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?

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?’

Minimum Wage Hike? #6

Thursday, August 8, 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?

During His earthly ministry, Christ uttered some controversial words: “If thou wilt be perfect [not sinless perfection but complete/mature], go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Matthew 19:21; cf. Mark 10:21; Luke 18:22). Were the Messianic saints to literally sell their physical possessions and give the money to the poor? Indeed, for they actually did that later in Acts 2:44,45 and Acts 4:32-37. (Read chapter 5 to see what happened to Ananias and Sapphira for disobeying the Lord!) Why did Christ instruct them thus?

In Revelation chapter 13, we read of the coming Antichrist, whose reign will involve major economic changes: “[16] And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: [17] And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” That Israel’s believing remnant avoid having to choose between following Antichrist or retaining their wealth, they were to give up those material goods before Antichrist’s appearance. The Jewish saints in early Acts acted in accordance with this reality.

With the Apostle Paul’s ministry and the Dispensation of Grace entering in mid-Acts, our mystery program interrupted—and is still delaying—the prophetic program. Since the Antichrist has yet to arrive, God’s earthly kingdom is still absent: that prosperous kingdom the poor Jewish saints would have enjoyed following Antichrist, never came in Acts. Hence, Paul speaks of “the poor saints which are at Jerusalem” (Romans 15:26). Their common fund has now depleted. They have become poor—not because of slothfulness, disability, or meager earnings—but because they followed God’s will. (According to Romans 15:25-27 and 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, Paul took up contributions from his Gentile converts to help them.)

The poor people suffering in Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Acts, typify (preview) the experience of Messianic Jews once our Dispensation of Grace closes….

The Jews’ Feasts #5

Sunday, July 21, 2019

After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem (John 5:1 KJV).

Thrice, and only in John’s Gospel Record, we read a unique expression. What is it, and why is it significant?

Long ago, someone once aptly stated, “Christendom is a bastardized form of Judaism!” To wit, what is called “Christianity” is really Christendom, and Christendom is essentially Judaism. The candles, altars, priests, holy garments, cups, bowls, sacrifices, holy/feast days, confession of sins, anointing with oil, water baptism, law-keeping, and prayers commonly assumed to be “Christian” are actually not Christian at all. They were stolen from Judaism (Old Testament) and carelessly incorporated into pure Christianity! Moreover, the steeples, mother goddess worship/veneration, sun images, statues, relics, kissing of images, bowing/genuflection, “fatherly” priests, popes, prayers for the dead, and relics all assumed to be part of “Christian worship” are derived from heathen or pagan religion (which apostate Israel herself adopted to corrupt Judaism!!)!

Christianity—how the God of creation would have us worship Him—is described quite clearly in the Bible Books of Romans through Philemon. Friend, read those passages and then notice the “Christian” churches, study “Christian” literature, and converse with “Christian” people. Overwhelmingly, you will realize that Satan’s world system has fooled billions. Most of what is assumed to be “Christian” is either outright paganism, a mixture of paganism and Judaism, or paganism-Judaism amalgamated with Christianity!

The Apostle Paul, “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13), never mentions bell towers, candles, statues, confessions, or relics. God the Holy Spirit through him never commands us to place ourselves under the Law system (just the opposite—Romans 6:14-15 and Titus 2:11-14). He says we have no feast days to observe (Colossians 2:16,17; Galatians 4:9-11) and no water baptism to administer in the Dispensation of Grace (1 Corinthians 1:17; Ephesians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13). There are no popes or priests in Pauline doctrine, only elders, bishops, and deacons.

See, friend, to the degree apostate Israel corrupted Judaism over the course of many centuries, so apostate church leaders have watered down Christianity with paganism over the centuries. Unless one is grounded in the Word of God rightly divided, there will be no spiritual discernment to differentiate the true worship system from the false worship system. Beware (Colossians 2:8)!

Christian Prayer “Does Not Help” #3

Friday, May 31, 2019

“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:7-9 KJV).

Indeed, the Lord’s words are true even now!

What was the nation Israel’s principal problem during Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry? He pinpointed it in today’s Scripture: “[they were] teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Instead of holding to God’s Word—especially the Law of Moses, their chief Divine operating instructions—they had substituted it with manmade teachings. Having divorced themselves from God’s thoughts—and ultimately, His power—they were spiritually debilitated.

The physically blind, physically deaf, physically mute, and physically paralyzed who Jesus healed were perfect illustrations of Israel spiritually blind, spiritually deaf, spiritually mute, and spiritually paralyzed. They were unable to see God’s truth, unable to hear His words, unable to speak His words, and unable to walk in His ways. Their manmade teachings were the very reason why they ultimately crucified Him on Calvary. Had they maintained and believed God’s pure Word—the Old Testament Scriptures—they would have seen and trusted Jesus as Messiah. Since they abhorred the Scriptures, they despised the God-Man to whom those very verses pointed.

Even now, repeating the gross chief sin of Israel, Christendom has largely pushed aside the Bible. They quote occasionally (provided it supports their denominations), but their doctrines are overwhelmingly devoid of God’s Word. Hence, their tenets are shallow, their prayers are powerless, and their rituals and ceremonies are repulsive. They have no idea what God is doing today, for they have not handled His Word His way. Instead of “studying… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), they have muddled the various directions God has issued through time individually.

What is the remedy? The Lord’s spokesman to us Gentiles today is the Apostle Paul (Romans 11:13). Friend, do you want effectual prayers, those that actually carry eternal value? Try Ephesians 1:15-23, Ephesians 3:11-21, Philippians 1:9-11, and Colossians 1:9-13. These model Pauline prayers highlight what God is doing in this the Dispensation of Grace. If you pray according to them, never shall you be able to say, “Christian prayer does not help!”

Brethren, to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, we now close 8 full years of “333 Words of Grace!” Thank you for praying for us thus far, and by God’s grace, we now aim for another 8 years!

NOTE: Dear Saints, it is with great pleasure that I announce all 90 videos (over 104 hours of teaching) of our Old Testament Survey Project are now online and ready to watch! Click here. Praise our Lord Jesus Christ!

Sound Doctrine Versus Fables #5

Sunday, April 28, 2019

“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 4:3,4 KJV).

First comes the intolerance toward sound doctrine. Then, and only then, arrives the tolerance toward fables.

Watch the order in 1 Timothy chapter 4: “[1] Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; [2] Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;….” These are not lost or unsaved people. They are Christians (!). Having been in the faith, they have now deserted it! They originally embraced sound Bible doctrine. Since then, they have gradually drifted, having been “seduced” or drawn away with various ideas. Verse 3 says these tenets involve religion’s forced celibacy and dietary restrictions. God’s Word calls them “doctrines of devils.” Such individuals speak lies in hypocrisy—they appear and sound good, but they are as false as false can be.

In his last epistle, the Apostle Paul wrote somber words: “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes” (2 Timothy 1:15). Awaiting execution, at the close of his 35-year ministry, he confessed that the vast majority of Christians in Turkey had abandoned his message. God’s grace had been deliberately tossed aside; Christ’s finished work at Calvary’s cross had been relegated to an inferior status. Man’s efforts—legalism, commandment-keeping—were now at the forefront. Works-religion corrupted the Church the Body of Christ 20 centuries ago. Yes, the professing “church” intentionally (!) apostatized 2,000 years ago!

Even after our dispensation ends, the nation Israel will follow her ancient pattern and the attitude of most today. A radical departure from sound Bible doctrine—a “falling away”—will give rise to the satanic Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3). In this and all cases, it is a willful renouncement of the truth. They knew correct information at first, but having rejected the light and understanding God provided them, they are plunged into spiritual darkness and madness. Friends, may we not be as they….