Friday, August 21, 2009
Not Denominations, But One Body In Christ
While there are many evangelical and evangelistic Postmillenialists, the majority of the aggressive evangelical Christians are Premillenialists. BOTH believe in the complete and absolute inspiration of the Bible and therefore in the virgin birth and eternal Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and both believe that the Faith in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ will save sinners from the wrath of God, that all who deny the Deity and virgin birth of Christ and do not accept by the Faith His vicarious expiation for sin are eternally and irrevocably lost.
Premillenialists believe that the Messianic kingdom, proclaimed by Christ and His apostles to the nation Israel, has been postponed, but that God has only temporarily abandoned His kingdom program. HOWEVER, these covenants WILL be fulfilled after this parenthetical “Ekklesia” period, this present economy of Grace, has been brought to the climax of Ephesians 4:13 , “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
Most Premillenialists believe that between the moment members of the Body of Christ experience the blessed hope of Titus 2:13 and the day that Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ, shall come to earth as the Son of man to redeem Israel, there will be on the earth that time of trouble called in the Bible “The Great Tribulation,” out of which Israel shall be saved. Then will follow the restitution of all things spoken by God’s prophets. Acts 3:21 . I’ll discuss this more later on.
MODERNISTS OR LIBERALS
Many of the seminaries and pulpits of the so-called evangelical denominations have fallen into the hands of the Liberals or Modernists. In their pride, self-righteousness and spiritual blindness they do not seem to understand that a “Christian infidel” is an impossible paradox. The Society of Atheists in New York City thank the Modernists in the churches for propagating their Christian agnosticism; for doing so much, from within organized Christianity, to increase the number of infidels, agnostics and atheists, even though they do their deadly work as fifth columnists.
Our friends over at www.Jesus-is-Saviour.com have put together an excellent explanation of what Liberals and Modernists in organized Christianity believe. Here is an excerpt:
“The only way to accurately identify a religious liberal or Modernist is to test their doctrine against the Word of God. This is the acid test. 1 John 4:1 , "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." MANY false prophets are gone out into the world. There are literally millions of false prophets today. 1 John 4:2 continues by stating, "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God." Many people misunderstand this Scripture. It is not an all inclusive test; but rather, a starting point. Think about it, every Romanist believes that Jesus Christ came in the flesh; but then they worship Mary, teach works salvation, require the seven sacraments to be saved, trust men (priests) to forgive their sins, and follow a host of other manmade traditions not found in the Word of God. So when we test a person, we should START by asking them what they believe concerning Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ.
Dr. John R. Rice, in his book, FALSE DOCTRINES, page 412, says, "Many actual Christians are so deceived by the liberals. the unbelievers, that they quote and defend the modernists, supporting them in Christian schools, so some born again Christians compromise until it is hard to tell the scabby, dirty sheep, from the wolf in sheep's clothing. Dr. Nels F.S. Ferre, who says it is wrong to worship Jesus, and to follow the Bible, says Jesus may have been the illegitimate son of a blond German soldier and harlot Mary. This man is advertised as "an evangelical," and has been welcomed at Southern Baptist Seminary and other "Christian" institutions, as have Dr. George Buttrick, most outspoken opponent of the virgin birth, the blood atonement and inspiration of the Bible. So are Dr. Elton Trueblood and many others who are actually unbelievers."
At Moody Bible Institute's annual Founder's Week, John MacArthur is a featured guest. MacArthur totally denies that Jesus' blood has anything to do with the forgiveness of our sins. John MacArthur, like R.B. Thieme Jr., believes that Christ's death is what saves us, and not Christ’s blood. The April 1986 edition of Faith For The Family, quotes MacArthur as saying in a 1976 article entitled, Not His Bleeding But His Dying that, "It was His death that was efficacious, not His blood. Christ did not bleed to death. The shedding of blood had nothing to do with bleeding, it simply means death. Nothing in His human blood saves. It is not His blood that I love, it is Him. It is not His bleeding that saved me, but His dying." It is shocking to me, that a professed "Christian" minister would make such blasphemous statements, in lieu of such clear Scriptures as 1 Peter 1:18-19 , "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ". 1 Peter 1:18-19 totally contradicts the lies! There is no way a man can be saved and DENY the very precious blood of Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ, that saves. These men are deceptive, and will say that the blood of Jesus is very important; but, the truth is that they believe Christ's blood is only REPRESENTATIVE of His death. These are the type of modernists which we need to avoid and expose. And THESE are the liberals and modernists that have taken over this nation’s seminaries.
By the Word of God ONLY, members of the Body of Christ need to determine whether or not their denominational creed, Pastor, Preacher, or whoever and whatever, are truly of God. Again, the Word of God is the ONLY method by which to test. These are some questions. They are thorough but not exhaustive:
1. Do they believe that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to Heaven? (John 14:6 )
2. Do they believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ? (Isaiah 7:14 )
3. Do they believe that Jesus is God Almighty? (Isaiah 9:6 ; John 1:1-3 , John 1:14 ; John 10:33 , 1 Timothy 3:16 ; Colossians 2:9 ; Revelation 1:8 )
4. Do they believe that Jesus is the Son of God? (John 3:16 )
5. Do they believe that Jesus died upon the cross? (John 19:23 ; Hebrews 12:2 )
6. Do they believe that Jesus was buried, and rose again physically after three days? (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 )
7. Do they believe that Jesus ascended bodily into Heaven after His resurrection? (Acts 1:9 )
8. Do they believe that it is Jesus' blood which takes our sins away, and not just the death of Christ? (Colossians 1:14 ; 1 John 1:7 ; Revelation 7:14 )
9. Do they believe in the Godhead (Trinity): God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit? (Romans 1:20 ; Matthew 28:19-20 )
10. Do they believe that Jesus is a member of the Godhead, equal in every capacity? (Colossians 2:9 )
11. Do they believe that Jesus is perfect, never having sinned even once? (2 Cor. 5:21 ; Hebrews 4:15 )
12. Do they believe that Jesus existed in Preexistent form, before He came to the earth? (John 8:58 ; Revelation 1:8 )
13. Do they believe in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ upon the cross, Who died in our place? (1 Peter 2:21 )
14. Do they believe that Hell is a literal place that burns with fire, to punish all Christ-rejecters for eternity? (2 Thessalonians 1:8 ; Revelation 20:8-15 )
15. Do they believe in a literal Heaven, for the saved to go to? (John 14:1-2 ; 2 Cor. 5:8 )
16. Do they believe that Jesus Christ is the Creator of the universe? (John 1:1-3 ; Colossians 1:16 )
17. Do they believe that Jesus Christ always existed? (Revelation 1:8 ; John 5:58 ; Hebrews 7:3 )
18. Is Christ's work of atonement completely finished? (Hebrews 9:26 )
The answer to every question above should be a confident "YES!"
The answer to every question below should be a confident "NO!"
19. Does a person have to be baptized to go to Heaven? (1 Corinthians 1:17 ; Acts 16:31 )
20. Do you have to do any good works to go to Heaven? (Romans 3:20 ; Ephesians 2:8-9 ; Titus 3:5 )
21. Do you have to join a “church” to go to Heaven? (Ephesians 2:8-9 ; Titus 3:5 ; Psalm 118:8 )
22. Do you have to confess your sins to a priest or a minister to go to Heaven? (1 Timothy 2:5 )
23. Do you have to keep the sacraments to go to Heaven? (Ephesians 2:8-9 ; Titus 3:5 ; Romans 4:5 )
24. Do you have to endure or persevere to the end of life to be saved? (Ephesians 2:8-9 ; Titus 3:5 ; Romans 5:15 ; Romans 6:23 ; Romans 4:5 )
25. Do you have to earn your way to Heaven? (Romans 3:20 ; Ephesians 2:8-9 ; Titus 3:5 )
26. Do you have to pray the Rosary to go to Heaven? (Ephesians 2:8-9 ; Titus 3:5 ; Matthew 6:7 )
27. Do you have to recognize, pray to, and worship the Virgin Mary to be saved? (1 Timothy 2:5 ; Exodus 20:4-5 )
28. Do you have to be religious to go to Heaven? (Ephesians 2:8-9 ; Titus 3:5 ; Mark 7:6-13 )
29. Do you have to forsake your sins to be saved? (Romans 4:5 ; Ephesians 2:8-9 )
30. Do you have to "be willing" to turn from your sins to be saved? (Romans 4:5 ; Ephesians 2:8-9 )”
Now, the Bible has much to say about apostasy, false prophets, deceitful workers, who transform themselves into the apostles of Christ, and concerning the people who will give heed to seducing spirits and follow the pernicious ways of those who deny the Lord that bought them and bring in the damnable heresy. “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 .
Note God’s warning against these “Christian (?) Unbelievers”, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever trangresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” 2 John 7-9 .
Most of these spiritual criminals (because criminal is what they are doing), are moral, religious sincere infidels. Satan is accused of the crime of deceiving the whole world, but how any man can be so deluded by the arch enemy as to call himself a Christian while he denies the Genesis record of creation, the virgin birth and eternal Deity of the self‑existent Christ, salvation from the sorrows of the second death by the Faith in His shed blood and bodily resurrection and the other Christian doctrines of the Bible, is almost beyond comprehension or explanation!
Perhaps these infidels believe that their Christian veneer will give them a more respectable standing in the community. Surely SATAN knows why they operate in the name of Christ and it pleases him. 2 Cor. 11:13-15 .
Many of them are found in company of Reformed Jews who agree with the Modernists that Jesus was a very good man, the illegitimate son of Joseph. Thus the Modernists by their repudiation of the saving Bible doctrine help their unbelieving Jewish associates toward perdition and the wrath of God, to a never-ending lake of fire.
Hear the words of Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ, the eternal I AM, to a company of Jews, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.” John 8:24 .
Then hear the words of a most devout religious Jew who became the most spiritual, faithful, aggressive Christian of all generations;
“. . . 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 Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.” 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 .
And now, after twenty centuries of Christianity many outstanding camouflaged leaders in the Christian churches join with the Jews to propagate their agnosticism and infidelity, with Christian phraseology, using the Bible, and thus they help the poor blind Jews to stumble into hell. Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ, called them blind. Matthew 23:13-39 . The Apostle Paul later on called them blind. Romans 11:6-10 .
Although the set‑up is somewhat different the principle has changed little since the Holy Spirit directed the Apostle Paul to write, “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. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 1 Corinthians 1:21-25 .
Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ, The Stumblingstone
“Unto the Jews a stumblingblock”, and, “Unto the wisdom of the world foolishness”. How true is the statement in l Peter 2:7-8, “Unto you therefore who believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the Stone which the builders rejected, the Same is made the Head of the corner, And a Stone of stumbling, and a Rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the Word, being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed.”
This is stated also in Romans 9:32-33 , “Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that Stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a Stumblingstone and Rock of offense; and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.”
Worldly wise men and self‑righteous men have always stumbled at the virgin birth of the Son of God. The great mystery and miracle of the incarnation is too much for the wisdom of this world. Religious leaders today repudiate it, because it cannot be explained within the realm of natural science. This is the spirit of anti‑christ that was in the world before the last of the apostles died. The Christianized agnostics in the “churches” today do not care for the fellowship of the members of the Body of Christ whom they call “Fundamentalists”. We say to those who DO believe in this all important doctrine, the Deity of Christ, be warned against fellowshipping or supporting the pseudo‑Christians who decry the Deity of the Son of God. 2 John 10-11 . Some have called “Modernism” the masterpiece of Satan. 1 John 2:22 , “Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ. He is antichrist.”
Christ was in the world and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. This is the testimony of the Holy Spirit in John 1:10 . Because the rulers of this world knew not, they crucified the LORD of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:8 . “They killed the Prince of life.” Acts 3:14-15 .
To the religions self‑righteous Jews on earth, when Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ, was in their midst their Messiah said, “do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, Moses, in whom ye trust: For 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 5:45-47 .
Note this terrible indictment against the Jews, “But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him. That the saying of Isaiah, the prophet, might be fulfilled, which he spake, ‘Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?’” John 12:37-38 . “The Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that He was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.” John 9:22 . (The Jews, often mentioned in the Gospels are not to be taken for the everyday common man of Israel. In first century Palestine there was no separation between church and state. The priests at the temple in Jerusalem not only officiated over the religious life of the Jews, they were also rulers and judges. These along with the Sadducees, were what is referenced as The Jews)
The Jews would not, believe their own Scriptures. They claimed to believe Moses, but they did not. The Modernists claim to believe Christ; but they do not. The Jews saw Christ feed five thousand people with one scanty meal; they saw Him calm the stormy sea; they saw Him raise Lazarus from the dead; they acknowledged that He was a Teacher come from God; that He spoke as never men spake; that He might be John the Baptist raised front the dead or some old testament prophet reincarnated; but when Christ made Himself equal with God, they took up stones to kill Him John 10:28-35 . Then Christ added, “they hated Me without a cause.”
WHO HATH BELIEVED OUR REPORT?
That was a very important question, “Who hath believed our report?” And the other question asked with it, “To whom is the Arm of the Lord revealed?”
The answer to this last question is given in the language of Christ recorded in Matthew 11:25-27 , “Thou hast hid these things from the wise and the prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes; Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight. And no man knoweth the Son, but the Father.”
What a wonderful truth this is! AND, this still seemeth good unto the Father. When Simon made the great confession to the Messiah “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living, God,” The Son of God said a most significant thing, “BLESSED ART THOU . . . FLESH AND BLOOD HATH NOT REVEALED THIS UNTO THEE. BUT MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.” Matthew 16:16-19 . In line with this great truth, the Apostle Paul wrote years later, “no man can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:3.
Later on we shall refer to another mystery of Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ, mentioned in Ephesians 3:4 , and again we shall ask the question “who hath believed our report and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” In Ephesians 1:16-19 , we learn that the same God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ gives the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to all members of the Body of Christ who really desire to know the deep things of God. “For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:10 .
But LOOK, millions of members of the Body of Christ, who believe the report concerning. the virgin birth and eternal Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, do not believe the Lord’s report concerning “the Mystery of Christ” in Ephesians 3:1-11 . Why? One reason is because the eyes of their understanding have not been enlightened in accordance with Ephesians 1:18 . This mystery is, to the great majority of redeemed saints, “The Mysterious Mystery.” Its enemies in the “church” are many, and the some fundamentalists call it divisive teaching, because they have not received the Spirit of revelation. Like the Jews in the days of Christ, they have agreed that they will put out of the synagogue any who confess and teach that the risen LORD revealed a Mystery to the Apostle Paul different from the message and program which He gave to the twelve Apostles. This is THE cause of all of the schisms and divisions in the Body of Christ today, because the eyes of their understanding have not been enlightened in accordance with Ephesians 1:18 .
THE INCARNATION AND THE BODY OF CHRIST
And so we have two stumbling blocks, the two mysteries, the Mystery of the Incarnation and the Mystery of Christ described in Ephesians and Colossians. How important it is that the Children of God should understand the important statements of John 1:11 and then Romans 11:30 , “Christ came unto His own and His own received Him not. Because they received Him not, and believed Him not, the Gentiles received mercy from God.” KNOWING this, eliminates the need for all denominations. Let’s continue…
In comparing the Kingdom of Heaven with the Dispensation of the Mystery these are good verses with which to begin John 1:11 and Romans 11:30 . “His own received Him not.” Christ came unto His own. God raised Christ up in incarnation to be Israel’s Saviour. Acts 13:23 . Meditate upon this. Believe it one hundred percent. Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ, gave very positive instructions to His messengers, “go not into the way of the gentiles.” Matthew 10:5 . Christ, in incarnation, declared that He was sent only to Israel. Matthew l5:24. Christ was raised from the dead to be Israel’s Saviour. Acts 5:29-32 . Acts 13:31-39 . Believe this; for this truth is so IMPORTANT. Seven or eight years after the resurrection of Christ it was not lawful for the LORD’s apostles to go to a Gentile. Acts 10:28 . Then Peter preached to Cornelius. A few years later Paul said to the Jews, it was necessary that the Word of God should first be preached to them; but that he turned to the Gentiles when, and because, the Jews would not receive it. Acts 13:46 . Then the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul wrote, that when, and because, Israel was cast away, reconciliation was sent to the Gentiles. Romans 11:15 . Then followed that most important statement concerning the Mystery of Israel’s temporary blindness, that it should last until the fullness of the Gentiles come in. Romans 11:25-26 . Then the all‑important declaration of Romans 11:30 , when and because of Israel’s unbelief, the Gentiles obtained mercy from God. Why did the Gentiles obtain mercy? When did they obtain mercy? You only have to turn to the Word of God, The Bible for the answers.
Christ’s own received Him not. But many of His own did receive Him, in incarnation and in resurrection, and the Apostle Paul declared about the year 60 AD that there was a remnant according to the election of Grace, and that the rest of Israel was blinded. Romans 11:3-9 , So Israel stumbled, and fell Romans 11:9-26 , and God set that religions nation aside and brought in “the Reign of Grace.” Later on the LORD revealed to and through the Apostle Paul, His eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus before the world, the hidden wisdom which was ordained unto the glory of members of the Body of Christ before the world, but which was kept secret and not revealed to the prophets of Israel or to even the twelve apostles of Christ. Romans 16:25-26 . Colossians 1:25-27 . The Apostle Paul called this, “The Mystery of Christ,” “the Mystery of the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:4 . Ephesians 6:19-20 .
As the bewildered Jews during the years of Christ’s incarnation cried out, “Who is this Son of man?” (John 12:34 ), and crucified Him, the Lord of Glory, because they knew not, so the bewildered Church leaders today are saying, “What is all this talk about “the Dispensation of the Mystery?” “What is this new message some are trying to impose on us?” The answer is, “We speak the wisdom of God in a Mystery.” The wisdom that would put an end to denominations, isms, and schisms!
But why should it be a mystery after God made it known?
THE MYSTERY IS HID FROM THEIR EYES
One of the most touching scenes in the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ is described in Luke 19:41-44 , “And when He was come near He beheld the city and wept over it, Saying If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”
What a scene! The Son of God weeping over Jerusalem and its wicked inhabitants. Those Jews did not know the things which belonged to their peace. They did not recognize and receive their long promised Messiah. They knew not the time of their visitation, “Now they are hid from their eyes.” The kingdom has been postponed.
“He was in the world and the world was made by Him and the world knew Him not.” John 1:10 .
The Lord Jesus described the attitude and action of Israel in Matthew 21:37-39 : “But last of all He sent unto them His Son, saying, They will reverence My Son. But when the husbandmen saw the Son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill Him, and let us seize on His inheritance And they caught Him, and cast Him out of the vineyard and slew Him.” And again, “But His citizens hated Him, and sent a, message after him, saying, ‘We will not have this Man to reign over us’”
Their great sin of unbelief is told in John 12:37-38 , “And though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they, believed not on Him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might he fulfilled, which He spake, Lord who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? The answer is given in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 11:25-27 , “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou last hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.”
What have we learned? We have learned that so far as the great majority of the members of Christ’s Body are concerned, “the Mystery of Christ,” revealed by the RISEN Christ to the Apostle Paul, is still hid. “To whom is it revealed”? Read how members of the Body of Christ can have it revealed in Ephesians 1:16-23 .
THE WORLD BY WISDOM
Again note the statement in 1 Corinthians 1:21 , “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.” “The world by wisdom knew not God.” The world by wisdom knew not Christ. Unbelieving Israel and the wisdom of this world today are described in Romans 9:32 and 1 Peter 2:8 , “Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that Stumblingstone”, and, “And a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense, even to them which stumbled at the Word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.”
Because they knew not God’s wisdom they crucified the LORD of Glory. 1 Corinthians 2:8 .
How true is the statement in 1 Corinthians 12:3 : “That no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit.”
And so Christ had to utter the sad and solemn words of Matthew 26:24 , “The Son of man goeth as it is written of Him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.”
More than ten years later a man who was miraculously changed from a Christ‑hating Jew to a Christ‑loving Christian spoke boldly to a company of Jews in this language, “For they that dwell at Jerusalem and their rulers, because they knew Him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which they read every Sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And though they found no cause of death in Him, yet desired they Pilate that He should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulchre. But God raised Him from the dead.” Acts 13:27-30 .
THE RULERS KNEW HIM NOT
Now, let’s look at the language of Acts 4:26-28 , “The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ. For of a truth against the Holy Child Jesus, Whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done.” Acts 4:26-28 .
This great sin is explained in 1 Corinthians 2:8 , “Which none of the principalities of this world knew: For had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
As the Satanic realm, and the religions rulers of Jesus’ day and after His resurrection knew not that He was the Lord of Glory and Israel’s Messiah and what the results of His work on the Cross would ultimately enable, they stumbled at that stumbling stone, SO also NOW the religious leaders since the days of the apostles and down to the present time have been confused concerning the setting aside of Israel, the postponement of the Kingdom of Heaven, the distinctive ministry of the Apostle Paul with the Dispensation of the Grace of God and the unsearchable riches of Christ for the Gentiles.
Many of the leaders among the Premillenialists are groping in the dark, even though they do acknowledge that this is a timeless and a sign-less age, that the clock of prophecy has stopped, that this parenthetical period was not revealed to or by the prophets of Israel, that Paul was in jail for the Mystery which had nothing whatever to do with the Kingdom of Heaven which was “at hand” when Christ was on earth. Blindness in part is happened to them also, for in message after message they will point to certain political or religious signs to prove the imminent coming of Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ; that He may come for His Body soon. We ask them just what Year that coming became imminent. Again we say that such “sign” teaching and the teaching of “the imminent coming” are irreconcilable. Another root cause of the many denominations, isms, and schisms!
They teach that the Apostle Paul continued to proclaim the same message that the Lord Jesus gave to the Twelve in the so‑called “great commission of Matthew 28:19-20 . They teach that the Apostle Paul worked under the keys of the Kingdom which Christ gave to Peter. In utter confusion they teach that the Dispensation of the Mystery began with Peter and Pentecost and not with Paul. These are a very big issue that strikes at the very core of Body unity. To them the Mystery of Christ of Ephesians 3:4 is indeed the Mysterious Mystery. They have stumbled at another stumbling stone, because they knew not the difference between prophesied truth and the hidden wisdom ordained unto our glory before the world. They mix up the Kingdom of Heaven and the Dispensation of the Mystery, and say that Peter’s gospel of the circumcision and Paul’s gospel of the uncircumcision were identical. Which they are NOT!
In plain language the Apostle Paul wrote that God made known the mystery of His will. Ephesians 1:9 . The Holy Spirit searcheth the deep things of God; and God has told His children how to understand the mystery. Ephesians 1:16-23 . But, like Israel’s rulers, men are still wise in their own conceits. Like the sectarian Corinthians, to whom the Apostle Paul gave the milk of the Word, but could not give the meat, many church leaders today cherish their sectarian creeds and programs, and because of their pride and prejudice and tradition, they remain ignorant of the Mystery and they are stumbling blocks hindering their followers who respect their leadership. Again causing the divisions.
So, what is the result of this ignorance of The Mystery…little, or nothing is done even among the outstanding Fundamentalists about obeying Ephesians 3:9 which says, “and to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God.”
It is God’s remedy for every ill and ism with which the Ekklesia of Christ is afflicted. It is only as God’s servants and teachers interpret, appropriate and apply all other Scriptures in the light of the Mystery of Christ, The Dispensation of Grace, that they will prove themselves workmen who need not to be ashamed because they do rightly divide the Word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 . The knowledge of the eternal purpose of God in Christ Jesus is truly the golden key to the Scriptures. Every thinking Christian knows that the Body of Christ has been Judaized not only by bringing the Law into the Dispensation of Grace, but by confusing the Apostle Peter’s keys and circumcision gospel with the Apostle Paul’s uncircumcision gospel and the Ministry of Reconciliation and the unsearchable riches of Christ for the Gentiles. To make members of Christ’s Body see the Mystery, for which the Apostle Paul suffered in the Roman jail (Ephesians 6:19-20 , and Colossians 4:3-4 ), is to de‑judaize the Body of Christ.
When members of the Body of Christ know that they are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies (Ephesians 1:3 ) and that the mighty power of God is theirs NOW, the power that God wrought in Christ when He raised Him from that grave to His place in the heavenlies far above principalities and powers (Ephesians 1:19-23 ), they will not be in tarrying-meetings waiting for the Holy Spirit’s power or seeking some kind of a second blessing.
When members of the Body of Christ know that they are identified with Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ, in His death, burial, resurrection and ascension, seated with Him in the heavenlies, accepted in Him, and complete in Him all according to the riches of God’s Grace and all according to His eternal, predestinated purpose, then surely they will know how to walk worthy of the calling wherewith they are called and they will understand the difference between Grace IN a dispensation and “the Dispensation OF Grace.”
Think of the eternity of Grace that takes care of the members of Christ’s Body. In 2 Timothy 1:9-10 we learn that this Grace and purpose was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, and in Ephesians 2:7 we learn that in the ages to come God is going to show the exceeding riches of His Grace in His kindness toward us IN Christ Jesus. Surely this is an eternity of Grace, and God’s Word adds, ‘‘By Grace were ye saved by faith, and that not of yourselves.”
In Romans 8:28-32 the Scriptures tell us why all things work together for those who are called according to God’s purpose…and that is BECAUSE God foreknew and predestinated. In Ephesians 1:5 and Ephesians 1:11 we read again of God’s eternal predestinated purpose. We read in Ephesians 3:11 that it is according to God’s eternal purpose in Christ Jesus. Although there are different phases of “the Mystery of Christ,” revealed in Ephesians and Colossians, yet the Mystery is God’s eternal purpose in Christ, a purpose concerning which all of Israel’s prophets were both silent and Ignorant, because it, did not please God to disclose this, His secret until years after the resurrection of His Son. That Son made it known to His special Ambassador to the Gentiles, the Apostle of the Gentiles, Paul. No wonder Paul said that he magnified his office, the Apostle of the Gentiles. Romans 11:13 . Read his testimony in Romans 16:25-26 .
Down through the Christian centuries many “church members” have been mystified and mixed up because they have not known how to differentiate between “the Gospel of the Kingdom,” which Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ, and His Twelve Apostles proclaimed, and “the Gospel of the Grace of God,” which the RISEN Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ, committed unto the Apostle Paul.
“Church members” have been mystified and mixed up because they did not know the difference between PROPHESIED Kingdom truth, and the unsearchable riches of Christ, the UN-PROPHESIED truth concerning the hope and calling of members of the Joint‑Body of Ephesians 3:6 , who were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4 .
Think of the sectarianism, the many denominations, splits, isms, schisms, and confusion, after all of these centuries. And there are quite a wide variety of religious sects and cults that have sprung up all over the country, not one of which would exist today, if the founders and leaders had seen “The Dispensation of the Mystery.” Some of the sects call themselves “Israel,” such as the Seventh Day Adventists, The House of David, the Anglo‑Israelites, Jehovah’s Witnesses and The Pentecostals, The Latter Day Saints, and a number of others. Many sincere, zealous, religious people join all these movements, all teaching something different, but all claiming to be “Israel.” WHY? Why “Israel”? They are very much like Israel to whom God has given blindness. They at least have Israel’s blindness concerning God’s eternal purpose. The Ephesians 3 alone is God’s answer to all of these delusions.
God does not want His people tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine; therefore He wants all to rightly divide the Word of truth. God wants all to see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery, to know the difference between Israel and the Joint‑Body of Christ of Ephesians 3:6 . God wants all to know that the Mystery is the Mystery among the Gentiles. Think of intelligent men and women joining a religious movement whose leaders teach that the people of Great Britain and the United States and several other European nations are not Gentiles, but Israelites, even the lost ten tribes no less. And all should bow to Ephraim, Great Britain. What FOOLISHNESS!! These would deprive us of the glorious Grace messages given us by the Holy Spirit through the great Apostle of the Gentiles, the Dispensation of the Grace of God for Gentiles. Ephesians 3 .
SO, WHAT TIME IS IT?
“It is not for you to know the times or the seasons.” Acts 1:7 .
The Pastors and Preachers in these religious sects and denominations are great “SIGN” preachers. They point to many signs in America. but especially in Europe, to show how the prophecies of Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, Joel, Amos and others (concerning the last days) are being fulfilled; and therefore, the end of the world or, the end of the age, is just around the corner, if indeed there is even the corner. They are trying to tell their followers what time it is with God and His “Grace” program by searching Ezekiel, and Daniel, or by some other prophets we have mentioned. Or they look into Luke 21:20-33 , or Matthew 24:1-28 , or the Book of Revelation. Some of them can look at that clock and tell even the year and the time of the year that the Body of Christ will be Raptured. That is, they think they can.
If these Pastors and Preachers believe that the clock of prophecy temporarily stopped, they believe now that it is ticking again. Of course, they get most of their messages from Christ’s ministry on earth TO ISRAEL, or from Israel’s prophets concerning Israel’s last days and Israel’s Kingdom, and they know NOTHING of “the unsearchable riches of Christ” and “the Dispensation of the Mystery” and the heavenly position and possessions of members of the UN-PROPHESIED Joint‑Body of Ephesians 3:6 . These Pastors and Preachers haven’t the remotest idea of what the Apostle Paul explained in Ephesians 3:1-11 , and in Colossians 1:24-28 . Read these Scriptures prayerfully and carefully and see the capstone of Divine Truth.
A short time ago I was in an antique shop and saw a large clock that was really old; well it was an antique…lol. It went back beyond my grandfather’s days. It was a work of art, but the keeper of the shop told me it could only be an ornament; because it would not tell the time. So I thought about this. I could as well tell the time of day by that clock as these “religious prophets” can tell the time in God’s present “Grace” economy by the fulfillment of prophecies from the pen of Israel’s Old Testament prophets.
If we can tell what time it is in God’s present program and purpose, we must tell it by the Apostle Paul to whom “the Dispensation of the Mystery” was revealed. However, all we can learn from him is, that each and every moment brings us nearer to that moment when in the twinkling of an eye members of the Body of Christ shall realize that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the Great God, our Savior, Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 , and Philippians 3:19-21 .
Intelligent members of Christ’s Body, who understand “the Dispensation of the Mystery,” are looking for the Son and they do believe in His imminent coming for His Body, but they know that that coming does not depend upon the doings in Europe, Asia and Africa. The prophets in the Israelitish religious groups and some brethren, who claimed to be “messengers of Grace”, have designated different men to be the antichrist. Some of them say the pope at Rome, and various world leaders. In years past, these same types had elected Mussolini, then Stalin, and then they switched to Hitler because he was a better wholesale killer and seemed to be more devilish at the time. It is beyond imagining that Israel could have ever entered into a trusting covenant with Hitler as a result of Israel believing Hitler to be the Messiah. It was ludicrous teaching back then, and more so now in hindsight.
Some of the Premillenialists among the Fundamentalists, who CLAIM that God is building an UNPROPHESIED Ekklesia in this parenthetical period, seek to prove by Luke 21:27-33 that the coming of the Lord Jesus for His Body is at hand. In that chapter we read of the signs for Israel in the midst of their tribulation and the coming of the Son of man to this earth to redeem His “kingdom” nation. If THAT redemption is the redemption of members of the Body of Christ, then the Body of Christ is to go into the Great Tribulation, (However the Great Tribulation WAS PROPHESIED), and therefore, the Apostle Paul was mistaken as to any revelation concerning the hope and calling of the UNPROPHESIED Body of Christ. But again this question comes again, “if the clock of prophecy stopped, just when did it stop, and when did the Dispensation of the Mystery begin?”
TWELVE APOSTLES AND THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL
According to the second chapter of the Book of Acts, the Apostle Peter and the Eleven stood up in the City of the Great King on a Jewish feast day and preached to devout Jews from every nation under heaven. They told all the House of Israel that God had made the Jesus Whom they crucified both Lord and Christ. They proclaimed the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy concerning Israel’s last days and the fulfillment of David’s prophecy concerning Christ as King on David’s throne. Then in Acts 3 , the Apostle Peter preached to the children of the covenant and of the prophets concerning the kingdom days prophesied by Moses, Samuel, and all the prophets. Acts 3:12 , Acts 3:24-25 . He told the rulers of Israel to repent and God would send Christ back for the restitution of all things. In Ephesians the Apostle Paul preached to the Gentiles that if they would receive Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ, and be saved by GRACE, God would raise them up where Christ was sitting in the heavenlies. Quite different, these messages.
Then Peter preached to Cornelius, in Acts 10 . He later referred to THIS Gentile salvation by saying that it agreed with the prophecy of Amos. Acts 15:7- l5. So the clock of prophecy had not stopped in Acts 11 when eleven of the apostles contended with Peter for preaching to Cornelius. The clock of prophecy had not stopped when the Apostle Paul sounded the warning to Israel in Acts 13:40-41 , telling them what would happen to them in fulfillment of prophecy, if they continued to reject the resurrected Christ. Acts 5:29-32 , and Acts 13:31-41 gives Scriptural proof that Christ was raised up from the dead to be Israel’s Savior in fulfillment of prophecy, as He was raised up in incarnation to be Israel’s Saviour. Acts 13:23 .
Concerning Christ’s suffering and His once‑for‑all sacrifice on the tree, Israel did fulfill all that was written of Him. Acts 13:29 . But God raised Him from the dead, in fulfillment of prophecy. Matthias, was chosen to take the place of Judas, in fulfillment of prophecy. Acts 1:13-22 . The Apostle Paul himself preached to Israel many things in fulfillment of prophecy. Acts 26:22-23 .
In the first eleven chapters of Acts many, many Jews were saved, and even after that chapter to the end of the “Acts” period God’s order was to “the Jews first.” During those first eleven chapters there was a PROPHESIED Kingdom program for the Kingdom nation. But after one of the Twelve (James) was beheaded (Acts 12:1-2 ) a new apostle was sent forth to introduce a new Dispensation and the last sixteen chapters of the Book of Acts record the activities of the Apostle Paul and only such men and women as had dealings with him. The Kingdom of Heaven program under the Apostle Peter and the Eleven will again be in order AFTER God has accomplished His eternal purpose in THIS age, and then the Twelve Apostles will sit on Twelve Thrones and judge the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:27-28 .
The twelve apostles had NOTHING to say about “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” “the Dispensation of the Mystery” “the unsearchable riches of Christ” “the Body of Christ” “the eternal Grace purpose of God” They did not even understand the Gospel of the UNcircumcision, years after Christ went back to heaven, until the Apostle Paul went to Jerusalem by direct revelation and explained the difference between his Christ‑given ministry and Peter’s. Galatians 2:1-9 . Then the Apostle Peter and his fellow‑apostles agreed to go to the Jews. Galatians 2:9 . Then the Apostle Peter wrote that some of Paul’s sayings were hard to be understood. 2 Peter 3:15-16 .
How, then, can we ever expect the great mass of Christians to understand the most blessed and precious truth for saints in the entire Bible, when this wonderful truth is still the mysterious mystery to the great majority of the Pastors and Bible teachers.
It is in God’s eternal purpose, the fact that the manifold wisdom of God which He ordained to our glory before the world was, is to be made known unto principalities and powers in the heavenlies by the Joint-Body of Christ, that we are told that Christ gave some to be pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the Body of Christ . . . “till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:10-13 .
In the Mystery, the Ekklesia of the Age of Grace is the fullness of Christ, and one flesh with Christ. Ephesians 1:23 , and Ephesians 5:30-32 . God, during this Age is making ONE NEW MAN. Ephesians 2:15 .
God is not making three hundred sectarian denominations and the Lord will not permit any man to have the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to understand the Mystery who contends for or sponsors a sectarian denomination!
Only as members of Christ’s Body are willing to obey Ephesians 4:1-8 and respect the seven‑fold spiritual unity and not bring in some thing physical, and religious, and add to that spiritual unity will Yâ-hwéh Yâhuwshúa`, The LORD Jesus Christ, PERMIT them to have the eyes of their understanding enlightened and learn what is the Hope of God’s calling, and the riches of His inheritance, and know what it means to be seated in the heavenlies and be blessed there with all spiritual blessings, all according to the riches of God’s Grace, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus, according as He has chosen them in Christ before the foundation of the world, according to God’s eternal purpose in Christ Jesus, according to Him that purposed it and worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.
The members of Christ’s Body are not under Divine orders to bring in the kingdom of heaven, usher in the millennium, or bring back the King.
The King will take care of that and of all of His enemies when the fullness of the times is come in. Again, we say that we are NOT looking for SIGNS but for the SON. Our citizenship is in heaven…NOW!
Now listen, God is never taken by surprise. He knows every trick and design of Satan and of all of the human rulers doing his will as the prince of this world. God is still, right now, today, very gracious to sinners. It is still true that the Grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men and that where sin abounded Grace did much over‑abound. This should cause an END to all denominations, isms, and divisions in the Body of Christ, bringing UNITY, and should light a fire under every member of the Body of Christ to be zealous, diligent, enthusiastic, faithful messengers of the Gospel of Grace while there is still time during this Dispensation of Grace, the Dispensation of the Mystery.