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).

God Has Already Spoken to Us

Sunday, August 5, 2012

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 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 1:19-21 KJV).

Does God communicate with us through hunches, feelings, emotions, visions, dreams, and “soft, still” voices in our heads? These are subjective: they are tentative because they vary amongst individuals. We need an objective standard, something trustworthy and unchanging—God’s written Word, the Holy Bible.

God did communicate with man via theophanies (God appeared in a physical body and spoke to people; Genesis 3:8,9; Genesis 18:1; et al.). Through angels, visions/dreams, supernatural spiritual gifts, and prophets, He relayed His messages to people (Daniel 9:22,23; Matthew 1:20-24; Acts 10:3; 2 Corinthians 12:1; et al.). But, according to 1 Corinthians 13:8-13, these temporary things—partial wisdom and partial knowledge—were done away when complete wisdom and complete knowledge were brought in.

When was complete wisdom and complete knowledge brought in? As soon as God’s written Word was completed (nearly 2000 years ago), God’s will was fully revealed to man. In the King James Bible’s 66 books we know everything that God wants us to know. Visions, apparitions, “prophetic words” from a preacher’s lips, and angelic appearances are not God’s methods of communication with us.

In the context of today’s Scripture (verses 16-18) the Apostle Peter recounts the time on the Mount of Transfiguration when he, James, and John saw Jesus Christ in His glorified form (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36). But Peter says we have “a more sure word of prophecy.” The Bible is more reliable than experiences we can see with our physical eyes.

We have God’s revealed and written Word preserved in English in the King James Bible. The Bible is the Final Authority, not religious tradition or a preacher’s hunches.

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.

When Truth is Error #2

Sunday, May 27, 2012

“But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (2 Timothy 2:16 KJV).

Being scriptural is not enough. To follow God’s will you must also be dispensational. All of the Bible is for us, but not all of the Bible is to us or about us.

For example, Mosaic Law-keeping is biblical (Exodus 20:1-17). But, to whom are these Scriptures written and spoken? The nation Israel—not us. Additionally, millions of precious souls are basing their salvation on what Jesus said in Matthew 19:17 (cf. James 2:24): “…but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” This is scriptural, but not dispensational: it was true for Israel, but it is error for us.

Friend, if you are basing your salvation on your works, you are going to hell. Following salvation verses that God spoke to someone else is error: God never gave them to you. If you want salvation from your sins and hell, you MUST go to Paul for God’s current plan of salvation. Our doctrine is found only in Paul’s epistles (Romans through Philemon) (Romans 11:13).

We are not under Israel’s works-religion (legalistic) economy. God has replaced Israel’s works-religion acceptance system (our performance) with something better: the grace-based acceptance system, what Jesus Christ did for us at Calvary’s cross. “Ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14b). In our dispensation, salvation is “to him that worketh not (Romans 4:5).

The Gospel that saves you today is not Acts 2:38 or 1 John 1:9, but 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day.”

James 5:14,15 is error for us to practice, but it is truth in Israel’s program. This includes Revelation 3:20, Hebrews 6:4-6, 1 John 2:27, Matthew 24:13, John 20:22,23, Acts 2:4, Matthew 6:9-13, and Mark 16:15-20—verses that Christendom steals from Israel’s program and (wrongly) practices today.

Dispensational Bible study is critical to your soul salvation, as well as to your Christian health. You MUST use God’s Word, God’s way (“rightly dividing the word of truth;” 2 Timothy 2:15), or you will make truth error (today’s Scripture)….

The Jews Require a Sign

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:” (1 Corinthians 1:22 KJV).

Today there is much discussion in Christendom about signs, miracles, and wonders. Charismatic preachers filled with the supposed “Holy Ghost” claim they cast out devils, handle snakes, speak in tongues, heal the sick, and, yes, allegedly raise the dead! The Bible does teach these practices, but are they really doing God’s work, or merely “wresting” God’s Word to make it say something God never said?

Unquestionably, the Lord Jesus Christ told His apostles to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils” (Matthew 10:8). He instructed them to “cast out devils,” “speak with new tongues,” “take up serpents,” drink poison, and “lay hands on the sick [so] they shall recover” (Mark 16:17,18). But, notice the context—Jesus is sending His apostles with “signs” to lost Israel (Matthew 10:5-7; Mark 16:17,20). Jews will only believe if they first witness God’s miracles.

Signs, miracles, and wonders were significant in Israel’s program. Jews always “required signs” (today’s Scripture). The Lord Jesus said (John 4:48): “Except ye [Israel] see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” Miracles in Israel first appear in Exodus 4:1-9, when God gave Moses the ability to heal sickness and handle snakes (to teach Israel that he was God’s servant to deliver them from Egypt). Verses 30 and 31 explain that once Israel saw these signs, “the people believed” (cf. John 4:48).

Jesus performed many miracles during His earthly ministry to prove to Israel that He was God’s servant, their Messiah-King, the God whom their fathers worshipped. Sadly, sinful Israel crucified Him in unbelief.

When God began turning to the Gentiles through the Apostle Paul, these miracles transferred to the Gentiles, teaching Israel that God was now working amongst the Gentiles (Romans 11:11,12; 1 Corinthians 14:21,22). Eventually, when Israel’s program ceased, these miracles faded, and at the close of Paul’s ministry, he could no longer heal (1 Timothy 5:23; 2 Timothy 4:20).

So, it begs the question, today’s charismatic preachers are using whose power to perform their “signs, miracles, and wonders?” Not the God of the Bible!

The New Testament Scriptures

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26 KJV).

During Christ’s earthly ministry, there were no New Testament Scriptures. In fact, according to Luke 24:44, the only Scripture at that time was “the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms” (Old Testament). But, God’s Word still needed 27 other books—what we call the New Testament—in order to complete His revelation to man.

In today’s Scripture, Jesus explains to His apostles that the Holy Ghost will later bring to their mind the words He spoke to them. It is generally agreed that the first New Testament books written may have been the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), written no more than 40 years after Calvary. These four books record the very words that Jesus Christ spoke during His earthly ministry.

During the 40-year period between Calvary and A.D. 70, the Holy Ghost revealed the New Testament Scriptures. For instance, the Apostle Paul wrote, “I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 12:1). Paul understood that Jesus Christ would appear to him at later times to reveal further information (see Acts 26:16).

Moreover, the spiritual gifts of Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:8-10,28-31 held together the early Body of Christ, until the canon of the Scripture was completed. The term “canon” (from the Greek “kanon, meaning “rule”) collectively describes the 66 books of the Bible. Consequently, the 39 Old Testament books and the 27 New Testament books comprise the Biblical canon.

There would come a point, however, when that spiritual gift program would cease operation, as God’s full revelation (the completed Bible) would be accomplished (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; Colossians 1:25). Once Paul wrote 2 Timothy, the Bible was completed (see 2 Timothy 3:16,17). Thus, revelations from God have stopped. Today, illumination is the method whereby God the Holy Spirit, through His written, completed Word, teaches us (1 Corinthians 2:9-16; 1 Corinthians 14:37; Ephesians 3:4).

That Which is Perfect is Come

Friday, September 9, 2011

“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” (1 Corinthians 13:9,10 KJV).

The context of today’s Scripture is spiritual gifts. In verse 8, the Bible says: “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” According to this verse and today’s Scripture, the spiritual gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-31) will vanish “when that which is perfect is come.” What is “that which is perfect?”

Attempting to insert their warped theology into Scripture, certain individuals insist that “that which is perfect is come” refers to Christ’s Second Coming. Hence, they make the Bible say that the spiritual gifts are still operating today. However, we notice the wording of the King James: THAT which is perfect.” Jesus Christ is a “he,” not a “that.” So, in a last-ditch effort to defend their heresy, these individuals retreat to a (corrupt) modern Bible that reads (NIV): “when perfection comes….” How dishonest!

Today’s Scripture concerns partial knowledge and partial wisdom. The context makes no reference to Christ’s Second Coming. The answer to partial knowledge is complete knowledge; complete wisdom does away with partial wisdom (see 1 Corinthians 13:11-13).

During Paul’s time, the Bible’s canon was incomplete. Paul wrote: “I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 12:1). God had not revealed all of His Word yet. When the completed (“perfect”) Bible came nearly 2,000 years ago, so did complete wisdom and knowledge. Accordingly, spiritual gifts—the partial wisdom and knowledge—were done away.

Today, spiritual gifts are unnecessary, for we have the full revelation of God in the form of the Holy Bible (King James Bible). In 2 Timothy 3:16,17, we read: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”