As I have already said several times in blogs, I teach our church to be skeptical. I teach our church to find out for themselves. I teach them to listen then compare. I teach them to believe the words as written and that every word matters. As I discuss right division with people, many if not most times, they quickly become defensive and then never want to talk about it again. Proof most times does not matter because we never talk long enough to get to the proof of right division. Do you want to know where the proof is for rightly dividing the Bible? Let me first qualify my answer with a clear description of the gospel the saves today. The gospel that saves a soul today is putting your faith and trust in what Jesus accomplished on the cross for you. That is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as sufficient payment for our sin debt plus NOTHING. If, you have trusted the clear presentation of the gospel that ONLY PAUL describes in scripture then YOU ARE THE PROOF that I teach the Bible correctly. Please see the following scripture.
2Co 3:1-3 ¶ Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
Apparently, some people had asked Paul for his credentials. Oh my, I could talk about that for a while but maybe another blog. They wanted proof from Paul as to his authority. People love to question authority today also, I digress again. Paul’s answer to proof as to his authority and Apostleship was this: LOOK IN THE MIRROR. Paul said if you want the proof of my Apostleship then look around Corinthians! The fact that they are saved and part of the body of Christ is all the proof they needed. Paul was the Apostle of the Gentiles and it was Paul’s blood, sweat, and tears that had won the Corinthians along with his fellow laborers. If you are saved by the gospel I described above, you are the proof that right division is the only consistent method of proper Bible interpretation. Why? Because ONLY PAUL teaches this plan of salvation. Every wonder why there is the so called “Romans Road” on so many gospel tracts? I’ll tell you why, because you can’t write a gospel tract from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John without ending up adding works, law keeping, and water baptism to the gospel. Think I’m wrong? Go ahead and try, I dare you. With the words ALONE and not interjecting Paul’s gospel, try writing a gospel tract using the “Gospels”. You will find the cross is never mentioned till the end of Jesus ministry and it is horrible news to the ones that hear about it. Peter tries to prevent Jesus from going to the cross. They don’t understand the resurrection and eventually Peter preaches the cross as a murder indictment. By the way, don’t run to John chapter 3 because there is no cross or resurrection in John 3. If you are saved today by grace alone and trusting in Christ’s death and resurrection alone you are all the proof I need. You could only have been saved this way by believing what Paul had to say about the cross. Yes, Peter eventually figures out the real gospel well after his ministry is over. How did Peter finally learn about the gospel of grace alone in Christs shed blood? Paul. Read Acts 15 and Galatians 1-3 for the facts. The proof of right division is so overwhelming that anyone with a ready mind and an honest heart could not miss it. What does it take? A willingness to let the Bible have free course. This is a rare trait found in Christians today.
One of the lies constantly perpetrated by ignorant people against right division is that we don’t read, study, or encourage our church to study the Hebrew epistles. Let me explain to you how some people react when confronted with a literal belief in every verse in scripture as I teach. Many quickly run to the internet (Because everything on the internet is true you know) and in thirty minutes they have become experts in what right division is and since it sounds different, then it must all be wrong. These 30-minute experts always find a statement from an ignorant preacher somewhere and repeat this lie; “Dispensationalists don’t use the Hebrew epistles” Let me be as honest as I possibly can here. If you have been told this, the person telling you this is a liar. I read, study, teach from and ENCOURAGE my church to read the Hebrew epistles. Do you know WHY we spend lots of time in Hebrews, JAMES, Peter, John, Jude and Revelation? Because when you believe the bible literally and understand the CONTEXT of these Hebrew epistles they make sense and are understandable. I just taught though 1 John verse by verse. Our people will tell you we teach more scripture in a week than most churches cover in months. One of the more talked about contradictions in scripture is the FACT that James says Justification includes WORKS and Paul says it does not. This discussion has continued for HUNDREDS of years. This is easily proven with just a little research. I believe EVERYTHING in James and Romans AS WRITTEN. Why can I do this? Glad you asked. James is writing about the gospel of the kingdom, where works played a part in justification, JUST AS IT READS. Paul is writing to the body of Christ in this dispensation where works plays NO PART in your salvation. Want some background? Glad you asked.
18 And the [day] following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. 19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. 20 And when they heard [it], they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
When Paul visits James in Acts chapter 21 all James wants to do is brag about how they are zealous of the law. I ask you, is this Paul’s gospel of LIBERTY? Is this Paul’s teaching of the fact that we are NOT under the law? Of course it’s not. BUT, this is 20 chapters LATER than where you are regularly taught that the “church” was started. Can you see the problem? Paul is not saved till Acts 9. He is not sent out by the Holy Ghost till Acts 13. Paul continues to learn his mystery information from Jesus throughout the book of Acts. (II Cor 12:1-7) The gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of grace CONNOT be forced together without causing hundreds of doctrinal problems. Faith and works CONTRIDICT! Law and Grace CONTRIDICT! Prophecy and mystery CONTRIDICT! They are not the same thing. Leave them separate as the Bible does and leave all the verses alone and let them say what they say. This is rightly dividing the Bible. This is how I teach EVERY Sunday. I have referenced the Hebrew epistles thousands of times in the past 5 years and this includes the book of James. Any preacher telling people that we avoid scripture is a liar. I love it all, read it all and TEACH it all as do ALL dispensationalists. Of-course I DO NOT apply works for salvation in James to myself because Paul told me not to. He told me to rightly divide the scripture based on WHO its written to. Can there be a more simple rule of Bible interpretation than to not apply scripture to yourself if it’s addressed to someone else? I think not. YES, it is this simple.
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