spiritual warfare

Singing for the Devil

Thursday, January 22, 2015

“And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear” (Exodus 32:17,18 KJV).

Moses and Joshua are coming down from Mount Sinai after receiving JEHOVAH’S Ten Commandments, and what a “praise and worship” session Israel is seen to have!

It is common to hear of people attending church services at a particular location simply because they “love” the “praise and worship” team. When they talk to you about “church time,” they rarely evaluate the sermon’s theology. What mattered is, “Church was awesome today because a visitor came and showed us some new dance moves!!!” (A social media posting I saw.) Or, “I do not like that preacher’s doctrine but I watch his television program because he is a terrific musician and singer!” (What someone told me recently.) Dear friends, we should be mindful not to expose ourselves to such spiritual dangers, that which appears or sounds good but is actually injurious to our spiritual health.

“And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount” (verse 19). “And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies: ),…” (verse 25). The Levites, instructed by Moses, killed 3,000 naked Jewish revelers (verses 26-28)!

Singing and dancing about spiritual matters is not always good. Remember, the same vain religious system that infiltrated ancient Israel has also infected the Body of Christ. Dancing around worthless idols, singing about vain denominational traditions, and so on, it is not pleasing to our Lord Jesus Christ. Beloved, let us strive for a pure local church, one that upholds God’s Word rightly divided, and let us cast off a local church that upholds the flesh! :)

Instant Christians #15

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

“Instant” is defined as, “happening or coming immediately, prepared quickly and with little effort.” Being “instant” means the Christian is so skilled in God’s Word rightly divided, so in tune with His Father’s Word, that he or she daily has a greater comprehension and delight in that Word, and that Word is so integral in his or her thinking that it is not a burden to speak of its doctrine with clarity and conciseness, that he or she has read it so much that numerous verses and/or passages can be quoted without a printed Bible present (today’s Scripture).

It is these skilled Christians that the church lacks. Why? The average Christian is weak, unable to take a solid stand on doctrine because he or she does not even know sound Bible doctrine (the individual’s fault and the local church’s fault). Now we see why the world is not interested in hearing someone who “loves the Bible” but knows nothing about it!

The “instant” Christian is one who has studied and still studies the entire King James Bible, but he or she will study especially Romans through Philemon. This will be followed by prayer, speaking to God by repeating His Word back to Him, and applying it to life by faith. He or she will grow more and more familiar with God’s Word rightly divided. As the years pass, he or she will speak of Bible verses and topics with greater depth and wisdom, ready to give an answer to both the curious and the critical. As a soldier arms himself or herself with the proper equipment, so we arm ourselves with the “sword of the Spirit,” that we “fight the good fight of faith!”

We answer their objections (or get them to someone who can), we urge them check everything we say against the Bible. Dispensational Bible study withstands all scrutiny, and we have full confidence in God’s truth. Let us be “instant” Christians, prepared to speak God’s Word authoritatively, skillfully, and charitably. :)

By the way, in the near future, we plan to have a follow-up devotionals arc that will expand on these concepts. Stay tuned!

Instant Christians #14

Monday, January 19, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

When “instant” Christians share dispensational Bible truths, they meet many stubborn, proud, and resistant people. Detractors, swearing they never heard or read those verses before, stiffen and angrily hurl accusations. Instead of believing the verses, they exclaim, “Paul worshipper, cult member, heretic, Bible worshipper, fanatic, church splitter, Bible chopper” (the “nicer” names!). Those verses are in their Bible as they are in ours—plain English—but they close their eyes to them. Once their willful ignorance is manifested, we move on: God will use what we told them, but our work with them is done. They do not realize that, by defending their preconceived Bible ideas and denominational views, they have refused the key to understanding and enjoying the Bible.

Dear “instant” Christian, daily study your King James Bible rightly divided. Perhaps read it through at least once a year to familiarize yourself with it. You are just one person, but remember all the common individuals God used to accomplish great things—Noah, Abraham, Moses, Deborah, Samuel, David, Esther, Peter, Paul (1 Corinthians 1:26-31). God’s Word will go to work in our lives when we believe it, and His power will be with us as we minister to others: “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). God’s power that worked in them works in us. We need to store God’s Word inside us, believe it, and the Holy Spirit will do the rest. Dear brethren, seek people who do want to hear the truth and be ready to tell them!

Remember, it is God’s church and He will take care of it. We just need to be faithful in our neighborhood. If every grace Christian focuses on his or her own community, God’s work will literally be accomplished everywhere.

Let us conclude this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Will we recognize our loved ones in heaven?

Instant Christians #13

Sunday, January 18, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

How do we make “instant” Christians? As with anything instant (coffee, rice, photos, messaging, et cetera), some work is necessary! It takes a dedicated preacher or teacher to actually teach his people the Bible instead of giving them “Bible chats and pep talks” (Christendom’s failure). It takes studying the Bible instead of reading books about the Bible (another blunder). It takes reading the Bible instead of singing and dancing about the Bible (another failure).

We read in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 what the Holy Spirit would have us do once we are “instant” Christians, skilled in the Word of His Grace: “[24] And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, [25] In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; [26] And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” We, as “instant” Christians, are to make “instant” Christians, people who are just as well-versed and well-grounded in the Bible rightly divided as we!

Lost people live contrary to God’s will for them, and saved people in denominational circles live contrary to what God gave them in Christ. Yet, they can be freed from such error. We are to teach the verses they need to believe to escape Satan’s trap: the lost should be saved from their sins and the denominational Christians saved from doctrinal error. They can then enjoy the grace, love, mercy, eternal life, hope, security, peace, joy, forgiveness, Bible clarity, and righteousness that God offers them in Jesus Christ!

Remember, our ministry is not to force God’s Word rightly divided on anyone. We share the verses in compassion, not in spite or strife, picking fights. We “teach” them, very patiently, gently, meekly. It is time-consuming, but it is ever so worth it, and we will never know the true value of “instant” Christians until we reach heaven….

Instant Christians #11

Friday, January 16, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

Earlier, we read in 1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” Written to the same suffering Jewish believers of the future seven-year Tribulation, Jude 1:3 says: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

Bible critics present an elaborate defense of their beliefs, whereas Bible believers very rarely have an equally-intricate defense of the Bible (in stark disobedience to the Holy Spirit’s advice). A Christian may quote a shallow verse here or a theology book there but the Bible critic is usually the one quoting all the verses, one controversial verse after another (which discrepancies are often solved with dispensational Bible study). The preacher, the church member, whoever supposedly represents the “Christian” view, just sits quietly, equally clueless as to why the Bible says different things in different places.

“Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12a). Does a soldier go out in the battle unprepared? Then, why are almost all seminaries, Bible colleges, and churches sending out millions upon millions of doctrinally-deficient “Christians” to the battlefield with nothing more than best wishes and butter-knives? (We suspect they are more interested in raising funds, and building programs and denominational systems, than learning and preaching God’s truth!) One main reason why no one wants to hear about Jesus Christ in “the world” is because the people who claim to represent Him are too clueless as to what He taught them to say about Him. They have not mastered the Bible rightly divided, and no one wants to hear someone preach so passionately about a topic they prove themselves to be ignorant of.

Dearly beloved, we need, need, NEED, NEED “instant” Christians….

Instant Christians #10

Thursday, January 15, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

Paul charged Timothy to “preach the Word” and uphold dispensational Bible doctrines (today’s Scripture). To prepare for the coming apostasy, “Christianity’s” departure from God’s truth through Paul (verses 3 and 4), Paul also charged Timothy: “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (verse 5). Timothy, despite opposition and suffering, was to be a vigilant “evangelist,” constantly reminding lost and saved alike of the Gospel of God’s Grace (whether salvation from hell, or salvation from daily sins, it is accomplished entirely via what Jesus did for us at Calvary and NOT legalism, what we do for Him!).

Paul advised the Ephesian church leaders: “[28] Take heed [Beware!!!] therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. [29] For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. [30] Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. [31] Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. [32] And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified (Acts 20).

“The word of [God’s] grace”—His Word rightly divided, His grace doctrines committed to Paul—will “build [us] up [equip us, make us “instant”]….” These church leaders were to be “instant,” ready to train their members in the message of God’s grace. Alas, they failed miserably. Years later, legalism/Law-keeping infiltrated Ephesus and they abandoned grace (1 Timothy 1:3-11). At the time of today’s Scripture, legalism had spread from Ephesus to all Asia/Turkey (2 Timothy 1:15)! As Paul predicted, false teaching came! Like today’s “Christianity,” the Ephesians were not “instant….”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “When was the book of the Revelation written?

Instant Christians #9

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

On his second apostolic journey, in Corinth, Paul met a Jewish couple, Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:1-3). They became co-workers in tent-making… and ministry. As they worked with Paul, he preached to them Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery. Aquila and Priscilla were now saved and skilled in God’s Word rightly divided. This husband and wife became some of Paul’s most dedicated and helpful ministry companions (Romans 16:3,4). Risking their lives many times for Jesus Christ over the next decade, they were active in ministry even as Paul’s execution date was approaching (2 Timothy 4:19).

Acts chapter 18 closes, “[24] And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. [25] This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. [26] And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. [27] And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: [28] For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.”

Apollos was confused and lost, hell-bound. He was not preaching or believing the Bible dispensationally—he was preaching John’s water baptism. All he knew was a now-defunct salvation message preached 20 years earlier, completely ignorant of Christ’s earthly ministry or Paul’s new ministry! Aquila and Priscilla heard Apollos’ fallacious preaching, took him aside, and gently taught him God’s Word rightly divided. He was then saved, grounded in sound Bible doctrine, and able to help Paul in ministry (Acts 19:1; 1 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Titus 3:13).

The Body of Christ needs “instant” Christians such as Aquila and Priscilla today….