Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ephesians 3:3-4 comments: Read God's revelation of Himself to man

3  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Romans 16:25 ¶  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, 26  But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

You can go back to Acts 9 and see how Christ began to reveal His mystery to Paul.

Galatians 1:12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

God gives a revelation of Himself.

Revelation 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

This is why it is impossible to prove God’s existence by so-called scientific methods of creating an experiment where God is required to show up and prove Himself. Outside of the obvious proof of His existence in nature as in the probability of life happening by chance on earth or in a stellar cloud are mathematically an impossibility (See Francis Crick’s “Life Itself” or the work of astronomer Fred Hoyle on the subject of abiogenesis) or just how clearly we can see His fingerprint in the order of the universe God is a person, an entity, who can choose to reveal Himself as He will or not.

There is no question that God’s revelation (reveal) of Himself to mankind is at His discretion. The thing man has to understand is whether or not a supposed revelation of God, say, in the Koran, is the same God as the God of the Bible, or if the God of American right wing or left wing politics is the same God as the God of the Bible.

God reveals Himself today through His words in His Bible. You can’t trust your conscience, your feelings, or your opinions. If you hear anyone say that God or even Jesus Christ appeared to them he or she is lying. If they tell you they had a two way conversation in their garden this morning, whether they insist He walked with them and talked with them and His voice was like James Earl Jones or Alexander Scourby they are deluded or are lying.

People will try to draw others to themselves, to form a cult, a following, and use this very tactic in order to justify themselves. I don’t care what you think God has laid on your heart, every Christian has access to God’s revelation of Himself through the words in His Bible by which God speaks to your understanding and to your heart.

But, before our Bible was complete, Paul and the Apostles and Prophets, received a direct revelation from God. God spoke to them audibly and sometimes in person.

As Paul said to his shipmates in Acts;

Acts 27:23  For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

As Moses wrote;

Exodus 33:11  And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend…

There are no new revelations of God after the Bible was given in its entirety. The first complete Bible was available in the middle of the second century right around the death of the generation that was taught by the last apostle living, John. It was called the Old Latin Bible and there may have been a Greek Vulgate that preceded it. There have been advanced understandings of the Bible as God gave men wisdom who desired to know Him but nothing they came up with was not found in the Bible already or it was a fraud and a deceit.

Modern Bible versions giving primacy to the spurious manuscripts of Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus and using the inferior and dangerous translation method of dynamic equivalence (not literal) do not give us a complete revelation of God but a humanistic interpretation of some old Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. As their own scholars admit the two aforementioned manuscripts are the primary source of evidence for the renderings they produce and their lack of concern for a literal rendering of Bible verses and passages destroys all cross references and the Bible’s self-defining properties, its built-in dictionary for words and phrases.

Perhaps the modern Bible translators didn’t know about those qualities of the King James Bible just like some say that the New King James Bible translators didn’t know that their title for Jesus in Matthew 11:3 of, “The Coming One,” was a New Age Satanic doctrine espoused by witch, Alice Bailey, but I sort of doubt it. It appears that for the sake of a mistaken methodology of translating they destroyed the cross references of the Bible and while making verses mean something a modern person could easily understand they made them mean something other than what God intended.

Read the revelation of God, of Jesus Christ, to man in the King James Bible, also known as the King James Version or the Authorized Version cross-referencing verses, words, and phrases to see how they are used and what they mean or pick up a more modern version for its so-called ease of reading and miss the beauty, the poetry, the majesty, and the truth of God’s pure and perfect word.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ephesians 3:1,2 comments: The Dispensation of the Grace of God

1 ¶  For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Paul, a Jew, is imprisoned for his work with the Gentiles. See the book of Acts for Paul’s travel starting churches among the Gentiles and in chapter 21 for his imprisonment for the mistaken belief that he brought Gentiles into the temple.

Paul is in prison when he writes, saying that Christ is not only the reason for his imprisonment but ultimately the one keeping him in prison.  He is there by Christ’s will for the Gentiles. That’s us.

Paul did not heed the warnings of the Holy Spirit which told him not to go to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:10  And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 11  And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. 12  And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13  Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 14  And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

The Holy Spirit had to secure him chained to a soldier in Rome perhaps for you and I to get these prison letters that form the foundation for Biblical doctrine for Jewish and Gentile Christians in this age of the church.

You can look at this as a reference to the way God has chosen to deal with people in this age.  Another way is to look at how God dispenses grace toward us. But, this doesn’t have to be a period of time. God’s grace is dispensed toward people throughout all history.  Certainly, King David, a murderer and an adulterer, was a recipient of God’s grace. So was King Hezekiah in his sickness. But, this is the age of the grace that leads to salvation.

Colossians 1:25  Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

Verse 2 is not literally referring to a time period but to God’s dispensing of something. The more accurate way of looking at time periods is to study the Covenants of God such as the Adamic Covenant, Noahic Covenant, Mosaic Covenant,  etc. etc.

I consider myself a dispensationalist but if you take that too strictly, as a hyperdispensationalist, you will deny that the operations that God performs occur throughout all covenants and ages.  Also remember, that to dispense something is an action not a time period.

The Covenant God has made with people, Jews and Gentiles, after Christ’s resurrection, has to do with their acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son. God dispenses His grace toward us. This then becomes a Covenant of Grace although He dispensed His grace throughout all ages and covenants.

John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 1:17  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Paul is given the unique task of presenting the Dispensation of Grace to the Gentiles. We are not under the Law given to Moses but enjoy the hope of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ephesians 2:19-22 comments: God's real house

19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Notice the placement of the word “strangers” with “foreigners” separated by “and”. This shows us the definition of “strangers” in the Bible as “foreigners”, usually meaning foreign to the people of Israel. (see Genesis 15:13; Exodus 12:19; Leviticus 24:22; Job 19:15 etc. etc.)

We Gentiles who have trusted Christ are no more aliens, strangers, or foreigners but are now joined as God’s people, fellowcitizens with the faithful Old Testament Jews and we are all of the household of God.

We, the people who have trusted Christ, are His body on earth, and His church. The building is not the church, the congregation is, if they are all in Christ. This spiritual building has its cornerstone Jesus Christ and its foundation God’s apostles and prophets. We are God’s temple, which He has built. Wherever we meet, Christ’s church, His body, is meeting whether it be in a private home, a business, the forest, or in a building we have set apart specifically for that purpose.

1Corinthians 3:9  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

In Biblical Christianity the individual believer is the temple of God, as our God lives inside of us once we believe.

1Corinthians 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

God’s Spirit lives inside of each believer in Christ. If you do not have Christ’s Spirit in you, then you are none of His.

Romans 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

This was promised by Christ Himself.

John 14:23  Jesus answered and said unto him, 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.

Christ is the cornerstone of the building that is the church, the reason for its being, its justification, and its only value. This cornerstone, the head of the corner, was rejected by the Jews. Here is the Old Testament reference;

Psalm 118:22  The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. 23 This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

Here is Christ referring to it in the New Testament;

Matthew 21:42  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Imagine a fictional scene between a Roman magistrate and a Christian who is asked to explain his faith. The magistrate asks the Christian where his god dwells, which temple, as almost all of the ancient gods had some form of temple to dwell in where he received worship.

When the Christian said, we have no sacred space, no grove, no temple other than our own bodies in which our God lives, the magistrate would have probably not understood. I can envision him repeating his request and explaining that every god has a building in which he lives so that his devotees can come and offer sacrifices and worship.
I can picture the Christian shrugging his shoulders and saying that his God doesn’t dwell in houses made of stone and wood but in each and every believer and when we come together we are his body on earth with the head in heaven.

I should think the magistrate would have a hard time. Unfortunately, later Christians abandoned this purity of thought and tried to temporalize and make worldly God’s kingdom for the purpose of control and, like the Jews’, lining up their faith in keeping with the competing faiths throughout the world making church buildings holy and human government as God’s arm of control. Jesus had told his followers where His kingdom was.

Luke 17:20 ¶  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

The kingdom of God is not a visible kingdom with castles and capitals.

Romans 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

It is a kingdom not of this world of armies, universities, museums, banks, and human government.

John 18:36  Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

Were you to believe that the kingdom of God is a noble, humanistic ideal without Christ as God in the flesh, as Tolstoy believed, you would be mistaken. Were you to believe that Jesus was a Republican or a Democrat you would be in error. Were you to believe that Jesus was a capitalist or a socialist you would be clueless. Nothing that God has ordained as righteous is fulfilled by war or violence or coercion by human means.

The fruit of the proof or the evidence that you are part of this kingdom has nothing to do with your church membership, your political affiliation, your gender, or your social status. It has nothing to do with how often you go to church, how much money you give, how many gospel tracts you have handed out, how you dress, what you drive, or where you live.

Galatians 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Are you truly a member of God’s household, His building, and His temple or do you serve another Jesus, another gospel, in the real one’s name ? Are you like Tolstoy or one of our Founding Fathers, believing that man brings in the kingdom of God with his highest motives and behaviors? Are you like the YMCA preacher during World War One who famously said that if Jesus were on earth at that time he’d be in the infantry with a German’s guts on his bayonet? 

2Corinthians 11:4  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ephesians 2:18 comments: only Christ

18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

It is only through Christ that we, both Jew and Gentile (non-Jew and in the Bible this is sometimes referred to as Greek, for the dominant culture of the time), have access through the Holy Spirit which comes to live inside of us when we believe on Christ to God the Father, the soul, the seat of self-identity and will, of God.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation from an eternity of physical agony, bitterness, and regret.

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Eternal life is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

You have no other chance, no other hope, no other possibility at all. In this life you have a short time to understand this one, incontrovertible fact. You are either in Christ and He is in you or you are not and He is not. You decide.

The church organization to which you belong can’t save you any more than your ethnicity can damn you. Salvation is predicated upon belief not status, race, height, weight, gender, or social grouping.

Romans 10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

    12 ¶  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

There is nothing else; no creed, no outward signs of apostolic gifts, no works of any kind that saves a sinner from an eternity of despair and anguish and sorrow and pain. You think things are bad now, just imagine what things will be like if you enter eternity on your physical death having rejected Christ.

Acts 16:31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

John 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Christ and only Christ is the bridge between fallen man and woman and God  who created them.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ephesians 2:16-17 comments: only one path to eternal life

16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

Jesus Christ is the means by which both Jew and Gentile become the Church, Christ’s body on earth. On the Cross at Calvary the rebellion between mankind and God was quelled, the enmity was slain along with Christ Himself. Through the Holy Spirit speaking from His prophets, apostles, preachers, teachers, and laymen and women the grace of  the Risen Christ is taught to the Gentile who was as far away from God as he could be with his self-worship through his worship of devils and false gods and the Jew who knowing His will was divided from Him by the Jew’s apostasy.

Gentiles worshipped false gods called, “the vanities of the Gentiles”;

Jeremiah 14:22  Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.

…who, if not simply figments of the gentiles imagination were themselves devils…

Deuteronomy 32:17  They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.

Or perhaps, like Thomas Paine, John Locke, Montesquieu, and the Founders of America, they worshipped their own intellect and “Reason” through The Enlightenment where men like George Washington merely acquiesced to social convention by attending church without believing in the unique deity of Christ, or Thomas Jefferson who mocked the miracles of the Bible, the Resurrection, and the deity of Christ. Maybe like modern purveyors of snake-oil in the name of so-called science they cling to fantasies like 10 to the 112th power number of universes to escape the deficiencies of their bankrupt theories rather than acknowledge that there must be a God.

Romans 1:22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,…

Philosophers spouting vain deceit.

Colossians 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

False scientists spewing out junk theories such as man’s descent from the mating of a chimp and a pig because the differences between man and primates argue against our origin in ape-like creatures as was recently showcased on

1Timothy 6:20  O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:…

But, Christ has made a way through Himself for wicked mankind, both Jew and Gentile, to be reconciled to God.

Matthew 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

And there is only one path to peace with God and eternal life. Some social cults that preach a do-good philosophy will say that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you believe in something but in reality it matters what you believe as long as you believe in the truth. Christ is the only truth. And you cannot, you do not, know this Christ apart from His written words in the Book called the Bible. I don’t care how you FEEL about it.