Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Breath of God, Part 2

I had the honor of being able to share part 2 of my message on The Breath of God at Calvary Chapel in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. 


Monday, July 12, 2021

Galatians | Session 4 | 1:9-14

We continue in our study of the book of Galatians today where we see that Paul, in his effort to preach the Gospel of Grace, was trying to persuade men so that he might be a servant of Christ, that the gospel that he preached was not after man, neither received by man, but by revelation, and how prior to his conversion he persecuted the church of God.

Verses 9-10: As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Like I pointed out earlier, As we said before, so say I now again seems to indicate that the him that called you in verse 6 might have been a reference to himself. 

Notice that Paul asks a question, do I persuade men, or God? Amazing how the different translations contort this verse. The verse is clearly saying that Paul is trying to persuade men and not God. However, others will translate it that Paul is trying to win the approval God and not men. In the end, I guess that either translation is in the positive and Paul remains a servant of Christ as a result. The point is that Paul did not spend his ministry trying to persuade God, but men. However, in so doing, he says that he will not be a man-pleaser, because to so would make him a servant of man and not of Christ. 

Verse 11: 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. The word certify simply means to make known. Notice that he says that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. He said something similar is 1 Corinthians 15:1-6, 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: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. The very fact that Paul emphasizes that he neither received it nor was he taught it by man, but instead received it by revelation makes it clear that it was something different than what the Twelve were teaching. Either that, or he was confused or simply arrogant. Sadly, most in the church today fail to pick this up. Think about it, why would Paul need to receive a revelation of something that had already been revealed? 

I am sure that some would say that his revelation was simply that the Gentiles were now part of the church. However, those who would say that would also say that the church was born in Acts and there were Gentiles there. What would be so new about that? However, Paul went on to say in Romans 16:25 when he said, 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, Paul said this was my gospel

What was the mystery? The Body of Christ made up of both Jew and Gentile. Of course, later he came to other revelations about the postponement of the kingdom, the rapture, of the church, etc. He refers to this in 2 Corinthians 12:1-7 when he said, It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.  

Verse 13: For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: The Jews' religion was Judaism. The church of God was the kingdom church, because Paul never persecuted the Body of Christ. We see this persecution of the Jewish church in Acts 8:1-4, And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.. Notice also that as a result of the persecution that Paul wrought on the Jewish kingdom church, the Jews were scattered abroad preaching the word. Who were they teaching this word to? Jews only according to Acts 11:19, 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. 

Understand that the kingdom church was made up of the Twelve and all those in Israel who believed that Jesus was the Christ. They make up what Luke calls the little flock in Luke 12:32 that would, and still will, inherit the kingdom. Only proselytized Gentiles were a part of this group, i.e., Cornelius and his family and those mentioned in Acts 2:10. No unproselytized Gentiles were involved, i.e., the Body of Christ. 

Verse 14: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. Paul excelled in Judaism.  He mentioned this in  Philippians 3:4-6 when he said, Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Galatians | Session 3 | 1:6-8

We continue in our study of the book of Galatians today where we see that Paul is deeply concerned about those who were preaching another gospel to them in an attempt to place them back into the bondage of the Law. He goes on to warn them that even if an angel from heaven preaches it to them, they should not believe it.

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 the word another (allos = the same of a different kind) in this verse as compared to the word another (heteros = another of a different kind) in verse 6 (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:4).

In other words, they are not the same. The trouble that Paul is referring to here is the perverting of the true gospel which is troubling to those who hear it because it is contradicting. I believe that is exactly the problem in the church today in that there are still some that trouble you, by mingling the Kingdom and Grace gospels to the point that there is great confusion and misunderstanding. 

On one hand, we tell them they have to repent, be baptized, and keep the Law, and then on the other hand, we tell them that it is not a salvation of works, but faith alone. Seriously? These are the same one that Paul is speaking about in Galatians 2:4; Galatians 5:10, and Galatians 5:12. 

Verse 8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Notice, we, or an angel from heaven (1Timothy 4:1; 2 Corinthians 11:14; Ephesians 6:12). The Devil has always been busy corrupting the words of God (Gen_3:2-5). 

A state senator from Georgia who calls himself a "Reverend" said the other day, "The meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether you are Christian or not, through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves." That is flat out heresy! 

Yet that is where we find ourselves in the church today, Dietrich Bonhoeffer,  the minister who stood against Hitler's Germany once said of his students in 1939, "they are completely clueless with respect to what dogmatics is really about. They are not familiar with even the most basic questions. They become intoxicated with liberal and humanistic phrases, are amused at the fundamentalists, and yet basically are not even up to their level.”

The word accursed is the Greek word anathema which means to be cut off (Galatians 5:10-12; 1 Corinthians 16:22). Paul is pronouncing this on anyone who was telling them that they had to keep the Law to be saved. 

Notice there be some that trouble you. This is referring to those who were perverting the gospel of Christ. To pervert means to turn or corrupt. These are mentioned in 2:4 and 5:12. They were the same ones that James referred to at the Counsel who were subverting souls (Acts 15:24). To subvert means to overthrow or destroy, undermine, render ineffective. Transitively it means to cause to serve a purpose other than the original or established one. 


Monday, June 21, 2021

Galatians | Session 2 | 1:4-6

We continue in our study of the book of Galatians today where we see that Christ's crucifixion was for both Jew and Gentile and required for both Kingdom and Grace gospels, and that the Body of Christ must be removed before God will turn his attention again back to the nation of Israel.

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

We begin a new study today through the book of Galatians where we briefly introduce the book, emphasize the importance of the dispensational view, Paul's unique position as the apostle to the Gentiles, and the churches to whom he wrote. 

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.