Many people enjoy reading. Today there is much to satisfy the taste of most any appetite for words on paper. Gone is the day when a traveling preacher might carry only his Bible and a hymnal. If you are reading this blog, I might assume you enjoy reading also? The fact is that everything we know about God and his plans were left for us in words. Pure and perfect words handed down by bloody, battered and burned hands. In the late 1800’s these pure words were mixed with the corrupt words created by men and sold as a “better” translation in “modern English”. Corrupt manuscripts were used by Wescott and Hort to create a new Greek text used in the new versions of the Bible. Bibles that removed 64000 words from your King James Bible. What you chose to read defines your beliefs in many ways. I tell people all the time that a mans doctrine plays out in the books he writes. Some years back I was given the book “In His Steps”. If you’re not familiar, this book started the “What would Jesus do” craze. It’s a quaint book but its bad doctrine. You don’t, nor should you do many of the things Jesus did during his earthly ministry today in this dispensation. I have heard many people tell new Christians to read the book of John first in their new Christian walk. This is bad advice. This Old Testament book does not lay down a good foundation for living today in the age of Grace we are in. Of course, I read and teach the book of John. The difference is I teach it in its correct context as my Bible tell me to. The context of the book is Jesus confirming the promises made to the fathers. Promises that will only be completed when ALL Israel is saved. This will happen and the end of the tribulation. Virtually all churches today are enamored with the four gospels and teach them Sunday after Sunday yet can’t properly handle the doctrine in them. Churches today spend far too much time teaching “spiritual” topics out of the Gospels when they should be feeding their members meat from Paul’s doctrine. Paul’s books lay out the foundational truth’s we are to be living by today. I take no credit for this advice. The Bible commands this all by itself. Jesus is addressing Israel in the gospels just as he says. Jesus called Paul to address the Gentiles. These simple Bible reading tips can save you from a life of religious bondage to a life of liberty in Christ. Do you really want to understand the Bible? I give you this advice: Read the first three chapters of Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians. Ask yourself what is all this “mystery” stuff Paul is talking about? Then start studying this question by verse comparison till you have it figured out. These 9 chapters are a great starting place if you actually want to understand the Bible and not just believe things because some preacher tells you to. These chapters are a MUST READ. These chapters written by YOUR Apostle for THIS AGE can free you to a true understanding of the entire Bible free from religious prejudice. Only Paul can give you a clear understand of where we are in God’s prophetic calendar. You will never understand your place in prophecy outside of a Pauline understanding of the prophetic scriptures. You my friend are NOT IN prophecy; you are in the mystery time frame in scripture. This is the key to understanding all prophecy.
In Luke 24 we have the account of Jesus appearing to a couple disciples after his resurrection. The disciples are downtrodden and sad. Not knowing it is Jesus they are walking with, they go on to tell him of the happenings of the past few weeks. Verse 21 is completely clear exactly what they were expecting.
Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
Why were they sad? Because they were expecting the redemption of ISRAEL just like the prophets say. Every prophecy in the OT concerning Jesus’ birth and death came true LITERALLY. These men believed the promise of Israel’s restoration literally. Does Jesus then proceed to tell these disciples they were wrong, and the kingdom is actually a “spiritual” kingdom? No, he openly rebukes them for not believing ALL that the prophets said.
Luke 24:24 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
The word ALL in this verse explains much that unfortunately most of Christianity doesn’t understand. The prophets did speak of Israel’s future restoration and Messiah’s reign ON EARTH. The prophets did in a few places also tell of a suffering servant. Yes, they were correct for believing in Israel’s promised earthly kingdom. Jesus wants them to understand all the prophecies. Much like todays Christianity, people want to pick and choose. Believing ALL the verses takes a willingness to stand alone in the endless sea of Bible spiritualizers. Today’s Bible spiritualizers only choose to take literally what they want to. Much like the scene as Jesus rebukes these disciples, most of Christianity will receive a rebuke from Christ at the judgment seat for not believing ALL the prophets have spoken. These men believed in a literal earthly kingdom, so the thought of the death of their King was a horrible thing. The key to understanding was believing EVERYTHING that was written. The suffering comes before the glory.
I had a preacher one time throw John 18:36 at me when I pointed out that the Bible itself teaches a literal, earthly kingdom for Israel just like the prophets said. Let’s take a look at one of the verses the spiritualizers like to use.
John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Of course, this preacher stopped at the colon and said that Jesus said his kingdom was “not of this world” trying to bolster his spiritual kingdom theology. Please read the WHOLE VERSE. Jesus says “but now is my kingdom not from hence” Jesus understands the timing of the matter. Jesus understands that it was prophesied that Messiah suffers before the glory.
In Acts 1:6 after the resurrection the disciples now understanding the suffering ask Jesus the exact question they should have:
Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
After getting their eyes opened by Jesus himself, they once again turn their attention to the HUNDREDS of promises in the OT of Israel’s restoration and reborn earthly kingdom. Jesus tells them in verse 7: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons” Jesus knows he is going to interrupt the prophecy program with a mystery. A secret that was hidden in the mind of God since BEFORE the foundation of the world. Jesus reveals this mystery to Paul. An age where we are ALL saved by grace alone through faith alone.
All I ask of people is to believe EVERY verse. This concept leaves to Israel the things God promised to Israel. If your theology does not allow you to believe EVERY verse, then friend YOU need to change your theology. Jesus openly rebuked these disciples for not believing ALL the verses. This same mistake is still rampant in churches today. Christian’s sit and listen to preachers change the verses to make them say what they want. Jesus will not give you a pass on this. You will suffer loss at the judgement seat of Christ for not building on what Paul started.
I Cor 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
Paul tells you to take heed how you build upon his foundation. Jesus is all in all, and Jesus is the one that sent you an Apostle to follow in this dispensation. The decision is ours to make. We all will give account of ourselves. Are you sure?
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