Paul and Dispensationalism #17

Monday, August 24, 2015

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Baptism has been called “religious TNT.” It has generated many explosive fights across denominational lines! Sprinkling? Pouring? Immersion? Only adults, or babies, too? Where? Who should administer it? What words should be said? What type of water is needed? For salvation or testimony? On, and on, and on… contentious people from all sides fuss and fight, spewing forth contemptuous words! “For ye are yet carnal [fleshly, worldly]: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1 Corinthians 3:3).

Paul could not be clearer. There is one baptism” valid for us in the Dispensation of Grace (Ephesians 4:5). It is not, NOT, NOT, NOT water baptism! The only time Paul mentioned water baptism in his epistles, he wrote, “Christ sent me not to baptize” (1 Corinthians 1:17)! Our one—ONE—baptism is not performed by preacher or priest, but by the Holy Spirit Himself (today’s Scripture; cf. Colossians 2:11,12). The Spirit baptizes us into—NOT water but—the Church the Body of Christ and seals us (Ephesians 1:12-14). Immediately after we rely exclusively on Christ’s death for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection for our justification (1 Corinthians 15:3,4), we are made one with Jesus Christ, “members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Ephesians 5:30). The Holy Spirit comes to indwell us Christians (1 Corinthians 6:19)—He equips us, that the doctrine we read and believe comes to life in our lives (Ephesians 3:16)!

We do not need Israel’s water baptism. We will not experience her fire baptism (seven-year Tribulation and Christ’s Second Coming in wrath). We do not need her “Holy Ghost” baptism in Acts chapter 2, when Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5). No, today, the Holy Spirit does the baptizing, and we are thus “complete in Christ” (Colossians 2:10). The Apostle Paul teaches us that water ceremonies will profit us nothing, NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING spiritually!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is there a simple way to present the Grace Message to children and teens?

Paul and Dispensationalism #16

Sunday, August 23, 2015

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Christian people rarely ask, “Why Paul?” (Because most have never asked that question, they do not recognize Paul’s special ministry, and lacking that understanding, they cannot and do not understand their Bibles!)

Jesus Christ had already selected, trained, and commissioned 12 apostles. Why the need for another apostle? Peter and the 11 had to convert all of Israel first (Matthew 10:5-7; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8), and then redeemed Israel would preach to and convert Gentiles in Christ’s earthly kingdom (Zechariah 8:20-23; Matthew 28:18-20). When Israel refused to be converted nationally and become God’s kingdom of priests in early Acts, God through Paul’s ministry turned to the Gentiles without Israel’s rise to kingdom glory (Romans 11:11-13). Up until Paul’s ministry, God had never had a spokesman to all nations. Paul’s ministry was to all peoples, all nations, without distinction (Romans 1:5,14; Romans 11:32; Romans 16:26; Ephesians 3:9).

In the prophetic program God has formed (and will form) a “peculiar” people—the nation Israel—who would (will) work with Him in accomplishing His will in the earth (Exodus 19:5,6). Now, in the mystery program, today’s Scripture says that God through Paul’s ministry is forming another “peculiar” people—another group belonging to Him, another group that accomplishes His will. The Church the Body of Christ, His heavenly people, also redeemed from sin by Christ’s shed blood. Now that we are part of God’s family via the Body of Christ, we will accomplish God’s will in the heavenly places for eternity (Ephesians 2:6,7).

Hence, today’s Scripture says that we are “looking” for the day when “the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” brings us up into heaven (Rapture), fully equipping us to do good works in heaven!

Paul and Dispensationalism #15

Saturday, August 22, 2015

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

God dealt with Israel as His people from Genesis chapter 12 onward. Romans 1:18-32 explains how God had given the nations (Gentiles) over to Satan and graphic sins at the Tower of Babel (Genesis chapter 11). This shameful behavior typified the Gentiles up through the entire Old Testament Scriptures (and even today!). While Israel’s activities during that time were equally sinful (Romans 2:17-29), Israel at least had direct access to the Creator God (Romans 9:4,5). At least Israel possessed the words—the Law—of the eternal JEHOVAH God (Romans 3:1,2). Contrariwise; the Gentiles groped around in spiritual darkness (Ephesians 4:17-19; cf. Acts 17:22-29); without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:11,12); relishing Satan’s lifestyle (Romans 1:32); ignorantly worshipping stupid dead idols of wood, metal, and stone (Acts 17:29,30); “walking in their own ways” (Acts 14:16). Awful, just plain awful!

And then, God had pity on us! With Israel refusing to cooperate with Him, He activated a plan He had kept secret in Himself. He would turn to us Gentiles through Paul’s ministry. Paul preached to the Athenian idolaters: “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). “Quit embracing foolishness, Gentiles! Change your mind! Trust that ‘Jesus Christ died for your sins, He was buried, and He rose again’ (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). This Gospel of Grace is the means whereby you can escape Satan, hellfire, idolatry, and your other vain behaviors!”

As today’s Scripture indicates, they (we) could literally become trophies of God’s grace. In contradistinction to their old, worthless lives of sin and death, their lifestyles could abound with truly good works—God’s life manifested in and through them (us) for all (especially Satan) to see!!! 🙂

Paul and Dispensationalism #14

Friday, August 21, 2015

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

From Genesis chapter 12 (call of Abraham) until Acts chapter 9 (salvation of Saul of Tarsus), JEHOVAH God dealt almost exclusively with the nation Israel, promising them various covenants, the backbone of their prophetic program. Romans 9:4,5 comment: “[4] Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; [5] Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”

When God dealt with Gentiles prior to Acts chapter 9, He did so through or related to the nation Israel. The Abrahamic Covenant described how God blessed Gentiles who blessed Israel and He cursed Gentiles who cursed Israel (Genesis 12:1-3). Ultimately, God would convert and commission Israel to bring His Word to all nations in His earthly kingdom (Exodus 19:5,6; Isaiah 60:1-3; Zechariah 8:20-23). At Calvary and during early Acts, Israel refused to become that kingdom of priests!

Ephesians 2:11-13 explains how prophecy gave way to mystery: “[11] Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; [12] That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: [13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” (Verse 13 is true now that we have come to Paul’s ministry!)

God’s grace that brings salvation “appeared to all men once the risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ saved and commissioned Saul of Tarsus. Now, God’s Word and the Gospel of His Grace have come to us Gentiles through Paul’s ministry without Israel (Romans 11:11-13). That grace message is Israel’s rejected Messiah Jesus and His finished crosswork can save Gentiles (including lost Jews) into a body of believers who are alive with God’s life!

Paul and Dispensationalism #13

Thursday, August 20, 2015

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:9 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Previously, Paul explained why Jesus Christ commissioned him as our apostle: “[7] Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. [8] Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;” Continuing with today’s Scripture: And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”

The risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ had information to tell all nations, information that He had not revealed during His earthly ministry. So, He took wretched Saul of Tarsus, leader of Israel’s apostasy and the world’s rebellion against Him, saved him by His mercy and grace in Acts chapter 9, and commissioned him to testify to all nations of the divine knowledge he had received and would receive later on. Firstly, Paul was to “preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” This was spiritual wealth found in Christ, apart from Israel and her kingdom program, not spoken of in her Old Testament Scriptures. Secondly, Paul was to “make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery.” This secret (verse 6) is how believing Jews and believing Gentiles are saved into the Church the Body of Christ, apart from Israel and her prophetic program—Saul of Tarsus being first (1 Timothy 1:11-16).

Lost people today are to see us members of the Body of Christ (believing Jews and Gentiles harmoniously) living according to the grace doctrines revealed to Paul. Saints, our dearly beloved brother Paul has since moved on to heaven, but we are still here, and until Christ comes for us, let us, in word and deed, carry on the divinely-ordained ministry he left behind (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Was Luke a Jew or a Gentile?

Paul and Dispensationalism #12

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

“Brethren, be ye followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample” (Philippians 3:17 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Many earnest Christians say, “I do not follow man. I go by what Jesus said.” Bless their dear hearts—they follow the traditions of men by following Jesus’ words to Jews. Jesus Himself said He was not God’s spokesman to us Gentiles: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Are you a lost sheep of the house of Israel? Then, Jesus’ earthly ministry does not apply to you (2 Corinthians 5:16)!

Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13) whereas Jesus Christ is Israel’s Apostle (Hebrews 3:1). It thoroughly astonishes Bible readers to learn that the Apostle Paul is the person we should follow, not Jesus in His earthly ministry. Jesus never said we Gentiles need to follow Him. However, we do find Jesus Christ speaking through Paul and instructing us to follow Paul as he follows Jesus Christ. “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:9).

Friend, if you do not know where to go in the Bible to retrieve God’s Word to and about you, you have no hope in ever understanding the Bible. You will not know the baptism valid for you; you will not know how to handle sickness; you will not have a clear Gospel message to believe; you will not know how to pray; you will not know how God’s Spirit works in you today as a believer; you will not know how to function as a spouse, child, student, parent, boss, employee, pastor, teacher, neighbor, citizen; and so on.

You cannot find victorious Christian living in the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, the early part of Acts, or Hebrews through Revelation. If you want victorious Christian living, you must go to the Holy Spirit’s instructions found in Paul’s 13 epistles, Romans through Philemon. This is the key to Christianity’s doctrinal dilemma!

Paul and Dispensationalism #11

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:3-5 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

The goal of dispensational Bible study, particularly Pauline dispensationalism, is not simply to fill one’s head with Bible knowledge. There is no spirituality in drawing the Bible timeline. No spirituality is in merely talking about God’s grace and Paul’s special ministry. Spirituality is when you know where to go in the Bible to find your information and then using that information to benefit others (“charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned”). Grace doctrine is not meant to be kept secret, spoken only when you want to argue. Grace living is to be… lived!

Our goal in sharing dispensational truths should never be to pick fights, debate, et cetera. Religion has deceived many, many precious people. We should seek their highest good (“charity”). They need to learn God’s truth, and we who know God’s truth should share that truth in love and gentleness. We have the doctrine that can save them from their sins, renew their minds, mature them spiritually, et cetera. How marvelous! How exciting!

Unlike modern-day Ecumenists who minimize doctrine, bulldoze denominational barriers, and simply “fellowship with all ‘Christians’ around the love of ‘Jesus,’” today’s Scripture says Paul approved sound doctrine and exposed false doctrine. Paul commanded young Timothy to rebuke false teachers in Ephesus. They were not to teach any other doctrine than what the Lord Jesus Christ had taught them through the Apostle Paul. Actually, the Bible says their error was legalism (1 Timothy 1:6-11), forcing the Mosaic Law into Christian living. Paul had predicted this apostasy years earlier in Acts 20:28-35. Paul had encouraged them, verse 32, to embrace “the word of [God’s] grace.” This was the Bible rightly divided—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, the grace doctrines!