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Showing posts from January, 2015

12 Hindrances to Bible Study

What a great privilege to have the pure word of God (Ps. 12:6-7)! With great privilege comes great responsibility. Every believer is responsible to personally study the word of God (2 Tim. 2:15). Faithful Bible teachers are a blessing but we will learn more and retain it better if we personally study the word. When you put in the work you will get more out of it! In this post I want to warn you about some hindrances to Bible study. These are things that will hinder you from getting the most out of your Bible (this is not an exhaustive list).

1. Unbelief
Even those that profess to believe the Bible can be guilty of not believing it at times. Unbelief is the natural tendency of the flesh. Every word in the King James Bible is exactly what God wants it to be (Prov. 30:5-6). When we come across something in the Bible that we don't understand, we need to just leave it as it is and trust God to give us light on it (sometimes it may take awhile). We must never mess with the word of God by…

Application and Interpretation

John 14: 1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. In the context of these familiar verses the Lord Jesus is speaking to His apostles in the upper room just hours before His crucifixion. He is comforting their troubled hearts. They were troubled because He had just told them (chapter 13) that one of them would betray Him, that He was going away and they could not go with Him at this time, and that Peter was going to deny Him three times. There is no doubt that this passage is a source of great comfort to Christians. I certainly believe that we can get a blessing out of it by way of application. But although every passage of scripture may have spiritual and devotional applications it only has one right doctrinal…

Moderation

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (Phil. 4:5)

Moderation is the opposite of excessiveness. The flesh is ever prone to extremes. For example, after being burnt out on legalism some Christians swing to the other extreme and become liberal. The balanced Christian understands, appreciates, and walks according to his liberty in Christ. We are free from the law (Rom. 7:1-6; Gal. 5:1) but that certainly does not mean we are free to live lawlessly (Rom. 6:1-2, 14-15). We are to live according to the "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:2). Those who walk in the Spirit do not need to be under the law (Gal. 5:16, 22-26). Liberty is not about our rights but  our responsibility to live for Christ and others. We have liberty FROM sin, not liberty TO sin. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (Gal. 5:13) There is also the more subtle danger of taking a go…

Revised Mystery Booklet

Even if you have read my booklet on the mystery before, I encourage you take another look at it because it has been revised to reflect some changes in my understanding of dispensational truth (nothing major). I took the booklet off my blog last October while I reconsidered and restudied some things that I had written.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:13-14)

Chapter Seven - The Duties of the Mystery

In this final chapter we will consider some practical applications of the doctrinal and dispensational teaching that we have set forth in this booklet. When God gives revelation there is always corresponding responsibility. God has given us the scripture that we might be “perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:17). As we consider our responsibilities in light of the mystery, we may sum it up with three main headings.

1. To Have a Full Assurance of Understanding

1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
5 For though I be absent…

Chapter Six - The Doctrines of the Mystery

There is certainly doctrine found in Paul’s epistles that was revealed before he began his ministry. In other words, not everything that he preached and taught was new revelation. However, with the revelation of the mystery came doctrines that were previously hid. Paul said that ministers are the “stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1). The body of Christ itself is THE mystery, but there are also other mysteries that pertain to this present dispensation. Pastors and teachers must understand these mysteries and work to make them known to the body of Christ. We will give an account to Christ of our stewardship of His mysteries.

Let's consider some of the major doctrines revealed through Paul.

1. The body of Christ
The church which is the body of Christ is "one new man" in which there is neither Jew nor Gentile (Ephesians 2:11-22). There are many local churches, but there is only one body of Christ (Ephesians 4:4). The local church is a visible manifestation of…

Chapter Five - The Dangers of The Mystery

The mystery is a wonderful doctrine that every believer should know and understand. Yet, we must realize there is a danger in people failing to respond to it properly.

The Danger of MISSING the Mystery

It is the will of God for every believer in this age to be enlightened spiritually that they might see the truth of the mystery.

8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: (Ephesians 3:8-9)


Sadly, many believers never see it. Why is that? Some do not see it because they are carnal. Carnal believers are not interested in the deep things of God and cannot bear the MEAT of the word.

1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not…

Chapter Four - The Distinction of the Mystery

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Timothy 2:15)
The major division in the word of God is between the prophecy of the kingdom and the mystery of the body of Christ. The burden and emphasis of the prophecy spoken to Israel is the King and His kingdom (2 Peter 1:16-21). Prophecy concerns that which was SPOKEN since the world began through all the prophets. The burden and emphasis of the mystery revealed through the apostle Paul is the spiritual organism, the body of Christ. The mystery concerns that which was kept SECRET since the world began. The things that were SPOKEN by the prophets since the world began can not be the same things that were kept SECRET and hid from the prophets since the world began. Let’s compare and contrast prophecy with the mystery.
PROPHECY Peter said to Israel, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall co…

Chapter Three - The Dispensation of the Mystery

The word "dispensation" is used four times in the Bible (1 Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 1:10; 3:2; Colossians 1:25). A dispensation is simply a dealing out or dispensing of something. God dispensed grace to Paul to make known the mystery. Just as the law was dispensed through Moses (John 1:17), so the mystery was dispensed through Paul. This mystery fulfilled or completed the word of God (Colossians 1:25). Although the book of Revelation is placed as the last book of the Bible it is the consummation of OT prophecy and was probably written much earlier than most teachers claim. We are not told to rightly divide the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15) until Paul fulfilled the word of God with his last inspired epistle which, chronologically, was possibly the last book of the Bible that was written. 
The dispensation of the mystery was not given to John the Baptist, Jesus (in His earthly ministry), or the twelve apostles. One of the keys to understanding the Bible is to understand the distin…

Chapter Two - The Disclosure of the Mystery

According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, a disclosure is (1) the act of disclosing; an uncovering and opening to view; discovery (2) the act of revealing; utterance of what was secret; a telling (3) the act of making known what was concealed.

The mystery was not an afterthought or "Plan B" of God for it was the “eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11). However, God purposely kept it a secret for over four thousand years. The questions that naturally arise are:
1. Why did God keep it secret?
2. When did God reveal it?
3. Who did He reveal it to?

From Genesis 12 until Acts 8 God’s revelation primarily concerns the nation of Israel. The Gentiles are only dealt with in relation to Israel. God chose Abraham and promised to make of him a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3). He gave Israel covenants (Romans 9:4) concerning a land (Genesis 17:8) and a kingdom (2 Samuel 7:12-16). The mystery concerns a spiritual body in which the distinction between I…