In Luke 12:32 Jesus uses an expression to describe the rather small group of followers that were still with him during this point in his ministry.
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Today you can find hundreds if not thousands of references to Christians being sheep. Hymn books, devotionals and Sunday sermons are filled with the idea that we are the sheep of God’s pasture. The 23rd Psalm is quoted at weddings and funerals alike with the false idea being reinforced in people’s minds of the Shepherd guiding our steps. Today ill-informed Christians fall prey to this tradition as has so many generations before us. The Apostle Paul uses the word “sheep” one time referencing the OT. The unbiblical idea that we have taken over the place of Israel has perpetuated the myth that we are described in scripture as sheep. The words in scripture do not say this, you must be taught this from a person. For the proper cross references to study I ask you only to turn to one chapter although we could use scores. Ezekiel 34 can’t be any clearer. God is clearly rebuking the “shepherds” in Israel that have failed the people. Read verses one and two below.
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
As you get to verse 8 you read God’s promise and guarantee to Israel. I challenge you to count the number of times God says “I will” and “my flock” in this chapter. In verse 16 you encounter a cross reference even casual Christians should see “I will seek that which was lost” What was lost? Israel!!! Jesus clearly references this when he proclaims he has come to seek and to save “that which was lost” This being the purpose of his earthly ministry to save Israel. Saving Israel would bring hope to Gentiles. In verse 23 of Ezekiel 34 God promises to set up “one shepherd” over them with a reference to David. This is precisely why Jesus is called the “Son of David” while on earth. Let’s read how the Holy Spirit inspires Ezekiel to finish off the chapter in verses 30-31.
Eze 34:30 Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD. And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.
I ask you how can Christianity today claim to be the flock referenced to in the gospels when the Bible itself makes it crystal clear who this title belongs to? I understand very clearly how Christians today think I’m wrong to believe these verses. I understand I am called names for believing these verses. I understand Christian “friends” won’t talk to me about the Bible because I believe it as it is written. But you notice what Jesus called his followers? The “little” flock. I understand that I have alienated myself from many old friends for believing my Bible. I understand if I would have started a “Baptist” church instead of a church based solely on scripture rightly divided many would have given me their support. Coming up on three years after making this decision I can only say my resolve to believe the Bible as written instead of blindly following the tradition in Christianity has not wavered. No. I’m not a sheep in scripture because the Bible only gives this title to Israel. No, Jesus is not my shepherd. Jesus is my savior and the head of the body. Someday Jesus will return and then he will establish the things described in the 23rd Psalm LITERALLY! No, I will not be there because this promise is to his earthly people Israel. Who are you to correct the Bible! Who are you to decide the entire chapter of Ezekiel 34 and the perfect cross references to Jesus words in the gospels are wrong! No, I will not back down. No, I will not stray from believing my Bible as written. Yes, this makes me part of a small group but not part of the “little flock of Israel”
A while back I had a person ask me if I thought Grace churches put too much emphasis on II Timothy 2:15. I have thought about this question several times since then. I do agree that denominations in general pick the verses they want to emphasize and then drive them into peoples heads constantly. One example is Acts 2:38 and Mark 16:16 which are the whole foundation for those groups that think water is required for salvation. There is one big difference with this example and that of II Timothy 2:15. I can teach the concept of right division of the Bible with hundreds of verses and examples Sunday after Sunday and the people relying on Acts 2:38 and Mark 16:16 can’t. The Bible teaches for itself the fact that we must rightly divide it in many ways. It just so happens that the Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul very clearly states the need to rightly divide the scripture. Books of the Bible themselves tell us who the words are addressed to. Why would a person take a book clearly addressed to Israel and then steal SOME of the verses and teach that they belong to the body of Christ today? Tradition! You pastor was taught to do this. And if he was not taught this because he did not go to Bible college then he learned it from the pastors he sat under. The Bible DOES NOT teach this, man must tell you these things. It cannot be denied that Jesus said he was sent to Israel. This is the basis for right division of the Bible, believing the WORDS EXACTLY as they are written. It cannot be denied the Jesus told the disciples NOT to go to Gentiles. It cannot be denied that Paul was called to go DIRECTLY to the people the disciples were told NOT TO. Why then would you read the book of first John for example and think the words are directly to you when scripture says they are NOT? I believe every word in first John. I can only do this because I know first John is NOT to me today. Why does this matter? Because first John teaches works are required for salvation and to keep your salvation. Why can I still say I believe all these words exactly as written? Because I know WHO they were written to and I know thy are NOT written to us today in the age of grace and doctrine for us now. Yes, they are doctrine, but NOT for today in this age. This is no different than the book of Hebrews that clearly teaches the loss of one’s salvation. I believe ALL these words exactly as written because I know they are NOT to me today. The churches I attended my whole life rarely if ever taught out of Hebrews, especially verse by verse because they have no clue how to properly handle these verses. I do! I believe them EXACTLY as they are written. Yes, they teach you can loose salvation. NO this is NOT doctrine for us today. There is a confidence that comes with a proper understanding of scripture. This is why Paul specifically said knowledge puffeth up. Because the Bible can be understood by anyone if they would only abandon the tradition their pastor teaches them and become a Bible believer. Not a pick and choose verse believer, but a person that has the knowledge to believe every verse exactly as written. Outside of the right division of the Bible this is IMPOSSIBLE! Does II Timothy 2:15 say this? Yes! Is this concept clearly taught all over the Bible? Yes! Then I must ask, why don’t you believe it?
This is quite the interesting command. It seems to me that few Christians are very skeptical about what they hear. When was the last time you sat around a table and challenged anything you believe? We sit in nice pews with our Bibles open listening to the same messages and same verses quoted as we have our whole life maybe 30, 40, 50 years or more. Most Christians seem to base truth on what they think to be true based on how many times they have heard the same thing said over and over. So if each preacher they hear says the same thing then it must be true. Our how foolish we are. Every preacher says the same thing because we sit under the same denominational preaching that WE created. We only hear it OUR way because we only listen to people in OUR group. We love our tradition and believe things to be true because it’s always been said that way. I challenge you, I implore you to be a skeptic! You will give account of YOURSELF, not what the preacher says. If you can’t believe every verse in the Bible just the way the words are written, then you better find a new way to interpret the Bible. I give an example of why you MUST not put your faith and trust in tradition but in the actual words as they are written to whom they are written. Turn in your Bible to the book of Isaiah. Read the headings put there by man at the top of the page over chapters 29 and 30. In my Bible over chapter 29 the heading says “God’s heavy judgment upon Jerusalem” then over chapter 30 it says “God’s mercies towards his church” How could this tradition be wrong? These headings have been in our Bible for hundreds of years in some cases. I ask you now to turn in Isaiah to the first verse of chapter one. I quote the ACTUAL WORDS. “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem” How many thousands of Christians fall victim to the TRADITION found at the top of each page in our Bible? Worse yet, how many years have we sat in churches listening to tradition taught as Bible from our pulpits? The FACT of the body of Christ which we are a part of today, if we have believed the gospel of his death burial and resurrection, was hidden and unknown at the time Isaiah was writing his vision. (I Cor. 15:1-4) The FACT of Jew and Gentile being on equal ground and in the same body (church) was hidden and still secret when Isaiah was putting pen to paper. (I Cor. 12:13, Eph. 2:11-19) The simple FACT that you are not a part of any church started in the Old Testament or a church that Jesus started during his earthly ministry is clearly revealed in scripture. The FACT is that Satan and his rulers in this world had NO IDEA the death of Christ would open an age of grace where Jew and Gentile are on equal ground and we are saved by grace ALONE. I Cor. 2 verses 7-8 are abundantly clear Satan was UNAWARE of the church you are a part of today because he WOULD NOT have helped crucify Jesus if he had known about it. Paul calls the gospel of the grace of God a mystery (secret) because it was unknown before he revealed it. Satan himself could testify to this but the TRADITION you hear every week ignores the mystery and ignores rightly dividing the Bible so you can keep your tradition intact. I ask you simply to be skeptical of everything you think you believe unless the actual words in the Bible say those things TO YOU. Stop stealing Israel’s promises just because you are told they now belong to you. When the preacher gives you what the Bible doesn’t, be skeptical.
When Jesus started his earthly ministry, he said some radical things. Certainly, calling the religious elite of his day hypocrites and blind guides was quite out of the ordinary. Claiming that he and the father are one and many of the other things he said caused quite a stir. But what kept his ministry moving forward were the signs he showed day after day. The religious leaders could not argue against the signs of healing and miracles he performed. He was able to keep saying the radical things he said because the miracles proved his message was of God. The fact of the matter is that many of the things he said weren’t really that radical. Jesus told his followers to search the scriptures about him. Much of what Jesus said is found by studying the Old Testament. Jesus spoke regularly of the “Law and the Prophets.” The Apostle Paul also said some very radical things. Paul said the gospel was “his gospel and called it “my gospel.” Paul told us to follow him specifically. This should seem strange to you since you are told to follow what Jesus said in the red letters every Sunday. Paul said the information he was sharing was a mystery that was unknown before he revealed it. This should seem strange to you since you have been taught that Paul just continued what Jesus and the disciples started. This is just the tip of the iceberg for some of the things Paul said. In 1 Corinthians 3 Paul discusses the judgment seat of Christ and very plainly says “I have laid the foundation” and that you need to take heed how YOU build upon it. How can Paul say HE laid the foundation when you are told you are building upon what Jesus started during his earthly ministry? Friend, if you want to have ANY works pass through the judgement seat of Christ shouldn’t you find out why Paul says this? Shouldn’t you know if you should be building upon Jesus’ EARTHLY ministry to Israel or Paul’s ministry to ALL? If you spend your life building upon the things Jesus said to Israel while he was ON THE EARTH, your works WILL NOT pass the judgment seat of Christ. You are clearly told to build upon Jesus’ heavenly ministry he revealed to and through Paul that gives GRACE to EVERONE. These two ministries are clearly separate in scripture. I understand you have been taught they are the same your whole life, but the Bible does not teach this. I want you to get on board with what Jesus is doing NOW in the age of grace you are living in. Paul said some VERY radical things. But I remind you of this, Paul had the sign gifts early in his ministry for the same reason Jesus did. To show his message to be true. Healing and miracles in the Bible are to show the person and the message is legitimate and OF GOD. Paul’s doctrine was proven legitimate by the sign gifts Paul used early in his ministry. Paul says YOUR work today WILL NOT pass the test of the judgement seat of Christ unless it is built upon the mystery Jesus revealed TO PAUL(I Cor 3:9-15). The command of the scripture to follow Paul today is what separates traditional Christians that spiritualize so much of the Bible with a person that believes the Bible AS WRITTEN. You should ask yourself “Why Paul?” Understanding this question is the key to understanding the entire Bible and what Jesus is doing TODAY. You will not understand the radical things both Jesus and Paul said without separating what God has separated in scripture.
There are many verses that are conveniently ignored these days. If you were to try to list them all, you would have to choose large portions of many chapters. Sadly Paul’s books would probably be at the top of the list in many churches. Here is one verse that undoubtedly receives little study or attention in many churches. Of course I don’t know what every church teaches every Sunday so why would I say such a thing? Because churches teaching their Bible literally today are few and far between. Read the following verse found in the middle of the book of Acts.
And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. Acts 14:27
You might wonder why I chose this particular verse. Notice the word “opened.” If something was just opened then it would be stating the obvious to say that it was closed before, would it not? The literal interpretation of the Bible is regularly criticized by many Christians today. If you doubt this, do a few searches on dispensational Bible study and you will quickly agree. To this I just point to my Bible. But you do have to go a little further because everyone has a verse to prove anything they want to believe and teach as truth. What’s the difference? When dealing with doctrine for TODAY, I only point to scripture written for me to follow today. So what about this verse? Paul refers to the door of faith being opened to the gentiles. This should come as strange to you because you most likely hear teaching and preaching every Sunday from scripture PRIOR to this point in the Bible. You most likely accept many of the things Jesus said as information to the church today. If Paul said the door was being opened to the Gentiles in the middle of the book of Acts and even Peter was astonished with what happened at the house of Cornelius in Acts chapter 10, why then do I get called so many bad names just for teaching what the Bible teaches? I NEVER ask anyone to believe just what I say. I ask them to believe what the Bible says TO THEM. A simple concept that could open up God’s word to you like you can’t even imagine. But this concept is ridiculed, scorned, scoffed at and called every word your pastor learned in seminary. Every cult uses the Bible. Every denomination other than yours uses the Bible. Every JW that comes to your door has a Bible. Again I ask you what’s the difference. All pick and choose verses from wherever in the Bible they want if it seems to help their agenda. All these ignore the simple concept of not reading yourself into portions of scripture that says for itself that it was written to someone else. I would again call your attention to Acts 14:27. Why, when the Bible in the middle of the book of Acts very clearly says the door to the Gentiles was being opened can you claim that the information prior to this point is written directly to you?
This is a simple question that should have a simple response, “I Don’t” In the vast majority of churches today this is not the answer you will receive. Replacement theology and tradition has robbed Christians of the simplicity with which they could understand their Bible. This simplicity has been replaced by commentaries, preaching, and teaching that forces you into Israel’s program and Israel’s promises. Sure these promises sound great and I would love to have them to. But the Bible does not give these promises to you. God gave the earthly promises in the Bible to his earthly people Israel.
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.
Tonight I sit at my computer having just attended the funeral of Pastor Preston Richardson. I served under Brother Preston in several capacities including Youth Church Director and Deacon. He was a man that inspired greatness in many. Not necessarily in words alone, but in his actions and the example of hard work and dedication he set for those around him. His enthusiasm and desire to serve the Lord was unwavering. The example he set many young pastors would do well to emulate and learn from. Even though my discovery of right division and dispensational Bible study would cause us to disagree doctrinally on some issues, my love and respect for him has not faded. One thing Brother Preston used to say was “you have time to do the things you really want to do”. Isn’t this so true? We can find time for soccer practice, Monday night football or whatever steals our time during the week, but what about eternal things? Why is it so much more convenient to run that errand on Sunday instead of Saturday? Right division clears up many confusing things Christians struggle with in scripture but we still need dedicated people that are willing to work, serve and set an example for others to look up to and follow. The Bible tells us very clearly that the Apostle Paul is our example to follow but remember Paul was constantly training people under him to teach right doctrine and to live a godly life. Jesus would have you follow Paul, this is clear in scripture. But there are men who through their uncompromising life and the example they set for us give us examples of how to serve the Lord not just out of duty, although that is reason enough, but out of a loving and grateful heart. Brother Preston was this kind of example.
Php 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
What about you? Does your walk and work warrant others to follow your example? Scripture tells you to follow Paul and clearly shows that some men around him were worthy of following also. A good start would be to learn how to be a Bible believer. This means to believe your Bible exactly as it is written, to whom it is written, regardless of what anyone else says. Paul wrote 13 books of doctrine that are addressed to you as a gentile to live by in this age of Grace. Start here and learn what God is doing now in this age.
This blog has been on my mind for some time but this principle has hit home especially hard recently. When you’ve been in church long enough you learn lots of “church language” that is NOT found in the Bible. One very common example is the phrase “God works in mysterious ways.” This and many other things we hear regularly but ARE NOT TRUE. Actually God has very clearly revealed in scripture what he is doing. The fact that your preacher says things like this proves he does not understand his Bible properly. This phrase is used when something has happened and the preacher can’t explain it. When sickness comes in a person’s life and prayers are not fixing it, someone has to make excuses for why the sickness stays. Stop blaming God first of all. The Calvinistic theology you hear week after week teaches you that God is causing your sickness. This is NOT TRUE! God is NOT making you sick. The sin cursed evil world around you is making you sick. People around you make bad decisions and sometimes Christians get hurt. God did not cause that drunk driver to hit your loved ones car head on. The outcome of the false teaching you hear week after week that gives you the earthly promises that belong to Israel causes you to question God when the bad news comes. God DOES NOT promise you healing like the preacher tells you. God promises you GRACE as you go through the things we face on this sin cursed earth. Why do you or your children blame God and curse God when the bad news comes? Because you promised them Israel’s promises of earthly prosperity and healing and those things don’t come. So what are they left to do but blame God? This is one of the worst results of the spiritualizing of the Bible. We promise our kids and ourselves things Jesus said to Israel and then they don’t happen. Instead of evaluating our doctrine we ask God why me, and blame him for allowing things to come into our lives. God IS NOT causing drunk driving and sickness! This is an outcome of sin and the people around us making bad decisions. The benefit of blaming God or Satan for things they actually did not do is, we don’t have to blame ourselves. The fact of the matter is, many of the bad things that happen in our lives are a result of previous bad decisions we have made. But it’s far too easy to blame God or Satan for our bad decisions and Calvin has made this very easy. When you teach people that God is orchestrating every aspect of our lives then you can easily pass the buck on to someone else. Blaming God has caused countless Christians to give up on God and leave the church. Imagine if those people had been properly taught that God does NOT orchestrate everything, and that our decisions matter and have consequences. Imagine if they had been taught properly that God does not make us sick and cause us to lose our loved ones because this is a result of the sinful world around us. The promises you find in those prayer promise books are usually full of Israel’s promises. This of course explains why the promises most times don’t work. God is dealing with the world in GRACE right now. Paul clearly explains this. When God starts dealing with the world’s sin problem again you will not want to be here. If you are saved by God’s grace and by Christ’s finished crosswork you can be thankful that the things we go through here on earth are only temporary. Yes they hurt, and yes sometimes they are hard to understand but don’t blame God for things he had nothing to do with.
Jer 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
Man’s sin and pride cause him to devise all sorts of evil that God had NOTHING to do with. When your theology proves that it does not hold up, rather than giving up of God, maybe you should find a way that everything in the Bible proves itself true. This can only be found in rightly dividing your Bible as instructed by your Apostle Paul.
When you start searching the internet for information on Dispensational Bible study you will quickly run across people telling you that we “chop up the Bible.” Peter Ruckman’s book against what he calls Hyper-Dispensationalism even shows a blindfolded man chopping up the bread of life on the cover. I don’t mind at all reading information against what the Bible teaches literally because I’m after truth regardless of the outcome. Let’s put this label to the test. I am 100% willing to examine if I am chopping up the Bible, are you? As a right divider of the Bible, I believe the Bible is to be taken literally, exactly as it is written. In other words, I completely trust the Holy Spirit. What this means is I believe EVERY VERSE as it’s written. This means that when the writers of scripture address a specific group of people, I believe it. This means that the red letters in the Bible ARE NOT instructions for me in the age of grace we are living in now. So, when Jesus says baptism is REQUIRED, keeping the law is REQUIRED, selling your possessions is REQUIRED, giving away your coat and your money to ANYONE that asks is REQUIRED, following the people that sit in Moses’ seat is REQUIRED, enduring to the end is REQUIRED, I believe the verses AS WRITTEN TO WHOM they are written. I understand and believe ALL the red letters just exactly as the Holy Spirit put them in the Bible, do you? Jesus plainly spoke and clearly taught his earthly ministry was to Israel. I want to follow Jesus, so I believe him AT HIS WORD. Modern Christianity claims to be following scripture but what do they do with MANY of the things Jesus said? Churches are full of people claiming to follow the red letters, but they don’t know what they say. Preachers are hard at work giving “spiritual” applications to the things Jesus said literally. Preachers are hard at work explaining away the clear instructions Jesus spoke. You are told that Jesus didn’t really mean to give things away, but you should just not “love your money” and you should be “willing to” and have a “giving heart.” DO you understand there are many things found in the red letters that you are NOT taught literally, and you don’t follow? Here is the difference. I believe every word in the red letters EXACTY as they stand, word for word. I also understand to whom they were written, and I leave them to whom the Holy Spirit inspired them. We read, study and teach the OT as well as everything Jesus said here. Yes, ALL scripture is profitable, but this verse does not say ALL scripture is too me specifically. To the contrary, some scripture clearly claims to be to certain groups of people. Why are you changing it? Why do you sit in churches across America and listen to preachers change the clear teaching of scripture? I teach every word as written, most of Christendom picks and chooses which verses to use as a proof text based on the doctrines and beliefs they want to uphold. So, I ask you plainly, who is doing the chopping? Me because I let the words stand as written to whom they were written? Or you as you change the meanings, audiences, and applications so you can keep doing what you’ve been doing? If you claim that the red letters in the gospels are the direct instructions for you today, you are following the Allegorical interpretation of the Bible. Why, because Jesus never said his words were your instructions, someone had to teach you that because it’s not in the Bible. On the other hand, Jesus told Paul he was sent specifically to the Gentiles with new information for living in the age of grace. But you are never taught this. Why?
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