This might be an interesting question for you. There’s a good chance you have no idea why I might ask you to choose between confirmation and revelation. These two words describe two ministries found in the Bible. If you read the Bible free from preconceived agendas and modern theology you will notice that these ministries are distinct from each other. Read a description of Jesus’ earthly ministry in Romans 15:8.
Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
There can be no doubt but that this verse is describing the promises given to covenant Israel.
Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. Acts 13:23-24
The ministry Jesus was fulfilling while he walked this earth was to confirm the promises given to ISRAEL.
If Christians could just be willing to believe the Bible as it stands we could have the unity and communion scripture says we should. Instead week after week we hear verses plucked from this confirmation ministry and twisted to apply to us today. I ask you a simple question. Why is it that the promises given to Israel and that Jesus was CONFIRMING TO ISRAEL have been taught to you since childhood as belonging to you a gentile? The answer: Christianity as a whole has adopted the allegorical interpretation of scripture.
So what about the revelation ministry I mentioned earlier? This is the ministry you most likely have never been taught or read about even if you love theology.
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Gal 1:11-12
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, Rom 16:25
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Eph 3:1-7
Paul was given a ministry by directly revelation of Jesus Christ. This is the HEAVENLY ministry of Jesus that was never prophesied in the Old Testament. This is the ministry that offers grace to both Jew and Gentile based on what Christ accomplished on the cross. This gospel is called the gospel of the grace of God in scripture. This ministry is separate and distinct from the confirmation ministry Jesus performed while on earth. This is the only literal interpretation of scripture. When you mix these two ministries, BOTH loose significance. Jesus’ gospel of the kingdom is erased and Israel’s glorious future is stripped from them. Paul’s gospel of GRACE ALONE is mixed with required works found in the gospels and you end up with a Christianity filled with hundreds of denominations and factions.
I asked you about confirmation or revelation because chances are, you have been a Christian for many years and have never heard the difference between the two. Why?
The explanations for so many of the conundrums found in Christianity could be easily explained if Christianity had not been duped by the allegorical interpretation of scripture found in every major denomination today. Many of the verses that have been fought over and interpreted in so many different ways would no longer be a controversy if Christians would have the guts to actually believe the Bible as it reads and not fight over what they want it to say. I give you one example of many we could discuss. Read Matthew 16:18.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
If you have been in church very long you already know what the controversy is over this verse. If not, I’ll give a brief explanation. The Catholic Church uses this verse to claim that Peter was the first pope. Then of course, their tradition teaches that the Catholic Church can trace themselves back to Peter. From this they claim to be the only true church. Because of this traditional teaching of the Catholic Church other churches break their necks trying to make this verse say something else. Growing up Baptist I have heard the Catholic position refuted many times as I’m sure many other denominations do also. To this I would say: how is tracing yourself back to John the Baptist much different? When you refuse to take EVERY verse in your Bible literally, you find yourself in “doctrinal” arguments all the time for NO REASON. Here is the explanation that all the denominations have wrong. From the context it is VERY CLEAR that Jesus has great plans for Peter and the following verses give PETER binding and loosing power. So, stop fighting over the verse and let it say what it says! But the “fundamental” churches can’t have this because this makes the Catholic correct. WRONG! Once again the failure of the Catholic Church as well as ALL fundamental churches to rightly divide their Bible CREATES fights that are not there. Jesus was sent to ISRAEL and the disciples were sent to ISRAEL. YOU were not the audience of Matthew 16:18. You ARE NOT part of the church mentioned in Matthew 16:18!!!!!!! This church was composed of JEWS. Why? Because Jesus’ earthly ministry was NOT TO YOU, it was to Israel. When you place yourself into verses that are NOT to you or about you YOU create confusion and controversy that is not there. Both the Catholic Church AND fundamental Christianity are wrong! Because both DO NOT follow a consistent method of Bible interpretation. BOTH pick and choose. BOTH read themselves into verses in which they DO NOT BELONG. Peter can be the head of the church just fine, it does not matter because THIS CHURCH ended with the disciples. The Bible calls this church the “little flock of Israel.” Does this make the Catholic Church correct? Of course not. So what about the fundamentalists that break their necks to make this verse say something it doesn’t? They are also wrong in their effort to refute the Catholic claims. Once again we are NOT part of the church in Matthew 16, we are part of the “body of Christ.” This is the church found in scripture that INCLUDES anyone! Paul is the Apostle to teach about this church. This is the consistent LITERAL interpretation that is NOT based on Catholic or denominational tradition. Why do I so confidently say we are NOT part of the church in Matthew 16? Because I believe Jesus AT HIS WORD, and he clearly teaches his earthly ministry was confined to Israel. I see NO controversy over Matthew 16:18, the rest of Christianity has battled over this verse for about 1500 years. Christianity’s stubborn refusal to believe the Bible as it is written is the reason for all the confusion.
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