spiritual warfare

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!🙂

The Precious Blood of Christ #7

Friday, September 23, 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?

In Ephesians 2:19-22 (the Church the Body of Christ) and 1 Peter 2:5-10 (the nation Israel), Jesus Christ is the “chief corner stone.” A “corner stone” is absolutely critical, “valuable” and “precious,” to the structure or function of something else. Without the cornerstone, an arch falls, a wall tumbles, and a house collapses. Jesus Christ is “precious” (1 Peter 2:6,7). His blood is also “precious” (today’s Scripture): by it, God’s life is displayed in heaven and earth in the ages to come. Redeemed Israel is God’s “house” and the Body of Christ is God’s “house”—they have His life in them because Jesus’ “precious” blood has redeemed them all from sin!

Colossians 1:16 says: “For by him [Jesus Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” Satan and sinful man tainted those offices of government that were to originally glorify Jesus Christ. Verses 20-22 are God’s solution: “[20] And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. [21] And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled [22] In the body of his flesh through death….”

“Through the blood of [Christ’s] cross,” God will reconcile all the governments of heaven and earth unto Himself. Without that shed blood, God’s life cannot be imparted to sinful man. Although Satan and his angels have corrupted heaven, and sinful mankind has corrupted the earth, God’s original plan for creation will still come to pass. The “precious blood of Christ” is the means whereby God overthrows Satan forever (Colossians 2:13-15), both in heaven and in earth….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did God demand blood sacrifices?

Great Peace in a World in Pieces

Friday, September 16, 2016

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165 KJV).

They have “great peace” indeed!

Friends, it is no secret that our world is seriously troubled. Lost people, while lacking the answers like most professing “Christians,” at least know something is wrong. They are frantically searching for solutions wherever and however they can—politics, education, science, religion, finances, entertainment, and so on. Since fallible human opinions heavily dominate these realms, they provide no lasting and soothing explanations. In fact, their associated uncertainties only trouble the already-befuddled human mind. As Ecclesiastes 12:12 says, “…of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness to the flesh.” Friend, as King Solomon concluded, you investigate and think about the world like an unsaved person, and you will be burned out very quickly! All the troublesome realities you discover will throughly exhaust you!

Thankfully, God gave us His written Word. We do not have to be “children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14). Instead of being constantly buffeted about by every silly teaching and every lie out there, we can be established (founded) and stablished (stabilized) in the truths of God’s Word rightly divided. We can have “great peace” while those around us (lacking the Word of God) stumble about, tossed about and “offended.” They have not grounded and guarded themselves in the Holy Bible. It is their fault, not God’s fault! He gave them answers in His Word, but they would rather drift and sway! Pride, friends, pride keeps them from opening the Book! They have their own “answers” and will not dare seek any from their Creator!

While we can have “great peace” when we value and esteem God’s Holy Word, oftentimes, we are distracted from it and we ourselves are “offended” (troubled, stumbled) as those who do not have it. Until Jesus Christ returns, this world will remain in pieces. Still, we have His inspired Word, so let us rest in it, relaxing in great peace” until He makes all right!🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Are angels women?

Hated But Humble

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you (John 15:18,19 KJV).

We are hated but humble!

A new Christian emailed me in exasperation. Tired of how people had treated him, he wanted to go to heaven and leave this planet of such great evils! He explained he did not care how he lived anymore—even if those frivolous actions made other Christians or lost people stumble! Thankfully, the Bible truths I shared with him helped him recover himself out of the snare of the Devil.

That brother needed to be reminded Jesus Christ was treated most horribly. He was hated without a cause(John 15:25). People have various reasons for hating us. Some are justified. Perhaps we lied to or about them, or stole from them, or cursed them out! However, they had no reason to hate Jesus Christ. He did nothing wrong—to them or anyone else. All Christ did was preach God’s truth and love, and they demanded His crucifixion!! Despite how they treated Him, He still lived righteously for the sake of His Heavenly Father whom He represented. Brethren, let us do the same, remembering not to live unto ourselves, but unto the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Philippians chapter 2 exhorts us: “[3] Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. [4] Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. [5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why do we suffer?

An Inconvenient Truth

Saturday, September 10, 2016

“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 KJV).

Into what depths of madness will we descend if we ignore today’s Scripture?

An elderly lady once expressed to me a most unpleasant dilemma. For years she had known a Roman Catholic priest and his “healing missions trips” to foreign countries. Those poverty-stricken people overseas did not have viable healthcare, so they embraced his “healing campaigns.” She explained he had come to her house many times before to hold “healing”/prayer meetings. She not only let him come but she also participated. In recent years, however, he had not visited her home (perhaps she could no longer afford donations?!). Furthermore, she had had severe health (largely mobility) problems that prevented her from attending his meetings being held elsewhere. Her lack of healing proved today’s Scripture. Despite all the “healing claims,” these temporary bodies are still wearing down and dying!

The above predicament describes the insanity one will experience if he or she rejects the plain and simple truths of the Word of God. When you consider the absolutely absurd beliefs abounding in the world, they generally fall into two categories—science and religion. Both parties have scorned the light and understanding God’s Word would have provided them had they received it (Psalm 119:130). Man refusing to hear the Word of God will wind up in the same spiritual darkness as he would have remained in had God not given us His Word at all.

Religion and science alike are largely based on man’s intuition and opinions, not on the Holy Spirit’s teaching ministry. Thus, they will never be the means whereby God reveals Himself. First Corinthians 2:9-10 says: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” Friends, let us allow the Holy Spirit to teach us His inspired Word, the Holy Bible. If we refuse, pledging blind allegiance to religion and/or science, all boundaries of sanity will indeed be lifted!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Are we humans created in ‘the image of God?’