I. Preaching and Christian Doctrine.
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
Modern theology including the once conservative SBC during the days of Carroll and Conner’s, including Baylor Truett Seminary, and SWBTS has fallen prey to the Theology of Northern Seminaries: (1) controversies between Calvin and Arminianism, between the prime authority of either Jesus or the Bible, between election and predestination, and so on and on and on with far more theology than Bible; and (2) with an increasingly popular academic and theology approach at books of the Bible, that isolate one of 66 books for study, ignoring the very necessary IN CONTEXT approach of the Bible. What does it remind you of; yes, the days on earth of Jesus when men and religions were “teaching for doctrines, the commandments of men.” It is only that in the present confusions of the great apostasy called the falling away, old religions like gnosticism, Hinduism, and Buddhism are striving to compete with Jesus with a puny concept that Jesus is old, and they are smarter than Jesus. There are intellectual movements afoot today that desire to present Gnosticism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, even idolatry as older than the Christ story, so we must consider the beginning of Christianity and Christian doctrine from the perspective of the Bible, the final Word of God Himself, as that is always the perspective of the SunGrist commentaries.
Part of this lack of respect for the Ancient Jesus by intellectuals and their followers, is a failure to see what came to the Apostle John by revelation on the isle of Patmos, in order words the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, which gave him the eternal perspective on Christ, that like God the Father Jesus is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, so after John recorded the book of Revelation he was able to start his Gospel story of Jesus in the words—
- First, however there must be the reminder (1) of I Corinthians 1:21 with the words of “when the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those that believe”; and (2) I Corinthians 3 19 as it is quoted from the oldest book in the Bible, Job, and establishes a fundamental principle worldview of understanding that “He catches the wise in their own craftiness” (Job 5:13)
“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” (I Corinthians 3:18-22)
Paul, Himself once an intellectual lawyer of high education studying under Gamaliel, one of the leading scholars of “this age”, reminds the first century congregations not to hold the wisdom of that age in higher regard than the wisdom of God, and in doing so in the very nature of revelation from God the Holy Spirit as words from God Himself established an eternal principle of Christians, intellectuals or otherwise, of not holding the wisdom of the world, of philosophy, of logic, and theology, or religious teachers in higher regard than the wisdom of the Eternal God the Father, and of His Son, the author of our faith, and the Holy Spirit that wrote every verse of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
- Preaching the Bible and Christian Doctrine in 2019. This time and age in Christianity and the world is vastly different than when we grew up.
(1) U in Urgent stands for Unnecessary Christian fables today that can be called flak. Flak diverts from the mission of the great commission and flake shoots down the efforts of the Church. II Timothy 4:3,4 starting with “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine” reminds us of the words to follow in the two verses of (a) a heaping up in the church and local church of itching ears preachers and teachers; (b) desires of church members and preachers, out of their own wants shall they become more motivated than by Christ and the Spirit of Christ; (c) the church and the world will increased turn away from truth, and while we may object and find excuses, it is a reality that must be faced; and (d) they, the church and the world, will be turned aside to Christian fables like those of the Scofield mites with words of rapture, millennium, and dispensationalism, each not even found once in the literal Bible.
(2) R in urgent stands for Revival in Christian doctrine and a looking forward to reaching the Jewish people into the One body of Christ after God switches it on—that is their lack of blindness and stumbling, and a larger movement among them after the fullness of the Gentiles.
(3). G in urgent stands for a continued Growing of the Church in the NT way as we recall the only new revelation of the mystery of the one body in Christ of Jews and gentiles.
(4). E in urgent stands for refreshing Evangelism according to Acts, heeding the words of Jesus when asked by the disciples “Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel” replying with words the Scofield mites still refuse to heed with their Christian fables while they seek to know, counter to the words of Jesus that “it is not for you to know the times and the seasons”, to go beyond Bible into theology and philosophy in great and false numbering of the times and seasons. The two great confusions of the Scofield mites yesterday and today are one, they get confused on when the last days started refusing to understand that Joel and Peter on the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension, said this is fulfilled this day—what part of this day can they not understand; and two, their failure to admit that the first resurrection is for all Christian martyrs starting with the first disciples and into 2019 who die a bloody death. This is the 144,00 under the throne asking How Long and are given white robes to cover the wounds, naturally of necessity a variable number even as the or a thousand.
(5). N in urgent stands for the single New revelation in the NT, called in Ephesians the Cause of Christ, that must be added to the message of Preaching thru the Bible in one years using the OT quotes in the NT. True, the Holy Spirit carefully chose those quotes as to what is most important for Gentiles and Jews to know in the NT from the OT; however it is also God the Holy Spirit that made it clear that both Jews and Gentiles were to become one body in Christ which is the Church of which some members in the local church are members.
(6). T in urgent stands for the Task of reaching the completely lost and delusional of Romans 1 as well as the care for the 99, knowing that while it sounds impossible that such who refuse to glorify God, retain God in their thinking, and become vain in their imaginations, we notice just before this description of the DOM for Deification of Man, Paul encourages us that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and some of those terrible unrighteous all the way to gays and lesbians and beyond can be reaching, as “it is the power of God unto salvation unto all who will believe.”
II. Topical and Exegetical Bible: Living God of the Living #1c.
- What is “THE Answer”? The pure and good and then beyond that to the New and Expanded Dimensions–
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if thee be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 KJV)
All I can say by consolation of what you have gone through to get up to this point in that those things were also true in that they were from the Bible; and that now we can come to “whatsoever things are pure” and “of good report”, and that in these things to follow of pure and good there will be the Christian ethics of “virtue” and the “praise” to the One True God of the Lord Jesus Christ: “think on these things”!
“What is THE Answer?”
What is the answer on the matter of conscience?
What is the answer on the matter of conscience and God?
“the answer of a good conscience toward God” (I Peter 3:21 KJV)
So that the whole matter of God and good conscience hinges on what the Apostle Peter identifies as the specifics of how a good conscience can give proper accountability to God. And that with the above phrase is in I Peter 3:21–
“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”. (KJV)
- THE ANSWER OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE TOWARD GOD IS THE ONE BAPTISM!
If we come to understand the One Baptism, we understand the “pure”, “sprinkled”, and “good” conscience; and if we become participants in the One Baptism, we have the answer of a good conscience toward God! There is hardly any one single question of the Bible that is any more important for both salvation and the good conscience than that of “What is the One Baptism?” The Apostle Paul has answered that in the first three chapters of Ephesians before he makes a precis of such in Ephesians 4:4-6, the first three chapters being a paraphrase of the first nine letters that he wrote; and here in I Peter, the Apostle Peter begins an answer to the question by identifying that the One Baptism is not water baptism, “(not the putting away of the filth of the flesh”. The One Baptism is baptism in unseen water even as the eating of the flesh of Jesus is the eating of unseen bread from heaven.
- Testimony of Jesus, the Spirit of Prophecy” (Rev 19:10)
This section title may come as a surprise; for us to begin this more serious Bible study of the 14 New Testament letters written by the Apostle Paul in the second volume of THE LEARN CHRIST COMMENTARIES with a quotation from Revelation, a book written by the Apostle John: yet there is a reason for this to see the complete flow of the Bible, especially as is necessary in only one book, GOD’S BOOK: The Bible is > Pages, Print, and Ideas. Although the primary flow of the Bible is around the theme of “God the Father”; and we will come to that in the later chapters of this book, and primarily in the next chapters, yet even now it is important foundational, and to pick up this primary flow of truth in the Bible–alias the progress in progressive revelation to see several generalizations about the New Testament: (1) Since to the Apostle Paul was committed by Christ the primary responsibility of the Chief Editorship of the New Testament, and Paul saw that near the time of the writing of his last of the 14 books that there was some work remaining to be done, he passed that ministry on to Dr. Luke, John Mark, and the Apostle John; and (2) The book of Revelation, of the Apostle John and of the last five books of the New Testament and Bible, is the transitional book between the 14 letters of Paul and the Gospel of John with the little epistles, it being the time and the book of the time at which John was forced to come out of hiding, and when he received the heaven’s visions through the Ascended Christ to wrap up the First Century Christian responsibility of Apostleship in writing the New Pentateuch of the Bible.
- How Revelation is Transitional?
Later other and even more important ways will be mentioned how the book of Revelation is transitional between the 14 letters of the Apostle Paul and the last 4 New Testament books by the Apostle John; but for now the point is that Revelation is transitional between the 14 letters by Paul and the last 4 New Testament books in that while Paul established “the spirit of prophecy” in his 14 letters, and John after the writing of the book of Revelation wrote the Gospel of John to reestablish and clarify “The Testimony of Jesus”, the book of Revelation transitions between “the spirit of prophecy” and “The Testimony of Jesus”, in one phrase and after one verse of Revelation tying the two together:
“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, see thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10 KJV)
The book of Revelation was designed by the Apostle John, and God and the Ascended Christ through the Apostle John, to keep much truth hidden from the casual reader of the book: (1) Words like the dragon for Satan and “beast” for the Roman Emperors were used to keep Roman leaders from understanding the predictions of their destruction to minimize the increased persecution of First Century and later Christians (remember that Revelation was written near the end of the First Century, approximately 94 A.D., and Rome did not fall as far as the Western half until 453 A.D.; (2) Other words, visions, and phrases were designed to keep the Jew who though possessors of the Old Testament prophecies on which much of Revelation is based, from understanding those same messages of ultimate destruction since the Jews would gladly deliver Christians to Rome as a scapegoat for any persecutions of themselves, even as they earlier had done for Christ Himself; and (3) There is even a deeper hidden meaning against superficial Christians who, getting past the first two hidden levels, and yet bogging down in certain secondary priorities of the book of Revelation like Armageddon, 666, the beast and dragon, and one thousand years, still miss the primary hidden meaning of the book. If one goes into the book of Revelation independent of the primary flow of the Bible, and with forgetting the primary themes of the Bible as (1) The LORDSHIP of God the Father, (2) The Lordship of Jesus Christ, (3) One Day of the LORD and Lord, and (4) The Democratic Nature of prophecy of the New Testament that started with the Ascension of Christ, then they also fail to see in the book of Revelation the contributions of that book to the main themes, amassing more words, sermons, and teachings on the first two levels of hidden meaning.
- “The Testimony of Jesus”
Although this “testimony of Jesus” in the Gospel of John, written after the book of Revelation is more the subject of later chapters, it should be stated briefly here to see further how the book of Revelation is a transitional book between the 14 letters of the Apostle Paul and the last four New Testament books. This can be done briefly with just one word, the word “Word” that is given to the Apostle John in the book of Revelation as an introductory word for the Gospel of John-.-
“And I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” (Revelation 19:11-13)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
Here therefore is the way the Bible flows in progressive revelation:
( I.) “the spirit of prophecy” in the 14 letters by the Apostle Paul; (II.) Introduction of “the testimony of Jesus” as the same as the “spirit of prophecy” in the book of Revelation with the two even more important themes of God and the Word; and (III.) The Testimony of Jesus in the Gospel of John and the little epistles.
- “The spirit of prophecy”,
Having said all this, we are can outline the 14 letters of the Apostle Paul under the subject of “The spirit of prophecy” while noting that both “spirit” and “prophecy” are spelled with little letters, “spirit” with little “s” to denote the human and Christian spirit rather than the Spirit of God that spelled with capital “S”, and the little “p” to distinguish democratic prophets of the New Testament, and to distinguish them as I do from the Old Testament Prophets spelled with a capital “P”. The Apostle Paul while he is summarizing in the book of Ephesians the first nine letters–Hebrews, Romans, Galatians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Corinthians, Titus, and I Timothy–also summarizes and firmly establishes this democratic nature of New Testament “prophecy” by identifying the “prophets” of the New Testament as a gift from the Ascended Christ with “pastors, teachers, evangelists, and apostles”-with-
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men . . .And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers . . .” (Ephesians 4:7-11)
While it is not possible to labor the point now that this is a quotation from the Old Testament (Psalms 68:18 and part of ONE NEW BIBLE shown in “Project List”), we must see that in spite of the quotation in the Old Testament, it is the Ascended Christ that gives the gift of “prophets”, making the “prophet” as much an office as apostles and pastors, and clearly all starting in New Testament times after the Ascension of Jesus Christ back to God the Father. Where these Democratic Benefits Started? Clearly where these democratic benefits of salvation and prophecy started was when the Ascended Christ sent the Holy Spirit to take His place on earth-“But this is that was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy . . .And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:16-21 and Joel 2:28-32, also part of ONE NEW BIBLE and “Project List”)
THEREFORE TO DENY BY ACTIONS AND WORDS THE DEMOCRATIC NATURE OF PROPHESY AND “PROPHETS” IS TANTAMOUNT TO A DENIAL OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATURE OF SALVATION; AND finally IS THE MOST HIDEOUS LIE AND SIN OF ALL WHO WOULD BE FALSE LEADERS AND PRIESTS UNTO GOD IN THE PLACE OF THE “PRIESTHOOD OF BELIEVERS”, THE SAME AS THE FALSE SPIRITS AND SEDUCING SPIRITS AND FALSE PROPHETS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT!
- The True Christ.
Lastly in the closing out of this chapter whatever we agree or disagree on “THE Answer”, we must agree that the answer must center about the “true Christ” even as about His “true God the Father”; and even as the Apostles and Jesus quoted frequently from the Old Testament, showing this eternal agreement, we also have kept this Bible study centered about the Old in the New and the New in the Old in order to keep centered about the Christ of the Bible. As we make this approach to the Bible, even as the Lord God said to Moses and Stephen quoted from Joshua 5:13-15 in his final defense, we stand on holy ground (Acts &;33). We are approaching the LORD God of the universe and the Lord Jesus Christ whom He has appointed as the heir of all things. As the Hebrew fathers and the religious leaders of Jesus’ time and the apostles and first democratic prophets, we can easily also become “stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears” to resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51-53 and Judges 2:7-13). We can have our social and religious context fooled that we are indeed the religious and the leaders of the religious as the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and even priests have others fooled–and the rich! Like the Pharisees who contended contentiously with Jesus about little things like plucking corn and eating on the sabbath day (Matthew 12:1-4 and I Samuel 21:6,16), we can miss seeing Jesus while we focus on our own religious customs and practices. We can disagree like those people about whether “this is the Prophet” and “This is the Christ” (John 7:40-43 and II Samuel 7:12), not even understanding the very basic history of the Bible how it was prophesied that Jesus would come of the seed of David and out of Bethlehem, without getting to Him as our Savior and Lord.
The majority is wrong and always will be wrong; but “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew” (Romans 11:2-4 and I Kings 19:10-18), and as in the days of the Prophet Elijah today He no doubt has His “seven thousand” of each generation that “have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal”–to other gods and the god of this world, Satan. God gives power to His witnesses; and if anyone of the majority of the world harms them they are accumulating for themselves judgment by fire at the Great One Day of the LORD and Lord (Revelation 11:5 and II Kings 1:10,11). Jesus was born by the power of the Almighty and through the work of the Holy Spirit; He did begin his ministry on earth of teaching and preaching the Gospel at age 30, and He was the son on the earthly side of Joseph, though not begotten of Joseph He submitted Himself to Him as His father for thirty years, and the lineage of Joseph went all the way back in the Old Testament history to David, Abraham, and Adam, the first man (Luke 3:23-38 and I Chronicles 1:1,4; 1:24-28; and 1:32).
This Jesus, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Prophet Messiah, is also in His body the true and final Temple of God. We can build many houses or churches for the worship of God–and should; but in the final analysis the only Temple or house of God that is of any eternal significance is this Temple of God of the body of Jesus (Acts 7:47-53 and II Chronicles 3:1). (1) Solomon built God a house, but “the most High” God “dwelleth not in temples (or houses or churches) made with hands; (2) As said the Old Testament Prophet and Prophets; (3) For the throne of God is in heaven far beyond all houses and temples, therefore can hardly contain Him; (4) This planet earth is His very footstool not the place where He can be contained with little concepts and consciences; and (5) What house of the mind or worship can you possible build that is big enough to contain the God that reaches from heaven to earth?
- Balance (II Timothy)
In this sixth of 12 New Testament books to be added to Appendix, and in preparation for “the spirit of prophecy” from the Apostle Paul of the next chapter IN VOLUME 3, knowing that Paul would tell his own sons in the faith first of this “spirit”, we begin this brief balance on II Timothy with II Timothy 1:6,7–
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Here I think the King James translators have correctly translated with little spirit instead of capital Spirit since it is the influence of the Spirit on God on our own human and Christian spirits that gives the spirit of non-fear, or confidence, and of love and a sound mind.
- Like the Apostle Paul who was not ashamed of the Gospel, it being the first half of his Gospel Pride (Romans 1:17) with the second half of God is Faithful in that He will not allow us to be ashamed (Romans 10:11), he also urges all young men to exercise the same Gospel Pride–
“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God” (II Timothy 1:8)
We have already said something of “the testimony of our Lord” or “the testimony of Jesus” and will have more to say about it as a central theme of continuity for this book, indeed for the whole flow of the Bible; and herein we will come to see the relationship of that “testimony” as a balance for life and the Bible.
- The Testimony of Jesus and the spirit of prophecy as a balance for life.
(1). The Testimony which Jesus Himself started is the testimony of the salvation, purpose, and grace in Christ Jesus of certain to be “called” before the foundation of the earth (II Timothy 1:9)
(2). This Testimony of Jesus became clear–“now made manifest”–with the actual appearance on earth of Jesus (1:10).
(3). The Apostle Paul is a “preacher, apostle, and teacher” of this Testimony (1:11).
(4). With this office comes suffering, and Paul reiterates his own Pride (“I am not ashamed”, 1:12) in God and the Gospel.
(5). With the Testimony of Jesus comes the Blessings of Believing-“…for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (1:12) Again that Testimony and those Blessings are based on the understanding of the Faithfulness of God!
- What we are to Do with This Testimony of Jesus and this spirit of Prophecy?
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard (and for us READ in Paul’s epistles as well as in the whole Bible) of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy (Spirit) which dwelleth in us.” (II Timothy 1:13,14)
KEEP THE “FORM OF SOUND WORDS” BY: (1). Remembering the enemies who have made themselves enemies of the Apostles and the Bible of the Apostles, 1:15-18, and likewise the friends of both; (2). Being strong in the grace of God, 2:1; (3). Pass the testimony of Jesus on to other men that will also be faithful witnesses, 2:2; (4). Keep the testimony by not becoming entangled in the affairs of this world, 2:3-7–this is balance to life and to the proper “love of life”.
“Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel…” (II Timothy 2:8 and Genesis 12:1-3) And so we must constantly be reminded of how the Gospel is centered around Jesus Himself, who according to the Old Testament and New Testament came on the earthly side–his earthly genealogy–was from David, Abraham, and etc. as both Luke and Matthew record; and that this Gospel was originally preached to Abraham as recorded in Genesis 12:1-3. We receive the “Blessings of Believing” which we will expand further in the next chapters as based on the “Testimony of Jesus” and “the spirit of prophecy”, just as Abraham received the promise, through faith, and we are among those as the elect of God chosen from before the foundation of the earth, to receive with Abraham the blessings of the Gospel.
III. : The Ephesians Supplement to Preaching Through the Bible in one year, alias The Cause of Christ.
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel…” (Ephesians 3:1-6)
The church is the called out assembly, some in heaven and some still on earth, called the whole family in heaven and earth, the one body of Jews and Gentiles; the kingdom of Christ is the future government and land of those people–ruling now one heart and mind submitting to the will of God and Christ but fully realized a literal forever kingdom on the new earth under the new heavens which God creates after the Second Coming of Christ. The kingdom is not of this world else my disciples would fight, Jesus said. Of course, like in the Garden before the cross, that is what Jesus said, and the Scofield mites still demand for several reasons a kingdom of this world and in Israel where the zealots can rule. Jesus had troubles with His own disciples as well as the whole nation then asking the question, “Will you at this time restore the kingdom of David?” It is so simple to tell the difference between the church and the kingdom if we just listen to the above words of Jesus and how He taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come”. It was not there and was not on earth, a kingdom to be fulfilled after the Second Coming as a new heaven and a new earth are established where Christ rules supreme and then turns it over to God the Father, that God the Father may be all in all.
- We pray as taught by Jesus for the kingdom to come, the complete government of Christ on the new earth; we are half of the visible church now here on earth as some members of the thousands and millions of local churches assembly to honor Christ are also members of the one Church; and of course as such will be in the literal forever kingdom on the new earth.
Now the church is here and visible now, that is the half that is not in heaven. Any time you see a local called out assembly of Christ, you are seeing some of the Church. Since “many are called and few are chosen”, you can not tell which ones are eternal members of the church of the firstborn written in heaven; nor should we try—that is the job of God and Christ. Now, Paul did make some efforts to allow the local church at Ephesus to see which ones were also members of the One body of Christ in that whether they had learned Christ or not. First, it was obvious that they were not members of the One Church if they live like the other Gentiles in the vanity of their mind. They were members of the one church written in heaven if they indeed had seen and heard Christ, in other words had a personal experience with Christ and experienced the 9-month new birth. “The Cause of Christ” , sometimes overlooked in the reading of Ephesians as completely new revelation of NT times, summarizes the uniqueness of the one church, that Jews and Gentiles should be members of the same body.
You can appreciate somewhat the unbelief of the Jewish people as for generations as a called-out people of God, they were admonished constantly and, in many ways, to separate themselves from Gentiles; and now suddenly with this new revelation of the One Church body, they were called fellow citizens with the Gentiles. It could be one way that God caused them blindness for their rejections of Him and Jesus until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
- In preaching through the Bible, we must each time add one point on the Cause of Christ as OT quotes in the NT could not cover this Cause since in all the ages before Paul, this revelation was not made. “…Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men…”
In other words, there were in the long history of the OT no revelations made through the Prophets of this Mystery and Cause of Christ. Can you even imagine in the OT days telling the Jewish nation, that the loathed Gentiles are going to be members of the same body of Christ with their own nation? There was some missionary work among the Gentiles like with Jonah, the reluctant prophet, who warned Nineveh, a Gentile nation, to repent or destruction; and when they repented as God decided not to destroy them, Jonah sat down under a tree and pouted. It is hardly to be thought that God was withholding something from His own people of the Jewish nation, it is just that they would not have been able to take it. Goodness, they still have trouble taking it, how horrible being one body and fellow citizens with Gentiles; yet Christ told his 12 disciples to first take the Gospel to the house of Israel; and there was a vast revival in Israel starting with 5,000 saved on Pentecost and every nation in the Roman Empire, then spreading through the Empire as Paul and the other Apostles first went to the Jewish synagogues to preach, then after rejected by the majority took some of them with them to form a local church with Gentiles.
To help you visualize the difference between the church and the kingdom of Christ, you can think of how each believer is one living stone that makes in heaven a holy temple to the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father, and that Temple is in the New Jerusalem which is headquarters for the forever kingdom of Christ on the new earth. Is it important to even distinguish between the church and the kingdom? Yes, primarily because it will counter so much false doctrine today in the falling away and of past history: first, in the great falling away of the Roman Vatican about 1000 A.D. as forbidding priests to marry (and you know all the trouble that is creating with fallen priest pedophiles today), the Vatican both lost their continuing with Christ and the church and became victims of “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils”; and then the great apostasy started among Protestants with the Scofield Reference Bible in 1929 and found its full destructive manifestation in the falsely called “Conservative Resurgence” that split the evangelical work of the largest SBC into 3 denominations and out of a lack of love destroyed careers and reputations of fellow Christian brothers.
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