A Prayer Life Fallen Apart

Monday, June 12, 2017

“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV).

Beloved, when your prayer life ceases, fret not!

An online Christian sister admitted on social media that she had just realized how her prayer life is “pretty close to useless.” Having learned more about how to study God’s Word dispensationally—how everything in Scripture is for us to read but not everything therein is to or about us—she recognizes how she has been praying inappropriately. I told her we have all been there at one time. It was good that she reached this point because most believers never do. Moreover, now that she has identified the problem, she can proceed to fixing it. The solution is there in God’s Word rightly divided, she just needs to study more and discover it!

As a Christian delves deeper into the Bible rightly divided, his or her prayer life increasingly disintegrates. Why? He or she has been praying primarily one of two ways. Firstly, praying like Israel. The primary model prayer of Christendom, of course, is the so-called “Lord’s Prayer,” Matthew 6:9-13—“Our Father which art in heaven….” Secondly, praying like heathen. Jesus Christ discussed that as well. Verse 7 says, “use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”

Friends, we should see how our Apostle Paul prayed. Since his salvation is our “pattern” (1 Timothy 1:15,16), then his ministry and life are also our patterns. If Paul knew what God was doing today, and he did according to Ephesians 3:2, then it is safe to assume that Paul prayed in-line with what God was doing today. As other members of the Body of Christ, we would do well to follow the four model Pauline prayers—Ephesians 1:16-23, Ephesians 3:14-21, Philippians 1:9-11, and Colossians 1:9-13.

Indeed, friends, we pray with whatever Bible understanding we have. We do it with understanding nonetheless—neither mindlessly repeating nor haphazardly snatching verses! As it becomes clear where and how we pray wrongly, we let the rightly-divided verses fix our thoughts and hearts. Once we are re-oriented by God’s grace (I speak from experience), we will not miss that old so-called “prayer life!” Onward to maturity! 🙂

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….

Forgiven for Christ’s Sake #7

Sunday, July 17, 2016

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32 KJV).

What is true forgiveness?

At a Bible conference, I overheard a man talking with one of my pastor friends. Steeped in denominationalism, he was chiefly confused about whether God had forgiven him. He struggled with the so-called “Lord’s Prayer” (“Our Father” Prayer). Specifically, Matthew chapter 6: “[14] For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: [15] But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” The poor man needed to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The “Our Father” Prayer was spoken to Israel (Matthew 15:24)—not us Gentiles (Matthew 10:5-7)!

God’s spokesman to us, the Apostle Paul, on this side of the Cross, tells us God has forgiven us all our sins. We do not have to beg or wonder! In Christ, forgiveness is total, free, and forever. He forgave us because of what Jesus Christ did at Calvary, not because of our religious performance (today’s Scripture). We are already forgiven in Christ. As God forgave us, we forgive others. Lost people will have their sins taken care of at two places—the cross of Christ if they trust Christ before physical death, or eternal hellfire if they do not trust Christ before physical death.

One of Satan’s schemes to destroy the local assembly is when Christians do not forgive each other as God for Christ’s sake has (past tense) forgiven them. Second Corinthians chapter 2 warns about bitterness: “[10] To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; [11] Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

Forgiveness is not pretending like nothing happened. You have been wronged, and God punished Jesus Christ for that sin. Forgiveness is sending the shame, guilt, and pain to Jesus Christ’s cross (where God dealt with our sins). We need not keep dredging up the past, beloved. We learn from our mistakes, and are thankful Jesus Christ has already provided our forgiveness forever! 🙂

Return, LORD! #5

Monday, November 23, 2015

And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel (Numbers 10:35,36 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture mean?

The Berean Bible student notices “return.” Jesus Christ ascended into heaven 2,000 years ago as a royal exile. Israel, favoring and worshiping idols, rejected and crucified Him instead. After our dispensation closes, Israel’s believing remnant will be enlightened. They will return unto God. They will pray for their Messiah-King to come back to and for them. “Our Father which art in heaven,… Thy kingdom come,” Jesus taught Israel to pray (Matthew 6:9,10).

Since Israel left JEHOVAH first, she has to return to Him first, that He return to her. She was unfaithful to Him by worshiping and serving idols. He did not leave her—she left Him! “If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations [idols] out of my sight…” (Jeremiah 4:1). “The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God” (Isaiah 10:20,21) “And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart” (Jeremiah 24:7).

Once Israel returns to God, Jesus Christ, who went to heaven to receive the kingdom from His Heavenly Father, He will “return” and establish that kingdom on Earth for Israel’s sake (Luke 19:12). James talked about this “return” of Christ to Israel, which will occur once God quits forming us, the Church the Body of Christ (Acts 15:16). Psalm 80: “[14] Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;…[19] Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”

With Israel’s believing remnant forsaking their pagan idols during the seven-year Tribulation, recognizing Jesus as legitimate instead of an impostor, they will be redeemed and cleansed to enter their kingdom once Christ “returns!”

Israel’s Return to the LORD Her God

Monday, November 9, 2015

“O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity” (Hosea 14:1 KJV).

Herein is history and prophecy.

Decades before the Assyrian armies invaded and deported the idolatrous northern kingdom (Israel’s 10 northern tribes), JEHOVAH God sent the Prophet Hosea to preach to Israel. While the southern kingdom (Judah) was not as wicked (yet), similar punishment would eventually come upon it (except, in that case, by Babylonian soldiers). Hosea’s ministry had a two-fold message—judgment followed by restoration. That alternation occurs throughout his 14-chapter book. Today’s Scripture begins the final prophecy—Israel’s restoration.

Today’s Scripture says judgment has already fallen on Israel as a whole (both kingdoms). They have forsaken the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They have worshipped and served idols and the one true God has had enough. He will have no more mercy on them, they are not His people, and He will not be their God (Hosea 1:6-9). Having lost their Jewish monarchy and their Promised Land, they are now captive in foreign countries under Gentile control. Today’s Scripture is Hosea encouraging His nation to return to JEHOVAH. Succeeding verses explain.

“[2] Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. [3] Asshur [Assyria] shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.”

In Matthew chapter 3, during John the Baptist’s ministry, Israel, still under that fifth course of judgment (dispersion), had a believing remnant that confessed their sins and were water baptized. They were ready to be God’s people. But, that program was delayed. Yet future, after our dispensation, Israel’s believing remnant—currently blinded in our dispensation—will return to JEHOVAH God, preparing for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming and subsequent earthly kingdom. The so-called “Lord’s Prayer,” Matthew 6:9-13, is their confession. When believing Israel cries out to God, He hears and answers. Read Hosea 14:4-9 and Hosea 1:10,11. Literally, by God’s grace, Israel will be received, redeemed, and restored (Romans 11:25-29)!

If Thou Be #8

Thursday, June 11, 2015

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Corinthians 11:3,4 KJV).

Can Satan use the Bible to confuse God’s people concerning their identity? Yes, today’s Scripture says he most certainly can (and does)!

If you want to be a Christian, it is commonly said that you need to be water baptized, give tithes, confess your daily sins, pray the “Lord’s Prayer,” observe holy feast days, faithfully attend church and “worship” on the Sabbath, keep the Mosaic Law, follow Christ’s earthly ministry, obey the “Great Commission,” seek the “manifestation of the Spirit” of tongues and miracles, et cetera. Beloved, while these activities are Scriptural, they do not belong in our dispensation. So, they are advantageous to Satan’s policy of evil in confusing us about our identity.

By the way, if you do not do these activities, traditional “Christianity” does not consider you a Christian. In agreeing with the Bible rightly divided, you disagree with traditional Bible thinking. Since religious tradition is the standard rather than the rightly divided Word of God, those who disagree with religion are labeled “non-Christians.” In that warped world, “Christians” follow tradition instead of Scripture! Behold the insanity, irony, and heresy!

Religion demands we give, confess, repent, attend, observe, seek, do, to get from God and keep it. Our one baptism by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ is seen as deficient. The written, completed Bible is seen as wanting. We are urged to pursue experiences and emotions to hear more from God. Our once-for-all forgiveness is seen as flawed. The Adversary causes Christians to revert back to Israel’s system of short sin-accounts (confession). In short, our sufficiency in Christ is seen as insufficient. Talk about identity crisis! What identity theft! Satan stole their identity, and then they stole Israel’s! The Devil’s damnable statement reverberates throughout the ages, right up to our present-day—If thou be the [children] of God….”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How are we ‘able ministers of the new testament?’

When the LORD Turns Israel’s Captivity #4

Monday, April 20, 2015

“That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee” (Deuteronomy 30:3 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, Moses prophesies Israel’s glorious future restoration!

When dedicating the Temple five centuries later, King Solomon said (2 Chronicles 6:37-38): “[37] Yet if they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly; [38] If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name: [39] Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.”

About 350 years later, idolatrous Israel was dispersed worldwide. It was true when Jesus came 10 centuries after Solomon. Israel is still in unbelief and scattered globally. She will remain so until our Dispensation of Grace closes (see Romans chapter 11). Then, during the seven-year Tribulation, Israel’s believing remnant will form; the so-called “Lord’s Prayer” describes their conversion, their confession of sins, their return to JEHOVAH God, their allegiance to Him, and their plea for Him to come back to them and restore their land (Matthew 6:9-13). (Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, the restoration Moses and Solomon predicted, is His reply to them!!!)

Moses continued after today’s Scripture, “[4] If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: [5] And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.” Let us survey other Bible passages that predict that restoration of Israel….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did Mary, Jesus’ mother, have a sister also named Mary?

Praying Like Elijah #8

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (James 5:17 KJV).

Why did Elijah pray like this, what was so special about his prayer that God answered it, and how can we have our prayers answered of God?

Once, I spoke with a dear Christian woman who was confused about prayer. She was surprised to learn that the so-called “Lord’s Prayer” had nothing to do with us in the Dispensation of Grace. Yes, strange as it sounds, a prayer that 99.9 percent of Christendom has repeated, and still repeats, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over as though it affects us, is actually a prayer that has nothing to do with what God is doing today! While many use that prayer as a model prayer, they have not studied their Bibles to learn there are four model prayers especially for the Body of Christ.

When a Christian comes to understand dispensational Bible study, his or her prayer life falls apart. It happened to me, and many others I know. They learn that they were either praying like Israel (the “Lord’s Prayer”) or praying like heathen (mindless, repetitious, man-made prescribed prayers). It will be a happy day in the lives of millions of Christians when they learn that God’s spokesman to them is the Apostle Paul, “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13). They will save themselves years upon years, yea decades, of confusion, heartache, and disappointment. (Still, the vast majority of professing Christians rebel at dispensational Bible study, refusing to break their erroneous prayer habits because that would contradict long-held tradition.)

Beloved, it bears repeating—prayer is designed to be a response of God’s Word to you. Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, are God’s Word to you, so if you are unfamiliar with God’s Word to you, you will be praying apart from God’s will. You will not see God work because you will not know what He is doing. Indeed, dispensational Bible study revolutionizes your Bible understanding and your prayer life….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is the ‘mystery’ of Colossians 1:27?

Riches and the Ages to Come #4

Monday, August 11, 2014

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5 KJV).

If Israel’s believing remnant is to endure the seven-year Tribulation’s economic depression, she must remember that faithful JEHOVAH is with her, and that He will bless her in due time.

When Jesus gave the “Our Father” Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, He provided for His little flock a summary of her prophetic program. This prayer would continually remind Israel’s believers of their future that God had already pre-planned. After our Dispensation of Grace closes with the Rapture, our catching up to meet the Lord in the air, Israel’s program will resume where it paused (Romans 11:25-29). Those believing Jews will follow what Jesus taught in the Four Gospels, but they will progress in that doctrine with Hebrews through Revelation (Hebrews 5:11–6:3 urges Israel to move onward in spiritual maturity).

Approximately halfway through the seven-year Tribulation, the Antichrist will defile Israel’s Temple in Jerusalem by sitting in it and declaring himself to be God (Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:36; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4), and he will institute his religious mark that will govern the world’s economics (Revelation 13:7,16-18). Jesus warned that, at the time of this “abomination of desolation,” Messianic Jews dwelling in Jerusalem were to flee for their lives, to immediately go to the wilderness, and not bother wasting time gathering material possessions (Matthew 24:15-22; Mark 13:14-20). Now, we see why Jews are praying for “daily bread” in Matthew 6:11!

The Apostle John picked up the narrative in Revelation chapter 12, “[6] And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. [14] And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

So, we see that Israel’s believing remnant in Jerusalem will flee into the mountainous wilderness, where JEHOVAH will feed, clothe, and shelter them during the last half of the Tribulation period….

Riches and the Ages to Come #3

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5 KJV).

If Israel’s believing remnant is to endure the seven-year Tribulation’s economic depression, she must remember that faithful JEHOVAH is with her, and that He will bless her in due time.

The so-called “Lord’s Prayer,” repeated today ad nauseum, has this third petition: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Who should be uttering this? Not prosperous Gentiles in this the Dispensation of Grace, but Jews who are so poverty-stricken they lack daily meals! Why would they be asking for “daily bread?” Remember, did not Israel’s little flock do as Jesus said, and sold all their possessions and gave to the poor (Matthew 19:21; Luke 12:31-34; Luke 18:22; Acts 2:44-47; Acts 4:32-37)? Just as God blessed Israel with manna, “daily bread,” in the wilderness, with Moses (Exodus 16:1-36), so He will during the seven-year Tribulation (Micah 7:14,15; Revelation 2:17).

Recall Jesus’ words: “[25] Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? [31] Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? [32] (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: ) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. [33] But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. [34] Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:25,31-34; cf. Luke 12:22,29-34).

Jesus Christ taught that, provided His little flock sought first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, He would meet all their physical needs (food, drink, clothing, et cetera). Unlike us, they would not have to work for their food (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15). Let us see exactly how this principle will operate after our Dispensation of Grace….