The Case for Right Division #9

Sunday, May 28, 2023

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

Can today’s Scripture deliver someone from absolute stupidity before he or she literally perishes in it? (Yes!)

Ephesians 3:1,2 relays the following: “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:…” The “dispensation” (Greek, “oikonomia,” “house rules”) the Lord has in effect today was given to the Apostle Paul (cf. Colossians 1:25-28). This is the body of truth applicable to us, and it is located in the 13 Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon. Through Paul’s ministry, the mystery program, God is manifesting His grace—His unmerited favor—to mankind in a new way. By faith in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins, we as Gentiles outside of Israel and her prophetic program can be made righteous in God’s sight. God the Holy Spirit is taking us believers in Christ and forming the Church the Body of Christ, separate and distinct from the nation Israel (see Ephesians 2:13–3:12).

Alas, denominationally-minded people are either unintentionally or deliberately blind to dispensational truth. To exclusively follow the Lord’s heavenly ministry through Paul means they must forsake their denominational system (built on Christ’s earthly ministry!). They would have to admit their preacher or teacher lied to them. In fact, those who wish to keep their church traditions have resorted to disparaging dispensational Bible study as a “cult,” “heresy,” and so on. That is their choice. If they are determined to stay in their chaos, we respect their free will and let them remain in that ignorance. They can continue claiming their physical healing, dying because they refuse to visit doctors and receive medication. They can keep their starvation by fasting, holding out and holding on for “answers” from God as to why this or that never came to pass.

Dear friends, in the wake of non-dispensational Bible study, billions are left perplexed, hopeless, and even spiritually, doctrinally, and physically dead. Here is the heavy price that must be paid for failing to apply today’s Scripture. Above all, here is the case for right division!

The Case for Right Division #6

Thursday, May 25, 2023

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

Can today’s Scripture deliver someone from absolute stupidity before he or she literally perishes in it? (Yes!)

Re-read Ephesians 2:11,12. In “time past,” God dealt with mankind on the basis of physical circumcision (Jews, Israel) and physical uncircumcision (Gentiles, nations). While this “middle wall of partition” was in place (see verse 14), God’s blessings and salvation were on the circumcision side (cf. Romans 9:4,5). Christ’s earthly ministry belongs in “time past” (see Matthew 10:5-7; Matthew 15:24; John 4:22; Romans 15:8).

Beginning with the Apostle Paul—the “but now,” Christ’s heavenly ministry—the Lord eliminated “the middle wall of partition” (see Ephesians 2:13-18). Now, the nations of the world approach God, but not through the nation Israel, for Israel is now fallen. Read Romans 11:11-14. We come to God via Paul’s ministry (Bible Books of Romans through Philemon), faith in Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins (see 1 Corinthians 15:3,4). In “the ages to come” (Ephesians 2:7), God will use us the Church the Body of Christ to glorify Jesus in the heavenly places as He will utilize the nation Israel to exalt Jesus in the earth (Ephesians 1:8-12,19-23; Ephesians 2:6,7; Colossians 1:16-20). “Time past,” “but now,” and “the ages to come” is how to “rightly divide the word of truth.” Remember, note it well (!): principles in effect during time past may not be true today, so be careful, lest you misapply to yourself non-Pauline (outside of Paul’s epistles) Bible truths that are no longer true!

Also, we can view Jesus Christ from two perspectives. Firstly, Peter preached Him according to prophecy: “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began(Acts 3:21). Secondly, Paul preached Him according to mystery: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest,…” (Romans 16:25,26). “Prophecy” versus “mystery” is another way God “rightly divides the word of truth.” Let us elaborate….

Firmer in Their Murmur #4

Sunday, February 19, 2023

The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven…. Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves…. When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? (John 6:41,43,61 KJV).

Behold, they have become firmer in their murmur!

“I do not follow Paul. Paul is just a man. I follow Jesus.” Whenever someone says this, they are advertising Bible ignorance: they need to do more biblical studying and less spiritual murmuring. For example, is it not interesting that Jesus Himself ordered the healed leper to “offer the gift that Moses commanded” (Matthew 8:4; Mark 1:44; Luke 5:14)? Adopting the pattern described earlier, can you just imagine the idiotic reply? “But, Lord, I follow God. Moses was just a man. I obey God’s command.”

Of course, the Lord Jesus knew Moses was only a human, but Moses was God’s spokesman to Israel. To reject Moses meant refusing Almighty God’s messenger. Advising His Apostles, Christ stated in John 13:20: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” To receive Christ’s messenger or apostle to us is to accept Jesus Christ Himself, and to receive Jesus Christ is to accept Father God who sent Jesus Christ as the Spokesman for the Godhead. Christ commissioned the Apostle Paul to reach us, “Delivering thee from the people [Israel], and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee [‘apostello’],….” (Acts 26:17). The Holy Spirit thus moved Paul to pen Romans 11:13: “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify my office….”

Instead of spending all our time reading Christ’s earthly ministry (to Israel! Matthew 15:24), we should consider His heavenly ministry to us through Paul. The Corinthians were negligent here (1 Corinthians chapter 10), as is much of the professing church now. Let us not be firmer in our murmur—or even murmur at all—concerning “the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery [Paul’s ministry]” (Romans 16:25,26). Let us be appreciative of the Lord speaking through our Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 14:37)! “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (verse 38).

“Christianettes” #10

Saturday, June 12, 2021

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1 KJV).

How can we prevent ourselves from being “Christianettes?”

The Holy Spirit’s deliberate arrangement of Paul’s epistles in the canon of Scripture—Romans first and Philemon last—brings successive waves of doctrine, reproof, and correction. All is “instruction in righteousness,” Christian living. To move from childish/simplistic thinking to adult/critical thinking, one must be taught increasingly deeper concepts. However, since any teaching, especially sound Bible teaching, can be found in so few Christian institutions and assemblies, spiritual babies abound instead of grownups. If they are reading Scripture, it is usually not the Dispensation of Grace but rather a non-Pauline/tradition assortment or Pauline/non-Pauline/tradition hybrid.

Christendom often appeals to Matthew through John, Christ’s earthly ministry, attempting to force those passages onto us. Yet, Christ ministered to Israel only (Matthew 15:24) on the basis of Jewish covenants (Romans 15:8), including the Mosaic Law (Galatians 4:4). However, Christ through Paul says to us: “Ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14,15). We know Jesus today, not through His earthly ministry to Israel, but rather through His heavenly ministry to us Gentiles via Paul’s apostleship: “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more” (2 Corinthians 5:16).

Alas, as early as the A.D. first century, the Body of Christ had forsaken Pauline doctrine (grace): “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes” (2 Timothy 1:15). Evidently, they preferred legalism (Mosaic Law)—precisely the sentiments of nearly all churches today! Satan’s evil world system is responsible for such ignorance, but the pastors and teachers who should have guarded their local assemblies are not without blame. Brethren, unless we expel the spiritual babies from our seminaries and pulpits, and return to the Apostle Paul’s pattern for edification, the professing church has absolutely no hope of being victorious over its constant sins, false teaching, and impotence.

Only saints mature in grace can do the work of the grace ministry… and only Paul’s epistles will bring us from the status of carnal “Christianettes” (babes) to spiritual Christians (adults) (1 Corinthians 14:37,38)! 🙂

Who Will Go? #4

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8 KJV).

May we agree with the Prophet Isaiah!

Saul of Tarsus, now the Apostle Paul, recounts his salvation and subsequent call to the ministry in Acts chapter 26 (historically, it happened in chapter 9, many years earlier): “[14] And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

“[15] And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. [16] But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; [17] Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee [apostello], [18] To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

“[19] Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: [20] But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” Paul’s own words concerning his Divine commission were identical to Isaiah’s reply: “I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.” After opposing Jesus Christ for decades as a lost man, Paul finally trusted Him as his personal Saviour and then went by faith to conduct His grace ministry for over 30 years. He thusly penned: “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office” (Romans 11:13).

Having regarded at Paul’s commission, let us look at our (related) grace commission….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “At what age did Jesus Christ die?

A Shipwreck That Could Have Been Avoided! #7

Sunday, November 18, 2018

“But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss” (Acts 27:21 KJV).

Despite little doctrinal content in this chapter, the narrative contained therein illustrates the Church the Body of Christ operating in the Dispensation of Grace.

When we survey the professing “Church” today, as we examine the records of ecclesiastical history, we see figuratively what Paul and his sailing companions witnessed literally out in the Mediterranean Sea all those centuries ago. Furious storms—the Adversary, Satan, using false teaching from various angles to defy and obstruct God’s work—have battered and will continue to hammer us. The Body of Christ, “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14), is en route to Heaven and must endure a mammoth hurricane of lies. God is not at fault; He has given us all the doctrine, Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon, to survive. We disregard His Word through the Apostle Paul at our spiritual peril—and never, ever, EVER forget it!!

Although “shipwreck” is an apt representation of the Church the Body of Christ corporately, it does not have to be true of our individual Christian lives. We can choose to, “Study to shew [ourselves] approved unto God, [workmen] that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Brethren, Satan cannot gain the advantage over us unless we let him. We must not ignore our identity in Christ, and we must listen to the Lord’s heavenly ministry through Paul.

Friends, read all of Acts chapter 27, all the while considering the material we have just covered. Notice how the sailors snubbed Paul’s counsel from the outset, and met a terrible outcome. “Learning the hard way,” they were extensively devastated and despondent that Pauline guidance was truly their last hope. That same information could have prevented the ruin in the first place. The same is true of us. All hope is not lost. God’s Word rightly divided is as powerful as ever, and if only we believe it, it will thus “effectually work in us” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). 🙂

How to Know Your Apostle Paul

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office” (Romans 11:13 KJV).

Friend, have you ever wondered how to know your Apostle Paul?

Initially boasting, “I do not follow ‘some man,’ I go by what ‘Jesus’ says;” professing Christians subsequently assemble at their denominations where manmade traditions masquerade as pure Bible. There, they have been trained to snatch “charming verses” out of context. Since each Bible dispensation differs, and religionists “pick and choose” verses from multiple dispensations, countless combinations and divergent denominations result. Some follow Moses, but most stress Christ’s earthly ministry and the (transitional) Acts period. Yea, denominations arise when Bible readers fail to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). They do not understand which dispensation applies to them—namely, God’s spokesman to them.

The Book of Acts records God’s dealings with man in “time past” giving way to the “but now” (Ephesians 2:11-13). With Saul of Tarsus’ conversion and commission in Acts chapter 9, God temporarily suspended His dealings with the nation Israel and began forming the Church the Body of Christ with any believers (Jew or Gentile) in Christ’s finished crosswork at Calvary.

Christ Jesus told Saul/Paul (Acts chapter 26): “[16] But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; [17] Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send [apostello—cf. today’s Scripture] thee, [18] To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

Therefore, we read: “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:…” (Ephesians 3:1,2). Since the ascended Lord Jesus Christ sent Paul to us, we find God’s instructions for us today in the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon. Avoid the abounding confusion; take heed to Christ’s heavenly ministry!

For more information about Paul’s apostolic authority, you may see: https://ambassadorsfortherisenchristministries.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/pauls-apostolic-authority-verses/.

Spirituality or Futility? #8

Friday, November 10, 2017

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. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant (1 Corinthians 14:37,38 KJV).

Here, we see two alternatives—spirituality and futility. Our choice?

God sent the Apostle Paul to us Gentiles to give us the Dispensation of the Grace of God, or Jesus Christ’s heavenly ministry (Ephesians 3:1-9). From Heaven, not Earth, Christ is speaking today. In this dispensation, God is forming the Church the Body of Christ, a heavenly people whom He has blessed “with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). We are not the nation Israel; God is not finished with Israel. She will rise again after our dispensation (Romans 11:1-36)!

We are saved by simple faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for our sins (Romans 3:23–4:8)—apart from any works of any kind. Upon believing the Gospel of the Grace of God, the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13,14). We need no water (or any other) ceremony to “enhance” our Christian life. God gave us a new nature in Christ, power that produces good works and gives us victory over sin (Romans 6:1-23). The Law serves no purpose in our life because God’s grace teaches us to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts,” and “to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11,12,14). Jesus Christ died to put away sin, so we put it away in our life. Our hope is not God’s earthly kingdom (Israel’s hope) but rather His heavenly kingdom (Ephesians 2:6,7; 2 Timothy 4:18).

Romans is the most basic Book for this dispensation. It outlines justification, how to have a right standing before God. Therein we also discover sanctification, how God has set apart believers to do His will. Moreover, we see Israel’s past, present, and future statuses. Finally, there are basic but specific grace principles for everyday living. Three useful Pauline passages are Romans chapter 12, Ephesians chapter 4, and Colossians chapter 3.

We study all the Bible, but anything other than Pauline doctrine and duty is but futility!

Spirituality or Futility? #7

Thursday, November 9, 2017

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. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant (1 Corinthians 14:37,38 KJV).

Here, we see two alternatives—spirituality and futility. Our choice?

Dear friend, a sure way to engage in futility is to reach back into previous dispensations and/or reach forward into future dispensations, and force those verses on us today. To use Bible verses God once applied before our dispensation, or to follow Scriptures God will apply after our dispensation, is to fall prey to Satan’s “wiles” or deceitful strategies (Ephesians 6:11). If you have trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, such Bible mishandling frustrates or hinders God’s plans for your Christian life! If you have not trusted Christ, such Bible misusage hides from you God’s current Gospel message! Christians remain confused and defeated; lost people stay unsaved and Hell-bound!

Satan would never discourage us from quoting Bible verses because he did it in Matthew 4:6. Yea, he used Scripture… but did not handle it dispensationally. As long as God’s Word is not “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15), it furthers Satan’s agenda most ingeniously (without suspicion!). “We are in God’s will because we are Scriptural. Satan cannot deceive us.” Of course, to not use the Scriptures God’s way is to, by default, achieve Satan’s goal!

God is not currently forming an earthly people—the nation Israel. There is no water baptism and no tithing (mandatory giving) today. God is not telling us to confess our sins, follow the Mosaic Law, keep the Sabbath, offer blood sacrifices for our sins, sell everything we have and give to the poor, drink poison, heal the sick, raise the dead, look for “signs,” build an ark, and so on. God told other people in other dispensations to pursue and do those things, but He did not tell the Apostle Paul to instruct us concerning them. What futility to try to make God do something He is not doing today! If we will know what He is doing today, and will do His will today, we heed the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon.

Let us conclude this devotionals arc….

Spirituality or Futility? #6

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

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. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant (1 Corinthians 14:37,38 KJV).

Here, we see two alternatives—spirituality and futility. Our choice?

One can be “Scriptural” and still be completely outside of God’s will. We must be Scriptural and dispensational, aware of God’s current program. Yea, we should always respect a Bible verse’s dispensational context before we try to apply it to ourselves.

Notice Romans chapter 11: “[11] I say then, Have they [Israel] stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? [13] For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:….” With national Israel temporarily fallen, the ascended Lord Jesus Christ sent the Apostle Paul to us Gentiles with a special dispensation (or set of instructions for our faith and obedience).

Ephesians chapter 3: “[1] For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, [2] If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: [3] How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, [4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) [5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;….”

What Paul wrote in Romans through Philemon was not made known in Genesis through Malachi, Jesus’ earthly ministry (Matthew through John), or early Acts. Therefore, to constantly emphasize the non-Pauline Bible Books to the extent of diminishing the Pauline Books is to ignore a secret God was deliberately withholding at that time. Now that He has revealed that secret through Paul, ignoring Paul is to be completely ignorant of God’s current operations….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain Philippians 2:14-16?