Jesus Christ: A Minister of the Circumcision #2

Saturday, June 30, 2012

“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” (Romans 15:8 KJV).

The Scriptures explicitly demonstrate that Jesus Christ limited His earthly ministry to Jews (“the circumcision”).

When Jesus Christ chose and commissioned His twelve apostles, He strictly commanded them: “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:5-7). (Most church members are never taught this simple fact of Scripture.)

In Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-30, when a Canaanite (a Gentile / Greek Syrophenician) begged Jesus to heal her devil-possessed daughter, the Bible says, “he [Jesus] answered her not a word.” Jesus told His disciples, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). “But he [Jesus] answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s [Israel’s] bread, and to cast it to dogs [Gentiles]” (verse 26). Jesus reaffirmed that His ministry was to Israel, and He could not give to Gentiles what belonged to Israel (His miracles). This dear Gentile woman recognized Israel’s preeminence, so she agreed with Jesus: “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table” (verse 27). She recognized that Jesus was sent to Israel, not to Gentiles such as herself and us. Only because she had faith in that fact, Jesus healed her daughter (Matthew 15:28; Mark 7:29,30).

When a Roman centurion (Gentile soldier) sent Jewish elders to ask Jesus to heal His dying servant, Jesus did (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10). Why? In Luke 7:4,5, the Jews said, “That he was worthy for whom he should do this: for he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.” Only because this Gentile blessed Israel, God blessed this Gentile (the Abrahamic Covenant of Genesis 12:1-3).

Certain Greeks (Gentiles) desired to see Christ, but the Bible never records Him granting the meeting (John 12:20-22).

Could Scripture be any simpler? Christ’s earthly ministry was limited to Israel.

Jesus Christ: A Minister of the Circumcision #1

Friday, June 29, 2012

“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” (Romans 15:8 KJV).

Today’s Scripture clearly explains to whom Jesus ministered during His earthly ministry, but most of Christendom absolutely refuses to believe it.

Someone rightly stated that “Christianity” is merely “bastardized Judaism.” Today, what is called “Christianity” is actually Old Testament Judaism with “New Testament” verses tacked on. The root cause of the abounding doctrinal error and chaos in Christendom is a failure to believe today’s Scripture, and to practice dispensational Bible study, “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). All of the Bible is for us, but not all of the Bible is to us or about us.

The doctrine that God gave us through the Apostle Paul for this the Dispensation of Grace is almost totally ignored today. It was to Paul alone that God revealed our mystery program, the Church the Body of Christ and God’s purpose and plan for heaven (Ephesians 3:1-9). What has Christendom done? It has mostly ignored Paul’s epistles, preferring to steal the Bible verses—especially the Four Gospels—that God gave strictly to Israel. Israel’s doctrine does not belong in our dispensation, yet denominations continue to attempt to obey God’s will for Israel.

For the past 2,000 years, religious tradition has instructed us to obey what Jesus taught in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Entire denominations and churches are built and sustained by “naming and claiming” (actually “taking and faking”) the ceremonies, prayers, doctrines, and promises found in the Four Gospels.

In religion, “Follow Jesus” is a phrase mindlessly and faithlessly uttered. Repeating the so-called “Lord’s Prayer” is greatly emphasized, as is “following Jesus in ‘believer’s baptism’” and “claiming the Beatitudes.” No wonder people are so confused about the Bible! They are claiming verses that belong to a program God is not operating today, and when the verses do not work, the Bible is ridiculed.

Jesus Christ, during His earthly ministry, ministered only to Israel (the “circumcision”): He was not speaking to us Gentiles (today’s Scripture)!

Inspiration from God’s Viewpoint

Thursday, June 28, 2012

“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4 KJV).

What is God’s definition of Bible inspiration? Today’s Scripture explains.

In theology, there are the five opposing views of Bible inspiration:

  1. Natural — The Bible is a high level of human achievement.
  2. Partial — Only portions of the Bible are inspired of God.
  3. Existential — Only parts that “speak to me” are inspired of God.
  4. Dynamic — Bible thoughts or concepts are inspired of God.
  5. Plenary verbal — All Bible words are inspired of God.

According to Jesus Christ (today’s Scripture), which of the above five views is God’s definition of inspiration? (You must have a King James Bible in order to answer this, for modern English “bibles” omit “but by every word of God from today’s Scripture!)

In Matthew 4:4, we re-read Jesus’ statement: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Again, how much of the Bible is inspired? Some of it? Just its thoughts? Consider Deuteronomy 8:3, the verse Jesus quoted: that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”

All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16a, which modern English “bibles” also twist). Yet again, how much of the Bible is inspired of God? (And notice that the Bible is not “a high level of human achievement,” for it is God’s accomplishment). “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).

Jesus Christ stated, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33). Surely, our Lord did not lie, as demented textual critics would have us believe, about preserving every one of His inspired words perfectly forever. Today, in English, we have all of God’s perfectly preserved inspired wordsthe Authorized Version King James Bible.

A Caring Apostle Not Cared For

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

“Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, we glimpse into the heart of our Apostle Paul, and what an amazing sight we behold!

Preceding today’s Scripture, Paul described the suffering he experienced for being God’s apostle of us Gentiles:

“Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes [whippings] above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one [195 scourgings!]. Thrice [Three times] was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep [stranded in the sea]; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen [Jews], in perils by the heathen [Gentiles], in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness” (verses 23-27).

False teachers and apostles were turning the Corinthians against Paul, so becoming highly critical of Paul’s bodily appearance and his apostleship (see 2 Corinthians chapters 10 and 11). The epistle of 2 Corinthians defends Paul’s apostleship. Today’s Scripture (and its context quoted above) is Paul’s defense: my sufferings for the Gospel demonstrate that I am a genuine apostle of Jesus Christ! Unfortunately, like most professing Christians today, the Corinthians needed to appreciate the special ministry the ascended Lord Jesus Christ gave to Paul.

What Paul wrote in today’s Scripture summarizes the attitude that every Christian should have: “Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.” Paul did not focus on his own troubling circumstances: He was too busy daily wondering about the wellbeing of the saints who were saved under his ministry. What dedication and selflessness!

Saints, let us thank God daily for sending “faithful” Paul to us Gentiles….

Why Does Satan Exist?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

“Then shall he [Christ] say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matthew 25:41 KJV).

God is perfect, so how could He create a sinful being such as the devil? Also, why does God allow wicked Satan to exist?

When God originally created the heaven and the earth, He made creatures, angels and humans, to serve Him in those realms. One of God’s chief angelic creatures, “Lucifer” (the “light-bearer”), was “perfect in all [his] ways from the day [he] was created, till iniquity was found in [him]” (Ezekiel 28:15). Initially, God created Satan sinless, but he became prideful, and he desired to conquer God, to “be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:12-15; cf. 1 Timothy 3:6).

God then cast Lucifer (now Satan, “adversary”) out of heaven (Luke 10:18). Instead of immediately destroying Satan after his rebellion, God allowed him to exist so he could author an alternative plan to following God (thus allowing mankind a chance to exercise free will: follow God or Satan). Ever since Lucifer’s fall, his “policy of evil”—his “lie program”—has been operating. Satan’s goal is to rob God of His glory by ignoring the Creator and deifying the creature and the creation (Romans 1:25). In the Garden of Eden, Satan tempted Adam to rebel against God, which Adam did. Adam plunged mankind into sin and mankind became anti-God; consequently, lost mankind is cooperating with Satan’s policy of evil, even today.

In the context of today’s Scripture, we read of Gentile nations who refused to bless Israel during the future seven-year Tribulation (verses 42-46). These Gentiles who rejected God’s will—“goats” (verse 33)—will be cast into “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (today’s Scripture). These Gentiles will be guilty of following Satan in rebellion against God (persecuting God’s people Israel), and there is a penalty for anyone and everyone who rejects God’s Word to them.

The destiny of Satan, his fallen angelic cohorts, and every human who refuses to trust God’s Word to them, is the everlasting lake of fire (Revelation 20:10-15; Revelation 21:8).

When Israel’s God Will Come

Monday, June 25, 2012

“Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:4-6 KJV).

Today’s Scripture has a two-fold application: the First and Second Comings of Christ.

According to the prophet Isaiah (preaching circa 700 B.C.), Israel’s God is coming:

  • Notice the first part of today’s Scripture: “[Israel]… Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.” This is actually a reference to Christ’s Second Coming, when He utterly destroys His (and Israel’s) enemies with fire (Zechariah 14:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 19:11-21). The believing remnant in Israel will then be ushered into her 1,000-year earthly kingdom (Revelation 20:4).
  • The next portion of today’s Scripture was fulfilled 2,000 years ago, when Israel’s God came to her the first time:Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing” (cf. Matthew 11:5,6; Matthew 15:30,31; et al.). Jesus performed these miracles to demonstrate the physical healing and deliverance from sin’s curse that will occur during that kingdom (Isaiah 33:24; Acts 2:22; cf. Hebrews 2:3-5).
  • The ending of today’s Scripture—“for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert”—is another reference to Christ’s Second Coming (see Zechariah 14:8-10, which refers to the earthly kingdom that Jesus Christ will establish).

Isaiah chapter 35 (which you should read in its entirety) discusses the prophecies when Israel’s God will come to her. In hindsight, we see that God was actually referring to two separate events, nearly 2,000 years apart. Israel’s God came… and He will come again!

The Steps of a Good Man

Sunday, June 24, 2012

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” (Psalm 37:23 KJV).

For those who complain about the King James’ italicized words, you certainly want “good” in today’s Scripture if it is to make sense!

In this fallen creation, good is oftentimes considered evil and evil is usually called good. Sinful man always totally turns God’s standards upside-down (see Isaiah 5:20).

A Jew living in the Old Testament economy was acceptable to God only if he, by faith, obeyed the Mosaic Law (as given in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy). Anyone who did not by faith follow God’s Word given through Moses, was completely out of God’s will and was under God’s wrath: this individual was not a “good man,” for his steps were not “ordered by the LORD,” and “he delighted [not] in [God’s] way.”

Just as God set forth Moses to be a pattern for any believing Jew in the Old Testament economy of Law, God has given us a pattern for us who live in the Dispensation of Grace.

If your Christian service is to be acceptable to God, the doctrine you believe and practice MUST be in accordance with Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon. Notice what Paul wrote in Philippians 3:17: “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.” (Link “walk” here with “the steps of a good man” of today’s Scripture.)

Paul pronounced the test for spirituality in this the Dispensation of Grace: “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). When we follow the Apostle Paul by faith, we are following Jesus Christ in this the Dispensation of Grace. To follow anyone else but Paul—and that includes Moses and even Jesus in the Four Gospels—is to be outside of God’s will. Paul is God’s spokesman to us.

Do you want your steps to be “ordered by the LORD?” Study and believe the doctrine in Paul’s epistles!