superstition

Heart-Felt Prayer

Friday, February 17, 2017

“Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah” (Psalm 62:8 KJV).

Prayer from the heart—not from the prayer book!

Everyone prays. It is unfortunate, however, that many Christians have allowed superstitious (that is, non-Christian) ideas to creep into their prayer lives. These erroneous notions have caused them to have a distorted sense of what prayer is in the Holy Bible.

First and foremost, prayer in Scripture is not about manipulating God to do what you want Him to do. Many Christians have reduced prayer to, “Santa Claus, I have been good, and I would like this, that, and the other….” They believe that if they say the right words, and do the right things, God will acquiesce and make some (or all) of their wishes come true. Moreover, it is terribly sad that we often pray only when we want to ask God for something.

Secondly, prayer is always, always, about talking to God in light of what His Word says to you. Our Heavenly Father has promised to do certain things today in the Dispensation of Grace, and those promises are found in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. Grabbing anything in the Bible and repeating it in prayer is unwise. You may be demanding God do something He never promised He would do for you. Dispensational Bible study is critical to understanding where you are in the Bible, what God is doing today, and what He wants you to do today.

No matter the time in human history, prayer is best defined in today’s Scripture—“pour out your heart before him.” If you study prayer in the Bible, and the various prayers of the saints therein, they are not mindlessly repeating prayer books and prayer cards. They speak to God from their heart, intimately, personally. Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” That is, if we memorize God’s Word rightly divided (dispensationally considered), we hide it in our hearts, and we pour out our hearts before God in prayer, that is genuine prayer. We will really be confirming in our minds, and telling Him, what He already said He would do! 🙂

Special-edition Bible Q&A #350: “What are ‘instant’ Christians?

The Daysman #5

Thursday, January 26, 2017

“For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:32,33 KJV).

What is a “daysman?” Who is it?

Sacred Scripture could not be clearer when it says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:5,6). Apart from Jesus Christ’s crosswork on Calvary, we have no access to God. Therefore, for us to appeal to some other “mediator” is to have no mediator whatsoever! Such an outcome will be worse than had we not approached God at all.

Dear friends, there will come a day when Christ-rejecters will stand before the God-Man they ignored. He will be their Judge, ready to punish them for their evil. It would have been far better for them not to know about Him, than for to know about Him and instead appeal to “patron saints” and “Mother Mary.” He will not take it lightly that they counted His perfect sacrifice at Calvary as insufficient, lacking in some way, needing supplemental enhancements. That they had the audacity to substitute the favor He offered them freely, with “good” works they and others did to merit that favor! We shudder to think of that dreadful day when He pronounces upon them those terrible words found in Matthew 25:41: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels!”

The Bible says God wants His Son, Jesus Christ, to have the “preeminence in all things” (Colossians 1:18). He is the central figure in creation, and He will not share His mediatorship with anyone. For which reason, no room is left for distracting characters such as “Mother Mary,” “Father Joseph,” “Saint” Jude, “Saint” Francis of Assisi, “Saint” Teresa, et cetera. All the religious speculation aside, friends, the Scriptures say we Christians are accepted in the beloved [Christ]” (Ephesians 1:6). God has bestowed upon us divine favor because of the Lord Jesus. He is enough for us, and we are enough in Him. After all, He is the Daysman!”

The Daysman #4

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

“For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:32,33 KJV).

What is a “daysman?” Who is it?

Hebrews chapter 10 talks about how Jesus Christ’s sacrifice of Himself on Calvary fulfilled the type depicted in Judaism’s animal sacrifices. God became a Man that He might have blood to shed and pay for man’s sins: “[4] For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. [5] Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he [Jesus] saith [to the Father], Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: [6] In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. [7] Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.”

If Jesus Christ, by virtue of His crosswork, is the one mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5), then there is no more need for other good works to please God. What have “patron saints” done to merit God’s favor that Jesus Christ has not already done? If they were human like we are—and they were—they failed God just as much as we do. What advantage do they have that we do not? The answer is no advantage. The fellowship that God the Son has with God the Father is the same relationship all we Christians have with Him: “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9). We cannot get any closer to God, gain any more access to God, than what we already have by virtue of our position in Christ!

We “give thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20) because we are approaching God according to Christ’s merits not our own or someone else’s merits. Whenever we must seek help from some other person to access God, we are saying that the cross is not enough….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘the foolishness of God’ in 1 Corinthians 1:25?

The Daysman #3

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

“For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:32,33 KJV).

What is a “daysman?” Who is it?

Those desperately defending religious tradition say the “intercession of saints” in “no way” diminishes Jesus’ role as the only mediator between God and man. (Heretically, though, they call the virgin Mary “co-mediatrix,” a female mediator who, according to her very title [prefix “co-,” “with”], shares a mediatorship. Whose mediatorship would she be sharing?!) They say we pray and influence the “saints” in our favor, the “saints” influence Jesus in our favor, and Jesus influences Father God in our favor. In other words, God is manipulated to do what we by ourselves could not persuade Him to do!

Friends, all the mental gymnastics and speculations of men aside, we look at Sacred Scripture to see no one exists between Jesus Christ and us. Holy Writ, in today’s Scripture, defines a mediator (or “daysman”) as someone who lays one hand on one party and the other hand on another party. If there is one mediator—one who can identify with both parties—a third-party is completely unnecessary. We do not need a mediator between Jesus Christ and us: He is the mediator. Again, “For there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus Christ is God, so He can take God by the hand. He is also Man, so He can take man by the hand. He thus joins man and God together. According to the very concept of “mediator” in Scripture, there is no room for some interceding “saint!”

The fact is, every single person on earth today has the same opportunity to access Father God through Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, most do not take advantage of it. They ignore Jesus Christ’s crosswork; they want nothing to do with Him. Rather, they want to substitute their own works, and/or substitute the works of other religious people (namely, “patron saints”). Friends, God is not impressed; in fact, by pushing aside the sole mediatorship of Christ, they are treasuring up wrath! Oh, dear friends, how foolish are they….

The Daysman #2

Monday, January 23, 2017

“For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:32,33 KJV).

What is a “daysman?” Who is it?

At the time of Job, God the Son was not known by the name “Jesus Christ.” Moreover, the Calvary’s cross was over 1,500 years away. Therefore, no one living in the days of Job knew anything about Christ’s intercession. Sinful Job said he had no “daysman” (mediator) between him and God. In today’s Scripture, he actually said God was not a man like he was. He and God really had nothing in common. God was mighty God; he was puny man. Earlier in the chapter, Job asked, “I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just [justified/declared righteous] with God? If he [man] will contend with him [God], he cannot answer him one of a thousand” (verses 1,2). Job had no daysman between he and God…. at least not that he knew of. God had only revealed so much information, and Job could do nothing more than believe what God had said to his people Israel.

Now, with a completed Bible in hand, we see the complete picture of God’s plan. Job did not know of the day when God really would become a man. He did not know that God-Man would literally function as his daysman and our daysman. We turn to 1 Timothy 2:5-6 to read: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” According to verse 7, that “due time” was Paul’s ministry. Notice how the crosswork of Christ is mentioned here—“[He] gave himself a ransom for all.” The Lord Jesus Christ functions as our mediator with respect to His sacrifice of Himself on Calvary. Job did not understand this because God had not shown it yet. Sadly, most church members, who have a completed Bible, still do not understand it either…

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘gehenna?’ Is that the same as hell?

The Daysman #1

Sunday, January 22, 2017

“For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:32,33 KJV).

What is a “daysman?” Who is it?

Seldom, if ever, is this term used today. Therefore, it is a strange word, one over which people stumble when they read today’s Scripture in the King James Bible. Friends, we need not get bent out of shape or feel intimidated. Neither should we fret that we have to learn a new word. Context clues are always there if we look for them, to help us along the way. The expression “…any daysman betwixt us” forces “daysman” to mean “something between two parties.” “That might lay his hand upon us both” again reinforces the idea that “daysman” is “something mediating between two individuals.” Moreover, you can consult a dictionary to find that “daysman” is an archaic word meaning “referee, arbitrator, adjudicator, umpire, or mediator.”

Religion stresses an idea called “the intercession of saints.” These “saints” are people in heaven who supposedly engaged in exemplary, “holy,” earthly lives. Having departed this world, they now allegedly have special influence with God. It is said that if we petition these “saints” to pray for us, God will honor their request based on their merits. By appealing to those “saints,” we supposedly get results with God we would not have received had we prayed directly to Him. This corporate “treasury of merit” not only involves Jesus’ crosswork, but also the sum of all “saints’” religious lives. It is a giant pool of divine favor from which every parishioner can draw if he or she comes by way of “the intercession of the saints!” Roman Catholicism has dozens upon dozens of “patron saints,” each specific to a profession, object, concept, injury/illness, and so on. The ostentatiously titled “Blessed Virgin Mary,” being Jesus’ mother, is said to have the greatest clout with the Lord. Religionists are urged to ask Mary for help, for, it is proclaimed, “Jesus cannot refuse His ‘Mother!’”

Let us see how Sacred Writ, in today’s Scripture, thoroughly contradicts and outright disproves the above religious rigmarole….

Not Left to Ourselves

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:9,10 KJV).

Hallelujah—God did not leave us to ourselves!

Recently, while taking care of business at a government office, my services took so long to be rendered. While I sat waiting, the clerk helping me struck up light conversation. She complained to me how the procedure was “so complicated”—she had to go through so many steps on her computer before she could access my files and print my necessary papers. The thought immediately occurred to me. Millions of people think bigger government will solve our problems! (*Smacks forehead*)

Friends, as a dear brother in Christ often says, when God wants to judge mankind, He does not have to break out into a sweat. He can simply give mankind over to himself and mankind will ruin himself (see Romans 1:17-32). Mankind is just so naturally corrupt, so he will always eventually find himself before insurmountable obstacles and in inescapable dilemmas. Look at the world religions—the absolute spiritual darkness of people who worship rats, trees, cows, monkeys, bread and wine, and even small children! Look at the world governments—avarice, sex scandals, lies, and wasteful spending. Look at the educational system—empty curriculums, confused young people, comical opinions of men proclaimed as “the truth.” (All because they refused the light of the Word of God.)

Left to ourselves, we would truly be helpless and hopeless! However, praise God for the “but” of today’s Scripture! In His goodness, He did not leave us without revelation. He caused His inspired Word to be written down long ago, to be preserved through the ages in a multiplicity of manuscript copies, and to be translated into our language (English) so we can have it right now. We hold that inspired, inerrant, preserved Word of God when we have a King James Bible. If ever we drift away from the standards found in that King James Bible, we will surely go back the way of darkness!

Bible Q&A #320: “Seethe not a young goat in his mother’s milk?