The Sins of the Times! #3

Saturday, March 9, 2019

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (2 Timothy 3:1 KJV).

Friend, you have surely heard of “the signs of the times,” but do you know anything about “the sins of the times?”

Studying the Bible, we learn the term “last days” refers to God bringing Israel’s prophetic program to its conclusion, its ultimate goal (His earthly kingdom). A sequence of four major events accomplishes it: (1) Christ’s earthly ministry, (2) the pouring out of God’s Spirit at Pentecost, (3) the pouring out of His wrath during the seven-year Tribulation, and (4) the actual Second Coming of Christ. Signs involved throughout, God’s earthly kingdom is eventually founded.

However, God in His grace and longsuffering interrupted that timeline in the Book of Acts. The first two events have already transpired; the last two are future from us. Our dispensation sits in the middle, completely isolated from the prophetic program. God kept our mystery program a secret until He revealed it to Paul (Ephesians 3:1-9; Colossians 1:23-36). Pauline doctrine allows us to see what God planned all along but which knowledge He had intentionally withheld from Satan and his angelic allies (1 Corinthians 2:6-8).

When Paul speaks of the “last days” (today’s Scripture), he refers to the last days of our Dispensation of Grace (and our Dispensation divides the “last days” of Israel’s program, with one portion preceding us and the other following us). Paul does not urge us to look for earthquakes, famines, wars, or pestilences as noteworthy of the last days with respect to us. He has a different coming of Christ in mind—one not found in Matthew chapter 24!

Today’s Scripture in context: “[1] This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. [2] For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, [3] Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, [4] Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; [5] Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

“Perilous [dangerous] times” indeed, but not due to war, earthquake, famine, or pestilence. There is rather a spiritual hazard….

The Good Man #2

Monday, February 25, 2019

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1 KJV).

How is this an apt introduction to the Book of Psalms?

The world says “he is a good man” or “she is a good woman,” and yet, they do not apply the title as God Himself does. Notice verse 2: “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” If one is a “good man,” then God’s Word pleases him, satisfies him. Think on that now. How many of the world’s “good men” value God’s Word? Then, are they really “good?” Certainly not!

As it says in Psalms, the good man delights in the law of the LORD. We would be careful in noticing the legalism. Thus, if we were to follow this verse, it would be better taken generally—God’s Word. Understood in that light, God’s Word is Law for Israel, and God’s Word to us is Grace. As the Jewish saint in the prophetic program meditates or deeply considers God’s Word day and night, so we in the mystery program reflect on or intensely ponder God’s Word day and night.

Second Timothy 2:7, “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” Here is what the Apostle Paul instructs us to do in light of a completed Bible (which the Psalmist did not have). First Timothy 4:13, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” Friend, Bible reading is important! Encouragement therein is imperative! Doctrine is important! Daily Bible reading is critical to Christian growth. Daily Bible study, yea rightly divided, is of utmost significance. Daily Christian edification is not an option. As the Prophet Isaiah penned, “Seek ye out the book of the LORD, and read…” (34:16).

Without a daily spiritual diet of sound Bible doctrine, then we will do the opposite of today’s Scripture. Void of spiritual wisdom, spiritual knowledge, and spiritual understanding, we will “walketh… in the counsel of the ungodly,… standeth in the way of sinners,… sitteth in the seat of the scornful. It is quite solemn, dear friends, quite solemn indeed….

Wise or Foolish? #7

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:…. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand…” (Matthew 7:24,26 KJV).

Dear friends, are we wise—or foolish?

Contrary to popular belief, the Gospel message preached in Christ’s earthly ministry was not our message. Jesus dying for people’s sins was not their good news; nevertheless, God had words for them to believe. In an abbreviated form, it is, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Jesus Himself preached it in Matthew 4:17. Matthew 9:35 summarizes, “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” This is not “the Gospel of the Grace of God,” the title of the message we preach today (Acts 20:24; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:3,4).

Matthew 16:15,16 summarize the heart of the Gospel of the Kingdom: “[Jesus] saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” There is nothing here about Calvary (Jesus dying for sins). Contrariwise, it is all about who He is—He is Christ/Messiah, God’s Anointed One, Israel’s King (John 1:41,49). It is not about what He will do (as in the crosswork), but rather who He is. These believers are safe from being deceived when (counterfeit) Antichrist arises.

Jesus Christ is “the Rock” of the Bible, the sure foundation (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 2:3-8; 1 Corinthians 3:11). However, if we fail to build on Him, it will be a disaster (cf. today’s Scripture). There will be such dissatisfaction if we neglect to see Jesus Christ according to the preaching of the revelation of Paul’s mystery (Romans 16:25,26). Furthermore, beyond our dispensation, those who accept Antichrist when he is revealed will be disappointed after they see the ruin and misery he brings them. As Christ said Himself, they are deceived, debilitated, and great will be their fall—eternally damned!

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. 🙂

Wise or Foolish? #6

Monday, February 4, 2019

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:…. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand…” (Matthew 7:24,26 KJV).

Dear friends, are we wise—or foolish?

In Israel’s prophetic program and our mystery program, having the right doctrine is essential. Without sound Bible doctrine, we will fall for Satan’s lie program. Millions of confused people currently attend “Christian” church services. They could not identify the truth if their lives depended on it. Millions upon millions more—those in the world religions—do not use the Holy Bible at all. If anyone is using Scripture, it is often not handled dispensationally. Dear friends, it is not enough to have Bible doctrine; it is much more important to have sound Bible doctrine.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). We must, must, must (!) rightly divide God’s Word—making the distinctions that He Himself has already made. Therefore, Paul spoke of himself as “a wise masterbuilder” (1 Corinthians 3:10), and warned us to be careful what we build into our inner man. If it is not God’s wisdom for this dispensation, His knowledge for this dispensation, His understanding for this dispensation, then it is not applicable to this dispensation. The Lord Jesus Christ gave to the Apostle Paul “the Dispensation of the Grace of God,” and he gave it to us Gentiles (Ephesians 3:2). If we disregard Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, we will be just as unwise as the foolish man of today’s Scripture. We will be susceptible to Satan’s wiles, his tricks, designed to fool us.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ cautioned His audience concerning false prophets. We have many such liars in our midst even now—people who claim to be speaking for the God of the Bible, but they are not. Their words do not match Paul’s inspired writings. May we rather be like the wise man of today’s Scripture, who built on the things Jesus Christ spoke to him….

Wise or Foolish? #5

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:…. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand…” (Matthew 7:24,26 KJV).

Dear friends, are we wise—or foolish?

Scripture speaks of six spiritual building materials or types of information we can store in our inner man. First Corinthians chapter 3: “[10] According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. [11] For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. [12] Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; [13] Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. [14] If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. [15] If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

Of course, as in the physical world, so it is in the spiritual world. Gold, silver, and precious stones are noncombustible, rare, and valuable. This first triad is spiritual wisdom, spiritual understanding, and spiritual knowledge—which very few Christians have. Spiritual health and strength are found therein (which explains the multitudes of feeble believers).

Wood, hay, and stubble are flammable, plentiful, and little worth. This second triad is empiricism, tradition, and intuition: this abounds in more hearts and minds than anything else. This second class of materials leads to spiritual weakness and incapacity. First Corinthians chapter 2, verse 9: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

In today’s Scripture, Jesus Christ provided an illustration of such spiritual stability and spiritual instability….

NOTE: If you so desire, you may refer to our (archived) Super Bowl devotional.

Wise or Foolish? #4

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:…. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand…” (Matthew 7:24,26 KJV).

Dear friends, are we wise—or foolish?

Regardless of the dispensation, failing to rely on God’s Word by faith results in spiritual injury. Ephesians 4:14: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;….” The Apostle Peter concurred, “[Paul’s epistles]…which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). Ignorant and vulnerable souls, “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine,” “wrest” or distort God’s words. It was true in Christ’s day, Paul’s day, Peter’s day, and is certainly of our own day!!

Concerning Israel’s prophetic program, there is an end-time period of testing or separation—“the Tribulation,” or “Daniel’s 70th Week.” It is the storm of today’s Scripture. This test’s standards are recorded quite plainly in the Book of 1 John. A Jew who fails to trust the words of Jesus Christ as spoken in Matthew through John, automatically sets himself up for deception and displeasure during the end-times.

Paul provides details in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2: “[8] And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [9] Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, [10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. [11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: [12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Many such people even today will find themselves tricked and disappointed….

What is God Doing? #16

Sunday, January 20, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

The God of the Bible is a strong advocate of free will. He does not have to be in control of every last detail of every single event. Since He is God, all-powerful, He has the right/power to give His creation permission to make its own choices. However, let it be clearly understood that, regardless of who does what, no matter how disruptive that “who” or “what” is, the Creator has purposed to accomplish a specific goal and it will be achieved in the end. His creatures can cooperate or oppose, but His counsel shall nonetheless stand forever!

Something just is not right in creation. Even without the Bible’s testimony, we can sense it. We expect there to be justice, and yet, where is it? We envisage prosperity, health, and happiness all around, and there abounds poverty, sickness, and misery. Life—no matter how long and glorious—still ends in death. Indeed, something is wrong… something is terribly wrong. What, oh what, is it?

Friends, terrible choices were deliberately made long ago. Though we had nothing to do with them, we must live with their consequences. Immediately, the Bible scoffer rises to make his case. “See, if God is loving, He would not allow such suffering, such injustice! He must therefore not be loving. If He can do nothing to stop the evil, then He must not be God!” Unfortunately for him, the God critic has not gathered enough evidence (though he thinks he has).

In his rash zeal to free himself from a holy, righteous God, he has overlooked the following counterargument: “Right choices were intentionally made long ago as well. Though we had nothing to do with them either, we must live with their consequences too.” Overall, there is a balance. The Creator God was not outsmarted, and He has certainly not been outdone either. Behold, what wisdom He has displayed for us all to see….