No Good Deeds, No Good Things #9

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you (Jeremiah 5:25 KJV).

Here is the result of being under any performance-based acceptance system!

Law and Grace are mutually exclusive—they cancel each other. Speaking of the Little Flock, the few Jewish believers in the midst of an apostate nation Israel, the Holy Spirit wrote: “Even so then at this present time [the Acts period] also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Romans 11:5,6).

Romans 6:14 affirms, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Sin overpowers us under the Law. Thankfully (praise God!), we are under Grace. Rather than God demanding we work to gain His blessings (the Law system given to Israel to show her and all nations we cannot perform perfectly!), He put us under a Jesus-based acceptance system in the Dispensation of Grace. Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” And, 2 Corinthians 8:9: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” Finally, Ephesians 1:6: “He [Father God] hath made us accepted in the beloved [Christ].”

If we have been blessed in Christ with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places,” if we have been made spiritually rich because of Christ’s finished work at Calvary, and if we are accepted in Christ, then why place ourselves under a system of curses (Law)? Christ crucified has already given us all the blessings God offers. Should we now strive in religion to gain those blessings (which is impossible)? See, dear friends, in the Law system, “No good deeds equals no good things.” Nonetheless, because of Christ’s good work (His sinless blood sacrifice at Calvary), we have avoided all curses and partaken of all blessings!!

Now, we summarize and conclude….

ATTENTION: Shorewood Bible Church’s 2018 Summer Family Bible Conference continues today, Thursday, at 9 A.M. Central U.S. Time. The theme is “God’s Prophetic Calendar,” and the conference runs until tonight around 9 P.M. Watch the LIVE video feed streamed here: http://understandgrace.com/watch-live/. Visit http://understandgrace.com/2018-summer-family-bible-conference/ for more information. Come and join us!

333’s 2600th – To See God’s Truth

Friday, July 13, 2018

“Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day” (Psalm 25:4,5 KJV).

Dear friends, if you can believe it, God’s grace has brought us to devotional #2600!

King David, representative of Israel’s Little Flock suffering through the (future even from us) reign of cruel Antichrist, penned today’s Scripture with the hope that the LORD God will deliver Israel “out of all his troubles” (verse 22). There is much confusion, great fear, and unspeakable pain, but the believing Jew continues holding to the Word of God. In those dark, precarious days, Psalm 119:105 is a beacon of hope: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

Satan’s policy of evil involves hiding God’s truth from man—both saved and lost. Second Corinthians 4:1-4: “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 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.” May we be on guard not to be deceived!

During these past 2,600 days, we have hoped and prayed that our daily Bible studies—dispensationally delivered—have been received with grateful and (most importantly) believing hearts. How eternally thankful we should be to have not only had the privilege of meeting here, but also learning here all about God’s purpose and plan for man (us!). We have yet to see the Holy Scriptures as we need to see them. Therefore, we will continue on our journey studying God’s Word “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15). Today’s Scripture should be our cry to Father God. Onward now, by God’s grace, to #2700! 🙂

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “Who are the ‘three shepherds’ of Zechariah 11:8?” and ‎“Who is the wounded man of Zechariah 13:6?

Perfecting #6

Saturday, June 23, 2018

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ephesians 4:11,12 KJV).

What does “perfecting” mean here?

Second Timothy 3:16-17 again: “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.” God the Holy Spirit not only inspired His Word, the Holy Bible, He also preserved it through history via a multiplicity of copies. As English-speaking people, His inspired and preserved Word for us is the King James Bible. Therein is everything we need to learn, that He may then do everything He wants to do in and through us members of the Church the Body of Christ.

Now, we look at the result of local churches “perfecting” (maturing, “throughly furnishing”) the saints, whether in Israel’s kingdom program (prophecy) or Paul’s mystery ministry (us). Again, this is all possible because of a completed Bible, a full revelation from God.

For the Body of Christ: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11). “Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith” (1 Thessalonians 3:10).

For Israel’s Little Flock: “[The God of peace] Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:21). “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What if someone asks me a Bible question I cannot answer?

Two Rocks #7

Saturday, June 9, 2018

For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges (Deuteronomy 32:31 KJV).

There are two rocks in Scripture—one good and one bad. Friend, which is your foundation?

Decades after Calvary, the Holy Spirit wrote to the Jewish kingdom believers in 1 Peter 2:3-10: “[3] If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. [4] To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, [5] Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. [6] Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

“[7] Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, [8] And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. [9] But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; [10] Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

God will take Israel’s believing remnant and form a house in which He will manifest His life forever. Jesus Christ, the Rock, will serve as the house’s foundation (cf. Matthew 16:16-18). This “Little Flock” will be the new Israel, the heirs of God’s earthly kingdom (Luke 12:31,32; cf. Matthew 21:42-46). All unbelieving Jews—those depending on the counterfeit “rock” (idols)—will be judged and destroyed during the seven-year Tribulation and at Christ’s subsequent fiery Second Coming (Matthew 7:24-29; Matthew 13:37-43). Israel’s Little Flock will enter the Millennium as God’s kingdom of priests, fully capable of carrying His Word to the Gentiles, that the Gentiles give up their rocks (idols) and believe on the Rock as well….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Do we live in the ‘Church Age?’

Sleeping!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame (1 Corinthians 15:33,34 KJV).

Without further delay, we need to be awake and alert.

The Corinthians were immature saints. While God’s spiritual (adult) sons, they thought and behaved like small children. First Corinthians is such a lengthy Book because it is the Holy Spirit meticulously correcting the multitude of problems in that local assembly. Today’s Scripture is one summarization of their dilemma: corrupt religious leaders have deceived them, and their Christian life is no longer functioning properly.

Before any mature saints swell up with pride and say, “I would never be like the Corinthians!,” they should consider Ephesians chapter 5: “[14] Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. [15] See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, [16] Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. [17] Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. [18] And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;….” Although more matured in the doctrine than the Corinthians, the Christians at Ephesus nevertheless also caved in to the pressures of Satan’s evil world system. Gripped by ignorance and silliness, they too were spiritually sleeping, unaware of their surroundings.

The Lord Jesus warned Israel’s Little Flock of their testimony being hindered as well. Matthew chapter 5: “[14] Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. [15] Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. [16] Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Commercialism (materialism) and slothfulness (laziness) threatened the ministry of these Jewish kingdom saints.

“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light(Ephesians 5:14). “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130).

Salient!

Monday, March 5, 2018

But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ (1 Peter 3:14-16 KJV).

Without further delay, we need to be striking in our handling of suffering.

The Holy Spirit wrote today’s Scripture concerning end-times persecution: Israel’s believing remnant will suffer immensely under the Antichrist. The Lord Jesus commented in Matthew chapter 24: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another” (verses 9,10). Verse 21 is worse: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since [!!!!] the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be [!!!!].”

In the midst of such dreadful torment and slaughter, God the Holy Spirit wants the Little Flock to be “ready always” to have an “answer” (Greek, apologia—a defense, as in apologetics) when someone will ask them for a reason of the hope in them. They are to be salient, prominent, for their endurance. Just what enables them to bear unparalleled pressure from the Adversary (Satan, embodied in the Antichrist)? How can they tolerate all the opposition, resist the majority, challenge this seemingly omnipotent tyrant, and not be crushed internally by hopelessness?

The answer was already provided in chapter 1: “[5] Who are kept [protected] by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. [6] Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: [7] That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing [Second Coming] of Jesus Christ:….”

Paul’s epistles provide us our defense!

Succoured!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18 KJV).

Without further delay, we should let the succouring Saviour succour us.

The Book of Hebrews is not written to us members of the Church the Body of Christ. It refers to “the world to come” (Hebrews 2:5), the ages to come, events after our Dispensation of Grace. Still, because of parallels, we can benefit from Israel’s Scriptures at times.

Hebrews concentrates on the time of immense suffering, the abundant temptation and persecution, that Israel’s Little Flock will experience during the Antichrist’s rule (recall Psalm 10?). The writer of Hebrews reminds them of the Lord Jesus Christ being there to “succour” them, to assist them in their time of great need. As Christ suffered, but relied on Father God, so they can rely on Him to see it through their dark days.

Harmonizing with Hebrews, James and Peter both wrote to Israel suffering under the Antichrist. For example, James 1:2: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;….” And verse 12: “Blessed [happy!] is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” Finally, 1 Peter 1:6,7: “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing [Second Coming] of Jesus Christ.” This is how believing Israel should view her end-times distress.

If God will comfort believing Israel during the worst (!) period of human history, then surely, brethren, He can aid us in our times of need. When we face difficulties, we know that He has equipped us to fully endure them. First Corinthians 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did not God send messengers to Gentiles prior to Paul’s apostleship?