Galatians, Gospel of the One Baptism.

 

By now, Paul has started to overlap many of the revelations that he received from the Ascended Christ; but as new problems arise in the churches that he started, the Holy Spirit gives him additional answers, and Paul has far from utilized all the OT quotes that he recorded on a parchment back at Tarsus for explanation in NT Scriptures.  Here in Galatians the focus is again on the Gospel, giving to the Galatians a miniature of the same Gospel he preached for the Hebrews and Romans.  Decidedly, do you have here in Galatians a miniature of Romans.  If there is a major step of progression in Galatians as compared to Romans on the Gospel, it is with a renewed emphasis on the One Baptism.  Before Paul will make his summary of the major doctrines of the Bible in the Seven ONEs of Ephesians, it remains to fully develop as part of Scriptures the One Baptism which is really quite synonymous with salvation. While in the Seven ONEs you will not find “one salvation”, you will find the “one baptism”.

“There is one body {developed in I Corinthians where there are many members of the total body of Christ, the churches},  and one Spirit {II Corinthians does as much to advance the arguments of the one Holy Spirit as any other, where the new covenant is administered by this One Spirit}, one hope of your calling {we saw that in Timothy Paul got around to the one calling}, one Lord {well, the Lord Jesus Christ was magnified in many Scriptures from Paul, but we would have to say the most magnificent is in Hebrews where even before Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith, and even before Jesus as the great high priest at the right hand of God the Father to make intercession for our sins, is the Son of God ordained to be such by God the Father and given a name which is above the angels}, one faith {in Hebrews where faith is defined as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen}, one baptism {well, you know that this major doctrine, or teaching, is most fully developed here just before we come to the book after Galatians, the book of Ephesians for a summary of all major doctrines given through the Apostle Paul}; and one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all {and I would think that we would have to be indebted to I Corinthians and I Corinthians 15 for our exalted relationship between the reign of Christ and of God the Father, where God the Father becomes “all in all”.}  (Ephesians 4:4-6)

And it is Galatians 2:20 that you see the relationship of Gospel to the One Baptism.  While the Gospel would include the crucifixion of Christ for the sins of the world and according to the plan of God, also a repentance of death to sins and a living by way of Christ living in us, the new birth, likewise sanctification whereby Christ continues to live in us and grow us; with all these aspects of the Gospel from Christ is the One baptism from the Holy Spirit whereby we personally {one salvation} appropriate these blessings from Christ and God the Father.  Look at it!

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  (Galatians 2:20)

Wow, if we can get so much out of one verse of Galatians, what is the treat and understanding that we are in for in the rest of the revelations of Galatians.  We might call Galatians the book of the Implications and Applications of the Gospel.

14-1:  Galatians in the other books of the New Testament.

  1. It is evident from Galatians 1:2 that Galatia was a region of the Roman Empire, and that Paul had organized several churches in Galatia. {It is best to stick to the internal evidence of the Bible itself than to wander off on the many tangents of historical criticism, more of the idle talk that generates disputing.}
  2. Thus not only is distortions of the Gospel with detrimental effects on all the churches noted in Galatians 3:1, the “O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you…” but again it is echoed that the epistle is to all the churches in the region of Galatia.
  3. Perhaps the first mention in time of Galatia as a region is in Acts 16:6. (We will not get into fruitless discussion about the difference between writing, publication, and distribution of Galatians and Acts.}  We know Acts 16 to be part of the second missionary journey of Paul since Silas is with Paul instead of Barnabas, his appointed companion on the first missionary journey.  It was just before 16:6 where “they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia”, that Paul joined the young Greek {his mother was Jewish} Timothy to their group (16:1-3).  If you look on one of your Bible maps, you will find the region of Galatia in the north central portion of Asia Minor.
  4. The second historical mention is in Acts 18:23, where after Philippi, Thessalonica, and Corinth “he departed and went over the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples”.
  5. In I Corinthians Paul had already “given orders to the churches of Galatia” for the collection of money for the saints at Jerusalem, something Paul encouraged the Galatians through Titus and the epistles to do likewise (16:1).
  6. By the time Paul was in prison in Rome and as he wrote in II Timothy for Timothy to come before winter to bring his cloak from Troas, the books, and the parchments, he needed company since Demas had forsaken him to go to Thessalonica (II Timothy 4:9-21), among those departing to go from Rome to the whole world was Crescens for Galatia. Then there was Titus to Dalmatia, Tychicus to Ephesus, Erastus who stayed in Corinth, Trophimus in Miletus sick.
  7. The Apostle Peter got in the act in I Peter 1:1 when he wrote “To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bythynia…”; and since it is the second epistle, with no doubt a similar and same audience, that Peter mentions both how Paul writes Scriptures (3:16) like the OT Prophets, but also how churches are “wresting these Scriptures to their own destruction”, surely this would include the book of Galatians as hard for the readers to understand. And perhaps we can use I and II Peter as commentaries on the book of Galatians.

14-2:  I and II Peter as Commentaries on Galatians.

Before we can use I and II Peter as commentaries on Galatians, we need to outline them.

  1. That the subject of I Peter is similar to the Gospel Applications and Implications of Galatians is clearly seen in 1:25b after a lengthy preamble in the first 25 verses. “Now this the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” (I Peter 1:25b) The gospel preached to them in Galatia and the other regions has been summarized in the first 25 verses, so let us work backwards to see what that Gospel is:  (1) Peter, also giving revelations from God for Scriptures, mentions in 1:22-25 the new birth–by the seed of the incorruptible Word of God, and purified with love of the brethren  by obeying the Holy Spirit; (2) redemption is part of the Gospel in 1:13-21, where those called to be holy are redeemed with the precious blood of Jesus Christ; (3) if Paul uses the one baptism and one calling more often to describe the implications and applications of the Gospel for the individual, Peter more often as in 1:9-12 uses the word “salvation”, (a) it being the end of faith, (b) the grace to come to you as foretold by the Prophets, (c) those Prophets listening to the Spirit of Christ in them about the sufferings of Christ, and (d) their revelations given as a basis for the reports from the Apostles through the preaching of the Gospel; and (4) Blessings on God the Father who has “begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”, which would certainly be the equivalent of Paul’s “one hope of the one calling”, and we recall how Paul clearly added to the Gospel of Jesus in I Corinthians, the resurrection of Jesus as the first fruit of others to follow.
  2. Starting Point in I Peter 3:16 with Peter’s testimony of how Paul writes Scriptures of the Word of God, some hard to understand like OT Scriptures; and how some “twist to their own destructions” both Scriptures. According to I Peter 3:16 there is a certain category of people who “twist” the Scriptures to their own destruction:  they are “untaught” and “unstable” people.  Granted, there is a beginning point with such people in that something about them latches on to Scriptures, Old Testament and from Paul, that are “difficult to understand”; so that as we start with Peter as a commentary on Galatians {in spite of personality differences say between Peter and Paul, the Apostles were always consistent when they wrote Scriptures of the Word of God as an Apostle}, we will look at both the characteristics of these kind of people who twist Scriptures and latch on to Scriptures had to understand, but also which Scriptures have been most difficult for them to understand.  These Scriptures difficult to understand are obviously, based on I Peter 3:15 are those on “the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation”, for it is this subject which both seems to be a conclusion of I and II Peter; but is also why Peter brings up Paul, Scriptures, “hard to understand”, and twisting’s in the first place.

“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation–as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of THESE THINGS {that’s what we want to focus on, these “these things” from Paul that are hard to understand, that are twisted by some to their own destruction}, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.  You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness {here is the danger to the individual believer of such misunderstandings, not that the personality of Paul might be used as an excuse to ignore the authority of Scriptures from any Apostle as the Word of God but that it can lead to their own personal destruction}, being led away with the error of the wicked {certain key words we see here in Peter such as “hard to understand”, “destruction”, and now “error of the wicked” which we can use to retrace the arguments of Peter backwards from this point and through all of II and I Peter are the more precise parts of Scripture, from Paul and the OT that are hard to understand}; but grow in the grace and knowledge {obviously this individual growth for a believer in “grace” and “knowledge” is a cure for such lack of understanding} of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ {of course this understanding in grace and knowledge needs the correct focus, that of on “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ}.  To Him be the glory both now and forever.  Amen.”  (I Peter 3:14-18)

(1). It is obvious from here in Peter that Paul is writing Scriptures of the Word of God in the same category as OT Scriptures.  You that wrestle with the personality of Paul take heed between when Paul is taking a personal concession to express an opinion and when Paul as an apostle is giving commands from God.  One clue is when Paul definitely says he “commands” with the authority of an Apostle; when he says that as the Ascended Christ told him; or when Paul makes a decisive and definitive statement like those on “silence of women in the church” where he basis it on the OT Scriptures.  By far, one of the most outstanding characteristics of the Scriptures from Paul is the extensive number of the OT quotes, another is his support of His authority as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Beware, lest you are opposing the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the obvious consequences of which would as denial of the Lordship of Jesus over your own life, be your own destruction.

(2).  It is also obvious that the degree of understanding difficulty {remember of how way back in I Corinthians, understanding was what Paul started with} from the Scriptures through the Apostle Paul is the same kind of understanding difficulty in the OT Scriptures, and perhaps on the same subjects.

(3).  It is also apparent that these Scriptures hard to understand have something to do with “salvation”, so that it our sweep backwards of II and I Peter we will also be looking for the key words “salvation” and Scripture. {Since I am going to make the speculation right now that at least in Galatians where it is maintained that the prime subject is “The Gospel of the One Baptism”, that “baptism” in Peter is also a key word, since the One Baptism is what Paul uses often to describe the one salvation.  {Remember in the what is the most important subjects of all the Bible in the Seven ONEs of Ephesians, there is the One Baptism while salvation is not mentioned.}

(4).  Perhaps if we would go back to the original words of Peter and Paul–something which Paul likes to call “the pattern of sound words” in Bible teaching and preaching today, there would be less misunderstandings today and new words like “anointing”, protection, and on and on.

  1. It is clear from II Peter 3:1,2 that Peter has in mind in both epistles to remind believers at Galatia, and at other locations, of Scriptures from the OT Prophets and of “commandments” from the Apostles {Paul, Peter, and others}, in particular how those Scriptures told of: (1) scoffers of the Second Coming in the last days that are motivated in their teachings by their own desires {does this not remind you of the “time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine” of the Apostle Paul in II Timothy, where such intolerance of itching ears teachers comes from the motivation of their own desires?}; (2) these scoffers forget OT history of the destruction of the whole earth by flood, also how the next judgment and destruction of ungodly men will be by fire; (3) they forget the longsuffering of God based on (a) His patience as one day is a thousand years and a thousand years as one day, and (b) His unwillingness that any person should perish {in this “longsuffering of God” you see the subject of 3:15 echoed–”that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation”–knowing that the subject hard to understand from Paul and the OT relates also to this five point message to counter the scoffers}; and (4) the day of the Lord will come suddenly, the heavens will pass away with a great noise, the elements of heaven and earth will melt with fervent heat, all of the earth and the works on the earth will be burned up, and there will be new heavens and a new earth; and (5) what manner of persons should you be in “holy conduct” and “godliness”.

Can this five point message also be a summary of the Scriptures hard to understand?  Certainly the subject of II Peter 2 is those scoffers of (1), there called false teachers with their false teachings.  And the subjects of II Peter 1 are introduced by Peter, before in 1:16-21 a reminder of Scriptures about judgment and promises of destruction, the grace and peace from “knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (1:2) about:  (1) the divine power that gives to us things “that pertain to life and godliness” (1:3); (2) God’s exceeding great and precious promises as partakers of the divine nature, also an escape form the corruption of the world through lust.  Also certainly in the final words in I Peter 5 to “elders”, to “young people”, and to Silvanus, they can easily be considered as the admonitions of “holy conduct” and “godliness” of (5).   The sufferings of believers and of Christ of from I Peter 3:13 through 4:19 is more difficult to relate to the five point message of the last of II Peter, just before Paul, Scriptures, and hard to understand the longsuffering salvation of God; however, it can easily be considered more of (3) in the five point message, part of the longsuffering and patience of God.  That one of the prime subjects of Peter is the Word of God, and of a desire for the Word of God in order to grow, coming back to the Scriptures again, seen in I Peter 1 and 2, with the obvious applications in a life before the outside world, toward government, toward supervisors, and about husbands and wives {it seems as though Peter would take care of the problem of “silent women in the church” of Paul with OT teachings on submission of women to husbands in the home and on women as the “weaker vessel” as well as heirs together with their husbands of the grace of life.}

Our short outline of Peter, then, as a basis of a commentary for Galatians would go like the following.

  1. Respect for the Living Word of God, the Scriptures, as shown by applications in the world, government, toward supervisors, husbands, and the good life: I Peter 1-3:12.
  2. Sufferings, Christ and believers, in proper perspective: I Peter 3:13-4:19.
  • Holy Conduct and Godliness for elders, youth, and Silvanus: I Peter 5.   Life and Godliness with escape from the world’s corruption, with the resources from God for which, in II Peter 1.
  1. Destructive Doctrines and False Teachers, the Scoffers and their Scoffings: II Peter 2.
  2. A five point summary of the Message of II and I Peter: II Peter 3:1-13.
  • Paul, the OT, Scriptures, and things hard to understand that some twist to their own destruction: II Peter 3:14-18.

14-3:  Defense of Apostleship and the Source of Scriptures.

While we are looking at the teachings of Galatians, and using the above outline from Peter {you see if you disagree with both the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul, then your problem is with Apostles in general, rather than with any personalities} as a commentary on Galatians, and on the Gospel of the One Baptism of Galatians, we must find also in Galatians perhaps Paul’s largest defense of himself as an Apostle.    Why spend so much time on it, when it was he himself in the region of Galatia, like in Corinth, that had first told the church member of Jesus, indeed had led them to Christ to the extent that most of what they knew about Jesus had come through the messages of the Apostle Paul.  Why then so much of Scripture on the defense of his Apostleship?  Because Scriptures of the Word of God only come from either and Apostle or a Prophet; because to the Jews, as we get from Romans, was given the custodianship of the “oracles of God”, Paul recognizing his own part as a Jew of the Jews and as a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a former lawyer of the Jewish nation, of custodianship of Scriptures; and the call of Jesus to have Paul become the chief editor of the New Testament, part of his ministry as we will see in Galatians.

  1. The very introduction of Galatians (1:1,2) is a statement {if not defense} of Paul as an Apostle, “(not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)”, this echoed the summary Paul will later make in Ephesians of where the Ascended Christ gave the gifts of Apostles as the supreme authority under His Headship over the total body of the church. 2. The Gospel and where the Gospel Paul delivered came from as defense.

There is little doubt as to the prime subject of the Gospel of Galatians from the statement in Galatians 1:6-9, and as a lead in into Paul’s authority of an Apostle.  {If we do not appreciate the authority of Paul when he writes Scriptures as an Apostle from Jesus, then we will not doubt no appreciate the 14 letters of Paul as having the authority of the Word of God; consequently, it will be easy, especially for women-Bible teaching leaders today to twist these Scriptures to their own destruction–and by the way to the corresponding destruction of those who would listen to them.}

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel {my, how many different gospels we have today to turn church members away from the original gospel originally given by the Apostles in the writings of Scriptures}, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ {it is likewise amazing the tolerance we afford such perverts and scoffers of the gospel today, the tolerance being more a product of the American Democratic Faith than it is of any recommend believer behavior from Paul or Peter, or Christ–like so much of the false doctrine of the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and many others it is not based on either the God, the Christ, or the Gospel and Holy Spirit of the Bible, rather it is what these scoffers have chosen to believe is in the Bible–and that is a big, very big difference}….But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed {don’t welcome them in your home, don’t bid them Godspeed, lest you also partake of the curse of another gospel that is on them–how differently we think today than Paul, than Peter, than the Word of God as originally delivered based on the mind and character of God Himself–that is, God never has been and never will be, according to His Word, tolerant of unsound doctrine, another word for unsound teachings except that doctrine includes applications of doctrine with the teachings}….As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”  (Galatians 1:6-9)

Let me quickly spell it out for you, the Mormons will, when they get away from appearance and into the nitty-gritty of their four other Bibles, tell you of a “restored gospel”–and those are their own words, which adds works for salvation to the Gospel of the Bible.  This places one curse on them, the curse above of Galatians 1:6-9; and they have another curse on themselves, the curse of adding to the Word of God with their four other Bibles.  Now about the Jehovah Witnesses, who can be neither of Jehovah, for the only God of the Bible is the God of the Lord Jesus Christ; and far from being witnesses to the God of the Bible, they are witnesses to some strange doctrines like Paul spoke of in Timothy, what would happen in the latter times, when “some would depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils”.  And the problem that you have with seeing these Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses as representatives of Satan is the same problem you have of recognizing any nonbeliever as under the control of Satan, perhaps based on the fact that you even fail to recognize the reality of Satan as of the prince of this world as the crowning agent of spiritual wickedness in high places.  When we look at the total kingdom of God with such tares of the Mormons and the Jehovah Witnesses, we must see those tares among the wheat as Jesus said with an interpretation of the parable of the seed and the sower, “an enemy has put them there”.  “An enemy has put them there” to mislead you from the real gospel, the gospel of the Bible and the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.  “An enemy has put them there” at your home’s door to impress and divert you; an “enemy has put them there” with substance and high visibility to make you think that they are as real in the kingdom of God as any other church members, and so–admit it–you have come to think, indoctrinated by the word, the American Democratic faith, and your own desire for tolerance and gullibility.

  1. How the Gospel Paul delivered, and wrote in Scriptures, came through Revelations of Jesus Christ, Galatians 1:11-2:21.

(1).  First the precise statement of how it came, nor from men, but “through the revelation of Jesus Christ”, Galatians 1:11,12.

“But I made known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  (Galatians 1:11,12) {By the way, every time a women stands up to teach and preach in the church, she is calling the Apostle Paul a liar, that women should not “keep silence in the church”; consequently she is calling the Bible as the Word of God a liar, she is calling God Himself a liar in that He never made some such commandment; and in doing so, she is fulfilling the same weakness that lead woman to believe the first lie of Satan, a lie that also called God a liar.  Perhaps the same weakness that allows women to trust more in intuition, in the appearances of matters, and of a trust more in things than even men do.  You will note that the measure often of the care of a woman is in the presence of things.  Much of their comfort and well-being centers around these same things.  Much of the activity of their life as according to the expectations of society center around things and what things can do for the family.  The plea of the Word of God for spiritual leadership of the men, in church and home, is really a plea for a priority of the Word over things, God over mammon, and the servitude of God over the servitude for Satan.  Just the fact that these women like Joyce Myers and Paula White stand before you as Bible teachers and preachers within itself preaches a deep-seated and unspoken message to you that it is okay to ignore and rebel against the Bible teaching of silence of women in the church.  While you may have found nothing contrary to sound doctrine in their messages, generally it is there if you will go beyond the appearance, it is their very presence before you that makes a liar out of God!}

(2).  Details of the “through the revelation of Jesus Christ”.

How Paul previously as part of Judaism persecuted the church of God; how advanced Paul was beyond most of his peers in Judaism, with zeal for the “traditions of my fathers” (1:14); how the same God who gave him birth also called him, God revealing His Son in Paul, the very beginning of the revelation of Jesus Christ being an inward revealing; how God made this inward revealing of Jesus inside Paul in order that “I might preach Him among the Gentiles” {the very call of Paul for salvation was the call to PREACH!}; how Paul went immediately after conversion to Saudi Arabia to be taught of the Ascended Lord Jesus Christ, not going to Jerusalem to receive instruction of other Apostles (1:17); three years later after Damascus Paul went up to Jerusalem to spend 15 days with the Apostle Peter, recording in the manner of a lawyer, I believe, the testimony of Peter to Jesus to use later as a basis for Mark or Luke to write their gospels; how the only other Apostle Paul saw was James, once again I believe recording his testimony of Jesus to write one of the Gospels, which he passed on as part of the books and manuscripts from Timothy and Troas to give to John Mark and Dr. Luke; how Paul went afterward into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, although unknown to the churches of Judea by face, only by reputation and glorying that the Paul who previously persecuted now preached “the faith”; how 14 years later Paul did go to Jerusalem with Barnabas, remember his companion of the first missionary journey, and ;with Titus; but how Paul went to Jerusalem “by revelation” {obviously by a revelation from God, the Holy Spirit, or the Ascended Lord Jesus Christ, all the equivalent}, and the revelation was in order to communicate the same gospel that Paul preached among the Gentiles, of course privately to those of reputation he had known in Judaism; how the law and circumcision became a large part of his battles and message and Scriptures, as contrary to the Gospel, yet how neither he nor Titus did not yield “even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you” {evidently false brethren were using Paul’s circumcision of Titus and what Paul did in Jerusalem as an excuse to preach law and circumcision, law and works, over the true Gospel; how the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to Paul like the gospel for the circumcised had been committed to Peter, as those at Jerusalem witnessed; how He that effectively worked in Peter to make him an Apostle, also effectively worked in Paul to make him an Apostle (2:7,8); how the Apostles James, Peter, and John–the pillars of the church at Jerusalem–both perceived the grace that God gave to Paul agreed that Paul and Barnabas would preach the gospel to the Gentiles that they preached to the circumcised; how the request of these pillars was that they would remember the poor saints in Jerusalem, remember one of the big subjects of II Corinthians, and centered around Titus as the collector with an unnamed person from Jerusalem {I think it was perhaps the Apostle John, since as the keeper of Mary, there was some effort to keep him anonymous}; how Paul at Antioch reprimanded Peter to his face for a failure to eat with Gentiles, hypocritically eating with them before some came from James, thereby exerting an influence on other church members and even on Barnabas.

And Paul spends so much time on this as it is important for a non-distorted, not another, gospel.

“knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law {any work, ten commandment or circumcision} but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ {truly here is the special emphasis on the Gospel in Galatians as in Romans, in the “JUSTFIED BY FAITH IN CHRIST”} and not by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”  (Galatians 2:16)

14-4:  The One Baptism of “Believe and Be Baptized” of Galatians 2:20. Then we have in Galatians 2:20 the great statement of the One Baptism in Christ of the Gospel, based on the cross of Christ and on the justification by faith. By the way, a Gospel of the One Baptism that we would like to compare “baptism” in I Peter 3:18-22, since Peter has become our prime commentary on Galatians.

“There is also an antitype which now save us–baptism {did you get that this is a “baptism” that “now saves us”, so that you know it can not be a work of water baptism as there are absolutely no works in salvation}…(not the removal of the filth of the flesh {you see how this “baptism”, the Gospel of the One Baptism, has nothing to do with water nor the cleansing of water which inevitable happens when one is immersed}…but the answer of a good conscience toward God {this is simple the response in belief of a good conscience when they hear the Gospel; and granted that it is the same good conscience that will also later after the Baptism of the One Baptism of Salvation also want to follow the example of obedience of Jesus in water baptism}…through the resurrection of Jesus {how did the resurrection of Jesus get in here, while it is symbolized in water baptism, it is a basis as the Gospel of the resurrection of Jesus as first fruit for subsequent believers in the resurrection receiving a similar resurrection in Christ–”I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me”}…”  (I Peter 3:21)

(1).  The Gospel of One Baptism is the truth for those who hear the Crucifixion of Christ; it is the receiving of the Spirit by faith, not law; it is the same Spirit at the beginning of salvation as in perfection, not of the flesh; it is your justification for any sufferings you have had by identification with Christ, not in vain; and it is the Gospel of the One who works among you with miracles and the Holy Spirit by the hearing of faith, not of the works of the law, Galatians 31-5.

(2).  The Gospel of the One Baptism was preached to Abraham and Abraham believed it, Galatians 3:1-18.   ONLY those who are of faith of the Gospel of the One Baptism are the sons of Abraham, believing God for the righteousness of the One Baptism as Abraham did.

“just as Abraham ‘believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’”  (Galatians 3:6 and Genesis 15:6)

The OT Scripture “foreseeing” that God would justify Gentiles by the faith of the Gospel of the One Baptism, also preached the gospel of the One Baptism to Abraham.

“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations {you see that primarily has to be Gentiles} shall be blessed.’”  (Galatians 3:8 and Genesis 12:3; 18:18;22:18; 26:4; and 28:14)

(3).  Law and faith are opposites even as water baptism and the One Baptism of Salvation and of the Gospel are opposites, Galatians 3:10-14.

Don’t you see that water baptism is a work of man?  It is both a work that you can do for yourself as you are water baptized, but it is also a work that a pastor or evangelist does on you in order to put you under the water.  Contrast this to the One Baptism of salvation which is the same as the “be baptized” by the Spirit, Christ, and God of the great commission after you believe as in the “believe and be baptized” of the Great Commission and of Mark from Jesus.

–If you place water baptism in front of the One Baptism, you place works ahead of faith, and you place yourself under the curse of the law, a place you really do not want to be as you then become a debtor of the law and obligated to keep all the law!

“Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”  (Galatians 3:10 and Deuteronomy 27:26) The book of the law we know to be the Law of Moses or the first five books of the Old Testament–Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

–If you place water baptism in front of the One Baptism, you are trying by a law of works to justify yourselves before God.

“But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just {the justified and just because of justification} shall live {now and eternally} by faith.’”  (Galatians 3:11 and Habakkuk 2:4)

–If you are water baptized for salvation, it is of law and not of faith.

“Yet the law is not of faith, but ‘the man who does them shall live by them.’” (Galatians 3:12 and Leviticus 18:5)

Can you live by water baptism continuously, like being water baptized every day or even “anointed baptized” every day?  No, but you can live every day by the One Baptism of salvation.

–Christ becomes  a curse for us in the One Baptism, like “I am crucified with Christ…” in the One Baptism, not by water baptism or any other baptism that the Pentecostals have generated by extra-biblical revelations.

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us {for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’)”  (Galatians 3:13 and Deuteronomy 21:23)

–In order that the blessing of the Gospel of the One Baptism might come on you even as on Abraham and other Gentiles, you must receive the One “promise of the {One} Spirit through faith”, that promise of the One Baptism.  (Galatians 3:14) –Even as the promise of the One Gospel of the One Baptism was with the One Seed of Christ, the law of Moses given 430 years later can not annul this original covenant of the One Baptism, nor can water baptism as a work which can much later during the ministry of the last OT Prophet, John the Baptist, annul the One Baptism.  (Galatians 3:13-18)

–If transgressions had not come from man, there would have been no reason for law at all, even the law of the water baptism of John for “repentance”.

“What purpose then does the law serve?  It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.”  (Galatians 3:19)

–The Scripture, Old and New Testament, Old and Paul, confirm that all of mankind are under sin, and like a schoolmaster can take us by the hand to bring us to Christ, that is in order that those under the law might also take with the curse, the promise of the One Baptism by “faith in Jesus Christ” when they believe (Galatians 3:22) –You are the Sons of God through faith and by the One Baptism, once again the equivalent of the “believe and be baptized” of Jesus, of Mark, and of the Great Commission.

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”  (Galatians 3:27)

Could that be any clearer to you that Paul, like Peter, is talking about the One Baptism, and about the Gospel of the One Baptism.  Which can you compare best to “put on Christ”, water baptism as a putting on of Christ–certainly not–or the One Baptism of salvation as the putting on of Christ. What does the “put on of Christ” remind you of except Ephesians 4:17-24 where the old man of deceitful lusts is put off, the new man “created according to God in righteousness and holiness” according to God” (4:24), where Christ is really learned if a disciples really hears Jesus and is taught by Jesus.

–If you daily experience that inward experience whereby the Holy Spirit causes your spirit to always cry out “Abba, Father”, then you have experienced the One Baptism.

“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father’”.  (Galatians 4:6)

And this is the only real “anointing” that you need, the anointing that John speaks of in I John, the anointing not of the extra-biblical revelations of the Pentecostals.

14-5:  Freedom of Choice in Galatians.

The Meat of Galatians for the Galatians, Chose between the Two Covenants, between God and those by nature “not gods”, between the marvelous promises from God and the from the former “weak and beggarly elements”, between freedom and bondage.

“But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?  You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.”  (Galatians 4:9-11) We would compare the children of Israel, fresh from rescue of bondage in Egypt, with their 40 years of wilderness wanderings whereby they desired to return to the “weak and beggarly elements” of security and comfort, to these Galatians and believers today who have become “known by God”.  And perhaps this is a better description of the children of Israel in the wilderness and of church members today, as in Galatians, than “God’s people”, where we know that they did not really “know God” in the full sense of the Word, as there was in them “an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God”, although certainly God had known the children of Israel, by name and number, as He brought them out of Egypt, even as He also knew the Galatians to claimed to have known God and were water baptized as Paul was there, and even as church members today who perhaps are more “known by God” than “have known God”.

(1).  To be known by God more than known of God is makes an Apostle like Paul “an enemy” because He speaks only the truth of God, 4:12-20.

(2).  To be known by God more than known of God is to be children of the bondwoman instead of children of the freewoman, 4:21-31.

(3).  To be known of God more than known by God is to be free rather than to be under a yoke of bondage, 5:1-6.

(4).  To be known by God more than known of God is to be hindered by some unknown somebody, and does not come “from Him who calls you”, 5:7-12.

(5). To be known of God more than known by God is the call to liberty, however not liberty in the flesh; and the fulfillment of liberty in the law is given by “love your neighbor as yourself”, 5:13-15.

(6).  Those that are known by God only may “walk in the flesh” while those that are also “known of God” walk in the Spirit, 5:16-26. {Which by the way is also the walking and living in the Gospel of the One Baptism!}

14-6:  Applications and Implications of the One Baptism of Galatians 6. Applications and Implications of the Gospel of the One Baptism of Galatians 6, also of the “holy conduct and godliness” of Peter’s commentary.

  1. For brethren in the church, 6:1-5.
  2. For those teachers “taught the word” to share, 6:6-10.
  3. For those “who would not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ”, 6:11-15.

For “as many as walk according to this rule”, 6:16-18.

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PREFACE:  A Cup of Water

PREFACE:  A Cup of Water

The nations of the whole world stand before Jesus at the End of the Age, and what does Jesus use as a basis to separate the sheep from the goats, a cup of water.  It is certainly scary enough to think that our eternal welfare, can depend on a single act of kindness like a drink of water, or a free meal, or visitation of the sick and needy; and that it is our treatment of the “least” in the kingdom of God that is most important; but beyond the significance of our eternal welfare in hell or heaven, is the respect and treatment of kingdom members, Christ‛s brethren, that He demands of us.  You will find in this study of “A Condensed Version of Mark with Comments” that Jesus fervently sought out the least in the kingdom in order to do them acts of kindness.  Certainly among the least were the fisherman He chose to be His Apostles, a tax collector like Matthew had little respect in the kingdom, then there were the Gentiles where He healed their children, and the woman of Samaria at Jacob‛s well that He engaged in a conversation about the welfare of her soul. It was the little children, of whom He said “don‛t stand in their way of getting to Him”, and who He made examples of the simple faith necessary for kingdom membership; it was the blind man along the road, the leper that was shunned by society, and we can go on and on; and we will go on and on in the chapters to follow from Mark, always using Mark as only a condensed guide to the rest of the Bible, taking from the whole counsel of God in the Book, what will help in the understanding of the Giant Parable called the Bible.

And we are also surprised that it takes so little to get into the kingdom of heaven–a cup of water, a meal, or a single visit or act of kindness for the less important person in the kingdom.  Surprised that the great wisdom of the universe could find nothing more as a criterion for final judgment, and separation of the goats from the sheep,  as simply  a cup of water. Like Naaman, the leper, we would look for some famous body of water to cleanse in instead of the muddy waters of the Jordan.  But there we are:  It is from Jesus Himself, and we dare not neglect what He is teaching us!

Although the parable of the tares has been alive and well since Jesus taught it over two thousand years ago, there are implications of it for today that are not comprehended.  For example, the tares in the kingdom and churches have leaders, and those Bible teaching and preaching leaders are to be treated with the same distant respect as the tares themselves.  When the Apostle John tried to stop some disciples from work for Christ, those who had been disciples of John the Baptist, the bottom line of what Jesus told them was, “let them alone”.  Increasingly we are seeing more and more heaping up of weird and unusual Bible teachers and preachers, which we do not wish to label as false prophets and teachers; and in an effort to treat them with the toleration demanded in an American Democratic Society, we have hit on the “itching ear” label of II Timothy 4 in order to explain what is happening in this time of the Falling Away.

The distant respect of  “Leave them alone” might be considered in the same category of  the “forget about them” that I heard from one southwest seminary professor in reference to the fundamentalists like James Robinson.  {I will explain later the differences between a fundamentalists and conservatives on the Bible; however, may it suffice for the moment to say that they are not the same.}  This was approximately 20 years ago at the climax of the period in which the Bible church fundamentalists took control of the Southern Baptist Convention led by men like Adrian Rogers, Charles Stanley, W.A. Criswell, and from a distance, Jerry Falwell.  It was a majority movement, very similar to the moral majority, where certain community traditions took precedence over real Bible.  It must remind one of how the religious leaders of scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees of Jesus‛ day were labeled as “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”.  In the nature of church and denominational history it had to happen, but the shock of seeing it happen in the once most conservative and evangelistic denomination up to that point in history, made us seek explanations of the fundamentalists takeover in other terms.  {See some of the books written in the last 20 years with multiple attempts to explain what happened.}

However, I would maintain that the distant respect of “leave them alone” for these fundamentalists and other leaders of the tares is more like the “don‛t associate with them” of II Timothy 3, the roll call of bad church behavior, or the “do not keep company with such who are believers” of I Corinthians.  I hope you recall, or will check, these two Bible references on “non-associate” and “non-companionship” in II Timothy 3:1-9 and I Corinthians 5:9-11.

 

“I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.  Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.  But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone name a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.”  (I Corinthians 5:9-11)

A few explanations about these Bible verses which may or may not be obvious:  (1) the policy of Paul and John, which by the way they got from Jesus and the Holy Spirit can be generalized as “in the world, but not of the world”.  Paul said when I said “not to keep company” with certain people, I meant not to keep company with certain believers who are church members.  There had been so misunderstanding of what Paul wrote in a previous letter:  some people thought Paul meant not to keep company with the people of the world who were sexually immoral as a habit of life, or who were covetous, extortioners, or idolaters.  No, Paul is writing now:  if were to not keep company with such people in the world, you would have to get out of the world.  So you see a summary is “in the world, but not of the world”.  {What the Apostle John means in the “not of the world” of I John will be discussed in a later chapter, or perhaps you can read of it in SOME MORE SOUNDS….Snatching, Stumbling, and the Falling Away.}

and (2)  Here is the bottom line according to the Spirit through Paul, if you know any believer or church member who practices as a habit of life these bad behaviors, which by the way is much like the bad behavior characteristics of church members of II Timothy 3, then you are not to even eat out with them or eat in their homes and have them over to eat in your home.  (3).  Stop right here, I am not calling these fundamentalists, or even the heaped up itching ear weirdos on television, things like “sexual immoral”, or “drunkards”; but in the getting around the toleration of the tares in favor of a CUP OF WATER for the least brethren in the kingdom, we will find that they do fall into the category of “covetous” for money, disciples, and status—much like the bad church member characteristic of “lovers of money” and “lovers of self”, also the “extortioners” as they do seek and get extorted money under the disguise of more noble ends, and later in this book we will even make a case for idolatry for them.

The sad reality, according to Jesus in the parable of the tares and the wheat is that Satan has put the tares into that part of the kingdom called the local church, even beyond that to the church and denominations; and Satan has done that in order to cause offences against the least in the kingdom.  We must preserver against this most detrimental of all influence in order to get past these that take the first places in the kingdom in order to serve the least in the kingdom with at least a cup of water.

You see in itching ears Bible teachers what we are addressing is the kind of bible preachers who talk a great deal about Christ, God, and the Bible.  You do not wish to call false prophets and teachers anyone you hear talking a lot about God, Christ, and the Bible.  And those are the people that Jesus told John to “leave alone”.  Jesus elaborated, “For no one can speak lightly of me that is active as one of my disciples.”  You see, it is not those who speak against Christ that is the subject of a cup of water versus toleration of the tares, it is those who are constrained to guard carefully their words about Christ because in order to create the very impression that they know they are creating.

Conservative, Not Fundamentalist

Fundamentalists will not admit that it is possible to be conservative on the Bible without being a fundamentalists.  Like so many people in the world who operate more on appearance than reality, they claim to be the only conservatives; yet with their “pick and chose” Bible interpretation method, they are only conservative on what they “pick”, quite liberal in what they chose to ignore, especially on the current realities of the Falling Away.  Since it is difficult to simultaneously claim to have all the answers, as the fundamentalists do, they ignore the parts of the Bible that teach that the Falling Away must happen before the Second Coming. Listen, do you not hear them on the Second Coming, and you do not hear them on the Falling Away.  This silence on the Falling Away is within itself proof of the Falling Away.  If you think about it for a while, you will realize that one of the most outstanding characteristics of the Falling Away, besides as sin abounds the love of many waxes cold from Jesus, is the intolerance toward sound doctrine.  There is no more intolerance of sound doctrine than to leave it out completely as if it were not part of the Bible itself.  You see, what they do is to pick what is convenient for them to preach, and ignore what does not serve their purpose.  A case could be made that this kind of pick and chose method of interpretation is worse than liberalism.

Here I should remind fundamentalists that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable”; and to ignore part of is to cheat church members and to overlook “every Word that comes out of the mouth of God.”  The time has already “come when they {the “they” in II Timothy 4 is obviously church members and other believers, but in the “tares” category} will not endure sound doctrine”, yet any Bible teacher can not ignore certain sound doctrines because they are not profitable to him or her personally or not profitable to the organization that he or she represents.  YOU JUST CAN NOT IGNORE ANY PART OF THE SOUND DOCTRINES OF SCRIPTURES.  {By the way the soundest doctrine of all is the kind of respect for all persons that must include the least in the kingdom, and the sound doctrine of giving them a drink of water.  What is truly being said by the example of the life of Jesus, and the teachings of Jesus, is that our treatment and graciousness toward the least brethren in the kingdom really is the evidence of our right to be among the sheep at the Final Gathering.}

Even the “proof text” method of Bible interpretation and teaching that they often practice is fraught with the “pick and chose” method when a verse or passage is not considered in the total context of the text.  This is the age old principle of hermeneutics called “exegesis” versus “isogesis”:  exegesis is to read the meaning out of the Bible, while isogesis is to come to the passage with some pre-conceived meaning or motivation to read meaning into it.  A case in point is the pastor of a large fundamentalist church and seminary in Memphis, Tennessee who wanted to preach an applicable message on the first Sunday of the year 2000, and he wanted that message to have some sense of urgency about end time.  So in his passage from one of the Gospels was the simple sentence that “after six days Jesus and the disciples went” some certain place.  Yes, you got it this fundamentalists spun and spiritualized the six days to be the equivalent of the last days on this earth.   There was no need for this:  there is Matthew 24 on eschatology, the book of Revelation, the teachings of Peter on the earth will melt with fervent heat, and Paul‛s book of II Thessalonians with the end time teachings that include the Falling Away, revelation of the man of sin, and the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit from the earth, with the clarity that these things must happen before Christ comes again.  Is he worse than a liberal?  I think so, because he is preaching and teaching something under the guise of from the scripture, it is not in that passage at all.

Can a person talk about Christ, God, and the Bible, be in the church or be a church leader, and still not be “wheat”?  Yes, that is the gist of the Parable of Tares that was told by Jesus.  You see we have isolated our concepts of church membership from the realities of the Bible,  The Bible, time and again, faces up to the reality that many can be in the churches, denominations, or even claim kingdom membership, who have not learned Christ. Paul looked at the Gentiles in Ephesus and the church members at the Ephesus church:  then he noted that he did not see any differences.  The behavior of the church members was the same as other Gentiles in Ephesus.  Paul wrote in Ephesians, “This is not the way you learned Christ, if indeed you heard Him and were taught of Him.”

Wow, did you miss that in reading the book of Ephesians.  I am sure that you did not hear it from your fundamentalists preacher; for in this time of the Falling Away, the preachers that survive in their positions do so primarily by:  (1) convincing their congregation or audience that they are the elect of God; (2) that by joining in with them you are engaged in the real work of God; and (3) that they have “THE SOLUTION”, and that if you join them, with or without the new birth, you are part of the solution.  Later in the book we will deal with what it means “to hear Jesus” and “be taught by Him”.  Let me say now, however, that it is the opposite of the famous instantaneous new birth {or born again} concept of the fundamentalists.  It is amazing how these evangelists can take the analogy of Jesus between physical and spiritual birth with the obvious statement “you must be born again”; then fail to realize that the new birth may take the same 9 months or longer as does physical birth.  Does that make sense to you?  That is it takes at least 9 months to be physical born, or in that ball park for a normal birth, then it must take some period of time for the spiritual birth, eliminating many who claim to experience an instantaneous new birth.  {You see another case of pick and choice from the fundamentalists.}  In the parable of the seed and the farmer that was told by Jesus, the individuals who were compared to the seed sown among thorns instantly received it with joy, but later as time passed the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and other things choked it out.  Now, you know in most churches during revival and in any assembly if a person were noted to instantly received the Word of God with joy, that person would be labeled as “saved” without waiting to see if the 9 month new birth would be completed.  There actually are some very large churches who would assist the new convert with their examples and messages to accept the “things” of the cares of this world to the extent that their messages actually serve to choke out the Word.  This in the old fashion jargon was called “putting a live bitty under a dead hen”.  What has changed now is that while the “dead hen” generally in the past was considered to be some lethargic church members, now in this time of the Falling Away it is the Bible teachers and preachers that are the dead hens.  And they are very good at it.  They talk about Christ, God, and the Bible so how can they be a bad example.  Remember it is what is not said that is as important as what is said; and it is the thrust of the message more than key words.  Does their influence exert itself in the direction of the cares of this world for personal gain and prosperity, for the deceitfulness of riches, or other things?

The American Democratic Faith

At first I thought it strange that an authority on the history of American Thought would call his book THE MAIN DOCTRINES OF THE AMERICAN DEMOCRATIC FAITH.  However though the years as I have pondered what Bible teachers and believers substitute for the faith of the Bible and of Jesus, it has dawned on me that the substitute is an American Democratic Faith.  I use to gainsay what former prime minister of  Israel said about Americans and Jews.  What he said was that “we in Israel are born Jews just like you Americans are born Christians.”  At first it sounded ridiculous, but that the two kinds of faith have been mixed should be obvious.  I think there are some overlaps because it is obvious that during this time of the Fulness of the Gentiles, the period during which the Jews are blind to the Gospel, the United States has been the undisputed leader in the spread of the Gospel to every nation.  This is another way of saying that God has indeed used the United States to help in the spread of the Gospel to every nation.  Some of us also reluctantly accept the observation by a foreign student of the US who said “to be an American is more a religion and a character than a set of beliefs or a mater of citizenship.”  More often you will hear from mister average citizen what I heard as a young pastor visiting with a man up the valley in Arkansas when I asked him if he was a believer. “Yes”, the indignant reply was, “I was born in this country!”  And, “Did you think I am a heathen?”

Quickly I would mention five obvious differences between the American Democratic Faith and the Faith of the Bible and Jesus.

  • The majority is king in the American Democratic Faith while it is the minority in the Bible that goes the narrow way that leads to life eternal. You will note that the schools as the chief custodians of American culture, government, and society do most of their work in terms of the priority for the majority.  Always, in the Old Testament, and in any movement or country in history, there has been a “remnant” of real believers, definitely a minority type word and concept.  Quite often in the Old Testament, God preferred a dedicated minority to a majority.  Jesus taught the parable of the broad and narrow way, clarifying that the many that go the broad way to destruction are the majority and the few that go the narrow way that leads to eternal life are the minority.  One might contend that the United States is completely different from the world in which Jesus taught in that now in our country and in our time, the majority of US citizens go the narrow and right way and the minority of US citizens go the broad and wrong way.  Perhaps, if it were ever true of this country, in this time in which our country has also become part of the world wide Falling Away movement, it is no longer true.  As far as real faith in God, Christ, and the Bible there is little difference between citizens of America and citizens of any other nation, and you can make a much better case for that conclusion.

We might put it this way for simplicity and agreement:  While the emphasis in America is on the priority for the majority, the emphasis in the Bible is on priority for the minority.

What difference does it make?  Well, without this Bible concept of priority of the minority, you will be more influenced by the world.  Satan, the prince of this world, runs this world whether it is in the United States or elsewhere, and consequently he uses the majority of this world in order to deter and destroy faith in Jesus and the Bible.  {By the way if you claimed that the majority in American go the narrow way that leads to life, then maybe you would be inclined to think that Satan only works in other countries.  You could have the simplistic concept that all evil is in Korea, Iraqi, and I forget what the other country is.}  What difference does it make?  Well, without this Biblical majority-minority concept for now and in this country, you will have trouble accepting the Scripture, “all that will godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution”, and this is not limited by any means to physical persecution.  The politically correct in churches, government, and society can separate you as a member of that Jesus minority.

The greatest danger of all is that you can subject yourself to Bible teachers and believers that have already become victims of the Falling Away.  You will tend to become like them, and you will listen to what they do teach and preach even though long ago they came to the point where they would not endure sound doctrine, “they out of their own desires heaped up teachers with itching ears”, turned away from the truth and turned into fables. {One word of caution, look for Bible teachers and believers that are preaching (1) the Falling Away and (2) A 9 month of so new birth, and shun the progenitors of silence on the Falling Away.}

  • A second major difference between the American Democratic

Faith and the faith of the Bible and Jesus is on the concept of “toleration”.  So much that believers know to be true they will not even speak, for the fear that they will seem non-tolerant and therefore non-American.  An extreme example is that the Presbyterian Church a few years ago voted whether to decree that a stop should be made on the claim that Jesus is the only way of salvation, because it seems too intolerant.  I don‛t know how the vote came out, but the very fact that a so-called Bible believing denomination would have to vote on such a fundamentals Bible belief about Jesus and salvation is within itself intolerable.

A Condensed Version of Mark?

As you read this book, you may think there is a lot of other Bible to be simply a condensed version of Mark.  Yes, there is; and that is the point.  What we can understand of Mark, in the very nature of revelation and illumination, is “profitable for doctrine, etc.” only as it is kept in the total context of the Bible; and what we truly understand of Mark is true only to the extent that it is consistent with the Authorized Semi-Public Interpretation of the Bible.  The same God put the truth in Moses and John, Ezekiel and Revelation, Daniel and Mark.  The Bible when you come down to it is a reflection of the consistent mind and character of God; and above all in the characteristics of God we must see stability, consistency in God who is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  What you will find as you spend more and more time in the Bible is that you come to understand more as you also understand more the Great Author of the Bible.  It is like living with a loved one here on earth, the more you listen to them and see and hear the consistency of their character, the more you can even predict what they are going to say on other occasions. For example what God had to say in Daniel, and what God has to say in the many explanations of Old Testament quotes in Mark and other books of the Bible, lead to more understanding of the Christ and God we serve.

It will become more clear to you as you get away from the “kingdom” concepts of Darby and the 1000 year temporary reign of Christ on earth concepts of Scofield, those concepts effectively propagandized by the Scofield Reference Bible and Tim LeHaye, that with Jesus, Paul, and the first century Christians, we have seen most of what we are going to see in a spiritual movement from the Jews.  God gave them one year and the Messiah was cut off, as recorded in Daniel, to make things right with Him through faith-salvation in Christ, then the abomination of desolation was complete.  “What profit is it then to be a Jew?”  Paul asks and explains in Romans.  And the answer comes back, “because to them were committed the oracles of God.”  Wow, what a marvelous job, sometimes in spite of the majority movement among the Hebrews, did the Jewish people do in protecting and promoting the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.  Paul was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, also a Roman citizen, and formerly a persecutor of the church, before the Ascended Christ decided that He needed a dedicated scholar and lawyer of the Jewish nation to write 14 book so the New Testament and sponsor with his influence and manuscripts three more, setting the pattern which Jesus gave to him in Saudi Arabia of quoting with an interpretation in the New Testament of the Old Testament truth.  So much of where fundamentalists {today‛s incarnation of Darby and Scofield, their hunt and peck method of Bible interpretation with superficiality of Bible more dangerous, with their fighting spirit, than even their concepts from Darby and Scofield}see in the Old Testament a period of peace and prosperity with a material kingdom in Israel is the “consummation” of Daniel.  It is the time, at the end of time, when the kingdoms of this world become really the kingdom of Christ; it is the time when the new Jerusalem is lowered down from heaven and all government is established there over all the multitudes which no man can number of every nation, tribe, and people; and it is the time when the new heaven and new earth are established by God for ever and ever, as the old heaven and old earth pass away, and there is no more sea.  It is going to be difficult for you to break free if you have been a victim of such fundamentalist teachings. One thing you will notice is that you are not hearing about the Falling Away from such fundamentalists that have taken control of the Southern Baptist Convention.  There are two reasons for that:  (1) it is difficult to stake a claim on having all the answers like Jerry Falwell, Tim LeHaye, and Charles Stanley—co-founders of the Moral Majority, and still admit that the Falling Away has come to fulfillment under their watch; and (2) they remain in power my convincing their audience that they are the chosen of God, therefore it is hard for them to say to the other Tares, you are Falling Away from God, Christ, and the Bible.  Indeed, Falwell believes as he says that Rick Warrens’ heresies in the name of church unity, LeHaye fictions, along with his political and social power are waves of spiritual revival, while indeed these efforts, including the takeover of the SBC by his group, are the very unsoundness in doctrine and spirit that has precipitated if not induced the Falling Away.  Certainly they have enhanced the Falling Away.  Why are they so silent on it.  That within itself is proof!  Won‛t it be amazing if these who have made themselves “first” in the kingdom of God, taking by force the prime seats at the feasts, are found to be the “last” when we come to the fulfillment of the kingdom of God.  And if they are among the tares, we will not see them at all!  Like the Jewish people of the first century, and about whom Paul wrote in Romans 1, they have tried to take and maintain the moral high ground.  While they would present themselves as teachers of the law, they need some one to teach them again what are the first principles of Bible and a proper spirit.

Although as we look for the two things to be fulfilled before the Second Coming as Paul laid out in II Thessalonians— the falling away and the man of sin; and while many times based on Daniel, we may lean toward Osama Bin Laden as the man of sin and of perdition; though sometimes we lean toward the Pope as the final anti-Christ which will be the man of sin, sometimes it seems that the fundamentalists have been the most dominant influence in the Falling Away.  I am sure it is our lack of understanding that forces us to speculate between men like Falwell, men like Osama Bin Laden, and men like the Pope for fulfillment of the man of sin.  And the fact, as Daniel was told, that our complete understanding of the last events is still somewhat sealed up, leads us to believe that we are still major steps from the Falling Away. Just remember, that like Satan himself, who was an angel of light, the man of sin and perdition must appear to be very right and righteous to be a wolf in sheep‛s clothing and in order to deceive many.  As sin abounds, he must be a leader in the waxing cold of love.  The love must diminish under his leadership, and the Gospel of the kingdom of Christ will have to be replaced with something else, like maybe the Gospel of the Moral Majority.

Book Bottom Line:  Spiritual Terrorism

“He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’”  (Matthew 13:28)  

Can You buy those words from Jesus Himself?  That there is spiritual terrorism within the churches.  We are concerned about physical terrorism in our country when we should be more concerned about the spiritual terrorism in our churches and the kingdom at large.  Our problem is that we can not tell the difference between wheat and tares even when they come out from being underground:  we do not know the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian, between a false Bible teacher and a true Bible teacher; and even when we do suspect a church member, a church, or a denomination, or their leaders we are so indoctrinated in the American Democratic Faith as to put tolerance ahead of dis-association from them as recommended by the Bible.  Do you get what Jesus is saying, “the enemy is within” the kingdom and the churches.  Satan has put many tares in our local churches in order to subvert the real work of the kingdom of God, and many of those tares are leaders with itching ears.

You are welcome at any time during this series on the Life and Teachings of Jesus, called A CUP OF WATER, freely offered to everyone, to free download A CUP at http://www.sungrist.org/cow.pdf .

 

Comfort Now of and In Eternally the Forever Kingdom of the New Earth!

{Comfort, Real Awareness Versus False, and Doctrinal Falling Away on the Ultimate Peace and Comfort of the Forever Kingdom Part 1.}

Sadness, sometimes, can be like a overwhelming entity that intrudes into our lives; however the COMFORT must become a larger awareness in our lives.

“Therefore comfort one another with these words.”  (I Thessalonians 4:18)

In order to have the comfort combat sadness, overcome sadness, and dominant sadness we must read about the COMFORT, think about the COMFORT, and talk about the COMFORT.

“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. (I Thessalonians 4:13 NIV)

  1. Read about the COMFORT.

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”  (I Thessalonians 4:15-18)

  1. Think about (overcoming by awareness) the Comfort of Victory at the Second Coming of Christ.

“Behold! I tell you a mystery.  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:  ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’  ‘O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?’

The sting of death is sin, and  the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.   Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”  (I Corinthians 15:51-58)

  1. COMFORT, REST, and PEACE.
  2. Comfort is a place of peace: from the very God of Hope, an inward filling that overcomes the sadness with ALL joy and peace–BELIEVE IT for more awareness; then abound in that HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit that is inside you.  You must admit that the power of both the God of Hoe and the indwelling Holy Spirit is much greater than any entity of sadness.

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.”  (Romans 15:13)

Some References for Research

  1. Romans 15:13 KJV
  2. Comfort is a place of rest.

http://www.sungrist.us

  1. IT IS A PLACE FOR YOU.

http://www.biblecombibleman.com/PlaceForYou.html

  1. Ultimate Comfort to think about the Eternal Comforts in the Forever Kingdom on the New Earth.

Sorry we have to fight for awareness and Bible convictions on that eternal kingdom; for even though we know from Bible that “we war not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places”, sometimes in these days of struggle with the Dallas Theological Seminary on eschatology, and the fuedamentalists currently in leadership control of the SBC, especially with Lifeway book store which is allowing DTS graduates to cram new Scofield based Study Bibles into the book shelves and online with their warped focus on such non-literal Bible words as “millennium”, “rapture”, and “dispensationalism”, we tend to forget like maybe can not see the forest for the trees, that Satan sponsors the Scofield Reference Bible notes, that the great apostasy of the Falling Away is raging for Protestants in the SBC even as it raged 1000 B.C. in the Roman Vatican with “doctrines of devils and seducing spirits.”

Sometimes we must fill that the Apostle Jude who found it necessary to divert from his efforts to write a book on salvation in order to “contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude).  Even as we seek for the comfort of awareness of completed salvation in the Forever Kingdom, we must get through the damming and damaging influence of such feud mentalist on diversions of eschatology.  WE MUST CONTEND FOR THE FAITH OF LITERAL BIBLE ESCHATOLOGY against the false claims of literalism of the SBC leaders like Rogers, Criswell, and Stanley with their followers like Judge Pressler in their 10 year plan for political control, a battle they won; and now seek through such DTS graduates as Dr. Jeffress of FBC Dallas to extend that victory to doctrinal control with the assistance of Lifeway books.

You know even as the Roman Vatican pope after their great doctrinal follies of forbidding meats and refusing marriage to Priests, and were accused of many as the anti-Christ and his Prophet, we now have in 2018 a Protestant equivalent in Jeffress and Lifeway dominated by the study bibles of DTS.

  1. The Prophet Jeremiah found himself in the same position of wanting for the Nation the Peace of God, having to contend with the falling away (backsliding) in Jerusalem and Israel of prophets, pastors, priests, and people bent on a false peace and a false comfort in spite of the fact God had told them 200 years ago that Jerusalem would be destroyed! So much like America religion today is the times of Jeremiah, what with the Scofield controlled DTS, SBC, and Lifeway study Bibles, and with Swaggart preaching on a great false world wide revival that is not going to come, installing a false hope of peace and comfort in people that is the opposite of the great apostasy of the Falling Away that is really happening now and greater in the future until the Battle of Megiddo and the Coming of Christ to establish the Beginnings of Peace for the New Jeremiah of “Peace, Pastors, Priests, Prophets, and People”, or the 5P’s of New Jeremiah:
  2. Peace and Optimism are twins, and the dictionary definitions of Optimism are:

      1.. disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.

     2.  the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.

  1. the belief that goodness pervades reality.
  2. the doctrine that the existing world is the best of all possible worlds.
  3. Peace, Not the Time for Peace In Jeremiah. THERE IS NO PEACE, NOT THE TIME  {Research and Notes from Jeremiah}

Gist:  A fresh look at Jeremiah on PEACE and PROPHETS, more specifically false peace and optimism and false prophets.

Peace in Jeremiah

  1. Immediate destruction was promised from God, there was no need for optimism. There is a time for every thing under the sun, and this was the time to mourn and be both pessimistic and realistic.

And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD.  For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.  They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when  there is no peace.  Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.

  1. Why does God guarantee His own people immediate destruction, alias “my hand on the inhabitants of the land…” (6:12) Three reasons are listed.

(1) All the way from the least in the nation to the greatest in the nation, they are all given over to covetousness.  In our terms, you have to say that they are wrapped up in material things, what money can buy, and how to achieve success by what they dream and what they want.  {All the prophets of the day were wrapped up in positive dreams which ignored the impending calamities.}

(2) The prophets and priests are dealing falsely in that they are not doing their jobs correctly.

  1. They are obviously healing some hurt of the people but only slightly. One might call it bare min to keep earning their salary, position, and remain popular with the people with words of comfort.
  2. The message that only comforts and heals slightly is the message of Peace when it is a time and circumstance under God when THERE IS NO PEACE!
  3. The people remained unashamed and without guilt for their acts of abominations, primarily of violation of the 10 commandments and idolatry, the temple message of Jeremiah and chapter 7.
  4. In a way the book of Jeremiah is introduced right here centering around PEACE and PROPHETS. Granted that this was not stressed in the three levels of Bible study on Jeremiah previously as all of us hate to be careful of those with positive and optimistic messages for the immediate future.
  5. Those who choice a positive outlook or a superficial one that applies the right Scripture to the wrong time are like Jeremiah when God first started dealing with him about the upcoming destruction–”God had promised and promises Peace”, Jeremiah 4:10, the first mention of peace in Jeremiah 4:10:

“Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying,  Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.”

Jeremiah’s words are stronger than that!  God, with respect though for it is “Lord God”, you have greatly deceived this people.  This is sort of like the words that would come out of the atheists and sceptics today except more applied to religion than to the Bible.  Many Christians almost think that they today in their narrow and small scope of the total Bible message, often by choice. Thinking in their own little brains that God still promises peace at any time and any place, and they fail to consider the signs of the times.  Peace would be a good message at the right time, but not now!

  1. If your preferred message heals the realistic hurt and hurts of the people, then you are popular and optimistic preachers of peace that are hurting the people even more than you are helping them even when you are able to disguise the hurt from the healing. By the way, did you note that peace is mentioned three times here as if one of the popular preachers was choosing the key and dynamic words to shout out with a smile while the real gist is hidden, and those who want a certain message can hear it no matter what all the words are.  Of all the words in the verse, followers of the popular can take away healing, healing of hurt, my people, daughter, all pleasant words, and peace; and never get the real and realistic message.

“They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.”  (Jeremiah 6:14)

  1. Jeremiah 8:15 must be understood in the context of the Jeremiah 8 chapter.

“We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!”

Even before we get into Jeremiah 8, you can begin to see both how “PEACE” is used in Jeremiah and how it is abused in messages today, from the religious and secular world.  Peace here means:  (1) good times, time of health, and absence of trouble.  Just the very matters some positive popular preachers of prosperity tell you to look forward to today with matters of self-improvement; and you know who the most popular ones of the popular are, the two Js, _Joel and Jimmy.

  1. Peace in peaceable of 9:8. More like civility and kindness.
  2. Land of peace in 12:5.
  3. No flesh have peace in 12:12.
  4. What the prophets were saying about peace in 14:13.

“Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.”

  1. You definitely will not see the sword of war, very similar to those who are talking today, more the social prophets of the future.
  2. You shall not, more than will not, have famine; just the opposite of guaranteed famine in Revelation as the specifics of the guaranteed destruction is spelled out item by item.
  3. Once again you see some content of positive peace in Jeremiah, it is a lack of war and famine.
  4. Jeremiah 14:19
  5. Jeremiah 16:5 some of God’s peace is internal like loving kindness and mercy

“For thus saith the LORD, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the LORD, even lovingkindness and mercies.”

  1. In Jeremiah 23:17 PEACE and Prophets come together–

“They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.”

NOTE:  The peace verse here is best understood in the total context of Jeremiah 23, and what God thought of all the Prophets then in Judah and Jerusalem except the Prophet Jeremiah.

  1. In verse 1-8 it is the pastors in the land that are under attack, and we conclude that the subject continues as such only as a attack by God on the prophets.
  2. Jeremiah 9-16.

“Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness. (verse 9)

“For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.”  (verse 10)

For both prophet and priest {this clarifies the pastors of Jeremiah 1-8 as these prophets and priests, those called and chosen to be messengers for the kingdom of God} are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. (verse 11)

“Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.” (verse 12)

“And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.” (verse 13)

“I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.” (verse 14)

“Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.” (verse 15)

 “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.”  (verse 16)

NOTE:  The effects for bad in the prophesying or preaching from these pastors and prophets:  (1) make the people vain, or worthless in the sight of God.  (2) They speak out of their own heart.

  1. Jeremiah 23:17-26.

 “They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.”  (verse 17)

 “For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word?  who hath marked his word, and heard it?”  (verse 18)

“Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.”  (verse 19)

“The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.”  (verse 20)

“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.”  (verses 21,22)

 “Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?  Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.”  (verses 23,24)

I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.” (verse 25)

“How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart…”  (verse 26)

Jeremiah 23:27-35.

 “Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.” (verse 27)

“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.” (verse 28)

 “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.”  (verses 29,30)

“Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.  Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them:  therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.”  (verses 31,32)

And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD.”  (verse 33)

 “And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house. Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken? (verses 34,35)

NOTE:  You will want to follow Comfort with the Forever Kingdom on www.sungrist.us .

TESTIMONY OF THE EVANGELISTS TO JESUS OF NAZARETH AS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD.

 

Introduction: Testimony to Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, the Son of God.

 

1.   This message in honor of Jesus, Jesus, the sweetest name ever known, and in honor

of the greatest story ever told of Jesus and by the 4 evangelists of Matthew, Mark,

Luke, and John, is titled “The Testimony of the Evangelists”.

Admittedly it is borrowed from Simon Greenleaf, and apologists for Jesus and the

Bible, the former dean of the Harvard Law School. Dean Greenleaf who wrote in his

book by the same title, “The Testimony of the Evangelists” that the testimony of

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is such a witness to be able to stand up in any court of

law as a “prima facie” case. For you not familiar with law terms or debate terms, or

even the contending for the faith of apologetics, it is evidence provided for Jesus as the Son of God that is beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt.

 

2.   In other words, it is the best we could possibly do in both proclaiming and

contending for Jesus as the Son of God.

You need not fear that in this one message all the four of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and

John are to be covered as that would be like one professor of homiletics, the study of

how to preach said, “If you think that you do not have enough to say when you preach,

then chose for an outline this 3 subjects: One, the world, Two, the universe; and

Three, other things.”

 

3. No, this message relies on primarily the Gospel of John.

It was the last to be written to tell the story of Jesus; it was written by the Apostle

John known as the Apostle of love; and John is so gracious, evangelistic, and full of

natural apologetics and learning, even also homiletics as John with the 3 other

evangelists testimonies in front of him and which no doubt he preached from often as

pastor at Ephesus, carefully chose only 7 of the “many miracles and teachings of Jesus

which if they had been written everyone even the world itself could not contain the

books that should be written.”

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

1. This is a much better outline than the world, universe, and other things;

however it is one that you and I can easily remember; although a little more

challenging as it has 5 parts instead of 3, or the famous 4 parts and a poem of

homiletics.

2. The outline is: (1) The Word, Jesus, was made flesh; (2) Jesus dwelt

among us of humanity and the world through His life and the Bible; (3) We

beheld His glory; (4) the glory of the only begotten of the Father; and (5) Jesus

was full of grace and truth.

3. Have often thought about what if I had only one message to preach, it

would have to be on Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, the sweetest name I know; “the

name greater than any name at which every knee should bow and every tongue

confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father”; Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,

Jesus, “I love to tell the story of Jesus and His glory”: Jesus, “We preach Christ

and Him crucified”; Jesus, “God forbid that I should glory save in the preaching

of the cross to whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.” Yes,

that Jesus, the Son of God, the Word made flesh that dwelt for 31 years in the

world, and until crucified by the Jewish nation; however according to will and

plan of God.

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

 John 1:14.

II. Jesus, the Son of God was made flesh.

III. Jesus, God living among us of the world.

Jesus dwelt among the humanity of the world and continues to deal among us as

the Bible is spread across the globe. 1. The preaching and missionary work of those 4 evangelists and the 12 apostles and primary the apostle Paul born out of due time, the author of 14 books of the New Testament.

IV. Jesus, the manifested glory of God.

We, humanity of the world that He and God loved and loves, beheld the glory of the Son of God and of God Himself.

V. Jesus, The only begotten Son of God.

The angel, faithful messenger of God and sent by God, announced: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ

the Lord.” And a heavenly host backed up the angel that all of this was for the glory of

God– “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host

praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,

good will toward men.” (Luke 2:10-14)

Conclusion: “Peace on earth, good will toward men”, (1)  the great God of

this universe made a special announcement that He cares for individual

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is

Christ the Lord.

 “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,good will toward men.” (Luke 2:10-14)

(2) Reconcile the messages as Jesus taught often, “I am not come to bring

peace on earth but a sword” with individual peace and good will from God and

heaven through Jesus, and not a peaceful earth that will always have a sword

and will increasingly have a sword until the final day of Megiddo.

(3). Notice how quickly the peace and good will passes so quickly from God so

loved the world to whosoever, the individual, that would believe would have the

peace and good will. Miss that and you miss the Christmas message.

What you can look for in the Testimony of the Evangelists, the complete

Christmas story if you would, is individual availability of peace for a special group

of believers. You should get that out of the most famous personal Christmas

message to the world, that “God so loved the world that He gave His only

begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have

everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

(4) John passes out the good will of God and the individual peace for individuals

in choosing carefully 7 messages in the book wrapped around 7 miracles of

Jesus, remembering that miracles were for a testimony that this Jesus doing the

miracles is and was the Son of God that could do anything and does do

anything.

————————————————————————————–

The Gospel of John presents 7 miracle-signs for 7 messages of peace and

good will for the Individual believer.

 

1. WATER INTO WINE. John 2 as Jesus turns the water into wine showing

peace and good will for a family and guests, The miracle sign of turning the

water into wine is a message of peace for marriage and the family, Jesus cares.

2. HEALING OF NOBLEMAN’S SON. John 4 as Jesus heals the

Nobleman’s son from a distance illustrating the peace and good will that God can

provide from a distance today for individuals. Jesus cares for individuals and

their families to have both peace, life, and abundant life in the healing of the

Nobleman’s son.

3. MAN WITH INFIRMITY 38 YEARS HEALED. John 5 and Jesus healing of

the mans infirmity of 38 years continues to remind us that Jesus and God care

about the pain and suffering of humanity, and can and will intervene for the

believers prayer of faith, in the healing of the man with an infirmity 38 years,

Jesus shows care of the individual health and welfare, also patience.

4. FEEDING OF 5,000 WITH A FEW FISHES AND LITTLE BREAD. Also in John 5 with the miracle of feeding 5,000 Jesus shows care that believers have daily bread and clothing as He elaborated on in the Sermon on the Mount.

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good

tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

5. JESUS COMMAND OVER WAVES AND THE SEA. In John 6 with Jesus

calming the waves and the seas, He provides peace to all disciples in all

circumstances as He has control of everything in this world.

A recent TV survey indicated the number 1 Health concerns of North Texas

in this order: depression, blood pressure and blood sugar.

6. HEALING OF THE MAN BLIND FROM BIRTH. John 9, Jesus to illustrate

that He is the “light of the world”, provided healing and peace to the man born

blind from birth.

7. LAZARUS BACK FROM THE DEAD. John 11, peace was provided for

believers, not mourners, by victory over the grave and death and toward eternal

life as the Resurrection and the Life.

 

NOTE:  Free download at http://www.sungrist.org/TestimonyEvangelists.pdf .

 

Where we find ourselves this week in Bible on SunGrist.

Week 116 Free Downloads on The Topical Bible of www.sungrist.org , not so high on quantity but extremely high on significant Bible content. Each Christian serious about Bible study should have all 7 of these meaty Bible studies in their libraries, especially since it only cost you a few seconds to download in PDF.  Of course with the next week of 117 on sungrist.org with your help the quantity can be increased.

Most Downloaded Files

File                                         Hits

1 http://www.sungrist.org/robots.txt 17

Robots.txt just means constituents copied 17 different pages, and you welcome to do the same thing, “Freely we have received, freely we give.”

2 http://www.sungrist.org/BibleStandardFaithPractice.pdf 12

The intense Bible devotions and study on Ephesians is introduced with

Paul’s Ephesians, an outstanding from God Himself outline of the Bible standard for faith and practice, Ephesians.

3 http://www.sungrist.org/TotalIntegraton3.pdf 5

This is the third of the new series download for TOTAL INTEGRATION IN CHRIST of the book of Ephesians.  Join in!

4 http://www.sungrist.org/LiteralBibleTopic4.pdf 2

Hope you are keeping up with the exciting Thru the Bible series, or Literal Bible with this fourth topic expanded of Son of God/Son of Man.  We must above all honor the name which is above every name of Jesus.

5 http://www.sungrist.org/LCCvolume4.pdf  4

This is the fourth of eight volumes of the LEARN CHRIST COMMENTARIES on the subject of Christ, Paul, and the Falling Away.  It is a detailed look and study of the book of Hebrews.

6.  http://www.sungrist.org/ContendForLiteralBible.pdf 1

Since we are told in the scripture of Jude to “contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), we are obligated as Christians and Bible believers to contend for a Literal Bible against the steady and persistent DTS graduates writing so called study Bibles with the Scofield notes and placing them in the SBC Lifeway book stores, then we also have Swaggart, an outstanding evangelist but not a Bible expositor deceiving with some of his notes many Bible believers throughout the world.

7.   http://www.sungrist.org/TestimonyEvangelists.pdf  1

Every now and then Christians must review the Testimony of the Evangelists (Apostles) to Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ, the Son of God and readily join with our own testimony.

Total 42             ENJOY!

Christian 101d: The Greatest Gain.

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain…And 
having food and clothing, with these we shall be 
content.”  (I Timothy 6:5-10)

1.  Try expanding your concept of GREED to include just
a “desire to be rich”!

“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a 
snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts…  (I 
Timothy 6:9b)

2.  Consider that you greedy ones are drowning
yourselves and this nation!

“… which drown men in destruction and perdition.”  (I 
Timothy 6:9b)

3.Consider that you can not love money that much
without the consequences in SIN and a lack of
RIGHTEOUSNESS.

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…”  (I 
Timothy 6:10a)

4.Greed on money and what money can buy in
investments and things will lead you away from both
Christian Faith and the American Democratic Faith!

“…for which {the love of money} some have strayed from 
the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves 
through with many sorrows.”  (I Timothy 6:10b)

5.  Indeed, if you have really found “godliness” it came
from outside yourself and from above, most generally
called the new birth and sanctification {yearly growth in
godliness}, so that you have the greatest gift, and from
God Himself through Christ, and the greatest gain.

6.  Consider the long-range COST!

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  (Mark 8:36)

NOTE:  A great lie of Satan is that you are planning ahead when you accumulate a large investment in this world, a 401K, and possessions for security and establishment; yet all of this false long range planning and greed is not long range at all; for life is short and fragile–“It is a vapour that appeareth for a little while, and then vanisheth away”–like a candle that burns out, for the greater long range is that of eternity, and the greatest planning is for the eternal welfare of the soul.  What value do you place on your soul that will live forever, in comfort or torment.

Hebrews is the book of the Falling Away.

CHAPTER 2            Hebrews is the book of the Falling Away

In this volume 4 of the LEARN CHRIST commentaries, you will find a great deal from the book of Hebrews.  The book of Hebrews is many things.  It is a book that is no doubt a revised copy of Paul’s original address to the Hebrew synagogues where he attempted to tell them all that he learned about Christ and the way of salvation through Christ.  Paul also wanted the people of his own nation of Israel to know that most of the children of Israel rescued from Egyptian bondage did not enter the Promised Land of Israel, nor did they enter the eternal rest of God in heaven.  In short, they saw the works of God and the power and blessings of God, not only in the rescue from Egypt, but also during 40 years in the wilderness.  They came short of heaven and the promised land through “unbelief”.  This is the First Falling Away, and God through Paul in Hebrews wants us to know the characteristics, cause, and outcome of the First Falling Way in order that He can also warn us, as the book of Hebrews often does, to stay away from the Second Falling Away, the challenge of our generation if you remember the first chapter.

Related to the Falling Away of our generation is another prominent doctrine in the book of Hebrews, that of the Priesthood of Jesus Christ.  If we recognized that Jesus is on the right hand of God to ever make intercession for our sins, and we daily and for more than 40 years continued to take advantage of this benefit of the confession of sins, constantly “looking to Jesus as the author and finisher of ours sins,” this within itself would be sufficient, no doubt, to keep us from the Falling Away of our generation.  Second to this most prominent doctrine, often called and related especially in Hebrews, to the “doctrine of Christ” is the Baptist distinctive called “the priesthood of believers”.  I think long ago this doctrine among Southern Baptist has passed into oblivion.  The words of many famous Baptists statements of faith are no longer recognized, much less the meaning, so that when we come to the chapter on “The Priesthood of Believers”, we will look at Hebrews, other Scriptures, and Baptist Statements of Faith on the subject.

I want to warn you now that the second half of this volume will be on “doctrine”.  Perhaps in the first half, you will hear less of the word “doctrine” and more of the “teachings” of Jesus and the Bible, although the two words are almost synonymous in meaning.  The only rescue of yourself and your church, if it is already not too late, is for the sound doctrine or teachings of Jesus and the Bible.  Although we will introduce that doctrine initially in the simple and straightforward teachings of the book of Hebrews, centered around it being a book about (1) the Falling Away, (2) The Priesthood of Christ, and (3) The Priesthood of Believers, we will in faithfulness to Hebrews and the rest of the Bible want to use and look at the teachings of the Bible centered around the word “doctrine”.  Our prime problem with “doctrine”, is that we have not come to see doctrine as something we live as well as something we believe in our mind, especially is the true about the doctrine of Christ which provides salvation to us all.

2-1:  The Falling Away in the book of Hebrews.

Previously we looked at the fact and characteristics of the Falling Away from Jesus in Matthew 24 and from the Apostle Paul in II Thessalonians. Also we briefly mentioned the Falling Away as the time of intolerance toward sound doctrine of II Timothy 3:3-5.  This is by no means the extent of Bible teachings on the Falling Away.  In this section and chapter, we will begin a more exhaustive study and explanation, hopefully in all cases based on Scripture, from the book of Hebrews.  I believe we can know the truth. I believe we can know sound doctrine.  I believe Jesus when He said, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine if it be of God.”  We can come up with many excuses as the world does about obstacles to knowing the truth, or we can count on the simple teaching of Jesus that we can know the truth.  Generally, most of the excuses to shun the Bible in the name of the truth can not be known center around scholars and denominations who differ on interpretations.  Well, there is “no private interpretation; but holy men of God spake {or wrote} as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.  Most scholars do not understand or properly interpret Scripture for four Biblical reasons:  (1) the natural man can not understand the things of the Spirit of God; (2) the things of the Bible are spiritually discerned, require help of the Holy Spirt, and without this assistance of the Holy Spirit, truth can not be learned and known; (3) God has chosen many simple things of the world to confuse the wise like simple words of truth and the Bible; and (4) Not many wise, noble, or scholarly are called by God.  Once they claim to be a scholar as many with their PhD’s do, it is tantamount to eliminating themselves among those that God has called and blessed with truth.  It is from those same scholars, out of touch as much with God, Christ, and the truth of the Bible, as living in their ivory towers, that confusions about the truth of the Bible.  For example, a few years ago such a group of scholars honesty collectively in a single location from all over the globe to vote on whether Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, as if their collective scholastic votes could in any way determine the real doctrine of Christ in the Bible.  Just the nerve of such scholarship, to think that in any way it would matter to God or really to most of God’s people the direction in which their collective ignorance of spiritual matters went.  The vote is the tool of the majority, of the world, and of the American Democratic Faith.  The vote in churches is often the tool of Satan to encourage anarchy in church government as the authority of the pastor and Christ are subverted.  The vote is by the many who go the way of destruction, the broad way, and the opposite of the few, who go the narrow and unpopular way that leads to life eternal.  Even as Christ came to primarily preach the Gospel to the poor, so also today the recipients of the gospel are among the poor, not among the wise and scholarly and rich.  Get use to it, it is Bible.

  1. The Primary Falling Away Teaching Section of the book of Hebrews is found in Hebrews 3:1 through 4:11.

You know how this definition by God Himself of the First Falling Away truly gets underway in the words,

“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, {God in His Word here, calls the First Falling Away a “rebellion”, and we would expect something similar in the Falling Away of our generation.} when your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years.”  (Hebrews 3:7-9}

I hope you can hear the Word of God in these words “tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years.”  Yes, that is God speaking.  You hear and see God speaking, and you see something of the patience of God toward those often called His children. {We will want to discuss later the meaning of children of God as used throughout the Bible, and allow Paul to throw a lot of light on the meaning from the book of Romans.}

  1. The Falling Away is a rebellion against God Himself, against the leadership of God, and a rebellion against the leadership that God has appointed over His people such as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.  As we will study in the Hebrew accounts and of the Old Testament history of the Falling Away in the wilderness, it was a rebellion against the leadership of God through Moses and Aaron.  Just like today in churches, the people knew best in the church in the wilderness.  They also, like today, thought that the majority who wanted to turn back to Egypt knew best, and that it was foolhardy to go forward into the Promised Land.  Of course, it was not exactly this simple as there were other leaders among the children of Israel, leaders appointed by Moses over tens, hundreds, and thousands; and these leaders also lead the people in rebellion.  We find that also today in our churches as other leaders lead the people in rebellion against the appointed of God.  What I would call the very common anarchy in church government seen Convention wide in rural and urban churches, where music, youth, and education leaders lead the people in rebellion today, and in the present Falling Away, would be called Rebellion in the first Falling Away. Those church members and temporal leaders in churches who label such rebellion as right because of a vote of the majority have learned little from the Bible.  Those church members also confuse the American Democratic Faith of the fundamentalists with the Faith and practice of the Bible.  It was Christ who Ascended to the right hand of God the Father then gave gifts to men–the gifts of Prophets, Apostles, Evangelists, pastors and teachers–for the benefit of the church.  For those who rebel and lead in rebellion and even participate in the rebellion, it is the same as denying the gifts that Christ has given to pastors and teachers.  It is covetousness in that it is an attempt to steal those gifts for themselves.  And do you think that God is going to honor any church or any majority group of the church which would covet and steal those important gifts.  Even as the children of God in wilderness were after 40 years of patience on the part of God and 40 years of unbelief and rebellion on the part of the majority of the people were not allowed to receive the blessings of the land and eternal rest, even so–and that is what the book of Hebrews and the rest of the Bible is going to tell us–will not be allowed church blessings in their homeland, nor eternity in heaven.

Continuing with the Hebrews 3:1 through 4:11 passage:

“Therefore I was angry {yes this is God, and yes God got angry after His patience wore out in 40 years} with that generation, {There is a majority of the whole generation of the people of God with whom God was angry. It is jumping ahead but we know from the history in the Old Testament that only a minority of children 20 years of age and younger, and Joshua, and Caleb, were allowed a future in the Promised Land and eternity.}  and said, (yes, this is God talking to the Trinity again} ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’  So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’”  (Hebrews 3:10,11)

(1).  This is a quote from Psalm 95:7-11 with God Himself speaking through the Prophet David.

(2).  God did get mad at the majority of a whole generation except the children under 20 and the two spies, Caleb and Joshua, who gave a minority report that the Promised Land could be taken.

(3).  After 40 years of providing food, water, and miracles and watching the people in the wilderness, God decided based on their behavior of 40 years and what He could see in their hearts that “they always go astray in their hearts.”

(4). In fact, God decided that these same people had never known the ways of God in the first place.  Later in the passage we will come to Hebrews 3:14, what I think of as the very gist of the book of Hebrews, and what is the resolution we must make later between the Security of the Believer and the Falling Away:

“For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end….”  (Hebrews 3:14)

Notice how carefully the wording is chosen such that it does not talk about Christians.  What it talks about is “partakers of Christ”.  These are believers that have gone all the way in the four kinds of sown seed as expressed by Christ, the only kind was the seed that brought forth much fruit.  Bluntly this is stated many ways in the book of Hebrews.  I don’t think we appreciate how blunt it can be.  And what it is saying is that the real believers, the real children of God, or whatever phrase from the Bible you chose to use, are those that make it to the end and go into the promised land.  It is horrible to have to say, but realistic, that most of the children of Israel in the wilderness were not true partakers, and most of the church members in our churches today may not be true partakers.  As we go along in Hebrews, we will find the characteristics of the partakers that make it all the way, and enumerate them; and we will find the characteristics of the participants in the Falling Away and enumerate them also.

You noticed that we started with an exegesis of 3:7, temporarily skipping the first six verses.  Verse one is interesting in that it addresses the “holy brethren” and refers to them as “partakers of the heavenly calling” in spite of the fact that later in 3:14 he has to divide some of them into “partakers of Christ” and some into those who will not hold fast to the end with what they started at the beginning.  Verse one always starts with asking the reader to consider Christ Jesus as the Apostle and High Priest of “our confession.”  I also spoke earlier of the relationship between the Falling Away and the Priesthood of Christ.  In fact, we would have to say that the book of Hebrews is more on the Priesthood of Christ, secondly on the Falling Away and on the Priesthood of Believers.  Verses 3:2-6 elaborate on the Priesthood of Christ:  (1) a faithful priest to the God that appointed Him; in other words, Christ was obedient even unto death and never rebellious; (2) Jesus was faithful like Moses; (3) Even as the builder of the house has more honor than the house itself, so Jesus is worthy of more honor than Moses; (4) While every house is built by someone, God is the owner of all things, and God has made Christ His Son head of the house of the church.

I promised to save at all the warnings against Falling Away for a later section; but as a book about the Falling Away, I want you to notice how often they are encountered in Hebrews.  It would be easy to overlook in reading; and my how casually, seemingly, does Paul and the Spirit of God through Paul remind us how easy it would be to fall away.  For example here in 3:6, “whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.”  (Hebrews 3:6)

Okay, what more can we do for the Hebrews 3:1 to 4:11 passage.  Preliminary to a conclusion on this passage, I will for continuity sake mention the fact that the same chapter 3 passage that started with Jesus as the High Priest ends in 4:15-16 with facts about Jesus as the High Priest; and that there are other cautions to church members about Falling Away in 4:14–”let us hold fast our confession, in 4:11–”lest anyone fall like the example of disobedience in the wilderness, and in 4:1–to fear that you might come short of the promise of eternal rest offered to today’s believers.  However our primary thrust in Bible study now is the Falling Away and we come to another section in the passage, Hebrews 3:16-19, where it describes exactly “who” rebelled.  I will paraphrase the passage.  Who was it that heard and rebelled? It was all who came out of Egypt.  It was all who were led by Moses.  That pretty well describes all of the so-called children of Israel except it leaves out which will be amplified later, the children under 20 years of age.  And another “who” asks:  with whom was God angry?  These are sort of like rhetorical questions in that Paul does not wish anyone to see what truly happened to the vast majority of the Hebrews.  And here we find that God was angry with them for the full 40 years.  His patience was shown in that He did not make a judgment call on them as far as their eternal existence until the 40 years was up.  God was angry with those who sinned, and with those whose carcasses fell in the wilderness.  A third description of the “who” comes next:  who did God swear that they would not enter His rest, well, you guessed it the same children who did not obey.  And the giant conclusion about the who’s in that why could they not enter God’s rest, the answer being “because of unbelief.”

I think that Jesus discouraged often attempts on the part of disciples to separate the sheep from the goats, the partakers of Christ from the not partakers of Christ, believers from the evil hearts of unbelief in the churches, because He knew that Paul would deal so thoroughly with the subject in Hebrews and other books.

  1. The Falling Away passage in Hebrews 8:7-13 wherein God makes two statements about the Falling Away:  God found fault with the house of Israel, and God “disregarded” those that He took by the hand to lead out of the land of Egypt.  Once again, at the beginning of Hebrews, 8:1-6, mention is made of Jesus as the High Priest, this time as the Minister of the Sanctuary and of the “true tabernacle”; and is appendixed in 9:11-28 with more of Jesus as the High Priest.

“Because finding fault with them, He says:  ‘Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah–not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD.”  (Hebrews 8:7-9)

(1).  God later in the wilderness found fault with the vast majority of the house of Israel that He took by the hand to lead out of Egypt.

(2).  God promised new hope in the Promised Land with a new covenant that He would make with the house of Israel.

(3).  This new covenant would be different from the old covenant that God made with the forefathers when He lead them out of Egypt.

(4).  The vast majority of the people did not keep {“continue in”} the old covenant that God made with them.  This covenant was made in the Ten Commandments, three months out of Egypt and at Sinai.

“And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you in eagle’s wings, and brought you unto myself.  Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, {God’s demands in the covenant to obey His voice as spoken in the Ten Commandments} and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: {God’s promises in the covenant} for all the earth is mine:  and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.”  (Exodus 19:3-6)

(5).  God disregarded the vast majority of the people rescued from Egypt; and brother to be “disregarded” by the God of heaven, the maker of the Universe and history, the keeper of eternal rest through Christ, is the ultimate in being shunned.

2-2:  Warnings to Church members of Our Generation Not to Fall Away.

Warning or Cautions for other generations not to Fall Away start early and continue to the end in the book of Hebrews.

  1. Warning and Caution #1 in Hebrews 2:1-4, a warning not to neglect the great salvation. It starts mildly in verse one with the caution to pay attention to what you have heard and are hearing, “lest we drift away.”  Certainly drifting away from what we have heard is the beginning of the Falling Away.
  2. Warning or Caution #2 in Hebrews 3:5 where we are only the house, later to be developed in Hebrews as the true tabernacle of God and later as the assembly or church of the Firstborn, if we hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. {Note:  we might start making a chart here of the characteristics of the partakers of Christ versus those that fall away.  The two characteristics of partakers here would be hold fast the confidence to the end, and rejoicing firmly in the hope to the end, and naturally of those that fall away the opposite, let go of the faith and stop rejoicing in the hope of the calling of Christ.
  3. Warning or Caution #3 in Hebrews 3:8 not to “harden your hearts as in the rebellion”. This states that it is possible to harden your heart, and that it is possible to rebel as the children of Israel did.  The characteristic of a partaker of Christ would be keep a soft, warm heart whereas those that fall by the wayside have a hardened heart.  Lest we forget these three characteristics, a table is started below.
  4. Warning or Caution #4 in Hebrews 3:12, unmissably a warning in that it starts with the words “Beware, brethren…” and continues to warn against an “evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” Notice here, it is from the living God; for many in the wilderness did, and can today, not depart from “gods” which are not really living.  The characteristics of partakers would be a good heart of belief which does not depart from the living God and the fallen the opposite.
  5. Warning or Caution #5 in Hebrews 3:13 that it is possible to be hardened through the “deceitfulness of sin” so that Christ believers or partakers are to “exhort one another daily” if possible.
  6. Warning or Caution # 6 in Hebrews 3:14 where we are become partakers of Christ only if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence or faith to the end. The Falling Away would be to drop the confidence some where along the line.

{NOTE:  do you have any more doubts that the book of Hebrews is about the Falling Away, and do you wonder how you missed it in your original readings.}

warnings table_001

  1. Warning or Caution # 7 in Hebrews 3:15 not to harden your hearts as in the rebellion. The Fallen would be those who rebel, the partakers would be those who obey.
  2. Warning or Caution #8 in Hebrews 4:1 where having also received a promise from God of rest, let us fear that we will come short of the promise of entering eternal rest.
  3. Warning or Caution #9 in Hebrews 4:2 that the gospel was preached to the house of Israel as well as to us, but it did not have the internal mixture of faith and therefore did not eternally profit Israel.

  1. Warning or Caution #10 in Hebrews 4:7 that there is a point of no return in the hearing of the voice of God and of a responsive heart. That point of no return is called “Today” and is different for each person, up to a certain extent.  There seems to be a group or social aspect to it in that all in the wilderness after 40 years were rejected.  The latest word of Hebrews, so far, was that they were disregarded because they did not keep the covenant made with God at Sinai, most of which was the 10 commandments.  Disregarded would be sort of like cast aside or forgotten, no longer of any value to God, and what a sad state of affairs.  Often the Falling Away group before and after the decision by God is called house. The house may be a tribe, a clan, or an assembly such as a church.  How sad to think that a whole church can be discarded by God as without value.  And it can happen today.  The message of Hebrews is that tomorrow is too late.  Do you think numbers mean any thing to God when they are rebellious?  He destroyed 120,000 of the Hebrew children in one day in the wilderness; He destroyed the whole earth of people during the Flood; He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness; and the plan on the Day of the LORD is to again destroy all of the earth and the heavens.  And if you believe that God is in control with all things continuing to consist through Christ, and even though the final destruction on this earth is on automatic control, then God in the Tsunami destroyed approximately 200,000 people.  Why can this not also be for wickedness since almost all on this earth are wicked and have not kept God’s covenant in the 10 commandments?  It is only by the grace of God that we all were not destroyed during the recent Indonesian Tsunami.  It is only by the grace of God that the total destruction of the universe did not happen today, because tomorrow is too late.  God would be just in doing it tomorrow in light of the wickedness, immorality, and evil hearts of unbelief.  What crushes God most is the evil heart of unbelief.  The consistent, always straying for His plan and will.  The incessant no knowing His way.
  2. Warning or Caution #11 in Hebrews 4:11 not to fall as the example of disobedience in the wilderness which prohibits a entering into the eternal rest of God. Many say to me, you are never going to retire.  Well, my real retirement is my eternal rest in heaven where I cease from this earth’s boot camp, from my wanderings in the wilderness to an eternal home.  In the mean time I seek to “work out my own salvation with fear and trembling.” You see, God really owes us nothing for any reason except through Christ, and except as we are partakers of Christ.  Why does every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God give us this example of the Falling Away? The answer is simple:  it is exactly that, an example of what not to do.  It for 40 years was rebellion; it was an evil heart of unbelief; it was disobedience to the leadership of God through Moses; and it was constant violation of the Ten Commandments.  We are not talking about one or two times, but for 40 years; and in the next chapter we will look at “The History of the First Falling Away” from the Old Testament.  Even as Pastor James in the book of James wrote that Scriptures, and the stories of the men in them like Job and Elijah, are given to us for examples, so also the massive Falling Away of the wilderness rebellion is given to us as an example of the Falling Way that must and will happen before the Second Coming.  Since The collective Falling Away is inevitable, what can we do:  we can individually keep from being a victim or a participant in the Falling Away.  We can be like the children under 20, or like Caleb who had the “can-do” attitude that we can do what God commanded us; or we can be like Joshua who took the mantle of leadership from Moses and led the people into the Promised Land.
  3. Warning #12 in Hebrews 4:12,13 where every word that has proceeded out of the mouth of God and through the Prophets and Apostles, alias recorded in the Bible, is dynamically alive. It cuts right into the quick of every individual to the fine point of dividing the soul and the spirit; the Bible is actually a living entity that actively discerns the thought and intents of the heart.  We must give account to every action and thought based on those words, and every account and thought is daily hacked before God.  Nothing is hidden:  all is visible to God.warnings table_002

{Note:  Some of the warnings are more on the positive side as encouragements, and they center around what Jesus has done for us and is doing for us as High Priest so that we will come to them in another chapter on “Jesus, Our Great High Priest”.  Is it short of gullible to think that the very Son of God, the Christ present at Creation as the mediating Cause, the Jesus Christ who died on the cross for the sins of the world can be called by us as “Our Great High Priest”.  No, that is the “priesthood of believers”.  Lets we become far too negative and weary, Hebrews 4:14 is more on the positive side in terms of Jesus our Great High Priest.}

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  (Hebrews 4:14-16)

We don’t have to fall or fail.  Consider this preliminary look at some of the benefits of Jesus as our High Priest as a preview of things to come.

  1. Our Great High Priest, Jesus the Son of God, has passed from a life here on earth to heaven;
  2. His passing from earth to heaven is an example of success that is encouragement for us “to hold fast our original confession;
  3. He went through on earth all the temptations that we go through–did it without sin–and can now at the right hand of God the Father both sympathize with our plight and make intercession to God the Father for our sins;
  4. We are to come “boldly” to the throne of grace in prayer, and we can find in the time of need both grace and mercy.}
  5. Warning #13 in Hebrews 5:11 that we like those to whom Hebrews by originally written may “become dull of hearing” so that we do not receive the “much of say” of Hebrews, or the rest of the Bible, so that we can not understand “what is hard to explain”. How frustrating it must have been for Paul, having received all that information for the Ascended Christ in Arabia after his conversion, then having retreated to Tarsus for seven years where he re-read all the Old Testament, recording on manuscripts all the Old Testament quotes to include in his writing of 14 New Testament books; and to think about the unreceptive recipients dullness in hearing.  I think you know about the famous II Timothy 3:3-5 passage about the Falling Away where it happens as church members “will not endure sound doctrine”, and out of itching ears based on what they want, they seek out teachers of itching ears to comfort their ears, teachers and preachers that will encourage them as they turn away from the truth and turn into fables.  Well, here in Hebrews 5:11 is the preliminary step to itching ears. Itching ears start with dullness of hearing.  Catch it right now:  do not be dull of hearing on the Words of God.  Listen and heed what is in the Bible, and let the Bible say what it wants to say.  What is your motivation?  Simple, it is the eternal rest of God!  That is what is at stake, eternity!
  6. Warning #14 in Hebrews 5:12 where Paul, having been in all the churches, sees in his mind’s eye the church members; and reminds them that by this amount of time in their Christ life {hopefully it is more like 20 years than the 40 of the Falling Away, and I do think this is more preventive in Bible instruction than corrective} they should be teachers. However, rather than being able to teach the Bible, someone must go back over with them “the first principles of the oracles of God”.  They still in their Christ life need more milk, like a baby, instead of meat like a mature partaker of the nature of Christ. {In the table, we will show in a blue color the point of which we have passed from the characteristics of the Falling Away into the Preventive Measures such as to be Bible teachers.}

{Note:  While we are at this point in Hebrews, 5:12-6:3, I would like to say a few preliminary things about “doctrine” before we come to the second half of this commentary.  It will be sort of like taking the example of Paul in the Word of God “to lay again the first principles of the oracles of God.”  That is really what basic doctrines are, the first principles of every word that has proceeded out of the mouth of God. They are to be heard, learned, and heeded in life.  Doctrine or teachings of the Bible–the two words are almost synonymous–are alive to the extent that they are like milk or meat to the spiritual body like food is to the physical body.  Remember Jesus reminded us at the same time He did Satan that “man shall not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  Yesterday on television I heard part of an interview with Billy Graham, quite aged and raged by Parkinson’s, telling that if he had it to do over again he would study the Word more. Furthermore the passage in Hebrews 5:14 makes a close relationship between doctrine and the life style ability to discern between good and evil.  Imagine that, the extent in your Christ life to which you have the ability to tell the difference of what is really good and what is really evil, is determined by the level of Bible teachings, milk or meat, that go into your spiritual body.

Another thing that I would like to point out from the 5:12-6:3 passage is that there are “elementary principles of Christ” (6:1) such as repentance from dead works, faith toward God, baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement; and then there are the more advanced doctrines of perfection.  You will find the second half of this book deals with both the (1) first principles and (2) advanced doctrines of perfection.  We are very fortunate to have these lists; and as much as possible I have also tried to deal with those “first principles” in my recently distributed book, written for my kids and grandkids, SOME SOUNDS OF A SOUND FAITH.}

“AND THIS WE WILL DO IF GOD PERMITS”.  (Hebrews 6:3)

I hope you have noticed the transition here in chapter 5 and 6.  We have passed from the example and characteristics of the Falling Away into the more encouraging and preventive measures to stay away from the Falling Away, starting more and more to take our minds and hearts off our own problems, focusing on Jesus our Great High Priest with recognition of the grace and mercy available, also the forgiveness of sins as One no less than our Great High Priest Himself is at the right hand of God daily and hourly to make intercession for our sins; and then in the word of the Bible “being careful for nothing {nothing is too small or large} but by prayer and supplication let our requests be made known to God and the peace which passeth all understanding shall keep our hearts and minds.”

Hebrews 6:3 above is a positive affirmation that this is what we are going to do, God willing.

  1. Warning #15 in Hebrews 6:4-8 has scared a lot of people, leading groups as large as the Methodists to believe in what they call “falling from grace”. However, it is really saying the opposite:  even as it is impossible for you to crucify a second time for yourself the Son of God–remember how Scripture tells us that “we are crucified with Christ”–it is impossible to first be (1) enlightened, (2) to taste the heavenly gift, (3) be a partaker of the Holy Spirit, (4) to taste the good Word of God, (5) to taste the powers of the age to come; and then to fall away.  In other words, what we have been saying all along is that all the Falling Away does is to separate the real partakers of Christ from the superficial partakers of Christ.

And in Hebrews 6:7,8 the Apostle Paul with the analogy of the rain and fruitful herbs is reminding us of the parable of the seed and sower that Jesus taught.  Three out of four kinds of seed spread by the Word of God, from Jesus or any preacher, do not permanently bear fruit.  It takes time to tell which of the seed will be choked out by the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of sin, which seed is planted on shallow soil or rocky, and so on.  But if you are worried about what the seed planted in your hear and mind has done, that is a good sign.  You can turn it around at any point as long as it is still called today.  Your High Priest is there and available; the meat of the word is available; the challenge of the high calling of Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith is available; and this also we will do, God willing!

  1. Warning #16 in Hebrews 6:9-12 where we truly become optimistic about some church members whom Paul has heard about, no doubt from Timothy, Titus, or one of the many other messengers going back to Paul. We hear of “beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you”; we hear of “things that accompany {or go with} salvation”; and we hear of “God will not forget your work and labor of love, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister”. And the real preventive warning is this:  that each one of you show that same diligence above, recorded of some we hear about, all the way “to the full assurance of hope until the end.  Further “do not become sluggish.  “Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises”.  (Hebrews 6:12)
  2. Preventive Warning #17 and encouragement and comfort in Hebrews 6:13-20 where we learn how impossible it is for God to lie, where we have the security of the “anchor to our soul”, it is our HOPE, both secure and steadfast. Jesus has entered the Presence behind the vail of the eternal temple: Jesus is our forerunner as such of what we expectantly hope to do as our High Priest forever after the likeness of Melchizedek. {And as your would imagine from this point on Hebrews gets into the major theme of the Great High Priest.  However we will quickly continue to list the sprinklings of Warnings, which have more turned to encouragement and comfort in the book of Hebrews.}
  3. Encouragement #18 in Hebrews 7:19 where through the Priesthood of Jesus which allows our own priesthood of believers, “we draw near to God” by way of the better hope in the Priesthood of Jesus than was the hope in the law at Mount Sinai. Yes, we have a better chance than those who stood at Mount Sinai; and lest you think God is impartial, consider than during the three days in the tomb Jesus went to the intermediary state of Hades to preach the Gospel to all those same people of Old Testament times.
  4. Encouragement #19 in Hebrews 7:25 where our Priest Jesus is able to “save to the uttermost”–and that is all we need, salvation to the uttermost–those who come to God through that Priest. {Sorry I can not contain sharing now what 7:26 tells us about the characteristics of this High Priest: (1) holy, (2) harmless, (3) undefiled, (4) separate from sinners, (5) now become higher than the heavens, (6) does not need to daily offer sacrifices for His own sins and those of the people, He did it once for all on Calvary. (not for His own sins as He was without sins, but once for all for all the sins of the world)   Wow, as we preachers would say at Ouachita, “that will preach”.  You will see this again as we have more to say in a chapter on the Priesthood of Christ.}
  5. Encouragement #20 in Hebrews 8:10-13 of the new covenant which can prevent an individual Falling Away based on both the Priesthood of Jesus and the Priesthood of Believers. However, I want to warn you before you read that passage below that you based on the teachings of Romans are part of the new “house of Israel”.  Like Paul wrote in Romans “not Israel is of the house of Israel”.  The new Jew, according to Romans, became both Jews and Gentiles; in fact, during the Fulness of Gentiles time which we are still in but about the see the end of it, the house of Israel is more Gentiles than Jews.

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD:  I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  {now get ready for the Priesthood of Believers, what you just read was the fact of the new birth, what Jesus referred to in John 14 as God and Him coming to make residence in the individual heart} NONE OF THEM SHALL TEACH HIS NEIGHBOR, AND NONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’ FOR ALL SHALL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST OF THEM TO THE GREATEST OF THEM.  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’”  (Hebrews 8:10-12)

Also recall that while most of the house of Israel in the First Century and beyond rejected Jesus as their Great High Priest, the remnant was very large and significant of people like Peter, and Paul, Matthew, and so with the Apostles, many churches in the First Century and beyond; although we still wait for something to happen in the nation of Israel as the rapidly approach end of the Fulness of Gentiles happens.  Perhaps there is validity to those like B. H. Carroll who believe at the same time there comes to hopelessness of the Battle of Armageddon as the camp of the saints retreats around Jerusalem, and before Christ intervenes to destroy the Man of Sin and his army, then 144,000 Jews will be saved in one day.  Of course, it could happen in less than one day.

{We will conclude our developments of the warnings and encouragement in Hebrews here, although there are more in the second half of the book into which we have already intruded for the sake of turning despair into hope.  It is true that the Falling Away of our generation is inevitable.  As surely as the reality of the Second Coming is the preliminary reality of the Falling; but each individual does not have to participate. Increasing individual Christians, as I emphasize in my volume 3 commentary, “Christ for Individuals”, must break from the dominant downward trend in churches and denomination, to establish a personal relationship and priesthood of believers relationship with God through Christ, in prayer and Bible, that descends the dominant trend of the next few years.

Also you will note in the drastic change at Hebrews 6:3 of what we will do in the rest of our study of Hebrews.  Increasingly it becomes more about Advanced Doctrine, about the Priesthood of Christ, and about the Priesthood of Believers.  Don’t be mistaken this is exciting teachings about Christ and our benefits in Christ.  The above will sort of be our outline of the commentary to follow, with the exception of the next chapter where we must consider from the Old Testament the history of the Falling Away, supplemented with explanations from other parts of the New Testament, in order to better understand it.  A lot of words have been utilized from God in the Bible to explain what happened to a whole nation that God called out of Egypt to bless and preserve as His own, with the exception of a few, that He chose to bless and the covenant failed:  words like rebellion, falling away, disregarded, disobedience; and I think we all have become curious to know the details of exactly what happened in those 40 years in the wilderness.  For one thing as Pastor James says in the book of James, they are our examples to make sure in this case that we do not the same thing.}

2-3:  A Summary of The Table of this Chapter.

To summarize the Table that developed in this chapter on Partakers in Christ versus Participants in the Falling Away is to also summarize the whole chapter. You may want to refer back to page 26 and 27 where the Table is shown. Remember this was the 20 warnings, later turned into encouragements, that we found in the first 8 chapters of Hebrews.  {Since this is 8 out of the 13 chapters in Hebrews, you have made a good beginning on what Hebrews is all about.  And temporarily in the next chapter we will go from what is quoted in Hebrews to the source itself in the Old Testament history, and we will briefly look at some of the other references in the New Testament to the Falling Away.  Mainly we will take the places in the New Testament where it is quoted about the disobedience and rebellion events from the Old Testament to get how the New Testament explains those quotes.

 

The Bible as the Standard for faith and practice.

It is the Word of God, divine in

origin, absolute in authority,

sufficient in message, high

fidelity in communications with

the hermeneutics of the ASPI,

dynamically alive, and

self-interpretative with the ASPI

version (I Peter 1:21)

In spite of the obvious distortions of the Falling Away from the Bible of traditional denominations, sometimes even worse from new non-denominations groups that cater to the whims of the world, we can sometimes miss their traditions of the past where the Bible in many statements of faith was listed as “the sole criterion of faith and practice”.  “Listen to what the Spirit says today thru me”, taking the quote of Isaiah and departing into all kinds of isogesis (reading meaning into the Bible, instead of exegesis which is reading the meaning out}, is a classic example of the bad Bible hermeneutics {just rules in the Bible for proper understanding} of:  (1) failure to get verses and chapters and books of the Bible in the total context of the Bible {quite often the work of amateurs in the Bible with few years of Bible experience and study}; (2) the victims of Special Revelation that have the gall, many each year, to think in the Holy Zinger words of I Corinthians 14 that either the “Word of God came out of them, or the Word came to them only”, normally the same people of the rest of I Corinthians 14 which fail to heed Paul on Bible to speak only known tongues in public worship, reserving unknown tongues for private devotionals, and also who consider they alone with their ministry and church must slight and ignore other Christians, missionaries, and missions across the world as if they are nothing, also practicing “sheep-stealing” where other men have labored for years; and (3) do not compare scripture with scripture as advised by Paul, preferring some kind of hunt and peck system that keeps them limited to about 300 verses of the Bible {See the recommended “All Scripture Approach and Movement”.}

Above is another classic example, there is nothing new under the sun and we just keep each generation repeating the same follies of Bible interpretation, one of taking one verse out of context and as preacher boys said while learning homiletics and hermeneutics, “going every  where preaching”.  However it is no joke, for this is the way new denominations and divisions in Christianity are started.  It is what Bernard Ramm in Christian Bible hermeneutics would call “special revelations” where some strive to add to the message of the Bible.

This time of the year as the nuts and weirdos come out of the woodwork and strive to increase their self-serving thrusts of the whole year, we must express in Christianity and in the real body of Christ presently on earth our appreciation for the STANDARD, the Bible, for all to believe and practice.  Also to express amazement for the wisdom and grace of God to take over 7,000 years and 40 authors from the human side to give us a Book that is a light for our path and a guide for life and living.

Even as “a little leaven leaveneth the whole loaf”, so is the bad influence of one gone astray with tangents, diversions, and sin centered around Scripture, and sometimes they are even “that sort” of II Timothy that are to be avoided, at all cost, by other Christians.

http://biblecombibleman.com/StandardFaithPractice.html

http://www.sungrist.org/BibleStandardFaithPractice.pdf