spiritual warfare

The Apocalypse, God’s Lips, and Our Mouths

Monday, March 23, 2015

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103 KJV).

What is the “Apocalypse” and how can it be honey from God’s lips to our mouths?

A Christian brother told me he utterly feared the Book of the Revelation. Doubtless a saved man, certain of his home in heaven because of the Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary on his behalf. Yet, in light of Revelation 22:18-19, he dreaded studying that last Bible book: he feared “adding to it” or “taking away from it” would bring God’s chastisement on him. The poor brother had to learn that that warning is given to unbelievers in Israel’s program, not us believers (members of the Body of Christ) in this the Dispensation of Grace.

While people often use the term “Apocalypse” in religious senses, they usually have little to no grasp of what the term means in the Bible. The first word of the Revelation is apokalupsis—“revelation, unveiling, uncovering.” As the (Greek) Bible uses it, “Apocalypse” describes the unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS is hidden in the third heaven, having not been seen in 2,000 years, exiled since His beloved nation Israel rejected Him. The door to the third heaven is currently closed, but one day it will swing open, and out will ride the Lord Jesus Christ! He will be leading tens of thousands of angelic soldiers to purge Earth of all its unbelievers, utterly slaughtering those who have persecuted His Israel—stolen her land and killed her people. Just as Satan’s plan of evil crescendos, and it looks hopeless, the God of creation wins and then reigns over all creation!

No wonder John wrote to Israel in Revelation 1:4: “Blessed [happy] is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” The book of the Revelation (“Apocalypse”) came from God’s lips; it should be as sweet honey to our mouths! Let us read it. It comforts us that evil will lose in the end, and our Saviour will be exalted in the end. Let us use our mouths to praise His holy name! :)

Let Him Alone!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

“Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone” (Hosea 4:17 KJV).

Let us hear and follow these wonderful words of wisdom from Hosea of old!

As a Bible teacher, I assure you there is no greater thrill than to teach the precious words of God to open hearts, and to see those words work effectually in those who believe them (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Some people are so eager to hear the wonderful words of God that they will sit down and let you teach them for hours and hours on end. They are starving spiritually, and oh, how you are so burdened to give them as much spiritual food as possible! As someone starving would grab handfuls upon handfuls of food and force-feed themselves, these precious souls never seem to get enough verses. They make ministry so rewarding and delightful.

On the other hand, you get the exact opposite type of feedback from others as well. You could teach them God’s Word for years, but they have no interest in anything spiritual. As in the days of Jesus Christ’s preaching in the flesh, you will meet people who have “gross” (callous) hearts and ears “dull of hearing” (Matthew 13:15). Eventually, Jesus stopped preaching to national Israel, and confined His ministry to smaller crowds. He taught for three years and look how many Jews He converted—only 120 believers in Jerusalem in Acts 1:15!

In today’s Scripture, JEHOVAH God told the Prophet Hosea not to bother preaching repentance to Ephraim (the northern kingdom, Israel). After many decades of idolatrous kings, the nation was too far gone. The Assyrian armies were coming for Ephraim, God’s judgment was imminent, and they were beyond hope. “Hosea, do not waste your breath!”

What did Jesus say about the Pharisees who were offended by His preaching? “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14). Paul wrote, “If any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:38). Once people resist us sharing the Bible with them, we need to move on instead of twisting their arms. Beloved, we need to use our time wisely, speaking to those who do want to hear! :)

What a Relief to Have Them Go!

Monday, February 16, 2015

“Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them” (Psalm 105:38 KJV).

We can only wonder just how relieved the Egyptians were when Israel left “the land of the Nile!”

By the time the Jews left Egypt, JEHOVAH had smitten the Egyptians with ten separate plagues—bodies of water turned to blood, plus frogs, murrain (cattle disease), lice, flies, boils, hail and fire, locusts, darkness, and the deaths of all the firstborn (Exodus chapters 7-12).

The Psalmist wrote about it in the context of today’s Scripture, providing more detail than what Moses did in the book of Exodus: “[28] He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word. [29] He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish. [30] Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings. [31] He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts. [32] He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land. [33] He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts. [34] He spake, and the locusts came, and caterpillers, and that without number, [35] And did eat up all the herbs in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground. [36] He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength. [37] He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.”

Pharaoh had messed with the wrong nation, and now his nation was in shambles! “And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men” (Exodus 12:33). We can almost hear the Egyptians urging the Israelites, “Oh, please go away quickly! Go! Go! Go!” You can be sure that this world will be just as eager to get rid of us Christians. They are getting tired of us too, and just as God delivered His people from Egypt, so He will deliver them from Earth one day. Keep looking up! :)

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should Christians celebrate Mardi Gras?

When Peace Means Distance

Sunday, February 15, 2015

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18 KJV).

What wonderful advice to save ourselves headache and heartache!

Recently, some Christians who were dealing with an unbearable Christian family member, asked me for advice. Today’s Scripture summarizes what they should do. They are to live “peaceably” with the gossiper and liar—sadly, in their case, peace is only possible long-distance! Beloved, we are not doormats. The Holy Spirit’s guidance in dealing with Christians who are fornicators, covetous, idolaters, railers (uttering constant bitter complaints against people or things), drunkards, and extortioners, is “with such an one no not to eat” (1 Corinthians 5:11). Have no social relations with that Christian until he or she improves. But, what if they never reform? Then never have social relations with them.

Through the years of ministry, I have met some very obnoxious people, lost souls and Christians (!). Even today, honestly, it is best to avoid them as much as possible. They are troublemakers who delight in disgracing and destroying sound Bible ministries. They had no desire to hear what the Bible says, and no desire to uphold what the Bible says. While I love them as the Lord Jesus Christ would, and I forgive them in Christ if they have done me wrong, that does not mean that I have to seek them out and be around them and hear or read their nonsense. If they are hungry, or thirsty, and they come to me for help, that is something else entirely (Romans 12:20), but I have no reason whatsoever to go after them and attempt to reform them. They were already given verses that they rejected, and I will not force myself on anyone.

Beloved, the mature Christian should most definitely attempt to correct or reform a wayward brother or sister in Christ in meekness and love (Galatians 6:1), but eventually we must “reject” the “heretick.” After the first and second admonition (warning), we need to leave the person alone and move on to something more worthwhile (Titus 3:10,11). Sometimes peace means distance—it is a shame but long distance may also be necessary!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who will have children in the Millennium?

The Middle Verse of the KJB

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8 KJV).

What, or Who, is literally at the very heart of the King James Bible?

The King James Bible has 31,101 verses. Verse number 15,551—the middle verse—is today’s Scripture: “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” If you notice, there are 14 words in this verse, and the middle words are “the LORD” (six words preceding and succeeding). Modern versions, because they remove dozens of verses from the Bible text, do not have today’s Scripture as their middle verse. Their middle verse does not urge us to put our trust in the LORD and avoid trusting man. Nay, the modern version translators want us to trust their judgment, that they have improved God’s Word (when they have done any but!).

If you listen to the average Bible teacher or preacher, read the average Bible commentary, or use the average study Bible, you will be advised to doubt the readings in the King James Bible. Scholarship, driven by the minds of lost people, always has a “better translation” than the one the Holy Spirit already chose. There is a constant push to make the King James Bible “more scholarly,” more agreeable to theologians and textual critics. Dear friends, if we say that we are not interested in opinions, but only interested in what the Bible says, then it is silly to offer opinions about what the Bible should say instead, and it is even more foolish to accept opinions about what the Bible should say instead.

Today’s Scripture is one example of the fact that we should leave the King James Bible’s text alone. We do not need to “correct” it with “new” manuscripts that its translators rejected centuries ago as false. We do not need to remove any of its passages, phrases, words, or letters just to suit the pet doctrines of degreed religionists. We should not put our confidence in man, but in “the LORD.” Our King James Bible is an amazing Book, so let us trust in “the LORD” and His Word to us English-speaking people. There literally is nothing better! :)

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….

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! :)