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Monday, July 30, 2018

How Bible Interpretation Goes Wrong



I don't do this much as I think these things are better left alone. However, I think is a great example of how a teaching can go horribly wrong when we fail to rightly divide the Word of Truth and we try to rob Israel of her promises and her place in God's plan.

This is where failure to acknowledge context leads to great confusion.

I was with him until about the 20 minute mark.

The Body is not Israel. It was unknown to the prophets. Israel has a separate hope than does the Body. Israel's hope is connected to the earth, the land and the kingdom while the Body's hope is "in heavenly places" or "far above the heavens." Israel and the Kingdom are still in view in the Acts age.

Israel is known "since" the foundation of the world, while the Body was hidden from "before" the foundation of the world. Isaiah speaks of Israel. Unto her are the covenants (old and new), promises and prophets, not the Body. Paul was witnessing to "the hope of Israel" throughout the the Book of Acts.

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. -Eph 2:11-12
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world...
-Matt 25:34

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love...
-Eph 3:1-4
 
The Lord came to declare that kingdom to Israel and it was the focus of his instructions to the twelve in the 40 days following his resurrection (Acts 1). In his earthly ministry he forbade the gospel of the kingdom to be preached to gentiles. The twelve went "to Jews only" in the Acts, save once. Paul went to the Jew first throughout the Acts age. It is only when the hidden Body is revealed to Paul that the distinction is gone (but that distinction will again be relevant in a coming age).

I agree that Nebuchadnezzar's dream falls out historically as he teaches (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, Remnant of Rome). I agree there is a part the last empire in Europe will play in the days ahead. But this all concerns Israel and her kingdom. Can a false Christianity which claims they are Jews (Replacement theology, Catholicism) play a role? Absolutely. But part of that deception is claiming the Body is Israel.

That is a lie of the Roman Church adopted by others.
I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan... Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. -Rev2&3
These "Sabbath-Keepers" claim they are Israel, yet they are not. In a coming age, they will bow before true Israel.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

More on this Titles Business... Stop Using Them

Previously I addressed the issue of giving titles to men. In short, I don't believe it's biblical. I was moved to revisit it after watching some videos of titled men preaching nonsense or defending the wickedness of other titled men; all under the threat "touch not the Lord's anointed!"

Pal, you ain't God's anointed.

For starters, since I believe that a vast majority of people in Christendom with titles and "uniforms"are not even true believers (let alone someone with a calling from God) I really couldn't care less about their titles or degrees.

Paul called himself "the least of the apostles," "less than the least of all the saints," and "the chief of sinners." This was the man who was sent to us Gentiles. If any man could take a title it would be Paul, but he did not. We need a little more of that attitude in our pulpits and pews.

And Paul's apostleship was conferred by God. None can claim that today. And although we may call him "the Apostle Paul," he preferred "Paul, an apostle" (used 8x by my count). He also calls himself a "servant" of Christ. Neither is a title. And no man or seminary or council or denomination or board conferred it on him.

Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead)...
-Gal 1:1

All through the Book of Acts, Luke refers to him simply as "Paul." No title. No privilege. Just Paul. Peter calls him "our beloved brother Paul." Not a title, but a relationship.

When Paul had to use his status as a chosen vessel (a status none can claim today), he did it grudgingly and humbly and for the Lord's sake, not his own. God always got the glory.

For while one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not worldly? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to each one? I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
-1 Cor 3:4-6

Charles Welch (who had no degree) became E.W. Bullinger's closest confidante as he worked to complete "The Companion Bible." He chose Welch, not because of any religious or educational pedigree, but because in some ways Welch had a better grip on scripture than the world-renowned Greek and Hebrew textual scholar.
  • Paul had a religious pedigree. 
  • EW Bullinger had a pedigree. 
  • John Darby had a pedigree. 
  • Charles Chiniquy had a pedigree. 
  • William Tyndale had a pedigree. 
They all left their theological training and expertise to follow where scripture led.

As I note often, show me 10 people with seminary degrees, I'll show you 10 people who can't agree on mode of baptism or the structure of leadership or even on the very question of Christ's finished work.

Titles and degrees mean nothing and they have wreaked more havoc than almost anything else in Christendom. And the worst thing the titles and degrees do is rob men and women (including those with the trinkets) of their responsibility to rightly divide the Word of Truth or to even answer for their crimes.

On that day, no denomination, no church, no board, no council, no catechism, no creed, no pastor, no teacher, no seminary... no one will stand in your stead. There are 7 billion theologies in the world and you are responsible for ONE... your own.... and you will answer for it.

If Paul, a chosen apostle of the risen Christ, took no title and sought no privilege and expected his listeners to test his doctrines (Acts 17:11), then none of us should take a title and we should all take responsibility for our own beliefs before God.

Are titles themselves evil? Of course not. And in terms of order, they may have a place... but in terms of authority, truth, responsibility or trustworthiness? Meaningless and dangerous. The scripture is the final arbiter of truth, not a title or a degree or a backward collar.

"They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’ [teacher]; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren."
-Matt 23