Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mark

The Mark who wrote this book is the John mentioned in Acts 12 whose surname was Mark (Acts 12:12, 25). Mark was a Roman surname, his Hebrew name was John. He was the son of Mary (various Mary’s in NT) and cousin to Barnabas. He was a kingdom disciple in Jerusalem that later transitioned into Paul’s ministry (1 Pet. 5:12-13; Acts 12:25; 13:4-13; 15:36-41; Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11; Phile. 24). 

The Acts period was a unique period of time in which there were two different programs operating simultaneously while one was phasing out (kingdom) and the other phasing in (Body). Evidently some of the kingdom disciples transitioned into the Body of Christ (Barnabas, Mark, Silas) while most of them stayed in the kingdom program. I personally think that Mark probably wrote his gospel before Acts 13 but definitely before Acts 15. While I cannot prove that he did, no one can prove that he didn’t. 

Mark emphasizes Christ as the perfect servant (10:45). It is fitting that Mark wrote with that emphasis because he was not an apostle but simply a minister (Acts 13:5). This book emphasizes the deeds of Christ more than His doctrine. It is a book of action not discussion. The word “immediately” is used 17 times and “straightway” 19 times. To get an idea of how fast paced this book just read through the first chapter. 

Outline: 
I. The Servant (1:1-13)
II. The Servant’s Work (1:14-10:52)
III. The Servant in Jerusalem (11-13)
IV. The Servant Obedient unto Death (14-16)
V. The Servant Continues His Work (16)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Matthew

Matthew was a publican (tax collector) when Christ called him to be His disciple and then chose him to be one of the 12 apostles (Matt. 9:9; 10:1-7). He will be one of the 12 princes that will judge the 12 tribes of Israel in the Kingdom (Matt. 19:28). The book of Matthew was written by a Jewish apostle about a Jewish Christ and His Jewish Kingdom. 

There are 23 direct quotes of the OT and 76 references to it in 28 chapters. The phrase “that it might be fulfilled” occurs 10 times, “which was spoken” occurs 14 times, and there are other similar phrases. The church which is the Body of Christ was a mystery hid in God until revealed through the apostle Paul (Eph. 3) and has to do with His eternal purpose for the heavenly places. Therefore, the book of Matthew is not written to or about the Body of Christ (neither are the other 3 Gospels). The events recorded by Matthew transpired under the dispensation of the LAW (Matt. 5:17-20; 8:4; 19:17; 23:1-3; 24:20).

Matthew presents Christ as the promised King (1:1, comp. Gen. 5:1). God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham who was the father of the Hebrew people (Gen. 12, 15, 17) and confirmed it to Isaac and Jacob. He promised to make of him a great nation and to give them a land. He also made an everlasting covenant with David concerning his throne and the kingdom (2 Sam. 7). Christ came to confirm the promises that God made to the Jewish fathers (Rom. 15:8). Notice the order in v.1. 
I. Jesus Christ as the Son of David (1-12), the kingdom proclaimed
II. Jesus Christ as the Son of Abraham (13-28), the King rejected 

The word "kingdom" is used 56 times. The term “kingdom of heaven” is unique to Matthew and is found 32 times. This is not talking about God’s kingdom in heaven but the God of heaven establishing His kingdom on the EARTH (6:10; Dan. 2:44; Jer. 23:5). The gospel of the kingdom is the good news that the promised kingdom was at hand. The 12 apostles preached the gospel of the kingdom without believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Lk. 9:1-6; 18:31-34). 
 
The term “kingdom of God” is used 70 times in the NT (8 by Paul). It is found 5 times in Matthew and 50 times in the other 3 Gospels. God is an eternal King (1 Tim. 1:17) and as such he has an eternal kingdom. The kingdom of God is a general designation that could refer to the eternal and spiritual aspect of God’s kingdom. The kingdom of heaven is a specific designation that refers to the kingdom of God being established upon the earth. That is why the terms are used interchangeably (Matt. 16:27-28 with Lk. 9:27-28; 13:28-29; 14:15; 19:11; 21:31; 22:16-18; 23:51). Christ did not come to establish a spiritual kingdom like so many teachers claim because that has always existed. He came to establish His kingdom on the EARTH! Rejecting God’s commandment to rightly divide the word of truth, the covenant theologians have to “spiritualize” the literal promises that God made to the literal nation of Israel. They accuse dispensationalists of making Christ out to be failure because we teach the kingdom was postponed and will be established later. Christ did not fail, His people did. If you reject dispensational truth, you will make God out to be an unfaithful liar! 

The Right of Jesus Christ to be the King:
I. The Legal Right (1) – His royal lineage 
II. The Royal Right (2) – Born King of the Jews
III. The Prophetic Right (3) – The prophesied forerunner
IV. The Moral Right (4) – The righteous King 
V. The Legislative Right (5-7) – The law of the kingdom 
VI. The Miraculous Right (8-11) – The signs of the kingdom 
VII. The Pivotal Chapter (12) – Warning of the unpardonable sin
VIII. The Preparation of the Disciples for His Rejection (13-26)
IX. The Crucifixion of the King (27)
X. The Resurrection of the King (28)

Concerning His earthly ministry, Matthew has two clear sections:
1) From that time Jesus began (4:17)
2) From that time forth began Jesus (16:21)

Many wrongly think that Christ began to reveal the present mystery age in chapter 13. The parables were about the mysteries of the KINGDOM, i.e. further revelation about the kingdom not found in the OT prophets. When Christ declared, “I will build my church” He was not revealing a new purpose but rather confirming the fact that He would accomplish what He came to do even though He must first be rejected (Matt. 16:13-17:2). From beginning to end, Matthew is all about the KINGDOM. 

Mountain = Kingdom (Isa. 2:1-5). Significant mountains in Matthew: 
1) The charter of the kingdom (Matt. 5-7) – Pure law and religion 
2) The vision of the kingdom (Matt. 17:1-13) Suffering and then the glory 
3) The signs of His coming kingdom (Matt. 24-25) – NOT the rapture of the Church!
4) The kingdom commission (Matt. 28:16-20) – NOT our commission! 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter

This post is for all those who sincerely love truth over tradition. 

Matthew 15:7-9, 12

7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?


Psalm 119:165 

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.


The word "Easter" is found one time in the Bible and it was a pagan king who observed it (Acts 12:1-4). The Bible critics claim this is a mistake in the King James Bible. They claim the text should say "Passover" and not "Easter." But a simple reading of the context shows that Herod observed Easter AFTER the Passover. The days of unleavened bread followed Passover (v.3; Lev. 23:4-8). 

The TRUTH is holidays like Easter and Christmas are Roman Catholic traditions that are actually rooted in Babylonian religion and not the word of God (Babylon is the mother of harlots, fountainhead of idolatry, Rev. 17:5). Easter comes from the ancient pagan festival of Astarte (Ashtaroth in OT). Also known as Ishtar (pronounced "Easter"), this festival was always held late in the month of April. It was the Catholic Council of Nicaea (325 AD) that set the date of Easter as the Sunday following the full moon that falls on or after the spring equinox. Easter was, in its original pagan form, a celebration of the earth "regenerating" itself after the winter season. The festival involved a celebration of reproduction. For this reason the common symbols of Easter festivities were the rabbit and the egg. At the center of attention was Astarte, the female deity. She is known in the Bible as the "queen of heaven" (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-25). That’s what the Catholics call Mary! She is the mother of the sun god Tammuz (Ezek. 8:14) who was also her husband (Nimrod, Gen. 10). These perverted rituals would take place at sunrise on Easter morning (Ezek. 8:13-16). Christ died on the Passover which was always the 14th day of Nisan (April). He arose Saturday evening (which was the first day of the week Jewish time). Mary came to the tomb “when it was yet dark” and He was not there (Jn. 20:1). So much for the "sunrise service." Bible believing Christians rejoice every day that our Savior died for our sins and rose again the third day. We don’t observe “holy days" (Col. 2:8-17). 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Four Gospels

The four Gospels contain the historical record of the earthly ministry of Christ to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 15:24). While there are some applications for us in the Gospels we must be very careful because their primary doctrinal setting concerns the prophetic kingdom program of Israel. Christ did not come to reveal the mysteries that He later did from heaven through Paul (Eph. 3), but to confirm what He already promised to the Jewish fathers (Rom. 15:8). 

Why four books? In the Bible four is the number of the earth and the fourfold picture of our Lord’s earthly ministry is the unveiling of a fourfold prophetic portrait of the greatest life ever spent on earth. The four Gospels present four different perspectives of the same Messiah. 

1)  Matthew emphasizes Christ as King 
a) Branch of David (Jer. 23:5)
b) Behold thy King (Zech. 9:9)

2) Mark emphasizes Christ as the Servant
a) my servant the BRANCH ( Zech. 3:8)
b) Behold.. my servant (Zech. 3:8)

3) Luke emphasizes Christ as the Son of Man
a) the man whose name is the BRANCH (Zech. 6:12)
b) Behold the man (Zech. 6:12-13)

4) John emphasizes Christ as the Son of God
a) the branch of the LORD (Isa. 4:2) 
b) Behold your God (Isa. 40:9)

There are features that are common to all four books but there are also distinctions. The four records do not contradict but rather compliment each other. There is no need to try and harmonize four different records. Each of the Gospel records has a different emphasis. Consider some examples of this from how the records open and close. 

Lineage
1) Matthew – His genealogy traced through the royal line back to Abraham 
2) Mark – No genealogy, the record of His service begins immediately 
3) Luke – His genealogy traced all the way back to Adam 
4) John – No genealogy, a declaration that He is God 

Ascension 
1) Matthew – No ascension recorded, as King of the Jews His place is on the earth 
2) Mark – He ascended up to continue His work through His apostles 
3) Luke – He was “carried up into heaven,” implying He ascended by the power of His Father
4) John – No ascension recorded, the omnipresent God 


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Overview of the New Testament

The New Testament contains 27 books, 260 chapters, 7,957 verses, and 180,751 words. 

A basic outline of the 27 books: 
I. The Gospels (Matthew – John) 
II. The Acts of the Apostles 
III. The Pauline Epistles (Romans – Philemon)
IV. The Hebrew Epistles (Hebrews – Jude)
V. The Revelation 

It is important to understand that the books are not arranged chronologically but rather dispensationally.
Times Past (Eph. 2:11-12) – Distinction, Gentiles blessed through rise and instrumentality of Israel
But Now (Eph. 2:13-18) – No distinction, Gentiles blessed through the fall of Israel, MYSTERY
Ages to Come (Eph. 2:4-7) – Distinction once again, Israel inherits the earth, Body of Christ the heavenly places 

I. Matthew – Acts = Times Past  – The prophesied King and His kingdom offered and rejected, transition away 
II. Romans – Philemon = But Now – The revelation of the mystery 
III. Hebrews – Revelation = Ages to Come – The resumption and consummation of the prophetic kingdom program of Israel

Dispensational Salvation

One of the most important things about right division is that it enables us to understand and clearly present the only gospel by which sinn...