Attendance to Apprehending

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine (1 Timothy 4:13 KJV).

Grace Bible conferences are always a joyful and edifying time!

We meet new people and old friends, most of who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are really seeking God’s truth rather than those who would come to be merely religious or simply entertained. We desire Jesus Christ to live His life in and through us, and it will only come about by God’s Word renewing our minds on a daily basis. Conferences are not simply about Bible study, but Bible understanding so that it can become Bible application to life. While plenty of people read the Bible, very few study it; and of the few who study it, even fewer understand it; and of the few who understand it, even fewer apply it to life by faith. Our goal is to be in that last class listed, that very small remnant.

Father God is doing something wonderful today in creation and He wants us to participate. A grace Bible conference is to grasp the Bible on a large-scale, to the intent that we may see a fuller picture of the Bible rather than just a glimpse of it (as in a regular sermon or teaching session), that we may find where we are in Scripture (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon), that we may then discover how Jesus Christ can give us His life and how He can fill us with it (grace living)!

It is an extremely high plane of living that very few Christians grasp, since organized religion opposes it and hides it from the masses (2 Corinthians 4:1-4), but oh, how we have cast off religious works and our vain performance (Philippians 3:1-21), how we have begun to search the Scriptures for ourselves (Acts 17:10,11), how we have a better understanding of such a wonderful Saviour who not only died that we might live but that we died with Him so that He might live in us! We assemble locally to study the Scriptures rightly divided to learn how Christ Jesus is living His life in each of ours, and we rejoice that it is not us, but Him (Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:21; Colossians 3:4)!

NOTE: The 2014 Slidell Grace Bible Conference is currently underway! Videos of the messages to be uploaded to YouTube in due time, so stay tuned for updates.

Time Travel and the Mystery #10

Friday, November 21, 2014

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7,8 KJV).

Satan knows that it will never be possible to manipulate natural laws, to travel back in time and manipulate events, that things turn out differently. Today’s Scripture says he can never undo his undoing—Calvary’s finished crosswork.

Beloved, dispensational Bible study allows us to see, and thereby fully appreciate, God’s wisdom. Rather than the Bible being a patchwork of incongruent and burdensome verses, a jumble of contradictory passages, another volume to advance denominations and the confusion they engender, it is seen as the gradual unfolding of Father’s God marvelous two-fold, yet unified, plan to eternally restore to the Lord Jesus Christ all power and glory in heaven and earth (Ephesians 1:9,10).

We reread in Colossians chapter 1: “[19] For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; [20] And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” In the end, Jesus Christ will have preeminence in heaven and earth. He will defeat and destroy His enemies. He alone will be exalted in heaven (via us, the Church which is His Body; Ephesians 1:20-23; Ephesians 2:6,7) and earth (via the nation Israel; Matthew 5:5; Revelation 5:10).

The Bible says, “[God] taketh the wise in their own craftiness” (1 Corinthians 3:19; cf. Job 5:13). By keeping a secret, God proved to Satan that he was not as wise as he thought, and that His purpose and plan for creation would still be accomplished. While Satan will never forget his self-sabotage at Calvary, he has done—and still is doing—everything to keep that revealed information still a secret (he uses religious tradition to cause people to ignore God’s Word through Paul, Romans through Philemon). To most, “the mystery” is still a mystery!

Beloved, may we tell everyone about Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery (Romans 16:25)! :)

Time Travel and the Mystery #9

Thursday, November 20, 2014

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7,8 KJV).

Will it ever be possible to manipulate natural laws, to travel back in time and manipulate events, that things (hopefully) turn out differently? Let us consider today’s Scripture.

Verse 6, which immediately precedes today’s Scripture, says: “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:”

“Not the wisdom of this world”—the Apostle Paul did not preach what lost mankind thinks God needs to do, think, and say. “Not the wisdom of the princes of this world”—the Apostle Paul did not preach what Satan and his cohorts believe they should do, think, and say. Whether sinful mankind who followed him, or wicked Satan who began the rebellion against the Creator God, their plans to rob Jesus Christ of His worship and preeminence will ultimately “come to nought.” Fail!

The God of the Bible would remind all Bible critics, Christ-haters, and self-worshippers, all those who will fight against His purpose and plan until the day they die, “Despite your refusal to participate in accomplishing My will, My Son Jesus Christ will still be glorified forever in heaven and earth. Nothing, absolutely nothing, will stop it. Give it your best effort to hinder My eternal purpose. My chief enemy, Satan, whom you serve, gave it his best and lost it all, so you too will lose!”

“The Lord of glory” (today’s Scripture) is a title that identifies Jesus Christ as the original preeminent one in creation: Father God invented a plan, “Glory,” to glorify His Son in heaven and earth. In spite of the widespread rebellion (sin), Father God will still accomplish what He originally intended in creation. Absolutely no one will permanently hinder Him. Paul preached that, in the end, despite all the opposition, God’s wisdom will prevail and His plan will succeed!

Friends, let us now conclude this devotionals arc…

Time Travel and the Mystery #8

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7,8 KJV).

Will it ever be possible to manipulate natural laws, to travel back in time and manipulate events, that things (hopefully) turn out differently? Let us consider today’s Scripture.

Verse 6, which immediately precedes today’s Scripture, says: “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought.”

First Corinthians chapters 1-3 comprise a loving rebuke of the Corinthian Christians who delighted in human viewpoint and applied it to their lives. Only 45 miles (72 kilometers) from Athens (the ancient world’s intellectual capital), Corinth was engulfed by pagan philosophy. Thus, Paul claimed he did not preach man’s wisdom, heathen philosophy; he affirmed that he preached true wisdom, God’s wisdom in a “mystery.”

However, Paul could only speak these dispensational Bible truths to spiritually mature (“perfect”) Christians. The carnal Corinthian Christians could only handle Bible basics such as the Gospel of Grace; they struggled with elementary grace living (1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 1 Corinthians 6:1-20; et al.). Hence, Paul’s two epistles to Corinth lack great detail about dispensational Bible truths (as opposed to Ephesians 3:1-11 to Ephesus, or Romans chapters 9-11 to Rome, or Colossians to Colosse, et cetera). Instead of meat-doctrine, these precious saints could only handle milk-doctrine (cf. Hebrews 5:11-14).

After numerous discussions with others, the Pauline dispensational Bible student has learned that, to the shame of most preachers and Bible teachers, the average church member or Christian knows very, very, very, very little to literally nothing about how God has designed His Word to be studied. When we read verses and explain the dispensational truths they convey, the common Christian understands little to nothing. We could say 1 Corinthians 2:6 with Paul. Dearly beloved, if we are to rejoice in God’s wisdom, we must see His wisdom demonstrated in His rightly divided Word….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should I recite “‘The Lord’s Prayer?’

Time Travel and the Mystery #7

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7,8 KJV).

Will it ever be possible to manipulate natural laws, to travel back in time and manipulate events, that things (hopefully) turn out differently? Let us consider today’s Scripture.

Rather than using appealing sermonettes abounding with dazzling theological terms to persuade people to advance a church program (“man’s wisdom”), the Apostle Paul’s goal was to have these Corinthian believers to trust in God’s power: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (verses 4,5).

Despite all the “wisdom” of His Adversary, God evidenced His wisdom by inventing a “mystery” plan to counter Satan’s rebellion; although there was much opposition, God proved His power in accomplishing that plan. Ephesians 3:1-11 explains the goal of God’s mystery plan. Verses 10 and 11 summarize: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Through the living testimony of the Church the Body of Christ—that is, via the visible interaction of Jews and Gentiles who have relied exclusively on the Lord Jesus Christ’s shed blood as sufficient payment for their sins, and their reliance on the grace doctrines of Christ living His life in and through them—Satan’s fallen angels in outer space see “the manifold wisdom of God,” Jesus Christ’s life in human flesh, our flesh. Satan constantly witnesses how God’s grace demonstrated at Calvary can save even the worst sinners (“the power of God;” 1 Corinthians 1:18; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:4,5), how God can use His Son’s cruel death (and resurrection) to rescue people from Satan’s dominion and use them for His glory instead.

Sadly, the Corinthians could not grasp such wisdom….

Time Travel and the Mystery #6

Monday, November 17, 2014

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7,8 KJV).

Will it ever be possible to manipulate natural laws, to travel back in time and manipulate events, that things (hopefully) turn out differently? Let us consider today’s Scripture.

Colossians 2:13-15 explains: “[13] [God]…having forgiven you all trespasses; [14] Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; [15] And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. As today’s Scripture says, it was through Calvary’s finished crosswork that Jesus Christ overcame sin, death, and Satan and his cohorts. Imagine Satan’s utter embarrassment when he learned from Paul’s ministry how God made a spectacle of him and his policy of evil; he was so horrified to discover that he had actually contributed to his own downfall. A plan he had labored so hard and so long to accomplish, and now he himself had permanently ruined it!

Jesus Christ’s blood shed at Calvary currently enables God to save us, formerly pagan Gentile sinners headed for hell, to baptize us into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit when we trust that shed blood alone (1 Corinthians 12:13). Why does God save us? Not just to keep us out of hell, but to use us corporately in the heavenly places in the ages to come, for Jesus Christ’s glory (“our glory” of today’s Scripture; cf. Colossians 3:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:14). We Christians will be glorified one day so, ultimately, Jesus Christ will be glorified in and through us throughout eternity future (Romans 8:17-25)!

As we saw earlier, Colossians 1:16-20 also provides clarity regarding Israel’s program and God’s restoration of Earth. God the Father will use Christ’s shed blood to ratify the New Covenant, allowing Him to redeem Israel from their sins (Hebrews 10:1-25).

With all that as “background,” we proceed to analyze today’s Scripture with its context….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How is mankind ‘lower than the angels?’

Time Travel and the Mystery #5

Sunday, November 16, 2014

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7,8 KJV).

Will it ever be possible to manipulate natural laws, to travel back in time and manipulate events, that things (hopefully) turn out differently? Let us consider today’s Scripture.

In the “sister” epistles of Ephesians and Colossians, the Apostle Paul describes the reason for God forming the Church the Body of Christ. God’s “eternal purpose” (Ephesians 3:11) is to, “in the dispensation of the fulness of times,” “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth” (Ephesians 1:9,10).

Colossians 1:16-20 amplifies: “[16] For by him [Jesus Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: [17] And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. [18] And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. [19] For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; [20] And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

Prior to Paul, God revealed that He would use Israel to reconcile Earth unto Himself; but He kept secret how He would reconcile Heaven unto Himself. Now, with the mystery disclosed through Paul’s epistles, we see that God is using Jesus Christ’s shed blood to form a body of believers (the Church the Body of Christ) that will do in Heaven what Israel will do on Earth—make Jesus Christ preeminent in all of creation’s governments (His original plan before sin entered!).

Let us further examine how Christ’s shed blood develops God’s eternal purpose….