PTB #12: The Bible is Christ, Christ is the Bible.

The Ephesians Supplement to Preaching Through the Bible in one year.  (The Cause of Christ)

INTRODUCTION:

1.  Dr. R. G. Lee on Christ and the Bible.

“This living Word of our living God stars Jesus.  And you can not hold on to Christ and give up the Bible.  You cannot believe in the Cross and surrender the infallible authority of the Bible.  Faith in the deity of Christ is married to faith in the inspiration of the Bible.”

{from the little pamphlet of Dr. Lee, The Word of God Not broken and Not Bound, printed in 1965 by Christ for the World publishers in Orlando, Florida}

2.  Dr. B. H. Carroll on Christ and the Bible.

“Take the words of Jesus.  He says, ‘Not one jot or one tittle of that law shall ever fail’.  The ‘jot” is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet and the “tittle” is a small turn or projection of a Hebrew letter.  He says the heavens may fall, but not one jot or tittle of that law shall fail.  Then He says that the Scripture cannot be broken.  What is it that cannot be broken?  Whatever is written can not be broken if it is theopneustos.   But the word is not inspired if it is not theopneustos, which means God-breathed or God-inspired. “

{from “Inspiration of the Bible” by Carroll and edited and published by J.B. Cranfill, 2015}

3.  Moses in Deuteronomy on the Prophet Messiah.

Deuteronomy 18:15-19

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.  For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”  The LORD said to me: “What they say is good.  I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.  I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.

4.  The new revelation of the Cause of Christ given to Paul to supplement and peak the OT in the NT.  (some other revealed mysteries will be discussed later)

“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.

12-1.  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.

12-2.  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.

12-3.  Several things can be seen immediately by the failure of the church today to distinguish between the One Church of all believers in Christ and the one literal kingdom of Christ to be fully fulfilled at the second coming:

(1) Scofield mites have taken dispensation, the only place mentioned in the Bible is Ephesians 1:10 and created a whole false philosophy and theology called dispensationalism with other words also not found even once in the Bible of millenniums and rapture; (2) to strain at consistency of their Scofield and Oxford Press theology, they have distorted the meaning of the first resurrection, created two second comings of Christ, and have with their bad mathematics of attempted additions to the Bible created two kingdoms, the first kingdom of one thousand years for the Jews to control, and the second kingdom after Christ comes again.

Ephesians, a Book for the New Revelation of the Mystery of the Cause of Christ–

Paul, next to Jesus Himself was the extreme quoter of the OT in the NT, especially in Hebrews and Romans.  Yet when it came his writing of Ephesians after have published his first ten of the 14 books of the New Testament, he summarized those first ten with a meager 5 OT quotes, and further used Ephesians as a Book for the New Revelation of the Mystery of the Cause of Christ, a new revelation so mysterious that it demanded the Jews and Gentiles become members of the same one body in Christ.

Check the quotes out for yourself by either looking at the quotation marks in the body of Ephesians and comparing with either Hebrews or Romans, or if you have a Bible like the Nelson Ultra slim, you can check for OT quotes at the bottom of the page.  Granted those five quotes are great and significant for the realization in lives in Ephesians 4-6 of the new revelations of the Cause in Ephesians 1-3:  (1)  Psalm 68:18 in Ephesians 4:8 where the Ascended Christ determined captivity for His Kingdom and where He gave the gifts of pastors, teachers, apostles and prophets to the Church; (2) Zechariah 8:16 in Ephesians 4:25 about speaking truth with your fellow members of the one body in the Church; (3) following closely and in connected thought in Ephesians 4:26 is a quote from Psalm 4:4 on how to be angry and no sin and not letting the sun go down on your wrath as to give place to the devil; (4) Genesis 2:24 in Ephesians 5:31 where in marriage male and female become one flesh, and again Paul mentions the great Mystery by the way of the analogy of marriage when he speaks, “but I speaking concerning Christ and the church”  (while many think in local churches that Paul is meddling in something as personal as their divorce, they should be honored that God the Holy Spirits compares something of such magnitude as the Church, one body of Jews and Gentiles, to their marriage; and (5) Deuteronomy 5:16 in Ephesians 6:3 where honor of father and mother is a pre-requisite for a long and good life.

12-4.  You see how important these 5 quotes are to implement in Ephesians 4-6 the Cause of Christ, although meager if you compare the number of 9 OT quotes in the first chapter of Hebrews alone, and the 5 quotes in Romans the first two chapters.

1.  You can see some obvious connection of the Church with the Kingdom in Ephesians 2:19-21 with telling the Gentiles that they are fellow citizens with the original Jewish saints in Jerusalem.

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord…”

Fellow citizens automatically reminds you of a country or nation, the household of God reminds you of the whole family in heaven and earth, strangers and foreigners is obvious a reference to nations and kingdoms; and the church growing into a holy temple to be established in New Jerusalem on the new earth under the new heavens is another phrase for the church of one body. 

2.  As we preach through the Bible in one year, you in particular will see this fellow citizenship between Jews and Gentiles, that of Top Topic #11, the New King of Israel which outlines the quotes in Isaiah 54 through Jeremiah 17.

                              ————————————————————-

NOTE:  This is jumping ahead from Deuteronomy which is in Topic # 3, Consistency of the Bible to Topic #11 on the New King of Israel because it best presents the Kingdom and the King, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the requirements for citizenship in this forever kingdom.

          {II.  Topic #11:  THE NEW KING OF ISRAEL}

I.         Jews and Gentiles as citizens in the new kingdom.

1.         The unmarried have more children that the married, the Gentiles have more children of God than the Jews: Isaiah 54:1 and Galatians 4:27.

2.         None comes to the Father except as drawn by the Father, and all those who are taught by the Father: Isaiah 54:13 and John 6:45.

3.         God gave in the Temple to the Jews a House of Prayer, but they had turned it into a den of thieves by the time of Jesus: Isaiah 56:7 and Matthew 21:13 and Luke 19:46.

4.         All the nation of Israel that is really the Israel of the children of God will be saved: Isaiah 59:20,21 and Romans 11:26.

II.        Characteristics of the New King of Israel.

1.         The message to Zion is that your new King comes meekly, riding on a donkey: Isaiah 61:11 and Matthew 21:5.

2.         Jesus told them in Nazareth of how the Spirit of God was upon him: Isaiah 61:1,2 and Luke 4:17,18.

      (1). God anointed Him to preach the gospel to the poor.    (A King especially for the poor people.)

      (2). God sent Him to start the release of captives, and to make provisions that the blind might be able to see.

     (3). To provide freedom for the downtrodden.

     (4). To make a Proclamation as to when is the Acceptable Year of the Lord (the last days) that leads to the One Day of the LORD and Lord.

3.         Happiness in this new kingdom will come only to those who first mourn because of their inability to do it for themselves: Isaiah 61:1,2 and Matthew 5:4.

III.  The Method of Citizenship Only That from God, on Gods terms as dictated in the Old Testament and made evident in the New Testament.

1.         The New Citizenship found of those who sought it not or who searched not for it (grace): Isaiah 65:1 and Romans 10:20,21.

2.         Jerusalem is the city of the Great King: Isaiah 66:1 and Matthew 5:33.

3.         The Christ, the Prophet Messiah, born in Bethlehem, Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:5,6, and John 7:42, to be:

     (1). A ruler of the people; and

     (2). A shepherd of the people.

4.         The sowers of the Old Testament and the reapers of the New Testament will rejoice together in this New Kingdom: Micah 6:15 and John 4:37.

IV.      The Good News of the Gospel of the Kingdom preached by messengers.

1.         How welcome across the way on the mountain is the first sight of those who come with the Gospel: Nahum 1:15 and Romans 10:15.

2.         Yet most do not believe the report, foolish people without the ability to see or hear Jeremiah 5:21 and Mark 8:18.

3.         God established a House of Prayer, but the nation of Israel turned it into a den of thieves: Jeremiah 7:11 and Matthew 21:13, and Mark 11:17.

4.         Trust in God.

     (1). Whoever boasts, let him boast only in God: Jeremiah 9:24 and I Corinthians 1:31.

     (2). Trust only in God: Jeremiah 17:5,7 and II Corinthians 11:9.

                          ———————————————————————-

12-5.  Master Tables Bible Outline.

You see in this outline of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation with OT quotes in the NT, the specific references in the OT and NT quotes, can not be repeated now and we will come to it near the end of the year; however let us briefly consider from Roman numeral I above and the fourth section under the subject of Jews and Gentiles as citizens of the kingdom and as a doctrine taken for the quote of Isaiah 61:11 from Romans 11:26,27.  (From Table 10 of the Master Tables)

1.  From Master Table number 10, the Gospel in Isaiah.

 “All the nation of Israel that is really the Israel of the children of God will be saved: Isaiah 59:20,21 and Romans 11:26.”

2.  Now the quote in Isaiah 59:10,11 to set up the conclusion of roman number I and division 4.

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so, the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”  (Isaiah 61:11 KJV)

Know that reading it alone you do not fully understand it, and neither do any of us without the explanation in the New Testament recorded in Romans 11:16 and IN CONTEXT.  However even before the explanation in Romans, it is obvious that God is going in the dispensation of the fulness of time, something of righteousness and praise to happen, spring forth in the colorful language of the Prophet Isaiah, “before all nations”.

2.  Let us see how much the IN CONTEXT of the quote in Romans 11 can do for us.

26 And so all Israel will be [a]saved, as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

Definitely this quote must be considered IN CONTEXT of all of Romans chapter 11 and more Romans than that as Paul proves step by step like the religious lawyer, he was that ALL ISRAEL in that fulness of time dispensation included Jews and Gentiles.

12-6.  So many movements today centered around the nation of Israel, do not either get Romans 11 and IN CONTEXT or want to understand it as their eyes are blinded by the false mathematics of the Scofield mites.

                                Romans Chapter 11

11 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. [a]But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written:

“God has given them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that they should not see
And ears that they should not hear,
To this very day.”

And David says:

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
A stumbling block and a recompense to them.
10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see,
And bow down their back always.”

12-7:  Israel’s Rejection Not Final.

11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their [b]fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their [c]fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!

13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and [d]fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, [e]goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own [f]opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be [g]saved, as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has [h]committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”

36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

2.  In the Context of the Chapter 11:  Have you read or heard Romans 11 carefully.

3.  In the Context of the book of Romans:  do you understand All Israel as Jews and Gentiles, more Jews than Gentiles in the first century, less Jews but a few for over 2000 years, but after the fulness of the Gentiles has come in, about right now, there will be again more Jews than Gentiles.

                                                               Romans

12-8.  In the Context of the Bible we preach through the Bible in one year allowing the book of Ephesians to be our commentary on the Bible as it contains the new revelations of the Cause or Mystery of Christ revealed by God in the first century.

       The Bible of Apostles and Prophets, the OT according to the New Testament.

1.  You can keep up with the total Bible for the year by searching the Master Tables free download.

                    www.sungrist.org/MasterTablesCorrected.pdf

Just like with many tabulations of numbers, errors creep in over a period of 40 years, so this copy of the Master Tables has some corrections now and during the year will sustain additional corrections.

2.  You will go through it in the 48 messages of Preaching through the Bible in 1 year.

As in the custom with SunGrist on WordPress, sungrist.net , each of the 48 sermons of PTB will be available for free download, and it is recommended that you bookmark sungrist.net, you especially of those among all of us that are about to lose Google+.

3.  You can supplement the supplements by reading the top 12 topics of the Bible also available free on sungrist.org and biblecombibleman.com.

On both the index pages of www.biblecombibleman.com and www.sungrist.org you will find a list of the 12 Top Topics of the Bible for free download.

4.  Perhaps you would like to even read and/or study volume 1 of the Learn Christ Bible Commentaries which is The OT according to the NT, and based it being a complete coverage of both All Scripture and Christian Doctrine is called “The Apostles and Prophets”.

http://sungrist.org/abbr_LCC.pdf

12-9:  “God was IN Christ Reconciling the world unto Himself.”

Woodfin in the Baylor Bible Department of the 50’s like to quote that “The Bible is a gradual revelation of God coming to an eternal climax in Christ.”  That is great as far as it goes, but Carver in his commentary on Ephesians is hinting something more with his title of “The Glory of God in the Christian Calling”; and Paul goest all the way on God the Father in I Corinthians 15:24-28:

24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says, “all things are put under Him,it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”

As far as the Trinity from the very beginning and “In the beginning..) of Genesis 1 it is clearly seen that God the Father spoke everything in being, that the Lord Jesus Christ was the mediating cause, and God the Holy Spirit the effecting cause as He brooded on the face of the deep.  Less clear but also evident in the Garden of Eden with the origin of sin, is the Lord God (God the Father) making a prediction in talking to Satan, but evidently Christ could hear eat because near the end, God said:  “He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”  Thus you have here the whole Triune council of heaven with God the Father talking to the Son, Jesus Christ, and those words being recorded by God the Holy Spirit to share later with Moses the Prophet.

The clarity of Jesus as the Prophet Messiah is undeniable in Acts and Deuteronomy by the Apostle Peter and the Prophet Moses:

19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send [c]Jesus Christ, who was [d]preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since [e]the world began. 22 For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ 24 Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also [f]foretold these days. 25 You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26 To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”  (Acts 3:19-26 and Deuteronomy 18:15-19)

Deuteronomy 18:15-19   “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.  For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”  The LORD said to me: “What they say is good.  I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.  I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.

1.  The Prophet Messiah would come out of the Hebrew Israelis just like Moses.

2.  In the sight of God the Father there is no other option but to Listen to Jesus, and God the Father verified at the baptism of Jesus and at the Mount of Transfiguration that “This is my Beloved Son, listen to him.”

3.  This Jesus the Prophet Messiah, Moses says above in Deuteronomy is what the nation of Israel asks for at Mount Horeb in the day the nation was assembled.

4.  It was a long time happening, but God the Father has a long memory, saying what they asked for at Mount Horeb is good.

Conclusion of PTB 12 and the Consistency of the Bible topic.

Note:  You should be feeling good about your Bible knowledge and understanding now with the conclusion of this 12th message, actuall 16th as we covered the Resurrection at Easter, so that with this conclusion we finish one third of the Bible.  Congratulations!

  1. God’s stringent requirements about a graven image or likeness are more forHis own people not to make “any form” of Himself, since they never saw any form at Mount Sinai or otherwise, than not to make any image like men of women, animals, birds, fish; or even more so than to worship and serve the hosts of the heaven.  {Many secular historians and even those of historical criticism like to think high thoughts and concept of God as coming from an evolution in truth from old civilizations, starting with the superficial concepts of a god made like the hosts of heaven, or animals, or birds, or even like some humans, then progression to the high character of God and His works with man like we know from the Bible; but in reality it is the other way around, like Paul makes clear in Revelation 1 and 2 in that even when the old civilizations knew God with much full truth on God from nature, conscience, and laws of civilization they did not “honor God as God” and they became vain in their hearts and imaginations, making gods out of those forbidden images of God–more a de-evolution from original Creation with Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden than a progressive evolution. However, it was after the experience of God’s first nation in Egypt where many images of animals as cows and frogs were worshipped as gods, and just before the Hebrews went into the Promised Land of Canaan where they would find many of the civilizations had evolved into the worship of gods like Baal, Astoreth, and hundreds of others, that God in Deuteronomy, after Egypt and before the Promised Land and for the specific reason of preparation for the Promised Land, as well as a consideration for all the Egyptians, like Jannes and Jambres, that came out of Egypt with them, warned against all these forms of humans, animals, and birds that should not be worshiped; primarily that God’s own people since they saw “no form” of God should not try to contain or limit or misrepresent Him any image. Anything they attempted to use to represent a form of the God of the Universe would be too small and too limited to be a high-fidelity representation of the Original.}

     (1).  Moses rehearsed before the new generation of the wilderness and just before Promised Land entrance under Joshua, “the Lord our God has revealed to us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice”, but you never saw a form so do not make any form of God. (Deuteronomy 5:24)

  1. Obviously, any form that God’s people would make of Him in photos, statues, or artwork would be far short of the “glory” and His “greatness”, so God says just do not try!  (Deut. 4:15,16)  Resist your desires to make a form or image, and “do not act corruptly”.  (Deut 4:16)  {Just one of the first lacks of the righteousness of God man has experienced, and continues to experience today as God’s own people “act corruptly” in making an image or form of God in the mind and heart, if not elsewhere that therefore inevitably “contains and limits” the true God–just like Phillips wrote years ago “Your God is too Small” and Jerry McMichael wrote less years ago in the 1960’s when it was so popular to make the Conscience of the Boomers the sole criterion for faith and practice, and which even continues today in our churches as people take the attitude it is right if they feel good about it and bad if they do not, “God is

Greater than the American Conscience” based on I John 3:20.}

  • Yes, the people were right to say that they were lucky to live the first-time they heard the voice of God and lived, not to take a chance any other times; and since when has it ever been heard in the history of mankind that man saw and heard God and still lived?

     (2).  The wish of God, “would that they were continually of this mind” (Deuteronomy 5:29) to (a) fear God and (b) to keep the commandments {covenant} of God.

  • You should remain aware in this 12 topic Bible Study to get all the major messages and message of the Bible that the truths or fact about the nature of the character and personality of God, including the way God deals with His own creations and in particular His own peculiar people, that this concepts of God came out of historical encounters with God:  (1) Moses at the burning bush was told of “The Living God of the Living”, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob still were alive and were living with the Living God, and that those three were the beginning of the nation of God’s people; (2) although Job with historical encounters with God Himself after so many years of bum advice from friends and foes, we are not sure when the book of Job was recorded as part of the “oracles of God”; in other words how much Moses and Israel in the wilderness knew of the lessons about the power and Creation by God of the book of Job–indeed their “departures from the living God” when times got hard, unlike the faith of Job in God when he suffered for no wrong which he had done, or who failed to blame God for these injustices, indicate they had not heard or at least learned the lessons about God in Job; so that as God tested them for 40 years in the wilderness they instead developed “an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God”  (Hebrews 3:12).  Likewise the listening to God Himself and what He told about Himself at Sinai was a historical encounter, a very rare one at that, of an appearance from God Himself to the whole congregation; and surely like they said, they were lucky to listen to God Himself and still live.  Other Prophets after Moses would talk to God and listen to God like the Prophet Isaiah, the Prophet Elijah, and Jeremiah; and as instructed, these Prophets would record those messages, primarily with a message for the current people of God and quite often shorter and integrated messages of a predictive nature.  Like most of the writers on the Prophets remind us the Writing Prophets, and even the others like Elijah, primarily had a message for their own generation, and the predictive element for generations way out in history was only a small percentage of their total message.  Even like in Joel and Amos when some of God’s judgments, or curses, were about to immediately come on that living generation, is was of such  the prophecy was of such a nature as to be within itself both predictive in a few years and also in the distant future.  {You see the main point is not a double nature of prophecy, but that God with the way and ways that He deals with man in any generation, especially about His justice and judgment and even curses and blessings is always the same.} That brings us naturally to consider what God had told Moses about Prophets, including how you are able to identify Prophets by that like-minded with Moses and Jesus, and how to distinguish between true prophets and false prophets.
  • Prophets of God from Moses to Jesus and beyond.

     (1).  Prophets like Moses and Jesus.

  1. Jesus and Moses were much alike.  (Deut 18:18)
    1. These Prophets would come from the “midst of the brethren”, in other words from God’s own people and be like God’s people.

     (2).  The ministry of these Prophets would be characterized by:  (18:18)

  1. The extent to which it was obvious that God Himself had “put my word in his mouth”, alias the high fidelity of the message; and
    1. The faithfulness with which that Prophet told all that God, without exception and bias and timidity,  had commanded.

NOTE:  Although we know the nature of prophecy changed somewhat with the coming of the Holy Spirit to earth in great power and glory on the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension, in that it became more democratic or prevalent among all of God’s people, and to the extent in I Corinthians 14 that “prophecy” is used as almost all public speaking in the church, we can use the detailed messages of I Corinthians 14 to bring us back to the same original requirements of Deuteronomy 18:18, that is (a) “Is it obvious that the message was placed there by God”, and we are fortunate in that we have the objective writings of all 66 books of the Bible to compare against these self-proclaimed Prophets, and (b) the faithfulness, courage, and consistency with which that so-called Prophet delivers the message from God. {Is it like the barrier between the bad habits of II Timothy 3:1-8 and the Falling Away of II Timothy 4:3,4, that barrier of course is II Timothy 3:16,17 where (1) the sink hole of “ALL SCRIPTURE” must continually be filled, (1) the gap of church administration bridged as Scripture is presented that is profitable for “reproof and correction” as well as doctrine {today very skimpy} and “instruction in righteousness, today much instruction but little righteousness; and (3) the application to Christian living bridge as men, women, youth and children of God are matured and perfected unto all and every good work.  That is all that is necessary to keep contemporary churches from slipping from just bad habits into a falling into the falling away with all five of its stages:  (1) intolerance toward sound doctrine, (2) a congregation motivated more by their own “desires”, pleasures, and “wants” than by Christ and the Holy Spirit and total Word of God; (3) the vast and widespread “heaping up” of Bible teachers and preachers with itching ears and with something new and novel like the Gospel of Prosperity; (4) the turning away from truth, another way to say turning away from sound doctrine, and which also begs the issue that there can be unsound doctrine or teachings if there is a sound doctrine that correlates with the truths of God and Christ; and (5) the turning into fables.  Churches have been leaking for years from the bad habits, or follies, to the stages of the Falling Away; although it would be hard to make a case that especially among southern Baptists that there has as yet been a wholesale departure from truth with the adoption of fables; but there are obviously some leaks, perhaps the greatest of which are (a) the Gospel of Prosperity,(b) special revelations with the attitude that the Word of God came to us only or out of us only, (c) divisions and fights caused like Pastor James wrote by “the spirit within us that lusteth to envy” and covet, (d) the fighting spirit per se that John condemned when he wrote in I John to “test the spirits”, a spirit not of Christ and the Christ of peace among Christians {granted it would have been easier for us to distinguish the false from the true prophets and prophecy if John had specified that this bad spirit was a fighting spirt, not a loving spirit; but you see John knew his fellow Apostle and colleague, James, had already connected a fighting spirit like that of the fundamentalists with where wars and divisions come from in the first place, from “the spirit within us that lusteth to envy” and covet, obviously the desire for more status, recognition, and territory where the so-called “moderates” got in the way and had to be destroyed from Seminaries and pulpits, part of the heaping out in order to heap in their own kind and continue the “heaping up” process of the Falling Away}, and (e) the Scofield and Darby false concepts that deny or delay in Christian minds the Falling Away and the real events of last things.

  • What guidance do we get from Moses, God, and Deuteronomy 18 on how to distinguish a true prophet, and true prophecy, for a false prophet and false prophecy besides the details of I Corinthians {please look at the chapter on I Corinthians in HIDEOUT FOR BAD HABITS, http://www.biblecombibleman.com/ Hideout_for_Bad_Habits/ and the two chapters on I Corinthians in the LCC set on the 14 letters of the Apostle Paul, “Believe and Be Baptized”, at http://www.biblecombibleman.com/product_LCCvol3/  }, the guidance of the Apostle John in the little epistles of John which are essentially guidelines for how to test the spirits and based on the criterion of the fellowship of the saints; those now recorded in the Bible for our help, the help on the Apostle Jude about “the faith once for all  {these doctrines of the faith then and now are complete without any special revelation} delivered to the saints”, Jesus on the many false prophets not only that will exist in the “beginning of sorrows” of early and continuous history but also the many more during the Falling Way Jesus called it “love will wax cold as sin abounds”, and even of Paul to the Ephesian elders where savage wolves would come in from outside the church and from the local church bodies that would (a) scatter church members into other groups, and (b) make disciples to themselves?  Well the initial guidance we get on how to distinguish at the very time the office of prophecy and Prophets was established, of course you remember the changes Jesus made with the Holy Spirit, are:

     (1) First of all the Word must be true and consistent (Deut 18:22); and I hope in this you see “the consistency message” of two or more witnesses where the witnesses are not only the Prophet Moses and Isaiah and Joel and Amos on through the Writing Prophets and the other Prophets like Elijah, but Jesus Himself who came to earth to teach everything that God had taught Him in heaven, and faithfully; and the Apostles like Paul, and John, and James, and Peter, and so on and on through the recorded words of the 39 Old Testament books and the 27 New Testament books, the 66 books from God and Prophets and Apostles of the total Bible.  And aren’t we fortunate to have something so objective, and consistent, and easy to understand with the proper attitude and enough time as this book now made out of leather and paper and words and ink; but in its dynamic nature, so alive and living, much more than ordinary books.

     (2).  If there is any predictive element in the message of prophecy, or of the Prophet, then apply the ultimate test of time, that the message comes true. {You know Paul also had this in mind when he told the young minister that in spite of all the bad habits of the perilous times and in spite of the five stages of the Falling Away development, to “make full proof of his ministry”. Alias make it true by what you do of what you have said and make it true what you speak of what you profess!}

NOTE:  Perhaps you previously thought that the Consistency and Composite Message of the Bible was more rhetorically or colorful; but you see, based on Deuteronomy and the consistency with the rest of the Word of God by the Prophets and the Apostles, even with “the faith once for all delivered to the saints”, and in history, it is not only a TOP TOPIC of the Bible, but perhaps the top topic for any old or young student of the Word of God who would learn even more, and far more, about the Bible.  You, the Word of God right here on Consistency and Composite is laying a foundation for the study of the rest of the 12 Topics, the two previous topics of “The Living God of the Living” and “The Righteousness of God and Man”, as well as the 9 to follow as we progress from the law of Moses to Malachi, and quote these OT books in the 27 books by Jesus and the Apostles.  Isn’t it grand!  It is hard to tell who is more blessed, the nation of Israel because God chose them and made them to be custodians of the “oracles of God”, like Paul writes about in Romans, or we Gentiles because by the grace of God we have been allowed to be wholesale, in the waning time of the “Fulness of the Gentiles” to be recipients of these 66 Oracles of God, the Bible.

  • This third Top Topic grows long, albeit perhaps the chief topic for Bible study, and though we would go away from a short study of Deuteronomy with many helpful applications for our contemporary Christian and church life, we must hasten to the last of these applications:  While you do not hear much in the New Testament about The Curse {actually the word “curse” is found approximately 19 times in the NT, however very few of them apply to the curse on God’s own people, more on the people enamored with the works of the law which causes them to ignore righteousness by faith as required by God, and the curses that come out of many mouths} consisting of many curses and many calamities as contrasted to The Blessing of God consisting of many blessings and also over a period of time and history, you do hear from Jesus in John 14 and the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 12, and well as many other places, of the equivalent Group Chastisement which is the same as a short term curse; and also you realize, hopefully, that the two curses of the NT, a curse on those who preach another Gospel and the curse of Revelation on those who take away from or add to the Bible, alias on the Prophets of special revelations, are also Group Chastisements on God’s People and as such as like the Curse of the OT and of Deuteronomy where God Himself sets before His own people, and His own people only {like in Hebrews 12 not “bastard children” of God}, a “blessing or a curse”, life or death.

NOTE:  Please read for yourself Hebrews 12:1-17 as well as the about the congregation before Sinai, and where we stand right now, of Hebrews 12:18-29, the last words of which “For our God is a consuming fire” reminds us that the God the Bible is a God of wrath, jealousy, and judgment as well as a God of love; and though it will take many sins and a long time, for that judgment to come eternal, He is not beyond chastisement {a curse} right now on you and your group of God’s people.  To think that God does not work in the now and present is to ignore so much of Deuteronomy and the Bible, so much of the very nature and way of God.  And as you do so, please note from Hebrews 12:  (1) the group nature of the message to the “we” of Christians and church members, and who all take the same Prophet Jesus as “author and finisher” of the one common faith, that once for all delivered to the saints, of the fellowship of the Apostles, and in the Bible (12:1,2); (2) you as Christians and church members have a guarantee like Job of enduring hostility from sinners to the extent you live consistently the Christian life even if you are not persecuted to bloodshed like those martyrs of the first centuries to now that “will live and reign with Christ for one thousand years” (12:3,4); (3) yes, the OT speaks of this same chastisement of Hebrews and of Deuteronomy in that “whom the LORD loves He chastises” (12:5,6 and Proverbs 3:11,12); and (4) all sons of God {God has special chastisement for His own people, and sometimes as contrasted on the sun that shines on the good and the bad, or the rain and storms, it is only for God’s own people–aren’t we lucky} are chastened that are not bastard children; (4) it may be a curse for a short time of the “present” (12:11), perhaps the training of a curse or curses or calamities may have gone on for a longer time until with eternity there is “the peaceable fruit of righteousness” for those who will accept the training of God.

What you will find in the bottom line discussions of Galatians, the curse on those who preach and teach another Gospel than that once delivered, and the bottom line discussions of Revelation 22 where the same curse is on those who add to or take away from Scriptures by special revelations, of course a very common practice today, those curses come on the behavior of some of God’s people, basically the only ones who will read and tamper with Scriptures like Galatians and Revelation, because their motivations are to substitute their own works of righteousness for the righteousness by faith as once for all delivered to the saints.  You see this same subject of righteousness in Revelation 22 with the let the righteous remain righteous and the filthy remain filthy of 22:11, and in Galatians where the whole discussion of the real Gospel is centered around a righteousness by faith instead of by the works of the law.

You will want to free download this message since it is so long and needs further study, and because this wraps up one-third of the way in Preaching thru the Bible in one year: http://sungrist.org/PTB12EphesiansSupplement.pdf

This is what you do not want for an image on your Bible, new from Oxford Press and promoted with shame by the Lifeway book stores of the SBC.

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