Got Bible Questions?

Going to try an experiment, let’s see if it works.  I know we have the ability on each blog post to post comments and to ask questions.  These would likely be specific to the post in general.  How about a page where anyone can ask any Bible question they might be considering and I’ll try and answer them on this here page?

Perhaps someday I can organize by topic or book if it starts to get full.

Let’s give it a go.  Fire away…

17 thoughts on “Got Bible Questions?

  1. Happy Sunday bro!

    Okay… Question…
    2 Corinthians 4:11 KJV — For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
    12 — So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

    I know the apostles died for the faith. I don’t really get what this means! Is not the same behaviours applicable to the body? Or what do you suppose he means here? Christ lived in Paul, and he lives in us too…no?… Hmm…

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  2. Happy Sunday to you too! You pick good deep verses to explore!

    You write… “Christ lived in Paul, and he lives in us too…no?”

    Let’s take look at what Paul says about that…

    Gal 2:20… “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” And… Col 1:27… “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”

    Christ is alive in us and we are alive in Him. When we get saved, what is it exactly that transpires between us and God? It is a crucifixion. A death. God has killed us (sin in us) via Christ, as He made Christ to BE sin (2 Cor 5:21) and killed it on the cross. Paul also likens it to a circumcision that the Jews might understand more fully.

    Col 2:11-12… ” In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

    Either way, our mortal flesh is “spiritually” killed or cut away from our spiritual selves; by the operation of God, not by anything we can do. We are no longer “sinners, saved by grace” as many saved people (including myself not too long ago) are want to say. We are quite literally a “new creature”. We are saints of God, ambassadors of the Most High in this fallen world. We are no longer sinners (!!!), though certainly our mortal flesh will sin. The flesh is weak, but His word strengthens the inner man which in turn strengthens the flesh (however slowly… sigh). We ARE our inner man, we ARE NO LONGER our outer man. I think that’s one of the toughest lessons to learn and takes a lifetime to even begin to get right.

    Looking at your verse piece by piece: 2 Cor 4:11-12… “For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.”

    Paul says, “we which live”. Who would that be? All of the people in the picture are “alive” physically. How about rather, “we which are alive, in Christ”? To use Paul’s words, “we which live (in Christ)”.

    Romans 6:11… “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” And… 1 Cor 15:22… “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

    Saved people are made eternally alive. Unsaved people are eternally dead. Paul, his small band of brothers and sisters AND the Corinthians he was addressing were all eternally alive; though some were certainly not behaving as one who knew such. They sure knew the liberty but not the responsibility.

    He continues, “are always delivered unto death for Jesus sake”. Without the spiritual death (or circumcision) of our sinful physical bodies we would still be captive to, and thus responsible for, sin in ourselves. Without being “delivered unto death” we would still be alive unto sin! Paul, given the dispensation of grace to deliver to the world at large was certainly “delivered unto death for Jesus sake”. Always. The man never stopped. Unless he had to stop and make a tent to earn a buck that his hearers were too stingy and selfish to provide him. Imagine Paul coming to your town. Would you not want his every available moment be toward talking to and teaching you rather than having to find a way to eat?

    He continues, “that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” Can the (honest) life of Christ be made manifest in an unsaved person? Absolutely not. An unsaved person can “talk” all the “Jesus” in the world but if it ain’t the gospel it’s all for naught; it’s all vanity. A person is either trusting in what Christ did OR what they can do and are communicating one or the other. There is no in between. “Yes, we are saved by grace, but…” No. There are no ifs, ands or buts.

    The “life also of Jesus” that Paul would have manifested in his (still remaining) mortal flesh seems to me to be the very “gospel of our salvation”. Christ died for our sins… “Life also of Jesus” equals “life IS Jesus” or “Jesus IS life” to the hearer. The gospel is life and without it there is only death. As “good” as Paul was, he was still stuck in a mortal body. He was not Christ, nor could he “mimic” Christ’s earthly life. If any human was capable of such it would have been Paul. Many so called Christians honestly believe they can or ought to mimic Jesus earthly life. What an utter disaster that will turn out to be. How unbelievably important is it to understand what Jesus told Paul to tell us?

    He continues, “So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” We can see the death of Christ having already worked in Paul and those with him (the spiritual condition of their mortal bodies are indeed dead) in turn, working life in the Corinthians. They heard the words of salvation and got saved. They too became alive in Christ.

    The problem Paul is continually trying to explain to these saved but very spiritually immature people was that the death of Christ, and thus the eternal life in them, was not being manifested as of yet in their mortal flesh. This is the overriding problem with the Corinthian believers (and being perfectly honest, in our lives too). Paul literally went through hell trying to reach the Corinthians. See 2 Cor 11 and note the near constant burning sarcasm Paul employs to rebuke them. For whatever reason Paul had to continually defend his Apostleship to these people. We see this displayed in churches the world over to this day.

    Hope that helps and thanks for the lesson…! Nothing gets ones thoughts in order like trying to explain complex verses 🙂

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  3. I hadn’t looked at it from the perspective of our death with Christ when we were saved! Awesome thought… thank you for the study!
    Blessings GCP 😇

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  4. Just discovered your site. Awesome! Great information and working hard to dig through it all.

    How far away from Austin is your location?

    Wanted to drop a word of encouragement for you to keep doing what you are doing! So glad I found your site. Scales are falling off…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Greetings David, I’m so glad you found our little corner of the interwebs. Once the scales start to fall it’s amazing what one begins to see… Thank you so very much for your kind words of encouragement. They mean far more than you know.

    We are located about 4 or so hours north of Austin. However… and I’m about to really make your day here. You have an absolutely amazing rightly dividing pastor and church available to you in Austin. Get in touch with Steve Gotberg at http://www.butnow.info/contact and you will find the best fellowship in Christ you’ve ever known. There will be a Bible conference which this church puts on coming up in February/March in Round Rock, Texas and it is not to be missed! Hope to be able to meet you in person there… 🙂

    Grace and peace to you and yours; keep on studying!
    For HIS glory…
    ted

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  6. Brother Ted,
    I have a general principle that I attempt to adhere to whenever studying the Bible:

    Deut 19:15 –> Mt 18:16 –> 2 Cor 13:1
    (In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established)

    Obviously a “cross-dispensational” truth that we should all put into practice.

    Here is my question: What would you consider to be your “second witness” for 2 Tim 2:15?

    Grace and peace,
    -Paul

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  7. Hi Paul, great question. The word “study” only appears three times in the Bible. Solomon, in speaking with his son uses the word in somewhat of an unflattering way.

    Ecclesiastes 12:12 KJV… “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”

    Now Solomon is most often speaking of worldly wisdom which the Lord God provided him an abundance. It did not always lead him in the right direction. Paul uses the word here:

    1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 KJV… “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.”

    I’d call that some excellent advise and possibly your second witness, but it is still Paul speaking. In your question however you use the word cross or trans-dispensational which kind of suggests to me that your looking outside of Paul’s epistles for an answer. There are many prophetic admonishments for the Israelites to learn the law, to keep it in their hearts, etc. A great one is:

    John 5:39 KJV… “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

    They didn’t do a very good job for the most part, of course with a few notable exceptions. This is in Old Testament times. In the New Testament the saints will not need to study at all as God has promised to “write the law in their hearts”. Look at this:

    Hebrews 8:10-11 KJV… “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”

    No need to “teach” anyone who is under this new covenant. They will know the law and be able to do it too!

    Ezekiel 36:27 KJV… “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them .”

    In this dispensation we don’t have the benefit of God “installing” His Word into our minds and spirits. The covenant saints however did not have the benefit of understanding the mystery revealed to Paul that we do… God gave Paul the “why” of everything. He and thus we have the ability to see things that only somewhat confused Peter and the eleven (2 Peter 3).

    The best I can do to follow your otherwise excellent study ethic is to point you here where Paul is again encouraging Timothy.

    2 Timothy 3:14-17 KJV… “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them ; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

    And…

    1 Timothy 4:13 KJV… “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”

    If this attempt at an answer does not quite hit the nail on the head please feel free to refine the question and we’ll continue the great conversation!

    Grace and peace to you and yours!

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  8. Thank you, brother Ted, for your excellent response and for your cross-reference verses for the “study” aspect of 2 Tim 2:15. Having scoured your site, I did see a recommendation that you gave for the book, “Start Rightly Dividing” by Justin Johnson. I ordered that book and am currently 30 pages away from finishing it. Brother Justin also provides a strong emphasis on the subject of studying the Word and provides very good advice as to how Christians should approach their studies.

    As an aside, Justin also recommended a book (within his book) called “Unsearchable Riches of Christ” by J.C. O’Hair. I ordered that book last night and am looking forward to continued studies into the subject of “Right Division”.

    As I know you predicted, my intended emphasis to the 2 Tim 2:15 and the “second/third witness” question was on the commandment we are provided by our apostle to “rightly divide the word of truth”. I find it odd that I cannot find a second emphasis by Paul for Christians to “divide the Word”.

    One principle of hermeneutics that I follow, when trying to solve these study issues, goes as follows (when researching a word or phrase, like “rightly dividing”):
    > Identify how the word or phrase is used within the author’s immediate context.
    > Identify how the word or phrase is used within the author’s book that that word or phrase comes from.
    > Identify how the word or phrase is used within the other books that the author may have written.
    > Identify how the word or phrase is used by other authors within the Bible.
    > All the while, remember the “principle of first mention.”

    My Lexicon tells me that “rightly dividing,” Strong’s G3718, only occurs once in all of Scripture and I find that very odd. Mid-Acts Dispensationalism is built upon many things (Times Past – But Now – Ages to Come, Prophecy vs. Mystery, contradictions in Scripture, Eschatology, etc.), but we must agree that the “go to” verse that every M.A.D. teacher uses is 2 Tim 2:15. Because of that, I’d expect a “second witness” to it.

    Now please don’t take my question as challenging your position or teachings. I’m not challenging. Rather, I am searching for how others would answer this perplexing question. I am new to “right division” (been studying it for close to six months now) and oddly enough, came to the same dispensational conclusions as what M.A.D. teaches through my research and teaching of Eschatology over the years. Six months ago, I did not even know that there was a small sub-set of “Christendom” teaching M.A.D. and the strict division of the Word. I’m amazed that the Lord brought me to “some” of the conclusions taught in M.A.D. through my independent studies. Praise be to God! but now I am standing at the base of a mountain with my studies and my desire to learn all I can.

    As a second aside, I have downloaded all of your Blog posts. By my count, you have posted 37 Blog entries since 2015 – let me know if I have that number wrong. I’ll be reading each and every one. Questions and/or comments will go with your Blog post. I don’t want to capitalize upon your time, but I do hope to engage in iron sharpening iron along the way.

    Any perspective on the “right division” aspect of 2 Tim 2:15 and the lack of a second witness would be genuinely appreciated.

    In Christ,
    -Paul

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  9. I’m just sitting here reading an article on The Burning Platform when your reply hit my phone.

    Prov 27:17… “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

    Amen, I love it. Clearly you have the right attitude going into such studies. I actually did have a further thought on what you asked so I’m glad you wrote back. You’re right, nowhere else in the Bible does it say to “rightly divide” the scriptures. Why is that?

    Could it be because to Paul alone was revealed this “mystery kept secret since the world began”? That because this was a secret hid in God, there were no other, could be no other witnesses? Could it be that simple?

    You used the verse below in your original statement and I really got to thinking about that.

    2 Cor 13:1… “This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”

    How is Paul using these “prophetic” words to support his position? He is constantly having to defend his apostleship. What God revealed to him was so contrary to what the religious world had known up until that point, it must have been very hard to believe. Thus was he given the same Holy Spirit powers which the prophetic apostles possessed. None otherwise would have believed what Paul was saying was of God had he not had these incredible supernatural abilities.

    Paul however, was totally alone, at least for quite some time, in the knowledge of the mystery. There couldn’t be any other witnesses! In the verse above and the verses which follow, is Paul not using himself as “the mouths of two or three”? He has written to and visited the Corinthian saints previously and is threatening to do so yet again.

    To paraphrase, Paul says; “I’ve told you once, I’ve told you twice… don’t make me come down there and tell you three times!” Is he himself acting as his own multiple witness accounts? To Paul alone was given the dispensation of the mystery, the freely offered grace of God to any and all who would but accept His most precious (and undeserved) gift.

    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.”

    That we know salvation today, 2,000 years after the fact was made known, is thanks to the tenacity of one man touched by God. Paul was the sole witness of the mystery that is free grace. Necessity was laid upon him. We do not have the same necessity, (potential rewards are at stake) but if the body is to grow in numbers and in knowledge, it is now up to us to be Paul’s witnesses of Christ in the world…

    You write… “but now I am standing at the base of a mountain with my studies and my desire to learn all I can.”

    We are in the same place brother. The Bible is infinite; our minds, not so much. Do a youtube search on the term “fractal zoom”. This is how my mind comprehends the Book which is Gods Word… the mind of Christ. The deeper we go the deeper it gets.

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  11. Brother Ted,
    I have previously read a recommendation from yourself to read the book “Start Rightly Dividing” by Justin Curtis Johnson. I am almost done reading it for a second time.

    Within Justin’s book, there is a chapter (main text provided below) that discusses the multiple gospels within Scripture. Your blog post “Two Gospels???” has also been a great aid in this area of study.

    I would like to know if there are any “improvements” you would make to Justin’s write-up below? Are there any additional points you would want to stress within this topic area? Are there additional reference verses you would point your readers to in order to emphasize a point?

    Within right division, this is an important topic of study. Sadly, I have now experienced ridicule on two seperate occasions (two seperate individuals) when trying to emphasize this point with them.

    The following is Justin’s write-up on this subject. Would be great to have you cut-and-paste the full text below into any response you might provide, along with your inserted additions, comments, reference verses, etc.. Thank you so much!

    —————————————————————————————————————————————
    Are there many Gospels in the Bible?

    Although every man at any time is saved by the grace of God through faith, the content of faith differs from one dispensation to the next. That is, the message that is offered and believed for righteousness and salvation varies according to God’s progressive revelation. These different gospel messages can be understood when we carefully study what God had revealed, when it was revealed, and to whom it was revealed.

    Noah and Righteousness

    In Genesis, Noah was counted righteous because of his obedience by faith toward God. He and his family were saved through building an ark in a world without rain. His faith and obedience was not based upon the knowledge of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but in the living God and His promise of a flood.

    Heb 11:7

    While peter explains that Noah’s salvation was a figure of the salvation found in the resurrection of Christ, there is no mention of Noah’s understanding of this truth. Peter reveals that no prophet understood such a salvation through Christ until after His death.

    1 Pet 1:10-11

    Abram and Righteousness

    It cannot be ignored that Abram was counted righteous because of his faith in God’s promise of a mighty nation, not the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Gen 15:6). We now know that sinful Abram could be justified without works because of the then future, propitiatory work of Christ, but Abram did not know that. The word of faith that he believed was the promise of a land, seed, and a world-wide blessing. As Paul explains, Abraham was “strong in faith” (Rom 4:20).

    Rom 4:21
    Gen 12:1-3

    The specific promise that God made to Abraham was not that a messiah would die for his sins, but that his wife would produce a son though she was barren and beyond her age (Rom 4:18).

    Moses and Righteousness

    While Moses was able to have personal conversation with God, he wrote about a righteousness gained from the obedience of faith in the law (Deut 6:25).

    Paul expounds upon the understanding of Moses when he quotes Lev 18:5 in Rom 10:5.

    This righteousness and the faith that Moses and his followers had in God’s covenant was not faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rom 10:2-9). Their faith in God and His law required obedience. The requirement to do works was a product of the content of their faith in God’s revealed covenant.

    John the Baptist and Righteousness

    After a four-century silence in God’s plan with Israel, John the Baptist appears on the scene preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins (Mk 1:4). The message he taught was the soon coming of the promised kingdom to Israel and the Messiah. Once again, the content of faith was changing. Those who believed his message accepted his baptism. Those who were unfaithful to God’s promises rejected his message of faith (Mt 3:7).

    The result of accepting John’s baptism was a remission of sins and righteousness by the obedience of faith. Jesus demonstrated this by taking part in the baptism, although John declared that he did not need it (Mt 3:14-15).

    Jesus and Righteousness

    During His earthly ministry, Jesus also taught the gospel of the kingdom, as John did (Mk 1:14-15).

    However, Jesus additionally taught the righteousness of the new covenant law. (Mt 5:17, Mt 5:20).

    Although this standard of righteousness seemed to be stringent, they were promised the power of the Holy Ghost to help, and there abundant rewards for those who “endured to the end” (Mt 10:22).

    Mt 6:33

    It should be noted that even though Jesus taught the law, coming kingdom, and His identity as the Son of God, belief in His atoning death, burial, and resurrection was not the gospel message offered for righteousness or salvation during His earthly ministry. In fact, when He did try to explain to His disciples that He had to die, they were ignorant of the matter, and the Lord let them be ignorant (Lk 18:34).

    The Disciples and the New Covenant of Righteousness

    After the institution of the New Covenant and empowerment by the Holy Ghost, Peter and John wrote about a faith in Jesus as the Messiah and His resurrection. Peter explains that remaining faithful to God and His Son through the immediate trials of tribulation would secure salvation and righteousness for believers in the end (1 Pet 1:7-9).

    The content of the faith that they had to believe was preached by peter at his Pentecostal debut (Acts 2:36).

    John also writes that their faith rested in the message that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, the promised Messiah – John 20:31, 1 John 5:1, 1 John 5:12, 1 John 2:29.

    This message of faith in the name of Jesus as Christ and Messiah was essential to entering the kingdom and receiving the salvation that God had promised.

    Conclusion

    What is not included in this non-exhaustive list is the glorious gospel of grace revealed by Christ to Paul. This short list is sufficient to see that there were separate messages offered for righteousness and salvation as God’s word was progressively revealed. The message was different, but the means of salvation has always been the same. Salvation can only ever be by God’s grace through faith. The content of their faith is what changed as God revealed His will. The message we preach for faith today is in the finished work of Christ, the grace of God. God justifies freely those that believe (Rom 3:24-25, Rom 4:5). Our faith is not accompanied by our work, because our faith is in the finished work of Christ.

    Paul says that in his gospel is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith (Rom 1:17). Men are always saved by God’s grace through faith. The content of faith is what changes and with it the required response. The man of faith obeys. The Bible tells of many men of faith, but what they knew and believed was different.

    Only when God’s word is rightly divided can we understand the different gospels and changing requirements in the Bible as the just sought the righteousness of God by faith in what God revealed to them.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————

    May God continue to bless you and your ministry,
    Paul

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  12. Paul writes… “I would like to know if there are any “improvements” you would make to Justin’s write-up below?”

    Justin Johnson http://www.GraceAmbassadors.com is one of the most well prepared Bible teachers I know. I learn a great deal from him and hopefully will be able to attend one of his yearly conferences soon. I hesitate to say that I could improve on anything that he has written here or anywhere and recommend him to anyone and everyone who has an ear to hear. He has been rightly divided for a longer period of time than I have been saved. While I fall perfectly in line with no other mans teachings (we all must be persuaded in our own minds as our own minds are different) I can disagree with nothing you’ve posted. I’ll nit-pick one statement and gently tweak another…

    Justin writes… “However, Jesus additionally taught the righteousness of the new covenant law. (Mt 5:17, Mt 5:20). Although this standard of righteousness seemed to be stringent…”

    To which I’d reply; “stringent??? How about impossible!” The ten commandments times a million. One would have to be perfected from sin to be able to follow the “advanced law” of the sermon on the mount. Fortunately for the few Jewish believers that’s exactly what takes place at the new covenant Spirit baptism. God corrects their human hearts and gives them the ability to follow His perfect law (Ezekiel 36:25-27).

    Justin writes… “Peter explains that remaining faithful to God and His Son through the immediate trials of tribulation would secure salvation and righteousness for believers in the end (1 Pet 1:7-9).”

    I simply would have emboldened “in the end” here and included a verse on endurance and perhaps Acts 15:11 to solidify the point that “national” Israel’s salvation is a future event.

    Justin explains well that while the object of our faith always remains God (Father, Son, Spirit); the content of humanities faith and faiths requirements has changed over time as God has altered the ways in which He deals with mankind over time. Some people refuse to see this even when the evidence is clearly and succinctly presented to them. Most ignorance is willful.

    Justin writes… “What is not included in this non-exhaustive list is the glorious gospel of grace revealed by Christ to Paul.”

    This first sentence of the third from the last paragraph sums things up perfectly. God has given up completely on mankind (Romans 1) and had every right to end creation 2,000 years ago upon Israel’s failure. That He did not, and gave the dispensation of grace to Paul, shows us what an amazing, patient and loving God He truly is and just how fortunate we are to even be alive. Something we all ought to remind ourselves daily. I try to imagine what He is going to have for us in eternity and my mind nearly crumbles…

    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.”

    1 Cor 2:9-10… But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

    …so I keep reading, studying and pondering that I might get a glimpse of the glory that is to be revealed in us when we are separated from the presence of sin at the translation/judgement seat of Christ; when we pass through the cleansing fire and emerge to be presented spotless before our Creator. Awaiting further “eternal” instructions. My God, my God…

    You write… “Sadly, I have now experienced ridicule on two separate occasions (two separate individuals) when trying to emphasize this point with them.”

    Unfortunately, this is going to continue. It’s very hard especially when dealing with people we care deeply about. satan has done a remarkable job blinding the minds of men with religion. he has done a remarkable job twisting scripture into new “bible” versions that further obscure the simple reality of progressive revelation. he has done a remarkable job convincing people that he is god. All we can do is to try and remain patient, not get depressed over it (things I struggle with personally), MAINTAIN FELLOWSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER (forgiving one another our many faults) and remember the words of Paul to Timothy.

    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.”

    for HIS glory;
    ted

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  13. Ted,
    During my morning reading today, I came upon a verse that left me with a question…

    For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
    1 Cor 8:10–11

    What words of wisdom would you have pertaining to Paul’s use of the word “perish” in verse 11? He’s talking about a weaker “brother” (someone who is in the faith). As someone who believes in “eternal security” (once saved always saved), how does one reconcile the use of this word perish with the Lexicon’s various definitions?

    Lexicon:
    to destroy
    to put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to ruin
    render useless
    to kill
    to declare that one must be put to death
    metaph. to devote or give over to eternal misery in hell
    to perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed
    to destroy
    to lose

    Thank you,
    David

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  14. David writes… “During my morning reading today, I came upon a verse that left me with a question…”

    1 Cor 8:10-11… “For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?”

    The water gets a little deep here, but that’s ok. Paul’s letters must also be rightly divided in their own way. We know that Paul was instructed to go to the Jew first (Rom 1:16). There is a reason for that.

    Rom 3:1-2… “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.”

    The Jews understood the things of God in ways most Gentiles did not. They also understood that they were under the LAW. Paul was Gods chosen vessel who had to inform them that they were no longer Gods chosen; that the Law system was “put away”, that He had concluded ALL men (including His chosen) under sin. (The law did it’s job.) No easy task… most Jews wanted Paul dead for that reason.

    In Paul’s writings, specifically, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians and 1 & 2 Thessalonians, he is certainly speaking the message of grace to us but he is speaking mostly to people who were once under the law and who now are not. This is critical to remember when reading Paul’s Acts epistles (those listed) as opposed to his prison epistles (the rest). Read 1 Cor 7 as the prime example and let me know when you have it all figured out… cause I sure don’t.

    All that said… let’s answer your question directly. You are on exactly the right track.

    “What words of wisdom would you have pertaining to Paul’s use of the word “perish” in verse 11?”

    As the stronger brother, the one who does the explaining rather than one who needs an explanation, Paul simply does not want to DESTROY or RUIN the weaker brothers faith; to cause the (likely Jewish) brothers newly installed faith in GRACE, RATHER THAN THE LAW to perish, that the person would forsake Gods grace. That’s the absolute last thing Paul wants! The book of Galatians is all about this exact scenario. The Galatian believers heard Paul’s message of grace through faith of Christ and some Jewish believers came in and tried to put them back under the law (see Acts 15 as well). Paul has some remarkable things to say in that letter to the Galatians! Check them out.

    Gal 2:21… “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

    Yikes!

    Like

  15. Pastor,
    For roughly a decade now, I have learned significantly from many men who profess to be in the faith. I have enjoyed and been edified by the likes of Todd Friel (www.wretched.org) and Ray Comfort (www.livingwaters.com) and many others. I consider myself to be evangelistic. God has equipped all who are in Christ with different and various gifts. My preferred form of evangelism can be considered more cowardly than others (since faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God) and I am not a good speaker and actually encounter physiological (cardiology) issues when placed in high-stress situations. That all said, I gravitate towards handing out tracts – either door to door or leaving tracts where others will find them.

    For many years, my two favorite tracts have been the DVD “The Biggest Question” –
    https://www.wretched.org/biggestquestion/
    and the Million Dollar Bills that look like U.S. currency, but actually have a “Gospel” message on the back.

    Well I placed the word gospel in quotes above because the more I learn about right division, the more I have found myself questioning the message found within these tracts.

    If you have not watched The Biggest Question (link above), I would recommend it to your viewing. I would be interest in your review of it and ultimate your comments as to whether or not you felt, after viewing it, you heard the gospel message that saves a person during this dispensation.

    As for the Million Dollar Bill’s message, here is how it reads:

    The million-dollar question: Will you go to Heaven when you die? Here’s a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God’s name in vain? Jesus said, “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Have you looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things, God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell. That’s not God’s will. He sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for you. You broke God’s law, but Jesus paid your fine. That means He can legally dismiss your case. He can commute your death sentence. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Then Jesus rose from the dead and defeated death. Please, repent (turn from sin today and trust in Jesus alone, and God will grant you the gift of everlasting life. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.

    So what do you think, Pastor? Paul tells us that the Law is a schoolmaster to show us our sin. LivingWaters’ message within the tract above is using OT writings (the 4 gospels) within their message (i.e. John 3:16, etc.). I do see death, burial and resurrection found within their message though. I think that my “biggest question” comes down to their final message, which is “repent and trust in Jesus”.

    I see this message “repent and trust in Jesus” or “repent and trust in the Savior” a lot within the ministries of Todd Friel and Ray Comfort. The more I learn about right division, however, the more I am convicted that that is not Paul’s message.

    Do you ever tell someone you are witnessing to to repent?

    Instead of saying “trust in Jesus,” should we not be saying “trust in the gospel – the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ”?

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks for your time,
    John

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi John, glad you stopped by! I will watch the video you have linked, but I have a feeling you’ve already told me what’s in it. Amen that you are coming to rightly divide the Bible. What a relief, no? So many conundrums straightened right out! Amazing, really!

    You write… “Paul tells us that the Law is a schoolmaster to show us our sin.”

    Yes he does.

    Gal 3:24-25… “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

    By realizing that the law, especially after Christ magnifies it by 1,000 in the sermon on the mount, is impossible to keep, we realize that it’s God we need to intervene on our behalf. This we know He does by becoming us and taking our place on the cross.

    “LivingWaters’ message within the tract above is using OT writings (the 4 gospels) within their message (i.e. John 3:16, etc.). I do see death, burial and resurrection found within their message though. I think that my “biggest question” comes down to their final message, which is “repent and trust in Jesus”.”

    I too see the death, burial and resurrection; but I also see a religious controlling influence. “Repent of your sin.” A few questions… What would happen if an unsaved person saw some particular sin in himself and stopped doing it? He would very likely credit himself with the accomplishment and consider himself (finally) worthy of salvation. Problem there, no?

    Another question… Was Paul (Saul) repentant when he was saved? Let’s look:

    Acts 9:1-2… “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

    Uh, it seems not. He was busy hunting down the Jewish believers.

    You write… “Do you ever tell someone you are witnessing to to repent?”

    NEVER. I tell them that Christ did it all and there is nothing left to do but say thank you. I know that I’ve made a successful gospel presentation when someone looks at me with a blank stare and says “it can’t be that simple”. Boom. Yes, it is.

    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.

    Using verses not written to us is disingenuous even if the intent is honorable. Misunderstandings and confusion (religion) is the inevitable result.

    “My preferred form of evangelism can be considered more cowardly than others (since faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God) and I am not a good speaker and actually encounter physiological (cardiology) issues when placed in high-stress situations.”

    Has nothing to do with being cowardly, it’s how WE are built. Where are the both of us right now? Please feel free to call anytime! My number is somewhere on the contact page… 🙂

    Grace and peace to you and yours. Keep pressing on (2 Tim 2:15). It will be worth every moment!

    Like

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