A Bible That (Effectually) Works #1

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV).

If God’s Word is to “effectually work” in us, we must first have it.

“Today there are dozens of English Bible versions and many Spanish versions as well. Why so many? One reason is that languages constantly change. New words are always being added and others take on different meanings. Another reason is that Bible scholars are always learning new things about ancient Israel and the world of ancient Greece and Rome to help us better understand those times and people. No matter what Bible translation is used, however, the main purpose is to make the Bible reliable and understandable to those who want to read its message.

The above (misleading) quote was extracted from a “Bible society” book, supposedly written by “Bible experts.” If 200 modern English versions exist because “languages change,” why are they still selling ($ELLING) those published 10 to 50 or more years ago? Even that Bible publisher (whose book was quoted) has not produced a new Bible translation in years. Could the English language be changing so rapidly that we needed 150 to 200 Bible versions during the last century? Surely, us needing a new Bible every half-year or year is utterly ludicrous!

Interestingly, the Bible publishers above never educated the general public as to manuscript divergence (various manuscripts contradicting various others), the fact that people throughout history used these perverted manuscripts to counterfeit, challenge, supplant God’s Holy Bible. In their minds, and those of the gullible readers (who are instructed to think likewise), any Bible manuscript is “just as good as the next.” The historicity of false prophets, false apostles, false brethren, and false teachers, is totally disregarded. Dear friends, the issue is never modern language versus archaic language; it is which manuscripts are being translated. If it is not God’s Word, it will not “effectually work” in us. Hence, we uphold the King James Bible as God’s Word for us English-speaking people….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Jesus Christ heal on the Sabbath days?

Preaching to Perfect

Monday, November 24, 2014

[Christ] Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily (Colossians 1:28,29 KJV).

And so, our grace Bible conference has concluded.

Our ministry goal as Pauline dispensationalists is to “have all men saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4)—to see that they hear the right Gospel (Paul’s Gospel, Christ’s finished crosswork [1 Corinthians 15:3,4]) so as to believe it, and to see that they hear the right Bible doctrine so as to receive it (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon). That is Father God’s will for them; if we delight in His will, it will become our will; and we will then do His will.

We are not here to prove ourselves right, or to force people to agree with us; we are here to declare that God is right and everyone else is wrong, and to be helpers of others’ joy. We know the heartaches and perplexities of religious tradition, we have found the key to recovering ourselves out of the snare of the devil, and now we hold forth “the word of life”not in arrogance, but in compassion, for we too were once foolish and deceived. We care about their souls, that they not be defiled with either sins of the flesh (“secular” human evil) or sins of the spirit (“pious” human good).

Rather than trying to take away something worthless that they have, we offer them God’s priceless wisdom that they need; if they embrace the latter, they will discard the former! If they prefer spiritual ignorance, that is their prerogative, and we should say no more; if they want spiritual maturity, that is our privilege of teaching them God’s Word rightly divided (today’s Scripture).

As our apostle Paul knew, it was really God’s Holy Spirit working in him mightily; it was not Paul struggling in himself to do the work of the ministry. When it is God working, there is no pride, failure, or misery; only charity, love in action, to see that lost souls are saved (justified) and those Christian souls are edified (strengthened). Yes, we “preach to perfect!” :)

NOTE: The 2014 Slidell Grace Bible Conference concluded yesterday. Videos of the messages to be uploaded to YouTube in due time, so stay tuned for updates. If you are interested in purchasing CDs or DVDs, please email me for more information at arcministries@gmail.com.

Conferring to Edify

Sunday, November 23, 2014

“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do” (1 Timothy 1:3,4 KJV).

When grace Bible conferences conclude, a sense of sadness is present because the Christian fellowship must end.

In reality, it is leaving the closest thing to “Heaven on Earth” that the Church the Body of Christ will ever experience. We have been “godly edified which [was] in faith” (today’s Scripture): rather than proclaiming fictitious and moral stories (“fables”), stumbling over personalities (“endless genealogies”), and preaching Law-keeping for Christian living (verses 5-11), we taught sound Bible doctrine, glorified the Lord Jesus Christ, and preached His grace as means for daily victory over sin. How enjoyable! Thus, to part with like-minded Christians is not easy, but it demonstrates the unity, the brotherly love, that should exist between God’s people when they let His Word work in them when they believe it.

Rather than biting, devouring, and consuming one another, we simply “walked in the Spirit,” and enjoyed doctrinal unity and peace between each other. We united around three cardinal truths: the King James Bible as our final authority, the Gospel of the Grace of God (Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for our sins), and Paul’s apostleship and ministry to us Gentiles regarding grace living. We read, studied, and rejoiced in Israel’s verses, but we did not claim them for ourselves because God is doing something else today. We also read, studied, and rejoiced in our verses, Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, recognizing that they described what God is currently doing and what He wants to do with us.

We had wonderful discussions about how the Lord Jesus Christ is working in our lives today, and we gladly shared Him with those who were visiting. While we had a small group, we had more than the seven Noah had with him on the Ark, and we look forward to fellowshipping with one another around God’s Word rightly divided, one last day today! :)

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

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?’