Settle Not for “Angelic” Trinkets!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30 KJV).

What Christian needs guardian angels when the Spirit of God guards his or her soul?

Recently flipping through a shopping catalog, one particular trinket grabbed my attention: “Guardian Angel Visor Clip keeps a watchful eye on loved ones when you can’t be there. Attractive pewter-finish accessory features a guardian angel; gently reminds those behind the wheel to be ever watchful while on the road. $7.” The attractive (distractive) little angel held a plaque that read, “[Granddaughter/grandson/son/daughter] please drive safely.” (Nothing for husbands or wives or parents?!? And who is going to be looking at this “reminder” hanging on their rear view mirror if they should be watching the road?!)

Undoubtedly, angels played a very important role in the lives of Old Testament believers (Judges 6:11-24; 2 Kings 19:35; Daniel 9:21; et cetera). “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7). Angels even served the Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry (see Mark 1:13; Luke 22:43). In the future, believing Israelites will have guardian angels to help them in the seven-year Tribulation. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). In Revelation chapters 1-3, describing that time period, we read of seven angels that will lead the seven churches of believing Jews in Asia Minor.

When we look at Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, there is no hint of any angels serving or protecting us. What the Apostle does say about angels in this the Dispensation of Grace is that we should not worship them (Colossians 2:18,19) and the only reason an angel would appear to us today is to preach to us a false Gospel (Galatians 1:8), to draw us away from the Word of God’s Grace.

The Holy Spirit has “sealed” us—preserved us spiritually (the inner man). Whatever happens to the outward man (physical body), it does not matter in the grand scheme of things. What counts most concerning us, God the Holy Ghost has already taken care of it! We need not religious trinkets!

NOTE: The 2015 Slidell Grace Bible Conference (New Orleans area) will be held Friday-Sunday, November 27-29, 2015. Guest speakers will be: Richard Jordan, Frank Redman, Charlie Fouche, and me, Shawn Brasseaux. See attached flyer for details. We would love to have you attend! 🙂

The Carpenter from Nazareth (and Heaven) #9

Sunday, September 27, 2015

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:1-4 KJV).

Have you ever stopped to consider why Jesus’ earthly trade was carpentry?

According to the Law of Moses, Israel’s high priest had to first be washed with water, and then anointed with oil, before he could function in that office (see Exodus 29:1-7; cf. Leviticus 8:1-13). That high priest could then offer animals’ blood for the atonement of Israel’s sins (Leviticus chapter 16). In order to function as Israel’s “High Priest” (today’s Scripture), Jesus Christ was water baptized and then anointed with the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:13-17). Then, His sinless blood was shed on Calvary, for Israel’s sins (Isaiah 53:8; Daniel 9:24).

Now, when our dispensation ends, Israel’s New Covenant can be established (Jeremiah 31:31-34). As the Old Covenant of Law was ratified with animal blood (Exodus chapter 24), so the New Covenant will be ratified by Jesus Christ’s shed blood (Hebrews 8:8-13; Hebrews 10:1-39). That New Covenant will redeem national Israel (Acts 3:19), her believing remnant, and enable them to become a house, Jesus Christ’s “house” (today’s Scripture). Verses 5 and 6 continue, “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”

So, today’s Scripture contrasts Moses leading Israel under the Old Covenant with Jesus Christ leading Israel under the New Covenant. During the seven-year Tribulation, which will be operate once our dispensation ends, the book of Hebrews urges believing Jews to stay doctrinally pure, until Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming to begin that New Covenant (cf. Romans 11:26-29).

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should we pray for sick people?

Paul and Dispensationalism #14

Friday, August 21, 2015

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

From Genesis chapter 12 (call of Abraham) until Acts chapter 9 (salvation of Saul of Tarsus), JEHOVAH God dealt almost exclusively with the nation Israel, promising them various covenants, the backbone of their prophetic program. Romans 9:4,5 comment: “[4] Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; [5] Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”

When God dealt with Gentiles prior to Acts chapter 9, He did so through or related to the nation Israel. The Abrahamic Covenant described how God blessed Gentiles who blessed Israel and He cursed Gentiles who cursed Israel (Genesis 12:1-3). Ultimately, God would convert and commission Israel to bring His Word to all nations in His earthly kingdom (Exodus 19:5,6; Isaiah 60:1-3; Zechariah 8:20-23). At Calvary and during early Acts, Israel refused to become that kingdom of priests!

Ephesians 2:11-13 explains how prophecy gave way to mystery: “[11] Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; [12] That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: [13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” (Verse 13 is true now that we have come to Paul’s ministry!)

God’s grace that brings salvation “appeared to all men once the risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ saved and commissioned Saul of Tarsus. Now, God’s Word and the Gospel of His Grace have come to us Gentiles through Paul’s ministry without Israel (Romans 11:11-13). That grace message is Israel’s rejected Messiah Jesus and His finished crosswork can save Gentiles (including lost Jews) into a body of believers who are alive with God’s life!

Praying Like Elijah #1

Wednesday, February 18, 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?

A preacher recently said that his ministry has received over 93 million prayer requests through the years. He estimated that there were “several million” answers to prayer. Yet, what happened to the tens of millions of prayer requests that went “unanswered?” Did God not deem them worthy of an answer? If you were to survey Christians about their prayer lives, there would be an overwhelming response and great concern about unanswered prayer. For example, the aforementioned preacher discussed how he had even prayed over a lifeless girl’s body, and how God never did bring her back! Why is it that people often pray for one outcome and the very opposite occurs?

To further complicate the matter, Jesus said He would do whatsoever we asked in His name: “[13] And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. [14] If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it(John 14:13,14). Matthew 18:19 is often appealed to regarding prayer: “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” And yet, when two Christians join in prayer, believing exactly what Jesus said, the verses do not work the way one would expect. Why?

Can you see why unanswered prayer is such a sensitive subject? What was to be a blessing is now a burden! What is going on? Does the Almighty throw away prayer requests? If our prayer requests go unanswered, then why bother to pray at all? Elijah in today’s Scripture provides valuable insight into this most personal and most perplexing topic….

Aged, But Strong, in the LORD

Thursday, February 5, 2015

“…I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in” (Joshua 14:10,11 KJV).

How could Caleb, despite his old age, be so bold?

Recall Israel’s rebellion entering the Promised Land with Moses (Numbers chapters 13 and 14). For 40 days, 12 Jewish spies scouted its landscapes. Ten spies reported back to Moses with a very negative report: “We cannot overcome the giants in the land.” They contradicted JEHOVAH’S promise to give them victory over all Gentile inhabitants. However, two spies—Joshua and Caleb—believed God’s Word.

Numbers chapter 14 continues: “[6] And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh… rent their clothes: [7] And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. [8] If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. [9] Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” Israel still refused to enter Canaan, and thus wandered in the desert for 40 years!

Fast-forward to today’s Scripture. Caleb is now 85 years old… and still ready to fight the Gentiles to possess the land that God has given him! The verse following today’s Scripture reveals Caleb, despite agedness, is confident that the LORD will give him victory! “Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.”

Like Caleb, a wise man will rely on his Almighty LORD, not his weakly flesh!

He Buried Him

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day (Deuteronomy 34:6 KJV).

As someone once said, “God buries His servants but never His program.”

Other than Jesus Christ, the GodMan, the God of the Bible used two men most mightily—Moses and the Apostle Paul. For 40 years, Moses led Israel, from her escape from Egypt to just before her entrance into Canaan. God used Moses to write the first five books of the Bible—Genesis through Deuteronomy. He was the great Lawgiver at Mount Sinai: his divinely-inspired writings formed the Jewish religion. Moses was the only man at that time who had spoken with God face-to-face on numerous occasions.

Deuteronomy 34:10-12, written by Moses himself under the moving of the Holy Spirit: “[10] And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, [11] In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, [12] And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.”

Moses was a faithful servant of God (Hebrews 3:2,5). After he finished writing Deuteronomy, the Torah (the Bible’s first five books) was finished. At age 120 years, Moses died (Deuteronomy 32:7). There is no doubt in this author’s mind that God had Moses write about his own death and burial in today’s Scripture.

Knowing full well that the Jews would make a shrine of Moses’ grave, today’s Scripture says that God Himself personally buried Moses in a secret place, somewhere northeast of the Dead Sea. To this day, some 3,500 years later, Moses’ remains are still awaiting resurrection. God buried Moses, dear friends, but He never buried His plan for the nation Israel. Even today, despite the dispensational change, Moses will be raised again, and he, along with all of Israel’s saints of old, will go into the Promised Land, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

Yes, God buries His servants but never His plan! 🙂

Singing for the Devil

Thursday, January 22, 2015

“And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear” (Exodus 32:17,18 KJV).

Moses and Joshua are coming down from Mount Sinai after receiving JEHOVAH’S Ten Commandments, and what a “praise and worship” session Israel is seen to have!

It is common to hear of people attending church services at a particular location simply because they “love” the “praise and worship” team. When they talk to you about “church time,” they rarely evaluate the sermon’s theology. What mattered is, “Church was awesome today because a visitor came and showed us some new dance moves!!!” (A social media posting I saw.) Or, “I do not like that preacher’s doctrine but I watch his television program because he is a terrific musician and singer!” (What someone told me recently.) Dear friends, we should be mindful not to expose ourselves to such spiritual dangers, that which appears or sounds good but is actually injurious to our spiritual health.

“And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount” (verse 19). “And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies: ),…” (verse 25). The Levites, instructed by Moses, killed 3,000 naked Jewish revelers (verses 26-28)!

Singing and dancing about spiritual matters is not always good. Remember, the same vain religious system that infiltrated ancient Israel has also infected the Body of Christ. Dancing around worthless idols, singing about vain denominational traditions, and so on, it is not pleasing to our Lord Jesus Christ. Beloved, let us strive for a pure local church, one that upholds God’s Word rightly divided, and let us cast off a local church that upholds the flesh! 🙂

Their Ebenezer, Our Ebenezer

Monday, January 5, 2015

“Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12 KJV).

Thankfully, Israel’s “Ebenezer” is our “Ebenezer” as well.

After some 20 years of pagan idol worship (verses 1,2), and at the order of Samuel the judge, priest, and prophet, “the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only” (verses 3,4). They had finally put their trust in the living and true God and renounced their dead, worthless, Canaanite idols. As Samuel promised them, JEHOVAH would now deliver them from the hands of their enemies the Philistines (just as He promised through Moses centuries before in Deuteronomy 28:1,2,7,14,15,25,49-58).

Samuel instructed all of Israel to gather and meet with him at Mizpeh (about 5 miles, or 8 kilometers, northwest of Jerusalem). There, he prayed for them to the LORD, confessing their national sin of idolatry; they then confessed their national sin, and let Samuel guide them into God’s truth (verses 5,6). The Philistines hear of Israel’s congregating in Mizpeh, and they go out to fight the Jews; Israel hears the news and grows afraid (verse 7). Israel is now wavering in their confidence in their God; they have lapsed into unbelief, forgetting His promise to help them win. The Jews beg Samuel to pray for them, that they may be delivered from the Philistines (verse 8).

Thus, Samuel offers a sucking (nursing) lamb by fire unto the LORD, and the LORD hears Samuel’s intercession for Israel (verse 9). As Samuel offers the burnt offering, the Philistines are coming closer, and JEHOVAH strikes them with a great thunder, confusing them, and Israel defeats the Philistines, never harassing Israel again during all of Samuel’s days!

Today’s Scripture states that Samuel thus set a stone between Mizpeh and Shen, and called it “Ebenezer,” from the Hebrew eben (“stone”) and ezer (“help”). That stone symbolized JEHOVAH, Israel’s “stone of help.” We are thus mindful of Paul’s words: “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b). Saints, no matter what happens in life, we have complete, total victory in Lord Jesus Christ, our “Ebenezer!”

Hophni, Phinehas, and the Millennials

Friday, October 24, 2014

“Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil doings by all this people” (1 Samuel 2:22,23 KJV).

What a striking parallel to our 21st century world!

Born between 1980 and 2000, some 80 million Americans are called the “Millennials” (or “Generation Y”), and most of them are very skeptical of organized religion (as compared to their parents). In layman’s terms, many of them have very little to no time for anything “religious” or “spiritual.” Hence, Bible-believing Christians have raised concern as to the direction of our society once older generations have expired. The next few decades will be interesting indeed, to say the least!

Many grim news stories of which we hear and read involve the Millennials—drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuousness, abortions, gang violence, college riots, murder, warped political insight, et cetera. However, regarding the many who complain about the Millennials’ defiant and outlandish lifestyles, I always wonder how many ever attempted to impact those Millennials with God’s Word. Just think, had more parents spent as little as five minutes (!) with their Millennials over an open Bible, telling them how to be saved from their sins by simple faith in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, there would be fewer Millennials to arrest, imprison, indict, convict, and sentence to death!

Frankly, the priest Eli asked a very foolish question in today’s Scripture. He inquired why his sons, also priests, behaved so wickedly. According to the Scriptures, it was not until they were well into adulthood (actually, roughly the age of the Millennials!) that he—a “very old man!”—reprimanded their habitual, ungodly behavior (1 Samuel 2:22-25; cf. verses 12-17). We need not wonder why Hophni and Phinehas acted like they did!

Dear saints, the Millennials (including me!) need God’s Word more than ever. They are now adults, but God’s Word can penetrate even the most callous heart. May we be there to show them the Holy Bible when they realize they need answers to the mess in which they are! 🙂

Aerial Attack! #4

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines(2 Samuel 5:24 KJV).

Some 3,000 years ago, Israel had aerial military support, and it is only a preview of the “fighter jets” yet to come!

Just as David and Israel’s army heard their God flying overhead to defend them against the Philistines (today’s Scripture), so Israel and her enemies will hear similar rushing or marching sounds above, as Jesus Christ returns to planet Earth to defend Israel and defeat her adversaries, abolish Satan’s evil world system, redeem Israel from sin and death, and establish His literal, physical, visible, earthly kingdom. While the Apostle John merely summarized Christ’s Second Coming in Revelation 19:11-21, the Old Testament prophets detailed it.

Consider Jeremiah 23:19,20: “Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly” (cf. Jeremiah 30:22-24).

Read the Prophet Zechariah’s words that speak of Messiah’s coming to save Israel: “[14] And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south. [15] The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar. [16] And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land” (9:14-16).

In addition to whishing sounds (due to whirlwinds, violent air movements caused by Jesus Christ passing through Earth’s atmosphere), a consuming fire will precede the King of kings as He returns for battle….