spiritual warfare

In Every Thing Give Thanks

Thursday, November 27, 2014

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).

Dear saints, take a moment this Thanksgiving to learn a valuable lesson from the Holy Scriptures!

God wants “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4). To be “saved” here means you have been rescued from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire), and that you have a home in heaven, because you have trusted the death, shed blood, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for your sins. To “come unto the knowledge of the truth” is when a person who has trusted Christ, begins to understand why God saved him or her, and how God will use him or her for His glory. Although soul salvation is instantaneous, spiritual maturity is a life-long process (that is especially true regarding handling difficulties, the grace way!).

It is human nature to avoid difficulties and stress, to flee them, rather than confront them. This self-preservation is advantageous, particularly in “life or death” situations. However, running from troubling circumstances is not the way God has designed our life in Christ to function. Today’s Scripture says, In every thing give thanks,” notFor every thing give thanks.” We do not thank God for our troubles; we thank God while we are enduring those troubles. This is tough, I know, but it takes time for us to learn it. Even the Apostle Paul had to learn this.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Be thankful in every thing. God’s grace is sufficient for you, dear saint, in all of life’s circumstances. When you learn this, you are “[coming] unto the knowledge of the truth.”

*Excerpted from our Thanksgiving 2012 Bible study with the same name. That study can be read here or watched here.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What are our spiritual blessings in Christ?

A Bible That (Effectually) Works #2

Wednesday, November 26, 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.

“Effectually worketh” means something that will produce the intended result. God wants to use His written Word, the Holy Bible, to build in our inner man, our soul, an edifice or structure of sound doctrine. This fortification of doctrine enables us to accomplish His will with Him, as well as protects us from the Adversary who wants to harm us and hinder God’s purpose and plan for us.

Thus, Satan knows that the best way to attack us is to divorce us from God’s Word, for then we are powerless against his schemes and scams. Nevertheless, Satan is a very sneaky creature; rather than trying to take the Bible completely away from us, for then he would be obvious, Satan will counterfeit the Bible, and then encourage us to use the counterfeit. We will never know otherwise, and we will sabotage our Christian life by defiling it with “junk doctrine.” Beloved, this is what makes the Bible versions issue so serious. If it is a translation not derived from pure Bible manuscripts, it is not God’s Word but man’s word, and man’s word will never produce what God’s Word will produce.

Just as false Bible manuscripts troubled Christians in Thessalonica (2 Thessalonians 2:2), just as false prophets misled Israel with untrue doctrine (2 Peter 2:1-3), so Satan uses counterfeits to confuse and undermine us. The Devil’s evil world system incites us to embrace modern Bible versions, so-called “easy-to-read” books but whose underlying manuscripts abound with historical and theological mistakes, and lack whole verses, passages, and even Bible books (!).

For over 400 years, the King James Bible has faithfully served the Body of Christ. Beloved, we would be foolish to believe present-day, “ear-tickling” Christendom could ever produce a Bible that even comes to close to the King James Bible, “a Bible that effectually works!” :)

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?

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….