A Lost Generation! #4

Friday, June 5, 2020

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).

What this “lost” generation needs is to be found!

The key to solving society’s problems is not enticing warm bodies to occupy cold pews and listen to ear-tickling messages. We should not be told how “good” we are, and we should not be convincing others “they” can improve themselves, feel good about themselves, and go on living for “self.” Almighty God has no faith in us, so we should have no faith in ourselves either. He is not interested in our self-righteous works. What He wants is our faith—our reliance upon His grace, what He can do for us rather than what we can do for Him. He understands we are but weak, sinful beings, never able to be perfect on our own.

If righteousness is to prevail in the Earth, it will be accomplished only by having Jesus Christ living in each and every human heart. This comes by hearing and believing a clear Gospel message—one that Christendom has never actually given to the masses. It is always a convoluted, confusing message of works, works, and more works. For 20 centuries, church membership, water baptism, tithing, confession, Sabbath-observance, and commandment-keeping have all been stressed ad nauseum. Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins, however, is but a supplemental memo tacked on the end. It is not at the head of the message, so it never impacts the audience like it should!

We can pass a million pieces of legislation, and imprison criminals, but evils will still be rampant in society. Again, the key to solving racism, inequality, war, injustice, and so on, is to have Jesus Christ in every heart. If Christians can then understand their new identity in Christ, it will manifest itself in their lives. The Lord Jesus Christ is compatible with Himself, so if He is in one person and He is in another person, both people by faith can live in harmony. It all starts by having a clear Gospel message….

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. 🙂

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.”

Weirdoes #1

Thursday, October 24, 2019

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).

Brethren, we may be unfairly judged of other Christians and/or the world, but the final verdict will come of the Lord.

Dear friend, we Pauline dispensationalists seem to be the least Christian people on Earth. After all, our beliefs largely differ from—an understatement if there ever were one!!—what is commonly passed off as “Christian.”

We do not water baptize, we do not tithe, we do not confess sins, we do not observe the Sabbath day, we are not legalistic, we do not call religious leaders “reverend” and “father,” we do not look for “signs,” we do not seek healing miracles, we do not strive to see visions and dreams from God, we do not look for angels, we do not have “altars” in our church buildings, we do not assemble at “God’s house” but we ourselves are God’s house, we refuse to be called “religious,” we do not claim to exercise spiritual gifts, we avoid excessive “praise and worship” (running, jumping, dancing), we do not engage in rituals and ceremonies, we do not follow church tradition, we do not believe we are Israel, we believe in a literal and physical return of Christ to take His people to Heaven, we believe He will establish Israel’s literal and physical Davidic kingdom one day on Earth, and so on.

Considering the above doctrinal statement, just what sort of Christian group are we? Christendom dismisses us as cultic, heretical, “church splitters.” We are often “quarantined,” treated like lepers with a contagious ailment. It is no secret that we get “weird” looks from church members when we explain the Bible rightly divided. “I have never heard of that before!” “If this is true, why do so few people believe it?” “Why do you study the Bible so much?” “You worship Paul!” “There are so few in your church or Bible study!” “What is wrong with you?” “You are a Bible fanatic!” “You have a problem with every church!” “You disagree with all denominations!”

Today’s Scripture says such persecution should not bother us….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “The ‘judgment seat’ or the ‘bema seat?’

A Better Baptism #15

Wednesday, October 2, 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!

If water baptism were as important for Christian living today as billions believe and proclaim, then why did the Holy Spirit not bother to emphasize it throughout Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon? After all, Paul is our apostle, God’s spokesman to us Gentiles (Roman 11:13). There is a problem here. Either the Holy Spirit knows less about victorious Christian living than the “water-baptism-is-necessary-today” people, or they know less about it than He does. Surely, you realize that I am being facetious. The words of the Holy Spirit are the final authority! Water baptism is unnecessary for us today (the denominationalists are claiming verses not to or about us).

Sadly, people often have such a naïve, shallow approach to the Bible. “Water baptism is Scriptural, so we need to do it. Jesus was water baptized, and we need to follow Him. Paul was water baptized, and he water baptized others, so we need to do likewise.” This is deception, a complete mishandling of those verses. Whether intentionally or accidentally, many are not letting the whole Bible speak on the subject but rather focusing on their “pet” verses. Here, God’s words have spoken. We have presented some little-known verses, and let them contradict whomever (preacher, priest, pope) or whatever (denomination, cult, sect) they contradict!

Always remember, dear friends, religionists use the Bible so long as the Bible supports their tradition. If the verse contradicts religion, or there is no verse to support the religion, then the Bible is simply ignored. That is the sad reality of the professing church today—and exactly why so much confusion abounds. God’s Word has overwhelmingly not been permitted to speak in its entirety. People using select Bible verses are misleading billions of souls. Not only must we be biblical, we must also be dispensational. Indeed, to use the Bible but not rightly divide the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15), is actually more dangerous than not using the Bible at all. This is true of the topic of baptism and all other Bible themes. Beware!

A Better Baptism #14

Tuesday, October 1, 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!

Many denominationally-minded souls will now surely raise some “what about” objections. What about Matthew 28:19? What about Paul’s own water baptism (Acts 9:18; Acts 22:16)? What about him water baptizing his converts (Acts 16:15,33; Acts 18:8; Acts 19:5; 1 Corinthians 1:13-17)?

“The Jews require a sign” (1 Corinthians 1:22). To signify to Israel that pagan Gentiles have converted to Christ, those Gentiles were to be water baptized for Israel’s benefit (Matthew 28:19). As water baptism indicates Israel’s cleansing from heathen idolatry, it also evidently serves a likewise purpose for the believing (formerly pagan) Gentiles in Israel’s program (nothing to do with us!). God is not showing anything to Israel today, for national Israel is temporarily fallen (Romans chapter 11). This will change once our dispensation closes.

Indeed, Paul water baptized—but only during Acts. Water baptism existed before him, and during the transitional phase of Acts 9–28, he was water baptized and he water baptized others. However, Jesus Christ did not send him to water baptize. Read 1 Corinthians 1:17: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”

After the Book of Acts closed, the Holy Spirit wrote through Paul in Ephesians 4:5 that only one baptism is necessary in this the Dispensation of Grace—and it certainly is not water baptism. Paul wrote of water baptism only once; here, he says Christ did not commission him to do it. It was not part of the special revelation Christ gave to him to give to us. Paul water baptized only during his “Acts” provoking ministry to Israel (see Romans 11:11-14).

That transitional period has passed, and so have all the temporary, bizarre situations people stumble over when they read and teach the Book of Acts. Paul being water baptized showed Ananias and other believing Jews that Paul had now come to faith in Christ. Water baptism showed (past tense!) how idolatrous Gentiles in Paul’s ministry had trusted Christ as well….

Bible Q&A #655: “Are the ‘angels’ of the Revelation really ‘pastors?’

A Better Baptism #13

Monday, September 30, 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!

Romans 6:3,4: “[3] Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? [4] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Despite what we have heard over the years, dear friends, water baptism is not in this passage! Again, water baptism (a physical substance) cannot place us into the Body of Christ (a spiritual entity).

The moment we believed on Jesus Christ dying for our sins, being buried, and being raised again for our justification (1 Corinthians 15:3,4), the Holy Spirit placed—baptized—us into the Church the Body of Christ (today’s Scripture). It was instantaneous and invisible. We did not see, feel, or hear it—and we would not know about it without the Scriptures. Moreover, the Spirit of God transferred Christ’s identity to us: when He died, we died with Him, and when He was resurrected, we were resurrected with Him. Romans chapter 6 says we are dead to sin, and alive unto God.

Compare that to Colossians 2:11,12: “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: 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.” This is no more a physical (water) baptism than it is a physical circumcision. Water baptism is not here.

Now, Galatians 3:26-28: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Here is the one baptism that counts for eternity….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who is speaking in Proverbs 8:22?

A Better Baptism #12

Sunday, September 29, 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!

Ephesians chapter 3 again: “[1] For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, [2] If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: [3] How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, [4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) [5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; [6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: [7] Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

“[8] Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; [9] And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:….” The Church the Body of Christ is exclusively a Pauline revelation: we will not find it outside of the Apostle Paul’s ministry. To repeat, “the mystery of Christ… the fellowship of the mystery” (the Body of Christ) is a Pauline concept. Prior to Christ’s words spoken through Paul, it was unknown that God would form one body of believers (Jew and Gentile), separate and distinct from the nation Israel and her prophetic program.

This “mystery” (secret) entity would involve a unique “baptism.” God Himself would perform this “baptism,” and the eternal salvation of our souls would depend upon it. We always hear the appeal to “join the local church and get water baptized.” However, their focus should be membership and baptism in the Church the Body of Christ….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What exactly is going on in John 11:49-52?

 

A Better Baptism #11

Saturday, September 28, 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!

If the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul pronounced only “one baptism” in our Dispensation of Grace (Ephesians 4:5), then what exactly is it? To discover the answer, we simply search Paul’s epistles for forms of the word “baptize.” Beginning in Romans and running all the way through Philemon, we encounter today’s Scripture. This is the cross-reference to Ephesians 4:5.

Let us read today’s Scripture with its context, slowly and carefully: “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is 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.” Water is a physical substance whereas the Church the Body of Christ is a spiritual entity. It is absolutely impossible that physical water can place us into a spiritual organism. Consequently, we know Paul is not referring to water baptism here (among other reasons).

How do we become members of the Body of Christ? The Bible says the Holy Spirit takes believing sinners and puts them into the Church the Body of Christ. Whether “Jews or Gentiles” (national/religious background irrelevant), “bond or free” (social status insignificant), God the Holy Spiritnot a preacher or priest—will take all who believe on Jesus Christ, and He will make them one with Christ. This is an invisible transaction—not a visible water ceremony!

Ephesians 1:12-14: “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

Let us see what else Paul says about our “one baptism….”

A Better Baptism #10

Friday, September 27, 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!

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:…” (Ephesians 3:1,2). Paul added, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). Furthermore, he wrote, “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:…” (Romans 11:13).

If we truly are Bible believers, then we will believe these verses: Paul is God’s “sent one” (“apostle”) for us Gentiles (see Acts 26:16-18). The Holy Spirit moved Paul to write that he is God’s spokesman to us: Jesus Christ the Lord speaks to us through Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. We do not look for God’s words outside of Paul’s ministry. If we ignore Pauline theology, as Christendom has done for 20 centuries, then we overlook God’s current dealings with man, and wind up doing Satan’s will! It is that serious!

Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:5, a troubling verse to religionists: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” For us Gentiles in this the Dispensation of Grace, the Holy Spirit claims there is one baptism.” Earlier, we read Matthew 3:11: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:….” There are three “baptisms” here—John’s water baptism, the baptism with the Holy Ghost, and the baptism with fire. Which one is the “one baptism” for our dispensation? According to today’s Scripture, none of them!

To repeat: there is a special “baptism” associated with Paul’s ministry and message. It is not found anywhere else in Scripture. Therefore, if we overlook Paul, we ignore the only baptism applicable to us, the one that counts for eternity….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should we strive to distribute the Four Gospel Records?

A Better Baptism #9

Thursday, September 26, 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!

For far too long, dear brethren, assumptions and suppositions have beset the spiritual edification or growth of the Church the Body of Christ. Centuries upon centuries have been utterly wasted because God’s plain words have been ignored. Religious tradition of all denominations has largely been used to substitute the Scriptures. We are doctrinally weak and functionally dead—and it is our own fault! For 2,000 years, we have so labored to hear the words of men… and we are obviously so devoid of God’s power and mind. We do not think like our Heavenly Father, but rather like lost people who lack the Bible!!

Christ issued a scathing rebuke to ancient Israel, especially concerning its religious leaders who possessed the Hebrew Old Testament but were overwhelmingly ignorant of its truths. Mark chapter 7: “[6] He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. [7] Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. [8] For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do…. [13] Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”

They stressed external washings. “Clean your hands before you eat,” the religious Jews were known for saying. Meanwhile, they completely disregarded a spiritual cleansing, something only God can perform. Man has a sinful heart—they had a sinful heart—but they were too preoccupied with water ceremonies to realize their lost or fallen estate (see verses 14-23). The professing Church today is no different. Not only do we rip verses from their contexts, we largely ignore the special revelation the Lord Jesus Christ gave to the Apostle Paul to give to us. Again, we must (!) pay attention to the “baptism” of today’s Scripture….