Timothy E. Sharpsharpincharlotte@yahoo.com
From time to time we receive material from others for our consideration. The value of the submissions, in our judgment, varies greatly. However, occasionally we receive a gem, a submission that is true to the Scriptures and sound in doctrine. Below is a prime example.
Like many of us, Timothy Sharp was a typical Fundamental Baptist who generally adhered to the typical Fundamental Baptist mentality concerning dispensations and dividing the Scriptures. That is, spin, twist, or explain away any passage you can't understand. As those who have read our book "The Difference Is In The Dispensations" realize, the mantra of Fundamentalism concerning salvation and dividing the Scriptures is "People in every dispensation are saved exactly the same as we are today, saved by grace through faith." Like any Romanist preaching their "official doctrine, " they continue to preach this mantra at the expense of the truth.
In view of this, where should a Christian's alleigences lie? With the so-called Fundamentalists and their distortions or with what the Scriptures actually say? This sounds like a moot question, but it is not. Many will adhere to Fundamentalism even when they realize the Scriptures actually say something different than what Fundamentalism teaches. It takes courage to stand up for the truth and maturity to admit and abandon error.
Below is an excellent outline by brother Sharp detailing the method and Scripture he used to finally break away from error. After reading the King James Bible through over 50 times in the last 25 years, Brother Sharp decided he could no longer endure the official Fundamentalist position. He shifted from what he calls a “ Fundamentalist” paradigm" to a “ Bible Believer’ s paradigm, " placing the Scriptures alone at the pinnacle of authority. Study this outline and learn.
a. If you’ re spiritually dead, you will never be able to understand the Bible without the help of a human instrument, who should first bring you to salvation, as Phillip did the eunuch (Rom. 8:9, Acts 8:30-31).
b. To the degree you are spiritual, you qualify yourself to be able to understand a spiritual Book, which is the Holy Scriptures (Rom. 8:1-3, in principle).2. Don’ t let your heart become hardened; approach God’ s words believing as a little child – Mark 8:17-19, Mark 10:13-15 & Luke 11:52
a. After salvation, there is a key that opens the door of knowledge and understanding to the Bible: Faith – simply believing that the Bible says what it means and means what it says – Luke 11:52
i. The lawyers of Jesus’ day (DDs, ThDs, etc) were hard, skeptical and unbelieving; and like many lawyers today, they used the Law as a tool or a means to accomplish their own agendas.
1. Most were users, but not believers. You can usually spot a “ user, but not a believer” by some of their little catch phrases:
a. “ This is the best Bible we have today but… ”
b. “ This is the only Bible I ever preach from, but… ”
c. “ What this really means in the Greek or Hebrew is… ”
d. “ This is an unfortunate rendering or translation here… ”
e. “ In the originals… ”
2. The acid test is not to ask what Bible they use, or even if the Bible is the Word of God, but ask, “ Where can I find a copy of the Holy Scriptures? ”a. The only acceptable answer is, “ In the King James Bible.”
3. This practice is called the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (they feared what men thought of them more than what God thought of them) – Luke 12:1-3
ii. And like many of the lawyers of today (Senators, Congressmen, DDs, ThDs), if they don’ t like what the Law says, they revise it or re-write it.
1. The current bible-of-the-month-club trend started back in the 1880s with Westcott and Hort, and kicked off the Laodicean church age of Revelation 3.iii. Their hard hearts of unbelief not only hinders (and damns) them, but others also. Through unbelief, they become the final authority; they become little gods.
b. But… a little child is in awe and wonder of their father – an attitude of awe.
i. Are you in awe of God’ s words?
ii. How do you regard God’ s words?
iii. God magnifies His words above His own Name – Psa. 138:2
c. A little child believes anything and everything their father tells them.
i. Do you believe EVERY WORD of your King James Bible? (Psa. 12:6-7, Matt. 4:4, Luke 4:4)
d. Little children are like sponges; they soak in as much as they can hold.
3. Remember – Mark 8:17-19i. Are you soaking-in the words of the Father?
a. Meditate & Muse – Josh. 1:8, Psa. 1:2, Psa. 119:15, Psa. 119:23, Psa. 119:48, Psa. 119:78, Psa. 119:148, Psa. 39:3, Psa. 143:5
b. Memorize (Scriptures with their references, and the [cross] references alone) – Psa. 119:11
c. Remember so that you can compare spiritual things with spiritual (comparing Scripture against Scripture – 1Cor. 2:13) – Psa. 30:4, Psa. 77:6, Psa. 97:12, Isa. 26:8, Isa. 43:26, Lam. 3:20, Mark 11:21, Luke 22:19
i. God had David write some of the Psalms just so he would remember – Psa. 38:1, Psa. 70:1
ii. We’ re commanded to observe the Lord ’ s Supper so that we remember:1. The broken body of our Lord Jesus Christ – 1Cor. 11:24iii. We’ re to rely on the Holy Spirit to bring things to remembrance – John 14:26
2. The shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ – 1Cor. 11:25
3. The imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ – 1Cor. 11:26
iv. We’ re to help put the brethren in remembrance – 1Cor. 4:17, 1Tim. 4:6, 2Tim. 1:3-5, 2Tim. 2:14, compare to Heb. 10:25, Jude 1:5
v. We’ re to bring things to remembrance often, so they’ ll remain there – 2Pet. 1:12-14, Jude 1:5
vi. We’ re to stir up our remembrance – 2Pet. 3:1
d. Develop a much more extensive cross-reference system than your “ retail” reference Bible, which are almost always published by unbelieving DD and ThD “ users” anyway (use your margins to make notes).4. Take heed HOW you hear – Luke 8:18i. Ezekiel 18, 33 & Luke 151. The parable of the Prodigal Son (actually all of Luke 15) is the explanation of Ezekiel 18 & 33; note how in both cases, someone thought the father wasn’ t fair or just to take the prodigal back again – Eze. 18:25, Eze. 33:17, Luke 15:1-3, 28-30
2. Both were sons the whole time (corporate Israel – Ex. 4:22-23), but one son lost salvation while away, and got it back again when he repented and returned – Luke 15:24, Luke 15:32.
3. Sons (corporate Israel) can lose salvation, “ … children of the kingdom cast into outer darkness… ” (Matt. 8:12)
4. There’ s dual application (Jew and gentile – Luke), as by adoption, we’ re also sons of God, so Gal. 6:1-2 might have some additional relevance here.
5. However, all of Luke 15 is about something lost, then found, so make spiritual application of the entire chapter against Gal. 6:1-2.ii. Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28, Job 41, Isaiah 27, Revelation 13a. The Church should search for what wanders away until they find it – a sheep
b. And diligently search for what falls away until they find it – a single piece of silver (redemption) out of ten (gentiles)
c. But shouldn’ t search for what rebels away; wait until he comes to himself – a prodigal1. Satan had a throne – Isaiah 14iii. Exodus 12 & 1 Corinthians 11
2. Satan was a king and is a cherub (not an angel) – Ezekiel 28
3. Satan is a leviathan and lives in a sea – Job 41
4. Satan is a piercing serpent – Isaiah 27
5. Satan is a dragon – Revelation 131. The Passover was not an atonement for sin, except in type
2. Both are meals of memorial – to remind of the deliverance out of bondage (Egypt)
a. To him that hath, shall more be given = open, receptive, and believing: God will continue giving you more and more knowledge and understanding of His words.5. Ask the Lord to help you in your understanding of the Scriptures – Luke 24:31-32, 45
b. Him that seemeth to have = closed, biased, hard and unbelieving: God will use His two-edged sword to cut them asunder.
c. You must make a conscious effort to continue hearing correctly; when you stop, God stops.
d. I wonder if the Lord still weeps over the brethren today who’ ve stopped regarding the time of God’ s visitation (through the Holy Scriptures each day), so now He hides His things (Truths) from their eyes? (Luke 19:41-43)
a. A part of the Holy Spirit’ s ministry to us is to guide us into all truth – John 16:13
i. Are you walking in the Spirit? (Rom. 8:1-3, Gal. 5:16, Gal. 5:25)
b. The Holy Spirit also desires to teach us – Luke 12:12, John 14:26
i. Are you yielded to the Holy Spirit of God? (Rom. 6:13-15)
ii. Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? (Eph. 5:17-18
c. When we spend intimate time, communing with the Lord Jesus Christ, He becomes willing to open the Scriptures and our understanding of them – Luke 24:31-32, 456. Understand the gravity of your need of God’ s words – Luke 10:38-40
i. How intimate are you with the Lord Jesus Christ? (Luke 10:39-41, John 13:23-25)
ii. Here’ s a little test: to the degree you’ re an intimate friend to the Lord Jesus Christ is the degree that you’ re dead to yourself (laying down your life -- ego, reputation and acceptance among the brethren, being esteemed as scholarly, etc); the more intimate and identified you are with the Saviour, the farther outside the camp (Heb. 13:13) you will become. (John 15:13-14)
a. We should serve God.7. Interpretations belong to God – Gen. 40:8, Dan. 2:28-30, Dan. 5:12, Pro. 1:16, Eccl. 8:1, 2Pet. 1:20
b. We should care about serving God and want (and encourage) others to serve God also. (Heb. 10:25)
c. Sometimes serving God will be a trouble to us, and we should be troubled that others don’ t serve God.
d. But as important as it is to serve God, there is another “ good part” that is needful.
e. Job understood this when he esteemed God’ s words more important than his necessary food. (Job 23:12)
f. The Scriptures are likened to food (Matt. 4:4, Luke 4:4):
i. Honey – Psa. 19:10, Psa. 119:103, Rev. 10:9-10g. I don’ t know for sure if Mary understood this or not, but she did make a choice… so did Martha… so do you.
ii. Milk – 1Cor. 3:2, Heb. 5:12-13, Rev. 10:9-10
iii. Meat – Luke 8:55, Acts 27:33-34, 1Cor. 3:2, Heb. 5:12-14
h. Both are important (serving God and hearing His words), so there must be a balance: P / PC (production to production capability)… you must continually sharpen the saw, or fuel the engine.
i. Since we’ re not to live by physical bread alone, are you ever spiritually hungry? Do you feed your spirit as regularly as you feed your body? (Matt. 4:4, Luke 4:4)
j. What would you look like physically if God blessed you according to 3John 1:2?
a. Not to Theologians8. All Scripture is profitable for (2Tim. 3:15-16):
b. Not to commentaries
c. Not to Bible teachers or preachers
d. Not to Bible institutes, colleges or seminaries
e. Not to Greek or Hebrew scholars
f. Not “ historic positions” or “ the fundamentals” or “ creeds” or “ distinctives”
g. Not to denominations, even Independent Fundamental Baptists
h. Not even to the pastor
i. Also, not even necessarily to Apostolic example
i. Paul had to rebuke Peter for causing dissimulation in the church in Galatians 2.
ii. Paul was the 13th Apostle (not counting Judas), and an Apostle to the gentiles for a reason.
1. The early church disobeyed the Lord by not going to the gentiles.
iii. In Acts 18 Paul takes a Jewish vow, but says in Colossians 2 that the Law (handwriting of ordinances) was nailed to the cross.j. If there’ s a conflict between what the Bible says and what any of these say (above), the Bible is the Final Authority in all matters of faith and practice and in interpretation of itself.
iv. Paul was told three times in Acts 21 not to go to Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit telling him also, but he went anyway. It appears that he, too, like the church in Jerusalem, was also affected by his Jewish heritage, at least in some measure (Rom. 10:1-2).
v. Paul addresses this problem of the frailty of human leadership, when he qualifies how we’ re to follow spiritual human leadership: as they follow God (1Cor. 11:1); when they stop following God, we’ re to stop following them.
i. “ … Jesus taught as one having authority… ” (Matt. 7:29, Mark 1:22) You have Authority!k. If there appears to be a conflict between what the Bible says in one place versus what it says in another… Study! !! “ Prove all things… ” (1Thes. 5:21) Neither God nor His Holy Scriptures contradicts themselves; your Theology is the problem. The Bible is not a Book for lazy people.
ii. The Scriptures are the highest power (Authority). If a lower power and the highest power are in conflict, be subject unto the highest power. (Rom. 13:1)
iii. “ Sola Scriptura” (The Scriptures alone: Scripture interprets Scripture – 1Cor. 2:13)
i. Abraham’ s & Rahab’ s justification – by works, or not by works?
1. Romans 4 says that Abraham wasn’ t justified by works. (of the Law – Rom. 4:13-15)
2. James 2 says that Abraham and Rahab were justified by works.
3. Galatians 2 says that no flesh can be justified in God’ s sight by the works of the law.
4. How do these passages reconcile? Will you be ashamed? You don’ t need to be.
a. Are works of righteousness and the works of the Law the same?
b. They appear to be different; no one can be justified in God’ s sight by the works of the Law, but Abraham was justified by works in God’ s sight (“ … now I know that thou fearest God… ” – Gen. 22:12), prior to the giving of the Law.
c. And Rahab, a gentile who was never under the Law, but under conscience, was also justified in the sight of God by works, after the giving of the Law.
ii. Salvation – lose it, or not lose it?
1. Ezekiel says you can lose salvation, but then you could get it back again – Ezekiel 18 & 33
2. Jesus says no, you can never lose salvation; no man can pluck us out of His hand or the Father’ s hand – John 10:28-29
3. Paul says you can lose salvation, and that you can never get it back again – Hebrews 2, 6, 10
4. How do these passages reconcile? Will you be ashamed? You don’ t need to be.
a. These passages are addressed later in this study.
iii. Divorce & Remarriage – committing adultery, or not committing adultery?
1. Moses said a man was permitted to divorce for almost any cause (“ some uncleanness in her” ), and that both parties were permitted to remarry another after the divorce: the former marriage union (covenant – Mal. 2:14) was ended. (Deuteronomy 24)
2. God said through the prophet Malachi, that He hated putting away and that those who were doing so were dealing treacherously against the wives of their youths. (Mal. 2:14-16)
3. God calls Joseph a just man, even though he was mindful to put away Mary. (Matt. 1:19)
4. Jesus said divorce would be allowed only in the case of fornication; otherwise, both partners would be guilty of committing adultery. (Matthew 5, 19)
5. Jesus met a woman who had five previous husbands, but no present husband. (John 4)
6. Paul said that if you’ re loosed (divorced), seek not to be bound, but if you do (re)marry, you’ ve not sinned. (1 Corinthians 7)
7. Paul told Timothy and Titus that a part of the qualifications to become a NT Pastor was that a man had to be the husband of one wife. (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1)
8. How do these passages reconcile? Will you be ashamed? You don’ t need to be.
a. If God hates putting away, did He deal treacherously against Israel when He gave her a bill of divorcement and put her away? (Jeremiah 3)
i. No, Israel had been an adulterous nation and God complied by His own Law for divorce as found in Deuteronomy 24.
b. Did Judah and Benjamin deal treacherously or sin against their strange wives when they put them away? (Ezra 10)
i. No, their wives were gentiles, who were not bound by the Law of the Jews, so did not need a bill of divorcement (to dissolve the marriage union) that a Jewish woman did.c. If a divorced person remarries, do they become married to two people?
i. Romans 7 implies that a woman could actually be married to two men at the same time, but would be committing adultery if she did so.
ii. However, OT men regularly practiced taking multiple wives (Jacob, Elkanah, David, Solomon, etc), but weren’ t guilty of adultery, though the husbands of more than one wife at the same time.
iii. Why didn’ t Jesus tell the woman at the well to go get her husbands, though she had five prior to their meeting? (John 4)
1. Because she had been properly divorced from each of them (or else she was an incredibly unlikely five-time widow, who decided to start “ shacking-up, ” rather than to marry again), and thereby was no longer the wife of any of her prior husbands as per Deuteronomy 24 (the marriage union is always a present-tense state).
iv. Did Jesus confirm that she had spoken correctly when she said that she didn’ t have any husband, though she had five prior to their meeting?
1. Yes, the marriage union is always a present-tense state; either you are married or you’ re not married: either you are a wife or you’ re not a wife; either you are an husband or you’ re not an husband – if you’ re not married, you’ re not an husband or a wife.
2. However, it appears that she was living in fornication at this time, as the man with whom she was living wasn’ t her husband.
v. Wouldn’ t this also be the case for the man (i.e. a man who is properly or legally divorced has no wife)?
1. Yes. Both of the partners who’ ve been properly divorced are no longer married; the marriage union is always a present-tense state. Therefore, when a divorced man remarries, he is the husband of one wife, as long as he doesn’ t take more than one wife at the same time.
vi. Does “ shacking-up” mean you’ re married? (John 4:18 & Mal. 2:14)
1. No. God seems to imply that there’ s a covenant involved in the marriage union, otherwise it’ s living in fornication if the woman is single (as above), or living in adultery if the woman is still legally married to another man (as with Herod – Matt. 14:3-4).
d. If a divorced person remarries, are they committing adultery?
i. No; see above. Regarding what the Lord said in Matthew 5 and 19, He stated and restated, respectively, a part of the Constitution of His (coming) Kingdom (“ his doctrine” – Matt. 7:28), which now will not be put into effect until after the 2nd Advent, wherein many OT Laws will become much more restrictive. However, divorce will still be allowed, but only in the case of fornication (adultery would still carry the death penalty, thus ending the marriage union for the offended partner – Lev. 20:10, Romans 7), and men will no longer have the authority to grant divorces (“ let not man put asunder” – Matt. 19:6); all divorce decrees will come from the Lord out of Jerusalem.
e. Is divorce and putting away the same? (Deuteronomy 24 versus Matthew 19)
i. No, they don’ t appear to be. Putting away is a part of the divorce process as found in Deut. 24:1, but in and of itself, it is not a legal divorcement, but merely a marital separation:
1. “ … she find no favor in his eyes… ” (The hardness of heart)
2. “ … write her a bill of divorcement… ” (The government’ s role)
3. “ … give it in her hand… ” (The legal notice of the dissolving or severing of their marriage union)
4. “ … send her out of his house… ” (The putting away – otherwise they would be shacking-up and living in fornication)
ii. In Matthew 19, the Pharisees were asking the Lord a trick question, trying to entrap Him (“ tempting him” ), so their question was, whether it was legal to put away a wife (without a bill of divorcement) for any cause? (God already said he hated this practice [putting away] in Mal. 2:16, and they knew Moses said a legal divorce could be for almost any cause – Deuteronomy 24.)
iii. Therefore, the answer is no, because it doesn’ t allow the wife who’ s been put away to move on with her life, as she’ s still married (bound under the law to her husband by the marriage union – Romans 7), though separated from her husband because he has put her out (away).
iv. Joseph was able to put away Mary, as they were still only betrothed, she was not pregnant by him, and they were not yet legally married.
f. If the qualifications for a pastor as given to Timothy and Titus means married one time only (as the present-day Pharisee’ s tradition maintains); are widowers disqualified?
i. The passages do not say married only one time, they say (in agreement), “ the husband of one wife.” The marriage union is always a present-tense state of being. Bigamy and polygamy (as many OT Jews practiced) would disqualify a man from the office of Pastor, but not divorce and remarriage (to one woman).g. With all of the other qualifications for the office of pastor, why is this one (divorce and remarriage) the continual biggest hang-up, and seemingly, at least in current practice, the only real disqualifier? (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1)
i. Jesus said it was because of the hardness of hearts – Matt. 19:8h. So let’ s try to put this whole matter in order doctrinally, without any contradictions:
i. The restrictions on divorce and remarriage that the Lord Jesus spoke in the Gospels (as part of the Constitution for His Kingdom) are not yet active, since the Kingdom of Heaven was rejected by the Jews, but they will become active immediately after the 2nd Advent. (See above)
ii. Therefore, a proper or legal divorce still severs a marriage union and frees each of the former partners to remarry, as per the restrictions in Deuteronomy 24. The other way to sever a marriage union is through death, as per Romans 7, which also frees the surviving spouse to remarry.
iii. However, Paul instructs the Church not to seek a divorce (1Cor. 7:27, the type of the Church through the marriage union of Christians is important to God), but if we end up becoming divorced (for righteous grounds [continued adultery or abuse, etc. – there are some just causes for divorce] or our mate divorces us), and then later remarry, we’ ve not sinned (1Cor. 7:27-28, & in harmony with Deuteronomy 24), because it would be better to marry than to burn (1Cor. 7:9).
i. Doctrine tells us what is right (in any given dispensation).
ii. Doctrine first of all
1. In speaking – Titus 2:1iii. Doctrine, not dogma or tradition – Matt. 15:6, Mark 7:13
2. In preaching – 2Tim. 4:2
3. In laboring in – 1Tim. 5:17
4. In adorning it (wearing it) – Titus 2:10
5. In defending against heresy – Rom. 16:17, 1Tim. 1:3, Titus 1:9
6. To make Christians mature – Eph. 4:11-13
7. Attending to and continuing in – 1Tim. 4:13-15
8. Not blaspheming it – 1Tim. 6:1
iv. Without the Holy Scriptures, you cannot even have doctrine; so to be able to have doctrine we must have the Holy Scriptures – 1Tim. 3:15-16
1. The chief priests and elders didn’ t have the “ originals, ” but they must have had the Scriptures, because Jesus asked them if they had ever read Psalms 118 from them. (Matt. 21:42)
2. The Sadducees also didn’ t have the “ originals, ” but also must have had the Scriptures, because Jesus told them that they erred, not knowing the Scriptures. (Matt. 22:29)
3. And while all the “ originals” were not still in tact in Jesus’ day, the Scriptures had to have been, because He expounded all the Scriptures of the things concerning Himself. (Luke 24:27)
4. The Jews also must have had the Scriptures, though not the “ originals, ” because Jesus told them to search them. (John 5:39)
5. No one would possibly believe that an Ethiopian proselyte would have been in possession of an “ original” scroll of Isaiah, yet he had the Scriptures of Isaiah. (Acts 8:28)
6. A synagogue in Thessalonica couldn’ t have had the “ originals” before Jerusalem would have, but I find that Paul reasoned with them out of the Scriptures. (Acts 17:1-2)
7. And how many of the “ originals” do you suppose those pesky Bereans had, as they searched the Scriptures daily to see if Paul’ s message was correct? (Acts 17:10-11)
8. You don’ t suppose that because Apollos was such an eloquent speaker that he’ d been using the “ originals, ” for we read that he was mighty in the Scriptures? (Acts 18:24-26)
9. Finally, there was young Timothy, who may have had some access to some “ originals” from infancy, but maybe not, nonetheless from a child he knew the Holy Scriptures. (2Tim. 3:15)
10. Whether or not any “ originals” still existed in the days of the Lord and the early church is doubtful, but the Lord tells us that the Holy Scriptures existed, and was never critical of them.
v. Doctrine can change, depending on to whom it applies and when: note Matt. 7:28 (“ his doctrine” versus Moses’ doctrine – Jesus’ doctrine was different than Moses’ doctrine).
vi. Therefore, the most important or profitable aspect of the Scriptures is rightly dividing doctrine.
vii. Is all Biblical doctrine for this age or for the church?
1. Keeping the Sabbath Day? (Ex. 31:13)
2. Planting two different kinds of seed in the same field? (Lev. 19:19, Deut. 22:9)
3. Wearing a garment of two different kinds of fabric? (Lev. 19:19)
4. Observing the release of the Jubilee? (Lev. 25:9-11)
5. Don’ t eat pork or other “ unclean beasts” ? (Leviticus 11)
6. Long hair (no hair cuts) and long beards on men? (Rounding the head is a short hair style that allows the head to appear rounded at the top and bottom from the rear view – Lev. 19:27)
a. Jesus was a Jew and under the Law. (Gal. 4:4)
b. Jesus couldn’ t cut His hair short and wore a full beard, as the true Orthodox Jews in Israel still do today. (Wouldn’ t that go over like a lead balloon in the average Independent Fundamental Baptist church of today? )
i. Reproof tells us what is wrong.c. Correction.
i. Correction tells us how to get right.d. Instruction in righteousness.
i. Instruction in righteousness tells us how to stay right.
ii. So while some of the Bible is not to be applied doctrinally to this age or to the NT Church, the whole Bible is profitable for instruction in righteousness… gaining the mind of God in order to learn His preferences, so we can obey His commands and yield to His preferences – Rom. 15:4
iii. Watch out for the pseudo-legalistic Pharisees who keep trying to put the mainly gentile Church under the solely Jewish Law (the Pentateuch [the Law of Moses] is the Book of the Covenant [with Israel] – 2Kings 23:2, 2Chron. 34:30)
1. Deut. 22:5, Ex. 20:26, Ex. 28:42 versus 1Tim. 2:9 (Distinction of gender and modesty to the Jews versus modesty-only to the Church)
2. Deut. 14:22-24, Mal. 3:8-10 versus 2Cor. 8:9-11, 2Cor. 9:5-7 (Tithes and offerings to the Jews versus grace-giving to the Church)
9. You need the whole (ALL of the) Counsel of God to become a mature Christian – Acts 20:27; Heb. 5:11-13a. “ Tithe” is never mentioned in any Pauline epistle to the Church (Romans – Philemon); the tithe is not Church doctrine.
b. The tithe is mentioned in the book of Hebrews, which is a book that doctrinally, is directed at the Jews. (See later in lesson)
c. The grace-giving (“ abound in this grace also” – 2Cor. 8:7) the Church is instructed to do is not to be grudgingly or of necessity; it’ s not at all tied to the Law (tithes and offerings), which was of necessity (compulsory – if a Jew didn’ t pay tithes he brought a curse upon himself), and could be done grudgingly, as long as he obeyed the Law. (2Cor. 9:7, Mal. 3:9)
d. While Jesus mentions and validates the tithe in His discourse with the Pharisees, He’ s dealing with the Jews who were under the Law, and at that time they were still in the OT economy, the NT started at the resurrection (the death of the testator had not yet occurred – Heb. 9:16-17)
e. The tithe was a part of the Law Covenant God made with Israel – the tithe is Jewish doctrine. (Deut. 14:22-24)
f. The curse of Mal. 3:9 is because Israel brought the cursings of their covenant upon themselves through disobedience. (Josh. 8:34)
g. Abraham also gave tithes – to Melchizedek and prior to the Law – though this appears to be a one-time event in Abraham’ s life, and he was not mandated by the Law to do so, so this would be a type of NT Church grace-giving. (Gen. 14:18-20)
h. Jacob also mentions the tithe in a vow he made in Bethel, but there’ s no record of whether or not he ever actually paid tithes to God. (Gen. 28:18-20)
a. Because God’ s counsel is immutable and true, it’ s an “ anchor of the soul” – Heb. 6:17-19
b. The Lord preserved the things He wrote aforetime for our (Psa. 12:6-7, Rom. 15:4):
i. Learning – We’ re to learn from those who’ ve gone before us: both the blessings of well doing and the cursings of departing from the ways of the Lord.
ii. Patience – So that with Job, we’ ll know not to charge God foolishly in our trials (Job 1:22), but to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ (2Tim. 2:3) and run with patience the race set before us (Heb. 12:1)
iii. Comfort – Knowing the ultimate end from the beginning allows for incredible peace and comfort (Job 42, Revelation 21-22), and also allows us to comfort others with that same comfort (2Cor. 1:4).
iv. Hope – In the God of all grace, patience and mercy; in His unchanging words; and not a sorrowful hope as the world, which has no real hope (1Thes. 4:13)
c. It was the Lord’ s practice to expound all the Scriptures – Luke 24:25-27, 4410. Study & Rightly Divide – 2Tim. 2:15
d. It was Paul’ s practice to declare all the counsel of God – Acts 20:27, Acts 28:23
e. Aquilla and Priscilla expounded the way of God more perfectly to Apollos – Acts 18:26 & Psa. 119:14-15
f. When you reject any of the counsel of God, you do harm against yourself – Luke 7:30, Mark 7:7-9
a. Reading versus Studying
i. Both are necessary.
ii. Read that you might learn – Deut. 17:18-19, Deut. 31:10-12, Rom. 15:4
iii. Study that you might understand and rightly divide – 2Tim. 2:15
iv. Acquaintance with God’ s words versus knowledge and understanding of God’ s words
v. Gaining a good overview of the Bible versus how it all fits and works together
b. That you won’ t be ashamed.
i. You may not convert a Jehovah's Witness, Mormon, or a water dog (Church of Christ), but at least you should know how to rightly divide your Bible so that you can show them from the Scriptures why their doctrine is wrong. Don’ t let them shame you by knowing their heretical doctrine better than you know the doctrine of Truth.c. Note the Divisions
i. If God tells us to divide the Scriptures, then the Scriptures must have divisions, and we’ re to learn and under-stand what those divisions are and how they affect or apply to us – Luke 4:16-18 & Isa. 61:1-2a (where Jesus divides a verse and two different dispensations which are two thousand years apart at a comma)d. Examine the Divisions
i. These divisions fall mainly along dispensational lines (i.e. rules of an householder or a dispensing of rules). In each of the divisions I’ ve listed below, there are subtle to glaring differences in how God deals with each respective group or individuals of that division (dispensation). A failure to understand the distinctions in God’ s dealings through the dispensations will cause the Scriptures to contradict themselves as you try to stuff God into your cookie-cutter paradigm and wrest the Scriptures unto your own destruction (2Pet. 3:16). I realize that the distinctions I make below are a slight departure from Larkin, et al, but please give me a bit of latitude as I attempt to show that there are indeed differences in God’ s dealings through the ages.
i. Eternity Past
1. Before the incarnation, Jesus was the Word (John 1:1); God was all in all (1Cor. 15:24-26, Gen. 1:1a); and God was Holy, abiding by His own rules (1Pet. 1:15-16).ii. Angels & Angelic Creatures – The first creation was only spiritual (no flesh and blood)
1. Angels are created beings – Eze. 28:13, Eze. 28:15, Heb. 1:7, Gen. 1:1 (heaven – in the singular tense)
2. Angels are spirit beings – Heb. 1:7
3. Angels are male in gender – Every revelation or appearance of an angel is a male
4. Angels are called sons of God – Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Gen. 6:2
5. Angels witnessed the creation of the earth – Job 38:7
6. Some of the angels fell with Lucifer’ s rebellion (breaking God’ s rules – pride) – Isaiah 14, Matt. 25:41, Revelation 13
7. And some of those angels have also left their first estate (in the heavens) and are now reserved in chains in the bottomless pit – Genesis 6, Jude 6, 2Pet. 2:4-5
8. There is no redemption for angels or for Satan – Matt. 25:41
a. Satan and the angels were first cast out of the third heaven – Isaiah 14, Job 41:31-32, Eph. 2:2, Dan. 10:13-15
b. Next they’ ll be cast down from the second heaven to the earth (not being able to get back into the heavens) – Revelation 13
c. After that they’ ll be cast down to hell – Revelation 20
d. Finally, they’ ll be cast into the Lake of Fire – Revelation 21
iii. Adam – The re-creation was physical and spiritual (flesh and blood)
1. Before the Fall:
a. Adam was the first human
b. Technically, he was a gentile (no circumcision yet)
c. Man was created innocent: no good or evil (no conscience), but capable of obedience or disobedience – Gen. 3:22
d. Initially saved by works-only: by not eating the forbidden fruit – Gen. 2:17
e. He was given several commands: be fruitful (productive); multiply (reproductive); replenish (stewardship); subdue the earth (conquer) and have dominion over it (rule – Adam was a king, taking the place of Lucifer); and don’ t eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil – Gen. 1:26, Gen. 2:16-17
f. He also had a purpose: dress and keep the garden – Gen. 2:15
2. After the Fall:
a. He brought sin and death into the world – Rom. 5:12, Rom. 5:17-18, 1Cor. 15:22
b. He was not under the law, but under conscience – Rom. 2:14-15, Rom. 5:13-14
c. He was saved by accepting the shed blood of a lamb as an atonement (a covering) for his sin: a type of our salvation – Gen. 3:21, Gen. 4:4 (“ firstlings of his flock” )
d. He was not born-again, and not in the Body of Christ
e. Covenant: a redeeming Seed from the woman – Gen. 3:15
f. Token: coverings of skins (a type of our covering by the Lamb of God) – Gen. 3:21
1. Also, technically he was a gentile, and the father of the gentiles (perfect in his generations)
2. He was not under the law, but under conscience – Rom. 2:14-15, Rom. 5:13-14
3. Yet was given two commands before the flood: build & preach – Gen. 6:14, 2Pet. 2:5
4. And was given several more commands after the flood: be fruitful (productive), multiply (reproductive), replenish (stewardship), don’ t eat blood, and enforce capital punishment – Gen. 9:1-3
5. He was saved by faith and works – (He built the ark because he believed – Heb. 11:7)
6. He was not born-again, and not in the Body of Christ
7. Covenant: God will never judge all the earth by water again – Gen. 9:11
8. Token: a rainbow – Gen. 9:12-13
v. Abraham – Israel
1. The father of the Jews, on up until the Jews
2. He was not under the law, but still under conscience
3. Two more commands added to him personally: leave his father’ s house and kindred and go to a place that God would show him – Gen. 12:1
4. He was saved by faith (a type of our salvation) – Rom. 4:3, Gal. 3:6-8, Genesis 15
5. Though he was justified by works at a later time – James 2:21-23 (Rahab also)
6. He was not born-again, and not in the Body of Christ
7. Covenant: the land of Palestine as an everlasting possession to him and his seed after him, and confirmed again to Isaac and Jacob – Gen. 26:1-3, Gen. 28:1-3, 13-15
8. Token: circumcision; a cutting away of flesh (a type of our spiritual circumcision, where God cuts our flesh away from our soul and spirit) – Gen. 17:11
1. He was a Jew
2. He (and all of Israel) was (were) under the law – Rom. 2:17-18
3. He / they could not attain justification – Acts 13:39, Rom. 3:20, Gal. 2:16, Gal. 3:11
4. There was no clearing of sins, but they could be blameless (the blood of animals could provide a temporary covering, but not a clearing) – Ex. 34:7, Heb. 10:4, Phil. 3:6
5. He / they could lose salvation; works and faith were required for salvation – Ezekiel 18, 33
6. However, all other gentiles remain under conscience, i.e. Rahab, the Ninevites and the Queen of Sheba (the Law is only to the Jews; it’ s a covenant with the Jews – 2Kings 23:2, 2Chron. 34:30) – James 2, Jonah, Matt. 12:42, Luke 11:31-32
7. He / they were not born-again, and not in the Body of Christ
8. Also, they could commit sins that would prevent salvation altogether (their own blood would be upon their heads, rather than the temporary covering of an atonement) – Lev. 20:11-13
9. Covenant: the Law (blessings and cursings – Josh. 8:34), but a rest from their own labors later – Ex. 24:7-8 & Luke 13:16, Luke 14:5 (in type)
10. Token: the Sabbath, a type of the millennium rest they would receive later – Ex. 31:13
1. He was a Jew
2. He was under the law
3. He could not attain justification
4. There was no clearing of his sins
5. He was saved by faith and works
6. BUT… David could not lose his salvation, even though he committed two sins for which there was no atonement available (murder – Num. 35:16-18, adultery – Lev. 20:10); he was given the sure mercies of David, which is a type of our salvation – Isa. 55:3, Acts 13:34
7. He was not born-again, and not in the Body of Christ
8. Covenant: his Son would someday sit on his throne forever – 2Chron. 13:5, 2Chron. 21:7, Psa. 89:3-4, Jer. 23:5-6
9. Token: the sure mercies of David (Covenant of Grace – a type of the current Dispensation of Grace of the Church Age) – Isa. 55:3, Acts 13:34
viii. Jesus – The King of the Kingdoms
1. He came to the Jews (John 1:11) – as their national (John 11:49-51) and personal (John 3:3-5) Messiah: two kingdoms – physical and spiritual (Matt. 10:5; Acts 1:6, Acts 4:12)
2. He was the new Lawgiver (Deut. 18:18), but with stricter Laws (The Constitution of His Kingdom – Matthew 5-7; adding a spiritual element to the Law, because a spiritual Kingdom will also be present again), because when He sits on the Throne of His Glory (Matt. 19:28, Matt. 25:31), He will rule with a rod of iron (Psa. 2:9, Rev. 12:5, Rev. 19:15) and Satan will be chained for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-2), so the world and the tempter will no longer be an issue to those who are alive during the Kingdom Age.
3. Therefore, the doctrines of the Gospels (“ his doctrine” – Matt. 7:28) belong mainly to the Kingdom Age (not to the Church Age), which is yet in the future, after the 2nd Advent.
4. He was rejected by the Jews: meaning postponement of the Kingdom of Heaven (and its Constitution), but not of the Kingdom of God – Matt. 11:12, Luke 17:20-21, Rom. 14:17
ix. The Church
1. The Church is the Body & Bride of Jesus Christ – a mystery that was not fully revealed until after the resurrection, when it was revealed to Paul (Rom. 16:25-26, Eph. 3:1-3)
2. The Church is not under the law, Jew nor gentile – Colossians 2
3. The Church is saved and born-again by faith alone – John 3:3-5, Eph. 2:8-9, Titus 3:5 versus Rom. 11:6 – (“ no more of works” – something about salvation has changed)
4. The Church is also justified by faith alone (Rom. 5:1-2, Gal. 3:23-25) – immediately, not later, as Abraham. (Genesis 15, 22, James 2:21-23, Rom. 3:8, Rom. 5:1)
5. Our sins are cleared – John 1:29, Heb. 10:4, Heb. 10:17-18, 1Pet. 1:18-19, 1John 1:7, 1John 2:2, Rev. 1:5-6
x. The Tribulation
1. The Body and Bride of Jesus Christ are taken out of this event (at the rapture of the Church) – 1Cor. 15:52, 1Thes. 4:16, and in type, Rev. 4:1
2. This is the time of Jacob’ s trouble, an horrendous judgment against Israel – Jer. 30:7
3. Tribulation saints will be a mixed multitude, but mainly Jews; the Exodus from Egypt, led by Moses (he comes back again for this event also, with Elijah – Rev. 11:3-5), was a type of this period – Ex. 12:38
4. Tribulation saints will be saved by faith and works – Rev. 12:17, Rev. 14:12, Matt. 24:13, Mark 13:13, Luke 9:23-24
5. But unlike under the Law, Tribulation saints can lose their salvation and not be able to get it back again – Hebrews 2, 6, 10
6. Tribulation saints are not born-again, and not in the Body of Christ
xi. The Millennium
1. This is the time of the earth’ s salvation, also called regeneration – Rom. 8:21-23, compare Titus 3:5 with Matt. 19:28
2. The population during the Millennium will be a mixed multitude of mortals (Jews and gentiles), OT saints, and the Bride of Christ, but with the nation of Israel elevated back again to ruling-nation-status with the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah and King – Rom. 11:23-25, Luke 13:29, Matt. 27:52-53, Eph. 4:8
3. Millennium Saints will be under a works-only salvation – Heb. 11:1 (“ not seen, ” but Jesus Christ will be seen, sitting on the throne of David in Jerusalem [the Throne of His Glory] with nail prints in His hands and feet – John 20:27)
4. Millennium Saints are not born-again, and not in the Body of Christ
5. No one will be allowed to preach during this time – Zech. 13:3, Heb. 8:10-11
6. The Body (and Bride) of Christ will also accompany him during this time (Rev. 19:7-9), and those who chose to suffer with Him on earth, will also help rule with Him (2Tim. 2:12).
xii. Eternity Future
1. “ Of the increase of His government there shall be no end… ” (Isa. 9:6-7)
2. There will be mortals: Jews & Gentiles (no more death & access to the Tree of Life) – Rev. 21:4, Rev. 22:2, 14
3. There will be the saints: Jews (inherit the earth) and gentiles (inherit the galaxies? )
4. There will be the Body (and Bride) of Christ: neither Jew nor Gentile (Gal. 3:26-28), who inherit the New Jerusalem (and you thought you were going to heaven) – Rev. 21:1-3
e. Note to whom are the Books (within the Bible) written?
i. Jew – Gentile – Body (1Cor. 10:32)
ii. Hebrews: The name says it: to the Jews – you’ ll not find much local NT church doctrine in this book
iii. James: “ to the 12 tribes scattered abroad” – again, this will be a Jewish-leaning doctrinal book
iv. Peter, James, John: The Apostles to the circumcision (Gal. 2:7-9), so James through Revelation are going to be primarily doctrinal books to the mainly Jewish local churches of the tribulation period – Revelation 2-3 (in type - the seven churches of Asia Minor serve as two types of churches at the same time: see below)
v. Paul – The Apostle to the gentiles (Rom. 11:13, 1Tim. 2:7, 2Tim. 1:11), so Romans through Philemon are primarily the doctrinal books to the mainly gentile NT church – Rom. 16:4
vi. Jesus – The Sermon on the Mount and the parables
1. What is the Sermon on the Mount?
a. It is the Constitution of the Kingdom (Age) that was being offered to the Jews. (John 1:11, Matt. 10:5)
2. Is it doctrinally applicable today?
a. Can you call someone a fool? (Matt. 5:22)3. If not, when?
b. Do you leave a gift at the altar? (Matt. 5:23, Col. 2:17)
c. Must you forgive, or you won’ t be forgiven? (Matt. 6:14-15)
d. No. The Jews rejected their King, thus postponing the arrival of the Kingdom (Age) until the times of the gentiles be fulfilled. (Luke 21:24, Rom. 11:25)
a. When the Kingdom Age comes, immediately following the 2nd Advent.4. Why parables? (Matthew 13)
a. Because the Jews blasphemed the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12), Jesus withdrew (post-poned) the offer of the Kingdom of Heaven to the Nation of Israel, though not the Kingdom of God to individual Jews. So the parables would be understood by those who were truly seeking the Lord, and stumbling blocks to those who weren’ t.
5. To whom are the parables meant?
a. Mainly to the Jews, as are the four Gospels in general, but there are a few of the parables in the Gospel of Luke that have some gentile application.
f. Note the transitional Books.
i. Probably more false doctrine comes out of the transitional books (and the failure to rightly divide the Scriptures), than the rest of the Bible combined; be careful to rightly divide in the transitional books.g. Note the context.
ii. Matthew (the Gospels): from the Law to the Kingdom
iii. Acts: from the Kingdom rejected to the Church
iv. Hebrews: from the Church to the Tribulation
v. Revelation: from the Tribulation to the Millennium, and then to eternity
i. A text without a context is a pretext, and thereby becomes a private interpretation – 2Pet. 1:20
ii. “ … she lighted off the camel” : Did Rebekah smoke Camel cigarettes? (Gen. 24:64)
iii. “ … separate yourselves… from the strange wives” : If you think your wife is strange are you committing sin and need to put her away? (Ezra 10 & Neh. 13:27)
iv. “ … all with one accord in one place” : Did they have roomier Honda Accords in the early days of the church? (Acts 2)
v. “ … for the remission of sins” : Did water baptism really have the power to cause one’ s sins to be remitted? (Mark 1:4 & Isa. 40:1-3)
1. No. A careful reading of Isa. 40:1-3 (the context of John’ s baptism) would reveal that John was preaching that Israel was finally forgiven and God was ready to offer the Kingdom, so they were to be baptized because they’ d been forgiven. Water baptism does not have the power to remit or take away sins any more than the blood of bulls and goats (Heb. 10:4).
h. Note the qualifiers.
i. “ Like”
ii. “ As”
iii. “ Like unto”
iv. “ … are as the angels which are in heaven” (Mark 12:25)
1. The angels which are still in heaven are different from the angels that fell with Satan.
2. Some of the angels that fell from heaven did marry and reproduce. (Genesis 6)
v. “ The like figure… ” (Noah – 1Pet. 3:21).
1. Noah was never in the water or under the water; he never even touched the water.
2. Noah didn’ t get baptized; it was those who drown in the flood who were baptized.
3. There was in fact, a lot of filthy flesh put away because of the flood, just not Noah’ s; however the like figure of this water baptism wasn’ t the putting away of the filth of the flesh.
4. But Noah sure did gain a clear conscience towards God after he was saved from the continual ungodliness all around him by the baptism of water; Lot’ s conscience was also delivered in a similar way when God saved him from the wicked flesh of Sodom and Gomorrah. (2Pet. 2:7)
5. The like figure: you’ re saved from a bad conscience towards God through water baptism, “ the answer of a good conscience toward God, ” as water baptism is an imperative command (Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-16).
vi. Things that are similar but not exactly the same are different, and things different are not the same!
i. Note the distinctions.
i. Angels versus cherubim and seraphim – Ezekiel 1, 10, 28, Isaiah 6, 14, Revelation 4
1. Angels and cherubim are not the same. (Matt. 25:41)
2. Michael and Gabriel are angels. (Dan. 10:13, Dan. 12:1, Jude 1:9, Dan. 8:16, Dan. 9:21, Luke 1:19)
3. Cherubim and seraphim appear to be the same. (Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1, 10, Revelation 4)
4. “ Seraphim” comes from a Hebrew word that means a poisonous or fiery serpent. (Isa. 6:2-3)
5. Lucifer was a cherub (the anointed cherub – a christ; and a king – Cyrus) – Ezekiel 28.
6. Angels always appear as men and are called sons of God. (Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Job 38:7, Genesis 6)
7. Lucifer (light bearer), even though created as a cherub, has the ability to transform himself into an angel of light. (2Cor. 11:14 – he may have appeared to Eve in this form)
8. The angels that are in heaven do not marry or reproduce. (Matt. 22:30, Mark 12:25)
9. The angels that fell with Satan can marry and reproduce (some were giants [before and after the flood] – Genesis 6, John 6:70), but appear to permanently loose their first estate (not being able to get back up to the heavens) to do so, and when they die, as in the flood, they go to the bottomless pit (their own place) to be chained (Acts 1:25, 2Pet. 2:4, Jude 1:6). Additionally, Isa. 13:21 & Isa. 34:14 seem to suggest that animals were also subject to being taken by the fallen angels (satyrs – a half goat, half human kind of being; other creatures, like centaurs [half human, half horse], which are found in mythology are probably not so far-fetched).
ii. The Kingdom of Heaven versus the Kingdom of God – Matt. 11:12, Luke 17:20-21, Rom. 14:17
1. The Kingdom of Heaven is a literal, physical kingdom.iii. Melchisedec versus Levites – Gen. 14:18, Heb. 5:6, Heb. 6:20, Heb. 7:11, Heb. 7:17, Heb. 7:20, Num. 1:47-49
a. God lives in heaven – Job 22:22. The Kingdom of God is spiritual – Rom. 14:17
b. God’ s Throne is in heaven – Psa. 11:4
c. Birds can fly in heaven; they don’ t fly in God.
d. Presently, the kingdom of heaven can be taken by force and is nearing the last kingdom of men (the fullness of the gentiles – Luke 21:24, Rom. 11:25) from Daniel’ s vision – Matt. 11:12 & Daniel 2
e. The Kingdom of Heaven was postponed until the Millennium, when Jesus Christ will rule with a rod of iron from His throne in Jerusalem – Rev. 12:5, Rev. 19:15
a. It cannot be seen – Luke 17:20-21, John 3:3-5
b. It’ s here now through the Bride and Body of Christ – Luke 17:20-21
1. Aaron was the beginning of the Levitical Priesthood; the Priesthood of Melchisedec has no beginning – Exodus 18 & Hebrews 5 & 7
2. The Levites came from Aaron; Melchisedec has no father or mother – Exodus 18 & Hebrews 7
3. The Levites had descendents who also later became priests; Melchisedec has no descendent and His priesthood is forever – Exodus 18 & Hebrews 7
4. Who is Melchisedec?
5. The passages give the answer, but it (He) must be rightly divided.
a. Until the incarnation, the second member of the Godhead was called, the Word, though His form was like unto the Son of God – John 1:1, Dan. 3:25
b. When the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, He became the Son of God and began a Father / Son relationship with the first member of the Godhead, Jehovah – John 1:14, Psa. 2:7, Heb. 1:5 (“ I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son” ), Heb. 5:5
c. Melchisedec visited Abraham prior to the incarnation, so to rightly divide the Scriptures would put the second member of the Godhead as Melchisedec without the Son / Father relationship, so at that time He would have been without father, without mother, without descendant, without beginning or ending of days. Then after the incarnation, Jesus arose to Heaven to re-assume the priesthood He had already established before the incarnation; He was made a priest after the order of Melchisedec.
iv. OT body of flesh versus the NT body of flesh.
1. After Adam’ s fall, the soul and body became one (stuck together) – Lev. 5:2, Lev. 7:21, Lev. 22:6, Num. 19:13, 20-22
2. That’ s why OT saints had to “ wash and be unclean until the evening, ” – Leviticus 11, 15 versus Col. 2:20-22
3. God tells us that His sword will provide a dividing of soul and spirit from the joints and marrow (flesh – Heb. 4:12).
4. God also calls this spiritual circumcision (a cutting away of the flesh), an operation (Col. 2:11-12), so now there’ s no more touch not, handle not, etc; our soul and spirit are clean no matter what we touch or do.
5. We also become a new creature (neither Jew nor Gentile, but the Body of Christ, and as the Bride of Christ, we’ ve become one-flesh with Him [this is why the type and covenant of marriage is so important]) – 1Cor. 10:32, 2Cor. 5:17, Gal. 3:28, Gal. 6:15
v. The Judgment Seat of Christ versus The Throne of His Glory Judgment versus The Great White Throne Judgment
1. The Judgment Seat of Christ is during the tribulation period, and where the Lord Jesus Christ judges the Church (His Bride and Body) – Rom. 14:10, 2Cor. 5:10
2. The Throne of His Glory Judgment is at the end of the tribulation period, and where the Lord Jesus Christ judges (individuals from) the nations – Matt. 25:31-33 (sheep and goats)
3. The Great White Throne Judgment is at the end of the Millennium, and where God judges all saved and lost (except the Church) – Rev. 20:11-13 & Rev. 1:8: “ death” (the OT saints, Tribulation saints & Millennial saints have to be judged somewhere; the first resurrection [resurrection of the just] extends all the way to the end of the Millennium – Rev. 20:5-6, Luke 14:14, John 5:28-29)
vi. The virgins versus the chaste virgin
1. The Church is never spoken of in the Bible in a plural sense as a woman (the Bride), only as local congregations – 2Cor. 11:2
2. When virgins are spoken of in the Bible in a plural sense, it’ s almost always a reference to Israel – Rev. 14:4, Matthew 25, Psa. 45:14, Song 1:3
3. The virgins of Matthew 25 are not the church in a rapture, but Jews in a rapture, being caught up to be our companions (Psa. 45:14 – bridesmaids; John 3:29 – friends of the bridegroom), at the Marriage of the Lord Jesus Christ to His Bride, the Church (Rev. 11:12).
vii. Paradise (Abraham’ s Bosom) versus Heaven versus The New Jerusalem versus The Promised Land
1. Paradise seems to be a distinction of a temporary state and is where the OT saints went after death (Luke 15, Luke 24:42, 2Cor. 12:4). It’ s now empty, but will receive the tribulation saints (Rev. 6:9), and later, the Millennial saints (Rev. 20:5-6, Rev. 20:13)
2. Heaven is God’ s dwelling place, and where all saints are temporarily residing until the Millennium (Gen. 24:3, Gen. 28:12-14, Job 22:12, Psa. 11:4, Psa. 20:6, 2Cor. 2:5-7, 2Cor. 12:2)
3. The New Jerusalem is where the Bride of Christ will live eternally (Rev. 3:12, Rev. 3:21)
4. The Promised Land is the Jews’ everlasting inheritance (Genesis 17)
viii. The Grave versus Death versus Hell versus the Bottomless Pit versus the Lake of Fire
1. The Grave is where the bodies of all the dead go – 1Sam. 2:6, 2Sam. 19:37, Psa. 88:5, John 11:17, Rev. 11:9
a. Some of the graves have already been opened and emptied – Matt. 27:52
b. The graves of the NT saints will be opened and emptied soon – 1Cor. 15:55
c. Eventually, the graves of all the saints will be opened and emptied – Eze. 37:12-13
2. Hell is where the souls of all the lost go immediately upon dying – Luke 16:22-23
a. Hell is only a temporary state until the Great White Throne Judgment – Rev. 20:11-13
b. Hell is currently down in the heart of the heart of the earth – Matt. 12:40, Amos 9:2, Pro. 15:24
c. Hell is a place of torment – Luke 16:23-25
d. Hell is a place of fire – Deut. 32:22, Matt. 5:22, Matt. 18:9, Mark 9:43-45
e. Hell seems to have at least some degrees of torment – (“ lowest hell” – Deut. 32:22, Psa. 86:13)
f. Hell has gates and a key – Matt. 16:18, Rev. 1:18
g. Hell will enlarge itself someday – Isa. 5:14, Hab. 2:5
h. Jesus actually went to hell as a part of paying for the sins of mankind – Psa. 16:10, Acts 2:25-27
3. Death (as a place) is the same as (another name for) Paradise or Abraham’ s Bosom and is where the souls of the saints go as a temporary (intermediary) state. (See Paradise above)
a. The place called Death is also in the earth and separated from Hell by a great gulf fixed (the bottomless pit) – Luke 16:22-24
b. Jesus went to this place during a part of the three days His body was in the grave and preached to the souls who were waiting there for their salvation to be completed – Psa. 68:18, Eph. 4:8-9, 1Pet. 4:6
c. This place must also have a gate(s), because the Lord Jesus Christ has a key to this place also – Rev. 1:18
4. The Bottomless Pit is the great gulf fixed between Death and Hell and is where some of the angels that fell with Satan are being held because they left their first estate.
a. It’ s called a “ great gulf fixed” in the story of the rich man and Lazarus – Luke 16:26
b. Jesus preached to the “ spirits” that are imprisoned there during the time that His body was in the grave – 2Pet. 2:4, Jude 1:6-7
c. The spirits in this place could not have be men, because their spirits (men’ s) were still not yet regenerated, so they had to have been the disobedient angels who left their first estate and married / reproduced with humans prior to the flood and since – Genesis 6, John 6:70, Acts 1:25
d. This place will also hold Satan for one thousand years during the Millennium period – Rev. 20:2-3
e. This place may also have a gate(s), but at the very least, chains, with a lock and key – Rev. 9:1, Rev. 20:1
f. Demons of some sort are going to be released from this place to torment mankind during the Tribulation period – Rev. 9:1-3
g. The Beast of the Tribulation period also comes out of the bottomless pit (probably Judas Iscariot resurrected: “ the beast that was and is not, and yet is” ) – Rev. 11:7, Rev. 17:8
5. The Lake of Fire is the final damnation of all the fallen angels, Satan and the lost, though its current location doesn’ t appear to be revealed in Scripture.
a. All those who went to hell will also be cast into the Lake of Fire – Rev. 20:11-13
b. The false prophet and the beast will be cast into the Lake of Fire – Rev. 19:20, Rev. 20:10
c. The angels who fell with Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire (“ the sea gave up the dead which were in it” ) – Rev. 20:11-13
d. Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire – Rev. 20:10
ix. The local, visible NT church versus the invisible spiritual Church.
1. The church militant versus the Church triumphant: they’ re not the same
2. The local called-out NT assembly (church militant) began in Matthew 10, when Jesus called-out twelve Apostles from among those who were following Him.
3. The Body and Bride of Christ (Church triumphant) began in John 20, when Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles; compare Eph. 2:20 & Eph. 2:6 & Luke 11:49
4. Anyone who is saved is in Christ (2Cor. 5:17, Rom. 8:1, 1Cor. 8:6, Gal. 2:4); anyone in Christ is a part of the Body (His) and Bride (1Cor. 1:2, Eph. 5:23, Rev. 21:1-2); the Body is the Church (Col. 1:18); so those who are saved are a part of the Church, whether or not they’ re in the local NT church or the wrong NT church.
5. However, all those who are in the local NT church are not necessarily in the Body of Christ – Judas was a part of the first local NT church, but was a devil (John 6:70) that went to his own place when he died (Acts 1:25).
6. Therefore, we must conclude that there are two churches in operation in this age: the local NT church, and a spiritual Church, which is the Bride and Body of Jesus Christ, and is already seated together in Him in heavenly places (an ecclesia – Eph. 2:6).
7. If the local, visible NT church is the only church in operation today, to which local congregation in each city was each epistle written? But if they were written to the Church, which is the Bride and Body of Jesus Christ, then copies and distribution should have been made to all the local churches (which make up the Church, and was what actually happened) – 1Cor. 16:1, 1Cor. 16:19, 2Cor. 8:1, Gal. 1:2, Gal. 1:22, Rev. 1:4
8. The church in the wilderness, led by Moses, was a non-Body church, and a type of the future tribulation (mainly Jewish) church. (Acts 7:38 versus Rev. 12:13-15)
9. The seven churches of Asia Minor are a type of non-Body churches (Revelation 2 & 3) of a mixed multitude, but mainly Jewish, in the tribulation period (compare with Rom. 16:4).
10. “ … the prayer of faith shall save the sick, ” is a Jewish practice (healing) during the early days of the church and will be revived again during the tribulation period church. (James 5)
x. The Gospel of Matthew versus the Gospel of Luke.j. Note expressions of speech or practice (they often create cross-references).
1. Matthew’ s parables are clearly Jewish.
2. Some of Luke’ s parables have gentile overtones to them:
a. There will be some saved gentiles in the tribulation period.
b. Nearly all the parables in the Gospel of Luke deal with the Kingdom of God, rather than the Kingdom of Heaven, as in Matthew’ s Gospel.
c. Talents versus pounds (pounds are a gentile standard of money) – Matthew 25 versus Luke 19
d. 5, 2, 1 talents versus all 10 men receiving 10 pounds each (10 is the Bible number for gentiles) – Matthew 25 versus Luke 19
e. Cast into outer darkness versus loss of reward (the Jews lost salvation, but the gentiles only lost their reward) – Matthew 25 versus Luke 19
f. The Prodigal son – Luke 15 (Discussed elsewhere)
i. “ He that hath an ear let him hear… ” (Matthew 13, Luke 14:35 & Revelation 2, 3)
1. An expression aimed at the Jews (in all three references)
ii. “ … But I say unto you” (Matt. 5:22, Matt. 5:28, Matt. 5:32, Matt. 5:34, Matt. 5:39, Matt. 5:44)
1. The new Lawgiver and King delivering the constitution of His Kingdom – Luke 22:30iii. “ overcometh” (1 John 5, Revelation 2, 3)
1. Another expression aimed at the Jews, the NT church doesn’ t have to overcome anything, the Lord Jesus Christ overcame for us – John 16:33, Colossians 2iv. “ Disciple” (Matthew – Acts)
1. A Jewish expression that is never used in a Pauline Epistle to the Church, and is fairly well defined in Luke 14:26-27.v. Healing – (James 5)
1. A part of the signs to Israel, and seems to be a distinction of the Jewish non-Body church
k. Note types.
i. God is a real stickler when it comes to types… Moses lost his ticket into the Promised Land because he didn’ t regard one properly (Num. 20:11-12). Types seem to be cousins to parables: they reveal truths in a hidden way to those who will believe the words of God.
1. Fig leaves / self-righteousness – Gen. 3:7 & Matt. 21:19-20, Luke 13:6-8
2. Adam, Joseph, Isaac, Moses, David, Jonah / Jesus
a. Adam – Willingly gave his life for his bride3. Seven churches of Asia Minor / seven NT church ages – Revelation 2-3
b. Joseph – Hated and sold-out by his brethren
c. Isaac – Willingly allowed his ancient father to offer him as a sacrifice
d. Moses – The Lawgiver
e. David – Prophet, Priest & King
f. Jonah – A death, burial, descent into hell and resurrection from the dead
a. Ephesus – Rev. 2:1-3
i. The Apostolic Church – ~33 AD - ~200 ADb. Smyrna – Rev. 2:8-10
ii. “ … thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars”
i. The State-Persecuted Church (Pagan Rome) – ~200 AD - ~325 ADc. Pergamos – Rev. 2:12-14
ii. “ I know thy… tribulation and poverty… ”
i. The Whorish Church (marriage of church to state) – ~325 AD - ~500 ADd. Thyatira – Rev. 2:18-20
ii. “ … where thou dwellest, even where Satan’ s seat (of power) is… ” (Rome)
iii. “ … thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam… ” (Intermarriage)
iv. “ So hast thou also them that hold to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans… ” (Conquering or ruling over the laity – Popes and priests)
i. The State-Church Persecuted Church (Papal Rome) – ~500 AD - ~1000 AD
ii. “ … thou sufferest that woman Jezebel… to teach and seduce my servants… ”
iii. “ And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus… ” (Rev. 17:6)
iv. “ … The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth (either Rome, the city of seven hills, or the seven continents over which the Catholic church is continually gaining control)” (Rev. 17:9)
e. Sardis – Rev. 3:1-3
i. The Barely Alive Church (enduring the dark ages) – ~1000 AD - ~1500 AD
ii. “ … thou livest, and are dead… ”
iii. “ … strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die… ”
iv. “ Thou hast a few… which have not defiled their garments… ”
f. Philadelphia – Rev. 3:7-91. Ana-Baptists
4. John Wycliffe
5. John Huss
i. The Open Door Church (The Great Awakening) – ~1500 AD - ~1900 ADg. Laodicean – Rev. 3:14-16
ii. “ … I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it… ” (The main harvest period of the Church Age; God opened the door for world wide revival)
iii. “ … he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth.” (God closes the door in the next age; world wide apostasy)
iv. “ … thou hast kept the word of my patience… ” (There’ s still a pure Bible through the end of this age, but it’ s leavened [Luke 13:20-21] in the next age)
i. The People’ s Rights Church – ~1900 AD – Present
1. Woman’ s Rights
2. Civil (Black) Rights
3. State’ s Rights
4. Gay Rights
5. Human Rights
6. Animal’ s Rights
7. MY RIGHTS
ii. “ … thou are neither cold nor hot… thou art lukewarm” (We live in the most politically correct generation ever.)
iii. “ … thou sayest, I am rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing… ” (We live in the most financially prosperous gentile generation ever [especially the present-day churches].)
iv. “ Behold, I stand at the door, and knock… ” (We live in the most apostate generation ever [1 Timothy 4, 2 Timothy 3-4]; Jesus is no longer in the church, and the door is shut.)
v. “ … a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither… ” (Rev. 4:1, a type of the rapture of the Church, which ends the apostate church age)
4. The Book of Job / The Great Tribulation
a. 42 chapters – 42 months5. Marriage / the Bride and Body of Jesus Christ – Eph. 5:22-24
b. Satan’ s presence: (Leviathan – Job 41) – (Dragon - Revelation 12; see Isa. 27:1)
c. Satan allowed access to persecute, but not annihilate
d. Friends and family (wife) turned against
e. The tribulation and persecution ends when the Lord appears on the scene
f. Blessed again, and more so (doubly), at the conclusion
a. We are one flesh with Jesus Christ.
b. “ … what God hath joined together… ”
c. We’ re currently sitting together in heavenly places in Him – Eph. 2:6
6. OT Feasts / 3 phases of the Rapture (there is a mid-tribulation rapture – Ex. 23:14-16, Deut. 16:16, Matt. 25:1-3 [not Matt. 24:40-41], Rev. 11:12)
a. All males were to appear before God three times – Deut. 16:167. Trees / men – Mark 8:24 (consider also: gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble – 1Cor. 3:12)
i. Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) – Matt. 27:52-53b. In the NT, the Lord raised three from the dead – another type of the three-phase Rapture of the saints:
ii. Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) – 1Cor. 15:52, 1Thes. 4:16
iii. Feast of Tabernacles – Matt. 25:1
i. Lazarus: a type of the OT-saints’ rapture; Lazarus types the OT saints who had laid in the ground 4 days – John 11
ii. Jairus’ daughter: a type of the Church’ s rapture; a young maiden (a future wife) and the only female raised – Mark 5:23, Luke 8:41-42
iii. The widow’ s son – a type of the Tribulation-saints’ rapture; the son was delivered back to his mother (Revelation 12, in type) – Luke 7:12-14
8. Rock / Jesus Christ (stone, cornerstone, rock) – Num. 20:8-10 & 1Cor. 10:4, Daniel 2, Matt. 16:18
9. Satan / serpent / dragon / leviathan / lion / calf (cherub) / fox / king
10. Tribe of Dan (an adder [serpent]) / Judas Iscariot (a devil)
l. Note pairs.
i. The first in the pair is almost always false, but not necessarily bad, though usually so
1. Adam and Jesus – 1Cor. 15:45
2. Moses and Jesus – Deut. 18:18
3. Jonah and Jesus – Matt. 12:38-40
4. Cain and Abel
5. Esau and Jacob
6. Ishmael and Isaac
7. Saul and David
8. Antichrist and Jesus Christ (2nd Advent)
m. Note first-mentions.
i. Fig leaves (self-righteousness – Gen. 3:7)n. Note verb tenses
ii. Holy (dirt: the Promised Land – Ex. 3:5 [You better be careful about giving that dirt away! ])
iii. Healing & signs (for the Jews – Ex. 4:8, 1Cor. 1:22)
iv. The deep (outer space or a sea in outer space – Gen. 1:2, Job 38:30, Job 41:31-32, Eze. 28:2, Psa. 42:7, Psa. 69:15, Psa. 104:6, Psa. 107:24, Psa. 135:6, Pro. 8:28, Psa. 148:4)
v. Thirteen (rebellion – Gen. 14:4)
i. “ … are a shadow of things to come” (still are – Col. 2:17, Heb. 10:1)
ii. “ … sit together in heavenly places” (at this time – Eph. 2:6)
iii. “ … that you may know you have eternal life… ” (now – 1John 5:13)
o. Note numbers (Not an infallible rule, but certainly another way that God sometimes chooses to communicate additional Truth through His Book)
1. The number for unity
2. One Lord – Mark 12:29
3. The Tower of Babel (man’ s unity outside of God is bad) – Genesis 11
4. The church on the day of Pentecost (man’ s unity within the Lord is good) – Acts 2:1
Marriage (can be good or bad) – Gen. 2:24
1. The number for divisioniii. Three
2. Two must have agreement to walk together; most don’ t walk with 3. 3. God because they’ re divided against Him (Amos 3:3).
4. The Lord Jesus Christ is a divider in this age – Luke 12:51
5. Unequal yokes divide – 2Cor. 6:14
You cannot serve two masters – Luke 16:13
1. The number for unity in division or division in unity
2. I call it, Holy Order
3. The Trinity
4. Queers – only two, cannot create three (unholy)
5. Family – not a family unit until it becomes three: father, wife, and child
6. Church – pastor, flock, and God (where two or three… Matt. 18:20)
1. An elusive number
2. Perhaps the number for earth:
a. 4 seasons3. Perhaps the number for universality; God’ s salvation is available to all:
b. 4 winds
c. 4 compass directions
d. 4 basic elements: fire, wind, earth, water
a. 4 directions of compass (Matt. 8:11, Luke 13:29)
b. 4 horns on the brazen altar – Ex. 27:1-2
c. 4 rings for staves on the Mercy Seat & carried by 4 – Ex. 25:10
d. The palsied man borne of 4 – Mark 2:1-3
1. NOT the number for grace, as many suggestvi. Six
2. The number for death
a. Gen. 5:5
b. Romans 5
c. “ … under the 5th rib” – 2Sam. 2:23, 2Sam. 3:27, 2Sam. 4:6, 2Sam. 20:10
d. The brazen altar was built 5 X 5 (the place of death – Ex. 27:1)
1. The number for man
2. Adam was created on the 6th day.
3. Number of a man: 666 (incomplete – Rev. 13:18)
4. Man’ s work-week is 6 days.
5. Noah entered the ark in his 600th year.
6. Man messes-up the earth for 6000 years.
1. The number for completionviii. Eight
2. 7 colors in the spectrum
3. 7 notes in the scale
4. God’ s way of working:
a. 7 days = week5. In the last Book of the Bible there are:
b. 7 weeks = Feast of Pentecost (“ weeks” ) – Ex. 23:14-16, Deut. 16:16
c. 7 months = Feast of Tabernacles – Lev. 23:34
d. 7 years = rest for land (Lev. 25:4), and release of servants (Ex. 21:2, a type of the millennium for Israel)
e. 7 times 7 years = Jubilee – Lev. 25:9-11
f. 7 millennia = Great White Throne Judgment (DONE)
a. 7 bowl judgments
b. 7 trumpet judgments
c. 7 vial judgments
d. 7 churches
e. 7 angels (messengers or pastors)
f. 7 candlesticks
g. 7 spirits (of God)
1. The number for new beginnings
2. “ Noah, the eighth person… ” (Starting again with Noah – 2Pet. 2:5)
3. Circumcision on the eighth day for a new little boy – Luke 1:59
4. King David was the eighth son of Jesse: something new was being shown… he was a type of Jesus and the dispensation of grace – 1Sam. 17:12 & 1Sam. 16:11
1. Another elusive numberx. Ten
a. Noah’ s covenant – Gen. 9:93. Fruit bearing:
b. Abraham was 99 at his covenant – Gen. 17:1
a. 9 fruit of the Spirit mentioned – Gal. 5:22
b. 9 gifts to the church mentioned – 1 Corinthians 12
1. The number for the Gentiles
a. Noah was the tenth from Adam, and the father of the gentiles – Genesis 10
b. The first gentile kingdom appears in Genesis 10.
c. The last gentile kingdom is a confederacy of 10 nations – Daniel 2
d. Jesus mentions His other sheep, which are not of the fold of Israel, in John 10.
e. Cornelius, the first gentile reached in the Book of Acts, is reached in Acts 10 (The Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 was a Jewish proselyte)
f. Gentiles use a base-10 system
1. I call it the number for disorder or chaosxii. Twelve
a. The Tower of Babel is in Genesis 11.
b. Without Joseph, Israel was only 11 tribes (Dan also).
c. Without Judas Iscariot, there were only 11 Apostles.
1. The number for the Jews
a. There were 12 children of Israel & 12 tribes of Israel.
b. There were 12 stones in Aaron’ s breastplate.
c. There are 12 stars on the woman’ s crown in Revelation 12 representing the 12 tribes of Israel.
d. There were 12 (Jewish) Apostles and will be 12 foundations and gates in the New Jerusalem – the home of the Jewish Messiah and His Bride.
e. The first reference to the Jews, through Abraham, is in Genesis 12.
f. The book of Daniel, which deals with Israel in the end-times, has 12 chapters.
1. The number for rebellion
a. The first mention of thirteen is rebellion – Gen. 14:4
b. In 1 Samuel 13, Saul, the first King of Israel rebelled against the word of the Lord and lost the kingdom to David.
c. The beast is the theme of Revelation 13.
d. The parable of the fig tree that wouldn’ t bear fruit and had to be cut down (a type of Israel) is in Luke 13.
e. There are 13 letters in Judas Iscariot, and he’ s outted in John 13.
f. There are 13 words in the harlot’ s subscription in Revelation 17.
g. 13 colonies broke away from England and became the USA.
h. The first US flag was comprised of 13 stars and 13 stripes (be careful about your jingoism).
1. The number for testing or probation
a. 40 is mentioned twice in the flood account – Gen. 7:4, 17
b. Israel spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness (Ex. 16:35, Num. 14:33).
c. Moses spent 40 years on the backside of the desert (Exodus 3).
d. Moses, Elijah and Jesus fasted for forty days and nights (representing the Law, the Prophets and the King – Ex. 24:18, 1Kings 19:8, Matt. 4:1-2).
e. Saul, David and Solomon all ruled Israel for 40 years each (Acts 13:21, 2Sam. 5:4, 1Kings 11:42).
xv. One Thousand
1. The number God uses to divide off the ages
a. A day with the Lord is as a thousand years (2Pet. 3:8).
b. God worked six days and rested the seventh, the Sabbath: a type of the Millennial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ and Israel’ s rest.
c. God gave Israel the Sabbath as a sign: a thousand year rest (Ex. 31:13, Eze. 20:12, Eze. 20:20).
d. God almost always divides these ages either 4-3 or 6-1
i. Marriage in Cana of Galilee – three days (John 1-2)
1. Jesus is going to a marriage on the third day.ii. Jesus worked for two days, but on the third day He would be perfected (Luke 13:31-32
1. The Lord’ s perfect King and Kingdom will be on the third day.
iii. The parable of the fig tree – four days (Luke 13:6-8)
1. Digged it about through Sennacherib – 2 Kings 18iv. Matt. 17:1 (after six days) versus Luke 9:28 (about an eight days)
2. Dunged it about through Nebuchadnezzar – 2 Kings 24
3. Still no fruit; cut it down after the fourth day – Titus (70 AD)
1. After six and about eight is seven – The Kingdom is the seventh dayv. One thousand is mentioned six times in Rev. 20:2-4
1. Man messes things up for six thousand years, and then God makes a rest for the seventh thousand years