Israel’s Walk By Sight

Friday, October 26, 2012

“And Israel saw the great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses” (Exodus 14:31 KJV).

While we in the Dispensation of Grace “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), today’s Scripture validates this was not true of Israel in her program.

In Christendom, there is much discussion about “miraculous demonstrations.” Apparitions, snake handling, exorcisms, and healing campaigns are publicized as “the work of God.” They insist, “Come and see signs, miracles, and wonders!” Certainly, believers in Scripture did perform various miracles, but we need to understand why they carried them out, before we try to mimic them (and before someone gets hurt!).

The greatest hang-up in Christendom is a persistent, defiant confusing and combining of Israel’s program of “time past” with God’s current program operating in the “but now.” Just because God did something in the past, He is not necessarily doing it today. Do we still offer animal sacrifices? Are we building an ark like Noah? Should we stone to death those who work on the Saturday Sabbath like Israel did? Just as we understand the clarity of these issues, we should recognize that miraculous demonstrations performed in Israel’s program are not occurring today (according to the rightly divided Bible, anyway).

For instance, in the context of today’s Scripture, Israel has just observed God drowning the Egyptian armies in the Red Sea. Israel responded by faith, but not until after she had seen that miracle (today’s Scripture). After all, “the Jews require a sign” (1 Corinthians 1:22a). Jesus explained to Israel why He performed His miracles: “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48). Without miracles, Israel would not believe (cf. Exodus 4:1-9); Aaron performed signs before Israel, “and the people believed” (verses 30,31).

We are Gentiles, and unlike Jews, we do not need signs, miracles, and wonders—they were for the benefit of unbelieving Israel (see 1 Corinthians 14:21,22, for example). When we study and believe Paul’s epistles, we learn that the completed Bible replaced the miraculous demonstrations (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; 2 Timothy 3:16,17).

To Us, It is Venomous Doctrine

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

“And these signs shall follow them that believe;… they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, they shall recover…” (Mark 16:17a,18ab KJV).

Today’s Scripture demonstrates that dispensational Bible study is literally “a matter of life or death….”

Recently, a charismatic minister failed to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The penalty? It cost him… his very life. Although he was scriptural, he was not dispensational. He, like so many before, actually believed that he could follow today’s Scripture without dire consequences. His denominational bias convinced him that he could handle snakes, and it misled him to handle the word of God deceitfully (2 Corinthians 4:2). This individual literally died after a venomous snake bit him.

Mark 16:15-20 is one of the most confused Bible passages in Christendom. Nearly every group follows one or more of these verses, but no one obeys the whole passage. Most Protestant Evangelicals only enjoy verse 15 (fearing verses 16-18). Roman Catholics especially like verse 16. Only a small class of religionists dare attempt to “follow” (read that take and fake) verses 17 and 18 (today’s Scripture). Religionists today who enjoy handling snakes ignore the rest of verse 18—consuming poison! Who follows that and lives? Today, who drinks the poison and “recovers?” No one! (Hypocrisy thus exposed.) Is the Bible is error? NEVER!

Why the “odd” teachings of Mark 16:15-20? Firstly, none of it is spoken to us. Jesus Christ was speaking to Israel’s apostles and Jewish kingdom believers, not us (Matthew 15:24; John 4:22; Romans 15:8). Never does our Apostle Paul command snake handling: it does not belong in our Dispensation of Grace.

But, why snake handling in Mark chapter 16? During the seven-year Tribulation, God will give believing Israel the ability to guard herself against the animal kingdom (cf. Exodus 4:1-5). Wild beasts will become more vicious after our dispensation closes (at the rapture), and they will actually kill millions (maybe billions) during the Tribulation period (Revelation 6:8). We are not living in Israel’s prophetic program, so Mark chapter 16 does not work today. To us, it is venomous doctrine… physically and spiritually….

*For more information, see our larger Bible study “How to Handle Mark 16.” It can be read here or watched here.