 cf. John 19:37).
  • Buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9 cf. Matthew 27:57-60).

One author calculated the mathematical probability of all 332 prophecies being fulfilled in one man’s life. His answer was astronomically high:

___________________________1___________________________

840,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,

000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,

000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

In other words, 1 in 8.4 x 10^(98)! Wow! Can you imagine a number with 97 zeroes?! When Jesus Christ came to Israel, they should have recognized Him. Him fulfilling all those Old Testament prophecies should have caught their attention. Unfortunately, they could not care less.

One Man fulfilled all those prophecies… one (God)-Man!

Meditate in God’s Word

Saturday, June 18, 2011

“I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways” (Psalm 119:15 KJV).

The King James Bible contains 791,328 words. Considering what God could have written, His Word is a rather short book! The Bible is a supernatural book, so it takes studying. It speaks of events that are not what we consider “everyday experiences.” Its occasional symbolic language makes learning it sometimes difficult.

But, if we have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Holy Spirit resides in us. He gives us the capacity needed to understand God’s written Word: “Which things 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).

The Apostle Paul told Timothy, “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7). We need to “consider” God’s Word. Think about what you read in God’s Word. Recall that 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us that we need to “study” the Bible, not just casually skim through it: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Christ called Bible study “searching the scriptures” (John 5:39). In Acts 17:10,11, we read only once of the believers of Berea: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” The Bereans actually studied the Bible to see if what they heard was true—they did not just shout “Amen!” to everything they heard.

We may not always understand everything in the Bible, but we are to meditate day in and day out in God’s Holy Scriptures! Study your King James Bible, and think about what was written by asking questions. How does it compare to other Scriptures? Is it a doctrine supported by the Apostle Paul? How can this apply to your life?

“Consider what I say, and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.”

Do You Rightly Divide the Word of Truth?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

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).

This is the key to Bible study and understanding Bible “contradictions.” God designed His Word to be studied, not casually skimmed. God also wants us to study “rightly dividing the word of truth.” We seek to be “approved unto God”—we do not seek man’s approval! Christendom’s greatest error is its refusal to study God’s Word, God’s way.

God created two realms, the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1); He designed a program to govern each realm. The prophetic program is that “which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). Romans 16:25,26 speaks of the mystery program, “which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest….” Every Bible verse fits into either the prophetic program or the mystery program. When we take verses from one program, and force them into the other program, Bible “contradictions” arise.

God’s people in the prophetic program are the nation Israel, His earthly people to whom He promised an earthly kingdom (Genesis 13:16; Genesis 17:8; Deuteronomy 4:38; 2 Samuel 7:23-25). God’s people in the mystery program are the Church the Body of Christ, His heavenly people to whom belongs the promise of a heavenly kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:1; Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1-3).

Today, in the Dispensation of Grace, as members of the Body of Christ, Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13). Everything that God has to say to us today in the mystery (secret) program is found in Paul’s 13 epistles, Romans through Philemon. The remainder of the Bible is God speaking to Israel concerning her prophetic program. All of the Bible is for us, but not all the Bible is to us or about us.

May we never take Israel’s doctrine and force it on others or ourselves. May we always seek God’s approval by “rightly dividing the word of truth!”

Do You Have the Right Bible?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

“For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17 KJV).

Today’s Scripture warns us to beware of MANY corrupt Bibles! In fact, early Christians were bewitched into accepting false bibles (2 Thessalonians 2:2). Satan seeks to deceive us by creating many false bibles. Thus, all of the 100-plus modern English Bibles are not equal in authority. Do you have the right Bible? How do you know?

Over 5300 Greek New Testament Bible manuscripts exist today. Most—the reliable Antiochian Traditional Text—support the King James Bible. The one percent of remaining manuscripts—the corrupt Alexandrian Critical Text—agrees with modern Bibles.

Modern Bibles attempt to remove Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11 (480 words) from God’s Holy Scriptures. Mark 1:2 in modern Bibles incorrectly reads “Isaiah the prophet,” when in fact Mark 1:2,3 quote “the prophets” (Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 just like the King James says). The clearest Trinitarian verse, 1 John 5:7, is absent from modern Bibles. Modern Bibles also omit Acts 8:37, Matthew 18:11, and Romans 16:24.

Modern Bibles eliminate “without a cause” from Matthew 5:22 to make Christ a sinner in Mark 3:5. Philippians 2:6 and 1 Timothy 3:16 in modern Bibles deny Christ’s deity. Modern Bibles leave out Mark 9:44,46, verses supporting everlasting hellfire. Books that contain mistakes are not God’s Word, for God’s Word is “pure” and “truth” (Proverbs 30:5,6; John 17:17).

The perfect King James Bible is based on the Textus Receptus, God’s preserved Word (New Testament) from Antioch, Syria (see Acts 11:26). The Textus Receptus (Latin for “received text”) has its roots in the apostles’ original manuscripts. Modern Bibles are based on a handful of corrupt manuscripts (chiefly, Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus).

God’s preserved Word for us as English-speaking people is the 1611 King James Bible. Avoid the modern Bibles, including NKJV, because they are spiritually unsafe. Modern Bibles question, dilute, and deny fundamental Christian doctrines.