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…

29 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

  17. Pastor Ted,
    The family and I are traveling to Asheville, NC, this coming July. Used to be hard to find a church for us to worship at on a Sunday morning while we traveled. Now that I’m rightly dividing, it’s much harder…

    Happen to have any suggestions for a congregation in the Asheville, NC, area that is rightly dividing?

    Second and similar question (and I hope this benefits all your readers): When faced with a question like the above, what resources do you depend upon to conduct a search? Are there any websites you can recommend that provide links to various churches (even home churches) that rightly divide throughout North America?

    These used to be “go to” resources that I would depend upon:
    https://www.tms.edu/find-a-church/
    http://www.biblebb.com/churches.htm

    Any information (and links) would be greatly appreciated.
    Grace,
    Paul

    Like

  18. Hi Paul.

    “Used to be hard to find a church for us to worship at on a Sunday morning while we traveled. Now that I’m rightly dividing, it’s much harder…”

    I totally get that… There is a pastor named Brian Sipes in Harmony, NC. who has a son named Robbie who “I think” teaches in or near Asheville, NC. You can contact Brian here… http://www.charitybible.org/index.html

    The best but not exhaustive list of rightly divided churches I can find is this website… https://gracechurches.wordpress.com/

    Enjoy a wonderful trip!

    Like

  19. Ted,
    Recently I read a post on a website that touched on an area that I think many Christians, including many dispensationalists, are confused about. Here is an excerpt from the post:

    We read within the New Testament that all those who are part of Christ’s Church are beneficiaries of the New covenant. The New covenant is applied to the Church (2 Cor 3:5-6, 1 Cor 11:23-26, Rom 11:11-24, Gal 3-4, Eph 1:5-6, Rom 2) and it provides a spiritual dynamic that is not reserved solely for the nation of Israel. Jesus announced our participation in the New covenant when He inaugurated the Lord’s Supper. We, by faith, are of the promises made to Abraham. We, by faith are children of Abraham. We will take part in all of these promises also because we are grafted in (Rom 11:17-18). Now that we are under the New covenant, both Jews and Gentiles can be free from the penalty of the Law. We are now given the opportunity to receive salvation as a free gift (Eph 2:8-9).

    There is so much within that one paragraph… When I read it, I know there is some truth within it, but I also recognize that there is some confusion and error. Can you help me (and your readers) with this paragraph and break it down into parts, while providing your perspective?

    Thank you, brother!
    David

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

    Hi David, yes there is a lot in that paragraph. I wrote a post titled “Are Believers Today New Testament Christians?” that details the majority of what is addressed here. The New Covenant is applied to Israel and the Gentiles who will be blessed by them sometime in the future. In this, the dispensation of grace, there is no Jew NOR Gentile.

    “…it provides a spiritual dynamic that is not reserved solely for the nation of Israel.”

    Also translated: “I know that’s what the words say, but that’s not what they mean.”

    “Jesus announced our participation in the New covenant when He inaugurated the Lord’s Supper.”

    Jesus wasn’t talking to us in the red letters. The body of Christ did not yet exist. It begins with Paul in Acts chapter 9.

    “We, by faith, are of the promises made to Abraham.”

    Which promises? God made many to Abram and Abraham. Are we to be circumcised to receive these promises? Romans chapter 4 addresses these concerns.

    “We will take part in all of these promises also because we are grafted in (Rom 11:17-18).”

    Absolutely not. If we are grafted in, we can be grafted right back out. Does that sound like freely offered grace? Nope. It sounds like a performance program of Jew and Gentile. In Romans 9-11 Paul is not speaking ABOUT the church, he is speaking TO the church ABOUT what happened to Israel. Follow the pronouns…

    “Now that we are under the New covenant, both Jews and Gentiles can be free from the penalty of the Law.”

    Again, complete nonsense as the new covenant supernaturally empowers the men who are under it to KEEP THE LAW.

    Ezekiel 36:24-28… “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 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. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.”

    Is this the new covenant we believers are under today? This is the new covenant.

    “We are now given the opportunity to receive salvation as a free gift (Eph 2:8-9).”

    Well, yea… of course; but not because of any covenant promises/agreements. Since when do free gifts come with strings attached? Whoever wrote this is very confused. They likely do not take the Bible literally and clearly fail to rightly divide it.

    Grace and peace brother David!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pastor,
    I’m of the belief that one of the most confusing subjects for those who do not Rightly Divide is encapsulated within this short (4 min) video:

    The person speaking flows between a right position and a wrong position within his script. He ends with a comment that “the content of faith has changed due to progressive revelation” (I’m paraphrasing). That’s a true statement, but most of what he states before that is a misunderstanding.

    Curious as to your thoughts and your critique of the statements made within this video.

    Your time is very much appreciated!
    2 Tim 4:22,
    John

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

    Greetings John and thanks for writing. While I’ve no reason to doubt this mans salvation, nor his ability to present the gospel clearly and sincerely (1 Cor 15:3-4), the all too common problem here is relying on 20/20 hindsight. As the Bible is a book of progressive revelation which the presenter understands, one simply cannot go back to John 3:16 (for example) to show someone that Christ died for their sins (except by using hindsight which is always 20/20) because Christ had not yet died and salvation was still “of the Jews” (John 4:22).

    Salvation has always been by the grace of God through the faith of men. Throughout time that faith has had differing requirements. Today the requirement is NO WORKS AT ALL lest any man should boast (we have nothing to boast in). In the future, faith will require “enduring till the end” (Mat 10:22, 24:13)… We today must realize that we are the utterly hopeless creatures we in fact are and have faith that God took care of our problem totally and completely for us. It is an insult to Him to even suggest that we could add anything to such a gift as I’m sure you know. God is the object, the gift is the content. Peter had no idea such a thing might occur. Indeed, his sins are still only remitted until the restitution of all things (Acts 3:19-21) and Christ is seated on His earthly throne.

    As everyone is different, some time spent with the person in the video explaining right division (expanded progressive revelation) might be of great value to him. He’s clearly not dumb and seems kindly enough. On the other hand, as I’m sure you are all too familiar, he might argue vociferously against it. Most people just hate being wrong especially about topics held very close to their hearts. One never knows unless one tries and the book says what the book says! Another BIG issue here… he uses the wrong book. Very difficult speaking with anyone when not communicating in the same language.

    Grace and peace to you and yours!
    Ted

    Like

  21. Pastor Ted,
    I visited a church yesterday during a trip back east and I had a blessed time with a small congregation of Bible-believing Christians. That said, it was not a Right Division church and the sermon was much as I expected. Despite not rightly dividing, this church’s pastor did a fine job of expositing the Word – the topic was justification through faith – he moved between Romans 4:1-12 and Genesis 15:1-6, and his ultimate message was correct for the Christian living in the dispensation of Grace (no works, saved by faith alone).

    It was a bummer, however, to read (and then listen to) his outline for his sermon:
    1. Abraham saved by faith.
    2. David saved by faith.
    3. The Christian is saved by faith.

    Obviously it is #2 above that gave me grief. I would point this preacher of the Word to verses such as Deut 6:24-25, Lev 18:5, and Rom 10:5 to help him understand that King David lived under the Law (he lived after Moses and the receiving of the Law on Mt. Sinai (the Mosaic Covenant)) and it was not until the death of Christ that the Law was abolished.

    I suspect the reason this pastor flowed so seamlessly to stating that David was saved by faith alone was due to the statement that Paul makes in Romans 4:6:

    [Rom 4:6 KJV] Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

    What commentary would you have concerning Psalm 32 (Paul’s reference above) where Paul is stating that David was “describing” the blessed man who is deemed righteous without works. Am I incorrect in thinking that David was “describing” such a person and did not include himself in that description (as he was under the Law)?

    I am also curious as to what references within Scripture you would add to my list above if you were given the opportunity to sit down with this pastor and “expound unto him the way of God more perfectly”.

    Grace and peace,
    Paul

    ———————————————————————————————————————–

    Hey Paul! A couple of things… first and foremost, all men throughout time have been saved by Gods grace through faith in what He has said to them. The content of what He communicated to different men over time has changed; but His grace to save never has. In that, this pastor was not wrong. What he and most miss is that change in content from the dispensation of the law where certain works were required where faith existed, to our dispensation of grace where works are forbidden (yea, we are THAT bad). I’m really not quite sure how outwardly well meaning pastors miss this but there are two choices… ignorance or intent. Right division was a no-brainer for me once outlined (I’ve no idea why). Before it was explained, I had no clue… there were just some things about the Bible that I figured were near impossible to understand. Still, I believed it. When RD came, my understanding exploded. It was natural and so very clear. Why most others fight against it so vigorously, I believe is testament to satan’s ability to deceive and convince otherwise decent men to believe lies; even if those lies are wrapped in layers of truth. satan wants nothing more than to sew confusion. If they would only read the words on the page and believe the words on the page all our problems would go away (and the world would be a FAR better place)!

    To your example… Davids faith required law keeping. A faithful man in Davids day followed the law to the best of his ability, not out of a sense of duty alone but out of love for the Lord. David had a heart for God even though he did some fairly horrible things while he lived. It’s the heart that God knows, sees and desires. He wants every man to want Him. And, as our Creator, He certainly has that exclusive right! Those who do not want Him can “go to hell”… literally. God saw the faith of David as He saw the far more simple faith of Abram. Abram believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. David believed God, did what God told him to do, repented when he screwed up, and God counted that unto him for righteousness. Big difference.

    We believe that there is nothing we can possibly do to save ourselves from sin; we believe that Christ paid the price we owe, say thank you and God imputes His righteousness unto us. What a deal, no! What do all of the above have in common? Faith in what God says to each of us.

    You mention that it was not until the death of Christ that the law was “abolished”. I’ll offer up an alternative way of putting that. The law has not been abolished. It has been fulfilled; by Christ during His earthly ministry. It has been put on hold temporarily because it fulfilled its purpose; showing every man to be a sinner. It will return in the ages to come and the people it returns to (think valley of dry bones) will be empowered to keep it. This is the new testament come to life, THAT GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED, not man (even though man is given some very special powers). See Ezekiel 36:22-32… See Jeremiah 31:31-36… the “ordinances” of perfection (the law) will never depart (be abolished). The law is the righteousness of God personified. Also Hebrews 8-10… these people will be able to follow the law!

    As for Paul speaking of David…

    Romans 4:6-8… “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

    Psalm 32:1-5… “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”

    Contextually, Paul here is speaking directly to Jews (though these are truths for us as well) who have a heritage with God that is now temporarily terminated. That was very hard for them to understand. David was a murderer. There was no sacrifice for the sins David committed. He deserved to die. The law rightfully condemned him then as it does us today. The law fulfilled its purpose which is to condemn. David had no idea how God could forgive him but he was grateful that He did. Romans 9:18… Clearly, by the Psalm, he was repentant. (Is that a “work”? Interesting question.) Abraham couldn’t know how or why. God just made a promise to Abram literally out of nowhere. Not even James understood in his epistle; as James goes back to Genesis 22 to understand how righteousness comes, which is by faith plus works. It’s only by way of Paul can the answer be known; Paul goes back to Genesis 15 (Gods “free gift” to Abram) because of Gods “mystery” revelation to him… grace, redemption for free with the promises He made to Israel temporarily suspended. Israel always expected humanities justification to come through them (they still do… BIG problem!); they had no idea that Christs blood would atone for all sin without their being involved. Such information was given only to Paul. The Jews HATED Paul.

    Romans 3:24-25… “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;”

    It’s ever and only the blood of Christ can be a propitiation for sin. The baptists have a saying… the OT saints looked forward to the cross and the NT saints look back to the cross. While the cross is the key, the saying is overly simplistic. The OT saints did not anticipate any such thing, though the prophetic scriptures were written, the implication was hidden. Peter rebuked the Lord when He told him He was going to Jerusalem to die! Even most of the NT saints did not understand that the shed blood of Christ would serve as atonement for the whole of humanities sin, should individuals decide to avail themselves of the offer. See 2 Peter 3… here Peter is explaining to the Kingdom saints why the Kingdom didn’t come. Because… Paul.

    What scriptures would I show this pastor? I’d have to sit down with him and feel things out I guess. Everyone is different and responds differently to different tactics. Always be sure people are saved. Ask them what the gospel is, flat out. I think the answers will surprise you. As for RD, one can always start with Romans 16:25-27 and Acts 3:19-21 and ask what is the difference between that which was spoken since the world began and that which was hidden? Another good opening question is “was Paul one of the twelve?” If yes, how? If no, why?

    Sorry it took me a few days to reply… hope you have an excellent weekend!

    Grace and peace… Ted

    Like

  22. Pastor,
    In reference to your Reply above, dated: FEBRUARY 15, 2019 AT 4:34 PM
    I have to ask what your commentary or interpretation of 2 Cor 7:10 is –

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
    2 Co 7:10

    I understand that this word “salvation” has three tenses to it (if you will) – past, present, future — justification, sanctification, glorification.

    When I read that verse, I’d like to think that the “salvation” being referred to is that of sanctification, but the Greek word here for “salvation” is soteria and it means deliverance, the state of having been saved.

    So if I plug that definition into the verse, I read it as: “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to the state of having been saved.”

    Therefore, I read it as “I’ve got to have godly sorrow and not worldy sorrow (darn, I got caught)” and that “godly sorrow is going to cause me to repent” and “when I repent, I’ll then get saved (I’ll be in a state of having been saved)”.

    Any chance you could clear up my confusion with this subject?

    Thank you and God bless you and your ministry. Your impact goes beyond what you know.
    Grace,
    John

    —————————————————————————————————————–

    GCP replies…

    “Thank you and God bless you and your ministry. Your impact goes beyond what you know.”

    Thank you and praise the Lord. It is He that gives the increase. I just repeat what He says… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hello Pastor,
    I realize you are ‘chewing’ on my repentance question above. I thank you for that! I’ve also continued my studies on the subject. Another verse comes to light: Acts 20:21

    17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. 18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, 19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: 20 [And] how I kept back nothing that was profitable [unto you], but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, 21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. [Act 20:17-21 KJV]

    So the apostle Paul has called and is talking to the elders from the church at Ephesus (elders and deacons in Christian churches being another topic for another day) and he tells them “Look, I taught you that when I evangelize to the unsaved (he says “Jews” and “Greeks”), I tell them that they have to have repentance toward God (“repent” just means to change one’s mind), and they have to have faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (and we would say “faith in what?” and our answer would be “the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of the grace of God (death, burial, and resurrection))”.

    So I think Acts 20:21 has to be factored into this subject. At this point, I’m left with the conclusion that Paul preached that one needs to repent and that “godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation” (2 Cor 7:10) -or- that repentance brings one to a state of being saved.

    Very much looking forward to your thoughts and the results of your analysis.
    Iron sharpening iron only!
    John

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hey Johnny… thanks for the reminder! It seems to me your questions revolve around the word repentance. Let’s get to it… One of my favorite old hymns is “Victory In Jesus” and the first verse goes like this:

    I heard and old, old story,
    How a Savior came from glory,
    How He gave His life on Calvary
    To save a wretch like me;
    I heard about His groaning,
    Of His precious blood atoning,
    Then I repented of my sins
    And won the victory!

    Now that I’ve come to understand rightly dividing the word of truth, I need to change these lyrics up some. Nowhere does the Bible say Jesus groaned upon that cross. On the contrary, it says He cried “with a loud voice” quoting Psalm 22:1 “my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” and gave up the ghost. To me, that demonstrates remarkable Godlike strength.

    The song also suggests that I have a role to play in my own salvation (which is blasphemy). It suggests that my repenting of my sins won me the victory that Jesus made available by way of the cross. Well ain’t I special… (not).

    Question: how does an unsaved man repent of his sins? As you suggest, he’s likely just sorry that he got caught doing whatever it was that he was doing. He’s unsaved. He’s not aware that he is sinning against a Holy Creator. What I’m saying is that (today – under grace conditions) only a saved man can possibly repent of his sin because only a saved man understands his condition in comparison to that same Holy Creator.

    Paul does use the word repentance however and since Paul is always speaking to saved people (to the SAINTS at… grace and peace from…”) what could he mean? I think you hit the nail on the head in your second posted question when you allude to repentance being a “change of mind or position”.

    Acts 20:21… “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    The verse reflects a change of attitude toward God, especially toward Himself revealed to the world in the flesh of Jesus Christ… those who the Jews mostly detest passionately. This is a time period when Paul was still going “to the Jew first” as Romans 1:16 explains.

    If we examine the verses you mention in second Corinthians, I believe we see the same gestalt at work.

    2 Cor 7:8-10… “For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

    Paul hammered the Corinthian believers in his first epistle. They (mostly Jewish believers) surely understood grace in so much that they were no longer under the law. They didn’t realize they were being held to a higher, more adult standard, and were thus going wild using their newfound liberty as an occasion to the flesh.

    It hurt Paul to have to write the letter, but not so badly that he changed his mind about writing it. It had the desired effect. The Corinthians changed their minds (repented) about how they were behaving and acted to modify, at least somewhat, their behavior. Paul made them sorry after a Godly manner, an honest inward reflection, not as worldly sorrow which feels bad for being caught.

    You write… “So if I plug that definition into the verse, I read it as: “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to the state of having been saved.”

    Are they changing their minds about salvation? Of course not. This is why confusing the KJB with foreign languages is unhealthy. Why would they ever repent of being saved? Their Godly sorrow, being saved, worked repentance to a change/modification in behavior. That’s the way grace works… from the inside, out. As opposed to the law which tries to work from the outside in. “Ye shall… Ye shall not…”

    You write… “Therefore, I read it as “I’ve got to have godly sorrow and not worldy sorrow (darn, I got caught)” and that “godly sorrow is going to cause me to repent” and “when I repent, I’ll then get saved (I’ll be in a state of having been saved)”.”

    Worldly sorrow (I got caught) is vanity. Godly sorrow caused these ALREADY SAVED people to repent of their behavior. A very good thing. Repentance of bad behavior does not lead to salvation because salvation has nothing to do with ones behavior. Salvation is not “performance based” as was (will again be) the law.

    What’s the first thing a man has to realize in order to be saved. He has to have that “uh oh” moment when he realizes he is lost and undone. That there is absolutely nothing in the world he can do (no amount of repentance of sins already committed, no making oaths to do better, to quit sinning…) is going to help him. That man has just had a mind altering realization. He has changed his mind about his condition in the face of a Holy Creator, one Jesus Christ. A “road to Damascus” moment if you will. That is repentance as Paul uses the word. I’m dead. Only God can fix me. And He does… 🙂

    How does Peter use it? Let’s look in Acts 2 and 3. Here in 2 separate occasions, Peter is presenting a murder indictment against the gathered Jews.

    Acts 2:36… “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, WHOM YE HAVE CRUCIFIED, both Lord and Christ. ”

    Acts 3:14-15… “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; AND KILLED THE PRINCE OF LIFE, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.”

    YIKES!!! Continuing… they ask Peter; “what do we do now???”

    Acts 2:37… “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, WHAT SHALL WE DO?

    Acts 2:38… “Then Peter said unto them, REPENT, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

    Acts 3:17-19… “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. REPENT ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”

    What is Peter saying to them? REPENT of the sin of killing your Messiah… that they may be converted, and NOTE CAREFULLY that their sins may be blotted out WHEN THE TIMES OF REFRESHING SHALL COME FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD. That’s the second coming of Christ to the earth in the last days. Are national Israels sins blotted out today? NO THEY ARE NOT. Any individuals sins (JEW OR GENTILE) may be blotted out; that’s why Paul continued to go to the Jews in the synagogues. There was no more Kingdom at hand for them; but the grace of the Lord abounds where sin abounds! At least for the past 2,000 years.

    Religion says, “repent of your sins, then something good will happen.” That’s conditional. Grace says, “I’ve made peace with you, won’t you make peace with me?” That’s unconditional… 2 Cor 5:17-21.

    Two looks at repentance, two completely different scenarios. God repents in Genesis chapter 6. What do you make of that?

    Grace and peace to you and yours Johnny…!

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  25. Pastor
    What is the inheritance spoken of in Acts 20:32 and Acts 26:18; and can a Christian lose their inheritance? I know that we don’t inherit eternal life, so what do we inherit? Is it a place in the Millennium to rule and reign? I always thought that but not sure how rightly divided that is, thanks for your time. if you have anything that would be helpful feel free to email me. again thanks your brother in Christ.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————–

    Hi Caleb, good meaty question! Let’s look at the verses themselves.

    Acts 20:32… “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

    Acts 26:18… “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

    In the first Paul is speaking to the saints he was sent to. In the second Paul recounts to king Agrippa the words God spoke to him in Acts 9 on the road to Damascus.

    You write… “I know that we don’t inherit eternal life, so what do we inherit?”

    I’m honestly not sure what you mean by this. Do you not believe that we are eternal beings? That each and every human ever born will be raised from the dead into an eternal body; one destined for life everlasting or one headed to the lake of fire? For the sake of this reply I’m going to assume (yea, I know what can happen so correct me if I’ve become an ass…) that you do believe eternal life “is” but for some reason you are separating life eternal from any other “thing” we as saved people might inherit.

    Thus, I’ll frame the question this way… once we have eternal life, what do we inherit? (Is that appropriate?)

    You write… “Is it a place in the Millennium to rule and reign?”

    No, it’s not. As God has two programs installed for the two realms He created (heaven and earth – Gen 1:1), rightly dividing shows us that He has two solutions to each realms fall. Both were left bankrupt; heaven by satan and earth by Adam. Both need to be redeemed back to God in Christ. The earthly millennium Kingdom, the realm of humanity, is given to the nation Israel. 95% of the Bible speaks to this program; this is what has been spoken since the world began… prophesy. In the ages to come and during the Millennial reign of Christ on earth, Israel will be “in charge”; they will be fulfilling their created purpose, to be that “shining city on a hill”, the channel of blessing from God to the rest of (Gentile) humanity.

    Believers today are “neither Jew nor Gentile” (Gal 3:28). Heaven too needs to be redeemed back to God in Christ and this is our inheritance… the heavenly places. satan took one third of the angels with him. There is a vacancy there which needs to be filled and reparations that need to be made. Paul, speaking to the Corinthian believers about their petty arguments among themselves, says:

    1 Cor 6:3… “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

    We (somehow) are put in a place where we will judge fallen angels; created beings far more powerful than us. These beings were created for a purpose to which they neglected. We take up the places in heaven they chose to leave behind. (Look up at night. I believe those stars ARE angels; not necessarily “great balls of fire” but living luminous creatures who kept their first estate in the firmament (compare with Jude 1:6). That will be us one day.) Beautiful verses here regarding our mindset while we live in this world…

    Col 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.

    …this earth is not our home. We are just to be ambassadors here communicating the message of grace and peace to fallen man that God might save individuals out of it. Let’s look at a few more verses.

    Rom 8:15-17… “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.

    Saved people today are the adopted sons of God. We are the church which is His body. Christ is not here at present, we are here in His stead (2 Cor 5:17-21) to communicate His message of reconciliation. We are His physical body here on earth. The above verses show us that as adopted sons that we are also “heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ”. Let me ask you… what does Christ (God in flesh) rightfully OWN? All of creation, right? Paul speaks of Christ in the following:

    Col 1:14-17… “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

    These verses tell us that all things were created by Him and for Him. As joint heirs with Him, what do we inherit? Seems to me we inherit all things… the entirety of creation. God will one day call us, His ambassadors, home. We will pass through the cleansing fire of Christ’s judgement seat (2 Cor 5:10) where our works will be judged. Useless sinful works will burn up and anything we’ve managed to do with lasting value is refined by fire (1 Cor 3:12-15). We come out the other end perfected and in a glorious everlasting (very likely luminous – Mat 17:2) body (Phil 3:21) where we begin our eternity with Him in whatever endeavors He decides to undertake next!

    Eph 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:

    The dispensation of the fullness of times begins, all things in heaven and earth are gathered together in Christ… and that my friend is where the book ends. At eternities beginning. What God has in store hereafter is way beyond my ability to consider. I just know I want to be a part of it! What do we inherit? Everything and whatever comes next!

    Lastly, you write… “can a Christian lose their inheritance?” …to which I will simply reply:

    Rom 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, and thanks for the question! Grace and peace to you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Ted,
    The wife and I are thinking of making a trip to Israel next summer since we are soon to be out of here (ha ha) and now understand, through Right Division, that we will be living in heaven and not on planet earth during Christ’s millennial kingdom. We better go “walk where Jesus walked” before we are extracted and the place is renovated…

    Was curious if, by chance, you might have a recommendation for a tour group, one that would teach and view the historical sites from a Mid-Acts Dispensational position? Would be pointless to visit Israel and listen to everything in a “the Church began in Acts 2” perspective.

    Any leads you can think of will be most helpful.

    Grace and peace,
    David

    Like

  27. Hey David… quick reply to a compelling question. See if you can contact Dr. Carl Baugh at the Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, TX. A very dear friend of mine went to Israel and worked on an excavation tour group with the man. I know he goes from time to time and leads such things. If he has no trips planned, he’ll very likely be able to hook you up with a great guy who is.

    Edit… Carl Baugh is not rightly divided. Several men he associated with are. Aaron Judson is one of them.

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