A Storm Is Coming! #7

Monday, June 29, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

Concerning the Great Flood of Noah’s day, an old world was destroyed, cleansed of all unbelievers, and replaced with a new world. A believing remnant on an Ark survived, just as Israel’s Little Flock outlasts Daniel’s 70th Week (the seven-year Tribulation). In the case of Jonah’s tempest, rebellious Israel (who refused to be God’s preachers to the Gentiles) is now converted in the Tribulation. In the Millennium, Israel reaches the world with God’s Word (as reformed Jonah ultimately preached to Nineveh).

As touching the storm of Matthew chapter 7, Jewish unbelievers are spiritually destroyed under the Antichrist, while Messianic Jews (believers in Jesus) are spiritually saved to enter Christ’s 1,000-Year Kingdom. Regarding the tempest of chapter 8, Christ is present with Israel’s Little Flock during their time of testing (Daniel’s 70th Week). He ensures their safety “to the other side:” they enter His kingdom and enjoy blessings of physical and spiritual healing. Satan is removed from Earth! Concerning the storm of chapter 14, Jesus is away, His return postponed. Then, believing Israel sees His Second Coming, when He tramples their enemies (unbelievers, especially the Antichrist). The nation confesses Jesus as the Son of God: there is spiritual healing, God’s righteousness imputed to Israel.

Enoch, who lived before the Great Flood (Genesis 5:21-24), preached: “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14,15). Christ’s Second Coming loops back to the Great Flood (cf. today’s Scripture). All these storms preview various aspects of the future “storm” of Israel and the world!

Our latest Bible Q&As: “Does Acts 7:14 have a mistake?,” “Does Acts 7:16 have a mistake?,” and “Does Acts 7:43 have mistakes?

333’s 3300th – The Stability of Our Times!

Friday, June 12, 2020

And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure (Isaiah 33:6 KJV).

Dear readers and saints, only by God’s grace, we mark our 3300th daily devotional today!

We live in a crazy world, huh? Since we are “creatures of habit,” its vicissitudes or changes greatly affect us. Our culture is shifting at a phenomenal speed—and for the worse rather than the better! Despite all our technological innovations, we cannot engineer a more ethical, moral, or righteous human. The problems mankind faced centuries and millennia ago still plague us this very moment. A larger population, a more brazen populace, and a greater enticement to do evil are the differences that make our society exceptionally precarious.

For exactly 3,300 consecutive days now, we have had here literally myriads of opportunities to use God’s Word rightly divided to stabilize ourselves spiritually. The cares of this evil world system will tear us down if we are not careful. Hence, it is absolutely critical we continue in sound Bible doctrine, lest we fall prey to the dumbness, deception, and doubt currently besetting people all around the world.

In today’s Scripture, the nation Israel is enjoying her future kingdom on Earth. Jesus Christ has returned at His Second Coming, has delivered her from all her enemies, and now reigns as King. Verse 5 says, “The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.” Today’s Scripture, the next verse, continues, “And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.”

Spiritual wisdom and spiritual knowledge will provide Zion, Jerusalem or the nation Israel’s capital city, with “stability” and “strength of salvation.” Instead of false religion or pagan idolatry debilitating her, Israel will be spiritually equipped to function as God’s nation. Why? His pure Word will be there to support them. Likewise, in these uncertain times, how wonderful it is to have a firm foundation in which we can trust—the King James Bible, taught and believed rightly divided (2 Timothy 2:15). The stability of our times! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Were the King James translators justified in adding ‘women’ to Matthew 24:41?

Without Hands #3

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

“Among the gods there is none like thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works” (Psalm 86:8 KJV).

Let us see what the Bible says about works made “without hands.”

The expression occurs one final time in Colossians chapter 2: “[11] In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: [12] Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

Once we trust Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins, the Holy Spirit identifies us with Him and makes us members of the Church the Body of Christ: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). Here is our “baptism”—and it is not water! Instantaneously, we are also spiritually circumcised, cut off from our identity in Adam and given Christ’s identity. Instead of being the work a Jewish rabbi, this circumcision was made “without hands.” Believing Israel has both an outward/fleshly circumcision and an inward/spiritual circumcision: “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans 2:28,29).

It will take Almighty God Himself to defeat Israel’s enemies—no one else can do it. Here is one act done “without hands.” It will take Almighty God Himself to deliver Israel and the world from Satan and the Antichrist—no one else is able to accomplish it. Here is a second act done “without hands.” It will take Almighty God Himself to remove man’s sinful heart—no one else can do it. Here is a third act done “without hands.” Now, we close with today’s Scripture: “Among the gods there is none like thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.”

Without Hands #2

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

“Among the gods there is none like thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works” (Psalm 86:8 KJV).

Let us see what the Bible says about works made “without hands.”

Daniel chapter 2 covers Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and the Prophet Daniel’s interpretation. Israel’s God has given Nebuchadnezzar prophetic insight: he sees all the Gentile (non-Jewish) empires that will dominate Israel until Christ’s Second Coming. The Medes and Persians are to conquer the Babylonians, the Greeks will defeat Media-Persia, and ten mysterious kings will follow.

After all that, “a stone… cut out without hands… smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces…. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom…. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter…” (verses 34,44,45). The “stone cut out without hands” is Christ abolishing the evil world system and founding in its place His righteous, earthly kingdom.

Chapter 8 speaks of Israel’s last despot just prior to Christ’s Second Coming. Here is the Antichrist: “…a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.Again, Christ personally returns to destroy him (2 Thessalonians 2:8)!

These are God’s works, not man’s efforts. Man will not be able to vanquish Israel’s oppressors. Also, man will not be able to dethrone Antichrist and Satan’s evil world system. Something more powerful than human hands must accomplish these ends—the hands of Almighty God! Now, let us see His labor as it pertains to us, members of the Church the Body of Christ….

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! By the way, ministry emails have really been backed up this year. I am handling them as much as humanly possible. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

The Inner Three

Saturday, May 2, 2020

And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James (Mark 5:37 KJV).

Behold, the inner three Apostles of Israel—Peter, James, and John!

The Scriptures group Peter, James, and John on three occasions:

  1. As touching Jesus transforming on the Mount of Transfiguration: “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,…” (Matthew 17:1). “And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them” (Mark 9:2). They were the only Apostles to see a preview of Jesus Christ’s glory to be demonstrated at His Second Coming.
  2. In regards to Christ raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead: “And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James (today’s Scripture). “And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden” (Luke 8:51). They were the only Apostles to witness a preview of the nation Israel’s resurrection, to take place at Christ’s Second Coming.
  3. As touching Jesus praying just prior to His arrest in Gethsemane: “And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;…” (Mark 14:33). They were the only Apostles to see Christ agonizing in prayer leading up to His death.

Interestingly, they were the only three Apostles to whom Jesus gave nicknames. According to John 1:42, Simon was renamed “Cephas” (“stone”) or “Peter” (Mark 3:16). Mark 3:17 says brothers James and John were renamed “Boanerges” (“the sons of thunder”). Peter was the head Apostle, as per Matthew 16:19: “And I will give unto thee [“you” singular] the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou [“you” singular] shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou [“you” singular] shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Thus, he was often the 12 Apostles’ spokesman. James and John were likened unto God’s voice, thunder a picture of His Word going forth (2 Samuel 22:14; Job 37:4,5; Job 40:9; Psalm 29:3; Psalm 104:7).

Christ Liveth in Me

Sunday, April 12, 2020

“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” (Galatians 2:20 KJV).

“He is risen” is not a simple blasé cliché!

When Jesus’ disciples came to His tomb on that glorious Sunday morning nearly 2,000 years ago, they were startled to find it empty! Angels inform them that He has resurrected, but they are still in shock (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-8). Jesus Christ Himself must later explain the Scriptures to them regarding what happened those last few days (Luke 24:44-46).

However, until Paul’s ministry, Christ’s finished crosswork is not preached as good news for salvation. Peter and Israel’s other apostles simply preach that Jesus Christ is now resurrected to “sit on [David’s] throne” (Acts 2:30)—that is bad news for much of Israel, for they still reject Him, weeks and months after His resurrection and ascension. Throughout early Acts, Israel’s apostles warn her that Jesus Christ is coming back to judge them.

When we come to the Apostle Paul’s ministry, we learn that we Gentiles can benefit from Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. Israel’s rejected Messiah is now our way to heaven! Yes, Israel hated Him, and demanded that He experience the most awful method of execution devised, but God allowed it in order to accomplish His will. Satan attempted to hinder God’s will by having Christ killed, but all that did was provide the method whereby God could save us pagan Gentiles. Calvary’s finished crosswork frees us from Satan’s evil system and gives us a chance to be God’s people (Acts 26:17,18)!

As people who have trusted Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for our sins, that crucifixion is our death to self and sin, and that resurrection is our raising to walk in newness of life—His life (today’s Scripture; cf. Romans 6:1-11)!

Indeed, Jesus Christ is alive, and He lives in and through those who walk by faith in God’s Word to them, Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon! 🙂

HAPPY EASTER!

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

Messiah’s Joy Amidst Calvary’s Grief #2

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2 KJV).

Do you ever wonder what our Lord Jesus Christ was thinking about while He hung there on Calvary’s cross?

Jesus knew Bible prophecy had to be fulfilled: He had to suffer in accordance with the Old Testament prophets. Even when He spoke seven times from the cross, He quoted various Old Testament verses. The Old Testament prophets also gave Him comfort: for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (today’s Scripture).

For instance, He remembered that Jonah’s prophecy had to be fulfilled: “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). On the third day, He would live again, and be reunited with His heavenly Father!

He knew that His Father would resurrect Him. His spiritual torment and physical death were only temporarily, as David quoted Jesus 1000 B.C., “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:10; cf. Acts 2:24-31).

Our Lord thought of reigning over that glorious kingdom that His Heavenly Father would give Him after His resurrection. As the psalmist wrote centuries before Calvary’s crosswork, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Psalm 2:6-8). “Begotten” refers to Jesus’ resurrection, not His nativity in Bethlehem (Acts 13:33,34).

Jesus Christ, during His torturous crucifixion, thought about and rejoiced in the promises in the Scriptures that applied to Him. Likewise, we, during difficult circumstances, can remember and joy in God’s promises to us—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon.

We too can share Messiah’s joy amidst grief! 🙂

The “Triumphal” Entry

Sunday, April 5, 2020

“All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass” (Matthew 21:4,5 KJV).

Do you ever wonder why Jesus Christ rode on a donkey the Sunday before His crucifixion?

In today’s Scripture (cf. Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19), Jesus’s crucifixion on Calvary’s cross is just five days away. Leaving Bethany, He travels to Jerusalem (a mile to the northwest). Israel’s believing remnant in Jerusalem is excited to hear that Messiah is returning to “the city of the great King” (Psalm 48:2; Matthew 5:35); in anticipation, the great multitude throws their garments and palm branches on the ground. As Jesus enters the city, they cry out, “Hosanna [“O save!”]: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 19:38; John 12:13; cf. Psalm 118:26).

While often called the “Triumphal Entry,” there really was no victory being celebrated in today’s Scripture—the victory was to come later! What we need to realize is that Jesus Christ was humble (“meek”) here: as a King riding on a donkey into Israel’s capital city, He demonstrated He desired peace with Israel (a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9). He had not come to destroy her, though He would have been just in doing so; He had come to save her from her sins, her enemies, and her satanic bondage (Matthew 1:21; Mark 2:17; Mark 3:22-30; Luke 1:68-75; Luke 9:55,56; Luke 19:9,10; Acts 3:24-26; et cetera).

Just a few days later, Jesus Christ appeared weak and defeated. He never fought back as the Roman soldiers mercilessly abused Him; He allowed Himself to be crucified on Calvary. It was His meek and lowly coming; now was not the time to pour out His wrath. He resurrected and ascended into heaven as a royal exile. Revelation 19:11 says Jesus Christ will return to Jerusalem on a white horse, a sign of war and wrath (Zechariah 14:1-4)—that will be His true triumphal entry, for He will conquer Satan’s world system forever!

NOTE: As you may have noticed, for the Easter Season, we have temporarily interrupted our “Careful—But Not Careful!” devotionals arc. We will return to it on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Until then, enjoy these special (classic) studies! 🙂

Perfect Peace #1

Saturday, March 14, 2020

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3,4 KJV).

Despite their grim circumstances, those who trust in the God of Scripture will be kept in “perfect peace!”

Friend, life under the curse of sin is filled with innumerable surprises. (You did already know that, right?!) In a literal heartbeat, one’s life can change forever. Tragedy strikes in a variety of forms, and all are emotionally traumatic. Sin complicates life. It makes our existence difficult and risky. Yet, the people in today’s Scripture have learned how to make it through this rollercoaster we call “life!”

Let us read more from Isaiah chapter 26: “[1] In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks [fortifications, defenses]. [2] Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepth the truth may enter in. [3] Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. [4] Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.”

Scanning the surrounding verses (especially the earlier chapter), we realize that this is Israel’s restoration at Christ’s Second Coming. The “righteous nation” is the Little Flock, Israel’s believing remnant, joyfully singing a tune. (Can you hear them?) They have been delivered from that dreadful time of Daniel’s 70th Week—commonly called the seven-year Tribulation. Yes, they have survived the darkest and worst period of human history. Now, they are jubilant! Entering the Jerusalem of the Millennium, they are ready to enjoy the kingdom that the LORD God promised their forefathers all those centuries ago! With the city gates opened, these believing Jews literally walk into Jerusalem, and thus begins their eternal, face-to-face communion with their King Jesus Christ!

How did they make it through that time of tremendous distress and heartache? What was their secret? If we look closely at today’s Scripture, it becomes abundantly clear how we too—despite our distresses—can enjoy the peace of the God of the Bible….

My Father’s Business #25

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Luke 2:49 KJV).

And, just what is the Lord Jesus’ Father’s “business?”

Trusting the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively as our personal Saviour, we are then able to understand our new identity and destiny. First Timothy chapter 2: “[3] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [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 giving His life a ransom for all was the message committed to the Apostle Paul (cf. Matthew 20:28).

Father God’s “business” today involves the Holy Spirit edifying us—building us up internally—that we appreciate the “full picture” of His work spanning the ages (past, present, and future). Closing Romans, the Holy Spirit moved Paul to pen: “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:…” (16:25,26).

Saints, approaching the Bible dispensationally, we gain great insight into Father God’s mind. Firstly, Christ’s finished crosswork has saved us from the penalty of sin (Hell). Secondly, it gives us victory over daily sins right now. Thirdly, we are members of the Church the Body of Christ, capable of glorifying Jesus Christ in the heavenly places in eternity future. Finally, God’s work with us complements His work with the nation Israel (also delivered from sins, they are His earthly people in eternity future). Ephesians 1:8-10—“the dispensation of the fulness of times”—is thus accomplished!

May we now say with Christ, “I must be about my Father’s business!” 🙂

-FINIS-