Impetuous Peter! #6

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid (Mark 9:5,6 KJV).

When in doubt, close your mouth!

In Matthew 18:15-20, the Lord taught members of the Little Flock (Israel’s believing remnant) how to handle their offending each other. Peter is thus prompted to inquire in verse 21: “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” The Jewish rabbis of the day, appealing to Amos chapters 1 and 2, taught an erring brother was to be forgiven a maximum of three times. Hence, Peter assumed he was quite generous by suggesting seven—that is, doubling the rabbinical tradition and then adding one. Was this sensible of him? No, it was his fifth thoughtless utterance!

Christ’s response is verse 22: “Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” The Lord chose “seventy times seven”—that is, 490 (and not, as modern English versions say, “seventy-seven”)—He was underscoring a famed Old Testament passage. Read Daniel 9:24-27. Here, we look at verse 24 only: Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

God has reserved a period of 490 years—70 “weeks” (70 groups of “seven years”)—to cleanse Israel’s people of their sin problem. That time spans Nehemiah chapter 2 (circa 445 B.C.) to Christ’s Second Coming (Millennial Kingdom), excluding our Dispensation of Grace. Jesus’ reply to Peter was, “Until seventy times seven.” In light of Daniel, we can paraphrase Him: “Peter, you should forgive your Jewish neighbor to the extent I forgive your Jewish nation.” Remember, the schedule of Daniel 9:24 was operating when Jesus spoke those words to Peter! Peter should have remembered the prophetic timeline governing the Lord’s dealings with His people….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is there an historical mistake in Luke 2:1-2?

Something in Which to Glory!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

“As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:12-14 KJV).

In what shall we glory? About what shall we boast? In what shall we find value?

Religion produces people who enjoy bragging all about their “dedication to God.” “Look what I did—the ceremonies in which I have participated, the many prayers I faithfully recited daily, how much I put in the collection plate, see how many pleasures I gave up to please God! Come, see how much I love Him!” Dear friends, the Apostle Paul found great value in something—but that something was not what he did. All that human flesh can accomplish pales in comparison to the work in today’s Scripture.

As Lent begins, the time when religionists temporarily (a mere 40 days) relinquish some pleasant food or activity, let us remember that our performance is often non-performance. Once we place ourselves on that treadmill of “do, do, do,” we are guaranteed to fail at some point. Human flesh is simply too weak to maintain 100 percent—that is sin! Even concerning one rule, we cannot keep it perfectly. We mess up eventually.

If ever we believe that our puny works are worth bragging about, let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul in today’s Scripture. While some boast in their religiosity (in the passage, the Judaizers applauding their rite of physical circumcision), and such denominationalists today urge us to obey their church’s instructions so they too may boast in our ability, let us eschew such foolishness. Being imperfect, all their works do not measure up to Christ’s finished crosswork. At Calvary, we find the only sacrifice that will ever please the God of the Bible. If we must boast, let us brag that He did what we could never, ever do!

See our archived Bible Q&A: “Should Christians observe Lent?

God’s Grace on Parade

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

“…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20 KJV).

Today, especially here in southern Louisiana, the Catholic festival of Mardi Gras takes advantage of God’s grace. God’s grace abounds even when drunkenness, lasciviousness, and gluttony are committed overtly on our streets for religion. Because we live in the Dispensation of the Grace of God, they can flaunt their sin without being consumed by fire from heaven!

“Mardi Gras,” French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a day when religious people—professing “Christians”—lose self-control (excess alcohol, food, and partying). The following day, Ash Wednesday, they promise to live “holy” for the next 40 days (Lent). A priest will then place ashes on their foreheads proving that God forgave them for that riotous living. Blasphemy!

Regardless of all its biblical allusions (illusions!), Mardi Gras is still evil and anti-God. It was never Christian, originating from pagan Roman festivals, Saturnalia and Lupercalia (interestingly known for riots, drunkenness, gluttony, and fornication, and subsequent repentance).

The Holy Spirit, speaking through the Apostles Peter and Paul, was clearly against Mardi Gras reveling and drunkenness (Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Peter 4:3). So why do professing Christians engage in the very activities that God the Holy Spirit condemned?! As Christians, we should “deny” the activities of Mardi Gras (Romans 6:11-15; Titus 2:11-15).

If I appear offended, I am. Mardi Gras, despite its godly façade, is offensive to the great God and my Saviour Jesus Christ! God’s grace continues to tolerate such foolishness from mankind. Man parades his sin, and God parades His grace, holding back wrath.

Are you a Mardi Gras reveler? I declare unto you the wonderful Gospel of the Grace of God. God did for you at Calvary what you could never do: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Jesus Christ shed His sinless blood and died to put away all of your sins, Mardi Gras revelry included.

If you rest in Christ Jesus alone as your Saviour, God will save you forever, make a trophy of His grace, and then YOUR life will be God’s grace on parade!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

You may also see our archived Bible study Q&A, “Should Christians celebrate Mardi Gras?

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How could there be two ‘evenings’ in Matthew 14:15-23?

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #33

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

Not only are non-Christians living contrary to God’s will for them, many of us “Christians” are equally disobedient. As they refuse to hear the truth, so we have ignored the rightly divided Scriptures to keep our church traditions. Just as they have their “holy books,” so we have used 100 modern English (different!) Bible translations to confuse and divide us for 120 years. As they bow to their pagan idols, so we have worshipped our “wafer gods,” relics, scholarship, statues, and “experiences.”

The sins of the flesh are easy to spot, but the sins of the spirit are more insidious. Relying on the sins of the spirit to fight the sins of the flesh, have we finally learned we cannot conquer sin with sin? Substitutes tricked us. We were religious, but not Christian: we were “playing” church. If we read the Bible, it was a quick verse here and there, passages our denominations approved. Whatever Bible we read, we really did not believe it. Our “feel-good” inspirational/motivational speeches distracted us from sound Bible doctrine. If this is how we got into this mess, then we do the opposite to escape it.

We must get back to the King James Bible: we need one final authority, not a hundred competing books. Also, we must return to the principles of grace, the Apostle Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—Jesus Christ’s ministry today. Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13), God’s spokesman to us. Supporting lies appears to bring harmony and progress, but there is no true, lasting unity and victory without sound Bible doctrine. The lost world must learn that, but we as believers in Christ must realize it first. We expect lost people to think and act like Christians when we do not think and act like Christians ourselves! Ridiculous! Until we believers are thankful for testimony of the Scriptures—grateful for our Bible heritage (albeit meager)—we have no testimony ourselves.

Let us summarize this devotionals arc….

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #32

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

As members of the Body of Christ, we have two choices. Firstly, we can throw our hands up and cry out, “We surrender! Why keep believing the truth when error abounds everywhere?!” Or, we can remind ourselves of the following facts. Although America has overwhelmingly languished in unbelief for centuries, there was a remnant of believers. Therefore, the truth passed down to us. Faithful saints, teachers, delivered to us the pure Word they were taught, being traced all the way back to the Apostle Paul.

Like they, we can continue the Christian ministry of 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” If we choose to follow our culture as it increasingly disintegrates, we will definitely be wasting our time. Remember, “the word of God is not bound” (2 Timothy 2:9). Also, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8). With or without our cooperation, the Word of God rightly divided will continue and triumph—as always. It will never lose or be lost.

Christian friends, we will not reverse our culture’s inevitable collapse. Yet, we can slow it down with sound Bible doctrine. However, it is easier said than done because it has gained momentum—and, we have let it, since we have squandered our own time on foolishness instead of believing sound Bible doctrine and then teaching it to those lost souls who needed to believe on Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. If success is where we find the Word of God dispensationally considered and believed, why not join ourselves to it? Only what God does will last forever. If we find out what He is doing today, we can do that by faith, thereby ensuring what we do will last forever….

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #31

Monday, February 8, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

As to what the future holds, or how to proceed in handling it, even at this late hour the professing church still seeks answers, searching for any scintilla of understanding or glimmer of hope. Many Christians have no idea what to think or do. Paralyzed with fear, they wonder what is God’s will. Again, this underscores Christendom’s spiritual ignorance and feebleness. Have they not read their Bible that He gave them to teach them His will?! “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).

Other believers are praying for revival, that God intervene and somehow perform a miracle to save our errant culture and nation from self-destruction. Honestly, dear friends, if I could be so bold in telling you, this is wishful thinking. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:12,13).

For far too long, the Church the Body of Christ has fought evil using the wrong weapons. We have relied on the energy of our flesh instead of the power of the Holy Spirit via sound Bible doctrine. Our thoughts were not God’s thoughts. Underestimating Satan, we presumed we could beat him apart from the Word of God rightly divided. Hence, the church has failed. We have assumed we can “bring in the Kingdom”—that is, make Earth so heavenly and sweet that Jesus must come down to join us. The fact is, this evil world is headed for the Tribulation, God’s undiluted wrath, and nothing we can do will stop it. There will be no national or global revival until Christ’s Second Coming.

In the meantime, here is what we can (and should) do….

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #30

Sunday, February 7, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

In my 25-plus years of being a Christian, I wasted the first half of that with denominational teaching (frailty and confusion!). Since then, I have come to understand and enjoy the Scriptures. Dispensational Bible study is the key to unlocking God’s Word. Contemplate Romans 16:25,26: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:….” Here is God’s three-fold plan to “stablish” (stabilize) us.

Since this, the Lord’s pattern for the edification of the believer, has not been followed, all we have are weak, discombobulated, and sidetracked church members. They cannot share even a basic Gospel message with anyone; also, they have little to no understanding of victorious Christian living. American Christianity is described as: country simpletons who fill cold pews with their warm bodies every Sunday and Wednesday, narrow-minded voters who are conservative (small government, pro-life, heterosexual marriage, gun rights, et cetera), loonies who believe and promote baseless conspiracy theories, gullible viewers who support money-hungry televangelists, and naïve readers who trust a compilation of ancient Jewish myths told around campfires. This is the awful portrait the lost world has of us, and it was through our irresponsibility that the Lord’s precious name and words have been dragged through mire and tarnished!

Add to that chaos the struggling Grace Movement, whose sin has also found it out and fractured in twain. Pride, backbiting, snootiness, conspiracy theories, heresies, apostasy, and so on, are destroying even us from the inside out on social media. It is truly sickening, brethren! If we are believers in Jesus Christ, we will organize our affairs, stop walking in the flesh, and get on with our Father’s business….

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #29

Saturday, February 6, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

It is no secret the professing church—even the true church—has lost its way. Many so-called “Christian” ministries and organizations have gained a reputation, but not for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and teaching sound Bible doctrine. Instead of studying God’s words and concentrating on what He is doing, they have focused on what they are doing. They hold blood drives, clothing drives, food drives, and the like. Also, they provide relief and shelter to those who have experienced disasters (storms, earthquakes, floods, droughts, et cetera). Attempting to be philanthropic, and attractive to the world, they have ignored their primary mission!

While there is nothing wrong with charitable endeavors, they are not the main role of the Body of Christ. We are called first and foremost to “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). The ministry of reconciliation and the word of reconciliation have been committed to our trust (2 Corinthians 5:14-21), but denominationalism and religious tradition have diverted our attention. Good works in and of themselves are no substitute for the proclamation of a clear Gospel message. Lost people need more than temporary, physical possessions. They are in dire need of the soul salvation found only in the Gospel of the Grace of God… the very message we have been given to preach!

Alas, the Body of Christ does not have enough spiritual discernment to realize just how far it has drifted from its purpose. We cannot see anything wrong with what we are doing, but we have found fault in what everyone else is doing. Religion screams at the “unchurched,” “Shame on you, sinners, you are all going to Hell!” Christianity is, “Christ died for your sins so you would not have to go to Hell!” Only once we the Body of Christ use sound Bible doctrine to straighten up our thinking and lives, can we then proceed to teach lost people to trust the Bible themselves….

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #16

Sunday, January 24, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

To receive and possess God’s Word is an awesome privilege, but with it comes a solemn responsibility that is frequently ignored. When remarking on the nation Israel’s prolonged unbelief during the Acts period, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul penned in Romans chapter 10: “[14] How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? [15] And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! [16] But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? [17] So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

JEHOVAH God had been sending preachers to Israel for centuries, calling her to repentance (change in mind). Whether the Prophets of the Old Testament Scriptures, or the 12 Apostles of the New Testament Scriptures, Israel had been hearing from God but had been refusing time and time again. Even after the Apostle Paul was saved and commissioned, Israel did not want to listen to God’s words through him either! The only way to have faith in God’s words—that is, believe them—is to first have them. Israel had the Bible for over 1,500 years, but was still languishing in unbelief! Quoting Isaiah 53:1 (originally referencing Israel’s unbelief seven centuries before Christ), Paul commented, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?”

When God reveals information to man, He expects man to receive it by faith. If man chooses not to believe, however, his sin will indeed find him out and fracture him in twain….

Knowledge of Jesus Christ

Monday, January 4, 2021

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23 KJV).

Friend, would you like to have knowledge of Jesus Christ?

Do you see the evil everywhere? The Bible calls it sin. A nasty word indeed, it is what it is. What will you do with your sin, all the evils you have committed? Are you worthy of eternal life, entrance into God’s presence? If you are honest, you will reply in the negative. No one is perfect. Romans 3:23 says: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Thankfully, the Bible also tells us in 1 Timothy chapter 2: “[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.” Christ shed His blood to pay for our sins, to give His life as a payment.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Peter understood this in Acts chapter 4: “[10] Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole…. [12] Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

While sin destines us for Hell and the Lake of Fire, we can trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, and pass from eternal death to eternal life. Read these words of Paul: “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Finally, “…Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:30,31).