spiritual warfare

More About Jesus #4

Sunday, August 28, 2016

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18 KJV).

The fourth verse of Eliza E. Hewitt’s classic 1887 hymn, “More About Jesus,” highlight’s today’s Scripture.

“More about Jesus; on His throne,
Riches in glory all His own;
More of His kingdom’s sure increase;
More of His coming, Prince of Peace.”

Jesus Christ is understood most fully by approaching the Scriptures dispensationally. God gave the Apostle Paul the final installment of His revelation to mankind (cf. Colossians 1:23-29). We get the complete picture by acknowledging “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25). Not only is Jesus Israel’s Messiah (prophecy), He is the Head of the Body of Christ (mystery).

As our physical body takes orders from our brain, so we members of the Church the Body of Christ serve our Head (Jesus Christ). We learn more about Him, thereby learning more about what He is doing and more about what He wants us to do. Father God’s purpose in creation is not simply to glorify His Son Jesus Christ in Earth (with Israel). His purpose is also to glorify Christ in Heaven (with us!). Ephesians chapter 1: “[9] Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: [10] That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.”

One day, saints, when this earthly life is over, and we the Church the Body of Christ are caught up into heaven, we will function in the heavenly places in the ages to come. We will glorify Father God by Christ Jesus there: “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21). With the Body of Christ beginning to functioning in Jesus Christ’s heavenly kingdom, He will return to Earth as Israel’s Prince of Peace to have Israel function in His earthly kingdom. His kingdom will increase, so our knowledge of it should surge as well!

More About Jesus #3

Saturday, August 27, 2016

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18 KJV).

The third verse of Eliza E. Hewitt’s classic 1887 hymn, “More About Jesus,” highlight’s today’s Scripture.

“More about Jesus; in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord;
Hearing His voice in every line,
Making each faithful saying mine.”

The Holy Bible is God’s inspired Word to man. No (!) believer should ever (!) have one (!) critical remark about the King James Bible (unless some lost person polluted his or her mind with anti-Bible rhetoric at “church” or “seminary!”). Why?

In every book of that Book of books, we see glimpses of the Lord Jesus Christ—ark of safety (Genesis), faithful Creator (Job), perfect servant (Mark), kinsman-redeemer (Ruth), Son of God (John), Passover lamb (Exodus), et cetera. Without that written record, we have no trustworthy link to Him. We dare not be blasé when people alter the Bible text using “better” or “more scholarly readings.” With every tinker of the written Word of God, the portrait of the living Word of God is being further defaced!

The first and foremost way we commune with Father God is to read His Word—His communication to and fellowship with us. The second way we commune with Father God is to pray—our communication to and fellowship with Him. Notice! Any Christian life lacking sound Bible doctrine and/or sound Pauline prayer is already ruined or soon-to-be ruined!

All of the Bible is for us, no doubt. All Scripture is “for our learning” (Romans 15:4). We can learn from Israel’s mistakes. We can see how Father God was faithful to them, so He is faithful to us (Romans 15:13). We can trust Him. However, not all Scripture is to or about us. In Paul’s epistles alone, we find our doctrine, duty, walk, destiny, and hope as members of the Church the Body of Christ. Friend, if you are not thinking and praying according to the books of Romans through Philemon, you will especially not learn “more about Jesus!” You will be struggling to make everything in the Bible the same. Spare yourself the heartache and confusion!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why does 1 Corinthians 9:6 mention Barnabas, when he did not travel to Corinth with Paul?

Leave Off Contention!

Monday, August 22, 2016

“The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with” (Proverbs 17:14 KJV).

Before contention starts, stop it!

Recently, two Christian sisters expressed heartache and utter disgust about a church split. Their families are broken. These two ladies had diligently labored at that local church, only to have “Christian brethren” stab them in the back. One lady’s children were treated horribly there. Hence, one son still rejects Jesus Christ. Another son, although saved, is angry and bitter. These two ladies are still so deeply hurt; they have repressed the pain for years. Making matters worse, their families mistreat them even todayover 20 years after the church split!

One lady poured out her heart to me, asking how to deal with these people whom she still sees in public today. Should she greet/acknowledge these so-called “Christians?” Or, should she just go on her way without approaching them? Well, it depends on who this person is and what he or she did. Furthermore, we are never to force ourselves on anybody. If they want to run away from us, let them. If they approach us for a hug or handshake, we should oblige. The least we should do is smile. We want to be a light for Jesus Christ’s sake.

However, some people—even professing Christians—have no interest in reconciliation. Pride prevents admission of wrongdoing! So, they will use any and every opportunity to curse, yell, or snub their nose at us. We should not set ourselves up for such silliness. Some people are simply looking for attention and will throw various sorts of tantrums to get it. You know who they are. Friend, you need to stay away from them. They are simply tools of Satan and you should not let Satan get the advantage.

The verse I shared with this inquisitive sister was today’s Scripture. If you know trouble is coming, the best thing to do is not approach the person at all! It has nothing to do with holding grudges. It has everything to do with keeping your testimony. You approach that person, and it just may be an occasion to the flesh—for you and/or the individual. “Leave off contention, before it be meddled with!”

Bird’s-Eye View of the Chaos

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another” (Titus 3:3 KJV).

One Christian recently told me the more he learns from God’s Word rightly divided, the more he realizes the extent of the “chaos” in Christianity and in the world. What an appropriate word—“chaos!”

“Chaos” is “a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.” Utter confusion, total perplexity! That dear grace Christian mentioned above has only understood rightly-divided Scripture for five years. Previously, he hopped from one religious group to another. Many years he was lost—religious but still headed for hell. Now, he reflects and is amazed that he ever escaped such deception! God’s grace has lifted him out of the mire of spiritual ignorance. He soars above to see all those swimming below in religious filth and Bible illiteracy! He knows all about struggling, striving, and getting nowhere! How he wants to tell them about Father God’s saving grace in the Lord Jesus Christ! How he wants to tell them how to make sense of the Holy Scriptures!

Friend, whenever you get angry with lost people for acting like lost people, just remember you were just as lost before you trusted Jesus Christ! “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another!” Rather than serving their Creator, sinners serve their own various lusts and pleasures. They want to harm others and take what others have. They are insufferable, and they hate others. Horrible! That is certainly not how God designed human life to function. Yet, because of sin, foolishness abounds, disobedience is widespread, and deception flourishes.

Praise God! Verses 4-7 continue: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What about the ‘talking snake’ in Genesis 3?

In the Midst, Holding Forth

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain (Philippians 2:14-16 KJV).

Christians functioning with God’s might—a glorious sight and blinding light!

I recently talked with a fellow Christian American complaining about the horrible direction in which our country is heading. Severe political, social, financial, and educational problems continue to plague our beloved nation. The somewhat Bible-based culture of my parents’ generation has disappeared. In the name of “progress,” the Bible has been removed. The sound doctrine that once produced the life of God in the lives of Americans is being increasingly rejected—all in the name of “tolerance” (all beliefs accepted but the Bible believer’s!). And people ask why society is falling apart?

Fellow saints, while we should do the best we can with what we have, we need to remember this is not our home. God is not currently converting whole nations, reforming governments, abolishing corruption, and bringing material prosperity and peace to the world. That day will come when Jesus Christ returns. Until then, He is doing something different today. No matter how bad society looks, the Lord Jesus is working so mightily in the lives of people who have taken their stand by faith in the grace doctrines committed to us through the ministry and message of the Apostle Paul—Romans through Philemon.

We should be faithful in “holding forth the word of life,” extending it to all who want to hear. No, they do not all want to accept God’s Son, Jesus Christ, but some do. He wants to save them from this evil culture and its perverted mindset, this “crooked and perverse nation.” They see Him in us, and they see lights burning brightly in the midst of spiritual darkness. He will give them life too if they trust Him. He will work mightily in them as well, that they too be “in the midst … holding forth the word of life!”🙂

For Students This is Safe

Thursday, August 11, 2016

“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:128 KJV).

As a new school year dawns, let us awake unto spiritual truth!

Although the autumnal equinox is still over a month away here in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is finally beginning to wind down for most of us. Students—with long faces and deep sighs—have returned or are beginning to return to school. As students return to the classroom, they need to be particularly mindful of the following.

Firstly, learning in and of itself is not a sin. Moses was “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). Luke was a medical doctor (Colossians 4:14). Daniel and his companions were skilled in science (Daniel 1:4). Adam was the first taxonomist (Genesis 2:19,20). The God of the Bible is never against learning new things—remember, He gave us His Holy Bible so we can have plenty to learn for all of eternity!

Secondly, what the God of the Bible opposes is when we believe/trust ideas that do not seek our best interests, that contradict the way He designed our lives to function. Certainly, we Christians should never go around believing anything and everything heard and seen. Just because the professor, preacher, pope, or president says it is true, that does not make it so. Scientific consensus has been wrong before, religion has been wrong before, politicians have been wrong before. Much of the ideas that permeate our world today are wrong.

Lastly, there are many wonderful, exciting ideas and concepts out there—medical advancements, technological breakthroughs, and so on—but there are equally detrimental ideas that will mess up your life—religious traditions, secular humanism, and other philosophies. Daily intake of the King James Bible rightly divided will cleanse our souls of the filth and foolishness that we hear and see day in and day out in this evil world system. We highly exalt God’s Word, we know it is right “concerning all things,” and we hate and ignore the error.

Have a wonderful school year in our Lord Jesus Christ!🙂

Not a Bother to Satan! #3

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:12-14 KJV).

A wise Christian brother observed long ago: “There are some believers whom Satan seldom bothers because they do not cause him too much worry, they do not threaten his program; but strong Christians are always his targets and he puts countless snares and pitfalls in their way.” How appropriate, even today!

Satan does not like God’s truth reaching the masses. So, his evil world system will entice God’s messenger to change the message. If the Christian refuses to apostatize, but rather faithfully continues sharing God’s pure Word with others, then Satan will move from attacking the message to attacking the messenger. The Christian will be persecuted, discouraged, or even killed!

Today’s Scripture describes how Satan had neutralized Israel. Confused and weakened, she was no bother to him anymore. Spiritual ignorance would continue among the Gentiles! But, individual Jews had accepted Jesus as Messiah-King and had separated themselves from their apostate nation. Satan turned his attention to these believers. The Devil and his allies persecuted those believing Jews into the early Acts period. Refusing to change God’s message, those Jewish kingdom believers were thus attacked literally and physically. Israel’s corrupt religious leaders arrested, imprisoned, and even killed Jesus’ followers! That believing remnant in Israel had certainly caused Satan much grief, and God permitted him to take their lives. Nevertheless, they were true to God’s Word to the end.

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). As the wise Christian brother wrote decades ago, friend, you attempt to let Christ Jesus live His life in you, and you will learn that Satan will not like it! Still, may you be a bother to Satan!🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Do Isaiah 2:4 and Joel 3:10 contradict each other?