The Comforter and Teacher

Sunday, May 28, 2017

“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).

The Holy Bible is a progressive revelation: God gradually made known His Word to mankind throughout history. He knew the end from the beginning, but He chose not to tell the end at the beginning. As the end came closer, it became clearer. Here, we see the “New Testament” Scriptures predicted—God the Holy Spirit’s method of comforting, coming alongside to aid and strengthen, God’s people.

When God the Father sent the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2, the Spirit caused Israel’s believing remnant—especially the 12 Apostles—to remember everything that Jesus taught them during the previous three years (His earthly ministry). See today’s Scripture. They did not have to rely on fallible human memory; they had the omniscient, omnipotent Holy Ghost guiding their minds and hearts, giving them the final pieces of information needed to understand their prophetic program.

The early Acts period (chapters 1-7) and the Bible Books of Hebrews through Revelation provide details not found in Genesis through Malachi and Matthew through John. The Lord Jesus predicted in today’s Scripture that Israel’s Little Flock would receive the capstone of knowledge as touching the prophetic program. They would see how everything fit together so beautifully, and they would be able to appreciate what God had planned in eternity past. Despite everything that Satan and evil men would do to sabotage God’s plan for the Earth, they would be unable to overcome Him.

Compare today’s Scripture to what Jesus spoke later, John 16:12-14: “[12] I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. [13] Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. [14] He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” In our Bible, inspired and preserved by the Holy Spirit, we see the result of the prophetic program too!

Household Rules #13

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God (Colossians 1:25 KJV).

And, just what is this “dispensation of God which is given to [Paul] for [us]?”

Another major “household rule” of this the Dispensation of Grace is the eternal destiny of believers. Friend, you will search the “Old Testament” in vain to find one word about a believer in the God of the Bible dying and going to heaven. Furthermore, no believer of Christ’s earthly ministry had the prospect of dying and going to heaven. Believers who live outside of the Dispensation of Grace—namely, pre-Apostle Paul and post-Rapture—die with the hope of being resurrected into the kingdom of heaven on earth. Believing Job said in Job 19:25, part of the Bible’s oldest book: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth….” For them, a heavenly kingdom will come down to earth (see Revelation 21:1-4; cf. Isaiah 60:1-3; Isaiah 2:1-4; Isaiah chapter 11; et cetera).

Contrariwise, for us the Church the Body of Christ, our realm of influence is the heavenly places. The life of God we now enjoy as members of the Body of Christ, we temporarily lead it on earth. However, that eternal life will carry on into the heavenly places, that we glorify Jesus Christ there forever. Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 2:6-7 affirms: “[6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 1:20-23 and Colossians 1:16-20 also show how we will share Jesus Christ’s authority in the heavenly places throughout eternity future.

The Rapture—when Jesus Christ comes to take us His Body back to heaven with Him—is designed to end our dispensation (and resume Israel’s program) as well as bring us into the heavenly places. Refer to Romans 11:25-29, 1 Corinthians 15:34-58, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Let us now summarize this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is the King James word ‘borrow’ a ‘mistranslation’ in Exodus 3:22?

Household Rules #12

Monday, January 16, 2017

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God (Colossians 1:25 KJV).

And, just what is this “dispensation of God which is given to [Paul] for [us]?”

To repeat, some people hate dispensational Bible study. Modern English Bible “scholars” eliminate “dispensation,” therefore hiding the system’s biblical foundation. If they omit the term from Scripture, then they quite easily argue dispensationalism is false. However, while refusing to admit it, even they understand some dispensational boundaries. They know a dispensational boundary exists between an animal-sacrificing Old Testament Jew and us today. They understand animal sacrifices were God’s directions to Israel under the Law, not directions to us under Grace. They know God’s directions to Noah to build an Ark are Scripture, but not to us. Yet, they claim and follow other verses not to or about us. How silly!

Certain “church people” loathe dispensational Bible study—especially Pauline dispensationalism—because it prevents them from ripping out of context verses from Jesus’ earthly ministry and early Acts. They enjoy claiming the gifts of healing and tongues; they like the Beatitudes, Sermon on the Mount, and so-called “Lord’s Prayer;” they harp on Christ’s parables; they revel in water baptism, Sabbath-day keeping, and confession of sins. If they were to recognize dispensationalism as true, and apply it consistently in Scripture, then they would see only Paul’s doctrine as applicable to us (today’s Scripture; cf. Ephesians 3:2).

They dislike Paul since he was not sent to water baptize (1 Corinthians 1:17); did not have the gifts of healing and tongues his entire ministry (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; 1 Timothy 5:23; 2 Timothy 4:20); did not quote the “Lord’s Prayer,” Sermon on the Mount, or Beatitudes; did not emphasize confession of sins; directly opposed forced giving/tithing (2 Corinthians 9:6,7); and outright condemned Sabbath-day keeping (Galatians 4:9-11; Colossians 2:16). Paul emphasized grace rather than works. Thus, some groups have removed Paul’s “nuisance” epistles entirely from their Bible!

Dispensational Bible study—specifically, Pauline dispensationalism—threatens church traditions (works-religion). They must ignore dispensational boundaries in order to keep people working and striving in church programs and denominations. In doing so, they underscore Law, thus refuting the Gospel of Grace and hindering victorious Christian living….

His Son #7

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

In Acts chapter 2, the Apostle Peter, God’s spokesman to Israel, offered her a renewed opportunity of repentance. Indeed, unbelieving Jews had refused John’s water baptism. Yes, they had also rejected their Messiah and crucified Him on Calvary weeks earlier. Nevertheless, Father God honored Jesus’ plea (Luke 23:34) and had forgiven them.

Now, God’s Spirit had been poured out on Israel’s believing remnant, signifying that resurrected Jesus was glorified in Heaven (cf. the “right hand…” of today’s Scripture). “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:32,33).

However, Peter warned, Jesus would not sit forever: “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (verse 34-36). Christ would rise and return to judge His enemies—unbelieving Israel!

“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:37,38). (John the Baptist’s message expanded.)

Jesus would return with Israel’s kingdom and eliminate those who denied Him as God’s Son….

His Son #6

Monday, October 24, 2016

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

John the Baptist warned Israel about “the wrath to come” (Matthew 3:7). He said Messiah would come shortly after him and “Shall baptize… with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (verses 11,12). Whoever refused John’s water baptism—“the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4)—would not receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts chapter 2). Without having John’s water baptism and the subsequent Spirit baptism, a Jew would be baptized with fire (judgment at the Second Coming).

In His Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, Matthew chapter 13, Jesus forewarned about God’s fiery wrath consuming unbelievers in Israel (verses 30,40-42). A Jew who did not identify himself with Messiah by participating in John’s water baptism, that Jew was a child of Satan and would surely be punished in God’s everlasting wrath. The Gospel of the Kingdom—“Jesus is Messiah-King, God’s Son”—that Jesus preached in the Four Gospels was the message Father God wanted Israel to believe. There would be a harsh penalty for rejecting God’s Son in His earthly ministry (Hebrews 2:1-3—“how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord [Matthew through John]…”).

With the outpouring of the Spirit of God, Peter warned Israel in early Acts, chapter 2 particularly, that Jesus would now return as King and Judge. Israel had better come to Him by faith and prepare for His return to establish His literal, physical, visible, earthly kingdom….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What did Jesus mean, ‘I will have mercy and not sacrifice?’

His Son #1

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

The Book of Hebrews opens with these three verses. We would do well to notice this is the Epistle to the Hebrews. This will greatly help us understand today’s Scripture. Throughout church history, Bible expositors and church members alike have gotten into much trouble and suffered tremendous confusion because they took verses written to and about Israel, and forced them onto us (the Church the Body of Christ).

For many centuries prior to the Book of Hebrews, for several hundred years before the early Acts period, for many centuries before Christ’s earthly ministry, Father God had sent numerous prophets to Israel concerning His coming Son. Through the preaching of those holy men, He was preparing His nation to identify their Messiah when He arrived. Yet, Israel became increasingly unbelieving and stubborn. Suddenly, God began to speak more and more about His coming wrath as well.

As the Book of Hebrews tells us in today’s Scripture, Israel’s “last days” (the final stages of her program) commenced with the earthly ministry of Christ. Some 800 years before Jesus, the Prophet Joel (2:28-32) predicted those “last days.” First would be the outpouring of God’s Spirit on believing Israel (fulfilled in Acts chapter 2). Then there would be the outpouring of God’s wrath on unbelieving Israel (still awaiting fulfillment, but would have come in early Acts). In Acts 2:14-36, Peter the Apostle preached to Israel that Joel’s prophecy was coming to pass, and that wrath was coming! They must “repent and be baptized… in the name of Jesus Christ.” God’s Son, whom their prophets foretold would come, has come, and they have rejected Him, nailed Him to Calvary’s cross, and still refuse to hear Him….

Why Stand Ye Gazing Up Into Heaven? #3

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

“And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:10,11 KJV).

Why did the angels ask the Apostles, Why stand ye gazing up into heaven?”

Several weeks earlier, just before His crucifixion, Jesus had told His Apostles: “[25] And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; [26] Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. [27] And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. [28] And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke chapter 21). Believing Israel was not to look up until they saw certain signs. Those signs were absent in Acts chapter 1; therefore, Israel was not to be looking up in Acts chapter 1! The angels asked the Apostles why they were looking up to prompt them to remember Jesus’ words.

Furthermore, Jesus had told them to wait for the Holy Spirit who would come days later: “[5] For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence…. [8] But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” They were not to be looking up as though Jesus would return right there in Acts chapter 1 because He was not coming back at that time.

God’s Word told Israel not to look up for Christ’s return until certain events transpired. Let us compare and contrast this with His Word to us concerning Christ’s return….