Swaddling Clothes

Friday, October 4, 2019

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7 KJV).

What are “swaddling clothes?”

Today’s Scripture is a memorable passage read and heard every Christmas. We surely know of the “swaddling clothes” with which Mary the virgin wrapped around the body of her Child, the Baby Jesus. The angel of the Lord relays the message to the vigilant shepherds off in a nearby pasture: “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (verse 12). What in the world are “swaddling clothes?”

Our English word “swaddling” is the frequentative (recurring, repeating form) of another English term—“swathe.” The idea here is binding with strips or layers of fabric. In a crude sense, we can picture the ancient Egyptians wrapping a body to make a mummy. When Mary took the little Christ Child and wrapped Him with swaddling clothes, she was following an Oriental or Eastern custom of the day. This procedure provided warmth to His small body. Moreover, parents in this culture wrapped their newborns tightly with cloth to make their bones grow straight. There, in a tight, tiny bundle was the Saviour of all mankind!

Imagine! The Almighty Creator God took upon Himself human flesh, and reduced Himself to such a weak, fragile state. He entered Mary’s womb, taking on fleshly “clothes.” Growing little by little every day, He was finally delivered after nine months. His first cries were heard as air was forced into His lungs. He let Himself be wrapped in strips of cloth. For the next 30 years, He matured into a Man… born just to die for our sins!

Philippians chapter 2: “[5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

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. 🙂

333’s 3000th – We Are People of the Book!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16,17 KJV).

Dear brethren, only by God’s grace, we present to you our 3000th devotional!

Indeed, we have come a long (!) way in our daily studies in the King James Bible rightly divided. Having learned quite a lot about our Father’s Word and will thus far, we still have so very far to progress in it! We can understand and enjoy the Bible—but only if we are interested. When we use God’s Word God’s way, it becomes a blessing rather than a burden. For 3,000 consecutive days now, brethren, we have proved that beyond the shadow of a doubt. We have yet to grasp the Scriptures as we ought, but we are “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, [we are] press[ing] toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14).

We can take the inspired and preserved Word of God, read it, understand it, and believe it. Then, we can teach it to others (2 Timothy 2:2). Provided that we seek instruction, and they want to be trained, it will not be difficult to know and accomplish God’s will (cf. today’s Scripture). People have a hard time believing the Bible because their hearts and minds are so cluttered and laden with presumptions and assumptions. They need to quit presuming and assuming the Bible teaches something, and actually read it to see if it actually teaches it. Beloved, we simply cannot afford to base our eternal souls on opinions, hunches, and traditions of men. That, frankly, is wholly reckless! Hence, we continue in our Bible studies.

Thank you to those who have been with us from the very beginning, and those who have prayed for us and supported us financially. We could not have done it without you. We hope that you have enjoyed these daily grace-oriented studies thus far, and we pray we can continue to serve you in this capacity… perhaps for another 3,000 studies if our Lord Jesus Christ so desires! 🙂

A Good God

Friday, August 16, 2019

“But thou, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15 KJV).

The God of the Bible has been vilified as being mean, ruthless, and petulant. Any little thing can “set Him off,” they say. He is “controlling,” “possessive,” and “nitpicky” about everything, it is complained. Today’s Scripture is from the Old Testament economy—and it is most inconvenient for His critics!

King David penned this psalm to express how good the God of Israel was, contrasting Him with his cruel enemies. Verse 14: “O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.” Read today’s Scripture again: “But thou, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”

The God of the Bible is “full of compassion.” He is abundantly kind or overwhelmingly sympathetic, particularly towards the victims of wrongdoing. The God of Scripture is “gracious.” He is generous, giving to sinners what they do not deserve and will never deserve. The God of Israel is “longsuffering,” putting up with or patiently enduring for a lengthy time whatever provokes and troubles Him. JEHOVAH God is “plenteous in mercy.” He abounds with mercy, holding back the full punishment that sinners deserve. Lastly, the LORD God is “plenteous in… truth.” He is completely trustworthy, wholly deserving of our faith.

Now, when was the last time you heard someone describe the God of the Old Testament in this fashion? You always hear people moan and groan about “a God of wrath and judgment,” but you seldom hear anyone praising Him for being “a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” They never give us the full picture of Him because they only want to discredit Him. Dishonest and most pathetic are they!

Today’s Scripture, written 1,000 B.C., reached its culmination at Calvary’s cross, where the good God gave up His life… demonstrating forever His compassion, grace, longsuffering, mercy, and truth. What will we do in response? Will we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for our sins? If so, we will enjoy fellowshipping with the good God forever.

My Name’s Sake

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake (Acts 9:16 KJV).

For whose sake?

People dedicate their whole lives to various and sundry causes—environmental protection, rehabilitating drug abusers and alcoholics, sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry, gun rights, minorities’ rights, women’s rights, veterans’ rights, patients’ rights, workers’ rights, students’ rights, and so on. While noble endeavors, ultimately, in the grand scheme of things, only one cause is of eternal worth. We find it in today’s Scripture.

There is tremendous suffering due to assorted factors—oppressive governments, poverty, famine, disease, stupid decisions, and so on. However, in light of eternity, only one type of suffering will count forever. We find it in today’s Scripture. Down through the centuries, God’s people have suffered for that very reason: they are strangers in a foreign land, subject to hostile forces (Satan and his policy of evil).

In Isaiah’s day, 700 B.C., “Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed” (66:5). Christ in His earthly ministry warned His Little Flock of Jewish believers of the time even future from us, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake(Matthew 24:9; cf. Mark 13:13; Luke 21:17). “But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake(Luke 21:12). “But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me” (John 15:21).

Revelation 2:3 speaks of faithful Israel, “for my name’s sake [thou] hast laboured, and hast not fainted.” “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul was no exception. He would work for and with Jesus Christ, and the world would hate him for it. Nevertheless, it was the cause worth dying for… and, eventually, he literally gave his life for it. Brethren, may we be equally faithful to Christ’s name’s sake!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘nitre?’

Not Many Likes

Friday, July 26, 2019

“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:5 KJV).

If social media were around in Noah’s time, how many “likes,” “shares,” “views,” and “re-tweets” would he have had?

Brethren, let us never (ever!) forget that we are not (NOT!) in the grace ministry to see how many “likes” we can get on Facebook, “views” on YouTube, “re-tweets” on Twitter, or “shares” and “subscribers” on any other internet platform. We are not (NOT!) in the grace ministry to see how many names and addresses we can add to our mailing list, or how many subscribers to our television shows, radio programs, and podcasts. “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12).

Honestly, if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself had social media accounts, He would have few friends. Actually, He would soon be banned for being “homophobic,” “xenophobic,” “misogynistic,” “Islamophobic,” and so on. When His orating got tough, the offended got going! “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (John 6:66).

Have you realized Bible truth is unpopular? We do not find many who have trusted—let alone, know—the Gospel of the Grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). We find few English-speaking Christians faithfully using the King James Bible. We do not find many Christians who are Pauline dispensationalists. Thus, when we share those doctrines, we should never expect widespread endorsements. So what! We are not in a popularity contest. Remember, our endeavor is to please God rather than men (Galatians 1:10); we seek God’s praise (cf. John 12:43). We are servants of Jesus Christ not mortal man (Romans 6:22).

In today’s Scripture, what ordinal number do we see? “One millionth?” (No!) “Ten-thousandth?” (No!) “One-hundredth?” (No!) “Tenth?” (No!) Noah was “the eighth person!” That meant, after 120 years of preaching, he converted seven people: his wife, their three sons, and their three wives entered the Ark with him (Genesis 6:3,18; Genesis 7:7; Genesis 8:16). The rest of the human souls on Earth—perhaps a few billion—drowned. Wow!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How could God forbid Jeremiah to pray for His people?

The War with Amalek! #4

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim (Exodus 17:8 KJV).

What is this war with Amalek all about? Can we make application?

The Amalekites were the first Gentiles to fight Israel after they had passed through the Red Sea. Read today’s Scripture in context once more: “[5] And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. [6] Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. [7] And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not? [8] Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.” It is important to note that this battle did not initiate until after the water ran.

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul provides commentary: “[1] Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; [2] And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; [3] And did all eat the same spiritual meat; [4] And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians chapter 10).

While Israel literally passed through the Red Sea, and actually drank literal water from a literal rock, spiritual truths are being communicated as well. The Bible says the smitten Rock was Jesus Christ. According to Isaiah 53:4, He was “smitten of God” on Calvary’s cross. Moses striking the rock was a picture of Christ being crucified 1,500 years later. As physical water flowed from the rock, sustaining physical life, so spiritual water flowed from Christ the Rock on the cross, thereby releasing spiritual life. With the flow of spiritual life—and notice it comes first—a war subsequently rages. Now, the victor and the loser….

The War with Amalek! #3

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim (Exodus 17:8 KJV).

What is this war with Amalek all about? Can we make application?

The LORD God had delivered Israel from Egyptian slavery back in Exodus chapter 14. He had brought them miraculously through the Red Sea, in which He drowned Pharaoh and his armies. Israel had left the “old life” behind. No more were they servants to sin, Satan, and false religion. East of the Red Sea, they burst into song, the Song of Moses.

Read from chapter 15: “[16] Fear and dread shall fall upon them [the Gentiles]; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased. [17] Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O LORD, which thy hands have established. [18] The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.” Coming out of the Red Sea, the Israelites knew their purpose. God had “purchased” or redeemed them. The blood of the Passover lamb had been shed (chapter 12). They had “died” to Egyptian bondage. Now, they were alive, in a new region, and bound for the Promised Land. What great joy!

At the close of chapter 15, the Jews needed water, and God healed bitter water so as to make it drinkable for them. They were hungry, so He provided them with manna (bread) and quail in chapter 16. With chapter 17 opening, they complained about thirst again: “[5] And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. [6] Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.”

The rock indeed brought forth water, but a bitter fight ensued as well….