spiritual warfare

Malnourished Saints

Saturday, May 21, 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” (Hebrews 5:12 KJV).

Regrettably, today’s Scripture could be written to today’s average “Christian.”

It is rather sad to see someone in an adult body with a child’s mentality. Normally, this person should behave and make decisions like a mature person. However, due to various reasons, he or she cannot function like an adult. It is no exaggeration to claim that 90 to 95 percent of Christians (whether professing or legitimate) fit this category in the spiritual realm. They have such a shallow—or even no (!)—understanding of the Holy Bible.

In my short decade of ministry, speaking to and hearing from various people, I have grown more and more aware of the fact that many of the people who read the Bible have an extremely limited understanding of it. Even people who trusted Jesus Christ decades ago, who should have matured in God’s Word years back, know little Bible teaching.

Years ago, I sat with a Christian on his deathbed. He was so burdened about his lost friends. He told me that he did not know what to tell them about soul salvation. Another elderly Christian brother sought my help in understanding the Scriptures (and he had been studying the Bible two decades before me!). Or the Christian couple who went to an “evangelical” church for a decade and, in their words, “learned nothing.” What about the woman who learned more about the Bible in a few hours using dispensational Bible study, than what she learned 90 years in her denominational church?!

I have met all sorts of people who claim to read the Bible, and yet their beliefs match anything and everything but. The list goes on and on and on. I have seen it firsthand, and have spoken with others who have heard similar stories. Bible ignorance is the greatest within “Bible” circles. May we get into the meat of the Bible—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—and throw away our baby bottle!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why do people grow angry when we share right division with them?

A Prayer According to God’s Will

Thursday, May 5, 2016

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.

Two Gates, Two Ways, One Soul, and One Choice

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: [14] Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:13,14 KJV).

Which do you choose?

In a previous study, exactly two weeks ago today, it was mentioned we had a Christian sister trying to reach out to her unsaved friend dying of cancer. The sister was very burdened to share the Gospel of the Grace of God. However, the dying lady refused to hear that her “good” works would not get her into heaven. She cut off all contact with us.

Yesterday, less than three weeks after her diagnosis, we received news that she died. She had at least two weeks to think about God’s grace and trust Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour. What she did with Him in her final moments, only He knows. Wherever her soul is right now, heaven or hell, she certainly remembers the Gospel of Grace. If in heaven, she is so thankful she trusted it. If in hell, she will always remember that she did not have to go there had she just believed God’s Word to her.

A pastor once wisely observed, “People reject the Gospel because they do not realize they are lost.” This lady’s attitude was a case in point. She concentrated on how many “good” things she did for so many people. This is exactly why God hates religion, friends. Religion is nothing but an occasion to brag about what you have done. There is absolutely no boasting before God. Every person who gets to heaven will get there on the same basis—Jesus Christ’s shed blood. There will be no “I did more good works than you” attitude. All glory will go to the Lord Jesus Christ if someone makes it to heaven. All blame will go to the individual if the individual makes it to hell.

My brethren, let us make every effort to reach loved ones with God’s grace now. Death may come quicker for them than you think!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Could you describe Jesus’ resurrected body?

Entertainment Versus Edification

Monday, April 18, 2016

“I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil” (Psalm 119:162 KJV).

If a saint should rejoice at God’s Word, what does that say about someone who finds it “boring?”

When commenting on the services of a local grace church—especially the actual study of the Bible—a lady said, “Boring!” Why, of course, what do we expect from somebody who goes to church to be entertained with a concert of arm swaying and toe tapping? The professing church has plenty of entertainment and yet it is still so weak and disoriented. What does that demonstrate? Entertainment is not the answer; it is the problem. As a Christian author wrote decades ago, “I went in the world and found the church. I went in the church and found the world!” My, how much more now that actual Bible study has largely given way to “contemporary” “worship?”

Notice what the Holy Spirit instructed young church leader Timothy: “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:6-8).

Rather than indulging in the flesh with religion (whether formalism with its ceremonies, or fanaticism with its “concerts”), which is utterly useless, we are to be “nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine.” Sound Bible doctrine is spiritual nutrition; you have to actually read and study the Bible to grow. Friend, jumping, singing, dancing, rolling on the floor, et cetera, will profit nothing in eternity. In the closing chapter of 1 Timothy, Paul mentioned “wholesome [healthy; nutritional] words, even the words our Lord Jesus Christ, and… the doctrine which is according to godliness” (chapter 6, verse 3). Words! Words! WORDS! You have to get in God’s Word for yourself, friend, to find God’s words. If your local church does not encourage you to do it, find an assembly that does. Your spiritual health depends on it!

The Old Rugged Cross #2

Saturday, April 9, 2016

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV).

The second verse of George Bennard’s classic 1913 hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross,” highlights today’s Scripture.

“Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above,
To bear it to dark Calvary.”

Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork at Calvary means nothing to most. The religious crowd believes they can “be nice” and “do good” and score points to “make God happy with them” as much as He was happy with Christ on Calvary. Salvation by grace through faith without works, us relying on Someone else to get us to Heaven, Someone who lived 2,000 years ago, and us not making an effort to “do right,” my, they think it absurdity to the extreme. (If they think their “good deeds” will make up for all their sins, that is absurdity to the extreme!)

Intellectuals—willfully ignorant, of course—may (notice I said “may!”) acknowledge the historicity of Jesus but most would never dare discuss the merits of Calvary. It would make them appear “bigoted” and “intolerant” of the world’s religions that place no emphasis (or outright deny) Calvary’s efficaciousness. Rather than becoming the laughingstock of “scholarship,” they ask, “How can a dead Jew help me?” Indeed, we agree that a “dead Jew” can help no one. But, our “dead Jew” did not remain dead!

The message of Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary, the hell-bound lost world considers it “foolishness” (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14). But, the flipside, we who are saved, we recognize that Gospel of the Grace of God is “the power of God.” The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the price of redemption, our rescuing from sin and Satan. Jesus Christ left the glories of Heaven, His worship and praise in Heaven, to come to this wretched world of worthless sinners, to be mistreated by them, mocked by them, and finally, murdered by them. Christ left Heaven, came to Earth, that we may one day leave Earth, and go to Heaven. Yes, Calvary “has a wondrous attraction for me!”:)

They Believed Not the Truth

Thursday, April 7, 2016

“That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:12 KJV).

Refuse the Word of God—enjoy the wages of sin!

Someone in Christ recently attempted to share the Gospel of the Grace of God with a friend dying of cancer. Having been in a works-religion for so many years, her friend objected, “But, I have been ‘so good’ to so many people.” The dying lady, assuming that her “good” deeds would merit her heaven, refused to hear anything about those works being “filthy rags” before God (Isaiah 64:6). She wanted nothing to do with Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. Days later, she still refuses to answer the Christian’s phone calls. I encouraged that Christian lady that she did everything she could except pray. The only thing left to do is to “believe for her friend,” and that she cannot do. At this point, unfortunately for her, the works-religion woman has made that very clear the door is closed.

Friends, if we could believe Christ on their behalf, literally billions of loved ones would be spared the eternal wrath of God in hellfire. Yet, salvation unto eternal life is a personal choice. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5). This one verse would put 99 percent of so-called “Christianity” out of business. All their “goody-goody works,” “goody-goody ceremonies,” “goody-goody rites,” “goody-goody rituals,” and “goody-goody prayers,” would pass away. Nothing but dung (Philippians 3:8)!

Beloved, God is looking first and foremost for faith, trust in His Word. For us to go around striving and working to get into heaven, that is the very opposite of faith, for God’s Word says He is looking for faith and not for works! If you think your righteousness will get you into heaven, you have nullified Jesus Christ, for the Bible says Jesus Christ is enough to get you into heaven! But, dear friend, if you really are determined to stand before God with “all your goodness,” go right on ahead. We will warn you but no one will stop you. Free will! Free will! Free will!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is John 20:29 applicable to us today?

When Right Division Brings Clarity

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

“Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7 KJV).

People may dislike dispensational Bible study, but they are forced to admit it brings tremendous “understanding in all things!”

For a few years now, I have dealt with a Christian lady who has been “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). She came to a few of our home Bible studies. Once, she even accompanied our group to a grace Bible conference. Completely offended by the verses she heard there, she refused to attend another one and laughed when invited again.

This woman declined to let dispensational Bible study in, for letting it in would mean tossing her denominational biases out! An ardent reader of “modern ‘Christian’ literature,” and a frequent “church-hopper,” this sweet lady’s mind has been scrambled through and through. She loves her “miraculous demonstrations,” especially her so-called “gift of healing” (although she and her friends suffer from failing health). In accordance with 1 Corinthians 14:38, I left her “ignorant” because that is what she preferred. Maybe, just maybe, she would come to her senses.

Recently, while I was visiting at a mutual friend’s house, this Christian lady unexpectedly showed up with some Bible questions. So, for an hour, we sat over open Bibles and talked about those particular matters. This time, she was very receptive to the truth. She let me teach her the Bible dispensationally for the umpteenth time. Later, she commented that she really enjoyed it. Using right division greatly helped her grasp the topics that she could not understand and caused her to respect the verses and passages when they said different things. Yea, we leave them in their proper dispensations, being especially mindful of what the Holy Spirit said through the Apostle Paul, and the Lord will give us understanding in “all things” (today’s Scripture).

In closing, I told the lady to come some other time with more questions. I would love to talk however long she wants and about whatever she wants. She still has a long way to go, but we have resumed ministries with her and we hope and pray she is willing to learn God’s Word, God’s way! :)