Shine as Lights #5

Saturday, May 20, 2017

“Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain” (Philippians 2:14-16 KJV).

Shine as lights, brethren, shine as lights!

No matter our country, it is a “crooked and perverse nation.” Governed by Satan, “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), it is thus turned away from God and wholly corrupt. (That evil world system will remain until the Lord Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.) God has left us on this planet as “outposts of the third heaven.” Since we are from another world (“the kingdom of [God’s] dear Son”), we are to behave differently from this world controlled by “the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13).

“…Among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” In the midst of the unbelieving masses, we Christians live—nay, rather, we shine. As luminous celestial bodies contrast the deep, dark recesses of outer space, so we “stick out” in this lost and dying world. We are lighthouses, guiding souls away from danger and destruction. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, describing Israel’s believing remnant, excerpted: “[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” (Matthew 5:14-16).

Ephesians chapter 5 adds: “[7] Be not ye therefore partakers with them [children of disobedience, verse 6]. [8] For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: [9] (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; ) [10] Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. [11] And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” We return to Philippians….

Household Rules #12

Monday, January 16, 2017

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God (Colossians 1:25 KJV).

And, just what is this “dispensation of God which is given to [Paul] for [us]?”

To repeat, some people hate dispensational Bible study. Modern English Bible “scholars” eliminate “dispensation,” therefore hiding the system’s biblical foundation. If they omit the term from Scripture, then they quite easily argue dispensationalism is false. However, while refusing to admit it, even they understand some dispensational boundaries. They know a dispensational boundary exists between an animal-sacrificing Old Testament Jew and us today. They understand animal sacrifices were God’s directions to Israel under the Law, not directions to us under Grace. They know God’s directions to Noah to build an Ark are Scripture, but not to us. Yet, they claim and follow other verses not to or about us. How silly!

Certain “church people” loathe dispensational Bible study—especially Pauline dispensationalism—because it prevents them from ripping out of context verses from Jesus’ earthly ministry and early Acts. They enjoy claiming the gifts of healing and tongues; they like the Beatitudes, Sermon on the Mount, and so-called “Lord’s Prayer;” they harp on Christ’s parables; they revel in water baptism, Sabbath-day keeping, and confession of sins. If they were to recognize dispensationalism as true, and apply it consistently in Scripture, then they would see only Paul’s doctrine as applicable to us (today’s Scripture; cf. Ephesians 3:2).

They dislike Paul since he was not sent to water baptize (1 Corinthians 1:17); did not have the gifts of healing and tongues his entire ministry (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; 1 Timothy 5:23; 2 Timothy 4:20); did not quote the “Lord’s Prayer,” Sermon on the Mount, or Beatitudes; did not emphasize confession of sins; directly opposed forced giving/tithing (2 Corinthians 9:6,7); and outright condemned Sabbath-day keeping (Galatians 4:9-11; Colossians 2:16). Paul emphasized grace rather than works. Thus, some groups have removed Paul’s “nuisance” epistles entirely from their Bible!

Dispensational Bible study—specifically, Pauline dispensationalism—threatens church traditions (works-religion). They must ignore dispensational boundaries in order to keep people working and striving in church programs and denominations. In doing so, they underscore Law, thus refuting the Gospel of Grace and hindering victorious Christian living….

To Know Your Christian Life

Monday, November 28, 2016

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6,7 KJV).

Friend, may you come to know your Christian life as God wants you to know it!

Sadly, the average Christian is burdened, confused, frustrated, and miserable. What do we expect, since the average local church does not teach true Christian living anyway? Two primary passages seen as guidelines for Christian living are The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. However, these verses were never spoken to us Gentiles and are not God’s operating system for the Church the Body of Christ. They are God’s Word to the nation Israel under the Law! We must go to Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, for God’s instructions to us Gentiles under grace. The Holy Spirit said, in Ephesians 3:2, “the dispensation of the grace of God” was committed to the Apostle Paul, that he teach it to us. We should not go to Israel’s verses and try to force them on us.

Two Bible books that could help so many Christians are Paul’s epistles to Rome and Galatia. Romans is the foundational book of grace thinking and grace living; Galatians is the correctional book for legalistic (Law-keeping) people to be re-oriented toward grace thinking and grace living. Most Christians need to learn Romans and Galatians! Romans 6:14 says: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” If you are not grace-oriented, you will be legalistic and disorientated! Rather than Law, God’s grace teaches us how to live and gives us victory over sin. Paul writes in Titus 2:11,12: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world….” (Sin is not who we are in Christ!)

Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

For more information about Christian living, you may see:

NOTE: Having expanded upon the “Original 7 studies” for the fourth time, our fourth foundation (studies #2001-#2007) is now installed. Onward we press in maturity… and to #2500! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How was Paul ‘rude in speech?’

Heart Service #5

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Romans 6:17 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is the key to being delivered from and guarded against today’s apostate Christendom.

How should we deal with daily sins as Christians? Religion says, “Confess your sins (either to a priest or directly to God), and then follow our church’s/denomination’s ‘code of conduct’ to do better next time.” They even direct us to obey Bible verses such as the Ten Commandments and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. While these religious people are often well-meaning, they overlook a simple fact: It was our performance that got us into those sins in the first place, so we must look beyond ourselves, beyond our capacity, to have victory over daily sins. We must go back to the basics of the book of Romans, its first five chapters, and re-learn the simplest doctrines of grace.

Delineated so clearly in Romans chapters 1-5, the Gospel of the Grace of God—“Christ died for our sins(1 Corinthians 15:3)—plainly declares that we sinners do not and cannot please the God of the Bible. As sons and daughters of Adam, we have no natural, internal capacity to do the works that He wants done. Moreover, we naturally do not have the attitude and motives that He accepts when those good works are accomplished. Despite all our “piety” (“goody-goodiness”), God’s righteous verdict concerning mankind, us, is “Guilty!” (Romans 3:19).

In the context of today’s Scripture, our Apostle Paul already discussed salvation from sins unto eternal life (Romans chapters 1-5). Today’s Scripture is a highlight of the second section of Romans, chapters 6-8, which focuses on daily Christian living. The serious Bible student would never conclude that Romans chapters 6-8 teach that we must follow rules and regulations to make ourselves accepted of God, to have victorious Christian lives, for it would go contrary to what the previous five chapters taught. If we are to have victory over daily sins, we look not to our religious performance, but we recall how God worked to save us unto eternal life (today’s Scripture)….

On Your Christian Life

Monday, March 3, 2014

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6,7 KJV).

If you are seeking victorious Christian living today, you can find it today!

Where do we obtain the power for Christian living? Christendom greatly emphasizes “Kingdom building,” terminology obviously derived from the Four Gospels (Matthew 3:2, Mark 10:14,15, Luke 12:31,32, et cetera). We hear it constantly: “Follow Jesus” (the implication is to obey and apply to our lives His Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, or Luke chapter 12, or John chapters 14-16, et cetera). Others tell us to keep the Law of Moses (Ten Commandments) for Christian living. Despite all that performance and effort, very few ever actually realize the life God has for Christians because of the confusion as to what it is and because nearly all of the activities that are presumed to be God’s life for us is everything but it!

Today’s Scripture summarizes both soul salvation unto eternal life and soul salvation unto daily grace living. How did we “receive Christ Jesus the Lord?” By our works? By keeping rules and regulations; performing rites, rituals, and ceremonies; repeating prayers; making God promises to do better; et cetera? NAY! Verse 5 says, “[our] faith in Christ.” Our Christian life operates exactly like our soul salvation from hell was accomplished—by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s performance (Romans 3:22-26; Romans 4:3-8; Ephesians 2:8,9). As we were saved from the penalty of sin (eternal hellfire), so we can be saved from the power of sin (fleshly living, living for ourselves): it is all Jesus Christ’s work!

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). We are accepted in Jesus Christ because of what He did (His grace to us), and our lifestyles are acceptable to God when we allow Jesus Christ to live His life in and through us (the grace doctrines revealed in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, which we study, believe, and apply to life). That is the key to victorious Christian living under grace!

*These past seven devotionals, “Original 7 Expanded Again,” are advanced versions of our “Original 7” devotionals arc and our “Original 7 Expanded” devotionals arc: all 21 build on each other. Onward we go in maturity! 🙂

The “Our Father” Prayer in HD #8

Monday, November 25, 2013

“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:7,8 KJV).

Eliminating the static due to religious tradition, we present to you “the official prayer of Christendom” with unparalleled clarity….

The immediate context of today’s Scripture is Jesus Christ instructing His believing remnant in Israel how to pray (the “Our Father” Prayer immediately follows today’s Scripture). The broader context is His famous “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew chapters 5-7), a summary of God’s earthly kingdom program for Israel. While often ignored, today’s Scripture is necessary to appreciate the overall purpose of the “Our Father” Prayer.

Throughout the Bible, prayer is simply a saint (believer) speaking to God in light of God’s Word to him or her. Jesus Christ knew His disciples needed a model prayer, a way to remind themselves of that kingdom doctrine He was teaching them within the wider context. Before Jesus gave them that model prayer, He gave two rules.

Firstly, Jesus said they were not to pray like the hypocrites (such as the Pharisees), who prayed publicly merely to be seen of others: believing Israel was to pray privately in prayer closets (Matthew 6:5,6).

Secondly, Jesus told them not to pray like the heathen: “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (today’s Scripture). These Gentiles, Jesus said, talked much in prayer because they were trying to get their god’s attention. The pagans mindlessly repeated the same empty words, hoping “their much speaking” in prayer would result in a “divine” response (remember, they were certainly not praying to Israel’s God, the God of Scripture).

Today’s Scripture was Jesus Christ’s way of comforting believing Israel. He explained to them that they did not have to waste their time in mindless, repetitious prayer to get JEHOVAH’S attention. JEHOVAH was fully aware of their needs, so “vain repetitions” were unnecessary. They simply needed to remember His Word to them….