At my church’s summer Bible conference this past July, preacher Tom Bruscha, who has a church in Warren, Mich., told of a new family attending his assembly in which the father is a fireman in nearby Detroit.

 

The man’s testimony, says Bruscha, is that the events of 9/11, especially because of his profession, made him really start to think about life. A lifelong Catholic, he started reading through the Gospels and “by the time he was finished, he just realized how the Pharisees matched what he was seeing where he went to church and he said, ‘That can’t be right.’ ”

 

In his search for Bible truth, he came across Bruscha’s Grace Bible Church and immediately caught on to some key elements of Pauline dispensationalism and “right division” of the Scriptures.

“He said, ‘You had me,’ ” recalled Bruscha. “What he meant by that is right division of the Scripture IS what the Scriptures teach! And when the Scriptures teach it, everything becomes clear. The question everybody has when they see it is, ‘How come everybody’s not teaching this?! Don’t they know?!

 

*****

 

Bruscha continued, “Well, they know it. They got other names for it: Ultra-dispensationalism, hyper-dispensationalism, etc. They know what it is.

 

“So, why is it you can look at it and see, ‘Man, look how many verses now go together! Look how many times Paul says he’s the Apostle to the Gentiles!’?

 

“You know it’s there! It doesn’t take a whole lot of searching to see it! And so young believers in right division always wonder why the preachers don’t see it.

 

“Well, I Timothy 6says, ‘If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
[4] He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
[5] Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”

 

“If a person doesn’t teach those things, what does the Bible say? ‘He is proud, knowing nothing’! I look at some of these guys who don’t know right division and I say, ‘Well, they know SOME things.’

 

“You know they got some good things to say, but the Scripture says that the man who’s not acknowledging the truth of right division, which is on all the pages of Paul’s epistles and even in Peter’s epistles, that that man is ‘proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings . . .’

 

‘The Bible speaks for itself, doesn’t it? I guess you have to decide whether you want to be likeminded, right? Likeminded with the prideful speaker who denies the truth of God’s Word or likeminded with God’s Word that you need to separate from that man.

 

“What hinders common people from understanding grace truth are the preachers that are out there. Pride is the No. 1 problem in the ministry and the verses speak for themselves concerning that.

 

*****

 

Bruscha started his evening-headliner summer conference message with the reminder, “No matter where you are and how you present yourself, deep down inside you’re No. 1 problem in your life is pride.”

 

He continued, “It manifests itself in different ways but pride, when you think about the Bible’s sins—when it talks about not bearing false witness, not committing adultery, not stealing and thou shalt not kill, those are certainly things you sin against other people.

 

“But when it comes to the sin of pride, pride is a spiritual sin. It’s when, like in I John, it says, ‘All that’s in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. They’re not of the Father; they’re of the world.’

 

“The pride of life is really a sin deep down inside each one of us that really there’s no way we’re going to control that in our own flesh because it’s THERE. You can be, as we joke about, ‘proud of your humility,’ because, deep down, you’ve got a pride problem.

 

“It will manifest itself in different ways, so when Paul says, ‘Don’t do anything through strife and vainglory,’ we got to knock the pride down, knock it out and we’re not going to be able to do that. It’s going to take the Word of God and it’s going to take the Spirit of God in us to understand what God’s Word says about these things so we can combat it.

 

“It’s a spiritual sin. The word strife actually means contention. And when Paul wrote to the Corinthians he says he heard there were contentions among them. In chapter 3, he says those contentions are carnal, whereas there’s envy, strife and division among the people.

 

“It is the very sin when Satan appeared to Adam and Eve and he wanted to tempt them, the thing that he said to them was, ‘Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’

 

“So immediately there’s that deep-seated pride to be as gods. For Adam and Eve to understand that there are beings beyond them and that there are powers beyond them, and they can be like them and that temptation was the temptation that caused them to disobey God, thinking that God was withholding something from them.

 

“So, it was that direct disobedience through that temptation of the idea they could be as gods. That is the very root of sin itself.

 

Proverbs 13:10 is a simple verse but, boy, you can’t get around it no matter what you do. It says, ‘Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.’

 

“When the disagreement becomes contentious, and there’s strife within an assembly or a home, you need to stop and look at that verse and realize, ‘Wow, if there’s contention then certainly there’s pride causing the problem.’ You then have to stop and ask, ‘Okay, is it my pride?’ and it’s going to be the first step toward remedy to recognize the pride in your own life.

 

“I probably use that verse in marriage counseling more than anything else because, by the time they come and talk to me, there’s so much contention that they can hardly sit in a room together and talk, and you know you got a real BIG pride problem there, and mostly on both people’s part for the problem to get that bad!

 

“But that’s the source of it and people need to recognize the source of it so they can realize they need to get off the throne. They need to quit thinking that they’re God and then look to God for the answer to these things.

 

“Proverbs 6 says, ‘These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
[17] A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
[18] An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
[19] A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.’

 

“Just a prideful look itself is something that is something God hates! The last thing on the list is he who causes ‘discord among the brethren,’ so there’s that contention!”