spiritual warfare

The Greatest Veteran

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

“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; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:14,15 KJV).

Today is Veterans’ Day in the United States, so let us especially thank the “Greatest Veteran of All Time.”

We thank veterans, living and departed, the often-forgotten men and women who risked their lives to secure our freedom. Just as we remember flesh-and-blood veterans who fought for our physical liberty, we reserve our worship and utmost respect for the least esteemed Veteran, He who secured our spiritual liberty.

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Through Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary, we have eternal victory over sin, death, hell, and Satan. Everything that God has planned for us is dependent upon Christ’s victory at Calvary.

Jesus Christ nailed the Mosaic Law to His cross (today’s Scripture). His sinless blood covered our failure to obey God’s laws; Jesus’ righteousness annulled our unrighteousness (sin). Christ not only liberated us from sin and its penalty (the everlasting lake of fire), but today’s Scripture affirms He also triumphed over Satan himself!

Christ has “spoiled [destroyed] principalities and powers [Satan’s power], he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it [His cross].” Jesus Christ destroyed Satan’s plans. Through Christ’s cross, God has “delivered us from the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13), Satan’s evil system of Ephesians 2:1-3.

During a recent cemetery visit, I noticed American flags flying above deceased veterans’ headstones. These individuals can no longer hear or regard our thanks, but Jesus Christ’s body is not decaying in some tomb. If there ever was a Veteran most worthy of our gratitude, it is our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He died in battle, allowing Himself to be executed on a Roman cross of shame and scorn, He resurrected. He is alive and well today, alive forevermore!

Saints, eternity will ring with our thanks to the Veteran worth thanking, the Lord Jesus Christ.

*Adapted from our 2010 Bible study, “The Greatest Hero.” The Bible study video can be viewed here.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How should we cope with the death of a pet?

The Wise King Turned Foolish

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

“Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded” (1 Kings 11:7-10 KJV).

Why did Solomon write about the “virtuous” woman but still let foreign women destroy him?

This intriguing question was recently submitted to me. It takes quite a bit of study but there is an answer in Scripture.

The Bible says that God imparted to King Solomon such wisdom that no other king—in Israel or outside of Israel—has ever come close or will ever come close to it (1 Kings 4:29-34). Every nation under heaven had heard of her king’s wisdom. Gentiles would come from afar to hear Solomon in person and donate gifts to him (2 Chronicles 9:22-24). Every Jew feared Solomon, knowing good and well he had God’s wisdom in him (1 Kings 3:28). Scripture says that Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. The Holy Spirit used Solomon to write our Bible books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.

As the years passed, young Solomon aged, slowly being corrupted. Halfway through his 40-year reign, his spiritual life took a drastic turn for the worse. We read about it in today’s Scripture. How could Israel’s wisest king suddenly wind up so far removed from the truth? The Bible says it was his “strange” wives. Overall, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (servant-wives) (1 Kings 11:3)!! All those women had a relationship with pagan idols. By extension, Solomon, in order to please all those women, had a relationship with all their false gods and goddesses. The Christian would do well to learn from Solomon’s mistake. Do not get romantically involved with any lost person. Period!

For more information, see our latest Bible Q&A: “How could ‘wise’ King Solomon let foreign women deceive him?

Follow Father’s Folly Versus Follow Father’s Faith

Saturday, November 7, 2015

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:6,7 KJV).

May we save our future generations from apostasy!

Recently, I watched an online video, the only interview of a notorious American serial killer later murdered in prison. Psychologists and psychiatrists alike were baffled. Why did this young man commit nearly 20 extremely graphic mutilations and murders? Beloved, we need not several years of psychology training to figure it out. It is called sin! He simply acted naturally, and his particular sin was murder (for others, it is lying, stealing, pride, et cetera).

The saddest part of the interview was when the father told the reporter he often wondered what he could have done to prevent his son’s horrific behavior. (Today’s Scripture?!) Then, the father admitted that he was not there for his son growing up. He did not teach him any values or morals. His poor son had no spiritual leader growing up. Think. Twenty people—and 20 families—suffered the consequences!

We can see why God through Moses warned Israel in today’s Scripture not to forget to teach the Ten Commandments to their children. Those laws, given in the previous chapter, were the foundation of the Jewish religion. Israel had just spent 40 years breaking them in the wilderness wanderings. Now, 120-year-old Moses is cautioning these new generations of Jews not to forsake JEHOVAH’S Word to them. He advises them to diligently teach those divine words to their children. That was their salvation from Satan’s deception.

It is sad, but many fathers today are not teaching their children God’s Word to us. And we wonder why society is falling apart? Our salvation from sin and Satan’s deception is found in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. Men, I exhort you to remember and fulfill your role as spiritual leaders in your households. You can pass on an eternal heritage—the Message of God’s Grace and the Epistles of the Grace Life! Let it be “father’s faith” rather than “father’s folly!” :)

They Steal the LORD’S Words!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour (Jeremiah 23:30 KJV).

Was the LORD speaking to 99.999 percent of the “priests,” “preachers,” and “prophets” in Christendom today?

Speaking with a lady browsing through Christian books in a store, I asked her, “What is the Gospel by which we are saved today?” She stared at me quietly. I told her the Bible says, “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). We trust that and that alone and we will have eternal life in heaven forever. I could tell that was brand-new to her. Then, she explained she attended services at a local megachurch!! She really enjoyed how they were studying a “Christian bestseller” book in Sunday School. See, at that church, they do not study the Bible; they study books about the Bible. At that church they hear Christian phrases and Bible terms, but they never hear a Gospel message. Awful!

When we think of people dying and going to hell, murderers, whoremongers, thieves, rapists, and gangsters come to mind. Beloved, plenty of people are dead in their sins and going to hell, sitting in churches worldwide! That is nothing new. Our “Old Testament” Scriptures abound with apostasy because Israel’s religious and political leaders had so corrupted God’s people with nonsensical, false teaching. God expressly declared in today’s Scripture, “They steal my words every one from his neighbour!” The reprimand continues throughout the chapter: “[31] Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. [32] Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.”

One day, friends, God will manifest the charlatans for all the world to see. Before they are banished to eternal hellfire, their folly will be exposed. Until then, God Almighty has given us His Book, our Holy King James Bible, that we may identify them and their worthless teaching and avoid them!

The Unknown God Made Known #2

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

“O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me” (John 17:25 KJV).

“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (John 1:10).

As Paul the Apostle traveled throughout Gentile lands, it was Father God traveling in and through him. These idolaters were strangers from Israel’s covenants. They had never heard of Jesus Christ or JEHOVAH. But, like all people aware of some “mysterious higher power,” they were religious. Take, for example, the Athenians.

Recorded in Acts chapter 17, Paul noticed their various “devotions” (objects of worship, such as idols and altars). One particular altar’s inscription caught his attention, “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD” (verse 23). They ignorantly worshiped Him. There was no real knowledge of the one true God, but just in case they had overlooked a deity, they put a shrine for him, too. Paul took advantage of that and said, Him declare I unto you.” The Creator God would be unknown to them no more. Through Paul, Jesus Christ preached a wonderful Gospel message to these lost and dying heathen (verses 24-31). Many mocked and laughed at Calvary’s finished crosswork, but a few believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and received eternal life (verse 34).

“Paul… saw the city wholly given to idolatry” (verse 16). So religious—so superstitious. So educated—so ignorant. They had their religion and their philosophy, but they had no relationship with the one true God. Note! Neither religion nor philosophy is how we reach the Creator God. We approach Him by way of the Gospel of His Grace. Specifically, He sent Paul to preach Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork to us, that we outside of Israel’s program and covenants could approach Him by simple faith. Writing to the former idolaters not far away from Athens, Paul told the Corinthian believers: “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9).

As Jesus Christ made His Heavenly Father known to sinners, as Paul the Apostle made his Heavenly Father known to sinners, may we make our Heavenly Father known to sinners.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should we pray for the peace of Jerusalem?

The Unknown God Made Known #1

Monday, November 2, 2015

“O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me” (John 17:25 KJV).

“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (John 1:10).

Yea, the world is not Christian-friendly. Here, in the United States, once known for its “Christian” values, people are becoming increasingly hostile and hateful toward biblical Christianity. Christians in other countries have it worse.

Lost people have no relationship with “righteous” (holy) Father God. As unredeemed sinners, alienated from God’s life (Ephesians 4:17-19), they cannot know Him on the personal, intimate level we Christians do. His ideas, His deeds, and His words are meaningless to them. When Christ spoke His Father’s words, most common Jews disregarded. Yet, there was a believing remnant—the “little flock” (Luke 12:32). Those few Messianic Jews, they knew Father God sent Jesus to them. They believed His words. Through Christ’s words, Israel’s little flock enjoyed the same fellowship with Father God as Jesus Christ Himself.

As the Apostle John wrote firsthand in 1 John 1:1-3: “[1] That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; [2] (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) [3] That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

Today’s evil world system operated during our Lord’s earthly ministry. Lost people hated Him because they hated His Heavenly Father. Likewise, lost people dislike us. Christian friend, never take it personally. What really bothers them is the Father God who lives in us. The words we speak, the ideas we believe, and the works we do, they reflect our Father’s Word working in and through us. They do not know Him, but through the Message of Grace we preach, they can know Him! May we make Him known to them!

Arrayed in Hypocrisy

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:27,28 KJV).

“Looks can be deceiving” is not only true during Halloweentime, but confirmed year-round within Christendom.

Today is Halloween, when children dress up and feign themselves to be creatures they are not. Likewise, many church leaders today wear “Christian” garbs, but their ministries do not bring the Lord Jesus Christ glory and honor. They promote their denomination, and seek to perpetuate it, rather than serve and exalt the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. The Bible manifests these who appear to be good, as “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

In today’s Scripture, Jesus Christ exposed Israel’s corrupt religious leaders who misled the nation in His day. In His Parable of the Tares, Matthew 13:24-30,37-43, Christ explained how just as He had sown good seed (wheat, believing Jews) in Israel, Satan had also sown tares/weeds (unbelieving Jews). Tares resemble wheat; unbelieving Jews resemble believing Jews. The unbelieving Pharisees and scribes, for instance, looked like God’s people (believing Israel). Judas Iscariot was another example of Satan’s tares—the apostles never realized who Judas really was until it was too late!

But Satan’s counterfeit believers are not confined to Israel’s program. Today, within local assemblies of the Body of Christ, there are people feigning themselves to be Christians: For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Beloved, beware of the church leaders who are arrayed in hypocrisy, “and avoid them” (Romans 16:17b). If their teaching does not agree with the rightly divided King James Bible, you have no business as a child of God to be listening to them.

*This is excerpted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Are Galatians 1:18-19 and Acts 9:26-28 contradictions?

You may also see our special study, “Should Christians celebrate Halloween?