Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Angels of God

Hebrews 1:1-8
(1)  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
(2)  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
(3)  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
(4)  Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
(5)  For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
(6)  And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
(7)  And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
(8)  But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Many people believe in angels, but the majority seem to be ignorant about what the Bible actually says about them. For example, most people don’t even know that every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings (just kidding). Seriously, most of the things you hear people say about angels is not in the Bible, and many times is flat contrary to what the Bible says. Among those that know some things concerning what the Bible says about angels, most do not rightly divide the word of truth on this subject. There is a difference between the ministry of angels toward Israel and the Body of Christ. We must base what we believe about angels on the word of God rightly divided, and not sermons, songs, or TV shows.

The words “angel” and “angels” are found 297 times in the King James Bible. They are used 180 times in the New Testament. The apostle Paul, who wrote most of the NT, only used the words 13 times (just once in the prison epistles). He did refer to the angelic realm with other words such as “principalities and powers."

The Bible has much to say about the spirit world (Col. 1:15-17). In his book entitled, The Spirit World (first published in 1921), Clarence Larkin wrote, “The Scriptures are full of the “Supernatural.” The only cure for the “Materialism” of the present day is to discover what the Scriptures reveal as to the “Spirit” World. The dividing veil is our “fleshly” bodies. The “Heavenlies” are peopled with Spirit Beings. They are of two classes, good and evil. They are classified as “Seraphim,” “Cherubim,” “Angels” (Good and Bad), “Principalities,” “Powers,” “Age Rulers of the Darkness,” “Wicked Spirits,” (Eph. 6:12), “Thrones,” “Dominions,” (Col. 1:16), “Fallen Angels,” (2 Pet. 2:4), “Spirits in Prison,” (1 Pet. 3:18-20), “Demons,” “Seducing Spirits.” 1 Tim. 4:1.”

The Bible mentions three prominent spirit beings by name:

1. Lucifer (Isa. 14:12) – the “anointed cherub” that fell in pride and became Satan
2. Michael (Dan. 10:13,21; 12:1; Jude 1:9; Rev. 12:7) – “the archangel”
3. Gabriel (Dan. 8:16; 9:21; Lk. 1:19,26) – “an angel of the Lord”

The etymology of the word “angel” is simple to trace. It comes to us, like so many of our English words, through French and Latin, but originally from the Greek angelos, signifying a messenger, yet much more because many angels in the Bible bring no message at all. They can be scripturally defined as “ministering spirits” (Heb. 1:14).

In the KJB, the word “angel” is used in reference to the Lord Himself (e.g. Acts 7:30), the spirit of a man (Acts 12:15), but primarily to a distinct and large class of spirit-beings.

Ten basic facts about angels:

1. They were created by God before He laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38:4-7)

2. They were created by God to worship and serve Him (Neh. 9:6)

3. They are innumerable (Heb. 12:22: Rev. 5:11)

4. They have personality (they express mind, will, and emotion)

5. They have great wisdom (2 Sam. 14:20)

6. They have great strength (Ps. 103:20; Isa. 37:36; Heb. 2:7; 2 Pet. 2:11)

7. They can make visible appearances, they always appear as men without wings (Gen. 18:1-2; 19:1)

8. They are an organized heavenly host (Dan. 10:13)

9. The angels in heaven do not marry (Matt. 22:30), but that does not mean they cannot procreate (Gen. 6:1-4)

10. They are divided into two main categories: fallen (2 Pet. 2:4) and holy (Matt. 25:31)

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Grace Age

Romans 5:12-21
(12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
(13) (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
(14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
(15) But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
(16) And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
(17) For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
(18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
(19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
(20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
(21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

In this passage the apostle Paul refers to the “grace of God,” “the gift by grace,” “abundance of grace,” and the wonderful truth that “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Notice in v.21 that whereas sin reigned in time past, grace is REIGNING today through the righteousness of Christ. Paul refers to salvation as a "gift" six times in the passage.

Grace has to do with showing favor and kindness to those who do not deserve it. Ever since the fall of man, God has shown grace to sinners. By grace He provided a covering for Adam and Eve ("grace" is found 39 times in OT). However, in this present age, God is showing His grace to a much greater degree than ever before (131 times in NT, 91 times by Paul). There is a difference between grace in an age, and an age of grace. There is a difference between grace in a dispensation, and a dispensation of grace (Eph. 3:2). The apostle Paul describes the grace of God with superlatives like “abundance” and “exceeding abundant.” In this age God is reaching down lower than He ever has that He might lift up sinners higher than He ever has (Eph. 2:1-6)!

God has a twofold purpose that is implied in the first verse of the Bible. The prophetic program concerns God’s purpose to establish His kingdom on the EARTH through Israel. He chose that nation to be a kingdom of priests. They rejected the Father in the OT, the Son in the Gospels, and the Holy Ghost in Acts. At the stoning of Stephen everything was ready for God to pour out wrath (Acts 7:56), but instead He poured out grace! He saved the leader of the rebellion against Him (Acts 9), and revealed His secret purpose concerning the HEAVENLY places through him. The Body of Christ is one new spiritual man seated with Christ in heavenly places, and destined to reign with Him eternally in the heavens. God is not at war with the world in this age, but rather He has sent out His ambassadors with a message of peace and reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:17-21).

However, make no mistake about it, the "wrath to come" will come and the "day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2) will give way to the "day of his wrath" (Rev. 6:17) AFTER the Lord’s ambassadors are called home to heaven in the rapture. There is a difference between an age and a dispensation, but they are related. Ages are periods of time ("other ages," "ages to come"), and dispensations have to do with how God is dealing with man during the ages. Christ dispensed the revelations of this present age through Paul, and the grace he needed to make them known (Eph. 3:1-13).

We may rightly call this present age the Grace Age because:

I. We are SAVED by Grace (Rom. 3:24; 11:6)

The only gospel by which we are saved in this present age is the "gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 1:13). To add any works of man whatsoever to the gospel of the grace of God is to pervert it (Gal. 1:6-12).

II. We STAND in Grace (Rom. 5:1-2)
We are not living under a performance-based religious system. We are not working for acceptance with God because he has already accepted us in the beloved (Eph. 1:6). I don't have to keep myself in fellowship with God, or work to stay on “praying ground.” We live under grace (Rom. 6:14). This means that the core operating principle in the believer’s relationship with God and others is grace. The law said, "Do and be blessed." Grace says, "You are blessed, now do." Living under grace is not about liberty to sin, but liberty from sin (see Rom. 6).

III. We SERVE by grace (Rom. 12:1-8)
Christ has a role for every member of His Body to fulfill (Eph. 4:16). The sign gifts ceased with the setting aside of Israel and the completion of the word of God (1 Cor. 13:8-13). However, the principle of God giving us the grace we need to fulfill our responsibilities in the ministry still applies today.

In light of these wonderful truths, shouldn't we be emphasizing the grace of God? It is the only way that sinners are saved! It is the only way saints are going to live for God. Several years ago, someone tried to warn me about my emphasis on grace. He said that we also needed the law. The law does not stop, or even reduce sin our lives (1 Cor. 15:56)! It is the grace of God that teaches us how to live godly in this present world (Titus 2:11-15). Do you know the grace of God in truth (Col. 1:6)?

Monday, December 4, 2017

What God Wrote With His Own Hand

The Bible is the word of God. The Lord inspired every word of it (2 Tim. 3:16), and He has kept His words pure throughout the generations just as He promised (Ps. 12:6-7). He used men to write His words, but in the Bible, there are three occasions when God Himself wrote something with His own hand. Each occasion is associated with a different member of the Godhead, and each occasion was for a different purpose.

I. The Father Wrote Commandments (Ex. 31:18; 32:15-16)
After God delivered Israel out of Egypt, He gave them His righteous law and made a covenant with them. If they kept His commandments, they would be blessed, but if they didn’t, they would be cursed. The law contained 613 commandments under three main categories: ceremonial, civil, and moral. God wrote the ten commandments Himself on two tables of stone (Deut. 4:13). Christ divided the ten commandments into two main groups (Matt. 22:35-40). Nine of the ten commandments are moral principles that still apply today (the sabbath was a sign between God and Israel, Col. 2:16). The human conscience bears witness with the moral law (Rom. 2:14-15). Self-righteous religious people think they are going to be saved because they keep the commandments. Yet, most of them can’t even quote the ten commandments! The law was written on cold tables of stone. It commands righteousness, but does not provide it. Therefore, it had a ministry of condemnation and death (2 Cor. 3). It was given to reveal the righteousness of God and the sinfulness of man (Rom. 3:19-20). In this present age of grace, we are not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Christ (Rom. 3:21-28).

II. The Spirit Wrote for Conviction (Dan. 5:1-6, 22-28)
The “part of the hand” that wrote on the wall was sent from God (v.24). The Spirit of God used the writing to bring conviction to the heart of the evil king. Belshazzar knew who the true and living God was, and yet he praised his idols while drinking wine out of the vessels from the temple in Jerusalem. He was weighed in the balance of God’s judgment and was found wanting. He was so convicted that he was shaking in his boots and his knees were knocking. The handwriting on the wall for all sinners is that we deserve death and hell. You will not trust Christ as your Savior until you are convicted by the Spirit of your lost condition.

III. The Son Wrote in Compassion (Jn. 8:1-11)
This passage is omitted from the corrupt Vaticanus and Siniaticus manuscripts. The new versions, which rely on those corrupt manuscripts, contain footnotes that cast doubt on the authenticity of the passage. The scribes and Pharisees contrived this situation (where was the man they caught her with, Lev. 20:10?) in an effort to find fault with Christ. If He said that she should be stoned, they would claim He lacked love and mercy. If He said to let her go, they would claim that He didn’t follow the law. Of course, the Lord handled it in perfect wisdom and the result was that the woman’s accusers walked away under conviction. What did He write? Perhaps it had something to do with Jer. 17:13. Christ had compassion on the guilty woman because He did not come into the world to condemn it, but to provide salvation (Jn. 3:17). We now know, through the revelation in Paul’s epistles, all that Christ accomplished by His cross. Praise God that “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1)!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Practical Ultradispensationalism

The following is an old article that was written by a preacher (now in heaven) that I know nothing about. I thought he made some excellent points, and so I decided to share it with you because it is very unlikely that you would ever come across it.

I have never met a man who admitted that he was an ultra-dispensationalist. I have never heard nor read a satisfactory definition of one. I know that the word has a synonym, "hyperdispensationalism," and the propagandist who enjoys resorting to the effective technique of name calling may have his choice of the Greek prefix "hyper" or the Latin "ultra" to hurl at his victim. I am aware that these terms are thrown about promiscuously by Bible teachers who have status in conservative circles, and they are repeated parrot-like by thousands who are simply seeking status among fundamentalists. Usually, an ultradispensationalist is one whose system of dispensational interpretation of the Bible goes beyond your own. That, of course, is the meaning of the prefix "ultra"—over, or beyond. If you are a dispensationalist, and your brother dispensationalist goes beyond the point historically or Scripturally that you do, he is, naturally, an ultra-dispensationalist.

But I would like to call attention to another and perhaps even more deadly ULTRADISPENSATIONALISM that is endangering us today that is receiving little rebuke from any of the publications dedicated to right division. This form of ultradispensationalism I like to think of as PRACTICAL ULTRADISPENSATIONALISM, rather than doctrinal. I submit to you that when we become guilty of any of the following practices, we are ultra in our dispensationalism; that is, we go beyond the Scriptures; the Practical Ultradispensationalist:

I. Makes a Sect of His Dispensationalism

That is, he refuses fellowship with any who do not agree with him in every facet of his teaching on right division of the Word. Not long ago, a lady called our home to inquire about our church services. She was fundamental in her beliefs, she was dispensational, to the point of the Scofield-Darby system, but she belongs to an independent fellowship of fundamental churches, and when she discovered that we were not affiliated with her organization and its system of dispensationalism, she became aloof and would not attend our meetings, even though we assured her of the soundness of the teaching and her welcome in our meetings. Though this lady's dispensationalism began the body of Christ with Pentecost in Acts 2, she was so ultra in regard to her organization and its system she could not see the many, many things we had in common and the sweet fellowshlp we could have enjoyed.

To be honest, we must admit that some of the most sectarian groups we have ever encountered were dispensationalists who took pride in the fact of their non-sectarianism. Many who boast in their being "non-sectarian Christians" are so hide-bound in their dispensationalism that they disfellowship any who vary the slightest from their norms.

II. Mutilates the Scriptures by His Dispensationalism

Foes of right division have often accused us of taking only a portion of the Word and casting the remainder aside. A well-known fundamentalist who has been loud in his condemnation of dispensational Bible study used to say that we took only a slice of the bread of God's Word, while he took the whole loaf. He was, of course, inconsistent, claiming as he did to preach the "Great Commission" of Mark 16, and at the same time attacking with all his might the "healing preachers" who were attempting to carry out the sign program of his commission. But the other side of the picture is that we have been guilty of preaching the mystery and other Pauline truths while neglecting or ignoring the rest of the Bible. The error is not in preaching the great truths of Paul's epistles; it is in failing to give a balanced message and leaving the appearance of disregarding or casting aside the rest of the Book. The revelation of truth concerning the body of Christ needs the background of the gospels; the gospels would not be understandable without the law, the psalms, and the prophets. We need the whole book. Let us not become so ultra in our emphasis on dispensationalism (where ever we find the boundary) that we neglect the rest of the Word.

III. Misses the Sweetness of Spiritual Applications

Closely associated with neglecting the word of God other than Paul's letters is the failure of getting spiritual applications from portions of God's Word that belonged to other companies or other dispensations, by interpretation. Dr. E. W. Bullinger, whose name is often synonymous with ultradispensationalism, said in his excellent book, How To Enjoy The Bible, "All the sweetness, all the blessing, all the truth can be obtained by a wise application, without in the slightest degree impairing the true interpretation. This may be left and preserved in its integrity, and yet something really spiritual may be appropriated by applications all, in fact, that can be desired, without doing any violence to the Divine Word ..." I think it was Dr. Henry Grube who called attention to the fact that I Corinthians 10:11 authorizes four types of Bible study: "Now all these things happened"—I can study any of the Bible as literally true, for these things happened; "unto them for ensamples (Gr. tupos, TYPES)" I can study the Bible for types and shadows: "and they are written for our admonition" I can study the Bible for spiritual applications; "upon whom the ends of the world (ages) are come" I can study the Bible to distinguish the ages, or dispensations. Surely some of God's elect from among the Plymouth Brethren have done the body of Christ a great service through their detailed studies, many still in print, of spiritual applicaticns of Old Testament truths. Who among us has not rejoiced with C. H. Macintosh in many of his studies in type and shadow? If we become so dispensational that we miss the sweetness of these great spiritual truths in type and shadow, we are ULTRA.

IV. Manifests the Spirit of Continuous Criticism

By the grace of God, I think that most of us have grown out of this to a degree, but who cannot remember the time when a believer who was new in dispensational truth was almost afraid to open his mouth around the older believers for fear of being criticized for his choice of words, choice of hymns, etc? We did not dare refer to the "Old Testament" or the "New" without a dissertation on just when the Old was replaced by the New. We dared not use the words "Christmas" or "Easter" lest someone think we were "observing days." It was heresy to sing "Stepping in the Light," because we surely were not "Trying to walk in the steps of the Saviour." In our zeal to stress the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ was a Jew according to the flesh made of a woman, made under the Law, living on Old Testament ground, and coming to die for our sins, not showing us the way but coming to be THE WAY, we forgot another side of the picture. While we do not follow our Lord in His Jewish religion, with its Sabbaths and ceremonies, we do (or should) strive to "let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." As far as His humility, His kindness, His graciousness, and His love are concerned, we must remember that He left us an example, that we should follow in His steps—not to be saved, but because He lives within. In our zeal to "know Him no more after the flesh," we may have put a stumblingblock in the path of weak Christians who did not even know what we were talking about. If our life is a pattern of criticizing those who fail to speak what has become "dispensational jargon," we are ULTRA.

This message is not an appeal to minimize or de-emphasize the precious truth of right division; it is not designed to discourage anyone from making known the dispensation of the mystery. Surely, too few are doing enough to make these rich truths known. But I am convinced that Satan sometimes uses the friends of dispensationalism to be its greatest hindrance. This truth that was given to us by the risen Christ, through the Apostle Paul, was meant to stress the UNITY of the Spirit, the oneness of all believers in Christ: it is a sad commentary on our depravity that it has, through these forms of ultradispensationalism, become a source of division. A man of God of whom I have heard and whose sweet spirit has been an inspiration to me, even though I was never privileged to meet him face to face, was Brother Elmer Leake, father of Brother Paul Leake. He was quoted as having said, "Brethren, if a wall of separation or sectarianism is ever built between us and any other believers, let's let them do the building". In other words, this dear brother loved all believers and desired fellowship with them through the Lord Jesus Christ. Brother C. R. Stam once wrote, "We look forward to the day when, in God's grace, denominational walls will fall and we can all enjoy our oneness in Christ. Meantime, we seek what fellowship we can find with those who love and trust our Lord in truth, whatever their denominational affiliation."

This statement climaxed an article that this brother wrote on "The Practical Effects of the Mystery" in which he gave an impressive, clear cut message on the preciousness of the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery and showed the practical effects this message should have in our lives. When we become so concerned with the letter that we lose the spirit—or when we become so concerned with the minute details of dispensationalism that we lose the realization of our oneness in Christ—we have become ULTRA.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving is Convenient

Ephesians 5:1-4 
[1] Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 
[2] And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 
[3] But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 
[4] Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

The words “becometh” and “convenient” have similar meanings. They refer to that which is fitting, proper, or suitable. In this passage Paul mentions six things that are not fitting, proper, or suitable for a Christian to partake in, and then he mentions something that is: giving thanks. Thanksgiving is an integral part of the Christian walk (Col. 2:6-7). An unthankful Christian is very inconvenient. 

In v.4 we are told what kind of talk is not convenient for saints, and the kind that is. The Christian walk is more about what we do than what we don’t do. Upon salvation God took us out of the old man (flesh) and put us in the new man (Body of Christ). By faith we are to practically put off the deeds of old man and put on the deeds of the new man in our daily walk (Eph. 4:22-24). This should show up in our words (Eph. 4:25, 29). 

Corrupt communication comes from a corrupt heart (Eph. 4:22; Matt. 12:33-35). Murmuring and complaining qualify as corrupt communication and foolish talking (Num. 11:1). In light of all God had done for Israel, how foolish it was for them to complain about anything! Their murmuring spread like a disease (1 Cor. 10:10). What about us? God has done even more for the Body of Christ! We should do all things without murmuring (Phil. 2:12-16). Murmuring is the opposite of thanksgiving. Jesting is also corrupt communication. It has to do with telling stories for the purpose of diversion and merriment. Much of what is called preaching today is full of jesting. Bad doctrine is also corrupt communication (1 Cor. 15:33; Titus 2:7-8). 

Thankfulness is a mark of true spirituality (Eph. 5:18-21). In light of ALL that God has done for us (Eph. 1-3), it is convenient for us to constantly be giving Him thanks both privately (Phil. 4:6; Col. 4:2) and publicly (1 Cor. 14:16-17).

It is possible to verbally give thanks without being thankful. Real thanksgiving comes from a thankful heart (Col. 3:15-17). Paul referred to being thankful about 40 times in his 13 epistles. He is our pattern. We should be giving thanks specifically, sincerely, and continually (1 Thess. 5:18). 

Monday, November 13, 2017

More Problems with the NKJV

That the New King James Version (NKJV) is not really a King James Version is proven by the fact that it makes an estimated 100,000 changes to the King James Bible (KJB). In the New Testament alone, the NKJV removes nearly 2,300 words from the KJB! 

In my last post I pointed out some problems with the NKJV. Here are a dozen more for good measure.

1) Gen. 1:1 – The NKJV changed “heaven” to “heavens.” There were not “heavens” (Gen. 2:1) until after the six days of Gen. 1:3-31. 

2) Gen. 2:18 – The NKJV changed “help meet for him” to “helper comparable to him.” I am sure the women libbers like that translation! It waters down the distinction between the roles God designed for husband and wife. The marriage relationship is to be 100/100, not 50/50 

3) Acts 17:22 – The NKJV changed “too superstitious” to “very religious.” In the context Paul was rebuking the men of Athens for being so given over to idolatry that they made an altar with an inscription, “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD” just in case they missed one. The NKJV waters down the rebuke to the point that the men of Athens could have taken it as a compliment! 

4) Rom. 1:18 – The NKJV changed “hold the truth in unrighteousness” to “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” God’s wrath is revealed against those who POSSESS the truth and yet choose unrighteousness. Saying that it is only revealed against those who SUPPRESS the truth limits God’s wrath to falling on those who actively fight against the truth. 

5) Rom. 1:25 – The NKJV changed “Who changed the truth of God into a lie” to “who exchanged the truth of God for the lie.” Personally changing the truth of God into a lie is a more serious offense than exchanging it for a lie that was made by someone else. 

6) 1 Cor. 1:18 – The NKJV changed “the preaching of the cross” to “the message of the cross” and us which are saved” to “us who are being saved.” It is not just the message of the cross, but the PREACHING of the cross that is foolishness to them that perish. To say that we are “being saved” makes it sound like salvation is a process of works. 

7) 1 Cor. 1:21 – The NKJV changed “the foolishness of preaching” to “the foolishness of the message preached.” The unbelievers may think the cross is foolishness, but the NKJV has Paul calling it foolishness in this verse! Paul is not referring to the message of the cross in this verse, but to the act of preaching. 

8) 2 Cor. 2:17 – The NKJV changed “corrupt the word of God” to “peddling the word of God.” Both are wrong to do, but corrupting the word of God is worse than peddling it. The modern versions are guilty of BOTH. 

9) 1 Thess. 5:22 – The NKJV changed “Abstain from all appearance of evil” to “Abstain from every form of evil” which LOWERS the standard of Christian separation. 

10) 1 Tim. 6:10 – The NKJV changed “the love of money is the root of all evil” to “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” The love of money is covetousness. Evil began in the universe with the fall of Lucifer. Both “merchandise” and “traffick” are mentioned in connection with his fall (Ezek. 28:16, 18). The particular evil Paul is referring to in the context is that of false teachers. All false teachers are motivated by covetousness. By the way, this verse exposes the evil motive behind all of the corrupt versions of the Bible. 

11) 2 Tim. 2:15 - The NKJV changed "Study" to "Be diligent." This is the only verse in the Bible that plainly tells us to STUDY the word of God. It also gives us the key to Bible study: rightly dividing the word of truth. All of the modern versions change "rightly dividing," but the NKJV actually left that part alone. However, it still messes up this key verse by changing the word "Study."   
12) 1 Jn. 3:16 – The NKJV changed “Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” to “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.” The KJB clearly says that it was God who laid down His life for us. This is just one of many verses in the KJB that teach Jesus Christ is God. The NKJV is not as clear. 

More problems could be pointed out, but these should be enough to prove to any reasonable person that the NKJV should be rejected with the rest of the corrupt versions of the Bible. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

What’s Wrong with the New King James Version?

There are some who reject certain modern versions of the Bible (such as the New International Version,  NIV), but they think that other modern versions (such as the New King James Version, NKJV) are acceptable. In other words, they reject the more liberal versions but accept what they consider to be the more conservative versions. For example, the Berean Bible Society does not use the NIV, but it is now selling the NKJV in it’s bookstore. This is not surprising because while the Berean Bible Society has always used the King James Bible (KJB), it’s leaders haven’t really believed it. It is not enough to merely use the KJB, we must believe it. When you don’t really believe the Bible, it is only a matter of time before you start accepting the modern versions. 

While the NKJV is better than the NIV, it is far inferior to the King James Bible. The NKJV is a very dangerous Bible because the closer something appears to being the truth without actually being the complete truth, the more deceptive it is. The NKJV is a transition Bible that will likely lead people to more liberal translations. It takes just a little leaven to the leaven the whole lump. 

The NKJV claims to be an updated version of the KJB. In the preface to the NKJV the claim is made that this new version will unlock “for today’s readers the spiritual treasures found especially in the Authorized Version of the Holy Scriptures.” Sorry, but only the Holy Spirit can do that for a real Bible believer (1 Cor. 2:9-16). The NKJV does not unlock spiritual treasures; it hides them! 

One of the major doctrines that Christ revealed through the apostle Paul for this present age of grace is justification by the faith OF Christ (Rom. 3:22; Gal. 2:16; 3:22; Phil. 3:9). Christ accomplished salvation by His faith. The faith of Christ is perfect and proven. The moment we believe the gospel of the grace of God we are justified by the faith of Christ. That is why we are instantly and permanently justified the moment we believe and do not have to prove our faith by works in order to be justified in this age of grace (compare James 2:14-26). The NKJV hides this spiritual treasure by changing every reference to the “faith OF Christ” to say “faith IN Christ.” 

There are many problems with the NKJV. 

The NKJV demotes Jesus Christ in a number of passages.
                             NKJV                                                                    KJB 
Gen. 22:8.         “God will provide for himself the lamb”      “God will provide himself a lamb”
Matt. 18:26      “before him saying, Master”                          “and worshipped him, saying, Lord”
Matt. 20:20      “kneeling down”                                              “worshipping him”
John 8:35          “a son”                                                              “the Son”
Acts 3:13, 26    “His Servant Jesus”                                         “his Son Jesus”
Acts 4:27, 30    “holy Servant Jesus”                                       “holy child Jesus” 

The NKJV deletes important words from the Bible. It deleted “Lord” 66 times, “God” 51 times, “JEHOVAH” entirely, “blood” 23 times, “soul” 137 times, “damnation” entirely, “hell” 22 times, “heaven” 50 times, “repent” 44 times, “New Testament” entirely, etc…

The NKJV is supposed to be easier to understand than the KJB. So, why does it change:
“oak” (Gen. 35:4) to “terebinth trees” 
“sun was up” (Judg. 8:13) to “Ascent of Heres”
“tree” (1 Sam. 22:6) to “tamarish tree”
“fatherless” (Lam. 5:3) to “waifs” 
“princes” (Dan. 6:2) to “satraps”
“a penny” (Matt. 20:2) to “a denarius” 
“deputy” (Acts 18:12) to “proconsul”
“thousands” (Acts 21:20) to “myriads”
“riot” (Titus 1:6) to “dissipation”
“unruly” (Titus 1:6) to “insubordination” 

Do you really think the KJB is hard to understand because it says “thee” and “ye?” Actually, those words are very helpful in Bible study. In the KJB the words “thee,” “thou,” and “thine” are always singular, and the words “you” and “ye” are always plural. This makes a difference in understanding certain passages. The English of the KJB is superior to modern English. How come nobody wants to update Shakespeare? 

There are doctrinal problems with the NKJV. For example, it says “difficult is the way” to life (Matt. 7:14) instead of “narrow is the way.” It says that “God is Spirit” instead of “God is a Spirit” (Jn. 4:24). It says that we are to “Reject a divisive man” instead of a “heretick” in Titus 3:10. Christ was a divisive man in His earthly ministry, but He certainly was not a heretick (Lk. 12:51; Jn. 7:43; 9:16; 10:19)! It tells us to “imitate Christ” instead of following Him (1 Cor. 11:1) and to be “imitators of God” (Eph. 5:1). Satan is an imitator of God and his antichrist will imitate Christ! It changes the mark of the beast from being “IN their right hand” to being “ON their right hand” (Rev. 13:16). 

There are many other problems we could point out about the NKJV, but this should suffice in proving to you that it is a corrupt translation that needs to be rejected right along with the NIV, ESV, CEV, etc…

Monday, October 30, 2017


Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. (James 3:13)

While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. (1 Peter 3:2)

Modern English dictionaries define the word “conversation” along the lines of spoken communication, but as it is used in the King James Bible (20 references) the word refers to our conduct, and not just to our words. Our conversation has to do with our whole manner of life; how we behave ourselves on a consistent basis (not just on Sunday). It is what others see in us, not just what they hear from us. The Bible defines its own terms as we study its words in context and compare scripture with scripture. Therefore, it is a great hindrance in Bible study to rely on the definitions of men in an attempt to understand the words of God. There is no need to update the Bible and change the words. Just study the Bible and believe the words! 

Anybody that faithfully attends a Bible-believing church should be able to talk about the Christian faith. But does our daily walk back up our talk? We should talk about the gospel of Christ, but we must also have a conversation that testifies to it’s power (Phil. 1:27). Real Christianity is much more than a profession, it is a way of life. It is not just about going to heaven when we die. Getting saved should change how we live in this present world (Titus 2:11-15). There should be a difference between the conversation of a lost man and that of a saved man (Eph. 4:17-24). We are not saved by works, but in salvation we are “created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works” (Eph. 2:8-10). 

Under the law God required man to to change his conversation (by faith) in order to see His salvation (Ps. 50:22-23). How different under grace! We do not change our conversation to get saved, but if we are saved our conversation should change (Eph. 2:1-10). By the way, a self-righteous religious conversation is just as worthless as an immoral one (Gal. 1:13; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). 

If we walk in the Spirit, our conversation will be:

I. Heavenly (Phil. 3:17-21) 
The “earthly things” are actually physical religious ordinances according to the context (vs.1-3). How can our conversation be in heaven while we are living on earth? We are seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1-4). We are physically absent from the Lord, which is why we must walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). We ought to be looking everyday for our Savior to catch us home to heaven! Having the blessed hope in your heart will produce a heavenly conversation. If you love this present world, you will not love His appearing (2 Tim. 4:8-10). 

II. Holy (1 Pet. 1:14-16; 2 Pet. 3:11)
I understand that Peter was not writing to the Body of Christ, but what he says in these verses also applies to us. To be holy is to be pure and clean; set apart unto God. The apostle Paul said that we have been called unto holiness (1 Thess. 4:1-8; 5:23-24). We are positionally sanctified in Christ the moment of salvation (1 Cor 6:11), but we also need to live that out in our daily walk (2 Cor. 7:1). 

III. Honest (1 Pet. 2:11-12)
The apostle Paul said that we are to “provide things honest in the sight of all men” (Rom. 12:17), and that we are to “walk honestly toward them that are without” (1 Thess. 4:12). The world can easily spot a hypocrite! That is no excuse for them to reject the Lord, but we should not want to hinder the cause of Christ. Failing is not hypocrisy. We all fail. I don’t think people expect Christians to be sinlessly perfect. Hypocrisy is pretending to be something you are not. It is important that we be sincere in our Christian walk (2 Cor. 1:12). 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Quotes from Bullinger about Bible Study

While I certainly don’t agree with everything that Dr. E.W. Bullinger (1837-1913) taught, I do find the following quotes to be helpful. 

“...man doth not live by bread only, but every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” (Deut. 8:3b)

As in the natural sphere so in the spiritual, the desire (or appetite) for the food which is the proper support of each respectively, is the sign of natural and spiritual health.

Attention to diet is becoming more and more recognized as essential to nutrition and growth.

A low condition of bodily health is produced by inattention to the laws of nature as to suitable diet. As this leads to the "drug habit," or to the immoderate use of stimulants in the natural sphere, so it is in the spiritual sphere. A low condition of spiritual health is produced by improper feeding or the neglect of necessary food, which is the Word of God; and the end is a resort to all the many modern fashions and novel methods and widely advertised nostrums in the Religious world in the attempt to remedy the inevitable results.

The Root of all the evils which abound in the spiritual sphere at the present day lies in the fact that the Word and the words of God are not fed upon, digested, and assimilated, as they ought to be.

If we ask the question, Why is this the case? the answer is, The Bible is not enjoyed because the Bible is not understood. The methods and rules by which alone such an understanding may be gained are not known or followed; hence the Bible is a neglected book…

The cloud that now rests over its intelligent study arises from the fact that it is with us to-day as with the Jews of old—"The Word of God has been made of none effect by the traditions of men" (Matt 15:1-9)…

The result of all this is too painfully evident. Controversies, bitterness, strifes have been engendered. These have taken the place of simple Bible study. If studied at all it has been too much with the view of finding support for one or other of the two sides of these controversies, instead of with the object of discovering what God has really revealed and written for our learning.

Failing to understand the Scriptures we cease to feed on them; then as a natural consequence, and in inverse proportion, we lean on and submit to "the doctrines of men," and finally reach a theological desert…

And the Lord Jesus after saying (John 17:14): "I have given them Thy WORD." immediately adds, "And the world hath hated them." Those who thus feed upon and rejoice in God's Word will soon realize their isolated position; but, in spite of the "reproach" and "hatred" of the world, there will always be the "joy and rejoicing" of the heart…

And this is our object in writing now. We do not write for casual readers, or for those who read a daily portion of the Word merely as the performance of a duty and as a matter of form, but for those who "search the Scriptures," and who seek, in them, for Him of whom the Scriptures testify (John 5:39)…

But these will be useless unless we are first prepared to unlearn.

If any think they know all, or that they have exhausted the Divine Word; or that what they set out to learn is only to be in addition to what they already know, instead of sometimes in substitution for it, then we shall be of little service to them: and they need not follow us any further.

When we come to ask ourselves, and say, "Where did I learn this?" "How did I get this?" "Who taught me this?" it is astonishing to find how much we have imbibed from man, and from tradition; and not directly and for ourselves, from the Word of God.

All that we have learned from our youth up must be tested and proved by the Word of God. Where we find it is true we must learn it over again, from God. And where it will not stand the test of His Word we must be not only content, but thankful to give it up; and receive Divine revelation in the place of man's imagination.

Monday, October 16, 2017

How to Lead a Soul to Christ

Have you ever personally led a soul to Christ? I would venture to say that the majority of professing Christians will live their entire life without ever leading even a single soul to Christ. Why is that? 

Some of the main reasons are:
They don’t think it is their responsibility (2 Cor. 5:14-21)
They are fearful (2 Tim. 1:7)
They are unsure of how to go about it (2 Tim. 2:15) 

There are numerous passages in the New Testament that provide examples on how to do personal work. Many of them concern the gospel of the kingdom, but we can still learn good principles from those passages on how to deal with people (e.g. Nicodemus in Jn. 3, the woman at the well in Jn. 4, the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8). In the book of Acts we have the record of Paul dealing with different kinds of people (e.g. a woman, a jailer, and government officials).   

Basic guidelines for doing personal work:
Pray about and look for opportunities to give the gospel (be soul conscious) 
Deal with people where they are 
Use your personal testimony (Paul did)
Be real, not mechanical (show compassion) 
Rely on the Spirit of God, He is the real soul-winner (no tactics, gimmicks, tricks)
Use gospel tracts 
Don’t give up on people if they don’t immediately respond 
Experience is the best teacher 

How to lead a soul to Christ:

Turn the conversation toward spiritual things 
How do we bring it up? Do we just bluntly ask out of nowhere, “Are you saved?” The starting point can be difficult, but once we turn the conversation toward spiritual things it gets easier to talk to people about the gospel. I find the best way is to ask the person about their church background. How they respond will immediately give you a basic framework concerning the beliefs of the person you are dealing with. Once we start talking about church, I say something to this effect, “Going to a Bible-believing church is good, but according to the Bible salvation is not found in any church. The most important thing is to know for sure that you are saved. Do you know for sure that you are saved?” If they say no, ask them if you can share with them what the Bible says about how they can KNOW. If they say yes, ask them HOW they know. If they are not interested, there is no need to pressure them. 

Establish that they are a condemned sinner
The first step in leading a soul to Christ is showing them from the scripture that they are lost. Romans is the doctrinal book on salvation for this age of grace. In the first main part of it, Paul proves that all are guilty sinners in need of salvation (Rom. 3:10, 23; 6:23a). Explain that God is righteous and we all come short of His standard of righteousness, and therefore we deserve death and hell (give specific examples of sin). If a person will not accept the bad news, they will not believe the good news (Acts 24:24-25). 

Explain that they cannot be saved by works
As long as a person is trusting in any works that they can do, they cannot truly trust the finished work of Christ (Rom. 8:8; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Salvation is not Christ plus something, but Christ ALONE. 

Present the gospel of Christ clearly 
Once a person knows that they are a condemned sinner, and there is nothing they can do to fix it, they are ready to hear the good news of the salvation Christ accomplished for them through His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:3-4; 2 Cor. 5:21). The key words are “Christ died FOR our sins.” He died for ALL of our sins and paid our sin debt in FULL. His resurrection on the third day is the proof that the Father accepted the payment. Emphasize that the purpose of salvation is being reconciled to God, not just going to heaven when we die. Everybody wants to go to heaven, but not everybody wants to be right with God. 

Invite them to TRUST Christ as their Personal Savior 
How do people get saved (Eph. 1:12-14)? They key word is “TRUSTED.” There is no example in the Bible of leading someone in a sinner’s prayer. People are religious by nature and can be easily misled  to say a prayer without trusting Christ. We must trust the Holy Spirit to do His work. 

Start with witnessing to your lost family, friends, and acquaintances. Look for opportunities daily. When a soul gets saved it is not the end of our responsibility. We need to help them grow spiritually (Gal. 4:19). What a great privilege and joy it is to lead others to Christ (1 Thess. 2:19-20)! 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Who Were the Sons of God in Gen. 6?

Genesis 6:1-4
1) And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
2) That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
3) And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
4) There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children unto them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
The note on Gen. 6:4 in the Old Scofield Reference Bible says:

Some hold that these "sons of God" were the "angels which kept not their first estate" (Jude 1:6). It is asserted that the title is in the Old Testament exclusively used of angels. But this is an error (Isa. 43:6). Angels are spoken of in a sexless way. No female angels are mentioned in Scripture, and we are expressly told that marriage is unknown among angels. (Matt. 22:30). The uniform Hebrew and Christian interpretation has been that verse (Gen. 6:2) marks the breaking down of the separation between the godly line of Seth and the godless line of Cain, and so the failure of the testimony to Jehovah committed to the line of Seth (Gen. 4:26).

As much as I respect and appreciate the work of Dr. Scofield, I disagree with this note on several points. 

1. He misuses Isa. 43:6 to prove that “sons of God” in the OT may refer to individual believers in the OT. The reference is a prophecy about the future salvation of Israel in the last days.

The term “sons of God” is only used 5 times in the OT. There is only 3 ways to be a son of God:
1) Christ, the only begotten Son of God
2) Direct creation of God (Adam, Lk. 3:38 – angels, Job 38:7)
3) Regeneration (NT doctrine, in the OT Israel as a nation was called God’s “firstborn,” Ex. 4:22) 

2. Nowhere in the Bible are angels spoken of in a sexless way. In Matt. 22:30 Christ was referring to the angels “in heaven,” and He simply said they do not marry, not that they are sexless. Angels are often referred to as men (Gen. 18:1-2). God said that Satan had a seed (Gen. 3:15). 

3. Scofield claims that his interpretation is the “uniform Hebrew and Christian interpretation,” making it sound like a majority position is automatically authoritative. There have been plenty of Bible teachers that have taken a different view, including Arno Gaebelein (who was a consulting editor for the Scofield Bible). He wrote, "Angels good and fallen are termed sons of God in the Old Testament. Satan himself is reckoned among the sons of God in Job 1:6 and 2:1. The term sons of God must mean here supernatural evil beings. These evil beings came down out of the air and began to take possession of such of the daughters of men as they chose." 

William Kelly (1821-1906), a Plymouth Brethren writer whom Scofield respected, wrote, “The sons of God, in my judgment, mean the same beings in Genesis as they do in Job. This point will suffice to indicate their chief guilt in thus traversing the boundaries which God appointed for His creatures. No wander the total ruin speedily ensues. It is really the basis of fact for not a few tales of mythology which men have made up.”

4. Nowhere does the Bible speak of a “godly line of Seth.” Yes, the Messiah would come through the line of Seth, but there were ungodly men in that line. If the “sons of God” were the descendants of Seth, and the “daughters of men” the descendants of Cain, that would mean only men were godly. That would also mean that many godly men died in the flood, but Peter said it was the “ungodly” that perished (2 Pet. 2:5). God had not yet given commandment to not be “unequally yoked,” so why would he destroy the whole world for a sin that He had not yet spoken against? Also, godly people marry ungodly people today and the result is not “giants” that are “mighty men” and “men of renown”. The “daughters of men” in Gen. 6:2 are spoken of in the general sense of the human race (v.1), and not the limited sense of the descendants of Cain.

Why do I believe the sons of God in Gen. 6 were fallen angels? 

1. The “sons of God” in the OT refer to supernatural beings, both good and bad (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7).

2. See Jude 5-7 – These angels in leaving their first estate and own habitation committed a sin that was “Even as” Sodom and Gomorrah in that they went after “strange flesh” (unnatural). These fallen angels are chained up in hell awaiting their judgment (1 Pet. 3:19-20). The angels that rebelled with Satan are loose as they work for him (Eph. 6:12).  

3. See 2 Peter 2:4-5 – This refers to the same angels as Jude 6, and links their sin with the time of the flood.  

4. The union of angels with women would certainly produce a unique offspring. This was part of Satan’s plan to corrupt the seed line (Gen. 3:15). One of the main reasons Noah was spared was because he was “perfect in his generations” (Gen. 6:9). Noah and his family alone had preserved their pedigree and kept it pure, in spite of the prevailing corruption brought about by the fallen angels. 

5. This happened again after the flood (Gen. 6:4) on a smaller and localized scale as Satan sought to prevent Israel from taking the land God promised Abraham (explains God’s command to utterly destroy the Canaanites).  

6. Christ said, “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the son of man be” (Matt. 24:37). There will be another mingling of the seed in the tribulation period (Dan. 2:43-44). Satan and his angels will be on earth in the the last half of the 70th week of Daniel (Rev. 12:7-9).


Monday, October 2, 2017

The Dispensational Significance of Acts 13

I believe this present age of grace began with Saul’s conversion (which was totally off the prophetic script) in Acts 9 (1 Tim. 1:12-16). Acts 13 also has great dispensational significance. The number thirteen in the Bible is the number for separation (unto good or bad, see chapter 13 in Genesis through Deuteronomy). Paul has a ministry that is separate from the twelve apostles. We could call him the thirteenth apostle. His ministry to the Gentiles was not based on the rise of Israel, but on their fall (Rom. 11:11-15). He wrote thirteen epistles by inspiration of God to the Body of Christ. God did not send Paul out of the Jewish church in Jerusalem, but out of the Gentile church in Antioch. God waited until he and Barnabas returned from Jerusalem before He sent them out on their first missionary journey (Acts 12:25). The apostle James was killed in Acts 12, but he was not replaced like Judas was in Acts 1 (in preparation to offer the kingdom to Israel, Matt. 19:28). The apostle Peter went off the scene, for the most part, in Acts 12. 

In Acts 13: 
1. Paul was separated unto his special ministry among the Gentiles, and was sent out of a Gentile church.
2. Paul pronounced temporary blindness on an apostate Jew that tried to keep a Gentile from hearing the word of God, and as a result of that blindness the Gentile believed. This was the first recorded miracle of Paul and provides a dispensational picture of this present age (Rom. 11:25).
3. Saul will be known by the Gentile name of Paul from v.9 on. 
4. Note v.13 - It had been "Barnabas and Saul." Saul was mentioned last among the prophets and teachers in Antioch (v.1). From this point on, it will be "Paul and his company." I think this had something to do with the departure of John Mark in 13:13. Mark, who was related to Barnabas (Col. 4:10), was from the church in Jerusalem and had a hard time with the Gentile ministry of Paul. He later recognized Paul's authority and became profitable to him for the ministry (2 Tim. 4:11). 
5. The first recorded message of justification by faith without works was preached by Paul (v.39) to the Jews and any that feared God from among the Gentiles (v.26).
6. Paul gave an important warning to the Jews, and made an important declaration concerning his ministry (vs.40-47).
7. Paul made his first of three pronouncements that he was turning from the Jews to preach to Gentiles (v.46).
8. Many Gentiles were saved in the city, outside of the synagogue and apart from the Jews (vs.48-49).
9. The disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost (v.52) for the first time without any reference to water baptism or the laying on of hands. 
10. The key verses in Acts 13 are multiples of 13 (v.13, 26, 39, 52). 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Right Response to the Rapture

Many were claiming that the Lord would come on September 23, 2017. The date-setters were wrong once again. Because I rejected the teaching that the "great wonder" in Rev. 12:1-2 was going to be fulfilled in the stars on September 23rd, I was labeled as a scoffer by some who fell for that nonsense. I am a Bible-believer, not a Bible-scoffer! I do not reject the truth of the rapture. I reject the private interpretations of men who twist the scriptures in trying to set a date for coming of the Lord. 

I believe with all my heart that Christ will rapture the Church which is His Body BEFORE the 70th week of Daniel (Rom. 5:9; 1 Thess. 5:9). We are to be looking for Christ from heaven (1 Cor. 1:7; Phil. 3:20; 1 Thess. 1:10; 2 Thess. 3:5; Titus 2:13), not the antichrist on the earth. The apostle Paul taught a pre-tribulational rapture, and it is in his writings alone that we find this wonderful doctrine. It was one of the mysteries that Christ revealed through him (1 Cor. 15:51) for this present age of grace. The reason so many are being moved away from this blessed hope today is that they do not recognize Paul as being God's spokesman to the Body of Christ. Instead of rightly dividing the word of truth, they mix it all up and confound passages about the second coming of Christ with passages on about rapture (which are two different events). 

How should Bible-believing Christians respond to the truth of the pre-tribulation rapture?

1. We should LOVE it (2 Tim. 4:8). If we love Christ, we will love His appearing! When He comes we will see Him; we will be like Him (Phil. 3:20-21); we will be with Him forever (1 Thess. 4:17).

2. We shold LOOK for it (Titus 2:13). If the blessed hope is truly in our heart (not just a doctrine in our head), we will look for it daily with great anticipation. There are no signs for the rapture, it could happen today! It is nearer now than when we first believed (Rom. 13:11). 

3. We should LIVE in light of it (Titus 2:11-15). Believing that Christ could come today, and that we must give an account of our service at the Judgment Seat of Christ, should certainly affect how we live! Demas forsook Paul because he loved this present world instead of the appearing of Christ (2 Tim. 4:8-10).

I don't need signs to get me excited about the rapture. God is not giving us signs today (1 Cor. 1:22; 13:8-13), but He gave us His perfect word, and that is all we need (2 Tim. 3:16-17).  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Glorifying the King James Bible

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be GLORIFIED, even as it is with you: (2 Thess. 3:1)

The scripture gives many of the same titles and attributes of the Lord Jesus Christ to itself. There is an inseparable bond between the incarnate Word of God and the inspired word of God. One is God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16), and the other is God manifest in a Book (2 Tim. 3:16). Therefore, to attack one is to attack the other, and to exalt one is to exalt the other.

We have a supernatural Savior! For example, He was supernatural in His conception, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. We also have a supernatural Bible! For example, it is supernatural in its inspiration, preservation, and illumination. Yet, many who claim to believe in a supernatural Savior deny that we have supernatural scripture! They mock us for believing we have a perfect Bible given by inspiration of God, and yet they claim to believe in the virgin birth, sinless life, miraculous ministry, vicarious death for all sinners, His bodily resurrection, and ascension back to heaven. Seems rather inconsistent, doesn’t it?

One of the most common attacks against the King James Bible is the personal and doctrinal flaws of the king that authorized its translation, and of the translators themselves. They claim the KJB is just an archaic 17th century Anglican translation. How could imperfect men produce a perfect Bible? The answer is that they didn’t, God did through them. Isn’t that what He did with the original writings? Did Moses and Paul have any flaws? I am sure much of the personal attacks on King James is just slander, but his personal character has nothing to do with the perfection of the Bible he authorized. I am sure the translators had some doctrinal errors. All men, no matter how brilliant, are fallible.

The unbelieving Jews attacked Christ by pointing out His humble human family (Mk. 6:1-6)? How could the Son of God be the son of a carpenter and have brothers and sisters? They stumbled over His humanity. He was not the Son of Joseph, but the Son of God because He was born of a virgin. Christ was “made of a woman” (implying the virgin birth, modern versions say “born,” but we were all born of a woman) in the LIKENESS of sinful flesh, but He was the sinless Son of God! Study the lives of those listed in the genealogy of Christ and see if you can find any flaws. He was of the seed of Abraham and Abraham was a liar. He came through the tribe of Judah. Read about how Judah had Pharez and Zarah of Tamar in Gen. 38. She was his daughter in law who disguised herself as a harlot to conceive seed of him because her husband died before she had children. Christ was of the seed of David and yet David committed adultery and murder! What about Solomon and all of his pagan wives and concubines? Rahab the harlot is listed in His genealogy! Yet, He is the sinless Son of God untainted by a corrupt family tree and the KJB is pure Bible untainted by the men God used to translate and publish it.

The KJB is the only English Bible that is absolutely pure and completely without error. That fact proves it is the inspired word of God. Also the millions that have been saved and changed testify to its supernatural power. Christian’s grow spiritually far better with a KJB than any other version.

The God ordained key to understanding the Bible is to rightly divide it (2 Tim. 2:15). The KJB is the only Bible in English that tells us to rightly divide the word of truth! Those that know anything about rightly dividing the word of truth know that the new versions hinder the right division of the scriptures. For example, there is a difference between how a man is justified in the present age of grace and the future tribulation period. You will only come to understand this vital truth when you rightly divide Paul’s justification by the faith of Christ with James’ justification by a man’s faith. There is a dispensational difference between Rom. 4 and Jam. 2! Paul teaches we are justified instantly and permanently without any works required because we are justified by the faith of Christ (Gal. 2:16). The KJB is the only English Bible that says, “the faith OF Christ." James teaches that a man is justified by faith that works and is tested. The KJB is a book that must be rightly divided to be understood. The KJB translators were not dispensationalists, but the KJB is a dispensational book!

Another key to Bible study that goes right along with right division is to compare spiritual things with spiritual (1 Cor. 2:13). The KJB has an amazingly intricate cross-referencing system. Changing one word can throw the system out of whack. The modern versions mess up the cross-referencing system because they add, omit, and change so many words. When we compare scripture with scripture we see how other passages shed light on the passage we are studying. For example, does Gen. 1:2 describe the process of God’s creation work or does it describe His judgment? The only other reference to “without form and void” sheds light on Gen. 1:2 (Jer. 4:23, future judgment). The RSV says “without form and void” in Gen. 1:2 but “waste and void” in Jer. 4:23, thus ruining the cross-reference. For another example from the first chapter of the Bible, comparing the only other reference to God telling a man to replenish the earth (Gen. 9:1) sheds light on Gen. 1:28. Both commissions were given after a flood judgment. Adam was a son of God. There were sons of God on the earth before Adam (angels, Job 38:4-7). The NIV says “fill the earth” in Gen. 1:28 and “repopulate the earth” in 9:1. There are many things we learn by cross-referencing! It teaches you that the italicized words in the KJB are the words of God (compare Deut. 8:3 with Matt. 4:4 and note that "word" is not in italics when Christ quotes it).

Another supernatural feature of the KJB is it's built-in dictionary. No other English Bible comes even close to it. The words of the KJB can be understood by studying them in context and comparing scripture with scripture (example of "anon" - Matt. 13:20 with Mk. 4:16).

Then there is Biblical numerology. I realize that some get carried away with this, but that certain numbers have meaning can be proved from the text of scripture (such as the numbers 6, 7, 13, 40). There are many examples in the KJB that correspond with God’s numbering system. For example, the Bible teaches that six is the number of man (created on the sixth day, see also Rev. 13:18). Romans is the sixth book of the NT. What is the sixth word of Rom. 6:6? This doesn’t work very well with the new versions (NIV says “self” and it’s the 7th word). Biblical numerology proves that the chapter and verse divisions are of God.

And on and on we can go with evidence that the KJB is a supernatural book. Ignorant and immature believers are looking for signs and miracles (1 Cor. 13:8-13; 14:20). The signs have ceased and they will not be resumed until after the rapture when God uses them again in the tribulation period. We don’t need signs because we have the complete and perfect word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17)! The KJB is a great miracle that too many Christians overlook and neglect.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Lessons from 9/11

Luke 13:1-5
(1) There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
(2) And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
(3) I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
(4) Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
(5) I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

The “ye” in v.3 and v.5 is unbelieving Israel. In His earthly ministry, Christ was a minister to the circumcision (Rom. 15:8) and was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 15:24). He and His disciples were preaching the gospel of the kingdom. Their message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17). At this point in His ministry, it was clear that the leaders were rejecting Him (Lk. 12:49-57). Because Israel did not repent as a nation, Jerusalem was destroyed and that generation did perish (Lk. 13:6-10, 34-35).
People have a tendency to think that human tragedies are the result of divine judgment. That's what the people were thinking in regard to the two incidents referred to in this passage. They thought that those who died in those incidents must have been great sinners, but Christ corrected them and said that they were not anymore worthy of death than they all were (Rom. 5:12).

Today marks the 16th anniversary of a horrific terrorist attack on America that killed nearly 3,000 people and injured about 6,000 others. I remember where I was, and what I was thinking as it unfolded. At that time I didn't know much about right division (2 Tim. 2:15) even though I had graduated from bible college. I had heard much preaching on prophecy and the signs of the times, but nothing about the mystery. I was taught to keep up with current events and the Middle East. I remember trying to convince my co-workers that the tribulation period was about to begin. Well, here we are 16 years later!
One of the mottos associated with 9/11 is “Never Forget!” Another one is “Remember.” Yet, just seven years later our country elected Barack Hussain Obama as president! He is probably a muslim, but if not he still favors Islam over Bible Christianity. I think there are some important lessons we should remember and never forget about 9/11. I am not going to share all of my thoughts on 9/11, but just a few main points.
·         We live in a dangerous world, another major attack could happen at any time
9/11 proved that America is not exempt from such things happening on our own soil. There are many ways that terrorists could wreak havoc in our country today. The fact that a major attack hasn't happened here in 16 years does not mean it can't or won’t happen again. There have been a number of attacks, just not on the same scale as 9/11. The terrorists are patient. Who knows how many sleeper cells are in our country right now! I am not saying that we should worry about it every day, but we should be aware. The world has been a violent and dangerous place since the fall of man, but things are getting worse as it heads toward the tribulation. Thank God, the Body of Christ will be raptured to heaven BEFORE the 70th week of Daniel begins.
I remember hearing well-known preachers like Jerry Falwell say that 911 was the judgment of God on America. Many preachers think they are prophets and that America is Israel. We who rightly divide the word of truth understand that we are living in the dispensation of the grace of God and that God is not at war with the world (2 Cor. 5:18-6:2). America is destroying herself. America is not God’s chosen nation. He did not make a covenant with us. Promises like 2 Chron. 7:14 were not given to America!
When people die lost, they face the wrath of God (Eph. 5:5-6). But the prophesied "wrath to come" will not come until after this present age of grace ends with the rapture (Rev. 6:17).
·         Islam is a real threat that must be taken seriously
Islam is a false religion that has been around since the seventh century. It was founded by a lunatic named Muhammed. He was the seed of Ishmael, not Isaac (Gen. 16:12). He had eleven official wives (not counting captive women who were abused), including a girl who was 9 years old when he married her at the age of 54. He was a bloodthirsty warmonger and a perverted whoremonger. He used his religion as a front to satisfy his lusts for power and pleasure. Satan inspired him to write the Koran. Islam is a religion of war, not of peace as our politically correct politicians claim (Bush said it was just 6 days after 9/11). To say that Islam is a religion of peace is to be willingly ignorant of history, current events, and the plain teachings of the Koran. Failure to identify and take an enemy seriously gives them a great advantage. Back in 2010 there was an estimated 1.6 BILLION Muslims in the world. If just 10% of them took the Koran seriously, that would mean there are 160 million Muslims in the world that believe in jihad!
·         America will not turn to the God of the Bible
Oh yes, the song “God Bless America” became popular again for awhile after 9/11 and church attendance increased for a month or two, but our leaders and most of our citizens did not really turn to the God of the Bible. I watched Billy Graham's message at the national prayer service that was held a few days after 9/11, and he was very careful not to offend the other religions (including Islam) represented in that service. He did not give the gospel. He just talked about how God loves everybody. He said America needed a spiritual renewal, but he did not boldly declare the truth of God’s word.
At this point, America isn’t going to return to what she was in her beginning. It is not that God cannot save America, but that America does not want to be saved. We live in a nation where the majority of our leaders and citizens have willfully rejected the word of God. They call good evil and evil good. We should not expect our nation, or any other nation for that matter, to turn to God and become a Christian nation. God is not dealing with nations in this present age. As the gospel goes forth some believe, but most do not. Those that trust Christ become members of the spiritual Body of Christ and have a heavenly hope. We are not called to change the world, but to shine as lights in the midst of it (Phil. 2:12-16). God is saving sinners out of the world (Gal. 1:4), but this present evil world is headed for destruction.
·         It requires sacrifice to save others
Think of all the firefighters, first responders, and citizens (such as on board UA flight 93 that overcame the terrorists and caused the plane to crash in PA) that sacrificed in order to save the lives others. By the way, we should respect and appreciate the law enforcement in this country. Are they all perfect? No, but they do far more good than evil. Why doesn't the "Black Lives Matter" crowd protest the drug dealers and gangsters in the hood (because blacks kill more blacks than anybody)? I wonder how many blacks have been saved by the police. Many on 9/11 sacrificed for the good of their fellow countrymen. How much greater was the sacrifice of Christ for His enemies (Rom. 5:6-10)! Christians should be willing to sacrifice for the cause of Christ. We must give ourselves, our time, and our resources to the furtherance of the gospel and the work of the ministry.
·         We never know what a day may bring forth
Tragedies can strike suddenly and unexpectedly (Prov. 27:1). 9/11 is a great illustration of that truth. None of the people who died on 9/11 had any idea that was going to take place. We must be prepared for eternity, and take advantage of each day we have to serve the Lord (Eph. 5:15-17).
One thing men learn from history is that men don't learn from history. May God help us to take these important lessons to heart.

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