And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? I Sam 17:29
David standing among his brothers at a battle with the Philistines asked this striking question; is there not a cause? There was a cause, and David was up to the challenge. Eliab was wrong in his opinion of David’s motives. In his frustration and lack of action he took his anger out on his little brother. As we know David stepped up to the challenge. Most every Christian that has cracked a Bible a few times or has attended a church here or there can recall details of this confrontation between Israel and the Philistines and of course, David and Goliath. Let me show you about a man with a cause just as important as David’s and just as misunderstood by others.
Eph 3:1 ¶ For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
Paul’s cause concerns us, the Gentiles. Paul loved and tried to win as many of his brethren as he could but, his office (Rom 11:13) was the Apostle of the Gentiles. NO, Paul was not a missionary. The word missionary is not even a Bible word.
2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
Most Christians have not heard of the dispensation of the grace of God that was delivered specifically to Paul by the resurrected Christ. (Col 1:25)
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Paul’s information was kept hidden in the mind of God until after the resurrection and NOT revealed in the Bible until Jesus gave it to Paul. (I Cor 2:7-8)
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
The mystery information of all the things the cross accomplished for us was never revealed prior to Paul. Without Jesus giving Paul the mystery, we would still be left with no hope (Eph 2:11-16) Peter preached the cross as horrible news and as a murder indictment, but Paul glories in the cross.
5 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;
“not made known” “now revealed” these are easy phrases to understand. Let them stand as they are.
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
The mystery of Jews and Gentiles in the same body was never revealed in the Old Testament or the gospels. No Jew in the OT would ever have believed there would be a time when he was on equal ground with a Gentile. This is mystery information that was only revealed by our Apostle Paul.
7 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.
Paul was given the dispensation of the grace of God because it was not revealed prior to Paul. Everyone knows about Paul’s thorn in the flesh but almost NO ONE knows WHY Paul was given the thorn in the first place…. God gave Paul the thorn in the flesh because of the abundance of revelations Paul was receiving about this present age of grace we are in now. God needed to keep Paul humble. (II Cor 12:1 + 7) These revelations are exactly how Jesus is to be preached today (Rom 16:25)
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
“unsearchable” means untrackable. You can't find what Paul is saying prior to Acts 9 in scripture. This is exactly why Paul uses the word mystery 20 times in his books. Mystery means secret in the Bible.
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
This is why I do what I do. Because I am told to teach the mystery of Christ specifically. You should wonder why you have most likely NEVER heard the mystery taught in your church when YOU are supposed to be teaching about it and making all men see it.
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
The mystery is the fact that God made Satan look like a fool when Satan helped crucify Jesus. Satan helped open up the door of mercy and grace alone to everyone. (Rom 11:32) This is exactly why Satan HATES the mystery and has twisted church doctrine over many years until now if you mention the mystery Christians think you are making something up. The Bible has PLENTY to say about the mystery, your pastor probably doesn’t.
11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
The mystery was hidden in the mind of God from everyone including Satan since BEFORE the foundation of the world and revealed by Paul our Apostle. (Col 1:26) As mentioned before this was to trick Satan. Paul calls this the manifold wisdom of God. (Eph 3:10)
12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
We can have this boldness and confidence when we understand the Bible. God intended YOU to understand the Bible and you don’t need a seminary or Bible college to do it. You need to trust God at his word and believe the Bible literally the way we teach it here at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship every week.
Read Colossians 2:1-3 very closely. I ask you: What provides the “full assurance” of understanding according to the Bible? Is it a pastor, deacon, professor or lawyer? It is the acknowledgment of the mystery. The treasures of wisdom and knowledge CAN BE FOUND if you would only believe the Bible literally. Every verse literally and learn the mystery of Christ as ONLY revealed by Paul our Apostle. Jesus is our Lord and Savior and Jesus chose Paul to reveal his will for us. (Acts 22:14) I ask you to trust your Bible. I ask you to trust the Holy Spirit MORE than things you believe only because you have heard them repeated over and over. You only have the treasures of wisdom and knowledge to lose. Choose wisely.
What a shame that these days “church language” defines our doctrine. Preacher boys grow up hearing and then just repeating the wrong things they heard. One of these things is the INCORRECT idea that you, your preacher, or a singer is “anointed” today. This word fits in with all the praise and worship mentality churches are full of today but shouldn’t we let the actual words in the Bible dictate our beliefs? If you want the truth, lets do a SIMPLE study together. Matt 10:17-20, Luke 12:11-12 and Luke 21:12-15 are all promises to the little flock of believing Israel that THEY would be given words when they need them while standing before councils and being condemned or persecuted. They were NOT to premeditate on what to say, but they would be given the exact words to say when they need them. Move forward to Acts 4:1-22, 5:27-32, 6:9-7:60 to see this promise being fulfilled as disciples of Jesus spoke words the councils could not resist and were “cut to the heart.” So, we clearly see this promise in practice. Now look to the back of your Bible to the Hebrew epistles that Israel will need to study during the Tribulation and you find the “Unction” and the “Anointing” mentioned in 1 John 2:20 and 2:27. The definition of anointing is to “know all things” Please read all these verses!! Don’t take my word for it! The specific purpose for anointing is to KNOW ALL THINGS and to NOT need teachers. This is a DIRECT contradiction to what Paul teaches! Paul says we must STUDY to be approved of God! Paul says we are to TEACH others so they can TEACH more people. So, you are left in a conundrum. You can choose to believe your pastor is anointed and he knows everything OR, you can choose to believe Paul. Anointing is ISRAEL’s promise. WE DON’T know everything. We need teachers that rightly divide. The idea a pastor or singer or anyone else is anointed is commonly taught and believed in many if not most churches today. No one is anointed today! NO ONE knows all things today. This gift of being able to speak things you were never taught or can’t remember is a promise to Israel and you are not Israel. Anointing might be taught by preachers today to fool churches to believe they have some special authority over them. This is unfortunate. I tell you all the time to be skepticle! Do I believe in anointing? Absolutely I do. Here is the difference. I believe it the way the Bible actually teaches it. A promise to believing Israel of special knowledge they will need during the tribulation and the last times leading up to the tribulation. We ARE NOT in the last days of prophecy! We are living in the age of grace that your Apostle Paul calls the mystery. There is NO unction or anointing today. Why? Because we need to study, and we need teachers, and we need to teach others to be approved by God. (2 Tim 2:15) If we have the anointing today, why do we go to Sunday school? Why do we sit in church? Why do we buy books about the Bible? Every time we steal something that was promised to Israel and force it into the mystery time in the Bible only confusion results. Israel will need the anointing during the tribulation, and only they will truly get it. It’s not active today. How do I know? You're studying, aren’t you?
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 the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul