spiritual warfare

Words Smoother Than Butter

Sunday, August 30, 2015

“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us (Isaiah 30:9-11 KJV).

Slip not on the “words smoother than butter!”

We Anglophones use the idiom, “He is a smooth talker.” This eloquent speaker manipulates words—using flattery, overly-complementary words—to make us think or do whatever he wants. With the mind and heart (emotions) captured, the physical body naturally follows.

Today’s Scripture is JEHOVAH’S controversy with Israel. They are disobedient and deceitful. When JEHOVAH sends seers and prophets to guide Israel back to Him, she refuses. “Do not tell us what the Bible says! Get out of our way! Let us do what we want! Tell us something nice and cheerful! Shut up about sin, righteousness, and God’s impending judgment!” (Sound familiar?) “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” (2 Timothy 4:3).

Interestingly, God will one day give Israel exactly what she wants. A man, a “super-man,” will make a false seven-year peace treaty with Israel. This Antichrist will promise Israel great peace and prosperity. David wrote about him in Psalm 55:21: “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.” “He shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries” (Daniel 11:21). The Antichrist will dazzle Israel—yea, the world—with likeable traits, great speeches, and supernatural abilities (Revelation 13:1-4). Once he gains Israel’s trust, he will destroy them militarily, mercilessly slaughtering as many of his enemies as possible (Daniel 8:22-25; Zechariah 11:15-17; Revelation 12:1-17; Revelation 13:15-18). As a dear pastor-brother-friend warned, “Beware of those who over-complement! They are the first to stab you in the back!”

Beloved, watch out for and avoid the “words smoother than butter!” Christendom, like Israel of old, is still slipping doctrinally because of them!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is faith enough to enter heaven? Do not the devils ‘believe?’

Paul and Dispensationalism #19

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

“[God] Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles” (2 Timothy 1:9-11 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Long before there was a Heaven and an Earth, there was the triune Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. And there was Their purpose and plan for Heaven and Earth. They determined that some of the people who would be saved unto eternal life, they would form a special body of believers, the Church the Body of Christ. But, the Triune Godhead never said so much as one word about that plan for over 4,000 years. Imagine keeping a secret that long!

Then, the time came for God’s marvelous secret to be revealed. That “mystery”—that “hidden wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:6-8)—was finally manifested for all to see. Not only would people see it but also the angels and Satan! Today’s Scripture says that Paul was thus appointed “a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.” The risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Paul and chose him for a special purpose (Acts 26:16-18). Paul would declare to all the world how Jesus Christ, at Calvary’s cross, had utterly destroyed Satan’s plans (Colossians 2:15). Through Paul, Jesus Christ, via His heavenly ministry, would tell all the world that there was eternal life and immortality available to them through His finished crosswork. Beloved, this is the wonderful Gospel of the Grace of God!

To revert back to Christ’s earthly ministry, or the other Old Testament Scriptures, is to ignore Jesus Christ’s heavenly ministry and the wonderful Gospel of Grace. Our message today is found in the writings of Paul, Romans through Philemon. To abandon God’s Word through Paul has dangerous, everlasting effects, so let us exalt his Gentile ministry as the Holy Spirit did (Romans 11:13)! :)

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did God give angels free will as He gave to mankind?

Paul and Dispensationalism #18

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Christendom abounds with deceived, confused, heartbroken, and bitter people. Why? Drawn away from God’s grace, they live in a fantasyland. Why? Claiming Israel’s verses as their own just failed them miserably, but they are in denial.

Touting their “gifts” of “healing,” imitating “Jesus’ miracles,” they lay hands on the sick… only to have those ill further deteriorate health-wise and then (?) “die in peace.” Delusion! Parading their “healing” powers, they themselves purchase health insurance, use prescription medications, and visit emergency rooms when “the Lord does not come through.” Delusion! They handle venomous snakes “as Jesus commanded” and pay the ultimate price—physical death (maybe spiritual death, too!). Delusion!

They hear prosperity preachers claim Israel’s “wealth” verses, and delightful “testimonies” of those who received “enormous sums of money from God.” Then, they spend their savings purchasing candles, prayer cloths, books, good-luck charms, saintly medallions… such arrangement ensures only the prosperity preachers prosper! Delusion!

Paul teaches us that God’s grace is sufficient in all circumstances (today’s Scripture; cf. Philippians 4:11-13)—daily hassles, sickness, suffering, poverty, et cetera. When someone offers you a “miracle healing,” a “material blessing from God,” a “divine transfer of money,” they are drawing you away from God’s grace, which grace God the Holy Spirit says is enough! Dear brother or sister, He gave it all to you already in Christ (Romans 8:32; Ephesians 1:3; Philippians 4:19; Colossians 2:10)! You have all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). God has nothing left to give! :)

Paul and Dispensationalism #15

Saturday, August 22, 2015

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

God dealt with Israel as His people from Genesis chapter 12 onward. Romans 1:18-32 explains how God had given the nations (Gentiles) over to Satan and graphic sins at the Tower of Babel (Genesis chapter 11). This shameful behavior typified the Gentiles up through the entire Old Testament Scriptures (and even today!). While Israel’s activities during that time were equally sinful (Romans 2:17-29), Israel at least had direct access to the Creator God (Romans 9:4,5). At least Israel possessed the words—the Law—of the eternal JEHOVAH God (Romans 3:1,2). Contrariwise; the Gentiles groped around in spiritual darkness (Ephesians 4:17-19; cf. Acts 17:22-29); without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:11,12); relishing Satan’s lifestyle (Romans 1:32); ignorantly worshipping stupid dead idols of wood, metal, and stone (Acts 17:29,30); “walking in their own ways” (Acts 14:16). Awful, just plain awful!

And then, God had pity on us! With Israel refusing to cooperate with Him, He activated a plan He had kept secret in Himself. He would turn to us Gentiles through Paul’s ministry. Paul preached to the Athenian idolaters: “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). “Quit embracing foolishness, Gentiles! Change your mind! Trust that ‘Jesus Christ died for your sins, He was buried, and He rose again’ (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). This Gospel of Grace is the means whereby you can escape Satan, hellfire, idolatry, and your other vain behaviors!”

As today’s Scripture indicates, they (we) could literally become trophies of God’s grace. In contradistinction to their old, worthless lives of sin and death, their lifestyles could abound with truly good works—God’s life manifested in and through them (us) for all (especially Satan) to see!!! :)

Paul and Dispensationalism #12

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

“Brethren, be ye followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample” (Philippians 3:17 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Many earnest Christians say, “I do not follow man. I go by what Jesus said.” Bless their dear hearts—they follow the traditions of men by following Jesus’ words to Jews. Jesus Himself said He was not God’s spokesman to us Gentiles: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Are you a lost sheep of the house of Israel? Then, Jesus’ earthly ministry does not apply to you (2 Corinthians 5:16)!

Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13) whereas Jesus Christ is Israel’s Apostle (Hebrews 3:1). It thoroughly astonishes Bible readers to learn that the Apostle Paul is the person we should follow, not Jesus in His earthly ministry. Jesus never said we Gentiles need to follow Him. However, we do find Jesus Christ speaking through Paul and instructing us to follow Paul as he follows Jesus Christ. “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:9).

Friend, if you do not know where to go in the Bible to retrieve God’s Word to and about you, you have no hope in ever understanding the Bible. You will not know the baptism valid for you; you will not know how to handle sickness; you will not have a clear Gospel message to believe; you will not know how to pray; you will not know how God’s Spirit works in you today as a believer; you will not know how to function as a spouse, child, student, parent, boss, employee, pastor, teacher, neighbor, citizen; and so on.

You cannot find victorious Christian living in the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, the early part of Acts, or Hebrews through Revelation. If you want victorious Christian living, you must go to the Holy Spirit’s instructions found in Paul’s 13 epistles, Romans through Philemon. This is the key to Christianity’s doctrinal dilemma!

Paul and Dispensationalism #11

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:3-5 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

The goal of dispensational Bible study, particularly Pauline dispensationalism, is not simply to fill one’s head with Bible knowledge. There is no spirituality in drawing the Bible timeline. No spirituality is in merely talking about God’s grace and Paul’s special ministry. Spirituality is when you know where to go in the Bible to find your information and then using that information to benefit others (“charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned”). Grace doctrine is not meant to be kept secret, spoken only when you want to argue. Grace living is to be… lived!

Our goal in sharing dispensational truths should never be to pick fights, debate, et cetera. Religion has deceived many, many precious people. We should seek their highest good (“charity”). They need to learn God’s truth, and we who know God’s truth should share that truth in love and gentleness. We have the doctrine that can save them from their sins, renew their minds, mature them spiritually, et cetera. How marvelous! How exciting!

Unlike modern-day Ecumenists who minimize doctrine, bulldoze denominational barriers, and simply “fellowship with all ‘Christians’ around the love of ‘Jesus,’” today’s Scripture says Paul approved sound doctrine and exposed false doctrine. Paul commanded young Timothy to rebuke false teachers in Ephesus. They were not to teach any other doctrine than what the Lord Jesus Christ had taught them through the Apostle Paul. Actually, the Bible says their error was legalism (1 Timothy 1:6-11), forcing the Mosaic Law into Christian living. Paul had predicted this apostasy years earlier in Acts 20:28-35. Paul had encouraged them, verse 32, to embrace “the word of [God’s] grace.” This was the Bible rightly divided—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, the grace doctrines!

Paul and Dispensationalism #8

Saturday, August 15, 2015

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” (Romans 16:25,26 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Indeed, 95 to 99 percent of professing “Christianity” is doctrinally weak. Most alleged “Christians” and most true Christians have an extremely feeble grasp of Scripture. This ignorance applies not only to church members but also to preachers and priests and theologians… the “blind” leading the “blind” (Matthew 15:14)! How did such a spiritual mess arise? Honestly, the “church” has focused on founding religious organizations and defending denominational tenets. There was no sound and proper Bible study. The Bible was merely scanned and appealing verses were chosen—that weak foundation produced the current frail, teetering structure.

More commentaries (further confusing them) have been read than verses in the Holy Bible! More time has been spent recounting worthless stories, telling jokes, singing and jumping, and re-teaching and re-teaching basic verses, than time spent preaching a clear Gospel message and teaching a profitable Bible lesson! More energy has been spent organizing weddings, baby showers, dances, food and clothing drives, and bingo nights than energy expended in planning Bible conferences and Bible camps! The average church almost entirely neglects the Bible, especially Paul’s epistles. No wonder the average local church is not “dying” but dead!

The professing “church” has utterly failed to grasp today’s Scripture. They usually cannot adequately delineate Paul’s Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4—Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day). They do not understand Paul’s special ministry, “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery.” They do not know how those Pauline books fit with the overall Bible scheme. Basically, they have not been “stablished” (stabilized) and spiritually matured. Therefore, they are “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). Such ignorance is the result of ignoring Pauline dispensationalism!