Children of Light #6

Friday, August 30, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

When the resurrected, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ reached down and saved Saul of Tarsus, nearly all the world groped in spiritual darkness. Except for the Little Flock (those few Jews who had trusted Jesus as Messiah—Luke 12:32), mankind was under Satan’s control. Almighty God sent the Apostle Paul to preach to these unsaved souls (Acts 26:16-18).

Read 2 Corinthians chapter 4: “[3] But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: [4] In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. [5] For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. [6] For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Recall Psalm 119: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path…. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (verses 105,130).

Compare with Colossians chapter 1: “[12] Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: [13] Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: [14] In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:….” Paul’s Gospel is “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Israel’s rejected Messiah—that is, personal faith in Jesus’ finished crosswork—is how we escape the formidable darkness of Satan’s evil world system! As God wanted the Jews to be His children, the “children of light,” so we become “children of light” through simple faith in His Son….

Children of Light #5

Thursday, August 29, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

Most Jews rejected the Lord Jesus: they were uninterested in being “the children of light.” Since they refused to believe on Him, God intervened and made them unable to believe on Him. The light of Christ’s earthly ministry was gradually withdrawn, and Israel was plunged into greater spiritual darkness (see verses 37-41, what follows today’s Scripture). Just a few days later, they demanded He be crucified as a common criminal, and He died on Calvary’s cross (see Acts 3:13-18). He resurrected victoriously and ascended back to Heaven still spurned!

Leaving Christ’s earthly ministry and entering early Acts, God lifts the blindness from Israel. Christ commissions the 12 Apostles to preach and convert Israel to Him. Even during this renewed opportunity of repentance—God wanting them to change their mind concerning His Son, moving them from unbelief to faith—Israel persisted in doubt and disobedience. By Acts chapter 7, Israel falls before God, and He sets them aside (exactly how He treated the nations back at the Tower of Babel over 20 centuries earlier in Genesis chapter 11).

In chapter 9 of Acts, Christ reached down in grace and peace to save His chief enemy, Saul of Tarsus. Many years later, Saul recounts in chapter 26: “[16] But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; [17] Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, [18] To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

God will reach the whole (darkened) world—even fallen Israel—through a new Gospel message. He still purposes to create “children of light….”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How is the Holy Spirit ‘the Comforter?’

Be a Grace Lifer!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

“…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 KJV).

Here is God’s twofold will for all people!

Today’s Scripture sits in a context often overlooked: “[3]… God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [5] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; [6] Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. [7] Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not; ) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.” Millions upon millions upon millions constantly ask, “What is God’s will for me?” How sad—how truly sad it is (!)—that they ignore this passage!

Through the Apostle Paul’s ministry and message, we learn that the Lord Jesus Christ died not only to save Israel from her sins (Isaiah 53:8; Matthew 20:28; Matthew 26:28), but He died to save us from our sins too. However, it was not until Paul that Almighty God revealed to the whole world the fact that Christ “gave himself a ransom for all.” “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Here is God’s grace, what He has done for us through Calvary’s finished crosswork!

Firstly, Father God wants each and every one of us to be “saved,” spiritually healed from sin’s effects, delivered from Hell and the Lake of Fire (sin’s eternal penalty!). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). We thus become a Christian. Secondly, God desires us to “come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Why did He save us from sin and Hell? He gave us His written Word—the Holy Bible—to tell us. If we “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), then we will “come unto the knowledge of the truth.” As we read Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, we will learn how God’s grace can transform us unto people “zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14; Ephesians 2:8-10). Christ’s very life becomes our very life—the grace life! 🙂

Brethren, these past 7 studies are our “Original 7 Devotionals” expanded for the sixth time. We are now ready for our seventh 500-devotional unit, a much higher plane of doctrine!

Meet Your Apostle Paul!

Friday, August 23, 2019

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office (Romans 11:13 KJV).

Here is God’s spokesman to you and me today—Paul!

Today’s Scripture is a little-known verse of prime importance. Where in the Bible do we discover God’s will for us today? After all, the Scriptures are a collection of 66 Books written over a period of nearly 1,600 years. Surely, it is all God’s Word, but are we to follow every single verse? Since the Holy Spirit used the Apostle Paul to tell us to “study… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), He also employed Paul to instruct us how to do it.

A “dispensation” is simply a specific set of instructions God gives to man for a particular time for man’s faith and obedience. The resurrected, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ directly committed to the Apostle Paul one such group of Divine revelations—“the Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:1,2).

Read today’s Scripture in context: “[11] I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? [13] For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: [14] If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.”

In light of Israel’s (temporary) national and spiritual fall, the Lord saved and commissioned the Apostle Paul in Acts chapter 9. The Book of Acts records Israel’s fall and diminishing, the culmination of her unbelief toward Messiah Jesus. For now, God’s Word is going to the Gentiles without Israel and her prophetic program. In the 13 Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon, God the Holy Spirit describes what He is doing today. The words of Paul are actually “the commandments of the Lord,” His words to and will for us; nevertheless, if we prefer ignorance, we may have that instead (1 Corinthians 14:37,38).

Bible Q&A #640: “Why were the disciples discouraged from looking up in Acts chapter 1?

Learn Right Division!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

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).

Here is the key to understanding and enjoying the Bible!

Today’s Scripture sits in the context of false teachers and their method of Bible perversion: “[14] Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. [15] Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [16] But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. [17] And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; [18] Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.”

The only Scripture verse that exhorts us to “study” the Bible also tells us how to study it. We seek to be “approved unto God;” we absolutely do not seek any preacher’s approval, any theologian’s endorsement, or any denomination’s approval. If we “rightly divide the word of truth,” then we will have Almighty God’s blessing in our Bible study. However, a failure to “rightly divide” will result in “profane and vain babblings,” increasing to more “ungodliness” with respect to doctrine, and such error spreading like cancer or gangrene (destructive infection).

In verse 18, two false teachers claim “the resurrection is past already.” They have not “rightly divided the word of truth.” Rather than keeping “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2) separate from the rest of Scripture, they are combining the various instructions God gave to man through time. Instead of properly placing on the Bible timeline the resurrection event (Rapture) that terminates our dispensation, they have combined our dispensation with the subsequent dispensation. Like most today, they are not making proper divisions in Scripture.

Three main points we must understand are “time past,” “but now,” and “ages to come.” Read Ephesians 2:7 and verses 11-13. These markers help us to identify our location on the Bible timeline, leading us to “rightly divide the word of truth.” Will we recognize our Dispensation of Grace as distinct from other dispensations?

333’s 3000th – We Are People of the Book!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

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 KJV).

Dear brethren, only by God’s grace, we present to you our 3000th devotional!

Indeed, we have come a long (!) way in our daily studies in the King James Bible rightly divided. Having learned quite a lot about our Father’s Word and will thus far, we still have so very far to progress in it! We can understand and enjoy the Bible—but only if we are interested. When we use God’s Word God’s way, it becomes a blessing rather than a burden. For 3,000 consecutive days now, brethren, we have proved that beyond the shadow of a doubt. We have yet to grasp the Scriptures as we ought, but we are “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, [we are] press[ing] toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14).

We can take the inspired and preserved Word of God, read it, understand it, and believe it. Then, we can teach it to others (2 Timothy 2:2). Provided that we seek instruction, and they want to be trained, it will not be difficult to know and accomplish God’s will (cf. today’s Scripture). People have a hard time believing the Bible because their hearts and minds are so cluttered and laden with presumptions and assumptions. They need to quit presuming and assuming the Bible teaches something, and actually read it to see if it actually teaches it. Beloved, we simply cannot afford to base our eternal souls on opinions, hunches, and traditions of men. That, frankly, is wholly reckless! Hence, we continue in our Bible studies.

Thank you to those who have been with us from the very beginning, and those who have prayed for us and supported us financially. We could not have done it without you. We hope that you have enjoyed these daily grace-oriented studies thus far, and we pray we can continue to serve you in this capacity… perhaps for another 3,000 studies if our Lord Jesus Christ so desires! 🙂

Minimum Wage Hike? #10

Monday, August 12, 2019

“He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor” (Proverbs 14:31 KJV).

Is this a good verse to support minimum wage increases?

We have easily demonstrated how politicians, religious leaders, or any other “public Bible-quoters” can appeal to verses and misrepresent them. If we are not careful, friends, we too are liable to use the Scriptures to teach anything and everything we want. The truth will be sacrificed to preserve pet theological beliefs. It has happened innumerable times in history, and all kinds of cults and sects and denominations have thus sprung forth.

If we want lies instead of the truth, God will give us over to our heart’s desire (Hebrews 4:12,13). His Word can be our spiritual lifeline, or it can be our spiritual death trap! If we remove verses from their dispensational contexts, those passages will be quite distorted. We can quote the Bible and still be out of God’s will. In fact, when the Lord sees His words “wrested,” perverted to mean something else entirely, it is as unsightly to Him as the human body mangled and disfigured on the rack! Friends, we had better think twice before carelessly grabbing Bible passages and applying them to ourselves.

Second Timothy 2:15 commands, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” If we seek man’s approval, then we will “name and claim” whatever convenient verse we can find to support our theology. However, if we desire God’s approval, then we will “rightly divide the word of truth.” We will be sure to keep “the Dispensation of the Grace of God”—committed to the Apostle Paul’s trust (Ephesians 3:1,2)—separate and distinct from the other dispensations or sets of Divine instructions found in Scripture.

Furthermore, we will recognize Paul as “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13), the Lord’s spokesman to us. We will see his epistles, Romans through Philemon, as to and about us. If we want some insightful passages concerning the workplace (employers and employees), Ephesians 6:5-9 and Colossians 3:22–4:1 are verses applicable to us in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God. Today’s Scripture, however, is another matter entirely!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is a ‘besom?’