Manipulating Moses to Murder Messiah #4

Sunday, May 31, 2015

“And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers” (Acts 3:17 KJV).

How could Israel have been so blind in rejecting Jesus as Messiah, One who fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies?

Israel knew they were killing the Lord Jesus. It was great spiritual insanity. When God opened our Dispensation of Grace in Acts chapter 9, a twofold benefit arose. Firstly, the Gentiles whom God had consigned to Satan could now be saved by Jesus’ finished crosswork. Secondly, the Jews who were still in unbelief—the very ones who deliberately killed Jesus Christ—could also be saved by simple faith in Calvary’s crosswork. Saul of Tarsus was in the latter group.

Upon meeting the ascended Lord outside Damascus, Saul realized and trusted Jesus Christ’s righteousness and he forgot all about his foolishness in works-religion. God certainly came back in Acts chapter 9, not to pour out His wrath, but to pour out His grace and start the Church the Body of Christ! The leader of the world’s rebellion against Jesus Christ, Saul, the one who mercilessly imprisoned and slaughtered God’s Messianic Jews, Saul, was now saved unto eternal life.

Decades later, Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15,16: “[15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. [16] Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

If God saved such a rebel as Saul of Tarsus, a wicked and bloodthirsty theologian, there is no person “too far gone” in unbelief and sin, whom God cannot save in a literal heartbeat today. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound(Romans 5:20). For nearly 2,000 years, God has offered salvation freely to all, Jew and Gentile alike, by His grace through simple faith in Jesus Christ’s shed blood for our sins, death, burial, and resurrection. The Gospel of the Grace of God, the heart of the Dispensation of the Grace of God, is the only way we can approach Almighty God today!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How did Satan ‘hinder’ Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2:18?

Manipulating Moses to Murder Messiah #3

Saturday, May 30, 2015

“And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers” (Acts 3:17 KJV).

How could Israel have been so blind in rejecting Jesus as Messiah, One who fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies?

In his farewell epistle, the Apostle Peter mentioned people who “wrest” the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:15,16). They distort the meaning or interpretation of Bible verses so that they fit their opinions or views (“private interpretations;” 2 Peter 1:20). Before you think about Christendom’s excessive mishandling of the Holy Bible to create thousands upon thousands upon thousands of denominations, remember that the Bible was often largely misused long before Christianity.

Consider how the nation Israel (mis)handled Deuteronomy 13:1-11. They chose to use those few verses to condemn and kill Jesus Christ, all the while ignoring over 300 Old Testament prophecies that justified and validated Him as their God manifest in the flesh! Aptly, Jesus said that they did not believe Moses. Had they believed Moses they would have believed Jesus because Moses wrote about Jesus (John 5:39-47)—animals killed to clothe Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark as salvation from divine punishment, Abraham offering his only begotten son Isaac, Joseph’s betrayal by his brethren, the Passover lamb killed to ward off the death angel, and the whole law system (priesthood, sacrifices, tabernacle, holy vessels, feast days, et cetera), all depicted the Lord Jesus in some way. Israel ignored the fact that Jesus arrived exactly when Daniel predicted Messiah would be born (9:24-26), disregarded Micah’s prediction about Messiah’s birthplace (5:2), and ignored Isaiah when he described Messiah’s ministry, message, and miracles (35:3-6; 53:4; 61:1,2). On and on we could go, but these must suffice.

Who was leading Israel’s rebellion against the Lord Jesus? Saul of Tarsus! First Timothy 1:13 is the Apostle Paul’s reflection on his early years, when he served in the Devil’s ministry: “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (cf. today’s Scripture). What grace and love God poured out on Saul (verse 14), when he deserved God’s wrath poured out on him! Yes, Saul had led Israel in manipulating Moses to murder Messiah, but to him, God’s goodness gave great grace!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who were the people who followed Jesus before Paul?

Manipulating Moses to Murder Messiah #2

Friday, May 29, 2015

“And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers” (Acts 3:17 KJV).

How could Israel have been so blind in rejecting Jesus as Messiah, One who fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies?

Simple. It was willful ignorance (like the millions today who still reject Him). They do not want to know the truth. Ignorance is bliss—they are happy exactly where they are spiritually. You could share verses with them until you were hoarse, and you would get nowhere with them.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 explains how Israel rejected Jesus as Messiah: “[1] If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, [2] And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; [3] Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. [4] Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. [5] And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.”

Ironically, unbelieving Israel applied this death penalty to the true Messiah, Jesus. Viewing Him as a deceiver and blasphemer, they had no problem killing Him at Calvary. But, that is not the end of the spiritual insanity! When the Antichrist, the false Christ, comes yet future (John 5:43), Israel will accept him as true (when Moses above was really telling Israel to kill him!). If not believed as a whole, the Bible can be a dangerous book!

Manipulating Moses to Murder Messiah #1

Thursday, May 28, 2015

“And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers” (Acts 3:17 KJV).

How could Israel have been so blind in rejecting Jesus as Messiah, One who fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies?

Simple. It was willful ignorance (like the millions today who still reject Him). They do not want to know the truth. Ignorance is bliss—they are happy exactly where they are spiritually. You could share verses with them until you were hoarse, and you would get nowhere with them.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 explains how Israel rejected Jesus as Messiah: “[1] If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, [2] And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; [3] Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. [4] Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. [5] And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.”

When Israel’s religious leaders saw Jesus performing miracles, and all His followers worshipping Him (see verses 6-11), they used Moses (quoted above) to justify killing Jesus and His disciples. Jesus was seen as a fraud, a blasphemer. Their deluded, unbelieving hearts could not see that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law! One final note… interestingly, yet future, the Antichrist will use Deuteronomy 13:1-11 to justify his killing of believing Jews. If not handled properly, the Bible can be a dangerous book!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did Paul quote verses out of context in 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1?

Willing to Submit to God’s Will

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

“If any man will do his [the Father’s] will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17 KJV).

Let us be willing to submit to God’s will!

A ministry coworker recently told me about how one particular man was so excited about understanding the Bible dispensationally. I had talked with him months before via telephone, and she had given him some Bible study material. Just the other day, he had returned to her house—all these months later—to express his gratitude to her for showing him the truth. God’s Word has gripped his heart!

Earlier this week, a vehicle pulled up at my house while I was in our front yard. A man stepped out and asked me if I recognized him. Of course I did. Many months ago, he had just so happened to be passing in our neighborhood. At that time, a relative and myself have given him the Gospel and shared some Bible study material with recently. Recently, it was on his heart to stop, so he did. We had a delightful discussion about Bible versions and Bible perversions. I could sense his thrill in seeing such wonderful truths!

It is often asked, “Why does God hide His Word from some but reveal it to others? Why do some people see the Gospel, see the truth about the Bible versions issue, and see right division, while others do not see anything at all?” (Jesus’ answer is today’s Scripture.) Those who have faith see the truth! Those who do not see the truth do not want to see the truth! It has nothing to do with God hiding anything from anyone. It has everything to do with people not wanting to submit to God’s authority and refusing to believe Him. It is that simple!

May we be like these two men described above. People with such a desire to see the truth! People with a love to hear more of and believe God’s truth! Souls who simply took God at His Word, and who let God’s Word take them beyond their wildest imaginations! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did God kill the Egyptians’ firstborn sons?

Though a Man Declare It

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

“Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you” (Habakkuk 1:5 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture mean, and how can it explain Paul’s “Acts” ministry?

The Prophet Habakkuk had a ministry during the reign of King Josiah (640-609 B.C.). Habakkuk preached a few decades before the Babylonian armies besieged Jerusalem and burned God’s Temple. The verse immediately following today’s Scripture says: “For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs.”

JEHOVAH God gave Judah (the southern kingdom) ample time to repent, to change their mind and quit worshipping idols. She obstinately persisted in false religion. Now, the fifth course of judgment was impending. Using Gentiles, God would remove Israel from His Promised Land (Leviticus 26:27-39). The Jews would be “among the heathen” (today’s Scripture). Note, Habakkuk spoke as though it had already happened. Israel would now be among the nations, set aside by God. Still, as Habakkuk said, they persisted in unbelief. They refused to believe God’s Word to them.

Paul quoted today’s Scripture to conclude his first recorded sermon in the Bible. Reading from Acts chapter 13, “[40] Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; [41] Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.”

After extensively rehearsing Israel’s history from Abraham to Jesus Christ (verses 14-39), Paul quoted today’s Scripture. He warned unbelieving Israel in that synagogue he was visiting, that they were now among the Gentiles, set aside (paralleling Habakkuk’s message). As God’s spokesman to them, Paul told Israel that they were still in unbelief (paralleling Habakkuk’s message), and they needed to turn from such error and trust Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Unbelieving Israel harassed and contradicted Paul throughout the rest of his ministry, further validating Habakkuk’s prophecy in his own day. The Bible is an amazing Book!

The Greatest War Hero

Monday, May 25, 2015

“For God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 KJV).

In the United States, today is Memorial Day, when we remember those who sacrificed their time and lives to provide our physical freedom. Likewise, as Christians, we have spiritual freedom, which was more costly. Someone had to die to give us the eternal life we now enjoy….

Scripture describes a spiritual warfare between good and evil, God’s truth program versus Satan’s lie program: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [schemes] of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11,12; see also verses 13-20).

Satan distracts mankind from God’s pure Word, the Bible, keeping unbelievers lost (dead in their sins), and preventing unbelievers and Christians from knowing God’s will. The devil draws them away (seduces them) from God’s Word by using religious tradition and human “wisdom” (1 Timothy 4:1-3; cf. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Galatians 3:1-3).

God loves us, so at Calvary’s cross, Christ fought for us sinners, died in battle (today’s Scripture), shed His divine sinless blood, and eternally rescued us from Satan and sin: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:14,15).

Hebrews 9:12 says Jesus Christ has “obtained eternal redemption for us.”

If we have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). Now, God can use us for His glory for all eternity.

Beloved, let us rejoice in our victory over sin, death, and hell that Jesus Christ secured for us by going to Calvary’s rugged cross! Jesus Christ is now alive forevermore—He is our Hero, the Greatest Hero!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study “The Greatest Hero,” which can be read here or watched here.