Thursday, May 20, 2010

UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE


 
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth" (II Tim. 2: 15).

In Eph. 2 the Apostle Paul sets forth the basic three-fold division in God's dealings with mankind: Time Past (vs.11, 12), But Now (v.13), the Ages to Come (v.7). When the Bible is "laid out" according to this divinely inspired design we easily get an overview of not only wllat we are reading but when and to whom it was written. Thus the Word of God itself provides us with the key to its own proper understanding and right division:

Time Past: Eph. 2:11,12 sets forth the basic issue in Time Past as the division between the Circumcision and the Uncircumcision, between the nation Israel and the Gentiles. When you find this issue governing the way God was working with men, you know you are in Time Past. This covers the "Old Testament" (see Gen. 17:9-14, Deut. 4:5-8, Num. 23:9) as well as Mattllew t11ru John (see Rom. 15:8, Matt. 10:5,6; 15:24, John 4:22) and the early Acts period (see Luke 24:47, Acts 1:6,8; 2:14,22,36; 5:32; 11:19).

ButNow: Eph. 2:13 indicates that in the But Now portion Gentiles are no longer "far off' but rather the "middle wall of partition" between Israel and the Gentiles has been eliminated and now "those wlw were far off are made nigh" Romans t11ru Philemon provide the doctrine for the dispensation of grace (Rom. 11:13; 15:16; 16:25, I Cor. 14:37, Eph. 3:1-9).

The Ages to Come: God will bring His purposes to fruition and thus Eph 2:7 points to the Ages to Come. The books of Hebrews thru Revelation focus on this.

This chart Dispensational Bible Studies Rightly Dividing The Word (Chart) has a foldout section to demonstrate the importance of the secret, hidden nature of the present dispensation of grace (Eph. 3:1-9). Fold the chart to hide the "mystery" section and you will see the perfect continuity of that "which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began "(Acts 3:21). Open the chart to reveal the mystery program and you will visualize how the prophetic program has been temporarily interrupted by "the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest" (Rom. 16:25,26).

The present dispensation of grace is "the mystery" hid in God until first revealed to the Apostle Paul (Eph. 3:1-9, Col. 1:24-~6, Rom. 16:25,26, I Tim. 2:4-7, Tit. 1:2,3, etc.). Thus in Paul's writings alone we find the doctrine, position, walk and destiny of the body of Christ. Remember: While all Scripture is forus, all Scripture is not written to or about us. This is the key to understanding the Bible.

The Epistles of Paul
• Canonical Order (Doctrinal Significance)
=> CHRIST and HIS CROSS
Romans Doctrine & Instruction
1,2 Corinthians Reproof for Practical Failure
Galatians Correction of Doctrinal Error
=> CHRIST and HIS CHURCH
Ephesians Doctrine & Instruction
Philippians Reproof for Practical Failure
Colossians Correction of Doctrinal Error
=> CHRIST and HIS COMING
1,2 Thessalonians Doctrine & Instruction
=> PASTORAL EPISTLES Pastoral Instruction 1,2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon
• Chronological Order (Dispensational Significance)
=> Pre-Prison Epistles (written during the Acts Period)
During this time Paul had a unique ministry (1 Cor. 9:19-23), to the Jew first,
then the Gentile.
Thus we see miracles, signs, and the practice of the Jewish law still in effect.
The mystery was not yet fully revealed. We must "rightly divide" these epistles.
1 Thessalonians - from Corinth (AD 52)
2 Thessalonians - from Corinth (AD 53)
1 Corinthians - from Ephesus (AD 57)
2 Corinthians - from Ephesus (AD 57)
Galatians - from Corinth (AD 57)
Romans - from Corinth (AD 58)
=> Prison Epistles (written after close of the Acts Period)
Israel, as a nation, being set aside at the close of the Acts period, miracles, signs,
and observance of the Jewish law ceases.
The mystery is fully revealed making known God's purpose for His church today,
during this present dispensation of grace.
Ephesians - from Rome (AD 62)
Philippians - from Rome (AD 62)
Colossians - from Rome (AD 62)
Philemon - from Rome (AD 62)
1 Timothy - from Corinth (AD 67)
Titus - from Corinth (AD 67)
2 Timothy - from Rome (AD 68) 



 How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
ead Acts 16L31 Romans 1:16, and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


E-mail this BIBLE STUDY to all your friends 






















Sunday, May 16, 2010

Things That Differ God's Plan of the Ages By Dee L. McCroskey





Peter's Last Days and Paul's Last Days

Peters last Days



"And it shall come to pass in THE LAST DAYS, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:17).

Paul's Last Days


"This know also, that in THE LAST DAYS perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy" (II Timothy 3:1.2).
When we speak of "the last days" in the Bible, we should be sure we know WHAT last days we are talking about. For Peter's '1ast days" and Paul's '1ast days" are not the same last days. Many Christians, even preachers with a good deal of Bible knowledge, are confused about this, and fan into serious error.

First of all, Peter's prophecy speaks of a great REVIVAL, whereas Paul's prophecy of the last days speaks of a coming great APOS. TASY. Paul speaks of the last days of the present age of grace. Peter speaks of the future revival of the people of Israel during the Tribu. lation age.

If you read on in Peter's address (Acts 2:17.21) he quotes the words of the Prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-32). He speaks of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon all flesh, the sons and daughters of Israel prophesying -all of which wiII take place when the Lord Jesus returns to set up His millennial kingdom.
But if you read on in Paul's proph. ecy of the last days (II Timothy 3:1-5 and 4:3), you will see that he speaks of the present last days, when men shall be lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; when children will be disobedient to parents on a world-wide scale; and na. tions will be filled with trucebreak. ers and traitors; when religion (a form of godliness without di~ine power) will hold sway the world over; when religious seducers and deceivers will wax worse and worse. Who can deny that these things are now happening, that we are now in Paul's last days?

But Peter's last davs are more related to the people' of Israel, and will reach their peak in the latter part of the Tribulation time. As pointed out in the Scofield notes, the "last days" as related to Israel are "last" not with reference to this dispensation, "but with reference to the whole of Israel's history."

Peter said, "This is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel." Joel's prophecy began to be fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, but the most of it is to be fulfiIled in a future day. There will be wonders in the sky, the sun turned to darkness and the moon to blood BEFORE that great and notable (or terrible) "day of the Lord" shall come. The Tribulation judgments will be followed by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth, and the millennial blessings, when even the animal kingdom wiII be changed (Isaiah 11:6-9), and God's Spirit poured out upon all flesh.

The hope of all believers in the present age of grace is that great event which we call "the rapture," when the Lord shall come in the air and catch up all the saved to be with Himself (I Thess. 4:14-18). One of the old meanings of our English noun "rapture," was the act of carrying someone off to another

place or sphere. It is commonly used for the expression "caught up" in verse 17.

But the details of the "rapture" are said to be a "mystery" or sacred secret (I Cor. 15:51), and only revealed through Paul. This was not given to Peter, and was even "bard to be understood," as he writes in II Peter 3:15-16. When Peter speaks of the coming of the Lord, as in the third chapter of his Second Epistle, he is not speaking of the rapture of the Church, but rather of the actual second coming of Christ to set up His kingdom.

Likewise, when Peter speaks of "the last days" (II Peter 3:3), he is referring to the general last days that culminate in the Tribulation time and finally, the return of the Lord to earth.

When Peter quotes Joel, he says that in that day "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." That will be the most essential part of the way of salvation during the Tribulation period. But when Paul quotes the Prophet Joel, he uses only this one statement from it, that "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord.



 How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
ead Acts 16L31 Romans 1:16, and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


E-mail this BIBLE STUDY to all your friends 























THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT - THEN AND NOW! - Dee L. McCroskey


Chapter 1.
 
Are Healing, Tongues, Miracles for Us Today?

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works that these shall he do; because I go unto My Father” (John 14:12).

CHARISMATIC, pronounced like the char in character, comes from the word charisma, “a divinely conferred gift of power.” In Biblical terms it refers to the special miraculous gift of the Pentecostal era, such as healing and speaking in tongues.
Let us first of all be clear about one thing: there was, indeed, a real, genuine, God given, charismatic era. It lasted some thirty-five years. There has never been, before or since, such a display of the mighty power of God in the everyday lives of men and women in physical matters. The sick were healed, demons were cast out, people spoke in new tongues, both in Israel and in the far outlying regions.

Are we now witnessing a renewal of these miraculous signs gifts? The Pentecostalist followings have, of course, professed to experience these gifts for years, but what we have today is something else, something that has been changing the face of all the world’s major denominations. For instance, about a decade ago, among the fundamental Baptist, a new movement emerged, called “Back to the power of Pentecost.” Soon the fundamental Lutherans in many cities were claming it, and then many of the other Protestant bodies, even to the Episcopalians. “The Roman Catholics have claimed these powers for years, but the bent toward miraculous signs has vastly increased among them. It is sometimes referred to as “The Charismatic Revival.”

For many years denominational Christendom shied away from the apparent fanaticism of the Pentecostal followings. What, then, is the reason for the present upsurge toward what once was held to be sheer fanaticism? The answer seems to be that preachers and church leaders have realized their lack of power and reality. Young people especially have become unenchanted with what they termed “the flat tire of cold, formalism” but wary of the other extreme – wildfire fanaticism. What the preachers yearned for was the power that the Pentecostalists seemed to have, but without the fanaticism. So we read of preachers of all religious backgrounds today seeking the gift of tongues, and still others trying to make “divine healing” work.

What we have today, especially among the young people, is an ardent emphasis upon empiricism – that is, that experience is the big thing, that all knowledge springs from experience. Had the preachers learned to teach the Word of God to their people, they would have had power, God’s power, and the joy of the Lord. But lacking this, they and their followers have given way to the natural human desire for esthetic feelings and experiences, for spiritual adventure. As with the old Pentecostal movement, it is the question of “experience versus sound Bible truth, rightly divided.”

The Charismatic Era


“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12).

This has long been a puzzling verse. It is usually explained as referring to spiritual works, that the Lord’s believers would convert more people than He did. But our Lord made no such intimation here. He had just said to Philip and any other skeptics, “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works sake.” He was simply saying that in the coming Acts period His believing Jewish servants would perform even greater works in signs and miracles than He did. Not greater in quality or importance, but greater in quantity and scope. For one thing, the Lord never spoke in tongues, but His servants would do so to authenticate the coming of the Holy Spirit, and three thousand people would be saved in one day as a result.

For further details on the prophecy in John 14:12, we must turn next to Mark’s Gospel, chapter 16 and verse 14 to 20. The risen Lord had appeared to the eleven and said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Then in verse 17 He said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

Here were five gifts of a miraculous nature. And remember, there was no condition of spirituality mentioned. It was just simply that these signs would follow “them that believe.” And in verse 20 we read that “they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following.”

Now if you will look up all of the miracles worked by the Apostles in the Book of Acts, you will find every one of these Mark 16 promises fulfilled except drinking poison. And even this gift may well have been used at times. For these gifts were for a practical reason as well as for signs to the unsaved. The Lord was sending them forth with the gospel of repentance (Mark 1:4, Acts 2:38,11:18). Some of them would be traveling among dangers, poisonous snakes in desert places, murderous enemies in others. In those days poisoning was a favorite way of doing away with an enemy. But they were not to fear either of these perils.

Because Bible believing Christians could not relate these Mark 16 signs to the Church after the Acts period, and because these signs did not work after the first century, they long ago began to doubt the inspiration of this passage. Some Bible scholars still believe Mark 16:9-20 is not part of the inspired Word. But this view is now widely discredited. The Syriac and Latin versions all have it, and it is quoted by so many of the early writers. But positive proof that the passage is inspired lies in the fact that it was fulfilled in Acts.

Before and After the Cross


During His earthly ministry, our Lord’s miracles were signs to the unbelieving Jews that they might believe that He was the Son of God. “And many other signs truly did Jesus…But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:30-31). After the cross, the risen Lord gave this power to work miracles to His Apostles, again for signs to the unbelieving Jews to give divine authority to the message of the Apostles—2. Corinthians 12:12.

Israel the Sign People


“For the Jews require a sign” (1. Corinthians 1:22), “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign” (Matthew 12:39). “They said therefore unto Him, “What sign shewest Thou then, that we may see, and believe thee?” (John 6:30). “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48).

In His dealings with His earthly people, Israel, God gave them three notable signs: (1) The sign of the virgin birth of His Son –Isiah 7:14; (2) Sign of the resurrection of Christ Matthew 12:39; (3) Speaking in tongues during the period from Pentecost to 70 A.D. Tongues were a sign, not to believers, but to unbelievers—1. Corinthians 14:22. These were not Gentiles, but unbelieving Jews, “this people”—Isiah 28:11 and 1. Corinthians 14:21.

End of the Sign Era


Sign gifts had two purposes: (1) to authenticate the inspired revelations of the Apostles; (2) to prove to unbelieving Jews that “that same Jesus whom ye have crucified” is the true Messiah. But God does not continue to give signs when their message is rejected. As Isiah said (Isiah 28:12). “yet they would not hear.” When Israel as a nation was cast off at Acts 28:28, the sign gifts discontinued, not to return during the present age of grace.

Three of the temporary gifts were to cease—1. Corinthians 13:8. The total absence of tongues, healings and other signs gifts in Paul’s later, or Prison Epistles shows that they had all passed off the scene. Paul wrote in 1. Corinthians 13:9-10, “ For we know in part, and we prophecy in part. But when that which is perfect is comes then that which is in part shall be done away.” That expression “that which is perfect” does not refer to when we get to heaven, as so many think. It means that when Paul’s full revelations are all given, when the New Testament is finished, then there would be no more use of the temporary gifts. The New Testament WAS finished, and the temporary gifts DID cease.

Today’s “Charismatic” Movement


All saved people are baptized of the Holy Spirit into the One Body of Christ at the time they receive Him as Saviour. The Word never speaks of any second baptism of the Spirit, or any special sensational experience. The present so-called charismatic movement is embraced by many unsaved people of all religious backgrounds, which proves that God is not in it. Further, it is ecumenical in character, even embracing great numbers of Catholics and their leaders, all working toward the great “one world church” of the Tribulation time. This movement today is Satanically inspired, and energized by demon spirits. It is but one more proof that we are in the last days of this dying age.

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons” (1. Timothy 4:1).

Chapter 2.
“Speaking in Tongues” Is This for Us Today?


“For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people. To whom He said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear” (Isiah 28:11-12).

“In the law it is written, With men of other tongues will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear Me, saith the Lord” (1. Corinthians 14:21).
“Wherefore tongues are for a sign not to them that believe, but to them that believe not” (1. Corinthians 14:22).

There are some who are guided by, and trusting in, their experiences or the experiences of someone close to them, and are not interested in what the Word of God has to say about this subject. To such, we have nothing to say. For there is no subject that cries out more loudly for obedience to the command of 2. Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”

In the Scriptures quoted above, there are important points that we should carefully note. They are:

1. “Tongues are for a sign” (1. Corinthians 14:22). In general, signs were temporary; they were to show God’s approval of a message or the messenger.”…The Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following” (Mark 16:20)..”Jesus of Nazareth a Man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs” (Acts 2:22). “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders” (Hebrews 2:4).
2. A sign to the Jewish nation—Isiah 28:11, “this people.” The phrase always refers to the Jewish nation, especially when it is connected with the statement that “they will not hear Me.” In spite of the signs, Israel refused to hear.

3. Tongues were a sign to unbelievers, not to believers (1, Corinthians 14:22). And these unbelievers were the unbelieving Jews of that time, not the Gentiles, and certainly not the church of today.

The History of Tongues


“Glossolalia” (tongues, or speaking in tongues) is found only in five passages in the New Testament. It is used only once in the Four Gospels, in Mark 16:17. Here it is among the prophesied charismatic gifts to be fulfilled during the apostolic era, or the Acts period, after which signs gifts all went off the scene. Speaking in tongues is only found in three passages in Acts, in Chapter 2, 10 and 19. It is found for the last time in 1. Corinthians, chapter 12 to 14. Of the 21 epistles in the New Testament, tongues are only in this one. Let us now look at the gift of tongues in the following passages:

1. In Acts Chapter 2 –


Pentecost means fifty. In fulfillment of the type in the Wave Loves in Leviticus 23:15-22, the Holy Spirit descended on the fiftieth day after the resurrection of Christ. But how were the people of Israel to know this? God gave them three signs to show that this great event was taking place, right on schedule!

Sign Number 1. “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind” (v2). And “it filled all the house.” We are reminded of the time when Solomon had finished building the first temple (2. Chronicles 7:1-3). “Fire came down from heaven,” and the Holy Spirit, in the form of the Shekinah glory cloud (Exodus 40:34) filled the Lord’s house.

Sign Number 2. The appearance of “clove tongues like as of fire.” Some strange doctrines have been built upon the supposition that this was literal fire. It was not. It was “like as” of fire, another sign to signify the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Sign Number 3. “and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to Speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” What were these tongues? Just what the text says, “other tongues,” or other languages. Jews from many nations were there for the feasts of Jehovah. See the list in verse 9 to 11. These were all known, national languages. The Scriptures know nothing of an “unknown” tongue. The word “unknown” is used in our authorized Bible, in several places in 1. Corinthians 14, but always in Italics. That means that it was not in the original, but supplied by the translators. Also the Word of God knows nothing of speaking in a strange “gibberish.” This always comes from some source other than God.

Speaking in tongues, then, on the day of Pentecost, was for a sign to the unbelieving Jews.” It was to be of short duration. Had it been something permanent, to run through the whole dispensation of grace, every believer could have had it. Instead, only a few had it, mainly the Apostles. God knew that the authority of the Apostles, and their message of the coming of the Holy Spirit, would be challenged. So He backed them up with mighty signs.

There is no mention of any Gentile at Pentecost. They were all “Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven” (v 5). The tongues were for the benefit of the unbelieving Jews who looked on. “And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?’ (v. 12).

2. In Acts Chapter 10—-


This was in the house of Cornelius, the Gentile army captain. Peter was preaching the risen Lord to them. All of a sudden, he was interrupted. “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the Word.” Peter had six Jewish brethren with him (v. 45 with 11:12). How were these six Jews to know that the Holy Spirit had came upon the Gentile converts? By the fact that the latter began to speak in other languages or tongues. (See verses 46 in chapter 10). The tongues were not for the benefit of the Gentile converts who did the speaking. They didn’t need this sign; they aready believed, just as many a Gentile has done since, without any sign. Just the Word of God.

But verse 45 says, “And they of the circumcision (the six Jews) which believed were astonished.” The sign was working. These Jews were professed believers in Christ. They were “unbelieving” only in the sense that up to this point practically all Jews had refused to believe that the Gentiles were to be saved and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Even Peter had his apprehensions at first (see verse 14, 15 and 28). But thanks to the “tongues sign,” Peter now has six Jewish brethren to back him up when he tries to explain these Gentile converts to the Jewish assembly back home in Jerusalem.

3. In Acts Chapter 19—-


At Ephesus Paul had met 12 men (either Jews or Jewish proselytes). They had received John’s baptism, but seemed to know nothing of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, nor of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Paul spoke to them of believing on Christ, in verse 4. They believed, and when Paul laid his hands on them (another gift for the apostolic era only, from Deut. 34:9), the Holy Spiriy came on them and they spoke with tongues.

We see then, that this speaking in tongues was again a sign to the Jews. Not only a sign to the twelve Jews that Paul had met, but also to all the Jews in the synagogue at Ephesus, where Paul next takes his ministry (v. 8).

4. In 1. Cor. 12 – 14—15—-


To get the background here we must go back to Acts 18, the founding of the church at Corinth. In verse 4 Paul reasoned in the synagogue at Corinth, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. He “testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.” The results of that was that they (the Jews) “opposed themselves, and blasphemed,” and Paul said, “from henceforth I will go to the Gentiles.”

Corinth was a center of world commerce. Many Jews resided there, and many languages were spoken in the city. Among the believers, no doubt there were both Jews and Gentiles who could speak in other languages besides their own. Paul continued his gospel work in Corinth for a year and six months (Acts 18:11). Meanwhile, the Jews refused and opposed the message that Paul brought, and he left the synagogue and began holding meetings in a house right next door to the synagogue! (see Acts 18:7). Although Paul could no longer speak directly to the Jews in the synagogue, his message next door did somehow filter into the synagogue. So much that Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, heard the Word and got saved! And some others with him—Acts 18:8.

For the benefit of those unbelieving Jews in the synagogue at Corinth, God confirmed His Apostle’s message with a sign. What sign? The gift of tongues given to the believers in the new Corinthian assembly. At first, no doubt, this was the pure gift from the Holy Spirit bestowed upon certain men in the Corinthian assembly for the purpose of authenticating the Apostle and his message to the unbelieving Jews next door, and throughout the city.

But the Corinthians began to misuse this gift, and perhaps confused it with the ability of some of their numbers to speak in some of the foreign languages they had learned down at the docks, or in some other way. The ability to speak in another language has always appealed to the pride of our carnal old nature. And the Corinthians were carnal! (1. Cor. 3:3). In any case, Paul wrote chapter 12, 13 and 14 to them to de-emphasize the tongues gift, and to increase emphasis upon what he called “a more excellent way.” That was the way of love, described in chapter 13.
Down – graded 2,000 to 1.

Paul down-graded the importance of the gift of tongues 2,000 to one. He would rather speak meaningfully in five words than use ten thousand words that others could not understand (1 Cor. 14:19).

Inn Summary

1. Tongues in the Bible were known languages, not gibberish.

2. Tongues were a sign to unbelieving Jews, never to convince Gentiles or the Church. The Jews are a sign people – 1. Cor. 1:22.

3. Tongues were to cease when their need as a sign was fulfilled – 1. 13:8.

4. Not every believer spoke in tongues, only specially gifted ones – 1. Cor 12:30.

5. Never a sign of spirituality, but rather lack of it. Never practiced in any of the spiritual assemblies, only in carnal Corinth.

6. In the Bible, no woman ever spoke in tongues. Think what this would do to the modern tongues movement! In Acts 1:14, “These all” is in the masculine gender in the Greek, showing that only the men prayed, although women were present. in the big chapter on tongues, 1. Cor. 14, the women are explicitly forbidden to speak, in verse 34.

7. Our Lord Jesus Christ never spoke in tongues! Nor did the Apostle Paul at the time of his conversion. Tongues had nothing to do with salvation.

Chapter 3.
What is Behind the Modern Charismatic Movement?


“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” 1. Corinthians 12:13.

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, Whom we have not preached, or if ye received, another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (“11 Corinthians 11:3-3).

ONE SUMMER morning as I was washing my gospel car, two lady preachers stopped to talk. They soon got to the inevitable question. “Brother, have you received the baptism of the Holy Ghost? With 1. Corinthians 12:12 in mind, I answered in the affirmative, But I knew this wasn’t what they had in mind. Then I turned it around and asked, “Have you ladies received it yet?

“Oh, no,” they both answered. “We have been tarrying for it, but it hasn’s come yet.” “Are you sure,” I asked, “that you have tarried according to the Scriptures” Have you gone to Jerusalem to do your tarrying , as Luke 29:49 says?” “Of course not,” one of them answered, “when it says Jerusalem it means Portland, or wherever you are.” “Not in MY Bible,” I replied. “My Bible says exactly what it means, and means what it says, and it does not tell any one to tarry in Portland. But you will never make it anyhow,” I added, because you are nearly 2,000 years too late to obey that Scripture.

Spirit Baptism and Tongues


One of the most flagrant errors in the so-called charismatic movement is the assumption that speaking in tongues is related to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is necessary in order to speak in tongues. Others turn it around and say that speaking in tongues is evidence or proof that one has obtained the baptism of the Spirit. Both of these assumption are gross errors.

As we saw in our study last time, the receiving of the Spirit in Acts chapter 2, 10, and 19 were special occasions, for a sign to the nation Israel, and never repeated again. Nowhere in Scripture is there any statement or indication that believers today are to seek the baptism by, in, or with the Holy Spirit. Before Pentecost, the apostles were to wait for the coming of the Spirit, and to tarry in Jerusalem until He came. He did come, and is in the world today. There is no waiting for Him now. nor tarrying for Him.

In 1. Corinthians 12:13, quoted above, we find that ALL believers have been baptized by the Holy Spirit into the one body of Christ. This took place the moment we received the Lord Jesus as our Saviour. At that time each one of us was also “born of the Spirit,” “ indwelt by the Spirit,” and “sealed by the Spirit.” The baptism of the Spirit, then, is part of our great salvation. It is not some ecstatic, sensational experience, but an act which placed us in the one body of Christ. Speaking in tongues has nothing whatever to do with it.

A Mark of False Movements


There is a tell-tale mark by which believers with spiritual understanding can usually spot a false movement. It is their constant use of the name “Jesus.” It is always “Jesus” this and “Jesus” that. This always reveals a sad ignorance of “present truth” as revealed in Paul’s Epistles, and worse yet, a sad ignorance of the Lordship of Christ as revealed in Paul’s revelations. It has always been the mark of the Pentecostal movement, and now it is also a common mark of the charismatic followings.
Suffice to say here that the Lordship of Christ is very precious to God the Father. For He “hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:…And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). Let us give Him His proper title and office – the Lord Jesus Christ!

As we saw in our last study, the gifts and signs and miracles were temporary demonstrations to the nation Israel during the Acts period. Their purpose was to authenticate the apostles and their message. These gifts went off the scene at the close of the Acts period, when God set the rebellious nation aside for the duration of the present age, and turned to the Gentiles – Acts 28:28.

You find these sign gifts in three places: Romans 12:6-8, 1. Corinthians 12:8-10, and 12:28. You find another list of gifts in Ephesians 4:8-11, but there are no sign gifts there. You will search Paul’s later, or Prison Epistles, in vain for any gifts of healing or speaking in tongues. The miracle gifts had gone off the scene by that time.

“That Which Is Perfect”


“Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
“For we know in part, and we prophecy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” (1. Corinthians 13:8-10).
Here were three things that were to disappear from the scene – prophecies, tongues and divine knowledge. These prophecies were not what we usually think of as Bible prophecies. They were given by the Acts period prophets (as in Acts 11:27, 13:1, 21:10) through whom the Holy Spirit could give the early believers temporary oral instructions while the New Testament was in the making. Remember that they had only the Old Testament Scriptures then. Knowledge is in the same category, temporary knowledge from God until the New Testament was finished. These two gifts obviously would be discontinued when they were no longer needed.

Speaking in tongues would also cease when God stopped dealing with the nation Israel at Acts 28:28. Until the whole Bible was completed, even Paul had to say, “We know in part.” But all of these temporary gifts would cease “when that which is perfect is come.”

What is, “that which is perfect” here? It is not “when we get to heaven,” as so many think. Nor does it refer to the coming of the Lord. “That which is perfect” is the completed, Spirit-breathed, flawless Word of God! It is what we have in our hands today, and why should anyone want to trade it for the old, temporary expedients?

The Tongues Movement Today


What is behind the speaking in tongues movement today? There probably is no simple answer to that question. Doubtless much of it is pure fake. But some of it appears real, and unexplainable. And of course, most of its proponents judge it by experience, rather than by the Word of God rightly divided. One thing we know from the Word of God, the power behind it today could not be God. There is some other source of power behind it. There is also weakness of human emotions. Regarding this latter, we quote the following from a paper on the subject by Mr. John, of Blenheim, New Zealand:

“Tongues and Hypnosis. In the modern Pentecostal movement, “speaking in tongues” is brought on by a process of mental fatigue through the continual repetition of one or more words like “Hallelujah” or “Precious Jesus.” Moderate revivalists receive this experience by laying on of hands and concentration. This also produces emotion and mental fatigue of the conscious mind. When the conscious mind reaches collapse under either method, the sub-conscious mind takes over, and any suggestions made at that time, such as tongues, healings, etc, are accepted as correct for they have by-passed the conscious mind.”

The people who are led into these movements are seeking relief from unsatisfied spiritual experience. Not being well established in the Word of God, they are easy prey for Satan and his demon spirits. We must expect more and more of these pseudo miraculous movements as the age comes to an end. For when the Antichrist Beast of the Tribulation time arrives on the scene, he will come, “after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2. Thessalonians 2:9).
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons” (1. Timothy 4:1). Let us who are children of light, beware of Satan’s traps and be always guided by “Nevertheless what saith the Scriptures?” And remember that Paul tried to tell the Corinthians that there is a better way – the way of love. Even faith and hope will no longer be needed when we arrive in glory, but love will last forever.
Rightly Dividing The Word (Chart)




 How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
ead Acts 16L31 Romans 1:16, and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


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Righteous Before God! - By Dee L. McCroskey



"There is none righteous, no not one." "How should man be just with God?" (Romans 3:10 and Job 9:2)

SINCE man is a sinner and God is holy, how can they meet? Job asked this question thousands of years ago, and man is still asking how he may become righteous in the eyes of God, or how God might excuse him for his sin. Job's three friends each had a solution to the problem; each one had a different idea, but the foundation of all three was a salvation based on human works. So, today, men are still offering the same answers as did the three friends of Job.

First-Bring God down to man's level. That is Demonism.

Second-Evolve man to God's level. That is modernism.

Third-Put on a nice, outward appearance. That is ritualism.

There is always a way "that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12).

To Job's three friends, God said. "Ye have not spoken unto Me things which are right, like My servant Job." Therefore we conclude that Job knew the right answer and that his three friends were wrong. Job's answer was:

"For He is not a man as I am, that I should answer Him and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any DAYSMAN betwixt us that might lay His hand upon us both" (Job 9:32-33). In other words, Job said that there must be a MEDIATOR, or a go-between, if he was to be accepted by God. What kind of a mediator did Job need? What kind of a mediator does man need today?

First of all, that mediator must be both God and man, and not only that, He must also be a REDEEMER, in order to redeem man from sin. And Job coul!! say: "I know that my REDEEMER liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth" (Job 19:25). In I Timothy 2:5 we read: "There is ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus." That One who was in the form of God, but made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant, came in the likeness of men, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:5-8). By His death on the cross He became the Redeemer of mankind.

"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich" (II Corinthians 8:9).

How then, can man receive the blessings of this matchless work of grace? First let us see how it is not obtained:

NOT BY WORKS


"Not of works, lest any man should boast" Ephesians 2:8-9).

"Not by works of righteousness which we i1ave done" (Titus 3:5).

"All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" Isaiah 64:6).

"For if Abraham were justified by works, 'Ie hath whereof to glory; but not before ';od. . . . Abraham believed God, and it (his :aith) was counted unto him for righteousless" (Romans 4:2-3).

"But to him that worketh not, but believeth m Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith s counted for righteousness" (Romans 4:5).

NOT BY THE LAW
(The ten Commandments)


"A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, 'for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Galatians 2:16).
"If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain" (Galatians 2:21).

The purpose of the law is to stop all nouths; and it is the instrument by which he whole world is proven guilty before God. lee Romans 3:19-20.

The law curses. "For as many as are of he works of the law are under the curse:

for it is written, Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all the things which are written in the book of the law to do them" (Galatians 3:10).

The law is called the ministration of death, "written and engraven in stones," in II Corinthians 3:7. "The law was our schoolmaster, to bring us unto Christ" (Galatians 3:24). "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth" (Romans 10:4), and He "took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross" (Colossians 2:14). And now-"Ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14).

"THEREFORE"

"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (Romans 3:28).

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).

"By Him (Christ) all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses" (Acts 13:39).

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

John Bunyan wrote the following lines: "The righteousness of God, that is a righteousness of God's completing, a righteousness of God's bestowing, a righteousness that God gives unto and puts upon all them that believe, a righteousness that stands in the work of Christ, and that is imputed both by the grace and justice of God, the righteousness by which we stand just before God from the curse, was performed long ago by the Person of Jesus Christ."

By grace we are saved-Eph. 2:8-9.
By grace we are redeemed-Gal. 3:13.
By grace we are brought near-Eph. 2:13.
By grace we are justified-I Tim. 1:15.

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt,
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.
Marvelous grace, infinite grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.



 How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


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Friday, May 14, 2010

THE RAPTURE - By Dee L. McCroskey




Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thes. 4:17)

OUR word “Rapture” is not found in the Bible, but the Greek word harpazo was well translated as “caught up” or sometimes as “caught away” or Wycliffe even translates it “snatched up”. The word means “to sieze, pull or take by force”. In modern times we have come to refer to this sudden event as “The Rapture”. Rapture is from the Latin root, which means to “carry a person to another place or sphere”. It is the “blessed hope” of Titus 2:13.

Harpazo is used in three other places in the New Testament, all bearing out the concept of being suddenly “caught away” or “caught up”. They are Acts 8:39b, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip; 2 Cor. 12:2c, such a one caught up even to the third heaven; Rev. 12:5c, and her child was caught up unto God.

The Rapture is not actually the Second Coming of Christ to earth to reign. That event will come to pass at the end of the Tribulation time. In the Rapture, all Christ trusting believers of the present Grace dispensation will be caught away to meet the Lord in the air, to forever be with Him.

The Rapture is a “mystery”, which is part of the great Mystery of the church, the Body of Christ. In every chapter of 1 Thessalonians there is at least one verse that speaks of the Rapture. See if you can find them.

1) The possibility of a Rapture

a) Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. (Gen. 5:24)

b) By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. (Heb. 11:5)

2) The Rapture is Teaching that is only Understood by the impartation of the Pauline Revelation

a) It is a Mystery - Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, (1 Cor. 15:51)

b) It is unexpected - in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Cor. 15:52)

c) It is a hope that confers happiness - Looking for that blessed hope (Titus 2:13a)

d) Our bodies are changed immediately - who shall transform the body of our humiliation to its becoming conformed to the body of his glory (Phil. 3:20&21)

e) The dead rise first, then the living - the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we who are living, who are remaining over (1 Thes. 4:16&17). This is in contrast to the resurrection of the Second Coming when the living enter first and then the dead (Dan. 12:11-13).

f) The Lord meets the Body of Christ in the air - shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thes. 4:17)

3) It will end the present dispensation

a) It will occur before the Tribulation - For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 5:9)

b) We are left with indicators as to when the Rapture will occur:

(1) There will be hard times, but NOT the Tribulation (2 Tim 3:1)*

(2) Questionable motivation (i.e. legalism) (2 Tim 3:2-5)

(3) Bad behavior (2 Tim. 3:6&7)

(4) Take a lesson from the Dispensation of the Law (2 Tim. 3:8&9)

The Last Day Messenger
March-April 1970. pg. 16

* Further note on the "hard times" of 2 Timothy 3:1 - "But know this that in the last days hard times will be present. ... The verb which we have translated "will be present" enstaisontai is derived from the preposition ev prefixed to the verb staimee and literally means to 'to stand in', hence, to be present. ... it is in the future tense in this verse, the most accurate translation is 'will or shall be present' i.e. 'occur or exist' (cf. Rom. 8:28; 1 Cor. 3:22; 7:26; Gal. 1:4).

Paul says that the last days will be marked by 'hard times' kairoi chalepoi The Greek adjective 'hard' chalepoi is used only twice in the New Testament (Matt. 8:28). On the basis of these and its very limited use in extrabiblical Greek it appears to convey the meaning of 'hard, difficult, grievous, outrageous and fierce'. The Greek word translated 'times' kairoi designates a limited period of time, a short season or when used in the plural successive periods of time. The above 'last days' would be concomitant with 'hard times', i.e. they would extend over the same period of time.

... We need to recognize that the phrase 'last days' as used by Paul, stretches from his day until the coming of Christ for His Church. ..."




 How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


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Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Lordship of Christ - By Dee L. McCroskey


"Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God caIIeth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost" (1 Corinthians 12:3).

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:20).

"THESE things we ask in Jesus' name, Amen," intoned the preacher as he closed his prayer. And I knew at once that he was ignorant of the Lordship of Christ, that great truth given to us by God through the unique ministry of the Apostle Paul, for the Church which is the One Body of Christ.

There probably is no vital truth of God's Word more universally denied by professing Christianity today, than this one. As another has said, ''The Apostles would cringe in horror if they could hear how this religious world of today dishonors that precious name that God the Father has put above all names!" Probably the leading reason for it is tradition, the traditions of men which began hundreds of years ago. Another reason is ignorance of "rightly dividing the Word of truth" (II Tim. 2: 15). so that church people have taken their guidelines from the Four Gospels instead of Paul's Epistles. And thirdly. so many of our hymn writers have missed this great truth. It is hard for believers to find hymns that honor the Lordship of Christ.

As our first text above says, no man can acknowledge Jesus as Lord but by the Holy Spirit. A man could learn to say the words; even a parrot could learn them. But neither a parrot nor an unsaved man could speak reverently of Him as "my Lord," in reality and truth. The unsaved just don't speak of Him as their Lord.

Our second text gives the model for the prayers of a Spirit-taught child of God today. We are to pray TO the Father, and IN the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, giving Him His full title and office. But you say, isn't that rather trivial? Is it? Suppose that Queen Elizabeth came to our city. What would you think of me if I mounted the platform, put out my hand, and said, "Good morning, Elizabeth"? And if we show proper honor to men and women in high office, how much more should we honor the Lord of glory?

"But Isn't His Name Jesus!"


Yes, it is. But it is the name of His humanity and of His humiliation while here on earth. It is "Christ after the flesh," or in His earthly ministry. Paul tells us, in II Corinthians 5:16, "Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him so no more" (margin). We know Him now as the RISEN Lord, "Head over all things to the Church, which is. His body" (Ephesians 1:22-23).

Regarding His earthly ministry, we read: "Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision (the Jews) for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers" (Romans 15:8). But His ministry now as the risen Lord is something else. Paul writes in verse 16 of this same chapter, "That I (Paul) should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles."

A Dispensational Change


When He was born into the world, it was written: "And thou shalt call .His name JESUS: for He shall save His people (Israel) from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Thus Jesus was to be His name as their Saviour. But compare that verse with this one:

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

What occurred in between, that changed the emphasis on "Jesus" to emphasis on His title as "Lord"? Obviously, it was His resurrection. He is now the risen Lord and Messiah. He is not "Jesus" to the Church of today; He is its risen Head, "the Lord Jesus Christ."

In this divine "change-over," there is an interesting phasing out, and phasing in, involving the important fact that the Book of Acts is transitional in character. In numerous ways it is a transition from the Jewish Messianic program in the Old Testament and the Four Gospels, to the great "Mystery" program of the One Body in Paul's Epistles.


Thus we find the name "Jesus" used hundreds of times in the Four Gospels; 29 times in the Book of Acts; down to 10 times in the Prison Epistles; and only 2 times in the Prison Epistles. On the other hand, "the Lord Jesus Christ" is not found at all in the Four Gospels; used 5 times in the Book of Acts; and 32 times in Paul's Church Epistles. And even when the name "Jesus" is used in the Epistles, there is a special reason for each occasion, as in Ephesians 4:21, "as the truth is in Jesus." Here His earthly walk is referred to as an example for us.

An example of how the name "Jesus" changed to "Lord" in the Pauline revelations may be seen in these statements regarding the Lord's supper. In the Gospels (Mark 14: 22) "Jesus took bread." Paul, in I Corinthians 11:23, says, "The Lord Jesus .. took bread." Note also, that he said he received this formula from the Lord Himself! If you go . through Paul's Epistles carefully, you will see how faithfully the Spirit gives the risen Lord His full title of honor, "the Lord Jesus Christ:'

They All Called Him "Lord"


Even in the Four Gospels, the Lordship of Christ was consistantly honored. His name "Jesus" is only used narratively. That is, the Holy Spirit, the divine Author, in recording all the events historically of the Lord Jesus in His humanity, quite properly referred to Him as "Jesus." And being on an equality as a part of the triune Godhead, the Spirit had every right to do this.

Nobody in the Four Gospels, nor anywhere else in the N. T., ever addressed Him as "Jesus." To do so would have been a dishonoring familiarity. They all called Him Lord. Moreover, with but one exception, His disciples never referred to Him as "Jesus" when speaking to others about Him. The one exception is in Luke 24:19, "Jesus of Nazareth." Clearly, this was to idenfy Him to the "stranger." Because of the terrible shock of the crucifixion, they had temporarily lost faith in His Messiahship!

Besides the disciples, Mary, Martha and all the other women called Him "Lord." So did the Gentile centurion in Matthew 8, the dying thief on the cross and even doubting Thomas in John 20:28 - "My Lord and my God." In John 21:7, the disciple was careful to say to Peter, "It is the Lord!" Not, "It is Jesus," as so many careless Christians would say today. Saul of Tarsus was respectful enough to say, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Stephen "saw Jesus" at the right hand of God, but he cried out, "Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit" (Acts 7:59).

Those Who Call Him "Jesus"


Now let us look at the crowd that speaks of Him as "Jesus," without the added titles of honor and respect. To every devoted child of God, this aspect should at least be very impressive. First, there is the world around us. As our beginning Scripture shows, only those who know Him personally as Lord can really Own Him as such, because it is only by the Holy Spirit. To men of the world, He is "Jesus," the historic Jesus, the great teacher, philosopher and religious founder and reformer of nearly twenty centuries ago. He is "Jesus" the man also, to the modernist liberals who deny His deity, virgin birth and bodily resurrection. At best they call Him "Jesus Christ," as a man with a first and last name.

The enemies of our Lord, and even demon spirits, refer to Him as "Jesus." For examples of this, see Acts 4:2, 13, 18; 5:40; 17:7; 19:13, 15; 25:19.

The Scriptures teach us that in these last days there will be renewed activity of demonism-I Tim. 4:1. All the various cults today that are characterized by fanaticism, miracle working with signs and wonders, have definite signs of demon activity.

They are all growing by leaps and bounds. They are all famous for their disrespectful use of the name "Jesus," to bring Him down to human level. Perhaps the highest peak of insult and dishonor to His name was reached by the notorious Aimee Semple McPherson back in the 1920s, when she stood on a platform and said, "Dear Jesus, come down and put your big, strong arms around me!" The very thought of such language should make us cringe!

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11).


Why Loved Ones Are Taken


"In the Orient, where the shepherd still leads his sheep, it is said that he is often baffled in his desire to bring them to better pasture beyond-by the timidity of the sheep nature that shrinks from breasting the turbulence of an intervening stream. The shepherd stoops to take one of the Hock, perchance a tender lamb into his arms and carries it across. When the sheep see one of their own on yonder side, they are willing, yes eager, to make the crossing. Thus, the shepherd has his way with them and they are found feeding upon his better pastures.

"It is said with this loving desire and wisdom of purpose that the Shepherd may have reached into your circle and taken to HIMSELF one so dear. He wants to use those endearing ties to draw out your interest in HIS beyond. Knowing how 'far better' it is, HE has taken this means of turning your affections heavenward, to have you think of the Home over there."-Selected.

Asaph the Psalmist wrote: "Whom have I in heaven but Thee?" (Psalm 73:25). It is true that our first attraction should be to the Person rather than to the place. Our first joy should be the glorious prospect of seeing Him who is "altogether lovely," our precious Lord and Saviour. Nevertheless, our loved ones already "over there" do make heaven closer to us. No doubt God uses death to draw our interest heavenward, and away from the affairs, cares and ambitions of this life.

Last Day Messenger
July – August 1975



 How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


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Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Dispensations - By Hazel I. Brown


The Dispensations
By Hazel I. Brown


Dispensational Chart
PDF Download of Full Brochure Click Here


The Grace Dispensation is the one in which we live. "If you have heard of the dispensation of the Grace of God ... "(Ephesians 3 :2). Though this Grace Dispensation is now 1900 years old, still today, so many seem not to have heard! you should go to 10,000 doors and ask if they had heard, how many would tell you, "yes "?

What is God's offer for this Grace Dispensation? The offer is individual salvation oll'the sole basis of depending upon the Lord Jesus Christ, His work, not yours! Please read Romans 4:5 several times and think: what does it say? "To him that worketh not but believeth on HIM that..justifies the ungodly,-his- faith is counted, for righteousness." (Justified means given a righteous standing.) Justification and reconciliation for the alienated, for the ungodly. is offered free, .no works involved, nothing to payor to do (2 Corinthians 5:19, 20). That is the AMAZING GRACE OF G0D!

How many hundreds of people I've talked to who said, "Oh, if only I could know if I've done enough (works, charities, rituals, etc.)." Of course you have not; no one has; it's not that way at all; Heaven is not up for trade! It is by GRACE only.

If any say,. you make it too simple,. or it's not that easy, I reply: when you add law-keeping, you make it too hard, in fact, you make it utterly impossible! For the Lord is not receiving any on the basis of human works in this Dispensation. If any think some works or rituals are involved for them to do for salvation or to keep salvation, they are trusting in works and not in the Lord Jesus Christ only, and so they are still lost. Any who trust in works, that is, think that salvation is by some human work or partly by some human works or goodnesses, are under the curse (Galatians 3:10).

Salvation is not part law and part grace, not part your works and part Christ's. Works and grace, being opposites, are not to be mixed (Romans 11 :6). For by Grace are you save by believing, Ephesians 2:8,9. Not by works of righteousness which we do (Titus 3:5). There are 147 Scriptures passages that teach salvation by believing only.

Grace is the only hope for the guilty. Grace is the -gift for beggars-for those who recognize themselves condemned by the Law. Some say spiritually bankrupt, but bankrupt implies you once had something; so it is even more the realization-not only I have nothing, but I never had a thing to merit God's acceptance. Have you so realized yourself?

Though Grace is free, it is not "cheap." It cost all the Lord suffered to make salvation possible for you. Those who think they should be accepted by their works or partly by their works are insulting the work the Lord did, for they are saying it was not enough, not sufficient. God saves by Grace because He is satisfied that the work on the cross was sufficient, and by it every claim against you has been paid. Why aren't you, likewise, satisfied with a salvation by Grace?

The saved person of this Dispensation 'is one' who, seeing himself as a sinner, has believed on the Lord for salvation and who, because of having believed, knows: I have believed on the Lord and I know I am thereby saved.

Since salvation is by Grace, it is completely secure (John 3: 16; Romans 8:35-39). How life may be lived after one is saved is given in another chapter. Works pleasing to the Lord are possible after one is saved, the works flowing from the salvation already possessed (but it is not doing works to try to attain to salvation-there is a whole world of difference).

The Law was given to Israel; the Announcement and the Offer of the Kingdom were to IsraeL In the Dispensation -of Grace, to WHOM is the offer made? The offer of salvation by GRACE is open to all, Gentiles and Jews. In this Dispensation, there is no difference for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:22,23). At Israel's fall the Nation became in the same class as the Gentile nations, that is, alienated from God. If a Jew is saved, it is by depending on the Lord's death on the cross for him. If a Gentile Is saved, it is by the same way. The responsibility to believe is personal; the offer today is to individuals. No one has a priority. There is equal opportunity for Gentiles and for Jews to be saved.

In the previous 2000 years before the Grace Dispensation began, the only way a Gentile could come to the Lord was on the "skirt" (Zech. 8:23)--we would say "coattail"--of a Jew, that is by becoming a proselyte to the Hebrew religion. Also previous to the Dispensation of Grace, some work was required as well as faith for salvation. For instance, Abel and Noah did the required works (see Hebrews 11:4,7, for explanation of the Genesis record). Under the Law Dispensation, it was obvious works were required constantly. And in the periods.of the Announcement and the Offer of the Kingdom, there were works to do including a law ritual. So the Dispensation of Grace was a complete change from anything that had gone before. As the Law Dispensation with its continual sacrifices, "do or be cut off," was entirely different from what was offered before it, so the Grace Dispensation is entirely different from what went before-no works at all for salvation.

"The only chapter to be interested in is the one on Grace for that's what I need," a friend said on hearing of the prospects of this book. So say we all. However, Grace is appreciated the more as we see mankind's complete failure under all the other dispensations. The unique'" jewel of Grace shines all the brighter against the background of mankind's failure under the other offers God made previous to the offer of Grace. It is serious error when the offers of other Dispensations are preached in this Dispensation of Grace .. Some may preach good things but if salvation by Grace is omitted, it is the "fatal omission." By inspiration, Paul wrote that even though an angel from Heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which he, Paul, preached, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 11:14,15).

The Grace Dispensation was not prophesied. ("What if' Israel had accepted that bonafide. offer by Peter? The prophesied tribulation could have come and passed swiftly and be followed immediately by the Millennium. The Gentiles would have been blessed, hear of salvation, through Israel, rather than now apart from Israel.)

The Grace Dispensation was "hidden." It was a "sacred secret," a mystery made known to Paul by revelations (Ephesians 3:2-5; Colossians 1:24-26; Galatians 1:1,11,12 and 2:2,7,9).

The word mystery ( secret) means God "kept His mouth closed" about this' until He revealed it to Pau1. Paul (Saul) who had been the leader against the Messianic church, was saved in Acts 9. Then by abundant revelations from the Lord in glory he was made the leader of the new Dispensation (Romans 11: 13). Salvation by Grace alone was not proclaimed until Paul made it known. Paul did not learn about Grace from the 12 Apostles. They learned from him, and later Peter told people to grow in the thing Paul taught-Grace. "Grow in Grace" (2 Peter 3:18).

At Israel's rejection of King and Kingdom, what a hopeless predicament the whole world was in! For since Israel was God's witness to the" world, how could anyone come to God now that Israel would be set aside as the Gentiles had been? What utter darkness the whole world would have been plunged into-except that then God revealed the "sacred secret" of the heretofore hidden Dispensation of Grace.


How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


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