Baptism-Water or Not?

There are different types of baptism in scripture with water baptism being one of the more controversial topics in the churches. Should you be dunked or sprinkled? At what age? How many times is enough? Do you need to be baptized to be saved or to be a member of a church?

 

Water baptism or cleansing isn’t something new that started with John the Baptist. In the Old Testament, you will find Moses was given directions from the Lord about Aaron’s washing before entering the tabernacle.

 

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

 “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it.

 When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the Lord, they shall wash with water, lest they die.

 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them–to him and his descendants throughout their generations.”

 Exodus 30:17-21

 

Aaron also washed before an offering. You can find many references to this in Exodus and Leviticus.

“Then Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of meeting, shall take off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the Holy Place, and shall leave them there.

 And he shall wash his body with water in a holy place, put on his garments, come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, and make atonement for himself and for the people

 Leviticus 16:23-24

John speaks of three baptisms in Matt 3:11.

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

His baptism was of water. The other two were not. So every time you see baptism in the Scriptures it isn’t referring to water.

For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Acts 1:5

 The baptism of fire is judgment.

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

 Revelation 16:8

 This is an interesting one being baptized unto Moses. Baptism also means that it is a person’s initiation into a particular activity or role.

 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

 1 Corinthians 10:1-2

Paul speaks of one baptism. Is it water, the Holy Spirit or fire?

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;

one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

Eph 4:4-5

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

 1 Corinthians 12:13

In this dispensation, the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ when our faith and trust is in Christ’s finished work on the cross.

No water can accomplish this.

John baptized with water, Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit baptizes us into Christ.

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

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Unto Who?

The word unto is used numerous times throughout Scripture.

When you read this word the question should be asked, unto who?

Let’s say you received a letter in the mail and it was addressed to your neighbor.

You inadvertently opened it and read it. The letter might say you are past due on one of your accounts or it’s from a friend that would like to see you again or possibly you are requested to be on jury duty.

Would you follow these instructions? Hopefully no, it’s not written to you.

But Christendom puts itself where it doesn’t biblically belong all the time.

And Pharaoh’s servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?

 Exodus 10:7

 The phrase unto us here is the nation of Egypt. That was easy.

How about the most used one for this time of the year? It’s found in Isaiah.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Question: Where are the Gentiles in this passage? The churches just about everywhere say the word unto mentioned here is us.

But, Isaiah here is prophesying about a coming King that will set upon the throne of David.

So here the unto us is Israel. This will be a little harder to see if you don’t read the complete context of the Scripture.

To get the correct understanding of any verse of scripture it’s essential to read before and after.

Possibly Christ can clear up the matter of unto who He was sent to?

But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

 Matthew 15:24

 Oops, kind of muddied the water a little bit.

So where do we find us?

First, we need to find who is writing to Gentiles.

Paul writes that he is the Apostle to the Gentiles.

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

 Romans 11:13

Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

2 Timothy 1:11

The Bible is about God’s purpose through the ages. It’s up to us to find out how we fit into His purpose and what is required.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine (Unto who?), for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

 2 Timothy 3:16

Cherry picking or proof-texting Scripture is no different than opening mail that doesn’t belong to you and following its instructions.

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Christ’s Return

Many people in the evangelical community have predicted the soon return of Christ.

So far they have all been wrong.

Harold Camping of Family Radio set two dates September of 1994 and May 21st of 2011.

Hal Lindsay who wrote the best-seller “The Late Great Planet Earth” gave 1988 as the year.

Edgar Whisenant also predicted 1988 in his book “88 Reasons Why the Rapture will in 1988”.

Jack Van Impe has predicted numerous dates and then moved them with his recent pick as the year of 2012.

Since none of these great theologians have gotten it right, don’t you think they should be considered false prophets?

Christ’s next return will be in judgment.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

 Revelation 19:11-15

I don’t think anyone should be looking forward to this event.

But Christ had returned numerous times after His Resurrection to the Apostle Paul.

The first was on Saul’s journey to Damascus.

And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Acts 9:4-6

Must do? Hadn’t he already instructed the 12 what to do?

The next was in Acts Chapter 23 when the Jews were plotting to kill Paul.

And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome
.

Acts 23:10-11

 Paul’s retelling of his conversion in Acts 26 shows that the Lord will appear unto him about other things.

And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;

 Acts 26:15-16

 “Appear unto thee”, hadn’t the Lord left the Apostles with everything that needed to be known? Apparently not!

Paul writes in the Epistle to the Galatians that what he received was not from man.

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 Galatians 1:11-12

Since Christ returned to earth numerous times to reveal things to the Apostle Paul, shouldn’t we be interested in what that might be?

It’s called the Mystery and it’s in Paul’s’ Epistles. You won’t find it in anyone else’s writings. This is also referred to as further revelation.

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 youward:
How that by revelation he 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;

 Ephesians 3:1-5

The return of Christ that revealed the “Mystery” to Paul is more excellent than His return in judgement and wrath.

Look up the word “mystery” in Pauls’ letters (KJV) and study it for yourself. Most churches don’t even know it exists.

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Forgiveness/Remittance

Have you ever noticed how many different ways sins can be remitted/forgiven in the Bible?

In the Old Testament we read of different burnt offerings to forgive man under the law program.

And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him.

Leviticus 4:35

In the New Testament John speaks of water baptism as a means of remission of sins.

John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

 Mark 1:4

 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

Luke 3:3

Jesus taught while He was on earth that forgiveness comes when you forgive others first.

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

 Matthew 11:25-26

 He also said that He had the power to forgive.

But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins,

 Luke 5:24a

After His resurrection He gave the apostles the power to remit or retain sins.

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

 John 20:21-23

 Are you noticing a change?

Paul states in Ephesians that it’s by His shed blood according to grace.

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

 Ephesians 1:7

Forgiveness today doesn’t come by taking your goat to church and sacrificing it, or by getting water baptized, or by forgiving first your brother, or by asking a priest for forgiveness.

It comes by the blood of Christ.

This is called further revelation. God uses it throughout the Bible. Seeing it and studying it will cause you to understand what God is doing today.

He’s not doing what He used to do. His character doesn’t change, but the way He deals with sin has.

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

 Colossians 3:13-14

 

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

 

Assembly Required

I’m sure everyone in their lifetime has purchased something that needs assembled.

You get a sheet with a picture of the finished item, along with a material list, tools needed and step by step instructions.

The instructions start with step one and tell you to put part A to part B and so on and so forth.

The Bible is kind of the same way.

God starts with creation, tells of the fall of man, gives Abram a promise, sets up a nation (Israel) with laws given to Moses, shows a kingdom with David as the king, has prophets telling of the future, 400 years of silence, the King of Israel is born in MMLJ and they follow Him through His earthly ministry, Jesus is  put to death, buried and raised from the dead, Israel rejects their Messiah, Paul is saved and becomes the Apostle to the Gentiles and then in the future the end comes with the Book of Revelation.

This is done in order with God’s purpose in mind.

When you start assembling your item and you decide to start with the last step or try and put part A into Part M disorder occurs.

Reading and studying the Bible and putting things were they don’t belong will also cause disorder.

Most people that are church goers have some knowledge of Scripture along with tradition and denominational theology; this causes confusion and a product that doesn’t look like the picture with some pieces remaining.

 

Paul warns of this kind of studying that never leads to the end result.

 

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Timothy 3:7

 

He also gives us instructions on why we should study the Scripture and how.

 

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

 

Don’t try and put a part of Scripture that doesn’t pertain to you into a part that does.

Read the Word literally and ask the questions who wrote it, what are they writing about and am I in the audience?

 

God put His word together in an orderly fashion for things to be revealed in due time. Trying to put ourselves in places where we don’t belong, only cause confusion with a product that doesn’t look like the picture.

 

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Sacraments/Ordinances

Martin Luther wrote 95 Theses against the teaching of indulgences and the power of the Pope which he nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church. These writings were in opposition to what the Roman Catholic Church was teaching at that time.

The two sacraments that didn’t make the list were Water Baptism and what he called the Sacrament of the Altar (Communion).

These as he stated in his Large Catechism were necessary for salvation.

I would like to add one to the list and that would be feet washing.

The churches teach that making disciples and following the so called great commission found in Matthew 28:19-20 are the marching orders for today.

So if we should be following Jesus’ instructions then shouldn’t feet washing be one of the ordinances?

Jesus stated in the Gospel of John.

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

John 13:12-15

The question is should we be washing feet?

By spiritualizing it we could say it was a custom of the time and culture, we aren’t walking around in sandals today.

Looks like the churches have been missing teachings and ordinances of Christ.
Or is there a further revelation that would free us of these acts?

Paul writes in Colossians:

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Colossians 2:14

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Ephesians 2:13-16

So if you think the use of water for feet washing or baptism is what God requires today, maybe you missed the revelation of the cross and of Christ’s complete work in it.
You’ll only find this in Paul’s 13 epistles.

No amount of dunking, pouring or sprinkling of water can change a person’s position with God, only grace completes the requirement.

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Galatians 5:4

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Keeping a Secret

Keeping a secret is a tough thing to do sometimes. A friend might tell you in confidence not to share this with anyone. But on the inside, it’s bubbling up and wants to come out.

I think God might have had the same issue with His secret.

He kept it for thousands of years.

On the other hand, you might be able to keep one for a thousand seconds.

 

But after it was revealed it was for us.

The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever,

Deuteronomy 29:29a

 

The secret that God was keeping to himself was called the Mystery.

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

1 Corinthians 2:7

 

For most Christians today it’s still a mystery. They have never heard a sermon or a teaching on it. When you mention the word you get a puzzled look as to what are you talking about.

But God in His infinite wisdom kept this secret until the appropriate time.

That time was when the Apostle Paul received it from the Risen Lord.

For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1:12

 

So what Paul received couldn’t have been taught to him by the other Apostles or disciples.

This was unique in that it was given to him and only him first. Then it was revealed to others through Paul.

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 youward:
How that by revelation he 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;

Ephesians 3:1-5

 

God said that He Had kept this secret since the world began. So it was in the Trinity but never revealed not even in the Old Testament. Don’t look for it there you won’t find it.

Now to him 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, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

Romans 16: 25-27

 This secret which was kept within God is now revealed to all nations for our obedience of faith.

A good Bible student might ask, faith in what?

If you want to know what God is doing today start by studying the Mystery revealed to our Apostle Paul.

Some other Scriptural references are Ephesians 3:1-5, Colossians 1:25-26.

 

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

Romans 11:13

 

The Mystery, it’s not a secret anymore!

 

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Following Jesus

When most Christians are asked how should we live today? The normal response is I’m following Jesus.

 

They are following Him because of His love and care for people while He was on the earth.

But what about following His instructions in Matthew, Mark Luke, and John?

 

Baptism is one way that most will follow Him. Well, you can get dunked but you are not without sin. So that can’t be the same as following Him.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:15

 How about the way you evangelize people?

These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:5-6

How about your possessions?

Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

Luke 18:22

 It’s getting a little tougher, isn’t it?

How about salvation?

Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

John 4:22

 How about proclaiming who He is?

Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

Matthew 16:20

 These are all red letters people, why wouldn’t you follow His instructions?

We could spiritualize it and say that was a different time. We aren’t running around in togas and sandals this is the twenty-first century. I thought God’s Words transcended time.

A good Bible student would ask why is He saying these things. This is called a Bible study when you dig into the whys.

There are two ways to follow Jesus today.

One is by Prophecy which is His earthly ministry. This took place in MMLJ. This prophecy had to do with the Jews and their Messiah.

The other is by the Mystery which is His heavenly resurrected ministry that was revealed to Paul in Romans through Philemon. This was for Jews and Gentiles alike.

 

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 youward:
How that by revelation he 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;
That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Ephesians 3:1-6

 Following the words of Jesus Christ according to Scripture is essential. But according to what, Prophecy that was for the Jews or The Mystery which was revealed to Paul for Jew and Gentile alike? Also, know as the Body of Christ.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1

 

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

What the Law Can and Cannot do.

People think that observing the Law is the key to a successful Christian life.

When the Ten Commandments are seen in our schools and government buildings the thought is that’s what we need.

No doubt the Law can have an effect on people as trying to do the right thing and living more civil on a daily basis. But does it save you?

Religion gives us guidelines on how to conduct ourselves. Christians say tell me what I need to do.

But what if you fail in observing what the Law’s instructions are?

Let’s look at some Scripture to helps us better define what the Law can and cannot do.

It gives us the knowledge of sin.

for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:20b

It creates guilt.

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 3:19

 It creates death.

For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Romans 7:9

It keeps us from Christ.

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law;

Galatians 5:4a

 

So we have seen what it can do. Now let’s see what it cannot do.

It cannot justify us.

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:

Romans 3:20a

But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident:

Galatians 3:11a

It cannot strengthen the flesh.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Romans 8:3

 But there is hope without the law.

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Galatians 3:13

 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Ephesians 2:11-16

What the law could and could not do, God had the remedy in Christ Jesus for us.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Galatians 2:20-21

Walking in the flesh is you trying to observe the Law.

Walking in the Spirit is you walking in what God has done for you through Jesus Christ.

To read and study more on this topic check out the Book of Galatians.

 

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Are You A New Testament Christian?

This is my buddy’s favorite question to ask a Christian. Well are you?

Don’t answer just yet.

Do you know that the pages that have Old Testament and New Testament on them weren’t in the original writing of the Bible?

Maybe it was for a good reason.

So finding out what a Testament or a Covenant is should help us.

Dictionary.com states that a covenant was; the agreement between God and the ancient Israelite’s, in which God promised to protect them if they kept His law and were faithful to Him.

Looking under the word testament says basically the same thing. Either of the two major portions of the Bible: the Mosaic or old covenant or dispensation, or the Christian or new covenant or dispensation.

Well Dictionary.com states that the N.T. is a dispensation (something new has been dispensed) and it could be Christian. Don’t get excited just yet.

Many Christians are in agreement that the O.T. was Jewish. It actually started in Exodus 19:5 when the covenant was given to Moses not in the Garden of Eden.

But when it comes to the N.T., people say that’s us. Can we believe two pages that were put in our Bibles or should we look to Scripture?

Hebrews states that the earliest the N.T. could have started would be at the death of Christ.

For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

Hebrews 9:16-17

Jeremiah and Hebrews shed some light on what and who the N.T. is for.

These Scriptures are from Jeremiah 31 and Hebrews 8 (Which wasn’t written by Paul).

That is a subject for a different day.

Read both chapters to get an understanding of the context.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

Jeremiah 31:31-32

For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

Hebrews 8:8

So if this New Covenant is going to be with the house of Israel and Judah, how do we fit in?

We don’t. Unless you think you are spiritual Israel.

Gentiles never had a covenant or promise with God.

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Ephesians 2:11-12

If we were never under a covenant, what do we have?

We have something more excellent.

Where there is no keeping of a covenant with its blessings and curses, no Jew or Gentile.

We don’t have to live in any particular country to be part of this and it can be obtained by faith not by works.

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
For the body is not one member, but many.

1 Corinthians 12:13-14

It’s called the Body of Christ.

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Romans 7: 4-6

So are you going to believe Scripture or two pages that a publisher inserted into the Bible?

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Grace. What is it?

People speak of grace, they sing about it and they even say it before a meal.

But what is it?

Merriman-Webster dictionary defines it as:

A: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification

B: a virtue coming from God

C: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance

We see it all through Scripture.

When I started studying grace, it took me over a year and then some to really get a handle on it. We are so ingrained to be performance based in our Christian walk that grace becomes a side note.

Grace is mentioned 130 times in the New Testament. Paul uses the word more than any other writer (92 times). KJV

This Grace was established before the world began.

 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

2 Timothy 1:9

 This Grace is the means of salvation and teaches us how to live.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

 Titus 2:11-12

This Grace is by the cross of Christ.

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

 Romans 3:24

This Grace strengthens us in times of weakness.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 2 Corinthians 12:9

 This Grace is stronger than the law.

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

 Romans 5:20

 Without this Grace, Christ died in vain.

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

 Galatians 2:21

Without this Grace, Christ has no effect unto you.

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

 Galatians 5:4

 Without this Grace, your work is a debt.

Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Romans 4:4

 If you are relying on your works, your involvement in your church or trying to keep the commandments to be justified, I’d say you need to have a better understanding of Grace.

Grace changes a person from the inside out, where the law tries to change a person from the outside in. Grace is so much more powerful than the law.

Get yourself a bunch it’s free by faith!

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

The Power of the Resurrection

We are at the time of the year for Chocolate Reese’s bunnies, coloring and hunting eggs, decorating the churches, eating ham, buying new clothes and hats and by the way celebrating the resurrection.

Maybe Jesus could have used some these ideas to convince the Apostles about His resurrection.

They didn’t even get it after He told them before it was going to take place.

For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

Mark 9:31-32

He had a meet and greet after He rose.

Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

Mark 16:14

Possibly a Lenten season could have prepared them a little better.

Peter in his Pentecostal sermon is speaking that Christ was raised up to sit on David’s throne.

Therefore being a prophet (David), and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

Acts 2:30

It’s sad to see all the hoopla in the churches about one day, after Paul instructs us about not keeping days.

But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

Galatians 4:9-10

Most of Christendom spiritualizes their actions to justify what they do on this holiday.

Religion has created traditions that conflict with the Word of God.

But what is the purpose of the resurrection?

Have we been blinded by traditions that we have lost what God’s purpose is in it?

  1. You would be dead in your sins without it.

And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

1 Corinthians 15:17

      2.There would be nothing to believe in.

But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

1 Corinthians 15:13-14

      3.Our bodies will be raised.

And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

1 Corinthians 6:14

      4.We are justified by it.

But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Romans 4:24-25

  1. Our blessings are in the heavenlies.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:1-2

What happened at Christ’s resurrection (Peter’s message), is not the same as what happened by His resurrection (Paul revelation).

If you are following your church’s tradition of the resurrection, maybe you don’t understand the position you have in Christ and what His death, burial and resurrection accomplished.

What happened by the resurrection was part of the “Mystery” revealed to Paul first.

His resurrection is not a one day celebration but a daily positional truth that should be in our members.

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

To Every Creature

Jesus came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom.

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Matthew 4:23

 The Apostles were instructed to preach this Gospel to all the world.

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:15

When this Gospel of the Kingdom was taken to the whole world, then the end would come.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Matthew 24:14

This is taught throughout Christendom as their marching orders.

The churches have this as part of their mission statement. Proclaiming this gospel is what we need to accomplish.

There are banners hung in the churches with this directive.

But wonder if a Gospel was preached to every creature?

Then why hasn’t the end come?

Paul writes in Colossians that this is exactly what happened when he was ministering.

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Colossians 1:23

 Maybe there is more than one gospel. Maybe the kingdom gospel that Jesus had instructed his apostles to teach has been set aside.

Israel’s unbelief might have brought about a change.

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Romans 11:25

 This kingdom gospel will be preached again after the fulness of the Gentiles has come in, or the rapture of the Body of Christ.

If you are trying to preach the gospel of the kingdom to all the world, you are preaching according to the wrong dispensation and following the wrong Apostle.

We are living in the dispensation of grace. The gospel that Paul preaches is the one that has been dispensed at this time according to God’s purpose.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

The preaching of the gospel of the kingdom will return when the tribulation starts and will be preached to every creature. This is found in Revelation as the 144,000 and the 3 witnesses are empowered to do this, then the beginning of end will come.

A dispensation is just God giving different instructions to different people at different times.

Being dispensationally correct will help you understand what gospel needs to be preached today. Our gospel has to do with the fulness of the Gentiles, not the tribulation.

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Restoring the Kingdom

One of the first things the apostles asked Jesus after His resurrection was when will the kingdom be restored?

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Acts 1:6

 Doesn’t that seem strange? What are they talking about restoring the kingdom to Israel?

It started back in Genesis with the promise given to Abram.

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 12: 1-3

 This is the scripture that Christendom follows today. They believe if they bless Israel they will be blessed. But Israel has rejected their Messiah and is not in right standing with God.

This promise was for Abram’s descendants (Israel) to have a land that they would rule over the nations (Gentiles). These nations would have to bless Israel or be cursed.

Israel is not ruling the nations today.

This is the kingdom the apostles are talking about.

God established an everlasting covenant for an everlasting possession that He made with Israel.

This covenant had a token (sign) and it was circumcision.

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; every man child among you shall be circumcised.

Genesis 17: 7-10

 

Not keeping this covenant caused much heartache for Israel.

This kingdom was taken and given back to them numerous times in their history.

This time they are under Roman rule and were hoping Jesus would restore this kingdom.

In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

Amos 9:11

This is what their hope was in. Their promise was always an earthly one.

You will never find a heavenly promise in the Old Testament.

That’s why Jesus came preaching the gospel of the kingdom.

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Matthew 4:23

There is more than one gospel in scripture. The sooner one sees this; the clearer understanding of the Bible will be accomplished.

It’s called rightly dividing.

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

Looking for the kingdom to be established on earth is why the Apostles weren’t praising Him for His death, burial and resurrection.

That gospel was committed to Paul.

The Bible is written for us, but it’s not all written to us.

 

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

The New Man in Town

When are we going to start talking about the new man?

Seems like today when some one gives their testimony it’s about what they were.

Bringing up their past sins and behavior.

Isn’t this glorifying who they were?

People I know that have heard a testimony like this say “Wow, he or she really did some really bad stuff”.

Is that what we remember the most, what we were?

Or should it be who we are now?

Maybe a testimony should be our spiritual journey rather than our sinful journey.

 

The Scripture tells us that there is one new man.

Side note: A new man isn’t born again. Something new can’t happen again.

 

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Ephesians 2:14-16

 

This one new man was accomplished by the cross, now there is no Jew or Greek, no separation from God, the law and ordinances are abolished and we have peace.

If you think you are spiritual Israel this scripture puts a dent in that doctrine.

The Bible gives us some instruction on what to do with the old and new man.

 

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Colossians 3:9-11

 Read Colossians 3 to find out how the old man functioned and how the new man should function.

 

One thing that is mentioned is that the new man is renewed in knowledge.

Knowledge is something you obtain through study and research.

This isn’t accomplished by self help books or some special anointing from God.

That’s what Christians want to read today, how to be a better husband, wife, parent or be more spiritual.

Studying Scripture can accomplish this by knowing who you are in Christ.

 

Here’s an interesting stat from Barna.com

Half of Americans Read, Listen to or Pray with the Bible
Half of Americans are “Bible users”—that is, they engage with the Bible by reading, listening to or praying with the Bible on their own at least three to four times a year (50%). This proportion has remained relatively consistent since 2011. But nearly one-third of adults say they never read, listen to or pray with the Bible (32%), a five-percentage point increase over 2016.

 

If Christians don’t know the Word of God, what have they become? Christiandumb.

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Ephesians 4:22-24

Putting on the new man takes effort and understanding on our part.

The new man can’t thrive in the old man’s deeds.

Put on the new man, and keep the old man in the grave where he belongs.

 

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Reconciled

What is reconciliation? The Bible speaks of it in numerous places.

How is it accomplished?

Reconcile means to restore, settle or make compatible.

Adam was made in God’s image, but after his sin all were made in Adam’s image.

Genesis 1:26-27, 5:3.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 5:12

Because of this sin we are separated from God.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:23

 

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 3:10

 So how can this sin be wiped away or come in a good standing with God.

Religion has numerous ways of dealing with this issue and all of them are works.

Becoming a member of a church, water baptism, walking down the aisle to the altar, asking Jesus into you heart, saying the sinner’s prayer or trying to obey the commandments are just a few. One of my favorites (not) is making Jesus Lord of your life. He is Lord, but how is this accomplished or can it be?

Satan loves to use religion and works as a deception.

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:8

 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Romans 4:4

But God in His mind before the world began had a better plan.

He chose Christ to reconcile us with Him.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his (resurrected) life.

Romans 5:10

And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Ephesians 2:16

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
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.
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.

2 Corinthians 5: 18-20

This reconciliation we have is through Christ not of ourselves or of any work. We as Christ’s Ambassadors (representatives) should be telling others how this reconciliation is accomplished. This is something that the churches aren’t doing a very good job of.

It’s up to those of us that understand this truth to keep others from deception.

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Colossians 1: 20-21


The blood of Christ reconciles us to God, not our religion or our works.

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Where’s the Blood?

Paul states in Ephesians 1:7.

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

He also writes in Colossians.

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Colossians 1:14 and 20

Most of Christendom today finds it’s gospel in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Here a couple very recognizable passages.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:3

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

My question to you is where is the blood? Jesus hadn’t died yet, so what were the means of everlasting life and the forgiveness of sins?

They were still under the Old Testament but with new requirements of their faith.
The only thing they could have believed at this point is what had been revealed. That is the baptism of John and that Christ is their Messiah.

Gospel means “Good News”. There are numerous ones in Scripture.

The death, burial and resurrection of Christ came later. The further revelation of the cross was revealed to Paul.

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18

So when you are reading and studying Scripture and looking for your Good News (Gospel), ask yourself where is the blood?

In this dispensation of grace, it’s all about the cross and the completeness of it. If you are trying to find your Gospel in the red letters you are going to come up short.

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Romans 5:9

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:13

Where you find the shed blood of Christ on your behalf is the Gospel for today.

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Bondage

There are two types of bondage spoken of in the Bible, a physical and a spiritual.
Israel was under a physical bondage in Egypt under pharaoh.

And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:
And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
Exodus 1: 13-14

Paul speaks of a spiritual bondage in Galatians.

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
Galatians 2:4

What is this bondage he speaks of? They have a new liberty in Christ and now some false brothers want to change that. In this day and age it could be pastors and teachers on the radio and TV or in your own church.

In Galatians 4 we see in time past we were children in bondage under the elements of the world.

Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Galatians 4: 3-5

This bondage that Paul speaks of here is the Law.
How too often today people receive salvation through faith and then are told they need to obey the law.
This brings so much confusion to a believer. Struggling to be accepted and feeling as if he or she is falling short. Are you saved by what Christ did on the cross or by the law and works?

He goes on to say.

But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
Galatians 4: 9-10

How are you known of God other than being in Christ? It just doesn’t happen, no matter how hard you try on a fleshly level.
These observances were the days that Israel had according to the law.

Paul uses an allegory (a symbolic representation) further on in Galatians 4.

Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh (law); but he of the freewoman was by promise (grace).
Galatians 4: 21-23

If you are struggling in this realm, maybe you need to study grace doctrine. That’s what Paul’s about.
It’s not cheap or hyper or easy believism.
God sent His Son to die on the cross for you when you were yet a sinner. How easily cheap was that?

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Galatians 5:4

I choose GRACE! It frees you from the works of the LAW.

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

 

Why Paul?

Have you ever asked yourself, why the Apostle Paul?

Weren’t the other 12 Apostles doing their job taking the Gospel to all the nations?

If they were, why bring on this new guy?

He would probably just be teaching the same message, or would he?

Paul could have never been one of the twelve after Judas’ death, he wouldn’t qualify.

Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

And they appointed two; Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

Acts 1:21-23

To qualify for this position you had to have walked with Jesus, been there when John the Baptist was preaching and be a witness to the resurrection.

Paul struck out on all three accounts.

At Pentecost who were the Apostles ministering to? This was a Jewish holiday. You can’t put Gentiles were they don’t belong.

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

Acts 2:5

This doesn’t mean the devout men were from other nations, but from The Nation of Israel. They came to Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost.

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem,

Acts 2:14

 Ye men of Israel, hear these words;

Acts 2:22

 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Acts 2:36

He wasn’t blaming Gentiles for crucifying Christ, but his own kinsman.

In Acts 3 Peter says:

Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

Acts 3:24-25

Gentiles were never children of the prophets or had fathers after the covenant.

Later in Acts 7 Stephen speaks to the council.

And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham,

Acts 7:2

There were no Gentiles at this hearing.

After his speech Stephen was stoned and a great persecution arose which scattered the believers. Those believers preached only to the Jews.

Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

Acts 11:19

So when do the Gentiles get into the picture?

Well it wasn’t until 8 years after Pentecost that Peter went to his first and that was Cornelius in Acts 10.

It doesn’t seem like the Great Commission is being commissioned out.

Paul comes on the scene in Acts 9.

The Lord says to Ananias:

But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

Acts 9:15

 That’s more like it, we Gentiles now having something to cheer about.

But things take a turn for the Jews.

And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;

And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.

 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.

Acts 22:17-18, 21

Now there is a change happening. The Jews who were instructed to take the Gospel to the nations (Gentiles) had rejected Christ and His testimony. How could the Apostles and their small group of followers fulfill this commission without Israel being on board?

Later Paul reflects about his conversion to King Agrippa and what the Lord had said to him.

And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.

But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;

Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Acts 26:15-18

The key part of the verse is in red, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;

Paul not only heard from the Lord at Damascus, but there is more to come. This more is called the Mystery, which can be only found in Paul’s letters.

Use a concordance and do a word search and see what you find. Please use the KJV because others have changed this powerful revelation.

Why Paul?

Israel had rejected their Messiah and were set aside.

He is the Apostle to the Gentiles, apart from Israel.

He received further revelation from God, which is called the Mystery.

Read and study his letters, Paul will tell you why.

 

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

How Old is Jesus?

Have you ever tried to calculate how old Jesus would be today?

Let’s see He was born between 3 and 5 A.D. We are in year 2017 A.D. So that would make Him about 2012 years old give or take.

So if you are baking Him a birthday cake, getting the candles on it will be a task.

In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:1-3

According to this Scripture He always was.

He did come to earth and take on human form. The angel had a message for Mary about her pregnancy.

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then said Mary unto the angel, how shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Luke 1:31-33

 Do you see the Jewish lineage here? He also was called the Son of God for the first time.

Never before in the Bible will you find this title.

His reason for coming was to save his people from their sins.

Who are His people? Surely it wasn’t Gentiles. Israel was still the favored nation.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21

 His people that he came into the world for rejected him.

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

John 1:10-11

These are still Jews, people.

After Israel rejected their Messiah, God created a new creature. This creature is called the Body of Christ in which there is no Jew or Gentile.

Question.

When you celebrate someone’s birthday do you bring out the baby pictures? Do you buy them presents as if they were newborns? Or do you celebrate how old and who they are today?

Shouldn’t we do the same with Christ?

Acknowledging who is today.

When we were yet sinners he died for us.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

He is seated at the right hand of the Father as our intercessor.

It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Romans 8:34b

Because of His death burial and resurrection we are:

Adopted as children (Eph 1:5).

He made us accepted. (Eph 1:6)

We are redeemed by His blood. (Eph 1:7)

We have obtained an inheritance. (Eph 1:11)

Sealed us with the Holy Spirit. (Eph 1:13)

Our inheritance is held until the day of redemption. (Eph 1:14)

Not  one of these was accomplished by His birth. Not one soul can be saved by believing on His birth.

Let’s put our faith into what Christ has done and is doing today.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

1 Corinthians 15: 1-4

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Bucket List

A Bucket List is defined by dictionary.com as a list of things a person wants to achieve or experience, as before reaching a certain age or dying:

This is derived from the phrase “kicking the bucket” which refers to death.

In my day the phrase was “whoever has the most toys wins”.

 

Man has derived all sorts of sayings and wish lists that they think will satisfy them and complete them before they die.

Even Christians think that accomplishing some earthly task, like getting an education, having a family, buying a house and finding a good paying job is what God wants for us.

These are all noble things we need to do to survive in this culture, but is this God’s Bucket List for us or ours?

David writes in Psalms.

The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.

Psalm 94:11

 Solomon in Ecclesiastes says:

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

Ecc 2:11

Paul states in 1 Corinthians:

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

1 Corinthians 15:19

Do you think that fulfilling your bucket list will be something that will be remembered or acknowledge when you stand before a Holy God?

The culture that we live in keeps telling us we have rights and we can accomplish anything we want. We are put on this pedestal of thinking we are really something special.

Romans states:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:23

How about the statement that God loves you and has a plan for your life?

He loves you that while you were a sinner he died for you.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

His plan for you is in Christ, not a physical but a spiritual.

 

According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

Ephesians 3:11

God has a “Bucket List” (not that he’s going to die per say). It is called His purpose or His will.

This can be found by studying the Scriptures. It’s not a secret.

Do a word study using an electronic concordance. Type in will or purpose and find out what God’s Word says He is doing.

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Ephesians 1:9

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:4

Paul has an aggressive agenda that pertains to God’s bucket list.

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 3:9

Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

1 Corinthians 10:23

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Titus 2:11-14

 

It’s not about God being involved in what you are doing, but you being involved in what God is doing.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (not ours) .

Romans 8:28

 Maybe we should kick our can down the road and pick up a “New Bucket” that is God’s will and purpose for mankind today.

The sooner we understand that the world doesn’t revolve around us. The sooner we can be involved in God’s bucket list.

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

For Men Only! (Not)

Was Adam circumcised? How about his descendants?

The first mention of circumcision is in Genesis 17:10.

This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

This covenant is everlasting between Abraham and his seeds. Genesis 17:7

Interesting enough is that it can be bought by a stranger.

And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.

Genesis 17:12

 You can read all the requirements in Genesis 17.

Circumcision is also part of the Levitical law.

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.

And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

Leviticus 12:2-3

Jesus was circumcised after eight days according to the covenant and the law.

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;

Luke 2:21-22

If you are following Jesus shouldn’t you be circumcised? Just like being water baptized. People have been water baptized multiple times after they have been saved. Why not multiple circumcisions? I haven’t seen anyone getting in line for that.

 

In Acts 15 there are certain men that taught without circumcision after the manner of Moses you cannot be saved. Acts 15:1

 

Paul and Barnabas disputed this and were told to go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles about this question.

When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Acts 15:2

Why would they dispute the act of circumcision, wasn’t it ordained by God?

Are things changing?

They already have from Adam to Abraham. Is there more to come?

 

The apostles and elders in Jerusalem had much discussion on the matter and that’s when Peter stood and stated, maybe we shouldn’t be so adamant about this circumcision thing.

I’m paraphrasing of course. Acts 15:7-11

 

Paul has a few things to say about circumcision.

Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Galatians 5:2-4

 

As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

Galatians 6:12-13

God’s instructions have changed. This is dispensational Bible study. Meaning God has dispensed different instructions for different people at different times. A few other instructional changes are dietary requirements, baptism and salvation.

Paul goes on to state that our circumcision is not made with hands.

And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Colossians 2:10-11

 Don’t be cut off of the riches of Christ by trying to follow the law. Grace is such a better way.

 To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Estate Sale!

Three times in the Gospel’s of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus instructed the rich young ruler to sell everything that he owned.

The rich young man asked. What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life in Matthew 19:16?

but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

19:17-20

Jesus responded and said:

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Matthew19:21

In Mark the account is the same. Mark 10:17-21.

Luke tells the same story. Luke 18:18-22.

Many churches say we should follow Jesus and many people try. But when it comes to the passages of selling everything we have the brakes are put on.

Let the spiritualization begin.

He goes on further in Luke to say:

Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.

And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,

Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Luke 18:28-30

Wow! I can’t remember anyone going out of their way to do this.

There are some in Christian-dumb trying to sell this stuff. No pun intended.

I heard one pastor say if you sell everything you have and give it to the poor what does that make you? Well it makes you poor.

There are other times when Jesus tells the apostles not to take a purse with them.

This would be a great Bible study in finding all these instances and why.

In summary to be perfect and have eternal life, you need to obey the commandments (which you can’t), pick up your cross and follow Jesus and sell everything you own (which the Apostles did in Acts).

Keep in mind that Jesus was ministering to the Jews here. The Body of Christ hasn’t been mentioned or revealed yet.

So how do we get out of this estate sale?

Paul never mentions selling everything you own, on the other hand he states that we should work and provide for our own.

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

1 Timothy 5:8

As far as being perfect we are in Christ.

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Colossians 1:27-28

 Eternal life is gained by believing in what Christ did for you, not in what you do.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:23

The law (including the Ten Commandments) has been replaced. Grace has taken its place when you are in Christ.

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 6:14

There are contradictions in Scripture, but no errors.

 Rightly dividing Scripture will keep you out of the poor house financially and spiritually.

 

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!

Made With/Out Hands

Most Christians today think that God’s presence exists in their church building.

Catholics think God’s presence is in the eucharist locked in a golden vault.

Evangelicals pray that God would be with them during the service.

Pentecostals look for a special anointing or feeling of the Holy Spirit.

So where did this belief come from? Is it true for this dispensation or are they carrying baggage from a previous one?

 

In the Old Testament God’s presence was in the Holy of Holies.

 

And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

Exodus 25:8

 

After God established His covenant with Israel in Exodus 19, he gave them instructions on building the tabernacle. There His presence would reside.

In Mark Jesus speaks of destroying this temple and building another.

We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.

Mark 14:58

His dwelling place is going to change. Even though God is omnipresent, Israel knew He dwelt in the tabernacle made with hands according to His instructions.

At Pentecost Israel was given the promise of  Ezekiel 36 according to prophecy.

This was their New Covenant.

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

Ezekiel 36:25-27

When Israel rejected their Messiah, the final blow was Stephen’s stoning.

In Stephen’s message to the Jews he stated:

Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,

Acts 7:48

Paul says the same thing in his address to the idol makers of Athens.

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

Acts 17:24

 In this Dispensation of Grace, God dwells within each believer whether Jew or Gentile.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1 Corinthians 3:16

 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

1 Corinthians 6:19

  

Knowing how the Holy Spirit is working today is the key to understanding His presence.

He’s not living in a wafer and by eating it you receive Him.

He’s not outside the church waiting for you to ask Him in.

He’s not just giving you a portion and by performing some ritual you will get more.

He’s not a feeling.

 

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Colossians 2:8-10

Full means there is no empty space. Complete means you have all the necessary components and parts.

 

To see Souls saved and Saints edified!