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.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

God's Library

The Lord has a library of books (Dan. 7:10; Rev. 20:12):

1) The book of the LORD (Isa. 34:16) – The word of God, His perfect revelation to man, is a collection of 66 books given by inspiration, settled in heaven, and preserved on earth. 

2) The book of the living (Ps. 69:28; 87:5-6) – The record of all born into the world; a book of natural life.  

3) The book of tears (Ps. 56:8) – The record of our tears and sorrows. 

4) The book of DNA (Ps. 139:16) – The record of our physical description. The DNA code was discovered by man in 1952, but David spoke of it 3,000 years ago. It is the genetic blueprint for physical development (75 trillion cells x 3 billion characters, which is enough information, if written out, to stretch to the moon and back 178,000 times). 

5) The book of remembrance (Mal. 3:16) – The record of our thoughts about God.

6) The book of your life (Rev. 20:12) – The record of your works (and words, Matt. 12:34-37). The Body of Christ will not be judged at this judgment. We will not give an account for our sins because they were already judged on the cross. Upon the rapture, we must give an account of our service at the judgment seat of Christ. 

7) The book of life (Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:7; 22:19) – The record of all who have eternal life. 

That God keeps such books illustrates His omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence (Jer. 23:23-24). 

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