Archive for the Times Past, But Now and Times to Come Category

Understanding Tribulation Salvation

Posted in Times Past, But Now and Times to Come on 2009/05/07 by howtobesaved

Written by D. J. Root
AV1611Root@juno.com

One of the great commandments of the Bible is found in II Timothy.

II Timothy 2:15
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Although it is a commandment, it is for the most part either ignored or misunderstood. God commands us to divide his word. Disobedience to that command is the cause of almost all doctrinal differences between Christians. Misunderstanding, confusion, and heresy are the result of an undivided Bible. For instance, the Bible says that you shouldn’t eat pork or shellfish in Leviticus 11. Yet I Timothy 4:1-5 says you can eat anything. Either the Bible is contradicting itself or there is a division somewhere that must be observed. This example is an obvious one, however, and the division between the Old Testament and the New Testament is easily recognizable and accepted. There are also divisions within the Old Testament. The most obvious two are before the Law and after the Law. Noah could eat anything (Genesis 9:3), but Israel could not (Leviticus 11). Abraham and Sarah married with the Lord’s blessing even though they had the same father (Genesis 20:12), while the Israelites were forbidden to marry close kin (Leviticus 18:6). God never changes, but he does change his rules and regulations in his dealings with different people at different times. That is why he commands us to “rightly divide!” If we don’t, then there are contradictions in his instructions!

A most common misconception is that all the New Testament automatically applies doctrinally to the Church. But it is in that very New Testament that a Christian is commanded to “rightly divide!” The New Testament has divisions. If they aren’t observed there will be apparent contradictions.

The Bible says that the New Testament didn’t come into effect until Christ died (Hebrews 9:15-17). Doctrinally speaking the four gospels before Jesus death are still dealing with Jews under Mosaic Law. Jesus himself is a pork abstaining, Sabbath keeping, orthodox Jew. Abraham is chosen to be the Father of the Hebrews in the book of Genesis. In Exodus the Jews are organized, and God claims them as his chosen nation. The entire rest of the Old Testament deals with the nation of Israel. As Matthew begins it is obvious that God is still dealing with them.

Acts 3:25a,26
Ye are the children of the prophets…26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, having sent him to bless you.

Acts 5:31
Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Paul corroborates that Jesus’ ministry is to Israel.

Romans 15:8
Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm to promises made unto the fathers.

Of himself Jesus said:

Matthew 15:24b
…I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Jesus commanded his disciples to go to Israel only!

Matthew 10:5b,6
…Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Jesus prophesied that Israel would lose its standing.

Matthew 21:43
Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

This is temporary, according to the Bible, and in the future Israel will become God’s blessed nation again.

Romans 11:25,26
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that the blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved.

The coming of the Messiah is the fulfilling of Old Testament Jewish prophecy. (Matthew 5:17,18) All through the Old Testament the Jews are waiting for their King to come, sit down on the throne of David, and set up his kingdom. John the Baptist preached that the “kingdom is at hand.” Jesus preached the “gospel of the kingdom.” (Matthew 4:23; 9:35; 24:14) Simple reading shows that this is not the gospel of I Corinthians 15:1-4. The gospel Jesus preached is the Old Testament kingdom gospel that he preached to Jews. Paul’s gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord that should be preached to everyone.

These verses show three distinct time periods or divisions. The first is a continuation of the Old Testament where God is dealing with the nation of Israel. The second begins when God temporarily displaces Israel with the Gentile Church Age. The third is the future time when God deals with his chosen nation, Israel, again.

There are differences in the Lord’s instructions in these periods,

and they are contradictory unless the Bible’s divisions are recognized. Study these examples.

Mark 2:5
When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

James 5:14,15
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

VERSUS

II Corinthians 12:9b
…Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities…

I Timothy 5:23b
…Use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

II Timothy 4:20b
…Trophimus have I left at Miletem sick.

When the Lord healed that man with palsy he first forgave his sins because of the faith of others! Paul says nothing about sins being forgiven when the Lord heals someone, but see the similarity in James (written to the twelve Jewish tribes). Does your church anoint the sick with oil? If so, are they always healed? Are their sins forgiven too?! This is not Church Age doctrine. The greatest apostle that ever lived had an infirmity that wasn’t healed! And he recommended medicine to Timothy not that the elders anoint him and pray for him. He left a good Christian brother sick. James is written doctrinally for Tribulation Jews. These next examples also show a doctrinal difference.

Matthew 18:5
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

VERSUS

Colossians 2:6
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.

I didn’t receive the Lord Jesus Christ by receiving a little child. The context of that passage is conversion! Look it up! No one gets saved today by receiving a child, but in the Tribulation helping a child who believes in Christ is doing a good work to be justified. See James 2:14-20. Here is another example.

Matthew 24:13
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

VERSUS

I Corinthians 1:7b,8
…Waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The first verse tells the Israelite that he himself must endure to the end to be saved. The second tells a Church Age Christian that the Lord will confirm him till the end. These verses contradict unless there is a division!

Hebrews 3:14
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.

I Corinthians 12:27
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

I Corinthians 10:17
For we being many are…one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

Hebrews 3:14 is a warning to Jews in the Tribulation that they will only be partakers of Christ if they hold stedfast. The next two verses say that all Christians are partakers now. Also see Ephesians 5:30.

Matthew 7:1,2
Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.

VERSUS

I Corinthians 2:15
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

Jesus was speaking to pre-crucifixion Jews in Matthew. Paul was instructing Church Age Christians in Corinthians. Those verses contradict unless there is a division!

These next verses are glaring and irreconcilable if there are no divisions in the New Testament. A certain ruler comes to Jesus and asks the most important question a person can ask. He asks the right question to the right person.

Matthew 19:16b,17,21
…Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him…if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 21…and follow me.

VERSUS

Acts 16:30b,31
…Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and though shalt be saved.

Ephesians 2:8,9
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Jesus told this Israelite ruler to keep to commandments and follow him. That is not the plan of salvation for the Church Age. Church Age salvation is not even partially dependent on good works, but there are New Testament verses that say works are necessary! Remember, where there are supposed contradictions one is commanded to divide the Bible.

Now it has already been established that the Bible says that doctrinally the Old Testament was in effect until the death of Jesus, and that the Old Testament deals with Israel as a nation. Previous verses have proven that Christ and his apostles came to minister to that nation. At Christ’s death the New Testament is instituted. What about contradictions in the New Testament after Christ’s death? The same command to divide applies. The crucifixion marked the first division. What marks the next? At this point God is still dealing with the nation of Israel and has not set them aside yet.

At Jesus’ resurrection he appears to his Jewish disciples and instructs them about the kingdom (Luke 1:32,33) that he and John have preached about. His apostles ask:

Acts 1:6b
…Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Jesus answered:

Acts 1:7b
…It is not for you to know the times of the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

The crucifixion of the Jewish Messiah had to take place to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy before the kingdom was restored. The nation is forgiven for Christ’s death.

Luke 23:34a
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…

As a nation they still have a chance to accept their Messiah. They have not been displaced by the Gentiles yet. They must accept Jesus as their King before he will return and set up the kingdom.

From the crucifixion through Acts 7 God is still dealing exclusively with Israel as a nation. Peter preaches to them on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:5,14,22,36) and again in Acts 3 (vs 12,22) and Acts 4 (v 8) and Acts 5 (v 31). Stephen preaches to them in Acts 6 (v9). There are no Gentiles present or preached to in these chapters unless they are already roselytes to Judaism. (Acts 2:10; 6:1 & John 12:20) Stephen preached to them for the last time before their displacement. In Acts 7 he recounted their national history of disobedience and ends with:

Acts 7:51,52
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. 52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers.

The nation of Israel needed to repent of their crucifying the Messiah, but at this point they still refuse.

Now God has given himself guidelines for the establishing and destroying of kingdoms.

Jeremiah 18:9,10
And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; 10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.

Here is the next dividing line in the New Testament. Just as Jesus prophesied Israel is about to be displaced. Saul heard Stephen’s message in Acts 7:58 and the Holy Spirit needed only one chapter to convict him, and save him to become the apostle to the Gentiles.

Romans 11:13a
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles…

The Sanhedrin of that time rejected Jesus when they rejected Stephen’s message. It was that generation’s (Acts 2:39) last chance to accept their Messiah and see the kingdom established in their day. They refused, so God turned to the unclean Gentiles and gave them Paul as their apostle.

Now Acts is a book of progressive revelation and one time events. In Chapter One Christ ascends. In Chapter Two the Holy Spirit is given to individual believers. Signs and wonders are done by the apostles in Acts 5:12. The nation rejects their Messiah in Chapter Seven. A Gentile born black man who was a proselyte to Judaism becomes the first man saved by grace through faith in Acts 8:37. In Chapter Nine the apostle to the Gentiles is saved. And then comes the revelation that Gentiles are no longer unclean and can be saved in Chapter Ten.

That new revelation is especially important because it verifies again the fact that before this time God was not dealing with the Gentiles. The Lord used a dream to inform and convince Peter of this new revelation and change in instructions. He used the sign of tongues to convince those Jews that accompanied Peter to Cornelius’ house. And Peter had to rehearse the speech he knew he’d have to make to the brethren when he returned to Jerusalem. He knew they’d need to be persuaded.

Acts 15 is the chapter where final doctrine is settled for the Gentile Church Age. Certain Hebrew Christians were upsetting the new Gentile converts by telling them that in order to be saved they had to be circumcised and keep the law (v24) in addition to trusting Christ. They decided that Paul and Barnabus should go to Jerusalem to consult with the apostles and elders to resolve the question.

Acts 15:5,6
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. 6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider the matter.

Now this is a crucial issue. Are works necessary for salvation at this point in time? They give their determination here.

Acts 15:9b-11
…Purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

The final decision on Church Age salvation is made. The apostles officially agree that salvation is by grace through faith. No works are needed. And the Bible says that all good works are works of the Law.

Matthew 7:12
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: this is the law and the prophets.

Romans 2:14b,15a
For when the Gentiles…do by nature the things contained in the law these…15…shew the work of the law written in their hearts…

The conclusion is that no works of any kind help to save a person in the Church Age.

Galatians 2:16a
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ…

The New Testament divisions thus far are these: In the gospels the Old Testament is still in effect until the crucifixion. At this time God is still dealing exclusively with the nation of Israel. The crucifixion is the fulfilling of Jewish prophecy and must take place before the Jewish kingdom can be set up. The nation is forgiven for killing Christ, and exhorted to accept him as Messiah so he can set up the kingdom. Through Acts 7 they are admonished to accept Christ but they refuse. Stephen’s death marks the next New Testament division. God temporarily displaces Israel and turns to the Gentiles. At this time God’s rules and instructions change. Before Acts 7 individuals were saved by faith plus works. (Matthew 19:17; Luke 1:6 and Acts 2:38) In Acts 8:37 the first man is saved by faith alone. And in Acts 15 everyone agrees to that change in doctrine. Works were necessary before that! That’s the reason for the apostolic conclave. At that time they officially recognize the change in doctrine.

Church Age doctrine is found in Paul’s epistles. He is the apostle during the “times of the Gentiles.”

Romans 15:16a
That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God…

During the “times of the Gentiles” people are to follow Paul and his doctrine.

I Corinthians 11:1
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Paul was chosen especially by the Lord so he could reveal a new doctrine that was hidden before Paul. (Ephesians 3:1-8 and Galatians 1:11,12) He calls it his gospel (Romans 16:25) and it is the gospel of salvation by faith alone. Once more this hidden gospel is a shock to them in the book of Acts. That is the reason for their official meeting to determine its validity.

Now there is one more division that the Bible mentions.

Romans 11:25b,26a
Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved.

This verse says that God will deal with Israel again after he is finished with the Gentiles. Now Paul writes to the Gentiles right up through Philemon. The next book is Hebrews and the one after is James, written “to the twelve tribes, which are scattered abroad.” If there are “apparent contradictions” between these books written to the Jews and Paul’s epistles written for the Church Age then the Bible division can be drawn between Philemon and Hebrews.

Now this does not mean that a Christian cannot find spiritual truth or application in the parts of the Bible that are written to Israel.

Most of the Bible is for Israel!

Romans 15:4a
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were for our learning.

I Corinthians 10:11
These things…are written for our admonition.

But just as a Christian is not to take the dietary laws of Leviticus as doctrine neither is he to take doctrine from other Jewish epistles! And doctrine is the first thing to be considered when understanding a verse.

II Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

A detailed study of Paul’s epistles compared to the epistle by James exhibit indisputable contradictions unless there is a doctrinal dividing line. All the denominations which claim works are essential in obtaining or keeping salvation use the book of James. They do this because James does say that works are required. Paul says just the opposite.

Romans 3:20a
Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified…

Romans 4:6
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.

Galatians 2:16a
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law.

II Timothy 1:9a
Who has saved us…not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace.

Paul says that faith (belief) justifies.

Acts 13:39
And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Acts 15:9b
…Purifying their hearts by faith.

Romans 3:24a
Being justified freely by his grace…

Ephesians 2:8a,9a
For by grace are ye saved through faith… 9 Not of works.

Romans 4:5
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Paul’s conclusion:

Romans 11:6
And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But it if be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Romans 3:27,28
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Paul’s conclusion is clear – salvation is “no more of works” (It used to be!!) but now faith alone justifies! James is just as clear as Paul.

James 2:24
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

OUCH!! What does a Christian who doesn’t divide his Bible do with that verse? Most would say: “Well, forget what it says, this it what it really means…” An honest Christian will admit to the contradiction and obey the Bible command to “rightly divide!”

James is doctrine for the Tribulation. The context of Chapter Two reveals what kind of works, coupled with faith, is needed to justify a man. He begins with:

James 2:1a
The faith of our Lord Jesus Christ…

James 2:1-7 describes not having “respect of persons” as one of the works that helps to justify.

James 2:8b
…the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…

According to Jesus this is the second commandment on which all the law and the prophets depend. (Matthew 22:40) If a person does have respect of persons, however…

James 2:9b
Ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

This is definitely the law of Moses because he continues…

James 2:10,11a
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill…

James goes on to ask an hypothetical question.

James 2:14
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Yes, according to Paul. No, according to James.

James 2:17
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

James gives two specific Old Testament examples to show the necessity of coupling faith with works. He plainly states that Abraham and Rahab were justified by works.

James 2:21
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

James 2:25b
Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works…

Now all works are done in the flesh. See the contradiction between James and Paul.

James 2:22
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

VERSUS

Galatians 3:2b,3
Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

James says that faith is made perfect by works while Paul says that works can’t make faith perfect! There must be a division!

Now Abraham is a unique, one of a kind, individual, just as Enoch or Noah or Moses. He is the Father of both the Jews and the saved Gentiles. Of the Jews Stephen preached:

Acts 7:2a
…Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham…

Of saved Gentiles Paul wrote:

Galatians 3:7b
…They which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

The Bible says some contradictory things about Abraham so there must be a division. Paul says he was not justified by works.

Romans 4:2,5
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory… 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

James says he was justified by works.

James 2:21,24
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Just as the Bible has divisions, Abraham’s life has a very important divsion.

Genesis 17:9,10b,26
And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generation. 10b…Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 26 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son.

Time after time the Bible differentiates between the Hebrews and the Gentiles with reference to this physical difference.

Ephesians 2:11
…That ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands.

Technically, Abraham was a “saved Gentile” before be was circumcised. He was justified in Genesis.

Genesis 15:6
And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

This is exactly what Paul is saying in Romans 4.

Romans 4:8-10
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin, 9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

Abraham was justified the first time by faith alone as an uncircumcised Gentile man. This makes him the Father of the Gentiles who are saved by grace through faith with no works.

Romans 4:11b
…That he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised…

In Genesis 17:26 Abraham goes from the Uncircumcision to the Circumcision. Paul speaks of him as a Gentile while James speaks of him as a Jew. When confirming Abraham’s justification Paul attests to an event before his circumcision (Genesis 15:6). When James describes his justification he points to an event after his circumcision (Genesis 22:9).

James 2:21
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered Isaac his son upon the altar.

Abraham was justified the second time, as a circumcised Hebrew, by faith plus works. This makes him the Father of the Jews. His faith exhibited in Genesis 15:6 was fulfilled in Genesis 22:9.

Apparent contradictions occur in the New Testament because the divisions are not observed. God does not deal the same way with Israel as he does with the Church. In the Old Testament the Jews were required to keep the law of Moses as well as have faith in God in order to be saved. Israel as a nation was eternally secure but the individuals within that nation were not. If the nation kept God’s laws and commandments it was blessed with temporal, earthly blessings. If it was disobedient it was cursed with temporal, earthly curses. See Deuteronomy 28:1-47 and Leviticus 26. The priests were instructed in the sacrifices to make when there was disobedience. If these sacrifices were made the nation stayed “right” with the Lord. The most important sacrifice being, of course, on the day of atonement where the sins of the nation were forgiven.

Leviticus 16:34a
And this shall be an everlasting statue unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year.

Daily national sacrifices were made to keep the nation “right” as well. See Leviticus 4:13-21 and Numbers 15:22-26. The priests were kept busy.

Now the sin of an individual within the nation could bring temporal condemnation on all of Israel. God charged the nation with sin because of the iniquity of Achan.

Joshua 7:1
But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan…took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.

Joshua 7:10a,11a
And the Lord said…11a Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them.

Achan’s entire household was stoned for his sin, and the Lord forgave and nation and was appeased.

Joshua 7:26b
…So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger…

Now what about Achan, himself. In God’s sight he was not breaking the Law before that time. So up to the time he took the accursed thing he was right with the Lord. When he committed the sin, God caught him and demanded that Israel stone him. Did he lose his “salvation” and go to hell, or was he just “removed” from the nation and sent to Abraham’s bosom as his punishment? The Bible will determine that answer.

The Law covered sacrifices for individual sins as well as national ones. (Leviticus 4:2; Numbers 15:27) The priests were responsible to make the sacrifices in order to keep the nation right with God, but individuals brought sacrifices to the priests to keep themselves right with the Lord. These were required if the person was to stay “saved.” Not all sins could be forgiven with sacrifices.

Hebrews 9:22
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood is no remission.

The Old Testament lists a number of sins for which the Lord allowed no sacrifice. The sinner was to be put to death with his blood upon him. Where there was no blood sacrifice there was no forgiveness for the sin. See Leviticus 20:2,6,9-15,27; Leviticus 24:16,17; Deuteronomy 13:6 with 13:9; Exodus 21:12-17; Exodus 22:19; Exodus 31:14.

In Achan’s case there was no sacrifice he could offer and therefore no means of forgiveness. Achan and his unforgiven sin went to hell.

Numbers 15:30,31
But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously…that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.

Job 4:7
Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?

Achan lost his salvation! He had been righteous in the eyes of the Law until he took the accursed thing.

Ezekiel 18:26
When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.

His name had been in the book of life and the Lord blotted it out.

Exodus 32:33
And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Psalm 69:28
Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Now where there was a sacrifice for a particular sin, it was required to be made before the Lord would forgive the sinner. If he didn’t meet the requirement and make the sacrifice he was not forgiven. Without the shedding of blood is no remission or forgiveness.

Ezekiel 33:12b,15
As for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; 15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statues of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.

There was righteousness under the Law of Moses!!

Deuteronomy 6:25
And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.

Romans 10:5
For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

Zacharias, Elisabeth, and Paul all had this righteousness.

Luke 1:6
And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Philippians 3:6
Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

The righteousness given by the Law was not the same as the righteousness that is freely given when one trusts Christ as his personal Saviour.

Philippians 3:9
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

There was no guarantee of eternal life under the Law because it depended on the conduct of the individual. As mentioned earlier the nation of Israel was and is eternally secure. They have an unconditional promise, but the individual within the nation had to keep the commandments.

Ezekiel 33:12
Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.

Deuteronomy 29:18a, 20
Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our

God…20 The LORD will not spare him…and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.

Christians today are eternally secure, in Christ. We don’t need to keep the commandments, because he kept them for us and we are in him! But no one in the Old Testament was in Christ. No one had kept the commandments for them, so they had to try to keep them themselves. When they failed, God had required, designated sacrifices for them to perform. If God had provided no sacrifice for their sin, or they failed to offer the necessary sacrifice, they lost their righteousness which was under the Law (their salvation) because “without the shedding of blood there is no remission.”

Now in a “rightly divided” New Testament are keeping the commandments ever necessary for salvation? Looking at some other apparent New Testament contradictions will clarify it.

Matthew 6:14,15
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

VERSUS

Colossians 2:13
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Matthew says a person has forgiveness only if he forgives others. This is good works under the Law. See Matthew 7:12. Paul says a person is forgiven of all trespasses when he gets saved. See Ephesians 1:13.

II Timothy 2:13
If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

Hebrews 3:12,14
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of, unbelief, in departing from the living God. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.

Paul says that a Christian’s unbelief cannot separate him from God. According to Romans 8:38,39 nothing can. A Christian is eternally secure no matter what he believes or what he does. He is part of Christ’s body and already a partaker according to I Corinthians 12:27 and I Corinthians 10:17. But in Hebrews it says that an unbelieving heart can make a person depart from God and fail to be a partaker. Hebrews says that the person must “hold…unto the end.” This command is repeated in Matthew 10:22, Matthew 24:13, and Mark 13:13. These Israelites must not depart from God but “hold on” in order to be saved! Those two doctrines are not the same. They contradict! The following passages also confirm this.

Colossians 3:10
And have put on the knew man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.

I Timothy 2:4
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Hebrews 10:26,29,38,39.
For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 38 Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him, 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

There are two important “contradictions” in these verses. The Lord Jesus Christ is “the Truth.” Paul says that God wants all men to be saved by coming to the knowledge of the Truth. That knowledge makes a person a new man with a new image. A Christian is in Christ, and Christ is in a Christian. (Colossians 1:27) Once a person is in Christ he is sanctified (I Corinthians 1:2), he is secure.

The verses in Hebrews speak of a person who had “received the knowledge of the truth.” Not only that, “he was sanctified.” But something happened. He drew “back unto perdition!” He lost his salvation!!

A Christian today can’t lose his salvation!! This passage in Hebrews is written doctrinally for someone else. So were the next set of verses.

II Peter 2:19-21
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment, delivered unto them.

The people discussed here had been saved. They had escaped the world’s pollution through the knowledge of Jesus, but then were overcome again by the world. These people cannot be Church Age Christians. How is it ever better for a Christian not to have known the way of righteousness? A Church Age Christian who goes back to live in the world is still a Christian. He’ll lose his rewards but not his salvation. But during the Tribulation it is a different story. Hebrews 10:26-31 explains.

Salvation during the Tribulation is based on both faith and works. Jesus, himself, said that love toward God, whom we can’t see (faith); and love toward our neighbor, whom we can see (works) are the two commandments upon which hang all the law and prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40). The Old Testament Jewish saints were required to obey God’s commandments to be and to stay saved. The Tribulation saints will be required to have faith in Christ and keep the commandments by helping their neighbors. Time after time this theme is expounded. (Matthew 10:40-42; Matthew 19:16-21; Luke 10:25-37; Hebrews 6:10; Hebrews 10:24; James 1:22-27; James 2:1-9; I Peter 1:22) In fact, God determines the disposition of the nations according to how they treat the Jew during the Tribulation. (Matthew 25:31-46)

During the Tribulation, if a person has faith in Christ and helps his neighbor then Christ will dwell in him. If he breaks one of these commandments his former righteousness does not count, just as it was in the Old Testament. One must endure to the end and not be overcome. (II Peter 2:20)

Revelation 12:17
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 14:12
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Revelation 22:14
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates unto the city.

I don’t need to keep the commandments to be or remain saved. My salvation is by grace alone through faith. I don’t need to eat of the tree of life because I already have eternal life!! Tribulation salvation has two parts : Faith and Works! A person during this time must believe, overcome, and endure to the end. John explains this in his epistles.

John 14:21a
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father…

John 14:23
If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

The keeping of two commandments will insure God being in you.

I John 5:3a
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments…

I John 3:23
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

John 15:12
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Now I know that Christians are supposed to love each other, but that is not a requirement for our salvation. It is here.

John 15:10a
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love…

Romans 8:39 says that nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. The man who doesn’t “abide” in Christ (he used to be in him but didn’t stay) is cast into the fire and burned. (John 15:6).

A person who abides in Christ by keeping the two commandments has Christ in him, and he is in Christ. This person is said to have “overcome” because Christ has overcome the world.

John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

I John 4:4
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

In order to overcome the world and not be overcome by it (II Peter 2:20 and Revelation 13:7) a person must have faith and works.

Revelation 12:11
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Revelation 2:26
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Many rewards and privileges are granted to those people in the Tribulation who overcome and endure to the end. (Revelation 2:7; Revelation 2:11,17,26; Revelation 3:5,12,21; Revelation 21:7) I don’t have to worry about overcoming or enduring because the Holy Spirit is sealed inside me until the day of the redemption of my body, and in Christ I am secure.

The conclusion is much like the beginning. God commands us to divide his word. Christ himself says that he came to Israel, that it would be temporarily put aside, and then dealt with again when the times of the Gentiles were over. God doesn’t change, but many verses prove that his rules and regulations concerning different people at different times do change. Although all scripture is for the Christian’s learning and admonition, not all scripture can be applied doctrinally. Most of the Bible is written about and to the nation of Israel. Only a small part is written doctrinally for the Church which is the body of Christ. The rest of the scriptures are for our reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. Many doctrines are consistent throughout the entire Bible. The doctrine of salvation, however, changes as do some of God’s other doctrines (dietary for example). Many Bible verses have been used to show that salvation during the Tribulation is a result of both faith and works. If a person believes what the Bible says there can be no doubt of this. If a person puts himself in God’s stead and says “Well, it may say that…but what it really means is…..” then there is no help for him. What he really means is “How much fish oil can you get from a baked watermelon?”

If any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
I Corinthians 14:38

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Arrayed in Purple and Scarlet and precious stones…

Posted in Times Past, But Now and Times to Come on 2009/04/18 by howtobesaved

The Great Harlot – Apostate Israel

Posted in Times Past, But Now and Times to Come on 2009/04/16 by howtobesaved

The Great Harlot depicted in Revelation 17 and 18 is not a Gentile church, nor is it a Gentile nation simply because neither have ever qualified for the title of Great Harlot by corrupting a covenant relationship with God which is likened unto a marriage. Amos 3:2 – “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities”

Only Israel as a nation came to know God through His revelation of Himself to her. In biblical terms, a whore is a woman who is unfaithful to a covenant. Israel had God’s way of life initimately revealed to her. No other nation ever entered into a covenant with God. So Israel alone is unfaithful to this exclusive union.

Revelation 17:
“The woman whom you saw is the great city which has dominion over the kings of the earth” .

Revelation 11:8:
“And [the two witnesses’] bodies will lie in the street of the GREAT CITY which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, WHERE ALSO THEIR LORD WAS CRUCIFIED”.

Revelation 16:19
“And the great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell”

The Harlot is arrayed in purple and scarlet, with gold and precious stones and pearls. This is identical to the Jewish High Priest’s garments by the way, and Jerusalem has always been associated with the Jewish priestly system, not so?

Revelation 17
“the great harlot … with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication”

“the mother of harlots”

The Old Testament prophets, and the people or city committing adultery or being called a Harlot are consistently referenced to being unfaithful to a covenant. So one cannot commit adultery against God if you are not married to Him.

Israel is consistently depicted and called the Harlot in Old Testament prophecy. In Revelation the Apostle John basically applies the contents of the Prophet Ezekiel which is about Jerusalem’s approaching destruction because of her great adultery.

Revelation 17:5
“And upon her forehead a name was written a name, a mystery, ‘Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth’”

This also seems to also occur in two Old Testament scriptures, both of which incriminate Jerusalem as the Harlot: In Jeremiah 3:3-67 it states, “You had a harlot’s forehead”, and Exodus 28:36-38 where the High Priest’s cap (which is made from the same materials as his garments) has written on it “Holy to the LORD”.

The Prophet Jeremiah also warns faithless Judah that, even though she was dressed in scarlet as she was, her lovers had turned upon her and were seeking to kill her. By the same token, in Revelation 17:16, the Beast with the ten horns turns on the Harlot and destroys her.

Compare:

Revelation 18:24
“in her was found the blood of the prophets and saints and all who have been slain upon the earth”

and

Matthew 23:34-35
“I am sending to you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in
your synagogues and persecute from city to city, so that upon you might fall the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from
the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.”

and

Luke 11:50–51
“… in order that the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world may be required from this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary; yes, I say to you, it will be required of this generation.”

The Harlot’s desolation in Revelation 17 also ties in with Ezekiel 23:25-29, “Your survivors will be devoured by the fire….. they will strip you of your clothes…… and they will deal with you in hatred…. and leave you naked and bare. And the nakedness of your harlotries will be uncovered….. they will burn their houses with fire. Ezekiel 16:37-41, “I will gather together all your lovers with whom you have consorted….. they will break down your house of harlotry….. and they will leave you naked….. they will burn your houses with fire”. Hosea 2:3, “… wil strip her naked and…. make her desolate”. See also Jeremiah 10:25.

Compare Jeremiah 3 where God divorces Israel to Revelation where the Harlot is dismissed by God as an unfit wife for Christ.

Jerusalem rejected her Messiah. So He chooses a new bride called the “New Jerusalem”, which is in contrast to the Old Jerusalem of The Apocalypse.

So is Jerusalem situated on seven hills?

Ancient Jerusalem was built between seven hills which are now included in the municipal boundaries of modern Jerusalem.

They are:

1) Scopus Hill
2) Nob Hill
3) The Mount of Corruption or the Mount of Offence
4) The ridge between the Kedron and Tyropoeon valleys.
5) The Ophel Mount
6) Fort Antonia
7) Mount Zion

The last world empire will have it’s headquarters in Jerusalem. The Antichrist will come to Jerusalem like he is Jesus Christ Himself.

He will in all likelihood come to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple and his image will be placed in the Holy of Holies and will probably quote Exodus 25:18-22.

Further…

Posted in Times Past, But Now and Times to Come on 2009/04/15 by howtobesaved

Further to the video which was posted yesterday under the heading “What’s WRONG???” pertaining to the “Ten Shekels and a shirt” video by Paris Reidhead:-

In this particular video it is stated, “Look at the 1st verse of this 52nd chapter. Awake! Awake! Put on strength. Wake it up. You’re sleepy Christians! Awake thou that sleepeth, Arise from the dead! Christ will give you life!”

It doesn’t state specifically where this 1st verse of the 52nd chapter is taken from, which put a huge question mark over it. But if one looks at Isaiah 52:1 it states, “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean”.

Even a bird brain can see that God is talking to ISRAEL here during the Tribulation period. So why did they change Isaiah 52:1? Don’t they know the consequences of altering God’s words?

What’s WRONG???

Posted in Times Past, But Now and Times to Come on 2009/04/14 by howtobesaved

It seems when it comes to this subject, many Christians, including well-intentioned and sincere ones, don’t see the danger or the error hidden in Christian mysticism, man’s word, man’s opinion, watered down Bible (per)versions, etc, etc. They flail around in the dark when it comes to being able to discern spiritual GARBAGE, because it’s so subtle, they cannot see the wood for the trees.

Surely there should be enough evidence that something is drastically wrong when a person who calls him or herself a Christian is still in “pursuit of God” and cannot find or know the Tru Living God as depicted in His Word?

I came across the following video this weekend that shocked the cotton socks off me for the simple reason that it’s seen as orthodox Christianity today. WOW. I wonder how many Chrisitans out there would actually hold it up against the light of God’s Word? My guess is, not many and would rather ask, “What’s wrong with it? It’s a great video, it contains a lot of truth”. IT DOES?

In this video you can find lots of big talk, fluff, hot air, spiritual sounding terms, watered down, insipid mumbo jumbo spoken in spiritual tones, and their answer for you to be saved is that you must run to a church, not knowing who sent youor why you’re there, and fall down – and you remain as lost as you were from the beginning. Now where does it say that in the Bible? Scripture and verse please.

Fancy that, you are saved and you don’t know it and you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and you are totally clueless who sent you, and there’s no mention of the real Gospel, there’s not even an inkling of God’s imputed righteousness, there’s no mention of justification, no mention of God’s Gospel of Grace. So you have to work for it. This is all pretty subjective when you come to think about it. Does the Lord God of the Bible control people this way? Will He ever over-ride their free will and send them running to a church like lemmings? After all, if these people are saved and belong to the Body of Christ – why do they need to run to an empty church building to get a grip on what’s happening? Think about it.

In fact Biblical doctrine is dissed as “humanism” or “intellectualism”. There’s no scripture mentioned to confirm their message. It’s all about man and his self-righteousness. It reminds a lot of the New Age Message which preaches a generic Gospel and a generic Jesus. If we are to be as righteous as they purport in this video in order to be accepted by God, then why do we need a Saviour? Did Christ die in vain?

This is hardcore works based salvation at it’s best. Salvation on the instalment plan, continuous weeping and gnashing of teeth because one can lose their salvation. As far as being saved from lying, cheating, et al as mentioned in the video, show me ONE MAN who isn’t a liar, for the Word of God says we are ALL liars. And what does it say about God’s character since we can continuously “lose our salvation” because we “aren’t good enough”. News Flash – we’ll never be good enough, He knew that, that’s why He did it ALL for us.

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee and see this muppet show for what it is, that it isn’t the true Gospel as given to us by the Apostle Paul in this Dispensation of God’s grace, which can be seen in the epistles from Romans to Philemon. These preachers rely on the Old Testament for their salvation which is WRONG. If you understand God’s Word by Right Division, you’ll never fall for this garbage:


————————————————————-
It’s also a really sad day when something like the following is posted on a Christian forum and is purported to be “Balanced Biblical Doctrine”. Since when did Aiden Wilson Tozer become orthodox? He was a Christian mystic, for goodness sake. They go all out to “find” God, be it in nature or whatever, and eventually find Him in their subjective feelings, emotions and experiences.

Today God speaks to us by His Word. We are to study to shew ourselves approved. There’s no way that God can be subjected to subjective emotions and circumstances. His Word shows His character and His plan. Study it.

http://www.rr-bb.com/showthread.php?t=47923
—————————————————————-
Other Christian mystics:

C.S. Lewis
Oral Roberts
Charles Taze Russell
Smith Wigglesworth
John G. Lake
Edgar Cayce
Aimee Semple McPherson
Watchman Nee
Mother Theresa
Henri Nouwen
Lonnie Frisbee
Jack Wimber
Rick Joyner
Mike Bickle
Todd Bentley

The Day of Pentecost

Posted in Times Past, But Now and Times to Come on 2009/03/25 by howtobesaved

by K. R. Blades

In the course of God’s dealings with the nation of Israel, there have been a number of times when He has produced in her midst a grand and phenomenal event which was intended to make a big impression upon her. The extraordinary nature of the parting of the waters of both the Red Sea and the Jordan River would fall into this category. So also would the taking of Jericho, and the consuming of Elijah’s sacrifice on Mt. Carmel, to cite just a few. These events were certainly remarkable in nature, and they were designed to make specific impacts upon the people of Israel in the outworking of God’s program with them.

Another event which falls into this category is that which took place in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, not many days after the Lord Jesus Christ had returned to heaven. As is recorded in Acts 2:1 4,…

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they (the 12 apostles and other disciples) were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Without a doubt, this was also a remarkable and phenomenal event. In fulfillment of what the Lord had promised before He returned to heaven, these apostles and disciples were at this time “baptized with the Holy Ghost” and received “power from on high” in connection with it. (cf. Acts 1:4 5,8) The Holy Ghost came upon them as so described, and they began miraculously uttering forth in other languages “the wonderful works of God”. This was truly astounding and impressed the Jews from every nation which were then dwelling at Jerusalem. As verses 6-7 declare they were all “confounded” and were “all amazed and marvelled.”

But as with other phenomenons that God had produced, this didn’t occur simply to amaze or astound. This event on the day of Pentecost meant something. It signified something in God’s plan and purpose.

WHAT WAS GOING ON?

It is commonly believed that this remarkable event on the day of Pentecost signified the beginning of this present dispensation of God’s grace in which we live. This is thought to be the case primarily because of the fact that the Lord’s sufferings have just been accomplished, and the Holy Spirit has now come on this day. It is generally thought that with Israel’s rejection of Christ at the cross, that at that time God set Israel aside and suspended His program and dealings with her, and began to turn to us Gentiles. Therefore, the coming of the Holy Spirit following Christ’s return to heaven is assumed to be for the purpose of forming the “new creation”, the church the body of Christ. Hence, the day of Pentecost is often called The Birthday of the Church, or The Birthday of this Age of Grac.

Though this is often thought to be the case, it is actually a misunderstanding of what was going on at this time. In truth, it is in conflict with the testimony of the word of God concerning both what was happening on the day of Pentecost, and when it actually was that God ushered in this dispensation of Gentile grace in which we live today. In truth, as we need to note, God’s program and dealings with the nation of Israel were still in effect on the day of Pentecost. The things which transpired at that time all had to do with the outworking of God’s special program with His nation. It was not until later on, through the occurrence of another remarkable and phenomenal event the unexpected return of the Lord from heaven to raise up Paul as a brand new apostle that God ushered in this present dispensation of Gentile grace.

THE TESTIMONY OF THE GOSPELS

There are a number of things recorded in the Gospel accounts which teach us that God’s special program with Israel would be continuing and advancing on following their rejection of Christ. Notice the reality of this in the following examples:

Luke 24:13 27 In view of the Lord’s sufferings on the cross, these two dejected disciples thought that Israel’s hope was now dashed because of His death. But the Lord’s words to them clearly show that His sufferings were NOT an obstacle at all to Israel’s redemption and glory. They were NOT a stunning blow to God’s program with her. But rather, the sufferings were necessary to accomplish their redemption and to give them the glory. Christ’s sufferings were foreordained, planned for, and prophesied about. They were an essential step in the outworking of God’s program with Israel so that the glory of their covenanted kingdom could be theirs. The prophets set forth the issue of “the sufferings of Christ, and the glory which should follow”. And now that the sufferings were accomplished, the program was ready to advance on to “the glory”.

The Lord did not teach His disciples to look at His rejection as a hinderance to God’s program and purpose with Israel. They were not taught to think that God, in view of it, was now going to set the nation aside. But rather, they were taught the prophesied necessity of Christ’s sufferings in order “to enter into his glory”. The hope of the glory wasn’t dashed at all. But instead, now the way was paved for the glory to come.

The Lord’s own testimony concerning His rejection, therefore, indicates to us that God’s program with Israel would be continuing on in spite of it.

Luke 13:6 9 The Lord earlier on also gave evidence that this would be the case in this particular parable which He set forth. Against the background of Israel’s failure to “discern this time” and their mounting negative response to the “gospel of the kingdom” and to Him as their Christ, the Lord described what their situation was soon going to be.

As the parable describes, Christ’s three year ministry to His nation was not going to be received by them. They would not bring forth “fruit” unto Him. At the end of that time they would be in the position of deserving the Lord’s day of wrath. The nation would then be like the fig tree worthy of being cut down. But, just as with the “dresser of the vineyard” in the parable, the Lord would request an extension of mercy and forbearance be given to the nation, during which time they would be worked and given the opportunity to yet bear the fruit.

As is recorded in Luke 23:33 34, when Christ hung upon the cross He did the very thing He described in the parable.

“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him,…Then said Jesus, FATHER, FORGIVE THEM; FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.”

In praying for them, the Lord provided for the extension of mercy and forbearance to be given to His nation. Israel would neither be cut down nor set aside at this time. But rather, God’s program and dealings with His nation would advance on, and the people of Israel would be given a further opportunity to change their minds and believe the “gospel of the kingdom”. And this is what the opening chapters of the book of Acts goes on to record.

THE TESTIMONY OF ACTS 2 ITSELF

The definitive explanation, though, regarding what God was doing on the day of Pentecost, is that which He Himself gave on that very day. In response to the multitude of Jews themselves “saying one to another, What meaneth this?”, the apostle Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, stood up and explained what was going on. God had Peter explain exactly what the remarkable event was and what it meant. And God’s own testimony is that He was still dealing with Israel.

“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. BUT THIS IS THAT WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY THE PROPHET JOEL; AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE LAST DAYS, SAITH GOD, I WILL POUR OUT OF MY SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH: AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS: AND ON MY SERVANTS AND ON MY HANDMAIDENS I WILL POUR OUT IN THOSE DAYS OF MY SPIRIT; AND THEY SHALL PROPHESY: AND I WILL SHEW WONDERS IN HEAVEN ABOVE, AND SIGNS IN THE EARTH BENEATH; BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOUR OF SMOKE: THE SUN SHALL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS, AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THAT GREAT AND NOTABLE DAY OF THE LORD COME: AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.” (Acts 2:14 21)

Peter’s declaration here lays all conjecture to rest. As he says, “THIS IS THAT WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY THE PROPHET JOEL.” The day of Pentecost with its remarkable events, therefore, was NOT the beginning of a new dispensation. It was NOT the commencing of this present dispensation of God’s grace to us Gentiles, which, as the apostle Paul testifies, was a “mystery”; “hid in God” in ages and generations past, and not made known to the sons of men. (cf. Eph. 3:1 12; Col. 1:25 27) But rather, what God was doing on the day of Pentecost was something He had made known in the past. He hadn’t kept it “hid in Himself”. But instead, He foretold of it and had Joel declare to Israel that it was coming. Obviously, the events of the day of Pentecost, which God had long foretold would come, were not the ushering in of this present dispensation, which God before kept “hid in Himself”.

Also notice that what Joel foretold were the things which would be transpiring in “the last days” of God’s program and dealings with Israel. As Joel set forth in his entire prophecy, God’s dealings with Israel were advancing on to the time when He was going to have His day with them and this world. The “day of the LORD” was coming, as Joel 1:15 warned, and as 2:1ff described. By it God would purge Israel of all the rebellious ones. Also, He would avenge His cause with them upon the nations, and judge this world, and establish His kingdom in Zion.

As Joel 2:28ff states, when God’s dealings with Israel came down to their “last days” and the “day of the LORD” was, therefore, “at hand”, certain things would take place which would signify the arrival of those “last days”, and the progression of them. First of all, God would be doing certain things by His Spirit in connection with Israel’s ‘sons and daughters’ which would signify to the nation the arrival of “the last days”. Then as those days progressed on to their end, God would ‘show wonders and signs’ in heaven and earth which would intensify and culminate in “the great and notable day of the Lord”.

According to God’s testimony through Peter this is what was going on on the day of Pentecost. God’s program and dealings with Israel had advanced on to the arrival of the prophesied “last days”, and this is what the remarkable and phenomenal events of that day signified. The disciples’ baptism with the Holy Spirit was designed by God to produce the fulfillment of the initial signs which Joel foretold would indicate to Israel the arrival of those “last days”.

God’s own answer to the question, “What meaneth this?”, settles the issue as to the significance of the day of Pentecost. God does NOT say He has set Israel aside and that He is beginning a new dispensation. But rather, He declares quite the contrary to be the case. He is not only still dealing with Israel, but He has advanced His program with her and He has announced to her that her prophesied and expected “last days” have now arrived.

REPENTANCE TO ISRAEL

In view of the Lord’s prayer for His people on the cross, an extension of God’s mercy and forbearance was being given to Israel as their “last days” dawned upon them. In view of this, after announcing the arrival of what Joel had foretold, Peter indicted the people of Israel for the crime of rejecting their Christ, and he exhorted them to change their minds concerning Jesus of Nazareth. In so doing, they would be constituted part of the remnant that God was calling out of Israel. They would “save themselves from this untoward generation”, and would be provided for in the Lord’s day of purging wrath. (See Acts 2:22 40; also Mt. 3:1 12)

This merciful offer of repentance to Israel with the dawning of their “last days” was repeatedly announced to the nation, as is evidenced by the record of Acts 3ff. (e.g. 3:19 26; 4:8 12, 23 30) In fact, as is recorded in 5:30 31, Peter declared to the elders of Israel that this was exactly what God was doing at this time.

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, FOR TO GIVE REPENTANCE TO ISRAEL, AND FORGIVENESS OF SINS.”

Obviously, the program of God in the opening chapters of the book of Acts is still His program with the nation of Israel. The day of Pentecost with its remarkable events signified to Israel that her program had now advanced on to the arrival of her “last days”. It was NOT, therefore, the birthday of the church, or the birthday of this present dispensation of grace.

THE PRESENT DISPENSATION

Along with describing the advancement of Israel’s program and God’s mercy unto them, the opening chapters of Acts also describe how that the nation spurned God’s mercy. As chapters 4 7 relate, the elders of Israel rebelled against the testimony of the 12, and they climaxed their rebellion against God with the stoning of Stephen. It was at that time, just as Stephen declared in connection with the vision given unto him, that the extension of mercy and forbearance was over. The Lord was ready to “make his enemies his footstool”. He was ready to begin to administer the forewarned day of His wrath and purging of His nation.

But, as Acts 9 sets forth, instead of the administering of the expected wrath, another remarkable and phenomenal event occurred. The Lord Jesus Christ unexpectedly came back from heaven and raised up a brand new apostle Paul. In so doing, the Lord commissioned him as the “apostle of the Gentiles”, and sent him out with the message that God was holding back His day of wrath; and that He was temporarily suspending His program and dealings with Israel; and that He was bringing in a new dispensation a dispensation of His grace to us Gentiles.

As God has Paul declare, for example in Ephesians 3:1 7, the revelation of this present dispensation was given unto him.

“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 fellow heirs 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.”

God ushered in this present dispensation when the Lord Jesus Christ came back from heaven and raised Paul up as a new apostle. But before that, God’s program with Israel was in effect, with the day of Pentecost announcing to Israel the arrival of her last days”.

http://www.enjoythebible.org/studies/pentecost1.html

What happened to Israel?

Posted in Times Past, But Now and Times to Come on 2009/03/20 by howtobesaved

What Happened To Israel?

Much misunderstanding within Christianity today comes because people do not have a true understanding of what happened to Israel. Many think that because Israel failed to obey God He had to find a people who would be able to do what God wanted to accomplish through the nation of Israel. In order to justify why the physical promises and blessings do not apply to us today there is a tendency to “spiritualize” the scriptures. For instance, when the verse is read in the Old Testament that Israel is to go and possess the land; it is said that it really does not mean the physical land, but anything in which you are having difficulty in your life.

This a grave error to make, for the scriptures mean exactly what they say. Israel was told to go and possess a physical land, the covenant God made with them is for them to have their own land. God is faithful to His promises and will fulfill His covenant that was made the them.

So how do we explain what happened to Israel?

(Romans 11:11-15 KJV) I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. {12} Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? {13} For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: {14} If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. {15} For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

Notice the words that are used:

1. Stumble
2. Fall
3. Diminishing
4. Casting away

Here we see a progression taking place. One can stumble but not fall down. Israel stumbled when they crucified their Messiah but they still had an opportunity to obey God. When Israel stoned Stephen is the moment they fell from the chance to be a blessing of God for the nations; at that moment Christ was standing to execute judgement.(See Acts 7) Instead of God pouring out His wrath, He chose to save, apart from any works, the leader of the rebellion, Saul of Tarsus. A new means of salvation has now come to all, to Jew and Gentile alike, with no distinction. While this new program was being established is the time of the diminishing of Israel, Israel no longer the favored nation in God’s eyes. We read about this in the book of Acts which is the explaining of the fall of Israel not the beginning of the Body of Christ.

5. Blinding

(Romans 11:25 KJV) For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

At the end of Acts, we read that Israel no longer has the opportunity to be the nation that God has intended because they chose not to believe. So Israel has been blinded for a time until the fullness of the Gentiles is come in, that is when this dispensation of grace is finished.

God has not set aside Israel forever; it is a temporary condition. God will once again resume His program with Israel and fulfill His promises in the age to come. But now, (see Ephesians 2:11-13) we are in the dispensation of Grace, a new program, different than the program with the nation of Israel. We read about our part in God’s plan and purpose in the Apostle Paul’s writings, Romans through Philemon. Today, there is no difference between Jew and Gentile all have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and he is offering His mercy to all.

(Romans 11:30-32 KJV) For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: {31} Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. {32} For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

God is forming a new creature, the body of Christ, which consists of Jew and Gentile alike. God does not intend for us, as the body of Christ, to take over where Israel failed. God’s plan and purpose for Israel has been temporarily set aside while He fulfills His purpose for the Body of Christ.

(2 Corinthians 5:17-19 KJV) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. {18} And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; {19} To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Please see the study: Two Divisions to understand the differences between the two distinct programs.

http://www.bereanworkman.com/dispensational/what.htm