My Father’s Business #15

Sunday, January 19, 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?”

Friends, provided we are willing to set aside our preconceived ideas and church traditions (which most refuse to do), Scripture will become ever so clear. Passages commonly seen as “contradictions” and “mistakes” are simply changes in program. Looking at the Bible timeline, Genesis through Revelation, we can easily see how God changes “stewards,” managers, or “house-distributors” (“oikonomous”) because He changes “dispensations,” administrations, or “house rules” (“oikonomia”). What is true today in the “but now” is not necessarily true in “time past” (and vice versa)—both differing from “the ages to come.”

For example, Moses was (!) God’s spokesman to the nation Israel: through Moses, JEHOVAH God gave Israel the Law at Mount Sinai. The Law was issued so Israel would understand God’s purpose and plan for her (see Deuteronomy 4:1-10, for instance). Those were God’s instructions—that was His “business”at the time. Christ’s earthly ministry was designed to bring Israel back to that Word of God from which she had drifted centuries prior. Of course, that is the Dispensation of Law, sitting contradistinction to the Dispensation of Grace given to the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 3:1-11).

It would be wholly inappropriate to say to the master of the house, “But, you used to govern your house this way, and I want to go back to those former administrative rules.” Yet, people today boldly tell this to the God of the Bible when they rebel against dispensational Bible study: “I do not follow Paul, I follow Jesus. I do not follow Paul, I follow Moses.” (Seemingly impressive, utterly meaningless!) They are appealing to house rules that no longer apply!!! Jesus’ earthly ministry, Matthew through John, is not what God is doing today. Moses’ writings, Genesis through Deuteronomy, are not what God is currently doing either. They are Scripture, they are God’s Word, but they are not pertinent to us in this the Dispensation of Grace.

The resurrected, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ spoke 13 epistles through the Apostle Paul, Romans through Philemon. Paul is “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13)….

A Life That Will Please

Saturday, January 4, 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).

Today’s Scripture tells us who alone can live a life pleasing in God’s sight!

Everyone does “good” deeds. Yet, doing “good” is not necessarily good. For instance, people often do “good” just to receive praise/reward, make up for their wrongs, feel good, et cetera. Furthermore, despite our “good” deeds, we have plenty more bad ones! Pride, lying, evil thoughts, being a false witness, and being contentious are some of the things the LORD hates (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Mankind cannot even keep 10 simple rules from God. However, religion continues to urge us to keep seven sacraments, utter various prayers, give assorted offerings and “tithes,” attend numerous feasts and festivals, and perform sundry other tasks to “hopefully” please God and avoid hellfire. Whether we attempt to keep a church’s laws, our laws, or God’s laws, our flesh is far too weak to ever measure up. Just look at what God’s religion did to Israel—how much worse some man-made religion does to us!

As Saul of Tarsus, the Apostle Paul was a Pharisee, a religious leader of Israel. He was a nitpicker concerning Law-keeping, and yet, after his soul salvation, he admitted that all of his religion was “but dung” compared to Jesus Christ’s righteousness (Philippians 3:3-11). Even for the Christian, to live a perfect life is impossible (read of Paul’s miserable existence in Romans chapter 7). Paul had to forsake his vain religion and learn today’s Scripture: the Christian life is NOT the performance of the Christian, but the Lord Jesus Christ living and working in the Christian, as the Christian walks in an intelligent understanding of God’s Word to him or her!

If we trust a Saviour who will save—the Lord Jesus Christ—and trust a Book that will teach—the King James Bible—we can redeem the year for the great God and our Saviour, “who loved [us], and gave himself for [us]!” 🙂

Saints, throughout the year, 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. 🙂

A Better Baptism #4

Saturday, September 21, 2019

“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 KJV).

Behold, the only baptism that counts for eternity!

God the Holy Spirit declares through the Prophet Ezekiel in chapter 36: “[18] Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: [19] And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them…. [24] For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. [25] Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.”

As per the Mosaic Law (Leviticus chapter 26; Deuteronomy chapter 28), God instituted five courses or phases of chastisement or curses for Israel disobeying His commandments. As the Jews continued to worship and serve pagan gods, so JEHOVAH God disciplined them to try to reform them. The fifth and final stage of judgment was Israel exiled from the land of Palestine and scattered worldwide amongst the Gentiles. Ezekiel lived during the opening decades of that Babylonian Captivity. As the Holy Spirit promised to drive Israel from the Promised Land, so He would be faithful in bringing them back.

Approximately two centuries after Ezekiel, the Holy Spirit calls Israel to repentance through the Prophet Malachi. Chapter 3, verse 7: “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.” How do they “return” to the God of Abraham? Here enters the ministry and message of John the Baptist! Ezekiel 36:25 again: Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.” How shocked we are to see this water baptism….

God’s Offer to the Nations

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

“…[T]hat God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is God’s offer to all the nations of the world today.

September 11, 2001 was a day that changed our nation forever. It was the worst terrorist attack in our two-century national history. Afterward, many Americans began to talk about “God Bless America” and “God Save the United States.” These phrases are not as commonplace as they used to be.

In the 18 years that have passed since that awful day, it is a sad commentary that “God” is now the least of our nation’s concerns. With the redefining of marriage, controversial political arena, moral decay, skyrocketing national debt, and the uncertainty as to what constitutes a human life and what does not, obviously, the God of the Bible has been largely pushed out… until we need His help, and then we cry out to Him. Unless we need Him, we rather not think about anything He has to say.

While many argue that God is judging America today for its sins, the Bible does not support such an idea. Certainly, God dealt with Israel in that manner—“Do good and I will bless, but disobey and I will curse” (Leviticus chapter 26; Deuteronomy chapter 28)—but we have no relation to that Old Covenant of Law.

For the last 20 centuries, God has offered His grace to all the world’s nations, to have a right standing before Him by trusting Jesus Christ. People still die and go to hell, but today’s Scripture says that God is not judging nations for their sins. Through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, God offers reconciliation to sinners, whether here or around the world. However, that grace is exhaustible, and one day, it will be replaced with His wrath (Romans 2:1-16). Still, we believers are not appointed to God’s wrath; we are saved from all wrath through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9).

The only hope for America—yea, for any nation—is faith in Jesus Christ alone!

*You can also see our 2011 Bible study commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It can be watched here or read here.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How do I know I am praying to the living God and not false gods?

Children of Light #4

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

Romans chapter 2 remarks: “[17] Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, [18] And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; [19] And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, [20] An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.” Israel had been given spiritual light in the form of God’s Word (chiefly, the Mosaic Law), but, like the nations earlier, they chose to walk in Satan’s darkness instead.

Christ conducted His earthly ministry to recover them from that darkness. Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, spoke of Israel’s coming Messiah: “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78,79). Once Israel would, by faith, participate in God’s “light” program, He would shine in and through them and reach the pagan Gentiles worldwide.

Christ spoke to this end in Matthew chapter 5: “[14] Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid…. [16] Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Yet, they declined. They preferred to be like the unenlightened Gentiles….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain, ‘They be blind leaders of the blind?’

Minimum Wage Hike? #5

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

“He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor” (Proverbs 14:31 KJV).

Is this a good verse to support minimum wage increases?

Very few people realize Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon form one unit and thus interpret each other. This “heart” or “wisdom” literature is both rooted in literal history and typical of future events. For example, the Holy Spirit through King Solomon wrote today’s Scripture with both history and prophecy in mind. As we move on the Bible timeline toward the end times, the last days of Israel’s prophetic program, it becomes more evident that the Bible Books before and after Paul’s writings are mirror images. History loops to the future, and the future loops to history. What preceded our Dispensation of Grace predicts what will happen once it closes.

With prophecy in view, the “poor” being “oppressed” in today’s Scripture goes far beyond the issue of little to no wages. For instance, read Psalm 10: “[1] Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? [2] The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. [8] He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor. [9] He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net. [10] He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones…. [14] Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.”

Psalm 12:5: For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.” Psalm 72:4: “He [The Lord Jesus Christ] shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor [same Hebrew word as “oppresseth” in today’s Scripture].” The LORD is returning in wrath, and paltry paychecks are hardly the controversy….

(In order to bring you a special devotional tomorrow, we will temporarily suspend this devotionals arc.)

Minimum Wage Hike? #4

Monday, August 5, 2019

“He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor” (Proverbs 14:31 KJV).

Is this a good verse to support minimum wage increases?

Doubtless, the Law of Moses shows us JEHOVAH God was quite merciful toward individuals living in poverty. Jews were to lend money to their disadvantaged brethren without charging “usury” or interest (Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35-37). They were commanded to do whatever they could to alleviate the financial struggles of their relatives—and even neighboring Gentiles (Leviticus 25:25,35,39-43; Deuteronomy 15:7-15). Fields were never to be completely stripped during harvest, lest the poor passersby starve (Leviticus 19:9,10; Leviticus 23:22). In the seventh or sabbatical year, the land was not to be sown or harvested; it was to be left to grow wild to feed needy people and animals (Exodus 23:11). Under no circumstances whatsoever were poor hired servants—Jews or Gentiles—to be mistreated.

Deuteronomy chapter 24: “[14] Thou shalt not oppress [same Hebrew word as “oppressed” in today’s Scripture] an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers [Gentiles/foreigners] that are in thy land within thy gates: [15] At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee.” Also, Leviticus 19:13: “Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.” Payment was to be proportional to the work. It was a fair transaction for both employer and employee: it was not some exorbitant amount exchanged for meager labor. Furthermore, the paycheck was given on the very day of the job.

In the context of today’s Scripture, the Jew is not following the Law of Moses concerning these matters. Dishonesty and inequality are present. JEHOVAH God, who has given this Law, has been disrespected. Had they honored the God of Abraham, they would have valued the servants He had instructed them not to defraud! Now, we add a prophetic layer to what we have learned thus far….