Saturday, February 19, 2022

Ephesians Study | 2.19.22

In today's study we focus on verses 12-14 where we talk specifically about the inheritance of the nation and that they are the purchased possession that Paul is talking about.

Verse 14: Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. It is important to remember that verse 13 ended with a comma. Both together read Ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance. In other words, we were sealed, or promised to be preserved, in the same way that Israel was. 

Again, notice that he wrote our inheritance. and not your inheritance. Just as God sealed them, he has sealed us. So, primary point of the verse is not the inheritance, but the sealing. We both have the promise of preservation if you will. 

To me, this has to be because of what he already clearly stated in verse 11 they have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Realistically, the church does not have an inheritance because we are not the heirs (we already talked about that), but we, like them, have the promise that God will protect us just like he promised to protect them. 

Notice, that it says until the redemption of the purchased possession. What I find interesting is that the word translated redemption is apolutrosis and it is only used ten times in the KJV and three of them here in Ephesians. It is a compound word which means the act of ransom.

I find it significant because who normally pays a ransom? - The one to whom it belongs. Israel is the purchased possession that was ransomed. Exodus 15:16 says Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased. This can also be seen in verses like Deuteronomy 32:6; 2 Samuel 7:23; Psalms 74:2) And he purchased them to the praise of his glory

Of course, I believe while the direct interpretation of the verse is Israel, it also has application to us in the Body of Christ as well in that we too have been bought, not necessarily ransomed. Paul told the Corinthians For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (1Corinthians 6:20) and Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men (1 Corinthians 7:23). 

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Friday, February 18, 2022

Ephesians Study | 2.18.22

In today's study from Ephesians we dig into verses 13-14 by looking at the pronoun changes, the ones who first trusted, the word of truth, the sealing of the holy Spirit of promise, and the inheritance.

Verse 13: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, The first thing I notice in this verse is the change in pronouns from 1st person plural with us and we to the 2nd person plural with ye and your. Some do not see the significance, but I do, and will continue to do so until I am convinced otherwise. Again, Randy White points out that ye and yours is used 11 times in verses 13-23 and 0 times in verses 3-12. Conversely, in verses 3-12 us and we is used 9 times in verses 3-12, and only 3 times in verses 13-23. 

Also, notice in verse 12 when it says who first trusted in Christ and now verse 13 says ye also trusted. Obviously, he is comparing and contrasting two groups. Of course, some will say that he is speaking of those who he knew there from his first visit and those who had been added to the group since. 

Notice after ye heard the word of truth. Randy White points out something at this point that trust can only come about after hearing the word of truth. The gospel must be shared with words because "the gospel is not love that can be displayed but logic that must be accepted." That is point on in my opinion and aligns with Romans 10:13-14 which says, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

And the word of truth for the Body of Christ today is 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 (1Corinthians 15:4). Again, this message must be shared with words, not just actions. 

Notice that is says ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. That word sealed means to stamp for security or preservation. We also see this in the book of Revelation when the 144,000 are sealed during the Tribulation period (Revelation 7:1-8). This is just one of many reasons that I believe in eternal security. Bear in mind that any argument that is made against the eternal security of the believer is the result to rightly dividing. They pull their proof texts from the Gospels and the Hebrew Epistles. 

Notice also that it is directed at ye meaning us. This sealing is also mentioned in Ephesians 4:30. 

Also notice that he says that holy Spirit of promise. He seems to be pointing back to when this happened to the nation when God repeatedly promised to preserve them. 

Verse 14: Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Follow this from verse 13 which ended with a comma. Both together read Ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance. In other words, we were sealed, or promised to be preserved, in the same way that Israel was. 

Again, notice that he wrote our inheritance and not your inheritance. Just as God sealed them, he has sealed us. So, primary point of the verse is not the inheritance, but the sealing. We both have the promise of preservation if you will. To me, this has to be because of what he already clearly stated in verse 11 that they have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: Realistically, the church does not have an inheritance because we are not the heirs, but we, like them, have the promise that God will protect us just like he promised to protect them. 

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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Ephesians Study | 2.15.22

In today's study we review a bit and then look at verses 10-13 where we see Paul talking about the fullness of times when Christ will bring all things together in him, inheritance and predestination again, that it was the nation who first trusted, and that the word of truth must be spoken to be received.

Verse 10: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  Here is the explanation that we were looking for regarding verse 9 which said that God made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: The NIV translates it to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment. This mystery is referring to a future event that is the Messianic Kingdom when he will gather together in one all things in Christ

Verse 11: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  Again, I believe this verse has everything to do with the nation who will receive the inheritance they have been predestined to receive. Paul mentioned this in Romans 4:13 when he wrote For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. And he mentioned it again when speaking to the Galatians in Galatians 3:18 when he wrote For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Verse 12: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. This verse is the clincher for me as to the subject of verses 3-12. It was the Jews who first trusted in Christ. Paul wrote in Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Also in Romans 2:10, But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: Christ went to the Jews first.   

Verse 13: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, The first thing I notice in this verse is the change in pronouns from us and we to ye and yourSome do not see the significance, but I do. As a matter of fact, at the moment, I seem to be in the minority. But that is okay. If I find later that I have placed to much weight on them, I will gladly reverse course and be able to say that I studied it out and eliminated it as an option. Until them, I plow forward. 

As I have mentioned before, Randy White is also in this camp when he points out that ye and yours is used 11 times in verses 13-23 and 0 times in verses 3-12.

Also, notice in verse 12 when it says who first trusted in Christ and now verse 13 says ye also trustedObviously, he is comparing and contrasting two groups. Of course, some will say that he is speaking of those who he knew there from his first visit and those who had been added to the group since. 

Notice also after that ye heard the word of truth. One can only trust after having heard the word of truthThe gospel must be shared with words because "the gospel is not love that can be displayed but logic that must be accepted." That is point on in my opinion. It is also another reason that "lifestyle evangelism", as it is called, is well and good, but eventually must result in words being spoken for it to be effectual. And the word of truth for the Body of Christ today is 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 15:4). Again, this message must be shared with words, not just actions. 

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Sunday, February 13, 2022

Ephesians | Session 1 | 1:1-9

In today's study we introduce the book by carefully taking a look at when and where it was written, establish who the audience was, discuss the issues of predestination and adoption, and God's wisdom and prudence.

2 Timothy was Paul's last personal epistle and Ephesians was his last doctrinal epistle and it seems that both were written at the same time and that both were delivered by Tychicus (cf. 1 Timothy 1:3; Ephesians 6:21-22; 2 Timothy 4:12).

Another possible proof of this is that Paul gives his salutations at the end of 2 Timothy and not at the end of Ephesus. Maybe it was because they were going to the same place (cf. 2 Timothy 4:19 vs. Ephesians 6:21-24)?

Notice Onesiphorus in 2 Timothy 4:19. Where was he? 2 Timothy 1:16-18. Also, Acts 18:24-26 tells us that Aquila and Priscilla were also in Ephesus.

Bottom line is that there is a lot of evidence that Ephesians and 2 Timothy were written at the same time and delivered by Tychicus. That would mean that Ephesians was written while Paul was awaiting execution in Rome (cf. Ephesians 3:1; Ephesians 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:6-8).

Verse 1: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: The first thing that stands out in this verse is the audience. Grammar dictates that he is addressing two groups of people: saints which are at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus there as well.

Verse 2: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. The use of grace and peace make it clear that the audience is under the new dispensation of grace. Grace and peace are commonly referred to as the Siamese twins of the New Testament because because they are found together in all of Paul's letters. This is one good argument against Hebrews being written by Paul.

Verse 3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: At first glance it would appear that he is addressing both groups with our and us pronouns. However, once we get to verse 13, he will transition to ye and your pronouns. Randy White points out that us and we is used nine times in verses 3-12 and only three times in verses 13-23. Also, ye and your is used 11 times in verses 13-23 and zero times in verses 3-12. Was that on purpose or by mistake?

Now some will point to Colossians 1:1-2 to make the point that these are the same people. However, Paul seems to make the distinction a lot. He started out his letter to the Corinthians with Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: (1 Corinthians 1:1-2). I am not going to be dogmatic about it, but I believe that it is a strong argument.

If that being the case, verses 3-12 is directed at the Jewish believers who are called saints and and verses 13-23 are directed at Gentile believers who are called the faithful in Christ Jesus.

In today's study we look at verses 4-5 where we see Paul establishing that God has chosen Israel before the foundation of the world and that they are predestined to the adoption according to the good pleasure of his will. These verses are oftentimes misinterpreted when they applied to the Body of Christ.

Verse 4: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Again, this must be still speaking of the saints in verse 1. It is the nation of Israel that is in view that was chosen in him before the foundation of the world (Deu 7:6-7; Isa 41:8-9; Mat 24:22; 1Pe 1:1-2; 1Pe 2:9

I believe that it is also the nation in view that was called to be holy and without blame before him in love (Lev 19:2; Isa 26:2; 1Pe 1:16; 1Pe 1:22-31; 1Pe 2:9).

Verse 5: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, Here is the predestination that many chose to apply to the Body of Christ. Is he addressing the Body of Christ? Not in my humble opinion in that I believe that he is still addressing believing Jews who under the old dispensation who were chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame. As such, they were also predestined to be adopted according to the good pleasure of his will.

Sorry, but to me, Reformed Theology has this all wrong. Also, many evangelicals struggle with these verses because they see them as being directed at the Body of Christ. The bottom line, is that we Gentiles are not predestined to the adoption spoken of here in these verses and there is not one verse in the Bible that I can find that says that we are.

Paul told the Romans in Romans 9:1-4, I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. In these verses, Paul clearly says that it is his brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh; Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption.

Notice also, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came. That means that Christ's earthly ministry was to the house of Israel. That is exactly what Paul also meant in 2 Corinthians 5:16.

Regarding adoption, Paul said that the nation is under the spirit of adoption in Romans 8:15 and that it will become a reality in the future in Romans 8:23. Also, Galatians 4:5 makes it clear that the adoption only pertains to those who were once under the law.

Unfortunately, the church today does a bit of eisegesis by concluding that the "adoption" spoken of here in the same adoption that we think of today with someone being brought into a family that is not their own. When it reality, it has everything to do with a child, already in the family, coming of age and thus receiving legal rights. That event in Scripture is when the heir is adopted. That is no where near our definition today.

Verse 6: To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Because of the comma in verse 5, this is a continuous thought. Therefore, it can only mean that his selection of Israel was to the praise of the glory of his grace. Since the Calvinist believes this entire chapter is about them. They see their predestined adoption as according to the good pleasure of his will and to the praise of the glory of his grace. Conversely, they will apply this to the damned as well.

Also, it is easy to miss in the KJV because beloved is not capitalized. However, it is in the ESV, NASB, NKJV and translated as the One he loves in the NIV. So, it is not referring to a brotherhood. Israel is accepted in their Messiah. Of course, like redemption and adoption, it is not a physical reality right now during this time of postponement.

Verse 7: In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; As such, the nation has redemption through his blood. This has not yet been physically realized because of their rejection. However, it will be realized one day according to Paul in Romans 11:26-27.

However, the verse could certainly be applied to the Body of Christ as well. Of course, while they are redeemed from the law, we have been redeemed from our sins.

Verse 8: Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; As a result, the nation will be the recipients of God's abounding wisdom and prudence.

Verse 9: Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: The semicolon in verse 8 means this verse is further explains God's wisdom and prudence in that he has made known to them the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.

The question is what is the mystery of his will? To me at least, it cannot be referring to the mystery that was revealed to the Paul regarding the Body of Christ because the verse ends with a colon which means the following verses will provide the explanation that we are looking for.

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Friday, February 11, 2022

Ephesians Study | 2.11.22

In today's study, we cover verses 5-9 where we see that we need to be careful to not force our modern day definition of a word on Scripture making it say something that it does not. Also, we see that everything that God does is according to his wisdom and prudence.

Verse 5: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, Here is the predestination that many chose to apply to the Body of Christ. Is he addressing the Body of Christ? Not in my humble opinion in that I believe that he is still addressing believing Jews who under the old dispensation were chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame. As such, they were also predestined to be adopted according to the good pleasure of his will. 

Sorry, but to me, Reformed Theology has this all wrong. Also, many evangelicals struggle with these verses because they see them as being directed at the Body of Christ. The bottom line, is that we Gentiles are not predestined to the adoption spoken of here in these verses and there is not one verse in the Bible that I can find that says that we are. 

Paul told the Romans in Romans 9:1-4, I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. In these verses, Paul clearly says that it is his brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh; Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption

Notice also, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came. That means that Christ's earthly ministry was to the house of Israel. That is exactly what Paul also meant in 2 Corinthians 5:16. 

Regarding adoption, Paul said that the nation is under the spirit of adoption in Rom_8:15 and that it will become a reality in the future in Rom_8:23. Also, Gal_4:5 makes it clear that the adoption only pertains to those who were once under the law. 

Unfortunately, the church today does a bit of eisegesis by concluding that the "adoption" spoken of here in the same adoption that we think of today with someone being brought into a family that is not their own. When it reality, it has everything to do with a child, already in the family, coming of age and thus receiving legal rights. That event in Scripture is when the heir is adopted. That is no where near our definition today. 

Verse 6: To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Because of the comma in verse 5, this is a continuous thought. Therefore, it can only mean that his selection of Israel was to the praise of the glory of his grace. Since the Calvinist believes this entire chapter is about them. They see their predestined adoption as according to the good pleasure of his will and to the praise of the glory of his grace. Conversely, they will apply this to the damned as well. 

Verse 7: In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; As such, the nation has redemption through his blood. This has not yet been physically realized because of their rejection. However, it will be realized one day according to Paul in Romans 11:26-27.

Verse 8: Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; As a result, the nation will be the recipients of God's abounding wisdom and prudence. 

Verse 9: Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: The semicolon in verse 8 means this verse is further explains God's wisdom and prudence in that he has made known to them the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself

The question is what is the mystery of his will? To me at least, it can not be referring to the mystery that was revealed to the Paul regarding the Body of Christ because the verse ends with a colon which means the following verses will provide the explanation that we are looking for. 

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Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Ephesians Study | 2.9.22

In today's study we look at verses 4-5 where we see Paul establishing that God has chosen Israel before the foundation of the world and that they are predestined to the adoption according to the good pleasure of his will. These verses are oftentimes misinterpreted when they applied to the Body of Christ.

Verse 4: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Again, this must be still speaking of the saints in verse 1. It is the nation of Israel that is in view that was chosen in him before the foundation of the world (Deu 7:6-7; Isa 41:8-9; Mat 24:22; 1Pe 1:1-2; 1Pe 2:9

I believe that it is also the nation in view that was called to be holy and without blame before him in love (Lev 19:2; Isa 26:2; 1Pe 1:16; 1Pe 1:22-31; 1Pe 2:9).

Verse 5: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, Here is the predestination that many chose to apply to the Body of Christ. Is he addressing the Body of Christ? Not in my humble opinion in that I believe that he is still addressing believing Jews who under the old dispensation who were chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame. As such, they were also predestined to be adopted according to the good pleasure of his will

Sorry, but to me, Reformed Theology has this all wrong. Also, many evangelicals struggle with these verses because they see them as being directed at the Body of Christ. The bottom line, is that we Gentiles are not predestined to the adoption spoken of here in these verses and there is not one verse in the Bible that I can find that says that we are. 

Paul told the Romans in Romans 9:1-4, I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. In these verses, Paul clearly says that it is his brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh; Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption

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Monday, February 7, 2022

Ephesians Study | 2.8.22

Today we continue our study through the book of Ephesians by looking at verses 1-3 and establishing who the audience is that Paul is writing to.

Verse 1: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: The first thing that stands out in this verse is the audience. Grammar dictates that he is addressing two groups of people: saints which are at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus there as well. 

Verse 2: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. The use of grace and peace make it clear that the audience is under the new dispensation of grace. Grace and peace are commonly referred to as the Siamese twins of the New Testament because because they are found together in all of Paul's letters. This is one good argument against Hebrews being written by Paul.

Verse 3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: At first glance it would appear that he is addressing both groups with the our and us pronouns. However, once we get to verse 13, he will transition to ye and your. Randy White points out that us and we is used nine times in verses 3-12 and only three times in verses 13-23. Also, ye and yours is used 11 times in verses 13-23 and zero times in verses 3-12. Was that on purpose or by mistake? 

Now some will point to Colossians 1:1-2 to make the point that these are the same people. However, Paul seems to make a the distinction a lot. He started out his letter to the Corinthians with Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: (1 Corinthians 1:1-2). I am not going to be dogmatic about it, but I believe that it is a strong argument. 

If that being the case, verses 3-12 is directed at the Jewish believers who are called saints and and verses 13-23 are directed at Gentile believers who are called the faithful in Christ Jesus

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Sunday, February 6, 2022

Ephesians Study | 2.7.22

In today's study we introduce the book of Ephesians. To do that, we look at when it was written, from where it was written, and by whom it was delivered.

2 Timothy was Paul's last personal epistle and Ephesians was his last doctrinal epistle and it seems that both were written at the same time and that both were delivered by Tychicus (cf. 1 Timothy 1:3; Ephesians 6:21-22; 2 Timothy 4:12). 

Another possible proof of this is that Paul gives his salutations at the end of 2 Timothy and not at the end of Ephesus. Maybe it was because they were going to the same place (cf. 2 Timothy 4:19 vs. Ephesians 6:21-24)? 

Notice Onesiphorus in 2 Timothy 4:19. Where was he? 2 Timothy 1:16-18. Also, Acts 18:24-26 tells us that Aquila and Priscilla were also in Ephesus. 

Bottom line is that there is a lot of evidence that Ephesians and 2 Timothy were written at the same time and delivered by Tychicus. That would mean that Ephesians was written while Paul was awaiting execution in Rome (cf. Ephesians 3:1; Ephesians 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:6-8).

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Friday, February 4, 2022

Monthly Newsletter

My company, the Network of International Christian Schools, ran this in their monthly newsletter. It is an awesome organization that I am honored to serve with. 




Thursday, February 3, 2022

Is the Church Israel? | Session 4

To make the Scriptures say that the church is spiritual or true Israel requires three things from those who are doing it. First, they must deny the precise fulfillment of prophecy given specifically to Israel. Second, they must reject the significance of God's separation of Israel from the Gentiles. Third, they must ignore the teaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery to Paul. Yet, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that what was revealed to Paul was not made known unto the sons of men before him.

Paul makes this abundantly clear throughout his writings. In Galatians 1:11-12, 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. In Ephesians 3:2-4, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 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). In Romans 2:16, In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. In Romans 16:25, 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. In Galatians 1:15-17, But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. And also in Galatians 2:2, And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. And since it was only revealed to Paul, nothing in the Scriptures before Paul could possibly have been referring to the Body of Christ as we know it today. 

It was only to Paul that it was revealed that in this current dispensation of grace, salvation was to be offered to both Jew and Gentile purely on the merits of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ apart from the law (Galatians 3:28). 

Therefore, since salvation is now offered freely apart from the law, there is no way for the law to bring about righteousness. Our righteousness today comes by faith in Jesus Christ alone. Paul wrote in Romans 3:21-24, But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 

Instead of becoming part of Israel, Paul says that we have become a new creature called the body of Christ in Ephesians 2:15, 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. Out of two groups, Jews and Gentiles, Christ has made a new man and the agency for salvation. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

As a matter of fact, Paul wrote that we do not know any man after the flesh today  in 2 Corinthians 5:16, Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Obviously, that is not merely talking about people we know walking around today. Instead, he is saying that the ministry of Christ, while he was in the flesh and walking this earth, had nothing to do with us, but everything to do with the nation of Israel. We only know the resurrected Christ as revealed through the Apostle Paul.

In conclusion, the teaching of spiritual Israel is dangerous, it is not the result of a literal reading of the Scriptures and it hinders far too many from recognizing the important truths for this present dispensation of grace in which we live.

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Is the Church Israel? | Session 3

To make the Scriptures say that the church is spiritual or true Israel requires three things from those who are doing it. First, they must deny the precise fulfillment of prophecy given specifically to Israel. Second, they must reject the significance of God's separation of Israel from the Gentiles. Yet, Israel is the only nation that God gave the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the law, the service of God, and the promises. Paul said this in Romans 9:3-4 when he wrote, For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises.

We see this in the Old Testament when Moses wrote in Numbers 23:9, For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. We see it again when is further wrote in Deuteronomy 7:6, For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. 

The Bible also says that it would be through the nation of Israel specifically that God would bring salvation to the world. Isaiah 46:13 says, I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory. Also, Zechariah 8:19-23 says, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you. 

The Psalmist also prophecies that He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God in Psalms 98:3, i.e., salvation was first going to start with the Jews and then the ends of the earth. It was not God's plan that every Gentile become a member of Israel, but instead that they receive salvation from the God of Israel. There is a difference. 

Also, the Psalmist wrote in Psalms 72:1-20, Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight. And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised. There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen. The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

Plan A was that after Israel's national salvation was offered at Pentecost, the nation would be ministers and priests of the Lord taking salvation to the Gentiles as foretold in Isaiah 61:1-6, The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.   

In conclusion, to say that we have become Israel denies the very reason that God separated them from among the nations. So, the second thing they must do to see the church as Israel is to reject the significance of God's separation of Israel from the Gentiles. 

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