The City of the Great King

Friday, June 10, 2011

“[Swear] …neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King” (Matthew 5:35bc KJV).

Although the name “Jerusalem” means “abode of peace,” this city has been anything but peaceful. Throughout its history, it has been destroyed twice, captured over three dozen times, and attacked over four dozen times. Currently, Jews and Palestinians are contending for it.

Jerusalem first appears in the Bible in Genesis 14:18. At that time it was simply known as “Salem,” meaning “peace” (Hebrews 7:2). In the Bible, Jerusalem is also called: “a city of truth” (Zechariah 8:3), “the holy city” (Matthew 4:5), “the city of David” (2 Samuel 5:6-9), and “the city of God” (Psalm 46:4). Ironically, just outside of the city walls of Jerusalem, “the city of the great King” (today’s Scripture), Israel crucified her King Jesus on Calvary’s cross (John 19:20; Hebrews 13:12).

Why is Jerusalem so important in Scripture? In the future, when Jesus Christ sets up His kingdom in the earth, Jerusalem will become the world’s capital! The prophet Isaiah (2:3) wrote concerning the establishment of Jesus Christ’s kingdom in the earth: “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain [kingdom] of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”

One day, after His Second Coming, Jesus Christ will assume King David’s throne in Jerusalem (Mount Zion; see 1 Chronicles 29:26,27). From Jerusalem, Jesus Christ will rule the world forever and ever (Daniel 2:44; Luke 1:31-33). The prophet Jeremiah (33:16) describes the day when Jesus Christ establishes His earthly kingdom: “In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.”

When Christ, the Prince of Peace, comes back, Jerusalem will be “the [peaceful] city of the great King!”

Seek Another’s Wealth

Thursday, June 9, 2011

“Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth” (1 Corinthians 10:24 KJV).

Today’s Scripture sits in the context of whether or not it was acceptable for Christians to eat foods that had been offered to pagan idols (this is not a problem for us today). Paul instructed the Corinthians that although God did not forbid them from eating foods offered to pagan idols, they should not eat those foods in the presence of weak believers who did not think it was appropriate to eat those foods (1 Corinthians 10:25-33). The Apostle Paul also dealt with this issue in Romans 14.

The Bible says (1 Corinthians 10:23): “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” In this the Dispensation of Grace, we are not bound to observe the Mosaic Law. Paul does not instruct us, “Thou shalt…” and “Thou shalt not….” However, “all things are not expedient [profitable, beneficial].” Why? “All things edify not.” Galatians 5:1 says we have liberty in Christ, but let us remember that our actions may tear down someone (and not “edify,” or build them up). See also Galatians 5:13.

In Romans 12:10, the Bible says: “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” That word “preferring” means to put the Christian brethren before yourself! Before you take action, consider how it may affect others. Will it destroy the Christian fellowship? Or, will it encourage and strengthen your Christian brethren? The “What can I get out of it” attitude brought on by our sinful flesh is overruled by the Bible instructing us to say, “What can others get out of it?”

Most importantly, we recall that the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ, left heaven, “took upon himself the form of a servant” and “humbled himself” (Philippians 2:5-11). Christ Jesus thoroughly demonstrated that He loved us and He endured Calvary’s pain and shame because He was seeking our wealth… our forgiveness and our salvation!

Endure Hardness, Christian Soldier!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3 KJV).

Whether we realize it or not, a battle is being fought today. Satan, the archenemy of God, is fighting against God’s purpose and program for the heaven and the earth. This battle between good and evil has been underway for 6,000 years now.

In Matthew 12:30, the Lord Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Today, we are either on God’s side, or we are on Satan’s side. There is absolutely NO neutral ground!

If we have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are on God’s side, so Satan seeks to discourage or destroy us. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:11,12: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Satan attempts to prevent God’s will from being fulfilled, so he has devised many “wiles,” schemes that he utilizes to attack us Christians. One of Satan’s most effective wiles is persecution (see today’s Scripture). Satan’s goal is to intimidate us into silence. This world is no friend of Christians because it has never been the friend of God. The Lord Jesus told His Jewish disciples, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18).

The whole world is against us Christians because our world is against God. Satan, the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4), governs our evil world system. “Evil men,” especially most religious leaders, are cooperating with Satan’s policy of evil (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Even some “Christian” pastors and theologians will oppose us when we teach and preach God’s Word!

Regardless of what “hardness” you may endure as a Christian soldier, remember, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

Do You Know About the Grace Life?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” (Titus 2:11,12 KJV).

Religion demands “do this” and “do that” in order to please God. In time past, Israel was under the Mosaic Law, a performance-based acceptance system. If the Jews wanted to receive the blessing, and avoid the curse, they had to obey God’s laws (Deuteronomy 28:1-68). By the cross of Christ, God abolished that system of Law, since it condemned everyone as sinners (Colossians 2:13,14).

Today, in the Dispensation of Grace, we are “not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14,15). In today’s Scripture, we learn that God does not teach us through the Law system, the manner in which He taught Israel. Today, God’s grace teaches us that HE—not us—will fulfill the Law as He works within our inner man. Our performance (or lack thereof) is not an issue today.

God’s Word “effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). As we study and believe God’s Word “rightly divided,” the indwelling Holy Spirit will take that sound doctrine and transform our lives. The Christian life is the life that Jesus Christ lives in and through the Christians, as the Christians walk by faith in an intelligent understanding of God’s Word to them (Colossians 2:6,7).

Galatians 2:20 affirms: “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.” See Philippians 1:21.

Grace living is letting God’s grace teach you that His indwelling Holy Spirit will equip you as a Christian to offer your body “a living sacrifice… proving what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1,2). “…Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me!”

Do You Know Your Apostle?

Monday, June 6, 2011

“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:” (Romans 11:13 KJV).

Who is your apostle? Today’s Scripture tells us it is Paul. Peter, James, and John are Israel’s apostles, not our apostles (Matthew 10:1-7; Galatians 2:9). Today, most “Christian” preaching is nothing but a watered-down version of the program God gave the nation Israel in time past. God’s current program involves Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon.

Only Paul’s epistles document God’s current dealings with man because God entrusted to Paul alone the Dispensation of Grace (present-day). The Lord Jesus sent Paul to be the apostle of the Church the Body of Christ (Romans 15:16; Ephesians 3:1-9; 1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11).

Unfortunately, since most churches preach nothing but “tradition of men” (2 Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 2:8), the majority of Christians have no idea Paul is their apostle. Oftentimes, we hear in traditional theology to “go by what Jesus said.” Please understand that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are God’s message to Israel, NOT His message to us (Matthew 15:24; John 4:22; Romans 15:8).

Our Apostle Paul says we do not know Christ after His earthly ministry (2 Corinthians 5:16). Many emphasize Christ’s earthly ministry to the extent that they ignore Christ’s heavenly ministry as He reveals Himself in Paul’s writings. Following Paul’s ministry, we understand “the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25).

Paul writes, “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). While many greatly hate this verse, God’s Word is the final authority.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). All 66 books of the Bible are God’s Word. We study all Scripture, Genesis through Revelation, but we always recognize the author of the passage, the audience, and then the content of the passage. God calls this “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

Do You Rightly Divide the Word of Truth?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

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 KJV).

This is the key to Bible study and understanding Bible “contradictions.” God designed His Word to be studied, not casually skimmed. God also wants us to study “rightly dividing the word of truth.” We seek to be “approved unto God”—we do not seek man’s approval! Christendom’s greatest error is its refusal to study God’s Word, God’s way.

God created two realms, the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1); He designed a program to govern each realm. The prophetic program is that “which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). Romans 16:25,26 speaks of the mystery program, “which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest….” Every Bible verse fits into either the prophetic program or the mystery program. When we take verses from one program, and force them into the other program, Bible “contradictions” arise.

God’s people in the prophetic program are the nation Israel, His earthly people to whom He promised an earthly kingdom (Genesis 13:16; Genesis 17:8; Deuteronomy 4:38; 2 Samuel 7:23-25). God’s people in the mystery program are the Church the Body of Christ, His heavenly people to whom belongs the promise of a heavenly kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:1; Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1-3).

Today, in the Dispensation of Grace, as members of the Body of Christ, Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13). Everything that God has to say to us today in the mystery (secret) program is found in Paul’s 13 epistles, Romans through Philemon. The remainder of the Bible is God speaking to Israel concerning her prophetic program. All of the Bible is for us, but not all the Bible is to us or about us.

May we never take Israel’s doctrine and force it on others or ourselves. May we always seek God’s approval by “rightly dividing the word of truth!”

Do You Have the Right Bible?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

“For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17 KJV).

Today’s Scripture warns us to beware of MANY corrupt Bibles! In fact, early Christians were bewitched into accepting false bibles (2 Thessalonians 2:2). Satan seeks to deceive us by creating many false bibles. Thus, all of the 100-plus modern English Bibles are not equal in authority. Do you have the right Bible? How do you know?

Over 5300 Greek New Testament Bible manuscripts exist today. Most—the reliable Antiochian Traditional Text—support the King James Bible. The one percent of remaining manuscripts—the corrupt Alexandrian Critical Text—agrees with modern Bibles.

Modern Bibles attempt to remove Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11 (480 words) from God’s Holy Scriptures. Mark 1:2 in modern Bibles incorrectly reads “Isaiah the prophet,” when in fact Mark 1:2,3 quote “the prophets” (Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 just like the King James says). The clearest Trinitarian verse, 1 John 5:7, is absent from modern Bibles. Modern Bibles also omit Acts 8:37, Matthew 18:11, and Romans 16:24.

Modern Bibles eliminate “without a cause” from Matthew 5:22 to make Christ a sinner in Mark 3:5. Philippians 2:6 and 1 Timothy 3:16 in modern Bibles deny Christ’s deity. Modern Bibles leave out Mark 9:44,46, verses supporting everlasting hellfire. Books that contain mistakes are not God’s Word, for God’s Word is “pure” and “truth” (Proverbs 30:5,6; John 17:17).

The perfect King James Bible is based on the Textus Receptus, God’s preserved Word (New Testament) from Antioch, Syria (see Acts 11:26). The Textus Receptus (Latin for “received text”) has its roots in the apostles’ original manuscripts. Modern Bibles are based on a handful of corrupt manuscripts (chiefly, Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus).

God’s preserved Word for us as English-speaking people is the 1611 King James Bible. Avoid the modern Bibles, including NKJV, because they are spiritually unsafe. Modern Bibles question, dilute, and deny fundamental Christian doctrines.