Nobody’s perfect…

…except God of course, so let us for a moment examine the condition of “perfection”.  Websters 1828 Dictionary defines perfection as the state of being perfect or complete, so that nothing requisite is wanting.

1)  Physical perfection, is when a natural object has all its powers, faculties or qualities entire and in full vigor, and all its parts in due proportion.

2)  Metaphysical or transcendental perfection, is the possession of all the essential attributes or all the parts necessary to the integrity of a substance.  This is absolute, where ALL defect is precluded, such as the perfection of God; or according to its kind, as in created things.

3)  Moral perfection, is the complete possession of all moral excellence, as in the Supreme Being; or the possession of such moral qualities and virtues as a thing is capable of.

4)  A quality, endowment or acquirement completely excellent or of great worth.

5)  An inherent or essential attribute of supreme or infinite excellence; or one perfect in its kind; as the perfections of God.  The infinite power, holiness, justice, benevolence and wisdom of God are denominated His perfections.

6)  Exactness; as, to imitate a model to perfection.

Must I ask how we measure up to such?

What takes place when imperfection makes any contact whatsoever with perfection?  Is imperfection improved… or is perfection tainted?  Analogous question: what happens when a clean white shirt makes contact with a mud puddle?  Does the mud puddle become clean or does the shirt become dirty?  Regardless of the argument one might construct that imperfection and mud puddles may be regarded ever so slightly more favorably than they were before making contact with the other, it is obvious that perfection immediately becomes imperfect and that clean white shirt is immediately soiled.

God, as THE Perfect Being, therefore MUST maintain Perfection as His ultimate standard that Perfection remains Perfect.  It is not possible for an imperfect being to behold perfection and survive.  Moses requested of God that he see Him…

Exodus 33:18-20… “And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.”  And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.  And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

Perfection must stand completely alone and unpolluted by imperfection.

If Gods literal and actual standard is perfection, as perfection annihilates imperfection and imperfection makes perfection necessarily imperfect; how can a man ever hope to be “good enough” to meet Gods standard of Holy Perfection?  Imperfection is implied within our understanding of good “enough”.  Good enough, by definition, is NOT Perfect and that is Gods requirement.

A man cannot meet that standard.  It is not possible.  A wise man finds himself in a perfectly hopeless imperfect condition.  One single sin in life mars perfection completely and irrevocably.  God says:

Romans 3:23… “For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:19… “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and ALL the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 6:23(a)… “For the wages of sin is death;…”

Death is the necessary result of imperfection.  God created perfection and gave it to man.  Man, in lust, destroyed the perfection God created, by choice… we wanted even more.  In infinite love, infinite wisdom and with infinite purpose in mind and heart, God makes a way for the imperfect man to once again be perfectly justified in the sight of Himself.

Romans 6:23(b)… “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God gives us His Perfect Son that we, us pathetic and imperfect humans, might be made the very righteousness of God Himself, in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:21… “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Made the righteousness of God in Him!  How can we ever be thankful enough to a Creator God who makes His Sinless Son into our sin nature itself (Christ BECAME sin FOR us) takes the universal punishment for OUR sin upon Himself (My God, my God, why hast thou FORSAKEN me?); and then, to whomsoever chooses to accept such an infinitely graceful gift, provides His Own Perfect Righteous Nature to us; that we are made Perfect in Him, that we may be with Him in life for all eternity, if we but trust in that Perfect Gift and not in ourselves?

Colossians 1:21-22… “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:

My mind reels trying to conceive of such…  Looking at the condition of sinful humanity, how is it possible that we were even remotely worth it?

Infinite love, infinite wisdom, infinite purpose… can be the only answer.

John 14:6… “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Nobody’s perfect.  Nobody.  Unless Christ stands in your place by grace through faith.  At that very moment a perfect eternity awaits.  Why would anyone wait a moment longer?  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for you and be saved right here, right now!

Romans 8:38-39… “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amen.

Next Post: “Gods perfect original creation!

The new creation, a future dispensation for Gods people.

People who do not believe that god is a “dispensationalist” mislead themselves terribly.  Their strongest argument AGAINST dispensationalism is to say that “God does not change… He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow!”  To which we dispensationalists wholeheartedly agree!  God does not change, but the ways in which He deals with mankind, in fact does.

In the beginning was that period of time (or dispensation) of innocence.  Adam and Eve were created perfect, eternal and completely innocent, only knowing what God wanted them to know and nothing of “good and evil”.  (We cannot discern one without comprehending the other.)

How blissful that must have been!  Ecclesiastes 1:18… “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseeth knowledge increaseth sorrow.”  Yet because of that “fall of man”, we must now face things we were not created to know.

Following Adam’s (mankind’s) fall, God instituted the dispensation of conscience.  A conscience was placed into man that he would know when he was engaged in something “inappropriate”.  This lasted some 1,500 years.

Genesis 3:7… “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Man failed to govern himself and to heed the conscience God gave him, and the Antediluvian world, not surprisingly, became completely evil.  God destroyed it utterly saving only 8 out of an estimated (by population growth standards over time) 6 billion people.  When Noah and his family exited that gracefully saving Ark, God instituted the dispensation of human government where men were given authority over other men.

Genesis 9:6… “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Capital punishment was instituted that if a man murdered another man, by men (not God) should that same man be killed.  Noah’s sons scattered and repopulated the earth as God would have them; but after a while the first “One World/New World Order” came into being and all the world became of one language and had the same goal.  To be “like gods” and “not die”; (remember the garden conversation between satan and Eve… sounds much like our evolution worshiping, technology loving, transhumanist counterparts today, such as Michio Kaku, Ray Kurtzweil, Stephen Hawking and the like) and build a tower that extended their reach (be “like” God) and their very selves (not see death) into heaven.  Oh will these surely be disappointed in eternity!  God never created us to die, as Adam and Eve were created immortal.  We killed ourselves by choice and cannot fix this deadly condition alone or technologically.

Genesis 11:1-4… “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.  And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.  And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.  And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

Here we see the “end” of human government in the hands of fallen men.  Ultimate power and ultimate control in the hands of very few… well, one really.  satan, as that is satan’s ultimate goal (as we learned in the last post); to be like the Most High and rule the universe.  God puts a stop to this, not by destroying the world as in the flood, but by confusing the people’s language that they could not communicate with one another.  Their progress ground to a halt, they then scattered once again into separate nations and God changed the parameters of His dealings with man once again.

It is here God calls Abram out of the general population, to eventually form of his seed the nation Israel, where the dispensation of the Law was instituted.  (Interesting fact that the “Old Testament” in the Bible does not begin until Exodus 19.)  This dispensation of Law continues through the crucifixion of Israel’s Messiah (the “New Testament” does not begin until Christ’s death) and comes to an end at the calling of the Apostle Paul in Acts 9.  We currently, as you now know, live in the dispensation of the free grace of God.  The yellow “but now” period on the Bible Chart.

Romans 3:20-21… “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  BUT NOW the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

The Law has been suspended as it had been in the centuries before God called the nation Israel His own, and grace is “but now” instituted.  As we saw in the last post, the dispensation of judgement and war will (likely) begin very shortly after Gods longsuffering grace is concluded; and after that, the dispensation of God’s Kingdom come to earth for 1,000 years.

Question: has God changed throughout any of this?  Of course not.  He just alters the way He deals with us, that His ultimate purpose may be fulfilled.  So what is that ultimate purpose (the ultimate purpose of this post)?

Ephesians 1:10… “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:

That God can and will re-create the perfect universe He always intended… with “beings” who DESIRE to be there!

Revelation 4:11… “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and FOR THY PLEASURE they are and were created.

We were created FOR Gods own personal pleasure!  He created, because He could… simply because it is His nature to create and only to destroy when man and fallen angel have taken things too far.  This destructive activity is reserved to re-constructive purposes.  Destruction itself, destructive activity for destruction’s sake, is reserved for satan and mankind.

Creation itself will eventually be purged completely of sin and the universal curse sin resulted in, which we now know as the second law of thermodynamics.  He will gather together all things:  What things?  1) Those which are in heaven.  We are going to be in heaven, so these would be Gods heavenly people – the body of Christ.  Also the non-fallen angels.  2) Those which are on earth.  Israel will be on earth, Gods earthly people – the nation of priests ministering to those Gentiles who will listen to them.  These two “programs” will ultimately be combined IN CHRIST and a “new” eternity will begin for God’s creation.  Those who now CHOOSE to be separate from God, both men and angels, will be separated from God for all eternity in the lake of fire where their worm dieth not (Mark 9:43-48).

Whereas we NOW have spiritual and judicial redemption (with the nation Israel “on hold”):

Romans 5:8-10… “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being NOW justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through 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 life.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have NOW received the atonement.

…we NOW long for physical redemption from this world of sin and death.

Romans 8:19-23… “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

The “creature” is creation itself and those saved are the sons of God.  Saved humanity and creation itself will be radically changed by God during this ultimate death defying resurrection.  Our bodies will become celestial as Christ’s body was after His resurrection.  Our consciences will be cleansed to a state of innocence once again.  Does this sound too good to be true?  With God all things are possible (Mark 10:27); Paul writes…

1 Corinthians 15:35-44… “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?  Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.  All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.  There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.  There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Our terrestrial bodies must eventually die, since we ARE corrupted by sin and death, and therefore it is appointed unto man once to die (thank God, as death frees us, Hebrews 9:27) and then judgement.  But if one is in Christ, whether of the earth (Israel and Gentiles who bless them) or in the heavens (the body of Christ); these are all eventually resurrected in celestial “transfigured glorious” bodies.

Philippians 3:20-21… “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Romans 8:14-17… “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Wonder beyond wonder!  Joint heirs of EVERYTHING CREATED with Christ!  Superman ain’t got nothin’ on me  🙂

Only, however, for those who are Perfect as God is Perfect.  “But, nobody’s perfect”, you rightly cry.

Next Post: “Nobody’s perfect.

The god of this world.

“What do you mean, the god of this world?” you ask.  “Is that not the God of heaven?”  Lets examine scripture closely and from the beginning.  When satan first appears on the scene, with what incentive did he tempt Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit?

Genesis 3:4-5… “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, AND YE SHALL BE AS gods, knowing good and evil.

He said she would NOT surely die when God said she would, AND he told her that she would be like (note carefully); “gods”; little “g” and plural.  Clearly then, Eve was aware enough of the existence of these “gods” (creatures) to know she wanted to be “as them” comprehending things she did not currently understand.  They knew more than she did… they were smarter, they were “above” her… “god-like”.  Indeed the angelic host were created to exist above mankind; for Jesus, taking upon himself sinful human flesh, was made “lower” then they.

Quoting Psalms 8:5 the writer of Hebrews says in 2:7-9… “Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

satan refers to himself being “AS” the Most High God, as that is his ultimate desire… to rule the heaven and earth as God.  What exactly does scripture show that satan “wills” for himself?  Count 5…

Isaiah 14:12-14… “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  For thou hast said in thine heart, (1) I will ascend into heaven, (2) I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: (3) I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: (4) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; (5) I will be like the most High.

Adam, by ignoring Gods single commandment (thou shalt not eat of it, Gen 2:17), was subsequently cursed along with creation itself (Gen 3:17-19) and forfeited the dominion God gave him over the world and placed it into the hands of satan.  This is demonstrated when satan offers Jesus that same dominion in:

Luke 4:5-6… “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

The Lord does not argue the fact that dominion was given to satan because it is an accurate portrayal of the situation.  Dominion of this world and all its kingdoms with all their earthly glory, was given to him.  Note carefully that it is satan also that chooses who he gives that power to.  (Who has power in the world today?)

The “gods of this world” then are those angels, made higher and mightier than man, which kept not their first heavenly estate, but chose to follow satan in his rebellion against the One True God of heaven.  These are they which Adam and Eve (mankind’s first parents) wanted to be like and thus chose to follow over the Creator God.

Jude 1:6… “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

The singular “god of this world” can therefore be none other than satan himself, the leader of the angelic rebellion.  People are extremely misled about the character of this creature however.  Nearly everyone reading these words have seen “devil” movies like “the exorcist” which portray satan as being overtly evil and a rather disgusting character… a boogyman if you will.  What is he really like?  Scripture shows in:

Ezekiel 28:12-18… “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.  Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.  Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.  Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.  By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.  Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

Full of wisdom, perfect in beauty, covered in gold and gems, perfect in thy ways, multitudes of merchandise, beautiful and bright… is this what the common conception of Lucifer (light bearer) is?  Not at all… most think of him as a monster when in reality he appears as just the opposite.  He is trying to deceive the world that he is the Most High that the world will worship him.  This is his ultimate desire… worship, because he feels that he deserves it.  His heart was lifted up because of his beauty.  What is the easiest way to attract worshipful attention from people?  Give them what they want.  Since satan possesses all the power and therefore money this world generates, he can give such to whomsoever he desires.  He offered such to our Lord when our Lord was contained within sinful human flesh and our Lord turned him down.  We have a far harder time…

satan does not appear as most of us expect him to appear (evil) and actually looks like all that is good in this world, rich, beautiful, bright and full of “blessings” for people.  How does this effect the world on a daily basis?  Paul, speaking to the Corinthian believers, cautioning them about straying from the gospel of grace he preaches and the false teachers which abound, writes in:

2 Corinthians 11:13-15… “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Notice carefully what these are up to and where they practice their “craft”.  These are religious teachers putting forth a false christ… pretend “ministers of righteousness”.  Where do we find ministers of “christ”?  In churches.  satan is therefore not out and about haunting houses and possessing little girls, he and his ministers are out spreading false gospels and lies about the Lord Jesus Christ in order to keep lost people lost, saved people confused and “rightly divided” people slandered.

Paul is jealous over believers with a Godly jealousy (2 Cor 11:2) and warns these same believers in:

2 Cor 11:3… “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

The saving gospel of Christ which Paul preached is so very simple.  Know you are a sinner in need of a Savior.  Know that Christ as Savior died the death you so richly deserve.  Anything more or less is a satanic departure from the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus.  This amazingly simple gospel message for today is nearly completely hidden in today’s churches in favor of all manor of religious zeal.

Those of us who are truly saved by the blood of the Lamb can only speak the words we have been given that anyone we might come into contact with would hear them and simply believe.

2 Corinthians 4:1-6… “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

I commend myself to your conscience in the sight of God.  Believe not the god of this world.  Open your eyes to Bible Truth.  Believe the words our Apostle Paul was given FOR you, that I share here with you.  Amen.

satan is the ultimate deceiver.  He has deceived the world that he is in fact god just as he said he would.  He has the means by which to do it, and those means came from us.  The world served him from the very beginning and nothing has changed.  God made a door which any and all people can step through.

The Creator God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3).  The Creator God does not bless us, His heavenly people, with earthly things as He did Israel, His earthly people.  He did bless Israel abundantly with such in time past as He always promised He would (IF they obeyed) and will again in the ages to come, but His earthly program is halted today in favor of His heavenly program.  If you are expecting earthly blessings from God and somehow receiving them, they are coming from the god of this world who has them to give.  You are being deceived by the great deceiver.  If you are hearing a gospel message different from the most simple message Paul has to share, you are being deceived by the god of this world who is thrilled to deceive you away from the simplicity that is in Christ, and to cause such confusion in the professing church – those who “would know” the Lord Jesus.  Please… come to know the True Jesus, our Creator.

You need to get a King James Bible and learn the difference between God and the god of this world.  Paul can and will show you; as to Paul was given the fulfillment of Gods plan for humanity by the Creator directly.  We must know the Lord Jesus in HIS Truth for believers today.  This is what God wants for all mankind.

1 Timothy 2:3-4… “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Get saved by trusting that the Lord Jesus died for your sin and the come unto the knowledge of the truth by learning what God wants us to know about Himself.  Paul writes in:

1 Corinthians 14:37… “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.”  We learn these things from Paul.

Reality is a far different place than most realize.  Reality is found only in the King James Bible.  What people see everyday is a near perfect but perfectly opposite replica created by the god of this world that this world would serve him.  It is called “the course of this world” in Ephesians 2.  Most of the world is only too happy to comply.  Paul continues, as all men do have free will to believe whatever they wish to believe:

1 Corinthians 14:38… “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.”  Don’t be willfully ignorant.  Trust in Christ and Christ alone; as the Triune God is head over all and will have the final word; and far more (a new heaven and a new earth!).  As Job writes in 12:16… “…the deceived AND the deceiver are His.

Next Post: “The new creation, a future dispensation for Gods people.

Israel’s future; but first rapture, anti-christ…!?!

We cannot speak of the future of Israel without first speaking about the end of Gods longsuffering dispensation of free grace to His creation.

Romans 11:32… “For God hath concluded them ALL in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.

God; to Paul and through Paul, informs Jew and Gentile alike, that ALL have been concluded by Him to be in complete and total unbelief; that in complete and perfect justice He might have complete and perfect forgiveness toward all.  When once a small group of people were concluded IN belief in order to fulfill Gods purpose for the earth…

Deuteronomy 7:6-7… “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 Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

…and, that God has now concluded them in unbelief; Israel are no longer Gods people…

Hosea 1:9… “Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.

…has God “gone back” on His Word to what were once His chosen?  Has God’s plan for the earth been altered?  Well that just can’t be, since God is true and every man is a liar. Continuing along in Hosea, we learn;

Hosea 1:10… “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it WAS said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it SHALL BE said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.

Israel will once again be Gods chosen!  God has not altered His plan for the earth, it is simply postponed while the mystery kept secret since the world began (Romans 16:25) plays out… and we now know what that is; God’s plan for the heavens – the body of Christ.  All are currently concluded equally in unbelief, therefore all have equal opportunity to take part in the “new creature” which God has reconciled to Himself via the blood of Christ.

There remains still a problem though.  God has reconciled the world to Himself, forgiving us our trespasses, yet sin still exists in the world and God’s ultimate plan for both the earth and the heavens call for the complete and total eradication of sin in creation.  God is currently “at peace” with the world, toward any and all who accept the gift of the blood of His Son; but that does not mean He is finished with the world.  He cannot be, as the majority of the world will not be reconciled to God because of human pride, and God must still deal justly with these, as well as with those angels which fell, satan at the helm.

So how does God then return to fulfilling His plan for the earth if that plan has been temporarily interrupted?  This heavenly program must somehow come to an end, as an “interruption” implies a subsequent “re-start” of the previous thing.  Most professing Christians have heard of the “rapture” of the church and most (correctly) complain that the word rapture does not appear in the Bible; but because of that, incorrectly assume the rapture cannot be.  The rapture MUST occur however, and is a resurrection (of those dead IN Christ) and a physical alteration (of those alive IN Christ) of all those saved in this dispensation of the free grace of God.  It is a radical and remarkable physical transformation of His body of believers from corruptible to incorruptible (only God can accomplish such!) which will occur at some point in the future that only God can locate.  Paul describes this event in:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18… “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

…and…

1 Corinthians 15:51-53… “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

These verses describe the Lord Jesus gathering His “body of Christ” saints together to Himself “in the air” and NOT “on the earth” where the Jews will be regathered.  This is a graceful and peaceful gathering for those who have no hope of Kingdom resurrection (blaspheming Jews – Mat 12:31-32 – and Gentiles which did not bless Israel), as we have our own hope in the “air” or heavens.  This is NOT the second coming of Christ TO the earth which will be in vengeance and war, as Paul describes in:

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9… “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

The mystery, the dispensation of free grace to Gods enemies (blaspheming Jews like Saul/Paul and all us Gentiles) must come to an end before God can and will once again establish the nation Israel in accordance with its intended purpose; to be the channel of blessing from God to the world.  If this dispensation did not end then 2 different gospel messages would be available to mankind and they would contradict one another as Eph 2:8-9 contradicts James 2:24.

“Wait a minute”, you say, “God re-established Israel in 1948 so obviously they are His chosen people still”.  To which the Bible says, “Not so fast…” if  you will pardon my paraphrase.  If believers today are still present in the world as Christ’s ambassadors for grace and peace, that MUST mean that Israel as a nation is still concluded in unbelief, as Israel’s function was to teach and preach God, and to inform the world that the Kingdom of heaven was at hand.  The Kingdom is NOT currently at hand (with this comes judgement and war), as God HAS declared a period of grace and peace through the apostle Paul.  The “Israel” currently occupying the land God promised His earthly people ARE NOT, indeed CAN NOT BE, the Israel of God as they are not preaching Christ nor His Kingdom.  They are still awaiting their “messiah” who WILL be the false or “anti-messiah”.  God, in Christ, has NOT returned to the earth in the flaming fire of vengeance as of yet.  Christ is NOT seated on His earthly throne.  Israel is still blind to God’s ultimate truth.  Let us see what scripture says…

Romans 9:6… “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect.  For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

Not all Israel which are of Israel?  Huh?

Romans 11:7-8… “What then?  Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (according as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

Who then is this “election”?  It is NOT us, or simply ALL those who believe in Christ today, Jew or Gentile.  What the first coming of Israel’s Messiah accomplished was not “peace on earth”, as “christmas” cards proclaim, no.  Division was accomplished, but what needed dividing?  See Christ’s own words in:

Luke 12:51… “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth?  I tell you NAY; but rather division:

Matthew 10:34… “Think NOT that I am come to send peace on earth: I came NOT to send peace, but a sword.

Swords divide things.  Christ divided believing Israel from unbelieving Israel as He was sent to do.  The “election” or “believing Israel” (Peter and the rest) obtained the keys to the Kingdom and the remainder, the religious leaders and the majority of the nation were blinded to truth, and still are to this day.  Thus; are not “all Israel” which were “of” Israel.  Only a small portion of Israel in time past was Gods.  They have all since physically died and await their own Kingdom resurrection.

Gods longsuffering to all the world MUST come to an end before His Righteous Vengeance can be poured out upon it and His earthly Kingdom established for 1,000 years (peace on earth).  When this dispensation of longsuffering has run its course and His ambassadors have been recalled (raptured), God will once again be dealing with the earth as He was in time past with men consisting of Jew and Gentile; with Christ no longer seated but STANDING on the right hand of God (read all Acts 7) ready and prepared to return with the baptism of flaming fire prepared for unbelieving Israel (Mat 3:11, Luke 3:16); whose future Kingdom saints are supernaturally empowered to endure in the ages to come!  Examine the Bible Chart for a pictorial representation of this.

Man in 1948, walking the course of this world, following the god of this world (Ephesians 2 – please read) established a “government” which then took possession of land (land which God HAS in fact promised to His earthly people) and called that land Israel.  satan, pretending to be God, wants the world to believe that today’s Israel is “of God” so the “believing” world is on his side (Isaiah 14 – satan is God’s counterfeit and we require the KJB to discern between them as satan is very good at what he does; more in next post) as this is where and to whom anti-christ will appear… Israel.  Yes, anti-christ will “look” exactly like Jesus Christ and come to Israel doing great signs and wonders just like Jesus did.  (This time, the wrong time, they will believe.)

2 Thessalonians 2:8-10… “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Israel, and most of the world, will be (ARE) fooled, as they do not have a love for Bible Truth.  satan even entered INTO Judas Iscariot who then became the son of perdition (the anti-christ, “that wicked”, as in 2 Thes 2:3), who then went to the “chief” priests who were not only glad to speak with him, but paid him for his efforts!  Had they loved their own scripture, they would have known their Lord was present among them (John 5:39); but they do not.  Like most men, they love themselves, the world and the religious system they created.

Luke 22:3-5… “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.  And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.  And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.

Jesus said these were of their father the devil…!

John 8:44… “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

My point, the point the Bible is making, is that nothing at all has changed in 2,000+ years in Israel (the Jewish religion) or the world at large.  Therefore, the Israel of today along with most of the world, blinded to the Creator God Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14), is still of their father the devil, and therefore, his coming son.  Ouch…

The difference between satan’s Israel (that which we see today walking the course of this world, Eph 2, which is satan’s) and God’s however, is stunning.  When God establishes HIS Israel, AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE, it will be more special than any man alive can currently imagine (and far larger).  The land will be returned to Edenic-like splendor and all men shall seek God (if they are wise) therein.  Examine Gods description of His coming Holy Land:

Isaiah 11:5-9… “And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.  The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.  And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.  And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 35:1-10… “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.  Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.  And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.  And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.  No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

This very thing was just beginning in early Acts.  The blind were given sight, the deaf could hear; the lame man leaped as an hart (Acts 3:1-11)!  Amazing prophesy fulfilled (but interrupted)!

Isaiah 65-66 (read all)

Zechariah 8:20-23… “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.

Jerusalem will be the capitol of the world from where Christ will rule with a rod of iron.  The twelve will sit on twelve thrones.  Indeed Peter, after selling and forsaking all he had, wants to know what’s in it for him!  He questions Jesus in:

Matthew 19:27-29… “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

The Jews will be the worlds religious leaders they were always intended to be… the nation of royal priests:

1 Peter 2:9-10… “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were NOT a people, but are NOW the people of God: which had NOT obtained mercy, but NOW have obtained mercy.

No, that’s not us, that’s Israel!  God will once again bless those that bless Israel and curse those which do not (Gen 12:3), for another 1,000 years; at which point satan will be loosed upon the earth one last time to gather Gods enemies in one last ultimate battle.

Is this what is honestly going on in the world today?  For anyone with eyes, the answer is clearly no.  Make no mistake however, what God has promised, will absolutely and surely come to pass.  Things are going to get far uglier in this world before God makes them better.

Next Post: “The god of this world.

Saved…! Now what?

Glory, I’m saved…

Glory, I’m saved…

My sins are all pardoned, my guilt is all gone!

Glory, I’m saved…

Glory, I’m saved…

I’m saved by the blood of the crucified one!

What a wonderful song to be able to sing in grace and truth!  I pray that you, dear reader, can sing the same; and if so… well, now what?  Are we now free to live a life without regard for consequences, knowing as we do that heaven is the surest thing in the universe for us?  This is, after all, exactly what our legalistic brethren, clinging as they do to religious bondage, accuse us grace believers of.  If they only read what Paul wrote in their Bibles…  What does our apostle, sent directly by Christ to us, have to say about this?

Romans 6:1-2… “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Of course we are not freed in order to sin.  Now that, by the light of our quickened spirit (Col 2:13), we are far more conscious of sin in ourselves, it actually becomes far more disturbing to us; and while it is not possible to stop sinning as long as we are living in these bodies of flesh; the more we come to understand all that Christ has done for us, the less we seek to knowingly live in a way that would be displeasing to our Lord.

Note carefully that Paul says we are dead to sin.

Romans 6:11…  “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

It is certainly easier for the mind to logically conclude the truth of these words, than the will of the flesh to follow suit.  While none of these early posts are exhaustive dissertations on any particular subject, in Paul’s epistles are found the means by which we come to live victorious lives in Christ, despite the battle our flesh will provide along every step of the way.  Paul explains the frustration (read slowly and carefully):

Romans 7:15-24… “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Of course it is the cross work of Jesus Christ who saves Paul (and us) from this body of sin and death!  The saved man will find himself in a battle with his worst enemy (which satan takes full advantage of); himself.  The “reckoning” then, the completely conscious understanding that one IS indeed DEAD unto sin, is the key to true Christian living.  We will sin.  We can’t not sin.  Yet sin is not the issue in our lives any longer.  Christ dealt sin its fatal blow on the cross to any and all who will place their faith and trust in Him.  The punishment for sin is past and placed upon our Lord for us.  We, being in Him through faith, have been judicially crucified by God with Him.  God is so very good.  Amen.

This thought, taken to its logical conclusion, begs a good question.  If we have been freed from sin and death, and we are secured a place in heaven already, currently judicially seated with Christ at the right hand of God the father…

Romans 6:3-7… “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.

…thought continued below the lines…

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Point of clarification… this is NOT baptism with water.

As the Jewish believers were baptized with water AND baptized BY Christ WITH the Spirit (whose power demonstrated itself through them); we are baptized BY the Spirit INTO Christ’s body, which is the one true church today (note: it is NOT a denomination).  Ours is a spiritual baptism which takes place at the moment of salvation, as a man places his trust in the completed work of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:13-14… “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, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

1 Corinthians 1:17… “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

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…the question then becomes, what are we still doing here?  Why does God not take us immediately out of this world as we have come to saving knowledge of Him?  The answer is: that, AS He has bought us with the price of His own blood…

1 Corinthians 6:20… “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

…and we belong to God as His purchased posession, He has given us a job to do.  The Lord Jesus Christ is not here on earth.  He is currently seated at Gods right hand in the third heaven.  How are those around us to come to saving knowledge as we have, unless someone in Christ’s stead, should show them?  Some of my personally favorite scripture…

2 Corinthians 5:17-21… “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  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.  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

As saved men and women, we are, in Christ’s absence, and without Israel yet functioning as prophisied; His earthly ambassadors.  The ministry of reconciliation is given to you and I.  God has reconciled us (all people) to Himself; no longer imputing our (anyone’s) trespasses unto them; formally declaring grace and peace to us (and all people everywhere) by way of the apostle Paul; and asks that we in turn inform people of this abundant grace which He has shown.  This blog and this church is my way of doing what He asks me to do.  If you appreciate what you read, please share it with those you know AND those you don’t.

Christians seem to be very confused by what the “will of God” is for their lives, AS IF God wants something very unique for each and every one of us.  He does not.  He wants the same thing for all people everywhere.  What is that good and acceptable will of God for all?

1 Tim 2:3-4… “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Right there, in one single verse, is the will of God for all people everywhere.  God does not “work in mysterious ways” at all (though He did keep a secret until He sent Paul).  His will is to have all men saved and then to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  Saving knowledge is easy.  “Christ died for your sin.”  Further knowledge requires study.  More specifically it requires us to study what God told Paul.

1 Tim 2:15… “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of truth.

So, once saved, we are to begin to study Gods word in order to begin to more fully comprehend His Truth.  Why?  Because we are saved UNTO good works.

Ephesians 2:10… “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We are NEVER saved BY good works.  We are saved UNTO good works.  What then is a “good work”?  Helping an elderly lady cross the street?  If I help several million safely cross, have I accomplished anything eternal?  Have any come to the saving knowledge of Christ?  No.  A good work then is a work that brings someone into the will of God for today, and, as we just learned, Gods very will is that all men should be saved and then come unto the knowledge of the truth.  This then is the saved mans ultimate function in this world.  Bringing people unto the saving knowledge of Christ and teaching them what Christ has done for them is the answer to the question; now what?

Ephesians 4:1… “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Colossians 1:10… “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

2 Tim 2:24-26… “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Most professing Christians will suggest you begin studying by reading the 4 “gospel” accounts of Jesus life.  This is a tragic mistake as the 4 “gospels” are not written TO us and can only lead us into more confusion, dishonesty and ultimate failure as we try to do things we are not capable of doing.  We can certainly learn valuable things about our Lord and what He is doing for Israel and for the Gentile nations in the future in them and they are therefore very important to us.  Believers today however, should begin to study the book of Romans, keeping in mind that chapters 9, 10 and 11 are written about the nation Israel.  Who they were, where they are now (they ARE not) and who they will be in the future.  Open His Book and start learning what God hath wrought for you, for us.  It is sure to alter your very existence.  Peace…

Next Post: “Israel’s future; but first, rapture, anti-christ!?!

Paul… following grace.

In the last post we looked at a broad picture of what it takes to follow Christ as a Jewish believer back in “time past” (see Bible Chart), what salvation meant to him and what he was to do with that salvation.  Now that God has temporarily set Israel (His channel of blessing to the nations) aside:

Acts 28:28… “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

Hosea 1:9… “Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.

What were the Gentile nations to do?

Plus, knowing that these Gentiles did not “become” Israel (spiritual or physical) somehow taking their place in Gods plan for the earth; how were they to come to know God without the “shining city on a hill” that was to be Jerusalem?  Enter Paul.  What did Paul advise these folks (you and I) about salvation?  Could we get saved without Israel?  The answer is a resounding YES!  Why?  Because to Paul and Paul alone was given the fulfillment of Gods Holy plan for His creation.  I know you never heard that before!

Paul tells us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  How were people to know that?  What proved it beyond doubt?  The Law itself did, because it was “un-keep-able”.

Romans 3:19-20… “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.  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

The giving of the law was to force Israel to the realization that the law was impossible and that they could not keep it.  The Law was given to drive them from their own self righteous attitudes (as found in):

Deut 6:25… “And it shall be OUR righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.”  (Read the whole chapter!)

…to simple humble faith that it was God and God alone who could provide for them.  They (all men in fact as Paul demonstrates) are incapable of fully providing for themselves.  We are incapable of being or becoming righteous in and of ourselves in order to stand before a Perfect, Holy, Righteous, Just God.  So what did God tell Paul now that the Law had made its ultimate point in the crucifixion of Israel’s own Messiah; the ultimate self-righteous act?

It is my personal belief that these next 2 words are the most important words in scripture for this 2,000+ year period of grace which God has shown the world.

Romans 3:21-24, 28… “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:   Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”  Please notice carefully it is the faith OF Christ UPON all them that believe.  This faith is not a measure of the believers level of faith toward Christ.  It matters not how much we say we love the Lord.  What matters is how much He loves His creation and what He wants for it in the future.

BUT NOW… meaning, what once was, is no longer.  Something has changed!  Where at one time (time past) men agreed to follow the law to try and earn their own righteousness; “but now” (the dispensation of free grace – the yellow area on the Bible Chart where we live today) the righteousness of God without the law is made available to mankind.  ALL mankind, both Jew and Gentile.

How can a man today possibly follow Christ or Peter when both say that following the law, among other things, was imperative to salvation?  Answer… we don’t.  We follow Paul as Christ instructed in:

John 13:20… “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”  Did Christ send Paul?

Galatians 1:1… “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead;)”  Yes, He did.  What does Paul then say to us?

1 Cor 4:16… “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

1 Cor 11:1… “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Philippians 3:17… “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

“MY gospel… be ye followers of ME…  What’s going on?  This is not possible!  I’m supposed to follow Jesus”, you cry.  Let scripture put a fine point on this.

1 Cor 9:16-17… “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!  For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

Ephesians 3:1-7… “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 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) 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: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Colossians 1:25… “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, TO FULFILL THE WORD OF GOD.”  This one should be read again and again until it completely sinks in.  To Paul was given the completion of Gods Word to man.  The final revelation after the Book of Revelation!

Ephesians 1:10… “That in the dispensation of the fullness 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:

Yet precious few professing Christians see this ultimate Bible truth and suffer great delusion because of it.  Those “teachers/preachers” who say that dispensationalism (or dispensational Bible study) has only been around since the 1800’s need to re-read their KING JAMES Bibles.  God is a dispensationalist; therefore we are dispensationalists.

Do we worship Paul as many claim?  That is as far from truth as one can get and borders simply on name calling much like the term “hyper-dispensationalist” our legalistic brethren like to throw around.  The law is used in churches today simply to keep people guilty, under religious bondage and tithing.  In this writers not so humble opinion today’s churches that do not teach Pauline Truth are satanic at their core; as it is satan that wants more than anything to keep people from the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4… “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Paul commands us to…

Galatians 5:1… “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Has Christ made you free from sin and religious bondage?  It is why He died, FOR you.

How is a man saved today?  How is the righteousness of God without the law made manifest?

Simply by believing what God said and did as communicated by our Apostle, Paul.

1 Cor 15:1-4… “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:

Romans 4:25… “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Ephesians 2:8-9… “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

It is not the strength of OUR faith which saves us.  It is the faith OF Christ to the will of His Father which does.  We must simply believe and trust in what Christ did on our behalf.  Such a gift… such amazing grace and love!  Yet so few come to know what they are in order to receive it.  How can one be “found” if one does not know he is “lost”?  The whole world is lost.  Every man, woman and comprehending child.  When the world teaches a man that he is inherently good, the world is condemning that man to an eternity in hell.  Who is the god of this world?  Who did Adam give his loyalty to?

Luke 4:5-6… “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.”  Delivered by Adam who chose satan over God.  As God gave Adam dominion, Adam transferred the same to satan.

1 Cor 15:22… “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Don’t hear scripture like this in your church, do you?  Paul says, “from such, withdraw thyself”.  If you are still a son of Adam, you will die.  Without Christ, you will die.  Have you been adopted as a son of God?  You were born a son of Adam.

We beseech you; simply believe (in what Christ did) and ye shall be saved!  It is a transaction which occurs between you and God alone.  It is that simple.  Stop trusting in yourself and trust in Christ alone.

Next Post: “Saved…!  Now what?

Deceived…

I’d like to expound upon the statement in my last post, namely, that the VAST majority of churches in the world are teaching the wrong gospel.  Sure, they are teaching Jesus Christ, the “object” of our worship (and what He’s done for Israel); but they are NOT teaching correct “content” or what that “object” has done on our behalf.  We are NOT Israel.  The salvation message from God to man is the single most important message a man can receive.  Failure to recognize what God requires us to recognize (no matter how simple and beautiful) spells eternal doom, as we are all eternal creatures.  Israel was required to recognize Christ their Messiah and follow His instructions (content) to them.  Believers today are required to recognize what Christ our Savior has done for us!  Is your church guilty of deceiving you?

Anything other than: “Christ died for your sins” (period, end of discussion) is MORE than the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus and therefore, deception.  Deception can be remarkably subtle.  Paul writes:

2 Corinthians 11:3… “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

The simple and personally stunning realization a man (hopefully) comes to in his life; that he is actually no good whatsoever and can not do a single thing to save himself; is what I call facing Biblical reality.  Facing this ultimate reality is a difficult thing to do as we humans, generally speaking, are very prideful creatures.  The local church is almost always where people go in order to obtain that “feel good/you are good” reinforcement about themselves (which we all do crave); therefore the local church (professing christian or otherwise – “churches” come in many flavors, some secular) is the underlying support mechanism by which “good and polite society” operates.  “Atheists” simply believe in the inherent “goodness” of creation creating itself with man somehow (more and more) guiding his own “evolution”.  The university is his church and the religion of evolution (as opposed to a more formal deity) says he gets “better and better”.

The Bible, however, says otherwise.  How do I know God wrote the Bible?  Because it is ultimately critical of mankind.  Man would never say such things as these about himself:

Jeremiah 17:9… “The heart is DECEITFUL above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Romans 3:10-18… “As it is written, There is NONE righteous, NO, NOT ONE: There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God.  They are ALL gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is NONE that doeth good, NO, NOT ONE.  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Romans 3:23… “For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:23(a)… “For the wages of sin is death; …” (continued below)

All means all.

“Ouch…”

You yourself must be perfect to be in the presence of a Perfect God.  A single sin negates that perfection.  What is a man to do under these circumstances?  He can lie to himself as most do.  Or… he may realize what God in Christ has done on his behalf and place his trust in that and that alone for his eternal salvation.  “Christ died for your sins.”  What else can there possibly be for a man to do?  “HE took YOUR place on the cross.”  There is only universal hopelessness outside of Christ who is the Creator God.

John 1:1-3, 14… “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word 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. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  (object)

Romans 6:23(b)… “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Accept Gods ultimate gift!  “HE… God Himself, died YOUR death, the death you deserved to die, FOR YOU!”  (content)

Is your church finding good in you outside of Christ?  Your church is deceiving you.  Is your church instructing you to “do good” in order that you may somehow obtain Gods favor and therefore (hopefully) salvation?  With the above verses observing you, can you honestly say that you are even remotely capable of doing good outside of Christ in you?  Read about Gods book before you answer…

Hebrews 12:4… “The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Who knows the human heart, Jeremiah?  God does.  He made it and gave it free will, knowing it would fail, also knowing exactly what He would do to make it perfect in the end!

Does your church teach grace; BUT you then have something to contribute?  Something like baptism, attendance, tithing, cleaning up your act, dressing appropriately, praying a prayer, coming to the alter, making Jesus “Lord of your life”, speaking in tongues, confessing sin, or any such religious man centered activity?  If so, your church is deceiving you away from the simplicity that is in Christ.  Can a man who is asking for forgiveness have already received it?  I think not…

Colossians 2:13… “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you ALL trespasses.

All means all…!

No “ouch” here  🙂

If Christ did not pay it all, now and forever, what hope is there for you, besides you?  Recall what you are!

John 19:30… “When Jesus had therefore received the vinegar, he said, IT IS FINISHED: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”  It is either finished, or… your church is deceiving you.

A church, as the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim 3:15), IF it be in the will of God for this dispensation of free grace in which we live today, should be teaching you first and foremost the truth about yourself, which is very hard to hear.  Without knowing the truth about your own condition, true salvation is NOT possible.  It is only after coming to the ultimate realization of our inherently lost condition, can we subsequently be “found”.  It is only after we are found that we can be of any use to God.  The only way we can be of any use to God is to try and show others their inherently lost condition and what God has done to remedy it.  People, very unfortunately, do not want to know.  Mostly… they are proud, knowing nothing.  Ouch.

1 Timothy 6:3-5… “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

If your church is growing (gaining) by telling people what they want to hear; “you are good”?  From such, withdraw thyself.  If your church is not teaching Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery (the doctrine) given specifically unto the Apostle Paul by the risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ Himself, you are being deceived.  From such, withdraw thyself.  Is your church is teaching Jesus Christ according to prophesy of Israel?  Are they teaching Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (Hebrews, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, James, Jude, Revelation) as if these are instructions for believers today?  If so, you are being deceived.  While there is precious truth in these books, they contain Israel’s promises and instructions, not ours.  The Apostle Paul alone has the Truth for believers today as given him by Jesus Christ specifically for us.  Our truth is contained in the 13 books of Romans through Philemon.

Ephesians 3:1-5… “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 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) 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;

Is your church guilty of deceiving you?  The answer is VERY likely, yes.  From such, withdraw thyself.  Learn what Christ has done for you specifically, outside of His promises made to Israel.  Learn YOUR Truth from YOUR Apostle, given YOU by Christ Himself… Paul.

Next, we examine the basic and fundamental difference between what Christ instructed Israel via the twelve, versus what Christ instructs you and I, via Paul; as Christ has a job for Israel (earth) and a job for us (heaven).

Next Post: “Peter… following Christ and the Law.

God created the heaven AND the earth…

Okay… logical exercise today (and pardon the length of this post).  IF satan tempted Eve in the garden, we THEN must conclude that satan was in a fallen state prior to that event.  If satan was on Gods “good side” at that moment, he would not have encouraged the worlds first two human beings to disobey the God who created them and forfeit their perfect and eternal existence.  If satan was in a fallen state, then his abode in heaven was also therefore in a fallen state… it was made imperfect by the prideful iniquity found within him (Ezekiel 28) and the legion of angels who left their first estate to follow him (Jude 1:6).  As God cursed the earth due to Adam’s sin, so too is heaven cursed by satans.  If heaven was not cursed there would be no need for war there (Rev 12:7).  All existence; the physical which we are able to perceive in these terrestrial bodies (1 Cor 15:40), and the angelic (celestial) which we cannot; are therefore spoiled by sin and are thus in need of redemption if they are to ever be made perfect again, as God declares in Ephesians 1:10…

That in the dispensation of the fullness 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:

There is therefore a future dispensation wherein all things will be gathered together in the perfection that is Christ Jesus.  Nearly 90% of our King James Bible tells the tale of this earths redemption (along with its inhabitants) through Gods dealing with the nation Israel.  “Thy Kingdom Come” is the prayer heard throughout the encampments of Christ and the twelve (Mat 6:10).  “Thy Kingdom Come” is the (seriously misplaced) prayer heard throughout myriad churches around the world on Sunday mornings.  The tale of the nation Israel from Genesis to Revelation is the implementation of earths redemption.  As Israel is future redeemed, so too will be the Gentile nations who bless Israel (Gen 12:3) and so too will the land be made like unto Eden once again (Isaiah 35).  But not yet…

Question…  heaven too is fallen, so how will heaven be redeemed?  Prophesy says absolutely nothing about this and there is a precious good reason why.  In 1 Corinthians 2, Paul is explaining to these believers that he did not come to them with mans worldly wisdom or “smooth talking”, but in the demonstration of the Holy Spirit and the power of God Himself.  It is Gods own words of wisdom he delivers unto them… Paul is aware that he is writing Holy Writ!  He is preaching Christ crucified and the totality (prophesied and unprophesied) of what that means to these believers.  And herein lies the mystery we teach once again…

1 Cor 2:7-8… “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The hidden (mysterious/secret) wisdom God ordained unto “our” glory.  Ours, not Israel’s.  This mystery is then something that, had the princes of this world understood, they would not have crucified the Lord Jesus Christ.  The crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished everything it was prophesied to accomplish PLUS something that was a mystery or a secret kept hidden in God Himself and therefore NOT heretofore revealed to man nor angel in scripture.  If God wanted to keep a secret, that secret will be kept!  Paul writes in…

Romans 16:25-27… “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.

Paul is revealing something brand new about the crucifixion; information now given to man (and angel, as we will see) that was kept secret since the world began.  The coming of Christ was not kept secret since the world began, His coming, death and resurrection was prophesied since the world began (Acts 3:20-21).  The redemption of earth was prophesied since the world began… indeed it is the story of prophesy itself.  The redemption of heaven was not however.  The church – the body of Christ is the instrument that God will use to “set heaven right” as He will use Israel to set the earth right.  This is magnificent, profound and not taught in denominational churches at all.  Mention it, as a matter of fact, and you will find it is taboo.  It is however what the Bible demonstrates.

The very plan of satan, to kill the Lord Jesus Christ, was the very method by which the God of Glory destroyed him completely.  Now that is Wisdom!  satan thought he had won the battle on Calvary and become like the Most High (Isaiah 14); yet it was his ultimate defeat.  satan knew Christ would resurrect (this was prophesied) but had no idea his dominion (heaven) would be made ultimately clean BY A NEW CREATURE (something the world had not yet seen) – the body of Christ where there is neither Jew nor Gentile!

2 Cor 5:17…”Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Gal 6:15…”For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

It is believers today, the new creature; neither Jew nor Greek, bond or free, male or female (Gal 3:28); that will take up the places made void by satan and those fallen angels which followed him.  Paul writes to the same Corinthian believers…

1 Cor 6:3… “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”  As the twelve will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes in “Thy Kingdom Come” (Mat 19:28), believers today will “sit” in heaven and “judge” angels.  wow, Wow and WOW!!!

The reason there are two gospels to two groups of people is because there are two realms that require redemption in Christ.  One group is assigned to earthly things (Israel) and the other group (us), to heavenly.  Paul is therefore the Apostle to heavens redemption and thus the Apostle sent for us, whom we should follow, if we as believers are to be inside the Will of God.

There is a very, very profound problem with the teachings of today’s churches… they are teaching the wrong gospel.

Colossians 3:1-3… “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.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Amen!

Next Post – “Deceived…

Two Gospels???

Yes.  Two gospels.  At least, I’ll be talking about two in this post.  There are more then two in our Bibles.  Noah’s gospel (good news) was “build a big boat and thou shall be saved“; please pardon my paraphrase.  I have been dancing around this concept by saying that Paul and the twelve were not, could not, have been preaching the same things.  Lets examine three verses of scripture in order to nail this down securely.

Galatians 2:7-9… “But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”  Cephas is Peter, by the way.

If we allow the words to say what they mean and mean what they say, there are two distinct gospel messages contained within these verses.  How different is the circumcision from the uncircumcision?  The Jews were Gods chosen people and everyone else was not.  That’s about as different as people can be.  Is Ted’s dog the same as not Ted’s dog?  Of course not.  There was a specific gospel message “of” each; as Ted’s dog is specific to Ted.  Things that are different cannot possibly be the same.

I know… you have never heard of such a thing.  That’s okay; just because a thing is not popularly known does not preclude it from being true.  It is also not your fault for not knowing this.  This simple and most basic Bible truth is not taught in denominational churches, as the implications are more than profound.  This simple truth is the absolute key to Bible understanding.

Denominational churches (not understanding nor acknowledging the mystery kept secret since the world began) teach that Peter and Paul preached the same thing “to” two different groups of people.  Check these verses in any other “bible” you may have in your possession.  Nearly every one (and all “modern” translations, er, perversions) reduce the specific intent Paul (the Holy Spirit) had for writing these verses, and combined them into one single “kingdom” gospel message preached unto two groups of people; as if both groups are to follow the same instruction from God.  The King James maintains Paul’s literal meaning, and that is: 1) a specific gospel (good news) message was given to him that he could give to the uncircumcision (the heathen), and 2) a specific gospel (good news) message was given to Peter and the twelve that they could give to the circumcision (the Jews).

Both gospel messages were delivered to each man (Peter and Paul) by Jesus Christ.  To Peter, during Christ’s earthly ministry to Israel (see Matt, Mark, Luke and John); and to Paul during Christ’s current Heavenly exile (due to His friends (Israels) rejection, as He is currently seated at His fathers right hand in Heaven, till His enemies are made His footstool – Heb 10:12-13) on the road to Damascus in Acts 9 and expounded upon in Gal 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.

Emmanuel (Christ with us) on earth for His earthly ambassadors, Israel, to bring in “thy Kingdom come ON EARTH as it is in heaven” (read those words carefully again); and the Risen and Glorified Lord Jesus Christ for His Heavenly ambassadors, the church – the body of Christ; you and me, today’s believers.  Our hope is in Heaven.  The Jews hope is Heaven come to earth.

These verses in Galatians also say something else quite extraordinary.  If the “great commission” was given unto the twelve in Matt, Mark, Luke and Acts, that they should go unto all the world preaching the Kingdom, why did Peter and the twelve just agree with Paul to confine their ministry to the circumcision (the Jews) alone?  They must have recognized something very profound.  That grace given unto Paul must be remarkable and powerful if it prevented them from fulfilling that which Christ commanded them.

There is no denying the existence of these two distinct messages if we believe the Bible as we say we do.  The words on the page say what they say.  In the next post we will examine some of the specifics as to what makes the two messages different to hopefully help flesh out the WHY of all this.  Why did God have two separate messages for these two groups of people?  Would it not have been far more simple to have only one?  As appetizing food for thought, look at Genesis 1:1…

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.”  A question… how many things did God create in the beginning?  Two!  Interesting, no?  Coincidence???  Not at all.

Next Post – “God created the heaven AND the earth…

If not Christ (John 3:16), then who?

If Christ was not sent to me (He was sent to Israel) then how am I blessed by His coming?  After all, John 3:16 says… “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.”  “Am I not a part of the world”, you ask?  Well, yes we all are a part of the world, of course.  “Then God sent His Son for me, says so right in the verse”, you exclaim.

Let me ask then… If the gospel of our salvation is that Christ died on His cross as a substitute for us (1 cor 15:1-4), taking our deserved place as hopeless sinners (Rom 3:26); with the penalty of any sin at all being sure death (Rom 6:23); was made into sin for us (2 Cor 5:21), that sin and its penalty could be permanently destroyed by death (Rom 6:6-7); and was subsequently raised for our justification (Rom 4:25); where in John 3:16 can I learn any of that?  In truth, John 3:16 is the gospel of Israel (the circumcision) as it was Israel who needed to simply “believe that Jesus was the Messiah sent from God” to His people.  This is the gospel Israel failed to grasp… simply, that Christ was God incarnate.

John 3:16 is NOT the gospel believers today need to trust in; the gospel that proclaims the object (but not the content) of our faith.  We must trust the object AND the content (what Christ did); that Jesus paid the ultimate cost of OUR sin on OUR behalf and rest in that and that alone; with nothing to add save insult if we even try to justify ourselves by way of “good works” to make ourselves more “pleasing” in the sight of a Perfect and Holy Creator.  A turd is still a turd no matter how polished the turd.  All the best human lives ever lived, COMBINED, could not even remotely approach the Perfect Life displayed in Christ Jesus.  He is NOT our pattern.  He establishes us perfectly redeemed, completely complete (Col 2:10) lacking nothing at all in God the Father’s sight, by what He accomplished for us.

Then who was sent to us?

How do we learn the “content” of our faith?  Christ says in John 13:20… “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”  Christ sent the twelve, but they were sent to Israel as they were preaching the Kingdom (and therefore impending great tribulation) “at hand”.  Mat 10:5-6… “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.”  Go not means do not go.  The twelve were not sent to believers today.  Great tribulation has not yet occurred.

Paul was sent to us.

Romans 11:13… “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

1 Tim 2:7… “Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

2 Tim 1:11… “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

You rightly question, “So I am NOT supposed to follow Christ or the twelve?”  My answer (the Bibles rightly divided answer) is no, you are not.  You can not.  You are not empowered to (as early Acts believers were).  You are to follow Paul (NOT that we magnify or worship Paul), we follow Paul as Paul followed Christ.  We worship and magnify Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, One God in 3 Persons, for all time!

1 Cor 11:1… “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

1 Tim 1:16… “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me FIRST Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

“In me first“, Paul says?  “A pattern to them”…  “Did not the twelve come before Paul?”  They certainly did.  “Then how is Paul first?”  Because something changed.  The word hereafter shows this.  Hereafter what?  God dealt with man from the time of Abraham till the time shortly after Christ was crucified, in a certain way.  The nation Israel was His instrument to the world and Gods Law was His instrument to them.  But when Israel failed, God was not finished, as the world knew Him not.  He called Saul on the road to Damascus who became Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles; the heathen; you and me.  Paul became God’s instrument.  Free grace; the righteousness of God without the Law (Rom 3:21) was Gods instrument to Paul.  God Himself didn’t change; the way He deals with man over time, does.  The dispensation of the Law (Israel) was coming to a temporary end (as we shall see, God is far from finished with Israel) and the dispensation of the free grace of God to man was beginning.

Next Post – “Two Gospels???