Bible Study 101 #5

Thursday, January 9, 2014

“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).

The only verse that tells you to study the Bible also tells you how to study the Bible!

Dispensational Bible study causes us to recognize dispensations, or sets of instructions God dispenses to mankind throughout the Holy Bible (different peoples living in various time periods). God’s nature never changes (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8), but His dealings with man do change because man changes. (You can verify this by simply comparing God’s “contradictory” directions about diets in Genesis 1:29-31, Genesis 9:1-4, Leviticus chapter 11, and 1 Timothy 4:3-5.)

Our King James Bible uses the term “dispensation” four times (1 Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 3:2; Colossians 1:25). The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:1-5: “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: how that by revelation he [Jesus Christ] made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 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;”

Scripture says that the ascended and glorified Lord Jesus Christ directly revealed and committed to the Apostle Paul a special body of information to give to us Gentiles (non-Jews): Scripture calls that body of truth “the Dispensation of the Grace of God.” We learn this doctrine only in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. Hence, even the Apostle Peter, near the end of his life, acknowledged that he did not understand everything Paul wrote (2 Peter 3:15,16).

Most of the Church the Body of Christ today is doctrinally unsound and spiritually weak because it often neglects the Bible books—Paul’s epistles—written to and about it. Undoubtedly, the professing Church is largely ignorant of God’s will for it because it largely ignores the books of the Bible that explain God’s will for it….

Bible Study 101 #4

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

“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).

The only verse that tells you to study the Bible also tells you how to study the Bible!

I trusted Jesus Christ alone as my personal Saviour when I was a small child, but religious tradition once misled me. I spent the first 13 years of my Christian life ignorant of why God saved me from my sins and eternal hellfire. Seven years ago, some dear Christian brothers shared with me some simple Bible verses that completely revolutionized my understanding of the Holy Bible—these verses will do the same for you if you believe them!

Today’s Scripture was one of those verses (please memorize today’s Scripture as it is quoted above from the King James Bible). Two other passages that clarified the Bible for me was Acts 3:21 and Romans 16:25,26a. Dear friend, you would do well if you also memorized these (again, as quoted from the King James Bible, see below).

In Acts 3:21, the Apostle Peter preached, “[Jesus Christ] 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.” Contrast this with what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 16:25,26a: “Now to him [God the Father] 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,….”

Notice these two antithetical statements: spoken since the world began” and kept secret since the world began.” These are the prophetic program and the mystery program, respectively. God revealed some information to man before Paul’s ministry (prophetic program), and He kept some information secret until He revealed it to man through Paul’s ministry (mystery program). This is the clearest summary of Pauline dispensationalism, dispensational Bible study with emphasis on the special ministry the ascended and glorified Lord Jesus Christ committed to the Apostle Paul….

Unlearned and Ignorant Men… Sort Of

Saturday, February 23, 2013

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13 KJV).

They were not entirely “unlearned and ignorant….”

Christendom often requires one to have a degree to teach the Bible… or, ludicrously enough, even to sing in the church choir (!). Dear saints, memorize today’s Scripture, and let it, not traditional thinking, be your authority in that matter.

Firstly, studying the Bible’s original languages of Hebrew and Greek is not evil in and of itself. Regardless, our King James Bible says in English exactly what the divinely preserved Bible texts read in Hebrew and Greek. Also, it is critical to note that knowledge of Greek and Hebrew does not necessarily make one a sound Bible authority. Millions of heretics and apostates are Hebrew- and Greek-literate!

Music degrees are not evil either, but they do not necessarily equip us to worship God with musical instruments and singing. Millions of hell-bound Bible-haters have prestigious music awards and impressive discographies: their lyrics and lifestyles are certainly not bringing the God of the Bible any glory.

The second greatest blunder of the professing “church”—ranking just under its failure to study the Bible dispensationally—is its emphasis on education. Frankly, unless you have attended seminary for a decade, and save you have been “approved” by some denomination, you really are a nobody. While you certainly want a degreed surgeon, you might want to reconsider that principle when seeking a church leader! Why? Some of the most ridiculous, heretical, and blasphemous statements I have ever read and heard came from the pens and lips of preachers and teachers from seminary!

In today’s Scripture, Israel’s “educated” religious leaders were amazed when they observed the Apostles Peter and John. “Look at those silly fishermen who lack our education! How can such unlearned and ignorant men boldly preach such wisdom?!” HOW? “They had been with Jesus.” They had the Lord of glory as their personal teacher, as do we (1 Corinthians 2:11-16). Beloved, be not intimidated by the “sort of educated” (1 Corinthians 1:25-31). 🙂

Saint, Why Sayest Thou Nothing? #4

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

“Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews” (John 7:13 KJV).

You are not alone in being shy about witnessing for Jesus Christ….

In Mark 14:27 (cf. Matthew 26:31), just before His arrest, the Lord Jesus declared to His disciples, “All ye shall be offended because of me this night.” Peter replied, “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I” (Mark 14:29; cf. Matthew 26:33). When Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him thrice, Peter spake the more vehemently, and all the other disciples affirmed that, to the death, they would never be ashamed of Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:34,35; Mark 14:30,31).

Once the multitude came and bound Jesus, “all the disciples forsook him, and fled” (Matthew 26:56). When thrice asked whether or not he was with Jesus Christ, Peter denied it all three times (Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:55-62). “And Peter went out, and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:62). The very men who claimed they were going to die for and with Jesus Christ, were the ones who abandoned Him during the moments leading up to His death!

Our flesh is weak, as the above verses demonstrate. We can say we will do one thing, but end up doing the opposite. Nevertheless, there is hope for them… and us! Many weeks after Calvary’s crosswork, these timid men, “…Prayed, [and] the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness(Acts 4:31). Earlier, on the day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter preached a magnificent sermon to Israel (Acts 2:14-40). “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (verse 4).

Notice this stark difference. Christ’s disciples were shy and weak in their own strength. However, when they relied on the power of the Holy Ghost, they boldly proclaimed God’s Word! The same is true with us today. We grow timid and fearful when witnessing because that is our weak flesh. However, God the Holy Spirit is more than willing to speak through us!

A Miraculous Escape

Thursday, August 30, 2012

“Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him” (Acts 12:5 KJV).

Evil King Herod has imprisoned the Apostle Peter, but the saints are praying to God for him, and those prayers will be answered!

It is nighttime. Peter is firmly imprisoned: guards are protecting the prison doors, and he is sleeping between two Roman soldiers, bound with two chains (verse 6). The Lord must intervene, or Herod will soon execute Peter!

As the angel of the Lord appears, he illuminates the prison, and strikes Peter on his side. Waking Peter, he commands, “Arise up quickly,” and Peter’s chains instantly and literally fall away (verse 7)! Can you just imagine this? It was not some “miracle” (sham) of a televangelist or magician; it really happened. But there is more!

The angel instructs Peter, “Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals,” which Peter does, and then the angel commands Peter, “Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me,” and Peter obeys (verse 8). “And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision” (verse 9). Peter is so overcome that he believes this is a dream!

They pass the first and the second ward, and come to the iron gate that leads to the city—“which opened to them of his own accord (verse 10)—and soon Peter is freed from prison and the angel has immediately vanished. Imagine that: God’s Word says the gate opened by itself! “And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews” (verse 11). Amazing!

Brethren, while we should not be expecting these miraculous demonstrations in this the Dispensation of Grace, we can study them in the Scriptures and appreciate how God performed them for His “signs and wonders” people, Israel, in her program (John 4:48; 1 Corinthians 1:22). Saints, praise the amazing God we serve!