月別アーカイブ: 2015年6月

What about works? For the “Old testament saints were saved by faith+works” crowd. 

It has never been about works. Ever. Nor will it ever be, salvation is the free, unconditional gift of God in Christ to them that believe. 

Here is an unedited exchange between myself and a dear friend in Christ concerning the myth that “the OT saints had to believe and follow the law for salvation” there are also some good explanations of some deeper things of the scriptures in the discourse. 
(My friend) Amen to all. 20 of the 22 times repent is used in the Nt it was exactly as you stated. Change of mind. The other two is feel sorry about. One can’t repent from sins for salvation as lordship salvation teaches. That would be works. One can’t make Jesus Lord. That’s a work of the Holy Spirt. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭3‬ KJB)

(My response)

The link opened, and It’s an excellent read! Thank you! 
While folks will argue that the OT myth of grace+works was the way back then, Paul makes it clear in Hebrews and Romans 4 that the law was a teacher, works never had anything to do with it concerning Gods grace. Only faith, nothing more, nothing less counts concerning salvation. 

Reward is another subject altogether apart from grace. 

Faith produces works, but works can’t produce faith. 

 To me, “Repent! And be baptised” is no different than a preacher today saying “believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and be baptised” 

 Personallly, I feel that is overkill, and preach nothing but God’s grace, I never connect the two in the same sentence, but I am careful to explain that baptism is an outward expression of an inner work of God, and a direct co-identification WITH CHRIST that confirms his faith in Christ IN THE BELIEVERS HEART, not to God.  

I do understand also that often it is very effective to address someone on the basis of their understanding and what they have been taught, so I don’t get too legalistic concerning a gospel message with Christ at its heart. 
I think much of the confusion today stems from one’s understanding of the word “repent”. there’s a thousand bunny trails on that one word alone, but it essentially means to “change your mind” unbelief to belief, and the fruit of a changed mind being manifested by a changed life (which is not always immediately evident outwardly), and obedience to the Lord’s command. 

Unbelievers don’t seek baptism. Unbelievers don’t repent either, however one defines the word.
 Another thing I think is there seems to be a misunderstanding about is how the Holy Ghost operated in the OT, and I don’t quite understand it just yet myself.

 I was meditating on that very thing last night, David’s words “don’t take away thy Holy Spirit from me”, and I wondered if David was just insecure, or fearful, guilt ridden or doubting his salvation because of his iniquity and rebellion, (as we have all done at one time or the other), or if it was a legitimate plea to God. 

It hit me last night as I went to bed that today we are “sealed” by the Holy Spirit because of the shed blood of Jesus on our behalf 2000 years ago. 

Then I remembered the passover seal of blood over the doors of the Jews in Egypt before the Exodus as a symbolic picture of the blood of Christ and the seal of the Holy Spirit. 

The blood of Christ was not shed until 1000 years after David. Was David “sealed”? Sure he was! 

Then I considered the the operation of the Holy Spirit in Jesus day.

 Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon his disciples (to me a picture of new life in Christ), not salvation, and then Peter preached “repent”, and be baptised to receive the Holy Ghost” in Acts 2:38. 

But the salvation came first. Faith came first. 

 Later, the Holy Ghost was sometimes given to the Jew by the laying on of hands. Then reading further, one sees the Gentiles and the children of Israel started receiving the Holy Spirit the moment they believed, without water baptism (changed their mind, “repented”, believed). 

The only way I could make any sense of it was that the Holy Ghost operated in a different manner to those who had saw Our Lord Jesus in person, “knew him after the flesh”, the Jews, who always looked for, or required a sign for THEIR OWN confirmation in their hearts, not to God. I still have a long way to go in understanding that though. 
But I do know this, the Holy Spirit didn’t come to unbelieving Jews or unbelieving Gentiles with no faith, faith had to come first, and faith being the only “work” required of us, or anyone before or after us, so I concluded that before the blood was shed, salvation was by the same faith as ours today, with the Lord’s time dealing directly with the Jews being a parenthetical lesson in the law and the futility of works and of seeking our own justification by self righteousness. 
Adam looked forward by faith, we look back, but the Jews were LOOKING AT their redeemer, or had saw him preach in person, yet they still had to have faith to believe that HE is the Lamb of God for their sins. 

The Holy Spirit’s operation at that time being the “sign giver” to the Jew, which is not the case today.

 In summation, I believe salvation has always been by God’s grace through faith in Jesus, and it is, and was irrevocable in any dispensation. 
 Adam looked to the Future, John the baptist spake of the Lamb’s PRESENCE, “BEHOLD!,* the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the WORLD* [emphasis mine] and his imminent, impending sacrifice that they all would soon witness, and we look BACK by faith to his past sacrifice of himself for our sins. 

 
Jesus told Thomas “ye believe because ye have seen, but blessed is he that hath not seen, yet believed”. Jesus was speaking of every believer who had not saw him in the flesh, past, present and future. He told the man who asked how to inherit eternal life “keep the commandments”, a factual statement, but a glaring impossibility. (Like “let me know how that’s working out for ya”),I perceive Jesus was assessing the man’s faith in his own self righteousness and anticipated his answer “but these I have kept from my youth”(a lie)., but Jesus was not confirming that it was possible to keep the law. My opinion is the grace+works crowd misinterprets this scriptural exchange also, using it as a basis for the OT faith+works doctrine.
 Even with miracles and signs, and Jesus right in front of them, folks refused to believe. It takes faith to believe. 

 You may think this is strange, but bear with me in my folly. 

A fourth thing I have noticed the grace+works for OT believers crowd use to support their doctrine is the book of Revelation, and other places where it says “each one being judged according to his works”. They interpret this saying is concerning salvation. 

That won’t apply to believer nor unbeliever concerning salvation.  

 Well? What do you mean by that? You say: 

 It seems pretty straightforward, just look at US. We are saved., sealed by the Holy Ghost. At our judgement, salvation won’t be the issue, and I believe the same principle will apply to the unbelievers.

Logically, if your name is not in the Lamb’s book of life, your’e not saved, so another book will be opened containing the names of the lost, and their deeds in the body. Their degree of punishment (the unbeliever’s reward) being determined by the deeds therein.

Why?, well, the unbelieving dead from Adam to the great white throne judgement won’t be resurrected until after the mellinial reign of Christ ( such not the case for believers before the cross, but I digress), it’s pretty obvious that those unbelievers are in hell today (soul and spirit) have already been judged concerning salvation, their salvation was determined the day they took their last breath, SO, apparently they too will ALSO be judged by their works NOT CONCERNING SALVATION, but to determine the degree of their eternal punishment and suffering in the lake of fire. (“and death and hell were cast into the lake of fire”) I can imagine all unbelievers burning, with some unbelievers up to their ankles, some up to their knees, some up to their necks, and some, like Stalin or Hitler swimming or drowning depending on the degree of their bad works weighed against their good works in the body AS UNBELIEVERS, all written down, all documented. (No punishment without a written conviction) again, not concerning salvation. 
 For us believers, again, niether will our judgement (Jesus will judge his own house first) be about salvation, but our eternal REWARDS and eternal commision in the Kingdom of God. 
 What say you? 
 I just rattled that off, I hope it makes sense, and is a blessing, not a curse to you. 

 Thank you for the link and the inspiration my brother.
Please let me know if this arrives. I think when I copied and pasted the scriptures they were hyperlinked. Please let me know if this opened ok. Would appreciate any comments on this especially scriptural/biblical inaccuracies. Also feel free to use any or all of it as God directs.

 

Have a blessed day.

 

<how was OT people saved.docx>

This fellow named Paul

This fellow named Paul? Who is this man? I have saw groups that called him a heretic, and groups that all but worship him. Both groups are misinformed, or just plain ignorant to the facts and the scriptures.

It seems many Christians today have a distorted opinion of the Apostle Paul, are misinformed, or have no clue at all about him, prompting this post.

While I do inject a bit of my own opinion in this post, t is based on a common sense inference of the scriptures and the historical record.

Most all of this information can be verified in Lukes account in Acts chapters 9, 22, and 26, and in Paul’s Epistles, Phillipians chapter 3, and others, as well as the historical record.

I pray it is a blessing to you in your study and understanding of the Scriptures.

This post needs revision and editing, which I will do, and add specific scriptural support later on.

Paul: Jewish apostle, of the tribe of Benjamin. (Philippians 3:5)

Paul was born Saul, in Tarsus, a free city of the Cilician province of Rome. (Acts 21:39-40) Tarsus is about 325 miles north of Jerusalem. Paul was A full Jew (Phillipians 3:5)and a free born Roman citizen (Acts 22:8). Paul was raised in Jerusalem. “From the first” (Acts 26:4).

Saul’s name was changed to Paul after he met our risen Lord on the road to Damascus. (Acts 13:9). Paul is the Greek equivalent of Saul.

Paul’s father was also a pharisee, (Acts 23:6) and Pharisees and priests begin their training at age 13, so it’s self evident that Paul’s father and family had been in Jerusalem for quite some time.

Paul had a sister and nephew in Jerusalem also. (Acts 23:16) They were not immigrants.

As a freeborn Roman citizen, with full privileges, Paul had unrestricted travel rights throughout the Roman Empire. He didn’t need a passport. This was a great asset to Paul’s ministry.

Saul was a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. Since Paul’s father was a Pharisee, his family either moved to Jerusalem when he was a child, or may have lived there all his life. One must remember that Paul’s father also started HIS priestly training as a Pharisee at the age of 13, IN JERUSALEM, so not only was Paul raised in Jerusalem, his father had been in Jerusalem from his youth also.

There were several levels or degrees of Roman citizenship in Paul’s day, with varied previleges, and that level was passed down to the children. but being born in a free city gave one full Roman citizenship regardless of the citizenship status of the parents.

This infers Saul’s parents went to Tarsus from Jerusalem prior to his birth so he would be a free born Roman citizen with full rights and privileges, much like “anchor babies” today.

Paul was born around the same time as our Lord Jesus, between 5BC-5AD. (Eusebius).

Jewish males begin their priestly training at age 13. Assuming a 5 year age difference, This puts Saul in Jerusalem from the time Jesus was about 18, up to his death and Resurrection at age 33 1/2, 17-32 AD. (Jesus with an assumed birth during Succoth the mid to end of Sept, or first of October)

This is an overlap of at least 15 years. Jesus lived in Nazereth, (Luke 2:39) not far from Jerusalem, and was an accepted, confirmed prophet to Israel since his birth. (Luke 2:25-39).

Jesus was also a Rabbi and teacher in the Temple “as was his custom”. (Mark 12:35, Luke 19:47). All of the Pharisees were well aware of this, so its logical to presume Gameliel and his student Paul did also.

Paul was taught at the feet of Gamaliel, a Dr. of the law in Jerusalem. (Acts 22:3). (Acts 5:34).

Taking that into consideration, Paul would have had to have been living under a rock in Jerusalem to have not known or met Jesus before Calvary.

Again, since Paul’s father was a Pharisee, Gameliel had to have been a contemporary of Paul’s father also. Gameliel may have been his teacher, or they may have went to school together.

Paul was very zealous in his religion of Judaism. He excelled above his peers. He followed the strictest sect. (His group believed in a bodily resurrection).

Again, before the road to Damascus, Paul most likely had met, and knew Jesus from the Temple in Jerusalem. The lives of these two men overlap IN JERUSALEM by about 15-20 years. AT LEAST that long.

Now Imagine these two men attending the same Temple, every Saturday for 20 years. I have no doubt that Paul knew the carpenters son, the Rabbi whose custom was teaching in the Temple.

Paul was most likely at Pentecost when Peter preached Acts 2:38. As a Pharisee, Paul would have never missed the feast days in Jerusalem.

He did not miss Pentecost. I doubt he ever missed a Sabbath day either. Nor did Jesus.
Even after his salvation, Paul strived to be in Jerusalem on the Holy days, logically he had a dual purpose to visit family in Jerusalem during this time also.

Saul had heard the gospel preached at least twice after the resurrection. (At Pentecost and the death of Stephen)

Saul met the RESURRECTED Lord Jesus and was saved on the road to Damascus. And no, the Lord did not knock him off his horse.

Paul was healed and then baptized by Ananias to receive the Holy Ghost,  (not for salvation)  just as those at Pentecost were. (Acts 9:17,18).

Believers in Acts 10:40-44 received the gift of the Holy Ghost without baptism.

Paul did baptize Pentecost Jews (resurrection witnesses and those who saw Jesus ministry)  He also baptized gentiles.

Grace through faith without seeing would have sounded silly to those who had met Jesus,   hence the difference in Peter’s message in Acts 2:38, “of which ye are all witnesses”, and Paul’s message to the Gentiles, and the children of Israel who did not see Jesus ministry or The Resurrection. That is one primary difference between the kingdom gospel and the gospel of grace through faith. Both have the same theme, God’s love, mercy and grace. Kingdom saints knew Jesus after the flesh and believed, while, grace saints had only heard of Jesus and believed without seeing. Think Jacob, Rachel and Leah.But even for the Jew at Pentecost, Water baptism was NOT about salvation. It never has been, but for those at Pentecost it was the means to recieve the Holy Ghost after belief unto salvation.  Those in Acts 10 received it without baptism, yet were baptised afterwards in obedience to the Lord.

Yes, Paul did baptise Jews early in his ministry, but even then it was not concerning salvation.

A believer today recieves the Holy Ghost at the moment he believes. (Acts 10)

Today, we baptise in obedience to the Lord’s command as a mikvah, or bridal baptism. It has nothing to do with salvation.

There is a lot of debate concerning baptism, suffice to say that today, for us, water baptism is an outward sign of an inner work of God, and obedience to the Lord’s command AFTER salvation. It has nothing to do with our standing in Christ. Salvation is purely by God’s unmerited grace, and it always has been.

Paul was blinded for three days, then healed after Ananias found him.

After Paul was saved, he immediately began to preach “repentance unto God, and works meet for repentance” in the Synagogues. (Acts 9:20) Compare John’s Kingdom message “bring forth fruits meet for repentance”.

Paul was said to have been of “contemptable speech.” Paul was not an eloquent speaker. He was very blunt.

Paul  was a “chosen vessel” unto the Lord, “set apart from my mothers womb”, and commissioned personally by the Lord Jesus to carry the gospel to the children of Israel, kings, and to the Gentiles. Acts 9:10-16,.

Performed great signs, healings, and miracles, including raising a man from the dead. Paul lost these powers as time went on and his ministry to the Gentiles progressed.

Killed by Nero Ceaser, death by decapitation June 29, 64-67 AD. As a Roman citizen, Paul was exempt from crucifixion. Paul never married, and probably died a virgin.

His life in Jerusalem overlaps Jesus life by about 15-20 years. Paul would have been “a young man” of about 23-28 when Jesus died at Calvary. I have no doubt Paul witnessed, or was fully aware of the goings on the Passover week of Jesus’s death at Calvary, AND his resurrection.

As a Pharisee, Saul was most likely sitting in one of “the chief seats” at Pentecost when Peter delivered his Acts 2 message. Paul rejected this message. He also rejected Stephen’s message for salvation. Hence Jesus words to Paul “it is hard to kick against the pricks”.

Taught by Gamaliel, a PHD “doctor of the law.” Pharisees were considered lawyers. Gamaliel was fully involved in the death of Jesus. (yes, they had colleges and universities back then too. Even Moses, who lived 1450 years prior had a university education.)

Paul held the coats of the men who stoned Stephen. As a Pharisee, he would have had defiled himself to cast stones, so he held the coats of the ones who did.
“I was consenting unto his death” indicates that Paul had some authority, or a vote concerning Stephen’s martyrdom. Acts 8:1.

Persecuted the church “beyond measure” before his salvation.

Was saved on the road to Damascus after meeting the risen Christ and receiving his commission to the children of Israel, Kings, and the Gentiles.

After meeting the risen Lord, and salvation, Paul was blind for three days. Received his sight after Ananias found him. Was then baptized to receive the Holy Ghost. Paul, like the other apostles, fell under Peter’s gospel of repentance unto baptism, which applied to resurrection witnesses and witnesses of Jesus earthly ministry. John the Baptist had preached that same message.

Since Paul has “betrothed us,” the Bride of Christ to Jesus, it’s pretty obvious Paul will be “a friend of the Bridegroom,” like John the Baptist at the marriage of the Lamb.

Paul had poor eyesight. Most likely the result of extensive study and reading.

Paul made at least 3 missionary journeys. Paul was a tent maker by trade. He never took a salary from a church more than what he had need of at the moment.

Paul was not a good sailor. Every boat he set foot on sank or shipwrecked.

Paul couldn’t stay on a horse very well either, falling off his horse when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.

Paul immediately began to preach “repentance unto God, and good works meet for repentance” in the Synagogues, to the Jews after his salvation. He would preach grace through faith alone to the children of Israel, and to the Gentiles later on.

Paul upset the authorities most everywhere he went. He was beaten with rods, stoned, imprisoned, scourged, left for dead tortured and shipwrecked for his testimony of the risen Christ.

Wrote 14 Epistles of the New Testament, including Hebrews. Paul’s salutation can be found in all fourteen books. 14 in a row. (See my other post “Paul’s salutation” for more detailed information). And yes, Paul did write Hebrews by the hand of Timothy. See my other posts concerning this.

Paul obviously liked sports, and used many athletic analogies in his letters, including Hebrews.

Paul spoke at least three languages, Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic.

Paul was NOT the first to preach grace through faith alone.”faith without seeing” is what saved Abraham and many others, and Peter also preached it before Paul began his ministry to the children of Israel and the Gentiles. It has many monikers, but It is the only gospel.

See Acts 26:22-23 “I preached nothing more than what Moses and the prophets said should come:that Christ would suffer and be the first to rise from the dead.”

The “revelation of the mystery” given to Paul was not grace through faith alone. The “mystery” was that NOW the Gentiles would be fellow heirs and joint heirs to the promises of Abraham. Eph 3:6-8. See “our future, kings and priests unto God”

Abraham was a gentile by the way.

The Apostles also preached grace through faith alone, and not just to Israel. Simply look at the places they were martyred. Johns book of Revelation was to the Gentiles, not the Jews, Israel had been scattered 25 years prior. The internal proof being Jesus reference to Antipas, who was martyred in 92AD. (rev 2;13)

Also, in reading Revelation, note John uses Paul’s
salutation “grace and peace be unto you” in the opening and closing chapter of revelation, an indication of Pauline doctrine

Paul was a tentmaker, and worked everywhere he went, never asking the church for more than he had need of at the time. And he turned the world upside down.

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Who is the Bride of Christ? 

Here is a brief explanation: More detailed information is contained in several other posts in this blog. God bless! 

Think Jacob, Rachel and Leah. Rachel being the kingdom saints under the Kingdom gospel, after the cross, and Leah being the grace saints. Jacob as a picture of Christ. 

All of the Bride is in the Body of Christ, but not all the body is the Bride. “children of the Bride chamber” and “friends of the Bridegroom” are OT saints. All one family, all one church. The Bride comes out of the body, just as Eve came from Adam. (Eph 3:5)

 The story of Naomi and Ruth helps explain it. Ruth was a Gentile, Naomi’s daughter by adoption, and Naomi (Israel, “the mother of us all”) and Ruth became “joint heirs” when Ruth married Boaz, Naomi even became a wet nurse to her grandchildren. 

Adam, John the Baptist, and the OT saints will be at the marriage of the Lamb in Rev 19 as “friends of the Bridegroom”. 

The OT saints will reside in “the New Jerusalem”, the Tabernacle of God in Rev 21:3, while the Grace saints will also live in this SAME Tabernacle, but in the Holy of Holies, “the Holy Jerusalem” (found in the KJV only) the most Holy place with Christ as “the Lamb’s wife” Rev 21:7-9.  The hypers completely reject what I just said, mainly because it totally contradicts their doctrine, and they have what I call “pigeon holed doctrine” because they completely ignore the OT shadows and picture types previously mentioned, that God uses to teach and illustrate things to us. 

They ignore the OT, then turn right around and use it as a reference to say The Nation Israel is the Bride of Christ. 

Then there’s those “two programs” they crow about, the “mystery program” and “kingdom program”. there are no “separate programs”, we are all one in Christ Jesus.

The only “mystery” given to Paul being this : That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Eph 3:6. understanding the Tabernacle in Rev 21 is the key. (See my Rev 21 blog post). God Bless you!!