Monday, June 21, 2021

Galatians | Session 2 | 1:4-6

Verses 4-5: Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

Notice who gave himself for our sins. The crucifixion of our Lord delivered both Jew and Gentile. It was also required for the offering of the Kingdom and the Grace gospel (Hebrews 9:15-17). Also, take a look at 1 John 2:2; 1John 4:10 and 1 Corinthians 15:3.

Notice that he might deliver us from this present evil world according to his will. This deliverance for the church will be realized in the rapture because we are not appointed to wrath. This can be seen in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Thessalonians 5:9. If you are a Bible student, we will recognize that I left out 1 Corinthians 15:51-58. The reason I did that, at least for the moment, is that I am not totally convinced that that text is dealing with the Body of Christ and I need to study it more before I commit to it. 

I believe that the Bible clearly teaches the rapture of the Body of Christ. Why? - Because, the Tribulation period is not for the church. We are not in view. It is about the nation of Israel, period. 

Verses 6-7: I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. Notice Ye are so soon removed from him that called you. The question is who is the him in this verse? Some say that it is God (cf. NASB) while others say that it is Paul himself. The Greek simply says the one. The context, i.e., verse 9, dictates that it is referring to a man; most likely Paul himself, which means he would have been speaking in the third person.

In verse 7, there is a compare and contrast happening with the grace of Christ and another gospel. The gospel given to Paul was the grace of Christ or what he often referred to as his gospel (Romans 2:16; Romans 16:25; 1 Timothy 1:11; 2Timothy 2:8).  

The other gospel was a perversion of that gospel that required works; i.e., no gospel (good news) at all. Paul also warned the Corinthians of this in 2 Corinthians 11:4. Sadly, the other gospel could not save them, and I believe that this other gospel was simply a mixing of the Kingdom and the Grace gospel that formed no gospel at all. They essentially cancel one another out.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Well, This is Interesting

New SBC president changes his website after he was asked a question about the Trinity. Makes you wonder. 

A check reveals a change – which deserves an answer: An awkward exchange on the floor of the annual convention – combined with some behind-the-scenes maneuvering – has a Christian talk-show host concerned that the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention might not be as theologically sound as was thought.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Galatians Introduction

Galatians Introduction

There is no doubt that the Apostle Paul penned the book of Galatians, and many consider it to be his first writing between 47 and 50AD. It had to have been written after the Council in Jerusalem spoken of in Acts 15 which happened in 46AD. That was when the discussion had occurred about if the Gentile grace believers should be required to keep the Law. It would make sense that he wrote this book right after that sometime around the time of Acts 16 when he was in the region of Galatia which was a region that was in Asia Minor (Acts 16:6). Today, it is modern Turkey. Therefore, it had to have been after his first missionary journey and the Jerusalem Council.

The book, just as Acts, must be viewed through the dispensational lens, or it will not make sense and will contradict. I use the word dispensational, because we must see the book for what it is. It is an argument that we are no longer under the dispensation of the law, and to insist so is to pervert the gospel of grace that began with Paul; therefore, he is uniquely our apostle. It is also obvious that conclude that by grace through faith, not of works would be erroneous. Of course, that does not preclude many, quite frankly most, from doing just that today, unwittingly espousing covenant theology.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Reading Someone Else's Mail

"I may have a letter put into my hands, which I assume is written to me. I read on, and find much that is intensely interesting, and exceedingly profitable for me. But I find also references to matters which do not concern me. Things are said about my position which do not quite describe it. There may be a reference to a debt which I do not owe, or to an order which I do not remember having given. Persons and events are mentioned: but, not knowing exactly to whom or to what they refer, there is much that puzzles and perplexes me. But all the difficulty is removed when I discover, and understand, that though the letter is put into my hand on purpose FOR me to read and learn, it was not actually addressed TO me. Then it is all clear. I quite see how I may profit by much of the instruction that is contained in the letter; and I am no longer troubled by that which seemed so different from another letter which the same writer had previously addressed directly to me, and which was all ABOUT me. Now this is exactly the case with the Epistle to the Hebrews. It is written "FOR our learning," but it is not addressed TO us." - Ethelbert William Bullinger. THE CHURCH EPISTLES: Romans to Thessalonians (Kindle Locations 2455-2462). Kindle Edition.

Partial is Not an Option

Galatians 3:10 says, For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

This verse is condemning the Judaizers who were trying to get the grace believers to submit to only portions and not in all things of the law, e.g., circumcision. His point is that for one to place themselves back under any part of the law is to place themselves back under the entire law which brings the curse of death.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Galatians | Session 1 | 1:1-3

There is no doubt that the Apostle Paul penned the book of Galatians, and many consider it to his first writing between 47 and 50AD. It had to have been written after the Council in Jerusalem of Acts 15 which happened in 46AD. There is was where the discussion had occurred about where the Gentile grace believers should be required to keep the Law. It would make sense that he wrote this book right after that around the time of Acts 16 when he was in the region of Galatia which was a region that was in Asia Minor; modern Turkey (Act 16:6). Therefore, it had to have been after his first missionary journey and the Jerusalem Council. 

The book, just as Acts, must be viewed through the dispensational lens, or it will not make sense and will contradict. 

I use the word dispensational, because, we must see the book for what it is; an argument that we are no longer under the dispensation of the law, and to insist so is to pervert the gospel of Grace that began with Paul, therefore, he is uniquely our apostle. 

It is obvious that it is impossible to argue that “by grace through faith, not of works” has always been the pathway to salvation. To make such an argument is espousing covenant theology. 

Chapter 1

Verse 1: Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) Paul began all his letters with his name. Again, why there is a lot of disagreement regarding Hebrews.

Notice that he says that he is an apostle not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ. Obviously, he would not have said an apostle not not of men, neither by man if there were not some. Those would be men like Matthias, Barnabas (Acts 14:14), and James (Galatians 1:19). Neither of these men were numbered with the Twelve or called directly by Jesus during his earthly ministry. However, Paul's calling was unique in that he was called by God to this position without man being involved (Romans 11:13). 

Why was Paul's calling so late in the game? Because Paul's ministry was to be unique in that he was not going to go to the nation as the others did, but to the Gentiles. He was called in Acts 9 by Jesus Christ, and God the Father while on the road to Damascus. 

Interestingly, Paul's calling came from heaven which is the Body of Christ's destination! His argument is that he was called just like the Twelve. 

Verse 2: And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: We do not know who all of the brethren where with him, but we do know that Barsabas and Silas were (Acts 15:22). 

Notice that he is writing to the churches of Galatia. Again, these are the churches that he had established on his first missionary journey that he refers to in Acts 16:6, Acts 18:23, and 1 Corinthians 16:1. 

Notice the word churches. This is the only epistle written to multiple churches rather than a single church. 

Verse 3: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, this phrase is the beginning of all Paul's epistles and another argument against him being the author of Hebrews. 

Notice grace and peace which was uniquely Paul's. On the other hand, the message of the others was repent and be baptized. Things that are similar are not the same.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Daniel Study | Session 17 | 9:25-26

In today's study, we continue to look at the prophecy of the coming Messiah, his crucifixion, and the foretold destruction of Jerusalem that would result.

Troublesome Times

Verse 25: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times." Notice the last part of verse 25, "the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times." This speaks of the rebuilding of the Jerusalem as requested by Nehemiah in Nehemiah 2.

Verse 26: "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined." "After threescore and two week" is another way of saying Notice that "after sixty-two weeks" or after the week afore mentioned which were 62 and 7, or 483 years.

Notice, that the "Messiah shall be cut off". This of course was a prophecy the Messiah would be rejected and crucified. This happened just days after Jesus entered the eastern gate on Palm Sunday. It says that in Matthew 21:9, "Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' Hosanna in the highest!" And just a few days later the same crowd cried "Let him be crucified" in Matthew 27:23. 

Notice that it also says, "And the people of the prince who is to come." There is a difference in "Prince"(Anointed One) in verse 25 and "prince"(ruler) here in this verse. The "prince" (ruler) spoken of here was the Roman General Titus. An interesting note, his was none other than Vespasian who was crowned emperor of Rome just prior to Titus entering into Jerusalem fulfilling the "prince" portion of this prophecy.

Notice also, "And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." Remember the comment that Jesus made in Luke 19:42 when he said, "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes." So, this prophecy was first delivered here in Daniel, reiterated by Jesus, and fulfilled in 70AD by Titus! 

Jesus even said in Luke 19:41-44 that Jesus said that they would not even leave "one stone upon another" Interestingly, when Titus' troops came into the city, they were told not to touch the temple, yet somehow it caught on fire, and in their greed, they tore the stones apart to get the gold that had melted into them as a result of the heat. Also, historically, they used the proceeds from the looting to pay for the Roman Coliseum that was built with Jewish slave labor. 

And then finally, notice that it says that the "end of it shall be with a flood, and the end of the war desolation are determined." As a result, the end of the nation came and the Jews were dispersed, not to be regathered until 1948.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Daniel Study | Session 16 | 9:24-25

In today's study we find one of the greatest prophecies in all of the Bible that predicts the coming of the Messiah to the very day, the difference between a Julian and a Babylonian calendar, and the Triumphal Entry.

Verse 24: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

As we mentioned in our last study, the "seventy weeks" represent seventy sevens. So, here we see seventy weeks of seven, or 70 x 7, which is a total of 490 years. In other words, this entire prophecy will be fulfilled in a total 490 years. During that time, six things will happen, 1. transgression will be finished, 2. an end of sin, 3. reconciliation for iniquity, 4. everlasting righteousness will be brought in, 5. vision and prophecy will be sealed, and 6. the Most Holy will be anointed. The first three were fulfilled in Christ on the cross and the last three will be fulfilled at His second coming.

The Commandment

Verse 25: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."  Notice, "that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem." History, both secular and biblical, tells us that that command came in 445 BC (Nehemiah 2:1-6). As a matter of fact, according to Sir Robert Anderson, in his work "The Coming Prince", he says that we not this happened on March 14, 445 BC! Interestingly, Sir Robert Anderson (1841-1918), a contemporary is E.W. Bullinger also said, "nothing new or 'Christian' happened in Acts 2", i.e., he did not believe in the birth of the church until Paul. 

Now notice this, "that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem (we know that that command was given on March 14, 445 BC) until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks."

Notice, "seven weeks and sixty-two weeks." That is simply 7 + 62 = 69 and 69 x 7 = 483 years. We are looking at one of the greatest prophecies in all of the Bible. This prophecy literally sets the date when the Messiah will come! It tells us that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah will be 483 years.

Now bear in mind, that it wasn't until 71 BC that we began using what is called the Julian Calendar which has 365 ¼ days. Up until that time, the world used the Babylonian calendar which had 360 days. So, when looking at the prophecy we must look at it in the context in which it was written, Babylon. If we were to take 483 years and multiply it times 360 when would get 173,880 days. So, if we add 173, 880 days to March 14, 445 BC we would arrive at April 6, 32 AD!

On April 6, 32 AD, Jesus was sitting with his disciples on the Mount of Olives with his disciples when he said, "And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him" (Luke 19:28-31).

It also says that they took the donkey and "cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation" (Luke 19:35-44). The prophet Zechariah spoke of this same event when he said, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; he is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Zechariah 9:9).

This is an amazing prophecy that was fulfilled to the very day! 

 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Daniel Study | Session 15 | 9:14-24

We continue our study today in Daniel, chapter 9, where we see Daniel's prayer being interrupted by the angel, Gabriel, and he is told that 490 years are determined for the nation of Israel.

Verse 14: "Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice." Again, Proverbs 28:13 says, "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy."

Verses 15-19: "And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name." Notice that Daniel did not base his request on man's righteousness or goodness, but on God's mercy. Lamentations 3:22 says, "Through the LORD'S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not."

Verses 20-21: "And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation." Now Daniel is interrupted by an angel and the angel introduces himself as Gabriel. The Bible mentions three angels by name; Gabriel, Michael and Lucifer.

Verse 22: "And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding." God wants us to understand. Jesus told us that Daniel is the Key to understanding end time Scripture (Matthew 24:15).

Verse 23: "At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." Oh, that we would be so set on doing God's will that He would call us "greatly beloved."

Notice, "at the beginning of your supplications the command went out," God always answers our prayers the moment we pray them. The answer is yes, no, or wait! Why? Because we are greatly beloved (cf. John 3:16). None of us should ever doubt that we are not loved. The Bible says that you are loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).  God loves you so much this morning that He gave His only Son to die in your place. While those verses are specifically addressed to the nation of Israel, there is no doubt in my mind that they are for us as well.

Verse 24: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy." Notice "seventy weeks" or seventy sevens. In our European culture we use as our smallest measure of years Decades. We think in Tens. The Jews, however, think in Sevens; or what they call heptaths.

So, here we see seventy weeks of seven, or 70 x 7, which is a total of 490 years. In other words, this entire prophecy will be fulfilled in a total 490 years. And during this time (490 years) six things will happen: 1. To finish the transgression. (Willful sin); 2. To make an end of sin (Missing the mark); 3. To make reconciliation for iniquity (Combo of both); 4. To bring in everlasting righteousness; 5. To seal up the vision and prophecy; and To anoint the Most Holy (or Holy Place). 

The first three were fulfilled in Christ on the cross. The last three will be fulfilled at His second coming in Revelation 19.

Daniel Study |Session 14 | 9:3-14

In today's study, Daniel knows what God has in store for the future of the Gentile nations, now he intercedes on behalf of Israel to find out what God has in store for them.

Verse 3 "So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes." So, here is the scene. Daniel knows that the 70 years are almost completed. So, he begins to seek God on behalf of Israel. I'm sure that Daniel was thinking about how that God had told him about the future of the gentile nations, so why wouldn't he tell him about Israel.

Something else that can be learned from this is that Daniel was at least 90 years old at this time. And he was still serving the Lord. We never get too old to serve God. 

Notice, that it says that he was "fasting with sackcloth, and ashes." This was the Jews' way of showing God that they were sincere.

Verses 4-5: "And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:" Notice that Daniel identifies with his nation when he says in verse 5 that "we have sinned." It has been said that an honest confession will always go a long way toward deliverance. I believe that Daniel understood that any attempt to justify the nation would get them nowhere. There is no justification for disobeying God, but when we are honest with ourselves and God, I believe that He opens the doors of mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Of course, God knows where He is on the situation, but sometimes I believe that He wants to make sure that we know where we are on the situation. 

Verses 6-7: "Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee." In these verses, Daniel confesses that God had kept his part of the agreement, but that the Jews had not. You see, God's covenants with Israel were conditioned on them keeping their side of the agreement.

Verses 8-11: "O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him." Here Daniel is acknowledging that God's judgment of the Jews was righteous.

Verses 12-13: "And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth." The Jews were and still are God's chosen people. And as such, they were under a greater responsibility to obey Him even more so than those who were not. The Bible says in Luke 12:48, "But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more." The bottom line, God holds those of us who know the truth more accountable than those who do not.

 Verse 14: "Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice." Again, Proverbs 28:13 says, "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy."