I’m still chuckling as I start writing this blog. YES, some men wear skirts! You might quickly start thinking of a band of Scottish men walking through the country, bag pipes in hand and a dagger in their sock. I love the sound of bagpipes. Nope, these are not the men I’m talking about. The Bible specifically speaks of some men that wear skirts. Do you know where? If not, it would not surprise me. This section of scripture should have been taught at your church several times over the years. You should be very familiar with it. Read it from Zechariah 8 with me.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:
21And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also.
22Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.
23Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
There you have it. Here we read of skirt wearing Jews that someday ALL NATIONS will grab by the skirt and follow to Jerusalem because they know God is with them. Ask your self this; Has this happened yet? No, it has not. It did not happen between Zechariah and Jesus coming in Bethlehem. It did not happen during Jesus earthly ministry, and it has not happened since. BUT IT WILL. Read with me again.
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. Zech 14:16
Someday every nation will be required to go to Jerusalem to worship, and if they don’t? They will not receive rain. THIS is what Jesus came to set up on earth! THIS is what Jesus WILL set up on earth at the second coming. THIS is called, believing the Bible as written. Believing the Bible as written will help you understand everything in the Bible you struggle to understand. Jesus taught the Bible literally and believed his Old Testament. Paul taught the Old Testament literally. Peter taught the Old Testament literally. Why then is it so hard to find a church today that believes the Old Testament as written. Because we were taught to spiritualize all these verses to try to find application for us. Guess what, this IS NOT written to you. Stop forcing yourself into the things God wrote to Israel. These scriptures also teach you that Jesus IS NOT KING…….YET. But he will be. Jesus’ role currently is the HEAD of the body of Christ. The Bible is understandable, replacement theology has ruined the simplicity God wrote into the Bible.
There’s a sad and interesting article on Fox news as I write this blog. Apparently, a Priest from the Diocese of Phoenix has been performing baptism’s incorrectly for the past few decades. He has been using the word “we” during the baptism instead of the word I. According to the Diocese this INVALIDATES ALL the baptisms he has performed all these years. According to the article the “church” is concerned that all the other sacraments received by members of this church might need to be repeated. Within the article there is a quote from the Diocese of Phoenix that states that baptism is a requirement for salvation. I went on to read many of the comments people have tagged on to this article. Person after person stating differing opinions or “facts” in their mind as to the reasons why the baptisms could still be or are not valid. What a sad state of affairs. The Protestant churches are no better. All have differing opinions on baptism. Most would agree that a water ceremony is required for salvation. Some say it’s required to join the church, thus making it still a requirement. Satan’s tactics have created the perfect storm of Pride + Tradition + Education + Man’s Opinions to leave Christians lost as to right doctrine on baptism. The lack of proper Bible teaching has left the “church” lost to the truth. Some time ago, my wife told a Baptist preacher that Eph 4:5 states that there is only ONE baptism today to which the preacher very quickly stated “that’s not what that verse means.” Let me be clear, if a preacher tells you a verse doesn’t mean what it says, you better be skeptical. The verse means EXACTLY what is says. Paul teaches ONE baptism and ONLY ONE is valid today and that is Spirit Baptism. This baptism has NOTHING to do with water. You CAN find scripture where water IS REQUIRED for salvation in the Bible. YOU CANNOT find it in Paul’s books. I ask you, who is your pattern for salvation today in the age of grace? There is only one answer according to the Bible. Paul is your example for church doctrine in the age of grace. Paul is your Apostle. I Cor 1:10, I Tim 1:16. How sad that hundreds of people now think that they are not saved and have not received their “sacraments” from this word changing Priest. It is JUST AS SAD that thousands of word changing preachers and teachers ignore the pattern Jesus sent to them to continue to teach Jesus’ earthly ministry Sunday after Sunday like it belongs to us. How sad it is that every week sincere people are promised Israel’s promises and Israel’s Kingdom program like it belongs to them. Millions of people are reading the Fox news article and laughing at the Catholic church for its inconsistent Bible interpretation. I know this because I would have been one of them. Be careful Christian. If Paul is not your pattern for doctrine today, you are in danger of sharing tradition instead of correct doctrine as well. How much confusion could disappear OVERNIGHT about water baptism if everyone would believe their Apostle. There is NO WATER BAPTISM valid today in this dispensation. Believe Paul and you could be moving forward accomplishing what Jesus would have you do. Yes, it is this simple.
The title is a quote by Sir Robert Anderson, but this statement has been thus said in many different ways and by many different men using many different words. Do you really believe it? I have my doubts.
Ac 15:1 ¶ And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
Here we have the account of when men from the church in Jerusalem taught the Apostle Paul’s converts a DIFFERENT gospel than Paul was teaching. Did Paul teach circumcision? Of course, he did. Let’s look at the circumcision Paul taught.
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
Paul’s circumcision was one of the heart and not in the flesh. Just like water baptism, Paul had no use for the so called “ordinances” your church most likely practices. Paul taught only Spirit baptism was required and Paul taught a spiritual circumcision. Notice the outcome of this argument. "They" decided the matter should be taken to the “Apostles” and “Elders” in Jerusalem. Notice the plea for popularity? Notice also NEITHER side would back down from the argument? Paul would not back down and neither would the men from Jesus and Peter’s church in Jerusalem. Isn’t this the case in Christianity today? Everyone in your circle is right and everyone else must be wrong. Both sides throwing Bible verses back and forth. So, what happens? You might not know because you have probably never been taught this or at least been taught it correctly. Notice Paul goes to Jerusalem not because they said so, he went by “revelation.” (Gal 2:2)
Ga 2:1 ¶ Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
Paul went because Jesus told him too, not because he needed to win the argument. Notice also what he did there. He taught them the gospel he was preaching! Why in the world would he need to teach Peter the gospel he was preaching? Because it was different than the gospel Peter knew. The reason you struggle to understand the Bible is NOT because you need more education. You need to decide to BELIEVE what the Bible actually teaches. WE needed Paul to explain this so we can properly interpret the Bible today. There’s not room in this blog to cover this all so I will condense it here. In Gal 2:4 Paul discussed people trying to pull YOU from the liberty you could have in Christ. In Gal 2:6 Paul explains “they” (The Apostles and Elders) added NOTHING to him. In Gal 2:7-9 Paul explains that Peter will continue with the “gospel of the circumcision” and Paul will continue preaching the gospel of the “uncircumcision”. (YES, two different gospels) In Gal 2:11 Paul explains how he rebuked Peter. In Gal 2:14 Paul makes it CLEAR that PETER DID NOT know the truth of the gospel. Why? Because Peter did not receive the revelation of the mystery, Paul did. Lest go back to Acts now to see how the argument between Paul and the leaders of the church in Jerusalem works out.
Ac 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
The outcome is: The Apostles and Elders IN JERUSALEM realize THEY are wrong and Paul is right. Peter declares everyone will now get saved by Paul’s gospel. Paul declares that if anyone preaches any other gospel than his (Paul’s) that they would be accursed.
Ga 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Paul can now say this because Peter has announced publicly that Paul’s gospel is now the ONLY gospel to be preached.
So how did the law keepers from Jerusalem fair when they claimed the popularity of their message was the reason they were right? The claimed the authority of the Apostles and Elders. They learned they were wrong. They learned WHY they were wrong. Because Paul’s message was a mystery that had NOT been revealed prior to Jesus revealing it to Paul.
Eph 3:7 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.
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;
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:
Friend, I understand you appeal to the size of your denomination. I understand you appeal to your education. I understand you appeal to your study. I understand you appeal to your Pastor because you think he couldn't be wrong. If Peter himself were standing here, he would caution you, if not implore you to ignore those things if they contradict PAUL’S GOSPEL. A soul is saved today not by works but buy grace through faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and ONLY Paul’s gospel teaches this! Your appeals to your tradition will be found wanting. A lifetime of ministry built upon the wrong gospel will burn up at the judgment seat. Won’t you consider YOUR Apostle?
2Ti 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
8 ¶ Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
I can’t say it any better than Paul did under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. “my gospel” Paul says “my gospel” over and over to PROVE the point. I implore you to choose to believe the Bible rightly divided over EVERYTHING and EVERYONE else.
Several years ago, I heard a message about the three chairs. You might have heard it before. The message has been taught by many different preachers. The concept of the message goes like this: The first chair is occupied by a faithful Christian that loves the Lord and serves him with his life. As time goes on this Christian has a child that occupies the second chair. Due to the cares of this life and other distractions, the Christian in the first chair does not pass on his faith to his child. The child in the second chair grows up in a Christian environment but feels little connection to God. Church is a time for social activities and singing but little clarity or conviction is learned. Soon enough the son has a child and it occupies the third chair. This child is not raised with a reverence for God or the scriptures, due to the complacency of his parents. At best the person sitting in the third chair would claim agnosticism and under certain settings maybe even atheism. The point of the illustration is to show how quickly a household can fall into apostacy. Within 3 generations quite easily. How many grandparents could read this blog and see the proof of it in their grandkids. Dare I ask how many grandparents shed tears regularly as they watch their grandchildren return from college atheists? Just three generations and almost every evidence of a godly family can be lost. Sir Robert Anderson says it this way: The Christianized sceptic of to-day will soon give place to the Christianized infidel, whose disciples and successors in their turn will be infidels without any gloss of Christianity about them. (The Coming Prince, Sir Robert Anderson pg 7 Introduction) Weather you heard the message about the 3 chairs or read this book the concept is the same. A foundation in the scriptures and trust in the Bible can quickly be lost if not handed down. Problem is Christian’s today are taught to be sceptics buy the men standing behind pulpits. These men correct the Bible rather than trust it. They explain away clear meanings of words to sway listeners to their opinions. They read from the version that seams to say it the way they like. They propagate the allegory and illustration over the plain meaning the Holy Spirit gave us. They create the Christian sceptic Sir Robert Anderson talked about over 100 years ago. Churches are full of them and are led by them. Christian sceptics fill Deacon boards and choirs alike. These skeptics are created by men that were taught to teach a spiritual application to words that God gave to us to believed literally and AS WRITTEN. I teach you to be skeptical of MEN. I teach you to be skeptical of theology books. I teach you to be skeptical of higher education if it is not coupled with a solid foundation of rightly dividing your Bible as the Bible instructs. Paul tells us that men were corrupting his words even while he was still alive. Paul tells us wolves would creep in changing his doctrine. Today over the past 200 years there has been the rediscover of Paul’s doctrine. The Biblical FACT that to follow Jesus today REQUIRES YOU to follow your Apostle Paul is evidently clear in scripture. This truth has been lost so long that as I teach this truth you might be skeptical. Please pay attention: Paul was a prisoner for Jesus in Eph 3:1 “for you Gentiles.” Paul was an Apostle in Rom 11:13 “for you Gentiles.” Paul was a minister in Rom 15:16 “to the Gentiles.” Paul was a preacher in Gal 2:2 “among the Gentiles.” Paul was a teacher in I Tim 2:7 “of the Gentiles.” Paul is the wise masterbuilder in I Cor 3:10 that you MUST follow today. You can find NO such verse where Jesus claims this to you during his earthly ministry. Why, because Jesus sent Paul to you. You must choose between the scripture or your tradition. I understand this is a tough decision. Jesus would have you follow the person he sent to you. He will ask you someday why you refused to believe these plain clear and obvious instructions. What do you plan on telling him?
Recently I was asked about our statement of faith. We don’t really have a specific statement of faith on our website. I can’t say I’m against them but I’m not so sure they are all that helpful. Why would a person use one? I’ll tell you why. They use them to see if a church believes like they do and if they don’t agree with the statement of faith they quickly move on. Let me ask you a question; who are you? Do you think your beliefs are so rock solid that you can’t be wrong? Do you think you have such a solid grip on doctrine that you cannot be wrong? What you will find here at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship are people that have spent MANY years in many different churches under educated pastors and guess what; they found out they were wrong about some things. Do you know why God hates pride so much? Because our pride is EXACTY what keeps us from a proper understanding of the Bible. I spent many years teaching only to find out I was wrong about some things. Over the years I have challenged people to study the doctrinal statements of denominations OTHER THAN theirs. My reasoning? If you have the guts to do this, you will find out that all those doctrines you claim are wrong and you say you don’t agree with, you will see that those churches have BIBLE VERSES to prove their stance. YES, they have verses to prove their DIFFERENT doctrine than yours. I want people to see this because only right division answers ALL THE QUESTIONS of the confusion in Christianity. If I do put a statement of faith on our website (which I still might do someday) all people will do is skim over it, see something they don’t like and move on. Don’t you realize how wrong it is to do this? Don’t you realize it’s about TRUTH? How can you claim to be standing in truth if you never challenge it? Can you critique something you have not actually tested? NO! What Christians do today is instantly write off things just because it sounds different. The Bereans were complimented for the fact that they LISTENED, then COMPARED what was taught to scripture. Christians don’t have the hunger for the truth or the gumption today to do this. Most would rather go home and watch football. My statement of faith is actually quite simple. I can sum it up this way: I believe EVERY VERSE in my King James Bible EXACTLY as its written, TO WHOM it is written. If you think you do this also then you should be here studying with us. Here are the facts, VERY FEW churches do what I just said. Most churches grab verses from wherever they see fit for the purpose at hand. Most churches preach from the gospels most Sundays when the gospels ARE NOT our doctrine according to Jesus himself. I want people to actually see for themselves that the Bible is a PERFECT revelation of God’s will. Gods will for Israel is DIFFERENT than Gods will for us. Just understanding this concept alone would open your eyes to the harmony and perfection in scripture. Right division creates Bible student out of people that never thought they could understand the Bible. Won’t you take the time to actually listen to some teaching from a literal interpretation of scripture and let the Bible show you its perfection? We are to let the Bible have “free course” in our lives. The problem is, the Bible can’t have free course to direct us because we’re too worried about our “beliefs.” If someone could show you why you might need to rethink something, would you have the integrity to actually do it? These are serious questions and thoughts. What about you?
I rarely use analogies or illustrations as I teach, but here is one I do use on a regular basis. Many people today think Satan wants us to become Satan worshippers. Although this is his ultimate goal, he is more interested in getting us just slightly off course. He didn’t try to get Eve to worship him in the garden. He introduced just enough error to accomplish his goal. Satan is not a roaring lion today. That preaches good but is just not what he is doing today. Satan today is corrupting doctrine. He is not trying to create mass conversions of people to join cults. He has worked to get the church to err just so slightly that over time Christianity has become way off track. If a plane strays 2 degrees off course, in a matter of a few hours it will be hundreds of miles away from its destination. Satan has masterfully introduced just enough doctrinal error into Christianity over the last 2000 years to leave us confused and way off course. Paul mentions that this corrupting influence had begun even while he was still writing scripture.
2Co 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
Where has this 2-degrees off left us? Thousands of denominations with differing opinions. Christians and pastors that don’t know their Bibles. Preaching full of fluff, stories and perfectly timed and presented heart tugging illustrations but no meat. We are left to face the fact that today when Christians are introduced to the literal interpretation of the Bible the typical response is; “I’ve never heard that before” The fact remains that when I teach the Bible literally as the Bible itself requires, that I will be called names. The tradition found in churches today is the result of hundreds and hundreds of years of Satan getting us just slightly off course. Now when I teach the Bible AS WRITTEN it is unrecognizable to even seasoned Christians that have sat under preaching and teaching their whole life. When I show the CLEAR instructions in the Bible that Jesus’ earthly ministry was NOT to us, people can’t believe I would say such a thing. When I show the CLEAR instructions in the Bible that our Apostle, spokesman, and example to follow in this age is Paul people are surprised and many times appalled. Paul gives us some clear instructions in 2 Timothy 2:7
Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
You could have understanding by considering the things your Apostle says. As a matter of fact, you will never understand the Bible properly without FIRST considering what Paul says. Because if you don’t study the Bible the way Paul instructs you to you will never understand it. You will never understand the Bible without a very clear understanding of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul. Paul’s information was a secret not known prior to him revealing it. (Col 1:25-27) Separating this information from prophecy or known information is the key to proper Bible study.
Col 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
Learn the mystery and the Bible becomes clear and understandable. It is this simple.
Most of Christianity thinks they are operating under the great commission. It is quoted constantly when missionaries come to town, when evangelists are speaking, and during services at churches of all denominations. The fact remains that no church or church member can or is doing the great commission. The 2 words “all things” are in there you know. Are you doing everything Jesus said? Are you following every commandment Jesus taught? No. No Christian is. If you think you are, please read the gospels and write down every commandment Jesus said. You will not have to read much to clearly see you nor anyone you know is doing everything Jesus said. Who then could do everything Jesus said? Who could fulfill all the commandments written in Matthew-John? The Bible has the answer. Israel is promised under the new covenant to have an anointing and unction that will enable them to do everything Jesus said. The great commission you think you are working under belongs to the only people that can fulfill it; ISRAEL. This includes the snakes, drinking deadly things and the other sign gifts.
Zec 8:20-23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
Here Zechariah tells of the future day when Israel completes their commission found at the end of the gospels. The commission that Jesus gave to Israel and you claim for yourself. You claim it but you can’t do it. Why?
Isa 24:21-23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
Isaiah and all the prophets agree. The OT plan of Israel ruling and being a light to the world WILL YET COME TO PASS because God said so. No, we are not in this program now. Look around you and you see nothing like what Isaiah and Zechariah describe. It doesn’t because it’s not the same thing. We are living in the time the Bible calls the mystery. Today we are saved by grace alone apart from Israel. But not forever! God starts his earthly plan for Israel back up after the catching away of the body of Christ. Rightly dividing your Bible and believing it literally makes it ALL make sense. Stop skipping, ignoring, tweaking, and Greeking all the verses and believe them just as they are written. Believing the verses apply TO WHOM they are written will open your understanding like you could never imagine. Don’t take my word for it;
2Ti 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
Please read it again. Paul tells YOU to consider what he says. How about you?
Many of you might not know that I have a hobby called cross country racing, otherwise known as Hare Scrambles racing. This type of racing involves a dead engine start and a race through the woods and other obstacles on dirt bikes that lasts for two hours. This is very similar to what is called Enduro racing. I bring this up to talk about a comparison. Paul uses comparisons all the time in his books to help us understand concepts. Most of you know our Christian walk is compared to a race by our apostle Paul. My racing number is 924 which comes from the verse in 1 Corinthians 9:24 talking about running that ye may obtain. In Bible study as in racing the start it vitally important. In racing this give you the advantage of being able to sprint quickly to pull ahead of your competitors. In Bible study the start is learning the basic concepts that will enable you to understand what you are reading. Unfortunately, we were taught wrong when we started. We were taught about context, but never about the context that really matters. We were taught that if it’s in the New Testament then it’s our information. The Bible DOES NOT teach this. We were taught that the OT was for Israel and the New Testament is for us. The Bible DOES NOT teach this. (Jer 31:31-34, Eze 36:22-28, Heb 8:8-10) So we were taught wrong from the very start. After the start of a race, you enter the woods on a 6 to12 mile course. There are small arrows stapled to trees that guide you through the woods. So, not only are you riding as fast as you can through the woods, but you are also looking for small arrows to keep you on course. Sometimes there are other signs like an X to show you where not to go or Danger signs to indicate a dangerous obstacle ahead. Some of the guidance or arrows most of us were given about Bible study were pointing in the wrong direction. Let me give you one example. Many churches and pastors give new converts the advice to read the book of John first as you start to learn about the Bible. Gideon's and other publishers publish the book of John specifically for this purpose. This Gives new converts the WRONG directions and NO warning of the danger ahead. The book of John is the WRONG place to send a new convert!!! The book of John is Old Testament in doctrine, directed to Israel, includes WORKS for salvation, describes the offer of the kingdom to Israel, and DOES NOT teach salvation is by grace alone through trusting in the shed blood of Jesus. Yet, we were directed to read this book first! (Jn 4:22, Jn 5:29, Jn 12:13-15, Jn 20:9) Salvation in the book of John is about believing Jesus is the Christ, the King of Israel and trusting in his NAME, NOT HIS BLOOD. (Jn 20:31) No, there is NO CROSS in John 3:16. We were sent in the wrong direction from the very start of the race. In a cross-country race when you get lost in the woods you loose precious time going the wrong direction and you must find your way back to the course. In our Christian life we have lost so much precious time riding around in the woods because the course was marked wrong for us. The arrows were pointed in the wrong directions! When we study scripture, we must PAY ATTENTION to the arrows. The context you and I were NEVER taught is the context of Prophecy and Mystery. Prophecy relates to what God is doing with his earthly people Israel. Mystery relates to what God is doing with his heavenly people the Body of Christ. Most of Christianity has been trying to win their race by following Israel’s arrows. You’re on the wrong course! Your arrows are found in Paul’s books. There is where you find the Start, the directions, the guide, the warnings, the course, and most importantly where the finish line is. I pray you find your way. If your lost it’s not God’s fault. It might not even be your fault. You might have been given the wrong arrows? But it is your responsibility to find the right course. Paul set the course for you to follow based on the information Jesus gave to him. You will be held accountable for how you build upon what Paul started. (1 Cor 3:9-10) Time is short, don’t race the wrong course. (“Dirt Adventures” on YouTube if you want to see me race) (Paul’s 13 books – If you want to get on and stay on the right course)
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 revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul