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Dispensational Truth

God does not change in His person, principles, or promises (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8), but He certainly does change in His dealings with man. If you don’t understand that, the Bible will be a confusing book to you. We cannot possibly obey everything in the Bible. 
Consider the basic issue of what we are to eat: 1. Adam (Gen. 1:29) = no meat 2. Noah (about 1500 years later, Gen. 9:3-4) = meat without blood 3. Moses (about 1000 years later, Lev. 11:46-47) = clean meats 4. Paul (over 1500 years later, 1 Tim. 4:1-5) = nothing is to be refused
We must distinguish moral truth and dispensational truth. There are moral principles that never change. For example, murder is wrong in every dispensation. The sabbath day is an example of dispensational truth. God gave Israel sabbaths to observe, not the Body of Christ (Col. 2:16). Paul reaffirmed 9 of the 10 commandments (Rom. 13:8-10).
All scripture is profitable for us (2 Tim. 3:16) but we will not gain the profit that God has for us in His word unless we …

Paradise

The word "paradise" appears just three times in the Bible, and in each reference we find it in a different location.
1. Time Past (Lk. 23:43) - In the heart of the earth (Matt. 12:40) 
2. But Now (2 Cor. 12:4) - Above the earth in the third heaven 
3. Ages to Come (Rev. 2:7) - On the earth 

Understandest Thou What Thou Readest?

That was the question that Phillip asked the Ethiopian eunuch as he sat in his chariot reading from the book of Isaiah (see Acts 8:26-40). The eunuch responded, "How can I, except some man should guide me?" He didn't know if the prophecy in Isaiah 53 was about the prophet himself, or some other man. He didn't have the spiritual understanding to see it was about Christ because he was yet to receive the Holy Spirit. He needed a spiritual man to show him Christ in the scriptures. 
It is not my point in this post to expound the passage. I realize that it concerns the kingdom program of Israel. By the way, what was the eunuch reading that would make him ask about water baptism (v.36)? I believe the answer is found in Isaiah 52:15. I just want to draw an application in regard to understanding the Bible.
There are many people who read the Bible but do not understand it. How important is it to have understanding? It is a "wellspring of life unto him that hath it" …

The Sufficiency of God's Word

Dr. E.W. Bullinger wrote the following words in 1897: "God's word is the all-sufficient instrument to accomplish all the Divine purposes in this world, we have no need of any other agency. It is "the power of God unto salvation," it is "able to make wise unto salvation." It must "prosper" and cannot fail to accomplish all the Divine purposes and counsels. Oh, let us beware, that as God's workmen (2 Tim. 2:15), we never adopt any means or take up with any new methods, which tend in the slightest degree to imply the Word of God has lost any of its power, or needs any handmaids or helpmeets, to help it. God's Word is given to God's workmen as the one and only implement to accomplish God's work. This Word he is solemnly charged to preach, and though men "turn away their ears" the exhortation remains the same: "Preach the word" (2 Tim. 4:1-4). If we have His message we must deliver it, and if we have not, we had bett…

Rules for Bible Study (pt.2)

5. The word of God has its own built-in dictionary
We must not rely on man-made definitions to understand Bible words. All of the words in the Bible can be understood by the studying the Bible itself. There is no need to look to outside sources to understand Bible words.
A. Look up the first mention of the word
B. Consider the word in context
C. Note parallelism (e.g. fellowship defined in 2 Cor. 6:14-16)
D. Check cross-references

6. Context, Context, Context!
The Bible is not a collection of sayings. All false teachers use the Bible, they just use it out of context. Consider each passage in light of it’s dispensational context (prophecy or mystery). What is the context of the book? What is the context of the chapter? What is the immediate context?

“It shall greatly help ye to understand Scripture if thou mark not only what is spoken or wrythen, but of whom and to whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goeth before and wh…

Rules for Bible Study (pt.1)

1. We are to take the words in their normal and literal sense (Neh. 8:8)
The word of God uses some figurative, symbolic, and allegorical language, but most of it is written in plain, literal language. We must always take the words in their normal and literal sense unless it is clearly not possible to do so. For example, when Christ said, “I am the door,” He was obviously not saying that He was literally a wooden door on hinges. Words have meaning, but the allegorical approach claims that the Bible does not mean what it says. This approach attacks the clarity, authority, and integrity of God’s word. 

2. The scriptures are self-interpreting (2 Pet. 1:20)
There is only one right interpretation for every passage of scripture. It is not our place to interpret the Bible (Gen. 40:8). The living word of God interprets itself as we study it God’s way. So, you can just forget man-made rules of hermeneutics. Never build a doctrine on an isolated text.

3. We must compare spiritual things with spirit…

The Word of Truth

The “word of truth” refers to the gospel (Eph. 1:13) and to the whole Bible (Ps. 119:43; 2 Cor. 6:7). How would we know for sure the gospel is right if the whole Bible is not right?

We must rightly divide the word of truth because:
1. There are different gospels revealed in the Bible - The "word of truth" by which Israel will be born again (Jam. 1:18) is not the same word of truth by which we are saved today.
2. There are different dispensations and ages revealed in the Bible. God gives different instructions to different groups living at different times. We cannot possibly follow the whole Bible.

Believing the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16) and rightly dividing it (2 Tim. 2:15) go hand in hand. The only way to understand the Bible without changing any words and just letting it say exactly what it says, is to rightly divide it. The KJB is a dispensational book. That is amazing in light of the fact that the translators were not dispensationalists.
1. It is the only English translatio…

What is Our Motive in Bible Study?

Our Bible study should be a spiritual exercise and not just a mental one. The Bible is the living word of God, not a textbook. We should study the Bible out of a relationship with God, not religious ritual. Bible study should not be just about gaining knowledge, but the knowledge of God. We can only know God and His truth through His word.
Why did Paul say that we must study to be approved unto God? Aren’t we complete in Christ (Col. 2:10) and accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:6)? We are approved as to our standing (unchangeable position in Christ), but he is talking about our state (changeable condition). We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of our service. We will not serve God according to His will for this present age unless we rightly divide the word of truth (Rom. 14:10-19; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 4:1-5; 2 Cor. 5:9-11).
What is our motive in Bible study? 1. The fear of God, or man? (Prov. 29:25)  2. The approval of God, or man? (Jn. 12:42-43) 3. The judgme…

Privilege and Responsibility

What a great privilege it is to have the inspired word of God preserved in our language! With great privilege comes great responsibility.
Here are seven things that we should do with our Bible every day. 
1)Read (Isa. 34:16) – Become familiar with its contents
2)Study (2 Tim. 2:15) – Examine carefully to understand what your reading
3)Meditate (Josh. 1:8; 1 Tim. 4:15) – Think deeply upon the truth you study
4)Hide, or Dwell (Ps. 119:11; Col. 3:16) – It becomes part of you
5)Apply (Prov. 22:17-21; 23:12) – Take it personally 
6)Obey (Rom. 6:17) – Doctrine is very practical 
7)Teach (2 Tim. 2:2) – Don't keep the truth to yourself

Stand Fast and Hold Fast

The apostle Paul exhorted believers to "stand fast" six times in his epistles. In each case he was exhorting a church to stand fast in an area in which they were having problems. To "stand fast" is to take a firm, fixed, and settled position on a matter. It is to be "stedfast and unmoveable" (1 Cor. 15:58). This is a much needed exhortation in these last days of compromise and apostasy. While many are being "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Eph. 4:14), may God help us to stand fast! 
Stand Fast:
1. In the faith (1 Cor. 16:13) - The Corinthians were listening to false teachers who denied the doctrine of bodily resurrection. Paul often referred to "the faith" which is the body of doctrine Christ revealed through him for this present age. We must stand fast in sound doctrine!

2. In the liberty (Gal. 5:1) - The Galatians were being moved away from the gospel of the grace of God and liberty in Christ back to t…

Is the Rapture Imminent?

The word "imminent" is an adjective that is used to indicate something is about to happen. The biblical expression is "at hand," which means it is near (e.g. Jer. 23:23). When we say that the rapture of the Body of Christ is imminent, we are saying that it could happen at any moment. Although the words "imminent" and "rapture" are not in the Bible, the doctrine which they signify certainly is. 
Our rapture was a mystery revealed through the apostle Paul (1 Cor. 15:51). When we compare all the scripture given through Paul on the rapture with what the scripture says concerning the second coming of Christ, it is clear that they are two different events. Jesus Christ gave many signs that must be fulfilled before His return to the earth (Matt. 24). Paul did not give us any signs that must be fulfilled before the rapture can take place, but simply exhorted us to look for that blessed hope (Phil. 3:20-21; Titus 2:13). We don't know when Christ is …

The Gap "Theory"

Is there a gap, or interval, between the first two verses of Genesis? In other words, does Gen. 1:2 describe God’s creative work, or His judgment? I believe it describes His judgment in response to the fall of Lucifer.

I. Creation (1:1) – eternity past
II. Destruction (1:2) – eternity past
III. Reconstruction (1:3-2:3) – done in 6 literal 24-hour days about 6,000 years ago 
The six days are clearly marked. Each days begins with, "And God said," and ends with, "And the evening and the morning were..."

This is not an issue to fight about, or to break fellowship over. So, why does it matter? I believe that it is very much connected to right division and the mystery of the Body of Christ. It also helps us understand some things about Satan and his policy of evil.

I think that most Christians reject what is commonly referred to as the “gap theory” because they have been told that it was invented in the 1800’s by a preacher named Chalmers (1780-1847) as a compromise to acc…

Circumspect

There are only two references in the Bible in which God tells people to be circumspect. The word "circumspect" is from the Latin circumspectus, derived from circumspicere, literally meaning "to look around." To be circumspect is to be cautious and wary.
God told Israel through Moses to be circumspect regarding the Law.
Exodus 23:13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.
God told the Body of Christ through Paul to walk circumspectly in the will of God. 
Ephesians 5:14-17 (14) Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. (15) See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, (16) Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (17) Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
The days are evil because we are living in a "present evil world" (Gal. 1:4). O…

Psalm 139

Psalm 139 may be divided into four sections of six verses each. 
1. The omniscience of God (vs.1-6)
2. The omnipresence of God (vs.7-12)
3. The omnipotence of God In (vs.13-18)

In the last section (vs.19-24) we see the Psalmist's reaction to these lofty considerations, ending with an earnest prayer; for his contemplation of these Divine attributes brings him to his knees in adoration and fervent prayer.

This Psalm not only declares how Great God is, but it also demonstrates that we may have a personal relationship with Him! David, who wrote this psalm by inspiration, does not just praise God just for knowing, but for knowing him. He does not just praise Him just for being everywhere present, but for being present with him. He does not just praise Him just for making all things, but for making him. In this Psalm God is mentioned 36 times (30 of which by personal pronouns, "Thee" and "Thou"). David refers to himself 50 times. So, this Psalm is per…

Blessings and the Battle

Ephesians opens with our spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Eph. 1:3), and it closes with our spiritual battle in high places (6:12).

Israel is God’s earthly people, and the Body of Christ is His heavenly people (Eph. 2:6). God gave Israel land and they had to fight flesh and blood enemies to possess and enjoy what was already theirs. Likewise, God has given us “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places” and we must fight spiritual enemies to appropriate and enjoy what is already ours. Just as Israel was to fight their enemies by depending on the power of God, we must be “strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might” if we are going to stand against our enemies.

In the book of Exodus, God redeemed Israel out of Egypt. In the book of Joshua, He brought them into the land of promise. In between those books (Numbers) we see that Israel failed to possess their land at the first because of unbelief and therefore wandered in the wilderness.

The book of Romans teaches us about our…

Preach the Word!

In my sermon last Sunday morning I spoke against the philosophy of many churches today which makes the ministry all about pleasing people instead of preaching the word. That evening I read a sermon preached by E.W. Bullinger in 1894. I was amazed at how he was preaching against the same thing going on in churches over 120 years ago! If he only knew what was happening today! Below is an excerpt from his message.
Leading up to the comments below, Dr. Bullinger was pointing out the downward course of the last days: "turned away from me" (2 Tim. 1:15); "concerning the truth have erred" (2:18); "resist the truth" (3:8); "turn away their ears from the truth" (4:4). 
2Tim. 4:1-5
(1)  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
(2)  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
(3)  For the time wil…

What About Soulwinning?

Let me preface this study with a few remarks:

1. I very much believe that it is vital for believers to faithfully give the gospel to the lost.
2. There are some who may use the term “soulwinning” that are not guilty of the things I am going to write about in this post.

3. I am not writing about this subject just to be critical, but rather I want to warn against some very serious errors in modern day evangelism. How we go about giving out the gospel is extremely important. I fear that there are multitudes of people that have been wrongly led to think they are saved as a result of the kind of soulwinning that I am writing about. They think they are saved because they “prayed the prayer” or "walked the aisle."

The way most fundamental churches emphasize what they call “soulwinning,” you would think it was a major subject in the word of God. However, there is only one mention of soulwinning in the Bible, and it is not even talking about evangelism. It is never right to build a doc…

What Paul Said About Angels

The majority of the references about the ministry of angels on earth concern Israel and her Messiah. There are 297 references to angels in the Bible, and only 13 are found in Romans through Philemon (13 epistles). There are 76 references in the book of Revelation alone! Nowhere does Paul teach that God uses angels to directly minister (by instruction or intervention) to the Body of Christ. In light of our exalted position in Christ, we do not need them (Eph. 1:15-23; 2:6). 
Paul used the word “angels” just once in his prison epistles (written after the Acts transition), but he did refer to them several times with other words such as “principalities” and “powers” (Col. 1:16). A “principality” is the realm ruled by a prince, and “powers” are the rulers (Dan. 10:10-11:1). Angels are organized according to rank. This is true both of fallen angels (Col. 2:15; Eph. 6:12) and holy angels (Col. 2:10). When Paul taught us about spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:10-20), he said nothing about angels hel…

The Work of Angels

Are angels just sitting around on clouds playing harps? The Bible refers to angels in heaven and on earth. Heaven is the primary abode of the holy angels, but we also read much in the Bible about their activity on earth (Gen. 28:10-17; John 1:51). Basically and essentially, holy angels are God’s ministers that do whatever He commands them to do (Ps. 103:19-22).

The supreme duty of angels is to worship and praise God (Ps. 148:1-6; Heb. 1:6; Rev. 5:11-12; 7:11-12).

God uses angels to execute judgment on the wicked (Gen. 19:1, 12-13; Matt. 13:41-42; Rev. 16:1).

God used angels to minister to Israel (Gen. 32:1-2; Dan. 12:1):
1. Israel received the law by the instrumentality of angels (Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19)
2. God sent an angel to help Israel take the land of promise (Ex. 33:1-3)
3. They protected God’s prophets (2 Kin. 6:17; Dan. 6:19-24)
4. They brought God’s chastening on them (2 Sam. 24:15-17)
5. They delivered instruction and messages from God (Dan. 7-12; Lk. 1)
6. They watch over the childr…

The Nature of Angels

Angels are created spirit-beings (Heb. 1:7, 14). They are not made of flesh and blood (Heb. 2:14-16). Does this mean that they don't have a body? Paul said, "There are also celestial bodies" (1 Cor. 15:40). Although angels are spiritual in nature, their tangible constitution is such that “some have entertained angels unawares” (Heb. 13:2). This is because angels, consistent with every passage in which a description is given, are said to be men. Some mistakenly think that Christ said angels are sexless. He said that the angels in heaven do not marry (Matt. 22:30), but He never said they were sexless.

The angels that were sent to deliver Lot out of Sodom before its destruction were called men (Gen. 18:16; 19:5, 10, 12). Mary saw the angel Gabriel as “him” (Lk. 1:29), and Daniel said that he had the “appearance of a man” (Dan. 10:18, see also Dan. 9:21). After the resurrection of Christ, there was seen a “young man” (Mk. 16:55) and “two men” (Lk. 24:4) in the tomb who were …