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….

Liberated to Serve

Sunday, July 4, 2021

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13 KJV).

Today, as we in the United States celebrate the 245th anniversary of our nation’s independence, we invite our Christian brethren worldwide to rejoice with us concerning our freedom in Jesus Christ.

When we proclaim Romans 6:14—“Ye are not under the law, but under grace”—people tend to assume “loose living.” Does “grace living” really mean we can now live any way we want? Lest anyone be misled in that regard, God the Holy Spirit moved the Apostle Paul to write in the next verse, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid [May God never let that happen!]” (Romans 6:15). Grace living is not Law-keeping, but it certainly is not Law-breaking either.

God still cares how we live, albeit He is not operating the “weak and beggarly” system of “bondage” (Law) that He once did with Israel (Galatians 4:9). God proved to the entire world that since Israel could not keep His commandments perfectly, no other sons of Adam (the Gentiles) could either: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them [Israel] who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world [Gentiles] may become guilty before God (Romans 3:19).

We sinners cannot keep the Law. However, God in His grace provided us a way to escape that condemnation by sending Jesus Christ to offer Himself on Calvary’s cruel cross to pay for our sins. By simple faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the fully-satisfying payment for our sins, we can now be “made the righteousness of God in [Christ]” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We can be delivered from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire) and the power of sin (flesh-walking).

Why are we Christians free? To selfishly live any way we want? NO! Today’s Scripture says we are liberated to now serve others, especially our Christian brethren, just as Jesus Christ selflessly served His Father and selflessly died on our behalf. That is grace living!!!!

Please see our 2011 Fourth of July Bible study “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land,” which can be watched here or read here.

Eyes Fixed on the Lord!

Saturday, July 3, 2021

“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:28-31 KJV).

We often hear of “doubting Thomas,” but what can “doubting Peter” teach us here?

The Lord Jesus instructed His disciples to board a boat and meet Him across the Sea of Galilee (verse 22). On land, He prayed high in a mountain, delayed for several hours (verse 23). A mighty storm arose, blowing against the disciples’ ship; they have made very little progress traversing the lake (verse 24). Suddenly, Christ appears, walking on the water, but, not expecting Him, they assume it is a spirit (verses 25,26). As per superstition, a “water spirit” was a bad omen. Supposing disaster, they scream in terror! “But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid” (verse 28).

As Matthew indicates in today’s Scripture, Peter desires to walk on the water to meet the Lord. Once Christ gives Peter permission, Peter begins to tread across the lake! “But when he saw the wind boisterous.” Peter took his eyes off the Lord, looked at his circumstances, and began to sink! Similarly, if we look at our fellow man—and even many of our genuine brethren in Christ—we will surely grow discouraged. They just have little to no understanding of sound Bible doctrine. If we gaze at the evil world system around us, we will definitely wind up in spiritual ruin. We must keep our eyes on Christ!

While Paul was preaching in Acts chapter 20, verse 9 tells us: “And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.” Eutychus, sitting between light and darkness, looked away from Pauline doctrine, and literally perished as he fell from the third floor. Beware!

We Missed, He Hit!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;…” (Romans 3:23 KJV).

Have we missed the mark? Indeed, we all have!

In Ancient Greek, “hamartia” (“sinned”) originally meant “missing the mark.” God’s righteous standard is the exact center of a bullseye. We “do the best we can” when it is our time to throw the dart or fire the gun, but sin causes us to miss the mark. The “best we can” is not enough. Even if we try again, promising to do better, we still have the past (our first failed attempt).

“[9] What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; [10] As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: [11] There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. [12] They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one…. [19] Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. [20] Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

“[21] But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; [22] Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: [23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; [26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

To “believeth in Jesus” means we acknowledge He hit the mark at Calvary—measuring up to God’s standard of righteousness. His hit is thus credited to us!

Spiritual Cardiosclerosis #7

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

“And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go” (Exodus 4:21 KJV).

Exactly what is “spiritual cardiosclerosis?” How can we avoid this invisible, destructive malady?

Upon examining the contexts of the verses wherein spiritual cardiosclerosis appears, we conclude the affliction arises once the human soul (heart) refuses God’s words. Whether Pharaoh declining to let God’s people Israel go, or the Egyptians themselves refusing to release the Jews, or other unbelieving Gentiles in the Old Testament economy, or apostate Judaean King Zedekiah, or unbelieving Israelites wandering in the wilderness under Moses, or apostate religious Jews lacking compassion on a disabled man Jesus healed, or unbelieving disciples concerning Jesus feeding the multitudes, or callous people vehemently endeavoring to divorce, or national Israel blinded for not believing Christ during His earthly ministry, or unbelieving Apostles post-resurrection, or unbelievers in the Dispensation of Grace, or Jewish unbelievers during Daniel’s 70th Week, they all deliberately reject the Divine revelation given them. They are now insensitive (hardened) to the truth!

God’s Word tells us what to believe (doctrine), what we are doing wrong (reproof), and how we should think to do right (correction): “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). If we are unwilling to hear and trust its counsel, however, Proverbs 29:1 will be our lot: “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck [stubborn!], shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

Ephesians 4:18,19 speaks of those “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.” First Timothy 4:2 references those who “speak lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;….” We avoid spiritual cardiosclerosis by believing God’s words to us upon immediately hearing them. Let us pay special attention to Romans through Philemon, or face spiritual destruction!

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 #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….