The Depths of the Sea

Thursday, October 6, 2016

“He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19 KJV).

What are these “depths of the sea?”

Earth’s oceans are very mysterious. Great depths, extreme pressure, and immense darkness hinder us from thoroughly exploring them. Actually, we know more about the Moon—or even Mars (!)—than we do about our own planet’s oceans! Scientists have discovered only a fraction of the species that exist in our oceans. Various deep trenches and innumerable caves and crevices are hiding places for who knows what! Average ocean depth on Earth is about 2.3 miles (12,100 feet / 3.7 kilometers). The deepest part of our Earth’s ocean basins is Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean. Challenger Deep has been measured to have a depth of nearly 7 miles (36,200 feet / 11 kilometers)!!

Near the close of his book, the Prophet Micah wrote today’s Scripture. Having talked throughout about Israel’s coming judgment (historically, from our view, they were the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities), as well as her coming Messiah to rescue her from her sins and her enemies (still future, even from our view), Micah concludes the book with the Abrahamic Covenant: “Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old” (verse 20). The Abrahamic Covenant was God’s first and foremost agreement with Israel (Genesis 12:1-3). No matter what Israel would do, no matter how deep into sin and idolatry she would go, that covenant was unconditional. It would hold because of God’s faithfulness.

When writing about Father God taking care of Israel’s sins, the Holy Spirit declares He will throw all of Israel’s sins into “the depths of the sea.” (Think of Challenger Deep!) Those sins will never be brought up again. Neither Israel’s human enemies nor Satan will ever find them. God will never again hold them against Israel! The New Covenant will take care of those sins forever (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:12; Hebrews 10:17). “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more!”

Satan and Dispensationalism #24

Thursday, October 29, 2015

“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; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:” (Colossians 1:25,26 KJV).

Dispensational Bible Study enables us to see and appreciate the final revelation from God. Satan is thus utterly embarrassed!

Lucifer was (still is as Satan) the wisest creature. However, that which is created can never be greater than its creator. God knows Satan’s thoughts, but Satan knows not God’s thoughts. While the triune Godhead revealed Their will for the earth and Israel, They kept something secret. Satan was intelligent, but not omniscient (all-knowing); some things were completely unknown to him. The triune Godhead skillfully let Satan participate in Calvary’s crosswork. After Calvary, the Godhead revealed Their original purpose in Calvary.

Had Satan really known what God would do through Christ’s finished crosswork, Satan would have done everything he could to prevent Calvary. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians chapter 2: “[6] Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: [7] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: [8] Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

Colossians 2:14,15: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

Through Christ’s shed blood, all sinners can now be reconciled to God. In the future, Israel’s New Covenant can be established, to save her from her sins and make her God’s earthly kingdom of priests. Moreover, the direct divine revelation given to Paul is that Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection is how (now, in our Dispensation of Grace) all people—Jew or Gentile—can by faith join the Church the Body of Christ and form God’s heavenly kingdom.

The Carpenter from Nazareth (and Heaven) #9

Sunday, September 27, 2015

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:1-4 KJV).

Have you ever stopped to consider why Jesus’ earthly trade was carpentry?

According to the Law of Moses, Israel’s high priest had to first be washed with water, and then anointed with oil, before he could function in that office (see Exodus 29:1-7; cf. Leviticus 8:1-13). That high priest could then offer animals’ blood for the atonement of Israel’s sins (Leviticus chapter 16). In order to function as Israel’s “High Priest” (today’s Scripture), Jesus Christ was water baptized and then anointed with the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:13-17). Then, His sinless blood was shed on Calvary, for Israel’s sins (Isaiah 53:8; Daniel 9:24).

Now, when our dispensation ends, Israel’s New Covenant can be established (Jeremiah 31:31-34). As the Old Covenant of Law was ratified with animal blood (Exodus chapter 24), so the New Covenant will be ratified by Jesus Christ’s shed blood (Hebrews 8:8-13; Hebrews 10:1-39). That New Covenant will redeem national Israel (Acts 3:19), her believing remnant, and enable them to become a house, Jesus Christ’s “house” (today’s Scripture). Verses 5 and 6 continue, “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”

So, today’s Scripture contrasts Moses leading Israel under the Old Covenant with Jesus Christ leading Israel under the New Covenant. During the seven-year Tribulation, which will be operate once our dispensation ends, the book of Hebrews urges believing Jews to stay doctrinally pure, until Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming to begin that New Covenant (cf. Romans 11:26-29).

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should we pray for sick people?

Paul and Dispensationalism #3

Monday, August 10, 2015

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (Romans 11:25-27 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Romans chapters 9-11 are a special section of Paul’s epistles—they examine Israel’s past (9), present (10), and future (11) from a dispensational perspective.

Chapter 9 outlines Israel’s rebellion against JEHOVAH God from the very beginning, culminating at Christ’s crucifixion on Calvary, but God preserved a believing remnant, the Little Flock, within the nation. Israel’s program (the wrath and kingdom) is still delayed so our mystery program can operate. Chapter 10 describes how Israel is rebelling against God during the Acts period, how they are persecuting Paul and contradicting his preaching. A small remnant of Jews is listening to Paul and believing his Gospel of Grace, thereby escaping apostate Israel and joining the Body of Christ. Chapter 11 predicts after God closes our Dispensation of Grace and cuts off Gentile access to Him apart from Israel, Israel’s program will recommence and Israel’s Little Flock will be restarted. We come to today’s Scripture.

Paul does not want us to be wise in our own conceits. He does not want us to think we are someone we are not. Contrary to church tradition, we are not Israel, we have not replaced Israel, and we are not an extension of Israel’s program! Israel is currently blinded. “The fulness of the Gentiles”—the completion of the Church the Body of Christ—must occur, and until it does, national Israel will not be saved. That Second Coming of Jesus Christ, as well as that New Covenant to cleanse Israel, will continue to be delayed. Israel will be saved one day, just not today. Prophecy will restart, just not today. Wrath will come, just not today. Today is the Dispensation of the Grace of God!

Malachi and Dispensationalism

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 3:1 KJV).

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

A half-dozen Old Testament passages combine the two comings of Jesus Christ: from these prophets’ perspective, it appeared to be one coming. From our perception, however, we can look back and see two comings were planned. Why were two comings not originally apparent? (There were two secret comings hidden between!)

Today’s Scripture describes Messiah coming twice: the first time Israel denied and crucified Him, but the second time Israel will delight in and crave Him. 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). What the Old Testament prophets did not know was 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).

In today’s Scripture (cf. Mark 1:1-3), John the Baptist announces Christ’s earthly ministry (First Coming). Then, Israel accepts Jesus Christ to establish the New Covenant and the Millennial Kingdom on Earth (Second Coming). Is there any hint of our 2,000-year-long Dispensation of Grace? No, Malachi knew nothing of our Dispensation of Grace and the Body of Christ. The mystery was not only “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9), but it was also completely hidden from the prophets of old. God kept a secret from Satan, and it was how 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) that involved the Body of Christ was also withheld from the Old Testament prophets, including Malachi. What a marvelous Book the Bible is!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why could Moses not enter the Promised Land?

When the LORD Turns Israel’s Captivity #12

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

“That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee” (Deuteronomy 30:3 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, Moses prophesies Israel’s glorious future restoration!

The Mosaic Law declared that if Israel broke God’s laws, He would punish her with five accumulative and successive courses of judgment. That last round of chastisement was banishment from the Promised Land. Because of her national sins, Israel became increasingly open to Satan’s influence. Contractual agreement forced God to curse His beloved people!

As the Gentile armies led the Jews away captive, Israel mourned. They died in those foreign lands. As long as Israel was scattered globally, she could not be in the land that God had promised her. Furthermore, she could not accomplish His will in His land. That will all change when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back and establishes His earthly kingdom. Israel will rejoice with the establishment of the New Covenant!

The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 126:1-6: “[1] When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. [2] Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. [3] The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. [4] Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south. [5] They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. [6] He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

As Romans chapter 11 makes so plain, God still has a plan and purpose for Israel. In due time, He will fulfill it. For now, however, He is operating our mystery program. He will take care of Israel and her enemies in due course. For now, however, He is graciously offering salvation from sins, to all who simply believe on His Son.

“Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad (Psalm 53:6). 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What part of us is justified at salvation?

The Messiah Is Coming!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:5,6 KJV).

Jerusalem, the Messiah is coming, the Messiah is coming!

The Old Testament “Major Prophets” (the five “large” books of Isaiah through Daniel) and the “Minor Prophets” (the 12 “small” books of Hosea through Malachi) have two main themes—God’s judgment on the Jews in response to their centuries of pagan idolatry by forcing them out of His land, and God’s forgiving and restoring Israel to return to that Promised Land and enjoy His earthly kingdom forever. Although Jeremiah (the prophet of today’s Scripture) devoted large portions of his ministry and book to that impending divine wrath, the Holy Spirit moved him to also preach and write verses that declared that God’s Messiah would come to deliver Israel from the religious (spiritual), social, and political mess in which she put herself (see today’s Scripture).

While Judah was captive in Babylon, JEHOVAH revealed to the Prophet Daniel that in addition to 70 years necessary for the Promised Land’s cleansing, 70 weeks of years (or 490 years) were needed to cleanse the Jewish people (Daniel 9:24-27). After this 490-year period, Messiah would come and deliver Israel from her sins and her enemies. Once Jesus Christ came, Israel had the prospect to be a redeemed people in a cleansed land. Just as that 69th week of years expired, they delivered Him to the Romans to have Him die on an awful Roman cross. He resurrected and returned to heaven rejected.

Now, one seven-year period (Daniel’s 70th week) remains on the prophetic calendar before Jesus Christ can return for Israel and establish her kingdom (today’s Scripture). When He comes the second time, He will use His blood shed at Calvary to establish a New Covenant to take away Israel’s sins (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Acts 3:19; Romans 11:26,27; Hebrews 8:8-13; Hebrews 10:15-17). Yes, Jeremiah 29:11 is still true—God’s wonderful plans for Israel are to be fulfilled in His own time! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is grace a ‘license to sin?’