Purity or Compromise? #4

Monday, October 18, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

“Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb [speechless, mute] idols, even as ye were led” (1 Corinthians 12:2). Before coming to Christ by faith in Paul’s Gospel, the Corinthians had worshipped and served pagan deities. Sadly, even after joining the Church the Body of Christ, they still worshipped and served idols! “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them [ancient Jews under Moses]…. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry…. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (1 Corinthians 10:7,14,21).

In chapter 6 of 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul later writes to Corinth: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial [Satan]? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel [unbeliever]? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (verses 14-18).

The saints at Corinth had not fully abandoned their heathen religion, for they had not completely accepted Paul’s apostleship and doctrines. If they were to be doctrinally and functionally pure, able to be the Lord’s people in belief and practice (as they already were His people positionally), they would have to wholly separate from Satan’s religious system. Likewise, so must we….

Purity or Compromise? #3

Sunday, October 17, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

Like every other sinful nation, ancient Israel was their own authority. Before they entered the Promised Land under Joshua, dying Moses advised: “Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes(Deuteronomy 12:8). Yet, during the Book of Judges (17:6; 21:25), centuries following Joshua, this was twice said of the Jews: “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Roughly five centuries after Joshua, the Holy Spirit wrote today’s Scripture to Israel through King Solomon: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” They were to avoid any and every path that deviated from the course God had already clearly laid out for them in their Hebrew Bible. Proverbs again warns in chapter 12, verse 15: The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” (The Book of Proverbs is God’s wisdom for Israel during the end-times, when the Antichrist will employ Satanic wisdom to deceive them. See Proverbs 1:1-9.)

Hundreds of years following Solomon, the Prophet Isaiah’s message to Israel was thus (5:20,21): “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!It is unmistakable. The Jews had compromised. Having thrown aside the Divine revelation they had, they adopted the darkness of the Gentiles around them. We can learn a lesson here too….

Purity or Compromise? #2

Saturday, October 16, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

In Genesis 11:1-9, the Gentiles gathered in pagan idol (Devil!) worship at the Tower of Babel, concluding 18 centuries of all nations having equal access to the one true God (unappreciated). With the LORD giving these nations over to the Satan worship they preferred (see Romans 1:17-32), He set apart one man from them and began a new nation (Genesis 12:1-3). This man was Abram—later changed to “Abraham” in chapter 17—and this nation was Israel.

Learn the condition of the Gentiles in this segment of human history (known as “time past” in Ephesians 2:11,12). “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19). God, having introduced the “but now” (Ephesians 2:13), expected these Gentiles who have come to Him through Paul’s Gentile ministry, to not repeat their old ways.

While the nations in “time past” were “suffered [allowed, permitted] to walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:16); conducting themselves among pagan idols in accordance with their darkened souls and dead spirits (Acts 17:24-31; Romans 1:21-26,28); God intended the nation Israel to be an “island of truth” in the midst of a “global sea of error.” The Jews had His wisdom, the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament (Deuteronomy 4:1-10; Psalm 147:18-20; Romans 3:1,2). Unlike the Gentiles or non-Jews living around them, the Israelites, as per today’s Scripture, were not to trust or rely on their sinful hearts for spiritual light, or their sinful understanding for spiritual truth. To do otherwise was “evil,” a compromise that would lead to them being compromised….

Purity or Compromise? #1

Friday, October 15, 2021

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV).

Will we be pure and thus purified? Or, will we compromise and thus be compromised?

No matter the dispensation, regardless of the age, it is ever so vital to a person’s soul to be firmly dependent on a clear understanding of God’s words applicable for that given time. Making decisions based on feelings, hunches, superstitions, opinions, emotions, and speculations is an absolute disaster! Billions of lives testify to that tragic fact—and a good many of them, regrettably, attend “Christian” services too.

It is human nature to be independent, for that is the sinful heart of us all: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). “Desperately wicked” means “extremely evil.” What makes the natural human soul this way? The best definition for “sin” is provided in the following Scripture: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…” (Isaiah 53:6). Our heart is automatically inclined to devise its own course. “I want to do this! Here is where I will go! I will believe whatever I want! No one knows what is best for me except I!” However, as we all realize from personal experience, do we know what we are doing and where we are going most of the time?! It is a resounding NO!

Someone once lamented: “I am getting old. This thing called life is a mindblower. It seems by the time you get it all figured out, it is too late to do anything about it.” We can sense the writer’s dismay, can we not? After “doing our own thing” for decades, living selfishly, we are physically worn out and debilitated with age. Near life’s end, we cry out, “If only I did it all differently! Now, I am just too old to make things right!”

Before it is “too late,” may we set a proper course….

Living By the Faith of Others #4

Friday, September 10, 2021

“For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:29 KJV).

Moses is quite spiritually minded. Is Israel?

Brethren, let it be made abundantly clear that having a spiritual mentor is not a sin. Yet, we must always remember our Christian life needs to depend on our own understanding and our own faith in the Scriptures. Walking with someone in sound Bible doctrine is absolutely not to be confused with leaning on them as they walk! If our spirituality hangs on other people, what will happen once they grow apostate (turn from the truth) or grow old and die (leave this life via physical death)?

The way to victorious Christian living is to take our own stand on the principles of God’s grace. We do this by reading God’s inspired and preserved words in English, the Authorized Version King James Bible, and studying them ourselves. It goes beyond letting someone else—parents, grandparents, spouses, preachers, priests, theologians, professors, commentary writers, et cetera—tell us what to believe. We need to do our own investigations and come to our own conclusions. Furthermore, it is our job to pass on to future generations not only what we believe, but why we believe it. Again, we do this by taking God’s inspired and preserved words in English, the Authorized Version King James Bible, and letting younger people follow along reading their personal copy as we read our personal copy.

Again, it is not a sin to have a spiritual mentor. It is not a sin to be a spiritual mentor either. Yet, neither is a substitute for the indwelling Holy Spirit teaching the Christian via personal Bible study. When our mentors are long gone (apostate, dead, et cetera), our Christian lives can go on as normal; when we can no longer mentor to our students (we are apostate, dead, et cetera), their Christian lives can go on as normal. Why? These Christian lives were never actually depending on men anyway!

Living By the Faith of Others #3

Thursday, September 9, 2021

“For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:29 KJV).

Moses is quite spiritually minded. Is Israel?

Read the dreadful account of once-spiritual King Joash/Jehoash. Second Chronicles chapter 24: “[15] But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died. [16] And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house. [17] Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them. [18] And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.

“[19] Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear. [20] And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you. [21] And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at [!] the [!] commandment [!] of [!] the [!] king [!] in the court of the house of the LORD. [22] Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but [!] slew [!] his [!] son [!]. And when he died, he said, The LORD look upon it, and require it.”

Unfortunately, without Priest Jehoiada’s spiritual counsel, and heeding the “advice” of worldly-minded consultants, Joash/Jehoash reinstated the apostasy of his grandmother Queen Athaliah—even encouraging the murder of God’s Prophet Zechariah, Jehoiada’s own son! At age 47, Jehoash/Joash was wounded in battle with the Syrians, and his servants assassinated him (2 Kings 12:19-21; 2 Chronicles 24:23-26). Moses, in today’s Scripture, was correct….

Living By the Faith of Others #2

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

“For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:29 KJV).

Moses is quite spiritually minded. Is Israel?

Years ago, when training for ministry, I greatly benefited from some counseling video-sermons from a certain grace evangelist. The brother explained how he and his wife had trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, had left their denominational system, and were now growing in God’s grace. Years later, I asked a pastor friend (who had known them personally) whatever became of them. I learned the evangelist and his wife had remained grace-oriented for the remainder of the man’s earthly life, but once he moved to Heaven, his wife remarried. Her new husband was a member of her former denomination—and she returned to the group. My pastor friend had not heard from her or their family in several years, for she had broken off contact with all grace associates now that her grace evangelist husband was with the Lord. How tragic!

Over a century after King David’s death, one of his descendants is reigning in Jerusalem. Young Joash or Jehoash, crowned King of Judah at only seven years of age (!), had a wicked grandmother (Athaliah). Athaliah had slaughtered all her grandchildren but him. She usurped her son Ahaziah’s throne after his death in battle, and reigned as an idolatrous queen for seven years before her execution. Ahaziah’s son and rightful heir, Joash—in hiding all this time—now rules. Under his direction, Judah undergoes major religious reformation, including the renovations of Solomon’s Temple and purifications of all Athaliah’s heathen religion (2 Chronicles 24:1-14).

“And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him” (2 Kings 12:2). “And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest” (2 Chronicles 24:2). Let us see what happens to Jehoash/Joash after Jehoiada’s death….

Living By the Faith of Others #1

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

“For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:29 KJV).

Moses is quite spiritually minded. Is Israel?

Today’s Scripture in context: “[24] And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book [the Book of Deuteronomy], until they were finished, [25] That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, [26] Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. [27] For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death? [28] Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them. [29] For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

Over the years of my Christian life and ministry, I have witnessed the spiritual deterioration of families and friends that I dearly love. For example, one specific strong Christian lady I knew was the “spiritual glue” of her family. When she graduated to Heaven, her husband, children, and grandchildren became as worldly as ever. Evidently, they were living somewhat decently while she was with them—living by her faith. Howbeit, once she was absent, they were no longer “forced” to go along with her understanding of the Bible. If she could see them now, her heart would be broken many times over! Dying Moses, through prophetic insight, was in a similar predicament….

The Thing Which is Good

Monday, September 6, 2021

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28 KJV).

On this Labor Day, we talk about work, “the thing which is good.”

In this day and age of increasing “government assistance,” people are becoming less and less aware of our hard work being the Lord Jesus’ preferred method of the source of our incomes. While the physically and mentally disabled are obvious exceptions, the God of the Bible expects all of us to contribute labor in order to provide for ourselves. For children and young adults, even being a student in school is work enough!

Observe the doctrine being communicated in today’s Scripture. The grace life does not merely teach us to quit doing bad things, but it also instructs us to start doing good things (Titus 2:11,12). Once a thief trusts the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork as sufficient payment for his sins, then God expects that thief to quit stealing and find a job so he can provide for his needs!

The God of creation calls work “the thing which is good” (today’s Scripture). Work is not something to be avoided; it is something to be embraced for the Lord’s glory!

When the Lord Jesus Christ put the first man, Adam, on earth, that man had a divine commission. Adam was not to simply loaf around and do nothing: “And the LORD God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Adam was to protect that garden, to till its ground, to prepare it for Jesus Christ to come down and dwell in with he and Eve (because of sin, that earthly kingdom over which Jesus Christ will rule is still awaiting fulfillment!).

Saints, may we work to provide for our families (1 Timothy 5:8), and may we work to help those who truly are needy (today’s Scripture). In the words of God the Holy Spirit, that is “good!” 🙂

Disciples Three #5

Monday, August 16, 2021

“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest” (Luke 9:57 KJV).

Does today’s Scripture and its context have any modern counterparts? (Indeed, they do!)

Recall the first disciple: “[57] And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. [58] And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Today, many people are eager to become “Christians,” but have they really thought about the result? “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). “[W]e must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). If the lost world hates Jesus Christ, will they love us His Body? Our problems compound—not disappear—when we trust Him as our personal Saviour!

Now, the second disciple: “[59] And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. [60] Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” How often do souls today—even so-called “believers”—claim they will follow Christ after they have had a “good time” in the world. Greediness and materialism are not victorious Christian living! “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

The final disciple declared: “[61] And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. [62] And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” If we truly want to follow Christ Jesus, we must remember to not let this world’s affairs sidetrack us: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection [focus] on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1,2).