Sanctified Through God’s Truth

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth (John 17:17 KJV).

Jesus Christ prayed to His Heavenly Father for His followers in Israel’s program (especially His Apostles—verse 12). He would do likewise for us today in the Dispensation of Grace.

Sanctification is not to be confused with justification. The former is to be “set apart for the purpose for which God intended;” the latter means “declared righteous before God.” One must be justified (righteousness imputed to his account) before he can be sanctified (useful to God’s work—“holy,” a “saint”).

Just moments before His arrest, Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane communes with Father God by praying throughout John chapter 17. Verse 8 is crucial to grasping today’s Scripture: “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me: and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” Now, verse 14: “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

The Lord was not praying for His followers to be saved unto eternal life (they were already justified). What He desired was spiritual fruit, their identity in Him being manifested in the form of works. Father God’s Word—which He (Jesus) had just taught them for over three years—would be how the Holy Father would use those men for His purposes. He would send His Holy Spirit (Acts chapter 2) to empower them according to the words He had already given them in Christ’s earthly ministry. That message would be further expanded once the Holy Spirit came (see John 14:26; John 15:25-27; John 16:7-14).

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Saints, God’s Word to us—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—will effectually work in us on a daily basis if we believe it. Then, we too will be “sanctified through [God’s] truth!”

Arrayed in Hypocrisy

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:27,28 KJV).

“Looks can be deceiving” is not only true during Halloweentime, but confirmed year-round within Christendom.

Today is Halloween, when children dress up and feign themselves to be creatures they are not. Likewise, many church leaders today wear “Christian” garbs, but their ministries do not bring the Lord Jesus Christ glory and honor. They promote their denomination, and seek to perpetuate it, rather than serve and exalt the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. The Bible manifests these who appear to be good, as “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

In today’s Scripture, Jesus Christ exposed Israel’s corrupt religious leaders who misled the nation in His day. In His Parable of the Tares, Matthew 13:24-30,37-43, Christ explained how just as He had sown good seed (wheat, believing Jews) in Israel, Satan had also sown tares/weeds (unbelieving Jews). Tares resemble wheat; unbelieving Jews resemble believing Jews. The unbelieving Pharisees and scribes, for instance, looked like God’s people (believing Israel). Judas Iscariot was another example of Satan’s tares—the apostles never realized who Judas really was until it was too late!

But Satan’s counterfeit believers are not confined to Israel’s program. Today, within local assemblies of the Body of Christ, there are people feigning themselves to be Christians: For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Beloved, beware of the church leaders who are arrayed in hypocrisy, “and avoid them” (Romans 16:17b). If their teaching does not agree with the rightly divided King James Bible, you have no business as a child of God to be listening to them.

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

You may also see our special study, “Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

Enlightening the Ethiopian Eunuch #6

Saturday, October 27, 2018

And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet (Acts 8:26-28 KJV).

Why and how can this Ethiopian eunuch be enlightened?

“[35] Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. [36] And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? [37] And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. [38] And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. [39] And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”

Verse 37 is key, as it is the eunuch’s profession of faith: “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (This is omitted from modern English versions.) What exactly did Philip preach to him? There is no mention of Christ’s cross as good news. Did he say, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who died for my sins and rose again?” No. There is nothing about Calvary. All Philip told him was that Messiah was prophesied in Isaiah chapter 53, and Jesus fulfilled the passage. The eunuch saw that Jesus was Christ, the Son of God (the Gospel of the Kingdom—Matthew 16:16). In other words, he as a Gentile understood and believed what Israel by and large refused to understand and believe (John 1:11,12)! He was then water baptized, what Israel overwhelmingly rejected as well (Luke 7:29,30).

Indeed, the Scriptural record has rebuked Israel….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why does Peter start with Samuel in Acts 3:24?

Enlightening the Ethiopian Eunuch #5

Friday, October 26, 2018

And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet (Acts 8:26-28 KJV).

Why and how can this Ethiopian eunuch be enlightened?

Isaiah 53:7,8: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.”

Philip asked if the eunuch understood Isaiah (verse 30), to which he replied in the negative, thereby inviting Philip to join him (verse 31): “[32] The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: [33] In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. [34] And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?”

No New Testament Scriptures are written as of yet, but the eunuch holds an Isaiah scroll. Unlike most religious leaders, Philip does not discourage him from reading it. The common person should always (!) have a Bible open when listening to alleged “Christian” sermons and sitting under so-called “Christian” tutelage. Verse 35 is quite refreshing, as it underscores Philip’s readiness following the eunuch’s prompting: “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” Isaiah was not speaking of himself, but of one “Jesus,” the God-Man who had lived not too far away just one year earlier….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How was Jesus ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world?’

Refuge! #3

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares (Numbers 35:11 KJV).

Look closely! Could there be something prophetic here?

The LORD God commanded Joshua, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood” (Joshua 20:2,3). If someone in time past killed another accidentally—namely, without premeditation—that manslayer could seek safety in one of the “cities of refuge” (today’s Scripture). These six cities were strategically placed throughout the land of Israel: they were easily accessible, especially since the paths to them were cleared and maintained. Such facts will prove highly important to our discussion later (your patience is greatly appreciated).

Once again, remember the difference between “manslaughter” and “murder.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines “manslaughter” as “the crime of killing a human being without malice aforethought, or in circumstances not amounting to murder.” In stark contrast, “murder” is “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.”

When Messiah Jesus visited Israel during His three-year earthly ministry, He was overwhelmingly mocked, rejected, and finally crucified. It was downright murder, an intentional killing, for they had already repeatedly schemed to take His life (Matthew 12:14; Matthew 26:3-5,14-16; Mark 11:18; Luke 22:2; John 7:1; John 8:59; John 10:31; John 11:51-54; et cetera). They would not have Him reign over them, they would not admit their sin problem, and they would not relinquish their vain religious system. Christ’s crucifixion was no accident, but a carefully orchestrated event resulting from Israel’s religious leaders conspiring with the Roman government (Psalm 2:1-3; Acts 4:25-28).

Therefore, we are startled to read Luke 23:34. As Christ hangs on Calvary’s cross, greatly suffering and slowly dying, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” In an unfathomable act of compassion toward Israel, the Lord Jesus utters something astonishing. He wants His Heavenly Father to consider this—not murder!—but manslaughter, a killing done in ignorance….

The Hottest Places in Eternity #8

Monday, October 1, 2018

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city (Mark 6:11 KJV).

Are there degrees of punishment in Hell and the Lake of Fire? Indeed!

The second factor in determining the intensity of eternal judgment a lost soul will experience is how influential that individual was on the world stage. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation (Matthew 23:14). “My brethren, be not many masters [teachers], knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation (James 3:1). Religious leaders will be more accountable to God than the congregations they managed.

While religious figures will be most harshly judged out of all leaders, do not suppose that kings and queens, presidents, prime ministers, judges, schoolteachers and professors, media executives, and authors and book publishers, will get off scot-free. These unsaved souls actively and willfully advocated elements of Satan’s evil world system: their programming, legislation, curricula, literature, and policies disseminated and perpetuated his lie program. The Lord Jesus Christ will take all of this into account as each damned soul stands before His throne of judgment.

Of particular note concerning harsh eternal judgment are popes, mega-church preachers, seminary faculty, corrupt Bible editors and translators, and founders of world religions and cults. Doubtless here are Israel’s religious leaders and Rome’s politicians directly involved in Christ’s crucifixion. Judas Iscariot, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet—Satan’s most useful human tools—are punished most severely.

We tremble to consider it, friends, but we must expressly warn. Unsaved husbands and fathers, those whom God commanded to guide women and children in His truth (Ephesians 5:23; Ephesians 6:4), will meet a particularly dreadful fate. For thousands of years, they utterly failed as spiritual leaders. They—more than any other class—contributed to the world’s problems by not training the younger generations. Consequently, those newer generations wreaked worse havoc. Again, to the degree they misled the masses, so is the severity of their everlasting penalty established….

The Hottest Places in Eternity #7

Sunday, September 30, 2018

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city (Mark 6:11 KJV).

Are there degrees of punishment in Hell and the Lake of Fire? Indeed!

The Great White Throne Judgment will be more bearable for the evil citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah than for the audience of Christ’s earthly ministry. More divine revelation was given to the latter, and yet the latter behaved far worse than the former!! This applies across the Bible timeline, even to our present-day. We have a completed Bible, all 66 Books, and yet human society is more anti-God and anti-Scripture than ever. Can you hear God’s rebuke? “Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for those in prior dispensations in the day of judgment, than for you living in the Dispensation of Grace!!”

Christ Jesus warned in John 12:48: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” Every Bible ignored, every Gospel tract rejected, and every missionary rebuffed, will surely be mentioned in the Day of Judgment. These opportunities were intentionally missed. What a frightful prospect! God’s Word to any one group will condemn them to eternal judgment if not believed. The more divine revelation given, the harder the unbelieving heart grows. Two classic cases are Pharaoh with the 10 plagues (Exodus chapters 7–12) and Israel in the wilderness wanderings (Hebrews 3:7-19).

At the Great White Throne Judgment, the books opened are the Bible and the record of the deeds of the lost: “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12). Jesus Christ will take applicable Bible verses, and indict each and every unsaved soul on the basis of that spiritual light rejected….

Bible Q&A #540: “Does the Bible support British Israelism?