spiritual warfare

We Are Not Our Own

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19,20 KJV).

We belong to God, not to ourselves!

Nearly one-dozen specific problems existed in the Christian assembly at Corinth. Troubles! Troubles! Troubles! If you look closely at today’s professing “Church,” every last one of them still plagues the Body of Christ—deep divisions, deceived by philosophy, puffed up with pride, engaging in fornication, lawsuits amongst brethren, living selfishly and tearing down Christian brethren in the process, rampant idolatry, abuse of the Lord’s Supper, misuse of spiritual gifts (especially tongues), and denying Christ’s bodily resurrection. While more technologically sophisticated today, we still have not learned the lessons from the Book of 1 Corinthians. In fact, the primary theme of the Book of 2 Corinthians is Paul defending his apostleship against Christians who were rejecting it. Friend, do you know any “Christians” today who hate Paul’s apostleship? (See, it is the “same old, same old!”)

Today’s Scripture sits in the context of fornication, or sexual relations involving the unmarried. Verse 18 says: “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” Today’s Scripture continues: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Notice how Paul began today’s Scripture with, “What?” You can sense his shock. He is appalled that these Corinthians, despite him being with them and teaching them for over a year, do not know the most basic truth of Christian living. The Holy Spirit lives in us Christians! Our physical bodies are His “temple,” His dwellingplace. Wherever we go physically, we take Him with us! Have we been taking Him where He would have us go? Are we taking Him where He would want to go?

Bible Q&A #315: “Why are there Christians who persistently live like lost people?

Grace Abounding

Monday, October 17, 2016

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18,19 KJV).

Grace to hundreds of nations and billions of sinners—God’s abounding grace!

Recently, a Christian sister, experiencing marital difficulties, asked me why God had not yet punished her husband for the despicable evils he was still committing against her. I replied, “We are living in the Dispensation of Grace!” Now, please understand. God still hates sin as much as He ever has. Sin nailed His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to the cross, so He will never change His attitude about sin. Still, that finished crosswork satisfied His wrath against man’s sin. When Jesus’ soul was literally offered for sin (Isaiah 53:10), He experienced on the cross what lost people experience forever in hellfire. God’s wrath came down upon Christ in the utmost severity. Thus, He cried out from His cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). The holy God of the Bible forsook Christ, that we, by faith, would have redemption in Him, so He not forsake us in hellfire.

Instead of His wrath and judgment, today’s Scripture says the God of the Bible is offering to all nations (and individuals) of the world to come fellowship with Him through His Son. He changed their status, from being worthy of punishment, to being recipients of His grace. People still die and go to hell today, but they do so having rejected the Gospel of the Grace of God that would have saved them from that penalty of sin. They had a chance to be permanently reconciled to God by His Son’s death, and they refused it. God is not “getting even” with anyone—Christians or lost people—living today. The only divine punishment in the Dispensation of Grace is after physical death. In our Dispensation of Grace, God’s attitude toward the world is highlighted in the opening line of every Pauline epistle“grace and peace.”

“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20).


Friday, October 14, 2016

“For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain” (1 Thessalonians 2:1 KJV).

Dear readers, what was written to the Thessalonians applies to you, too!

Saints, God’s Word touches hearts—sometimes it does gently, other times it is prickly! Checking ministry emails has its advantages and disadvantages. I never know if there will be good or bad news, praise or criticism, agreement or discord. As you can imagine, some very offended people use some very uncouth language to describe our Bible studies and/or even define me (whom they do not even know and have probably never met in person!). They cannot stand the fact that the King James Bible is right and they and their denomination are wrong. It seems like they would grab me around the neck if they could!

In stark contrast, other readers, rejoicing in our Lord, are so grateful for our ministry projects. They are thrilled beyond words to have access to sound Bible teaching. Having not heard it in their churches, they are spiritually starving. Praise our Lord Jesus Christ, though, that they are learning “so much” now! To show their appreciation, they send an email to thank and encourage me, or send a monetary donation so our ministry can continue to reach others. We are thrilled to serve them!

Paul, Silas, and Timothy, in today’s Scripture, confess that their first visit to Thessalonica was not useless (cf. Acts chapter 17). After all, they had just written in chapter 1 of 1 Thessalonians: “[9] For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; [10] And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” These precious people learned and believed the Word of God, and it went to work in their hearts and lives (1 Thessalonians 2:13). The same radical transformation is happening among you, dear readers! God’s grace is coming to life in your lives and we rejoice in Christ with you that we can minister to you the Word of God rightly divided!🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How did Enoch ‘walk with God?’

By the way, if we have helped you in God’s Word, please remember to donate if you can: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux. (Or email me at arcministries@gmail.com if you want to donate without using PayPal.) Thanks!

Sounding Right, Being Wrong

Thursday, September 29, 2016

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel (Matthew 2:4-6 KJV).

Did you ever notice how Israel’s religious leaders “corrected” the inspired Word of God?

Complaining about the King James Bible, people often profess to have “better translations.” In this day and age of widespread false teaching, and ears itching to hear more traditions of men, God has supposedly sent these “Bible correctors” to “make plain His original words.” (Fantasy and folly!) In my few years alive, reading words from and talking with Bible “scholars,” I have learned all are not honest. This is no surprise. After all, when King Herod summoned the Bible “scholars” of his day, they employed a “dynamic equivalence” (free-wording) method: “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.”

The casual Bible reader will gloss over Matthew 2:6, never bothering to look at the original quote, Micah 5:2: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” We are not interested in the fact the religious leaders did not quote it verbatim. What concerns us is they actually quoted the verse so it read the opposite: though thou be little among the thousands of Judah” (God’s words in Micah 5:2) became art not the least among the princes of Juda” (man’s opinions in Matthew 2:6). These religious leaders were not quoting God’s Word in faith; otherwise, they would have visited the Christ Child!

Dear friends, learn this lesson. Take heed concerning religious leaders and their “helpful” alternative Bible readings. Never forget that, in today’s Scripture, they sounded right but were totally wrong!

Sparrows and Saints

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31 KJV).

A noted atheist once openly ridiculed “soft-hearted” God for “weeping” when a sparrow fell. What is our answer to such a fool?

Today’s Scripture says, in New Testament times, two sparrows were worth one “farthing” (also called an assarius). A “penny” (also called a denarius) was a laborer’s daily wages (Matthew 20:2). The assarius was about 1/16th of a penny. Imagine your wages for working 1/16th of a day. That was the price of two sparrows. Halve that to get the price of one sparrow. One would only have to work 1/32nd of a day to buy one sparrow. You could work a full day and buy 32 sparrows. In other words, sparrows were inexpensive in terms of human assessment. But, in the Lord Jesus’ estimation, every little sparrow was valuable. The Father would notice when an “insignificant” sparrow would “fall on the ground” (assuming death). After all, that sparrow was the descendant of the original birds He had directly created via His spoken word. He never intended even one animal to die! Death was man’s doing, not God’s!

Yet, even “many sparrows” (despite God’s value of them) were nothing compared to His believers. “Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Take time today to read Matthew chapter 10 very closely. You can see the Lord Jesus Christ preparing His 12 apostles (and, more generally, believing Israel) to experience very difficult times. They will have to endure the extreme pressures of the coming Antichrist’s rule. Friends, that future persecution of Israel’s Little Flock is beyond our comprehension. For following Jesus Christ, all will lose family members and friends. They will also lose their homes, clothes, employment, and access to food. Some will lose their lives.

What the Lord Jesus skillfully did in today’s Scripture is encourage believing Israel, paraphrased, “Just as My Father notices an inexpensive sparrow dying, He will notice you suffering and dying for His Son’s name! He is watching everything and will punish your persecutors in due time!”

May Ignorance Not Be Your Preference!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) (Ephesians 3:4 KJV).

Want to know the Bible’s truths, especially Paul’s revelations? Read it!

Recently, I spoke with a Christian brother who explained how he had quite an “adventure” coming to understand the Bible rightly divided. It boggled his mind how, despite all the deception in the world, he had come to the knowledge of the truth. In fact, other grace believers often ask the same question he had, “Why did God choose to reveal this to me while so many others, especially professing Christians, know nothing about it and grope in spiritual darkness?” Dear friends, this is actually a flawed question because, whether we realize it or not, it endorses the false teachings of Calvinism (that is, “God chose me and He did not choose you! I am so special!”)

The consistent testimony of Scripture is people are ignorant of God’s Word, not because He chose them for ignorance, but because they refused Him and His Word. See Romans 1:20-32, for example. The Lord Jesus Himself said in John 7:17: “If any man will [wishes to] do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” He said in Matthew 23:37: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Finally, John 5:43: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”

“Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13). Bibles are everywhere on this planet—in print, online, and audio. Oftentimes, people who have access to several Bibles never read any of them, let alone study any! Too many people, if they do read the Bible, always let theologians and denominations “interpret” (read that as “confuse!”) it for them. According to Scripture, the vast majority remains ignorant of God’s truths because ignorance is their preference! “If any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:38)!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Could you explain John 1:51?

The Precious Blood of Christ #8

Saturday, September 24, 2016

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18,19 KJV).

God the Father and God the Holy Ghost think the blood of Jesus Christ is “precious.” And you?

When people tell us the blood of Christ is “slaughterhouse religion” or “too offensive to stress,” what they really mean is God’s purpose and plan for creation means nothing to them! “Without shedding of blood is no remission [forgiveness]” (Hebrews 9:22). Life is in the blood, Leviticus 17:10-14 tells us. Save for the shed blood of the sinless God-Man, we sinners have no life—we would remain dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). The person who rails against the blood of Christ does so in ignorance. He or she has not a clue that just as sin brought us death, so the blood of Christ brings us life (cf. Romans 5:1-21).

By faith in the shed blood of Christ, any person can come to Father God and be justified (declared righteous) because he or she will share Christ’s identity. In today’s Dispensation of Grace, the believer joins the Church the Body of Christ. In time past, it was the nation Israel. In the ages to come, it will be the nation Israel. Regardless of which agency—Israel (Earth) or Body of Christ (Heaven)—both require faith in Christ’s shed blood to join. Now, we see how God will reconcile Heaven and Earth unto Himself. He will toss out Satan and his minions and replace them with His saints!

Romans 3:24-26: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” ’Tis only possible because “the precious blood of Christ” was shed so rich and free… for you and for me!🙂