July 2nd marked 2 years for us here at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship. I can’t believe how quickly the past year has gone. I was told just prior to starting our church that when I hear the cheers and applause to ignore it, and when I hear the boos and jeers to ignore that too. Just keep moving forward teaching the Bible rightly divided and believing the words left for us in God’s word. This advise has hit home several times recently as I continue to see, realize, and am amazed at just how committed Christians are to systems, denominations and traditions. What if we could just read the Bible free from all our preconceived agendas and systems? When you were done reading the entire Old Testament you would have clearly seen that God chose one man to establish one nation that he plans to work through to reach the world. You would be amazed at God’s longsuffering in dealing with this nation and his commitment to setting up a kingdom on earth. As you turn that blank page after Malachi and start reading Matthew, you see John the Baptist preaching about this earthly kingdom and the Messiah that is coming to sit on David’s throne here on earth just like the Old Testament teaches. When Jesus starts his ministry, he preaches the same message as John did, that Israel must repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Having just read the OT you would easily see Jesus is offering the only kingdom anyone knows anything about which is the literal physical kingdom foretold in the OT. Unbelievably, you would see the vast majority of Israel reject their King and send him to a cross to die. From the cross God’s longsuffering is extended once again as Jesus forgives Israel for crucifying him. Peter while preaching to Israel during the feast of Pentecost tells Israel that this kingdom is still available but within just a few chapters Israel is stoning Stephen even though they know he is filled with the Holy Ghost. You learn in Romans chapter 11 that God’s blinds Israel and sets them aside in unbelief, but not forever. With Israel’s kingdom program postponed you learn from Ephesians that the Gentiles now have “no hope” because we were strangers from the covenants of promise. Jesus himself then does an amazing thing, as he knocks Saul off his donkey and reveals to him a new message of grace alone that has never been taught because it was hidden in the mind of God since before the foundation of the world. Galatians shows that Jesus sent Saul/Paul to the wilderness for 3 years to teach him the gospel of the grace of God and sends him to the Gentiles with this new message that ALL can receive the gift of salvation by what Jesus accomplished at the cross. In Acts chapter 15 you see our Apostle Paul correcting the elders at Jerusalem, the disciples that Jesus himself taught, that there is now a new gospel and Peter admits Paul is correct and Peter’s ministry fades into history. Paul calls his message a mystery and clearly outlines that he received his new message by direct revelation of the risen Christ. Paul teaches us to righty divide this mystery information from the prophetic information that was promised to Israel. Paul writes 13 epistles full of doctrine for the body of Christ and you wonder why you rarely ever hear this information taught. The Hebrew epistles and the book of Revelation show that God is not done with Israel and will fulfill his promises to them someday. What would happen if Christians would dare to read their Bible free from denominational agendas and theological systems? Salvation by grace alone apart from works would never be in question. The struggle over water baptism would disappear overnight. The real purpose and subsequent decline of the sign gifts would be clear. The false teachers claiming physical healing and prosperity would once and for all be exposed and silenced. False systems like Calvinism would fade into obscurity. You would stop praying for God’s will and instead start doing God’s will. You would stop making decisions based on circumstances and start being stable by following the Bible rightly divided. Instead of praying that God blesses what you are doing, you would start doing what God is actually doing now and has already promised to bless. These and many other things can be true in your life when you become open to the Bible’s teaching TO WHOM it teaches it. I understand completely why we as Christians today want to assume all the earthly promises God gave to Israel, but the fact remains that, they were not and are not promised to you. The church has not replaced Israel. We have our own purpose and our own promises in God’s Purpose. Christianity is divided because Christianity fails to divide what the Holy Spirit divided in the Bible, God’s prophecy program for Israel and God’s mystery program for the body of Christ. Separate these as a literal reading of scripture will do and get on board with what God is doing now. Yes, it is this easy. Might you be called a heretic for believing the Bible as it is written in plain English? Yes. Might you be called unorthodox for not following church tradition? Yes. Might you be told “well done” by the creator of the universe for believing what he said over man’s wisdom? Yes. Your decision.
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul