Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sad, But True - by Pastor Paul M. Sadler

Scripture Reading: Corinthians 10:12

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

— I Heard a story told by a Grace Believer who met another Grace Believer in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge:

“I was standing in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge admiring the view when another tourist walked up alongside of me to do the same. I heard him say quietly, as he took in the beauty of the view, ‘What an awesome God.’

“I turned to him and said, ‘You a Christian?’

“He said, ‘Yes, I am a Christian.’

“I said, ‘So am I,’ and we shook hands. I said, ‘Are you a liberal or a fundamental Christian?’

“He said, ‘I am a fundamental Christian.’

“I said, ‘So am I,’ and we smiled and nodded to each other.” I said, ‘Are you a Covenant or dispensational, fundamental Christian?’

“He said, ‘I am a dispensational, fundamental Christian.’

“I said, ‘So am I,’ and we slapped one another on the back.” I said, ‘Are you an early Acts, mid-Acts or late Acts, dispensational, fundamental Christian?’

“He said ‘I am a mid-Acts, dispensational, fundamental Christian.’

“I said, ‘So am I’ and we agreed to exchange Christmas cards each year. I said, ‘Are you an Acts 9 or 13, mid-Acts, dispensational, fundamental Christian?’

“He said, ‘I am an Acts 9, mid-Acts, dispensational, fundamental Christian.’

“I said, ‘So am I’ and we hugged one another right there on the bridge. I said, ‘Are you a pre-trib, or post-trib, Acts 9, mid-Acts, dispensational, fundamental Christian?’

“He said, ‘I am a pre-trib, Acts 9, mid-Acts, dispensational, fundamental Christian.’

“I said, ‘So am I,’ and we decided to exchange kids for the summer.”I said, ‘Are you a 12 in or 12 out, pre-trib, Acts 9, mid-Acts, dispensational, fundamental Christian?’

“He said, ‘I am a 12 in, pre-trib, Acts 9, mid-Acts, dispensational, fundamental Christian.’”I said, ‘You heretic, and I pushed him off the bridge!’” — Author Unknown

The above is sad but all too true, with the exception of being pushed off a bridge, although some may have even considered that! Of course, the shoe could have been on the other foot; that is, the weary traveler might have held the 12 out position — heaven forbid! The point is, no matter how deeply our convictions may run on secondary issues, they should never disrupt our fellowship together. Issues such as: Are the 12 in or out of the Body of Christ? Was Paul the author of Hebrews? Should we observe holidays? Was Paul in or out of the will of God in Acts 21? Where did the Church begin — Acts 9, 11, or 13? And on and on we could go.

Our Fellowship in Christ must rest solely on the Fundamentals of the Faith and the Doctrines of Grace found in Ephesians 4:4-6. There is no room for further discussion on these matters. On other areas of the Word of God where we may find ourselves in disagreement, let us “agree to disagree” in a Christ-like manner. This will help maintain the unity of the Spirit among us and glorify God in the process.

Read Also
Recovery Of Truth - O'Hair - YouTube

The Two Witnesses - Pastor John LaVier (Click Here)

Grace Bible Church  (Click Here)



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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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Knowing Christ As He Should Be Known - by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam



John the Baptist introduced our Lord with the proclamation: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matt.3:2). Throughout His earthly ministry Christ was known as “the Son of David”, the king with whom God made a covenant to establish His Kingdom forever.

The Old Testament prophets predicted that Christ would — and He will — reign on earth upon the throne of His father David. While His Kingdom was being proclaimed “at hand”, He walked and talked and ate with men as “the Son of Man”. Wearied with travelling, He sat at Jacob’s well and asked for a drink of water. Pressed by the throng, He got into a fishing boat and addressed the multitudes from the sea. Hated by His adversaries, He was tried, scourged, spit upon, and nailed to a tree. This was indeed “Christ manifest in the flesh”.

With regard to His humiliation, however, the Apostle Paul says, by divine inspiration: “God also hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).

Again, the Apostle declares that God’s mighty power was “wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, FAR ABOVE ALL…” (Ephesians1:20). He is no longer to be known as “the lowly Jesus”, but as the exalted “Lord” in heaven. And this has its bearing on us too:

“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now, henceforth, know we Him no more” (II Corinthians 5:16). Our blessed Saviour is now to be known as the glorified Son of God, the Great Dispenser of Grace to a lost humanity; the One who in love and mercy “tasted death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9).



 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 

    Share this Bible Message with your  friends





 




The Human Heart - Pastor C. R. Stan


December 3, 1967 marked a milestone in medical history. Dr. Christian Barnard of Cape Town, South Africa successfully performed the first human heart transplant. This was followed a short time later by a similar heart transplant by Dr. Michael Debakey of Houston, Texas. These early transplants were only moderately successful because the patients' natural defense systems began attacking the new hearts as foreign invaders. With the use of trial and error, advanced technology, and better anti-rejection drugs, the outlook for heart transplant patients improved. Meanwhile, the heart surgeons who were icons in the medical community now became media superstars and they used that publicity well to raise funds for their heart clinics.

While being interviewed on a nationally televised talk show, Dr. Debakey told of the intricacy of the human heart and then added, "Only God can create a human body." While these doctors were catapulted to almost god like status, they had to confess that there was much they did not know about the heart and could, at best, only promise their patients a limited number of quality years.



God and Man's Heart

As we read the pages of the Holy Bible, we soon learn that God Himself also specializes in heart surgery. While He created the physical heart which pumps the blood that keeps us healthy, as the Great Physician, He is much more interested in implanting a new heart in man which will be humble and submissive to His will and which will also bring an eternity of great fulfillment to his soul.

As we search the writings of the Apostle Paul for us Gentiles, there is one passage of Scripture that deals systematically with the mechanics of spiritual heart surgery. Romans chapter six is the "how-to" of the Christians life. Although Paul centers on Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, he does not deal with initial salvation from the punishment of sins which results from forgiveness. He dealt with that previously in Romans 3:21-5:11 with the great themes of sin, judgment, God's love, faith, grace, redemption, justification, and reconciliation. Here he begins to teach on the issue of the believer's sanctification (or separation) with the view to produce fruit unto holiness. It answers the question, "Now that I am saved from the penalty of sin and have eternal life, how can I live a life pleasing to God?"

The answer is nothing short of radical heart surgery. The heart (or "kardia") in Scripture is used to stand for man's entire inner personal life and includes his mental, moral, and spiritual activity. It covers his intellect, emotions, thoughts, desires, conscience, and will. It is the seat of man's sinfulness but also the sphere of divine influence. There is a pure heart and an evil heart of unbelief (2 Timothy 2:22; Hebrews3:12).

Although Paul does not write in terms of the word "heart" in Romans 6, the teaching is surely there in force as he writes of indwelling sin (the old heart) as well as partaking of Christ's resurrection life (the new heart). He begins by raising a rhetorical question which is really an objection raised by his critics concerning what they thought was the "fatal flaw" of his teaching of grace. "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" People always raise this question when they begin to grasp the teaching of grace. But instead of rejoicing in it they jump to a wrong conclusion. They think grace teaching takes a soft stance on sin or even gives people a license to continue in it. Paul had written, "But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:20). The leGalatiansist reasoned something like this, "Paul, if it is true, as you say, that God's grace increases much more to deal with man's sin, why not continue to allow sin to run free in order for God's grace to shine through even more gloriously." Paul answers with the strongest "No!" in the Greek language. The King James version translates it as "God forbid!" Today we might say, "No, no way!" God protests sin as it is against His holy character. Then he asks his own challenging question, "How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" He is not expressing the impossibility of living in sin but rather how illogical and contrary to God's purpose it would be for believers to do so since we have died to it. The reason for the Cross was especially to separate man from his sinning.



The Baptism that Counts

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" How this passage has suffered from the intrusion of a water baptism ritual, thus losing the full force of its teaching! Water is not mentioned in these verses but "read into" by the minds of many. Actually, the word "baptism" in verses four and five means "identification with" or "initiation into" something---in this case, Jesus Christ. To be identified with Christ means that we become one with Him. To be initiated into Christ means that we are united to Him as our Source. This must be a spiritual baptism since a water ceremony could not place us into Christ or be the source of holiness. It is not a baptism into water or a church denomination that makes the difference but a baptism into Christ Himself.

In Bible times, when the color faded from a piece of cloth, they would send it to a fuller and he would dip or immerse the cloth in a dye. After a time, it would be removed and hung up to dry. In the process, the cloth would take on itself the color of the dye and become one with it. Spiritually speaking, we can apply this in a similar way to our baptism into Christ. If one insists on immersion as the definition of baptism, then it is an immersion into Christ. by the Spirit, thus, making us one with Him (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).

This "oneness" extends beyond His death to His burial. and resurrection for verse 4 goes on to say, "Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." When Christ died, there is a very real sense in which we died with Him. When He was buried, we were buried with Him. And when He rose from the dead we rose with Him. This actually happened almost 2000 years ago when Christ died and rose again, but it is not made a part of us personally until we believe the gospel of grace.

This is where it starts to get deep because we cannot appeal to human experience to prove this. We do not feel it or perceive it with our senses. The only way that we know about it is by reading about it in the Word of God, and that takes faith. I do not know how God put me to death with Christ two- thousand years before I was born, but I believe it because He said it. The problem is our perspective. We live in the present; God inhabits eternity. We see a little sliver of human history; God sees the end from the beginning. There is nothing too hard for God. Our union to Christ is what Bible teachers refer to as "positional truth." All believers have a present position in Christ as being united with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection.

Perhaps a better word for "buried" in verse four is "entombed" as Christ was not buried under ground but placed in a sepulcher from which you could walk on level ground. This positional truth is more than just theory because Paul takes it and teaches us how we can translate the position into everyday, practical living in righteousness.

The Root and the Fruit

In Romans chapter six, Paul does not address "sins" (plural) but "sin" (singular). "Sins" refer to acts of sin that people commit. (Paul dealt with this in chapters one through five). "Sin" deals with the root source within us that causes us to commit acts of sin. Many Bible students find it helpful to think of sin here as "the sin nature" or as verse six says, "our old man" (self). Sin is the root; sins are the fruit. It is truly wonderful to know that God saved us from the punishment of sins by forgiving our sins (plural) through the blood of the Cross. Now He wants to save us from the power and dominion of sin (singular) in our Christian lives. Christ not only died "for sins," but He also died "unto sin once," thus breaking the power of the sin nature over us.

You may say, "I must have missed something for I know I am saved, but I still struggle a lot with sin. It sure doesn't seem like I am dead to it." Be encouraged for Paul dealt with the same problem (Romans7:15-24). God apparently allowed Paul to experience the failure of Romans chapter seven that he might be an excellent teacher of God's solution in Romans chapters six and eight.

You see, everyone seems to think that the answer to sin in a believer's life is to appeal to will power or to legislate against it. However, Paul wrote " ... to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not" (Romans 7:18b). If the holy apostle could not will the victory over sin, neither can we. Another way is to set up rules and regulations against it, but that only serves to inflame sin within us and provoke it to life. "But sin taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence (evil desire). For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died" (Romans 7:8-9).

So much for legislating moral goodness. Many have found that when they put up a sign like, "Don't touch wet paint," people are prompted by something within to do that very thing. Then they wise up and print something like "Please don't touch wet paint." Now it is in the form of a polite request rather than an order. Even when the law is successful in restraining outward acts of sin, the sin nature simmers beneath the surface waiting for the opportunity to express itself.



The Grace Way

To overcome sin we must not rely on rules and regulations, the law, will power, or anything in ourselves. The grace way is the only thing effective because it is God's way and the method by which He works in His own children today. "For sin shall not have dominion over you for ye are not under the law but under grace" (Romans 6:14). What Paul teaches here about being dead to sin but alive to God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ was the most valuable lesson he learned from God for complete victory over sin. You might think of it this way: if I were to die today, there would be one positive; I would not be able to sin against God anymore. The negative is that I would not be able to serve Him any more in this life. Similarly, when we receive Christ as Savior, God puts our old self to death (affected by Christ's death) and we become disconnected with our old nature. Thankfully, He doesn't leave us in death but now imparts new life (Christ's resurrection life) to us by which we have strength to serve Him.

Romans 6:5-10 is a further explanation of verses three and four. It does not deal with the future death and resurrection of the body but our current spiritual death and resurrection with Christ.

vs 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

vs 6 Knowing this, that our old man is (was) crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

vs 7 For he that is dead is free from sin.

vs 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

vs 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him.

vs 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

To be "dead to sin" does not mean that sin cannot affect us nor does the fact that "our old man is crucified" with Christ indicate that he no longer bothers us. Dead men affect us every day. Our parents and grandparents affect who we are, how we think, and how we react. Even dead presidents affect us in ways we don't even realize. But we need not be enslaved by a dead man. And we need not be controlled by the old man within that God has put to death.

It may be helpful to think of death as separation. Physical death, for example, is a separation of the spirit from the body. Likewise, the Romans chapter six form of death is a separation of our sin nature from us. When we believed the Gospel, God affected this separation by a spiritual circumcision in which He cut off (or surgically removed) the old heart (self) and a new heart (Christ) was replaced as the life-giving Source. Lack of knowledge, unbelief, and selfishness wait in the shadows to derail our spirituality. The old heart can be reconnected and take control of our lives if we allow our spiritual life to flounder.

                                    A Prophetic Voice and a Contemporary One

The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel spoke of a time in the coming kingdom when his restored people, Israel, will receive their heart transplant. "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" (Ezek. 36:26-27). Their hard heart will be replaced with a soft heart which will be ready to do His will. While Israel's stony heart will be removed, God, in His wisdom, allows ours to remain within, and while separated, we still have the freedom to yield to its destructive ways. "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the, flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would" {Galatians 5:17).

Years ago, I heard a message on Romans six from Pastor Win Johnson of Denver, Colorado. He spoke at the annual Bible conference of the Berean Bible Fellowship. When the venerable old saint ascended the platform, the first thing he said was, "I wonder if I could amend the title of the message tonight. The title as it appears on the program reads, 'A Change of Masters.' I would like to change it to be 'A Choice of Masters.'" He, was right and I never forgot it. While we do have a change of masters in standing and position before God, it is nevertheless true that in our state and condition in the world, we have a responsibility to reckon it to be true of us personally and to yield ourselves to God as alive from the dead. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

What Paul says in verse six about "the body of sin being destroyed" doesn't mean that our bodies cannot become the instruments of sin. That notion is dashed by what Paul says in verses twelve and thirteen as well as our own experience. All too often we open the coffin and consult with the old corpse of sin, The word "destroyed" does not mean annihilated but "rendered inoperative" or ineffective. It is potential.

Think of this illustration: Mark and Carol have been married for 15 years. Mark thought that it would be a wonderful wedding anniversary gift if he would surprise her with a new car. When the day came, Carol looked out the front picture window to see a bright, colorful, new car with all the accessories. She was delighted! But then Mark thought of a devious joke to play on her. During the night, he got out of bed, went to the garage, and disconnected the battery to the new car. The next morning, Carol got in the car to head off to work. Mark stood in the kitchen listening and laughing as she tried desperately to start the car. Carol finally walked in the house in tears and said, "Mark, I think we got a lemon!" Mark explained the prank and in a few months she thought it was funny too. The new car was in perfect running order. Mark had just separated it from its power source.

So Christ has positionally separated us from the sinful nature (or old heart) and connected us to Christ with His resurrection life. What God has joined let us not put asunder, and let us not join together what God has separated!


Our Union with Christ and the New Heart

Three Hinges for Better Understanding

 Three key words will serve as hinges to help us open the door to Paul's teaching in the beginning of this chapter. They are Know - Romans 6:4,6, 9. Reckon - Romans 6:11. Yield - Romans 6:13. So far, the key word has been "know." But knowledge of the way of holiness is not enough to actually reach it. The following verses supply the remaining elements.

 11) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

 13) Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6:11-13).

 The next key word becomes "reckon." We understand that Christ died to put to death our sin nature and rose again. Now He says, consider it to be true of you personally. Since we are one with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection, reckon that He put the old heart to death and gave you a new resurrection heart that doesn't respond to sin. This is where we get to exercise our faith in what God has said. Notice how many times the phrases "unto sin" and "unto God" are used. Verse eleven describes the position of every believer as dead to sin but alive to God. Verses twelve and thirteen show potential movement toward either sin or God, depending on our choice. The command to "Let not sin reign in your mortal body" shows that it is possible to do so if we fail to reckon.

 Let's face it. Sin is pleasurable to the flesh and is still a draw (1Timothy 5:6; Hebrews 11:25). But God wants to draw us to His right hand where there are pleasures forever more. Nothing is more pleasurable and fulfilling than living close to God and honoring the lordship of Christ in our lives. He fills the heart with a peace, love, and joy that eclipses any pleasure that we could experience in sin. And it lasts forever.

 The final word is "yield," and it is an act of the will. It is the same word that Paul uses later in Romans 12:1 and is translated "present." "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." God wants His children to choose God and His righteousness as a continuing lifestyle and yield their eyes, ears, tongue, hands, feet, and entire being to Him as an act of acceptable worship for His name's sake. We do it not out of fear or guilt but because "the love of Christ constrains us to live for Him who died for us and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). Paul says much more in the remainder of Romans to complement this short introduction to practical holiness but suffice it now to repeat Paul's instruction, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

 When temptation comes, we can speak to ourselves and say, "I am dead to this through Christ's death and alive to God through His resurrection. He has set me free from the task master of sin and I choose to conduct myself in newness of life because of who He has made me to be in Christ." A wise man once said, "When temptation knocks, send Christ to answer it."

 In order to have the victory over sin, we must know (the fact of our co-crucifixion and resurrection with Christ), reckon (consider it to be true of us personally), and yield (an act of the will by which we choose to acknowledge the lordship of Christ in our lives). God's divine heart surgery has given us the power to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). As sons of God, we now have a choice of masters which by knowledge, faith, and commitment will lead to a change of masters in our conduct, faithfulness, and attitude.


Grace Bible Church  (Click Here)




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


E-mail this BIBLE STUDY to all your friends 














Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Third Temple in JERUSALEM Kevin Coonan


 

The Third Temple in JERUSALEM

Kevin Coonan 


More news about building the third Temple
The Temple Institute, an organization in Jerusalem which works toward the rebuilding of the Third Temple, began a revolutionary campaign on Sunday to literally rebuild the Third Temple - through the power of crowdfunding.

Headlined under the title, "Don't make history. Make the future. Build the Third Temple," the indiegogo campaign promises that this generation of children is "ready" to see the center of Jewish worship rebuilt, once and for all.

Several parallels have already been drawn, if informally, between Israel's current campaign to eliminate Hamas terror - and the international community's slow, but climbing, understanding of Israel's right to self-defense - and events described in the Torah regarding the completion of the Third Temple.

While acknowledgement of this has been somewhat informal - including a widely popular Facebook event advertising "the Last Tisha B'av," a hint to the traditional teaching that the day will become a day of celebration instead of mourning - at least one leading Rabbi has also stated that this campaign is the "God's war" and that "Israel will win."

However, the Temple Institute's campaign aims to bring these speculations to their practical fruition.

"Now is time for one of its most ambitious projects yet: completing architectural plans for the actual construction, fusing ancient texts and modern technology," the campaign's description states. "While strictly adhering to the religious requirements set forth in Biblical texts, the Third Temple will also be equipped with every modern amenity: full computerization, underground parking, temperature control, elevators, docks for public transportation, wheelchair access, and much more."

"The Temple Institute has engaged an architect to map out as practically as possible the modern Third Temple's construction," it continues. "Your contribution will go towards completing this ambitious project and the continued research and development which will make the Third Temple a reality."

"It is not enough to wait and pray for the Third Temple," it concludes. "It is a Biblical obligation to build it."

The Temple Institute's campaign will run for sixty days, ending on September 25 - during the Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashana.

The campaign aims to raise $100,000 toward a building fund for the Third Temple, as part of its wider campaigns to train kohen-priests for Temple duties and rebuild the instruments in the priestly services.



 Also Read
Who owns JERUSALEM?

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Disciples And Apostles by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam



Disciples And Apostles 
 by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

And when it was day, He called unto Him His disciples: and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles” (Luke 6:13).
Many people fail to distinguish between our Lord’s disciples and His apostles. They suppose they are the same. This is incorrect, however, for our Lord had a multitude of disciples while He had only a few apostles. His apostles were chosen from among His disciples, as we learn from the above message from Luke’s gospel.
A disciple is a follower; an apostle is a “sent one”. A disciple is a learner; an apostle is a teacher. There is a great lesson here for us all to learn.
We must come before we can go. We must follow before we can be sent. We must learn before we can teach. We must listen to the Lord before we can speak for the Lord.
“Thus saith the Lord”, was the familiar phrase with which the Old Testament prophets began their messages. But at the head of the long list of Old Testament prophets we find Samuel, a young lad, saying: “SPEAK LORD, FOR THY SERVANT HEARETH” (I Samuel 3:9).
Before we can do or say anything for God, then, we must listen to God. This explains why the reading and study of the Word of God is so important.
First, salvation itself comes by hearing and believing God’s Word, especially about Christ, and His death for our sins. Romans 10:17 says: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”, and I Peter 1:23: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever”. Then, having been saved, we can serve God acceptably only by diligent study of His Word. Perhaps the most important passage in the Bible on this subject is II Timothy 2:15:
“STUDY TO SHOW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD, A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.”


What is the Gospel?

Believing Christ died, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ died for YOUR sins and rose again, that’s SALVATION.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which the preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.  1. Corinthians 15:1-4



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Sunday, July 27, 2014

THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY - Pastor J. C. O'Hair



THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY
Pastor J. C. O'Hair


  CHAPTER ONE

THE PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN.

  The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit want every member of the Body of Christ to be of power, and of love, and of a sound mind; spiritually well-balanced. (Second Timothy 1:7). In this day of utter confusion, sectarianism, satanic delusions and religious fanaticism many, many real Christians are being tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. (Ephesians 4:13 and 14). In the fourth chapter of Ephesians God’s people are instructed to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit recognizing that great seven-fold unity recorded in Ephesians 4:3 to 7. Every Christian should know how to stand fast according to Galatians 5:1 to 4; and every Christian should be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. (First  Corinthians 15:58). Moreover every Christian should earnestly desire and strive to be a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth in obedience to Second  Timothy 2:15.

All of this might be covered by the Christian’s desire and determination to be ‘established’. If the Christian is not ‘established’, it is certainly not the fault of God. It is due somewhat by neglecting to obey Ephesians 1:16 to 18, Colossians 4:3 and 4 and Ephesians 6:19 and 20, praying to the Father of glory for the spirit of wisdom and revelation, to understand the most wonderful truth of the Bible for saints, and for open doors and open mouths to proclaim that truth. It is this particular truth that is referred to in Romans 16:25: “Now to Him that is of power to STABLISH you according to my (Paul’s) gospel, and THE PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST, ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY, WHITCH WAS KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN.”

Let us here pause long enough to take in this Divine truth, this all-important truth for God’s saints from the Holy Spirit by the pen of the apostle Paul. You, or your denomination, may have a different way of being ‘STABLISHED’; but here we have God’s way. Is He not the One to be pleased? Is He not the One who does the ‘STABLISHING’? What do you say? Let’s let God do it in His way.

What does it mean to be STABLISHED by that preaching of Jesus Christ which is ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN? Romans 16:25 should be read in connection with Ephesians 3:1 to 4, Colossians 1:23 to 27, Ephesians 1:4 and 5, Ephesians 1:11 and Ephesians 3:9 to 11. In Romans 16:25 there is more than the implication that there is in the Bible the PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST, which was not kept secret since the world began; and therefore, not ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY. Every minister of Christ is supposed to be, expected to be, a faithful steward of the mysteries of God; and of course, should tell the people of God, over which he has accepted the responsibility of an overseer, the difference between the preaching of Jesus Christ, which was in fulfillment of some prophecy found between the first chapter of Genesis, and the last chapter of Malachi, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, concerning which none of those prophets said one word, but which was kept secret since the world began; ‘ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY’. That MYSTERY was hid in God from the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 3:9). But, having been revealed about 1900 years ago to and through the apostle Paul and by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:5), it should not be a secret with any Christian today.


  THE PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST

The preaching of Jesus Christ is the biggest and most important business on earth. Nothing that men are doing, however important and worthy, can be compared with this; for after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (First  Corinthians 1:21). We preach Christ crucified unto all who believe, whether Jews or , the power of God and the wisdom of God. (First Corinthians 1:22 and 23).

All the truth is not stated in the words of the writer who said, “The path of glory leActs but to the grave.” There is a path of righteousness, in which path there may be suffering for righteousness sake, that leActs to glory beyond the grave, yes, everlasting glory and bliss. The other writer who said, “Dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return was not spoken of the soul”, most certainly wrote the truth, solemn truth; for every person born into this world is to be forever and forever, to be his own never-ending, conscious self. God’s Word is very plain, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). This is wonderful, good news for believers; but it is anything but that for those who refuse or fail to meet God, in Christ, at Calvary. Hear again God’s Word; “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not on the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36). The eternal life which will continue beyond the grave will be bliss indescribable, while the wrath beyond the grave will be agony indescribable. God’s plain Word is, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31). Faith cometh by hearing the Word of God. How can they hear without the preacher? (Romans 10:9 to 10). Concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, we are told in God’s Word: “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other Name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). Thus we see something of the great business of preaching Jesus Christ. All who leave this world without Christ, leave it without hope; and this means it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:28 to 33).

LIFE BEGINS AT CALVARY

CHRIST - ALPHA AND OMEGA

Some years after the rulers of this world had crucified the Lord of glory (First Corinthians 2:6 to 8), had killed the Prince of life (Acts 3:14 and 15), after Christ had shown Himself alive following His death, by many infallible proofs. (Acts 1:3), He appeared to the apostle John, on the Isle of Patmos, and said, “I AM HE that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive forever more; and have the keys of hades and of death.” (Revelation 1:18). That same day He said to John, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, Which is, and Which was and Which is to come, the ALMIGHTY.” (Revelation 1:8).

How condescending and liberal of our present-day ‘christianized agnostics’ to honour (dishonour) the Lord Jesus by calling Him ‘the fairest flower of humanity’, ‘the best man that ever trod the globe’, ‘the master-product of evolution’, ‘the greatest religious reformer of all ages,’ while they deny His eternal Deity. But as the Scriptures reveal the fact that they are sensual, not having the Spirit, spots when they feast with you, speaking great swelling words (Jude 12 to 18), and that no man can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit (First  Corinthians 12:3), we should not be surprised that they cannot say from converted hearts, with Thomas, “MY LORD AND MY GOD.” (John 20:28). Christ was in the world and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. (John 1:10). It is one thing to know much or little about the sayings and doings of the historic Jesus; but it is quite different to join with Peter and say, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16). This confession does not come from information gathered in our public schools and colleges and state universities, but by Divine revelation or communication, after the sinner, convicted by the Holy Spirit of the great sin of rejecting Christ (John 16:6 to 9), goes by faith to Calvary and believes unto the saving of his soul. At that time he receives the Holy Spirit, the great Revealer of spiritual truths. (Ephesians 1:13 and 14).

If it were not for the great deceiving power of Satan, the god of this age, (Second Corinthians 4:1 to 4), and of course, the fact that the human heart is desperately wicked and deceitful, all men would believe the plain statement in God’s Word, “for ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26). It is one thing for an unregenerated moral, sincere sinner to claim to be a child of God by natural generation, plus religion; it is quite a different thing for God to claim as His children those who are new creations in Christ by supernatural regeneration, “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His.” (Second  Timothy 2:19). To some who claimed that God was their father Christ said “ye are of your father the devil.” (John 8:44). Those religious leaders did not enjoy those stinging words any more than do the pseudo-Christians, called Modernists, in the closing days of this present evil age. But it was true then, as it is true to-day of all who deny the virgin birth, eternal Deity, the once-for-all, perfect sacrifice of the eternal Son of God and His bodily resurrection. Heart faith in the Deity of Christ and His bodily resurrection is God’s imperative requirement. (Romans 10:9 and 10). God has given His ‘MUST’ ultimatum for all who would reach heaven, “ye must be born again” (John 3:7), or in the ‘grace’ message of Paul, ye must become a new creation in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:10. . . Galatians 6:15 . . . Second Corinthians 5:17).

Man has never been confronted with a more important question than that asked by Pontius Pilate, before whom Jesus Christ witnessed a good confession (First Timothy 6:13), “what then shall I do with Jesus which is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:22). Pilate’s words were, “I find no fault in Him.” (John 19:6). How true were the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, “They hated Me without a cause.” (John 15:25). How true concerning Christ were the words of the thief on the cross, “This Man hath done nothing amiss.” (Luke 23:41). The Lord Jesus Christ never spake an idle or an evil word; He never had one evil thought; he was never guilty of one unrighteous deed. Though He knew no sin, He was made sin for us on the cross of Calvary, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (Second Corinthians 5:21). On the cross Christ made peace. (Colossians 1:20). On the cross the Lord Jesus put away sin. (Hebrews 9:26). On the cross Christ suffered for sins once, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” (Second Peter 3:18). Your ‘forever’ future, as well as mine, depends upon what we do with Jesus Which is called the Christ. If we receive Him as the eternal Son of God, and believe unto the saving of the soul, we shall go from this earth to be with the glorified Christ in glorified bodies to enjoy an undefiled, incorruptible heavenly inheritance; and then we shall learn more of the meaning of Ephesians 2:7, “and in the ages to come He (God) will show the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” So God’s redeemed saints can say with one of old, “we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:39). To these the Lord Jesus said, “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish; neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28). Not one sinner can even make the start toward heaven by struggling with the sermon on the mount or the golden rule. We are not brought nigh to God by the philosophy or ethics of Jesus Christ, but by faith in His precious shed blood (Ephesians 2:13), that precious blood that cleanses believers from all sin. (First John 1:7 to 9). God’s Word is plain and dogmatic, “without the shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22). So redemption is by and through the ‘SHED’ blood of Jesus Christ, according to the riches of God’s grace. (Ephesians 1:7).

There is utterly no use trying to settle any other spiritual or ‘sin’ question or problem until we answer Pilate’s question in the manner God would have us answer it, “what then shall I do with Jesus which is called Christ?” The first ‘sin’ question is the ‘Son’ question. When that is settled, then we can say, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13).


”THE FATHER SAID TO CHRIST, “THY THRONE, O GOD.”

In John 1:1 to 3 we read that Christ was God and that all things were made by Him. In Colossians 1:16 and 17 we learn that all things were created by Christ and for Christ; that He is before all things and by Him all things consist. We read in Colossians 2:9 that in Christ dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. In Colossians 2:2 and 3 we learn that in Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Is it any wonder then that God desires that in all things His Son, Jesus Christ, should have the pre-eminence (Colossians 1:18)? Christ declared that He had glory with the Father before the world was, and that before the world was the Father loved Him. (John 17:5 and 24). Philippians 2:5 to 12 has been called “the greatest story of the ages’. Read it and you. will ask with me, is it any wonder that the Father said concerning Jesus Christ, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). “Wherefore also it is contained in the Scriptures, Behold, I lay in Zion a Chief Corner Stone, elect, precious. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious.” (First Peter 2:6 and 7). There has never been any love comparable to the mutual love, that existed between Father and Son, long before the creation of the world. And remember it was then that Christ was foreordained to be the spotless Lamb of God to bear away the sins of the world by the sacrifice of Himself on the cross of Calvary. (First Peter 1:18 to 21 . . . John 1:29). The Father loved the Son for making that sacrifice. (John 10:17 to 19). Jesus Christ was the sinner’s foreordained sinbearer, not a religious martyr Who came to an untimely, accidental, premature death. He was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2:22), and His human murderers did none other things than God’s hand and counsel before determined to be done. (Acts 4:24 to 29 . . .Acts 3:18). Christ came to die at a certain, fixed hour (John 12:27 to 33). Is it any wonder then that when God brought His only Begotten into the world, He saith, “And let all the angels of God worship Him?” (Hebrews 1:6). “Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” (Hebrews 1:8). Then we read in Romans 9:5, Christ is over all, God blessed forever. Surely no human creature should think of calling Christ less than the Great Creator, the eternal God, the Father, called Him. Notwithstanding the infidelity of the so-called Modernists, who are described in Second Corinthians 11:13 to 15 as counterfeits under the control of Satan transformed into an angel of light, Thomas was right when he said to Christ, “my Lord and my God.” (John 20:28). Let us never forget that ‘a Christian infidel’ is an impossible paradox. Every so-called ‘Modernist’ Christian is an infidel, if he believes not the record as to the eternal Deity and virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, or he is an idolater, if he worships the Lord Jesus and it is true He is only a good man, the son of Joseph or some other human father. Beware of these leaders called, in Second John 7, ‘deceivers’, ‘antichrist’. In Second John 8 we are warned against them. In Second John 9 we are told that they have not God. In Second John 10 we are told that if we fellowship with them or support them, we are partakers of their evil deeds. They have gone in the way of Cain (Jude 11). They have crept in unawares, foreordained to this condemnation. (Jude 4). They and their doom are described in the second chapter of Second Peter. Every Christian today should frequently read concerning, these deceitful workers who transform themselves into the apostles of Christ. (Second Corinthians 11:13).

Surely the predicted perilous times have come upon us when many will not endure sound doctrine, but follow men who have turned God’s Word into fables, and not a few are following old wives fables in the satanic metaphysical vagaries which are being propagated in Christian terminology and Bible phraseology. The ritualism, modernism and fanaticism, carried on today in the name of Christ and Christianity, are enough to bring God’s people to their knees in tears. Our duty is plainly stated in God’s Word; “earnestly contend for the faith once-for-all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3). And surely in the midst of the sectarian confusion, we should note and heed First Corinthians 12:25, that there be no schism (division) in the Body. Christians, as never before, we should obey Ephesians 4:1 to 7, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit contending for one Father, one Son, one Holy Spirit, one hope, one faith and one baptism, as well as for one and only one Body, of which there is one and only one Head; and He is not on earth.

As we read that we have been made accepted (graced) in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:6 and 7), that we are without condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1), that we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3), that we are a new creation in Jesus Christ (Second Corinthians 5:17), that all of God’s promises are yea and amen in Christ Jesus (Second Corinthians 1:20), that believers are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10), that Christ is the believers’ righteousness, redemption, holiness (First Corinthians 1:30), the believers’ hope, and peace and life (First Timothy 1:1 . . . Ephesians 2:14 . . . Colossians 3:3 and 4), that we are in Christ and that Christ is in us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27 and Galatians 2:20), we should be fully satisfied with an all sufficient Christ, without religion or ritualism.

Let’s take a short inventory, by reading Ephesians 3:20, Ephesians 1:19 to 23, Second Corinthians 9:8 and Ephesians 1:3. In these Scriptures we learn that. God is able to do very much more than we can ask or think; that God’s mighty power is available for every Christian; that God will make all grace abound for all Christians who know how to appropriate it; that Christians are blessed with ALL spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. Christ’s riches are the believers’ riches. Christians have been crucified with Christ, buried with Christ, and raised with Christ, and are already in the heavenlies. (Galatians 2:20, Romans 6:3 to 6, Ephesians 2:6 and Colossians 3:1 to 4). The Lord Jesus spoke of His death on the cross, His crucifixion, as His ‘baptism’. (Luke 12:50). As the Christian is identified with Christ in death, having been crucified with. Christ, so Christ’s baptism is the believers’ baptism. The very moment the believing sinner meets God and Christ at Calvary he receives his baptism: he is then and there baptized into the death of Christ; is then and there baptized into Christ’s burial; is then and there raised to walk in newness of life and made to sit in the heavenlies, which means, of course, that he is then and there made a member of God’s true Church, the Body of Christ, ‘THE JOINT BODY’ of Ephesians 3:6. God’s grace and power and all needed spiritual resources for the believers’ behavior are inexhaustible.


    LIFE BEGINS AT CALVARY

Little wonder then that the greatest of all Christians said, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by Whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Galatians 6:14). This crucifixion meant to Paul more than the symbol of self-denial, sacrifice and martyrdom.. It meant his only hope of heaven, for he well knew, what every person on this earth should know, that God could be a just, sinless, righteous, holy Judge and a compassionate, merciful Saviour of believing sinners, only because of the ransom paid by, the sinless eternal Divine Son of God. (Read this glorious truth in Romans 3:24 to 28 and First Peter 3:18).

How true the words of First Corinthians 1 :18. the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness.” It is so true, that God will have all men to be saved, that Jesus Christ, the one and only Mediator between God and men, gave Himself a ransom for all (First Timothy 2:4 to 7); but let us beware of the pernicious and satanic teaching of ‘universal salvation’ or ‘universal reconciliation’. Jesus Christ did by the grace of God taste death for all men. (Hebrews 2:9). Christ did say that by His death He would draw all men unto Him. (John 12:30 to 33). Christ did make peace through the blood of His cross to reconcile all things unto Himself and to His Father.(Colossians 1:20 and 21). But the Bible plainly teaches that all who go to a Christless grave will go to a Christless eternity of conscious suffering, from which there will be no escape after death. The Bible does not teach ‘after death, another chance’; but ‘after death the judgment’ (Hebrews 9:27). That judgment is called ‘the wrath of God’, ‘the lake of fire’ of Revelation 20, which does not mean annihilation or non-existence. It is either Christ and Calvary or the white throne and the lake of fire for all; the second birth or the second death. Thus we see the ‘THE PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST’ is truly the biggest business on earth.


    CHAPTER TWO

THE PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST
NOT ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY

Doubtless every student of the Bible has noted so many times, in the sayings and doings of Jesus of Nazareth in the midst of Israel, a Man approved by God in the land of Israel by miracles and wonders and signs (Acts 2:22), God’s Son, made under the law and made of a woman to redeem them that were under the law (Galatians 4:4), that there is such a statement as, “that the Scriptures might be fulfilled”: “that the words of the prophet might be fulfilled”; “as it is written”, “thus it is written”. This is summed up in the statements in First Corinthians 15:1 to 4, “according to the Scriptures.” This, of course, means in fulfillment of some prophecy found in the Bible in some Book and verse between the first of Genesis, written by Moses, and the last verse of Malachi, written by Malachi. When Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem it was in fulfillment of Micah 5:2. When Christ was born of the virgin Mary it was in fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14 and Jeremiah 31:22. When Christ preached in the synagogue at Nazareth, according to Luke 4:18; it was in fulfillment of Isaiah 61:1; “the Lord hath anointed Me to preach, etc.” When the Lord Jesus was despised and rejected it was in fulfillment of Isaiah 53:3. When the Lord Jesus was wounded in the house of His friends and sold for thirty pieces of silver it was in fulfillment of Zechariah 13:6 and Zechariah 11:12 and 13. “When Christ was performing miracles of every character it was in fulfillment of Isaiah 35:4 to 6, God come down to earth with a ministry of healing and other physical blessings. When Christ said He was going to die, He said, “the Son of man goeth, AS IT IS WRITTEN OF HIM.” (Matthew 26:24). When Christ was led as a lamb to the slaughter and before Pilate opened not His mouth it was in fulfillment of Isaiah 53. It was foretold in the same chapter that Christ was numbered with the transgressors and made intercession for them and made His grave with the rich. It was in fulfillment of Psalm 22 that His hands and feet were pierced, and that He cried on the cross, “My God! My God!, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” It was in fulfillment of Scripture, Psalm 16:10, that God raised Christ from the dead and would not suffer His holy One to see corruption (Acts 2:27).

Let us note how Christ, after His resurrection, summarized the whole prophetic program; that is, what He fulfilled at His first coming: “O fools and slow of heart to believe all that prophets have spoken, and beginning at Moses and all the prophets He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:25 to 27). Then to His apostles, in Luke 24:46 to 48, He added: “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead . . .” (Note verse 47).

So we should understand more of the meaning of Romans 15:8, that Jesus Christ was a Minister of the circumcision (Israel) on earth confirming (fulfilling) promises which God made to Israel. It seems so difficult for many Christians to reconcile Matthew 15:24, that Christ was sent to Israel only, with John 3:16 that whosoever believeth on Him should have everlasting life (John 3:16).

In Daniel 9:26 are recorded the word which the Lord gave Daniel to prophesy concerning Christ, the prophecy that Messiah would be cut off after 62 weeks, but not for Himself. When we think of this and many other prophecies we understand what John the Baptist meant when he sent the question to Christ, “art Thou He that should come?” (Luke 7:19). In Genesis 3:14 and 15 we rear that the Seed of the woman would come. In the last Book of the Old Testament, Malachi 3:1, we learn that the Lord would come. So in the 39 Books from Genesis to Malachi SOME ONE is coming. In Matthew, Mark Luke and John that Coming One has come Then He went away; and He is to come again The Bible is the record of the ‘prefigured’ the ‘disfigured’ and the ‘transfigured’ Christ. Christ on earth, when ministering to Israel was confirming promises made to Israel by God’s holy prophets. What Christ preaches concerning Himself was not according to the revelation of the mystery.


WHEN THEY HAD FULFILLED ALL THAT WAS WRITTEN OF HIM

When Paul reasoned with the Jews out of the Scriptures (from Genesis to Malachi) that Jesus was the Christ, those Jews, who received the Word of God with all readiness of mind, could search the Scriptures to see whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11) Concerning Divine truth, called the UN SEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST in Ephesians 3:8, no one could search the Old Testament Scriptures to learn whether those things were true, for no prophet from Moses to Malachi was moved by the Holy Spirit to foretell that PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY, KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN. (Romans 16:25). When Paul proclaimed to Israel “none other things than those which the prophets an Moses did say should come” (Acts 26:22) those religious Jews, who claimed to be the people of God, the custodians of God’s Holy Scriptures, did not believe their own great Moses; for, as Christ said, “had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me; for He wrote of Me . . . But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?” (John 5:46 and 47). They could have searched their own Scriptures, which foretold the truth to which Paul referred in Acts 26:21 to 23. In that way they could have learned that Paul was confirming promises which God made to Israel by the Holy prophets. See how Paul summed up for Israel concerning Christ; “when they had fulfilled all that WAS WRITTEN OF HIM, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in the sepulchre . . . But God raised Him from the dead.” (Acts 13:29 and 30). This certainly tells the story of the Christ from the borrowed manger to Joseph’s sepulchre. All of this was the PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST in fulfillment of prophecy in Genesis and the Old Testament Scriptures, and not KEPT SECRET SINCE THE BEGAN WORLD. We say, “Genesis and the Old Testament Scriptures”. The Old Testament Scriptures began with Exodus, the twentieth chapter. All of the events recorded in the Book of Genesis took place before the LAW was added at Sinai. (Galatians 3:19). Note in Jeremiah 31:31 to 35 when Jehovah entered with Israel into that ‘LAW’ Covenant, or Testament, which became ‘OLD’ after the death of Christ. (Hebrews 8:9 to 13)? Not a line of the Old Testament can be found in Genesis.

He is a workman who needeth to be ashamed who calls Adam, Abel, Seth, Noah, Eber, Peleg, Terah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, (Israel), Judah, Levi, Joseph or Joseph’s brethren or Melchisideck, ‘OLD TESTAMENT’ characters. All of these men had lived and died before the LAW (OLD TESTAMENT) entered that the sin that entered by Adam might abound. (Romans 5:20 and Romans 5:12). Every intelligent student of the Bible, who even claims to rightly divide the Word of Truth, knows that the Covenant (Testament), which God made with Israel at Sinai, has been done away (Second Corinthians 3:7 to 16) (Hebrews 8:9 to 13), and that the Covenant that God made with Abraham some 400 years before Sinai is still in force, being now fulfilled and carried on in part and yet to be fulfilled in the coming kingdom age when Israel will occupy Canaan. However, some of the men who teach this, wrongly divide the Word of Truth by calling Abraham an ‘OLD TESTAMENT’ character, or a Jew, and by confusing the ‘LAW’ COVENANT, DONE AWAY, with the ‘ABRAHAMIC’ COVENANT OF PROMISE still in force, although postponed in part. But of course there are in Genesis many prophecies concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; and one type of Christ and the Church as one flesh ‘One New Man’. Read Genesis 2:21 to 24, Genesis 5:1 to 3 and Ephesians 5:31 and 32.

In Acts 8:26 to 40 we have the most interesting account of Philip’s experience with the Ethiopian. Philip found that eunuch sitting in his chariot, reading the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah. Philip “began at the same Scripture and preached unto him, ‘JESUS’.” (Acts 8:35). If that Ethiopian had been reading Genesis 3:14 and 15, or any one of scores of other verses in Genesis or in the 38 Old Testament Books, Philip could have begun at the same Scriptures and preached ‘Jesus’. No servant of the Lord would have to be a profound student of the Scriptures to begin at any one of hundreds and hundreds of Scriptures from Genesis to Malachi to preach ‘JESUS’. They testify of Him. (John 5:39).

SOME OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES

CONCERNING CHRIST AWAIT FULFILLMENT

When the Lord Jesus Christ shall come back to this earth as the Smiting Stone of Daniel 2:34 and 45, as the King of Glory of Psalm 24:9, as the Righteous Branch (King) of Jeremiah 23:5, as the Lord of Zechariah 14:9, Who will be King over the whole earth, as Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace of Isaiah 9:6 and 7 to occupy the throne of David and bring peace to this earth, all will be in fulfillment of Scriptures or Old Testament prophecy. Surely we have a more word of prophecy, whereunto we do well that we take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in our hearts. (Second Peter 1:19). Let us remember that all of the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ Jesus; that all abiding spiritual blessings are in and through and by Jesus Christ. But when we preach the coming of Jesus Christ to establish His kingdom on this earth, that preaching of Jesus Christ is not according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began, for it was not kept secret. It was made known by all of God’s holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:21 and Luke 1:70). God will yet have on this earth His Kingdom, both political and spiritual, prepared ‘FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD’. (Matthew 25:31 to 46). The Kingdom of the Son of God’s love (Colossians 1:13), into which members of the joint-Body of Ephesians 3:6 are being transferred in this age and dispensation of grace, is not identical with the Kingdom of God which will be at hand when the Son of man comes in the clouds with power and great glory for Israel’s redemption and to restore again the kingdom to Israel and then bring about the restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of au of the holy prophets since the world began (Luke 21:27 to 33). (Acts 3:19 to 21). In connection with that prophesied kingdom of God, Christ will return to build again the tabernacle of David. (Amos 9:11 to 15). As James and Peter said, in Acts 15:13 to 18, “to this agree the words of the prophet”. When we preach Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, and explain that God is now making ‘One New Man’ (Ephesians 2:15), that God, while a blindness in part is happened to Israel (Romans 11:25), is baptizing both believing Jews and  into one Body (First Corinthians 12:13), making them all members one of another and joined to the risen Christ (Romans 12:3 to 5 and Ephesians 2:17 to 21),” we would greatly err, not knowing how to rightly divide the Word of Truth, should we say, “to, this agree the words of the Old Testament prophets”: for they were both silent and ignorant concerning God’s ‘grace’ program and purpose in this age, the PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN; GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE IN CHRIST JESUS.

Remember, the mystery is Romans 11:25, concerning ‘the fulness of the ’, and not Romans 11:26, “Israel shall be saved.” The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for the resurrection both of the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15) was not a secret to Israel’s prophets. They foreknew and foretold the coming of Christ to the earth. But the blessed hope of members of the Body of Christ (Titus 2:13), the resurrection out from the dead (Philippians 3:20 and 21), the rapture of First Thessalonians 4:13 to 18 when members of Christ’s Body will meet Christ in the air, is all Divine truth not made known to the sons of men in other ages (Ephesians 3:4 to 8), not revealed to other ages and generations (Colossians 1:25 to 27). Therefore, said Paul, “Behold I show you a MYSTERY: we shall not all die; but we shall all be changed in a moment.” (Second Corinthians 15:51 to 54). The appearing of Christ for members of His Body, who will appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:1 to 4), has to do with that great culmination or consummation, ‘The Perfect Man’, ‘The Unity of The Faith’ of Ephesians 4:13. All of this is a part of God’s Eternal Purpose, which He purposed in Christ before the world began (Ephesians 3:11, Ephesians 1:11, Ephesians 1:9, Ephesians 1:4 and 5, Second Timothy 1:9 and Romans 8:28 to 32), which, having not been made known to God’s Old Testament prophets, was the mystery kept secret since the world began until the risen Christ Jesus revealed it to and through the apostle Paul and by the Holy Spirit; Therefore ‘THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST’. (Ephesians 3:8). The word, “unsearchable’, in Ephesians 3:8, is translated, in Romans 11:33, ‘PAST FINDING OUT’, or better in the Revised Edition, ‘PAST TRACING OUT,’ Compare the words of Christ in Matthew 26:24, ‘AS IT IS WRITTEN OF HIM’, with Ephesians 3:8. ‘THE PAST TRACING-OUT RICHES OF CHRIST’. Of course we cannot trace through the Old Testament Scriptures Divine truth that is never mentioned in those Scriptures.

Every minister of Christ should be a faithful steward of the mysteries of God (Second Corinthians 4:1 to 4), and should emphasize the importance of obeying Ephesians 3:9, “make all see what is the dispensation of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God.” How sad to know that this great and glorious truth, which was hid from ages and from generations before this present age and generation, is hid even 1900 years after it ceased to be a secret¾from the great majority of Christians, including the preachers, pastors and Bible teachers. Why? Because many, many of God’s servants have not prayed the prayers of Ephesians 1:16 to 18, Colossians 4:3 and 4, Ephesians 6:19 and 20; and therefore they neither proclaim the ‘mystery’ truth nor understand it.

Then think of those who do what they call ‘spiritualizing’ and teach that the prophecies concerning the coming kingdom, which will be established on this earth when the Lord Jesus Christ returns from heaven, were either fulfilled by Christ’s earthly ministry or are in some way being fulfilled in this age and dispensation of grace when God is forming the Body of Christ, being fitly framed together growing unto a holy temple in the Lord, saints built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:21 and 22). They will neither teach nor tolerate the teaching that God has suspended or interrupted His promises concerning a political-spiritual kingdom on earth, with Christ on an earthly throne, reigning as King; that during this present parenthesis or postponement of the prophesied kingdom God is not building the tabernacle of David, but doing that which no prophet of Israel even dreamed of, baptizing believing Jews and  into one Body, joining believers to Christ in that Joint-Body which was chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world, the members of that Body having been predestinated to be the children of God (Ephesians 1:4 and 5), that Body to be presented to Christ as a chaste virgin, the spotless, glorious, holy Church, without blemish. (Ephesians 5:26 to 28). That Church, with Christ the Head, is called ‘Christ’ in First Corinthians 12:12.

In their so-called ‘spiritualizing’ these post millenarians and amillenarians have kept many of God’s people from understanding and enjoying the highest, most wonderful truth for saints in all of the Bible. With their fantastic faulty interpretations they have driven some to the so-called social gospel or to skepticism.


THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES PREMILLENARIANS

Many Premillenarians, who are trying to deliver God’s saints from the ‘spiritualizing’ of the Postmillenarians, are leading their followers into confusion. They do believe and teach that this ‘BODY’ age is a parenthetical period, and the prophesied kingdom of heaven to be established on this earth is now in abeyance, having been postponed. But they do greatly err as to when that postponement began. Not knowing just what God’s eternal purpose is, the truth concerning the dispensation of the mystery, they are trying to determine the time of the ‘mystery’ appearing of Christ for His Church, by quoting signs in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies which have nothing to do with the course or culmination of this age of grace, but are to precede the coming of Christ to establish His prophesied kingdom. Christ will not come to earth for His Church. The Church will rise to meet Him.

One reason why some Premillenarians are today becoming ‘Post-tribulation Premillenarians’, teaching that the Body of Christ will go into or through the coming great tribulation, is because they have followed those who seek to prove the soon coming of the Lord Jesus by certain political movements among the nations of the earth which they say are in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. Members of the Body of Christ are to walk by faith and not by sight (Second   Corinthians 5:7).

     ‘Signs’, in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, are in connection with the prophesied time of  troubleiah 30:7 to 11), which will immediately precede the coming of Israel’s Messiah to be King. These signs are not to convince members of the   of Christ that ‘The Blessed Hope’ of Titus 2:13, The Mystery Appearing of Christ’ of First Corinthians 15:51 to 54 is imminent. In the so-called New Testament Scriptures God has given His saints some warnings concerning the apostacy, but from the days of Paul, Spirit-taught, faithful, spiritual, obedient, members of Christ’s Body in every generation have believed in the imminent appearing of Christ, not as a King to establish His prophesied political-spiritual kingdom on earth, but to take the Church (Body) to glory.

Christians, who are determined to have signs, the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, should profit by the fallacies and delusions of the disciples of Russell and Rutherford, (now Jehovah Witnesses), with their millennial dawn, unscriptural program, and those of Joseph Smith, with His book of Mormons, or Ellen White and others with their Seventh Day Adventist heresies. All of these are, and have been, great ‘sign’ preachers, calling the Body of Christ, ‘Israel’. They try to make Old Testament prophecies concerning the prophesied kingdom of God apply to the program, hope and calling and rapture, of the unprophesied Body of Christ. The Scriptural answer to their prophetic nonsense is Romans 16:25 of which they are woefully ignorant and therefore they are not ‘STABLISHED’.

No one can estimate the blunders, heresies and fanaticism that have resulted because of the failure of ministers of Christ to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God and show the great difference between ‘THE PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST’ in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and ‘THE PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST’ according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began. Surely he is a workman that needeth to be ashamed who does not know the difference between the prophesied kingdom of God and the unprophesied kingdom of God, the one prepared FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, THE OTHER CHOSEN IN CHRIST FROM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. (Compare Matthew 25:3; to 44 with Ephesians 1:4 and 5 and Second Timothy 1:9).

Only as we understand ‘the dispensation of the mystery’, the difference between building again the tabernacle of David, which will not take place until the King of glory comes for Israel’s redemption, and the building the Joint-Body, the making of the One New Man of Ephesians 2:15, which God began when Israel was set aside after Israel rejected Christ both in incarnation and in resurrection, can we find positive Scriptural proof that the Body of Christ will be saved from the great tribulation, which is no part of the unprophesied mystery. The tribulation period is prophesied Divine Truth.

THE FALL AND RISE OF ISRAEL
AND THE DISPENSATION OF THE MYSTERY

If there is anything dearly taught in the Bible it is the fact that Israel had a FALL. Israel stumbled and Israel had a Fall. When Simeon had the Child Jesus in His arms He said, “this Child is set for the FALL and rising again of many in Israel.” (Luke 2:34). From this statement to the judgment and wrath of God upon Israel mentioned in First Thessalonians 2:14 to 16 (“the Jews who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men . . . Forbidding us to speak to the  that they might be saved, to fill up their sin alway; for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost”), the history of Israel is told in the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), in the Book of Acts, in the Epistle to the Romans and other New Testament Scriptures. To them Christ said, “did ye never read in the Scriptures, that the Stone which the builders rejected the Same is become the Head of the corner; this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes . . . And whosoever shall FALL on this Stone shall be broken?” (Matthew 21:41 to 43). Then when Pilate was determined to let Jesus go, Israel asked that Barabbas, the murderer, might be released; and they killed the Prince of life. (Acts 3:13 to 15). Christ came unto His own and His own received Him not. (John 1:11). Christ was born to be Israel’s Saviour. (Acts 13:23). Christ was born to sit on the throne of David and reign over the house of Jacob as a King. (Luke 1:27 to 33). Christ was raised from the dead to sit on David’s throne. (Acts 2:27 to 33). Christ was raised from the dead to give to Israel the sure mercies of David. (Acts 13:31 to 38). Christ was raised from the dead to be Israel’s Prince and Saviour. (Acts 5:28 to 31). The Holy Spirit was sent down from heaven to witness to this truth. (Acts 5:31 and 32). Christ warned the Jews in Matthew 22:1 to 13 and in Matthew 12:30 to 32. Then Christ on the cross prayed for His Father to forgive them. (Luke 23:34) God was willing to charge off their great sin of killing His Son to ignorance. (Acts 3:15 to 18). But they continued to resist the Holy Spirit and blaspheme. (Acts 7:51 to 60). They killed Stephen. They continued to reject the witness of the Holy Spirit, that God had raised Christ from the dead to be Israel’s Saviour and Prince. (Acts 13:45, Acts 18:5). Then they forbade the apostles to preach to the  that they might be saved. And they continued what is mentioned in Matthew 23:32, “fill up then the measure of your fathers”. They filled up their sins, and God’s wrath came upon them to the uttermost. (First Thessalonians 2:14 to 16).

In rejecting Christ raised from the dead as their Prince and Saviour they rejected God’s own righteousness offered by faith without the deeds of the law. “They sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.” Likewise the great multitude of ignorant, religious church-members are doing the same to. day. (Romans 9:30 to 33). Being ignorant of God’s righteousness by faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ they are going about to establish their own righteousness. (Romans 10:1-3).

RIGHTEOUSNESS GOD’S GIFT TO BELIEVERS

The righteousness of God was bought and paid for when the eternal, sinless Son of God was made sin on the cross of Calvary. (Second Corinthians 5:21). Men do not have to buy it or pay for it. With the heart man believeth unto righteousness. (Romans 10:10). “To him that worketh not but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5). How few people seem to understand the meaning of Romans 10:4, that Christ is the end of the LAW for righteousness to every one that believeth.

For about 1500 years man was thoroughly tested under God’s program of ‘thou shalt’ and ‘thou shalt not’, a program of LAW, under which God’s people received the spirit of bondage unto fear (Romans 8:15), and were all their lifetime subject to bondage through fear of death. (Hebrews 2:15). They were never able to endure that which Jehovah spoke to Moses from Sinai (Hebrews 12:20), and very few of those under the law ever learned their lesson, that by the deeds of the LAW no man can be justified in God’s sight (Romans 3:19 and 20); that the LAW entered that the sin that entered by Adam might abound. (Romans 5:20). Even the majority of the believing Jews, years after Christ’s death on the cross, wanted to do what the Seventh Day Adventists and others want to do today, namely, to put a yoke upon the necks of Christian  which no Jew was ever able to bear. (Acts 15:10). To them Galatians 5:1 to 5 apparently has or had no meaning. They were zealous after the LAW. (Acts 21:20).

What the LAW (given to Moses) could not do, because of human weakness, God sent His Son to do. (Romans 8:3). Christ was made under the LAW. (Galatians 4:4). He perfectly kept that perfect LAW. Those who thought they were keeping the LAW nailed Him to the cross. They were very religious sabbath-keepers, with religious feast days and no end of religious ceremonies. They not only religiously rejected any offer of salvation and righteousness through Jesus Christ, but they abhorred the very thought of such a proposition. Little did they know, or want to know, the meaning of Galatians 3:24 and 25, that the LAW was Israel’s schoolmaster to bring them to Christ to be justified by faith, and being justified, they were no longer to be under that schoolmaster.

When the Lord of Glory was crucified the handwriting of ordinances that was against us and contrary to us was blotted out, taken out of the way. (Colossians 2:16). Then by His resurrection, Christ brought to light life through the gospel, with the guarantee of in. corruptibility, (Second Timothy 1:10), thereby establishing a NEW LAW, ‘THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS’ (Romans 8:2). Then the religious believers united with the religious law-keeping unbelievers to impose upon the Christians, who had been turned to God from idols and paganism, much of Israel’s LAW program. They did not believe that ‘The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus’ was adequate to free the believing sinner from ‘The Law of Sin and Death’, and insisted that the LAW, which was the MINISTRATION OF DEATH (Second Corinthians 3:7), be added to, or mixed in with the LAW OF LIFE, to fit man for God’s approval and His righteousness. This unholy mixture brought from the Holy Spirit, by the pen of Paul, the Epistle to the Galatians. In that Epistle those religious, law-keeping Christians were told that ‘a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump’. (Galatians 5:9). We know what happened to that lump for centuries until the great text, ‘The Just Shall Live By Faith’ took control of Martin Luther. That man of God did a great work, but neither he nor his disciples fully freed the gospel of the grace of God from the leaven. Luther knew absolutely nothing of ‘THE MYSTERY’, for which the apostle Paul was the prisoner of Jesus Christ for . (Ephesians 3:1 to 6) (Ephesians 6:19 and 20) (Colossians 4:3 and 4). The Lutherans today are still ignorant of this most wonderful truth for saints in the Bible. If they were obeying Ephesians 3:9, they would cease to be Lutherans.

How many Christians can truthfully say with Paul, “I do not frustrate the grace of God, for if righteousness come by the LAW, Christ has died in vain?” (Galatians 2:21). It is worse than a spiritual crime to add the religious program of Moses to the gospel of the grace of God and offer the mixture to a sinner as God’s message of salvation. The anathema of God is pronounced on those who do this (Galatians 1:7 to 14). It is expected that every child of God will fulfill the righteousness of the LAW by walking in the Spirit (Romans 8:4); but how great is the difference between receiving God’s perfect righteousness by faith, (by receiving Christ and thereby receiving the Holy Spirit . . . Galatians 3:14), and fulfilling the righteousness of the LAW by walking in the Spirit. There is a great difference in being God’s workmanship, saved by grace without works (Ephesians 2:8 to 10), and behaving as becometh saints and being God’s workmen by the grace of God (Second Corinthians 9:8 . . . First Corinthians 15:10 . . . First Corinthians 3:14).

In spite of all that the leaven of Galatians 5:9 has done to the religious church-members and even Christians in this land of ours, and the terrible crop it has produced, ritualism, modernism, fanaticism, metaphysical cults, with all of the perverted gospels of the legalists, the one thing, above everything else, that has made the United States the greatest country in the world is EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY and the privilege under our Bill of Rights to proclaim the glorious gospel of the grace of God. While on the one hand sectarianism is playing havoc with God’s people and satanic vagaries and delusions are abounding and increasing, on the other hand many are being delivered from their religious entanglements by coming to the knowledge of the gospel of the grace of God, learning that for this age of grace the risen Christ gave to the apostle Paul a message and program that not only supplemented anything God’s people had received before, but in many points superseded it. Many are now seeing that there is a difference between ‘grace’ in God’s former dispensations, and ‘the dispensation of the grace of God’, which Christ revealed to Paul. (Ephesians 3:1 and 2).


THREE GREAT TRUTHS

Of all the knowledge that may be acquired by man in this age of marvelous discoveries and achievements there is no truth more important than the three great truths we shall now mention:

First . . . Today the adults of the human race, in God’s presence, are divided into just two groups . . . ‘DEAD SINNERS’ . . . ‘LIVING SAINTS’. With respect to salvation and eternal life, there is no third group.

Second . . . The ‘DEAD SINNER’ becomes a ‘LIVING SAINT’, not by what man does, or can do, for God; but by what God does for man. God gives righteousness, salvation, eternal life and the Holy Spirit, freely, to any and every sinner who receives, by faith, Christ and His perfect redemptive work. By grace through faith in Christ the believer is made alive. (Ephesians 2:4 to 6 . . . John 5:24 . . . John 6:47 . . . John 11:25 and 26 . . . John 3:36).
LIFE BEGINS AT CALVARY

 The life that begins at Calvary will never, never end.

Third . . . There is one and only one true Bible Church in this age and dispensation of grace; and that Church is called, ‘THE BODY OF CHRIST’ (Ephesians 1:19 to 23 . . . Colossians 1:24 to 26 . . . First Corinthians 12:12 and 13 . . . Romans 12:4 and 5 . . . Ephesians 4:4 and 5), ‘THE JOINT-BODY’ of Ephesians 3:6. That Church is primarily a spiritual organism rather than a visible organization. And the great truth is that God inducts members into that Body by a Divine baptism, and not man by any kind of ceremony.

While Christ was on earth He definitely instructed His apostles not to go to  (Matthew 10:5 and 15:24), and told them that the Holy Spirit would not come from heaven unless and until He went back to heaven by the way of the cross (John 16:7 to 10 and John 7:38 to 40). Therefore, while Christ was on earth believing Jews and  were not baptized by one Spirit into one Body. They did not become THE CHRIST of First Corinthians 12:12 and 13.

                   GOD SENT BLINDNESS UPON ISRAEL

After Israel rejected the witness of the Holy Spirit that Christ had been raised to be their Prince and Saviour (Acts 5:29 to 32) (Acts 7:51 and Acts 13:45), and when they refused righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 9:30 to 33) God sent blindness upon them (Romans 11:5 to 9) . . . cast Israel away (Romans 11:15) . . . diminished Israel and let Israel fall (Romans 11:11 and 12).

Note Israel’s FOUR GREAT SINS and when and why Israel was cast away. Of course Israel’s sins were without number; but four of their sins are emphasized.

First . . . Israel stoned and killed the prophets of God sent to them . . . (Matthew 23:30 to 32 and 37 . . . Matthew 21:34 to 36 . . . Acts 7:52 . . . First Thessalonians 2:15).

Second . . . Israel killed the Son of God, the Prince of Life. (Matthew 21:38 and 39 . . . Acts 2:23 . . . Acts 3:14 and 15 . . . Acts 7:52 . . . First Thessalonians 2:15).

Third . . . Israel resisted the Holy Spirit and blasphemed (the Holy Spirit having been sent to witness that God had raised Christ to be Israel’s Prince and Saviour . . . Acts 5:29 to 32) (Acts 7:51 . . . Acts 12:46).

Fourth . . . Israel forbade the apostles to preach to the , that they might be saved. (First Thessalonians 2:15 and 16).

After Israel had committed their First and Second sins, because the death of Christ had to be (Acts 3:18 . . . Acts 4:23 to 28 . . . First Peter 1:18 to 21 . . . Acts 3:29 and 30 . . . John 3:13 and 14 . . . John 12:27 to 33), Christ prayed on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). So we learn in Acts 3:13 to 26 that God was willing, not only to pardon Israel’s great sin, attributing it to ignorance, but He would send Christ back to further fulfill prophecy concerning Israel’s redemption and the restitution spoken since the world began, if Israel would repent.


     THREE GREAT BLUNDERS OF PREMILLENARIANS

The Premillenarians numbered with the ‘grace’ preachers of today, with a few exceptions, teach that the Old Testament began with Genesis, the first chapter, instead of with Exodus, the nineteenth chapter, many centuries later. Then they teach that the New Testament began with Matthew, the first chapter. Then they teach that ‘the dispensation of the grace of God’ ‘the dispensation of the mystery’ (Ephesians 3:9), ‘the Joint-Body of Ephesians 3:6’, began on the day of Pentecost of Acts Two.

Because these errors are taught by almost every Bible Institute in this country, which hinders their students from obeying or understanding Ephesians 3:9 and Romans 16:25, some ‘grace’ Premillenarians have established ‘The Milwaukee Bible Institute’, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on State St., between Thirtieth and Thirty-first. As to the great fundamental doctrines of the Bible, the doctrines taught at Milwaukee Bible Institute are in agreement with those taught by the outstanding premillennial, grace Bible schools in this country. Every man connected in any way with the Milwaukee Bible Institute is uncompromisingly opposed to the extreme dispensationalism of Dr. E. W. Bullinger, any and every theory of soul-sleeping or the unconscious state of the soul or the non-existence of soul between the death and resurrection of the saved or the unsaved. They are unanimously opposed to the teaching of the annihilation of the wicked as final punishment for sins and rejecting Christ. They are definitely against any and every theory of universal reconciliation.

The teachers at the Milwaukee Institute teach that which every intelligent spiritual Bible teacher should teach, if directed by the Holy Spirit, and that is, that salvation by grace was sent to  when and because of the FALL and DIMINISHING and CASTING AWAY of Israel (Romans 11:11, 12 and 15), that the  obtained God’s mercy, in the message of reconciliation and grace, because of Israel’s unbelief (Romans 11:30). They teach that no student of the Scriptures rightly divides the truth or obeys Ephesians 3:9 who does not see that God did not set aside Israel when Israel had committed the First and the Second of their great sins mentioned above, but when and because they committed the Third and Fourth great sins mentioned above, and because they would not have God’s righteousness by faith in Christ without the LAW. (Romans 9:30 to 33). They teach that on the day of Pentecost, when the “TWELVE APOSTLES stood up, God was not ushering in a new dispensation of grace for , but presenting a new salvation message and kingdom proposition to Israel.

But these teachers definitely teach that ‘the dispensation of grace’ for  began before Paul wrote his first Epistle.


‘THE GOD OF ALL GRACE’

It was Peter who wrote of God as ‘The God Of All Grace’ (First Peter 5:10), and who wrote of the ‘grace’ that Israel’s prophets had foretold. (First Peter 1:10). To be sure there was ‘grace’ in the message of Peter in Acts 2:38, “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins”, and in his message to Cornelius, “in every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted of Him (Acts 10:34 to 36); but we know that ‘the dispensation of the grace of God’ for  was not committed to Peter or to any of the Twelve; but to Paul. (Ephesians 3:1 to 3). It was Paul who declared himself the apostle and preacher and the teacher of the  after he wrote that Christ gave Himself a ransom for all to be ‘TESTIFIED IN DUE TIME’. (First Timothy 2:4 to 7). While Christ was on earth He thus commanded His Twelve: “Go not into the way of the .” (Matthew 10:5). We do have in Luke 7:1 to 12 the record of one Gentile man who received a blessing from Christ while Christ was a Minister of the circumcision (Romans 15:8). That Gentile man loved the Jews and built them a synagogue; and Jews asked Christ to bless him. He was very much like Cornelius: both were centurions. (Acts 10:1 to 3 and Acts 10:22). Years after Christ commanded His apostles go not in the way of the  He appeared to Paul in the temple and said, “I will send thee far hence to the .” (Acts 22:21). Then Paul said to Israel, that he would turn to the  because Israel would not receive God’s Word and judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life (Acts 13:46). Then Paul magnified or glorified his office as the apostle of the . (Romans 11:13 and Romans 15:16). Then Paul said the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to ALL. (Titus 2:11). Thus we see when the ’ ‘DUE TIME’ began. And in Titus 1:1 to 3 Paul declared that the eternal life from God that he was preaching was promised us in Christ before the world began. Then he added “this preaching is committed unto ME.” In Second Timothy 1:9 Paul declared that we arc saved, not according to our works, but according to God’s grace and purpose which was given us in Christ before the world began. Paul here added again that he was the Lord’s appointed teacher, preacher and apostle of the . (Second Timothy 1:11 and Second Timothy 4:17). The mystery among the  was committed to Paul. (Colossians 1:23 to 27).

God certainly manifested His grace toward Abel, and Seth, and Enoch, and Noah, and Shem, and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Joseph, and through and by Moses, to Israel. God did great things for Israel under the law because of His covenant of promise given Abraham. God dealt with Judah in grace when, under Nehemiah, He brought them back from their captivity. God dealt with Israel in grace while Christ was on earth. And from the first days of the , on through their place of subjection under Israel, God’s chosen nation, up to the days of Cornelius, God had His way of blessing the  (Esther 8:17 . . . Acts 2:10), the proselytes. But until the days of Paul no dispensation of the grace of God for  was committed to any of God’s servants, because of Israel’s unbelief. (Romans 11:30). On the day of Pentecost Peter and the Eleven certainly did not offer the  mercy because of Israel’s unbelief; nor did God, through Peter and the Eleven, send salvation to  to provoke Israel to jealously because of the FALL of Israel. (Romans 11:11).

The ? ‘DUE TIME’ to receive God’s unmixed, unlimited, unmerited and unprophesied GRACE and the ministry and word of RECONCILIATION, God’s new commission, was not until after Israel committed their Third and Fourth sins mentioned above. Inasmuch as RECONCILIATION was sent to  when and because Israel was cast away (Romans 11:15), and inasmuch as RECONCILIATION was being sent to  when Paul Wrote Second Corinthians (Second Corinthians 5:18 to 21) which was quite some time before Paul reached Rome at the close of the ‘ACTS’ period, and in the light of  First Thessalonians 2:16, we know that the casting-away of Israel (Romans 11:15) took place before the final pronouncement of Acts 28:25 to 28.

Not only did God send RECONCILIATION and the message of the NEW CREATION to the  when and because Israel was set aside, but with the setting-aside of that religious nation God was through with His religious program. From Sinai to Calvary it was not optional whether or not God’s people were religious; it was mandatory. During those centuries God demanded both righteousness and religion. (Hebrews 9:10). During the ‘ACTS’ ‘TRANSITION’ period God demanded righteousness and permitted much of Israel’s religious program. Even Paul did some circumcising and vow-keeping, becoming a Jew to the Jews. (Second Corinthians 9:16 to 22 . . . Acts 16:3 . . . Acts 18:18). During that same period signs and sign-gifts, miracles, tongues, etc. were in order for both believing  and Jews. (Second Corinthians 12:8 to 11). But in all of Paul’s Epistles, written after the close of the ‘ACTS’ period, we notice the absence of signs, sign-gifts and religious observances. Dr. C. I. Scofield believed that God brought in a new order after Acts 28. We know that a comparison of Acts 28:8, the healing of a heathen, with Second Timothy 4:20, leaving a faithful saint sick, should cause any student of the Scriptures to apply Second Timothy 2:15.

It is more than significant that with the first mention of the new RECONCILIATION commission, we have the NEW CREATION Of Second Corinthians 5:17, the glorious truth of the believers IDENTIFICATION with Christ in His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, even seated with Him in the heavenlies. Alienation by Adam. (Ephesians 4:18 . . . Romans 5:12 . . . Romans 5:17 to 19): RECONCILIATION by and through Christ. Peter and the Eleven, in their messages and ministry, went back to Abraham. (Acts 3:21 to 26). Paul went back to ABRAM. (Galatians 3:8 and Galatians 3:16 and 17). (Galatians 2:7). Then Paul mentioned ‘ADAM’ when he first mentioned ‘RECONCILIATION’. The last word in Romans 5:11, is, ‘RECONCILIATION, followed by “Wherefore as by one (ADAM).” (Romans 5:12). After the first mention of ‘ADAM’ and ‘RECONCILIATION we find no Bible record of any one receiving water baptism. Let us remember that water baptism did not begin with John the Baptist, but with Moses and Sinai. The word ‘WASHINGS’ in Hebrews 9:10 is ‘BAPTISMOS’, meaning ‘BAPTISMS’, which of course were ‘WASHINGS’ and not ‘WITNESSING’.


CHAPTER THREE

THE HOPE OF ISRAEL AND THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST

Let us compare and prayerfully consider Acts 28:20 and Colossians 4:3 and see if we can clear up a seeming contradiction that has confused and troubled some Christians. In Acts 28:16 we learn that Luke, the writer of Acts, and the apostle Paul reached Rome, Paul being a prisoner in the hands of Roman officials, having been delivered to them by the Jewish mob, as we learn in the twenty-second chapter of Acts, or we might say the Roman officials delivered Paul from the mob of Jews who had pledged not to eat or to drink until they killed Paul. (Acts 23:12). Having arrived at Rome, Paul called together some leading Jews, declaring his innocence, saying Jerusalem had delivered him to Rome and Rome wanted to let him go, but the Jews objected. (Acts 28:18 and 19). Then Paul said:

“For THE HOPE OF ISRAEL I am bound with this chain.” (Acts 28:20).

Several years later Paul, still in Rome, wrote from his prison that he was the prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ for . (Ephesians 3:1 and Ephesians 4:1). Then he penned these words, recorded in Colossians 4:3:

“THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST, for which I am also an ambassador in bonds.”

Paul stated the same truth, in little different language, in Ephesians 6:19 and 20.

“THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL, for which I am also an ambassador in bonds.”

“THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST” or “THE MYSTERY OF THE

GOSPEL” is quite different from “THE HOPE OF ISRAEL”. For which of the two was Paul a prisoner at Rome? For both. First, for that which pertained to Israel and certain . Second, for proclaiming the MYSTERY AMONG THE , to the  and concerning the .

What is “THE HOPE OF ISRAEL”? WHAT IS “THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST”?

One aspect of the hope of Israel was expressed by some Israelites right after the death and resurrection of Christ; “we trusted it had been He which should have redeemed Israel.” (Luke 24:21). Again, in the words of the apostles, in Acts 1:6: “wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Again in Luke 1:67 to 77, “that He would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve Him without fear.” In the language of Amos 9:11 to 15, Israel’s hope was that their Messiah would come and build again the tabernacle of David and plant Israel in the land of Canaan, never to be plucked up again. This meant that God would send Christ back to earth to bring about the restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, as Peter preached to Israel in Acts 3:19 and 21. It was written in the law. and the prophets, “there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust.” (Acts 24:14 and 15). Anything connected with Israel’s resurrection, redemption and restoration was not truth kept secret since the world began, the only unprophesied truth being that their great salvation would be postpone until the fulness of the  shall come in (Romans 11:25).

When Paul witnessed to Agrippa what he had been preaching he qualified, in Acts 26:23, what he meant by the statement in Acts 26:22, “none other things that those which Moses and the prophets did say should come.”

Paul never intended to say to Agrippa that all he had written in Galatians, Romans, First Corinthians and Second Corinthians, First Thessalonians and Second Thessalonians, (which epistles were written before Paul stood before Agrippa) was foretold by Israel’s prophets. We know that such a statement would not have been true, and Paul certainly knew more about it than we do. No prophet of Israel ever spoke of the wisdom in a mystery, ordained to our glory before the world was. (First Corinthians 2:6 to 8). No prophet ever foretold that there would be the Body of First Corinthians 12:13 or the Mystical Christ of verse 12. No prophet of God ever foretold the ‘mystery’ appearing of Christ in First Corinthians 15:51 to 54. No prophet of Israel ever foretold the one Body of Romans 12:3 to 5. No prophet of Israel ever foretold the truth of Romans 11:30 to 33, and that is one reason why Paul wrote that it was ‘PAST TRACING OUT’ in Romans 11:33. No prophet of Israel ever foretold that the risen Christ would reveal the gospel of the uncircumcision to be preached while the prophesied kingdom was in abeyance. (Galatians 2:7 and Galatians 3:8). The very heart of the mystery of Christ is ‘THE CHRIST’ of First Corinthians 12:12.

The six Epistles of Paul we have mentioned above are sometimes called, ‘The Pre-prison Epistles’; because they were written before he reached Rome as a prisoner. Paul mentioned ‘MY GOSPEL’ in Romans 2:16 and in Romans 16:25, written before he reached Rome, and in Second Timothy 2:7 to 9, after he reached Rome; and note in Second Timothy 2:7, Paul wrote that he was a prisoner for ‘MY GOSPEL’. When and where Paul mentioned ‘MY GOSPEL’ he was not referring to ‘THE HOPE OF ISRAEL’, either before or after he reached Rome.

There are those who are called ‘ultra dispensationalists’, who teach that the hope and calling of the Church of First Corinthians and Romans was ‘THE HOPE OF ISRAEL’. What profound ignorance of God’s Word, to say that First Corinthians 12:13 and First Corinthians 15:51 to 54 was ‘THE HOPE OF ISRAEL’, or to say that the ministry of RECONCILIATION in Second Corinthians 5:16 to 21 was ‘THE HOPE OF ISRAEL’, when RECONCILIATION was not proclaimed until after Israel’s hope was postponed, and in Second Corinthians 5:16 the  were not to know Christ after the flesh. It is such fanciful, unsound teaching of the extreme dispensationalist that has much hindered the recovery of ‘THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST’.

We can easily learn that particular phase of ‘THE HOPE OF ISRAEL’, for which Paul reached Rome as a prisoner, by putting Paul on the stand, as he was when he offered his defense at his trial before the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman political judges, in Acts 23, 24, 25, and 26.

We quote here Paul’s own words:

“Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee: of the HOPE and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.” (Acts 23:8). “Have a HOPE toward God, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead.” (Acts 24:14). “Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you . this day.” (Acts 24:21). “One Jesus Which was dead, Whom Paul affirmed to be alive.” (Acts 25:19). “I lived a Pharisee . . . And now I stand and am judged for the HOPE of the promise made of God unto our fathers” (Acts 26:6). Then Paul asked the question of Agrippa, “why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?” (Acts 26:8). Paul also added that Christ told him to open the eyes of the  and turn them from the power of Satan unto God.” (Acts 26:18). Really Paul was first apprehended for saying that Christ told him in the Jerusalem temple to go far hence to the  (Acts 22:21 to 23) and because he was accused by the Jews of being responsible for the presence of a Gentile (Trophimus) in the temple (Acts 21:28 and 29). Now with this evidence before us, what intelligent jury or juror would say that Paul was a prisoner in Acts 28:20 for preaching to either Jews or  that, during the years covered by the Book of Acts, the HOPE of the Church of Acts 20:28, the Body of Romans 12:4 and 5, was the prophesied HOPE OF ISRAEL as set forth in Amos 9:11 to 15. Isaiah 9:6 and 7 and Ezekiel, chapters 36 and 37?

During the period covered by the Book of Acts  were saved by the grace of God, declared righteous by God’s grace without a cause . . . (Romans 3:24 and Romans 4:5) by which they were saved after the close of Acts (Ephesians 2:8 to 10). They were predestinated in Romans 8:28 and 29 the same as in Ephesians 1:4, 5 and 11. They were baptized into the death, burial and resurrection of Christ before Acts 28 with the ONE BAPTISM of Ephesians 4:4 and 5 (Romans 6:3 to 6) the same as they were after Acts 28 (Colossians 2:12 to 16). There certainly was a JOINT-BODY in Romans 12:4 and 5 and First Corinthians 12:12 and 13, the same as in Ephesians 3:6. (‘SAME’ BODY in Ephesians 3:6 should read ‘JOINT-BODY). And certainly the baptism of Romans 6:4 is a JOINT-BAPTISM’, as is Romans 6:3. Romans 6:4 is a ‘JOINT-BURIAL’.

The extreme dispensationalists teach that Romans 16:25 was a postscript and the truth therein revealed did not apply to any revelation Paul had received until after Acts 28 when a new and different Church, with a new and different hope and calling, began. They have followed the teaching, dispensationally, of Dr. E. W. Bullinger. It is true that students of God’s Word would know but little concerning ‘the dispensation of the mystery’ (Ephesians 3:9), ‘the mystery of the gospel’ (Ephesians 6:19 and 20), by the information gathered reading Paul’s first six Epistles, written during the ‘ACTS’ period. But on the other hand that same student could not fully understand the MYSTERY so dearly revealed in Ephesians, Colossians and Second Timothy, if he did not have the truth of the eleventh chapter of Romans and other truth in Paul’s earlier Epistles. Surely God’s ETERNAL PURPOSE in Romans 8:28 to 32 is the same ETERNAL PURPOSE REVEALED IN Ephesians 1:4 and 5 and 11 and Second Timothy 1:9.

It is anything but sound exegesis to say that Paul preached to , all during the ‘ACTS’ period, the gospel of the kingdom, and that after he said, in Acts 28:28, “the salvation of God has sent to the ”, he preached the gospel of the grace of God. Compare Romans 3:23 to Romans 4:6 and Romans 11:5 and 6 and Galatians 3:8 with Ephesians 2:8 to 10 and Titus 3:5 to 8. Then to think of the folly of speaking of the entire period covered by the Book of Acts as ‘THE PENTECOSTAL PERIOD’. The extreme dispensationalists, troubled with Second Corinthians 3:6, Galatians 4:26, Romans 11:17, Romans 15:27, Acts 26:21 to 23, Galatians 3:7, and the sign-gifts of First Corinthians 12:8 to 11, trying to get rid of these troubles, get into ten times more trouble by teaching that the message and program of these verses belonged to the Church of the ‘ACTS’ period, which Church was superseded by an entirely new Church after Paul’s pronouncement of Acts 28:25 to 28. This system of interpretation is what is being called today, ‘BULLINGERISM’. Because the blood in connection with the Lord’s Supper is called the blood of (in) the New Testament, because of the statement of Ephesians 2:11 to 14, the disciples of Dr. Bullinger teach that the Lord’s Supper was not observed by the members of the Body of Ephesians and Colossians after Acts 28.

In connection with ‘BULLINGERISM’, I repeat that, instead of teaching the ‘dispensationalism’ of Dr. E. W. Bullinger, the Milwaukee Bible Institute is uncompromisingly opposed to it, and they have the Scriptural answer to that faulty ‘dispensationalism’, as they have the Bible answer to the other faulty ‘dispensationalism’, which has ‘the dispensation of the mystery, of the grace of God’ (Ephesians 3:9 and Ephesians 3:1 and 2), begin on the day of Pentecost, a Jewish feast day. Note the commissions under which Paul ministered as the apostle of the : “Acts 22:21 . . . Romans 15:16 . . . Acts 13:2 . . . First Timothy 1:12 to 17 . . . Galatians 3:11 to 20 . . . Second Corinthians 5:16 to 21 . . . First Corinthians 1:14 to 17 . . . Acts 13:45 and 36 . . . Acts 18:5 and 6 . . . and Acts 23:11 and Galatians 2:7, Acts 20:24 . . . Second Corinthians 12:1 to 12 . . . Ephesians 3:1 to 11. Then note his statements in Colossians 1:6 and 23, that the gospel had been given to all the world, to every creature, and that he was the Lord’s apostle for this ministry. (Second Timothy 1:11 and First Timothy 4:19).

Where is the record in the Book of Acts that the Twelve went all over the world preaching the gospel of the grace of God to ? (Galatians 2:9 . . . Acts 8:1 . . . Acts 15:1 to 19). If Peter went to Rome, would he not be mentioned among those twenty-five in Rome to whom Paul sent greetings in Romans 16, or among those who visited in Rome, mentioned in his prison Epistles? Well, Peter did have something to say about Babylon; but, according to Galatians 2:10 to 13, when he did go out of the land of the Jews he got into rather serious trouble. Peter did preach, in the land of Israel, to Cornelius some seven or eight years after Pentecost, and for that he was condemned by Christian Jews. (Acts 11:1 to 18). About ten years later he referred to that message to the household of Cornelius, ‘BY MY MOUTH’. And at that time he and his fellow-apostles agreed to go to Jews (Galatians 2:9). Where is the Bible record that the other Eleven used their mouths in preaching to ? Compare the ‘every creature under heaven’ of Mark 16:14 to 18 with Colossians 1:23 and Colossians 1:6.

It is more than significant that Paul was saved outside of the land of Israel, whereas the Twelve were saved inside that land. Paul was one born out of due time. (First Corinthian. 15:6 to 10). Paul made his headquarters outside of the land of the Jews (at Antioch, Corinth, Ephesus and Rome). In God’s prophesies Kingdom message and program Jerusalem was to be, and is to be, the center. That is why the Jews were angry unto murder when Paul testified that Israel’s Messiah in Israel’s temple in Jerusalem, told him in Jerusalem to get out of Jerusalem and go to heathen. It is true that Paul wrote of the ‘truth as it is in Jesus’ (Ephesians 4:21), and in First Timothy 6:3 he wrote of the words of our Lord Jesus as wholesome words, yet Paul claimed that Christ was speaking in him (Second Corinthians 13:3). As we obey Second Timothy 2:15 we learn that in all of Paul’s Epistles, in which he said some things hard to be understood (Second Peter 3:15 and 16), and in his recorded oral ministry in the Book of Acts. with the exception of Acts 20:35, Paul did not mention the sayings and doings of Christ in Christ’s program, as the Minister of the circumcision on earth. Those Christians who would rightly divide the Word of truth, in interpreting and applying Scriptures to members of the Body, (not only the Book of Genesis and the Old Testament Scriptures but the Four Gospels and the Book of Acts) must carefully and prayerfully consider whether the truth to be interpreted and applied was God’s program and message BEFORE THE FALL OF ISRAEL (Acts 13:46 . . . Romans 11:11) or AFTER THE FALL OF ISRAEL, after Paul said, “Lo, we turn to the ” (Acts 13:46), at which time God, outside the land of Israel opened the door unto . (Acts 14:27). Let us not have that door opened either before or after God opened it.


                      ACCORDING TO GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE

Every Christian should know that God, during this age and dispensation of grace, is MAKING ONE NEW MAN. (Ephesians 2:15) There must have been an OLD MAN. Adam and Eve were called ‘ADAM’, one flesh. (Genesis 5:3 to 5) Christ and the Church will be the finished ‘PERFECT MAN’ of Ephesians 4:13, the ‘ONE FLESH’ of Ephesians 5:31 and 32, the ‘CHRIST’ of First Corinthians 12:12. Christ is going to present the CHURCH unto Himself. The CHURCH will be without blame or blemish. (Ephesians 5:27). The CHURCH (BODY) was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be without blame or blemish. (Ephesians 1:4 and Ephesians 1:11). Christ was foreordained before the foundation of the world to be without blame or blemish. (Second Peter 1:18 and 20). Christ was without spot, THE PERFECT MAN. The Church will be without spot, THE PERFECT MAN (Ephesians 4:13), FAULTLESS (Jude 24), Glorious, Holy. (Ephesians 5:27).

The SPOTLESS CHRIST, Who was foreordained to die on the cross for the redemption of sinners, died, and was buried and raised on the third day, in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, or ‘ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES’. (Second Corinthians 15:1 to 4). This is the gospel by which the sinner is saved by grace through faith. This is the PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST, glorious, wonderful, blessed truth, but not ‘ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN, but spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began.

The SPOTLESS CHURCH (THE CHRIST OF First CORINTHIANS 12:12), ‘THE PERFECT MAN of Ephesians 4:13, was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. But this PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST was ‘ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY KEPT SECRET SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD’; for it was not made known to other ages and generations. (Colossians 1:25 to 27) . . . It was not ‘ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES’, not in fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures, but ‘ACCORDING TO THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD, WHICH HE PURPOSED IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD’. (Ephesians 3:11 . . . Ephesians 1:11 . . . Ephesians 1:4 and 5 . . . Ephesians 3:9). Not having been foretold in the Scriptures from Genesis to Malachi, it was ‘PAST TRACING OUT’ (UNSEARCHABLE . . . Ephesians 3:8), until the risen, glorified Christ revealed it to and through the apostle Paul and then by the Holy Spirit. Surely the prophets of Romans 16:26 were not the Twelve, for in their writings they never mentioned the dispensation of the mystery, never called the Church, ‘THE BODY’.

Surely we do not want to be like those disciples of the Lord Jesus, who had not received the Holy Spirit Of Truth, to guide them in all truth, and were therefore not able to bear the higher or deeper truths that Christ had for them. (John 16:10 to 16). But we do know that when we go from the earthly ministry of Christ and from the teaching of the twelve apostles on to THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD, we are obeying Hebrews 5:12 to Hebrews 6:4, going on to PERFECTION from the first things taught by Christ. There is one way to understand the MYSTERY Ephesians 1:16 to 18.

GOD’S WILL AND THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL THE GOSPEL AND THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL

We read of the will of God in many places in the Bible, such as John 6:40; but ‘THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL’ (Ephesians 1:9) is something different. It is ‘THE UNPROPHESIED ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD’, concerning the ‘JOINT-BODY’ of Ephesians 3:6, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4, 5 and 11).

Likewise there is a difference between the gospel of salvation, by which a believing sinner is saved, and ‘THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL’, for saints, for which Paul was in jail at Rome. (Ephesians 6:19 and 20). The gospel was prophesied; but ‘THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL’ was not foretold by Israel’s prophets. It was God’s own secret; hid in God. (Colossians 1:25 and 26 Ephesians 3:9).

THE MYSTERY OR THE DISPENSATION OF THE MYSTERY, ‘THE MYSTERY AMONG THE ’ (Colossians 1:27), ‘THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD FOR ’, ‘THE MY GOSPEL OF PAUL FOR WHICH HE WAS IN CHAINS’ (Second Timothy 2:7 to 9), that ‘GRACE AND PURPOSE WHICH PAUL DECLARED WAS GIVEN US IN CHRIST JESUS BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN’, is special Divine Truth for . but truth far higher and deeper than ‘VISITING THE  TO TAKE OUT FROM THEM A PEOPLE FOR HIS NAME’. (Acts 15:13 to 18).

God wants this truth made known by the Church for the benefit of ‘PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS IN THE HEAVENLIES’. (Ephesians 3:10). Read Ephesians 1:19 to 23 . . . Ephesians 6:11 to 20 and Colossians 2:11 to 18). God’s saints in other ages and generations were not raised up to sit in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, far above PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS IN THE HEAVENLIES, to there be opposed by, and wrestle with, spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies.

Thus we see that we do not tell the full story when we say that the MYSTERY, for which Paul was the prisoner of the Lord Jesus for , was ‘THE BODY OF CHRIST’, or ‘CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF .GLORY’ (Colossians 1:27), or ‘THE SPOTLESS CHRIST (Ephesians 5:26 to 28), or ‘THE ONE NEW MAN OF EPHESIANS 2:15’, or the fact that  were to be joint-heirs with the saved Jews, or ‘THE PERFECT MAN’ (Ephesians 4:13), or that the Church is ‘THE FILLING-UP OF CHRIST’ (Ephesians 1:21 to 23¾Ephesians 4:13), or the position and blessings of God’s saints of this age is the heavenlies, or the fact that God predestinated a company of saints to be called, chosen and glorified in this parenthetical period while Israel is temporarily set aside, or Christ and the Church, ‘ONE FLESH’. (Ephesians 5:31-32). All of these different phases of the truth, called ‘THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST’ (Colossians 4:3), are included in ‘THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD’, that purpose and grace of God which was given us in Christ before the world began. Note how ‘predestination’ and ‘purpose’ are linked together.

In the Greek text, in Second Timothy 1:12, Paul called this ‘MY DEPOSIT’ (Paratheke). He committed it to Timothy to pass on to others. (Second Timothy 2:2). That good ‘THING’ (Paratheke) was committed to Timothy. (Second Timothy 1:14). In First Corinthians 9:15 to 18 we learn that a ‘DISPENSATION was committed unto Paul. At that time he had been caught away to paradise, the third heavens, for an abundance of revelations. (Galatians 1:11 and 12). He went up to Jerusalem by revelation to tell the other apostles of the gospel of the uncircumcision. (Galatians 2:1 to 7). Paul received ‘the dispensation of the grace of God for  by revelation from Christ. (Ephesians 3:1 to 4). Paul was the wise masterbuilder (architect) chosen by Christ to. lay the foundation. (First Corinthians 3:10). Paul laboured more abundantly than they all. (First Corinthians 15:10). He wrote, “be followers together of me.” (Philippians 3:17).

Paul got into very serious trouble because of the ‘DEPOSIT’ that he received from Christ. Paul was not able to prove his statement that Christ had revealed this great truth to him. All they that were in Asia turned against Paul. (Second Timothy 1:15). He could not prove the MYSTERY by former Scriptures for they were silent concerning that which had been hid in God from the beginning of the world. At the last Paul wrote “only Luke is with me.” (Second Timothy 4:11).Are you with Paul?

I am sure that (among other statements of Paul) when Peter wrote that Paul said some things hard to be understood he had in mind Colossians 1:24, “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His Body’s sake, Which is the Church, Whereof I am made a minister.” The other apostles suffered much for Christ’s sake; but not one of the Twelve was in jail for ‘THE MYSTERY’, for which Paul suffered as an evildoer even unto chains. (Second Timothy 2:7 to 9).


THE MESSAGE OF PENTECOST NOT THE MYSTERY

If Paul laid the foundation on which members of the Body of Christ are to build together (sunoikodomeo) with Paul, the architect and pattern (First Timothy 1:12 to 17), then of course the foundation had not been laid when Peter and the Eleven stood up on the day of Pentecost, and it was not until Acts 14:27 that we learn the door of faith had been opened to , notwithstanding Peter had preached to Cornelius.

When we compare the words of Peter in Acts 3:23, “all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold these days”, with the words of Paul, in Colossians 1:26, “the mystery hid from other ages and generations”, we surely know that the preaching of Jesus Christ by Peter and the Eleven in those first chapters of the Book of Acts was not “according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began.” Peter and the Eleven preached Jesus Christ, in fulfillment of Joel, David, Abraham, Moses, Samuel and concerning Christ’s return to earth from heaven to. bring about the restitution of all things, spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 2:16 to 20 . . . Acts 2:27 to 32 . . . Acts 3:21 to 26) . . . When Peter preached to Cornelius he preached the Word which God sent unto the children of Israel (Acts. 10:36) and then added, concerning Christ, “to Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43). Israel’s prophets gave witnesses concerning Jesus Christ, that He would do many things, in His suffering and His glory. (Second Peter 1:11 and Luke 24:27).

Something of the ‘kingdom’ program of God that will be carried on in the Name of Christ, after God has made the ONE NEW MAN of Ephesians 2:15, is declared in Acts 15:13 to 18 after Peter told how God used his mouth to preach to Cornelius about ten years before. (Acts 15:7). Christ will return and build again the tabernacle of David, then Jews will be saved, then . So we have something of that ‘kingdom’ pattern during the period covered by the first eleven chapters of Acts when Peter, with the Eleven, was using the keys of the kingdom of heaven. But ‘THE PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST’ in the first eleven chapters of Acts was not ‘ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN.

CHRIST ON EARTH CONFIRMING PROMISES MADE TO FATHERS.

We read in Romans 15:8 that Christ’s earthly ministry was to the Jews, a ministry and program of ‘CONFIRMATION. But in John 20:31 we are told that we have John’s Record of the sayings and doings of Jesus Christ, that we. might believe that He is the Son of God, and believing, have eternal life. With such a Divine purpose in having John write concerning Christ, we should read and reread every line and word in John, as well as in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and know and rejoice in every word that proceeded from the mouth of Him. Who spake as never man spake. While it is true that Jesus Christ was made ‘UNDER THE LAW’ (Galatians 4:4) and lived and ministered to Israel ‘UNDER THE LAW’ (Matthew 23:1 to 3 . . . Matthew 8:2 to 6 . . . Matthew 5:17 and 18), and true that members of the Body of Christ are ‘NOT UNDER THE LAW’ but ‘DEAD TO THE LAW’ (Romans 6:14 . . . Romans 7:1 to 6 . . . Galatians 3:25 . . . Galatians 4:21); and while it is true that Christ Himself said that He was sent only to Israel (Matthew 15:24) and that with very few exceptions, including Christ’s good confession’ before Pilate, Christ’s instructions, messages and miracles were to and for Jews (some to saved and some to unsaved Jews), every spiritual, faithful servant of the Lord will carefully weigh every word uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ and prayerfully consider it in the light of ‘the dispensation of the grace of God’ (Ephesians 3:1 to 4), or what is some times called ‘Pauline’ truth, in determining whether some message or program recorded in any of the Four Gospels brought over into this ‘grace’ age and dispensation would frustrate the grace of God or pervert the gospel of grace. What apostle would have spoken, with Divine authority, the truth of Colossians 2:16 or Galatians 6:15 and Galatians 5:2, while Christ was. on earth, as Jesus of Nazareth, in the midst of Israel? Note the truth in these verses, truth for the Lord’s program of grace: “let no man judge you with respect to the sabbath” . . . “no profit to circumcision.” If any apostle had dared to make those statements while Christ was on. earth, or had stated to Christ’s disciples, “ye are not under the law”, or any one of, a hundred or more other statements in Paul’s Epistles, that apostle would have received something more than a rebuke from Christ. Likewise any servant who foolishly makes the statement that the Four Gospels are not for members of the Body of Christ deserves something more than a rebuke.

We here repeat what has been said ten thousand times or more, “all of the Bible is God’s inspired. Word, and is all FOR members of the Body of Christ, but all of it is not ABOUT members of the Body of Christ.”

The minister of Christ, who would instruct members of the Body of Christ to obey the messages and practice the program which God gave to Israel, through Moses, as they worshipped God in that portable tabernacle enroute from Sinai to Canaan, would be anything but a faithful steward of the mysteries of God. The carnal ordinances, meats and drinks and divers baptisms (Hebrews 9:10), which had a very important place during Israel’s ‘SHADOW’ days, have absolutely no place in God’s present ‘GRACE’ program. What God demanded in one dispensation He forbids in another.

However, we may be assured that no steward of the mysteries of God can be established unless and until he is so taught the Scriptures by the infallible Holy Spirit, that he not only knows all of God’s different dispensations and programs; but wherein they differ; when they began and when they gave way in part or whole to a new dispensation and program which superseded:

Every intelligent, faithful, spiritual student of the Four Gospels knows that much taught for the obedience and practice of . Israel and Christ’s own disciples has no place in the ‘GRACE’ program which the risen Christ gave to and through Paul by revelation. But the difficult and important task, in rightly dividing the Word of truth, is to be exceedingly careful not to discard or minimize Divine truth, spoken by Christ on earth, that is for the obedience and practice of members of the Body of Christ, Divine truth included in God’s program in more than one dispensation.

Without explanation or apology the average teacher of the Bible today eliminates from church programs the miracles, angelic visitations, jail deliverances, the raising of the dead, speaking with tongues, the imposition of hands and many other supernatural demonstrations in the Book of Acts. Such a teacher is by no means a faithful steward of the mysteries of God and is indeed a workman who needs to be ashamed.

We should consider as sacred and precious and important every word spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ on earth, whether or not binding in this age of grace, as we study His earthly ministry in the light of truth He later revealed to and through the apostle Paul. Unless we know those words in ‘THE PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST’, not according to the revelation of the mystery, as well as ‘PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST’, ‘ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY, KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN’ (Romans 16:25), we cannot expect to be established (STABLISHED).

Neither can we be STABLISHED unless we know how to interpret and apply and appropriate the messages in Paul’s Epistles written during the ‘ACTS’ period, and the writings and oral messages of Peter, James, John and Jude, in the light of the last revelations which the risen Christ gave to Paul to ‘COMPLETE THE WORD OF GOD’. (Colossians 1:25 to 27). No servant of the Lord will be, or can be, established until he knows how ‘THE PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN’ differs from all other preaching in the Bible, and reveals to members of the Body of Christ God’s message and program of grace without religion and signs and miracles; unmixed; unlimited; unmerited and unprophesied.

It is not exaggerating to say that more than ninety-five percent of Christians have not grasped the meaning of Romans 11:30 and 31: “For as ye () in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their (Israel’s) unbelief . . . Even so have these (Israel) also now not believed that through your (’) mercy they (Israel) also may obtain mercy.” Yes, this is most important truth, and must be understood before we can understand the meaning of ‘the dispensation of the grace of God for you ’ (Ephesians 3:1 to 3). As we read these two verses we must see that a most radical change had taken place since Christ told His apostles that He was sent only to Israel (Matthew 15:24), “go not into the way of the ” (Matthew 10:5). We see what folly it would be to teach that Peter and the Eleven on the day of Pentecost told Israel that they would obtain mercy through the mercy of the  or that merry was being extended to the  because of Israel’s unbelief. Something happened between Acts 3:26, ‘Israel First’ and Romans 11:30 and 31. We must know this ‘something’ to understands God’s message and program of grace.

LIFE BEGINS AT CALVARY

Life begins at Calvary. where Jesus died for sin;
Until you come to Calvary your life will not begin.
The life received at Calvary will never, never end;
So come to Christ at Calvary;





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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