Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2018

What is Satan Doing Today?

Satan is not in hell today, and neither is he down at the bar trying to get people drunk. So, what is he doing? 
God took the wise in his own craftiness (Job 5:13; 1 Cor. 3:19) by causing Satan to defeat himself when he had Christ crucified (1 Cor. 2:8). The mystery of the Body of Christ (formed on basis of the cross, Eph. 2:16) is a great demonstration of the wisdom of God (Eph. 3:9-10). 
Those who saw Christ on the cross considered Him to be a victim, but there was an unseen spiritual battle raging and we know through the word of God that He was actually the VICTOR (Isa. 50:5-8; Col. 2:15).

Through the cross and the revelation of the mystery God made a FOOL out of Satan and he is very angry about it because he prides himself on being wise. So, what do you think is his focus of attack in this present age? It is on the “preaching of the cross” and “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery.” Knowing who God is and what He is doing is the most important …

Ambassadors for Christ

2 Cor. 5:14-21
(14) For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
(15) And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
(16) Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
(17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
(18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
(19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
(20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
(21) …

Born Again (John 3:1-12)

The exact phrase “born again” is used just three times in the Bible: twice by Christ in His conversation with Nicodemus (Jn. 3:3, 7), and once by the apostle Peter in his first epistle (1 Pet. 1:23). It is a common phrase in the religious world but most people who use it are ignorant of what it really means in the doctrinal context of how Christ and Peter used it.

Who was Jesus and Peter talking to when they spoke of being born again? They were speaking to Israel (Rom. 15:8; see "fathers" in 1 Pet. 1:18). Christ from heaven revealed the mystery of the Body of Christ to the apostle Paul (Eph. 3) and used Him to write thirteen epistles that contain specific doctrines for this age of grace (Rom. 11:13; 2 Tim. 2:7). Have you ever noticed that Paul never used the term born again? I am not saying there are no spiritual applications for us in John or 1 Peter, but that the doctrinal interpretation concerns ISRAEL.

v.1 – The first three words connect us back to the end of the previous…

Abundant Life

In John 10 Christ teaches about the Good Shepherd and His sheep. As you read through the passage please keep in mind that in His earthly ministry Christ was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 15:24). That is why He instructed His apostles to “go not in the way of the Gentiles.” The psalmist called the Lord the “Shepherd of Israel” (Ps. 80:1). Nearly all references in the Bible that liken God’s people to sheep concern His earthly people, the nation of Israel.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (Jn. 10:10)

The celebrity preachers love to use this verse to support their prosperity gospel. They preach that Christ came not only to give us eternal life, but an abundant life of physical health and material wealth. They handle the word of God deceitfully (2 Cor. 4:2) because they try to steal the earthly promises of Israel. Plus, they don't give the whole tr…

Practical Hyperdispensationalism

I am sure you are familiar with the term, “Hyper-dispensationalism.” It is a big word, but it is not difficult to understand. The Greek prefix, “hyper” means excessive and going beyond what is right and acceptable. Some prefer the Latin prefix, “ultra.” Dispensationalism is the divine method of Bible study (2 Tim. 2:15). It is the understanding that although God doesn’t change in His person, He does change in His dealings with man throughout the ages. Man is always prone to extremes, so it is certainly possible to go to unscriptural extremes and be guilty of wrongly dividing the word of truth.

Doctrinally speaking, the issue of when you believe this present dispensation began is typically one of the main ways people judge whether or not they think someone is a hyper-dispensationalist. The problem is that what may seem hyper in comparison to your traditional view may not be hyper at all in the word of God (1 Thess. 5:21). I believe that this present dispensation began with Paul’s salv…

The Distinctiveness of the Apostle Paul

In rightly dividing the word of truth, it is absolutely imperative that we rightly divide Paul’s ministry from that of the twelve apostles. Yet, mainstream and watered-down dispensationalists insist that there is no difference between the ministries of Peter and Paul and claim that it is "hyper-dispensationalism" to believe that there is. They have evidently never asked themselves the important question, “Why Paul?” If his apostleship, message, and ministry was the same as the twelve apostles, what was the point of Christ saving him in the manner he did, away from Jerusalem, and away from the twelve?

The twelve apostles had already been commissioned by Christ to go into all the world (Mk. 16:15). Well, they did not go, but Paul did! What brought about this change? It was the continued rejection of Christ by the leaders of Israel, their fall, and the revelation of the mystery.

In the kingdom commission, the apostles were told to begin at Jerusalem because, according to prophe…

Dispensational Layout of the Bible

The Bible is one Book made up of many different books. It has unity and diversity, just as its Author who is one God in three persons (1 Jn. 5:7). God used about 40 different writers (various backgrounds and locations) over a period of about 1,500 years to write the 66 books of the Bible. These books cover about 7,000 years of human history and give glimpses into eternity past and future. The Bible is not everything God knows, but it is everything God wants us to know about Him and His plan and purposes. The revelation was given progressively. That 66 books make up one book without error or contradiction proves that the Bible is given by inspiration of God.

There are 1,189 chapters, 31,101 verses, and 791,328 words in the King James Bible. Not only did God inspire and preserve His words so that we have a perfect copy of it today in our own language, He led men in the proper arrangement of its books as well the chapter and verse divisions so that the Bible is laid out in a divine orde…

Seven Dispensations

By following the identifying marks of a biblical dispensation (see last post), I see seven dispensations in human history, with the eighth and final dispensation being the eternal state. In the Bible, seven is God's number of perfection and eight is the number of a new beginning.

It is important to understand that dispensations are not cut and dried time periods and that there is overlapping (e.g. conscience and human government) and transitions (Gospels – OC to NC, Prophecy to Fulfillment; Acts – Law to Grace, Israel to Body, Peter to Paul; Hebrews – OC to NC, Tribulation to Kingdom).

By gaining a basic understanding of the different dispensations, we gain a general framework of the whole Bible.

I. Innocence (Gen. 1-3)
A. Revelation – Man was created in the image of God and given dominion on the earth. God placed the man and woman in a perfect garden and told them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.
B. Spokesman – God
C. Responsibility – Adam was to dress and kee…

Biblical Dispensations

The word “dispensation” is used four times in the Bible by the apostle Paul (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2; Col. 1:25). A dispensation is basically a dealing out, distribution, or dispensing of something. It is an administration or stewardship. The Bible was given by progressive revelation. A biblical dispensation is a dispensing of divine revelation. It is a particular way that God deals with man. Dispensations are not periods of time. Ages are periods of time (Eph. 2:7; 3:5), but dispensations operate within ages. 
A biblical dispensation is marked by five things: 1.Divine revelation (brings about clear change in God’s dealings with men) 2.Human spokesman (e.g. Moses for the Law and Paul for the Mystery) 3.Human responsibility to the revelation (testing)  4.Human failure (every dispensation ends in apostasy except the last one) 5.Divine judgment 
There are at least five different dispensations that the apostle Paul refers to: 1.Promise (Gal. 3:16-18) – began with Abraham (2,000 BC) 2.Law (Gal.…

The Threefold Division of Scripture

In Ephesians 2 the apostle Paul shows us how to rightly divide the word of truth. Since he is the only one in the Bible who tells us to rightly divide, doesn't it makes sense that we should look to him for an example of how to do it?

In the first part of the chapter (vs.1-10), Paul talks about the past, present, and future of individual believers:
1. Time past (vs.1-3)
2. We are (vs.4-6, 8-10)
3. Ages to come (v.7)

In the latter part of the chapter he talks about believing Gentiles as a whole:
1. Time past (vs.11-12)
2. But now (vs.13-22)
3. Ages to come (v.7)

I. Time Past (vs.11-12)
The terms “circumcision” and “uncircumcision” identify a basic physical and social distinction; one that was in the flesh and made by hands. In time past the Gentiles were also spiritually alienated from God and thus said to be “without Christ." That was their condition because they were “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel” and “strangers from the covenants of promise.” So, the physi…

Israel vs. The Body of Christ (pt.2)

The Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:4)

I. Purpose
As we saw in our study of the twofold purpose of God, the nation of Israel is God’s agent to reconcile the government of earth to Himself, but the Body of Christ is His agent to reconcile the heavens (Col. 1:16-20). Israel is God's earthly people. The Body of Christ is His heavenly people (Eph. 2:6-7; Phil. 3:20-21; Col. 3:1-4). The Body of Christ (one new spiritual man) was God’s plan before the foundation of the world, but He kept it secret since the world began until He revealed it to the apostle Paul (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:1-13).

II. Origin
The Body of Christ is God’s eternal purpose (Eph. 3:11), so technically it existed in the mind of God before the world began. There are a number of views concerning the historical beginning of the Body of Christ (Adam, Christ, Pentecost, mid-Acts with Paul’s salvation and ministry, Acts 28). This is an important issue because it has major doctrinal ramifications. W…

Israel vs. The Body of Christ (pt.1)

One of the fundamental tenets of right division is understanding and maintaining the difference between Israel and the Church which is the Body of Christ. Our last three studies on the main division (prophecy vs. mystery), the twofold purpose of God (heaven and earth), and two ministries of Christ (earthly and heavenly) clearly prove this difference. In this study and the next, we are going to take a very basic overview of Israel and the Body of Christ.

ISRAEL

I. Purpose
As we saw in our study of the twofold purpose of God, Israel is God’s agent to establish His kingdom on the earth (Ex. 19:5-6). The nations will come to worship God through their ministry (Isa. 2:1-5; Matt. 28:19-20). God spoke about this purpose through His prophets since the world began (Lk. 1:70; Acts 3:21).

II. Origin
When Adam fell he lost his dominion on the earth. God immediately promised a Savior who would redeem what Adam ruined (Gen. 3:15). As God progressively revealed His plan, it be…

Two Ministries of Christ

The Lord Jesus Christ is foundational and central to all that God does, but there is a difference between His earthly ministry to Israel and the nations and His heavenly ministry to the Body of Christ.
Romans 15 8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 
16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
17  I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. 

It’s imperative to understand that the earthly ministry of Christ was one of CONFIRMATION (to confirm what was already promised to the Jewish fathers) and not INAUGURATION (to reveal His secret purpose). Israel is God’s earthly people, and He promised them a land and world-wide kingdom over the nations. Christ plainly said that He was “not sent but unto the lost …

The Twofold Purpose of God

The main division in the word of God is between prophecy concerning Israel and her kingdom (spoken by the prophets since the world began, Acts 3:21) and the mystery of the Body of Christ (kept secret since the world began, Rom. 16:25). This main division reveals the twofold purpose of God. 
Perhaps a better way to say it is that God has one great purpose that will be fulfilled through a twofold plan for the ages. God’s one great purpose is to be glorified through the Lord Jesus Christ. The twofold plan through which He will accomplish this is implied in the very first verse of the Bible. God will be glorified in heaven and earth (Gen. 1:1). As the most high God, the Lord is the possessor of heaven and earth (Gen. 14:19, 22). There has been a rebellion in both, but Christ will reconcile all things in heaven and earth back to God (Matt. 28:18). The twofold plan concerns how God will reconcile the governments of both heaven and earth back to Himself (Col. 1:16-20). Israel is His vehicle t…

Prophecy vs. Mystery

When it comes to rightly dividing the word of truth, it is imperative that we first of all identify the main division in the scriptures. Once we do that, the details in understanding God’s word will start falling into place as we study the with the main division in mind.
Most would say that the main division in the Bible is between the Old and New Testaments. You will hear preachers and teachers say things like, “The Old Testament was for the Jews and the New Testament is for the Church.” Technically, the Old Testament did not begin with Genesis but about 2,500 years later in Exodus, and the New Testament did not begin with Matthew 1 (Heb. 9:15-18). Israel will be saved by the blood of the NT (Matt. 26:28). When the Jews are gathered out of the nations into their land and kingdom they will be a NT church (Ezek. 11:17).
Another serious blunder is to suppose there is only one church in the Bible. A church is simply a called-out assembly. Israel was a “church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38…