Peter and Dispensationalism #3

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:15,16 KJV).

What can the Apostle Peter teach us about dispensational Bible study?

In early Acts, Peter preached that Messiah Jesus would return to destroy those Jews who incessantly rejected Him (Acts 2:32-40; Acts 3:19-26). The Prophet Stephen said he saw Jesus Christ standing at His Heavenly Father’s right hand in the third heaven, ready to come and judge apostate Israel (Acts 7:55,56). In a fit of rage, unbelieving Israel killed Holy-Spirit-filled Stephen… with Jesus-hating Saul of Tarsus encouraging and approving (7:57–8:3). Saul, along with the other Israeli Jesus-haters, should have been immediately consumed, burned up in God’s wrath. Yet, no wrath came! Why?

Thirty years later, Saul, now the Apostle Paul, reflecting on his salvation experience in Acts chapter 9, wrote in 1 Timothy 1:12-16: [12] And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; [13] Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. [14] And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. [15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save [not punish!!!!] sinners; of whom I am chief. [16] Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

As Peter learned (cf. today’s Scripture), God had given those Christ-rejecters in Israel yet another chance to escape that wrath. Paul was first to be saved into the Church the Body of Christ. As God operates our Dispensation of Grace, grace, love, mercy, and all longsuffering will dominate, thereby delaying divine wrath!

Peter and Dispensationalism #2

Monday, August 3, 2015

“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:15,16 KJV).

What can the Apostle Peter teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Once God instated our mystery program, there was such a radical departure from the prophetic program… even the Bible scoffers recognized it! Today’s Scripture is Peter’s response to those who questioned and derided impending divine judgment.

Notice verses 3 and 4: “[3] Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, [4] And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” In other words, “Oh Peter, you and your fellow ‘apostles’ and your ‘Messiah’ Jesus have talked for years about God’s wrath coming upon us! So, where is it? Where is that ‘flaming fire,’ God’s vengeance on our sin?”

You can sense the scorn in their words, the same supercilious attitude in the minds of most people today. “Oh, you Christians, fanatics, have been preaching Jesus’ return in wrath for centuries—yea 2,000 years! He is not coming back! It is bluffing meant to scare us into believing the Gospel!” (Peter was also accused of lying about that wrath of God, “following cunningly devised fables;” 2 Peter 1:16.)

Peter wrote in chapter 3, verse 9: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Peter learned from Paul (cf. today’s Scripture) that wrath was delayed. God is longsuffering—His patience postpones that wrath, so He can save people into the Body of Christ before that wrath comes! Peter exhorts his audience to read Paul’s epistles, that they too learn that wrath is real, is still coming, but is momentarily postponed.

*NOTE: You are encouraged to watch the 2015 “Grace School of the Bible” Family Bible Conference here. You will learn much!

Peter and Dispensationalism #1

Sunday, August 2, 2015

“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:15,16 KJV).

What can the Apostle Peter teach us about dispensational Bible study?

God’s impending judgment is connected to the Old Testament prophecies of Israel’s coming Messiah (Deuteronomy 32:22-43; Psalm 2:4-5; Psalm 68:1-8; Isaiah 34:1-15; Jeremiah 25:29-33; Joel 1:1–2:32; Nahum 1:1-8; Zechariah 14:12; et al.). Hence, John the Baptist, just before Messiah (Christ) Jesus began His earthly ministry, warned his audience of that “wrath to come,” when Jesus would baptize Israel “with fire,” “to burn up the chaff [lost Jews] with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:7-12). Jesus Himself forewarned of this future “burning,” this “fire,” when angels would gather unbelieving sinners and “cast [them] into a furnace of fire,” a place with “wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:30,40-42,49,50). At that Second Coming of Christ, the Jesus-rejecters (Matthew 24:37-41) and the Jewish-haters would be consumed and tossed into the lake of fire (Matthew 25:30,41-46).

In early Acts, Peter urged Israel—who had just crucified Jesus—to quickly repent and accept Jesus as Lord and Christ because He was coming back to judge His foes—them (Acts 2:32-40)! One year later, Stephen said he saw Jesus standing at His Heavenly Father’s right hand, ready to return and pour out that wrath on still-rebellious Israel (Acts 7:51-55). Literally moments away from God’s wrath falling on wicked mankind, just before Jesus Christ came back in “flaming fire” to take vengeance on rebels (2 Thessalonians 1:8,9), He returned in grace and mercy, to save the leader of Israel’s rebellion—Saul of Tarsus. Yes, God took Satan’s chief man and made him the Apostle Paul!

Writing near his life’s end, Peter did not instruct his audience to read the Old Testament or Four Gospels to learn about that delay in wrath. Why? We only learn the mystery from Paul, which is exactly where Peter directed his readers in today’s Scripture!

A Grace Study Bible

Saturday, August 1, 2015

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2 KJV).

Today, we reflect on three full years of the arC Ministries’ Grace Study Bible Project!

Nearly 100 years ago, the Scofield Study Bible was published. It was a work that popularized—not invented—dispensational Bible study. For a century, the Church the Body of Christ has used this monumental aid to edify itself. It was (and still is) useful in recovering precious Bible truths that had been lost for centuries, doctrines still pushed aside by denominational hierarchies that prefer to be the “authority” with their “tradition of men.”

Three years ago today, after much prayer and consideration, I began the formation of a new grace study Bible. Using the King James Bible, my goal in this project is to build on Dr. Scofield’s foundation laid long ago. We are (and will always be) indebted to that brother for his faithful service, his submission to the Holy Spirit to produce a profitable study Bible. (Incidentally, Dr. Scofield led a missionary to Christ, that missionary led a preacher to Christ, that preacher led a woman to Christ, that woman led Mom to Christ, and Mom led me to Christ.) What took Dr. Scofield decades to learn, we can acquire in a fraction of that time. Brother Scofield did not live long enough to progress any further in Bible understanding, but in the century since he has gone to heaven, a faithful remnant within the Body of Christ has expanded upon Dr. Scofield’s insightful notes. We recognize where he was wrong in certain areas, and we can improve those areas in our understanding and study.

In brief, some stats about our grace study Bible. Approximately 25 percent of the Old Testament and 65 percent of the New Testament have been annotated and exist as first (some second) rough draft notes. How many more years it will take remains to be seen, but rest assured, what cannot be condensed into marginal notes or footnotes, will be, Lord willing, expanded into a full-Bible commentary book series! Stay tuned in the coming years and thank you for your prayer in this regard! :)

arC Ministries Turns 8!

Friday, July 31, 2015

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20 KJV).

To our Lord Jesus Christ’s glory, arC Ministries celebrates its eighth anniversary today!

Eight years ago, as an 18-year-old college student, I endeavored to use Facebook to create a Bible study group for teens and college students. Thus, “ambassadors for the risen Christ ministries” was born. As I grew more in God’s Word rightly divided, I grew increasingly aware of the need for additional ministry projects. The more I had been learning drove me to share those precious truths with others. That eventually led me to look for supplementary avenues of ministry.

During these past eight years, God’s grace has enabled us to continue the original group on Facebook. In addition, we have branched out quite a bit in other areas. This devotionals blog has been operating for over four years now. For the last three years, we have focused on developing and drafting a grace study Bible (entering its fourth year tomorrow). Other ministry projects include a 22-week newspaper ministry column (this devotionals blog’s predecessor), a YouTube channel with home Bible study videos, a Twitter feed, a full-length Bible studies blog, a college campus ministry, a nursing-home ministry, and our Bible-question-and-answer blog. We hear from people all over the world!

Our name says it all: we serve the risen Lord Jesus Christ, not some “dead Jew” and not ourselves. The original motto of our ministry was, “To equip ambassadors, and to encourage others to become ambassadors.” Our primary goal is to teach Christians, and our secondary goal is to evangelize the lost world. Eight years later, we still endeavor to uphold God’s Word (King James Bible) rightly divided, whether it be in edifying the Christian brethren or preaching the clear Gospel of the Grace of God to this lost and dying world. For those of you who have been with us from day 1, thank you for your prayer and encouragement. We pray for you upon every remembrance! There is still plenty more for the Lord Jesus Christ to do in and through us, so let us give Him all the praise and glory as we enter Year 9! :)

Cracknels

Thursday, July 30, 2015

“And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child” (1 Kings 14:3 KJV).

Just what in the world are “cracknels?”

As you know, our King James Bible is belittled for its “archaic language.” Modern Bible translators and publishers, greatly endeavoring to recommend and $ell their product, remind us that our “old” King James is “irrelevant,” “obsolete,” and “hard-to-understand.” If we really want to learn what God has to say, they claim we need an “updated” Bible. If we want a “richer” Word of God, we must appeal to them with their “advanced” scholarship and “new” manuscript readings. The rank and file Bible reader (consumer) repeats these “scholarly words of wisdom,” and discourages other Christians from using the “old-fashioned” King James Bible. Yes, Christians launch an attack against the Bible!!!

The English language is a very rich pool of words, but, unfortunately, our vocabulary has become very limited in recent decades. There are countless words today that we English speakers no longer use. Elegant speech and majestic writing is largely “archaic.” People want to “dumb down” the Bible, having it speak the “language of the street.” Such mentality popularizes and $ells “contemporary Bible paraphrases.”

What does “cracknels” mean? We do not need a Hebrew dictionary or Bible commentary, which would probably contain the anti-KJV comment, “‘Cracknels’ is a poor translation!” Firstly, we can use some context clues. “Cracknels” is used in conjunction with “ten loaves [of bread]” and “a cruse of honey.” Perhaps “cracknels” are a grain-related food item? Secondly, we can find a decent English dictionary—for example, The Oxford English Dictionary or Webster’s 1828 English Dictionary—and… horror of horrors!!!!… learn a new word. Cracknel” is “a light, crisp, savory biscuit.” It can also be “small pieces of crackling.” Incidentally, here in southern Louisiana, we Cajuns are known for “cracklins,” or fried pork skins.

When teaching the King James Bible, one does not need to remove the “archaic” words (that generates doubt concerning the Bible text). He should leave the archaic words in the text and then define the word for his students. Fellow Bible teachers, that is how we expand our vocabulary and generate faith in the Bible!

Our 175th Bible Q&A: “Is Acts 16:31 a sufficient Gospel message?

Jesus and Dispensationalism

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

“…And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (Luke 4:17-21 KJV).

What can the Lord Jesus in His earthly ministry teach us about dispensational Bible study?

For His first recorded sermon, Jesus visited his hometown (Nazareth) synagogue on the Sabbath and read from the great Isaiah scroll, chapter 61: “[1] The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; [2] To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; [3] To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

The Berean Bible student will note today’s Scripture lacks Isaiah’s complete prophecy. Jesus said only part of these Scriptures was “fulfilled in [their] ears.” He read about His ministry of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom and His healing miracles, but He intentionally skipped the prophecies about “vengeance” (Tribulation and wrath at His Second Coming) and “comfort” (Millennial Kingdom). Why? It was not time to fulfill them! His audience stared at Him, recognizing that He had abruptly stopped reading. They wondered, for He alone foreknew the dispensational nature of Isaiah 61:1-3! :)