experiences

Crossroads

Saturday, November 12, 2016

“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. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:37,38 KJV).

People can acknowledge the Apostle Paul’s special ministry—or they can remain ignorant of it!

I just received an email from someone who had read one of our online Bible studies. While he admitted that there was much truth in that article, while he read those Bible verses and knew exactly what they were teaching, and while he admitted everything was logical, he refused to give up his emotional experiences in religion. He actually encouraged me to ask God for such an experience before I reject it. In other words, he wanted me to ignore Bible verses, toss out all reason, and experience some emotional high to confirm God’s presence to me. Unfortunately, there are many millions of people just like this in Christendom. No wonder non-Christians think so poorly of Jesus Christ—look at what so-called “Christians” say and do. They promote ignorance and superstition and then criticize the world for being deceived by Satan!

Now, contrast this with another online correspondence I received around the same time. This particular man, who has a testimony of salvation in Christ, is so grateful to have found right division. Dispensational Bible study has answered so many confusing questions for him. Now, he has such peace, understanding, and joy. Spending over 20 years in one cult, and then spending the next 40 years in another denomination, he has now had quite enough of religious tradition and Biblical ignorance! Even to this day, he is always eager to learn more about the Message of God’s Grace. If only there were more people like him than there are like the individual in the previous paragraph.

Today’s Scripture shows us the Holy Spirit expected people to be unaware and uninformed of Paul’s special ministry. We should teach them. Nevertheless, if Christians persist in staying confused, we are instructed to “let [them] be ignorant.” Brethren, we need to use our time wisely. Find people who want to learn the truth and teach them! Leave the willfully ignorant alone!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is Revelation 22:15 referring to sinners just outside of the New Jerusalem?

The Truth or Fables?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3,4 KJV).

What is our authority—the truth, or fables?

A well-known television preacher answered a “religious” question submitted to him. The issue was a certain superstition. A lady wanted to know if this belief was just a bunch of nonsense or actually true. Rather than turn to the pages of Scripture, and tell the inquirer what God says in the Holy Bible, the preacher immediately began answering the question by relating a similar experience that he had heard someone else had had. Since that individual had had encountered the same “mysterious” event, the preacher told the inquirer that such things were possible and not at all fantasy. That he would entertain such an idea on national television is ridiculous enough, but worst of all was he never once quoted a Bible verse. His only authority was some vague story someone else had told him! (Why did he not quote a Bible verse? The Bible actually disagrees with him.)

Notice how the aforementioned preacher demonstrated today’s Scripture to be fact not fiction. Having once known Bible truths, he has since left them to embrace heretical theology. It is no shock he would answer that question in the manner he did. Decades ago, he “turn[ed] away [his] ears from the truth” and “turned unto fables.” A “fable” here is actually the Greek word muthos (from which we get “myth,” a tale). Such subjective stories rely too heavily on human emotions and intellect; therefore, they are not sound spiritual authorities. We must have an objective standard, something outside of ourselves, that never changes. That is the importance of the written Word of God, the 66 books of the Holy Bible. Had the professing “Church” “endured [tolerated] sound doctrine,” they would have never embraced such wholesale fantasy!

Neither give heed [attention] to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying: so do” (1 Timothy 1:4). “But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7).

Mark the Heretics—Mark the Faithful

Friday, September 18, 2015

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3,4 KJV).

My, oh my, most news items involving “Christianity” today can be summed up thus!

A news article currently circulating on social media involves a 103-year-old woman now banned from the Baptist church that she has attended all of her life. She disagreed with the “new” pastor’s actions and teaching in the local assembly. He would holler and those with him would roll around on the floor. She confronted him, telling him these types of charismatic activities did not belong in their Baptist church. Sometime later, she received a letter in the mail that forbade her from returning to the church building. When she did return, the police were called… but they could not do anything because it was a civil dispute. She plans to keep on going to that church.

Yes, Christendom is still sliding doctrinally. Apostasy—that is, turning away from God’s truth, and embracing error—is evident even in mainline denominations that did not historically support such warped views. Evidently, the local assembly—like tens of thousands of others—did not have enough Scriptural grounding to identify and run off the heretical pastor. He is still there!

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17,18). Not only are we to “mark” those who are bad, but we are to also “mark” those who are good. “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample” (Philippians 3:17).

We are to follow the Apostle Paul and those who follow him, for they are following Jesus Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 11:1). This is the sure way to avoid the spiritual disaster described in today’s Scripture… and in today’s religious news stories!

If Thou Be #2

Friday, June 5, 2015

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV).

As Satan attempted to cause Jesus Christ to doubt who He was, he misled Eve about who she was. Likewise, Satan enjoys casting doubt on our identity in Christ.

Keeping short sin accounts (daily confession) causes us to wonder if we are truly forgiven. Being water baptized causes us to believe that we cannot have fruitful Christian service without a ceremony. Tithing causes us to believe that we cannot be blessed of God unless we give to Him. Scholarship causes us to believe that, unless we adopt human wisdom, we cannot understand the Bible. Satan attacks our identity in Christ “by any means.” We are already forgiven in Christ forever (Colossians 2:13). We only need one baptism—when the Holy Spirit put us into the Body of Christ the moment we trusted Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:5).

When someone suggests that we have to do something in our flesh to enhance our Christian life, or behave a certain way in order to get something from God, they are drawing us away from our identity in Christ (Galatians 3:1-3). We are “complete in [Christ]” (Colossians 2:10). We are “blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). God has freely given us all things with His Son (Romans 8:32). We do not need to ask God for anything. Everything He could possibly give us, He gave it when He gave us His Son. Jesus Christ is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30). In Christ, all of our need is met (Philippians 4:19).

God revealed to the Apostle Paul the information that we need to understand what He is doing today. That set of doctrines is called “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:1-11). Jesus Christ disclosed that information to Paul, and when we read those Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon, the Holy Spirit enlightens us. What God has planned for us believers, we need to search the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles, and not stray from those grace doctrines!

I Have Not Sent Them!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

“For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 29:8,9 KJV).

Satan is a master counterfeiter, dear friend. He is still deceiving the masses today!

A pastor friend noticed a certain lady attending his church. After Sunday services, she said she had learned a great deal. She understood the Bible dispensationally, Paul as her apostle, “the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery,” and the Body of Christ. The next Sunday, however, she was thoroughly confused. He taught her again, and she was straightened out doctrinally. Next Sunday, she was all confused about the Scriptures yet again! Finally, he asked her why she continuously vacillated between good Bible teaching and bad Bible teaching. She replied, “I watch various television preachers all week long!” “…Tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14).

Satellite television is both a blessing and a curse to Christianity. Good, solid, sound Bible teaching can be found. Unfortunately, it has to be greatly sought. A worthwhile Bible program can be found after searching dozens of channels and programs. “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). If many people were corrupting the Bible 20 centuries ago, it is no surprise to find few faithful ministers and few sound Bible programs on television today.

Having recently “Christian-channel surfed,” I can say that much of what is masquerading as “Christianity” today is quite laughable. Schemes, scams, shallowness, and shams are most of what you find parading as “Jesus ministries.” Likewise, in today’s Scripture, many were deceiving Israel using the LORD’S name, too! Let us take Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, in the King James Bible, and avoid anyone and everyone who does not conform thereto!

Many Adversaries

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

“But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:8,9 KJV).

With ministry opportunities come ministry oppositions!

Recently, I spoke with a Christian sister whose pastor-husband (a brother and ministry friend) just held a grace Bible conference at their local church. She explained to me how they had encountered opposition: a local denominational preacher had learned of their grace meetings and he held “competing” meetings at his church, so that his people could not check out the grace conference nearby! While speaking with her long-distance, I encouraged her with today’s Scripture.

The Holy Spirit had been working mightily in and through the Apostle Paul for the last 20 or 25 years. Pagans who had never before heard of the one true God were suddenly turning to Him and abandoning their idols. In Ephesus, recorded in Acts chapter 19, Paul’s preaching was beginning to threaten the income of the local idol-makers (verses 22-41). Now that people were becoming Christians by trusting Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, they no longer needed the religious trinkets of heathenism.

“[26] Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia [Turkey], this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: [27] So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.” In the next several verses, the silversmiths who made silver shrines for Diana the pagan goddess, started a riot and the mob nearly overwhelmed and killed the Apostle Paul!

Even today, we encounter lost people—and even fellow Christians—who refuse to give up their traditional teachings, lest the funding for their religion be eliminated. They see the Bible verses that delineate the message of grace and God’s Word rightly divided, but lest their denominational system fall apart, they fervently cling to their water baptism, tithing, supernatural experiences, confessions, prayers, et cetera. Dear friends, let us lose our tradition, but let us not lose heart! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why was Saul of Tarsus’ name changed to Paul?

Thee and Two Gardens #6

Thursday, January 29, 2015

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8 KJV).

Wilt thou choose to “live” in the Garden of Eden, or in the Garden of Calvary?

Many precious souls constantly think about symbols, tithes and offerings, confessionals, aisles, candles, prayer closets, “scholarship,” altars, programs, holy days, counterfeit Bibles, personalities and celebrities, ecclesiastical laws, baptisteries, pilgrimages, dreams and visions, bread and wine, jewelry, statues, “praise and worship,” charities, vestments, healings, paintings, shrines, gibberish, patristic writings, and other theological speculations and paraphernalia.

As Satan distracted Eve, so she knew not God’s Word to her (the context of today’s Scripture), “Christianity” is similarly confused. Most are so sidetracked that they have no time whatsoever to think about Calvary’s real meaning. They are too busy thinking about what they are doing, so they have no time to think about what God did for them 2,000 years ago.

Friends, apart from faith in Calvary’s finished crosswork, we have no power of God in our lives (1 Corinthians 1:18,23,24). Fulfilling rules and regulations does not change the fact that we are still weak children of Adam, sinners by birth, unable to perform perfectly. Thus, sin-management systems are of no help to us. We need divine intervention to overcome sin.

God’s grand design is that our Christian life begin in a tomb. He alone can crucify us so as to separate us from Adam, to bury us in Christ’s tomb, to raise us again with Christ and give us a new nature in Him. Contrary to human “wisdom,” it is God’s wisdom, thinking on a much higher plane than even what the “best” intellectuals and philosophers could ever imagine. God did not come to correct us, but to crucify us with Christ, and He did not come to reform us but to resurrect us with Christ. It is not outward reformation (religion) but inward regeneration (life in Christ Jesus!).

We conclude this devotionals arc by quoting Romans chapter 6….