spiritual unity

Something in Common

Thursday, November 10, 2016

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus…. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26,28 KJV).

Have you trusted Jesus Christ alone as your personal Saviour? Then, you are a child of God!

Recently, I was privileged to meet and thank a 90-year-old (!) United States veteran. Having served in World War II over 70 years ago (!), he was a guest speaker at a private Christian school’s Veterans Day function. He mentioned not only such physical battles, but also the greatest spiritual battle—Satan trying to keep every last human soul he currently owns! He proceeded to share the Gospel with the crowd. After the program, I approached this dear man, talked with him, and learned he was a Christian. Not just some “church member,” I consider him a saved individual. Actually, we may never see each other on this earth again, so I told him, “At least we will see each other in heaven some day!”

Friends, the above scenario is very interesting. This veteran and I had no earthly reason to ever meet one another. He is over three times my age. We live in separate cities many miles apart. We do not share professions. We are not blood related. He had never heard of me and I had never heard of him. Ultimately, the common factor was Christ. He had become a Christian, and I had become a Christian. Many, many years later, it was because of Jesus Christ that we (recently) gathered in an assembly (unaware of each other until the very end).

Think about right now, friends. We would have probably never “met” here had it not been for Jesus Christ. We live in different cities, different states, and/or different countries. Thankfully, God can use any person anywhere at anytime who will simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that He died to pay for their sins and He was raised again to give them eternal life. Amazingly, Father God can take all believing sinners of various centuries, put them into the same Body of Christ, and then they meet each other in heaven (who would have not met otherwise)!

Satan and Dispensationalism #13

Sunday, October 18, 2015

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:” (Ephesians 3:1,2 KJV).

Satan knows that Dispensational Bible Study is the key to understanding God’s Word. Thus, he denies it and corrupts it every chance he gets!

There are various “dispensations” in the Word of God, different instructions God gives to a people group in history to believe and obey. The “Dispensation of the Grace of God” is the one that affects us Gentiles today. Paul says in today’s Scripture that the risen, ascended, and glorified Jesus Christ gave him this dispensation so that he could give it to us. That dispensational boundary and change is of critical importance. It involves these last 2,000 years—one-third of human history! It affects the formation and function of the Church the Body of Christ. If Satan can introduce the least amount of uncertainty regarding this dispensation, he confuses the Body of Christ and disrupts two millennia of God’s working in the world.

The most confusion concerning dispensational Bible study is exactly when the Dispensation of Grace began and when our Church the Body of Christ began. Some say Acts chapter 2, others say chapter 9, still others chapter 13, and still others chapter 18, still others chapter 20, or even chapter 28, or even beyond. Confusion! Confusion! Confusion! Some start the Body of Christ in one part of Acts and start the Dispensation of Grace in another part of Acts. We have those who say, “Grace began at the cross but the Body of Christ did not begin until Acts 2.” We have those who say the Body of Christ began in Acts 9 but the Dispensation of Grace did not begin until late Acts or post Acts. We have one group that says the Dispensation of Grace and the Church the Body of Christ both began in late Acts or post Acts. Confusion! Confusion! Confusion!

When did the Dispensation of Grace begin? When did our Church the Body of Christ begin? Unless we have a denominational or “traditional grace” system to promote, we will just agree with the Bible. Let us see what God’s Word says.

The Key to Harmony

Saturday, May 2, 2015

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32 KJV).

Behold, the key to harmony!

We all recall times when fellow Christians mistreated us. We all remember times when we wronged other Christians. While Father God has granted us abundant forgiveness in Christ (today’s Scripture), it is very difficult to apply that forgiveness to others. What they did to us hurt, and what we did to them hurt. Some wrongs are especially painful, very tough to relinquish (which then fester to become grudges). When we see these people, what they did to us immediately comes to mind. It was five, 10, 20, or over 50 years ago, but we still remember what happened. Our emotions (tainted by sin) then get involved, and how we want to lash out at them!

As a brother in the ministry once said, “We grace Christians need to be the kindest, gentlest, most loving people.” Today’s Scripture should be committed to memory. No, we are not to be doormats, but we should make every possible effort to make any situation better, especially if it involves another member of the Church the Body of Christ (Romans 12:18; Galatians 6:10). Sometimes, because of pride, the other party refuses to yield. They decline to reconcile—no apologies are offered, no kindness is shown, wrongdoing is denied, et cetera. Some matters just cannot be straightened out. Unfortunately, they will only be made right in heaven (when neither person’s flesh is in the way).

We need to take a moment to pray for those who have wronged us. If they are unsaved, may we be burdened to pray for their salvation unto eternal life. They need to believe the Gospel of Grace now before they die and go to hell and have to pay for those sins forever. If they are Christians, we need to pray ever so earnestly that they grow in God’s grace, and straighten up, and hurt the cause of Christ no more. Yes, they have done us wrong, but Jesus Christ took care of it at Calvary, and we need to send those wrongs there! 🙂

Meat and Bones

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21 KJV).

Eat the meat but do not choke on the bones!

A discouraged Christian friend once emailed me to explain his dilemma. He had discovered a source that contained sound Bible doctrine and church tradition. He recognized the doctrinal error, yet he was so disturbed that he was questioning everything in the source (even the sound doctrine). My advice to him was simple, “Eat the meat but do not choke on the bones!” (The same advice conveyed in unique phraseology was also helpful to me when I was in the same predicament years earlier.)

Having visited our local “Christian” bookstore recently, I could not help but chuckle at much of the literature I saw there. There were shelves after shelves after shelves of volumes that had nothing to do with the God of the Holy Bible, nothing to do with the Holy Bible, nothing to do with the Christian life God has given us in Christ. If were were to purge today’s average “Christian” bookstore of everything non-Christian, doubtless the store would soon declare bankruptcy!

Since organized religion has corrupted pure Christianity, Christendom is a spiritual minefield—it is dotted with thousands of gimmicks, heresies, and other traps. If the Christian is to survive Satan’s military tactics and assaults, he or she must be grounded in God’s Word rightly divided. The Christian must always remember that the Holy Bible rightly divided is the “minesweeper,” detecting and destroying the mines that would otherwise destroy the Christian. As today’s Scripture says, we need to sort truth from error. Our standard as English-speaking Christians is the King James Bible rightly divided. That which fails the test is worthless, so we toss it out; that which passes the test is “good,” so we retain it!

Dear saints, we will never find a perfect local church, but that is not our desire anyway. We “make no bones about it”—we seek a pure church, for that is what the Holy Spirit desires us to have (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 2 Corinthians 11:1-20). We seek neither “milk” nor bones, but “meat” (1 Corinthians 3:2)! 🙂

A Common Voice

Friday, June 6, 2014

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV).

If we want Christian unity, we had better join unto God’s truth rather than unite unto Satan’s error.

The God of the Bible is the cause of peace, not confusion (today’s Scripture). Where one finds confusion, Satan and sinful man are working diligently nearby! One of the most critical areas of confusion is the Bible versions issue (due to copyright laws, every modern Bible version must read differently from every other!).

Reading an alleged “guide to the Bible” book, I was recently stunned by the following misinformation: “We honor God’s Word the most when we obey it, not when we defend a particular version of it.” (We reply, “And just what are we to “obey” when every version leads us to believe its own unique conclusion?”)

At a recent public event, I heard the crowd uttering the ever-popular, so-called “Lord’s Prayer.” As they were closing, I listened most intently to hear an interesting occurrence (I knew that many would never finish the prayer). Most voices stopped after saying, “But deliver us from evil.” A few, however, concluded, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (The Protestant Bible text, the King James Bible and its underlying manuscripts contain that clause; the Roman Catholic text and its modern English representatives omit it!)

Some time ago, I attended another public event where a verse was displayed on an overhead screen. An individual stood up, and reading from another modern English Bible, recited the same verse. I could not read the text and listen to the voice—they each conveyed different information! You can better appreciate this by having 200 people simultaneously read the same verse each using a different modern English Bible—yes, there are enough for each person to have one!

When every English-speaking Christian uses and reads the King James Bible, there is such unity, such peace, such clarity, such harmony! God’s people united unto God’s truth, a common voice, an authoritative voice—God’s voice… “as in all churches of the saints!” 🙂

333’s 1100th – An Edifice Under Construction

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12 KJV).

Only by Jesus Christ’s grace, we mark another ministry milestone!

Recently, an individual expressed to me her disdain for “religion” in general. Her main objection was that there were many contradictory denominations of “Christianity.” I proceeded to politely explain to her that she, like many, was unaware of the distinction between pure Christianity and vain Christendom. She needed to understand that Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, alone describe Christianity, God’s current directions and program; everything else in the Bible is Israel’s program.

Beloved, when religionists combine the two programs in Scripture—that is, pick and choose doctrines from “prophecy” and “mystery”—they create Christendom, a spiritual monster, a monstrosity of misquoted Scripture, pagan nonsense, and a host of other errors. Christendom is a system that will devour (and has overwhelmed) Christian and non-Christian souls alike. Any appeal to Scripture seems utterly hopeless, for every denomination is quoting a Bible verse to support its system!

During these last 1100 days, we hope to have been a help and an encouragement to you. The Apostle Peter, in his second and final epistle, wrote about “unlearned and unstable” souls “wresting” (twisting, distorting, perverting) the Scriptures—particularly, Paul’s epistles—and “beguiling [tricking, deceiving] unstable souls” (2 Peter 2:14; 2 Peter 3:16). Basically, unstable souls making other people’s souls unsteady also; the result is a group of vacillating individuals, “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight [fraud!] of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14, the context of today’s Scripture).

God wants “perfected” saints (today’s Scripture), saints who are spiritually mature, “throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:17), saints who can do “the work of the ministry,” who can “edify” (build up, mature) the Church the Body of Christ. In doing so, God’s people will be guarded against doctrinal error, Satan’s policy of evil. Thus, by God’s grace, we will continue in our daily Bible studies, that you may save yourself and others from false teaching (1 Timothy 4:16).

Onward we go in God’s grace! 🙂

God’s Family #1

Saturday, February 1, 2014

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19 KJV).

How enjoyable it is to fellowship with other members of God’s family!

Recently, I met an out-of-state individual who was distributing Gospel tracts on my university’s campus. Although we had never met before, and there was a considerable age difference between us, this Christian brother and I had such wonderful fellowship around the King James Bible rightly divided. It was very edifying for both of us, so I was sorely disappointed that I could not stay longer. Beloved, this is exactly how Christian fellowship should be, since the same Holy Spirit indwells us both.

The Bible says, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). As in any family, we should be especially kind to and caring for fellow saints (our spiritual siblings). Unfortunately, as in any family, there is petty bickering, immaturity, sibling rivalry, and even more serious issues in the Body of Christ, so this fellowship can be greatly hindered or even impossible.

In the context of today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul is reminding us that, when God was dealing with the nation Israel, we Gentiles were “without Christ… without God in the world” (verses 11,12). As lost people headed for eternal hellfire, we were “of [our] father the devil” (John 8:44), we “walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and we were under “the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13).

That all changed when the Dispensation of Grace began and when we realized our lost estate. We decided to trust exclusively in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins. The day we were saved unto eternal life, God became our Father (Galatians 3:26), and other people who had trusted Christ prior, whether living or deceased, became our spiritual brothers and sisters (today’s Scripture; cf. Ephesians 3:15).

Saints, let us remember to get to know each other now, because we, as God’s family, are living together, both now and forever….