spiritual warfare

“Very Religious” Versus “True Holiness”

Sunday, May 24, 2015

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind: And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24 KJV).

Is it merely religious, or truly holiness?

Recently talking among a group, I heard a person comment about a certain woman’s modest apparel. Another person replied, “Oh, yes, she is very religious!” (The implication, a common one, is a “religious” person dresses decently and acts respectfully.)

Ironically, it was “religious” people in the Bible who did some of the most disturbing things. Did not “religious” Cain murder Abel his brother (Genesis 4:1-15)? When Baal worship infected Israel, did not “sodomites” appear among the Jews (1 Kings 14:24; 1 Kings 15:12; 1 Kings 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7)? Did not the innumerable pagan priestess prostitutes who roamed Corinth’s streets at night “serve” Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love? (Hence, Paul urged lustful Christians in Corinth to marry in 1 Corinthians 7:2,9.)

Furthermore, Ephesians talks about “true holiness” (today’s Scripture). This implies that there is such a thing as false holiness. Anyone can appear to be set apart for God’s purposes, can be doing things that are noble and nice and noteworthy, but yet they are actually not serving the God of the Bible at all.

Remember Israel’s “very religious” behavior in Isaiah chapter 1. They would raise their hands, assemble for their festivals, offer animal sacrifices according to the Mosaic Law, visit the Temple, and so on. God said He was so sick of seeing such hypocrisy that He hid His face! They were not doing such things by faith. They did not believe His Word. They just loved to appear religious because it appealed to their flesh.

One day, when God calls His Christians home to heaven, we will see once and for all who is a Christian and who is not. Those who remain on earth will be manifested as “false holiness” (the “very religious” bunch). One can fool some of the people some of the time, but one cannot fool all of the people all of the time. And remember, no one can fool God any of the time! :)

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should Christians accept the practice of cremation?

Speak to the Hungry People!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

“…He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully…” (Jeremiah 23:28b KJV).

Do you have God’s Word? Then speak that Word faithfully, that you may feed the starving souls!

In ministry, I meet many cantankerous people. They are not interested in being Bible believers. They only want to argue and change the Bible text when they disagree with it. What is sad is if they have actually trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour! Then again, I find some people (saved and lost alike) who make ministry so worthwhile. They want to believe God’s Word, and cannot hear enough of it. They want to hear more, more, and more! (It is our pleasure to stick around talking with them as long as possible.)

One Christian sister explained to me that she was teaching dispensational Bible study to another Christian. He was so intrigued by the verses she was sharing. The poor man was “starving” spiritually. Church services were just not feeding his soul. He had religion, but not edification. He wanted to hear more from God’s Word!

A Christian brother who has since gone to meet the Lord, was known for his sincere searching for the truth. That man was so open to being taught the Holy Bible rightly divided. He refused to hear any more denominational teaching—he had heard enough of that for many years before. He wanted the pure Word of God. For hours at a time, he eagerly received Bible lessons! His earthly life was cut short due to illness, but we were so glad to serve him for the brief time we did.

One of my closest friends in the ministry attended weekly services with her husband for some 10 years in a denominational church. Once these Christians came to understand God’s grace and the King James Bible rightly divided, she summarized their decade of denominationalism: “In those 10 years there, we learned nothing!”

Saints, Father God has not yet closed our Dispensation of Grace. We have His preserved Word (the King James Bible), so let us faithfully speak it to as many people as we can before time runs out! :)

Truth Be Told

Monday, May 18, 2015

“But we have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2 KJV).

If we have not done so already, may we abandon “handling the word of God deceitfully!”

A “faith healer” preacher, after sharing “healing testimonies” and offering to send prayer cloths and anointing oil by mail, read 2 Corinthians 4:16 on television: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” He actually admitted that our physical bodies are aging and decaying. Jokingly, he referenced his balding head and he and his wife’s wrinkling skin! (“Physician, heal thyself with thy ‘miracle-healing tools!’”) No wonder people laugh at us Christians. Just look at the foolishness “Christian” television networks air!

Recently, someone told me she had “paid for some Masses” for a certain deceased loved one to be freed from purgatory’s flames. Those prayers said on her behalf were not cheap, but they were certainly not enough to merit God’s heaven. (If Jesus’ blood did not bring someone to heaven, can silver and gold?)

Dear friends, the above is not Christianity but charlatanry. Remember, if someone is not making sense, ‘someone’ is making money! There are many sincere but vulnerable people, particularly in religion. These precious souls need to learn the difference between Christianity and charlatanry. Just because someone is reading a Bible, talking about “Jesus” and “God,” or claiming to be led by the “Holy Ghost,” that does not automatically make that individual a spokesperson for God (a common myth). Ministers are oftentimes the sneakiest people. Jesus condemned the religious leaders of His day for them draining people of their income and trust. There are billions around the world today equally deceived and abused.

Beloved, let us take our King James Bible, and let us be grounded in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, that we not be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). As we learn to tell the truth, those who want to know it, will learn as well. :)

Out of Season

Sunday, May 17, 2015

“And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness” (Isaiah 29:18 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture have to do with the current spiritual affairs of “Christian” United States of America?

According to a recent poll, in 2014, about 71 percent of Americans claimed to be “Christian.” In 2007, it was 78 percent. Some 23 percent of Americans polled in 2014 claimed to be “atheist, agnostic, or of no specific faith.” Back in 2007, that percentage was 16. In other words, it seems that Christianity is losing its majority. Why do I say “seems?”

One of the greatest misconceptions is the widely held belief that every person who claims to be “Christian” is a Christian. If we were to re-poll the above persons, and ask them to define what a Christian is or believes, many would be unable to tell us. The actual percentage of Christians is far lower. There may be 224 million church members in our beloved nation, but certainly not 224 million members of the Body of Christ! From Genesis through Revelation, the God of the Bible has never had a majority. I doubt there are 224 million true Christians in the whole world!

What is happening in our nation is we are reverting to pre-Christian times. When Christianity spread through pagan lands in New Testament times, there was increasing light and truth. Now, the opposite is occurring. That light and truth are becoming scarcer—not just here, but in all places history once knew as “centers of Bible believers.” This world is heading for the seven-year Tribulation, and rightly so. Two thousand more years of unbelief have been credited to mankind.

The spiritual ignorance that so gripped Israel millennia ago is suffocating the whole world spiritually. Thankfully, today’s Scripture says that God’s Word will still be preserved beyond our present-day, to convert Israel in the future. If that Word will exist then, it must exist today. Despite all the false religions, false teachers, and false Bibles, our King James Bible is a beacon ever so bright and true. ‘Tis the preserved Word of God that shall see us through! :)

Up From the Grave He Arose #4

Friday, May 15, 2015

“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15 KJV).

The chorus of Robert Lowry’s classic 1874 hymn “Up From the Grave He Arose” highlights today’s Scripture.

“Up from the grave He arose;
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!”

On the cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ appeared weak and defeated. “He [had been] crucified through weakness” (2 Corinthians 13:4). On that Resurrection Sunday morning 20 centuries ago, there were many shocked individuals. The most surprised was the old Devil himself. All his efforts to keep the Lord Jesus Christ dead and gone had failed!

Now that the mystery has been revealed through Paul, we read in the context of today’s Scripture: “[13] And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he [God the Father] quickened together with him [Jesus Christ], having forgiven you all trespasses; [14] Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; [15] And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

On Christ’s cross, we were crucified. The means whereby Satan killed Jesus Christ, God used it to make us dead to sin! That awful sin debt that we had accrued with the Mosaic Law was nailed to Christ’s cross. That whole Law system was thus done away, and the Dispensation of Grace came in! At Calvary’s cross, Jesus Christ put the entire Satanic policy of evil and all of its associates, to complete and utter shame.

Now, Jesus Christ is “alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). We too are alive for evermore with Him, dead to sin and alive unto God’s glory (cf. Romans 6:1-23). So, we wait for Him to come and take us away to the heavenly places, where we will reign forever with Him. Praise the Lord! Up from the grave (we arose because) Jesus Christ arose! :)

A Prayer According to God’s Will

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; (1 Timothy 2:1-3 KJV).

On this United States’ National Day of Prayer, we pray you pray according to the Lord Jesus Christ’s will for today!

Today, religious people—the general public, clergy, and government officials—will assemble nationwide, like they do every year, and pray for spiritual and moral revival of the “Christian” (?) United States of America. We commend their noble efforts, but God’s Word says there will be no godly revival of any of the world’s Gentile nations until Jesus Christ returns to earth at His Second Coming (Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 59:20–60:3; Zechariah 8:20-23; Revelation 11:15; et cetera).

The LORD’s words to King Solomon are often quoted on this day: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Friends, this is certainly God’s Word, but has nothing to do with Gentiles in the United States in the Dispensation of Grace. This verse has a context often overlooked—the nation Israel under the Mosaic Law, praying in relation to God’s Temple in Jerusalem (verses 15,16). Actually, that Temple was destroyed over 19 centuries ago! Unlike Israel, the United States was never a divinely-founded nation. The American people as a whole are not God’s people like Israel was.

Rather than praying 2 Chronicles 7:14, remember today’s Scripture (God’s Word to us Gentiles). The verse following today’s Scripture says, “[God] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Pray for those in authority, that they would trust Jesus Christ alone as their personal Saviour, and then grow in His Word to them so they can make wise decisions on behalf of the people they govern.

Leave Me Alone, I Am Comfortable!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

“Who hath believed our report?” (Isaiah 53:1a KJV).

No one wants to listen to you share the Bible? Now you know how Isaiah felt!

Browsing recently in a store’s “Christian” book section, I began a casual conversation with an elderly lady also looking. She claimed to have trusted Christ and I rejoiced. Then, we started talking about Bible versions and dispensational Bible study. I cautioned her how we should be so vigilant in this day of “itching ears.” She listened with interest, until… she began asking me about various popular modern-day Bible teachers and preachers (whose books stood on shelves before us). Once I gave her my assessment of those people’s theologies, she became increasingly resistant. She finally told me she was “not interested” in listening anymore. How dare I expose error and false teachers! She was so loyal to them and refused to hear anything contradictory. I wrapped up our conversation and she hurried off!

In Jeremiah’s day, we read the LORD’S words: “[30] A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; [31] The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (5:30,31). Paul told the Corinthians who enjoyed their false teachers: “For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise” (2 Corinthians 11:19). And then that great prediction of apostasy in the Body of Christ: “[3] 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; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3,4).

Few Jews listened to the Prophet Isaiah’s preaching (today’s Scripture). Paul quoted Isaiah in Romans 10:16 to refer to his own unbelieving rebellious audience. We could quote it to apply to our ministries today. Many prefer to hear the lies of religion, and we give them their wish—they want it so and so we leave them be. Saints, be not discouraged. Some still want to hear the message of God’s grace, and His Word rightly divided. Let us continue for their sakes! :)

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did the 12 preach the Gospel of the Kingdom after Christ ascended?