We have started an interesting study here at church over the past few weeks. We are reading a book written specifically to counter the idea of dispensational Bible study, or at least more dispensational than the author. There are plenty of people out there that take a stand against the literal interpretation of scripture. So it’s not hard to find opposition against rightly dividing your Bible. The main reason for this is that right division of the Bible changes many of the religious traditions being taught in fundamental churches today. For this reason, writers will defend their tradition regardless of how clearly the Bible teaches something different. Why? This is the million dollar question isn’t it? The word heresy is thrown around a lot in Christianity. You can easily find people from any denomination calling people from other denominations heretics. I’ve been studying the Bible long enough to have read and heard this many times. This might be one reason why many Christians never study the position of other denominations. Here’s an idea worth considering. Maybe when someone calls you a heretic, you actually consider that person could be correct, and then you take a look at what they believe and why they believe differently than you. This involves work, study and if you actually want the truth it involves a ready mind that is willing to consider you might be wrong. Do you realize different does not equal wrong? I have told people about being a Bible believer and they hop on the internet and in 30 min they are experts on everything I have been studying for many years. What they did was see some things explained differently than their position and instantly wrote it off as wrong. This is because the majority is always correct, right? If something has been taught for many years in Bible college that makes it correct, right? If someone from your denomination tells you everyone else is wrong that makes you correct, right? If you have heard a Bible doctrine taught a certain way your whole life that makes it correct, right? I hope you are honest enough to have actually answered these questions with a no. In the book we are reading I am described as teaching heresy for teaching Bible belief from a literal position. This is the position that the actual words in the Bible are to be believed exactly as they are written. So, I am a heretic for trusting that the Holy Spirit actually inspired the correct words as they are printed in my Bible. We started yesterday’s lesson by looking at the word heresy. Since I am teaching heresy according to this denominational defender I wanted to get a good Bible definition for heresy. Why? Why would I look into this? Because I want to teach EXACTLY what the Bible teaches TO WHOM it teaches it. I am completely willing to admit that I can be WRONG. This is a trait that is unrecognizable in many Christians today. So, what did I find by starting a study on the word heresy? I found that it is used ONE TIME in my King James Bible. I found that it is used by my Apostle Paul. The Apostle that Jesus sent TO ME. Why did Jesus need to call Paul and send him to me? Because Jesus did not come to me, he came to Israel and Peter and the other disciples did not go to me, they were sent to Israel. When I read the ONE VERSE in the entire Bible where the word “heresy” is used I was pretty much overwhelmed. After reading this verse I realized that heresy is a PERFECT Bible word to explain what I am teaching. Paul speaking in Acts 24:14 says this:
But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
I found that Paul was said to be teaching heresy for believing his Bible. But it goes beyond this. Everyone claims to believe their Bible. HOW MUCH of Paul’s Bible did he believe? How much? ALL Paul was called a heretic for having the audacity to believe EVERYTHING that was written in the law and the prophets. So, The writer of the book says I teach heresy because I am a right divider of scripture as taught by the Apostle Paul. Paul himself is called a heretic for actually daring to BELIEVE God’s words. I have concluded that I am 100% COMPLETELY ok with people that love their denominational traditions calling me a heretic, because I’m in pretty good company. I have been teaching ONE THING for the 2 years that Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship has existed. That ONE THING is that for Christians to properly understand their Bible they must believe ALL OF IT. Did you notice the three words in this verse “they call heresy?” Paul’s message was DIFFERENT. Is this not all the proof you need? I ask you again does different equal wrong? That depends on how open you are to the clear teaching of the Bible. God himself put up a wall between Israel and you in Genesis. This wall was STILL UP in the Gospels. Hundreds of prophecies prove Jesus was coming to Israel to be their earthly king and you would only be blessed after this kingdom was established ON EARTH. I believe this exactly as Paul did. You hear week after week that the prophets were wrong and Jesus actually came to rule and reign in our hearts. I wonder who is going to step forward and ask God why he lied about that stuff in the OT? I wonder who is going to step forward and ask Jesus why he lied to the disciples about them ruling on 12 thrones over the 12 tribes or Israel? Or is it actually possible that the things that Paul believed and I teach every week. The things for which you say I teach heresy…… just might be true? I have chosen to put my faith and trust in ALL that the Bible teaches, EXACTLY as the Bible teaches it, TO WHOM it teaches it. This very clearly defines what rightly dividing your Bible is. When you change the ALL, the EXACTLY, or the TO WHOM from this you end up with confusion.
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