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….

At That Day

Saturday, April 30, 2016

“At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:20 KJV).

What “day” was this that Israel realized these things were true?

Friends, context clues are the most important element in proper Bible hermeneutics (interpretation). No matter the term, the context will shed some light on the subject. The Lord uttered many statements before He spoke today’s Scripture. We should look at them so we can get the thought-flow of that term “day.”

Beginning in verse 16: “[16] And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [17] Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. [18] I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. [19] Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. [20] At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

The expression “that day” of verse 20 refers to the time when the “Comforter,” “the Spirit of truth,” is given to Israel’s Little Flock. When was that? It was in Acts chapter 2 that “the promise of the Father” was given to Israel (Acts 1:4). On the Day of Pentecost, Israel’s 12 apostles received the Holy Spirit, and they imparted Him to the other Jewish believers. When the Holy Ghost came, they received confirmation that Jesus had been glorified in heaven (Acts 2:32,33). The Holy Ghost empowered them and enlightened them to understand and do the things Jesus had taught them during those three previous years. As their Comforter, He came alongside them and provided them with fortitude (strength).

Friends, the lesson for us is simple. We have divine instructions in the Pauline epistles. When we believed the Gospel of the Grace of God, Christ’s finished crosswork, the Holy Ghost was immediately given to us. Like with Israel, God gave us a job to do, and He has given all that we need to accomplish it! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Has God’s Word failed?

Rise Up, LORD! #3

Sunday, November 15, 2015

And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel (Numbers 10:35,36 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture mean?

Remembering that this passage has a prophetic counterpart to mirror it, we ask, what is the significance of JEHOVAH God “rising?” We know Psalm 68, which parallels Moses’ words, involves Jesus Christ’s Second Coming in wrath. But, in the future, from where exactly will He be “rising?” And why is He “moving from a lower position to a higher one?”

Mark 16:19 says that, after 40 days of post-resurrection ministry, Jesus Christ “was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” Psalm 110:1 predicted 1,000 years earlier: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” In His magnificent Pentecost sermon, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter interpreted for us: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted… 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” (Acts 2:32-35).

Jesus Christ would sit at His Father’s right hand in heaven temporarily. He would not sit there forever. When it was time for Father God to judge and conquer His enemies, then Jesus Christ would stand. “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him” (Psalm 68:1). In Acts chapter 2, Peter warned unbelieving Israel about that wrath to come—the Man they had rejected and murdered was alive and coming back to deal with 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” (verse 38). That was the only way for Israel to be prepared for her Messiah’s return. Did national Israel hearken to Peter’s words? No, and thus, Jesus Christ stood.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did God give Israel King Saul if Saul was evil?

Satan and Dispensationalism #15

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

“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 KJV).

Satan knows that Dispensational Bible Study is the key to understanding God’s Word. Thus, he denies it and corrupts it every chance he gets!

Acts is a transitional Bible book. Therein, the most drastic dispensational change in all God’s Word. Where in Acts does God Himself place our dispensational boundary? Is it as 99 percent of Christendom says—Acts chapter 2, Pentecost, the “birthday of the ‘church?’” Certainly not. Our dispensation was given to Paul (today’s Scripture). Saul of Tarsus was still lost in Acts chapter 2. Paul was hellbound until chapter 9!

According to Scripture, our Dispensation of Grace and the Church the Body of Christ began no earlier than Acts chapter 9. But exactly when did they start? The general label “Mid-Acts Dispensationalism” encompasses those who hold to a dispensational change in chapters 9, 13, 15, or 18. The title “Ultradispensationalism” is reserved for an extreme (or late Acts) view, mainly chapter 28 or beyond. Leave it to sinful man and his religious tomfoolery to complicate God’s simple Word! Shame!

The primary truth in the Dispensation of the Grace of God is that national Israel is blinded, fallen before God, and salvation is going to the Gentiles without Israel (Romans 11:11-13). When did salvation go to Gentiles without Israel? When Paul’s apostleship began! Romans 11:11,13: “[11] I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [13] For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office.”

Acts 26:17 is Jesus Christ’s words to Paul in Acts chapter 9: “Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send [Greek, apostello] thee.” Acts chapter 9 is when Paul was divinely “sent” (“apostle” means “sent one”) to Gentiles. If we just believe the simple testimony of Scripture, and do not have a theological system to promote, we concur with God’s Word, the Dispensation of Grace began in Acts chapter 9.

Satan and Dispensationalism #13

Sunday, October 18, 2015

“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 KJV).

Satan knows that Dispensational Bible Study is the key to understanding God’s Word. Thus, he denies it and corrupts it every chance he gets!

There are various “dispensations” in the Word of God, different instructions God gives to a people group in history to believe and obey. The “Dispensation of the Grace of God” is the one that affects us Gentiles today. Paul says in today’s Scripture that the risen, ascended, and glorified Jesus Christ gave him this dispensation so that he could give it to us. That dispensational boundary and change is of critical importance. It involves these last 2,000 years—one-third of human history! It affects the formation and function of the Church the Body of Christ. If Satan can introduce the least amount of uncertainty regarding this dispensation, he confuses the Body of Christ and disrupts two millennia of God’s working in the world.

The most confusion concerning dispensational Bible study is exactly when the Dispensation of Grace began and when our Church the Body of Christ began. Some say Acts chapter 2, others say chapter 9, still others chapter 13, and still others chapter 18, still others chapter 20, or even chapter 28, or even beyond. Confusion! Confusion! Confusion! Some start the Body of Christ in one part of Acts and start the Dispensation of Grace in another part of Acts. We have those who say, “Grace began at the cross but the Body of Christ did not begin until Acts 2.” We have those who say the Body of Christ began in Acts 9 but the Dispensation of Grace did not begin until late Acts or post Acts. We have one group that says the Dispensation of Grace and the Church the Body of Christ both began in late Acts or post Acts. Confusion! Confusion! Confusion!

When did the Dispensation of Grace begin? When did our Church the Body of Christ begin? Unless we have a denominational or “traditional grace” system to promote, we will just agree with the Bible. Let us see what God’s Word says.

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?

Joel and Dispensationalism

Monday, July 27, 2015

…I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come (Joel 2:28-31 KJV).

What can the Prophet Joel teach us about dispensational Bible study?

A half-dozen Old Testament passages combine Jesus Christ’s two comings: these prophets saw one coming. In hindsight, however, we see two prophesied comings. Why were two comings not originally apparent? (There were two secret comings hidden between!)

Today’s Scripture explains Messiah coming twice: first to pour out His Spirit, then to pour out His wrath. These two comings are according to prophecy, “that which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). The Old Testament prophets did not know that there would be two additional comings of Jesus Christ to divide the two prophesied comings—one coming to start our Dispensation of Grace (save Saul of Tarsus and start the Body of Christ) and one to end it (save the Body of Christ from enduring the seven-year Tribulation). These are the two comings according to mystery, that “which was kept secret since the world began” but was manifested through Paul’s epistles (Romans 16:25,26).

Today’s Scripture (cf. Acts 2:16-21) first predicts Jesus Christ pouring out the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost (First Coming). Then, it delineates how He will pour out His wrath on His enemies (Second Coming). Joel knew nothing of our Dispensation of Grace and the Body of Christ—we are between Joel 2:29 and 2:30. The mystery was “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9) and completely hidden from Israel’s prophets. God kept a secret from Satan—He would use Calvary’s crosswork to form the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). The Dispensation of Grace (and its two comings) was also withheld from the Old Testament prophets, including Joel. Wow!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Jesus say to throw the net on the ‘right’ side?

Knowing Your Apostle Paul

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

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

Yea, “…Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity” (1 Timothy 2:5-7).

I once asked a Roman Catholic priest about the “Petrine papacy.” While readily admitting that Jesus Christ sent Paul to us Gentiles (today’s Scripture), he preferred to follow Peter— “I do not care what the Bible says!” He wanted to follow Israel’s Apostle Peter. Never would anyone take “sacred tradition” from him. To abandon the centuries-old fallacy of “Pope Peter” was out of the question!

Christendom’s greatest error is the failure to learn where to go in the Bible to get our “mail” for today. Matthew through John is robbed of the Beatitudes, the so-called “Lord’s Prayer,” and the miracles (the “What-Would-Jesus-Do?” crowd). The Psalms and Proverbs are carelessly isolated. Almost all gravitate to the Book of Acts, especially chapter 2, Pentecost, and the other “Holy Ghost encounters.”

Prophecy said God would bless Gentiles through redeemed Israel (Genesis 12:1-3; Isaiah 60:1-3; Isaiah 61:6; Zechariah 8:20-23). With Israel refusing to convert in early Acts, God could not reach Gentiles. So, with Saul of Tarsus’ (Paul’s) conversion in Acts chapter 9, God instituted a program that He had kept secret since the world began. Salvation would come to us Gentiles through Christ’s shed blood without Israel!

Romans 11:11,12: “[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?”

Through Paul’s Gospel—Jesus Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)—we have access to God by faith. May we study Romans through Philemon to learn through Paul’s ministry what God expects of us as members of the Church the Body of Christ!

If Thou Be #5

Monday, June 8, 2015

“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 KJV).

Today’s Scripture says that long before the modernists, liberals, textual critics, atheists, scientists, and others attacked the Bible, the religionists did it!

Someone once said that Christendom’s “greatest blunder” was the assumption that the Church the Body of Christ started in Acts chapter 2. Friend, to make prophetic into mystery is erroneous. Beloved, to make Israel’s feast day of Pentecost the birthday of the Body of Christ is fallacious. Friend, to see yourself in Acts chapter 2 is dangerous. Unless you begin the Body of Christ with Paul’s salvation in Acts chapter 9, you will never recognize the dispensational boundary that affects your eternity destiny and your earthly life. You will never distinguish between heaven and hell. You will never discern victorious Christian living from futile fleshly living.

Paul claimed to be “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13). The Holy Spirit also moved him to write in Ephesians 3:2 that Jesus Christ gave him “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” so that he could give it to us. If God entrusted to Paul our set of divine instructions to believe and follow, and yet Paul was not saved until Acts chapter 9, is it not silly to go to the Scriptures prior to Acts chapter 9 to find God’s message to us? Why are we so fixated on discovering ourselves in Acts chapter 2, when all the scriptural evidence to contrary is plain English? The answer is Satan’s lie program is still confusing the identity of God’s people. Furthermore, plenty of confused individuals are eager to build denominations and religious organizations, systems that actually enable Satan’s lie program to continue and confuse more souls!

Just before Paul’s death, in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), most Christians had already abandoned him, his ministry, and his epistles (today’s Scripture). They forsook God’s grace and returned to the Law of Moses (see 1 Timothy 1:3-11; cf. Acts 20:28-32)! We need not be surprised that the Body of Christ is thoroughly confused today about its identity. It was largely apostate—claiming Israel’s verses as its own—20 centuries ago!

*For more information, you may refer to our two studies: “Did the Church the Body of Christ Begin in Acts 2?” and “When Did the Church the Body of Christ Begin?